Chachic's Book Nook


Queen’s Thief News: Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

What kind of Megan Whalen Turner fan would I be if I didn’t write a post about the latest news that we’ve been receiving about the Queen’s Thief series? It’s just that real life has been keeping me super busy lately (I’m in Manila in the weekend for my mom’s birthday) and I haven’t had a chance to blog until now. Anyway! During the past week, Greenwillow has released the repackaged covers for the earlier books in the series AND FINALLY made an announcement about book five: Thick as Thieves, which will be released May 2017. Behold, the cover from Publisher’s Weekly and the synopsis from Amazon:


Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission.

We’ve only waited SIX LONG YEARS for this installment. You can imagine the explosion on Twitter when all the MWT fans found out about this. Mostly all of us speaking in all caps and !!! and general squeeing. Absolutely cannot wait for this! I’m super excited.

Here are the redesigned covers for the earlier books:

the-thief-repackaged queen-of-attolia-repackages the-king-of-attolia-repackaged a-conspiracy-of-kings-repackaged

I must admit that I’m not such a big fan of these new designs. I’ve always thought that the earlier covers designed by Vince Natale were creatively and thoughtfully drawn. I loved that they were relevant to the stories, and that there was a theme of featuring hands and partial faces in all of them. But it’s understandable that redesigns happen in the publishing world and if these new covers manage to attract new readers, well and good!

The Queen’s Thief series is one of my all-time favorite series and I think MWT is a brilliant author. I even organized a Queen’s Thief Week a few years ago to celebrate my love for these books. If you’ve been following my blog and you think we have the same taste in books, then I highly recommend that you read these books if you haven’t had a chance to do so. This series means so much to me, not just because of how much I love the books, but also because I met some of my best bookish friends through this series. I first started being active in the book community when I joined Sounis on LiveJournal, and kept in touch with fellow Sounisians even after moving to WordPress. It’s also one of those series where once I find out that someone is a fan, I immediately want to be friends with them. And I tend to trust book recommendations from fellow MWT fans more. This is how I discovered more favorite authors like Elizabeth Wein. If I find out an author is an MWT fan, I’m also more likely to read their books. Or if I’ve already read their books (like in Melina Marchetta’s case), my view of them goes up even higher. So, so, so. All of that just means that 2017 will be a good year because Thick of Thieves will finally be released!


Weekend Trip: Chiang Mai

Exactly a month ago, I wrote a blog post about sense of belonging and how that relates to my current job. I wouldn’t say I’m fully integrated into my new office yet, but I’d like to think I’m getting there. Last Thursday to Saturday, our whole office traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand for an office team building trip. I’ve experienced that kind of thing before with my previous office when we visited Bintan Island, Indonesia. I’ve never been to Chiang Mai so I was really curious about it. Also, anything that would help in getting to know co-workers and potentially bonding with them is a good thing for me at this point. Our schedule was packed with office-related activities and presentations, but I was able to join a group that went around the city for a couple of hours. Here are some pics:









Chiang Mai seems like a beautiful and historical city, I would love to go back and explore more of it. I was in the middle of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews prior to the trip and I didn’t get much reading done during the trip so I was only able to finish it when I got back, will try to write a review of it soon. I’m still tired from staying up late and traveling though, so not making any promises. If I don’t manage to write new blog posts this week, you can always find me on Instagram and Litsy.


Litsy on Android

The bookish app Litsy is now available on Android. I found out about it thanks to a heads up from my good friend Brandy. I downloaded it and signed up as chachic over there. It’s described as a combination of Instagram and Goodreads, and I’m trying to see if it would be fun to be an active member over there. I like that it’s more book-focused that Instagram and more visual than Goodreads. I think my main problem with it is that there aren’t a lot of my friends on it (no surprise there given that they just started with Android) but it might get better if more people sign up.

Litsy screenshot

Are you on it? What’s your username? Also, what do you think of it so far?


