The Makings of a Good Redemption Arc (a discussion of The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala)

Hey there guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today, I want to tell you all about another book that I bought months ago and only recently finished (because I am trash like that). I posted one of my usual ‘pick my next read from my physical TBR’ polls on Twitter (which I started doing in an attempt to knock some items off of the catastrophically large pile of books I haven’t read yet) and the book that won that particular poll was The Tiger at Midnight, by Swati Teerdhala.

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Get this book here!

One aspect of this book immediately caught my attention, and that’s the redemption arc one of the main characters undergoes. It got me thinking about redemption arcs in general, and how authors sometimes don’t really get to pull it off well because they fundamentally misunderstand their own characters (I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling).

What really struck me about The Tiger at Midnight and its featured redemption arc is how well it was done. Redemption arcs – especially those that feature the character being redeemed falling in love with a hero – can often be fraught with toxic pitfalls, but this book avoided them neatly and nicely. And in this blog entry, I break down what was it about this redemption arc that made it work!

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When Do Slow-Paced Books Work? (a discussion of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson)

It was too slow-paced. I was bored. I kept flipping pages to get to the end. These phrases are just some of the common criticisms we hear often regarding books that are either slow-paced or have a stretched out plot. Sometimes, those criticisms are valid. After all, I’ve done my fair share of flipping through books that I felt were taking for-fucking-ever to get to the point like Wicked Saints.

However, I’d like to present my hot take for the day: a slow pace can be fit a book better than a fast one, and it totally depends on the author’s ultimate goals for their audience’s reading experience.

A perfect example is the book I recently finished, Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. At first, I was pretty reluctant to pick up the book because I’d been seeing mixed reviews of it online, but I decided to one day (the day me, JM, Inah, and Miel went to Pride, incidentally!) because a) that cover is gorgeous, and b) it was on sale!

After an interminably loooong time (I mean, clearly – I bought it in June and just finished reading it in November, lol) I finally picked up this book, went very quickly through it, and realized that I actually disagreed with most people’s assessment that the book was boring!

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Purchase this book here.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Not everyone’s going to have the same opinion about a book. But I do think that, in general, we’ve been spoiled by fast-paced, action-packed YA books where everything moves along really quickly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Some of my favorite books play out like a movie on the page. But because we’re so used to things being set in motion quickly, we’ve come to expect that same treatment for almost every book we read.

I believe that the slow pace worked just fine for Sorcery of Thorns and added an aspect to the book that would not have been there had the plot gone faster.

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[Book Review] The Never-Tilting World – Rin Chupeco // steampunk fantasy about climate change (!!!)

It really is no secret that Rin Chupeco is one of my favourite authors of all time. Her books at some core always feature an angry girl discontented with the status quo, and her efforts to bring about change.

The Never-Tilting World is almost exactly the same. Why do I say almost? Because this magnificent gem of a book, the first of a duology, features not just one angry girl, but two. Not to mention the people that love them, and all the trials and tribulations they’re willing to undergo for their sakes.

Read on to find out just what I loved about The Never-Tilting World, and why this steampunk fantasy about climate change should be your next read!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Book Review] Crier’s War – Nina Varelas // a philosophical look at what makes us human

It’s been over a week since I finished reading this.

I.

HAVE NOT.

STOPPED.

SCREAMING.

I was already expecting a lot from Crier’s War because so many book bloggers whose opinions I trust loved it and couldn’t stop raving about it. So you can imagine how pleased I was that not only did this book meet my expectations, it fucking surpassed them! Read on to find out why!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
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[Book Review] The Dragon Warrior – Katie Zhao // a love letter to Chinese culture

Let me tell you, it was absolutely NOT easy to get reading done in between the absolute hellish week I had – but it was all worth it. I won’t bore you with descriptions of how I was positively buried under wild amounts of work this week, but suffice it to say that I absolutely felt it necessary to sacrifice some things (like sleep lol) just to get some reading in. That’s how much I adored this book.

But enough about me and my woes! Let’s get on with the review!

(As always, thank you Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea for having me on this tour, and for always boosting Asian authors!)

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Discussion Post] Jade War – Fonda Lee // fantasy in the time of globalization

Welcome to my stop on the Jade War Tour, guys, gals, and enby pals! Thank you so much to Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, Caffeine Book Tours, Orbit Books, and of course Fonda Lee for letting me be a part of this blog tour, and for sending over an ARC of Jade War, a pin of Empire of Sand (click the link to read my glowing review!), and a letter from the Pillar Fonda Lee herself! The personal touches were the best thing about this package in my opinion, and I can’t think Fonda enough not only for bringing the Green Bone Saga universe into being, but for also taking the time to connect with her fans!

This is probably gonna be a long ass review, so grab your drink of choice and get comfy!

I did my best to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, but of course, tread cautiously!

Let’s get started!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Book Review + Giveaway!] Spin the Dawn – Elizabeth Lim // one of the most beautiful fairy tales I’ve ever read

Mulan crossed with Project Runway? Doesn’t that sound like one of the most intriguing things ever? When I saw Spin the Dawn being pitched that way, I scrambled for any way to get my hands on ARC. Luckily, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea launched the #SpinTheDawnTour and I was one of the lucky folks who got a slot!

Elizabeth Lim, by the way, is a complete and utter gem. Not only did tour participants get ARCs, but she also got us pre-order goodies! However, I can’t really show off my collection until tomorrow. As I write this review, I’m at my mom’s house in the south, and unfortunately, I left my set of pre-order cards and stickers at my apartment. (Oof. 😔) I’ll take photos when I get back, but suffice it to say, the swag is super pretty and well-made! Best of all, she and Knopf Books for Young Readers have also got an international giveaway going! Everybody say thank you, Elizabeth!

More than the swag and giveaway though, I have to say that reading this book was an incredibly enjoyable journey. There were a few bumps along the way which I will talk about more here, but all in all, this was a great read that I’m eager to share with everyone.

Please note though that this review contains spoilers, so tread cautiously.

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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