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review 2018-06-01 00:00
Balam, Spring
Balam, Spring - Travis M. Riddle Balam, Spring - Travis M. Riddle I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This was a really enjoyable read. It's set in a small town so it makes for a nice break from sprawling epic fantasies. In fact, I was actually starting to be afraid I was going to burnout on fantasy so reading something smaller, more personal, and more mystery driven was just what I needed.

The book centers around the small town of Balam where a mysterious epidemic is killing the town's residents. It started when the town's previous white mage died and continued as a retired mercenary, Ryckert aids the new white maage Aava in resolving this mystery. Along the way, the book also shows several of the other characters in the town as they try to process what was going on.

In some novels which center around a mystery, I have to admit (to my shame), that I would often glance at the ending so as to not be surprised. I didn't do that here. Instead, I kept reading to find out what happened. To say the least, the cause was actually something both beautiful, tragic, and outright terrible. There were tears shed near the ending, and there are some scenes which I found to be beautiful and poignant.

The characters here feel real in both their personalities, their relationships, and their lives. There are characters who are straight, bisexual, gay, and lesbian and each of them feel real and seamlessly integrated into the world. Their relationships are both beautiful and sad, or even ugly. There are familial relationships, friendly relationships, and romantic relationships, and each of them were depicted beautifully.

I enjoyed the small town setting. As someone who has lived in a city her entire life, I found it to be very charming, a kind of quiet setting, and a very good break from world-changing stories. A small town's struggle in the face of an unknown epidemic made for a compelling story which I really liked.

I highly recommend this book. It's nicely paced, more slice-of-life than epic, but contains a poignant story which I think anyone can enjoy.
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photo 2018-04-14 13:19

Spring has finally come! And with it spring winds, as you can see when you look at my hair (if you dare!) ;)

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review 2018-04-11 17:20
The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring - Mary Balogh

The Temporary Wife was originally published in 1997 and A Promise of Spring in 1990 and while she has improved as a writer, I found this duet quite a good read.

A Temporary Wife: Charity Duncan wants to help her brother support their other siblings by working as a governess but the last place she worked she was thrown out of for defending a maid from the man of the house. When Lord Anthony Earheart offers her marriage instead and a rather large stipend afterwards for annoying his father by her very presence she agrees. But then love gets in the way of the plotting and I was drawn in and couldn't put it down.

A Promise of Spring is the story of Grace Howard and the younger (!) Sir Peregrine Lampman who rescues her when her brother dies and leaves her without a future. She has secrets in her past that could come back to haunt her and an ex-lover who won't take no for an answer may spoil her chances at happiness.

Both were fun, light reads.

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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. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/philadelphiacovenchronicles1-4bykatherinemcintyre
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review 2018-03-21 12:00
Endymion Spring
Endymion Spring - Matthew Skelton

I think I bought this off a bargain book table sometime around 2007. I’d never heard of it or the author before or since. I’d say it’s more Middle Grade than YA, though it’s a bit slow and uneventful for a MG audience. Blake, the main character, is bland and not at all memorable. His little sister, nicknamed Duck (I actually can’t remember if anyone ever says her real name) is less bland and unmemorable, but she’s also kind of (really) insufferable. Oxford and the Bodleian Library make for an interesting setting, and the parts of the story set in the 1400s make a decent short story by themselves, but the novel as a whole is unremarkable. The writing isn’t bad (brief, random, sudden POV shifts notwithstanding), and it’s mildly entertaining. It’s a quick, easy read, but not one I can recommend with any amount of enthusiasm.

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