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The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne, #3)

The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne, #3)

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

The Killing Light by Myke Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A compelling read that offers a satisfying conclusion to The Sacred Throne trilogy.

I won’t be talking about the plot at all; there’s nothing about the story that I can say without spoiling something from the previous two books. As for what worked for me, there were many. I found the start of this book to be significantly better than the beginning of The Queen of Crows. This doesn’t mean that The Queen of Crows began horribly, but in my opinion, that book requires readers to binge-read the first two books or at least read them not too far in-between; the story continued immediately with no refresher on who’s who and it took me a long time to care about Heloise again. However, The Killing Light is not inflicted by the same situation; it started by efficiently refreshing reader’s memories on the characters and most importantly, allowing me to reacquaint myself with Heloise Factor because Cole elaborated on her characterizations first.

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The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #2)

The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #2)

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think it’s insane that Jen Williams still doesn’t have a US publisher.

The Bitter Twins is the second book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, The Ninth Rain, very much, and although admittedly I loved the first book more, The Bitter Twins didn’t disappoint in delivering another great installment with high focus on characterizations, discovery, explorations, and revelations. The story picks up immediately from where The Ninth Rain left off. I’ve mentioned that in the first book it took me 25% to find myself fully engaged with the book, this one—unfortunately—took me even longer because the pacing felt even slower. The first half of the book was mostly setup sections as Williams introduced new characters and establish their distinctive voices. This new setup was necessary in order to expand the scope of the world and to have more variety of casts to the series, and the first half pays off wonderfully in the second half. Connections, family, and bonds were some of the many important themes that can be found in this installment.

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Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox, #1)

Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox, #1)

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

This is a full trilogy review for Paradox including the 2nd and 3rd titles, Honor’s Knight and Heaven’s Queen.  

The one thing I’ll always credit Rachel Bach/Aaron with is her ability to thoroughly entertain me with her stories, and the Paradox trilogy is yet another proof of that.

By now, most of you will already know that I swear by Rachel Aaron’s books. They are go-to comfort reads; I’ve never picked up one of her books and not found it enjoyable. Her knack of creating great characters is matched by her ability to create worlds which at first glance seemed familiar but is packed with imagination. It’s as if her love of all things geeky brought together some pretty cool influences in her worldbuilding.

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Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen King is such a master storyteller. I’ve come to love him over the past few years, and I now count him among my favorite authors. I have to agree with the masses, however; King tends to fall flat when it comes to endings. Thankfully, that’s not really an issue when it comes to short stories. They’re not supposed to really end, which I think is a huge boon in King’s favor. As with Night Shift, the first of King’s short story collections I read, Skeleton Crew was chockfull of the interesting, terrifying, and uncomfortable. While not every story was a resounding success, there were far more hits among these twenty two installments than their were misses, and a handful of these stories will be staying with me for a good long while.

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The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade, #1)

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Ace Books—in exchange for an honest review

The Wolf’s Call by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wolf’s Call is Anthony Ryan’s best work since the release of his incredible debut.

First of all, because a lot of people have asked me on this matter, do not read this book if you haven’t read the first trilogy. Although technically you can understand the main story in this book, it will be impossible to understand the depth of the characters’ background and recollections of their past if you haven’t read the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about the book lies in Vaelin’s and the other characters’ reminiscences of their bittersweet pasts and how war has harshly affected them; the events being recalled will definitely lose their emotional weight if you jump into this with no knowledge of the previous trilogy. Reading The Wolf’s Call without reading Raven’s Shadow trilogy is equivalent to reading Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy without reading her Farseer Trilogy or reading Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold without reading his Red Rising trilogy first. At the very least, if you’re really pressed on time and just want to dive into this ASAP, make sure you read Blood Song and Tower Lord; these two are must reads if you want to fully immerse yourself in this book, and then maybe read a summary of Queen of Fire on the net.

“An old love, born in youth, but now stained by bitterness and regret. The wounds left by betrayal never truly heal.”

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The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Her silence was like a mirror—reflecting yourself back at you. And it was often an ugly sight.”

I feel that the domestic noir mystery novel has become almost cliche at this point. After Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl took the world by storm, a multitude of others poured forth that followed the same formula, whether by chance or purposeful emulation. I would consider The Silent Patient part of the same genre, but refreshingly different from many of its compatriots. The setting, the narrator, and the twists all felt unique, and combined in a way that actually surprised me. I especially enjoyed the psychology element, and the way the author ensured that we could see mental health issues and therapy from the points of view of both patients and doctors. Also, I appreciated the inclusion of an Ancient Greek play, and its importance to the plot; this addition felt very cultured, and made me immediately interested in learning more about said play.

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A Brightness Long Ago

A Brightness Long Ago

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book electronically via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

“I knew, once, a woman diamond bright and two men I will not forget. I played a part in a story in a fierce, wild, windblown time. I do have that. I always will. I am here and it is mine, for as near to always as we are allowed.”

This is only the second book I’ve read from Guy Gavriel Kay, but I feel secure in stating that I’ve never come across another author who has his way with words. There’s something about his prose that is both breathtakingly lovely and oddly jarring. In A Brightness Long Ago, Kay paints with his words, writing something that is lush and poignant and real enough to touch. This novel is somewhere between historical fiction and low fantasy, and Kay straddles that divide with great finesse.

“Perhaps it is true of every life, that times from our youth remain with us, even when the people are gone, even if many, many events have played out between where we are and what we are remembering.”

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Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate, #1)

Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate, #1)

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

Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An incredibly entertaining start to a new space opera series.

Velocity Weapon is the first book in The Protectorate series by Megan E. O’Keefe. This was my first experience reading O’Keefe’s work and I had a fantastic time with it. isn’t an easy book for me to review. It’s not because I found the book to be disappointing or not up to my preference, but I honestly think that many components of the storyline or what makes this book truly great can be considered a spoiler that the task of reviewing this book ended up being more difficult than usual.

“Being offended by facts is a long human tradition.”

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Othello

Othello

Othello by William Shakespeare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yesterday I had a random hankering for some Shakespeare. Weird craving, I know, but it just hits me every once in a while. However, I feel like I can’t fully appreciate any of his work by simply reading it. So what I do is grab my giant collection of his plays, plug in either a film or dramatized audio version of whichever play I’ve chosen, and read along. Shakespeare never intended for his work to be read; it was written to be performed. Since it was a rainy afternoon, I could afford to devote three hours to simultaneously reading and listening to Othello, and it was by far the most I’ve ever enjoyed this particular play.

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My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. First of all, the cover just was not appealing to me. It’s a chick’s face. There is wind coming from somewhere, blowing said chick’s hair across her face. She would probably benefit from a hair tie or a headband. And that’s all there is to the cover. Bland, right? Also, it sounded like a really weird blend of commonly used tropes, such as the combination of vampire hunters and inter-dimensional travel. Furthermore, it involves one of my least favorite tropes: the dreaded love triangle, or in this case, a love square.

So, if I was so opposed to various aspects of this book, why on earth did I pick it up? Because my mom told me to.

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