Hello Fiction Dwellers! How you’ve been?
Let us welcome this new month with another Wrap Up!! This month’s wrap is an exciting one albeit short. I was caught up with training the person that will be replacing me at work because by the end of August I’ve finally resigned from my current work place. My job has been draining me mentally and financially because of Covid and the lengths I have to take just to go to work. Long story short my previous work place is problematic. It was a tough decision for me personally but I’m glad I did it.
Anyway back to the wrap up. In August I was surprised by a favorite publisher that I was approved for the ARC of a highly anticipated third book to one of the best series in modern fantasy of all time! YES! I GOT THE ARC FOR JADE LEGACY BY FONDA LEE! *incoherent screaming in Indonesian* Not to be dramatic but I nearly chucked my phone reading the email. But when there is an upside there is also a downside because I also read one of the worst books I’ve read in 2021. Let’s get on with the wrap up shall we?
August went by very slowly for me as I could only fit a few books in. I’ve read five books starting of with probably the worst decision of my life, Iron Widow. Next, I was in a weird mood I wanted to read something fantasy but different kind of fantasy so I read Before the Coffee Gets Cold. The book was perfect to kick off my fantasy binge because I managed to read The Bone Shard Daughter, Jade Legacy, and A Clash of Steel.
When Wu Zetian from Iron Widow says ‘Welcome to your nightmare!’ I didn’t think she meant it literally…
Iron Widow is the debut and first book of a duology by Xiran Jay Zhao. Marketed as “a YA Pacific Rim meets the Handmaid’s Tale” Sci-Fi/Fantasy retelling of the rising of Empress Wu Zetian, the only female ruler in Chinese history, set in a war torn world where humans fight using giant magical mechas (based of East Asian myths) for survival against aliens called Hunduns.
❁ Before the Coffee Gets Cold ( Before the Coffee Gets Cold #1) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ❁
Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot
Release Date : September 19th 2019
❁ The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart ❁
Release Date : September 8th 2020
The Bone Shard Daughter is a strong first book to promising new series by Andrea Stewart proving to be one of the best fantasy debuts in 2020.
When I first started my reading journey in 2020 The Bone Shard Daughter is one of the first books I put in my TBR but somehow took me a while to finally get to it. The book is well loved by my Twitter mutuals and close friends alike. I don’t know what was holding me back from reading it. So I made it my mission in August to pick up this book. The sequel, The Bone Shard Emperor, is coming out in November 2021 it is perfect timing too! Before I dive into the review I would like to appreciate the gorgeous cover done by Sasha Vinogradova. The level of detail of the marble-esque engraving is just so so so stunning!
❁ Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee ❁
Release Date : December 2nd 2021
Full review to come!
❁ A Clash of Steel (Remixed Classics #1) by C. B. Lee ❁
Release Date : September 7th 2021
ARC provided by the publisher Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review as part of the #AClashofSteelTour organized by Colored Pages Bookish Tours
An outstanding sapphic Asian inspired remix of a classic pirate adventure story following Xiang and Anh as they embark to find the legendary treasure trove of the famed pirate queen Zheng Yi Sao. A queer pirate adventure that surely will make a splash in the ocean of young adult books.
DUDUM! Here enters my anime slump era. August I didn’t read nor watch anything. But! Me and my boyfriend has been watching MOB Psycho together since July and we just finished it in August. Boyfriend really likes this series but he never finished it so we decided to watch it together. I’ve only seen glimpses of MOB Psycho but I have never really watched it properly.
❁ MOB Psycho 100 [ モブサイコ100 ] by ONE ❁
Season 1 Airing Date : July 12, 2016 – September 27, 2016
Season 2 Airing Date : January 7, 2019 – April 1, 2019
“Psychic powers aren’t needed to survive in the first place.”
MOB Psycho 100 is the anime adaptation of the manga award winning of 62nd Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shōnen category in 2017 with same name by ONE, the same author that created One Punch Man which is later illustrated into a manga by Yusuke Murata. MOB Psycho 100 ran from 2012 to 2017 serialized by Shogakukan. The story follows a middle school boy named Shigeo Kageyama who works for a psychic agency owned by Reigen. Shigeo is an esper, a person that has psychic abilities, while Reigen is a con artist trying to make a living. Yes, Reigen is taking advantage of Shigeo. In the anime we follow Shigeo as he go through all the ups and downs of teenage life : having a crush on the pretty girl of the school, finding a club to join, wanting to be cool, etc. All Shigeo wants is to be a normal teenager and make the most out of his teenage life. But with his powers and the odd jobs Reigen takes him on he soon meets other people that wants to take advantage of it for other gains or other entities that want to challenge him. As Shigeo grows he is faced with situations when he has to face his fears and grow. It is a coming age story like no other filled with comradery, heart warming moments, and hilarious situations.
