Fallible Justice Review

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Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso

In Old London, where paranormal races co-exist with ordinary humans, criminal verdicts delivered by the all-seeing Heralds of Justice are infallible. After a man is declared guilty of murder and sentenced to death, his daughter turns to private investigator Yannia Wilde to do the impossible and prove the Heralds wrong.

Yannia has escaped a restrictive life in the Wild Folk conclave where she was raised, but her origins mark her as an outsider in the city. These origins lend her the sensory abilities of all of nature. Yet Yannia is lonely, and struggling to adapt to life in the city. The case could be the break she needs. She enlists the help of her only friend, a Bird Shaman named Karrion, and together they accept the challenge of proving a guilty man innocent.

So begins a breathless race against time and against all conceivable odds. Can Yannia and Karrion save a man who has been judged infallibly guilty?

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I discovered this gem of a book thanks to Louise Walter Books (who kindly provided me with a proof copy of the book and that gorgeous postcard) and Asha (who thought I’d love it because Yania, the main character has EDS, she was right, of course).

Now, if you don’t want to read the whole review, I can shorten it for you. It reminds me beautifully of the place I wish Dresden files had gone. It also evokes Patricia Briggs and Charles de Lint (making me want to read them again) and a bit of Anne Bishop.

If you are wondering who all the previous authors are, then you’ve missed out on a wonderful genre called Urban Fantasy (UF). Seriously, give it a go.

Now back to this book, and expanding on the “short version”. It is the story of a paranormal detective, and if you just go by that then it sounds a like a variety of UF books out there. However, I have to say that the writing itself is very good, the words flow and don’t get in the way of the story. There are descriptions but they aren’t shoved down your throat (thankfully) but rather you discover as you go.

The Old/New London concept was refreshing (she isn’t the first one to write communities of humans and others/magical beings coexisting) but for me, who lived in London for a bit and go there for work about once a month, it made it more “real”.

The lack of romance in the book also got bonus points for me(not that there isn’t any but rather it isn’t added as an afterthought or to attract you into it and be predictable)! And this makes the partnership between Yania and Karrion so much better.

Obviously I really appreciated the way Yania describes the pain of EDS, as someone with Hypermobility this was precious. I actually stopped after a paragraph and turned to my boyfriend and said “you should read this, it puts into words just how difficult living with this is” (he said he would if it was that important). So kudos for representation.

I could go on, which doesn’t happen a lot in my reviews because I dearly try not to spoil the story, and somehow, in this case I can skirt around the story and still praise this book a lot. I can’t wait for Echo Murder to come out (even though I haven’t even received my preorder of Fallible Justice yet, woops).

One last thing, I have a soft spot for Wishearth.

Moon recommends

Go buy Fallible Justice and read it of course. And maybe try the other authors I mentioned? Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Patricia Briggs (my favourite is The Hob’s Bargain even if her closest work to Fallible Justice is Moon Called), Charles De Lint (The Riddle of the Wren) or Anne Bishop (Written in Red)

 

 

The Girl With The Dragon Heart Review

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The Girl With The Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Once upon a time, in a beautiful city famous for chocolate and protected by dragons, there was a girl so fearless that she dared to try to tell the greatest story of all: the truth.

Silke has always been good at spinning the truth and storytelling. So good that just years after arriving as a penniless orphan, she has found her way up to working for the most splendid chocolate makers in the city (oh, and becoming best friends with a dragon). Now her gift for weaving words has caught the eye of the royal family, who want to use her as a spy when the mysterious and dangerous fairy royal family announce they will visit the city. But Silke has her own dark, secret reasons for not trusting fairies …

Can Silke find out the truth about the fairies while keeping her own secrets hidden? From the author of the magical The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart comes a second magical adventure perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell, Cornelia Funke and Peter Bunzl.

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I previously reviewed the first book in this series, The Dragon With The Chocolate Heart, and I had ordered both, so I dug into this one shortly after finishing the first one. Once again, there is a lot of chocolate, which is delightful.

Adventurine is still part of the story, but it gets more interesting as we see more of Silke and we’re more inside her head. We learn a little about her past (well, a lot but it starts with a little that makes her accept a mission she isn’t that suited to do).

She also uses her “smarts” to win the situation over and realises the power of friendships, of family and herself (and she finds out who she truly is and what her talents are rather than trying hard to be something she isn’t).

It is an adorable story that I would recommend to anyone and it has sent me into a spiral of buying books about dragons and witches, all middle grade… (I even have a MG dedicated shelf now, oh dear!).

Moon recommends

First, check out the prequel out and then dig into this one because it is worth it.

