The Mermaid by Christina Henry

With the success of the movie The Greatest Showman, which is about the famous P. T. Barnum, it comes with no surprise that I was super excited to find out that someone had written a book featuring him. I had already read a previous work of Christina Henry’s before called  Lost Boy , which was absolutely amazing so I knew I had to give this one a go! Here is my review:

36358268Summary (Goodreads): Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.
P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.

 


Review:

The first thing I want to start by saying is that this novel is very different from her other work. If you are expecting a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid, then you would be completely off the mark. While this novel features a mythical creature, there is no connection to any other tales about the mermaid and this novel would be better classified as a historical fiction than a true fantasy story.

BUT IT WAS STILL FREAKING AMAZING!

I loved that this story was more focused on the mermaid and her experiences interacting with humans. The personality created for her was absolutely amazing –  relatable and foreign at the same time. As she interacts with human beings, we see how she forms her opinions about them and it is such an interesting experience to see how someone alien to our species views us. I had never considered this perspective, and I’m really glad that the author allowed for this opportunity. I also loved seeing how the mermaid herself changed because of her interactions, developing more human emotions and desires.

I also adored the prose. It was so haunting and lyrical and moving. The descriptions that the author created were so vivid that I really felt like I was right there experiencing it. An to me, that is a mark of true talent. There was never a moment where I felt myself getting bored or losing connection to the story or to the characters. There was just so much depth to everything and it made this story feel very engaging, even when not much was actually happening in the story.

If there is anything I could nitpick about, it would be that I wanted the tension to develop a bit stronger in the story. There really wasn’t much of a buildup and it detracted a little from that final climactic moment in the story.

Overall, this was a very good novel that was deeply engaging. Although it wasn’t the dark fantasy retelling I had thought it would be, I enjoyed the historical aspects of the story and the amazing characterization. For those reasons, I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars, and I cannot wait to see what else this author will create!

4 star

Happy reading ~

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An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

Lately, I’ve been looking for a lot of standalone fantasy stories. I really like getting into a novel and know that this one book contains that satisfactory ending I so crave. Don’t get me wrong, I love series, too. But I hate waiting for the next book to come out and sometimes I don’t get the time to read them. As I was searching for my next read, I saw the cover and description for this novel and it just grabbed my attention right away. I read this book in audiobook format so I will be making some comments on my experience listening to it being narrated. Here is my review:

32735037Summary (Goodreads): In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.


Review:

This was everything I wanted and I am SO GLAD I decided to read it on a whim!

This was an urban fantasy, set in New York City. It reminded me a lot of Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz and Gossip Girl in the way that it described the various families that hold magic and the political maneuvering that was done in this society. I actually found all of that intrigue and drama to be just as exciting as the actual magical fighting. While this wasn’t a story that delved deep into how spells were cast, I found that those details were unnecessary; this wasn’t a story about someone discovering their powers, it was a story full of darkness, plotting, and revenge.

I thought the writing was fantastic and the characters were really well developed. I must admit, however, that there was an extensive cast and that made it hard to follow the story at times. This was made more difficult since I was listening to the story; even though the narrator changed her voice to suit the different characters, it was easy to get them confused in the beginning, especially with the more minor ones. However, once I got it sorted, I was able to fully enjoy the story.

I loved that this was all about the dark side of magic. There was a grittiness, an edge to the world portrayed in this story that gave it more depth. I loved the way the plot unfolded, with various twists and turns and revelations. I was also very pleased with the presence of strong female leads; the girls kicked ASS in this novel!

If you couldn’t already tell, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It had grit, it had dark aspects to it, and featured distinct and strong female characters! I will definitely be reading more by this author. This book gets 4/5 stars from me!

4 star

Happy reading ~

After Alice by Gregory Macguire

The first book I ever read by Gregory Maguire was Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and it was fantastic. It was a different take on the classic Cinderella story and it was the first time I ever read a retelling. You could say that this is what got me into this genre in the first place. With After Alice, I had the awesome opportunity to buddy read this book with a bunch of bookish friends from my bookstagram account! Every week, we would meet up online to discuss the novel. As someone who hasn’t really analyzed a book since high school, it was nice to get back into that style of reading in an informal setting. Anyways, I’ve been blabbering for too long, let me get onto my review:

Summary (Goodreads):  When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.


