Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Teaser Tuesdays - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet


But its digital voice cracked around the edges, and the tendrils twitched with palsied age. Nothing about it could be confused with something alive.

(page 107, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers)

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, 2 February 2023

The Atlas Six - 25% DNF


The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

What is it about:
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few...

- Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
- Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
- Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
- Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
- Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

Why I Did Not Finish:
This is totally not the story I was hoping for.

From the blurb I was expecting there to be a lot of suspense, secrets, and backstabbing. It turned out there was lots of blah and high school like drama instead. There was exactly one character I liked, and she seemed almost an afterthought in the story.

At 25% I was bored, annoyed, and not interested in finding out what happened to these jerks, so I decided to DNF.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you'll like the characters and the relationship aspect of this story more than I did.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Grave Dance - Book Review

Grave Dance (Alex Craft #1)
by Kalayna Price 

What is it about:
 Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

What did I think of it:
After rereading the first book in this series I was eager to get to book 2. 

And this is yet another really cool read.

There's a lot going on and Alex and her friends get caught up in it. Soon it's no longer just an investigation, but a race against the clock. I was eager to find out what was going on and if Alex would be able to save herself and her friends. 

I absolutely love the worldbuilding. Next to the shades and ghosts, there's fae and they are so intriguing and scary. And then there's the shady dealings of the Humans First movement and other human agencies/groups. 

Overall this was a rollercoaster ride with lots of suspense, danger, and revelations. The love triangle is still triangling, but not annoyingly so. I do have my favorite of course, so we will see who Alex ends up with.

Why should you read it:
It's a really suspenseful Urban Fantasy read.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Between - Re-Release Day Book Review (reread)

I was so excited when I heard the Between series would be re-released! This trilogy is amazing. You bet I immediately planned a reread. If you haven't read this series yet: what are you waiting for?

Here's my original review and notes on rereading.

Between (The Between #1)
by Kerry Schafer

What is it about:

A dragon is running amok in the town of Krebston, and only one woman can stop it...

If Dr. Vivian Maylor could have just one wish, it would be a normal life. Instead, her dreams – and not necessarily the good ones – are spilling over into her waking hours.

A badly burned teenager spontaneously combusts in the emergency room after raving about a dragon. Her mentally unstable mother vanishes without a trace. A strange woman with supernatural powers breaks into Vivian’s apartment looking for the Key to the Forever.

And when a bookstore-owning artist named Zee, who Vivian knows from her dreams as a sword-wielding warrior, delivers a message from her deceased grandfather, Vivian finally acknowledges the truth: she is the last living Dreamshifter, responsible for guarding the doors between dreaming and waking.

Aided by Zee and an improbable dream penguin, Vivian ventures into the Between – a treacherous maze that lies between dreaming and waking – on a quest that will bring her face-to-face not only with her worst nightmares, but also the darkest parts of her self.

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

I will confess I had expected this to be a cool Urban Fantasy read. What I didn't expect was to be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. This story frustrated me, made me feel worry, anger and hope. Vivian is a very likable heroine and I couldn't help cheering her on and screaming at her in total frustration at times. The things that happen to her are new and scary for her and I think Schafer did a wonderful job in showing how this affects Vivian.

It might not surprise anyone when I tell you I fell in love with Poe, the penguin Vivian encounters in the Dreamworld. He's a great character and brought a lot of emotion to the story without even being able to speak.

The story itself is really beautiful and intricate. There are lots of things going on that Vivian has to figure out and I was curious to find out where it all would lead. The ending leaves a lot open for the sequel, but not in a frustrating way. instead I was left feeling satisfied for now while looking forward to read book two as soon as it releases.

Notes on rereading:
I really love how Vivian struggles with what's happening, it makes her so relatable. So often the heroine just rolls with all the weirdness that's happening as if it's normal. I really appreciate seeing a heroine who stumbles, and makes mistakes, because all this is weird, scary, and new. 

I didn't mention it in my original review, but next to Vivian there are a couple of other viewpoint character of which Zee was my favorite. You bet I'll pick up book two for a reread soon!  

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and emotional Urban Fantasy read.

Buy Between here

Monday, 30 January 2023

Teasing on a Monday - Between

This absolute pearl is re-releasing tomorrow! Go get it!

This was not a dream. And if she wasn't in Wakeworld or Dreamworld, then this had to be Between.

(end of chaper 7, Between by Kerry Schafer)

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, 26 January 2023

Grave Witch - Book Review (reread)


Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1)
by Kalayna Price 

What is it about:
Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around...

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life...and her soul.

What did I think of it:
So this was a reread. I came across book 4, 5 & 6 of this series in the charity bookstore, and it reminded me of the fact I read and enjoyed the first book back in 2012. I got book 2 & 3 from a friend in 2014, but never picked them up. As the books in the charity shop were less than 5 Euro total I decided to buy them and to make reading this whole series one of my challenges for 2023. I started a bit early by rereading the first book in December .

And I have to confess: I didn't remember a single thing!

Usually this means I didn't like a book, but luckily that wasn't the case here. I very much enjoyed the worldbuilding, the characters, and the story. It was a lot more serious and suspenseful than my 2012 review gives it credit for, I must confess. There are some very creepy things going on, and how past me described this book as 'wacky' is beyond me.

All in all this is a really cool read, even with a love triangle being set up for the rest of the series, and you bet I put book two near the topof my TBR pile after finishing this one.

Why should you read it:
It's a great UF read with a cool take on witches and the dearly departed. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Furtive Dawn - Book Review


Furtive Dawn (City of Magic #3)
by Helen Harper

What is it about:
It's been almost a year since the magical apocalypse closed off the city of Manchester from the rest of the world. The vampires, werewolves and humans within the city all now live together in relative harmony ... but trouble is brewing on the horizon. Supplies are starting to run out and, despite their best efforts to grow crops and create a sustainable future, everyone knows that it will be an uphill battle. Still, the magic swirling in the city air is an incredible bonus. Charley, the most magical of them all, is determined to do whatever she can to help out her new community and with Monroe by her side, she's confident that things will turn out alright. But when someone from beyond Manchester's walls makes contact, what happens next will be anyone's guess.

This is the third and final book in the City of Magic series. 

What did I think of it:
This is the last book in this trilogy and I can tell you this series goes out with a bang.

There's lots of action and suspense in this book. I had a great time with it. I love Charley and her friends and couldn't wait to see how they try to overcome their problems.

Things seem dire at times, but there's also humor and endearing moments to be had. I was both satisfied when I finished this book as disappointed that my time in Magical Manchester was over. You bet this will go on the keeper shelves. I will also investigate Harper's other books.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and cool Urban Fantasy read.