Posted in book reviews, reading, ebook

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Golden Spider

The Golden Spider (Elemental Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Anne Renwick

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*Published August 8, 2016*

I am a sucker for a good steampunk novel, and this is definitely one of the better series as it actually uses steampunk technology, not just as decorations for Victorian era United Kingdom. So yeah, in the year of rereads and reading what I know I’ll enjoy, this is definitely one of those books!

London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.

After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.

Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.

Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

I love how much technology is actually highlighted as viable in this book series! We actually start out with our main protagonist as, essentially, a computer programmer on one of the smallest scales possible, only it’s all mechanical! I love it and I love this world we are set up in, I love Amanda and all that she is doing to ensure that her mechanical spider can one day help fix her brother’s broken spine, and I love that she is striving to ensure that she gets recognized for her intelligence in the medical world, and not just recognized as a very pretty lady that can pop babies once married.

Lord Thornton is also fascinating, having received an injury to his leg that nearly crippled him, and now requires that he take a drug that essentially takes away the pain of what happened, but once the drug loses all effectiveness, will eat away at his nerves and render him disabled. He is not only interested in keeping his leg in good working order to stay in the field if possible, but in the possibility of being healed by Amanda’s spider.

Things get off to the wrong foot though when the two meet, and their personalities clash in such a way as to render their ability to work together a bit off hinges. Yet, when Amanda’s spider goes missing and it looks like it’s being used in a series gruesome murders being performed on the local Roma (as stated in the books) population. Lord Thornton does finally acknowledge Amanda as more than just a girl seeking out a husband, and invites her to work with him and his team in order to track down the murderer and stop any more experiments.

I enjoy the chemistry between Lady Amanda and Lord Thornton, as well as how much they end up acknowledging that their initial assumptions of each other were wrong as the book progresses. I also love that Amanda is shown not to be a prodigy in creating her spider, as it continues not to work in certain aspects, and once she does have working prototype, there is still more trial and error to make sure it all works properly. And Lord Thornton is able to help her develop her spider to work smoother as well, making it a working machine.

There’s humanity in our characters, all of them have flaws, all of them are well-rounded, all of them make sense in that they are human people with realistic human flaws. I also like that due to the increase of actual steampunk technology and what that entails, that changes the environment of the London area as well. There are heavier, denser fogs; more particulates in the air from using coal for the steam-powered machinery; different technologies have been utilized in order to take advantage of steam-power. You can tell there was more thought that went into the actual technology of a steampunk era and I love it!

All in all, this is an excellent book, and I enjoyed reading about Amanda and Thornton as they race after the murderer and hope to find them in time to stop them from killing and using the spider again. If you’re looking for a steampunk book with mystery, intrigue, and actual use of steampunk technology, then the Elemental Steampunk Chronicles are for you.

Posted in book reviews, ebook, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Tin Rose

The Tin Rose by Anne Renwick

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I had this sitting in my Kindle library for a while, and I finally decided it was high time I read it as I had read The Golden Spider, and The Silver Skull a few years ago, but didn’t get much further than that. This is a short SHORT story prequel to The Golden Spider.

The Tin Rose by Anne Renwick

Note: This is a SHORT story.

A promise. A poison. A race to save a love balanced on the edge.

A clockwork contraption unwinds a poisonous bloom, sending Lady Emily and Luca, her gypsy love, on a race to reach the cure.

This is probably one of the shortest! books that I have ever read. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good story, it’s just super short. It also gives a good insight to what happened to Emily before we meet her in The Golden Spider. When the book starts, we are at an engagement party where Emily is waiting to see a signal fire from Luca to show that he is ready to receive her in his caravan to whisk her away from her life of being a lady. But things start to go south for Luca, the man Emily is waiting for the signal from, is caught up with Rayka, a Roma (as called in this book and the book series) that felt she was slighted when Luca started to fall for Emily instead.

