Review: The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

I’m so excited about this new series from Paula Brackston. I mean, the cover alone is enough to make you want to visit…

Xanthe (don’t you just love that name?!?) and her mother are looking for a fresh start. Both of them are trying to move on, and the charming little town of Marlborough seems like just the place to do that. They’re ready to make their dream of owning an antique shop a reality.

It’s while they’re looking for merchandise that Xanthe comes across an ancient chatelaine (I had to look this one up) that she just has to have. You see, it speaks to her. Xanthe has an intense connection to certain antiques. And this chatelaine speaks to her loudly. In the form of a ghost. She finds herself transported back to the seventeenth century. There’s a mystery to be solved, and that ghost won’t let her have any peace until it’s done.

This is such a promising start to a new series. It’s historical and mysterious and suspenseful and magical all at the same time. The author has a true gift for these kinds of stories. I can’t wait for the next one!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Little Shop of Found Things

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Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell


Exciting and magical and characters you can’t help but root for.

What a wild ride!! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it and I wish I read it first, then listened to it. While loved the narrator and how she made the voices come alive, I wasn’t able to highlight all my quotes, like I usually do. So flipping back and forth, if I got tripped up in all the excitement, wasn’t possible. But I will say that this book was very exciting and kept my attention. I wanted to sit in my room and do nothing but listen. The story had me on the edge of my seat.

Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust!

Esta and Harte were super fun to get to know. The banter between these two, was super fun. Esta reminded me of my daughter, with all her sassiness. I really want her to succeed in her mission. And I look forward to what happens to her in the next book.

I had my teen son read this book when I finished. He’s a very reluctant reader, so I was hoping he would enjoy it. Well, I gave it to him one evening and two days later he handed it back and sorta teased that he can’t handle the stress of endings like that. And then he immediately asked for the next one. That’s a sign of a good book right there.

I had no idea this book was a duology, so by the end, my nerves were shot. I was on the edge of my seat hoping and praying for an ending that didn’t have me crying. What a wild last chapter!! I had to shush my kids as they talked around me. Epic. I may even tensed up for a moment. I need the next book!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Last Magician http://amzn.to/2GXbyyW
Add The Devil’s Thief to your GR shelf https://goo.gl/HxeN9C

Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

01ab1 ~Everyone deserves light~

This book…

If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. Twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

Because the synopsis doesn’t say too much, I won’t say much either. What I will say is that Tiffany Reisz has jumped up another notch in my eyes. This story was pure magic. She creates a world like no other.

I realize time travel isn’t possible, but what if it was? If you were hurting so much would you make the choice to leave this world behind? I was so brokenhearted hearing about Faye’s suffering. There’s been one thing after another with her. I’m surprised she’s still standing. When she discovers a way to be happy, but it’s not in this life, she’s willing to do anything in order to find it and keep it.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers. 🙂 In fact, I think this book will be in my Top 10 of 2017. It was that magical and beautiful.

“You know a man by his heart. You know a lighthouse by its beacon.”

~Melpomene

Buy The Night Mark HERE

Review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

time and timeOkay, I have to say that this book isn’t perfect. Heck I guess no book is. However, I feel like I must give this one 5 stars….even though any book with time travel makes for a book that might have a few logical issues. I mean the whole butterfly effect thing can drive you mental if you dwell on it too long….If you dare to add historical factors in it…well, I’m sure there will be people who nitpick all the way through it and tell you why x, y and z just isn’t possible…..

But I say screw all that….This book was a fantastic read for me because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I continue to think about it now that I have finished the last sentence. I looked for ways to mention this book and the concept in my everyday conversation.

Finally….well….truth be told…it boggles my mind. I don’t mean that it’s hard to follow. I simply mean that the more I think about this book and the possibilities…well, the more I get drawn deep into my imagination. I can’t stop thinking of the ramifications of the concepts this book brings forth.

I’ve read a few time travel books and have always enjoyed them. *Most* of the ones I have read are people trying to change to revisit history for their own gains….In this, Elton has giving us a story of a hero that is trying to revisit history for the greater good of the entire planet.

Let’s face it…this is hard book to review….why? Because my mind won’t shut down. Even now I am still scrolling through the endless possibilities that lie within this novel. Imagining past worlds and future worlds and all of the players that are on the stage of making history….both minor and major players all have their parts….

So really, are people made by history? Or do people make history? Is history just a matter of being in the right place at the right time? If something happens and a key player is no longer there….well, does history still right itself and just call in another key player to take the place of the one who doesn’t show?

