Thursday 30 April 2020

On McPig's Radar - The Fiery Crown

Did I already read the Advance Reader Copy multiple times? Why, yes I did! Will I still buy a finished copy of this book? Most definitely!

The Fiery Crown (Forgotten Empires #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

A desperate alliance. . A struggle for survival. And a marriage of convenience with an epic twist of fate. . .


Queen Euthalia has reigned over her island kingdom of Calanthe with determination, grace, and her magical, undying orchid ring. After she defied an empire to wed Conrí, the former Crown Prince of Oriel—a man of disgraced origins with vengeance in his heart—Lia expected the wizard’s prophecy to come true: Claim the hand that wears the ring and the empire falls. But Lia’s dangerous bid to save her realm doesn’t lead to immediate victory. Instead, destiny hurls her and Conrí towards a future neither could predict…


Con has never healed after the death of his family and destruction of his kingdom—he’s been carefully plotting his revenge against his greatest enemy, Emperor Anure, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. When Lia’s spies gather intelligence suggesting that Anure is planning an attack against Calanthe, Con faces an agonizing choice: Can he sacrifice Lia and all she holds dear to destroy the empire? Or does his true loyalty exist in the arms of his beguiling, passionate wife—’til death do they part?

Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
find buy links here

Wednesday 29 April 2020

A Caribbean Mystery - Book Review

A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple #10)
by Agatha Christie

What is it about:
As Jane Marple sat basking in the Caribbean sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened.

Eventually, her interest was aroused by an old soldier's yarn about a strange coincidence. Infuriatingly, just as he was about to show her an astonishing photograph, the Major's attention wandered. He never did finished the story...

What did I think of it:
We were rewatching the Marple seasons with Geraldine McEwan (my favorite Miss Marple) and that made me want to reread some of the Marple books that haven't been used in those three glorious seasons.

This is a very enjoyable read. Miss Marple is on holiday and isn't really paying attention to a story she is being told until the man who told her the story ends up dead the next day. From thereon she starts digging as only Miss Marple can: using her innocent old lady act to fret out secrets.

This book has everything I love about the Miss Marple books: lots of secrets, sneaky murders, misdirection, and Miss Marple on the hunt. I like how she seeks help when needed, but also isn't afraid to step into danger if it means solving the case. It's stories like this one that make me think McEwan's portrayal is perfect and why she will always be my Marple.

I can advice the Miss Marple books to anyone who loves a (cozy) mystery.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable murder mystery.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Wicked As You Wish

"Con," Ken said. "I hate pro-con lists. The more difficult you tell me something is, the more I wanna do it."

(page 75, Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco)

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 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!

Monday 27 April 2020

Heiress for Hire - Releasing Tomorrow! (review repost)

Heiress for Hire (Duke's Heiress #1)
by Madeline Hunter

What is it about:
In this stunning series debut from New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter, a duke's mysterious bequest brings fortune—and passion—to three young women...

Minerva Hepplewhite has learned the hard way how to take care of herself. When an intruder breaks into her home, she doesn't swoon or simper. Instead, she wallops the rogue over the head and ties him up—only to realize he is Chase Radnor, the man who nearly got her convicted of her late husband's murder. Now, he's insisting that Minerva has inherited a fortune from his uncle, a wealthy Duke. Only one thing could surprise her more: her sudden attraction to this exasperating man...

Chase can't decide whether Minerva is a wronged woman or a femme fatale. Either way, he's intrigued. Since the scandal surrounding her husband's death, she has set up a discreet detective business to rival Chase's own. She may be the perfect person to help him uncover the truth about his uncle's demise. But as proximity gives way to mutual seduction, Chase realizes he craves a much deeper alliance...

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This sounded like a really fun Historical Romance, so I was very happy when I won an Advance Reader Copy, and even more happy when it turned out it is indeed a very enjoyable read.

Minerva is a delightful heroine. She has learned to take charge of her own life and does it well. When she inherits a fortune, but discovers that Chase Radnor suspects her of murder, she decides to not sit around and wait, but to investigate the sudden death of the duke herself as well.

