Monday, August 31, 2015

ARC August Wrap Up & September TBR



   I came back to my blog this past August full force in the first 3 weeks and then kind of staled out for the last. I finished only half of my original ARCAugust TBR. However, I am happy with how much I read and the reception my reviews received by the authors. This month was a good reading month with several great books. I read 4 ARCs this month and started my fifth. I also read a non-ARC and listened to an audiobook. My class starts back up this week so I won't have as much tme to dedicate to reading, but I don't feel as stressed anymore when I read.
   I have a new favorite publisher: Hot Key Books. I read and reviewed two books from them this month and loved them. They are great at putting out books with great writing style and ideas. I hope to work with them more in the future.




Books Finished:

+Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan. 4/5 Stars. I enjoyed these short stories. Some of them were darker than I had been expecting, but some stuck with me after. 
+Ensnared by A.G. Howard. 4/5 Stars. I really enjoyed this trilogy - it was fun and entertaining. I can't wait for the second novella to come out in December. The ending of the third was ind of predictable and yet frustrating. 
+The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. 3/5 Stars. YA sci-fi with time travelling heroine. It has a great plot.
+Lorali by Laura Dockrill. 5/5 Stars. One of my favorite books this year. The writing was amazing!
+The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew. 5/5 Stars. Another great book from this month. An alternative history novel set in the UK about how society would be if the Nazis won WWII. Awesome story telling and great detailed focus on domestic life. 
+Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson. 4/5 Stars. I had the audiobook and want to read it again, but in physical form. With the physical form I will be able to focus more on it. 


Blog Reviews/Posts:
Click to read them!



 +Favorite Required Reading: http://katiebibliophile.blogspot.com/2015/08/top-five-wednesday-favorite-required.html

+ARCAugust Week 1 & 2 Update: http://katiebibliophile.blogspot.com/2015/08/arc-august-update-1-week-1-2.html

+My Auto-Buy Authors: http://katiebibliophile.blogspot.com/2015/08/top-ten-tuesday-auto-buy-authors.html


Currently Reading:





September TBR For Review:

+The Courtesan by Alexandra Curry. Publication Date: September 8, 2015 - Penguin, Dutton
+Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman. Publication Date: September 1, 2015 - NetGalley, HMH Books
+The Art of Language by David J. Peterson. Publication Date: September 29, 2015 - Penguin, Penguin Books
+Irona 700 by Dave Duncan. Publication Date: August 18, 2015 - NetGalley, Open Road Integrated Media
+Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Brambles. Publication Date: October 1, 2015 - NetGalley, Switch Press


Books Bought:

   This was my birthday month so I got quite a few books! I got 4 of the Penguin 80 Little Black Classics editions. 2 of the Vintage Classics Austen Series - I guess I am collecting them now! Plus some beautiful hardcovers of currently hyped books.

 
 




-Katie
Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

The Big Lie
by Julie Mayhew
Date of Publication: August 27, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Buy It: Amazon / TBD
Source: NetGalley


"A startling coming-of-age novel set in a contemporary Nazi England.

Jessika Keller is a good girl: she obeys her father, does her best to impress Herr Fisher at the Bund Deutscher Mädel meetings and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Her neighbour Clementine is not so submissive. Outspoken and radical, Clem is delectably dangerous and rebellious. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend. But which can she live without?

THE BIG LIE is a thought-provoking and beautifully told story that explores ideas of loyalty, sexuality, protest and belief.
 "



My Review:
  1. A big lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. Theexpression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

   Set in an alternative history in Britain 2013 where the Nazis won WWII. It is about rebellion, divided loyalty and love. A novel in which you must also question the narrator's trustworthiness. Jessika is a good girl. One of the best students at her school and at ice skating. She believes the motto that together you are strong. She strives to be a part of the community and do as she is told. To believe what she is told by her father and authority. Her father is a respected man and her mother is a Hausfrau. However, her neighbors don't seem to completely blend in with the normal respected people, like her parents. Her best friend Clementine is their neighbors' daughter whom Jessika adores. Jessika is at a constant battle between thinking like she was forced to and thinking on her own with her own set of morals and values. In her narration, Jessika is constantly going back and forth on what she is believing which alters the telling of her story. Depending on who she is feeling loyalty towards she might omit a certain piece of information. She is intelligent, but believes she is innocent and wants to bury feelings she has that are outside of the Nazi norm. This is what brings the reading experience to a deeper psychological level. It's not about simply telling the story from an objective view. It makes you start questioning the other stories you've read, even historical accounts, on if they are objective, that they haven't left out anything, and if what you are being told is the truth or a lie. 
   In the beginning you are dropped into the story after an event has happened. You don't know what it is and Jessika is already omitting certain facts from the reader. The first part of the book is a build-up to this event that happened, taking you a year or so before it. How it is written is incredibly engaging. You are given information about people only when they are recollected in the Part 1 so you are constantly putting them in context of what is going on in the present. There aren't big explanations about things because there isn't a need to explain or question anything in Jessika's world. The reader is to put things together and understand the subtleties in dialogue and manner themselves. I appreciated this. It's a novel that makes you think about events in our present world. The author wants you to. The characters seem to be only as dynamic as Jessika makes them. This might also be in relation to people conforming to the norm and not having much individuality. (Except for a few other characters.) The novel didn't have any negative aspects for me. However, the subject matter may be too much for some people.     


