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Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris

Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris


A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this novel from the publisher, OrangeSky Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Narrow Door is one of the smartest, most interesting and sympathetically voiced pieces of crime fiction I’ve read in a very long time. The only other modern book in the genre I’ve enjoyed this much was We Begin at the End, but this book had more in common with The Maidens and The Divines, both of which disappointed me last year. It was a perfectly paced, pitch perfect blend of mystery and academia that captivated me from the prologue through to the epilogue. I hung on every word. This is a story that felt so incredibly real, which such a delicious building tension, that I thought about it almost constantly when I wasn’t reading it. It found its way into my dreams, which has become a rare thing as I’ve gotten older. And the ending was something that, in hindsight, I might should have been able to see. Especially considering the opening. But I didn’t.

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Cover art illustrated by: Nico Delort

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 480 pages (US Hardcover Edition)

Published: 10th July 2018 by Del Rey (US) & Pan Macmillan (UK)


If Uprooted is my Hell, then Spinning Silver is my Heaven.

Five years. It’s been exactly five years since I’ve read Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Honestly speaking, I never intended to read Spinning Silver. I consider Uprooted one of the worst fantasy novels I’ve read, and I had no motivation in trying out more of Novik’s works for five years. However, after hearing from many readers—one of them being my friend, Elliot Brooks—who disliked Uprooted that Spinning Silver worked wonderfully for them, my curiosity was piqued. And then, another good friend of mine—Mary—who also disliked Uprooted decided to sent me a copy of Spinning Silver. She said that Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels she has ever read. So here I am, nodding my head and adding my opinion to their praises; they were all 100% right. Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels I’ve read. This high rating you’re seeing is not a fairytale. It’s well-deserved, and Spinning Silver rightfully deserves the gorgeous cover art (US edition) illustrated by Nico Delort.

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could not have started the year off with a more pleasant surprise. I read another of Novik’s high fantasy novels, Uprooted, in 2016 and…I was not a fan. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like Petrik did, it took me a couple of months to trudge through 435 pages. That’s not my general reading experience. There were a lot of things I really didn’t like about that book and, because of that dislike, I was skittish about picking up Spinning Silver . But, as I own both a physical and digital copy, I knew I was going to have to pick it up eventually. So when Petrik suggested we do a buddy-read as soon as the new year started, I jumped at it. He, Eon, TS, Haifa and myself all started it together, and the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive. Spinning Silver is a thoughtful, intricate, powerful novel that is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. I’m incredibly glad that we gave Novik another try.

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Book Review: To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

Book Review: To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

Cover art illustrated by: Janny Wurts

To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 704 pages (Mass market paperback edition)

Published: 1st January 2002 by Harper Voyager


A great fantasy standalone that will make you know how it feels to live for five days in a fantasy world.

This is the first time I read Janny Wurts’s solo work; prior to this, I’ve read The Riftwar: Empire trilogy that Wurts co-write with Raymond E. Feist within this year. The Riftwar: Empire trilogy, to me, has become one of my favorite trilogies; I am stunned that it took me this long to finally get around to reading that trilogy. Janny Wurts is often well known for her work on Riftwar: Empire trilogy and her magnum opus: Wars of Light and Shadow. I’m fully intended to read her magnum opus but before I get around to reading Wars of Light and Shadow, I thought it might be better for me to read her standalone novel first. The reason behind this is that many fans of her works have mentioned that it’s better to read To Ride Hell’s Chasm first to get an idea of Wurts’s prose, which is significantly more difficult than the one in The Riftwar: Empire trilogy, and they’re not wrong on this. I will talk about this more in the review below.

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Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

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

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages (US Hardcover edition)

Published: 2nd October 2012 by Ace (US)


A bleak historical fantasy/horror about life, death, faith, and hope.

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Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Jennifer Saint penned a lovely, if depressing, novel in Ariadne. It will definitely appeal to the same audience that loved Madeline Miller’s Circe. However, there was some magic imbued into Miller’s work, some fierce beauty behind the pain, that wasn’t present in this novel. It felt like viewing a work of art through a fog instead of clear glass. While it was a very well written mythological retelling, I couldn’t quite love it.

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Book Review: Revival Season by Monica West

Book Review: Revival Season by Monica West


Revival Season by Monica West
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Revival Season is not the kind of story I can read completely objectively. My faith is a huge part of my identity. I’m a Christian, and I’ve attended Baptist churches my entire life. When something is so integral to who you are, it’s difficult to remove yourself from a story that centers so profoundly around that trait or belief. And that was one of my biggest problems with this book. There were so many religious red flags that I wanted to take the whole fictional family to counseling. This was a twisted, maimed version of my faith staring back at me from the page, a funhouse reflection of what I believe.  I just wanted to look away.  I didn’t.  I finished the book.  But it was a struggle for me.

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Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

ARC provided by Goodreads & the publisher—Scribner—in exchange for an honest review.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Science fiction, Literary fiction

Pages: 656 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th September 2021 by Scribner


Cloud Cuckoo Land is more ambitious and complex than All the Light We Cannot See in every possible way.

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Book Review: Legacy by Nora Roberts

Book Review: Legacy by Nora Roberts


Legacy by Nora Roberts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

When will I learn? I’ve read over 200 Nora Roberts novels, and yet every once in a while I will still read a synopsis for an upcoming novel of hers and decide that I’m not sure I’m going to love that one. So instead of preordering, like I generally do for her new releases, I place a hold with my library. That’s what I did with Legacy. And now I have to buy it anyway, because I loved it.

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