I loved Minerva's courage and clever thinking. She is not afraid to do the work needed, but also doesn't hesitate to let others help. I very much enjoyed getting to know her and her closest friends.

Chase is an intriguing character as well. He has a haunted past which made him wary, seeing betrayal everywhere. I liked seeing him falling for Minerva.

Both the Romance and the action storyline were very enjoyable and fun to read. I really liked seeing Minerva and Chase try to one-up each other. Even when working together sparks fly. I was completely invested in the two of them solving their problems and getting together.

All in all a deliciously fun Historical Romance. I will keep an eye out for the other books in this series for sure!

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable and fun Historical Romance

buy from bookdepository
Expected publication: April 28th 2020

Friday 24 April 2020

The Empress of Salt and Fortune - Book Review

The Empress of Salt and Fortune
by Nghi Vo

What is it about:
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

What did I think of it:
This novella was mentioned a lot on my social media feeds, so I finally got so curious I had to get my trotters on it.

And what a beautiful bittersweet story.

The story starts with a cleric who visits the house where the Empress of Salt and Fortune was once exiled to. They're there as a historian to catalog the house, but once they arrive they encounter Rabbit, an old woman who once was a servant to the Empress. From there on out the story switches between the 'Now' and the past as Rabbit tells about her years with the exiled Empress.

I was hooked from the start and more than curious to find out more about Rabbit and the foreign Empress she served. Slowly Rabbit reveals more about their unusual relationship and about the years they spend in exile. It was beautifully told and atmospheric, while also heartbreaking and bittersweet. I couldn't put this book down, I wanted to see if there was even a little bit of a happiness for both women.

All in all a wonderful read that I'll treasure while invstigating what more Nghi Vo has written.

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

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 23 April 2020

On McPig's Radar - Rest in Pieces

A Vampire Hunter named Barbie?! If the paperback was a bit cheaper I'd give this a try. It sounds so wonderfully wrong!

Rest in Pieces (Barbie: The Vampire Hunter #1)
by Lucinda Dark

Ashes to Ashes. Dust to Dust. If vampires kill your entire family, vengeance is a must.

I can’t say my parents never warned me about vampires. I just never believed them. Not—that is—until six months ago when vampires broke into my home and killed my family. Thanks to all the skills my parents taught me, I managed to escape but I couldn’t save them.

Two vampires down and the rest of the world to go.

My bid for revenge is going to have to wait, though, because until I turn 18, I’m being placed in the loving care of Elizabeth and Jonathan McKnight—godparents I didn’t even know existed. The clock is ticking until I can get back to my goal of eradicating the vampire race. But something is amiss at my new high school. According to my parents, vampires can’t walk in daylight. So, why then, does Torin Priest? If he’s not a vampire, then what is he? Because unlike the obnoxious asshole, Maverick McKnight, who sees me as some sort of bloodsucking leech on his wealthy family, Torin Priest is most certainly not human.

To stake or not to stake, that is the question.

Buy from Amazon

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Firelight - Book Review

Firelight (Firelight #1)
by Sophie Jordan

What is it about:
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away;if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

What did I think of it:
A nice enough read.

Maybe I should have acknowledged at the 25% point that this book wasn't interesting enough to continue, but Voodoo Bride loved Jordan's New Adult book Foreplay, so I read on in hope the really good part was still to come. It never did come though, and as nice as this read is, it didn't really make me curious to read the next book.

Not that it's bad. It just didn't catch my attention enough to get invested in the characters. Jacinda and her mother and sister all seemed selfish in their own way, and I couldn't really like them. The only interesting characters were Will and Jacinda's new friend at school.

All in all nice enough to finish, but I won't be continuing this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice Paranormal YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Nightchaser

Shit. A man full of my secrets had just walked away, and short of gunning him down, there wasn't much I could do about it.

(page 45, Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet)

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 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!

Monday 20 April 2020

Fantastic Hope - Book Review

Fantastic Hope (Anthology)
Edited by Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey

What is it about:
A collection of sixteen sci-fi and fantasy stories edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton and author William McCaskey.

