Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab



Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Stacking The Shelves With Fantasy (Jan 2016)


I don't think I've actually ever done this before, but today's post is Stacking The Shelves #195, WHOO! Stacking The Shelves is a link-up hosted every Saturday by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. As my short story The Sorcerer's Secretary (I chose that title for Wattpad. I really wanted to call it Dragon Ellen) is posted here on Saturday, this post was pushed forward. It's been a long time since I've had a haul of any kind, because in 2014 I bought something stupid like 120 books. So this is exciting! Let's start.


Half Wild by Sally Green
YA Fantasy, bought at Waterstones. After I read and reviewed Half Bad, I was sorely disappointed that it was set up to be continued. The story was strong enough to end right there. The only loose end, really, was Annalise, and she was CERTAINLY not interesting enough to make me want to spend £7.99. However, I lent HB to my brother and he loved it, so I begrudgingly bought Half Wild for him.

Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Epic Fantasy, Borrowed from my sister. Technically I already had this one, but I forgot until this month. Does that count? XD I finally read it too. My first five-star fiction book of 2016, and I'm glad I FINALLY read it. It's phenomenal.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
YA Fantasy, bought on Amazon. I decided to return a comic I bought called Low, because I didn't like it at all =( and exchanged it for Truthwitch. I've read no fewer than fifteen reviews of Truthwitch - most have been overwhelmingly positive save two, which were highly critical. Like Throne of Glass, it just seems to be That Book in YA right now that everyone and their mother reads. Because the blurb did intrigue me, I'm giving it a go. Please God, don't let it be as excruciating as Throne of Glass.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Historical/Science Fiction/Something...? Another borrow. I'm so curious about this book, and also excited because The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet was just riveting, although difficult to get into.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
This one wasn't borrowed from my sister as much as it was forced on me by her XD I have no idea what it's about, but I plan to read and return it this month.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Classic Literature, bought from Amazon for uni last week and I enjoyed it hugely. Well, until Rochester asked Jane to marry him, the book pretty much went downhill from there.

Loop by Karen Akins
YA Sci-Fi, bought from Amazon last week. I remember Charnell at Reviews From A Bookworm mentioned this and I found it really interesting. Amazon UK is selling the hardback copy at something ridiculous like £2, so I couldn't resist. I hope it's good.

England, England by Julian Barnes
Literary Fiction, bought last minute with Amazon Prime. This book I bought over the weekend for my uni class tomorrow. I've read half of it; parts are really good, other bits are a bit boring, but I'm enjoying it overall. I especially loved the beginning.

eBooks 



I was getting bored with my Mum's Netflix, so against all of my suspicions about Amazon taking over the world e_e I decided to sign up for Amazon Prime. As a student, it's only £39 instead of the usual £79. Ha! I say "only" but I know it's not that cheap when you pay a lump sum. However, when Netflix raised their price from £5.99 to £6.99, they actually became more expensive than Prime. PLUS, Prime isn't just movies, it's free one day or evening delivery, Prime music, Kindle Lending library and more. You really do get your money's worth, provided you can pay forty quid at once.

THUS. It was a weird experience this month placing an order and then having it literally turn up the next day, but it made me more excited for my books and I'm reading them faster. Good thing too, because my university essays loom closer and I have a lot of reading to do. o_o

On Prime, if you select No-Rush Guarantee delivery, Amazon awards you with £1 credit for ebooks, music or films. I used that credit to buy the sci-fi novella Binti last week, by Nnedi Okafor (at £1.41, hehe 41p book! That's cheaper than Poundland.) It's INCREDIBLE, I want so many people to read it. I also bought Plato's Symposium (well not really as it was £0.00) and I hope it'll be interesting.



Ashana Lian .

P.S. For those of you who commented on Blogging Communities - thank you so much. I'm still not a hundred percent, but I'm doing a lot better.

P.P.S. Have you read any of these books? What did you buy/borrow this month?

24 comments:

  1. I always had mixed emotions about Jane Eyre. Parts of the book I adored, but, like you, I definitely was disappointed once Rochester actually proposed to her. Which is a pity because I loved the atmosphere of the first part. *sigh. That is a rather amazing looking haul though. I've heard good things about Sally Green, though I've not managed to read any of her books yet. Maybe in the future though.

