Books I’d Like to Get to Before 2018 is Over

Hello,

Today I thought I share with you some of the books I would love to get to before the end of this month—side note: I cannot believe 2018 is pretty much done and dusted! Where does the time go!

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Outrun the Wind

Author: Elizabeth Tammi 

Publisher: Flux Books

First Published:  27 November 2018

Rating: 4 stars

Professional Reader


“I sigh as we walk into the hall, maybe for the last time with Kahina. I want to twist time around myself make it bend and grow where I need it most”  

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Flux Books and NetGalley!

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The Silver Queen

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Author: Josie Jaffrey

First Published: 17 October 2018

Rating: 4.5 stars

 
“It was easy to forget what legends meant when they were enshrined in stories, and that was what the King has always been to most of the guards: a story.”  

 

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Josie for sending a copy my way!

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August 2018 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with August Wrap Up. This month I read a total of 4 books and 1,668 pages.

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The Gilded King

Gilded King

 

Author: Josie Jaffrey

First Published: 25 June 2018

Rating: 5 stars

 

 

“Their folktales had memories long enough to tell them what he was. He might be harmless to them, but he was still strigoi mort.”

 

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Josie for sending a copy my way!

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April 2018 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with April 2018 Wrap Up and it’s on time and everything! Who knew? Two months in a row!

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Sky in the Deep

Sky In the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

First Published: 24 April 2018

Rating: 4.5 stars

Professional Reader

“I wouldn’t last in this village the whole winter. I couldn’t wait for the thaw. I had to find a way home.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Wednesday Books, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley!

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Everless

Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: Orchard Books

Published: 4 January 2018

Rating: 5 stars

 

“I know better than to be afraid of stories.”

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December 2017 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with my December 2017 Wrap Up! These are the book I read in December.

I read a total of 6 books—2 YA, 3 Historical Fiction, and 1 Fantasy.

Onto the ratings!


 

★★★★1/2

The Constant Queen (Queens of Conquest #2) by Joanna Courtney
I love Elizaveta has a character. She is strong willed and determined to live beyond the societal restrains placed on women—it’s nice to know that women have been fighting for equality for a few centuries now. I will admit that this book does focus more on the romance side of things, which I think comes down to the fact that Elizaveta and Harald’s married was first and foremost a love match. So I would’ve loved to see more of the culture of Russ and the Norsemen along with this key events in Harald Hardrada life, but again he’s not the focal point of the books so it didn’t bother me too much.

The way Courtney handles Hardrada’s other marriage was something I was interested in. This had to be a tough situation without adding the stubborn and headstrong nature of Elizaveta’s personality. And I think Courtney does a wonderful job. While there is some jealously and power plays between the two women at the start of their marriages, overall they became close friends and learned to live in harmony.

With this series overall, I think Courtney does a fantastic job over portraying and giving life to historical figures who are remember predominantly for a) who their husband was, b) who their father was and c) who their children are.


The Conqueror’s Queen (Queens of Conquest #3) by Joanna Courtney 
I love how this books seems to round out the whole series. Courtney has done an amazing job of showing us just how connected these three kings were are just how dangerous it can be for you when Fortune’s Wheel turns. I would love to see another novel that goes in William and Mathilda’s reign, but hey I greedy like that. Mathilda is an amazing character, she wasn’t the wilting flower that we seem to think of medieval women has. She chose her husband and ruled in her own right beside him. I think she’s amazing and would love to read more about her. Also I enjoyed seeing a slightly softer side to the Bastard Duke.

So many of the characters of the first book, The Chosen Queen, feature in this one that I almost want to start the series again so see what I missed the first time around. Overall I adore these books and they’re definitely ones I will revisit time and time again. The best thing about this series as since it’s so interconnected and runs over the similar span on time it doesn’t matter which you read first.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)  by Kerri Maniscalco
I have a full review for this one so I’ll keep my thoughts short here. This book was a big surprise for me. I’d originally planned on reading it just to get to the squeal. I enjoyed Maniscalco’s twist on Jack the Ripper. For me, since I’m not a mystery reader, I didn’t see who Jack the Ripper was until the big reveal and I was pleasantly surprised. If you love well-written historical fiction with strong female characters and a dash of murder I think this one is for you.

