Just One More Chapter

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. 

-Vera Nazarian

 

I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time. 

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One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake

This is a fast paced, blood soaked, twisty turny rollercoaster Love story that builds up to a high octane scream yet ends with a slow, limping whimper. This book has love stories of all kinds...Love of Family (both blood and adopted), Friends, Power, Abilities, Home and Romantical Insta free amore to boot.

The writing felt clinical, like it was merely reporting the facts which ultimately kept me from getting immersed or connecting with the characters and their ordeals. The writing was raw and the pacing fast but never felt rushed as a result. The characters were beautifully crafted and the world was one that I really enjoyed visiting but would HATE to stay in. We all (not so secretly) have our favorite sister and I adore reading everyone's reviews to see the rationale behind their choices. For me I always loved Mirabella and recently found myself enjoying Arsinoe more and more. Yes Mirabella is believed to be the strongest, the most beautiful and a pampered, spoiled (man stealing) lump. She may be some of that but she is also: extremely capable of inflicting serious bodily harm yet refuses to direct that against the sisters she not only remembers but loves..truly loves.

 

Ok, bring on book #3. I'm (not so) patiently waiting.

Heck yeah this was good!!

An Unkindness of Magicians - Kat Howard

Oh My Lord I can not express how EXTREMELY impressed I am after finishing this book...I want to scream it..I loved loved LOVED this fantastically creul/beautiful book!!! The writing is amazing. The characters are rich and complex and interesting and loveable/loatheable like all well executed characters should be. The Magic is not new. Tithes must be paid for the use of magic and there are those with Power that abuse it and the people who are naive and/or powerless to stop them...but are they??..the Magical World as a whole felt insulated and seedy, hierarchical and often futile but ultimately redeemable and hopeful. Many MANY times I am in the midst of things, right in the thick of it, and when I am forced to put down the book and face Life I find myself contemplating whether or not to pick the book back up again or cut my loses and strike out anew. Usually I begrudgingly pick things back up but An Unkindness of Magicians never gave me a choice. I stole tiny moments whenever and wherever I could to giddily devoure this preorder. This book had me at the start and still hasn't seen fit to let me go.

this is like a flowery, whimsical dream on a rollercoaster where you are blindfolded and constantly asking "where are we going?" and "are we there yet?"...in a good way

Caraval - Stephanie G. Garber

In a world where nothing is certain but your unwavering love for your sister and the undeniable fact that you're dad is an evil lump of rotted plum smelling $h!t, what will you do to escape? What will it take to save your sister in the process? What alliances will you forge and what sorted things will you allow in those pursuits?

 

This dreamy, beautifully whimsical, oft times overly colorful, action packed marvel will keep you guessing until the epilogue and long after. PLUS there are phenomenally developed characters and even a few swoon worthy ones (no Insta love ANYWHERE to be found). Who will you root for and who will you absolutely detest? Who can be trusted, can anyone be? I was team Julian all the way. Now I won't tell you if they get their Happily Ever After but I will tell you that the journey they did take together was perilous and full of surprises EVERY twisty turny chance it got. I listened to this one on audiobook which was not only an enjoyable way to share this with the hubby (who happened to love it as well) BUT was economical to boot because there were innumerable plot twists and untimely deaths that my ereader would have been thrown against the wall in protest...repeatedly. Now I don't want to spoil a single expertly crafted moment for you but I will say that I didn't want it to end and I'm SOOO freaking curious to know what happens next, what was promised and who exactly is Legend?!?!? I wish I could experience it again anew but alas, I cannot but you...you can so why are you still here? Go on now and enjoy every last morsel this book artfully dishes out! You'll (most likely) thank me later

a beautifully written Adult Dark Fairytale wherein topics such as Love (of family as well as the romantic sort), Sacrifice, Devotion, Faith and true Happiness are explored