Into the Wild Book Box Club Unboxing

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This is their second anniversary box! And it was gorgeous and made me smile a lot. Starting with the theme postcard at the bottom and going clockwise:

  • A forest in a theme card.
  • The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby which makes me think of “Wild”(the book) though I haven’t read yet Other Side of Lost. Will buddy read next week.
  • Clubhouse invite, personalised as always ❤
  • The Lost Boys Notebook, by Georgine Makes. It is a bit dark so hard to appreciate all the details but the design is very much witchy and dark and full of nature.
  • Peeking from underneath is a multipurpose scarf (the bag it came in has all the different ways you can use) making us ready to survive anything in style!
  • Camper’s Picnic Bag by Sass and Belle. I love anything by them most of the time and this isn’t the exception.
  • Adventurer’s Remedy Massage Bar by Naked Sister. I recently got introduced to the magic of massage bars and they’re good! So ti was nice to see this in the box.
  • A sticky notepad from publisher’s promoting Dear Evan Hansen.
  • Damsel, a proof copy of it, which made me squeal because it was one fo those books I really wanted to read!
  • A nice postcard about being reading.
  • A Reader’s Pin
  • And a CabeswaterCandle by Bookworm Candles & Crafts.

The Witch Boy Review

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The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

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Yes, there’s more graphic novels being reviewed here and that’s just because I have been able to find more fo the kind I like to read for prices I can afford to pay recently, so I am loving it.

This story intrigued me, but it turned to be very relevant to the times, as it tackles sewgregation. The magical family of Aster has very defined roles in magic, women become witches. Men become shapeshipters that fight and “protect”.

Aster can’t seem to find a spirit to shapeshift into, and instead has a good knack at witchery. But he keeps getting chased away. He makes a friend from the non maical side of town and starts sharing some of his troubles, and she encourages to do what he thinks is best and not let the predefined roles limit him.

Then, his talents turn out to solve the issue of the disappearing boys. Mostly because Aster has been listening and paying attention to both sides of magic, so he gets a better panorama plus he can do witchery. But it was also a part of “children can still teach things to adults”.

I am really looking forward to the next one!

Moon recommends

Read The Witch Boy, or check out Nimona, or if you prefer non graphic novels, then try The Apprentice Witch.

September NPC Crate Unboxing

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I love Steph’s candles, so this crate that also includes a delightful pin abnd a bookmark is a great thing for me.

This month’s box was all about Dungeons and Dragons, and of course it will feature dice.

Stealth check is a delightful soft scented candle with a bit of intrigue. Then there is also Natural 20 which just smells like a berry pie and it is delicious to smell.  And finally we have Magic Missile, which has a delightfully refreshing intriguing scent, and I love lemongrass, so bonus points.

And a cute pin with gorgeous purple colour and wings (because anything with wings is a winner).

Monstress Volume 3 Review

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Monstress Volume 3 Haven by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life…is to make friends?

Collects issues 13-18 of the Hugo Award and British Fantasy Award series.

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I had been waiting eagerly for this and it hasn’t disappointed. The artwork keeps me in awe as the other two volumes have, and the dynamics of the different societies are quite intriguing.

In this volume you get to understand more about the “monster” that is joined to Maika. There is also more information on why the cat sticks to them (and it wasn’t for the reason I initially thought, which was good and also it didn’t leave me feeling cheated, rather more curious, a good thing).

We also learn more about the past of both Maika, the sleeping God/monster, the Beloved, and just the world in general and what appears to have brought it forward.

War, tends to also be a big topic here, but now i is about how to survive it and make allies rather than to destroy everyone. It feels almost like it is giving Maika time for a bigger thing to come, but I am still unsure of what it will be.

Moon recommends

Reading all the volumes of Monstress, however, if this is your first graphic novel definitely don’t do it. Why? Because it will confuse you. Give manga, or other graphic novels (like Fables, like Nimona, etc) a go before attempting Monstress.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart Review

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The Dragon With the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest dragon there is. And she’s ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But when the human she finds tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, Aventurine is transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw.

But she’s still the fiercest creature in the mountains — and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is get herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time…won’t she?

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Please excuse me, for some reason I emptied this when I added the picture and somehow can’t recover my delightful review. So this time it will be a short review, because sometimes one doesn’t need more.

This book redefines some concepts on dragons, or rather, makes them more fun. Introduces the concept of a food mage (I am a food mage for sure, if I can’t be a dragon).

Also, there is a chocolate house (that isn’t made of chocolate, sadly) and lots of hot chocolate with chilli (which makes my Mexican heart ver so happy).

There is aloso Silke and Marina and Horst, and I just wanted to grab everyone and hug them and go have some chocolate in their chocolate house because it is like a dream come true.