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Review: Once Upon a Curse by Yasmine Galenorn, Alethea Kontis, Annie Bellet, and 8 Others (Anthology)

“Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Todaybestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumplestilstskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.
Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.

YARROW, STURDY AND BRIGHT by Devon Monk – Sweet music cannot hide a wicked heart…

FAE HORSE by Anthea Sharp – Faerie bargains can grant any desire, but be careful what you wish for.

THE QUEEN OF FROST AND DARKNESS by Christine Pope – Her heart is the only thing colder than a Russian winter….

BONES by Yasmine Galenorn – Sometimes, your most cherished dream can turn out to be a nightmare.

MAGIC AFTER MIDNIGHT by C. Gockel – The Wicked Stepmother is about to meet her match…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Donna Augustine – When the devil makes a deal with a dancer, he gets more than he bargained for.

NO GIFT OF WORDS by Annie Bellet – Never steal from a witch…

THE GRIM BROTHER by Audrey Faye – Not all walks in the wood end well…

BEAUTY INSIDE BEAST by Danielle Monsch – Happily Ever After ain’t guaranteed when Once Upon a Time is here.

FAESCORNED by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson – The Morrigan, Celtic goddess of war and strife, must relive a painful memory that reminds her of what she can never have.

DRAWN TO THE BRINK by Tara Maya – Sajiana’s job is to hunt down monsters brought alive from paintings. She never expected to meet one so handsome… or to need his help.

THE VARIANCE COURT by Alexia Purdy – Anna, a struggling college student, discovers a mysterious ring that turns her quiet life chaotic when the ring’s magic doesn’t do what it’s told.

THE MORRIGAN by Phaedra Weldon – A young man discovers he has leprechaun blood – and is wanted by dark faerie forces.

ALICE by Julia Crane – A twisted tale of Alice and Wonderland. Facing madness and an ominous prophecy, Alice chooses to follow her heart despite knowing her world is about to change forever.

STILL RED by Sabrina Locke – When the Hunters come, can there be any escape?

THE FINAL STRAW by Jennifer Blackstream – To banish a gold-spinning demon, first you must guess his name…

THE UNICORN HUNTER by Alethea Kontis – Only Snow White knows what really happened in the forest…”

What I thought:

Woop woop, friends and familiars! It’s time for the first review of the year! 😀

I wish my bookish year was off to a better start than the three stars I gave this on Goodreads. As is often the case with anthologies, I liked some of these shorts a lot more than others. I don’t know how this is usually handled with anthologies, but it didn’t feel like the whole book was edited by one editor. I’d really enjoy one story, and then the next one would have spelling mistakes, missing words, and other grammar issues. Given that the whole book was advertised as having been written by bestselling authors, I was disappointed with the quality.

Some shorts ended in surprising ways, while others didn’t feel finished. There were a couple which ended so abruptly it felt more like the author had contributed a couple of chapters from her book but hadn’t adjusted them to work as a short story, while others only felt partly concluded with the main enemy still undefeated. And then two were so much longer than the others I almost forgot I was reading an anthology.

The thing most humans didn’t understand was that desperation had to age like a fine wine. If it were served too soon, it wouldn’t yield nearly the same full-bodied taste. But now she was ready.

I recognised most of the originals behind the short stories which I always love, especially when new twists are introduced. I grew up with fairy tales and didn’t realise until last year how much I enjoy a good retelling!

My favourites were Yarrow, Sturdy and Bright; Dance with the Devil; No Gift of Words; The Grim Brother; and Still Red. The rest fell flat for me unfortunately.

I’d recommend this if you’re curious about anthologies or love dark fairy tale re-tellings. And if you find your new favourite author in this book, you’ll be thrilled to find details of other releases at the end of each story.


Have you read Once Upon a Curse? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Origins of the Never by C. J. Rutherford (Tales of the Neverwar, #0.5)

“A prequel to The Tales of the Neverwar series, with dragons, elves and faeries.

Set thousands of years before the Tales of the Neverwar, an epic fantasy through space, time, and reality.
Teralia. A world of light and beauty, holding the core of magic that infuses the universe. A land of Faerie magic and Ancient Dragons.
Here, two friends, closer than brothers, are destined to become the mightiest among the immortal Elven race.
One will fall, ensnared by an ancient evil thought destroyed eons ago.
The other will face a desperate choice to save a doomed world.
Ultimately, only one can prevail.”

What I thought:

This is my last review for 2017, but it’s a good one, friends.

