I did a re-read of Dime Store Magic for one of my 2015 reading challenges. I can’t believe that it’s already been ten years since I first read this boI did a re-read of Dime Store Magic for one of my 2015 reading challenges. I can’t believe that it’s already been ten years since I first read this book.
After the events of Stolen, Paige Winterbourne has taken in thirteen year old Savannah Levine whose mother recently died. Savannah is a powerful witch for her age, but impulsive. It’s a dangerous combination that has the Nast Cabal (the supernatural equivalent of the mafia) tearing Paige’s life apart in a bid for custody. As her life continues to crumble around her, Paige is forced to accept assistance from Lucas Cortez, a young lawyer with his own motives for helping.
I decided to read Dime Store Magic again because I didn’t give Paige a fair shot the first time around. When I first read this, it was immediately after devouring the first two books in the series, which feature werewolf Elena Michaels. I had adored Elena and wasn’t excited to discover that the next book's narrator was going to be the twenty-something witch from Stolen. (Especially, since I hadn’t cared for Paige in that story.) While I had ended-up enjoying Dime Store Magic on my first reading, I still thought Paige was a little lack luster. It wasn’t until later in the series that I got into her and Lucas, as characters. So, I’m glad I did a re-read as I was able to appreciate them more this time around.
The most interesting thing about going back to this book was seeing just how far Armstrong has come with her characters and the world. There were several moments in the story where I thought Paige, Lucas, and the ideas behind witches were rather shaky and clichéd. It felt like Armstrong wasn’t sure where she wanted to take the characters at this point in the series. Despite this, I still enjoyed the book enough that I might also re-read Industrial Magic.
Overall, my grade for this book didn’t change. I would recommend Dime Store Magic to fans of the series, but I don’t think I would suggest you start off with this book. If you’re looking to get into the Women of the Otherworld series, I would suggest starting out with Bitten. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is a great young adult book. I loved the world Jones developed here as well as the idea of placing the heroine, Sophie, under a**spoiler alert** This is a great young adult book. I loved the world Jones developed here as well as the idea of placing the heroine, Sophie, under a curse that aged her to look and feel like an old woman. But that it didn't crush her spirit and instead gave her courage to start doing things for herself. The other main characters, Howl and Calcifer, were fantastic as well. I rather enjoyed how foppish Howl was and the bantering that went on between him and Sophie was amusing. ...more
One of the biggest things that annoyed me about this book is how easy everything seemed to be solved for Julian and Grace. It just seemed like wheneveOne of the biggest things that annoyed me about this book is how easy everything seemed to be solved for Julian and Grace. It just seemed like whenever the two of them found themselves in a bind, some god or goddess would throw something at them to help. I wanted to see Grace and Julian work through the curse more by themselves and not with all these random gods throwing them helping hands along the way. But the way Grace and Julian interacted with each other more than helped make up for that. I loved how much quiet time they spent together and it made their developing relationship seem much more believable. By the end of the story I was convinced that Julian and Grace’s relationship would last and that they wouldn’t be trying to curse each other into a book after a week.
Grace was good character and she managed to hold her own in the book, but I have to say that I really really liked Julian. One of the main reasons I liked Julian so much was that despite the fact that he was a Spartan general back in the day, he manages to see Grace as an equal and doesn’t go into “Me Tarzan, You Jane” mode.
This book doesn’t go very far into the dark hunter world, but you could see that Kenyon was starting to set up things that will be addressed in later books in the series when we start to get deeper into that world. Her site says that you don’t have to read the books in order and I don’t doubt that at all, but in my opinion I think it might be better if you did start from the beginning. So you can see the world building evolve instead of just being thrust into everything like I was in Unleash the Night. All around though this was a great story and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. ...more
This is a really fun story by Phillips and underneath all the joking; you have characters with real psychological problems that makes them all the morThis is a really fun story by Phillips and underneath all the joking; you have characters with real psychological problems that makes them all the more real and interesting. The only problem I have with this book is that it had a relatively odd plot twist. But, if you’re a fan of Phillips writing then this is a must and if you’ve never tried anything of hers I’d think this is a pretty good place to start....more
**spoiler alert** Rosalind Hawkins is screwed. She had been in the middle of getting her masters degree when her father died, leaving behind a mountai**spoiler alert** Rosalind Hawkins is screwed. She had been in the middle of getting her masters degree when her father died, leaving behind a mountain of debts and no way to pay them off. Now all Rose has to her name is a couple of ratty dresses and handful of worthless mementos. And since this is 1905 her options of employment are pretty limited. So when Rose receives a job offer to be a governess for the railroad baron, Jason Cameron, she accepts it and moves to San Francisco. But when Rose arrives at Cameron’s estate she finds the place strangely devoid of human life except for Cameron’s creepy valet. She also discovers that the governess position was a hoax and that what Cameron really needed was someone who could read several ancient languages. This is fine with Rose seeing as she never really wanted to deal with a bunch of screaming kids anyway and she’ll be able to use her college education. Plus there are also the added bonuses of a big check, a new wardrobe, and plush living quarters. All for just reading to a disabled guy via speaking tube every night.
