Let’s Talk Bookish – Books on Vacation – June 17, 2022

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the June 2022 prompts!


Prompts: What books do you like to bring on vacation? Do you bring any books at all? What kind of books do you think are good for a vacation? How much time do you usually have to read on vacation? What does an ideal vacation with a book look like?

For me, this all depends on where I’m going and who I’m going with. If I’m with my family, I know I’m not going to have a lot of time to spend by myself reading. It’s expected that the family will be together, playing board games or just chatting. I still bring a book (because of course I’m going to bring a book), usually the one I’m currently reading.

Now, if I happen to be going to a cabin on a lake with only one friend, a friend who is also a reader, I know I’m going to have much more time to myself and therefore time to read. In that case, I’ll bring the book I’m reading plus the next one in the series (because I’m always reading a trilogy or series) and maybe the one after as well depending on the length of the books.

I once went on a week long vacation with a friend to her family’s cabin on a lake. We’re book big readers. I brought an entire trilogy with me. I didn’t get through all the books because they were fairly long, but I know I polished off two of them. I remember coming back and continuing on with the third book and it felt like it took so long to get through that last book. I had to keep reminding myself that the amount of time I had to actually sit and read was much less than it was while on vacation. That week, I would literally wake, get dressed, walk down some stairs and I’d be at the lake side. I’d sit out there all day, either reading or swimming. I think I occasionally ate something too lol. That was a great vacation!

Book Review – The Horsemen – The Watchers #2

Synopsis (From Amazon):

With the First Seal broken, The Watchers will stop at nothing to ensure the remaining Six Seals fall.

Beth May and John Gideon have a tougher task at hand this time around. However, with a couple of friends joining the team to ensure the safety of humanity, they will do all they can to stop The Watchers from succeeding.

As sickness ravages nations and war rages in the streets, will our team be able to step up to the task and prevent the apocalypse?

Ok, so I devoured this book in about 3 hours. Now, this isn’t a particularly long novel, but I had no intention of reading the whole thing at once and really, that’s not something I normally do. I didn’t know exactly what time it was, but I could tell from the fading light outside the window that it was getting later in the evening. I knew I probably should go to bed, as it was a work night, but at one point I was just like “screw it, sleep is overrated.” I’m really glad I didn’t stop reading.

The characters in this series are great! I especially love Beth and Neala. These are two kick ass women who don’t need help from anyone but aren’t afraid to accept it when offered. They are strong, confident and intelligent. They both have a lot of mystery about them, especially Beth, who has lived a long life and has a lot of history that has yet to be revealed. I want to know so much more about Beth!

I enjoyed so many elements of this book. It’s fast paced, it’s funny, and emotional. The characters are great and you feel a real sense of the danger they are in. The author also has a great way of creating an atmosphere. Especially around Azazel.

There were a few things I didn’t love. The point of view bounces around in first person between the characters. Yes, the name of the character is at the beginning of the chapter to indicate who is speaking but I would often forget who’s head I was supposed to be in. I would think it was one person, realize it was another and then have to rearrange how I was picturing the whole scene. Then there’s the mysterious third person narrator. Who is this? Are they watching the team from somewhere unseen?

Then there’s the last few chapters. I don’t want to spoil anything, but holy freakin crap, what just happened? Ok, I seriously need the next book! Like now, please.

Huge thanks to the author, Carl Novakovich, and the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating for The Horsemen is 4 out of 5 stars and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced, exciting read. Oh and don’t forget to read the first book in the series, The Tomb.

As always, thanks for reading!

Fantasy Book Review – Serpent Mage – The Death Gate Cycle #4

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In the fourth volume of this epic fantasy, Haplo must outwit lethal and magical serpents in the last of the Four Realms.

Well, that’s not much of a synopsis. Thanks Goodreads.

This review may contain spoilers for the previous three books

At the end of Fire Sea, Haplo allowed Alfred to escape before reporting back to his Lord. A fact which the Lord of the Nexus was aware of and couldn’t allow to go unpunished. Haplo is, of course, punished for allowing a Sartan to go free, and the dog disappears.

Alfred and Haplo are now on the 4th world, the world of water, Chelestra. They did not go there together, but separately. Haplo comes upon the “mensch” races, as they are known and Alfred finds his own people, newly awakened from a long sleep.

At first, Serpent Mage doesn’t seem all that different from the first three books of the series. Haplo is continuing his mission for his lord. He ingratiates himself with the Elves, Dwarves and Humans on this world, trying to incite them to war against the Sartans. Haplo knows what he should do, but his adventures across the three other worlds and his interactions with people other than his own have changed him (even if he doesn’t want to admit it).