I could have sworn I read once that authors should never combine sci-fi and high fantasy in one book. Something about asking your readers to believe in too much at once? Well, friends, Origins of the Never has magic and fairies and alternate realities and dragons and distant planets and let me tell ya, it works! Whoever said they can’t co-exist peacefully (or not so peacefully–this is about a war) didn’t read this novella.

The Glade held the magic. In the mountains to the north of the Citadel lay the source, the spring of magical energy that infused this world; and through the Never, the void which linked all reality, it passed into the universe.

(Personal note: YAAASSS!)

If we strip it right down, this novella is a love story turned dark. One man loves his best friend’s girl, and seeing them together slowly drives him mad until he raises a zombie army and enslaves all dragons. There were some parts I would have liked Rutherford to expand a little more, but this is only a novella, and it sets up one epic battle of light against dark! I’m hoping to learn more about those parts in Book 1, Souls of the Never.

There was a tiny amount of POV switching and as I already pointed out, I’d have loved more info a few times, but other than that? Yeah, this was good.

Honestly, friends, I usually cut indie books some slack. I’m not a monster. It’s hard publishing your first book yourself without the expertise of an agent and big publishing house behind you telling you what to do and making some decisions for you. I don’t think this needs any slack-cutting, though. I’m expecting big things from the rest of this series. Don’t disappoint me, Rutherford! Fan in the making here!

Gawd, I need more books like this. I can see, maybe, why having both genres in one book might be too much for some readers, but I loved it and have already added the first book in this series to my reading list. If you can think of any others, recommend away. This girl’s ready for more epic sci-fi! <3


Have you read Origins of the Never? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens (Iníonaofa Chronicles #2) (ARC)

“Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.”

What I thought:

I was thrilled when I was offered an ARC of Heralding. I loved the prequel novella Eléonore, and have been looking forward to Heralding ever since last year December. So. Worth. The Wait!

Survive. That was always the goal of each year. Live and prepare for another. Protect Étienne. I had stopped worrying about my own future a long time ago. Life was a day by day thing, not something to hope or wish for.

One of the many highlights for me was the relationship Eléonore has with her son, Étienne. She’s torn between knowing she needs to tell him about his heritage sooner or later, but she also wants to protect him from her world for as long as possible. Any Mum will understand her decisions and reservations, and will love the strong bond they have. Nothing matters to her as much as protecting her child, but as her two worlds–her domestic one with Étienne and her job as a kick-ass demon hunter–come ever closer to colliding, keeping Étienne safe isn’t so easy anymore. Especially when Étienne shows signs and everything gets a little more complicated.

As much as I loved the mother-son relationship, I just wanted Eléonore to make up with Raphael. It’s clear she still loves him (and he certainly makes no secret of his own feelings), and I feel bad for the guy, you know? His only crime is that he fathered a son who may or may not have magic, and Eléonore’s desire to protect Étienne from her life of demons and dark magic is so strong she doesn’t even let poor Raph near him for fear Étienne will get pulled into her world too soon. Eléonore loves Raphael, and there’s nothing she wants more than a normal life with her son and the man she loves, but as any mother will know, her baby comes first, always. Raph is an understanding champion through it all, even when he comes close to Étienne. Bless him, that must have hurt 🙁

A tugging sensation began in my fingers. It spread through my whole body as Raphael pulled me from the fabric of our reality and into the one than ran between time and space. The dimension we travelled was black and filled with grey shapes without any distinguishable forms. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d trespassed through it.

Honestly, I want what Eléonore wants–for them to be together and have a happy ending as a family.

(Gawd, all my notes are about their relationship! Why am I so bad at this? Other things happened?)

Besides their family dynamics, the side characters were excellent, too. Everyone needs a friend like Rosalie–caring, loyal, and always there for Eléonore–and even though Kerryn got a lot of hate dislike? for being a demon, she’s one of my favourite characters. This book has a lot of sass, but the banter between Kerryn and Eléonore adds most of it.

Oh, also, there’s a war coming between demons and the Iníonaofa. Eléonore is only just starting to understand her powers and there aren’t many other Iníonaofa, so I can’t wait to see how everything is going to clash in the next book.

Maybe he would think I was some kind of hero. Maybe that was worse than the truth.

If you’re a fan of kick-ass heroines in an urban fantasy setting, then this is the book for you! Better yet, if you grew up with Buffy and loved her, you’ll love Eléonore, too. This is a very easy recommendation indeed!


Have you read Eléonore, Book 1 in this series? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.”

What I thought:

Okay, so, there are beautiful books, and then there’s The Language of Thorns. The short stories are fantastic, and the illustrations? The illustrations are everything! The illustrations bring the short stories to life!

