Tag Archives: Fae

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Overview

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: FaeFantasy, Mystery, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2016

Thoughts

This story was absolutely nothing like what I was expecting. It was kind of dark and twisty, without all of the feel good that I’ve been reading a bit much of in some of my young adult books. Plus, this was actually and truly about misfits. There are way too many YA stories which feature a “misfit” who is actually seriously cool. These kids aren’t. For that, I love them.

I’m always diving into tales of the fae. Tales that are a little bit uncomfortable and sweep you away to some incredibly unexpected places. What I loved about this is that a whole variety of alternate lands are featured. There’s not one doorway to go through, but a whole range. A different land for a different kind of person to fit in. It was nice that each of the characters in this story found their own lands to fit into. Their own places to experience a happily ever after.

This is a great reminder that we all fear death. And fear makes people do stupid things. Nancy may have come from a land of the Dead. But that doesn’t mean she causes death, or even desires it. I love how she is immediately looked upon with suspicion amongst people who know, themselves, what it is like to be a misfit. It’s a reminder that human nature tends to ostracise others, regardless of how we may have been ostracised ourselves. Particularly in instances when there is a whole heap of fear running rampant.

I was completely not expecting the ending of this story. It had such a wonderful Frankenstein, Dracula, Wuthering Heights feel. I might kind of hate Wuthering Heights, but I loved the other two, so it was a good feeling. A good feeling in a bad way…

<- More Seanan McGuireDown Among the Sticks and Bones ->

Image source: Kobo

Doomsday Can Wait by Lori Handeland

Overview

Title: Doomsday Can Wait
Author: Lori Handeland
Series: Phoenix Chronicles #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemonsFae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2009

Thoughts

It’s been a long while since I read Any Given Doomsday. So it did take a little time to get into this… mostly because I kept forgetting what had happened in the past book. But, once I got my head back into the world building… I was hooked.

One of the things I still find weird about this series is the whole sexual empath thing. Its certainly enjoyably unique, but I’ve been mainlining contemporary romances lately. And this really doesn’t fit the bill. Again, something that took me a little while to get my head around. But, I am looking forward to seeing how that will evolve in the following book.

I liked the idea of Liz and Jimmy reuniting in Any Given Doomsday. But the more I got to know Sawyer in this, the more I enjoyed their dynamic. The complexities of the relationships in this world got very heavy very quickly in Doomsday Can Wait. I can’t wait to see how they will develop further into the series.

I was completely taken by the relationship complexities in this novel. But there was a lot of action as well. Liz’s desire to win the day, no matter the cost and the fight between good and evil was pretty intense. It added a brilliant and much needed element of darkness to this fantastic story.

<- Any Given DoomsdayApocalypse Happens ->

Image source: Goodreads

Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You

Overview

Title: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles Companion
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fae, Fantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Year: 2004

Thoughts

This was enjoyable and easy to read. A nice book to flick through as I was waiting for my daughter to truly fall asleep. It was fun, light and very, very pretty. A perfect companion to the rest of the Spiderwick books.

I love that this has a feeling of legitimacy to it. Even if it is a fantasy story. Somehow, DiTerlizzi and Black manage to make it feel realistic and like you could just reach through the veil and experience this delightful world. Toeing that line between real and fantasy can be incredibly difficult, and they’ve made it work. Seriously enjoyable.

It’s obvious that there is a lot of research which has gone into this book, and the lore of the Spiderwick Chronicles in general. After all, these are all fae creatures and beings that show up again and again in literature and entertainment. Although, some of them are pictured in ways that I never imagined. And seriously loved. Another testament to DiTerlizzi.

A wonderful read and a lovely companion to the rest of the Spiderwick Chronicles. I can’t wait to share this with my daughter one day.

<- Care and Feeding of SpritesThe Nixie’s Song ->

Image source: Dymocks

Care and Feeding of Sprites by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

Overview

Title: Care and Feeding of Sprites
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fae, Fantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Year: 2006

Thoughts

I really enjoyed this. It was fun and easy. Cute and quaint. Something that was just a fun diversion for a few moments. The pictures in and of themselves were glorious. And that’s not even taking into account the good writing.

My biggest complaint about this is that there isn’t more specific information on each of the sprites. I love the world that Black and DiTerlizzi have created. And I would have loved to read more about the particulars of the different species that appear in the pages.

This was incredibly short. But also good fun. Mostly I wish this was longer. But I still loved all of the imagery throughout.

