Senza categoria

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!

5 star, discussion, meme, non fiction, wrap up

Best books I’ve read so far (2020)

Hello readers! I began, a couple of weeks ago, to write the Mid-Year freak out book tag, but then I decided to change it to a simple best/worst books I’ve read so far, mostly because I’m not the tyoe of reader to know every single release of the year, and because I totally forgot nearly all the characters names of the books I’ve read.

So there you can find all the magnificent books I’ve read in the first half of 2020.

A lot of blue in those covers! We have historical fiction, middle grade, non-fiction. I’m gklad to have found new favorite authors (like Carl Ashmore) and to have the possibility to talk about these underrated titles.

And you, have you read great books during these months? Tell me in the comments!

Senza categoria, wrap up

December 2018 Wrap Up

Hello everyone! I’m here for the classic wrap up of the month, and I promised you that in the first days of January I will write the Best and The worst books of 2018. I usually write it in the new year, so I can include all the books I’ve read.

In december I read 7 books, 4 in Italian.

That are 2 best books this month, one Italian and one English: L’uomo che odiava Sherlock Holmes (The Sherlockian) and Clockwork Alchemist.

I also finished the nearly 500 pages of The Sinner. And it wasn’t as good as the Tv show.

Don’t eat the glowing bananas: well… it’s weird sci-fi, and it’s a genre that I didn’t like. But I like the cover. 2 stars

Clockwork Alchemist: I love a good old steampunk book. This book has not a great background, but the characters are so lovely. 5 stars.

A time traveller’s best friend: it’s sci-fi and I can’t relate to the characters. The chapters also seems disjointed. 2 stars.

I wish a Happy New Year to all of you!!

middle grade, review

Review: Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl

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Title: Cogheart (The Cogheart Adventures #1)

Author: Peter Bunzl

Genre: middle-grade, fantasy, steampunk

Publisher: Usborne

Pages: 366

Release date: September 1st 2016

Goodreads rating: 4.06

My rating: 3/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:

Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends—Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox—Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart. . . .

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.

Review:

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

Cogheart has a beautiful cover, and I’m always attracted by Steampunk books with beautiful covers. In this book we can find Zeppelin, mechanical animals and people,  skies battle.

“Broken clocks can always be fixed, but broken hearts are a harder thing to save”

However, this book has a lot of potentials, but has a big problem too: it’s so predictable.
If you have already read, like me, more than a couple of steampunk/middle-grade books, you can easily predict not only the main plot of this book, but like every single scene. During the entire book I was like: ok, I bet know they… And I was right. It’s so frustrating, and a bit annoying too.
And it’s so sad, because I found the emotions and the feelings very strong. The friendship between Lily and Robert is so sweet, and all the sidekicks are fantastic. Malkin is the usually sarcastic and wise animal sidekick, and it’s a fox! How cool is a mechanical fox?

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The robots that living in Lily’s house are all like a big family to her, and they are fantastic, my favourite characters of the book with Malkin. But as I said: we can immediately guess who is the evil guy; where is the Cogheart; who is willing to help our little heroes, etc.

Now, I know that I’ve read a lot of books, and I’m usually intuitive, and this can be a perfect book to a young reader who loves adventures and fantasy stories, but I’m feeling a little disappointed.
I’m not encourage to read the second book in the series.

Other books in the series:

Moonlocket

Skycircus

best book, Senza categoria, wrap up

November 2018 Wrap Up

And November is gone.

I read a total of 6 books on November, 3 written in English and 3 in Italian.

The Wild robot, by Peter Brown: well, I’m always the black sheep here, but I didn’t love this book. The illustrations are good, but the story is a little meh. 2,5 stars.

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl: a steampunk Middle grade with a lovely cover and a fantastic side kick animal, but oh, so predictable. 3 stars.

The Spyglass and the cherry tree by Matt Beighton: a really good MG/fantasy, you can read my review for the blog tour by clicking on the title. 3 stars.

It seems that November was dedicated to Middle grade books! However, the best book of the month is the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, that I have re-read in Italian!

How was your reading month? Do you plan some Christmas/winter theme reading?

best book, wrap up

March 2018 Wrap up

Hello everyone! How was your reading month?

I read a total of 10 books in March, but I DNF an italian one. ç__ç

How beautiful are the covers of this month? What’s your favourite?

I love the colours of How to be happy, but my steampunk heart is all for Nefertiti’s Heart.

If you want to read my review, click on the title of the book.

The last days of night by Graham Moore: my biggest disappointment of the month. So boring.

How to be happy by Eva Woods: a book about life and death, about happiness and sadness. I really like it!

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: well, I like it but not as much as everyone do. Sorry, I know I’m a weird. But I’m happy to have read it, finally!