There’s a new illustration for each short story, and they become more intricate as the stories progress. They start as small drawings, then slowly crawl up along the sides of the pages, meet in the middle, and end in one final image at the end of each story. It’s right up there alongside Illuminae in terms of prettiness <3

There are different kinds of magic. Some call for rare herbs or complicated incantations. Some demand blood. Other magic is more mysterious still, the kind that fits one voice to another, one being to another, when moments before they were as good as strangers.

It was also quite nostalgic for me because I grew up with these kinds of stories and I loved seeing how some of them have influenced Bardugo here, like The Little Mermaid and Hansel and Gretel. It took me right back to the bedtime stories I grew up with.

And because I can’t adequately describe how beautiful the illustrations are, here are some more pictures to show off their gorgeousness properly:

They start small…
…slowly grow around the words…
DETAIL

HOW PRETTY IS THAT! <3 <3 <3

None of these ended quite like I expected and that just added to their beauty. Some have a happy ending but most don’t and that’s one of the many things I loved about this. There’s deceit, lies, betrayal, backstabbing, selfishness, and a whole lot of magic!

This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tales.

If you love a dark fairytale you’ll appreciate these. While all of these short stories take place in the Grishaverse, it’s not necessary to have read the Grisha trilogy or Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom. I think I appreciated this book all the more because I’d read the others first, but I’d still have loved it if I hadn’t. There’s something timeless about it, and if you’re a sucker for gorgeous illustrations it’s a must-read!


Have you read The Language of Thorns? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.” –Library Journal *

What I thought:

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I tend to prefer my theory books humorous. While this one wasn’t that, it didn’t suffer from a lack of jokes. The tone was conversational rather than serious do-this-do-that instructions, which made it quite enjoyable for me. And I took so many notes! I’m surprised my notebook app didn’t crash.

When you use two words, a weak verb and an adverb, to do the work of one strong verb, you dilute your writing and rob it of its potential power.

There are end-of-chapter exercises and answers at the end, but one of my favourite parts is that Browne and King acknowledge their answers aren’t correct because fiction isn’t about right or wrong but rather effective and ineffective, and because of that everyone is going to get different results, some better than their own. More often than not, theory books make it sound like their way is the only way, and I loved that this one said the exact opposite.

The surest sign that you are achieving literary sophistication is when your writing begins to seem effortless.

If you’re a writer at any stage of your career you’ll find this book useful. I highly recommend you read it and buy your own copy, too, because you will want to come back to it often!

* Is anyone else annoyed by the blurbs on theory books? They’re either longer than the actual review or so short you can’t really call them blurbs -.-

Have you read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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WWW 29th November 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Heralding

I’m very nearly done with this and will likely finish it today. My thanks to the author for my ARC <3 Heralding will be out on December 4, so my review will be up next week! If you want to read it before then, you’ll be able to read it on Goodreads 🙂

Edit: I finished it last night (Tuesday night, that is). So. Good.

Blurb:

Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

***

What I recently finished reading

Godsgrave

I won’t go into much detail now because I already posted my review last week but this was Good (that’s right – capital G). This series has everything I want and more, and has a permanent spot on my Forever Shelf. If you’re a fan of dark Epic Fantasy, you need to read these!

Blurb:

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

The Language of Thorns

This is probably the most beautiful book I own <3 (Although, it might need to share that spot with Illuminae) The illustrations are stunning, and the stories themselves reminded me of the bedtime stories I had as a child.

My review will be up tomorrow (with some extra pictures to show off the beautiful interior) so I won’t say any more now 🙂 It’s already on Goodreads if you’d prefer to see it now.

Blurb:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

***

What I think I’ll read next

I don’t know! And that’s quite nice, actually, because I planned all my recent reads ahead and I’m looking forward to being surprised for a change. I made this glass of little pieces of paper which all have a title and an author written on them months ago, but then October happened and I had my Spook-tober reads planned, and then November happened and I had my NaNo reads planned… So, whatever I read after Heralding, it’ll be a random draw from this glass 🙂

(In case you were wondering:

Yellow – High Fantsy

Blue – Sci-Fi

Orange – all other fiction)

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

“Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.”

What I thought:

My books look up to this series so much! <3 Choosing quotes to go with this review was hard. I’d throw the whole book at you if I could.

(There’s a lot of gushing ahead, by the way. In case you hadn’t guessed.)

Let’s start at the beginning. Everyone loves a map in a fantasy book, right? Well, Godsgrave has THREE! And they’re all gorgeous! I was tempted to share pictures just this once, just to show you how pretty they are, but this review is going to be long enough already. So just take my word for it, maybe?

