Rage and Ruin – Katie Roman Review

Bridget O’Malley’s temper has always been trouble. It’s made her the black sheep of the family, cost her customers at her bar, and ruined relationships, but it has never put her life in danger. That is until she tries to rescue her cousin from a demon summoning cult. In picking a fight with one of Chicago’s most powerful witches, Bridget finds her bar being picketed, her witch’s license suspended, and demons on her trail. Annoyed and afraid Bridget uses the only weapon at her disposal to get her life back to normal: her temper.

Why did I pick this up?: Urban fantasy is my jam, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Good points: Interesting premise and world-building. It’s clear she’s done a lot of work on this novel and it shows. I also really like the idea of a heroine with faults – her temper – rather than the usual female main characters we get that are perfect.

Quibbles: I just… didn’t notice anything special. I really wanted to, but it didn’t really hook me. I wish I could have connected to the characters a little more, or at least found something within the plot that I just HAD to know more about. But honestly, I could have taken it or left it, and that’s a shame when an author has done such hard work to produce a book.

Overview (TL;DR): A novel with a lot of work put into it, but that didn’t manage to hook me.

-K Hart

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Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Córdova Review

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Why did I pick this up?: I’d heard so much about this book, and it sounded perfect for me. Diversity, check. Brujas? Check.

Good points: This story was beautifully told. Rishi was adorable, and we had a BISEXUAL PROTAGONIST yay. Los Lagos was beautiful, dark, rich and morbid all in alternate places – it was perfect. I’ve heard constant comparisons to Alice in Wonderland, which I adore, so it’s only natural some of the love I have for one book would have passed on to the other. The bird people were awesome, as was the intricate description of the rest of the world. Latin mythology, too? YES PLEASE.

Bad points: I have to say, it didn’t wow me as much as I’d hoped from hearing about it. I was honestly hoping for an f/f pairing that was more than just a little at the end of the book and a few moments throughout to give it confirmation. I could have also dealt with a little more characterisation of most if not all of the characters. It started off amazingly with that, but trailed off for me towards the end.

Overview (TL;DR): A beautiful book with some amazing mythology incorporated, but at times loses it on the characterisation front. F/F relationship not as explored as I might have liked.

-K Hart

Grey Magic – J T Lawrence Review

No one appreciates the irony of her situation more than Raven Kane: she’s a burnt-out witch. Raven is a hip, hexing-and-texting sorceress – or at least, she used to be. Now her ancient timber house is falling down around her, and the bank wants to repossess it. Nothing would make her cantankerous neighbour happier than seeing Raven and her messy menagerie out on the street. To add to her stress, the reckless Wicked Witches are causing mischief and it’s her job to reign them in. Worst of all is that her magic seems to be fading. Just as everything seems to be too much to handle, there’s a knock on the (splintering) door. A not-unattractive man appears in her life: not to save her, as a fairytale would have you believe, but to arrest her for the murder of one of her clients. It wouldn’t be that bad for Raven, except that she knows she’s guilty.

Why did I pick this up?: The plot sounded intriguing, and a modern take on witchcraft sounded like exactly my sort of thing. I also loved the simplicity of the cover.

Good points: Well, it did what it said on the tin. It was very much a modern witch story, with some great humour throughout.

Quibbles: Honestly, it took me SO LONG to get into and I’m not sure it was worth it. I’ve seen some very good reviews of this book, so maybe it was just me, but I think this book and I were incompatible. It was very nearly a DNF for me. Part of that, I think, was the use of present tense. It took me so long to get over that. I rarely like books in present tense – it has to be really good to grab me, and this one missed the mark, sadly. I loved the theory behind it, and the sense of what the story could have been, but I found the MC’s conversations with herself distracting rather than endearing, and the length of time it took for me to show interest at all was far too long for me.

Overview (TL;DR): Really not for me, which is a shame. To anyone reading this, it might be better for you, and by all means check out other reviews, but not for me.

-K Hart

White Night – Jim Butcher Review

Progress on Alternate: Editing at 28%

Current Review:

The first thing I think of when I’m writing about this book is a very dark part it contains. Now I tailor these reviews to make sure there are no spoilers, so I won’t talk about what it was except to say that it really hit a nerve with me.

This is Dresden Files #9. Vampires, more crime, apparent suicides… Lots of twists and turns. I also really like Molly, who has a hell of an attitude.

I need a dog like Mouse, too. Just a massive dog that’s peaceful and lovely. And you know, growls at evil people. That’s always good.

I found it really interesting how this book explored again a lot about the darker sides of Harry, and the way it addressed his own internal monologues, and so on… I don’t really have much to say other than that Jim Butcher managed to pull it out of his hat once again. Or you know, wherever he’s been pulling these books out of…

-K Hart