Windwitch – By Susan Dennard

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Goodreads Synopsis: After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

You guys. 😦 😦 😦  This book was such a huge disappointment.  😦 😦 😦   I really really enjoyed the first book, I mean it had it’s flaws but it had some really badass characters. Windwitch lost everything I loved from the first book.  I honestly don’t even really want to write this review because I’m so sad about this.

I don’t think I have a single positive thing to say about Windwitch. There were too many POV switches, basically ever character ever had chapters from their view.  It was confusing, boring, predictable, it had way to many coincidences.  It was just plain boring. With the first book I was racing to get to the end, I couldn’t put Truthwitch down. Windwitch I could barley pick up.

It had the whole “You thought this person was a bad guy but really they aren’t” after building up the same character in the last book as fricken evil. Merik was so angsty. Safa’s character turned into a puddle of blah.  Isult starts falling for Aeduan, which I personally thought was ridiculous. They had zero chemistry.   Everyone I cared for felt so different in this sequel! There was also a character, Cam, who was maybe transgender? Or genderqueer? He is biologically female but dresses as a male and wants everyone to use the male pronouns. He’s traveling with Merik but Merik  is rude to him most of the time and also doesn’t use the right pronouns. It felt like Dennard was trying to include a queer character but I was really uncomfortable with how Cam was written.

At this point I would not recommend the sequel to anyone, and I’m hesitant about the series.  Personally I will be reading the third book when it comes out, because I loved the first book. But that’s just me.  I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads.

3 NetGalley Reviews

These are my most recent NetGalley reviews, thanks as always to NetGalley for giving me copies of these books.

The End We Start From – 3.5 Stars.

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Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

Goodreads Synopsis: In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z’s small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds. This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family’s world – of new life and new hope – sings with love.

This book was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be, so I actually ended up sitting down and reading it in an evening.  The End We Start From has some really beautiful, and almost lyrical prose.  I wasn’t expecting an apocalyptic book to be written like this, and right away it hooked me on the book.

The characters in this book were all named with just initials, which was interesting. Though I felt it made the characters feel a little distant. I never really felt for them as much as I wanted too, and as much as I thought the story had potential to make me feel. But I did like the idea of seeing the end of the world from the point of view of a mother. In the end I decided to give this book 3.5 stars.

The Wisdom of Dead Men – 1 Star.

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Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

Goodreads Synopsis: While investigating a series of mysterious murders, Nate uncovers dark secrets that threaten to reveal the true nature of the Wildenstern family. The British Empire is no longer the authority it once was. Instead, it’s controlled by private business organizations–the most powerful of which is Ireland’s ruthless Wildenstern family. Eighteen-year-old Nathaniel Wildenstern has given up his dreams of travel and adventure to devote himself to being his brother Berto’s head of security. With the help of his wife, Daisy, Berto wants to change the barbaric ways of the clan. But there are many among the Wildensterns who like things the way they are, and will resort to whatever devious methods necessary to keep it that way.Meanwhile, the burnt bodies of women are appearing around Dublin. When a connection to the Wildenstern family is discovered, Nate, Daisy, and Nate’s sister Tatiana decide to investigate. Soon the young Wildensterns are digging into shadowy societies and dark family secrets that date back to the origin of the engimals, who are part animal, part machine. And what they find could shed light on the savage nature of the Wildensterns themselves.

This book took me months and months to read. I kept trying to get into the story, kept trying to be interested in the characters but I just wasn’t.  Part of this could be that I wasn’t able to read the first book. I didn’t realize this was the second book in the series when I originally got it from NetGalley.  Awhile back I’d read the prequel to the series and loved it, so I thought I’d read more.  Maybe if I’m able to read the first book and I like it I can come back to this one and try it again.  1 star.

Once, In Lourdes – 3 stars.

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Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

Goodreads Synopsis: Four high school friends stand on the brink of adulthood—and on the high ledge above the sea at the local park in Lourdes, Michigan, they call the Haight—and make a pact. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. And at the end of the two weeks, they will stand once again on the bluff and jump, sacrificing themselves on the altar of their friendship. Loyal Kate, beautiful Vera, witty C.J., and steady Saint—in a two-week span, their lives will change beyond their expectations, and what they gain and lose will determine whether they enter adulthood or hold fast to their pledge. Once, in Lourdes is a haunting and moving novel of the power of teenage bonds, the story of four characters who will win your heart and transport you back to your own high school years.

