Review – The Book of Life(All Souls Trilogy #3)

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)
By: Deborah Harkness
Website: https://deborahharkness.com/
Release Date: July 15th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Award: Goodreads Choice Award for Fantasy (2014)
Rating:


Sometimes, I really hate when I’m right. I was hoping against all odds that book three would save this trilogy for me but it didn’t. While I can still say I liked the book, that the series was okay, I found myself giving book three my lowest rating for the entire series. Probably out of frustration more than anything but, here we are.

There are a ton of characters flying across the pages in this book and many details and small facts thrown together at once which left me feeling lost at times. I ended up resorting to a wiki page for a brief summary of book two so I could recall the important plot points and focus my brain a bit better on this book.

I felt like the first book could have been a standalone and I’d have been satisfied. The second book, while amusing at times, created many subplots and even though these things were referenced in book three I felt a lot of it was hastily resolved, glossed over or in the case of a few unimportant things, not really resolved at all. Though, in the broad scheme of things, it’s okay because we did get some major answers in this final book.

A quote I enjoyed in the middle of falling out of love with this series seems a fitting reminder to the world lately.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

With that I’ll say that if you enjoyed the series I’m glad you did and if you didn’t, or fell out of love with it, I understand. I’d cautiously recommend this book, but I’d say you should be warned about the ongoing cliches and the drawn out stories. However, if you’re looking for a world of fantasy mixed with history, alchemy and romance, you may enjoy this, regardless of the small faults I found.

Review – Shadow of Night(All Souls Trilogy #2)

Shadow of Night(All Souls Trilogy #2)
By: Deborah Harkness
Website: https://deborahharkness.com/
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Viking Adult
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Award: Goodreads Choice Award for Paranormal Fantasy and Nominee for Goodreads Author (2012)
Rating:


So, as if the world of fantasy wasn’t enough for Deborah Harkness we pick up amid time travel with Diana and Matthew as they are now in Elizabethan London.

Diana is looking for a tutor to help her grow her magical skill, Matthew is looking for answers in his past and both of them are focused on finding out more about Ashmole 782.

I’ll admit that this book felt a little too long and that I found myself wanting to “get it over with” at times but each time that happened something interesting took place and I was sucked back into the side of liking the story.

Overall not a bad installment but can feel myself straining with this series now. Also, Matthew is insufferable and far too cliche with the tortured vampire trope. I understand the reasons he is dark and brooding but, seriously now, how many times can he go on and on about how dangerous he is, how he’s lost people he loves, etc.

The cameos by historical figures were entertaining in this installment and I enjoyed those funny little moments of humanizing them.

All in all, not a bad book. Not a great book. As a part two in a trilogy it was okay but I’m worried my enjoyment for this series is dwindling.

Review – A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
By: Deborah Harkness
Website: https://deborahharkness.com/
Release Date: February 8th, 2011
Publisher: Penguin
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Rating:


I’ve seen this book around ever since it was published and I was always tempted by the title and the cover. However I was…hesitant. And I don’t know why I was. My aunt Deb read this series as soon as each book came out and was obsessed, constantly telling me I needed to pick it up. Still, I didn’t do it and still I’m not sure why. This isn’t some glowing review of how wrong I was to resist but the first book in the trilogy was, as a matter of fact, enjoyable.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches, accidentally calls a manuscript to her, the magic responding to her own but it is this act that serves as a catalyst for the rest of the book. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries. And she’s also discovered that she hasn’t buried her magic as deeply as she thought she had.

Diana meets Matthew Clairmont but he isn’t some genius geneticist as many believe. Well, he is, but he is also a vampire. In Harkness’ world the two species are not meant to mix so, of course, the inevitable happens. They fall in love. And while this trope bothers me as it is so constant in the world I did look beyond it to the rest of the story because I was drawn in by the characters (both main and side characters) as well as trying to understand the motives and the world better. Call me a sucker if you want, at least I enjoyed another book.

