Category Archives: fantasy

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton – Review

Adian wakes up each day in a different body. He is charged with one task, find out who killed Eveyln Hardcastle. The issue is that he doesn’t remember much when he wakes up and his hosts aren’t the most savory of people. The mystery begins to unravel and he realizes this is more than a simple murder case. What if the answer to this mystery destroys more lives then is saves?

“Live doesn’t always leave you a choice in how you live it.”

Page 120

“Every life has such weight. I don’t know how anybody carries even one.”

Page 396

I picked up this book merely for the summary. I had not heard of it or seen it anywhere until I found it in the bookstore. I then began seeing it more places later on. I liked the idea of him switching bodies, that is what drew me into the story.

I am not the biggest mystery fan. I like them but they have to have more to them then just being about a murder and putting the pieces together. I watch a lot of shows like Bones and Criminal Minds and I think that makes it hard for me to read these book because I can predict them too easily. I like when I don’t know what is coming and have to put the pieces together.

The mystery of this book was fantastic. It was so intricate that you really need to pay attention as you read or else you will miss pieces. It was well- laid out. Sometimes these kind of stories will be hard to follow or else the clues are super obvious. Or you get that moment where all the information is dumped onto you in one minute. This spread it all out well, the pieces fell naturally into place and weren’t forced.

I thought too the vast difference in the hosts was extremely interesting. They were all very specific people and you realize quickly that everyone is showing one face to the people in the house and hiding secrets of their own. It becomes one of those stories where it is not as much about the murder but all the issues being hidden by everyone else. I also like that everyone’s tales intertwined with each other. There was no line left hanging.

The ending of his book and the twist is what made this book for me. I had an idea there was something more coming but not to the extent of what was revealed. It reminded me of the “White Bear” episode in “Black Mirror.” (Which is one of my favorite Black Mirror episodes). It threw the whole thing to a whole new level. The ending made you question everything and I found myself thinking about it days after I closed the book.

“…what use is rearranging the furniture if you burn the house down doing it?”

page 150


I think the only part that tripped me up a little was keeping the characters straight at times. As I stated above they all have their own stories and their own pieces to the puzzle and I found myself a little lost at times. I was trying to remember what one person did and who they were related to. I think maybe even including a form the reader can fill out and track the information would have been fun and helpful.

“These masks we wear betray us. They reveal us.”

Page. 277

There was nothing in this book that was not acceptable to me. I thought the mystery tied up well. The overall story tied up well. The characters were engaging. The setting was fun, if not a little generic. It was a fun read.

I gave this story four stars. I loved the way it was written, it was a well woven mystery and I was enthralled with the whole story. Just a few more ways to keep things straight would have made it a five star read.




Nevernight and Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff – Review

(I am going to review both books since I finished them while I was on my hiatus and the way I think about them is as one entity. It is just easier to review them at the same time instead of trying to piece out what happened in which book).

“The books we love, they love us back. And jut as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

Nevernight, pg. 243

Mia is our for revenge. Her father was killed. Her mother and brother imprisoned. She was supposed to die but escaped. Now she has a list of people that need to die. The only way she knows how to get her true revenge is by joining an elite group of assassins. But the test to get in is brutal. Even after she makes it the world is not as simple as she would like to think. Is revenge necessary and needed and who are her real enemies?

“Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Nevernight, pg. 16

This is again one of those book series that I have seen around but never pariticualy felt drawn to. I liked the premise but it didn’t stand out as anything too unique. Plus I thought it was more YA assassin and I thought it might be a little watered down.

Boy was I wrong on all accounts. First of all this is NOT YA. The author frequently says this and I have no idea how anyone who has read it can mistake it for YA. I know the protagonist is a teenager but damn this is beyond what you find in YA novels. I mean it opens with Mia literally losing her virginity and killing someone. This is how this series starts and the tone is set from that page onwards. (The way the same language is used to describe both scenes is poetry in action and I was blown away by that bit of storytelling).

Mia is my new favorite person. I adore her because she is one of those characters that is so dark and deep that you realize you will never truly understand her. You watch her struggle with her plans, her past and her present. She is constantly wondering if she is making the right choice while also taking lives in the process. While she questions the world around her, she is also not one to lay down at someone’s feet and let them control her.

Mia has complete control of her life and I admire that. Even with everything against her she finds a way to hold onto herself. She doesn’t forget who she is truly on the inside. She could become this full on killer or this wrecked soul instead she finds a way to be both.

