Comparing Notes

 

Hey all! This is it!!! The FIRST in the series, Comparing Notes.

I had this in mind for a couple of months, it was inspired by the fact my friend Neda and I both read The Fever King and had completely different reading experiences. It kinda made me remember that we all have varied tastes, even our friends! *Gasp* I know, it’s shocking haha.

 

Anyway, now time to introduce Neda!

 

Neda and I have been friends since about the time we were 11/12 years old and we’re now…old. We’ll leave it at that. Anyway, she has a Master’s in English and is currently a stay at home mom like me, and she also writes wonderful poetry. You can find her and her reviews here.

This first post will be a discussion format and so we are awesome enough to share are very candid convo about The Fever King, and remember, we both just have varied opinions and no matter what, we’re both entitled to them, with that, let’s start! Please note we both read this a few months back and were laughable in our recall of some details.

[**ATTENTION: SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE**]

Discussion Time

Me: We could talk about where you think the book failed and where I thought it excelled?

Neda: Yea, especially if there are different opinions on the same concept.

Like, what really sticks out to me is how angry I was when it was revealed that Dara is a mind reader. I think I would have liked it better as a reader had I been in on the secret…maybe? At least then Dara would have gotten a sympathy vote. Same thing with…. Calix? I meant the main character, not Dara.

Also, in that same vein, it would be a totally different story if Lee had given us both Dara and the MC’s POV. Totally forgot the name…


Me: Noam

And I get that, I am glad Noam wasn’t a mind reader and I kinda thought Dara was just not a sympathetic character until we got to know more of his background. I actually was a huge fan of Calix, I thought that he was the most intriguing character. I preferred Noam without Dara. I think that I really enjoyed Lee’s take on the powers, that they’re induced by fever, and I do really love how the ending is Dara escaping, not Noam, or together, I think it’s a nice change and I hope that means more Calix lolol.

Neda: I loved the take on magic too! Dara was cool. My favorite character in the book. I need to write fanfiction from his POV. Noam was stupid. Especially, when he was running out of the building after killing that guy, but then ran back in? Who does that?
Me: lol!! I agree, Noam made some questionable choices but I think that’s why I liked him, he was a kid who grew up as part of a protest/rights group so even though he was born in a not so good part of town he was actually quite sheltered and I enjoyed Lee showing the differences between him and the others of his ‘class’ they may have come from money but at least a couple of them have some huge family issues. I could see why you wanted Dara’s Pov.

Neda: I liked the way she handled class, or at least nothing bad about it stuck out enough for me to complain. I will say tho, all the non-Atlantians did look pretty naive compared to Noam as far as the reality of the dystopian world goes.

Me: Fair enough on that I think she could have spent more time giving us world building we got snippets but not enough to really grasp what was going on, like when they went out to help in the camp, that was great, I wanted more of that

Neda: Agreed. More world building probably would have fixed my second problem: Noam’s mission never seemed urgent. I mean, he had a good reason to want to take the government down, but really they didn’t seem that awful? I don’t know. I wasn’t sure whose side to be on because Noam was questionable at best, and the government was just there.

Me: Hmm I guess I found what the govt was doing to be repulsive enough, and I was conflicted on how to feel about Noam being willing to kill someone for it though Should have done more with showing what the govt is doing. Otherwise, it’s like an invisible enemy lol

Neda: I am pretty sure Noam was influenced to kill that guy.

I agree Lee should have done more with the government. Like those between chapter, scenes should have had more to do with the world before the current world.

How did they get there?
How many died?
How long did the whole process take?

Who was patient zero?
Me: I hope she dives into all this more in book 2, and I think he was 2 but it’s like partly genius and partly infuriating that you’re not 100% sure, and I don’t think Noam is sure either And I really want to know more about the world before like you were saying.

Neda: More world building would have made the book probably 4 stars. And she had a genuine way to cram all that information in without taking up chapter space. So much disappointment…..I never felt 100% sure about anything or anyone. It’s so frustrating. I can see the appeal of grey areas because nothing is ever black and white. But this is a fictional story, especially teen fiction, I should know who’s good and who’s evil.

Me: Ah okay, I see where you’re coming from. I’m a huge believer in morally grey YA books, because the worlds are fiction but people are greyer in real life than in books, sometimes it’s nice having clear boundaries but I think it’s important to show that it’s not always easy to tell, because some teens can be susceptible of trusting people who are friendly, and if they can realize that those are not always the good ones, to keep up their guard, I think that’s useful.

