Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

Review
3.5 Stars
Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat
Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat - Tyrolin Puxty

Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat was at once both completely absurd and a very nice read. It was just as weird as the title would make you expect, although the Esteemed part is mostly only through Colt's own eyes.

Colt is sent to do community theatre with some other misbehaving monsters for killing humans, again. If they are not successfully putting on a play at the end of it, they will be taken to 'The Valley'. It's were the bad monsters go (and for some reason have to keep running, for ever). All the while, Colt and his friends are being hunted and Colt's 'borrowed' body starts acting up. But maybe, he's not as alone as he always feared.

Do not expect too much of a plot or a lot of world building, but if you're looking for some laughs, and like the absurd, this is your thing. Tyrolin Puxty's other series (Broken Dolls) makes an appearance, so keep an eye out for that.

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

Review
4 Stars
Body Work
Rivers of London: Body Work - Ben Aaronovitch, Lee Sullivan Hill, Andrew Cartmel

I'm a big fan of the Rivers of London series, but I did hesitate a little before ordering Body Work, the first of a series of graphic novels that tell additional stories to the main series. I'm not always pleased with the way an artist interprets characters, so I was not sure I would like this graphic novel.

I needn't worry. It was great. Body Work, together with its sequel Night Witch, gave me one of the most relaxing evenings of the year so far (read it while listening to Gymnopedies, the world seemed perfect for a moment). In all seriousness though, I really liked it. It is not necessary to read this for the story I guess (but I can't be sure as I haven't read Foxglove Summer yet - yes, still waiting for that right edition).

Peter and his friends investigate 'England's most haunted car'. Also, there are some very very short stories in it as well. I suppose there's one at the end of each issue, but since I read the volume edition, I can't be sure.

Review
4.5 Stars
The Furthest Station
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

This was so much fun!

For years I've been a great fan of the series (I could rage for hours about how I always have to wait just shy of an entire year for the right edition to be published, but that is another case), so I was delighted when I got this review copy of The Furthest Station. It's only about 140 pages long, and it is not essential for the greater arc in the series, but fans will want to get a hold of it anyway.

Expect everything you've come to expect from Peter Grant and the rest of the crew. If you're new to the series, I greatly recommend starting with the first book in the series: Rivers of London.

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
Look
Look - Jon Nielsen

Artie, the cute robot from the cover, Wall-Es his way through life when he starts wondering why he does what he does. What follows is a strange mix of boring and just not so good, that left me wondering 'why did I read this?'.

Let's start with the good things. The art was not special but it was nice. Artie's really cute, and has a nice interaction with his friend Owen, the Vulture. That's about it.

The story was filled with a lot of interchangeable/forgettable characters and scenes with clunky expositions. I was not a fan. Which is a shame, because I had good expectations for this one!

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
Lola
Lola: A Novel - Melissa Love

Lola is at times an uncomfortable read. The main character, Lola, shadow-leader of the Crenshaw Six, is extremely ruthless and this makes that you're immediately hooked. And as things start to spin out of control, Lola will take even more cruel decisions.

But, back to the start. Lola, secretly the leader of a small gang in Los Angeles, makes a bad decision that put her and hers right in the middle of two battling cartels. While now her life is in immediate danger she to a level likes it because this is the moment for her to step out of the shadows and stop being underestimated.

It was a surprisingly good book. I'm usually not really into books about gang/drug wars, but Lola's story was very good. I liked her connection to Lucy, but her conflicted relationship with her brother didn't feel real to me. If you do not like to read about violence, mutilation, rape, murder and the like, this probably isn't the book for you. Otherwise, it's a very compelling read.

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

Review
3 Stars
Neverland
Neverland - Shari Arnold

With Neverland as the title, it is not a surprise this is a Peter Pan retelling. Livy lost her younger sister a couple of months ago and is struggling to give it a place. When she starts to meet several mysterious people, will she find peace?

I really don't know with this book. It was an easy and quick read, but I never felt invested in the story. While Livy does incredible good things for the children at the hospital, she never came to life and basically remained as much of a fantasy as Neverland. Because of that, I could put down the book easily, and had I not been reading it now for a challenge, it might have taken me awhile.

