Thursday 23 March 2023

Cloud Nine - Book Review


Cloud Nine (Cloud Nine #1)
by Chelsea Mueller

What is it about:
Most kids dream of being accepted into the Clean Air Development program. The chance to live on the government’s teen-only Cloud Nine colony means ditching the protective gear and experiencing real sunlight, and that’s just for starters.

Only Ally Ramsey isn’t like other kids. She loves Ground Level. She intends to stay there below the blackened clouds, making a difference where it matters. Too bad the government doesn’t care about her plans. Before she can say, “I didn’t even apply,” she’s shipped off to Cloud Nine to research ways to fix the environment below.

Ally thinks something is wrong up there in the sky. She has no idea how wrong it actually is, or that she’s wedged herself into the center of danger even her self-defense training and scientific mind may not be able to get her out of. If she fails to expose what’s really happening and stop it, those closest to her could die.

What did I think of it:
This is a very cool futuristic YA read.

Earth is suffering from pollution and teens are encouraged to go to a colony above the clouds to work on a solution as they can still adapt to the atmosphere there while adults can't. Ally is sent there against her will. She mistrusts the government, the teens she has to work with, and people in general.

Even as contrary as Ally is, I liked her. She's smart and she questions the things going on around her. This gets her in trouble, but luckily she manages to make some friends as well, who can help her.

I was invested in Ally finding out all the secrets of the Cloud Nine colony, and I liked the world building. The story is moving along in a pleasant pace as well, making this a fast and enjoyable read.

There's a bit of a love triangle thing going on, but it looks like that won't be dragged out over the course of the series.   

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, and I can tell you I'm eager to know what will happen next.

All in all a fun read. I will keep n eye out for the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Futuristic YA read.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Teasing on a Wednesday - The Hollow Places


This is ridiculous, I told myself. You're just freaking out because this is all so strange, and blaming it on the willows.

(page 78, The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher)

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!

Tuesday 21 March 2023

The Art Collector - Release Day Book Review by Voodoo Bride


The Art Collector
by Katelyn Brehm

What is it about:
A quiet art historian. An irresistible demon. And an insatiable hunger neither can escape.

Madelyn Frye enjoys her simple, drama-free life, even if it means there's an empty seat next to her on the couch at night. But when her firm lands a lucrative contract to appraise the paintings of an infamous mansion with a storied past, her comfortable routine is upended by the handsome and mysterious millionaire who owns it.

For over a century, Thomas von Dreiss has resigned himself to a solitary fate, refusing to let his hunger transform him into a monster. But he never expected the art appraiser who shows up at his door to test his unshakable restraint. Her brilliant mind and kind heart rekindle long forgotten hopes and set his carnal needs aflame.

Will Madelyn risk shattering her safe and predictable world to be with Thomas? And if she does, will Thomas's dark secret destroy their chance at a happily ever after?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is such a sweet story.

There's a bit of a Gothic feel to this novella, but mostly it's pure yummy romantic goodness. I loved reading how Madelyn and Thomas are falling for each other, each having their own reasons for holding back. I was totally rooting for them to give in to their feelings. 

There's of course a bit of drama, but not enough to make me anxious. I was confident I would get a HEA for Madelyn and Thomas and when it came it was as romantic as I hoped it would be,

Overall a delicious Paranormal Romance with a mature hero and heroine.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and romantic PNR with a Gothic feel

Friday 10 March 2023

Becoming Crone - Book Review


Becoming Crone (The Crone Wars #1)
by Lydia M. Hawke

What is it about:
She wanted purpose. She found dark magick and war.

For Claire Emerson, there is nothing ordinary about turning sixty.

First, there are the crows. Then, a pendant that unlocks a gate to a house in the woods--which comes with a snarky gargoyle, an entirely too-sexy wolf shifter claiming to be Claire's protector, and a legacy that turns her reality upside down.

Because divorced, menopausal grandmothers with creaky hips and hot flashes? They don't just randomly discover they're next in a long line of powerful women protecting the world from the dark magick of Mages.

Claire's first instinct is to turn tail and run back to the safety of baking cookies and reading bedtime stories. But when it becomes clear the Mages have targeted her, she may have no choice but to accept her calling. There's just one problem: she never got the lifetime of training she was supposed to have, and her magick is... well, unreliable would be an understatement.

With the Mages threatening everything she loves, can Claire learn what she needs to in time to become Crone? Or will she be the one to lose an ancient war—and her life?

What did I think of it:
I loved Hawke's Grigory Legacy (first published under the name Linda Poitevin) so I decided to give this series a try as well.

And I very much enjoyed this first book. Claire isn't prepared to become a magic wielder with a destiny to save the world, so for most of this book she's in disbelieve or just trying to keep up to the things happening to her. I liked how she gets pushed around by fate before she figures out it's time to stand her ground and take charge.