I think what was most enjoyable about this short story is that it gives a bit more insight to Emily and Luca, who we see a little bit of in the start of the actual series, but I also like that it’s a woman who is seeking to leave her life of being a lady behind to live as a Roma with Luca. I love that there’s is a love story and that she is choosing to leave her life behind to live with the one that she loves and that she is willing to live and follows the customs of the Roma, especially as the Roma are very much about not letting outsiders in, in this book series at least.

If you’re a fan of steampunk and it actually being used as a technology, than I would highly recommend the series this is a prequel to the Elemental Steampunk Chronicles, as well as the short stories.

Posted in arcs, book reviews, ebook, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads ARCs: Vanity and Vampyres

Vanity and Vampyres by Tilly Wallace

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*Published December 11, 2020*

Vanity and Vampyres by Tilly Wallace

I received this ARC from the author. This in no way affects my thoughts on the book or the following review.

I was so excited to hear that this book was to be published later this year after I had binged the first three audiobooks in the series in the early months of the pandemic as I needed something that would fully take me away from the horrors of the pandemic and a world that is still spiraling out of control. And it was definitely the series that I needed and so this is probably the best thing about December so far.

Being a reveller is such a drain…

Someone is supping upon young noblemen and it’s up to Hannah and Wycliff to investigate. If only they could agree on how the men are being drained of their life’s blood. Is it a vampyre, known for their impeccable fashion sense, nocturnal roaming, and dislike of rain, who lurks in the shadows of London? Or is some more earthly method at play, like an attack of leeches?

With her best friend’s wedding imminent, Hannah is determined that the event be untouched by murder or mayhem. To ensure a magical fairytale event they must catch the murderer before the big day. Wycliff must seek the assistance of a man who raises his hackles and Hannah struggles with her growing feelings toward her guarded husband.

This pursuit will unearth long buried secrets that could have fatal consequences for those dearest to Hannah.

This book was great! I highly enjoyed getting to know more about Hannah and Wycliff and how much that Wycliff is starting to actually fall in love with Hannah. I also enjoyed getting to know more about this world where zombies are created from a cursed face powder, the men and women who are turned are still partially accepted as members of society, in a way, and where Unnaturals are also accepted into society.

We see more growth of affection between Wycliff and Hannah, as Wycliff comes to rely a bit more on Hannah to help in his investigations and Hannah is starting lean more on her own intuitions to seek out information that may help bring about an end to the murders in time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding day.

We also start to see that while this may have started out as a marriage of convenience for Hannah and Wycliff, is starting to become just a tiny bit more as they explore their feelings and affections for each other. It not only leads their better working together to solve mysteries and murders, but it also leads to them growing into better versions of themselves that they are able to admit to.

I highly enjoyed reading Vanity and Vampyres and I’m so very excited for the final book to being coming out in 2021! There is definitely some light at the end of this tunnel. Have you found Manners and Monsters? Do you like reading about alternative universes? Comment below and let me know! And I need more people who have read this book series that I can talk to about! Come and talk to me!

Posted in audiobooks, book reviews, books, comic books/graphic novels, ebook, reading, update, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: November Update

Hey guys! It’s the first Monday in December and today is all about the November update. What I read, how much I read, and what my plans are for reading in this last month of the year. I hope that you all had a good November and were able to enjoy what you read as well. Anyway, here we go!

In November I read 2 audiobooks, 1 graphic novel, and 4 books for a total of 7 books. Yeah, not my best, but I am okay with that. I’m learning to give myself a little grace when it comes to reading. I read Ghost Wall, Matilda, Dawnshard, Rhythm of War, From the Roots Up, The Color of Magic, and Apple in the Middle. I enjoyed all of these books, and I will say that there are some good ones in here.

