Review of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

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Title: Shadow of the Fox

Series: Shadow of the Fox

Author: Julie Kagawa

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/IndieBound

Back cover:

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

*I received this book via Netgalley. My opinions are my own.*

I really enjoyed this book! I found the main character, Yumego, to be hilarious, well-written, and having great character development. I also really like Kage as he struggles between his mission, possibly making a friend, and the demon sword trying to take his soul. There were many twists and turns in this book that I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed the mythology, the use of Japanese words, and the fantasy world that was created. I think this book is very well written and I can’t wait for book two (of which I have already preordered!). If you like anime, manga, or Japanese fantasy, this story is definitely for you!

I give this book a 5/5!

Review of Twice Dead by Caitlin Seal

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Title: Twice Dead

Series: The Necromancer’s Song

Author: Caitlin Seal

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/IndieBound

Back cover:

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.

*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. My thoughts are my own.*

I found this story to be quite enjoyable. The main character is a strong female lead and the supporting cast were all unique and entertaining. The idea, I found, was really cool with people being brought back to life with runes and ceremony. I liked how not many people found it wrong and there was great conflict. The only problem I had was that the relationship between the Naya and her father wasn’t developed enough for me to care about how she talked about him a lot and stuff that happened. I wished I knew more about her life a bit first before everything happened.

All in all, I give this story 4/5 stars!

Review of Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi

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Title: Olympian Challenger

Series: Olympian Challenger

Author: Astrid Arditi

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/IndieBound

Back cover:

A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?

Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach… but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I loved this book! I’m a big fan of Greek Mythology and love stories that incorporate and of the gods or myths in their stories. The way the gods and Olympus is incorporated in this series is very unique and creative and I enjoyed it very much. This story felt like a mix of Hunger Games and Percy Jackson, so if you are a fan of either, I would definitely recommend this series.

The main character, Hope, is a very interesting character and although some of her reactions kinda made me roll my eyes, I felt she stayed true to herself and had very good growth. I also loved Kieron, although he sort of seemed the dark brooding type that is typical, but his powers and backstory was interesting enough to make me fall in love with him.

The action and description in this series was done very well. There was always something gin on which made the book hard to put down. I read it in only two days and almost couldn’t go to sleep until I learned what happened next. The only problem I had with the book is how Hades was portrayed. That is a personal opinion and not something I would ever base my rating on, but I just wanted to point out that darkness and death doesn’t mean evil… A lot of people believe that and it gets old very quick. The author made the gods her own, and I really enjoyed that and hope that my followers check out the book and read it too!

 

Review of The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas

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Title: The Good Demon

Author: Jimmy Cajoleas

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 3/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/Kobo

Back cover:

Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon—simply known as Her—was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get Her back. After a chance encounter with the son of the preacher who exorcised her, Clare goes on an adventure through the dark underbelly of her small Southern town, discovering its deep-seated occult roots. As she searches for Her, she must question the fine lines between good and evil, love and hate, and religion and free will. Vivid and sharp, The Good Demon tells the unusual story of friendship amid dark Gothic horror.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I really liked the concept of a girl being exorcised and searching for her lost demon as I haven’t come across something like it. The beginning sucked me in but I felt it fell a little short of what it could have been.

At first I liked the main character and felt for her as she was lonely and didn’t belong in the city, but as the story kept going, it got a little old and she didn’t hold on to any belief she had for that long. She was very fickle and didn’t seem consistent about it. As for Roy, he didn’t seem to have much character growth and felt like a severe stereotype of a pastor’s son. I felt like he could have had more depth in this story.

The town itself had a lot going on, but I didn’t feel like the story went in-depth enough to really understand what was going on. I barely started to understand the network the author created before it ended. I had problems with the ending as well, but I don’t want to spoil what happens.

All in all I would read other books by the author, but didn’t enjoy this one that much as I felt it wasn’t flushed out all the way.

 

Review of Kill the Farm Boy by Dawson & Hearne

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Title: Kill the Farm Boy

Author: Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/Goodreads/Kobo

Backcover:

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord, who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I absolutely loved this book! It definitely reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There were a lot of subtle humor jokes that I made me laugh at loud and my friends to be like what’s your problem. My husband is going to listen to the audiobook soon and I’m excited to see what he thinks since we both like that sort of humor.

The characters were quite funny and unique. My favorite is Gustave, the talking goat, who is fed up with everyone trying to eat him. I also like the evil wizard who wanted to be able harness his full power and be able to conjure up crackers for his cheese. It seemed like a good reason to want evil powers (although shouldn’t it have been cookies?).

The different takes on fairytales and some other popular fantasy movies/books was hilarious. I loved the pun on words and quoting other movies without actually quoting them. I can tell the authors had a great time writing this book and hope they make a book similar to this later.

-Dani

Review of Shift by M.A. George

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Title: Shift

Author: M.A. George

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Amazon/Goodreads/Kobo

Backcover:

Seventeen-year-old Perry Teasdale is a dreamer.

