Review: One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

One Salt SeaPublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 6th, 2011
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

One Salt Sea is the fifth novel in the October Date series by Seanan McGuire. Frankly, you’d think we’d be surprised by how much trouble Tony can get herself into. But like her squire, us fans have gotten used to it all.

This novel brings Toby’s world at the brink of a war, with the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist aching for a battle against the Mists due to their missing children. And Toby seems to be the only one keen on preventing the war from happening.

Apparently, a race like the fae don’t fear battles and the inevitable death that comes from them – even though they tend to avoid talking about death at all costs. They should consider themselves lucky that there is a knight willing to do what it takes to try to stop the war from happening.

 

“Sometimes I think it’s a miracle Faerie can function at all, since we seem to be constantly in denial about how our society works.” (Seanan McGuire, One Salt Sea).

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Review: The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13) by Seanan McGuire

The Unkindest TidePublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 3rd, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

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

The Unkindest Tide is the thirteenth novel in the October Daye series, and once again we find Toby up to her neck in trouble. What a shock, we know. At least this time we know it’s because Toby is keeping a promise, instead of just having a talent for causing trouble.

The Luidaeg has called in Toby’s debt. It’s time for the Selkies to pay their debts. Generations ago, their forefathers slaughtered the children of Luidaeg. Now it’s time for the final price of that slaughter to be paid. And October is needed to see things through to the end.

This novel also includes an all-new novella, titled Hope is Swift. And it follows the one and only Raj. Here we see what he’s been up to, while his uncle and Toby were busy dealing with the Selkies.

 

“My family tree has a lot of thorns, and a tendency to draw blood.” (Seanan McGuire, The Unkindest Tide)

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Review: Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Bloodlust & Bonnets

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Author: Emily McGovern
Artist: Emily McGovern
Release: September 17th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Bloodlust & Bonnets through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Have you ever seen those comics floating around online, the ones titled My Life As a Background Slytherin? Well, Emily McGovern is the brain and artist behind that series, and she’s just about to release her first graphic novel!

If you’re a fan of the humor within her webcomics, then I assure you that you’ll enjoy Bloodlust & Bonnets. The humor is spot on for what I expected from Emily McGovern – a cross between whimsical and insane.

Bloodlust & Bonnets is a fun twist on classic Romantic literature…with vampires. But that’s part of what makes it so much fun! The graphic novel is set in 1800s in Britain. But nothing is quite as it seems, or that you would expect.

If you’re looking for a series that contains British humor, hilarious and sometimes inane moments, vampire hunting, quirky characters, and characters not sure about their sexuality, then Bloodlust & Bonnets is the tale for you.

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Review: The Howling Twenties by Fennel Steuert

The Howling TwentiesAuthor: Fennel Steuert
Release: December 18th, 2018
Received: Review Request
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Howling Twenties in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Howling Twenties is the follow-up novel to Late Night Partners by Fennel Steuert. So if you read that novel and enjoyed it, I strongly encourage you to continue the series. Both novels are perfect for fans of vampire lore looking for a unique telling.

Doris, Gesine, and Roger are back for more in The Howling Twenties. It would appear that the threat hasn’t been fully dealt with…and that isn’t a surprise to any of these characters. Least of all, Doris. She’s used to seeing everything turn back around.

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Review: Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures

Harry Potter A Journey Through Care of Magical CreaturesPublisher: Pottermore Publishing
Author: Pottermore & J.K. Rowling
Released: August 22nd, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures is the fourth and final ebook in a series that Pottermore has released this summer. Like the first three, this novella focuses on 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 know that there hasn’t been a lot of hype about the series, and I think that also resulted in some confusion for what these ebooks are. These ebooks were not written by J.K. Rowling (but they were inspired by her works, which is why she is included as an author). They were written by the staff at Pottermore, and were inspired by the History of Magic novel that came out.

Each ebook in this series has taken one or two subjects known to be taught at Hogwarts and put a direct focus on them. Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures is unique in that it’s the only one that focuses on a single subject. But given how many amazing creatures there are, and the increase in popularity thanks to the Fantastic Beasts franchise, this actually makes quite a lot of sense.

I will say that this novella doesn’t do a deep dive into any one creature or subject. But it is a fun starting point for many. Maybe it’ll inspire readers to do more research on their own.

This ebook is broken into six main sections, each with a different focus of creatures (real or magical). The magical creatures sections explore all of the lore and historical influence on the creatures that J.K. Rowling so charmingly brought to life. Everything from unicorns to trolls and giants. It was interesting to see her works put in different contexts like this.

The final segment of the ebook focused entirely on bestiaries; books that solely talk about beasts. Much like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was fascinating to see the historical references here and let’s not forget the number of mythical creatures that made it into these real books. Newt would have been proud.

On the whole, Harry Potter: A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures was a fun and fascinating read. I certainly wouldn’t have complained had it been a little longer – giving more attention and focus to each of the creatures mentioned. But it is a good starting point if nothing else.

As mentioned above, this ebook is the last one in a series. I’m actually a bit sad to see the series end – and hope to see other renditions of it at some point in the future. In the meantime, feel free to go check out the other three ebooks: Harry Potter: A Journey Through Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry Potter: A Journey Through Potions and Herbology, and Harry Potter: A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy.