As Claire learns more about the hidden magic world, you as reader get introduced to it as well. I liked getting to know this hidden world and its rules. I also really liked the gargoyle and wolf shifter, but I will have to say my brain had trouble with one name: Keven. I don't know why, but every time I read this name my brain stumbled on it and I was pulled out of the story. It made for a very uneven reading experience.

Overall I had fun with this book, but I hope Keven's name isn't used as much in the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Paranormal read

Thursday 9 March 2023

On McPig's Wishlist - Lucifer's War


Lucifer's War (The Carolingian Book 1)
by Melinda M. Snodgrass

Richard Oort, an officer in the Albuquerque Police Department, is not a typical cop; he is well-manicured, open-minded, and passionate. When he saves an atypical girl from creatures beyond understanding, however, he is thrust into a war for the soul of humanity: cold rationality against an unholy alliance of religion, superstition, and fear.

Armed only with his wits and a sword which prevents the reality-warping magic of the Old Ones and gods, Richard must protect a being that may be serving the enemy, or may be humanity’s best chance to strike back against the wrath of God incarnate.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Grave Memory - Book Review


Grave Memory (Alex Craft #3)
by Kalayna Price

What is it about:
When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

Before diving into my review I'm going to tell a story:

This book is part of my challenge to have read all seven books in this series by the end of 2023. All books are in my TBR pile, this one and the previous book had been there since 2014, while books 4-7 are more recent additions. This means that Grave Memory doubled for this challenge and my TBR Orphan challenge, were I try to read at least one book a month that's been on my shelves for a long time.

I started on this book during a train ride. It immediately gripped me and by the time I reached my destination I was really into the story. I put my book in my bag together with some other things, including a bottle of soda...

The  cap of the bottle wasn't screwed on right, so it emptied itself in my bag! As it was a plastic bag there was a small pool of soda at the bottom of it instead of it just leaking out of the bag.

The biggest casualty: my book!

It was totally soaked and as it was soda, I just knew it would be a total sticky mess once it dried. You bet I immediately looked the book up online and ordered a new copy when I found one for 5 Euro. Luckily they had it in stock and it arrived the next day.

So that's how this book ended up being both a TBR Orphan as well as a new addition to my shelves.

What did I think of it:
As you might have guessed from me immediately ordering a new copy after the soda incident: I totally loved this book. And that's even with the love triangle going in the wrong direction in my opinion.

I loved the mystery Alex has to solve in this book, it's creepy and disturbing. I also really enjoyed seeing more of some of the side characters. Roy is absolutely a favorite by now.

I also learned more about both the fae in this world and the death collectors. Both are very intriguing and especially the fae are a disturbing bunch.

I think this book is my favorite in the series so far., but I need more. You bet I already started the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a totally awesome Urban Fantasy read

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Teaser Tuesdays - Grave Vision


"What's going on?" I asked, but he only smiled a cruel-looking smile and gave a half shrug. Either he didn't know, or he didn't care.

(page 79, Grave Vision by Kalayna Price)

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 2 March 2023

My Heart is a Chainsaw - Book Review


My Heart is a Chainsaw (The Lake Witch Trilogy #1)
by Stephen Graham Jones

What is it about:
In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges… a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

What did I think of it:
I read some short stories by Graham Jones which I really liked, so decided to give this novel a try.

And this is both a really cool and a confusing read.

I liked Jade from the start. She had a hard life and she's a bit of an outsider, but she seems to be making the best of things. As the story unfolds you learn more about her and her past, and my love of her only grew. When she starts projecting her Slasher theories on real life things get weird. Is Jade right in thinking a movie-like killer has come to Proofrock? Is the new girl the one to save the day? Or are there mundane explanations for the things Jade encounters?

I was on the edge of my seat, eager to find out more about Jade, her life, the things happening in Proofrock, and where it all would lead. At times this book was horror, at times a coming of age, at other times it was a total WTF ride.

You bet I'll be reading the next book. It's already in my TBR.

Why should you read it:
It's an emotional rollercoaster ride with cool horror mixed in.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

The Davenports - DNF Review by Voodoo Bride


The Davenports (The Davenports #1)
by Krystal Marquis

What is it about:
The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago.

Olivia, the beautiful eldest Davenport daughter, is ready to do her duty and marry. . . until charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight sweeps into town and sparks fly.

Her younger sister, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love-unless it's with her sister's betrothed.

Amy-Rose, childhood-friend-turned-maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business-and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen's brother, John. But Olivia's best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can't seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.

Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports follows four determined and passionate young Black women as they discover the courage to steer their own path in life-and love.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I picked this up thinking it was Historical Romance.

I will confess I soon became worried about the Happily Ever After of one of the characters and I peeked at the ending. That made it clear there was no HEA for everyone in this book and in particular not for my favorite character, so I decided to stop reading as I wasn't in the mood for unfinished drama.

Why should you read it:
This might be a great read if you don't mind it's not a Romance and doesn't have a HEA or HFN