Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an eARC through NetGalley.
Such a beautiful and heartwarming book. The first thing that caught my eye waThanks to the publisher for providing me with an eARC through NetGalley.
Such a beautiful and heartwarming book. The first thing that caught my eye was the art! The illustrations are so so gorgeous an I'm definitely going to get a physical copy to own at some point. It is heavily based on the author's own experiences as a Hmong refugee in the United States. The culture shows through in the food they eat, the stories they tell and it's just so beautifully written and illustrated.
Kalia's family live simply with little food and no money for luxuries but there is a lot of love among the family members. They care for each other and work around the house together. This is a fantastic book to share with young children. ...more
The smallest book to have made me so happy has to be this one.. YES for more books featuring South Asian LGBT+ experiences. This is definitely a book The smallest book to have made me so happy has to be this one.. YES for more books featuring South Asian LGBT+ experiences. This is definitely a book kids ought to be reading! Also the art is so rich and gorgeous *insert all the heart eyes*. I also loved that the final page had more book recs for South Asian LGBT+ books....more
(I received a free eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Honestly the most favourite part of the series f (I received a free eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Honestly the most favourite part of the series for me is the found family and the banter. I LOVED the banter and dialogue so much I can't even. T J Klune knows how to write in a way that invokes multiple emotions at a time. This book is as heartwarming as it's heartbreaking.
Things I want to flail about -
- Can we just all put our hands together for all the relationships in this series? More than the romances, I adore the friendships and other three dimensional relationships SO SO MUCH.
- Elizabeth is the Wolf goddess and the most sweetest and badass mom to exist ever. She makes her mistakes but she owns up to them and knows just the things to say to each character. Her dialogues made me choke up at some points.
- Bambi. That's the whole sentence.
- I know I said this in my review of a previous book but I reiterate - HOW ARE THESE MIDDLE AGED MEN? OMFG THEY ARE RIDICULOUS AND HILARIOUS AND I LOVE THEM. Especially Chris, Tanner and Rico. The three musketeers. I STAN.
- But more importantly, the holy trinity. Wolf mom, Jessie and Bambi. QUEENS TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
- The three brothers! This book made the three brothers really see each other and know how they feel about each other and a certain conversation made me sob.
- The banter. Oh my God the banter. I was in stitches and just howling (yes pun very much intended) because of all the banter. I missed the banter in the first part of the book and I'm so glad we got more of it after some chapters!
- Green Creek. When can I move there and which ridiculously hot werewolf is going to bite and turn me so I can run with the wolves and howl at the moon?...more
4 Stars and a bottle of jam (Original Rating) 3 Stars (after much contemplation) - August 22, 2020
Reasons for why I reduced the rating - While I love t4 Stars and a bottle of jam (Original Rating) 3 Stars (after much contemplation) - August 22, 2020
Reasons for why I reduced the rating - While I love the characters, Laila's representation confuses me to no end. Full disclosure, I live in Chennai which is a little over 3 hours from Pondicherry where Laila is said to be from. Both places are in the state of Tamil Nadu and while Chennai is the capital, Pondicherry is an Union territory. Also let's remember this is a historical fiction fantasy set in 1889.
Laila is said to be a native of Pondicherry but literally the only thing that nods towards this is the fact that she knows bharatanatyam, a classical dance indigenous to Tamil Nadu. Everything else about Laila makes her seem like someone from the northern or northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.
The native tongue she slips into every now and then is Hindi (she uses words such as jaadugar which means magician in Hindi) and she knows the story of Laila and Majnun which is a Persian story. The story came to India through the Mughals but a person living in South India wouldn't know about the story in 1889. As a South Indian, my mother even today doesn't know who Laila and Majnun are. I know only because of popular culture.
Also in the 19th century the British banned all the temple dances for a while (Before this period, Bharatanatyam was exclusive to temples.) It's only in 20th century than the ban was lifted and people started performing and practicing the art outside temples.
In TGW I was giving the whole thing the benefit of the doubt because to me it wasn't very clear if Laila was from Pondicherry. One could assume she only went to Pondicherry but with TSS, I was sure Pondicherry is her native.
I do really like this trilogy and can't wait for the third book. I like the plot and all the character dynamics and I adore the writing style. Plus I have huge respect for Roshani Chokshi for being a pioneer is bringing Indian mythology to mainstream YA. But as an Indian, especially a South Indian I wouldn't recommend the book as having a good or accurate Indian rep. (I can't speak for the accuracy of other reps in the book though.) ______________ August 15/2020 - This book has made me crave jam (Considering what happened, what does that say about me?) + I'm wondering why fictional characters are averse to.... talking + I need book 3...more
(Thank you to Nerd Daily and the publisher for an eARC of this book!)
TW - physical and emotional domestic abuse, past trauma
Have you ever read a book (Thank you to Nerd Daily and the publisher for an eARC of this book!)
TW - physical and emotional domestic abuse, past trauma
Have you ever read a book and been unable to form any thoughts whatsoever for the next couple of hours because it was absolutely brilliant? This was that book for me. It gripped me from page 1 and I couldn't stop reading till I reached the final page.
~Complex characters one can't help but root for~
Cara is a force to be reckoned with. She is a multilayered character with so much depth that it's so easy to forget she's a fictional character in a book. She is strong, driven and a survivor. She is also a dreamer and as her mother puts it, "She was born reaching.". Cara is a traverser, one of those few who get to travel parallel worlds and collect. Some would call it lucky but that's such an irony considering a traverser can only go to a world where their parallel self is dead; and Cara is dead in more than 350 worlds.
I loved just how three dimensional all the characters were; even Dell who seems so aloof and stony most of the time. The fact that there are many parallel universes makes it all the more interesting. Hundreds of variations of the same person but having a slightly different life because of the choices they made. I also loved how the characters were so diverse. The main character is black and bisexual. There are multiple PoC characters, an f/f romance and non binary secondary characters.
My favourite part about the book were all the different relationships. The sisterhood between Cara and Esther was a delight to read about. Esther is one of the best secondary characters I've ever read. She is strong in her quiet way, polite and kind but also brilliant and ruthless when need arises. She's the kind of person who will always be there for the people she loves, regardless of how hard it is.
I also adored the mentor/mentee relationship between Jean and Cara. Jean is the clever and understanding elderly uncle to Cara's turbulent and cheeky personality. He more than just taught her about traversing; he taught her to be human, to soften and show compassion and at times to take a stand and fight back. I enjoyed the conversations between them so much!
I will not say much about the romance so as to not give away anything, but I loved it. I loved the complex and rocky development of trust, the confusion, the heartache and the slow burn which was frustrating in a really good way! It was so cleverly done and like a jigsaw puzzle that was slowly put together.
We coexist, parallel but never touching, and if one of us goes too far, or if I ever get too close, the Eridanus Void opens between us. We both withdraw and leave a cold dark in the space we almost touched that three suns couldn't light.
~Plot twists that will take you for a spin~
I liked that despite the main plot being a science fiction/dystopian thriller, the book also dealt with philosophical questions in a subtle way; how the smallest choices can make the biggest differences and how different situations shape us into different people.
This book surprised me in more ways than one. Just 9% into the book the author quietly dropped a plot twist that shocked me. YES AT JUST 9%. And throughout the book, at the best places, the authors presented plot twists that made my head spin in the best way possible. There is foreshadowing too and I think I'll be reading the book again to pick up on those.
While the science fiction aspect of the story might be considered light by hardcore sci-fi lovers, I personally loved the explanations the author gives for how traversing works and the laws she puts forth. I also loved the spiritual aspect of how traversers believe it is Goddess Nyame who guides them across different universes, that it is she who they feel in that space between worlds. After reading the book I looked it up and found out Nyame is the God of the Akan people of Ghana. I wonder if that is the mythology the author has drawn from.
~Writing that will keep you mesmerized~
The writing is 300% utterly brilliant. I couldn't stop marveling at how simple and powerful the writing was. The little paragraph at the beginning of each part comparing the way people of the scientific world and spiritual world saw things was so fascinating.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the subtle ways in which the author foreshadowed some twists; so subtle that you realize them for what they are only after you've see the twist. Both the fast paced plot and engaging writing is sure to keep readers at the edge of their seats as they read this book!
The Space Between Worlds is a story with multiverses and interdimensional travel but it's also the story of one survivor, her people and her lives across the multiverse. Micaiah Johnson beautifully brings these two together to give us a riveting story filled with adventures and emotions. ...more
This is the first book of a series (I thought it was a standalone until I saw the book 2 sneak peek at the end!) with young Diana being the awesome warrior hero she is!
It was a fast fun read that I read in one sitting, with LOTS of action throughout the book! The main characters are Diana, her best friend Sakina and a mysterious boy, Augustus. While they all had their moments, I wish I could have known more about them so I could feel connected.
Diana is brave and kind and really quite awesome but I wanted to know more about her life than these adjectives and I also wanted more answers about Diana from Hippolyta. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel to get those answers!
I liked the friendship between Diana and Sakina. Even when one messes up, the other doesn't dramatically get super mad at them like I've seen in a lot of books. Instead they talk it out and try to understand each other. YAY for such healthy friendships.
Augustus is a sweet bean and I hope we have more of him in the sequel too! Would like to see more of our potion making, chariot building boy!
The plot started very soon and kept me entertained! While I very much enjoyed the fast paced plot, I wish we had more answers to some of the plot based questions. I believe there will be answers in the sequel, but within this book they felt like deus ex machina without the explanations.
The writing is simple and fluid and I'd definitely recommend it for younger readers. They'd have so much fun and the language is easy to understand and beautiful....more
(A huge thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the eARC of the book)
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross is one of those books that took me by sur(A huge thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the eARC of the book)
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross is one of those books that took me by surprise. I hadn't expected it to love it so much but I did and I think the author's latest book makes me feel so too. It definitely exceeded expectations and I read it in almost one sitting.
