Friday 30 October 2020

Heart of Thorns - Book Review (repost)


Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1)
by Bree Barton

What is it about:
In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia's father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart...even if it kills her.

What did I think of it:
So the pictured book is the special FairyLoot edition with sprayed pages.


This is a really beautiful Fantasy read.

Mia's mother was killed by a Gwyrach and ever since she has been training with her father's hunters to become a Gwyrach hunter as well. She is determined to find her mother's killer. But then her father wants her to marry the son of the king.

She wants to escape together with her sister, but that's when things go wrong: she discovers she is a Gwyrach herself, and soon she is on the run together with the prince she almost wed. As they tumble from one problem into the next Mia learns that a lot of what she's been told isn't true, and on top of that she will have to learn how to control her new found abilities.

I loved both the story and the world building. Even though a lot of characters were a bit black and white there were also some more ambiguous characters. I especially liked the prince and Mia's father. Mia herself does a rather quick turnabout once she discovers she has magic, but the story was cool enough that this didn't annoy me.

Near the end of the book there are some unexpected developments that racked up the suspense, and the climax of the story left me flabbergasted in a good way. You bet I'll keep an eye out for the sequel, because I need to know what will happen next.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool YA Fantasy read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 29 October 2020

On McPig's Radar - The Exposed Spy

The Exposed Spy (The Immortal Spy #5)
by K.A. Krantz

What does a traitor look like to you?

The desperately needed Mid World defense system is nearing launch, but a quality control test reveals a fatal flaw in the build. When the Consortium tries to silence the whistleblowers, it’s up to Bix and her team to identify the problem and devise a patch before more mortals die.

It’s not going to be easy. Nothing and no one is what they seem. Enemies are wearing the bodies of allies. Allies are under government attack. Angels have gone rogue. Gods are missing. Native magic is corrupted. With a World on the edge of collapse, Bix must defy powers that could destroy the entire collective…or herself.

No illusion can withstand the truths of the exposed spy.

Buy from Amazon

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Bite Club - Book Review


Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires #10)
by Rachel Caine 

What is it about:
After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare—knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other—or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire—accompanied by her friends and frenemies—to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...

What did I think of it:
And another book where Shane is super annoying.

I really like this series and the setting, but Shane...

Although to be fair towards the little jerk I'll have to say it's not entirely his fault this time. Still I hope he'll decide to grow up one of these books, because after 10 books in a 15 book series I'm afraid Claire won't suddenly decide to dump Shane and ride off into the sunset moonlight with Myrnin, who is still my favorite character in the series.

So, this book is entertaining and apart from the Shane being annoying bits I had fun with it. I'll pick up the next book soon to see if it's less Shane dramatic and more Myrnin is cool again.

Why should you read it:
Even with an annoying Shane it's an enjoyable YA Vampire read.  

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Barely Bewitched

"No," Bryn said with a short laugh. "The mind isn't like a VHS tape. There's no guarantee that you'd only erase the memories from that specific period of time."

(page 34, Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost)

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 26 October 2020

Lost Talismans and a Tequila - Book Review


Lost Talismans and a Tequila (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #7)
by Annette Marie

What is it about:
You know that squirmy sensation in your gut when you have no idea what you're doing and you're about to screw everything up?

Yeah, that feeling.

I thought I was a good judge of character, but recent events proved me very wrong. Now, in a brilliant demonstration of my newfound caution, I'm putting all my faith in a demon—a demon who's tried to kill me before. The squirmy feeling is making sense, right?

Unfortunately, I don't have any other options. Ezra's time is almost up, which means I need answers and I need them fast. So it's time to toughen up, pack my gear, and find me one of the most illegal, reviled, and scarce mythics out there: a demon-mage summoner.

And all I have to do is follow a demon's instructions on where to look. How could that go wrong?

