Vigil (Verity Fassbinder #1) REVIEW

28510550Vigil by Angela Slatter

Published July 7th 2016

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 351

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.
But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.
And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

In this books there are two different kinds of people: the Normal, that are normal people, and the Weyrd, that are creatures with supernatural capabilities.. The Weyrd use customized clothes and accessories to hide their features so that they can pass for Normals. The two live mostly in peace but then wine made of children’s tears appears in the market and Sirens start showing up dead. Verity Fassbinder is half Normal, half Weyrd and has to solve the mystery and discover who’s behind it. She has to solve it fast before the tragedy spreads to the Normal.

Let’s start with the characters. Verity Fassbinder, the main character, showed character development right from the beginning. Her back story was rich and made her a strong protagonist. She was not the perfect person, which made the book a lot better for me. Morally perfect protagonist annoy me and I’m glad the author wrote Verity the way she did. I also loved the fact that she was able to work for her ex-boyfriend, Bela, without trying to get him back. She was able to get a Normal boyfriend, David, and didn’t screw it up with hidden feelings for Bela. Overall, I consider that the characters were well-thought out and wonderfully written. The author could have ruined it with overused tropes and I’m glad she didn’t.

Now, the plot. I admired the fact that something relevant was always happening. Verity was always doing something, talking to someone, in order to solve the cases she had. The plot was complex and there were a lot of things happening at the same time. Even though that ended up being a good thing in the end, there were some times that I felt lost. It made the book hard to read while tired because I just didn’t have the energy to puzzle everything together in my mind. Still, I loved the story.

The writing was simple and straight-forward, which combined well with the rich and complex plot.

If you like urban fantasy and mystery books, you should try Vigil.

Rating: 4,5 stars

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Heart and Brain: Body Language REVIEW

34536961Heart and Brain: Body Language by Nick Seluk

Published October 3rd 2017

Genre: Graphic novel, Humor

Pages: 144

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Heart and Brain: Body Language continues the adventures of the loveably conflicted sentimental Heart and rational Brain, as well as other bodily inhabitants like Gallbladder, Muscle, and Tongue.
Warm-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny, these comics bring our inner struggles to vibrant, humorous life.

This book focuses on Heart and Brain. Heart is spontaneous and happy while Brain is logical and rational. It sounds like a good set of characters that could show some funny altercations but that wasn’t the case, at least not for me.

I couldn’t get into it and had to give up in the middle of the book. I didn’t find it funny.

I had already seen some of the author’s strips online and expected more from this graphic novel.

Rating: 2 stars

November Book Haul

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The books I got this month were:

  • Monstress Volume Two by Marjorie Liu
  • Adventures of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie
  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
  • Nemesis by Agatha Christie
  • Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Dry by Jane Harper

Some of these books were birthday gifts. Let me know in the comments if you read any of these and which ones you think I should read first.

Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman REVIEW

34467891Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman by Loryn Brantz

Published September 26th 2017

Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor

Pages: 128

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

A collection of Loryn Brantz’s vibrant and relatable Jellybean Comics about her everyday experiences as a lady 
Home manicure tips, awkward seduction techniques, scoping out the snack table, and—most important—prioritizing naps:Lady Stuff reveals these womanly secrets and more. In sections like “Grooming and Habitat Maintenance,” “Mating Habits,” and others, these brightly colored, adorable comics find the humor in the awkwardness of simply existing.
Like the work of Sarah Andersen, Gemma Correll, and Allie Brosh, Loryn Brantz’s Jellybean Comics are accessible and funny; lighthearted takes on the author’s everyday experiences and struggles being a woman.

This book is about the daily life of a woman. It ranges from mating habits to social conduct and it was really funny to read.

I already knew some of her work but almost none were featured in this graphic novel, making its content fresh.

The drawing style is inevitably funny and I found myself laughing out loud in some pages.

It’s a fast read that I recommend.

Rating: 4 stars

The Wicked + The Divine – Commercial Suicide (Volume #3) REVIEW

25853351Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles

Published February 9th 2016

Genre: Fantasy Graphic Novel

Pages: 200

Source: Borrowed it

Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.

In this series, Gods appear on Earth every 90 years and die 2 years after. They’re also pop stars.

This volume was different.

It focused on the back-stories of some of the Gods instead of the main plot line. It also focused more on Ananke than usual.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved to get to know the past of the Gods featured but, after the second volume’s ending, I was hoping to continue the story.

