Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

Review
2 Stars
The Many Lives Of Ruby Iyer
The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer - Laxmi Hariharan

I couldn't get into The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, and I've been struggling to find out why. Ruby gets electrocuted and while she's physically okay, from that moment she feels the power of the electricity through her body.

After that things start to get confusing. The setting is Bombay, which is very nice since you don't often read about it, but it is also very unknown and chaotic. The writing here also starts to get more confusing as bad guys and Ruby and her sort of cop buddy are running loose and it is difficult to see what the end game is going to be. I also couldn't connect with the characters, which will not have helped. It seemed interesting but in the end wasn't 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
3 Stars
Marked
Marked - Sarah Fine

Marked had an interesting premise. Cacy and her family have some supernatural power and the job to ferry the recently deceased to the afterlife they deserve. Since they collect Charon's coin (from the Greek mythology) for each person, they have become unnaturally rich doing so. It also aids Cacy in her role as a paramedic, because she can also see when a person is marked for death and will die for sure so it allows her to prioritize her patients well. Eli and his brilliant sister Galena enter the scene as they move to Boston and Eli soon finds himself more than just the work partner of Cacy as he is rapidly pulled into warring supernatural families.

While it didn't always made a hell lot of sense, I quite enjoyed this part of the story. It was exciting enough to keep me going and considering I have copies of the entire series, it was for the best. Unfortunately was added to that a romance. *sigh* It was love on first sight, obviously because they are both so good looking. Personally, I couldn't care less about them. Hope this is not how the story continues, I would much rather see some more ferrying.

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
A Magic Dark And Bright
A Magic Dark and Bright - Jenny Adams Perinovic

A small town, a terrible tragedy, a mysterious stranger, drowned girls and a woman in white.

It is all in the mix in the first of The Asylum Saga. While overall I thought this was an enjoyable read, though it felt very Young Adult, there were some things that bothered me. Girls are being found dead, and it happens multiple times and even though they were considered suicides individually, people don't start to connect the dots. And then

they find out it has happened also some decades before and no-one of the main characters is even aware of this. Or thinks it a very weird coincidences

(show spoiler)

.

The bad-guy I saw coming from miles away and also the unnecessarily ass-holey ex-boyfriend could have been left out without any problems. The ending I quite liked except for the fact that it is a mega cliffhanger and I will have to read the second book to find some kind of closure.

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
The City Center
The City Center - Simone Pond

Who has been following my reviews knows I have a hard time resisting anything that slightly resembles a nice Dystopian story, so The City Centre obviously made its way to my shelves when it was a freebie on Amazon. On the one hand it is great that there is so much to choose from in the genre, but it also becomes increasingly clear just how difficult it is to stay even remotely original when writing these stories.

The main character is special, of course. Not only has she an important role in the City, as she is the leading candidate to become Queen for the next 18 years, she is also the only one who has the feeling that some things are off in the otherwise completely nice and 'beautified' City. So, it is not surprising that a rebel happens to meet her and teaches her how seriously the system is she has been living in. Subsequently, you've guessed it, it is her who has to take it down. Oh, and why do all these books have to 'retire'  people with promises of splendor while it is obvious from the start that they are going to be killed/mistreated?

The one thing that did stand out was that there were no pretentious that is was an Utopian community. It is clear from the beginning that everyone and everything surrounds and supports the Royal Court. It made me wonder why they even designed some of the lower classes at all. It was a quick read and it was also quite enjoyable, but it was also so predictable that I'm not sure I would pick up the next book.

Review
2 Stars
Dark Vision
Dark Vision - Debbie   Johnson

This was not what I expected. I liked that it was set in Liverpool rather than London, which gave it a fresh look, but underneath it was a surprisingly mundane sort of romance, unfortunately.

Lily is cursed. When she touches someone she gets a vision and it is usually a terrible one. As such she had learned to stay away from people, which means that she has a lot of sarcasm (which is nice) but she also makes the same bad decisions in her mid-twenties as any teenager would (not so nice). She also turns out to be a Goddess, and probably has a very important role in something important I guess, because she is being prepared for a choice which is hardly a choice throughout the entire book.

I had the feeling there was an entire world behind the story, but we just didn't get to see it. Instead we were focusing on the maybe-or-maybe-not relationship between Lily and Gabriel. With some vampires thrown in for good measure. I would have liked to know more about the world and the whys, because now if felt mainly like a romance novel and that is not something I would pick up as easily.

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
The Dover Reader Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Dover Reader Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -  Arthur Conan Doyle

This Dover edition bundles work by Arthur Conan Doyle, and in the introduction states that Doyle in his later life had troubles to promote his other works due to the popularity of the Sherlock Holmes novels. Since this collection is mainly taken up by SH, it is easy to comprehend this statement.

Most of the stories were new to me, I'd only previously read A Study in Scarlet (which I didn't reread), but I've seen BBC Sherlock and was looking forward to seeing the similarities and differences between the two. A Scandal in Bohemia, The Hound of The Baskervilles and The Final Problem were all included, and I enjoyed the detective stories.

Of Doyle's other works, The Lost World was included, which was a story I'd wanted to read for a while since I really enjoy dinosaurs, but this story was a bit too slow for me and it didn't include as many dinosaurs as I had hoped for. Finally two supernatural short tales were in this collection, but I didn't really care for them. Based on this collection, it is probably for the best that he is most remembered for is SH stories.

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
As Red As Blood
As Red As Blood - Salla Simukka

I requested As Red as Blood a while ago from Netgalley, but had not been able to read it yet. As such, the premise of this book had slipped my mind and I went into reading this expecting more of a fantasy/fairy tale based on the title/cover. It was nothing of the sort and instead is a YA thriller, a genre that has, so far, not really been my cup of tea.

I think the main reason for this is that in YA thrillers, and As Red as Blood is no exception, the main detecting/thrilling needs to be done by teenagers and it is incredibly difficult to pull this off in a way that is even remotely believable. Will teenagers safe the world? Books try to make you believe this, but I have a hard time buying it.

At the center of the story is a strong female character, who somewhat strangely falls into a bigger plot which has to do with Mafia and the like. Naturally, she and some others decide to take them down by themselves because there might be a leak in the police force.

I'm not sure about this novel. The story was a little bit too unbelievable for my liking and while the main character is very strong (she seems inspired by Lisbeth Salander) I didn't like her judgemental attitude towards everyone and everything. The writing was a bit awkward at places, which might have been a consequence of the translation. I also have the next books in the series, so I will continue sometime soon.

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

TBR Thursday

Last weekend I unexpectedly had some free time, which I spent curled up with some of these books. I always like to finish a couple of them near the end of the month. However, it seems that I'm taking quite some of them with me to February, unless I get some more reading done today.

 

TBR as of today: 1750 (-3 from last week; +6 from January 1)

 

Books read in 2019: 15 (+6)

 

Pages in 2019: 2782 (+1500)

 

What I've Read This Week

 

    

 

Currently Reading

 

On Paper

 

  

 

On eReader

 

                      

 

On Audio

 

 

Books added to Mt TBR

 

ARC

 

 

 

Have you read any of these books?

Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 394 pages.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

This is not directly linked to The Disappearing Spoon, which I'm still struggling with, but I wanted to share with you some interesting stories about the Periodic Table, since its 150th anniversary is coming up. Nature has dedicated some stories to the Periodic Table, which I found interesting to read.

 

For example this article on the discovery of the super heavy elements.

Source: http://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00285-9
Review
2.5 Stars
Sindbad The Sailor
Sindbad the Sailor (Little Black Classics #54) - Unknown

Initial response:

Silly me! I accidentally reread this book, and only noticed when I was halfway.  

Actual review:

I didn't plan on reading it a second time, but because the stories are in fact familiar (and resemble the Odyssey), I only at the final story realized I must have read it before. Since it was only a short booklet, I decided to just finished it now that I was at it.

Much from the first read remains the same. They are nice stories, albeit rather repetitive and you would like to smack Sindbad on his head for his stupidity of repeatedly going on these travels when clearly they are not safe. The language and writing are not the most flowing or particularly nice, but I am wondering whether this is due to the translation or maybe because it was penned down from an earlier oral tradition, where this is also often the case.

