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Tag: 3.5 stars

Book Review: Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, #6) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, #6) by James S.A. Corey

Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #6 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 543 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 6th December 2016 by Orbit


A good sequel that feels like a long wrap-up to Nemesis Games.

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Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Chris McGrath

Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Divinity’s Twilight (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk

Pages: 498 pages (US Paperback edition)

Published: 2nd June 2020 by Morgan James Fiction (Indie)


This was good, an ambitious SFF debut to what I foresee will be a large series.

Due to my TBR pile that continues to exponentially grow uncontrollably, I have to say that I rarely accept an ARC/review copy from an unknown author these days. My gut, however, told me to accept the request to review Christopher Russell’s debut, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth, and I’m glad I gave this one a go. I mean, how could I say no when Russell himself said that he’s a huge fan of The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson; the inspirations from that epic series was evident in his debut.

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Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover designed by: Lisa Marie Pompilio

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Pages: 528 pages

Published: October 15th, 2020 by Orbit (UK) and October 13th, 2020 by Redhook (US)


Similar to The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Once and Future Witches will be a big hit among many readers.

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Book Review: Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga, #1) by Brian K. Fuller

Book Review: Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga, #1) by Brian K. Fuller

Ascension by Brian K. Fuller

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Trysmoon Saga (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 377 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 11th November 2014 by Brian K. Fuller (Indie)


Good, familiar, and also surprising classic fantasy take.

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Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

 

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy

Published:  23 June 2020 by Tor.com Publishing


Zen Cho is an author whose previous work I have enjoyed a lot, but in all honesty, what first drew my attention to this book was not the author or the title, but the beautiful, captivating illustration done by Sija Hong for the cover. Add in that blurb teasing a found family, wuxia fantasy story involving a nun joining up with a group of bandits in order to protect a sacred object but finding herself in a situation far more complicated than she expected and yes, my tbr mountain found itself one book higher.

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Book Review: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Book Review: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner


Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

We all have our insecurities, reasons we sell ourselves short and chicken out on following our dreams. Reasons we don’t think we deserve those dreams. And we’re all wrong. We all, every single one of us, deserve those dreams. And we need to respect ourselves enough to get out of our own way and to at least try. The worst that can happen is that we fail, right? And how is that worse than never trying at all?

Big Summer is a breezy, very current murder mystery. The perspective character, Daphne, is a plus-sized Instagram influencer who is about to be part of the biggest wedding to ever hit social media. But when someone winds up dead, Daphne finds herself trying to track down the murderer instead.

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Book Review: The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1)

Book Review: The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1)


The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Ace) in exchange for an honest review.

“Many babies have killed, but it is very rare that the victim is not their mother.”

So begins Mark Lawrence’s newest novel, The Girl and the Stars. As always, Lawrence knows how to captivate an audience and set the tone for the book all within the first sentence. We know immediately that Yaz of the Ictha, our perspective character, is an uncommon child. On the Ice, difference can be a death sentence. And not just because those differences often render their bearer vulnerable, but because children who are too different, broken in the eyes of their elders, end up being tossed into the Pit. And that is the end that Yaz envisions for herself with a hard clarity. But when the time comes for her to face the push that will send her into the abyss, things go differently that she had always imagined. What she fully expected to be the end of her story turned out to be its true beginning.

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Book Review: Or What You Will, by Jo Walton

Book Review: Or What You Will, by Jo Walton


Or What You Will by Jo Walton
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Tor) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

“I have been a word on the tongue. I have been a word on the page. And I hope I will be again.”

Or What You Will blew me away from the very first page. The last time I got this excited over the first paragraphs of a book was when I read The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which ended up being my favorite book of 2019. My pulse actually sped up as I read, and I had to stop and go back and reread those first few paragraphs because they were just so gorgeous. I had read passages to my husband and frantically text my fellow Novel Notions besties about how excited I was before I even finished that first chapter. And I continued to deeply appreciate the writing all the way through, and highlighted and annotated an incredible number of passages. But after such a wonderful beginning, things went from beautiful literary fiction to an unexpected accounting of the art scene of Renaissance Florence. I mean, I have no problem at all with the topic but that shift came out of nowhere. I would say it was jarring if the air of the novel wasn’t so meandering. And then there were a ton of Shakespearean characters added into the mix, which was surprising. But the book never really came back to what I loved so much in those first few pages, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was incredibly disappointed by that decision on Walton’s part.

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Book Review: Ascendant’s Rite (The Moontide Quartet, #4) by David Hair

Book Review: Ascendant’s Rite (The Moontide Quartet, #4) by David Hair

Ascendant’s Rite by David Hair

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Moontide Quartet (Book #4 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 848 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 5th November 2015 by Jo Fletcher


Against all odds, Ascendant’s Rite was a tension-fused and satisfying conclusion for The Moontide Quartet.

“Life is a series of transactions. We all give to receive.”

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Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)

Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)


The Gunslinger by Stephen King
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

So begins what Stephen King considers his magnum opus, The Dark Tower. The line above is among the most well known opening lines in modern literature, and it perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the short novel. This first installment, The Gunslinger, is the only book in the series I’ve read before, and I knew I needed a refresher before I dove any deeper into The Dark Tower. While The Gunslinger isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, with areas that drag and a last quarter that goes too hazily ephemeral to maintain an emotional connection, it’s a fun and very original introduction into what I’ve heard is an incredibly powerful and unique series.

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