Magic for Liars – Book Review

Any time there’s some element of magic involved in a story, it typically catches my attention.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey popped up on my radar while watching a book tube video. I had not heard a single murmur about it before this, and I instantly wanted to read it. So I did!

Magic for Liars Summary

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

Magic for Liars Review

I loved this book!

It had a murder mystery, it had magic, and it had the right amount of humor sprinkled in. I really loved the main character of Ivy. She’s pretty flawed, and the way Sarah Gailey wrote her, she felt so real to me. I wanted to be her friend, and her assistant in this case.

Don’t go into this thinking you’re getting some adult Harry Potter with murder. While the magic is there, the murder mystery and the characters are at the forefront of this novel. We don’t get great explanations as to how the magic system works in this world, and we don’t get to know much about the magical events until the end.

While I enjoyed the story, I called the ending right from when Ivy reaches the school.

That didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this novel AT ALL. I have been struggling for weeks to find a book that would really capture my attention and this did the trick.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, quick, and slightly magical read.

It did lose a star for the predictability of it, I still loved it very much!

This gets four out of five metal horns from me!

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Top Ten Books of 2018!

It’s difficult to narrow down 122 books into a top ten list, but I have managed it. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, but what you see here are the ten books that captured my heart and soul. There’s a little something of everything in this list, and I hope some of these books land on your 2019 TBR piles!

Starting from number 10…

10. Nevermoor 

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This is a middle grade novel, but one that seems to grab the imagination and make you want to jump into as much middle grade fantasy as possible. Sure it’s aimed for children, but who says adults can’t enjoy them as well?

You follow a young girl named Morrigan Crow. This little girl is cursed, and this curse means she will die at midnight of her 11th birthday. Then she gets rescued by Jupiter North who takes her to a magical place called Nevermoor. There she must compete in 4 trials to join the Wundrous Society.

This book gave me Harry Potter feels, and not because of any blatant copying like many other middle grade novels have tried in the past but because the author has created a magical world where kids (of all ages) can escape to.

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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This was soul crushing on so many levels but I wish more people knew of Henrietta’s story. This is a true story about a black woman who died in 1951 of Cancer and how doctors and researchers have used her cells in Cancer research. You also get a glimpse into the poor family’s life situation, and how it profoundly impacted their misunderstandings of what was happening with Henrietta’s cells. The doctors were extremely irresponsible and while the HeLa cells have become important in the science community, the way they came to be is extremely hard to learn about, but also very important.

8. The Extinction Trials

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The reason this book caught my attention was the little sticker that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park” I was instantly sold. I can’t sit here and say the book has the best writing, but you have to suspend your belief of the world for a bit and just dive into the story. Both this one and the second one in the series are extremely fun to read. It is exactly what they say in the sticker. You are thrown into a world where dinosaurs exist and teenagers are questioning the reasoning behind adults’ decisions. I enjoy this series and I am looking forward to reading the third book.

7. Only Human

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Only Human is the third and final book (I believe) in the Themis Files series. The series starts with Sleeping Giants. In Sleeping Giants you follow Rose. When she was a little girl riding her bike around her house she falls into a hole, when emergency personnel show up, they realize she’s laying on a giant metal hand. In the story you follow her into adulthood as she becomes one of the main researchers trying to figure out where the hand came from, and what more is there to this mysterious item. This series made me fall in love with science fiction, and I just can’t get enough of it. If you love sci-fi then please check it out.

6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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This was a crazy and wonderful ride of a book. I don’t want to give too much detail because I went into it completely blind and I think it helped make this book one of the best I’ve read all year. Basically you follow the character of Evelyn Hugo who was a well known and loved Hollywood actress as she tells her life story to a journalist that SHE chose. She would ONLY tell her life story to this girl, and what a story it is.

