Book Reviews

The City We Became (Great Cities #1)

The City WE Became

The City We Became (Great Cities #1)

By: N.K. Jemisin

Blurb:

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

Review:

This was a very interesting concept, and it was incredibly creative. As someone not from New York City, the lead characters seemed to embody the boroughs very well. The evil in the book was so believable it made me sick. I’m interested in seeing the more sci-fi side of the antagonist explored.

The negative for me is I’m tired of New York City and their attitude that they are the best city ever. So much in popular media is set in New York and about New York that even though I’ve only visited once, I could recognize who the characters were supposed to be. I’m not sure if I could do that with any other city. Maybe L.A. It’s annoying, which could have been the point.

3.75/5

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)

Take a Hint Dani Brown

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)

By: Talia Hibbert

Blurb:

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

Review:

Dani knows what she wants. She has career goals and fuck buddy goals. Having a real relationship is not something she’s remotely interested in. She’s incredibly confident, except when she isn’t, it was very relatable.

Zaf is a cinnamon roll. He’s a big, burly man, with incredible thighs, who has suffered a tragic loss in his past. I love how surly he is and how much he loves his family. Holy shit, his anxiety is soooo relatable. The way his brain reacts when something as simple as his call isn’t picked up when calling a family member is exactly how mine works. Seeing how he thinks was like looking into my brain.

I loved Dani and Zaf on their own, but together they were a whole other level of adorable. Their conversations were the best part of Take a Hint, Dani Brown. The banter back and forth, getting to see their insecurities while that was happening, it was perfect.

4.5/5

Destiny’s Captive (Destiny #3)

Destinys Captive

Destiny’s Captive (Destiny #3)

By: Beverly Jenkins

Blurb:

Noah Yates fully believes in the joys of a happy family and a good wife. But that’s not the life for him. No, he would much rather sail the wild seas in search of adventure, not tied down. But then the unthinkable happens . . . he finds himself literally tied down. To a bed. By a woman.

And Pilar isn’t just an ordinary woman. She’s descended from pirates. And after giving him one of the worst nights of his life, she steals his ship! Now Noah is on the hunt, and he’ll stop at nothing to find this extraordinary woman . . . and make her his.

Review:

Destiny’s Captive is the last book in the Destiny series and follows the final Yates brother. Pirates, rebels, PTSD, and Cuban history are all included, and it’s, of course, very well done.

Trigger Warning

Noah was shanghaied on his eighteenth birthday and ended up living through hell. He was starved, given a scar on his face, beaten, and raped. He’s never talked about what happened to him and is an entirely different person than who he was growing up. Dark and brooding and never having fun, then he meets Pilar.

Pilar is part of a group of rebels fighting against the Spanish rule of Cuba. She’s a thief and smuggler. She steals Noah’s boat, and naturally, he tracks her down. She immediately intrigues him, and he proposes almost on the spot.

I’m glad Jenkins included the segregation on the train. It was a reminder of what people had to live with at that time. A lot of the book you feel like you’re in a bubble with the characters, so the dash of realism made Destiny’s Captive better.

I could relate to Pilar’s homesickness. I did think that she got over being a rebel very quickly. It had been her life for a decade, more if you count the fact that her father was one as well. She basically grew up in that world. Then she was told she was being hunted and it would be best if she disappeared, so she did. There was no fight. It was the smart thing to do, but she never even struggled with it, which I found odd for her.

This was an excellent climax to the series. We got to see all of the storylines wrapped up. Seeing Alanza get married was perfect. I do wish we could have seen little novellas of a couple of the minor characters, like Naomi and Pilar’s sister, but it doesn’t seem like those were written. I’m am really looking forward to reading more Beverly Jenkins.

4/5

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)

Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)

By: Tamsyn Muir

Blurb:

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

Review:

I’ve wanted to get back into reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and this is a combination of both. It is about necromancers, which has never been my favorite, but it sounded interesting.

Gideon is a smart-mouthed swordswoman. No matter how much she’s been beaten down, she still gets back up. Her entire life, her house has been nothing but mean to her. They beat her, they all seem to loathe her openly, and the only other person there her age appears to have made it her mission to make Gideon’s life horrible. At the beginning of this book, the only thing Gideon wants is to escape.

Harrow is not a sympathetic character. She’s been Gideon’s chief tormentor, and even after some of her backstory is revealed, I don’t personally feel like it made up for what she’d done to Gideon. She’s mindlessly focused and full of her own ability and intelligence.

Almost every single character I even remotely liked in this book was killed. That seems to always happen with necromancer books. It was dark but not depressing until the end. I didn’t find the conclusion to the book satisfying, but it’s possible the next two books could change that. However, I’m not sure if I’ll push through to the next. I miss reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but my heart just isn’t in it.

3/5

Pile of Library Books

Sooooo I went a bit crazy one day with my Goodreads to-read-list and my library hold system. I ended up with over 20 books on hold, most of them with weeks long lines. Of course several of them came in at the same time. I’ve got the ones pictured as well as one on my kindle. Now it’s a rush to see if I can read them all in time! 😂😂😭