A Quest, to Reach the Bottom of my TBR Pile

I’m going on a Bookish Adventure!

*I am tracking my current progress here*

Aentee over at Read at Midnight has, through magical skullduggery and swashbuckling songsmithery, concocted the most amazingly in-depth reading challenge I have ever taken part in. Read on, intrepid Adventurers, and find out more….

The Reading Quest takes it’s inspiration from Adventure Games and Aentee’s well-thought-out system of characters, paths, points and levels is wonderfully illustrated by the more than able skills of CW at Read Think Ponder .

The Reading Quest runs from Sunday 13th August to 10th September, giving all us Adventurers 4 weeks to complete the challenge.

The challenge prompts are laid out, bingo board style, on The Quest Board.

Character choice is important, as it determines your path across the board.

Are you a Knight, a Bard, a Rogue, or a Mage?

EXP is earned by completing quests, whilst HP by pages read and activity on social media; and, to keep it all straightforward, levelling up occurs every 50 EXP.

Aentee lays out all the info here and, honestly, you’re far better reading it firsthand!

So, if you fancy joining in with the fun, why not head on over and sign up for The Quest?

I have chosen to start my quest on the MAGE path (mostly because I have a few books in my TBR pile that both fit those prompts and have to read in a short timeframe) and at the moment my Adventuring knapsack contains:

A BOOK WITH A ONE WORD TITLE

LORETICUS by J.B.Lucas is a cleverly woven tale of political intrigue that draws parallels between ancient Rome and modern diplomacy.

Purported to be similar in writing style to Robert Harris’ , I was eager to read this when the chance to receive an ARC came up.

One man’s secret is another man’s weapon; and Loreticus, spymaster to an emperor, considers himself well armed. Secrets are Loreticus’ business; spies and sources his colleagues. But when the new emperor goes missing, he suddenly finds himself isolated and uncertain who to trust. His search for the young emperor reveals an underworld of coups, assassinations, ambition and infidelity that make him doubt how much he ever really knew about the power behind the throne. As he struggles to deliver the young emperor safely and reunite the country, he finds himself torn between his old-fashioned principles and a new political reality.

250 Pages = +25 Health Points

Completion = +10 EXP

A BOOK THAT CONTAINS MAGIC

THE DIABOLIC by S. J. Kincaid was originally written as a stand-alone YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy novel, the storyline has since been expanded to form two sequels.

I received a copy of this from Bex a few months back, and have been meaning to read it ever since.

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

416 Pages = +41 Health Points
Completion = +10 EXP

A BOOK BASED ON MYTHOLOGY

BOHERMORE, is book one of The Pirate Queen series, by Jennifer Rose McMahon is a YA novel with a liberal sprinkling of history, fantasy & romance.

When American teenager Maeve travels to Ireland to try to unravel the secrets of her family ancestry and discover the truth about her visions, she finds herself becoming more deeply embroiled in mystery as she explores her new surroundings.

I’ve had this sitting on my NetGalley shelf for a while, so I’m glad that #TheReadingQuest has given me the kick up the backside impetus I needed to read it.

When your dreams become reality, being cursed can be a real nightmare. Like a punch in the face, eighteen-year-old Maeve O’Malley’s visions knock her off her path. The Pirate Queen stalking Maeve in her dreams killed her mother years ago, and now, the villian is coming for her. Maeve’s decision to ditch Boston College takes everyone by surprise as she packs her bags, leaves America, and heads to the west coast of Ireland to chase her dreams—and end them. Maeve uncovers an ancient family curse that refuses to remain silent until she accepts her predestined role in what many thought was only a legend. Her Irish history professor—a man she shouldn’t be falling for—is the only person who understands the origins of her torment. Maeve’s journey becomes a medieval treasure hunt through Ireland’s castles and ruins as she tracks the wrathful Pirate Queen who has her marked for vengeance.

293 Pages = +29 Health Points
Completion = +10 EXP

*I am hoping there is some mythological aspects, I assume there will be as Maeve explores the medieval sites of Ireland. If not, I guess I’ll have to rethink!

A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT WORLD

THE CHALK ARTIST by Allegra Goodman is a contemporary fiction tale, full of love, obsession, and alternate realities.

