sensitivemuse

sensitivemuse

Book blogger, chef, gamer, avid reader, hockey fanatic. Potential book hoarder and cat lady.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
We need more Eric Carter Please....
Hungry Ghosts - Stephen Blackmoore

***spoilers ahead you have been warned***

 

Nooooooooooo this can’t be the ending of the series can it???!!! I’ve taken a liking to Eric Carter. He’s still has his anti hero jerk side, but in this book, he’s mellowed out quite a bit (or if you really think about it, he grew up and stopped being filled with rage.)

 

Sad to say, I noticed Gabriela takes an absence in this one. Which is too bad because I rather liked her presence. She was a perfect side fighting partner with Eric. Alas perhaps later I hope?

 

I also liked the complete 360 Tabatha did. She’s not what you thought she was and now that things are getting pretty serious she’s really down to earth and idealistic. Which I rather started to like about her. She’s also started to grow more of a backbone and talking back to Eric a bit more. I’m not sure if I really like them as a couple though. I think it just seems like Eric is so much of a lone wolf you don’t see him with anyone romantically. Who knows though, as Eric does take a personality change though.

 

Eric’s journey in this book has a more serious undertone and not a high flying adventure like the first too ones. This one, well he’s just about at the end of his rope and he’s had it with being the pawn in the games of the Gods. Plus, well he’s turning to jade so that can’t be comfortable can it? So his journey into the underworld is pretty serious at this point. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the underworld. I can’t get over the “Mad Max” cars (because that’s the first thing I thought when I read the description!). I thought it was well done and what an underworld really should be.

 

The ending was good. It did tie up various loose ends and it seems like the series stops there. I did hear however that this is not the end, there’s going to be more Eric Carter novels so I’d like to know who he’ll square up against now. It’s nice that he closes everything that’s been following him all throughout the first three books so I think he’s ready for another set of getting beaten up to a pulp :D more demons please!!!!

Review
3 Stars
Readable, not a very interesting plot though.
Shades of Earl Grey - Laura Childs

This book still retains their likable and quaint characters, and still ends up a light enjoyable read. Although it would be preferable if read in order so you can get a feel for the characters, it could be read out of order (there’s a few references in the past books but nothing that will let the reader be lost and confused.)

 

My guess as to who the culprit was going to be was spot on. That being said though, what I really enjoyed about this book was the author got the reader to second guess their deductions. There were moments where I was second guessing myself because of the way the breadcrumbs were trailing. That was the best part of the book and the most enjoyable. I liked the little twists and turns being made to finally come to the ending and revealing of the cat burglar.

 

Although the characters and the mystery aspect of the book was enjoyable. The plot itself was a little lackluster and not very interesting to begin with. Delaine really struck a nerve with me as I didn’t enjoy her personality or her drama queen antics. I wanted the plot to be a little more interesting and more engaging to read. If it wasn’t for the breadcrumb trail you were being led on, the book would have been less enjoyable.

 

Overall, it wasn’t the greatest book of the series. The first two were much better. Let’s hope the next one will be better than this book. Still, it’s a light read to get through the day in between heavy novels. Worth a read through for cozy mystery fans.

Review
4 Stars
A Feel Good Read with Warm Fuzzies
A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White

Think of Downton Abbey with a very likable character who’s a tough cookie but yet can crumble like a marshmallow when it comes to matters of the heart. There’s an element of mystery, romance, and a feel good story all wrapped up in this book.

 

Now it make take a bit to get used to, but you do see a mini little sub plot in there where you’re dealing with Peter and his moments of creativity. At first it may seem confusing at first but it’s just Peter thinking aloud. Once you get used to the flow of the book you actually find that Peter’s own stories actually do sound rather interesting (would be nice for a spin off on those.)

 

Now. Aside from Peter’s creativity and a mini novel within a novel itself, there’s a mystery aspect and the romance aspect of the book. I rather wish there was more intrigue and mystery to the story because it certainly had the potential to it, but what’s really central to the story is in fact, the romance between our two main characters: Peter and Rosemary.

 

I love them both. They’re both opposites in a way, Rosemary is tough considering where she came from and loud and aggressive when push comes to shove. Peter on the other hand, is quiet, but has many strengths to him as well, he’s just more of the subtle more quiet type. Now this doesn’t mean that Rosemary overshadows Peter. In fact they both rather complement each other. They’re both strong characters, they just have different ways of expressing these strengths.

 

I also enjoyed Rosemary’s character development. One can certainly understand from her background, why she had particular beliefs and thoughts. As you progress throughout the novel however, you notice this changing and eventually although she was not a bad person to begin with, she does change her view of the world, which does enable her to not only love others but also love herself. This was by far, my favorite part of the book, watching Rosemary’s thinking change gradually as she sees Peter as not one of the typical high society.

 

It was a joy to read this book. For once, I actually preferred reading the romance aspect (I’m not a romance fan) instead of the mystery. All I wanted was to read about Peter and Rosemary and their chemistry come together. It certainly was a feel good fuzzy hugs type of novel.

Review
4 Stars
Greatly recommended! lots of characters and history
The Monster's Daughter - Michelle Pretorius

This is not a book to read, leave and come back to later. The reader needs to read this carefully and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand how every character was involved and when the loose ends have been tied, it’s an amazing read and we’re left with a wow experience at the final page of the book.

 

It’s definitely not a quick read but meant to be read slowly as the book spans through the early 1900’s right until present time. One must also follow who’s who in the book and keep in mind the characters. As the ones in the past are still playing in part in what’s happening in the present. Its written through different various points of view so the reader gets both sides of the story but it’s so well written and eventually the reader will be witness as to how the murder has taken place and how Alet is central to what’s happening. The plot was very well done. Some historical information may help to better understand the situation if needed, but otherwise it’s very clear and understandable. What may cause a problem is there’s a lot of terminology and references to various words in Afrikaans. Some words do make sense but others may need some dictionary to help understand it better.

 

What I enjoyed the most of this book is how characters are tied into the past and the present. The book goes back and forth and you get to see them as how they were in the past, and how they are in the present. Their personalities don’t really change, but you get to see how they evolve and what led them to their positions, and how all of them come together to make this murder case.

 

Alet is, from the start of the book one big mess (thanks to her past) and although she’s not that likable, she earned my sympathy at the end when her investigation reaches a climax. You certainly feel for her at the end of the book but at the same time admire what she went through to get the information to solve the murder case and you admire her strength afterwards for what she had to do, to put it behind her.

 

At times this book can be a hard read as corruption is rampant through the police force and those in higher positions are not entirely innocent or have shiny records of achievement. Yet because of their privilege and of who they are, they’ve gotten away with it. You feel the injustice and the resentment throughout the book. You feel sympathy towards those who have been wronged and bear the abuse. I really felt for Flippie, and Jacob. Trudie/Tessa who was central to this story along with Alet, her story was so interesting as all she wanted to was to live peacefully and lead a somewhat ‘normal’ life. It was interesting to read her story from when she was born to the present.

 

I really enjoyed this novel, I was hoping it would be a series, but perhaps it’s better if it is a stand alone. I don’t think Alet could have gone on that far with what she went through. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who has a liking to a good murder thriller, with historical fiction mixed in. It’s a long read but well worth the journey.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
Wow! I loved this one. Just as good as the first book!
The Rift Walker - Clay and Susan Griffith, Clay Griffith

***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned!***

 

It is greatly recommended you read The Greyfriar before jumping into this novel. You’d be pretty much lost if you started reading out of order.

 

This one was just as good as the first one and better. I enjoyed reading Adele’s development throughout the book! I never thought of her as a whiny damsel in distress even though there were times when she wasn’t sure what to do but in this book she went from a strong character to someone even  stronger. She immediately knew what to do and there were times when she didn’t take no as an answer (and the empress in her came out! That was fun to watch!)

 

You now have a more developed plot and you also get to see who’s on who’s side and who has a private agenda (Yes Mamoru, we’re talking about you.) I used to like Mamoru so much until the last third of this book. Wow. I understand where the hatred is coming from but it goes to show how blinding it can be and the way it can twist someone around.

 

Also: Everybody needs a friend like Colonel Anhalt. You need a loyal friend like that in life. No kidding. He’s become one of my favorite characters in the series because of his loyalty, despite discovering who the Greyfriar really is. He adores and cherishes Adele so much I loved reading about him. She treats him just the same way and they both are the best match when it comes to a good loyal friendship, in fact it’s almost a father daughter relationship.

 

Speaking of fathers. The deaths of both Constantine and Dmitri just tore me up. It’s interesting how they died similarly. Both heartbreaking, and wanting you out there crying for revenge because of the way they died.

 

So who do I dislike more? Cesare? Or Senator Clark? I’d go with Cesare on this one. He’s cunning, ruthless but there’s something slimy about him that you just want to sink a stake into his heart and watch him disintegrate. Senator Clark on the other hand is just an uncouth baboon that’s funny when he’s upset. You can’t help but laugh at his antics even though he’s a jerk.

 

 

The plot in the book is evenly paced as for the majority of it you follow the Greyfriar and Adele through their journey (GARETH THE WEDDING CRASHER! I LOVED IT!) their romance is well written and it’s not sappy or too sweet. It’s just right. They have their funny moments, and their sad ones, and ones where it was a close call to ending them. I rather wish they had more moments on Cesare and his plotting but he’s sporadically featured here and there throughout the book. Not enough though (there’s just something about villains that you want to read more about anyway…)

 

I definitely can’t wait to read the third one! I want to see what’s going to happen now that Adele is using her skills as a Geomancer and she’s getting more training on it (although there’s a downside to that as well.) Can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next!

Review
3 Stars
Worth a read if this is your sort of thing
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

I admit these kinds of books are a guilty pleasure of mine. You give me zombies and Pride and Prejudice I’ll read it in a heartbeat. You give me William Shakespeare with vampires and I’ll add it to my wishlist to read. People are going to scoff at these types of books because they’re known to be silly and not worth the time reading. Sometimes we just need a bit of silliness in our lives to remind ourselves that it’s okay to throw ideas that have nothing to do with each other and make it into a story (or film, or both.) I enjoyed this one because well, vampires, and history put together are usually a great mix. This time around it’s more of an alternate history story line with an interesting but pretty feasible so it’s not over the top ridiculous. Vampires who support the South because it gives them easy access to food. Sounds plausible doesn’t it? It makes sense if you think about it that way. Of course then you have vampires like Henry who don’t believe in getting food that way and that’s where the plot of vampires and history blend nicely together. The format of the book is also different and interesting in where it’s written like a ‘non fiction’ book. It’s a nice way of putting it together and adds more to the story to make it more enjoyable. The problem with this is, since it’s meant to emulate a non fiction book, it also dry and boring in some parts. So the execution of this type of book could have been a bit better to make the read less of a chore - as some parts seemed to have dragged. Despite some of the parts being a bit boring, it’s worth a shot to read. I enjoyed the ending immensely and liked what they did there with Lincoln. This book isn’t for everyone that’s for sure, but if you’re curious about it, give it a try.

Review
4 Stars
This was worth the hype
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) - Victoria Schwab

I didn’t know what the hype was all about until I saw the second book released just recently. Took out this book and in the first day I was half way through. It was addicting and it moved at a fast pace.

 

It took me a little long to warm up to these characters and the setting. The setting is interesting, with the three different groups of monsters infesting the area. There was some sort of catastrophic event and the area was split into two. I rather like the way the world is being set up in this case. We have monsters. Not vampires, or werewolves, or some other mythical creatures we are familiar with. These are different and nothing that I have come across yet in the novels I have read in the past. I rather wish there was more history in regards to world building. Or at least, a bit more information but it doesn’t deter the reader from enjoying the novel.

