#ThanksgivingReadathon | Jorie’s #mustread List for #Mythothon (otherwise known as the STORIES Jorie didn’t want to stop reading after she reached page *25!*)

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#ThanksgivingReadathon badge created by Jorie in Canva

This lovely readathon is hosted by Jackie @DeathbyTsundoku

You can find the Announcement Page on her lovely blog!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

For the past three days, I’ve been reading the FIRST *25!* pages of all my borrowed #Mythothon Reads via my local libraries! Yes, you read correct, multiple libraries were involved! I wasn’t able to tweet each of the days I was reading as since Wednesday night & early Thursday morning, I have been in *severe!* pain!

Funny story short – when your selecting a special priced *ham!* from a bin in the Meat Dept. be sure to PICK IT UP with both your hands and DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE how much it weights! I literally threw my back out and the severity of the pain made it IMPOSSIBLE To read / type in any kind of combination. I’ve popped on as I could to give small updates but blessedly, after rotating hot/cold compresses I’ve been able to resume a slightly more ‘normal’ groove – hence, if you start to see reviews & posts magically populating my blog’s archive, you’ll understand ‘why’… Laughs with a smirk.

This post is to re-acquaint  myself with the *thirteen!* stories which made my cut – the ones which I achingly had to put into the “Keepers Stack” in order to dig through the rest I borrowed to find the rest of the ‘gems’ I wanted to be reading for #Mythothon!

Ironically, I had originally envisioned spending 30! days on #Mythoton & #RRSciFiMonth – in the end, I’ve spent a fortnight so far reading my Sci Fi November selections (reviews are still forthcoming have no fear!) and I’ve only spent 72+ hours reading my #Mythothon selections! Thus, I’ve amended how those Mythos stories are going to be blogged! I’m starting off with this (post) to tuck into the 13 Stories which I knew in *25!* pages these writers were giving me something wicked lovely to contemplate and muse over as I read their #awesomesauce stories!

Next, I’ll be back-posting (Thursday)’s post which are the DNF selections – the stories which held either early promise OR repulsed me so quickly off the bat, there was simply no hope of return!! Those are the ones boomeranging back to the libraries so quickly I could have had whiplash! They might be ones who will resonate with other readers, but for me, as you will soon find out – there was *something!* not quite my cuppa within their pages!

Afterwards, I’ll be back-posting (Wednesday)’s post which is a continuation of gushing JOY over having discovered the magically lovely world-building within the Japanese set “A Mortal Song” which was truly absorbed & discovered the very day #ThanksgivingReadathon kicked off and entered my life! It will also serve as a journal about how a girl & her Mum can tuck into a diner late at night after a petrol accident (ever have a gas station have contaminated air?) to ‘clear’ their lungs — chattering about everything but specifically how this #Mythothon is giving me such a delightfully unexpected passage into a ‘hidden niche’ of literature I never knew existed! I also recapped the WHOLE twenty-five pages of “A Mortal Song” – so I’ll be trying to recapture that night – whilst discussing what we ate and drank; staying til nearly close and musefully enlightened with the joyfulness of Crewe’s artful story-telling!

Settle in with your favourite brew & cuppa in hand – soak in my ruminations over these enchanting twenty-five pages – per each novel of the stack of *13!* and find out why I, Jorie, wishes to DEVOUR the rest of the pages – maybe I’ll find beloved & cherished reads, maybe I’ll find myself pulled out of them at some unknown future page – all I know, is initially as I read these cleverly writ pages, I was fully absorbed through the vision each author had for their stories!

Come with me as we chase after #Mythos & #Mythologies – specifically attempting to focus on the Greeks with a few diversions along the way! Come share with me your own travelling routes in the comments & let’s rock out #Mythothon in the joyfulness of combined discoveries!!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#ThanksgivingReadathon TBR List badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#ThanksgivingReadathon TBR List created by Jorie in Canva

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My #25PagePreview of my #Mythothon Reads

during the 2018 #ThanksgivingReadathon !!

ALL the stories featured today
were #borrowed via my local #library!

I do earmark which ones were ILL’d but overall, for the most part, I lucked out by pulling from the locals which had a rather IMPRESSIVE selection of Mythos in Fiction!!

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A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Site | @megancrewe | Pub’d by Another World Press
*Ill’d (inter-library loan)

Notation on Cover Art: I was truly taken by the artistry of the cover art design for ‘A Mortal Song’ as it held my eye, never letting turn away and told a story of its own! I love artwork like this which is custom made for the story – it gives you more dimension and a hugged in feeling as if the artist and the writer were in symmetry with each other! I had such high hopes for this one – I had no idea between the evoking artwork and the promise of the premise, I would literally find my first #Mythothon selection I wanted to hug + shout out about to the world!

A bit of a background – I personally have loved Japanese culture, tradition, customs and art ever since I was a young girl as my maternal grandparents were collectors of their art and music. I grew up knowing quite a bit about Japan as a result from a cultural perspective whilst as I grew into a teen, I started to correspond with Japanese friends through postal letters, enhancing my knowledge of their customs (such as the tea ceremony) and the contemporary living histories of my friends as we would exchange memories and traditions in our letters. As an adult book blogger, I learnt more through my readings of the Shinobi / Hiro Hattori novels by Ms Spann, as her stories are set in the 16th Century but illuminated as if we were time travelling straight back into that era and can alight as if we’re meant to live then rather than now! Thus, finding a story involving the ‘kami’ was another element of intrigue for me and one I wanted to readily explore.