~5 REASONS TO READ THIS BOOK ASAP~
~Underdog protagonists who will make you feel and root for them~
Something I've loved in the author's previous duology is how her main characters aren't all powerful, supremely strong characters who can do anything at all. They're normal people who grow to be something more with sheer hard work and willpower.
Sisters of Sword and Song does this too. Gives you protagonists who are flawed and real, protagonists who make it easy for us readers to root for them.
Evadne suffered a dog attack leaving her ankle permanently sore, making her limp badly on cold days. She's a girl who dreams of magic but has accepted there's none within herself. She envies her older sister but loves her fiercely all the same. she isn't the most strongest or cleverest person around but she's fierce and loyal and always tries her best.
Also personal note - When Evadne asked if she could please have a chiton with POCKETS, I totally whooped. YOU TELL THEM GIRL!
There is steel within me. I will not bend. I will not break.
Halcyon envies her younger sister for having the most of her parents' affections. She's strong and brave and a fighter to the core but she's made mistakes and will do anything to amend them.
And now she was finally being held by the father of her soul, the man who had loved her in his own quiet, steel-sharpened way.
Damon has the magic than Evadne envies but he thinks himself average. Not great, not bad but just somewhere in the middle. He is gentle and kind and also wants to prove himself to his father even though he feels he'll fall short of the person his brother had been.
And I rooted for all three of them throughout the book.
~All the family wholesomeness~
This is something I also loved in The Queen's Rising. The wholesome and supportive family and familial love. Evadne's family is the best. I loved that while they don't have as much page time as the sisters did, they still make their mark. I'm so here for loving parents, annoying cousins and all that comes with being a family. I loved the descriptions of their home and the little stories from their lives.
~Sibling love that makes me cry happily~
Seriously this should be a more popular trope. Amazing siblings who love each other and hold each other up. Evadne and Hal are so different from each other but they are each other's strengths and they keep each other marching forward. I liked that the book also shows the envy they have for each other and the times where they argued about things.
Evadne threaded their fingers together. It was the hand Halcyon had killed with, the hand Evadne had written spells with. Two very different hands and two very different women, and yet they had sharpened the other, upheld the other. Defended and protected and healed one another.
Seriously, I want to start a petition for loving, realistic sibling love in books!
~The mythology and World Building~
The story is set in an alternate Ancient Greek world. The pantheon is made up of 9 divines who no longer walk among humans. Instead they left behind relics the humans could use. They hoped commoners would find them rather than people who already wielded magic. Mages are descended from the divines themselves and each has a different amount of magic within themselves. I loved seeing the politics of uneven power play out. I would totally read more books set in this world because it's fascinating. I want to read more myths about the divines and see how the humans play out their politics.
~The romance is not all-encompassing~
The romance is gentle and sweet and something of a slow-burn. It is a predictable ship but lovely all the same. And I liked that while there was a bit of romance it never took away from the main plot or the story; it simply added to the magic of it all.
Sisters of Sword and Song is a beautiful standalone filled with magic, myths, sisterly love a a sweet romance....more
(A huge thank you to the FFBC toursand the publisher for the eARC of the book)
~3 THOUGHTS WHILE I READ HOOD~
~Fast paced and doesn't slow down t(A huge thank you to the FFBC toursand the publisher for the eARC of the book)
~3 THOUGHTS WHILE I READ HOOD~
~Fast paced and doesn't slow down till the end~
Hood is a really fast read; the kind of book where you start reading and then realize you're already 50% in. I read the book in one sitting and the action starts from page one. We are introduced to the protagonist, Isabelle when she's been captured by the soldiers and the story just takes off. I did think that while it was fast paced, it glossed over a lot of things and times didn't give me enough time to know the characters or understand the surroundings. Nevertheless, the speed at which the plot moved, kept me hooked and turning the pages quickly.
~Found family love~
If there's only one trope I could ever read, I'd pick found family. Robin and his merry men are obviously the best characters for a lovely found family. Although we don't get acquainted with all the merry men, I did like the ones who were the secondary characters. Helena and Patrick were my favourites. Helena with her sharp tongue, quick temper and immense skill in archery was fun to read about and learning how despite her rough attitude, she also cares about her friends with a fierce loyalty.
Patrick is a kind soul and the best at making Isabelle feel at home among the merry men. i liked that he takes the time to teach Isabelle something. Even though it wasn't much, he made her feel welcome by teaching her how to use a knife.
I wanted to like Adam, but he felt too two dimensional for my taste. The moment we meet this boy with piercing eyes, smelling of pine, I knew he was to be the love interest and I wasn't impressed. i hoped he's impress me later on but alas. But the other secondary characters definitely make up for the lack of Adam's originality.
~Action filled plotline~
Like I mentioned, the action moves really fast and there are multiple fighting scenes that were done quite well. The plot keeps moving and while nothing in it shocked me, I didn't think a certain incident towards the end would happen. It was a bittersweet and considering the fun adventurous tone, I wasn't expecting that and was surprised!
My only issue is that as far as plot twists go, I found most of them predictable. I wish the story had made me jump up in my seat a lot more than it did. That being said, the way the story ended, I think a sequel would be great. This book wraps up as a standalone really well but there's a lot of scope for sequels or other books set in this world. I would like to have a closer look at some of the political schemes that were kind of the the far background in this book.
Hood is a unique take on the robin Hood tale as it revolve's around his daughter. I enjoyed the premise and fast writing but would have loved to see more depth in the main character.
(A huge thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC of the book)
Actual rating - 4.5
The book was pitched as "What if Aladdin and Jasmine had (A huge thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC of the book)
Actual rating - 4.5
The book was pitched as "What if Aladdin and Jasmine had to kill each other?" and naturally I was flailing and dying to read the book. I'm a simple girl. They said diverse fantasy with angst and I said HELL YES.
~5 REASONS TO HAVE THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE~
~Protagonists you want to root for~
Malik is the absolute cinnamon roll of ever who just wants to save his little sister. He is a sensitive soul who loves listening to and telling stories, who would help an absolute stranger, who holds on to his sister's stuffed toy hoping to give it to her when he saves her. Excuse me I'll be over there crying.
Karina is someone who has lost too much; who had already been drowning when her mother too is taken away from her. She's not easy to like because often she comes off as someone who doesn't care about others or the consequences of her actions but with time, I started sympathizing with her. She had lost her father and sister before and now her mother and is suddenly thrust into a position of responsibilities when she hasn't even grieved properly. But that said, she's annoying too. I wanted her to stop lashing out at others all the time and trying to take out her frustration on others.
Aminata was right. The world would last a single morning without her. And if it didn't, well, that was hardly her problem.
Neither of them are killers but they are willing to do what needs to be done for their family. Malik will give anything to save his innocent little sister and Karina will give anything to bring back the mother she lost so suddenly and unexpectedly. But between the two, I think I favored Malik more. Karina at times made supremely brash decisions and was ruder than she had to be which did not win any points from me.
~Solid mental health rep~
Both the protagonists suffer from anxiety and panic attacks of different kinds. Karina has been plagued by attacks since the day she lost her father and sister. Mentions and memories of them bring on her panic attacks that result in splitting headaches and over time she has learnt various ways of dealing with them; not all of them ideal.
In the years after the fire, it had come frequently, but now it only visited her every once and again, a reminder that her childhood demons were poised to strike at any moment
Malik suffers panic attacks due to his childhood; back when his abilities were seen as a disease to be driven away by his family and people; back when no one had believed he could see spirits. His panic attacks and jumbled thoughts that come with it are described so well by the author. He also has social anxiety which makes him fumble his answers to very simple questions and makes him try his best to blend into the background of social gatherings.
Malik wasn't sure how long they stayed like that - minutes, maybe hours. Adetunde sat by his side the entire time, chatting aimlessly about everything and nothing. Slowly, Malik's bearings returned as the tendrils of panic slowly receded"
I also liked how for both of them, there were other characters who understood and helped them overcome the panic attacks.
~So much culture and diversity~
The world is built on west African folklore and it's so fascinating. There is a LOT going on but the author explains the world so well without info dumping us and that's awesome! I loved how diverse the world was within itself. There were matriarchal kingdoms and patriarchal ones, cultures that believed in magic and those that did not and just everything is so diverse! Like two people could pray to the same patron god and yet they'd be from entirely different parts of the world and follow different rituals and culture. Also I'm so here for the casual queer diversity. Although there isn't a major rep; it's mentioned how the consorts of the Ziranian Sultana could be of any gender and a certain character mentions their sister's relationship with another girl and such.
Also special mention to all the foods and dishes described in the book. Ms. Brown you succeeded in making my mouth water even in serious situations because of ALL THE FOOD.
~So much stabbiness and betrayals~
I certainly did not see that coming. There are reveals throughout the book as the protagonists realize there's more to the world than they knew. Karina has never left Ziran and throughout the book she comes face to face with the truth about her ancestors' past and herself. Malik has travelled a lot to reach the city where he hoped to find his fortune but learns there is more lurking in the city than just opportunities.
I'm happy to say that for most of the big plot reveals, I so did not see it coming and was left gaping like a fish. The ending just made me go "Whaaaaaa" and then "EXCUSE ME WHERE IS BOOK TWO?"
~Three dimensional secondary characters~
I just HAVE to talk about this. The secondary characters really drew me in because they're so interesting and the author doesn't ignore their stories. There's Leila, Malik's older sister who wanted to have more formal education but had to give up her apprenticeship to raise her siblings, Tunde who is kind but also calculating so readers and the characters are left wondering if his kindness is real or a part of his elaborate schemes, Farid who is raised by the Sultana and her husband as their ward and has a complex relationship with the family and so many more charcters who I wanted to know more about.
