Tag: review blog

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.

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

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Torment offers a glimpse of a far better series

Torment offers a glimpse of a far better series

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

Even I’m scratching my head at this rating, folks. The second Fallen book is actually kind of decent. I enjoyed it. It made me want to keep reading the series, when I was sure I only picked it up to get lore missing from book one and put the story down forever. But no, I anticipate I’ll be reading the rest of the quartet now.

What did it? Well, this book took the good elements of the first book (few and far between, but: good friends, supernatural elements) and added a couple things really up my alley. For one, it takes place at a small school for nephilhim, who have only weak magical powers but still get weird lessons on biblical history and controlling shadows, all in preparation for the ‘end of days’. To avoid favoritism, the school is taught from a neutral point of view, with the two teachers being an awesome married couple of an angel/demon who never the less plan to fight to the death in the apocalypse. This is a really fun concept. It’s also nearly the exact set up of a book I wrote, Good Angel, so you know… it’s a concept I’m into.

Also, there’s a lot of deeper introspection from Luce, who starts to think about her relationship with Daniel and all the Unfortunate Implications that go with it. Especially that, since she’s reborn and dies every 17 years, she has a series of relatives and parents who are left grieving her. Daniel is essentially the world’s most specialized serial killer, and it’d good how she comes to resent and grow angry at the bad power structure they have.

Continue reading “Torment offers a glimpse of a far better series”

Sweet Reckoning means Sweet Release from me having to read this horrifying series

Sweet Reckoning means Sweet Release from me having to read this horrifying series

☆☆☆☆☆

(0 stars)

Is ‘horrifying’ the right word? I typed ‘horrible’ at first, but then… this book, and the series as a whole, is so absurdly bad it sounds fake. How else can I discuss a book  with extreme christian themes and yet super horniness, where the bible saves the day, the love interest is a canonical child rapist, and panty-sniffing virginity-sensing demons are a key plot point?

There’s actually a fourth book, a companion to the trilogy from the viewpoint of the love interest, but right now I don’t have interest in reading it.

Continue reading “Sweet Reckoning means Sweet Release from me having to read this horrifying series”

Let’s not get too meta: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project

Let’s not get too meta: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

(I received this book for free for an honest review off of Netgalley)

I’m a little stumped on writing this review, hence my lack of attempt at coming up with a more snappy title. This is a very tricky book to review, on account of it being extremely meta about… books. And itself. Is it satire the plot, world, and characters are lacking? Is it on a winking purpose that the romance and story arc is so predictable and simple? Is the writing style meant to lampshade the meta nature of the story?

What I can say for certain is my own levels of interacting with it, and I didn’t end up liking this book much. The meta nature makes it far harder for me to say ‘this ain’t a great book’. We’ll see how I can best talk about this.

Continue reading “Let’s not get too meta: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project”

As of ‘Wicked King’, the only character I’m interested in throttling is Carden

As of ‘Wicked King’, the only character I’m interested in throttling is Carden

★★★★☆

(4 stars)

I read the Cruel Prince a few months ago and enjoyed it, even though I despised the main male love interest, Carden. It’s tricky to say I hate him, because this book series is about 50% sexual-tension-hatred, and my feelings for Carden are purely murder based. I can get into a lot of discourse about him and what he means as a YA romantic lead, but I’ll mostly try to review this book.

Who gave me this ARC? I didn’t even get an email, but I checked netgalley and it was just there. This is one of the books I’ve been most excited to read, so thanks.

Continue reading “As of ‘Wicked King’, the only character I’m interested in throttling is Carden”

Don’t let the mention of Wattpad fool you- White Stag is an engaging and original fantasy

Don’t let the mention of Wattpad fool you- White Stag is an engaging and original fantasy

★★★★★

(4.5 stars)

This is a review of an ARC, which I got off netgalley for an honest review.

This is far from the first time, also, I’ve read a book where I have a small connection to the author- but again, I do not let this color my review, and I’ve in the past given books from friends low ratings.

Hey, Wattpad! Now, I don’t want to come off as too rough, but as someone who was active on Wattpad for many years, a lot of the books on their are hot garbage, especially the most read ones. Books like ‘After’, ‘Lailah’, ‘My life with the Walter boys’ do not set a good standard for Wattpad fiction being… good. Often you end up with poorly written books that got popular due to various circumstances, but don’t hold up in the mainstream market, least of all to outside critique.

I knew the author of this book in passing, though not particularly well. We were both active for a while on the same quiet chat thread, and while we were in no way friends, I kept her on my radar over twitter (where it turned out we had an absurd amount in common) and in passing. Seeing her book on Netgalley was a very pleasant surprise, so I requested it right away, still with a twinge of ‘Wattpad Worry’.

Luckily, White Stag came through.

Aw yeah.

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Time Travellers Strictly Cash is the second Callahan’s book… and fittingly, only has two quality Callahan stories

Time Travellers Strictly Cash is the second Callahan’s book… and fittingly, only has two quality Callahan stories

★★★☆☆

(2.5 stars)

This is a very difficult review to write, for one simple reason: the parts of this book that were good, were good. Other parts I skipped, and while there were reasons for that, I feel I shouldn’t include them in my grading- but then I have to, actually, since they are a part of the whole.

And the whole of this book is disappointing. Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon was excellent, and this book could have nearly been excellent if it was actually a sequel. Now, you don’t know this from the back, cover, or anything else, but this book is maybe a third Callahan’s stories, the other 2/3s being miscellaneous short stories and non-fiction.

Yes, non-fiction! That is the part I skipped. Look, they might have been fine, but I didn’t pick up this book to read interviews, essays, and speeches.

Continue reading “Time Travellers Strictly Cash is the second Callahan’s book… and fittingly, only has two quality Callahan stories”