Photo Review – Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K Hamilton


Guilty Pleasures

(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Summary: Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars…

But now a serial killer is murdering vampires—and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer… “

“In a world where vampires, zombies and werewolves have been declared legal citizens of the United States, Anita Blake is an “animator” – a profession that involves raising the dead for mourning relatives. But Anita is also known as a fearsome hunter of criminal vampires, and she’s often employed to investigate cases that are far too much for conventional police. But as Anita gains the attention of the vampire masters of her hometown of St Louis, she also risks revealing an intriguing secret about herself – the source of her unusual strength and power.”

Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my library

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Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so I have to give credit where it’s due to this book, especially as the first of the series, for paving the way for the genre. Before this book, there wasn’t really any urban fantasy.

I enjoyed the story, but I prefer other urban fantasy novels that have better character building and development. Much like other first books, this one paved the way for other books to do it better.


Star 3

Photo Review – Carrie by Stephen King



by Stephen King

Summary: Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

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Source: I was gifted a paperback from a friend


As a Stephen King fan, you’d think I would’ve read his very first book. I am glad I finally picked it up. It was just like the story I remember from the movie and its remakes, but I loved the format it was told in. The various articles, POVs, and clippings gave a full picture of the events in a unique way.

I don’t know that it’s his best, but it’s certainly good and I definitely recommend.


Star 3

Photo Review – The Power by Naomi Alderman


The Power

by Naomi Alderman

Summary: In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday TimesYoung Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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The Power was such a great book! It was thought provoking and definitely one that I recommend for book clubs, as it sparks such great discussion. It didn’t go how I thought it would. In the beginning, it felt like a story about women finally having power and all of the great things we would do with it, but it was more of a cautionary tale. Would women create an equal world or would we abuse our power once we were on top? Are men and women really that different? Are gender roles based on biology or who is in power?

I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it!


Star 5

Photo Review – The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana


The Confectioner’s Guild

by Claire Luana

Summary: A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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The Confectioner’s Guild was a whimsical fantasy that involved magic and baking with murder and mystery.

It turns out that I don’t often enjoy whimsical tales or book about baking, but if you’re into urban fantasy with a bit of cozy mystery and baking, it’s fun.

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Star 3

Photo Review – Verity by Colleen Hoover



by Colleen Hoover

Summary: Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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What the heck did I just read??

I was on the edge of my seat through this entire book. It was creepy and suspenseful with total mindf*cks throughout and I’m still not really sure who to believe. Definitely recommend!


Star 4


Photo Review – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi


The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)

by Roshani Chokshi

Summary: No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

Source: I received a signed hardcover in my Uppercase subscription box

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The Gilded Wolves was a fun and intriguing book about a secret society full of heists and secrets. Th setting was fun and I enjoyed the characters.

My biggest issue with the book was how similar it felt to Six of Crows, just not quite as dark, but even the characters were similar with the tortured hero, the glittery and seductive girl, the skilled and secretive girl, etc.

Still, I enjoyed and would recommend The Gilded Wolves.


Star 3

Photo Review – The Queen of Sorrow (The Queens of Renthia #3) by Sarah Beth Durst


The Queen of Sorrow

(The Queens of Renthia #3)

by Sarah Beth Durst

Summary: The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the powerful The Reluctant Queen comes to a stunning conclusion in The Queen of Sorrow, the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy.

Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home—a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.

And then Naelin’s children are kidnapped by spirits.

Nothing is more important to her than her family, and Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed. Blaming the defeated Queen Merecot of Semo for the kidnapping, Naelin is ready to start a war—and has the power to do it.

But Merecot has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or plunging the world into chaos.

Source: I purchased a paperback

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The Queen of Sorrow was such a great ending to an underrated fantasy series. It brought together some characters from the first book and the dilemma of the second book ending, so if we thought there were plot holes or easy endings, the finale addressed it all. I wasn’t really satisfied with two queens, but it was necessary at the time and not nearly such a great solution, which was explored better in the finale.

I cannot rave about this trilogy enough! I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved that it was a nice break from emotional YA fantasy and wasn’t the long and complex type of adult fantasy, nor the swoonworthy and romantic adult fantasy that often features female characters.

I loved the world building and magic system and was thrown by a lot of the twists and dilemmas. It was unpredictable, unique, and thoroughly enjoyable!

Books are hard to find where I live and I am so stoked that I magically found a mass market paperback… it was what ultimately made me finally dive into the series and finish!


Star 4