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Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review

Kylee has a secret, one that could change her and her brother’s life forever. The village they live in is being threatened by an outside force. They need to go on a mission to capture the elusive Ghost Eagle. Can Kylee help her brother without revealing who she truly is? Can Brysen prove his worth outside of his sister and save the boy he loves? What happens when secrets get out and the world around them begins to tip?

This book is about the relationship between this society and their falcons and birds. I adore any story that surrounds animals. (Though I always get nervous because I don’t know if an animal is going to survive). I love to see the way stories tell about the relationship between a people and their animals.

This one is interesting because of the way the story works with the birds. I like that the villagers can tame the birds but are never in full control of them. They know that they can’t fully keep these birds down. They know they deserve to fly and be free and it kind of comments back on their way of life as well.

I also like Kylee’s character and her relationship with her brother Brysen. Kylee is a strong minded person who realizes she also has responsibilities. I liked her because you saw that she wanted to get away and be free but she also was not going to let her brother get hurt in the process.

The sibling relationship was the best part of this book. That dynamic grew throughout the story and you saw the secret ways they tried to help each other. You realize that Kylee has always been trying to protect her brother even if he doesn’t release it. You see that Brysen needs his sister if he won’t admit it. I liked that build up and that growth.


I wasn’t fully attached to any of the characters. I liked Kylee but she wasn’t someone I latched onto. She was there but I didn’t find myself scared of what would happen to her. The same went for Brysen. They felt a little flat to me.

I felt like we were told a lot about who they are but never truly shown those things. We got them thinking it over but never acting out to show that side of themselves. You knew that they had secrets but it didn’t feel life altering. I wanted more to be at stake for them. I even wanted them to have more negative or darker sides to them.

The story didn’t feel like it had high stakes to me. I felt like we were just moving piece to piece. I didn’t feel like there was anything in the way that was going to truly stop them. It felt like it was just moving gently along. One issue solved then another and it solved without much fuss.

I didn’t feel any urgency from the plot. I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush to the end. Even the end didn’t leave me wanting the next book right now. I may read the sequel one day when it comes out but I won’t rush out to get it.

I gave this book 3 stars because it was fun to read, loved the birds but wanted it feel like more was at stake and like there was a possibility of true failure.

“Kylee hated the assumption that boys always made when she was made, like her emotions weren’t a part of her thinking mind like theirs but rather tied to the moons and the winds like an animal’s.” (pg. 53)

“The truth was rarely kind, so why not let a lovely lie linger?” (pg. 101)

“It wasn’t the words themselves that had power but the memories that stuck to words like ticks to deer, draining and infecting them. If you shut down your memory and ignored the knowing-self inside you, you could say anything.” (pg. 127)

“He was the sort of man who’d rather take a punch than let go of his hate.” (pg. 186)

The Crucible – James Rollins – Review

Christmas doesn’t go as planned for Monk and Gray. As they head back to Grey’s home they find those that mean the most to them are severely injured or kidnapped. Now time is ticking down as they hunt for those who took them while also battling a new threat, AI. Eve, a computer program, is wreaking havoc on the world and there is only one young woman who can stop her, but will it be in time before destruction takes it toll?

This story focused on AI and it was fascinating. I have always been intrigued by the idea of AI. It is one of those things that is great because of what it can do to help the world but it also one of those things that is terrifying because of how out of control it can get.

This story explored the darker side of AI. We see that in the wrong hands so much destruction can happen. Lives can be lost. I thought it was very clever the way the book talked about the two forms of Eve, the AI. There is the benevolent side and the darker side.

It was great because it looked at how to train her. You realize that what works on humans works with this program as well. Pain was used as a training mechanism and you see what that kind of torture does, close to what it does to a real human. It is a bit scary how close to real humans it seemed.

I also liked the focus on Monk and his family in this book. Monk has been the focus before but here you get to see a softer side of him. I also like that he knew Kat well enough to make decisions she would want. He doesn’t coddle her. He does procedures that helped them even if it hurt her because he knew that was what she would want. Even in a coma he didn’t treat her as fragile and breakable. He kept her strong and I loved seeing that side of their relationship.

I though this book as going to center on the storyline of finding Seichan and the girls. I thought that this was all going to play into one another but it really didn’t. It felt like two separate storylines.

