My Top 5 Vampire Novel Picks

I’m going to be so very totally honest here.

I don’t read a lot of Vampire books. I mean I’ve read more than 5, but, but less than like 15.

So, this was an interesting one to do, but I felt I ought to in light of Ghondatha, and just how much I enjoyed it!

5. Millenium Snow, Vol. 1


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GoodReads Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won’t live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

Chiyuki makes the most of the time she has left, even though things aren’t that exciting–until she comes across a reluctant vampire late one chilly night. Can Chiyuki teach Touya to feel a passion for life, even as her own is ending?”

So, there are originally 2 volumes but they were incomplete and I’ve only found out today that she finished the other 2 volumes, so guess what got added to my reading list lol. Anyway, I love shojo manga and I think this one was just super cute. As I only read the first volume, that’s all that goes on my list! Again, I just thought this one was cute and sweet so, here we go, it made my list.

4. Interview with the Vampire


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GoodReads Blurb: This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.
[source: annerice.com]

I had to add this one to the list! Now there are definitely better-written novels out there but nothing beat the enjoyment I got out of reading this. I eventually hope to read the others in the series but I can’t say Vampire novels are my favorite so I don’t really rush them, I know I’ll get there in the end! [I’m also a sucker for this movie, and you know what, unashamedly I liked Queen of the Damned, so, you know, pfffft I’m allowed to have my questionable movie picks!]

3. Ghondatha


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GoodReads Blurb: 

The power to love.

The power to heed your own voice.

The power to hope in a world of blood and shadow.

Yesterday morning, most of Saphrona Melioska’s family was executed. Today, at dawn, she and her brother’s widow would have followed them to the block. But something changed.

Saphrona doesn’t know who paid for their sentence to be commuted, but by that act of kindness, she and her hearth sister are exiled to the remote island of Ghondatha, where Saphrona’s only relatives live.

She has nothing to take with her but the legacy of ten generations of master sculptors, a family name beloved in the world of Art, and her own credo: there is goodness and beauty in everything.

Upon their arrival at Ghondatha, however, Saphrona and Leigh find that even ageless Ghondatha is not what it once was. The island has a new liege-lord, a nobleman from the lavish Amkadan Empire, with deep pockets and extravagant ideas about progress.

All Lord Gideon Bloodstone requires is that the villagers obey three laws: no one may leave the island; all who are invited to his nightly masquerades must attend; and those who are not invited must mind the curfew and stay home.

Who is this man who has stolen the last familiar piece of life Saphrona has left in the world?

Someone who will change forever how she defines that which is good and beautiful.

Content Transparency Statement

1. This is hate-free fiction.

2. The Garden of Night Series contains:

(a) PG-13 rated sensuality

(b) R-rated violence

(c) Vampire characters. Some of them fall in love with humans. There will be talk of blood and biting one another.

I’d like to go on and on and on about this one, because if you’ve read my review you know I was so pleased with this read. I love it because it’s vampires with two different camps/mindsets. The Ferals and The Followers, and I love how unique Ayres has made her story, so, this was probably my best vampire read in a looooong time. If you haven’t read my review, click here.

2. The Den of Shadows Quartet


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GoodReads Blurb (From first book only): By day, Risika sleeps in shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.

But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. But her past has come back to torment her.

I only took the GR Blurb from the first one because the Quartet blurb was like one sentence lol. Okay, so, I need peeps to hear me out on this one. This was the first vampire book I ever read and I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be impressed by it because when Atwater-Rhodes wrote this book she was… drumroll, please!

Thirteen.

That’s right, you read that right, 13. So when I read it when I was about 11/12, I was floored. Reading it now would I write it 5 cups? I’m not sure. But I probably would because I’ll never get over the fact of her age. Also for sentimental reasons I am really very fond of Atwater-Rhodes in general, what I didn’t know however is the Den of Shadows books are now beyond a quartet, looks like I’ll be adding more books to my reading list.

1. Dracula

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GoodReads Blurb: When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Uhhhhhh how could I not??