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    1. You put that perfectly. The atmosphere definitely changed after the proposal. At points when I was reading, I couldn't help but hold it away from me and think 'What IS this?!' I hope you do get round to Sally Green! Half Bad was an interesting read. Thanks for commenting Imogen.

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  2. Ooh Half Wild! I still haven't read Half Bad at all, but it's in my TBR so I'm hoping to read it someday. Oh and TRUTHWITCH and CLOUD ATLAS and JANE EYRE. I only ever read Jane Eyre; it was long and overwhelming, but honestly the story was really good! I really do what to read Cloud Atlas and Truthwitch though! Happy reading :D

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. Hi Jillian! LOL, Jane Eyre can be a bit overwhelming. I was kinda surprised it went on for so long after Rochester. O_O Thanking youu! I'm looking forward to them.

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  3. Oo, I've heard a lot about Half Bad and it sounds really interesting. I haven't found it at the library yet though, so I'll keep wandering. ;)

    Yeah. . . I wasn't particularly impressed with Jane Eyre. It was too depressing for me. And why in the world did she like Rochester? He's mean. And just-- Really? I only finished it because a friend of mine had me borrow it because she wanted to know what I thought of it.

    I've heard a lot about Brandon Sanderson too. I really want to read him sometime. He seems to write a lot of fantasy.

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    1. Hi Ashley, thanks for commenting. =] It helps not to think about Sanderson's endless list of books - just start with The Final Empire and take it from there!! XD Haha, there are just some books you have to patiently wait for the library to get in stock. In fact, if Loop hadn't been on such a great deal I miiight have waited for my library's copy because I'm very suspicious about YA these days.

      Oh dear. If you thought Rochester was mean in that book, you DO NOT want to read Wide Sargasso Sea.

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  4. Yay for a stacking the shelves post! I hope you enjoy all of these glorious books. Truthwitch is one I want to read a lot myself as well. I personally loved Jane Eyre and it was the first classic I have ever read, so it has a lot of special meaning to me as well <3 Oh, and I have heard plenty of good things about Cloud Atlas as well!

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    1. Thanks Olivia-Savannah, I'm looking forward to getting stuck in (right after I get through my uni books.) I'm gonna read Cloud Atlas first so I can watch the film. A while back I was going to, but I wanted to read the book first.

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  5. I've read The Final Empire, The Sparrow and Cloud Atlas. All of them fantastic reads in my opinion.

    The Final Empire is the first in the Mistborn trilogy and I can really recommend the two sequels and the Wax and Wayne series after that. In general, I've become a big fan of Brandon Sanderson since I started reading his work. I think the Final Empire was also my first. :)

    The Sparrow, I read years ago and really enjoyed it. It was so very different from any of the science fiction I had read so far and gives you a really interesting view on learning languages and getting to know different cultures (in this case extraterrestrial).

    Cloud Atlas was also great. Very different from any book ever written, I would say. I especially love the way the chapters are linked together. It's hard to explain without giving spoilers, but maybe I can say more once you've read it.
    Funny little anecdote concerning Cloud Atlas, the Christmas after it came out I thought it would be something interesting for my father and my sister. So I bought them each a copy, without having read it (thinking I could take a peek in one of there's). My sister also got a copy from a friend of hers, so she had two. And then I also unwrapped a copy of my own from my uncle. So we ended up with four copies of the book. :D

    Looks like a great haul, enjoy immensely. ;)

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    1. Great! Always good to have a recommendation. I hear a lot of people say that about Sanderson, including my older brother. Can't wait to join the family. =D

      Oooo is that what it's about? Sounds good!

      Haha!! That's a funny story. The only book I can remember buying two copies of is The Shadow of The Wind, one of my favourite books. I later regretted not buying one for myself, but I felt like I couldn't justify paying £24 for three paperbacks in one go. I did get a copy later though :3 Thanks for dropping by, Kai.

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  6. Love Jane Eyre! That's one of my favorite classic novels of all time. :) I have Cloud Atlas but haven't read it yet, and I really want to check out Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books. I hope you enjoy those!