Review: I actually read this book in 2 formats: physical book and audiobook. I was a bit worried that switching between these two would affect my perception of the story, but I am happy to say that it did not. But let’s get on to my actual feelings about this book.

This was not my favourite book by Gregory Maguire. In fact, I didn’t really like this book at all. I think that the problem I faced with this novel was that it was trying to do too much and accomplishing very little in the process.

This book is all about what happens after Alice goes to Wonderland, and the author decided to look at this in 2 ways: through Ada’s perspective as she goes searching for Alice, and through the perspective of Alice’s sister, Lydia, who is stuck in England and must find her there. The concept was great; we get a full picture of the effects of Alice’s disappearance. But the way the story was told just didn’t work for me.

For one thing, the sections with Lydia didn’t really interest me. I felt like Maguire made her character very unlikable and didn’t give her many strengths. I wish she had had some positives to her because it seemed really unfair that she shouldn’t have something to make her seem better. I also found that the descriptions of life in England, while interesting and historically accurate, were boring. I didn’t really want to read about decorum and debate about societal views and morals. I just wanted to go to Wonderland.

Now, when it came to Ada’s time in Wonderland, I was very intrigued. Ada is a very different character from Alice; she’s much more logical and mature, almost like an adult than a child. Seeing Wonderland through her eyes, and watching how she changes and finds her identity was amazing. I just wish there were more of it. Every time the story took me out of Ada’s chapter and into Lydia’s, I would groan on the inside. Ada’s journey was far more interesting and I liked her practical character very much.

There was also the introduction of another character named Siam. I really liked how the author was able to develop his story even without giving him a voice. But if I’m honest, his character was unnecessary. Siam barely got a chance in the spotlight and including him made me want to read more from his perspective – and left me feeling disappointed when he didn’t really get the chance to do so.

I also had a problem with the language. Now, I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp of the English language… but this book had my head spinning and not in a nice way. The overly flowery and descriptive language made it hard to get through the book and I would find my attention slipping away. Even if you are personifying the Victorian era, there is no need for the writing to be so difficult to understand, especially when there really isn’t anything meaningful being said. My biggest problem with the wording and language style of this book is that the author was deliberately using wordy language in an attempt to sound more impressive – but when you make your way through all that mess, you realize it’s really nothing that impressive at all. I did not like this at all; it felt like the experience was being cheapened for me.

My final thoughts about this book was that it could have been so much better. It was such an interesting concept but the author overcomplicated it by trying to put too many themes and characters in and not fully developing them. There was also the unnecessary language that had the opposite effect of seeming witty. While I enjoyed reading this in a buddy setting and I liked the revelations that we discovered as a group, this is not a book that I enjoyed. I’m giving this a 1.5/5 stars, rounded to 2.

Happy reading ~

 

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

I read Seraphina a while back and I fell in love. It had dragons and court life and great world-building. It was definitely very different from most fantasy stories I’ve read but I enjoyed it immensely. When I saw that LibraryThing was hosting an Early Reviewer giveaway for Tess of the Road, I immediately jumped at the chance, and was delighted to receive a copy. From the synopsis, I was aware that the book took place in the world of Seraphina and I was excited to get back into it. Here is my review:


Summary (Goodreads): 

33123849In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.


Review: Getting back into the world created in Seraphina through the eyes of a new character was really exciting for me. That being said, I would HIGHLY recommend that you read Seraphina before this one; this novel draws on many terms and concepts from Seraphina and the author doesn’t really take the time to explain it again in this book, so readers might find themselves lost.

When I started reading this novel, I was surprised to find that it was quite slow. Based on the premise, I think I was expecting a faster pace to the story. I also found Tess’s character to be … well, not to my liking. She is quite selfish and a little too impulsive. However, as I was thinking this, I also found myself liking this choice for a protagonist. I have always favoured flawed main characters to perfect one – and Tess is definitely in the former category.

As the story continues, there is an allusion to an incident that Tess was involved in that has made her undesirable and given her a bad reputation – and it is connected to a sexual encounter. The mystery surrounding this incident immediately made me want to know more, and it served as a pushing force for me to continue with the story. At the same time, I was surprised that the author wanted to discuss sex and sexuality; I hadn’t pegged this as the direction for this novel.

