Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

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The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

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I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

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Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

Hello, book clan!

There are always those quotes you catch from a book that strike you and stay with you. Here are a few of mine.

 

“Sometimes when something touches you, it’s hard to find the words. You can say things like ‘beautiful’, ‘fabulous’, ‘awesome’, but the words don’t really describe how you feel, especially if you were feeling all that, but the picture made you-made you hurt some, too.” (Kissed By an Angel, Elizabeth Chandler)

Ineffable. When you can’t find the words for how strongly you feel whether it’s overwhelming happiness or unbearable sadness. When even trying to have such feelings can be difficult because all you felt for so long was a hollowness from something being snatched away and you don’t know how to fill it or what to fill it with.

 

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” (Edgar Allan Poe)

Poe is such a major favorite of mine. Though quite morbid and fantastic with imagery and horror, I find his words filled with emotion that strikes the heart.

 

“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.” (Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan)

There are some things that we struggle to adapt to and some we just refuse to accept. I’ve been there a few times.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

You Don’t Know Me From Adam (The Space Between – A Book Review)

The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Space Between

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

21/25

 

Once, my mother told a whole host of angels that she rather die than go back to a man she didn’t love.

When you’re half-angel and half demon from Lilith and Lucifer life can be…complicated. Daphne’s life is nothing but an endless expanse of time filled with soap operas and knick-knacks from Earth. When her brother, Obie, goes missing up on Earth, she thinks she may be to blame. She’ll do anything to get him back.

She sets out to find her Obie, but she’ll need the help of possibly the last person to see him. Truman. Together they trek through the cold streets of New York City in search of her brother. It grows increasingly dangerous for them. Daphne delves more into her demonic half as Truman tries to figure out his strange dreams. The both of them struggle with their growing feelings for one another while hoping they’re not too late to rescue Obie.

 

This book marks 21 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Brenna Yovanoff is an author that I’ve heard quite a bit about, so I was glad to find a few YA novels by her.

 

Angels and demons. Some think of this as quite the taboo subject when it comes to fiction of any kind because of how it reflects on the Bible and beliefs. I, however, get fascinated. It’s got a mythos base just like Egyptian Gods and Greek Gods. So, I was pretty intrigued when I spotted this book. The cover art was pretty freaky too.

Given the notion of a hellish ride, I’m not sure it got that far for me. If it didn’t seem to jump all over the place, I think I would’ve been much more immersed it it. The story jumped between first person POV of Daphne two third person POV of Truman and that was really conflicting.

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More so, I couldn’t get a grasp on any chemistry between Truman and Daphne. That was a bit of a downer. Her desperation to find her brother, and his inner turmoil was stronger than the attempted pairing of them. I was in this for the adventure!

The details and depictions in the book were really interesting. Yovanoff really pulled me into this realistic world of heaven, hell, bringing it to our world in a very real sense. It was dank and dark with a sliver of hope. The creatures that slithered in the darkness were creepy! However, this world only felt scary when with the characters. They gave it life more than any other element.

The ending of the book made reading it all worth it. Quite a few surprises. Even a special cameo by the one and only Lucifer. It was chilling! I’m not talking about the dapper, heart-melting grinner that we’re waiting to reappear on Netflix either. This Lucifer’s presence made me stop breathing. He didn’t make any other appearance in the book, but the build-up around him throughout the story was so good!

 

Overall

This was a nice little page-turner with freakishly, hellish originality. The Winchesters would approve. I enjoyed the mythos that was touched on as well as the side of depression I feel like some people don’t understand. I do wish some parts had been more clear

 

Quotables:

“Open your eyes and look at yourself. That’s you, undisguised. That’s your black, revolting heart.” (shadow man to Truman, p. 125)

“All my life, I’ve understood the nature of where I come from, but I never thought I might be wicked until now.” (Daphne, p. 143)

“Love. The word makes me feel unsteady, like something is moving under my skin. I’m not about any kind of love, but I don’t tell him that. Love is for people with a certain amount of humanity.” (Daphne, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Feels Like Falling by Digital Daggers.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

It’s the most hectic time of the year! With Christmas right around the corner, here is a festive book tag!

