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Book Review | Dawn of the Future by Jun Eishima

Title: Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future
Author: Jun Eishima
Publisher: Square Enix Books
Release date: July 14, 2020
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 400
Genre: Fantasy
My rating: ★★★★★


Okay, spoilers ahead and a LOT of rambling because
I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS!!!

Also, if you’d like to join in on the FEELS trip,
I live-stream FFXV on my Twitch channel, HERE.

All are welcome, though tissues will not be provided in the case of heartbreak.


The Dawn of the Future shows how rich the universe of Final Fantasy XV was meant to be. There was so much more to see in Niflheim and with Aranea and her band of merchs. Luna actually had a mission of her own and it was not an easy one, her mind and body were worn down by her entreating the gods to form a covenant with the chosen king.

The first part of the book deals with Ardyn and, while I have already played his DLC (which was the last to be released), the novel gave me a deeper look into where his mind was really at after being imprisoned in Angelgard for so many years.

His vicious nature almost makes sense, when you see all that he endured during his time as a healer and then was cast aside by the crystal because he’d taken care of his people and removed the scourge from them. That, and the betrayal of both his brother and the gods, is what set Ardyn on his journey to destroy all things related to the Lucis Caelum line.

Moving on to the second part of the book, we meet an entirely new character! Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, or Sol as those close to her call her, is eight years old when Niflheim falls to demons and the long night begins. She is the heir to the Empire of Niflheim, though her grandfather has kept her existence secret, which makes me wonder if he started to fear what Ardyn’s plans actually were and tried to protect his legacy as best he could.

Anywhos, Sol is rescued by Aranea and is raised by the woman as her own daughter, learning to fight and survive the long night and the wait for the chosen king. I really enjoyed this part of the book, because it shows more of Aranea’s caring side. You get to see a bit of this in the game, when you go on missions with her and see how she interacts with Biggs and Wedge, but Aranea clearly becomes an amazing leader and mother.

As you would expect from any child of Aranea’s, Sol wants to prove herself and show that she is capable of taking on solo missions. So, of course, she sneaks away from her watchers, Biggs and Wedge, to do exactly that. Which is when she meets Lunafreya Nox Fleuret…

As Oracle, Luna believes that the gods want only the best for Eos and the people who call it home. After surviving the attack on Insomnia, Luna continues her quest to speak with the gods on Noctis’ behalf, to ask them for their blessing for the chosen king so that he will have the power he needs to rid Eos of the starscourge forever.

What’s really sad about this, is that she succeeds! She manages to forge the covenant between Noctis and Leviathan in Altissia (where they were supposed to meet and be married) before Ardyn kills her. These two star-crossed lovers meet only once as adults and then are torn apart by forces greater than they could ever imagine having to face.

But that’s not the end for Luna.

Oh no, Bahamut has grander things in store for her, as he resurrects her near the time Noctis is to be released from the crystal and informs her that she is now to face the Accursed. Without question, she obeys, fighting demons as she travels with her new friend, Sol, towards Insomnia and the seat of Ardyn’s power.

As their journey continues, Luna experiences visions of the first Oracle and her ancestor, Aera, who tells her that things are not as they seem and who pleads for Luna to save Ardyn from himself and the cruel fate the gods have in store for him.

Luna begins to wonder if all of the gods have the best intentions.

Turns out, Bahamut is tired of dealing with humans and their free will and wants to destroy them all, leaving Eos a destroyed wasteland. He’d previously attempted this with Ardyn as his pawn, but was unsuccessful and lost control of the Accursed (and so had him imprisoned by his own brother on Angelgard).

Needless to say, Bahamut is not successful this time either. Luna learns of his plans and chooses not to follow them, Ardyn is his typical self and doesn’t do what anyone expects of him, and Noctis and his friends continue to fight even when the odds are stacked against them.

In the end, when dawn breaks, Luna, Noctis and crew, Sol and her family, and the survivors of the long night are greeted by the sun and the chance at a new, more prosperous life.