I understood that this was more a set up for a future conflict between Valya and the Sigma Force group. It was just mentioned a few times though. I had trouble understanding what Valya’s issue was. She wanted the technology but I had no idea why. I didn’t get what her end game was.

She mentioned that she wanted the girls to raise as her own. Is she trying to set up a new group? What does she want in the end other than the end of Sigma? I wished we had gotten more from them and a better idea of where that story is going

This could have set up a good amount of time to build up Seichan’s character. We see that she is afraid of being a mom and feels like she can’t manage it. I thought we would see her find a way through helping the girls but we barely touch on it.

The idea is there but it isn’t explained well. There is no focus on how she is developing. I wanted to see her try to realize she can be a fighter and a mother. I wanted her to come to that realization on her own instead we got a quick thought from Grey at the end and that was it. I felt like we lost out on some great character development.

I gave this book 3 stars because while I enjoyed the storyline I wanted more from Siechan’s character.

Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare – Review

Death has fallen over the Blackthorn family. The Shadowhunter world is once again thrown into chaos. Julian and Emma have to fight to save their world, their family and their loved ones. But their cures is getting stronger. How do they save everyone else and themselves at the same time? What sacrifices have to be made?

One thing that Cassandra Clare does really well is creating a series where the whole thing wraps itself up well while also leaving room for more. This book ends in a way that lets us know our main characters are in a good spot. But there is a hint that this story is not over, that these characters are not going to be able to just run off into the sunset and be happy forever. She always leaves room for more.

While I love this idea, especially because there are certain aspects of this story that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, it also makes me wonder if and when things will truly end. I love this world but I do want to eventually get to a point where the end is the true end and I am not wondering about things afterwards.

I thought the way we learned more about Julian’s character in this book was great. We learned that some of his behavior wasn’t as scary as it seemed before. The way he handled certain situations and seemed to be manipulating people was because he was protecting everyone around him. I was worried about what he would do to save his siblings and we see where he will go but we also saw that there was line he won’t cross. A few short paragraphs really gave us a full picture of him.

Cassandra Clare is someone who isn’t afraid to step out and talk about subjects some shy away from. Her books was the first time I encountered a gay character in a story. Since the introduction of Alec she has included a range of diverse characters in her books. In this one she took an even further step out and included a polyamorous relationship, which was interesting. I have not seen that before and I thought it was handled well.

I wonder at how that was received. I haven’t done much research on other reviews but I thought it worked well in the story. The situation was gone through, you understood the choices made and it works. I didn’t feel like it was there just to be there but was explored in a good manner. You realize it is right for these characters and that is what overall matters.

I also really liked the evolution of Kit’s character in this book. I felt like I got to know him so much better. I want to see more from him. I would be okay with a book, short stories or series about him. He needs more about him and not his past but where he is going from this point on.


In the very start of the book Magnus helps Julian in a way I was super surprised at. I won’t say exactly what happened because it is a bit of a spoiler but I didn’t understand why Magnus did it. He is someone who doesn’t do things because he is asked. He makes someone think about their choices more but he didn’t this time. I felt it was very out of character for him.

There is also a character that came back in this that had very little explanation of why. I was super confused by it and it was very glossed over. Why did he do what he did? Why wasn’t there more explanation to it? I felt like he was brought back to just be there to watch Ty. I wanted more about him.


There was one plot point at the end that really bothered me. I won’t say what exactly but it didn’t make sense to me. Two characters have an issue and there is no resolution to it. They fight and never fix it and it makes no sense to me.

One conversation could have fixed it but we are just left with one character thinking the other hates them. I hate that. I felt like it was a thread that could have at least had a small conclusion and been explored more later. I hope we get more because that was not enough for me.

Over all I gave this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the ride. I did think it dragged on a bit and some of the storylines could have been wrapped up a bit better. It did leave me wanting more though.


“Maybe the rest of them, in accepting the fact of her death, were the ones who didn’t understand.” – pg. 34

“Horace remind him of politicians shouting on TV, red-faced men who always seemed angry and always wanted you to know there was something you needed to be afraid of.” – pg. 60

“Perhaps you outgrew your dreams, too, as your world expanded.” – pg. 98

“Sometimes you have to let people blame you. When the only option is letting bad things happen, it doesn’t matter what people think.” – pg. 421 – One quote to sum up Julians character.

