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Wrap up: May 2021

Hello readers!

We are finally in June, do you like the summer days or you prefer colder months like me? I suffer the heat, and I’m still waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine…

Anyway, in May I’ve read 11 books, with one DNF.

5 stars:

Only this book has gained 5 stars: Unlikely loves is so beautiful I’m still crying only thinking about it. It talks about love between different species of animals. One of my favorite stories is about a male zebra and a female donkey.

4 stars:

A prequel novella to The Lady Diviner series, A pendant for trouble tells us how Elinor well… gets in trouble (nothing serious) and how she turn to live in the country. I missed Miss Zooth here!

A collection of drawings by Dorè, all about London. Beautiful.

I found A ghost in the garden on Kindle Unlimited (Italy) and immediately began to read it (I read everything with ghosts) and I’ve loved it! Ruby and Nessa are hilarious MC, the story is interesting and captivating.

3 stars:

I’ve loved the previous two volumes of this series, but Murder at the mill was a little downhill for me. The murder was gruesome, but predictable, and Captain Redmond wasn’t on the scene for most of the book.

I wasn’t expecting much from Alex Van Helsing, Vampire Rising, but in fact is was really enjoyable and well written!

2 stars:

It pains so much to gave 2 stars to these 2 books: from The Devil apprentice I was expecting something different, more adult fantasy and more horror, but it reminds me a YA or older middle grade, and the plot wasn’t convincing me; the cover of The claws of evil is one of the best I’ve ever seen, but the plot is too similar to the movie “I, Frankenstein”. Like they are the same. And the MC isn’t too bright…

1 star + DNF:

The DNF of the month is The Hangman’s daughter: I was at about 30% of the ebook, and the daughter was in like… two pages? Also, I hate when the summary isn’t correct.

I’ve read Paper magician in italian, so I don’t know if it was also a problem of translation, but oh my, I hated Ceony. And the part inside the heart? So weird.

Dumas is one of my fave classic author, but L’assassinio di Rue Saint-Roch (Murder on Rue Saint-Roch) was just bad, always talking if was a copy of The murders on Rue morgue (Poe) or not. Poe was better Monsieur Dumas, I’m sorry.

How was your reading month? Have you read some beautiful books?

Tell me in the comments!

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Wrap Up: April 2021

Hello readers! I was trying to be more active on the blog… and I’ve failed. I’m sorry!

Anyway, in April I’ve read a total of 12 books with 1 DNF.

5 stars:

Only one book earns 5 stars this month: Empire of ruins is the third volume in the Hunchback Assignments series, and I’ve loved so much! Action, adventure, Egyptian ruins in Australia…

4 stars:

The last volume in the Art & Design dedicated to The Hobbit movies has plenty of awesome arts and details.

The audiobook version of The sleeper and the spindle was so good!

Modo: Ember’s end is a graphic novel featuring Modo and Octavia from The hunchback assignments series. It was fantastic!

3 stars:

Trapped in room 217 was another great volume in the Haunted States of America series. The setting is the notorious room 217 of The Stanley Hotel, Colorado. If you are a Stephen King fan, you know that hotel.

Island of doom, the last volume in The hunchback assignments series was a bit disappointing. I’ve read immediately after Empire of Ruins, but is seems like the author was in a rush to finish it. Too much drama between the characters too.

2 stars:

I’ve loved Bring me their hearts, the first volume of this series by Sara Wolf. So what happened here with Find me their bones? Why Zera, our Heartless MC has become a whiny girl with a love story “Twilight”style? Why the plot was so boring? I don’t know, but I don’t want to finish this series. Oh, and I really dislike the new covers!

Highgate is such an interesting and beautiful cemetery, and I was eager to read something set in this location, but Highgate by Struthers was a sad sad book with little to zero paranormal elements and a lot of violence against women.

The thorn queen is a strange book: beautiful cover, great prose, interesting plot… but with a confusing description of the characters and too many fantasy elements in a middle grade/YA book.

1 star/DNF:

The big bow mystery is the first locked-room mystery, as you can see on the cover, and it’s the last one (of this series) for me. Incredibly boring.

The bear who wouldn’t leave is a horror story with a possessed Teddy Bear. Too short to fully develop a plot.

And the DNF of the month is The Mangle Street murders! I can’t stand shitty male main characters and male authors who aren’t capable of writing female characters.

And that was my reading month! Hope yours was better than mine!