Two passengers met in a dirty alley, in a little city by the sea.

The first was small, thin as whispers, cut in the shape of a cat. It had worn the seeming for over seven years now. It could barely remember the thing it had been before. A fraction of a deeper darkness, with only enough awareness to crawl from the black beneath Godsgrave’s skin and seek another like itself.

There are a lot of capitals in my notes for this review, and it’s mostly Mister Kindly’s and Eclipse’s fault. I love them SO MUCH! I love their banter, I love their sarcasm, I love how they care about Mia in their own ways, and I love that they’re there at all. More books need familiars. Or shadow familiars. Or shadow familiars with sarcasm. *takes notes* This books has a lot of the latter. It’s so good, friends.

The dark humour (and yes, the sarcasm – did I mention it has some of that?) was one of the many things that sold me on Nevernight, and Godsgrave has plenty more. It actually starts with a quick recap of who everyone is before the story itself begins, and I read that even though there was no way I forgot just because it put all the smiles on my face. I feel like the dark humour is the soul of this series.

She’d named him Mister Kindly. It fitted well enough. But somewhere deep inside, the cat who was not a cat knew that was not his name.

I know the footnotes in Nevernight aren’t everyone’s thing, but they’re back and I read every. single. one of them. I’m a sucker for lore and this series has so much of it. It was fascinating for me to read everything that’s related to the world but not necessarily to the story.

The relationships in this were excellent, and while there were some surprises it was the relationship between Mia and Mercurio especially that broke me. It was so special, friends <3 Really I’m lying, though, they all broke me. But Mia and Mercurio had a moment near the end and it stood out to me.

Looking out over the mezzanine to the endless shelves below, the girl couldn’t help but smile. She’d grown up inside books. No matter how dark life became, shutting out the hurt was as easy as opening a cover. A child of murdered parents and a failed rebellion, she’d still walked in the boots of scholars and warriors, queens and conquerors.

I accidentally read the last word in the book when I was only around halfway through (no, don’t go spoil it, don’t let me tempt you) but I’d seen it coming so I wasn’t shocked or felt like I’d ruined anything. And then I read the rest of the last page when I actually finished the book and wow, I don’t I don’t know what to think now! Looks like I’ll be pre-ordering Book 3!

There’s a lot of heavy swearing, gory blood shed, and sex in Godsgrave. I love that it doesn’t shy away from any detail, but it might not be your thing if you’re not into graphic detail and strong language. Otherwise, I’m recommending this series and insist you read it now if you haven’t already! It’s taken its place on my Forever Shelf alongside Nevernight, and I can’t wait to add the next one.


Have you read Godsgrave? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”

What I thought:

Fair warning, friends – there’s a big spoiler lower down. If you’ve read this book ignore my warning, but if you’ve yet to read it you may want to skip it. I’ve marked it accordingly so you can’t miss it 🙂

I find reviewing classics difficult. Raise your hands if you don’t know anything about Frankenstein? No one? My point exactly! I always worry a classic will be hard to read, but this was easy to get into and I enjoyed it–right up until the end which was anti-climactic and left me feeling let down. The spoiler explains why, but I do recommend you skip it if you haven’t read the book yet. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, of course 🙂

Frankenstein is about a young man obsessed with the need to create something he believed would be an end to all sickness, but who was so repulsed with the result that he rejected it. Things escalated from there, and his creation sought to destroy his life and everyone he loved. It’s a reminder that just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

And that’s the plot in a nutshell, really! 🙂

I felt sorry for the monster. Rejected by the man who created him, all he wants is to be accepted and loved rather than feared and rejected by the rest of society. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. It’s what everyone wants, after all, but not only does Frankenstein reject the monster, he also gives him hope just to shatter it later. Anyone would be angry after that, right?

Now, look away if you don’t want the ending spoiled:

SPOILER The whole plot builds toward this epic fight between creator and creation. Frankenstein himself wonders several times how he can possibly win since his creation is so much stronger and faster, he only knows that he has to defeat his creation. So, when Frankenstein dies of sickness and exhaustion at the end of the book without even facing his creation one last time, I felt somewhat let down. The monster itself sails out to sea never to be seen again. Nothing gets resolved. If you’re a writer and have wondered why anything you foreshadow needs to be realised, here’s an excellent example. SPOILER END

So, while I enjoyed the book, I was also disappointed with the end. It’s incredible that Shelley wrote it when she was a teenager, but I still feel like I was robbed of this one thing she promised.


