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Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

ARC & Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages

Published: 10th September 2019 by Tor.com


Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important.

If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been tor.com’s most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least. Knowing nothing other than the fact that “Lesbian necromancers in space” was stamped on the front of the gorgeous cover art (illustrated by Tommy Arnold), I gave the ARC a try a few months ago only to find myself disappointed by how much it didn’t work for me back then. If I may be brutally honest, I DNFed the novel around 120 pages in on my first read-through. Since then, readers’ reviews have started pouring in, usually resulting in absolute love or disappointment; there’s almost no in-between. But there’s one common consensus shared by both factions: the second half improved significantly. After receiving another copy of this book, a limited edition with black sprayed edges and many goodies, it was only fair that I give it one more try. The result? I enjoyed it remarkably more than I did on my first try. I truly believe that knowing the right things to expect out of this book ahead of reading it will improve the reader’s enjoyment so much more.

Picture: The book and the goodies I received!

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Book Review: A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1)

Book Review: A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1)


A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Veronica. You’re the sassiest, most self-confident female protagonist I’ve ever come across in a Victorian setting, and I loved every minute of your snark. This was indeed A Curious Beginning to your story. I’m already excited to visit with you again in the future, and to see what further adventures you stumble your way into further along in the series.

“I abhorred weakness of any kind but most particularly in my tea.”

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Book Review: Legacy of Ghosts (The Coraidic Sagas, #2) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Book Review: Legacy of Ghosts (The Coraidic Sagas, #2) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

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

Legacy of Ghosts by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Coraidic Sagas (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 672 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 30th November 2019 by Alicia Wanstall-Burke


Legacy of Ghosts is, without a doubt, a worthy successor to Blood of Heirs.

First of all, I’m going to repeat a bit of what I’ve said in my Blood of Heirs review. I’ve mentioned before that my ARC and review requests were out of control that I had to reject so many of them; this situation hasn’t changed, it only got worse. But considering the fact that Blood of Heirs was one of the biggest indie surprises I’ve read last year, I knew I had to accept the ARC request of this book and give it a go as soon as I can; I’m happy that Legacy of Ghosts ended up being another great read.

“Life isn’t about getting what you want, Lidan. It never has been. I thought you would have learned that by now. We get what we’re given, and it’s up to us to navigate the river or let it drown us.”

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Book Review: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)

Book Review: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)


The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Calculating Stars was such a fun, compelling story. But though it was compelling from page 1, it didn’t start out fun. Having an apocalyptic event occur that wipes out your family and the city you call home, and having to come to terms with the fact that your entire planet will become uninhabitable within a matter of decades is understandably a difficult situation for our perspective character, Elma York. She is a mathematics savant and a killer pilot, and is married to a legit rocket scientist. The couple find themselves at the core of the International Aerospace Coalition, earth’s response to the disaster that struck in the book’s early pages. If the planet will soon be inhospitable, then the only option is to find a way to get mankind into space and colonize other heavenly bodies. Elma and her husband, Nathan, are working night and day to make that plan become reality. But Elma wants to do more than compute equations; she wants to become the first female astronaut.

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Book Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Book Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Literary fiction, Historical fiction

Pages: 567 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 9th February 2017 by Doubleday (UK) & 22nd August 2017 by Hogarth Press (US)


The Heart’s Invisible Furies is beautiful, heartbreaking, dark, and occasionally humorous.

If you follow my reviews, you should know already that literary fiction isn’t my favorite genre to read; I probably read, at most, one or two literary fiction book per year. But when I finished A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, which I enjoyed very much, at the end of last year, I knew that I had to give his most highly-praised work, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a read and I’m glad I did.

“But for all that we had, for all the luxury to which we were accustomed, we were both denied love, and this deficiency would be scorched into our future lives like an ill-considered tattoo inscribed on buttocks after a drunken night out, leading each of us inevitably toward isolation and disaster.”

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Book Review: The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)

Book Review: The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)

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

The Black Hawks by David Wragg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Articles of Faith (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 429 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd October 2019 by Harper Voyager


Entertaining, intense, and filled with great lines spoken by morally grey characters to root for.

If you’ve been following the adult fantasy market for the past two years, you’ll most likely realize that the cover art is quite similar to Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames—one of my favorite fantasy debuts of all time. The cover art is done by the same artist—Richard Anderson—and as always, he never fails to deliver a striking/distinctive artwork. Excluding the similarity in cover art, does the content actually provided something similar to Kings of the Wyld? It would have to be a no from me. The exposure and advertisements I’ve seen for The Black Hawks so far have led me to think that this is an overwhelmingly comedic and light-hearted book; I have to disagree with this notion. Sure there are some funny lines embedded into the narrative, such as this description about wolves for example:

“To think I left Clyden for this. Eaten by a fucken dog with a hairstyle.”

