May 30, 2021

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #23 The Seanan McGuire by Any Other Name Edition


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version πŸ˜‰. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

This time I have three Seanan McGuire books, because I just love her and I buy plenty of her stuff...Only one of them was published under her real name though - the other two are, respectively, part of her A. Deborah Baker and Mira Grant productions (brand new the first, well-established the second). I have to admit that two of these books I found less brilliant than her usual, but still worth checking out even if you aren't a fan (which, counterintuitively, I suspect caused me to be less lenient LOL).

May 24, 2021

Gene Doucette: "The Apocalypse Seven" (ARC Review)

Title: The Apocalypse Seven [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Gene Doucette [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Sci-Fi, Thriller/Mystery
Year: 2021
Age: 16+
Stars: 3.5/5
Pros: Nice variation on the post-apocalypse trope with an unexpected twist. Lots of diversity (though most of it is barely addressed).
Cons: The characters, while solid, don't generate a strong emotional connection with the reader.
WARNING! Despite the characters' predicament, nothing overly graphic to report, but there's a death by fire.
Will appeal to: Sci-fi fans who can appreciate a tragic but entertaining twist. Readers who care more about the actual story than they do about getting attached to the humans in it.

Blurb: The whateverpocalypse. That’s what TourΓ©, a twenty-something Cambridge coder, calls it after waking up one morning to find himself seemingly the only person left in the city. Once he finds Robbie and Carol, two equally disoriented Harvard freshmen, he realizes he isn’t alone, but the name sticks: Whateverpocalypse. But it doesn’t explain where everyone went. It doesn’t explain how the city became overgrown with vegetation in the space of a night. Or how wild animals with no fear of humans came to roam the streets. Add freakish weather to the mix, swings of temperature that spawn tornadoes one minute and snowstorms the next, and it seems things can’t get much weirder. Yet even as a handful of new survivors appear - Paul, a preacher as quick with a gun as a Bible verse; Win, a young professional with a horse; Bethany, a thirteen-year-old juvenile delinquent; and Ananda, an MIT astrophysics adjunct - life in Cambridge, Massachusetts gets stranger and stranger. The self-styled Apocalypse Seven are tired of questions with no answers. Tired of being hunted by things seen and unseen. Now, armed with curiosity, desperation, a shotgun, and a bow, they become the hunters. And that’s when things truly get weird. (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on NetGalley. Thanks to John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.


First off, this is one of those books that grow on you the second time you read them (well, it did for me πŸ˜‰), though I ultimately decided to stand by my original rating because I tend to love character-driven books more, and despite there being a number of them, I didn't feel like this was the case - but such reread will impact my review nonetheless. There's no denying that, despite lacking the extra oomph for me, TAS is well written, nicely plotted, able to revitalise the age-old post-apocalyptic scenario, and it's got a unique, unexpected twist that pays off (I mean the ultimate twist, because there's more than one) and that fans of Doctor Who, especially of the Matt Smith era, will eat up (I'm first and foremost a David Tennant devotee, but let's get real - not only Matt's Doctor was fantastic, but had hands down the best, if often craziest, stories). Sometimes I like my books better the second time around because I know where they're heading, which may not be true for most readers; but in cases like this, the anticipation of what one knows is going to happen (or to have happened...) makes the story more exciting...for people like me at least. [...]

May 18, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings in order to discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging (and some slightly more personal matters thrown in for good measure). While Heidi is on an extended hiatus, there are five of us who are hosting it and providing the questions. The current team is composed of Berls at Because Reading Is Better Than Real LifeJen at That's What I'm Talking AboutKaren at For What It's WorthLinda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Roberta at Offbeat YA. This week's question is...


First off, what are we talking about here, exactly? I found a couple of articles that help understanding how an introvert and an extrovert's mind work:

Now, I may probably fit better in the introvert camp (I go as far as to being socially anxious in certain situations, though that, according to the article above, is a different thing altogether) if being an introvert means that "your idea of a good time is a quiet afternoon to yourself to enjoy your hobbies and interests". Except, if extroverts are people who like "to communicate by talking" and "to talk about thoughts and feelings", I am that way too! And if someone invited me to a party, I'd be more than happy to go and dance my heart out (umm...maybe not the latter anymore, but only because this old body probably wouldn't cooperate 😫 πŸ˜…). So I suppose you could say I'm in the middle...also because, while I do enjoy quiet time and "me" time, it's not like they're always a choice on my part...they're largely a consequence of my home problems and the limitations that come with them. I do like to spend time with my books and my blog and my TV shows (and my music once, except it took a back seat lately, after years of me being a radio personality...I have rejection crisis LOL), but I wish I could go back to having a life outside of them, which simply isn't possible anymore πŸ˜’.

