Monday, February 26, 2018

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

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Publication date: 2017
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 455
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 13+
Series: The Numair Chronicles

Before he was Numair, he was Arram, son of a draper and student of magic. When his talent with his Gift is discovered, he becomes friends with two other talented students. As he advances through the university, Arram meets gods, slaves, and talented magicians, all of who shape his world view as he learns what kind of person he wants to be. Will he stay with his friends or seek out the larger world?

The Tortall books were such a big part of my preteen and teen years. I still read them and love them. This book was exactly how I remember the other books to be. In a way, it was like being transported back to reading about Alanna when I was 12. I'm excited to learn more about Arram and how became the Numair I came to love in The Immortals series.

Even for those who are not familiar with the other series, this book would be a good place to start. There isn't really any prerequisite knowledge needed to enjoy this book, as it takes place before or during the events of the first Alanna book, but in a different country.

There were a few parts that seemed to drag a little, but that is really my only criticism.

There is some things of a sexual nature, but nothing graphic.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy

More info*
Publication date: 2017
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages: 305
My rating: 2.5 stars
Ages: 18+
Series: Mary Handley Mystery

When Mary Handley gets her next case, it seems to be a simple open and shut case of extramarital affair. But the discovery of her best friend's husband involved in the affair, a man following her, and a line of Jack-the-Ripper-like murders turns the case into something much more.

This book was pleasant enough to read, without being predictable. Because this was the third book in a series, it was hard to get into at first since I hadn't read the other books, but throughout the book I was given enough information to understand how Mary became a detective and other things that I had to know. However, as good as the story and mystery were, there was more that kept me from fully enjoying the novel.

My biggest critique is that the story seemed anachronistic in parts. This was mostly in word choice, but it could have easily been set in the present day with very little changes. Every time something occurred that seemed wrong for the late 19th century, it pushed me out of the story. The chronology also was hard to keep track of. I felt like Labor Day happened at least three times, because I had felt that we had already passed that point in the story before changing characters and then learning it was still Labor Day weekend. The characters were hard to keep track of too--there were so many of them and sometimes we'd go several chapters between them appearing or being mentioned so I would forget who they were. And then in a middle of the scene, the point of view would change from Mary to one of the other characters. I felt that the POV was set up to be the third person limited for Mary, and it was for most of the book, but several times it became omniscient. It was jarring.

There was liberal use of the f-word and sexual situations, including prostitution.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.