The Repenting Serpent Blog Tour

Hey all,

I was not lying when I said that this summer was the summer of Blog Tours and so far I’m really enjoying participating in all of them. Today I’m with #BitsaboutBooksBlogTour run by the super kind Caroline!

First off. I’m so glad that she asked me to join in because this is the kind of book that is just straight up my jam.

Okay, now onto the important stuff.

The Repenting Serpent - Wes Markin - book cover

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A DCI Michael Yorke Thriller

A vicious serial killer slithers from the darkness, determined to resurrect the ways of a long-dead civilisation.
When the ex-wife of one of DCI Michael Yorke’s closest allies is left mutilated and murdered, Yorke and his team embark on their greatest test yet. A  deeply personal case that will push them to their very limits.
As Yorke’s team are pulled further into the dark, the killer circles, preparing to strike again.
The Repenting Serpent is a true edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting page turner.

 

The DCI Michael York Thrillers:
#1 One Last Prayer for the Rays – getbook.at/OneLastPrayerRays
#2 The Repenting Serpent – getbook.at/RepentingSerpent

 

My Review

I feel like I’m just fangirling over amazing books lately just flapping around excitedly in my reviews like the crazy inflatable arm man. So. I’m going to try really hard to give you something more than pterodactyl screeches in this review.

This was basically the novel equivalent of Criminal Minds, a really dark and suspenseful police procedural.

[And I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds you know until about season 11]

Markin gives such a delicious read about a series of murders and they all seem to have a very strong connection to something more than just a serial killer getting their fill. This also includes Aztec mythology which is a nice change of pace as we usually hear more about Greek/Roman/Norse mythology in novels these days. [Or at least I do…hopefully it’s not just me lol]

I very much enjoyed seeing how Yorke and his team were piecing together clues and loved the creepy chapters told from the point of the serial killer. I have to say the misdirect worked on me momentarily and to that I tip my imaginary hat to Markin because I really thought I know ‘whodunit.’

Also, Markin is not afraid to do away with characters he’s like the thriller  version G.R.R. Martin, so, you know, try not to get attached, bahaha. I did like that though, it was clear that anyone was capable of dying and the feeling of everyone running out of time had me actually and not just figuratively on the edge of my seat. Martin doesn’t drag on the novel too long and he manages to give a very satisfying story in quite a short period when you realize how much he integrated into the plot and the amount of characters.

So, if you like police procedurals/thrillers, and you want to read an amazing newer series, go grab The Repenting Serpent -or the first one in the series, One Last Prayer for the Rays.- Though this is a series, it’s not necessary to read book 1 to be able to read book 2.

 

About the Author

Wes Markin Author Image

Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
Having finished ‘The Repenting Serpent,’ sequel to ‘One Last Prayer for the Rays,’ he is now working on the third instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of ‘Defined,’ a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.
Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

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The Rest of the Tour

The Repenting Serpent - Blog Tour Poster

 

 

 

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!

Mini Reviews

 

I was going deviate from a review to do this lovely post on how I became a reader and love books so much, but, I just want sinus meds and a nap and to eat soup. So! A couple of mini reviews!!


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GoodReads Blurb:

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her. 

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth. 

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Chloe Holden has always known she was adopted, her parents love her and she has a good life. Suddenly her parents are divorced and Chloe and her Mom are left to deal with cancer and a move to Joyful, TX right before Chloe starts her senior year.

While Chloe’s life is turning upside down, she meets Cash a foster kid of the Fullers who lost their daughter, Emily Fuller, 15 years ago, kidnapped under the watch of her Nanny.

What’s the connection between Emily and Chloe?

The plot keeps you engaged and entertained, you really feel bad for both Chloe and Cash for their own respective hard points in their lives. There’s more of Chloe’s parents in this book than most YA novels so that was actually a nice change.

The characters are not very deep but the fast pace of the plot makes up for it and you do get enough into Chloe and Holden’s heads that it doesn’t feel like they’re shallow, just that you could have left wanting more.

There’s some awkward writing at some rare moments (I’m not clear why boobs are such an awkwardly written thing in this but they are), but overall Hunter was fun to read and there are definitely some stereotypes but that didn’t take away from it being fun to read.

