"What she needs are stories. Stories are a way to preserve one's self. To be remembered. And to forget. Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books. Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one.” The invisibile life of Addie LaRue
First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity. I loved your book so much and I can’t wait to hold and hug a physical copy!
Thank you so much!!!
1) Only a monster is the first book in a trilogy, set in a world where monsters exist and they can time travel stealing other people’s (humans) time and where the main character is not the hero… What inspired you to write this original and captivating story?
ONLY A MONSTER is told from a monster girl’s point of view, and it blurs the lines between good and evil by humanising the monsters and depicting the hero as a threat.
The inspiration came from my own experience of loving big blockbuster action films as a child. They often have very clearly demarcated ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys, but when I was growing up, there weren’t many heroes who looked like me in them. Instead, I would sometimes see myself in the ‘bad guys’. Sometimes, the only Asian characters onscreen would in the fight scenes, getting beaten up and killed by the hero.
I have a line in the book about how in movies, the camera follows the hero after the bad guys have been killed. But I know that in my own viewing experience, I can find myself aware of the few people who look like me onscreen, which sometimes means being aware of people lying dead on the ground as the camera moves away.
I thought it would be interesting to write about that feeling when a good, upright and decent hero – like the ones in the films I’d loved – is fighting against you rather than for you.
2) If you were a monster, what family would you belong to and would you use your powers or would you feel guilty/conflicted about them?
The Hathaway family has a special affinity with animals, and they can take their pets with them when they time travel. In the book, it’s described by one of the characters as ‘the most useless family power in London’, but I love the idea of being able to travel with an animal friend!
Having said that, I wouldn’t time travel if I were a monster haha – I would feel too terrible about the cost. But then again … if I were faced with the same dilemma as Joan … I’m not sure what I would do!
3) What’s the character you feel is the closest to you and why and who was the most difficult to write? I personally loved Joan and Aaron! (Okay, I love them all, it’s impossible not to, but they are my favourites!)
I suppose I feel the most affinity with Joan because she’s the protagonist, but I like aspects of them all – Joan’s resourcefulness, Nick’s tragic backstory, Aaron’s haughty exterior and soft interior, Ruth and Gran’s amorality, Tom’s under-the-radar intelligence, and Jamie’s stoicism. Nick was the most difficult to write because he’s concealing so much at the beginning, and Ruth and Gran were the most fun to write!
4)If you could choose one time period to live, what, or better, when, would it be?
I would like to live in a time period when the pandemic is just a memory!
5) Could you tell me more about your writing process and future projects? Maybe a little bit about the sequels?
My writing process is different for each project, but right now I’m editing the sequel to ONLY A MONSTER, and for this one I figured out the plot beforehand, and then wrote the manuscript after that.I’m really excited to be back in this world – it’s been so much fun to delve deeper into the characters, and to pay off what I’d set up in book 1.
Salve e benvenut* alla mia tappa per il review party di Tunnel di ossa della mia brillante Victoria Schwab. Un enorme grazie ad Ambra per aver organizzato l’evento e per le grafiche e alla Mondadori per avermi dato l’opportunità di leggere e recensire questo libro in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.
Prezzo: € 15,00
In vendita dal 28 settembre 2021
Dopo le terrificanti, ma interessanti, vicende della Scozia, Cassidy è “pronta” a una nuova avventura e quando i suoi genitori arrivano a Parigi per un’altra tappa del loro programma televisivo la giovane spera che la vacanza possa riguardare soltanto croissant e visitare la città. Ovviamente non è così. Quando la sua presenza e i suoi poteri risvegliano un poltergeist, Cassidy è costretta a rivestire nuovamente il ruolo di cacciatrice di fantasmi e affidarsi a vecchi e nuovi alleati, mentre si ritrova a imparare nuove cose su se stessa, il mondo che la circonda e sul suo migliore amico, che sembra avere segreti potenzialmente pericolosi.
Victoria Schwab ritorna con una nuova intrigante avventura ambientata nella meravigliosa Parigi. Come era accaduto con Edimburgo, tramite il racconto dei genitori di Cassidy e Cassidy stessa, il lettore scopre la città e i suoi segreti, con i suoi miti e leggende, omicidi, morti e spiriti inquieti. La presenza del poltergeist apre a Cassidy un mondo del tutto nuovo e pericoloso, spingendola ad agire prima che l’intera città possa essere stravolta dalla rabbia e dal caos scatenato dal giovane spirito.
Ho adorato leggere Tunnel di ossa, perché, esattamente come il primo, mi sono ritrovata coinvolta nelle leggende e miti della città, ricca di storia e di passato, spingendomi a visitare con i personaggi le Catacombe, le strade di Parigi, a seguirli nelle loro ricerche. Molto interessante, infatti, è stata l’indagine condotta da Cassidy, Jacob e Lara nel trovare chi fosse il poltergeist e il modo di proteggere se stessi e la città dalla sua rabbia.
La storia è stupenda, intrigante e i personaggi sono ben caratterizzati, sia i nuovi che i vecchi. Lara con la sua saggezza e supporto, i genitori di Cassidy che si completano a vicenda nel narrare storie e leggende e visitare la città, la nuova guida e un’alleata inaspettata… Ho molto amato sia la curiosità e impulsività di Cassidy, che si ritrova a rivestire il ruolo di cacciatrice di fantasmi, lottando per abituarsi a questa nuova realtà, che l’essere leggermente più cauto e “fifone” di Jacob, il modo in cui i loro caratteri si completano e si bilanciano. Molto realistico il loro rapporto e le loro azioni, in quanto teenagers dinanzi a un mondo a loro quasi del tutto nuovo.
