Title: The Gilded King (Sovereign Book 1) by Josie Jaffrey
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The opening to The Gilded King as we introduced to Julia who lives in the city named Blue. Here, vampires are considered Nobles while everyone else is of a lesser rank including Attendants, like Julia’s best friend Claudia and Servers like Julia. We learn early on that leaving Blue and facing the Forest of Red is considered treason and Julia’s parents abandoned her when they entered the forest of Red which surrounded Blue but it is filled with horrible monsters. When Julia is informed she is going to be become an Attendant because there is essentially an emergency opening she considers leaving Blue as she saw what Rufus did to Claudia but she can’t bring herself to do it yet. We are also introduced to Cameron, who is a vampire, he is a Silver or a Noble and a member of the Solis Invicti, the elite warriors that are there to protect Blue. However, through him we learn that the vampires are in danger of going extinct because of a vaccine meaning the humans in Blue are the only ones uncontaminated and the number of vampires is dwindling every year. Cameron won’t stay in Blue long as he is looking for someone called Emmy in Red and he won’t stop until he finds her and the Empress supports this decision and pretty soon he is heading off into the wild again.
Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my all-time favourite books and movies, I decided to re-read it because I learnt that there are two different account of this memoir, one from Arthur Golden and one from the geisha herself and I will be reading both this year. We are introduced to Chiyo and her older sister, Satsu who lived in a little seaside village, Yoroido with their parents. However, while Chiyo is still very young her mother becomes seriously ill which is unfortunate as her father’s first wife and their two children tragically died. Chiyo ends up meeting Mr. Tanaka who she takes a liking to and one day he makes a proposal to her father and Chiyo believes that he is adopted her and Satsu, however, it turns out that the two girls have been sold in order to buy medicine for her mother. Mr. Tanaka hands both girls off to Mr. Bekku after they have been inspected and the purity insured and they are taken to the Gion district of Kyoto miles away from home which is disturbing enough for the girls. It gets worse when the girls learn that they are to be separated, Chiyo is given to an okiya or geisha house while Satsu is taken somewhere else. Shortly after arriving Chiyo meets both Hatsumomo, the most popular geisha at the moment and another young girl working there who is affectionately called Pumpkin. She is warned by the woman who takes her in that the Mother of the house and Granny might not keep her yet and to be on her best behaviour which Chiyo is. While Granny doesn’t like anyone, Mother takes a liking to Chiyo but from previous readings and watching the movie we can already see hints at what is to come as Mother mentions Chiyo being full of water mainly speaking about her unusual eye colour and how it can guard against fire, this is a direct reference to Hatsumomo’s horrible temper.
I didn’t know anything about When No One is Watching before getting into it but it was a part of my Goodreads Reading Challenge and I am finally getting to it almost ten months after starting the challenge. We are introduced to Sydney who has grown up in Gifford Place, a stable Black community that has been steadily changing for the worst as people are moving out and the people replacing them aren’t the kind of people Sydney is used to interacting with and it shows. Sydney is dealing with a lot at this moment in her life, her mother’s failing health, her failed marriage and she is also unemployed right now. To distract herself she takes a local tour of the neighbourhood but becomes enraged when she realises the tour guide only talks about the white history of the neighbourhood and after interrupting a few times is essentially asked to leave. However, during this tour is accidently meets Theo and his girlfriend, Kim who have recently moved into the neighbourhood and she is also being pressured to sell her family home which she isn’t willing to do. Theo, on the other hand, seems like the kind of person Sydney would get along with but Kim definitely isn’t. Their relationship has been on the rocks for a while since Kim cheated on Theo and buying a house together he realises was a very bad idea as he can’t leave now or he will end up in debt and scrambling for a place to live but he can’t stand to be around Kim most of the time.
Title: Hex (Robert Grim Book 1) by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Stars
I didn’t know anything about Hex before getting into it, it only came to my attention because the sequel was released in Dutch almost 7 years after the publication of Hex. With Halloween in 20 days I decided now was the perfect time to pick up some spooky reads. We are introduced to Steve Grant, his wife Jocelyn and their children, Tyler and Matt along with their dog, Fletcher who all live in Black Spring which is notoriously haunted by the Black Rock Witch who they affectionately refer to as Gramma but her name is Katherine. The Black Rock Witch has her eyes and mouth sewn shut but is seen by almost everything as she likes to appear in homes and watch the occupants sleep but she seems relatively harmless right now other than driving poor Fletcher absolutely mad. Katherine likes to enter homes and watch the occupants sleep and she also seems to be corporal unlike most ghosts. However, the town seems to be cursed and once you settle there you can’t leave as the Grants found out when they went on holiday and within a week they were depressed and contemplating suicide and by the 10 day mark they were returning home early because they couldn’t be away any longer. When some new people try to move into town Robert Grim and a group of others try to stop them but they won’t be dissuaded from buying a house in Black Spring and this is where we get introduced to the HEXapp and the network of security cameras that monitor the entire town keeping track of Katherine’s movements.
