Genre: Historical


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Ink and Bone
Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, YA
Publication date: July 7th, 2015
by NAL

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In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
-A copy was provided by NAL for review-

I am a bookworm (hopefully there are no doubts about that) so a book that featured an evil library definitely got my attention. Ink and Bone also had a lot of hype surrounding it and some of my most-trusted peeps loved it. When I finally dove in, I was expecting my mind to be blown and it wasn’t necessarily blown but there is just something about this book. It’s really really slow but it is also really fucking amazing.

If you love fascinating villains, this book is for you. The Library is the villain here. The library essentially controls the world so there is definite dystopic quality to this book but don’t be turned off by that if dystopias aren’t your thing. The library isn’t some mindlessly evil villain. The library is proof of what happens when fantastic ideas go down the gutter because of corruption. It isn’t the library that is bad but the corrupt officials who don’t want change. Who enjoy the power and love the control. They are what has changed the library from the great idea it was to something more evil. the point of all my rambling is that this book isn’t black and white about it’s bad guys. Everything is complex and intricately developed. Also, I totally got 1984 vibes from the library because they are so aware of everything you do. Nothing is a secret. Not even your innermost thoughts. It’s creepy.

The characters are also pretty great. Jess was such an adorable and relatable MC and his love for books called out to me. I loved Khalifa for being such a smarty-pants and Wolfe was my one true love. ALSO lots of shippy-feels in this one. Not going to disclose my fav ship because they don’t come up until later but they made me want to curl up in a ball because they were so cute.

There is *some* diversity in this book but I am actually really sad about the lack of people of color in this one. Khalifa is a POC and Dario is Spanish but this book is set in Alexandria so I wanted there to be more POC. And maybe the setting to be explored a little bit more? I LOVE how the library is set up and this book is about introducing us to the system, but it would have been so cool if we got to step outside and experience Alexandria and Egypt (I really want to go to Egypt someday so I would have loved to live vicariously through the characters.)

My other qualm was the general slowness of the book. I am a fairly quick reader and this book isn’t very long but it is SLOW. Not slow in the sense that nothing is happening  either, the book just drags for some reason I am not sure about. I wanted to devour this book in one go but ended up taking 3 days to read it! THAT IS INSANE for me. If it hadn’t taken me so long to read the book, I might have loved it even more than I do right now.

This is an amazing book, but one I would recommend with caution because it isn’t just a book you can pick up and breeze through. You have to be in the mood to read this book and willing to put in the effort to read it. It is amazing and worth it in the end, though, so you should definitely check it out if evil libraries that have secret depths are your thing.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Posted by on 12/20/2015 • 5 Comments

A Drop of Night actually proved to be a pretty interesting book.

If you like a bit of everything in speculative fiction, then this book might just strike your fancy. It definitely has some drama, history, mystery, and a whole lot of science fiction and thriller, and I daresay that the book was able to mesh them well. Even though there were so many elements altogether, it never felt muddled or out of place or all over the place. And to be honest with you, for a book of this kind, that’s rare.

Do take note – it’s not perfect. But it did try and it tried really well.

What are you to do when you receive a letter – out of nowhere – inviting you to help a team…

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Posted by on 09/09/2015 • 5 Comments

“HEY, PARDNER. You don’t happen to have a dip there, wouldcha? Yer gonna be in fer a wild, wild ride, Western style.”

Did I say that right? Did I sound like a kick-ass cowboy, about to tell a story around a campfire? Yes? …No? Ah, well.

2015 is definitely the year where Western YA is taking the world by storm. I’ve already read 2 set in this era – one during the Californian Gold Rush (Walk on Earth a Stranger) and finally, this one, set a little bit after all the gold hooligans have come and gone. And to think there’s another one set with a Chinese heroine (Under the Never Sky), which I hear is pretty good, diverse, and character-driven (you bet I’ll be reading that one as soon…

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Posted by on 08/26/2015 • 10 Comments

Long story short: this book got me out of a dreadful book slump.

One of a bookworm’s worst nightmares? That feeling when you just can’t get into any book. I’ve started feeling this way recently, having started at least five novels in the last five days and not finishing a single one. I just couldn’t feel anything towards them. Is it me or is it the book? Either way, I was a wreck with the guilt, considering the backlog of books, ARCs and otherwise, that have been on my shelves for months.

Leave it to Rae Carson’s fantastic storytelling skills and genuine characters to pull me out of that abyss. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

This book gave me newfound life. The Gold Rush era + an uncanny ability to feel…

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Posted by on 08/10/2015 • 3 Comments

This sequel has been a very long wait to read and I had very high expectations going into it. It was a little slow going at first, but it was so good. Even though it was slow, we get all of the characters we love (and maybe don’t love so much) as well as new ones. As with the first one, the descriptiveness was amazing and I loved seeing what everyone has been up to and what the new danger is going to put them through. By the time I was nearing the end of this book I was reading frantically needing to see what would happen. And the end… ahhhhh!! I sure hope the next book doesn’t take as long as this sequel did to come out. I assure…

Review: YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright

Review: YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright

Posted by on 06/23/2015 • 5 Comments

I admit, I loved reading the original Romeo and Juliet in school, but I know that for some people it isn’t something they enjoyed. I think that this was a fun way to get people interested in the basics of the story in a modern way. I thought the group texts and messages were entertaining. I especially loved all the emojis in it. I do have to say though, this is not a replacement for the original, but it was fun to read.

Everyone knows how the story goes. Star-crossed lovers ending in tragic death, but this book tells the story in a less morbid way. This is a kind of hard review to write since it’s not a typical book. I do think that for kids in school who…

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Segdwick

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Segdwick

Posted by on 12/15/2014 • 20 Comments

This is one of those books that I really have no clue how to review. The writing was beautiful and lyrical, and the stories were intriguing and kept me interested, but I feel like maybe I wasn’t smart enough for this book. Now, I’m not a stupid person (I don’t think anyways), but I just didn’t get it. I liked how we start way back in time with the first story, and progress through time and even into the future in the next three. I enjoyed seeing how each previous story tied into the next. I just didn’t quite get it all. I can’t really explain it. I understood what the spiral means and signifies, but how the stories were told had me scratching my head.

The first story…

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Posted by on 10/23/2014 • 14 Comments

Super cute! The plot is more-or-less a game of clue, but more MG-like, with a large cast of funny, resourceful, and charismatic young girls.

Much like its cover, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is intriguing and fun with a touch of humour. We begin by being introduced to the girls with the help of some illustrations and a quick look into why they were sent to St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls. I had the ARC so the illustrations were sadly missing, but the cover accomplished the same and it was fun to have a visual to go with all these great personalities. Then shortly after, we have the death of the headmistress and her brother, leaving the girls to solve a mystery while trying to hide the events…