The Unbound – (An Archived Novel) – Victoria Schwab – Review

(This will be a review for a sequel in a series. Spoilers may be present for the first book).

Mackenzie is having trouble sleeping, which is understandable after her fight with Owen. She can’t close her eyes without seeing the man’s twisted smile, hear his grating voice and be stalked by him. But she can’t show anyone that pain. She has to prove to the Archive that she is whole and capable. But that becomes even harder when people begin to go missing around her. Who is out to get her? Is she losing her mind? Can she keep herself and the Archive together or will Owen win in the end?


I was worried about reading this series at first. I know that Schwab can’t currently write anymore books for this series, due to her contact and current publisher. She has talked about this on her Twitter and Instagram before. So I was worried that this was going to end in a cliffhanger and leave me wanting more. In reality it ended with a final moment that left room for more but also was one I can live with being the final end.

As for a sequel this improved so much on the first. It is so hard to write a sequel to a book because you have to live up to the first, keep the story threads moving and not lose speed. Schwab did a great job at this. While the first one was kind of predictable this one was anything but. I didn’t see so much of this coming and wanted to keep reading in order to know where the whole story was going. It took the first one and expanded the characters, the world while also centering on a common theme and picking up from the first book.

I thought the best part of this book as how it dealt with trauma and how people are forced to handle what has happened to them. Too many times we try to force people to handle trauma how we think it is best for them. We try to help but we are trying to make people be okay too fast. Usually people are given small finite amount of time to be affected then they are forced to pretend they are okay. If they let it go onto long they are seen as too damaged and thus need to be removed from society or their lives.

This was explored well because we see Mackenzie trying to hold herself together. In the book we are only about a month out from the incidents in the first book. She was forced to fight a man she thought was her friend, throw him into a void of nothinginess, learned secrets were being hid from her and watched a boy she cared about being nearly fatally stabbed. Anyone would have severe PTSD after that. But she is told she has to show she is capable. She can be strong and manage her life and job.

In reality she is breaking and she knows it but she can’t tell anyone. She has to clear her list, keep her mask on for her family and deal with the reality of her nightmares in order to keep her job as Keeper. She has to pretend she is okay when in reality she is anything but. The way this was all handled was done really well, I thought. We see her pain, feel her fright and understand her choices. She is one of those characters I had no trouble emphasizing with. I wanted her to be able to break and not worry about losing everything in the process.

I liked the additional characters in this book too. I thought Cash was a nice addition to the cast and Amber had potential. They were every much side characters in this book but I saw where their potential could be.


While I loved most of this book it does use one of my least favorite type of storylines, which I have done a whole post about, so I will keep this brief. Mackenzie keeps too many secrets from Wesley, because she is trying to protect him. I hate that idea. It never works. It only creates confusion, and danger for the other person.

Now this book didn’t use it in a way that angered me too much. I was annoyed for sure but I wasn’t as annoyed as I usually am. I understood her choice. Mackenzie wanted this all to be her fight, wanted to show she was alone capable of taking care of herself.

But Wesley was the one person she could have told. He would not only understand but he could have done so much to help her. He would know how to be separate when necessary. Instead she pushed him away. I thought if she had told him their relationship could have deepened. We also could have explored the idea of having those around you to help yourself heal. I thought we could have seen how important support is to helping someone handle trauma.

I also wished we had gotten a bit more about Wesley in this book. There is so much mystery around him. I would love a book from his POV. I want to know who his family is, what truly happened and why he hides his name. I know that was probably planned for a further book but I would love to have that information.


There was nothing that made me want to stop reading this book. There was nothing I had to try to be okay with to finish. It was fun and exciting and pulled me along the whole time.

I gave this book 4 stars mostly because of the whole secret keeping issue I had. Other than that this is a great sequel and leaves sparks for so much more.


“Maybe I just can’t stand our home-turned-house.” (pg. 15) (I love the way these simple words sum up so much, such a vivid image and idea).

