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review 2020-02-20 20:44
Wicked As You Wish - Rin Chupeco

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I had really high hopes for this one. The description sounded great and I previously read and really enjoyed The Girl From the Well books by Chupeco. I wish I could say I enjoyed Wicked As You Wish but it just never really grabbed me and if I'm being completely honest it ended up feeling like a chore to finish it. This is one of those times that I wish I was more of the DNF camp because it would have saved me weeks of dragging my heels through this book.


I'm trying to think of way to adequately describe what this story felt like, and the best I can come up with is it reminded me of leftover surprise. You know that ramshackle meal you throw together when you really need to go shopping or you're feeling kinda lazy and you just grab a bunch of random ingredients that are still good and you have on hand and throw them in a pot with broth or a casserole and call it dinner. This book was like that to me. Insert a handful of fairytale characters, a dash of legends and mythology, a pinch of hot topic social issues, a sprinkle of different cultures, and a side of LGBTQ. Voila, dinner is served! All of these on their own are wonderful ingredients, brought together they can make one incredibly tasty dish, but in this case it just didn't work for me as a cohesive recipe. Nothing quite married or really brought it all together.


It ended up feeling like instead of bringing these elements together in a new exciting way pieces of them were just mashed together but never quite fit as a whole. Getting thrown into the fantasy world blind at the beginning was jarring, which could have been ok for me if I understood it more as we went on, but honestly even after the end I'm still confused by it.


When the fantasy end falls short a reader can sometimes turn to the characters to carry them through, some cool peeps to get behind, or someone to root for. When I inevitably turned there I also felt like something was lacking. None of these characters were stand out for me.



Maybe the most interesting to me was 'the Scourge of Buyan' which seemed unfortunately used more to try and make Tala somewhat interesting rather than an intriguing character on its own. Ryker maybe being a younger version of that could have been something but we really didn't see much of him, especially not much beyond the surface level of his high school crushiness that dominated the beginning.

All in all this was just not for me, as much as I wish that wasn't the case. Definitely not something I'd be interested in continuing as a series.

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I received an ARC of this book from SOURCEBOOKS FIRE via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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review 2020-02-20 20:21
Stonebreaker, Noridun #2 by Peter Wartman
Stonebreaker - Peter Wartman

Four years after the events of 'Over the Wall', Anya is still hunting the demon-haunted city of Noridun for a cure for her brother's amnesia (and focus stones to sell) with the assistance of her demon friend Toris. She is almost grown up and is starting to face resistance from her family and village elders about her untraditional behavior. Meanwhile, new arrivals from Tatchan have come to the valley and have their own intentions in the city.


This story really expands the world. We get a sense of who Anya's brother is - even without his memories - and of the day to day life of Anya's people. Additionally, we see more into Toris' memories and life in the city before the event which created the demon-barrier and caused the city to be abandoned by humans. This is all amazing, but of course, it makes the story something of a midquel and we don't have the satisfying ending 'Over the Wall' had.


I'll be waiting for more.




Previous: 'Over the Wall'

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review 2020-02-20 18:05
Review: Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic #1) by Helen Harper
Slouch Witch - Helen Harper
Slouch Witch
The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic #1
Helen Harper
Urban Fantasy - Cozy Mystery
June 8, 2017
Gift Won


Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now.



Let's get one thing straight - Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she's probably the last witch in the world who you'd call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she'd spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart's content.


However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she's yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order's noses.


It doesn't exactly help that she's been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy's concerned, he's a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.


And if he makes her go to the gym again, she's definitely going to turn him into a frog.






"It was too much effort to continually plead my innocence when the world thought otherwise. People believed what they wanted to. Whatever. It was their problem; not mine. - 25% Slouch Witch"


Slouch Witch is book one in The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic by Helen Harper.


OMG I had a blast with this novel. It was so much fun! The title and blurb peeked my interest and had me curious about a lazy witch. 


Slouch Witch is a light, amusing, and enchanting tale. This novel introduces us to a fun paranormal world where witches and magic have been a part of regular society. Tho those witches tend to stay to themselves and are slotted into careers based on how much magical abilities they have. 


Ivy might be a witch and she might take the easy way in life, but she’s no slouch when it comes to magic. She’s actually quite brilliant, but just gets bored easily. She is a pariah among her Oxford witch-crowd due to something that happened in her past. She doesn’t let this put her down. 


