WOLFSONG by TJ Klune – double review!

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them. 


Title : Wolfsong
Author : TJ Klune
Series : Green Creek (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 494
Genre : LGBTQIA+ fantasy/paranormal
Publisher : Dreamspinner (originally, now BOATK Books)
Release Date : June 20, 2016 (re-released September 24, 2019)

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5/ ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4.5 star review

As we approach the final countdown towards BROTHERSONG, the final book in the Green Creek series, I’m sure I’m not alone in rereading this series; I didn’t think I would, having read them for the first time back in January — so fairly recently — but I knew to do justice to this finale it would be best to revisit all the events, all the couples, all the f e e l s, that brought us to what awaits us as the end.

I would always choose you. I don’t care if it’s a biological imperative. I don’t care if it’s some destiny. I don’t care if you were made specifically for me. It doesn’t matter. I would choose you regardless.

And oh boy were there feels.

I’ll admit I maybe didn’t feel “omg uber five stars!” this time around but I still got weepy, I still laughed, I still outright cried (not a lot but mine eyes did spillage over), I found even more to highlight, and I was still just as annoyed about a certain repetition used as touchstone within this story. But at least this time I knew about that last one.

Oh my god, Ox, your life is like those shitty sparkly vampire movies. That I’ve never seen and don’t like at all, shut up.”

If you’re one of the ten people still in the world who haven’t read this? Maybe I should actually review the book in order to convince you to do so, ahem. Well it’s a paranormal world full of werewolves and witches! It’s set in a small town, with a lot of magic and history, and there is a family of soft boys, mostly loveable idiots, and a sweet budding romance.. and then some terrible heartbreaking stuff happens. Violence, devastation, betrayal, abandonment. Angst ensues. And then.. spoilery things I won’t even hint at. But it’s good. You’d like it.

She pretty, papi?
There’s no girl.
Oh? A boy, then? We don’t discriminate here at the Casa de Gordo.”

Oh, did I mention it’s queer?

You should read this.


Micky’s 4 star review

My booksta friends voted this one in as my next audio listen and I obeyed. I’ve owned the audio for an age and you know how it goes. I must caution audio listeners that I personally wouldn’t recommend the audio format because I didn’t like the narration style (a little robotic) or the dialogue accents, especially Joe’s dialogue. I switched over to the ebook and didn’t regret it.

WOLFSONG excelled on a story of family and found family. It absolutely snagged my curiosity over the story and Ox immediately. I loved in particular the naivety and innocence in the first quarter of the read. Personally, any criticism wielded at that time period are unsubstantiated, I say no more, because spoilers.

TJ Klune knows how to build a story, gradually, with heart and such characters that you feel so attached, you don’t want to let go. Ox held the stage, this boy growing into a man, in a world he barely understood. He rose to his role, he was self-depricating but he was wonderful and I loved him.

The cast of characters were plentiful and the family that evolved gave me all the feelings. The pack banter was incredible, with snark, humour and depth of emotion. I adored Elizabeth, Gordo (strangely), Thomas and Robbie. Joe was a character that had to grow on me. I want to know more about Mark and Gordo, Michelle, Kelly and Carter.

Some of the story was a little predictable overall but it didn’t impede my enjoyment. That said, smaller plot points weren’t predictable and I was gripped to the page.

So, I’m howling into the ether that this is a great creation from TJ Klune with characters to cheer for and end up loving. I will definitely be reading on.

RED ROOSTER by Lauren Gilley

n New York City, a string of increasingly-grisly murders leads Detective Trina Baskin, and her newly-immortal partner, Lanny, to a frightening facility with designs on studying all the immortals they can get their hands on. When one of their own is abducted, they’ll have to rely on dangerous new allies, plunged into a world they can barely believe exists…much less survive. 

In a tiny town in Wyoming, a girl on the run and her self-appointed protector can’t afford to sit still for too long, and they definitely can’t accept the help of kind strangers. Ruby Russell has the kind of talent that turns heads, and draws powerful enemies. Her gifts are not her own, and the people who made her want her back. 

In the second subbasement of a manor house outside Roanoke, a centuries-old Wallachian prince goes walking in his dreams. Guardian angel? Or beautiful liar? The people he visits will soon learn, because like it or not, they’re being drawn to his prison. 

All roads lead to Virginia in the second novel of Lauren Gilley’s Sons of Rome series. Dark paranormal fantasy brimming with richly-drawn characters, and steeped in history, Red Rooster continues the adventure that began in book one, White Wolf.


