Silence becomes a woman…: Reviewing The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Hi everyone! I hope everything is going well for you all. I have no vague life updates to give you, but I am doing my best to exercise the power of manifestation. I am also coming to you again with another retelling of The Iliad. By the way, if you haven’t actually read The Iliad or The Odyssey yet, then you absolutely should. The epic poem format can be intimidating, but I promise it is easy to read and understand. It can just be long-winded at times. I might make a list of classics that I highly recommend anyone read if you want to delve into the classics. In the meanwhile, let’s talk about The Silence of the Girls.

Content Warning: Discussions and Depictions of Graphic Violence, Discussions and Depictions of Sexual Assault, Offensive Language

Briseis was once a queen in her own right. Though her life was far from perfect, she was duty-bound to protect her people from the Greek armies. Her kingdom is invaded by Agamemnon’s forces, led by the famous Achilles. She is taken by Achilles as a war prize and forced to serve him. In the Greek camps, she does her best to forge bonds with the other captive women who are just trying to survive. As the Trojan war drags on, Briseis makes it her mission to save as many women and the memories of those who were claimed by a war fought over a woman.

I’m going to be honest right away: I was kind of disappointed by this book. The first part of the book is indeed about Briseis and the other women caught in the Trojan War. The second part is when it kind of falls apart as it randomly switches between Briseis’ story and Achilles’ story. It then eventually just becomes about Achilles for far too long. It kind of defeated the purpose of the entire book, in my opinion. I also can’t tell you exactly why but the book felt just weirdly misogynistic at times. Not in the sense that it was pointing out misogyny, but even in Briseis’ story the book was just kind of mean when discussing the other female characters and wasn’t sympathetic at times. I also just didn’t like the way the book ended at all. This is the first book in the series but I won’t be continuing it. Here is what I’m going to suggest instead: if you want a book about the women of The Iliad, read A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes. If you want a book about Achilles and/or his relationship with Patroclus, then read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

My Favorites of 2022

Hi everyone! I hope 2022 treated you well and that 2023 treats you better. I’m right back with my annual favorites list. I hope you all enjoy this list. It helps me remember everything I enjoyed and gives you all a short list of things you might want to check out in the future. I am wishing you all the best as we move into another new year,


  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
  • Mary B. by Katherine J. Chen
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno – Garcia
  • The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
  • The Dark Olympus series by Katee Robert
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
  • Winter’s Orbit and Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Star Wars: Brotherhood by Mike Chen
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
  • The Locked Tomb Trilogy by Tamsyn Muir
  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno – Garcia
  • Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink
  • This Thing Between Us by Gus Moreno
  • The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  • Horseman by Christina Henry
  • A God in the Shed by J-F. Dubeau
  • The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
  • Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang
  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel


  • Nope (dir. Jordan Peele)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (dir. Ryan Coogler)
  • The Batman (dir. Matt Reeves)
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (dir. Sam Raimi)
  • Werewolf by Night (dir. Michael Giacchino)

TV Shows

  • Andor: Season 1 (Disney +)
  • Ms. Marvel: Season 1 (Disney +)
  • Obi – Wan Kenobi (Disney +)
  • Moon Knight (Disney +)
  • The Sandman: Season 1 (Netflix)
  • House of the Dragon: Season 1(HBO Max)
  • Our Flag Means Death: Season 1 (HBO Max)
  • Interview with the Vampire (AMC +)
  • Fleabag: Seasons 1 and 2 (Prime Video)
  • The Boys: Season 3 (Prime Video)
  • What We Do In The Shadows: Seasons 1 – 4 (Hulu)
  • Abbot Elementary: Seasons 1 – 2 ( Hulu)
  • Stranger Things: Season 4 (Netflix)


  • Dawn FM by The Weeknd (album)
  • The Gods We Can Touch by AURORA (album)
  • Laurel Hell by Mitski (album)
  • Give Me the Future by Bastille (album)
  • Are You Happy Now? by Jensen McRae (album)
  • Dance Fever by Florence + the Machine (album)
  • Preacher’s Daughter by Ethel Cain (album)
  • PANORAMA by Hayley Kiyoko (album)
  • Hold On Baby by King Princess (album)
  • Unholy by Sam Smith feat. Kim Petras (album)
  • Swan Upon Leda by Hozier (single)
  • Midnights (3am Edition) by Taylor Swift (album)
  • Blood Upon the Snow by Hozier feat. Bear McCreary (single)
  • Mary On A Cross by Ghost (single)
  • MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT by Elley Duhe (single)
  • Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar (album)
  • Did you know there’s a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard by Lana Del Rey (single)
  • This Is Why and The News by Paramore (singles)
  • songs written for piano by Katie Gregson – MacLeod

Books I am “un-hauling” and/or Books I changed my mind about

Hi everyone! I hope you are finding some down time as we wrap up. I was kind of inspired by different social media platforms who were doing similar videos or posts about “un-hauling” or getting rid of books to make room for others. Also many others were talking about books they initially liked but, as time passed, realized they didn’t like them as much any more. I thought to myself “I’ve had this blog long enough and have read enough books that I can participate in this too.” For starters, I got rid of a bunch of young adult/middle grade books that I held on for nostalgia sake. Maybe you’ll be inspired to get rid of some books for the new years (I know, it can be difficult but you can do it!) Note: I am not saying don’t read these books. I am just saying that I don’t think they should be prioritized on your TBR List.

  • The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield – I loved this series in middle school but, as an adult, I realize the entire premise of these books are pretty problematic. It involves people having to get plastic surgery in order to be accepted by society and all of the characters are just weirdly okay with it. This is also the first example of a man who doesn’t know how to write a female character, especially a teen girl. It didn’t age well and there are plenty of better YA dystopian series out there.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I initially praised this book for being a fun, nerdy adventure. What I didn’t think about until later is how offensive this book really is. Ernest Cline does not understand how to write women as the few female characters that very one dimensional. The protagonist is kind of a know-it-all who gets a girl just by basically complimenting her once. I heard that the sequel was bad too. Don’t be too bothered if you’ve never read this one.
  • the sun and her flowers and milk and honey by Rupi Kaur – This isn’t me saying that Rupi Kaur is a bad poet necessarily as poetry is a pretty subjective form of writing. I do blame her for kicking off the “instagram poetry” trend. As someone who isn’t inherently a poetry fan, I appreciated her brevity. I do think, though, that we should embrace longer poetry. I also found her poems to be a little redundant at times.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – I read this book for the first time in college actually. Maybe I would have liked this more as a teenager but it didn’t resonate with me as an adult. I found Holden Caulfield to be just insufferable as a character. It’s a short novel but it somehow feels way too long.
  • A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Claire – I was initially incredibly excited to read this Hades and Persephone romance, but I got about five chapters in before hating this book. The writing is very juvenile and there were so many typos. I thought the world building was just too weird. All of the characters had horns for some reason. I just knew it wasn’t for me. I haven’t entirely given up on Ms. St Clair, though, as I do have A Game of Retribution on my TBR list. Just read Neon Gods instead.
  • The Children of Blood and Bone and The Children of Vengeance and Virtue by Tomi Adeyemi – I still really enjoyed the first book in this series and didn’t enjoy the second. As far as I know, there haven’t been any updates on if there is going to a be a third book. Also, like I said, I am moving away from YA novels.
  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake – This was a case of me buying into the hype of a book I heard of through Tik Tok. I was sadly let down. It was definitely a case of style over substance in the writing. I know the second novel in this series came out but I think I’ll be okay not reading it.
  • The Betrayals by Bridget Collins – Yet another disappointing dark academia novel. I don’t want to give up on Bridget Collins because I did like the writing. The book just felt entirely too anticlimactic to me.
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I realized entirely too late that this was just an over glorified self – help book. I think the premise isn’t terrible, but Haig just completely disregards how complex mental illness can be. There’s definitely better representations of mental health out there.
  • The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs – I am definitely still going to recommend this book series if you want a darker YA series. I just simply lost interest in this series.
  • Nick by Michael Farris Smith – I love The Great Gatsby and was so excited for this prequel. Unfortunately, I was let down. Just go read The Great Gatsby.
  • In the Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – I couldn’t tell you what happened in this book without having to look it up. One of my more unmemorable reads; an airport book through and through.
  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer – I am not ashamed to admit that I was a big Twilight fan back in the day. Naturally, I had to read this sci-fi novel by her. While it’s definitely written better than any of the Twilight books, it is still not that great. The bar for Stephanie Meyer is in the core of the earth.
  • The Bird Box by Josh Mallerman – This was a pretty underwhelming book despite having such a unique premise. I have no intention of revisiting this book any time soon.

I’ll be posting my annual favorites list soon! Be on the lookout for that!

I’ve got a bad feeling about this…: Reviewing Dark Force Rising (Book Two of the Thrawn Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn

Hi everyone! I hope you all are coping well with the stress of the holidays. Ugh. It’s a lot. I’m trying to get through my TBR list before Christmas because I basically only asked for books. I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted, really. Besides that, I wanted to continue this particular trilogy so let’s talk about Dark Force Rising.

Grand Admiral Thrawn’s campaign against the New Republic continues after acquiring what remains of the Imperial Fleet. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Land Calrissian try to uncover treason within the Republic Council and find themselves caught in a much larger conspiracy. Leia Organa Solo finds herself alone as she must gather more allies for the New Republic’s cause. Luke Skywalker, on the other hand, must contend with a Dark Jedi who wants to bring him to the dark side. It is a race against time before Thrawn launches his most powerful attack.

