Review: Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan

Turning Darkness Into LightPublisher: Tor Books
Author: Marie Brennan
Release: August 20th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Turning Darkness Into Light through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Turning Darkness Into Light is the latest novel from Marie Brennan, and it’s set in the world of her other novel, Memoirs of Lady Trent. That being said, you honestly don’t have to have read the other one first in order to understand what is happening. I didn’t and was fine. Though I’m sure I missed out on plenty of references that fans would have loved.

Turning Darkness into Light follows Isabella Camherst’s granddaughter, Audrey Camherst. Her goal is to translate and understand ancient Draconean texts – and she’s quite good at it too. Unfortunately, her work goes deeper than expected, and before long she’s in for a journey of her life.

This novel has to be one of the most unique things I’ve read as of late. You see, this novel isn’t quite like any other. At least, not quite like what you normally see in the world of fantasy. In the world of history it’s probably a lot more common.

Turning Darkness Into Light is told entirely through the use of letters, newspaper clippings, journal entries, and other unique media formats. It’s quite clever, how Marie Brennan was able to weave a story through these pieces as she did.

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Review: Harry Potter: A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy

Harry Potter A Journey Through Divination & AstronomyPublisher: Pottermore
Authors: Pottermore
Original Concept: J.K. Rowling
Released: July 25th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy is the third ebook in a series of four coming out this summer, all focusing on the real-life and historical elements behind the world of Harry Potter.

Before I start my review, I want to be a bit clear about this series. I’ve been seeing a lot of people confused online, so I feel this is important to note; these are not Harry Potter ebooks, nor were they actually written by J.K. Rowling. They were written by Pottermore, and inspired by the History of Magic novel that came out.

Each ebook in the series takes one or two school subjects taught at Hogwarts, and then focuses on the past and influences that J.K. Rowling pulled from in order to enrich her world. This series is perfect for anyone that wants a starting point for research. But it may not be in depth enough for those seeking a lot of details about these influences.

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Review: Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews

Publisher: Avon
Author: Ilona Andrews (aka Ilona and Andrew Gordon)
Release: August 27th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Sapphire Flames through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sapphire Flames is the fourth novel in the Hidden Legacy series, but it doesn’t follow Nevada anymore. Instead it follows her younger sister, Catalina. Like Nevada, Catalina is an amazing investigator, one with unique abilities. Unlike Nevada, Catalina is afraid of her powers. She doesn’t trust herself with them, and one can hardly blame her for that.

Also like Nevada, Catalina has a way of taking on cases that are significantly more dangerous than they first appear. In this case, it’s a house war with so much at stake. To make matters worse, House Baylor’s three year period is almost over, making the family fair game for attacks. It’s a lot for any one family, or person, to handle.

Before starting Sapphire Flames, make sure to read the novella Diamond Fire. This is the first piece written in Catalina’s perspective, and it really sets the scene for the rest of her series. Plus it’s fine, so why would you want to miss out on that?

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Review: Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk

NottinghamPublisher: Forge Books
Author: Nathan Makaryk
Release: August 6th, 2019
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Nottingham through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Have you ever looked at the tale of Robin Hood and just wished there was more to it? More depth, more history, more everything? That’s what Nathan Makaryk did, and the end result was Nottingham.

Nottingham blends historical facts and the tale of Robin Hood and turns it into something so much bigger. It’s still the tale we know and love – but it’s been changed into something much, much bigger. It’s almost not even recognizable, thanks to the new depth.

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Review: Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and Herbology

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and HerbologyPublisher: Pottermore
Authors: Pottermore
Original Concept: J.K. Rowling
Released: June 27th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and Herbology ebook in a series of four coming out this summer, all focusing on the real-life and historical elements behind the world of Harry Potter.

Before I start my review, I want to be a bit clear about this series. I’ve been seeing a lot of people confused online, so I feel this is important to note; these are not Harry Potter ebooks, nor were they actually written by J.K. Rowling. They were written by Pottermore, and inspired by the History of Magic novel that came out.

Each ebook in the series takes one or two school subjects taught at Hogwarts, and then focuses on the past and influences that J.K. Rowling pulled from in order to enrich her world. This series is perfect for anyone that wants a starting point for research. But it may not be in depth enough for those seeking a lot of details about these influences.