She’s not the kind of dreamer who waltzes through fields of wildflowers, twirling her skirts in a starry-eyed daze; or the kind who aspires to be the biggest rock star the world has ever known (not that she’d complain, if that accidentally happened). She’s the kind of dreamer who can’t get a decent night’s rest, because her sleep is flooded with scenes from other worlds–ones that seem as real as life itself.

Mind-blowing dreams may sound like loads of fun, but when they start to bleed into Perry’s waking hours–confusing the line between dream and reality, and keeping her in a sleep-deprived fog no amount of caffeine can cure–Perry’s not exactly thrilled.

Try as she might to shake the dreams from her mind, they keep gaining speed, growing ever more vivid and intense…until that hazy boundary between real and imaginary fades away, and Perry is forced to consider the impossible: Her dreams seem real, because they are.

When disaster strikes, sending Perry’s newfound normalcy into a tailspin, she takes the only logical path left: a whirlwind tour of the multiverse, scouring an ever-growing assortment of alternate realities for the missing piece–the missing person–to put her life together again.

Along the way, Perry enlists the help of an ancient wise woman (who may be a tad homicidal); a nerdy-in-all-the-right-ways mathematician (who knows all of Perry’s secrets, even before introducing himself); and a sword (because you can never go wrong with a sword).

At times hilarious–at times heartbreaking–Shift is sure to be, well, one of those two things.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I found this book to be very enjoyable. It had a mic of adventure, romance, violence, and mystery. It took me a little bit to understand what was going on, which is why I gave it a 4 instead of 5 as it was confusing as they jumped into different timelines. Once I got the hang of it though I accepted it would take me a second to figure out where they were. I think having a thing saying where they were would have been a little better, like a captain’s log.

What I enjoyed most about this series were the characters. They were all well-rounded, individual, and I could easily tell them apart. My favorite character was Max as he was adorable, geeky, and a gentleman. I don’t want to give spoilers about him but I really liked his development and wish I could learn a bit more about him. I loved the timeline his “primary” is from though.

As for the main character, Perry, I liked her but sometimes I was like OMG shut up and pay attention to the *can’t say or it’s a spoil*. But again, that was her personality and the author stayed true to that. I just know people like that and I sometimes want to put my hand over their mouth so I can hear what the other person is saying.

The different world were awesome and I enjoyed how the author designed them and how Perry could transport and figure things out in each scape. I wanted to be able to travel just like that, it would be so cool! This made the book be one of my favorite worlds I would want to live in, as long as I was a shifter with Max.

To conclude, I loved this book but the beginning was sort of confusing. I enjoyed the characters and the ending made me cry almost. Everyone who loves sci-fi should check out this book!

 

Review of Pretty Waiter Girls: A Helena Brandywine Adventure by Greg Alldredge

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Title: Pretty Waiter Girls

Series: A Helena Brandywine Adventure

Author: Greg Alldredge

Review by: Dani Hoots

Amazon/Goodreads

Backcover:

Some monsters are still human.

In a magical 1899 San Francisco, the new millennium is quickly approaching. Of course, new inventions happen every day, some wondrous, some mundane while the streets produce a new murder every night.

Set against this backdrop a debutante goes missing, and socialite Helena Brandywine takes it upon herself, along with her trusted manservant, to discover what happened.

Did the woman run afoul of the Tongs in Chinatown? What horrors might she have exposed? Discover this Gilded Age while Helena uncovers her family’s secrets. The good and evil, where danger lurks around every corner. Can Helena Brandywine be prepared for the monsters she will uncover? Come search for the, Pretty Waiter Girls.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

This is the first book I have read in the A Helena Brandywine Adventure Series. I found it to be quite enjoyable and would be interested in reading more. It follows Helena as she is looking for a missing girl and friend though the dark streets of San Francisco.

The main character, Helena, is a strong independent woman. I though she was written pretty well, but wished she was a little more flushed out as a character. That is my opinion though and as this is a mystery series, I know that slowing the character’s arc is essential in keeping the series going.

For the plot, there were a few times were I was confused as to what was going on. I felt like the book should have been longer in order to give more detail in the location the character visited, especial as this is steampunk—a genre that is mostly about world building.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and give it a 3.5/5. Be sure to check it out!

~Dani

Book Reviews

Here I am going to post links to the book reviews I do for A Bibliophile’s Reverie. If you are interested in my review of a book, just click the title and it will take you to that review!

The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Dawn of the White Light by Robert M.K. Turner

Sidekick by Auralee Wallace

Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien De Castell

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen 

Scorched by Erica Hayes

Witch-Hunt by Marc Aronson

The Mermaid and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford

Bound by Night, Book 1 of The MoonBound Clan Vampires, by Larissa Ione

Chained by Night, Book 2 of The MoonBound Clan Vampires by Larissa Ione

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Rebel Trap, Book #2 of Rebel by Lance Erlick

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Dragonfly by Erica Hayes