Monday 27 September 2021

Back Next Week

I've been rereading mostly, so I'll be back next week with new reviews.

Friday 24 September 2021

Release Day Alert - The Dragon Daughter and the Winter Mage


The Dragon's Daughter and the Winter Mage (Heirs of Magic #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

Invisible Loner

Gendra—partblood daughter of an elite mossback soldier and the only shapeshifter to achieve the coveted dragon form—is anything but interesting. She’s actually plain and awkward and … invisible. Every guy she meets either looks right through her or—worse—thinks of her as just a friend. Fortunately Gen is far too practical to wallow in self pity. Much.

A Search for True Love

But as Gen accompanies her oldest friends on a quest for Her Majesty High Queen Ursula, she can’t help feeling bitter about her lonely fate as, two by two, they pair off with each other. As usual, everyone but odd-woman-out Gen seems to be finding the happiness in true love that has always eluded her. And Gen’s pathetic attempts to come out of her shell have only met with social disaster.

Dragon’s Daughter

Still, with magic rifts plaguing the Thirteen Kingdoms and a strange intelligence stalking them from an alter-realm, Gen has plenty to deal with—especially when she’s cut off from the group, isolated and facing a lethal danger. It just figures that Gen is on her own, once again. But with no one coming to save her, she has only herself to rely upon.

And, perhaps, the help of a mysterious, stranded magician…

Thursday 23 September 2021

On McPig's Wishlist - The Lost Girls


The Lost Girls
by Sonia Hartl

Sonia Hartl’s The Lost Girls is laced with dark humor and queer love; it’s John Tucker Must Die with a feminist girl gang of vampires.

When Elton Irving turned Holly Liddell into a vampire in 1987, he promised her eternal love. But thirty-four years later, Elton has left her, her hair will be crimped for the rest of immortality, and the only job she can get as a forever-sixteen-year-old is the midnight shift at Taco Bell.

Holly’s afterlife takes an interesting turn when she meets Rose McKay and Ida Ripley. Having also been turned and discarded by Elton—Rose in 1954, and Ida, his ex-fiancĂ©e, in 1921—they want to help her, and ask for her help in return.

Rose and Ida are going to kill Elton before he turns another girl. Though Holly is hurt and angry with Elton for tossing her aside, she’s reluctant to kill her ex, until Holly meets Parker Kerr—the new girl Elton has set his sights on—and feels a quick, and nerve-wracking attraction to her.

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Teach Me - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Teach Me - (There's Something About Marysburg #1)
by Olivia Dade 

What is it about:
Their lesson plans didn't include love. But that's about to change...

When Martin Krause arrives at Rose Owens's high school, she's determined to remain chilly with her new colleague. Unfriendly? Maybe. Understandable? Yes, since a loathsome administrator gave Rose's beloved world history classes to Martin, knowing it would hurt her.

But keeping her distance from a man as warm and kind as Martin will prove challenging, even for a stubborn, guarded ice queen. Especially when she begins to see him for what he truly is: a man who's never been taught his own value. Martin could use a good teacher--and luckily, Rose is the best.

Rose has her own lessons--about trust, about vulnerability, about her past--to learn. And over the course of a single school year, the two of them will find out just how hot it can get when an ice queen melts.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
While waiting for the release of All the Feels, the sequel to Spoiler Alert, I decided to give another book by Dade a try.

And this is another really good read.

Martin is a total sweetheart who has been told he's boring, while Rose has learned to keep people at a distance to not get hurt. It was so good to see these two fall for each other and try to open up. Especially Rose has a lot to unlearn, and it was good to see her start to trust. 

I absolutely adored Rose's ex parents-in-law, and would totally read a whole book about their antics. There should have been more scenes with them in it imo.

There are of course a few obstacles to conquer for Martin and Rose to get their Happily Ever After, but those obstacles never got too frustrating, while still feeling real and believable.

All in all a delightful romance. I might read more books in this particular series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Contemporary Romance

buy from Amazon

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Teaser Tuesdays - Giving the Devil His Due

The hairs on the back of Lucy's neck stood up, even before she turned around. When she saw him, he smiled, and she wanted to get out of there.

(page 41, The Kindly Sea by Dana Cameron, part of the Giving the Devil His Due anthology)

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 20 September 2021

Cyberpunk 2077, Vol. 1: Trauma Team - Book Review


Cyberpunk 2077, Vol. 1: Trauma Team - (Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #1-4)
by Cullen Bunn and Miguel Valderrama (Illustrator)

What is it about:
Dive deeper into the world of Cyberpunk 2077!

Nadia, an assistant EMT for a privately-owned business known as Trauma Team International, is the sole survivor of a failed rescue mission turned shootout.

After she agrees to continue work for an upcoming extraction mission, Nadia discovers that her new extraction subject is Apex--the man who's responsible for Nadia's former team members' deaths. A hundred floors high in a skyscraper filled with members of Apex's rival gang, Nadia and her team must complete the extraction.

Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, Uncanny X-Men) and Christopher Mooneyham (Predator, Nightwing) introduce an all-original series based on CD Projekt Red's brand-new game Cyberpunk 2077!

Collects Cyberpunk 2077 #1-4.

What did I think of it:
My love for the game Cyberpunk 2077 is still going strong, so I got my trotters on the 3 issues of Trauma Team I hadn't read yet. I reread the first issue and then read the others. Note that I am reviewing them as a whole and link to the bundled issues instead of the separate issues here. If you do buy them in digital format it might be wise to get them all separately though, it might be cheaper.

I liked the artwork in this comic. It's not too polished and fits the atmosphere of the story and world.

The story itself is told out of order, alternating between flashbacks and the 'now'. And I think that might be what made this story lose power for me. Nadia is back at work after losing her entire team on an earlier mission. Although we get to see what happened early on in the story, extra information about Nadia's connection to her team is kept for later. If the story was told chronologically this might have made me feel more for Nadia, now to me it came across as a badly used plot device instead of making me bond with the story and Nadia. 

That aside I had fun with this comic. There was action, drama, and it expanded my understanding of the Cyberpunk 2077 world. All in all worth a read for fans of the game.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining read set in the Cyberpunk 2077 world.

buy from Amazon

Friday 17 September 2021

#Murdertrending - Book Review


#Murdertrending (MurderTrending #1)
by Gretchen McNeil

What is it about:
WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society's most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When seventeen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she's about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn't commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she's innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman's cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

What did I think of it:
This book was entertaining, but totally over the top.

I was intrigued by the premise, and I will confess I was hoping for a bit more substance than what I got. Somehow I expected the book to be more serious about the premise.

Instead of exploring the darker side of a society hooked on watching prisoners get killed on livestream the story went to the absurd whenever it could. The murders were so over the top I couldn't take them seriously. Add a convoluted backstory that has nothing to do with the premise that took away further from any meaning this story tried to have and I just gave up on finding sense and just sat back and watched the entertaining train wreck.

All in all probably a good read if you step into it without expectations. It might also help if you're more into "reality" tv than I am.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining near future YA read.

buy from amazon

Thursday 16 September 2021

On McPig's Wishlist - Skin of the Sea


Skin of the Sea
by Natasha Bowen

An unforgettable fantasy debut inspired by West African mythology, this is Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid, in which a mermaid takes on the gods themselves.

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata--a mermaid--collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable--she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But something is amiss. There's the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .

Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn't, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Expected publication: November 9th 2021

preorder from Amazon

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Little Free Library - Quick Book Review

Little Free Library
by Naomi Kritzer

What is it about:
Sharing stories we love with one another is one of the most magical forms of connection there is. This is especially so for Meagan, who develops an unexpected friendship with a mysterious borrower of books from her Little Free Library.

What did I think of it:
This was a very enjoyable read.

Meagan sets up a Little Free Library and starts communicating with one of the borrowers via letters left in the little free library. It starts out normal enough, but slowly it turned more fantastical. I was curious about the identity of the mysterious borrower, and as the story progressed I started to care and worry.

All in all a quick, bittersweet read.

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

buy from Amazon

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Teaser Tuesday - The City We Became

"Things are working out just fine," says Stall Woman. "I've got a foothold, you see."

(page 120, The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
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 10 September 2021

Black Sun - Book Review


Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)
by Rebecca Roanhorse

What is it about:
The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

What did I think of it:
This is a really awesome read!

There are several viewpoint characters and the way the story is told isn't linear, so you have to pay attention to the chapter headings to see when it is taking place.

I will say I liked all viewpoint characters, making that I worried about the outcome of this book as several of them are at opposite ends. And the more I learned about what's going on, the more I knew things most probably wouldn't end happy for all involved.

The worldbuilding is so so good. I loved learning about the holy city of Tova, the Teek heritage of Xiala, and about Serapio and his destiny. I could easily picture everything and was totally invested in the world as well as the story. I felt myself sympathizing with not just the main characters, but minor ones as well. I wanted the best outcome for all, knowing that would not be a possibility.

The ending was epic and made me eager to see what will happen next while it was also satisfying for now. You bet I'll be pre-ordering the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's an amazing Fantasy read.

buy from amazon

Thursday 9 September 2021

On McPig's Wishlist - Four Aunties and a Wedding


Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2)
by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The aunties are back, fiercer than ever and ready to handle any catastrophe--even the mafia--in this delightful and hilarious sequel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A for Aunties.

Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can't wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name.

Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. Horrified, Meddy can't believe Staphanie and her family aren't just like her own, they are The Family--actual mafia, and they're using Meddy's wedding as a chance to conduct shady business. Her aunties and mother won't let Meddy's wedding ceremony become a murder scene--over their dead bodies--and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.

Expected publication: March 29th 2022

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Eat the Rich - Comic Book Review

Eat the Rich (Eat the Rich, #1)
by Sarah Gailey, Pius Bak (Illustrator), Roman Titov (Illustrator), and Cardinal Rae (Illustrator)

What is it about:
What unspeakable horror eats away at the heart of Crestfall Bluffs?

