Book Review

Book Review: Sinking City (The Skilled #1) by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 315 pages
Author: Megan Walker and Janci Patterson
Publisher: Garden Ninja Books
Release Date: October 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

On the streets of Venice, magic burns and wars wage, while powerful illusions and mind-bending magic keep the world of The Skilled hidden from ordinary people—or typics. The powerful Mardova Family rules Venice with an iron fist, keeping their powers secret and their eyes on their enemies.

Zan Mardova would rather use his magical Skills to do tricks on his motorcycle or fly over buildings than involve himself in Family politics, but when he discovers a rival Family has brainwashed a beautiful typic girl named Ellie, he begins to unravel a web of dangerous secrets with Ellie at the center. Zan’s loyalty has always been to the Mardovas and the fate of Venice, but as Zan’s feelings for Ellie grow, he can no longer ignore his suspicions about members of his own Family.

Even in a city as narrow and twisting as Venice, secrets can’t stay buried forever. Zan fears there’s a traitor in the Mardova Family—and it might be him.

Thank you to one of the authors, Megan Walker, for a copy in exchange or a review. All opinions are my own!

WELL.

This was unfortunately disappointing. Urban fantasy is a tough genre for me to get into, and that how it felt here too. I do think a younger audience would be more into some of the tropes/story lines than I was though.

Insta-romance abounded for these two teens. There was one cute date, and then BAM. Couldn’t be without each other. It wasn’t that Zan and Ellie didn’t have chemistry, I just wanted more of a build-up with them, a little more angst. So much was trying to happen at once that this story line fell to the side and then felt disjointed.

There’s a lot of action! Sinking City keeps you busy. The nature behind the magic system was interesting and I appreciated that it seemed to have clear definitions on what could/could not be accomplished. It always seems more ridiculous when magic doesn’t have boundaries so I’m glad they were present here. The Italian setting was nice too. It was a nice wanderlust adventure around the cities.

I liked Zan as a main character. I think he holds a lot of promise for the next book in growth and coming into his power. Ellie, on the other hand, needs to drop the damsel in distress vibes. There were many times she admitted it as well and I get annoyed when a character can’t take care of themselves (I’m cool with them learning/growing into it, but this was a continual issue).

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Urban Fantasy
  • Language: a little; light
  • Romance: Kisses
  • Violence: murder, magical attacks, physical altercations, guns
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: Dawn till Dusk (Genesis Crystal Saga #1) by Tyfanny Hackett and Becky Moynihan

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: New adult urban fantasy romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Tyffany Hackett and Becky Moynihan
Publisher: Feather Ink Publishing
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Pain and hatred consume Tarik, the hot-headed Fae whose addiction to fighting shifters could be the death of him. Stuck in a city ruled by dragons, seeking vengeance is his only mission.

As a shifter, and the city’s Night Enforcer, Reagan’s job is to stop him. She quickly learns that trouble follows him at every turn, and keeping him alive leads her to make decisions that may have deadly consequences.

When a disastrous event forces these long-standing enemies to unravel a sinister plot, prejudice must be pushed aside. And lurking beneath the hatred is something neither of them are prepared for.

Discover Nathra City’s darkest secret in this enemies-to-lovers, NA Urban Fantasy Adventure Romance, perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout.

MISSING SOMETHING.

Picked up on a while from Kindle Unlimited.

Not a winner for me (but could be for you!). These are just my thoughts.

I liked where this was initially heading. New adult, fae, enemies to lovers, all a good mix that I’m generally a fan of. I had issues with the combination.

For new adult, this still felt very YA. Which isn’t bad, just not what I expected. With older characters, I felt like there should be an older vibe to it all, and had a hard time seeing through to that level. The writing style does seem to blend well between the two authors. I never noticed any glaring differences between the voices or different pieces written. The pacing was fine everywhere except the romance. It wasn’t isnta-love (yay), it didn’t line up though. I felt that they were both more rude and standoffish to each other then flipped randomly into being into each other. I was missing the sassy banter that I love.

