T5W: Impending Rereads

Top 5 Wednesday books to reread

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking: first a tag and now a meme will wonders never cease?

The answer is yes, probably, but in the meantime I’ll be doing the Top 5 Wednesday thing, because I own tons of lesser-known books and you might need them in your face.

Thankfully, this week’s topic started me off gently:

Books I Want to Reread

Generation V by M. L. Brennan

Generation V  by M. L. Brennan

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…

It’s been a few years since I last read Generation V, but I pretty much loved it. Fort’s not your average paranormal protagonist; he’s a twenty-something with an expensive degree, an uncertain future, and some fairly significant identity and family issues. He doesn’t go around kicking ass so much as trying not to get his own ass handed to him on a plate. Heck yes!

Also to love: it’s set in Rhode Island, the state I love above all other states (sorry, Texas). Also also to love: Fort’s family is the paranormal mafia. Give me more paranormal mafia, I have a need.

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan

Winter of Fire  by Sherryl Jordan

Elsha was born in a world of fire and darkness, a child of the Quelled. The Quelled are a branded people, doomed always to mine coal to warm the ruling class, the Chosen.

But Elsha has strange visions and a strength of spirit that sets her apart. Condemned to death on her sixteenth birthday for her defiance, Elsha is saved when she is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord, the first Quelled female ever to be so honored. The Firelord is the most powerful being on earth, the only one with the gift for finding the coal vital to warm a dark world trapped forever in icy winter.

As Elsha learns from the Firelord the ways of her new and dangerous world, her visions grow stronger, and so do her powers—powers that could change the world…

I edited the synopsis above, because in its original form it gives away literally the entire story. Winter of Fire is one of those much-beloved childhood reads that may or may not hold up to rereading now that I’m an adult. After all, I’ve since been fairly well buried alive by dystopians featuring exaggeratedly segregated haves and have-nots, and chosen have-not girls who rise up and try to use their super-special abilities to knock some sense into everybody.

But when I was ten, all of these clichés were sparkly and new to me, and my mind was blown. I have fond memories of weeping over it, and would love to see if can still wrest tears from my ancient, jaded tearducts.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Hawksong  by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Danica Shardae an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk’s form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she’ll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind’s greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.

Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give.

I first picked up Hawksong because (a) it was fairly short, (b) the whole marrying-your-sexy-terrifying-enemy thing was appealing, and (c) the plot didn’t sound complicated—just what I wanted for a day spent uncomfortably idling in airports while traveling across the country. And holy crap did I tear through this book.

You’ll note my copy is an omnibus edition, containing all five of the novels in the series. Of those, I’ve read the first, uh, three? I read them all in the same mindset as the first: looking for something fun that didn’t take much attention to enjoy, and they fit the bill beautifully.

Please, god, let Hawksong hold up to more attentive rereading, and let the series conclude strongly. I’ve been so good.

Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt

The Silver Wolf  by Alice Borchardt

Into decadent Rome of the Dark Ages comes Regeane, an enigmatic young woman distantly related to Charlemagne. But the blood she has inherited from her murdered father makes her much more than a child of royalty. Regeane is a shapeshifter—woman and wolf, hunter and hunted—possessed of preternatural agility and strength, primal memories extending back thousands of years, and senses so keen they can pierce the veil of death itself.

Betrothed to a barbarian lord she has never seen, Regeane is surrounded by enemies. But outside the gates of Rome, baying at the moon, there is a mysterious dark wolf whose scent awakens the animal in Regeane. Now, as deadly plots tighten like a noose around her neck, Regeane must fight to live with dignity as the proud creature she is: civilized and savage, partaking of both, yet infinitely more than either . . . 

So back when I was a tween and teen, YA wasn’t the enormous and popular thing it is now, so I did what any nerd would do: I devoured every adult fantasy available to me. The Silver Wolf hit three of my not-terribly-discerning sweet spots: a heroine who’s also an animal, a historical setting, and not-too-slow political intrigue. There’s romance, too, but my stance on romance was typically, Yes, fine, but get back to the magic and swords and stuff. I don’t remember it being as blatantly erotic as the synopsis makes it sound. (Selective memory, maybe? Uh.)

That’s to say: this book is a vague enjoyable fog in my memory, and it might in fact be terrible. I’ll keep you posted.

And, saving the best for last:

Fishbones by Jisuk Cho

Fishbones  by Jisuk Cho

In a world where the school day ends and target practice begins, Ferris walks the fine line between average teenager and criminal accomplice, facing both the challenges of youth and the grim consequences of being best friend to the youngest son of the hometown mob.