Ultimately, my takeaway from this novel is that the Final Fantasy XV story actually exists across multiple alternate timelines. This can be seen in the DLC Episode Ignis and which is even more noticeably in this novel. I think it’s an interesting position to take, where the ending in the main game isn’t the only ending out there. Noctis and Luna don’t have to die, Ardyn can be redeemed, and Bahamut gets his butt kicked… these are all things I can get behind, lol.

Fandom has a mechanism in place for this, the “Everyone Lives, Nobody Dies AU”, but it’s not so often that the actual creators offer the same. I’m just sad that we didn’t get to see the final three DLC released for this game.


Find it at…

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Two Book Tuesday

I’m sitting here, enjoying the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing and thinking about the books for today. It’s the kind of morning where you could easily have slept in, or pulled yourself from that comfy place under the covers and enjoy the sun coming up on a new day.

Tuesday just might be my favorite day of the week.

But you’re not here to listen to me go on and on about days of the week, lol, you’re here for the books! Rather than including a book I’m reading and one I’m about to read, this Two Book Tuesday is about two books that I am reading. They’re a little behind from their original TBR month, but life has conspired to keep me from my ‘4 books a month’ goal, lol.

I hope you enjoy my rambling about two really good books!


Now that I have a computer again, I can spend money during the Steam Summer Sales, lol. One of the games I purchased was the Windows version of one of my favorite PS4 games, Final Fantasy XV.

Between fighting zombies in 7 Days to Die and the Covenant in Halo: Reach, I started a brand new game in Final Fantasy XV and it felt a little like coming home, which is the best way to tell if the game was good for you. 🙂

The Dawn of the Future begins near the end of the game, but before the final battle and epilogue.

We get to see Ardyn as the healer king and his tense relationship with his brother Somnus, learn more about Niflheim and it’s people, and we get to see Luna in her wedding dress, yay!

I’ve really only taken a nibble of this book, but I’m already hoping for a happy ending.

Oh, and the artwork is absolutely breathtaking! There are images of characters both known and unknown, illustrations of events past and future, and towards the back of the book a collection of promotional pictures.


I’m half-listening and half-reading Undetected by Dee Henderson, lol.

Purchased as a title from Kindle, I decided to try out the Audible Whispersync function. Basically, you get to listen to someone reading you the book while it follows along by highlighting the words being spoken.

So far, it’s a pretty fun book.

I really enjoy the camaraderie the captain and crew of the USS Nevada have for each other and the rivalry they have with the blue crew, with whom they share joint custody of the submarine.

It’s fun and believable and really helps to show the family that these crews become to one another whilst aboard their ship.

This bit made me laugh out loud when I read it…

We’re going to snuggle with the Seawolf. Let’s remind them who’s the better boat.

Mark Bishop captains the USS Nevada, spending months at sea before coming ashore to watch another captain take the submarine out before he gets to return to her. Mark desperately wants to find a wife that he can build a relationship with, honor as God requires, and love for the rest of his days. But he’s still not 100% over the death of his first wife and it’s made him skittish to try his hand at dating again. He’s looking for serious and isn’t sure he’s going to find it.

And Gina Grey? Well, she’s a wicked smart woman who dreams of being married before she’s thirty. After a bad break-up, she moves out west to be with her brother, to work, and hopefully to find the man of her dreams. She’s been praying for the right man to come into her life and maybe, just maybe that man is the one she meets when he’s buying ice cream after returning to shore.

These two are super cute together, their love for God and for each other is refreshing to see and I look forward to reading more of Dee Henderson’s works in the future.

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Book Review | Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

One of the first fantasy series I can remember reading was the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce and I fell in love from the very first page.

Song of the Lioness follows the life of one Alanna of Trebond, a young girl who switches places with her brother so that she can be a knight and he a mage.

Along the way, she discovers that the gods have taken an interest in her, even if she would very much rather they hadn’t.


