Friday, January 13, 2017

REVIEW: Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

The thrilling adventures of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children comes to a close in this highly satisfying and fulfilling conclusion to the trilogy. The story picks up right where the previous one left off, so it's best to read these books together if you can.

Jacob has discovered he possesses a peculiar skill that allows him to talk to the monsters that have been raiding the peculiars' time loops. Accompanied by fire girl Emma, and a talking dog named Addison, they set out through the bowels of London to rescue their peculiar friends and ymbrynes. If they can traverse the pirate-filled cesspool of Fever Ditch and back alleys of Devil's Acre without getting themselves killed—and Jacob can master this strange new talent of his—they may just be able to pull off this whole rescue mission without getting themselves killed.

The fast paced action in these books left me not wanting to put them down. I read them in record time (for me at least). I fell in love with (nearly) all the characters, so much so that I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I hope it does these wonderful books justice and don't mess with the story line too much. I'll be looking forward to Ransom Riggs's next project.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

REVIEW: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Picking up right where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left off, Hollow City throws the reader right into the action. For that reason, you may want to read this trilogy all at once.

Jacob and the rest of the peculiar children have taken to the open sea, attempting to escape the monsters pursuing them on their little island and also to get help for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine, who is unwillingly stuck in bird form. But trouble continues to follow the children on their trek to London, and their perilous journey is rife with danger and adventure. When Jacob made the decision to stay in 1940, he didn't realize at the time how important he'd become to their survival. Will he ever get back to his parents in the present? Or will the past consume him, body and soul?

Though this installment contained all the thrilling adventure of the first, I liked it only slightly less, if only for a certain little plot twist that irked me. I can't say much without giving too much away, except this: How can such a large group, both children and adult, be overcome by one wily wight after they've managed to take down an entire army of them? There, that shouldn't have given too much away. But it felt like the whole book was a sequence of them running from the monsters, escaping or killing said monsters, rinse and repeat. Fortunately, it was kept interesting by the fact that circumstances were drastically different each time, but I think this volume might've suffered slightly from middle-book-itis. Note I still loved it enough to give it an 8, but it was almost a 7 for that reason, when I gave the first one a 9. I'm looking forward to reading Library of Souls next to see how it all wraps up.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

REVIEW: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

A stack of peculiar photographs and a mysterious letter send Jacob and his father to a remote island in Wales after his grandfather dies under strange circumstances. Having grown up hearing all his grandfather's unbelievable stories of peculiar children—one who can levitate, another who can fly, one with bees living inside him, and yet another with inhuman strength—Jacob is determined to follow the bread crumbs his grandfather left him to discover the truth. When they arrive at Cairnholm Island, what they discover is certainly not what Jacob expected. It's even better! Or is it???

This was an amazing read I couldn't put down. The pacing was spot on and all the characters were so well developed I felt as if I was right there living it all with Jacob.

The relationship between Jacob and Emma felt much more real than any of the relationships Jacob had back in Florida, so I think he's definitely where he belongs now. :)

Now that I've finally read the book, I'm very much looking forward to the movie, waiting in my Netflix queue.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

REVIEW: Fellside by M. R. Carey

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

It's a place where even the walls whisper.

And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

Will she listen?
The story started off a bit slow—Jess Moulson as a junkie who winds up in the hospital and then prison, a horrible situation we've seen one too many times. It's terribly sad how heroin can over one's life and push everything else to the background. So though I wasn't impressed with the story throughout the first quarter of the book, it nevertheless managed to build a solid background and foundation for the main character.

I actually considered not finishing it if things didn't pick up as this definitely wasn't the story I signed up for. But I'm glad I persevered because by 25% in, a new ghostly character was introduced that shook things up considerably. In the end, I was was rewarded with a very satisfying, albeit sad, story.

Thank you to Orbit Books and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

REVIEW: The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, Book 2) by Angie Fox

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

When Verity Long stumbles upon a dead body in the middle of the library, she's placed smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation, and in usual Verity fashion, she's quite determined to get to the bottom of things. With help from her ghost pal Frankie, along with the hunky deputy sheriff Ellis Wydell, Verity visits the "other side" to talk to the library ghosts who may hold some clues as to who killed poor Darla.

But there are no straight answers, and the clues she finds leads her deeper into a mystery that places her in the path of someone who'll go to any lengths to hide the truth. Can Verity and her friends emerge unscathed before the murderer puts an end to them as well?

Like the previous titles in this series, this book was light-hearted and fun with a good dose of mystery. Verity has a joie de vivre that is positively contagious. I would LOVE to hang out with this girl! All the other characters are interesting and well developed as well. I'm looking forward to see how the relationship between Verity and Ellis progresses in future books... and what sort of trouble Verity manages to get herself into next. :)

Thank you to Angie Fox, Season Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 25, 2016

REVIEW: A Ghostly Gift: A Southern Ghost Hunter Novella by Angie Fox

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

This was a cute little cozy mystery short story that takes place between books 1 and 2 of the Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery series.

Verity Long can see ghosts, talk to them too thanks to the help of her ghost friend Frankie. Not that she asked for such a disturbing gift—it was simply something she inherited when she inadvertently dumped Frankie's urn out on her rosebushes. But since ditching Sugarland's golden boy at the altar, Verity's graphic design business has taken a hit and she has to take what she can get in order to keep a roof over her head. And if that means helping to clear a ghost from the local antique shop, then so be it.

Verity is extremely funny and likable, as is Frankie the ghost. Together they make for a bit of comic relief in this fun little cozy mystery. Though the story was quite short, it felt complete nonetheless, just a short little detour between the two full size books. I'm looking forward to starting book two, The Skeleton in the Closet, next.


REVIEW: Manners & Mutiny: Finishing School Book the Fourth by Gail Carriger

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Another awesome read from Gail Carriger! I am sad to see this series come to an end. But fortunately, there's the whole Parasol Protectorate series I haven't yet read, of which this is a spin off, so I won't have to bemoan the lack of reading material from such a wonderful author, one who has easily become one of my favorites.

In this final installment of the Finishing School series, Sophronia is determined to put a stop to the Picklemen's dastardly plans once and for all. With a little help from her dear friends, Sophronia hurlies and obstructs her way around the airship, discovering secrets, taking out the enemy, and proving she's a true mistress of espionage!

I fell in love all the characters in this series. Yes, even those we're not supposed to like so much *cough* Monique, Preshea *cough cough*. Sophronia—so smart, determined, and headstrong—finally confronts her true feelings for former sootie Soap, and it's everything you wish it to be! A heretofore unknown secret is discovered about Agatha, one that proves she's a much better intelligencer than her friends believed. Dimity's strengths are put to the test, Monique actually becomes an ally, and even Pillover bravely steps up.

If you love the steampunk genre, mixed in with some young adult fantasy, and appreciate good writing, then this is a series you should not miss. Love, love, loved it! <3

Monday, January 25, 2016

REVIEW: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

The KonMari Method of decluttering is quite simple when you think about it—simply remove from your home any items that don't spark joy. Yes, I realize that may sound a bit oversimplified but the logic behind it is thus: if an item is no longer bringing you joy, it has reached the end of it's usefulness and you should let it go without regret or guilt. You do this for all your items starting with clothes, then moving on to books, then papers, then miscellany, saving mementos for last. If you tidy completely in this fashion, following her advice, you need only do this once and clutter should never infringe on you again.

I haven't yet put the advice from this book into practice yet but am very much looking forward to doing so this week. I also picked up the companion book Spark Joy which expands on some of the frequently asked questions and includes illustrations for folding and storing, and which I'm reading now. I will update this review after I've more thoroughly begun the process.