Upon delving into the world of Star Wars, I have discovered people either love the space politics and detail backstories or they just want lightsaber fights. This book contains mostly the former. Personally, I found the book to be very slow at points with the endless negotiating scenes and the political espionage. I am sure a bigger Star Wars fan might appreciate it a bit more than I. I still enjoyed the book, though. There were a lot of emotional stakes that made the world all the more interesting. I am still going to recommend this series to any Star War fan but, be warned, it is a bit long winded.

Something Severed and Something Joined: Reviewing The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Hi (again) everyone! Wow, another book review so soon after the last one. I’m not sure how that happened but, sometimes, determination wins. There’s nothing that gets me quite like the drive to finish a book when I have other things that need to be done. You know that whole struggle. This book has been sitting with me for a while now and I have wanted to finish it so badly. I have also wanted to discuss it so let’s talk about The Essex Serpent.

After the untimely death of her husband, Cora Seaborne decides to journey to the Essex coast. While there, she begins to hear rumors that the legendary and fearsome Essex Serpent has returned. Cora become determined to find proof of the creature’s existence with the help of the skeptical vicar, William Ransome. As the two search for the truth behind the legend, they find themselves drawn closer together and, soon, Cora must make a difficult choice as her past catches up with her.

For a while, I have been looking for a good historical fiction novel and this one definitely fit the bill. Perry’s writing is an ode to authors like the Brontes. It is a loving ode to Victorian era literature while also subverting many of the tropes. The novel certainly carries feminist undertones and rebels against how Victorian society is normally depicted while also being historically accurate. The novel is about human connection overall, which I greatly appreciated. I was pleasantly surprised by The Essex Serpent and would definitely recommend as a slow burn read for the cold weather.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…: Reviewing Heir to the Empire (Book 1 of the Thrawn Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn

Hello everybody! I hope everyone is enjoying the nice fall weather and getting just as excited for spooky season as me. I have a few horror novels that I am saving for October. Before I get into this review, I need to backtrack just a bit. About midway through lockdown, I decided that I was going to revisit the Star Wars franchise, but not the main movies. I initially began with The Mandalorian then fell deeper down the rabbit hole with Star Wars: The Clone Wars, then I began to read various Star Wars comics. I decided to take the plunge into Star Wars literature as I had heard good things about many of the novels associated with the movies since I need to read every book under the sun. Now, join me as we journey into the famous Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn.

It’s been five years since the Empire fell. Since then, Princess Leia and Han Solo have gotten married and are expecting twins. Luke Skywalker has become a fully fledged Jedi knight. Together, the three have been working to build the New Republic and bring peace to the galaxy. However, a new threat is on the horizon. Grand Admiral Thrawn, a brilliant and ruthless warlord, has taken control of the remnants of the Empire and plans to wipe out the burgeoning New Republic and, with a newly discovered power, he will stop at nothing to bring back the Empire.

I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with this first novel in the trilogy. Zahn’s novel feels as cinematic and action – packed as any of the movies in the Original trilogy. I am not sure how cannon these books are but I certainly liked how such classic characters like Luke, Han, and Leia were further developed. Thrawn is a great character on his own and he especially made me want to keep reading this book. You don’t need to know a ton about Star Wars lore going into this novel as Zahn creates a whole new journey to follow. I would definitely recommend this to the casual and die hard Star Wars fan alike as it is an immersive and exciting book that I wanted to finish so I could read the next one immediately.

Men Die. Gods Die. She Lives On: Reviewing The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Hello everybody! I hope everyone is enjoying this last bit of summer. I’ve been keeping busy but still reading more ravenously than I have in a while. Now, I’m a big mythology nerd so this whole new rise in mythology inspired – novels makes me very happy. In particular, Norse mythology has become more popular and I have become increasingly fascinated with the subject. This book was right on the top of my list for adaptations. So, let’s talk about The Witch’s Heart.

Angrboda began life as a powerful witch who was cast down by Odin after she refused to tell him about the future. This ending, however, was actually a brand new beginning for her. After escaping from her punishment, she meets Loki, the trickster god, and they fall in love. Their marriage produces strange heirs who all have a part to play in the end of the world. Angrboda’s best efforts to protect her children are thwarted once Ragnarok begins. With the help of the hunter goddess Skadi and a powerful she-wolf, Angrboda must decide whether to accept her fate or change the outcome completely.