~A song of wraiths and ruin is a wild ride with lots of diversity, fantasy, engaging characters and a nail-biting plotline! ~...more
(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours, Edelweiss and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
This is the year of retellings and couldn't be mo(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours, Edelweiss and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
This is the year of retellings and couldn't be more happy about it *weird happy dance* Thorn is a retelling of The Grimm's fairytale, 'The Goose Girl' which I hadn't read and I think I can safely say that didn't affect the enjoyment of the novel. Although I did go back and read the fairytale after I finished the book and got some answers as to why the author included certain characters and scenes.
~5 THINGS ABOUT THORN THAT STAND OUT~
~The Classic Fairytale vibes but with explanations~
Yes it is a retelling but it has quite a bit of the whimsical vibes of original fairytales. There is a talking horse, the whispering wind and you notice multiple fairytale elements peeking out every now and then. But unlike in original fairytales, Thorn strives to explain the 'why' of many things. Why is there a talking horse and how does the wind whisper and I really appreciated that because it's something I don't like in fairytales; how things just are and the characters never question anything, no matter how weird it is.
~Crime, justice and punishment~
The book deals with topics that I believe will always be relevant. Constantly there are crimes happening in the world Alyrra lives in and she tries to understand what justice truly means. When does punishment by death go from justice to another murder, when justice is delayed by the law, is it okay to take it into our hands? and I truly liked how Alyrra herself has contradictory opinions when she thinks about it which is true for all of us in matters like these.
"It may not be pretty, but sometimes justice has to be hard to keep the rest of us straight and safe." she suggests practically.
~Secondary characters I want more of and scope for a sequel~
I loved the secondary characters so much! Alyrra's friends at the stable, Red Hawk the mysterious morally gray character, the kids Alyrra befriends on the streets and even the soldiers around the Prince were all an interesting bunch and I'd gladly read more stories with them in it.
"Start somewhere and keep going," she suggests practically.
That brings me to begging the author for a sequel because I NEEDS IT. The main plot point is resolved but the ending isn't wrapped up tight. There were questions I had and things I wanted to know. I was mildly frustrated that we don't really know the fate of a despicable character from the beginning. I wanted justice to be done there and for the character to get the punishment they clearly deserve. And of course here's a lot left for us to ponder over, especially regarding where do the characters go next? What do they do after the last page is turned? Thorn doesn't have a full sense of closure at the end and left me asking for more.
~A complex romance which again, I want more of~
Unlike fairytales, we do not have an inta-love here which I'll forever be thankful for. And it is a super lowkey romance that does not overshadow the plot but simply adds to it. I can't say much because *spoilers* BUT I loved that it's not a perfect romance. There are doubts, questions and sometimes the characters aren't sure about what they want from the other. It makes the couple feel quite real instead of a fairytale pairing that's just too unrealistically perfect.
~Found family and the importance of friendship~
Can I just hug all the stablehands and the street kids? I love how they all lookout for their friends and are there when someone needs them, especially Sage and violet telling Allyra they will help her even if it affects the sensibilities of the royals and the noblemen.
"Thorn, let me tell you about dangerous. Dangerous is cutting your finger on a rusty nail. Dangerous is walking too close behind a skittish horse. Dangerous is going anywhere in this city at night. Dangerous is NOT helping someone stay safe."
(A huge thank you to the the author for the physical ARC of the book and thank you to FFBC tours for including me in the blog tour.)
Actual Rating - 4.(A huge thank you to the the author for the physical ARC of the book and thank you to FFBC tours for including me in the blog tour.)
Actual Rating - 4.5
You know how when we read a book and we try to explain our thoughts about it, we think about the plot and how good the twists were and all these technical things? But every now and then you read a book and when you try to explain to someone what you thought of the book, all you can coherently say is that it made you feel. That's how I feel about this book. I got interested in the book for the mystery but now that I finished reading it, I think I can safely say I stayed for the feelings.
~3 THINGS THE BOOK MADE ME FEEL~
~Pining for a sisterhood connection~
As an only child I've missed out on the whole sibling connection (but thank god for my soul sisters and found families) and this book made me miss it on a whole new level. Kit, Tessa and Lilly have this unsaid competition between them regarding some things, there is envy, the fear of being left out as the younger one, but there's also the deep seated feeling of togetherness and knowing that at the end of the day, your sister is on your side even if the world is against you. And the author writes it SO well that it made me physically feel this need for sisters like that. she writes the complex relationships between the sisters so well, the intricacies that come with being seen together; as a triad, the closeness that comes with living under the same room and how despite that you have your own personalities and secrets that your sisters don't know.
Can you understand from my rambling just how much these three sisters made me feel?
'As the youngest of three, this was the story of her life: this winter coldness, this left-out-ness, this butt-out-and-don't-complain-or-you'll-sound-like-a-whiny-bany-ness'
~The realization that you never really know a person fully~
This story is character driven. The plot might not always be character driven but the things in the story that made me have emotions and feel a deep connection were the characters and the relationships between them. And as the story progresses each of the character realizes in their own way that they didn't really know the person they share the house with/ go out with/ see everyday/ had a close moment with.
In their own ways each character realizes that they didn't really know Kit and each other and it's a realization that hits us just as much as it hits the characters. Tessa struggles with the knowledge that Kit is dead and Tessa didn't know everything about her when she was alive and I felt that helplessness, desperation and loss that Tessa feels as she realizes that she no longer has a chance to get to know her sister better.
~Knowing the truth wrecks you as much as it builds you up~
Tessa searches for answers throughout the book and when she finds them, they're not what she expected but more importantly the answers didn't miraculously make her pain and loss disappear. In some ways the truth made her feel them more acutely. Knowing the truth gives Tessa both relief and a sense of dread and I think that's the case with most hard truths.
'She should probably be crying now, but her eyes remained a stinging dry and her chest tight, trapped under a thick layer of ice. All she could think was how weird this felt, everyone staring at her.'
I wouldn't necessarily call it a murder mystery even though that's what the story is built around. As a matter of fact, the reveal at the end felt a bit rushed as compared to the rest of the story and quite sudden. It was the only part I had a quibble with.
Do not go in expecting a fast paced thriller. Go in knowing that it's the story of three sisters and what happens when one of them is gone. The story is about the murder investigation but more about what happens with the people left behind, how to they cope. It's beautiful and atmospheric and will give the readers so many emotions that they weren't expecting.
“Death had always seemed like that to Tessa: anonymous and abrupt, crude in its specificity. It happened in the open but was smothered in silence, stifling as a hot day in August. It came without any good reason.”
(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC of the book)
I keep saying we need modern Witchcraft books. This is why. I(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC of the book)
I keep saying we need modern Witchcraft books. This is why. I'm so here for a witch who studies Particle Physics in school then goes home to her coven to brew potions. I mean, that's the coolest ever. Also say hello to my latest favourite book and now i'll be over here flailing until the sequel comes out because DAMN I NEED THE SEQUEL.
(TW - homophobia and mentions of conversion therapy, somatic OCD, panic attacks)
~6 THOUGHTS WHILE I READ WITCHES OF ASH AND RUIN~
~Hello there diversity~
You say the word diversity and I'll bend over backwards to read the book. Witches of Ash and Ruin scores full points for diversity- -a bisexual protagonist -with somatic OCD -who gets panic attacks at the most terrible of times -a protagonist who is queer -secondary characters who are queer. -cultural diversity
And can we talk about the mental health rep?? The realistic depiction of panic attacks and there are even discussions of the stigma surrounding taking medication and just, the author does it SO well.
“It started the same way it always did. Some small shift in the air around her. Subtle, but enough to make her breath catch. Suddenly it was all she could think about”
As the Goodreads synopsis says, the MC Dayna has been outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town and it doesn't help that her father is the Reverend. I really felt for Dayna. The anger at being outed without permission, the fear that her father might send her to conversion therapy, the confusion she feels about her ex-boyfriend and I just wanted to reach in and give her a hug.
~Found Family and female friendships and complex relationships~
i adore found families okay? I'm legit trash for this trope.
I loved how Dayna was literally adopted into her coven, especially by Reagan ad her mother Yemi. Yemi is that motherly figure bustling around making tea and fussing with your hair until someone does something stupid and she's hands-on-the-hip glowering lioness (she reminded me of Mrs. Weasley a lot but I think i prefer Yemi)
~Female friendships and complex relationships~
Reagan and Dayna's friendship is goals and I loved how they appreciated each other and it was such a non-toxic, extremely lovely friendship and I again have all the feels, excuse me.
Meiner and Cora on the other hand have a toxic, competitive friendship and honestly it made a bit sick how Cora would go behind Meiner's back and just as easily backstab her. Kids, this is the kind of relationship you avoid at all costs because it be TOXIC. Kudos to the author for having written contrasting relationships in the same book and showing that in reality, both kinds exist and which is the kind of friendship you ought to aim for.
There is also the complex relationship between Sam and Dayna with Dayna not sure if she wants to get back together and Samuel just pining after her. There were pooints where I wanted to smack Sam on the head and tell him to um, move on plis.
Also I think Dayna and Meiner happened in a super awkward way but I did like it once they got over the initial annoyance towards each other. I wouldn't exactly call it hate to love though. But also my weird favourite thing was how Dayna didn't let Meiner get away with her temper tantrums. She point blank told her 'stop giving excuses for losing your temper. That doesn't make it better' and I was like YASS
Okay so I generally don't like it if the PoV shifts all the freaking time but i really liked it here?
