Reviews

Title & Author: Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree
Published by: Tor Trade
Pub Date: November 7, 2023
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 339
Date Read: 2024/05/19
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Spoiler-ish

The ending made me incredibly sad. I was going to read “Legends & Lattes”, but decided I would start with the sequel-prequel. Now that I know I will be leaving most of the characters behind, I have no interest in continuing (at least not for while), with the story-line.

Travis Baldree mentioned a mystery set in this world and I hope he goes back to the idea. I enjoyed the story and the coziness of it all. Just felt like Maylee deserved better.

 

Highlights
Chapter 16– Page: 115
“You know, there’s a lot of people out there. Lot of noise. I love what I do, love it every day, but none of us sees more than a tiny piece of all the world, like we’re lookin’ out a little-bitty window. And I saw you through mine, and somethin’ inside me said, ‘That’s somebody you oughta know.’ Simple as that.
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Chapter 35– Page: 231
“Never trust a writer who doesn’t have too many books to read. Or a reader, for that matter,” said Zelia.
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      When Ruby rents a fully furnished apartment, she doesn’t expect it to come with the ghost of the previous tenant too. When her neighbor across the hall winds up dead, and the police dismiss it as a mugging gone wrong rather than a murder, she and her deceased roommate decide to investigate.

      I got this book through Netgalley and requested it primarily because of the cover and I wanted a mystery. It’s a decent mystery that was fun to read. I liked the main characters of Cordelia (my favorite), and Ruby. Ruby I thought at times was annoying, but I can’t explain why exactly. I think it was because she was so outgoing? Example, who in their right mind is gonna go to the murder victim’s work and interrogate his coworkers? What company would even allow this woman to walk on in and conduct an investigation in their break room. This is probably where I should say that this begins what I disliked about the book. Why in the world would all of Jake’s (the dead guy) coworkers answer this woman? She isn’t the police, she has no power or authority. There’s a bit later on when one of Jake’s girlfriends turns up at Cordelia’s and Ruby’s apartment to answer questions. What?! Why? Why would she do that. I can suspend my disbelief for ghosts, but I can not envision a world where a woman who seems to be so full of herself would travel to the apartment of some unknown woman to answer questions to help further along Ruby’s investigation. It doesn’t make sense.

      Also, this book has me wondering if everybody in Boston is obsessed with beer and drinking? Because I would have thought that no, of course not, but this book has every character (besides Ruby) asking for a beer. I’m surprised the author didn’t write in the bus driver as drinking on the job.

      I also liked some of the explanation on the ghost mechanics, like why ghosts don’t want to actually come in contact with a living person. That’s a great idea, make it painful for the ghost too. However, I did not care for the whole “if I believe it to be true, it suddenly is”. Need to make a whole garbage bag disappear, just will it to be so! Yet Cordelia struggles with floating, but can walk through the walls, and sink through the ground. I get that ghosts have magical abilities in a folklore sense, making things appear and disappear. I just thought explaining it away with simply thinking it’s true makes it true was a bit lazy. Furthermore, I would rather have not had it explained. Along with maybe a whole garbage bag disappearing. There has to be rules to this, right? If you can cover it with your ghostly hands it disappears, if you can’t wrap your whole body around an object it’s going to be visible. It’s just the way it is. I have read, watched, and listened to ghost stories, I’m a paranormal expert, 😛 Just kidding. I have no idea. But that’s just what I found annoying.

      Overall, I enjoyed reading it. I liked the story line. I loved Cordelia’s character and look forward to reading the next one in this series.

Thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are mine.
Title & Author: A New Lease on Death by Olivia Blacke
Published by: Minotaur Books
Pub Date: Oct 29 2024
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Pages: 336
Date Read: 2024/05/07
Rating:★★★☆☆

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      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.”
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 Chapter 8 — Page: 69
Doom’s glance was quick and cold. Hester smiled comfortably and adjusted her shawl.
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 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.
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 Chapter 17 — Page: 154
“The student has, I think, outshone the master.”
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 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.
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 Chapter 28 — Page: 244
and dogs made of bones.
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 Chapter 28 — Page: 247
Willard
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 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.
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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: ★★★★☆

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

      I journal every day and like to sometimes break up the block of text with doodles. However, I do not draw very well. So when I see any “Learn To Draw” books that are as adorable as this, I usually request it.

      Sometimes though, the how-to’s leave a lot of directions out, assuming you can make it to their shapes, when in reality it’s very hard for someone with little drawing skill to actually recreate those shapes. This book however is easy to use, and has really cute birds to draw.

Title & Author: Kawaii Birdies by Jen Budrock
Published by: Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point
Pub Date: 07 May 2024 |
Genre: Arts & Photography | Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga
Pages: 144
Date Read: 12 Feb 2024
Rating:★★★★★

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