Tag Archives: russia

[Review] Vassa in The Night — Sarah Porter (feat. Excerpt from the Book)


Book Title: Vassa in the Night (Standalone)
Author:     Sarah Porter
Number of pages:  304


vassa in the night - sarah porter - book coverIn Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

(re: Goodreads @ Metaltown by Kristen Simmons)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful
– This Brooklyn is all kinds of dark and fantastical; longer nights, anthropomorphic creatures, and whimsically vivid imagery
– The prose is a hit/miss depending on the reader’s tolerance to sugary, purple prose
– There is romance but it is not the focus of the story (therefore does not necessarily hi-jack the plot)
– Though Erg, the talking wooden doll, is a secondary MC, there are moments the Deus Ex Machina trope is exhibited from her

Initial Thoughts

“What the fuck did I just read?” — literal reaction upon finishing.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Vassa in the Night  from Indigo Books.

Continue reading [Review] Vassa in The Night — Sarah Porter (feat. Excerpt from the Book)

[Review] The Crowns Game — Evelyn Skye

Book Title:  The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #01)
Author:      Evelyn Skye
Number of pages:  399


the-crowns-game-evelyn-skye-book-coverVika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

(re: Goodreads @ The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– The concept of the duel is interesting but there are holes in the magic system that could have been better explained
– The writing pairs a vividly imagined Russia with exciting action sequences
– Most of the characters in this multi-POV narration feel like do-gooders and are rarely “grey”
– Romance takes a lot of precedence over plot and features love squares via instalus; including a lot of wandering gazes and lingering thoughts


Initial Thoughts


Full disclosure: I received an ARC of The Crowns Game from Chapters Indigo.

Continue reading [Review] The Crowns Game — Evelyn Skye

[Review] Six Of Crows — Leigh Bardugo


Book Title                 Six of Crows (Six of Crows #01)
Author:                        Leigh Bardugo
Number of pages:  465


Leigh Bardugo - Six of Crows - Book CoverKetterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

(re: Goodreads @ Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

–  Come for the heist, stay for the characters. Five alternating POVs with witty banter, slow burn romance, and plenty of dissonance
– Two primary settings: a gritty merchant port with gangs, bars and speakeasies + a prison atop a frozen landscape; incorporates the high fantasy of the Grishaverse
– Voices are distinct and everyone has their own motivations (no pawns for pawns sake)
– There are Easter eggs for those who’ve read The Grisha trilogy. The learning curve isn’t steep for those who haven’t read her other series

Initial Thoughts


Continue reading [Review] Six Of Crows — Leigh Bardugo