Category Archives: Reviews

Discovery: Tor Books


 It started with an advertisement on Facebook for Tor Books “Free eBook of the Month Club” and who could resist a free eBook every month? The first book of the month was V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. I had heard about this book from friends and my Goodreads feed, but I hadn’t really heard much about it plot wise just that it was a good book. But then I started reading it and I was hooked. Not to mention look at this great cover:

The cover alone is like a summary of the book. And with this as my introduction to the imprint how could I not be excited to discover more books curated by them? So, I followed their Instagram.

I hadn’t really finished a book by them, or by anyone really, because I was in sort of a reading funk. But between Stephen King’s It which consumed most of last year, and Tamora Pierce’s Tempests and Slaughter I finally felt like my reading slump had ended. But what to read next? I didn’t want to pick up A Darker Shade of Magic again just yet. Not because it’s not a good book, just because it wasn’t the type of book I was craving. It was too real world still, I needed a complete escape. Enter Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, another book with an AMAZING cover:

This cover is just so gorgeous and interesting to look at that I couldn’t help but be drawn to it when I first saw it. But that’s not why I had picked up this book. I had first heard of Brandon Sanderson’s books from Critical Role and Tor Books sponsorship of them but I had never known where to start with them. Mistborn was exactly what I was looking for in a book because it was short enough to read in a couple of months (as opposed to taking me an entire year) and it was enough out of this world for me to escape into its setting. And that’s what I needed at the time.

A Darker Shade of Magic was just too grounded in reality still to accomplish that task. But that’s part of what makes Tor Books so perfect to me. They have books that cover every level of real-world grounded settings. Mistborn is one that has minor similarities to the real world where you can see the influences that historical background has had. But that’s about it as far as real-world similarities. A Darker Shade of Magic has London as its real-world tether with side worlds that are less connected but still based on the standard society.

But Tor also has books that just twist the real world slightly. I just received an ARC from a give away I entered called The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez and I am so excited to read it. It seems to treat Tesla like Sanctuary does, but with a twist and it is most definitely grounded in modern day America/World (I haven’t gotten far enough to determine a definite setting. Once I do, I will definitely do a review). The cover on this one is just as gorgeous as the rest:

And I just have the ARC. So I can’t wait to see what the finished product is like.

This book comes out March 16th, 2019 and it’s ARC give away and the free ebook are the only ways in which I was “compensated” for this review and they had no idea I was going to write this to begin with. As I’ve said in the past, nothing I write about on this blog ahs anything to do with sponsorship. They are all things I genuinely like and enjoy and Tor Books imprint is no different. They have books I love, they have great editors from what I’ve seen (you’d think this wasn’t important as long as the story is good but I’ve found that to be very untrue), and their cover designers are awesome!

So, in conclusion, I 10/10 would recommend Tor Books as an imprint to check out, as well as each of these books I have mentioned in this post.

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Review: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce


Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1, Tortall #8)
The feather is so pretty!

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book was well worth the wait and I cannot wait for the rest of the series. I am going to try to write this review without giving anything away from all of her other books as well as this one. Tamora Pierce’s books are pretty easy to read as separate series without being lost on what is going on. So I started by reading The Immortals Quartet and then went back to read the other series. The Immortals Quartet is where I was first introduced to a majority of the characters in this book. So I know much more about them than someone who was reading this book first. Arram is the reason I fell in love with these books in the first place, and he is the reason I was so desperate to get my hands on this book.

This book follows Arram from age 11 and continues on until he is 15. It follows him as he meets new friends, tries to find out who he is, and tries to figure out who would make him their enemy. Now, if you know the rest of the story you know how exciting even the smallest detail about Arram’s Carthak life can be, but for new readers this probably sounds quite boring. But this book was anything but that.

Arram Draper is the son of a cloth maker who lives in a country called Tyra. They aren’t in the wealthiest of classes, but they are still merchants. They have a good plot of land, and enough money to send their extremely gifted son to a very good school. Now, this is no ordinary school and Arram is no ordinary student. Don’t get me wrong, this school is no Hogwarts, there are no fancy robes required to attend classes. The subjects aren’t outrageous, but they aren’t uninteresting either. Arram’s power is one to be reckoned with, and when you throw in a few meddling Gods, a cute little bind, and a plot for an Empire you get an interesting kick-off to what hopes to be a brilliant new series.

Here comes the part where reading the rest of the books makes this more interesting: Ever wonder what Ozorne was like as a child? Or how he and Varice became so entangled? How about their favorite teacher Lindhall? And wait? Is that The Sarge? And how cute are these besties? These answers and more are in this book, making it well worth the wait in my opinion.