“But the fact is, dreams catch us with our armor off.” (pg. 70)

“It doesn’t all boil down to with or against. Some of us just want to stay alive.” (pg. 98)

“Treat all the bad things like dreams, Kenzie. That way, no matter how scary or dark they get, you just have to survive until you wake up.” (pg. 177)

“We stand out in the minds of others more than in our own.” (pg. 275)

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Prachett – review

The end of times is on its way. The apocalypse is supposed to be terrifying, the world is ending. What if the end of the world doesn’t go quite as planned? What if the angel and demon in charge of starting the whole thing, make a few mistakes? What if the anti-christ isn’t brought up in a tough and angry home but a quiet suburban family? What if the four horseman decide they are bikers instead? The apocalypse may seem scary but that is only if the people in charge actually know what they are doing.

The characters in this book are what make this one so much fun. This was a reread for me. I read it ages ago and remembered it vaguely. I did remember that I thought it was fun and near the end of the year I needed a fun and quirky book to read.

The angel, Aziraphale, and demon Crowly are my favorite characters in this book. I loved how they played off each other. They are friends, do their jobs because they have too but are super reluctant to end the world. They like Earth and humanity. They enjoy being around people and they don’t want to give any of that up.

They were interesting because they felt like tired office workers to me. They felt like two normal guys who are fed up with their jobs. They stay with their employers out of necessity but they don’t quite agree with everything. They go along because they have to but you can feel their reluctance and avoidance of the issue.

I like that they were close as friends. This way they used each other to vent when necessary was fun. I thought it was an interesting dynamic and I could read an entire book just about the two of them.

The tone of this book was relaxing and enjoyable. Apocalypse books are usually stressful and fill you with fear and trepidation. This one just made you wonder if the end of the world is actually possible. Judging by the random things happening in our world everyday you wonder if these agents are in charge. Constanly messing up, not caring and not wanting to finish out what they started. They all felt human and it felt like anyone I know could have been in this scenario.

The four horsemen characters were interesting as well. They were the ones that felt closest to what we know they are supposed to be. They are menacing but still with a silly, quirky edge to them. You feel their presences but you aren’t scared of them. They are again just doing what they are told but not forcing anything. Just workers showing up but not putting their full effort into their jobs.


I did think the ending was a bit flat. I thought it worked but you are leading up to this huge end and it sort of fizzled out for me. It was a lot more talking then I remembered. I wanted them to be running around trying to stop each others mistakes but instead you get speeches.

The ending worked for the story but it wasn’t what I was expecting or what I remembered. I thought it could have used a bit more punch or a few more laugh moments to get finishing the book with the same tone as it started. You have these fumbling idiots running around the whole time but they all kind of just stand around at the end.

There wasn’t anything that threw me out of the story completely. I stayed in the world and connected to the characters. It was a fun and interesting ride.

I gave this book 4 stars. It would have been a five star if the ending was a bit more involved.

“They’d been brought up to it and weren’t, when you got right down to is, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren’t. They just get carried away by new ides, like dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow.” (pg. 18)

“They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways , and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse.” (pg. 25)

“Hell wasn’t a major reservoir of evil, any more than Heaven, in Crowley’s opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.” (pg. 69)

The Archived – Victoria Schwab – Review

The dead are not gone forever. When you die your body and all your memories are preserved in the Archive. There you are stacked on shelves, able to leave a lasting impression on the world. Mackenzie is a Keeper, charged with keeping Histories from escaping. An easier said then done job when the Archive begins to break down and her world is upended. Can she stop those responsible or will time run out and will she be added to the shelves?

I misunderstood what this book was about when I read the summary and read other reviews. I have seen people praising this book and I loved Victoria Schwab so I knew I had to read this one.

I thought that the idea was that people’s consciousness were preserved in literal books. Instead their bodies are recreated in this Archive and that is where their memories are stored. I really liked the concept. I liked the idea that when you die you are not dead and gone forever. I liked the idea that there is a literal library of people and their histories. Each person is important because of the life they have lived and the things they have learned throughout that life. I loved the idea of preserving everyone.

I thought the pacing of this story as great as well. It didn’t drag on. The mystery was presented early and I liked that our main character was the one to stumble upon the mystery right away. She didn’t just hover around waiting for someone to tell her what to do. She was curious and began investigating. She worked to find the answers she wanted.

The story moved a perfect pace. We got our mystery and pieces were slowly revealed bit by bit. I liked that we weren’t stumbling around wondering what was going on or the end being just a huge info dump. Everything seemed to work in the right order.

