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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Finvarra's Circus - Monica Sanz

I loved every heartbreaking, achingly haunting, magic & miracle affirming minute. It was beautiful, painful and every detail perfection. There might be a more detailed review to come or maybe, after living with it awhile, I might decide that that is enough.

The Queen's Rising - Rebecca   Ross

My streak has continued... I have been extremely lucky lately with my book selections and The Queen's Rising did not disappoint! It was beautifully written (though sometimes transparent and predictable) and it was ultimately, wholeheartedly and undeniably satisfying. Yes it did suffer a bit from Things-Conveniently-Falling-Into-Place- Rather- Easily syndrome AND the romance was a tad mechanical, saccharine and tame BUT it was ALSO a fun, engrossing, uplifting gem gifted nicely (and rather neatly wrapped) with a big ole Happy Ending for (Almost) All glitter bow.

A Darker Shade of Sorcery. (The Realmers Series- Book 1) - William Collins

This was action story of tropic proportions! There were a bevy of creatures, and realms and beasties...OH My! It is a coming of age trope-fest featuring 2 Earth (?) kids with magic (unbeknownst to them) who are forcefully enrolled in a special school with other (diverse and special) kids/creatures. Here they train to hopefully access and use their magic (and other skills) to fight The Good Fight...you know...kill all the "Bad Guys"...the Evil, malignant, dastardly demons and their evil Archlords.

 


The writing was nothing special. The world development was at times confusingly info-dumpy (just nod and move on please, this portion of the sentence is under construction) while other times just plain old confusing. The Character development was sloooooow to fruition but what the book lacked in those departments, it made up for with pure imagination. Will I move on to future installments? Most likely No BUT it was a fun read while it lasted.

The Last Namsara - Kristen Ciccarelli

This is set in a world of black and white and grey all over. This is Good and Evil and the eternal struggle to balance/rectify the two both in the world and in ourselves. In a land where being a recounter of tales, a lover of lore and a spinner of the yarns of old...where words hold the power to seduce even the most Amazing/violent of creatures...they can harm or heal.. they even might have the power to kill (?) What would you do with such power? Who would you be? What is the very nature of said Power and how does it contribute to the timeless battle between Good & Evil?

 

I wanted to put this down SO many times, to traipse off with another tantalizing book that caught my eye but each time I sat back down and gave it another try I got caught up for hours and was transported somewhere amazing/cruel/imaginative etc...in the end what more can we ask for from a collection of words on a page/screen? The writing was nice and comfy. It did not stretch the mind into uncomfortable positions just to comprehend what was happening. It also was not simple, base or crude. It felt like how I would describe southern cooking feels like on a depressingly cold winter's day, slow, comfortable, like aaaaahhhhhhh.

 

I liked every aspect of the plotline from the amazing depiction of Dragons to the awful dichotomies of family, court and social prejudice. The author traversed themes such as how much we allow other people's views/actions define who/what we believe ourselves to be? How difficult it is to shuck off negative beliefs about ourselves and become the best version of ourselves. How much do we let predjudices define how & who we interact and connect with? How much must we give up to be true to ourselves? What would some people do to have/keep the Power? Can you be Good if you have done bad things?... and more.

 

When it comes down to it I really enjoyed the total package and might have even shed a few tears...might I say. I think you'll like this twisty turny tale that will keep you guessing until the very last chapter.

I'm one of THOSE people...are you one too?

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

"If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse."


You know what?? I am definitely one of THOSE people....you know, those that swoon over plots rife with Political intrigue..one of those awesome people that love all (good) things Fae....those that bought into the (well deserved) hype surrounding this book...those that sing praises of the venerable Mrs Holly Black, dubbing her an irreproachably unequivocal Master of Words and Such..well that may be more of a Me thing than a Those thing but I digress.