- Dayna, the main protagonist who was recently outed as bi without her permission - Meiner who is being made to travel all the way across the country with her coven which includes her horrible and possibly evil grandmother and Cora - Cora who is one super scheming, ambitious witc and honestly a huge JERK - samuel, Dayna's ex boyfriend and a true crime fanatic who is obssesed with The Butcher, a certain serial killer - Dubh, the murderer himself and an absolute sickward (okay it's not an actual word, sue me) whose chapters creeped me out because he has one sick mind
~All the dark modern Witchcraft and Celtic myhtology~
Buying potion ingredients after school, discussing schoolwork while brewing potions, wearing good luck charms to school; the modern witch aesthetic speaks to my soul and there were scenes that had me grinning like a monkey.
“Witchcraft doesn't pay the bills, grandmother. You think she can walk into a grocery store and trade that luck talisman for food? We don't work on the barter system anymore.”
“And I'll pray to the great Oracle, Google” Reagan pulled the laptop back over.
I'd never read anything with Celtic mythology before and I found this utterly fascinating. You know I'm going to obssesively google everyhting about Celtic myths now for the next two weeks or so.
~WHERE IS THE SEQUEL?~
Um Ms.Latimer NO. You can't write an ending like that when book two isn't even avilable that is cruel OKA?
I will sacrifice souls to get book two mind you.
~Witches of Ash and Ruin is a super diverse and witchy book replete with badass females, found families and a fair share of mythology ~...more
(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours, Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
Retellings and reimaginings are my jam. Add to it(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours, Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
Retellings and reimaginings are my jam. Add to it the fact that it's reimagining of the sinking of THE Titanic and it's sister ship Britannic, of course I HAD to read this book. Also I've been meaning to read Alma Katsu's work for a while now so I was over the moon when I got to read an eARC of The Deep.
~5 REASONS TO READ THE DEEP~
~The curious case of Human Nature~
One of the reasons I adore Agatha Christie's books is that she deals with human nature. Poirot doesn't just look around for clues, he looks into the personality of each suspect to find the criminal. Something about the way Alma Katsu writes her characters reminds me of Agatha Christie. I was utterly fascinated with the characters, many of whom were real people on-board the Titanic. The author deftly weaves each character arc and I love how she took real people and gave them a whole backstory that mixed reality and creativity, such as Madeleine Astor, Lady Duff Gordon, W.T. Stead and the two boxers Les and Dai. I personally love that the author made the boxers queer and their chemistry was so interesting to read about.
We have original characters too such as our protagonist Annie and the couple Mark and Caroline who are an important part of the mystery. Of all of them, it was Caroline who intrigued me the most and I kept turning the pages (clicking the pages? considering it was the eBook) wanting to know more about her past, especially the past involving Lillian, another very intriguing character.
'She is not mad. But there is something in her that is hospitable to madness'
~The alternating timelines~
Generally I'm wary about alternating timelines. Unless they're done well, they're jarring and annoying. I did not have to worry about that in this case because Alma Katsu does it brilliantly. She knows just the right moment to stop with the 1912 plot and switch to 1916, making me want to know more about what just happened. And I also loved the parallels drawn between the two ships and at point the plot lines blurred but not in a bad way; rather in a way that makes you go "OML WHAT JUST HAPPENED EEEP"
~The atmospheric quality~
I really love reading about historical fiction with a slight touch of the supernatural; the blending of fact, fiction and fantasy which gives a very atmospheric feel to the story. Because of some reviews I'd thought the book included horror but after reading it, I mainly find it atmospheric and chilly but definitely not scary enough to be called horror (and that's coming from me who is too scared to ever fully watch IT). BUT even though it wasn't scary, the book has the perfect atmosphere for the reality and the supernatural to entwine. There were scenes where I got goosebumps because it felt like I was there on board the ship watching things unfold around me.
“A ship so massive, and here we are, trapped on it, nowhere to run.” She shivered “One is always trapped within oneself though.”
~The writing style~
As I said just above, this book made me feel i was IN it and this is totally due to Ms Katsu's writing prowess. The beautiful descriptions, the scenes where the characters are not sure whether they are actually seeing something or imagining things and the description of the fateful night were all done so magnificently and I can't wait to pick up her other books.
'Fear was a chained dog, startling and rough and always dangerously close, steretching its leash, baring fangs.'
~The mystery itself~
Right from the first page, the author makes us ask questions. Who is Annie? who was she before she set foot on RMS Titanic? What happened to her on the ship? What is the mystery surrounding each of the passengers on the ship? And most importantly, which of them are going to survive? I rushed through the whole book in less than 24 hours because I needed all the answers. The plot brings together the plot lines of every character in an expert manner that I can't help but admire.
"It wasn't trust, or intuition, but something else that had swooped in, in the absence of both, to guide her."
~The Deep is more than just a reimagining, it truly brings Titanic and her sister ship Britannic to life along with characters both real and fictional; b;lending fact, fiction and fantasy to give us a story that is truly an experience. ~...more
(A huge thank you to Hear Our Voices Tours, the publisher and Edelweiss for the eARC of the book)
~When a book sees you~
Yes i am abolutely going t(A huge thank you to Hear Our Voices Tours, the publisher and Edelweiss for the eARC of the book)
~When a book sees you~
Yes i am abolutely going to start this review by screaming about just how desi this book was! It's not everyday I come across a book in which I can see myself. Star Daughter gave me stories from my childhood, it gave me apsaras and naginis, aloo matar and rasmalai, nakshatras and svargalok.
Right from the beginning, I was grinning like a monkey because I felt so represented. This book is brown girl magic, steeped in hindu folklore, filled with overbearing desi aunties and delicious Indian food.
~Lets talk about friendship~
Sheetal and Minal's friendship is to die for. I absolutely adored how fiercely loyal they were to each other. I'm so here for positive female friendships with the sweetest moments! Sheetal couldn't have gone through her quest without the bubbly, ever optimistic Minal by her side. And can we talk about Minal? Where can I get the ever optimistic, bubbly Minal for a best friend?
I also loved the other friendships that sprang up. The friendshio between Sheetal and Kaushal is adorable, both of them bonding over the feeling of not quite belonging and stories from their completely different worlds.
Also I have to mention that the casual queer rep in this book was so wholesome!
~Even in the court of stars, there be politics and scheming~
The plot albeit a bit predictable, plays out wonderfully. I loved getting to know how the court works and why the competition Sheetal was being thrust into was needed in the first place. It was so intersting seeing the different Star Houses compete, vying for the throne for reasons of their own.
The politics of the court is an important part of the story and I enjoyed every bit of it. The ending was a bit rushed but I still enjoyed the adrenaline rush towards the end when things were clicking into place and starting to make sense.
~A world spun from the night sky and embedded with stars~
The world building was my most favorite part of it all. And the author describes it all so beautifully I couldn't help but fall in love with it all. The night market where people sell fruits like geodes and barette shaped like clouds; where you could also get perfumes that let you walk on cloud. the Star Court with it's flower shaped palaces and the Hall of Mirrors.
The mythology and the little fairytale stories the author added here and there added so much to the magical world. Star hunters and Naginis who wore the stars in their hair added to the breathtaking beauty of the world.
~And there was a boy~
While the romance wasn't my favourite aspect of the story, I liked how Sheetal and Dev had such a realistic relationship. They had their ups and downs, their moments of misunderstanding and those of tenderness.
~Souls for a sequel and a spinoff~
I would gladly sell my soul to get a spin-off of Minal. It would be absolutely amazing shopping with her at the night court while she flirted with a star....more
(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
A couple months ago, I heard "gender-bent retelling of th(A huge thank you to the FFBC tours FFBC tours and the publisher for the eARC of the book)
A couple months ago, I heard "gender-bent retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo" and immediately decided to sell a soul for a copy of this book (not my soul of course, I don't have one smh) Then the lovely people at The FFBC book tours gave me an opportunity to read the book and bless them they didn't even ask for any soul payments.
Scavenge the Stars is a story of revenge and facing the mistakes of the past with a generous dose of diversity.
~5 REASONS YOU SHOULD PICK UP SCAVENGE THE STARS ~
The badass, bent on revenge MC Amaya is Indian and I could just about cry with happiness. You know how happy it makes me to see characters like me on the page? and on THE COVER? when I realized it was a desi girl on the cover I spun around gleefully (but sadly NOT gracefully). The other MC our hot mess Cayo is East Asian and as the author mentions in her mood board; a chaotic bisexual. I love how we see SO much diversity throughout the book but in an unforced manner and I just *incomprehensible flailing*.
~Retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo~
RI find retellings fascinating. I like comparing it to the original and letting my brain savour how intelligently the author has weaved an entirely new narrative with glimpses of the original. Reading scavenge the Stars sorely reminded me that I have the memory of a gnat and remember close to nothing about the classic. BUT I did read the cliffs notes so I could draw parallels and I love how Tara Sim takes a classic story of revenge and turns it into something altogether new. The fact that it's gender-bent makes my heart so happy for it's always clamoring for gender-bent retellings of pretty much everything.
“...I'm beginning to learn the only way to move forward is by confronting the mistakes of your past”
~Complex characters struggling on that line between 'the right thing' & 'the easy thing'~
Let's face it, we love the angst. We have Amaya trying to let go of the girl she'd been all these years to be someone completely new - charming and ruthless. And we have Cayo repenting over the times he's wasted the family's money on gambling and trying to be a better son and brother. And then we have the two characters clash. I love me some good enemies to friends/lovers trope and Scavenge the Stars delivers on that aspect. I did wish we'd had more interactions with each other than internal monologues. I found the internal monologues fascinating because it shows us more about the characters but I really wanted more "I'm supposed to hate you but you make me question my beliefs" interactions.
“Because children are the victims of their parents' crimes.”
