Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz

... is that really the ending? Is there a sequel? What the hell is going on? (I have since learned that this is a prequel to the Savage Species Series, so good. Time to read more!)

Friends, Jonathan Janz has done it again! Er, or whatever you would call it since this was published back in 2016. After reading and loving The Siren and the Specter, I had to read more from this author and picked this up on a whim (sorry, TBR). I have been in a bit of a horror kick lately and am so glad that I have found Janz's work! Continue reading...

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. Continue reading...

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne #1) by Peter McLean

"Ellinburg is corrupt to the core," she said. "From Governor Hauer on down, the city all but stands on the shoulders of its underworld."

Priest of Bones is the first installment of the new grimdark fantasy series War for the Rose Throne. If you are like me and love morally grey characters and anti-heroes, then you will love Priest of Bones! Tomas Piety is an army priest who prior to being conscripted to fight in the war was the boss of the Pious Men, a gang that ruled the streets of Ellinburg known as the Stink. When he and what's left of his men return home, he finds that he's been dethroned by some opportunistic outsiders. Continue reading...

A Darker Shade of Magic book review

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Three very different Londons, in three very different countries, and Kell was one of the only living souls to have seen them all.

Welcome to the Darker Shade of Magic realm, where parallel Londons exist in very different countries and outside the understanding of all inhabitants save royalty and a select few. Long ago travel between the Londons was possible, but the doors have long since been closed to all but the two remaining Antari - rare magicians with the ability to travel between the Londons. A Darker Shade of Magic is the first installment to the Shades of Magic trilogy and I am excited for more!

"There's Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London. See? I'm a fast learner."

Continue reading...

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! Continue reading...

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

"There are stories around here that the place is haunted. All manners of ghosties and goblins."

This book wasn't what I was expecting but I found myself devouring the pages in one morning nonetheless. If I were to categorize this book it is first and foremost a historical romance; it felt like reading Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights with supernatural/witchy elements. This is a successful historical fiction book, but unfortunately I found the witch plotline underdeveloped and secondary to the romance.

The Montrose family has all but been run out of Boston due to rumors, but it is not until well into the book that the reader learns what happened. Continue reading...

UnHappenings by Edward Aubry

"...I became aware of the non-deterministic nature of the universe, and that the past is every bit as flexible as the future."

I love well written time travel fiction; there is just something about it that tickles my brain in a way that is incredibly entertaining. I recently endured a five day reading slump and needed something to lift me out of it, and UnHappenings managed to bring me out of my existential crisis!

Meet Nigel, who since he was fourteen years old has been plagued by "unhappenings." Conversations, friendships he had, relationships all retroactively were undone around him and he is the only one with the memory of the original timeline. Continue reading...

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

My initial thoughts when seeing this blurb was "Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity? Don't mind if I do!" Despite being a paranormal skeptic, I cannot get enough of ghost stories; however, The Dark Beneath the Ice missed the mark for me. Drawn in by the premise of missing time and paranormal activity, these elements are very much there but to me that wasn't the main focus of the story. It is as much of a family drama about the breakdown of a family and the struggles of divorce on a family as it is a supernatural story.

The silence still clings to me. If I close my eyes it's there waiting for me, filling my mouth, heavy as water. Ready to swallow me again.

The opening lines captivated me straight away, and it is clear that Bérubé is a talented writer who has a poetic way with words. Continue reading...

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

This is such a weird and beautiful book. Friends, I am struggling to find the words to articulate how much I adored this book. While the premise of a hundreds-year old pacts that provide prosperity to a town in return for sacrifice isn't new, I found Strange Grace to be refreshing and captivatingly written. It is one of the best witch stories I've ever read.

Three Graces is an idyllic town: there is no disease, the weather is perfect, injuries heal overnight, and crops grow in abundance. Continue reading...

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut [Traveling Book Review]

This is one of my favorite books, and one that I have read countless times since first reading it about 15 years ago.This is my first re-read since becoming a book blogger, and it was very interesting for me to re-read a coveted book of mine with a different lens than I had in the past; it made for an enlightening and new experience reading a book that I am incredibly familiar with.

“Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

As one of the best satirists of our time, Vonnegut juxtaposes science and religion in Cat's Cradle. "Continue reading...