My plan is to just continue with what I’ve been doing these past few months and just read what I feel like reading when I feel like reading. It’s helping me get past my unexpected reading break and I’m actually enjoying the books I’m reading for longer. What are you reading plans for December? What books do you plan on reading for the winter? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, ebook, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Dawnshard

Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

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*Published November 10, 2020*

You guys!!! How does he do it?!?!? Seriously?! Brandon Sanderson not only has the time to write multiple books at a time, but work on these here volumes of The Stormlight Archive and then he just decides “Oh, here another novella for you all, have at it!” How does he do it!?

Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

From Brandon Sanderson—author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive and its fourth massive installment, Rhythm of War—comes a new hefty novella, Dawnshard. Taking place between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War, this tale (like Edgedancer before it) gives often-overshadowed characters their own chance to shine.

When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn’t fallen into enemy hands. Knights Radiant who fly too near find their Stormlight suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.

Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn’s pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani’s quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.

This book, like all the others in The Stormlight Archive, is amazing! Just let me put some fears to rest right now: you do NOT have to read it to enjoy Rhythm of War. You can go straight from Oathbringer to Rhythm of War and not really miss out anything. It just gives a few more lore bits that others will find fascinating to know.

Anyway, onto Dawnshard itself. I actually loved getting to know more about Rysn and about the Lopen. Rysn now owns her own trading ship (owns is an interesting concept in Thaylen trading merchant concepts, she actually explains it in the book) and so when her little larking, Chiri-Chiri, starts to look unwell and she can’t find answers in Thaylenah, she decides to take up Queen Navani’s request and sail to the island of Akinah, where larkins used to live in abundance. On her way there, her ship and its crew are plagued by “bad omens,” signs and ideas that seem to want to direct Rysn, the Lopen and the other Windrunners away from their expedition.

I loved that this book has shown that there is a lot of depth to characters that we may not always get to see. We see that Rysn and the Lopen, usually characters that only get a small insight in the larger books, have a whole lot more going on than what we see. We see why the Lopen cracks jokes the way he does all the time, to try and bring some light into his world, when he used to only have one arm, and to the worlds of others, to try and lift them up. We see that Rysn has not only far exceeded her babsk’s intentions, but his trade as well, we see just how proud he is of her.

It’s not only the two main characters, but their side characters as well, Huio, Cord, Chiri-Chiri, and so many others and the implications of what this means not only for them but for The Stormlight Archive in general as well. Brandon Sanderson has done what he has always done and that is bring light and growth to characters that need it. And not only did this light shine on Rysn and the Lopen, it opened up a spotlight to many other things in the Cosmere that may be coming to fruition.

Are you a Brandon Sanderson fan? Have you read any of his books before> You should comment below and let me know what you think of Dawnshard and Rhythm of War as well as any of his other books.

Posted in arcs, audiobooks, books, ebook, goodreads, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Halloween Book Tag

Today is Thursday and it’s Book Tag Thursday here at Tiny Navajo Reads. I haven’t really done a Halloween Book Tag yet and I found this on at Way Too Fantasy and it was originally created by  Naomi The Book Lover over on YouTube.

I fricken’ LOVE Halloween! And I love books! The Halloween Book Tag is the tag for me. I tag all those who want to participate in Halloween and books in general.

  1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire? As a librarian, I’m pretty against the destruction of books in general. I have thrown books across the room and I have written in my own personal books, but I haven’t had the urge to carve up and light on fire. If there’s a book out there that makes me feel like that, I hope to not run into it.
  2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick? I would say that out of my most recent books, Gideon from <a href="; Gideon the Ninth is a treat and Harrow from <a href="; Harrow the Ninth is a definite trick. Gideon is a rough sweet, almost like a dark chocolate morsel and Harrow is one of the trickiest people EVER! You need to read her book in order to see what I mean!
  3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet? While I haven’t reread it recently, I do remember This Is How You Lose the Time War just giving me all the lovely feels! I love it when a book just makes me smile as I’m listening to it.
  4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost? Gideon again! I love her and her character and I wouldn’t mind having her haunt me.
  5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day? I think it would be interesting to be Casiopea Tun from <a href="; Gods of Jade and Shadow. She’s a great strong character and I think it would be fascinating to interact with an old god.
  6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment? All of those delicious feasts! You would think it’d be the magic, but no, I want all that dang delicious food! This is honestly what I remember most about all of the books, are the food and feasts and candies. I want to eat it all!
  7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile? <a href="; The Only Good Indians. That’s it. I tried listening to it first and I just couldn’t…I had to borrow a physical copy from a friend to finish reading it. Holy Moses…creepy, but so good!

