Review: “The Storm Crow” by Kalyn Josephson

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Title: The Storm Crow
Series: The Storm Crow #1
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating:
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Magic flies high in this first half of a planned duology by debut author Kalyn Josephson.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

I will be honest here. I deliberately kept on pushing back writing this review. I can’t tell you how many Word documents I’ve opened and closed, how many false starts and scrapped drafts I went through before finally bringing myself to write this.

And, yet, I still feel guilty.

On the surface, The Storm Crow had everything I like in a Fantasy – an interesting premise, an intriguing world with diverse peoples and culture, heaps of adventure. The promise of a heroine battling depression (because it is an everyday battle) was another draw. Never mind that the plot has been done countless of times, I wanted to see a character who openly admits to having depression lead a story. But, somehow, even with all these, this book fell flat.

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A lot of telling, not much showing

This was the first problem I had with this book. Being the first of a planned two-book series, there was a substantial amount of worldbuilding to be done. I get that, anticipated it. What I didn’t expect was being told stuff – about the characters, the world they move around in, the lives they and their people live.

There’s a reason why when you look up writing advice show, don’t tell is one of the first tips you get. Being told of what’s happening, how everything works and looks made for bland storytelling and, I hate to say this, it bored me, led me to put down the book several times.

The Storm Crow quote #1

Background image by Tran Nguyen

A story lost in its own world

Not to take anything away from worldbuilding – it is an important component of any story, especially if you’re writing Fantasy and Sci-Fi – but when you put too much focus on it, the story you are trying to tell gets lost in the middle of all the bricks of your world. This is exactly the case with The Storm Crow.

Perhaps Josephson bit more than she can chew, but I don’t think it’s because TSC’s worldbuilding was particularly ambitious. In my opinion, the issue here was control. The author put in too much, and while I appreciate the diversity worked into the characters and their world, I think it would have been better if she trimmed down on the details. The book was bloated with chunk after chunk of worldbuilding elements and it eclipsed the story.

Pacing (or the lack of it)

This issue sort springs from the first two I’ve already mentioned. The author’s focus on worldbuilding, which was unremarkable in the first place, screwed up the whole story’s pacing. It was so slow that it took my focus out of what’s happening with Thia and the other characters. It was, in short, boring.

The Storm Crow quote #2

Nothing happens

With the exception of a few surprises, you literally only have to read the book’s summary to know what happens in this half of the duology. That’s it, end of story.

Wooden characters

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the representation and diversity worked into TSC. If anything, it was the promise of a protagonist battling depression that hooked me in the first place, and yes, her having depression is an integral part of Thia’s character but it felt so clinical, like rattling off a list of signs and symptoms from a textbook.  She felt like a talking head, her character so dull that by the end of the book I didn’t really care what happens to her.

The Storm Crow quote #3

As for the rest of the characters, I couldn’t say much about them because I didn’t get to know them at all. They were barely fleshed out, their characterizations felt superficial. I think the only character who managed to somehow retain my attention was Kiva, but even her character needs more work.

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To sum up, The Storm Crow could have been a good book. Kalyn Josephson shows promise and she does, I feel, have a story to tell with Thia, the magical crows and this curious world she created. This book just needed more work. As to whether or not I will read the last half of this two-book series? Maybe, if only to feed my desire to know what happens next, but it wouldn’t be high on my list.

about the author

Kalyn Josephson

KALYN JOSEPHSON currently works as a Technical Writer in the tech industry, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. Though she grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, she graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Biology and a degree in English (Creative Writing). Currently, she lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay Area and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an ever tinier owl). THE STORM CROW is her debut novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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First Line Fridays: “Broken Throne” by Victoria Aveyard

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

June has been a busy month for me at work, leaving me little time to read. But a booknerd will always be a booknerd, and as is, I found other ways to get my daily those of stories. Audiobooks have been great for me recently. I have finished listening to a handful of books in the last month, and I’m going to be sharing the first few lines of the story I’m currently listening to.

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MARE

I had my pick of days, but in the end, the snow made the decision for me.