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones

This is a love story, first and foremost, of varying types with a dark atmosphere and a very non PG vein. It is not one of those prenatural boy meets lonely outcast of a woman who proceed to fall in love against all odds and live happily ever after. What it IS is a beautifully written Adult Dark Fairytale wherein topics such as Love (of family as well as the romantic sort), Sacrifice, Devotion, Faith and true Happiness are explored. There are definite uncomfortable moments like when Elisabeth is constantly described as being homely, only possessing beauty through her tenacity and musical prowess. I thought it was nice though..to have Beauty defined as something more than the Adonis-like allure. I think it's a depiction too often lacking in most literature nowadays. Anyhow, back to the glowing review, Wintersong is a seriously character driven fantasy where the world building and character development are supurb. There are times of sluggish pacing... Especially where feelings and enviroments are likened to musical attributes (such as tempo and key). These were confusing to me BUT it works overall and it is SOOO worth it. I cried...yes I'll admit it, I might have even wept like an orphan on mother's day... ALRIGHT?!? I felt wrung out and anxious like exposed nerves being tap danced on. No... Everything was most desidedly NOT alright. My heartstrings were being played like the virtuoso sonatas eluded to in the book. If you feel like you are slogging through the plot I highly recommend sticking with it if for nothing else than for the ending!

good book...great writing... BUT, not as good as the first

These Ruthless Deeds - Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas

This was a valiant effort but not nearly as good as the first book. Even though the witty dialogue was back, These Ruthless Deeds did not elicit the same endorphin release as book #1 did. Prepare yourselves Team {spoiler removed} for some much appreciated and absolutely definitive love triangle resolutions. The ending was super cliffy and extremely well done to boot. I await the next installment anxiously.

great little Victorian gem with a witty heroine, an awesome supporting cast and a cliffy that will make you run to book #2

These Vicious Masks - Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker

Let me start by saying that I LOVED this book and I am extremely confused as to why the ratings are on the low side. Not only was it paced expertly, written beautifully and the characters were crafted magnificently it was ultimately executed perfectly. That cliffhanger was admittedly a bit difficult to digest BUT it helped that the next in the series was already available. There is a love triangle of sorts but since the setting is Victorian with a very definite Historical Fiction vibe, the budding romances were extremely tame! The character development was so rich that you couldn't help but fall in love with the secondary and tertiary supporting characters as well as the very witty, non damsel in distress heroine. I loved Evelyn's snarky interactions with the very dashing and ever ready to please Mr. Kent and who could resist the master of brooding hunky Mr. Braddock? Who will she ultimately choose?!? This is a rapidly consumed, addictive guilty pleasure that will have you reaching for book #2, These Ruthless Deeds, in no time at all. Enjoy!!

Cute

Savvy by Ingrid Law (2008-05-01) - Ingrid Law;

Very southern kitchy cute

Interesting but also predictable and curt

Dreamwalkers (The Oneiroi Legacies) (Volume 1) - Tiaan Lubbe, Lian Sachse, Zani Pohl

*****I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*****

This book has a unique premise. Narciso di Angelo is a sixteen-year-old orphan boy that lives on the streets in Italy. He has a very interesting ability(s), when he lays down to sleep he does not do any dreaming of his own, he walks the dreams of others both sweet and nightmarish alike. He must see each through until the end where a doorway appears that leads out to the real world. He believes that he is the only one who can do such things and is extremely surprised to learn (the VERY hard way) that he is not alone in his abilities. Not only are there others that have been doing this for a lot longer than his 16 years but they are kick ass and slightly super hero(ish). He is told that they use their abilities to counter terrorists' nefarious deeds and to be forces of good in the world. Is this true? There are 2 factions of Dreamwalkers, is he even with the right group? What exactly are all of his abilities? How did he get these abilities and who were his parents? There are a few twists though most were regrettably foreseeable. The writing and world building were both good but if you're into stories that are wrapped up sparkly and neat, this is probably not for you. The premise is unique, the writing is decent, the plotline is good (though pretty predictable) BUT that ending... the end just drops off and there is no sugarcoating that cliffhanger... it's abrupt and it's critical!! I myself loathe cliffies, especially ones that have the story there one minute and after turning the page there is nothing but acknowledgments. Over all this was enjoyable, slightly sluggish in parts and then utterly baffeling when the end goes and leaves you high and dry at the alter... Swiping back and forth frantically trying to see if you mistakingly broke the book... NOPE... Fear not... It's written that way