“This, though - it wasn't survival. Not really. It was merely kindness, and friendship, and Amaya had no idea what to do with either.”
~Secondary characters who intrigue me~
I wanted to know more about Ramora, Bas and Roach. I do think we'll be seeing more of one of these characters (I won't say who 'cause spoilers) in book two but I really want to know all the deets about all three. Ramora fascinated me. She's a very 'love her, hate her but you can't ignore her' kind of character who has grown up cold and calculative because of her father. I wouldn't at all be opposed to a Ramora novella
~Plot Twists and intrigue~
To be honest, I wanted more of the scheming and badassery. I wish we could have seen more of Amaya's training and more of the scheming and political intrigue. I did enjoy the twists. I guessed some things at the beginning but the ones towards the end? I did not see them coming! I have a feeling book 2 is going to have a lot more political intrigue and I IS EXCITED.
“Every man carries his sins a different way.”
The one thing that made me a bit sore was the lack of world building. I love fantasy especially because we get to see fascinating new worlds. in Scavenge the Stars we do see those but It felt a bit vague to me. There were the names of all these countries and places but without much knowledge about them. I wanted to know more! I did love that there were a few myths and stories the characters talk about but I wanted to know more about the cultures and traditions. I'm really hoping I get to see more of it in book two because otherwise the world would seem incomplete.
~Scavenge the Stars may be a story of revenge but it deals with so much more. If you love diverse characters, flawed protagonists and a dash of political intrigue, this is the book for you ~ Actual Rating - 3.5...more
You put creepy and retelling in one sentence; that's a surefire way of A huge thanks to @prhinternational and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.
You put creepy and retelling in one sentence; that's a surefire way of making me read a book. House of Salt and Sorrows is such a deliciously dark and creepy retelling of "The 12 Dancing Princesses". I'm not sure why I procrastinated picking up this book because once I started it, I finished it in one sitting.
~A dark atmospheric setting to match my soul~ ( I'm kidding, I obviously don't have a soul)
The setting has a definitive dark Gothic feel to it that I ADORED because what better place for a creepy retelling than on stormy islands with family mausoleums and huge houses? The author does an amazing job describing the setting that I was surprised to look up from the book and realize I wasn't actually at a stormy beach. There are also these micro settings that are wonderful - like a cave the characters discover, the marketplace, magical gardens and I'm just here for all the whimsical, atmospheric places in this book.
~The horrors that kept me awake the night after I read the book~
I wasn't like scared out of my wits? But there are these scenes in the book that are creepy in an eerie, almost real way. The kind of creepiness that makes you check over your shoulder for any shadows that seem out of place or sneak a glance at the mirror to see if everything looks normal. The main character Annaleigh sees some pretty disturbing visions around their house and some of them were quite graphic. If you're easily creeped out or super scared of the dark, definitely walk into this book with caution.
‘show me debauched nightmares or sunniest daydreams. come not as you are but as you wish to be seen.’
~The 12 Thaumas sisters and the ones still alive~
The story pretty much is shrouded in death, so much so that it literally opens with a funeral. The author doesn't pull any punches with that. The were 12 Thaumas sisters once but now 4 have died in gruesome ways. The people think the sisters are cursed and as Annaleigh says, their eyes always seem to be asking the sisters, "which of you will be next?".
"I wanted to chalk it up to the lowbrow superstition, but as a distant aunt approached me, a thin smile on her thin lips, the same question lingered in her eyes, just below the surface, impossible to miss: Which one of us would be next?"
~The dash of mythology, culture and fashion~
The islanders primarily worship the sea god Pontus and I really liked how the author built a wonderful culture around that. The idea of a Churning festival, change of seasons caused by Pontus stirring the sea with his trident and such little pieces added so much to the world building and made me crave for more myths and stories.
“I dwelt alone, in a world of moan, and my soul was a stagnant tide Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride”
Also I generally don't enjoy description of dresses and accessories in books but in this book, I LOVED it. Considering this is a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses, there is of course a focus on beautiful fairy shoes and dancing gowns which added beautifully to the imagery.
“Nestled on a bed of navy velvet were my shoes. I'd selected a jade leather, and the cobbler had added glittering seafoam and silver bits, concentrated heavily at the toes, then fading as they swept across the slipper. They would match my gown perfectly”
~The plot that slaps you in the face with twists at every turn~
This boom was definitely NOT predictable. I legit never saw those twists coming. I did make a guess about a certain person which turned out to be partly true but STILL, so many reveals in the second half of the book that left my head churning. Erin A. Craig brilliantly brings together seemingly unrelated events with such finesse that I'm gobsmacked as to HOW IS THIS A DEBUT?
~The one thing that made me a bit sore~
I couldn't buy into the whole romance subplot. I mean there were sweet moments that were lovely on their own but as a part of the story, the romance felt kind of insta-love and super rushed to me. i'm not a fan of the whole proclaiming allegiance to someone you met a couple days ago. But many reviewers seem to have enjoyed the romance, so I think this is a case of "It's not you, it's me"
~Overall, it is an absolutely wonderful retelling with a generous dose of the creepy, the magical and the thrilling. ~...more
First of all, a big thanks to Simon and Schuster India for providing me with a hardcopy of this book as a part of the blog tour.
PiActual Rating - 3.5
First of all, a big thanks to Simon and Schuster India for providing me with a hardcopy of this book as a part of the blog tour.
Pitched as an epic retelling of Mahabharata and as the Indian Game of Thrones, I was intrigued by this book and the prologue which is kind of long but captivating. I finished reading this book last night and have a LOT of thoughts.
↠ The world building is phenomenal. It's so detailed and the author's descriptions are extremely vivid. Right from the prologue I could picture the setting beautifully which drew me into the novel. The world is diverse and there are tons of different empires and civilizations. The story is mainly set in patriarchy but in this world there exist matriarchal kingdoms too and I really was interested to see more of that.
↠ The characters are multi dimensional. And whatever feelings I had towards different characters from the prologue changed a LOT by the time I turned that last page. There were times when i did not agree with the things the main characters did and there were times when I agreed with the evil villains. This makes for a very interesting group of characters and while I was intrigued by them, I didn't really like any of them much. The character I hoped to see after the prologue wasn't even there for the rest of the story.
↠ The action scenes are so well-written. And so are the supernatural aspects. They were vivid and had me deeply engrossed in the scene.
↠ The writing is captivating and the descriptions gave me such good imagery of the scenes. The dialogues were a bit stilted at times though. The very first line of the book is intriguing and captivating though.
“They came to watch the children burn.”
↠ I wasn't a fan of the time lapse. Suddenly in one chapter Adri is a young boy and in the next chapter he's married and leading a mission and these time jumps jarred me out of the story multiple times.
↠ I liked how I could draw parallels between the story here and that of Mahabharatha and yet the author has retold it with his own twists.
↠ There are a couple cliffhangers in the character arcs and I'm interested to see how the author takes these characters forward.
↠ I didn't like how certain things are repeated throughout. Every time Vrath is a part of the scene, there is a long paragraph about his abilities as a demi-god. The extra descriptions at certain places also felt unnecessary.
↠ A strong start to the series making me look forward to the next book and see how the story progresses....more
(A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me a physical ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
It's not often that I come across sta (A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me a physical ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
It's not often that I come across standalones in the fantasy genre. Somehow fantasy stories seem to flow better as series to accommodate all the worldbuilding and long adventures. When I came across We are Blood and Thunder, I was excited. Because although most of my favourite books seem to be series, I love reading standalones. They tend to be more fast paced than books in series and also the feeling of closure at the end of the book is a nice feeling.
My thoughts on We are Blood and Thunder-
↠ I actually liked that we have alternating PoVs. Generally I'm not a fan because I don't immediately recognize that there has been a change in PoV unless it's mentioned in the Chapter title or something but here I didn't have that problem. Lena and Constance alternate every chapter and though it's not mentioned at the beginning, it's always very clear whose PoV it is just then.
↠ I liked that we have characters whose loyalty and allegiance we can't quite figure out till the end and I really liked that. It added the sense of mystery and uncertainty that I liked.
↠ It had it's tropes yes. But was it still enjoyable? YES. And that makes me happy! It's not everyday that an author can use age old tropes and give them a bit of twist so it's enjoyable and doesn't feel so trope-y.
↠ We have two badass female characters; strong in their own ways. One of them, Lena is unsure about pretty much everything now, mostly herself. And the other, Constamnce is unsure about everything but herself. I really liked the way their paths cross and how somehow they are connected by the magical storm cloud that plagues the Duke's forest.
“Whenever she held the butterfly, she remembered how she had felt the night she'd found it - or rather, the night it found her. She felt wanted. Calm. Secure in the knowledge she was worth something. Because she had something of worth.”
↠ The magic system was very intersting to learn about. As someone who adores learning about worldbuilding, pantheons and magic systems, this was very satisfying. This was part of the reason I enjoyed Lena's chapters more because she was learning all about the world and magic along with me.
↠ Constance's chapters are more filled with political intrigue, investigations and scheming which too I really liked! But I have to say that the mysterious aura about Constance unnerved me a bit which is crazy cause she's a fictional character but that's just how amazingly the author wrote her that she felt so real.
↠ The writing was so fast paced and flowed so well that I pretty much read the book in one sitting. The fact that if say, Lena's chapter ended in a cliffhanger, I'd have to read Constance's chapter before being able to find what happened made me read everything much faster!
“She who spins the cloud, weaves the storm.”
↠ I liked having morally grey characters who were so realistically written. Kudos to the author for having written interesting and engaging secondary characters who definitely didn't just fade into the background but rather almost all of them had important parts to play in the plot.
↠ That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of the romance. It came really close to insta-love for me and felt rushed. I really think the plot would have been just as awesome without the bit of romance in it.