Uno degli aspetti che amo di più di questa saga è, infatti, proprio lo straordinario rapporto tra Cassidy e Jacob, il modo in cui comunicano, battibeccano, accettano e seguono suggerimenti l’uno dell’altra, si completano a vicenda. Il loro rapporto è, però, “appesantito” dai sospetti di Lara e la paura di Cassidy che Jacob possa acquisire maggiori poteri e rappresentare un pericolo e la consapevolezza che lui abbia dei segreti, rendendo il loro legame più teso.
Leggermente più inquietante e triste del precedente, sia per la presenza del poltergeist che per i segreti rivelati, Tunnel di ossa è un avvincente avventura, dove spicca l’amicizia e il legame tra Cassidy e Jacob, che s’impegnano per comprendersi e parlare, anche di ciò che li turba e spaventa, regalando un’importante lezione sui rapporti.
Tunnel di ossa conferma, come se ce ne fosse bisogno!, la brillante capacità di Victoria Schwab nel coinvolgere, attrarre e catturare l’attenzione del lettore. Pur essendo un middle grade, quindi “leggermente” lontano dalla mia età, ho amato leggere questo libro, ho adorato i personaggi, le loro interazioni e avventure e non vedo l’ora di scoprire cosa succederà dopo l’intrigante conclusione.
Date un’occhiata alle altre tappe! Ecco a voi il calendario!
Salve e benvenut* alla mia tappa del review party dedicata a “L’impero del vampiro” di Jay Kristoff. Un grazie enorme ad Alessandra per aver organizzato l’evento e la Mondadori per la copia in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.
Prezzo: € 25,00
In vendita dal 14 settembre 2021
TW: sangue, violenza, tortura, omicidio, omofobia
Sono trascorsi ventisette anni dall’ultima alba e i vampiri hanno preso possesso del mondo, creando un vasto impero e distruggendo quello umano. Sono poche le luci che contrastano l’oscurità, come il sacro Ordine d’Argento, ma ora Gabriel de León è l’ultimo Santo. Imprigionato dai mostri che ha combattuto per decenni, è costretto a raccontare la sua storia allo storico, Jean-François della casata Chastain. Inizia così un epico racconto, di lotte, amori passionali, vendette, fede e morti.
Ho trovato molto difficile esprimere a parole ciò che mi ha trasmesso “L’impero del vampiro”. Mi ha coinvolta sin dall’inizio, travolgendomi emotivamente e spingendomi a divorarlo perché la storia è tremendamente avvincente e che mi ha lasciata con il desiderio di saperne di più, quindi…dov’è il secondo libro, Jay? Io ne ho bisogno!
Un romanzo complesso, stratificato, un racconto epico, di vampiri, ma anche di legami, d’amore e amicizia, di fede e la sua perdita, di speranza e lotta, di dipendenza e lutto. Non è semplicemente una storia di lotta contro il male e i mostri che popolano il mondo, non solo. Si tratta di un libro che affronta con delicatezza e arguzia temi come l’amore e l’amicizia, il sacrificio e la fede, la perdita della speranza e la lotta per ritrovarla, la dipendenza da qualcosa (droghe, alcool, ricordi…) e la depressione quando si ha perso ogni cosa. Lo stile è coinvolgente, la storia è ben scritta e i personaggi caratterizzati perfettamente. In un racconto di oltre 700 pagine è normale trovare momenti più lenti e altrettanti rocamboleschi e Jay Kristoff li dosa sapientemente.
Il worldbuilding è deliziosamente complesso e ho trovato molto affascinante il racconto delle varie casate di vampiri, i loro poteri e influenze, i loro schemi politici, il complicato mondo dell’Ordine d’Argento, con i loro riti e la loro fede, l’apprendistato di Gabriel, le lotte interne ed esterne e il contrasto socioeconomico che il protagonista si ritrova ad affrontare e subire nel corso della sua crescita. Jay Kristoff racconta di un mondo terrificante, popolato da diversi tipi di mostri e, soprattutto, da vampiri terribili e al tempo stesso affascinanti, in grado di donare vita eterna e poteri straordinari, un mondo dove non esiste alba, solo oscurità e semi-oscurità.
“Chi cazzo ti ha detto che ero un eroe?” esclama Gabriel, nel raccontare la sua storia a Jean-François, sottolineando quando i racconti su di lui appaiano distanti dalla realtà dei fatti. Non ci sono eroi in questa storia e il suo protagonista è decisamente particolare. Sagace, sboccato, drogato, deluso dal e arrabbiato con il mondo, senza fede, Gabriel mi ha colpito sin dall’inizio. Non è il cavaliere delle leggende. Certo, ha fatto (quasi) tutto ciò che viene raccontato su di lui, ma è amareggiato, ferito, tristemente e dolorosamente umano, pur non essendolo del tutto e conservando ancora la sua rabbia. Uno degli aspetti che spicca, sin dalle prime pagine, è il rapporto che si crea tra Gabriel e Jean-François. Da un lato un eroe in disgrazia, dall’altro uno storico vampiro, mandato lì per trascrivere il suo racconto e i loro battibecchi, le battute, gli scambi irritati, il continuo saltare da un tempo dall’altro per irritare il vampiro…sono tutti aspetti che ho trovato creativi e divertenti, soprattutto perché ho amato il modo in cui la storia viene narrata.