Another thing I loved about this series is that it is unapologetically dark. People die, a lot. People are killed in brutal ways. People betray others and don’t care. People look out for themselves and themselves only. There is no sugar coating the darkness. There is no sidestepping around the issues trying to find the moral way of looking at things. Sometimes the world is dark and sometimes it is brutally dark. I like that Kristoff doesn’t sanitize it. You worry about the character because you know that they might not die but they will not come out of this series whole.

I also liked the way all the characters develop throughout the story. This story doesn’t have any shallow characters. There is no one who is just there to talk or be part of a backstory. Everyone has depth. Everyone has meaning. I feel like they are all alive and I worry about all of them. I want my favorites to make it but I know that won’t happen. In the end I want them to have a full and true story and I feel like that that is what we will get from this series.

“If you can’t hurt the ones who hurt you, sometimes hurting anyone will do.”

Nevernight, pg. 210

This is purely because of my personal preference and has nothing to do with the actual writing or story itself. I got a little bored in the middle of Godsgave because of the amount of battle sequences and fighting sequences.

The whole premise of that book is that Mia is part of this fighting ring in order to get close to one of those she wants to kill. To get to the end point she has to go through a number of fights and training. I am not someone who enjoys reading about battles, fighting or training to fight. I find the descriptions boring. I find it hard to focus on those moments.

The scenes were all well written and conveyed the story well. I just didn’t connect with those moments as much. Though I will say that the connection between the characters throughout this time was great. I found new favorites and feared for them during the fights.

“But there is beauty in knowing all things end, Mia. The brightest flames burn out the fastest. But in them, there is warmth that can last a lifetime.”

Godsgrave, pg. 134

There was nothing that stood out and threw me out of the book. I was able to predict many of the coming deaths. There is a lot of the – here is a character we are growing attached to, and now they are dead. Or the look, they got what they want or will get it and now they are dead. But that is not unsurprising in a book like this. You have to do that many times in order drive home what is at stake for everyone in the story.

I gave Nevernight five stars and Godsgrave four stars. As I stated above for Godsgrave I knocked off a star just because of my issue with the huge focus on fights. But as a whole I would defiantly give this series five stars so far. I can’t wait for DarkDawn in September. (I even preordered it and I never do that!)

“Thats the power of words: twenty-six letters can paint a whole universe.”

Godsgrave, pg. 265

Everworld series – Last 3 books – Mini-Review – K.A. Applegate

Everworld is a disaster. Senna has brought in her minions and is intent on destroying everything in order to get the power she wants. Christopher, April, Jalil and David have a decision to make. Save this world or return to their own?

(Spoiler warning for the end of the series)
I am going to do the last three books in this series in one review. I finished this a little while ago while I was on hiatus. I remember really liking the end when I read it years ago but this read through I found myself disappointed.

I find it really interesting how you change the way you see things as you grow older. As a teenager I appreciated the story, I loved the characters and their voices because they matched mine. I also thought the way the story ended was perfect.

Now as a 30 year old woman who has studied writing and is working on her own novel I find the ending of this series very all over the place. There was so much that happened in the last few books.

The whole Sennities storyline felt thrown in. found myself super interested in that storyline. I wanted to see more about how they took over. I wanted to see them adjust and the world adjust around them. I wanted to see how they make people change in this world.

One of the big points of this series is that Everworld is unchanging. They are stuck in the myths and beliefs they were given when they were created. They can’t change who they are because there are no people left to worship and change them.

Instead that whole story Sennanite story was left hanging. We have no idea how that plays out. We don’t know what happens to them. We don’t get any conclusion to that story other then they are running around shooting people.

Then there is the whole story of Ka Anor. The whole series is about all the gods trying to find a way to save themselves from this alien god. I swear I remember them finding a true solution to that problem. I swear I remember reading them going into a final battle while a solid plan. Instead we got nothing of that sort.

Again we are left with nothing. We have no idea how that is going to fix itself. We don’t know if they will win or lose. We don’t know the history of Ka Anor and why he just showed up in this world. His whole character is a vague shape that is just hovering around in the background. I found myself wanting so much more from that fight and storyline. I wanted to see at least that solved but we got nothing.

The only real satisfying end we got was from our four characters. Though I say satisfying loosely. I like the way they ended but I also think the decision they made could have been pulled out through the last few books instead of just the last one.

The four main characters choose to stay in Everworld. They realize that their lives are destined for that world instead of our own. You can’t go back after all they have seen and done. The issue is that in about 200 pages they make this huge decision. April goes back and forth trying to decide but her ultimate decision is made in a snap of a finger. I wanted to see her fight harder, wanted to see this decision truly be difficult for her.

