Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Review

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

By Robin Sloan

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Fantasy

3 out of 5 chickadees singing! I can see why so many people liked this book, but it has everything I’m not interested in. Lol. If I were a different person, I would have liked this book a lot more. Clay gets a job at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hours bookstore. He notices that the back of the store has a bunch of books that seem to be written in a different language, or a code. Mysterious patrons come in showing membership cards to return books and get new ones. Other than that, the business doesn’t get many customers. Clay becomes more and more curious about the bookstore. When Mr. Penumbra disappears, Clay has to call on the help of his technology genius friends to find out what’s really going on.

This book was part fantasy and part sci fi with a lot of talk about Google, coding, software, etc. I like very few fantasy books, rarely read sci fi, and don’t work in technology. There were a lot of aspects of this story I wasn’t interested in and some of them that I couldn’t fully understand. I love bookstores and I love mysteries, so I did want to know what was really going on at the store. I liked the idea of combining the ideas of ancient mysteries with current technologies. The book definitely had a creative plot.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in fantasy and technology. I think this book would be perfect for you. I feel like others could take it or leave it.

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Siege and Storm Review

siege and storm

 

You guys, reading this second book in the Grisha series hurt so good!

Alina and Mal manage to escape from the Darkling. They eke out a meager existence, and cling to hope of a future together.

Until the Darkling shows up again, with a shadow army he created from the void Alina left him with. They are forced to hunt a mysterious sea serpent, and thus gain a second amplifier. The Darkling will stop at nothing to gain more power.

No one expected the cunning and courageous Sturmhond, privateer extraordinaire. He tricked the Darkling, and kidnapped Alina and Mal. Only the sea fox is not what he seems. (Vague, but spoiler free!) As Alina attempts to build a fighting force of Ravka’s remaining Grisha, she fully assumes the role of leadership and embraces her power.

And still the Darklin plagues her. She sees him in her bedroom, in the war room… He can speak to her, taunt her, even touch her. Are there no limits to his power? Or is Alina going mad?

And then the strain on Alina and Mal’s relationship reaches the breaking point. Heart hurt, weary, and worried, can Alina pull it together to defend her country and defeat the Darkling for good?

Bardugo nearly killed me with this one. She is merciless. She is not afraid to kill off characters, or force them to go through unthinkable traumas. I hate it on one hand, but on the other, it keeps things interesting knowing that nothing is off limits. As a reader, I have no idea what to expect. Terrifying yet thrilling at the same time!

Alina’s struggle felt very real. She is both good and bad. Saint and pure evil. Patriot and prisoner. I LOVE HER. There were so many times I wanted to jump through the pages of the book to give her a hug, or at other times to give her a high five for a job well done. She’s afraid, but she does her best. She’s a total bad ass.

Mal is still swoony! The ups and downs of their relationship were very realistic, and it broke my heart seeing how helpless their romantic situation seems. I WANT to think that true love will conquer all, but honestly? I’m not sure it will. Another reason why Bardugo rocks. Love isn’t all sunshine, puppydogs, and cotton candy. Sometimes love is impossible. It will be interesting to see where it leads and what happens.

I’m DYING to read the third book now! Love, Love, LOVE this series!!!

 

Purchase the book HERE!

 

Cover image obained from Goodreads.
We do not receive payment from authors or publishers for our reviews. They are 100% our personal, honest opinion! We DO however, receive a small commission when purchases are made through Amazon using the provided links. This does not impact the authenticity of our reviews in any way!

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Storm Glass Review

storm glass

 

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn’t known she possessed… – powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.

 

Y’all know how much I LOVE Maria V. Snyder. While looking for a quick read, I stumbled across another subset of her Chronicles of Ixia thing she’s got going on, the Glass series.

 

At first, I was skeptical. A glass magician? I’m sorry, but that just does not sound as cool as Yelena, one of her bad ass heroines I may or may not have a girl crush on. But when I discovered that the main character was Opal, the sister of the girl raped/tortured/murdered whom Yelena brought justice for, I KNEW I needed to read on.

 

Since the death of her older sister, Opal has felt alone. She’s felt ostracized by her classmates for the last four years, as they either fear her, dismiss her, or are overcome by jealousy at her important work. Granted, she feels like a one-trick pony. All she can do is create magical glass animal sculptures that can be used to communicate over long distances with other magicians possessing another one of her animals. Big deal. (Seriously. This was a pet peeve of mine. It really IS a big deal, and it irritated me to no end how casually Opal dismisses the integral work she does to protect and promote Sitia.)