 

Kate and August are both great characters and opposites. Kate, who is a complete bad ass and August who is trying to fit in and be normal. I like them because first of all, they aren’t filled with besotted love like some YA novels have out there or worse yet, they fall in love and the world crashes around them. I’m glad this book doesn’t have any of that nonsense. They both use each other as a means to an end but they end up being unspoken friends despite their differences. What I like the most about these two is, they both exposed themselves to vulnerability to each other and learnt a lot from their respective groups.

 

The plot itself is very interesting and readable. The action is good and not over the top dramatic. The twist near the end is predictable but what you didn’t see coming is the ending and you’re left with either being blown away or….well there’s no other is there? You’re just straight out blown away.

 

Definitely recommended for YA readers. I’m off to get the second one. I enjoyed this book immensely.

Review
4 Stars
Great read, definitely recommended
American War - Omar El Akkad

I really enjoyed reading this book. It wasn’t a light read that’s for sure. Yet I liked following Sarat through her life and how she became to be.

 

Sarat’s childhood is pretty much ripped apart and continues its’ descent as the book goes on. She’s pretty much robbed of it - although she’s not like other children. She’s a tomboy, taller than most kids and sticks out like a sore thumb. She’s also very inquisitive and curious. Now if you sum those characteristics and consider the living conditions she’s in, and the setting, this is ripe for anyone to take advantage of these people and manipulation is key here.

 

You have to admit, you had to take a liking to Albert Gaines. He was proper, soft spoken, intelligent, was able to spin history as tales and stories for you to imagine. You knew what was underneath that exterior. You knew he had another agenda in his mind (it was evident that Sarat knew about this too, as did other camp inhabitants) but it didn’t matter. Living in squalor and having nowhere to go, someone with that much charisma can certainly be attractive, and Sarat was no exception. She felt special and wanted. She was perfectly manipulated into becoming an instrumental machine to their cause. You can’t blame Sarat for becoming what she ultimately came to be later in the book.

 

The setting and plot was good. It’s pretty much civil war in the USA and climate change has wrecked havoc in some parts of the East. You also have alternate history elements in the book where you have the Bouazizi empire who have expanded and wield influence in the world, and of course you have the North and the South fighting against each other again.

 

What really compliments the setting are the characters. There’s not many to choose from, since Sarat is really central to the story. Her family: Martina, Dana, and Simon are secondary characters. (Simon plays a larger part later in the latter half of the book). However, they’re very well rounded and you’re so attached to Sarat because she’s human. I loved Sarat for her strength and resilience. She displayed this even when she was a young child. That carried her throughout the novel and she maintained the strength up until the end. I really felt for her as she suffered immensely and yet you would completely understand her situation if it had happened to you. You would be out for revenge every chance you get. However it also goes to show how far her manipulation went and the consequences.

 

It’s definitely not a light read but one to read slowly and to be carefully thought through. Definitely recommended.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3 Stars
It Dragged at the end....but some character development involved
Bookplate Special - Lorna Barrett

***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned***

 

So I just finished reading the second one a while ago. As far as cozy mysteries go, I like them and pick them up when I can. They’re more like a go between heavy reads or when I need something light. (Reading is like eating you see..you’d like an appetizer before you dig into the main course.)

 

With most cozy mysteries you don’t get much character development. They’re usually just there like placements in a diorama with nothing much to them except it makes the story readable and whole. Or it provides support to the setting and the plot. There’s nothing central to them.

 

In Bookplate Special, that pretty much changes.

 

Tricia and Russ break up! Which is not big news anyway. You were anticipating it and quite frankly, Russ was pretty much boring to begin with. Enter the green eyed (and this is emphasized throughout the novel) Captain Baker who’s not that charming but at least has somewhat more of a personality than Russ, he’s certainly a gentleman, and manages to grab Tricia’s attention. So there’s that development there in that regard.