In the end this series fell flat at the end. There was so much more that could have been done. I still like the series. I still love the idea of a world putting all these myths together like a quilt. I love the characters. I still think they feel real and true. I just wish Applegate hadn’t given up at the end.

The Red Scrolls of Magic – Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu – Review

Magnus and Alec’s relationship is new. They go on their first vacation together. Though things do not go as planned when they learn that Magnus might have started his own cult. Their time together becomes a race to find out what this cult is up to and to stop things before everything falls apart.

“It’s romantic because it’s sharing knowledge about the world… The one who knows about stars teaches the one who doesn’t know. That’s romantic.”

Magnus – pg. 20

Alec and Magnus have always been my favorite characters in the Shadowhunters series. I was drawn to them because they were real and I felt like they were different then the other stories. I was very happy to see that they were going to get their own series.

This story took place when Magnus and Alec go on their vacation together after the initial battle in the first half of the Mortal Instruments series. It was interesting to go back and see what they were thinking and doing during this part of the story. I always saw the vacation as just a fun moment between them. I didn’t think there was too much that happened but this book showed that were was a lot more.

I think my favorite part of this book was that this story showed us the issues creeping up in their relationship. You see Alec wondering if this is right for him. You see Mangus wondering if Shadowhunters and warlocks can work or if they are always doomed.

I think it helped reading this knowing how this relationship ends up. I didn’t get too angry at some of the things that other characters said to them because I know they win in the end. I don’t know if this takes away from the emotional impact of the story though.

I also liked that this series is going to reference a huge issue I had with the Dark Artifices series. A certain character returns and there is no real explanation for it. In this series it seems like that will get answered.

“Sometimes, love worked, past any hope of change, when no other force in this world could. Without love, the miracle never came.”

Magnus, pg. 79

I think the only true issue I am going to have with this series is that I know how this all ends. I know that Magnus and Alec figure things out. I know that they will be happy. Knowing all of this makes it hard for me to worry about the angst and issues brought up.

I like that we get to see where these thoughts creep in but I thought the original series did this well. I thought it did a good job at letting us know why Alec had issues with immortality. I feel like it will be more of me reading it going “Oh, so that is why he thought that,” instead of sitting on the edge of my seat upset and scared about what is going to happen to them.

I also wonder if this series is going to work inside the other story. I feel like there is going to be a lot that has to happen, but there was a lot going on in the other books too. I hope there isn’t a moment where things are just forgotten.

“Fear is all some people understand.”

Shinyun, pg. 234

There was nothing that really through me out of this story. I enjoyed it. I did feel like some of the moments were a bit ridiculous, like the whole hot air balloon thing. I think some of the moments could have been toned down and more realistic but I still enjoyed the book.

I gave this book four stars. I am eager to see how it continues and if nothing else more Malec time is fine with me.

Muse of Nightmare – Laini Taylor – Review

(This is a review for the second book in the series. Potential spoilers for the first book)

Sari has finally found true love. She has found a way to move her home and start life anew. Though that is a bit hampered by the fact that she is dead. Minya is out for revenge and is the one that holds onto Sari’s thin thread of life. Can Sari save not only herself but her siblings and Lazlo from oblivion.

For me this series has seemed more Minya’s series than Sari and Lazlo’s. While I like their characters I felt like Minya’s storyline was the more intriguing and interesting of the three.

I thought the way that Minya’s and Nova’s stories of revenge and anger were told were interesting. I felt like Nova’s story shocked Minya and put what she was fighting for in perspective. Minya was blinded by her anger and her fear. She wanted to fix something that could never be fixed.

We see that Minya has been the one holding too many secrets for way too long. She knows what life was like before The Carnage. She knows what she had to do in order to save her siblings. She is a child that had to make adult decisions that became etched into her soul.

While Nova was angry at being separated from her sister. She was single minded and she was ruthless. We see that she stopped caring about anyone and I think seeing her and where she ended up shocked Minya. I liked the way the story used Nova’s story to give Minya to see the consequences of her actions.

I also like that we learn more about the different realms or realities in this book. There was a good hint at where a series could continue to go in this world. Particularly with Thyon. I am very curious to know more about him and would love to get a whole series or book about him alone. I feel like there is a deep story there to explore.


I stated it above but I felt like Sari and Lazlo were telling this story but shouldn’t have been telling this story. I felt like their story ended in the first book. They both got what they wanted, they fixed their issues and in this one they became more a victim of circumstance than anything else.