There is the Halloween Book Tag, and I hope it may have given some of you some ideas of what to check out or what to read next. Granted, if I were to do this next year, my answers will be changing. I tag all those who want to do this Halloween Book Tag and Happy Halloween!

Posted in book reviews, books, ebook, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Humans Wanted

Humans Wanted edited by Vivian Caethe

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*Published August 7, 2017*

Alright, if y’all haven’t seen the tag #humansarespaceorcs or #spaceaustralia then you need to go out and read some of the stories floating around in those tags. They are wonderful and this book is just a small selection of them once people realized that a book focused on the good humanity can do because of how versatile we are. Simple fantastic!

Humans Wanted edited by Vivian Caethe

Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so quickly, they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink under their epidermis for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster.

You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for.

That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you.

But if you’re hurt, if you’re trapped, if you need someone to fetch help? You really want a human.

Twelve authors provide their perspectives on human ingenuity and usefulness as we try to find our place among the stars. From battletested to brokenhearted, humans are capable of amazing things. Humans Wanted shows not only what we are, but how awesome we can be.

Humans Wanted is a great start to your collection of stories that show how awesome and scary we as humans can be just because of where and how we evolved. We are some of the best hunters because of our endurance. We can adapt quickly and almost always easily. We will pack-bond with ANYTHING, with or without a brain. We, as humans, are weird, weird creatures and that just may be our saving grace when it comes to being integrated into a galactic society someday.

What I enjoyed most about these stories was how the humans always proved themselves to be better than expected, to be not the stereotype, even if that stereotype is warranted. Humans are always thought to be the scourge of the earth, or whatever planet we are on, because we tend toward destruction as a whole. Yet these stories show that we as a whole can also be some of the most useful and wanted species because of our ability to be destructive with a purpose, as well as the ability to form close connections with just about everyone quickly.

If you are in need of some hope in this time of hopelessness, then maybe pick up Humans Wanted and just how wonderful you can be. What do you think is your best trait? What is your favourite thing about yourself? Comment below, if you’d like, but honestly think about it and find something to love about yourself and write it down today!

Posted in books, comic books/graphic novels, ebook, goodreads, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Top Ten Long Titles

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Alrighty, this week’s theme is all about the long titles. And I will be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve read a lot of books with long titles, but I think I will use this also as an opportunity to go through my TBR and decide if these will be titles that I’ll keep on my TBR or not. So, onto the list below:

  1. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. I think this will be a keep, I still want to read some poetry at some point and this is supposed to be a good set to read.
  2. Silk, Vol. 0: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon by Robbie Thompson. While well-intentioned, I don’t think I’ll get around to reading this. Silk doesn’t strike me a character I’d keep up with and so she’ll sadly have to go.
  3. Serve the People: A Stir-fried Journey Through China by Jen Lin-Liu. I’ll keep a hold of this one, I like books about food.
  4. Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez. This one will also stay, it’s my history and I need to know more about my own tribe and this is one of the ways I can do that.
  5. All the Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson. While the premise for this book does intrigue me, I know that it’s not something that I will turn to and I honestly forgot that I have it on my TBR. Off it goes.
  6. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. A coworker of mine was reading this a few years ago, and that’s what brought it to my attention. While it does sound good, not my typical cup of tea. Off this one goes as well.
  7. Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances edited by Trisha Telep. Yeah…this one is going to stay. I’m weak against steampunk.
  8. The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams. I love Sherlock Holmes and I think A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman is in here, so I got to keep this if just to read the other stories.
  9. The Door in the Hedge and Other Stories by Robin McKinley. I do like Robin McKinley’s work, so I think I’ll keep this one on for when I’m in the mood for a retelling.
  10. GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett. Eh…I think I was interested in this because of Downton Abbey a few years ago, but not so much now. Off it goes.

