Book Review

Mini(bot) Reviews: The Ask and the Answer & Monsters of Men

After our mixed thoughts on the first of the Chaos Walking books, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Mum and I finished our buddy read of the series last month. I wanted to share some quick thoughts with you, though this could easily turn into a ranting review if I had the energy.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Hero and the Crown

The Hero and the Crown
By Robin McKinley

My Edition:
Paperback, 246 pages
2000, Puffin Books
ISBN: 0141309814

Aerin struggles to find her place in her father’s court. After digging through old tomes and finding what she believes is a recipe for a fireproof salve, Aerin decides to test her tincture in battle with a dragon. After her success, she begins to make a name for herself as a dragon slayer and proves valuable to the court. But when an ancient dragon wakes, Aerin finds herself in over her head. Dragon slaying leads her to a battle against and even greater evil, with the kingdom she knows and the lives of those she loves at stake.

Yo, where has this book been all my life? Oh, I know; on my shelves for at least 9 years! [x_x[] I waited far too long to read this book – though I suspect from the cracked spine and lipstick prints on the inside of the back cover (don’t ask, there’s no reasonable explanation) that Middle School Milliebot did read this book and Adult Millie has completely forgotten it. Regardless, it was fabulous!

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Book Review

Book Review: Smoke & Summons

Review originally posted on Geek Girl Authority

Smoke & Summons
By Charlie N. Holmberg

My Edition:
Hardcover, 319 pages
2019, 47 North
ISBN: 9781503905436

Thank you to 47 North (via Geek Girl!) for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Sandis is a vessel – an ancient and powerful spirit can be summoned through her, transforming and using her body to wreak the havoc demanded by its master. Sandis can host more powerful beings than her fellow vessels and she finds she can do something else the others can’t – retain some memories and feelings from when she’s possessed. When she finds an opportunity to escape, she takes it and runs into a clever thief with a magical object that grants limited immortality. In over their heads, the two must learn to trust each other if they hope to escape their lives and save the ones they love.

I’ve read one of Holmberg’s books before, The Paper Magician, and it was a huge letdown for me. The YA genre and I don’t always get along, but I wanted to give this a shot, because I was intrigued by the premise.

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Book Review

Book Review: Undead Girl Gang

The Undead Girl Gang
By Lily Anderson

My Edition:
ARC e-book, 320 pages
2018, Razorbill
ISBN: 9780451478238 (hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: May 8

Thank you to Penguin for a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Mila’s best friend is dead and the whole town thinks it was suicide, but Mila knows better. Riley would never kill herself and Mila is determined to figure out what happened, even if everyone she knows thinks she’s crazy. After a spell gone wrong, Mila raises not only Riley, but two other recently deceased students, June and Dayton. Unfortunately for Mila and Riley, they find themselves linked to their two long-time bullies. None of the zombie girls recall their murders and Mila must hide them from the rest of the town while working more unfamiliar magic to find out what really happened.

I was wary going into this book, because it’s YA and historically, when I get excited about YA, I tend to find myself let down. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Undead Girl Gang – this is a gem!

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Book Review

Book Review: The Price Guide to the Occult

The Price Guide to the Occult
By Leslye Walton

My Edition:
Hardcover, 272 pages
2018, Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763691103

I won this from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

Nor lives on a small island, as have all the cursed women in her family. She wants a normal life, but she can’t have one because she’s a witch with a crazy, power-hungry mother. She’s also pale with waist-length hair, and don’t you forget it! Nor is destined to be unlucky in love, which we all know is one of the biggest priorities in a 17-year-old girl’s life. Can she find true love and save her island and its inhabitants from the evil closing in on them!? WHO CARES?!

Oh, oops, was that too snarky? As you can tell from my sass, this book wasn’t a hit for me. Warning: rant ahead!

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Book Review

Book Review: Mask of Shadows

pic from NetGalley

Mask of Shadows
By Linsey Miller

My Edition:
ARC e-book, 352 pages
2017, Sourcbooks
ISBN: 9781492647492 (hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: August 29

Ever since her homeland was destroyed and her family brutally killed, gender fluid Sal has been living on the streets as a thief and a fighter – a good one at that. When they hear the new Queen is looking to fill the position of Opal, a skilled assassin in the group of four that makes up her Left Hand, Sal enters the auditions. If Sal can win the auditions and enter the court, it could be their chance at revenge against all those who wronged their people. But to do so they’ll have to fight off twenty-two other competitors and impress the judges while they’re at it.

I was intrigued by the genderfluidity of the main character, but wary of the assassin competition aspect of this YA fantasy. I didn’t hate the book (which we know, is kind of rare for me and YA) but I really wasn’t loving it either.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Waking Land

The Waking Land
By Callie Bates

My Edition:
ARC e-book, 400 pages
2017, Del Rey
ISBN: 9780425284025 (hardcover)

Elanna has been raised by a king who took her hostage when she was a child and has grown to love this king as her father. When he dies suddenly, the court turns its eyes to her, remembering that her father once tried to start a revolution all those years ago. Elanna finds herself on the run, convicted of murder, and swept up with her father’s people once more, all but strangers to her now. They wish to use her and the earth magic she has done her best to hide and deny to further their revolution and Elanna finds herself divided between loyalty to the land she once called home and her true family.

I DNF’d this book around the 40% mark.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician
By Charlie N. Holmberg

Not My Edition:
Paperback, 214 pages
2014, 47North
ISBN: 9781477823835

From the back of the book: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever. Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic. An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

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