Review: The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore

The Impossible ContractAuthor: K.A. Doore
Series: The Chronicles of Ghadid #2
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: November 12th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

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

The Impossible Contract is the second novel in K.A. Doore’s Chronicles of Ghadid series. And it is just as bright and brilliant as the first novel – if not more so. Set in a fantasy world full of assassins, lose spirits, and magic, this series is one to spark your imagination.

Thana is the daughter of the Serpent, though she wants to become known for something more than her parentage. So when she is given the opportunity to take upon a contract of her own – her very first – she doesn’t even hesitate. Even though it is going to be the most difficult contract known to her guild.

One thing is for certain, whether she completes or fails this contract, she’s going to become a legend. And that is worth all the risk in the world to Thana. Now she can pave her own path and create a name for herself.

The Chronicles of Ghadid is described as being perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Sarah J. Maas, and S.A. Chakraborty. Being a particular fan of the latter, I can’t agree with this recommendation enough. It is a lush and brilliant world – one that gives ample time for us to fall in love with its characters.

 

“In the next few moments, they’d either become legends in her family’s history or cautionary tales of future. Despite the tension of the moment, she couldn’t help but feel a spark of jealousy. If they succeeded – and they would, they had to – all the credit would go to Amastan.”

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Review: Invocations

InvocationsAuthors: Lora Gray, Ray Cluley, Richard Strachan, David Annandale, Steven Sheil, Nick Kyme, Peter McLean, Jake Ozga, C. L. Werner, Justin D. Hill
Series: Warhammer Horror
Publisher: Games Workshop
Released: December 10th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: Kitty Rating

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

Invocations is a collection of short stories from the Warhammer universe. But there’s a slight twist. These are all specifically from the Horror side of the Warhammer world, and they all certainly fit the bill.

A bunch of different authors got together to make this collection what it is. And the end result is something truly chilling. Lora Gray, Ray Cluley, Richard Strachan, David Annandale (he actually wrote three), Steven Sheil, Nick Kyme, Peter McLean, Jake Ozga, C. L. Werner, Justin D. Hill all wrote short stories for this collection…and they are memorable ones, to put it mildly. Individual reviews of each short story can be found below.

I adored this collection of shorts. They were terrifying and bone-chilling. They were graphic when needed, or unafraid to rely on imaginations at times. In short, they were as varied as they were dark – which is saying something.

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Review: Sorry I Barfed On Your Bed Again

Sorry I barfed on your bed againPublisher: Andrews McMeel Publis
Author: Jeremy Greenberg
Photographer: Niklas Pivic
Released: April 2nd, 2013
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Sorry I Barfed On Your Bed Again through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed Again is a cute and hilarious compilation of cat photos and mock letters written by naughty (but endearing) cats and kittens. If you were a fan of Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoes, but were hoping for something a bit more cat-oriented, then this is the book for you.

This is a light and fun read, full of cat-related humor – the sort of things that a cat owner has to deal with on a regular basis. From cats vomiting on beds or clothing, to cats turning their nose up to a previously beloved dish. It’s all in there – along with some excuses from the cats themselves.

The imagery is what truly makes this book shine. The letters of excuse are funny, of course, but the images taken to go along with the letters? It sells the humor. The photographs range from cute to striking.

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed Again is a fun and endearing read, and would easily make a perfect gift for any cat lover in your life.

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Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Century
Released: August 8th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

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

The Family Upstairs is the latest thriller novel by Lisa Jewell, which means it’s going to do an excellent job of creeping you out. This thriller will make you question the people you know, and think twice before trusting anybody too closely ever again.

It all started with one house. First, it was one family, being kind enough to invite a guest in until she was back on her feet. Then more came. Twenty-five years later, the mystery of what happened to all of the family members or children still hasn’t been answered.

 

“She compromised on everything in the end to find a place that was close to her job and not too far from the train station. There was no gut instinct as she stepped across the threshold; her heart said nothing to her as the estate agent showed her around.”

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Review: The Monstrous Citadel by Mirah Bolender

The Monstrous CitadelAuthor: Mirah Bolender
Series: Chronicles of Amicae #2
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: November 5th, 2019
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

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

The Monstrous Citadel is the second novel in the Chronicles of Amicae series by Mirah Bolender. And I honestly can’t think of a series that has captivated me more through its fascinating world and set of characters.

Amicae is a city full of hubris, and it was nearly their downfall. In a world where infestations are commonplace, they believed themselves to be above it all. Until they were proven just how painfully wrong they were.

That was months ago. Now Laura and Okane are left to pick up the pieces and clean up the city. Following the events o the major disaster, you’d think that it would be easier to get aid from the city. But when it comes to politics, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Worse, there’s more than one city on the move with their political scheme. And while our beloved Sweepers are down a member, it seems like there are more players on the field than ever before.

 

“The friendly city of Amicae descended into chaos following a massive infestation. Amicae has long believed that infestations cannot penetrate their city walls, but these delusions were rudely swept away on November 5th by a damaged Put and ensuing swarm.”

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Review: The Killing Light by Myke Cole

The Killing LightAuthor: Myke Cole
Series: The Sacred Throne #3
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: November 12th, 2019
Received: ARC from Tor.com
Warnings: Graphic deaths and injuries
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Killing Light in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Killing Light is the third and final novel in Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne Trilogy. And as such, that means that there’s a lot that needs to be done within the pages. Heloise’s tale has been both thrilling and terrifying. And it’ll be bittersweet to see it come to an end.

Heloise has been steadily marching towards this moment, ever since her village was destroyed by one bitter and controlling man. And now that moment has finally come. Heloise and her assorted allies are going to attack the Imperial Capital and force a change from them.