  11. Alright, there are my top ten long titles on my TBR. While it seems like quite a few stayed, some did leave and that means my TBR grows just a bit shorter and has more books that I’d actually read on it. What books have been on your TBR for a while? How do you decide if they stay or go? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, ebook, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: How to Break Up with Your Phone

How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price

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*Published February 13, 2018*

Let’s just say that I’ve been looking for ways to break my addiction to technology because I use it so much! Like, I even watch episodes of a TV show while on my lunch! I need to stop and I need to find something else to do while on my lunch rather than watch TV shows…so, that’s part of the reason I picked up this book. And I’m just trying to improve my life in general.

How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price

Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone.

Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up “just to check,” only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone—but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution.

Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents a practical, hands-on plan to break up—and then make up—with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good.

You’ll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and learn how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You’ll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will ultimately enable you to take back control of your life.

This was an very information book about technology addiction and it was eye-opening to read it and find out a bit more about technology and how it leads to addiction. I also appreciated that after all the info, there was a was a plan for you to follow to “break up” with your technology, to put a halt in your addiction.

While I can’t seem to remember a whole lot about the book right now, I do know that there are things that I have taken away from reading this book that I have already incorporated into my life concerning my use of technology. There are obviously ways that I could be better at it, which is why I picked out this book in the first place, but I have already done better than I have before. This book gives easy to follow ideas and steps to ensure that you have a better relationship with your technology once you’re done. Even if you don’t follow the whole 30-day plan on breaking up with your technology, you will find something that you can do to make you life more yours rather than your technology’s.

Do you think you’re addicted to your technology? Do you wish to stop turning to your phone when you’re bored? Comment below and let me know and maybe think about how much you use your technology.

Posted in arcs, books, children, comic books/graphic novels, ebook, goodreads, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: September Update

Hey guys! I know that I missed out on writing a review last Friday but I have an excuse…I was painting my kitchen! Yes, I know, silly thing to be excited about, but as those of you know, and for those of you who don’t, here’s the low down: husband and I bought a house right before the lockdown began in our state. As I wasn’t going into work because my work wasn’t considered essential, I stayed at home (obviously), and worked getting our house in order. Fixing small things, learning how to fix bigger things, and I had plans to eventually paint our kitchen because it was all the same kind of boring, sad colour. And My dreams came true these past two weekends! I painted our sink alcove and our stove alcove this beautiful deep blue turquoise colour, and to test out a colour that we would like to paint our cabinets, a deep, warm red colour. They turned out beautifully and I’m so excited that our kitchen looks more like our own now!

Anyway, besides that exciting bit of news from my life that you all most likely didn’t need to know, today’s post is all about what I read in September. I read a total of 12 books throughout September, with 3 of them being comics/graphic novels, one ARC, and the rest being books. No audiobooks this past month, but I couldn’t really find anything that I really wanted to listen to.

I read <a href="; A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction, <a href="; The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore, <a href="; Sword of Destiny, <a href="; The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, <a href=";Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaption, The A.I. Chronicles, <a href="; Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, <a href="; Beauty, Glory, Thrift, <a href=";Sanctuary, Saint Young Men Omnibus, Vol. 1, and How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life. I would like to think that I read a diverse amount of books this past month and I’m excited to see what the month of October brings for me in the realm of reading. October is one of my favourite months of the year, and I just excited for it all around!

How did you month of reading go? Did you enjoy what you read this past month? What are you planning on reading for October? Comment below and let me know what your plans are for this spooky season!