Alanna of Trebond has always dreamed of being a knight, of protecting the kingdom of Tortall and proving herself a hero worthy of great tales.

But she doesn’t take into account the years of hard work and secrets she must keep from those closest to her. Alanna can tell no one that she is a girl, not when she is being bullied and certainly not when puberty hits an her body begins to change against her will.

Be warned: this isn’t a story where things come easy to our main character.

One of the best things about this series is that Alanna questions her decisions. When she begins her training as a knight and discovers just how much hard work it takes, she wants to give up and go home, thinking ‘how could a girl ever do this?’ Instead, she buckles down and works hard to get what she wants.

The first hints of the strength of Alanna’s magical abilities and glimpses of her grand destiny begin to show, no matter how hard she tries to ignore them, but the will of the gods can not be ignored. Her begrudging attitude towards the use of magic is one of the things I like most about Alanna, she isn’t afraid to backtalk her friends, superiors, or even the gods.

Alanna’s interactions with her friends and mentors is so, so great! These people have become her family and she would die for them, if she needed to. Not only does she befriend the nobles, but she also manages to become close friends with George, the “king of thieves.”

I think that the relationships are what really makes this series great… you can’t help but find yourself rooting for everyone in whatever situation they may find themselves in.


Format: e-Audio book
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Source: Overdrive
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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Two Book Tuesday

It has been notoriously difficult to get my hands on the books I really wanted to read this month. I’ve had a title requested at Barnes & Noble for nearly 4 weeks with no delivery date in sight, hunted down three books at local libraries only to have them checked out mere hours before my arrival, and just had pretty bad luck all around.


Once I finally found a handful of books to read, I sat myself down and started Bob by Wendy Moss.

Honestly, Bob feels like a story I might have read when I was a child. There is a sense of nostalgia and childlike wonder and belief in the imaginary that brought me back to my early years as a reader.

It was such fun remembering along with Livy and discovering where Bob came from.


The second title for Two Book Tuesday is Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. It has been on my TBR for an absolute age and I’m going to read it, even if it kills me! (spoiler: it probably won’t)

I’ve heard that it’s about a prince who is betrayed by his brother and sent as a slave to serve the prince of another country with whom tensions are high.

It sounded interesting and it’s been suggested to me a number of times, so we’ll see what the verdict is once I get into it.


What do you think of these two books?
Do you think I’ll be captivated by Captive Prince?
Let me know in the comments!

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Two Book Tuesday

So, I started reading Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee about two weeks ago and had to put it down because I was busy with work and life in general.  My plan is to start back at the beginning instead of picking up where I left off…

Seven Tears at High Tide by C. B. Lee is a young adult fantasy / romance about a teenage boy who wishes for a summer of love, a wish which is granted by a nearby selkie who overhears his heartfelt plea.

Kevin Luong has had his heart broken by the boy-next-door who decided he is no longer gay and doesn’t want to “fool around” with boys anymore. Instead of spending the summer together with Miles, Kevin is suddenly alone and feeling particularly unloved.

On a whim, he sheds seven years into the ocean and makes a wish, asking for just one summer to be happy and in love. He doesn’t really expect his wish to be granted.

What Kevin doesn’t know is that someone hears his wish. Morgan, a selkie boy, happens to be swimming near enough to hear and hope that he will be the one chosen to fulfill the request. His mother, and matriarch of his selkie herd, grants him permission to shed his skin and go ashore to meet Kevin.

So begins a summer of innocent love, with Kevin teaching Morgan how to be both human and to pass as a normal teenage boy.  But, as the boys grow closer, they begin to realize that there is something sinister in the works in their little seaside town.


Semiosis by Sue Burke just flat out sounded like a cool book.  I remember getting an email about it pre-release date and wanting desperately to read it.  I even texted my friend, and local librarian, asking her to purchase it for the library so that I could read it!

