New York Comic Con 2019 – Sunday

New York Comic Con 2019 – Sunday, October 6

I’m going to start off with…

List of all 17 books from NYCC 2019:  If there is a link then I read and reviewed it.

Penguin Random House mystery box, Ladies First in Sci-Fi and Fantasy:
Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon.
Sorcerer to the Crown  by Zen Cho.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Harper Collins mystery box, Fantasy Quest:
King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist
Woodworker by Emily B. Martin
The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Knopf Doubleday ARCs:
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Penguin Book Wizard quiz:
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Panel giveaways:
Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed
Burn the Dark by S.A. Hunt (DNF)

Free book at Signing
Infinity Son by Adam Silvera
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
The Nobody People  by Bob Proehl

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My sister and I started Sunday by going to the Part of their World: A Conversation with the Disney Princesses.

Ariel. Belle. Princess Tiana. Join Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, and Anika Noni Rose -three of the all-star voices from the modern Disney age – as they talk about their experiences voicing some of the greatest animated characters of all-time. Moderated by Dani Fernandez (Host for Disney, E!, Nerdist and The Nerdificent Podcast on iHeartRadio).

We loved this panel and it totally brought a few tears to my eyes.

Many of the things they discussed in this SyFy Wire video they also discussed in the panel. I couldn’t find a video of the panel on YouTube.

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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

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Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

I picked this up at NYCC when I took the Book Wizard Quiz at the Penguin Random House booth. You were asked a few questions on the tablet and then your answers dictated which book you received. I can’t remember the questions or answers when I got Foundryside, but I would say that the Book Wizard was right! I really enjoyed Foundryside.

At first it took me some time to get used to the terminology, but Robert Jackson Bennett does a good job of explaining scriving. I really liked the imaginative mix of magic with science and what I loved was the mysterious mythology. I can’t wait to see what the next book reveals about the ancient and unknown history of the world Bennett created.

Besides the incredible world building, the fully developed characters really drew me in. They were complex and compelling. I loved the way their relationships developed and I was rooting for the good guys. Some of the characters were so funny. I love Clef’s personality, and I especially loved the conversations he had with Sancia. Another character who made me laugh was the Mountain.

The action is a page turner. Reading those scenes was easy to picture in my head. I can so see this becoming a TV series or movie.

Thank you Book Wizard for giving me a new world that intrigues my imagination. I am anticipating the sequel in 2020.

4 out of 5 Keys.

Top Ten Tuesday November 19: Changes In My Reading Life

op Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

November 19: Changes In My Reading Life (Maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now).

 

1) I listen to more audiobooks. New novels, old favorites, short stories, and Audible originals – which are sometimes non-fiction. A genre I usually hate reading. I easily get bored. But listening to non-fiction is thought provoking.

2) When I want to reread an old favorite I listen to the audiobook instead. Sometimes I read along with the book.

3) I have been a little better about reading ARCs I get at Book Con and New York Comic Con before the official release date. I say a little bit because while I put the ARCs ahead of books that are from the backlist, I also am not a speed reader and so sometimes I fall behind.

4) Between physical books I get at Cons and audiobooks I have neglected the TBR I have on my nook app. I was never one of those people who can read multiple books at once. When I am in a world I can’t leave it for another. So the ebooks have been waiting for me and I hope to find more of a balance between books, ebooks and audiobooks.

5) I started using holidays to listen to/ read themed books.  October is for horror and thrillers. Christmas is for Christmas stories.  I think next year I will extend that to love stories for February and for Black History Month I plan to listen to The Color Purple.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood.

Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

I got an ARC at New York Comic Con. On November 6th at The New York Public Library I went to the event: The Starless Sea: Erin Morgenstern with Kelly Braffet. There was also a book signing. If I find some time I will write about that event too.

I bought the hardcover but kept reading the ARC because it was easier to carry and I didn’t want to get the nice signed hardcover dirty.

The Starless Sea was a whirlwind! So much happens and I am still absorbing it all. This story will definitely require a reread at some point. Actually, I plan to listen to the audiobook one day.

At first it seams that the short stories in between the main story are random interludes, but they do connect. There are some things I am still confused about, or maybe they were not answered at all?