I’ll admit that parts of this felt a bit too much like Twilight while other parts felt like they were trying to have the Anne Rice feel. However, Harkness did a great job in creating an interesting plot and a great cast of characters and I can’t fault her effort. I also did enjoy all the alchemical, historical and mythological references made throughout this which leads me to believe Harkness went on a deep dive to give us this story. So I respect her dedication on that front as well.

Another note to add: a show was made of this book and it can be found on Amazon Prime as well as AMC and Sundance network.

Blog Tour – Cursed edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales
By: Marie O'Regan (editor); Paul Kane (editor)
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Another fantastic anthology edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane has been published by Titan Books. Following 2019’s Wonderland: An Anthology comes Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales. Eighteen short stories are within this volume, bookended by two poems by extremely prolific author Jane Yolen.

#BlogTour – The Golden Key by Marian Womack

The Golden Key
By: Marian Womack
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Traditional Victorian gothic is mixed with elements of mystery and fantasy in The Golden Key by Marian Womack. In this, as of yet, standalone novel, the supernatural clash against psychology and detective work. Underneath that lies something more than the Victorian indulgence for séances and tarot readings. There’s something uncanny happening, something that can’t be explained by normal measures but can be felt and seen nonetheless.

#BlogTour – Kingshold by D.P. Woolliscroft (The Wildfire Cycle Book 1)

Kingshold
By: D. P. Woolliscroft
Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Self Published
Series: The Wildfire Cycle #1
Received From: Blog Tour
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


If you are looking for a perfect marriage of high fantasy and political fantasy, look no further. Kingshold by D. P. Wolliscroft is the first book in The Wildfire Cycle series which focuses on a very tumultuous time in any nation’s history, and one very underutilized within the genre. Jyuth, ancient wizard and a sort of protector of the kingdom, has disposed of the king and queen. After countless centuries and cycles of ineffective rule, Jyuth declares that now is a time of change. Now, the people will elect a Lord Protector. The time of kings—and Jyuth’s protection—is over. It is up to the people now. But no one knows what this change will bring, and not everyone agrees with the wizard’s latest machinations.

Blogtour Review: Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward

Rise of Gaia by Kirstin Ward The Rise of Gaia
By: Kristin Ward
Release Date: August 24, 2019
Publisher: Kristin Ward
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Today, I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward, winner of the 2018 Winner of the Best Indie Book Award for her previous novel, After the Green Withered. This novel is set in a small American town, and follows Terra, a high school girl. On her seventeenth birthday, she has a vision, one that shows her horrifying scenes of destruction.

#MangaMonday Review – Beastars Vol. 2

Beastars Vol. 2
By: Paru Itagaki
Illustrator: Paru Itagaki
Translator: Tomoko Kimura (Tanslator); Annette Roman (Adaptation)
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Beastars #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


A truly fantastic manga, Beastars, Vol. 2 by Paru Itagaki centers on Legoshi, a wolf, attending high school with both predators and prey. Tensions are high between the two groups; peace is something that could be broken at any moment despite many rules and regulations being in place. If you haven’t read the first volume yet, or are interested in my thoughts on it, please check out my review of Beastars, Vol. 1.

#MangaMonday Review – My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Vol. 1 by Satoru Yamaguchi and Nami Hidaka

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Vol 1
By: Satoru Yamaguchi
Illustrator: Nami Hidaka
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: My Next Life as a Villainess
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Isekai and otome combine in 2019’s manga My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Vol 1 written by Satoru Yamaguchi and illustrated by Nami Hidaka. This is the manga adapatation of a light novel of the same title, publishing by J-Novel Club, and is set for an anime adaptation during the Spring 2020 season.

#MangaMonday Review – Ghostly Things, Vol. 1 by Ushio Shirotori

Ghostly Things Volume 1 Ghostly Things, Vol. 1
By: Ushio Shirotori
Illustrator: Ushio Shirotori (Illustrator); Rina Mapa (Lettering)
Translator: Nova Skipper (Translator); Clint Bickham (Adaptation)
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: Ghostly Things #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


The start of a new series, Ghostly Things, Vol. 1 by Ushio Shirotori is a paranormal fantasy manga featuring a teenager in a new (and probably haunted) house.