Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Anthology: Mad Hatters and March Hares

336 p.
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: From publisher for review
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From master anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" and "What Alice Found There". 
Between the hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative wordplay and the brilliant mathematical puzzles and social satire, Alice has been read, enjoyed, and savored by every generation since its publication. Datlow asked eighteen of the most brilliant and acclaimed writers working today to dream up stories inspired by all the strange events and surreal characters found in Wonderland. 
Featuring stories and poems from Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente, Delia Sherman, Genevieve Valentine, Priya Sharma, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Bowes, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Andy Duncan, C.S.E. Cooney, Matthew Kressel, Kris Dikeman, Jane Yolen, Kaaron Warren, Ysbeau Wilce, and Katherine Vaz.
My thoughts:

As with most anthologies this was a mixed bag of captivating stories and some that I skimmed. I do think you will recognize some of the authors like Seanan McGuire (and that story was so good!) and find some new ones to check out. There is also some poetry for those that enjoy it (not too much for those that don't). Some of these stories really transported me into the world and I will warn you that much of it is dark and some ventured into horror. I'm not surprised as the original work really had a darkness to it and some of the authors expounded on it. I really enjoyed how some of these stories were turned on it's ear and you found yourself with logical explanations to the illogical. Most though fully immersed itself into wonderland or just outside of it and all of it will make you mad as a hatter in the end of it. Really that is a good thing... LOL

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. This is a book I do think I'll reread and I do know that there were a couple of stories I wish were expounded into full series. I don't want to say which of those I enjoyed the most as I do think you need to explore this book as I did... knowing it would be fantastical and dark but not knowing which direction it would take.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stolen Enchantress by Amber Argyle

Series: Forbidden Forest #1
448 p.
Publisher: Starling Publishing
Published: 4/9/18
Source: From author for review
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Any girl who goes into the Forbidden Forest never comes out again. Except the one who did.

Larkin should have been watching her little sister, should have paid more attention to the trees looming over her family’s fields. Now Sela is gone. Knowing full well the danger of the forest and its beast, Larkin goes after her anyway. With her sister clutched in her arms, she manages to escape, but not before discovering the truth lurking beneath the wicked boughs.

She may have evaded the beast once, but with the full force of his magic now fixated on her, she isn’t sure how much longer she can resist.
My thoughts:

 To sum up this book I will say that this is a YA fantasy book and it also has a girl power edge to it. Add in some magic and a mysterious curse and you have one fun tale.

I do have to say one thing about this book. I also think it is why some people shy away from YA in general. I admit to becoming frustrated with characters in this book. However, unlike other YA, I did not become frustrated with the main character. She was naive, but that is to be expected. I was frustrated with everyone around her trying to force ignorance upon everyone else. Frustrated with how they refused to listen even when it might contain valuable information or in how they excused what they did and pretended it wasn't a choice (Larkin called many people out on this behavior so she was no shrinking violet). Often this behavior is relegated to the main heroine but not here. She was smart and thoughtful. Larkin also knew she had to live in this world (and in a way another... but I won't explain that one for fear of spoilage) and she knew she would have to make some hard decisions. However, she was not fooled into believing a gilded cage was anything but a cage. For that reason alone I loved this character.

By the end of the book I was fully invested but I didn't totally love the romance in this one. I didn't hate it either, but it is the kind that I am certain will grow on me as the books grow. It at times got in the way of her journey, but not so much it bothered me. The reason I think I will become invested in the romance is because her chosen started to grow in ways that seemed uncomfortable for him because he knew he needed to consider more than his own feelings. This is why I know I will eventually enjoy the romance as the relationship continues in the story.

My biggest problem came at the end. It ended! It didn't quite feel like a cliffie, but then it wasn't finished at all. I knew that would probably be the case but I still wanted to continue my journey and there was no more journey as yet. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this series.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars and if you are looking for a adventurous YA book with a good heroine, try this one. I really enjoyed it and I think you'll find something fun here as well.


Bloggy note: Thanks for coming back! I'll have a short post explaining later but thanks for sticking by me! πŸ’– Oh and as of this writing, the book, Stolen Enchantress is on sale for $0.99 at your favorite ebook retailer (Amazon affiliate link: