Shadowshaper: #bookreview

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Shadowshaper is an urban fantasy novel by Daniel Jose Older. Sierra Santiago has been hired to paint a mural at a Brooklyn junkyard. She enlists the help of Robbie to get the mural finished.

Sierra learns that she and Robbie are shadowshapers. They can use their power to make their paintings come to life. Sierra’s mother doesn’t want to discuss it. Her grandfather is unable to speak about it. Her brother knows very little. So it’s up to Sierra to figure out how to use her power.

Time is running out and she needs to defeat her adversary, Dr. Johnathan Wick, before he ruins shadowshaping.

This book had really vivid imagery. You can imagine the paintings coming off of the walls.  At first, I couldn’t remember what it’s called when the writer writes like people talk. (Seriously, I had to Google it. The answer is voice.) The characters in this book definitely use their voice.

There is some discussion in the book about racism; however, it’s a Latino and black conversation. Sierra is Afro-Puerto Rican. She gets a lot of crap from her aunt about her hair and skin. When Sierra starts dating Robbie, who is Haitian, she has an argument with her aunt. Sierra stood up for herself. I was really proud of her. Then I remembered that she wasn’t real.

 

So it’s fair to say that I enjoyed this book. I was so happy to see that there is a good chance of the book being made into a movie.

 

 

 

 

 

Related links:

Shadowshaper on Amazon

Daniel Jose Older’s website

Aniki Noni Rose Options Shadowshaper for Film & TVAniki Noni Rose Options Shadowshaper for Film & TV

Yo Soy Afro-Latina on HuffPo

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Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1): #bookreview

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Sound of Sirens

Once in awhile, I read a book that I really don’t like. I wanted to like Sound of Sirens by Jen Minkman but it didn’t happen.

Throughout the book, it seemed like the reader was supposed to know the history of the sirens and the island where the book was set. I felt really lost until the middle of the book when some of the history was revealed.

There were a few things that the reader wouldn’t know in the beginning so it makes it difficult to make sense of anything. I asked myself several times, “What is going on? Why does one set of people have electricity but the other side has to ride a bike to play a record? What’s the deal with the Sirens?”

In this book, we aren’t really introduced to the Sirens. There are stories about them but that’s it. I thought sirens were supposed to look more like birds. I don’t remember reading about any of the characters actually seeing a siren. I kept imagining that the sirens were like murderous mermaids. (Imagine if The Little Mermaid had her own episode of “Snapped.”)

I found this interesting article about the differences between sirens and mermaids.

The Difference Between Mermaids and Sirens

The characters were believable but I didn’t love or hate any of them. Everyone seemed a little bit boring, except the love interest of Enna, Royce Bolton. He was kind of a jerk but an average jerk. His name was also too close to Roose Bolton, a character from Game of Thrones. Roose Bolton was also a jerk but at least he was interesting.

I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

Hidden (Marchwood Vampires #1): #bookreview

 

Who doesn’t love a good vampire story? I’m not into zombies or werewolves nearly as much as vampires.

Last week, I was looking through my Kindle library when I rediscovered this book, Hidden by Shalini Boland.  Sometimes I find free Kindle books through The Fussy Librarian.

The cover was done by Adrijus from Rocking Book Covers. It’s a really beautiful cover.

There were a few grammatical errors in the beginning. The mistakes are forgivable because the story is intriguing.

During the first half of the book, it switches between the present and past. In the present, Madison and her brother, Ben, inherit a house in England, as well as a considerable amount of money. In 1881, Alexandre and his family leave Paris to go on an archeological expedition to find a lost city.

I was curious about how their stories would be combined. Madison is definitely more curious about what is in the cellar than most people would be. Most people would have been content with walking around the gardens, spending their fortune or reading in the library. In the back of my mind, I was yelling at her not to go down there.

Of course, there would not be much of a story if she didn’t go into the cellar. I’m not going to tell you what happens. You should read it for yourself. Everything will be revealed in the end.

If I have to rate this book, I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. The story is enjoyable. I would read the second book in the series.

 

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing: #bookreview

 

You won’t hear me say this about very many books but I loved this book. It’s not really about dancing. I mean, there are people dancing at homecoming dances and weddings. There is one character that wishes they would have pursued a career in dancing.

So what is this book about? In a nutshell, this book is about family and forgiveness. People sometimes want to avoid their families because it’s easier than dealing with everyone’s issues. Is all of the avoidance worth it in the end?

