It’s been ages since I’ve written a monthly recap (almost two years, y’all!) and I’ve missed it. Here I’ll be recapping what I’ve been up to in April and May: books read, posts written, and personal life updates. Strap in folks, because there’s a lot to cover!

What I Read in April and May:






Not a bad couple of reading months, if I do say so myself! There were a few real standouts (An Extraordinary Union, Borrowed Souls, The Bear and the Nightingale, The Dark Days Pact) and only one major disappointment (Wanted and Wired) so I’m calling that a win. For a quick breakdown, I read 8 ARCs, 6 library books, and 4 books from my personal collection.


General Miscellany and Life Updates:

As some of you may already know, April is Fantasy Cafe’s Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Month. All of the posts on the website are designed around the topic, with authors, industry professionals, and bloggers who identify as women writing about womanhood and speculative fiction. I’m crazy honoured to have been invited to participate this year, and if you’re interested you can check out my piece here. I wrote about menstrual periods in fantasy fiction because that’s how I roll.

Life outside of reading and blogging has been filled with changes over the past few months, with me moving to a new community, starting a new job, and my guy moving in. They’re all good changes of course, but they’ve meant that I don’t have as much free time as I used to for things like reading and writing blog posts – which is a bummer. Also I go to the gym 3 times a week now and it’s the worst. Seriously, being fit is so time-consuming! How do y’all manage it?


What I Posted in April and May

Review: The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde

Review: Duels & Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

Review:  The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard

Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Romance Review Roundup: Vol. 3

Discussion: Book Recommendations Gone Wrong

Review: Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Graphic Novel Review: Joyride Vol. 1 by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly

Review: Owl and the Electric Samurai by Kristi Charish

Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Review: The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Review: The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Here’s hoping next month I can cram in some more reading and writing, but so long as I read a few great books I’ll be satisfied!

How was your April and May? Did you read any great books or go on any fun adventures? What are you looking forward to in June? Let me know in the comments!


  1. 3 days a week to the gym? Go you 😀 I just take walks cos that is easier, and well the doc has not cleared me for anything else either

    1. Thank you! 😀 It’s been mostly terrible but also a bit fun? Haha. Fingers crossed that you’re cleared for more physical exertion soon!

  2. Yay, I love reading recaps!

    Gah, I really want to read The Bear and the Nightingale soon. I’m glad you had a mostly great two months of reading.

    Oh, definitely going to check out your post on periods in fantasy and I definitely relate to being fit being hard. I started going on walks and want to start working out soon so yeah, it’s not at all easy haha. Happy for all the changes in your life, though and hope you get to read more during the summer. I barely read a total of like 8 books in April and May so I definitely need to pick my pace up in June.

    1. Hooray! I had a lot of fun putting this one together.

      The Bear and the Nightingale was soooo good! It reminded me a lot of Juliet Marillier’s books in terms of the writing style, tone, and pace so if you like her then you’ll be pleased with it, I think.

      Working out is honestly the worst. Everyone keeps saying it’ll become more fun as I get more fit, but I’m calling BS on that…LOL. Walks are fun though, especially if you’ve got a good audiobook to keep your mind occupied. Thanks so much, Sana! I’m hoping to read more in June too, but it’s already a third over and I’m not doing too hot. Fingers crossed I can turn it around!

  3. You have been busy! And thanks for the heads up about your piece at the Fantasy cafe — I left a comment there.

    1. I have! It’s been a wild couple of months. Eee, thanks Verushka! I had a ton of fun writing it.

  4. I love the mix of books you read the past two month, Danya. Romance and UF is a perfect blend!
    Those are some exciting new changes in your life. I hope you’re loving the heck out of all the changes. 🙂
    Hahaha yeah, being fit is the worst. I don’t understand those people who go the gym daily for hours and then eat salads and quinoa and all healthy stuff. LIKE HOW??? HOW do they do it?
    I’ve bookmarked your post to read it later!
    I hope June is awesome too for you.

    1. I know, right? I was basking in all my favourite genres this spring, haha. I’m still on a romance kick, tbh. 😉

      Thank you so much, Nick! Things are going really well so far – keep your fingers crossed for me.

      UGH it truly is! One of the fitness people I follow on youtube works out six days a week and does meal prep…she’s clearly superhuman. Personally, I can either eat really healthy or work out regularly. Doing both is insanity!

      Hooray! Hope you enjoy it. Thanks girl, you too! 🙂

  5. You reminded me that I need to go back and read Borrowed Souls at some point. What a great pile of books you read! Good luck with all your changes, I know how easy it is to lose all those extra blogging hours, so hang in there!

    1. You really do! I’m curious to hear your take on it, Tammy. The past couple of months have yielded some great reads for sure. Thank you – I’m doing my best to stay on top of it all!

    • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

    • 5 years ago

    Oh, I know what it means feeling that we have to “steal” time for reading, taking it away from other activities (some pleasant, others… less so). Still, you managed to gather a good compilation of books and reviews! It can only get better… 😉

    1. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day, sometimes! Thanks Maddalena, fingers crossed that the summer months will be a bit more relaxed at work and I’ll have some more free time for reading and writing. 🙂

    • Karen

    • 5 years ago

    I’ve been working out on a regular schedule for a few years now and I still hate it. lol

    For What It’s Worth

    1. So what you’re saying is that working out is the worst even when you’re in the swing of it…I knew it! LOL.

  6. It was nice to get an update on your life! Great article for Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Month. I completely agree with you, and I was happy to see you use Tamora Pierce’s books as an example.
    How did your move go? Have you started meeting people and finding your place? I’ve been in Germany for 3 months, and I still don’t know anyone besides my boyfriend and his relatives (who are stereotypical Germans, i.e. not particularly open.) Moving is hard, so I hope you’re adjusting well!

    1. Hooray! I’m definitely going to be writing monthly recaps more so that I can keep everyone up to date. Thanks so much, Maraia! I had a lot of fun writing it, and of course Tamora Pierce’s books immediately came to mind – they were the first fantasy novels I ever read that mentioned periods.

      The move went well, and I’m loving my new apartment! The town I live in is…not my first choice. It’s quite small and conservative, and there aren’t a lot of young people here – or really any people who share my social politics (leftist probs, haha). Thankfully I’m only a half hour drive away from my grad school friends, but so far it’s just me and my guy in my small town social circle so I empathize with you. Good luck with everything Maraia, moving overseas is always tough!

      1. Glad to hear it! And yeah, I can’t think of any books I read earlier than Tamora Pierce’s that mention periods. Or birth control.

        A mix of good and bad, then. I would find it hard to be in a conservative place, so hang in there! I’m glad you’re still within reach of your grad school friends. Thanks, Danya! <3

  7. Going to the gym takes so much effort. LIFE IS STRUGGLE.


    • Greg Hill

    • 5 years ago

    Nice book collage! Reminds me I need to read The Valiant and maybe Borrowed Souls. And probably The Queen of Blood too! Congrats on being part of Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy. That’s really cool. Good luck with all the changes and hope June is an awesome month. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Greg! Both Borrowed Souls and The Valiant are really good reads, and I’m quite curious to hear your take on The Queen of Blood as well. Thank you so much! I was surprised to be asked but also very stoked, haha. I hope your June is awesome as well!

  8. “Also I go to the gym 3 times a week now and it’s the worst. Seriously, being fit is so time-consuming! How do y’all manage it?” Answer: I don’t;0). But seriously good for you! I’m glad you missed doing round up posts because I found this super useful to catch up on reviews and discover some new books – Thank you!

    1. LOL, yeah at the moment I wish it wasn’t on my agenda haha. Thanks Stephanie! Fingers crossed it’ll become more fun soon, but I’m not holding my breath. Hooray, glad to hear it! 🙂

    • Sam Kozbial

    • 5 years ago

    Wow! So many huge life changes. Congratulations! I hope you have tons of success and lots of happiness. And, I still really need to read The Bear and the Nightingale. =)
    Sam @ WLABB

    1. Thank you, Sam! Things are going very well in Danya-land right now and I couldn’t be more pleased about it. You definitely *do* need to read it – I think you’d like it a lot!