Dear hearts, this novel was published in [2016] and I must confess, my copy of the novel appears to have been read either by readers who leave no trace like I do for having read their stories OR I’m the first bookish heart whose graced the pages with her imaginative heart. Either way, it felt super special dipping into this world and seeing the wonders which IMMEDIATELY started to unfold!

As I am composing a special post featuring A Mortal Song – comprising of the JOY of finding this story was breathed to life in such a unique way of giving me a fantastical quest and journey into not just the mind of Crewe but into this part of Japanese folklore and Mythology, I shall leave these short takeaways to entice you to wait for my further revelations of why this readerly girl and her Mum felt enchanted together for the symbolic beauty awaiting everyone who picks this story up for themselves to experience!

Verdict? (see also this tweet!) & (see also this tweet, too!)

How do you prepare yourself to extract yourself from a WORLD you’re so dearly captured by you literally can’t think of anything else but ‘turning’ the next pages, falling further into the story and sorting out the Mythos along the way? I dearly wanted to stay up through the night & simply DEVOUR this until every last word was breathed into my imagination – however, life has a strange way of working against you at times! My back pain & injury left me unable to devout the night to “A Mortal Song” but my mind & heart never fully left its world; the pull it had on me was FIERCE!

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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

Site | @Joannechocolat | Pub’d by Saga Press

Series of Rune (for which this begins)

Book  One: The Gospel of Loki | Book Two: Runemarks
Book Three: Runelight | Book Four: The Testament of Loki

NOTE: I ought to disclose, my only connection to this author were multiple friends trying to convince me I’d adore, love and cherish reading Chocolat. Ironically or perhaps not, if you read my blog enough to realise – there was something off-putting about reading the novel. I didn’t find that the time was ever right to read it and there was a consideration for not feeling as connected as my friends (and everyone else who rec’d it). To the brink, I purposefully forgot about it – til, the film was available through my local library. Dear hearts, I love! the film! I think what happened is this simple: too much pressure to read a story I was uncertain if I would love and then, how to back-track and tell everyone who rec’d it to me? Sometimes getting recs is difficult because your always so taken with your own readerly life – trying to fit in recs and still keep mindful of all the stories your curious to read,.. *le sigh*

The cheekiness of how Harris wrote Loki’s tale is how Loki himself is reassuring you this tale isn’t the most infamous of versions of his life; in fact, it is his humbling account of those more well-known passages which time has never forgiven and has continued to exploit on his behalf. This is cheeky for several reasons – first of all, it proves a case for supposition on behalf of character outside of source material but also, how sometimes the impression given about a person’s character is subjective to the person whose writing down their life from a third person point of perspective. It was a rather clever opening to the novel, and one I dearly enjoyed discovering due to how unique Harris took the direction of delivering Loki into the heart of the topical discussion!

One thing to note of interest to how this begins is something I learnt early-on in my childhood – I happen to love to research things and set my own mind for how I contemplate what I’m researching. I don’t like to take another person’s word on certain subjects verbatim in case I might have a differing opinion as I have always enjoyed developing my own point of thought and opinions on a variety of subjects which interest me. The opening pages of this novel point the reader in this direction as well – as Loki himself is talking about the importance of self-extraction of facts and of sorting out your own mind about how things are viewed, opined and carried through history. History here is being viewed as the biggest clunk of misinformation and misguidance in literate historical data – as who is to verify if what is written or verbal passed down is actually the right information to impart on any particular subject? The shadow of doubt theory is well exercised and in this, a reminder to keep an open mind and be open to new theories or plausibilities whilst your engaged in research and self-educational pursuits. I honestly could have hugged the book for this one declaration!

I immediately loved how Loki is re-bridging what we know through Biblical History and Evolutionary History into an intersection of creative thought with Mythological Legacies – here is a surgenece in this text for contextual enquiries to put what you know on a back-burner and re-examine what is known through Loki’s eyes. Loki here, is the story-teller of his own story but he’s first attempting to re-alight you through what he knows of the world and of the order of how time expounded upon everything in existence. In essence, Loki want to re-shape how we view the evolution of life and how things knitted together from Day One. This tackles a lot of heady topics and subjects, including challenging your own world-view and/or your scientific geekiness for accepting or disputing heavily discussed topics of how the universe was created and what first sparked life on Earth.

What I found interesting is Harris kept this conversational – she kept it heavy enough to see the cross-sections of all disciplines of thought – from all backgrounds of entrance into the topic, whilst she also gave Loki the freedom to be specific to what he felt was most imperative to stipulate to the reader. This is an interesting narrative from that point of view, as the character themself is directing the narrative rather than having an omnipresent narrative voice – we are privy to how Loki wants to direct us forward to understanding exactly what he is broaching with us and why leaving little room for discussion or error. You don’t have to agree with Loki, but Loki is one character who wants to have a platform to say his piece and let you decide what bits he’s disclosed your willing to either accept, tolerate or take verbatim without debate. In essence, Loki is challenging you to take a leap of faith and follow his footsteps,…

Verdict? I personally love literary novels of introspection but this takes it to a different level entirely! It is more thought-challenging as your never quite sure where you stand with Loki; do you agree with him, did you find middle ground with his thoughts or are you still on the fence if you think he’s just talking hooey? The narrative can challenge you, vex you and give you just enough humour to stay the course & see where Harris leads you!

