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review 2016-06-25 08:00
A Taste Of Death And Honey
A Taste of Death and Honey - Sharon Bayliss

A Taste of Death and Honey is the third book following the Vandergraffs in the December people series, which I've been following from the start. I've also seen its transformation of a rather mundane story in the first book, Destruction, to much more action in the last two books. One thing remains the same, it still feels rather slow, even with everything that is happening. For me, this is not a problem at all and I like the change from the things I usually read.

 

Samantha, who has now lost her parents and her dearest friend, is looking for the murderer of the latter and ends up back in Housten, where she will, unintentionally put a lot of people in mortal danger. Not so good, for a spring witch now, is she...

 

I spent the whole first part of the book trying to remember an Imogene, but I figured later that I probably wasn't supposed to remember her. This in the beginning caused some troubles as I couldn't really concentrate on what was going on, with them constantly mentioning Imogene. After things were cleared, this was no longer a problem though and it actually made for a rather fast read, also because I was curious to find how these things work.

 

What I liked to see, I'll try to explain it spoiler free, was that more than in the other books, you get to see that since they are winter witches, they actually are dark witches, and would be considered 'bad'. Not stereotypically in all their actions but in some of the decisions they make. One striking example (though not one of the more subtle ones) is when Evangeline tells Amanda she's been waiting for someone to try her new killing curse on, and this doesn't result in the reprimand that I would find very normal in this situation.

 

I did have some concerns with the magic system though. With the witches divided into the different seasons, now it was possible for them to perform certain spells that were not for their season. I don't remember completely how this worked in the earlier books, but why make the division if they still can do it all?

 

The good news is: at the end Sharon Bayliss announces that there will be a fourth book (and luckily, because it ends with quite the twist!). The bad news is that we'll have to wait for more than a year still to get it!

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.

 

They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).

 

I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!

 

I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.

 

Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.

 

Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).

 

You can find more information on this event here.

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review 2015-05-19 07:52
Watch Me Burn
Watch Me Burn: The December People, Book Two - Sharon Bayliss

Last year I read and liked Destruction, the first book in this series. And this book is in many aspects not unlike the other book. Life is falling even more apart for David in this second book, now that he no longer has any contact with his eldest son and still tries to figure out exactly who he is. Things are about to get worse when he feels he has to help a missing girl, a summer witch at that. It's almost unnatural, almost like magic is making him do this. But is it?

 

Like I said about the first novel. The magic part isn't really that big, the characters are just normal people with their own flaws. And although some things are a bit weird, I really quite enjoyed it. Different from the first book, I got the feeling this book really had a plot instead of just telling us about David and his family. This book focusses on the search for a missing girl and the impact it has on the entire household.

 

What I particularly like was that we got to see more of the rules of magic. They are still not completely clear, but there was a lot more dynamics between the summer and winter wizards and all they stand for. I hope we get to see even more of that in the next book.

 

I repeat, I don't think this is a book that everyone will like. Not that much happen, the characters don't always do the things they should do (but then again, who does?) and the magic isn't always useful, but if you like that kind of thing - like I do - you'll find this book enjoyable and I would recommend it.

 

Watch Me Burn is the second instalment in the December People series. The first book is Destruction.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2015-01-01 16:28
TBR Thursday #21
Watch Me Burn: The December People, Book Two - Sharon Bayliss
Waistcoats & Weaponry - Gail Carriger
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
The Merit Birds - Kelley Powell
Portal 24 - Meredith Stroud

Moonlight Reader started the TBR Thursday, and I think it's a good way to a) show what new books I've got and b) confront myself with my inability to lower my TBR. In fact, since I started recording it, it has risen significantly. I get the feeling I'm doing something wrong here...

 

2015 has only just started and here are again some new books. In my defence, these were received (all but one) last year. So I hope my TBR will be lower at the end of the year. Reading has been fine, I've almost finished my first book of 2015 (another 20 pages) and I'm about to read The Master And Margarita as annual Russian classic on one of my book forums. (I hope I'll enjoy it more than Anna Karenina, that one really was a bitch)...

 

TBR pile currently stands at 263. (+1)

(Netgalley ARCs at 100 (+4))

 

I was eagerly awaiting the publishing of Watch Me Burn, the second book in The December People series, when I received an ARC. I really enjoyed the first book, though it's no ordinary kind of urban fantasy. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

 

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) and Wolf Hall were Christmas presents, both of which I'd added to a list of books I didn't have yet but would like to (my aunt can then choose from a number of books).

 

The Merit Birds has a wonderful cover and Portal 24 sounded interesting so I added these two ARCs as well.

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review 2014-07-20 05:13
Review: Destruction by Sharon Bayliss
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Curiosity Quills!

 

This will probably be a short review because the book just wasn’t that good. My first annoyance with it was actually the blurb. It gives away so many big plot points. I mean, who writes these things? It tells me the entire arc of the story almost, guess I didn’t need to read the book after all.

 

I was highly annoyed with the magic in this book too. I hate it when books don’t give magic any consequences, it’s jut there to fix all your problems. The book claims that doing magic can make you deranged and evil, but the main characters seem to have no problem whipping out complex magic when it suits them…and seem to suffer no ill effects or other consequences. For example, fiddling around in someone’s brain? Well it was for their own good, so no consequences. The only possible consequence is that the person doing the meddling now had to remember all those bad memories they were erasing, oh the horror! End snark.

 

David was a fairly likeable character until he started excusing a rape (he’s a dark wizard, can’t help it) and then perving on a 17 year old (but she’s a fertility witch, he couldn’t help it!). Notice a pattern here? It is always the magic’s fault, not the character’s.

 

In the end, I didn’t care for this book. It was a fairly good idea but not executed very well. The characters were marginal but not unlikeable. The magic was poorly executed and seemed completely secondary to the story. I won’t be continuing with this series.

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