La storia oscilla avanti e indietro, intrecciando tre sequenze temporali, che si incastrano sapientemente come pezzi di un puzzle. La prima è ambientata del presente e funge da cornice all’intero racconto. Al suo interno troviamo Gabriel che racconta la sua storia e Jean-François che la trascrive, abbellendola con disegni e interrogando il cavaliere. Uno degli aspetti che mi ha incuriosito della storia è come Jean-François sembri incarnare il lettore, fermando il racconto, chiedendo delucidazioni, invitando Gabriel a raccontare in modo più esaustivo la sua storia. Immaginando di consegnare la storia ai posteri e rivestendo i panni di chi non sa nulla di quel mondo, Jean-François sembra rappresentare chi sta leggendo, che è all’oscuro di tutto ed è quindi necessario essere più specifici possibile. In questo modo il lettore viene a conoscenza di un mondo popolato da mostri per un evento misterioso accaduto decenni addietro, dell’esistenza della progenie di vampiri ed esseri umani, i “sanguepallido”, alla cui categoria appartiene Gabriel, alla sua vocazione presso l’Ordine, cosa sia l’Ordine e via discorrendo.
Le successive due sequenze temporali si dividono in due diversi momenti del passato di Gabriel. In una Gabriel narra la sua infanzia, i legami con i genitori e le sorelle e gli eventi che cambiarono la sua esistenza, spingendolo nell’Ordine d’Argento, il suo apprendistato, le rivalità con gli altri giovani e via discorrendo. Presenta, quindi, al lettore un Gabriel curioso, disposto a tutto per provare le proprie capacità, per appartenere al complesso e stratificato mondo dell’Ordine d’Argento, un microcosmo di lotte e differenze socioeconomiche, dove il tipo di sangue rappresentava prestigio o scherno. Il lettore segue, quindi, Gabriel nella sua crescita, apprendendo i riti, le armi, facendo conoscenza con persone che gli cambieranno la vita. L’altra sequenza temporale, l’ultima, riguarda, invece, l’interesse principale di Jean-François: Il Santo Graal. Sono trascorsi molti anni dal Gabriel di Santa Michon, dall’apprendistato e Gabriel è ormai adulto, è cresciuto, disilluso, drogato e costretto/convinto a unirsi a un gruppo di fedeli alla ricerca di un modo per sconfiggere il sine die e portare la fine del mondo dei vampiri.
Gabriel è protagonista assoluto della storia, oscillando tra le sequenze temporali, interrompendo il racconto, fermandosi per riprendere fiato e trovare coraggio, bisticciando con Jean-François. Come scritto in precedenza, Gabriel è un personaggio particolare, arrabbiato, deluso e intrigante nel suo dolore e la sua rabbia. Il modo in cui narra la storia, fermandosi, andando avanti e indietro, da un lato irrita il lettore e lo stesso storico, dall’altro fa comprendere la difficoltà del protagonista di parlare di certi avvenimenti.
Se mi ha colpito Gabriel e il suo rapporto con Jean-François, rapporto che ho trovato stimolante e divertente, non sono da meno i personaggi secondari che riempiono il libro e le interazioni che Gabriel ha con essi, personaggi snob e antipatici, severi e litigiosi, pieni di rabbia e risentimento, tutti quanti ben scritti e caratterizzati e che accompagnano Gabriel nella sua crescita e vocazione. Anche in questo caso le differenti sequenze temporali presentano personaggi diversi l’una dall’altra, nonostante alcuni travalichino i decenni. Nel passato di Gabriel, incontriamo il maestro Manogrigia e il serafino Talon, il rivale Aaron de Coste, che si scontra più e più volte con Gabriel nel corso del loro apprendistato, ma il cui rapporto si approfondisce e cambia nel tempo, le ricerche con la sorella novizia Chloe Sauvage, ma soprattutto spicca Astrid Rennier, personaggio che cambierà la vita di Gabriel, la cui presenza indugia su di lui anche nel presente, durante il racconto con Jean-François. Nella timeline di Gabriel adulto troviamo, invece, nuovi e vecchi personaggi, ma a farla da padrone è Dior Lachance e il suo rapporto, sboccato, pieno di insulti e prese in giro, con Gabriel e la cui presenza cambierà ogni cosa.
La caratterizzazione dei personaggi è splendida. Se Gabriel spicca in quanto protagonista, gli altri non sono da meno e sono complessi nelle loro paure, desideri, nella loro fede e speranza, nei loro rapporti d’amore e d’amicizia. Sono, inoltre presenti, relazioni LGBTQIA+, che ho molto apprezzato, soprattutto una in particolare perché evidenzia e rimprovera l’omofobia presente in alcuni personaggi secondari e quanto l’amore venga visto come in contrasto con la fede e la missione, scoperchiando una complessa riflessione su Dio, le scritture, dovere verso se stessi e ciò a cui non si è disposti a sacrificare. La fede è un elemento ben presente all’interno del racconto, fede che aiuta e dona forza a coloro che appartengono all’Ordine d’Argento, ma anche, e si evince nel corso della storia, fede perduta, rabbia nei confronti di un Dio che sembra aver dimenticato ognuno di loro.
“Non chiedermi se Dio esiste, ma perché è così stronzo.”
Il romanzo inizia proprio in questo mondo e il contrasto tra la fede, l’orribile mondo che li circonda, l’amore e il desiderio e ciò che viene considerato peccato è ben presente in molti personaggi, come Gabriel, Astrid, Aaron, Baptiste.
“E se il tuo Dio definirebbe il mio amore un peccato, allora non è un Dio che conosco.”
In quanto figli del peccato e sanguepallido, Gabriel, Aaron, Baptiste si muovono in un mondo che non li accetta, pur servendosi di loro come paladini contro i mostri e l’oscurità. Questo continuo contrasto, tra il sangue che scorre nelle loro vene e l’umanità, tra la fede e il peccato (peccato secondo altri uomini, secondo scritture passate e regole), tra bene e male, spicca nel corso dell’intero romanzo. Come scritto in precedenza, nessuno dei personaggi è un eroe e tutti sono contraddistinti da rabbia, vendetta, desiderio, risentimento e amore.