A child’s wish for her father comes true. The end of the world has never been so much fun. Conquering personal demons becomes all too real. It’s not always about winning; sometimes it’s about showing up for the fight. It’s about loving your life’s work, and jobs that make you question everything.

In this anthology, seventeen authors have woven together brand-new stories that speak to the darkness and despair that life brings while reminding us that good deeds, humor, love, sacrifice, dedication, and following our joy can ignite a light that burns so bright the darkness cannot last.

Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey are joined by Kevin J. Anderson, Griffin Barber, Patricia Briggs, Larry Correia, Kacey Ezell, Monalisa Foster, Robert E. Hampson, John G. Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Jessica Schlenker, Sharon Shinn, M. C. Sumner, Patrick M. Tracy, and Michael Z. Williamson in this collection.

TWILIGHT FALLS by Jonathan Maberry
NO GREATER LOVE by Kacey Ezell
BROKEN SON by Griffin Barber
HEART OF CLAY by Kevin J. Anderson
REPRISE by John G. Hartness
ASIL AND THE NOT-DATE by Patricia Briggs
IN THE DUST by Robert E. Hampson
FALLEN by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
LAST CONTACT by M. C. Sumner
RONIN by William McCaskey
SKJÖLDMÓÐIR by Michael Z. Williamson and Jessica Schlenker
BONDS OF LOVE AND DUTY by Monalisa Foster
ZOMBIE DEAREST by Laurell K. Hamilton

What did I think of it:
Did I preorder this book because of the Asil story by Patricia Briggs? Totally! But this anthology has more pearls to offer.

As is always the case with an anthology, this is a mixed bag. Some stories are part of a larger series, while others are standalone for as far as I can tell. I decided to skip the Anita Blake story by Laurell K. Hamilton, as I am planning to read the series and have only read two books so far.

My favorite stories were Not in This Lifetime by Sharon Shinn and Asil and the Not-Date by Patricia Briggs. Shinn's story is a standalone and it's such a sweet story in my opinion. Shinn's writing is beautiful as always, and I was hooked from the first sentence. Briggs' story is part of the Mercyverse and the second story in a series of stories about Asil, but also perfectly readable as a standalone. I love Asil, so you bet I gobbled up this story.

Other stories I really enjoyed were Twilight Falls, Mr. Positive, The Eternal Optimist, No Greater Love, and Last Contact.

All in all this is a very enjoyable anthology, it introduced me to some new authors, and rekindled my love for others.

Why should you read it:
Even if just one of these authors is a favorite of yours, it's worth getting this anthology imo.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 17 April 2020

Bounty Hunter - Book Review

Bounty Hunter: Lone Gunfighter of the Wastelands
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The world went down the crapper.

Then the revolution came. Things stink even worse now.

The wealthy Sloan brothers stake their claim over the lawless wastelands. With no one to stand against them, the people are left to the mercy of the corrupt tyrants. We need a gunfighter who isn't afraid to stand against impossible odds. The problem is that all the heroes died in the revolution… which means we'll have to settle for "Havoc" Joe Ballast.

Ballast is no stranger to bad luck, but when the Sloan brothers corner him, they'll soon learn that you should never, ever underestimate the Bounty Hunter.

What did I think of it:
Rachel Aukes' Deadland Saga is one of my all time favorite reads, so you bet I jumped on the chance to read and review this book, especially as it was pitched to me as "The Mandalorian meets Fallout". Who can resist that?!

And this is such a cool read!

Havoc/Joe isn't a nice guy. He's not a bad guy either, but he's jaded, practical, and totally shoots first if it looks like bullets will start flying. He does have his soft spots though, and those make that you can root for him, and they are what gets him in trouble.

I loved the setting, which indeed reminded me of some of the Fallout games. It's a grim world, full of bandits, so called law makers, bounty hunters, and those who are just trying very hard to survive. There are mentions of the wars that led to this situation, and that add to the overall atmosphere in this book.

From the start this book is full of action and I was hooked right away. I could really relate to Joe, even though he can be quite the grump (or maybe because he's a grump ;-) ). I really enjoyed the narrative voice, which is quite humorous at times. It mostly follows Joe, but switches to other characters at times as well. I especially loved T-Rex of the other characters: a bounty hunter who's even more pragmatic than Joe.

