Tag Archives: witches

Short Story Review: Hello, Moto by Nnedi Okorafor

Tor Books Published Nov. 2nd, 2011 32 Pages
Tor Books
Published Nov. 2nd, 2011
32 Pages

There is witchcraft in science and a science to witchcraft. Both will conspire against you eventually.- Goodreads

*Short Review*

The summary doesn’t really give away anything. So I really took a chance on this read. Also I will say this time and time again, me and short stories do not get along. It is rare that I enjoy a short story or a short story collection…. This is one of those rare times.

As short as this was, I enjoyed it. I was captivated mainly because I wanted to know more. I wanted a backstory to the witches and I wanted more details to why things were turning out the way they were.  The story doesn’t really lead up to anything. You are right there at the beginning of a battle scene.

My biggest with this is the fact that it is a short story. The ending stops mid scene, which pissed me off because it is like how can you do that? Right when everything was happening :(

Overall, for what it was I enjoyed this but wish it was leading to a larger story.

3.5 Pickles

Book Review: Blood Bound (Gallows #1) by Sharon Stevenson

CreateSpace Published Nov. 18, 2015 320 Pages
Published Nov. 18, 2015
320 Pages

Twin demon trackers, Shaun and Sarah Gallows, are use to trouble. As of late vampires are the only things keeping the two 19 year olds busy. While Sarah embraces her powers, Shaun tries to avoid them causing an issue when they meet 17 year old demon tracker Melissa. Melissa, who Shaun is attracted to with fierce intensity, Melissa who is torturing innocent super-naturals. 

Knowing they need to stop her, Sarah is willing to do anything while it may be harder for Shaun to stop someone who is soul bound. 

So, I sat on this book a lot longer than I should have. The thing about this book is it is really drawn out without there being reason to. After a few chapters, I got into the book but the spark died as quickly as it came. Shaun has no life. I guess that was the point to show the different between him and Sarah but his moody depression didn’t help a already long book.

Beyond the fact that the book was long, what bother me was Sarah. She was all over the place and her relationship drama was not needed for this book. It was forced. If this book was about herself then maybe I would have been okay with it but between her drama and Shaun’s drama added too many people to the plot and it became over saturated.

I did like the idea of Shaun and Melissa. I wasn’t feeling the age of everyone but the idea that this “bad” woman could be his soul bound and he was not for it, was interesting. It was a different spin to things but it wasn’t enough to keep the book going. The storyline was pretty slow and the mythology was not as great as you think it would be with two demon trackers leading the way.

I wanted so much more for this 93 chapter (kindle edition). There should have been a better backstory, deeper mythology and more colorful characters.

2 Pickles

Book Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

Amulet Books To Be Published Sept. 6, 2016 352 Pages
Amulet Books
To Be Published Sept. 6, 2016
352 Pages

The Graces are famous and River wants to be a part of them. After moving to the small town with her mother, River wants to start over and feel wanted. She will do anything to be around the Graces but are they everything the rumors say they are?

I didn’t expect much from this book. I didn’t because those first chapters didn’t catch me. But I kept reading and I got hooked.

River didn’t catch me. I felt that she was dull and when everything was said and done, she was still dull to me. What got me was the Graces and their mystery and how amazingly the story was written; that was what my attention was on. They were perfect characters that I am not even sure if I hate them.

There was a lot of moving parts within this story with slight predictability. River was predictable and I believe this was intended because there were hints about her outcome all over the book from the very beginning. I am not totally upset about this. I’m not because the pace of the novel was on point. The need to know what happens next was predominant and the mystery of these Graces was so enticing that once I got over the hump of the first few chapters, I couldn’t stop reading it.

I would have liked more of a backstory for the Graces. Maybe some family history and more parent interaction? I wouldn’t mind the book being longer if that was added. I also do not agree with the ending. In my eyes, why would there be a book two? What else can be done other than River doing her thing. The ending reminded me of how much River is a high school student/brat because what I think she is going to do is unnecessary. She is just angry things didn’t turn in her favor. I can’t blame her but still….

Overall, I am happy with this read.

4 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Forever Yours To be Published July 4, 2014 384 Pages
Forever Yours
To be Published July 4, 2014
384 Pages

Mala LaCroix isn’t a witch. Nor does she believe her family line are truly witches as the townspeople believe. So she does her best to stay out of peoples’ way and finish school to join the police academy. 

But when she finds a dead body of the most popular girl  in town floating in the bayou on her land, Mala’s plans for blending in is halted when she begins to be haunted by the dead girl. Trying to ignore the powers that are growing within her, Mala must now find a killer

Landry just lost his sister and has had a long time crush on Mala but when he finds out his sister may have been use as a sacrifice in a witch ritual he begins to look at Mala differently. But the two must work together to find the truth about his sister and all temptation must stop.  

Reading this I was definitely drawn to Mala. She wasn’t a bitch, needy or uncomfortable. She wasn’t a rich girl, yes she was poor but there was a charm to her that if the author didn’t keep mentioning the fact that she was poor it would have been overlooked.

