ARC, Reviews

ARC Review – Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Overview

Overall Enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 3.5/5

World building 4/5

Diversity 2.5/5

Personal Summary: The 7th book is The Other series.

Bennett was a town wiped out the Namid’s Teeth and Claws, but it won’t stay that way for long. Humans are returning and with it the terra indigene are taking notice.

Jana wants to be a cop, Virgil has a grudge, and they’re going to have to learn to work together if they want to keep Bennett safe from humans that may have less than friendly intentions.

Note: This book can technically be read alone, but makes a lot more sense if you’ve read books 1-5.

Review

Note: I received Wild Country by Anne Bishop for free from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

First, let me say that I’m in love with the world of the others. It’s an urban fantasy like I haven’t read before and I just love it. There are many different types of werecreatures in this book and there’s so much going on. I must admit that while I did enjoy this book I will say that books 1-5, the original story line, are still very much my favorites.

Let’s start with the characters. There are so many. I loved those that I would consider the main characters. You have Jana whose always wanted to be a cop and has enough spunk to handle Virgil. I wasn’t sure at first if I’d like Virgil, but he definitely grew on me and he’s a big softy at heart. He bark is worse than his bite (usually). I particularly like his voice within the book. It gives a unique perspective that I really enjoy. Tolya, he’s basically the equivalent of a vampire, and he was kinda bland at first. He has a lot of dealings with Jesse though and it really brings out his character when he’s with her. Jesse is really great too. I loved all these characters, but there were also so many more characters. Honestly, too many characters for me. We were introduced to A LOT of characters and I don’t feel like some of them were really necessary unless there’s another book in this particular town (which I don’t believe is the case) and it left me with some questions that I never felt answered.

World building was good for an urban fantasy based novel. It’s based loosely on the world we have now only instead of humans being the dominant species the terre indigene (mostly what I would call werecreatures) are. The terre indigene are what really draws me into the story. Bishop gives them all a unique voice that I find really enjoyable.

The plot was a bit scattered to me. There was a lot going on in this book and again it was almost too much. I won’t say much on that because I don’t want to spoil things, but be ready. This book also has some western book-inspiration that I didn’t think I’d like, but actually enjoyed.

The diversity in this book. I’m unimpressed. Now, there was a gay couple and there was a neurodivergent child so let me explain why I was unimpressed. They felt forced and that they were only there to say the book had diversity. I doubt that was the author’s intent, but the diverse characters are introduced and then just kinda fade away or are in the background and never really given much attention. They had no really point in the book and I found that disappointing.

If you’d like to purchase Wild Country by Anne Bishop it’ll be released on March 5th and you can buy it here.

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: To leave a bad review or no?

Hello lovely readers! This Wednesday I’ve been wondering about bad reviews. As a lover and reviewer of books there have been books out there that I’ve hated. Sometimes it’s the poor characterization or world building, but other times I just didn’t really enjoy the book even though it was really well written. So, I’ve been wondering. Should book bloggers post their bad reviews? I ask, because though I’ve seen an occasional less than positive review on a book blog on the majority I’ve seen 4+ ratings. This could be, because like me other bloggers only read books that they feel that they’re really interested in. But, I’ve also heard murmurs of bad reviews being bad for your blog. So, I’d like to know what you think? Do you think it’s good/okay to post a bad review for a book on your blog and why?

Reviews

Sizzling- A Review of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

World building: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Diversity: 4/5

Personal Summary: Lei is of the paper caste, completely human in a whole full of hybrids and demons. Life may not be easy, but it is the only life Lei has known. That all changes when a group of demons abducts her to take her to the palace as one of the king’s paper girls. At the palace Lei is faced with new challenges, but also finds a love that strengthens her is ways she didn’t realize were possible. Together they may just be able to defeat the king and gain their freedom.

Review

I fell completely in love with this story about five pages in. This is the first book I’ve read with an f/f pairing that I’ve really enjoyed. It was a sizzling romance my readers and it was glorious.

The world is set in a Malaysian-inspired fantasy world full of humans, hybrids, and demon. I really enjoyed this world. There were smatterings of history throughout the book that really pulled everything together, but never got to the point of overwhelming. What I think I really enjoyed were the cultural nuances of this book. This book is full of its own cultural practices and beliefs and while I can see how some of it is based on real world cultural practices it didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. If you want a non-European fantasy world this book is a really great choice.

Characterization. I had mixed feelings about this rating. Lei and Wren had great characterization. I would say most of the characters that are more than just passing characters do, but sometimes I wanted a little bit more history from some of them. Many of them have a rough back story that’s alluded to, but never fully explained that I was hoping for.

Diversity. Full of women of color and are main characters are lesbians in an Asian-inspired world. It was beautifully done.

So, if you want a fantasy book featuring a diverse setting featuring two strong and brave lesbian lovers I couldn’t recommend this book enough for you. You can purchase it here.


