One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China during the Qing Dinasty. I so rarely read books predominately set in Asia so it was refreshing to see steampunk mixed in with Chinese customs and history. I enjoyed seeing some of that culture play a role in the fast paced plot such as the
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray is a charming, romantic adventure across multiple universes, though as with many fantastical stories built on a vague, pseudo-scientific premise, the souffle falls if you poke at it. As long as you’re the type of reader who can ignore inconsistencies in the rules of made-up technologies, Marguerite’s dance between dimensions in pursuit of revenge, love, and loss should spark your imagination.
HER LONE WOLF is a fun, suspenseful paranormal romance that leans heavily towards the thriller genre. There are government conspiracies and elaborate chase scenes with a tight plot and tons of twists and turns.
Romantic police procedurals are a television staple, and The Naturals series brings this winning dynamic to young adult fiction. The teens making up this crime solving team fairly leap off the page, young and sexy and gifted.
If you missed Sophronia Temminick’s Finishing School adventures as much as I did, you’ll love Gail Carriger’s latest trip to Madamoiselle Geraldine’s and the lessons in proper spycraft within the pages of WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY. The wider supernatural world closes in on Sophronia and her friends as the werewolf drama that sets the events of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series into motion happens while the ladies are learning the art of the bladed fan. With her friend Sidheag personally affected by pack dynamics, Sophronia has no choice but to get involved herself. It’s always a delight to go back to school with Carriger, though, like Sophronia’s first outing, WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY feels more like a stepping stone in a larger story than its own novel.
THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher is Ordinary People-meets-Maleficent – and if that sounds like a strange combination, that’s because it is. Almost all of the information given in the blurb on the back of the book is actually kept from the reader for more than a hundred pages, and Elora’s motives for attending a human high school are extremely vague. Instead of a faerie war, we mostly get Taylor’s still-fresh grief over losing his younger brother and the torment of his high school. Elora’s ‘otherness’ (not to mention otherworldly beauty) gives Taylor something to focus on aside from his family’s pain, but it’s a long time before the reader gets to know her endgame.
OTHERWORLD NIGHTS was a nice compilation of short stories of Women of the Otherworld, that were part of various other anthologies over the years with a new Savannah story at the end. Going back and re-reading these stories felt very comforting and familiar since I’ve been reading Kelley Armstrong’s stories for so long.
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shifters of various sorts, vampires, aliens, living under two powerful sources; The Collective (a large government agency) run by an immortal elite and the Church of Everlasting Life. I love the idea of having all of our familiar paranormal
I was attracted to the premise of ‘TIL DRAGONS DO US PART with a thief trying to rob a dragon’s house during a dragon wedding. Basically I was excited to see some dragon or dragon shifter action as they I have not been reading enough books with dragons in them lately. Savannah being a dragonmorph thief let to some really unique ways she used her abilities
I keep trying time-travel stories and while LOOP is the first one that left me with a vague sense that I understood what was going on in the various timelines, they still end up giving me something of a headache while I read them. I can’t help wondering if my struggle to keep up with what’s going on keeps me from fully engaging with the plot itself. As far as LOOP goes, I think that’s only half of it.