Monday Chatter: Portal Fantasies and the Best Game of 2019 (So Far)

Happy Victoria Day to all you Canadian readers! I meant to go for a bike ride around the coastal beach trail in “celebration,” but it’s pouring rain so I’m writing this post instead.


Last Week – Books


All the Worlds Between Us by Morgan Lee Miller:
A YA F/F contemporary featuring a swimmer protagonist. I liked parts of it but I think it’ll hold more appeal to teenage readers. [Review here]

Dedicated (Rhythm of Love 1) by Neve Wilder:
A M/M contemporary featuring two bandmates. I liked reading about the creative process of song writing more than the relationship aspect, but it was an enjoyable read overall.

Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron:
I came into this book expecting one thing (a quirky portal fantasy) and got something completely different (a quiet and profound look at the hardships of life) and I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Really, I’m the furthest thing from disappointed. This was a lovely read and I’ll need to check out Sophie Cameron’s other book because she writes in a style–sad and wistful–that I’m very much into.


This Week – Books


The City of Lost Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel) by Bryan Camp:
This was one of the top books I meant to get to in 2018 but didn’t have the time for. But the publisher kindly offered a review copy for the Gather the Fortunes (book 2) blog tour and I couldn’t say no. It’s an urban fantasy set in New Orleans featuring a biracial protagonist with an ability to find lost things. I started it yesterday and I’m already enamoured by the setting.

A Crescent City Novel (A Crescent City Novel) by Bryan Camp:
This is the second book in the series featuring a different protagonist. Characters from Lost Fortunes pop up but the story’s not directly related to the first so I could probably get away with reading this before book 1. And it might come to that if I run out of time.

Jade War by Fonda Lee:
STILL reading this! Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it, but I keep getting distracted by other books.


Last Week – Games

a plague tale.JPG

I’m currently in the latter half of A Plague Tale: Innocence, a linear narrative (mostly) stealth game set in France during the Middle Ages. It follows Amicia and Hugo de Rune, children of minor nobles, as they try to navigate through a land devastated by a strange rat plague.

And I can safely say that it’s the best game I’ve played so far this year.

Everything about it–from sound and environmental design to gameplay mechanics–is super polished and satisfying, and the balance between the brutality of the setting and the tenderness of the siblings’ relationship is heartstoppingly beautiful. And it does so many things with its characters I can’t get enough of (that I need to ramble about in a separate discussion/review post): a female protagonist who is openly vulnerable and loving, female friendships, small heartwarming moments that have nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with the characters.

And if that doesn’t convince you, here’s a video trailer with Sean Bean being super dramatic:


Trigger warning: This is a bleak, horrific story. There are scenes of rats devouring humans, mounds and mounds of corpses strewn around, and just a whole spectrum of human depravity. So take care if you’re sensitive to that.



Holler at me about your plans for the week!

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Bailey May 20, 2019 - 2:01 pm

All of your reads for this week sound great!! Honestly I’ve got a little bit of a book hangover going on after finishing Red, White & Royal Blue so I’ll probably get very little done in the way of reading in the next couple days.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 23, 2019 - 3:44 am

I can’t wait to get started on Red, White, Royal Blue! Glad you loved it enough to get a hangover from it haha. And I’ve had that happen to me last month with this one book. I couldn’t read ANYTHING else without feeling like I was cheating on it. πŸ˜€

bookbeachbunny May 20, 2019 - 2:31 pm

Might give that game a go! Listening to Sean Bean has gotten me to watch plenty of stuff in the past πŸ™‚

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 21, 2019 - 12:49 am

I love Sean Bean so much. <3 I was torn between being amused and super enthralled when I first saw that trailer because his line reading and expression was just so intense. He's not actually in the game (I don't think they had the budget for that), but it's still really really really good!

Paul's Picks May 20, 2019 - 8:15 pm

So jealous you have your hands on Jade War! I preordered it… I may have to stay up til midnight and start reading then. Ha!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 20, 2019 - 11:47 pm

Hahaha I’ve definitely done that with a few of books. And during work days too. Sleep is for the weak πŸ˜€

Paul's Picks May 21, 2019 - 6:26 pm


Tammy May 20, 2019 - 8:40 pm

A Plague Tale looks amazing! And beautiful, I may have to try it😊

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 23, 2019 - 3:40 am

The graphics are GORGEOUS!! Which is both a plus and a minus, because you get really beautiful shots of castles and forests but you also get the close-up details of rotting corpses. πŸ˜€

Sophie @ Me and Ink May 21, 2019 - 11:26 am

I have heard about Jade War and have been interested in reading it. I am glad you are loving it and I hope you continue to.
I am plan to read the boy who steals houses this week– and I am reading it quite quickly so I might get to another book as well.
Happy reading!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’›

waytoofantasy May 22, 2019 - 8:23 am

Oooh Jade War! I haven’t read the first one yet but I heard Fonda read an excerpt of this at WFC last year and it sounds amazing, hope you enjoy!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 27, 2019 - 11:21 am

Ooooh you should def try Jade City! It’s great action-y fun, and the characters are so engaging. <3

waytoofantasy May 27, 2019 - 5:02 pm

I’m definitely going to try it at some point, I have an audio copy. Just need to get in the right mood for it. πŸ™‚

Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) May 24, 2019 - 5:20 am

Don’t mind me as I add books to my TBR list from your post hahahha. Looking forward to hearing what you think of The City of Lost Fortunes, the cover looks beautiful!!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 25, 2019 - 6:59 pm

Haha YAY! And yeah, the covers are super stylish! I really liked the old one for City of Lost Fortunes, but I think this one looks more…mythical?

TBR Lows & Highs #39 – Books In Her Eyes May 25, 2019 - 7:51 am

[…] Neve Wilder This is one I found thanks to Kathy over at Pages Below the Vaulted Sky. And this is in the synopsis– “Dedicated is a 92k standalone bisexual friends-to-lovers […]


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