Like

How could I not? It still has to be number one on my list it’s the real MVP of Vampire novels, even if you don’t like it, I still like to think without it, we wouldn’t have some really kick-ass vampire books/movies/tv shows that we have today. [And we wouldn’t have Van Helsing, which, uh, I love Van Helsing] It’s not a read for everyone and if you’re like ‘nah, it’s totally boring’ that’s okay, you chuck it to the side. I will probably always have a soft spot for it though and can’t wait to give it a reread when October rolls around because that’s the sort of person I am lol.

So that’s my top 5 list, but, I’d love to hear what your fave Vampire picks are, and any recs you may have! Cause who doesn’t need to add a few more books to their TBR?!

[Sidenote: I have indeed read The Twilight series but I think aside from Den of Shadows it’s the only Vampire series I’ve read.]

GoodReads Tag

Hey all, another tag is coming your way, I’m just too tired after like a concert and weird chest injury, I’m just ready to sleep my life away but first, I was tagged by the amazingly awesome Isabelle @ Bookwyrmbites. She got it from Lindsay @ Singer of Stories.

So here we go!

 

WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS READ?

That would be the last book I finished reading, GhondathaI really try to keep up with my GR on what I’m reading and what I’ve finished, it helps me so much when I go to look at what I’ve done for the month lol.

 

WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS “TBR”?

That would be Shadows of the Short Days by Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson. Joanne Harris rated it and I’m in love with one of her books, so I figured, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. It hasn’t come out yet but you can bet I’ll be watching for it! It’s also set in Reykjavik which I always find to be beautiful, so, I’m already a sucker for the setting.

 

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

I’m getting my NetGalley list under control currently, and I’ve already started my next read but haven’t been able to go full throttle if you know what I mean, just read the first couple of chapters, I start the real reading tonight and that’s The Fever King by Victoria Lee. [Thanks for the rec, Kal- The Fever King Review]

I can honestly say that even though I’ve only read 2 chapters in, it’s already sucked me in which is impressive. It’s like Descendant of the Crane all over again lol.

I also have two other goals for this week, so, we’ll see lol. I was hoping to have this read done by tomorrow, but, shit happens.

 

DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

Can we not just have half ratings as well? Is that too much to ask? I liked Isabelle’s response with having a Highly Rec, and so on. I don’t mind the stars, I just hate it because not all my 3 stars are the same, like a mystery 3 star holds a different weight than a poetry 3 star and so on.

 

ARE YOU DOING THE 2019 READING CHALLENGE?

Yaaaaaaaas.

I already beat my challenge. I have exceeded my own expectations. Whoops. [That never happens]

 

DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

No. My want to read is just like ‘oh I may someday get to this before I die’ I tend to keep my wishlist separate on Amazon. They are the ones that I know I’ll definitely get.

 

WHICH BOOK DO YOU PLAN ON BUYING NEXT?

I’ve been doing a lot of preorders lately, well, I say a lot, but more than usual as I try not to buy books but I’ve been going wild these past few months and really need to slow my roll. That being said, the next preorder coming out is Descendant of the Crane, and I am very very very very excited about it.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES? SHARE A FEW!

Yes. I actually have to laugh because half of them were just accidental highlights of random crap but I do have real highlights and quotes!

Each of our careful footsteps tapped home the message that we had come to a lawless place of death, a place where the hopeful invention of fearful man that I clutched in my hand would likely prove a feeble defense, and where the answers to greater mysteries than those we’d spent the last dozen weeks trying to unravel would be made plain with brutal finality.”
– Caleb Carr, The Alienist

Yes, it’s a lie, but the media repeated it, and a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. Perception is also very hard to change.”
– A.G. Riddle, The Atlantis Plague, Book 2

But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys—why he walks like this, why he closes his eyes like that—you can love those parts, too, and it’s a love at once more complicated and more complete. ”
– Ally Condie, Crossed, Matched #2

It’s sweet to sacrifice for one we love—it’s sweet to have someone to sacrifice for,”
– L.M. Montgomery, Chronicles of Avonlea

I detest poor people,” thought Amory suddenly. “I hate them for being poor. Poverty may have been beautiful once, but it’s rotten now. It’s the ugliest thing in the world. It’s essentially cleaner to be corrupt and rich than it is to be innocent and poor.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Her heart is played like well-worn strings; in her eyes, the sadness sings— of one who was destined for better things.”
– Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? SHARE A FEW!

