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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: Rise Against (The Foundling, #4) by Hailey Edwards

Book Review: Rise Against (The Foundling, #4) by Hailey Edwards

Rise Against by Hailey Edwards

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: 22nd August 2019 (Piatkus)

 

Luce: ‘Didn’t your mother teach you to wait until you’re invited in to enter a room?’

Santiago: ‘No. My mother ate one of my siblings because she wasn’t a fan of uneven numbers.’

 

After what felt like a slight wobble in Death Knell, this is a blinding return to form. Fourth and penultimate book in the Foundling Series, this instalment gives us a Luce who seems ready to be herself, finally reconciled with who she is as both human and charun. The theme of self understanding and self acceptance has been important throughout the series, but it’s especially relevant as things begin to escalate out of control. Luce has found her own way to deal with each aspect of her character, including the treacherous remnant of Conquest, always eager to resume control. Now that the dangerous, more powerful part of herself is needed for the fight, she must let it out more often. It’s a slippery slope that might well lead to oblivion. But while Luce has been knocked down hard by all the revelations, betrayals, and losses, this book is about her finding a sense of peace with it all. Or at least an accommodation. And there’s a reason for that beyond the simple passing of time. There are no more closed eyes, there’s no more holding back. It feels like the calm before the storm. Like the end is coming…

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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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Books review: Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews

Books review: Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews

This post includes reviews of the 3 available books of the Hidden Legacy series. All 3 reviews are spoiler-free.

What is it with Ilona Andrews‘ books that keeps me awake until dawn or makes me steal a few precious minutes here and there every time I have a break? I can think of multiple reasons, including amazing female characters, flowing and funny writing, original magic systems or imaginative worlds but I honestly can’t settle for one that makes their books stand out this much in the Urban Fantasy genre! Since reading and obsessing over absolutely loving Kate Daniels (the best UF series I’ve read to date), I kept looking for a new UF series that would make me feel the same pleasure and the same level of immersion. But here I am, for the third time in two years, coming back to basics!

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Book review: Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2) by Fonda Lee

Book review: Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2) by Fonda Lee

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

Jade War by Fonda Lee

Petrik’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

TS’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Green Bone Saga (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 624 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: July 25th, 2019 by Orbit (UK) & July 23rd, 2019 by Orbit (US)


Petrik’s Review

Absolutely amazing; Jade War was a brilliantly compelling sequel filled with skillfully-written characterizations and tension-packed action scenes.

I buddy read this novel with four other readers of different ethnicities—TS, Emma, Jenia, and Nils—living in different parts of the world and all of us pretty much agreed that we were both in love with and terrified by the events in Jade War. I find it equally satisfying and astonishing that Lee was able to create a sequel that outshone the stunning quality found in Jade City, which won many readers’ hearts and the World Fantasy Award trophy last year. But Fonda Lee did it spectacularly; Jade War was unbelievably better than the first book. The fantasy genre needs more urban fantasy as refreshing and great as this series.

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Ghosts of Gotham

Ghosts of Gotham

Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Ghost of Gotham is my first book by Craig Schaefer, and it definitely will not be my last.

I’ve heard a lot about the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer. When I saw that he has a stand-alone released recently, I thought that this book will be a good sampler of just what the author offers. And I proceeded to devour Ghosts of Gotham in two days. I really developed an almost compulsive addiction to crime thrillers – when I start, I find it very hard to stop binging. This book gave me that heady and thrilling concoction with an urban fantasy setting, in New York City!

New York City, the original inspiration for Gotham City, is such an appropriate backdrop for a crime noir story touched with the supernatural. A lot of supernatural in this case. The evocative and vivid portrayal of this old and sprawling city that never sleeps lends a hectic yet atmospheric and gothic backdrop that just simply enhances the narrative to another level of intensity.

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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)

Jade City by Fonda Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantasy readers have been calling out for more diversity and Jade City is a resoundingly good response.

The urban fantasy setting that heavily evoked Chinese gangster/crime syndicate movies, which I’ve grown up on, is a paradoxical breath of fresh air that carried the scent of nostalgia. All that was needed to make it even cooler and awesome was magic and martial arts.

I will not rehash the plot since the blurb said it all without spoilers. I found the world-building both refreshing and familiar. The island of Kekon in my mind was a vibrant blend of Hong Kong and Shanghai where both the seedy and sophisticated sat side by side, controlled and protected by powerful clans in exchange for tribute money.

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Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11)

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11)

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Ace) in exchange for an honest review. While I’m incredibly thankful, all opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was ecstatic to receive a copy of this book. First of all, Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series served as my gateway into truly appreciating urban fantasy. I had previous exposure to the genre, having binge read many of the Anita Blake novels (until it devolved into nothing but orgy after orgy), a handful of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, and the first five of Moning’s Fever series. While I enjoyed these books in the moment, I always viewed them as junk food, something to be consumed and forgotten, leaving nothing behind but a vague literary equivalent of a stomach ache from overindulgence.

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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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Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

I received a copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh Erikson does it again with his stellar narration in Fate Lashed, and this time with a faster-paced, action-packed and riveting plotline.

In the previous book, we got the origins story of Gabriel Delling – how he became intertwined with supernatural entities and ended up as a human with the ability to use magic (well, just somewhat at this stage). After losing the evil God from his head and spending time hiding out in a remote cabin to ruminate, he returned to civilization and in no time landed himself into trouble again. As fate would have it, the powerful inner circles of the Umbras are now contending to seek a ‘Key to the Universe’ which has revealed its existence just about the same time that Gabe got himself unwittingly embroiled in the affairs of these creatures from the Ether. That he survived what he did in Hero Forged, Gabe became a wildcard that fate has neither a read nor a hold on. In other words,  he is now the key much sought-after player in this quest for the Key, for better or for worse.

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