Book Review

Book Review | FOUR DEAD QUEENS, by Astrid Scholte

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Four Dead Queensby Astrid Scholte

Publish Date: February 26, 2019
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington is one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves, but when she steals an unexpectedly valuable package from a messenger she is soon entangled in a conspiracy that leads to all four of Quadara’s queens being murdered.

With no other choices and on the run from her former employer, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, and together they race to discover who has killed the queens. But when dark secrets threaten their reluctant partnership and put everything at stake, Keralie and Varin must use all their daring to stay alive and untangle the mysteries behind the nation’s four dead queens.


My Review:

This book is one of those kind of books that landed in my top ten most highly-anticipated reads of 2019 as soon as I heard about it. I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as I possibly could. Thieves and a murder mystery in a nation ruled by four queens? It sounded so intricately unique and interesting and just so up my alley that I was on edge about it – what if it turned out to be something that fell flat in the end? I’ve had that happen before – highly anticipated books turning out to be complete duds. But not so with this book. From the moment it began to the moment it ended, I was hooked. Continue reading “Book Review | FOUR DEAD QUEENS, by Astrid Scholte”

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Book Review

Book Review | SPECTACLE, by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

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Spectacleby Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Publish Date: February 12, 2019
Published by: Tor Teen
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley, and as a physical ARC through my workplace, in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.


My Review:

So much of me want to like this book more than I did. I was intrigued from the summary, and was looking forward to it very much. And the beginning started off well. But slowly, over the course of the novel, I found myself losing interest as the writing took off on tangents that felt unnecessary to the plot, and only mildly interested in the characters themselves. Continue reading “Book Review | SPECTACLE, by Jodie Lynn Zdrok”

Book Review

Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana

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The Confectioner’s Guild (The Confectioner’s Chronicles #1), by Claire Luana

Publish Date: October 23, 2018
Published by: Live Edge Publishing
Pages: 395
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.


My Review:

On reading the premise of this book I was immediately intrigued. It sounded both magical and mysterious and I was in the mood for a little bit of both. The Confectioner’s Guild turned out to be a semi-sweet tale that had a lot of intrigue and intricate world-building, some really interesting characters, and a unique blend of magic that added just the right touch to the story. Continue reading “Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana”

Book Review

Book Review | ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI, by Kerri Maniscalco

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Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)by Kerri Maniscalco

Publish Date: September 18, 2018
Published by: Jimmy Patterson Books
Pages: 431
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?


My Review:

Sad to say what was one of my most anticipated reads of this year turned out to be quite the disappointment. I read the first two books in this series last year and absolutely loved them, and so I was fully expecting to enjoy this one as well. However, with a combination of a plot that felt far too drawn out, dialogue that seemed over-the-top and confusing, and a sudden addition of a horrid love triangle, I could not bring myself to like this one as much I did the first two. Continue reading “Book Review | ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI, by Kerri Maniscalco”

Book Review

Book Review | THE BODY FINDER, by Kimberly Derting

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The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1), by Kimberly Derting

Publish Date: March 16, 2010
Published by: HarperCollins
Pages: 338
Genre: YA Paranormal/YA Romance/YA Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.


My Review:

I have been in a contemporary/paranormal sort of mood lately, so this one definitely fit the bill when I randomly chose to pick it up from my TBR. It was an engaging story, with an interesting main character and premise, a great friend-to-lovers romance, and a captivating and suspenseful plot. Continue reading “Book Review | THE BODY FINDER, by Kimberly Derting”

Book Review

Book Review | HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA by Kerri Maniscalco

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Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)by Kerri Maniscalco

Publish Date: September 19, 2017
Published by: Jimmy Patterson Books
Pages: 448
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an ARC from BookCon2017 in return for an honest review.**

Synopsis:

Bone white. Blood red. Along this path, you’ll soon be dead.

Following the horrifying revelation of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth flees her home in Victorian London to enroll as the only female student in Europe’s most prestigious forensics school. But it’s impossible to find peace in the dark, unsettling Romanian castle that houses the school—and was also once home to the depraved Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Prince Dracula.

When a series of troubling deaths brings whispers of Vlad’s bloodthirsty return from the grave, Audrey Rose and her sharp-witted companion, Thomas Cresswell, must unravel the cryptic clues that will lead them to the shadowlike killer—living or dead.


My Review:

After reading Stalking Jack the Ripper I immediately dived into this one, eager to read more about Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell. Not only did I enjoy the first one, but this was going to be focusing on the legend of Count Dracula, so I was even more intrigued to find out what would happen in it. Continue reading “Book Review | HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA by Kerri Maniscalco”