Lasting Impression:

    I really appreciate it when books pay attention to detail. An example on the constant references of how everyday life would be different is when Jessika goes to the movies, "..another war movie where we pummel the Americans and the guy gets the girl..." I loved reading those differences in perspective and what the norm is. You can tell there was extensive research involved to write this novel: the German sayings, the references to real magazines, social groups, education, and domestic life for women. It can be hard to read due to the length at which people were controlled and how it was done. The writing and plot are great. I looked up at one point and realized I had been reading for 5 hours straight. So I recommend this novel! What is scary is while reading it you know it is an alternative history, however, some of these beliefs exist in our present world. This is the second book from Hot Key Books that I've read and both were beyond my expectations. I recommend reading the author's notes after as well.
   Tidbit: The girl on the cover is from the  October 1936 issue of Das Deutsche Madel and the cover designer spray-painted.  


Julie Mayhew posted a collage of images for inspiration here: http://www.juliemayhew.co.uk/projects/the-big-lie/ 

AND there is a Tumblr page for the novel as well! http://thebigliebook.tumblr.com/
Go check it out!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars


Inspiration: Books I Want to Read Now:


   The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
   HHhH by Laurent Binet
   This Book is Gay by James Dawson   
   The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (reread)
 
About Julie Mayhew:


   Julie’s debut novel, Red Ink, was published by Hot Key Books in 2013. It was nominated for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and short-listed for the 2014 Branford Boase Award. She originally trained as a journalist, then as an actress, and started writing because she wanted there to be more brilliant roles for girls. Her plays have been performed in London and Edinburgh and on BBC Radio 4. Julie is founder of www.berkowriters.co.uk and host of short story cabaret The Berko Speakeasy. And she is also quite good at ice skating. www.juliemayhew.co.uk @juliemayhew


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors



   With my Top Tens there is no particular order of preference for the authors or novels. These are great story-tellers and world-builders who should be on almost everyone's lists. The photos are the novels I'd like to read/buy next from them.




+ Kazuo Ishiguro. 
I LOVE his writing style!! It's subtle and sticks with you after you finish the book. His latest book I want to read: 




+ Carol Goodman
I fell in love with her books after my graduation from university. I read one a week. You could notice a pattern, but I love how she has liberal arts settings. There are a couple I want to read next as soon as I find them! This is one of 3 series she has:




+ Ilona Andrews. 
Kate Daniels. Enough said. Latest published novel:




+ Khaled Hosseini. 
I've read all his novels so far. I loved The Kite Runner, but it was A Thousand Splendid Suns that put him in auto-buy.  




+ J.K. Rowling
I don't feel like I need to say more. Who doesn't have her on their list?





+ Carlos Ruiz Zafon. 
Another author whose writing I love. The Shadow of the Wind trilogy: amazing. I have to read Marina now that I have it. 




+ Brian K. Vaughan
His graphic novels are popular for a reason. Currently going through Y: The Last Man now and want to pick up Saga next. The 5th one just came out for Saga.




+ Diane Setterfield
I've only read The Thirteenth Tale, but I know I'll love Bellman & Black. She is great at creating ambiance and incorporating classic novels into her stories.




+ Elizabeth Gilbert
I love her fictional work. The Signature of All Things was lovely: cover, writing, story. 




+ Ernest Cline
Like many people, I loved Ready Player One. I had my husband read it, my friend, then her boyfriend, and my dad read it. All of them loved it. Of course I already bought this: 


Saturday, August 15, 2015

ARC August Update 1: Week 1 & 2



    Here's an update of my progress for the first two weeks of August. My TBR changed a bit when I got approved for previous requests: Vengeance Road and an adult fiction novel through Penguin. I am happy with what I have accomplished so far, but I don't expect to get through more than 3 more books. These three being the most recent additions to my ARC pile, but I am excited to read them nonetheless. I love having a variety of genres and that keeps things a little more interesting. I read a short story collection of fantasy, a YA sci-fi, and another fantasy novel with mermaids. I even managed to complete a non-ARC.

