*I received all of these books from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. (Yes, this is VERY late, I haven’t had a lot of time to review as much as I would like) *
1. The Silvered Serpents- Roshani Chokshi
A wonderful sequel to The Gilded Wolves, a heist novel featuring a diverse cast. This one was more a quest to seek an artifact that was thought to have been lost to the past. The cast is just as diverse as before and I love them. I love how they interact with the world around them and even though it stands it how it stands against them, yet they still stand up to it, and its prejudices. The ending of the first book in the series broke me.
These characters have already gone through so much and the author, Roshani Chokshi, just keeps putting them THROUGH IT. There were also some twists and moments that I was not expecting. I felt so much for Severin, Laila, Enrique and Zofia. I know that they are all very flawed, but that is what makes them even better. Also, THERE’S A NEURODIVERGENT CHARACTER? Like, an ACTUAL neuro-divergent character, not a caricature. This character was accepted and accommodated and it wasn’t a bother? I love to see diverse ethnicities and types of characters.
Maybe it’s because I’m already so attached to these characters, but regardless, I can’t wait for the third book in this series. I thought that this was a duology, but it’s a trilogy, so that was certainly a nice surprise. Speaking of the ending, I felt like this kinda just ended? It was a little anti-climactic and it felt like there were significantly more lose ends. Hopefully all of these will be answered in the next book in the series.
One last thing, I think the writing in this is also gorgeous. It’s not overly flowery, but it’s still gorgeous. I think the author does a really good job of conveying feelings and emotions in her prose.
I know that a lot of people compare the first book to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but it’s nothing like that. Those books are compared because they have character groups that are found family partaking in a heist. The magical system here is totally different. The characters themselves are also different (and diverse). It can certainly appeal to those who like SOC, but don’t feel like it’s going to be exactly the same. I’m really happy I got the opportunity to read this. You can get it now at some of the links below 🙂
2. The Wicked Hour- Alice Blanchard
This is the second book in the series (?), so TECHNICALLY, you can read this one without reading the first one, Trace of Evil, but you’ll be missing out on some pretty vital background information about why the characters react the way that they do.
That being said, this is a series about Natalie Lockhart, a rookie detective in the town of Burning Lake. Historically this town saw the burnings of witches so they have a tourist industry surrounding it. Each of these books follows a different case as the BLPD solves it.
Overall, I felt like the mystery was good and well thought out. The characters are fleshed out, but I felt like the middle of this one was a little slow, at least compared to the first one. This one also ended with a cliffhanger that makes me think that there is going to be more books in this series. Since this is a mystery/thriller book, I don’t want to say more due to spoilers, but I’d definitely recommend this to those who are into cozy mysteries or crime/police thrillers.
3. We are the fire- Sam Taylor
I wrote a whole review for the Book Tour of this that can be found here
4. The vanished birds- simon jimenez
This one was really good and definitely one that I enjoyed. The characters were very different and each had their own very distinct voices. I liked each perspective and didn't prefer one over the other. The plot was interesting and the interweaving timelines and vignettes that all fused together at the end to make the complex story had this as a book I will recommend. . The sci-fi elements kept me hooked. I highly recommend this one. Explaining what exactly it's about is... hard? I would recommend reading the synopsis and seeing if that's something that intrigues you because explaining WHAT exactly this is takes a lot of stepping around spoilers and the synopsis does it better than anything I could ever do.
5. The Vanished Queen – Lisbeth Campbell
This one was unfortunately, not for me. I was bored throughout, and felt like the only thing that was getting me through it was the only thing that was getting me through this one. I felt like it may have been building up to this large climax that just never happened. One thing I do like about it is that there is bi-sexual representation with one of the main characters, and there is also the world is queer normalized. I liked the world that the author built.
The characters were okay. The villain felt like he was evil for the sake of being evil. I wish his motivations had been explored a little bit more, because it really felt like he was evil just because he needed to be.
Just because I didn’t love this one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try! This one was very character driven, so if you love stories like that, I would definitely recommend it!