In this volume, the back-story of each God was made by a different artist in a different style that matched the God’s personality,

There was some plot development but the reader doesn’t get to know what happened to Laura.

I enjoyed getting to know bits of the characters’ lives and it helped me understand some of their actions and mindset, I just wasn’t expecting it.

I’m still looking forward to the next volume, that I hope will continue Laura’s story.

I love this series and, even though this volume wasn’t as good as the other ones, I recommend reading it.

Rating: 3,5 stars

The Wicked + The Divine – The Faust Act (Volume #1) REVIEW

The Wicked + The Divine – Fandemonium (Volume #2) REVIEW

Hush Little Baby REVIEW

32191593Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard

Published May 1st 2017

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Pages: 352

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

When baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.
His mother is exhausted.
His father is angry.
His older sister is resentful.
And they all have something to hide.

 

When Oliver appears with a broken arm, social services take him away and start investigating his family.

Sally, the mother, is obsessive and paranoid. Richard is angry all the time and lashes out at anyone who doesn’t let him have his way. Martha is Richard’s daughter of the previous marriage. A rebellious teenager that struggles with life.

I think the characters were well done. Sally was my favorite. I felt her distress while reading her chapters. Richard and Martha were also interesting but Sally was the best.

The plot was gripping. The mystery wasn’t that surprising but I kept reading the book, excited to know what would happen next. It could improve, yes, but it was still enjoyable to read.

My biggest problem was the ending. It felt forced and not something the characters would do.

Rating: 3,5 stars

If you want an extended discussion, check out the Book Club discussion I did with Thatonenerdygirl over in her blog (LINK). Just remember there are SPOILERS!

The Emperor’s Railroad REVIEW

26883552The Emperor’s Railroad by Guy Haley

Published April 1st 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 178

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place.
Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out.
Until now…

This book is about a post-apocalyptic world where a plague turned humans into zombies.

I have to say that I love the cover. I don’t know why I like it so much though.

With that being said, the cover was probably the only thing I liked about this book.

Let’s start with the characters. Abney, the main character, was twelve years old and I didn’t care for him. His mother was probably the only woman in the book and was mostly irrelevant to the plot. Quinn, the knight, was supposed to be this mysterious and badass character but just came out as one-dimensional.

The plot wasn’t that great either. Most of the book was boring. It focused entirely on Abney, Sarah, and Quinn’s journey to a distant city and nothing interesting happened until they got there.

The only action in the book happened 70% in and it was nothing really mind-blowing.

The writing was nothing exceptional. It didn’t help the lack of plot and personality of the characters.

This book disappointed me. I started reading without knowing much about it but expected something.

I won’t be reading the sequel.

Rating: 2 stars

The Invention of Hugo Cabret REVIEW

9673436The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Published March 2007

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Pages: 525

Source: Library

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

This book is about Hugo Cabret, an orphan boy that lives in a train station. He steals food to survive and, sometimes, also steals toys. One time, he gets caught by the owner of the toy store and begins working there, where he meets Isabella.

This book is set in Paris and I think it has an interesting premise.

Part of the book is told through images, which I found wonderful. The art was black and white and it made the book way better.

For me, that was the only good aspect of the book. The plot was interesting in the beginning but lost momentum half way through. The characters were fine but didn’t stand out for me.

I don’t usually read children’s fiction and that may be influencing my enjoyment of the book but, still, if you like children’s fiction, you should try this book.

I read Gregor, The Overlander (REVIEW) some time ago and, even though it was middle grade, I was able to enjoy it. I’m sad to say that that didn’t happen with The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

If you don’t read children’s fiction but still want to know the story, just watch the movie.

Rating: 2,5 stars

Departures (Tremontaine S1 Ep13) REVIEW

28017864

Departures by Ellen Kushner

Published January 27th 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 64

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Kaab triumphant. Diane ascendant. And Rafe gets a consolation prize.

Kaab and Diane, enemies bound by common interests, forge a new understanding. Micah and Rafe receive unexpected offers of employment. And Will, now the Duke Tremontaine in name only, languishes at Highcombe House, where it is hoped—by some—that he may yet recover.

This episode concludes the first season of Tremontaine.

It wasn’t as intense as the last one but it set the mood for the next season.

For me, Tremontaine was a marvelous series. I absolutely loved this first season and I hope the next will be as good as this one or even better.

The characters were well-thought and well-written, and the plot was addicting.

I recommend it to fantasy lovers. The series has mystery, sword fights and romance, and the Serial Box format makes it even better.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW