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review 2018-10-31 21:44
An Anti-Heroine that shines in her darkness...
Give the Dark My Love - Beth Revis

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~BOOK BLURB~

Give the Dark My Love

Beth Revis

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When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her. 

 

All, except for Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague. 

 

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Give The Dark My Love is the kind of book that is not easily defined.  For me, it was part Dark Fantasy, part Alternate History and also part Supernatural with a splash of romance.  The romance in no way interferes with the storyline or dominates it either…just enhances it. 

 

In the beginning, I had an overwhelming feeling of depression… the disease or plaque that does dominate the story, just left me saddened.  But around the half-way point, this takes a decidedly dark turn and that's when this story evolves into something most compelling…the darkness and the necromancy sucked me right into the story.  Despite the slow start to the book and my not having read too much about necromancy, to say yay or nay on it…I still feel like this is executed smoothly and poignantly.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.8/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5  Cliffhanger~ Not really, but there is a second book.

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Book Cover~ So gorgeous…

Narration~5 for Mhairi Morrison, she reminded me of the girl in the Disney Movie Brave…I quite loved her accent. 4 for Bruce Mann…meh, he was all right.

Series~ Give The Dark My Love #1

Setting~ Lunar Island

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-10-20 15:15
4.2 Out 5 "Incendiary" STARS
When We Caught Fire - Anna Godbersen

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~BOOK BLURB~

When We Caught Fire

Anna Godbersen

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It’s 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.

Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Despite having less than likable characters (with Fiona as the exception) this was still an engrossing listen.  The backdrop of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was what made this story stand-out for me.  I could see how others found this to be slow in the beginning, with its soap-opera-like feel and melodrama of the elite high society of the times, but on Audio, those parts fly by fairly quickly.  Once the fire starts burning, the unceasing flames and the lives at stake make this unputdownable.  The way the author takes the truth about the actual fire and plays it out with her cast of characters is quite the tale.  I found this exert from here about the Great Chicago Fire. 

 

The Chicago Fire of 1871, also called the Great Chicago Fire, burned from October 8 to October 10, 1871, and destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people and caused an estimated $200 million in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a meteor might have been responsible for the event that left an area of about four miles long and almost a mile wide of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Following the blaze, reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth.

 

With the ending the irredeemable characters become redeemable and the love triangle that takes the center of the stage throughout this story has its inevitable outcome.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.7/5

Originality~ 4.2/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's incendiary…

Narration~ 4.5 for Suzanne Elise Freeman, she was perfect for this story and she switched from one pov to another quite seamlessly.

Setting~ Chicago 1871

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-09-05 19:20
Not the Cinderella story that you know...
 All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother - Danielle Teller

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~BOOK BLURB~

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother

Danielle Teller

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We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

 

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story…

 

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Take the story of Cinderella and take out all the fantastical elements and you'll have an idea of what this story is about.  This is not fantasy…it's more like historical fiction.  This is all the harshness and unfairness of the medieval times with a Cinderella twist.  Told from the point of view of Agnes…the so-called wicked Step-mother.  Her story is decidedly poignant and I totally empathized with her.  Despite having some slow spots in the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and by the halfway point, I was totally invested. 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4.7/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's okay…

Narration~4 for Jane Copeland, was admirably done.

Setting~ Some sort of Shire and a royal court, it was hard to decipher.

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-24 22:53
This one would work for Amateur Sleuth, because this guy couldn't get anymore amateur...
The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series Book 1) - Andrew Mayne

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Naturalist

Andrew Mayne

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Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop.

 

As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue… or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Theo Cray is aptly named…because he is quite crazy…He is like one of those super smart people who have no common sense.  I don't know how plausible some of his scientific theories are, because I'm not a scientist, not even close.  So for me, I was able to suspend belief and just enjoy the intense and slightly insane ride, one filled with Dr. Cray's many mishaps until he finally figures out exactly what's going on. 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ not really…

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Book Cover~ It's cool…

Narration~4.5 for Will Damron, he is one of my fav male narrators.

Series~ The Naturalist #1

Setting~ Montana

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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review 2018-08-16 17:31
4.2 Out Of 5 "Diabolic's Rule, & The Grandiloquy Drool" STARS
The Empress - S.J. Kincaid

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Empress

S.J. Kincaid

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It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

 

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

 

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I really loved the first book in this series and like most people I thought it was going to be a stand-alone.  I was fine with that, but someone must've really wanted this story to continue…and continue it did. 

 

One of the things I loved about the first book in this series was its darkish feel and unfortunately this was missing that darkish-ness most of the way through, added to that, the first half was way too political by far.   I was really leaning towards a 3.5 Star rating on this, right up until the end. 

 

That ending saved this from a lower rating…because…I loved that ending.  Thankfully, Nemesis pulled through and oddly enough, Tyrus did too, in a way.  I can see a lot of readers not liking where this book was going by the end, but I am not one of them.  I'm really intrigued to see where this story goes in the final book…I'm hoping since it was mentioned, that it will involve going to Earth in some way…I just wish they would have someone else narrate the audiobook.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ definitely a "to be continued"

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Book Cover~  It's okay…

Narration~ 3 for Candace Thaxton, I don't really like her voice…too nasally and I wish this series was done by someone else.

Series~ The Diabolic #2

Setting~ Outer Space

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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