Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Review: Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Princesses Behaving Badly:
Real Stories from HistoryWithout
the Fairy-Tale Endings
by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Published: November 19th, 2013


SYNOPSIS: 


You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.


REVIEW:

I was sent a copy of this for an honest review by Quirk Books.

First off I have to praise the author for bringing about a book focusing on several intriguing princesses in history. She retells these stories to the best of her ability. Let's be honest here, over time facts get mixed up and completely changed. Have you ever played the telephone game in school? When one person tells a story and then keeps passing it along eventually it's quite different. I appreciated all of the different cultures represented in here and how I have been made aware of women in history that I had never heard of before. After reading this I would really love to know more about Alfhild, Hatshepsut, and Roxolana... I think that's the main drawback on a book like this, I want more information! I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it to others.



RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Book Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
by Marie Lu
Published: January 2nd, 2018


SYNOPSIS:


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


REVIEW:

My friend Heather sent me a signed copy of this book as a Christmas gift and I LOVED IT!

I have long been a fan of Batman's origin story and Marie Lu’s take on teenage Bruce Wayne is refreshing, beautifully written, and true to his character. You can deeply feel the deep moral conflict he is going through and can see him gradually working his way towards his Batman persona. From the way that Bruce is written I can definitely see a few similarities to the version David Mazouz plays of him on the show Gotham. I really enjoyed the character Madeleine as well and by the end of the story I was gripping the edge of my seat. She was such a tricky character that made you couldn't help but care for and I would definitely like to see more of her in a future Batman book. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of Batman! 


RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom

Krampus: The Yule Lord
by Gerald Brom
Published: October 30th, 2012


SYNOPSIS:

Set in Appalachia, Krampus the Yule Lord is a twisted fairytale about a failed West Virginia songwriter who gets ensnared on Christmas Eve in an eternal war between a not-so-saintly Saint Nick and his dark enemy Krampus, aka Black Peter, an ancient trickster demon. Krampus the Yule Lord is Gregory Maguire (Wicked) meets Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) in the realm of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, as Clive Barker (Mr. B. Gone) works his dark sorcery from the shadows. Once again featuring Brom’s chillingly beautiful artwork throughout, Krampus the Yule Lord is a feast of wonder straight from the kitchen of Sweeney Todd.



REVIEW:

I have had quite the fascination with Krampus for many years now and when I came across this book I absolutely had to give it a read. Very quickly I discovered a new favorite author in Gerald Brom. I can honestly say there are only a few authors that truly reach me through their writing and Brom is now among that group. He has such a magical style of writing that pulls you right on in. I instantly felt for Jesse and his struggles and grew to deeply care for The Yule Lord. This is a story of struggle and finding a way to overcome it. While many may be turned off simply by the cover of this book, which I guess may seem scary to some... I think everyone should give this book a read and especially the afterword. I feel it's very important to be aware of the root where legends and traditions stem from.
FUN FACT: All of the stunning illustrations from the cover and throughout the book are by Brom as well.


RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Review: Bound to You by Alyssa Brandon

Bound to You
by Alyssa Brandon
Release Date: April 10th, 2018


SYNOPSIS:


A teen werewolf finally meets her destined soulmate only to discover that he's not quite what she expected in this steamy debut romance.


She's met her mate . . . and he's met his match.

Megan Ross has been waiting her whole life for her mate to come and sweep her off her feet. But the wolf she meets on the beach is NOT the sweet gentle boy she's been dreaming of. Instead, he's a warrior, one whose suffering has led him to lock his heart away in a prison as cold and hard as a diamond, who fights to resist the bond and their deep sexual attraction.
Far from home, with a soulmate who is still a stranger, Megan learns that the path to true love isn't quite as straight and easy as she thought . . . 


REVIEW:

I was sent an early copy of this from Fierce Reads in exchange for an honest review.


In my early twenties I used to read a lot of shifter romances and going back to it was quite fun. My main hesitation was my worry over it ending up like every other werewolf romance I've ever read. Now, while there were many similarities to other stories I have read in the past, I enjoyed it. Megan and James seem like a real couple with very real issues that created a depth to their relationship. It wasn't just a, "We're mates, lets get it on now," type of thing. Well, on Megan's end it was, but James' emotional scars kept him closed off for a great deal of the book and their gradually growing love felt genuine. One of the only things I felt was a bit lacking was some more insight into the other characters. I really hope there is a sequel because... I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LUCY!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Book Review: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets
by Laini Taylor
Published: September 12th, 2017



SYNOPSIS:


In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana's fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.


Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her "rabid fairy," her "voodoo eyes" are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or "Violin Boy," her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It's a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter's night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series. 

 REVIEW:

I was sent a copy of this for review from NOVL and I can't rave enough about this book!

First off, I have a confession... I have never read anything by Laini Taylor so this was my first introduction to her writing style as well as these two characters. Laini has such a compelling style that I just blazed through this story. I also couldn't get enough of the stunning artwork included by Jim Di Bartolo. Experiencing the romantic hesitation on both ends between Zuzana and Mik was so endearing. They may be young and new to love, but they really put a lot of thought into making their two paths collide and when they do...it's MAGICAL!
I will definitely be picking up the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series very soon!



RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
by Alexandra Bracken
Published: September 5th, 2017

SYNOPSIS:


"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."


Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper's great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn't exactly the forgiving type. 



The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.



Little does Prosper know, the malefactor's control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there's a lot Alastor isn't telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. 



From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?


SPOILER FREE REVIEW:


I was sent an early copy of this for review from Disney Books and I must say, it was one of my top reads of the year!

I've always loved a good middle grade book and this did not disappoint. Alexandra has quite a way with words and kept me thoroughly entertained throughout this story. I can relate to Prosper on so many levels and those that struggle with impressing others and feeling seen will as well. This story takes place during Halloween and everything was described so vividly that I could picture it all. The other character in this book that was a shining star was Nell, a young witch who just wants her mother back at whatever cost...until she fully realizes that it's a cost she can't live with. Even with the revelations at the end of this book I feel we will be seeing a lot more of her in book two. This is going to be a hit series! To say that the end of this book threw me for a loop would be an understatement. I can't wait for the sequel and more of Alastor's antics!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep
by Shea Ernshaw
Release date: March 6th, 2018

SYNOPSIS:

Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW:


I was sent an early copy of this for review from SimonTEEN and I have to say this was one of my favorite reads of 2017! 

When I dove into The Wicked Deep I expected things to go one way and then they went completely different. Misdirection is a powerful tool in a writer's arsenal that I sadly don't see enough of and Shea used it brilliantly. The rug was pulled out from under me at the moment that I was about ninety percent through the book and it blew my mind! I adore the main characters Penny and Bo so much and the deep love stories touched me. Even though some may say I shouldn't, I empathized with one of the witches and understand the rage and the sense of righteousness the sisters felt in their vengeance. Shea has a lovely writing style that I really can't compare to another author. I've always found myself drawn to stories that jump between different points in time and it was frequently done here and in such a way that I could visualize everything. If you enjoy reading about young love and delving into the wrongful persecution of witches,  you will LOVE this book!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️