Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

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

Review
2.5 Stars
If I'm Found
If I'm Found (If I Run Series) - Terri Blackstock

Casey Cox is still on the run. She's blown her cover, and will need to start again. Dylan is still looking for her, or is he?

I liked this book less than If I Run, when I'm honest. I felt a bit like the story was stretched out too much and it should have just been one book. Also, If I'm Found just follows the same story as If I'm Run. There's another case which Casey really feels she just has to solve even though at this point she knows she's not just a wanted criminal but also that her life is in immediate danger. Besides, I got the feeling this book was much more preachy than the previous one, and I never like it when something gets pushed at me.

It was still a quick read, with enough suspense to keep it going. But I was slightly disappointed.

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
If I Run
If I Run - Terri Blackstock

Casey Cox is covered in her best friend's blood and on the run. Sure she's being framed but unsure as to whom she's taken the fall for, she gives hiding a try.

I was pleasantly surprised with If I Run, it certainly kept me entertained. The story is dual POV of Casey and Dylan, the guy hired to find her. This gives a nice insight in both the hunter and the hunted. A minor annoyance was that Dylan seemed to be the only one who was any good at finding people, even though the complete US police force seemed to be looking for her.

There was enough variation to keep it interesting, but since the book closed with a very open ending, I will have to read the sequel to see where it is going.

Review
3 Stars
Mercury In Retrograde
Mercury in Retrograde - Merethe Walther

One lesson to be learned from Mercury in Retrograde: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Aralyn, just released from the galaxy's worst prison, gets an offer she can't resist. One more job as a smuggler and she will be able to retire. That is, if the job won't retire her first...

Mercury in Retrograde was an okay book. It had a bit of everything in it, which was probably also why I couldn't connect to the story as much as I'd liked. The characters are just too busy running from one thing to another, there's no time for any development. Even from Aralyn subjective POV it is immediately clear who will be the good guys. I've complained at length before about throwing everything in a book instead of really making one thing good in a book, so I will resist the urge to do it here. It got me out of my flow though, and when they were on the run for the nth time, I admit I started looking how much of the book was left and how long it would take me to read it.

I think it had more potential, what with the prison planet and the world in general. But quite a bit of it seemed as the surroundings for the romance plot, unfortunately. I'd expected a bit more.

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

Review
4 Stars
The Tablet Of Destinies
Lady Mechanika Volume 2: The Tablet of Destinies - Mike Garcia, Ben M. Chen

This second volume was even better than the first! The artwork, as I'd come to expect after the first volume, was still great. It is amazing and really one of the best things about this comic. I liked this story better than the first, even though it is not that original (typical ancient treasure kind of thing). Still it was a pleasure to read. There is still a lot of text on some pages, but I had the feeling it was slightly less this time. Lady Mechanika makes a really nice lead in this steampunk comic.

Looking forward to 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
The Mystery Of The Mechanical Corpse
Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse - Joe Benitez

The art is what drew me to Lady Mechanika at first. It's really colorful and nice, for me it adds a lot to the comic. Lady Mechanika herself is also an interesting characters, as she herself is trying to figure out her past as much as the reader, who at the beginning is still completely in the dark. My only complaints would be that the story was sometimes a bit hard to follow, and that I thought some pages were very dense with text for a comic book.

I admit I haven't read a great deal of Steampunk comics before, but this would definitely rank high among them. Looking forward to 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!

Review
2.5 Stars
Heartborn
Heartborn - Terry Maggert

I feel bad, because I feel like most of this book has passed me by and left me wondering just what I just read. Quite a lot of the plot is explained already in the blurb, but much more than that, I find it hard to describe.

Because of this I found it very hard to connect with the story or with any of the characters really, and I think it's save to say that the book was not for me. I didn't really care for Livvy, Keiron or any of the other characters.

I did like the way it was written as it made an easy read.

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
Myths Of Mish
Myths of Mish (Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles Book 2) - Katie Hamstead

This second installment in the Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles features different characters from The Princess of Tyrone, which I was looking forward to. Meet Hansel and Gretel, ten years after the events in the well known fairytale.

Please let me introduce to you my theory: the real villain in this book is no-one less than: Hansel himself. He's an ass. Acts like an ass for the entire book and I'm supposed to cheer for him? No thank you.