I felt like they had no conflict or place to go after the first book. There was no real development of either of their characters. They were stagnant. Not saying I didn’t like them but I wanted to know them better, feel more connected to them. In the end I just felt like I wanted to get around them to get to the other characters.

We got hints at the original gods story but we didn’t get nearly as much detail as I would have liked. It started off promising. We got Nova’s story which was the beginning of Skathis and his crew but then it was rushed through. We got a paragraph describing how he got to Weep and that was it.

I felt like we needed to know more about them. I wanted to understand them and why they were so cruel and evil. Why did they choose this city to use as a hunting ground? Why did they go after all the women here? Did they do that other places? What were their plans? What were their histories? It may have been too much for this story but I felt like we needed a bit more to them.

I gave this book 3 stars. I think if it had answered a few more questions and tied Lazlo and Sari’s characters into the story more I would have felt like it was more complete.


“Have an enemy, be an enemy. Hate those who hate you. Hate them better. Hate them worse. Be the monster they fear the most.” (pg. 35)

“You can be on the same side and have different ideas.” (pg. 110)

“The mind is good at hiding things, but there’s something it cannot do: It can’e erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak potions. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.” (pg. 227)

“There comes a certain point with a hope or a dream, when you either give it up or give up everything else.” (pg 328)

“Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bull’s-eye yourself.” (pg. 507)

Strange The Dreamer- Laini Taylor – Review

Lazlo Strange is an outsider. He was orphaned by a war and left with a group of monks. He has grown up thinking he is nothing, just someone to be there to help but never to stand out in the crowd. He lives for one thing, the lost city of Weep.

He is the only one who remembers the real name of Weep which was stolen from his mind. He is the only one who believes that the place is real. He makes it his life mission to find this land and prove its existence.

That chance comes and he is taken to his long dreamed of land. Only it is not a magical place, like he thought. It is lost and needs his help. He finds that what he believed is not the whole story. Weep has a dark past, one that is being told from only one side.

On the other side of Weep’s story is Sari and her siblings. Children of gods who are thrown into a life they don’t know how to navigate. Are they the monsters everyone fears they are? If your parents do horrible things are you then horrible as well? Can you make peace with your past to live for a better future?

This book explores an idea that fascinates me which how is evil created. Is evil something that is born into someone or is evil created by circumstance? The godspawn in this story are the product of evil acts by their parents. They are babies when their parents are killed in what they call The Carnage.

They can’t even remember what happened, except for Minya; more on her in a minute. Sparrow, Ruby, Feral and Sari were left orphaned by the people who were wronged by these gods. They did not grow up with the anger and dangerously dark influence of their parents. They got to grow up on their own, teaching themselves the rules of the world.

The people of Weep though only see their parent’s past mistakes. They hold onto the memories of that darkness. They can’t fathom the idea that Sari and her siblings are not their parents. They believe these gods are evil to their core, that it is part of their nature. But we see that not being true. We see the good these characters can do. I loved that idea and the way it was explored through the different characters.

Minay was the most fascinating character to me. First she is stuck in the body of a six year old. We know she has the mind of an adult but her growth stopped after The Carnage. The idea of this angry child walking around stuck with me. I can see her having this rough and dark attitude but then being in this small body, almost too small to contain all that anger and hurt.

She is the only one who remembers The Carnage. She saved who she could and it eats at her soul that she could not save more of the babies. We see that she is full of anger and resentment towards the people of Weep. She blames all of them for one man’s actions.

It provides an interesting question for the reader. Who is in the wrong? Is anyone in the wrong? The Godslayer did what he thought he had to do to protect his people. Minya did the same. Both see the other as monsters and both are right in a sense. I am very interested to see how this plays out in the second book.

While I like Lazlo and Sari’s relationship it took me a little by surprise. They moved really fast in their falling for each other and for me I felt it was a bit too fast.

Sari has been manipulated and isolated her whole life and she finally finds someone outside of the other godspawn who can see her. She is captivated by him and I understand why. What I didn’t understand was why she fell in love with him right away. I wanted to see her explore who he was more, to try to underhand where he came from better. I even wanted her to be a bit cautious and suspicious of him. Instead she falls right into his arms.

While it didn’t annoy me too much and didn’t make me hate their characters, I did feel like it made them a bit cliche. I am always looking for a character to act outside the norm and wanted her to be a bit darker and edgier. I am curious to see how Sari’s character develops in the next book.

