Miss Austen eARC Review

 

Miss Austen

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GoodReads:

1840
: twenty three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury, and the home of her family’s friends, the Fowles.
She knows that, in some dusty corner of the sprawling vicarage, there is a cache of family letters which hold secrets she is desperate should not be revealed.
As Cassandra recalls her youth and her relationship with her brilliant yet complex sister, she pieces together buried truths about Jane’s history, and her own. And she faces a stark choice: should she act to protect Jane’s reputation? Or leave the contents of the letters to go unguarded into posterity …

Based on a literary mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics, Miss Austen is a wonderfully original and emotionally complex novel about the loves and lives of Cassandra and Jane Austen.

Book Information:
By: Gill Hornby
Publisher: Century/FlatIron Books
Page Count: 416
Format: Hardback, Paperback, eBook
Release Date: January 23, 2020

 

My Review

This book was deeply moving, the look at sisterhood and family was perfection especially in regards to the family Hornby is writing of. The Austens. A family quite close to each other and within that closeness an even deeper bond between Cassandra and Jane. She takes a bit of a mystery angle in this, trying to give us answers in the gaps Cassandra has left by culling certain correspondences with/regarding Jane. She was the gatekeeper and that is the role she plays in this novel.

This is all from Cassandra’s perspective but fluctuates between the past with Jane and the present, as she struggles to find and get hold of letters that could be harmful to Jane’s writing legacy and reputation.

One of the most beautiful things about this novel was the fact that it highlights the absolute contentment between the sisters. Of course, there were rough times and hardships, heartache, loss, and the wish of something more, but, through it all, they were fine with having each other. It was as if Hornby and Austen are shouting through different times to say ‘it’s okay to be single, to value love of family over romantic love, that it’s not necessary to lead a fulfilled life.’ But, the story and Austen’s novels also say, it’s just as okay to choose/have romantic love. I loved that quite a bit about Hornby’s novel. She’s taken a real-life mystery and made it into a delightful work of historical fiction.

Hornby’s prose is so reminiscent of what you enjoy in an Austen novel if you’re an Austen fan, and it just flourished. There wasn’t too much focus on small details, and the characters were so enjoyable. It was just the pacing which seemed to drag on in the present without aim sometimes that really threw me, but, it paid off in the end as the present did have its own purpose.

There’s also a very Jane Austen-esque story within that concerning some of the Fowle family as I mentioned above it’s the focus of the present. I enjoyed every minute of this book. I just felt at times it could drag which is why I did not give it a higher rating as it really put the story on pause almost by doing the pacing like that. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

If you’re in the U.K. Waterstones has a beautiful edition of this up for preorder, and there’s another signed edition available at Goldsboro, but, there’s also just the regular versions of course which all have the same amazing pages within!

Sorcery of Thorns eARC Review

 

 

DO NOT JUDGE ME, I KNOW THIS IS A VERY LATE REVIEW.

I…I just got busy and finally, I read it. It’s part of my attempt to slay the crap out of my NetGalley list so I can go into 2020 not feeling overwhelmed lol.

We’ll see how that goes hahaha.

Onto the book!

Sorcery of Thorns

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GoodReads:
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

I decided I couldn’t let 2019 pass without having read this. book. Rogerson has nailed down such an awesome magic system and the libraries are definitely my favorite part. I mean, magical grimoires, magisters who get their magic from a demon bond, and librarians who are absolutely kick-ass? YES TO ALL THAT.

Silas and Magister Thorn were hands down my favourites but Elisabeth had so much heart and sincerity it was impossible not to care for our protagonist. She’s a cinnamon roll with amazing strength [physically and internally] and I adored that she was tall.

As a short person, I want to be tall. I want to be able to look over people’s heads and I think that so often we associate female characters with being fierce and dainty, but, what’s wrong with being tall and fierce and with a kind heart? We need all sorts of different looking characters.

The complexity of the bond with demons and magisters is so unique. One provides magic, one provides years. I loved watching Elisabeth learn more about magisters, to realize maybe learning from the Library, where magic is held as a sinister danger, could have led to some biased views on her part. But, she’s not above learning to adjust her views.

Elisabeth and Silas’s interactions were some of my favorite to read, they had such a unique bond and the honesty between them is what I enjoyed most. But I definitely appreciated the friendship between Katrien and Elisabeth and I want Katrien to have a book of her own lol.

The banter that came from Nathaniel was A++ stuff, and I loved him so much, but this is where I give you all my grievances.

The only reason I did not rate this five stars is because, despite how much I absolutely LOVED this book, I just felt like something was missing from Nathaniel and Elisabeth’s interactions and relationship in general. I just wanted them to have a more genuine connection than we got. I did feel as if Silas and Elisabeth had better interaction, not romantically, just for a genuine friendship.

There are more moments of Silas and Elisabeth interacting than Nathaniel and Elisabeth and because of the lack of interaction, and the shallow level of their interactions, I found it hard to believe they were connected so deeply.