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This tag was originally created by Lizzie Loves Books. 


ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?

My favorite never changes. For those of you who have been with me, you know my favorite stand alone. LOL

B+C - banned Library

Blood and Chocolate

Author: Annette Curtis Klaus


ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES.

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Poison Princess

This one is so hard! I’m struggling! I’m going to go with Evie Green and Jackson Deveaux of The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole.


ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: THREE FRENCH HENS.

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

Wither

The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano.


ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FOUR CALLING BIRDS.

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?

Scarlet Reader - Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses & The Dead Girls Dance

Easy pick for me. Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine has always been one of my biggest favorites and Shane Collins and Claire Danvers are another of my utmost favorite pairings.


ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.

One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?

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Count Olaf is definitely one of my favorite villains. A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of those series that you’re never to old to read and Olaf is entertaining and memorable and surprisingly terrible yet genius villain.


ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SIX GEESE A LAYING.

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?

Arcana Rising

I live for the life and death, action-packed, you never know what minute may be your last, intense, adrenaline driven kind of world. I simply loved the apocalyptic world of The Arcana Chronicles. It was raw and stripped down and on the verge oblivion.


ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING.

Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?

Secondhand Souls

Author: Christopher Moore

Scarlet Reader

An itty-bitty girl, given the task of being death is gifted with two hellhounds, which is totally epic. She’s funny and also conniving and sadistic. She refers to her lovely sidekicks as her goggies and it’s so adorable you swoon.


ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING.

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

PJ - hypable

I’ve always the Percy Jackson universe with their Nectar was mouthwatering.


ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: NINE LADIES DANCING.

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

Scarlet Reader

Mare Barrow of Red Queen is just one of many that have surprised me as a kickass leading lady. With electric abilities like hers, I’d hate to be on her bad side.


ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TEN LORDS A LEAPING.

How about your favorite leading lad?

Arcana Chronicles

Jackson Deveaux of The Arcana Chronicles is brash, bullheaded, but strong, and determined. Currently, my favorite leading man.


ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: ELEVEN PIPES PIPING.

What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

Scarlet Reader - The Hobbit

The Hobbit

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien


ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING.

Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?

Children of Blood and Bone

Definitely Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.


Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Hoped the holidays are special for all of you.

 

I tag anyone who wants to do this fun Christmas tag! 

 

More to come soon…

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Tea is at Four (The Hobbit – A Book Review)

The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Published: 1937

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Hobbit

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

20/25

 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, in The Shire, is visited by a group of dwarves and Gandalf the grey. They seek a burglar for their travels to take back the Lonely Mountain from the dangerous dragon, Smaug. Gandalf assures the dwarves that Bilbo is the one.

Bilbo wants no part of this adventure. He likes his way of life just fine with his books, garden, and tea. However, convinced, he joins the dwarves on an unexpected journey he’ll never forget.

 

This book marks 20 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve always meant to read this book as well as Lord of the Rings. I’m glad to finally get the chance.

 

Where to begin!

I really enjoyed this. This is a classic for a reason. Light and humorous. Adventurous and filled with friendship. Non-stop action too. This truly was a journey I was not ready to get to the end of. From dumb trolls to escaping cunning elves and defeating the terrifying dragon, Smaug. The action was non-stop. This wasn’t the kind of story that had me holding my breath, but reading faster, eagerly.

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I have seen the movies and they were good. They even left me with that longing at the end with the beautiful score of music, but they don’t compare to the book. I am still surprised they made one book into three movies though. The book was beautiful in the way that it was simple rather than complex. It swept me away so easily.

The setting was brought to life with incredible imagery. Vivid in color and action. This is only a piece of Middle Earth, but it’s still stunning. And music. The songs in the book were so colorful and added to the story, making it lively and even joyous. Plus, it’s not a road trip without some tunes.

