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review 2018-12-16 16:50
IN THE NIGHT WOOD by Dale Bailey
In the Night Wood - Dale Bailey

 

IN THE NIGHT WOOD was my first novel by Dale Bailey but I'm sure it won't be my last!

 

Within the pages of this dark fiction narrative is a fairy-tale like story, but no "happily ever after" ending is promised. A couple inherits an old manor located in the countryside of England, on the edge of a large, dark wood. Amidst the grief and guilt they feel due to a recent family tragedy, Charles and Erin feel like a move might be the very thing they need. But of course, in true fairy tale fashion, things go horribly awry. Will they be able to start the new life they needed? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I'm trying not to give too much away while attempting to impart to you how much I enjoyed this book. There's a mystery about an old tome, (IN THE NIGHT WOOD) and its author. There's a mystery regarding the caretaker, whose job contract binds him to the house itself, not to the people in it. Lastly, (of course!), there's a mystery regarding the deep, dark wood and the creatures that may or may not live there.

 

While hoping to unravel all of these mysteries, the threads of guilt and grief remain and are woven throughout the fabric of this narrative. At times, the level of grief is so deep it seems like it will drown the lives of Charles and Erin completely.

 

Lastly, I need to mention the language and beauty of the writing. There are all kinds of literary references, some I picked up on and some I did not. The best part of which is you don't need to be familiar with all of the literary allusions to enjoy this gorgeously written story.

 

IN THE NIGHT WOOD is a slow burn of a mysterious, Gothic, fairy tale and one I enjoyed immensely.

 

Recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: IN THE NIGHT WOOD

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-12-16 04:52
The Belles - audiobook
The Belles - Dhonielle Clayton,Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

Audience: Young Adult

 

We all turned sixteen today, and for any normal girl that would mean raspberry and lemon macarons and tiny pastel blimps and pink champagne and card games. Maybe even a teacup elephant.

- opening lines

 

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In this world, Belles control Beauty and Beauty is a commodity. People are born gray and will pay anything to be transformed. The society is fixated on Beauty - there are even rules to prevent people from going to extremes. For example, a Belle cannot make your proportions so outrageous that they don't look like the natural human form. Camellia (and the other Belles) wants to be the favorite and live in the palace. But, in this world, nothing is as it seems and danger and betrayal are everywhere.

 

So, I think this book was trying to make a statement about how much our society reveres beauty. And how dangerous this could be when taken to the extreme. There are many issues tackled in this book including gender equality, male privilege, the way woman warp their bodies to be "perfect," and the idea that beauty is not just what we see on the outside. It does a good job of raising the issues without seeming preachy.

 

Camellia is fixated on being the Favorite and being the best and she can't handle the idea of failing. But she is naive and doesn't see what is happening around her - the deception and danger. I found the evil character to be very obvious and couldn't believe that Camellia wouldn't see right through her. She often walked right into a trap that a blind person would have seen coming.

 

The world is interesting with the teacup size elephants, giraffes, and dragons. But some of the descriptions are a bit much and I found it distracting. When describing a scene or a place, the author used a lot of imagery and flowery language - too much really. It stood out to me and it shouldn't - I should be able to picture the scene in my head without thinking about how many similes or metaphors the author is using.

 

The audio was very well done. I enjoyed the narrator's accent. I read the first couple of pages on the Amazon preview and I was glad I listened to the audio. There are many words that are hard to figure out how to pronounce. Not having to think about that allowed me to enjoy the story more. 

 

I did enjoy the story and when the ending was more than a bit of a cliffhanger, I was looking for the next book in the series. It doesn't come out until some time next year. If it had been available when I finished this book I probably would have read it, but I don't know if I will still be as interested when it finally comes out.

 

I borrowed the audio from my local library. The book is a Florida Teens Read program nominated book for 2018-19.

 

 

 

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review 2018-12-06 04:36
Frostbitten Fairy Tales by Melanie Karsak
Frostbitten Fairy Tales: A Christmas Fairy Tale Collection - Melanie Karsak

TITLE:   Frostbitten Fairy Tales: A Christmas Fairy Tale Collection

 

AUTHOR:  Melanie Karsak

_____________________________

 

This is a lovely collection of beautifuly written short stories that involve the Christmas season in the author's steampunk London universe.  These fairy tale re-tellings are fun to read and aren't so dark and grimy as many other urban fantasy stories.

 

 

______________________________

DETAILS:

 

"** SPECIAL HOLIDAY COLLECTION **

This Christmas season, dive into New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak's fairy tale world. In this magical holiday collection, fight Yuletide monsters, take on a jealous Snow Queen, ride the skies in an airship, and tinker some magical gnomes. Join Clemeny, Elyse, Lily, and Scarlette in these winter wonderlands.

This collection includes re-imagined classic fairytales such as Red Riding Hood, the Snow Queen, the Elves and the Shoemaker, and a new classic from Melanie Karsak's award-winning steampunk universe.

INCLUDED IN THIS COLLECTION
Peppermint and Pentacles: A Red Riding Hood Retelling
Ice and Embers: A Snow Queen Retelling
Chasing Christmas Past: A Steampunk Christmas Novella
Goblins and Snowflakes: An Elves and the Shoemaker Retelling"

 

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review 2018-11-30 18:11
Review: "Flight: A Gay Fairy Tale" (Gay Fairy Tales, #3) by Leta Blake & Keira Andrews
Flight: A Gay Fairy Tale - Keira Andrews,Leta Blake

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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review 2018-11-29 18:47
Review: "Rise: A Gay Fairy Tale" (Gay Fairy Tales, #2) by Leta Blake & Keira Andrews
Rise: A Gay Fairy Tale - Keira Andrews,Leta Blake

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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