It is such an inventive novel, it is hard to put it down and not want to continue reading the pages you’ve discovered! There is so much here to contemplate and to re-consider – Loki himself is an interesting character because he doesn’t apologise for his nature nor does he fully explain his motives. He simply is who he is – he openly discloses what he wants to share and he leaves no apology for how that might sound to others or how others might judge him for what he’s disclosing. Loki is Loki, plain and simple and he’s a strong character for wanting the reader to hear him out, find empathy in his journey and take something away from what he’s sharing of his life. To me that is enough to feel curious about can be taken out of the text and to read the novel in full!

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Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin

Site | Pub’d by Harcourt

I can’t believe I read my first Le Guin novel the very year she’s passed over into the next world. I ought to have read her sooner!

For reasons I can’t explain, I have avoided reading the collective works of Ursula K. LeGuin even though I realise she’s one of the important voices of Speculative Literature. Somehow, I simply couldn’t find myself interested in reading her stories until now and even then, I surprised myself by finding traction in ‘Lavinia’ as it is not a traditionally told story!

What is so dearly curious about how Lavinia is written is how the voice of the character Lavinia is written from the point of perspective of someone no longer living. And, not just undead but forgotten! This is what is so curious about how the story begins to unfold – first we are on a journey towards finding salt and then, we are listening to Lavinia talk about herself as if we were never truly aware of her presence to begin with so what would make this time spent with her important? She is written from a very self-aware point of view and yet, she hesitates and second guesses herself even as she is trying to disclose to us the reader her own story!

There is so much dominant narrative voice in this novel, I felt at first I might not find traction inside it to continue reading as there is very little dialogue in the opening chapters. It is also highly introspective which I have had experience reading previously but this one felt slightly different even from those prior narratives I’ve read. I had a feeling that LeGuin was in a class by herself and it was hard to pull forward to mind another writer of whom I could relate to what I was reading now based on what I had read previously; if that makes sense?

As I am going back through these passages now to write down my first thoughts on behalf of this novel, a part of me finds it a bit more daunting than the first go-round! I think because of how it is heavy-written – meaning, it is literally a tome of introspective stream of conscience thought – without breakage and that in of itself can be rather tiring to read. I fear, I might have to shelf this for now even though I enjoyed it initially when I read the first twenty-five pages, going back through it now feels like a chore rather than something I’d enjoy repeating!

Verdict? I honestly can’t take anymore of this right now!

I had a feeling of all the stories I was discovering, this might be the one I might feel I need to leave for another time; if then, as it is heavier in how its delivered and to be honest, not the easiest narrative to feel you can gain traction inside. This might be why I unconsciously had marked it as a strike through on my lists – apparently I just knew it was a story that would not become my favourite cuppa to read!

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Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Site | @Brodiashton | Pub’d by Balzer + Bray

Series of Everneath (for which this begins)

Book One: Everneath | Book Two: Neverfall
Book Three: Everbound | Book Four: Evertrue

When it comes to the stories about the underworld – I must confess, I am on the fence of questioning if I really want to go down that particular rabbit hole with Persephone and Hades, even though technically I already had faced this situation in a beautifully lovely re-telling!

In this instance, what surprised me is how Ashton approached the story-line – in this instance, we’re seeing everything a bit upturnt down – where the elements of mythology have become interspersed into ordinary life and flipped the script so to speak on the Mythos! Here, we have an ordinary teenage girl whose been gone for six months and is re-inserted back into her life from whence she left it only to realise nothing can be the same as it ever was before! Notwithstanding the fact she has this tug of heart and soul to return to the everneath – the place between and there, the truer name for the underworld and the place where souls venture when they are not ascending into the Light; here is where she found herself pulled, captured and trapped. Yet, not for six months – no, those are human years with human understanding of time. She was gone for 100 years!

This immediately reminded me of one of the most gutting episodes of Doctor Who where Peter Capaldi had to re-live and re-live the same horrid sequence of events on that nothingness place where he was literally using all his lives to overcome his own guilt and conscience? It was a very dark episode in the Doctor’s life and if I hadn’t been sick out of my eyeballs that Christmas, I’m unsure I would have even finished watching it as it was just brutal on your emotions but it also gave a very illuminating layer of insight into the Doctor and how sensitive he is to the lives he’s lived, the lives he’s unable to save and the weight of being ‘the Doctor’ which in effect was damaging his ability to live as everything had reached an unbearable state.

Shifting back into the Everneath – you see someone who is also in direct conflict with themselves – not just for the choices they were making now but the choices they were making then. Which was right and which was wrong? Which part of themselves was stronger and which was weaker? Is there a way to overturn the events and just how much of oneself is lost to the everneath before there is not hope of return?

Verdict? I hadn’t expected to crave reading more of this world!

This is one of those stories which is delishly engaging and yet, there is a part of me wondering – how long before I reach that point where it is too dark and not my cuppa? And, yet, so far, it remains engaging, thought-provoking and so on point with the Mythos it is rooted inside that I’ve been left itching to return to the pages to see what is foretold next to happen to these characters who have a fated destiny their not entirely in control of themselves. Quite similar to the Myth behind them!