Title: Kiss the Fae (Vicious Faeries Book 1) by Natalia Jaster
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Erotica
Rating: 4.25 Stars
This is the Double Booked book club pick for October and I was excited to get into it, however, I do have a major love, hate relationship with books about fae and I have Sarah J. Maas to thank for that but I am willing to give it a go. We are introduced to Lark and he two sisters, Juniper and Cove who have to deal with the fallout of Lark ended up in bed with a poacher. In the aftermath, Lark makes her escape in the Faerie lands, through her we learn of the Fables where in the Trapping humans wiped out a lot of the Fae but three escaped who now rules over the Faerie lands. One who rules the sky, One rules over the forest and the last rules over the deep and I don’t think it is a coincidence that the sisters are named after these domains. Larks are birds so they fly, juniper grows in the forest and a cove is found near the sea which might hint at the relationships to come later in the novel and the series overall. While in the Faerie lands someone tries to lure Lark away but she is able to resist it which is normally impossible for humans and the sisters odd appearances make me think there is more to them than meets the eye especially when Juniper and Cove follow Lark in the Faerie lands to find her. By doing this they have broken the laws of the land and the Fae are within their rights to come after them now which terrifies all of the sisters.
Eros/Psyche was a strange yet interesting graphic novel following a bunch of budding witches at a female boarding school called The Rose. We are introduced to our protagonist, Sara, who seems to be telling the story in the past tense and the whole graphic novel is snap shots of her time at The Rose accompanied by her narration from the future. The first person she meets at The Rose is Silje and the pair quickly become almost inseparable which has an added benefit for Sara and Silje is the key student meaning she is in charge of the other students and keeping them in line. There don’t seem to be many rules at The Rose but the ones they do have are heavily enforced and punishment for breaking them is a trip to The Room.
Despite reading 14 books this month I only had two that were five star books, Leviathan Wakes and The Book of the Baku. That being said, I have quite a few five star predications for October including It and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey and The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski.
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs 4.5 Stars – The opening to Nemesis was actually really interesting and I don’t know why I put it off for so long. We are introduced to Melinda “Min” was for every two years on her birthday since she was eight has been murdered by a mysterious man only to wake up in a field unharmed. There is also a big Announcement coming in the present as there is an asteroid that will possibly destroy Earth and the Announcement is to tell the people whether the asteroid is actually going to destroy Earth. When she was young she told her mother and a man named Doctor Lowell about them and was given medication to deal with it but she has always thought that there is more going on but no one is telling her anything. She doesn’t tell anyone now not even her best friend Thomas “Tack” but she is struggling with her situation as she lives with her mother and they are quite poor and Tack comes from an abusive family. I loved the scene where they blew up the school bully’s car but one of that group, Noah stands out to me as having a possible connection to Min. The man who kills her though is also strange both in the present and the in flashbacks as he is expressionless as he kills Min but whenever she asks him why he is killing her he just apologizes and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
Title: The Last Days of Hong Kong (Witch of Empire Book 3) by G. D. Penman
Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Romance
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the war, Iona “Sully” Sullivan has lost everything; her job, her friends, her fiancé and even her magic. But when an old friend shows up on her doorstep, offering her the chance to undo one of her long litany of mistakes, there is still enough of the old Sully left to get her on the first boat to Hong Kong. A stranger in a strange land, Sully must navigate alien customs, werebear chefs, the blossoming criminal underworld, religious extremists, Mongol agents, vampire separatists, and every other freak, maniac or cosmic leftover with an iota of power as they all compete for a chance at the most valuable prize in all the world; a little sailor doll named Eugene, and the last wish on earth.
Title: The Wounded Ones (Witch of Empire Book 2) by G. D. Penman
Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
The opening to The Wounded Ones has Sully dealing with the fallout of the first novel while trying to plan and prepare for the war that is coming. However, she takes some time off to be with Marie who she is planning to propose to when Ogden drags her back for more meetings so she is obviously upset. That isn’t what upsets her the most as Ogden wants Sully to speak with the demon, Mol Kalath but Sully has no interest in doing so as she still doesn’t fully trust the demons and they live to serve their own agenda but Mol Kalath seems to have something important it needs to tell her and it might have something to do with her childhood. We learn through a flashback that when she was tested for magical ability at school she didn’t produce any good results but we also see her mother might have made a deal with a demon regarding her so I am excited to see where this novel goes and how it is going to build up to the climax of the series.
Title: The Year of the Knife (Witch of Empire Book 1) by G. D. Penman
Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 4.25 Stars
The opening to The Year of the Knife was interesting as it is set in New Amsterdam and we are following Agent “Sully” Sullivan who works for the Imperial Bureau of Investigation or IBI. Sully is a witch of the British Empire and is tracking a serial killer in the opening chapter before she gets called to another scene, one with a potential demonic summoning. Upon entering the house Sully doesn’t find a demon but it is clear that the husband has been possessed by something that claims they are returning whatever they are and that it is the year of the knife. I liked the introduction to the magic system which seems to be rooted in mathematics and equations which was interesting and I am excited to see where this story goes. Getting to know Agent Sullivan we can see she is the best in the business but has her own vices including booze and women. After the strange incident she is taken off the case and returns to normal duty which makes it seem like her boss is trying to cover this up.