What did I think of it:
We are nearing the end of this series, just one more book to go after this one, and it shows. Tensions are high and action needs to be taken to save Ezra. I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen and if Tori can save the day and Ezra.

A character who was present in earlier books suddenly pops up again and I must say I'm apprehensive. I sure hope I'm too distrustful and that this character won't throw a wrench in Tori's plans.

Things with Kai aren't looking like I want them to look either, so there's still a lot that needs to happen in the last book to make me a happy piggy.

The story is fast paced and full of mystery and suspense. But slowly Tori and her friends are getting closer to a solution, or are they? 

All in all this is a nail biting read that ends in a cliffhanger that makes me more than eager to get my trotters on the last book.

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

buy from Amazon

Friday 23 October 2020

Trail of Lightning - Book Review (repost)

 Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)

by Rebecca Roanhorse

What is it about:
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

What did I think of it:
When I heard about this book I had to get it. Post Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy with a Navajo heroine? Sign me up.

And I very much enjoyed this read. I loved the lore, worldbuilding, characters, and most of the story. What worked less for me was Maggie's background. At the start of the story she is pining after her mentor, the man who taught her how to be a monster hunter and how to use her clan powers. It turns out this relationship was pretty important for how Maggie reacts to things and for some parts of the story. I had wanted to know more about this relationship, maybe even have that relationship be part of the book instead of only seeing Maggie pine over it after the fact. Because I didn't see what happened it was hard to connect with this part of the story.

That aside this is a cool read with many twists and turns, nasty monsters (both human and otherwise), and a really interesting setting. Maggie can be completely oblivious at times, but Kai and other characters made up for that. And the ending! I need to know what will happen next.

All in all I'll get my trotters on the next book once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Post Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 22 October 2020

On McPig's Radar - The Promised Queen

The perks of my owner being the assistant of Jeffe Kennedy totally include getting to read books early, so I can tell you: You need this last book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy. It is totally awesome! You bet I will get my trotters on a print copy as soon as it releases.  

The Promised Queen (Forgotten Empires #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

Claim the hand that wears the ring, and the empire falls.

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, claimed the hand that wears the Abiding Ring, but the prophecy remains unfulfilled. Queen Euthalia of Calanthe returned to her island kingdom, but broken in mind and body. With the blood of war unleashing ancient terrors, Calanthe isn’t the haven it once was. Lia must use her magical bond with Calanthe to save their people while Con fights to hold off the vengeful Emperor Anure and his wizards. Con and Lia will have to trust in each other—and in love—to fend off ultimate disaster.

In The Promised Queen, the thrilling finale to the Forgotten Empires trilogy, the fate of the world hangs in the balance as Con, Lia, and their allies sacrifice everything in a final bid to destroy the corrupt empire.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

The Fiery Crown - Book Review (repost)


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

What is it about:

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?

What did I think of it:
This is such a great read!

Lia and Con might be married and working together, but their goals couldn't be further apart. Where Lia is trying to protect her island and the people who live there, Con is bent on revenge.

I love seeing them bicker, banter, and trying to find a way to come closer to each other. Both are strong and determined so when they clash, sparks fly. And it's not the only part of their relationship where sparks fly: the growing attraction between them is fiery as well.

I loved learning more about Calanthe and her people. It is a wonderful island full of beauty and secrets. The way it is described makes Calanthe as much a character in this tale as the people who live there.

And the story! It's full of intrigue, betrayal, heartbreak, danger, and hope. What an emotional ride.

I also must mention Sondra, and Ambrose and his familiar Merle. I already loved Sondra in the first book, but she shines in this one. She had a hard life, but it didn't break her. I rooted as much for her to find happiness as I was rooting for Lia and Con to solve their problems and win Calanthe's freedom. As for Ambrose and Merle: They are so cool! Each scene with them was a delight to read.

And then there's Percy, and Ibolya, and... *wildly flailing piggy* I could wax poetic about all the cool characters and events for ages.

