Posts By: Kim

A Gathering of Shadows: Review

A Gathering of Shadows: Review

I will give Victoria Schwab credit: she sure knows how to build a captivating world full of deftly defined characters, and a creeping, sentient magic. It  also doesn’t hurt that she has in her arsenal the capacity to wield a wicked sentence or two. But it’s a strange feeling when you give a book a 3 star rating, yet still feel as though you are a black sheep. I was absolutely enchanted by the first volume, but this one didn’t quite hit the same mark for me. We pick up the story four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila has taken her adventuring to the high seas in her delightfully audacious quest to see “everything.” Kell and Rhy are left behind in Red London struggling with the consequences of the powerful decisions made at the end of the first book. Their storylines converge when all… Read more »

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A Curious Beginning: Review

A Curious Beginning: Review

If you’ve been itching to curl up with an absorbing historical mystery that will make you laugh and swoon, then A Curious Beginning is right up your alley! I am not usually much one for mystery novels, but the combination of features here, Victorian London, an intrepid and super sassy heroine (also a lady scientist, yay!), and a developing romance hit all the right checkmarks for me. I’m glad I gave this one a try as it really is a super enjoyable set up to what could, finger crossed, be a long and rewarding series! The story begins with our heroine, Veronica Speedwell, burying  her last “relative” and remaining connection to her childhood. A foundling, Veronica had been raised by two spinster sisters, often moving at a whim around the country, causing constant upheaval in her life. Veronica soon discovers, though, that her very life is under attack, with mysterious… Read more »

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The Library School Diaries: Part II

The Library School Diaries: Part II

  Hello, friends, and welcome to another installment of the Library School Diaries! I am so sad that library school keeps me basically incapable of keeping up with you all on blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, and all other places of social fun. I have been diligently plugging away at my second semester of studies for Master of Library and Information Science with a specialization in the School Library Certification Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Just like last semester, I’m taking five classes again. It’s a huge course load, and I also have two part-time jobs, so things have been super busy for me! But without further ado, let’s take a look at what I’ve been learning in my second semester.     I’m in the school library program (I hope to be a high school librarian one day!), and as someone without a previous education background, this means I am also working… Read more »

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The Serpent King: Review

The Serpent King: Review

With its contemporary setting, religious themes, serious subject matter, and known tearjerker elements, The Serpent King isn’t the sort of book I would typically love. But I went into it with an open heart and a strong desire to like it. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite agree. I felt that the weighty material the book wants to cover ultimately couldn’t be carried by the comparatively weak character portraits. Let’s delve into it. The story centers on three main characters, Dill, Lydia, and Travis. Dill is living under the shadow of his snake-handling preacher father who has been in jail for several years now after a conviction on possession of sexual images of minors. In his small, Tennessee town apparently the sins of the father are visited on the son, as Dill must deal with an angry, judgmental community. He also struggles with the weight of his own conflicted feelings on faith… Read more »

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Rebel of the Sands: Review

Rebel of the Sands: Review

This review is going to be frustrating to write. So far, all of my GoodReads friends have adored Rebel of the Sands, and it comes on the strong recommendation of Wendy. But I was never swept up by the story, or as wholly captivated by the world and the romance as I quite wanted to be. I’ll address some of the things that I think prevented from being fully invested at the start of this review. Amani is a gunslinger (awesome!) and a girl struggling to get by in Dustwalk, her unfriendly desert community. For as long as she’s known anything, Amani has been desperate to escape. This is historical fantasy that blends a Middle Eastern-based setting with the tone and feel of an American Western. And it just didn’t work for me. I found the language (It’s folksy and Western. Like, “I reckon” and a town named “Dustwalk” when… Read more »

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Beyond the Red: Review

Beyond the Red: Review

A scorched desert planet, politics, rebellion, and star crossed love. What could go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out. Beyond the Red is a love story disguised as political science fiction, but not a particularly effective one. To make matters worse, there is a love triangle. Let’s take a look at the many ways in which this novel does not work. The story is told in dual POV. We have Eros (seriously, that’s his name. Why?), the half human, half Sepharon outcast who is captured and enslaved to the Sepharon elite. We also have Kora, the Sepharon queen fighting to hold onto her throne. When Kora and Eros meet, he is taking a beating for being an insubordinate and unruly slave. For reasons that are completely indeterminate, Kora decides this insubordinate stranger would be the ideal personal guard. She knows him barely several minutes, and barely tests his combat skills,… Read more »

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The Girl from Everywhere: Review

The Girl from Everywhere: Review

Well, this is frustrating. There are times when you read a book and you feel like it’s not the book, it’s you. This is one of those times. There is so much contained in this story that I should love. We have time travel, pirates, romance (well, ha, we’ll get to that shortly), and diversity! But The Girl from Everywhere was a book I struggled to connect with from the beginning, and unfortunately, failed to connect with overall. The premise is very interesting. We have a girl born in Hawaii in 1868, but who has grown up on a tall ship literally throughout time and place on this Earth. Her father is from modern NYC, so Nix is equally at home on her smartphone in 2016 as she is traversing to 19th century India. Nix finds herself on this ship thanks to her father, the captain. Her mother having died… Read more »

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