Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

Trying to shed a light on the wonderful maze of books...

Review
3.5 Stars
Rebel Of The Sands
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton

One of my resolutions was to be joining in more group reads, and Rebel of the Sands was one of those that I had selected. It is entirely my own fault for not really reading it in group though.

It was however nice that it has introduced me to this series. Amani, AKA the Blue-Eyed Bandit, lives near the end of the world and she wouldn't like anything better than to escape. So far, so normal. When her only chance proves to be joining a Rebellion this is where things get interesting. Without trying to spoil too much, what I liked best is that Amani is basically forced to choose between her powers and her gun-wielding skills.

The plot was not that special, but certainly good enough to keep me interested. My biggest fear at the moment is that Amani will become too special, I can't stand it when the main characters turn into something all the other characters can only admire but never reach.

Onto book 2!

Review
3.5 Stars
Book Towns
Book Towns - Alex Johnson

Book Towns collects, as the name would suggest, Book Towns from all over the world. It was an interesting little book for those of us who breathe books, so to speak. I couldn't help but be attracted to them and have added several (in Belgium and The Netherlands) that I would like to visit this summer. Others I would like to visit in the future.

Every town is featured with a story, and several pictures as well as some information. While in general this was really nice, it felt like some of the Book Towns didn't have enough information to really fill the pages. Also, it became repetitive a bit, as most book towns were generated from a Marketing/Tourism point of view and the story was often the same. Also also, it was sad to read that quite a few of them were way past their heyday.

Still a nice read for book lovers.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Through The Fog
Through the Fog - Michael C. Grumley

This book is a show of unprofessionalism on the psychiatrist's side. When a new patient walks in who has been having strange visions after a bike accident, she only very mildly tries to put him off helping her solve the case of her missing daughter. Very mildly, and she risks the patient's life because he is certainly not doing well during these episodes.

This aside, it was a quick and easy read which didn't require a lot of thinking to stay with the story, which is sometimes nice for a change. The first half I liked better, since the conclusion I thought was rather too hurried and it was all too neatly fitting.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
Pluto Is Peeved
Pluto Is Peeved: An ex-planet searches for answers  - Jacqueline Jules

One of the most stupid decisions of all time is was of course to demote Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. Cixin Liu’s SF series even suggests it will still be spoken of in 200 years! I for one, strongly feel for Pluto, so when I came across this little booklet in which Pluto searches for answers and struggles with the anxiety caused by the sudden change, I just had to read it.

It was a cutesy little book. Pluto, in a Science Museum, is looking why people would be investigating lots of things instead of him. Along the way he discovers that in science people have to changes ideas when new evidence arrives (think Galilei), and makes some friends. As a scientist I totally agree, as a person I feel for Pluto. Luckily its demotion doesn’t mean it will no longer be studied.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3.5 Stars
The Last Donut Shop Of The Apocalypse
The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse - Nina Post

Like its predecessor, The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse is a lot of fun. Nothing complicated, but a fun bunch of characters, an absurd story and an urban fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously. Two sisters, both Gorgons and owners of the two best Donut shops still standing in Pothole City, fight over a dispute, and Kelly, who now also happens to be the interim manager of Amenity Tower has to step in.

I won't write too much about it, for fear of spoiling the fun. But I found it a quick, fun and easy read, perfect to relax after a hard day's work.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
Destroyed
Destroyed - Nicole Hewitt, L.A Starkey

So, I read Deceived recently, and while it didn't really live up to my expectations, the immersion in Greek mythology kept me reading into the second book, Destroyed. It takes up right where the first book ended, and it basically continues the story. Marcus and Nick are still fighting over Sam, but there might be a way to change the prophecy, if only they can stop fighting long enough to look for it.

This book took forever, or so it seemed. The pacing was really slow and when I'm looking back at what happened in this book, I thought it was not so much. What also didn't help was that to me it seems like Sam made up her mind about which brother she likes ages ago, so that is not exciting to read either. This series isn't really for me, so with Destroyed it will end for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
Emissary
Emissary - Thomas Locke

This was a difficult read for me that I had a hard time getting into. Emissary felt at the same time too long and missing details about the characters, mainly the main character Hyam, who for some reason only at 21 finds out he has magical powers, after first enjoying his simple life as a farmer.

The rest is a pretty standard fantasy story, where Hyam will prove everyone rather quickly why he is such a special boy and fights some battles. The problem is that even though Hyam is really at the core of the story, I didn't feel like I got to know him at all. Also, the romantic angle I didn't care for.

I won't be continuing this series, it was not for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
Survival Kit's Apocalypse
Survival Kit's Apocalypse - Beverly Williams

Survival Kit's Apocalypse was nothing like what I expected, based on the title. The main character has a past which puts the Apocalypse to shame, and is first just kind of aimlessly walking about until she stumbles on a bunch of brothers who almost fall over each other to please and woo her as she is such a special snowflake.

Maybe, had I expected less an Apocalypse survival story, I wouldn't have minded so bad, but now I didn't really care for it. It was very easy for me to put away, and more difficult to pick it up again (always a dangerous situation). It just really wasn't for me, I'm afraid, so I won't be continuing the series.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3.5 Stars
The Last Condo Board Of The Apocalypse
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse - Nina Post

This is one of the most absurd books I've read but I enjoyed it a lot.