Wes was my favorite character in this book. He felt original and fresh. I loved that he wore earrings, nail polish and eyeliner. I loved that he is an individual and he isn’t someone who is going to fall into a generic category. I think too many times male characters are just described as handsome in a super generic way. Wes felt more dynamic and real.

I could have used a bit more detail about how the Archive itself works. I don’t quite understand how they get all the people and their memories there. The world isn’t magical one so I am unsure how that works. Especially since it is so secretive. It isn’t like everyone knows about it yet everyone is cataloged there.

I also saw hints of one of my least favorite things in this story near the end. Thankfully it didn’t go that route but I still feel like the possibility for it, is there in the sequel. The idea that you don’t have to tell someone something in order to protect them. I hate the idea of keeping secrets because you want to keep someone safe. It never works and I hope it doesn’t become a thing in the next book.

I enjoyed the whole ride of this book. I see hints of where the next book could go. I didn’t have anything that threw me out of the story and made me want to put it down.

I have this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and am excited to read Unbound to see where the story goes.

“We leave memories on objects we love and cherish, things we use and wear down.” pg. 26
“Lying is easy, but lonely.” pg. 84
“Things only hurt more when you can see them.” pg.251



The Circle – Dave Eggers – Review

Mae is beyond excited, she has been hired at the most sought after company in the world. She knows she has to prove herself and she is ready to do whatever is necessary to climb the ranks. The Circle is the leader in technology. Though as she gets deeper into the company Mae begins to understand the scary implications of the work they are doing. Will she fight back or will she succumb to the power of The Circle?


I thought the way the book goes into the power of brainwashing is fascinating. There wasn’t too much plot and the character development was minimal; what really drives this book is the reader watching as Mae falls deeper and deeper into this cult like atmosphere.

It is interesting because it starts off pretty benign. You see her beginning to think like the heads of the company want her to think. And as a reader you agree with some of the way they frame the new development. You agree that you want the world to be safer. But as an outsider you also are able to think deeply about what this new way of life could mean for the world itself.

I sat there reading thinking of how terrifying this whole process seemed. Mae questions things at first but she is quickly told to back off. She is manipulated by how she is given certain questions. She is told to think in one way and when she fights back they make her feel guilty. They twist every word she says and make her feel like she is in the wrong even though her concerns are valid.

I also thought the way the technology evolved was interesting. I read it wondering what they could possibly try to do next and it just got worse and worse. The scariest part is that this is all very possible. We let technology into every part of our lives and we think it is okay but this book shows how far it can go.

I was captured by the way the world is taken into the hands of this company and molded to who they want the world to be. As a reader you read hoping to take notes and know what to look for in case this becomes to close to reality.


I thought the plot itself was lacking a bit. Most of this story was about how the technology progresses and they get closer to closing the Circle. There is a lot of hearing about the new techniques.

Near the end you start to see hints of resistance. I wanted a bit more from this part thought. I also wanted to know more about the founders of the company. I thought they were too flat. I thought that if I understood them a bit more I could understand how this company began. I think deepening their characters would have made the reader feel a bit conflicted about how they see the world. We get hints of what they wanted with this company but I think if we got their POV too I would have had trouble damning their ideas.


I had a bit of an issue with Mae’s character. I felt she was to naive. She accepted everything quite quickly. While she did question things for a minute it wasn’t much.

There is one moment in the first few pages that made me wonder what was wrong with her. She is getting all her passwords and paperwork done on her first day. She is told to sign something but not to ask what it is. She doesn’t even question this idea. She just does it without a thought. I sat there wondering how you could ever sign something without knowing what you signing.

She also is given a new tablet and she is told to upload her personal computer to the new tablet. She is then told all her personal computer information is now in the company’s cloud. Again she doesn’t even think twice about this. How can you literally give all your personal information over to your work place without thinking about it? Work and personal should be separate but she just does it.

I had trouble understanding that anyone wouldn’t at least think this was weird. Now this could be because of the world itself but the world is set up to be much liker ours. I can’t see anyone I know not thinking this is strange and fighting it. This set Mae as too gullible and easy to manipulate too me. I wanted her to be a bit more of a fighter.

I also had an issue with her relationship. She kept going back to someone who was creepy. He taped them without her consent and then made her feel guilty for wanting him to delete it. She then was manipulated into agreeing with him through the system. I don’t blame her for this as much as the system and I thought this depiction was disturbing. I really didn’t like the relationship aspect in this story.

