Monday 30 September 2019

Jinxed - Book Review

Jinxed (Jinxed #1)
by Amy McCulloch

What is it about:
Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the "baku" - a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn't been accepted into Profectus - the elite academy for cutting edge tech - it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profectus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems ... real.

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

In the future everyone has a robotic pet called a baku that acts like a smartphone, companion, planner, and what not. It even might decide what options you have for your future, the better the baku, the better it can help you and the more awesome your options are. Lacey gets her hands on a special baku and while she thinks it might give her a better future, it seems this baku has a mind of its own.

I really liked the worldbuilding. McCulloch manages to draw you in and see the world through Lacey's eyes. I also immediately liked Lacey and rooted for her to succeed and to see her dreams come true. Her new baku Jinx was really cool as well.

As Lacey finds out more about Jinx, Profectus, and the bakus, the story gets more suspenseful. I read this book in practically one sitting to find out what was going on. The ending is a total cliffhanger and you bet I'll get my trotters on book two in this duology.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining read for middle grade/younger teens.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 26 September 2019

In the Sight of Akresa - Angry Spoilery Book Rant

*Warning: This book seriously ticked me off, so I'm going to spoiler the hell out of it and take it apart!*

In the Sight of Akresa
by Ray Wood

What is it about:
Claire's lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire's unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or her sorrow. And if she sees that which eludes the blind goddess of justice, she cannot bear witness. "In the Sight of Akresa" is a tragic fantasy romance from debut author Ray Wood.

What did I think of it:
Before I'm going off on a very angry rant, let's look at the description. Especially at this: a tragic fantasy romance.

There is one important rule to romance: it has to have a satisfying ending with a Happily Ever After or a Happy for Now. It's the one thing every romance reader counts on, and once again: it's a rule! So this being described as a tragic fantasy romance made me think that I was going to read a romance that might be very emotional, but would end satisfying with that all important HEA or HFN.


So when I started on this story I discovered this wasn't written from the point of view of Aya, the former slave, but from the point of view of Claire. And not even a few sentences in I had this bad taste in my mouth. The way Claire talks about her 'love' felt as if Aya had very little agency. She felt more like a prize to be won by Claire than a lover. Then Claire deliberately wounds her hawk to be able to get close to Aya and I really started to dislike her.

Still, this was a short story so I read on.

Imagine my surprise at the story that unfolded:

Claire and Aya become secret lovers, and I must say this felt off. Claire is a noblewoman and Aya a servant and ex slave. I felt like Aya didn't have much choice in the matter, and not just because she can't speak. Claire also doesn't really try to get to actually know Aya. It's more lust than love imo.

Anyway: Things happen, Claire's brother wants to destroy Claire's happiness, so sets up Aya who gets accused of attempted murder of a nobleman (who happens to be Claire's fiance, because of course Claire picks her cushy life and a nobleman over Aya when push comes to shove). Aya can't have done it however, because Aya was with Claire at the time of the murder attempt. At the trial Claire decides to stay quiet because she doesn't want people to find out she had a secret lover and Aya (who can't speak or write) takes the fall...

But it's alright, people! Because Claire is kind of sure Aya might have sabotaged the stirrup of her brother's horse, so he took a bad fall during a tournament. And there's the whispers of Aya being a witch and following people around. So all's well that ends well. Can we just admire this surprise satisfying HEA!


Where is my actual romance! Where is the Happily Ever After or Happy For Now! This is so not a romance! It couldn't be less of a romance if it tried! I was so angry!

Expecting a romance I got a story about a selfish noblewoman who wants to fuck the ex slave, and when it might turn out she could get caught doing the nasty with a servant, she just let's her lover take the blame for an attempted murder!? How is this a romance! How? Who decided to call it that? This is not even a tragic love story. It's horrible and disturbing.

I can not recommend this story to anyone, especially not if you want a romance, because let me repeat: This is not a romance!! Totally not!

Do yourself a favor and pick up a real fantasy romance, like Jeffe Kennedy's books, or Grace Draven's. Only read this story if you like unpleasant people ruining other people's lives.