It was paced fast enough that I really didn’t want to put it down after starting it and I thought the ending was great. I felt not as much sympathy for Chloe’s Mom or for Mrs. Fuller but you could at least see where they were coming from and the interaction between Chloe and Cash was quite cute in the end.

An enjoyable and easy read, I would recommend it to those who like this sort of YA ‘mystery’ genre or looking for a quick read. I would pick up another book by C.C. Hunter.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

 


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GoodReads Blurb: When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

[Note: This is the SECOND book in a series, which may cause some confusion for the first couple of chapters.]

I would say this was a solid good read. Enjoyable, great pacing, and not too long. It had hints of paranormal, it was a good mystery and though you may find you could pinpoint ‘whodunit’ early on, it doesn’t take away from the entertainment value. It’s the sort of book where I KNOW I’ll want to read the next one each time and I appreciated the writing style as well. It wasn’t too flowery or heavy and it’s a blissful escape from a stressful day, the sort of read where it won’t drain you but it will keep you intrigued.

Another point I loved about this book was that you could really enjoy the WWII era of it and, this is a small thing but I LOVE that Thomas remembered about food rationing and made a point of including it during the food parts of the book, you want bacon in California in WWII? Too bad! So, HUGE kudos to historical accuracy on that front!

Zeke was pretty interesting but I think my favorite part was that he didn’t take over the storyline, in the end it was still about our Protagonist Sarah, she solves things without him and uses him as a sounding board, and guess what? It works and you still can appreciate the romance part of it without being like ‘please stop ruining the character(s)’.

I would recommend this to any mystery/paranormal reader and would definitely recommend reading the first book, well, first. It’s light, it’s fun, and yea probably predictable but sometimes that’s the kind of read I need.

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

** Just a note guys, to me 3 cups of coffee ain’t nothing to be ashamed of, it means I find a book enjoyable and maybe wasn’t my favorite read but it was still good ***

 

 

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:

Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

I actually just finished this two minutes ago, but we’ll roll with it for my current read as you know, I haven’t started anything new in the last two minutes. I actually really enjoyed this, and while there was some confusion for me in the first couple of chapters (it wasn’t made clear it was the SECOND in a series but that’s been fixed, thanks to Isabelle) I was able to push past it and really just enjoy it. It’s a supernatural mystery, a medium who wants to solve crimes and it reminded me of a more adult-aimed The Mediator type series in a way, at least where the ghosts were concerned. I would totally recommend this one for those who like this genre, I’ll have a review posted of it tomorrow.

What did you recently finish reading?

I could post the GoodReads blurb for like the 80th time about this one, but I’ll spare you, I already reviewed it and that can be found here if you’re curious! Another top notch 2019 release and I was pretty happy to read it, and that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t read Kal’s awesome review of it. This book was like ‘oh, you have feelings, great, I’m gonna exploit them and make you weep.’ So, it comes highly recommended from me!

What do you think you’ll read next?

GoodReads Blurb:

For the past three years, Brynna has been patrolling the streets of Forcadel as a masked vigilante, protecting the innocent and beating up bad guys. Her current target is Lord Beswick, a slumlord businessman who keeps the townsfolk in a vicious poverty cycle. But one fateful evening, she’s captured by Felix, the captain of the king’s guard, and told a shocking truth: her father and brother are dead, and she needs to hang up her mask and become queen.

Before long, she negotiates a deal with Felix: attend to her royal duties during the day and continue her vigilante mission to take out Lord Beswick at night – at least until her coronation. But the politics of Forcadel are as volatile as the streets, and Brynna isn’t sure whom she can trust in the castle. With two royals dead in less than a month, she must use all her wits to make sure she isn’t the third.

I have actually been itching to start this one!! But! I wanted to make sure to do my eARCs in some sort of reading order by when they released, so, NOW I finally get to read this one and it’s my last eARC I really ‘needed’ to get through for my monthly goal, though I did add Nation of the Beasts, we’ll see if I get through it by this week, probably not, I’m not a machine and eventually have to take a break from reading lol. Anyway, I’ll talk more about our Princess Vigilante in The City of Veils as the publication draws nearer. [April 16th for those who are curious]

Have you read any of these? What did you finish or start this week?