A few confessions here:

  1. That synopsis, uh, needs to be reworked. Possibly with a sledgehammer. It doesn’t do the story justice, at all.
  2. I’ve followed Cho’s work for about ten years now, and had the absolute joy of reading Fishbones chapter by chapter as it was being written.
  3. was am obsessed with this story. Like, I wrote fanfiction, collected related art, and was part of a Fishbones play-by-post RPG with Cho and some fellow fans. And I miss all of it, every second. It was glorious.
  4. This book (and everything peripheral to it) will always have a treasured place in my heart, don’t even question it, I’ll fight you.
  5. It’s entirely possible I won’t be able to write an impartial review of this book, I love it so.

So here’s the deal. Demos (who bears a striking personality resemblance to beloved Prince Laurent of Vere, FYI) is an up-and-coming heir of the mafia in the fictional New England town of Southport—and through him, his sidekick/the book’s protagonist, Ferris (nerdy, slightly grumpy, Jewish, and wholly devoted to Demos) is drawn deeper into the morality-greying criminal underworld. All of this while, you know, also dealing with bullies and romantic issues and parental expectations. The usual teen stuff, just with murder.

This book scratches so many of my itches, I don’t can’t even tell you.

Cho is currently in the process of remaking the story into a comic (start reading it here!), and holy fuck book two is being written right now oh my god I have to go I must reread Fishbones and catch up on book two immediately I am the worst fan ever how did I not know book two was being written who even am I oh god


Vacation Notice

Oh yeah, it’s holiday season, and I’ll be out doing (here’s another one of those wonders that will eventually cease) actual non-book-related things for the next week or so. I might have a few minutes here and there to collapse in front of my laptop, but I’ll be slow in replying to comments and your posts.

Also: for those of you who’ll be spending time with family who have, shall we say, opposing political and moral views from yourself, I highly recommend that you check out this video, in which Lindsay Ellis offers excellent tips for surviving and engaging with your family. (You’ll remember Ellis; she was part of the genius behind the YA paranormal romance parody novel that I mini-reviewed recently: Awoken. Go, read it. It’s great.)

See you in a week-ish,

Liam


38 thoughts on “T5W: Impending Rereads

  1. This is a great idea for a post! I love to go back and reread childhood favourites sometimes (usually after I’ve given them to my kids and they say “Mom, these suck…”) and it is fun to see them through different eyes. I’ve had a fairly good record of them being good reads again, no matter what my cultureless children say. 😀

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! I expect it’ll be pretty great.

      And hurray for showing you new books! This was a really great topic for promoting not-so-popular books; I’m looking forward to adding everyone’s recommendations to my, uh, already overloaded TBR list.

      . . .

      Okay, hold on, this T5W thing is starting to look dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god, hurray! I’ve only met one other person who’s read it, and she’s actually a childhood friend who read it at about the same time as me. You seriously just made my night. Maybe we can compare notes after we’ve both reread it.

      If you give Fishbones a try, I hope you enjoy it! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All these seem like great picks! Generation V sounds REALLY interesting!! I haven’t read a vamp book since The Immortal Rules and I’m feeling a little lost without them haha. Have a great Thanksgiving, by the way! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you!

      Yeah, Generation V does some neat stuff with the standard vampire/paranormal premise. I hope you like it!

      Did you like The Immortal Rules? I wasn’t a big fan, but I was in a bit of a reading slump when I trudged through it. Think I should give it another shot eventually?

      Thank you! Hope you have a great one, too! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really liked The Immortal Rules! I loved the mixture of post-apocalyptic and paranormal elements! The middle book was a bit of a drag, but the first and last books were awesome! 😀 Some action scenes even reminded me of comic book panels!

        If you’re ever in the mood for reading a good paranormal/dystopian with loads of action, I really think you should give it another shot! 😀

        Thank you! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t the cover stunning? And Cho creates tons of Fishbones artwork, all of which I love.

      I hope you enjoy the book if/when you get around to it! I’ll admit that, you know, it’s a self-published thing and could use a bit more editing (in the narrative structure and perhaps the writing style, not on a spelling/grammar level), but its characters and their arcs are great, and its heart is gold.

      Ah, the glory days. What books/worlds did you write fanfics and RP in?

      Thank you! Have a great weekend, yourself! 😄

      Like

    1. It’s it depressing when a synopsis doesn’t do a book justice at all? I can just imagine hundreds of potential fans reading that synopsis and thinking EH, NOPE. It’s a damn shame.

      The Silver Wolf holds a particularly special place in my heart because it’s the first series I found that did exactly what I wanted to do with shapeshifters: some shapeshifters are born normal animals and later gain human form, and have to figure out what the fuck being human is and means. Sure, it’s neat to read about humans who were bitten or born with the ability to change into animals, but that’s so common, you know? I find the animal-becoming-human thing fascinating. (Note: the heroine of Silver Wolf was born human; it’s her love interest wolf-dude who was born wolf. Just don’t want to mislead you there.)