Books Finished:

+Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan. 4/5 Stars.
+The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. 3/5 Stars.
+Lorali by Laura Dockrill. 5/5 Stars.



Reviews Posted:






TBR for next two weeks:

+The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew. Publication Date: August 27, 2015 - Netgalley, Hot Key Books
+The Courtesan by Alexandra Curry. Publication Date: September 8, 2015 - Penguin, Dutton
+Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman. Publication Date:September 1, 2015 - NetGalley, HMH Books
Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: Lorali by Laura Dockrill

Lorali
By: Laura Dockrill
Date of Publication: July 2, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Buy It: Amazon / TBD
Source: NetGalley (Must buy my own!)


"Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical - this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn't exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.
Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.
But along with Lorali's arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory's bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?"


My Review:

    A whimsical and, yet, dark tale. The rational world we know living unknowingly aside a magical world with mermaids, pirates, and sirens. In this story the innocence of two main characters is juxtaposed with the brutality of the worlds above and below water. I love the prose and the use of three narrators: Lorali, Rory, and the Sea. This was a novel I didn't want to rush. I loved basically everything about this novel. Even in the ending I have hope. 
    A girl washes up on Hastings shore and Rory finds her. He instantly helps her and takes her to his house where he lives with his mother. He knows she is different given that she loves to eat butter, but doesn't realize hours before she was a mermaid. Hours later a group of pirates enter the town looking for her. Rory wants to protect her knowing this coincidence has to happen for a reason. This story takes you to Hastings, England to the Whirl in the sea and to the island home of the Sirens. 
    One tiny down side was that I anticipated the ending so much that the final showdown wasn't given much more detail than was really needed. Even then I wasn't let down that much. Dockrill was great at creating this magical realistic world and adding snark and humor where needed. Everything weaved seamlessly for me. I could probably gush about this book all day really. 

Narrators:

+Lorali: Her one-worded sentences center around the senses. She is in the moment most of the time adjusting to life above water.  
+Rory: A teenage boy who was more worried about starting college and spending time waiting for his dad to return to him and his mom. He is a good guy who wants to do the right thing and protect Lorali.  
+The Sea:  My favorite, with Lorali a close second, narrator! Such sass! It is great outside, but omnipresent, character who was humorous at times. It is through the Sea that we now more about the actions of the side characters.

Other Characters (They are equally as interesting as the narrators):

+Opal Zeal: A mer who keeps relations with the Walkers for Queen Keppel. Her only ties to the Walker world being the Ablegares. 
+The Ablegares: A group of stylish, pampered pirate teenagers who are in search of Lorali. "They are gentlemen. They are proud."
+Queen Keppel: Lorali's mother of the Mer who lives in the Whirl. 
+Flynn and his grandfather Iris: Flynn is one of Rory's best friends and is helpful to him who lives with his grandfather in a Lighthouse. (Iris and Carmine!!!)
+Sirens: A nasty, dirty group of Birdwomen who love the attention of the Ablegares. They eat stranded, unlucky sailors. 

Lasting Impression: 

   The writing is what initially had me excited for this story. Dockrill tells the tale so wonderfully with her prose that creates this magical, realistic world with humor and emotion that is so captivating. You'll want to highlight sentences or paragraphs to admire it. The characters and how she seams the two worlds, above and below water, is well done and enjoyable to read. The trio of narrators helps with telling the story with multiple characters spread out. I believe any age group would enjoy this novel. 

Video Interview by The Book Belle with Laura Dockrill about Lorali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soobxcc4HjM  



Thanks so much to NetGalley and Hot Key Books!
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Required Reading


1. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. We had to read this for my English Composition class in college 10 years ago. o.O  

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of my favorites. I loved analyzing the symbolism as well in class.  

3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I had already read it before we were assigned to read it and is a favorite of mine. Not at all what you'd think it would be about. It is gothic and poignant. 

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I didn't know what to expect before reading this in class. Nothing is as it seems from the outside. I didn't realize before that the people who are supposed to take care of you are actually not for your best interests, but society's.  

5. The Iliad by Homer. I love ancient Greek and Latin writings. It was great to go over this in class and discuss parts of it. 







Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now
by: Ann Brashares
Date of Publication: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Buy It: Amazon / B&N
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Sci-Fi


"'An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year."


