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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Lair of Dreams REVIEW

Lair of Dreams

Title: Lair of Dreams
Series:  The Diviners, book 2

Author: Libba Bray | Narrator: January LaVoy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Print Length: 613 pages  | Audio Length: 20 hours and 13 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Edition:  audiobook- I borrowed this from my local library via the Overdrive app
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon |  

Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lair of Dreams' them song is Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster


View all my reviews



Synopsis:

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities... 

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

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Main Characters

  • Evangeline O'Neal 'Evie'- "America's Sweetheart Seer." 
  • Memphis Campbell- has a diviner gift of healing
  • Isaiah Campbell- Memphis' brother, has fits and seizures 
  • Jericho Jones- works for the museum, has crush on Evie
  • Dr. Will "Unc" Fitzgerald- runs The Museum of the Creepy Crawlers 
  • Theta Knight- Zigfield girl, diviner gift with her hands, heat/fire?
  • Henry DuBois- Theta's "brother", diviner gift of dream walking
  • Ling Chang- diviner gift of talking to ghosts in her dreams
  • Sam Lloyd- diviner gift to misdirect people's attention away from him
  • Mabel Rose- Evie's best friend, in love with Jericho

Plot

Continuing shortly after The Diviners, Evie moved out of her Uncle's place after announcing to the world she's a Diviner with special ability to gain secrets from objects. She got a swell job with a show on the radio and spends every night drunk to try to forget the events from Naughty John.

Henry and Ling dominate most of the story because a mysterious sleeping sickness has attacked the community. People fall asleep and never want to wake from their dreams. Henry and Ling meet up in the dreamworld while Henry looks for his lover Loui. Henry has the ability to walk in other's dreams and suggest changes. For example; if someone is having a nightmare about losing their job he can suggest they revisit their favorite memory instead. Ling has the ability to commune with the dead. She can ask them questions but has no other ability. When Henry enlists Ling's help they discover they have more control of the dreams and can even create when they are together. Together the two try to figure out what is causing the sleeping sickness and how they can fix it.

Setting

1926 New York City- reoccurring song Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster





Theme

racism; scared of immigrants, Chinatown going into quarantine, blacks not allowed to date whites or go into white communities.

What did I like about the book?

The writing was equally as magical as The Diviners was. I was completely connected to all the characters. Even if you have already read this book, definitely check out the audiobook, you won't be disappointed!

The world building was wonderful. Racism was a lot more evident which both reflected the times and is relevant now. Living in a college town known for their foreign students and being an Army wife has given me an opportunity to connect with a lot of different cultures. Until moving to Georgia this summer I didn't realize how prominent racism still is today.  The author doesn't shy away from that tough topic and sheds light on this problem really well.

What did I not like about the book?

This story, although had the same cast with the addition of Ling, focused more on Ling and Henry (which I adore) and less on Evie who is very entertaining.  - Not really a complaint, more of an observation. 

Date Started/Finished : August 23rd-25th, 2019





Recommend? YES

If you are wanting to listen to a good audiobook- check out this one! Also if you like an alt-historical fiction or paranormal murder mystery then this is a great read

Rating: 5/★★★★★ seriously, the audiobook is the best!
based off Goodreads' ratings: 5 stars – LOVE, it was amazing, highly recommend.






I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Diviners by Libba Bray REVIEW

The Diviners

Title: The Diviners
Series:  The Diviners, book 1

Author: Libba Bray | Narrator: January LaVoy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Print Length: 578 pages  | Audio Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Edition: paperback | audiobook
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon |  



Synopsis:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. 

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Main Characters

  • Evangeline O'Neal 'Evie'- has a gift for seeing people's secrets in their personal items. 
  • Memphis Campbell- runs numbers, has a divine gift of healing
  • Isaiah Campbell- Memphis' brother, has prophetic trances
  • Jericho Jones- works for the museum, part machine/part human military experiment
  • Dr. Will "Unc" Fitzgerald- runs The Museum of the Creepy Crawlers 
  • Theta Knight- Zigfield girl, dreams of a mysterious symbol, running from her past
  • Henry DuBois- Theta's "brother", musician, can dream walk
  • Sam Lloyd- pickpocket, can misdirect people's attention away from him
  • Mabel Rose- Evie's best friend, in love with Jericho

Plot

I know I'm super late to this party. I have had a copy of this book on my bookshelf for a very long time but never bothered to read it or get any of the other books in the series. Not sure why I decided to request it on my Overdrive app to borrow the audiobook from my local library but when it became available I decided to give it a listen. SO GLAD I DID!

Miss Evie O'Neal is the star of the book and has just too much life in her for plain Zennith, Ohio. After a party trick gone wrong and the town's golden boy was scandalized, Evie was sent to stay with her uncle in New York- she was thrilled. Unfortunately she accidently let out the spirit of Naughty John from a Ouija board and its going on a killing spree.

While living the nightlife and trying to become New York's next It Girl, Evie develops friendships with a diverse set of characters and together they try to piece together clues to stop an occult from completing their 11 sacrifices and raising the Beast.

Setting

1926 New York City- flowery language, drawn out draws, dancing and booze, prohibition, raided speakeasys, segregation, immigration discrimination- all the fun of the roaring 20s.





