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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Cry Wolf by Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf #5) ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: My thoughts are my own I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an Honest Review.

This book series is such a love hate relationship for me, not to say that I don't love it because I do.  This is the fifth installment in this wonderful series where we follow a detective and a werewolf and mysteries. It is very sherlockholmes-esque in it's formatting, meaning that while you do need to read this series in order, there is always a mystery that is solved in each book. Thus, it is a fun time not an eternal mystery that is seemingly endless.

This is a mystery, contemporary paranormal, MM romance. I know a mouthful, but truly a beautifully written series that has the right amount of everything.

I love our two main characters, this was no different their romance is organic from book one and the author manages to truly make you root for them. I love how each books elevated the romance ( I mean they are getting married what more do you want right !!) and how they both grow as people together and individually.  

Something I truly love about this series is that after the initial (books ago) communication issues that were quickly solved, we haven't had that issue again. I find that the author manages the perfect balance of romance with it truly remaining a mystery driven book, the plot is linear and easy to follow and these book are quick reads that leave you smiling. (Also leave you wanting more, I read the first three back to back because the other ones were not out yet and the last two together; it is just that addictive)

If there is one thing that I regret is the fact that there are no physical copies of this series, I would totally buy them ! 

Always a great time, I will miss them, thank you for this wonderful tale and characters.

4/5 stars


Cannot wait for the next book the author publishes, a bittersweet ending (because this is the last novel to my knowledge) to a series that I love so much and has been a constant 4 stars all throughout my read. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

This Close to Okay by Leesa-Cross Smith ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC and it in no way affected my opinion or thoughts on this book. My opinions are my own.

First of all I want to thank the publisher for sending a copy of this my way, the cover is gorgeous and I really enjoyed annotating it as I was reading it, a fun experience for a book to review. 

It is within itself separated in sections which was  a great idea from the author because the novel actually only span over such a small time frame that it helped have a more emotional connection to the characters and story, because it felt organic in a way. While there are time jumps as we learn the past of the characters, it is a very linear story in itself and linear story telling, I found myself enjoying the formatting of it a lot and the author's writing style was super easy to get into. Now that is about all the good stuff, at least for me.

The regrettable thing about this book was the character development, it just wasn't there for me, again this is due to the small time period over which the story spans, nobody grows a bunch in such a small time. I wanted to see growth especially from a character that was as unlikable as our main character Tallie was, she was judgmental and so immature for a 40 years old divorced woman. It was hard to believe to truly believe in who she was supposed to be presented to be, because the whole time she felt much younger. Her thoughts were similar to the wining and immaturity of an adolescent, and she felt like a bad person. Yes she had just saved someone from suicide, but then she judged him about that, went through his stuff without consent and rather than getting him help invited him home after a couple hours of having met him. 

Tallie, was supposed to be a therapist with her own personal issues, but there is a limit to having your own issue and breaching the trust, especially a therapist who knows about this stuff, of someone who she must consider a sort of patient. She should know better and if she is not in the right place mentally to help him it is her duty to get him that right help from other sources because he is clearly a danger to his own safety. 

Anyhow, another thing that really got to me, and rubbed me the wrong way was when they started to fall in love. She kept berating Emmet and telling him about this random lilac-ish something energy she kept being all therapist-ish with him telling him her lingo of words to explain things, which how do you fall in love with someone constantly looking down on you and judging you I don't know (he somehow is unaffected by all this and with the state of mind he previously had it makes me wonder how this is even real). Furthermore this 40 years old woman propels the narrative of not being "that kind of girl", "being different from other girls". I hated those parts of it.

The problem with this book is that it did not feel real, the story in itself was interesting as a concept but unfortunately badly executed. This is supposed to be contemporary fiction and it did not feel real, which is the whole point to reading such a book. 

In the end the writing style of this book could not save it, I had too many issues and for a book written by a woman I was gutted that she had pushed the "different from other woman" narrative. Aren't we as women better than this ? We know better than to judge and put down other women in the hopes of pushing ourselves up, or at least I thought we were past all that. 
A book that left a bad taste in my mouth.
2/5 stars.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Wings of Ebony by J.Elle ARC Book Review

Disclaimer: I received an ARC but it in no way influences my opinion, my thoughts are my own. 

So this is a weird review to write, for many reasons. One this was one of my most anticipated books of 2020 and two I wanted and tried to love it so much. 