My Review:

    This is a YA novel about time travelers from a disease-ridden, climate changed future seeking asylum. This future Prenna (the MC) and her mother came from in 2100 A.D. is based on the warnings of climate change we have today. In Prenna's future the oil companies, hydraulic fracturing, and other means for energy used up natural resources that contributed to increased amounts of carbon in the atmosphere and aided to bring about global warming. The oceans rose and due to the increased amount of water more mosquitoes flourished and helped to spread disease. These diseases included plagues which wiped out populations, forcing people to live in fear indoors. About the mosquitoes: "It's hard to unlearn it, even now. They don't bring disease to this place, but for us they still bring memories and awful dreams." -Prenna  
    12 rules govern Prenna and her community of time-travelers. It is a life that they must be okay with and not partake in the progression of society given the information they know. Also, they must not reproduce with time-natives or let anyone know who they are. Prenna, the main character, is the curious one out of the community who falls in love with a time native, Ethan. They discover the meaning behind the numbers "51714" that were written on Prenna's arm when she traveled to 2010 with her mother and community members. Time travel is a tricky subject to conceptualize in the large scheme of events. What happens in the past that you therefore change what happens in the future and there are multiple ways the future can happen based one what you know in the past, etc. Brashares did a pretty good job in regard to that aspect. For such a short, single novel the relationship between Prenna and Ethan was jumpy: best buds to "I want to have sex with you ASAP". However, it was a good stand alone novel that was short and sweet.

   

Characters:

   Prenna: Our female protagonist. She is intelligent and the only member of her community curious enough to question the authority. She is typical in these sort of novels that needs a head-strong leader who will sacrifice her happiness for the greater good. 

   Ethan: Prenna's friend and love interest. He's smart, charming, and loving. The developments in the novel shows how much of a key character he is. I loved that the novel wasn't just based on Prenna, but incorporated Ethan having a big role as well.  


Lasting Impressions: 
   
    The romance aspect wasn't that interesting to me.. From the beginning you can tell how it will end. I felt it was added to enhance the emotions the reader was desired to feel in later events.  The novel was well thought out with time-travel and the twists she adds. However, the end seemed too easy solved with the counsel. To make this a stand-alone it may have been necessary to wrap things up like it did. It is an entertaining YA novel that is original. It's thought-provoking given the subject matter of time-travel.    


My Rating: 3/5 Stars




About the Author: 

    Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the D.C. area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.
Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Review: Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Title: Written in the Stars
Author: Aisha Saeed
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Date of Publication: March 24, 2015
To Buy: Amazon / B&N
Format: ARC obtained from @Gryphongirl2007 on Twitter Giveaway
ISBN 0399171703


Goodreads Summary:

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.



My Review: 

   Saeed's novel is a quick and gripping tale that I read in one day. This is not a fluffy story and sheds light on what some women face and have little choice in. I was not anticipating in the beginning the magnitude of suspense and thrill of this novel. Naila's parents are traditionalists from Pakistan. When they find out she has had a secret boyfriend for about a year they take her back to Pakistan in order to get away from the gossip. Naila is allowed to decide what she wants in life except for who she marries. This decision is the parents' who will choose someone for her to marry. Saif, Naila's boyfriend, is Pakistani as well, but his sister married someone that was not welcome by the Pakstani-American community. This sheds a bad light on Saif in relation to Naila's parents who then freak out when they find she has been hiding a boyfrend from them and who it actually is.

   At the beginning it was hard to believe her parents would force her to travel to Pakistan from finding out Naila has been dating. Then to go to the extremes they went to keep Naila there. The parents were the obvious antagonists. Whereas the book needed antagonists it put the parents to the extreme. Not to mention the other family members come off as horrible people. Showing that the traditions of Pakistan themselves may be detrimental to girls and women. I almost had to detach myself whether this was plausible or not to be engrossed in the story. The constant anguish Naila feels is poignant n the novel and  . I would have liked to see more of the friendship between Carla and Naila and more examples to show Saif and Naila's bond to give the novel more meat. I am also curious as to what happened with Naila's cousin who helped her in Pakistan.

   More descriptive writing and background story of characters and Pakistan would have been great. I felt the writing in Written in the Stars was somewhat basic. I felt there could have been more to write about and the events seemed so sudden. Maybe the abruptness was done on purpose making the ambiance feel more chaotic and the actions more traumatizing. Either way the plot was great and Naila is a strong, inspiring character. The suspense of what happens next is unreal! Every new chapter I was wanting things to get better for Naila.


Positive Aspect:
   I feel this novel is a great addition to the contemporary YA world by introducing a different cultural background for a protagonist in America and helping to diversify the genre more. This is a great way for those who have been in difficult situations and felt they had no voice to finally feel comfortable to share their experiences. Hopefully this raises awareness that women's rights are still being suppressed. Aisha Saeed is helping serve this cause and to that I thank her.