Hmmm. Okay, let’s see, I’ll go for like 4

  1. L.M. Montgomery
  2. J.K. Rowling
  3. Agatha Christie
  4. Philip Pullman
  5. Tamora Pierce

(Ahhh Isabelle we both have excellent taste! Tamora Pierce Rules)

 

HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

Yes! I’m not always active in them, but I usually keep up with their current reads if they have them, well, okay I try. Here are all the groups I’m in.

– GoodReads Feedback [This one is great if you want to know what’s up when something on GR isn’t acting as it should]
– Booksirens Book Reviewers [I don’t do anything with this one but ‘eeeeey it’s there]
– Harry Potter Fan Club [Uh, I guess I forgot about this one, it’s not very active or what I expected but not a bad group!]
– Around the World in 80 Books [Okay I want to be more active in this one but it’s hard to get the books for it, but it’s pretty awesome anyway]
– Juliet’s Library Book Club [I’m still on the waiting list for the book from last month from this group, but it’s got some great picks!]
– Agatha Christie Lovers [Are we even surprised? They’re reading Murder on the Orient Express right now so I skipped ahead and read next month’s book since I didn’t want to reread the current pick yet.]
– 2019 Reading Challenges [This group is amazing, different reading challenges divided by monthly, quarterly, yearly, I’m doing three yearly challenges, the GR challenge itself, clear the shelves and reading prolific works by an author!]

 

Who Do I tag?

You. All of you. Please, take this tag, hoard it, use it, and if you want to be tagged in this post properly, let me know!

Book Vs. Book. Vs. Book

Title catch your eye?

If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me having a small rant about people being elitists about their mediums of reading.

Let’s take a look at this conundrum:


I just chose this book at random and it’s on my tbr so you know, there’s that. But that’s not the point.

One of these is the Kindle edition cover, one is the paperback edition cover, and one is obviously the audible’s audio version’s cover. I say obviously because it says performed by the author on the last one and it’s literally the only picture with any sort of difference. But do you know what?

All 3 have the same damn content.

Let’s let that sink in.

All 3 have the same content. They’re all the same BOOK.

Okay, most of you didn’t need this repeated a second time because I know a lot book people aren’t elitists (or rather I hope so, please don’t shred my hope guys lol).

As someone who loves sniffing pages like some weird teen trying to get a high from spray paint, I know where people are coming from when they say they prefer real books.

As someone who travels frequently and has a lot of times to just whip out her phone or eReader to read, I understand where people are coming from who prefer their electronic readers. [When I’m talking about books that aren’t eARCs I read mostly physical but I utilize my Kindle(s) A LOT.]

As someone who has had to do a crap ton of driving in her life, I can understand why people would want audiobooks. [They’re the only method of reading I don’t use, but, uh, that’s not because I’m ‘above’ it, that is just my preference]

So, seeing people in Twitter being like:

O,h I could NEVER trade my real books for a KINDLE, why would I ever want to do such a horrible thing?

I’m sorry, but quite frankly, get bent. Your method of reading isn’t any better and people have their reasons, some people don’t have access to physical books so they may not even prefer a Kindle or an audible but it’s the only method of reading, and what, you’re going to make them feel bad?

How about being sincere? ‘I’d like to know your reasons for preferring an audiobook or Kindle, as someone who prefers physical books, I’m curious to know.’

And guess what? No one needs to have a reason to prefer a reading medium. they might just like it more, and that alone is enough.

Some people can’t read on screens and guess what they don’t need to be harassed, and some people can only really get into reading by listening to audiobooks, and guess what, anyone being harassed is just not going to be as eager to share their love of reading and how utterly crappy is that?

And I know it seems like I’m singling out people who prefer physical books, I’m not.  It is just that unfortunately, in MY case, on my twitter these are the only ones that pop up but don’t you get me wrong if I see any other reading medium elitist, I’m going to give them hell too.

Everyone is allowed to have their preferences but no one is allowed to belittle another for their preference. You don’t get to act pretentious, you don’t get to sit there laughing at their ‘poor choice’ because that just makes you look like a big twat-nugget. Oh yeah, I went there. Pardon my language.

I’m just really irritated this week and this just was a bit of exasperation for me.

The world needs more readers, by any means possible, a world filled with book lovers is the kind of place I want to be and that means we just need to stop being picky about what kind of readers they are.

