I am very choosy about the Middle Grade that I read since I don’t read much and it can be very hit or miss for me to find MG titles that, I as an adulI am very choosy about the Middle Grade that I read since I don’t read much and it can be very hit or miss for me to find MG titles that, I as an adult can enjoy. When I saw the synopsis for A Curious Tale of the In-Between, I knew it was one that I should read. I’ve really enjoyed Lauren DeStefano’s Young Adult titles and I adore her writing style and just knew that she would write Middle Grade beautifully. I’m so happy that I wasn’t let down with this 1st in her new Pram series.
A truly Gothic tale written in dreamy language…
A Curious Tale of the In-Between enfolds you from page one and carries the reader along as if drifting through grey cloudy skies and murky pond water.
Orphaned as a baby and raised and home-schooled by her spinster Aunts in an old house which they have converted into a retirement home, Pram has had a fairly isolated childhood. Add in the fact that she can communicate with ghosts…and the fact that one in particular Felix, is her best friend…and you have the makings for an incredibly unique main character. I loved getting to know Pram, seeing how her mind worked, and how she viewed the world around her.
Each relationship she develops is so beautifully nuanced…from her interactions with the Elders, to her aunts, to Felix and then her new friend Clarence. She smart and sensible, sensitive and empathetic beyond her years.
Felix and Clarence also make compelling secondary characters, each with his own interesting back story that unfolds as we get to know them. They are so very different yet the one thing that they undoubtedly share is their care for Pram.
The heart of A Curious Tale of the In-Between though is the amazing way that DeStefano paints a picture of both our world and the spirit world…and then still leaves room for the world beyond that.
Suicide, death, abuse, abduction are all woven into this dark tale.
This is a read that deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, but it handled with such sensitivity and finesse that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to my nieces....more
*Secret Sisters starts off with intrigue and never lets up. The pacing is perfect as is the writing..and though I5 REASONS WHY I LOVED SECRET SISTERS
*Secret Sisters starts off with intrigue and never lets up. The pacing is perfect as is the writing..and though I wouldn’t class this as “unputdownable”, Krentz certainly kept me turning the pages long after I should have been sleeping.
*The setting perfectly fit the bill. Small coastal towns are my favorite. I prefer the Northeast, but this Pacific Northwest island suited me just fine and added a lot to the ambiance of the book.
*I love seeing strong female friendships. Although Madeline and Daphne haven’t seen each other in almost two decades…it’s wonderful to see how lasting childhood friendships can be. They always had each others backs and they fell easily right back into their friendship.
*The romance developed slowly and was completely believable. Both Madeline and Jack we damaged and somewhat closed off from other people…in each other though they found the perfect match and it was lovely to see how they understood and eventually opened up to each other.
*Secondary characters added great depth. I’d love to see a story with Daphne and Abe as the leads.
Jayne Ann Krentz always delivers…and this book was no exception. With a perfect mix of mystery and suspense with a nice dose of romance thrown in Secret Sisters checked all the boxes for me....more
I’m so glad that I’ve finally read Kim Harrison and am able to see why she is so loved.
The Drafter is the perfect start to a great new series.
After reI’m so glad that I’ve finally read Kim Harrison and am able to see why she is so loved.
The Drafter is the perfect start to a great new series.
After reading Sideswiped, I was confident that I was in for a thoroughly enjoyable ride with The Drafter…and I was so right!
This was a wonderfully paced novel that accomplished everything I could hope for in the start to a new series. The world building was consistent and methodical…slowly building us a picture throughout the tale without feeling like there was any sort of information dump.
The character development was also spectacular…especially considering the fact that so many characters’ backgrounds, motivations, etc are ambiguous or shadowed due to the plot and the nature of drafting. I really loved Peri’s personality. She’s a take no nonsense sort of person stuck in a situation where she is left incredibly vulnerable much of the time. I loved seeing how she reconciled the two.