 

Anyhow, not only am I a firm resident of all of those categories BUT I happened to have fallen in LOVE with this book to boot! I'm not embarrassed at all to admit it, I was ensorcelled (LOVE that word!) and I am sure you will be as well. Cruel Prince deserves all the accolades it gets! Was it a perfect 5 Star book?? No, but it was extremely well written, thought out and executed. The plot twists were a bit too predictable, though watching them unfold was extremely satisfying. The coronation was stab-tacular and Red Wedding(ish)! The relationships Del Amore were nothing amazing but at least they weren't insta-anything either. The MC was kick @$$ yet vulnerable (a combo I love to see in a complex, well fleshed out main character...or any character really). Jude's "nemesis" was more talk than action, especially with regards to her, and ultimately a bit whimpy ...NOT traits I find sexy in a possible love interest but HEY...you never know. I guess we'll all be (not so patiently) awaiting book #2 to see what type of person he will truly turn out to be.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough though the wait for answers seems cruel and insurmountable... and I say this from just having joined the ranks of the tortured this afternoon :::GULP:::

 

overall: I'm pretty enamoured but the wait is already killing me. I wish you all a day with no distractions so you can immerse, experience and fall in love with this book and THEN you can take your rightful spot next to me on the excruciating wait train.


"What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that."

Scythe - Neal Shusterman

I highlighted like a pro with this book BUT, as a whole, it wasn't as amazing as its quotes (if that makes sense). The plot was peppered with sporadic action/horrific violence while the rest seemed like it was trying to be deep and introspective....a recipe for disaster?? NOPE, it worked! Kind of...was it on the boring side?? Yes! Was the burgeoning love unnatural and painful to witness? Yes! BUT it was ok...not my new favorite but it was a semi interesting read.