      Whoops, I rambled. I’ll definitely let you know if they hold up to rereading! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Me scrolling through the list: Well, I’m just going to casually add this and this and this to my TBR. Not going to dwell too much on how much I’m already drowning in unread books. Seriously, “Fort’s not your average paranormal protagonist; he’s a twenty-something with an expensive degree, an uncertain future, and some fairly significant identity and family issues. He doesn’t go around kicking ass so much as trying not to get his own ass handed to him on a plate.” Could you please maybe write quick synopses of every book I have questions about? Because I would be 100% sold every damn time.

    Me upon seeing Hawksong: LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM LIAM. YOU KNOW ABOUT HAWKSONG?!?!?!?! Let’s talk about how with this rec, you have just sealed our unending friendship (for what may be the hundredth time)… God, I remember picking this book up as a kid just because I somehow found out that Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was a young published author and I wanted that to be me (oh, the times… they are a-changin’). I hope the Kiesha’ra series proves as good to you upon rereading as it was to me late last year. I think nostalgia already keeps me from hating the books I reread, so I’m of no help. I can say this– I did not hate it. And it was just as quick a read this time as it was the first time around. Of course, I only read the first three as well, so I’m more than a little overdue to finish out the series.

    P.S. I didn’t know I had a mafia book itch that needed to be scratched until I read this. Thanks a lot, pal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Have you considering doing one of those reading challenges for next year? Or do you not work too well under the pressure of meeting a goal? (I’m a proud and obsessive perfectionist, and don’t know if I’ll ever do a challenge because WHAT IF I FAIL, EVERYONE WOULD SEE MY FAILURE, MY LIFE WOULD BE OVER.)

      You flatter me and my synopsis-attempts! Thank you for that; as I was writing the post, I was trying to come up with a better synopsis for Fishbones but gave up, and languished in despair over my pathetic synopsising skills. (There’s that proud perfectionist thing again.)

      AAAAAAAH, HAWKSONG BUDDIES! Oh my god, I am so excited, I can’t even tell you. That’s it: when I reread it, I’ll be thinking of you the whole time. And I might spam you with comments about it, because you’re amazing and oh my god. I’m so glad that you still enjoyed the first three last year; that gives me confidence that I will, too. Because yeah, the nostalgia thing definitely affects rereading, but your taste is also impeccable.

      Hey Morgan, FYI, you need ALL THE MAFIA BOOKS. You’re welcome. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Allow me to tell you a story all about how I joined like 2+ reading challenges at the beginning of the year and have completed none of them [/sweeps that under the rug]. It’s okay… I’m going to pretend none of this happened. Challenges? What challenges? The only challenge I can commit to is the Goodreads one– and I cheated on that one (because I am Morgan, duh).

        Please spam me with all of the Hawksong comments. I will scream along AND TYPE IN ALL CAPS ABOUT MY EXCITEMENT.

        P.S. I bought Generation V during The Great Amazon Book Spree. Send help.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha! Morgans can get away with anything, if you ask me.

        Aw, yay, I can’t wait to ALL-CAPS WITH YOU FOREVER.

        No help for you; you’ll just have to suffer. It’s a terrible fate, buying books in bulk on discount. (Though now I’m sweating, hoping you enjoy Generation V enough to justify buying it.)

        Like

  4. I’m a big rereader but it’s been a long time since I’ve last reread a book, haha. Maybe 2015? Anyway, this year I really want to reread The Mortal Instruments which was 14 or 15 year old Summer’s favorite series of all time (but then again I wasn’t that wise since I loved Twilight too then, LOL). Or I may reread The Infernal Devices because it houses my book beau, Jem Carstairs. Either way, I need to pick up a Cassandra Clare book and finalize what 20 year old Summer thinks of her writing/books now.

    Also, I hope that you’re having a nice time away from the blogosphere, Liam! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your family. 🙂

    P.S. Do you have an Instagram?? You seriously need to join that platform, Liam. You’re a natural bookish photographer. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wah, that’s so long!

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of Clare’s writing, now that you’re older and more book-savvy! Hopefully you still enjoy them, if not love them. Do you think you’ll do full reread-reviews of them on your blog? Fingers crossed.

      I do have an Instagram account, but only to follow other people with; my cell phone has a terrible camera, and I can’t upload photos to Instagram that were taken on my DSLR. Shakes a fist. Maybe I’ll upgrade to a fancy phone eventually, and start Instagraming? I’ll keep you posted! (Thank you for the encouragement!)

      Hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday! And that you have an amazing (in a good way) 2017, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe, I probably will, I hope! Mainly because if I can get a chance to gush over Jem I will. 😉

        If you have a DSLR, that means you’re probably a really decent photographer. That’s too bad about the compatibility between devices though. Yes, do let me know if you ever join the bookstagram community. 🙂

        Hehe, thanks so much, Liam! Same to you. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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