Tuesday 30 April 2019

The SULLIVANS - Best Urban Fantasy

If I nominated all the Urban Fantasy books I love, this list would be ginormous, so I decided to pick four more recent UF books, and left out books I've already raved about more than once in the past.

So my nominations for Best Urban Fantasy Book are:

Shrill Dusk by Helen Harper
Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
The Burned Spy by K.A. Krantz

Vote for you favorite of these books, or nominate another book in the comments!

Monday 29 April 2019

Vicious - Book Review

Vicious (Villains #1)
by V.E. Schwab

What is it about:
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

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

Victor is an anti hero - maybe even bad guy - done right. He is set on getting revenge on his former roommate Eli, and isn't afraid to break rules to do so.

The story switches back and forth in time, and slowly you discover what set the two at odds with each other. I was hooked from the start and couldn't wait to find out if Victor would get his revenge and how many lines he'd cross to get it. Even when he does questionable things I kept rooting for him, and for his friends. I loved getting to know them. I especially loved Mitch, who is loyal and tries to be Victor's conscience with little luck.

The story took a few turns I didn't see coming and I feared for the lives of Mitch and other characters. Things between Victor and Eli escalate towards a really cool climax. And that ending! This book can easily be read as a standalone, but you bet I got my greedy trotters on the sequel, because I need more!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome story about betrayal and revenge.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 19 April 2019

Burn for Burn - Book Rant

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1)
by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

What is it about:
Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

With an alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently...” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

What did I think of it:
I enjoyed the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy, so decided to try this book.

And I was hugely disappointed...

So the three girls have been hurt and bullied and decide to take revenge. And it's clear from the start that their first victim is innocent of what he's accused of. Immediately setting the tone of this book: revenge is not a good idea. Now in itself this is not a bad thing, but as the book goes on the message tasted more and more like: just let people hassle you and stay down.

And in the end the biggest bully gets off almost scot-free, while bully number 2 gets hurt and the girls are all "What have we done?" Sending even more of a message that you should let bullies get away with their bullying. I was annoyed and went looking for spoilers of the next two books.

Bully number 2 turns into a love interest!

I decided then and there I wouldn't read the other books and this book went into discard pile faster than you can say bully.

What's with this "bullies are hot and cool" thing!? Really! I will keep saying: bullies are not cool! Bullying is never OK! If someone bullies you it doesn't mean they like you! And if it does mean they like you: Run! Run as fast and far as you can! You deserve better!

Why should you read it:

Wednesday 17 April 2019

The Test - Book Review

The Test
by Sylvain Neuvel

What is it about:
Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.

Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.

When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?

What did I think of it:
After I read Sleeping Giants I wanted to try something else by Neuvel and picked up this novella.

What can I say... Someone on Goodreads said this novella is perfect for fans of Black Mirror. That should have given me pause, because I am not a fan of Black Mirror.

Don't get me wrong: this is a well written novella, but it's the same kind of bleak as a lot of Black Mirror episodes, and even though I love Dystopia, I'm not a fan of bleak. I want there to be hope. So while I was intrigued by this novella, it didn't give me the emotional journey I want from Dystopia.

Luckily this was a short read, so I wasn't caught in this bleakness for too long. I will definitely read more by Neuvel, but not the books that are compared to Black Mirror.

Why should you read it:
It's a well-written Dystopian Novella

Buy from Amazon

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Half-Off Ragnarok

"You mean beyond the dead man in the bushes and our ruined lunch? Yes. Everything is fine. How was your staff?"

(page 104, Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, 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 sh"are 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!

Monday 15 April 2019

Sleeping Giants - Book Review

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)
by Sylvain Neuvel

What is it about:
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved - the object's origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history's most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

What did I think of it:
I saw the cover of the last book in this trilogy and it was so cool I immediately wanted to buy it. But it turned out to be the last book of a trilogy, so I was good and picked up the first book instead.

And this is a cool read.