The Christmas Court (Queens of Conquest #3.5)  by Joanna Courtney
This was the perfectly little story to rear on Christmas Day. You get a look into how we celebrated Christmas in the 11th century—a part form the no electricity and the mandatory church not too much has changed. This book focuses on the Christmas in 1051 where William Duke of Normandy is invited to Edward the Confessor’s court. And where it is claimed the English King names his Normand cousin as his heir. What I liked about this novella is that is told from the perspective of a English lady—who does make a brief appearance in The Conqueror’s Queen. I enjoyed seeing these events unfold from an outside and more bias point of view. I love Courtney’s writing and an very sad that I seem to have read everything she’s written. I can’t wait to see which era she tackles next.

 

Hunting Prince Dracula

 Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
Since this is a sequel I will keep this review short, I might do a spoilery review on it so I can talk about all the things I loved.

I adore this just as much as the first book. An Indian Jones styles mystery in Vlad the Impaler’s gothic castle is exactly what this reminded me of. Hells yes for kick ass females, I really hope we see more of Daciana and Ileana. Can’t wait to see what gothic adventure comes next!


 

★★★

Angels’ Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh
Since we all know just how much Singh’s other series I thought I would give this one ago and overall is was a pretty entertaining read. I really enjoyed the world, in particular how the angles created vampires and enslaved them. Overall there was something that didn’t quite gel with me. The romance between hunter, Elena and Archangel, Raphael, moved quickly from no-thank-you-I-am-not-interested-lets-keep-this-professional to I love you and didn’t work for me. I am not sure if I will carry on with this series.


 

That’s it for me. Comment down below and let me know what you’re favourite read in December was.
Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher:  Jimmy Patterson

Published:  20 September 2016

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

 

‘As the afternoon wore on, I watched them, noting the role they were all playing. I doubted any of them truly cared about what they were saying and immensely sorry for them. Their minds were crying out to be free, but they refused to unbind them.’

This book was a big surprise for me. I’d originally planned on reading this book just to get to the squeal. I enjoyed Maniscalco’s twist on Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose is a strong and modern young woman who refuses to stop studying forensic science and cutting up cadavers just because of the rules the Victorian era placed on women of her status. Audrey Rose works with her Uncle and his young assistant, Thomas Cresswell, to autopsy a string of savagely killed corpses and help Scotland Yard hunt down the serial murderer, Jack the Ripper.

I’m not a big fan of first-person narratives but I think it works for this story. I enjoyed being inside Audrey Rose’s head as she processed each clue and tried to figure out how they all fit together. I loved how Audrey Rose’s personality shone through the writing style. You could feel each eye roll, her frustration at being sheltered and how hard it was for her to keep a hold of her polite society manners.

For me, since I’m not a mystery reader, I didn’t see who Jack the Ripper was until the big reveal and I was pleasantly surprised. I also really loved Maniscalco’s interpretation of the Ripper mythology. It’s clear that she really loves this time period and the mystery of Jack the Ripper with the care she takes when adding in all the gory details. I never felt overwhelmed by the science, world building or the facts of the Ripper murders. Her interruption was believable and played on the theories historians are still debating on.

The most interesting part of this story was the forensic science elements. I learnt so much about it and never felt like it went over my head or that it was dumbed down. The added illustrations of medical procedures and human anatomy really brought this world to life. The illustration paired Maniscalco’s descriptions perfectly. The anatomical description painted the mutilated victims in a vivid, grotesque light that would leave me feeling morbidly fascinated and queasy all at once. If you don’t to well with gore I would no recommend reading this late at night or on a full stomach.

I loved that the romance didn’t take over the narrative like it seems to do with most YA books. Don’t get me wrong I love a good romance as much as the next person but sometimes it takes over the main thread of the story. I think I enjoyed the romance in this more because it was a slow build and you’d never know when those scenes would pop up. I love that Audrey Rose didn’t let Thomas’ charm distract her from the task at hand.

However, I would like to see some other strong female characters in the future books. The only other women to feature are Audrey Rose’s cousin Liza—who is shown as the stereotypical Victorian lady—and Liza’s mother—who is the strict, over religious matriarch. It’s like Maniscalco was spending so long highlighting that Audrey Rose doesn’t fit the mental and social stereotypes of the era that she forgot about the other women.

Also, I would love to see more about Audrey Rose’s Indian heritage since it’s only mentioned in passing when she’s thinking about her mother. It would be interesting to see how this beautiful culture fits with the strict Victorian customs. I hope this is explored in future books.

I cannot wait to dive into the sequel! If you love well-written historical fiction with strong female characters and a dash of murder I think this one is for you.