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Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and SorrowsPublisher: Delacourte
Author: Erin A. Craig
Release: August 6th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Suicide, Infant death
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of House of Salt and Sorrows through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

House of Salt and Sorrows is the debut novel of Erin A. Craig, but don’t let that reduce your expectations any. House of Salt and Sorrows is a deeply complex and emotional piece of work – one that’ll chill you to your bones.

House of Salt and Sorrows is a retelling – yet another in a huge list following this trend. But it stands out for me, turning itself into something wholly new and different. Here it follows the tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, though you might know it by another name (it goes by many).

This novel follows Annaleigh Thaumas, one of the Thaumas dozen. Well, one of the ones that are left, at least. If you believe the townsfolk, she and her sisters are cursed – though nobody quite knows why. Annaleigh is determined to find the cause of her sisters’ deaths, before she loses any more of the ones she loves. But what will she dig up in the process?

House of Salt and Sorrow blends young adult with fantasy, adding a dash of a thriller element for good measure. It’s a perfect balance of the three, and held my attention from start to finish.

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Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

DragonslayerPublisher: Tor Books
Author: Duncan M. Hamilton
Released: July 2nd, 2019
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Dragonslayer through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is one of those rare times when you can judge a book by its cover. Dragonslayer is everything you would expect, upon seeing an angry looking dragon on a dramatic book cover. It’s a perfect example of an epic fantasy, with the journey just beginning.

Dragonslayer is the first novel in a new series of the same name by Duncan M. Hamilton. As you can guess, from both the cover and the title, this book is about hunting a great dragon. But there’s more to it than that, naturally. The real highlights of this novel are the characters.

This series follows Guillot dal Villevauvais, aka Gill, as well as several others, on their quest to deal with the big bad dragon of the world. Gill is a classic fantasy character. He’s been through his fair share of hardships, but he’ll always step up and do the right thing when he’s needed.

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Review: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

An Artificial NightPublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 7th, 2010
Received: Own
Warnings: Kidnapping, magical torture/transformation
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

An Artificial Night is the third novel in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. And it’s quickly becoming my favorite fae series out there. And I’m a bit of a fae snob, so I feel like that is actually saying something.

In this novel, Toby comes up against a foe much larger than herself. But it’s a fight she can’t turn away from. When children’s games and rhymes have power, you know you’re well into the world of the fae. But is Toby ready for this?

I actually kind of hate myself for not getting into this series sooner. This series has been amazing! And there’s another novel coming out this fall. With any luck I’m going to read the whole series in time to get to the newest!

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Review: Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark ArtsPublisher: Pottermore
Authors: Pottermore
Original Concept: J.K. Rowling
Released: June 27th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts is the first ebook in a series of four coming out this summer, all focusing on the real-life and historical elements behind the world of Harry Potter.

Before I start my review, I want to be a bit clear about this series. I’ve been seeing a lot of people confused online, so I feel this is important to note; these are not Harry Potter ebooks, nor were they actually written by J.K. Rowling. They were written by Pottermore, and inspired by the History of Magic novel that came out.

Each ebook in the series takes one or two school subjects taught at Hogwarts, and then focuses on the past and influences that J.K. Rowling pulled from in order to enrich her world. This series is perfect for anyone that wants a starting point for research. But it may not be in depth enough for those seeking a lot of details about these influences.

Continue reading

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Review: Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin

Nightflyers

Publisher: Tor Books
Author: George R.R. Martin
Released: 1985
Received: Own
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

Nightflyers is a novella written by George R.R. Martin back in 1985. It’s recently been getting a lot more attention though, because of the Syfy TV series that was made. Out of curiosity, I watched the whole first season (which now sounds like it’ll be the only season) and then read the novella.

First of all, I can tell you that they changed a ton between the two. But I’m not here to review all the changes, so I’m going to do my very best not to ramble on about that. Promise. Honestly though, I think my biggest surprise about the decision making was that they wanted multiple seasons out of a novella – at that point we’re guaranteed for them to go off the rails.

Nightflyers is dark science fiction, set in a far future when humanity has taken to the stars. It’s got a strong foundation to work with, plus it had George R.R. Martin writing it. So it had a lot going for it, on the whole.

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