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Book Review: The Fall (The Bound and the Broken, #0.5) by Ryan Cahill

Book Review: The Fall (The Bound and the Broken, #0.5) by Ryan Cahill

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The Fall by Ryan Cahill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Bound and the Broken (Book #0.5 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 95 pages

Published: 1st November 2020 by Ryan Cahill (Self-published)


Wow. I can’t believe this great novella is available for FREE on the author’s website.

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Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

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Cover art designed by: Stephen Mulcahey

HELLMOUTH: A novella by Giles Kristian

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Horror

Pages: 52 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 19th February 2021 by Giles Kristian (Self-Published)


Hellmouth is a bloody terrifying blend of historical fiction and horror.

“In the absence of light, darkness prevails”

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Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire


Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for an honest review.

Over the past few years, I’ve come to love Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series fiercely. And thanks to the wonderful people at Tor.com, reading the newest installment a bit ahead of its publication date has become something of a Christmas tradition for me. These novellas are all beautifully written and poignant and full of heavy topics handled with a light but respectful touch. Across the Green Grass Fields is no exception to this rule.

“Girlhood wasn’t destiny unless you wanted it to be, and she had accepted her destiny wholeheartedly. Anything to be normal.”

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Book Review: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov

Book Review: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov


Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a galley of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There’s something about the novella as an art form that is so different from its bookend siblings, the novel and the short story. Not as sharp and snappy as a short story, but without as much room for deep dives into development as novels, it can be a difficult and strangely unwieldy medium, for both author and audience. That being said, novellas can also pack an incredible amount of power into a scant few pages when done correctly. It’s a medium full of both promise and pitfalls. In the case of Tower of Mud and Straw, I think that the promise is that Barsukov himself shows a lot of promise as an author, and the main pitfall is the lack of development that would have deepened the story he penned.

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Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

ARC received from the publisher, Recorded Books, in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction

Published: 14th Sept 2020 by Recorded Books (in collaboration with Mainframe)


The Original is a fascinating yet chilling look into a possible future where a person can be cloned into a replicant used to hunt down his or her ‘original’. This science-fiction collaboration between Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal thoroughly engages and satisfies with its solid characterisation and worldbuilding in a novella spanning just over 3hrs long of audio narration.

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Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction, space adventure, novella

Published: 5th February 2020 (self-published)


Dust & Lightning was an enjoyable science fiction adventure that packed just enough character development and worldbuilding to make the plot work in novella form.

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Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

 

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy

Published:  23 June 2020 by Tor.com Publishing


Zen Cho is an author whose previous work I have enjoyed a lot, but in all honesty, what first drew my attention to this book was not the author or the title, but the beautiful, captivating illustration done by Sija Hong for the cover. Add in that blurb teasing a found family, wuxia fantasy story involving a nun joining up with a group of bandits in order to protect a sacred object but finding herself in a situation far more complicated than she expected and yes, my tbr mountain found itself one book higher.

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Book Review: Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Tor.com) in exchange for an honest review.

Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children novellas have quickly become one of my yearly highlights. I love having them to look forward to. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Come Tumbling Down since I read the final page of In An Absent Dream this past January. While I didn’t adore it as much as I have some of the previous installments, Come Tumbling Down is a fast-paced return adventure spanning two of McGuire’s worlds that I’ve come to love in recent years. It was an action-packed read that had me flying through its pages in one sitting.

“…the fact that I’ve been damaged doesn’t make me broken…”

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Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)


Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some adventures being easily.

It is not hard, after all, to be sucked up by a tornado or pushed through a particularly porous mirror; there is no skill involved in being swept away by a great wave or pulled down a rabbit hole. Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.

Other adventures must be committed to before they have even properly begun. How else will they know the worthy from the unworthy, if they do not require a certain amount of effort on the part of the ones who would undertake them? Some adventures are cruel, because it is the only way they know to be kind.

Portal fantasy is among my favorite things, and Seanan McGuire excels at creating new realms. This book was just as good as Every Heart a Doorway, and yet managed to be completely different in tone and the method in which the story was told. This is the story of Jack and Jill, the identical twins from Every Heart a Doorway, before they were cast back through their door and relegated to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The novella can be viewed as a prequel or a standalone story in the same series. It should most certainly be read, because it has much to say in its less-than-two-hundred pages.

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Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)


Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There was still something unfinished around her eyes; she wasn’t done yet. She was a story, not an epilogue.

This was my third time reading this, and I have loved it even more with each rereading. Seanan McGuire created something magical with this novella. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what attracted me to this book in 2016. A random door in the middle of a forest is the stuff of daydreams, and I had to see if the story inside was as captivating as the cover. It was. Everyone who has every felt like they didn’t fit in should read this book. It’s a love letter to dreamers and outcasts, and a declaration that everyone should have the freedom to be exactly who they are, without worrying about the disapproval of others.

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