All the better. The choice was out of my hands. How long to stay, when to return to the Montfort capital – those questions disappeared when the weather turned. It was only six inches, barely a dusting for a place like the Paradise Valley, but more would follow. I’d been told the winters here were much harsher than those I was used to, worse even than the one weathered at the Notch. Here the snowdrifts pile up ten feet deep; rivers freeze solid; blizzards last for days on end. Too perilous for transports or dropjets. Of course, we could stay for the season if we wanted. Davidson made it clear in his last communication that the cabin outpost was at our disposal as long as we needed, but I didn’t even broach the subject with the rest of my family. None of us, myself included, have any desire to spend the winter buried in snow with only the geysers and the bison for company.

These lines are from Fire Light, the story featuring Cal and Mare. I didn’t know just how much I missed this series (and Mare’s sass) until this collection of short stories. To think that this might be the last I read about them from Victoria Aveyard makes me nostalgic. I’ll certainly miss these characters and this world and would definitely come back to it in the future. Meanwhile, if you know any good Red Queen fanfic, throw them at me. I need them to fill the gap.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “The Merciful Crow” by Margaret Owen

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Tressa at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Hello! It’s another Wednesday. Seems like once June come in, days go by faster. While I don’t exactly know how I feel about that yet, I, at least, could say that I’m excited for the books coming out this last half of 2018, and this CWW I’ll be featuring one of those titles.

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Title: The Merciful Crow
Series: The Merciful Crow #1
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

A future chieftain.

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince.

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses – and perhaps his throat. But her offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard.

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

I have this to read next after I finish with the audiobook of Victoria Aveyard’s Broken Throne.  Recently, I have been relying heavily on audiobook for my daily escape from real life. Work has been busy – a number of employees getting sick with the flu, me and our company physician finally contracting the bug after two weeks of continuous exposure – it was just nasty. I haven’t recovered yet, truly. I still have sticky phlegm (eww…TMI!) I couldn’t get out and the constant coughing has made me lose my voice.

Anyway, I’m sorry for oversharing. It’ll be a treat to find out what you guys think of this book and what you’re reading. I have a couple more ARCs to finish, but I’m always in the lookout for book suggestions.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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What book/s are you excited for this week?

 

First Line Fridays: “Shelter in Place” by Nora Roberts

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Well, hello there Friday! For a while I thought you wouldn’t ever come. It’s been a tiring week at work and what’s left of my already frayed nerves are getting even more hits. I expect this to continue until the first week of July, or maybe until this work-related thing gets cleared up.

Anyway, to get me out of the real world a bit, I’ll just go read book after book. I’m breaking out of my usual plate of sci-fi and fantasy and reading something by the great Nora Roberts.

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On Friday, July 22, 2005, Simone Knox ordered a large Fanta – orange – to go with her popcorn and Swedish Fish. The choice, her standard night-at-the-movies fare, changed her life, and very likely saved it, Still, she’d never drink Fanta again.

 

 

 

 

I’m only 25% into this book, but the first part – the mall shooting part – chilled me to the bone. I had to stop to breathe and direct my attention somewhere else because imagining that kind of thing happening in real life – and sadly, it had numerous times – scares the life out of me. I don’t know and I’ll never understand how some people could just think to do such: kill, take lives and end stories.

I’m hoping to finish this book this coming weekend as I have 2 days off work (yay!) Then, on Sunday, I’m going to Randy Ribay’s book launch for Patron Saints of Nothing. Plans, plans – I will keep up to them.

Well, that’s it for me today. I wish you all a happy weekend full of reading and fun.

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

 

Review: “Bright Burning Stars” by A.K. Small

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Title: 
Bright Burning Stars
Author: 
A.K. Small
Publication Date: 
April 24, 2019
Publisher:
 Algonquin Young Readers
Rating: ⭐
Get it:
IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks
Content Warnings:
body dysmorphia, severe disordered eating, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, drug use, grief

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

 

Two best friends find themselves in opposite sides of a competition in this compelling debut set in the dazzling world of ballet.