Decido di concludere qui la mia recensione, altrimenti finirei per scrivere un romanzo sul romanzo e non posso non consigliare assolutamente “L’impero del vampiro” (pur facendo attenzione ai numerosi trigger warnings).
Date un’occhiata alle altre recensioni del review party! Ecco a voi il calendario:
Salve a tutt* e benvenut* alla mia tappa per Le Streghe in eterno di Alix E. Harrow! Un grazie enorme a Valeria per aver organizzato l’evento, ad Ambra per la grafica meravigliosa e alla Mondadori per la possibilità di leggere in anteprima questo libro. Le mie recensioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.
Ecco a voi il calendario con le varie tappe!
C’era una volta un tempo in cui esistevano le streghe, capaci di potenti incantesimi, prima dei roghi, prima delle violenze, prima di essere quasi del tutto estinte. Nel 1893 solo semplici incantesimi esistono, passati da donna a donna, di generazione in generazione, incantesimi per rammendare, pulire, guarire, magia nascosta in filastrocche, rime e canzoncine, considerate per bambini. Nel 1893 non esistono più le streghe di un tempo e l’unico potere che le donne possono sperare di avere è la speranza di poter votare. E’ all’interno del movimento di suffragette, che le tre sorelle Eastwood, James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth e Beatrice Belladonna, iniziano a pensare a ciò che potrebbero fare e ottenere se quel movimento diventasse un movimento di streghe, se ritrovassero i poteri perduti e riaffermassero le proprie identità.
Ambientato in un mondo profondamente patriarcale, all’interno del quale le donne sono incastrate in una serie di ruoli, quali la donna del focolare, la donna di chiesa e casa, le anime perdute, come le prostitute e le streghe, Le streghe in eterno è un libro potentissimo, brillantemente scritto e con una caratterizzazione fenomenale, ambientato in un mondo dominato dal sessismo, razzismo e dalla violenza, all’interno del quale le donne sono costrette a muoversi lungo binari precisi e violenza e morte aspetta chi osa ribellarsi. In queste circostante claustrofobiche e soffocanti, James e le sue sorella danno il via a una ribellione, determinate a recuperare il potere perduto delle streghe, ad affermare se stesse nelle loro complessità e desideri.
La storia è narrata da tre punti di vista, dalle tre sorelle che sono profondamente diverse l’una dall’altra. James nel suo essere selvaggia e ribelle, determinata a bruciare il mondo per ottenere rispetto e libertà, Agnes, quieta e attenta in un mondo che ha denti e non ha paura di usarli, Beatrice con i suoi libri, il suo rifugio e la sua saggezza. Le tre donne sono legate da un legame di sorellanza che, a causa di traumi, violenze e incomprensioni, si è sfilacciato e quasi distrutto nel corso del tempo. Ritrovatesi dopo anni, saranno costrette dagli eventi a ricucire il loro rapporto, a sostenersi e a riscoprire il loro legame, ritrovandolo più forte e solido che mai.
Il libro ruota attorno alla loro crescita, al loro legame e a ciò che saranno costrette ad affrontare, lottando contro i demoni del loro passato, contro una stregoneria potente fatta di ombre e controllo e disposta a tutto per impedire loro, alle donne, di reagire, vivere ed esprimere la loro opinione, di essere se stesse, di amare chi vogliono.
Le streghe in eterno è un libro molto stratificato. In quasi 600 pagine vengono affrontate numerosi questioni, quali il sessismo, il razzismo, la violenza di genere, abusi familiari, il diritto al voto e, in particolare, i problemi legati all’essere una donna nel 1893, in una società patriarcale, all’interno della quale incombe l’ombra dei roghi e delle violenze della Salem originale. Sono rimasta piacevolmente impressionata dalla caratterizzazione dei personaggi. James, Agnes e Beatrice si muovono in un mondo pericoloso e dove la politica si mescola alla violenza e alla magia, dove il loro sviluppo personale e la crescita del loro legame in quanto sorelle e streghe avviene di pari passo con i loro problemi, i ricordi, i traumi passati, nuovi amori e avventure.
I personaggi principali e secondari sono interessanti nelle loro complessità e sfaccettature, non sono stereotipati, si rifiutano di aderire ai ruoli imposti loro dalla società. James, Agnes e Beatrice sono donne che non rientrano nei canoni (non dirò in che modo per evitare spoilers) e non cercano di rientrarvi, si rifiutano di adeguarsi, ma lottano per essere libere di essere chi vogliono, vivere la loro vita e amare la persona che scelgono.
Ho adorato il modo in cui l’amore è presente all’interno della storia, nelle sue varie sfaccettature. L’amore nei confronti di una sorella, di una figlia, madre, nonna, di un’amica, di un’amante. La rappresentazione LGBTQIA+ è dolcemente presente in una relazione, della quale non parlerò per evitare spoilers, ma che ho molto adorato. Inoltre, è anche presente un personaggio secondario trans, del quale ho amato lo sviluppo, determinazione e forza.