I generally try not to do this but ***SPOILER ALERT – SPOILERS AHEAD***

Back in my review of Elven Star, you may recall that I noted that a character made several reference to the modern world. Well, much to my annoyance, it is revealed that the world the Sartans sundered was, in fact, Earth. Why? Why? The whole point of fantasy novels is that they are FANTASY! The world and all the things in it are supposed to come from the author’s imagination. Linking it back to the real world is so unnecessary, and frankly, annoying. It just feels like a cop out. Like, oh, by the way, this was actually our world all along. hahaha tricked you! No! It’s stupid and unnecessary. Stop it!


I’m very interested to see where things are going for Haplo and Alfred. Not to mention the mystery of the dog. That is still driving me crazy.

My rating for Serpent Mage is 3 out of 5 stars. The series continues to be good but it’s not like “wow, amazing!”

As always, thanks for reading!

Fantasy Book Review – Fire Sea – The Death Gate Cycle #3

Synopsis (from Goodreads) : Abarrach, the Realm of stone. Here, on a barren world of underground caverns built around a core of molten lava, the lesser races — humans, elves, and dwarves — seem to have all died off. Here, too, what may well be the last remnants of the once powerful Sartan still struggle to survive. For Haplo and Alfred — enemies by heritage, traveling companions by necessity — Abarrach may reveal more than either dares to discover about the history of Sartan… and the future of all their descendants.”

This is probably going to be a fairly short review. I don’t have a lot to say about this novel. I don’t mean that in a bad way.

The story continues with Haplo and his dog moving on to the 3rd world to continue his mission for the Lord of the Nexus. Alfred has returned from the first book to play a fairly large role in this one.

We get to learn a little more about the pasts of both Haplo and Alfred, giving more depth to their characters. The dog continues to remain a mystery. One I hope will be revealed in the next novel.

I continue to enjoy this series. The pace has picked up since the first novel, giving more urgency to the events of the story. I had found the first book to be lacking that a bit.

Though I continue to enjoy these books, I would not say they are amazing. I will finish the series and likely enjoy those as well.

My rating for Fire Sea is 3 out of 5 stars.

Elven Star – The Death Gate Cycle #2 – Review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): On steamy Pryan, never-ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground. From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward. Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal — not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans. Armed with little more than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction.

At first this book doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with the previous book, Dragon Wing. The setting is on a completely different world and we’re introduced to a whole new set of characters. Then, we meet up with Haplo and his dog again as he continues his mission for his lord.

This book is rife with racial hatred. The three races – humans, elves and dwarves – all hate each other. The elves believe themselves to be superior to all the races, humans hate that the elves see themselves as above them and enslave their people. The dwarves just seem to want to be left alone in their underground homes and distrust both humans and elves.

There was a part that stuck out to me when Paithan, the main elf character, is looking down on his human slaves, thinking about how beneath him they are and comparing how they have dark brown or black skin to his pure white skin. Now, this book was published in 1990, I was around 6 at the time so I don’t remember what was going on in the world at the time, but this scene really kind of hit me with a lot that is happening in the world now. As this book continues, the racial fighting and mistrust continues and it really seemed like a slap in the face. The more it came up, the more cringey it was.

Weird as it is going to sound, Haplo’s dog is my favorite character so far in this series. Haplo isn’t bad, he has depth, which a lot of the other characters seem to lack, but there’s something about the dog. He’s definitely more than he seems.

The other characters aren’t that memorable in my opinion. They each play their part in the story. I really felt like most of the relationship development just wasn’t there. When two of the characters are supposed to be falling in love, I just didn’t find it believable. It was too generic and predictable.

Then there’s the strange human wizard who calls himself Zifnab. He babbles on like a senile old man, argues with his dragon, who goes back and forth between wanting to eat the wizard and acting like an English butler. This wizard also babbles things that reference our world. Things like Gandalf, modern technology and even alludes to a conversation he may have had with George Lucas. This is never truly explained. Who is this man and where did he come from? Is it meant to imply that he’s actually from the real world? Honestly, I hate when stuff like that happens in fantasy novels. This is a completely different world from our own, I don’t want or need any kind of references to our world thrown in. I find it ruins the fantasy and just annoys me.

The plot, at least, was somewhat thrilling. Giant creatures known as tytans are destroying everything in their path. Weapons do nothing to stop them. There is a very real sense of dread and danger as the main cast of characters are fleeing for their lives, trying to get to their own people to warn them of the impending danger.

Judging from things Haplo says near the end of the book and the way the first two book have gone, I’m going to guess that the next book is going to take place on another of the four world, with only Haplo and his dog carrying over into the next book.

