Category: Review

Can Hush, Hush please be quiet?

Can Hush, Hush please be quiet?

☆☆☆☆☆

(0 stars)

Obviously, I’ve been on an angel reading spree this summer- yet if you’d asked me before to place my bets, I wouldn’t have thought Hush, Hush to be the worst of them all. I’ve been eyeing para-ro angel books since they were first published, but my dislike of the genre has always outweighed my interest in angels- so coming into them now is fairly interesting.

Anyways, Hush is atrociously bad. This is ‘you would not believe’ levels of bad going on here. Folks, we have headscratching angel mythos, smart-as-stone heroines, girl-hate, abusive love interests, and a villain who is one hundred percent correct. Settle on down to this boat of terror and place your arms under the bar- it’s a real doozy.

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Ironside is, at last, the kind of fae book we need more of

Ironside is, at last, the kind of fae book we need more of

★★★★★

(4.5 stars)

There’s one thing to note before I shimmy down into this: The Modern Faerie Tales is a very bizarre trio of books. Yes, it goes Tithe, Valiant, then Ironside, but you do not need to read Valiant at all, and Tithe/Ironside are far more of a duology. At this point I don’t know if I’ll read Valient or not, hence me skipping it.

I suppose I should also note the irony of me declaring this a ‘good fae book’ when I read my first fae book in 2017 and… actually, all but one of the books I’ve read HAVE been by Holly Black. I’m no expert in the genre technically, but I have been doing reading and research since I am writing a book with fae in it, plus DND has exposed me to it… as well as my hatred for SJM’s fae. So I’m not well read, but I know what a good faerie portrayel should contain, and Ironside has finally hit that mark.

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I desperately miss books like Max on Earth

I desperately miss books like Max on Earth

★★★★★

(5 stars)

My girlfriend picked this up for me. I think I’ve allured her into the world of buying random pulp books, though I’m the one who ends up eventually reading them. This one was picked up for the cover- delightful, as you can see, even though no good HD versions appear to exist online.

OUT OF THIS WORLD #1: Max on Earth is the tiny, short book from about 1980 when YA fiction was… well, like this I guess. An alien named Max shows up and befriends Randi, a normal teen girl, and that’s it. I honestly used to read a lot of books about this length and style when I was younger, since the library would have them. I think admittedly I was more 12 at that point, but 12 year olds do count as YA, and kids that age and younger read modern YA as well. I can’t quite recall the names, but I remember books about like an alien who interrupted baseball, a mirror that turned a kid invisible, a teacher who was secretly an alien, and a girl who was secretly an alien princess. I guess I read a lot of books on aliens, looking back. These were all MG/YA that I generally read when I was younger, being a Super Advanced Reader in elementary school and all. They rocked.

Ahem. Is this book good? No, not really. Have I given it five stars? Yes. What are you going to do about it?

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A strong start can’t shake the letdown that is Crown of Coral and Pearl

A strong start can’t shake the letdown that is Crown of Coral and Pearl

(2.5 stars)

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Even the tagline of this book is at war with it’s concept: Steal the crown, save the kingdom. Dramatic, bold, and entirely unrelated to both the pitch and actual plot.

This was a book I asked for and was semi-surprised I’d received. It sounded interesting and the cover was gorgeous, but I didn’t know what I was stepping into. The pitch is fantastic, and at first I thought I was getting into a solid 5, or 4.5, star book: the first 100 pages are slow moving, but also have fantastic writing, emotional beats, and story elements. Then the rest of the book happens.

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The Kingdom: A fantastical, dystopic, nightmare

The Kingdom: A fantastical, dystopic, nightmare

★★★★★

(5 stars)

I very rarely buy physical copies of books. New, at least- one reason for my spurges of bad YA recently has been because those are the easiest books to find thrift. Good books, especially new good books, rarely show up in charity shops. However, I went ahead and paid full price for The Kingdom without reading any reviews, and I’m glad I did.

I knew I would like this, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t pleasantly surprised how much I did. My favorite movie is Ex Machina, and one of my favorite books is Only Ever Yours, and this book is a perfect blend of both, but also set in a theme park. And books set in theme parks are the best books.

Plainly, I would recommend this book to anyone (and already have). It’s a good length suspense about the meaning of being alive, AI, morality, and advanced technologies, and the only major downside to me was the ending, which seems to set up more for a possible sequel rather than embrace a clean, tidy ending.

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Abandon represents a fun- yet troubling- genre mix-up

Abandon represents a fun- yet troubling- genre mix-up

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

The author of the book is for once very important to this review: Meg Cabot! I’ve never read anything by her, but I know the name, and realizing she’d written this generic-looking para-ro book gave me pause. She wrote the Princess Diaries, a series which became a movie which I have seen heaps of nostalgia for and love. Without ever touching any of her contemporary teen-tween girl books I knew she was known for humor, lightness, fun, and quirky narration.

So what was she doing writing Abandon? This book screams para-ro boom of the early 2010s, from design to title to plot, yet is met in the middle by Cabot’s signature style. In the mix of an ugly love interest and his fairly abusive actions is genuinely funny dialogue. Despite the insta-love romance, there are bits of satisfying, true emotional moments regarding coming of age and being a teen girl. Even with the confusing, cartoon-ish bits, there’s real wit and good writing shining through.

Like, maybe I just liked this because I’d just finished a particularly bad quartet, but the writing is so good I found myself not caring as much as I should have about how bad the romance was. I liked the voice too much. Plus, it’s a short and snappy read.

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In a past life, maybe Rapture was an okay standalone novel

In a past life, maybe Rapture was an okay standalone novel

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

Rapture actually has a lot of things going for it: lovely descriptions, vivid images of international locations, interesting angel lore, neat magical concepts, and a few raised and slightly discussed deeper themes. The problem is that all of these positives are beaten over the head with the fact this is book four, and the final book in a quartet, of an extremely uneven series.

The Fallen quartet is perhaps the most diverse series I’ve read in that every book is decidedly a different genre and story-type to the next, as if the author had a checklist of things she wanted to try and decided to use the same paper thin characters to act each one out.

So, while I enjoyed some aspects of this too-long book, it was always hampered down by the fact it was the last book, and thus needed to provide a conclusion and tie-in to the ones before it. The treasure hunt for ancient angelic relics to solve a mystery about the fall is a fine idea and easily could have been the plot of a different, better novel, which didn’t also have to weave in a whole ton of characters, revelations, and confusing reincarnation gimmicks in as well.

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