This book appears to be right up my alley, with first contact situations, space colonization, and an alien (possibly plant-based) intelligence. With the summary including fun words like “bizarre, inexplicable, and grapple” who wouldn’t want to read this?  😀

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Two Book Tuesday

It’s been rather a long while since my last Two Book Tuesday post.  A fact, for which, I am sorry, but I let both work and school distract me from this blog and am now working to remedy that failure.  While I haven’t been posting, I have continued reading and rediscovering the joy of having a book in my hands, turning the pages and wanting to make notes about each new story.  So, let’s get this post started!

The Sky Below

I am currently reading The Sky Below by Stacy D’Erasmo, an interesting piece of literature that follows the life of one Gabriel Collins, who writes obituaries for a “ratty paper in lower Manhattan.”

Honestly, I can’t stand Gabriel.  He is exactly as the author has written him, a drug-dealing thief who manipulates those around him for his own gain.  However, his life story is a pretty compelling one and, as much as I dislike Gabriel, I can’t stop reading.

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As for my second book in this post: Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee is a story I have wanted to read since I came across a review for it in a professional library journal and decided to purchase it for my library’s collection.

It is a super terrific sounding tale of a girl who is trying to find her way in a world full of superpowers, heroes, and villains. Along the way, she gets the chance to be closer to her crush, Abby, takes a job interning for a super villain to spite her superhero parents, and discovers that maybe she has more power than she originally thought.

Seriously, I can hardly wait to start reading this book!  It was ridiculously cool to meet the author at the 2017 Romantic Times Book Convention in Atlanta this year and to have her sign my book.  I can admit to feeling a little awestruck to meet C.B. Lee, she is super sweet and was giving away the best buttons at her signing table!

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Book Review | Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

I really enjoyed Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember.  It seamlessly combines elements of our world with the fantastical to create a place full of excitement and wonder.

Both of the main characters are interesting and well rounded. I found myself rooting for Mnemba from the first and was desperate to learn more about her life before becoming a guide for her cousin’s business.  Kara took a little longer to warm up to, but I enjoyed how independent and curious she was… even with the mermaids, lol.

Unicorn Tracks doesn’t shy away from the topic of rape or the aftermath of it.  While Mnemba’s attacker was punished for his crimes against her, she still ended up leaving her home because of the judgement and expectations of those who would claim he was a good man and this was a one-time incident.  It was an especially heartwarming moment when her father said that he would kill Mnemba’s attacker if ever he were set free.

Her relationship with Kara was slow going, as they figured out how to work past the trauma of the past, but it was all the sweeter when they were finally able to connect.  At the end of the story, Mnemba isn’t “over” what happened to her, but she is able to keep moving forward with the support of her lover, friends, and family.  ❤

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, adventure, or alternate histories.  It’s a quick read, but a darned good one!

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Book Review | Sandman by William Joyce

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16074733-the-sandman-and-the-war-of-dreams

I can’t believe that Mr. Joyce had to to end the fourth book in this series on cliffhanger!  I don’t know if I can take much more of this and will be waiting on the edge of my seat for book five to be released.

Truly, I enjoyed just about every page of The Sandman and the War of Dreams.  This book is so wonderful!  William Joyce is able to create perfect imagery in his writing, starting with Mr. Qwerty crying out the words of Katherine’s stories to Sanderson Mansnoozie discovering Nightlight’s past to the overarching story of the battle with Pitch.  I was entranced by every word!

Have I mentioned yet how absolutely enamored I am with Nightlight?  I am dying to learn more about this boy who has never slept and where his story will go in future books… Perhaps, he will get his own book in the series?

I think the only thing that disappointed me in this book is Pitch’s fate.  In the deepest part of my heart, I long for there to be a redemption arc for this character.  I want for him and his daughter to reconcile and finally be allowed to have their happily ever after together.  Sadly, I do not think that this will happen.

Sometimes, in stories, not everyone gets to have a happy ending.  No matter how much we wish it were otherwise.

