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review 2020-06-22 21:35
1140 Rue Royale - Serena Valentino,Crab Scrambly

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

An odd tale of darkness and revenge.

Overall, I thought the story was just okay. I didn't find it very original and much of it was very confusing. Some aspects relied too heavily on the artwork in furthering the story, making it vague and unclear at times. The "twist" at the end was very predictable, so much so that I picked up on it when first introduced to the character and thought it was supposed to be known the whole time. It was a very obvious choice and not very creative.

Also, the whole nun storyline could have been excluded. It didn't really add to the overall story and just made things more confusing. This book tried to do a little too much and was unable to execute it all well. It tried combining too many aspects of horror and scary stories (ghosts, possession, torture, creepy convent) that just resulted in a bit of a mess.

However, the artwork is splendid. The story itself was a strong 2 stars, but I bumped my rating up to 3 stars solely for the artwork. I love the eeriness and creepy feel of every page. The artwork is just fantastic. It definitely elevates the story and I really enjoyed it. But the story just wasn't strong enough to make it a very interesting read.

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review 2020-01-26 13:19
Aran: Love me Harder - Alien Paranormal Romance - Serena Simpson,Lori Merlotti
Okay I have to be fair and give this one at least a 3.5* rating..

I liked the premise. I thought it was interesting. I liked the chemistry between the MC's always a good thing. And I liked how you got a glimpse of all of Aran's brothers. Very different males on appearance and personality. Does make you want to come back to see them all in their own story.

What I didn't like was that the "Beast" within that makes Aran and his family different, wasn't visited upon as much as I feel the story warranted. You just got VERY brief cameos with it. 4 to be exact. Out of the whole novel. If this beast is a big part of Aran's make up, and it is a paranormal story, then we need to see more of it. Details and situations where it's needed to make its presence known. Didn't get nearly enough of that here. Disappointing for me. Also more hotness with the couplings would have been nice too.

Now, I don't know if the Author saw some of the many reviews complaining about spelling and grammar, and went back and changed that, but I did not encounter any of that here when I read this book. So Kudos for changing that. I did however encounter what many reviewers stated that it was hard to know who was speaking to whom in any given scene. This unfortunately was true. You could be in the middle of a conversation and lose track of who is saying what. Which made the writing very choppy and threw you out of the flow of the story. VERY annoying at times. The fact that this was a common theme through out the book was not good. So the physical aspect of the writing needs to be a lot tighter.

But based on the premise, the characters, and the continued on going plot; I would recommend this read. I may give book 2 a try sometime in the near future.


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review 2020-01-08 23:03
Not bad
Saving Tally - Serena Lane Ferrari,Giorgia Vallicelli

This short little book is about the plastic patch. While the book does deal with a real world issue, it does not become preachy. The action is good, and I enjoy the fact that it is two females helping each other.

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text 2019-10-04 02:49
A Grimm Tale
Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy - Serena Valentino

Mistress of All Evil is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a number of other fairy tales thrown in there as all their stories are interconnected. I'm using it to claim the A Grimm Tale square. It also would have worked for the Cryptozoologist and Spellbound squares on my card.




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review 2019-05-31 14:51
Mother knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch - Serena Valentino

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This book was so close to being really, really good. But that ending...

I'll start off by saying I haven't read the first three books in the series. I didn't realize it was a series meant to be read chronologically (figured they were standalone stories within a larger series) when I requested the only audiobooks my library had (Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy and this one). However, I think having read the previous book helped within the flow of this one (minor references to dragon queen and such). 

This book started off so good. I hated book 4 because there wasn't all that much about Maleficent. This one, however, focused on Gothel the majority of the time. I'm not sure if my expectations were so much lower after the mess that was the fourth book, but I found myself really engaged in Gothel's backstory. Yes, it's a bit drawn out and could have been condensed. Yes, those dreaded Odd Sisters appear to the irritation of the reader. Yes, there are some things that don't quite fit with the movie (scene where soldiers find the flower). But overall, I found it satisfying. 

Then I got to the last disc. Are you freaking kidding me, Valentino? Who put you up to this? Your book was headed right for 4 stars then I popped in that last disc and had to listen to a narration of the majority of the Tangled film complete with verbatim dialogue. I have seen the Tangled movie. I have seen it multiple times and have watched the same clips over and over again because there is nothing quite like the hell of a child requesting YouTube videos. I didn't need to sit through all of that again when I was trying to enjoy a perfectly good book. I understand that the story met up with the "present", which coincided with the movie, but personally I think it should have ended there. Don't just spoon feed your readers. Let them really take in the horror and tragedy of Gothel's end without shoving it in their faces. This book would have been so much better if it had just been a prequel to the movie. The ending left me infuriated because it was so irritating and unsatisfying to just hear a less-than-exciting rendition of the film without the singing. It was definitely a 2 star, possibly a 1 star, ending.

I finished this yesterday and decided to give myself some time to cool off before writing my review, but honestly, I'm still kind of mad that such a promising book had such a boring, lackluster ending. I don't think it would be fair to rate it solely on the ending, so I met in the middle and gave it 3 stars, but I wish this book had ended before the last disc. It was already too drawn out, but the recreation of the film that most readers have probably already seen at least once really put it over the top. 

I'd like to go back and read the first three books in the series, because I really want to like it, but so far, the two books I've read have been a bit of a disappointment. This one is so much better than the fourth book though and, minus the ending, I enjoyed learning about Gothel's life before the whole Rapunzel thing.

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