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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017


I'm back! This is my first WIR since last January. Did you miss me? I have been reading debuts and they get full reviews and I have been a bit slow at reading other books. Although I am back now with the books I have read in between debuts. Let's get to it. What did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
I received Kelley Armstrong's novella Lost Souls from the publisher via NetGalley a few weeks go. This story is set in the world of the author's Cainsville series with Gabriel on the case to debunk a popular urban legend of a girl in a white dress hitchhiking on a quiet back road. Gabriel is a lawyer and wants to solve the case but his investigator (and love interest?) Olivia is out of town. Determined the solve the mystery Gabriel has to face his past in order to find the clues that leads him to the woman in white.

I haven't read any of the book from the Cainsville series but I still enjoyed this novella. The story was told through POVs from two of series' characters - Gabriel and the supernatural Patrick. Through their inner dialogue we get to learn both about the opposite character but also about the background characters such as Olivia and her boyfriend Ricky. I really enjoyed how the urban legend played out and thought it had just the right amount of creepy....just like a good urban legend. Fans of this series need to check out Lost Souls.


Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
Another book I received from NetGalley was The Turn by Kim Harrison. This is the prequel to The Hollows series and set in the late 60's. Trisk is a woman and dark elf trying to make a name for herself in a male, light elf dominated world. When her genetically modified tomato gets hacked and becomes the carrier for a virus that kills off hundreds of thousand humans Trisk is left on the run in order to save herself, her race and humanity.

I really liked The Hollows series with Rachel, Ivy and the caustically funny fairy Jenks. I am not sure what I was expected with The Turn but I really struggled to finish it. Many of the characters were back as their younger selves but almost unrecognisable. Trent was particularly loathsome. I kept trying to find out if it was the same Trent from the original series as I couldn't believe how horrid he was and wondered how he could actually become Rachel's love interest 30-40 years later. I think that Harrison spent too much time building up the conditions to have the virus released via tomatoes and could have spent more time after the tomato induced apocalypse. For big fans of the Hollows series I wouldn't be in a rush to read this one. If you haven't read any of the series then maybe start with The Turn which will make the other books all that much better.


That is it for me this week. Fingers crossed with more for me to tell you about next week.





Lost Souls
A Cainsville Novella
Subterranean Press, December 15, 2016
       eBook, 192 pages
Subterranean Press,  March 31, 2017
       Hardcover, 192 pages
Cover by Xaviere Daumarie

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.





The Turn
  The Hollows Begins with Death
Gallery Books, February 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce you to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan's world as they've never seen it before!

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, and Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014


Well I can't crow too loudly this week about the number of books I have read. I am quite satisfied with both the number of and the books I read but won't be making any headlines this week. Sorry folks. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014
I finished reading Our Broken Sky by Sarah Harian. I have to say I am quite embarrassed that I didn't know before I started reading this book that it was a novella.  DOINK! I got to the last page and couldn't believe it was finished. I need to start paying attention. This short features Valerie who murders her sister's rapists and ends up in the Compass Room. This is the story of how she got there and the trials she faced while trapped with the other murdering teenagers that featured in book 1. I can't say I enjoyed it. Short stories aren't my favourite to begin with and then to add in the fact that Valerie wasn't very nice to any one and had an enormous chip on her shoulder made it rather a testing read. I was a bit ambivalent about book 1 and I really hope that Harian can find a way to make her young adults a bit more engaging and empathetic.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014Wanting to read something quick and easy I went back to my Amazon recommendations and found Annie Bellet's Justice Calling. This is the first in the Twenty Sided Sorceress series (I haven't yet figured out where the series name comes from) and I quite liked it. It was a super easy and fast read. It only took a few hours to get from cover to cover. This book introduces us to Jade Crow who is a powerful sorceress in hiding. She lives in a small town, owns a comic book store and tries to keep a low profile until 'the law' comes to town and accuses her of murdering shifters. Lucky for Jade 'the law' aka a Justice comes packaged in rippling muscles and a handsome face. Jade's secret is about to be exposed when she discovers shifters, including her friends, are being petrified (not the scared petrified...the frozen like a statue variety) by magic. She has to solve the mystery, save her friends and try not to get killed in the process.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014
I liked Justice Calling. I thought that Bellet was able to pull off some witty writing and Jade was a likeable character. I read it so quickly that I went back to Amazon and bought book 2 - Murder of Crows. In this instalment Jade is dating the Justice, Alex from book 1, when her estranged father asks her help to find out who is murdering her former community. Duty bound Jane and Alex head out to save her family and try not to get caught by her evil ex-boyfriend who wants to each her heart and steal her magic. Again, Bellet doesn't waste time getting to the point and this was another 2-3 hour book. I enjoyed it but wonder if Bellet isn't skimming the surface a bit too much with her characters and her plot. I had to look back at my purchase history to remember that I had read this book. Not a good sign. I will still look forward to book 3 in the hopes it gains some depth.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014
Back again to Amazon and this time it recommended Dire Straits by Helen Harper. For those of you who read my WIR will remember that I read Harper's Blood Destiny series. This time Harper tells the story of Bo Blackman - a private investigator who gets framed for the murder of her colleagues while saving a demon. In an attempt to find the real killers and to clear her name Bo joins one of the prominent vampire families, to rather disastrous results. I was a bit conflicted about this book. Bo reminded me a bit too much of Mack from the Blood Destiny series. She wasn't a powerful shifter like Mack was but their personalities were very similar. Bo was always getting into trouble and making completely unwise decisions.  You know a character is naive when even the other characters comment on it! I have still pre-ordered book 2 though so will let you know in a few weeks what I think of this series.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014
The final book that I am going to tell you about (and that I finished) was also the final book of The Hollows series, The Witch with No Name. Rachel has a lot to do in this instalment - save Ivy, rescue the demons, fall more in love with Trent, save the ever after and try to find a way to get Al to stop hating her. A tall order for some but not for Rachel.

I really, really, really liked this book. It was the perfect ending to the series. I couldn't believe how much happened to Rachel and all her friends. I was completely surprised when I reached the 20% point as I couldn't think what else Harrison could do to turn her characters' lives upside down...but she did.... a whole lot more. The book almost made me want to go back and start the series again. I might just do that! This is a solid series with likeable characters, all sorts of supernatural creatures to tickle almost every fancy and some hilarious dialogue from its smallest character - Jenks the pixy.

That is all for me for another week. I am going to have a to try to keep my booking reading roll going. Wish me luck and until next week Happy Reading.


Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - September 14, 2014

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