Book Review

Mini Review Day

Book Cover



Florence. Winter, 1536.

A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany – or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first?

My Review

This was a good mystery, solid in that area alone. I also loved the historical setting, it was unique to most of the mysteries I read. Going on about the setting, I felt it was really well done in descriptions and transported me to where Aldo was in a Renaissance Florence. The fact that Caesar Aldo was gay also was an added bonus for me, and he wasn’t just written that way for the ‘sake of it’ the author took time to develop him as a full-fledged character not only in sexuality but in background, a well hashed out history where a lot of mystery writers tend to forget to have that for their MCs.

The mystery did drag on a bit and I felt the middle was a bit muddled because of that, but it did alright, as I said a solid mystery read at the end of the day.

There were other characters that we tend to write out of history and I appreciated the author’s authenticity in giving those forgotten characters their proper places in history.

Downsides? The pacing again, with the large slump in the middle was a big one. Another point that had me rating this down was the over use of the curse words in Italian. It was always just the one ‘curse’ word in Italian and it was like when a child learnds a new ‘naughty’ word and just wants to go to town with it. It also was a bit sad that, that was the only Italian language that was used.

Still, fun mystery, really great ending and I am curious to see what Aldo does next!

3.5/5 cups of coffee from me thanks so much to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Cover


When ghosts talk, she will listen…

When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen…

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down.

My Review

First off, it did take me a few chapters to realize this was a dystopia setting, but once realizing that I was pretty happy about that lol. The protagonist has a wonderfully distinctive voice, you will not ever not know when she is speaking or who she is in the book.

Edinburgh is very different in this dystopia future and as a one-time resident of there and of Scotland for a while, it was still fun to see what things Huchu kept and what they changed.

While there was this great vibrancy to our MC, Ropa, and a super creative dystopia look at Edinburgh, I did find myself easily distracted by trying to figure out how things worked out in this dystopia. Because it took me so long to figure it out (which is probably a me problem and not the Author’s problem lol) I was a bit confused and while that confusion lessened, I was still left with feeling that this was not ready yet to be a developed world. The magic was the most developed and best part of it in my opinion and I loved Ropa’s family and her personality so much.

The plot was intriguing but took a really long time to get some steam to it but I was still interested. I wanted answers, just like Ropa!

I think this shows a lot of promise and could be a pretty good series/trilogy/duology whatever it is Huchu intends it to be.

3.5/5 cups of coffee from me. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Cover


Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges. 

My Review

I already talked about how much I enjoyed this on my post on Friday but I really wanted to do a mini-review. Fence is such a great graphic/comic. The art is just so vibrant and full of colors. This doesn’t even begin for me to sing the praises of its characters and the amazingly fun fencing scenes and of course the drama between my new fave roommates.

The first volume is so quick to fly through and I’m pretty scared to get to the next one, the cliffhanger had me on the edge of my seat but I’m so scared I’ll not be able to control myself and fly through the rest…then again that just means I’ll have to re-read it after!

Anywa, 5/5 cups of coffee/hot chocolate from me!

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

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