I have such mixed feelings about this one. It started with a bang and ended with a bang but the middle was a bit of a chore to read. I think this book could probably be taken out of the series and make it a duology instead of a trilogy…
There were some interesting moments and we get a lot of character growth during the middle when nothing is going on but I feel like it could have been condensed a bit more.
I would give it 3.5 stars because I loved the opening so much.
3.5 stars Ok, I’ve never experienced this before but the first book was the best. I did enjoy this one. The conclusion to the story is mostly satisfying BUT I feel like a lot of the complications for the main characters that had been developed were too easily resolved. Almost conveniently resolved to tie everything up in a neat little bow and the consequences for everything that happened were minimal or actually beneficial.
But it is a really good story and the villain is one of the best I’ve read.
This was so interesting! I loved the interviews with Stephen Fry, Jim Kay and Jim Dale and all the little snippets about Rowling writing the first Harry Potter book. And I loved all the actual history of magic and creatures that inspired Rowling. Natalie Dormer was a great narator as well.
Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires #6) by Chloe Neill ★★★☆☆
I’m not sure how I feel about this one… I enjoyed it but found it a bit boring at the same time. It was very predictable. I think the previous books were so high-octane that this follow-up was a bit of a letdown. It was goodbut not as good as previous books in the series. It does have a satisfying ending though.
Oh my god, I wish I had read this the day I bought it instead of waiting months and months! I was really surprised by this book. By how much I liked it and by how unpredictable the plot was (for me at least).
I absolutely LOVE the complex and alluring nature of the main villain. He’s as well rounded as Loki in the MCU. Someone I just love to hate (and maybe just love a little bit in general…).
It was just fantastic! I loved it and really want to keep reading the series but I have a feeling this is the kind of story I could get obsessed with so I’m going to try to pace myself….. try.
My edition included bonus material in the form of a letter Mal wrote to Alina while he was searching for the stag and an interview with Leigh.
Happy 2019 everyone! I’m jumping on the 2018 stats post bandwagon today mostly because I love reading stats. Do you track your reading stats? I would love to get more detailed info on my reading so please let me know how to do it below.
I set a goal of 100 books at the start of the year and read 110 which is pretty good. It’s a lot of books to talk about in a single post though so I’m just going to list them at the bottom and share my top and bottom 5 books and some stats. I LOVE stats!!! Bring on the charts!
Stats from Goodreads
(some books are missing because I don’t set them to read until after I review them)
Started the year with a 3 star review and ended with a 3 star review. What does that say about my reading year…
Print – 14 books
eBook – 36 books
Audiobook – 60 books
Own – 51 books
Borrow: Scribd – 41 books
Borrow: Library – 10 books
Borrow: NetGalley – 8 books
Top 3 Authors
Kresley Cole – 10 books
Seanan McGuire – 10 books
Laurell K. Hamilton – 8 books
Male vs Female Authors
Female – 86 books
Male – 21 books
N/A – 3 books
Top 5 Books
Bottom 5 Books
Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major ★★☆☆☆
RoomHate by Penelope Ward ★★☆☆☆
Nightlife by Rob Thurman ★★☆☆☆
Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost ★★☆☆☆
Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes! by Elias Hill ★★☆☆☆
The list is arranged as book title, author, date finished, genre, format, rating.
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder
I had such a wonderful December filled with family, friends and LOTS of delicious food. I’m pretty sad I no longer have an excuse to add the auld drop of Baileys to my coffee but it’s time to get back to normal now anyway.
How was your holiday season?
With all the family fun I got very little reading done and what I did read were mostly audiobooks.
I’m still slowly reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (since November) I’m enjoying it but I hope to finish it up in January.
I think 3.5 stars for this one. Voyeur follows Oaklyn and Callum who are college student and teacher. Oaklyn is desperate for a job in order to pay for college and on the advice of a friend gets a job in Voyeur, a club where clients can watch people having sex and/or masturbating. Unbeknownst to Oaklyn, her new teacher Callum is a regular of the club. Callum has some issues that make a normal relationship very difficult and becomes slightly obsessed with Oaklyn… or infatuated if you want to be a bit nicer. I actually really enjoyed this story but it dragged a bit.