This reads like an Urban Fantasy Cozy Mystery. I loved how Ivy is roped back into the crowd that spurned her. The world is great and we get plenty of quirky characters to enjoy. The humor is light and the case that Ivy and Winter need to solve is engaging and amusing. The case wraps up nicely, Winter and Ivy are amicable yet a bit of regret in their separation, and we are left with a little note of to be continued. 


Slouch Witch was a nice start to the series. I can’t wait to pick up the next novel and find out what might be in-store for Ivy. The mystery was a delight and the characters were entertaining. 


Rated: 4 Stars


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!







I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2020/02/review-slouch-witch-the-lazy-girls-guide-to-magic-1-by-helen-harper
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review 2020-02-20 16:34
Review ~ Awesome!
Kingshold - D.P. Woolliscroft



Book source ~ Tour


Jyuth is an ancient wizard who founded the Kingdom of Edland and put the butt of the first king on the throne in Kingshold. Over the great span of years he’s had to return to kill a corrupt king and put a new one in place, so this time is no different. Except this king and queen are exceptionally corrupt and perverse and have left no heirs to inherit the throne. So, a weary Jyuth declares that there will be no more kings. There will instead be a Lord Protector and anyone can run for the position. However, only those with 1000 gold crowns can vote. This is an obvious advantage to the nobility of Edland and the mass of poor citizens don’t like it. When Mareth, a middle-aged drunken bard who happens to be a third son of a nobel, is put forth as a candidate the people rally behind him. But is it enough?


What an epic fantasy! Mareth isn’t the only one who can tell a good tale. The author really drops the reader right into this story and then takes off running. There are several points of view that bring it all together and it is enthralling. I like the world and the characters are awesome. The whole election thing is interesting, too. But there are also sinister forces at work and things aren’t always as they seem. Intriguing! While this story has a conclusion there is obviously more about this world that needs told. Things are brewing, people! I’m looking forward to more stories about Edland, Kingshold, and the characters I’ve come to care about. May they all survive what’s coming.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/kingshold.html
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text 2020-02-20 12:56
PSL 2020, Match 1, Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United, Match Prediction

The 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to take centre-stage. Defending champions Quetta Gladiators play Online fantasy cricket, led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, will be locking horns with the Islamabad United at the National Stadium in Karachi on Thursday, February 20. The United are the two-time champions, having gotten their hands on the prestigious trophy in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

The Gladiators won their first title last year, after the defeats in the final in 2016 and 2017. It will also be the first when the United and Gladiators would be facing in fantasy games Pakistan. The United managed to qualify for the playoffs last time around, but couldn’t make the finals. On head to head, the Gladiators have a 5-4 lead over their opponent. A cracker on an opener can be expected in PSL 2020.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch at the National Stadium has been historically good for batting. The average score at the very venue in the last five PSL matches is 168. Out of those games, three were won by the team, batting second. The playing conditions will be hazy with the temperature around the 24 degrees Celsius mark. Humidity won’t be on the higher side with the numbers in the 10s and 20s.

Team Combination

Islamabad United

The United have a power-packed batting lineup. Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro should be opening the batting in fantasy leagues for them. The middle-order has the likes of Colin Munro and Dawid Malan. All three left-handers have been in excellent rhythm in recent times. Hussain Talat is more than a handy batsman.

Asif Ali can take any bowling attack to the cleaners. Amad Butt and Faheem Ashraf are two of the most efficient all-rounders Pakistan have in their cricket. The onus will be also be on Shadab to deliver, both as a bowler and captain. There’s also a chance for Zafar Gohar to break into the eleven.



Probable XI

Luke Ronchi (wk), Colin Munro, Dawid Malan, Colin Ingram, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan (C), Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa/Zafar Gohar

Quetta Gladiators

Shane Watson and Jason Roy are the likely openers with Ahmed Shehzad batting at number three. Umar Akmal played some decent knocks last time around and his role will be of prime importance. Sarfaraz Ahmed would also wish to prove a point, after getting sidelined from the national team.

Ben Cutting and Mohammad Nawaz are the all-rounders and have tons of experience under their belt. Mohammad Hasnain and Naseem Shah are excellent prospects. The duo will get support from the experienced Sohail Khan. A lot will also depend on how leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed delivers.

Probable XI

Shane Watson, Jason Roy, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK), Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Fawad Ahmed, Sohail Khan

Probable Top Performers

Shadab Khan – Islamabad United | Shane Watson – Quetta Gladiators



Source: www.11wickets.com
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