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. and as selection day draws near, the competition – for the prize, for the Demigod – becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

I remember reading the blurb of this book and thinking how interesting it was. A dead body, two best friends in a very cutthroat ballet school, a love triangle – it was like sweet nectar to a honeybee and I fell for it.

Bright Burning Stars was a letdown.

I desperately wanted to love this book, but there were just too many things in it that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Everything from the characters to the story’s pacing down to the way certain arcs were handled and resolved felt off to me. So much so that even if there were still parts of the story that I liked, I just couldn’t shake off the funny (and infuriating) feeling this book left me with.

If I were to only look at this book as solely a ballet story, Bright Burning Stars would have been a good one. Having been a former dance herself, A.K. Small was able to bring to life the drama and the competitiveness of life at a topnotch ballet school. All the best parts – parts that I loved – were contained in these short, sporadic scenes. Small’s exacting descriptions of every step and movement the dancers, especially Kate, Marine and Cyrille, made created a vivid picture in my head.

It was all downhill from there.

This was supposed to be a quick read – just 304 pages. I could have finished reading it in one sitting, yet it took me 13 days to get through the whole thing, and I put part of the blame on the wonky writing.

The pacing, for me, lacked the rhythm this story called for – it slowed in the parts that needed speeding up and careened in the parts that needed more fleshing out. It totally doesn’t help that the characters – both main and secondary – were all shallowly drawn, caricatures made of shadows instead of solid lines. I couldn’t help but think just how big of a misstep this was both for the author and the story. Small, at the best moments of this book, showed great talent. She writes with a certain clarity and sharpness, and with a plot this interesting, she could have done a great deal more.

While the conclusion was satisfying enough, I just couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling this book gave me especially with the way it handled some things. I get that this was a story about toxic friendship, and that it dealt with dark, heavy topics, but it could have been handled better. Instead, all of it felt like mere plot points and not integral parts of the characters’ stories.

Overall, Bright Burning Stars could have a been a better story. Some might find something here for themselves, but for me, this just didn’t work.

about the author

Angela Small credit _Becky Thurner BraddockA.K. SMALL was born in Paris, France. At first years old, she began studying classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States, where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga. Bright Burning Stars is her first novel.

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Review: “Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon” by Mary Fan

Stronger than a Bronze DragonTitle: Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon
Author: Mary Fan
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Imprint: Page Street Kids
Publisher: Macmillan
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

ARC access provided by the publisher through NetGalley as part of the Fantastic Flying Book Club’s blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.

An epic, adventure-filled steampunk fantasy, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is sure to take readers on a hero’s quest full of magic, danger, and action.

When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as godssend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection – if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

I must admit, steampunk is one of the subgenres that I haven’t been exposed to much. So when I saw this book, I took my chance. And boy, it was more than worth it.

From plot to setting to characters, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon was and had everything I wanted in a Fantasy. It threw together a mix of elements I never thought would go so well together – magic, lore, machines – all played in a backdrop inspired by Qing dynasty China. Mary Fan’s careful plotting shone throughout, all the twists and turns making the adventure joyride that was this book even more enjoyable.

But it didn’t start out that way for me.

While they ultimately ended up growing on me, for the first few chapters of the book Anlei and Tai seemed too troupe-y: Anlei playing the strong female character card who can and will kick anyone’s ass and Tai taking on the role of the charming but arrogant love interest. As the story progressed and their backstories were spilled though, I began to understand their motives and their nuances. Yes, Anlei is a tough girl, stubborn and incredibly capable but she’s also a daughter and a member of their small village’s community. She craved glory and adventure the same way her blood called for her to avenge her father’s murder, to protect her family, her village, and her people.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon quote #1

Tai, meanwhile, has a complicated history. Half-yueshen (pure spiritual beings who has free reign over the moon) and half-human, I think he doesn’t really know his place in the world. The yueshen won’t accept him into their realm because he’s half-breed, while his father hid him, foisting his care onto his servants. He likes to think the best of the family left to him and uses laughter and humor as both an armor and mask to hide behind.

