Posts Categorized: historical

Ghost Talkers: Review

Ghost Talkers: Review

A war story, a ghost story, a love story; Ghost Talkers is all three. It is also a mystery, and one with a decidedly intersectional feminist bent. There is much to explore here in this rich tale of intrigue, murder, romance, and betrayal set in WWI France. In the world of Ghost Talkers, spirits do walk the Earth and mediums have the ability to commune with them. The British Army has assembled its own force of mediums, known as the Spirit Corps, to collect intel from the spirits of recently departed soldiers. Our heroine, Ginger, is one such medium who plays a crucial part in gleaning information of vital importance to the war effort. Early on in the story a series of suspicious deaths ignites the mystery at its core. Worse, the deaths make it clear that the German side has become aware of the British Spirit Corps and is… Read more »

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Cover Reveal, Excerpt, + Giveaway!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Cover Reveal, Excerpt, + Giveaway!

    Today we’re hosting the exclusive cover reveal for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee! I enjoyed the author’s debut This Monstrous Thing, and I’m a huge fan of her weekly #BygoneBadassBroads storytime on Twitter. She gives back so much to the YA community through education and enthusiasm, so I’m delighted to help unveil her upcoming historical novel. Friends, you are going to want to gaze adoringly into this book’s eyes and buy it dinner. It features pirates and villains and two rascally boys who are lifelong friends, but who are OH, also fighting their growing feelings for each other. *swoon* Mackenzi joins us today to talk about sowing wild oats, tackling historical fiction tropes, and being queer in the 17th century. Watch Mackenzi Lee Introduce The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue As Mackenzi says, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is the… Read more »

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The Dark Days Club: Review

The Dark Days Club: Review

A dark fantasy/paranormal YA novel set in Regency-era London is a setting I simply cannot pass by. Add in a delightfully relatable and unlikely, yet nonetheless badass, heroine and a little romantic tension so thick you could cut it and…well, I am more than sold. This was such a refreshing entry into the YA paranormal realm. In a genre where I am used to reading about vampires, werewolves, and witches, it was absolutely delightful to have these succubi-like demons. Roaming around Regency London no less! Paranormal usually falls under the domain of urban fantasy, as well, so it was doubly delightful to add this historical British flair. The demons and the magic involved were also delightfully creepy which is always a plus in my book. The Deceivers feed off of human sexual energy, depleting the human’s life force, with their creepy energy tentacles. I approve. Lady Helen Wrexhall has been… 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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Blackhearts: Review

Blackhearts: Review

I was excited to read Nicole Castroman’s debut, Blackhearts, because I love historical fiction! I love historical fiction set in the 18th century! and Blackbeard! And, um, as a North Carolina resident, I went to the NC Maritime Museum this summer and saw artifacts from Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. If you are in or around Beaufort, NC, by the way, you too can do this thing. While I did not totally love Blackhearts, I am not sure that it’s the fault of the book? I went into Blackhearts wanting richly developed historical fiction with a little bit of romance on the side. What made Edward Teach into Blackbeard? Instead, the book is … a lot of romance. It’s primarily about Teach’s relationship with Anne Barrett, who is working, when they are first introduced, as a maid in Teach’s father’s home. Anne is the daughter of a white merchant and a… Read more »

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Passenger: Review

Passenger: Review

Time travel! Romance! A hunt for hidden artifacts! Alexandra Bracken’s latest book, Passenger, tells the story of teen violinist Etta Spencer, who is pushed through a wormhole on the night of her debut and ends up on an 18th century ship en route to New York. Etta quickly learns she’s been kidnapped by the head of a family of time-travelers who are holding her mother as hostage and who want her to retrieve something her mother stole many (many, many) years ago that could (literally) change the course of human history. Her mother’s hidden it away in time and left a series of clues only Etta can decipher that send her to different periods of human history. Think of it as “Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?” but instead of chasing Carmen Sandiego through history, Etta and her partner are chasing down a priceless, dangerous artifact. To find it, they have to locate… Read more »

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Front Lines: Review

Front Lines: Review

What if the draft had been extended to young women in WWII as well as men? That’s the premise of Michael Grant’s new book, Front Lines, and that’s pretty much all I needed to know before making grabby hands at it at NCTE this year. I saw the cover, saw the tagline – “she’s fighting for her country” – and was like, oh yes, I shall be reading you, book. I mean, I will read alternate histories any day of the week and if they’re alternate histories that focus on women’s experiences, then hell yes, I’m there. And as far as that goes, Front Lines did not disappoint! So Front Lines follows three young women – Rio, Frangie, and Rainy – as they enlist in the army and are shipped overseas. They have different motivations: Rio, a white girl from California, wants to do her part (but is also talked into it… Read more »

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