Book Review: What the River Knows Series by Isabel Ibañez

What the River Knows
Series: Secrets of the Nile #1
Author: Isabel Ibañez

Published: October 31, 2023
404 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  February 4- March 19, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Jessica’s Review: 

This was a good read!  Ancient Egypt is always a welcome location for a book to take place and there was adventure even a slow burn romance. There is something for everyone in this book!

We have a strong YA character in Inez, I really liked her! A lot happens in this book! And Whit, it was like just get together! The version I read had some pictures in it and I pictured a young Henry Cavill playing him.

Having been to Egypt in 2006, it brought back memories of that trip! Egypt was one of my bucket list places to go to and I did it!  How many people do you know that have been to Egypt? I have a friend (Beccie) going there this year and this book came from her. I am so excited that she is finally going to one of her bucket list places!

The only ‘bad’ thing about this book is a cliffhanger and I have to wait until NOVEMBER for the sequel and final book.  If you like action, adventure, romance, Egypt, pick this one up and read it now! Or wait until closer to the end of the year so you can read the sequel without a long wait!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

My March 2024 Reads

It’s April 1st and here are my March reads! I’m doing a little better, I got 6 books read or listened to.  But it was only a so-so month with half the books I enjoyed while the other half weren’t that great.

Here is a list of the books in the order I finished them:

Make Her Pay by Miranda Rijks (Audio) 4 stars
First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston (Audio) 3 stars
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella (Audio) 4 stars
What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez (Hardback) 4 stars
That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters (Audio) 3 stars
None of this is True by Lisa Jewell (Audio) 3 stars

My favorite read was What the River Knows. I’ve had some personal things going on, and it took me way too long to read, but it was really good! Ancient Egypt is always a great location to read. And I went there in 2006, so reading about it brought back memories of that trip.  The only thing bad about it is that I have to wait for the sequel (and final) book to come out in November!

My ‘least favorite’ read was a tie: That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters and None of this is True by Lisa Jewell.  I just hate having a memoir as a least favorite read, as it is someone’s life, but there was nothing uplifting about this memoir. He mainly focused on his childhood and youth, not being in prison.  None of This is True has great reviews but it was not for me.  I don’t usually get triggered, but this one did it. There was a great deal of pedophilia in it, and I did not know going into it that would be a focus. I had heard the audio was fabulous, which it was because it was a full cast narration with music and sound design.  The audio earned it an extra star.

What did YOU read in March?


Memoir Review: That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row
Author: Jarvis Jay Masters

Narrator: Korey Jackson
Published: September 22, 2009
9 hours 48 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 18-23, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Audiobook Description:

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer. Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

Jessica’s Review:

This was our book club read for March and I think I went in expecting another The Sun Does Shine, which it wasn’t. This was just a depressing book for me. It wasn’t uplifting at all. So many examples of Masters life which was always negative and only a few chapters focused on when he went to prison. He is still on death row for the murder of a prison guard. Is he an innocent man? No, he actually did commit assault and theft. But he is also a casualty of his family upbringing and a broken foster care system.I can’t say much more than this, because this is someone’s actual life, but it was just too much for me. Masters can write well for someone with limited schooling and can tell his story in his own way. His memoir just was not for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK