Monday, 4 July 2022

The Tin Rose - Book Rant by Voodoo Bride


The Tin Rose (Elemental Steampunk Stories #1)
by Anne Renwick

What is it about:
A gypsy's promise. A clockwork poison. A race to save a love balanced on the edge.

On the night they were to elope, a spurned lover returned. A gift, she claimed. But the clockwork contraption unwound a poisonous bloom, sending Lady Emily and Luca, her gypsy love, on a desperate race to reach the cure.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I think I got this short story when it was free on amazon over 3 years ago. Recently I decided to give it a try.

First: I must say I was very put off by the use of the word gypsy. This book might be a couple of years old, but when this released in 2017 gypsy was already considered a slur. I tried to read past it though.

And then there was the second problem with this short story: the main villain is a Roma woman who is alluring, jealous, and sly, while the heroine is a nice and sweet high born lady. Even with these stereotypes that throw even more shade on the Roma, I stuck with the story though. 

Was it worth it?

Meh... The story annoyed me more than it entertained me. The writing was pleasant though, so maybe, just maybe I'll investigate if Renwick has other stories that don't feature blatant stereotypes and slurs.

Why should you read it:
I'd advice you to read another one of Renwick's books

Friday, 1 July 2022

January Fifteenth - Book Review


January Fifteenth
by Rachel Swirsky

What is it about:
January Fifteenth—the day all Americans receive their annual Universal Basic Income payment.

For Hannah, a middle-aged mother, today is the anniversary of the day she took her two children and fled her abusive ex-wife.

For Janelle, a young, broke journalist, today is another mind-numbing day interviewing passersby about the very policy she once opposed.

For Olivia, a wealthy college freshman, today is “Waste Day”, when rich kids across the country compete to see who can most obscenely squander the government’s money.

For Sarah, a pregnant teen, today is the day she’ll journey alongside her sister-wives to pick up the payment­­s that undergird their community—and perhaps embark on a new journey altogether.

In this near-future science fiction novella by Nebula Award-winning author Rachel Swirsky, the fifteenth of January is another day of the status quo, and another chance at making lasting change.

What did I think of it:
Did I totally fall for the cover? Yes! Yes, I did!

But the story sounded interesting as well, so it wasn't a total cover buy.

So this story is set in a future where every American gets a Basic Income. I will confess I'm all for a basic income. Multiple studies and tests have shown it works if done right. And here is the first flaw in this story: Swirsky picks and chooses how she thinks a basic income would work, and skips over lots of other important things. I could rant about all the things I think were wrong in her approach, but as the basic income is mostly window dressing for the stories that are told, I'll refrain from ranting.

There are four stories being told. They never interweave with each other, but stand on their own. I really liked three of them and wasn't too impressed by one. Those who know me might not be surprised that it was the story about Olivia, a wealthy college freshman, that fell short for me. There's a message in there, but it's drowned in booze and drugs.

My two favorites were the stories about Hannah and Sarah. Hannah's story is at heart about learning to trust again after being badly hurt in the past, and Sarah's story is about finding the strength to stand up for yourself. I also liked Janelle's story that's about choosing what's the most important in life for you.

All in all I mostly liked this book once I looked past the half-assed basic income stuff. I might see what other books Swirsky has written.

Why should you read it:
It's an interesting read.

Buy from Amazon

Thursday, 30 June 2022

On McPig's Wish List - My Heart Is a Chainsaw


My Heart Is a Chainsaw
by Stephen Graham Jones

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges… a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Rogue's Paradise - Book Review by Voodoo Bride (repost and reread)


Rogue's Paradise (Covenant of Thorns #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

Faerie, the land of blood, magic, and betrayal…

At last, the fae lord, Rogue, has won everything. He has me in his home, his bed, and I’m desperately in love with him despite my best efforts and better judgment.

Did I mention I’m pregnant?

As our child grows inside me, the one I’m pledged to give to him, I still have no idea what will happen after the birth. Though Rogue is attentive in every way a woman could wish for, bringing me delirious pleasure and gifts beyond price, he still won’t—or can’t—tell me what game he’s playing. Or what the viciously sadistic Queen Titania has to do with our many bargains.

I’m most afraid that, if he betrays us, I’ll never be able to forgive him. Even though I can’t stop loving him.

As war threatens everything we’ve built, as my body swells with the enchanted pregnancy, I become more certain with every day that the true enemy lurks within our castle walls. And that the man I’ve vowed eternal commitment to, may be the last person I can trust…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is an awesome conclusion to a beautiful series.