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Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave BackPublisher: Wednesday Books
Author: Adrienne Young
Released: September 3rd, 2019
Received: Goodreads Giveaway
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of The Girl the Sea Gave Back through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the sequel to the massively popular Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. That being said, so far either novel could be read as a standalone. So if you haven’t read Sky in the Deep, but want to jump right into The Girl the Sea Gave Back, you can do so with little issue. You’ll just miss out on some of the world-building and character references.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back follows young Tova, a Truthtongue separated from her clan, living amongst the Svell. The Svell fear and hate her, but are more than willing to use her ability to read runes to predict their futures. That is, until everything changes.

I’ll confess, even if I hadn’t read Sky in the Deep, I would have wanted to read The Girl the Sea Gave Back. The cover alone was enough to grab my attention, all but screaming ‘read me! Read me!’ as I was browsing. And I know I can’t be the only one that felt that way.

I will say that the two novels did have a very different feel, despite the fact that they’re both set in the same world. So I would suggest that fans alter their expectations before picking up this novel; you’ll enjoy it a lot more than way. At least, I hope you will.

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Review: Silverlegs 1: Seed of Rage by Camilla Monk

SilverlegsPublisher: Yaypub
Author: Camilla Monk
Released: August 27th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Rape, torture, kidnapping, forced soldiers
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

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

Silverlegs is the first novel in the Seed of Rage series by Camilla Monk. The series is mostly fantasy, but with some darker elements woven into the mix. In short, it’s a grimdark tale. It’s perfect for fans looking for something that’ll give them chills and strong emotions.

It’s a dark and violent world that Constanter has grown up in. And it seems to only get darker with each passing day. Forced to go on the run Constanter finds herself caught up in the life of being a forced soldier – all because she dressed like a boy. Now she’s trying to find a way out of this situation, ideally with her life.

I absolutely love that Silverlegs’ description came with a trigger warning. You don’t see many novels doing that these days. I wish more would do so. Silverlegs’ warnings remind us that the novel is set in a time where homophobia and sexism were common. It also warns of sexual violence, rape, graphic violence, and more. Having read the novel, these warnings are spot on.

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Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Crown of Coral and PearlPublisher: Inkyard Press
Author: Mara Rutherford
Release: August 27th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Food restrictions, abuse
Rating: 4 kitties

Crown of Coral and Pearl is the debut novel by Mara Rutherford, and it’s been getting a lot of hype and attention lately. Having read it, I can certainly see why. It’s the first novel in a series of the same name, and looks like it’s going to be an epic journey to the end.

The novel follows Nor, a twin who grew up on the island of Ilara. Her people catch clams and hunt for pearls to survive. All while the people in Varenia thrive off the exploitation of her people. Nor and her sister, Zadie, are two of the prettiest girls on the island, and thus to their mother (and the crown prince) hold a higher value than most others.

Crown of Coral and Pearl is a fantasy, with a lot of other themes gently touching upon the surface. It deals with a lot of the heavier elements of coming of age story, and tells a strong tale of resistance and fighting for what is right. It’s no wonder so many people have felt an emotional connection with this novel.

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Review: The Girl on the Porch by Richard Chizmar

The Girl on the PorchPublisher: Subterranean Press
Author: Richard Chizmar
Release: July 26th
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Girl on the Porch through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Girl on the Porch is the latest novella from Richard Chizmar. The cover is what caught my attention, and it was Stephen King’s praise that sold me on this one. It’s described as being a dark and twisted thriller that’ll leave you afraid and distrusting of your neighbors.

The Girl on the Porch follows a small neighborhood rocked by a sudden change. A woman in cuffs was caught on camera – desperately trying to get the attention (and presumably help) of anybody within the houses on this street. Only, that never happened.

What follows is eerie and disturbing. It’s a tale of trying to discover who you can and can’t trust. I’m not entirely sure that it lived up to all of the hype it received though. Oddly enough, I think I would have liked it more had I not heard so much about it. Funny how that works sometimes, isn’t it?

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Review: Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch Rising by Sarah HenningPublisher: Tegan Books
Author: Sarah Henning
Released: August 6th, 2019
Received: Request
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Sea Witch Rising in exchange for a fair and honest review. Though to be fair, I had already intending to read and review the sequel to Sea Witch.

Sea Witch Rising is the dramatic conclusion to the Sea Witch plot by Sarah Henning. In this novel, we see the tale of the Little Mermaid retold in a truly unique fashion. To say that the focus was entirely on the Sea Witch wouldn’t be entirely accurate; the little mermaids in this tale did get to tell their tale as well.

Where the first novel in this series was an origin story, the sequel continues the tale that was dramatically begun, taking it farther beyond than readers could have ever expected. But in many ways, this conclusion is the full circle telling we’ve always wanted and needed to see.

The novel continues Evie’s tale, but also introduces Runa’s quest to save her sister, Alia from the tragic fate known to mermaids who fall in love with humans. These two plots converge, creating one massive story for readers to enjoy (I know I did).

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