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Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco


Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
Can we just talk about this cover too?

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book was so fascinating to me. It follows the life of a girl living in Ripper era London with her Father, her brother, and some pretty high societal expectations. Her Uncle was a doctor with a university position and the ability to perform autopsies. She was a female with a brain too big for her societal expectations and a father too strict to break propriety leading to illicit lessons in forensic science and some next level sneaking around. From carrying extra clothes in her carriage to slipping out in the middle of the night, she had investigative aspirations that reached the sky. Unfortunately, sky high aspirations rarely lead to grounded scientific breakthroughs and this was no different.

Andrey Rose Wadsworth was happy to study under her Uncle. But when the infamous Whitechapel murders threw a wrench in that plan by resulting in her Uncle’s arrest it came down to her and her intellectual rival / eventual love interest to solve the mystery and save the day. With his help, and the notes of the murders, could she fix everything and save her family? Or would it end up breaking it forever? This is the basic summary of just about every heroine story in the YA section of the bookstore with slight variations on what’s being destroyed forever. The difference between this book and the usual heroine stories is the historical aspects of it.

This book brings in just enough detail to bring you in to the times but also lacking just enough to pique your interest and make you want to know more. For me, my brain instantly wanted to know more about the accuracy of the forensic advancement described in the book. For others, the social aspect was more fascinating. The intricacies of propriety and scientific exploration in London’s 1800’s will clearly never cease to be of interest to people, the social aspect was more fascinating. The intricacies of propriety and scientific exploration in London’s 1800’s will clearly never cease to be of interest to people. There is still so much to explore and different perspectives to explore in. I am excited to read the latest installments and see what level she takes the twists to. My overall opinion is that it’s both a good read, and an interesting window into the historical time it portrays.




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House of Hades by Rick Riordan


The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: Do not review before reading Mark of Athena. May contain spoilers.

This book took me over a year to read. I got this book a month after it was released and started reading it as soon as I got it. But then with school I started letting it sit there forgotten because it just wasn’t captivating my interest like the other ones had. It seemed like nothing was happening. Even the character growth seemed to be boring and almost non-existent. I just wasn’t interested in who he had narrating or what was going on. Normally I start out with what the book is about but this seemed like it needed to be said first.

This book picks up right where it left off in Mark of Athena, cliff hanger and all. It follows the same seven demigods only now they are split in two main locations. The ship, and Tartarus. Percy and Annabeth have to find their way to the Doors of Death and unchain them from their location. Jason, Hazel, Leo, and the others need to find the House of Hades and do the same. Percy and Annabeth are stuck in Tartarus, this is really the more exciting of the two paths to the Doors while reading the book. The crew, have a more uneventful trip for most of the book. It’s interesting in the first couple of chapters, when Leo gets separated from the group and the ship gets damaged. But after that things slow down a bit. Once it hits the point of slowing down, you are begging for the narrator to go back to Percy or Annabeth.

So I would still say that yes I liked this book enough to finish it. But I feel like it could have made the character growth that was happening happen a little bit faster. I think the biggest problem was with the Leo chapters. They just went by so slowly. This may change depending on how much you like Leo, but I thought it could do with much less of him.

Overall recommendation: Read the book so you can get to the end. Once you suffer through that lagging middle part it definitely picks up.

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Book Reviews


So… college is a thing. Which means no posts, or books, or anything really. I have A BUNCH of wip reviews that I might finish if I have the down time. So… that’s what’s happening.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading this because of the second book in the Beautiful Creatures series. Each of those books references a different classic novel or so I’ve gathered from the first two books. Jekyll and Hyde was the one referenced in this one. So, since I hadn’t read Jekyll and Hyde yet, and had it for free on my Kobo Mini eReader I decided to read it before I went any further in Beautiful Darkness.

I’m pretty sure everyone knows the general plot of Jekyll and Hyde but in case you don’t. This book is told from the perspective of a lawyer who is friends with Jekyll and cousins to a person who has had an experience with Hyde. The rest of the book consists of the lawyer trying to figure out who this Hyde was and protect Jekyll from him because he’s been described as garish and unpleasant.

It wasn’t until the end that we get to the classic story we know and love of a monster and a man trapped in the same body unleashed by this drug Jekyll concocted. This account is from two people, first Lanyon another of Jekyll’s friends and then Jekyll himself.

Over all this book was good, the language would have been a little bit annoying had I not had a push dictionary at my disposal. But that’s to be expected since this book is very old, when the English language actually had intelligent people.

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Book Reviews


Hey,

So if you are here to request a book review from me, please include any trigger warnings that may apply, and any other rating warnings that might need to be included.

Thank you!

~Your exhausted blogger friend.

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