Novella

      Omg. How can she scare me, make me comforted, and then break my heart?
Likes:

      Well it’s T. Kingfisher and she is one of my favorite authors. I will love and support her work whenever it comes out.

      The characters, especially Hester. I enjoyed her character and point of view the most. I have a friend that reminded me a lot of Hester, and so was able to envision her. Let me just tell you, it was like having my friend I haven’t seen for years besides me for a few days.

      Penelope Green – ugh! She seems like an old-school cool type person that I know I will never be, but have tried many times to emulate.

      Lady Strauss – just an all around defender of her friends. I love it.

      Willard and Alice. Dependable, good-natured people to be surrounded by.

      Finally, the bad guys! They are actually bad, you know? Like there is no redemption for them, and they were terrifying. For example, being made obedient, and just watching your mother use your body as a puppet… The opening description of being made to sit still in a church pew, unable to move, as a fly walks across your hand. Feeling the individual hairs of the fly’s foot pierce the skin, the idea, makes me feel a little icky. Look, here’s a picture of a fly’s foot. No, thank you.

      Ok, enough about flies. I know they are mostly harmless, but I would definitely have sent that fly flying.

      The amazing thing about T. Kingfisher’s writing here is that all the characters are flawed, but it isn’t portrayed negatively. I have never cared for books where the main character is flawless, beautiful, and perfect. I have never met anyone like that in real life, and it all feels so fake. I mean, I get that fiction is usually a suspension of disbelief, but I want to be able to relate to most of the characters I am reading about.
Dislikes:

      The pacing. I adore novella’s and T. Kingfisher writes the best of them. So when I saw that this was over 300 pages, I was a bit surprised, and this might be why I felt that it got a little slow to the action.

      The romance. Reader, it might not even be fair to write this. I was not in the mood for a romantic tale. I found Hester’s reasoning’s to be selfish and frustrating. Also, when I talk about flawed characters, this was the one spot where I was the most disappointed. Every single time she talked about how old she was and how undeserving she was for love, it made me roll my eyes.

      Anyway, this is a 4.5 star book for me. I loved it. I wish T. Kingfisher would actually hire me as a beta reader and email me every day with her newest writings. I think it would be a win-win, really. She would get my undying loyalty (which I mean she already has), and I in turn would get awesome things to read without having to wait.

      Which actually brings me to the last bit of my review. As I don’t have an in with T. Kingfisher, I’d like to give my thanks to the awesome people over at Netgalley and Tor who approve my requests for her books. THANK YOU!


 Chapter 8 — Page: 68
“None whatsoever,” said Hester dryly. “Otherwise people might get on them.” She turned to Doom. “There was a terrible murder in Little Haw, you see, and your daughter was overset by the thought that she might know the victims.”
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 8 — Page: 69
Doom’s glance was quick and cold. Hester smiled comfortably and adjusted her shawl.
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 10 — Page: 82
“Walk,” she ordered finally. “To the far wall and back.” Cordelia obeyed, trying not to stumble. She wasn’t used to thinking about how she walked, and suddenly the whole concept of walking seemed completely absurd. You fell forward and put out a foot to catch yourself before you sprawled on the ground. And then you did it again? And this was normal?
It’s like thinking about blinking. The moment you think about it, you start to worry that you aren’t blinking often enough, or too often and now I’m thinking about blinking, oh dear . . .
Still, her feet took care of themselves while she was worried about blinking too much, so that was a small mercy.
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 17 — Page: 154
“The student has, I think, outshone the master.”
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 20 — Page: 180
She let her mouth witter on, hoping that her brain would come up with something brilliant in the interim. It declined to do so.
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 28 — Page: 244
and dogs made of bones.
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 28 — Page: 247
Willard
-=-=-=-=-=-
 Chapter 29 — Page: 248
Worse than the eyestrain was the fear that she would miss something vital. She would often find herself halfway down a page with no memory of what she had just read, and would be forced to start again.
-=-=-=-=-=-

Published by: Tor Publishing Group
Pub Date: 06 Aug 2024
Genre: Novellas & Short Stories | Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pages: 208
Date Read: 14 Mar 2024
Rating: ★★★★☆

Read more

      Eveen the Eviscerator is skilled, discreet, professional, and here for your most pressing needs in the ancient city of Tal Abisi. Her guild is strong, her blades are sharp, and her rules are simple. Those sworn to the Matron of Assassins—resurrected, deadly, wiped of their memories—have only three unbreakable vows.