  9. Definitely looked like a great month of reading! I totally adored The Girl with the Make Believe Husband! I usually attempt to work out during my lunch break haha, thankfully my co-workers are usually a good influence on me or I’d be super lazy! And congrats on the new job and the big changes! Happy June, Danya!

    1. I wish I read all this in one month, but it’s actually two! 😉 The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband was soooo good, wasn’t it? Personally I preferred the first Rokesby book, but I really liked this one as well. Thanks so much, Cyn! 🙂

  10. That is a ton of good reading for someone who moved and started a new job. Good on you!

    1. Thanks, Nathan! I’ve needed it to keep me calm and sane at times, haha.

  11. Definitely a lot to cover! I’m still mad at myself for not having started Borrowed Souls or the new Owl book yet. I couldn’t quite fit them into May, but they are definitely on the list for summer.

    1. It’s been a wild couple of months! Everyone but me seems to have loved the latest Owl book so I’m guessing that’ll be a standout for you. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Borrowed Souls too, since it’s received some glowing and some…less than glowing reviews.

  12. I’m reading The Dark Days Pact at the moment, and there are so many books you read in April and May that are on my TBR-list! I love that you wrote about periods for Women in Sci-Fi and Fantasy month. An excellent choice and really well written about. Finally, congrats on all the positive life changes. Go you!

    1. Ooooh, can’t wait to hear your take on The Dark Days Pact! That ending was brutal. Thanks Lorraine! I had a lot of fun with that post – who doesn’t love a good topical rant now and then, right? And things in my personal life are going really well too, so cheers to that! 🙂

    • Lynn Williams

    • 5 years ago

    Wow – what an impressive selection of books and posts. Well done missus – hope June is as good a month for you.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Thanks Lynn! It’s been an excellent couple of reading and blogging months despite the general craziness of things around here. Here’s hoping that everything is a bit more calm and mellow in the summer months! 🙂

  13. I knew you’d moved for your new job (how are you liking it by the way, I don’t think I’ve asked. Have you settled in well?) but I didn’t know you’d moved in with your guy. Hope that’s going well with all the changes, it’s exciting times for you! Also, the gym three times a week? I want to be the dedicated to keeping fit but I honestly feel like walking my dog will suffice.

    I didn’t know you’d read Betrayals, though. What did you think?

    1. I am liking it, although it’s been a bit slow in terms of taking on new responsibilities; I’m forever the youngest/newest person at all my jobs, so sometimes it takes a while to prove myself. But it’s going well, and I’ll definitely keep you updated. Oh yeah, we’ve moved in together and it’s really good! If only he would do the dishes more often. LMAO. Honestly the gym is the worst, I’d much rather have a dog like you!

      I really liked it! Much better than the third book, in my opinion – and now I’m really stoked for the series finale. My review goes up tomorrow. 🙂

      1. That’s always the way starting somewhere new, though. Hopefully, once you’ve settled a bit more with things they’ll give you some more responsibility. It just sucks you always end up having to prove yourself at a new place, though. And if you’re only complaint moving in together is he doesn’t the dishes enough I think you’re doing pretty ok (just get a dishwasher, it solves all the problems). I may have to be brave and join the gym too. Dog walking is alright for cardio but I’ve got a wedding to attend in November I need to tone up and unless I start lifting my dog as we go on walks I don’t think it’ll quite cut it.

        I am totally checking that review out soon… well, once I’ve caught up with 40 other blog posts. Wish me luck!

  14. I haven’t read any of these books, but I did recently add “Borrowed Souls” to my TBR. I’m really looking forward to picking it up soon!

  15. I’m so far behind on you rblog and I’m not sure how I let this happen! I’ve been here and seen this post and obviously just haven’t managed to leave a comment yet!

    There’s so many books here that you read in May and June that I’m so excited for. My most anticipated would be The Bear and The Nightingale and The Valiant.

    I hope that life has settled somewhat? Between the new job, the man moving in and gym it all sounds like great changes, but time consuming.

    Can’t wait to catch up properly and looking forward to more updates from you. 🙂

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