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Book Review: God of Gnomes (God Core, #1) by Demi Harper

Book Review: God of Gnomes (God Core, #1) by Demi Harper

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

God of Gnomes by Demi Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: God Core (Book #1 of ?)

Genre: LitRPG, Dungeon Core

Pages: 485 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th September 2019 by Portal Books


Harper’s LitRPG debut combines the resource management of Real-Time Strategy Games and the moral system of The Good Place into a fun, exciting, and wholesome reading experience.

God of Gnomes, the first book in God Core series by Demi Harper isn’t my first experience reading Harper’s work. Demi Harper is a pseudonym for Laura M. Hughes; a freelance editor, and also the author behind the dark fantasy novella: Danse Macabre. I loved Danse Macabre, and also enjoyed the two short stories written by her that I’ve read so far. I have always wanted the author to write a full-length novel, and as far as I know, God of Gnomes is the author’s first take on a full-length novel and the LitRPG genre. As expected, I enjoyed it; the novel which was written in a very different style compared to the author’s past work didn’t change the quality of her work. The story follows Corey as he finds himself reborn as a God Core that must protect and guide his worshippers—gnomes—to escape extinction. The story started off very light-hearted at first, and it gets more serious as the story progressed; I’m thankful for this. Although I do like reading light-hearted stories, a few serious and tense moments are necessary for me to enjoy a book.

“What you were before doesn’t matter. What matters is who you are now.”

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Book Review: Magic for Liars

Book Review: Magic for Liars


Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The cover and synopsis and title of the novel were all immediately intriguing to me. Magic for Liars is a murder mystery on a magical high school campus, told from the perspective of the nonmagical private eye who finds herself on the case. You can see why I was intrigued, right? Noir novels can be very hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit. It was everything I was hoping for, and more than I was expecting.

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Book Review: The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)

Book Review: The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)


The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Subtle Knife picks up almost where The Golden Compass ended, except that this second installment took a slight detour in order to introduce us to a second main protagonist in the form of Will Parry. I quite enjoy Will, and found him a great counterpart for Lyra. Their personalities are very different, but they are both defined most by the protectiveness that fuels them and the fierceness that courses through them. Will is both more civilized and more violent than Lyra, which shines a softer light on our original protagonist than we saw in her first book. The two children on the cusp of their adolescence are quite obviously being set up as either the salvation or damnation of the countless worlds they now know exist.

“It’s like having to make a choice: a blessing or a curse. The one thing you can’t do is choose neither.”

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Book Review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 448 pages (US hardback edition)

Published: 7th September 2017 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 5th September 2017 by St. Martin’s Press (US)


I applaud The Droogs who finished Godsgrave before or around its publication date, thank you for your sacrifice; may the Lady of Blessed Murder bless your patience.

“That’s the power of words; twenty six little letter can paint a whole universe”

Godsgrave is the sequel to Nevernight. The story still follows our beloved ruthless assassin, Mia Corvere, as she continues her journey for vengeance. Godsgrave didn’t start off easy for me to get into. Nevernight was a revenge story with a battle-school setting; Godsgrave is the continuation to that revenge story without any of the battle-school trope. Almost the entirety of the book revolved around a new mission: Mia’s struggle to win the gladiatorial collegium for a chance to complete her unfinished revenge. Although familiar faces and characters—such as Mister Kindly and Eclipse—still played a huge role, many previous characters only appeared briefly; there were a lot of new characters introduced in this installment and for the majority of the time, Mia spent her time with them rather than the characters from the first book. Also, I’ve mentioned in my Nevernight review that the footnotes didn’t bother me; they were entertaining and they provided insights into the world-building of Itreya. This is still true in Godsgrave, but admittedly, the footnotes in this installment were often too long to my liking. I’m talking about one or two pages long footnotes. The longevity of the footnotes ended up being distracting to my reading immersion, and this was especially true in the first half of the book. Because of all these, Godsgrave ended up taking me longer—around 40% of the book—to fully engross myself into. Were all this necessary though? Yes. Rest assured that the build-up and groundwork were put to good use; resulting in an incredibly engaging second half of the book.

Picture: Pale Daughter by Nan Fe

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