Book Review

Book Review: An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 830 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: June 22nd, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this new epic of imagination, time travel, and adventure, Diana Gabaldon continues the riveting story begun in Outlander.

Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping Outlander saga reaches new heights in An Echo in the Bone.

ENJOYING THE RIDE.

If you haven’t noticed this already, the Outlander series is a slow-burn type of read. There’s power in the mundane things Gabaldon writes about and the high action scenes. It really feels like a true story of Claire and Jamie’s lives. Every little tid-bit. And I love every little tid-bit.

One of the things I noticed here was that a lot of the travelling was cut out. Not upset with that at all. I like that they quickly crossed an ocean or land. It made the story move a bit better and consistently.

I yet again love everyone here. Claire and Jamie (especially Jamie) have my heart. They really have a romance that stand the test of time. I love Bri and Roger. And really liked having two timelines again. Lord John Grey was also in here a lot more and I love his story too. I’m just smitten all around with this cast.

I’ve been mostly listening to these on audio and have really liked the narrator. She does an amazing job to where even when I’m reading a physical copy I can hear the voices of characters in my head. It’s really brought to life and I can’t wait to be caught up on this series soon!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open scenes
  • Violence: depictions of war (Revolutionary War), physical, depictions of Claire acting as a surgeon (removal of body parts, lots of blood/gore)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: I say this for every Outlander book, I apologize if I may miss some of the warnings because they’re generally many: PTSD from war, kidnapping, child endangerment, slavery, murder, animal attacks, loss of loved ones, accidental manslaughter, remembrance of stillborn child and miscarriages, and potentially more

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Book Review

Book Review: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Retelling
Length: 449 pages
Author: Chloe Gong
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

OH HOW VIOLENT.

This book really does live up to its name. It’s a bit gruesome and there’s a lot of violence in many ways. It was a great read though! Just gotta get past the absolutely disgusting creepy crawlies that take over this novel.

I loved all the parallels to Romeo & Juliet here! I loved how it was revamped for this setting and I believe it’s the only retelling I’ve read of Romeo & Juliet. These Violent Delights will stand as my favorite until further notice.

Juliette was so dang fiery. I kinda loved that she was more fierce in nature. She could wield weapons, take down foes, and spoke many languages. Roma was the more quiet and reserved nature type. Hating his position, but knowing its advantages. Add in more diverse side characters and this was a cast to keep an eye on. There’s a continual rotation of point-of-views that give an angle to the story (and character insights) from every side. The only thing I’d say was missing for me was a bit more romance. I hope book two delivers on this front.

The historical setting was amazing. The fantasy aspects colliding with the history of Shanghai in the 1920’s was really interesting to see. I don’t know much about this time period, but loved learning more about it. Really excited to read Our Violent Ends!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy / historical fiction / retelling
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Violence: very gruesome and bloody, people clawing out their throats, gun violence, murder, knives, explosions, a pandemic

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Book Review

Book Review: The Triumphant (The Valiant #3) by Lesley Livingston

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Historical fiction
Length: 416 pages
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 12th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The final book in the Valiant series takes Fallon and her warrior sisters on an epic journey from the corrupt Roman Republic to the wonder of the ancient world: Alexandria, Egypt.

“You are from a world, Fallon, that values honor over everything else. Rome is not that world.”

In the wake of their victorious fight to win back the Ludus Achillea, Fallon and her gladiatrix sisters have become the toast of the Republic. Only for Fallon, glory turns to ashes when she learns that Cai has been stripped of his Decurion rank and declared infamia, cast down to serve as one of Caesar’s gladiators. All because he chose his love for her over the life of his treacherous father during the ludus uprising.

But treachery in Rome runs far deeper than Fallon ever suspected. While she is fighting for Cai’s freedom, the unthinkable happens and the Republic begins to tear itself apart at the seams. In the chaos that follows, the Achillea gladiatrices lose any protection they might have had once and for all. They’re not the only ones.

