Sunday, April 18, 2021

Vlad Dracula Had Taken London

Anno Dracula
~Anno Dracula~
Book 1
By Kim Newman

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

It's that time of the month again. No, not that, I mean it's time for the next vampire book for Maven of the Eventide's (aka Elisa Hansen's) Vampire Book Club! Of the three choices in the poll, this was definitely the most interesting to me. Jack the Ripper and various literary vampires all thrown together—what could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Many Will Seek the Stars, the Power, the Fortune, and the Fate

Stars of Fortune
~Stars of Fortune~
The Guardians Trilogy
Book 1

By Nora Roberts

Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the legendary fire star, part of an ancient prophecy. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

When a dark threat looms, the six must use their combined powers—including trust, unity, and love—to find the fire star and keep the world on course.

I picked this up completely by chance. Never having read anything by Nora Roberts, I only know what I've heard from friends and family (who read her almost religiously) and the fact that her books are literally everywhere. Honestly, I was more interested in reading her new dragons series, but as that is still a series-in-progress, I decided to try another of her semi-recent completed fantasy series as my official introduction to the bestselling romance genre. Plus it fulfills one of the prompts for this year's reading challenge, so even if I didn't like it it's still a win.

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Girl They’re Calling Geekerella

Once Upon A Con
Book 1

By Ashley Poston

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale. Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes
Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the
Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

I came across this one while scanning the Quirk back-catalog, and then saw that it's the first in a series with a 3rd book recently released. Pop culture, con culture, romance, and a fairytale retelling? Yes, please!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Genetically Enhanced Superhumans or We Call Them Specials

The Specials
~The Specials~
By Kel Pollard

When three very different high school students are rushed to the school nurse's office with severe headaches, they realize they have something very special in common...

Kory can move things with his mind.
Heather can hear people's thoughts.
David can freeze time.

How did the powers develop? What caused them? Are they dangerous? Rogue scientist Dr. Walter Strong seems to have all the answers, but the three teenagers are wary when he tries to warn them about Ascentia, a secret organization whose sole purpose is to capture and control them by any means necessary. It is only when members of Ascentia's Specials Recovery Unit attack their homes and abduct their loved ones that Kory, Heather and David are left with no choice but to trust Dr. Strong, and to risk their lives to save the people they care about most.

Chosen at random from my extensive library of free Kindle e-books I've acquired over the years, this one looked to be an interesting YA stand-alone. Three teens suddenly find themselves with super powers and an evil secret organization bearing down on them—sounds like some campy fun, right?

Friday, March 19, 2021

Ebony Skin, as Smooth as Silk, Almost Glows It's So Radiant

Wings of Ebony
~Wings of Ebony~
Book 1
By J. Elle

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue's taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

I believe I found this one through Facebook and/or new release emails from my library. Since reading Legendborn last year I'm really interested in reading fantasy woven into and around Black traditions and experiences. Other than reading the summary blurb, I really had no idea what I was getting into, or just how much this book would dig its claws into me.