I have this book 3 stars. I enjoyed it I just thought it could have done with a bit more development of the side characters and a bit more focus on the actual plot.

“All that happens must be known” – pg. 68

“It was a kind of micro, but it was incomplete, distorted. And if Francis wanted any or all of that information, why couldn’t he just ask her?” – pg. 126 – This touched on the one time she fought the system but she quickly fell back into line. It also hints at a very problematic relationship.

“Now we’re all God.” pg. 398

“That the volume of information, of data, or judgements, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable – it was too much.” pg. 414


Discover the Destroyer – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

We jumped back into David’s perspective again in this installment in the Everworld series. While we were in the other’s POV’s I was having issues with David. I was falling into this way of seeing him as love struck and wannabe hero. I was having trouble remembering who he truly was.

This book reminded me who this character actually is. David is a kid who is desperate to get back control of his life. He has not felt like he is strong or worthy since his childhood. What happened to him as a child has broken him and he is starting to see the real damage done at that camp.

I find it really interesting how this storyline is being handled. While nothing is blatantly stated or shown you get a good idea of what happened to David. It’s even more interesting because as a teenager I never caught on to what happened. Or if I did it didn’t stay with me. 

Now this storyline I can see and I can understand the true impact it is having on David as a full character. He is very self aware. He is trying hard to not show the rest of his friends what happened to him. He can’t watch as his worst fears about himself are being proved true. We hear how he knows he is weak around Senna but not willing to walk away from her. This push and pull makes their relationship more than just a normal crush relationship.

I remembered this part of the main plot well too. This is the point where our group starts having a lasting impact on the world around them. They are introducing aspects of the real world to this new world. I did have a little trouble believing they could do all the work they needed to do in such a short amount of time. But Jalil is smart so I am letting that slide.

I know the next book is one that I struggled with when I first read the series. I remember it being about fighting and tactic heavy and less about the characters. I am interested to see how I feel about it now. 


Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – Review


Robin walks down the aisle and marries Matthew, but no one could call it a happy marriage. Strike is riding high after his last case that put him in the spotlight and finally gave him the chance to create a successful business. Though he isn’t exactly happy with his own personal life.

Billy, a mentally ill man, walks in and throws the pair of them into a mystery that wraps up an entire family. Affairs, unwanted children, possible murders and much more take theses two through a mystery that makes them not only question who is truthful in the case but in their own lives.


I don’t read this series for the mystery and detective elements. I read it for the personal stories of Strike and Robin. These two characters keep me coming back to these books. J.K. Rowling or Robert Gailbraith has a way of creating characters that are alive and familiar. We feel connected to them because they go through many of these same things we go through as readers.

The end of the last book was a bit of a cliffhanger. We wondered how Robin’s life would play out and what Strike would do. The prologue in this book answered those questions in a very realistic way. There is no dramatic runaway bride or abrupt change of heart. Instead the way things resolve is a slow burn. It plays out as I think it would in real life.

I thought it was interesting in this book how Strike and Matthew’s characters were played against each other. This what set the stage for the majority of the conflict in this book. When we met Matthew in the first book we thought him the perfect fit for Robin. He seemed loving and their story was fairytale-esque. Then, as happens when you truly get to know someone, we realized that he is not the perfect man for Robin. He is far from the right person.

Strike at first seemed gruff and uncaring. He was about himself and wanting to make his way in the world. He didn’t care about anyone really but we see again that first impressions don’t tell us anything about anyone.

Robin wants to be taken seriously, she doesn’t want to be told what to do and when to do it. She is afraid of being vulnerable. There is some great commentary about the way a woman can’t show her pain and anguish like a man because then she will be sidelined. 

While Matthew tries to push Robin into a safe space, which would change her whole world; Strike does the opposite. He acknowledges her issues, makes her confront them and yet lets her still do what she wants to do. He doesn’t force her to a desk, he let her continue working.

But he also makes sure she knows that she has to deal with her issues. He won’t let her ignore them. He shares his own struggles and makes sure she understands that he is on her side. He cares about her and wants her to heal but he also knows putting her in a box won’t do anything to help her.

I didn’t think I wanted Robin and Strike together after the other books but after this one I think they would work perfectly together. There is understanding and truth there that will make a good relationship. 

