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 | 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”

Book Review

Book Review | BEASTLY BONES, by William Ritter

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Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2), by William Ritter

Publish Date: September 22, 2015
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality . . .

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.


My Review:  Continue reading “Book Review | BEASTLY BONES, by William Ritter”

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”

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”