One of the major problems I encountered in this book was that it had very slow pacing. Not much happens in this story. Tess goes on a journey to escape life in a nunnery – and to escape the judgmental attitude of her family and friends. There are bouts of adventure but for the most part, there was just a lot of walking and talking and philosophizing. Now, I’m not really a fan of philosophy so I found some of these talks to be a little tedious to get through but I found that they were important for setting the stage for some of the moral issues the author explores.

Because while Tess was going through a boring outward journey, she was going through a rigorous inward journey. This novel was all about Tess’s ingrained views on sexuality and proper behaviour (as she was taught by her mother) and the way her experiences and the views of others’ challenges these beliefs. The reader gets to see how Tess has been bullied and shamed into feeling inferior and how she rises from this and starts to love herself again. I think that this theme is a really important one to cover and I think that, while the author had a shaky start with it in the beginning, it all came together quite well in the end.

This is a book that won’t work for everyone. The slow pacing and the initial un-likable-ness of Tess can be offputting for a lot of readers. But if you push through, you’ll see that this novel has its merits. It’s all about self-love and taking care of oneself. It’s about different ways to think about sex and sexuality, and the issues of being judged by traditionalist views on a female’s role in the bedroom. I like how the novel challenged these issues through Tess’s character and for that reason, I’m going to give this a 3.5/5 stars. The reason I can’t give it a higher rating is because the pacing was difficult to deal with and there wasn’t really much of a plot.

This is a novel I would recommend for fans of Seraphina and for those who are looking for a novel that looks into morality through the genre of fantasy.

Happy reading ~

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Although I’ve heard of Laini Taylor, I’ve never read anything by her. I’ve seen loads of posts about her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and while I’ve been intrigued, I just haven’t found the time to get into it. However, I couldn’t resist this novel. The cover was gorgeous and the synopsis was too good to pass up. So, here is my review:

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Synopsis (Goodreads): The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


Review: THIS. BOOK. BLEW. MY. MIND.

I’m trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words and I’m struggling so much because all I can thinks is woah. It was that good of a read! I know that this book has been hyped up a lot, and I’m usually someone who finds that hyped reads aren’t as great as they are made out to be. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE HERE. This book lives up to the hype and then some!

This book is so beautifully written. It is poetic, and magical, and everything you imagine when you think of fantasy. Regardless of whose perspective we read, the writing is haunting and emotional; there were so many instances where the words and the emotions they evoked tore at my heart. I was spellbound and couldn’t stop myself from reading this book.

The characters are fantastic in this book. They are unique and whimsical, yet easy to connect with. The relationships between everyone and the conversations were so believable and natural that it felt as if I was right there listening to it. I loved Lazlo and his goodness, his research skills, and his love of Weep. His simplicity made me smile and he quickly became a favourite character.

The plot for this novel is just so good. There is depth, there is complexity, and there is the right balance of action and world-building. I was able to predict the revelation that occurred in the end of this book, but that just made me even happier with the story; I don’t always need shocking twists and turns to keep me happy, just a well-developed story.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my experience of this book. It was fantastic and I am so glad I gave in and read it. I cannot wait for the next book in the series! I would recommend this novel for anyone who loves fantasy, and I’m giving this a 5/5 stars!

Happy reading ~

 

 

 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand – Empirium #1

I received this novel as an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I went for this novel because I saw a ton of people talking about how amazing it was. As a fantasy lover, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this book. When I saw it posted on Edelweiss, I decided to request it. WHAT A GREAT CHOICE ON MY PART!

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Summary (Goodreads): When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.


Review: This was such a great novel and I literally could not pull away from it.

When I first started reading this novel, I was intrigued but not completely engrossed in the story. It starts off a bit slowly, and I was wondering when it would pick up speed. And then it did. And it was AWESOME!

I loved that the story was told from the alternating perspectives of two strong female characters. These ladies are not your average protagonists; they had a good blend of positive and negative characteristics. I don’t really enjoy novels where the author creates the “almost-perfect” protagonist because it doesn’t allow me to connect with them; with this book, not only was I able to connect with the characters, I was also able to view them as real human beings that I might encounter in my everyday life (sans all the magical elements, of course).