I was expecting this book to be somewhat dark, it is after all about four kids who have a suicide pact. But I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so disturbing.  I mean the book was interesting, it had more of an experimental feel when it came to the writing. It included some of the drawings of the main character Kate.  The characters were all interesting as well, I was able to feel for all of them.  The ending took me by surprise as well, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It was a very dark ending. Which is why I ended up giving the book three stars. It whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Cauldron Anthology – Submission Date Moved

We, at Cauldron Anthology, are extending the deadline for submissions. This gives us, and our readership more opportunity to receive a larger variety of work.  The editors would love to see more art submissions, and some essays as well.
This month we have some short stories that we can’t wait to share. We love our poetry, but we also love seeing the different directions you have taken the topic of Sphinx.

As the Editor-in-Chief, I am very excited with this theme.  I have been inspired by the research I’ve done.  I like the idea of Sphinxes being watchers and guardians and how that correlates with women in familial households. Whether you are actually a mother who protects her young, or you are the person in your friend group who looks out for everyone, I’m hoping you are inspired by this topic as well.

We look forward to receiving more submissions! The deadline is now July 16th. 

Tiny Moments – By Sarah Little

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Synopsis: There are moments that define us; moments that defy us; moments that design us; moments that decry us. We are made up of little moments that devise us and destroy us, and make us decide who we really are

“tiny moments” is a collection of 10 poems which catch short moments in time.

Find on Etsy, Goodreads and on Sarah’s Blog. 

This is a lovely little chapbook. I read in about an hour this morning.   What first caught my attention were the titles of the poems. Each one was vivid and drew me into the story of the poem.  From photo-shoot girlfriend to on the subject of warpaint they each painted a clear picture.

The poems themselves were also beautiful.  Here’s a line I really liked:

(she becomes a/ facsimile of a girl,/ a secret monster/ without a face)

Sarah is truly a gifted poet, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the future.

I gave this chapbook 4 stars on Goodreads.   Again be sure to check out Sarah’s blog, as she frequently shares poetry and other writing on it.

Coda – By Emma Trevayne

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Goodreads Synopsis: Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.  Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I was super excited to read this book, as the main character is a male bisexual, which you don’t see very often!

Sadly this book was not for me.  From page one to the end of the book I was confused as hell.  The main premise of the book wasn’t explained until half way through, and even then the explanation made little sense.  The plot twists were cliche and obvious and in short I was so bored. I had to force myself to finish this book, and yes I did skim the last few chapters.

Anthem has no personality. He wanders around through the story with confusing and conflicting motivations. He’s dull as a bag of rocks. He wants to fight the government and protect his siblings at the same time, but he never makes choices that make sense for what he wants.

As for the other characters…Where were they? What were they doing? I’m not sure, I never cared enough for any of them to look past the plot.  I wanted to care, I really did. I just couldn’t get to know any of them. I was also sad that the romance wasn’t M/M, but I did like the inclusion of Anthem’s ex-boyfriend.  It’s nice to see bisexual characters in books!

I think Coda was a really unique idea. I love Dystopian literature, I think the characters could have been badass. Sadly it just never happened. I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads.

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme started by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s theme was series that you want to read but just haven’t managed to get to yet. Boy this was quite the job.  See I only have 2667 books on my Goodreads TBR so you can imagine it was a problem of deciding which ones to include. 😉 So I decided to just start at the beginning of my list (which was started in 2010) and go from there. Here is the list, quite at random.

1.First Kill. Find on Goodreads. 

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2. Inside Out. Find on Goodreads. 

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3. Poison Study. Find on Goodreads. 

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4. Murder At the Vicarage. Find on Goodreads. 

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5. Speaker For the Dead. Find on Goodreads. 

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6. The Witch’s Daughter. Find on Goodreads. 

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7. Shatter Me. Find on Goodreads. 

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8. Hourglass. Find on Goodreads.

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9. The Mysterious Howling. Find on Goodreads. 

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10. Sisters Red. Find on Goodreads. 

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What’s on your list? Post a link to your TTT in the comments so I can read it! 🙂