Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

Review
3 Stars
White As A Raven's Wing
White as a Raven's Wing - Seanan McGuire

This is (so far) the last part about Ryan and Istas, but I would like to see more of them in the future. This story features Istas and the cruel world that she came from.

Interesting short read.

Review
3 Stars
Black As Blood
Black as Blood - Seanan McGuire

Not focusing on the Price family, this short story rather follows Istas and Ryan as they go through a daunting phase in any relationship, let alone when being two different kinds of Cryptids.

Another nice story, but I didn't like it too much as some of the characters were extremely prejudiced.

Review
3 Stars
My Last Name
My Last Name - Seanan McGuire

My Last Name and most of the other short stories from the InCryptid series can be found for free on the authors website.

This (too) short story bridges the gap between Waking Up in Vegas and the beginning of Chaos Choreography, where Verity and Dominic return to the Oregon compound and Verity hasn't told anyone yet of her recent marriage.

A nice short, although I would have loved it to be a bit longer, because I think this is the last of Verity we'll see for some time.

Review
4 Stars
Waking Up In Vegas
Waking Up In Vegas - Seanan McGuire

Verity is trying to bring her boyfriend Dominic home without her parents killing her. For her, this plan involves getting secretly married by Elvis.

In the mean time, a sinister plot is taking place featuring the Aeslin mice, still my favourites in the series.

Review
4 Stars
Swamp Bromeliad
Swamp Bromeliad - Seanan McGuire

This short story I really liked. It brings Verity and Dominic back to where it all started for the Healy/Price family. There was a nice story (perhaps because it was slightly longer than most of the other shorts) but it was sad to see what had become of the house.

Still, I would certainly recommend it.

Review
3 Stars
Snake In The Glass
Snake in the Glass - Seanan McGuire

Snake in the Glass returns to a familiar setting for those who have been following the short stories that have been published on Seanan McGuire's web site and which can be all found there for free.

I liked the Chicago hotel when I first read about it, and liked it again this time. Now, I'm not an expert in American geography but it doesn't seem to me that via New Orleans and Chicago is the easiest route from New York to Portland.

Review
3 Stars
IM
IM - Seanan McGuire

This short story focuses mostly on Sarah, but from the POV of Artie, about whom we have heard a lot but have never met before in the series.

It was a bit too short for my taste, especially since it wasn't followed up by more stories, but nice either way.

Review
3 Stars
The Ghosts Of Bourbon Street
The Ghosts of Bourbon Street - Seanan McGuire

After Half-Off Ragnarok, this short story continues Verity's and Dominic's story as they travel across the country in order to meet up with Verity's parents. On the way they will meet some more members of the extended family.

It was a nice story. I was wondering what would happen to the characters, after the events in the second book and with the switch to Alex, I was afraid that it would take a time to find this out. The story itself was not that special, but I read somewhere that there are references to another of Seanan McGuire's series that I haven't read. I can imagine I would have really enjoyed those, if I had gotten them.

Review
3 Stars
Blocked
Blocked - Seanan McGuire

Blocked introduces the youngest of the Price siblings, Antimony. She's not yet had her own book, which made it somewhat more difficult to relate to her in such a short story.

She was mostly a teenager and the cryptids didn't feel like the most important part of the story. I am curious to see how her story develops though.

Review
3 Stars
Silly Little Daddy And The Knife
Silly Little Daddy and the Knife - Stefan Denk

This was a book that I normally wouldn't have picked up, but since it made its way into my home, and I'm incapable of not reading books that cross my path directly, I decided to give it a try.

It is a short story designed to teach children that knives are not toys. While this is of course a noble lesson, there were some troubles with the book. The major thing was the main characters name. The child is called 'Silly Little Daddy' which is easy the most stupid name I've read in a long time. It also doesn't make sense. Another thing had to do with the illustrations. The child is supposedly with his grandparents, which look like they are about 20 years old.  

Maybe these are no big things, but in such a small book, they really stood out.