I also really enjoyed the writing style. The beginning of each chapter was a quote from a letter or document or book, and it’s actually important to read it because it gives clues as to the importance or significance of the events that are about to unfold in that chapter. I also loved that every chapter ended on a cliffhanger. It made me want to rush right into the next one!

Surprisingly enough, I thought the romance in this novel was handled really well. For both of the protagonists, the love interest made sense and there was a great buildup. I literally never give positive comments about romance in a story, but I must admit that this one was quite well done!

Overall, I had a fantastic experience with this book. It had great pacing, 2 awesome storylines, and 2 fierce female protagonists! Check this book out for your next fantasy read! I’m giving this a 5/5 stars!

Happy reading ~

The King of Bones and Ashes by J. D. Horn

Books that involve witchcraft or covens are my thing. I will literally devour any book that mentions the word “witch” in it because I am THAT obsessed! I’m so glad I got to read an ARC of this book because it was such a fantastic read and fulfilled my need for dark stories!

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Summary (Goodreads): Magic is seeping out of the world, leaving the witches who’ve relied on it for countless centuries increasingly hopeless. While some see an inevitable end of their era, others are courting madness—willing to sacrifice former allies, friends, and family to retain the power they covet. While the other witches watch their reality unravel, young Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Alice disappeared once, too—caged in an asylum by blood relatives. Recently freed, she fears her family may be more involved with the growing crisis than she ever dared imagine.

Yet the more she seeks the truth about her family’s troubled history, the more she realizes her already-fragile psyche may be at risk. Discovering the cause of the vanishings, though, could be the only way to escape her mother’s reach while determining the future of all witches.


Review: I never realized how much I love urban fantasy until recently, but it is quickly becoming one of my favourite genres to read. And this book is such a fantastic addition to the genre.

One of the things I loved about the story was the pacing. This was not a very fast-paced story, but the slower pace worked very well because it allowed for the development of the darker elements. And the dark aspects of the story were worth waiting for! I knew this story wasn’t going to be a lighthearted read but even I was taken aback by the sheer evil mentioned in this book – and I loved it! The writing style that the author used was also perfect for building up tension in the plot and between the different characters. There was also no fakeness to any of the character interactions or situations; every remark, every scene was carefully crafted and served a higher purpose of solidifying the themes of the story.

There were quite a few characters to keep track of, and I will admit that I struggled here a bit. The author definitely did a great job of making each of them unique, but I would find myself forgetting how everyone was related or how old the characters were. The author does provide a helpful list of characters at the end of the book, but I wouldn’t recommend readers look at it while they are still reading the story because some of the descriptions of the characters can be spoilers.

But the plot was to die for: it was gripping, dark, and scary. It was everything I could ask for in an urban story centered around powerful witch families and covens.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this dark urban fantasy set in New Orleans. The characters, writing style, and eerie plot were absolutely amazing and I am definitely going to be reading more books by this author in the near future! I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars!

I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading ~

All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert

I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (Goodreads): In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.

The people of Bellhaven have always looked to Ellsworth Newberry for guidance, but after losing his wife and his future as a professional pitcher, he is moments away from testing his mortality once and for all. Until he finally takes notice of the changes in his town . . . and the cardinals that have returned.

Upon the discovery of a small chapel deep in the Bellhaven woods, healing seems to fall upon the townspeople, bringing peace after several years of mourning. But as they visit the “healing floor” more frequently, the people begin to turn on one another, and the unusually tolerant town becomes anything but.

The cracks between the natural and supernatural begin to widen, and tensions rise. Before the town crumbles, Ellsworth must pull himself from the brink of suicide, overcome his demons, and face the truth of who he was born to be by leading the town into the woods to face the evil threatening Bellhaven.


Review: I went into this novel with absolutely no idea on how I would feel about it. I emerged from it thinking that it was quite an interesting read.