The Diabolic - S.J. Kincaid

~~~~DNF~~~~

 

I tried...The fact that a slew of you LOVED this book kept me going as far as I did but I just can't do it. I made it to 56% but I couldn't scrounge up enough interest in all things Diabolic AND since there are so many yummmy books out there I'm moving on. There was nothing horribly wrong but there also wasn't anything terribly right either. The one character that did pique my interest was Tyrus. He was supposed to be crazy/eccentric but turned out to be mildly Mad-adjacent. It felt like he suffered from poorly crafted character persona instead of slowly percolating character development of Awesomeness. All of the other characters felt flat and I couldn't care less what happened to them. Even the world building was bland....OOOOORRRRRR maybe I am just itching to move onto some of the tasties out on the market right now. Either way I'm calling it... it flatlined for me BUT I still look forward to reading all of your reviews...especially reviews that praise the books I couldn't get into or vice versa.

McGuire's Wayward Children is my own personal door to Whimsy and Logic, Fairyland and Underword and I LOVED every minute of it!!

Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

THIS BOOK WAS PURE NONSENSE!! It was also a dabbler...a sweet sweet dabbler that dabbled (obviously my word of the day) in areas that most authors either steer clear of or try to tackle and too often fail. Seanan McGuire presented many cases of Adversity and how 4 brave kids overcame the troubles that plagued them. This book also touched on body issues and anxieties dealing with someone's mass as opposed to their Being. She broached topics such as what a true friend is and what it means to fit in somewhere, especially when you are being the most authentic you, 100% real. Other topics arose like the (mis)handling Of people with disabilities and how they themselves, as well as those around them, cope with the truth of what they deal with and how they wish they were treated. The very fabric of Reality was examined and it was determined that Reality is real/right in different ways for different people. I loved seeing kids of Logic deal with a Nonsense world and everything that entailed. Things like Death and what it means to truly be Alive are placed under the litterary microscope and dissected in the most beautiful ways. The writing was exceptional, as always. The development of the Worlds was phenomenal! You could feel the magical air in the Land of the Dead and taste the sugary sweetness in the Land of Confection. The character's flaws, anxieties, strengths and epiphanies were so tangible that my heart skipped, raced, broke and recovered in all the right places.

 

If you are already a fan of this amazing series then you'll be richly rewarded with this new addition! If you are on the fence about whether or not to pick up this gem, I hope this review convinces you to jump off that stodgy old fence and open your own door to lands you couldn't possibly imagine without a tour guide. THIS BOOK IS SURREAL and CAPTIVATING!! I feel like McGuire's Wayward Children is my own personal door to Whimsy and Logic, Fairyland and Underword and I LOVED every minute of it!!

worth the wait!

Soul Finder (The Immortal Gene Book 2) - Jacinta Maree, Becky Stephens Editing

I just this very moment finished Soul Finder after having to first reread Soulless due to brain mushiness...It's a thing...I think...anyhow, I feel that I must go on record saying that this series has unceremoniously and repeatedly accosted my emotions..having all sense of Right and Wrong hijacked, held ransom and awaiting the final verdict found only in book #3 !! Proper words fail me at the moment BUT what I can articulate is Holy Gritty Hell shackled to a Crazy/Hot/Volatilly Codependent Love/Lust/insane romance (?!?)!! sound confusing and garbled? I agree! If you are in the market for a dark, disturbing, extremely well written dystopian series (with the same feel as Susan Ee' s Penryn & the End of Days series) then drop whatever it is you are presently doing and pick up book#1 Soulless...after much sleep deprivation you'll thank me for it later!! If you're still on the fence then I'll give you my 2 cents worth and suggest that you should try it, it's definitely worth the time!!

a slow percolator....but worth the Time...tee hee

Everless - Sara  Holland

I am extremely conflicted about what to rate this. I don't mind admitting it...my name is Beth and I suffer from Old Lady Syndrome at times. In order to combat my memory lapses I take notes periodically with the hope of remembering to put into words everything I felt along the way. At first I was disheartened with the pacing. Then there was the lack of character development and to be completely honest, the plot as a whole was flailing. Yes the writing was very good. Yes the premise was unique BUT it felt very much like a setup book where there is very little going on definitively...no meat, no potatoes, just me starving for a decent plot, skimming and flitting about all the while stewing in resentment- waiting for book #2 to come out so that things can finally start in earnest. Around 64% there was still nothing major going on. The MC suffered from the doldrums and nothing was holding my attention fully. The identity of Jules's parents and the reasoning behind why the queen was so feared were the most interesting questions posed and even those inquiries did not compel me to keep turning pages. Only the preorder price and my own stubbornness kept me going. All of these factors usually amount to a surefire recipe for disaster BUT I am elated to report that I persisted! Not only did I persist but the last 30% was redemption incarnate!! And that ending...oh boy that ending left me fiending for more. I ended up loving someone I initially loathed (as we were often led to do) and detesting someone that I had eventually warmed up to (although done so with a healthy amount of well earned trepidation). The main twist blindsided me. The way in which it unraveled, though laborered in the beginning, was skilfully crafted. As it approached the finish line it commanded my attention and I ate it up in record time. Now now, I know some of you can inhale books at an inhuman rate (and I'm more jealous about that than I care to admit) BUT here I reference my own (oft times sluggish) pace so please take the previous statement with a grain of salt.

 

