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Book Review: Graves’ Anatomy, by Jace Anderson & Adam Gierasch

Graves’ Anatomy (by Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch) was featured on Sadie’s Spotlight a few months back (though I’m happy to say it’s had a cover reboot since then). At the time I thought it looked interesting. So, when I later saw it as an Amazon freebie I snagged a copy.
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Luna Graves doesn’t believe in monsters. Too bad they believe in her.

Luna Graves is a tattoo artist who specializes in dark and foreboding designs. The creatures are a product of her imagination…or are they? When her estranged father dies, Luna must re-evaluate everything she thinks she knows about the world. It’s her destiny, she learns, to be a doctor to monsters.

Caught between the demands of her human life and her new calling, Luna must learn about a secret world that hides in plain sight. With an ancient evil returning whose goal is to release the Black Death, Luna is the front line of defense for both non-humanity and humanity alike. Will she be able to cure the disease before it destroys Los Angeles and then the world?

my review
I was entertained by this and that’s all I ask of an urban fantasy book. I liked Luna and appreciated her struggle to adjust to her new circumstances. I liked the sense of place in the book. You really feel like you’ve visited the small slice of L.A. it’s set in. And I liked the general world and plot.

I did feel like the book got a little gleeful in it’s “Oooh, look at this weird creature” sometimes. Spending more time than needed cataloguing characteristics. I’m a little skeptical that the shadowkin would have left Luna alone her whole life (up until the period of the book), given the world’s set up. And the dissolution of the villains was anticlimactic, to say the least.

However, as I said, I was entertained. So, I’ll be looking for and checking out the second book (Graves Danger).graves anatomy photo



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Book Review: Sweep With Me, by Ilona Andrews

I purchased a copy of Ilona AndrewsSweep With Me. And here I have a short review for a short book.
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Thank you for joining us at Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, during the Treaty Stay. As you know, we are honor-bound to accept all guests during this oldest of innkeeper holidays and we are expecting a dangerous guest. Or several. But have no fear. Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your hosts, Dina Demille and Sean Evans, will defend you at all costs. [But we hope we don’t have to.]

Every winter, Innkeepers look forward to celebrating their own special holiday, which commemorates the ancient treaty that united the very first Inns and established the rules that protect them, their intergalactic guests, and the very unaware/oblivious people of [planet] Earth. By tradition, the Innkeepers welcomed three guests: a warrior, a sage, and a pilgrim, but during the holiday, Innkeepers must open their doors to anyone who seeks lodging. Anyone.

All Dina hopes is that the guests conduct themselves in a polite manner. But what’s a holiday without at least one disaster?

my review
This was another entertaining installment in the Innkeeper Chronicles. I feel like this one maybe had less meat to it than some of the past books. Dina and Sean spend very little time together, which feels like a missed opportunity since this is where he joins her as an innkeeper. Plus, an awful lot of the page space (in this already short book) is dedicated to describing odd aliens and/or decor. But it was still fun to catch up with the Gertrude Hunt crew. I look forward to more in the future.

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Other Reviews:

Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews

Review: Sweep With Me by Ilona Andrews



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Book Review: Becoming Crone, by Lydia M. Hawke

I purchased a copy of Lydia M. Hawke‘s Becoming Crone.
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She wanted purpose. She found dark magick and war.

For Claire Emerson, there is nothing ordinary about turning sixty.

First, there are the crows. Then, a pendant that unlocks a gate to a house in the woods–which comes with a snarky gargoyle, an entirely too-sexy wolf shifter claiming to be Claire’s protector, and a legacy that turns her reality upside down.

Because divorced, menopausal grandmothers with creaky hips and hot flashes? They don’t just randomly discover they’re next in a long line of powerful women protecting the world from the dark magick of Mages.

Claire’s first instinct is to turn tail and run back to the safety of baking cookies and reading bedtime stories. But when it becomes clear the Mages have targeted her, she may have no choice but to accept her calling. There’s just one problem: she never got the lifetime of training she was supposed to have, and her magick is… well, unreliable would be an understatement.

With the Mages threatening everything she loves, can Claire learn what she needs to in time to become Crone? Or will she be the one to lose an ancient war—and her life?

my review
While I liked this book, in the most general sense, I don’t suppose it’ll make much sense to say that I love that the is a book about a 60-year-old woman, but wish it was less about a 60-year-old woman. I really wanted Claire to be a badass woman who happened to be 60-years-old. Instead she’s a 60-year-old woman who happened to be badass (or was working towards becoming badass…ok, she wasn’t badass but has the potential to be in the future). And while that might seem like an impertinent difference, it wasn’t for me.

Too much of the book is “Woe is me, I’m 60,” “I need my reading glasses, I’m 60,” “My hips/ankles/toes/joints hurt, I’m 60,” “I haven’t had a libido for decades, I’m 60,” etc. I want 60-year-old heroines. But this book seemed to make being 60-years-old Claire’s whole personality. And that focus felt much more like… maybe tokenizism is the word I want, maybe. It certainly wasn’t a full engagement and purposeful subversion of society’s tendency to erase older women or truly encompassing and embracing the power of the crone. It 100% wasn’t making Claire feel anymore like a true, fleshed out character than the young Chosen Ones we all have read ad nauseam. All of which disappointed me.

I was also simply bored by a lot of this story. Claire doesn’t even come to accept her situation until past the 60% mark and all of the action is in the last 10% or so. Having said that, I like the idea of Claire and, if I accept that this first book set the stage and gave her the training and knowledge, I can hope that the next book in the series will be more interesting. The writing and editing is perfectly readable and the overarching plot has me curious. So, I think I’ll give book two a shot and see how it goes from there.

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Other Reviews:

Bea’s Book Nook: Review Becoming Crone

Mini-Reviews of Books I Requested Through I Smell Sheep June-July 2021