I had initially started writing this review as just a standard review. But then I saw a post on Ms. Susan Dennard’s Instagram advertising for a Witchlander run blog tour. I’ve never participated in before so I decided to sign up! So first, some information. This blog tour is for the Witchlands Boxed Set which comes out October 8th, 2019. So in 7 days!
This boxed set includes the first three full length novels in the Witchlands series. For Truthwitch and Windwitch it also contains brand new dust jacket covers that are made to match the original cover of Bloodwitch. Unfortunately, the boxed set does not include a copy of Sightwitch, the Witchlands novella. This however, can be purchased separately in hardcover at any general retailer. (It’s also available as an ebook on all the retailers’ sites).
Now if you’ve never heard of the Witchlands series or Susan Dennard you’re probably very confused. But hopefully by the end you won’t be. If you really are new I would definitely say that this boxed set is the best way to get into the series because I promise you are going to want the sequels immediately if not sooner.
This series kicks off with Truthwitch which is the best hook you could ever hope for. You are immediately thrown into an action scene and are just swooped into a world and an adventure that keeps you captivated and curious. There are so many pieces and puzzles, lore and love, fights and flights. You get to see how lives weave together and plots twist and turn. It’s really a wonderful book.
It reads like a D&D campaign and that’s wholly unsurprising because it is one of her interests. There are certain authors who are good at weaving a tale together and drawing you into it and Susan Dennard is definitely one of them. She can world build without it being overbearing. Keeping you focused on the plot but also describing what the world looks like and making it real. It’s one of those books that can build a universe with out being over 1000 pages. And it is definitely a beautiful world. It is the reason that I fell so head over heels for the series.
It’s a good, quick read that sweeps you up and keeps you entertained but doesn’t take a whole year to finish. It was just the book I needed to keep me reading while I geared up to start taking classes again for the first time in a few years. And if you’re someone who is already taking classes and needs something to break a reading slump I highly recommend these books. It’s very hard to give you a summary without spoiling some aspect that you want to be surprised by so if you’re on my blog reading this I would recommend skipping the end of this post and heading over to Goodreads to read their synopsis because they are much better at it than I am. But if you don’t mind a quick play by play that uses that initial hook to bring you into the story keep reading below the bold-faced potential spoiler warning below. I personally think that the hook is one of the best I’ve read in a very long time and I would just jump right in with it if it were me.
Potential Spoiler Warning (hook, and story structure)
This story starts out following Safiya fon Hasstrel and Iseult det Midenzi running a heist against “Chiseled Cheater”, a guy Safi had met in a bar/gambling den sort of place where Safi ended up losing all of her money. This plan had been Safi’s idea from the start, she had assured Iseult that she could win big at this place and that they would be living large by the end of it. But it didn’t quite work out that way and now Safi had made it even worse. How? Because this was not Chiseled Cheater’s caravan of wagons approaching the ambush they had set up. No, this was the head of the Dalmoti Gold Guild, and he had a tracker with him.
Now, this was not some regular tracker, no this was a Bloodwitch. Because in the Witchlands people had power. There are different types of power, each tied to one of the Origin Wells. The Bloodwitch held power over blood. He could smell it, identify you by it, track you by it and control it. As soon as he has your smell you’re pretty much doomed to be caught. And Safi and Iseult could not get caught.
Here enters the master plot. They run. They get away from the Bloodwitch, but not in a way that they cannot be tracked. No one can run far enough for that. But they run to the docks to try and sail away because a Bloodwitch, while powerful, cannot outrun a ship. They were going to escape the city and come back when it was safer, when maybe it was all forgotten. But Safi’s Uncle had other plans and they were not to be ruined by Safi.
So Safi is whisked away by Habim to the peace summit she is supposed to be attending, and Iseult is sent off alone to escape the city. But plans always fail, and one marriage proposal, a “kidnapping”, and a high speed chase later and Safi and Iseult are on the run. They are not quite sure who they are running from or where they are running to. All they have is a Wordwitched contract that is nearly impossible to keep and a prince turned sailor to help them along the way as plots unfold, war breaks out, and mysteries become unveiled slowly.
