Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher

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“Caliban would have laid down his life for Slate, probably with a sense of relief, but a man’s socks…that was asking a lot.”

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher is the concluding book of The Clocktaur War duology. I reviewed book one here, but to explain briefly three criminals are forced to get cannibal tattoos to go on a suicide mission for their government. It’s filled with creatures that are similar to talking dogs, giant clock armies, love, demons, and I could go on and on.

This was originally supposed to be one book, but was split in two to keep everything the author wanted. This causes the book to start off a little awkwardly. It has to start off like a second book, so it’s repeating what happened in the first, and it takes a little bit to take off.

But when it does, man I was hooked. I love all these characters so much I would read about them getting groceries and enjoy it. Luckily, this book has a bunch more action to that, and it does it so well. The ending took my breath away. I was so scared and horrified and sad but happy because the book was so good. And for the first time in a long time I cried while reading a book. I’m still crying a little now if I’m being completely honest. 

To say the least, I loved this book. I want everyone to read this series and love it like I do. T. Kingfisher started she will definitely be back in this world she created and I will be eagerly waiting for any news about it. I don’t know how I will move onto any other book now, and that’s one of the highest compliments a book can receive.

5 stars

 

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Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir

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The tears of life will fall
Into a river full of grief
Only then can the whisper of the Beloved
Provide the ailment as magnificent relief

I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That in no way changes my opinion of it.

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir is a short poetry collection surrounding Zamir’s struggle with living with his disability. Zamir was born with congenital deformities in the early 70’s. This short collection talks about love, relationships with other people and himself, and society as a whole.

It’s tough reviewing poetry because it changes so much from person to person. I don’t typically read poetry either. I get confused easily with too many metaphors and similes. I find myself wanting them to straight out tell me what they mean. However, there are times I step out of my comfort zone, and I must say I’m glad I did with this collection.

I found that this collection had a nice balance of pretty sentences and straight forward ones so I didn’t get frustrated. I know I don’t relate to these poems, but I don’t need to. Not everything is meant to be deeply personal, you know? 

I found this to be easy to read with some truly lovely poems in them. I enjoyed myself and I think others will too.

3 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter

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I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter is the first book in a new fantasy series. Four teenagers are unknowingly picked for an important mission to save their world and another that they had no idea existed. It involves magic and politics and creatures and adventure.

Along with the four teenagers, the reader is also dumped into the deep end of this magical world. There is the briefest of introduction and then it’s okay accept it and go go go. As a result, I had a lot of trouble absorbing the world. There was so many words thrown around with no explanation that everything was flying over my head. Which is disappointing because a lot of thought went into the world and I would have liked to enjoy it.

I mentioned that the characters were also thrown into this all willy nilly as well. I feel like this was perhaps the worst way to start the book. I didn’t understand Zara’s immediate acceptance to the mission or how she started talking like how Refus and them talked. I didn’t understand the motivations behind characters a lot of times which makes it hard to connect. 

I also disliked how we jumped into different heads all the time, but I think that’s a very personal thing for me. 

Overall, I thought they was going to be an exciting book for me, but I was left confused and disappointed. I think it has a great premise but the execution was a little off.

2 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Shipwreck Detective by Richard Platt

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The Shipwreck Detective by Richard Platt is an interactive children’s book following the death of Duncan’s Uncle Joe. He has left a letter behind that talks about a hidden treasure he wants his niece and nephew to find if they can. He gives them a list of shipwrecks and a riddle with a deadline. If they don’t find it in a couple months, a letter will go to a museum so they can have it.

The book is made to look like Duncan’s journal. He sketches, writes out his thoughts, and pasts pictures in it. There’s little flaps to open, and envelopes to rifle through. Unfortunately, my copy came from the library so all of these extra items weren’t there. This takes a lot out of the book, and I think is one of the main reasons I couldn’t enjoy it more.

There is a lot of information in this book about ships and scuba diving. I found it all very interesting though I have to admit to getting bored after a while. And some of the text is so tiny that I had a hard time reading it.

So while I did think a lot of the book was cool especially with the beautiful pictures that covered every page, I did not enjoy this book. Honestly, I have no idea how the book ended. I don’t know if it was in the extra pages I was missing or what. While that isn’t the books fault, I did find all the knowledge and extra bits tedious around the halfway mark. Since this is a children’s book, I wonder how well a child could get through this if I can’t.