Do they use a nook? Great!

Paperbacks only? Fantastic!

Still rockin’ the audio CDs? Hell yea!

And you know, just so we know that at some point I’ll tackle this too:

Do you love smutty romances? I will hunt down Harlequin-esque novels for you

Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga only? Great, let’s talk shop, give me your recs.

Nonfiction? My god do you even exist lol? Because I could use people to talk nonfiction with

You get the point, if I did this with all the genres we’d be here until we look like this:

I guess at the heart of my little rant, what I really want to make clear is, please, PLEASE don’t put others down for how they choose to enjoy books, and please, please, PLEASE, if you have been put down, know that it’s not right or okay, that you’re still a reader and you are very valid to the book community. [And if you are ever made to feel bad, you send them to me, I shall politely and firmly tell them they’re being an ass]

Go forth and read!!!

 

 

The Currently Reading Tag

Not sure who to tag for the creation of this tag (let me know if you know!) but I shall go ahead and tag Kal @ Reader Voracious as she tagged me [Thanks Kal!!!]. Also, used tag 4x in that, I’m impressed with me already.

How Many Books Do You Usually Read At Once?

I usually can only read one fully at once, the drive in me to finish what I start is high, buuuut, occasionally I may up to 2 or 3 at once. Right now though I’m on beat back the NetGalley mode and I’m just reading one at a time and chucking them in a pile lol.

How Do You Decide When To Switch Between Multiple Reads?

So, if a book is just going slow paced, I may switch after a chapter, or if it’s not slow paced but the chapters are 20+ pages, I may like to switch between that and a much shorter book which I will inevitably finish in a sitting and have somehow managed to just read one at a time again in the end lol.

Do You Ever Switch Bookmarks Partway Through A Book?

No, but I don’t really use bookmarks unless I am reading more than say two at once. Also, I mean I just memorise the page number. *Shrug*

Where Do You Keep the Book(s) You’re Currently Reading?

My Kindle goes where I go in the house, I suppose actual books are either on the nightstand or the side table in the living room. I do not have a fancy or special place for current or tbr books.

What Time Of Day Do You Read The Most?

Night time, I have time during the day but the problem is that my time is divided between blog hopping, writing blog posts, doing chores and cooking, and so I usually put off reading until night time.

How Long Do You Typically Read In One Session?

Uh….a couple of hours usually? But can totally be more, some nights I’ll read 3/4 hours depends on how tired I am, the pacing of the book, and uh, if I just plain feel like it lol.

Do You Read Hardbacks With the Dust Jacket Off?

Who keeps them on? I mean I suppose if you’re out and about but I think the dust jackets are too pretty, and reading in bed they just slide about and annoy the crap out of me.

What Position Do You Mainly Use To Read?

Uhhhh sitting up? I…Idk, laying down but sitting up? Omg lol this question is making me think too much.

Do You Take Your Current Read With You Everywhere You Go?

If I’m going on the train, sure, but I tend to get carsick while reading too much unless laying down in the car so that’s a no for me on regular travel I suppose. I always bring books with me when I go somewhere for holiday but chances are that I won’t read lol.

How often Do You Update Your Goodreads Reading Progress?

Too much. I am that annoying person who updates every time she picks up the book unless I know it’s going to be a lot during the day, most of the time I try to exert self-control but that rarely works out for me. [*NetGalley list looms in background*] I actually love GR for that reason, updating progress, it’s great when I put a book down for a while and since I don’t use bookmarks much, I can just go look up what page I was on if I’ve forgotten.

Tagging:

Jayati

Kristina

Isabelle

And everyone else who wants to do it!

Toodles!

[Salty] Mini Review Day

So tomorrow I’ll break it up a bit, do a meme, or a tag, and give you all some relief from reviews. I actually was hesitant on doing this today, but, I actually feel these reviews just need to get out because these last three reads have just made me salty and annoyed. And I finished another last night, so here we go, 3 books, one post!

First up

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A Fast Paced Espionage Thriller for Alan Furst Fans Sent In Post-Cold War Poland.

It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it’s feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.

