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review 2017-02-21 19:31
Seriously Shifted
Seriously Shifted - Tina Connolly

I really love the premise of this series! In the world of Seriously Shifted, witches are not good. Not all of them are evil, but there is a defined since of superiority that allows them to live by rules of their own. But Camellia is determined to change that. Her mother is on the borderline between good and bad, mostly bad, but Cam wants more than that for herself. And she is learning that there s a fine line sometimes between good and evil. And that is the underlying message of the novel.


The adventures in this book really force Cam to think about what it means to be a good witch. How far is too far to go in the name of "helping" someone? Do the ends justify the means? And then there is the whole pesky concept of free will. The book is quirky and mostly light-hearted, but it asks some important questions.


Overall: I really enjoy this series. It is a lot more light-hearted than I usually read, but it's fun. It's a YA novel, but it reads more like a middle-grade.

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12615
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review 2017-02-02 21:59
Seriously Wicked
Seriously Wicked - Tina Connolly

I ran across Seriously Wicked on the e-library site for my local Army library and fell in love with the cover. But they didn't own the book. I recommended it, and the next in the series, for purchase and, much to my delight, the library purchased both of them.


It is a quirky, quirky novel, which is something I appreciated! Camellia Hendrix is not your normal 15 year old high school girl. Instead, she is the apprentice/slave to Sarmine, whom she refers to only as "the witch." How she came to be under the control of Sarmine is sketchy at best and doesn't help the already rocky relationship between the two. To say that the witch is not maternal would be a vast understatement. Her idea of punishment is to turn Cam's hand into noodles, wrap her in vines, turn into a statue, and much worse. Clearly a case for child protective services, but the witch insists the punishments teach lessons and are character-building. Cam's best friend is quirky in her own way, smart and accepting of Cam's secrets. And then there is Devon, whose character went through all kinds of mayhem.


The characters, even if you hated them, were interesting and well-developed. Because the novel was fairly short, each one of the characters played a significant role in the story. Kelvin, Jenah, even her teacher... each one of them was significant to the plot. Cam's character was fantastic, a strong female personality without any of the emo-angst I hate. Instead, she met diversity with a smile and a quip. She adapted to her circumstances and found a way to make the best of it. I loved the fact that no matter how much she was oppressed, and she was, she still made it her mission to protect others. And there were plenty of unexpected moments along the way.


Overall: The book is marketed as a YA novel, but although I enjoyed it, I felt like the tone of it was a probably bit younger than that. Seriously Wicked is fun, light-hearted, and quirky read full of witches and magic.

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12557
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review 2015-06-20 15:39
Seriously Wicked
Seriously Wicked - Tina Connolly

At some point I had a Twitter conversation about the lack of light, fun fantasy books. This one is just that–a girl who’s been raised by a wicked witch and has to stop her from taking over the world. It’s funny, and I loved Camellia, the main character. There’s also a sweet romance and a great best friend relationship. Very enjoyable!

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/48hbc-friday-evening
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review 2015-01-19 16:28
Review of Ironskin (Jane Eyre meets the Fae)
Ironskin - Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly is a story taking place in maybe the 1920’s after the Great War. In this book the Great War was an awful war – decades before the Fae had come and given their technology to humans in exchange for stopping the industrial revolution and the pollution that came along with it. But people are people and the Fae are the Fae so it should come as no surprise when the Fae begin to terrorize the people. Jane Eliot our leading heroine has been greatly affected by the war, during the war she was greatly scarred and left with this never ending rage. To protect herself and others she now wears an iron mask which covers half her face. Jane is living in a challenging time where beauty is everything and the men are returning from the Great War which means Jane is having trouble keeping employment and not being a burden. These circumstances takes Jane to the country and the house of Edward Rochert who seeks a governess for his daughter who has also been touched by the Fae. However this job is far more than Jane initially bargained for.


I am not really sure what I think of this book - while I enjoyed it there were parts for me that were left lacking. I loved the concepts – Jane Eyre meets The Man in the Iron Mask. People are not what they seem, combined with a coming of age story – not so much coming into adulthood but coming into ones self. I read Jane Eyre years ago and that was a book I loved – and while I never read The Man with the Iron Mask I did watch the movie and this I think was part of the challenge of why I felt something was missing. Watching Jane Eyre fall in love was both heartbreaking and touching – watching Jane Eliot fall in love well I kind of missed it as in I am not sure why she loved him.

Ok so for the purposes of this review I am going to push these two classics aside and try to just focus on the story. The things I loved was the world building – Connolly did an awesome job creating this alterative universe where humans depended on the fae for the technology and how that dependence came back to bite them with vengeance – never trust the Fae! I also loved the writing or they style of writing. I think when I go on to the next book I may switch to an audiobook as I loved the choice of words and flow of her writing if that makes sense. I also really liked that beauty was a theme – there is also a mystery around women, who enter Rochert’s closed studio and why was Dorie (the young child) so taken with pretty ladies – is this a sign of the Fae?  Finally I liked the characters Jane is a bit of a cold fish but she has this inner fire which made her a complex and interesting heroine. I also liked the side characters like crazy Dorie and Poe.


Some of the challenges of this story was the actual pacing and plot twists, often it felt unfinished ad awkward. For example we get flashbacks but these flashbacks are not all that different instead it is a retelling of the same event with deeper meaning each time written in different ways – which for me makes they story drag. I did not feel like I gained any additional insight. Then there were other parts when I desperately wanted to know more and I think many of those sections could have had more detail. My final grip is really a comparison between this book and Jane Eyre – in Jane Eyre there is this kind of twisted magic between Jane and Mr. Rochester  but in this version it fell short I never understood why Jane and Mr. Rochart were even attracted to each other.



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review 2015-01-13 18:20
Silverblind by Tina Connolly
Silverblind - Tina Connolly

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)


“Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.


While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who’s about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn’t spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can’t bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.


The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?”


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