Book Review

Book Review | THE WHISPERING SKULL, by Jonathan Stroud

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The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2), by Jonathan Stroud

Publish Date: September 15, 2015 (first published September 16, 2014)
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 424
Genre: MG Paranormal/Horror
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.

Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.

Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.


My Review:

I think I found my new obsession, because I can’t get enough of this series and I am only on book two. I love these characters, love the plots, love the mysteries and ghastly ghostliness. It keeps me entranced and chilled to the bone, on edge throughout the entire book while I follow Lucy, Lockwood and George through their investigations. Continue reading “Book Review | THE WHISPERING SKULL, by Jonathan Stroud”

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Book Review

Book Review | THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE, by Jonathan Stroud

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The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1), by Jonathan Stroud

Publish Date: August 29, 2013
Published by: Corgi Childrens (first published by Doubleday Children’s Books, US editions by Disney-Hyperion)
Pages: 464
Genre: MG Paranormal/Horror
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.


My Review:

Oh this was such a thrilling story and I am so glad I picked it up. I didn’y even realize I was in the mood for a good ghost story until I really got into this one. Its got chills and haunts, mystery and intrigue, and a story that had me on the edge of my seat. Continue reading “Book Review | THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE, by Jonathan Stroud”

Book Review

Book Review | THE DEVOURING GRAY, by Christine Lynn Herman

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The Devouring Grayby Christine Lynn Herman

Publish Date: April 2, 2019
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Narrated by: Sarah Beth Goer
Length: 10 hrs 2 min (360 pages)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.


My Review: Continue reading “Book Review | THE DEVOURING GRAY, by Christine Lynn Herman”

Book Review

Book Review | UMBERTOUCHED, by Livia Blackburne

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Umbertouched (Rosemarked #2), by Livia Blackburne

Publish Date: November 6, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 375
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.

As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.


My Review:

This was a very strong sequel to Rosemarked, and I absolutely loved watching the continuing journey of Zivah and Dineas after the events in the previous book. It was filled with action and intrigue and kept me engaged throughout. It left me feeling happy and sad, content with how things ended but also leaving things a little open-ended, not perfectly wrapped up in a neat little bow. Continue reading “Book Review | UMBERTOUCHED, by Livia Blackburne”

Book Review

Book Review | ROSEMARKED, by Livia Blackburne

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Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1), by Livia Blackburne

Publish Date: September 7, 2017
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.


My Review:

This book pulled me in from the start. I don’t know what it was about it – the writing style, the characters, the world-building – but I fell in love with it almost immediately. There was just something about it that had me constantly engaged and wanting more. With beautiful world-building and characters that shine off the page, Livia Blackburne has made me an immediate fan of this book. Continue reading “Book Review | ROSEMARKED, by Livia Blackburne”

Book Review

Book Review | THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING, by Alexandra Bracken

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The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)by Alexandra Bracken

Publish Date: September 5, 2017 
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 362
Genre: MG Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**

Synopsis:

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type. 

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. 

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

Continue reading “Book Review | THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING, by Alexandra Bracken”