Guess what this isn’t? A fast-paced espionage.  I mean there was a small hint of espionage that was overshadowed by the weirdly explicit sexual tones of this novel. I mean…really the whole book hinges on sex. Not espionage, not the cool ‘is there a bomb, who is gonna get it, whodunit’ stuff just ‘who dun who’ kind of stuff.

Here’s most of my GoodReads Review before I grumble more:

I did not care for Jay (the protagonist not the author lol) at all. All the characters were shallow which can happen in a plot-driven novel but the problem was that this was NOT a plot-driven novel as much as I thought it would be. There were also so many explicit scenes which just seemed like not useful to the book. It just felt so weird…

There is some LGBTQIA representation but not exactly in the best of lights. You have a suppressed soldier who feels guilty about his desire for men, a CIA man who uses his own sexuality on the job because he says ‘being gay is a tool’ and the women are just pure stereotypes.

I’m not saying there wasn’t anything enjoyable about the book, because it was to a degree, I just would hope for more. Such a neat idea, just not executed to my tastes I would have liked to see more about the actual plot.

[What I really mean is, I’m super disappointed because I had really high hopes for this and it’s just more misogynistic stuff and no espionage. I will have that put on my plaque when I die because damn it, I’m getting a plaque; ‘The Fourth Courier had no espionage.’]

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Onto the next bit of disappointment!!

[Actually, this next one was not as disappointing as the other two.]


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Ever since she was a little girl, growing up in the village of Abercolme on the wild coast of Scotland, Faye Morgan’s life has been steeped in the old ways – witchcraft, herbal lore and a blood connection to the dangerous and unpredictable world of Faerie.

But magic is both a gift and a burden, and Faye has more than paid the price of living between two worlds. Neither accepted by the villagers, nor welcome in the Faerie Kingdom of Murias after rebuffing the fickle and attractive Faerie warrior king, Finn Beatha, Faye runs from Abercolme, hoping to leave that life behind.

However, even in the twisted, cobbled streets of London, Faye finds her blood bond with Faerie won’t be broken. A Faerie War of the Elements is brewing and, though she doesn’t yet know it, Faye is fated to play a terrible part. If she is to survive, she must learn to embrace her own dark power and face Finn Beatha once more… but in doing so Faye will discover secrets in her own past that never should have been disturbed.

2.5/5, but rounded up to 3.

I received a free eARC via netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is NOT YA. And that’s okay, but, it is certainly mislabeled when it is clearly an Adult Supernatural/fantasy romance novel. It is heavy on the love scenes, but, I don’t mind that, it was just not what I was expecting. Another thing to note, this is actually the second book in the series which I didn’t realize when I read the synopsis on NetGalley -and to be fair I don’t think it states that but if just looking it up on GoodReads will reveal it as second in a series-.

The book was entertaining and enjoyable, it was something that I also wished I had read the first book because I think that would have made things clearer but that was my own fault. The problems I have with the book have to do more with pacing, and wanting more depth out of Faye. I thought there was enough going between faeries and the real world to keep me interested and Faye’s friends are just fantastic. I also had a huge issue with was the fact that though Faye and Annie grew up in the same town, somehow Faye has no Scots to her speech while Annie has it in trifold.

I enjoyed the use of modern-day witchcraft and the shout out to Wiccans, that was nice, and I think that McKerrow did a great job capturing the darkness of the faerie court.

I hated Rav, I don’t know if I would have had more sympathy for him if I had read the first book but the things that Faye does for him just make me want to shake her. I think this will be judged harshly under the fact that it’s not YA and it will throw many off to see the amount of sex scenes. But I also felt like in the end I still wanted to like Finn, maybe because I felt he had excuses for his behaviour being a being that wasn’t human and wasn’t tied down to human morals. Either way, it was an enjoyable read once I reconciled what it was in comparison as to how it was labelled, and the 2.5 would have been a full 3 if there hadn’t been so much ridiculousness with Rav and Finn, and with the awkward pacing.