The mystery element and major plot of the book was as well done as the other books. I have mentioned it in previous reviews but the way the details are given is thorough. There is no sensational elements only there to make the pages turn. It gives what would happen in the timeline it would happen.



While I enjoy the details of the case, the length of the book was a bit much. I felt like the middle dragged. It is a hefty book and I think that some of the details of going back and forth and who was riding what train were not needed. We would have cut some of that and some of the retelling of the details in order to move the pace up a bit.

What I wished was different:
I had a little bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the story. There were a lot of names and different players. I think it was good for the mystery element, more people to suspect, but I found myself wondering who was who. 

I had to remind myself every time I picked up the book who was the main characters, who were the side ones and what plots mattered. I wished I had an easier time keeping everyone straight.

I gave this book three stars. I liked the mystery and I loved the development of the characters I just thought it a little too long. 

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee – Review

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Felicity wants nothing else in life other than to be a doctor; but she is a woman in a time that scoffs at the idea of educated women. She needs to find a way around the restrictions placed on her. She teams up  with a mysterious stranger, not knowing what Sim’s ulterior motives are. She meets an old friend and the three of them embark on a journey to save a secret and a legacy.

 

 

What I Loved_-4
In the first book, A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I didn’t care much for Felicity. To me she was nothing more than just the big sister character. She was there to tell Monty when he was wrong and to foil his plans. To me she didn’t hold any real personality of her own.

This book changed my opinion of her all together. We learn that Felicity is a woman stuck in a time that is not for her. She wants to be a doctor. She wants to be independent but she lives in a time where she is told that she is supposed to get married, have kids and take care of her husband. I liked watching Felicity come to terms with who she was and the world she lived in.

She had a fighting spirit that she kept throughout the story. I found it interesting that throughout the story she wasn’t told right out that she was some hero or someone who was going to change the world. She learned that she had to find a way to balance all aspects of her life. It was okay for her to be who she was and she learned that throughout the story. She was able to see that she didn’t have to resign her life to fit what she is told she has to be.

I also liked the three female characters and how they balanced each other throughout this story. Sim was a tough woman, she wanted to be recognized and trusted. She was adventurous and she didn’t back down. But she was also soft as well. She had a softer side which she showed to Felicity.

Johanna was interesting because she was someone who enjoyed dressing up, she wanted to be married and go to parties but she also wanted to study nature and make a name for herself. She liked being taken care of but she also could take care of herself when necessary. I think she played against Felicity’s character well.

The two of them together showed that there is no one way to be a woman. You don’t have to be all girly and poised or defiant and tough. You can be a mix and that is okay. That commentary on not belittling other women for who they are was poignant and important.

What I was just okay with
I wasn’t thrilled with the end of this story. I felt a lot was leading up to a very epic end but we got a quick handful of pages. Things were taken care of quite quickly and easily. Our main villain was taken out pretty fast.

I understood why things ended as they did, and it made sense. I just wish there had been more. I felt like it ended and we got to that last point and were just like, “okay, that’s all.” I wanted a bit more to make me feel tense and feel like we truly accomplished something.
What I was just okay with
I read this book quite quickly. I didn’t get hung up on any details. I do think the main premise was a bit of a stretch. I kind of wished the creature they were after was easier to identify. I know it had to be something we have in our world today but I had trouble making a connection.

I think it would have made more of an impact if I knew what they were talking about. In that day and age it was common to mistake certain animals for mythical creatures. They gave these grand ideas and names to these creatures because they didn’t know better. I wanted to be able to say, “Oh, okay, I can see how they saw that as this.”
Four Star
I have this book four stars on Goodreads. I think if there had been a stronger end I would have given it a full five stars.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“I want to understand things. I want to answer every question ever posed me. I want to leave no room for anyone to doubt me.” (pg. 48)

“….it’s hard to be raised in a world where you’re taught to always believe what men say without doubting yourself at every step.” (pg. 69)

“But one can only spend so long booklets in the company of another human before one feels compelled to make conversation.” (pg. 210)

“You refused to let me – or anyone! – like books and silks. Outdoors and cosmetics. You stopped taking me seriously when I stopped being the kind of woman you thought I had to be to be considered intelligent and strong.” (pg. 246)

“So if you can’t win the game, you have to cheat.” (pg. 297)

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