1 Point, DNF, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Marked by Kim RichardsonMarked | Soul Guardians #1 | ISBN 9781458164896 | Kim Richardson, 2011 | 1 out of 5 Points

DNF at 40%

Sixteen-year-old Kara Nightingale is unpopular, awkward and positively ordinary—that is until one day she is struck by a bus and dies…Within moments her life changes from ordinary to extraordinary as she wakes up in a mysterious world with a new career—as a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion. Kara is pulled into the supernatural where monkeys drive the elevators, oracles scurry above giant crystal balls and where demons feed on the souls of mortals.

When an Elemental child is kidnapped, Kara is sent on a danger-filled quest and plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything she could ever imagine.

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5 Points, Mystery, Southern Gothic, Urban Fantasy

A Gift of GhostsA Gift of Ghosts | Tassamara #1 | ISBN 9781470130275 | Razor Productions, 2011 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Akira Malone believes in the scientific method, evolution, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. And ghosts. All the logic and reason in the world can’t protect her from the truth-she can see and communicate with spirits. But Akira is sure that her ability is just a genetic quirk and the ghosts she encounters simply leftover electromagnetic energy. Dangerous electromagnetic energy. 

Zane Latimer believes in telepathy, precognition, auras, and that playing Halo with your employees is an excellent management technique. He also thinks that maybe, just maybe, Akira can help his family get in touch with their lost loved ones. But will Akira ever be able to face her fears and accept her gift? Or will Zane’s relatives be trapped between life and death forever?” Continue Reading

5 Points, Humour, Memoirs, Non-Fiction

Wishful Drinking

Wishful Drinking | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781439102251 | Simon & Schuster, 2008 | 5 out of 5 Points

In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabres.”

Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

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5 Points, Fairytales, Fantasy, Favourites, LGBT+ Fiction, Romance

Peter Darling

Peter Darling | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781620049587 | Less Than Three Press, 2017 | 5 out of 5 Points

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

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3 Points, Fairytales, Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult

Dorothy Must DieDorothy Must Die | Dorothy Must Die #1 | ISBN 9780062280671 | HarperCollins, 2014 | 3 out of 5 Points

“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe. My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission.” Continue Reading

Bookish Music, Lists

So you might know by now that I am a huge goddamn Tolkien geek. But Tolkien is, of course, not the only Fantasy writer I love. From trashy classics like the “John Carter” stories to complicated treasures like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Darkover” novels and behemoths like “A Song of Ice and Fire” (do not speak to me about the show), I just love to delve into strange worlds full of magic and heroism and intrigue and all that other good stuff. And for some reason, Fantasy as a genre has always been a lot more connected with music than any other genre of literature – very likely because of all the power metal I’ve listened to during my formative years, while I was also gorging myself on fantasy novels.

And because I like to help people find new things to love, I want to introduce you to a few of the bands and singers who have touched me the most as a fantasy fan. Continue Reading

Bookish Banter, Reviews, TV Shows

13 Reasons Why Mental Illness“13 Reasons Why” has raised quite a bit of attention when it was released on Netflix earlier this year. An adaptation of a bestselling YA novel, and one of Netflix’ by now pretty famous direct-to-stream productions, it’s been hailed as ‘The show you have to binge watch next’. And it’s true that this show was extremely bingeable. At the beginning, you are presented with the premise:

There are 13 people who are responsible for the suicide of Hannah Baker, and with every episode, another person’s name and story will be revealed. You get to know a whole cast of people surrounding the main character, Clay, through whose ears we hear Hannah’s story, and you just want to know which of those people is one of the reasons, and if you find out that one person is a reason before their episode, you want to find out what they did.

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4 Points, Favourites, Humour, Reviews, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

The Reformed Vampire Support GroupThe Reformed Vampire Support Group | Paranormal Support Groups #1 | ISBN 9781847247780 | Quercus, 2009 | 4 out of 5 Points

“Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves.

Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren’t useless or weak) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter.”

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5 Points, Contemporary Fiction, Humour, LGBT+ Fiction, Romance

Anne TeninoSweet Young Thang | Theta Alpha Gamma #3 | ISBN 9781626490321 | Riptide Publishing, 2013 | 5 out of 5 Points

Thanks to Collin Montes, Theta Alpha Gamma now welcomes gay and bisexual students. Persuading his Uncle Monty, president of the TAG Alumni Association, that the open approach won’t adversely affect TAG’s reputation is Collin’s own first step toward coming out. As long as there are no repercussions, he’ll escape the closet by graduation.

Enter repercussions, stage left: someone rigs the TAG House water heater to launch through the ceiling, then plants a bomb—thankfully unsuccessful—in the fraternity’s basement. Now Collin has his hands full not only trying to convince his uncle that this might not be the work of homophobes, but also dealing with a fratful of brothers worried about their kegger fridge.
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2 Points, Reviews, Time Travel, Urban Fantasy, Victorian, Young Adult

The Door That Led to Where | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781471401084 | Delacorte, 2016 | 2 out of 5 Points

AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change – but he could never have imagined by how much.

Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth – and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past – 1830, to be precise – where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain’s means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They’ve gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose – and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them? Continue Reading