What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
Here’s what has gone on since last week’s**WWW Wednesday:
** I know that I missed two WWW Wednesdays since my last post. But I am lazy and didn’t want to mess with what I had originally written (I copy/paste it)
School has officially ended here in NC. I am proud to say that all 3 of my kids passed to the next grade. So, starting in August, I will have 9th, 11th, and 3rd graders!!
While I am on the subject of school, Mr. Z got back the results of his state tests. He got 4’s and 5’s (which put him in honors classes in August). Miss B got back her results too and she did very well. With the exception of math, she scored 3’s and 4’s (math, she scored a 2 but I wasn’t surprised, it was hard for her this year)
I attended Miss R’s end-of-school picnic. It was the first time in 2 years that they had it and it was a hit. Miss R was thrilled that I was there and I got to meet her friends. I also became the mom who adopted 4 kids because their parents couldn’t make it. We all sat on our towels and I listened to 2nd-grade gossip…lol.
The school is doing something different for school supplies this year. They set up an account for all grades with this company called School Kidz. This company packs a box filled with essential school supplies and sends it to the school. It cost me $41 (with no shipping, that the school covers) but Miss R will have waiting for her this list: wide-ruled paper, #2 pencils, dry erase markers, folders, 3 ring binder, composition notebooks, regular notebooks, glue sticks, crayons, pencil case, scissors (but in Miss R’s case, she needs lefty scissors so I will have her give the one that comes with the kit to the teacher), earbuds with case, and personalized ID labels. I am happy to have that done with and wish that the high school would do the same.
We went away on a glorious vacation to Fl for an entire week. We went to Legoland Waterpark, Animal Kingdom, saw my MIL, and spent a few days at the resort. It was a much-needed vacation and I read a ton of books (it was a 10-hour drive to and from).
Unfortunately, as soon as we got home, Miss R and I got sick. Miss R actually had a bad cold at the beginning of the trip (not COVID, we tested) that she passed to me. I had a miserable 4 days of coughing, laryngitis, and a sore throat. I ended up taking Miss R to the Dr last Wednesday because I thought she had swimmers ear. Nope, she had double ear infections and is still currently taking antibiotics.
We are hunkering down during this heat wave and my kids hate it. I hate it because we have a small pool (inflatable) and a slip and slide that Miss R loves but hasn’t used since the weekend. It is just too hot and humid. We have one more day of super-hot temps (tomorrow is supposed to get over 100 with a real feel of 105-107…..yuck) and then it will cool down slightly.
I signed Miss R up for a day camp at her barn today. It is next Friday, 9-4 and she will be with the other girls she knows (plus some that she doesn’t). She has a lesson right after and I am expecting her to be exhausted (actually I am planning on it). I figure since her surgery is on July 1st, I was going to squeeze as much stuff as I could for her before it.
Reading-wise, I am all caught up with my backlog and I am actually reading ahead of where I should be. I am super excited about that!! Now, I am furiously writing reviews and trying to get them posted. I am about 8-9 reviews behind where I want to be. But it’s better than being 8-9 books behind. Like I said above, I got a ton of reading done while on vacation.
So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?
As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!
Welcome to Stocking the Shelves. Every Saturday, I will be posting what books I got this week. Stocking the Shelves is hosted byReading Reality. So, here is my list. Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought!!
The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it’s not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won’t tolerate competition, and they’re willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.
But even the merchant houses of Tevanne might have met their match. An immensely powerful and deadly entity has been resurrected in the shadows of Tevanne, one that’s not interested in wealth or trade routes: a hierophant, one of the ancient practitioners of scriving. And he has a great fascination for Foundryside, and its employees – especially Sancia.
Now Sancia and the rest of Foundryside must race to combat this new menace, which means understanding the origins of scriving itself – before the hierophant burns Tevanne to the ground.
“The gates are just ahead,” said Gregor.
Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett
I was pretty pumped when I got the email from Del Ray/Random House asking if I wanted to review Shorefall. I had loved Foundryside and was wondering when the next book was going to be published. So, it was a no brainer what my answer was going to be.
Shorefall is the 2nd book in the Founders trilogy. I would highly recommend reading Foundryside first. You would better understand the world, the houses, Sanica, and everything else in the book.
Shorefall takes place three years after the events of Foundryside, and Orso, Sanica, Berenice, and Gregor have founded their scriving business. They have become a sort of Robin Hood to the poor but they give out scrives instead of money. After an excursion to steal one of the remaining Houses lexicons, Sanica is contacted by Valeria. Valeria has a warning. Her Maker is coming, and he is getting ready to destroy Tevanne. Sanica and her crew must prepare to fight Valeria’s Maker. But are they prepared for the toll it will take upon the group? And with the lines between good and evil blurred, will Sanica make the right choice?