This book follows Beka Cooper, a sixteen-year-old woman (most would say girl but if you read the book, she deserves the term woman), who is training to be a Dog. Now, in this world that is the same as the State police from what I can gather from the explanation of its structure. She started out living in the streets after her parents could no longer support her and her siblings. So the Lord in charge of the district ended up taking her in.
This Lord is also the head of the Provost’s Guard which contains the Dogs. This gives Beka an advantage most don’t have. She has both the knowledge of the lower city and the basic training that any one needs to survive on the street. But those aren’t the only resources Beka has. Armed with a magical cat and some unconventional informants, Beka solved some pretty horrendous cases.
This book was fast paced for the most part with some lag in the middle where the case took a back burner. The first-person narrative really draws you into the story and the cases. You feel what Beka feels. You learn things as Beka learns things. It keeps you guessing until Beka finally puts all of the pieces together at the end.
I mentioned in my previous post that something about it seemed safe and comforting and I think that’s the fact that and I think that’s the fact that it’s like I have a friend. The journal style of writing makes you feel like you are reading the journal of a friend or a letter from a friend.
Beka is also someone with severe social anxiety and the whole journey of her training to be a Dog was sort of also her trying to overcome that.
I think having a character who doesn’t really interact with people very well who has a feline companion to help her get through life is a really good idea in this current climate. It brings awareness to something that people don’t really know how to address still. It discusses having a mental illness without it having a name while still validating it and not letting it hold the character back.
I feel like it’s especially useful for the age demographic the book is “intended” for. This book came out when I was in middle school and is geared towards the YA age group. They are the ones who usually have the beginnings of mental illness symptoms and don’t know how to discuss them or are uncomfortable with doing so.
This book isn’t just good because of its background social commentary it has other elements that make it a really good book. For me those elements are: Interesting characters, minimal focus on love interests (this is good for the type of book that it is), and a fast paced and interesting plot. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, to anyone not just YA. (A fight for another time)
started with an advertisement on Facebook for Tor Books “Free eBook of the
Month Club” and who could resist a free eBook every month? The first book of
the month was V. E. Schwab’s A Darker
Shade of Magic. I had heard about this book from friends and my Goodreads
feed, but I hadn’t really heard much about it plot wise just that it was a good
book. But then I started reading it and I was hooked. Not to mention look at
this great cover:
The cover alone is like a summary of the
book. And with this as my introduction to the imprint how could I not be
excited to discover more books curated by them? So, I followed their Instagram.
I hadn’t really finished a book by them,
or by anyone really, because I was in sort of a reading funk. But between
Stephen King’s It which consumed most
of last year, and Tamora Pierce’s Tempests
and Slaughter I finally felt like my reading slump had ended. But what to
read next? I didn’t want to pick up A
Darker Shade of Magic again just yet. Not because it’s not a good book,
just because it wasn’t the type of book I was craving. It was too real world
still, I needed a complete escape. Enter Mistborn
by Brandon Sanderson, another book with an AMAZING cover:
This cover is just so gorgeous and
interesting to look at that I couldn’t help but be drawn to it when I first saw
it. But that’s not why I had picked up this book. I had first heard of Brandon
Sanderson’s books from Critical Role and Tor Books sponsorship of them but I
had never known where to start with them. Mistborn
was exactly what I was looking for in a book because it was short enough to
read in a couple of months (as opposed to taking me an entire year) and it was
enough out of this world for me to escape into its setting. And that’s what I
needed at the time.
Darker Shade of Magic
was just too grounded in reality still to accomplish that task. But that’s part
of what makes Tor Books so perfect to me. They have books that cover every
level of real-world grounded settings. Mistborn
is one that has minor similarities to the real world where you can see the
influences that historical background has had. But that’s about it as far as real-world
similarities. A Darker Shade of Magic
has London as its real-world tether with side worlds that are less connected but
still based on the standard society.
But Tor also has books that just twist the
real world slightly. I just received an ARC from a give away I entered called The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez and I am
so excited to read it. It seems to treat Tesla like Sanctuary does, but with a twist and it is most definitely grounded
in modern day America/World (I haven’t gotten far enough to determine a
definite setting. Once I do, I will definitely do a review). The cover on this
one is just as gorgeous as the rest:
And I just have the ARC. So I can’t wait
to see what the finished product is like.
