Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books and Karina Shor (Illustrator)

"Christmas isn't just about gifts, but the love underneath, So it really doesn't matter your religious belief. We give because we care, we love, and we want to please, So there's room for every one of us under our Christmas trees."

Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer is a beautifully illustrated book and a more inclusive take at the traditional story of Rudolph. I don't read many illustrated books these days which honestly is a shame! I was instantly blown away by the artwork and really enjoyed this quick read.


Larry is a nerdy caribou that was teased and bullied in school, given the nickname Schmuck which unfortunately stuck. Despite never really fitting in, he worked hard and earned a degree in accounting with an emphasis in Yule. Continue reading...

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

"Everywhere he looked, he was surrounded by gilded wolves. And for whatever reason, it made him feel perfectly at home. Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war. Not that Séverin was complaining. It was just that, like other wolves, he wanted his share."

I am a sucker for historical fantasy, and The Gilded Wolves delivers an action-packed story with a diverse cast of characters that I treasured with every ounce of my being. A secret society that pulls the strings of society (Illuminati?!)? Hunting for artifacts? Magic and technological invention when the world was on the cusp of Industrialism? Heck. Yes. If you are in the mood for an adventure with a precious found family, this book might be for you!


It's Paris, 1889. The world is at the brink of the Industrial Revolution, but there is another kind of technology that goes back way further. "The art of Forging is as old as civilization itself," and is the magic system of the book. Those born with the ability manifest it by their 13th birthday and can either influence the mind or matter. Continue reading...

Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

"Of such small moments are disasters made."

Friends, it pains me to say that this was just not the book for me. This is my first Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) read and while I absolutely adored the plot, unfortunately the writing style and narrative voice just did not work for me. This is definitely a case of right book, wrong reader.

"Many of them would continue to leave their homes even as they began feeling unwell. The virus would spread. The virus always spreads."

Lisa Morris is an 8 year old girl on vacation in Florida. She is starting to feel a little sick, but it is their last day and she doesn't want to miss out on going to the amusement park for one last time. By the time she gets home to California, she's very sick and thanks to trams, rides, and airplane rides -- so are hundreds of others. Lisa's Patient Zero of the Morris Disease outbreak and the first casualty. The world is forever changed. Continue reading...

Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

"Blackness, a sort of darkness we didn't have on Earth. A perfect pitch dark. A complete absence of light. Void-like. Terrible."

What a creepy and atmospheric story! Pitch Dark is a fast-paced and frightening story; I was completely sucked in on the first page and captivated until the very end. There are so many different layers of complexity here and Alameda crafted a really good book. My friend Destiny recommended this book to me months ago after I read and fell in love with Contagion by Erin Bowman, and when I saw it available on BookOutlet for $6 back in September I had to get it. She gets an A+ for this book recommendation, if you enjoyed Contagion or other horror/sci-fi mashups then this book is for you! Continue reading...

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

''But nobody can beat fate - not even her. Nobody can outrun the wind.''

I feel like I have read a lot of fantasy this year that is along the lines of "King is not doing well, finds abandoned daughter(s) to save the kingdom" cliche, and sadly this wasn't executed in a way that stands apart.


As a lover of mythology, I was really excited to be granted a review copy of Outrun the Wind and read a retelling of the Greek myth of Atalanta. For those that are familiar with the source myths, be prepared for this book's departures and liberties from the source mythology. Continue reading...