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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Catch-up Reviews

The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider 

Book Description:  Abandoned as a baby, young Emelyn's life as a housemaid in the quiet village of Fallow is unremarkable—and empty. That is, until a host of magical creatures arrives and inflicts terrible misdeeds on the townsfolk. Inexplicably immune to their enchantments, Emelyn joins a pair of Magi intent on stopping the cause of the trouble—and who claim to know of her parents, promising Emelyn answers to a lifetime of questions.

This is a fantasy novel that was OK; there were parts that were interesting and parts that were slow.  For the most part, none of the characters captured any deep interest.  

In a way, I guess it is something like a traditional fairy tale in which the characters have little depth or personality.  Emelyn tried to come off the page, but even she could not maintain a strong presence.  It isn't listed as YA, but should be.  Some YA books, the very best of them, appeal to all ages, but this one didn't truly satisfy me.  Not bad, but not completely engaging.

As usual, please note that my reviews are not literary criticism, but merely my opinion of a book.  I notice at Goodreads, several people gave it 5 stars.  

NetGalley/Double Beast Publishing

Fantasy/YA.  2014.  Print length:  251 pages.  

The Nightingale Bones by Ariel Swan.

Book Description:
Someone has been waiting a long time for Alice Towne to arrive in Hawthorne. Two hundred years, in fact. Trying to accept her mother’s belief that the women of the Towne family are blessed, not cursed, with supernatural abilities, twenty-seven-year old Alice leaves a disapproving Boston husband to house-sit for the summer in tiny Hawthorne, a historic village famous in the 1800s for its peppermint farms and the large, herbal-essence distilleries that flourished around the Massachusetts township. 

Oh, doesn't that blurb sound interesting?  I was sucked in by the idea of some waiting for two hundred years for Alice, and the beginning of the book seemed promising.

But for me, the novel quickly degenerated into an insta-love romance .

The paranormal element degenerated as the romance element increased.  

NetGalley/Belle Books

Paranormal.  Sept. 30, 2014.  Print length:  258 pages.

Cipher by Aileen Erin

Cipher started off well with a hacker trying to find information that could help make her life normal.

But this one, too, went from interesting to trite pretty quickly.

From the book description:

Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn’t seen him in person since she started running, and Knightly 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile.

Descriptions that involve impressive abs should be stricken from all books.  Can't authors come up with less stereotypical descriptions?  I'm not impressed with female characters drooling over male bodies, yet this seems to be the approach too many YA authors employ.  Story?  Character development?  Are they unnecessary if there are enough cheesy descriptions about appearance?  Sometimes books sound as if they high-jacked their characters from shower commercials with beautiful models--male or female. 

 A disappointment.

NetGalley/Ink Monster

Science Fiction.  Oct. 14, 2014.  Print length:  210 pages.


  1. Ugh. None of these sound appealing, although I was caught up in the description of the first two initially. And I love the cover of The Nightgale Bones.

  2. I liked all of the covers and all of the premises, but the books themselves fell short.

  3. Most books have interesting blurbs, but unfortunately not all delivers. It applies to covers too. Like Wendy, I was caught up with the first two books initially but only if they are more engaging.

  4. Melody - The covers and blurbs catch our attention, but as you say, not every book deliver what we expect. Others may love these books; they simply weren't what I hoped for. :\