 

Then we have Ginny and Brian who aren’t together anymore because Brian’s done some really awful things (and ended up being the culprit anyway.) Well, Ginny was going through some really tough times anyway and this just ended up being the icing on the cake but now she’s got some goals for herself. There’s some development there. Although it’s probably going to take some time for Ginny to get used to this situation.

 

Then we have Mr Everett and Grace getting married. Which is pretty much the most happiest part of the book with all the breakups happening here. Congratulations to them, by the way.

 

Angelica who still acts like the older sibling you wish you never had, had a secret all along (well, not really) and you find out the reason for her behavior. I liked this part the most. It made her more human and less of an annoying character. For those that have gone through similar situations like Angelica would completely understand and maybe even sympathize.

 

The plot overall was interesting but not as great as the first two I’ve read. Pammy who is the victim is here and gone. She wasn’t that likable anyway but Tricia, being the nice girl and the doormat, tolerated her and ended up doing the right thing for her. Sure, it makes Tricia look like she’s being put on a pedestal and nothing can go wrong but at the same time Tricia was going through her own issues (her relationship with Russ for example, among other things she was involved in throughout the novel). It makes Tricia sound almost unstoppable and it’s amazing what she can accomplish while her store is running at the same time. It can be unrealistic as it seems like Tricia can just come and go when she pleases but if you think about it, don’t most bosses do the same?

 

I started losing interest towards the last third of the book. It really started to drag and Tricia could not stop whining about Pammy and her guilt over kicking her out of her place. I don’t know how much you could drag about the secret diary, and how a philanthropist could have been involved in this (which he really wasn’t.) Top that with adding in a group of Freegans and someone born with a birth defect that needed gender reassignment surgery. Okay. I can handle it, but did it have to drag? It really should have ended about 4 or 5 chapters ago.

 

Other than that, it wasn’t a bad read but as of now it’s my least favorite of the series. I hope the fourth one will be better than this one. The characters changing and developing was a welcome change however. Cozy mystery fans may or may not enjoy this one. Take it or leave this one.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3 Stars
Quaint cozy mystery
Bookmarked For Death - Lorna Barrett

***Possible spoilers***

 

The first book was a great read. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it’s light. Same goes for this one as well. It may help reading them in order, as it would be nice to know who’s who and how were they introduced in the book.

 

What I love the most about these particular series is Booktown itself. It’s such a quaint little place and it’s written up so nicely it makes you feel like you want to visit this place yourself. The characters themselves give the setting a nice tone even though they’re a little more than just cookie cutter characters. Tricia is likable and her staff are always nice to read through. Angelica can get on your nerves like any sibling would. However when it’s all said and done they add to the quaint setting.

 

The mystery itself was good. Although the crime is done ‘off stage’ things that happen to Tricia are a little more graphic than what I’m used to seeing in cozy mysteries. Which is not a bad thing. You’d have to wonder though, if it’s like this in every book, Tricia is in for a lot of surprises. There’s a mild twist in it but not enough to wow the reader.

 

I don’t like what’s going on between Tricia and Russ. In fact I don’t really see the appeal in Russ at all. He’s not that great, he doesn’t have much of a personality and what’s happening between him and Tricia isn’t really fireworks either. I’m not expecting something incredibly romantic between the two of them. But, some chemistry would be nice at this point. There’s nothing like that between them.

 

Overall, it’s still good for a fast quick read. Cozy mystery lovers would enjoy this one. I’m a sucker for the recipes in the back as well.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
Great action, just as good as the first one.
Broken Souls - Stephen Blackmoore

FYI for those of you who haven‘t read the first one. It’s best to do so.

 

***Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned***

 

It amazes me how much Eric Carter can take. It makes sense now, because of his new found powers and his recent unsteady alliance with Santa Muerte. But in the last book? He was thrown about like a rag doll and still managed to do the dirty deed with the lady friend. (I’d rather plop down and sleep for an eternity and lick my wounds but everyone’s different right?.)

 

Like the first one, there’s lots of action in the book. It’s one thing after another with moments of insanity in between. I really thought Eric was losing his mind there. You probably would after seeing all the stuff he’s seen in a lifetime. He’s still a jerk and isn’t apologetic about it and his character does not develop much - although physical aspects to his character changes quite a bit thanks to the manipulation of the Gods.