Shorefall’s plotline was fast-paced. Seeing that this book takes place within a week or so of Valeria’s Maker arriving in Tevanne, there were no dropped plotlines or characters. The writing flowed beautifully when the book had to change from Sanica. There was no awkwardness either. That alone made me love the book.
It did take me some time to read Shorefall. But, and I want to stress this, it wasn’t because the book was awful and I was putting it off. Nope, it was the complete opposite. I slowed down my reading pace so I could savor this book. The writing, the language, the characters were beautifully written.
I can’t get much into the storyline or characters of Shorefall without giving away spoilers. I will say this; the characters blossomed in this book. And the storyline was fantastic. The details that the author thought to include was terrific.
I will touch upon Clef, Valeria, and Valeria’s Maker. There is a massive twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming that involves them. Looking back, it makes total sense. But when I was reading it, I was shocked. I ended up putting my Kindle down and saying, “No freaking way.”
The end of Shorefall made me cry. Again, I can’t say why, but it does involve Orso and Gregor. My heart broke into smithereens during those scenes. With the way the book ended, I am not sure what is going to happen and now will be impatiently waiting for the final book!!
I would give Shorefall an Older Teen rating. There are mentions of sexual situations (no details). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread Shorefall. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. Sancia Grado is a thief and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s underway—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
This was my first time reading anything by Robert Jackson Bennett. I didn’t know what to expect from Foundryside. So wasn’t I surprised when I realized I was reading fantasy with steampunk elements in it. I don’t know if I had mentioned it on this blog before, but I am a huge steampunk fan. I love it. I rarely read it. Even more rarely do I review those books. So yeah, I was a pretty happy person.
What I also liked about Foundryside was the place that Tevanne was modeled after. Foundryside was set in a jungle on an unnamed continent. The book is set in the city. I say almost because Sanica’s memories take us back to the plantation that she was a slave at. That was on an island, which was owned by one of the Houses. Other than that, it was pretty much well contained. I liked it because I had to only remember the name of the city and the houses it was carved into. The houses in the city reminded me of Italian cities. Italian cities that have fallen onto bad times but the likeness was there.
Foundryside starts off slow. While it doesn’t creep like some books, it also doesn’t gain momentum until the middle of the book. I would be complaining about it but it worked in this case. In doing this, the author allowed me to get to know the main characters and the city. Everything was explained, which I liked too. In my experience with books this size, there are plotlines that are dropped or holes in the plot. Not in this case.
Going with what I said above, the characters were filled out. What I liked is that they weren’t all likable. That they all had their flaws and that the author didn’t try to hide those flaws. Instead, he took them and made those flaws a part of each character’s personality.
I also liked how the author explained scrivings. Scrivings are industrial made magic that is used in everything in this society. Foundations, carriages, wheels…etc, they were all scrived. The only thing that couldn’t scrived is humans. It was forbidden. Until Sanica. Sanica is the only scrived human in Tevanne. Or so she thought. There is another scrived human and it blew my mind because of who it was.
I want to get into what Clef was but it is almost too hard to explain. A key that talks only to Sanica don’t even begin to touch the surface with him. He was one of my favorite characters.
While Foundryside was a bloody mess in the 2nd half of the book. While I was expecting a little death, I wasn’t expecting how many people died. It did turn me off the book a bit. But I do think that the book couldn’t be written any other way. People had to die for Sanica to have her transformation. They also had to die to expose Estelle as the insane woman that she was.
I loved the end of Foundryside. I loved Orso giving Ofelia Dandolo what amounted to the middle finger. I also liked what Orso sprang on Sanica. But my favorite was the very ending of the book with the meeting between Ofelia and her prophet. It gave an interesting twist on things as well as opening things up for a 2nd book.
What I liked about Foundryside:
A) fantasy/steampunk combination
B) filled out characters
C) How the author explained what scrivings were.
What I disliked about Foundryside:
A) How slow the book was at first
B) How the book was a bloody mess during the 2nd half of the book
C) What happened to Sanica at the plantation
I gave Foundryside a 4-star rating. This was a well-written book with fleshed out characters. The book is slow to start and it does get bloody the 2nd half of the book. But I liked it. It was a good read.
I would give Foundryside an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is graphic violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Foundryside. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank Crown Publishing for allowing me to read and review Foundryside.
All opinions stated in this review of Foundryside are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**