This was unique and well written but ultimately just Meh

The Dark Days Club (A Lady Helen Novel) - Alison Goodman

It's hard to believe that so many of my GR friends loved this book to teensy smithereens. I don't know... I'm torn. While it was an extensively researched, meticulously delivered, well written Historic Fantasy with strict proprietry and rigid expectations abound, I just didn't love it. I might not be the preferred demographic though. I am admittedly no connoisseur of 19th century London or Historical Romance as a whole for that matter. I WAS impressed and quite taken with the unique mythology as well as with the quick witted, intelligent heroine that managed to be both kick ass and period appropriate almost all of the time. Another uncommon aspect was that the heroine got to choose her own destiny. Granted, there was no clear-cut good or right choice to be made BUT she was given the opportunity to take her fate into her own hands (mostly) and that is not usually the case with most Coming of Age paranormal stories. There was a romantic triangle brewing which can be hit or miss (usually a miss for me)... especially since the union I am almost certain readers will be rooting for most is percolating at a frustratingly slow pace. The other characters were also done well. I especially enjoyed Helen's relationship with her maid Darby.

 

All of these factors put together sounds like a book to be exalted right? I liked it, I really did, but I did not love it as most reviewers have and because of this my rating reflects it.

whimsically lighthearted Royal Romp

My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand

This was a good old-fashioned Alt History with romance and loads of snarky quips. Silliness and an effervescent reimagining of some real life Tudor tragedies ensues and a good time is had by some. On a personal note, I really enjoyed Jane! I loved her obsession with all things biblio, surely a love we can all relate to....the smell of the books, the palpable excitement associated with the start of a new adventure, the places you go and lives you lead, the actual feel and weight of the thing, and all the other blissful -philias accompanied with the ownership of a book. I especially enjoyed Jane's relationships with her cousin, King Edward VI, and her husband G. This quasi-historic, multiple POV retelling has a strong plot, likeable/ relatable characters and an inspiring re-imagining of a happier ending for those unfortunate Fortunates. Be aware: this feels rather lengthy at times. This is especially true if you're in the mood for something gripping or deeply life altering because if that's what you're craving this is not your book. It is, however, a whimsically lighthearted (often mind numbing) royal romp. SO, you've been warned!. Okay Alternative History buffs and Fantasy folks... unite and devour this exceptionally fun, well written, cohesive, tri-author gem.

Awesome (brief) addition to the series giving some much appreciated context to two of the featured characters in Every Heart a Doorway

Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire


"SOME ADVENTURES BEGIN EASILY. It is not hard, after all, to be sucked up by a tornado or pushed through a particularly porous mirror; there is no skill involved in being swept away by a great wave or pulled down a rabbit hole. Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world."


This tale is not such an adventure...

 

This was one quick read that happened to be richly written, starring robust characters within world(s) that were expertly crafted!! It fits snuggly into Every Heart a Doorway... so neatly and effortlessly that I quite frankly was in a constant state of awe. This story is phenomenally molded and magically delicious."

pretty great breakfast / murder club mashup

One of Us Is Lying - Karen  M. McManus

"It’s a great story: four good-looking, high-profile students all being investigated for murder. And nobody’s what they seem..."

 

"Now here’s your assignment: connect the dots. Is everybody in it together, or is somebody pulling strings? Who’s the puppet master and who’s the puppet? I’ll give you a hint to get you started: everyone’s lying. GO!"

 

 

I must crow a bit...I KNEW this was going to be awesome WAY before the library loving released it into my anxiously awaiting clutches. It's high school drama with a dollop of Breakfast/ Kill Club mixed in. The writing was extremely laid back which made it easy to devour large portions in a single sitting. In fact that might be my super power of late...capable of tackling great tomes in a single bound...fights off even the worst case of late-night bleary eye.... motto: one more chapter...can't leave things off like that...just a hundred pages til the end...oops, is that the last page?... I know it's long, I'll keep working on it....aaaaand I digress (frequently)...back to the book at hand. One Of Us Is Lying is unsurprisingly easy to consume in absolutely no time at all. After just a few hours I turned to the epilogue and silently swore because it was quickly coming to an end (great sign). The world building was a little sparse but the characters were sufficiently complex though undeniably trite. It was told via multiple POVs which got a bit confusing at times, causing some pack peddling to find out which character's head we were in, but in the end it worked out well. Be warned: There are some heavy triggers (which I will not disclose...no spoilers here but be aware) within BUT the ugly spots are effectively sterilized, lacquered over and buffed to a PG tint. The ending wrapped things up so neatly as to almost be too saccharine....not my thing but right up your alley if you're one who likes their endings nice and tidy for all.

