Tuesday 31 January 2023

Between - Re-Release Day Book Review (reread)

I was so excited when I heard the Between series would be re-released! This trilogy is amazing. You bet I immediately planned a reread. If you haven't read this series yet: what are you waiting for?

Here's my original review and notes on rereading.

Between (The Between #1)
by Kerry Schafer

What is it about:

A dragon is running amok in the town of Krebston, and only one woman can stop it...

If Dr. Vivian Maylor could have just one wish, it would be a normal life. Instead, her dreams – and not necessarily the good ones – are spilling over into her waking hours.

A badly burned teenager spontaneously combusts in the emergency room after raving about a dragon. Her mentally unstable mother vanishes without a trace. A strange woman with supernatural powers breaks into Vivian’s apartment looking for the Key to the Forever.

And when a bookstore-owning artist named Zee, who Vivian knows from her dreams as a sword-wielding warrior, delivers a message from her deceased grandfather, Vivian finally acknowledges the truth: she is the last living Dreamshifter, responsible for guarding the doors between dreaming and waking.

Aided by Zee and an improbable dream penguin, Vivian ventures into the Between – a treacherous maze that lies between dreaming and waking – on a quest that will bring her face-to-face not only with her worst nightmares, but also the darkest parts of her self.

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

I will confess I had expected this to be a cool Urban Fantasy read. What I didn't expect was to be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. This story frustrated me, made me feel worry, anger and hope. Vivian is a very likable heroine and I couldn't help cheering her on and screaming at her in total frustration at times. The things that happen to her are new and scary for her and I think Schafer did a wonderful job in showing how this affects Vivian.

It might not surprise anyone when I tell you I fell in love with Poe, the penguin Vivian encounters in the Dreamworld. He's a great character and brought a lot of emotion to the story without even being able to speak.

The story itself is really beautiful and intricate. There are lots of things going on that Vivian has to figure out and I was curious to find out where it all would lead. The ending leaves a lot open for the sequel, but not in a frustrating way. instead I was left feeling satisfied for now while looking forward to read book two as soon as it releases.

Notes on rereading:
I really love how Vivian struggles with what's happening, it makes her so relatable. So often the heroine just rolls with all the weirdness that's happening as if it's normal. I really appreciate seeing a heroine who stumbles, and makes mistakes, because all this is weird, scary, and new. 

I didn't mention it in my original review, but next to Vivian there are a couple of other viewpoint character of which Zee was my favorite. You bet I'll pick up book two for a reread soon!  

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

Buy Between here

Monday 30 January 2023

Teasing on a Monday - Between

This absolute pearl is re-releasing tomorrow! Go get it!

This was not a dream. And if she wasn't in Wakeworld or Dreamworld, then this had to be Between.

(end of chaper 7, Between by Kerry Schafer)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, previously 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!

Thursday 26 January 2023

Grave Witch - Book Review (reread)


Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1)
by Kalayna Price 

What is it about:
Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around...

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life...and her soul.

What did I think of it:
So this was a reread. I came across book 4, 5 & 6 of this series in the charity bookstore, and it reminded me of the fact I read and enjoyed the first book back in 2012. I got book 2 & 3 from a friend in 2014, but never picked them up. As the books in the charity shop were less than 5 Euro total I decided to buy them and to make reading this whole series one of my challenges for 2023. I started a bit early by rereading the first book in December .

And I have to confess: I didn't remember a single thing!

Usually this means I didn't like a book, but luckily that wasn't the case here. I very much enjoyed the worldbuilding, the characters, and the story. It was a lot more serious and suspenseful than my 2012 review gives it credit for, I must confess. There are some very creepy things going on, and how past me described this book as 'wacky' is beyond me.

All in all this is a really cool read, even with a love triangle being set up for the rest of the series, and you bet I put book two near the topof my TBR pile after finishing this one.

Why should you read it:
It's a great UF read with a cool take on witches and the dearly departed. 

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Furtive Dawn - Book Review


Furtive Dawn (City of Magic #3)
by Helen Harper

What is it about:
It's been almost a year since the magical apocalypse closed off the city of Manchester from the rest of the world. The vampires, werewolves and humans within the city all now live together in relative harmony ... but trouble is brewing on the horizon. Supplies are starting to run out and, despite their best efforts to grow crops and create a sustainable future, everyone knows that it will be an uphill battle. Still, the magic swirling in the city air is an incredible bonus. Charley, the most magical of them all, is determined to do whatever she can to help out her new community and with Monroe by her side, she's confident that things will turn out alright. But when someone from beyond Manchester's walls makes contact, what happens next will be anyone's guess.

This is the third and final book in the City of Magic series. 

What did I think of it:
This is the last book in this trilogy and I can tell you this series goes out with a bang.

There's lots of action and suspense in this book. I had a great time with it. I love Charley and her friends and couldn't wait to see how they try to overcome their problems.

Things seem dire at times, but there's also humor and endearing moments to be had. I was both satisfied when I finished this book as disappointed that my time in Magical Manchester was over. You bet this will go on the keeper shelves. I will also investigate Harper's other books.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and cool Urban Fantasy read.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Teaser Tuesdays - The Atlas Six


Nico glanced at her, conceding to ask in a mostly inoffensive tone, "What are you thinking?

(page 58, The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, previously 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!

Thursday 12 January 2023

Into the Riverlands - Book Review


Into the Riverlands (The Singing Hills Cycle #3)
by Nghi Vo

What is it about:
Wandering cleric Chih of the Singing Hills travels to the riverlands to record tales of the notorious near-immortal martial artists who haunt the region. On the road to Betony Docks, they fall in with a pair of young women far from home, and an older couple who are more than they seem. As Chih runs headlong into an ancient feud, they find themselves far more entangled in the history of the riverlands than they ever expected to be.

Accompanied by Almost Brilliant, a talking bird with an indelible memory, Chih confronts old legends and new dangers alike as they learn that every story—beautiful, ugly, kind, or cruel—bears more than one face.

What did I think of it:
I love the first two books in this series, so you bet I preordered this one, especially after seeing the cover!

And this is another beautiful read. 

Where in the previous books Chih mostly gets told stories, here they are not only told stories, but are in the middle of their own. They also learn that one person's villain, can be another person's hero, and that details can change depending on who is telling the story.

All in all a wonderful read. I hope there will be many more books in this series.

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

Wednesday 11 January 2023

Legends & Lattes - Book Review


Legends & Lattes (Legends & Lattes #1)
by Travis Baldree

What is it about:
After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.

The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success—not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won't be able to go it alone.

But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.

What did I think of it:
This book has been all over the internet and has been lauded by lots of people, but it took me a while to pick it up as I was a bit wary. Finally I caved.

And this is such a pleasant and fun read!

I loved reading about Viv's attempts to start a coffee shop, and about the people she manages to meet and befriend on the way. It's mostly a fluffy and cozy read about friendship, with just enough obstacles thrown in to keep the story engaging.

If you've played Dungeons and Dragons there's tons of things that you'll recognize, but for people who haven't, this book is a perfectly entertaining and enjoyable read as well. There's a tiny bit of romance, lots of coffee, and good friends.

Definitely a keeper!

Why should you read it:
It's fluffy, cozy, and totally enjoyable.


Saturday 7 January 2023

Challenges Update and New Goals

2022 was a difficult year when it came to reading. Progress was slow and I only just made it to 100 books read. And as you have noticed: I didn't always manage to review what I read.

So how did my challenges go?

I finished the Charley Davidson series in February!

As for TBR Orphans

Orphans read: 

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones (in TBR since August 2018)

Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones (in TBR since January 2020)

End of Days by Susan Ee (in TBR since May 2015)

Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs (in TBR since March 2021)

Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine (in TBR since June 2017)

Symbiont by Mira Grant (in TBR since July 2019)

Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant (ebook, no clue where and when I got it)

The Tin Rose by Anne Renwick (ebook freebie I got a long time ago)

Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler (in TBR since February 2020)

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale (in TBR since October 2019)

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones (in TBR since August 2021)

Furtive Dawn by Helen Harper (in TBR since Januaty 2021)

That's 12 orphans read in 2022!

So even though 2022 wasn't my best year, I did finish my challenges! Which brings me to the challenges for 2023.

Apart from trying to get back into regularly reading and reviewing I'll give myself two challenges:

1 - read at least 12 TBR Orphans.

2 - read the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price

I already reread the first book of the Alex Craft series in December, so that gives me 6 books I need to read. 5 are already in my TBR, 2 of them Orphans from 2014.

Wish me luck!

And let me know about your challenges.