Have you read this book yet? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

ARC, Reviews

ARC Review- Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant

Release Date: February 25th

At a Glance

Overall: 3/5

Characterization: 4/5

World building: 2/5

Diversity: 2/5

Note: I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Personal Summary: Finn, an all American boy from a small town in Iowa, who has powers beyond his control.

Roark, the prince of the unseelie court, struggling to be true to himself under the weight of the thrown.

Roark and Finn both attend Mather’s School of Magick together and have been uneasy roommates for several years. Finn, is constantly being targeted for his powers and Roark is constantly helping him. This is both their final year at Mather’s and tensions are running high. There’s a war brewing and their growing feelings for each other could be what saves them or the very thing that destroys them both.

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the premise of the book. I was highly intrigued by the idea of Finn having a power that was a bit beyond his control. What a flaw, right? I loved the characterization of Roark and Finn. They were obviously very different people with different dialogue and tone patterns which is something a lot of books I’ve been reading recently sometimes struggle with. So, I was very pleased with that. I think their behaviors also speak well to their backgrounds and personal histories. But, the world building was sorely lacking. There’s fae and even other patheons all at Mather’s, but it didn’t really play into the story in any major way that I was hoping for. I wanted a lush fae culture that somehow managed to stay hidden in the human world with the help of magic, but if you took out the fact that Roark was a fae and made him human it wouldn’t make much of a difference to his character. He was basically a human with powers. Now, there were tiny bits of world building in the novel with the concept of the knight of the winter court. I thought that was a really interesting idea. The pacing of this book is kinda shaky, but the end of the book the plot definitely picks up and things start falling into place. I enjoyed the last part of this novel way more than I enjoyed the beginning so if you pick up this book I recommend sticking with it until the end. With a note to diversity, our main diversity in this book is the two main characters are gay, but that’s all the diversity we get. Both characters are young white males.

In conclusion, it was an enjoyable, light fantasy read with two enjoyable main characters, but if you’re looking for something new spin on the fae and/or a deep, gritty story then this is not the book for you. If you would like to check out The Prince of Air and Darkness you can find it here.


Has anyone else read this book? Is it on anyone’s TBR? What do you think?

Reviews

Heartfelt: A review – No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

Note: I received this book free of charge through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My brief personal summary: This book is a collection of short fairy tales featuring trans and nonbinary characters.

The book as a whole. 4/5

I really enjoyed it. The author’s note was so touching and I think the hopes for this book were realized. Diversity in all types of fiction is really necessary so that we might all find ourselves and our potential in the stories we enjoy. The one thing at the beginning that threw me off was that these really are short stories/fairy tales. These are not long novels with in-depth stories and though that is made very obvious in the description this sometimes made me feel left hanging. Now, to the stories themselves

Story One: Tangled Nets 3/5

Wren was an interesting character. Xhie had obviously been through a lot with xer sister and there was a lot going on, but I just didn’t feel attached to xer.  There was some cool world exploration, but right as I wanted to know more about xer the story was over. I think my biggest thing was there was some information about the other dragons and what happened to the white dragon that while interesting would have been better used as time to explore Wren more.

Story Two: King’s Favor 3/5

I liked this one better than Tangled Nets. There’s world building, but there’s also some exploration of Caran that I enjoyed about why nee was doing what nee was doing and why nee was specifically chosen. While I felt a bit of attachment to nee I wanted more. Caran got this amazing opportunity at the end and then it was over.

Story Three: His Father’s Son 5/5

This story was all I wanted! Nocien was the first character I really felt attached to in the book and he was glorious. We got his backstory through him remembering everything in a lot more detail than I feel like the previous short stories and I was hooked. Then, there was action, a great amount of it that really hit you and then the ending! I felt like I got the complete story.

Story Four: Daughter of Kings 4/5

This one got me right in the feels. Finndis is lovely, but there’s a past that is a bit painful. We get just enough of her history to really enjoy her victory. What a great story.

Story Five: Early to Rise 3/5

The most obvious retelling of a fairy tale in the book. An interesting retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It was short, but I enjoyed it well enough

Story Six: No man of Woman Born 4/5

Innes asks some great questions about prophesies that I admit I never thought about. I love that all the details don’t seem to slow any of these characters down. I think it really speaks to most of us who have dreamed of being heroes during at least one point in our lives. What a great story to give people faith in themselves.

Story Seven: The Wish-Giver 4/5

Short, but so heartwarming.

You can purchase No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll here.

Reviews

Mindblowing! – A Review: Ravensong by TJ Klune

I thought that Wolfsong was amazing, but Ravensong blows it out of the water. If you like Wolfsong you are going to fall in love with Ravensong no doubts and if you were kinda meh about Wolfsong then you should still read Ravensong, because it’s worth it! If stars are your thing 5/5 and I don’t say that lightly.

