October 17th, 2018 by Pingwing
By Victoria Schwab (as V.E. Schwab)
Series: Villains #2
Published by Tor on September 25, 2018
Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought-and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.
With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.
Wow. I don’t even know where to start reviewing this book. Not only was it my most-anticipated book of 2018, I think it was my most-anticipated book ever! I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a book to come out. After all, Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite authors, and Vicious is one of my all-time favourite books. When I first read it back in 2013, it was a stand-alone. When it was announced back in 2016, I think, that Victoria Schwab was working on a sequel, I couldn’t handle my excitement! It was a long wait until release day arrived, but it was 100% worth the wait.
Prepare yourself, because this will be a long review. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about Vengeful! (I also tweeted at Victoria Schwab as soon as I finished reading, and woke up the next day to see she liked and retweeted – basically the highlight of my year!)
Prepare yourself, because this is going to be a long review. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about Vengeful! (But I’ll try and keep this spoiler-free so I won’t get into plot specifics)
I reread Vicious right before my Vengeful pre-order showed up, so when I started reading this, I just wanted to be thrown back into Victor’s world. So when the book opened with Marcella, a new character, I was a bit thrown and not sure how I felt about that.
But Marcella was just what I needed. She was awesome. I read this during the Kavanagh mess in the US, and there was something about Marcella and her story that felt kind of cathartic or something.
There was one death in the book that made me really sad (there are lots of deaths in this book). I won’t say more, to keep things spoiler-free, but it was towards the end of the book, and by the time I finished reading, I was having an emotion overload. This book took its characters to some dark places, and I loved it, but it was heartbreaking in a way too.
And I can’t believe it, but Vengeful actually made me have feelings for Eli! We got a look at his background and it made Eli a more rounded-out character to me. I didn’t know I wanted to learn about his past, but it turns out I did!
There was another new character, June, and she and her abilities were so intriguing. I am really impressed with Victoria Schwab’s ability to get me to be so invested in new characters in this book. When I finished re-reading Vicious I just wanted to read more about Victor and Sydney and Mitch, and Eli. But I became so interested in Marcella and June as well, and I love the way their story intertwined with Victor’s and Eli’s.
I feel like the end of this book left a possibility for a third, but that might be wishful thinking, because I love this series and the characters so much. I am quite satisfied if it’s a duology and ends here.
I’m writing this review about two weeks after I finished reading, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I’ve been tempted to pick it back up and re-read it already, and I think I will make it a goal to re-read it before the end of the year. I love Victoria Schwab’s writing, and all of her books that I’ve read are fantastic (I particularly love her Shades of Magic series).
But there’s something about Vicious and Vengeful that are extra-special to me, and I can’t articulate what that is. I just know that I love these characters and their world, and I know that writing this book was something that Victoria Schwab struggled with (she discusses re-writing the book completely in this interview ), and I’m so grateful for this book.
This will definitely be one of my favourite books of the year. If you loved Vicious, I hope you love Vengeful too!
October 15th, 2018 by Pingwing
China Rich Girlfriend
By Kevin Kwan
Series: Crazy Rich Asians #2
Published by Knopf Doubleday on June 16, 2015
On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriendbrings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
I read and enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians a few years ago, and I had to see the movie adaptation when it came out. Right after my best friend and I saw the movie (which was fantastic), I knew that I had to read the rest of the series! Fortunately my BFF loaned me this book, and I started to read it almost as soon as I got home from the movie theatre.
This book was so fun! It also made me so hungry – there were so many descriptions of delicious food! I really enjoyed reading this and getting to spend time with characters I remembered from Crazy Rich Asians (especially Astrid!). And I was very excited for Rachel and Henry’s wedding!
This book was just as fun as Crazy Rich Asians and now I can’t wait to read the third book in the series, Rich People Problems.
October 14th, 2018 by Pingwing
October 8 – 14
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these! Life has been busy but hopefully things are settling down and I can catch up on some sleep and some reading time, at last. I also have pretty much all of my TV shows to catch up on (Supernatural; The Walking Dead; The Good Place) so I want to make time for that too.
One thing I have been watching and enjoying immensely is On Cinema at the Cinema with Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington (I’m a Timhead, but my husband is a Gregghead, so there has been a lot of tension in the home lately). It’s so funny, and I love the universe Tim and Gregg have created with this show: there is the TV show, the live specials, the spin-off TV show, the band…it’s a lot, but if it’s your kind of humour, it’s so rewarding to become fully immersed in that world.
The short episodes of On Cinema (and Decker) have made them perfect for watching whenever my husband and I have had spare time over the last couple of weeks to just sit and relax.