In the end I found myself caring for the characters which was a wonderous feat in and of itself because I would have balked at that claim around the halfway mark.

Anyway, I highly recommend this book and if you find yourself hung up, dejected and thinking of putting it in the DNF pile then I hope you persevere as well because the ending is not only twisty and turny but it also sets up high expectations for the next book in the series. Happy reading!

How to Hang a Witch - Adriana Mather

I really shouldn't be surprised at how much I liked this book, almost all of my GR friends sang its praise. The plot was in-depth, elaborate, never boring and unabashedly addictive. I was bewitched (hehe) by the characters (especially the dashing Elijah) even despite the unanswered, messy Love Triangle. The full cast of characters were diverse and authentic. The MC was unapologetically sarcastic, stubborn, realistically flawed, a tad annoying but overall likeable. I would have given this 5 stars if the writing would have been better. Even though the subject matter came across as extremely well researched and very entertaining, the writing was a bit sophomoric. In no way was the writing "Bad" but it was most certainly middle of the road Meh.

 

I was shocked to find out there was a second book because the first wrapped up satisfyingly neat and sweet with a dash of tear inducing heartbreak. There were twists and turns abound and though I played the "Who Dunnit" game almost the entirety of the book, in the end it turns out that I had the identity of The "Big Baddy" figured out relatively early on. I definitely recommend this witchy book that had me enraptured from about the 20% mark on.

Book #2 is now close to the top of mount TBR.

The Female of the Species - Mindy McGinnis

"I live in a world where not being molested as a child is considered luck"

 

This was BRUTAL!! This book was raw and beautiful and will stay with you for a VERY long time! I love, love, LOVED the writing which was stunning and real. I'll admit it, I'm here, just having finished this book, and I'm broken into pieces crying. It's not that civilized, sniffling, dab at your eyes and it's done kind of crying. It's the soul abraded, snot dripping cry that leads my hubby to ask why I choose to read things that tear me apart emotionally.


This was told by 3 different characters perspectives, all of whom I fell in love with which is extremely rare. Usually I am skipping through one characters ramblings just to get back to another I liked best. That was definitely not the case here, even the supporting cast were amazing. I might go as far as to say that this contemporary story has some of the best character development I have read in a LONG time! All three MCs were human, strong yet weak at the very same time. They were complex and realistic and ultimately it HAD to be done with dueling POVs..I can not picture the story working better any other way. If you can imagine it, amongst all of the griminess and heartache there was romance and thankfully it was sans insta-love. I want to tell you to run out and read this asap because of the breadth of its beauty and the skill in which it was executed...BUT it feels weird telling you to do so because I know that the subject matter is merciless and that you too will be lacerated and laid bare...a puddle of sobbing feels. I don't want my GR friends to hurt but if you're okay with a bit of pain and some tear stained pillows then I HIGHLY recommend this book!!

Invictus - Ryan Graudin

This was Time, Multiverse, Alt-Life done right....ohhhh so right! If not for the slow beginning and the fleching annoying, made up curse words this would have definitely been rated higher. I do love a good Time Travel book and this wasn't good, it was GREAT!! After the slow as molasses (and just as interesting) begininng the action was well paced, the Historical aspect seemed to be researched and therefore felt extremely organic/possible/authentic. There were twists and turns and loop-de-loops abound...even though we were easily (and very willingly) led to the only ending that would have felt right, when the curtain closed on the Epilogue, it was still immensly satisfying (with just a dollop of I Need More STAT)!!

 

As I have stated (ad infinitum), I am a sucker of the greatest magnitude for a well executed Time, Space, Multiverse Travel book and this..with its pivot points/paradox a plenty...not only did NOT disappoint but delivered so beautifully that I'm searching for yet another Time romp for my next literary adventure as of this very moment...well, as soon as I'm finished typing here. I'll let you know how I fare BUT with respect to Invictus...if you are like me and harbor a (not so) secret obsession with all things Time/Space-y then this book will definitely entertain, tickle those fancies as well as dally in the realms of Causality and the nature of our Being to boot.

 

Enjoy!!

a magical tale revolving around the mystical African mythology...lore so engrossing that you won't come up for air until the very last word of the epilogue!

Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

