Review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

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BROTHER’S RUIN is my first in the gaslamp fantasy (sub)genre, and I was intrigued and fascinated all at the same time. I love the mix of magic with the historical era, in this case, Victorian, if I’m not mistaken. This is a novella introducing the Industrial Magic series, and it’s a good first book in the series, as I want the next one now!

In Charlotte’s world, people who show magic–especially one as powerful as hers–are often taken away to be trained in the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts. While the mages are then trained to control their magic, the downside is that they lose their freedom. Or so Charlotte believes. Thus, she hides her magic, but when her father became indebted and needed money, he had no choice but to report her brother, Benjamin, who had exhibited some talent so that the family could be compensated for “losing” their son to the arts. But Ben isn’t the talented one, but his sister… Continue reading

Review: Disenchanted by Susan Carroll

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DISENCHANTED is one of the best fairy-tale retellings of Cinderella I’ve read. Susan Carroll writes a compelling tale that is full of magic and enchantment, yet also flawed and very human characters. Needless to say, I was in love from the first page, and I can’t wait to read more!

First, the worldbuilding. Ms. Carroll built a totally new world that is full of magical elements, complete with fairies (not the small, lovable types), witches, magic potions, and more! The descriptions of the places–Midtown, Misty Bottoms, etc–were so vividly done that I can totally see them and imagine myself there.

Next, the characters. I love the total reversal of Ella’s family, that instead of the wicked stepmother, she had a kind one who really treated her as her own daughter, but she, as well as her daughters, had some character flaws that resulted in Ella doing everything for the family because it was just easier that way. See? This is what I liked about Ms. Carroll’s story. The same elements in the original fairy tale are there, like Ella being a servant in her own house, but there was a twist, and the twist also makes sense. It makes you see things differently. How wonderful is that! Continue reading

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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I am lost.

WINTERSONG is magical, with a fairy tale atmosphere that is heightened by the lovely, lyrical writing. Though there are echoes of Labyrinth (my favorite childhood movie!), the author took it beyond that to create a story and characters that are unforgettable and that will live in you long after you have finished reading the book. I can say definitely that WINTERSONG is a book that will go on my keeper shelf and that I will reread over and over until I have wrung the last bit of magic from it.

Told from the first person of view, Liesl or Elisabeth makes an engaging, self-aware narrator, and from her narration, we see how she grows from girl to woman, not just in terms of physical, but also in her emotional and mental maturity, in the self-actualization that she attains at the end. Her realization that she is “Elisabeth, entire”. The author takes us on this strange, wondrous, compelling journey, and while more astute readers may guess there’s only one outcome to this story, yet the journey to that end is filled with growth and realizations that both characters (Elisabeth and the Goblin King) would not have attained without these experiences.

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Anticipating Books…

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The Illuminae Files #2

Coming: October 18, 2016

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. 

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and theHypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. 

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

 

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Six of Crows #2

Coming: September 27, 2016

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope.

As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

There’s even a sampler of Chapters 1 to 4 on Amazon!!! You can bet I’m getting it. I wonder if I should though. I mean, what if after reading it, I can’t wait until September???

My Top Ten of 2015

If I could give it 10 stars, I would!

PLAYING WITH FIRE is the magnificent, hot hot hot follow up to Flirting with Fire. What makes it hot? Dominant hero, saucy-mouthed heroine, power games in and out of the bedroom. Combine that with witty dialogue, and you’re in for an amazing ride you don’t want to end!

This book is so so good that I wonder how the author could top this one. Still, I’m willing to see her try with Wyatt’s book, Sparking the Fire.

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BLURRED LINES is a raw, no-holds-barred portrayal of two best friends making the choice to become lovers, and it’s the best I’ve ever read!

There was no slow moment in the story; the stakes got progressively higher with each chapter, along with the tension. The pace was just right, and the writing flowed smoothly. The characters were empathetic, flawed and believable, and together, they were hot hot hot! There was no superfluous intimate scene, and I love that!

Full review here. Continue reading

Review: Miss Landon and Aubranael by Charlotte E. English

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I love historical romance, and the blurb seems to hint at this being an endearing story (how could it not with a hero with a disfigured face?), I grabbed the chance to read this story, and imagine my surprise and delight when it was so much more than I expected!

Miss Sophy Landon has no prospects for a good marriage, but her kindness earns her passage to a completely different world where she met Aubranael, a man with a disfigured face with whom she felt…something. Certainly, when she went back home, she couldn’t stop thinking about him! Alas, she can only stay a day, and so they parted. But each couldn’t stop thinking about the other, and when chance came that Aubranael may be able to visit her in her hometown, he grabbed at the chance, especially when he could court her with a (temporary) change to his face, making him as handsome as any maiden could wish for her suitor to be. Would Aubranael succeed in winning Sophy? What happens when the truth is out? Continue reading