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I was thrown a little bit by the dwarves’ strong dislike for Bilbo. It’s worse than in the movies. They really thought of him as useless and a burden and it was heartbreaking. Although, it did make for great satisfaction when Bilbo proved them wrong even though he’s very honest about how afraid he is. As I’ve said before, it’s okay for the hero to be afraid. That’s when courage comes into play. Courage is when you push through those fears to the other side.

The dwarves were an interesting bunch. Quite lazy too. LOL. While a joyous bunch most of the time, they relied on Bilbo for nearly everything. Who knows what they would’ve done without him.

And Gollum! A lot creepier in the book. For sure. And I felt an even deeper pang of pity for him.

 

Overall

I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to get started on Lord of the Rings. Such a fantastic read that tickled my inner adventurer. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

 

Quotables:

“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.” (p. 51)

“Why, O why did I ever leave my hobbit-hole!” (Bilbo, p. 66)

“Third time pays for all.” (p. 233)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Long Time Traveller by The Wailin’ Jennys.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Let It Snow – A Book List

Scarlet Reader

My bookworms,

Let’s cuddle up in our favorite sweats. Cocoon in a favorite blanket. The snow is falling outside. It’s coming down so hard and so much that you’re shocked it’s so silent. That white fluffy stuff has blocked in the car, so you’re not going anywhere. Make some hot cocoa. Overfill it with marshmallows. The big ones. And pull out a good book or series to keep you company.

Here’s some good snowy days reads. Got a little bit of everything. Not one is the same. Like snowflakes.

 

Lord of the Rings trilogy
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Scarlet Reader - LOTR

A classic journey of adventure, friendship, and bravery. All because of a ring.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige

Scarlet Reader

Snow White locked up in the psychiatric unit…but she isn’t crazy. Her kiss just turned her boyfriend psycho and he’s taken away before

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

The Lunar Chronicles series
Author: Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Reader

Fairytales take a modern, tech twist in this action-packed series where Cinder aka Cinderella is a badass cyborg mechanic.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda

Scarlet Reader - Megan Miranda

By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy cold water, her heart stopped beating. But somehow…she survived.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Dear Evan Hansen
Author: Val Emmich

Scarlet Reader

A letter meant to never be read puts a boy in the middle of a family’s grief and soon he’s too far in and the damage is done.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Scarlet Reader

To earn a place among the High Court of Faerie, Jude will have to defy a cruel prince and face the consequences along with it. Can she bear it?

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Red Queen series
Author: Victoria Aveyard

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Divided by blood and power—red and silver. Reds are the commoners. Silvers are the gods. When a red possesses the god-like powers of a silver, she’s swept away into the elite life, but she must be careful. One misstep could mean her death.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

To All the Boys I’ve Love Before trilogy
Author: Jenny Han

To All the Boy I've Loved Before

Love letters have been mailed. When they get answered all kinds of craziness breaks out for Lara Jean Covey.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

Dead to You
Author: Lisa McMann
Scarlet Reader

When a boy is abducted at seven years old and then returned at sixteen it’s a miracle…at first.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Noble

 

The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak

Scarlet Reader

Stealing a The Gravedigger’s Handbook is the first act of thievery. The start of an affair with books and words in this intense book taking place during Nazi Germany.

Goodreads       Amazon           Barnes & Nobles

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

You’re Not You (The Darkest Star – A Book Review)

The Darkest Star (Origin #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

In the world of the Lux

secrets thrive

lies shatter

and love is undeniable.

Evie Dasher knows the devastating consequences of war between humanity and the otherworldly Luxen. The world has been forever changed. Both humans and Luxen struggle to live in harmony. Fellow classmates are protesting Luxen. Luxen are disappearing everywhere. Laws are threatening to segregate them.