 

Which brings me to the main plot. Eric is caught in between two Gods who are pretty much using him to their advantage and manipulating him into getting the ball rolling. I enjoyed this part of the book. It until the last third of the book where one finds out to what extent the manipulation goes to. Then Eric is ready to go out for more blood. Oh yes. Bring me book number three!!! (A notable scene which sticks with me is when Eric is stuck with two demons in a room. Loved that fighting scene. Perfectly written, demons were grotesque, and one just happened to take the guise of a child.)

 

We also have the addition of la Bruja (Gabriela) who I really enjoyed reading. She’s tough, with a heart of gold, isn’t afraid of telling Eric he’s an a-hole, and has a following willing to fight with her. I loved reading about her. She’s a tough cookie and does help Eric out, even though there’s trust issues (understandably so). I think Eric found a great ally here with Gabriela.

 

This was just as enjoyable to read as the first one. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Eric the next time. I hope this series continues! It’s got so much potential to keep as an ongoing series.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
I loved reading this one!
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it.

The plot was fast moving and good - although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read.

It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book.

Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human.

 

 

 

 

*****spoilers below you’ve been warned*****

 

Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? ;)

I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.)

Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens!

Review
3 Stars
Conclave - Robert   Harris

I love these kinds of novels. I’m always up for a plot filled with intrigue, who’s going to backstab who, who’s got the dirty secrets and who’s the horrible but cunning bastage that will expose these secrets and so on….

 

I had to whip out my dictionary for these latin/Catholic terms that are prevalent throughout this novel. (My knowledge in Catholicism is very rusty.) But you learn something new all the time right? Now I know there’s actually names for each piece of their clothing these men wear.

 

I love how it in the first third of the novel the plotting to be the next pope starts. It’s a reminder that even though these people are spiritual figureheads and we look to them as authority figures, they’re still humans with ambition. But this is the part I loved reading the most. I love the intrigue, I love the plotting. I love how Lomeli is in the middle of this and is trying to make sure everything in the voting process is legitimate.

 

You have a group of characters to keep track of, but there isn’t much to them. They’re broken into cliques to keep track of them easily but the book is centralized on Lomeli and he’s the only one that develops throughout the novel. He’s likable for the most part and does deal with his inner self for the most part. He has his faults as well which makes sense (who doesn’t want to be pope?!) which makes these characters realistic.

 

The plot itself starts off really well. I liked the pace and events during the story. What bothered me was the last third of the novel where everything went chaotic and the author seemed to inject some action to make it more lively. I didn’t think it was necessary and there wasn’t any need for that. What I would prefer is more intrigue and inner plotting amongst the Cardinals. (There was but there was no need to the action sequence which wasn’t even a feature it happened “off screen”.)

 

Another thing which didn’t sit too well was it was one thing after another with the surprises. First it was this guy. Then the other. Oh, can’t forget this guy either. We already elected the pope? No wait here’s another monkey wrench. It was just too much (by the end I was screaming out: “Just give him the papacy and let’s go home. This is getting ridiculous”.) Some parts were spaced out but it just felt too much. However, good on the author to make sure all the loose ends were tied together. Nothing was left unanswered.

 

I liked this book but it would have been better without all the extra bits and pieces here. More intrigue and plotting within. It’s what makes it so much better. Otherwise, it was a short quick read and worth it. Just remember this is an alternate history of events.

Review
4 Stars
Beautifully Written
Mischling - Affinity Konar

I don't know what to say except it was a beautifully written novel given the subject matter. It's never easy to write about this particular period in history and never will be. However at least what an author can do is make it readable and make it a good story worthwhile to read.

 

You really do feel for Stasha and Pearl once they're herded into the camp and are used as experimental fodder to play with. You see both of them mature rapidly and have their childhoods robbed from them near the start of the novel. They were already close to begin with yet because of the circumstances they're closer with them trying to hold and support each other. It's almost heartbreaking to read because without one, the other just simply feels they don't exist.

