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review 2018-03-21 16:27
Waking for Winter (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles Book 4) by Katherine McIntyre
Waking for Winter (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #4) - Katherine McIntyre
Waking for Winter is the last book in the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles, and this time we meet up with Cami and Dante. Now, Cami is a character we've met throughout the series, whilst Dante is a fairly new one who popped up in Alanna and Sam's story. Interestingly enough, this couple is also the only one who had a previous relationship with each other, although Cami left for her own reasons. Cami is 'haunted' by her experiences at the hands of the Order of the Serpent, and you realise just how much as the story fills out. Dante will do anything to protect Cami. He still loves her, even though he still doesn't know why she left. In this climatic book, all the previous couples play a part, but the spotlight remains on Cami and Dante.
 
This has one helluva ending, that definitely leaves you wanting more but strangely satisfied with what you have. The usual high quality of writing flows through this book, a standard I now associate with Katherine McIntyre. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this book, my favourite of the series has to be Rising for Autumn. However, I would highly recommend you try this series for yourself, and then let me know which is your favourite! An epic ending to a great series that I thoroughly enjoyed. Absolutely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/philadelphiacovenchronicles1-4bykatherinemcintyre
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review 2018-03-21 16:25
Rising for Autumn (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #3) by Katherine McIntyre
Rising for Autumn (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #3) - Katherine McIntyre
Rising for Autumn is my favourite book so far in the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles. We meet the woman behind the Ice Queen mask and it is Sam, the djinn, who is there to help with the unmasking - but only in private! After all, Alanna is the leader of the coven, and a heavy weight rests on her shoulders with every decision she makes. If everyone knew how these decisions cost her, their unwavering faith in her may change. The Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head again, in fact, Alanna is correct in saying it should be a hydra! Thrown together, Sam and Alanna realise neither is quite what the other one thought.
 
I loved the approach in this book. Alanna is a strong woman, and makes no bones or apologies for that. There are not many who are prepared to look for the woman though, and that made me quite sad as I felt how lonely she was. Sam has tried to live as normal a life as he can, being a djinn tied to a lamp. Alanna constantly surprises him, and he sees the weight she carries. These two end up leaning on each other, as well as brainstorming and verbal sparring!
 
An excellent story, wrapped up in a tidy bundle with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. The characters come to life and jump off the page, making you feel their highs and lows. I also love the season in each book. Katherine McIntyre is exceptional at placing the season without it being overpowering. It's subtle, and yet there for the seeing. I absolutely loved this story, and can't wait to continue with the series, although I also don't want it to end. Definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/philadelphiacovenchronicles1-4bykatherinemcintyre
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review 2018-03-21 16:22
Scrying for Summer (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #2) by Katherine McIntyre
Scrying for Summer (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #2) - Katherine McIntyre
Scrying for Summer is the second book in the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles, and we meet back up with the little powerhouse known as Jev, and the turncoat with soul, Liam. Brenna and Conor are out of town, and Liam doesn't know where else to turn. His friend is in trouble, with the same organisation Liam is trying to escape from. He asks for Jev's help, not realising the danger he would be asking her to face.
 
Liam shows a different side to himself in this book, one that Jev finds hard to resist. He is no longer the simple, one dimensional, turncoat she thought he was. Instead, she finds out more about his reasons for what he did, and also asks herself the question about what would she do in the same situation? Once she realises that the answer isn't as easy as she thought, as well as some wise words from Sam the Djinn, her view changes of Liam. He is busy fighting his attraction for Jev. He is a Hunter, and their lives are dangerous. However, no one tells Jev what she can or can't do, and her help with the situation regarding his mom breaks down some of the walls that Liam holds onto so tightly.
 
Whilst you don't have to read book one to enjoy this one, I would still recommend you do. You will get a much better picture of who Jev and Liam are, plus why they both feel the way they do at the beginning. This was an excellent addition to the series, and Katherine McIntyre continues with her fantastic world and character building. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, and I was thoroughly engrossed with the story from start to finish. Highly recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/philadelphiacovenchronicles1-4bykatherinemcintyre
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review 2018-03-21 16:17
Hunting for Spring (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #1) by Katherine McIntyre
Hunting for Spring (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #1) - Katherine McIntyre
Hunting for Spring is the first book in the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles and we have the world building that will enable us to read the rest of the series, knowing who is who and who does what. Hunter is a human Hunter - usually of the Fae - but he understands that just as not all humans are nice, not all Fae are 'bad'. Unfortunately, it's an opinion that is unpopular with his father and the man who was brought up as his brother. When he meets Brenna, he thinks she is a normal fae, which is also the opinion Brenna wants him to have as most people don't seem to think that highly of half-breeds. With Unseelie causing chaos and half-breeds disappearing Connor and Brenna work together to put things back to normal - or as normal as they possibly could be.
 