Art in the blood by Bonnie MacBird: I love Sherlock Holmes, but I can’t stand boring books, I’m sorry. And this book was sooo boring! But look, a Sherlock GIF in my review!

The chess queen enigma by Colleen Gleason: this is the third book in the Stoker and Holmes series, one of my fave! I love Steampunk so much, and Colleen Gleason has created a beautiful world. Review to come.

Nefertiti’s Heart by A.W. Exley: as I said before, I love steampunk, but I really hate male MC in Christian Grey Style and not required romance/s*x scenes.

There’s a book that catch your attention?

 

5 star, review

The Last Necromancer, C.J. Archer, review

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The Last Necromancer (The Ministry of Curiosities #1)

Author: C. J. Archer

Pages: 270

Genre: YA, Historical fiction, steampunk

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon, BookDepository

Summary:

Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.
People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.
Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?
Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

Review:

London, 1889. Charlie Holloway is a young boy of 13 years old that lives on the street, a skinny thief with his little gang. But the real name of Charlie is Charlotte, a young woman of 18, whom father has abandoned when she has try to reclaim her mother’s soul with her necromancer powers, that she doesn’t know to possess.

Now that she has manifested her powers in a police station, mysterious men are chasing her.

Charlie is now at the Ministry of Curiosities, in a big and elegant house with Cook, the cook obviously; Seth and Gus the handymen and Lincoln Fitzroy, the leader. But living in a house full of men is not a problem, if they all thinking that you are a man too.

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“I wanted him to touch me, to hold me, to see me as a woman. Yet being discovered terrified me. The devil’s daughter was only good for doing the devil’s work.”
In this first volume, the action and the revelations are all in the beginning and in the ending, and all the book is about the interactions and the friendship between the characters. I can’t put it down!
Charlie is not the same MC of all the YA: she has a terrible past, but she is strong; she lives in the fear of her father, of her powers, and the fear of been discovered as a girl, but she’s also intelligent and brave.
The romance is little, there’s not instalove or love triangle! Lincoln is a dark character, fascinating and mysterious, but I adore Seth and Gus: Seth is sweet and gentle, and Gus seems to be rude and not polite, until the revelation. They are fantastic character!
I love the location and the setting too. It’s a dark London, divided between Necromancy and luxury, with a little touch of steampunk and kick ass girls.
Maybe the idea behind a ministery of curiosities, or paranormal activities is not the most original idea on the planet, but here is really well executed, and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series!
Oh, and we can’t forget about the one thing: finally in a YA book, someone (the author of course) reminds that the girls normally has periods. You know what I mean? Finally a main character that seems more human!

P.s.: the ebook is free on amazon!

Rating: 5/5

review

Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak, Review

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Beauty and Beastly (Steampunk Fairy Tales Series)

Author: Melanie Karsak

Pages: 162

Genre: Steampunk, romance

Rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Summary:

In this tale as old as time, Isabella Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.


When Isabelle and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle was thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying new ways to manipulate mechanicals sounded like a dream. But an unexpected gale turns the waters violent, and the ship is lost. Isabelle survives the tempest only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. Dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, the haunting place hints of a magical past. Isabelle may be an unwitting guest, but her arrival at the forgotten citadel heralds a new beginning for the beastly residents inside.

Beauty and Beastly is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale set in 1814 Regency England.

Review:

I can’t express how much I loved this book!

I read a lot of retelling in the past years, I even partecipate in a challenge based on retellings, and I never found one that I really really like. For example: I like the idea of Dorothy Must Die, but I didn’t like the MC.

But Isabelle Hawking is a great main character! She’s strong, and intelligent, she doesn’t despise the other girls, and she creates wonderful creations made of metal and music.

“How dare you presume to pick my rose. A rose by any other name would still spell damnation for us all.”

First of all: some of the chapters title are the same of the famous songs from the movies! I don’t know you, but I sing those songs a lot. No, I’m not a good singer.

Second: the author has turn down the Stockolm syndrome tipically associated with this tale. So we don’t have a Beast very angry, and bad and violent with Isabelle, and she isn’t a passive character. This is so important to me, because Melanie Karsak spread a great message with that: violence is not love.

Obviously, there is romance in this book, and drama and adventure, all mixed. I’m not a romantic girl, but I found it so cute!

The world that the author has written is beautiful: I have a special place in my heart for steampunk settings, and this is incredible. Just imagine the castle where the beast live, like in the last movie, but all made in metal, and clockwork. To this world, add some airship, fairies and Celtic folklore.

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All the female characters in the book are great: the fairy that has cast the spell on the castle, Isabelle, and Lily, an amazing airship’s captain that has her own adventure in another book, “Chasing The Star Garden”.

 

Other books in the series:

Curiouser and Curiouser

Ice and Embers