Book Review: First Class Murder

First Class Murder
By Robin Stevens

My Edition:
Paperback, 303 pages
2017, Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481422192

Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are back – during a vacation on the famous Orient Express, the girls find themselves in the midst of another murder mystery and theft.

I continue to be impressed with this series, from the character development to the plot. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! This is right up at the top of my favorites list with Enola Holmes. The world needs more middle-grade series that are a mix of fun, important topics and bright, empowered youngsters.

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Annotated: Ready Player One

I’m fairly new to the whole annotation thing – in part because writing in or highlighting anything other than a textbook feels wrong and because I don’t often have anything to say that’s worth permanently recording in my reads. But then I started highlighting a few of my writing guide books and it kind of felt ok. So I sat down and made myself a list of some of my favorite books that I knew I had some interesting thoughts on, or that had passages worth marking and Ready Player One was at the top of my list!

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Book Review: Medusa Uploaded

Medusa Uploaded
By Emily Devenport

My Edition:
Paperback, 316 pages
2018, Tor
ISBN: 9781250169341

Thank you to Tor for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Oichi lives aboard the generation ship, The Olympia, as a servant to the Executives. As one of the working class, or worms, her life is run by the ruling families…until she discovers a powerful secret some of the Executives have been keeping. Officially declared dead, Oichi uses this technology to begin taking power from the Executives and murdering those who no longer serve a purpose in her revolution. In doing so, she discovers the truth about the ship and the origins of her people.

Unfortunately, I’ve fallen into a slump this month and while I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t the right time for me to tackle it. There’s a lot going on – political plotting, origin stories, advanced technology – and I wasn’t in the right mindset to take it all in. I think I should probably re-read this one, but I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll make time to do so.

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Book Review: The Next Together

The Next Together
By Lauren James

My Edition:
Hardcover, 356 pages
2017, Sky Pony Press
ISBN: 9781510710214

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Katherine and Matthew find themselves drawn together, unexpectedly in sync with each other…each and every time they meet. Across history, they’ve been born over and over, always meeting, always falling in love, always doomed. Now it’s the year 2039 and they’ve met once more. As vague memories begin to resurface, the two try to figure out what’s been happening to themselves across the centuries.

This is a hard book to blurb, because there’s a lot going on. I’m feeling a rant coming on, so if you’re looking for the short version: I enjoyed the concept of K&M’s constant reincarnations and their connections across time. There’s a dash of sci-fi thrown in that had me intrigued, but ultimately wanting more. I think the details were lacking and the characters were so similarly boring that I didn’t care for any iteration of the couple. The ending was especially disappointing and if a sequel exists, I won’t read on.

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Book Review: King of Thorns

King of Thorns
By Mark Lawrence

My Edition:
Paperback, 419 pages
2013, Ace
ISBN: 9780425256237

Having conquered his uncle’s lands, Jorg must now keep them from others who seek to gain territories and become emperor. Eighteen now, Jorg is a king, but he is still plagued by dreams of his dark past. If he wants to keep his kingdom, he needs to fight his inner demons and come up with a plan to defy the odds of the battle before him.

If it’s not already apparent, this is the sequel to Prince of Thorns. Amidst the main storyline, once more we have flashbacks from Jorg, so the story is also about what took place after he begins ruling his uncle’s lands and before the battle he finds himself fighting four years later. This is a solid sequel, but the timeline did trip me up a bit in this one. On top of the two periods of Jorg’s life, there are also diary entries from Katherine that span a good part of the four years of Jorg’s flashbacks.

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