Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune


Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Under the Whispering Door goes on sale September 21, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

 

My Review: Death means something different to everyone. Under the Whispering Door was a lot to take in and then formulate those twirling thoughts into some coherent form of a review. But here goes nothing:

Under the Whispering Door is thought-provoking with loads of questions from several characters dead or alive. Each seeks or has sought to understand (come to terms with) the new reality they find themselves in. But some questions just don’t have an answer. For some of the characters, things are what they are until they make that next choice. As with Wallace, I found myself engaged in retrospection with each new question and perspective proposed to Wallace.

Under the Whispering Door is depressing and sad (but not in a bad way, I’m just an emotional reader). Some chapters were harder to read than others. Raw, cutting emotions color those characters who find themselves “dead.” Even Hugo, the ferryman to the newly dead who come his way, can’t help but feel a shared agony for them. He has a big heart that makes him uniquely ideal for this line of work.

Under the Whispering Door is a home filled with the most delightful people you will ever meet. Wallace Price was a ruthless attorney and pragmatic ass when he was alive. As the story progresses, I grew more and more fond of him and was captivated by the ultimate transformation he undergoes. Hugo – sweet, benevolent sweet Hugo – is one of those rare individuals you’d be lucky to know and even luckier to call a friend. I loved Mei (Wallace’s reaper) and her energetic and sometimes brash demeanor. She’s a fascinating person who’ll always have your back. Nelson (Hugo’s grandfather) is hysterical, always bringing a certain lightness and wisdom to break the tension or delivering funny reality checks.

These characters were wonderful to get to know. They’re very well-rounded: flawed and real with such incredible emotional depth. I can’t imagine any other types of characters for this particular story.

Klune impressed me with how he wove this novel together. I really enjoy his writing style, humor, how he develops the plot/characters and makes me care greatly about everything going on. I highlighted a lot of great quotes and passages. There were various moments I didn’t expect or actions certain characters chose to take. I also liked the quiet, unassuming impact tea had on the story.

I was most surprised by Wallace and Hugo’s relationship, who also seemed surprised by what they felt for each other. It was beautiful. I loved seeing them together.

The climax had me on the edge of my seat! My emotions were high and all over the place. I was crying by the end – pleasantly surprised, incredibly moved, and oh-so happy.

Klune has once again crafted an outstanding and memorable novel. 5 stars!


More by TJ Klune

Tales From Verania
The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)

Green Creek
Wolfsong (#1)
Ravensong (#2)
Heartsong (#3)
Brothersong (#4)

The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries (#1)

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Categories
#PubDayTuesday ARCs

#PubDayTuesday: The House In The Cerulean Sea

Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review!

ABOUT: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

My Review: https://thebookshelfcorner.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/arc-review-the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea-by-t-j-klune/

 

More Klune Books Reviewed

The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania, book 1)

A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania, book 2)

The Consumption of Magic (Tales From Verania, book 3)

A Wish Upon the Stars (Tales From Verania, book 4)

Wolfsong (Green Creek, book 1)

Ravensong (Green Creek, book 2)

Heartsong (Green Creek #3)

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

[ARC Review] The House In The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! The House In The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is  on sale March 17, 2020.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Queer Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

 

My Review:
Wow! T. J. Klune continues to impress me with his seamless mastery of the written word and storytelling. The House In The Cerulean Sea exceeded expectations and turned out to be a really great read.

The House In The Cerulean Sea was an auto-read for me because I LOVED Klune’s ‘Tales From Verania’ and ‘Green Creek’ series – both paranormal romances. I just had to read more by Klune. I was apprehensive at first because this book’s genre was far different the aforementioned series (they are the only books of his I’ve read).

The beginning was slow for me and hard to get into. You quickly learn the kind of person Linus Baker is: meek, a rule follower, compassionate, and highly observant. His job as a casework mirrors that of a social worker but, in this case, for magical youth. At first, he seems like a dull person for a main character. But you (and Linus) gradually see that there is more to him than what’s on the surface. The more his character developed the more I grew to love Linus as a character and person. This man is sassy when he wants to be. He was such a badass by the end of the story.

I highlighted so many well-crafted quotes about life, humanity, home, family, personal character, and self-worth. As much as I loved the philosophical exchanges of dialogue, it came off a bit preachy or too much (not in a bad way). The first half of the story was like this. I was reminded post-read that this is Klune’s style – long sections of exchanges for whatever reason – which I had forgotten. The House In The Cerulean Sea was more engaging in the second half.

I adore all of the children of Marsyas Island: Lucy, Talia, Chauncey, Theodore, Phee, and Sal. A wonderful mix of personalities. They’re such good kids despite all the prejudice, abuse and trauma they’ve been through. It’s wonderful that they have a place and people, Arthur and Zoe, to help them heal.

I love that the name of Linus’ department is called the Department In Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY, for short), which is overseen by the big bosses, Extremely Upper Management. I don’t know what it is about these names. They’re just amazing that only someone like Klune would come up with.

And that slow burn romance! So good and I totally ship it.

The House In The Cerulean Sea aptly defines what family and home really mean. I’m so happy I got approved for this title. I ended up loving it a lot! The House In The Cerulean Sea is a must-read for your 2020 reading list.

Categories
Bookish Memes Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – 11/6/19

Welcome to another Waiting On Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.

I am waiting on the publication of The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune (Mayr 19, 2020).

Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

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About Books ARCs Spotlight

Happy Book Release Day! to Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

Thanks again to Tor Books (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review.

 

Image via NetGalley

DRAGONSLAYER review

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer, book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via NetGalley):
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Book Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

Thank you to Tor Books (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review. Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton is set to be published July 2, 2019.

 

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer, book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via NetGalley):
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
Dragonslayer is an entertaining adventure about a man fighting to pick himself up after falling so low and a woman looking to find a place she can finally call home where she won’t have to live in fear.

This was a heavily character driven story as the reader witnesses the internal/external struggles of the main characters and their subsequent growth. This is always nice to see and it was well-crafted by the author. I just wish there had been a bit more action to balance things out. However, based on the ending, I expect things to engage things of epic proportions in book 2, which I am looking forward to reading.

Guillot dal Villevauvais is a drunk. His drunkenness understandable once you learn what prompted it but it makes you wonder if he really is going to be the supposed hero of the story. His fall from grace, his loss of those he loved most, sent him into a deep drunken depression. But I liked that the author didn’t make that the sole reason. That his past goes much deeper than what we and Guillot originally thought. And although he’s fallen so far, he still is the brave, honorable chevalier people used to respect him for being.

Solène I liked but I kind of wished there was more to her. There was just something missing, something unexpected, to make her more a rounded character.

Mystery and millennium old secrets are brought to the surface, making the world Hamilton builds a very intriguing puzzle to solve in future books.

I loved and was sadden by Alpheratz, the dragon in question, getting sections of the story told from his point of view. I think it was a good choice to hear his thoughts and feelings. He is not some terrifying wild beast (well, not completely) but a living being whose everything was taken from him, the last of his kind. His rage and vengeance are understandable. Getting to know Alpheratz brought an additional awareness as to who the true villains of the story are.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2.