Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why did I wait so long to read this? What an excellent debut novel!

I truly enjoyed just about everything about this book (even and except the photographs). The photos were helpful and creepy at the same time. In the beginning they really freaked me out, especially the one of the "monster" and the ones of the children, but as the book went on they really illustrated what was happening and gave me an image in my head to focus on as I followed along with the story.

The book starts off chillingly enough. The reader quickly understands that the monsters Abe (Jacob's grandfather) is talking about are real - not just Nazis but something else. I think Jacob realizes this as well, subconsciously, but just refuses to believe it. While he may long for an extraordinary life, he is used to the mundane and doesn't quite want to think that his grandfather's stories are true.

But the monster he sees in the woods after he finds his grandfather is real enough, whether he is talked out of it by a psychiatrist or not. And the idea of that monster was enough to give me the creeps. I was actually expecting a lot more of a horror book, but it quickly turned into a creepy fantasy, which is much more my speed and made me very happy.

I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read it yet (I know several of my friends have this on their To Read list and I don't want to ruin it for them), so I will just say that the twist at the end involving the bad guys really was well-done and unexpected. Never in a million years would I have seen that coming!

Recommended to everyone who can handle a little bit of monsters, a little bit of creep, and a lot of great writing and storytelling. I've seen comments about a second book and a movie (holy cow), which would be awesome, but even if it were left as a stand-alone I would be completely satisfied with the ending.

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Review: Behind the Throne

Behind the ThroneBehind the Throne by Chad Denton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was sent this for free by the author.

Behind the Throne is a great look at the power that came from queens and mistresses in European history. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about people I never knew had existed, and the power they held in relation to their kings and the people around them. It is disconcerting to know that many of them died with ruined characters or despised by the people and/or their families. Some of them, luckily, were beloved until the end.

Since this book lacked a serious copy-editor, I believe that it could be much better if given a good clean-up. I strongly urge a publisher to give it the attention it deserves, as I really enjoyed reading it and would love to see it out in a formal format. Note to Chad: If you want help editing, I would be glad to do it ;)

If you can get your hands on it, give Behind the Throne a shot.

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Review: Love on the Run

Love on the Run (Nola O'Grady, #4)Love on the Run by Katharine Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just gets better and better! In the 4th installment of the Nola O'Grady books, Nola is yet again fighting back against the forces of Chaos and those who would harm her family.

Here is my unapologetic disclaimer: I love Katharine Kerr's works. At least everything that I've read, anyway. I don't think I've ever been disappointed. There, I've said it. Maybe I'm biased, but I really LOVE this series. I can't get enough of Nola and Ari! It's a fun adventure with a lot of serious thought-provoking themes and ideas. The book doesn't take its vague genre seriously, and the frequent mention of psychic squids makes me giggle. I love it at the end when Nola gets so tired of seeing them that she orders calamari and eats it in front of the apparitions, making them nervous, and then blows the squid-smell at them until they go away. HI-larious!

THERE ARE SOME MINOR SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT

After someone tries to kill Nola's sister Maureen on the night of Nola's engagement party, she is thrust into further danger on the deviant world levels. Traveling between One, Three and Six, Nola and Ari investigate the collapsing of the gates, the murder of a TWIXT agent, and Maureen's ex-boyfriend who has a vendetta against her for leaving him. Trying to balance her family's outrageous problems, her relationship with Ari, and all the action on the deviant world levels could make a normal person go nuts. Nola, on the other hand, sure knows how to handle herself.

I did a beta read of this book before it was published, and there were definitely some noticeable changes and improvements. I appreciate knowing how Cam and everyone else know that their Nola is dead. It was heartbreaking to see them realize that our Nola was not the same person, and yet Cam's denial was more genuine this read. The timing problem for me, where I wasn't sure how long a time span this was all happening in, was fixed and definitely made much more sense. Now I can see it takes place over a period of a few weeks, as opposed to what I couldn't tell were days or months.

Overall, this is yet another fantastic installment of a great series I can't get enough of. I highly recommend it to all fans of fantasy, urban fantasy, even mystery. It has just enough action, romance, humor, and thoughtfulness to get you through. If you haven't read from the beginning, start with License to Ensorcell.

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Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes. ...