This book comes out March 16th,
2019 and it’s ARC give away and the free ebook are the only ways in which I was
“compensated” for this review and they had no idea I was going to write this to
begin with. As I’ve said in the past, nothing I write about on this blog ahs
anything to do with sponsorship. They are all things I genuinely like and enjoy
and Tor Books imprint is no different. They have books I love, they have great
editors from what I’ve seen (you’d think this wasn’t important as long as the
story is good but I’ve found that to be very untrue), and their cover designers
So, in conclusion, I 10/10 would recommend
Tor Books as an imprint to check out, as well as each of these books I have
mentioned in this post.
This book was well worth the wait and I cannot wait for the rest of the series. I am going to try to write this review without giving anything away from all of her other books as well as this one. Tamora Pierce’s books are pretty easy to read as separate series without being lost on what is going on. So I started by reading The Immortals Quartet and then went back to read the other series. The Immortals Quartet is where I was first introduced to a majority of the characters in this book. So I know much more about them than someone who was reading this book first. Arram is the reason I fell in love with these books in the first place, and he is the reason I was so desperate to get my hands on this book.
This book follows Arram from age 11 and continues on until he is 15. It follows him as he meets new friends, tries to find out who he is, and tries to figure out who would make him their enemy. Now, if you know the rest of the story you know how exciting even the smallest detail about Arram’s Carthak life can be, but for new readers this probably sounds quite boring. But this book was anything but that.
Arram Draper is the son of a cloth maker who lives in a country called Tyra. They aren’t in the wealthiest of classes, but they are still merchants. They have a good plot of land, and enough money to send their extremely gifted son to a very good school. Now, this is no ordinary school and Arram is no ordinary student. Don’t get me wrong, this school is no Hogwarts, there are no fancy robes required to attend classes. The subjects aren’t outrageous, but they aren’t uninteresting either. Arram’s power is one to be reckoned with, and when you throw in a few meddling Gods, a cute little bind, and a plot for an Empire you get an interesting kick-off to what hopes to be a brilliant new series.
Here comes the part where reading the rest of the books makes this more interesting: Ever wonder what Ozorne was like as a child? Or how he and Varice became so entangled? How about their favorite teacher Lindhall? And wait? Is that The Sarge? And how cute are these besties? These answers and more are in this book, making it well worth the wait in my opinion.
This book was so fascinating to me. It follows the life of a girl living in Ripper era London with her Father, her brother, and some pretty high societal expectations. Her Uncle was a doctor with a university position and the ability to perform autopsies. She was a female with a brain too big for her societal expectations and a father too strict to break propriety leading to illicit lessons in forensic science and some next level sneaking around. From carrying extra clothes in her carriage to slipping out in the middle of the night, she had investigative aspirations that reached the sky. Unfortunately, sky high aspirations rarely lead to grounded scientific breakthroughs and this was no different.
Andrey Rose Wadsworth was happy to study under her Uncle. But when the infamous Whitechapel murders threw a wrench in that plan by resulting in her Uncle’s arrest it came down to her and her intellectual rival / eventual love interest to solve the mystery and save the day. With his help, and the notes of the murders, could she fix everything and save her family? Or would it end up breaking it forever? This is the basic summary of just about every heroine story in the YA section of the bookstore with slight variations on what’s being destroyed forever. The difference between this book and the usual heroine stories is the historical aspects of it.
This book brings in just enough detail to bring you in to the times but also lacking just enough to pique your interest and make you want to know more. For me, my brain instantly wanted to know more about the accuracy of the forensic advancement described in the book. For others, the social aspect was more fascinating. The intricacies of propriety and scientific exploration in London’s 1800’s will clearly never cease to be of interest to people, the social aspect was more fascinating. The intricacies of propriety and scientific exploration in London’s 1800’s will clearly never cease to be of interest to people. There is still so much to explore and different perspectives to explore in. I am excited to read the latest installments and see what level she takes the twists to. My overall opinion is that it’s both a good read, and an interesting window into the historical time it portrays.
Disclaimer: Do not review before reading Mark of Athena. May contain spoilers.
