Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Book Review: Secondhand Spirits

Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery #1) 
By Juliet Blackwell
*** 1/2
"I don’t want to be seen as a scary freak anymore.” And with that I dropped a freeze-dried bat into the bubbling brew." ― Juliet BlackwellSecondhand Spirits
While not exactly a Halloween title - the story takes place in March - it still seemed like an appropriate book for the season. Secondhand Spirits is an enjoyable cozy mystery with strong paranormal elements. Witch Lily Ivory wants to settle down a bit and make a home for herself, maybe even some friends, and begin a new business selling vintage clothing in San Francisco. But she's not able to keep her witchy ways quiet for long, as she gets involved with what appears to be a supernatural kidnapping AND a murder.

The mystery was strong - I only started to suspect who the Bad Guy was towards the end. I do like a bit more humor/snark in my cozies, but this one had a lot of heart and great supporting characters. Oscar is my clear favorite, obvs: Lily's new gargoyle-esque familiar who turns into a little piggy so the muggles don't freak out. 

Bonus: anyone who enjoys vintage fashion will love the descriptions of the clothes Lily sells in her shop.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Book Review: Shutter

By Courtney Alameda
“My people are condemned to wander this eternal twilight” 
― Courtney AlamedaShutter
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. There were a few things the characters did that bugged me (Why do characters always keep vital information to themselves? SHARE WITH THE CLASS, PLEASE.). Mostly I think this would fit into horror-lite. It wasn't incredibly scary, but there was plenty of gore. I honestly think if this was made into a movie, I would have been unable to watch it. As it was, I had no problem reading the story...well, I wasn't keen on reading it right before bed, mostly because it was just a dark story, not because it needed to be put in the freezer.

My biggest problem with this book was that I just wasn't in the mood for it. October has been a very finicky reading month for me, and I've picked up and put down several books. So I probably would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't been in such a reading funk.

Pros - no love triangles, cool friend relationships, and a romance that began before the book (so there's some element of history there - no instalove). Also, cool world-building.

Cons - occasional teenage obnoxiousness (see above re: sharing vital information), bad-dad, and partial open-ending without confirmation of a sequel.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Review: Cast In Honor

Cast in Honor (Chronicles of Elantra #11) 
By Michelle Sagara
"Do these cracks look strange to you" she asked. "What cracks?" Which answered that first question. "You know, when I first started training with the two of you, we had normal cases." Michelle Sagara, Cast in Honor
When our story opens, Kaylin and Crew are trying to get to the point where they can go on the hunt for Nightshade, who disappeared in the last book. But an investigation changes everything; and it turns out the investigation has more than a little to do with Nightshade.

We get to see more of some old characters, like Ybelline and Moran, and we're introduced to new characters Gilbert and Kattea, both of whom are pivotal to the investigation. And in the process, we learn just a bit more about Ravellon and the Shadows that abide there. Because of these new characters, and the mystery at the heart of this story, this entry in the Chronicles of Elantra felt a little different than the previous books. It added to the world building of the series, but it felt more removed from the overall story arc than the the last few books. 

The build up with Moran at the beginning of the book didn't really take off, as I expected it to. I have to assume that Moran's story will be coming up in the next book or two. As we haven't delved into the Aerian culture the way we have with other Elantran races, I'm anxiously awaiting that story line. 

As always, I loved this book and I can't wait to get my hands on the next!

**I received an Advanced Review eGalley of this title from NetGalley**