With law school and her whole life ahead of her, Joey plans to summer with her boyfriend Astor in his seemingly perfect hometown of Crestfall Bluffs.

It's a chance to finally meet Astor's family and childhood friends, all while enjoying a vacation with every need attended to by servants.

But beneath the affluent perfection lies a dark, deadly rot... will Joey discover the truth before it's too late, and if she does, can she survive to tell the tale?

What did I think of it:
Apart from one short story that just wasn't for me, I've loved everything by Gailey that I've read. So you bet I got my greedy trotters on this comic. 

The art-style isn't my favorite, but it works good enough. It reminded me of some of the Sandman comics in tone and style. If you get this comic in print there are several covers you can choose from, and I can tell you that I would totally have chosen one of the other covers if that had been possible for the digital version.

As for the story:
I very much enjoyed the story and how it is set up. It's not very subtle in my opinion, and telegraphs the horrors to come from Joey's boyfriend telling he started drinking at 12, to other even more obvious chilling remarks.

But this is a horror story after all, so I didn't mind at all. Instead I was eager to see where the story would lead.

This being issue 1 of a 5-issue series it does end just as things begin to unravel, leaving you hungry for more. You bet I'll be getting my trotters on issue 2 when it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool horror comic

buy from amazon


Tuesday 7 September 2021

Teaser Tuesdays - #murdertrending


She realized that Blair was just being kind, but had there been something else? Some other insight Blair had been about to share before she had seen that the cameras were back on?

(page 34, #murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil)

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 September 2021

Riot Baby - Book Review


Riot Baby
by Tochi Onyebuchi

What is it about:
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

What did I think of it:
Sometimes you read a book and you are gripped by it while at the same time it makes you feel uncomfortable. That is this book for me.

I read it in one sitting and was eager to to see how things would go for Ella and Kev. The writing was beautiful, the imagery atmospheric, and the story thought provoking. 

It also was a very uncomfortable read, as it made me very aware of how little I know about the struggle of black men and women, even after I've tried to educate myself. Although the book is magical realism, real life events are mentioned, and while familiar with some, others I had to look up online. It makes me feel that I might not to be the right person to give this book the review it deserves.

All in all I can advice anyone to give this book a try. I myself will most certainly read more by Onyebuchi and even have two other books by him in my TBR pile.

buy from amazon

Friday 3 September 2021

The Ones Who Look - Quick Book Review


The Ones Who Look
by Katharine Duckett

What is it about:
Ethical Empire built the gate to heaven, and their employees hold the keys. By offering custom-built afterlives through full-brain uploads, they answered the needs of a society pushed to the brink by climate change and cascading antibiotic failure. But for Zoe, who works daily to assess the sins of users and decide who's worthy of salvation, heaven is not so simple. Despite the urging of the angels on her shoulder, she is determined to uncover heaven's secrets, no matter the cost.

What did I think of it:
Another novelette.

In a future where everyone can get their own custom made heaven, Zoe is one of the people to count the points to see if you deserve that heaven. With a loved one already in heaven she is eager to know what it's like. When she starts dating one of the people who makes these heavens she tries to find out more about heaven just as he tries to find out more about the scoring.

I was intrigued from the start and eager to find out where the story would lead. There's some clear foreshadowing and metaphors in the story, but not in an annoying way. I very much enjoyed this story and might look into what else Duckett has written.

Why should you read it:
It's a intriguing near future read.

buy from Amazon

Thursday 2 September 2021

On McPig's Wishlist - Spelunking Through Hell


Spelunking Through Hell (InCryptid #11)
by Seanan McGuire

Love, noun:

1. An intense feeling of deep affection; may be romantic, filial or platonic.

Passion, noun:

1. A strong or barely controllable emotion.
2. Enthusiasm, interest, desire.
3. See also “obsession.”

It’s been fifty years since the crossroads caused the disappearance of Thomas Price, and his wife, Alice, has been trying to find him and bring him home ever since, despite the increasing probability that he’s no longer alive for her to find. Now that the crossroads have been destroyed, she’s redoubling her efforts. It’s time to bring him home, dead or alive.

Preferably alive, of course, but she’s tired, and at this point, she’s not that picky. It’s a pan-dimensional crash course in chaos, as Alice tries to find the rabbit hole she’s been missing for all these decades—the one that will take her to the man she loves.

Who are her allies? Who are her enemies? And if she manages to find him, will he even remember her at this point?

It’s a lot for one cryptozoologist to handle.

Expected publication: 2022

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Of Roses and Kings - Quick Book Review


Of Roses and Kings
by Melissa Marr 

What is it about:
In this dark, skewed take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice is now the Red Queen, and her maid must tread the fine line between favor and blame in this strange world.

What did I think of it:
This is a strange little tale, but I enjoyed it. It shows what Alice has become as new Red Queen, and what this means to those close to her. I loved the writing and imagery. The story is short, but as it builds on what you know about Alice in Wonderland it doesn't need a lot of worldbuilding, making it that you can dive right into the story. 

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

buy from Amazon