Heloise is perhaps the most inspiring character I’ve read about in recent times. She’s been through so much, and yet she hardly even let those trials slow her down. And even when she was full of self-doubt, she just kept pushing herself forward. There’s a lot we can learn from her.

Her actions make her a Palantine, having killed a demon for the first time early on in the series. She’s stubborn and driven, and not at all content to follow the path her village had laid out for her.

 

“With both the villagers and the Traveling People looking to her lead, she hadn’t time to mourn. Like the conversation with Onas, it was a thing she would put off as long as she could.”

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Review: Dusk or Dawn or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Dusk or Dawn or Dawn or DayAuthor: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor
Released: January 10th, 2017
Received: Own
Warnings: Suicide
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Dusk or Dawn or Dawn or Day is a novella by Seanan McGuire, and if you’ve read any of her previous works, you’ll have a decent idea of what you’re in for. A lot of themes that have fascinated Seanan McGuire for years make an appearance here; ghosts, debts, love and loss. So much is woven into this single tale.

This is actually one I’ve been meaning to read for a while now, as her fan groups are constantly quoting it online. Halloween seemed like the right time of year to give it a try, so here I am.

Jenna has carried the weight of her loss and blame for decades. First, she lost her sister. Then, she lost herself. Now Jenna is trying to pay back that debt, while getting back the years her life should have had. Well, that was before a new danger came blowing through her town. And she’s not the type to overlook another’s pain. So naturally, Jenna got involved.

Jenna is perhaps the most honorable ghost I have ever read about. She’s got a very strong sense of right and wrong, and seems to sincerely want to do good, regardless of the cost to herself. And that’s the reason why she was stuck on this earth for as long as she was. Because she insisted on doing things the right way.

 

“These days, everyone wants to eat, but no one wants to take the time and care needed to coax the land into giving up its glories. People don’t change. We’re always selfish, and we’re always hungry. We’ve just gotten better at looking at greed and saying ‘Oh, that’s self-interest, that’s all right.’ We’ve forgotten the way the world ‘enough’ feels on the tongue.”

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Review: Fowl Language: Winging It

Fowl Language Winging ItPublisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Author: Brian Gordon
Released: October 22nd 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of Fowl Language: Winging It through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Fowl Language is a hilarious webcomic run by Brian Gordon – and this book celebrates some of the funniest moments in one nice compilation (one of several, actually). So if you’re a fan of the duck comics full of child-focused humor, then this book will be perfect for you.

Fowl Language: Winging It: The Art of Imperfect Parenting is everything fans could hope for. Some of the series best comics make an appearance here. Naturally, all of them have a focus on children or the comical side effects of having children. It’s a light and refreshing read, one that is sure to make parents all over the world chuckle (and even non-parents can enjoy it as well).

I especially loved the organization within this compilation. All of the single page comics were group together in a way that fit thematically. It really helped with the flow of the book, and possibly even added to the humor at points.

It’s amazing how much personality this series has managed to infuse into their ducks. Or how relatable so many of the comics are. I found myself laughing or groaning, depending on the subject. It was a delightful experience.

Fowl Language: Winging It is a perfect give for any fan of the comics, or for any parent you want to amuse. Especially if you feel that they could use a laugh in their life.

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Review: Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

Sisters of Shadow and LightAuthor: Sara B. Larson
Series: Sisters of Shadow and Light #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Released: November 5th, 2019
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Sisters of Shadow and Light through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sisters of Shadow and Light is the first novel in an all-new series by Sara B. Larson. It’s the tale of two sisters, and their very strange and unexpected lives. They’ve been abandoned, and worse, trapped within a citadel. That is, until everything takes a sudden change fifteen years in.

These sisters lived in a world in which Paladins used o be commonplace. They were the magical warriors set to protect them all. Until they disappeared. Now there are none. None, unless you count Inara, a half Paladin born with the light of the stars in her eyes.

Zuhra is a loyal and loving sister. For the past fifteen years, she’s loved her sister where their mother would not. She treasured her sister’s rare moments of lucidity. She also knew what her mother’s plans were for her, and what she believed to be her destiny.

Inara is only half-human. Her other half is Paladin, even if her mother would never truly admit that. Inara loves her gardens, and her sister. And she doesn’t seem troubled at all by her lack of maternal care.

 

“We were in the citadel, so we didn’t see the night sky, didn’t witness the pulse of darkness that obliterated all light – including the stars – at the moment my sister cried and turned her burning eyes on my mother for the first time.”

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Review: Night and Silence (October Daye #12) by Seanan McGuire

Night and SilencePublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 4th, 2018
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Night and Silence is the twelveth novel in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. And our girl is still getting herself into a whole new world of trouble. It’s both impressive and terrifying. But at least it makes for a good story for us all to read.

This novel, like so many previously, brings some of Toby’s story full circle. In this instance, she likely would have preferred to leave things well enough alone. You see, once again Toby faces a world in which her daughter has been abducted. Again. And this time around her daughter is wholly human, and not able to defend herself.

So it’s up to Toby to find her daughter and find her quickly. The real question is, who is behind it this time? We can only hope it was a human and not one of Toby’s many enemies. But we all know that it’s unlikely to be the case.

This novel also follows the tradition of the last few, including a novella at the end. This one is titled Suffer A Sea-Change, and can’t really be described without spoiling the conclusion for Night and Silence. So do make sure to read things in the correct order!

 

“You lost a great deal of blood.” “I didn’t lose it,” I said. “I know exactly where it is.” (Seanan McGuire, Night and Silence).

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