Book Haul: Kindle Edition

bookWork has been consuming my life in the last few days but I wanted to do a quick book haul post before the weekend is completely over. I noticed that I’ve acquired quite a few ebooks in my Kindle after my last book haul post, so an update is in order. Some of these are freebies while some were bought at a promo price. In no particular order, here are the newest additions to my Kindle:

the-archived its-a-match beauty-and-the-blacksmith the-bollywood-bride the-courage-of-eli-jackson seven-days-of-friday a-fashionable-indulgence level-up prom-queen-perfect wyvern viking-warrior-rising underneath-it-all the-fifth-season

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
It’s a Match by Ana Tejano
Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
The Courage of Eli Jackson by Kelly Hunter
Seven Days of Friday by Alex A. King
A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles
Level Up by Cathy Yardley
Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David
Wyvern by Grace Draven
Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley
Underneath It All by Ysa Arcangel
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

See, this is why I don’t think I will ever finish the books in my TBR pile. I just keep getting more and more of them! And there will be more releases this month that I’ll be buying copies of. Have you read any of the books in this list, is there a title that I should bump up?πŸ™‚

In case anyone is wondering what I’m currently reading, it’s The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin which is the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy.


Graphic Novel Challenge: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi

I read The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi months ago when I was in Manila for a vacation. I brought it with me to the hair salon and was able to read a good chunk of it while I was there, and I finished reading the rest of it when I got home. Months have passed and it’s taken me this long to write a review. I was thinking about catching up on my 2016 Graphic Novel / Manga Challenge when I remembered that I had already read the first Amulet book and I just needed to review it.

Amulet The StonekeeperHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

I can’t even remember who specifically recommended the Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet graphic novel series to me but I’ve had it in my radar for a while. For some reason, I was curious enough about it to grab a copy from Kinokuniya during one of their book sales. I’m so glad I decided to give the first book in the series a try because I had a lot of fun reading it! I was pleasantly surprised at how much depth there was to the story right from the start, something that I didn’t expect from a middle grade series. I sympathized with Emily, Navin and their mother and I wanted to give all of them a huge hug. The three of them bravely move to a new home, hoping to make a fresh start. Instead, they encounter one adventure after another and they all get to show their courage in unexpected ways. The Stonekeeper is an action-filled introduction to the series, and I can just imagine how fast the pace will be in the next installments in the series. It was really easy to get into The Stonekeeper – I liked all of the main characters and I wanted to keep reading to find out more about them. I found the worldbuilding intriguing and would be interested in learning more about it. The artwork reminded me of Japanese cartoons that I used to watch as a child, and it went very well with the story. This would definitely have been a book that I would have loved as a young reader, and something that I can recommend and give as a gift to my godsons and younger cousins. As it is, I have already passed along my copy to two other friends who have read and enjoyed The Stonekeeper too.

I’m looking forward to reading the sequels. I believe there are currently seven books in the series and I’m not sure when it will end. If you’re planning to read this series then I suggest having a few of the books on hand so you can read all of them together. I’m sure I would have enjoyed doing that if I had the chance. I saw copies of the other books in the series at a Manila bookstore, and wanted to get them but the lines to the cashiers were super long at that time because everyone was busy buying school supplies. Just means I need to find another way to get copies! In the meantime, I will keep my fingers crossed that I’ll enjoy reading the rest of the books in the series.

Here’s a link to the 9th Annual Graphic Novels & Manga Challenge 2016, credit to Kim for the graphic below:
graphicnovelmangachallenge by espressodream


Top Ten Contemporary New Adult Books

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. We’re supposed to feature all time favorites of a particular genre and I choose contemporary new adult, because this was one genre (subgenre?) that I haven’t featured a lot on my blog and I also knew I wouldn’t have too many in my list. In fact, I had the opposite problem: I had to browse through my blog and my Goodreads bookshelves quite a bit in order to complete this list. I’m usually up for contemporary novels with a college setting but there aren’t that many titles that stood out for me. In no particular order, these are the ones I’ve liked best:

US paperback for The Piper's Son Summer Skin Raw Blue UK Learning to Fall Fangirl

The Understatement of the Year Him The Deal Easy Where She Went

Some of these are standalones while some are installments in a series – for the latter, I chose the ones I liked the most in the series. I would love to read more books similar to the ones mentioned above so please share your recommendations if you have any. Do you read contemporary new adult novels? Which ones are your favorites?