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Wrap Up: March 2021

Hello readers! March seems always eternal to me, like January XD

In March I managed to read 12 book with 1 DNF.

5 stars:

You can read my fangirling review of Constantine Capers here. I’ve loved it so much.

Even if I’ve read the first volume in Italian, I had to buy the other books in English, since they stopped publishing it in my country. The Sleepwalker tonic is even better than the first volume.

4 stars:

I’ve read My Fair Footman online, I really like the drawing style!

Everyone has read The Prince and the Dressmaker has loved it, and now I understand why!

3 stars:

Widdershins is loved and famous, but I didn’t felt the same love for it. It’s cute sometimes, but it’s also painful.

Miranda and Me is not exactly a book, but there are plenty of photos of dogs, and ducks, and I love dogs ❤

I’ve finally read the Italian version of Shakespeare’s Sonnets! Some of them are beautiful, but some of them are not translated in the best possible way.

The fear hunter is cozy mystery with a little bit of magic and a male love interest that’s like Dwayne The Rock Johnson, just in case you’re interested ;-p

2 stars:

I was super interested in Mama’s last hug, but I liked only the first and the second chapter. A lot of notions and “discoveries” are well known to every pet owner/lover, and I didn’t appreciated the mentions of experiments on the animals.

The sixth victim talks about the murders of Jack The Ripper… The second POV of the book is much more interesting that the one of MC.

1 star/DNF:

Hippo instead of horses or cars? Sounds good, right? Well, no.

Do you want to feel confused and in desperate need of taking notes because the plot is absurdly complicated? Welcome to The Hotel Between!!

And that was my reading month! How was yours?

Tell me in the comments!

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ARC Review: Constantine Capers, the Pennington Perplexity

Title: Constantine Capers: The Pennington perplexity

Author: Natalie Brianne

Expected publication: March 16th 2021

Genre: historical fiction, crime, romance, steampunk.

Trigger warning: death, memory loss, kidnapping, violence, blood.

Add on: Goodreads

Goodreads rating: 4.33/5

My rating: 5/5

Summary:

You wouldn’t expect a detective with Sherlockian deductive skills to have amnesia, but Byron Constantine is hardly the detective you’d expect.

London 1888

Aspiring artist Mira Blayse isn’t concerned with upper-tier society or conforming to Victorian expectations—she has a murder to solve. At least, she thinks it was murder. Her parents’ deaths in 1870 couldn’t have been by accident, but the more she investigates, the less she seems to find. Sitting at a café, she sketches a mysterious stranger, not realizing that she’s penciling in the features of the man who will help her solve the case once and for all.

Byron Constantine lives day-to-day, desperately trying to hold onto his memories, only for them to slip through his fingers. Some days, he doesn’t even know that he’s lost four years of his life. As he manages to continue his work as a private detective, he realizes that maybe he doesn’t need his memory after all. That is until he wants to remember Mira Blayse.

With her keen eye for detail and his remarkable deductive skills, the two become entangled in a criminal investigation. As they uncover the secrets of the past, they must work together to stop history from repeating itself again.

Review:

I absolutely adored this book! I usually like historical crime fiction, so I was expecting to enjoy it, but in the end I was totally in love with the characters, in particular with Byron Constantine, the male MC. It’s unusual for me to fell in love with a character like this, but believe me, even if he has memory loss, Byron is a gentleman, kind and honest soul. He is protective and attentive to Mira, and he worries for her cat, Nero, all alone at home without food.

As an owner of a black cat too (Hello Kiki!) I found lovely and admirable to integrate so much Nero in the plot. So basically, everytime Nero or Byron where on the scene I was like this:


Even if I’m not good at drawing, I instantly feel a connection with Mira too, the female MC, with her personality, her strenght and her independence!
The mystery is well developed, captivating and intense, but the strong part of this book, for me, is about the characters.
All of them are well described, with a unique voice. You can tell the difference between them even from the dialogues, as it will always be, as it is in the real world.

The historical part, and even the fantasy/steampunk one is well researched. It’s set in 1888, so my weird part obsessed with Jack The Ripper is satisfied too.
I totally recommend this book to all the historical fiction lovers! And I can’t wait for a new installment!
Thanks a lot to Natalie for writing such an amazing book, definitely will be one of my fave reads of 2021! And thanks to Booksirens for another amazing ARC.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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The Cecil Hotel: Netflix + GA documentaries

Hello readers! I’m here today to talk about 2 documentaries I recently view, both of them on the infamous hotel situated in Los Angeles: The Cecil Hotel.

