Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: Fantasy/YA Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Sallot Leon, better known as Sal, is a street fighter and an excellent thief. Sal, however wants more from life than robbing nobles and fighting. In the midst of a robbery one day, Sal finds a flyer for auditions for the position of Opal in the Queen’s Left Hand- her personal assassins, named after the rings on her left hand, and decides to go for it. The auditions turn out to be not only training, but a fight to the death with the other contestants. This is a fight that Sal may not be prepared for, but is determined to win and get revenge for their country that was destroyed by the nobles that are in the capitol and the heart of Elise, who they are growing closer and closer to. Will Sal survive to live out this dream?
Guys, I finished this book, and immediately said that I needed more! Seriously, check my Twitter feed! This is that wonderful rare occasion where I have trouble believing that this is a debut novel. The characters were so well rounded and fleshed out. I absolutely loved that the main character, Sal, was gender fluid. It made this character all the more interesting, and definitely an underrepresented community that we should see more of. Miller writes characters that you want to become invested in. The world building was so lovely, and easily visualized. It had enough romance in it to add to the story, but not so much as to make it the focus. This is written as a YA Fantasy, but truthfully it is just a very well written Fantasy that would appeal to anyone looking for that type of escape. I can’t wait to find that escape again in the next installment!
Author: Aimee Brown
Genre: Cotemporary Romance
Emi has an issue that most of us have been able to relate to, at one time or another: a broken heart with unresolved issues. She thought that she had put that behind her, when she moved halfway across the country from Jack, the reason for the aforementioned broken heart. That is until her twin brother’s wedding, which happens to be to Jack’s little sister. Emi is now thrown in to a wedding party with Jack, in a bad bridesmaid’s dress, and to make matters worse, he is engaged to her arch enemy. What’s a girl to do? Get drunk, and hoof it to the nearest bar, of course! Enter Liam. Could he be the one to help Emi get over Jack? Does she really want to get over him at all?
Where to start?! You all know by now how I feel about romance, but this one worked for me. The pace was fast enough, and the characters engaging enough, that it didn’t drag me down in to the romance death spiral that some regular romances do. Brown did a wonderful job in character development, especially for a debut author. The characters were all well fleshed out, well rounded, and played off of one another very well. The plot was also very well thought out, and didn’t seem to lag much, if at all. It jumps back and forth between “present day” and before Emi and Jack’s break-up, but the time jump work’s in this case. It doesn’t give you whiplash, and isn’t confusing to follow. It’s well thought out, and gives a much needed backstory. Honestly, the only negative thing at all that I found were a couple of proofreading errors, which can (and does!) happen in any author’s book. It certainly wasn’t enough to detract from the enjoyment of the book. If you’re looking for a fun contemporary romance and/or a great beach read, give this one a try!
It releases tomorrow, so you can pre-order here:
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Series: Sam Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sam Hunter is an ex-cop, who was written up for excessive force one too many times. He now makes his living as a PI. When he takes on a client, he takes them in to his family, and protects them like one of his pack. He means that literally, because Sam Hunter is a werewolf. A benandanti, to be more precise. He takes on a wide range of cases that others wouldn’t touch, but that is his job, and he is damned good at it.
Jonathan Maberry has been on my tbr list for a while, and when I saw this book of short stories, I could not pass it up. Short stories are my favorite thing, and he did not disappoint (unless you count my being disappointed in myself that I have put off picking up Maberry’s work until now!). The characters all had great depth, which is sometimes tricky in short stories. The world building was very well done, as you could picture the gritty neighborhoods, seedy bars, etc, as well as the world with these “others” in it. Maberry’s writing is phenomenal. He knows how to easily break up a desolate situation with a bit of humor (wonderfully dry humor in this case), how to give enough back story and detail in a short timeframe to really get the reader invested in the characters, how to draw the reader in to a world that they do not want to leave. Sam Hunter is, I believe, one of my favorite new characters. I desperately hope that this was just an introduction to him, and that there will be more to follow. Now, you’ll excuse me while I go download the Pine Deep books….
Author: Amy Schumer
Publisher: Gallery Books
Amy Schumer has built her career on being honest- hilariously, brutally, honest- and I, and so many others, love her for that. She says the things that many think and won’t say, and she doesn’t sugarcoat it. This book is that, and so very much more. It had everything that I was hoping for out of a book written by Schumer. It had the stories of sex, drugs, drinking, and family drama delivered with her signature humor, sarcasm, and wit. What it had that I wasn’t expecting, though, was her being honest in a very different way about the subjects that have touched and affected her life: date rape, domestic violence, gun violence, body shaming, and her father’s MS diagnosis. It was very touching, and humanizing, to see her speak out on these topics in such an authentic way. This book was well written, in that it balanced the serious topics out with humor, so it didn’t become too heavy to read. It was very interesting to learn more about Schumer and her life, up to this point. I was a fan before, and I am even more so of one now!
Happy Independence Day!!!
Author: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Genre: General Fiction
The Plumb family takes family drama to a different level! They have each spent their early adulthood watching their trust fund, which they lovingly call “The Nest”, continually grow and have come to count on it. As they are on the brink of finally receiving it, their irresponsible brother gets behind the wheel, inebriated, with a nineteen-year-old passenger. The accident that follows puts them all in danger of losing The Nest. After confronting their brother, he promises to make things right. Will he follow through on his word, or leave them all and their lives, in circumstances that they never foresaw?
This is another novel that I have been looking forward to making my way to since I heard about it. I was very excited to finally get to it. Sadly, again, I was a bit disappointed. The characters were all, mostly, well developed. There were a couple that could have, possibly, been a bit more rounded out, but overall, they were fleshed out. The storyline was decent, and well thought out. I have no real qualms with that. The book just fell a little bit flat for me. I can’t exactly put my finger on what the issue was with it, I just wanted a little bit more from it. I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it, though. It just didn’t quite deliver for me, personally.