Tag Archives: 4-5 Stars

ARC: I Love My Love by Reyna Mays

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I received a copy of I Love My Love from Netgalley for review. This had no impact on my review/rating of this book.

Poetry isn’t really my thing. As a matter of fact, I believe the last time I read a poetry book was a collection of Emily Dickenson’s poems in high school. Which was very long ago. Keep that in mind when you go to judge my rating (aka, I don’t know anything about poetry.)

With that being said, this collection of poems/letters/thoughts/etc hit me hard. It felt like I could feel her pain, her despair, her confusion, and then her acceptance and happiness. More than once when reading this at work I had to put it down because of these emotions that were evoked. This could be a by product of some personal issues/struggles I have been going through (not like hers) and these honest words just ripped the feelings out. I may re-read at a later/happier(?) time and see if I still have the strong reactions.

Regardless, these pages of brutally honest questions and reflections were hard to stop reading, and my thoughts are even harder to put into words. The only real negative point I can come up with some of the content may be triggering (I’m not 100% sure on this,) some of the darker prose may need warning. Read with discretion if you do have triggers.

4.5 stars

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ARC: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

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I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.  This in no way affected my review.

Gates of Thread and Stone follows Kai, a young woman/girl that is living in the slums with her brother, Reev.  He is a bouncer and she delivers mail.  Her best/only friend is Avan, a shop-owner’s son.  When Reev doesn’t come after his shift one night, Kai is determined to find and save him; like he saved her years earlier.  Joined by Avan, she embarks on a quest that will lead her discovering just who she is and her role in their world.

Lame, I know.  But I’m having problems trying to come up with something without spoilers.  Grr.  So much of what happens is spoilers!  There is a great many people and events talked about, with most of them being reveled at the end.  Again, which makes it hard NOT to give any spoilers.

The book’s blurb hooked me, making me think of a YA fantasy novel.  Yet, this isn’t quite right.  At times I thought of a Sci-Fi/steampunk (which is close), yet also not quite right.  About midway through, an item briefly mentioned made me rethink how I would categorize this, and gave me new insight into the world Kai lives in.

It also made me wonder about the relationship between Kai, Reev, and Avan.  Thankfully, Kai and Reev’s relationship is truly that of an older brother/younger sister.  The way the point was made that they weren’t really related had me wondering… Kai/Avan, on the other hand, is all muddled and confused because Kai is all muddled and confused.

Even as I struggle to write this review, I’m antsy to return to this world in the next book.  Sometimes, the books I like/enjoy the most are the hardest for me to review.  4.5 Stars.

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SERIES: Castle Glower by Jessica Day George

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I am in love with these books!  They follow Celie, the youngest princess in the magical Castle Glower.  From protecting the castle from evil doers trying to take over the throne to trying to make her way back home from another world; Celie shows that age and gender does not prevent you from becoming a hero.  I’m planning on getting these for my nieces for their birthdays.

Tuesdays in the Castle is a good introduction to Princess Celie and her beloved Castle Glower.  Every Tuesday the castle will switch things up by adding and removing rooms, making life difficult for most of the residents.  But not Celie.  She looks forward to each Tuesday so she can learn more about the castle and work on her atlas of it.  Which all comes in handy when she needs to use all her knowledge and wit to protect and save her family when outsides try taking control of the throne.

Wednesdays in the Tower provide Celie with an egg, her Royal Wizard brother with a bunch of old and unknown weapons, and the castle is starting to act weird.  Celie must protect the egg and what hatches while trying to figure out what is happening to the castle before it’s too late.

Thursday with the Crown immediately starts out where Wednesdays in the Tower left off.  I don’t want to give anything/too much away; just that the origins of the castle come to life, and the mystery of why it appeared in Celie’s homeland.  This book wasn’t as strong as the other two, but it is still a good addition to the overall story.

While these books seemed to be more aimed towards a middle school reading age, I think anyone looking for a light/fluff read will enjoy this series.  4.5 Stars overall.

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ARC: Wayward vol. 1: String Theory by Jim Zub

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I received a copy of Wayward from the publisher through Net Galley.  This had no bearing or influence on my review.

I LOVED Wayward vol. 1.  I am anxiously waiting for volume to be announced, so then I can get antsy waiting for it to be released.  I might just break my own rule and buy the individual issues.  It was that good!

The story starts with Rori, a half Japanese/Irish, arriving in Tokyo to start living with her mom.  This is also the first time we see her ‘strings’; glowing ribbons that lead her to here she needs to go/be.  Soon she runs into the crazy girl, the bad boy (who eats spirits), and another young boy with odd abilities.  There are some monsters and a mysterious figure that seems to have a connection to them.

As much as I find the story and the drop dead gorgeous artwork enthralling, I can’t describe the story.  I just can’t.  There is so much going on all at once; I’m not 100% what is taking place.  Except for the end, but that’s a spoiler.  *shh*  Hopefully the next collection will shed some light on some of the actions happening.

4.5 Stars

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Jackaby By William Ritter

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Jackaby is a supernatural twist on Sherlock Holmes for YA readers. The whirlwind action surrounding the killings takes on an almost realistic tone when told for the view of Abigail Rook. Newly to the US, she becomes Jackaby’s assistant (not really by his choice) and we get the unique perception of someone who is being influenced by the supernatural world, yet is blind to it. Jackaby CAN see and interact with it, causing much confusion to the people around him. This is great for the story and character development.

