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Book Review: Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine, #1) by Matthew Woodring Stover

Book Review: Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine, #1) by Matthew Woodring Stover

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Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Acts of Caine (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark, Grimdark science fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 627 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 21st July 1998 by Del Rey (US) and 27th May 2013 by Orbit (UK)


It’s unbelievable that this insanely terrific story is hidden behind this horrific cover art. Heroes Die was absolutely bloody and glorious.

“Does it matter? When you tell a story loud enough and long enough, a story that plays right into people’s worst fears of betrayal, it grows its own truth.”

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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker


We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Begin at the End has been on my radar since my co-blogger Emma read it and loved it last year. Petrik and TS decided to pick it up as well, even though it’s not something within their usual genre wheelhouses. Again, they loved it. But they warned me that it was heartbreaking and, since I had been going through a particularly rough patch in my life, I held off until I felt like I was emotionally strong enough to handle it. I’m so glad I did, because I can say without a single qualm that it will be only my list of favorite books read in 2021, but the heart-wrenching emotion of it would have kept it from the same list last year. It really pays to wait until the right moment to read this type of book, and I’m glad I had friends to caution me in that regard.

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Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight book cover

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 448 pages (US hardback edition)

Published: 25th July 2016 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 9th August 2016 by St. Martin’s Press (US)


A deviously dark and thrilling tale, Nevernight is the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I loved every murderous second of it.

The protagonist, Mia, is a girl bent on revenge, hoping to make the cut in a fabled assassin school called the Red Church. The story starts off with her making her first kill which will serve as a tithe to the Maw.

“…the Maw. Niah. The Goddess of Night. Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Sisterwife to Aa, and mother to the hungry Dark within us all.”

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Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Cover of book for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Genre: Mystery, Murder Mystery, Fiction

Published: June 1926 by William Collins, Sons


The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is singularly spectacular.

After recently enjoying some mystery fiction, I decided to explore the genre a bit more and my research concluded that there was hardly a better option than an Agatha Christie novel. I did not plan on reading any specific one until I perused an article on some of the best murder mysteries and saw an Agatha Christie book listed. First published back in 1926, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was voted the best crime novel ever in 2013 by the British Crime Writers’ Association. I had found my next read.

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Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t quite figure out why I waited so long to read this book. This might be in part due to the fact that it’s labeled, quite wrongly in my opinion, as young adult. The only thing young adult about this book is the fact that young adults serve as the main characters. Whatever the case may be, I’m incredibly glad I finally decided to read Nevernight, and that it turned into a blog wide reading/rereading/rehashing event. I was utterly captivated by this bloody, beautiful, snarky story and the equally bloody, beautiful, snarky cast.

“Never flinch” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Genre: Mystery, historical fiction

Published: 1st October 2020 by Raven Books (Bloomsbury Publishing, UK), 6th October 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark (US)


Cunningly crafted and delightfully devilish, the Devil and the Dark Water is not only a masterpiece of a mystery novel but also the most fun I had between the pages in 2020.

And that right there might be all I need to say. While it was a horrible year in most aspects, books were a shining light in the dark, providing the very escapism I needed time and time again with a stellar line-up of stories read. Eeyore-mode averted. (It’s not a pretty sight, I confess.) And if it isn’t already transparently obvious, The Devil and the Dark Water more than did its part in keeping that gloom away. It was one of the stars of the show, making Mr Turton a shoo-in for not only the best new-to-me author I read that year but also my auto-buy author list. This might be your triumph dear author, but it feels like the pleasure was all mine, and I thank you for it.

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Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

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Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Dominik Derow

Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Enderal (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 826 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 28th October 2020 by Nicolas Lietzau (Self-published)


A new masterpiece is here. It is a cliché to say this, but Dreams of the Dying is seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read.

“The mind is a malleable thing. Soil, if you’re feeling poetic. Depending on the seed, anything will grow in it, from graceful gardens to idyllic meadows, from weedy forests to foggy swamps. Harmonious or chaotic, peaceful or perilous, healthy or ill—it’s all a matter of seeds.

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Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The synopsis for A Deadly Education filled me with so much excitement when I first read it a year ago. And yet I put of reading it for months after its release, because I was scared. The reason for that fear? In a word: Uprooted. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like my co-blogger Petrik did, I very much did not understand the love for that book. So many people adore it. And I desperately wanted to share in that adoration, I really did. On paper, it should have absolutely worked for me. Rich setting, interesting magic, a fairytale retelling that flips its source material on its head. It should have become an instant new favorite for me. And yet, it didn’t. I struggled my way through it. So you can see why I’d be scared to try A Deadly Education, right? I have a huge weakness for magic schools, but I wondered if maybe Novik’s writing just wasn’t for me.

I am excited to report that my fears proved themselves to be unfounded. I took to this book immediately and loved every single page. Whatever my disconnect was with Uprooted, Novik’s a gifted author with a talent for immersive writing, and I’m already counting down the days until The Graduate, the second book in the Scholomance series, is published.

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Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

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

Cover art illustrated by: Sutthiwat Dechakamphu

Cover designed by: STK.Kreations

Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rivenworld (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 986 pages (Kindle)

Published: 8th January 2021 by Stoneguard Publications (Self-published/Indie)


This was awesome. Spencer takes everything we love about classic epic fantasy and put it into Dragon Mage, transforming the novel into an incredible, epic, and satisfying fantasy book.

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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Genre: Mystery, historical fiction

Published: 1st October 2020 by Raven Books (Bloomsbury Publishing, UK), 6th October 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark (US)


Atmospheric as hell and brilliantly crafted, Stuart Turton’s sophomore release, The Devil and the Dark Water, was one of the best mystery novels I’ve ever read, and it solidly cemented his status as a must-read author for me.

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