If I Should Die by Amy Plum

reviews 1 Comment 13th November, 2014

If-I-Should-DieIf I Should Die (Revenants 3) by Amy Plum

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying – to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others – so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me? (back cover)

Hmm… I have mixed feelings about this one and I don’t really know what to say. I think this was the weakest book in the series, which is sad since this is the finale…

There was lot of going on, maybe too much. I haven’t thought Kate to be whiny before but now she spent far too much time pining for him, wanting to hold him etc… I get that she thought she was losing him but still.

And oh Jules… There were hints before that he loves Kate but he didn’t want to “steal” his best friend’s girl. I was happy that there wouldn’t actually be love triangle. But now? He decides that he has to leave because he can’t be around Kate and Vincent. Really?! Why did you have to make things go that way!

I did enjoy this but I can’t deny that this was little too predictable at times.

3/5

Published: Atom (2013)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 408
Source: library

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

reviews 2 Comments 6th November, 2014

02_Sinful Folk

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.

The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion. (publisher)

1377 five boys are locked in a barn, burned to death and their grieving parents accuse Jews of this tragedy. The fathers decide to not bury the dead but to take them for the King to decide.
But the villagers each carry their own secrets and during their journey their secrets unravel and they learn surprising things from each other.

The story is told by Mear, a mute pretending to be a man, who lives with her son Christian on a remote village. Bit by bit we get to know more about this courageous woman, we learn how she became to live as a man on this village and how she met with the father of her son.

It’s a dark world and this is not a romanticized version of the fourteenth century. It wasn’t easy living after the Black Death.

My only complain is that I wish it was told better if were in the present time or in Mear’s past. It didn’t take long to figure where you are but still.

4/5

Published: Campanile Press (2014)
Format: eBook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

04_Sinful Folk_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

You can check the tour schedule here.

About the author

Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d’Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.

Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.

Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.

For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and nednote.com. You can also find him on FacebookTwitterPinterestBooklikesYouTubeGoogle+, and Goodreads.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

reviews 2 Comments 24th October, 2014

MaasCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass 2) by Sarah J. Maas

A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then, one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for. (back cover)

While this wasn’t bad, I didn’t like this as much as book 1. And surprisingly the action parts were the most boring ones in the book… Those were also the most ridiculous ones because she’s supposed to be this badass assassin, and in reality she’s too soft hearted and gets caught most often than not.

In the last book I thought Dorian was annoying and too superficial but he did grow up in this book. I don’t remember if we had his POV in the last book but at least in this one it worked well.

Even though I like Chaol, I can’t but wonder his stupidity at times. I think he trusts the king way too much and he should doubt more about what the king tells him. I’d like Chaol to be little more hardened especially since he’s the Captain of the Guard. But he’s still my favourite character.

3/5

Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2013)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 420
Source: library

Until I Die by Amy Plum

reviews 2 Comments 22nd October, 2014

Until-I-DieUntil I Die (Revenants 2) by Amy Plum

Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural world he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Desperate to help him, Kate’s search for answers takes her from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. But when she stumbles across a secret that could help to overthrow their enemies for ever, Kate unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk.
And puts herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander…but as a target. (back cover)

It’s clearly been too long since I read book 1. I was having trouble to remember what had happened and who was who…
This was easy, quick read and I liked it. I like that it’s situated in Paris, France, which is a nice change.

There was less Vincent in this book, which was a shame. I would have liked to see his POV once in a while and to have two sides of the story and that’s my main issue with the book. I like Kate and it’s nice to see that she’s not head over heels even though she loves him. But I don’t see what the big issue is with Vincent dying because he’ll come back anyway. I think he’s suffering for nothing but maybe that’s just me.

There are hints about love triangle and I’m curious to see if he will act on it.

3,5/5

Published:Atom (2012)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 357
Source: my own

The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein

reviews 2 Comments 16th October, 2014

red magicianThe Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein

In the schoolroom of a simple European village, Kicsi spends her days dreaming of the lands beyond the mountains: Paris and New York, Arabia and Shanghai. When the local rabbi curses Kicsi’s school for teaching lessons in Hebrew, the holy tongue, the possibility of adventure seems further away than ever. But when a mysterious stranger appears telling stories of far-off lands, Kicsi feels the world within her grasp.

