Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2)
By: Seanan McGuire
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Tor.com reading club
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
I read the first book, Every Heart a Doorway (review) a few years ago, and made a note to check out the rest of the series when I get a chance. So naturally I downloaded this book when it was featured in the Tor.com Book Club a few months ago.
The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1)
By: Myke Cole
Format/Source: eBook; from Tor.com’s eBook Club
In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.
This is annoying but I could’ve sworn I had already typed up a review for this book and had scheduled it on my blog but it seems I had deleted my draft instead before it got there #fail Let’s see if I recall much of what I had thought about it (as I read this book before I went on holiday and never wrote anything about it in my reading notebook (another #fail))
I’ve seen this book around for a very long time but never really gotten around to picking it up until it was featured in Tor.com’s eBook Club. So here we are 🙂
The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate #1)
By: J.Y. Yang
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Tor.com reading club
The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of standalone introductions to JY Yang’s Tensorate Series. For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?
Hmm, I never posted a review of this book…Anyway I’ve long been seeing this book around the fantasy lists and whatnot so it was really cool that it was featured for the Tor.com reading club last year so I was able to read it sooner than anticipated.
The Secret Lives of People in Love
By: Simon Van Booy
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Since the publication of his critically acclaimed debut collection The Secret Lives of People in Love, Simon Van Booy has been hailed as one of the most exciting and talented short-story writers in Anglo-American fiction. This magnificent collection brings together twenty-four stories by a writer of unparalleled lyricism, generosity and emotional power. Set in a range of locations, from Cornwall, Wales, and New York to Paris and Rome, these stark and beautiful stories are a perfect synthesis of intensity and atmosphere. Love, loss, isolation and the power of memory are Van Booy’s themes, and in spare, economical prose he writes about the difficult choices we make in order to retain our humanity, and about the redemptive power of love in a violent world.
The two books I’ve read to date by Simon van Booy had been wonderful. He has a way with words that’s very poetic and that touches on those feelings that are difficult to express or to put into words. Some time ago I decided to pick up the remaining books by him that I haven’t read. Aside from full-length novels, he’s also written short stories, which I thought was interesting. This was the first of the two short story collections that I’ve decided to read.
Once again the author’s prose captures much of feelings, fleeting or otherwise, that are often difficult to express–of love and loss, of the sadness and triumph of memory, of resilience and failure. He captures them quite evocatively in those quiet moments when the character isn’t doing much or is in the middle of transition–the moment you wake up, the quiet travel from one location to another. It’s beautiful and quiet and heartbreaking all in its own little way. Some stories were more haunting than others; “Love Begins in Winter” definitely stood out in my mind, not only because it’s a novella compared to the other stories that followed, but just because of the story itself. The only reason this book wasn’t rated any higher was just because some stories didn’t interest me as much or I personally found it boring, my mind wandering.
Nonetheless I’m glad to have read The Secret Lives of People in Love as it once again showcases Simon van Booy’s prose and ability to capture those melancholic emotions and thoughts that are otherwise difficult to describe or express in writing. Definitely worth checking out too if you’re looking to read through his entire bibliography 😀
Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from The Book Depository
Another Viscount in Love (The Originals #3.5)
By: Vivienne Lorret
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
As the toast of the ton, Samuel Wortham, Viscount Ellery, should have no trouble finding a wife. Yet each lady he pursues ends up married to another. As a last hope, Sam plans a house party, intending to choose a bride from one of his guests. But when he encounters a raven-haired beauty by his estate’s pond, he’s captivated by her charm and desperate to see her again.
A quiet trip to the country is just what Gemma Desmond needs to take her mind off marriage. After all, as the daughter of a notorious criminal, her prospects seem quite grim. The last thing she expects is a chance meeting with a handsome lord and an invitation to his lavish house party. Ellery is everything she hoped for in a husband. But can she ever escape the stigma of her father’s misdeeds?
When a pair of conniving debutantes frame her for theft, Gemma has her answer. Unwilling to let her scandalous reputation taint the kind, honorable man she adores, she flees. Yet Ellery isn’t about to give her up. He might be just another viscount in love, but he refuses to let this potential bride slip through his fingers
I was so excited when I learned that Vivienne Lorret was coming out with another Originals story. I really enjoyed the last one–enjoyed them all, in fact–and as there aren’t really any historical romances in my radar at the moment–or really on my TBR pile (until I bought this and a novel by Mary Balogh)–this novella came out at the perfect time 🙂