Quick Shot Book Reviews (23)

Posted 8 September, 2016 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 4 Comments

Lick it, slam it, suck it…
Quick Shot Book Reviews

22065080Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

YA Fairy Tale Retelling, 304 pages, hardcover; expected publication September 20, 2016 by Tor Teen; source: publisher

This was my first BEA read and sucked me in from beginning to end (and gorgeous cover!). A modern take on a Russian fairytale (Vasalisa the Beautiful) featuring that chicken-house-dwelling witch, Baba Yaga, this story brings Baba Yaga to Brooklyn and a downtrodden part of town. Local girl Vassa and her wooden doll, Erg, is sent by her stepsister to fetch more light bulbs from BY’s, the local convenience store where you’re just as likely to wind up decapitated as with that loaf of bread you wanted. Vassa winds up in service to Baba for three days and, if she can survive that long, she will be released from service. This story…bizarre. Like a long, strange trip complete with convenience stores that dance on chicken feet, bleeding swans, motorcycle-riding boys, and dismembered hands that act as servants and spies. And I couldn’t put it down. Seriously. So weird. 4 stars.

28448239Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

YA Fantasy, 448 pages, hardcover; expected publication September 25, 2016 by Balzer+Bray; source: publisher

Well, that was unexpected. I was thinking this would be along the lines of Romeo and Juliet (considering they’re both in this story) or a twist where Romeo and Paris hook up but no. We’ve got revenants and necromancers and reapers and the death of the human race. It’s a horrible, scary, death-filled place, this last bastion of human existence, complete with class structure and politics (you’d think they’d be more worried about survival than all that but these are humans we’re talking about. Not a sensible race, for the most part). Hodge’s worldbuilding is, as per usual, spot-on and her characters are vividly drawn. (Plus, another gorgeous cover!) 4 stars

26114463Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay Kristoff

YA Fantasy, 448 pages, hardcover; published August 9, 2016 by Harper Voyager; source: publisher

I put this book down and picked it up so many times…I’m actually quite pleased with myself for finishing it (usually, I give up and DNF it). Why did it take so many times for me to finish it? Because I read it on an ereader and there were footnotes. Like, tons and tons of footnotes that, in my version of the book (which, to be fair was an ARC…possibly it’s easier to bounce between the text and footnote in the actual ebook?), made it impossible to get to the footnotes until the end of the chapter. But by then, I’d completely forgotten what each footnote related back to. Still, those notes were interestingly snarky and did add more information to the world, especially in the backstory. Okay, that being said, the story was…interesting and weird and hard to get into but worth a go, especially if you’re a fantasy fan. 3 stars

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