Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

Review
3.5 Stars
Last Seen Leaving
Last Seen Leaving - Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving combines two books in one. The first is the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a teenager. This part wasn't really special, it was nice enough, but having read a couple of these books before, it becomes rather formulaic with little surprises.

On the other hand, there is the coming of age story of the main character, which was way more interesting as he struggles with his true self and is trying to keep his own secret, well, secret. I wish the book would have focused more on this aspect.

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
Of Beast And Beauty
Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay

I got this as an Audiobook during one of the SYNCs (these provide some audiobooks for free for a limited period of time), and I don't know why but this was the second Beauty and the Beast retelling I got to listen to in this way.

While I like retellings, it is always a little bit problematic because you already know where the story is going. And when things start to feel rushed or forced, as was the romance in this case, I don't really like it. Isra, who lives by the well-being of a set of enchanted roses, had a lot of angst and was very passive, even though she was supposed to be ruling the city. I liked the setting, but had more hopes for the execution of the story.

Review
3 Stars
Shady Cross
Shady Cross - James Hankins

Shady Cross has an interesting premise. A low-time criminal is in a car crash and happens upon a big bag with cash. He's about to celebrate his luck when the phone in the bag starts ringing and he speaks to a young girl, whom he's never met, who is abducted. Clearly, the bag contains her ransom. Suddenly overtaken by a conscience he decides to deliver the ransom. This, however, turns out not to be easy.

It had a very masculine feel to it. The main characters kept steering into trouble and at some point, as everything was following up in rapid succession I started to loose my interested. This because it was getting more and more unrealistic, almost by the page. Just deliver the ransom already!

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 Man In Two Bodies
The Man in Two Bodies - Stanley Salmons

What if there was a technique to transport a body to a different place? And what if this was immediately implemented towards crime?

The man in two bodies is a novel which spins around these questions, and while it was definitely an intriguing read, it couldn't convince me. I disliked the main characters voice and the start of the novel had already sort of given away the ending. Still, while I might not have really enjoyed reading it, I do find myself sometimes thinking of it. And that's something I will have to give it credit for.

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
Not So Much, Said The Cat
Not So Much, Said the Cat - Michael Swanwick

Not So Much, Said The Cat collects shorts stories by Michael Swanwick. And as collections go, there usually are better and worse stories also in this collection. I'm somewhat a troubled short stories reader, since I find it hard to feel invested in the characters that are only there for a short period of time. However, when done right, I do appreciate it a lot, which is why I keep giving short fiction a try.

I really enjoyed reading the collection, even as I don't think any particular stories will stay with me for a long time. It was my introduction to Michael Swanwick, and I might try some more.

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
Know It All: Classical Music
Know It All Classical Music - Joanne Cormac

Know it all Classical Music brings you 50 topics, from different eras of Western classical music in about 30 seconds each. The nice thing about it is that you get to learn a lot of different things in a short amount of time. Of course, the extent of information that can be learned in this style is rather limited. So I would see this, and other works in the series, more like an introduction to the topic. I got some nice little facts from this collection, and also thought the layout was nicely done.

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
Is This A Dagger Which I See Before Me?
Is This a Dagger Which I See Before Me? (Penguin Little Black Classics) - William Shakespeare

I thought it was strange that Shakespeare was not included in the original 80 Little Black Classics, but it is here, in the additional 46. So rather than waiting when I would finally arrive at #113, I decided to immediately read this one.

Shakespeare is great, and as such I liked this but these were all such little snippets that I didn't think this is the best way to read it. Or, better still, go see a play, that way, for me, the works come to life best!

~ Little Black Classics #113 ~

Review
3 Stars
After We Fall
After We Fall - Emma Kavanagh

After We Fall is a moody psychological thriller about the aftermath of a plane crash on four totally different people. As the story continues the four stories come closer together (no surprises here), but the fun part is trying to figure out whilst reading exactly how it will happen.

This was a good debut novel. Some things I thought could have been resolved a bit better, but I enjoyed reading it and would read more books by Emma Kavanagh.

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

Review
1.5 Stars
The Terrors Of The Night
The Terrors of the Night (Little Black Classics #30) - Thomas Nashe

I realize that in a collection of 80 (or 127) works, not everything can stand out. Well, this one did, but unfortunately not in a good way. The blurb, as other reviewers have pointed out, was looking quite good, but doesn't fit the book at all.

I guess if you're into long Elizabethan ramblings about the devil and such things, this might be for you. Otherwise, I'm sure there are better books for you in this collection...

~Little Black Classics #30~

Review
2 Stars
The Curse Keepers
The Curse Keepers - Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers was a bit of a let down for me. Unfortunately, I had the entire series to work my way through, but I was optimistic it could improve.

What irked me about the story was mainly how special the two main characters were (they were literally the only ones who could stop the curse/the ending of the world). These main characters also annoyed me, as they make their way offending each other instead of getting the job done. This takes a lot of place in this book. The touches of Native American folklore were nice, since I don't know a lot about it.

What I'm hoping for in the next book is a bit more balance (more story, less will-they-won't-they).

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
Seed
Seed - Lisa Heathfield

Seed follows Pearl as she slowly starts to recognize that the isolated community that she grew up in is not the paradise it claims to be.

This was a very interesting read. Much of the very bad things that are going on are mostly insinuated rather than pushed into the reader's face, which I liked. It was, disturbing as it was, always better to show don't tell. Pearl was naive, as one would have expected, but she grew on me.

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
Sourdough
Sourdough: A Novel - Robin Sloan, Therese Plummer

I read Robin Sloan's previous book, and I liked it a lot so naturally, I was looking forward to reading Sourdough. I didn't know a lot about Sourdough (compared to the books in the previous novel) but have googled a bit since then, but it sounded fascinating.

It was a really nice read. The author clearly has a love for San Fransisco, it was nice to see him so enthusiastic on the topic. I recently saw a documentary on sourdough and apparently San Fransisco is the place to be when it comes to it.

I find myself still thinking about this book from time to time.

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
I.D.
I.D. - Emma RĂ­os

I.D. focuses, as the name already suggested, on a couple of central topics about identity in a futuristic world where people (at a price) have more possibility than today to do so.

Some of the questions posed by this were very interesting, but the overarching story couldn't really hold my interest as much. The artwork was okay but nothing special.

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
Elgin Park
ELGIN PARK: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24th scale - Michael Paul Smith, Gail K. Ellison

This was a surprisingly interesting read! I never thought that building miniature building could be so interesting and contain so many different aspects. It was great to see how much eye for detail there is in all these miniatures, and although I don't have any particular feeling with Midcentury America, it almost made me want to visit it.

What I liked best though was the meticulously positioning of the camera to blend in real surrounding with the miniatures. That was very well done.

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
Dead Silent
DEAD SILENT a gripping detective thriller full of suspense - HELEN H. DURRANT

Dead Silent continues the story of Calladine and Bayliss through another gruesome case. As this series is shaping up to be a full series of rather short-but-enjoyable police procedurals, I couldn't help but wonder whether the focus was not a little too much on the personal lives of the main characters.

Both their personal lives are rather a mess, and Calladine has a lot of problems with his cousin also. The case was interested and kept me reading, but it never really stood out.

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
Disposal
Disposal - Tara Tyler

Disposal has still follows Geri and Cooper but the Pop travel which gave the series its title is of less concern in this one. The science fiction here is not very prominent, so you can sit back and enjoy more of a thriller than hard sci-fi.

I was never the biggest fan of the main characters and they still haven't really grown on me after this third book. It was a quick read, which was nice.

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

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