Unnatural Magic is a book I have wanted ever since I first heard of it. A while back I had read Amanda Hocking’s Trylle series and ever since then I have wanted to find more books about trolls. I had high hopes of going into reading this boo, but I had no idea just how much I would love this story. Unnatural Magic was truly a magical read and I can’t explain how enjoyable my reading experience really was.
The characters were what made this book so special. Onna was my favorite character. I loved her personality from the start, but watching her grow throughout the book into a confident young wizard made my heart happy. Jekran and Tsaria were also really entertaining to read about and I enjoyed how the point of view switched between the two plot lines. It took a long time for the plot lines to converge, so for a while it felt lie you got two books in one in the best way possible. I loved the way that trolls were depicted in this story. Their rich culture was interesting, but I also loved how they didn’t focus on gender as much as they did roles in society.
I think the thing that I loved the most about Unnatural Magic was the magic system. Magic wasn’t simple in this book, it took writing mathematical parameters and then executing them. The way it was described was so unique and very different from any other book I had ever read about magic. The possibilities were endless and I loved that in order to be good at magic wizards had to be really intelligent. The details included about the magic system and how it worked really helped bring the story to life.
I am a little disappointed because it looks like this might be a stand alone novel, but at the same time the story did feel complete. This is one of the few books that I would love to re-read and hope to introduce to many of my friends. This book had me so emotionally invested and filled me with so much joy. I’m just sad that I finished it....more
A Thousand Fires was an absolutely incredible read that I found myself tearing right through. Books that are about criminals are my catnip, so I’m not surprised that I loved this book about gang wars in San Francisco. A Thousand Fires is marketed as a re-telling of The Illiad and while I never read The Illiad I know about it and I know a lot about Greek and Roman mythology. I had expected this book to have some fantasy elements because of the comparison, but there weren’t any. Typically I would be really bummed about the fact that a book I thought would have fantasy elements didn’t turn out to be a fantasy at all, but this book was amazing just the way it was and if I knew it wasn’t a fantasy ahead of time I might not have given it a chance.
By the end of the first chapter I was so intrigued and I knew that I was already hooked by Shannon Price. The plot of A Thousand Fires is about 3 gangs fighting against each other, but the story didn’t just focus on the criminal elements of gang life, but also the politics and corruption of the city. The ways that the gangs contolled the city of San Francisco reminded me of how the mob used to be a controlling force in NYC. The corruption of the city and the politics of rival gangs make this book a fascinating read. This isn’t just a book about gang violence and trivial vendettas, this is also a book about scheming and plotting to help turn a city around.
The plot had me intrigued, but it was the characters that got me so invested in this story. Valerie found a family within the stags and the close relationships between the gang members felt so realistic. Found families are something I love to read about and I think that this one was done really well because I really cared about each character. Valerie was a great main character because she was so relatable and it was easy to sympathize with her. The death of her brother was her reason for getting involved with the Wars and her pain and grief were both conveyed so well that I felt like I really understood her. I think the teenage portrayal of the characters were done very well. I felt like I could see myself during my own teenage years in each of the characters throughout the story. All of the characters felt so real and were written so well.
While the characters truly made the story what it is I don’t feel that I can say that this novel was character driven, or even plot driven. Shannon Price did a fabulous job of balancing an intriguing plot with characters that felt like real people. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this book because it was so worth the read. I think this was a great debut YA novel and I can’t wait to see what Shannon Price writes next....more
The Bone Ships was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I was lucky enough to get a physical ARC and as soon as it showed up I started reading it. I am an absolute sucker for criminals in fantasy novels, so I was pretty sure that I was going to enjoy this book. The only thing I was worried about is that since it takes place on a ship that it would have tons of descriptions of the workings of a ship and I would get bored. Luckily for me R.J. Barker did a great job giving you just enough information, but not boring the reader to death with the details.
I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Joron was an interesting character and I loved how much he changed throughout the novel. In the beginning he was an alcoholic and when the ship, Tide Child, was in his care it was a messy disaster. Lucky Meas became captain and whipped the whole crew into shape. She was fierce, bold and brave. She inspired Joron and the crew to become brave as well. At times I swelled with pride at how far they came and the camaraderie between the crew. I also loved the gullimae. The gullimae was a bird-like creature that controlled the wind who Joron was tasked to befriend. When the two of them grew closer it just made me so happy. The gullimae was so well written and an excellent aspect of the book.
The plot was so much fun. The hunt for the sea dragon was such an adventure and Tide Child had to fight several ships along the way. R.J. Barker's writing was full of action and never wasted words on filler scenes that would bore the reader. I loved the entire book so much. It felt like a cross between a fantasy quest and a pirate story. I also am really glad that R.J. Barker didn't try to shove a romance into this story. It didn't need one, but it's hard to find a book that doesn't have a romance in it lately.