*end of rant*

Wednesday 25 September 2019

The Orchid Throne - Book Review (repost)

Yesterday The Orchid Throne released, so here's a repost of my review.

The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.


As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…


Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

What did I think of it:
It's a good thing I write my reviews and don't do podcasts like Carien does, because my spoken review would contain a whole lot of incoherent squeeing and excited trotter waving. Because this book is so completely and totally awesome!

This is the first book in a trilogy and it's told from the viewpoint of both Euthalia and Conrí. Euthalia is a woman who plays her cards close to her chest and even in her chapters she is so guarded it takes time to get to really know her, but it was so worth it! Her court and kingdom are intriguing, wonderful, but also dangerous places, and I loved to discover the beauties and secrets of Calanthe.

Conrí is far more straightforward than Euthalia and so is the one of the people closest to him. I fell in love with his closest friend Sondra right from the start. He also has a really cool adviser, but if I start talking about him more, I'll get spoilery and I'll be squee-typing.

The world building, the characters, the story are all terrific and I was hooked from the start. I couldn't put the book down and read deep into the night to finish it. What a fantastic and beautiful read! You bet I'll get the finished book once it releases and that it will be reread while I impatiently wait for the next book!

A must read for anyone who loves Fantasy with romantic elements.

Why should you read it:
It's a squee-worthy Fantasy read!

buy from Amazon

Tuesday 24 September 2019

First and Last Lines

I was made aware of an article on First and Last lines not long ago. Here's an introduction to that article and some of the books they had a look at. I can advice you to have a look at the whole article: it's fun. And of course I had to have a look at some of my favorite reads, so those first and last lines and my thoughts are below as well.

graphic by Invaluable

When you read the first line of a novel it is as if the book is inviting you in. If you like the invitation, you read on, if you don’t like it, you close the book. Finding the best words to draw readers in can be a long process. Authors spend months on the opening lines of their books. Stephen King revealed that he has spent years on opening sentences and has attributed the success of his entire book to those few words.

Though the importance of the perfect first line is undeniable, the closing sentence carries arguably the same weight. While opening lines set the tone for a work of literature, the last line brings the story full circle and leaves readers with a lasting impression. When an author can create a last line that is equally as powerful as the first, it is an achievement. Invaluable created this visual that takes a look at the first and last lines from iconic books. Take a look through these artful beginnings and ending and get inspired to take a look at the first and last lines from your favorite reads.

graphic by Invaluable

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

First Line
“Call me Ishmael.”

Herman Melville delivers one of the most famous lines in literary history in his American classic, Moby-Dick. The simple statement, “Call me Ishamel,” has been met with various theories as to Melville’s intention. One suggestion is that he wanted to indicate that the narrator may have been hiding something or acting duplicitous. Another is that he wanted to evoke imagery surrounding the biblical figure Ishmael, who was an outcast. The last theory about this iconic first line is that Melville is about to establish a casual introduction; a call to familiarity. By introducing the novel this way, it allows readers to get comfortable with the narrator and first person story that is about to unfold.

Last Line
“And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”

Equally as intriguing is the last line of Melville’s novel. Ishmael states, “And I only am escaped alone to tell thee,” signaling that he is the only one to survive a massive wreck. Everyone is killed but the narrator, who had quickly familiarized himself with audience from the very first line.

read the rest of the original article here

On to my First and Last lines!

Warning: I'm not such a pro at this, so my observations might not be so astute.

The Arrows of the Heart by Jeffe Kennedy

First Line
As soon as the sky lightened with the promise of dawn, I dressed and went out.

This line tells us this book is in first person, and that the lead character is an early riser, unlike me. Also it seems to be a nice day: no rain mentioned.

Last Line
I wound my fingers in his hair and dragged him down to cover me.

This tells us this book has a happy end for the main character and at least one other character. They are about to have fun! *Happy sigh from Voodoo Bride* (Note: I know this book is a Fantasy Romance, so that's why I'm certain it's a happy end and fun activities. Had this been a zombie novel, I would be less sure.)

Flesh by Laura Bickle

First Line
The dead are easy to talk to.