 

The takehome is: this is a quick, easily addictive read with a minimally showcased, predictable yet insta-love free romance.

uuuuuuwwwwwwww this is sooooooo good!!!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices Book 2) - Cassandra Clare

I must preface this review with a confession: I am an undisputed, unabashed, unadulterated (and a few other "un" words) Fangirl of anything and everything Cassandra Clare! In my eyes she can do no wrong, that was until reading Lady Midnight. I admit that I had gone into LM expecting nothing short of attention demanding perfection. What I experienced was....well written but extremely underwhelming. Any way, back to Lord of Shadows which I LOVED...especially that ending...oh that horrific, gut wrenching, beautiful ending!! The book was a solid 4 stars, that was until the very end where it all hit the fan...you know the fan, it takes all of your hopes and expectations and sucks them into the blades of Cassandra Clare's devilishly sharp unrepentant plot twisting devices leaving you a sniffling lump laying in the dark corner of the bed trying not to sob too loud and wake the hubby beside you at 3:45 a.m.

 

That being said I admit it...buried in that long winded, definitely not a run-on, sentence I LOVED this book. It might be due to the fact that I went into it with ZERO expectations and quite a bit of snobbish scepticism. BUT no matter the original mood, my mood at the end, at the very last period, I was scintillatingly flabbergasted. I don't want to give too much away but there is romance and romance conundrum abound. There are also revenant and downworlders galore with all the nefarious situations they find themselves the center of or more likely the ones they orchestrate. There are plots and subplots...laws broken at every turn...Laws residing in dusty old books and biblical laws such as the frowning upon murdering your own kin. There are so many breadcrumbs teasing conjecture and interconnectivity between unlikely relationships hopefully revealed in book #3. I love love LOVE this world, these characters and this author!!

 

I HIGHLY recommend this series...drop what you are doing and pick up this gem. Unless you're the type to want everything wrapped up neatly at the end of reading, those that have the strength to resist a beautifully tempting series until the last book has been released...you know who you are and I commend you...if that's the case BEWARE... there are many things here but most notably a huge, honking CLIFFHANGER!!! You have now been sufficiently warned. To all others, ENJOY! I can't wait to read what each of you thought, felt, surmised and hypothesized.


Here are some quotes that I loved:


"If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”


“There’s something about a place you’ve been with someone you love. It takes on a meaning in your mind. It becomes more than a place. It becomes a distillation of what you felt for each other. The moments you spend in a place with someone . . . they become part of its bricks and mortar. Part of its soul.”


"Long ago the pieces of his soul had scattered, and every piece lived in one of his brothers or sisters. Except for the piece that lived in Emma, which had been burned into its home in her by the flame of the parabatai ceremony, and the pressure of his own heart."

Slow to start but once this picks up you'll be ensnared...awesome addition to the series!!

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

ok, I may not have shaken this book hangover yet but I had to share my feelings on the matter. I was going to wait a while longer to let the book sink in and allow this review to ruminate a bit but I can't. I had to put into words how much I love love LOVE this book!!

It did start off slow for me and the dialogue seemed forced and predictable at first BUT when it took off I could not look away. I know a lot of people say things like that, they couldn't look away or they couldn't put it down BUUUUT I literally walked around the house (not)doing my chores (shhhhh don't tell the hubs), ereader in hand (Yes I partake in both paper and pixel reading but today was electronic for portability and place holding ease). I indeed walked into walls, more bathroom doors than walls but we shant discuss the lavatory diversions.

 

I adored the banter, camaraderie, loyalty and devotion shared amongst the members of the Court of Dreams as well as their ability to see the good in and accept wholeheartedly new members into the family!! Their priorities and selfless defense of said priorities are so incredibly noble (and how I believe the world should be) that I can't believe it was as hard as it was to convince the other courts to join the Good Fight.

 

There is Love and Hate, betrayl and redemption. I really enjoyed watching a certain character transform through all of those phases and come back full circle to Hero. There is sexy time (sometimes awkward) and a whole lot of fighting ( though the first few skirmishes were more fizzle than fight but they skillfully led up to one hell of a battle).