My first Amanda Quick book and I am now a fan. I didn’t realise this would have a mystery in it (suits me perfectly since I’m doing Cloak and Dagger Christmas). I love when historical romances have a mystery in them as well.
This book follows Emma and Edison who are attending an event in a country house. Emma is a lady’s companion at the party when circumstances lead her to being assistant to Edison in his investigations for a book of arcane potions he believes was stolen by one of the guests.
Loved this one! Here we follow Madeline and Artemis who are being plagued by the apparent ghost of Madeline’s husband. The husband everyone believes she murdered. The ghost wrecks havoc with Artemis’s plans for revenge on the men responsible for the death of his lover so the two team up to discover who the ghost is and what he’s after.
I thought I would enjoy this more since I really like the TV show but there’s something about Phryne in this that annoys me. She’s a little bit of a Mary-Sue… The woman can do anything including dance like a professional, have the perfect body and solve crimes. It was a bit much but still enjoyable. I’ll keep going with the series and see if Phryne calms down a bit.
Murphy’s Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆
Historical, Cosy Mystery
This was really enjoyable even if it was a bit unrealistic. That’s totally fine for a cosy mystery though. It should be more enjoyable and fun to read than gritty and real.
Here we follow Molly Murphy in 1901 making her way from Ireland to New York. When she arrives she gets entangled in a murder on Ellis Island and must clear her name and the name of her friend. The reason I found it a bit unrealistic is because Molly is very independent and has very trouble running around New York investigating a murder by herself.
I really loved the language in the book. It’s the best Irish dialogue written from a non-Irish person I’ve read.
I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first but it was still very good. In this one Molly gets a job working for a private investigator but he ends up murdered and she sets herself the task of finding out who done it
So that was it for December. I was in a tizzy over what book to bring to my parents for Christmas week and in the end I had no time to read anyway!
I’ll hopefully read a bit more in January. What was your favourite read in December?
I mentioned in my November TBR that I wanted to read more fantasy this month and I definitely managed it. I barely read anything else! I read Poison Princess for the group read in My Vampire Book Obsession and got totally sucked into the world and devoured the next two books as well. I’m trying to pace myself now and wait till closer to the release of the final book in the series next year.
Nonfiction November was happening this month too but I didn’t manage to read anything for it. I very much enjoyed my little fantasy binge though.
Very enjoyable historical romance with a mystery thrown in for good measure. The story follows Charlotte (who has crossed over from Dare’s Spindle Cove series to Castles Ever After) who attempts to warn Piers (who has crossed over from Dare’s Castles Ever After series to Spindle Cove) of her mother’s scheming ways but instead they end up entangled in a scandal and a mystery.
This is the first book in Dare’s Spindle Cove series and it’s a bit lacking. It’s not as well written as her later books but works fine as an intro. The story follows Susanna who essentially runs a safe haven for women who are sick of society or don’t blend well into it and Victor who finds himself saddled with a position in the area.
I had super high expectations for this one that it didn’t quite meet but it was still a very good book. It’s a retelling of the Rumplestiltskin tale but with a lot more going on. My main issue with this was the number of points of view. There were a few occasions where I wasn’t sure who was speaking and it took me out of the story for a bit while I figured it out. The story closely follows Miryem who is a money lenders daughter that gains a reputation of being able to turn silver into gold which attracts the attention of this fairy being and Irina who’s father is scheming to marry her off to a tsar who isn’t quite what he seems.
This is the 7th book in McGuire’s October Daye series and it was fantastic! This book follows Toby trying to deal with the goblin fruit problem when she receives a serious amount of backlash from the Queen of the Mists. One of my favourite things in this book is the mystical library they visit to do research. Magical libraries are the best!
I actually only read the first story The Gift by Lynsay Sands from this because the story from Jeaniene Frost that’s included is ahead of where I am in the Night Huntress series. The Gift is a sweet fluffy kind of story following vampire Katricia and chief of police Teddy. They both get snowed in over Christmas while staying in a mountain cabin.