<- A Grand Tour of the Enchanted World, Navigate by ThimbletackArthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You ->

Image source: Booktopia

Queene of Light by Jennifer Armintrout

Overview
Queene of Light (Lightworld/Darkworld, #1) by Jennifer Armintrout

Title: Queene of Light
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Series: Lightworld / Darkworld #1
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Magic, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 14th – 21st October 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: When someone wished to speak with the Queene, they would wait forever.

Synopsis

In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder – creatures of myth and fairy tale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.

But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony, and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampries, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.

Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin…

Ayla, a half faery, half human assassin, is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.

Thoughts

I really, really wanted to like this novel. I mean, the premise is great and the writing is good too. But I just… couldn’t get into it. I’m not sure if that was just the mood I was in (so this is definitely in the reread pile) or just generally not my speed.

One of the things I found most difficult about this novel I think was the characters. I found it hard to connect to both the leads and honestly could not have cared less what happened to them. Not exactly something that inspires me to keep reading.

Again, I really loved the premise of this story. And the world building certainly intrigued me. I will most definitely give this another try since I did love the world that this was built in. And I’m intrigued as to how the female lead is going to get out of her weird marriage.

All in all, whilst I got halfway through this and gave it a DNF, I didn’t hate it. Enough that it’s staying on my shelves ready for another attempt in years to come.

<- More Jennifer ArmintroutChild of Darkness ->

Image source: Goodreads

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Overview
Grave Dance (Alex Craft, #2) by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Dance
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Ghosts, Grim reapers, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 16th – 26th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Small, large, winged, floral, too-many limbed, too-few – they were a dizzying display rarely seen on the streets.

Synopsis

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft…

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L”-word confession from death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses – only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end – her own.

Thoughts

It doesn’t matter how many times I read these novels… I love them each and every time. This read through was absolutely no different. It was fun and quirky and just an impossible to put down journal. I love Price’s writing and find myself irrevocably drawn in each and every time. It helps that I notice different parts of the storyline with each reading…

Alex seems to just keep getting herself further and further into trouble everytime I pick up one of her stories. I can’t wait to see what more trouble she gets into (I’ve only ever read up to Grave Memory before). She seems to be one of those characters that blunders into problem after problem, unable to quite stop herself. Which, of course, makes it a fun and entertaining adventure to be on with her. And seriously, very exciting. One of my favourite fast-paced books on my shelves.

I’d like to say that the love triangle in this story is getting far more complex. But, really, it’s not a triangle… it’s some kind of weird, squiggly line. But ultimately, Alex keeps finding herself stuck between two amazing guys. Honestly, I want her to end up with Death. But I’m actually not entirely sure that she will. Some series, it is easy to see who the final love interest will be. But in this one… I have no damn clue. And I love that fact. Aside from the fae politics, her ancestry and all sorts, it’s the love squiggly that makes me want to keep diving headfirst into this series.

Not only is this an amazing, kind of fast-paced story, it’s also one that is perfectly setting up many future battles and complications for the characters. It’s bringing all of the complexities of the fae courts into the complexities of attraction, debts, friendship, cops… there is so much groundwork being laid and it makes this story all that much more intriguing.

<- Grave WitchRuby Red ->

Image source: Goodreads

Friend Robin by Maile Chapman

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: Friend Robin
Author: Maile Chapman
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Mythology
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: We’d seen it before we made an offer, of course, but we hadn’t been back inside since the inspection, not until after the house closed, when, keys in hand, we came to make plans.

Synopsis

I knew well that my mother had been wanting to move closer to me for some time, so when she took a fall on the sidewalk outside her senior apartment complex back east I broke her lease and brought her to Nevada.

Thoughts

I love any tale that there is about Brownies. They are just such a great form of fae. One that I am more than a little obsessed with. But I really wasn’t expecting to find a brownie story in a collection of mythology retellings. Not really sure why though…

This is a great modern-day version of the brownie tale. And a warning about thanking these fae. I love the connection between Robin and the narrators’ mother and how protective Robin is. What a wonderful modern-day version of an age-old tale.

Honestly, this is the whole reason that you should always try and honour brownies or spirits. Try not to be aggressive and disrespectful in the moments that you can be.

<- SawdustThe Veiled Prophet ->

Image source: Goodreads

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Overview
Grave Witch (Alex Craft, #1) by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Ghosts, Grim reapers, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 28th February – 11th March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Which still didn’t explain why it didn’t register as dead.

Synopsis

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself – who happens to look fantastic in jeans – nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high-profile murder when she’s attacked by the “shade” she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something – though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex. But Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer who wields a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life…and her soul.