This first line immediately gives me hope there might be zombies or other undead creatures. Also: it tells me the dead are easy to talk to.

Last Line
“I think I'm doing it right.”

This tells us that even though the title and the first line hint at zombies, there's at least one person (possibly two people if the one talking isn't the kind to talk to themselves) left standing at the end of the book. Also this person thinks they might be doing something right. Maybe because they killed zombies?

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

First Line
The girls were never present for the entrance interviews.

Hmm... apparently there is something in this book where you need an entrance interview for. And the girls aren't at those interviews EVER! This sounds suspicious.

Last Line
Like a key that finds its keyhole, Nancy was finally home.

This last line refers back to the title that is about doorways. Doorways often have doors and possibly keyholes. It also reads like a satisfying ending. Nancy is home. Home usually is a good thing.

The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander

First Line
There is a secret buried beneath the mountain’s gray skin.

This line immediately makes me curious. What secret? Will we find out what it is? Also: Who is telling this? I've never heard anyone refer to a mountain having skin.

Last Line
Together they go to sing the song of their undoing, the joining, teaching, come-together song.

This last line gives me a bittersweet feeling. 'The song of their undoing' doesn't sound like a good thing, but it also mentions joining, teaching and coming together. Those are usually good things. Sounds like this might be emotional.

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson

First Line
The monster looked like an old grandmother from the waist up, but it had six long octopus legs.

Another promising first line. A monster with octopus legs. Sounds like my kind of read! The mention of the monster looking like an old grandmother from the waist up tells me it's not a monster I've seen before.

Last Line
Shulgi leaned down and held out his hand.

This sounds like the ending is positive. Usually you don't hold your hand out if you expect to get it bitten off or something.

This was fun! I might mix up my usual Teaser Tuesdays with a First/Last line post. Maybe even from books I haven't read yet. We'll see.

Monday 23 September 2019

Tunnel of Bones - Book Review

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)
by Victoria Schwab

What is it about:
Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass's parents are filming their TV show about the world's most haunted cities. Sure, it's fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there's true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter -- and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she's unleashed could haunt the city forever.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series so got my greedy trotters on this book as soon as I could.

And this book is just as fun as the first one.

Cassidy and her parents go to Paris and she immediately gets into trouble with a spirit there. I loved seeing Paris through Cassidy's eyes. I've been there several times, so some of the places Cassidy visits were familiar to me, including the catacombs. I must say that although I find the long tunnel leading to the catacombs a bit creepy, the catacombs themselves have always felt peaceful to me. Not so in this story though!

Being familiar with stories about the catacombs I could guess where the story would lead to, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment. This book is full of action and cool characters. I finished it in one sitting.

All in all a very entertaining read and you bet I'll get the next book as soon as it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable and spooky middle grade read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 20 September 2019

Middlegame - Book Review

by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

What did I think of it:
This is an intense, awesome, and emotional read.

Roger and Dodger are created by an alchemist with specific plans. They however don't know about this, and all they know is that they're different. As the story unfolds they learn more and more about themselves and it was so satisfying to follow them on this journey filled with failure, heartache, and hope.

Dodger was my favorite character. In some ways she reminded me of myself and this made what happens to her in this story all the more emotional. Roger could be a real ass at times, but he was mostly ok.

This book does make you work. With several viewpoint characters, and some sudden switches in the story you had to pay attention to understand what's going on. I was glued to the pages and even knowing a bit more than Roger and Dodger do I was blindsided at times. This is a weird and wonderful read I can tell you.

All in all a beautiful read. I need to work my way through all of Seanan's books I haven't read yet, because I want more.

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

buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Daughter of Necessity - Book Review

Daughter of Necessity
by Marie Brennan

What is it about:
By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well. Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on a classic tale.

What did I think of it:
Another short story that was recommended on Goodreads for people who loved A Human Stain.

This story is so different, I suspect the only reason it's compared to A Human Stain it's because it's also a TOR short story.

That being said: I really liked this story. It's a clever and enjoyable spin on the story about Penelope's efforts to keep her suitors at bay while waiting for the return of Odysseus. It gives her more agency and made me root for her.