Neda: Also, Noam bonded with the leader dude (more forgetting names) over their shared Jewish heritage. What is this, Batman v. Superman? That’s lazy writing. But more to your point: People who do bad things can have good intentions (See Thanos in the MCU as a prime example), and people who do good things can have bad intentions (see most characters in GoT, especially dragon lady). That’s a grey area that makes you think. If Lee had gone all the way with the character building, then, I think, she would have created something fun. But it’s just confusing.

Me: Hmm I guess I am seeing it as the first step, so I may feel more like you after book 2 if things aren’t looked into more!

Neda: Probably. I’ll read the second one because Dara, but I don’t have high expectations.

Me: fair enough man, fair enough

Neda: I think that’s everything I have to complain about.

So, we both still have not changed how much we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the book but we did both realize the other had good points. I would say overall this was a very successful first Comparing Notes, the next one will be announced later on, but I’m really excited about it. Sometimes it’ll be a side by side comparison of reviews, sometimes we’ll be lamenting together on points we both didn’t like (or the opposite, cheering for what we did) and other times it’ll just be a chill discussion like this!

Gemenicia Blog Tour

Gemenicia

Summary:
The second part of Arthur and Jo’s strange adventures throughout the land of Discoucia, and a time when Archie the Water Goddess has made the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of her nemesis, Cordelia Paradise, the Fire Goddess.
However, things rarely go to plan and Arthur finds himself at war with Archie’s hidden agenda rather than the insane task that he has to help Archie complete.
Hidden around Discoucia in its sixteen major cities are sixteen gems that Archie must collect before a year is up. If she wins then Cordelia will disappear to another dimension and not return until she agrees to stop causing forest fires, volcanic eruptions and droughts.
Team Archie has Arthur and Jo, who both have the understanding that by collecting these gems a natural order can be brought back and maybe Jo’s father will get well again. Team Cordelia has Alicia May, who has a talent for becoming anyone and a deep malicious streak; and Iren, who has a fanatical hatred for Archie, which Archie herself doesn’t like to talk about.
Along the way they meet old friends and old enemies, as well as Archie having to perform miracles without the use of divine power. From the murky ruins of Tanalos to the haunted corridors of Ashin Dance Academy, the frozen caverns of Icester and the verdant streets of Proceur, the adventure will take them around Discoucia and beyond, unless Cordelia and Alicia May can stop them first…

Information about the Book
Title: Gemenicia (Discoucia #2)
Author: Nicholas Lovelock
Release Date: 30th May 2019
Genre: YA Steampunk
Page Count: 410
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link
Amazon Link

My Review

Geminicia is the second book in this series thus far and I read Discoucia beforehand to be caught up for this blog tour and let me tell you, you’ll definitely want to read it before diving into book 2! This series is setting itself up to be an epic steampunk fantasy with a soap opera feel, and in saying that I mean that there’s a ton of action and it’s just one adventure after another.

There’s a full cast of characters and it just grows from book one to book two and the cast is rather loveable if I do say so myself.

I am sorry to say that though this book had some really enjoyable parts and very creative ideas that a lot of times I had a hard time with the writing style. It wasn’t difficult, so please don’t be scared off by that, but it wasn’t to my taste and that’s nothing against Nicholas Lovelock. I think that Geminicia is a great show of growth as an author, Discoucia was a good attempt but I think that its sequel is a great show of what’s to come. The books end in cliffhangers that are meant to go directly onto the next book so be prepared to wait for book 3 if you go ahead and jump in.

Lovelock has no problem breaking the fourth wall and I have to say it did have me chuckling quite a few times. There are lots of movie and literary references and so some jokes may go over the head if you’re out of the loop with some of them.

There’s a helpful appendix and map in book 2 that I wish would have been in the first book but better late than never if you ask me! So while this book wasn’t exactly to my cup of tea I still enjoyed it enough and instead of slapping a star rating I’m just telling you what I found good about it and letting you decide if this is the book for you!

I would say that if you’re a fan of steampunk and kind of operatic arc then you will want to check these books out. This is aimed at YA audiences, and I think that it is enjoyable even for those a little younger than that as well.

I’m including the information to the first book below and I want to say thank you to Faye and Authoright for letting me take part in the tour.

 

Discoucia.jpg

Summary
Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.
An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Avalonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Avalonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Avalonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princes Josephine Oladine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.
Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Avalonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.

Information about the Book
Title: Discoucia (Discoucia #1)
Author: Nicholas Lovelock
Release Date: 29th June 2017
Genre: YA Steampunk
Page Count: 345
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link
Amazon Link

 

Author Information

Nicholas Lovelock.jpg

Nicholas Lovelock lives in a small village in Oxfordshire and has already published Discoucia, the first part of the Alavonia Series which spans multiple novels set to be released in the future. He enjoys riding around the countryside as well as illustrating his own works, as can be seen in his second novel Gemenicia. These Illustrations in stark black and white provide a glimpse into the world of Alavonia and how he sees it, as well as showcasing the different locations and characters that make up the Alavonia series universe.
He is a keen musician capable of playing the electric guitar as well as the acoustic and the piano, often trying to play like his musical heroes David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and Jeff Lynne. His coin collection has transformed from a hobby to a passion and obsession as he attempts to collect one of every issued coin in Great Britain. He is over halfway in that respect collecting such treasures as a 1675 Charles the Second Crown and an extremely rare Edward the Seventh Half Crown of 1905, and has begun metal detecting in an effort to tick some boxes in the Hammered Coinage section.
His love of Steampunk literature and cinema has been with him from a young age when he first saw the film ‘Wild Wild West’, sought out the original series and discovered a world of fantasy that he has painstakingly tried to pay homage to in his novels, to bring the wild west to an English setting and to create something that has never been done before.
History has always been a major passion of his as he makes many references in his literature, from characters whose personalities resemble those of eccentric historical characters or monarchs. The ability to change history through literature was one of the things that attracted him to become an author in the first place, to create similar timelines and put a unique spin on the mundane.

 

Tour Schedule

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Monday 27th May

The Northern Witch Book Blog

Tuesday 28th May

Rambling Mads

Wednesday 29th May

Jazzy Book Reviews

Thursday 30th May

The Caffeinated Reader

Friday 31st May

Lauren’s Bookshelf

Saturday 1st June

Big Book Little Book

Sunday 2nd June

Donna’s Book Blog

Monday 3rd June

An Ocean Glimmer

Tuesday 4th June

Books are my Cwtches

Wednesday 5th June

Book Junkiez

Thursday 6th June

Luna’s Little Library

Friday 7th June

Jera’s Jamboree

The Reading Cafe

Saturday 8th June

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Sunday 9th June

Abooktasia

 

WWW Wednesday

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

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What Are You Currently Reading?

GoodReads Blurb: 

The second part of Arthur and Jo’s strange adventures throughout the land of Discoucia, and a time when Archie the Water Goddess has made the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of her nemesis, Cordelia Paradise, the Fire Goddess.

However, things rarely go to plan and Arthur finds himself at war with Archie’s hidden agenda rather than the insane task that he has to help Archie complete.

Hidden around Discoucia in its sixteen major cities are sixteen gems that Archie must collect before a year is up. If she wins then Cordelia will disappear to another dimension and not return until she agrees to stop causing forest fires, volcanic eruptions and droughts.

Team Archie has Arthur and Jo, who both have the understanding that by collecting these gems a natural order can be brought back and maybe Jo’s father will get well again. Team Cordelia has Alicia May, who has a talent for becoming anyone and a deep malicious streak; and Iren, who has a fanatical hatred for Archie, which Archie herself doesn’t like to talk about.

Along the way they meet old friends and old enemies, as well as Archie having to perform miracles without the use of divine power. From the murky ruins of Tanalos to the haunted corridors of Ashin Dance Academy, the frozen caverns of Icester and the verdant streets of Proceur, the adventure will take them around Discoucia and beyond, unless Cordelia and Alicia May can stop them first… 

My reaction so far:

There’ll be a Blog Tour post for this tomorrow, I’m refraining from giving it a star rating though, I’ll give my thoughts and let you all decide.

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

 

GoodReads Blurb:

Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.

An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Avalonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Avalonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.

Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Avalonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princes Josephine Oladine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.

Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Avalonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.

What can I say, it had a lot of problems, but a lot of creative ideas.

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

GoodReads Blurb:

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable! 

“Ingenious, great fun, and wholly original” – Fay Weldon CBE, on The Seventh Train

Another Blog Tour, remember I signed up for quite a few of these for the summer, and I’m really excited to read this one. Most reviews for June will be Blog Tour posts< Did I just copy and paste this from the last WWW? You bet your sweet Aunt Petunia I did.

I’m gearing up for the first #ComparingNotes and it will be on The Fever King, you can expect that to make a debut on probably Saturday or next week!