Il libro è costellato di filastrocche e rime, incantesimi e formule magiche e il lettore segue le sorelle nella loro ricerca della magia antica, connettendosi al passato e al presente, incontrando diversi tipi di magia, tra storia antica, libri e magia nascosta in canzoni e storielle. La parte fantasy è mescolata sapientemente alla storia personale delle protagoniste, all’ambientazione storica e ho amato leggere Le Streghe in eterno. Se
Gli uomini presenti nella storia sono stereotipi di uomini crudeli, padri violenti e possessivi, mariti malvagi, politici assetati di potere e disposti a tutto per schiacciare le donne che non rientrano nei loro canoni. Pochissime le eccezioni (solo una, probabilmente) e il libro ruota interamente sulle donne, sul loro trionfo e la loro lotta.
Le donne sono le protagoniste assolute di Le Streghe in eterno. Donne come madri, sorelle, figlie, nonne, amiche, amanti, donne disposte a tutto per lottare per un mondo più giusto nei loro confronti, per proteggere se stesse e le persone che amano, per rivendicare il diritto di essere ciò che vogliono e amare chi vogliono. Questo libro è un inno al potere femminile, alla resilienza delle donne, capaci di trovare modi incredibili e fantasiosi per conservare e proteggere il loro passato e le loro conoscenze, in un mondo in cui uomini al potere sono disposti a tutto per schiacciarle e annullare la loro storia. Un inno alla sorellanza, alla speranza e alla resilienza e una storia che consiglio a tutt* coloro in cerca di un libro pieno di personaggi femminili nella loro complessità, trama avvincente e interessante e un bellissimo e coinvolgente stile di scrittura.
Noemì Taboada is a socialite and she’s living a golden life in Mexico City with parties, friends, flirts and her studies, even though she changed again her mind, taking an interest in anthropology this time. When she received a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin, Catalina, begging for help and accusing her husband of poisoning her, Noemì understands that something may be wrong and right away decides to visit her.
In the High Place, a remote and lugubrious mansion in the Mexican countryside, Noemì, with her clothes and mirth and curiosity clashes with the mansion’s residents and their rules, like being silent during dinner, quiet voices, no questions and no cigarettes.
But Noemì is determined to find why her cousin is so strange and what is affecting her, even if that means clashing with Virgil, Catalina’s husband, both alluring and scary, Florence, who runs the house with strict firmess and the patriarch Howard, who seems to be fascinated by her.
Her only ally is Francis, the youngest, shy and kind and, when Noemì starts to be plagued by nightmares and visions. she decides to uncover the family’s history and what is happening to them. Before she’s trapped in the house forever.
Mexican gothic is a wonderful feminist Gothic fantasy, set in a gloomy mansion with its mysteries, violence and ghosts.
The main character is Noemì, who finds herself in a situation and a world very different from the one she’s used to. A world of silence, lies and violence. But she’s strong-willed, brilliant and smart and she’s strongly connected to her older cousin, Catalina.
Finding herself in a male dominated world, High Place, a whole different universe and the Doyles, or better Howard, their patriarch, as ruler and master, able to impose his demand everywhere, Noemì struggles against rules and mysteries, unwilling to bow down and determined to save herself and Catalina from what is become a prison, the house itself alive and unwilling to let them go.
In Mexican Gothic there is a battle between men and women, who struggle to get their independence and freedom in 1950s Mexico. Noemì struggles against her parents’ expectations, her mother thinking that girls should follow a life cycle, from debutante to wife and not to continue her studies upon graduation, her father considering flighty and offering her the chance to enroll to the National University should she save her cousin and solve her mystery.
It’s interesting reading how, even though women didn’t have much freedom, above all when married, (Catalina’s fate was decided by her husband, his doctor and her father in law) undermined by the patriarchy, the women in Mexican Gothic are strong, stubborn and willing to assert themselves, with their choices, plans and plottings. From Agnes and Ruth, who fought against their family’s values and traditions, to Catalina and Noemì, these women were ready to plot, kill, escape to get their freedom back and to do the right things.
It’s also a war between rich and poor, the socioeconomics difference, considering the way the Doyles treated their miner, above all if Mexicans, and their willingness to let them suffer and die for their own goals.
In a constant cycle of violence, mystery and blood, Noemì fights her way to be free and to save those she loves and has learn to love.
One of the things I loved the most about Mexican Gothic is the setting, reminding me of Wuthering Heights and other Gothic novels, with its fog, gloomy places, quiet servants and nightmares, creepy mysteries. with a tough and strong-willed heroine.
Peculiar is the house itself, almost a character on its own, with its actions and desires, a cage, a prison and a living organism at the same time.
Interesting is the character of Francis, the youngest son who is willing to defy his family and their traditions, wanting to do the right thing, ready to see the world and to escape a house who is really a prison, its inhabitants prisoners (willing and unwilling) and stuck in a cycle of violence and blood.
Catalina first and Noemì then disrupt their “peace” and cycle, refusing to be used and objectified by the men of the house. The women seen and used as object, only as mothers and wives is another concept Noemì struggles against. Catalina is first bewitched by Virgil and his house and family, but slowly, in her own way, she fighs against a role others want to impose on her, a cage ready to smother her.
Noemì, with her mirth, her flirting and stubborness, is a modern woman, unwilling to be something she doesn’t want to be, a woman with strong convictions and ideas, refusing to be caged and hurt. Florence, Francis’ mother, almost represents a woman who gave up, assimilated into the house and its rules, willing to hurt other women and to obey her master, becoming from victim to oppressor. Noemì, Catalina, Ruth are women able to stand up for themselves, ready to do anything for the right thing and the people they love and loved. Brilliant, vibrant and complex character, they stick out in this book. defeating the men’s cruelties, protecting themselves.
Even though there are male characters who help them, like Francis, Noemì’s father and Dr Camarillo, Mexican Gothic is a book where women triumph and they are not willing to share the spotlight. Fighting the objectification of women, asserting their right to decide and be free, Mexican Gothic has strong characters, a complex mystery and a wonderful, but gloomy, setting.
