Recent Reads

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately (who, me?) and wanted to catch you up on some of the highlights. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed recently:

Jane SteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye.
A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre, this novel follows the protagonist through similar life events: an uncaring aunt, abusive schoolmaster, refuge in a country house as a governess with a brooding master. There is one big difference, though – this Jane has escaped each horrid circumstance by killing her tormentor, leaving a trail of bodies behind her. Is she truly wicked, or a victim fighting back against cruelty? Will she unravel the mystery of her new home and find love, or will her past catch up with her? This was a wildly good read, entertaining and evocative of the literature it’s based off of. There’s a good bit of mystery, a good bit of romance, and a few unexpected bits. If you’re a fan of the original Jane Eyre, and murder mysteries, give this a go.
4/5 stars.
 

Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly MagicThe Dowser Series by Meghan Ciana Doidge.
Jade is a half-witch who just wants to run her bakery in peace. Her particular magic talent, though, is rare. When black magic, vampires and werewolves descend on her town, she finds herself right in the middle of it. And wondering what the non-witch half of her might be. This is a 6-book series that follows Jade through discovering who she is, dealing with some horrible stuff, and coming into her own. The books are all pretty short (in fact, books 1-3 could’ve been condensed into 1 book, and the same for books 4-6), and light, easy reads. The story is entertaining, and Jade is likable enough to keep you caring. I did get a little tired of some of the books’ gimmicks (overload on details about cupcakes, chocolate and shoes) and certain plot points were VERY predictable, but not enough to stop me reading. There’s good banter, plenty of romance, and a fun new twist on dragons. Overall, an enjoyable series. If you like urban fantasy with some sexy times, give this a go.
3/5 stars.
 

Fantasy of FrostThe Tainted Accords by Kelly St. Clare.
What do you get when two opposite worlds (one of fire, one of ice) loathe one another but depend on each other for survival? A very tenuous peace. When Olina (princess of the fire world) unexpectedly befriends Kedrick (prince of the ice world) during a peace delegation, she has no idea the events she’s about to set in motion. This 4-book series centers on Olina- her history with her mother, the secret behind her veil, her journey to independence and identity, and (of course) the fate of the two worlds. It’s got something for everyone: romance, adventure, intrigue, danger, mystery and some surprises thrown in for good measure. While Olina occasionally annoyed me with her reactions to certain situations, it was in line with her character and history. The supporting characters are really well done. The banter is excellent. The world-builing is unique, and the dichotomy it sets up between the two cultures is interesting. While the covers might lead you to believe there is magic, there is not. This is a fantasy in the sense of fictional worlds. But if you like YA with resistance plotlines and slow-growth romance, give this series a try.
Bonus: this whole series available for free through Kindle Unlimited, if you have that.
4/5 stars.
 

Never say I don’t read enough women authors and women protagonists. 😆

What have you been reading lately?
 

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Book Review: Black Fall

Black Fall (The Black Year Saga #1) by D.J. Bodden. Jonas Black is your typical teenager- 16, with a girlfriend, school, and favorite playlists he can’t live without. Sure, he has a missing/dead father, and mother he barely sees, but no one is 100% normal, right? Then strange things start happening and he learns just how far from normal his family (and he) is. The world he thought he knew is really just the surface. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, demons – they are all real, and dangerous. And, of course, all balanced in an ongoing political struggle for power and […]

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Currently Reading

I haven’t finished a book I felt could use a full review since my last review, so instead today I’m talking about 3 books I’m currently work my way through. Here’s the latest picks from my TBR pile: Arena by Holly Jennings. One of my recent NetGalley grabs. It tells the story of Kali, a competitor in the virtual gladiator-like RAGE tournaments. Mix war games with the Matrix, and turn it YA, you might end up with this. I’m not quite halfway through yet, so I haven’t gotten to the sinister twist that I’m sure is coming (it is filed […]

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Book Review: Archon

Archon

Archon (The Books of Raziel #1) by Sabrina Benulis. Archon is book one in a series about Angela Mathers, a troubled young woman who dreams of angels and is apparently unkillable (she knows, she’s tried). The book starts as she’s released from a mental institution and starting out at a new university, West Wood Academy, a priest-run school for blood heads like her (red-headed children with powers). Society sends all such children to one place, because one of them is going to be the prophesied Archon, who will unlock the lost book of the archangel Raziel and have the power […]

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Big Blogiversary Book Giveaway!

Big Blogiversary Book Giveaway

Today this little space on the web turns 3 years old. It simultaneously seems like longer and yet not that long. I’ve been through a slight name change and several blog themes. I’ve tried and then abandoned sponsorships and certain topics/series. Writing a blog is a long game of fine tuning your content and your voice and your brand. One of the cornerstones, though, has always been my love of books and stories and reading. And so today, as a giant thank you to my readers and celebration of 3 years on internet air, I’m doing a giant book giveaway. […]

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Book Review: The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson. I’ve followed this author, Maureen Johnson, on Twitter for quite awhile (she actually is one of my favorite Twitter personalities), so I thought it was high time I actually checked out her writing. I started with this series, a YA paranormal mystery because hey – YA and paranormal and mystery are all things I really like. And it did not disappoint. The Name of the Star starts out with Louisiana high schooler Rory settling in to life at a boarding school in modern-day London for the year her […]

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Book Review: Written in Red

Written in Red

Written in Red by Anne Bishop I’ve been a long-time fan of Anne Bishop (loved her Ephemera series, and her Black Jewels series is also great). But somehow I missed that book one of her new series came out last year, and only just got around to reading it. It’s adult urban fantasy, set in an alternate reality of Earth where The Others (fair folk, werebeasts, elementals, vampires, etc.) not only exist, but are the dominant society on the planet. Humankind maintains an ever tenuous truce with them, in exchange for (basically) being allowed to live and form human communities. […]

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