Toodles!

The Fever King eARC Review

[Note: I bought this on Kindle the day it came out and then got approved for the eARC on NetGalley the next day, so I’m using my Kindle version for the review, but, I’ll be posting this for NetGalley too so I’ve labelled it as an eARC Review. I received this book via the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for my completely honest review of the novel.]


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GoodReads Blurb: 

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

First off I love this idea of magic being a virus, that it’s not supposed to be a gift but yet still we have witchings.

Also, while magic is a good part and we have witchings which are the centre of a Holocaust scaled genocide in the US, Lee also gives us a good hard look at immigrants dealing with a country where the virus is an even more common fear for them, and so they go to another country, Carolinia to escape the horrors of Atlantia. And it is a beautifully tragic parallel to today’s world and its problem with immigration. People just wanting to find a place to call home where they can feel safe. Not to mention I just felt the political games were well done and my favorite part of the book.

There’s a dystopia really when you look at it as a world where we have failed to keep others safe, and that the immigrants are suffering and there’s a deadly virus that means magic can kill you.

Noam is half Latino half Jewish, and bisexual. I love that he talks about his ex-girlfriend while also acknowledging he has feelings for men. [Won’t disclose who as I’d hate to ruin the story for you all!]

Lee really brings a very teenage-like presence to all the teenage characters which sometimes authors can forget to do she also writes some tragic scenes and they are beautiful and Victoria Lee likes to tear out your emotions and dangle them above your head. Not to mention, and this is super important to me, but all of Noam’s actions have a consequence for better or worse, there’s no question about what happened to him because he did XYZ and I freakin’ LOVE that.

I love the little flashes of Calix information and I wish there would have been more if anything I would say maybe the pacing felt off at times because at moments I would pause and think so much as happened in so little time or so little has happened and yet I feel like I read 200 pages. That combined with the fact that it wasn’t always clear how much time had passed made pacing one of like the two issues for me. So pacing and I wish there would have been more of Noam and his crush interacting, it felt like we didn’t have a lot of time with them and so their feelings are sometimes a bit hard for me to believe. Those are probably my only complaints.

So let’s break it down into my usual Pros & Cons!

Pros:

– Great diversity and not just with Noam but overall!
– Dystopia feel which is such a direct parallel to our own problems, it’s scary but I love it. She dishes out some truths.
– Calix Lehrer is amazing and I love the peeks at his past.
– Noam’s power is pretty cool
– Magic is a virus, but witchings exist, both concepts are awesome
– Ames (Carter Ames) was my favorite minor characterCons:
– Not enough of Noam and his LI to always make the depth of their feelings believable (you learn that about a year has passed but that isn’t stated which is why I complained about pacing)
– I’m being greedy but I wanted more of those Calix snippets
– Pacing is off and not always clear
– Would have loved more of a look at what it was like for the immigrants, perhaps we will get that in the next book though.
– Dara wasn’t always easy to be sympathetic for at first but I applaud how she handled this.
– And apparently, like most books in 2019 The Fever King just wants to crush your soul and stomp on your feels.Content Warning: Hint of rape/sexual assault, though not gone into detail. Loss of family members and violent deaths. This is a more in-depth content warning from Lee herself.

I really can’t wait to read the next book and I can’t wait to see more of Noam!

 

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??

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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.]

Mini Review Day [Updated]

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 are some mini-reviews!

[UPDATE: I skimmed through these again and realized something

I may have been overly judgemental and angry because the books weren’t what I wanted them to be about that I was overly harsh on 2/3 of these. I’m changing my ratings because I realize it wasn’t fair of me to downgrade these because I didn’t enjoy them instead of because they were actually bad because they weren’t.

I’m going to be honest, Shakespeare’s Witch was quite well written, I was just so annoyed and put off that there was no content warning with something like incest. There is no shame in having sex scenes in books and I don’t think those books are less than normal books, I was just really surprised by this batch of books.]

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?