Author: Rachel Barenbaum
Published: April 5, 2022
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.
Three brilliant women.
Two life-changing mistakes.
One chance to reset the future.
In 1986, renowned nuclear scientist, Anna Berkova, is sleeping in her bed in the Soviet Union when Chernobyl’s reactor melts down. It’s the exact moment she tears through time—and it’s an accident. When she opens her eyes, she’s landed in 1992 only to discover Molly, her estranged daughter, shot in the chest. Molly, with her dying breath, begs Anna to go back in time and stop the disaster, to save Molly’s daughter Raisa, and put their family’s future on a better path.
In ‘60s Philadelphia, Molly is coming of age as an adopted refusenik. Her family is full of secrets and a past they won’t share. She finds solace in comic books, drawing her own series, Atomic Anna, and she’s determined to make it as an artist. When she meets the volatile, charismatic Viktor, their romance sets her life on a very different course.
In the ‘80s, Raisa, is a lonely teen and math prodigy, until a quiet, handsome boy moves in across the street and an odd old woman shows up claiming to be her biological grandmother. As Raisa finds new issues of Atomic Anna in unexpected places, she notices each comic challenges her to solve equations leading to one impossible conclusion: time travel. And she finally understands what she has to do.
As these remarkable women work together to prevent the greatest nuclear disaster of the 20th century, they grapple with the power their discoveries hold. Just because you can change the past, does it mean you should?
This book gave me anxiety! I’m a historian and a traditional one at that! And when someone, anyone starts messing with time, I get all clenchy inside! And in this book, everyone treats time with no respect!! Just going back in time, willy-nilly, not caring about the effects! Sooner, later, trying fix stuff from the last trip … it was just exhausting. The story itself was ok, and the characters were likable. The people that I felt were so underappreciated were Yulia and Lazar. They adopted their friend’s child without complaint and she turned into a brat! Molly and Anna kinda ruined the book for me. They’re the type of women who do what they want without a single thought about how their actions affect anyone else. I greatly dislike people like that. And the lesson, I just didn’t get it. The resolution was murky and unsatisfying. I’m glad I read this book … but I doubt I’ll ever read it again.
The House of Whispers
Author: Laura Purcell
Published: June 9, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr. Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.
Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.
This was a weird one. I think my only real criticism is that the end was a little too open for my liking. I mean I liked it, but I wanted more. Morvoren House is one of those amazing old houses that I would love to live in and explore all its mysterious books and crannies. I’m not a huge fan of Hester’s character; she’s kinda stupid in many common sense ways and that brings her down quite a bit. But everyone else adds fascinating and complex issues. The story kept me guessing almost to the end and once everything started to fall into place, it was neat and clear! This is a perfect book for those who like those gothic mysteries!
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Eidolon by Grace Draven! This is the second novel in the Wraith Kings series. And we both gave it four stars!
Series: Wraith Kings #2
Author: Grace Draven
Published: April 18, 2016
In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.
Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.
A tale of alliance and sacrifice.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Sequels aren’t usually this good! But I really liked Eidolon. The characters were consistent with what we learned about them in the first book, the action was almost as good, and I’m left wanting to hear more of Brishen and Ildiko’s story. My only real criticism is that I felt the solution to defeating the galla, which shall remain unspoiled for those who haven’t read it, was a little anticlimactic. For all the grief and stress and resistance to said solution, it seemed awfully easy once it started. But the emotions and anticipation beforehand and after was really good and I was quite involved throughout the reading. Overall, this is a great book and I look forward to continuing the series!
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: July 9-25, 2022
Format Read: Kindle e-book
Eidolon is the second in the Wraith Kings series and we continue Brishen and Ildko’s story. But all is not a happy story as we start out with the fall of the royal family. And now the former unimportant ‘spare heir’ Brishen finds himself to have to serve as king with a human wife who will not be able bear him children to continue the family line.
We have their continuing love story with complications and an unknown future for the entire kingdom. We do get much more action with this one as we have a battle that has to happen and Brishen will risk everything. And what decision will Ildiko have to make? We have a love or duty strain going on. But reading the story we know something else is coming that could change everything!
And we still have the sexual tension between Serovek and Anhuset to come! Their story is book three and I am really looking forward to it: They constantly bicker, but Serovek is fun and flirty while Anhuset is a stubborn badass. I have really enjoyed her in the two previous books as I always enjoy a strong female character, and look forward to learning more about her and see her shine!
I have enjoyed both Radiance and Eidolon, along with Brishen and Ildiko’s story. They are just perfect for each other despite the many differences they overcame in Radiance. Romance is not my main genre of choice, but I have enjoyed this series so far and giving both a 4 star reviews says something for Draven’s writing!