 

Supporting Authors & Supporting ‘Us’

This post I guess is more of just a discussion post, but I’d like to add that on any of my posts whether I say so or not, I want you to drop your opinions like they’re hot. Because I trust you all can be civil and I trust I can be civil so even if we disagree…it’s all gonna work out in the end…it’s when people endorse hurtful shit and say unnecessarily mean things that cause things to go out of hand.

And I’m not here to really say anything controversial today.

What I am here to say today is that the main reason I wanted to book blog is not just a love of books but it’s wanting to share that love, to share books that whether old or new are just amazing, and I think, deserve to be read by anyone and everyone who would be interested.

Most of us support authors in one way or another, whether we blog reviews of their works, tweet about their books, do preorders, giveaways, Instagram pics, Facebook posts, or just buy the book and leave a review on GoodReads/Amazon, or check it out from the library. When we do these things we are supporting these writers and that’s amazing.

It’s time-consuming.

It’s really time-consuming.

And it’s done out of love.

Sometimes we encounter books we don’t like, that’s life, and we are entitled our opinions, sometimes we don’t like them and it’s simply because it’s not to our own tastes, other times we don’t like them because they may actually be problematic in their content.

But that doesn’t mean we get to be silenced. And that doesn’t mean that because we have made ourselves approachable that we’re at everyone’s beck and call.

[And please remember this goes both ways, I love authors, I tag them in POSITIVE Reviews and in bookish content that includes them but I don’t expect them to respond, because they’re busy people with lives, I also don’t expect free books because I review things, and most of us do not have that expectation.]

As many others have stated, this is something we do on our own, and we also don’t do it for people to dig around the net for information on us..or you know…analyze our reviews. *stares* You know who you are.

It’s also not something to joke about.

In this day and age, we are constantly engaged with one another and there is constantly a trail of what we’ve done, it’s the internet, nothing ever truly disappears. You would think this would make people more conscientious about what they say but it seems the opposite has happened.

It’s now okay to email and insult someone who didn’t like your book, it’s okay to call them out because you think they’re the only ones who didn’t like your book. It’s alright to email saying ‘hey you, I didn’t bother to read your name or review policy but you should read my book even though it is not even listed as a genre you’ll consider reading.’ And somehow no one is supposed to call anyone out on this.

Do you know what? I’m not always offended when someone doesn’t address me by my name/blog name when they email, I don’t have an extensive review policy and so I’m very easy going, but I know others have very well laid out and in-depth review policies and for some reason no one bothers looking at them when they submit requests.

We join street teams, we share all the tweets about our fave books and authors and we are judged by numbers and engagement, we put in enough hours that if one added it all up, it wouldn’t be worth the occasional free book, and yet we have to deal with authors who get in our faces, respond to our unfavourable reviews and try to correct our opinions or talk about us like we’re not real people.

[Once more, this definitely goes both ways, such as people who tag writers in negative reviews, that’s a no-no, it’s not nice, and we wouldn’t like it if it happened to us.]

Maybe it’s easy to forget that someone is actually typing away at the keyboard behind Twitter, or on our blogs. But we are real people, we don’t want to be harassed or stalked online.

I will always support authors and writers, I will never stop, but I see others who get flack in our bookish community, and it’s hard to not get a bit ticked off.

So I’m here to say, I will always support authors.

But I will never support harassing/calling out/cyberstalking a book reviewer for simply stating not to like the book.

It would be very boring if we all liked and hated the same books, seriously, so boring. So, let’s be supportive of authors but authors…

Please, please be supportive of us. Stand up for us when someone else does this, remind them that the work we do is unpaid and can be very beneficial to authors.

Let’s all get along, let’s stand up together against prejudices, racism/sexism, and let’s not put each other down for having varied tastes.

Shoot me your thoughts, what have been your experiences? It doesn’t matter, author, book reviewer, bookstagrammer, drop your comments below

Book Reviewing: A Process

Hey all, it’s Saturday, you know what that means?

I revel in being lazy lol.

But also it’s the weekend for most of us, so yay for that.

Today’s post is more of a way to hopefully give you a laugh than an in-depth look at my process as my process is really…having none lol.

Step 1. Pick Which Book to Read Next

I look through my list to see which one is next to come out chronologically but sometimes it’s not that easy, there’ll be multiple ones coming out within like a two day span of each other. And so it’s just mostly a lot of me being overwhelmed.

 

Step 2. Read the Book I’ve picked

This is so much harder than it seems, the less time I have to read, the more pressured I feel. But pressured by who you may ask? Me. Myself. Oh, and I. Even though I can read most books in a day, I choose to worry over it until like 10PM and then I settle in to the actual act of reading.

