Title and Author: The Stroke of Eleven by Kyle Robert Shultz
Name of Reviewer: Heidi Lyn
AUGH! But ... oh ... squee!!! Nooo ... ugh! OOH, yeah, yay! Hmm... Awww ...
I tried to post that on Amazon, but the rejected it because it apparently lacked coherent information, so I'll try to do better here.
So here we go ...
I loved the first two books in this series. They both made my top 10 list for 2017. This one, I found, took a little longer to get into. There wasn't as much snark. There was a little bit, but the tone was a little quieter, a little slower, a little less joke a minute and more joke every couple of pages. Also, it was a time travel story, made clear from the get go, and time travel stories have that annoying habit of "erasing" all the consequences at the end therefore making me a little less invested in the sakes. It was about the 50% mark where things that I can't get into because of spoilers gave this the highest stake level of any of the book so far and dang ... from that point on, it is mad feelz.
There's a really sweet moment we've been waiting for three books for ... then a really bittersweet ending ... and things just get more complicated.
Also, I want more dragon. Please?
Anyway, so it became my favorite of the series so far from about the 50% mark on and I highly recommend it.
Lovers of time travel, snark, twists, and light romance
Books and movies you would compare this to:
Doctor Who, Psych, Grimm (light), The Librarians, Warehouse 13
Did you have a favorite character or least favorite character?
Crispin, Malcom, also what is with this author and the letter M? (Molly, Malcolm, Melody, Matteo... don't think I didn't notice)
What mood did this book leave you in?
OMGOSH ALL THE FEELZ
Adventure, Fairy Tale, Humor, Steampunk/Gaslight, Romance, Time Travel
Title and Author: The Lord of Dreams by C. J. Brightley
Name of Reviewer:
Reason for choice of rating: Some violence, but mostly because of the descriptions of captivity/wounds that might be a little too much for really sensitive readers.
I really enjoyed the style of this. The way it takes the shifting nature of a dreamscape and just runs with it is probably the strongest element of this book. I can see if you aren't the sort of person who has vivid dreams or if you don't remember your dreams, that could come across as a little confusing, but as is, it comes across as weirdly realistic considering the material/setting.
The story has a nice mix of magic and mystery and involves a lot of different faerie creatures. There's some very creative magic and ways that the magic has to be used or thwarted, which kept me entertained, and I liked the two main characters (the King who is not really all there for most of the book and the MC, Claire, who is dealing with him and understandably frustrated.).
A few small quibbles I had didn't really take away from the book, but they befuddled me enough to be mentioned: towards the end of the book there is a lot of talk about how far the main character has come and how selfish she used to be ... I never really got that she was all that bad. Yes, she did grow, but the person she was at the beginning of the book seemed to be reacting like most normal humans would be in her situation. Every time someone talked about how "selfish" she used to be, I didn't quite get it. Maybe because I'm a little more tolerant of human frailty than the average reader? I mean, if a book gives me a whiny, selfish, unlikable protagonist, I will totally stop reading, so I don't think I'm that accepting of it, but yeah, to me Claire was never really that bad of person.
For instance, at the beginning she's a sixteen-year-old girl who comes home to an empty house on her birthday and finds her parents have not only left her alone for a business dinner on her birthday (which is uncool) and they also only left her with frozen meatloaf to microwave (which she dislikes. I mean, come on, if you really can't be there for a kid on her birthday, at least leave her twenty bucks to order pizza and maybe a cupcake?), but towards the end we're supposed to feel that Claire has grown away from her selfishness to learn to appreciate her family more, not the other way around?
Which leads to my second quibble: this would've been a better book if the family didn't exist. It's a minor quibble because they are barely in the story at all, but it is very rare that I get through a book and think, "This would've been more interesting if the MC were an orphan," and this one did that. The family isn't given enough time on the page for us to be interested in them (which I liked because I wanted to focus on Claire, the King, and cool fairy magic), but because they exist we get an extra layer of denouement where the character has to deal with the fact that they do exist before we can get to the real ending. Though in the end, that was only like a chapter.
Dreamers. People who enjoy interesting magic.
Books and movies you would compare this to:
Labyrinth is the obvious one, but there's a touch of Wonderland in it.
Fae/Fairy, Folklore, New Adult, Romance, Quest
Reviews by Readers
This blog features reviews of Fellowship of Fantasy titles submitted by readers.