This was an awesome MG/YA fantasy that was steeped in the Otherworldly, ever elusive art of the Juju and other African mysticisms. Akata Witch was an engrossing Coming of Age tale of 4 African children (2 transplanted from America) who were immersed in the intricacies and secret nuances found primarily in Nigerian folklore. I love a good story based on a cultures' Mythology...especially ones that are completely foreign to me...you never know that you don't know something until you're exposed to the truth of things but what I NOW know (my apologies, I can't seem to stop saying that word at the moment) is that I am bewitched and that I have fallen hopelessly in love with this world! The book was about 4 young kids making what is essentially a Coven and the perils associated with their World. The MC is an Albino girl who learns of, as well as hones, her newfound powers in a refreshingly new (if such a thing can be called that wrt this genre that is oft times overly trope-ic...don't judge, it's a thing, I think) manner. The world building was phenomenal and incredibly imaginative BUT more importantly, it was undeniably and blessedly Unique!! The characters were endearing and perfectly humanly flawed (which I love love LOVE!). I adore a good yarn that has its characters actually working for their progress and growth... working to become worthy of a whole books' praise and notoriety. Even the tertiary characters were crafted with precision as well as being undeniably interesting. The whole book was addictive from the first chapter on and was in a voice & tone that I rarely come across... which again labels it as ridiculously refreshing! I am anxious to see what is in-store for our 4 young leading personalities and especially for our Free Agent/MC Sunny. I highly recommend this book and am (not so) patiently awaiting book #2!!

 

End of rambling...

In my overly verbose opinion, this is a reverently explored Middle Eastern tale that revolves around a copiously traversed subject matter...Djinn

The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty

WOW, I absolutely inhaled this book!! The writing was seamless. The world was devine. The middle did drag a bit but royal politics and in-depth character development can tend to lend itself to this type of dilemma. I decided not to penalise the rating too harshly because of this though I did waiver back and forth between 4 & 4.5 star...BUT seeing as how the sluggishness was coupled with some great writing... a grand and unique premise (especially for a topic so fervently explored)... a plot that had me constantly questioning everything I had presupposed along the way...I couldn't help but bump up the rating sooooo a well deserved 4.5 stars it is.

 

Now onto the dual POVs. Imo the very distinctive POVs played perfectly off one another, a frequently attempted endeavour that many stories fail to accomplish. The backdrop seemed both masterfully crafted as well as meticulously researched creating an undeniably authentic atmosphere. The characters were breathtakingly, "humanly"flawed. Nahri, our heroine, was a little annoying at times but ultimately her loyalty and overall potential was endearing. I can definitely see camps for favored male characters being formed down the road. Who was my favorite you ask?!? Well I won't go into too much detail but I will say that though Dara seems like the perfect companion/protector, I couldn't help but root for sweet naive Ali. Speaking of camps, it's probably obvious from my previous admission BUT fair warning: there was a most salacious love triangle percolating (though very minimally acted upon) which happened to be the impetus for much of the drama SO if that's not your thing...you've been warned.

 

I couldn't help but obsessively check Chapter and Location progress. This is usually a bad sign in my world BUT here it was for all the right reasons. I watched the pages fly by wishing to stall the inevitable and THAT hasn't happened to me in a long while....sad, I know, but true.

 

Anyhow, ultimately many MANY questions went unanswered, leaving me with a nagging hunger for the next book, STAT. So hurry up please, I NEED answers!!!

great writing with an amazing plot...I highly recommend!!

The Bird and the Sword - Amy Harmon

Holy enchantments, I've been ensnared and I never want to be set free again. This book is pure Magic wrapped in vivid and intricately poignant prose. These prose are things of absolute wonder might I add. They are not too flowery as to trigger an allergic reaction (like a migraine or spasms that lead to throwing the book at the wall repeatedly) or drab enough to be used as a sleeping aide. What they ARE are incandescent literary weavings that transported me(fully immersed and wholey invested) to a completely original world of amazement and helped my imagination SOOOAAARRR (don't fault me, I had to say it). This hauntingly beautiful, character driven tale is so much like the lore of old that I was bewitched...bewitched I tell you!! You know the ones...those fairytales filled with Gallantry and Honor...Betrayal and Horror...Abilities and Redemption...Beauty in various forms (especially those in hard to reach places) and all the delicious Naivete turned Triumph a dreamer such as myself can tolerate on an empty stomach (no, Halloween candy does not count!)! This yarn was expertly spun and revolved primarily around Lark (our Teller/Commander). The characters were fantastic! Even the secondary and tertiary ones felt so real I could just about taste their desperation and fear amongst their deviously wicked machinations. Boojohni was a perfect supporting character and Tiras..oh my word King Tiras... how you have beguiled and won me over wholeheartedly! I won't gush on and on BUT I will say that this wrapped up so neatly that it felt like a stand alone. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that but I am certainly curious to see what's next.