Tag: #reviewblog

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco Review

Kingdom of the Wicked

I’ve wanted to read Kingdom of the Wicked for a long time. I finally sat down and made the time for it. Here are my thoughts.

After the murder of her twin, Emilia is out for vengeance. Emilia and her family are witches who live secretly among the humans. She will find her sister’s murderer at any cost, even if she has to use dark magic. This forbidden magic leads her to Wrath, a prince of Hell. Wrath claims he is on Emilia’s side, but the Wicked can’t be trusted.

The beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked is amazing. I love the world building and magic system. It is everything I look for in a story about witches. It’s full of herbal spells, tinctures, and candles. I love the cottage core vibes.

Plus, the food sounds mouth watering. I was hungry during a majority of the book. I also loved the hustle and bustle of the family restaurant. It was quaint and cozy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last.

The murder of Vittoria completely changes the book’s direction, obviously. Emilia begins to lose interest in the family business. She only wants to find Vittoria’s murdered and make them suffer. She starts using dark magic, which is where Wrath comes in.

I really liked Wrath. I like the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath. However, their relationship didn’t develop as much as I wanted. I know this is a series, so I hope that comes in the later books.

Another thing I didn’t love was the big reveal. I guessed who the murderer was in the first few pages. Sometimes that can be saved if the motive was fulfilling, but I didn’t feel that way about this one. It just seemed lackluster to me.

All in all, I think this was a decent start to a series. On it’s own I didn’t love it, but I like what it set up for the next book.

My Rating: 3/5

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We Must Save Jepson by Mark Petersen Review

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I received a copy of We Must Save Jepson in exchange for my honest review. It was a fun concept, so let’s jump into it.

H.R. Huxtable is off to save Jepson. His crew is a bit odd, but yet they persevere. Will they save Jepson?

My Thoughts

First, I love the formatting. This book is a collection of letters from and to H.R. Huxtable. It was a great way to tell this story. It felt like the reader was included in the adventure.

Despite my love of the letters, the plot fell flat. It was titled We Must Save Jepson, but I don’t really even know who Jepson was. I also don’t really know why he needed saving. Plus, how did a librarian become the head of a search and rescue group? There was a lot that wasn’t really explained, or if it was I completely missed it.

This book is quite clearly satire. I mean it does say it on the cover. The humor is overblown, but I expect that from a satire. There were several humorous moments. However, there were some bits of humor that didn’t work for me.

Overall, I don’t think this book is for me. But it was still a quick, easy read with a fun format.

My Rating: 2/5

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Review

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Guys, I finally finished a book! I’m actually getting to do a review! I picked The Stranger Diaries for my monthly challenge. The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge prompted me to read a book nominated for an award in 2020. The Stranger Diaries won the 2020 Edgar Award for best novel. It deserved it.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder, but most of the time it is a work of fiction. She is a high school English teacher that specializes in gothic horror. Clare’s life collides with her favorite novel when her friend is murdered. When Clare turns to her diary to document her feelings, she discovers writing that isn’t hers. Suddenly, she finds herself living in a horror novel.

The Stranger Diaries is what I wanted The Broken Girls to be. For instance, it incorporated a haunted school, a horror novel, and a murder mystery. Each element brought great depth to the story.

Above all, I loved the inclusion of multiple points of view. It had Clare’s point of view, her daughter Georgie’s, and Detective Sergeant Harbinder’s point of view. Even with multiple points of view I couldn’t single in on one suspect. There wasn’t a character that I didn’t suspect.

I didn’t expect the ending. It wrapped up so well. The friendship that developed between Clare and Harbinder was great. The Stranger Diaries was a well developed mystery with a lot of depth. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it until now. It is definitely underrated!

My Rating: 5/5

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The Affliction of Praha by Simon Gillard Review

Murder mysteries and historical fiction have been my two favorite genres recently. The Affliction of Praha combines those into one quick read. Keep reading to see what I thought about it.

The citizens of 20th Century Prague adore the Teralov Family. Therefore, the murder of Peter Teralov shocked everyone. The family hired Detective Edgar Rollenvart to bring the killer to justice. Edgar teams up with Peter’s brother to learn more about the case. As suspects mount, the evidence dead ends, leaving the Teralov family with more questions than they had at the beginning.

The Affliction of Praha is fast paced. There was not a dull moment in the entire book. It didn’t take me long to finish. However, that did lead into my main problem with the book. The character development wasn’t great. I didn’t really connect with any of them. I couldn’t figure of the motive of the killer, because Peter was barely discussed. My reading preference leans toward character motivated stories, but if you like plot driven stories this might not be an issue for you.

Above all, I do hope the author continues to write. His writing reminded me of Agatha Christie’s. With a bit more polishing and development I think he will be a great mystery writer. Toward the end there are several plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. He put a lot of thought and creativity into them. It made for a strong ending.

My Rating: 3/5

Don’t forget to check out Books a Million for the best prices on new releases! I’m proud to be a Books a Million affiliate!

Thanks to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

The Afflictions of Praha by Simon Gillard Review

Murder mysteries and historical fiction have been my two favorite genres recently. The Affliction of Praha combines those into one quick read. Keep reading to see what I thought about it.

The Teralov Family are adored in 20th century Prague. Everyone was shocked when Peter Teralov was murdered. Detective Edgar Rollenvart is tasked with the job of bringing the killer to justice. Edgar teams up with Peter’s brother to learn more about the case. As suspects mount, the evidence dead ends, leaving the Teralov family with more questions than they had at the beginning.

The Affliction of Praha is fast paced. There was not a dull moment in the entire book. It didn’t take me long to finish. However, that did lead into my main problem with the book. The characters weren’t fully developed. I didn’t really connect with any of them. Trying to figure out the motive of the killer was impossible because Peter is barely discussed. I enjoy character motivated stories, but if you like plot driven stories this might not be an issue for you.

I do hope the author continues to write. His writing reminded me of Agatha Christie’s. With a bit more polishing and development I think he will be a great mystery writer. Toward the end there are several plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. He put a lot of thought and creativity into them. It made for a strong ending.

My Rating: 3/5

Don’t forget to check out Books a Million for the best prices on new releases! I’m proud to be a Books a Million affiliate!

Thanks to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!