Tuesday, December 28, 2021

REVIEW: Finna (audio novella) by Nino Cipri, read by Amanda Dolan

Finna is an LGBT science fiction novella. I checked it out via one of my OverDrive accounts.


Ava and Jules recently had a painful breakup, which is made worse by the fact that they both work at the same LitenVärld, an IKEA knockoff store. When a coworker calls in sick, Ava reluctantly agrees to come in only to discover that Jules is also working that day. Then a customer's grandmother goes missing, and Ava and Jules are suddenly forced to work together to find the woman, a task that will involve traveling through multiple wormholes to multiple LitenVärld variations. 

REVIEW: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (book) by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a YA Wonder Woman tie-in novel. According to my records, I bought it brand new, but I can't actually remember buying it.


Princess Diana is keenly aware that, unlike the other Amazons on the island of Themyscira, she was born an Amazon and has never really had to prove herself. She's so desperate to show that she's worthy that she joins a race even her own mother doesn't think she can win. But she has trained in secret and knows she'll manage it...until she spots a shipwreck and sees a human girl drowning. Although it'll cost her the race and there are strict rules against bringing mortals to Themyscira, Diana can't bring herself to just let the girl die.

Unfortunately, the girl, Alia Keralis, turns out to be a Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy. She's unknowingly a catalyst for conflict, and her power has only gotten stronger as she's gotten older. Unless she's killed, she's doomed to plunge the world into war by her very existence. However, there's another solution: the Warbringer can be purified and her curse kept from being passed on if she makes it to a spring at Therapne before the sun sets on the first day of Hekatombaion, which is happening in about a week.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

REVIEW: I'm the Villainess So I'm Taming the Final Boss, Vol. 1 (book) by Sarasa Nagase, illustrated by Mai Murasaki, translated by Taylor Engel

I'm the Villainess So I'm Taming the Final Boss is yet another "reborn as the villainess in an otome game" fantasy romance light novel series. It's published by Yen On. I bought my copy brand new.

This review includes mild spoilers.


At the worst possible moment, when Aileen's fiance, Prince Cedric, is publicly ending their betrothal so he can be with Lilia Reinoise, Aileen remembers her past life as a sickly Japanese girl who loved otome games. Specifically, the otome game that she now realizes she's in. Unfortunately, Aileen is the villainess, doomed to die as Claude, the demon prince and the game's final boss, transforms into a dragon and awakens into his true demonic powers.

Aileen decides that the best way to deal with this situation is to find Claude and make him her husband before his and Lilia's storyline even starts. Her memories of the game are a little fuzzy, so she doesn't immediately remember all of her possible death flags, but she figures that as long as she concentrates on Claude, she can deal with the rest as needed.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

REVIEW: Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter, Vol. 2 (book) by Reia, illustrated by Haduki Futaba, translated by Andria Cheng

Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter is a fantasy "reborn as the villainess in an otome game" series. It's published under Seven Seas' Airship imprint. I bought my copy brand new.


I made the mistake of not reviewing this right after I finished it, so my memories are fuzzy. I figured it was best to finally write something up before starting the third book and further muddying my memories.

A couple years have passed since the beginning of the first book, and Iris is doing well. Her company is thriving, and she's doing a brilliant job governing Armelia. She's gone back to the palace for the first time since her fiance dumped her, to attend the Foundation Day celebration, and even that's gone relatively smoothly.

However, there's political unrest brewing, and Iris has shadowy opponents in high places who are setting her up to fail. Luckily for her, she still has quite a few friends and supporters, but will it be enough?

REVIEW: One of Us Is Lying (e-book) by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying is a YA mystery/thriller. I checked it out via one of my library OverDrive accounts.


It all starts with detention. Five students at Bayview High whose social circles don't usually all overlap find themselves cooped up together. Soon, one of them ends up dead, killed by a peanut allergy after drinking water from a peanut oil-tainted paper cup. One of them is almost certainly the killer, but which one is it?

