Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Blog Tour: ARC Review Daybreak on Raven Island by Fleur Bradley


Welcome to the Our Thoughts Precisely stop for Daybreak on Raven Island!

Title: Daybreak on Raven Island
Series: n/a
Author: Fleur Bradley
Source/Format: Author; E-ARC
More Details: Ghost, Mystery, Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Viking Books for Young Readers; August 23 2022


Synopsis:
From the critically acclaimed author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel comes a thrilling new middle grade mystery novel inspired by Alcatraz Prison.

Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh-grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori would rather be on the soccer field, but her bad grades have benched her until further notice; Marvin would rather be at the first day of a film festival with his best friend, Kevin; and Noah isn't looking forward to having to make small talk with his classmates at this new school.

But when the three of them stumble upon a dead body in the woods, miss the last ferry back home, and then have to spend the night on Raven Island, they find that they need each other now more than ever. They must work together to uncover a killer, outrun a motley ghosthunting crew, and expose the age-old secrets of the island all before daybreak.

Daybreak on Raven Island is Fleur Bradley’s new enjoyable, spooky middle grade novel. It follows a trio of kids, Tori, Noah, and Melvin, as they get stuck on Raven Island and its now defunct prison. It's basically as the synopsis lays it out.

I enjoyed the plot since it was deeply tied to the environment and characters. I also liked the many twist and turns with the ghost hunting and mystery, which I don’t think it was overly scary for young readers. The biggest thing I noticed was the budding friendship between Tori, Noah, and Melvin. We get to know a little of their background, history, and ambitions through the first few chapters. Here you kind of get the idea of how each of them fit into the story later on. Many things became clearer as the story unfolded while they roamed the island looking for clues and bumping into other characters. For instance, how each character realizes and comes to terms with their issues and emotions with the help of each other.  Or like how the complex subject of prison is intertwined in the story. Although some of the story was predictable, that conclusion definitely wasn’t.

Overall, I personally loved Daybreak on Raven Island. If it sounds like it’s up your or your young reader’s alley, you'll want to check this one out.

Thanks for reading!


A Note from the Author

Thank you for your interest in my work! I had so much fun researching and writing my latest mystery for kids, Daybreak on Raven Island; I hope that translates as you’re reading.

Daybreak on Raven Island started with setting, as most of my books do. I was looking for a new (mysterious) place to spark my imagination, and quickly thought of Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island has a such a scary vibe, and as I was doing my research, I also found that there are a lot of unsolved mysteries surrounding the island. Including a prison break in 1962…Three inmates escaped Alcatraz, and no one ever knew if they drowned or made it off the island. I decided to take this real-life story and create my own mystery. I gave Tori, Marvin and Noah the task to solve the case of an infamous prison break from Raven Island, I added a present-day murder mystery, and a few ghosts to make things more complicated. Plus, I added a deep secret to Raven Island itself—you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is.


As I learned more of the terrible conditions of Alcatraz and how things are still not always fair today, I tried to shed some light on this through Tori’s character. I learned that one in 28 kids in America has had an incarcerated parent, which is something kids often keep a secret. And that must be really, really hard. I hope Daybreak on Raven Island sparks some thought or conversation, so those kids don’t feel alone in carrying this burden.


Find out more about me, my books and where to find me at www.fleurbradley.com

All best in reading,

Fleur

About the Author...
Fleur Bradley is the author of the (scary) middle-grade mystery Daybreak on Raven Island, and award-winning mystery Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/Penguin Random House).

Her story The Perfect Alibi appeared in Mystery Writers of America’s middle-grade anthology Super Puzzletastic Mysteries, edited by Chris Grabenstein (HarperCollins).

Fleur regularly does school and Skype visits, as well as librarian and educator conference talks on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters, and entirely too many rescue animals.

Where to find her:
Website     Twitter     Instagram     Facebook

Disclaimer: This E-copy of the book was provided by the Author for this review, thank you!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Short Stories I Read In July

It’s August 29th. So it’s time to talk about the short stories, miscellaneous posts, and podcast episodes I read or listened to in July. 

The Rustle of Growing Things by Isabel Cañas (Lightspeed Magazine; Issue 146, July 2022)

The first short story I tackled in July was a piece of flash fiction by Isabel Cañas called: The Rustle of Growing Things. I’d describe this story as having a somber note, as the narrator ruminates over an impending absence. I liked it.

