Review of Coetir by Rani Devine

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Definitely

Review:

This was such a pleasant surprise! I mean, based off the description I figured this would be a book right up my alley. But I didn’t expect to love is as much as I did. And I really did love it a lot. More people should be talking about Coetir because it’s seriously fantastic.

First there’s the characters. I loved so many of the characters in this book. Ellya was such a strong, complex character. And I really enjoyed most of the others too. Everyone had such a deep and fascinating back story. I’d love a few more books with these guys!

I really enjoyed the plot for the most part too. It was simple in many ways, but at the same time so incredibly beautiful. This story drew me in completely and made my heart melt with joy sometimes and sadness other times. It was so gorgeous.

There were a couple plot holes and a few instances where I wasn’t quite sure about why some things had to happen. And the ending felt a little rushed. But, my issues were pretty minor compared to all of the things I loved about Coetir.

Needless to say, I’d 100% recommend this book. I want to give a big thank you to Indie Book Connect for introducing me to this great writer. I’m so excited to read more from Devine!

Review of Haven by Katherine Bogle

Rating: 2.5/5

Recommend: Maybe, but probably not

Review:

Well, this was a rather disappointing read. I actually had kind of high hopes for this book. The description sounded like something that would be 100% my jam: a strong, but reluctant queen, epic wars, magic, and all in a medieval setting? That’s exactly my kind of book. But the characters and lack of sufficient explanations, not to mention an uneven pace, kind of killed it for me.

So let’s start off with characters. To be fair, I didn’t mind most of the characters. I feel like they could have been fleshed out a bit more, but overall I think they were decent. Nothing too exciting, and a bit generic, but not terrible by any means. Haven got on my nerves a bit because she was so darn naive, but even that didn’t bother me a whole lot. I think if I hadn’t had some of my other issues, the characters would have shone through much more.

My biggest problem was the plot and world building. There were so many times when I just couldn’t believe what was being said or done. I know in fiction, especially fantasy, readers have to suspend disbelief. But this was just too much. So many things didn’t make sense, or were so unrealistic (even given what I knew of that particular world). I had a hard time believing in this story. Of course, part of that might have been because I still feel like there are quite a few explanations missing.

That being said, I do think the writing is well done. Bogle writes in a clear, understandable way that is easy to read and flows pretty smoothly. I know there are other books in this series, so it’s possible that many of my questions and issues could be resolved in subsequent books. Although I wish she would have addressed more of them in this first book. I’m not sure if I’m invested enough at this point to read the rest of the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Friesen Press for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review of Teeth of Gods by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Rating: 2.5/5

Recommend: Possibly

Review:

I was really torn about what to rate this book. On the one hand, I think the concept is interesting, and the world definitely had potential. But, I had a really had time getting into this book and part of that was because of how annoyed I got with Tylira. So, there were some really good aspects, but overall I wasn’t as fond of this book as I was hoping.

So let’s start off with talking about the characters. Like I said, Tylira was just not my cup of tea. Normally I love a strong, fearless character who might be a little impulsive but ultimately has a good heart. So in theory, Tylira should have been exactly my kind of character. But, sometimes I just couldn’t handle her stupidity and complete lack of awareness of anyone else but herself. I get she was socially isolated, but it all just seemed a bit much to me.

And honestly, the way she describes Rusk really got on my nerves. If I had a dollar for every time she mentioned how gorgeous or chiseled he was, I’d probably have enough money to quit my day job and just read all day. Okay, that might be a tad bit of an exaggeration, but she definitely mentions it a lot.

But, in spite of all those complaints, I did like some parts of the book. Like Alsoon. He was so precious and wonderful and I just wanted to give him a huge hug. And the concept was different from what I’ve normally come to except from fantasy novels, so that was also a plus.

So, would I recommend this book to others? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, I’m glad I read this and I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it left me kind of feeling…eh. It’s well written, but some of the characters kind of drag the story down a bit.

Review oF Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Probably

Review:

I don’t read a whole lot of short stories, but the stories in this book seemed so promising that I figured I’d give it a go. And there were some wonderful little stories in here. I didn’t love them all, in fact there were some I had to push through. But overall, I had a really good time reading these magical stories.

Ellen Klages certainly has a gift with words. Her writing is descriptive, but not overly so, and full of rich language. One of the things I really appreciated about this book was that it didn’t feel like Klages was trying too hard to sound intelligent and eloquent, which is a common issue among writers. But this was so well written!

I enjoyed most of the stories, although I think one of my favorites was Sounds the Suet Girl and the French Pearl. It was so delightful and entertaining. I loved the fairytale feel.

This was a quick, enjoyable read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interés in reading short stories and enjoys fantasy/sci-fi. I’m glad I took a chance on this.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publishing for providing a copy of this in excufor an honest review!

Review of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Possibly

Review:

Mark Lawrence is a name I’ve been hearing in the fantasy arena for years. So when the chance came to read one of his books, I figured why not? And now that I’ve read it, I find myself…a little disappointed. The world is really interesting, and the characters were definitely engaging. But the plot and writing? That’s where things went a little wry.

First off, let’s talk about flashbacks. Because there were a lot of flashbacks in this book, particularly at the beginning. For me, flashbacks are difficult to make work. And unfortunately, I think this was one of the cases where they just didn’t work well. The amount and length of the flashbacks jarred me from the story and I found myself losing track of what was happening in the present because I couldn’t always distinguish between the past and present.

The pacing was also really slow, which I think ties into the plot. In all honesty, not much actually happens in this book, despite it being a bit on the long side. I loved the idea of a group of young women training to be super powerful fighters and use magic,  but I kept finding myself wondering what this book was actually about. I’m still not a hundred percent sure I could give a good synopsis of the story. I liked most of it, but I had a hard time staying focused because of the slow and somewhat wandering pace.

That being said, it was the characters that really saved Red Sister. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks, I will say they did a good job developing Nona’s backstory. I felt like I understood her so well. And the rest of the characters were pretty developed and interesting as well. Everyone had their own specific motivations and I loved that.

So, would I recommend this book? Possibly. The story has a lot of potential and, since this is the first in a series I can understand some of the slower pace. So, while I got a little bored sometimes, I’m still glad I gave Red Sister a try. I still haven’t decided if I want to read the second one, but I think I might give it a go. Like I said, this story has a lot of potential.

Review of Island of the Lost Forevers by Megan Cutler and James Abendroth

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommend: Yeah!

Review:

This was such a fun read! I absolutely loved the concept. It reminded me of Indiana Jones, especially at first. Only, this time there’s magic too, which makes it even more awesome! Such a cool story.

It took me a bit to get into the book. I feel like the beginning move a bit slow and there seemed to be a lot of repeating of ideas and thoughts. But once the story got going, I found myself getting wrapped up in this world. Throughout the book, there were parts that felt a little jumbled, but overall I enjoyed the story so much.

The characters were really strong and well developed. I especially loved Catilen. I felt like I could really connect with her. There were some characters I had a little bit of a harder time truly understanding, but for the most part they were all great.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and mystical worlds. This is certainly worth a read. I’m excited to see what happens next!

Review of The Roar by A.M. White

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Possibly

Review:

I’m so conflicted right now. On the one hand, the concept is so cool. I mean, a dystopian world AND there are aliens? That’s two of my favorite things combined together. I wanted to love this book so much. But…then there was the writing. This felt like a a rough draft more than a finished product. So, what to do? I’m honestly not sure. If this were based off concept alone, I’d go with 4 out of 5. And yet, I think I’m going to have to stick with 3.

So let’s look at some of my issues with this book first. Like I said, there were quite a few rough spots. To begin with, the transition between scenes was pretty abrupt and jumpy. Sometimes it felt like things were happening simply because the author wanted them to be that way and not as a natural progression of the story. And there needed to be a lot more world building. I feel like I have a little bit of an idea of how things got to be where they are, but I found myself constantly hoping for more details and information. That would have helped a lot.

The characters were alright. I really liked Cara a lot, although Timothy occasionally got on my nerves (especially when he went into overprotective mode). Alex was a pretty solid main character, but I would have liked to see a little more of her personality shine through. I also wish we could have learned more about Cara and Timothy’s backstories because I think that could have bulked up their character development even more.

I know I spent a bit talking about all the things I wasn’t as fond of, but despite all my complaints, I really did enjoy this story a lot. And based off that ending, I could see a lot of potential in book number two. So I think I’m going to check out the second book and give this series one more chance.