All in all this is a wonderful read that ends in a place that left me both satisfied for now and eager for the next book! If you love Fantasy with a slow burn romance, a marriage of convenience, and lots of emotional impact you need this trilogy!

You bet I'll be getting my trotters on the last book as soon as it releases (if not before, because I'm definitely going to try to get an ARC again).

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

find buy links here

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Bite Club


'Let's just say that he's developed a deep distrust of vampire kind.'
'What the hell did you do to him?'

(page 110, Bite Club by Rachel Caine)

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 19 October 2020

The Orchid Throne - Book Review (repost)

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!

Friday 16 October 2020

Even If We Break - Book Review

Even If We Break
by Marieke Nijkamp

What is it about:
FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.

Are you ready to play?

What did I think of it:
When I heard this book was about a group of roleplayers I was both eager and apprehensive. You don't want to know how often I've encountered the bias that games and especially roleplaying games are evil! *glares at Mazes and Monsters & Underground

Luckily Stranger Things has been a big help in making rpgs more normal. 

And this book is amazing!

Yes, there's someone stalking the five friends who just want to spend a weekend roleplaying in a remote cabin, but it's not the evils of games that are to blame. It was so cool to see the kind of geeks that I identify with in a book while they're not depicted as evil or twisted for once.

All five characters have their own viewpoint and the story is told switching from viewpoint to viewpoint. All of them are interesting, most have secrets, and not all of them will survive the weekend.

I had my favorite characters of course, so I was on the edge of my seat to find out what was going on and if my favorites would survive. I also loved how the game they are playing was used in the story. It sounded like a game I'd love to be part of (without the real life creepy stuff that intruded).

All in all a thrilling and suspenseful story. You bet I'll investigate what other books Nijkamp has written.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and suspenseful YA Thriller.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday 15 October 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - Under A Winter Sky

Under A Winter Sky
Anthology by Kelley Armstrong, Jeffe Kennedy, Melissa Marr, and L. Penelope

Four powerhouse authors of fantasy and urban fantasy bring you a feast of romantic midwinter holiday adventures. These heartwarming and pulse-pounding tales celebrate Hanukah, Christmas, the solstice, Yule – and holidays from worlds beyond our own. With fancy-dress balls, faery bargains, time travel, blood sacrifice, and festive cocktails, these stories will delight lovers of fantasy and romance, with a dash of seasonal joy.

Ballgowns & Butterflies by Kelley Armstrong

The North Yorkshire moors are always a magical place, but they’re particularly enchanting at the holidays…especially if one gets to travel back in time to a Victorian Christmas. For Bronwyn Dale, it is the stuff of dreams. Fancy-dress balls, quirky small-town traditions, even that classic one-horse open sleigh, complete with jingle bells. There’s just the tiny problem of the Butterfly Effect. How does a time-traveler make a difference without disrupting the future forever?

The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon, a prequel novella to Heirs of Magic, by Jeffe Kennedy

Shapeshifter Prince Rhyian doesn’t especially want to spend the Feast of Moranu at Castle Ordnung. First of all, it’s literally freezing there, an uncomfortable change from the tropical paradise of his home. Secondly, it’s a mossback castle which means thick walls and too many rules. Thirdly, his childhood playmate and current nemesis, Lena, will be there. Not exactly a cause for celebration.

Princess Salena Nakoa KauPo nearly wriggled out of traveling to Ordnung with her parents, but her mother put her foot down declaring that, since everyone who ever mattered to her was going to be there to celebrate the 25th year of High Queen Ursula’s reign, Lena can suffer through a feast and a ball for one night. Of course, “everyone” includes the sons and daughters of her parents’ friends, and it also means that Rhyian, insufferable Prince of the Tala, will attend.

But on this special anniversary year, Moranu’s sacred feast falls on the long night of the crystalline moon—and Rhy and Lena discover there’s more than a bit of magic in the air.