There was nothing that made me upset to removed me from the story. I did feel like it was building quite a bit and a lot of set up but the story telling kept me interested. I think the writing itself helped move the slower parts along.

“It was impossible, of course.
But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?” – pg. 25

“Beautiful and full of monsters?
All the best stories are.” – pg. 115

“And that’s ho you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.” pg. 135

“Here was the radical notion that you might help someone simply because they needed it.” pg. 287


Inside the Illusion – K.A. Applegate- Everworld #9 – Mini-Review

This is the one I have been looking forward to re-reading the most out of this series. In fact I jumped right into it after Brave the Betrayal instead of reading something else in-between.

This is the only time we get this story from Senna’s POV. I love when we get inside the head of the villain or the antagonist. I find it fascinating to learn how they think and how they make the choices they make. This time was no different.

As I have been reading the series again I found myself not caring much about Senna. I can’t remember how I read her when I first read the series as a teenager. She didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I was curious about her but I wasn’t dying to understand her.

In this book we see that the her past has colored all her decisions. She is resentful and angry. She is someone who blames the world for her issues and she is going to make that world pay. Senna is done being pushed around and left to the side. She is going to rule this world if it kills her.

I understand her anger. She was left by her mother, dropped into her father’s family and left on the outside of a seemingly perfect family. She knew she was different but no one was around to explain to her how or why. Naturally she become a loner and very independent.

Where I lose sympathy for her is her decisions in this world. She is only out for herself and she will use anyone to get what she wants. She doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. She doesn’t care who make it out in the end, as long as she is the one with the power.

Power has corrupted her. I wonder if her mother had been braver and stuck around how Senna would have turned out. I wonder if she would have learned to appreciate her power and use it to help instead of hurt.

I can’t remember exactly what happens from this point on. I don’t know how her story ends but I am almost positive it isn’t well. I am more excited now to continue the series because I want to see where her story goes.

Brave the Betrayal – K.A. Applegate – (Everworld #8) – Mini-Review

(This is a review for the 8th book in this series, there may be spoilers for previous books)

For this book we were back in Jalil’s head. I vaguely remembered this one, mostly because of the upside down world part. I found it interesting how as I read certain aspects came back to me. I was reading and was like “Oh yeah, forgot about that guy.” I found it a bit fun in this one to see how much I remembered and how much came back to me.

Two parts of this book stood out to me. One was this one centered on the African gods. The interesting part was that we never actually meet any of them. We meet a minor, messenger type god. We never meet the major ones. This portion gave me more a feeling of forbidding than anything else.

What this book did make me want to do is research the African culture and the gods that were mentioned here. I wonder if we don’t get to see much of them because the author didn’t know much about them or if the history and information available is scarce.

I also wonder if this part was smaller because people are not as familiar with these gods and thus she concentrated her time in the story on the stories people are more familiar with? Though that is a lost opportunity to learn more and become familiar with a new set of stories.

This all plays into the theme of this book though. In this one we see Jalil and April unwilling to submit to these gods and make a sacrifice. They anger the gods and get themselves in trouble. The issue is they learn that this not the world they grew up in. This is not our world and thus our rules do not apply here.

They both were firm in standing their ground and trying to not be “weak” but in the end they nearly get themselves killed. I liked this exploration of the idea of “giving in” or doing something to keep yourself safe. Does it really reflect bad on them if they had done the sacrifice? They couldn’t live with the idea but does it really change the way they think? Does it change their beliefs in the end?

What it does to Jalil is make him realize he has a darker streak to himself. He is willing to take out others and make them change but not for himself. I can’t quite remember how his story finishes but I am curious how he ends up and where he is at the end of this series.

The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried – Shaun David Hutchinson – Review

Dino and July were best friends at one time. That friendship ended and now they are enemies. Now July is dead and Dino is lost. What happens when July sits up in his parent’s funeral home, alive but no quite? Can they fix what was broken? Or will their feud cause a rift in the world itself, stalling death and destroying life as we know it?

The reason I like Shaun David Hutcinson’s books and stories so much is because he knows how to write characters. His characters are vibrant and full of life (no pun intended). He creates people you can find in any place in the world and feel like you can connect with them. Any story that can create characters that I can understand is a story I am going to enjoy.

Dino was a great character. He is one of those people I can relate to really well. He is someone who wants to make sure the people around him are taken care of and are understood. He is willing to put aside what he wants or likes in order to make others happy. He is pretending he is going to join the family business to avoid the conflict with his family.