 

Step 3. In Between Reading Take Copious Notes

I take notes to help me be more critical when writing my review. At least that’s what I’m telling myself I’ll accomplish by taking notes. More often than not I just suck at taking notes as well as writing up reviews.

 

Step 4. Finally Finish Reading!

I’m pretty good at this step haha, once I finally get into a groove with a book I’ll break it up over one to three days into a few sittings just so I don’t get too bored or distracted unless the book is really gripping.

 

Step 5. Writing up the Review

At this point I begin to sit there and look over my notes and stare at the laptop. It’s a hard process for me who really just is like ‘I liked it. It was good.’ I never feel I’m qualified enough to write up a review for you all lol.

 

Step 5A. Forget Everyone’s Names and Have to Look Them up

I don’t know why this happens to me, I’ll remember like one person’s name and it probably won’t be the person I’m actually wanting to write about at the moment so then I have to go back and look.

 

Step 6. Finish Writing Review and Publish it

I sit there, proud enough of it to just throw it at you all, knowing I finished.

 

Step 7. JK. It’s Never Done. Pick Another Book

 

And there you have it, book reviewing, a process!

 

Toodles guys!

Droknina eARC Review

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GoodReads Blurb:
As the consort of the Prince of the Vampiri, Saphrona resolves not to lose her identity in Gideon’s shadowy world. Though she feels ever more drawn to him and sympathizes with his people’s struggle to emulate human compassion, she refuses to allow anything to threaten her autonomy. 

Gideon longs for Saphrona’s love, but he is reluctant to reveal the full reality of their new relationship, for fear it will drive an irrevocable wedge between them before he has a chance to win her heart. When Saphrona discovers his omission, it shatters her trust in him. 

Heartbroken, Gideon risks self-destruction to prove to Saphrona that her free will is sacred to him. Even as his gamble leads to a revelation that will bring them forever closer, the consequences of such a risk set the Followers on the path of war with Antonia and tragic betrayal in House Bloodstone.

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.
Like Vampire stories?
Want an interesting vampire one set in a new world and is more like a Fantasy novel?
Like slow burning romances that make you ship harder?
How about a book where the female protagonist is a freakin sculptor and has a really strong personal/guild moral code she sticks to?
Cool beans. Let me drop Ghondatha at ya.
I was really unbelievably pleased with Ghondatha.

^ Staring my review for the sequel to Ghondatha in much the same way, so just leaving that there to entice you to read the first book’s review.

Droknina picks up where Ghondatha left off and it’s great, if you have the ability to just go from one to two, I would. The books aren’t very long and Ayres packs so much into these books and she paces them brilliantly. Her world building set the stage in book one and now she can focus on giving us more about the vampires, their plots, and their humans.

Ayres just enhances everything I loved in Ghondatha and this book was probably one of my favorite May reads so far.

Saphrona is still strong, but she is is no longer arming her heart to the teeth.

Gideon is the same little cinnamon roll, but we get to see more of his kind ways and the depth of his feelings for Saphrona.

We also get to see more of his ten (think of it as his royal council) and more of Bradley and Sheena which is great.

The story Ayres is weaving for us is intricate and layered, this is about the past and present, with a hope for the future.

I particularly enjoyed the Ferals in this book, and Saphrona’s kindness really just captured my whole admiration.

Sheena’s storyline is probably my favorite, but, I won’t say more, #nospoilers.

Antonia is badder than ever, and pushing her powers to the limit while all the while keeping her goal, Gideon, in mind.

Gideon and his followers want nothing more than to reclaim their humanity, to feel their hearts again but Antonia is pulling out all the stops to make sure Gideon is restored to his former ‘glory’ and under her influence once more.

The stakes are high and this is building up to be what I feel will be an intense third book and I can’t wait.

Pros:
– Strong female, and she has a heart of gold and sticks to her guns.
– Sheena really got the spotlight and I loved it.
– Complex relationship between humans and vampires that consort them, but we get into different issues in this book.
– The shared memories were amazing
– The book is short but it feels nice and full, and in fact you’ll want to dive right into the next book.
– Sheena and Bradley are still showing the different ways in which humans can be affected.
– I didn’t not see the few plot twists, they were brilliant.
– We got to see more Antonia just like I wanted AND more Qyva as I had hoped!

