The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea by Melanie Cellier

28444523.jpg

I have never read a Princess and the Pea retelling, so this book immediately got my attention. Fairy tale retellings are my jam!

I was really excited to read this, and it turned out to be a sweet basic story that reminded me of the Faerie Tale Collection Series by Jenni James, minus the insta-love. The constant emphasis on beauty felt a bit distasteful, but it was a fairy tale. What did I expect? I did enjoy the book and I’m really interested in the next one.

However, there was one issue: someone stole all the commas.

millie bobby brown omg GIF by Converse

Ok, so maybe not ALL the commas, but a lot of them. Maybe it was an ebook conversion error that ate the commas like pacman.

psychedelics GIF

Or maybe Australia has different grammar rules? I don’t know. I did enjoy the book, though, and I hope book 2 has escaped the comma thief.

Advertisements

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

29583793.jpg

I have no idea what I just read. When I tried to explain it to my husband, I started laughing so hard I was crying it sounded so silly. The actual book description does not come close to what actually happens here. It wasn’t a Phantom of the Opera retelling. It was Love Never Dies meets Get Out.

Warning: the following review is critical and contains spoilers (and GIFs!), because it’s impossible not to do it while describing this book.

Continue reading

Read Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind by Steve Michael Reedy for free on Kindle Unlimited!

Do you guys remember me raving about how cool these books are? How they literally change your perspective on life? Well, with this weekend’s launch of book two (which is awesome, by the way), both of the books are available to download for free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited! Don’t pass up this opportunity, especially if you haven’t used up your free trial yet. =D

Click here to see them on Amazon.

And the book website, along with a page long list of its awards:   http://monkeymindtales.com/

I wouldn’t be posting about this if I truly did not like them. Happy reading!

Quiet Shy by Brandon L. Summers

33793261.jpg

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking, but let me explain. While this cover screams self-published-unedited-made-in-MS-Paint, I’m telling you – it’s not. It’s an ARC request I got in my email, and I won’t lie, I was going to turn it down immediately just by looking at the attached cover photo (which kind of creeped me out to be honest) but I read the description and I was like huh, that actually sounds pretty interesting. Maybe I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

And I’m kinda glad I didn’t.

Alexandria Fix hates her job as an archaeologist for a renowned institute as it keeps her away from her sensitive wife, Quiet Shy, who comes from the future of an alternate reality. The sentiment only intensifies when Alex’s life becomes entangled with the pursuits of an evil cult of robots.

First of all – an f/f couple always has my attention. We just don’t have enough of these kinds of books in the mainstream. Oh wait – we don’t have ANY of these kinds of book in the mainstream. Most authors rely on queer-specific small presses to publish f/f scifi/fantasy. There’s plenty of gay erotica out there, but just your normal, run of the mill f/f relationship with magic or spaceships? Nope.

Aaaaaaanyway, this book. I have to say, it was extremely unpredictable. When I thought one thing was going to happen, the complete opposite did. When I expected a certain event, something else took its place. The scifi is layered very strongly, a futuristic world with cool tech and robots and lasers. It left a lot on the reader to pull it all together, but I don’t mind using my imagination a bit. It makes the story partly mine, in a way.

The relationship between Alex and Shy was very sweet. Veeeerrryyyyyy sweet, bordering on cheesy. If you’re looking for a lot of ‘sweetie’ and ‘you’re so beautiful’ and ‘I love you so much’ in every conversation, then this is the book for you. There’s intimacy, though not super graphic, and plenty of talk about wanting to be intimate and how sexy their bodies are, to the point where it’s like we get it, she’s curvy and has ample breasts. I did like that their relationship was portrayed as strong and unapologetic, and they know exactly what they want. It was nice to see two women so utterly in love, without the guilt.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was different from anything I’ve ever read before, and I think there are plenty of people out there who would love to read about a wholesome f/f relationship with robots and aliens.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

29572048

A modern Russian fairy-tale retelling about Baba Yaga and Vassilissa? There was no way I wasn’t going to buy this. Everything about it screamed PLEASE READ ME and I started reading it immediately.

That was three weeks ago, and I just finished it today.