Gornichec’s debut novel is solid its with fairy tale – esque writing and a focus on character study. Angrboda was a very relatable character as a woman trying to make her way in a world that does not understand her powers. I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the female gaze of this book as it benefited the characters immensely. The novel is also very accurate to the original myths and you do not have to have any previous knowledge before reading this. It was a novel worth savoring as it took its time to introduce such complex characters with complex motivations. I really loved this book and would recommend it if you enjoyed Madeline Miler’s Circe or are a fan of Norse mythology.

Quietly, Treacherously, Cruelly: Reviewing The Time of Contempt (Book Two of The Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hey everyone! How are you all doing? I really have nothing of importance to say. I just turned 25 so I have that going for me. Right now, though, I am just reading everything I can get my hands on. I have recently developed an interested with the Star Wars novelizations and got a copy of the first book in the Thrawn trilogy so expect to see that in the near future on this blog. Let’s keep going with my reviews of The Witcher series with the second installment in this saga.

It is a struggle for power as war against Nilfgaard is on the horizon. As tensions build among the monarchs, Gerald finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly coup. Meanwhile, Ciri clashes with Yennefer about her magical education. When an attack splits up the group, the three must find ways to survive in a world now ravaged by war and with many powerful enemies on every front.

I can say that, as much I am enjoying this series, I do have some mixed feelings. The exposition can be a bit much, especially since it is the second book in the series. I absolutely love when the action really gets going, though. Geralt is still very much a favorite character of mine and I love to read about him (and Yennefer). This book, however, focuses more on Ciri who I am not terribly attached to. I will say, though, if you like the “found family” trope then you will enjoy this particular installation of The Witcher series. I can still say that I am enjoying this series and plan on reading all of it as I do love high fantasy and escapism.

The Shape of Things Could Not be Defined: Reviewing Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno – Garcia

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and staying cool this summer. Remember that there is no such thing as bad reading weather. This particular book has been on my radar for a while now and for no real reason other than it sounded intriguing. In case you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of Gothic novels and I love seeing it translated by different authors from different cultures. I find it all so interesting how so many of these tropes and trademarks are almost universal. Before I rewrite my entire thesis, let’s talk about Mexican Gothic.

Noemi Taboada is a socialite who spends her days attending lavish parties and studying anthropology in Mexico City. She is drawn away from her carefree life when she receives a distressing and cryptic letter from her beloved cousin. Suspecting her cousin’s new husband is behind this, Noemi travels to the remote estate of El Triunfo. While there, Noemi is plagued by visions of death. With the help of the youngest son of the family, Noemi must uncover the dark secrets that lie within the manner before she too falls victim to something terrible.

The main reason why I loved this novel was that it gave me similar vibes to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Charlotte Perkins- Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Moreno – Garcia does an excellent job creating suspense as the setting is so claustrophobic for the characters and the reader. It is so atmospheric, which is something I always love to see when I’m reading. The novel takes some wild turns and I mean that in the best way possible. Visually speaking, the descriptions are equally gruesome and beautiful. The build up to the end absolutely pays off in the best way possible. I really enjoyed Mexican Gothic as it presented a fresh and interesting take on the horror genre in a way that I never expected when going into the novel

(Content Warning: The novel does contain mentions of assault, attempted assault, body horror, gore, and violence. Just a heads up in case you are not comfortable with the aforementioned topics)

‘…Men are Only Another Kind of Primate…’: Reviewing Devolution by Max Brooks

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far. It is still pretty overcast where I live so I’m just waiting to see the sun again. All weather is good reading weather, though, and I have been itching to finish this novel. I did read Brooks’ most notable novel, World War Z, a while ago in the height of the “zombie craze” and did thoroughly enjoy it. I personally love novels that are told through letters, interviews, etc. because I find them to be the most immersive. It has taken me far longer to finish this novel than I care to admit but I am more than happy to talk about Devolution, or its full title: Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre.

The unthinkable only leads to the horrifying after Mount Rainier erupts, decimating the newly founded, environmentally friendly community of Greenloop. In the aftermath of the explosion, the journals of resident Kate Holland are discovered and reveal a horrifying encounter with giant, ape-like creatures. Max Brooks inserts himself into this story in order to make sure Kate’s harrowing tale is told, while also confronting the horrifying truth that the creature known as Bigfoot is very real and very dangerous.

Max Brooks has a real talent for making these stories about the ridiculous seem the most realistic. While Bigfoot plays a huge part in this book, the focus of the book is the people and how they react to this situation. We all like to think that we could pull ourselves together during the worst case scenario, but that is rarely the case and Brooks does an excellent job demonstrating the range of ways a person could react to such an extreme situation. It did remind me quite a bit of Jurassic Park in the best way The novel challenges the idea of people thinking that they could truly live in harmony with nature, which is always an interesting topic. I should add that the novel does begin rather slowly but when it gets going, it gets good. Devolution is an interesting read for Bigfoot believers and non-believers alike. If you want a violent tale of survival, then this is the book for you.