Book Review

Book Review: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Mystery / Historical fiction
Length: 308 pages
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Penguin Random House
Release Date: January 16th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker.

His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past.

Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. 

LONGEST SLOW-BURN EVER.

STILL NOTHING.

EVEN LESS NOTHING THAN THE FIRST TWO BOOKS. Ugh. It’s entirely annoying at this point. Only because you know where it’s going, and I don’t like that it’s been carried out this long. Veronica and Stoker are destined to be together and heaven help me if that doesn’t happen in book four.

Otherwise, this book was a bit meh. Definitely one of those middle of the series books that isn’t packing a lot of punch. I didn’t love the mystery because it was a stretch compared to the previous two books. And I really didn’t love the trigger warning (see notes at the bottom) for how the mystery ended. I think that could have been handled in a better way.

I did like that the mystery gave us allllllll the history for Stoker. I finally got all of the answers I was craving and the tidbits of information that formed a solid background for him. I met his terrible former wife and in-laws, and saw a whole new side to the mystery of what happened in South America. This only made my love for Stoker grow. I love that brash cinnamon roll.

Veronica was still her fabulous self. I love her heroism and strength in making her own decisions. I don’t love all of her philosophies, but I appreciate her determination to do things as she wants to.

Forever hoping to have that *realization moment* between Veronica and Stoker.

Overall audience notes:

  • Mystery / Historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none, just a lot of innuendo
  • Violence: murder, physical
  • Trigger warnings: cheating spouse, Chapter 19: murder-suicide by a gun

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 403 pages
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 

THIS SURVIVED A NEAR DNF.

I had to ask my Bookstagram friends if this was worth it to keep going. They did say the first book isn’t *great* but does get better, then the rest of the series picks up so I thought, okay…well I’ll finish it then.

I’m satisfied I did. It was nothing spectacular, but the premise is interesting.

MY BIGGEST ISSUE Y’ALL? The amount of unanswered questions you’re left with. No I’m serious. I have a list of at least 10:

  • Why do the Queens have to kill each other?
  • Who are seriously half these people?
  • Anyone have a background story? No? Oh okay.
  • What’s the Quickening?
  • What is Beltane?
  • Why does the Queen leave her triplets?
  • Why triplets?
  • Why is the island hidden?
  • What’s the deal with the mainland suitors?
  • We only met one…okay then.
  • Random book boyfriends with no background? That tracks.
  • What’s the Disembarking?
  • Why is the island only sometimes visible?
  • Where did the Queen even go?
  • Why are they split up?
  • How does this magic system even work?
  • Why can’t they leave the island ever?

SEE? I’m seriously annoyed at how much I don’t know. The world-building is minuscule. It’s poorly constructed and I beg of the second book to get it together should I pick it up anytime soon.

While that was an issue I did enjoy how quick of a read it is. The writing is set up to where it takes out the flowery flourish paragraphs that I personally don’t need a ton of and keeps us involved in the story and dialogue. It did get better at about the halfway point, so there’s that.

But also, I hate Joseph. And I hate when cheating is used as a plot device. I can’t stand it in books and this was enraging to me. I didn’t like how Joseph went about his business and I don’t see the point of him sleeping with [redacted]. UGH. Clearly I’m still upset about it.

I like the differences in the Queen’s thoughts and mannerisms. They are unique individuals and don’t read as the same person. The magic system could use a thorough explanation. This almost read more like a prequel novel than anything else, because not much happened until the last 50 pages. We mostly got to know the Queens and see them trying to use their powers.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, a fade to black, no detail, love scene
  • Violence: animal attacks, poison, elemental magic, physical
  • Trigger warnings: cheating

Instagram || Goodreads