Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.
And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right?
The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.
I loved Slayer when I read it in 2019, so I was very excited to read this sequel. While I enjoyed Chosen, I didn’t love it as much as I did Slayer.
I appreciate what the author was trying to do by separating Nina and Artemis, but that didn’t really work for me. View Spoiler » And I really struggled with Artemis’s actions and motivations. I wanted to believe that she believed what she was doing was right, but that was so difficult for me to buy into that it made reading this story a struggle at times. « Hide Spoiler
But I loved the links to the Buffyverse and the appearance of certain characters, however briefly, into this story. I also thought the action scenes were well written and the setting – the Watcher’s castle – was fun. And the way different characters dealt with the events of Slayer were interesting to see.
Overall, while I don’t think this was as strong as Slayer, I enjoyed it and definitely want to see where Nina’s story goes next.
I don’t really make resolutions for the new year, but I did make a list in my bookish Trello for some goals I have for my 2020 reading life:
DNF Books I’m Not Enjoying
This is something I’ve gotten better at every year. And it’s only January 1 at the time I’m writing this and I’ve already DNFd a book I only read a couple chapters of but just wasn’t feeling, and by putting that down, I was able to finish another book that I ended up loving (Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke).
Last year I even went back to two books that I’d DNFd earlier and wound up finishing them, so walking away from a book doesn’t mean I’ll never pick it back up again, but I am definitely going to keep working on this for 2020.
Read One Physical Book From My Shelves Each Month
I’ve been better at reading books I own off my Kobo, but by focusing on that and my library books (I was very heavily using my library by the end of 2019), I’ve neglected the books on my own physical bookshelves. So I’m trying to make a short TBR for each month this year with a small number of books on it (which will hopefully allow for me to continue to be a mood reader, but with a bit more structure), including at least one that I own and have on my shelves already.
Read And Review My Netgalley Books
I don’t have a ton of Netgalley books (I use Edelweiss more), but I would like to read the ones I do have and review them this year to get my feedback ratio up!
I’ve read the first four books in the series, and I already own the rest, so I would like to see if I can finish this series in 2020. I have three left, so hopefully by the end of 2020 I’m listing this as an accomplishment!
Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2020 and/or your reading life? Let me know!
This is an annual survey by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner for books read in 2019. I love looking back at what I read over the course of the year, and getting excited for a new year of reading coming up!
(Note: I’ve left off the questions that I didn’t answer, but you can check out all of the survey questions on Jamie’s blog)
2019 Reading Stats
Number of books you read:
I read 130 books this year, which is way more than I thought I would read! I initially set my Goodreads goal at 100 books, then partway through the year, I lowered it to 85, since I didn’t think I’d hit 100. But near the end of the summer, I got my reading mojo back and I was flying through books!
Number of re-reads:
Just one! I reread Vicious by Victoria Schwab for the third or fourth time.
Genre you read from the most:
I think I read more mysteries/thrillers than anything else this year.
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2019:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo! I read it at the beginning of the year and I have kept up with the ideas of the KonMari method for sorting and organizing, and only keeping the objects which spark joy.
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett! It was a sweet, fun mystery-romance that I sort of checked out from the library at random and then really enjoyed.
Most unique book read in 2019:
There were lots of unique books this year! The Library of the Unwritten had a great concept. The Need by Helen Phillips was certainly unique. And The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa.
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019:
Not a recent discovery, but I’ve really enjoyed Lindsey of BringMyBooks on Instagram for the things she posts about bookish organization!
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019:
Reaching and then exceeding my Goodreads goal this year, since I didn’t think I would get there.
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.):
I’ve been waiting for the Bookly app (which I think used to be called BookIt or BookOut or something) to be available for Android, and towards the end of the year I discovered that it was! I’ve loved using it to track my reading time.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
My Goodreads goal!
One book you didn’t get to in 2019 but which will be a priority in 2020:
I’ve been reading a lot lately, and not always feeling like I want to write a full review for each book read (or sometimes I just don’t have much to say about a book). So I was inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit posts, as well as Hannah at So Obsessed With‘s monthly Quick Lit posts, and decided to do something similar as a way to briefly discuss the books I read in a month but don’t write full reviews for.
