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Savage Legion
by Matt Wallace

I like that the lead characters of this book are all female. Pretty surprising for a book called Savage Legion. The detail to action in this book is very complex and is easy to visualize. It is a harsh world with the Aegin that take the lower castes and throw them into fighting as Savages, not caring if they die, just that there are bodies to slow the enemy down. One of the leads, Evie is a Savage, the others, Slider, and Lexi are very different, as a disabled girl on a secret island, and a Te-Gen trying to keep her Gen from being dissolved on spurious grounds. They are all related, even though at first it seems like it is three separate stories. I liked Slider’s part the best. There is a lot of politics in this book and rebellion against the unfair system. It was a bit confusing at times, especially at the beginning but I enjoyed the book and I look forward to the next one.

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café
by Jodi Thomas

This book is such a cute romance with a dash of mystery thrown in. I especially loved it because it is set in Texas where I live! The book has four different perspectives and that kept things interesting. I liked Piper's and Colby's sections the best but Sam Cassidy and Pecos Smith were fun to read about too. I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The writing style was smooth and made for quick reading. The descriptions were vivid and I could see them easily. The characters were easy to believe that they were real and they were likable humans too. I dived into this book and it kept me hooked until the last page. The ending was really sweet and left me satisfied. I eagerly await the second book to continue the story!

The Sin In The Steel
by Ryan Van Loan

Well, this certainly starts off with excitement with a roomful of dead people, an arrest and trial, a twist that makes Buc and Eld start a new case to find out about missing ships and sugar. Add in a couple of rival gods and their crazy followers and you have a very full adventure. It is best described like this: Gods, missing ships. Cannibals. Pirates. Holy artifacts. And you sent Buc and Eld into the midst of that with a paltry brig beneath their feet? Plus scary ghostships and Shambles. Buc acts a lot like Sherlock (which I think is the point) but sometimes her superiority which she doesn't bother to hide (along with the kan use) was more of a hindrance. And though she is smart, she kept getting into stupid situations by not thinking all the way through. I think she is best summed up with this : Manners are a terrible affliction. Thank the Gods I am immune. Eld on the other hand has issues due to being the only survivor after his regiment is massacred when his orders were skewed by the Sin Eater mage. He seems really old sometimes though apparently he is only 19. That was confusing but maybe because this is an ARC. It could be different in the final version. Eld is definitely nicer than Buc though and has better manners. The descriptions of the lands are well done and it is easy to visualize it. It is a mixture of first person (via Buc) and third person from various other characters like Eld, or Chan Sha. That turned out differently than I thought and I am very curious about the Sin Eaters and their god and what the Dead God's followers are trying to do.

The Sushi Prophecies
by August Hill

I will say that this is a very colorful story with oddball characters that seem to be mostly high, usually on weed or mushrooms or mysterious plant, or drunk. I really hope Vancouver is really not what is described in this book. The main character is Sebastian, though he usually is called Seb or even Sebby by his friends. He has an awful girlfriend, Adina, who he really should have broken up with long ago. He works and manages the Verdigris, a very successful garden/nursery. Life is colorful but when he gets an odd plant in an order, things go even more crazy. The descriptions in this book are very vivid, not always in a good way. Some are positively stomach churning. The mysterious plant is described as a lobster throwing up cotton candy. And there are very long and, to me, odd and not needed descriptions of hot yoga and an odd tea ceremony. Because of that plant, Sebastian gets caught in a dastardly plot and has to save Vancouver from the clutches of evil people, or not. It is very confusing and disjointed. I think much could be cut out of this book, either that or it might be best read if you are high. I finished it but I think the story is way too meandering (just go ahead and save the darn city!), the plot is not great and it is definitely not in my niche of liked books.

Jo & Laurie
by Margaret Stohl

This was a sweet retelling. I enjoyed reading this version where Jo and Laurie end up together instead of him going off to marry Amy. It was easy to visualize all the different places, from Concord to Boston and New York. I think it was cool how Laurie took Jo to New York, along with Meg and Mr. Brook and they got to see shows, including Charles Dickens, to try and help Jo be able to write a worthy sequel to Little Women. It was fun to read the different versions she tried first. They were quite funny. I did not mind the difference between this book and the original story. There are so many retellings of tales, from Robin Hood, to Romeo and Juliet. That does not make it a bad story, just different. I wish people would not prejudge it and call it sacrilege, without even bothering to crack the cover. The historical note at the end of the book also helps to explain why the authors wrote the characters the way they did. That was a cool little peek into the history of Louisa May Alcott and her original novel.

South Of The Buttonwood Tree
by Heather Webber

I really enjoyed Heather Webber's last book, Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe and when I saw that she was going to be publishing another book, I was so excited! Especially since it is in the same vein as her last book, a small Southern town and a bit of magic in both people and a special buttonwood tree. I really like both Blue Bishop and Sarah Grace, whose two viewpoints make up the story. Blue has a knack for finding things and one day she finds a baby left at the buttonwood tree which has its own specialness. The Bishop name has been sullied over the years by Blue's con father, drunken mother and criminal brothers and so people hold it against her so they don't want her to have the baby. Sarah Gracehas her own talent of being a house whisperer and is in her own unhappy marriage but still tries to keep going with renovating old houses to rent to lower income families. There are also snippets of the judge as people of the town relate their experiences of Blue. Those were fun to read too. This just left me with such a good feeling after reading it and I think this quote from the ARC describes it perfectly. "This is the South after all, where there's always a touch of magic in the air." I definitely recommend this book as a good escape! And I can't wait for more books like this!

The Patient
by Jasper Dewitt

First off, I am glad that this book was a novella because it is definitely a read in one sitting story. Otherwise it will drive you crazy with wanting to figure out the whys. It takes place mostly in an asylum and is about a young doctor, Parker, who takes on a patient only know by a short name "Joe" that has been there since childhood and has defied explanation for years in how he drives other doctors and orderlies to madness and suicide. This is creepy and mind twisting and did not turn out how I was expecting. For a novella, it is pretty good and wraps things up in the pages allotted without feeling like the story should have been longer though it did leave a couple plot holes. If you read this, be prepared to be thinking about it for awhile after.

Ashes Of The Sun
by Django Wexler

Django Wexler makes cool worlds in his books that are very easy to see while reading. This is a cool one that has both high tech (leftover from a previous war between the Chosen and the ghouls) and magic in the the forms of deiat and dhaka. Only the centarchs (specially chosen by the Chosen before they fell) can use deiat, but anyone can use dhaka (which is why the Twilight Order, made up of centarchs, has banned it). This story varies between the viewpoints of Maya (a centarch in training) and Gyre Halfmask who is trying to bring down the Order and the Republic because it is stifling and killing the people living there with its bans and rules against using dhak items. What is cool is that the dhak items are the high tech, like flight motivators, and core analytica. Plus the Chosen had skyships that crashed. Of course the dhakim use the tech to make plaguespawn and those aren't fun at all. They go around looking for more body parts to add to their own. Between the darks parts of the dhakim and the corruption in the Twilight Order, I wasn't sure who to root for, so I rooted for both Maya and Gyre, who are trying in their separate ways to create a better society. This is a good book to read and I cannot wait for the next one to come out as this one definitely ends on a cliffhanger!

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes
by Suzanne Collins

Pretty good book, especially if you're a fan of the original trilogy. Does a great job explaining Snow's point of view, and shows a nice story of the beginning of the Capitol's reign, how the hunger games evolved, etc. Would highly recommend.

by Steve Cavanagh

Pretty good book. I read it in one sitting, so can't be terrible. No real good twists or anything though, which is why I took off a star.
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