The first is the show on Netflix called Crime Scene: The vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.

I heard about this case from GA (Ghost Adventures), but it was interesting to know more about the vanishing of Elisa Lam.

There are facts, interviews with detectives, employeers of the hotel, and a conclusion that I didn’t like. I wouldn’t talk about it to not spoiler, but it doesn’t sound true for me.

The second series is the special episode of Ghost Adventures that you can watch on Discovery+. I can’t find a trailer on Youtube, sorry, but there’s the complete episode, if you don’t have Discovery+.

I’m a fan of Ghost Adventures for years, and I really liked this episode. When the medium steps in some rooms and gets some intense reactions it really scares me. The Cecil hotel has a sad past and lot of murders and suicide had taken places there. It’s not a Hotel I will be staying in! It has definitely something dark and sinister, even with that beautiful art decò hall.

As for the conclusion of the investigation of the murder of Elisa Lam, my opinion is a blend of the explanations between the two documentaries. If you are interested, on Youtube you can find a lot of paranormal videos about the hotel, and some experts (psychologists, detectives, etc…) talking about the Netflix show and analizing the people inteviewed there.

Please pay attention, as both the documentaries shows scenes of death, suicide, drugs, guns, rape and blood. They aren’t suitable for younger viewers.

Have you seen this shows? What you think about it?

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Wrap Up: February 2021

Hello readers! My birthday (27th Feb.) has passed, and I’m an year older. I’m finally on track with my Goodreads challenge, but I had to leave another year long reading challenge because no one was listening to the participants, and I can’t stand that. If a lot of people is telling you there’s a problem, you can’t just dismiss them like they are stupid. It’s offensive.

In February I’ve read a total of 11 books!

5 stars:

It’s officially: I want to live in Nocturnia with Amelia and all her friends! But I also want to time travel with Becky, Joe and Uncle Percy like in The Time hunters and the spear of fate and live an incredible adventure in ancient Egypt!

And what can I say about Murder at the abbey? It’s even better than the first volume of the series!

4 stars:

I’ve finally managed to read V for Vendetta! I love the movie, and the graphic novel is really good, but not suitable for younger readers.

2 stars:

As you can see, a lot of books are only 2 stars for me this month: Beware the Bell Witch wasn’t good as the one about Robert the Doll written by the same author; These deathless bones has an amazing cover, but the story is so dark and twisted; Firefly Hollow had the potential to be a great MG, but the names of the characters are confusing; another hyped books I didn’t like is And I Darken (great plot, can’t stand the MC); Hell blade/Jack the Ripper 1 is the first volume of a manhwa, it doesn’t explain much and is super splatter; and last there is Kitty Hawk and the curse of the Yukon Gold, where I was expecting an historical setting, I found myself bored by the MC.

1 star:

There’s a reason if The Atrocities has only 3.19 of total rating on Goodreads. Because it’s bad.

Hope next month will be better!

Have you read some amazing books during February? Tell me in the comments!

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Characters of The Year Tag (2020)

Hello readers! I’ve found this great tag on And On She Reads, and I’ve decided to do it even if I’m not tagged!

Questions:

Favourite Male Character Of The Year:
My choice is not the best looking, sexy or similar character, no, my choice is Uncle Percy from the Time Hunters saga. An uncle sweet and caring, with an enormous manor house and who is a time traveller. Love him.

Favourite Female Character Of The Year:
Charley Steel from S.C.R.E.A.M. series and Amelia Fang are my choices for favourite female of the year. The first one is a disabled MC really strong and brave, the second is sweet, caring and I love the illustrations!

Most Relatable Character Of The Year:
I think that both Book Love and The worrier’s guide to life are really relatable to me!XD

Couple Of The Year:
I don’t usually read romance, so between Middle grade books and horrors is difficult to find a couple… but Parish Constable Daniel Haze and his wife (obviously I can’t remember her name) from Murder in the crypt are a couple that I really liked.

Villain Of The Year:
Well, this is easy: the vampires from Dracul by Stoker/Barker. I can’t write the names because they’re spoilers, but rest assure they are scary and evil vampires.

Most Disliked Character Of The Year:
Everyone and everything in Il Diavolo ai giardini Cavour (The devil at Cavour’s gardens). It’s a crime/supernatural set in my city (Torino, Italy) but every citizen is portrayed so bad! One is super arrogant, another is a liar… I can’t stand them.

