Source: Borrowed

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The Diabolic: Review

The Diabolic: Review

There are times when I am certain that there must be something very off with my reading-enjoyment-o-meter, and this is one of those times. This book has a proliferation of positive and glowing reviews from my friends, yet I find myself out of those ranks. The story of Nemesis, genetically engineered to be a living, undefeatable weapon, who is placed as a wolf among intergalactic sheep should have been exhilarating. Instead I found myself mostly bored. There is a sterility to this story that I found kept me at an emotional remove throughout. I’m not sure if that sterility was intentional or not. On the one hand, I think it is as Nemesis was created and “bred” to lack emotion and caring for anything other than her bonded protected, Sidonia. Nemesis’ feelings for Sidonia are vast, capable, and complex; her love for the girl is deep. Her caring for anything… Read more »

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The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood is the sort of quiet, more subdued fantasy that mostly feels dreamy and innocent. And then Sarah Beth Durst will turn right back around and remind you at various points that this story has quite the emotional barb. The story of young Daleina, training to be a potential successor to the queen of Aratay, is one in which you will find many of the more common fantasy tropes, but also many subverted. And it’s such an endearing story, and well done in the telling, that I found I didn’t much mind how much of the book follows well worn fantasy paths. Daleina’s world is one full of bloodthirsty spirits. There are spirits for each of the four elements, as well as tree spirits. These pernicious inhabitants barely tolerate the existence of humans; their blood thirst is only ever barely sated. The one force keeping the spirits from… Read more »

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Blood for Blood: Review

Blood for Blood: Review

I felt a bit winded as I finished reading Blood for Blood. It’s an exhausting, emotional, punch-to-the-gut kind of read, and making it to the end feels like its own kind of victory. This is a book that is in turn triumphant, bittersweet, and harrowing. It is a journey that is both cathartic and enraging which might not seem like the most satisfactory reading experience, but one that has an undeniable sense of rightness. It’s an important read, even more so now than before. I enjoyed this volume more than its predecessor, for a number of reasons. I am not a huge fan of journey-type narratives, and Wolf by Wolf is very much that. It’s very straight-forward in that the point of the book is getting from Point A to Point B. This is true of many narratives, but I find the particulars of a motorcycle race not that engaging…. Read more »

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Dreaming Death: Review

Dreaming Death: Review

Dreaming Death is the first in a new adult fantasy series full of murder, mystery, and magic. The story is told through several POV characters, but the narrative mostly revolves around Mikael, a broadcaster, and Shironne, a touch-sensitive. The story-world is rich, and this is definitely the sort of fantasy novel in which a large portion of the novel (especially at the beginning) is spent on explaining the world, its rules, its magic, and how it all works together. I was immediately hooked by the creepy and heartbreaking first chapter in which we witness a murder through the terrified victim’s eyes. This is what Mikael sees when he dreams a death. These dreams come unbidden to him, and are obviously deeply unsettling as he perceives everything as though he himself is the victim. As a broadcaster, the dreams are then sent out to all nearby sensitives. When Mikael dreams, many suffer. Shironne is the… 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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Flamecaster: Review

Flamecaster: Review

Some things Flamecaster contains: spies, blood-drinking assassin priests(!!!), magic, dragons(!!!!!), intrigue, deception, and heartbreak. Oh, that heartbreak. It’s interesting both that the author chose to return to the same world as a previous series, and also was not at all afraid to wreck some heavy damage in the lives of previously established and beloved characters. Things have not been happy for Raisa and Han in recent times. Their eldest child, and heir to the throne, was killed in combat not too long before the start of the book. You wander along thinking, “Yes, this is pretty bad.” And then it gets worse: Yes, she goes there. But I admire this for the boldness of it, if nothing else. And also, When I saw the first synopsis for this book, and its heavy mention of Adrian sul’Han, I must admit I was worried! One of the things I enjoyed so much… 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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