Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1) by Breeana Shields

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Breeana Shields
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

CAUGHT UP IN THIS ONE.

Oh wow. I read this from a friend’s recommendation and Y’ALL. TBR STAT.

I found this to be such an easy read. I loved the magic system. Things made sense and was unique. It was twisted and set-up in a way that I was worried it would be confusing, but turns out…it worked out perfectly.

It’s told from two divergent timelines. One if Saskia made one choice, and one if she went on a different path. I loved how this played out! Even while reading the chapters it was straight forward as to which voice was narrating. And the way they combined hit everything right. I haven’t read a timeline like this that worked out so beautifully.

There’s a soft and slow romance throughout that was tender and sweet. Bram stole my heart (and Saskia’s) and someone needs to tell me they get a happy ending.

The book has a lot of dark tones and ambiance. The villain was an absolute type who took a bit to see coming. I liked that they fit into the story well and their corrupt nature kept me on my toes. I really can’t wait to read book two and see how everything ends!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: death, intense murder scenes; generally a bit morbid

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Book Review

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Romance
Length: 489 pages
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

WORTH THE HYPE.

Without a doubt. If you’ve been on the fence about reading this one (like I was), give it a try.

I feel like this review will be hard to put into words because there’s so much here!! Holy cow, I wanted to highlight every other paragraph in this book. I loved the internal conflict and resolutions, the characters, the story and drama, how the further I went the more enamored and unable to put it down it became.

It does start off a little slow yes, but I found the more I read it settled in. This is a journey, more than the story itself, of Addie, Henry and Luc. Goodness, I can’t help it, I LOVED Luc. I really wish there was more to his background. What a complex character from the get-go. Henry was fantastic as well. He and Addie fit together like puzzle pieces and it was hard not to fall to pieces by the end. I adored Addie too. The resilience to go 300 years with the deal she made was unbelievable. These three working together and apart brought it home. This is a heavily character driven story. The wider plot isn’t as much there as it is about what these characters mean to each other.

Addie had absolutely beautiful writing. It draws you in immediately. Filled with so many moments that will pull at every heart string. I was feeling every little thing by the time those last few chapters rolled around. It’s an interesting conclusion that left me with some questions, but also satisfied. I closed the book knowing just how magnificent of a story I’d finished.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Romance
  • Language: a little throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few closed door & a few little detailed open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: attempted assault, abuse, loss of a loved one, substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 743 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: July 1st, 1992
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of Outlander… a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland…

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones …about a love that transcends the boundaries of time …and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart …in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising …and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

TALK ABOUT SOUL CRUSHING.

I was warned 100 times over that the ending would make me sob and that it would rip my heart out. I can’t say I sobbed (which I will explain why), but I definitely had plenty of emotions coursing through me with that finale.

Okay, why I didn’t cry. The set-up. I wish organization of the book was a bit different. That was my only complaint for this book and I’m curious how the next novels will continue. By adding in the present time section in the beginning it already gave me an inkling as to what was going to take place over the book. So by the time it happened, the writing was beautiful and made me invested, BUT, I also knew what was coming and with 6 more books [currently, I heard she’s writing a 9th one] there’s clearly more to the story.

Jamie and Claire. Ohhh I’m starting to love their relationship more and more. Since it was incredibly rocky at first I struggled to connect with them. Now that I’ve got nearly 2,000 pages of them together, I’m feeling it. Jamie is bold, brash and incredibly tender-hearted. He smooths my soul and makes me want to throw things at him (I feel you Claire). It’s a great combination that keeps me wanting more. I love Claire’s nature and passion. Still think she’s crazy for choosing to stay in Scotland, but it’s fine. Claire makes her own path and I will follower her gladly.

SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book. Oh wow, I could barely keep up, even with it being a slower read. What I finally started grasping by the end was the understanding of the aristocracy and royalty in France, Scotland, England, etc. I don’t know much about this history and the amount of people that are included can be a wee bit mind-boggling. Now that I have a firmer knowledge I think subsequent books will go much more smoothly.

Truly another fantastical tale. I am smitten with all thing Scottish now.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; a few detailed love scenes
  • Violence: battles, swords, be-headings, hangings, physical; see trigger warnings
  • Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, miscarriage, mentions of abortions (by a side character, not Claire); PTSD for prior sexual assault and rape [There are a lot and I apologize if I missed any]

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Book Review

Book Review: Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 471 pages
Author: Kristen Britain
Publisher: DAW Books
Release Date: November 1st, 1998
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”

Karigan’s promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.

FOUND A NEW FANTASY SERIES TO READ.

Thanks to a library book sale I picked up the first three books in this series on a total whim of, I’ve heard of this before. And that’s it. All I knew was that it was a fantasy book with pretty good reviews.

I surprised myself by really enjoying it by the end. The first half was a bit slow. I know this is a long series so I understand needing to build-up and create a world. It just took longer than expected. Karigan was spending most of her time on the run and I was missing the bigger plot.

Once Karigan made it to her destination things escalated quickly. I love the devious nature of it all and that I didn’t even catch who the bad guy actually was! The magic system and politics of this world created some intense dynamics. The clashing of the brothers for wanting to be King, a fae trying to create a ghost army and Karigan just wanting to go home.

I love Karigan. I think she has some growing up to do (which is fine) but she was a spunky character I adored. I found her brave and bold and loyal to her family and who she was. I imagine a lot of great character growth for her in the coming books.

The only thing I felt it was missing was a bit of romance. There’s a tiny bit of maybe if I squint my eyes at the page something happening between her and a character, BUT I DON’T KNOW. I’m always looking for even a little romance so this should be no surprise that I wanted a bit more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: sword fights, poison, animal/creature attacks, murder
  • Trigger warnings: attempted sexual assault, page 265: mention of an off screen rape (that a side character committed)

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