Royal Of The Year:
Again, not a lot of royals for me… The one that is nearly royalty is Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield from Ella, The slayer, a retelling of Cinderella.

Sidekick / Non-Main Character Of The Year:
Samira and Blitzen from Magnus Chase and the Sword of summer! I love every side kick character in Riordan books, they are unique and great as the MC!

Siblings Of The Year:

Again I need to say The Time Hunters saga, because there are Becky and Joe, who apparently doesn’t get along well but are always there for each other, for their Uncle Percy and for thier friend Will.

Favourite Friendship:

I added this question because, for me, friendship is just as important as love, and there are a lot of books with great friends. Modo and Octavia from The Hunchback assignments are an unlikely couple of friends; Sophie, Hattie and Owen from A New Friend are adorable and perfect for children; Redmond and Haze are first collagues then friends, both likeable and kind characters.

That’s it!

Have you done this tag? I will love to read your answers, so feel free to do this tag if you liked or to leave a link to your post!

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Wrap Up: January 2021

Hello readers, I know I’m terribly late! I’m sorry, the days are too short and I have too much to do!

Anyway, welcome to the first wrap up of 2021! January was a good month for reading, I’ve read a total of 11 books, but there was the first DNF of the year too. And it’s a well known and loved title…

5 stars:

My very first read of this year is Allowed to grow old: read it if you love animals and if you want to cry over tearful stories and beautiful portraits of pigs, donkeys, etc…

I received The Lady Jewel Diviner through Booksirens as an ARC, and I’ve loved it so much!! It’s a regency mystery with a touch of supernatural and a little romance!

4 stars:

The audiobook version of The Steam Whistle Theatre company was really funny and entertaining!

It was a really long time since I’ve read a manga, and My Brother’s husband was a cute story! I will definitely continue reading this series!

3 stars:

I’ve read every single volume of Topolino for more than 10 years, then I stop. I casually saw this special Christmas edition, and can’t help myself.

I’m fascinated by spiritism and I’m a fan of Conan Doyle, so I had to read Through a glass, darkly. Interesting, but I was expecting more.

Bizarre England is a funny guide about strange/bizarre and weird location in England. I need to visit some of the places mention in here!

Unfortunately, The Hanged man is the first volume of a series without the sequels. It was a bit confusing sometimes, but the supernatural gift of the main character was well descripted.

2 stars:

Real haunted ouija boards wasn’t good as the others in the series, like Real Haunted cemeteries. I think I’m done with this author.

1 star/DNF:

I’m done with urban fantasy/comedy about Lucifer or angels or whatever. I never found it funny, except for Good Omens. So Clovenhoof is probably the last one.

L’orso e l’usignolo is the Italian version of The Bear and the Nightingale. I had to DNF because I couldn’t stand the MC and there were a lot of discrepancies in the plot, I don’t know if it’s just a problem of translation, but I hate them.

And that’s all! How was your reading month?

Tell me in the comments!

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Series I want to finish in 2021 #1

Hello readers!

At the beginning of the year, a thought crossed my mind: how many series I’ve began and never finish? I’m not good at finish series/things. I have a fear that the ending will ruin my experience with that story, and ending always make me sad.

But I already own the last volume of some of these series, so this year I will try and finished them.

That’s the first post about them, and it will focuses on the series with only a volume left for me to read.

The Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason

What I’ve read:

These 4 books are so beautiful, full of adventures, strong female characters and Steampunk vibes, and only The Zeppelin deception waits for me.

The StoneHeart trilogy by Charlie Fletcher:

What I’ve read:

This is a trilogy, I simply put both the italian and the original covers side by side. An adventurous middle grade trilogy, perfect if you love the city of London!

I still need to read the last one, Silvertongue, or as you can see down below, Demone di Ghiaccio (Ice Demon) it’s the Italian translation. WTF is wrong with Silvertongue?? The original cover is much better, in my opinion!!

The Hermux Tantamoq series by Michael Hoeye

What I’ve read:

How beautiful are those vintage style covers?? I’m totally in love with them! The english titles are: Time stops for no mouse / The sands of time / No time like show time.

This is a middle grade series about a mouse who is a watchmaker, lives in a city full of mice, rats, squirrels etc… and who has a ladybug has a pet. Incredibly cute!!

Il tempo delle rose (Time to smell the roses) is the last volume in the series.

And that’s all for this first post! Do you have some series you need to finish? Tell me in the comments!