The ending was on point!! I definitely found myself going ‘WHY’ even though I had a feeling I knew what was coming, it didn’t make it any less enjoyable or impactful.

The pacing was well done, Silas and Elisabeth well fleshed out, and great development in Elisabeth. We needed more Katrien, but, I can live with the awesome moments she did have, and Nathaniel’s snark/sarcasm was amazing and aspirational lol.

There was a superb villain, and I could have read about the libraries all-day long.

As many have asked, why is this a standalone?! I NEED MORE!

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pros:
-Unique Magic System
-Magical Libraries
-Kick-ass Librarians
-Katrien
-Silas’s fashion sense
-Nathaniel’s wit
-Elisabeth’s heart
-Devious villain with devious plotting
-Books with thoughts and souls
-Magical Books

Cons:
-Not Enough Katrien
-Not many moments with Elisabeth and Nathaniel
-Not enough magical library moments
-Sometimes could be too predictable
-Shallow feeling to the relationship between Elisabeth and Nathaniel
-Wanted More World Building because it seemed awesome
-It’s a standalone

 

About the Author

Margaret  Rogerson

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Tumblr

Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers Review

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Blurb:
Packed with high stakes mystery and tons of heart, this first installment in a new series introduces Kazu Jones-a spunky, scrappy detective who’s this generation’s Harriet the Spy.
When a string of dognappings grips her Denver neighborhood, Kazu Jones vows to track down the culprits. She can’t stand to see more dogs go missing-especially once her neighbors’ beloved pet is taken because of her gigantic mistake.
With the help of her gang-including her best friend and expert hacker, March; and her ginormous, socially anxious pup, Genki-Kazu uncovers evidence that suggests the dognapping ring is bigger than she ever imagined. But the more she digs, the more dangerous her investigation becomes. The dognappers are getting bolder, and Genki could be next.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: “In this spirited debut, Holyoak introduces an indefatigable heroine whose distinct voice and loyal canine companion contribute to her considerable appeal. The diverse allies, plot twists, and delightful dogs make this a memorable beginning for Kazu and her friends.”
KIRKUS:Holyoak creates a well-paced mystery with approachable characters and issues. The dognapping case and the go-get-’em attitude of Kazu provide just enough suspense and action without being too scary. Holyoak sprinkles in topics of growing up, including friendship, relationships with parents, mean people, and telling the truth.  A not-too-scary, diverse mystery for those who love action, dogs, and spunky heroines.”
Title: KAZU JONES AND THE DENVER DOGNAPPERS
Author: Shauna Holyoak
Pub. Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 320

Where Can You Find It?

GoodreadsAmazonKindleB&NKoboiBooksTBD

My Review:

This was definitely a five star read, I read about half of it out loud with my daughter, and we’ll continue to read it but I had to steam on ahead to finish for the review. She’s patiently waiting to find out just exactly was the Denver Dognapper! Truthfully Shauna gave us a great diverse cast of characters, not just in a beautiful blend of different backgrounds but each character stood on their own. Kazu Jones is our spunky fifth-grade detective with her dog Genki and her best friend March who is a meticulous academic and lover of technology to Madeleine Brown who Kazu has never gotten along with and CindeeRae who along with her love of musicals, loves her dog Lobster just as much. The kids have taken over, in a thread of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew comes Kazuko Jones, written with an ease and a way that will entice children to pick it up and not put it down. Now there are actions that the children take, and much like Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, it’s not an action a parent would like their kids to make in real life, but this is written for a child’s enjoyment and even I loved it Kazu makes some decisions and they may not be good ones but the author has Kazu grow during the book and her actions have consequences but you can’t keep a natural detective down for long. There is something just really promising about Kazuko Jones and the adventures that could lay in store for her past the case of the Denver Dognappers. I would say that this is a series to keep an eye out for because I feel this and a couple of others I have spotted lately are really going to be at the forefront of pushing the mystery genre into the modern day for children.

Honestly, I could gush on and on about this but at the end of the day this was a new favorite for my daughter and I and we hope to read more about Kazuko, her group of friends, and her Sleuth Chronicle adventures.

5/5 Cups of Coffee from the mini and I

About the Author:

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Shauna has been telling stories long before she could ride a bike, and some of them are even true! She writes for kids and teens and thinks it’s kinda the best job ever. Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers is her debut novel, and it will be released on April 23, 2019! She lives in Idaho Falls, ID with her husband, six of their seven children, and two naughty dogs.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway!

3 winners will receive finished signed or unsigned copies of KAZU JONES AND THE DENVER DOGNAPPERS, US Only.

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KAZU JONES AND THE DENVER DOGNAPPERS

Tour Schedule:

Week Two:

4/22/2019- BookHounds YA– Interview

4/23/2019- Eli to the nth– Review

4/24/2019- two points of interest– Interview

4/25/2019- The Caffeinated Reader– Review

4/26/2019- That Bookish Princess– Review