Reviews

Review: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review

capturing-the-devil


Capturing the Devil
by Kerri Maniscalco
(Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Synopsis
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

What I thought
This is the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.  

I must say the author did a lot of research on different theories regarding Jack the Ripper.  Even the American connection, which as a person growing up fascinated by the longest unsolved case still open at Scotland Yard, I was in nerd heaven. Serial Killers, aside I left this book so happy with the end.  

I absolutely adore Thomas and Audrey Rose. Oh and Audrey’s grandmother now we all know where she gets her spunk from.  I have to say I loved watching her grandmother knock Thomas’s father down a few pegs.  

I am going to admit to something that I only realized at the end and couldn’t believe I missed it until then but these two characters are very Holmesish how did I not see this but it does help explain some of my love of the story.

I won’t lie I hope we get a spin-off series sometime in the future about Thomas and Audrey’s future endeavors. 

If you haven’t picked up this series yet and you like historical fiction based in this time period you really should.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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Reviews

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Book Review

The Falconer
The Falconer
by Elizabeth May
(The Falconer #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Historical Fiction
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Synopsis
One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read. (less)

What I thought
This was a reread for me and it was much needed. I read the book way back in 2014 when it first came out. In 5 years I forgot a lot! So I am very happy that I decided to read it again.

I know that the title Falconer has thrown off many people. So I am going to put it here sorry if you feel spoiled however most people miss this brief explanation. I am summarizing this since I am not going to go back and find it, it’s so brief I would have to read most of the book again to find it really its all summed up in like one or two sentences. Okay so way back when before the war those women who fought the Fae used Falcons to slip into the Fae world to see what was going on. From my understanding, they could see through the Falcons eyes. Since these Fae hunters used Falcons they were given the name Falconer by the Fae. So now that we have that out of the way I can tell you how much I enjoyed this book.

When I read this book the first time I did not know what steampunk really was it was after reading it that people put that label on it. Yes, it has steampunk vibes but they are not heavy. Aileana the last falconer that we know of (hey I still need to read books 2 and 3 so I can’t be sure) discovers her “destiny” in the most horrid way, she is witness to her mother’s murder. In this story, Aileana is torn regarding the two sides of her life, but due to the events that happen in the end of book 1, I can not wait to see where she goes from here. I really did not like her father and I hope he is absent from the rest of the series. I get that he is hurting but he is practically abandoning his daughter. She may be 18 now but she was not when he first stepped out. Oh, and the outright forcing her to marry…I get that he can because of the time period but it still makes me want him gone. Sorry for the rant. As much as I did not like this one character I really did like the others and this first book.

If you like strong female characters who battle Fae this is one for you!

My Rating: /54 Stars

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

The Beautiful
The Beautiful
by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #1)
Fantasy, Vampires, Historical Fiction, Paranormal

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

Expected publication: October 8, 2019

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl
The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

by Theodora Goss
(The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #3)
Fantasy, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club…especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

Expected publication: October 1, 2019

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Blog Tour: Song For A Lost Kingdom, Book II by Steve Moretti @morettisteve and @Shalini_G26

BOOK COVER
Song For A Lost Kingdom, Book II
by Steve Moretti
Historical Fiction, Fantasy
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Music is not bound by time.

And Adeena Stuart is not bound by anything that will stop her from saving the man she’s fallen in love with, even though he’s been dead for almost three hundred years.

In Book II of the Song for a Lost Kingdom trilogy, her music provides the portal to James Drummond who is fighting alongside Prince Charles Edward Stuart in the 1746 Jacobite uprising. Though their cause is doomed, and James is destined to die shortly after the Battle of Culloden, Adeena’s determination never wavers.

Left behind in the present, Adeena’s friends and families are equally determined to return her to 2019.

Throughout it all, the music sweeps across those in both the past and present in this novel of history, fantasy, romance and science fiction.

Love never surrenders.

Book 1 on Amazon | Book 2 on Amazon

Excerpt

Adeena collapsed onto the bed in her private chamber at Hamilton Palace.

The recently widowed Lady Anne Hamilton had shown her to the room and asked a servant to draw her a hot bath. It was the best Christmas present anyone could possibly give her, she thought. The cold from every part of her body ached for the balm of something warm.

A hot bath and clean clothes awaited her and the thought of them made all her pains a bit more tolerable.

When the bath was ready, with fragrant perfume and oils, and most importantly with steaming water, she let herself enjoy the feeling that transcended any bathing experience she had ever had before. It felt like a tiny part of the future had slipped back into the past.

As she closed her eyes she thought of James and about her situation. For anyone knew, she was Katharine Carnegie, sister of George and Sir James Carnegie. Her aunt was Lady Margaret St. Clair, who still fought to retain her hold on Kinnaird Castle against the attainder of her first husband’s estates and titles.

She wondered about Katharine Carnegie. Have I become her? What happened to her or have we somehow switched places in time? Are we the same person, the same soul, the same spirit?