The thing is, it wasn’t too long or too boring. It was just so beautifully written, so abstract, that my brain got too tired from just trying to imagine all the things this book shows us.

If you’re a writer trying to improve your prose, this book should be considered a manual.

Let me tell you, Russians LOVE to be abstract. They love metaphors that don’t actually mean anything, that can’t really be seen but envisioned, things that sound beautiful just to sound beautiful. This book did an amazing job at conveying that, and I cannot begin to describe the talent I am so insanely jealous of that can write that way.

The story itself had a very interesting premise, and was executed…fairly well. I say it like that because there were many points that felt so out of place I couldn’t help but go ‘this doesn’t make any sense!’. Not at the bizarre magics of Baba Yaga’s ‘store’. Not at the explanations of Night and night and the pieces of it. Not even, at any of the characters’ motivations or actions. I got all that.

What I didn’t get was the point of half the characters’ existences, aside from being there to move the plot that didn’t actually have anything to do with the plot. They were just…there. The random kid, the lawyers, even her father. Just…why? They felt so out of place that the whole thing became too muddled, and it didn’t start out that way. Vassa and Erg were great together. I loved the relationship between Vassa and her sisters. Babs and her henchmen? Perfect. And it should have stayed that way.

Another thing that really bothered me were the unnecessary splashes of romance. Vassa was weirdly attracted to our equivalent of Frankenstein. She’s 16 and he’s literally a giant monster-doll-thing she can’t talk to or see the face of and somehow she’s thinking of how she maybe like-likes him? And then Erg calls him her boyfriend? Where does that line of thinking come from? This isn’t Beauty and the Beast. He’s not wooing her. It was disturbing to say the least. It’s like the author wanted it to be more YA than MG and thought what better way to up the age group than add some romance. Ick.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, and I loved all the magic and description. If you’re looking for a lyrical but sassy tale of magical realism, this is the crème de la crème. Just be ready to ignore some weird stuff and not focus too much on the plot. Enjoy it for the beauty and the fun, and you won’t be disappointed.

Puss without Boots: A Puss in Boots Retelling by Shari L. Tapscott

30848330.jpg

I have to say – what a cool cover!

And the name is intriguing to say the least. How many of us actually know the fairy-tale Puss in Boots? Growing up in Russia it was one of many French tales I enjoyed, and so I had to get this book.

It reminded me a lot of the Faerie Tale Collection Series by Jenni James. Cute and feel-good with insta-love and magic and just all those sweet and wonderful things fairy tales should be. It was gender-swapped with a few twists along the way, and I enjoyed reading it, wondering what would happen.

There were quite a few things that felt incomplete, like the point of Puss’s boots. I feel like if the author took just a little more time to think through the plot, it could have been a really great book. For a quick novella it was a fun read, but it left me wishing for more explanations, more development. A worthwhile between-books filler, well written and cute, but not quite satisfying.

The End of Oz (Dorothy must die) by Danielle Paige

31184073.jpg

Finally! I’ve been waiting to read this book for MONTHS. To finally find out what happens to Amy and Dorothy, to the witches and the fairies, to the Nome King and of course Oz itself.

I have to say I am thoroughly satisfied with this series. It felt more like a TV show of episodes than a book series, with cliffhanger endings and little resolution, but that’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed every single one of them and the story, while over, is still open for us to imagine more.

But, back to this book. If you’ve read the others in the series, you’d be surprised to find yourself reading parts from Dorothy’s POV. It definitely raised my eyebrow. I have to say, though, I really liked her conniving ways, and wish we saw her voice in the earlier books. I’m sure it was something Paige realized too late, but I’m glad she decided to go for it anyway.

I enjoyed getting to know a whole new world. Ev felt like a sexy secret vampire lair type world below while also being a Mad Max type of world above. The imagination behind this writing is incredible. Every creature seemed thought out and beautiful and terrifying. The smallest details bring them to life. I’ve never read books that put that much thought into the scenery and its denizens while not making it feel too descriptive.

Overall, a great series, and one I’m happy to finally complete. The books are short but each one brings something to the table. I truly wish to see this made into a movie.