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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.

the night eaters cover

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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Book Review: Monster Inside, by River Starr

River Starr‘s Monster Inside was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight and I was lucky enough to win an e-copy of it.
monster inside cover

Sometimes the most enchanting monsters are the ones you can’t see, only feel…

I am a survivor. For the past ten years, I’ve been forced to give every part of me to sinister vampires in a feeding community. But when I touched an ancient book and recited a spell out of sheer desperation and zero arcane knowledge, a dark entity came to me. Rescued me. Mrak helped me escape.

I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into. But Mrak has been at my side for the last year—well, inside me, anchored to my existence and lovingly tender with his ethereal touches. It’s not quite possession, not quite a haunting. But it’s real, it’s sexy as hell, and he’s mine. Or I’m his. Either way, we’re now in this life together.

Mrak is distracting, seductive, and powerful, but he’s also keeping a secret. One that’s now put me in immense danger despite his claims he’ll do anything to protect me. Because the cops have come calling. Bodies have turned up. And despite his reassurances, I’m starting to wonder if Mrak has a hidden agenda that he’s somehow kept secret from the inside.

My life might be in my monster’s debt. My body might be his for pleasure. But my future is mine no matter how much he wants and uses my body. I’m no longer the weak woman he saved from a vampire lord, and it’s time to take my body—and my life—back.

my review

Soooo, this was readable and had an interesting idea but honestly wasn’t very well executed. The beginning is hella repetitive. Like the author couldn’t figure out how to show us things so they just kept telling us. The heroine ran around and did things. However, it never felt anything but random, because the author didn’t really take the time to anchor the plot. The entirety of the relationship building was skipped in a full year jump in time. (And come on, learning to live with a demon INSIDE YOU should have been pivotal to the story!) So, I held absolutely no investment in it. There wasn’t any world-building to speak of. So, I didn’t really know what the limits of possibilities were, etc. All in all, I was initially interested but not impressed enough to bother continuing the series.monster inside photo


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Blog Tour — Review: Monster Inside by River Starr

 

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Book Review: Of Blades and Shadows, by Belle Manuel

I won a paperback copy of Of Blades and Shadows, by Belle Manuel, in a giveaway over on Instagram.

of baldes and shadows cover

 

After sixteen years of living under the thumb of a brutal slaver, Arayna Gamon is given the chance to be a part of an elite group of assassins—Soul Stealers. Serving only the Dark Throne, Arayna must learn how to use her burgeoning magic to ferry souls to the Underworld. But when an ancient being demands she pay a price, Arayna must decide where to place her loyalties.

my review

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I thought it had interesting characters, doing interesting things, in an interesting world. On the other, nothing even resembling an over-arching plot emergence until about page 350 and then everyone decides to deal with the issue later and it was basically dropped again. So, in essence, this is a book of interesting people in an interesting world, running around doing and reacting to random things that don’t seem to really tie into anything or tie together in any meaningful manner.

Further, as much as I liked a lot of things about the book, not least of which is the way Manuel challenged a lot of fated mates tropes and accepted behaviors. I often couldn’t quite follow what was happening or the leaps that characters took. Plus, Arayna basically emerged from slavery and challenged everyone and everything that crossed her path, even when they were significantly stronger and more experienced. While I was probably supposed to read this as strong and independent, it came off as brutish and all but suicidal—more like she couldn’t control herself than that she had a point to make.

Having said that, I’d read another. I didn’t not enjoy it and I’d be interested in seeing how things turn out for the crew.

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