Ella Gray writes urban fantasy and steampunk stories that feature strong female voices, complex friendships, fighting tyranny, and lots of balloons.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't read a lot of YA, but I'm really glad I read this one. The story was unique, and the language and tone the author uses to describe the harsh and beautiful island of Thisby is truly enchanting.
Sean and Puck are bold and layered characters despite their relative youth, unlike the angsty bad attitudes I associate with a lot of YA these days. I found myself getting quite attached to both of them and their steeds as the book progressed and there were some very emotional vibes that stuck with me.
The build up to the race was well done. You know exactly what these two people are racing for and how desperately they both need to win, yet only one of them can come out on top. Ultimately, it's a story about fighting for what you want and discovering what you really need. The ending is both heart-breaking and completely satisfying.
I would love to see more stories about this world, but for now, I'm going to run out and find everything I can by this author, LOL.
View all my reviews Dark Descendant by Jenna Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the type of urban fantasy I really like. It's not focused on romance, the characters are layered and interesting, and the heroine is competent without being over-the-top snarky. Even though Nikki is a P.I. (which is a very common career for UF protags), there was some effort to explain how that choice was a natural part of her latent supernatural abilities. It was clever and like most of the story didn't come off as forced or trite.
Dark Descendant is the first installment in a series, and sets up the world nicely, throwing the heroine into the fray almost immediately. The mythology incorporates gods and traditions from several ancient sources. Best of all, every character is unique and nobody is purely good, making room for lots of complicated relationships and situations.
I'll definitely check out more from this series.
View all my reviews "The Tibetan Book of the Dead": A Biography by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a short, fast read full of lots of fun history concerning the texts known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It does hit on some key points of Tibetan Buddhism and history, but it also discusses certain beliefs and activities of late 19th/early 20th century occultists. Enlightening and enjoyable.
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