His name is Vörös, and he is a magician’s assistant who seems to have powers all his own. There is darkness growing at the edge of the village—a darkness far blacker than any rabbi’s curse. Vörös warns of the Nazi threat, but only Kicsi hears what he says. As evil consumes a continent, Vörös will teach Kicsi that sometimes the magician’s greatest trick is survival. (publisher)

The book follows Kisci, a young Jewish girl, from a small Hungarian village in the 1930s. When a red-haired stranger called Vörös, who can see to the future, comes to the village and tells about horrors to come, the village rabbi refuses to listen and insists that nothing will happen. The two men clash and becomes the talk of the village. But Kisci believes Vörös and wants to help him protecting the village. But then the Nazis come and everything changes.

This is YA book about Holocaust mixed with magic and it’s quite short being only 144 pages.

I liked it but since it’s so short it gets kinda jumpy at some points. Suddenly you notice that one year has gone and people have gone from just falling in love to be practically engaged. The year in the concentration camp is covered quite hastily but since this is targeted to younger people it might be a good thing too. We still get the desperation and hopelessness through.

I liked that while Kisci and Vörös are drawn together it’s not romantic. There was just enough magic mixed with history that it fitted.

3,5/5

Published: Open Road Media (2014)
Format: kindle
Pages: 144
Source: NetGalley

India Black and the Gentleman Thief by Carol K. Carr

reviews 2 Comments 2nd October, 2014

gentleman thiefIndia Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 4) by Carol K. Carr

India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking…

India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.

The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart… (back cover)

The books starts where the last one ended but before India can get her answers, they are interrupted by a fellow with an envelope from Colonel Mayhew. Right after India and French are attacked by three strangers and the envelope is stolen. While trying to discover the matter of the envelope and their attack, they stumble into someone from India’s past.

At last we learn something about India’s past! I can’t help but wonder how things will turn out since she’s quite independent for starters… But on the other hand it would be fun to see how she would cope with her new life.

We have some moments between India and French and I wish I could smack their heads together. Or make French lose his honor and sense of duty. I wonder if we will see a scene between her and French’s fiancée because that would be something.

The Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine makes a visit to Lotus House and practically takes over it. For once we see India totally out of her depth and unable to stop it. Gotta love that old lady and I hope we see more of her.

4,5/5

Published: Berkley (2014)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: my own

India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy by Carol K. Carr

reviews 2 Comments 25th September, 2014

carrIndia Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 3)
by Carol K. Carr

In Victorian London, India Black has all the attributes a high-class madam needs to run a successful brothel–wit, beauty, and an ability to lie with a smile. Luckily for Her Majesty’s Government, all these talents also make her a first-rate spy…

India Black, full-time madam and occasional secret agent, is feeling restless, when one of Disraeli’s men calls on her to meet the prime minister–alone. Even though all her previous meetings have been organized by the rakishly handsome spy French, it’s been decided this is a mission India must attempt on her own.

Revolt has spread across Europe and reached the shores of England–anarchists have begun assassinating lords and earls, one by one. Now India must infiltrate the ranks of the underground group responsible for those attacks, the sinister Dark Legion. To stop their dread plot, India will go from the murkiest slums of London to the highest levels of society, uncovering secrets that threaten her very existence… (back cover)

India finally gets a chance to show how she can deal on her own on a mission. She needs to get into a group of anarchist who has been playing with gunpowder. India must get one of the bints, who has connections with the anarchist, working in a lesser class brothel to start working for her. The Madam of the other brothel however doesn’t take this without a fight.

What an evil way to finish the book! We almost learn more about India’s past but then we don’t because the book ends. Evil!

India is very excited that she can finally show that she can handle mission on her own but of course she crosses path with French during the mission. There’s bunch of anarchists crying for freedom and are willing to kill people for it while India and French are trying to stay alive in the middle of it.

And we finally learn little bit of French’s past. I want to learn more but at least that was the start. I’m still waiting to learn more about India and we were oh so close!

4/5

Published: Berkley (2013)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: my own