Have you read Frankenstein? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

“The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.”

What I thought:

I always find it harder to review classics, because you’ve either read this already, or you haven’t but know what it’s about anyway because everyone does but don’t care to read it for various reasons. No one’s going to be surprised if I say that Dracula is the original vampire novel, right?

So I won’t bore you with what the book is about, and hop straight to the review 🙂 If you do have questions about the plot, ask away.

(Oh, also, I was an idiot and forgot to note down quotes for this review, so it’ll lack in that regard – what I do have might include spoilers, so be careful with them)

I loved the first few chapters, especially Harker’s journey to Dracula’s castle. I did roll my eyes a couple of times thinking ‘ugh, cliche’, and then remembered that Bram Stoker is the genius who invented these cliches. So if this seems full of cliches to you remember it’s only because everyone else copied him 😛

The only bits I wasn’t sure about were Mina’s diary entries, but later on it became clear how they were relevant.

I am too miserable, too low-spirited, too sick of the world and all in it, including life itself, that I would not care if I heard this moment the flapping of the wings of the angel of death. And he has been flapping those grim wings to some purpose of late – Lucy’s mother and Arthur’s father, and now…

When I read classics, I always worry that the writing style will be too different to modern novels and that I’ll struggle to get into it because of this, but that wasn’t the case here. Dracula was easy to read and follow (a few paragraphs written in heavy accent notwithstanding) and even though the writing obviously isn’t modern, I didn’t find it difficult. The paragraphs spanning an entire page could have been shorter, but the story was engaging enough that they didn’t bug me too much. The descriptions were beautifully atmospheric and made it easy to imagine everything in vivid detail.

The only thing that surprised me which you might not expect is that Dracula himself doesn’t feature more. He acts behind the scenes throughout the book and is behind just about every event, but he doesn’t appear actively often. Everything happens because he makes it happen, but he possibly has the fewest lines out of all the characters.

Reading a book knowing it’s the story that started all these other incredible stories was special, and I think I enjoyed it for that alone. It’s not often you read a book that created a genre!

If you’ve been wanting to read more classics and happen to like horror and/or vampire books, this could be an excellent starting point. The writing is easy to follow, the plot engaging, and it is the vampire novel that started it all 😉


Have you read Dracula? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Skye by Liz Meldon (All In #3)

“Skye Summers: A sugar baby no more.”

What I thought:

After I devoured the first two books in this trilogy of steamy novellas, I couldn’t wait to read Book 3. I always highly anticipate Meldon’s books and this one didn’t disappoint, either!

I love the blurb – it’s short, to the point, gives nothing away, and makes perfect sense if you’ve read the first two! It may be short but it’s enough!

Skye’s head snapped in the direction of the door, eyes widening at the sound of an all-too-familiar voice–one she hadn’t heard for over a month, but sometimes whispered naughty things in her dreams.

It picks up shortly after Cole, Book 2 in this series, ended, and progresses well from there. Skye hates the position she’s in and she hates not talking to either man. When she runs into Finn, she realises she can’t live without them – but she has no idea how she’d make it work. Meanwhile, Finn and Cole have already come to a decision in their own time; all Skye needs to do is listen, but she’s not ready for the conversation she thinks would follow.

Skye no longer has a choice but to talk to both when her cat Ozzie isn’t well and HOW DARE YOU HURT THE CAT, MELDON! You expect to feel certain things when you pick up an erotic romance, but heartache isn’t supposed to be one of them -.- Not for poor pets, anyway -.- HOW DARE YOU! My heart broke when Skye called Cole, the three words she said to him were enough to make me cry. HOW DARE– You get the idea. I know this book isn’t about Skye’s cat, but as a cat owner myself it made me feel all the things. I didn’t put it down after that because I wanted to know if Ozzie was going to be all right 😛 And no, I won’t tell you. Spoilers and all that. You can totally suffer as I suffered.

It really was a crime that they hadn’t kissed sooner. Skye had always made him brave, but kissing her–it was like she made him superhuman.

This trilogy ended on a high after Finn and Cole finally talked to Skye, who didn’t have a choice but to listen since both men slept over in her apartment after a stressful night at the vet. If you’ve been following this trilogy like I have you’ll be thrilled with the way it ended!

Please be advised that this is an erotic romance and definitely not suited to younger readers.

Since each sequel builds on the book before, I recommend you read them in order. I read Skye in one sitting, and since every book is a novella you could read the whole trilogy in one day if you had enough time.

Skye is out on November 1st, so hurry to Amazon and pre-order your copy now!


Have you read the first two books in this trilogy? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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