There was too many things going on at once between Rose and Jason’s developing relationship, the mission to find a way to reverse Jason’s wolf-iness, the valet creeping around, the other fire master trying to take Jason down, and the list goes on. It was still a really great story, but it felt too rushed for my tastes. The main villain was supposed to be the other fire master in the area and yet we hardly ever saw him. So I didn’t really get a chance to build up a nice big chuck of hate for the character. I disliked the valet a hell of a lot more than the main villain and the valet was just a pawn. So that kind of took away from the big showdown between Jason and the other fire master. -That showdown was still pretty awesome though.-
Despite the off stage main villain, all the other characters were awesome. Rose was smart and didn’t freak out over every little thing that Jason pulled with her. And Jason was awesome, even though he did have a bit of a stalker thing going with his being able to use mirrors to see what other people were doing. He watched Rose constantly, but that mostly because he didn’t trust her too much and then because he was vicariously living through her. This was fine by me, seeing as he didn’t build a shrine to her or start sniffing her underwear. Jason also had a great back story and was just a great character.
I was kind of disappointed when Jason didn’t find a way to reverse what happened to him. I think it’s because so much of the plot was about him trying to find some way to change him self back that I felt cheated when he didn’t find a cure. Also the way the plot was set up I think I would’ve looked at it more as him being redeemed from his past arrogance, etc....more
One Good Knight follows Princess Andromeda, aka Andie, who isn’t your typical sit around and look pretty princess. In fact, she hates all the pompousOne Good Knight follows Princess Andromeda, aka Andie, who isn’t your typical sit around and look pretty princess. In fact, she hates all the pompous stuff that goes along with the title. She’d much rather be reading or wandering around outside, but she puts up with all strict rules and frilly gowns to try and win her mummy’s approval. But even when she’s doing her best impression of the perfect princess her mum still isn’t very impressed. So Andie sets out to become the apple of her mom’s eye by using her greatest asset… her brain.
So Andie dives into the kingdom’s archives and starts churning out some pretty impressive papers that help her mother handle the commerce part of her job easier. But soon Andie starts getting too close to finding out the juicy habits of her mother and her mother’s adviser, so the queen decides she has got to go. And what’s a better way to get rid of a daughter than feeding her to a dragon? So at the next virgin lottery (yes that’s right. Virgin sacrifice lottery) Andie’s name gets pulled.
This story was pretty enjoyable. The characters were all entertaining. Lackey always writes great heroines so I wasn't too surprised at how much I liked Andie. She knew her limitations and accepted them. She knew that she'd only probably poke someone's eye out by swinging around a sword, so she let the others handle that area and instead helped figure out strategies for the upcoming battle. I really liked George's character as well, unfortunately I can't really say too much more than that without giving away a spoiler or two so I'll just leave it at that. It was also good to see Elena and Alexander from the previous book and I was relieved that they actually had a part to play in the plot instead of just popping in for a hello.
All in all, this was a fun read. The basic elements of this plot are definitely some of my favorites. But I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that Lackey’s next installment in the series goes back to the way The Fairy Godmother was written. ...more
I loved Maya. She’s strong and confident and knows how to get what she needs. When we first meet her she’s sitting in some high brow Dr’s office grittI loved Maya. She’s strong and confident and knows how to get what she needs. When we first meet her she’s sitting in some high brow Dr’s office gritting her teeth and trying to appear as harmless as she can so she can get the practice license she needs in order to legally make money from her skills as a Dr. But she’s not a doormat, she fights for what she wants, but she also knows when it’s better to back off and come at a problem again from another angle.
