Fantasy Book Review: Grim Lovelies

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

Review:
Anouk is a loyal servant to the witch Mada Vittora. But when Mada is murdered, Anouk and her fellow beasties are told they only have three days to find a new master and renew the spell that keeps them human. Otherwise, they may turn back into their original forms – various animals. Meanwhile, they are searching for the killer as well – to clear Anouk’s name.

Grim Lovelies is first in a YA fantasy series. This is a dark spin on a fairy tale. The worldbuilding is clever and intriguing. Shepherd is a pro at creating a creepy, Gothic atmosphere. The story is full of mystery, magic, and drama. And the pacing and suspense made it hard to put down. There are several fun twists along the way and a climactic, satisfying ending. I look forward to more set in this unique world.

Book Giveaway: The Rift Uprising

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of The Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends November 2. I’ll draw a name on November 3, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

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Book Review: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Haunting of Torre Abbey

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Haunting of Torre Abbey by Carole Bugge

Synopsis:
Sherlock Holmes receives a request for aid from Lord Cary, whose family home, Torre Abbey, is seemingly haunted. While skeptical, Holmes believes that the Carys are in danger, a belief that proves horrifyingly accurate when a household member dies mysteriously. As strange sightings and threatening apparitions become almost commonplace, Holmes and Watson must uncover the secrets of the abbey if they are to have any hope of protecting the living and avenging the dead.

Review:
The Haunting of Torre Abbey is a fun and suspenseful mystery with everyone’s favorite detective. This has the feel of the original The Hound of the Baskervilles. Holmes makes astute observations and always seems miles ahead of everyone else. Though Watson is brilliant as well, as we get his point of view. When I thought I had the mystery figured out, I was only partially right. There are several surprises and overall an intriguing mystery that I won’t soon forget. I can’t get enough of Sherlock, so I’m grateful for this Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series.

SciFi Book Review: The Echo Room

The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse

Synopsis:
The only thing worse than being locked in is facing what you locked out.

Rett Ward knows how to hide. He’s had six years of practice at Walling Home, the state-run boarding school where he learned how to keep his head down to survive.

But when Rett wakes up locked in a small depot with no memory of how he got there, he can’t hide. Not from the stranger in the next room. Or from the fact that there’s someone else’s blood on his jumpsuit.

Worse, every time he tries to escape, he wakes up right back where he started. Same day, same stranger, same bloodstained jumpsuit.

As memories start to surface, Rett realizes that the logo on the walls is familiar, the stranger isn’t a stranger, and the blood on his jumpsuit belongs to someone―or something―banging on the door to get in.

Review:
Rett keeps waking up in the same place, with no memory of his current situation nor the young woman in the bunker with him. Dangers lurk all around. Each time Rett wakes up, something different happens, and the mystery slowly unfolds.

The Echo Room is a science fiction, thriller geared toward young adults. Fans of the Maze Runner will definitely want to check this one out. With intense suspense and an engrossing mystery, this story is best read in one sitting. Because it’s very hard to put down. While it may seem a bit like Groundhog Day at first, individuals make different choices which lead to different outcomes and the reader, at least, can begin to fit the pieces together. This post-apocalyptic read is very unique and unpredictable. And the exciting finale does not disappoint. This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

SciFi Book Review: Light Years

Light Years by Kass Morgan

Synopsis:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain–but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy–even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong–he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret–she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team if they want to defend their world from a cunning enemy–and they might even fall in love in the process.

Review:
Vesper, Cormack, Arran, and Orelia are all very different young adults that are put on a team together at the Quatra Fleet Academy. Each have different reasons or motivations for being there. But when they can work together as a team, they’ll be able to prove themselves. And when the enemy arrives, this team may be the best to stop them.

Light Years is the first in a new Young Adult scifi series from the author of The 100. This is a character-driven story with plenty of drama, suspense, and romance. Orelia’s background is fascinating and full of mystery that I can’t wait to see unfold in future installments. It’s thrilling with plenty of surprises along the way. The story builds to an exciting, climactic ending with a cliffhanger that left me wanting more.

Fantasy Book Review: The Coincidence Makers

The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum

Synopsis:
What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it’s all part of a bigger plan? What if there’s no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don’t know determining our destiny? And what if they are even planning the fate of the world?

Enter the Coincidence Makers―Guy, Emily, and Eric―three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets―scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me…

When an assignment of the highest level is slipped under Guy’s door one night, he knows it will be the most difficult and dangerous coincidence he’s ever had to fulfill. But not even a coincidence maker can see how this assignment is about to change all their lives and teach them the true nature of fate, free will, and the real meaning of love.

Review:
Guy, Emily, and Eric are a group of new Coincidence Makers. They organize chance meetings and help inspire artists. Guy is given a new assignment that he may not be able to fulfill. Meanwhile, Emily tries to orchestrate her own coincidence, taking charge of her own life.

The Coincidence Makers is a unique and inspired story, unlike any story I have read before. While it jumps around a bit in time, it’s never hard to follow. In fact, it’s completely engrossing and hard to put down. With steady pacing and a story full of drama, suspense, and love – this fantasy will appeal to a wide audience. It’s a sweet and intricate tale. And there are several big twists that I didn’t see coming. This will definitely make my list of favorite books of the year.

Book Giveaway: The Warder Trilogy by Eldon Thompson

Courtesy of the author, I have a SIGNED set of The Ukinhan Wilds, The Blackmoon Shards, and The Sundered Isle by Eldon Thompson for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends October 26. I’ll draw a name on October 27, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Warder Trilogy by Eldon Thompson

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