Friday, 21 July 2017

The Crowns of Croswald - Book Review


The Crowns of Croswald (The Croswald Series #1)
by D.E. Night


What is it about:
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.


What did I think of it:
When I was offered to receive a bookish box that included a signed ARC of this book, I jumped at the chance, because this sounded like a fun read.

And this book is indeed fun and very entertaining.

Ivy is an interesting character. It's clear there's more to her than she herself knows and it was fun to discover both what that is and the magical world this story is set in.

After an introduction to Ivy and the world she grew up in, Ivy is soon on her way to a boarding school where she will learn what gifts she has. You might know how I love a good boarding school story, so you bet I was hooked from the start.

With a young orphan enrolling in a school of magic it's impossible not to compare with other such books, Harry Potter being the most famous of course. Although there are certainly similarities, there are enough differences that this book isn't a clone of any of those other magical boarding school books. It can firmly stand on its own.

I really liked the setting and the world Night created. I like the thought of the Scriveners: a mix between alchemists and magic users, their quill and imagination the tool they use instead of a wand.

The story is fast paced and works up to an action packed finale. The ending is satisfying: no cliffhanger, but enough has happened and has been revealed to promise lots of adventures for Ivy in a future book.

You bet I'll keep an eye out for the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and entertaining Middle Grade read.


Buy from Amazon

Thursday, 20 July 2017

In McPig's TBR Pile - Driven

The problem with getting lots of secondhand books at the same time, is that you easily forget about some of them, so they stay on your shelves unread. Here's another one that I might have to dust off and read one of these days.


Driven (Northern Waste #1)
by Eve Kenin, Eve Silver


In the harsh Northern Waste where human life is worth little, ice trucker Raina Bowen has learned to keep her eyes open and her knife close at hand. She's spent her life on the run, one step ahead of the megalomaniac who hunts her. All she wants is to stay out of trouble and haul her load of grain to Gladow Station.

But trouble finds her in the form of a sexy stranger called Wizard. He has the trucking pass she needs, and she has to drag him out of a brawl with the very people she's trying to hide from in order to get it. She may have rescued him, but Raina's not foolish enough to see Wizard as anything close to helpless. He's hard and honed and full of secrets--secrets that may destroy them both.

As they race across the Waste, trying to outrun rival truckers, ice pirates, and the powerful man bent on their destruction, Raina's forced to admit that trouble's found her. And this time, there's nowhere left to run.



Buy from Amazon

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Lonely Ones - Book Review


The Lonely Ones
by Kelsey Sutton


What is it about:
When your only friend is your own endless imagination, how do you escape your mind and connect to the world around you?

With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it's no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond - and in spite of - the walls of her bedroom.

In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality. . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world?

Told in breathless and visual verse, THE LONELY ONES takes readers through the intricate inner workings of a girl who struggles to navigate isolation and finds friendship where she least expects it.


What did I think of it:
This is a beautiful and very touching read.

I mentioned in my review of Where Silence Gathers that Sutton has a beautiful writing style that adds to the atmosphere of her stories. In this book she uses verse to tell the story, making this book one long and beautiful poem.

I myself have loved poetry since discovering the poetry section of my local library back when I was about ten or eleven, so once I had the time to sit down with this book I got lost in the beauty of the writing and the heartache of this story until I finished it.

Fain is a lot like I used to be at that age, and this made the story recognizable and emotional. It made me smile, cry and hope for Fain and all those other overlooked lonely ones that are out there.

The story and its mood stayed with me long after I finished the book, and you bet I'll keep an eye out for Sutton's other works.

I can recommend this book to anyone who is, or was, an introvert with lots of imagination, and to everyone who loves beautifully written verse.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Middle Grade read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu


"They aren't of this world, these things." He uttered the words slowly and so quietly I barely heard them. Then his eyes rose to mine, and they were glazed and hard as if he'd entered some sort of trance.

(page 85, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions by Lois H. Gresh)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 17 July 2017

A Royal Pain - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


A Royal Pain (Unruly Royals #1)
by Megan Mulry


What is it about:
Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they're the world's most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte's own search for love isn't going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust.

Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she's certain he's the perfect transition man. But when she discovers he's a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities-- and challenges-- of becoming a royal.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is totally outside of my normal reading, but I got the book as a gift, so decided to give it a try.

I must confess I wondered if this whole fascination with royalty is an American thing, or if having seen a lot of the Dutch royal family made me jaded, because I can't say meeting any royalty ever has been a fantasy of mine.

That being said:

This is a nice read.

I had to get used to the writing style and the way Mulry told the story, but after a few chapters I was enjoying myself, although it did keep me from really losing myself in the story. There were a few things that made me grumble, unnecessary Goth bashing being one of them, but two of them are very personal pet peeves so I won't go into those.

All in all an entertaining romance. I have book two in this series as well, and might give it a try one of these days.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice Contemporary Romance read.


Buy from Amazon

Friday, 14 July 2017

Missing - A DNF


Missing
by Kelley Armstrong


What is it about:
Reeve's End is the kind of place every kid can't wait to escape. Each summer, a dozen kids leave and at least a quarter never come back. Winter Crane doesn't blame them - she plans to do the same in another year. She'll leave behind the trailer park, and never look back. All she has to do is stay out of trouble.

But then she has a chance encounter with a boy called Lennon, injured and left for dead in the woods. Her discovery has Winter questioning everything she thought she knew about her sleepy town. And when Lennon vanishes and his brother Jude comes looking for him, things take a sinister turn.

Someone wants Winter out of the picture. Can she trust Jude? Or will he deliver them both into the hands of a stalker?


What did I think of it:
This is the first book by Armstrong I just could not finish.

The book started out intriguing, and I was engrossed in the story until Jude arrived.

What a self righteous, condescending, pompous jerk!

I disliked him from the start and really tried to read on, because I did like Winter and was curious about what was going on, but every time Jude opened his mouth I felt my blood-pressure rise.

Maybe I gave up too soon, maybe he stops acting like a gigantic jerk later on, but if so it wasn't soon enough for me. I couldn't stand another page of his jerky, condescending attitude.

Why should you read it:
Maybe you don't mind teenage alpha jerks.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Bookish Box from D.E. Night


I received a Bookish Surprise this week from D.E. Night.
I must say I immediately fell in love with the box.


It's a Magical box!
How exciting.


This beautiful picture was on the back of the card.


Let's see what else is in the box.


A signed ARC of D.E. Night's upcoming book The Crowns of Croswald and a pretty blue bottle.

There was also a letter from D.E. Night as well.


The packing paper was a newspaper which had some intriguing headlines.
I can't wait to start reading the book!


The bottle is a Glanagerie Bottle.
According to the card that came with it "Glanageries are the ultimate potion of the mind. Where ideas, dreams, fears, and magic simmer together for out-of-this-world experiences."


And it glows!!!


Keep an eye out for my review of The Crowns of Croswald!


About the book:
In D.E. Night’s debut novel, The Crowns of Croswald, magic sparks around every corner in a kingdom ruled by a dark queen. Ivy, a young orphan living in the Kingdom of Croswald discovers that she has powers of her own. She enrolls at the Halls of Ivy, a school where young students learn to master their magical blood and the power that Croswald’s mysterious gems can wield. Unfortunately, Ivy’s schooling – and her life – is threatened by the evil queen and her henchmen. As Ivy tries to unearth her past and save Croswald’s future, a fantastical adventure ensues.

Buy from Amazon