When Evie meets Luc at a club known for its partying with Luxen and humans, she decides she can’t stand him. He tells her he isn’t human, but isn’t Luxen either. Then her life is threatened by someone from his past? She discovers that he’s hiding something…about her? It doesn’t add up since he’d never met her before. Her mind is overloading with endless questions and her growing feelings for Luc leave her in a tailspin. The most complicated one yet: Who is she really?

Everyone seems to know but her.

This is a spin-off series from LUX. It’s not a series you have to read in order to understand this one, but I do HIGHLY recommend it because one, it’s really good, and two, there are throwbacks to it in the book. Many made me ridiculously giddy. There were character cameos that I was squealing like a moron about. So good to have a throwback.

Armentrout’s style and vocabulary is fun and spunky. I loved it! I also found it eerie like I did with her LUX series, because a little over ¾ of it is how I really speak. It was loco nuts. There were some lines I had to reread because I couldn’t believe words and phrases that I use every day were actually in this book. I’m sure many people are mind blown with an author that captures you like a Pokémon in a pokeball. It’s like meeting your book doppelgänger.

The book reflects on weirdness and that good ol’fashioned teenage drama and is clear and present and that’s always enticing.

Ink and Bone

Much like its predecessor, the story takes place in a smallish town with close-knit friends. One of the great things about this, is that if you’ve read LUX, you already have the lowdown on the thrifty-nifty abilities these luscious Luxen have as well as the abilities of the mysterious Origins. If not, it’s an awesome surprise. Everything is original and unique. I was pretty shocked as I got further and further into the book because I didn’t know what to expect. Diving back into the LUX universe was exactly what I hoped for. Fresh, yet reminiscent. Completely new, yet you know nothing’s truly changed in a kind of satisfying way. mindblown

I really enjoyed getting an in-depth look at a storyline I had always been curious about. Luc and his best friend. The struggle between species is at the forefront of themes as is revenge and identity crisis. Each are pretty big issues today, though a couple are more personal and others are worldwide. Each broke my heart in different ways. These themes broke into my emotions and really got them pouring out into the real world, especially Evie’s great struggle with everything she thought she knew. Truth bombshells hurt no matter what and figuring out that you’re not really you is a nuclear mushroom-cloud-sized one.

I got some odd looks and even the occasional, “Are you okay?” from people while reading. I get very into books.

Luc and Evie, the main characters, are such opposites, except that they aren’t. Armentrout playing around with that was so much fun. She’s paranoid, kind, and loyal. He’s sarcastic, bold, and determined. Both are extremely caring and have this undeniable magnetism toward each other. I enjoyed their banter, and especially loved when Evie would start talking to herself. She’s pretty funny. The tension between the two of them could vary and only from the reader’s POV honestly. It all depends on if you read LUX (so you probably should). If you have, you already know about EVERYTHING and therefore their chemistry is far more intense. And I biting my nails, waiting anxiously for that epic moment. If not however, it’s possible that they come off as overdramatic.

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Overall

I won’t say this story reached some deep level, thought-provoking spot with me. It didn’t. It touched on some real world issues that are important, sure. Rather, this brought some phenomenal entertainment and spectacular sci-fi and fantasy and adventure with a decent sized side of sweet and sour romance. That’s okay. Not every book has to propel me into super intense issues. I’ve once again been swept away into the LUX world and am quite okay with that. This was fresh and brand new. I really enjoyed this and look forward to rereading it in the future. I can’t WAIT to read the next installment!

Side Note: I’m still hoping a television show gets made for LUX.

Quotables:

“You just took creepy to a creeptastic level of unknown proportions.” (Evie to Luc, p. 33)

“Sometimes the truth is worse than the lie.” (Sylvia, p. 101)

“The world is your oyster and I’m your pearl.” (Luc to Evie, p. 136)

“Good people do terrible things when they believe in what they’re doing.” (Luc, p. 178)

“Sometimes the truth is hidden as a form of protection.” (Zoe, p. 335)

More to come soon…

-K.

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P.S. Song today? Paper Thin by Astrid S.

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.