Book Reviews

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for another book review, well… three book reviews of which this is the first! Really it should be four because there’s four books in this series but I haven’t finished processing the last book yet so once I do I’ll do a book review for it.

Anyway, today’s review is for Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco! I loved this book, I read it while I was on the train travelling to YALC in London about two years ago and I was so annoyed about having to put it down to get off the train – obviously I finished it in the hotel room that night.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where do I even start? I have a fascination with Jack the Ripper – not in a weird way I promise – and as soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to have it. Instantly the plot intrigued me, a girl in Victorian London wanting to work on autopsies of corpses.. sounds like something I’d love. Throw in a distracting, charming, mysterious Thomas Cresswell and the book had me completely.

I enjoyed how the investigation was played out throughout the novel. Twists and turns, characters being accused left and right. If a book can confuse me even for part of it then I think it’s done brilliantly, I’m not bragging or anything I just do usually figure out books endings quite easily, and yes I did think the ending of the mystery was a bit predictable but it didn’t stop me enjoying every second of it. I liked that Kerri Maniscalco didn’t shy away from the details of the Jack the Ripper investigation and the autopsies and everything else – I could tell there was a lot of research put in.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Okay I’ll try not to get too excited over these characters but I bring them up a lot in everyday conversation…

Audrey Rose Wadsworth. First off I really like the name.. that doesn’t have any bearing on the book I just wanted to say it. She’s daring, she’s brave (maybe a little hardheaded sometimes.. but then I’ve also been described as that many times) and she’s intelligent. She’s a girl who wants to break out of society’s mould and I am all for that in my protagonists.

Thomas Cresswell… ooh I really love him. If you ask my boyfriend he’d probably say that Thomas Cresswell is his biggest competition.. and he’d be right but yes, unfortunately Thomas is ficitonal and I don’t live in Jack the Ripper Victorian London. He’s sarcastic and witty, very mysterious and charming and I could go on but I won’t. All I’ll say is his introductory scene is one of my favourite scenes in this book.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have to give Kerri Maniscalco five stars for her writing. It’s so smooth and fluid. I actually forgot I was reading a book at one point. If you’ve read some of my other book reviews you will know that dialogue is one of the things I look closely at in a book, and in Stalking Jack the Ripper the dialogue is excellent. It feels like the characters are actually there in front of me, none of the lines felt out of place for them to say. I have nothing else I can say here.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now, I gave this book four stars. And yes I loved it and yes I really wish the characters were real, but I rated the books in this series all at the same times and this wasn’t my favourite book in this series… so I only gave it four stars but that could definitely change after a reread. (I’ll be rereading very soon!)

Blurb/Synopsis:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

So that’s the end of this book review, I hope you enjoyed it and I really reccommend this book to everyone!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Happy Monday bookish people! This is my fifth and final book review for today and it is for The Bear and the Nightingale. This book had a beautiful cover and I’m not ashamed to say that this was the reason I first bought this series. I can’t help myself with beautiful covers!

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

The Bear and the Nightingale plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The plot of this novel starts off slow, allowing us to be introduced to the town and the people in the town. Particularly Vasilisa and her family who are the main characters within the novel. It’s dark atmosphere had elements of fairytales and caught my interest with all it’s mythical creatures and spirits. Although it starts off slow the pacing soon picks up as Vasilisa gets older and the main events of the plot begin. As this happens the atmosphere gets darker and the winter landscape only furthers this. The family dynamic was something I truly enjoyed about this book, it had layers that were being explored throughout. The ending of this book made me so excited to pick up the next one in the series, although I haven’t managed to get it onto one of my TBR’s yet I will soon!

The Bear and the Nightingale Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Each character in this novel has their own place within the plot. Some of them are morally grey and I enjoyed the dynamic of having these types of characters in this story. Vasilisa is headstrong and devout in her beliefs of the spirits, I loved her character. I felt that she will be such a good protagonist in this trilogy. I feel for her, I felt her sadness and her pain and her resoluteness to do what she needs to do for her town no matter the consequences. The other character I enjoyed, even though he was only in the story for a little bit, was Morozko, also known as the Frost. He feels like a fairytale character and I can’t wait to see more of him in the trilogy.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As with the rest of the categories this book is whimsical and beautiful and there isn’t really much more for me to say in terms of writing and dialogue.

The Bear and the Nightingale Overall Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I had to give this book five stars. I’m still thinking about it months later and all I can say is I really recommend this book to anyone who might be even a little interested in it.

Blurb/Synopsis:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman Book Review

Happy Monday bookish people! This was the sixth book I read for the Becca and the Books 48 hour Bookopoly challenge. The prompt for this one was first in a series. I’d gotten the whole of the Invisible Library series so far given to me for Christmas last year so I was very excited to finally get to start this series.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The plot of this book is intricate and well put together. It has one of my favourite things to be in books currently – books about books, or in this case books about spy librarians. I loved the mixture of a spy with a library worker. The plot was interesting and kept me hooked throughout, my only issue was that the whole book was fast paced, there were no moments to breathe and so I felt that the book could have benefitted from a few moments that were less tense so that I could just focus on the characters and their relationships in those moments. It set the world up very well for the rest of the books in the series.

Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I adored the characters in this book, mainly Irene and Kai. This book gave me the feelings of a cosy crime novel even though it’s an adult fantasy book, just because of the characters and the villians in the story. I personally felt there was an inkling of a romance between Irene and Kai that could be developed over the rest of the series but there wasn’t much at all of it in this first book. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series and seeing what adventures they go on next.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The writing style was smooth although in some places quite technical and the dialogue was useful for showing both the personality of Irene and Kai and for showing their relationship. There’s not much else for me to say here.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book three stars. I loved the book but I think the series is going to get better the further into it I get.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Book Reviews

The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige Book Review

Happy Monday Bookish people! It’s time for another book review. This time it’s the fifth book I read in the Becca and the Books (YouTube) Bookopolathon 48 hour challenge. The prompt was a chance card where I took the remaining books on my March TBR and used a random number generator to see which one I should read. I was very happy to end up with The Ravens, I got this book in one of my Illumicrate monthly boxes and it has beautiful sprayed pink edges. My expectations were high for this book and it didn’t quite get there, if you know that feeling when a book just doesn’t quite have what it should to make it great.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy reading my book review.

plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The plot of this book was interesting, living in the UK I didn’t know much about sororities and American teenage culture so that part was a bit of a mystery to me although I did feel like it’s a very stereotypical portrayal particularly the character Scarlett Winters. The plot had a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming but at the same time were quite predictable and if I hadn’t already read four books in the 24 hours before they might not have been as good a twist as I thought they were. I felt the plot had a good order for the events that happened and each scene linked together well.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed the character of Vivi Deveroux the most. She had a personality that was nice and fresh compared to the others in the book. The other characters I felt were very predictable and stereotypical rather than their own personalities. I liked them, I liked the twist of who the villian is and I did sort of like the love interest. But I think there could have been more character development and that would have made the book better.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Again, I don’t have much to say either way on these. The dialogue was good and it was needed to help with the tone of the novel. The writing style was good, It didn’t obviously stand out that two people had written it so their styles must have blended together well.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because I did enjoy it and I probably will plan on reading the second book in the series which is meant to be coming out this year. However, I wouldn’t say I loved this book and it won’t be in any of my favourite’s lists.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!