↠ Also while I liked Lena, she was also a bit annoying at times! I did like that she wasn't taking things lying around but sometimes Lena did make me roll my eyes with how she went about with some things.
↠ Constance was an extremely complex character and it was SO hard to figure her out with the way she acted. But I have to say I loved how determined and calculating she was. She was the perfect Slytherin and so well written that I couldn't stop thining about her even after I'd finished the book.
“Lies are neighbours with the truth. Release your secret truths one by one, carefully, and only to persuade. Treat them like gold”
We are Blood and Thunder is a fantastic debut with everything from magic and spells to secrets and betrayal. Would definitely recommend!!...more
(I received a free eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Actual Rating - 4.5
Melanie Golding's writing is brilliant. I had(I received a free eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Actual Rating - 4.5
Melanie Golding's writing is brilliant. I had a hard time believing this was a debut. The vivid imagery and atmospheric setting that Golding conjures with her writing is truly masterful and I'd definitely pick up anything she writes.
“Come away, O human child To the waters and the wild With a faery hand in hand For the world's more full of weeping than You can understand.”
From 'The Stolen Child' by W.B.Yeats
The story starts with the birth of Lauren's twins and in the hospital room, the author deftly shows us many things; the nature of her husband Patrick, Lauren's fear of labor, fear of being a new mother, as well as something much more sinister and it'll all just SO real. We the readers are right next to Lauren, feeling her pain, confusion and happiness and I think that was very important because Lauren's thoughts and feelings are what build the story hauntingly. The postpartum depression and anxiety is so brilliantly and chillingly written. I've read quite a few reviews by readers who have suffered PPD themselves and they've all said the PPD representation in this book is accurate and spot on. And it plays an important role in the feel of the story and really messes with our heads when it comes to the mystery.
“Was this love, this fear of them dying?”
Though the story is about Lauren and her twins, the author deftly and subtly weaves in the facets of motherhood, relationships, marriage and different kinds of heartbreak which only adds to the haunting atmospheric feel of the book. The eerie little poems from literature and folklore also add to the haunting atmosphere.
“Look at someone every day for long enough and you stop seeing what everyone else sees. You start to see what no one else sees, what is kept hidden from most people.”
The plot drew me in quickly. the idea of changelings in mythology and folklore has always intrigued me and in no time I was fully immersed into the story. The story also moves from the view of Harper, a cop who because of her own past with motherhood, takes it upon herself to help Lauren. When Lauren starts insisting her babies are not really her babies, Harper is torn between wanting to believe Lauren and wanting to be logical as a cop. I liked seeing glimpses of Harper's past and how it affected the case at hand. Harper and Lauren are brought together by a bond that is shaped by Harper's past and I wish it had been fleshed out more. The backstory was there but it failed to bring forth any strong emotion from me.
Throughout the book, Golding makes us doubt ourselves; is there really a sinister paranormal hand behind it all or is it all just in Lauren's mind. So as to not give any spoilers, I won't say more but I will say that different readers have interpreted the chain of events differently. The final pages are open for interpretation and it is upto the readers what they choose to believe. Despite what you might choose to believe as you turn that last page, you can't deny the brilliance that is Melanie Golding's power of storytelling....more
(A huge thanks to Pan Macmillan India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Buddy read this book with the awesome Amy You can fi (A huge thanks to Pan Macmillan India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Buddy read this book with the awesome Amy You can find her review HERE.
This book has physical and psychological abuse. There is one graphic whipping scene and some mentions of rape, brutality and abuse.
This book had promise. So much promise. And also really wonderful writing but I felt so let down by the plot and character development. Me and Amy both went into this book with so much expectation ‘cause the online book community has been raving about it.
Thora used to be Theodosia, princess of Astrea; that is until the Kalovaxians invade her land and kill her mother. The Kaiser has Theo spared so she can be a trophy. Now they’ve changed her name, her manners and her identity and this story is about how she reclaims some of those things. This could have been GREAT. And the writing indeed is wonderful and some scenes are written so beautifully. But the plot fell flat for me. This could be case of ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ as many seem to love this book? I do think it’s a book I’d have enjoyed back when I’d started to read YA fantasy novels but now I’ve read so many that Ash Princess felt predictable and nothing much succeeded in surprising me.
I found many inconsistencies in some small plot points that I couldn’t quite oversee. And this book had a problem that I’ve found in other YA books too. I know young adults are the main protagonists in these novels but I don’t understand why adults are dumbed down in a way to make the YA gang look better. I’ll explain with a mild spoiler. (view spoiler)[A very powerful Asteran rebel who is amongst the most powerful of them all is unable to do much against the invaders but after his death a group of teenagers are suddenly doing so much including infiltrating the palace and stealing weapons. (hide spoiler)] I’m sorry but it just seems so absolutely unbelievable!
Throughout the first half Theo keeps telling us how everything is watched in the palace and how difficult it is to say or do anything without being noticed. She mentions over and over again the brutalities of the palace and how it was impossible to rebel against the Kaiser. But once she decides to fight back against her captors, everything seems to go her way without her seemingly doing anything about it. There are just too many coincidences that help her with her cause. This made it so hard for me to care about her or the other rebels.
“He is a stone, incapable of feeling anything, and I don't like being reminded that he's also human. I don't like to be reminded that we love the same person.”
The romance felt kind of forced and the love triangle unnecessary. I couldn't quite feel attached to either of the love interests or their connection to the main character, Theo. There's the childhood friend she hasn't seen for years and then there is the Prince, the son of her enemy. WHY HASN'T THIS TROPE DIED YET?
But I must say there are some things I enjoyed about the book too. I absolutely enjoyed Cressentia’s character arc and if I ever pick up the sequel, it will be to know what happens to her and what she does. I also enjoyed Artemisia's character and would like to see her taking center stage at some point in the series.
I also enjoyed the beautiful writing. The writing is sp wonderful it doesn’t feel like the debut book of the author. Laura Sebastian writes pretty wonderful romance scenes and I truly enjoyed a particular scene in a boat.
“We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive. We do not apologize for them,’ she says quietly, eyes never leaving mine. 'Maybe they have broken you, but you are a sharper weapon because of it. And it is time to strike.”
The book ends in a kind of cliffhanger with the author revealing something surprising at the end. While it was surprising, it felt unrealistic that this fact hadn’t been revealed throughout the book to Theo.
This is a book with a wonderful premise and a lot of promise but is let down by flat characters and a contrived plot. At the same time, the beautiful writing makes this book a fast and easy read....more
(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
I extremely enjoyed reading about the feisty (I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
I extremely enjoyed reading about the feisty and driven Sorcha who is the main character in the book. She’s a midwife but wants to be a proper healer. Living in a man’s world, her opinions on the plague ravaging their world is ignored and her ideas fall on deaf ears. It was wonderful to see our driven heroine constantly challenging this, a trait that stands out among other characters in the book.
Eamonn, our beast is quite the intriguing character with a temper to match his gigantic form. While I found him an intriguing character and wanted to know more, I wasn’t the biggest fan of him. He’s been through a lot but how he keeps clinging to the sadness and his anger towards Sorcha was something I couldn’t quite get past. I would like to see more development of him in the sequels! I know there’s more to his character than the angry and wistful beast, and I want to see it.
I loved LOVED all the different types of fae in the book. It made the world so rich. I’m in love with the blend of Irish mythology into the book which results in so many wonderful kinds of fae all over the human world and the Otherworld.
The story loosely follows the Beauty and the Beast story. Sorcha is a midwife looking to cure the plague that is killing people in hordes including her father. When she’s given a mission in exchange for a cure, she jumps at the chance. This part of the story felt a little rushed to be but her travel to Hy-Brasil is nevertheless eventful and one of my favorite parts of the book.
It is at Hy-Brasil, the isle on the edge of the Otherworld that she meets the beast, a brooding man, disfigured and angry at the world at large. The rest of the story follows Sorcha convincing the beast to come back from his exile, which was the mission bestowed upon her.
I needed a little more plot. Towards the end especially. Certain events happened that felt slightly random and I’d have loved to see them more detailed. Although I believe we will see more reasons for why things happened the way they did in the sequel.
Holy mother the writing was glorious. I’ve read Emma’s previous books and her writing has always been gorgeous. In Heart of Fae it reaches a whole new level. I loved the descriptions of the Ireland inspired world of the book and wanted more. There is so much diversity among the fae and this is described beautifully by the author. I also enjoyed the dialogue a lot and the wonderful lines that Sorcha delivers. The writing made sure I couldn’t put down the book at all.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The writing - The Irish connect - The different kinds of fae - The overall outline of the plot
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- The slightly forced feminism at certain points - The certain abrupt happenings in the plot
If you love Beauty and the Beast and would like to read a more diverse, complex and darker retelling with fae, Heart of the Fae is for you. I absolutely can't wait to know what happens next because cliffhanger!...more
(I received a digital ARC copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.)
Actual Rating - 4.5
Can we please have more con artist (I received a digital ARC copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.)
Actual Rating - 4.5
Can we please have more con artists/ thieves as main characters? Because Nahri sure rocks as one. She’s cunning, sassy and quite the ‘business woman’. She has the abilities to heal people but doesn’t think much of it beyond using it to earn a living without provoking suspicion. And she’s always been able to understand any language she hears but to this day she hasn’t found a single person who knows the language she remembers from her childhood. She provides quite elaborate and theatrical cures to people’s ailments - real or otherwise- while she cunningly swindles them. For some reason Nahri’s character arc reminded me of Alina’s from the Grisha trilogy. Like Alina, Nahri goes from being a normal commoner to realizing she has great powers and being thrust among the royalty where she tries to navigate and stay alive among the deadly political games.