Graphic Novel Challenge: Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

I feel like I’ve been waiting for Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda to be released for ages! I’ve been hearing good things about it from various sources since the first issue was released but I don’t want to start reading graphic novels per issue, so I to wait for Volume 1 to be released before I could read the series. I was thrilled to find that not only did Kinokuniya Singapore carry copies of Monstress, they also had a variant cover for it:


I recently finished reading a graphic novel that I wasn’t such a big fan of, which made me want to pick up another graphic novel that I was more likely to love and that led to me reading Monstress. I read this along with my good friend Kim of Dreaming of Espresso, who is based in Malaysia but was also able to get the Kinokuniya variant copy. Also, this counts as another book for me to include in my 2016 Graphic Novel and Manga Challenge, which hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on in the coming months.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both.

Monstress was brilliant! I loved reading every bit of it. If I wasn’t busy with work, I would have gulped down the whole thing in one sitting but I guess it was also lucky that I was able to stretch out my reading of this because I could savor both the gorgeous artwork and the intriguing storyline. I thought Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda did a fantastic job in collaborating on this graphic novel, and I could see why people have been raving about it. The first thing I noticed about Monstress was how detailed and intricate the artwork was, I couldn’t stop staring at the drawings. Looking at the artwork was like a visual feast. I’m not usually a fan of too much blood, gore and violence in graphic novels because I find them a bit more difficult to swallow than when I’m just reading about them as text. The violence was the one minor quibble that I had with this book, but that was overshadowed with how much I loved everything else about it. Monstress is dark in tone but I found that it was a necessary aspect of the storytelling. The setting of the story is not exactly a happy one.

The worldbuilding is incredible. It’s a world inhabited by humans, ancients, arcanics (half-human and half ancient), the old gods and last but not the least are (talking) cats. It’s a war-torn world with a rich history behind the current situation that the heroine finds herself in. I feel like we’ve only been shown the tip of the iceberg in terms of worldbuilding and there’s so much more that can be explored. I kept reading not just because I wanted to learn more about Maika and her past, but also about the world she lives in. Maika is not content to have survived the war, she won’t rest until she uncovers the secrets behind the psychic link that she has with the monster inside her. I thought the story was paced very well, and there was never a dull moment throughout the course of this volume. I loved that the setting is a matriarchal Asia in the 1900’s, and I thought it was awesome that I kept seeing strong female characters in this book. Considering the short length of Monstress, I was amazed at how it was able to tackle important themes such as identity, race, class, and power. There really was a lot going on in this volume and I have a feeling I’ll be itching to reread it sooner rather than later. Having said all of that, I guess it’s not surprising for me to say that Monstress is one of my favorite reads this year. I think the last graphic novel I loved this much was Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. I really, really hope I’ll keep loving the series because I’ve come across two Image Comics series (Saga and The Wicked and the Divine that seemed promising at the start but I eventually decided wasn’t for me after reading Volume 3.

Sharing my other bookstagrams of Monstress so you can see for yourself the gorgeous artwork that I’ve mentioned:


Monstress readalong with @espressodream continues. I stayed up late reading this and I can't wait for the workday to be over so I can read more of it. Pretty sure I'll finish it tonight! I'm usually not a big fan of too much violence in graphic novels but the art in this one is beautiful and detailed, the storytelling is lovely, and it has strong worldbuilding. There's so much history behind this world and I want to find out more. Also, I noticed that all the major characters are female! And there are talking cats. What are your thoughts so far, @espressodream? Anyone else read this yet? . . . #Monstress #Awakening #Volume1 #MarjorieLiu #SanaTakeda #graphicnovel #comics #Kinokuniya #ImageComics #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #IGbooks #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #book #reading #readalong #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on


And a link to the 9th Annual Graphic Novels & Manga Challenge 2016, credit to Kim for the graphic below:

graphicnovelmangachallenge by espressodream