It is time for another round of mini-reviews. I do these from time to time for various reasons. This time around it is because I am reading faster than I am writing. So here are four books that I have read over the last couple of weeks. The covers are linked to their Goodread summaries if you are interested in learning more, or you know add them to your TBR.
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Publication date: November 2014
This is the fifth book in the Peter Grant, and perhaps my favorite so far. (I think I may have said that about all of them?) Anyways, this one was great. I loved going out to the English country side and seeing Peter totally out of his element. And of course how could you not love carnivorous murderous unicorns. Peter’s relationship with Beverly Brook also heats up a bit in this book. I really enjoy Beverly and like it when she is involved in Peter’s investigations. The story was fascinating with lots of twists. I loved the urgency of missing kids, mixed with the fae and every thing that entails. If you haven’t yet picked up this series, now is a great time to start it. This is a series that continues to get better with every book.
“There are people who have been touched by, let’s call it for the sake of argument, magic to the point where they’re no longer entirely people even under human rights legislation. Nightingale calls them the fae but that’s a catch-all term like the way the Greeks used the word “barbarian” or the Daily Mail uses “Europe.”
The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch
Publication Date: September 2017
This is a novella that takes place between Foxglove Summer and the next book, The Hanging Tree. Even though it is short, it was just as good as the full length books. This one involved Abigail, Peter’s young cousin who can see ghosts, and of course lots of ghosts. I learned a lot about the London Underground and about ghosts in this one. Not sure yet how some of the events in this book will relate to the ones that come after, but I think there will be some aspects that will crop up later one. I also hope to see more of Abigail as the books continue. She is smart and feisty and not afraid to stand up to Peter or Nightingale. It will be really interesting to see what she does when she starts to learn magic.
“She had a narrow face which could fall into an expression of belligerent suspicion of such power that her teachers said they could feel it even when they were hiding in the staff room. It was her stubbornness, coupled with this expression – and routine everyday low grade racism – that kept her constantly on the verge of a school suspension.”
#murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil
Publication Date: August 2018
This is a book that has been on my TBR since last year, and with the next book coming out next month, now was the perfect time to read it. I found the premise of this book fascinating. I don’t enjoy or really understand everyone’s fascination with reality TV, but this book sort of brings to to forefront how it could all go horribly wrong. This isn’t exactly a horror story although some of the deaths are certainly horrific in their nature and description. It is more of a mystery/ thriller with the cast of characters trying to figure out what the hell is really going on. It is all told through Dee’s point of view, and boy is she a survivor. I liked her from the start of the book when she wakes up and manages to survive her first encounter with one of Alcatraz’s executioner’s. She is pretty smart and tough, which she had to be given her past. The group of friends that she quickly makes on the island are also a lot of fun. There is a light romance, which certainly does not take away from the plot, but was a nice touch to the urgency of their dilemma. The plot was at times predictable, but certainly there were some twists I wasn’t expecting. The pacing was also fast enough that the predictability wasn’t that noticeable. If you are looking for a really good thriller, with some horror and social commentary thrown in, this is one you don’t want to miss.
“Bad enough she’d lost her sister, then been wrongly convicted of the murder; now she was going to be humiliated, forced to prance around the island in these stupid clothes while millions of people gawked and laughed and placed bets on how many days she’d survive until her blood was spilled in the name of entertainment.“
Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas
Publication Date: June, 2019
I have been trying really hard to read more books that don’t fall into the fantasy genre. Trying to broaden my horizons, you know. I saw a review for this book when it came out last month, and thought it looked like something I might like. I don’t normally pick up contemporary, unless it is a rom/com type book, but I am really glad that I picked this one up. This one is all about friendship which was also something different that I really enjoyed. The characters were great, all so humanly flawed yet likable. I really enjoyed Kalyn’s feisty, take no one’s crap attitude. But deep down she can be really sweet and just wants to be loved. Gus was wonderful as well. So sweet and vulnerable, yet smart and wants so much out of life. Phil was a little harder to like, but even though he had a more minor role in the story, I think he went through the most growth in this story. The story was great in how it commentated on small town prejudices, friendships developing then breaking, then mending and all that that entails and of course family. This book has diversity too and all of it very well done. If you are looking for a different kind of contemporary with a murder mystery plot in the background, then this is one you don’t want to miss.
“He turns so freaking pink. Look, I’m pretty queer, but hell if blushing boys aren’t the cutest thing since frolicking kittens.”
I hope you enjoyed this mini-review post. Have you read any of these books? Do you know another book similar to Wild and Crooked that you could recommend? Leave an answer in the comments.