Dara is a Daeva warrior; mysterious, handsome and very very deadly. He is very much the enigmatic bad boy with temper issues. It continuously annoyed me though that he kept way too many secrets from nahri. Now he needn’t tell her about himself but she deserves to know about her own heritage.
Prince Alizayd is the naive, good hearted second son of the ruthless ruler of Daevabad. Ali was raised as a warrior in the Citadel, to protect his older brother when he becomes King but now he is brought back to live in the court among scheming traitorous nobles during a time of high political turmoil in the city. Ali has a very interesting story arc throughout which he is at war with the two sides of himself. His loyalty to the royal family is constantly tested by the cruelt he sees towards the various groups of people.
There are two plotlines in the book until they join about halfway in. One storyline is about Nahri who while ‘curing’ a possessed girl in a theatrical manner, invokes an ancient daeva warrior, Dara. The other is about Ali learning his way around the royal court and trying help the Shafit (people with with mixed human and djinn blood) who are ill treated by the other residents of Daevabad and the law isn’t in favor of them either. When Dara brings Nahri to Daevabad, believing it to be the safest place for him, the two plotlines converge. I loved how most of the time there were no ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people. There were just various sects of people (djinn/daeva) who were all trying to take care of their own people. One’s enemy was another’s friend.
There were so many twists in the story that kept me turning the pages. I loved the pace although there were times during Nahri and Dara’s travel and during some of Ali’s ‘adventures’ where I felt the pacing dragged a bit. Also while I enjoyed the world building a lot, I can see how it would be complex for some. I do think the book needs a lot of concentration to understand the complex world building.
The epilogue was PHENOMENAL and I absolutely can’t wait for book 2. Also something about the epilogue had me confused. A character who was a somewhat important throughout is hinted at being gay although this was never mentioned before. I hope we get to see more of this aspect in book 2 and it’s not just queerbaiting.
The writing is rich and I loved the way the author works on two storylines but that never confused me. I enjoyed the vibrant descriptions of the author and the way she kept the pace fast with the writing even when the story was going slow. I did feel the dialogue was cliched at times but I enjoyed them nevertheless.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The characters - The plot - The writing - The diversity
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- The parts where the story dragged a bit.
A complex, well written, magical story set in a vibrant, diverse world that hooked me right from the beginning. One of the best debut books I've ever read....more
(I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Lib has grown. She is no longer a stranger amon(I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Lib has grown. She is no longer a stranger among the rogues. she belongs with the Tracker clan and almost all of them accept her. But meeting the other clans is a whole new thing. They don't see her as a rogue. They don't even see her as human. I enjoyed getting to know more about Lib through her constant questions to herself as to whether she is a Glitch or a Rogue. This book also explores the relationship between Lib and Wolf which was a little awkward at times considering Lib knows nothing about either feelings or sex. She notices the way her stomach flips around Wolf and how her cheeks grow warm but it takes her a long time to start understanding what they mean.
Wolf is still the same. He still distrusts the AI but trusts Lib and her ideas on how to attack the AI. I liked how Wolf has been a constant throughout the series. Even in book 1 when he didn't really trust Lib, he cared for his clan and tried to do the best which hasn't changed till now.
While each character is written quite wonderfully, I couldn't connect with them as I did with Lib. I think it's probably because in some ways lib is like us; she likes to use technology and machines while all the rogues distrust machines and any kind of software.
While book 1 dealt with Lib figuring the basics out and book 2 dealt with her convincing the rogues that the AI is the biggest threat for the whole world, book 3 is where they actually fight back. After the failed attempts in the first 2 books, this is where Lib and the rogues hatch a proper plan to attack the AI. I enjoyed the plot and the ending reminded me a bit of the movie "Lucy". While I'm still trying to wrap my head around that ending, I can't deny I was entertained. I also loved how not everything was wrapped up in a bow at the end. It made the story more believable.
Ramona Finn writes simply and wonderfully. Except for some typos and some small grammatical errors in my copy (Which I'm willing to look past since it's an e-galley), I enjoyed the author's fuss free descriptions and dialogue. The writing makes even the slow parts move fast and I ended up reading the book in one sitting!
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- Almost everything
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- The typos and grammatical errors
A wonderful finale to an exciting dystopian/science fiction trilogy. I'm surprised the book doesn't have more fans to be honest! It has fuss free writing and while at certain points it's slow, it's never anything less than interesting....more
We met Lyra in Silver Blood where she was a secondary character. Even while reading silver blood, readers could see that Lyra was a mysterious being with dark secrets. Red Blood is where she is a main character and we are told more about her. In the beginning I found it a bit hard to connect to Lyra. I was used to the quirkiness of Wren in the first book and Lyra is so much different from her. As the story went on, I began to enjoy Lyra's narration. I enjoyed her love for materialistic things and personally thought the opening with her trying out boots at a shop was hilarious. This is not to say I enjoyed the decisions she made throughout the story. More often than not, I was shouting at her in my head!
The Graverobber is someone I can't really talk about without giving away major plot points. I'll just say he is a man of magic and quite the anti-hero we all love reading about! I absolutely enjoyed his character development throughout the book. Again it's not that I completely liked him. I didn't. I had problems with his ideas, his way of thinking at his possessiveness but considering the kind of being he is, all that while not too nice, seems only natural.
The plot was even more complex than the plot of Silver Blood; and that's saying something considering how much I loved the first book! Red Blood deals with multiple plots that join up to give us these absolutely unexpected and amazing plot twists.
In book 1, Burke follows the clues in the prophecy to find Wren. Now Lyra follows the next segment of the prophecy and tries to find the next person. Throughout the story many things about Lyra are revealed and more questions answered.
This book leaves me waiting anxiously for book 3! The ending had me asking for more and hoping that the next book would be about Jasper.
When creating a fantasy world which is in a lot of ways different from ours, world building has an important role. Emma Hamm totally nails it. She creates this vibrant world where magic and prophecies are real and does an amazing job explaining everything to us. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of various places and the banter among the characters a lot.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The characters - The plot - The writing - The dialogue - The Cover
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- Certain things about Wolfgang
Go ahead and pick up this series if you love original fantasy stories with three dimensional characters! I LOVED THE BOOK !!
(I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
The Award-Winning Series is back!
The Black Swan Files continue with (I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
The Award-Winning Series is back!
The Black Swan Files continue with GLISTEN.
She is known as Project Sunday to her former government captors—a human enhanced teen transformed by a black swan event. She was their most valuable asset—until she escaped. Now, only one thing is certain, Jocelyn has no intention of ever going back.
Graeme knew Jocelyn was special the first time he met her...then leaping from his Porsche to take down a drone pretty much sealed the deal. Months later, she's back and trouble is not far behind. But how did you help someone who wouldn't tell you the truth, was constantly on the move, and had a best friend that you wanted to punch in the face? As the stakes get higher and his own family is at risk, Graeme has to decide one thing...whose side is he on?
Finally in New York, Jocelyn is eager to reach her brother and sister, but nothing works out as she hoped. She has no way to prove who she is, there's a serial killer who wants her dead, her former handler is now controlled by her nemesis, and the mastermind of it all is toying with her. Amidst everything, she is trying to survive in the "real world", help her family in secret, and navigate her first shot at romance.
Thankfully, she has friends with skills. It will take all of them to stop the government's latest plot. But at what cost?
By the end of Glimmer, Jocelyn is no longer the naive girl she was before she unearthed the truth about herself. In Glisten we see a Jocelyn who would go to any length for the safety of her siblings who don't even know she's alive. We see her against the backdrop of New York and this gives readers so many humorous moments with her. Her character development is as interesting as ever and there were so many points in the story where I wanted to reach into the book and give her a congratulatory hug.
Graeme is one of the most sensible guys I've come across in books lately. He is kind and not afraid of a challenge. He doesn't hesitate to tell people off when they are wrong. And I personally love his attitude towards Seth and can't really blame him for wanting to punch him.
Seth is a bit annoying in Glisten but I couldn't help but love him! He has Jocelyn's best interests in mind and also plays an important role in the overall plot.
As usual, my favourite trio!! Georgie, Brittany and Lena! The fabulous Brittany Walsh was my personal favourite in Glisten and by the end of the book, I was extremely proud of her!
This book also introduces us to Jocelyn's siblings and many other new characters who certainly are quite interesting. Also, Benny is a precious cinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs!
Glisten is as exciting a Glimmer and has the added bonus of being set in New York and having more number of characters. At Holliwell, we had just a set of characters to carry out the plot but with Glisten, the whole plot broadens and I loved how the various happenings in the story connect so beautifully. Even the small things that happen in the story contribute to the overall plot. In this book, EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
Glisten felt so much more emotional than Glimmer. This book deals with friendships and the importance of family. Also this is the book where Jocelyn learns about love and truly experiences it. Seeing Jocelyn try to adjust to a normal life had me going through a plethora of emotions. Glisten delivers both action and emotion with a velocity that takes the breath away!
The writing was beautiful. I got to see New York through the eyes of Jocelyn. The descriptions are vivid and the pace of the story is quite even. Everything that the characters feel, we do too as the writing is immersive. I enjoyed the dialogues in this book..there is so much humor and sass!
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- Not a thing
Fast paced, exciting and emotional. Glisten is the perfect sequel to Glimmer and will have readers rooting for the brilliantly written characters. A must-read!