I quite liked the idea though, and parts were very interesting, but they didn't make up the bigger part of the book. The jury's still out on this one.

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 Lost Boys Of West Abbey
Lady Mechanika TP Vol 03: The Lost Boys of West Abbey - Marcia Chen

It's a shame that this volume is only 60 pages where the others were more than twice as long. It is no miracle that the story can not be very complicated in such a short time span, so the case was resolved rather quickly.

I still really liked the art and the characters though, and I'm already looking forward for the next volume!

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

Booklikes-opoly Turns

This post will be updated as we move along, so expect to see it pop up your dashboard multiple times.

 

Somehow I missed the BLopoly until today, but I would like to join in the fun and since today is a roll day, I can start immediately.

 

 

Roll 1: April 23

 

And the number is 7, which means I end up at square 7 in Fantasyland:

 

 

I will read The Hobbit for this challenge, as it was published before 2000. It has 366 pages so I will 'earn' $3.00 with this book.

 

Roll 2: May 1 (Finally finished The Hobbit)

 

And the number is 6 which end me up the Booklikes square!

 

 

So, I had to find a twelve-side die for this one, and got a five, which means I get to collect $10.00 plus give it to a another player (Familiar Diversions)

 

Bank (at the end of roll 2): $34.00

 

Roll 3: May 3

 

1+1 (doubles) which land me on The New Orleans Train station.

For this task I've chosen a book with a suitcase of the cover which has 352 pages ($3.00)
24809194

 

Since it was doubles I rolled again, this time 5 which brings me to Visit the Jail. I'll be reading The Circle (Damon Clark; 132 pages) to donate to the Jail.

 

 

Roll 4: May 6

 

I didn't manage to finish Neverland yesterday, but finished it instead this morning (collect $3.00) so my turn switches to today. I rolled 9 which brings me to the Tarzan square, where I have to read a book by an author who's initials are in Tarzan. That's why I chose Flame in the Mist (Renee Adieh; 368 pages; $3.00 when I finish it).

 

Bank update May 6: $37.00

Review
3.5 Stars
Children Of The New World
Children of the New World: Stories - Alexander Weinstein

Children of the New World is a collection of shorts stories set in the near future with new technologies (think robots and sending messages with your mind). I was immediately taken in with the first story 'Saying Goodbye to Yang' which remained my favourite throughout the whole collection. It was surprisingly touching and I kept thinking about it.

This however set the bar quite high for the rest of the collection, and I didn't like all stories as much. Some seemed rather repetitive, always about someone loosing touch with reality due to the emerging technology. Others were rather absurd, like 'Rocket Night' (in which they shoot the least popular kid to space) which made me say 'WTF?!' out loud and resulted in me getting strange looks.

But all in all I enjoyed this collection and would certainly try the author's next book!

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
Magic For Nothing
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire

Finally a full book for Antimony. As she is the youngest of the Price siblings and Verity and Alex seemed to have made a pact against her, I was a little bit surprised at how much I liked her after all. It's one of the things I like best about the series. There are three different POVs (thank God only one per book though) from the different siblings and there is not one who annoys me. I'm quite surprised by this.

While I liked the story (probably one of the best of the series), there were some things that seemed to be formulaic at this point. For example, all three of the siblings have (against all odds they say) found a partner in the first half of their first POV book. Their biggest point of adjustment seems getting used to the constant cheering of the Aeslin (who are and will remain forever Awesome). Mork was a great new character.

Looking forward to the next one!

Review
3.5 Stars
Chaos Choreography
Chaos Choreography - Seanan McGuire

So, after the first four books, I expected to get to know Antimony in this one, but with the Dancing title, I should have known it was Verity.

Verity and by extension Dominic are back as Verity stars in something like So You Think You Can Dance. I'm not a big fan of these talent shows, and reading about them was also not my favourite. Obviously, something fishy is going on at the program and you really don't want to be eliminated.

I like these books a lot. They don't have the best story, or are written in the best way, but they are heavily entertaining, with lots of cute characters (all the fantastic beasts) and I find Chaos Choreography as well as the rest of the series are great for relaxing. Would certainly recommend as a light read.

