Book Review: Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A great MG adventure/fantasy story, full of important lessons

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

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Book Review: Halloween Girl Book One: Promises to Keep by Richard T. Wilson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A series full of intriguing and complex stories and characters

Book Information

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

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Blog Tour Review: Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A perfect option for your middle grade October reads!

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Laekan Zea Kemp for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!

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Blog Tour Reviews: Amira & Hamza Book 1 & Book 2 by Samira Ahmed

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds — 3.5 stars
Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power — 4 stars

A fun middle grade fantasy series full of good lessons and good laughs

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Samira Ahmed for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARCs and media kit!

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Blog Tour Review: Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A mixture of gothic historical fiction, murder mystery, and haunting supernatural elements

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Adalyn Grace for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

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Blog Tour Review: Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun middle grade fantasy full of adventure and life lessons

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Reese Eschmann for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

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Book Review: Halloween Girl (Vol. 1-2) by Richard T. Wilson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An interesting story, but maybe watch the film this is based off of before reading it.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Series Premise

‘Death is a lot of damned work’, thinks 18-year-old ghost, Charlotte Williams, as she braves the unsettled world of the In-Between. It’s here the rebellious teen finds the clues she so desperately needs in her battle against diabolic, secret society, The Hollow (who took her life and just happen to be trying to end the world!).

Upon her return to the ‘Bone Yard’ (aka Crystal Springs Cemetery), Charlotte meets up with 20- something supernatural bestie Poe, an acerbic goth who works with her to decipher the latest clues. Fellow ghost, Poe is something of a big sister to Charlotte; strong, hilarious – and always full of secrets. Though Charlotte’s already been dead several years, Poe, on the other hand, may be as old as time! As past victims of The Hollow, both are now intensely dedicated to stopping the evil sect, who chillingly view human existence as a ‘failed experiment’.

After several fraught run-ins with ‘the Devil’s janitors’ (as Poe calls them), Charlotte is devastated when The Hollow kidnap her young son, Luke, in retaliation. Charlotte then suffers from the guilt of screwing up his young life ‘even in death’, before forming a plan with Poe to get him back – and make The Hollow pay.

Ultimately, Charlotte and Poe are forced to cosmically separate in their search for Luke.

However, in doing so, they’re both severely tested and must grapple with their limitations – and their own dark pasts. Along the way, they meet a string of colorful characters both in ‘Hollow Land’ and the All-American (or is it?) Crystal Springs – and maybe even save the world.

Purchase Issue 1 (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Hello everyone! I was lucky enough to get a free copy of both Halloween Girl Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in exchange for an honest review, so here we go!

Firstly, I don’t know how I didn’t realize this before I started reading these graphic novels, but these are not standalones. The characters in Halloween Girl are from a short 20 min film called The Halloween Girl that came out in 2019. There is also a sister web series that you can check out called, “Under the Flowers”. I read the books without watching the film (because I hadn’t realized this) and was a bit confused as to who exactly Charlotte was and what her powers are, so I would definitely recommend watching the short beforehand. Thankfully there were enough information in the graphic novels for me to infer a bit about everyone.

Whenever I read a graphic novel, one of the main things that affects my enjoyment of the book is how much I like the art. There are many graphic novels that I’ve downright refused to read based on my dislike of the art and there are also some graphic novels I’ve read where the art took away from my enjoyment. Things that I look for are realistic looking drawings as well as distinguishable character features (in other words, can I easily tell two characters apart from each other). I’m happy to say that I was a huge fan of the artist for Halloween Girl. I thought Stephen Mullan did a great job at making things aesthetically pleasing while making them both realistic and scary. My only complaint is that the actual pages in the copies I received were black and white. This didn’t take away from my reading experience but I do think the pages would look really cool if they were in color.

In terms of the story of Halloween Girl, I don’t think I have enough information to make an accurate decision. It’s one of the reasons I had a hard time rating the books. Each volume is very short and ends in a cliffhanger, so I won’t know the entire story arc until I read more installments. That being said, I would definitely be interested in continuing the series as the characters are extremely interesting. If you’re interested in this series, please check it out! Each installment is a short read (approximately 5 min each) so you could really pick them up at any time.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#TheWriteReads #BlogTour: The Carnival of Ash by Tom Beckerlegge

An adult literary alternative history novel perfect for fans of commedia dell’arte

Thank you so much to The Write Reads, Rebellion Publishing, and Tom Beckerlegge for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

About the Author

Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.

Review (First Impressions)

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter.

Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present. A war that threatens not only to destroy Cadenza but remove it from history altogether…

Initial Thoughts (No Spoilers)

Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m doing something a bit different and posting some initial thoughts/impressions for a tour book rather than a full review because I’m around 60% through this novel and think that I’ll actually restart it from the beginning now that I have a better idea of how to read it.

Depending on where you look up information about The Carnival of Ash, you’ll get different impressions of what the novel is exactly. Goodreads and several blurbs available online (such as via Amazon and Simon and Schuster) have this tagged as an adult fantasy novel, but in reality it’s more of a literary historical fiction book with some fantasy elements. As many of my fellow reviewers have pointed out, the genre that best encapsulates what The Carnival of Ash is would probably be commedia dell’arte. It reminded me a lot of The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros.

The writing of this book is beautiful, and the overall plot is one that could be read as several short stories that intertwine with each other, rather than one singular plot. As you make your way through the novel, you’ll get to meet several characters, all with different (often over-the-top) personalities and dramatized story arcs. Depending on how good you are with keeping up with people’s names, I might suggest that you keep a handy character/plot guide next to you as you read for easy reference. I’m extremely bad at remembering which character is who so it’s always useful for me to have something like that, especially for 600 page novels like this one.

The tour has over a week left! If you’d like to follow along with the rest you can find the tour schedule here.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.