He spend so much time trying to keep the peace and please others he is losing himself. I understood him because I am much the same way. I define myself by how the people around me are doing. If I can help them and make them happier then I assume I am happier. I forget that sometimes you have to find your own way and find what you want. Sometimes you have to define yourself in your own terms and hope others understand. And if they are people who love you and care about you they will understand.

Now July is Dino’s opposite. July is harsh and brash. She is someone who is going to fight you at a drop of a hat. She is someone who will tell you what she thinks, could care less about what you think and is going to tell you why you are wrong. She is the kind of person that when you first meet her you are going to be turned off by her attitude. You are going to think her rude and selfish.

What Hutchinson does is show that she has a softer side. Right away we see that she cares about her family. Throughout the story you see her reasons for her actions and you realize she is willing to fight for those she cares about. She is just lost. She needs that softer and kinder hand to temper her down. I loved her character because she was complicated. While she was annoying and harsh I understood her. I liked that we see that life is not easy and understanding people is complicated.

Hutchinson has a tendency to put in slight bits of the supernatural or the otherworldly in his books. In we are the ants it was aliens but you never wanted to quite understand the aliens. The larger story dominated and you knew the aliens were there and were important but you didn’t focus on them.

Unfortunately that didn’t work as well in this book in my opinion. I wanted that deeper connection to the story so I didn’t constantly wonder at the reason that July was back from the dead and why no one else was dying. That is touched on but never explained. I found myself wondering about it the whole book unlike we are the ants where I barely registered the aliens purpose.

I think that is largely because this book felt like it was a lot of running around in circles. They went from one place to another and had a heart to heart conversation over and over again. I felt like we could have done all of this really well in a short story or even a novella. I think the larger format made it so we had to rehash ideas too often and drug it out. I think I would have connected more if the story had been shorter.

While the plot didn’t hold my attention it didn’t throw me out of the book. It didn’t make it unreadable and I wasn’t just waiting to get to the end. There was nothing that really stuck out as parts that I disliked. It was a quick read that hit some powerful notes.

I gave the book three stars. While I loved the characters and the development of them I just wish the plot had been a bit more robust or the story had been shorter.

Quotes

“People, Like cats are obsessed with boxes. Cats are content to squeeze their own furry assess into boxes clearly too small for them, whereas humans take sadistic pleasure in trying to shove one another into boxes.” (pg. 14)

“Mirrors are liars. They never show us what’s truly there. They show us what we expect to see.” (pg. 134)

“Men who’ve been taught that emotions are a weakness, and they’re never to show weakness, or they bottle it up and camouflage it with laughter or anger or silence.” (pg. 171)

“Even when she didn’t know who she was, she fought for the right to screw up and figure it out on her own.” (pg.235)

In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire – Review

Katherine Lundy makes a choice early on in her life. She is going to live her way, she is going to do what she wants when she wants. She learns quickly the world is not going to work in her favor. She finds a door to The Goblin Market, a world where you can get whatever you want as long as you are fair with your deals. But what happens when some deals ask for too much?

I love this series. I love the way this feels like a fairytale while also capturing some important issues of today. You get a lesson without realizing it and you get to see that not all stories end with a happily ever after moment.

This story in particular was about a girl who realizes early on that she is okay being alone. I think I like this one the best so far because I identified with Lundy so well. I was also the quiet child, who loved books and followed the rules. I also balked at the idea of having to fall into line of what a true woman is supposed to be.

I felt like we got to understand Lundy so well. Her back and forth through the door showed us that she was struggling with deciding where she belonged. While the other books the characters stayed, finding their new lives and ways of life, Lundy was stuck in this in-between. She wanted both and learned the hard way that life is not always fair.


Not much threw me out of this book. They are shorter so we get hints at bigger events that happen but I am starting to see that it fits in with the fairytale atmosphere of these stories. While it was a bit bothersome not knowing more about the battles she fought I realized it was more important about what happened afterward. Lundy was created from those after moments and choices and not from the moments themselves.

There was nothing that kept my from enjoying the story. It was fast paced. It hit all the points of the character development well. I read it in 2 days and was sad when it ended.

I gave the book four stars. I loved the story and can’t wait to see who we get to understand better next.

“If the children in the yard next door or on the playground couldn’t find her worth loving the same way, she wasn’t going to change for them.” (pg. 17)

“Following the rules didn’t make you a good person, just like breaking the rules didn’t make you a bad one, but it could make you an invisible person, and invisible people got to do as they liked.” (pg. 38) (This hits very close to home).

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