The Bone Ships was everything that I wanted it to be and more. The plot didn't have unexpected twists, but at the same time it didn't end the way I thought it would. After reading this I want to check out Age of Assassins, but I'm also psyched that there will be a sequel....more
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts was one of my top 10 most anticipated releases of the second half of the year. I expected it to be good, but I was absolutely blown away. As soon as I read the synopsis of this one I knew that I wanted it, but I’m shocked that this book appears to be flying under the radar. This book was such a fun, unique read that had me hooked from the start. I woke up early and went to bed late so I could fit in more reading time. I finished this book in two days despite working. Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts was so much fun and I can’t stop raving about it.
The plot is what grabbed my attention and the reason I was so excited for this book. A billionaire, Vincent Pryce, died and in his obituary, that he wrote himself prior to his death, he invited people to participate in a scavenger hunt to win his inheritance. The puzzles and clues hidden across the city made for a fun game, but the conflicts between characters added a whole other level to this plot. Vincent Pryce collected supernatural objects and had an obsession with Edgar Allen Poe, so the scavenger hunt had an eerie feel to begin with, but the main character Tuesday really helped add to that vibe as well as she felt like a Tim Burton character.
I loved every single one of the characters. Tuesday was my favorite and she had a mind for solving puzzles and investigating people. Her best friend Dex made me laugh a lot, but it was her teenage neighbor Dorry who truly got my heart. Tuesday and Dorry’s friendship warmed my heart. Dorry was struggling with grief after losing her mother and Tuesday really helped Dorry just by being a friend to her. All of these characters felt so real to me and had me so emotionally invested.
The climax and the ending of this story felt so satisfying. While I didn’t want the story to be over, it left me with such a good feeling. Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts really got me into a fall vibe and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world so I can make all of my friends read it. It was just so unique and so much fun to read and experience. I hope that this book gets the recognition that it deserves because people won’t want to miss this one....more
[image] You can also read my review here:https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... It has been a while since I've read an urban fantasy novel, and as[image] You can also read my review here:https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... It has been a while since I've read an urban fantasy novel, and as soon as I saw this title I knew I had to have it. Pricked is set in a fairy tale version of NYC, called The Poisoned Apple, that is within the normal NYC and can be accessed through a magical door. The Poisoned Apple holds elements of NYC, but is also a fairy tale world. Pricked is not a re-telling, but has its own original plot and characters. This entire book was incredibly funny and almost felt like a spoof on fairy tales, but it had a real plot, great world building and interesting characters.
"I thought you guys had to sing happy-go-lucky nonsense songs when you did these magical makeovers?" I said as the cloth spun lazily above Crea's head.
"Oh, please," Crea scoffed. "That's all Disney's idea. If you ever catch me saying any Mary Poppins bullshit, just punch me in the face.
The world building was done really well. Scott Mooney wrote vivid descriptions of The Poisoned Apple so it could be easily pictured by the readers. I loved the magical elements to it all. The Poisoned Apple was a place where you shouldn't trust step mothers and had to be wary of curses, anything that was common in fairy tales was also common in The Poisoned Apple. Pricked included so many fairy tale elements, but also felt incredibly unique. Briar's magic was so interesting and one of my favorite aspects of the story. She could put her emotions into a rose and then give them to someone else and she could also smell how people were feeling. The myriad of ways that Briar used her magic was entertaining and creative.
It was my second break-in during the last eighteen hours. What happened to my life? It was like my high school counselor had been right about me all along.
My favorite part of this book was how much it made me laugh or smile. The dialogue is filled with banter, the internal thoughts of Briar made me laugh and even aspects of the world were funny. I also really enjoyed the plot. It felt like a combination of a mystery and a fairy tale. The pacing of the novel was really fast and it was a very light read, so it was a perfect read after I had finished a dense epic fantasy, and a perfect choice if you are in search of a lighter fantasy read.
If I was going to be devoured by flesh-eating wolves, my last thoughts were definitely not going to be, 'Does he like me, or does he like me like me?'
I almost passed this one by and I am so glad that I gave it a chance. The world was so immersive, I really enjoyed the characters, it made me laugh over and over and I enjoyed the plot. The ending left me wanting to read the sequel, but also didn't feel like a cliffhanger. It clearly set up for the next book, but left me feeling happy and satisfied. I can't wait for the sequel to come out so I can return to these characters and The Poisoned Apple....more
The Furies was one of my most anticipated releases of the second half of the year. I had a review copy of this book for about six months before I finally got to read it and it has been calling to me from my shelf the entire time. After having been disappointed by several of my most anticipated releases recently I was pretty nervous starting this one, but it wound up being absolutely incredible. The Furies is a dark and eerie read that is a perfect choice for the month of October.
Since this book was compared to The Craft I had expected Violet to join a coven of witches who did dark spells, while this was similar I don’t know if I would call the girls witches. They studied demonology and things like that and did try out some rituals, but I wouldn’t say the main focus of this book is purely witchcraft. This is a very dark book, with themes of desperation, a lot of drug use and murder. The Furies is a cross between a thriller and a paranormal read that felt entirely real.
The characters are what truly brought this book to life. When Violet started at the local private school she was so desperate to have friends that she would do anything to not only have them, but to keep and to fit in with them. She became obsessed with her new friends Robin, Alex and Grace. Robin was my favorite character, probably because she was so flawed and morally grey. All of these characters just felt so real and so relatable regardless of the situations that they were in.