Blood Martinis and Mistletoe by Melissa Marr

Half-dead witch Geneviève Crowe makes her living beheading the dead--and spends her free time trying not to get too attached to her business partner,  Eli Stonecroft, a faery in self-imposed exile in New Orleans. With a killer at her throat and a blood martini in her hand, Gen accepts what seems like a straight-forward faery bargain, but soon realizes that if she can't figure out a way out of this faery bargain, she'll be planning a wedding after the holidays.

Echoes of Ash & Tears, an Earthsinger Chronicles Novella, by L. Penelope

Brought to live among the Cavefolk as an infant, Mooriah has long sought to secure her place in the clan and lose her outsider status. She’s a powerful blood mage, and when the chieftain’s son asks for help securing the safety of the clan, she agrees. But though she’s long been drawn to the warrior, any relationship between the two is forbidden. The arrival of a mysterious stranger with a tempting offer tests her loyalties, and when betrayal looms, will Mooriah’s secrets and hidden power put the future she’s dreamed of—and her adopted home—in jeopardy

Expected publication: November 19th 2020


Wednesday 14 October 2020

Cold Storage - Book Review


Cold Storage
by David Koepp

What is it about:
When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.

Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.

He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards—one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness, and a mordant sense of humor. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?

What did I think of it:
This sounded like an action-filled read, so I picked it up as an impulse buy when I was at the bookstore.

And this book is entertaining enough, but showed me why I should be careful in just picking up books.

It starts out cool enough with the events that lead up to the mutative organism getting locked in cold storage for a few decades. Yes, there was the inevitable instant attraction between the male lead and the first woman who wasn't his military partner who walked onto the pages of the book, as it almost always is in a book written by a guy. (Of course his military partner turned out to have been in secret love with him as well...) But that cliché aside the start of this book had me invested and eager to see what would happen next.

Then we came to the pat where the specimen got out again...

There were multiple viewpoints and for some reason I had to learn about the complete life, shoe size, and brainfarts of EVERY character, including the specimen! On top of that there was this more than awkward romantic thing between the 'nice guy' ex-con and the single mother. I will confess it was cringy in my opinion.

Luckily there was some cool action, but less than I had hoped for.

All in all an entertaining, but totally forgettable read.

Why should you read it:
Just hope they make it into a movie with a cool actor in the role of the ex-con.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Ninth House

"The Bonesmen are on tonight."
He looked bemused. "Tell them to return Geronimo's skull."

(page 50/51, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo)

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 12 October 2020

As Long As You Love Me - Book Review by Voodoo Bride (repost/reread)

 As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)

by Ann Aguirre

What is it about:
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I loved the first book in this series, so I was very happy when I won this book in a reviewer giveaway held by Ann Aguirre.

And this book is so good!

I'm usually not into Contemporary Romance, but Aguirre's New Adult Romances are super addictive.

I think it's because this book leaves out all the extra drama that is in so many other contemporary romances. No jealousy games, no other love interests muddying the waters, just two people who really want to be together, but have to overcome certain obstacles before they can make it work.

I think I loved this book even more than the first: I totally fell in love with Lauren and Rob as a couple. Their romance is so sweet, and both of them are so vulnerable in their own way. I loved to read how they supported each other, and gave each other strength. I also really liked how Aguirre shows that there are situations in which just loving each other isn't enough, and that other steps are needed to straighten things out, to get a healthy relationship.

Next to this being a really sweet romance, it's also hot and intense. There were some very steamy scenes, and some very emotional ones as well. When I finished this book it left me with warm, fluffy feelings, and the need to get my hands on the next book, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and delicious New Adult Romance

Buy from Amazon

Notes on rereading:
The first time I read these books, this one was my favorite. Now I find myself leaning towards the first book as being my favorite. I think it has to do with my mood. This one is more serious and I was in the mood for something more fluffy, and the first book is definitely more fluffy than this one.