Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel Reviews, Graphic Novels

Book Review: Sorceline (Sorceline #1) – Sylvia Douyé, Paola Antista (Illustrations)

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Graphic Novels, Comic Books, Middle-Grade

Review:

I came across this book on NetGalley and I was at once fascinated by that cute cover. Plus I love fantastic creatures and stories so of course, this book was right up my alley. Sorceline is a young girl who wants to study cryptozoology and when she gets into Professor Archibald Balzar’s school, it’s a dream come true. Now, if she could only get chosen as his apprentice, it would be icing on the cake.

The storyline wasn’t as exciting as I’d expected it to be. Some of the plot twists were quite obvious and there were plot holes as well that needed to be dealt with. That said, this book has a lot of potential. As it’s the first book in the series, I sure hope the storyline gets better. The dialogues felt a bit stunted at first but it was a nice surprise when I did get some witticism.

Now, quality of drawings—Graphic novels are such a visual medium rather than imagining the scenes in your head like with the written word, so the quality of the drawings is a deal breaker for me. I’m glad to say I loved the graphics in Sorceline! The drawings were beautifully drawn and made this book well worth it.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Welcome to the Island of Vorn, where mythical creatures roam free and only the brightest students are invited to study them. In Book 1 of this riveting new middle grade graphic novel series, a gifted young cryptozoologist-in-training must learn to tame powerful beasts—including her own inner demons.
For as long as she can remember, Sorceline has had a knack for the study of mythical creatures. Now a student at Professor Archibald Balzar’s prestigious school of cryptozoology, she’s eager to test her skills and earn a spot as one of Balzar’s apprentices.
But for all her knowledge of gorgons, vampires, and griffins, Sorceline is mystified by her fellow humans. While she excels in her studies, she quickly clashes with her classmates, revealing her fiery temper.
When one of her rivals suddenly disappears, Sorceline must set aside her anger and join the quest to find her. But the mystery only deepens, leading Sorceline on a journey far darker and more personal than she expected . . .

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

e-ARC Review: The Holloway Girls – Susan Bishop Crispell

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Romance, Fantasy, Magic

Review:

Being a Holloway Girl means your kiss is literally magic. One kiss and good luck knocks on your door. Each Holloway girl gets one kissing season. But there are rules to follow. Break one of those rules and who knows what peril will befall you?

Remy’s older sister, Maggie, had her kissing season and now it’s Remy’s turn. She hopes and dreams of an amazing, successful season. Alas, her luck runs out with her choice for her first kiss, which starts a mess that spirals her life down the drain.

The story started out well, though I can’t imagine kissing anyone just to bestow luck. I did like Remy’s outlook on that, on being more selective than Maggie, on choices that actually meant something. I loved all the baked goods and the new characters were quite charming. I loved the intensity and pull between Remy and the new boy.

That said, the book dragged a bit at times, and the ending was kind of anticlimactic for me. I wanted the people who’d wronged Remy and her family to actually get their comeuppance and wished Remy had a stronger character. But all in all, it was a nice story.

I was going to review the book a day before the release date but decided to wait a few days because of my 3-star review. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
When your kiss is good luck, the wrong kiss could change everything…
During the kissing season, one kiss from Remy or her older sister Maggie will give the boy—or girl—good luck. Or so it has been for all the Holloway girls before. But this year, Remy’s first season, she doesn’t follow the rules, dooming the boy she kisses to bad luck that almost kills him and leaving Remy with a cursed kissing season.
Now Remy is adamant about keeping her lips to herself. But the new boy in town is making it hard to keep her promise. Especially because he seems to really want to get to know her, and isn’t just using her for the Holloway luck. But before she can even think about kissing someone else, she’ll have to find a way to fix the curse, or else her family’s legacy will be tainted forever.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Vespertine – Margaret Rogerson

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, Ghosts

Review:

I’ve been a big fan of Margaret Rogerson since I read A Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens. So I was super excited for Vespertine. I buddy-read it with my bestie and the first three-quarters of the book were pretty terrific.

I have to admit I didn’t connect with Artemisia at first – she seemed insignificant, almost like a minor character. But I found myself invested in her and ended up loving her. The thing is. the author did a fantastic job of eking out little bits of her that kept you wanting to know more. I also loved the way the author disclosed vital revelations at significant times that made a huge impact on the main characters and the story as a whole.

The revenant was fascinating and I loved the snarky interactions between it and Artemisia. I definitely want to know more about it. Another character I loved a lot – the white raven – he was such a funny little tyke. The plot-line was pretty great with surprising friendships though the character that I think is supposed to be the main love interest was kind of disappointing.