Not a creepy story, but definitely a story with heart.

Why should you read it:
I can recommend this to anyone who loves retellings.

Buy from Amazon

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Jinxed

He storms over to my locker, sticking his face right up to the alcove. Jinx lunges out, hissing like a wild cat.

(page 82, Jinxed by Amy McCulloch)

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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 16 September 2019

These Deathless Bones - Book Review

These Deathless Bones
by Cassandra Khaw

What is it about:
A horror tale about the Witch Bride, second wife of a King, and the discord between her and her young stepson.

What did I think of it:
After reading A Human Stain by Kelly Robson I was in the mood for more creepy stories, so I bought a bunch of short stories that were named in the "READERS ALSO ENJOYED" box on Goodreads.

This story was one of them, but it was a miss for me.

The Witch Bride is the viewpoint character and is pestered by her 'Evil' stepson and is feeling very sorry for herself.

In my opinion children are not just evil, they become that way by how they're treated. So I thought the Witch Bride was as guilty of raising an 'Evil' stepson as anyone else. I couldn't relate to her at all, so the story and the conclusion left me feeling Meh.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you can relate where I could not.

Buy from Amazon

Friday 13 September 2019

Magic for Liars - Book Review

Magic for Liars
by Sarah Gailey

What is it about:
Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

What did I think of it:
I love American Hippo, so I really wanted to try more by Sarah Gailey. I had the opportunity to pick up Magic for Liars at Worldcon and got it signed as well.

And what an amazing read!

I was hooked from the start. Ivy is very easy to relate to. She pretends she never wanted to be magic like her sister, but it's clear she feels tons of resentment and jealousy. When she gets the opportunity to investigate a murder that happened at the Magical academy it's easy to understand how she feels, and why she's comparing the school life at the academy with her own, and why she slowly gets caught up in the magical life she could have lived.

Next to the emotional journey Ivy embarks on in this story there is a really intriguing murder mystery, teen dramas and secrets, and more. I was totally invested and rooted for Ivy to find out what happened. The school was a perfect setting and I loved trying to guess what was going on and who had something to hide.

All in all this is a really cool and awesome read that I will most certainly reread. I will also get my greedy trotters on more books by Gailey for sure.

Why should you read it:
It's an amazing magical murder mystery

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 12 September 2019

Stay Tuned

We'll return to podcasting soon, but for now a peak at my book loot from Worldcon.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Kingdom of Souls - Book Review

Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1)
by Rena Barron

What is it about:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

What did I think of it:
I got my trotters on an Advance Reader Copy of this book at Worldcon, that's why the title isn't on the cover.

I very much enjoyed this book, but I also struggled with it.

The writing is beautiful as is the worldbuilding and mythology. I also loved the descriptions and the characters. What I struggled with was the pacing. I don't mind a slow pace, but here it seemed to drag while the situation was dire and I wanted things to move forward, while later in the story things seemed to go very fast all of the sudden.

It felt to me as if the storyline in this book was too long somehow. I think I would have liked this book to be cut in two. The first book building up to a certain climax somewhere in this book. And then the next book would be about the events that went too fast in this book in my opinion.

That said: it could just be me, because apart from the pacing I very much enjoyed the story and was totally trying to guess what would happen next and how things would end.

All in all a very enjoyable and intriguing story. I will keep an eye out for the next book.

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

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Middlegame

"Your parents didn't name you 'Jessica,'" says Snake. There's no rancor in his tone: this is a conversation they've had before.
"No, they gave me a name white people can't pronounce. I'm tired of hearing it butchered, so everyone gets to call me Jessica, and we all feel good about how progressive we are."

(page 180, Middlegame 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 9 September 2019

The Future of Another Timeline - Book Review

The Future of Another Timeline
by Annalee Newitz

What is it about:
1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too.

2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she's found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost.

Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline--a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?

What did I think of it:
I have a weak spot for time travel stories, so when Jeffe was so kind to get hold of an Advance Reader Copy of this book for me I was over the moon.

And this is such an intense and cool read.

