Friday 26 February 2021

Four and Twenty Blackbirds - DNF Book Review


Four and Twenty Blackbirds
(Eden Moore #1) by Cherie Priest

What is it about:
Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But in the woods a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather--an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead.

Now Eden must decipher the secret of the ghostly trio before a new enemy more dangerous than the fanatical assassin destroys what is left of her family. She will sift through lies in a Georgian ante-bellum mansion and climb through the haunted ruins of a 19th century hospital, desperately seeking the truth that will save her beloved aunt from the curse that threatens her life.

What did I think of it:
Even though I didn't finish this book it is not a bad book. I just had some issues with it that made me put it aside about halfway through.

It starts out intriguing with spooky and thrilling events. I really liked the mood in the first few chapters. And then... the story seemed to crawl to a halt. Eden goes on a search that is slow and where getting information feels like trying to coax on a snail.

And if I had actually liked Eden I might have sat it out. But to be honest: Even halfway through the book I didn't really feel a connection with her or the people she is close to. So her search and the problems she encounters didn't interest me enough to keep reading.

All in all I liked the mood and the overall idea of the book, but its execution just didn't work for me.  

Why should you read it:
It is an intriguing Paranormal read. 

buy from amazon

Thursday 25 February 2021

Dark Wizard - Release Day Book Review


Dark Wizard (Bonds of Magic #1) 
by Jeffe Kennedy 

What is it about:
Lord Gabriel Phel wants one thing: to restore his shattered House to its former station in the Convocation’s complex and arcane society. Fortunately, through a wild chance of birth, he was born with the magic of a powerful wizard, the first in his family in generations. If he can obtain a familiar to supplement his skills, ideally one who is a highborn daughter who can also be his lady wife, then he’ll be that much closer to restoring House Phel. And to exacting his ultimate revenge on the Convocation that destroyed his family.

Lady Veronica Elal doesn’t have many choices. To her bitter disappointment, she will never be the powerful wizard she and her father hoped she’d be. Instead Nic is doomed to be a familiar like her mother, a second-class citizen in the Convocation, and one destined to be bonded to a wizard, serving his purposes for the rest of her life. Her one hope lies in entering the Betrothal Trials—and choosing a wizard from the Convocation candidates that she can manipulate. Whichever one of her suitors impregnates her will claim her as familiar and wife, and she can use her wiles to rule her wizard master, and the House she marries into.

But Gabriel throws a wrench into Nic’s careful scheming, by seducing and fascinating her. When she finds she’s pregnant by the rogue wizard she can never hope to control, Nic does the unthinkable: she runs.

What did I think of it:
This book is amazing!

The world Jeffe creates in this book is intriguing and twisted. I loved learning about the Convocation rules and what they mean for those who have to follow them.

Veronica/Nic grew up with these rules and takes them for granted. Gabriel however is new to them and it was fun to see how different both react to the rules.

The two of them also have very different ideas about a possible future together, and when Nic realizes Gabriel won't ever be the gullible and malleable wizard she was hoping him to be, she runs. Gabriel however won't let her disappear that easily.

I loved both Nic and Gabriel. Nic is a product of her highborn upbringing and once she's on her own has to learn a lot about both herself and the world around her. Gabriel is new to the world of the Convocation and he has to be careful he doesn't break the rules he only recently learned about.

I read this book in almost one sitting and rooted for the both of them. The ending of this book is very satisfying, but there's so much coming for these two, and there's so much yet to explore within this fascinating world that I'm eager for the next book. I want more! 

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful dark Fantasy Romance

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Teasing on a Wednesday - Furtive Dawn

'What's your gambler's gut telling you?'
I could only be honest. 'It doesn't have a clue.'

(page 78, Furtive Dawn by Helen Harper)

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!


Friday 19 February 2021

Starsight - DNF Book Review


Starsight (Skyward #2)
by Brandon Sanderson

What is it about:
All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there's more to the story. And she's sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars--and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself--and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

What did I think of it:
I really wanted to love this book, because I loved Skyward.

And it has a lot of good things. There's cool action, and interesting new species and characters. What's lacking for me though is Spensa thinking about things and reflecting on what she's learned at the end of Skyward.