I love Rhysand...I mean it, I feel like shouting it out of my 2nd floor windows but my HOA might find fault with me screaming this... purple faced, forcefully awakening the sleeping community at 4:30 a.m. so I acquiesce and rant here. This book did not only showcase my book boyfriend...nope...it also highlighted just how swoonworthy other males can be. I wanted to cuddle Azriel until he begs for air and Cassian is such an unexpected one woman knight in shining black armor that I want to pinch his cheeks and sisterly adore him. The Archeron sisters were fearsome and there are monsters to fear and to love...but mostly to fear.

 

Of course there are strings left for subsequent books to tie up but this book is my favorite so far (or at least tied with book#1).

I must warn you...there are throat constricting, "are my eyes sweating?? No, it's torrentialing" sections. I mean fetal position reading (so as not to let the light keep the hubby awake and cranky), shoulder shaking, snot control sniffling, "I love all of these characters" and "NOOOOOOOOOO, NOT THAT...SOMEONE ELSE PLEEEEASSSSE!!" whispering pleas into the ether of the night...begging the literary gods or anyone else (besides the husband) who'll listen.

 

Bottom line: you'll LOVE it...especially if you loved the first two books. It makes an awesome addition to the series! The wait for book #4 is going to be torturous but you'll see and I will read your review and nod along. Enjoy!!

A stabby, angsty, super young assassin nun in training...beware: child & animal abuse within BUT if you can get past that you'll REALLY enjoy this awesome series starter!

Red Sister - Mark  Lawrence


Want to hear an opening that will pique your curiosity and grab you by your giggly bits?

"IT IS IMPORTANT, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size."


Want to hear more?

 

"NO child truly believes they will be hanged. Even on the gallows platform with the rope scratching at their wrists and the shadow of the noose upon their face they know that someone will step forward, a mother, a father returned from some long absence, a king dispensing justice . . . someone..."

 

In this third person narrative, we have a demonized outcast protagonist (called a few things but best known to all as Nona)is not only young (only 8 years old when she is rescued from the threat of swinging from the gallows for her "murderous" crimes)but is unnaturally agile and displays a very distinctive set of skills to boot. Nona is to be raised and educated as a nun in service to the Church of the Ancestor, a church of assasin nuns that take in and train special young girls. The beginning and ending of this book are high octane awesomeness!! I have read other reviews that say the middle feels like a boring snooze-fest. I, for one, really liked the super specialized break-neck training, catty classmates, coming of age and into one's powers, extreme loyalty and inevitable betrayl of (first) friendships and all the melodrama that accompanies. I found them all to be interesting vital-to-the-plot reading goodness. The writing is sublime. The World building, Magic System and Character Development are incredibly complex and perfectly executed (no pun intended). The plot twists were built to a steady creceiendo, crafted and brilliantly divulged. There were sad deaths, sweet deaths, physical/mental capability twists and maulings galore. Though at the core there is Hope, Friendship, Sisterhood and Belonging wrapped up with a gorey bow of violence. Among all of this there are jewels, nuggets of truth and wisdom and beauty:

 

"be warned, young Nona: a book is as

dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat books with respect.”


I must I must reiterate, Red Sister is undeniably violent, extremely stabby with a touch of unapologetic comfort zone crushing. There is violence towards (and the killing of) young children as well as extreme brutality and murder of a helpless animal... BUT... if you can find a way to partition and store that in a portion of your brain labeled "Absolutely Unacceptable, Deplorable Actions that Are Only Tolerated in Fictional Settings", you'll LOVE the rest...I pinky promise.

 

"Violence is the language of destruction, flesh so often the subject, fragile, easy to break beyond repair, precious; what else would we burn to make the world take note? Your death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour; it has, for all the years of your life, been racing towards you with the fierce velocity of time’s arrow. It cannot be evaded; it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is the choice: Meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch."

 

There is much highlighting in my copy. The story is gripping and the writing, poignant. There are paragraphs of situations that are detestable. There are prose to ensnare and even words to live by:

 

"The trip from could to should is short and allows little time for reflection."

Reflect on that!!

 

It also has an excellent quote to wrap up this rambling review:

 

“Every star, turning in the black depth of heaven, burns for no better reason than that humanity raised its face to look. Every great deed needs to be witnessed. Go out there and do something great.”

 

Go ahead, do something great! Be the force for good in the world...that and come back and join me for book #2!