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Book Review: Wilde City, by Evie Marceau

I won a copy of Evie Marceau‘s Wilde City…on Instagram, I think.

Wilde City cover

One job application turns into me falling for my wickedly hot *fae* boss…

When Willow answers a mysterious nanny ad, she’s shocked to learn the employer is the handsome and reclusive billionaire Severn Wilde—and even more surprised when he reveals himself to be a fae prince in disguise.

Willow never dreamed that the fae bedtime stories her mother told her as a child were real. Now, Severn grants Willow the fae sight, allowing her to see the hidden magical world of the Gifted Ones. But as wondrous as his realm is, rival fae courts, witches, and shifters make it fiercely dangerous. Willow and the children she’s been hired to care for are targeted by Severn’s Los Angeles-based rivals and their merciless leader, who will stop at nothing to strike Severn where it hurts most—those closest to him.

Swept up in a dangerous new world, Willow discovers that the greatest risk of all might be falling for her arrogant, cold, achingly handsome employer—the one person she can’t have.

Review (with spoilers)

I’m not going to go so far as to say this book is bad. The writing is perfectly fine. But I will say there’s absolutely nothing new or interesting here.

Young, innocent virgin is hired by hundreds-of-years-old, powerful paranormal. By virtue of (literally) nothing more than her ability to say no to him when no one else in his life can, he becomes enamored with her. And, despite never previously choosing love or a relationship, he does so for her. (Because she’s special.) Based on seemingly nothing but his beauty and toxicity, she falls in love with the walking red flag. She is then kidnapped by his enemy, who she also Wilde City coverfeels drawn to for reasons. There the book ends.

See, there’s nothing new, which makes it predictable. And since it was originally written for Vella, it is full of filler and thus far longer than need be, on top of it.

The interests of a reader who hasn’t read as widely in the genre might have been held more than mine. But I was just kind of bored by it. So, I’m calling this a ‘Meh.’

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Book Review: The Heretic Royal, by G.A. Aiken

It’s been two and a half years since I read the first two books in The Scarred Earth Saga. You can go here to read the reviews. While all of the series’ details weren’t immediately available in my mind, I did remember that I’d really enjoyed The Blacksmith Queen and The Princess Knight, which made winning a copy of The Heretic Royal through Goodreads especially exciting.

the heretic royal cover
Gods save the queen!

Ainsley Farmerson has always planned to break free of the family business—and the family drama. But what was once farming, smithworking, and bickering over the dinner table has turned into open warfare between sisters. Sides have been taken, lives are on the line, and Ainsley has no doubt which sister must be queen. She’ll do whatever is necessary to take down the soulless Beatrix. Even if that means joining forces with angry battle nuns, irritating monks, and overbearing centaurs.

Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan has no time for human beings. And yet . . . there is something about the uncontrollable princess that he can’t ignore. Maybe it’s the way her eldest sisters underestimate her. Or her bravery facing down dragons and mad queens from distant lands. Whatever the reason, Gruff is willing to fight by this human’s side. Not only for the entertainment value, but because she’s right. Beatrix must never be queen. So whatever he has to do, whoever he has to destroy, Gruff will battle beside Ainsley. Fast. Hard. And with absolutely no mercy . . .

my review

I don’t use star-rating here on the blog. But I often do when I cross-post to Goodreads. When I look at this series, I see that I gave The Blacksmith Queen a 5* rating, The Princess Knight a 4* rating, and I’ll give The Heretic Royal a 3* rating. I loved book one, but have liked each subsequent book less and less. The reason was especially apparent here in The Heretic Royal.

These books are fun. The characters are zany. The world is full of fantasy creatures. The writing is sharp and witty. But the series has also always been chaotic. That’s part of the fun. But as the series progresses, the balance between utter chaos and substantive plot is faltering. Here in this third book, there is almost no plot progression at all. Aiken leans very heavily on the chaotic good of the characters and brings in a whole host of new crazy characters. And here is where my main problem arises.

All these characters? They’re the characters from her Dragon Kin series. So, here, three books into a series, we suddenly have a series mash-up. These new characters from an old series took up most of this book, and, as a result, the characters from this series were cast in shadow. We the heretic royalgot little more than surface interactions with any of them.

That’s without even considering how it felt to come to this book as someone who has not read Dragon Kin (which I think is 9 books and several novellas long), didn’t know or care about the characters, and didn’t know to expect this sudden influx of new, unrelated characters.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I still like the author and am hoping the series balances out because I want to reclaim that feeling from book one.

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REVIEW: The Heretic Royal by G. A. Aiken

Review: The Heretic Royal by G.A. Aiken


Book Review: The Night Eaters, by Marjorie Liu

I won a copy of  The Night Eaters by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (illustrator) through Goodreads.

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Chinese American twins, Milly and Billy, are having a tough time. On top of the multiple failures in their personal and professional lives, they’re struggling to keep their restaurant afloat. Luckily their parents, Ipo and Keon, are in town for their annual visit. Having immigrated from Hong Kong before the twins were born, Ipo and Keon have supported their children through thick and thin and are ready to lend a hand—but they’re starting to wonder, has their support made Milly and Billy incapable of standing on their own?

When Ipo forces them to help her clean up the house next door—a hellish and run-down ruin that was the scene of a grisly murder—the twins are in for a nasty surprise. A night of terror, gore, and supernatural mayhem reveals that there is much more to Ipo and her children than meets the eye.

my review

I adored this, just absolutely loved it. The art is obviously gorgeous. That goes without saying. I mean, just look at that cover! But I also loved every one of these characters, the parental/children dynamic, the parent’s relationship with one another, the sibling bickering, all of it. Ipo, Keon, Milly, and Billy are fabulous. Ipo and Keon especially. I also laughed a lot more than I expected, considering how dark the book appears.

I did have a little trouble with the time jumps at first. But once I caught on to the pattern, it wasn’t an issue. I have nothing but praise. I honestly can’t wait for the next volume.

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