Book Review: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova ★★

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“I was filled with angst in college, that I struggled with the question of my future, the meaning of my life – spoiled sheltered rich girl collides with great books and is devastated by her own banality.”

What a disappointment! I read Kostova’s other novel, The Historian, ages ago and I really enjoyed it. I found a beautiful hardcover copy of The Swan Thieves at Goodwill for $3. I was still riding my “art-thriller” high thanks to The Goldfinch. Everything was lined up perfectly for me to LOVE this book!!

But did I? Sadly, no. No I did not.

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Book Review: Hex on the Beach by Gina LaManna ★

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“Slipping under the covers, I replayed the day’s events in my head, from Gus’s announcement that Leonard had been found dead, to the strange incident with Harpin and ensuing rescue by Aarik. My last thoughts before drifting off to sleep centered around Ranger X’s softer side. The one I’d seen at his cabin, and I wondered what I’d have to do to see the gentle side of him once more. To see the man who’d rubbed salve on my neck with a touch so gentle it made my heart flutter, who fed me bread though I was certain it was the only food he’d had left. The man who riled me up to the point of boiling then cooled me down with a single smile – that brief, fleeting smile was the last thing I saw before slipping into my dreams.” 

Unfortunately, the above quote exemplifies why I hold such distaste for this novel. It is positively vapid in most parts. None of the characters can hold the story, which really has no plot, and the entire thing needed about a hundred more pages of narrative and probably 6 more rounds of edits. It was not good and sadly it was clear that it was a self-published novel. I give it 1.5 stars for the potential it had.

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Book Review: Soul Scent by Reyna Favis ★★★

“I did not want to imagine, but the worst part was that in my experience, the truth could easily outstrip my imagination.”

In this second installment of The Zackie Stories, author Reyna Favis brings everything I loved about the first book and more. She really ups the ante here and creates a stronger, bolder thriller. I was wavering between 3 and 4 stars for this one, and decided overall to go with 3.5 stars, because of the progress made from the first book, and the potential for this to become a great full-length series. All of the characters that we met in the previous book are back and they create a fun and endearing misfit ensemble. Fia returns as our main character, with her life teetering precariously between a normal Search and Rescue field agent and paranormal soul seeker. As much as she tries to keep her two lives separate, though, a tragic event threatens to merge them together, when her team has to search for a body in the woods.

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