2,5 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

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“When jumping is the sole option, you jump, and try to make it work.”

Grip of the Shadow Plague is the third book in the five book Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. Here is my review of the first book, and here is the second book’s review.  To sum up the book simply Kendra’s and Seth’s grandparents run Fablehaven, a magical preserve for magical creatures, but it is under attack and they must do everything they can to save it.

As this is the third book in the series, things have become increasingly intense and dire for the Sorenson family. As the series has become darker and more complicated, my fondness from the series has continued to grow. Many described series as getting better as the books continue, and that definitely holds true for this series.

The world has been expanded, the magic is more intense,the characters continue to grow and develop, and new ones have shown up. I can’t say much else about the books though as I don’t like writing spoiler filled reviews. I do, however, want to touch upon something that I noticed before but it became more prominent in this book. In the first two books there were only two characters of color, but in this one a lot more were introduced. Without getting too into it, basically it is only these characters that get hurt. The white  characters always find a way to be virtually unhurt. I feel unsure about whether to mention this, I looked for reviews from people of color, but no one else that I could find mentioned this. I felt like I must mention at least something even though I feel I can’t make a full discussion about it. I did find this post about the Native American representation though.

I did end up giving this book five stars, and I definitely will continue this series. It has successfully gotten me hooked even with the reservations I have about it.

5 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

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She glared at both of them “I realize we’re all going to die, but I’d just as soon we do it there and not here.”

Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher is the first book in the Clocktaur War duology. T. Kingfisher is actually the pen name of Ursula Vernon, an author I talk a lot about on here as she made the Dragonbreath series. This is an adult steampunk fantasy series though instead of a children’s fantasy one.

The Clockwork Boys follows three criminals and a priest on a quest to figure out how their weird giant clock centaur enemies work and how to destroy them. Why would criminals be trusted with a mission like this? Well, the first two groups turned up dead, and they put carnivorous tattoos on them that will eat them if they even think about abandoning their mission. It sounds crazy, right? But somehow it all makes sense while reading. The world isn’t confusing at all with the way Kingfisher writes. 

I have completely fallen in love with these characters. We have Slate, the group leader and expert document forger, Caliban, a disgraced knight with a dead demon wrapped around his soul, Brenner, an illiterate assassin, and Learned Edmund, a priest/scholar who has never been around a woman before. They are a motley crew that simply make magic together.

The writing, the plot, the pacing, the description, I loved all of it. The only thing I can think to complain of is I wish it was longer. I guess they split the book in half for some reason, but there’s a second one out there that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Easily a five star book. Everyone should go pick this up to experience it for themselves.

5 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

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The evil was coming for her.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way shaped my opinions of the book.

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock is the first book in a new paranormal thriller series. Becky Moran has made herself famous by pretending to be a medium who can talk to the dead. She has a radio show called Medium Wave. However, during one of her shows Becky touches an old, paranormal object, and suddenly has the very real gift of seeing the dead. Now she has to deal with her new gift because it turns out not all spirits are good. Some are dark, and they are coming after Becky.

The premise of this novel is one I love. The way everything played out felt very natural while still surprising me (somewhat). The story follows Becky, mainly, but also the studio team that had built her image. It showed a lot of the business side of having a radio show which I liked just as much as the paranormal plot line going on.

I didn’t much like the way the narration would jump into everyone’s heads though. Sometimes it felt repetitive though it was basically the only time that we got to know the other characters. So it was good and bad.

The book includes a main gay character and a main black character which was cool. There was also a lot of fat characters, but I found that less cool because they were always painted in a bad light compared to the tiny, perfectly slim Becky Moran. It was something that really started bothering me by the end of the book. Beck was also in general the perfect person and everyone around her had a lot of bad flaws.

Suicide is mentioned a couple of times in this book so be aware of that if that might bother you. Nothing was especially scary to me, but I don’t think I scare that easily. I could see this being really scary for other people.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, and I could see myself continuing on with this series. It’s a relatively short read, though I felt the end dragged on a little too much. It’s still a solid four stars for me.

4 stars