Book 488: Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, #2) – Janet Mullany

Of course after finishing Jane and the Damned, we all knew I was going to go right into its sequel Blood Persuasion. Why slog through a novel that has issues when you can read paranormal Jane Austen fan fiction?! All you readers out there should be happy I’m only half serious about this. If I weren’t this would basically just be a Jane Austen fan-fiction love fest all the time.

Whereas Jane and the Damned was full of action and adventure, this one was a let down. I didn’t know this was a let down until I just now started writing this post and started to compare it to the first novel in the duology. That’s sad to think about, but not really surprising when so many sophomore novels and/or middle books in trilogies wind up disappointing.

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Book 487: Jane and the Damned (Immortal Jane Austen #1) – Janet Mullany

Only a very small part of me wishes I could say this was the first Jane Austen/Vampire fiction mash-up I’ve read. I can’t even lie and say this is the second. I read the Jane Fairfax trilogy by Michael Thomas Ford (Jane Bites BackJane Goes Batty, and Jane Vows Vengeance) back in 2015, so I guess in my weird little world I was overdue. Strangely enough, the trilogy Ford wrote could easily be a continuation of this trilogy if the two books end with Jane staying a vampire, and that would be hilarious, to me at least.

Jane and the Damned has been on my shelf for almost SIX years. I didn’t realize that until I just searched the blog to see if it was on here already. I ended up blazing through it this past weekend because we went to the park to enjoy the weather for a few hours. I needed something quick and either a physical book or on my Kindle because the galley I’m reading is on my iPad and those are not great to read outside.

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Book 476: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Original Screen Play – J.K. Rowling

rowling-j-k-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-newt-scamander-1I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. See the movie and if you enjoy it, read this. (Also how adorable this is posting on Valentine’s Day – Newt and Tina 4ever!)

I don’t know why I loved this so much. I think it’s because I was so disappointed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that this one stood out for me. Don’t get me wrong though Cursed was okay, but it just wasn’t up to the same standard as the original seven books.

I fell in love with Newt and Tina when I saw the movie. I saw it four times in the theatre (yeah I know right?) and each time I found more to enjoy, just like the original books every time I re-read them. I know there were some plot holes and I know there were things people didn’t like, but for me it was perfect. The awkwardness of Newt and Tina and all the other characters just made me grin like an idiot.

Recommendation: As if you need to ask. READ IT. I found this a fast and delightful read. It also allowed me to actually understand a few lines where it was either hard to hear or I was distracted by something on screen.

Book 462: The Courtesan – Alexandra Curry

curry-alexandra-the-courtesanWhen Dutton reached out to me about a copy* of this book for its new paperback release I jumped at it because of my trip to China this summer! What I didn’t realize was that it was predominantly set in two of the cities I visited: Suzhou and Beijing! It was really neat to read through the fictionalized life of Sai Jinhua and actually feel like I know what and where she was talking about for the post part!

This is a debut novel that I probably would not have read just because I don’t read too many, but with my trip to China, the cover and having someone reach out to me about it, I figured I would give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Add in that the book also featured a subplot line about the one non-English classic from Asia I chose for my Classics Club list: Dream of the Red Chamber and it was well worth the read.

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Book 459: Girl Underwater – Claire Kells

kells-claire-girl-underwaterI’m not one to generally read debut novels unless I hear from a friend that it’s great. However, with all of the great books coming out of Dutton recently, when they reached out to me about this one and I was intrigued by the blurb, I of course said yes.*

This being said, I of course probably should’ve re-read the blurb on the back before I started, but I didn’t and it was a bit of a shocker to all of a sudden be thrown into a plane crash! But if I would’ve re-read the blurb I would’ve remembered that it was set in Boston, and a large part of my excitement reading the book would’ve been lost! Thankfully, it was well written and interesting AND I got to experience the Boston portions as if I had NO idea (because I didn’t) that they were there! Seriously, she spent a half page on Anna’s Taqueria! [Anna’s website] Swoon!

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Book 454: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)Where do I begin with this?

It’s very rare that a series starts off and continues to pick up steam the entire way through. In my previous experience, there is usually a middle-book slump. In the case of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy the middle book of the trilogy, Shadow of NIght, was the stand out, followed closely by The Book of Life and in a distant third, the trilogy opener A Discovery of Witches.

This could be because the entire series takes place over about a year (give or take a few months because of time travel), but more than likely I think it has to do with the amount of action continuously increasing as the series moved forward. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing as I’ll talk about below, but that’s my conjecture. Continue reading

Book 453: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)Picking up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off we are right back in the story of Diana and Matthew! It’s hard to hide spoilers, especially the one at the end of the first book because it sets up the entire second book, so if you plan on reading the series skip my response!

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but I am a little surprised at how much I enjoyed book two of the All Souls Trilogy. For everything that was missing in book one, Harkness made a great effort to bring it back to this book. She reined in the over descriptions, she brought a little more sass to her characters, and she wrote 16th century Europe wonderfully. Continue reading