Monday, November 17, 2014

REVIEW: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

The continuing story of Ceony Twill and Magician Emory Thane didn't quite live quite up to it's predecessor, The Paper Magician, for me. I'm not sure if I was simply in a different frame of mind this time around or what, but was Ceony this annoying in the first book? If she was, I certainly didn't pick up on it until now.

Ceony has been pining after Emory ever since she saved him in the first book. The bad guys are still on her tail, consistently putting her and everyone around her in danger. But I seriously felt that the emotions she now has for Emory have clouded her judgement, making her quite short-sighted and reckless! Gone is the young girl I fell in love with in The Paper Magician and while she's still headstrong, she's now making foolish decisions and letting her emotions rule her actions, putting everyone in jeopardy with her foolishness.

I also disliked how a certain details in the story would come along and then suddenly be dropped and forgotten. For example, what happened to that super nice safety bicycle Ceony had, the one she took to her luncheon with Delilah with the enchanted tires that wouldn't wear? When she fled the scene, she just left it there, never went back to retrieve it, and it was never mentioned again. Perhaps the author thought it an unimportant detail but it still bugged me that Ceony would treat her belongings so carelessly. Several other things about the way Ceony now acted and thought irked me too, one that was already mentioned by several other reviewers was her thinking that Langston needed a wife because he didn't know how to cook? Puhhlease!

That said, I still liked the story overall, and found it a fast-paced and entertaining read despite it's drawbacks for me. If Ceony wasn't so vexatious this time around, I may have even liked it as much as The Paper Magician.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

REVIEW: Doctor Who: Lights Out by Holly Black

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

I love Doctor Who, and I quite enjoyed this short story. Holly Black has captured in writing the expressions and mannerisms of the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) quite well. There was one part, when the Doctor was describing the duties of his companion, in which he says, "remind me how brilliant I am, notice things that I've already noticed, ask me questions whose answers are so blazingly obvious that it would never have occurred to me to explain." That quote had me cracking up laughing. It is soooo snarky Capaldi-esque!

In this forty-page story, the Doctor meets and befriends a young, scaly monster at the Intergalactic Coffee Roasting Station (ICRS). When the lights go out and one of the coffee shop patrons is murdered in the dark, everyone becomes a suspect. The Doctor works through the clues in his usual genius way, deducing the murderer and saving the day.

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

REVIEW: The Void (Witching Savannah, Book 3) by J.D. Horn

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Mercy and Peter are happily married and looking forward to the birth of their son. Unfortunately, it seems everyone has it out for Mercy right now, and her life is consistently being put in danger. The other anchors of The Line want to take her out, afraid of the power she holds, and their fear that she will be responsible for taking down the line down and letting loose all the old Gods and Demons to return to our world. Not only that, but severed body parts have begun to show up scattered all around Savannah, all with dark magic attached. The Taylor family, in their usual close-knit fashion, have bound together to protect Mercy, while at the same time trying to get to the bottom of these horrible slayings and figure out the meaning behind them.

The third and final installment in the Witching Savannah trilogy ends with a bang! There are all sorts of twists and turns that will keep the reader on their toes. Whether you'll like all those twists and turns however, I can't truly say. Like the previous books in the series, the story really draws you in. It's fast moving, the characters are well developed, and the writing gives you a spectacular feeling of place, as if you're walking the streets of Savannah yourself. I was happy to see Jilo make a minor re-appearance here as well as she was definitely one of my favorite characters.

The story shifted drastically about halfway through however, and many readers may be disappointed they're not getting the nicely wrapped-up ending they were seeking. I did find it a bit unsettling myself at first, but after awhile, I resigned myself to what was going on and then was pleasantly surprised with how it all turned out, especially after I'd been expecting the worst. Overall, I quite enjoyed the Witching Savannah series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good ole southern witchy tale.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, 47North, for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

REVIEW: The Source (Witching Savannah, Book 2) by J.D. Horn

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Mercy Taylor has finally come into her powers and is slowly learning to control them. But when her long-presumed-dead mother makes an appearance, and asks Mercy to keep her presence a secret, Mercy starts to wonder whom she can really trust--the sister who tried to kill her, the aunts and uncle who hid the truth about her mother's death, or even mother herself, who is suddenly making a reappearance in Mercy's life after twenty plus years.... With all the deception surrounding her, Mercy knows she needs to get to the bottom of all these mysteries before it all blows up around her.

This was a pretty good follow-up to The Line, although overall I liked the first book slightly better. We learn a few secrets about Peter here, and though he was more of a background to Mercy and Maisie's story in the first book, his character begins to take on more prominence in Mercy's life here, though not necessarily for the better in my opinion. The same is true of Emmet, the golem who manifested during The Line, and I actually came to like him better in this book. I hope to see some of the loose ends with Mercy's mother tied up in the third book, The Void, which I plan on reading next. And I hope Peter finds out the truth about himself too. I don't think it's right his family keeping such an important secret from him!