2021 March Wrap Up

Moving is always more work than you realize when you’re in the midst of it. I might be using that as a little bit of an excuse, but I’m not lying when I say that moving at the end of March drastically reduced the time I had to read – and write blog posts about what I read.

Basically, I didn’t get nearly as much reading done as I’d hoped this month. While part of me is hoping that by moving my reading plans into April in order to get caught up, I know that this realistically won’t be the case. Another reason that I didn’t read some of the books I’d planned to this month is because some of the book tours were postponed until April. So, I look forward to getting around to at least those stories this coming month.

As always, here are some pictures of my pup, Yzma. (Shameless plug for her adorable PupStagram account @YzmaTheHound):

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for February:


For reference: Physical books, eBooks, AudioBooks, and Library books.

Total books completed: 4

Total pages read: 969 pages (avg. 323 pages) + 1 eBook of unspecified pages


Completed Books:

  1. Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz (Reaper, Book 2)[4 stars] 338 pages
  2. The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins (Sean Richardson, Book 3)[4 stars] 320 pages
  3. The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson (Hagenheim, Book 11)[3 stars] 311 pages
  4. Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson (Goodreads)[4 stars]
  5. That’s it, that’s every book I completed in March.

Review Posts:

  1. The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins *Spoiler free*
  2. Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz *Spoiler free*
  3. A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke *Spoiler review*
  4. (Mis)fortune by Melissa Haag
  5. The Secret Girl by C.M. Stunich
  6. Hidden by Lyla Oweds
  7. How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal)
  8. Dreamthief by Tamara Grantham
  9. Emmitt’s Treasure by Melissa Haag
  10. Notatsu (Charming) Junkie by Ryoko Fukuyama *Series review*
  11. Balance by Lyla Oweds
  12. Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson *Spoiler free*
  13. The Ruthless Boys by C.M. Stunich
  14. Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz *Spoiler review*

Spotlight Posts:

  1. Weasel Words by Dale E. Lehman


Wrap Up:

Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz:

Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival. But when a Reaper attack forces Gregory through the Reaper door, he finds himself in a strange place – a place that might provide answers about the Reapers’ past.

This is a full length novel that follows the events of the Reaper novella. I’m thankful that I have been given this story in exchange for an honest review. (The first of many that I look forward to reading this month!) I started reading this book in February and look forward to finishing it in March. This story was the perfect start to spooky reads for the year, and I’m glad that I was introduced to this thrilling world.

If you haven’t read the first story in this series Reaper (review here), you should check it out. It’s a spooky little novella that proves just how scary the boogeyman is.

I personally really enjoyed the turn that this story took after the events of the Reaper novella. While I was able to see some of the twists that happened in the book, there were others that surprised me. Even the twists I saw coming were written in a very enjoyable way. Pongratz does an amazing job at creating a world and characters that I enjoy spending time with.

.

The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins:

A top secret group of spies attend a dinner to plan the murder of a competitor, not knowing that a covert arm of the British Intelligence is watching. Hours later, bodies are strewn about the terrace and a secret piece of intelligence reveals a colossal plot.

For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission. His goal? To infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries working together to take over a nation state.

This story is fast paced and full of twists and turns – exactly what I want out of a Spy Thriller. I enjoyed getting to see Sean and the crew getting out of one stick situation after the next. The life and death struggles in this story were “sitting on the edge of my seat” moments, the risks the characters were taking almost tangible as the reader.

.

The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson:

Adela, the daughter of the Duke of Hagenheim, is rarely allowed outside of the castle walls. But longing for freedom, she sneaks out to the marked disguised as a peasant where she meets a handsom woodcarver named Frederick.

Frederick, a poor farmer, is the sole provider for his family and often his mother’s defender from his father’s drunken rages. He dreams of making a living carving wood and is thrilled when the Bishop of Hagenheim commissions him to carve new doors for the cathedral. As he works on the project, he and Adela meet almost daily and it doesn’t take them long to fall in love. Yet her true identity remains hidden from him.

When disaster separates the two, Adela and Frederick find themselves caught in the midst of a deception far more dangerous than innocent disguises.

As this is a reverse Cinderella retelling, I didn’t think that I’d need to have read the rest of the series before diving into this story. I’d originally hoped to read this story in January as another read for the Buzzword Readathon/Reading Challenge, but the copy from my local library wasn’t available until a couple of days ago. So, I waited until the book was available and enjoyed the read.

While this was a decent story, I wouldn’t really call it a “Cinderella retelling” per say – or even a reverse retelling. While there was a very brief ball scene, the main Cinderella storyline doesn’t really happen in this story. It was a cute story if you’re not trying to force it into the confines of a retelling, but I found the side storylines and characters more compelling than the main plot of this story. While I don’t regret reading this story, I don’t know if I’ll bother reading anything else from this series.

.

Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson:

Drowning with his ship during a vicious storm, Ulrik the Viking thought that it was the end of the line for him. Instead, he wakes up on a new and brutal Earth. Believing he was banished to this strange land by the gods as punishment, he faces the mountainous wilderness alone.

Tessa, a lonely and broken-hearted woman, dies in her sleep on her 85th birthday. She, too, awakens surrounded in the frightful unknown. Both are mysteriously thrown into new bodies to face new lives, hopes, dangers, and desires.

Cast through time and other dimensions, fate has given Ulrik and Tessa a second chance at love and life. They must survive this ruthless new world of theirs against a brutal warrior race determined to use them to conquer extinction and enter the into the age of metal.

As a fan of time travel, I appreciate the way that Anderson handled it in this read. Instead of jumping back and forth between times the way many time travel stories (that I’ve personally read) do, Ulrik and Tessa find themselves transported to a new place and time. They need to figure out how to survive in the new world they’ve found themselves in, to make peace with the fact that their lives are forever changed.

This is the first book I’ve read by Anderson, and I’m happy to say that I plan on picking up more in the future. Her characters feel real. They have emotions and motivations, flaws ands strengths. They’re lives have weight to them, they’re not just fluff written to further a plot. And I, for one, absolutely enjoyed reading about them.

.


Blank

Okay, so I managed to get a decent chunk of blog posts written and uploaded. It was mostly the reading part of the month that I struggled to find time for. What can I say, sometimes it’s easier to sit down and get your thoughts out than it is to pay attention to what’s going on in a new story. Especially after a long day at work when all you want to do is sit down and not think.

Of course, the posts that went out in March were almost all posts from books that I’d read in previous months. Sure there were a couple of posts for the new books I read, but barely. I’m glad that I had the backlog – and time in the first half of the month – to at least get some posts out in March. Not as much as I’d hoped, but still enough that I’m almost content with the goals I’d set for the month.

While I still hope that April is a drastically better reading month, I’m not going to force myself to read or post more than I’d originally planned. My April TBR will be coming out soon, so you’ll see that my goals for the month are already pretty lofty. It would be hard to mash my March reading plans in with it…

I will, however, mention that there were a couple of reads that I started in March that didn’t make the list. One of my goals for this year is to read at least one book a month for the Buzzword Readathon/Reading Challenge. In March the word was “time”, and by the time this post comes out I will have finished the book I started in March to fulfill this challenge. While I didn’t complete the book in March, I’m still going to count it.

Finally, the question of the month: What draws you into a good book?

One thought on “2021 March Wrap Up

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