Cons:
– Still want more Leigh
– I really would have loved more Qyva but I don’t know, there could be more in book three, but I may just be greedy at this point lol.
– People may be put off by the fact that it has vampires in it.
– Pacing could feel too fast, but this series is meant to be exactly how it is, so, may not be for everyone.
– I would have loved a bit more time for Leigh and Saphrona to just reflect on their new lives but I did understand the shift from them to Saphrona and Gideon

Any Vampire book recs for me? Have you read Ayres books?

 

Toodles!

 

Mini Reviews

**Thanks to Kelly from BookGlow for sending me these two copies to read and review, in exchange for my honest review**


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GoodReads Blurb:
From USA Today featured novelist and Western Writers of America Spur award finalist Milana Marsenich, The Swan Keeperis an historical, coming-of-age novel set in 1920s Montana.

On her eleventh birthday, Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun. Lilly sees him kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans. The sheriff, her mother, sister, and best friend all think Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident by blaming Drake. But Lilly knows the truth. Left alone she must bring him to justice. 

“Author Milana Marsenich has penned a dramatic page-turner brimming with authentic detail. She knows this Montana countryside inside and out, her vivid descriptions capturing the spirit of the craggy Mission Mountains.”—Maggie Plummer, author of Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish and Daring Passage: Book Two of the Spirited Away Saga

Lily’s 11th birthday was supposed to be one filled with the magic turning 11, after all  Nell, Pa, and sister Anna told her it was a magical age to be. Instead she witnesses her father and mother shot along with the swans her family loved so much. Her sister too far to witness the shooting or Lily trying to save the swans and no one believes her when she says she saw who shot them.

Using a bit of mysticism in the form of swans and a bit of spirituality, Marsenich brings to the table a rather beautiful coming of age tale. The story makes you feel as if you’re there breathing the air with Lily, soaking in Montana and the beauty of the trumpeter swans. I really enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would after reading the first chapter.

With no one believing her, her Pa dead, and her mother unavailable to the world let alone her daughters, Lily finds strength in taking care of Pearl a trumpeter swan. Along the way though she doesn’t give up in her determination to catch the man who killed her father, taking the matter of the law into her own hands.

Along the way Lily does get a little help but being 11 means that the adults just will not listen, and the magic of 11 seems like a thing of the past when her family was still whole, and unfortunately 12 doesn’t look any brighter with Dean Drake the murderer still on the loose. Why he’s killed her Pa and why her mother survived is a tale as old as time: jealousy.

Lily searches for clues, protects swans, and battles with the stubbornness of the Sheriff and the right just to be heard.

I did enjoy this but do remember that this had an element of spirituality that may not be to your liking. I wouldn’t say it was overpowering but I just want to to make sure it’s mentioned.

 


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GoodReads Blurb:
The Ballet Lover exposes the beauty and cruelty of ballet, the performances, the back stage moments, and the personal dramas of the famous ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova as seen through the eyes of an American female journalist.

Paris, 1970s: the orchestra plays the first ominous note of Swan Lake. In the audience sits Geneva, an American journalist and ballet lover, waiting for the heart-stopping beauty and seduction of the romantic duet to start, but instead she witnesses Rudolf Nureyev failing to catch his Russian partner Natalia Makarova, allowing her to fall with a crash upon the stage. 

Geneva interprets the fall as an act of cruelty, a man with all the fame and power in the world brutally letting fall his delicate, wraith-like artistic partner. When other critics defend Nureyev and accuse Makarova of causing her own tumble, Geneva vows revenge on the page, creating havoc in her own career and discovering surprising parallels between herself and the fallen ballerina.

The Ballet Lover is a refined, mesmerizing, fictional account of two of the most celebrated dancers in the dance world, how one compromised the other, and how the drama on the stage often mirrors those played out in real life.

Geneva’s dedication to her writing is great and I love that this turn into a grand love story, her focus is writing about dancing. She holds fast to her opinion even when others disagree and I think that the ending of the story was perfect for her considering the bond she has with her Aunt.Baer mixes in tidbits of historical ballet facts with a novella that focuses on two ballet dancers in particular. Nureyev and Makarova.

The MC is the journalist who captures the feeling of the dancers on stage, watching the progress of the two dancers through out their careers. At the beginning of each chapter Baer gives us a snippet of a performance and though it doesn’t seem to add to the story itself as far as plot I feel it helps set the stage each time and those little snippets were my favorite part!

This is novella and not a fully fleshed out book, so that expectation could be kept in mind before diving in. It can easily be read in one or two sittings and if you enjoy ballet history I would recommend this.