All in all this is a really great read, and you bet I'm getting my hands on the next book, because I want more!

Why should you read it:
Mandalorian meets Fallout! Need I really say more?

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 15 April 2020

A Blush With Death - Book Review

A Blush With Death (A Bath and Body Mystery #2)
by India Ink aka Yasmine Galenorn

What is it about:
There's only one #1...

There's a new makeover maven in town, and she spells big trouble for everyone at Venus Envy. Bebe Wilcox has just unveiled her own boutique, and she won't stop until her shop has put everyone else out of business. Nothing is out of bounds, from stealing fragrance recipes to computer hacking and sabotaging supplies. But when one of Bebe's pushy saleswomen ends up dead, the stakes become much more dangerous. Staging a public falling out with her Auntie, Persia gets hired at Bebe's Boutique and begins snooping for evidence of wrongdoing. But can she find the goods before the killer decides to find her?

What did I think of it:
This is a nice enough read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book.

It took a really long time before the murder happened, and I felt like the story was dragged out too much and that too many extra stuff was added to make it a book. There was a love connection coming totally out of left field as well. It didn't help I thought the guy in question was beige and uninteresting.

All in all not a book I'll reread. I might read the last book in this series to see if it's more like the first book again.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice enough mystery read.

buy from amazon

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Seriously Wicked

My eyes watered from the strain. My bones felt like they were being both squeezed and ripped apart at the same time.

(page 53, Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly)

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 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!

Monday 13 April 2020

Fringe Runner - Book Review (repost)

And here's a review repost of another book I've been rereading.

Fringe Runner (Fringe Series, #1)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The first in a new space opera series!

After the colonization of Mars and Europa, it took us fewer than five generations to reach beyond our solar system and discover new planets capable of supporting human life. Too far away to be governed under Earth law, the Collective was formed. Several hundred years later, the Collective has expanded to a thriving system of six inhabited worlds, but power struggles are common, and a seemingly inevitable interplanetary war looms on the horizon. It’s nearly impossible for the working class to make ends meet.

Aramis Reyne is one of the working class. An old space captain hounded by arthritis and war memories, he struggles to make enough credits to feed his crew and keep his ship flying by running mail and supplies to the farthest, most dangerous reaches of the Collective known as the fringe. When he’s offered a no-questions-asked contract to pick up a package, he jumps at the opportunity. But, he quickly learns that he should’ve asked questions…and that there are far worse things in the Collective than being broke.

What did I think of it:
If you haven't noticed I love Rachel Aukes' Deadland Saga, I haven't been singing its praises loud enough. So when I was asked to read and review her new book Fringe Runner, I jumped at the chance.

And Fringe Runner is a great read!

Obviously the Deadland Saga is better in my opinion (Zombies!), but Fringe Runner is a seriously cool SF adventure.

Reyne is a cool lead character. He's not a virile cocky alpha dude, but instead an older seasoned captain, struggling with age and his past. His crew is very interesting as well. My favorite was Throttle, the pilot and Reyne's adopted daughter. All of them get caught up in events that might destroy the life they have, and even kill them if they can't figure out what's going on.

I was hooked from the start. Aukes knows how to write a compelling story. There is lots of action, conspiracies, and dangerous situations. I liked getting to know Reyne and his past, and was rooting for him and his crew to come out of their predicament alive.

The world building is well done without unnecessary info dumps and while some things stay vague, there's enough explanation to be able to picture the planets and people Reyne and his crew encounter.

Some of the major story lines got their solution in this book, making sure you aren't left totally frustrated when finishing the book, but there's enough still unresolved to make you eager for the next book.

All in all I very much enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for the next.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed SF adventure.

Find buy links here

Friday 10 April 2020

The Outside - Book Review (repost)

The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2)
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

What did I think of it:
I will confess: I'm a total fan piggy when it comes to Laura Bickle. Her books are among my absolute favorites and The Hallowed Ones topped my Top Pearls list of 2012.

