Thursday, 21 September 2023

Fireborn - Book Review (reread)


Fireborn (Souls of Fire #1)
by Keri Arthur

What is it about:
Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.

Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death—a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.

But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames...

What did I think of it:
This is a really cool read.

I loved the concept of the phoenix. I've not read an Urban Fantasy with a phoenix before. The way Arthur set up the background of the phoenix as a mythical creature does make for a bit of a hot mess when it comes to romance, but she made me believe in it, and cheer Emberly on in her pursuit of happiness.

The action storyline was really intense as well. There's lots of intrigue and suspense, as well as cool action. There's a lot of different parties involved, but Arthur's storytelling made sure I never felt lost.

I will confess I didn't like Sam, Emberly's former lover (and one of her current love interests), but there are some other men in Emberly's life who I really liked. I do feel like I will be rooting for the wrong guy, but maybe Sam will surprise me yet.

This book ends with lots of things still unresolved, but luckily not on an unnecessary cliffhanger. Still I'm eager to get my trotters on the next book, because I want to know what will happen next for Emberly.

Notes on rereading:
I read this back in 2015 and I will confess I couldn't remember a thing about the story. The one thing I remembered was one of the men in Emberly's life, and he's not even one of the two love interests. But I very much enjoyed the story, and my previous review still stands. Now I can read the next book without feeling lost. 

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and compelling UF read.

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Five Little Indians - Short Book Review


Five Little Indians 
by Michelle Good

What is it about:
Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.

Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.

Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can’t stop running and moves restlessly from job to job—through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps—trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew.

With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.

What did I think of it:
This was a difficult read for me.

I'm not even sure I can do this book justice by talking about what I think of it. I loved it, hated it, cried over it, and cheered for every small moment of joy.

I don't think I'll ever reread this, but I'm glad I read it this as it's a achingly powerful read

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Teaser Tuesdays - House Immortal


"What was I supposed to do? Feed him to Lizard?"
"Now you're thinking," Left Ned said.

(page 66, House Immortal by Devon Monk)

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, 31 August 2023

Love, Theoretically - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Love, Theoretically
by Ali Hazelwood

What is it about:
The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.

Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and broody older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.

Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I really enjoyed Hazelwood's first two novels, but really did not like her novella's. So it was with a bit of apprehension that I picked up this book.

Luckily my streak of enjoying the novels continued!

I think I liked this one even a bit more than the second novel, although the first is still the best (although that might just be because of the novelty of discovering a new to my author).

I really liked both Elsie and Jack. Elsie is less of a quirky character and more serious than Hazelwood's usual heroines and I must say I liked that. She has some serious issues she should work on, but I could understand where they came from. Jack starts out as the same kind of broody, grumpy hero as all of Hazelwood's heroes, but cleans up very nicely. I could really understand his hangups as well.

 As in previous books some of the plot 'twists' were easily to predict, but that's not a bad thing as I read these books for the romance and not for the suspense.

All in all a very enjoyable read. I'll keep an eye out for the next novel.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and enjoyable Contemporary Romance.  

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Storm of Locusts - Book Review


Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2)
by Rebecca Roanhorse

What is it about:
Kai and Caleb Goodacre have been kidnapped just as rumors of a cult sweeping across the reservation leads Maggie and Hastiin to investigate an outpost, and what they find there will challenge everything they've come to know in this action-packed sequel to Trail of Lightning.

It's been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she's lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she's somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie's door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai's a true believer, but Maggie suspects there's more to Kai's new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods, and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust's plans are revealed, Maggie's burgeoning trust in her friends and herself will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but the points of critique I had for that book made that I didn't immediately picked up the next book. One of the Facebook groups I'm in had a reading event this month celebrating Native American stories though, so I thought that'd be the perfect opportunity to finally read Storm of Locusts.

And this book is so good!

Where the first book took away some of my enjoyment by not giving me enough backstory for a big part of the story, this book didn't suffer from that problem. I was immediately hooked and worrying for Kai, Maggie, and the people who join her on her rescue mission.

As in the first book the world building is excellent and I loved encountering new locations and characters. I easily fell back in this post-apocalyptic world and enjoyed this book even more than the first. 

The story felt more solid and I felt more connected with Maggie and her feelings than the first book. The ending is satisfying, but there are hints of more trouble coming Maggie's way. It's a shame that it seems this series probably won't be continued unless Roanhorse decides to self publish though.

I'll keep hoping for a next book while  picking up the next book in her Between Earth and Sky Series soon.

Why should you read it:
It's amazing Post-Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

Teaser Tuesdays - Mongrels


The rest though - being a werewolf, it's a game of Russian roulette, Darren would say. It's waking up every morning with that gun to your temple.

(page 38, Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones)

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, 17 August 2023

On McPig's Wishlist - Ghost Station


Ghost Station
by S.A. Barnes

An exploration crew must try to stay alive on an eerie and abandoned planet in Ghost Station, a heart-pounding space horror novel from S.A. Barnes, the acclaimed author of Dead Silence.

As an exploration crew begins to establish residency on an abandoned planet, they must unravel the mystery behind the previous colonizer’s hasty departure. When their pilot is discovered dead – in what appears to be a gruesome murder – it’s up to the corporate-sponsored psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray to find the killer among them … before someone else is next.

Expected publication April 9, 2024