I bought a few books for my Kobo:
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Kiersten White;
The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory; and
Blackbirds, Chuck Wendig.
I also pre-ordered the new Tana French book, The Witch Elm, and was so excited when release day arrived and it showed up on my Kobo! I love her books, and this is a stand-alone. It isn’t part of her Dublin Murder Squad series, so I’m intrigued.
I’ve only finished two books in the last couple of weeks.
First, I read Victoria Schwab’s Vengeful (sequel to one of my favourite books, Vicious), and it was so good that I couldn’t get into anything else I tried to read after that. It was a true book hangover. And I’m really struggling to write my review, because I have so much I want to say and it gave me a LOT of feelings, but I’m not sure if I can accurately capture that in words!
This weekend I finished Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which was interesting. I have to think on it for a bit before I review it.
I’m about a quarter of the way into The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and I’m planning to start reading The Witch Elm today.
This week I posted my sister’s Cozy Corner review of Snowed In with Murder by Auralee Wallace, and my review of Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter.
Time for coffee, books, and TV shows. Happy Sunday!
October 12th, 2018 by Pingwing
Snowed In with Murder
By Auralee Wallace
Series: An Otter Lake Mystery #3
Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks on February 7, 2017
Erica has returned to Otter Lake, New Hampshire, to rekindle her romance with Sheriff Grady Forrester at her mom’s island retreat, currently closed for the off season. Just ahead of a rapidly advancing storm front, Erica arrives to discover Mom has rented the lodge to a reality TV show. They’re filming the wealthy but awful Boatright brood, who’ve been summoned here by their patriarch because—so he says—one of them wants to kill him.
SNOWED IN WITH MURDER
Great television, terrible timing. Not only are Erica’s romantic hopes snuffed out like a candle flame, the nasty Nor’easter just became a superstorm…and no one is getting off the island ’til it blows over. When the power fails, it’s lights out for the patriarch. Now, marooned with a murdered millionaire and his feuding family, it’s up to Erica to take the killer by storm and get back to the business of reuniting with Grady—until death do they part!
Woah. This book was full of suspense.
Okay, I will say that I was disappointed when I first picked up this book. I realized pretty quickly that this was going to be a book that focused on a new cast of characters and would use the ones that I have come to know and love as part of a secondary storyline. However, that disappointment quickly faded when I got a few chapters in and realized how good this book was. It was a departure from the rest of the series in that it wasn’t as funny, but was, as I said above, incredibly suspenseful and just as engrossing as the others.
Julia has returned from Chicago in order to try and repair her relationship with Grady, who recently dumped her. While she has planned on having a romantic weekend with him at her mothers’ island home, she quickly discovers that her mom has rented the place out and is currently being used for filming a reality show. Even worse, the area is about to be hit with a violent Nor’Easter, so even if the home was available, Grady is not as he has to now work.
Stuck on an island in a violent storm with a cast of (many terrible) characters, Erica jumps into action when one of the renters suddenly dies. When it is discovered that he was likely murdered, she has to work to protect the youngest member of the group (who is likely to be targeted for the millions he will now inherit) from a Darkweb assassin. This task is not helped by members of the reality show getting lost in the snow, getting drunk, or crew members falling on ice and getting knocked out cold.
I must say that while I love winter storms, this book made me so happy that I don’t have to experience them on an island with a broken generator. I found myself shivering from the descriptions of being stuck outside in that weather, even though it was August when I read it. The only downside to the book is that I found it a bit easier to figure out who the killer was due to some comments at the start of the book. But, at the same time, I don’t mind because the journey was just so exciting.
I really was engrossed in this book and found it very hard to put down. Highly recommend for anyone who wants a somewhat cozy thriller.
October 8th, 2018 by Pingwing
The Clockmaker’s Daughter
By Kate Morton
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada, Atria Books on October 9, 2018
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?
Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.
I’m a Kate Morton fan. I’ve enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read, so when I learned that she had a new book coming out this fall, I knew I had to read it. I was so excited to receive an e-ARC from the publisher!
This book was just what I expected from Kate Morton. It was a mystery spanning generations, full of love and heartbreak. It took a while for me to see how the pieces would all fit together, but they did eventually. I like that this book got where it was going but didn’t rush. I also really liked the narrator and learning her story – but I don’t want to say more and risk spoiling anything!
It you’re a Kate Morton fan like I am, you’ve got to read The Clockmaker’s Daughter. And if you like sprawling multi-generation historical fiction mysteries, you should check this out too! Recommended!