I recently read two really good books that I wanted to share with you all. I didn’t feel the need to do full on reviews as they are both pretty popular and have a few thousand reviews already on GoodReads and other sites. But I did want to put my two cents in, especially for those of you who may not have seen or heard about these books yet.
Five Survive by Holly Jackson
Publication Date: November 2022
I loved The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder so I was really anticipating loving this one as well, and I was not disappointed. This was a well crafted thriller with lots of interesting and well crafted characters. But it is really the plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat as well as turning those pages to the very bitter end.
I read this in practically one day, starting it the night before and then picking it up in the morning and not stopping until I was done. I haven’t felt that compelled to finish a story in a long time. The start is a little slow, but once the action gets going it doesn’t stop. And the twists are excellent and even a few you won’t expect. I was totally guessing by the end who would be the five to survive.
Red is the sole narrator and there were times I wasn’t so sure if she was a very reliable one. Her secret was a bit easy to guess, but I was at times sure she was somehow in on the plot to find out the other’s as well. All of the character’s were well fleshed out and I could empathize with almost all of them. I really disliked Oliver almost from the start, but as the book went on I really started to loathe him.
This book has definitely solidified this author as a must read whenever she has a book coming out. If you don’t have this one on your list to read yet, you really need to add it.
One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Publication Date: September 2022
This is another book that started off a bit slow, but soon gained momentum and ended up being a really good read. It is a gothic fantasy, with some elements of horror, but nothing too gory. There is even a bit of a romance which I was delighted with as I liked the two of them together very much.
The plot is rather complex and involves politics and palace intrigue. The magical system is rather interesting with these cards holding and giving powers to whoever holds them. But magic always comes with a cost, and that cost can be deadly. The cards are sort of a deck with many of some types and only a few of others. Part of the plot is that the characters are trying to unite the cards in order to cure the land from a dark magic. The pacing is good and the writing very well done, especially as I am pretty sure this is a debut.
The characters are wonderful. I loved Elspeth and really felt for her and her difficulties in life. The Nightmare is also a well done character who was engaging yet horrifying and at times funny, all while living inside of Elspeth. Ravyn, Elm and Jespyr round out this group who is trying to save their world. I loved the romance between Ravyn and Elspeth and I am still rooting for them to work things out.
There is at least one more book coming out early in the fall and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I ended up really enjoying this one, and I really want to know what happens to the crew and if they manage to save their world from the dark magic.
If you like complex gothic fantasy then this is a must read! It is engaging, has a terrific plot and characters you will enjoy and love.
I hope you enjoyed my two shortish reviews. I hope to do more of these throughout the year.