Book Review

Book Review: Beast – A Tale of Love and Revenge

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
By Lisa Jensen

My Edition:
Hardcover, 337 pages
2018, Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763688806

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

Lucie is new to her position as a housemaid at Chateau Beaumont. She’s got to be careful not to lose her position, as she can’t go back to her stepfather’s home. But the Chevalier de Beaumont, Jean-Loup, is a cruel and abusive master. When Lucie gets a chance to have her revenge, with the help of a wise woman, Jean-Loup is turned into a terrifying beast. Lucie stays on at the castle while all others flee, to ensure Jean-Loup suffers and her revenge is exacted to the fullest. But as time goes on, Lucie finds the beast is nothing like her former master. When a beautiful girl arrives and threatens to break the spell on the beast, Lucie vows she will do everything she can to prevent it and keep the beast she’s come to know.

Once again, Jensen wowed me with her retelling. My review on Alias Hook totally doesn’t do justice for my intense love of that book; and I was worried Beast wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I was so wrong! While Beast isn’t as dark, and has a vague YA feel about it, it was just as moving and engrossing as Alias Hook!

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Book Review

Book Review: 5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
By Mark & Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller and Boya Sun

My Edition:
Paperback, 250 pages
2017, Random House
ISBN: 9781101935880

In the city of Chrysalis, Oona Lee is training to become a sand dancer, though she’s clumsy and doesn’t have a way with her magic the way her older sister does. Her older sister who ran off without a trace and only recently contacted Oona once more. When the city falls under attack, Oona finds herself teamed up with An Tzu, a poor boy with some amazing friends and Jax Amboy, celebrity athlete. The kids soon find themselves wrapped up in a plot that spans the five worlds of their galaxy and Oona must delay her reunion with her sister if she wants to save her friends and her home.

I purchased this on a whim and I’m so pleased I did! I absolutely loved the mix of sci-fi and fantasy elements, the protagonists and the art style!

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Book Review

Book Review: Widdershins

Widdershins
By Charles de Lint

My Edition:
Paperback, 560 pages
2006, Tor
ISBN: 9780765312860

Jilly and Geordie have been best friends for years, circling around each other but never admitting to themselves just how much they love each other. Caught up in a war between the native spirits of the land and the fairies, the two set off on their first adventure together in years. When Jilly finds herself trapped in her own mind, battling monsters from her past and Geordie is banished even farther away, they finally realize just how much they want to be together.

I’m a big fan of de Lint’s work, though I haven’t read as much of it as I’d like. One of my favorite books is The Onion Girl, of which Jilly is the central character. I enjoyed reading about her magical adventures again and following some familiar and new characters.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
By M.T. Anderson
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

My Edition:
Hardcover, 532 pages
2018, Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763698225

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

Brangwain Spurge is an elfin agent, sent to spy on the goblin empire under the guise of being an emissary delivering an ancient goblin artifact. Werfel is the goblin archivist tasked to hosting the elf, and while he looks forward to sharing historical knowledge, he’s also been advised by the secret police that he will be spying on Spurge. Determined to be a gracious host despite his seedy orders, Werfel does his best to deal with his guest’s…peculiarities. What neither agent nor archivist suspect is the true plans of their superiors.

I had zero idea what to expect when I requested this book from LibraryThing – I just love M.T. Anderson and I’m a sucker for illustrated novels. This book blew my non-existent expectations out of the water!

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Book Review

Book Review: Sip

Sip
By Brian Allen Carr

My Edition:
Paperback, 302 pages
2017, Soho Press
ISBN: 9781616959517

Mira and Murk live in a world where people can drink their shadows and get high. Shadow sipping grants strange powers, but only temporarily – like any drug, it creates addicts who are always after more. Everyone must protect their own shadow, for once yours is stolen you won’t be able to sleep unless you drink the shadows of others. Mira’s left tending to her shadowless mother – she must “hunt” shadows and bring them home for her restless mother. While some inhabit the wilds like Mira and her mother, eking out a living, others have retreated to the protection of domes. Bale was one such person, until he made a mistake that got him kicked out of the relatively safe dome life. When he meets Mira and Murk, a shadow addict, the three of them will set out to try to find a cure for the shadow sickness so many suffer from.

This is a hard book to blurb – it’s unlike any I’ve ever read and if you want to understand what’s going on in the world Carr created, I suggest you just read it!

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Book Review

Book Review: Bloody Rose

Bloody Rose
By Nicholas Eames

My Edition:
Paperback, 512 pages
2018, Orbit
ISBN: 9780316362535

Tam works at a local pub, but dreams of living a life of adventure like the mercenaries she serves. Even her uncle is part of a band. But her father, an ex-merc, refuses to let Tam go – he’s already lost her mother and strict as he seems, he won’t lose his daughter too. That all changes when Bloody Rose, infamous daughter of Golden Gabe, and her crew come to Tam’s pub looking for a bard. Tam gets her wish for adventure, but realizes it may come at the cost of her life.

It took me forever to get started on this review because I’ve been in a bit of a funk and once again Eames has wowed me and I want to do this book some justice, instead of my typical scream-in-your-face-that-you-should-read-this-book-immediately thing.

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Book Review

Book Re-review: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
By Ray Bradbury

My Edition:
Paperback, 159 pages
2012, Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781451673319

I’m going to make the assumption that most of you know what Fahrenheit 451 is about – if you don’t, well, the short version is that in this world, firemen cause fires rather than put them out. And what they’re setting on fire are books and the homes of those who dare to own them.

There was a charity book sale at my workplace recently and I nabbed a second copy of Fahrenheit 451 because I liked the cover and figured I’d have a go at annotating. I knew it had been years since I first read it and I recalled being blown away by Bradbury’s skill at predicting the future. I wanted to see if my amazement held up.

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Book Review

Book Review: Spirit Hunters

Spirit Hunters
By Ellen Oh

My Edition:
Paperback, 279 pages
2017, Harper
ISBN: 9780062430090

Harper, forced to move from NY to DC with her family, hates the stupid old house she now lives in. It’s too hot and something about it sets her on edge. Things get worse when Michael, her four-year-old brother, starts talking about his friend Billy that Harper can’t see and acting strange. Harper has her own problems, however – she’s missing memories. She knows there was an accident at school and then something bad happened to her afterward, but she doesn’t know what and her family won’t tell her. As strange and scary things start happening around the new house, Harper begins to realize her missing memories might have something to do with what’s happening to her little brother – but she’ll have to remember if she wants to help him.

I was really hankering for some middle-grade and Spirit Hunters really hit the spot! It’s dark, genuinely creepy and touching, plus it’s written by an own voices author – everything I love in my MG!

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Book Review

Book Review: Chronos

Chronos: An Anthology of Time Drabbles
Edited by Eric S. Fomley

My Edition:
Paperback, 105 pages
2018, Shacklebound Books
ISBN: 9781719854207

From the back of the book: “Hundred-word stories. Seventy-five authors. Ninety-eight tales of time.”

I grabbed a copy of this anthology because my friend Jacob over at Red Star Reviews happens to have a story, or drabble, within and I enjoyed my first foray into micro-fiction!

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