But man, that's quite a cliffhanger!

Review
3.5 Stars
Pocket Apocalypse
Pocket Apocalypse - Seanan McGuire

I'll let you in on a little secret: I mostly read these books for the mice. The Aeslin are awesome!

I find this series such a relaxing read, that I'm always looking forward to reading it and enjoy it, even though I think this was not the best in the series. One of the main attractions is the world filled with all the fantastic beasts so I was a little bit disappointed that it's mainly werewolves here. I mean, been there, done that. (Instead give me some more Aeslin please) Also I think Australia would have been perfect to create new species of cryptids that were not yet introduced to us before.

Either way, it was still an enjoyable adventure, although not that special. I'm still looking forward to more Alex in a later book, as I like his scientific approach.

Review Reblogged
4 Stars
Dark Matter
Dark Matter: A Novel - Blake Crouch

I'm at a loss for words. Dark Matter was one hell of a book. Last year I read Abandon, one of Blake Crouch's previous books, but Dark Matter was a completely different book. In a good way.

 

I don't want to say too much about the story, because finding out what was happening was in fact the best part of the story. I had no clue whatsoever when I started and therefor I was kept guessing for a while. It is important to keep your head with the book, because otherwise you will get lost in the maze that's been created.

 

I expected just another thriller, or maybe something like Abandon but I certainly wasn't prepared for this rollercoaster. It features some very interesting ideas in a new and engaging way that I appreciated a lot. In the middle there was a part where I was trying to fit everything together and see where it would go from there, but I couldn't have guessed the outcome.

 

Dark Matter is a very fast and engaging read that will make you think even about the smallest choices in life.

 

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

Reblogged from Url Phantomhive
Review
4 Stars
The Lay Of The Land
The Lay of the Land - Seanan McGuire

Somehow I missed this short story in the InCryptid series until now. As you may or may not know, almost all short stories can be downloaded for free from the author's website and they fill in the gaps about the family and are a great addition to the main books of the series.

Alice's story is somewhat underlighted still, but it was nice to have a new story. I never was too big a fan of Thomas, but he's starting to become more and more interesting. I hope to see more of them in other shorts, I think there is a lot left to tell.

Review
3 Stars
Returning
Returning: Episode I - A.L. Knorr

Mira is a mermaid on a mission. Having said goodbye to the ocean she's looking to procreate with her still-to-be-found mate.

This was a quick and easy read. The story is enough to keep you entertained for the give-or-take hour it took me to complete it. However, there is a lot of convenience in there. Being a mermaid has installed Mira  with a lot of 'feeling' things. So she will immediately know when she first sees her mate that it's him (talk about some instalove). Also, her set of powers comes in extremely handy. Some things also seemed a bit strange, as for example when Mira is talking about supernaturals.

While it didn't bother me too much in this novella, I'm not sure I would like to read a complete novel that's this convenient.

Review
3 Stars
The Stravinski Intrigue
The Stravinsky Intrigue (Fugue & Fable) - Darin Kennedy

I read The Mussorgski Riddle some time ago, and I enjoyed its unique style and story, so I was looking forward to The Stravinsky Intrigue although I had to admit that the details from the first book had become a bit fuzzy and I'm not really acquainted with the ballets from Stravinsky that play a major role in this book.

At times I was a little bit disappointed with The Stravinsky Intrigue. While the story resembled The Mussorgski Riddle, there were some things that annoyed me (that I don't recall from the first book). There are many coincidences, and Mira jumps into danger at almost any possibility. The rest of the time she's defending her psychic-ship in a condescending manner which I disliked. Also, the story seemed rather finished at the ending, but since I know there's a third novel coming, probably everything will be resolved (taking any suspense there was about the main characters).

What I did like, as in the first novel, was all the music. It is a nice introduction to the music, and I would certainly recommend to listen to it while reading. I enjoyed that a lot. The story is also moving forward rather quickly, and there's a mystery to be solved (before it's too late).

Not as good as the first one, but I'm still curious as to how it's going to end.

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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