This was a great introduction to a new world, where casters and hunters work to the same end, without working together as much as possible. I have to say, whatever his reasons, Connor's dad was a first-class jerk, with Liam not far behind. I loved how Connor was, and am thankful he turned out that way! Brenna is a sweet and sassy character, fully capable of standing on her own two feet but also willing to stand back when necessary. There is also a bunch of characters I want to know more about, as well as this world as a whole.
 
This was an exciting read, with plenty of action and adventure. With smooth transitions from one scene to the next, there were also no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. The world building was on point, and all the characters had depth, with their own quirks and foibles. An excellent start to the series that leaves me wanting more. Absolutely recommended.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/philadelphiacovenchronicles1-4bykatherinemcintyre
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review 2018-03-06 16:57
A book that will enthrall fans of Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and people interested in XIX century true crime.
The Face of a Monster: America's Frankenstein - Patricia Earnest Suter

I was provided an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

Most of us have wondered more than once about the nature of fiction and the, sometimes, thin line separating reality from fiction. Although we assume that, on most occasions, fiction imitates reality, sometimes fiction can inspire reality (for better or for worse) and sometimes reality seems to imitate fiction (even if it is just a matter of perception). And although Slavoj Žižek and postmodernism might come to mind, none of those matters are new.

Suter’s non-fiction book combines three topics that are worthy of entire books (and some have been written about at length): Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Mary’s own life, and Anton Probst’s life and the murders he committed. Each chapter of the book alternates between the chronological (up to a point) stories of Shelley and Probst, and comparisons of the developments and events in the “life” (fictional, but nonetheless important) of Frankenstein’s creature. The author uses quotes and close- text-analysis of Frankenstein, and also interprets the text based on the biography of Shelley, to explain how the creature ended up becoming a monster. Although the novel is an early example of science-fiction/horror, many of the subjects it touched belong in literature at large. Nature versus nurture (is the creature bad because of the parts used to make him, or because nobody shows him care and affection?), science versus morality and religion (can knowledge be its own justification, or should there be something of a higher order limiting experiments), prejudice, mob mentality, revenge, loneliness and isolation…

Shelley’s life, marked by tragedy from the very beginning (her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died when Mary was only eleven days old) was dominated by men who never returned her affection and who were happy to blame her for any disasters that happened. She was part of a fascinating group, but, being a woman, she was never acknowledged and did not truly belong in the same circle, and it seems an example of poetic justice that her book has survived, and even overtaken in fame, the works of those men that seemed so important at the time (Lord Byron, Percy B. Shelley…).

I was familiar with Frankenstein and with the life of Mary Shelley and her mother (although I am not an expert) but had not heard about Probst. The author has done extensive research on the subject and provides detailed information about the life of the murderer, and, perhaps more interesting still, his trial and what happened after. That part of the book is invaluable to anybody interested in the development of crime detection in late XIX century America (his crimes took place in Philadelphia, although he was born in Germany), the nature of trials at the time, the history of the prison service, executions, the role of the press and the nature of true crime publications, and also in the state of medical science in that era and the popular experiments and demonstrations that abounded (anatomical dissections, phrenology, galvanism were all the rage, and using the bodies of those who had been punished with the death penalty for experiments was quite common). Human curiosity has always been spurred by the macabre, and then, as much as now, the spectacle of a being that seemed to have gone beyond the bounds of normal behaviour enthralled the public. People stole mementos from the scene of the crime, queued to see the bodies of the victims, and later to see parts of the murderer that were being exhibited. Some things seem to change little.

Each part of the book is well researched and well written (some of the events are mentioned more than once to elaborate a point but justifiably so) and its overall argument is a compelling one, although perhaps not one that will attract all readers. There are indeed parallels and curious similarities in the cases, although for some this might be due to the skill of the writer and might not be evident to somebody looking at Probst’s case in isolation. Even then, this does not diminish from the expertise of the author or from the engrossing topics she has chosen. This is a book that makes its readers think about fame, literature, creativity, family, imaginary and true monsters, crime, victims, and the way we talk and write about crime and criminals. Then and now.

I’d recommend this book to readers interested in Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s work and life, also to people interested in true crime, in particular, XIX century crime in the US. As a writer, I thought this book would be of great interest to writers researching crime enforcement and serial killers in XIX century America, emigration, and also the social history of the time. And if we feel complacent when we read about the behaviour of the experts and the common people when confronted with Probst and his murders, remember to look around you and you’ll see things haven’t changed that much.

The author also provides extensive notes at the end of the book, where she cites all her sources.

 

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