      First, the contract must be just. That’s above Eveen’s pay grade.

      Second, even the most powerful assassin may only kill the contracted. Eveen’s a professional. She’s never missed her mark.

      The third and the simplest: once you accept a job, you must carry it out. And if you stray? A final death would be a mercy. When the Festival of the Clockwork King turns the city upside down, Eveen’s newest mission brings her face-to-face with a past she isn’t supposed to remember and a vow she can’t forget.

      Thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are mine.

      At this point in the review, I haven’t even finished reading it, and yet I already know I love it. Here’s why: kick butt female main character, Eveen. There truly isn’t anything wrong with her character, Well except maybe that she kills people. But besides that small detail, I love her.

      Eveen wagged a finger. “That’s solid literature! Asheel hunts maniacs—even though he’s a maniac! A maniac who hunts other maniacs? Genius! And Terrors of the Demon Lands is reputedly an eyewitness account.”
      Fennis regarded her skeptically.

      Isn’t this like a lot of anime plots, lol? And speaking of loling, I literally did that a few times, and again I’m not even 60% into this book.

      Also, I just really enjoy books where the main characters are above the age of thirty, or just doesn’t put an age on the characters, either way just another reason Eveen needs to be in more stories. Please, write more stories with her in it.

      Then there’s everyone else in the story. Fennis and Ennis are adorable, and I would want them on my side. Baseema, another kick butt woman, whom I would not want to cross. Sky is super smart, strong, and capable. The quads were funny and scary. The Banari made me chuckle. Really having a hard time here to think of one bad thing. I guess, let me finish reading the story.

      Another thing is the world building is absolutely beautiful. I felt like I was there. The festival sounded neat, and I got Guild Wars vibes from it. The Clockwork King, the Pirate Princess, and the Golden Bounty, magic called shimmer, laboratories with machines to see auras! Speaking of laboratories, that brings me back to this part:

      “You’ve used this before, then?” the girl asked.

      “On myself, yes. And cats. Regrettably, they won’t let me experiment on students.”

      “You shared your aura with a cat?” Eveen asked, half-expecting the man to lick himself.

      “Yes. Remarkable creatures. Half in this world and half . . . who knows.”

      “What is it cats are thinking about?” the girl asked.

      Ennis shrugged. “Mostly fancy themselves predators who hunt and eat us. Delusions of grandeur. Anyway, the principle here should be the same.

      LOL

      I found this while looking up the author:

      But much of his beloved sci-fi and fantasy fiction didn’t pass, or barely passed, his mother’s litmus test: It lacked Black and Latino characters, women, and LGBTQ people at the center of the stories.

      Gabriel had from a young age written fiction as a hobby, loving the idea of world-building, of dystopias, of a kernel of history spinning out into a new alternative reality. And the absence of people like him in those stories colored his writing from day one.

      “I felt a need for more diverse tales with more diverse characters drawn from more diverse sources,” he says. Link

      This story doesn’t lack. I mean, if I finish this book and all the characters are killed off in insane manners, I might still give this at least three stars. Even while being incredibly saddened and disappointed, because I rarely start writing reviews in the middle of books.

      Ok. I am back from finishing this story. I loved it. I love novella’s because they are short, and I really wouldn’t want to add anymore to this particular story. However, I want to read more stories involving all of them. Most of all, I want more stories with and about Eveen. I started a book that was kind of close to this one in terms of smart, but also kind of goofy leading lady main characters, and had to stop reading it. It wasn’t Eveen, it was similar, but not close enough, because it wasn’t Mr. Clark’s writing. No hate to that other novel, though, I’ll try again later on.

      Anyway, I don’t have anything else to say, and so, this concludes the love letter to this book.

      Please write more about Eveen, pretty please?

Published by: Tor Publishing Group
Pub Date: 06 Aug 2024
Genre: Novellas & Short Stories | Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pages: 208
Date Read: 14 Mar 2024
Rating: ★★★★★

Read more