I was going to give it a higher star rating, but then I had to really think about it and the fact that it is written by a BPOC person shouldn't mean I have to give it a higher star rating just because it did touch important subjects such as racism, colonialism and oppressions of Black people which is important,  when I really did not enjoy it (the book not the subjects). 

So take this, with this thought in front of your mind, a lot of people did enjoy it so maybe what I did not like you will. 

From the point of view of someone who reads a lot of high fantasy and worked in a book store (one thing that bothered me is that at the beginning of the ARC it says 14+ and 10-14 years old and this book has a lot of swearing which I know parents would not like and thus I would have not been comfortable recommending to parents; I don't mind well placed swearing, within % of the book there had already been just under a dozen swearing incidents and this is a short book that is for young children. It did not affect my rating of the book, this is just a note to keep in mind). 

 I had a lot of expectations that were simply not met in this book. I found myself unable to connect to the world, I have no idea what Ghazan actually looks like and the most interesting information we learn about the world and the sort of castes type thing level in society aren't important and did not resurface in the second half of the book. So it felt like the best part of the book in my opinion was not relevant, or at least what I enjoyed the most.

Because of the time skips and lack of description I often found myself wondering where I was in the storyline or the world It always took me paragraphs if not pages to get an idea of where/when I was. For example, we start the book with Rue and for a long time she (the author) gives us a lot of info about her being in juvie twice, separated from her sister after their mother died, and how she has this magical watch made by Bri her best friend, which okay nice but where am I ?  Between that and finally realizing I am in huston seemingly in the future, she gets arrested and then we have no warning and BOOM we are in the past, with her first meeting Bri. Which took me a while to realize, because there are no indications or descriptions, at least in the ARC of time skips. This made for a very frustrating read where I kept going back to read what I had just read with the new time-line in mind.

Another thing that bothered me is that this book is the writing, I found myself re-reading a lot to try to understand where and when we were, due to it being so dry. Dry in the sense that it was very action driven, again this is a short book and it was a true detriment to my experience. Rather than making this a duology it would've benefited from being one book with more description and character development.

For a fantasy setting to have so little description and make me care so little about it was really disappointing. Ghazan is one dimensional and this is not as advertised, it is not a fantasy, rather it is a fiction book with magical realism, most of the book is spent in Huston not Ghazan. 

Even though we get a lot of random info on characters, I still felt disconnected to them everything felt "surface like" they did not feel tangible. It was more of a "the author said they felt this" so they must be feeling this. Any of them could've died and I wouldn't have cared, for the matter the world could've ended and I would've been like, "huh". (which is not a goal I want to accomplish when I read a book)

Overall, this book was hard to get through because it was hard to get invested into something you know so little about. 

If you want to read half-human, half-god books there are other books that have executed this in a better way, for the age range the Rick Riordan presents has some really loved books (middlegrade) and if you want a fantasy (YA) I have started a couple of other fantasy books by BPOC authors that I am slowly reading and enjoying a lot such as "A song of wraith and ruins" by  Roseanne A. Brown. 

1.5/5 stars.

Unfortunately a flop for me, I hope you will enjoy it a lot more than I did. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Degan Incident by Rob Colton Book Review

 I picked up this book recently on my Kindle for no particular reason, it was also 3 am... So I guess there is that. 

Now I went into this questioning my life choices, and not being able to fall asleep so here is the review of a tired person who read this on a whim at 3:30 am on a week night. 

This book was, well written I have to say after seeing the cover I was pretty sure it would be riddled with spelling mistakes, but it wasn't so good news from the get go. But then, the sentence structures killed it. So weirdly unipersonal, the MC did not have an original voice, all I know about him is that he is an orphan and had a bad ex, and has a sort of brother ? This felt more like descriptions for the idea of a novel rather than an actual novel.

Nothing was explained in this book, it was insta-love supposed soulmates we learn later, full of weird time skips and no chemistry could be felt between the main characters. They don't get to know each other ever, the characters are one dimensional and apart from cutting the tails of the males of the Degan species (with no explanation as why) there is no info on the species as a whole. I have never seen main characters so unconnected from one another. 

The author makes those weird leaps in info dumping where the MC is supposed to be at work and is suddenly talking about info in his head, and then about the Spaceport, whatever that is since we know next to nothing about anything. It is supposed to be a Sci-fi romance and rather felt like the author was throwing sci-fi-ish words to say " this is sci-fi, they are in the future, this is new tech" which I still don't know what it looks like apart from colorful colors ? 

