Book Review

Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), by Laini Taylor

Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 418
Genre: YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


My Review:

To say this was a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. This is one of those books that everyone in the YA community seems to have read and loved. I’ve been anticipating reading this one for several years, and finally got around to it, only to find my expectations to be completely dashed to bits. Continue reading “Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor”

Book Review

Book Review | MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET, by Charlie N. Holmberg

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Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet, by Charlie N. Holmberg

Publish Date: June 28, 2016
Published by: 47North
Pages: 306
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.


My Review:

Continue reading “Book Review | MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET, by Charlie N. Holmberg”

Book Review

Book Review | BEYOND THE GRAVE, by C. J. Archer

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Beyond the Grave (The Ministry of Curiosities #3), by C. J. Archer

Publish Date: November 4, 2015 (audiobook published February 1, 2017)
Published by: C. J. Archer
Audiobook Narrated by: Shiromi Arserio
Length: 9 hrs 26 min (284 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

At the request of Lady Harcourt, Charlie and Lincoln begin searching for her missing stepson. Still recovering from her ordeal at the hands of a diabolical villain, Charlie is supposed to be resting. But resting is dull, so she throws herself into the task at hand, much to Lincoln’s frustration.

The search leads them down a dark path littered with family secrets and titillating scandal. Using her necromancy to expose those secrets, Charlie unwittingly raises a spirit with the power to override her control. With a dead body on the loose in London, Charlie and Lincoln must work together to send it back before havoc is unleashed, and the committee members find out.

Because if they do, they will have more ammunition in their fight to send Charlie away from her home and everyone she loves.


My Review: 

Loved this one as much as the first two, although it felt a but slower with a more mundane mystery. I still enjoyed the characters, though, and am eager to start the next one in the series.

Book Review

Book Review | THE DIRE KING, by William Ritter

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The Dire King (Jackaby #4), by William Ritter

Publish Date: August 22, 2017
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 343
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push the earth and the otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve daily mysteries in New Fiddleham, New England—like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why the undead are appearing around town.

At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, Jenny Cavanaugh, begins to give way. But before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.


My Review:  Continue reading “Book Review | THE DIRE KING, by William Ritter”

Book Review

Book Review | HER MAJESTY’S NECROMANCER, by C. J. Archer

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Her Majesty’s Necromancer (The Ministry of Curiosities #2), by C. J. Archer

Publish Date: August 24, 2015 (audiobook published August 6, 2019)
Published by: C. J. Archer
Audiobook Narrated by: Shiromi Arserio
Length: 8 hrs 10 min (268 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

When bodies go missing from the cemetery, Lincoln and the Ministry of Curiosities investigate. But not Charlie. As a housemaid at Lichfield Towers, she doesn’t get involved in Ministry business.

Instead, she conducts investigations of her own. She searches for details about her real mother, and makes inquiries into Lincoln’s background. What she learns has the power to destroy the fragile trust they’ve built, or bring them closer together.

As secrets are revealed, and investigations don’t go as planned, Charlie finds her necromancy sucking her into a whirlpool filled with betrayal, lies and danger.


My Review:  Continue reading “Book Review | HER MAJESTY’S NECROMANCER, by C. J. Archer”

Book Review

Book Review | GHOSTLY ECHOES, by William Ritter

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Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3), by William Ritter

Publish Date: August 23, 2016
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Tread lightly, Miss Rook, warned Mr. Jackaby. It would not do to push Miss Cavanaugh too far or too fast.

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder–her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny s fiance, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.


My Review:  Continue reading “Book Review | GHOSTLY ECHOES, by William Ritter”