Thoughts

I’ve read this book more times than I can count. I actually am at a point where I need to buy myself a new copy… it’s just starting to fall apart quite drastically. There is just a wonderful feeling about this tale. A sense of coming home just encompasses me whenever I open the spine of this book. Alex is an amazing heroine, the storyline is full of octane and makes your heart skip a beat. And the whole tale just generally sweeps you off your feet from the very first moment…

Normally I’m not a huge fan of love triangles – they feel kind of forced, and a little bit indulgent at times if I’m being honest. Yet, there is something about Price’s writing that makes me… not mind them. For Alex, the triangle with Falin and Death is just starting to form. And it doesn’t feel like a self-indulgent, faked out story where the girl is just desirable. Rather, it is the forming of two different relationships and the ways in which they expand. Falin and Death are two different characters, ones that will draw you in and leave you wondering who Alex will ultimately choose…

I have heaps and heaps of urban fantasy books on my shelves (it’s probably the biggest section if I’m being honest). And most of them deal with witches, magic, fae, or some kind of approach to this. However, I don’t have any books which have reapers, death and grave witches as a feature. Which makes this series and book even more special. There is only one other series that has a woman who is capable to seeing death and with that strong a connection to death – Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series. I love the uniqueness and wonderful way that this story is approached. After all, Alex is a wonderful enigma, one that I want to find more and more out about.

This is one of those wonderfully fast paced urban fantasies. It is a great story on its own, but it also helps to set up the world of Alex Craft and all of the shenanigans that are about to follow. It is one of those stories, that no matter how many times I read it, I will find something else to enjoy. Something else that I didn’t know last time. And even though I mostly remember the storyline with each rereading… I still feel surprised and unable to put the book down with each rereading.

<- More Kalayna PriceGrave Dance ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Overview
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Young adult
Dates read: 3rd – 9th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls to the Faerie court, where Jude soon realises that to survive she needs to be as cunning and deceitful as the Fey themselves. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

Thoughts

I seriously can’t stop thinking about this novel. Even though I’m writing this review days after I finished reading it, the words, the occurrences, the entire story is still in my mind’s eye. It was just amazing. Which really isn’t surprising since it was written by Holly Black and everything that I’ve had the pleasure of reading by her is a book that quickly finds its way to the top of my list.

The twist at the end of the story was only obvious about a paragraph before it happened. So, really not obvious or something that I guessed at all. And it was the best twist ever. Luckily, I couldn’t find The Wicked King in my TBR immediately after I finished The Cruel Prince… considering I have a massive stack of books that I’ve already started reading…

Jude is an awesome, completely kick ass lead character. I’m not necessarily in love with her as a person… she’s a little too confrontational and kind of nuts in my opinion. But as a product of being raised by the fae? Yeah, I absolutely loved her. It kind of makes me fear what Taryn will be like in the later books… I mean, they’re twins and whilst they’ve taken a different route to power… it’ll be interesting to see what happens next is the least that I can say.

I’ve only read the one series by Holly Black, and the thing that I loved the most about it was that she depicts the fae beautifully. She continues that vein in this story – the fae aren’t fun, happy, or light. This already feels so much darker than her Modern Faerie Tales series. But it’s still a great indication of the horrors that are in the traditional faerie tales….

<- More Holly BlackThe Lost Sisters ->

Image source: Goodreads

Full-Scale Demolition by Suzanne McLeod

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Full-Scale Demolition
Author: Suzanne McLeod
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 19th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: After much manoeuvring I balanced the bundled drop cloth on the backs of my thighs, tucking an end into my waistband, and started crawling down headfirst.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

She can’t cast, but she can catch Pixies… really well. So when a routine Pixie collecting job goes seriously hay-wire, it might just be up to her unique abilities to stop this full-scale demolition.

Thoughts

I jot down notes when I’m reading, so that it’s easier to write reviews when I’m done. And the first point I wrote for this story… :

  • Ooooooh. I liked this story.

It’s a pretty good summing up of my feelings really. This was fun and entertaining and I was really, really hoping that it was part of a series (it’s not, but I’m going to imagine it in my mind’s eye anyway…)

This short story combined pixies, sidhe, lamia and kelpies. All paranormal creatures that I have loved in previous stories, so, of course, I was drawn in completely. Plus, any story that starts with pixies is generally going to be fun… they’re such an interesting and insane paranormal pest.

I loved that in the end, this story was saved by pixie dust. Pixie dust saves the day and is what ultimately is the source of power in this fun and incredibly cute short story.

<- Rick the BraveIt’s All in the Rendering ->

Image source: Hachette Australia