BOOK REVIEW: William Ritter “Jackaby”

91j4uVp7KELTitle: Jackaby

Author: William Ritter

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery

My Rating: 2/5 stars

 

I’ve heard Jackaby described as Sherlock Holmes meets Supernatural, with maybe the tiniest bit of Doctor Who thrown in. So this book should have been our “SuperWhoLock” dreams come true, right?

It could have been.

But it wasn’t.

Jackaby started with a promising concept: young woman Abigail Rook is fresh off the boat in America and in desperate need of work to support herself. A college drop-out with a few failures under her belt, Rook is desperately trying to avoid her parents back in England in an attempt to live her own life without their overbearing-ness.

Now bring in our title character, Jackaby himself, a young man with the deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes, the ability to sense the supernatural like the Winchesters, and the eccentricities of every incarnation of the Doctor. He’s in search of a deductive assistant, and happens to be the only employer around.

Abigail’s first day on the job finds them a strange, gruesome murder, presumably committed by a non-human entity; and that’s not even the weirdest thing about the day.

My thoughts:

See, this should have been right up my alley. Quirky characters with interesting abilities, monsters, murder? What more could I ask for?

How about to not be bored? Because my gosh, I was bored to tears. Jackaby is less than 300 pages long; it should have been a breeze. Yet every single page was a chore to read, and for the life of me I can’t understand why.

It’s a silly little book that I should have loved, but I didn’t. The plot was slow to progress, the character development was non-existent, and the story was forgettable. Sadly, there’s not much else to say about it. Such a disappointment.

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BOOK REVIEW: Marie Rutkoski “The Winner’s Curse”

thewinnerscurse-marierutkoski__spanTitle: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: Romance/Action

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

The Winner’s Curse is your classic enemies-to-lovers story about the daughter of a high-ranking general and her slave.

Kestrel’s people, the Valorian, conquered the Herrani and made them their slaves. Kestrel’s father has tried to convince his daughter to enlist in the military, but her skills lie not in combat but in her strategy; she has a mind for military tactics and planning.

When she sees Arin for sale at the slave market, Kestrel feels a pull toward him and bids. And wins.

Unsure of what to do with her new slave but in need of an escort due to the backwards rules and traditions of her home regarding women, she asks Arin to fill this role. Soon, rumors begin to circulate between the two of them, and feelings begin to develop, yet their stations in life make it impossible to choose. Loyalty to family, culture and country? Or love?

My thoughts:

Sadly, I almost didn’t finish this. I have many books to read and no enough time to dedication to reading books I’m not loving. The Winner’s Curse wasn’t measuring up in the beginning, no matter how intriguing the concept was. It did start to pick up toward the end but ultimately, this debut novel was very slow.

It wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed both main characters very much, making it easy to continue and remain invested in their lives and their star-crossed attraction. Kestrel was tough, and while she was fairly open about her lack of skills on the battle-field, she constantly proved her intelligence and calculating nature.

Arin was continuously at war with himself and his feelings for Kestrel while also planning a revolution against the Valorians. It was interesting to be in his head.

I loved reading any interactions between Kestrel and Arin; their chemistry was flamin’, and Arin was absolutely precious. So basically any fall-backs that this story had, the romance and the main characters more than made up for it.

While this first installment may not have been my favorite, I can see how it can be improved on in sequels and I am very excited to see what happens considering I’ve seen many rave reviews for the rest of this series. I’ll keep you all posted!

 

Marie Rutkoski: Website | Facebook |Twitter

Let’s Get Real – A Serious Talk from a Washed-Up Blogger

*waves nervously* Hello.

So, as many of you probably didn’t notice because it’s not like I was a fixture of the blogging community anyway, I’ve been absent for several months. There’s no excuse other than that life got busy and I simply lost my motivation for bookish-related things. Sure, I kept reading, but I didn’t really keep up with the bookstagramming or the reviewing of books. I’ve let all that slide for a long time, and I was almost ready to give it up.

But then something happened.

It’s not something you would expect, and my motivation for returning to the book world may seem strange and possibly morbid. But I’m about to get super serious with you guys and dig way down deep, because this isn’t something that’s easy to talk about.

To my husband and I’s delight, we found out that I was pregnant about 3-4 weeks ago and I’ve been in this bubble of bliss ever since. We were impatient and told all our friends and family the good news and posted the cutest announcement. Even though it was early on, we were making plans and arrangements for our new Baby Guerra to arrive.

And then last week, at my very first OB appointment no less, I started bleeding heavily. I was taken to have an ultrasound immediately, where we found that our baby hadn’t been developing like it should and that it was too small to be 8 weeks along like it was supposed to be. We’re pretty sure that I miscarried later that night.

We were devastated of course, and it’s been my own personal Hell, having to tell people what happened. I know that I shouldn’t, but I feel so embarrassed for the display that I made, only to have to now announce that we won’t be parents after all.

So this week has been full of repression and denying, trying to avoid and ignore and not think about what happened. Which is obviously super unhealthy but if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s torturing myself.

These events have made me pause and evaluate my life now. I’m at a job that’s making me want to bang my head repeatedly against a wall, I’m overweight, I’m unhealthy, and I don’t have time to do the things that make me happy anymore. That’s why I’ve decided to revive the blog, the bookstagram, all of it, and focus on my health, both physical and mental.

I’m not in a state to start trying to get pregnant again, but I can work on myself so that when we are ready, I am a healthy vessel for my future child. I am grateful for so many things in my life: a God who encourages me to find the good in all circumstances, a husband who is my rock when I am weak, family and friends that support me, and the solace of good books written by good people.

I’m not going to allow this keep me down. Instead, I will use this to help me grow and hopefully, I’ll come out the other end stronger than before.