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Book Review: Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Book Review: Under Currents by Nora Roberts


Under Currents by Nora Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sure most everyone who follows my reviews has noticed this by now, but I really love Nora Roberts. I don’t tend to read all that much in the contemporary or romance genres, but she’s my exception. I’ve been reading my way through her back catalogue since I was fifteen or so, and for the past ten years have been reading her new releases as soon as I can get my hands on them. Now, she’s one of the few authors who is an insta-buy for me. While Under Currents didn’t blow me away, it was another strong offering that demonstrated to me once again that Nora seems incapable of producing a dud. She’s just awesome.

“The couldn’t take who we are away from us. We’re who we are despite them.”

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Book Review: My Dark Vanessa

Book Review: My Dark Vanessa

 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: 23 January 2020 (4th Estate)

“I think we’re very similar, Nessa,” he whispers. “From the way you write, I can tell you’re a dark romantic like me. You like dark things.”

Vanessa Wye is a teacher’s pet. Or a ‘classroom pet’ as Mr. Noyes remarks when he catches 15 year old Vanessa and 45 year old Jacob Strane together. The comment given with laugh that might as well have been a nudge and a wink. In her first term at a new prep school, away from home, and without anyone to talk to, Vanessa is struggling to keep up. And she’s just lost her best friend to a boy, of all things. But her English teacher really gets her. He gives her books to read. Books that seem to hold special relevance, that resonate with the way she’s feeling, that give her new ways of thinking about herself. Books like Nabokov’s Lolita, an immediate favourite. He makes her feel special. And if sometimes she’s not entirely certain about the things that happen between them, if they maybe go a bit further than she was expecting…well, that’s ok because afterwards she’s almost definitely sure she wanted it to happen. That’s what he tells her anyway. And she believes him, because they’re in love…

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Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.”

I wasn’t immediately charmed by Eleanor Oliphant, but she completely won me over. Eleanor is a woman on her own, and she does just fine living her life alone, thank you very much. She comes across as awkward and prickly, but beneath the surface she longs for relationships more than she’ll let herself believe. But it’s hard to let anyone in when, beneath your hard exterior, you’re battling against a plethora of issues, from childhood trauma to suppressed grief to raging pain. As long as she adheres to her rigid schedule and keeps everyone at arms length, she can ignore the emotions churning within her. And if she keeps herself mildly drunk over the weekends, she can pretend that she’s completely fine.

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Book Review: Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)

Book Review: Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Series: The Witcher (Book 3 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

First English translation published: Oct 2008 (Gollancz), May 2009 (Orbit)


Blood of Elves expands beyond the introduction of Geralt of Rivia and brings forth a different level of worldbuilding into the story in a character-driven narrative.

While this book is technically the start of the main series, I wholeheartedly recommend reading the prequel short stories in The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny first. A lot of references to past events in Blood of Elves were covered in those two books – important past events. I even found myself doing a quick read of some of those short stories to jog my memory since I had read them a year ago.

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Book Review: Spaceside (Planetside, #2) by Michael Mammay

Book Review: Spaceside (Planetside, #2) by Michael Mammay

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

Spaceside by Michael Mammay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Planetside (Book #2)

Genre: Science-fiction, Mystery

Pages: 336 pages

Published: 27th August, 2019 by Harper Voyager


I can’t emphasize this highly enough: if you enjoyed reading Planetside, you will most likely enjoy Spaceside too.

Spaceside is the second book in Michael Mammay’s Planetside series. Although the first book worked totally well as a standalone, I’m glad there’s a continuation because I was left wanting more after the ending of the first book. More than a year has passed, Colonel Butler is trying his best to live with the burden of the life-changing action he did at the end of Planetside. Even though Butler has been forced into retirement because of it, this doesn’t mean that he can take a break. In this installment, Butler’s task to investigate a hacking ended up escalating much bigger than he expected.

“A wise man once told me that hope is not a great planning tool.”

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Book Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)

Book Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Series: The Witcher (Book 1 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

First English translation published: 2007 (Gollancz), 2008 (Orbit)


The Last Wish was more than up to task in satisfying my burning curiosity about The Witcher with its compelling eponymous protagonist, Geralt of Rivia.

I abandoned my gaming self a long time ago and as such, have not heard about The Witcher until someone mentioned that the Anomander Rake reminded her of Geralt of Rivia from the video game. That piqued my interest immediately, for Anomander Rake from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is one of my favourite grimdark characters of all time. And thus, I promptly checked out the cinematic game trailers – the ones for The Witcher III were exceptionally good. I subsequently found out that the game was adapted from a book series by a Polish author and that The Witcher is also soon to be a new series on Netflix. Ah, this is indeed a marvellous time to be a fan of the fantasy genre.

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Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading a book about books are among the coziest experiences a bookworm can have, in my opinion. Even if you don’t share all or many or any of the author’s views on books at all, there’s something about the knowledge that this person took the time to write an entire book for the soul purpose of expressing their fervent love for the medium that produces instant camaraderie between writer and reader.

“I have never been able to resist a book about books.”

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Book Review: Part-Time Gods (DFZ, #2)

Book Review: Part-Time Gods (DFZ, #2)

Part-Time Gods by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: DFZ (Book 2 of 3)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Published: 11th June 2019 (Amazon, self-published)


Rachel Aaron’s talent in creating effortlessly enjoyable and engaging character-driven stories with fascinating worldbuilding is yet again evident in Part-Time Gods, the second book in the DFZ trilogy.

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but Rachel Aaron is my go-to author whenever I needed a pick-me-up. There is just something inherently comfortable and engaging about her writing and her stories that allow me to immerse myself into an intriguing world with its compelling characters right from the start, and it doesn’t let go until the end. I’ve pretty much devoured every single book she’s written in no more than 2 to 3 sittings and over a couple of days at the most, depending on the length.  As Part-Time Gods is not a long book, by fantasy standards, I finished this in a day. And it was a great sequel.

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Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

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

Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Dragons of Terra (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: August 8th, 2019 by Tor (UK) & August 6th, 2019 by Tor (US)


Blood of an Exile has dragons and dragonslayer, if you love a great fantasy debut with dragons, I doubt you’ll be reading the rest of this review.

And yet I will still write one. Blood of an Exile is Brian Naslund’s debut. It’s the first book in the Dragons of Terra trilogy. The story follows the Silas Bershad the Flawless, an exile who was supposed to die after he was caught trying to assassinate a noble. Bershad, the most famous and successful dragonslayer in the world, receive a task from the man who exiled him in the first place. The mission is to kill a king and save an innocent child in captive, only then he’ll be pardoned from his crime. With that kind of nickname, the premise led me to believe that this would be an ultimate Gary-Stu story but what I got was something more in-depth and empathizing. Without giving spoilers, there’s a rule to Bershad’s rumored “immortality” and “strength”; he’s not always immortal and full of strength 24 hours, and I found the mystery behind his power to be one of the main driving force of the narrative.

“Heroes and villains morphing out of the same people based on rumors and reputations and the simple passage of time.

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Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Revisiting a famed story over 35 years after its original publication has to be terrifying for any author, even the King of Horror. However, King handled this with great aplomb and, though I was skeptical in the beginning, I feel that he did right by Dan Torrence. In his author’s note King said that this story spawned from two questions: “Whatever happened to that kid from The Shining?” and “What would have happened to Danny’s troubled father if he had found Alcoholics Anonymous instead of trying to get by with what people in AA called “white-knuckle sobriety”?” Through Doctor Sleep, we get answers to both of these questions, but with Danny himself standing in for Jack Torrence in the alcohol department.

“There are other worlds than these.”

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