Tag: Fantasy

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day – Seanan McGuire Review

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or DayTitle: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Paranormal

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 3.83/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately, Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Loved this!!! Can Seanan McGuire do any wrong?! Her books are so good! I just wish there was more of this world to come. It was so interesting and had a fair amount of world-building despite its length and the fact that it’s standalone.

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My Rating: ★★★★★

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review

UprootedTitle: Uprooted
 
Author: Naomi Novik
 
Genre: Fantasy
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
 
 

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 
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What I thought about the book:

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This wonderful book centres on a village close to an (evil) enchanted wood that is protected from said wood by a wizard known as The Dragon (are you feeling all excited for the fairytale magic yet?). Every 10 years he visits the village and takes a girl back with him to his castle. No one in the village knows what he does with the girls just that when they return after the 10 years they are different and never stay in the village. This year he takes Agnie despite everyone believing he will take her more beautiful and skilled best friend, Kasia. But Agnie does something at the Choosing Ceremony that makes him feel he must take her.

Based on that much you’re probably expecting a Beauty and the Beast style fairytale romance but you ain’t getting it!

That wood I mentioned at the beginning is the real centre of this story. Its power is growing and it wants to consume as much of its surroundings as possible. Including people! There are creatures living inside it that torment and steal villagers from all areas around the wood. It separates one province from another and attempts to incite war between them which Agnie and the Dragon try to prevent. If you like magic and fantastical battles then this one is for you.

 
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My Rating: 5 star review

Female Fantasy Author Flowchart

Jennifer Estep posted on her Facebook recently about this female-authored fantasy flowchart on Reddit. She discovered it on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books which is a very fun site you should check out if you’re into romance.

 

Click to enlarge

 

I have read 6 of the authors mentioned. Looks like I have some reading to do? Who have you read?

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New Release Tuesday

Only four books coming out today that peak my interest. I really like the sound of The Merry Spinster, a collection of dark fairytale adaptions. I  enjoy retellings but to be fair fairytales were originally pretty dark, it will be interesting to see what Ortberg does with the stories.


Anatomy of a MiracleAnatomy of a Miracle

A profound new novel about a paralyzed young man’s unexplainable recovery–a stunning exploration of faith, science, mystery, and the meaning of life

Rendered paraplegic after a traumatic event four years ago, Cameron Harris has been living his new existence alongside his sister, Tanya, in their battered Biloxi, Mississippi neighborhood where only half the houses made it through Katrina. One stiflingly hot August afternoon, as Cameron sits waiting for Tanya during their daily run to the Biz-E-Bee convenience store, he suddenly and inexplicably rises up and out of his wheelchair.

In the aftermath of this “miracle,” Cameron finds himself a celebrity at the center of a contentious debate about what’s taken place. And when scientists, journalists, and a Vatican investigator start digging, Cameron’s deepest secrets–the key to his injury, to his identity, and, in some eyes, to the nature of his recovery–become increasingly endangered. Was Cameron’s recovery a genuine miracle, or a medical breakthrough? And, finding himself transformed into a symbol, how can he hope to retain his humanity?

Brilliantly written as closely observed journalistic reportage and filtered through a wide lens that encompasses the vibrant characters affected by Cameron’s story, Anatomy of a Miracle will be read, championed, and celebrated as a powerful story of our time, and the work of a true literary master.

Sometimes I LieSometimes I Lie

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

The FeedThe Feed

“Think The Road intricately wrapped around Station Eleven with a dash of Oryx and Crake…Windo pushes all the right buttons in this post-apocalyptic mashup.” — Kirkus

Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Mad Max and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age.

IT MAKES US. IT DESTROYS US. NOW WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The Feed is accessible everywhere, by everyone, at any time. It instantaneously links us to all information and global events as they break. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it; it is the essential tool everyone relies on to know and understand the thoughts and feelings of partners, parents, friends, children, colleagues, bosses, employees . . . in fact, of anyone and everyone else in the world.

Tom and Kate use the Feed, but Tom has resisted its addiction, which makes him suspect to his family. After all, his father created it. But that opposition to constant connection serves Tom and Kate well when the Feed collapses after a horrific tragedy shatters the world as they know it.

The Feed’s collapse, taking modern society with it, leaves people scavenging to survive. Finding food is truly a matter of life and death. Minor ailments, previously treatable, now kill. And while the collapse has demolished the trappings of the modern world, it has also eroded trust. In a world where survival of the fittest is a way of life, there is no one to depend upon except yourself . . . and maybe even that is no longer true.

Tom and Kate have managed to protect themselves and their family. But then their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing. Who has taken her? How do you begin to look for someone in a world without technology? And what happens when you can no longer even be certain that the people you love are really who they claim to be?

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday HorrorThe Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from her beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, “The Merry Spinster” takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and her best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.

Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Bed time will never be the same.


All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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February Wrap Up

Thanks to a bunch of novellas and audiobooks I finally feel like I’m getting some reading done. I listened to so many audiobooks because Scribd has at last gone unlimited meaning I can listen to all the audiobooks in their library without having to wait for my credits to refill. I have noticed some books do not become available until a certain date though.

Some of these books are rereads so I’m not going to review them now and as usual, I’m just going to do a mini-reviews for the ones that stand out the most for me (a  super mini-review today because I’m tired and my brain isn’t working).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemMom & Me & MomWe Should All Be FeministsBeneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark, #15)The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)An Ideal HusbandAn American MarriageThe Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark)The Head That Wears a Crown: Speeches for Royal Men by William ShakespeareThe Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1)Black Friday (Cassandra Palmer, #8.1)


Mom & Me & Mom Maya Angelou Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou ★★★★★

Wonderful exploration of Maya’s relationship with her mother. It’s a beautiful story.

Beaneath the Sugar Sky Seanan McGuire Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire ★★★★☆

A very fun read. I’m quickly becoming a fangirl for Seanan McGuire.

An American Marriage Tayari Jones An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ★★★★☆

An emotional read and very interesting look at everyday American culture.

The Colour of Magic Terry Pratchett The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett ★★★★☆

Complete madness!! A lot of fun to read.


All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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