Bonesoup by Eugenia Triantafyllou (Strange Horizons; Issue: 11 July 2022)

I was instantly intrigued by Bonesoup by Eugenia Triantafyllou. I recognized the author’s name from a piece of flash fiction I read in May of this year. It was called This Village, and I talked about it HERE. In Bonesoup, we begin again with food and its connection to what people need. This time, the speculative angle skewed toward something like equivalent exchange, except it involved food. I really liked this story. It started out pretty tame in tone, but the more I read the more its underlying darkness began to show itself. This was another good one from Triantafyllou.

From around the web…


 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Holiday Heroine by Sarah Kuhn

Title: Holiday Heroine 
Series: Heroine Complex #6
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: NetGalley; eARC
More Details: Urban Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW Books; August 30, 2022

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
The sixth book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series continues the adventures of Asian-American superheroine Bea Tanaka as she takes on demons in Hawaii.

Nobody loves Christmas like Bea Tanaka—so when her family visits her for a special holiday celebration, she’s beside herself with joy. After years of chaos, questionable decisions, and flirtations with the supervillain path, Bea is finally thriving. She’s got a sweet, new gig hunting demons in Maui, she’s working hard to hone her powers, and her big sister Evie is proud of her at last. In fact, everyone is so proud of her that she can’t tell them the truth: she’s feeling lost and adrift. She and her boyfriend Sam Fujikawa are struggling to make their long-distance love work, and her powers are displaying some intriguing new elements—elements that could lead her down an evil, mind-controlling path once more. When her family’s holiday visit is disrupted by otherworldly monsters rising out of the Maui ocean, Bea throws herself into the battle—until she’s suddenly and mysteriously transported to the perfect Christmas back in San Francisco, surrounded by her family and an excess of merrymaking. As she finds herself trapped in the bizarre holiday rom-com of her nightmares, Bea must unravel a treacherous demon plot, save the world from unspeakable evil, and resist the siren song of a supervillain destiny. And hey, maybe she’ll find time for a little holiday cheer after all...


**Note: there may be minor spoilers for books 1-5**

The Heroine Complex series is always such a joy to read. Beatrice (Bea) Tanaka is one of my favorite characters of the series. And after the events of Heroine’s Journey—where she uprooted her life with a big move to Maui—I was hoping for another book from her perspective, to further explore her character directly. That’s essentially what this book delves into, and it does it so well. And with a good dose of holiday rom-con themed hijinks (and nightmare scenarios), time travel and its perils, and an abundance of otherworldly chaos, the sixth and latest installment—Holiday Heroine—to date is one of my top-favorites.

I liked Kuhn’s approach to both the old and new characters. The cast has always been colorful—big personalities, plenty of drama and mishaps—but the series has centered on their deeply personal issues and the strength of their relationships (both platonic and romantic). For me, it’s one of the highlights.

I also enjoyed the holiday themes. Rom-coms are always fun, and I liked how many of the hallmark aspects were incorporated throughout the story.

As Evie’s younger sister, I was used to Bea being in proximity to the core characters and main events of the series. The hub of supernatural activity has, for much of the series, remained in San Francisco, but the past two books have expended on that. And with her being so far away, there was somewhat of a noticeable absence. With the change in location, she clearly viewed it as a chance at independence and proving how mature and in control she was of her life and over her superpowers. Even the best laid plans, however, can have their hiccups, and once the latest threat was established, it proved that there was a lot left Bea had to learn and accept about herself.

I liked the way Sarah Kuhn handled Bea’s doubts. Outwardly, she was a confident and smart character, but inside she had a lot of turmoil and conflict associated with her powers to unpack. It affected her relationships, and made her vulnerable in unexpected ways. The frank realness of that particular end of the story was refreshing.

Holiday Heroine was the perfect mix of action, super heroes, and romance. If you’re a fan of this series, you’re going to love this one.

About the author....
Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—the first in a series starring Asian American superheroines—for DAW Books. She also wrote The Ruby Equation for the comics anthology Fresh Romance and the romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, which earned praise from io9 and USA Today and is in development as a feature film. Her articles and essays on such topics as geek girl culture, comic book continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, AngryAsianMan.com, IGN.com, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter, StarTrek.com, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (DAW Books) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer

Title: Suburban Hell
Series: n/a
Author: Maureen Kilmer
Source/Format: NetGalley; eARC
More Details: Horror; Comedy
Publisher/Publication Date: G.P. Putnam's Sons;
 August 30, 2022

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Bad Moms meets My Best Friend’s Exorcism in this lite-horror-comedy about a group of women in the Chicago 'burbs, whose cul-de-sac gets a new neighbor: a demon.