My rating for this novel is 3 out of 5 stars.

Have you read this series. Let me know what you think of it in the comments. Do you agree with my review?

Thanks for reading!

The Tomb – The Watchers #1 – Review

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

John Gideon, a former homicide detective turned P.I., has dug too deep and discovered the truth about the world while searching for the only family he has left.

John and his new partner, Beth May – a spell-wielding demon who has turned her back on Hell – are humanity’s last hope to stop a collective of Fallen Angels known as The Watchers and a hierarchy of demons from breaking the first of the Seven Seals of Revelation.

If the Seals are broken, they will set free sickness, war, and death on the world until there is nothing left but an apocalyptic wasteland for The Watchers to control. John and Beth have the tools needed and the strength to stop them. The only question is – are they already too late?

I know I must of read the synopsis for this book before deciding to read it so I’m not sure why I was surprised that it turned out to be about angels and demons. Nevermind, sorry, that has nothing to do with this review.

I loved the way this novel started, with this creepy, mysterious message in the beginning, warning the reader that nothing is what it seems and reading this will change your life forever.

We are first introduced to John and his partner Walter, two detectives with the Chicago Police Department, as they are on a stake out, waiting for suspect to show himself. Little do either of them know that this seemingly normal part of their jobs is about to change their lives forever.

Two years after Walter goes missing, John has left the force, started his own private investigator business and is obsessed with finding his old partner and friend. It’s not long before he gets swept up in a world he never believed existed. A world of angels and demons trying to release the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Anti-Christ into the world.

This novel is fairly short, but it packs in a lot of stuff. Honestly, I think it needed to be padded out more, for the story and relationships to develop more. Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book, I just wanted more of it, to feel a deeper connection to the characters and really feel immersed in the world, to care about the impending danger. As it all happened so quickly, I didn’t get the feeling of being completely engrossed.

As this is only the first book in a series, I have hope for the development of the characters and the world building.

I must say, I think I like Beth the most. She was a witch as a human and became a demon after death and has now been alive for several centuries. For a demon, she extremely caring and compassionate towards the human race and the world. She cares about John, she cares about the fate of humanity. She obviously has a lot of history, having been alive for so long, and the author has only barely scratched the surface of who she is and what lies in her past. I’m really looking forward to her secrets being revealed in the coming sequels.

The point of view could be a bit confusing. It would switch from being in first person from John’s perspective to Beth’s perspective and then to a third person unknown “watcher.” I generally don’t like POV’s that jump around, but in this case I felt it worked.

The story has a great deal of potential to grow as the series continues. I look forward to reading the next novel.

My rating for The Tomb is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend it to fans of urban fantasy, especially if it involves angels and demons, and to anyone looking for a fun, quick, but also very intriguing read.

My thanks to the author, Carl Novakovich, and the agent for providing me with a free copy of The Tomb in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thank for reading!

Moon Knight – Review

One day, not so long ago, I was perusing Disney+ when I came across the trailer for a new show called Moon Knight. I was instantly intrigued by the title and naturally watched the trailer. Only seconds in and I knew I had to watch this show. Too bad for me, it hadn’t actually been released yet. So I grumble to myself, make a mental note to watch it later and move on with my life.

Some time goes by and I’m once again on Disney+ looking for something to watch. Since it’s still new, Moon Knight is up at the top, staring me in the face demanding that I watch it. I’m like, “yes, perfect! I must watch this” and hit play.

I binged the entire season in a single sitting. I couldn’t stop watching. I was engrossed from the very beginning and each time an episode ended I frantically tried to find the remote so I could get to the next episode as soon as possible. This show is just fantastic!

Keep in mind, I have never read a Moon Knight comic. My knowledge of the Marvel universe is centered solely on the cinematic universe. I like all the Marvel stuff but it was so fun being introduced to a completely new characters with a story that had nothing to do with all the stuff that has come before. No need to have watched x number of movies or series before hand to keep up with the plot.

Oscar Isaac is amazing at playing both main characters. The ease of how he can switch between the two in a scene is such *kisses fingers* *muah*. And Ethan Hawke as the villain? I can’t imagine another actor playing that part as fantastically as he did.

The CG was great, the sets and plots were great! The imagery was beautiful. I want more of this amazing show! I want more of these characters. I think I may have to look into the comics.

Oh, did I mention I binge watched the entire season twice? I couldn’t get it out of my head so I watched it a second time. Then watched the Assembled episode of how it was made.

Did I mention this show is awesome?

5 out of 5 stars! Watch this show!

Thanks for reading 🙂