    About Truthwitch... I actually found it disappointing. The magic system is fascinating, but some of the characters (especially the central witch Safiya) annoyed me and Susan Dennard's writing was very choppy. :/

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    1. I hope you enjoy Mistborn too! There really is no fantasy series like it.

      Hmm really? That sounds like the sort of thing I would like/dislike too, respectively. Well, we'll see! :) Thanks for your comment, Sara.

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  7. I'm glad you're doing better!

    I've considered getting Amazon Prime as well. Netflix has bothered me a bit lately--they have such a poor selection, and they like to get rid of the good stuff to make way for lame stuff.

    I've read Symposium, but it was several years ago so I couldn't give you an exact run down or anything. I remember it was good, and I liked how thoughtful it was. It's good for learning logic construct. *nods*

    I love Jane Eyre. *hugs book* And I actually really liked the latter half especially, but I can see where you might not.

    I haven't read Truthwitch, but I'm thinking I should. I actually really liked Throne of Glass. *hides*

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    1. :3

      Netflix can be hit and miss. Every so often I like seeing what's been added, but I get bored very quickly. I thought I'd see what Prime is like because I'd never tried it before and because of the student price, but I actually found Prime video more or less the same; that is, you immediately gravitate to the stuff that interests you and exhaust your watchlist pretty quickly. Seeing as I still have 11 months left (lol) I might as well try out some stuff I wouldn't normally pick.

      I'm glad you said that about Symposium, because it was in my wishlist for a long time and I completely forgot why I wanted to read it.
      I'd say go for Truthwitch if it's something that would have interested you anyway without all the hype. Did you like ToG?! LOL aww, you're entitled to your opinion! It received so much attention for a reason, definately. It just frustrates me so much that I can't see WHY. I can't even empathise with the fans - WHYYY? WHAT ARE YOU SEEING THAT I AM NOT e_e

      Thanks for droppin' by.

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  8. I'm about to buy Truthwitch. XD I mean, I'm a little nervous?! Because I heard the world building is a bit overwhelming and intense, buuuut at the same time I actually really LIKE good world building, so I'm going to hope it's amazing. hehe. OMG BUT I LOVE HALF WILD IT MADE ME CRY. There's an Aussie character in there who is 100% annoying and NOT realistically Australian at all though. -_- That made me cringe. But otherwise, that series is like my everything. <33 I also need to read more of the Mistborn series!!

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    1. Hiya Cait! I know what you mean. It was in my basket for weeks before I bought it. O_O

      Really?!! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Thats made me more optimistic =] Thanks for dropping by.

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  9. I have Half Wild and Truthwitch, but I haven't read any of them yet. I LOVE Jane Eyre, it's one of my favorite classics. I hope you love all your new books :)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! And thanks for dropping by.

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  10. Ah, I've been wanting to read Cloud Atlas for AGES! In fact I had two chances in which I could have but chose not to because I feel a book with that much praise (and such a complicated structure) deserves more attention. It's such a GORGEOUS cover, anyhow!

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    1. Thanks for visiting! Weeell I'm halfway through and I can see why it's received the praise it has, but it was tough to get stuck into. Complicated is definitely the word. It's so INTERESTING though.

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  11. I used to love getting piles of new fictions books but its something I stopped doing a few years ago, because I can't control myself with fiction so rarely read it these days (I did get Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews in the post last week and finished it the same day). I got a copy of Cloud Atlas through Bookcrossing and found it frustrating to start with but once I was in the second half I really enjoyed it.

    Have fun with your books.

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    1. Hi Kate! Aw, I know what you mean. For me, the tough part is finding time to read, or being in the mood to read. Had a few reading slumps last year. I've heard of Ilona Andrews! One of her books is on my To Read list. Thanks for commenting. =]

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  12. I love these kind of posts as I love to get an idea of books I could read. I've never read any of the books on this list so I'll definitely consider giving them a try.
    Also, I've tagged you in a post of mine back at my blog, if you're interested.
    All the best, Elsie A xx

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    1. Hi Elsie, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I'm glad you were able to find new reads! I love Stacking the Shelves posts from other bloggers because I always find hidden gems. After a point, I stop worrying about how I'll be able to read them all in my lifetime. XD
      Aw, that's kind of you. :) I'll check it out.

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