Book Review

Book Review: Book of Night by Holly Black

Rating: ★★☆
Audience: Urban Fantasy
Length: 320 pages
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: May 3rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus.

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.


This might be the slowest book I have read in a long dang time. And not in a good way. Within the first few chapters I was worried this wasn’t going to be a great read for me, and unfortunately that was the case.

With terrible pacing came a plot that did have some good twists. I was surprised by a few things that were intriguing yes, but a major lack of dialogue left me desperate for more. Not to mention, lack of world building with info dumps. A 300 page fantasy book is a hard task to accomplish without some guides. I also don’t know why there were flashback chapters??? They didn’t add much of anything to the storyline.

Vince was probably the best person here. I liked him. He was an enigma I wanted to put together and carried much more of the story than I expected.

I just really struggled to read this. It was a fight and I think the ending should have pulled more emotion out of me, but I can’t see myself picking up the next book. Not one I’d recommend. Stick to Black’s The Cruel Prince series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Urban fantasy
  • Language: some
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: multiple blood/gore depictions of gruesome murders, self harm to get magic, child abuse, general violence, depression and grief, panic attacks, anxiety, gun violence, drugging

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) by Victoria Schwab

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Middle-Grade Paranormal
Length: 304 pages
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet.


Really liked this one! A very quick audio read that I felt more invested in than the previous books. I attribute that mostly to the fact that I’ve really gotten to know and love all of these characters. Cassidy is such a great, younger main character. I love how strong she is and committed to her friends. Jacob is always there for Cassidy and I love that he started finding a common ground with Lara! The characters are the best part of the book.

The setting was fantastic!! Since I’ve visited New Orleans I felt it come even more alive through the writing. The depictions of The French Quarter and surrounding areas brought me there. All of the ghosts were creepy (and sometimes charming). A great spooky atmosphere without being over the top (since it is meant for a younger audience).

An enjoyable read as always. They make me smile and reaffirm that power of strong friendships.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade paranormal
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: being attacked by ghosts
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery and racism (in reference to the history of some of the New Orleans locations)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: A Little Bit Witchy (Riddler’s Edge #1) by A.A. Albright

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Length: 257 pages
Author: A.A. Albright
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 21st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


There has most definitely not been a murder on the Riddler’s Express.

Aisling Smith is about to try out for a new job – a job writing for a paper she’s never heard of. But seeing as she’s currently writing classified ads and obituaries, it would be foolish not to give it a shot.

Riddler’s Edge might be a small town, but it’s definitely not boring. The train hasn’t even pulled into the station, and already a woman has been murdered.

According to the grumpy but gorgeous Detective Quinn, the passenger’s death wasn’t a murder at all. He insists that Bathsheba Brookes died of a nut allergy. Aisling doesn’t believe it for a minute. She intends to discover the real story – a difficult challenge, considering the town’s inhabitants seem to be keeping some very big secrets.

Riddler’s Edge is a town where people wear sunglasses after dark, and creatures howl in the woods. It’s also a town where, despite the strange occurrences, Aisling feels right at home.

But even if she gets to the bottom of Bathsheba’s death, Aisling might not get to be the Daily Riddler’s newest reporter. There’s one final, mysterious test that she must pass – a test carried out by the newspaper’s owner. And Aisling suspects he might be looking for more than just a journalist 


I read A.A. Albright’s other series, Wayfair Witches, last year for October and this year I’m reading Riddler’s Edge! I adored this so much and can’t wait to binge the rest.

This was so much fun and introduced the new town and characters well. I liked the mystery and meeting all of magical souls. Witches, vampires, weredogs/wolves and more. Fuzz (the familiar) was cute and gives me all the black cat witchy vibes I love.

There’s clearly a set-up for the long game and I’m curious how that’ll all shake out as well. Not to mention this has what appears to be a great romantic plot line too and I am HERE FOR IT.

Can’t wait for more!

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: murder

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Paranormal
Length: 384 pages
Author: Rachel Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.


I enjoyed this so dang much!

First off, the romance was so sweet. Like sugary syrup sweet. I couldn’t get enough of Clara and Sang together. There was passion and new experiences. Learning to lean on each other and the support Sang gave Clara was off the charts. Some swoony kissing scenes that really nailed this relationship for me.

I love the character growth in Clara over the year. She had to work through a lot of emotions and truths she had lead herself to believe for too long. Clara was pushed outside of her comfort zone and forced to face past relationships and trials too. By the end she had made some beautiful strides in owning her magic and herself.

There was a little bit of a repetitive nature to the story. Each season Clara would tackle a rogue weather pattern and then do that again and again. They did push Clara’s character forward, but it became extremely formulaic for me. And something that didn’t affect my rating, but that I did struggle with was how high my anxiety got reading this. Since climate change is front and center it caused my dooms-day anxiety to spike and made it tough to read at times (and this was a me thing, but wanted to mention to others who might be wary too).

I’m really excited to see what Griffin writes next. This was a witch book that I adored, and those are hard to come by for me.

Overall Audience Notes:

  • YA Paranormal
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Violence: minor physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: grief and loss depiction, death of a parent and best friend, extreme weather patterns

Instagram || Goodreads