I really loved the writing. While the pacing is slower than I typically like I found that I didn’t mind because I didn’t want the story to end. It was character driven rather than plot driven and the characters were so strong that I wish that I could have kept reading about them. My only issue is that there were certain moments in the book, including the climax, that I felt like should have packed more of an emotional punch. While I do understand the author’s choice in having Violet be detached from these events because it made her character feel a little more unhinged, as a reader I felt like it lessened the impact of these huge moments.
I still can’t stop thinking about this book. The Furies really made an impact on me and I think a large part of that is because the characters felt so real, but I also think it’s because parts of this book were so dark and chilling. This was the perfect read to start off the spooky season and I can’t wait for others to read and experience this book as well....more
Review: 5 Stars I was a little apprehensive about this title because it's been getting a lot of hype, but also since it is a portal fantasy I assumed that it would require a lot of world building for all of the different worlds. While the story didn't travel to the many worlds that I expected it to and wanted it to, I still wound up absolutely loving this story. Right away I liked the way it was written. The story is told in first person from January's point of view as she recounted events to the reader. While sometimes I feel like acknowledging the reader isn't a great choice, in this story it was the perfect one.
The thing that I loved the most about The Ten Thousand Doors of January was that it felt entirely real to me. This story truly came to life for me and I could almost believe that it was true. In the story January finds a book titled The Ten Thousand Doors, which is partially a scholarly investigation into Doors that are portals to other worlds, and partially a story of two lovers traveling through Doors in attempts to find one another. The inclusion of The Ten Thousand Doors within this book added immensely to the world building, but also made the possibility of Doors feel incredibly real. I haven't read a ton of magical realism titles, but after this one I really want to read more books in that genre because the fact that Doors felt so real made me love this book even more.
While I did hope for the plot to take me to many different worlds like Valhalla and Atlantis, and I was worried that there wouldn't be good enough world building this book had me completely absorbed. While the story didn't travel to lots of different worlds, the world building was still fantastic. Even though I had different hopes for the plot I absolutely loved where this book wound up going. While none of the plot twists really caught me off guard, I also couldn't predict where the story was going to take me next. It was a magical journey that really pulled at my heart strings, but also showed me what it was like for darker skinned people in America in the early 1900's.
Each one of the characters in this story was written well. In the beginning of the story when January got a dog who became her best friend I knew I was going to cherish this book. January wound up with friends who were fiercely loyal to her and couldn't believe that people would want to be her friend and that they wouldn't abandon her. She was easy to relate to even though I am quite different from her because the first person point of view conveyed her personality and thoughts very well. Even the villain of the story was multi-layered and interesting. I would love a spin off story about Jane though, because I really wanted to know so much more about her life. I would honestly love a spin off story about any one of the worlds that the Doors lead to.
I tried to reign in my expectations for this book, but there was really no need because it was beautiful and magical. This fierce story of hope, friendship and family was so well written and is one that I absolutely cherished. I am so grateful that I received an ARC and highly recommend that everyone gives this book the chance it deserves. I was surprised to find out that The Ten Thousand Doors of January was Alix E Harrow's debut novel and am excited to check out her next book which has been pitched as "suffragists, but witches" and is set in an 1890's alternate America where they fight to restore women's magic. The idea sounds amazing and I can't wait to read more books by Alix E Harrow....more
When Sky in the Deep came out I tried to get a review copy, but wasn’t lucky enough to get one. When I heard that The Girl the Sea Gave Back was a spin off and not a sequel I was thrilled and this time I was lucky enough to get a review copy. I was very excited for this one and love that it is based on Viking culture. I wound up really enjoying this book.
The Girl the Sea Gave Back is more character driven than plot driven. A lot of time is spent developing the two main characters Tova and Halvard through flashbacks. I really love how certain scenes were recounted twice, once through Tova’s eyes and once through Halvard’s. It really helped show their different perspectives. While I really enjoyed reading about the two of them I felt like there was a little something missing. While we learned about their pasts and gained insight into who they were, I felt like they were serious most of the time. There wasn’t a ton of personality or any light hearted banter that made the reader feel close to the characters. Even though I would have liked some lighter moments I still very much enjoyed reading about them.
In the beginning I struggled a bit with the pronunciation of all the different Viking names. In other cultural fantasies I have found that this issue has distanced me from the story, so I made a point not to skim over the names and pronounce them in my head the best I could. I really enjoyed the Viking culture that is included in the book. I especially enjoyed the views on fate and the casting of rune stones to predict the future. I have always been fascinated by fortune telling and the rune stones also added a cultural element to the story. I did find myself wishing that there was more explained about the different gods though. While I really enjoyed the inclusion of Viking practices and beliefs I wanted there to be a little more cultural stuff included.
Overall I am pretty impressed. I wish that there was a little more to the plot, but at the same time I really enjoyed the story the way it was. I absolutely loved the climax of the book, it gave me goosebumps and I had a huge smile on my face. I was right to be excited for this one and I really hope that someday I get the chance to also read Sky in the Deep....more