However, the romance relationship between Maya and Peter seemed rushed. I also would’ve liked to have known a bit more about Peter. And I wish the villain hadn’t been so plainly evil, but I guess that isn’t too bad seeing as these are supposed to be rewritten fairy tales and usually those do have clear black and white lines. ...more
I love short stories and I especially love when all the stories somehow connect to each other (kinda like how the movies Crash and Love Actually are sI love short stories and I especially love when all the stories somehow connect to each other (kinda like how the movies Crash and Love Actually are set up) because of that I really enjoyed reading through this book. This novel centers around several Haitian people trying to escape or come to terms with past experiences revolving around a group of prison guards/torturers that they call Dew Breakers. The thing I liked best about this book was probably how Danticat made everything into one huge gray area. We didn't just get the perspectives of the people who were harmed by the dew breakers but also the point of view of one of the dew breakers. I also seriously enjoyed how the stories came full circle. ...more
I absolutely loved the whole Renaissance Faire setting and Pepper's character was hilarious. She's blunt and the dialog with her and Walker is great.I absolutely loved the whole Renaissance Faire setting and Pepper's character was hilarious. She's blunt and the dialog with her and Walker is great. Also, I loved Moth, the cat Pepper toted around with her all over the faire. I would've liked to see more about the other aspects of the Renaissance Faire aside from the jousting, but it was understandable that MacAlister didn't venture off too far with her writing into the other areas of the faire. At the end there were a few things I felt were left unresolved, but not as much as in The Corset Diaries....more
**spoiler alert** I really couldn’t get into Anthony’s character too much. Mostly because he has some major jerk moments in this book that I don’t thi**spoiler alert** I really couldn’t get into Anthony’s character too much. Mostly because he has some major jerk moments in this book that I don’t think he ever really redeemed himself of.
Kate on the other hand was great. She was smart and pretty much told things like they were. I also really liked seeing that Kate and Edwina had a good relationship, despite being step sisters. Kate wasn’t bitter at all of Edwina’s attention and Edwina wasn’t conceited about it. But one of my biggest problems had to do with that. I would’ve liked to have seen Kate get noticed and have something nice done for her at least once in the book. But everything nice that happens to her happens because of Edwina. Like one scene in particular where Kate is enjoying the flowers her sister got from various suitors, because she hasn’t gotten any and Anthony walks in on her when he comes to call for Edwina. And he’s got three bouquets of flowers, a large one for Edwina and two smaller ones for Kate and her mother, because he remembered how well that went over when Simon did it for his mother. Now I think I was supposed to be touched that Anthony would bring flowers for the rest of the family, but I didn’t see it as an act of kindness. I saw it as him trying to weasel his way into Kate’s and her mother’s good graces and the only reason why he even thought of doing that were because Simon had done it. Meanwhile Kate’s trying to hide how much receiving a few flowers touched her and I just felt really bad for her. Even when they get hitched, I don’t really remember Anthony doing something nice for her. Instead he pretty much just comes home at night to bop her before scampering off when the sun rises. Yeah, I know, he has problems, but I just couldn’t seem to like him.
Despite me not liking the hero of this book, it was still an okay read. Anthony wasn’t so bad as to make me want to put down the book. Kate and the minor characters in the story made up for my dislike of him. And there were some amusing scenes featuring other members of the Bridgerton clan that I liked. ...more
Hope Spenser works for a tabloid writing fictional stories like “300 lb cat eats owner!” She’s come to Gospel, because she’s being stalked by some looHope Spenser works for a tabloid writing fictional stories like “300 lb cat eats owner!” She’s come to Gospel, because she’s being stalked by some loony and has lost her muse. Luckily, there’s enough weird stuff that goes on in Gospel to send her muse into overdrive. When I first started the book I didn’t like Hope’s character. She came off as bitchy, but that didn’t take long to change. She turned out to be a fun character, just one that guards herself.
Dylan Taber is the sheriff and has all the single women in town itching to get into his pants. His ex is a famous TV star for a show that sounds suspiciously like Touched by an Angel and it would be bad for multiple reasons if word got out that the head angel had an illegitimate son. So, when he finds out that Hope writes for magazines he gets a little twitchy. Dylan’s a nice a guy, but not one of those perfect saintly types. He’s got some issues that you see him struggling with in the story.
One of my favorite settings for books is small towns. Which is probably because I grew up in one and so the setting is more familiar. Anyway, I picked up True Confessions primarily because it’s set in a small town. I loved Gospel and while some people would find the characters a little too far out there to be believable, I didn’t. While people didn’t have toilet tossing contests in my town I wouldn’t put it past them to decide to put one on. Anyway,all the characters were great, which is good because they were what the plot relied on. The book is a romance, but it’s also about Hope developing friendships and finding a place among the people in Gospel.
However, the speed of the book felt a little off to me. It had a smooth pace at the beginning, but towards the end something started to feel wrong about it. It was a little rushed and the climax was a little boring. It was one of those big misunderstandings, where the heroine is wrongly accused and the hero blows a gasket. Despite that I still enjoyed the story and will probably pick up another book by Gibson in the future. ...more