Review: Haphaven

Haphaven

Publisher: Lion Forge
Released: March 19th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

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

Haphaven is a graphic novel full of superstitions and rules. It’s one part fairy tale, and one part coming of age story. The series follows Alex as she grows up with superstitions, thanks to her father. Until one day she stepped on a crack and found herself on a desperate quest to undo the damage wrought.

This was an interesting series, on the whole. I originally became interested in it because of the artwork on the cover (which I promise you carries through the whole graphic novel). Though I’ll admit that the introduction was a bit off, and it took me longer than expected for me to get really into the story being told.

It was fun reading about all the different superstitions that Alex lived by. At first, we saw how difficult it would be; living in the modern world while driven to follow complex rules that may or may not be judged by society. Like feeling compelled to throw a stranger’s spilled salt over your shoulder during a family dinner…

It quickly becomes more fantastical though, as Alex rushes to save her mom after a sudden broken back – courtesy of the crack that Alex stepped all over. It gets a bit hectic and crazy from there, but the story hangs on to its cohesion and ultimately has an interesting point to make.

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Blog Tour: Prince of Secrets and Shadows

Blog Tour: Prince of Secrets and Shadows

Prince of Secrets and Shadows

Publication Date: December 4th, 2018
Genre: YA/ Historical Fiction/ Adventure/ Romance

2 Prince of Secrets and Shadows cover

“How do I know you’re telling me the truth?” The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him, but if I did not find a way to break free of him, I would risk doing even more harm.

Ferdy met my gaze with his. “I promise you this, Ella, that as of now, I will never lie to you again.” He leaned forward and kissed me again, and I stood there, letting him, desperately debating whether I could trust him or not. His promise burned through me, his words scorched into my being. It was so tempting to believe him, more tempting than anything else I had ever faced in all my life.

Freedom was only freedom if I could trust it to be true.

PRAGUE, 1870

After joining the Order of the Crystal Daggers, led by her dauntless grandmother, Lady Penelope, Eleanora Svobodová set out to save her kingdom from oncoming devastation.

And she failed.

Following the attack on Prague Castle, Eleanora is determined to redeem herself. She sets out to win Karl’s trust while distancing herself from Ferdy, whose secrets and lies have done nothing to stop her from falling in love with him. As she struggles to let him go, questions about the mission and her mother’s past cause a rift between Amir and Lady Penelope and add to the growing discord between Eleanora and her brother.

But when a cunning provocateur arrives in Prague, Eleanora discovers there is an even more deadly game afoot, one that reaches into Amir’s past and threatens Lady Penelope’s future. Now, the members of the Order must work together if they are to uncover the true enemy hiding in Bohemia.

Can they work together despite their divisions? Or will their division lead to even more destruction?

With spies, secrets, and suspense, Prince of Secrets and Shadows is the second book in The Order of the Crystal Daggers, a spy adventure series from C. S. Johnson.

Goodreads

Keep reading after the jump for more information, and a surprise!

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Review: Perfunctory Affection by Kim Harrison

Perfunctory Affection

Publisher: Subterranean Press
Author: Kim Harrison
Release: March 31st, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Phobias, anxiety, delusions
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Perfunctory Affection through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Perfunctory Affection is the newest novella from Kim Harrison. It explores the concepts of love, perfection, life, truth, and understanding. It’s a heavy but fascinating read, delving deep into anxiety, depression, and delusions.

This novella lands somewhere between a science fiction horror and an individual’s journey to understanding what’s happening to them. It has a touch of fantasy as well, which I personally appreciated.

This is nothing quite like any of Kim Harrison’s other works, and that’s okay. I enjoyed it anyway – though if I’m being entirely truthful her name being on the novella is the main reason why I became curious about it to begin with.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: The Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan

The Witchs Kind

Publisher: Redhook
Author: Louisa Morgan
Released: March 19th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Child loss
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of The Witch’s Kind through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Witch’s Kind is the latest novel by Louisa Morgan. It’s a light paranormal novel, with lots of lush details and a casual buildup. It’s very relaxing of a read, while still having plenty of interesting things going on in the world around the main characters. It’s described as being perfect for fans of Practical Magic, and having read the book, I couldn’t agree more.

Barrie Anne is a capable woman; she survived the war, has been left alone, and will not tolerate the idea of moving away. She’s content with what she has now. That contentment isn’t lost when an unexpected event changes everything for her. If anything, it gave her a new reason to fight.

This novel lightly touches on paranormal beings and events, but it reads very much like a women’s fiction novel. It’s introspective and empowering, and has a lot of heart to it. The paranormal events and creatures are discussed openly though, just with a casual ease of taking it all in stride.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

Never Contented Things

Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: Sarah Porter
Release: March 19th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Rape, Kidnappings
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Never-Contented Things through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

If I was giving out awards for beautiful book covers, you can bet that Never-Contented Things would be getting one. The cover is absolutely striking, and immediately gave me an impression of the sort of story that it would have.

Never-Contented Things was written by Sarah Porter, and it’s an interesting shift on the whole fae/changeling/human dynamic. That’s not to say that the typical hierarchy isn’t there, because it absolutely is. More that the perspective is different. Everything is from the human side, and it really makes you realize just how hard it could be to identify fae actions.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: The Prisoner by Sara Allyn

The Prisoner by Sara Allyn

Author: Sara Allyn
Released: August 29th 2018
Received: Review Request
Warnings: Kidnapping, Control concerns, Miscarriages
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of The Prisoner from Sara Allyn in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Prisoner is a novel that will make you think. It’ll make you question things we’ve taken for granted, while also wondering about the ethics of others. It’s got a little bit of everything, romance, alien planets, drama, political schemes, strong characters…you name it and it’s here.

The novel follows a human woman named Maria. And while it’s quite a long story, Maria suddenly finds herself on a new planet, Olrona. Here she comes up against many challenges, while also being a bit of a challenge herself. Still, Maria is not the type of character to give up, meaning that she’ll make a home for herself in this world. But that doesn’t mean she’ll just go about following orders.

Spoiler Warning

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52 Weeks of Literary Crafts: Captain Marvel Inspired Scarf

Captain Marvel Scarf

This week’s project is another scarf. I know, I have a million now. However, I haven’t made any based on my favorite comic book characters. With Captain Marvel (my favorite superhero) out in theaters, it seemed like a good time to make a scarf to sport her colors.

I kind of just winged it with the pattern for this scarf. Though I did use my loom again. The most important part for me was making sure that the two halves of the scarf looked even.

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The colors were simple to choose, red, yellow, and blue. I started with red, with the intent of making it a little less than a third of the full length. Then four rows of yellow, followed by two rows of blue, then another four rows of yellow. Then it was another large section, this time blue. I wanted the blue to be slightly larger than the red, but not by much. Then I just repeated that in reverse (4 gold, 2 blue, 4 gold, red segment).

For a quick project I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. I’ve been wearing it everywhere and I’ve been getting a ton of compliments on it. Though to be honest I don’t think most people realized I was wearing Captain Marvel colors. But that’s okay.

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Review: Lumberjanes Original Graphic Novel: The Infernal Compass

Lumberjanes Infernal Compass

Publisher: Boom! Box
Release: October 23rd 2018
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

The Infernal Compass is set in the same world of the Lumberjanes, but separate from the ongoing plot of the series itself. It was created by Lilah Sturges (Everafter, Thor: Worthy Origins, The Magicians) and Polterink.

What’s interesting about the binding of The Infernal Compass (and a couple of the other Lumberjanes stories) is that it is in hardback, and on the whole probably smaller than a single graphic novel. However, where the graphic novel may have several plots and issues, the Infernal Compass is all one plot.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Infinity Countdown

Infinity Countdown

Publisher: Marvel
Released: September 25th 2018
Received: Read as single issues
Issues: Infinity Countdown Prime, Infinity Countdown 1-5, Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

With the Infinity Wars looming ever closer (okay, they were already on the third issue of it by the time I read all of this, but you know what I mean) it’s time to start setting up for everything that will happen. At first I didn’t think this would end up being a bigger event than Civil War II was, but I ended up being very wrong about that. Or at least that’s how it’s looking right now.

Infinity Countdown consists of Infinity Countdown Prime, Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock, and Infinity Countdown 1-5. There are more infinity countdown issues and series, so it takes a bit of effort to keep track of them all. A bunch of series/characters get a tie-in issue as well. Let’s see if I can remember them all: Daredevil, Champions (they get two), Darkhawk (he gets four, all of which are bundled into their own graphic novel), Black Widow, and Captain Marvel. All but Darkhawk are bundled into the Infinity Countdown Companion.

I don’t think you actually have to read Infinity Countdown to understand the events of Infinity Wars, but it’ll set up a lot of information that may or may not be useful. If nothing else it’ll explain the context of a lot of things.

 

Spoiler Warning

 

There are a few main plots running along at the same time in this volume, though obviously there’s the implication that they’ll all get tied together in the end. Prime is its own focus, as is Adam Warlock. The five issues of the Countdown are more tied together, though they jump between multiple characters and events.

The biggest thing to make note of; the infinity stones are back, but they’re not quite what they used to be. There are reasons for it, but not all of the characters know or understand it. What they/we know is that each of the six stones ended up with a different character. I won’t tell you who gets what stone, because I’m not sure how big of a spoiler that will be considered down the line.

There are so many characters in this volume it’s almost overwhelming. Obviously you know that Warlock is in it, but there’s also the Guardians of the Galaxy, Richard Rider and the rest of the Nova Corps (some new ones even get names!), Ant-Man (who was part of the Guardians of the Galaxy at this point in time), Silver Surfer, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, The Collector, The Grand Master, Galactus, and a bunch of characters that I’m surely forgetting.

There’s a lot to follow here, as the explain what has been happening with each of the stones. Different characters unsurprisingly care more about specific stones, and so on. The most notable (and sympathetic, to a certain extent) is Gamora’s obsession with the soul stone. I get why she wants it, I really do. But there’s got to be a line, and she doesn’t seem to care. Even when everybody else backs off on the matter….she just won’t.

I’ll admit that I had missed the last few issues in this countdown. However despite that I started reading Infinity Wars as it released anyway. To be honest? I didn’t have any trouble following what was happening. It was all pretty intuitive, especially if you’ve been keeping up with even one of the main character arcs. So it’s your call on if you want to read this one or not.

 

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Review: The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez

The Tesla Legacy

Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: K.K. Perez
Release: March 12th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of The Tesla Legacy through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Tesla Legacy is the debut novel of K.K. Perez. The title will probably give you a bit of an idea of what is in store, which is something I love about it. The novel follows young Lucy Phelps as the unbelievable happens to her. Lucy finds herself in a mystery of epic proportions, and she’s at the center of it all.

This novel is a young adult novel, but it’s also very satisfyingly a science fiction novel. It’s fast-paced, quirky, and a lot of fun to read. Lucy’s character is charismatic and stubborn, not to mention driven.

One of the best parts about this novel is the positivity it shows towards STEM. Lucy is a brilliant scientist, and while she’s young, she’s never discouraged from her passions. Not in any professional manner, at least. It’s heartening to see.

Spoiler Warning

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