Author Archives: sadie

far from home

Book Review of Far From home, by Madeleine Urban

I borrowed a copy of Madeleine Urban‘s Far from Home through Hoopla, and I am so proud of myself for it. Here it is, Sept. 24th, and I’ve already read a book for every letter of the alphabet except X. My Author Alphabet Challenge is coming along so well this year! I usually find myself in the last week of December scrambling to find a book by an author starting with I, X and U. But not this year. It’s URBAN to the rescue.

Description from Goodreads:

A collection of three m/m sci-fi novellas by Madeleine Urban: Enhanced, Close Encounter, and Following the Sun.


Not bad, but not overwhelmingly wonderful either. While having a theme is nice, I did think the three stories were all a little too similar. Each involved two men in some life-threatening position meeting two other men and forming two perfect couples. I thought Close Encounter the weakest, enjoying Enhanced and Following the Sun better. But all of them were a little on the thin side, everything moving a little too fast and lacking in enough detail. (Part of why I don’t usually read short stories.) But I did enjoy the sci-fi settings and the writing is quite readable. So, again, not bad.

Book Review of The Good Luck Girls, by Charlotte Nicole Davis

I purchased a copy of Charlotte Nicole DavisThe Good Luck Girls.

Description from Goodreads:

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst


The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.


I should not have read this book. It’s good. The writing is imminently readable. The characters are distinct and meaningful. The editing is clean. Just look at that cover; it’s to die for. The use of having/not having a shadow as a metaphor for racism based on skin color works effectively. The world is interesting. This is a good book.

But the main characters are teenaged girls indentured for life to a brothel (starting in young childhood) and a large part of the plot is the effects of their trauma and PTSD. (There basically aren’t ANY non-victimized females in the book. Only Good Luck Girls, evil men, and a very few decent men.) And while I understand intersectionality and how important it is to face the realities of abuse in people’s lives I assiduously avoid it in the books I read for entertainment. (It’s just become a little too triggering for me in recent years.) So, despite how much I could appreciate about this book (and there is so much), I had to grit my teeth and force myself to keep reading because the subject matter is one I try not to touch in fun books. (I guess I need the distance of academia because I do read about such things to educate myself.)

My biggest critique would be that meeting up with Zee, who seems overly knowledgeable and capable, and doggedly loyal, seemed a little too convenient for the plot. And the lack of women in the world was notable. This is a book about women as victims and men as perpetrators (and about racism) but the lack of other women to flesh it all out both made it feel unreal and, I thought, showed a male lens that is too common in literature. Women exist to be victims and don’t seem to exist outside that role. Almost none were seen passing on the street, or in a saloon, through a show window, etc. The world was basically all men and the Good Luck Girls. That’s it.

All in all, I’m torn. I recognize it’s a good book but I did not enjoy reading it.


Book Review of Survivor, by Mazzy J. March

I purchased a copy of Mazzy March‘s Survivor.

Description from Amazon:

They say there’s nothing wrong with me, but I can’t walk.

At least not more than a couple of feet at a time. Like from bed to my wheelchair.
I crawled out of the wreckage of our family car seconds before it burst into flame at the base of the cliff, killing my parents. I screamed my lungs raw for help, even though I knew they couldn’t be saved, but nobody came for nearly twenty-four hours. It rained, and I shivered in the chill, the scent of burned upholstery and other things filling my nose.

My aunt cared for me for a short while, but when she also died in an accident—a house fire that nearly took me out as well—I was placed in the care of a hired nurse who made sure I took my meds and waited on me hand and foot. Over time I lost what little strength I had, until I never left my room, almost bedridden, my only contact with the outside world online classes.

But when I turned eighteen, I had to make a change or I’d end up dying here, old and alone and without any hope. So now I have my small apartment in a new town, living on my own for the first time and attending classes at the local community college. My parents’ insurance is running out, but I have a job in the school library, and as long as I take my pills every day, I seem to do all right.

It’s not much of a life, but so much more than I ever had.

When Brandon Graves knocked on my door, the look of shock on his face was priceless. Apparently, he’d never seen a shifter in a wheelchair before.

He said I was on pack lands and therefore had to meet with the Alpha, his brother.

So much for staying under the radar.


I’m angry, so so angry. Ok, maybe angry isn’t the right word. Disappointed is better. But it makes me feel better to rant and say I’m angry. While I have other things to add, let me get the big one out of the way and it’s a spoiler, be warned.

I bought this book because it has a heroine on the cover who uses a wheelchair. The blurb says that she was injured in an accident as a child and now can’t walk unassisted. I thought, ‘Wow, a person with a mobility disability getting some rep. I am all in!’ Imagine my immense disappointment to discover that the plot moves along with her regaining her ability to walk and no longer needing her wheelchair. (If you care to glance at the covers of books 2,3, and 4 you’ll see she’s up, on her feet and walking. Presumably even well enough to fight, if you judge by the sword.)

That’s no longer representation. That’s…that’s…well, that’s something else. And I was super annoyed every time one of the heroes asked her to leave the chair behind, or walk a little farther, etc. I realize the author meant this to be them encouraging her, but I felt like they were trying to separate her from her disability, rather than accept her as she is. The miracle cure trope needs to die. It’s like a bait and switch—you thought you were getting some real disability representation, but nope, we were just using the disability of a prop or disposable plot device.

Outside of this big disappointment, that I won’t be continuing the series because of (even though this book ended on a giant and abrupt cliffhanger), I liked the four heroes and the heroine. Though the four guys didn’t seem to be getting the same amount of page time and none of them had any depth as characters. I thought the inclusion of a single other female, as a BFF, was tokenish. Why are books so often entirely populated by men? The writing is simplistic (with a tendency to tell) but perfectly readable, though the editing could use another pass. All in all, it’s fine, but the author burned a bridge with me. So, I’m done.