The whole book had me pausing to wonder, and I have ADHD, about the connections and the change of subjects each paragraph and sometimes each sentences. The time skips where ill placed and the one info I was curious about, the war that happened for earth to join the coalition, was not really addressed ???

Now the supposed romance, They meet because our MC is working and Bastian (the Degan alien) is looking for a place to stay in the station, our MC lusts after him and shows him hotels (directions) and where the best food is in talking not actually showing. Then their second meeting Bastian is eating and there are no more places to sit at in the cafeteria so he offers to have him sit with him and then walks him back to his quarters, Bastian then gets invited inside and they have non-penetrative sex... Like Bastian SHOVES our MC's head into his armpits and proceeds to rub on him. Then after completion they shower and sleep on the dirty sheets ??? Because Bastian wants it ??? Also in that first meeting he calls our MC "Little one" ????? 

A lot of weird time skips ensue then before having penetrative sex Bastian explains that his cum modifies the DNA of people and makes them grow Degan properties ?? and our MC is like I don't care give it to me ???? Like boy are you mentally stable ???

He gets pregnant "Thank you weird DNA change" his soulmate disappears, gets kidnapped and tested on by human Navy, then tortured by the Degan commander/general, saved by Bastian Father (called sire in their language which also no info on that) and then glosses it over because "Bastian must have left me because I am not good enough" muhh huuu huuu.... Boy got tortured and still thinking about that oh well. The torture is never talked about, nor is Bastian's possessive ex when they get to his home country (after saving Bastian in a super short space war) "No he loves me everything else is BS". That boy got no trauma apparently even after months of testing and drugging, injections etc. 

All in all a read I sort of wish I could forget. 

I ended up giving it 1.5/5 stars because, it had good concepts like the species never addressed and the history never touched on, and the planet's lunar system on Degan home planet, also only addressed once. But dreadfully bad execution, someone needed to edit it and check the syntax of this and fluidity of the story. 


P.S: You can see the notes of my reading on goodreads with the excerpts. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Daughter of the Salt King by A.S. Thorn ARC Book Review


Welcome to this book review, disclaimer : I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, but my thoughts are my own and it in no way affected my review of the book.

TW: rape (-ish but like really anything not 100% consensual should've had a trigger warning and is rape) also incest (SWEET HOME ALABAMA)

I requested this book because of the title, I will be completely honest I went into it knowing nothing, not even the blurb and it was a mistake. This is the sort of book that I HAD to go back and read the blurb before going further into it because I was confused. Not to say that you learn nothing from it as you read it, but it got confusing in the beginning and it greatly helped to have a vague idea of where I believed the storyline was going. So beware, this is not a book you can go into blindly or it will get confusing and you will be feeling lost. 

Now unto the actual review, or more like what I thought of this book. I was disappointed. There are no other way to put this, I was intrigued at first and once I finally got into it it was okay but nothing that I want to pick up again and again, nothing I will be referencing or thinking about later, it did not leave a lasting mark on me. It is a jinni romance which is a nice change of pace, in terms of what fantasy/paranormal romances are usually about, I enjoyed the character driven part of it and Emel as a character. What got to me is the flowery things the author decided to put in her writing, I enjoyed it until these weird metaphors started appearing, her writing did not need that she was doing a great job before. 

This is definitely an adult book, on the stand point that this is a romance in a fantasy world rather than the opposite it was a respectable book, the rape-ish scene is what got to me. BECAUSE THERE IS NO WARNING BEFORE PICKING IT UP. And while it wasn't an issue for me as nothing is descriptive enough to be, and I enjoy dark books (sad stories are sometimes my jam what can I say I like to cry) I could somewhat get past it. BUT THE INCEST, like okay just some touching, BUT STILL not okay and again my heart went to those with trauma towards it because once again a lack of TW. 

Now, story wise not a bad book, but all those things I can't look over the fact that it felt like the author did not appropriately address the issues, rape and incest, that she brought up in a good way. It felt like "oh and here is this", rather than "I am addressing important issues in this book" which is never a good way to feel about a book you are reading. The plot should be fluid, and the metaphors made me lose the focus of the story, even though it was more about the characters than the world.

I would've liked a bit more plot to balance the story, it did not feel like the characters grew much within the story from where they had began and there was not a cumulation of events that propelled the plot further or action began it was sort of monotone in a weird way. The romance was un-organic, it felt forced, there was no chemistry between our main characters. 

In the end this story was meh. okay, not memorable nothing REALLY happened in the book. And I just did not feel like the characters were tangible or that their love was believable.

Unfortunately a miss for me. 

2/5 stars