The Covenant of Thorns series is not your normal Fantasy Romance: it's dark, gritty and with dangers lurking everywhere. Even now that Gwynn finally has accepted Rogue as her lover and they are together, Gwynn's problems are far from over. Is Rogue to be trusted? Will he stand by her side in her battle against Titania, or will he betray her, whether he wants to or not?

I have probably said this before, but the world building in this series is amazing! I love how 'other' Jeffe made the fae. They don't think like humans, and have their own twisted logic, making them strange and even creepy.

With Rogue and Gwynn together there were a lot of tender, romantic scenes, and some scorching hot ones as well. I very much enjoyed seeing the two of them getting closer, although they still have their disagreements and fights as well. Their relationship felt real and I loved them as a couple.

The dangers they're facing cast a shadow over their relationship and kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted them to have a happy ending, but at times it felt like an impossibility. The story is full of darkness and duality. I kept believing in Jeffe's storytelling though, hanging on to every bit of hope, and trusted that she would give me an ending that I could find satisfying.

And Jeffe once more delivered. The ending had me sniffling happy tears I can tell you.

I felt both happy and sad to have come to this beautiful ending of a dark and delicious story. I will most certainly reread this trilogy, and hope Jeffe decides to revisit this world to give me even more to love about it.

Notes on rereading:
As with the other books: even knowing how things would go I was once again getting anxious on Gwynn's behalf. This story is just so gripping and deliciously dark. You bet I'll get my greedy hands on the new versions once they release.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and dark Fantasy Romance

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Teaser Tuesdays - Improbably Yours

"Brave Blybee," he says, with mock seriousness. "Rest now. Tomorrow you shall pursue this new quest."

(page 39, Improbably Yours (ARC) by Kerry Anne King)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, previously hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Thursday, 23 June 2022

On McPig's Wish List - We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep


We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep 
by Andrew Kelly Stewart

Remy is a Chorister, one of the chosen few rescued from the surface world and raised to sing the Hours in a choir of young boys. Remy lives with a devoted order of monks who control the Leviathan, an aging nuclear submarine that survives in the ocean’s depths. Their secret mission: to trigger the Second Coming when the time is right, ready to unleash its final, terrible weapon.

But Remy has a secret too— she’s the only girl onboard. It is because of this secret that the sub’s dying caplain gifts her with the missile’s launch key, saying that it is her duty to keep it safe. Safety, however, is not the sub’s priority, especially when the new caplain has his own ideas about the Leviathan’s mission. Remy’s own perspective is about to shift drastically when a surface-dweller is captured during a raid, and she learns the truth about the world.

At once lyrical and page-turning, We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep is a captivating debut from newcomer author Andrew Kelly Stewart.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Rogue's Possession - Book Review by Voodoo Bride (reread)


Rogue's Possession (Covenant of Thorns #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
One does not break an oath to the fae…

But I am getting much better at finding and exploiting the loopholes. I may have promised the ruthlessly sensual fae lord, Rogue, that he can sire my firstborn child—but I never said when. And I’m not giving into his will-eroding attempts to seduce me until he tells me what will happen to my child.

Which he refuses to do.

So, I’m holding out against his allure, no matter how he tantalizes me, because the one way to protect my child is to make sure they’re never born. Unfortunately, Rogue is as wily as he is persistent, and soon I find myself in more bargains—I must give him a kiss every day and sleep by his side at night. Even as I travel through Faerie, perfecting my sorceress skills and seeking the answers to the questions Rogue won’t—or can’t—answer, he is constantly by my side, working his way through my defenses.

He refuses to let me go. Most terrifying of all, I’m finding I don’t want him to…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
When looking for my previous review I discovered I hadn't written one apart from "So good!".

I must say this sentiment is still accurate!

I love the characters in this series, from the important ones like Rogue and Gwynn to the minor ones, like Gwynn's servants, and even some of the bad guys. (The bad guys I don't love are still wonderful in how they're written, btw.)

I knew the story and what would happen, still I couldn't help myself getting slightly anxious and rooting for Gwynn that things would go her way. She is learning more and more about the world of the fae and a lot of it isn't nice. She gets better at seeing the dangers though, and manages to gather allies around her, who I all loved and started rooting for as well.

All in all I was just as engrossed in this book as I was when I first read it. There is a satisfying ending that makes you're not too anxious for the next book, but with enough foreshadowing of things yet to come that you want it!

Why should you read it:
It's an amazing Dark Fantasy Romance