As it might have become clear, I didn't like Hansel as the main character. The other characters only filled the background in my experience. The space travel and the other stories fitted better in this one, since it was not - as far as I could tell - a retelling, but Hansel ruined what could have been a nice story. It felt a bit like there were too many things the author tried to fit into the story, but otherwise I liked it better.

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

Review
3 Stars
Princess of Tyrone
Princess of Tyrone: Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles, Book One - Katie Hamstead

I'd initially missed out on Princess of Tyrone, but with Myths of Mish coming, I decided to give it a try. I'm a bit picky when it comes to fairy tale retellings, so please bear with me.

Young Appoline doesn't know anything besides her life in a small cottage in the woods, almost hidden away, raised by her three fairy godmothers (who for the record, are almost as cringeworthy as the ones from the movie Maleficent, and make her recite fairy tales at random). Either way, since there is space travel in this universe, she meets a young prince pretending (but utterly failing) to pass as a commoner. They spend most of the book wondering about their respective matches, as both have been betrothed since birth, as of course, all commoners are. The rest, as they say, doesn't really come as a surprise for the reader.

I wasn't sure what to expect, and I can't really say whether or not I found it with Princess of Tyrone. While it certainly was a quick and easy read, I kept thinking to myself that it was all a little bit too obvious. There was no real surprise, everything fitted together a bit too well for my taste. Also, the space travel and general fairy tale mix up was a nice touch but didn't seem to add to the story really. I hope Myths of Mish will be more up my alley.

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

Review
4 Stars
Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters (Otherwhere Book 1) - Sara O. Thompson

Sara O Thompson’s novel Muddy Waters, the first in the new Otherwhere series, gives us a world that has changed. Boundaries dropped and now the humans and the Others, which is basically everything else, have to find a new way of dealing with this knowledge. The nicest thing of this novel is that these things haven’t settled completely yet. Since the change is so recent, people are still trying to figure out how to do things in this new world.

Meet Tessa Reddick, a Witch currently incarcerated for killing all of her coven and female family members. As she’s offered a job at the FBI investigating crimes involving Others, she gets a new chance at life, but she will also have to deal with her past, which everyone else hasn’t forgotten.

What I really liked, as I stated before, is the world. A lot is going on, especially in the background, and I have a feeling that this will become more important in the rest of the series. I’m already looking forward to it. Tessa is a nice main character, but to me she still misses something to make her really memorable. If there is anything the urban fantasy genre is rich in, it would be strong female characters. The story focuses on a murder mystery that crosses worlds, quite literally, but in the end is not the strongest point of the book.

Very enjoying read, but missed the little something extra to make it really special. Looking forward however to the rest of the series as the world is very interesting!

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

Review
2.5 Stars
The Petrified Flesh
The Petrified Flesh (Reckless Book 1) - Cornelia Funke, Oliver Latsch

The Petrified Flesh (or Reckless as it used to be called), is a series by Cornelia Funke that I have seen in the bookstore about a million times. Something, however, stopped me from reading it previously. I can't even begin to explain why, because her Inkworld trilogy is one of my favorite children's books and The Thief Lord I also enjoyed a lot.

Maybe it was just a warning from myself, because now that I read it, it didn't feel right and I can't say that I enjoyed it. It felt part like a cheaper version of Inkworld, with another world behind the mirror, and also the characters didn't come to life for me (pun intended). It was not truly bad either, but just very forgettable.

I was disappointed, and I haven't decided yet wether or not to continue with the series.

Review
4 Stars
Kasper M├╝tzenmacher's Cursed Hat
Kasper M├╝tzenmacher's Cursed Hat (Life Indigo Book 1) - Keith R. Fentonmiller

I’m not sure how to classify Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat, it is at the same time so many different things. Based on the title, one would guess a fantasy novel about the ‘cursed hat’ which is also a teleportation device. Based on the cover, a second world war novel about Nazi Germany. But in the end, it was more than even a combination of those two.

