Monday, July 13, 2015

More Mini Reviews

And here's another batch of mini reviews for you guys!

First up, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey. This was part of the 2015 DAC challenge (which I'm lagging seriously behind on).

The war between the Avicen and the Drakharin has dragged on for ages with no end in site. But when Echo, an orphan child who lives among the Avicen, discovers a clue that suggests the mythical Firebird might be real, both races become intent on finding it. 

I liked this one. It's a fun start to a new series, somewhat reminiscent of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I thought it could be a stronger debut.

There's a good amount of vivid detail but there's actually very little in the way of world building. Basically it's a pretty story without much depth. We'll see if this is addressed in the next release, which looks to be due out in 2016.

Rating: 3/5

Next up Frost by Marianna Baer - one of my own TBR Tackle titles.

Leena Thomas is looking forward to her senior year at Barcroft Academy, thanks in no small part to her finagling Frost House as a dorm for her and her three best friends. But Leena's plans are sidelined when she learns that classmate Celeste Lazar will be taking up residence there as well. Celeste is odd and neither Leena or her friends are thrilled that she'll be rooming with them. And when strange things start to happen at Frost House, they all wonder if Celeste is somehow responsible. 

Sadly this one didn't hit the spot for me. I'd been looking forward to it for so long, building it up with my own expectations, that I lay the blame in part on that. Only in part, though.

What I wanted when I started Frost was a great haunted house read set at a boarding school (two book buzzes for me). What I got was an open ended book with no real explanation for the possibly supernatural occurrences.

And that would be ok - the characters were, as a whole, pretty great. Leena in particular is pretty fantastically layered. She's almost - not quite but almost - unreliable as a narrator thanks to some of the things she's keeping from those around her. And her arc is great.

But the end... I just didn't want ambiguous. I wanted a haunted house!

Rating: 3/5

Hit by Delilah Dawson is one that I just didn't have time to write a full review on because I had visitors in town.

Valor National Bank has paid off all of the country's debt, basically buying the nation. And now they're calling in payment from all of their own debtors. Patsy's mom is one of these customers - losing her job and then suffered a terrible car accident were bad enough, but now she has cancer and can't pay for treatment. That's ok, though, if Patsy will a agree to be a hit man for Valor all will be forgiven. 

Delilah Dawson is always a pleasure to read. Yes, this one is dark and somewhat bleak - but seriously, still a pleasure!

Dawson has one of the best imaginations out there. I'm not kidding. From her Blud books to Servants of the Storm and now Hit (which does have a follow up planned) she dreams up the creepiest and most fascinating worlds and scenarios. I love her work and think everyone should be reading her!

Rating: 4/5

And finally The Jewel by Amy Ewing, which I covered for Bookbitch.com but never wrote up here. I don't actually know why either considering it was one of my FAVORITE books last year. The second book, The White Rose, is due out in October and I could use a little refresher, though.

Violet Lasting has always known that she'll be sold to a wealthy bidder. She's been trained for this servitude. Violet is to be a surrogate, bought and paid for by a royal family who can no longer have children of their own. It's a life of luxury and privilege, or so they say. In reality, every privilege comes with a price and Violet soon realizes she's nothing more than a prisoner in her new life. 

I love, love, loved this book! Loved it! It's so very dark - very Handmaid's Tale to be honest - but it's oh, so good. Ewing does an amazing job creating tension and suspense in her plot and making the reader really care about Violet. You're along for the ride as she goes through what is a really awful experience. But of course there's hope she'll escape... Amazing read, guys!

It is the first in a trilogy and I've been dying to get back to the world. Fortunately, as I mentioned, we'll all get to return very soon. In fact, sooner than October. There's an e short about Violet's friend Raven, "The House of the Stone," coming out in July.

Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Frost by Marianna Baer had a great premise. It's a shame it didn't quite make a better impression.
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews