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:

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Book Review

Book Review | THE 7 1/2 DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE, by Stuart Turton

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The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton

Publish Date: February 8, 2018 (audiobook published September 18, 2018)
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark/Tantor Media, Inc.
Audiobook Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
Length: 17 hrs 4 min (432 pages)
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. 

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…


My Review:

It took a little bit of getting used to the narrator, but once I did I found this story to be really intriguing and full of mystery with such a unique setting and circumstances. There were many layers to it – not only the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder, but the mystery of Aidan Bishop and the Plague Doctor as well. There were lots of twists and turns to keep me guessing and even by the end I was still finding myself shocked and surprised. Continue reading “Book Review | THE 7 1/2 DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE, by Stuart Turton”

Book Review

Book Review | GOOD OMENS, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

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Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Publish Date: May 1, 1990
Published by: William Morrow/HarperCollins
Audiobook Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
Length: 12 hrs 33 min (412 pages)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes NutterWitch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .


My Review:

There were parts of this I enjoyed (Crowley and Aziraphale) and parts that kind of dragged (every other character, especially Adam) so I wasn’t completely enthralled with this book. For much of it I felt like I was forcing myself to continue it, and seriously considered DNFing it several times. Continue reading “Book Review | GOOD OMENS, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett”

Book Review

Book Review | THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE, by Samantha Shannon

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The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

Publish Date: February 26, 2019
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 830
Genre: 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. Please note, though, that because I did not finish it before the publishing date, I ended up reading from the finished novel as well. There weren’t extremely large changes between the two as far as I could tell, save for one or two name changes, age differences, and line changes here and there.**


Synopsis:

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


My Review:

This book was enthralling. That is honestly the best word I could use to describe it. From the start my attention was captured, and as the world was slowly and steadily built up, my interest intensified at the same pace. Before I had even finished the first section of this monstrosity (it’s a chunky bastard and I love it), I already knew that I was in love and going to be praising this story for quite some time (possibly a thousand years or so.)

Continue reading “Book Review | THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE, by Samantha Shannon”

Book Review

Book Review | THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, by Helene Wecker

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The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)by Helene Wecker

Publish Date: April 1, 2013 (audiobook published April 23, 2013)
Published by: HarperCollins
Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 19 hrs 42 min (484 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinniweaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.


My Review:

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Book Review

Book Review | SPINNING SILVER, by Naomi Novik

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Spinning Silverby Naomi Novik

Publish Date: July 10, 2018
Published by: Del Rey
Pages: 480
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

**I received an ARC of this from the publisher at BookCon 2018 in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.


My Review:

Having fallen in love with Naomi Novik from the first chapter of Uprooted , I knew that I had to read her newest book. Not only was it another fairytale-esque reimagining, but it was going to be about my people, Jews, and I all the more loved her for that. Although it took me some time to really get into this story (how I wish this came out in winter and not summer) I eventually found myself really enjoying the plot and the characters. And while it did not capture my utmost love as much as I wished it would have, it still kept me enchanted throughout the novel. Continue reading “Book Review | SPINNING SILVER, by Naomi Novik”