Book

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

Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5)

Party of Two

Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5)

By: Jasmine Guillory

Blurb:

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist–it is chocolate cake, after all.

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble–not just some privileged white politician she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

Review:

Olivia is Alexa’s sister. She’s a high powered New York lawyer that’s decided to move back to California and start a law firm with her best friend. She’s tired of men talking down to her, taking advantage of her hard work, and generally being dicks.

Max is a pretty boy senator that is looking to start a relationship because he’s lonely. He’s impulsive, and as a rich, white man has lived an incredibly privileged life. Still, he loves cake and pie, so he’s not all bad.

I don’t know if it’s because I just read the first book in the series, and it was about Olivia’s sister or if this is just the formula Guillory uses, but I noticed a lot of similarities. Max loved to see Olivia’s smile and laugh almost as much as Drew. Both women were hesitant to leap into things, though, Olivia much more so. It was also a long-distance relationship where most of their time together was on the weekend. Lots of deserts and food, which I loved, but dammit someone give me a cake!

Olivia and Drew were a cute couple, and once again, the conflict at the end was very believable. I couldn’t see how it would be overcome honestly, but I liked what they came up with, it was sweet.

I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, now that I’ve read the fifth, but I’m also a little apprehensive. Is it going to be as similar? I’ll find out, I guess.

3.5/5

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1)

The Wedding Date

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1)

By: Jasmine Guillory

Blurb:

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

Review:

Alexa doesn’t like to describe herself as a prude, and after reading this story, I wouldn’t either. A better term is risk-averse. She tends to overthink things. This seems to work pretty well for her at work, but not so much in romance. She also has body image issues that I related to hard.

Drew is a commitment-phobe. He had a relationship that got serious before he was ready and now ends every relationship after just a couple of months. He’s a pretty boy doctor that doesn’t have an issue finding bedmates that are fine with that setup. Then he needs to find a date for the wedding of the woman he felt was his fallback when he was ready to settle down.

It would have been sooooo easy to hate Drew. He’s a lot of things that I don’t like rolled up into one character, but the way he treated Alexa overcame all of that. I liked reading from his point of view because I got to see that he only thought about the positives of Alexa’s body. All of the fear she had over it never even occurred to him. I also enjoyed that because she viewed this as a fling, she didn’t let those fears overcome her, and by the time she felt like it was more they didn’t matter.

The conflict worked out perfectly, and I had no issue believing it. I also enjoyed how things worked out with Alexa’s sister (which is great because I ended up getting the 5th book in the series from the library before all the others). The side characters seemed interesting enough, but they were not the main focus and only had small parts to play. The one I’m interested in the most is Carlos, so I hope he has his own book.

Finding love with the person you’ve been trapped in an elevator with is a pretty enjoyable trope and not overly done. The Wedding Date was a great start to a series and set my expectations high.

4/5

Blitzed (Playbook #3)

Blitzed

Blitzed (Playbook #3)

By: Alexa Martin

Blurb:

According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he’s worth. She doesn’t care if he’s a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she’s not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn’t matter if he brings more customers to her business–she’s still not going on a date with him.

Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He’d been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can’t. He can’t tell anyone, so he’ll make amends and hope she’ll forgive him.

Brynn’s not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn’t impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over.

Review:

Brynn has been one of my favorite characters in the series so far. She knows her mind and goes after what she wants. At least, when it comes to work. She’s had a crush on Maxwell for years and just sat by lusting after him.

Maxwell is super smart and a fantastic athlete. He makes the all-star team, or something like that, every year, and he went to Princeton. He’s also shy unless he’s putting on a persona for his job. I like shy dudes. He’s also very aware of consent.

I loved that they were friends beforehand. There was a ton of sexual tension, so it was not what I consider friends to lovers, but Brynn really tried to make people believe that’s all they were.

I was a little disappointed in the small drama between them at the end. I didn’t find it believable at all. Brynn was always worried that she would do something terrible but immediately jumps to believing that Maxwell is the bad guy. I didn’t buy her reasoning at all. It just felt off. I could have also done without everyone telling her she’ll change her mind about kids. She is very adamant she doesn’t want any, but in the end, she’s planning on them.

3.5/5

Binti (Binti #1)

Binti

Binti (Binti #1)

By: Nnedi Okorafor

Blurb:

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself — but first she has to make it there, alive.

Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve read a sci-fi book. I’m pleased with my choice. Binti was a short story, but it was positive sci-fi. The world wasn’t perfect, but there was still hope. What’s even better, it ended on a positive note. I needed that right now.

Binti was the best in her village. She was smart and curious and brave. She ended up leaving to attend the most prestigious university in her universe. Things didn’t go as planned, but she was able to handle everything that was thrown at her.

The world that was created was interesting. I loved all the details that were included. I hope that in the next book, we see more of Binti’s family. The history of her village was fascinating.

This is the first book in a trilogy. None of the books seem to be very long, but if they continue in this vein, I’ll be very happy.

4/5