I recommend this book to those who love a good mystery, strong female characters, fight against the patriarchy and the ability of proving oneself.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. (from Goodreads)
I received this copy from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review! Thank you, Page Street Publishing, for this earc!
Sircha Ashwyn has no family, no name, abandoned in an orphanage when she was very little, but she’s determined to find her own place in the world.
Trained by the mysterious Kendara, hoping to become the queen’s next Shadow, a royal spy, and training as a soldier, all Sircha’s plan are ruined when she got involved into a shamans’ attack and her best friend Saengo is killed. But, without even knowing how, Sircha manages to bring her soul back, discovering an ability and a power she knew nothing about.
Unveiled as soulguide, a rare and powerful kind of shaman, Sircha and Saengo are summoned to the Spider King, Ronin, whose power is vital in maintaining the peace between kingdoms and in controlling the dangerous Dead Wood, a forest possessed by trapped souls. But his powers seem to be weakening, since the trees are becoming more and more wild and spreading.
Sircha finds herself involving into the dangerous task of taming the Dead wood, before the trees claim her friend’s life and welcome a war between kingdoms.
Forest of souls is a lush, evocative and magical fantasy first book of the Shamanborn series, set in a world of political conflicts, mysterious powers, magic, intrigue, sisterhood and friendship. The world-building is spectacular and the author has the ability of grabbing’s the reader’s attention right away, thrusting her/him/them into a world skillfully written, with magic, drakes, plot twists, secrets, murders, giant spiders, ambigous and complex characters.
The writing style is absolutely evocative and the characterization is brilliant. Told by Sircha’s POV, the main character, Sircha is determined, stubborn, loyal and strong. She came from nothing, in a world, a place where family’s name can be very important, but she’s determined to prove to everyone and to herself her worth, her abilities and her loyalty.
When she discovers a new truth about hersef, changing her whole life and future and those of Saengo’s, Sircha proves herself to be even more adaptable, strong and skilled, relying on her training and bond with Saengo, looking for answers, eager to do something to save her friend and her country, fighting for beliefs she believes in, her loyalties tested when she discovers the cruelty and intrigues of her queen. Forest of souls is full of wonderful and intense characters.
Besides Sircha, Saengo is brilliant, loyal, a true friend and their relationship and sisterhood is one of the things I loved the most in this book. How both of them would do anything for the other, how they are bonded, how they love and trust one other implicitly.
Theyen is another complex figure and I really liked his sarcasm and the way he and Sircha bicker and prince Meilik is a wonderful written character, whose loyalties and beliefs are constantly tested throughout the whole book, pushing him to chose and I liked his relationship with Sircha, how it changes from prince and subject, to commander and soldier to become allies and friends. Intense and ambigous are the characters of Kendara and Ronin and I really need to know more about them and what will happen in the next book to this wonderful and skilled characters.
Overall, I really loved Forest of souls, the story was thrilling and captivating and the characters are impossible not to love and cheer on. I can’t wait to have this book in my hands and I will wait devoutly for the sequel!
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. A huge thanks to SOURCEBOOKS fire for this!
Rin Chupeco’s book deals with issues like homophobia (against Alex and Loki’s fathers), racism, child abuse, abuse, bigotry, poltical stance on immigration, police (ICE agents) abuse of power.
Tala Warnock is the descendant of Maria Makiling, a Filipine heroine able to negate spells and she lives in a world where magic is strictly controlled, a modern world where magic and techonology are both present and connected.
In Invierno, a boring town in Arizona, magic rarely works and thanks to her family’s ties to the country of Avalon (unreachable, frozen and bespelled for almost 12 years) they are chosen to protect and guard the heir of Avalon, Alexei, taking care of him against people and countries who want to exploit his kingdom’s magic for their cruel ends.
While both Tala and Alex try to have a normal life, going to school, to parties, trying to have boyfriends, their life are abruptly changed when the firebird, one of the Avalon’s deadliest weapon, appears to Alex and the Snow Queen, presumed dead, attacks him. They are forced to run, leaving the town, helped by Tala’s family, by the Bandersnatchers, a contingent of young people, teenagers, tasked to protect their heir.
On the run, in a kingdom she thought lost, Tala is confronted with family’s secrets, magic and the need and desire to protect her best friend and understand her own powers and story.
I really liked Wicked as you wish. In the beginning, to be honest, I found the worldbuilding a bit confusing, but while reading everything clicked and I found myself involved in this amazing story.
Set on a Earth where fairytales’ characters like Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat, Arthur Pendragon and so on and where places like Avalon, Wonderland and Beira, the Snow Queen’s kingdom are real, the reader is pushed right away in a complex and captivating world.
It’s almost possible to divide the book in two parts, the first one, set in Invierno and the other one in Avalon. In the first part, the reader get to know Tala and Alex, their secrets, Tala’s being a spellbreaker, Alex being gay and closeted and the Avalon’s heir in a world not so different from our own, except for the magic.
The firebird, the Bandersnatchers, the Snow Queen change everything and Tala is separated from her family, with a friend to protect and she’s is forced to rely on herself and her new friends, in their attempt to reach Maidenkeep and to try to save their kingdom, but their trip is full of surprises. Ice wolves, secrets, frog marsh king, profecies, dooms and fights.
During the trip the reader, through Tala, get to know the Bandersnatchers, their bonds, friendship, families, powers and weapons and Avalon’s story. One of the things I loved the most are the characters. I loved the diversity in this book. Tala is biracial Filipino, Alex is gay, Loki is non-binary, Chinese-Canadian and was adopted by two men, Ken is from Japan.
