Genre: Urban Fantasy


Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

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I received this book for free from Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah PorterVassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Published by Tor Teen on September 20th, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, YA
Source: Tor Teen
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three-half-stars

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

Here is the thing about this book, it would have hands down been a favorite of the year were it not so flipping confusing. I am not the kind of person that is immediately turned off from a book when something doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I enjoy it when my mind is being twisted into a pretzel because everything is SO COMPLICATED but that isn’t Vassa in the Night. Vassa in the Night has beautiful writing, an interesting plot and a gorgeous atmosphere but the problem is that the world building needs a LOT of work. I don’t understand at ALL how the world works. This book is trying so hard to be whimsical and eerie that the bare bones are kind of just forgotten about. I need at least some things to make sense so I can get behind other things that don’t and that’s basically the problem here. NOTHING makes sense. NOTHING AT ALL. I don’t how how the story gets from point a to b. I DON’T KNOW THINGS and it is bothersome.

But I did say this book would have been a favorite of the year if it hadn’t been confusing and the reason for that is that this book is exactly the kind of fantasy that draws me in. It’s got so many things going for it. Vassa is a great character and easy to get behind, the book is structured like a fairy tale even though it is set in a more urban setting, so it basically wins (or would have won) and there are some great relationships in this book even though Vassa considers herself a lone wolf.

I really did want to love this book and I am not entirely sure that I didn’t not love it. There is just SOMETHING about this book that makes me want to cuddle with it and declare it a masterpiece even though I was unhappy with the amount of confusion I experienced. You could say that I am confused about my feelings 😉 (I KNOW I AM TRASH)

Whatever else I might say, I can say that I did enjoy this book and might even recommend it to an actual human who is willing to deal with all the confusion to immerse themselves in this beautifully written fairy tale. I also made a mood board for it because this is the kind of book that inspires lots of confusions and a mood board. This mood board has been approved by a friend who has read the book but is probably biased because she is my friend.

Check the mood-board out here: https://www.pinterest.com/rashikabahl/vassa-in-the-night/

[pin_board url=”https://www.pinterest.com/rashikabahl/vassa-in-the-night/” size=”custom” image_width=”200″ board_width=”600″ board_height=”400″]

three-half-stars

3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Posted by on 11/20/2015 • 3 Comments

Guys, if you haven’t read an Ilona Andrews book, please, for the love of all things sane and holy, GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT AND READ HER NOW! Specifically the Innkeeper Chronicles series! Clean Sweep! Sweep in Peace! ALL OF HER BOOOKS!

This is, by far, the BEST urban fantasy I’ve ever read. EVER EVER EVER READ. You’re probably thinking, “But, Faye, didn’t you say a few months ago that it was Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series that was the best you’ve ever read?” That tidbit was very much true… until I’ve stumbled upon her more recent work, to which I would gleefully and willingly pay a limb to read the succeeding books. As soon as fucking possible.

Okay, fine, I’d also sacrifice a limb to read Anne Bishop’s Marked in Flesh (The…

Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Posted by on 02/17/2015 • 12 Comments

I love chips. I know they’re unhealthy and will probably shorten my life span and that I will regret it later when I’m old and senile and cranky as frack, but I just can’t help it. I love chips of all flavors – cheese, BBQ, sour cream, cheesy jalapeño – you name it. I see a bag of chips and I brighten up quickly. They’re one of my guilty pleasures.

However, there are exceptions. There are times a bag of chips make me unhappy and unsatisfied. Like, you open one and realize that puffy bag of chips was actually made up of 25% fatty goodness and 75% air.

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT THAT BLOODY SUCKS, DUDE.

You’re probably wondering the relevance of my silly “bag-o-chips” drivel. Well, to be completely honest, there’s…

Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Posted by on 11/21/2014 • 36 Comments

First off, this was such a beautiful novel, inside and out.

I like the sky. It’s rational to me in a way that life isn’t. Looking at it doesn’t suck the way you might think it would, given all the dying-girl-stares-at-heaven possibilities. I don’t think of the sky as any kind of heaven item. I think of it as a bunch of gases and faraway echoes of things that used to be on fire.

When I read the first few paragraphs of this book, I initially thought it was the diary of a self-absorbed girl who thought she was the shit. After finishing the first two chapters, I ate my words and realized that the heroine was actually exploding with a certain kind of wisdom only a mature person who…

Exclusive Sneak Peek at The Gifted Dead + Giveaway!

Exclusive Sneak Peek at The Gifted Dead + Giveaway!

Posted by on 09/10/2014 • 18 Comments

For fans of Urban Fantasy, I’ve got a treat for you today: an exclusive sneak peek at The Gifted Dead by Jenna Black as well as a chance to win!

Unique and Catchy Scene from The Gifted Dead!

Paris, France

Lynda Powell shut the bedroom door in her son’s face, turning the deadbolt despite Patrick’s Gift. If he wanted in, the lock would open for him, but at least she’d made her wishes clear.

“Mother, don’t be like this,” he said in the overly patient voice he’d been using with her ever since his father, her beloved Harry, had died.

Had it been only two months ago? The seemingly endless cycle of appeals had made it seem so much longer. Now word had come from the Abbey…

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Posted by on 12/17/2013 • 27 Comments

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-

This is one series I have been meaning to try out for so long! Like usual, it will likely take me 2 or 3 books to fall in love with it. As far as urban fantasies go it’s a really decent read. Great action, an awesome protagonist, a steamy romance. Overall it’s your average story: A protagonist with a unique power and/or advantage, gets trained to be better at what she does, and starts on an action-packed journey that’s meant to have a lot of life or death moments and risky situations.

Even though I’ve read plenty of Urban Fantasies, my list still doesn’t trump dedicated fans of the genre. Still, I’ve read my fair share, and while this one might not have…