And the premise itself was incredibly fascinating. I love books with a little bit of a science fiction bend and The Drafter definitely has that. Although never fear it is not to the point that it bogs the pace down at all. Everything was easily explained and understood…it’s really just the implications and possibilities of it all that leaves one’s mind working…
I really enjoyed The Drafter and will definitely keep an eye out for book 2.
This world and these characters have immense potential!...more
A perfect holiday romance, Evergreen Springs, exceeded my expectations. Revisiting the small town setting of Haven Point during the holiday season andA perfect holiday romance, Evergreen Springs, exceeded my expectations. Revisiting the small town setting of Haven Point during the holiday season and all of it's denizens made it so easy to fall right into this story and get swept away in the charm and magic of the holidays and RaeAnne Thayne's romance.
I'll be honest, I had a little bit of trouble with the main characters in this one at first. Devin is a very reserved, fairly regimented individual who was a little hard to connect with at first. Cole is an ex Rodeo Cowboy (a career choice the animal lover in me can not admire) and a parolee to boot. It didn't take long though for me to check my reservations and let the past stay in the past (as Devin so admirably did) and soon both of these characters began to really grow on me.
Cole is now trying to save the family ranch, while harboring his pregnant sister Tricia and struggling with the new full time parenting upon the heels of the tragic death of his ex wife.
Devin steps in and shows how big her heart and that of Haven point is. She finds herself drawn to Cole despite her reservations and can't help but feel a pull to his children who've so recently lost their mother. She makes it her mission that they have a real special Christmas...and from there the magic just happens.
This is a really heartfelt and warming tale with a great mix of personal challenges, second chances, familial issues and resolutions and of course heartwarming romance. And it all takes place during the most magical time of the year in an amazing small town setting that will charm the mitten off you.
I'd been looking forward to Devin's story and her Happily Ever After and was so happy that she found it with Cole. You will be too.
Don't hesitate to pick this one up. Save it for a chilly afternoon and curl up with a mug of cocoa and Evergreen Springs...I promise it will warm you right up:)...more
Clockwork Menagerie was an interesting chance for a little insight into Archmage Konstantin’s work and his budding relationship with Himmel. I enjoyedClockwork Menagerie was an interesting chance for a little insight into Archmage Konstantin’s work and his budding relationship with Himmel. I enjoyed both of their characters and was happy to realize that this was their story. As usual Kontantin did annoy me a bit, he just seems way too immature for his age but it didn’t hinder my enjoyemnt of the novella too much.
As usual Karen Kincy’s writing is superb, the plot flowed effortlessly and the descriptives are amazing. I love living in a new world through her eyes and the taste of St. Petersburg that we got in this novella was rich and gorgeous.
The deiselpunk aspects of the story – the technomancy and psychothaumaturgy – boggled my mind just a bit, but it’s easy enough to set ones questions aside and just go with the flow of the story.
Magic is Magic after all.
I love how imaginative the Shadows of Asphodel series is!
The M/M romance in this one was something completely new and a bit outside of my comfort zone. To be honest, although we all knew where these two were headed, I wish there had been a bit more development of their relationship. It just seemed a bit too rushed and inevitable feeling. (I skimmed through the few love scenes that there were…they were relatively short and tastefully done but were fairly explicit.)
I do wish that Kincy had taken a bit more time to delve into the feeling of each of the men regarding the wqar efforts and the cost involved. Konstantin has a bit of a crisis of conscience toward the end of the novella and Himmel makes some compelling ppoints which I felt would have been a great jumping bourd to delve a bit deeper into both of their psyches. I was disappointed that Kincy chose not to go there.
And I can’t deny that I missed Ardis and Wendel.
But perhaps that is due to the nature of writing a novella. There’s just never enough time to develop the story as much as in a full novel.
All in all, a strong effort and a solid addition to the Shadows of Asphodel series. I definitely recommend reading Clockwork Menagerie if you’ve enjoyed the first two books in the series....more