Tala is smart, brilliant and determined and in a situation where she’s utterly unprepared, but where she’s eager to learn and fight. Betrayed, full of question, she’s focused on their mission, willing to do anything to protect her best friend and save Avalon.
The Bandersnatchers are amazing, I loved them so much. Zoe, who is the leader of the mission, is brilliant, sensible and weighed down by the responsiblity of protecting a stubborn and with attitude heir. West, whose family is naturalist, so doesn’t know many modern things, is funny, cute in his questions and he’s a Roughskin, a shapeshifter. (I laughed so much while reading him shredding his clothes and Zoe complaining about him being naked.)
Ken,with his magical swords and their hidden powers, is playful and funny. Loki, with their magical staff, is a ranger, resourceful and without them and their sense of direction, they would have been stuck in the forest forever. Cole with his scary scythe, his attitute and his secrets is the brooding type, but with his heart in the right place (I hope). And Nya, the latest addiction, full of surprise and ready to be part of their group and adventure. I want to know more about them, from Zoe and her boyfriend (and his bond with Alex), West’s shapeshifting, Ken’s explanations and joke, Loki and their fathers’ love and their powers.
I LOVED the firebird. Like the bantering between the Bandersnatchers, the firebird was unbelievably funny and I laughed so much reading the scene with it in it, like when he blew raspberry or rolled his eyes.
Alex is another interesting character, with a painful past. When he was five years old he saw his parents being killed and was saved and taken away from Avalon, before the frost hit the kingdom. He spent all his life hiding, running for his life, shuttled from one family to the other, until Tala’s family, who was forced, with the firebird’s arrival, to leave Invierno and run away. Coming back in his kingdom, destroyed, frozen and hurt by the Snow Queen and her vendetta is painful and for most of the book, in Avalon, Alex is rude, hurtful and full of lies and secrets, keeping himself away from Tala and the others. I hope he and Tala will find a way to be more honest around one other in the next book.
Complex are the “villains” in the story, like the Snow Queen, her story and past really interesting, like her vendetta and obsession and Ryker, who is a intruing character, his past and his reasons for his loyalty painful and raw to read. I liked Ryker, a lot, and I can’t wait to know more about them, their full and bigger plan.
Amazing are the side characters, like Tala’s family, Lumina and Kay, their love and relationship strong and inspiring, and Lola Urduja and Katipuneros, a group of old warriors, unbelievably tenacious and ready to do anything to protect their families and heir and the Cheshire, a mastermind.
Interesting and unique is the use of profecies and dooms, so important in this world that a certain kind of doom can get some priviliges. It was amazing trying to decode the Dame’s and the priestess’ predictions, while reading! Fascinating the magic and the concept it comes with a price, usually a physical one. Brilliant and funny are the chapter titles, like (In wich government agents are assholes, but what else is new or In which Loki uses a toothpick and Ken loses a fight with a library)!
TO SUM UP
Above all, I really loved this book. I loved how the author deals with important themes, like abuse, homophobia, racism in Wicked as you wish, talking about the political tension in their world, the power abuse, the countries’ stance on immigration and so on. At the same time it’s a journey of discovery, of trying to do the right thing, of protecting others, of taking back a kingdom, of learning things about others and oneself.
The characters are amazing, the story is full of mysteries, plot twists, fairytales characters and this mix of modern world and fairytales was amazing and funny. I can’t wait to know what will happen next.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
Trigger warnings about self harm, bulimia, physical and physicological abuse, drug use
What kind of girl is a book about survivors, fighting, love, friendship and abuse. Told by multiple POVs, or I should write, different side of the same two person, the story is narrated by Maya and Junie, her best friend, during the time of one week.
It’s Monday when Maya goes to the principal office with a black eye, denouncing the golden boy of their high school, her boyfriend Mike. It’s her last straw. After three months of abuse, she says it’s enough. He has to stop.
After that the school divide in two parts. Who believe in Maya, rallying against her abuser and demanding the school board to expel him and who can’t side with her, asking why she waited to speak? Why did she stay with him?
Bit by bit the reader finds about the controlling nature of the track star, how Maya was scared of him, how she suffers from bulimia, how she couldn’t confide in her mother or best friend, how she sought the help of the school burn out, Hiram, finding solace and understanding in him.
Maya realizes her relationship with Mike, seeing it clearly, understanding all the times he pulled, pushed and pinched her, how he wanted to controll her.
At the same time the reader gets to know Juniper, Junie, Maya’s best friend, who struggles with anxiety and who finds release in cutting herself, who, without realizing fully, suffers from her parent’s expectations, above all her father, a human rights attorney, who pushed her to fight, to rally, without seeing her sufferings.
In just one week both of their lives are upset, pushing them to make decisions, to stand for themselves, to seek one other, to support each other.
It was interesting reading the two POVs and seeing all their facets. Maya is the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic, the burn out, while June is the anxious girl, the cool girl, the activist, both of them struggling against pressure and expectations, both of them sick and confused.
I appreciate how the author wrote about Maya’s difficulty to talk, to accept her being a survivor, her being abused, her guilty about Mike’s future and scholarship, her confused feelings, her feeling guilty because she couldn’t talk, because controlled and scared. Her accepting this wasn’t her fault.
I appreciate Junie’s side, too, reading about her anxiety, her need to cut, her need to please her parents, to be controlled, to be cool, her fear that loved ones could think her a basket case, above all her parents, Maya and Tess.
I liked reading about Tess, how Junie decided to be open to her, be sincere about who she is and the open ending. I really loved the open ending. It wasn’t disappointing. I felt that, one way or another, I would have felt hurt or disappointed, but leaving it like that was really smart.