Amy Foster considers herself lucky. After she left the city and went full minivan, she found her place quickly with neighbors Liz, Jess, and Melissa, together snarking the “Mom Mafia” from the outskirts of the PTA mom crowd. So, one night during their monthly wine get-together, the newfound crew concoct a plan for a clubhouse She Shed in Liz’s backyard – the perfect space for just them, no spouses or kids allowed. But the night after they christen the space with a ceremonial drink, things start to feel…off. What they didn’t expect was for Liz’s little home improvement project to release a demonic force that turns their quiet suburban enclave into something out of a nightmare. And that’s before the Homeowners’ Association gets wind of it. Just as Liz is turned into a creepy doll face overnight, cases of haunting activity around the neighborhood intensify, and even the calmest moms can’t justify the strange burn marks, self-moving dolls, and horrible smells surrounding their possessed friend, Liz. Together, Amy, Jess, and Melissa must fight back the evil spirit to save Liz and the neighborhood…before the suburbs go completely to hell. But at least they don’t have to deal with the PTA, right?


Suburban Hell wasn’t really on my radar, but, while browsing NetGalley, the title and the book cover caught my eye. Suffice it to say, I was intrigued, and I’m so glad I read it.

Suburban Hell was over the top and dramatic, but it was a horror comedy through and through. There was a certain degree of cheekiness to how the neighborhood was portrayed complete with an idyllic suburb, PTA cliques, and a group of friends who planned to build a backyard clubhouse—dubbed the “She Shed”—as their official monthly meeting place. What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, as Suburban Hell proved, there were a lot of avenues that ordinary setup could go, and it went sideways and dipped right into paranormal territory.

I really loved the gradual build-up of the intensity within the story. It had such an unassuming beginning, so that when things started going wrong, it created a sense of foreboding that carried throughout the rest of the book.

The setting worked well too. It wasn’t isolated per say, but there was a limitation to it, as the events took place in a very small section of a neighborhood (pretty much within a single community). The characters were sorely out of their depths in this situation, and because of it, the friendship between Liz, Amy, Melissa, and Jess was on the verge of a breaking point.

The book was told only from Amy’s perspective, so you never got into the heads of the other characters. Despite that, their personalities showed through, and I liked Amy’s POV. There was a mixture of her dealing with her day-to-day life (with her kids and husband), as well as her trying to unravel what had happened to her friend. Her emotional journey sort of grounded the story in a way, so it wasn’t too over the top with so many comedic aspects.

All that to say: I had a great deal of fun reading Suburban Hell. I appreciated what it did. And with its August release date, it’s right on time to make it onto any October reading lists.
  
About the author....
Maureen Kilmer graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and three children. She does not have a She Shed, and thankfully has not had to battle the forces of darkness (unless going to Costco on a Saturday counts). SUBURBAN HELL is her horror comedy debut. Under Maureen Leurck, she wrote CICADA SUMMER and MONARCH MANOR, both set in the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (G.P. Putnam's Sons) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney

Title: A Treacherous Tale
Series: The Cambridge Bookshop series #2
Author: Elizabeth Penney
Source/Format: NetgGalley; eARC
More Details: Cozy Mystery 
Publisher/Publication Date: St. Martin's Paperbacks; August 23, 2022

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
A Treacherous Tale is the second in a charming new cozy series from Elizabeth Penney, set in an English bookshop and following Molly Kimball, who has a habit of bookmarking trouble...

“A cozy mystery that will delight your booklover’s heart and satisfy your hunger for intrigue—and crumpets!” —Paige Shelton, New York Times bestselling author of the Scottish Bookshop series on Chapter and Curse


Lately, Molly has been feeling that she might have fallen into a fairy tale: she's reinvigorated the family bookshop Thomas Marlowe—Manuscripts and Folios, made friends in her new home of Cambridge, England, and is even developing a bit of a romance with the handsome Kieran—a bike shop owner with a somewhat intimidating family pedigree. Having recently discovered The Strawberry Girls, a classic children's tale, Molly is thrilled to learn the author, Iona York, lives nearby. But while visiting the famous author at her lovely cottage in nearby Hazelhurst, an old acquaintance of Iona's tumbles off her roof to his death. Then, when one of Iona’s daughters—an inspiration for the original Strawberry Girls—goes missing, Molly begins to worry this story might be more Brothers Grimm than happily-ever-after. Especially after Molly learns about the mysterious long-ago death of Iona’s husband and co-author of The Strawberry Girls…could past and present crimes be linked? Molly must put the clues together before someone turns this sweet tale sour.