Abigail Rook is a ‘normal’ girl with no gifts other than being normal. Something Jackaby seems intrigued by. She is the character with the most development; going from a skeptic to a believer and willing to place her life in Jackaby’s hands. Even saying this, she’s not a gullible/complete believer. Proof is still needed in someway or another.

R. F. Jackaby is the main detective. He is a seer, someone who can see the supernatural world. While compared even by Abigail to Sherlock Holmes, he is not as great of a mind, nor does he notice as much mundane things. But he is good at what he does, even if at times he forgets to take into consideration others around him.

The supporting characters come in all shapes, sizes, and species. They help to create the scenery and push Abigail into becoming the strong character she is at the end. While the book is titled Jackaby, it is more about Abigail and how her association with Jackaby changes from the student who ran to the states to avoid facing her parents to the woman she is at the end.

I think the culprit was fair obvious, but that in no way took away from my enjoyment of this book. I HIGHLY recommend this book to mystery lovers who don’t mind a the dash of fairy for added spice. 5 Stars.

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ARC: Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

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I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. This in no way affected/influenced my rating and review.

To start with, I need to confess that when I agreed to review this book, I was thinking it was a different author. When I got my copy and realized I was wrong, I was unaware of what I was getting into. Am I ever glad I made that mistake! If you haven’t read anything by Alice Hoffman, you need to. Now. Preferably with this book. It was that good!

Nightbird is told from Twig’s point of view. She lives in the small town of Sidwell, where her family is famous for their apples (and pink apple pies) and an old legend about the Sidwell Witch cursing her family. What the town doesn’t know is that the legend is true. New neighbors move in (descendants of the witch), things go missing by way of the Sidwell Monster, and Twig is hard pressed to discover who the monster is and how to break the curse before the town starts a hunt for the monster and discovers the secret her family has hidden for all these years.

Teresa, aka Twig, is a young girl who lives a lonely life. All she knows is that if you let someone close, they discover your secrets-secrets that could devastate her family. Having no friends, she spends a lot of her time walking in the woods, and wandering her families apple orchards. That all changes when she falls out of a tree and meets the Hall family. This starts her on her journey to find out why her family was cursed and how to break it…

I cannot say enough how thoroughly I enjoyed this book. It’s not quite the fluff read I expected, but it was even better. I want to rate this a 7 or 8, but I can only give it 5 stars. I recommend this to EVERYONE!!!

I’m not 100% happy with my review, I just can’t figure out what to write that would make me happy.  So even if my review doesn’t spark you, I still recommend you give Nightbird a try.

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ARC: Liberty and Other Stories by Alexis Hall

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I received a copy of Liberty and Other Stories from the publisher for review; this in no way influences my opinions positive or negative.

Liberty and Other Stories is a collection of novellas (2-4, 6) from the Prosperity series. Thankfully you don’t need to have read book one to understand who the characters are or what is going on. These are a mix prequels and standalones.

Shackles introduces you to Ruben and Milord. Ruben (an excommunicated priest) is given special dispensation to try to ‘save’ Milord by getting his confession. If Ruben can get the confession, Milord won’t suffer a harsher punishment.

Sadly, I could care less about Milord. While you do learn some of his nature, he just didn’t seem that fleshed out or dimensional. Ruben, on the other hand, absolutely fascinates me. I want to know more! Why/when did he get excommunicated? Why did they choose him? I have an idea for both, based on some of was touched on, but I don’t know for sure. I went and bought the rest of the Prosperity books because of this specific story.

Squamous with a Chance of Rain is Jane’s story. Which seems to be a mesh of The Sound of Music and Cthulhu mythos, with a dash of fem!slash. Told in letters to her friend, this was a delightful romp of a governess with a dead uncle, an odd employer, and his even odder family.

Jane is not Maria in any shape or form. Which more than once had me burst out laughing at something she said/did. I really can’t say more without giving away the storyline. Just give it a try!

Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies is the history behind Bryon Kae and the aethership, Shadowless.

I think this was the weakest story of the collection. This might be because I haven’t read Prosperity, but I’m doubting that is the case (I will update this review once I have read it, to confirm/deny my theory). Up until the last couple of scenes, the story just was ‘meh’ for me. Not much action, and not really that different from any ‘rescued off the street by a parent, illegitimate child’ regency story, only with some steampunk elements. Once I got into the action, things moved swiftly, and I became curious and wanted to know more. This was good for a collection, but I don’t think I’d recommend it as a standalone.

Liberty is a series of letters and court documents pertaining to Captain George England and his part in the destruction of a skyfleet above the skycity of Liberty in 1866.

I like Captain England. He is a honest, loyal soldier of Britain, and seems to be very earnest. Fate has dealt him a bad hand, and yet he still believes in doing whatever the country needs him to do. Which is how he ends up aboard Shadowless and in the mess at Liberty. While I am intrigued with Ruben, all I want to do is smother England in hugs. Sadly, this story takes place after Prosperity; Captain England (I love typing that) won’t make an appearance in it.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend (and will be) this to my friends. 4.5 Stars.

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