My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan

Fearsome Magics
Editor: Jonathan Strahan
Contributing Authors: Christopher Rowe, Garth Nix, Isobelle Carmody, Tony Ballantyne, K.J. Parker, Ellen Klages, James Bradley, Karin Tidbeck, Justina Robson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Frances Hardinge, Kaaron Warren, Genevieve Valentine, Robert Shearman
Date of Publication: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Solaris
Buy It: Amazon / B&N
Source: NetGalley eARC, and later bought physical copy!
Aurealis Award Nominee for Best Anthology (Shortlist) 2014


"A cabinet of magic! A cavalcade of wonder! A collection of stories both strange and wondrous, of tales filled with wild adventure and strange imaginings. Fearsome Magics, the second New Solaris Book of Fantasy, is all these things and more. It is, we think, one of the best books you will read all year. 
Award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has invited some of the best and most exciting writers working in fantasy today to let their imaginations run wild and to deliver stories that will thrill and awe, delight and amuse. And above all, stories that are filled with fearsome magic!" 



Lasting Impression: 

   A collection of short stories encompassing the many forms of magic. The stories start off with light and entertaining reads and ends with heavier subject matter. Not all the stories were alike or wrote about magic the same way which helped with the quality of the experience of reading it. As Jonathan Strahan said, "Magic takes many forms." This sentiment is reflected in the variety of magical themes presented: including sorcerers, magicians, and other fantastical elements. The quality of writing was great and the prose in some of the stories was amazing. It was intriguing to read the different writing styles of the authors and to try out something by an author before reading more of their stories later.  I recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and, of course, loves anthologies of short stories. Not all of the stories are light, in fact a good portion of them were pretty dark. Some of them could be considered to be in the genre of horror even. I was pleasantly surprised by this anthology since it is my first for fantasy. 

My favorite stories:
"Safe House" by K.J. Parker
"Hey, Presto!" by Ellen Klages
"The Nursery Corner" by Kaaron Warren




My Thoughts on the Short Stories: 

“The Dun Letter” by Christopher Rowe

    What I thought would be like the beginning of a novel was quite funny in the end. The elfin man was creepy. Sometimes real life and family are better no matter how tough it can be.

“Home is the Haunter (A Sir Hereward and Mr Fitz story)” by Garth Nix
     The beginning with names of places was a little difficult for me since I hadn't read anything about the characters before. However, the flow was easy for me and the story was entertaining. I love little adventures like these. 

“Grigori’s Solution” by Isobelle Carmody
      Great subject to write a story about! However, I have hard time coming to terms that the only explanation of the event is "complex mathematics". Hm..

“Dream London Hospital” by Tony Ballantyne
      This was the first dark story in the anthology and it takes place in a sinister hospital. It felt more horror than fantasy. 

“Safe House” by K J Parker
     Loved the POV, and smooth, easy, and entertaining writing. Great!

“Hey Presto!” by Ellen Klages
     This was the one story that didn't have any fantastical aspects other than being about a magician and his daughter who found something to bring them together. 

“The Changeling” by James Bradley
      This was a good take on the changeling story. The atmosphere was good.

“Migration” by Karin Tidbeck
     I don't know what to think about this one... It was interesting, odd... I hadn't read anything like this already or had previous knowledge of a story like this so it was difficult at first to put my head around it. 

“On Skybolt Mountain” by Justina Robson
       This one was really interesting and dark. The author lets you know just enough information at a time and leaves you to put the pieces together. I liked the style.

“Where Our Edges Lie” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
      Loved the descriptions and coming-of-age story. That ending though. Not happy.

“Devil’s Bridge” by Frances Hardinge
     Good story plot. More action in fewer page than some of the other stories. Good message.

“The Nursery Corner” by Kaaron Warren
      Wow. I don't know if it was meant to be as dark as I am making it, but it could have been darker. Pretty creepy too. The story flowed nicely

“Aberration” by Genevieve Valentine
    I was confused for the first 3/4 of the story. A time traveler I think who wants to find stability and wait for "him".

“Ice in the Bedroom” by Robert Shearman
     This one was kind of depressing and not at the same time. Also, I was kind of lost at one point. This was a good ending to the anthology. 



I rated this 4/5 Stars. 

*On Goodreads I gave each story a star rating as I read them. However I feel a review of this book deserves to be approached holistically. The 3 favorites are the ones I gave 5/5 Stars to. 



+I'd love to read the other following short story anthologies by Solaris:

   


 


Thank you to Solaris and NetGalley for letting me review this!