That being said: How can one not be totally in love with books as good as The Hallowed Ones, no matter who wrote it? So I can safely say The Outside was one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 for me. I've been counting the months ever since reading The Hallowed Ones for the first time.

And it was totally worth the wait!

The Outside is amazing!

It's full of heartbreak, danger, doubt, love and hope. I feared for Katie, cried with her and for her, and her struggles to stay alive and to stay true to herself kept me up way past my bedtime.

I love how Laura Bickle shows the harsh reality of staying alive in a world filled with darkness. Katie has to make some difficult choices and this doesn't come easy. She knows that whatever choice she makes will have consequences that she will have to live with for the rest of her life, how ever long or short that might be.

I also like how the subject of faith is handled in this book. Faith is an important factor in Katie's life, still Laura manages to keep this book from turning into a sermon, she balances Katie's faith with Alex's more practical approach of things. I loved the relationship between Alex and Katie: it's not the instalove that is common in many YA books, but it's believable and sweet.

So yeah: I totally adore and love this book and it will be reread and treasured. I'm sad this is already the last book in this series, but I'm looking forward to reading lots more stories by Laura Bickle, because I'm certain each one will be a winner.

Why should you read it:
It's an utterly beautiful and intense post apocalyptic YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 9 April 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - The Women's War

The Women's War (The Women's War #1)
by Jenna Glass

In a high fantasy feminist epic, a revolutionary spell gives women the ability to control their own fertility—with consequences that rock their patriarchal society to its core.

When a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. And two women in particular find themselves at the crossroads of change.

Alys is the widowed mother of two teenage children, and the disinherited daughter of a king. Her existence has been carefully proscribed, but now she discovers a fierce talent not only for politics but also for magic—once deemed solely the domain of men. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession. Conventional wisdom holds that she will marry quickly, then quietly surrender the throne to her new husband…. Only, Ellin has other ideas.

The tensions building in the two kingdoms grow abruptly worse when a caravan of exiled women and their escort of disgraced soldiers stumbles upon a new source of magic in what was once uninhabitable desert. This new and revolutionary magic—which only women can wield—threatens to tear down what is left of the patriarchy. And the men who currently hold power will do anything to fight back.

buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 8 April 2020

The Hallowed Ones - Book Review (repost)

I've been rereading this awesome duology, so thought I'd repost my reviews.

The Hallowed Ones
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

What did I think of it:
Ever had that feeling when you read a book and you love it so much that part of you wants to share it with the whole world, while another part of you wants to jealously guard it and keep it all to yourself?

That's how I feel about The Hallowed Ones!

(And to those who do not know that feeling (which is probably all of you): Yes, I'm weird like that.)

I fell in love with Katie from the start. She's a thinker, who doesn't take what others tell her for granted and who wants to explore things before making a decision. Living in a community where it's expected that you take the things your elders tell you for granted is difficult for Katie. That's why she's looking forward to her Rumspringa, to see the outside world and to be able to decide for herself if her place is really among the Amish or if she belongs somewhere else.

Then bad things happen and it looks like Katie's future might be decided for her.

There is so much to this story I could just ramble on all day. It's as much a creepy, suspenseful horror-thriller as it is a story about strength and faith. Who can Katie trust? Who can she confide in? What will she have to do to survive the horrors that plague the outside and that threaten her community?

There's a constant threat hanging over the story which slowly begins to escalate until it's not just a threat anymore and Katie will have to fight for her survival.

I also loved the setting. The Amish community Katie lives in was described very well and used to its full advantage for this story. I especially loved reading about the Hexenmeister, a mysterious and intriguing figure, who paints so called hexes to protect houses and families from all kind of things.

The climax of this story was just totally amazing and the ending makes me hungry for the next book to see what will happen next (and I can tell you: that is bound to be a lot!). So I can safely say I will be reading the next book as soon as it's released and I'll be rereading The Hallowed Ones in the meantime.

Why should you read it:
It's a totally amazing YA horror-thriller

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Fringe Runner

Reyne rubbed his neck. "There's no way Vym fixed the ship without leaving her grubby prints somewhere on it. Keep searching."