She loves to make humanity the victim of 'the evil aliens!', but lacks the ability to investigate the past. What did the humans do? Are they really just victims, or were the aliens right or even partially right? I wanted Spensa to question things, but instead she just blunders on convinced everyone is just being mean.

Maybe later in the book things will get more clear, or Spensa will finally stop and think, but it wasn't happening soon enough in my opinion, making it so that I just couldn't sympathize with her. With this missing emotional link to Spensa I just wasn't invested enough in the story, so I Did Not Finish, and cast the book aside.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool SF story

buy from amazon

Thursday 18 February 2021

On McPig's Wishlist - Wings of Ebony


Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony #1)
by J. Elle

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue's taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

buy from amazon

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Skyward - Book Review (repost)


Skyward (Skyward #1)
by Brandon Sanderson

What is it about:
Spensa's world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity's only defense is to take to their ships and combat the Krell. Pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race.

Becoming a pilot has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above the earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father--a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa's chances of attending Flight School at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They've doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa's world twice as deadly . . . but just might take her skyward.

What did I think of it:
This book was even better than I hoped.

It's not mentioned in the above blurb, but other blurbs, like the one on Goodreads mention Spensa finds a spaceship that is sentient. People talked so much about the spaceship that I expected that it would be the focus of the story. But it is not, luckily enough.

Yes, the spaceship certainly plays a big role, but Spensa's attempts to become a pilot, and to discover the truth about her father and the Krell are just as important if not even more so. All these storylines together, the worldbuilding, and the characters grabbed me from the start, and I read the book in a single day. I just couldn't put it down.

I liked Spensa, even though she is reckless and rash at times. She is passionate, stubborn, and loyal. I rooted for her to succeed. There were some really interesting and cool other characters as well, but Sanderson isn't afraid to sacrifice characters for the good of the story, so I lost a few of my favorites. There is the start of something that might become a romance, I'm curious to see how it will develop.

All in all this is a really cool SciFi read, and you ca bet I'll get my greedy trotters on the next book once it releases. In the mean time I'll have to investigate Sanderson's Fantasy books.

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

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 11 February 2021

Teasing on a Thursday - Four and Twenty Blackbirds


"What did happen to Avery and the women, Lulu? Someone must know."

(page 99, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest)

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!

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Deadland Rising - Book Review (repost/reread)


Deadland Rising (Deadland Saga, #3)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The conclusion of the critically acclaimed DEADLAND SAGA:

Winter has arrived.
It has been nearly one year since the zombie hordes claimed the world. As the plague eats away at its victims’ bodies, the Fox survivors search for a safe place to rebuild what they have lost. But a dangerous new threat has risen, hunting them from every direction. To survive, Cash, Clutch, and their small band of refugees must put their faith in a group of strangers and a new government with radical plans. It will take all of the Fox survivors’ strength and courage to endure in this barren, hostile world. Even that might not be enough.

(Deadland Rising is a journey through Dante Alighieri's “Paradiso”, the classic tale on the seven virtues… zombie apocalypse style!)

What did I think of it:
I loved the first two books in this trilogy so much, I've been stalking Rachel Aukes' website for news about the final book. So you can imagine my excitement when she sent me an early digital copy for review.

And this book was so worth the wait!

There's less zombies in this book than in the other books, but there's more than enough danger to make this a suspenseful and intense read.

The plague and the zombies have left the survivors robbed of the conveniences they were used to, and the lack of a structured society makes the world a dangerous place. Cash and Clutch face important decisions. Who should they trust? How do they deal with the problems thrown their way? And how are they going to rebuild their life?

I was totally captured by this book from the start and read it almost in one sitting (dinner is overrated).

The way Aukes writes this story makes it feel real, and Cash and Clutch are easy to root for. That doesn't mean they're perfect, they have their flaws and emotional scars, but they're trying to make the right choices, and they care for each other and their friends.

As in the previous books Aukes shows that zombies may be dangerous, but it's humans who can be more deadly and rotten. I like how Aukes shows how different people can react to stress, leadership and danger. How it makes some people fight to hold on to what they know is right, and how others turn to their base urges.

As for this book being a re-imagining of Dante Alighieri's Paradiso: for those familiar with this work, it will be fun to find all the comparisons and little Easter eggs, but you don't have to know anything about Paradiso to enjoy Deadland Rising.

