Review: Legendborn and Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn

What can I say about this series that the internet hasn’t already said? It’s great! Amazing! Spellbinding! I truly love it and there better be a third novel. I read that it was conceived as trilogy but I have yet to read any announcement of when the next book will be released. So crosses fingers!

Bree has just lost her mother in a car accident and is grieving in when her and her best friend, Alice start classes at Early college program at University of North Carolina. Bree immediately starts noticing strange things around campus and can’t help but think it might be connected to her mother’s death. With the help of Nicolas, the boy who is supposed to mentor her, work together to infiltrate a secret society based around King Arthur and Round Table and well things are more than what she bargained for.

This novel not only goes into the myth of Arthur but also the brutal of history of slavery and racism. This may be 21st century America but the legacy of Slavery is still far too close to us. Bree does what she has to do to fit in and has the right heritage but will never be fully accepted because of the color of her skin. It’s a complicated history that I can never do justice here. The other major theme of this series is Grief and generational trauma. Which seems to be a trend among popular media these days but that’s another essay. We begin the series with Bree being angry about her mother’s death and needs someone to blame for it and the society with all it’s money and trappings is the perfect target. She’s not entirely wrong for blaming them but not for the reason she thinks. This is really her journey to get herself through the trauma of it and coming out the other side. I highly recommend it for all fantasy fans looking for a new take a old story because it is a quite a ride.

What I’m Reading Now: The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Cover of the Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Set on the very edge of Patagonia, there is a girl school where there had previously been a tragedy. A mysterious illness once overtook the school. It is now reopening and in 1970s Argentina with a looming military dictatorship, Mavi can’t say no to a job that’ll take her out of Buenos Aires. I’m looking forward to this!

Kate’s favorite books of 2022

I did it! I read books in 2022! Not as many as I used to, but definitely more than any other year since COVID! I am so excited! I feel like I’m back! Kind of! So, without further ado, let’s get into it. In no particular order, here are my favorites of this past year!

  1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

I really enjoyed this book. It has mobsters. It has monsters. It has people behaving exactly as we know people behave during a pandemic in a pandemic. It’s set in colonial Shanghai. It has a sequel. I hightly recommend it.

2. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

This romance by an author who has an excellent social media presence was so satisfying. I liked the characters. I liked their romance. I liked that they both had a story arc. It was great.

3. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

I like horror movies a lot. Like, a lot a lot. My Netflix recs are basically just baking shows, kdramas, and buckets of guts. So, this seemed right up my alley. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, but it was so good. Based on the Okiku myth, the ghost of a girl who was murdered, and has stuck around to torment her killer… and then torment more killers. I was taken in by the story and I needed to know how it ended. I just found out it has a sequel, too!

4. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

I thought this was an interesting premise, so I downloaded it. In it, if you die by murder, you come back okay. Dispatchers are people who work in places like hospitals just in case things go wrong. The main character, Tony Valdez, is contacted by the police because a fellow dispatcher has gone missing. It gets sucked into a mystery about where his friend is and how he ended up there. There are two more books in the series. I binged them all back to back. They were entertaining.

5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I started this ages ago (maybe in 2017? Like, ages ago) and then finished it this summer when I was visiting my sister. It was… I want to say beautiful? Laszlo Strange is an orphan librarian who talks himself into a position on a quest to help Weep, a place of legend, rid itself of the floating palace of slain gods. When they get to the city, he meets a woman in his dreams. The woman is a child of the slain gods and lives in the floating palace above the city. Every day they live their lives, and then at night, they meet in Laszlo’s dreams. It’s not as cheesy as I’m making it sound. There’s a little bit of mystery (Is Strange really an orphan? Where is he really from?) and a little bit of lore from the world. I really enjoyed the relationships in this book. It also has a sequel!

Review: Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater

After finishing the Dreamer’s Trilogy, I think I liked The Raven Cycle a little bit better. No disrespect to the Lynch brothers. I’m glad they were able to get their lives together but as I reading this, I sort of forgot that they were trying to stop the apocalypse from happening. Not a minor thing. I was definitely more invested in the emotional journey of Ronan, Declan, Matthew, Jordan, Hennessey and even Carmen then I was in whatever mission they were supposed to be on. It was definitely a journey. I love that these characters who have been through so much that they got the healing they needed and will be able to move on with their lives in a more healthy way. So much time of this novel was spent on their healing journey and their past that when it came time to save the world it was a little jarring. Like oh that’s right. That’s why Hennessey destroyed the Ley line. It’s why Ronan is asleep and Declan is frantic. It’s why all of them are in the state that they were in are catching up with the story. That all being said. I’m glad that this series existed because Ronan was one of my favorite characters from the Raven Cycles and I’m happy that he has got the closure he needed. It was also good to catch up with the Blue and the other Raven boys. I feel like that Maggie left a little bit open that if she wanted to pick up again with Blue and Gansey she could but if she doesn’t. The Raven Cycle and The Dreamers Trilogy were beautiful stories with characters, I’ll never forger and grateful to have spent time with.

Review: The Bell Witch Series by Sara Clancy

So, this is a series about four families who were cursed by a witch centuries ago and now a family member is chosen every year to face the witch. The family member is chosen by receiving a music box. The members of each of the four families that are chosen then have to hike through the ancestral woods of the witch (and the families) to search for keys and to lock the music boxes. If they don’t find their keys, a demon will escape and they’ll be tormented forever.

So, the premise was good. The main characters we’re likable. The villains were villainous. This was a fun little read to prepare for spooky season. But each of the novellas ended quite abruptly. I suppose we could call them cliffhangers, but it didn’t feel cliffhangery. It felt unfinished. This was a little disappointing because there were storylines I would have liked to know a bit more about.

I would read more by this author (or more in the Scare Street series… if only because I love that they’re knock-offs of Fear Street) but I’m in a hurry to do so.

So, 6/10. Entertaining and quick but nothing that will really stick with me.

Quick Review: The Inheritance Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I mentioned earlier that I was surprised to find out this book was a trilogy because I thought it wrapped up pretty nicely in the last book. They found Toby, the missing Hawthorne. Avery had picked between Jameson and Greyson but I guess her year wasn’t quite over yet and hadn’t officially inherited the Hawthorne fortune yet and I guess we still hadn’t found it why she was picked. Well all of that was answered and some of it was good and some of it was okay. The fast pace nature of the story telling is still there. The puzzles were more complicated and we have a new antagonist to play against. Tobias Hawthorne was an asshole but I can’t imagine anyone who accumulated that much wealth is a decent person. What he did to Avery is kinda cruel but I do like what she did with the money at the end. How people can play with other people’s lives like this is just horrible? I get that in his way, he was protecting his family but at Avery’s expense. Anyway, Avery got the upper hand so good for her. The Hawthorne brothers got the closure and healing they needed though I do hope they all are in therapy after all of this. And I like how it’s been left open for future books if the author ever wants to return to. So yes, this was a fun mystery series. I highly recommend it.