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Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Site | Pub’d by Knopf

Series of Wildwood (for which this begins)

Book One: Wildwood Dancing | Book Two: Cybele’s  Secret

I remember finding this series at different libraries, though one in particular – I was mesmorised by the premise of it and after I had discovered it on my own, I started to notice there was a solid base of appreciators in the book blogger world. The sad bit is that whenever I tried to borrow it again to read, the hours would melt away, the days would disappear and I had to return the book back to the library unread. This is why I was thankful I had the chance to disappear inside it if only for a quickening moment of thankfulness during the #ThanksgivingReadathon as it allowed me the proper attempt to begin a story I had only dreamt of reading previously!

I was intrigued as soon as I began Chapter One – the fact two young girls (ages six and seven) could sneak away in the middle of a night, find a portal to another dimension and disappear literally on the Full Moons seemed rather epic to me! The fact they had been doing this for nine years without fail was further curious – as how did their family not notice their absences?

Further intriguing was the frog Gogu, who had a secretive language he shared with Jena; now there is something rather keen about how a human girl and a frog can communicate without the awareness of others, but moreso, that they had developed a friendship out of mutual respect. She had saved him from a listless existence in the forest and he had given her a friendship she dearly needed.

Vera and her four sisters were dealing with the fact their father was in such ill health he had to leave them for the Coast – they were to be left behind to help carry-on the business, whilst their family helped them with the upkeep of the farm and business affairs. This didn’t seem to stress Vera as much as it might have – she knew without leaving her father was not soon for this world. There is a phrase the author turnt round to express this I found fascinating as it cleverly brought in the cycles of the natural world with the timing of (human) natural death. I am always fascinated by how writers use turns of phrase to elocute a particular emotion or declaration which needs a bit of a puncture of notice. This particular one truly was a creative way of encasing the immediate and long-term needs of the father.

Their father had only eyes for a particular caste shrouded and encircled by a darkening forest – the kind of place which curated its own atmosphere and yet, it held such a strong pull for their father. He had procured the castle as soon as his earnings had allowed and it was this legacy of his the daughters may not be able to keep as they were not of the right gender to inherit. That is one thing about the historic past which is hard to reconcile in modern eras – how girls’ were not allowed to inherit land and business. It is the same in this story – the property and the assets of the father would shift to their cousin, of whom they refer to as an ‘Uncle’.

At first, I thought only two of the daughters could transition into the other realm; then, I found out all five of them can walk into this otherworld! To think it was as simple as playing shadow puppets as younger girls and that led them to discovering a hidden staircase leading towards a body of water where creatures of another place could take them further into a world only the rest of us could imagine! I agreed with Vera, there was something slightly untoward about how this happened to them – she was the only sister of five who felt there was a reason she needed to not believe blindly in the magic of their circumstance. Despite having a talking frog as a guide, she was hesitating to let herself delve into this forgotten world without having her wits about her and a ready eye out for dangers that may or may not lurk round the corners.

Even then, as she descended this time, as a sixteen year old teen, she felt a presence she was not expecting and it did not seem to have benign intent but rather, was perhaps an early warning of dangers not yet known? It seemed to me the author did not want to knit those thoughts together – so although, there was this presence Vera was attuned to knowing was with her, it was shrugged off as soon as the familiar creatures they had known previously had come back into view.

As Vera made her way down the path leading into the dance itself – she was struck with fear this time, as their visit was coinciding with the Night People – despite the dwarf assuring her she and her sisters would have safe passage, there was that nibbling of doubt and fear itching at Vera. I could understand her point – it was one thing to visit and know what you were expecting but add-in a new threat which would not have mercy was beyond daunting, if the stories of the Night People held true!

I was enchanted by how the ‘wildwood’ was anchoured both in this dimensional realm and in the real world of where Vera and her sisters lived. It was a place which held its own rules and was not forgiving if you took yourself lost inside its forested abode. The keen bit is that the only way not to fall lost was to visit during a Full Moon, with the guides the sisters had found and keeping to a few select rules about how to behave as well as when to take your leave, never giving this ‘otherworld’ enough time to ensnare you in its own realm.

As we observe the Full Moon dance, we start to notice other things which are happening round the sisters – such as the changes in whom they can interact with and why some of those changes are a bit foreboding at best! I was dearly curious to move forward and dig deeper into this realm – sorting out about the witch of the wood, the Night People and what the truer reasons were for allowing five (human) sisters to visit this ‘otherworld’ in the first place! As something told me there were things in motion that not even Vera had intuited!

Verdict? I was overjoyed I could *finally!* dig into this illuminating world I’ve dreamt of visiting for so long!

There was a part of me which realised this might take a darker turning at some point, as you are dealing with Earthen magic & the dimensional portal of a world existing past a veil in our own world. I couldn’t quite sort it out from this preview reading but something told me Vera and her sisters might be in for a fight for their lives & the life they hold so very dear.

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The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

Site | @lizkesslerbooks | Pub’d by Candlewick Press

Series of Emily Windsnap (for which this begins)

Book One: The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Book Two: Emily Windsnap & the Monster of the Deep
Book Three: Emily Windsnap & the Castle in the Mist
Book Four: Emily Windsnap & the Siren’s Secret
Book Five: Emily Windsnap & the Land of the Midnight Sun
Book Six: Emily Windsnap & the Ship of Lost Souls
Book Seven: Emily Windsnap & the Fall of Forgotten Island
Book Eight: Emily Windsnap & the Pirate Prince

What staid with me the most about The Tail of Emily Windsnap is how this delightful novel begins for the younger reader – it starts off where Emily is keenly intent on taking swim lessons and then, she finds herself unable to enjoy them because as soon as she is underwater – something extraordinary keeps happening to her – something that we, as a reader, do not readily understand until just before the twenty-fifth page!