~Little Black Classics #54~

Review
3.5 Stars
The Infinite
The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone Book 2) - Lori M. Lee

The Infinite takes off where Gates of Thread and Stone ended (albeit with a cover that is not quite as nice), and Kai is finding herself in a new position, in more than one way. As she's struggling with these, some shocking news will upset everything.

I find I really like this series for some reason and I haven't been able to put a finger on exactly why. There were a couple of twists and discoveries in the book, which kept the pace fast and made it a quick read. Some things felt a bit rushed, and I would have liked to learn more about some of the events, but I enjoyed reading it. I learned that this was supposed to be a trilogy but we're almost four years after the publication of The Infinite and there still is no news, so I won't hold my breath, but will check every now and then.

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
Gated Of Thread And Stone
Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone series) - Lori M. Lee

First off, the cover is gorgeous and the main reason I chose to read Gates of Thread and Stone. Kai is some girl living in the bad part of a city with a secret, she can hold and adjust the threads of time. While she and her brother just want to get on with their lives, it's clear that will become impossible (otherwise, no one would write a book about it).

This book actually worked quite well for me. I've been reading a number of Dystopians lately, and many disappointed me in several ways, but I enjoyed this one. There is a lot going on, especially in the beginning, but I liked Kai's story and that made it okay. I was not such a big fan of the romance that was weaved through the story, but since it was still an enjoyable read, it didn't bother me too much. I'm curious to see where the story is going from here.

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
The Nightingale Girls
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

I requested The Nightingale Girls because it immediately reminded me of Call The Midwife. Set in London's East End during the 30s it follows three young girls in The Nightingale, a training hospital for nurses.

It wasn't for me, unfortunately. I felt too little history and way to much soap opera. Besides, while it was a very easy read and not unpleasant as such, the multiple characters included felt like clichés to me and the stories were rather predictable.

I have to admit I don't think this genre really fits me, so I will leave the other books in the series as they are.

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
Normal
Normal - Graeme Cameron

Normal isn't normal. It's a serial killer book from the perspective of the serial killer, so what would you expect? We follow him around as he does what he does, but to say we got a view into his mind?

The premise was intriguing, it sounded like the kind of main character one would love to hate, but it never got that far. Because even though we are so to speak inside his head, we still learn very little about what drives him. Sure, he goes around preying on young women. But why? There is a little bit of backstory, but it is too little to build an answer on. Without moving into spoilers there were a couple of events in the second half that were very unbelievable.

However, the story didn't fail to entertain me, even though I'm left with the feeling that there could have been more and it didn't reach it full potential.

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 Green Ember
The Green Ember - S.D. Smith

I have to admit I have no recollection of getting the The Green Ember, but according to Amazon I got it once when it was free. I'm the resemblance to Watership Down is what pulled me in.

The rabbits in The Green Ember are however, much more humanized than Watership down, fighting the wolves and birds-of-prey with swords and the like. Much of the story also takes place in a warren that acts mainly like a court and also feels that way. Into this world Heather and Picket, two young rabbits who have been driven from their solitary home, are plunged.

I liked it. It is aimed at somewhat younger readers, but this didn't bother me. As the story unravels there were a few twists that I didn't see coming, which was nice for a change. The writing was not the best, but I quite liked the story.

Review
3 Stars
Heir Of Ra
Heir of Ra - M. Sasinowski

Heir of Ra reads like an adventure novel. Sure, it is fast paced and there is not a dull moment with lots of things going on. It is also young adult. I know believe this is a combination that doesn't work for me.

The main character helps her father the archeologists at digs around the world, but is not present when one goes terribly wrong and her father and his team are poisoned when opening a special treasure in Egypt. She sets off after a valuable artifact which may or may not hold the antidote but is herself also hunted by people with guns. Lots of guns. She is also assisted by two other students.

I don't know. I don't think it was a bad book, but the story was way too unbelievable for me. (I have no problem with fantasy at all, but the many neat escapes these people manage is stretching my suspension of disbelieve a bit too far). The science-y part was rather more fiction than science, in case that puts you off.

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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