How is it already the end of March? 😮 This month has gone by so quickly. Between job interviews and some frustrating Life Stuff™, I’ve been keeping busy. But here are some mini-reviews of the books I’ve read this month — and lucky for me, all of them were four- or five-star reads!
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Have you ever read a book that you loved so, so much that you’re just… at a loss for words? I finished reading Wicked Saints at the beginning of March, and it’s taken me nearly the entire month to figure out what to say about it. In short: It’s phenomenal. ❤️ While I’ve seen plenty of comparisons made between it and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone Trilogy — and I can understand why — this book seemed more reminiscent of Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless. And much like Deathless, I could probably gush about it until the literal end of time. It feels like Duncan peered down into my soul and wrote the book that I’ve always wanted to read. If you like books with blood magic, love-to-hate romance, monstrous boys, bisexual princes who love (many, many) good drinks, morally gray EVERYTHING, and cliffhanger endings that leave you lying on the floor, wondering what you’re going to do with your life until the next book comes out… READ THIS BOOK.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
After finishing Wicked Saints, I had a terrible book hangover. So, what did I do? Read a book that Emily A. Duncan herself recommended. And it did not disappoint. Greta Helsing is a doctor who treats the “differently alive” — vampires, were-creatures, mummies, ghouls… Even though she’s a human, it’s the family business, and she’s damn good at what she does. Throw in a delightfully-domestic vampire who makes tiramisu and latte art, uses Bumble and bumble hair products, and writes passive-aggressive letters to newspaper editors; an ex-demon with a chronic cough, a penchant for wearing pinstripe suits, and a certain friend he simply refers to as “Sam” (😈); a vampyre (there is a difference!) with gothic good looks and a not-so-small crush that turns him into an adorably-embarrassed mess; and a museum curator with a peculiar family history. Oh, and some homicidal monks with glowing eyes and very stabby weapons. 🗡 I couldn’t put it down! If you like urban fantasy, definitely give it a go.
Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
The follow-up to Strange Practice, Dreadful Company begins in Paris, with Greta and Ruthven attending an opera at the legendary Palais Garnier. The rest, as they say, is spoiler-y. But there’s a bloodthirsty vampire coven, some bizarre-yet-adorable wellmonsters, one precious cinnamon roll of a werewolf, psychopomps, summoning spells, The Phantom of the Opera (YEP), and some famous, sassy ghosts. And did I mention the world’s on the verge of ending? 😬 Although I really enjoyed this book, and I think Shaw did an excellent job of building on the events of Strange Practice and introducing new, compelling characters, there were a few parts that seemed a little slow. But I can’t wait for the next book in this series, Grave Importance, which comes out later this year. A luxury spa for mummies! Dr. Faust! More Greta and Varney! ❤️
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
I decided to reread this gem of a book for a few reasons. The first is that I’m going to be meeting Margaret Rogerson next month (YAY YAY YAY), and the second is that it’s one of my favorite comfort reads. For me, some books are more immersive than others, and this one truly transports me from this world to another. Rogerson’s writing is lush and lyrical, the world of Whimsy is so detailed it feels real, and although the book is on the shorter side, so much happens over the course of Isobel and Rook’s journey. And Rook… Where do I even begin? 🧡 Although he’s one of the fair folk, he’s so much more than he appears — proud, occasionally self-absorbed, adorable, sweet, at turns bewildered and bewildering… Sure, there’s some hints of instalove here and there, but unlike other books that utilize that trope, for whatever reason, I didn’t mind it at all. He and Isobel are just too stinkin’ cute. And I adore Gadfly. He’s a secondary character, but from the moment you meet him, he practically preens right off the page. 😄 If you’re looking for a magical, beautifully-written book that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, look no further.