Thursday, December 31, 2020

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

I should begin by mentioning that Victoria Schwab (V. E. Schwab) is one of my favourite authors. She is just an amazing author and human and I adore her. 

Tunnel of Bones is the second book in her paranormal middle grade series. The first book is City of Ghosts. You can read my review of that one here

The series follows Cassidy Blake and her ghost best friend as they accompany Cassidy's parents who are filming a television show about the world's most haunted cities. This book takes place in Paris, in the catacombs. Cassidy's parents might be chasing ghosts, but it's Cassidy who actually gets to see them and interact with them. 

I'm not the target audience for middle grade novels. That being said, I truly enjoyed this! It was a quick read, but it was fun and enjoyable. You never quite know how things will turn out, and it's always an exciting journey to get there. 

Victoria has a way of writing her characters that gives them such an old soul, more raw quality to them that just sticks with you. Cassidy Blake is no exception. I didn't have any trouble connecting with the main character, even though I am much older. 

There was more back story in this one, in some ways. Perhaps it was building more into the characters and the world in preparation for more novels. Still a fast paced, spooky read. 

I also appreciate the creepy, spooky aspects of this book. Even though it's for a younger audience, it's not too cute and watered down. The paranormal element is still here and still on the scary side. I love that. 

At this point I'm not sure there's a book by this author that I'm not going to love and I can't wait till the next one comes out! 

Recommendation: For the readers who love paranormal novels, creepy reads, ghosts, and great writing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

This book was totally not what I expected but completely something I needed.

I discovered Holly Black's writing with the book a while back when I picked up The Darkest Part for the Forest. At the end of that book was a preview of this one, and I actually ready the preview of this book before reading The Darkest Part of the Forest.

Right from the first few pages I was hooked. Holly Black's writing is something I've not experienced anywhere else. She gives you these regular characters with such real lives that when she introduces the fantasy elements, it's like an extra treat.

For some reason when I read the excerpt of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I didn't really grasp what it was about, so when I really got into this book, I was surprised. I had no idea what the monsters were in this book and it threw me for a loop at first. I don't even want to tell you in my review since finding out while reading was half the fun.

I adored this book and will continue to read Holly Black's other novels because they are exactly what I am looking for in monster urban fantasy twisted goodness.

Recommendations: For the lovers of urban fantasy and monsters. This is for you. Go in for the ride and you'll be happily impressed.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Secret Place by Tana French

I don't know what happened but apparently I have been asleep or day dreaming when Tana French and her books comes up in conversation/on bookstagram. I know I've seen her name and some of her books on shelves before but beyond that, I knew nothing.

This is my first Tana French book. I snapped it up on one of the sale racks at Chapters (I think I snagged this for $8) a year ago and it's been sitting on my shelf all this time. I am always into a good mystery and I remember thinking that when I bought this that people online talk about Tana French so I should probably read this.

The people were right. Tana French's writing style is magical, haunting, and so utterly interesting. I could not get over how different and exciting her writing was. If I could write like Tana French then I'll have reached the pinnacle of awesomeness. I don't think anyone could have accurately explained to me how her writing style is wonderful, so please, don't take my word for it. Please go read a book of hers for yourself.

This story is about a new officer who is looking to break into the Dublin Murder Squad. A former witness he knows comes to him with clues about a murder and he jumps in with one of the other detectives to try and solve it. The murder victim was a student who was found dead on the grounds of an all girls boarding school. The investigation takes them through the lives of teenage girls and all the mysteries that entails.

The book was written from the points of view of multiple characters, but in such a way that it just works. Getting the insight from all these different characters is great because there's so much going on that we really need to know what's happening in their heads.  Ordinarily I don't love it when author's do this, but in this book, it is perfect.

As far as mysteries go, it was a great one. I had no real idea who the murderer was until just before it was revealed in the book. I love it when I can't figure it out ahead of time. The trill of the hunt is always my favorite.

The Secret Place is actually the fifth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, but from what I read online, the books don't actually have to be read in order so I feel better about that. I will be reading more of her books because this one was just so great. I need more of her writing in my life!

Recommendation: For the mystery lovers, for the lovers of great writing, for the lovers of good stories... this is for you!