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

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

FAV OF THE SERIES.

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)

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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

BOOK SUMMARY:

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 

OH DID I ADORE THIS.

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

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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

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

WONDERFUL DEBUT.

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

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Book Review

Book Review: City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Middle-Grade Paranormal
Length: 285 pages
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 28th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

They’re here.
They’re watching.

Cass can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh. Here, graveyards, castles and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms.

But when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift”, she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil—and herself. And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

DELIGHTFUL AND SPOOKY.

And a fantastic audio book!! I really enjoyed this. I haven’t read a middle grade book in a long while and this reminded me why I like adding these into the mix. This was fun in a creepy way, and had cute friendship moments that I adored.

I thought Cass was a great main character. The writing was amazing in that I felt like she was definitely younger, but it never became annoying or drew me out of the story. I wanted to be her friend, cheer her on, and keep reading this story. The dynamic between her and Jacob was so sweet. I’m curious how that relationship will grow and evolve over the books (tears coming? MAYBE).

The plot was complex in its simplicity and I feel that really sways to middle grade. You knew exactly where things were going, but because of the writing and set-up, enjoyed the ride it took you on.

I just love Schwab’s books. And this is her first middle grade book I’ve read. After this, I have plans to read more of these!

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade paranormal contemporary
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: a little physical, nothing intense

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