 

As to when Pearl disappears, you feel the separation anxiety as you progress through the novel. You feel Stasha's pain and emptiness. Her other half is gone and she has no idea if she's alive or not. You can feel the void within Stasha and as you continue reading, you're still feeling the pain and you're wondering throughout the novel if she will ever see Pearl again. This is great writing on the authors part as you can distinctly feel what the characters are feeling throughout the novel.

 

There's a small cast of characters in this book. Some stand out more than others. Bruna stood out for me a lot. I loved every aspect of her and her strength. Then you have Peter, Feliks and the nursing staff at the camp. You don't get attached to them as much as Pearl and Stasha are the main ones to be focused on. However, for me, I really loved Bruna.

 

The only criticism I would have for this book is I found it sometimes a little too wordy and poetic at times. It made it for some areas of the book hard to follow - it would be best to avoid this type of writing. Yes it sets the mood and makes it melancholy but the subject matter itself is already sad and tragic to begin with. I believe that's enough as it is.

 

Definitely recommended for those that are interested in this particular historical period.

Review
4 Stars
Very entertaining read
Dead Things - Stephen Blackmoore

This is a perfect book for you to get out of your reading rut and to get back into your reading groove! It’s got everything you needed. Lots of action, a protagonist that tries to have a heart but doesn’t because he still ends up looking like the jackalope of the year. Wow. Where do I start with this one.

 

Eric is the lone wolf type of character who although he tries to reach out and have some friends- sometimes it’s just not a great idea. Seems like everything around him likes  to crash and burn. Don’t mistake that for him being a tragic hero. He’s a jerk all right. Yet he’s a jerk because of what he’s gone through and what he’s put his loved ones through. That’s what makes his character readable and what makes the book a good one. Here, you don’t have the typical hero who’s out to save the day and you don’t have the sad sap that’s out to prove himself. He did some bad things, left town, and came back and is most likely going to do more bad things. It’s about time we read an anti hero like Eric.

 

Plot wise, it’s pretty straight forward. Lots of supernatural elements and magic. Lots of action and fighting. There’s not much guess work but it’s pretty much figured out who did what and why (although the revelation at the end paves the way for the next book). I rather like the Santa Muerte plot arc. I think there’s going to be more where that came from and can’t wait to read more. Setting wise, it’s generic but when it gets to the supernatural elements with the ghosts and how Eric can travel between both worlds makes it more interesting (the part where he goes to find Santa Muerte is even better it’s like alternative worlds with a supernatural twist to it)

 

Loved the book, and I’ll keep going with this series. If you’re into The Dresden Files, or Urban Fantasy with a jerk anti hero this is the book to read. It’s quick and fast paced if you’re fully immersed in the book as I was then this book will be finished in no time.

Review
3 Stars
It could have been better
Frost - Marianna Baer

Love the cover of this! Certainly has an appeal to it and is eye catching. This book had all the potential to be a suspenseful creepy novel. It certainly had it’s moments because it kept you guessing, was this something supernatural? Or something else entirely? So it had that going for the novel, but it falls pretty short. The plot itself just seemed long winded and long. A little too long to get the ball rolling. As a result, it got boring and anticlimactic. By the time you got to the ending you were barely interested in the book and just wanted it to end. Which is unfortunate considering the book had some potential. The character themselves were alright but had nothing special going. Celeste really bothered me as a character. She was pushy, erratic, and a complete drama queen. Overall annoying in the novel. Leena herself wasn’t so bad to read although she’s a people pleaser, yet at the same time alienates them and in the end, well, she sort of had it coming didn’t she? I wasn’t too happy with the way Abby and Viv treated Leena but you did have to understand where they were coming from. So in a way, their behavior towards Leena made sense. I wish this book was much better. It had all the characteristics of a good novel but fell really short. I don’t regret giving it a try but it’s just not what I hoped for. Not really worth the read.