My Personal Summary: Gordo, the witch with a grudge. Gordo paid for his place in the pack with blood, but though he suffered that wasn’t enough to make the pack stay. He was abandoned and left to keep the territory safe. Now, years later the pack is back and with them Mark, the one who truly broke his heart. While the pack worked together to defeat a shared enemy that isn’t enough for Gordo to forgive and forget. There’s something coming for the pack though and when push comes to shove Gordo has a choice to make. A choice that will affect them all.

This book!!!! I was on the edge of my set the whole read and I struggled to put it down. Now, if you know anything about TJ Klune you know he’s not above making you cry and while I didn’t cry it was a near thing. This book is packed with emotion and when I say emotion I mean you will be drowning in the feels. We get a more detailed version of Gordo’s back story which really starts to make you understand why he’s kinda grouchy all the time. It also really adds to some of our previous characters. Wolfsong painted a picture of all the characters in one way and Ravensong really makes you question whether any one character is all good or all bad. It’s that depth, that grey in the characters that makes me really love them so much. Life is hard and while we might want to think that we can all be good all the time we’re human and we can’t be and neither can Klune’s characters. They do the best they can and then they will deal with the consequences whether good or bad. They’re complex.

A note on diversity. It’s still pretty basic, but there are a few tiny moves. There’s more female representation and we do learn that there is an asexual character which was nice.

Now, the plot. There’s a lot going on in this book. We meet some enemies that we knew were coming and were introduced to a new character we didn’t expect. There’s so much action, so much. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t really go into it, but the Mark story line is really just a fraction of all that is going on though I would still say it’s the focal point. Oh, and we find out what went on in those three years that He, Joe, Carter, and Kelly were gone for. Now, I was worried about this part taking up too much of the story when I first started reading it, but it’s just enough to really explain what happened to form them into such a tight group. Klune makes you fall even more in love with all these character and don’t worry Joe and Ox along with the rest of the family and friends are still in there too!

The ending, be prepared. TJ Klune always knows how to get you when you least expect it. He leaves you wanting more and I can’t wait for the third book, Heartsong, to come out this fall! Put it on your want-to-read shelf if you’re a Goodreads fan or just save that knowledge in your brain. You won’t want to miss it. Go read Ravensong here!

Reviews

The First Review-Wolfsong by TJ Klune. Amazing!

I bought this book from Dreamspinner Press on a whim thinking it’d be an okay werewolf story which I could enjoy over winter break. Well, I was in for quite the surprise, because this book wasn’t just okay it was so wonderful, so real, and worth every penny (honestly worth more in my opinion). While I’m not a huge fan of the star rating system if that’s your thing I’d say definitely 4/5. If you want a more in-depth review continue below!

My Personal Summary: Ox started life with a father that didn’t believe in him and a mother struggling to make things work.  It didn’t help when his father left and he was alone with just his mother. Things weren’t looking too good until he met a boy. A boy that just clung to him like glue and that’s when a beautiful friendship was born. But, while things start looking up a murder came to town and destroyed what happiness Ox had created. The boy left, running after the monster, and leaving Ox behind. It took three years for the boy to return and when he did he wanted to pick up where they left off. But, three years is a long time to wait and Ox has done what he needed to do to survive. Will they ever be able to reconnect or are they to be forever apart?

Now, I know the summary might not be superb, but don’t let deter you! This book as I mentioned is wonderful! This is a paranormal novel centered on werewolves and TJ Klune does a marvelous job.

Let start off with the characters. Ox, wonderful beautiful Ox. I must admit when I read Dreamspinner’s summary I wondered if maybe this character wasn’t very bright, but no no no. Ox is the lifeblood of this story and it didn’t take long for me to absolutely fall in love with him. TJ Klune does a really fantastic job of giving us insight and understanding into Ox’s life and why he is the way he is. I don’t want to give too much away so let’s talk about Gordo, the witch.  We don’t know a lot about him, but he has a soft spot for Ox and definitely has a major beef with the werewolves. What I enjoy most about this character is that there’s obviously a past there, and a painful one. Klune is giving us a very real person with Gordo and I can’t wait to read more about him (he’s the focus of book 2, Ravensong.) Now the werewolves.

The werewolves while your typically moon-pulled creatures have their own unique ritual that really gives them an enjoyable new spin that sets them apart from werewolves in other stories. The werewolves aren’t the only thing given a spin in this novel and you can be prepared for some fun twists in the book that keep you on your toes.

Now, one of the goals of this blog is to talk about diversity within books and I’d say this book definitely has some basic diversity in it. Many characters in the book are gay which is expected given the nature of the book and there is a tiny bit of racial diversity, but nothing too major.

While there might not be a ton of diversity in this book I still couldn’t recommend it enough as a great piece of paranormal fiction. Be prepared to fall in love, cry, and scream (both with joy and other feelings) as you read this story. So, go my bookworms and read it! You can get it here.