At school, you gather the feeling Emily feels slightly removed from her peers, but when she is at home – she’s more relaxed, even if ironically, her and her Mom live on a boat! The irony here is that her mother is fiercely shy and afraid of the water and yet she chooses to live on it! Emily for her part is curious about why she feels different than her classmates when she is swimming, which leads her to take a rather abrupt measure of experimenting with seeing for herself if she can duplicate what happened at the pool in the waters by her home!

When I realised what was happening to Emily, how the tail is quite imperative to the story-line – it reminded me of my years as a swimmer – where I felt so alive under the water and loved being in the pool. This is a sweet and charming story – one that I look forward to finishing and seeing how the elements of how Emily becomes a mermaid start to seep into her ordinary life! I’ve seen a few other stories like this in films – from The Thirteenth Year (about a boy who turns thirteen and becomes a merman) to Aquamarine. Each handles the ‘transition’ different into mermaids and mermen, which is what I’m looking forward to the most!

Also, the curious back-history of Emily’s mother – is she formerly of the sea and now of land or is there an ancestral connection in their family where they left the merfolk and now live amongst the humans for other reasons than what you can muse out yourself?

Verdict? As a former competitive swimmer who wished she was part ‘fish’ – finding a young girl whose morphing into a mermaid – complete with ‘tail’ & the ability to thrive underwater – who wouldn’t be overjoyed at that kind of discovery?

I have a feeling this is just going to be a delightful story to where I’ll want to read the rest of the series in sequence and continue moving through the series until all the stories are read! After which, I will be seeking a copy to borrow for “Read Me Like A Book” which is another story by this author I haven’t yet had the chance to read.

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Roar by Cora Carmack

Site | @CoraCarmack | Pub’d by Tor Teen

Series of Stormheart  (for which this begins)

Book One: Roar | Book Two: Rage

I had heard about this novel quite a bit in the book blogosphere – even when that happens, I am a bit hesitative about reading a book which is super popular as it might simply not be my cuppa! In this instance, I was thankful my library purchased a copy as initially they hadn’t and I had to wait til now to read it. What was rather curious though – despite the time between when the novel was purchased and now, I would have thought for sure more readers would have discovered it – I nearly felt like I was the first reader to pick up this novel! That is quite the rare treat,..

The story opens on the promise of revenge – which is interesting to note in of itself – as generally speaking, I am not usually gravitating towards plots of this nature. I also felt a familiarity with the opening Prologue as this is about the gods of the storms – who controls the fierceness in the heavens and why do they feel it is necessary to rain war down on the people below them. Already this felt like a story in motion – who wanted revenge and why was it so dear to them to release it?

When find out the legacy Aurora is given by her mother – of how and why she is a Stormling, you wonder how she was able to handle that kind of weight on her shoulders. The expectation was certainly high and you could feel there was a certain kind of responsibility which came with it. One of the first visuals I felt was captivating of how different this story was going to be set was when we first saw Rora’s gown – how it was manifesting a lightning bolt and the ashes of a bolt’s impact. This was pivotal of course, as Rora was meant to be the living embodiment of lightning as that is what her destiny dictated of her and yet, you could feel more than a subtle amount of remorse in her voice and of her appearance. This was a girl whose destiny had overgrown her own dreams and where she had to temper her own voice on things of importance as she had a duty to uphold.

Each Stormling was given a Stormheart – a certain kind of talisman which acted as a conduit of their magical powers in an amplified state. This was curious to me, as I wondered if anyone was going to write about a story in Fantasy where being able to control the weather was possible – but not just the weather, but re-directing the elements of weather and of storms; which this appears to be addressing! I love when you get into a new story of Fantasy, where the world-building captures your eye and where you truly get invested into the back-story of what is evolving in front of you! This felt like that particular moment for this novel – of where the curiosity of what a Stormling was and how this was affecting Rora’s life was finally coming into fuller focus!

There is a twist in the very beginning I hadn’t seen coming, the delish kind of twist which hooks you into wanting to read the story further and uncover the rest of what is hidden! I was truly surprised but at the same time, I nearly wondered – if all was right as rain, why was Rora so apprehensive about her pending marriage? Outside of the fact, of course, she was marrying the kind of bloke you would never wish for your daughter – it wasn’t a heart match and if anything, it was strictly out of convenience.

One of the plot twists involved how her brother was killed and why his death was left with a legacy of its own. Not one that anyone could use (or so it would seem this early-on) but it left the impression that his dedication to help his family was not lost on his parents, but it affected his sister, for her own life felt small in comparison to his or rather even, she felt less in worth than her brother could have been still alive.

Cassius was an interesting bloke to say the least – he defied the storms and drew out their hearts (this is to collect the stormhearts) as if he were not risking his life and was merely collecting trophies. In fact, that is a good way to describe him – his arrogance had no measurement because he was constantly trying to make others feel inferior to him. His attention on himself felt limitless but I knew from other stories, those who felt they were invisible were merely treading water until a day arose where they would face that kind of conceit. I wasn’t sure what his just deserts would include but they would be awe-striking I would presume! To believe this is the bloke Rora was meant to marry was more than unthinkable – it was hard to wrap you mind round why she would choose this path even knowing what would happen if she didn’t wed. Was that worth the risk of this choice?

