Rise of One

The story

As zombies roamed, the earth went quiet. It is as if every critter knew that the only way to stay safe was to lay silent.

Rise and his coven were running out of fresh blood to feed on. With only one human – albeit pampered beyond belief – at their disposal, there wasn’t enough food to go around. He must find other human survivors if they want to avoid succumbing to the blackness of oblivion.

When the human survivors he rescued were infiltrated by Warwolves, an ancient order of vampire hunters, Rise soon realizes the danger he brought upon his kind. With the full intent to survive, Rise must purge all threats to his vampire race.

The world, although decimated, is ripe for rule. If he wished to set history on a new path, he must triumph — starting with the rise of one individual.

The review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC in exchange for a fair review

 This is one that is going to take me some time to digest.
First I’d like to say that I rarely read vampire books anymore, and zombie ones even less so, but there’s something intriguing about the two mixed together.
I was not entirely convinced at first, especially because I didn’t – still don’t – really know what to think of the main point of view character. And not everything the characters did made sense to me.
But the story threads all seem to pull together in the final act, and suddenly I couldn’t stop turning the page.
It’s inventive, there’s great morally grey characters who, although you may really disagree with them or think they’re assholes, really make you want to know what happens to them next. I’m not sure what I think of Rise, or Cypriot, or even what the hell was going on with Elaine and Marnie, and I feel like the author kept a lot hidden, perhaps for the next volume in the series. At the same time I really enjoyed the characters anyhow – and the fact that it was made clear when Rise was being callous and unaware of his privilege. Although I often find it hard to get interested in a book that’s got an unlikeable POV, and this was no exception – the first half or so was kinda hard for me to get into. If I’m being honest, what I really want next is a book centered on Salter and Annette.
In short: not really my kind of read, but still a good and interesting novel with a lot of potential for the next books. 

Get the book – it’s out today!

Amazon & Kindle |

November 2020 Reads

After trying to read 30 books in 31 days for #OcTBRChallenge, I took somewhat of a break in November. Still there were a few good reads and I’m pretty happy with what I got!

The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman : Third in the Invisible Library series, and still quite funny and enjoyable. I ordered the next one from the library the second I put it down (well, I tried – the library was on lockdown and not taking hold requests…)

Night of the Dragon, by Julie Kagawa: Last of the trilogy and the big disappointment of this month. Too bad because I really enjoyed the first two, but some things in the last one really did not sit well with me so I wouldn’t recommend any of it in the end.

Girl of Hawthorn and Glass, by Adan Jerreat-Poole: A great fairy tale / contemporary fantasy novel that reminded me a lot of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children. Probably my favourite read of the month! (see full review here)

The Four Profound Weaves, by R. B. Lemberg: Long-expected (by me, at least – i had to order it over from the UK), the writing style was not really my, well, style, but I loved the characters and universe. A good queer read.

Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens: I kept hearing about it, so I just had to see what the fuss was about! Fun middle grade mystery novel featuring girls in a 1930s British school, it was really enjoyable even as someone way out of target range. The fuss is merited!

Thief of Time, by Terry Pratchett: Part of my attempt to finish Discworld at some point in the near future. I still absolutely love Susan, she’s the highlight of the Death books for me. However, there’s some of the humour that’s a bit dated and, well, cringy (all the fake-Chinese-sounding-names-that-are-puns-in-English, I’m looking at you).

Unmasked by the Marquess, by Cat Sebastian: Every time I read a romance, I get more convinced that I need to read more romance. This was no exception. Fun, hot, gripping plot with two bi leads, one of them nonbinary – in a regency setting. What’s not to like?

Verona Comics

The Story

Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life. Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them–that is, when they’re even paying attention. They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible . . . unless they manage to keep it a secret. Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?

The Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I can’t lie, I’m a sucker for Shakespeare rewrites, and I’m a sucker for Romeo and Juliet – but it rarely hits the mark, really. This book, though! I had a blast listening to the audiobook! The voice actors really embody the characters, and Ridley especially. The poor kid has panic attacks and the writer and actor both did a wonderful job portraying that.

There’s a lot in this story about mental health, and family abuse and what it does to you, so it comes with trigger warnings – but the writer really did justice to the topic, showing how it’s really overwhelming sometimes and how those dynamics eat at you – but also how there are roads to recovery and ways to build support systems even if you think there aren’t.

It’s also really, really funny and geeky in the best of ways, and it’s a love letter to independent comicbook stores, and to queer kids. Most of the cast is queer in some way, including the main f/m relationship – which is very unusual and as a bi girl I found it really refreshing. It does a good job of portraying the anxiety that comes with navigating relationship as a bi/pan/…  person too, but remains very positive on that front. I don’t normally read contemporary  YA, but I absolutely loved this one and would absolutely recommend it!

Get the book!

Penguin | B&N | Waterstones

Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

I want to take the time to highlight this book, because I absolutely love it, and at the same time I think to be in the minority opinion. But it was a great queer read for me and I can’t wait for the next one.

Cover of Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole. On a black and dark green background with wreaths of green leaves and red berries, and shards of glass in the corners, the title is written in white across the whole cover as if with a paintbrush

The story

Even teenage assassins have dreams.

Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.

Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom.

The review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I picked this from the library’s ebook collection, knowing nothing about it, because the cover spoke to me. I was hooked from the first page.
At that point I read the summary and it sounded like your regular YA novel so I was a bit disappointed. But that wasn’t really what I got. It’s a brilliant story, very queer (always a nice surprise, I usually *pick* books because they’re queer rather than finding out as I read) with all leads being some flavour of LGBT+ and the main love interest being nonbinary. It’s refreshing.
The worldbuilding was subtle and dreamy. It’s not that straightforward alternate universe that makes perfect logical sense, it’s more like Alice in Wonderland or Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart A Doorway, in that you piece out the logic as you go and not everything makes sense at first, and it’s not the kind of universe that works like our own world, which was refreshing to read too. It has the atmosphere of a fairy tale.
I think one of the main attractions for me was Eli’s experience of herself and her trauma. Our heroine is clearly struggling with who she is as someone who’s only ever been treated as a tool, and not a person, and struggling with the fact that her mother is cruel and abusive while also in other ways protecting her. This was all too relatable.
Overall the writing really hit home, the worldbuilding was really dreamy and I was very much rooting for the main cast. One thing I would say is that sometimes it was not always clear what was going on, in ways that perhaps could’ve been written more clearly without losing the atmosphere. 
Overall however, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I will be looking forward to the second volume!

Get the book

Publisher website | Waterstones | B&N

Start at the beginning!

I’ve been hesitating for a while now to create a blog for my reading and reviews, and today I decided to stop hesitating and to take the leap after a newsletter from author Dixon Reuel convinced me to give ARC’s another try. Also I found out that my StoryGraph TBR isn’t accessible to non-users and that kind of annoyed me.

I tend to read older books, mostly because I’m always playing catch-up with my TBR list (it’s somewhere round 500 books as I write this) but a girl’s gotta put her money where her mouth is, or her words where her tastes are, I guess. There’s always so many great books coming out that I just want to read but push back til later, and I guess that’s a good way to keep myself accountable too!

With about a month to go til the end of the year, I’ve got a great pile of books I want to read by then, including Olivia Waite’s Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows, Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire and… Well, a lot of others! I might also repost some of my most recent reviews.

Stay tuned!