Twins Aidan & Diane live in a small American town, next door to Collin; artist, actor, misfit. Collin becomes involved with Aidan’s teacher, Nina and this is where the web woven by Arkadia; the large gaming company which dominates the town; tightens around it. Nina, is the daughter of Arkadia’s owner. Both Aidan & Collin become increasingly immersed in Arkadia’s online gameworld, Everwhen. When Aidan receives a mysterious black boX which allows him to physically enter the gameworld, he finds both the reality and his perceptions of the two worlds become skewed. As Collin also finds himself pulled deeper into the game, Nina begins to suspect there is something far wrong but doesn’t know how to help. When the two world collide, everyone involved find their lives changed, and their loyalties torn. In exquisite detail, Allegra Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy’s life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world.

This gritty and thought-provoking read seems to me to be reminiscent of the storylines of Tron, or the Spy Kids 3D movie; or Superpowerless, by Chris Priestley.

335 Pages = +33 Health Points
Completion = +10 EXP

THE FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES

THE CHANGE: LONDON ORBITAL by Guy Adams is the 1st in a 6 novella YA Horror series, currently 1-3 have been published, and you may well see the other two as my quest continues…

Where were you when the world changed?

One minute everything was fine and the next…they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. Now unimaginable things straight out of nightmares roam the streets of our towns and cities. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change… Howard doesn’t know where he is or how he got there. He’s not even sure his name is Howard. But he knows his in trouble. Alone on a stretch of motorway jammed with broken down cars full of corpses and strange creatures, Howard falls in with a motorbike gang living in a nearby service station. But even The Kingdom of the Welcome Break can’t keep him safe. Something is moving between the rows of cars, something that used to be human but now clanks with metal, hisses with hydraulics, and is always on the lookout for new parts… The first book in a 6 book novella series, aimed at the Young Adult market, and featuring protagonists trapped in a world irrevocably changed.

160 Pages = +16 Health Points
Completion = +10 EXP

Side Quests

Alongside the prompts on the character paths, the game board also has side quest prompts worth bonus points. By utilising one of the additional side quests on the board (TIME WARP) I have included THE DEVIL’S PORRIDGE by Chris Longmuir.

Opening in 1917 London, most of the action happens at the ammunitions plant near Gretna.

I was delighted to receive a copy of this from the lady herself at a recent bookish event.

288 Pages = +28 Health Points
Completion = +10 EXP

Side Quest (RESPAWN) TROLL by D. B. Thorne

368 pages = +36 HP

Completion = +10 EXP

Quest Updates.

I’ll be posting regular updates with my progress on here, Twitter and Instagram; why not follow me to keep track of how I’m doing?

Are you participating in The Reading Quest Challenge?? Please make sure you leave your link in the comments so I can be nosy follow your progress too!

As always, thanks for stopping by

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

#TheReadingQuest is the product of the bookish brain of Aentee @ Read At Midnight; you can find out more about it, her, and her reviews via her Blog / Instagram / Twitter

All illustrations are courtesy of the Talented CW @ Read Think Ponder; and you can find out more about her art, and book reviews via her Blog / Instagram / Twitter

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Monday [Book]Mail Call (15 May 2017)

I’m beginning to see a trend here!

Most Monday Mailcalls seem to include some books.

I would however like to point out that my children aren’t walking around barefoot and hungry because I’ve spent all my wages on books, quite a few are advance copies that are supplied pre-publication free of charge, on the understanding that I should review them.

This week was no different…

Thanks to the lovely people at Readers First and Corvus Books, I have these two to add to my TBR.

Love in Row 27 is definitely not my usual choice of reading matter, but having had the opportunity to preview the opening chapters of Eithne Shortall‘s new Rom-Com, I’m actually looking forward to finding out if Check-in desk operator Cora puts her cunning plan of matchmaking singles on her Aer Lingus to good use and finds romance herself post-break-up.

D.B. Thorne‘s crime thriller, Troll, looks to be exactly my cup of tea however, and I can’t wait to read all about Fortune’s search for his estranged; and now missing; daughter Sophie. 

If you’d like to read my thoughts on these books, keep an eye out for my reviews, coming soon!

I believe receiving ARCs of books is an honour. The authors entrust us, the reviewers, to treat their fledglings with care. It gives us the chance to broaden our literary horizons; I have recently  I found myself reading and enjoying a far greater diversity of genres than I would normally select myself.

The least we can do is take the time to read the words that have taken so much of their time and soul to write, give an honest review and respect any requests to hold any blogposts etc until nearer publication date. (And whilst I try not to be judgemental, I always think it’s terribly rude when I see people selling or giving away these books as soon as they receive them.!)
Have you received any bookish mail recently?

Thanks for stopping by,

Hugs,

Crafty xx