It was wonderful watching Anlei and Tai grow close to each other. Even though they started out as begrudging allies (more from Anlei’s side rather than Tai’s,) the two eventually discover that they have more in common than they first thought. Both have noble causes, and the subsequent trials and hardships they faced together only served to peel back more and more layers of their characters. I couldn’t help but like them.

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Though this was a mostly solid story, there were still a few details that could have been improved. The villain, Viceroy Kang, comes to mind immediately. As the main antagonist, he was typical – power-hungry and cruel – and unimpressive. It was a shallow rendering of a character that’s supposed to provoke our protagonists into taking action. His motivations were only briefly touched, and it left me with a few unanswered questions: Had he always planned the things he’d done even before he married Tai’s yueshen mother? Is that why he caught her and married her in the first place? I can live with these questions, but they’re just pesky enough to bug me.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon quote #3

The quick pace combined with the number of plot threads Fan tossed into the story could also sometimes be overwhelming. There were just too much happening at one single time, and, admittedly, I had to put the book down a couple of times to catch my breath and gather my thoughts.

Overall, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon was an exceptional stand-alone that blended together steampunk and fantasy. This was one of the most vividly and creatively imagined stories I’ve read in a while. Though there were a few parts that could have been improved, they were minor and didn’t hinder me from enjoying the book. This one comes with high recommendations from this self-confessed fantasy lover.

about the author

authorMARY FAN is a hopeless dreamer whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books – a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil.

Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

Giveaway

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Win a copy of Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan (US only.) Giveaway ends June 25.

Follow the Tour

JUNE 11TH

JUNE 12TH

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Crowing About Books – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Caitlin Althea – Review

JUNE 13TH

Uwadis – Character Interview
Lost in Storyland – Review

JUNE 14TH

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Inked In Book Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes

JUNE 15TH

The Bibliophile District – Guest Post
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

JUNE 16TH

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Port Jericho – Review

JUNE 17TH

Twilight Reader – Top 10
Utopia State of Mind – Guest Post
Betwixt the Pages – Review

 

First Line Fridays: “The Storm Crow” by Kalyn Josephson

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

I’ve been a fantasy binge lately. I recently finished Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also started listening to the audiobook of Julie Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox and, tell you what, the narration and production are just amazing. I’m truly having the best time with my books right now.

I’m going to be sharing the first few lines from my other current read. In keeping with my recent reading craving, it’s also a fantasy and features magic, crows and warring kingdoms.

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I was a storm. Adrenaline ripped through my veins like lightning as I leaned close to the body of my crow, preparing to execute a dive. Iyla’s warm, steady heat kept me grounded, even hundreds of feet in the air. Cold wind whipped tendrils of hair free from my braid, nipping at the skin around my goggle and stealing my breath.

 

 

 

I’m only 57% through this book so I can’t give you much about it yet, but the worldbuilding is luscious. And the villain? I just want to clock her, so that says something.

The Storm Crow releases July 9. Meanwhile, my review of Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is scheduled to be published tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

Alright, that’s it for me today. Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy reading!

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

Review: “Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune” by Roselle Lim

42051103Title: Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Imprint: Berkley
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest opinion.

 

Warm and touching, Roselle Tan’s debut touches on loss, family, culture, self-discovery and the healing power of food.

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around – she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

There are those rare books that leave you feeling light and full all the same time. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is one of those books.

Deliciously magical and vibrant, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune was a treat to read. Roselle Tan weaved together a charming story that centers on family, community, and self-discovery using food a mediator – a bridge – between characters, bringing them together.

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Loss – the dealing and accepting of it- is another theme central to this book. Having lost her mother right before the start of the story, Natalie had to deal with anger, loss, and grief. She hasn’t seen nor spoken to her mother in the whole seven years she was gone from their home in San Francisco, and the suddenness of her death understandably brought out some hidden resentments and, of course, regrets. It was heartwarming how Tan handled this part of her story, depicting with great care and love the nuances, values, and rituals of an Asian family.