I was surprised by the format. The story is told in interview style: one person is interviewing the people involved about what happened. Luckily it was very well done, and I liked the way the story developed this way. Even though some tension is gone, because you know that at least the person being interviewed is alive at that particular moment, some tension remains, because the interviews are not taking place after the end of the story, but during. So you know the person being interviewed came through the previous events unscathed, but the events after may change that.

There are several people being interviewed and working on uncovering the secrets of the giant metal hand. Some I really liked, others not so much. Still all viewpoints were interesting to read. I was soon totally engrossed in the mysteries and problems the team encounters. It's clear the project they're working on is leading them into unknown territory and might put them in danger. I had to find out what would happen.

All in all a really cool read that ends with some things resolved, but hints at lots more to come. You bet I'll be getting my trotters on the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining Near Future/SF read.

buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Teasing on a Wednesday - The Laughing Corpse

"I need your help with a murder."
"I don't do that anymore. I told you."

(page 126, The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, 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 sh"are 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!

Tuesday 9 April 2019

The SULLIVANS - Best Young Adult Fantasy

Today I bring you my nominations for Best Young Adult Fantasy!
I picked both modern Fantasy/Paranormal settings and classic Fantasy settings.

*Pawned by Laura Bickle

*The Archived by Victoria Schwab

*Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

*Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

*The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

*Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Feel free to add your own nomination in the comments or to vote for one of my nominations.

You can also leave your nomination or vote for Best Zombie Book if you haven't done so yet:

Best Zombie Book Nomination:
- 100 Days in Deadland
- Deck Z
- Dread Nation
- Flesh
- Rot & Ruin
- Zom-B by Darren Shan *New!*

Monday 8 April 2019

A Lily in the Light - Book Review

A Lily in the Light
by Kristin Fields

What is it about:
A harrowing debut novel of a tragic disappearance and one sister’s journey through the trauma that has shaped her life.

For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.

Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.

Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?

What did I think of it:
I wanted to challenge myself to read more Contemporary/Women's Fiction, so I joined an online book club lead by Kerry Anne King. Our first monthly read was A Lily in the Light.

And this a good read.

I will confess I loved the first part of the book the most. It deals with Lily disappearing and how Esme and the rest of her family cope. I must say the family is a dysfunctional one in my eyes, even before Lily disappears. Esme had too much responsibility for an eleven year old, in my opinion, and the dysfunction only became more clear after Lily disappears. Still I loved tiny adult Esme, and rooted for her to be able to overcome her problems and to pursue her dreams.

Then the story skips several years and it became harder for me to connect with it. I think it's because little information is given about how Esme and her siblings dealt in the years between. There was a disconnect for me between how they were and are now. Also the relationship between Esme and a friend felt forced because I didn't get to see how they became friends and what shape that friendship had before we reached the present day where the story takes place.

That aside (and maybe it isn't even an aside, maybe living without a sibling and not having answers to what happened to them causes a disconnect like this), I enjoyed this read. It wasn't as heart wrenching as Whisper Me This (my previous Contemporary Fiction read), but still I was invested in little Esme and seeing her become a happy adult.

The ending was a bit too contemplative for me, but overall this was a really nice read. I will keep an eye out for what book will be picked next in the book club.

Why should you read it:
It's enjoyable Contemporary/Women's Fiction

buy from:
bookdepository - amazon

Friday 5 April 2019

Spelled - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Spelled (Toxic Bitchcraft #2)
by K.B. Everly

What is it about:

Christi Craft is the name, and being witchy is probably not as much of my game as I lead you to believe…

I thought my troubles were as bad as they could get. I was so wrong.

-I was hexed by my mother.
-I accidentally put an annoying, fae ghost named Button (okay, his name is Beauregard) into a woman’s body.
-Orrin, my sexy and not so ex Incubus lover, knows more about why my magic is so finicky than he’s letting on AND seems to be in cahoots with my mother about it all.
-And Milo, the ever sweet Warden Warlock, isn’t backing down now that we’ve slept together.