All in all this book is a fitting and more than worthy conclusion to an awesome trilogy, and you bet I'll be getting the paperback, so I have all three books to hug and reread as often as I want.

Why should you read it:
Post Apocalyptic Awesomeness!

Find buy links here

Friday 5 February 2021

Deadland's Harvest - Book Review (repost/reread)

Deadland's Harvest (Deadland #2)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
It has been one hundred days since the zombies claimed the world. Cash, along with forty-two survivors, have found safety in the secluded and well-guarded Fox National Park. The leaves are changing colors, a beautiful, brutal reminder that winter is coming. As the survivors prepare for freezing months without electricity and not enough food, they learn of massive zombie herds several hundred miles north…and headed their way.

To save the park, Cash must find a place for the survivors to hide from the migrating herds. If Cash and her small band of volunteers don’t succeed by winter, the Fox survivors just may become Deadland’s Harvest.

(Deadland’s Harvest is a journey through Dante Alighieri's classic tale on the seven deadly sins… zombie apocalypse style!)

What did I think of it:
Some of you might remember how much I loved 100 Days in Deadland, the first book in this trilogy. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got a digital copy of Deadland's Harvest for review.

And this book is awesome!

Aukes uses the seven deadly sins as a guideline for her story, but in such a way that it doesn't interfere with your reading pleasure. You can easily identify the sins in each part of the story, but the things that are happening, the action, and zombie mayhem make sure you are totally engrossed in the story.

The story starts where 100 Days in Deadland ended, and with only a small reprieve Cash and her friends are once again caught up in the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. The story is intense and full of action. Zombies, greedy humans and more make surviving difficult. There's lots of death and destruction going on, and Cash and those close to her have to fight for survival. I was hooked from the start and had trouble putting the book down. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next.

Aukes doesn't pull any punches and there were some gruesome scenes and deaths that shocked me. I can say I was glad that most of my favorite characters survived, although not without wear and tear. And the ending...

It's not a cliffhanger ending, but so many things have happened, so many things might still happen: I seriously need to get my trotters on the last book in this trilogy!

If you haven't started on this trilogy yet, I can only tell you to pick up the first book asap, because these books are so good. You can count on it that I'll be rereading this book, and I'm stalking bookdepository, so I can buy this book in print as soon as possible.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome zombie read!

Find buy links here

Thursday 4 February 2021

Teasing on a Thursday - Crow's Curse Collection


Blood is power. And I was determined to become as powerful as I could.

(page 164, Crow's Curse Collection by Laura Bickle)

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!

Wednesday 3 February 2021

100 Days in Deadland - Book Review (repost/reread)


100 Days in Deadland (Deadland, #1)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The world ended on a Thursday.

In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering monsters with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government, no shelter.

Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch’s military experience and Cash’s determination to live. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead… or the living.

This is the beginning after the end.

(100 Days in Deadland is a modern remake of Dante's Inferno, the classic tale on the horrors of hell... zombie apocalypse style!)

What did I think of it:
I love zombie retellings of classics, so this modern zombie remake of Dante's Inferno was right up my alley.

And it's so good!

There's lots of cool zombie action, an intense story and characters you can really love.

Even though this book is filled with (subtle) references to Dante's Inferno I will confess that I didn't really take note of them, because the story is so good I was totally engrossed in it. Cash and Clutch are both awesome characters and I rooted for them to survive the ruthless zombie attacks and the even more vile attempts of other people to take away what little they have.

The story follows the descend into hell and with each new circle a new emotion gets introduced to the story. It makes for really intense reading as the sins and emotions that get thrown into the mix are getting gradually worse. There are some really gruesome scenes in this book and they fit the intensity of the story in my opinion. I kept cheering Cash and Clutch on, even as things seemed to go from bad to worse. At times Aukes gave Cash and Clutch some much needed reprieve from their trials and I rejoiced with them whenever things went well for them.

I can't give away too much about the ending without being too spoilery, but I can tell you I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series, because I need more!!

All in all this is a totally awesome post apocalyptic read that I can advice to anyone who loves a good zombie story. That it's a remake of Dante's Inferno is a bonus, but believe me: you don't need to have read it to enjoy and love this book.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Post Apocalyptic read with lots of zombies.

Find buy links here