The plot is good and intriguing. I have plenty of questions and enough was left open for the series to continue. The antagonist was definitely a prick that tried his best to put fear into those around him. I liked both main characters overall. They both had faults and strengths that you could see and find value in.

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult paranormal fantasy romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder, physical, torture, animal attacks
  • Trigger warnings: brief mention of someone being raped (a side character), loss of a loved on

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Book Review

Book Review: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Urban Fantasy
Length: 498 pages
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.

NEW FANTASY SERIES FOR ME.

I am a lover of all things fantasy, though they do tend to lean towards fantasy with romance. So this is more outside of my usual. Aaaaaaand, I loved it! Definitely can’t wait to continue with The Green Bone Saga.

These characters are something else. Ambiguous, complex, loyal [to a fault sometimes], and so much more. I have a soft spot for Hilo, but I was pretty smitten with everyone by the time this book ended. There’s many tough choices, and rough scenarios that bring out the best and worst in everyone. I love that I could never see quite what was coming, who was dying, and what choices each person was going to make. Being kept on my toes is my favorite aspect.

This magic system and world set up is fascinating. I appreciate that this magic system has clear limitations and rules. It made for a concrete structure that I could easily follow and understood in minimal time. I love the Asian inspired and clan setting amongst the world. Things were centered more around the Kaul siblings and their lives rather than any major romances. Did I miss the romance? In this books case, no. It worked beautifully just the way it was.

The ending was open enough to make me want the next book, and closed enough to not be left on a major cliffhanger. I can’t wait to follow these characters through the next book (which I’ve heard is even better!!)

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: 2 small/brief open-door scenes
  • Violence: very bloody/gory and detailed; physical, magic, swords, guns, skirmishes and battles
  • Trigger warnings: brief mention of a characters family member passing away from suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Fantasy, magical realism
Length: 368 pages
Author: Ruth Emmie Lang
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: December 4th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Through the story of Weylyn Grey, an orphaned boy who grew up with wolves, Lang weaves a mystical tale about life, love, and the ability each of us has to change our own story. 

Finding magic in the ordinary…

The day that Weylyn is born is the largest snowstorm the South has ever seen. As he grows older, so does the legends of Weylyn Grey, his horned-pig Merlin and their magical abilities. But the true magic is in the way that he transforms the lives of those around him. As anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Told from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

Ruth Emmie Lang’s Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder. 

SUCH AN ADVENTURE OF WONDER.

I picked this up on a Target run when I wasn’t supposed to be buying books…whoops!

But y’all, seriously, this was amazing and I’m so glad I grabbed it. It gave me all the feels and brought out such a sense of adventure and longing for a place in the world.

Weylen Grey has MY HEART. Oh, but he also made me so mad. This poor lost boy had me saying, bless your heart, more than once. I thought he was so fascinating and captivating. I thought it was even more imaginative that the author wrote the book from everyone else’s perspective. THIS WAS SO COOL. I felt thoroughly connected to him even in this format. Weylen had to go through a lot to realize what he had already. He truly went on a journey that captivated me.

Miss Mary quite contrary was precious too. I loved watching their story develop from kids in the woods to adults who had made some tough choices. Their reunion scene at the end had me melting. Frustrated that it took so dang long, but melting at the pure love they shared.

I thought the flow was fantastic and jumped back and forth at the right times. The pace was steady and seriously kept me flipping pages. I needed to know what happened next.

All of the other perspectives were unique too. These people had a profound effect on Weylen’s life; whether it was obvious or not. I liked getting to know them through their perspectives as well. Each had a unique voice that only further added to the wonder of Weylen Grey.

Overall audience notes:

  • Urban fantasy, magical realism (there were in real life places, but there was a dose of magic)
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: a kiss, some hugs
  • Violence: animal attacks, guns

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