But things are about to get a lot more complicated when secrets start to unravel, lies continue to be told, and hearts are put to the test.

Life might be at least a little bit easier if Shakes would just stop talking...

**This is a REVERSE HAREM romance filled with laughs, lust, and a whole lot of foul language. I warned you in the last book, so you should know better by now.**

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so had to get my hands on the second book.

And this book is just as much fun as the first. Christi is snarky, a bit dense, and attracts some major hotties! I had fun with her escapades, mistakes, and investigation into mysteries and more, while drooling over the harem of men trying to get her to take them seriously.

To the reader things are more clear than to Christi, and it was fun to see her trying to figure things out. There are some very smexy scenes between her and her guys, who grew in number in this book. Usually I'm not that into reverse harem, but here it's just so fun, and I can't wait to see where things go next.

All in all a fun and snarky read. Bring on the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Paranormal Reverse Harem read.

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Whisper Me This - Book Review

Whisper Me This
by Kerry Anne King

What is it about:
Single mother Maisey Addington has always fallen short of her own mother’s expectations—never married, a bit adrift, wasting her high IQ on dead-end jobs. The only thing Maisey’s sure she’s gotten right is her relationship with her twelve-year-old daughter, Elle...until a phone call blows apart the precarious balance of their lives. Maisey’s mother is in a coma, and her aging father faces charges of abuse and neglect.

Back at her childhood home, Maisey must make a heartrending life-or-death decision. Her confused father has destroyed family records, including her mother’s final wishes. Searching for answers, Maisey uncovers one unspeakable secret after another when she stumbles upon a shattering truth: a twin sister named Marley.

Maisey’s obsession with solving the mystery of her sister forces her to examine her darkest memories and triggers a custody battle with Elle’s father. Will Maisey’s love for her daughter be strong enough to break a cycle of abuse and create a new beginning for them all?

What did I think of it:
I don't read a lot of Contemporary Fiction/Women's Fiction, but Kerry Anne King also writes as Kerry Schafer, so as I love her UF books, I was sure I'd like her Contemporary Fiction as well.

And this book is beautiful, but difficult as well. It's the perfect example why I don't read these kinds of books often: It hits really close to home. Maisey tries to do her best, but everyone wants her to be someone she is not. The only one who seems to accept her as she is, is her daughter Elle.

Maisey struggles with who she is, who she wants to be, and how she thinks she must be. When dealing with her ailing parents she discovers the existence of a twin sister. Her world shifts on its axes and she has to figure out what to do with it.

I couldn't put this book down once I started it, and read until deep in the night to finish it. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. Some parts were difficult to read, but King tells the story in a way you want to go through the pain to get to the satisfying conclusion and feel it's all the more worth it because of the struggle the characters went through to get to it.

This won't be a book I'll reread easily or often, but I absolutely loved it. So it will go on my favorite shelf and be treasured, and I'll definitely read more books by King.

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

buy from Amazon

Monday 1 April 2019

Can't Escape Love - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Can't Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #3.5)
by Alyssa Cole

What is it about:
Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She's finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to escape love?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I love the Reluctant Royals series. Reggie is a minor character in the other books and I really liked her, so a novella where she is the heroine: Bring it on!

And this novella is awesome! Reggie and Gus are both deliciously nerdy and geeky, although both in different ways. Together they're super cute, and sparks of attraction are flying everywhere. Reggie had build quite the armor around herself however, and it's up to Gus to convince her he's serious about her, and up to her to see if she can let him in.

Once I started reading I was hooked and I finished this novella in one sitting. If I can say one thing against this story it's that I wanted it to be novel sized, because I wanted so much more of this couple and of this sweet and satisfying romance.

You bet I'll be impatiently waiting for the release of the next Reluctant Royals book!

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and delicious romance

buy from Amazon