This was fabulous. It’s an epistolary novel consisting of letters and telegrams between friends and lovers during World War 1. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and made me shed a few tears at the end. I just loved it. The story focuses mainly on the romance between Evie and Thomas. Thomas has gone off to fight while Evie stays home and writes a column about the war from a woman’s perspective.
This is another fun fluffy read for Christmas. Adam Rutledge is travelling with Grandmother to the country for Christmas when their carriage breaks down and they are stranded in the snow. They take refuge in Sarah St. John’s home while they have several guests visiting for the holidays.
I received a copy of this collection in exchange for a review. Each one centres on a different couple in the world of rally racing. The stories were good but the writing was lacking especially in the first book.
I LOVE Kresley Cole but I had been putting off reading her YA series cause I just couldn’t see her writing YA. Her books are very mature normally but she really makes it work here. We do get her usual alpha male stuff but I’m totally fine that 🙂 Poison Princess is the first book in The Arcana Chronicles which is about a group of teenagers that each represents a card from the major arcana in tarot in a battle to the death after an apocalyptic event. With this book, we follow mainly Evie and Jack in the days before the flash and 6 months later when the world is completely different and Evie discoveries she has strange powers.
Book 2 in Cole’s Arcana Chronicles picks up immediately after Poison Princess and we get a lot of world expansion in this one especially with the other Arcana characters. We learn a lot about Death in particular. There’s a definite love triangle in the series from this point but it isn’t annoying.
Book 3 in the Arcana Chronicles and the love triangle gets annoying but I still loved this book. I really got invested in the characters and oh my god the cliffhanger at the end of this!!! I’m trying to pace myself with the books from here though or I will go insane waiting for the final book to be published.
Red Queen is the first book in Aveyard’s Red Queen series. It’s YA dystopia about a future earth where certain humans have developed silver blood and powerful abilities. Regular red-blooded humans still exist but they are subservient to the silvers. We follow Mare, a red, who discovers she has an ability and is taken by the silver king to conceal her true identity from the people. She finds herself caught up in a world of political intrigue on the cusp of a red rebellion.
I enjoyed this way more than I expected to as well. This always happens me with YA I have got to stop saying I’m not a fan of it cause I almost always end of enjoying the books!
This book picks up directly after Red Queen. I was a bit disappointed with this one. I found it be even more predictable than the previous book and it felt like mostly filler. In this one Mare discovers how far reaching the Red Guard actually is and she looks for more people like her to join the fight.
What did you read this month? Did you take part in Nonfiction November?
My favourite month is over and now the Christmas silliness will begin. Costa coffee has already started using their Christmas cups. I’m just not emotionally ready for all of the Christmasness so I’m staying in Halloween mode for another few weeks. I am Grinching it up 😉
I had hoped to read creepy books in October but I somehow managed to read less than I would when it’s not spooky season! October was pretty much all about romances and historicals.
I am Heathcliff Curated by Kate Mosse ★★★★★
Short Story Collection, Audiobook
This is a collection of 16 short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights. Some of them are inspired by a theme in the novel and others are more like retellings. I absolutely loved this collection and plan on buying the paperback to reread and annotate.
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (Victober) ★★★★☆
This was the group read for Victober and I’m glad it was cause I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. Gaskell passed away while writing this book so it is unfinished but only a chapter away from completion. My edition included notes from the magazine the story was originally printed in which states the authors intended ending for the book so I wasn’t left in the lurch but it would have been nice to read it as part of the novel. The story follows Molly Gibson’s family life, friendships and eventual romance. It’s not a very exciting book but very pleasant to read.
I loved this! It was interesting to read something with a strong focus on gender issues written by a man. I listened to the audiobook which Webb narrated and included an interview at the end about topics raised in the book. It was so interesting and left me with a lot to think about.
I enjoyed this even though it was a bit cheesy. The cast of characters are very endearing and the romance flows nicely (touch of instalove though). Ticks all the boxes for a good historical romance.
In order to avoid society due to her extreme shyness, Madeline invents a Scottish sweetheart away on military business. He saves her from awkward social situations until she feels she has lied long enough and claims he is killed in battle. Years later a man turns up at her door claiming to be her imaginary sweetie.