Theme

paranormal murder mystery

What did I like about the book?

LOVE the dialogue! The 20s slang and January LaVoy, the narrator's various voices is so Jake! She really brings life to all of the characters, and how! I love the accents, the draws, the singing and humming, all the personality she puts into each character. She's just swell I tell ya- absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

The world building is amazing! Obviously the 1920s was before my time but it felt so real with the descriptions of the hustle and bustle of New York, the speakeasys, wanting to have a good time, the characters and slang (I know I already mentioned that once- but seriously)!

I love all of the magic. Even though Diving wasn't a well known term and people with magical abilities weren't normally making it public knowledge, the fact that they were drawn to each other and recognizing they weren't alone (even in secret) was well done. Each of the characters with gifts used them so effortlessly. 

What did I not like about the book?

N/A- definitely check out the audiobook, you won't be disappointed.

Date Started/Finished : August 23rd-25th, 2019





Recommend? YES

If you are wanting to listen to a good audiobook- check out this one! Also if you like an alt-historical fiction or paranormal murder mystery then this is a great read

Rating: 5/★★★★★ seriously, the audiobook is the best!
based off Goodreads' ratings: 5 stars – LOVE, it was amazing, highly recommend.






I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Shadow of the Fox REVIEW

SHADOW OF THE FOX

Title:  Shadow of the Fox
Series: Shadow of the Fox Trilogy, book 1
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon 
Print Length: 409 pages
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Edition:   Audiobook | I borrowed the audiobook from my local library via the Hoopla App
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Japanese Inspired

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Date Started/Finished : August 8th-15th, 2019

SOUL IN THE SWORD

Title:  Soul of the Sword
Series: Shadow of the Fox Trilogy, book 2

Author:  Julie Kagawa
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon 
Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: June 25th, 2019 
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Edition:   Audiobook | I borrowed the audiobook from my local library via the Hoopla App

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Japanese Inspired
  

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Date Started/Finished : August 17th-23rd, 2019

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“He told me that the tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.” 


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Main Characters

  • Yumeko - a shapeshifter, half kitsune, half human
  • Kage Tatsumi-of the Shadow Clan, demon slayer

Plot

In book 1, Shadow of the Fox, Yumeko is part kitsune or Japanese trickster fox with the ability to shapeshift and create illusions. She was raised in a human monk Silent Winds temple tasked with protecting one part of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. The scroll is an ancient relic containing prayers that can summon a Kami Dragon once every 1,000 years where a mortal can be granted a wish. The time of the dragon is coming close and demonic forces are trying to collect the pieces for their own agenda. When her temple fell, Yumeko went on a quest to find another temple with another peice. Along the way she teamed up with Kage demon slayer, a dishonorable samurai Ronin, a prince and a temple maiden while being followed by the Shadow Clan.

In book 2, Kage Tatsumi was possessed by the Hakaimono -Master of Demons bound in his sword when he started to develp feelings for Yukemo. Hakaimono knows where the hidden Steel Feather temple is but still needs a human to grant a wish to return him to his full self. Yumeko is still on her quest to protect the piece of the dragon scroll now with the added burden of wanting to free Kage with the Shadow Clan wanting to stop her.


Setting

Empire of Iwagoto, Japan




Theme

epic quest

What did I like about the book?

Mythology- The little I know about Kitsune comes from a couple of episodes of Teen Wolf several years ago. I love learning about the Japanese legends, characters, and myths! Thankfully I listened to the audiobook because now looking at the names I know I would've totally butchered all the words.

Magic- not everyone has magic but there is enough in the world that the little groups each have their own abilities. Shadow Clan has an awesome ability to travel through the spirit world in between shadows so they can go great distances in very little time. Yumeko can create illusions with a little imagination and a leaf. Not to mention the creatures, demons, and dragon!

Drama- hanging out with an untrustworthy Ronin with something to prove, a royal seeking adventure, mischievous fox creating chaos, every group having their own agenda. LOVE all the drama the different characters bring.

Action fight scenes- there are so many! Fighting nature, friends, enemies, love. Its all a battlefield. 

What did I not like about the book?

M/M love story. Why? Seriously? How does that progress the story in any kind of way? I get Kage Tatsumi developing feelings for the first person that showed him any kindness and it didn't hurt that person was wrapped in a defenseless cute package that called out to his protector nature. I also understand Yukemo being drawn to a guy that wasn't a monk- and who saved her life. But... the other love story?

Lastly, you all know how much I hate waiting to finish a series. Ugh.





Recommend? YES

If you like fantasy, Japanese mythology, epic quests, or Julie Kagawa in general- this is definitely your cup of tea.

Reason for Reading – been a fan of Julie Kagawa since I read the Iron Fey series and met her when she visited my local library in Fort Knox.
Story – 5 out of 5 Stars
Would Read More from Author? Definitely
Recommend To – Fantasy lovers
Rating: 4.5/★★★★★
based off Goodreads' ratings: 4 stars – really liked it, really enjoyable. Definitely recommend and I like seeing it on my bookshelf or lending it out to friends.






I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**