The story is told from alternating POVs. There's Bronwyn, a perfect student who's destined to get into an Ivy League school. There's Addy, the pretty girlfriend of Jake, the captain of the football team. There's Cooper, a rising star baseball player. And there's Nate, a detention regular who's already on probation for dealing. Simon, the victim, ran a gossip blog and knew secrets about each of them that he'd been preparing to expose to the world. Could someone have killed him in order to protect themselves?

Friday, December 17, 2021

REVIEW: Ice Planet Barbarians (book) by Ruby Dixon

Ice Planet Barbarians is sci-fi romance (erotic romance?). I bought it brand new. From what I can tell, it was previously self-published.

This review includes slight spoilers.


Georgie is an ordinary 22-year old woman who works at a bank drive-thru teller window. She wakes up from a weird dream to discover that she's been abducted by aliens, along with several other 22-year old women. One of the women, Kira, was implanted with a translation device, so she's able to tell them all what's going on. They've been abducted to be sex slaves, and anyone who screams or puts up a fight gets raped. Even so, Georgie doesn't want to give up, and she is saved from horrific failure by a conveniently timed crash landing.

Unfortunately, now the surviving women are stuck on a icy planet with only a small amount of food, no heat, and a high likelihood that the aliens that kidnapped them will be retrieving them in the near future. As the group's unofficial leader, Georgie heads off to look for food, help, or anything else useful and soon finds herself under the care of Vektal, a big blue alien with a tail, horns, and a love of cunnilingus. Georgie is somehow not horrified, and Vektal doesn't seem to be interested in hurting her. Has she found someone who can help her and the other women?

Hades (the game), an update

I recently went on a trip for a week, and before my flight, I was determined to beat the final boss in Hades. I succeeded, at which time I discovered what people meant when they said that the game really begins after that point. More story, more gameplay options, etc.

I really am terrible at this game, but not quite 100% terrible. God Mode is still on, but it only (lol, only) took until about 72% invulnerability for me to beat all the bosses. The lasers were my biggest hurdle, and now that I know their secret, that part of the final battle is practically restful.

I've made it through maybe four times now, and due to the way info is doled out, I suspect it'll take at least another six times to finish the main story and who knows how many additional times to fill up my relationship meters with everybody. I'm looking forward to it, even if the game is hard on my hands (compression gloves are my savior).

REVIEW: The Perks of Loving a Wallflower (book) by Erica Ridley

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower is the second book in Ridley's The Wild Wynchesters historical romance series. I bought it brand new.

This review includes major spoilers, which I warn about just before discussing. If you'd like to read this review with spoilers hidden, I recommend my cross-posting on Goodreads or LibraryThing.


In the previous book in this series, which I haven't read, Miss Philippa York was betrothed to a duke who fell in love with that book's heroine instead, and married her. Thankfully, Philippa wasn't in love with him and doesn't mind, and she and Chloe, the woman the duke married, are friends. However, Philippa understands that she does still need to marry someone. Because of an inheritance, she doesn't need money, but it would help her father's political ambitions a great deal if she married someone with a title. The problem is that Philippa is a bluestocking who'd much rather host her reading circle than moon over some duke, and she's well aware that marriage could spell the end of all the activities she enjoys.

Thomasina Wynchester is a master of disguise who regularly assists with the cases her family takes on. Although she previously never had trouble charming ladies into her bed, now there's only one woman who interests her: Philippa. Unfortunately, she can't even bring herself to have a normal conversation with her. The best she's managed is to attend Philippa's reading circle disguised as Chloe's slightly senile "great-aunt." With some encouragement from her family, however, she does finally manage to talk to and flirt with Philippa...disguised as Baron Vanderbean.

As the Wynchesters help Philippa with a case involving an old manuscript and a man taking credit for the work done by one of Philippa's reading circle friends, Tommy wonders if she can somehow win Philippa's heart as herself and what will happen to the two of them if she succeeds.