Pros:
-Great Friends
-Lovely way of modern-day witchcraft incorporation into the story
-Creepy dark faerie realms
-Set in rural Scotland and London so that was a nice difference in settings
-You could relate to her friends and even Faye herself at times though more with the friends
-Morgana is in it, so I’m already like: yes.
-Impossibly brutal faerie deals

Cons:
– You want to punch Rav in the face, and you want to punch Finn in the face
– Faye seems to have no Scottish accent but her friend does and they’re from the same place and grew up in the same place.
– The book itself is in the wrong genre and age range (NA/A Romance, not YA)
– Mallory. Ugh.
– The pacing will go fast and slow which is understandable with the actual timeline when you’re switching realms but not when you’re reading and it feels like someone’s messing with the gas pedal while driving.
-Rav really is a butthead. Finn is a butthead. Lyr is a butthead
-Why is Gabriel the only decent male?

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Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness. 

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin. 

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations. 

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide? Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

I thought this would be a little sexy when I saw the seductive bit.

That was a vast understatement on my part. This is a romance erotica novel. And I thought it was just Historical fiction as the blurb I had been given was not the Good Reads one and I felt cheated by that other blurb, so really I may have the rating at 3 * until after a month and lower it back down. Sarah was boring, Tom was definitely the more interesting of the siblings and I found Nick to be boring too. John was actually quite scary in the way he let his own desires make him ready to condemn others to death just to assuage his own guilt and save his own soul.

But you want to know what really bothered me?

SHAKESPEARE WAS LIKE NOT REALLY IN IT EXCEPT FOR A VERY SMALL HANDFUL OF SCENES I THOUGHT THIS WAS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S WITCH. IT WAS THE WHOLE REASON I WANTED TO READ IT, AND I GOT BUPKIS!

BUPKIS I TELL YOU!

Spoiler below: Highlight to see.

The erotica part didn’t bother me once I got used to it. I just really felt uncomfortable with the incest and the child that resulted from it. It made me uncomfortable but if you see my GoodReads, I did at least state that the book is great for those that love this sort of book, I could understand the forbidden desire part, but it was a little too much for me. I wish it had come with some content warning, GoT is enough incest for me lol.

So, a bit of a slump for me this week. Please don’t let my reviews think I’m judging you all for reading these books or books like them. They’re just not for me and if they make you happy, I’m happy for you. I just need to read the Goodreads blurbs before requesting things from now on.

I’ve now immersed myself on twitter, so I’m off to go pretend to be productive some more.

Have you read books where you were really thrown by the content? What did you do? Did you finish or DNF?

Stardust Review

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This was my first Neil Gaiman novel! I know, insane that I haven’t read any of his works yet! I have Good Omens and American Gods on my list to read eventually but for now, I will have to suffice with just one novel. And let me tell you, I’m so happy I picked this one! I really enjoyed Gaiman’s style of writing and I was totally enamoured with the way he described the faerie world and I loved every single creature in it.

I do have a dirty secret to admit.

I saw the movie first, I didn’t know it was a book or who Neil Gaiman was at the time, I had been reading mostly The Mortal Instrument series, the Twilight series [where I threw the final book against the wall, but that’s a story for another time] and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and of course, graduating H.S. and starting Uni, so, I was a bit busy to notice the fact that Stardust was a novel when I first saw the film in 2007 [I told you all I was old].

Guess what?

love both the book and the movie. I thought the movie was a nice adaptation of it, and quite frankly I usually enjoy the movie versions of things…I can honestly say there’s only a handful of movie adaptations where I’m like ready to fight them on it.

Neil Gaiman does a great job with faerie tales from what I hear and this proved it to be true thus far at least in this novel for me. I cheered Tristan on as much as I did in the movie and I think I did like the book’s final scene between the Witch Queen and the Star better than the movie if I were going to nitpick anything.

I don’t want to give too much away and I really think the book speaks for itself, Tristan Thorn goes off to find a star as the woman he loves asks of him, and along the way he explores the faerie world and learns to become part of something that’s more than the town of Wall.

The book was also very quotable, though I think this was my favorite quote as someone who is constantly filled with wanderlust:

Have been unavoidably detained by the world. Expect us when you see us.”

I also read a version which gave a cute tiny short story about a girl and Wall and I hope someday Neil Gaiman decides to give us more from Wall and Tristan Thorn, I know he had plans too but, I think we all know this is one BUSY man!

Truth be told I also would have no complaints if he ever decided to write a book solely about the Witch’s servant [not giving anything away for those who haven’t read it, so sorry for using such vague terms for both those who haven’t read it and those who have].