I loved the fact that the book didn’t take long to get to the problem. There was no beating around the bush about it but it still left a lot to the imagination which was great. I do wish there was more detail describing the body. I felt it was a bit overlooked and didn’t have the same care as most of the other parts of the book was.

I liked Landry as well. However for a 21 year old I did feel that he should have been more grounded. What I mean is he seemed so unsure of himself throughout the entire book and that put me off in really liking him.

My biggest issue of this book was the back and forth Mala and Landry did. It was so over done and overly dramatic that it brought the rating down. Another issue I had was the physical scenes. There wasn’t many to be considered a New Adult book and what was there was completely misplaced. They felt forced. I’m not sure about the chemistry between Mala and Landry and I chalk that up because of all the back and forth.

Overall, I thought the author did a good job with the mix of magic, betrayal, small town and romance. I was expecting more sex (shrugs) but I liked the book and look forward to number 2.

3.5 Pickles

Book Review (Kindle Edition) Arianna Rose by Jennifer Martucci and Christopher Marticci

Oh the surprises you find on amazon.

      Kindle (EBook)       Published 2012            146 Pages
Kindle (EBook)
Published 2012
146 Pages

Arianna was born on the wrong side of the tracks. Her mother is a freeloading drunk who picks up men at every chance she gets. So Arianna is use to moving from town to town and cleaning a bit of her mom’s mess. Tomboy all the way even down to the bike she owns, Arianna moves to a new town, falls for the cute rebel with a story also exactly like hers  and then begins seeing a strange man in the middle of the street.

But of course that is never it. At a night out with her new friends she discovers she has abilities that are of course not human.  She is swept away by the strange man who knows more about Arianna than she knows herself. ANDDDDD this is when the book ends.

This book is part one to what I am assuming the first book. I really didn’t appreciate that because the book was picking up. Granted it is a great thing for the author now everyone would have to buy the second part. But I am weary of that because if it stops like part 1 did then I probably won’t buy part 3.

But anyway over the book was a good read. There was a lot of clichés in the book. 18 year old tomboy, who drives a motorcycle, smokes cigarettes and lives in a trailer park with her drunken and promiscuous mother. Arianna has no dreams for the future, no plans, simply graduate high school. I thought this was way too cliché in regards to her being this portrayed bad girl.

What I did like about the story was the build up and the fact that Arianna wasn’t a reckless girl but was grounded enough to not have a screw the world attitude.

Overall the book gets 8 out of 10. The biggest problem with the book is it stopped when it was getting good/to the point and that was a let down because for 12 chapters you watching it build and then it stops.  Also the book is not labeled Young Adult although it centers an 18 year old.


Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles

Book Review: Spellcaster by Claudia Gray


Nadia is a witch . . . rephrases a witch in training. She moves to Captive’s Sound after her mother walks out on her, her father, and little brother. Nadia is upset but is trying hard to stay strong for her family. However, when they drive through the border of Captive’s Sound she feels a magic so strong her book of spells clashes with its force field and causes an accident.

Mateo is the boy everyone talks about; his family has a history of seeing the future and going mad because of it. So naturally everyone  thinks he is crazy. Mateo sees Nadia in his dreams and only thinks the worst of himself and Nadia’s life.

Sounds good so far? Yes, it does and here is the disappointing part . . . the book lost its luster almost half way through. The author starts it off great! To the point that I’m not doing anything but read this book. But there was way too much running around in the book. The bad girl, yes it is a girl, is found very quickly in the book and to beat her takes at least another 8 chapters.

I love what the author started doing with the book but it faded. The only reason I would read part two of this book is in hopes to find out what happened to her mother. That is the biggest reoccurring topic in the book.

This book gets 5 out of 10.

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Although it seems like a typical boy meets girl story, there was nothing typical about it. Cas Lowood , with the thought of revenge for his father’s death pushing him , he moves from city to city, state to state, country to country to kill ghost/dead people; Of course, with the help of his mom and a ghost detecting cat.

On this particular “trip” Lowood, has to kill Anna dressed in blood; a local legend in which a ghost kills everyone who enters her house. However, the twist to this is she spared his life. Anna is not like any other ghost Lowood has met. Not only did she spare his life, which is completely abnormal but she is still wearing the dress she died in.

Honestly, I couldn’t have found a better book to read. The author did an amazing job with details. Lowood’s mother is a witch, so in various parts of the books she describes smells, more than just using the terms rosemary or lavender. She does her best to make sure the author knows that this is what the mother does. She creates herbs, and scents for protection. I also believe she did a good job of keeping Lowood very realistic. He is a 17 year old boy and although she doesn’t put in the book he thinks about girls and drinking and partying, she makes references to his struggle of trying to make his mom happy and doing his job (of killing ghosts).

The pace of the story was steady. It didn’t move too fast in which you didn’t think you missed something and also the “action” scenes gave you no question to what happened. It shocked and moved you, which is exactly what it should do.

As in every story, in which a boy meets a girl, there is love and who the love in between was probably the craziest part of the story. I loved it; it was perfect. This book had the perfect amount of love, horror, freak-out and sadness.

The book gets a nice 10 out of 10. There is a second book and so look out for that review!