Hello everyone, and can I just say what a stressful last few weeks we’ve all been having. My reading is way down and I’m guessing this is the same for many people. We had 8 reviews linked in March and 7 books, so thank you to those who have managed to read and add their books.
We had 2 reviews for Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans, this is a YA/LGBT/fantasy novel. The Burgeoning Bookshelf says “I absolutely loved this magical and tender story. Alison Evans has a wonderful way of expressing feelings and emotions. and “Euphoria Kids is a tender, touching story seeped with magic bringing to life the earth, the plants and all things magical. I finished this book wanting more!”
Jennifer says “This is a beautiful story of acceptance, identity, and magic. Iris wants to help Babs have her curse removed. And while they are working out how, they meet a boy. The Boy hasn’t yet worked out who he is and doesn’t initially have his real name. The three of them work together, exploring a magical world. Each of them has a parent or parents. Respectful, kind parents who care. This is a wonderful YA book: Babs, Iris and The Boy look out for each other. Especially as Babs is drawn into The Realm, a magical dark place which they’ve been warned to stay away from. Can Babs find the witch who cursed her, and have the curse removed? Will The Boy find himself? Can Iris hang onto their friends? Ms Evans writes: ‘I want people to know about gender euphoria. I want them to learn about it before gender dysphoria. I want young trans kids that will read this book to be proud of who they are, and imagine wonderful magic lives for themselves.’ Me too.” This is definitely one I want to read after reading both of these reviews.
Esme’s Gift by Elizabeth Foster was reviewed again, this time by The Burgeoning Bookshelf who said “The story has plenty of action and danger with splashes of humour interspersed throughout. As well as magic a slight paranormal element is introduced into the story. The city of Esperance is well developed and exquisitely described. Esme’s gift is another enthralling installment in the Esme series and I’m hoping for more inclusion of the dragons in the next book.” and by The Book Muse who says “The strength of this book and its relationships are through the friendships that Esme makes – especially her friendship with Lillian and Daniel, and the way Lillian’s mother cares for all three of them. It is really wonderful to read an upper middle grade to younger YA book where the focus is friendship – we definitely need more of these stories for teenagers to show that romantic relationships – whatever shape they take – are not the only ones worth depicting in literature.” I have the first two books in this series to read and I can’t wait to get to them.
The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller was reviewed by The Book Muse who says “Wow, what a book! This was very different to what I have read in the past, yet using fantasy, fairy tale, and folk tale elements combined with elements of real world Russia, and feels like its set in the early decades of the twentieth century, but in a fantasy setting, the events and technology that exist in this world could be vastly different to what we know. This is what makes it even more inviting and intriguing and allows the reader to be immersed within a fantastical world that has elements of darkness yet also is a story of female empowerment and courage. And of course, maps.”
The Cobra Queen by Tara Moss is the fourth book in the Pandora English series, it is a fabulously fun supernatural new adult romance oozing female empowerment and open-mindedness. Joanne @Book Lover Reviews says “The Cobra Queen is a supernatural new adult romance… and yes, this is not a genre I commonly read. Am so glad I did – what a fabulously fun read! I flew through The Cobra Queen in a single day. Joining this series at Book 4 proved no problem at all; Moss quickly providing all the back story I needed to acclimate to the curiously quirky supernatural influences in Pandora’s Manhattan lifestyle. While very much a stepping stone in the continuing Pandora English Series, Tara Moss’ The Cobra Queen is a highly entertaining and emotionally satisfying escape from the real world. Sign me up for the next one!”
The Trespassers by Meg Mundell makes a reappearance with a review by Cass Moriarty who says”The Trespassers includes themes of greed, global manipulation and control, migration and border security fears, exile, belonging, and the age-old search for a safe place to land. The messages in this novel, both overt and subtle, and the themes it addresses, are multilayered and complex. But they are brought into sharp focus by the spotlight on the main characters, who are well-drawn and defined, engaging and moving. This is a book filled with compassion and with wise questions about who we are as a country and as a global population, how far we would go in the face of fear and how deeply the roots of corruption and political and economic greed are spread. By confronting us with issues of corporate and nationalistic domination, and contempt for the most basic needs – food, shelter, medical care, security – it asks us all: where is our humanity?”
I read The Hidden Kingdom series, a MMFMM reverse harem fantasy romance series by L Rose, which I really enjoyed. “I really enjoyed this series, there were plenty of different types of nonhuman beings, in Paige’s group alone there was a vampire, magician, ghoul, elf and wolf shifter. There is plenty of action, plenty of sex and plenty of bad guys to fight, book 1 ended in a cliffhanger, so I was forced to download book 2 immediately to see what happened next and then the same for book 3 because I couldn’t be left hanging after investing so much of my time into these characters.” my full review here.
Lastly we have The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte which was reviewed by The Book Muse, this is one that is on my TBR list. The Book Muse says “It’s great to see the Australian literary landscape across the board booming and growing, especially with fantasy. The Vanishing Deep is a fantasy set in a future where the landscape and world – presumably somewhere like Australia, has been adversely affected by rising sea levels. The unsettling feeling of a world engulfed in water is filled with senses – the salty smell of the sea, a constant feeling of being wet, intermittent sounds of silence and swirling waves, and fishy and salty tastes, all work together with the words on the page and a sense of distress and foreboding for what is going to happen to make this a high stakes story that is fast paced and can be very hard to put down. This makes it thrilling and exciting as well, and I am sure will find readers amongst young adult, fantasy and many other audiences. As this is a stand-alone, the story is encapsulated within wholly, and manages to combine themes of friendship and family in a way that gives hope to the reader, even in a world where things have gone horribly wrong.”
Some really great books this month despite numbers being low again. I hope April brings some time for each of us to read a few great books. I wish you all a safe month xx