The ending unfortunately tanked for me. It felt unfinished. I get that Vespertine is the first in a new series but the ending didn’t have the impact of a cliffhanger which would have been epic. I hope the second book won’t disappoint.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
The dead of Loraille do not rest.
Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.
When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.
As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Abandoned in Death (In Death #54) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Review:

The best thing about February is always a new In Death book. This time we’ve got number 54 in the series – Abandoned In Death. Eve’s latest case is a race against time to find the killer while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance.

This latest case wasn’t as gripping as I’d expected. The storyline dragged a bit and was kind of repetitive. I missed having that feeling of depth to a great story.

J.D. Robb did this story a tad different, writing it in two time periods, the past and the present, merging together at the end. This difference added value to the whole story, including that incredible twist about who the killer was. I did not see that one coming.

Though I love the In Death series, the newer books after the first 46 books haven’t had the same greatness as the earlier ones. Some have been more misses than hits. Others like Faithless In Death were pretty amazing additions to the series.

That said, I still enjoyed getting my much-needed dose of Eve and Roarke along with all my favorite secondary characters. And who can regret some Bella and Mavis time, right?

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Homicide detective Eve Dallas must untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance—in the new In Death novel by #1 New York Times bestselling J. D. Robb.
The woman’s body was found on a bench in a New York City playground. She was clean, her hair neatly arranged, her makeup carefully applied. But other things were very wrong—like the tattoo and piercings, clearly new. The clothes, decades out of date. The fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon around her neck. And the note: Bad Mommy, written in crayon as if by a child.
It seems clear the killer’s childhood was traumatic—a situation Eve is all too familiar with herself. Yet the clues point to a perpetrator who’d be around sixty, and there are no records of old crimes with a similar MO. What was the trigger that apparently reopened such an old wound and sent someone over the edge? When Eve learns that other young women have recently vanished, the case grows even more urgent—and to solve it she’ll need to find her way into a hidden place of dim light and concrete, into the distant past, and into the depths of a shattered mind.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Shadows in Death (In Death #51) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Futuristic

Review:

This is another review that I haven’t been too keen to write. It’s not that I didn’t like the book but it wasn’t the dynamic, mastermind of a story I’d expected it to be with a nefarious part of Roarke’s mysterious and dangerous past rearing its ugly head. I remember how excited I was about this book but it pretty much tanked for me.

Shadows In Death started out well but Eve’s opponent this time, a blast from Roarke’s past, turned out to be a disappointment instead of a cunning criminal. I mean, Eve’s previous cases had criminals who escaped the law through convoluted, clever plans and Eve and Roarke still bested them. But here comes this low-life crook who only has luck on his side and everyone’s stumped? This was disbelieving to me on so many levels.

Other than that, I enjoyed the solidarity and loyalty of all the cops of the homicide division. The show of integrity made the book worth reading but if I wasn’t such a die-hard fan of the In Death series and I didn’t know the characters, my rating would have been less.

∼Lyn

Synopsis: Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past. As it often did since he’d married a cop, murder interrupted more pleasant activities. Then again, Roarke supposed, the woman lying in a pool of her own blood a few steps inside the arch in Washington Square Park had a heftier complaint. When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realises that this case is far from business as usual. Eve has two complex cases on her hands – the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned? As Eve and the team follow leads to Roarke’s hometown in Ireland, the race is on to stop the shadow making his next move . . .
Posted in TV Show Reviews

TV Show Review: Star Trek Discovery S03

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama

Review:

Season 3 started out well enough with a new adventure, a new intrigue, a fascinating mystery and it was vital to find the cause behind those events. That kept me going through half the season because otherwise I wasn’t too impressed with Season 3.

I did enjoy the new characters, especially the delightful, colorful Book. I liked him a lot.

3 Seasons and I still don’t like Michael. I’m a pretty headstrong person myself and I try to always do what’s right, and you would have thought I would have related to her but Michael just grated me wrong with her attitude and her complete disregard of the people who cared about her. That said, there were about 3 very cool, very inspiring scenes that I absolutely enjoyed.

As usual, Philippa Georgiou was definitely my favorite character but I liked her far better as a sole agent rather than an Emperor.

The plot-line of Season 3 had so much potential but the climax, with the mystery revealed, was very anticlimactic. I wanted an epic climax, one that would blow my mind like in Season 2 but that was not the case.

With the way Season 2 ended on that cliffhanger, I had high hopes for Season 3. Alas, it ended up being quite a disappointment.

