book bucket

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Book Review: I run a monthly poll on my daily blog where voters choose a book I read each month from my Book Bucket List. Last month, voters chose Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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Before I get into the review, a few housekeeping items… I do not normally read fantasy or young adult books as a regular part of my reading genres. I tend to prefer historical, contemporary, thriller or mystery fiction; however, I try to branch out each month and read something out of my ‘comfort zone.’ I love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games, and many more, so I do often find myself with top ratings for books in fantasy and young adult. Before I opened Six of Crows, I had been warned the first 50 to 75 pages would be difficult until I was absorbed into the story, given all the background on the fantasy world and the new terms / descriptions; however, I was not warned it was almost 500 pages long. I probably should have put something smaller on the list that voters could have chosen! Let’s get into the review…

The plot, characters, setting, themes and perspectives are intense and beautiful. I could easily see the story unfolding before my eyes as I immersed myself into the new world. It feels like this could grow as popular as some of the other fantasy tomes I’ve read (see above) among various reader groups. It hits all the sweet spots for transferring your mind from the monotonous and ordinary to an explosively and wildly imaginative universe. The way character back stories are woven together, the order in how events unfold and the dynamics between so many of the major and supporting characters is well thought out, planned and developed. Kudos to the author for building such an amazing playground for readers to frolic in.

All that said, I struggled through the book – not because it wasn’t a good one – because it was so different from what I normally read and enjoy. I need clarity on a world when I read about it mostly because I like to figure out the connections and history of what’s going on. I wasn’t sure of the boundaries and parameters here because it could literally have gone anywhere (then again, that’s the point of fantasy, so it seems like an obvious statement). If I put my analytical cap on, I think had I watched this as a film to gain the broader perspective of all the components of the world and the character profiles, I might have had a strong enough baseline to let myself become completely absorbed in the book while reading it afterwards. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible at the moment, so I read it first.

One of the key things I believe in life – especially as a book reviewer and a writer – is to be honest and fair, but to also look at a situation from all perspectives. This is a tremendously good book with a huge and wide appeal for its audience. It wasn’t an ideal match for me as a reader, perhaps right now, or perhaps given its genre. That said, rating it is tough. Ratings are personal and reflect how a reader feels about a book, but as an author, I would hate for someone to rate my book poorly because it wasn’t a good match for them; because a reader doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t a fantastic book. It is in that tenuous space that I try to come up with a rating that is fair given all the circumstances. If I loved fantasy and this type of novel, it would hands-down be a 5-star rating. Because this is not something that normally appeals to me with great significance, it’s probably a 3-star rating. To be fair, I think the book deserves a middle-ground to represent the best of both worlds – my personal opinion and that of a critical reader and author.

4-stars to this book… while some may applaud my effort to be fair, others might yell at me for misunderstanding the book or not being creative enough. Either way, I would recommend this to anyone who loves this genre or even wants to explore the genre more. If you’re not a fan of this type of work, don’t start here. You won’t be able to absorb what is probably the true greatness of this book and its appeal until you’ve had a bit more experience in the fantasy world.

Kudos to the author… and hopefully people reading my review see that I did not follow my normal review style in this book, rather I took a step back to find the best approach for me to review it. Thank you to the voters in my poll. I’m definitely open to more fantasy, but perhaps I should start a bit lighter to grow into this genre. I think you voted A Crown of Thorns and Roses for November… here I go!

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 179 – Site

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Site: the location of the James J. Cudney author website

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Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is a simple one: site — as in welcome to the initial creation of my new website as an author. In the coming weeks, more content will be added for the launch of my first novel, Watching Glass Shatter.

On a go forward basis, This Is My Truth Now will be my personal blog and book review site, but all author and book content will transition over to the author website at:

https://jamesjcudney.com

Please take a moment to sign up with your name and email address to receive messages whenever new content is added to the site. Your contact information will not be shared with anyone other than the author and team maintaining this website.

Stay tuned for upcoming giveaways, marketing plans, launch dates and information on how you can get involved.

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If you have any feedback or ideas, please feel free to share thoughts on the new website. Thank you to everyone for your participation

 

BOOK BUCKET LIST NEWS:  “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas was the winner and will be my October 2017 read.

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About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 111 – Winner

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Winner: a person who gains victory

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We’re all winners! Even if you don’t know why. Today marks the beginning of the seventh month of 2017; some consider it the official second half of the year’s beginning. Technically, given the way the days break down each month, we truly don’t begin the second half of 2017 until Monday, July 3rd, which means that today’s post can’t be about beginnings. It can be about endings, though, right? Two things ended yesterday… the polls I launched last month… so let’s get to them:

Book Bucket List Choice

In the middle of June, I opened a poll to help me choose which book from my Book Bucket List I should read in July. Polls closed last night and the winner is:

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I will purchase the book in the next few days, and once it arrives, I’ll confirm the dates I plan to read it — tentatively set to the third week in July. Anyone want to buddy read with me?

Many thanks to everyone who participated. And when I begin the book, I’ll open a new poll for the book you’d like me to read from my Book Bucket List in August.

Next Book I Will Write

In early June, I opened a poll to help me choose what I should focus my attention on for a next novel — see post here. Based on everyone’s input, I closed the poll last night and verified the winner is: Father Figure. A description is listed below.

  • Amalia Graeme, sheltered and abused for most her life in Mississippi, longs to escape her difficult family and small hometown in 1984. When her older brother returns with his best friend by his side, Amalia is tempted to have her first experience with a boy that summer. As they head off to college for her first year and his senior year, she begins to learn about life and love, battling her loss of innocence with a new attraction she’s developed to an older professor. After she suffers a few personal tragedies, Amalia is forced to head back home, uncertain how to handle the permanent impacts on her life and future. No matter where she turns, someone or something always takes away the possibility of her hope to find happiness and to escape.
  • Brianna Porter is a typical angst-ridden teenager living in New York City in 2004, struggling to choose a college, build confidence in herself and interpret intimidating and growing feelings for her best friend. But for Brianna, these paralytic decisions all stem from desperately needing to meet the father whom her mother refuses to discuss, before she can accept her own identity and determine her life purpose. When her best friend suggests hiring a detective, and they stumble upon her mother’s old journal, Brianna learns a shocking secret about her father, rocked by a truth that could completely change both their futures. It may be too late to deal with the impacts of unleashing a history that was meant to stay buried for many reasons. When it leads to someone’s death, Brianna must come to terms with the choices she’s made and what is left of her own future.

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I am going to start putting together a detailed outline and timeline next week. I will keep everyone updated with a weekly post on how the plans are going.

Based on a few conversations with some very smart people, I’m re-thinking how much content I will post each week from the actual book / novel / chapters. You’ll still have an opportunity to read about the plot and characters, but I may not post every chapter. I might ask for a few beta readers who’d be willing to read offline and provide feedback.

More to come with the first official post to occur the weekend of July 7th thru 9th. Thank you to everyone for voting, commenting and advising.

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So that’s why this is about winning! And moving on to the next half of the year beginning on Monday, Jul 3rd. How about you? Any winners or losers out there this weekend? Any plans for your upcoming second half of 2017?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.