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Though Natalie carries the task of moving the story, the secondary characters added more color into the narrative. They are the community Natalie re-discovers and gains amidst her loss, and each one of them has their own thread in the story. Celia and Old Wu are the most memorable of these characters for me, and they were quite contrasting. Celia is such an open person, friendly and bright and vivacious. She takes in Natalie immediately, welcoming her into the fold and guiding her and re-introducing her to their old neighborhood. Old Wu, meanwhile, is a traditionalist. I’ll admit that I didn’t like him at first. He was too harsh Natalie and I felt that he judged her without even trying to get to know her. As the story went on and I got to know his connection with Natalie’s laolao, I understood where he was coming from. I thoroughly enjoyed reading parts where these two supporting characters appear and the difference between them only made them all the more fun to get to know.

1

While I loved most of this book, there were still a few things I thought could have been done better. The story meandered at times, spending too much time dwelling on one moment instead of moving on. The connection between plot threads also felt spotty at some points in the story, but perhaps the biggest issue I had was the romance. It was unnecessary and it felt like it was added as an afterthought. The story could have stood on its own without it. Daniel didn’t add much into it anyway, and I actually think Natalie talking about her ex-fiancé had more page-time than Daniel.

Overall, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune was an incredibly delightful read. This is not YA but could easily be enjoyed by a younger audience. It was such a heartwarming and delightful story about family and community. All the food mentions in this book will certainly make you hungry so take it from me and have some snacks handy by your side before reading this.

P.S. I’ll definitely try my hand at all the recipes in this book even if I know I’m a Celia and no Natalie. You’ll get the joke when you read this book.

about the author

Roselle LimROSELLE LIM was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighborhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

An artist by nature, she considers writing as “painting with words.”

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

First Line Fridays: “Stronger than a Bronze Dragon” by Mary Fan

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

Today I’m going to be featuring the first few lines of my current read.
Stronger than a Bronze Dragon

 

Moonbeams frost the dark water of Dailaniang, and I imagine the great River Dragon passing beneath its skittering ripples. It’s said that he visited our village generations ago and granted out ancestors an enchanted pearl as a sign of his favor. If I hadn’t seen that pearl with my own eyes, glowing like the moon upon its jade pedestal, I would have thought the story false. He certainly hasn’t visited again since. And no one seems to be favoring Dailan lately.

 

I’m currently halfway through Stronger than a Bronze Dragon and I’m enjoying it. It’s such an adventurous read filled with magic and action. I can’t wait to find out how Anlei and Tai’s quest go as they travel to the legendary Heihuoshan to battle with the demon king Mowang. I definitely recommend you get this one it comes out.

I’m keeping it short today as I want to go back to reading, but I have a few reviews coming up for the blog, the one for this book included. Also, I’m excited to be included in another blog tour organized by the wonderful ladies at the Fantastic Flying Book Club. The tour starts next week on June 11 and I’d love it if you could show my fellow participating bloggers some love and follow the tour. The schedule is below.

Follow the Tour

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June 11th

June 12th

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Crowing About Books – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Caitlin Althea – Review

June 13th

Uwadis – Character Interview
Lost in Storyland – Review

June 14th

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Inked In Book Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 15th

The Bibliophile District – Guest Post
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 16th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Port Jericho – Review

June 17th

Twilight Reader – Top 10
Utopia State of Mind – Guest Post
Betwixt the Pages – Review
Alright, that’s it for me today. I gotta go back to Tai and Anlei.

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune” by Roselle Lim

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Tressa at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Hey!

It’s been a long while since I’ve done this. Life has been getting in the way of blogging, but I’m trying to create a new routine for myself so I can go back to regularly posting. Anyway, this week I’m featuring a wonderfully magical book for CWW.

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Title: Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Publication Date: July 11, 2019
Imprint: Berkley
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around – she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

I finished Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune last week and I loved it. Trust me, this book will make you HUNGRY. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it. I have my review for this one ready to be publish on release day next week and I can’t wait to see more people fall in love with this story.

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

What book/s are you excited for this week?