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) – Zoraida Córdova

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Review:

I remember wanting to read this book when it first came out. But as you know with us book dragons, we’re like magpies and we get distracted by newer, shinier things, aka newer books. When I saw it was available for request on Edelweiss and that the third book in the trilogy will be released soon, I had to request it. Plus, how cool is this new cover? I love it better than the original – this new cover with the possibility of a whole other realm behind those doors.

Alejandra (Alex) is a bruja who’s scared of her magic and wishes she could get rid of it. So, on her Deathday celebration, she does a spell to banish her powers and of course things don’t go as planned and the spell causes her family to disappear. Alex is stuck with Nova, another bruja and he’s her only chance to try to get them back.

The few chapters were good and I really liked Alex. I understood her reasons for not wanting her magic. Her few, bad experiences with it had left her with mistrust and fear. But the way she didn’t take responsibility for her actions made me start to dislike her. At every point, her outlook and thoughts disappointed me.

That said, I found the plot-line, world-building, the portrayal of the brujas, and their magic, excellent. If not for the main character falling out of favor with me, I would have loved this story. Even the love triangle, the impact of which was quite mild, wouldn’t have been such a pet peeve to me like it usually is. It’s hard for me to love a story if I don’t like the main characters. I did like the ending chapters, the climax and that cliffhanger though.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Alex is a bruja and the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. So while most girls celebrate their Quinceañera, Alex prepares for Death Day—the most important day in a bruja’s life and her only opportunity to rid herself of magic. But the curse she performs during the ceremony backfires, and her family vanishes, forcing Alex to absorb all of the magic from her family line. Left alone, Alex seeks help from Nova, a brujo with ambitions of his own. To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

ARC Review: Once in a Blue Moon (Blessings, Georgia #10) – Sharon Sala

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 25 August 2020

Review:

After a tumultuous marriage and acrimonious divorce, Cathy fled her ex-husband to try to find a peaceful life for herself. That’s where the small town of Blessings and the super-cute, super-nice rancher, Duke Talbot come in. As the newcomer in Blessings, Cathy is reluctant to make new ties. When Duke comes to the rescue after Cathy has a bad fall, it pushes her into instant ties with the town denizens, filling her life with new possibilities and new chances.

I liked Cathy. Her decisions left me in awe. To leave everything behind, venture out in the unknown without knowing what you’ll encounter takes a lot of courage and I admired her for it. She was a good fit for Duke, a man who shouldered responsibility and strove to do what was right. Duke was so endearing, he charmed me straight away. I loved his relationship with his brother, Jake and sister-in-law, Hope.

My only complaint with this story is that it veered away too much from the romance between Cathy and Duke to focus instead on the lives of the townspeople. I would have enjoyed the story more if the focus had been on Cathy and Duke. I did love the addition of little 8-year-old Melvin Lee though, which enhanced Cathy and Duke’s relationship. He was a sweet little tyke and his manner of speaking was so cute you couldn’t help but love him and feel for his situation.

It’s been a long time since I last read a Sharon Sala book but I still enjoy her writing and the dashes of humor always leave me smiling. This book is part of a series but can also be read as stand-alone.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Sharon Sala’s Blessings, GA series immerses the reader in a world where bad things may happen, but good people always come out ahead. Supremely satisfying, Sala’s contemporary romances bring out the best in people! Rancher Duke Talbot meets Cathy Terry in Blessings by chance. She’s new to town, and so grateful to be there—Blessings feels like a safe haven. As their relationship grows and Cathy sees Duke’s feelings for her are real, she confesses she’s on the run from an abusive ex-husband. Now she’s fallen in love with Blessings and with Duke, and Cathy doesn’t want to run anymore.
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: What I Like About You – Marisa Kanter

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: YA Contemporary, Young Adult

Review:

This book is about a Jewish teen, Halle Levitt who has a popular YA blog which she started under the persona Kels. Her bookish blog is famous for custom cupcakes with book covers and reviews. Things are going great for her until she meets and falls for her online best friend, Nash, in real life without telling him who she really is. Nash believes Kels and Halle to be two different persons. Talk about a complicated mess. As Sir Walter Scott said, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! Continue reading “Book Review: What I Like About You – Marisa Kanter”

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) – Rin Chupeco

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Review:

A tale about magic, Avalon and the Snow Queen? Sign me up! This was such a promising book with an intriguing plot-line and I liked the first few chapters a lot.

This story was filled with colorful characters who cracked me up. The thing is, I loved the side-characters but didn’t like the main character much. The side-characters had so many facets to them whereas the main characters, say Tala and Alex, just felt flat to me. Alex did not impress me with his jerk routine. It just made me dislike him. Continue reading “Book Review: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) – Rin Chupeco”