I won’t say more than that….you don’t need to know all the details….but you do need to read this book. There are some really interesting stuff that’s going on. I will say that the entire book grabs you from the start and it’s a steady stream of happy reading….but at the last 20% there are lots of twists and turns that I did not see coming and if the book can be called “fast paced”…well the last 20% was turbo speed paced!

Finally this book has loads of great quotes so I wish to leave you with a few…

What fun those long, semi-drunken Sunday afternoons had been. The debates always degenerated into loud, name-calling battles between the Marxists, who contended that much of history was inevitable, the result of preordained economic and material forces, and the romantics, who believed that history was made by individuals and that a single stomach ache or an undelivered love letter could have changed everything

‘Proof? What proof can I give beyond the fact that logic requires it?’ he said, his voice rising. ‘Time is time. It ticks aways from the beginning until the end.’

‘but it doesn’t, you damned fool!’ Newton exclaimed ‘Am I really the only person on earth to have grasped this fact? Time is not linear. It does not go along on a steady course like a road from London to York. It does not have a beginning and it does not have an end, nor is it the same to one person as it is to another, nor to two planets or a million starts. It is different in all circumstances. Because it is relative.’

Such is the terrible irony of bereavement, turning every familiar joy to misery. Each smile a twisting knife. Each thing of beauty an added burden of pain.

‘I really hope you didn’t get me here to suggest I take comfort in religion,’ he growled.
‘Not in the slightest,’ McCluskey replied. ‘I don’t think religion should be comfortable. That’s where it all went wrong for the Anglicans, trying to be comfortable. Deep down people want fire and brimstone. They want a violent vengeful God who tells them what to do and smites them if they don’t do it. That’s why the Prophet Mohammed’s doing so well these days. I’ve occasionally thought about switching myself. At least Allah’s got a bit of fire in his belly. But you see I could never give up the turps.’

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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It’s so difficult to ponder this book after reading it that I have to hurry and write the review so I can forget about the book.

Outlander is about Claire, a English woman from the 1940s, pulled into an adventuresome, fun, dangerous, romantic quest in 18th century Scottish Highlands.

I loved every second of 90% this book: Horseback riding through the forests, stereotypical Scottish dialogue, ripped clothing, filth, the challenges of being a female who knows medicine and healing, lots of rough men stealing and working and saving people… An arranged marriage that was full of unspoken love, family ties of numerous clansmen, illegitimate children, crime, detention and escape, and of course a really really bad villain with an ancestral tie to Claire’s husband. What’s not to love in this beautiful saga?!

One thing ruined the entire book for me. The ENTIRE book. I’m talking about making the book go from 5 stars to 2. It nauseated me and left a bad taste in my mouth. The chapter was gratuitous and over the top in my opinion. There was a day of rape. I can accept that as part of the story. I can’t tolerate the retelling of the day-long rapes to one’s spouse, including not only every physical detail but EVERY anguishing psychological and emotional detail. I just don’t believe that any spouse would or could tell their loved one what Gabaldon wants me to believe Jamie told Claire.

Had I known that was coming I would have completely skipped the chapter, pleasantly read the very end, and given Outlander 5 stars.

The one scene ruined the entire book for me. How disappointing.

-Calliope

buy OUTLANDER

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

20140111-211005.jpgI’ll start off with a disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories. That being said, at times they all tend to run together with story lines that are too similar to keep them separate in my mind. Boy/girl surviving in a harsh future world that’s been changed forever by a virus/alien invasion/advanced technology/drought with a love story thrown in for good measure…you get the picture. But this new offering by Ann Brashares offers a different take on the oh-so-popular genre.

Seventeen-year-old Prenna comes from a world that’s been devastated by a killer mosquito-born virus. Millions of people have died, and society is in ruins. In order to save themselves as well as the entire human race, a “community” of those with a natural immunity to the virus is formed. They decide to travel back in time in an attempt to change the course of events that set the world on a path to destruction. The community has a set of present-day rules that must be followed: never attempt to interfere with events, never reveal that they are from the future, never form a relationship with someone outside of the community. Prenna doesn’t question these rules until she falls for Ethan who, as luck would have it, is one of the few outsiders who can “see” that she’s actually from the future. Turns out there’s actually a bit of a conspiracy going on with the higher-ups of the community.

This was one of those books with several intersecting story lines. Yes, Prenna is the main character and Ethan is her love interest. But there are many other things going on at the same time. It’s a good book, just very hard to describe or summarize neatly. Read it if you enjoy well-written futuristic stories.

~Thalia

Buy it Now: The Here and Now