MOB or Shigeo is an innocent and naïve kid that sees only the best in people even though it is clear that the person in front of him is sus to the bone. What I find interesting about MOB is his determination no matter how helpless he is. MOB tries his best in everything even when he can’t do it or he’s really bad at it he never uses his psychic powers. MOB’s psychic powers could have easily solved his problems but MOB stays true to himself only using his powers for good. Many of the esper characters in MOB Psycho 100 all have narcissistic complex as the rely fully on their powers. When they confront MOB these characters are humbled not because of MOB’s powerful esper abilities but for his values that he stands true to no matter the situation.
The first season of MOB Psycho 100 establishes a good foundation for the build up of season 2. But I have to say season 2 wasn’t as well versed in pacing wise and was rushed at some episodes. The flow of the episodes isn’t as satisfying as season 1. In season 1 felt episodic and has a theme that correlates to the plot and adds to MOB’s development. Season 2 makes up for it pacing with action packed scenes that is a feast of explosive visuals and colors that is intense and gritty. The action scenes in season 1 is used sparingly and well intentioned focusing more on MOB characterization and the characters surrounding him. There is a different side to MOB’s kind and soft heart when he meets an equal that persistently challenges him building up the stress. The more stress builds up he is forced to let out the emotion within him when he reaches 100%.
Overall I enjoyed this series as it is different from the normal Shōnen anime and MOB is a refreshing take on a protagonist. The way ONE tackles themes of power, ego, humanity, and personal growth is like no other. The way conversations about what makes someone special and the delusions that fogs someone’s view when they are equipped with power. MOB knows it first hand the hard truth of having powers that they can’t control he educates himself and everyone else in this anime series about the importance of staying grounded and surrounding one’s self with the people that care for them. It is a meaningful anime with hilarious slap stick comedy that makes every episodes more entertaining. Personally, I still favor the action part while boyfriend appreciates the themes and slice of life moments of the anime. Boyfriend rates the first season 9/10 and second season 6/10 while I would rate season 1 8/10 and second season 7/10. The action parts in season 2 were top tier! There is one episode that changed the tone completely in season 2 taking a horror suspense approach, that whole episode is so eerie and creepy I love it. Final thoughts, I highly recommend this anime to anyone that is looking for a slice of life anime that is still Shōnen at it’s core with a cast of funny characters. I added the trailer below if you need some convincing or get the vibe of the story.
It’s surprising to see that I actually blogged quite well in July considering the amount of post I posted even though I was having a hard time cranking out content.
Bookish Content Creator Shout Out!
☾ Jeeya from Meraki Reads did the Three Bookish Things Tag. I love seeing bookish tags! It’s a list of books that introduces a person’s taste in books and Jeeya did a wonderful post about it. Maybe I might do it! Check out her blog friends <3 Leave her a like or a comment!
☾ Gauri from A Book and Chai posted a wonderful review of Not Here to be Liked by Michelle Quach. This books has been hyped up a lot and I’m here for it! Gauri’s review are always a banger and she’s the reason I keep adding YA contemporaries to my ever growing TBR. Looking for some convincing to read Not Here to be Liked? Click on Gauri’s review! Don’t be shy! 😀
☾ Nessma from Talk of Tales posted her recent interview with Ana Lal Din author of The Descent of the Drowned. Ness’ interviews are always a joy to read and with this one it’s no different. Ness sits down with Ana Lal Din to talk about The Descent of the Drowned and the inspirations behind the book. Also hints on sequel anyone? Please check out Talk of Tales to find out more and follow Ness because she’s just amazing! <3
☾ Saima from Stories with Saima posted July + August Wrap Up and just recently revamped her blog! Saima just recently shared her July and August reads. She read some awesome books with a new revamped blog. One word : stunning! Please follow Saima for more awesome bookish content y’all <3
☾ Amanda from Bookish Brews posted a review of The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw. Since I’ve finished The Vanished Birds I’m currently looking for new Sci-Fi books to pick up and Amanda’s review really hooked me to read Cassandra Khaw’s new book. Looking to read The All-Consuming World check out Amanda’s review! <3
☾ Bertie from Luminosity Library posted a review of Among Thieves by M. J. Kuhn. Ah! Bertie is one of my favorite adult SFF reviewers I’ve met. I’ve been looking into Among Thieves as it just released and I was wondering how good it is. Bertie’s review convince me to add it to my TBR. I can’t say no to backstabbing family~
☾ Birdie from Birdie’s Booktopia posted her review of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. I’m happy to see different opinions of books because sometimes it’s a hit for someone but a miss for someone else. Reading Birdie’s review she summarize everything I like about the book perfectly. Please do check out their blog and leave a like or a comment 🙂
☾ Patri from Books Bite Back posted their series of mini reviews of books about books. First of all I just adore Patri like their blog is SO CUTE. I love reading Patri’s reviews of books they’ve read and this mini series they are doing is exciting. Books about books? Say no more I’m in. Please follow them! They are just precious <3 Love you Patri!
For September I am celebrating my new found freedom from the corporate clutches to read whatever book I want to read. I’ve been reading The Way of Kings since the end of August and while reading that I’m also picking up a few an ARC for a blog tour and a YA fantasy that’s been on my radar for a while now.