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Flames to Embers {July 2014}

Flames to Embers

I’m not able to get to all the books I receive for review consideration, so to reduce stress and start with a clean slate each month, I feature the ones that I didn’t get to read in Flames to Embers. All the books I request start out as flames in my heart, but for various reasons, some of them burn down to embers and I lose desire or time to read them. I hope that you find something that draws your interest though and feel free to encourage me to give something another try!


July was a pretty crazy month for me in terms of traveling, medical weirdness, and emotional weariness from dealing with both. Therefore, I had no qualms about reading lighter things that I was pretty sure I could handle and letting myself miss a few more review books than I normally would. Which of these do you think I should try to get back to someday? (Also since the blurbs might have spoilers for previous books, I’ve marked which ones are sequels to help you avoid those blurbs if you want to.)

The Vast and Brutal Sea (Book Three)

The Vast and Brutal Sea

This epic clash of sand and sea will pit brother against brother-and there can only be one winner

In two days, the race for the Sea Court throne will be over-but all the rules have changed. The sea witch, Nieve, has kidnapped Layla and is raising an army of mutant sea creatures to overthrow the crown. Kurt, the one person Tristan could depend on in the battle for the Sea King’s throne, has betrayed him. Now Kurt wants the throne for himself. Tristan has the Scepter of the Earth, but it’s not enough. He’ll have to travel to the mysterious, lost Isle of Tears and unleash the magic that first created the king’s powerful scepter. It’s a brutal race to the finish, and there can only be one winner.

I really should know better than to request the third book when I haven’t read the first two, but I really thought that I could make it work this time. I’ve had Vicious Deep on my actual shelf for over a year since I wanted to read it last summer. I was therefore determined to finally get through this series. That didn’t happen even a little bit evidently. Any of you absolutely love this series?

The Buried Life

The Buried Life

The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

Argh, this pains me so much since I was so excited for The Buried Life when I first heard of it! But now I’m just not in the mood for steampunk murder mysteries even though I’ve received several now for review. Did anyone get a chance to read this one? I really want to know how the writing is, since if it is compelling enough with good characters, I could probably still get into it, haha.

Where Silence Gathers

Where Silence Gathers

In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.

For as long as she can remember, Alexandra Tate has been able to see personified Emotions, and she’s found a best friend in Revenge. He’s her constant companion as she waits outside Nate Foster’s house, clutching a gun. Every night since Nate’s release from prison, Alex has tried to work up the courage to exact her own justice on him for the drunk driving accident that killed her family.

But there’s one problem: Forgiveness. When he appears, Alex is faced with a choice—moving on or getting even. It’s impossible to decide with Forgiveness whispering in one ear . . . and Revenge whispering in the other.

I was a bit meh about the first book, Some Quiet Place, but intrigued enough with the world and awesomeness that is emotions incarnate that I wanted to see what else I could learn in the companion novel. However, I started hearing not ecstatic things and have now kind of lost interest since I wasn’t over the moon with the pace of the first book.

The Shadow Throne (Book Two)

The Shadow Throng

Anyone can plot a coup or fire an assassin’s bullet. But in a world of muskets and magic, it takes considerably more to seize the throne.

The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries—and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. The most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. Having meticulously silenced his adversaries through intimidation, imprisonment, and execution, Orlanko is the most feared man in the kingdom.

And he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy.

Exposure would mean ruin, but Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself—and her country—out of Orlanko’s iron grip. She finds unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich, fresh from a brilliant campaign in the colony of Khandar, and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass.

As Marcus and Winter struggle to find their places in the home they never thought they would see again, they help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could free Vordan from Orlanko’s influence—at the price of throwing the nation into chaos. But with the people suffering under the Duke’s tyranny, they intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise.

This is what I get for requesting a second book without having read the first. Given the praise heaped upon The Thousand Names, I couldn’t see how anything could go wrong. However, I discovered that I’m apparently not actually that into muskets and magic fantasy as I assumed I would be. The first book had way too much of the muskets and not enough magic for me, and I just can’t get over my fear that book two will be the same.

So those are the four books that came out this month that I wasn’t able to read and review as I’d hoped. I thought there would be a more obvious trend of adult books, but it turned out half and half between adult and YA. I guess it wasn’t so much that I was avoiding adult books as just embracing mood reading where ever it takes me ;-). There are still two July books, Dissonance and Prototype, that I really want to read, so I’m not giving up on them yet!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I was sent The Shadow Throne when I haven’t read the first either. I have lent the first to Maggie’s husband in hopes he’ll read and review both of them. We’ll see if that happens. I do that too accept books that are second in a series without reading the first. But I’ve been MUCH stricter on myself now – whenever I feel the temptation to do that I just go ahead and buy the first book and tell myself if I read it and like it I can buy the second book or ask for the second one if it release date is still that month. But I always end up not reading the book. But hey I’m at least buying a book I found interesting. So yeah I gotta keep myself out of trouble that way.