( I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)
It's February, 1993, and trucker Archie “Super Man” Harla( I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)
It's February, 1993, and trucker Archie “Super Man” Harlanson is traveling to New York's Hudson Valley with misgivings. He's eager to see his girlfriend Debbie, but her elitist parents? Not so much. When he ends up at the family home, he figures the hardest part will be surviving the onslaught of relatives arriving to celebrate the birth of Debbie's nephew. That is until the US President announces his plans to hold a campaign event nearby and the town is caught up in the media frenzy. When Archie stumbles on a deadly plot against the nation's leader he finds himself butting heads with skeptical local law enforcement, the FBI, and the White House security team, and dodging the would-be assassins who now have him in their sights, all while trying to keep his head down in a household crazy with new-baby fever.
I loved Archie. He makes for a great protagonist. His character, attitude and way of talking pulls the reader in and holds their attention.
All the characters in the story are well structured and three dimensional. The Stenowitz family made me laugh so much! Each character has a unique personality that makes them stand out and they all have problems that we can totally relate to. While I read the book I could actually see the hustle and bustle in the Stenowitz home.
Even the smaller characters like Bonnie and Cheryl give us these great moments that adds character to the setting and the story.
Yes, the book comes under the 'Mystery' genre but I can assure you it doesn't stop there. The plot touches upon a variety of things. I learnt a lot about Jewish traditions and customs along with Archie as the Stenowitz family prepared for a Brit. The book shows friendship, happiness, bravery and such simple but important things through the plot. The plot also deals with Archie's time understanding the Stenowitz family and vice versa.
The writing made me sit up and take notice. As I read the book I became more pulled in because the author makes the writing simple but beautiful. Archie's comments on the people and his surroundings are funny, realistic and honest. The choice of words are clear and non-fussy. I smiled through many parts due to the humor infused into the writing.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The characters - The plot - The writing, especially the humor - Knowing about Jewish culture
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- What's there to not like?
Go ahead and pick up the book. It's a fun and satisfying read that definitely lives up to the expectations. ...more
( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
The hunted Feravolk are counting on Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dag( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
The hunted Feravolk are counting on Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan, to save their race. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed her family.
The land of Soleden is dying because the sorceress queen hunts and kills the people who cared for all nature, the Feravolk. Through their special bond with animals, the Feravolk have become more than men. Faster, stronger, masters of camouflage and stealth. Only a Deliverer born the night of the Blood Moon can save them from extinction.
According to prophecy, Jayden is a Deliverer, but it’s not a destiny she wants. She has no sympathy for either side. The Feravolk killed her family, so they can die for all she cares. And fighting the queen with nothing but daggers and her special abilities—storm predicting—is a suicide mission. Destiny can pick someone else.
Except hiding from destiny proves difficult; Deliverers attract powerful Protectors. Jayden’s is one of the Feravolk, so he can’t be trusted. But he makes her feel safe. Makes her want to save his race. If she chooses to keep hiding, he’ll remain one of the hunted, but he’ll protect her even if it means his death if she faces the queen. Making the right choice has never been so excruciating, especially since the prophecy says nothing about the Deliverer’s success, or survival.
The readers are introduced to the main character Jayden first. I liked her right from the start and grew to understand her better as the story progressed. She is a likable main character with her own strengths and weaknesses.
As the story progresses, we are introduced to a whole lot of main characters, Ryan, Ethan, Logan and Anna among others. I liked all the boys. They all had that chivalrous, rebellious and protective streak in them that bode well for the story.
I like it when books give me likable minor characters too. This book did that. Characters like Kinsey, Wren and Chloe add a nice three dimensional character to the story. I also like it when there is more than a single villain in the book. A single villain or a single problem makes things predictable. This novel shows that evil could be everywhere and in life you don't just face a single enemy.
I liked the plot. True it contained a fair share of tropes but they played themselves out in an impressive manner. I liked how the many subplots come together into a single huge plot. As the story starts out, the readers have many questions which are answered by the end but sure enough, a number of other questions have popped up by then. The author knows how to create suspense and thrill in the story. Also, THE END? OK now i can't wait to know what happens next.
The writing was pretty much beautiful. The only complaint I have is of the third person view jumping to different characters throughout the story. It distracts the imagery and derails the scenes that form in my head as I read. But after a while I got used to it and it distracted me no more.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The characters - The plot - The ending (A small cliffhanger but not the kind that makes you wanna pull out your hair. This is the nice kind)
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- The constantly shifting third point of view
Go ahead and read the book. This is for the true fantasy readers who like an entirely different world and setting. I quite like the old time fantasy setting of the world in Scarlet Moon. Eagerly waiting to know what happens next! ...more
( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to authors Alesha Escobar and Devorah fox for making sure the copy was m( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to authors Alesha Escobar and Devorah fox for making sure the copy was made available to me on NetGalley.)
Either the wondrous or the perilous awaits us when we play a hand at magic.
A hard boiled detective chases the supernatural, unveiling a frightening world right alongside modern man's. A mother, able to grant wishes, shows us we must be careful what we wish for. An African Orisha might just pass you in downtown Los Angeles, eager to siphon some of your energy so that he will not fade out of existence.
From heart wrenching, ghostly goodbyes to relatives, to discovering sparks of otherworldly magic permeating contemporary society, these nine tales of magical realism and paranormal fantasy come together to form this enchanting and gripping anthology.
OVERALL REVIEW OF THE BOOK
Magic Unveiled is a well put together anthology of, well, magical stories. The stories deal with wishes to witches, all of them crafted beautifully. My favourites were The Black Dagger Gods by Alesha Escobar, Journey to a new home by Jayme Beddingfield , and Gypsum Jane’s Inkscapes by H.M.Jones.
Each story is unique and deals with various topics but the one thing almost all the stories have in common are human emotions. The stories deal with loss, happiness, fear, hope among other emotions. Despite their fantastical character, the stories are highly relatable because of the emotions prevailing in them. The language and writing style of all the stories were beautiful and uncluttered enabling me to read the entire book in one sitting.
A beautiful story to start off the anthology. This story deals with loss, love and hope. The author crafts a story that teaches the reader the tragedy of loss and the need for hope. The descriptions are beautiful and the places described by the author in the story are etched in my mind. I connected with the protagonist and was able to see the story through his eyes.
Oh my Gods! I want a sequel to this story! Maybe a whole series would satisfy my appetite for this story. The plot was unique and refreshing. The story starts off with a whole lot of suspense and I loved how the whole thing played out. The writing style was very descriptive and the characters very realistic. Reading about Gods being so human-like was highly enjoyable.
Once again, I want a whole series!! The author leaves a huge part of the story to the readers imagination. While I liked the end, I don't just want to have to imagine. I want to know! This story is a different take on witches and is interlaced with emotions. The emotions of the protagonist adds a three dimensional character to the plot that keeps the reader hooked.
The whole premise is different and intriguing. The story left me asking for more. This story deals with hell and evil souls. It was highly interesting and I personally liked Max! I love Kick-ass female characters and Max fits the description to the T.
If you thought only long novels about lost love can bring tears to your eyes,..think again. This short and sweet story pulled at my heartstrings and I teared up so much I had to take deep breaths every five sentences or so. Loved the innocence and beauty of the story so much.
Once again,I want a whole series! The premise is exciting. The protagonist's fear seeps into us and I found myself drawn into the story. The end of the story made me feel all bold and fearless. I felt feminist power surge into me at the end of the story.
It is a story about wishes as the title denotes. Being a person who always wishes at 11:11 I totally understand the need to make wishes every chance one gets because who knows! The wish might just come true. It is a light take on wishes with a deeper moral.
It is a short and sweet story that makes the reader feel good at the end of it. It is the kind of story that puts a smile on readers' faces. It is a story of lighthearted magic that reaches out to us during the most unexpected of times.
It is so different from all fantasy stories I've read so far. It is an intriguing plot that touches on father-son relationships and human emotions. The protagonist is well rounded and carries the plot forward with ease. For some reason, I really loved the quote below from the story.-
"You try and shut out the world, and the world will swallow you.”
It is an amazing collection of magical stories that are unique and different from each other. A must read! ...more
(I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Thea Lavelle has a lot to juggle: a teaching career th(I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Thea Lavelle has a lot to juggle: a teaching career that is ramping up, keeping tabs on her globetrotting family and fine tuning her craft.
Thea is a hereditary witch whose gift came late. She’s still learning exactly what her wayward magic can do, but on meeting Marc, her best friend’s brother, she soon discovers her magic has some firm ideas about it wants.
The fates have been pushing Marc back home, to the bay of his teenage years. He knows that grief and guilt have left him burnt out, and that his family’s particular skill with healing is the best place for him.
He’d left home not knowing what he was searching for. Could it be that she’d been in Langston Bay all along?
Thunder Moon is the first novella in a trilogy of love, family and age-old magic.
When the book started I thought the entire book was going to center around Marc but then I learnt Thea was the main character ( Third person with the PoV of Thea). All the characters in the book seem like normal people except they have magical powers. I liked Thea and Marc definitely is drool worthy but I'd have liked to see a more detailed character development. I suppose there isn't much time to build up the characters slowly as this is a novella but the lack of development in the characters unsettled me a bit.
Ok let's get something straight. I went into this novel expecting a magical story and this book did not deliver that. I would describe this book as adult fiction with a little magic in the background. There is also insta-love and some hot and heavy romance. I was intrigued by the magic part but was disappointed to see so less of it. I think I might have enjoyed the book had it not been for my expectations. The book ends happily but there are a couple of questions (Why a certain character doesn't like another character and such) for which I believe we'll find the answers in the next book.
The writing was quite beautiful. I love how beautifully the author describes the coastal setting. Except for a couple of editing errors, the writing was quite smooth and captivating.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK
- The writing - The setting
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK
- The lack of magic the blurb promises - Lack of character development
WILL I BE READING THE REST OF THE TRILOGY?
I think I might to see what happens but it isn't high up on my TBR.
It's a good read if you like adult fiction with a sprinkle of magic (and quite a bit of hot romance) ...more