(page 72, Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes)

buy from amazon


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 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!

Monday 6 April 2020

Tricks for Free - Book Review

Tricks for Free (InCryptid #7)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
Penance, noun:
1. Punishment for past actions.
2. An attempt to pay for what can’t be bought.
3. See also “exile.”

Antimony Price is on the run. With the Covenant on her tail and her family still in danger, she needs to get far, far away from anyone who might recognize her—including her own mice. For the first time in a long time, a Price is flying without a safety net. Where do you go when you need to disappear into a crowd without worrying about attracting attention? An amusement park, of course.

Some people would call Lowryland the amusement park. It’s one of the largest in Florida, the keystone of the Lowry entertainment empire…but for Annie, it’s a place to hide. She’s just trying to keep her head down long enough to come up with a plan that will get her home without getting anyone killed. No small order when she’s rooming with gorgons and sylphs, trying to placate frustrated ghosts, and rushing to get to work on time.

Then the accidents begin. The discovery of a dead man brings Annie to the attention of the secret cabal of magic users running Lowryland from behind the scenes. They want the fire that sleeps in her fingers. They want her on their side. They want to help her—although their help, like everything else, comes with a price.

No plan. Minimal backup. No way out. Annie’s about to get a crash course in the reality behind the pretty facade. If she’s lucky, she’ll survive the experience.

What did I think of it:
This is yet another cool addition to this series, even though Antimony isn't my favorite Price sibling.

To keep her family safe Antimony has to hide from both them and the Covenant. She decides to hide in a big amusement park only to stumble on a new danger.

As I said: Antimony isn't my favorite. Her bitching about my actual favorite isn't earning her any brownie points either. That said: Antimony does have cool friends, so I was hooked from the start to see what was going on and if my favorites would make it out alive.

The story is intriguing and new and cool information about some incryptids is discovered along the way. The ending is not a cliffhanger, but enough has happened that I need to read the next book soon!

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Urban Fantasy read set in an amusement park.

buy from bookdepository

Friday 3 April 2020

All Your Twisted Secrets - Book Review

All Your Twisted Secrets
by Diana Urban

What is it about:
This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

What did I think of it:
This premise sounded too good to resist, so even while Diana Urban was a new to me author I decided to take a chance and preordered this book.

I will confess I was a bit apprehensive as this book is compared to One of Us Is Lying, which I hated because as soon as one of the characters was described as Goth I knew how the book would end.

Luckily All Your Twisted Secrets is nothing like One of Us Is Lying though. I'm happy to report that this book is everything I hoped it would be and more!

The story is told alternating between the Now, where the six students are trapped in a room, and the year leading up to that moment. Everything is told from Amber's point of view. She is trying hard to get everyone working together and to get out of the room alive, but the flashbacks reveal why this is a lot harder than you'd think.

As the minutes tick by and you learn more about each person in the room, it gets more clear why these six were put there. As tensions rise and people start to unravel you won't want to put this book down until you know how it all will end!

You bet I'll keep an eye out for the next book by Urban!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome YA thriller.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 2 April 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - Grown

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Korey Fields is dead.

When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn't how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.

Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?

All signs point to Enchanted.

Expected publication: September 15th 2020

buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 1 April 2020

The Deepest Blue - Book Review

The Deepest Blue
by Sarah Beth Durst

What is it about:
The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.

Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.

To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.

They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.

What did I think of it:
This story is set in Durst's Queen's of Renthia world, so I had to give it a try.

And it's a really entertaining read.

I must say that it didn't grip me as much as The Queen of Blood, although it was better than The Reluctant Queen in my opinion. I think it's because Durst is at her best when given the time to set up a sweeping story filled with emotion and difficult choices. When it comes to action... There's just no oomph so to speak. So while I loved the overall story, the scenes on the island were lacking a certain urgency and drama.

That aside: I very much enjoyed the story and was invested in the outcome. There were a few interesting surprised along the way. All in all a cool read set in a very intriguing world. I will need to get my trotters on the third Queen's of Renthia book one of these days.

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

buy from bookdepository