5. Notes on a Nervous Planet

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This is another non-fiction book that I really loved. It delves into how we can stay sane in a world that’s always online and screaming into the void. There are some really beautiful things that Matt Haig says, many of which were eye opening for me. Although I do think he should reflect a bit more because I actually had to stop following him on social media. He spends a lot of time on twitter just yelling about things and at people, and that is counter productive to what he talks about in his very own book.

4. The Last Magician

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The Last Magician was a book I finished recently. I really enjoyed the magic in it, and the elements of time travel. It’s like someone mashed together bits of Harry Potter and Doctor Who and this book came out. The characters were amazing, the plot was fun, and the ending completely took me by surprise. If you are looking for a fun magical YA, then this book should be on your list.

3. The Collapsing Empire

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I was never big on Science Fiction books, but the Themis files changed that, and so I started to pick up more and more Sci-fi. The Collapsing Empire tells a story about a new world called The interdependency. People use what is called the flow to move from place to place and travel faster than the speed of light, but it seems like the flow might be changing, and with it the entire way humans have built their lives. I loved the way John Scalzi didn’t try to make this an overly complicated story, and somehow it still gripped me from start to finish.

2. The Cruel Prince

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This was a surprising read for me. The only book I ever read from Holly Black was the one she wrote with Cassandra Clare (my absolute least favorite writer of all time) and that book was such a blatant rip off of Harry Potter, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from The Cruel Prince. But I ended up really enjoying the book. You follow Jude who’s parents were murdered right before her eyes when she was 7, and the killer took her and her sisters to his fairy world. Maybe you’re like me and you’re thinking, “Please no, not another fairy book” but this book was just fun to read. Some characters are complete dicks, others are complete morons, but I enjoyed following their mistakes and adventures.

1. Traitor’s Blade 

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The Traitor’s Blade is the first book in the Greatcoats series and while I typically take FOREVER to finish a series, I actually read every book in this one. One after the other! This is a fantasy novel just feels like a warm hug on a cold night. Which is strange to say because there is quite a lot of violence. The thing is, the main characters Falcio, Kest, and Brasti might be some of the best fantasy characters ever written. Their humor is amazing, and their friendship makes this series what it is. I kind of want to reread all four books again in 2019, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that one day we will get more books written in this world. If you’re tired of waiting for George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss to release their books then give the Greatcoats series a try!

 

So those are my top ten books of 2018 and I can’t wait to read more in 2019!! What are some of your favorite books of this year?

 

Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Book Review

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24- Hour Bookstore was a sweet sweet surprise. When I picked it up, I had sort of heard about it, but couldn’t actually pin point from where, but something about the idea of a 24 hour book store totally grabbed my attention. My curiosity gave me a pleasant surprise, just like the main character in the book. You will be happy to know that this book review, like most of my book reviews contain zero spoilers. I know a lot of reviewers like dissecting a book, like it’s a frog in a high school science class, but I like to stick to the basics, and how the book made me feel.

Mr.Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore follows Clay Jannon, who loses his job, and out of natural human curiosity ends up working the night shift at this really quirky bookstore. From there, he discovers that there is just so much more to the store and its peculiar customers. He begins to dig deeper and finds himself taking part in a quest just like the heroes in his favorite novels.

I noticed that a few people I follow, found this book to be boring, and couldn’t finish it. Obviously that’s okay, I am not here to pick on their opinions, but for ME, this book was pure magic. The geeky name drops that included Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, and all of the adventure surrounding books and this wonderful bookstore, I just found myself wanting to read the book all of the time. I think it is written beautifully, and it made me miss my own days of working at a bookstore.

This book also contained a little sprinkle of things I love in stories; Fun friendships, mystery, a secret society, books within a book, a little bit of love, and a whole lot of amazing. I think as a booknerd, you should definitely check this out if you haven’t. Also if you have and found the beginning to be a little slow, then try to stick through it a little longer, you might be pleasantly surprised. It may not have tons of action, and it’s slow pace did sort of hit the rating for me as well, but it was still a great book.

Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore get 4 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

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Career of Evil – Book Review

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I know it has been a bit since I actually posted a book review well here it is!! My new Book Review. Now this may be a short one because I don’t want to give anything away, and I find that sometimes I can easily spoil a novel for someone. Also this is the third book in the Cormoran Strike Series, and PLEASE PLEASE go read the other two first!!

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It took me some time to read this, and not because it was boring or anything, but because I started it on the plane to Portugal, and once I arrived there, I was all about family time and enjoying some time away from the daily madness. Then when I returned I was still in a bit of a funk, and couldn’t really get myself to read. Reading slumps are the worst! Then suddenly, I just felt like reading the rest of Career of Evil. Thankfully this book was just as well written and thrilling as the other two. Thank you Career of Evil for ripping me out of my reading slump! The character development is so so wonderful. The friendship between Strike and Robin is also what keeps me coming back, of course then I stay for the mystery and the thrilling bits.

It starts with a package arriving at the office for Robin, and what’s inside sends them into a frenzy. You learn more back story about both Strike and Robin in this one, which may have slowed down the core plot, but it was also quite essential to it. I loved knowing more and more about them. Career of Evil is just a well written piece of fiction, and I am now waiting for the next one, because from what I hear this will be a long series as well. And that ending….BOY did that ending leave me wanting to know what is to come! I love this book so much, and in wonderful J.K. Rowling fashion, it steam rolled my reading slump and I am back to my usual reading pace.

I give Career of Evil 5 out 5 Metal Horns!!!

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Twilight the Nickelback of Fiction

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Twilight was released 10 years ago, and beyond making me feel a little old, and as if time is zooming past me, it has also brought the surprise release of a Gender bent Twilight reimagining by Stephenie Meyer. I will get to that in a few but before I do, let me get to it.

Twilight is the Nickelback of Fiction. Here’s why I say that. Everyone loves to hate Nickelback, but somehow they have sold millions of records, sold out arenas, and I believe still have a career going. So EVERYONE hates this band, but yet they are still quite a successful band. So someone or a few someones are lying about how they feel about them and their music.

Well, over the span of this decade that Twilight has been out, so many people have come out and said how ridiculous it is. How awful it is. How silly it is. People love to hate Twilight. Let’s look at the facts though, this series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Those ridiculous movies grossed over $3.3Billion. That’s not chump change there. So which one of you assholes is lying?

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When Twilight was becoming really popular, I worked at a bookstore. People kept asking for it, so I got it for myself as well. I really enjoyed the story. Yea it’s flawed, the writing isn’t amazing, but it was entertaining. People can talk shit as much as they’d like about this series, but at 100 Million copies sold, some of those people talking shit have Twilight on their bookshelves (and probably Nickelback on their iTunes). I am not here defending Twilight as some amazing piece of literature, but I will defend it for what it has done for Young Adult fiction.

The numbers don’t lie. Young Adult fiction has been the fastest growing branch of publishing. Harry Potter has a lot to do with that, because that series opened the imaginations of youngsters wide open. But technically Harry Potter was a middle grade novel, at least I would say the first two are. When Twilight was released and became as popular as it did, it made even more teens and young adults fall in love with reading. In 1997, about 3,000 YA fiction novels were published. The numbers these days are above the 30,000 mark per year. Did you know that print books are making a come back and are still selling more than expected considering the digital age we are in? Here’s my opinion on the matter… On youtube, Instagram, tumblr, and yes wordpress and plenty of other blog sites young adults and adults in general are coming together for their love of not just YA Fiction, but all kinds of books. This is why I don’t hate on Twilight, it was one of the first few stories to burst those walls down, and has allowed for Hunger Games, Divergent, and Throne of Glass to become the popular books that they are, because Twilight started something, and it started something huge.