I really liked the premise of this book and the way events unfolded in this town. The story is told entirely from Ellsworth’s point of view, and he is quite a character. I think the author tries really hard to make him complex, but at times, it was a bit forced. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by Ellsworth and really liked him. There were many different characters who were introduced to the story, and it could be quite confusing to keep them all straight. However, all of the characters had backstories and vices that helped the reader make a connection with them. I did think that everyone’s constant positive regard for Ellsworth was a tad overbearing, but it makes sense in terms of the story.

I really liked the way that the story progressed. We start off with the emergence of this chapel, which has always been present, yet the people of this town have been unaware of it. But once they become aware, they cannot help but visit, enticed by the messages it gives them. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that this chapel is not a blessing – rather, it is curse. The frenzy that developed throughout this story was fantastic, and I really enjoyed every minute of the book…. until we got to the final climax. That’s when I felt disappointment. After all this amazing build up and tension and intrigue, the climax felt lackluster.

Even though the ending was not as great as I had hoped, the story itself was interesting and I enjoyed most of it. I wasn’t expecting it to make references to faith (totally missed out that it was labelled as Christian fiction) but the author made it work in the story. I would give this a 3/5 stars.

Happy reading ~

The Sorceress and the Postgraduate by Clive Heritage-Tilley

I saw the premise of this novel and immediately wanted to read it. First of all, anything with witches and magic will sound appealing to me. The second is that this novel is tied to historical events and figures, which made it even more interesting. It had everything I wanted to read about so I decided to give it a shot. Here is my review:

Synopsis (Goodreads): When an Oxford University student decides to steal an intriguing object from the Pitt Rivers Museum to further his studies, he gets more than he bargained for.

It’s 1497 and Albrecht Durer produces the four witches engraving. But there were really five women, not four, and they were sorceresses. All five were condemned to death, but it was decided that the youngest English girl, Constance, should be saved and the four sorceresses cast a spell to suspend her in time.

What ensues is a captivating story as the student with the help of his new assistant embark on an adventure of magic and mystery, in search for secrets locked in the history of time.


Review: Well, this book did not live up to my expectations in any way. This novel could really have been a great read but it ended up really letting me down.

One thing that was really disappointing was that there was not much focus on the historical aspect. There were maybe just a handful or less references to historical figures or time points, and while this was definitely appreciated by me, it just wasn’t enough. If you are going to brand a story by saying it is historical fiction, it needs to be a lot more historical than this!

One of my biggest issues was with the lack of proper development with the story. Things are pretty much just told to the reader rather than shown. We are told what happened to lead to the 4 sorceresses saving Constance. We are told by Constance about her relationship with Albrecht Durer. We are told what led the Oxford student to steal the object. All of these things (and many more) could have been shown if the author had lengthened the story to include the relevant events. It was also disconcerting how quickly Constance adjusted to the modern day. For someone trapped in a bottle, she adapted way too quickly to her surroundings. There was no trace of an antiquated style of speaking, no shock from seeing all the new inventions around, just the enthusiasm that a tourist would show when traveling to a new country. Even the thoughts and feelings of the Oxford student who discovered her lacked strong development, and seemed to be very … childish.

The writing style of this novel was really not up to my standards. It read like the musings of a teenager rather than work that has been shown to an editor. It was all very childish and if I had been a preteen, I would have enjoyed this. But there was no indication that this book was meant for a younger audience, and if I’m to judge it as an adult book, it falls way off the mark there.

Believe me when I say that I really wanted to enjoy this book. However, the childish writing and lack of proper development of the story was something I could not get past. I have to give this a 1/5 stars.

I received this advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Happy reading ~

The Magician and The Maid and other stories by Christie Yant

I received this short story in my first PageHabit subscription box and I was super excited to read it. As you may know, I don’t read a lot of short stories. But I’m trying to change that where possible, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Synopsis (back of the book): Emil was a shepherd who had a power for charms and spells. But he must go in search of true power, in order to some day be king, leaving his love, Aurora to go searching. Meanwhile, Audra is trying desperately to get home, and Miles holds the story book she needs.

Review: I think the premise of this story was really interesting. There was a vagueness to the story that made me want to read more in order to understand what was going on. However, I thought that there could have been more detail. It may be a short story but that doesn’t mean that it should be lacking in terms of cohesiveness. I also found that the characters were hard to connect to and care for. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

Happy reading ~