    Thought every once in a while I get too tempted and like the third Ripper Affair book from Orbit I asked if it was possible to read as a stand alone because it just sounded so good and now I have all three books I’ll end up reading. haha

    Oh Where Silence Gathers I DNFd…..I did NOT like it and I even loved the first. I haven’t felt like reading The Buried Life yet either. But hopefully I will. Currently though I’m so sick I haven’t read much in over week.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Dark Eden by Chris BeckettMy Profile

    • Yup, I had thought I was safe because so many people loved Thousand Names, but shocker, I have slightly different taste apparently, hehe. I’m going to be good from now on I think and do that same thing, if I borrow the first from the library and don’t get to it before the due date, clearly I wasn’t that excited!

      I’m glad I’m not missing anything with Where Silence Gathers since I definitely think I can rely on your tastes for that one ;-)

  2. Feel no shame about skipping Where Silence Gathers. I haven’t read it, but I have it on good authority, it’s not good. Which is a shame, but at least that’s one book you don’t have to worry about finding time for. :)
    Kel (Booked til Tuesday) recently posted…Updates: Family & Book BuyingMy Profile

    • Haha, sounds good. Yeah, the idea of the world is so so cool and I just wish that the writing had pulled me in more for book one :-/

  3. I don’t know any of these, except Dissonance, which I’m so glad you didn’t give up on. It was so good & I especially loved the creative world. Good luck with your picks next month!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Coffee Shop Talks | Best Covers of 2015 So FarMy Profile

    • Yes that world was awesome! I am proud of myself for having read Dissonance and currently reading Prototype so I won’t be too far behind ;-)

  4. I can’t comment on the books you gave up on, but you should definitely get to Prototype. It’s really good.
    Sarah recently posted…Discussion: Do Reading Challenges Make You Feel More ProductiveMy Profile

  5. I hope August is better than July was! I haven’t ready any of these myself, but The Buried Life sounds really good. I love murder mysteries though, so murder + steampunk sounds awesome to me.

    • Thanks, me too! Yeah, I was really excited about The Buried Life when I first got it, but then I got in such a funk that I needed only happy things, hehe. I think I might try it at some point since I do still really like the idea.

  6. I would suggest the vicious deep. It is lighthearted , funny with a lot of has a Disney ‘s ariel feel to it at some parts. The atmospheric qualities . Also the male Mc is so lovely ^_^ so that’s my comment . have a great upcoming week

  7. I am sorry to hear you weren’t able to read much. I do hate when that happens. The Buried Life sounds really good!

  8. I’m sorry to hear your month wasn’t that great. I hope August is better for you. :) I haven’t read any of these books, but the Buried Life sounds interesting. I understand how it goes, sometimes I’m just in the mood for something happy. That’s the problem with requesting ahead of times, I’m not always in the same mood when I’m approved as when I requested the books.

    • Thanks! August should definitely be better here and there but classes start on the 27th D:

      Exactly, when I requested them, I completely thought I’d love them, but I just can’t manage it right now and it stresses me out having so many overdue books!

  9. I actually loved Where Silence Gathers – maybe even more than Some Quiet Place – but I know I’m in a minority. The pacing is still an issue in WSG, but I had more of an emotional connection to the MC so I didn’t feel the slowness as much. I actually haven’t read the others, so I can’t say much about them!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Review: There Will Come a Time by Carrie ArcosMy Profile

  10. I definitely know what you mean about losing the excitement for books you have for review, or even books you have bought yourself. Hopefully in the near future you might find some kind of fire to enjoy them again soon. I cannot say I have picked up any of these books or the series they belong too. Although, I definitely want to try Vicious Deep sometime soon!

  11. For what it is worth the second book of Wexler’s series is a complete 180, it is a political fantasy set within the empire where a kickass princess fights a corrupt Duke; while a few characters from the first adjust to living in a city again.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘The Widow’s House’ by Daniel AbrahamMy Profile

    • That is actually quite good to know. I’m still not super in to political intrigue plots, but it does appeal more than military scenes ;-). Is the magic more prevalent?

  12. The only one of these I’ve read is Where Silence Gathers-which I DNFed :-( I loved the first book but couldn’t get into this one.


  1. […] older books that I own and am not 100% dying to read anymore. I also have a monthly features called Flames to Embers where I discuss the review books that I didn’t get a chance to read and am not sure I will be […]

  2. […] @ On Starships and Dragonwings started a new feature called “Flames to Embers” where she showcases books she requested but then lost interest in reader after a while. I think […]

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