Review: The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Series: The Gilded Wolves
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

I picked up The Gilded Wolves because I saw it billed as fantasy National Treasure, and, um, YES. However, it ended up being more of a steampunk-aesthetic-magic version of Indiana Jones really. Which again, YES. But I just wanted … more.

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New Job

I don’t know if I shared this on my blog or not, but a couple of months ago I quit my teaching job for next school year. Because I don’t have enough on my plate right now, I had to add looking for a new school. lol

It was terrifying. I’m horrible at the job hunt bit of adulting. I don’t know, I just can’t get the hang of cover letters or interviews. I quite like the school I am at, but the drive is killing me because I’m just not getting to spend enough time with my kids. There were some other reasons, but the biggest one was commuting for 120-150 minutes every day.

But yesterday I was offered a job! I am really excited. It’s close to home, it seems like a great school, and I’m just looking forward to a fresh start. I’m doing something completely different than I’ve ever done before, but I can’t wait to teach BOOKS!

So I just wanted to tell you guys. Too excited to keep it to myself. *squee!!!!*

Review: The City of Brass

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Series: The Daevabad Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 


Honestly, I adored it so much that I’m not sure I can even really talk about what it is that I liked so much. I’m not sure I really know what it is that I liked so much. It was different from anything I’d ever read before, it was so well written, it checked all the boxes of things I love in a fantasy book. I just … loved it.

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Two Year Blogoversary

Oh. My. Goodness.

Has it really been two years???? It’s hard to believe, but this blog is older than my baby. I can’t believe that I’ve actually stuck with it for this long, but even more that I am STILL ENJOYING BLOGGING as much as I did in the beginning, if not more!

Things have been really crazy here on year 2 of Never Not Reading. Some notable moments have been:

  • I turned 30 😬
  • Starting Grad School (and therefore blogging less…)
  • New look and gorgeous cover image
  • Started hosting Calendar Girls

I’ve still got another year or so of graduate school, so thank you all for sticking with me even though I haven’t been around that much. I still can’t believe that there are 1,000 people who care what I have to say about books. Thank you for being my friends. Love you guys. You make this amazing.

Review – The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson

Genres: True Crime, Non-Fiction
Maturity Level: 5-
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them–and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.

This. Book. Was. Nuts! In the very best possible way.

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Review: The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Genre: Thriller
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis of this one. The premise was so interesting! A cult about keeping marriages together. Sure! It seemed realistic enough, something one could easily get sucked into on accident. I was looking forward to seeing where this whole thing would go, how and why their lives would be in imminent danger.

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Review: Space Opera

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Series: Space Opera
Genre: Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix – part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny – they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London – Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes – have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

If I had realized this novel was British I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. I knew it was a comedy, but for whatever reason British humor doesn’t work for me written down. Maybe it’s the accent missing, or something, I don’t know. But this was definitely in the tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so however you feel about that book, you are likely to have similar feelings about Space Opera.

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