Quick Review: Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare

This was the last book in the Last Hours trilogy and honestly, it’s a good thing. I don’t think I really connected to any of these characters as much as I have with other characters in Clare’s other Shadowhunter’s novel. It’s not that I think they were not interesting. I appreciate that she continues to populate her books with a diverse set of characters, even in Edwardian London but maybe there are so many times you can save the world. I realize that these books takes places in different eras throughout history but it’s like the later generations have no idea of what happened before them. Which is weird since history since so important to Shadowhunters. So this was fine. It ended as I expected. They saved the world. Mos of them survived. Set up was made for not just the previous books that we already know what will happened and the next series coming out in a couple of years. Maybe I’m ready to move on from series as they are becoming predictable.

Quick Review: Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye

Sloane is a scion in a world that has tried to erase them. She has powers believe to come from one of her people’s Gods but all traces of their heritage have been all but erased by a Colonial like authoritarian regime that has taken over her country. To make matters worst she has been drafted into a child’s army in service of her oppressors. She has to hide who she is while trying to survive basic training. This book is not for the faint of heart. It does have a trigger warning because the topics of Child Army, sexual assault and violence and doesn’t shy aware from any of these things. The very first chapter there is an attempted Rape. The death count in this novel is very high. Al I can say is don’t get too attached to any characters. As a hard of a read to get through, I found myself spellbound by it. I had to know what Sloane was going to do next and hope that things would work out for her. Well, that’s yet to pan out and this is only the first book in the series. I didn’t know that when I started it. The sequel can not come out soon enough.

Review: Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

What is there to say about this that hasn’t already been said? It was SO GOOD. I tore through it. The Iron Widow herself was wonderful. Her rage felt so real. Her love interests were both really compelling and I enjoyed getting to know them as she did. The gigantic qi-run killing machines were everything I wanted them to be. And the ending! I look forward to the next installment in this series!

Review: The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

In this novel, a young woman attempting to escape the military dictatorship rounding up dissidents in Buenos Aires accepts a position at a school in Patagonia as an English teacher in the 1970s. The school is on the edge of the world, in a manor house built by an aristocratic family at the beginning of the century. The home had once been a school, but it has been shut down for decades because everyone caught a mysterious illness and many of the students and faculty died. They say that the house is built on land that was cursed by the indigenous people the family stole it from. Now the school is being reopened by the domineering business mogul who grew up in the house before she was forced to flee the mystery illness.

While this is creepy, our brave heroine Mavi likes her chances at the school overlooking ice fields in Southern Argentina better than her chances on the streets of Buenos Aires. Once at the school, she meets the other instructors and the son of the headmistress, heir to the wealthy family who owns the manor. And he’s a dick. Or, he starts off that way. But then his personality completely changes. That’s not the only strange thing that happens. There is a mysterious visitor in the night. The girls begin to fall sick. The house begins to decay. Everything begins to spiral out of control.

This book had an interesting twist that I was a little annoyed by at first. I could see it coming and I was hoping for another outcome. But the reveal wasn’t as clunky as I was expecting it to be and the resolution was interesting. This is an okay novel. I was hoping for a little more horror, but it kept me interested. If you like slightly creepy mysteries and need a reasonably quick read, this is pretty good. I am planning on checking out other books by Faring in the future.

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.

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!