The time travel theory used in this book is one that totally worked for me. Yes, I had questions, but so do the people who were travelling , which made it easier to accept what was happening than when the author would have tried to 'explain' things and bungle them up.

The story itself drew me in right away. I was invested in Tess and Beth from the start. I was rooting for them and hoping the things they want will turn out as they think they will. There were several other characters I really liked and was rooting for as well.

The book tackles a couple of universal and relevant themes without losing momentum and without losing sight of the story. It did make me think about what could have happened if someone could change just a tiny thing somewhere in our past. It was intense, gripping, and at times emotional. I cared for the world and for the characters Newitz created.

All in all a really wonderful read. You bet i'll read more by Newitz.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome and intense Time Travel read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 6 September 2019

A Human Stain

A Human Stain
by Kelly Robson

What is it about:
A Human Stain by Kelly Robson is a disturbing horror novelette about a British expatriate at loose ends who is hired by her friend to temporarily care for his young, orphaned nephew in a remote castle-like structure in Germany.

What did I think of it:
I loved Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach so I picked up this book to read more by Kelly Robson.

And this story is atmospheric and beautifully creepy!

It combines Gothic horror and Lovecraftian vibes in a story that gets more and more disturbing as you get further into it.

Robson manages to draw you in and won't let you go until the chilling conclusion.

You can be sure I'll reread this and that I'll keep an eye out for Robson's next release.

Why should you read it:
It's a deliciously creepy read.

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Wanted by the Alpha - Book review by Voodoo Bride

Wanted by the Alpha (Knotted Omega 0.5)
by Laxmi Hariharan and Scarlette Brooke

What is it about:
She belongs to me...

Just a glimpse and I know she is MINE.

She isn't like any other omega I've ever met, I hadn’t anticipated this need for her.

I should have stayed away...

But there's a twisted, yearning, full of fear and anger inside me,

That insists that I claim her.

No one can stop me, from breaking her

From making her MINE...

No one... not even her.

*This is the prequel to the Knotted Omega Series. Dystopian romance with Mf Omegaverse flavor.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
With all the giveaways where you get signed up for a gazillion newsletters I can't even remember when and how I got signed up for the newletter from Laxmi Hariharan. But I was in the mood for something short and this prequel was free, so I decided to give it a change.

Maybe I should have tried another book instead of this prequel though. From what I now understand it's the prequel to a book where the hero and heroine will meet. They didn't in this book.

There are some steamy dreams that foretell what might happen when these two meet, but to be honest, I was in the mood for some romance, not for two horny people dreaming about each other. Add a story that didn't really grab me,and this book was a miss for me.

I might try another more complete book instead of this appetizer somewhere in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's Dystopian PNR I think.

buy from Amazon

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Magic for Liars

There it was again. That feeling like maybe, in another life, I could have fit in here.

(page 46, Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey)

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!

Monday 2 September 2019

Borrowed Souls - Book Review

Borrowed Souls (Soul Charmer #1)
by Chelsea Mueller

What is it about:
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.

What did I think of it:
Confession: I tried to read this book in 2017 and DNFed it because I couldn't stand Callie. I thought she was narrow minded and prejudiced. I did enjoy the worldbuiling and the story however, so I wasn't totally ready to give up on the book. So when I saw that Chelsea Mueller would be at Worldcon I decided it was time to give Borrowed Souls a second try.

And I'm so glad I did!

Yes: Callie is really narrow minded at the start of the book, but where in 2017 I thought she wouldn't change, I now found out that not long after the point where I DNFed on my first read, she actually gets more mellow and even though she still is quick to judge, she shows signs of being able to see when she's wrong.

And there's the story and the worldbuilding, and Derek, the guy she has to work with! I was soon totally engrossed and eager to see what would happen. (I also really hoped Callie would realize her brother is a jerk who should solve his own problems). There is action, suspense, shady characters, strange and creepy magic, and more cool stuff.

So it turns out I DNFed too soon that first time. I ended up really enjoying this book and liking Callie more than I thought possible. You bet I had Chelsea Mueller sign the book, and that I'll be getting my trotters on the next book soon.

Why should you read it:
This book has a really cool story, and great worldbuilding and characters.

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