This book took me over a year to read. I got this book a month after it was released and started reading it as soon as I got it. But then with school I started letting it sit there forgotten because it just wasn’t captivating my interest like the other ones had. It seemed like nothing was happening. Even the character growth seemed to be boring and almost non-existent. I just wasn’t interested in who he had narrating or what was going on. Normally I start out with what the book is about but this seemed like it needed to be said first.
This book picks up right where it left off in Mark of Athena, cliff hanger and all. It follows the same seven demigods only now they are split in two main locations. The ship, and Tartarus. Percy and Annabeth have to find their way to the Doors of Death and unchain them from their location. Jason, Hazel, Leo, and the others need to find the House of Hades and do the same. Percy and Annabeth are stuck in Tartarus, this is really the more exciting of the two paths to the Doors while reading the book. The crew, have a more uneventful trip for most of the book. It’s interesting in the first couple of chapters, when Leo gets separated from the group and the ship gets damaged. But after that things slow down a bit. Once it hits the point of slowing down, you are begging for the narrator to go back to Percy or Annabeth.
So I would still say that yes I liked this book enough to finish it. But I feel like it could have made the character growth that was happening happen a little bit faster. I think the biggest problem was with the Leo chapters. They just went by so slowly. This may change depending on how much you like Leo, but I thought it could do with much less of him.
Overall recommendation: Read the book so you can get to the end. Once you suffer through that lagging middle part it definitely picks up.
I started reading this because of the second book in the Beautiful Creatures series. Each of those books references a different classic novel or so I’ve gathered from the first two books. Jekyll and Hyde was the one referenced in this one. So, since I hadn’t read Jekyll and Hyde yet, and had it for free on my Kobo Mini eReader I decided to read it before I went any further in Beautiful Darkness.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows the general plot of Jekyll and Hyde but in case you don’t. This book is told from the perspective of a lawyer who is friends with Jekyll and cousins to a person who has had an experience with Hyde. The rest of the book consists of the lawyer trying to figure out who this Hyde was and protect Jekyll from him because he’s been described as garish and unpleasant.
It wasn’t until the end that we get to the classic story we know and love of a monster and a man trapped in the same body unleashed by this drug Jekyll concocted. This account is from two people, first Lanyon another of Jekyll’s friends and then Jekyll himself.
Over all this book was good, the language would have been a little bit annoying had I not had a push dictionary at my disposal. But that’s to be expected since this book is very old, when the English language actually had intelligent people.
Warning: Book not for people younger than like 16!
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I’m not a huge huge fan of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and at first I thought this would be the same as that, but it wasn’t. This books is a mash up of the best of USA network’s shows. It has a little bit of White Collar, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs and even Burn Notice. (Sorry I watch a lot of television). My only problem with this book is the fact that it is an adult book. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle a little smut every now and again but it’s not my most favorite of things to read about. I still live in the Teen and Kids fantasy section of the bookstore most of the time.
The main premise of this book is mostly the same as the premise for White Collar with a few twists. Nick Fox is a con-man who is being perpetually chased by this one FBI agent named Kate O’Hare, kind of like the Peter and Neal relationship, but she finally catches him in the most amazing way possible (read to find out). The only problem is that this captivity doesn’t last and to Kate’s surprise, was never meant to. Nick “escapes” and continues to be hunted by the FBI but Kate isn’t on the case. However, this being her life’s work and all, Kate can’t let it go and she finds herself on an assignment she could never have dreamed was possible. The FBI decides to secretly use Nick and Kate to do all of the things the FBI can’t to catch the bad guy. So the fed. and the criminal team up to pull off what turns out to be the most elaborate con yet.
They’re after someone who’s gotten away with over half a billion dollars of embezzled money with a feeble crew and an insane plan. There’s parachuting, explosions, fake drug cartels, and Toblerones. Everything you could ever want from Covert Affairs, and Burn Notice with quirky and sexy main characters reminiscent of Neal Caffery (Matt Bomer) and Mary Shannon (Mary McCormick), mashed up with Nikola Tesla (Sanctuary) and Helen Magnus (Sanctuary).
I guarantee that you will fall in love with them faster than you fall in love with cute cat videos on the internet.
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