To summarize, Amina goes back home to see her father, who may or may not be ill. He’s been talking to ghosts for a little while. The family has had two major tragedies so Amina isn’t sure if he’s having a mental breakdown or if it’s something else.

I liked the combination of the past and the present. Some writers make flashbacks that don’t mesh.

The characters were written so well. I feel like I know them or would recognize them if I saw them on the street.

The relationship between Amina and her mother has been difficult like many other mother/daughter relationships all over the world. Still, she goes home even though she doesn’t want to deal with her mother. She also stays longer than she wants but that’s what people do for their families.

This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Roller Rink Witchcraft: #bookreview

 

 

 

 

Roller skating is still cool. Who cares if people say it isn’t? We know the truth. I love roller skating and stories about witches so I was so glad that there was a story about a roller skating witch. Could it be that a perfect mashup of my favorite things exists?

Raven Snow wrote a short book called Roller Rink Witchcraft. It’s a cozy mystery so it’s not too violent or sexual. The main character, Harper “Foxxy” Beck owns the local roller rink.  Foxxy is her roller rink persona. She tries to get people to call her Foxxy outside of the rink but it never happens.

A murder occurs in the roller rink. Harper’s employee is accused of committing the crime. There really isn’t very much background on any of the character’s including Harper. She strikes up a friendship with a young boy, which is kind of endearing.

For a book about witches, there really isn’t very much in the way of witchcraft. Is Harper really a witch? Maybe. She doesn’t do anything that is particularly witchy. I don’t think she even chases any criminals in her roller skates. Magical roller skates would have been awesome!

I really wanted more from this book. The story has potential. It needed more substance. More background information would have been helpful. We know a few things about how Harper ended up in Waresville but there could have been several things added to it. For example, what was her dad really like? What about her mom? What was she doing before she came to Waresville?

There could have been more connections between characters. Her employees are interesting but we don’t really get to know them. The relationships seem a bit superficial.

This book was so short. It was only about 88 pages. It was not a perfect mashup of my favorite things but it was a decent attempt.

I think that I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

 

* I’m pretty sure that I received a free copy for review purposes.

 

The Missing Ones: #bookreview

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The Missing Ones is a mystery/thriller by Patricia Gibney. It’s the first book in a series about Detective Inspector Lottie Parker.

Lottie has quite a bit going on in her professional and personal life. She’s the widowed mother of three, who is struggling with alcoholism. Her relationship with her mother is strained to say the least. Still, she’s a likable character even with all of her flaws.

Things at work aren’t much easier for Lottie. Her boss is a jerk. The people that she supervises are kind of lazy. One of them might be leaking information to the press. Her relationship with her partner is awkward because they slept together. Honestly, most of the men in the book are horrible people. I might drink too if I had to deal with them on a daily basis.

On top of her other problems, there have been several murders in the quiet town that Lottie is from. At first it doesn’t seem like Lottie and her team are going to make any progress. Whenever she gets a lead that looks promising, her boss threatens to fire her. Will she ever get a break? Will they solve the case? Will Lottie be able to stay sober for the rest of the series?

There were enough twists to keep the book interesting. I wouldn’t say that any of the revelations were shocking. I guessed two things correctly. The third thing that happened was a surprise.

Overall, it was a decent book. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

 

The Missing Ones on Amazon

 

 

  • I’m pretty sure that I did not receive this book in exchange for a review.

Curva Peligrosa: #bookreview

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A few months ago, I started reading this book, Curva Peligrosa by Lily Iona MacKenzie. In all honesty, I got distracted by Netflix and sleep.

If only this book could be made into a Netflix show. It would be something that I would watch and stay awake to watch.

The main character, Curva, is larger than life. She’s practically a mythical creature. Everyone wants to love her or be her.

Curva follows the Old North Trail from Mexico to Canada. She began the journey with her brother, Xavier, who died along the way. Their relationship was incestuous. It doesn’t seem like they realized that brothers and sisters weren’t supposed to be dating.  They broke up after he passed away, so I guess it’s ok. He continues to visit Curva. He’s a ghost but it doesn’t seem weird.

The only thing about this book that I didn’t like was that there was so much sex. Maybe I’m a prude. Maybe I’m jealous. For some reason, I did not like reading about sex. It hasn’t bothered me while reading other books. This might be a topic for a later post.

 

Anyway, the book isn’t for the young or faint of heart. If I have to rate it, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

So when can it be on Netflix? Can someone make this happen?

 

  • I received an copy of the book for review purposes.