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Two Book Tuesday

I do have two titles for Two Book Tuesday this week.  My favorite thing about this week is how odd the two books are, lol.

First, we have a book that I desperately wanted to find and read.  Sadly, I couldn’t remember the title or author, and I barely remembered the cover art and general premise of the story.  Emily B., a co-worker of mine, was kind enough to help me dig through the depths of the internet until we found it!  

So, the first book for Two Book Tuesday is The Cure by Sonia Levitin.

A strange mixture of science-fiction, dystopian fiction, and historical fiction, I first read The Cure when we lived in Baltimore, MD.  If you are a fan of the recently-popular Divergent series, then The Cure is right up your alley with “factions” and forced conformity into these factions.  Deviants are criminals with only two options: to die and be recycled or to accept a mysterious cure that is supposed to bring them back into the fold.

Gemm, a deviant and the main character of the story, chooses to take the cure and suddenly finds himself living the live of a 16-year-old Jewish musician in 1348 at the beginning of the Black Death.  As a young reader, this book was such a great experience that is has stayed with me over a decade later and is a title that I re-read every few years.

The absolute terrible part of this whole search process is that the library no longer owns this title and I need to look elsewhere if I decide that I want to read it, which I do.  I cannot put into words the sense of betrayal I felt that this book was no longer available at my library.  I have to wonder if this is how most patrons feel when we go through a period of healthy weeding of our collections.

And the second book I have for you this week is Beauty written by Hubert, with art by Kerascoët.

Apparently, I placed an Inter-Library Loan request for this title a few weeks ago and it finally arrived…  The strange thing is that I don’t remember anything about the request or the book itself!  So, I find myself with the opportunity to read a pretty great looking graphic novel that I may not have otherwise picked up.

I’ll let you know how it is.  🙂

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Book Review | Ghost by Carole Cummings

If there is one pet peeve I have when reading, it is when an author has created so many different terms and names that you NEED a glossary just to keep track of everything.  I much prefer when an author builds the world around you, rather than throwing you into the deep end without a flotation device.

That being said, I really enjoyed the story that Carole Cummings has written in Ghost, the first book in the Wolf’s-own series.  It is a well planned and wonderfully executed fantasy novel.  The world building happens from page one and is hyper-speed-paced, which is why you need the glossary, but it is also a vivid world with characters, locations, religions, and more that drew me right in!

Now, fantasy is one of my all-time favorite genres to read, but Ghost has a refreshing complexity to it that I just can’t get out of my mind.  Even when I wasn’t actively reading about Malick and Fen, I found myself worrying about the events happening around them and how things would turn out in the end.

One of the Jin people, it was foretold that Fen would become an Untouchable (Ghost).  As an Untouchable, Fen is able to hear the voices of his people’s Ancestors and can only wait for the day that those voices inevitably drive him insane.

Taken from his family as a child, Fen is trained as an assassin by Asai, the man who rules his life and who is also a powerful member of the Adan people (who keep the Jin).  But Asai’s plans for Fen and his people are darker than anything he could ever have imagined.  When he discovers just how far Asai is willing to go, Fen rushes to rescue and hide his twin brother and younger siblings, but is unable to save his mother.  Soon afterwards, Fen is ambushed by Malick and the group of mercenaries/assassins that he leads.

Unable to escape, Fen is pulled into Malick’s scheming and will soon have to decide if he wants to forever be a pawn in the games of others or if he will choose his own path and embrace the power that only he can wield.

An interesting part of the story is that Fen has learned that he can ignore the voices of the Ancestors by cutting himself.  As someone who lives with a diagnosis of self-injury, cutting in particular (though I’ve been SI free for years now), this was something that made Fen all the more real to me.  I was able to connect with his character, because I know what it’s like to want the voices to stop.

Ghost pulled me right in and made me want desperately to know what would happen next and how Fen and Malick’s relationship would grow.  However, be warned that this book ends in a cliffhanger and you’ll be dying to read book two.  Make sure you have it on hand!