Review: Anvil Soul

cover100143-medium.pngFather James O’Ryan has lived his life by a high moral code, using his beliefs to uphold the sanctity of the church he has pledged his life to serve. After finding himself relocated to the sleepy town of Temora, Father O’Ryan finds himself tempted with lust and distracted by the dangerous actions of his fellow priests.

Will he turn a blind eye to the events surrounding him and take the fall for his brethren or will he issue justice with his own hands?

After seeing the cover and checking out the blurb for Anvil Soul, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this story. But I ended up jumping in without even reading other reviews and am really glad I did. This turned out to be a nuanced story that was extremely relevant to today’s world, and one I think that many of our patrons are going to be interested in reading. I’ll absolutely be recommending it in the future, maybe even as one of our book club selections. There’s a lot to think about weaved into O’Ryan’s story, and I think we could generate a lot of great discussion here.

Highly recommended!


Review: The Duchess Quest

cover100012-medium.pngLove is destined to find her…

Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward!

Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart.

Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

The Duchess Quest was a compelling story from beginning to end, combining some great political elements with well crafted characters. Dainy has no idea how deadly her history was, or what’s ahead of her, but C.K. Brooke does an incredible job of telling her story, in a book that will connect with readers of many genres.

There are a lot of characters involved in this story, and the POV switches often, so it took me a while to really feel like I knew what was going on, but once I was full involved in the story, I couldn’t put it down. This wasn’t a quick read by any stretch, but the pacing was wonderfully maintained as the story and the world continued to build on itself.

Very well done!

Review: Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger

cover99221-mediumNarcissist, sociopath, and shameless backstabber Jubal Van Zandt is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth…and he won’t shut up about it.

But not everybody in the swampy, soggy, feudal future approves of Jubal’s vocation. The Guild—the religious fanatics who helped rebuild civilization after the collapse—in particular are waiting for their opportunity to slip the noose around his neck.

Which is why when the renowned Guild knight Carina Xiao—a.k.a. the Bloodslinger—contacts Jubal about an off-the-books job that violates Guild Law, he’s too intrigued to say no. He is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth, after all.

Part bizarro ecopunk, part outworld thriller, part odd-couple roadtrip, Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger is a 150% futurepunk quest for blood and betrayal across the Revived Earth.

This story was really cool! Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting based on the cover but the number of story elements combined in Jubal and the… yeah, this book is going to need an acronym, worked out into some really really interesting, and very much worth discussing.

First up, I loved Jubal’s character. He’s everything the blurb describes him as, but his character comes together in a way that will have you rooting for him from the first chapter, if only because you already know you’re going to want to read more about his adventures. He’s got quite a history, but I’m more curious to see what kind of character he could grow into if this is somehow turned into a series.

The world building was also well done with a lot of fun adventure tones merged into a cyberpunk universe. I’m curious to read any other fantasy work Hudson may already have out as this seems to be something she does really well.

All in all, a great read, and I’m very much hoping for more.

Review: Storm Watcher


Lightning Never Strikes Twice, Does It?

Luke Riley is lost. His mother’s recent death has set Luke and his family adrift. Even though his father, twin brothers, and their three Bloodhounds are search and rescue volunteers, they have been unable to rescue themselves and become a family again.

The summer after sixth grade looms in Luke’s mind as a long, lonely three months where the only thing he can look forward to is watching The Weather Channel. Luke is fascinated with the weather, but since his mother’s death in a storm, he is also terrified. Even the promised 13th birthday present of a Bloodhound puppy fails to lift Luke’s spirits. He would rather have a different breed – a petite Papillon, but his father insists he get a Bloodhound.When Luke decides to get the Bloodhound from Willajean, a dog breeder who owns Storm Watcher Kennel, he works out a deal to help at her kennel in exchange for the expensive dog. Thrilled to have a summer with a purpose, Luke befriends Willajean’s daughter, Megan and together they plan how Luke can get a Papillon puppy instead of a Bloodhound.

But nothing seems to work as they struggle with stubborn fathers, summer storms, unhelpful siblings, and hidden guilt. Can one little white dog really save both families?

How did I not know that Maria V. Snyder had a book for younger readers? I’m a huge fan of her adult fantasy work, mainly because she has such a distinct writing style and a real talent for crafting character, both of which translate through to Storm Watcher. This was a really fun story combining the main character’s struggle after his mother’s death with some really fun weather elements that I’m sure will interest middle grade readers. Of course, the dogs featured in the book will definitely help to grab some reader attention as well. There really is a little bit of everything here and I can easily see this book becoming one I recommend on a regular basis.

It looks like there’s only one book in the series so far, but there’s definitely room for more stories with these characters so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books in the future!

Review: The Unforgettables by GL Tomas

cover97168-medium.pngNeighbors and best friends Paul and Felicia hoped they’d be friends forever. But as they change, so does their friendship.

She shouldn’t have kissed her…He shouldn’t have liked it.

Starting school changed everything…

While I would have loved more of a description on what this book was about, I ended up picking it up mainly because of the cover (which I’m in love with) and falling in love with Paul and Felicia from the first few chapters.

Paul was an especially great character to read for me, though his relationship with Felicia was ultimately brought him to life on the page. Paul is the kind of guy I’d love to see more of in YA stories. Nothing about him is cruel or unnecessarily brooding. He’s a good guy, which lets face it, in the real world are the best guys. Both Felicia and Paul were characters I would love to be BFFs with, and the supporting characters were pretty great as well. There was a lot of diversity among the cast which made the story even more dynamic.

There were a couple of spots where the book could probably use a bit of polish, but I’m not actually sure if I had an ARC version or not. And ultimately, the story was more than enough to make up for editing blips.

I’ll absolutely be recommending The Unforgettables in the future.