If you’re looking for a book where you can just get lost in a faerie tale and it’s not filled with modern complexities but still has a modern feel, I would really recommend this. [I love modern retellings but sometimes it’s nice to have something more along the vein of the old faerie tales but, hey, I love everything usually lol]

Yet another five cups of coffee from me, and I can’t wait to read my next Neil Gaiman novel…but…*Stares at her NetGalley list* Well, it could be a while!

Tomorrow, expect mini-reviews for The Fourth Courier and Queen of Sea and Stars both who I have major bones to pick with lol.

My Top 5 Mystery Picks

Another Monday! There will be a day of Mini Reviews this week, I finished a couple and didn’t feel like only having review posts so I’m shoving some eARCs together while Stardust will get its own review post. But for now….

TIME TO GET OUR MYSTERY ON

These are in no particular order, I love them all, I’m a mystery lover.

5. Loves Music, Loves to Dance


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This was the first ‘proper’ mystery [and kind of a thriller] that I read, stepping away from the loving childhood mysteries like Hank the Cowdog the crime sleuthing ranch dog. Anyway, this isn’t a literary masterpiece but it was absolutely entertaining and terrifying to read for me. I remember reading this and having to keep the light on afterwards, jumping at the sounds in the night [let me also let you all know that I’m a huge scaredy cat, I was convinced I was going to get brutally murdered because I watched too much Law and Order SVU too much in my teens so don’t use me as a gage on how scary something is]. There’s a serial killer targeting women through the personals in the newspapers, and his signature is always the same, but will our detective be able to solve the crime, or will she be another victim?

4. The Comforters


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So! This was a new author for me! I just read her first novel The Comforters, as all Scottish libraries have received new centenarian editions of her novels like the one pictured. I really want to read more of her, this one was so quirky and I loved it, it was a more modern sounding Agatha Christie though they were really almost contemporaries as their timelines did cross. She also doesn’t seem to make religious jibes which was pretty brave for a female author at the time, so, I ended up having quite a lot of respect for her. If you’re an Agatha Christie fan, you may like her, but they’re definitely two different authors!

3. The Hounds of Baskervilles


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I had to add some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the mix. I loved reading this book in English class in HS, and I’ve seen like ever variation of Sherlock Holmes that exists except for like 2, and that’s not for lack of trying! I really do believe that there is something great about Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, a man who isn’t weighed down by the certain aspects of humanity that usually make for a great protagonist, and instead of making the book ‘worse’ it’s one of the reasons most people love it. I also can’t help but love Dr. Watson, I would say this is also a good first Sherlock Holmes book for those looking to get into it, and I do know that some people can find it a bit wordy. Not difficult, just tedious perhaps.

2. Dead Man’s Blues


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I have recently gushed over this one and if you’re interested in it, I went ahead and linked my review to it. This had it all for me, jazz, Louis Armstrong, murder, historical fiction with a lot of good research about the Mafia in Chicago at the time (as well as just being ON point with the music history as well). The structure of the book even tries to replicate a jazz song. [For those curious, my grad work was all about jazz music in WWI and WWII in the U.K. and Paris, so, super fan girl] This was better than its predecessor The Axeman’s Jazz though I did really enjoy that too, and you don’t need to read it if you want to read this one, the characters are the same but any mention of the first book is explained so you’re not left scratching your head. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt that Ray Celestin is friendly and so helpful with answering questions!

1. Murder on the Orient Express


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Hahaha did you all think I wasn’t going to add her, or did you think it was going to be 5 Agatha Christie books? Oh, there’ll be a top 5 Agatha Christie books but not this post, and I actually wanted to put two but felt it was unfair as the other books on this list are great too. So, I’ve chosen Murder on the Orient Express for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s one of her most iconic books and I do absolutely love it. Secondly, this book is not at all like her others as far as the ending goes and so for those two reasons it beat out Death on the Nile for my pick for this list. She’s our Queen of Mystery and this was part of her Golden Age. I love Hercule Poirot the most out of her different series. Ms. Marple is definitely a badass but, I always enjoy the Poirot novels more. Christie also does some awesome short stories and standalone novels as well and you never have to read the other Poirots to pick up any of them which is great.

So there you all have, my top 5 mystery pics!! As you’re reading this, I’m probably at Captain Marvel, so…

Toodles!