Title : Red Rooster
Author : Lauren Gilley
Series : Sons of Rome (book two)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 466
Genre : paranormal
Publisher : HP Press
Release Date : March 29, 2018

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5


Hollis’ 4.5 star review

So, I want to say that RED ROOSTER was everything I loved about WHITE WOLF but better but that would sort’ve be a lie as what I loved, or fell in love with, in book one was mostly due to the WWII era setting and history. And we have none of that in book two. We were pretty much all contemporary instead of past, with everyone having caught up to current events (in this world, I think it’s 2017? which makes sense based on publication) and all the chaos that is ensuing as a result of what came before.

Is everybody gonna turn into [a vampire]? Is this like the plague or something? Shit — is this I Am Legend? Fuck, I knew it.

I’ll admit, the one couple I wasn’t liking in book one, I’m still not loving, but there are plenty of others, and even more characters in general, that it’s not a big deal. And when I say more characters, like.. there’s a bunch. And we had a whole host of new introductions in this installment that had me immediately texting the friends who recommended this series to me and.. (not so) quietly losing my mind. There are even more familiar names popping up in this world and oh man was it hysterical and weird and amazing.

I’m super disappointed about [this]. All the vampire movies make it out like you get all sparkly, and irresistible and shit. Women just throw themselves at you, you know? And here I am, same old chump with a broken nose.”

Despite some grittier elements, I feel like this might not have been as dark an installment. But it was definitely just as fun and just as funny, and at times hella heartbreaking, and yeah I’m so trash for the characters and for a few of the couples. And one that I’m still waiting on to happen! Like.. it’s so good, so sweet, so pure, as it is but.. I want more.

The world’s broken a thousand times. [..] It always breaks, and stupid people always die trying to keep it from breaking, and it always mends itself in the end. I can live through that. I have. But I won’t live without him.”

This is a series that I feel needs a lot more attention and while I was reluctant to recommend it after book one, I think as a result of being more than satisfied by book two that I need to start pushing this on more friends. So, hey, if you’re not afraid of long books, love paranormal universes, and ensemble casts, you should take a look-see at this series. Particularly as the kindle prices are dirt cheap. You really can’t lose here. Huge page counts, tons of excitement, less than the cost of a coffee? Get on it!

A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…


Title : A Rogue of One’s Own
Author : Evie Dunmore
Series : A League of Extraordinary Women #2
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 416
Genre : Historical Romance
Publisher : Piatkus/Little Brown UK
Release Date : September 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

I have been highly anticipating this suffragette era historical romance and the devouring of it didn’t disappoint. The highlights include:

– a cat POV (small but memorable)
– slow burn
– poetry to swoon you into the present century
– Oscar Wilde cameo
– all the feminism a woman could need

Boudicca turned and was on her way down to the kitchen, because frankly, she was a cat, not a foot warmer. A lady might keep a pug for such services.

The two characters for this instalment were Lady Lucie, long since cast out from her family and status and her old, childhood acquaintance Lord Tristan. Recently returned from the wars, Tristan had been rogue-ing his way through London supposedly and Lucie couldn’t have been less impressed. These two found work foisting them into one another’s presence and I could see Tristan’s sweet centre; Lucie could not.

This was a slow-burning story, a connection forming over time with some beautiful building and foundations. I enjoyed reading Lucie’s spinsterdom with Boudicca but I loved it more when her plans crumbled and Tristan wormed his way into her heart.

“Your stubborn courage humbles me. Your rage inspires me.”

Tristan’s poet-nature was simply beautiful and his use of Tennyson swooned me like so.

I thoroughly enjoyed A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN and nothing about the book disappointed. Evie Dunmore is able to follow up with a great sequel and so I trust her to deliver repeatedly now. I can’t wait for more of her feminist-themed historical romance, she commands this era with such skill.

Thank you to little brown uk for the #gifted copy.

(side note: I am aware of some contraversies regarding a plot point and I would nudge you to check out those reviews).

MONTHLY WRAP UP – AUGUST 2020

To close out each month, we’ll be posting a break down of everything we reviewed, beginning with the reads we loved.. and ending with the reads we didn’t. Not only does this compile all our reviews in one handy summary for you to peruse, or catch up on, it also gives us an interesting birds eye view of the month and our reads. And maybe, even, our moods.


☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX, AND THE HORSE by Charles Mackesy — see Hollis’ review here
BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN by Anne-Marie Crowhurst — see Micky’s review here
CHECK, PLEASE! BOOK ONE : #HOCKEY by Ngozi Ukazu — see Hollis’ review here
BOYFRIEND MATERIAL by Alexis Hall — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

HARROW THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir — see Hollis’ review here
THE FAITHLESS HAWK by Margaret Owen — see Hollis’ review here
THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS by Macaiah Johnson — see Micky’s review here
THE FIRST SISTER by Linden A. Lewis — see Micky’s review here
WHERE DREAMS DESCEND by Janella Angeles — see Hollis’ review here
BLOODBORN PRINCE by Laura Lascarso — see Hollis’ review here
BOOKISH AND THE BEAST by Ashley Poston — see Micky’s review here (!)
THE FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin — see Hollis’ review here
THE BLACK KIDS by Christina Hammonds Reed — see Micky’s review here
THE TRUEST THING by Samantha Young — see Micky’s review here
NICK AND CHARLIE by Alice Oseman — see Micky’s review here
AND THE STARS WERE BRIGHTLY BURNING by Danielle Jawando — see Hollis’ review here
ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

DROWNED COUNTRY by Emily Tesh — see Hollis’ review here
THE FIXED STARS by Molly Wizenberg — see Micky’s review here
CHALLENGER DEEP by Neal Shusterman — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ star reads

BOOKISH AND THE BEAST by Ashley Poston — see Hollis’ rounded up review here (!)
TRADE DEADLINE by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn — see Hollis’ review here
BETTER THAN PEOPLE by Roan Parrish — see Hollis’ review here
STAR DAUGHTER by Shveta Thakrar — see Hollis’ review here
HERE IS THE BEEHIVE by Sarah Crossan — see Micky’s review here

star reads

u n r a t e d

DNF

CODE OF CONDUCT by April White — see Micky’s GR thoughts here


additional reads not reviewed for blog : five
favourite read of the month : BOYFRIEND MATERIAL
least favourite read of the month : HERE IS THE BEEHIVE
most read genre : YA fantasy/contemporary

total reviews by Hollis : thirteen
favourite read of the month : both my five stars for different reasons!
least favourite read of the month : BOOKISH AND THE BEAST
most read genre : YA fantasy

FABLE by Adrienne Young

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.


Title : Fable
Author : Adrienne Young
Series : Fable #1
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : September 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★.5


Micky’s 4.5 star review

I crushed this in a day, simply because I could not put it down. FABLE was the start of a strong duology, all at sea. It was a tale of survival, family and bonds stronger than family. Fable was a deep sea diver and everything about that was fascinating.

I’d dove almost every day since I was a child. The water was more of a home than Jeval ever was.

Fable herself was a strong young woman, almost feral but human under the shell. She had been abandoned in a place where food and resources were sparce. I was completely puzzled by her situation but quickly admiring of the adversity she had overcome and continued to overcome. I loved the subtle unveiling of her skills.

As a character Fable was rich in personality even though she revealed little of herself to those around her. I was intruiged by the Marigold and the crew, especially the helmsman, West. How the story interwove the characters and plot points was so clever. The relationship with her father was truly captivating, frustrating and and heart-breaking.

The writing in FABLE just made me disappear into the world and the worlds; I highlighted a lot. The story and the characters really hit the spot with me but I am partial to an adventure set on the seas. This is my favourite of Adrienne Young’s books so far. I cannot wait to read the second part, I need it now.

The silence of the sea found us, my heartbeat quieting, and I painted each moment into my mind.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for the early review copy.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 1, 2020

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore is the follow up to last year’s BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE, part of the A League of Extraordinary Women series, which was a huge favourite for us. Check out our reviews for book one here.

NONE SHALL SLEEP by Ellie Marney is pitched as “The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.”

AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool is also a sequel, this one to THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS which we greatly enjoyed! Our review for book one is here.

THE LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu is yet another sequel which follows this duo’s release of THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC, a sorta spinoff from The Mortal Instruments series which actually takes place alongside the main series.

Yet another sequel out today is A DANCE WITH FATE by Juliet Marillier. This is a historical fantasy series that features warrior bards. How cool, right?

PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam is a YA contemporary delving into wrongful incarceration from an personal experience. This story is told in verse with a poweful voice that will blow you away.

BLOOD & HONEY by Shelby Mahurin is a highly anticipated release for so many of our book buddies and the second instalment picks up after that almighty end to book one.

FABLE by Adrienne Young poses with that stunning cover and is the start of a new fantasy duology. A daughter of a poweful trader is abandoned on an island of danger and has to fight to survive.

Have you ever wondered what happened after Charlotte from Pride & Prejudice married Mr Collins? CHARLOTTE by Helen Moffett takes that story and rolls with it in rather an unexpected way.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!