Kelly hunts monsters and fallen angels for a living, but the job isn't the same any more and vampire hunting is the new best thing. When she takes a job to find a fallen angel in a large condo in Pothole City she does so in the most ridiculous disguises. Along the way she promotes several Cluck Snack products and meets a Condo board not only planning the next renovation but also the Apocalypse.

It is so weird, but so much fun. I can't really tell too much about it, because it won't make any sense unless you've read the book. The Single Purposes really stole my heart (some of them anyway). If you're looking for some rather absurd urban fantasy which is definitely different from the last thing you've read, give The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse a try.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Dragon Redeemer
Dragon Redeemer (World of Aluvia) - Amy Bearce

Dragon Redeemer is the third and final book in the World of Aluvia. This one focuses on Nell, who has been hearing voices and needs to save Magic and the World from a Dark Alchemist.  All the main characters from the first two books are also there.

Nell was a strong character, a real warrior. What I didn't like so much was the love interest. It felt a bit forced and unnatural, as now all three main characters have their tailor made love interests in the books where they feature as the main character. All in all, I'm not a big fan of the love subplots in most YA books these days anyway. Nevertheless, an enjoyable end to the series.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Gears Of Fate
Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods) (Volume 1) - Wilbert Stanton

My previous experience with Wilbert Stanton's work, The Artful, was not a good match, but how could I resist a book that mixes steampunk, Greek gods and Fey.

What I liked was that it tried to deliver something different, mixing a lot of things together and trying to be fresh in a genre where that is not easy. However, while some concepts where nicely worked out, the different Pantheons for example, the pacing felt off. There is a rather slow start with a lot of explaining and then, at the end, a lot happens in the final few chapters.

A nice concept, but the execution could have been better.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Daughter Of Ash
Daughter of Ash (The Awakened Book 4) - Matthew S. Cox

So far, The Awakened has been a series that has moved a lot. A new main character at the start of each new book, but the same very interesting world that they try to live in. While some of them eventually come together, it is also a weakness, since you have to get to know the character each time over and you loose some of the bond you had gotten with the series.

Kate is a Midas-like assassin, only she burns everything she touches, instead of turning it into gold. This has left her with for example holographic clothing. When she hears an alternative is available in the Badlands, she leaves her job as an assassin to pursue this.

While Kate was an interesting character, she had to grow on me. Like the previous books in the series, it was rather gloomy. But I still like the series and will continue with it. There seems to be some convergence in the story so I'm interested to see where exactly it is heading.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Blood Rush
Blood Rush (Immortal Aliens Book 2) - Laura Diamond

I must start by saying that while it didn't influence my rating of the book, it must be the ugliest cover I've seen all year. I don't even understand how it fits into the book.

So, the Vie are still terrorizing the Earth and people who are anaemic provide a powerful drug the Vie like to get high on. In this conclusion to the story, it is time to bring the Aliens and the system down.

Like I said in my review of Dawn of the Vie, it has all been done before, but it is still very enjoyable. I liked the second book slightly less. The discovery of others and the power struggles in between the resistance are never my favourite parts. Still glad I read it though.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2.5 Stars
Silverwood
Silverwood - Betsy Streeter

Silverwood had me at time-travel. As is most often the case. I don't even think I went to stop at this point to wonder how all these things together could make a great novel.

It's overcrowded. There's time-travel, portals and all in the context of an alien race that is living off humans and the family that is supposed to hunt them. It already feels crowded, no? Add to that a bunch of characters, very few we actually get to know a bit, and it felt mostly crowded to me. To the point I had trouble knowing what was going on.

Also the writing was in present tense, which for me also takes some getting used to, and I know some people are put off by it.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
Everything Burns
Everything Burns - Vincent Zandri

There are only two things in life Reece, the main character of Everything Burns, likes: himself and fire, not necessarily in that order though. While the fire part is easily understandable, as he was in a fire as a child which killed his mother and brothers, it is told to you so many times that it was annoying. Overall, Reece was a very annoying character to read about.

Strange things are happening and Reece is sure that his girlfriend's (who is also his ex-wife) ex-boyfriend is behind everything. This goes from bad to worse, as people get casually burned to death on the sidewalk without so much as a shriek. Reece wrote a popular novel, which is one of the reasons why he believes said ex-boyfriend is after him, and literally every single person he meets has at least one copy of his book and has actually read it (by far the most unbelievable part of the novel).

The writing was a bit clunky but my biggest problem was just that I really didn't like to read it. I was actively rooting for Reece to be put away. I don't think I will read more of this author in the future.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
A Place For Sinners
A Place for Sinners - Aaron Dries

Maybe I'm to blame for this one. It was a while since I got this book, and didn't remember what it was about any more and the cover is misleading. However, I don't believe it is just me, since the change in A Place for Sinners was so sudden, from a nice holiday in Thailand to doomsday kind of situations, that I actually had to go back and reread to make sure that was what was really happening.

It is also what continues on the second half. I like a good horror, and I understand there is some build-up where everything seems fine, but here it really was about half the book. With all the changing POVs (many of them delusional) and the non-stop action after the turning point I got lost and found it difficult to connect to the remaining protagonist.

Not for me, I'm afraid.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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