I liked this story, the writing style, it’s a quick read, even though the book is almost 400 pages, because the reader needs to know more, needs to know what happened, what happens, how the main characters will react to this or that and so on.
Compelling, interesting and captivating.
Let me know if you like my review, or if you would read this book.
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything. In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. (goodreads)
The kingdom of back is an evocative and intense tale of love, magic, music and family. The review will be posted closer to the publication date.
Docile by K. M. Szpara
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com
Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.
To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future. Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it. (goodreads)
Docile is a sexy, moving and wonderful book about consent, love, sacrifice and justice. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
House of earth and blood (Crescent city 1#) by Sarah J. Maas
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. (goodreads)
For me Sarah J. Maas is one of the most talented writer and I love every book she wrote, so I’m absolutely excited about this one.
Havenfall by Sara Holland
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury YA
A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe… (goodreads)
The review will be posted closer to the publication date.
Only most devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Wednesday Books
Summer love…gone so fast.
Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.
Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most. (goodreads)
One of my most anticipated is this lgbt book because “SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease“.
I mean, it possible NOT to be excited? Not for me.
The midnight lie by Marie Rutkoski
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. (goodreads)
Another lgbt book, this time a fantasy and it seems absolutely fantastic.
Wicked as you wish by Rin Chupeco (A hundred names for magic 1#)
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.
And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated… (goodreads)
March 3rd is FULL of new releases. So many amazing book will be published!
My dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by William Morrow
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. 2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. (goodreads)
My dark Vanessa is one of the most hard (because of its themes) and intense book I’ve ever read. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
The electric heir (Feverwake 2#) by Victoria Lee
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Skyscape
Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia. Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus. Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (goodreads)
The fever king and The electric heir are two of my favourite books. This duology deals with a lot of important themes, from abuse, to injustice, to survivors, politcs, love, friendship… The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
A conspiracy of bones by Kathy Reichs
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Scribner
It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade? With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes… (goodreads)
I’m a sucker for Temperance Brennan and her investigations, so I loved this book. As usual, the review and the trigger warning will be posted closer to the publication date.
The House in the cerulean sea by T. J. Klune
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. (goodreads)
Queen of coin and whispers by Helen Corcoran
Expected publication: April 6th 2020 by The O’Brien Press
‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …(goodreads)
Another legbt book! This one looks incredible!
Bonds of Brass (The bloodright trilogy) by Emily Skutskie304 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Del Rey Books
A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire. Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.
But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs? (goodreads)
The silence of bones by June Hur
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak; Ears, but I mustn’t hear; Eyes, but I mustn’t see.
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly. June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh. (goodreads)
Incendiary (Hollow Crown 1#) by Zoraida Córdova
Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton
I am Renata Convida. I have lived a hundred stolen lives. Now I live my own.
Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. (Goodreads)
I thank Netgalley and the publisher for this book, received in exchange of an honest review.
Robin Martine is not the usual girl. She’s an orphan, she can use swords and knives, she runs a Youtube channel, she travels around America recording her adventure in…witch killing. Robin is a witch hunter and the witches are not like Sabrina Spellman or any kind witches seen on television. They are cruel, they are known to siphon life to them through spells and sacrifices and they are immortal. They killed Robin’s mother, Annie, blaming her violent father. After being instituzionalized, because Robin spoke the truth about the witches and doctors made her believe she was crazy, filling her with medications and shock therapies, she’s rescued by a family friend, Heinrich. He reveals her the truth about witches and starts training her. Haunted by a green eyed monster, for years, Robin fights against supposed hallucinations and spells, while trying to do her job. The story is built with flashbacks and memories and starts when Robin comes back to Blackfield, in her old city. For Robin, coming back home means reconnecting with Joel, his old best friend and to know Kenway,with whom Robin right away get along, dragging both of her friends in her caotic and dangerous life and revenge. Her path crossed Wayne’s and his father, who they just moved in her old house. While she’s keen on getting her revenge on the Coven that killed her mother, Robin starts to understand she may have been underestimated the situation.
I really liked this book. Robin is a great main character, funny, determined, stubborn and keen on discovering the truth about her family, her mother, the creature that haunts her. She wants to kill the coven that murdered her mother, the dangerous Lazenbury. Joel is a fantastic and ironic best friend and I love her relationship with him and how she found someone in him and Kenway to rely on. Kenway is another amazing character. He’s a veteran, he went through hell and back and, like Robin, he’s full of memories and scars. I loved how Robin’s plot crossed with Wayne’s, the new kid. I like Wayne, a lot. The author did a fantastic job writing his character. Wayne lost his mother to cancer, his father went through a bad moment, drinking and, deciding to move from Chicago to a little city meant for him changing his whole life, school and friends, while still grieving for his mother. He’s a strong character, friendly, smart and I liked reading about he having new friends. He was forced to grow up faster when his father started to drink. I found really sweet his habit to put her mother’s wedding ring near his eye and see through it.
I love how important that ring became in the book., too. Leon, his father, a teacher, found himself involved in witches, monsters and spell, involving witch hunting, magic rings and creature from other dimensions. I liked reading about Robin’s mentor and savior, too, Heinrich, even though he’s less present in the book and I hope to read more about him in the sequel, because he seemed an interesting character. The book is captivating, full of twists and revelations and it kept me hooked until the end. It was amazing reading the multiple POVs, Robin’s, Joel’s, Wayne’s, Marylin’s and see through the “villains’ ” eyes too. I liked reading about witches, their powers and dryads, goddesses and so on. I’m really happy to have read this book and I can’t wait to know more about Robin’s story.