“Lady Katharine?”

It was the servant who had drawn her bath, knocking on the door.

“Yes?”

“When you are complete, I will aid you to dress for dinner. Lady Anne has seated you with the Duke of Perth,” the servant announced through the door.

“Thank you, I’ll be don.. uh complete, in a few minutes. That work?”

There was a pause. Adeena realized that sometimes her vocabulary confused those around her.

“I will return presently,” she servant responded.

Presently? Adeena smiled.

She closed her eyes again. The Duke of Perth, James Drummond – the man who perhaps loved Katharine and perhaps, her. But he seemed to be keeping his distance. He was unlike any man she had ever known in her own time. How much was him and who he was as a person? Or was it just the culture and time they were in – 1745 Scotland?

It was probably impossible to separate the two, and she had no plan for how she could save him from dying a few days after his 33rd birthday, less than five months from today. Stories she had listened to her from her grandmother, about the misery of ‘Ashlynne’ had always gripped Adeena as a moving tale from a faraway place and time. But now she was in the story, not just listening to it.

Adeena had become the woman in her grandmother’s dreams.

Katharine, not Ashlynne. Determined, not afraid.

She would change history.

Or die trying.

Review

Okay, so you will have to bear with me for a moment because I read book 1 and 2 back to back. So this is going to be a fairly quick overview. This is a historical fantasy with romance that takes place in both 1745/46 and 2018/19.  Adeena in the present day is a Cellist / Katharine (1745) is a Cellist and a Composer and is in the middle of the Jacobite rebellion with a brother on each side. Katharine’s heart belongs to James Drummond a Jacobite who is leading an army for the Prince to take back Scottland. In Present-day Adeena is in a coma with growth in her brain that began happening when she started traveling back in time.

Let me start by saying that this is a very well researched book. As someone who loves history I appreciate how much research has to have gone into it. In this book you will be submerged into the rebellion of 1745/46. I enjoyed the writing of the book I feel the writing style was perfect for the subject matter.

The time travel element was interestingly done Adenna does not physically go back in time. Her consciousness is what travels through time and into Katharine Carnegie. However there were times that I found the change of POV jarring because you are also changing time periods to. I’m not saying it was done badly I just learned that I did not like it.

One thing that really bothered me is that the names Adenna and Katharine were interchanged in the 1745 timeline I know they are the same person but it gave me pause more than once because at that time she is supposed to be Katharine. So when a section stated out as Adenna I thought we were going to move back to present day.

I know I have said this before, I am not a fan of cliffhangers. Yes I have a few exceptions to this but as a general rule I don’t like them. Reading books 1 and 2 back to back wasn’t bad but then this ends in one too.

All in all this is a good book if you like time travel and books focused around war/rebellion.

Author Bio

AUTHOR PIC
I am an author in Ottawa, Canada. I have a varied background in business, journalism and education.

I love history, and the people who have lived fascinating and sometimes very ordinary lives in extra-ordinary times. I’m drawn to music and the arts, as well as scientific discovery, politics and science fiction, especially time-travel.

My novels combine my interests in stories that put characters within a realistic world that just happens to include elements that challenge our perceptions of reality.

I am currently completing my first trilogy, Song for a Lost Kingdom, and will be starting a new series in 2020.

Website |TwitterInstagramFacebook | YouTube |AmazonGoodreads | BookBub

Blog Tour

AUGUST 19
Amanda www.writewhereiread.wordpress.com
Alakhnanda  www.thebookxpert.wordpress.com
Maya www.mayabhat.com
Jolie www.readwithme.wordpress.com

AUGUST 20
Rekha www.thebookdecoder.com
Nina www.thecozypages.wordpress.com
Lori harris www.lorisbookshelfreads.wordpress.com
Amy www.zanybibliophile.wordpress.com

AUGUST 21
Jessica www.jessicabelmont.wordpress.com
Lili www.lilisblissfulpages.wordpress.com
Mani www.manisbookcornerblog.wordpress.com
Yesha www.booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com

AUGUST 22
Nicole www.thebookwormdrinketh.com
Noriko www.bookfiendsite.wordpress.com
Jacquie www.jacqbiggar.com
Didi www.didoviatt.wordpress.com

AUGUST 23
Dora www.swiftcoffee.blog
Maham www.allaboutmakk.wordpress.com
Mary www.sophrilreads.com

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

the-magnolia-sword
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

by Sherry Thomas
Retelling, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

CHINA, 484 A.D.

A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.

Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling–the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.

Inspired by wuxia martial-arts dramas as well as the centuries-old ballad of Mulan, The Magnolia Sword is perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Marie Lu, or Kristin Cashore–a thrilling, romantic, and sharp-edged novel that lives up to its beloved heroine.

Expected publication: September 10, 2019

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Blog Tour: The Costumier’s Gift by Vicky Adin

TheCostumier

Book Cover
The Costumier’s Gift 
by Vicky Adin
Publication Date: May 24, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction

Why does a stranger hold the key to unlocking Katie’s family secrets?

