Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

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!

Review
3 Stars
The Dead Key
The Dead Key - D.M. Pulley

The First Bank of Cleveland in this book is fascinating. Closed from on day to the next, completely locked up, deserted and then forgotten over time. The story has two different lines, 1978 just before this all happened, and 1998 when Iris, a young architect is asked to draw the building for an upcoming project at her firm.

The Dead Key had good and bad things. The best was by far the Bank, it was like it were an time capsule. However, neither of the two stories really got me into the novel. Especially the 1998 one, with Iris making a lot of bad decisions and she also had these strange wandering capacities that are almost as misplaced as would this have been a horror movie. There's a reading of a diary and I never buy it that characters take days or weeks to read it in order to slowly figure out what happened. If they were really as investigating as they show to be (by wandering into every dark, dusty place they discover), they would 'investigate' and finish this diary pronto. This is just a side note of something that annoys me often in novels.

It was not that The Dead Key didn't entertain, I just felt very little connection to any of the characters and it was very easy to put it down and read something else instead.

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
Victorian Fairy Tales
Victorian Fairy Tales - Michael Newton

This was one of these books that really just wasn't for me. It features a nice introduction on fairy tales in the Victorian era, which was a good read and although I'm not particularly interested in the subject, I found it entertaining and interesting.

Next is a string of fairy tales and frankly, I enjoyed them very little. It became a burden for me to pick up the book, as I either struggled with the translation of some of the stories, and especially the long stories were plain boring. While I'm sure they are a nice representation of fairy tales in that time, I just found out those really are 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
3 Stars
Trade Deal
Trade Deal - Malka Older

After Kris' trial the dust is setting and this episode is bit slower than the last. While it wraps up several outstanding questions from the last episode, it also broadens and expands into new storylines, now that Kris has made it to be a Warden.There was a bit too much exposition for my liking but it didn't matter much. I really like this serial so far, I'm curious to see where it is going.

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 Atheist's Mass
The Atheist's Mass (Little Black Classics #41) - Honoré de Balzac

These two short stories serve as my introduction into the literary legacy of Honoré de Balzac, and frankly, it's probably going to stay at that. While both stories were crafted okay, and had a messages of loyalty, I found them rather dull to be honest. It may very well be the translation, I can't be sure, but I was left feeling slightly disappointed.

Little Black Classics #41

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