Chapter and Curse was one of my favorite cozy mysteries of 2021, and I was eager to dive into its sequel, A Treacherous Tale. After an incident (and disappearance) on the property of the author they had scheduled for a reading leads to more questions than answers, Molly, her family, friends, and two cats are back and on the tail of another case. My hopes were high, and A Treacherous Tale more than lived up to the strong impression made by its predecessor.

I enjoy books about books and—with the bookshop location—literature is at the heart of this series. One particular aspect that I liked about A Treacherous Tale, were the excerpts of a fictional book called Strawberry Girls. That story was interesting enough on its own, and I mentioned to my co-blogger that I would have read it by itself. That being said, I have to give Elizabeth Penney her props for how Strawberry Girls was used in the story, particularly how it related to the sleuthing that took place. There were so many secrets to uncover that it felt like there were twists around every corner.

The mystery was tightly woven and highly engaging, and from its introduction, I was hooked. The stakes were high, with one person dead and another missing—a number of suspects and no initial motivation beside potential opportunity—ensured that there was never a dull moment.

Besides the mystery and fun literary themes, the characters were a highlight. Strong characterizations abound for the familiar cast, but I also liked the new faces added for this story, particularly Iona. Molly’s personality shined through (she remains my favorite character from the series), and I liked the steady progression of her friendships and romantic life. It was great to see her settled into her life at the bookshop.

Overall, A Treacherous Tale was a fantastic sequel.
 
About the author....
Elizabeth Penney lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she pens novels and tries to grow things. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. After spending early years in England and France, she grew up in Maine, settings that are reflected in her books. Elizabeth is the author of the Apron Shop Series and Cambridge Bookshop Series from St. Martin's as well as over twenty novels, short stories, and hundreds of business articles. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, she holds a BS and an MBA. She's also written screenplays with her musician husband. She loves walking in the woods, kayaking on quiet ponds, trying new recipes, and feeding family and friends.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (St. Martin's Paperbacks) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you! 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Music Monday (213): Remi Wolf, L'Trimm

Rules:

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: I've been listening to a new (to me and my playlist) artist, Remi Wolf. So far, I really love the vibe of her debut album, Juno. One of my favorite songs is Volkiano.


Andrea: One of my favorite songs back in the day was Cars With The Boom by L'Trimm.



What are you listening to this week?

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim

Title: The Dragon's Promise
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #2
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Source/Format: NetGalley; eARC
More Details: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Knopf Books for Young Readers; August 30, 2022

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
From the New York Times Bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes a thrilling new adventure! A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it... Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy. 
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon's pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined. She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood. The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori's aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love, Takkan. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she's fought so hard to win.

One of my most anticipated sequels of 2022 was Elizabeth Lim’s follow-up to Six Crimson Cranes, which was one of my favorite reads from last year. I appreciated everything that story did to reimagine the original tale, The Six Swans—with dragons, a wisecracking paper crane, actual cranes, and more—it was one of the best kinds of retellings out there, but it was also just a good story in its own right. And after the way it ended, I was more than looking forward to The Dragon’s Promise.

The Dragon’s Promise picked up where Six Crimson Cranes ended with Shiori undertaking a quest, to keep the promise she made to her late stepmother. I admired her determination to see it through to its end, despite the dangers it posed to her as well as everyone she loved and cared about.

I liked the story. Some parts lagged for me, or were a little repetitive in what happened. That being said, the main conflict of the story was really good. There were slight political and superstitious angles to it (partially fueled by fear) and, given the world building done prior in book one, it was understandable. It was far more pronounced here, and it added even more stakes to the story.

There weren’t too many new characters here, and they didn’t stick around long once their part of the story was over. While they were present, I liked them, even the ones that were on the more antagonistic side of things.

Shiori’s brothers were great as usual, and I liked them for the fun sibling dynamic they had going on, as well as how dependable and supportive they were.

Shiori’s tale has always been a highlight of these books for me. During the events of Six Crimson Cranes, I sympathized with her a lot of the time. She was still herself here but more confident, especially when it came to her love life (it was cute), and I appreciated the loyalty and devotion between Shiori and Takkan. It was also great to see her more assured in her duty as a princess. She had her mistakes, of course, but she also had her moments.