Now Stephenie Meyer released that gender swapped Version of Twilight called Life and Death. Her reasoning was because she got tired of hearing about Bella being a Damsel in distress, but come on, Ms.Meyer you wrote her that way, even if you don’t seem to see it. I am intrigued by this gender swapped thing, but I am not about to buy another copy of Twilight to read it. If it came as a stand alone, I would get it, and I am not ashamed.I don’t believe in guilty pleasure. But those Gender swapped names, Beau and Edythe?

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See look at me, being a hater. But here’s why I hope it still sells. In the digital age, the time of selfies at every second, and those stupid ass Kardashians, I am glad that books are selling like they are. It makes me happy that young adults and adults too are more interested in a half assed attempt at a new novel by Stephenie Meyer, than of Keeping up with what dick the Kardashians are sucking this week. (ugh so Brash,I know.I can’t help it.)

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So Cheers to you Nickelback of Fiction. You are still successful and will probably continue to sell. There will be another version of you down the line, but Books over Bimbos, I always say. Not every book ever written needs to have some sort of wonderful message behind it. Not every book needs to be a call for world peace or be a work of fiction that snobs go around misunderstanding anyway. Sometimes a book is an escape or a break from the stress of life. So what difference does it make to you if someone else reads a book about a glittery vampire or a pulitzer prize winning piece of literature? Stop being a hater (and a liar, I see that Twilight book on your shelf).

Twilight the Nickelback of Fiction, is still more successful than you. So Stop it.

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MATG

The Diviners – Book Review

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Guys…Gals, I am about to get really hyped up about this. I am going to tell you what I think of this book, and I think very highly of this book. I read it so fast, and kept having a hard time putting it down. Let me tell you why, cuz why else would you read this review?

This story is about Evie O’Neil who gets shipped off to New York, for reasons you shall discover when you read it. (cuz ya will!!…probably…maybe.DO IT) She has to live with her uncle Will, who is absolutely obsessed with the occult. This is really where the fun begins, but even the opening of the story is pretty damn creepy.

The story takes place in 1926 and Evie gets mixed up in some occult and mysteries of her own. She has a supernatural power that she tries to keep a secret, but when a murder occurs and her uncle gets called to help with the investigation Evie gets thrown into a world of craziness.

The book is written in such a wonderful way that you feel that you’re being transported back in time. Some of the scenes in the book are so creepy that I actually had a moment where I didn’t want to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee. TMI…I know but seriously all the little shadows as I walked out of the room really creeped me out after reading this book.

I am really looking forward to the second book that comes out soon (August 25, 2015) and I hope it is just as creepy!!! I absolutely recommend this book!!!

This one gets 5 out of 5 metal horns from me!!

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Magonia – Book Review

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Okay so I am a little behind on my book reviews.Bare with me as I change up some things here on the site.

So I need to tell you all about this book.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley is one of the most imaginative stories I have read in quite some time. You can’t compare this to anything else. You can’t describe it by saying that it’s the next game of thrones or the next hunger games, because this book stands out on its own.

It is about Aza Ray who has been sick her entire life.  It is a mystery what the character has, but it is a lung disease where she has a lot of trouble breathing.

Suddenly she starts seeing ships in the sky. That’s right SHIPS (ok this aspect is a little like Stardust, but thats where the comparisons end) Her family kind of just shrugs it off as “oh well you have crazy side effects from your medication…ships in the sky…HAHA” (not a direct quote here.

The only one who really believes, is her best friend Jason. (yes theres a bit of a love interest here)

Craziness ensues and she ends up in a world where she’s no longer sick, and she’s no longer weak.

Listen, I don’t want to give too much away but I really loved how creative this story was. I read it fairly quickly as it’s not that big of a book (300ish pages) I loved it, and highly recommend it if you’re looking for some out of this world fun and a unique story.

Comment below if you’ve read it, but please NO SPOILERS!! Comment below if you haven’t read it as well!!

It gets four out of five metal horns from me(like my new rating system?)

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To buy this book just click on the book depository banner on the right hand side of the page!! 😀