 

Spanning most of the lifetime of Kasper Mützenmacher, the story for me fell apart to several distinct pieces. First there is Kasper and Isana, then Kasper as a single father (with Rosamund), then America. They all felt like really different pieces for most of the time. I liked the story best when they were still in Germany, the American part felt rushed, with certain things that just happened so quick that it didn’t feel synchronised with the rest of the story (although some of it is explained through the -plot convenient-  curse).

 

While I enjoyed the book, and am certainly curious towards the rest of series (not in the least because I’m wondering what it will be about as this seemed a rather closed story), there were some things I didn’t like. One was the ending, it was rather absurd and I didn’t think it gave a good closure to the Klaus plot. Another was the curse placed upon the Lux women, because I didn’t get why they would have to be cursed as well. Seemed Apollo sure liked to curse families until eternity…

 

This book is probably quite different from the rest you’ve read this year. Would recommend to those who like to read something else for a change.

 

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

Review
2 Stars
The Twilight Zone: Shadow And Substance
Twilight Zone: Shadow & Substance - Mark Rahner, Tom Peyer, John Layman

I haven't seen Twilight Zone, so that might be one of the reasons why I believed this comic to be so confusing, and frankly not very good.

I didn't like the story, and most of it was so weird, that about halfway through, I just lost interest. It was really not for me, but perhaps there are others who will get what I assume are references or inside jokes and will appreciate it a lot more than I did.

It just 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
The Inkblots
The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing - Damion Searls

This title immediately interested me, even though I've always been skeptical about the Rorschach test. I've however never taken one, and I hold a degree in neither psychiatry nor psychology. But I'm a scientist, so the parts where Rorschach is optimizing his test (stating he needs many more subjects both healthy and diseases, blind interpretation of tests and a standardized form of scoring good and bad answers) were among my favorites, as it seemed quite far ahead of his time.

The book however, is more of a dual biography of Rorschach but especially his test. I liked the first part (also see above) which focused on Rorschach as he's developing his test. After his untimely death in the 1920s (which is only halfway through the book) the focus changes to what happened to the test afterwards.

This latter part had great trouble to hold my interest. It seemed to contain a series of always new people quarreling about who is the new Rorschach. It is here that the test starts to falter in the hands of people who all want to prove themselves (some trying to standardize it but resulting in over diagnosis of most everyone), although I was quite shocked to find out it can be used as evidence in court (since it is not an unquestioned test). This part is also filled with quite a lot of other test and terms from personality testing, not all of it is explained well enough that it is not confusing.

All in all, I really enjoyed the biography of Rorschach, I didn't quite like the one about his test as much.

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

Review
4 Stars
How We Weep And Laugh At The Same Thing
How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing (Little Black Classics #29) - Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne was apparently one the most important French Renaissance philosophers, but I had never heard of the good man before picking up this Little Black Classic which bundles six of his essays.

I was pleasantly surprised. His ideas were not particularly shocking (at least not today) but the meandering way in which it was written made for a nice read. However, while I liked this, I'm not really inclined into reading more of his essays.

Little Black Classics ~ 29

Review
3 Stars
Bob's Burgers: Well Done
Bob's Burgers: Well Done - Loren Bouchard, Ben Dickerson, Jeff Drake, Rachel Hastings

I have a confession to make: I STILL haven't watched the tv show. I know, it's bad. Ever since I once got a single issue of the Bob's Burgers comics I've been told (and also I've really been meaning) to watch the series as I've enjoyed the comics.

I've heard that if you love the series, you will also love the comics. I can add to that: even if you haven't seen the series, you can still have a lot of fun with the comics. It contains sort of constant parts (like Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction and Gene's Musicals) together with some more random parts.

Looking forward to the next one!

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
Femme Fatale
Femme Fatale (Little Black Classics #15) - Guy de Maupassant

Femme Fatale combines the title story and three other short stories from French author Guy de Maupassant. I can only say that they felt rather explicit and openly contained lesbianism which quite surprised me since it was being written in Victorian times. Something else I notices was that it had a French-ness that I can't really explain any better.

The stories themselves were okay, but none of them left a real impression with me. Rather, they felt quite flat, but I'm not sure some of it was lost in translation. Since I don't read in French, it would have to be in translation again, so I don't think I will be reading more of this author.

Little Black Classic ~ 15

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