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Top Ten Tuseday November 12: Favorite Bookmarks

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

November 12: Favorite Bookmarks

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I love this week’s topic! I have many bookmarks and rotate using them. I choose which bookmark to use based on the genre of the book. I often buy a bookmark when I am on vacation as a memento. I’ll break up this TTT into categories.

The vacation mementos:

1. Volterra – I was there in 2011. This was during the height of my Twilight craze. I even wore a green button down shirt like Bella did in the New Moon film. I just had to get a bookmark of the scenes from the book/film. I use it for books that are historical fiction set in Europe.

2. Iceland – I was only passing through in 2013. There was a layover on route to Denmark. With time to kill at the airport I did some duty free shopping and I couldn’t pass up that pretty leather bookmark with the viking ship design. Someday I hope to actually see Iceland. I don’t really use this one much because the leather is thicker than an average bookmark and I don’t want it warping the pages. It is mostly just a keepsake.

3. The Butchart Gardens – in Victoria B.C., Canada. I was there in 2018 and it is so gorgeous. I had an unforgettable picnic there. An added plus is that this bookmark is also a magnet. I don’t really assign this bookmark to any theme. I mostly use it when I have a big book and want to use a magnet.

4. Venice – I was there this summer and went to the island of Burano, known for their lace. It is white and delicate, so I don’t think I will use it much. Just a keepsake.

5. The Scream by Edvard Munch – It is hard to see because the image moves. The face comes closer and closer. I got this in 2017 in San Fransisco at their MOMA. We didn’t plan to go but found ourselves killing time at the museum and seeing the Munch exhibit going on. This bookmark is good for horror stories.

6 & 7. Harry Potter:

I have a few Harry Potter bookmarks and it was hard to narrow down. I chose these two. The quote is perfect for reading because it’s like that incantation will open up the world of the book to you. The one with Harry – I just like the whole design of it. I used these for books about magic.

8. Star Wars. I have a few SW bookmarks but this one I have had since I was 13. The copyright on the back says 1992! The quote, “The prophets of the Dark Star have foretold that the next Emperor shall wear the glove of Darth Vader,” is from The Glove of Darth Vader. It is such an obscure book that I have never seen it in stores or the library. It is probably out of print. Obviously I use the bookmark when I read any Star Wars novel.

9 & 10. Always a reader.

The pegasus unicorn on a rainbow cloud is so girly girl and I love it.
The NINE planets (Pluto still counts!) shows I always loved outer space.
These bookmarks are even older than the Star Wars one. I mostly likely used them when I was a young child reading The Baby-Sitters Club and other books I ordered from The Scholastic catalogue.

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker, narrated by B.J. Harrison

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Dracula is a Transylvanian monarch planning on purchasing a ruined castle in England. Before he knows it, Jonathan is trapped inside Dracula’s castle as a prisoner. Taken from a collection of journal entries, letters, telegrams, and newspaper clippings, Dracula is the grand sire of all vampire tales. Discover the nefarious means Dracula uses to enter England and wreak his hellish havoc. Who can stop the lord of the undead? Only the Dutch scientist Van Helsing can persuade the disbelieving to believe the reality that there are creatures of the night beyond our ken – things that suck the blood of the living, transform into mist, and flee to the safety of their coffins before the rising of the sun.

 

I first tried to read this back in 2013 when I got a free copy of the book at NYCC.
They gave them out after the panel for the NBC drama Dracula staring Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Back then I got about 64 pages in before I gave up (right after Lucy’s letter about her three proposals.) I was bored and annoyed that the story was told through letters and diary entries. I wanted the point of view from Dracula himself. (What are his true origins? Is he the first ever vampire? How old is he?)

Then I got into audiobooks and I really enjoy B.J. Harrison’s narrations. (I listened to his narration of The Count of Monte Cristo.) When I saw he narrated Dracula I thought I would try again.

I enjoyed it so much more this time and followed along with the copy I kept from NYCC 2013. (Some sentences were missing from the audiobook! Different editions, perhaps?)

Ok, so some spoilers below. Are they still spoilers when the book has been out for over 100 years?
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