1903 – Jane is the talented principal costumier at Auckland’s Opera House in its Edwardian heyday. She thrives in this place where she can hide from her pain and keep her skeletons to herself – until the past comes back to haunt her. Brigid, her beloved foster mother, and her best friend Gwenna are anchors in her solitary yet rewarding life. As the decades go by, the burden of carrying secrets becomes too great, and Jane must pass on the hidden truths.

Today – Katie seeks refuge from her crumbling personal life with her grandmother, who lives in past with the people in her cherished photographs. All too soon, Katie learns she must identify the people behind the gentle smiles – including the Edwardian woman to whom she bears a remarkable resemblance – and reveal generations of secrets before she can claim her inheritance. She meets the intriguing Jared, who stirs her interest, but she’s not ready for any sort of romance, so is shocked when she learns that he holds the key to discovering her past.

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Excerpt

Jane 1903

Jane loved the early mornings, when she could move around her top-floor workshop at the Opera House before anyone else arrived. She would compare progress against the numerous sketches pinned to the walls and inspect the elaborate costumes draping the mannequins. She could touch the rich fabrics laid out on the table ready for cutting and check the accessory trays holding the beads, threads and feathers used to adorn the finished outfits.

But the nights, when she let down her silky dark hair and dressed in her richly coloured and beaded silk wrap – making her feel like one of her exotic characters – was when she did her best work. With pencil in hand she would sketch gown after gown, suit after suit: sometimes total fantasy, sometimes glamorous, sometimes whimsical.

Where the ideas came from even Jane couldn’t explain, and she often had no idea which design would work best for which show, but her pile of drawings had not let her down so far. Somewhere deep inside, she held the dream that one day she might become a famous designer for someone like the House of Worth, but meanwhile Jane couldn’t be happier. On occasions, she even had the temerity to sell a few of the more fashionable designs under the name of Bernadette, and particularly during ball season. A secret she kept to herself.

The dress was one of Jane’s fantasy dresses made of multi-coloured gauzes she’d dyed in shades of deep purple, navy and green decorated with silver sparkles. The facemask and headdress she was working on in the quiet of the empty studio would need to be as elaborate. She’d already hand-dyed heavy stockings to match so the dancer would be head-to-toe in underwater colours as Jane imagined them. Her late-night scribbles came to life when a body filled the contours of the design and Jane’s heart lifted at the sight. The concoction was perfect, if a little large for Grace.

“It’s beautiful,” said Grace as she swished and sashayed and danced about the empty workshop. The girl’s excited laughter echoed through the room. A tingle ran down Jane’s spine. She must not let Grace get too involved with the theatre. This was no place for the girl despite her love of music.

Brigid was teaching the girls to make traditional Irish lace and to sew, and Sally was showing them how run a business. Grace’s and Lilly’s futures lay there. And, now Brigid had finally accepted Phillip Harrison-Browne’s invitation to visit his department store in Brisbane, maybe one of them would find a future over there instead. All these thoughts flashed through Jane’s mind in the split second it took for Grace to leap into the air, spin and crash into a rack of costumes being prepared for the next production. Over it went, dragging costumes on the adjacent rack to the floor as Grace rolled amongst the muddle. Behind, other racks rocked precariously as more costumes on their hangers slid to the floor to add to the jumble.

“Are you all right, Grace?” called Jane as she raced across to where Grace now sat nursing her ankle. Lilly nodded, as a tear slid down her cheek.

“It hurts.”

“Oh, my dear girl. I’m sure it does, my sweet. Now let’s get you out of this mess and I’ll go find something to make a cool compress and see if I can borrow a stick to help you walk.”

Jane reached out her hand to help Grace to her feet and almost dropped the girl. Exposed by the disarray, a pair of men’s boots peeked out from under a mound of fabric. An involuntary gasp escaped her lips. Still supporting Grace, balanced on one foot, Jane peered into the gloomy corner.

Available on Amazon!

Author Bio

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Multi-award winning historical fiction author, Vicky Adin is a genealogist in love with history and words.

After decades of research Vicky has combined her skills to weave family stories and history together in a way that brings the past to life.

Fascinated by the 19th Century women who undertook hazardous journeys to find a better life, Vicky draws her characters from real life stories: characters such as Brigid, the Irish lacemaker and Gwenna, the Welsh confectioner, or Megan who discovers much about herself when she traces her family tree in The Cornish Knot.

Vicky Adin holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education. She is an avid reader of historical novels, family sagas and contemporary women’s stories and enjoys travelling. Her writing has been compared to that Catherine Cookson.

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TheCostumier

Blog Tour

July 8
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels@gmail.com
Wrong Side of Forty (Excerpt) https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com
The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Interview) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

July 9
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

July 10
Books and SStuff (Excerpt) https://booksenstuff.wordpress.com
Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

July 11
Kim Knight (Review & Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com
B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

July 12
Sophril Reads (Excerpt) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

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