Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Kindling by Angel Blackwood



I can’t think of many things more exciting than the privilege of reading the final product of a hard-working writer friend. Y’all remember how loud I was when it came to promoting books written by my friend Ellie Di Julio, and the cheerleading I did for Chase Night‘s debut novel Chicken. These days I’m writing book reviews (what!?) and I’m honored to get the chance to review this novel: Kindling by Angel Blackwood. I am also thrilled to be in the line up for beta reading the second installment. Pretty Hot and Awesome Gang featured posts about Kindling. Here’s what I said for my Goodreads and Amazon review:

Epic fantasy meets splatter punk for high gore adventures
The scope of this novel is wide, clearly intended for a series. Rather than a single main character, readers are treated to a cast of significant characters who end up traveling in various combinations. Good and evil are clear forces at work but there’s plenty of room for gray as the main characters struggle with themselves, each other, and in many cases the dark of their pasts. Bloodthirsty readers with be sated as legions meet excruciating ends. And an interesting paradigm shift at work here is the power of magic which places women in the strong, dominant roles and men as the weaker sex. Not to be missed, Kindling is clearly the start to a series which is not to be missed.

Woohoo! Are you excited yet?! I really loved how this book flipped the script on traditional gender roles, from a main male character of small stature—Zahir—to the impossibly strong magicks of the Matron herself. There is even a scenario where men can go mad (any woman might confirm how irritating it is to hear that all women are crazy). There are two main forces at work, one led by evil men in power and one led by evil women in power, but the primary force for good as far as deities go is the essential Mother goddess. The language in this book is evocative, and those who’ve grown up on comic book movies will have no trouble at all vividly seeing how the magic in this world works. I think my favorite male character is Zahir, while my favorite female character might be Dejanira, who is a baddie! Who are yours?

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:

That’s my last read for July, stay tuned for my crazy August crash plan!


Posted in Reviews

Jobe’s June, July, & August Summer Reads

Howdy y’all, I’ve pasted dated posts below from my private readers group, but I did some updates & revising, too. Basically this is what I’ve been up to, in addition to what you may have read over on my personal blog

August 31
For “a book more than 100 years old,” I read the Book of Job, authorized KJV with an introduction by Charles Frazier. I figured it was high time I read it, since it’s my name and all. It was a whole lot of “you did the thing” “I did not do the thing.” Then God shows up in the end and is all like “I’m moar awesum than you.” So, yeah. Also there is a mention of unicorns, and I’m wondering if it means rhinoceros?

Aug 25
Inspired by my dive into Chicken, I raced through Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. It was phenomenal and I definitely recommend it. It’s essentially about the life-long love story between a bald girl and a math nerd boy. It explores the concept of being an outsider and exposes us all as strange. I picked this book up at the dollar store — not Dollar General but the actual Everything’s a Dollar — because the cover drew me in. It was marked for clearance, on sale for fifty cents. It is worth much, much more. While I chose it for its cover, I do that with a lot of books, and it tickled me once I realized it qualified as a “one-word title.”

Aug 21
I just finished Chicken, by Chase Night. It fits a lot of categories, including YA, set in Arkansas, LGBTQ. It is fucking kickass. I’ll be placing it in the “published this year” slot. It is so, so good. If you do one good deed as a member of your literary community this year, it should be to buy this book.

Aug 21 (Amazon Review)
This book is so well wrought it’s difficult to know where to begin in praising it. The story is modern, with a myriad of current references from Tumblr to Rihanna, from the Lion King to the Titanic. The characters are real and their struggles are real. The LGBTQ subject matter is timely. And anyone who has lived in religious small town Arkansas or any small town in The South may easily relate. Yet with all the familiarity this book defies stereotypes and rises above. Night’s crisp language surprises and entertains, sparking the imagination and keeping the reader turning page after page. Here there is hope and humor in the face of damnation. You will fall in love with this story, these characters, and this new up-and-coming author.

July 28
Just finished Unseen Academicals on AudioBook by Terry Pratchett. Vacation driving. Will look up categories soonish…”A book with magic.”

July 27
Listened to Going Postal on AudioBook by Terry Pratchett, and it was delightful all the way through. Vacation driving. Don’t remember my categories til I get back from vacation… “A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet.”

July 11
Finally finished Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs. Category “book I’m scared of.” It is horror genre but YA, so I wasn’t sure how it would play out. It’s dark / gritty supernatural. I carried it around for so long just not reading it. Lame of me, I know. It’s actually really good, despite the word “titty-baby” on the first page that put me off initially. Lovable characters fighting a hard fight.

July 7
I don’t know why I find myself incapable of reading John Hornor Jacobs’ “The Twelve-Fingered Boy” but for some reason it is taking me an INORDINATE amount of time. Meanwhile, I read Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson in one night — several hours, really. It’s an illustrated travelogue by an artist / author and his roaming of Europe and Morocco. I’ll throw this in the “book set in another country” as soon as I check my list at work tomorrow… Night y’all.

June 24
I fell off the reading wagon for a while. I’m not certain why, but there was a lot going on that required my cleaning up skill set more immediately. Basically we got a friend moved out of one place and moved into our place, and we’ve been working on the group dynamics. For the first time in two weeks or more I actually sat down and read yesterday. It felt so foreign, and yet I couldn’t understand why I stopped. Well. I should finish this book today or tomorrow. Post to follow.

June 6
Finally finished Mother Box by Sarah Blackman. I picked her book up because of a short story of hers in another text that I enjoyed immensely. It wasn’t particularly long but some of it was dense. It’s a book of short stories and one novella that all have elements of the unreal. I’m not sure of the word for this. Maybe it is magical realism, maybe it is something else. At first it was “at the bottom of the reading list” because I had to read school texts and I was saving it to savor it. Then once I started it, it seemed too weird, too strange, too bizarre, and it was slow going and I thought several times about giving up on it. But some of the stories I deeply enjoyed, and the novella really captured my imagination. So it is done, and now I know this author is a bit hit or miss for me. I may have liked the original story better because it was non-fic/memoir style instead of fiction.