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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-22 19:01
I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

I am a big fan of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows series its one of my favorite young adults from the recent years. I was very eager to finally start this series, based on the fact that I loved her later works. Sadly this one didn't invoke the same feelings as I had when I read Six of Crows. To be fair this is one of her earlier works, so I can give it some slack in that regard. However had I read this first I do not know if I would have read her other works. The writing in this book is not so much the problem, the author can tell a story there's no doubt about that. But my main gripe with it was that I felt that the Darkling was made the villain for the sake of being the villain. It felt very light is good, dark is bad kind of vibe and that felt very tropeish to me. Already he was seen as someone to be feared, so people feared him. I was hoping that while he could do terrible things, it wasn't necessarily because he was evil down to his core.

 

The building chemistry between him and Alina really had me looking forward to that being the angle. When its revealed suddenly that he is the one, that created the Fold in the first place. Outside of wanting my ship to happen, it just felt very forced and just kind of dropped into the lap of the reader half way through the first book. If something was like this revealed later, it might have had a bigger impact on me. But with it being right in the middle of the first book it created this bland feeling. I wasn't surprised or shocked, mostly just disappointed because it didn't have an impact on me. Even the way its revealed was just sort of made no sense to me. Baghra is revealed to be the Darkling's mother, and she tells Alina of his true identity. Its never shown until later, that Baghra was right. It just bugged me that the protagonist is able to be convinced by someone, without witnessing the truth until much later. Now onto the romantic pairing I was obviously not a fan of this ship. But that's because I loathe childhood friend tropes, its overdone and when one is involved nearly every time you already know who the protagonist is going to get with. 

 

It was clear the two had a connection, and the feelings were one sided for a while. That aside it felt like the ship was being made to fit, where it didn't make a whole lot of sense from Mal's side. He only came to the realization after the fact, that Alina was taken into the Little Palace that he had feelings for her. Before that he didn't seem that romantically interested in her, considering its stated numerous times that he was known to go out and be with other women. Which that is not something that bugs me, but its clear he didn't feel on the same level for Alina as to what she did for him. It felt more like a brother sister relationship, perhaps akin to a twin bond. Clearly the romance factor regardless of everything else that is going on is more pushed to the front, unlike Six of Crows.  My gripes aside I do love the Grishaverse its ripe with interesting lore, and I love all the different powers that Grishas have. Its a unique and very vivid world.

 

I just wished I could have felt that sense of awe in this book that I got from Six of Crows. To be fair because it did not have the same feel, as her later works it is likely that I am judging it more firmly. Its not a bad book but the reasons I stated are why I did not enjoy the first book. I intend to finish the other two books  in the series and I do look forward to seeing how the series grows. Because it does deserve a chance, but if the theme continues on its likely my stance will not change much.

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text 2018-09-21 20:00
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
Keeping him - Kennedy Fox

I dont trust  trent

 

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review 2018-09-21 16:50
Review: “Cash Plays” (Seven of Spades, #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Cash Plays - Cordelia Kingsbridge

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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review 2018-09-21 12:45
DRAWING BLOOD by Poppy Z. Brite, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Drawing Blood: A Novel - Matt Godfrey,Crossroad Press,Poppy Z. Brite

A good old haunted house story is something I've always loved, so when the narrator of this tale offered me a chance to listen to the audio in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. Poppy Z. Brite is an author I've heard a lot about and I've been wanting to read his work for quite some time. I learned a few things while reading this book and one of them is that Poppy Z. Brite can write.

 

Trevor is a young man returning to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years ago. Shortly after his arrival in Missing Mile, his old hometown, he meets a young computer hacker on the run, named Zach. The two immediately feel a connection and together they go to face Trevor's childhood home. What will they find there? Is the house actually haunted? You will have to read this to find out. 

 

While the writing quality here was good, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the story itself. This is not the author's fault, nor the narrator's,  it was my sky high expectations. I expected a scary as hell story- and while there was a little darkness,  there was way too much romance for me. I don't mind explicit sex scenes, (gay or straight),  if they are integral to the story. Now I totally get the term insta-love. These two just met, one of them a virgin, and before you know it they are going at it at a breakneck pace. And going at it again. And again. The sexy times were sexy, don't get me wrong but after a while they finally led me to ask "Can we get to the horror already?"

 

Eventually, we did get to the horror, but after such a long build, it failed to move me much. I'm not sure if I was just bored by that point, or if all the romance had inured me to what should have been an exciting finale. 

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was excellent as always, I especially loved his Jamaican accent. Yeah, mon! 

 

As I said, I did like the writing, and in a few spots it was nearly lyrical. From what I understand this is one of Poppy Z. Brite's, (now he goes by the name Billy Martin), earlier works. While I didn't find this novel to be a true horror story, I'm told his later works definitely are and I will be tracking those down in the future, maybe even the near future. 

 

Recommended, as long as you're not looking for a horror tale and you don't mind a lot of romance and sexy times! 

 

*Thanks to Matt Godfrey for the audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-09-21 05:18
Review: The Blackstone Chronicles, Part 4: In The Shadow Of Evil: The Handkerchief
In the Shadow of Evil: The Handkerchief - John Saul

Re-read.

 

After the tragedy that had befallen her aunt Martha and cousin Andrea, Rebecca is taken in by Germaine Wagner, who is just an asshat!  The way the people in this town treat Rebecca is just infuriating.  But I digress, she basically wants to use Rebecca as slave labor and to have someone else to do the bidding of her overbearing mother so that she can get a break from it.

 

Oliver Metcalf, who is at the heart of all of the weirdness going on in the town of Blackstone--though he doesn't know it-- is sweet on Rebecca.  After "finding" a beautiful hand embroidered handkerchief in a box in his attic, he thinks it would be the perfect gift for Rebecca--because it's embroidered with the initial "R".

 

Evil and heartless as they come, Germaine confiscates the handkerchief from Rebecca stating that she would only ruin it, and that she would gift it to her mother, Clara.  Clara freaks out when she sees this thing, so Germaine takes it back and decides to keep it for herself.  Little did she know she was doing Rebecca a favor because, the owner of said handkerchief is prone to vivid hallucinations.  The town's latest tragedy strikes the Wagners, and I have to say it couldn't have happened to a nicer pair of women.

 

Meanwhile Oliver is trying hard to uncover repressed memories from his childhood, which, if remember, could shed some light on what is happening in his town.

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