When Fallon discovers that Cleopatra is in grave danger, she and her sister Sorcha rally their war band in an attempt to spirit the Queen of Aegypt out of Rome, embarking on a remarkable journey that will take them to Alexandria—the wonder of the ancient world—and beyond. Far beyond. Along the way, Fallon will have to decide where her heart truly lies, as well as what—and who—she is willing to sacrifice to get there. 

SOLID SERIES ENDER.

I’m on a quest to work through some of the series I’ve started (and want to continue). This is one of them! A fantastic audio read too if you’re interested in that.

I thought things wrapped up really nicely. I wasn’t sure how the everything was going to go down. And for Fallon, Cai and the rest of their group I thought things went as best as they could. There clearly needed to be an end up and with the addition of historical figures and scenes, there was.

There was sooooo much happening here. Action to the brim with gladiator matches, escaping on chariots and dodging weapons. There’s rebellion and a whole new adventure. Not to mention, this romance is STELLAR. A couple who fights together. Not only to BE together but to SURVIVE together. Oh y’all. I love Cai and he has me absolutely smitten. What a cinnamon roll.

The last scenes kind of wrapped up quickly? I thought it was wild to add in another whole battle segment, but I guess it did give closure to a few villain character lines that needed snuffed out so Fallon and Cai could have some actual peace. It was engrossing and I’m so happy that I read this series through. I feel like it’s a bit of a hidden gem and definitely one to pick up!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Historical Fiction
  • Language: none to very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: intense violence with many depictions of blood & gore, loss of loved ones

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2021

AUUUUGUST.

I made it through 42 different books this month and unfortunately, so many were misses. *sigh*

Hopefully September will be better! The last book on the list is an anthology of 20 romance novellas so I’ve been working through those in between my big books.

Favorites reads: Where the Stars Meet the Sea, Heart in the Highlands, The Cheat Sheet, Wings of Shadow, XOXO, The Dating Playbook, First Rider’s Call

Least Favorites: When Night Breaks, The Secrets We Kept, The Stable Master’s Son, They’ll Never Catch Us and a couple of the novellas from the anthology

  • [ARC] Lakesedge (World at the Lake’s Edge #1) by Lyndall Clipstone – (☆☆☆)
  • Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery #5) by Ellie Alexander – (☆☆☆)
  • Witchshadow (The Witchlands #4) by Susan Dennard – (☆☆☆)
  • Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence Vol. 3 by C.S. Pacat – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence Vol. 4 by C.S. Pacat – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles – (☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Devil and the Heiress (The Gilded Age Heiresses #2) by Harper St.George – (☆☆☆)
  • The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell – (☆☆☆)
  • A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen – (☆☆☆)
  • Heart in the Highlands by Heidi Kimball – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken – (☆☆☆)
  • The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein – (☆☆☆)
  • Wings of Shadow (Crown of Feathers #3) by Nicki Pau Preto – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott – (☆☆)
  • All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia – (☆☆☆)
  • XOXO by Axie Oh – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • I Found You by Lisa Jewell – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Allen Campbell – (☆☆☆)
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Dating Playbook (The Boyfriend Project #2) by Farrah Rochon – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Córdovav – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan – (☆☆☆☆)
  • A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Stable Master’s Son (Sons of Somerset #2) by Mindy Burbidge Strunk – (☆☆)
  • They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – (☆)
  • First Rider’s Call (Green Rider #2) by Kristen Britain – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Triumphant (The Valiant #3) by Lesley Livingston – (☆☆☆☆)
  • From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Anthology of Contemporary Romance Novellas] Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After
    • An Unwanted Love Story by Ellie Hall – (☆☆☆)
    • Her Plus-One by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆☆)
    • Head Over Stilettos by Liwen Y. Ho – (☆☆)
    • Looking for Love (Sort of) by Meg Easton – (☆☆)
    • Lassoed into Love by Rachael Eliker – (☆☆☆)
    • Take a Hike by Sophie-Leigh Robbins – (☆☆☆)
    • Worst Neighbor Ever by Rachel John – (☆☆☆)

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