Posts Categorized: 3 star books

Fate of Flames: Review

Fate of Flames: Review

Fate of Flames is a kick-ass, girl powered, diverse superhero novel. I know, what on Earth is not there to like?! In a world almost identical to our own, incredible monsters known as phantoms stalk the Earth killing indiscriminately and causing mass chaos. They can take any form from small to large, serpent to wolf. But all are terrifying and all are capable of inflicting massive damage. The world has managed to develop anti-phantom technologies that can keep entire cities safe. But there are also four Effigies, girls chosen by what force we do not know, and imbued with the power necessary to fight and destroy phantoms. There are only ever four Effigies at any time; when one dies, her replacement is called up. An Effigy could be any girl, and you’ll never know until it happens that you will become one. Such is the case with our heroine Maia… Read more »

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Three Dark Crowns: Review

Three Dark Crowns: Review

This is the dark, twisted tale of three sisters fair destined to destroy each other. Or rather, only two need die. One will emerge victorious. On the island of Fennbirn, when the queen gives birth it is always to triplet girls. Each new queen is either a poisoner, a naturalist, or an elementalist. The queen identifies which queen is which and then abdicates. The new queens are raised together until the age of 6, when they are claimed by their different factions and trained in their powers. In the year of their 16th birthday, the Ascension year, the queens will each put their powers on public display and then proceed to attempt to murder each other. They have one year to accomplish their tasks. The last queen standing wins. Of the three sisters, we spend the most time with Arsinoe, the naturalist. The naturalists live in a seaside town that evokes a humble,… Read more »

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The Invisible Library: Review

The Invisible Library: Review

Once again I find myself in the position with a book that is practically perfect in its premise, yet I ultimately fail to forge much of a connection with it. This is not a bad book, and I think it has its readers! I mean, it is a book about a great Library that has access to infinite alternate dimensions and universes. It also has werewolves, vampires, Fae, and dragons all romping around and creating magic, mystery, and mayhem in a sort of alternate steampunk “Victorian” London. Sign me way up for that. However, I get this sense of “fuzziness” for lack of better word to describe it with fantasies and other genre works where the world building is not at all clear to me. The Library is a very advanced institution that seems to exist out of time. It has its own Language that allows Librarians to alter their… Read more »

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Lucky Few: Review

Lucky Few: Review

It’s interesting that the blurb for this book compares it to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. While I can see some common threads of interest (namely the contemplation of mortality), this is a very different book. First, no one in this story is actually dying. Next, the dynamics of relationships between the characters, the nature of their revelations, and the overall tone of the story is wholly different. Lucky Few is a funny contemporary that examines relationships, growing up, and the very nature of change through a sweetly morbid lens. The story is eminently readable. From the first page it flows with self deprecating humor and charm. The chemistry and interaction between the three main characters feels natural and adds a rhythm to the story that is noticeable for its absence when the characters are apart. Stevie is wry and judgmental, but with a good nature and easy… Read more »

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The Abyss Surrounds Us: Review

The Abyss Surrounds Us: Review

I think this book is actually, objectively awesome. How it could not be? It’s a book about bad ass lady pirates menacing the high seas with genetically engineered monsters at their call. It’s also rife with moral ambiguity, making tough choices, and the search for one’s true self–however ugly or unwanted that truth may be. So, Kim, why “only” three stars? Well, I actually find I don’t enjoy pirate stories all that much. At this point you’re wondering why I even read this book, then, and also why you are continuing to read this review. I really, really wanted to love this book and one of the key reasons I wanted that to happen is because this book features an f/f romance. Oh yes, and it’s pretty delicious, too. But we’ll get to that later. I was also very intrigued by the dystopian setting, and the monsters weren’t a hard… Read more »

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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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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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