Review
3 Stars
The City of Mirrors
The City of Mirrors - Justin Cronin

I remember reading The Passage years ago and really enjoying it. So when I read The Twelve, admittedly only last year, I was not feeling it and was disappointed. It took me hundreds of pages to get back into the story and even then it did not really succeeded. With this information, I was a bit afraid to start with The City of Mirrors, but I wanted to finish the series, and also prevent another huge gap between books.

It was okay. There were parts that I enjoyed, and others that just seemed to be so much filler without actually adding something. Strangely enough though, the part I liked best was Zero's back story. He really fleshed out the characters, and I think this is why I've heard so much great things about his non-fantasy novels. I would certainly pick up one of those books.

However, the survivalist story I liked less. They all feel very safe with the Twelve defeated, but of course, now that there is a new novel, you already know it can't last. It didn't feel very surprising at all, and also to me it was not the last stand that so epic a series (in number of pages at least) should be deserving.

Like I said, I was slightly disappointed with The City of Mirrors, but as Justin Cronin really knows how to portray his characters, I will certainly read more from him 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
3 Stars
The Contrary Tale Of The Butterfly Girl
The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq., Volume 2 (Notebooks of John Loveheart, E) - Ishbelle Bee

I find it difficult to review The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl. Much like its predecessor The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath, it will be unlike anything you've read before. Which also makes it hard to properly rate it.

John Loveheart is back and he's probably madder than ever before, as he dances his way through this story. It was interesting, but at times I have to admit that it really lost me and maybe was a bit too weird, sliding into absurdism that wasn't adding to the story any more.

However, at parts, following the crazy thoughts of John Loveheart are what made the story interesting. It is like a fairy tale for adults, as this sequel was darker than the first novel. In the end, there is room for another story, and I'm still curious.

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
Half-Off Ragnarok
Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Side Note: Today the site seems to work for me! =)

 

I was quite surprised at the start of this novel as all of a sudden, there was a completely new main character! (My bad for my habit of not reading the synopsis of books before I start reading, I know but still). Alex is not completely unknown though, as he's Verity's brother and also a cryptozoologist, of course.

His focus is more on the cryptid animals and science than his sister, and it involves a lot of reptiles. Hiding his undercover basilisk breeding program in the reptile house of the local zoo, he sets out to find who or what is turning people into stone.

Luckily, this book had its own splinter colony of Aeslin mice, otherwise I would have been very disappointed. I've grown attached to them. The story was nice but not that special, but I liked the fact we got introduced to new kinds of cryptids. 

Review
2 Stars
Skin
Skin (Insatiable Series Book 1) - Patrick Logan

My last book of 2016 was a freebie from Amazon which sounded like a Stephen King novel. It sounded like the perfect winter read, but in the end, left me warm nor cold.

 

An unhappy group of people come together to celebrate Christmas, when, unfortunately a blizzard makes sure they are all trapped. At the same time everyone seems to be called by a dark spirit who asks them to come, come, come.

 

Mwah, I don't know it for this novel. It was really not my style, so maybe other people will enjoy it a lot better than I did. There was a lot of repetition (after a while I was almost going insane myself if there would be 'come' one more time). The story doesn't provide anything new. I should probably have chosen a better book to end the year with.

 

On to 2017!

Happy New Year!

The best for everyone in the new year! 

And also good books! ;)

Review
3 Stars
Prelude To Mayhem
Prelude to Mayhem (Mayhem Wave Book 1) - Edward Aubry
Apocalyptic tales are right up my alley, so I was expecting a lot from Prelude To Mayham, but was a bit disappointed in the end, as it all felt very messy and a bit too much of everything. The premise is good. After an end-of-the-world event in which most of the humans disappear but which doesn't seem to bad overall, the surviving humans try to survive. One of them is broadcasting a radio message to encourage people to come to Chicago. However, it turns out that this event also led to some magic events (and this is where it starts to become a bit messy). Glimmer is fine, but there is very little talk about magic in the beginning and in the end it all gets thrown in to the story seemingly random. Also, the ending kind of disappointed me. What I did like were the characters, and not even the characters per se, but that they were a mixture of small children, teenagers and adults, instead of the almost compulsory group of Young Adults that seem to roam these books nowadays. Glimmer was also a lot of fun. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Follow on Bloglovin Challenge Participant Free counters!