Tag: new

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.

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The Girl Before is nothing special, and a touch unpleasant

The Girl Before is nothing special, and a touch unpleasant

★★☆☆☆

(1.5 stars)

I don’t honestly read thrillers as a genre, but this one sounded like it had a hint of techno-thriller to it, which I do like- being a SF/F genre reader personally. It, however, is just a pure new-trend thriller, quite akin to the one other thriller I’ve read (the far superior YOU).

It sold well and is popular for a reason: a simple premise, good writing, a lot of dramatic twists and reveals, and a generally always growing sense of danger. The narrative shifts every chapter between THEN and NOW, a time different of two years, with THEN’s point of view character being dead. We learn about her death in the NOW, but information is spread out deliberately, ramping up the tension of when we’ll see her die.

Again, effective techniques. However, this book seriously falls apart in the latter half, and especially the final quarter and last few chapters. Likable characters become ridiculous. Horrible choices are made. The truth is a complete letdown. I’m going to be mentioning spoilers, so keep an eye out. Also: this book has some real racism things in it (the only two black characters, men, are sexual predators and aggressive) and uncomfortable disability things (a character is heavily encouraged to get an give up her disabled child for adoption, in general Down’s Syndrome is treated as a terrifying, horrible thing for a mother to deal with).

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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

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The Similars is promising, but falls apart with one-note characters

The Similars is promising, but falls apart with one-note characters

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

I received this book for free on Netgalley for a review. I requested it because I thought the cover was *kisses fingertips* fantastically designed, and the summary sounded like the sort of thing I’d like.

I’m struggling to write and rate this properly. I sort of skimmed reviews when I was 25% into the book, and was surprised to see most pointing out a discrepancy between the beginning and the end of the book- but having read it, I agree. The start is a solid 5 stars, and the book declines in quality around 50%, with the very end being… below average quality.

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