Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward.
There’s been a lot of buzz about White Stag during the last several months, so I am thrilled to be participating in this blog tour!
Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.
Janneke’s survival in the merciless court of monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death awakens an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t a bad thing—especially when it comes to those you care about.
Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.
Let me start by saying this story has a lot of abuse, including rape and torture, so some readers may have trouble reading it. While I don’t usually mark down because of that, in this instance I am. All the horrible things that Janneke goes through never seems to actually play into the development of her character. Instead, the rape is brought up repeatedly and I had the sense it was done more for shock value than anything else. The other problem I had, was although I liked Janneke and Soren as individuals, there was no believable chemistry and I never was able to buy into them as a couple.
The world building is promising, but in this first book there wasn’t enough to differentiate it from other fantasy books. And finally, I found the plot confusing at times, especially at the beginning when I felt as though I was dropped into the middle of a story.
Overall, while I was disappointed in White Stag, I do think there is some promise for the series, so I most likely will try the second book. And I have to give the author kudos for making the jump from self-publishing, to landing with a major publisher. I hope as her writing career progresses, some of those rough edges will be smoothed out. I also want to point out that there are many readers who loved this, so I’d advise going on Goodreads and Amazon to check out some other reviews before you decide whether you’d like to try this.
About the Author: Kara Barbieri is a twenty-two year old author with a love for the weird and mystic. She enjoys weaving ancient mythology into her stories and writing characters who are strong yet vulnerable at the same time. In her free time she trains with the same weapons her characters use, studies as a linguistic major, and generally tries her hardest not to be normal.
Y’all have to check out these two adorable teen brothers try to figure out how to use a rotary phone. It’s things like this that put everything else going on in the world into perspective.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bantam for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: “We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”
She was one of the FBI’s top agents, until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that’s left between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.
But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden…for now.
As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.
The Forbidden Door is Dean Koontz’s 4th Jane Hawk book and is another perfect addition to this exciting series that shows no sign of slowing down. I think I’ve mentioned this in my reviews of the first three books that one of the biggest strengths of this series is the characters. I have become so invested in what happens to Jane, her precocious son, and the others on her team, that I find myself holding my breath as they face danger after danger. And the villains are so despicable and evil, that I want them to all die as slowly and painfully as possible.
There’s not much more I can say that I haven’t already said in my other reviews except that in my opinion the Jane Hawk series is some of Dean Koontz’s best work in years! The Forbidden Door ends in another nail biting cliffhanger, so I’m eagerly anticipating The Night Window which is coming out in May.
Instead of sharing a whimsical quote or song like I usually do on Wednesdays, I’d like to dedicate this Whimsical Wednesday post to 7-year-old Sarah Lane-Gomez, the 2018 winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest. The theme was “What Inspires Me.”
Sarah is an aspiring paleontologist from Falls Church, Virginia who created her charming drawing during a snowstorm last winter. In her submission Sarah explained that: “Dinosaurs inspire me to study more to be a paleontologist. The shovel is for my future job!” For the full story on the contest (which is celebrating its 10th year), and how Sarah’s whimsical dinos were brought to life, please check out the video below.
And, before I forget, submissions are now being accepted for the 2019 Doodle 4 Google contest, so if you have any young artists at home they’re welcome to enter. This year’s theme is: “When I grow up, I hope…” Here’s the official announcement from Jimmy Fallon and Kermit, the 2019 judges. As an added bonus you get to listen to one of my favorite songs!
As everyone who subscribes to Netflix knows, the streaming giant is known for its “What were they thinking?” bombs (I’m talking to you, developers of The Cloverfield Paradox, and Fuller House). However, they also have released many gems, including: The Christmas Chronicles with Kurt Russell, Bird Box with Sandra Bullock, and of course the brilliant Stranger Things. Another one of their wonderful creations is Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, which is a nearly perfect adaptation of the books. The third and final season is comprised of the last three books: The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, and The End. It dropped yesterday and if you haven’t yet checked this out you need to ASAP! Will the perpetually suffering Baudelaires at long last be granted their well deserved happy ending? Will the greedy, grasping, villainous Count Olaf and his despicable minions get their just desserts? And most importantly, will Mr. Poe finally go see a doctor for his annoyingly persistent cough? As Lemony Snicket is the epitome of whimsy, I’m dedicating this week’s Whimsical Wednesday to both the Netflix show and the books.
In any case, this is how all our stories begin, in darkness with our eyes closed and all our stories end the same way too, with all of us uttering our last words—or someone else’s—before slipping back into the darkness, as our series of unfortunate events comes to an end.
~ Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler, The End ~
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