Tag: Fantasy

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Author: Robyn Schneider
Published: June 5, 2018
320 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends–a group of magnificently silly theater nerds–while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life–and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.

Kim’s Review:

I love Schneider’s books! Her first two were awesome and as soon as I saw she wrote another, I bought it pronto! This one isn’t as strong as her first two, but it was still good! The premise of Rose’s brother coming back as a ghost was an interesting twist that I wasn’t expecting from Schneider. But she is the queen of emotional teen stories (the non-annoying kind) and Invisible Ghosts delivered. I loved the easy banter between the friends and they are totally the kids that I wish were at my school. I’m not gonna say much in this review (shocker!) because there isn’t much I can say without ruining the experience. As sappy as it sounds, Schneider’s books need to be felt and enjoyed. So a not annoying, feeling, story about teens . . . Boom. I would keep this book for older teens, due to some language. But I do recommend Invisible Ghosts, a very good book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Never-Contented Things

Author: Sarah Porter
Published: March 19, 2019
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Seductive. Cruel. Bored.
Be wary of…

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

Kim’s Review:

This cover thrills my soul so so much! I saw it at Barnes and Noble and it just flew into my hands, and I swear, I tried to put it back . . . But it just wouldn’t go back on the shelf! I haven’t been so excited to read a book based on the cover this much in a long, long time! Unfortunately, this is one of those times where “don’t judge a book by its cover” turns out to be true. I wanted so badly to love it, I just didn’t.

I felt so detached from the characters. They all had little things about them that I didn’t like. Believe it or not, Ksenia and Josh’s differences didn’t bother me. Fine, be who you are, I don’t care. I had a doll that worked perfectly for the Instagram pic, based on Ksenia’s androgynous look, so I’m good. What I didn’t like was that Ksenia would learn a lesson, she’d move forward and make progress, but then she’d slide right back and acted as if the lesson never happened and it got frustrating! Josh was just a spoiled idiot. Typical entitled, selfish, stupid teen who thinks he knows better than everyone else and refuses to admit that he’s wrong.

I preferred the evil fairies over Josh! Lexi, I didn’t mind except for all the little forced and political things the author kept trying to push. She did that subtle virtue signaling thing that wouldn’t have been bad if she hadn’t done it all the time! The story itself had some good elements, but what ruined it for me was that it was so anticlimactic! Just when progress was made and the anticipation had been built up, successfully I’ll admit, it just always fell flat! The ending was disappointing and unsatisfying.

One thing that I did enjoy was how well Porter built up the setting and atmosphere! All the elements of nowhere as opposed to real life where fascinating and I enjoyed her world building. Her physical characterization of the fairies and the changelings were vivid and imaginative. Overall, I was just disappointed. I wanted so badly to love this book, but I just liked elements. But, on a positive note, Never-Contented Things is at the top of the list for Most Gorgeous Cover this year!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Author: Octavia E. Butler
Published: June 1976
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

Jessica’s Review:

I came across Kindred when I was looking for books for First Line Friday, and this one has a doozy:

I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.

That first line, the book description, and the fact that it is the first science fiction written by a black woman piqued my interest in Kindred. My library also offered it in audiobook format:  SCORE! The only thing I was worried about was when I borrowed it was the age of the book. Written 30+ years ago, some sci-fi books do not ‘age well’ and become dated quickly.  This did not end up being an issue for me as I felt this could take place now. You guys know by now that I am selective with sci-fi and even more selective with fantasy. And did you say TIME TRAVEL!?!?!?!    That is the kind of sci-fi and fantasy I can read! 

Kindred blew me away.  This novel will be in my top reads of the year.  I was intrigued the whole time listening to the audiobook and had no idea how it was going to end.  It twisted in ways that I did not expect and then that shocker of an ending: OMG, I would have never expected that! This needs to become a limited series that stays true to the novel.  Octavia Butler wowed me with Kindred, this is a novel everyone needs to read!

If you are looking for answers to why or how Dana time travels, you will be disappointed.  Kindred does not explain the time travel, but the strength of the novel is on the time, location and people of the antebellum time period. Butler must have heavily researched for the novel.   Dana interprets the how and why her time traveling happens, hoping she is correct in her thoughts.

Since Kindred takes us back in time, we get a clear picture how slavery was from the view of the African American.  Yes, the ‘N word’ is used a great deal in this novel, but that was how people spoke in antebellum times.  Parts of the novel will be difficult for some to read. This is a novel that will have you thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.

Kindred is very highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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