Flash Reviews

So, since I have been a bad bad blogger, I’m doing a super quick summary of everything I’ve read since, erm, April.  And I’ve started rating things in “units” because I want to think up something more interesting than stars, but not as common as cups of tea  for rating units (which was my go-to, as I live off tea).  Also, it makes me think of middle school science to measure things in units.

29781388The Many Lives Hadley Monroe by Bec McMaster

3.5 Units. Good, fine.  Not my preferred setting, lil’ ol’ Southern town, but it was nice and well-written.  I might have preferred it longer?



28668275The Mirror and the Maze by Renee Ahdieh

3 Units.  Good, fine, unmemorable.  I think it’s referring to things that are from the end of The Wrath and the Dawn, which I didn’t quite remember, so I probably didn’t get enough out of it.


29661618Just One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

3.5 Units.  Fun surprise–also it was very British.  It’s about time travelers as part of a university research program.  It felt very grounded both the modern world and the time traveling worlds, but was a little too British for me (I used to live there and have dual citizenship, so I feel like I know what I’m talking about).  And, was a little too plodding.  Although dinosaurs!

60510Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

4 Units.  I read the sample and then had to go on.  It’s a book that is little older (how did I not read this in high school?!), but lots of fun with a main character who has mad skillz because she works hard to learn them, and the constant loom of death over her as she is the food taster.  I am definitely planning to pick up the next one.

24780The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

3 Units.  Re-read, but I didn’t remember that I’d already read it until I’d re-finished.  Nice, pleasant, but from a different era of children’s publishing.  Yay, Welshness!


23308084The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

5 Units.  I read a review that said, “This is the feminist retelling of Scherezade you’ve been waiting for.”  And it was.  I loved that all the women were active participants in the solution which affected their lives, and that they   I find war stories and battles boring, so I was feeling a little apprehensive as this story marched (pun!) that way, but Ahdieh wrapped things up in a way that felt earned but didn’t make us suffer through a boring battle.  I’m so excited for her to announce her next project!  READ THIS SERIES!

29848964The Escapement of Blackledge by Melody Ellsworth (aka Mary Robinette Kowal)

5 Units.  An April Fool’s joke, and a good sexy story.  Beta heroes (and MRK!) forever!  *Note: adult sexy times novella


17378527The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

4 Units.  Good, but seemed to end in a bit of a whimper rather than a bang.  The writing was as epic as ever, but it felt like we spent 4 books building up to not much.  Although I loved the cyclical, oral literature feeling of the ending, where everything just keeps spinning.  Time for a re-read, I think!  And this book spawned one of my recent favorite dates with my husband: put the kids to bed, get out some colored pencils, color and listen to The Raven King together.

10780513Ember by Bettie Sharpe

4 Units.  Surprise Cinderella story with sexy bits.  I don’t even remember when I got it, but I quite liked it.  Cinderella is the witch in this one, and she is trying to avoid the prince, not to meet him.  Clever, well thought out, and unique, which is a MUST for me with fairy tale retellings.  I have been reading them since I was 6 (Dealing with Dragons!), so I require something phenomenal.  Which Sharpe delivered.  *Note: sexy times in this novella.

12924326Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

2 Units. See my review.  Lovely writing, not really a revolutionary take on the story, or “told from Tiger Lily’s point of view.”  The usual problem of imaginary Indians, and silent Indians (Tink narrates, not Tiger Lily, so it’s not really from the POV of a Native woman).


20170404Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

5 Units.  Totally amazing!  The writing is beautiful, the characters are interesting and relatable, even the Hollywood actor (who I thought I would NOT get on with).  No gratuitous death or torture, even though people are not all behaving nicely.  And I love how all the threads weave together through out the book, so you are guessing and wondering about who character A is, or if character B survives.  It’s beautiful, and it lived up to the hype.

20176578The Complete ElfQuest Vol. 1 by Wendi Pini

3.5 Units.  I read some of these as a kid and picked this up to get the whole story in its totality.  It was good, had some good parts.  The important depictions of femininity and masculinity as being of many legitimate parts.


25526296Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

4 Units.  Good.  My first Seanan.  There’s a lot going on, and I think I’ll need the reviews of smarter people than me to unpack it all.  Worth a look, especially after reading Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who. . . series.  Also, trans character, asexual character, boarding school, murder, mayhem, magic.

46756Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

1 Unit. I couldn’t get into it.  Men behaving selfishly and badly is not novel or interesting to me.



13376363Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

4 Units.  The poet Beyonce quoted at a few points in Lemonade.  Some great lines.  I made my library get this and I’ll keep an eye out for her other work as it becomes available.  Lovely stuff.


20263225Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

4 Units.  Fine.  I’ve heard a lot about Ilona Andrews and this one appealed to me.  It was good, solid, imaginative, but not notable for me.  I’ll probably give the next one a try sometime.


25310679Reclaim Your Brain by Joseph Annibali

3-4 Units. Fine?  Since having kids, I’ve been trying to work out what is the normal level of anxiety and got this book to help me get some techniques to deal with it.  It wasn’t life changing, nor a great read (for me), but it did spark some good self-care conversations for my husband and me.



Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

1 Unit.  TV show was better.  This book had too much exposition, was too dull, and too much broody, manipulative, semi-crazy love interest.  Couldn’t get into Clay in the book, but thought the first season show was goooood (and consistent, which is a rarity in TV).  Confirmed that urban fantasy in a modern setting generally doesn’t work for me.

303203871Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger

5 STAR UNITS!  More Beta heroes please!  I loved this story.  I may not be in for Outlander‘s Jamie, but I am here for all of Carriger’s Scotsmen.  And the fact that she took Preshea, a mean girl from The Finishing School series, and made her a sympathetic character, while still keeping with her previous iterations was great!  I am PUMPED about all the future novellas, and extra pumped for Imprudence which comes out next week (and feeling a tad miffed that my library hold hasn’t come in two days before release like normal, aka the new definition of spoiled).  Gail, I’m in love again (with your mind and your writing).*Note: PorP contains adult sexual scenes.  Or rather, scenes not appropriate for children or those sensitive to sexy books.

11312Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

3 Units.  A little slow and very colonial-Britain flavored.  And the characters felt very stock, but I loved the Cornish setting (I used to live there) and got a real Scorpio Races feeling from some it, which I loved too.


23513349Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

5 Units.  Poetry surprise!  I saw this on a booktube channel (will cite once I remember who! British teenage girl!) and thought I’d give it a whirl.  Amazing, short, intense poems about being a woman and the relationships women have.  READ IT.


13356208The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede

2.5 Units.  Too. Much. Exposition.  Everything was summarized, nothing was shown, so it was hard to connect with anyone or see what was happening.  Sad face, my beloved Wrede.


25203675The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

5 Units.  Reading this, I thought several times, ‘this is the fantasy I have been waiting for.’  I’ve been a big reader for most of my life, so I have been burnt out on medieval settings for 15 years.  I loved the richness of the world and how clearly non-Europe it was.  The mind-magic lost me a little, and I wasn’t sure how we were supposed to feel about the short amount of time that had passed for Maya.  But overall, I loveddddd this and I am so excited for the next one!

24805699The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr

4 Units. The second in a steampunk series I started in December.  It’s similar to Penny Dreadful with the characters from gothic novels, mainly Jekyll and Hyde.  I don’t think that I could read a whole book with just Eliza Jekyll or just Lizzie Hyde, but the changes between them are PERFECT.  I love how we sometimes shift mid-scene and the narration moves from third person to first person as Eliza and Lizzie fight it out.  I also love how they are learning how much they need each other.  I think they are my favorite relationship in this book, though Rene is a sweetie, and I appreciate that he is in on the secret and that’s fine.  And he’s not an overbearing dick.

22296542Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie

3.5 Units.  If I liked stories set in college, I’d probably be into this.  The writing is good, the characters feel realistic, the romance feels grounded.  It’s just, I went to college with wealthy kids who had addictions and went on to get good jobs from their parents, and I just don’t want to relive it.  Been there, done that.  (College, not the addictions.)  If you think you might like it, pick it up!



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