Verdict? I was most surprised by what I found inside this Fantasy novel – as it wasn’t strictly about the Fantasy world – it was about this unexpected Romance – how two different minded people could draw together for a cause & suddenly find themselves curious over each other,.. that is not what I was expecting and it was brill!

I am unsure what I was thinking I would find inside ROAR as I purposefully didn’t read that many reviews about the story – the few I had found, I glossed over as it was one of those kinds of novels I wanted to go in ‘blind’ and see for myself without too much prior knowledge. What I found was a well-conceived plotting, two characters who pull you towards them and an evolving direction of purpose which leaves you tempted to keep turning the pages in order to see reveal a bit quicker than how it is meant to be. This is definitely a story I was properly surprised to have found an entrance into and one I wanted dearly to finish! There was just enough Mythos involved to anchour it to that world of thought but what held me the most is how captivating Rora & Cassius became the more they started to get to know each other,..

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The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn*

I accidentally left off the ‘n’ when I originally wrote the list for sharing on Twitter! I hadn’t realised my mistake until a full hour afterwards. I decided to leave it be – after all, most know I’m dyslexic and I never shy away from lamenting about how spelling is not my forte! Especially considering how many endearing names I have for actors & characters – either in motion pictures, tv series and/or books!  #dyslexicslip

Site | Pub’d by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

As this story deals with the Three Sisters of Fate, there is a part of you which wonders – can any mortal cause havoc on their lives or even influence them away from their duties? Yet, this is partially the premise of the story as your only slightly introduced the sisters who are portraying the Fates within this narrative. The cliffhanger at the end of the first twenty-five pages is the acknowledgement that the person whose been able to reach their door is the one person who could be their downfall; as they were unlike anyone else who had attempted to reach them and thereby possessed something inside them that could in theory take something from the sisters they would not normally be willing to give.

This in of itself was an interesting premise – as the sisters do have tunnel vision a bit – they are so consumed by what they are doing – by controlling the fates of others, they rarely step outside of those duties to pay attention to something other than what their own fates dictate of themselves to do! This is why the unexpected visitor on their door was an interesting element to breach into their story-line – how one unexpected ripple of difference and chaos from order has the potential to influence their lives.

Verdict? I honestly can’t fully explain where I stand on this one,..

I’m simply going to continue reading this one from where I left off and see how it goes from here – if it gets too dark or pushes the envelope a bit too much for me in the wrong direction, I’ll simply boomerang it back to the library for another patron to enjoy. However, it has potential and that is why I’m keeping it to read for now!

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Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast

Site | @pccastauthor | Pub’d by Berkley Sensation

Series of Goddess Summoning (for which this begins)

Book One: Goddess of the Sea | Book Two: Goddess of Spring
Book Three: Goddess of Light | Book Four: Goddess of the Rose
Book Five: Goddess of Love | Book Six: Warrior Rising
Book Seven: Goddess of Legend

Now, this is an interesting story! I couldn’t sort out why it was more sensually written either until I realised as I was writing this post it was published under the imprint for such stories! Similar to Harlequin Blaze I would presume and other imprints like it. What held me inside the story though is how one woman who feels like her life is not heading in the direction she wants it to decides to cast a spell to the Goddess she feels will grant her a wish she cannot give herself. It reminded me a bit of that scene in Practical Magic where Sandra Bullock’s character tries to cast a spell for the ‘perfect man’ so that she never has to be heart-broken? As it would be impossible to find someone who had all those attributes? This felt a bit like that as well – though a bit more Bridget Jones in delivery as the lead character is a bit of a hot mess round the edges like Bridget!

The interesting bit towards how the story is told, is the author has mastered one thing which sets her apart from other writers – she can write about all the little mundane goings-on of everyday life in such a way as to give credence of thought about her character rather than finding those smaller details cluttering up the scenes and the plot points!

We haven’t reached yet the point of where the character is going to go through the transition of being a mermaid but what is interesting is that she is in the military and leads a rather traditional life. The only clues towards her spell working is how she feels immediately after casting it – a rather subtle change and even she shrugs it off as if it were nothing. I’d like to see how this continues to develop and how the transformation affects not only her life but how the series will continue to expand afterwards as it is quite an interesting premise!

Verdict? I was intrigued by the aspect of an unexpected mermaid story-line and so far, it has given me just that!

Unsure if I will enjoy this throughout the duration of the story – it just depends on how it is treated and what develops past the first chapters, but so far, I am intrigued and that is a good start to reading any story of interest!

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The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

Site | @MarshKatherine | Pub’d by Hyperion Books for Children

Series of Jack Perdu (for which this begins)

Book One: The Night Tourist | Book Two: The Twilight Prisoner

What fascinated me about The Night Tourist is how it quietly delves into a space of ‘otherness’ to where you know it is not a strictly Contemporary story-line with a somber-hearted lead character whose dealing with an intensity of grief on his shoulders. This goes quite a few steps forward into being slightly darker round the edges as there is an incident rather early-on which changes things up for Perdu almost immediately – he has a serious accident and it is one where you almost question, is this a similar moment in the film The Sixth Sense where you question if the character is alive or dead. Except in this instance, has Perdu transformed into a person who can shift perspective between the veils whilst still being alive?

Similar to second sight (as explored through the tv series The Dead Zone) – where what he can see isn’t quite of our world but rather exists parallel and between? As soon as you reach the page where he’s in his father’s study and contemplating the piece of paper on the floor, after having an encounter he can’t put into words to explain any of it to his father, you start to question the shift in the narrative from the accident forward to this scene. It is subtle to the brink it is never quite explained – at least not this early-on and I would imagine not for a considerable distance in the story-line as the built-up of course is leading us to step into Perdu’s shoes and take this journey with him as he’s experiencing it rather than us sleuthing ahead of the pacing of the story to understand more than the writer wants us to accept at this moment!

Verdict? There is a part of me unsure if I am ready for all the disclosures of the novel but a part of me is so interested in seeing where the novel takes me even if I find I cannot finish it – I must continue until I reach that junction of no return!

It is such a curious plot – part of me wants to keep reading just to see what evolves from this point of entrance and part of me is hesitating to read too much more in case it turns too dark – however, I ought not to have too much guilt as I borrowed the book and the worst thing that can happen is I return it early and another reader who might have sought it out gets it earlier than expected! On the surprise side of it, I could end up getting dearly attached to the story and find it is more enjoyable than it was to be feared!

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Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney

Site | Pub’d by Laurel Leaf Library

The cover art on my library copy of this novel was slightly off-putting – as it is of a girl whose caught in the midst of a scream with octopus tails flung all round her – until I realised, this might have a connection to Medusa? Clever for me to sort that out ahead of seeing the revelation in the text as there is a connection but it wasn’t the one I was expecting to find!

When we first meet Anaxandra, she was a very young girl caught in the middle of a trade dispute of her fathers – for he is a pirate and King Nicander was coming to her island to ask for a tribute whilst also taking a hostage; in order to ensure payment. What the young girl didn’t realise though is how innocent you can be as a child and reveal information that otherwise should be secreted. I think this is one of the most heart-wrecking parts of the story, where the King takes advantage of her innocence and gets out of her the truth of where her father stores his hauls. That slight error in judgement cost her everything because she was now no longer a hostage but rather, a girl without a home and family. She would have to endure living with the King’s family and be forcefully removed from her own.

As it begins, Nicander wants to bring home a companion for his daughter, Callisto – who is unable to live as Anaxandra can as she has a disability. This is a time of great superstition and time-honouring tributes to where even the King Nicander believes in making a tribute to Apollo rather than to deal with the gods wrath. It is a time where Earthen spirituality and beliefs are readily embraced next to the honouring of the gods and goddesses we know from Greek Mythology. To them, they are not ‘mythological’ at all but honest to goodness real entities which need to be considered and revered.

The descriptive narrative is what held my eye the most – how Cooney brings you into the mythological overlays by how she chooses to describe certain aspects of her story. From how ordinary objects like rope can coil and how a decayed trunk of a tree can take-on the appearance of Medusa. She has anchoured this story to the Earth directly – allowing us to see through Anaxandra’s eyes how this landscape of god-fearing people are choosing to live in admiration for the gods they believe watch over their lives whilst at the same time they take great risks when it comes to choosing to do things which are more selfish and self-serving. To where the ire of the gods is of no consequence as they feel they are invisible to tragedy if they give tributes as they feel is warranted. It is a slippery slope to walk and even, the King’s wife cautions him about how he is choosing to go against Apollo. This infers a segue about the King’s caves and mines; where he doesn’t want to admit defeat and is bullish enough to move forward without taking into consideration the advice of his Queen.

It was counter to this where Anaxandra realised she was lost to her family – where this was her new normal so to speak, living with a family who was in such stark contrast of her own and where even in the most regular of days, she might find herself in the midst of trouble brewing in from the shore. It was a day like this where she was out enjoying the freedom of being amongst the grass and fresh air where she almost mistook the warning she was being given. The warning came from Medusa herself and as young as the girl was she almost overlooked the intention. It was here where we find an interesting turning of the page – how does she realise what is happening when others are slower to realise it? And, if in knowing what is happening – how does one avoid capture or death? This is where I left the story and why I am most eager to return to reading it!

Verdict? I was pleasantly surprised by how this story began & how it was unfolding. Especially the way in which Medusa comes into the foreground and how, even as a young girl Anaxandra has gifts even she doesn’t fully understand but learns to acknowledge.

Cooney enlivens the story just enough to give you a thirst of knowledge for the ways in which she’s let the mythological origins arrive inside her keen plotting. You can gather there is a larger storm brewing – what will become of young Anaxandra and are her parents lost to the ides of time or is there redemption in sight? Will Medusa show herself in a more literal way or remain in the background? I must say, I was quite curious how it was all going to tie together & how Anaxandra would realise how she was meant to be the ‘Goddess of Yesterday & Tomorrow’ as there is a passage relating to this in the text.

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Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

Site | @MaryTing | Pub’d by Vesuvian Books

Series of Tangled Fairy Tales (for which this begins)
Book One: Jacyln and the Beanstalk

*purchase request of mine which was accepted

NOTE: I previously hosted the blitz for this novel and shortly thereafter I requested this novel from my local library as a purchase request! I was delighted beyond measure when I realised they had accepted my request as it meant I could read this story before the close of [2018].

We arrive inside the 16th Century, where we find a father is lovingly guiding his daughter (Jaclyn) to understand how to use her sword and defend herself even past the level he has reached himself. It is unusual in their world for a girl to rise up the ranks of martial acuity but for her father, it was a matter of pride his daughter could hold her own. The mother, we find out later is of the same mind but for most of the opening chapters we find her settled on a different point of tact. She wishes Jacklyn to be more ladylike and less active; to learn how to attract a young man who would honour her with marriage and a family; rather than having her choose to do everything against her nature (as her mother presumes) to ensure a harder life to lead.

