Category: Five stars

An Enchantment of Ravens enchanted me

An Enchantment of Ravens enchanted me

★★★★★

(5 stars)

First, collectively, we’re going to look at that cover. And sigh. It is so beautiful, and having it hardcover with gloss makes it even better. I adore illustrated book covers wholeheartedly, and this one is perfect. Gorgeous. Lovely. I want it on my wall.

Anyhow, fae are ‘in’ right now big-time, and this is a fae book. I’m becoming more sold on fae lore (playing an Eladrin in D&D is the main reason), but I still feel like a lot of YA books with fae in them really miss the mark- I’m thinking of throne of glass, a court of thorns and roses, and shadowhunters right now. Fae lore is wonderful, and most certainly they are more than pallid, too-pretty beings who wear nice clothes (and they certainly don’t have ‘mates’ and ‘mate bonds’. Sarah J. Maas, I will defeat you for writing that in two books).

This book gets it. The rituals, the rules, the bargains, trades, and oddness that fae lore deserves- with the beauty and glam. Even if a lot of that glam is just glamour (haha fairy jokes please clap). It also subverts a lot of tropes I hate in para-ro (the main girl being okay with being immortal and leaving her friends and family behind for a boy, for example). Oh, and it’s funny, and lush, and has a wonderful romance, and a tight plot too.

Continue reading “An Enchantment of Ravens enchanted me”

Advertisements
The Amulet of Samarkand makes me happy

The Amulet of Samarkand makes me happy

★★★★★

(5 stars)

I was trying to think of a good title for this, but I can’t. I always struggle to leave long reviews for books I actually like, so this will surely be short. I have been recommended this book for years, and I’m so pleased to have actually read it, and own the rest of the books, and be ready to read the rest of the books. I would have DEVOURED this when I was a kid, but I still tore through it now. It’s wonderfully engaging, funny, thought-through, and with top of the line world-building as well. All I need.

Magicians who get their power through enslaved demons. A modern day london with modern day tech, but a whole lot of alternative history. A world where the magical elite dominate the industries and being common is more than just a wealth gap. Also, political intrigue! Murder! Scandal! Conspiracy! Magic!

A lot to love.

This is also one of those books where you can tell everything is carefully plotted- things are introduced in book one that you know are going to build in the later books. I’ve heard this series even has ‘the perfect ending for a trilogy’, which is a big promise, but right now I full-heatedly expect it to pay off.

 

The Iron Flower is a lush fantasy with lovable characters and far fewer issues

The Iron Flower is a lush fantasy with lovable characters and far fewer issues

★★★★★

(4.5 stars)

What a turnaround!

If you tried to tell me a month ago I’d be a certified Black Witch fan, I would have been very worried for my future. Now I sit here quite excited for the next book in the series, and quite certain it’s good to have a bit of fun.

There’s still some negatives I’ll talk about, but on the whole I had a blast. The characters grew on me. I understood the large world better. The drama and storytelling was up a notch. It’s YA, but good YA.

I even drew fanart (possibly the first ever for the poor series).

black witch crew EVEN MORE.png

Continue reading “The Iron Flower is a lush fantasy with lovable characters and far fewer issues”

Embers of War is a Humanist space opera with a lot to love

Embers of War is a Humanist space opera with a lot to love

★★★★★

(4.5 stars)

 

I might be a little bias because I’ve met the author and he was super nice to me and welcoming when I awkwardly sat with his table at a convention. He bought me rose as part of getting the group drinks. He’s also superbly friendly on twitter!

Anyways, I mention the bias in that I am rare to give out 5 stars, and this is more of a 4.5- but a very positive experience and score overall. I just want to be nice.

I really did enjoy this book once I got into it. Yes, it took a solid 10% or 15%, but once the plot and character introductions were through, I fully enjoyed it, and am excited for the sequel. I was really worried I wouldn’t like it, either!

The downside of me enjoying this book so much in a genre I don’t really read is that this is a pretty short and to the point review. Sorry.

Continue reading “Embers of War is a Humanist space opera with a lot to love”

Pulp binge: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a cozy, comfortable book about weird times, good friends, and bad puns

Pulp binge: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a cozy, comfortable book about weird times, good friends, and bad puns

★★★★★

(5 stars)

THRIFT STORE WHY: I found the cover for another book in the series (“lady slings the booze”) and was ENRAPTURED for months. I’ll post the cover below the cut, but basically: a woman stands at the bar, next to a german shepard who is sitting at the bar, wearing a suit and tie with sunglasses. Sherlock Holmes is jumping over a lamp, a robot is in the foreground, and nothing makes sense. When I found the full set for sale months later, I knew I had to read the series.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): This section is called this as pulp is often vague or misleading about the plot, but yeah: this one is pretty straightforward. Callahan’s is a bar where anything can happen, and anyone can stop by with a story to tell. Aliens, time travelers, mutants, psychics… everyone is welcome, everyone has something to say.

WOULD I RECC TO READ: There’s one or two bits that have either not aged well or are too heavy handed, but overall, very much!

Review:

Continue reading “Pulp binge: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a cozy, comfortable book about weird times, good friends, and bad puns”

I Would Like To Please Throttle The Entire Cast Of The Cruel Prince

I Would Like To Please Throttle The Entire Cast Of The Cruel Prince

★★★★★

(4.5 stars)

Honestly, this was a good book that left me in a haze after finishing it, and I totally felt motivated to read it in one short sitting (which I did!) Hell knows the cast is full of complete assholes though, and I want to pummel all of them into the ground, especially the titular Prince Carden.

cruel prince

This is the only way Jude/Carden is an okay ship and if you don’t understand it, you are a better man than me.

Continue reading “I Would Like To Please Throttle The Entire Cast Of The Cruel Prince”

The bonkers MallWorld is a hidden sci-fi gem

The bonkers MallWorld is a hidden sci-fi gem

★★★★★

(5 stars)

I stumbled on this in a second hand book store and bought it for two dollars. My life will never be the same

Mallworld is a collection of seven short stories all taking place in the same universe, a place far in the future where everyone lives in space, and there’s a shopping mall the size of a planet. You’ve never heard of it, but it’s fantastic. Weird, dark, strange, and fun.

Continue reading “The bonkers MallWorld is a hidden sci-fi gem”