All-in-all, I liked The Dragon’s Promise. It tied up all the loose ends in a way that made sense and offered a satisfying payoff for everything that happened. And as a whole, I enjoyed the duology.
 
About the author....
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, "Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that's kinda cool!" But after one of her teachers told her she had "too much voice" in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English. Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel -- for kicks, at first, then things became serious -- and she hasn't looked back since. Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Goodreads     Website     Twitter     Instagram

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Knopf Books for Young Readers) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you! 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Music Monday (212): Lady Gaga, Les Friction, Olivia Newton-John, Chloe Latanzi, Avery Dixon

 Rules:

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Over the weekend, I finally checked out Lady Gaga's sixth album, Chromatica. I like it, and one of my favorite songs is Plastic Doll.

 

Adri: This week I've had Les Friction's No Remorse No Regret on repeat.


Andrea:  Hi all! I hope everyone is doing well. This week I am listening to Window In The Wall by Olivia Newton-John & Chloe Latanzi and Versace On The Floor (Saxaphone Cover) by Avery Dixon.



Have an amazing week!


What are you listening to this week?


Friday, August 12, 2022

I Listened to Supernova by Nova Twins


I first listened to Nova Twins shortly after their debut album, Who Are the Girls? was released. My first real thought was I like the noise, and I like it loud! It was this thought that came back when I heard the singles they released from Supernova; especially Antagonist, Puzzles, and Choose Your Fighter. I just knew I was going to love the album.

With the exhilarating intro Power, most of the album consist of their typical hard hitting guitar and bass (plus drums). Also typical are their grungy vocals for their dark and somber lyrics. Just take a look at K.M.B or A Dark Place For Somewhere Beautiful. And then it ends with the softer sounding  Sleep Paralysis. Over all, I really like Supernova. And while I know who the girls are now, I’m definitely excited for whatever is in Nova Twin’s future.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Title: The Cartographers
Series: n/a
Author: Peng Shepherd
Source/Format: Purcahsed; Hardcover
More Details: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow; March 15, 2022

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...
What is the purpose of a map? Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map. But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence... because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way. But why? To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps...

Peng Shepherd’s The Cartographers was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Right from the start, I was intrigued by the premise—the maps, the reason for Nell’s firing, and what it had to do with her father’s eventual death. This book gave me everything I was looking for; the kind of slow moving story where the details are in the history. Told through alternating chapters, set between the past and present, The Cartographers is a new favorite.

In a way The Cartographers kind of reminded me of Piranesi. Both were contemporary fantasies set in modern times, heavy on secrets, light on magical elements, but thoroughly engrossing reads. The magical aspects tweaked reality in minute ways—just enough to give the story something of an edge, and explained just enough to be logical for the book—but it wasn’t a hard magic system (and it didn’t have to be) for the story to work.

Peng Shepherd’s writing style offered an easy entry into the book, and my instant intrigue toward the synopsis carried over to when I actually started reading. There was something of a somber tone to the story mixed in with a mystery and academic themes. But, with as many secrets the characters had, I knew pretty early on what kind of story I was in for. And it was great!

Part of what made the story for me were the characters. Nell had every right to be angry over what happened, but I could easily see how her suspicions and the mystery of the map could end up consuming her life. And I know the story was laser-focused on Nell, her family, and lots and lots of maps (some far more important than others). But the secondary cast was an interesting bunch, and I wished there was a little more about their lives outside the main events of the story; particularly for the time skip—I was so curious about what they were up to too. That being said, it didn’t impact my overall enjoyment of the story.

The Cartographers was a book about ambition, secrets, lies, broken bonds, and maps. The synopsis asks, “What is the purpose of a map?” The characters and the story grappled with that question. The conclusion, I think, provided an answer that brought the story to a satisfying end.
 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Music Monday (211): Kelsey Lu, Alice Francis & Gene Stovall x Geenpool, Tom Holkenborg

Rules:

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Recently, I've been listening to Kelsey Lu's music again. I realized I never mentioned her stuff before. One of my favorite songs is Foreign Car.


Adri: At the end of Club Noir there's this (what I assume to be) bonus track. It's different from the rest of the album, but I like it. It's Not so Well Hidden Track by Alice Francis and Gene Stovall x Geenpool.


Andrea: Hi all! This week I'm listening to Blue Menace by Tom Holkenborg.



What are you listening to this week?


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