The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson

“In life, the murderer is anyone. The reasons, the methods, the circumstances – the paths to becoming a murderer are as numerous as the stars.”

The Vanishing Stair was one of my most anticipated sequels for 2019 after falling absolutely in love with Truly Devious last fall. I was really excited to see what happened after that incredibly rude cliffhanger, and hoped to get more answers in this installment. 🕵️ I am pleased to say that we got some much-needed answers (& some new questions!), as well as more actual investigating, but overall this one fell into themiddle book syndrome for me. It was an enjoyable and I will finish the series, but if I am being honest I could have done without the first 40% of this book.

My friend Hamad @ Book Prescription summed up my feelings pretty well in his review:

“The Vanishing Stair was what I expected it to be; an unnecessary bridge to the third book and this whole series could have been a duology.”

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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.

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Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha

“The knowing of what’s coming, the death that creeps up over the town like fate clawing at the door of every shop and home. I can feel it in the air, in the spray of the sea, in the hollow spaces between raindrops. The sisters are coming.”

Reading books that have been highly recommended to me by multiple people always makes me a little nervous, but I am so happy to say that The Wicked Deep is worth the hype! If you are looking for the perfect Halloween read, look no further: The Wicked Deep is captivatingly written and feels almost magical with its prose. I was spellbound!

The Town of Sparrow has a sordid past and has done the most American thing in response: turned it into a tourist attraction. Two hundred years ago, three sisters were drowned after being found guilty of witchcraft, and every year for three weeks they possess the bodies of three teenage girls and lure men to a watery end. The possessed girls have no memory of what happened during the Swan Season and no one can tell that the girl is possessed…

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The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie

“Brothers and sisters are like that, the best and worst of relationships, the entire world rolled into one.”

Have you ever read a book that was both everything you wanted and everything you didn’t at the same time? Unfortunately, that was my experience reading The Toy Thief: I really enjoyed the main storyline but I didn’t enjoy the main character or the narrative style.

The book is written in first person and is narrated in such a way that feels like you are listening to someone try to tell a story – it is completely stream of consciousness and she jumps around her life, weaving a tale that largely paints her as a horrible and unlikable character, which is in stark contrast with her as a child.

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Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

“We are not foretold.”

Beneath the Citadel is a standalone young adult fantasy which at its heart challenges the notion of destiny and predetermination. The city of Eldra has been ruled for centuries by the High Council, which maintains its power through prophecy. It’s been four years since the rebellion was quelled, but there’s a ragtag group of friends determined to fight back against the council so that the all the lives lost meant something.

This is a difficult review for me to write. While I enjoyed the overall plot and found it to be unique, the writing style didn’t really work for me and I personally found the execution to be lacking. It is worth it to note that I buddy read this with Melanie, who loved it, and at the time of writing there is an average rating of 4.05 on Goodreads. While this book didn’t hit the spot for me, I do recommend this book! So without further adieu, let’s hop into the review!

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