 

When she is called on to help the Stormdancers and prevent widespread natural disasters, she doubts herself. But soon she shows everyone that not only is she capable of handling challenges, she can perform in unexpected and nearly miraculous ways. I love how she surprises even herself with what she can do.

 

But then the fit hits the shan. Forserious, all hell breaks loose. She is ambushed, but she and her mentor escape. Then, after saving the day, she is falsely accused of a crime and thrown in prison. She breaks out of jail with the help of her mentor, only to discover that it is a captor in disguise. She is forced to betray the Stormdancer’s secrets, only to escape before the evil ambushers can get what they want. She takes down street attackers, endures torture, and devises a master plan to basically save the world.

 

Needless to say, I was wrong when I dismissed Opal as a pansy. She’s just as bad ass as Yelena.

 

The one aspect that I absolutely hated was… wait for it… You got it. The stupid love triangle. Or was it a trapezoid at one point? It doesn’t matter. I know the varied love interests in the book were integral to the plot working out as it did, I just LOATHED it anyways. It was clear who she was really in love with, as soon as his character was introduced. Why, why, why it was all drawn out and complicated and filled with all sorts of drama and angst and awfulness? *sigh*

 

Other than that little mishap, this book was BRILLIANT! I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series. It is so spiffy seeing all of these various characters I’ve fallen in love with interact with each other in various capacities as each story unfolds. LOVE it!

 

I would say 4 out of 5 chickadees singing for this one! (Points subtracted for main character’s irrational self-doubt, and for the stupid love triangle/trapezoid thing.)

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Waiting on Wednesday – Hidden Huntress

On Wednesdays, bookish people around the globe gather to gush about their favorite upcoming books. Thier stories are hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Only 104 days until the next installment in the munch anticipated Malediction Trilogy releases! Y’all already know how much I LOVED Stolen Songbird (check out my review from Sunday!), so it is a no brainer that Hidden Huntress is at the top of my list of books to get my hot little hands on! Check out the description from Goodreads below, and pre-order your copy today!

hidden huntress

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

 Preorder the book HERE!

 

**Cover image and description obtained from Goodreads**
***We would like to reiterate that we are not paid by authors or publishers for our reviews. We may receive a free copy of a book in exchange for a review, but reviews are 100% our personal, honest opinion! We do, however, receive a small commission when purchases are made on Amazon through our site. This does not impact the authenticity of our reviews in any way.***

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Stolen Songbird Review

stolen songbird

 

Kidnapped from her family and her future as a professional singer, Cecile is led by her captor beneath the ruins of the Forsaken Mountain to the dark and creepy city of Trollus. There, a magical group of creatures, trolls, anxiously await to see if she is the means of their rescue from a centuries old curse on their people.

Only the marriage of Cecile to the troll prince does not break the curse as the prophecy predicted. Instead, Cecile is thrust into a confusing world of magic, twisted and beautiful creatures, political tensions, treasonous activities, and much to her surprise, growing feelings for her new husband.

While esacpe was once at the forfront of her mind, now she finds herself conflicted with the desire to be there for her new friends, create a postive change for these people, be with her husband who she is falling in love with, and returning to the sun and her family.

Cecile changes so much, and ends up changing everything else as well.

Paranormal/fantasy novels usually focus on your typical creatures- vampires, shape shifters, madges,fairies, and the like. I’ve never read a book before based on trolls!

The world building in this book was pretty believeable. The intricacies between the different classes of Trollus and the complexities of the rules governing behavior were really interesting. In fact, the whole political mechanations and “racism” apsects ended up being some of the most fascinating parts of the story for me! The character development was superb, as well as the dialogue.

If I had to critique anything, I suppose it would be that I felt Cecile’s feelings for Tristan seemed to develop pretty quickly. I’m not sure I would have been at her pace if I had been in her shoes. That being said, the whole binding explanation the author offers is the perfect argument against some reader’s assumption of Stockholm Syndrome. Also, I wish Anais’ story had been more fully explained. I think I would have liked her (even though she could be a serious bitch) had I been given more of an opportunity to get to know her character.

This book is definitely five out of five stars, and since it ended on a major cliff hanger (Seriously! The last words of the book were, “The witch must die.”), I can’t wait to read the next in the series!

Purchase the book HERE!

 

*Please note that this review originally appeared on my Goodreads on May 27, 2014*
**Cover image obtained from Goodreads**
***We would like to reiterate that we are not paid by authors or publishers for our reviews. We may receive a free copy of a book in exchange for a review, but reviews are 100% our personal, honest opinion! We do, however, receive a small commission when purchases are made on Amazon through our site. This does not impact the authenticity of our reviews in any way.***

 

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