There is a division in the family in regards to Jaclyn – the more her mother makes a case for her to rise into the realisation she is meant to marry, the further her father is able to reach her and tempt her to seek a different path. It whilst she is curious about which path she should be choosing that she gets a bit reckless. Whilst checking on the horses one day, she discovers a hidden cache – weapons she presumes are her fathers, including a lance she can barely wield much less guide out of the hidden niche she found below the horse’s hooves!

There was a closeness to this family as well – you can see it in how they interact with each other and how they get along. Even the mother, despite her concerns for Jaclyn’s future, she wants her daughter to thrive and be well. The father has a quiet wisdom about himself – how he tries to teach Jaclyn lessons of life which will help guide her in the future – even if he cannot guide her in the present. You feel there is something coming along, something not even the mother or father could have predicted and where Jaclyn must brace herself for that that will bring into her life.

Verdict? I’ve been itching to read this novel since I first saw it through the Blitz tour and I was overjoyed my library added it to their collection. Getting a chance to read a bit of it during the readathon was a joy of its own as it forced me time to focus on the story which I had truly hoped would be one I could say I loved!

I love how unexpected this is – it is rooted in the myth & lore of “Jack and the Beanstalk” though it is truly re-envisioned into a completely different re-telling altogether! You are pulled into the heart of the story almost instantly, as these are strong characters who are fully fleshed out and are giving you something to chew on (and consider) whilst your reading. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the origins of this myth are re-explored and taken in a different direction entirely!

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Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Site | @ibizoboi | Pub’d by Balzer + Bray

*purchase request of mine which was accepted

For those who visit me, finding out I’m a Janeite might not surprise them at all – especially after I shared this post during [2017] #AustenInAugust hosted by Roof Beam Reader. It links to an essay I wrote as a guest blogger for Roof Beam Reader’s blog and it was a post I loved composing as it allowed me to journal my route into the collective works of Jane Austen. However, what you might not realise is why I decided to read this story for #Mythothon as it is a rather unusual selection – at least on the surface of things,… let me explain!

One of the squares prompted to us by our host Louise was this:

Herakles. Read a popular book (define popular however you wish)

Originally, I was going to go in a different direction with this prompt as I was going to draw together #Mythothon and #RRSciFiMonth; as their duel interests of mine this November. Then, as I was nearing the end of my twenty page readings during #ThanksgivingReadathon which curated this list of *13!* Keepers – I realised something rather important!

Pride and Prejudice has in of itself reached EPIC Mythological proportions of popularity as this is a story which was first written in 1813! The story itself is over 200+ years old and yet, the familiarity we all have within its pages and the heart of its story involving the Bennett sisters is as old as any other story which knits itself into our cultural conscience. This is why I realised, the choice for me this month to read a ‘popular novel’ is truly PRIDE! It is the only one that makes sense – not just for the challenge itself of reading stories of Myth but for myself personally because of my steadfast attachment to re-tellings and after canon sequels to PRIDE.

It is true – despite all my intentions of reading more Austen, in the five years I’ve been a book blogger, I’ve only managed to have read PRIDE and the after canons of PRIDE whilst I’ve read a few re-tellings of other stories by Austen but I haven’t progressed in reading their originals (as of yet) despite an earnest effort towards that end!

It felt like PRIDE itself has become an attachment of its own kind in my own life and what better way to merge the intentions of #Mythothon with the popularity which EPIC in its own right for Pride and Prejudice? I decided I want to celebrate this new version of the story-line – set in a city I’ve been curious about for most of my life and told in a way, which lets my own childhood percolate back into life right before my eyes!

This literally became my second #bookHUG of the #Mythothon – to experience two #bookHUGS during #ThanksgivingReadathon was an unexpected joy I was thoroughly enjoying! So much so, I am withholding my fuller thoughts on behalf of this story to write a post dedicated to why this story evoked such a strong and passionate reaction in me!

Verdict? (see also tweet) I remember tweeting the author when I first found out about this #PrideRemix – except for whichever reason I am unable to find the tweets I shared with her now. To say I was overjoyed in finding this new adaptation of the story is putting it lightly as it *felt!* like the kind of story I have been seeking and never knew I”d be able to find – it was that promising!!

As soon as I opened the pages of PRIDE, I felt as if this author had magically re-transitioned myself back into my childhood – of growing up in a melting pot of a metropolis where all cultural, ethnic & religious traditions merged together in this lovely city of spirits & artistic souls. There was a certain kind of synergy there – where you could easily find yourself able to embrace cultural heritage and experience a different kind of world-view where everyone was equally represented and the world itself felt as if it lived in your backyard. Despite not being able to visit Brooklyn, the way in which Brooklyn was brought to me within the pages of PRIDE gave me back a part of my life I have dearly missed & always treasured.

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What is on your #ThanksgivingReadathon #MustRead List?!

And, are you going to be reading Mysteries throughout December like I am!?

What are your favourite Autumnal & Winter Reads?

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#Mythothon banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Cristina Gottardi

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{Sources: Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #Mythothon banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Cristina Gottardi; #ThanksgivingReadathon Daunting Reads Stack; Curiously Curious Stack, #RRSciFiMonth RAL badge and #LibraryHaul 1 (Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com)}

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2018

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #ThanskgivingReadathon, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs

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