Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up-ish

Oh what a day it has been! I set my alarm so I could be awake and bundled up on the couch with my book stack and a fresh cup of coffee by the time this kicked off this morning. My children however, had other plans for me. One of the twins woke up at 5 to go to the bathroom, and in the process woke up everyone. Needless to say, I was up long before go time. Ah, motherhood.

If the beginning was rough, it was nothing compared to the next few hours where I read a total of 7 pages. I knew it would be tough to participate this round because we had other stuff going on today so I just made the best of it and laughed at the chaos. I was finally able to get some good reading time in after our morning commitments were finished and I dropped my children off with their grandparents for the rest of the day. I had some housework that had to get done today, so I spent that time listening to the audio version of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I read A Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue last year and absolutely loved it and this one is proving to be just as enjoyable so far.

Later in the afternoon I was able to settle in again with Fruit of the Drunken Tree, which I’ve just finished in hour 18. This was a very heavy read for a readathon, but I needed to finish it for book club this week so I powered through. Contreras writes really beautifully and I flew through it despite the dark subject matter. It’s one of several books I’ve read this year based on true people and events. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next book she writes.

It’s a little after midnight where I am, but I’m going to try to read for a couple more hours to make up for the lost time of this morning. Next up is the newest installment of Lumberjanes and then if I’m still awake after that I’ll be starting Little Panic by Amanda Stern. Despite the craziness of mom life and the less than stellar planning this round, I still really enjoyed today and I made some new book friends too. I typically post all of my updates here on the blog, but decided to stick mostly to instagram this time. You can find me there @whatsjennareading. Did any of you participate? What did you read?

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Foundryside – Robert Jackson Bennett

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Publisher: Crown

Publication Date: August 21st, 2018

Page Count: 512

From the Jacket:

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

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Holy forking shirt balls, this book is fantastic! In Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett has created an epic urban fantasy full to bursting with a completely inventive magical system, mind bending scientific details, creative world building, vibrant characters and an impossible heist plot. It was completely addicting and I abandoned all of my nightly responsibilities until I finished it.

The city of Tevanne is ruled over by merchant houses, each vying against the other for power and money by selling magic. Through a magical technology known as ‘scriving’, inanimate objects are given coded commands which allow them to defy reality. (Here, Bennett spares no details, and describes in great detail how this technology works. It is absolutely enchanting and one of my favorite aspects of the book.) In order to scrive within the city, you must belong to one of the merchant houses, and gifted scrivers work to produce house designs in exchange for the comfort and safety of living within the house walls. Those that do not belong to a house live in extreme poverty and must fight daily to survive. Because of that, the city is also home to an active underworld of independent scrivers who create knock off designs for profit.

It is in this underworld where we meet Sancia, a talented thief with a very dark past, who survives life in Tevanne by taking risky jobs.  After successfully pulling off a particularly difficult robbery, she breaks one of her rules, and opens the box she has stolen. It is the discovery of what the box contains that sets off a chain of reactions that cannot be undone. Suddenly, she finds that her business partner is dead and she is being hunted by a powerful group of assassins who are wielding a kind of power previously unseen in Tevanne. While hiding out on a rooftop, she sees one of the men chasing her turn off all of the scrived devices in the city at the touch of a single button, causing panic and devastation (imagine the scene in Revolution when all the power goes out all over the world).

Sancia barely escapes with her life, and in order to stop the men pursuing her, she partners with some very unlikely people. Together they discover a truly horrifying plot that will forever alter their world. Racing against a very tight timeline, they plan a crazy scheme to break into the most guarded place in the city and pull off the heist to end all others. The action does not let up until the very end, and the last few pages will leave you very impatiently waiting for more.

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This book was so much fun to read! The plot moved quickly, and all the while Bennett  built a vivid and realistic world, full of political intrigue, unforgettable characters and fascinating technical explanations about scriving. This is definitely not your typical fantasy novel.  It gave me the same sort of vibes I got while reading the Broken Earth series, and if you enjoyed that crazy ride, I think this one is for you. Foundryside comes out tomorrow, so do yourself a favor and pick it up! A huge thank you to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.