May 10, 2021

Seanan McGuire: "Angel of the Overpass" (ARC Review)

Title: Angel of the Overpass [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Ghost Roads (3rd of ?? books)
Author: Seanan McGuire [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Afterlife, Urban Fantasy
Year: 2021
Age: 14+ (but I shelved it as Adult because the lead, though technically 16, has been around for decades as a ghost)
Stars: 4.5/5
Pros: Engaging character voice. Creative spin(s) on a few classic urban legends. Humour, depth and heart.
Cons: A bit meandering. Recaps too much of the previous installments while dropping a bomb from a related series in our laps.
WARNING! There's a road accident (with kids involved) sporting some potentially disturbing imagery, and an instance of homophobia. 
Will appeal to: Urban legend fans. Readers with a penchant for dead characters who know how to come alive on the page.

Blurb: Rose Marshall died when she was sixteen years old and on her way to her high school prom. She hasn’t been resting easy since then - Bobby Cross, the man who killed her, got away clean after running her off the road, and she’s not the kind of girl who can let something like that slide. She’s been looking for a way to stop him since before they put her body in the ground. But things have changed in the twilight world where the spirits of the restless dead continue their “lives.” The crossroads have been destroyed, and Bobby’s protections are gone. For the first time, it might be possible for Rose to defeat him. Not alone, though. She’ll need every friend she’s managed to make and every favor she’s managed to add to her account if she wants to stand a chance…and this may be her last chance to be avenged, since what is Bobby Cross without the crossroads? Everything Rose knows is about to change. (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on NetGalley and Edelweiss, and got approved for it on both sites. Thanks to DAW Books for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.


I love this series with all my heart and soul, and there's plenty to love about it - from its engaging main character and her backstory to its rich mythology. I have to be honest though: this time I ran into a few bumps in the road (or, well, in the Ghost Roads 😁), and even if I cherished the time I spent in Rose's world and the ending went above and beyond my expectations, I'm not going to pretend those bumps never happened. Anyhow, let's start with the reasons why this book was almost a five-star read:
  • McGuire has a strong hold on the protagonist (well, all her characters really - practically none of them is short of tridimensional and complex), and I never tire of staying in Rose's head. Everyone who's familiar with my blog knows how much I love my dead/undead book people, but Rose is a special case - a 16 y.o. girl pushing 90 in ghost age, which makes for the most interesting character ambivalence/development (mind you, it's not like she sounds 16 and 80+ at the same time - she sounds like "an ageless being with a grown woman's/creature's wisdom and sass, and a girl's heart underneath", as I said in my review for the first installment. I stand by my words). And yes...I said "character development", because all the best dead/undead book people grow, despite their predicament. Just when I was thinking that Rose might have no more (un)life left in her, McGuire pulled an awesome twist, and now...everything's going to stay the same, except everything changed. If the powers-that-be are listening, I DEMAND more Rose adventures (because I know the author, for her part, would be nothing but happy to provide them).
  • This world is to die for - no pun intended. It's got "ghost cars, highways turned goddesses, itinerant or multilayered diners" (from my review of the second installment) and much more...all kinds of urban legends you can think of, and even a few you can't, because McGuire either put a spin on them or created them from scratch. This book in particular weaves a bunch of new details into the geography of the dead, and gives us both new perspectives about characters we already know and new characters to get acquainted with...some of which decidedly unusual.
  • For a ghost world, things get real enough. See Rose and Gary's relationship. I admire a writer who doesn't shy from real, whatever the cost.
  • The writing. Duh. [...]

May 02, 2021

Tooting Your Trumpet #18

Some people toot their own trumpet. I mean to toot yours. On the first Sunday of every month, I'm sharing your posts, your sites, anything interesting I stumble upon during my internet vagrancies. This month on TYT...
  • 5 REASONS BOOK BLOGS ARE GREAT PLACES TO PROMOTE BOOKS (a think piece on Briana's blog Pages Unbound Reviews)
  •  GOOD NEWS FROM THE WEIRD WIDE WORLD (a fun post on Lissa's blog The Memory Tourist)
  • TITAN SCOOPS WINNING FANTASY THE SHADOW GLASS (a book deal announcement on The Bookseller online magazine)
Please note: all the graphics featured in these posts are property of the blog/site owners, and are only used in association with their blog/site links.