I read 16 books in November, and I’ve reviewed (or have reviews coming up) for nine of them. So here are my thoughts on the other seven books.
I received this ARC a while back and read it without initially realizing that it was book number four in a series. But I think the book set out the necessary background information well enough. I didn’t love this one, so I don’t think I’ll be going back to read the series from the beginning, but I am looking forward to the next in the series, since it seems like it will feature my favourite character in this book more.
I started reading this book years ago and one day put it down around halfway through, and just never picked it back up. But eventually, I was bothered enough by not finishing this book that I decided I would read the rest. And it was fine, but I think I loved the first couple books in this series much more than I’ve liked the books as the series has gone on.
But I will carry on, and try to finish the series in 2020.
I am so happy that I have one more week of vacation! I had a lovely Christmas but the past week feels like it went by in a blur, so I’m looking forward to a few more days to curl up on the couch and read.
I haven’t actually managed to spend much time reading the past few days, but I’m hoping to read at least two more books before the end of the year.
I finished watching The Mandalorian and The Witcher, and I watched two movies from my list (Ready or Not and John Wick 3, both of which I loved). I also caught up on Coronation Street, which didn’t disappoint with its dramatic Christmas episodes!
I received two packages today (Sunday delivery!) from Raincoast Books and Penguin Random House Canada:
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality–not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.
In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
I don’t read much nonfiction, but this synopsis grabbed my attention and I knew it was one I had to read. This was such a fascinating story! I admit, I think a lot about walking away from society and living as I wish. I’m a shy, anxious introvert and I often prefer my own company to anyone else’s.
But as this book showed me, I don’t think that’s something to actually do! Even a curmudgeon like me would miss out on some sort of human connection, conversation, community. And what about the new stories I would miss living in the middle of nowhere, cut off from the world??
Of course, as the book makes clear, Christopher wasn’t totally cut off from the world. He survived by stealing from nearby homes, including food, books, handheld video games – so the debate in the hermit community about whether or not he was a true hermit was fairly heated.
And part of what makes this story so fascinating and intriguing to me even after I’d finished reading was that the reader doesn’t really get any quick answers. While the author speaks with Christopher several times, Christopher is not necessarily willing to open up and share his innermost thoughts, which of course I understand.
This was a really quick read. I didn’t want to put it down once I started, and the chapters are fairly short. The author did a really great job laying out the story, giving as much background on Christopher as he could, but for me it felt like the author inserted himself into the narrative a bit too much.
Of the few nonfiction books I read in 2019, this was definitely my favourite!
Today I’m talking about my favourite reads of 2019. I always love looking back over the books I read each year, and this year I surprised myself and read way more books than I have in recent years.
So I thought that would make it difficult to pick just ten favourites, but as I looked back over what I read, I realized that while I enjoyed many books this year, there didn’t seem to be a ton that I loved. So that makes these books extra special to me, because I read lots of good books but very few great books in 2019.
(Sidenote: I believe all of my picks this year were written by women!)
So here are my favourites, in no particular order (links will take you to my reviews):
My favourite read of the year! This was a fantastic science fiction story that kept me guessing as to what was going to happen, and it was full of magic and skeletons and necromancers and snark. And that ending! I cannot wait for the sequel, out next year.
With this second book, JoAnn Chaney has cemented herself as one of my favourite, auto-buy authors. This was a dark and twisty story that grabbed me right away, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!
I’m on Christmas vacation! I am so excited to have time off to relax and read! I unpaused all of my library holds in anticipation of having a lot of reading time, so we’ll see how many books I get through.
I’m also going to try and catch up on my shows and BTS videos, start watching something new (Witcher on Netflix probably), go see the new Star Wars movie in the theatre, possibly see Parasite again, and watch a bunch of movies at home (especially Ready or Not, John Wick 3, and The Lighthouse).
I’ve got a post coming tomorrow about my favourite books that I’ve read this year, and I’ve started working on Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner‘s annual book survey.
I also treated myself to a book cart! I’d had my eye on this one for quite a while, and finally decided to go for it. I love it! It is helping me keep my library books and books borrowed from friends organized.
I used some Christmas money to get some more books on sale for my Kobo (along with one full price book that was a treat):