Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

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!
Merry Christmas!
Putting Together The 2017 Challenge

The year is ending rapidly, and while I finished my reading challenge this year very early (250 books), I've sort of let my friends trick me into stepping up the game and go for 366 (or A Book A Day). This means I'm still seriously reading these final two weeks. While I think I will be able to make it, I'm still 26 books away, but the holidays are coming, and there are quite some books already (more than) half finished.

 

Onto the next year. I was thinking what to do. Usually, I always like to read one book more than last year, but I'd rather not push the number of books any more than I already did. Therefore, I'd like to create my own reading challenge. I've never really joined the Popsugar reading challenge or other ones, because I like it when I can customize a bit more. Also, I'm looking for a bigger number of tasks in this challenge since while I may not read as many books as I did this year, I'll certainly plan to read a substantial number.

 

This is where you come in! I'd really like to have your help in composing the list!

Any nice ideas are most certainly welcome, and I do really like challenging tasks or those outside of my comfort zone but with my huge TBR, I'd rather not have to reread books or get access to a lot of books. Also, I don't have a library card (since I already have a library filled with my own books that I still need to read). 

 

Looking forward to your ideas!

Review
3.5 Stars
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale Of Mirror And Goliath
The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq., Volume 1 - Ishbelle Bee

Read near the end of 2016, but it is certainly a contender for the weirdest book of the year for me. It is difficult to place it somewhere, but if I had to, it would be some kind of adult fairy tale. I really liked the cover.

It starts out rather like a horror tale. Mirror grandfather, being mad, tried to kill her to conserve her soul in a clock. It turns out that a lot of children are disappearing by the hands of a certain cult. But since the story is told from different POVs and not chronologically, it will be of extreme importance to keep your mind with this read.

It certainly was strange. It was very interesting, and I cannot say I've read something similar before, but at times is was borderline absurd and because the story switched so often between many characters (all of which had their own weird stories) some parts of it felt a bit rushed.

I'm glad I already have the second book in the series, with an equally nice cover!

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 Eve Of St Agnes
The Little Black Classics Eve of St Agnes - John Keats

Having never read anything by Keats before, but having heard a lot of it, I was really looking forward to this collection of five of his poems.

The poem of the title is the longest and it is, as his other poems, very visual. It really tells a story, and while this is a nice change for the other poetry so far in the Little Black Classic collection, it also became slightly dull after a while. It is a long story, and my thought wandered after a while, wondering if it couldn't have been a bit shorter.

Nevertheless a nice introduction.

Little Black Classic #13

Review
4.5 Stars
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay - J.K. Rowling

I cannot see this screenplay without also thinking about the movie. I saw the movie twice and read the book in less than a week, I think this goes to show how much I was enjoying it.

I've to admit that I don't mind reading screenplays, which might hold some people back. The story in the screenplay was however, a lot better than I expected it to be. I was a bit wary before seeing the movie that I would be heavily disappointed but instead I really, really liked it.

The characters were really great. Even if all of them actually fit into one type or another, they were great and I was cheering for them. Also the 1920s setting worked really well for me. My friends and I are already discussing what the other movies/screenplays are going to be about.

I can't wait for them to get loose (preferably somewhere close to me)!

Review
3 Stars
Memories Of Arcadia
Memories of Arcadia (Remade) - Andrea Phillips, Carrie Harris, Gwenda Bond, Matthew Cody, Kiersten White, E. C. Myers

Only three episodes from the end, ReMade is offering us just what we needed: yet another POV. Maybe it is just maybe but I feel like I wasn't waiting for a sentient city (and also it feels like I've read a lot of books recently with AIs as characters).

While Arcadia adds to the story and at this point is more interesting than the humans, who are just about going their own way, I still don't know where the story is going. It is clear that Arcadia herself has lost control over the Caretakers. Other questions also remain, the most pressing ones for me: who will they be battling in the end, and why are they resurrected?

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
Amish Vampires In Space
Amish Vampires in Space - Kerry Nietz

When I first heard about Amish Vampires in Space I was sure it was supposed to be some kind of a spoof. Quickly, I found out that in fact it was a serious science fiction novel concerning Amish, vampires and space.

Immediately my expectations were much higher, to have this kind of story and not mean it as a spoof, it was supposed to be really good. A novel that was just okay wouldn't do. So maybe I'm just judging this novel too harsh.

Although I still don't really understand why the Amish joined the space ship and the vampires seem at first quite random, it was an okay book. It was indeed what it promised: Amish Vampires in Space. What it didn't do was add something extra to it. It was alright when I was reading it but I didn't feel anything for either the story or the characters.

Additionally there were some weird things. For example, at some point an Amish woman wonders why her husband hasn't called her, while she has never used a phone herself. This seems a weird thought under those conditions. There were some more of these things and also the end, I somehow saw it coming...

Review
3.5 Stars
Dust Bath Revival
Dust Bath Revival - Marianne Kirby
Hank is rather used to her life. The Dust is so many years ago that no one is really scared by the Revived anymore. However, it might be there are more dangerous things lurking around the corner. It was not the read that I expected, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I'd expected a zombie story, but zombies really made up only a fraction of the story. It was a bit confusing at times (because not all seemed to make sense) but I forgave the book since Hank was a nice character (although at some times she really should have been a bit more pro-active). I'm curious to see where the story is going, so I will certainly pick up the next book in the series! Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Review
2 Stars
How To Use Your Enemies
How to Use Your Enemies (Little Black Classics #12) - Baltasar Gracián

This is more than a guide on How to Use Your Enemies, it is at the same time a guide on How to Use Your Friends (considering you have some left after behaving like the author suggested). It was so manipulative that it was actually an awkward read for me.

It is compared to Machiavelli, and while his ideas are also very calculated, they made more sense to me as they all help to reach a certain goal. They are harsh and cold, and don't translate into modern days, but one can imagine that they are useful. Now take that, and apply it on literally every aspect of your life and you'll get How to Use Your Enemies. He really seemed like the typical calculating evil guy. This is not one of the Little Black Classics that I would recommend.

Little Black Classics #12

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