Friday, November 18, 2022

The Serpent in Heaven by Charlaine Harris

Only Felicia's courage will keep her alive.

#1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Charlaine Harris returns to her alternate history of the United States where magic is an acknowledged but despised power in this fourth installment of the Gunnie Rose series.

Felicia, Lizbeth Rose’s half-sister and a student at the Grigori Rasputin school in San Diego—capital of the Holy Russian Empire—is caught between her own secrets and powerful family struggles. As a granddaughter of Rasputin, she provides an essential service to the hemophiliac Tsar Alexei, providing him the blood transfusions that keep him alive. Felicia is treated like a nonentity at the bedside of the tsar, and at the school she's seen as a charity case with no magical ability. But when Felicia is snatched outside the school, the facts of her heritage begin to surface. Felicia turns out to be far more than the Russian-Mexican Lizbeth rescued. As Felicia’s history unravels and her true abilities become known, she becomes under attack from all directions. Only her courage will keep her alive.

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the Gunnie Rose series!
For book two, A Longer Fall, click HERE.
For book three, The Russian Cage, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads.

 

The Serpent in Heaven by Charlaine Harris

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)
Saga Press (Simon & Schuster)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Erica☆☆☆☆☆
The Serpent in Heaven is the fourth installment in the Gunnie Rose series. The first three narrated by Lizbeth. The novel (and I assume going forth) is narrated by our gunnie's little sister, Felicia. This cannot be read as a standalone without massive confusion, start with An Easy Death.

Gunnie Rose is such a unique series, across the board. From the dystopian setting, in an alternate early twentieth century, the inventive world building, and intriguing magical and political system. I've never read anything like this before. The Gunnie Rose series is truly one of a kind.

Felicia is in a precarious situation. She is seen as little else than a blood donor for the tsar, as well as a scholarship student at the school, with little to no magic. Since she has been keeping her magic under wraps, I understood the bias when it came to students at a magical school not accepting her. What I don't understand is the bias when it comes to being the blood donor. In order to be of aid to the tsar, that means Felicia is a direct descendant of the tsar himself (his niece and lifeline). Felicia is of royal blood, keeping their precious tsar alive, and they can't even give her an allowance. I felt this was a bizarre mindset. She ought to be one of the highest paid members in the kingdom, not the lowliest.

From the streets of Mexico, Felicia is still shouldering the burdens of her past. Her drunk father and cruel uncle using her for their own gains, while suppressing her natural age and shape for her supposed protection.

Now a year later, the effects of her father's spell are finally dissipating, Felicia growing into the shape and size of a young woman of fifteen. Not that Felicia is sure of her age. Felicia's excitement was easily relatable, as was her worry. Now that she is considered a fully grown woman, everyone is plotting the best way to marry her off for their own gains, no differently than her father treated her.

The girl is lonely, no friends and only a sister far away, which makes her vulnerable. She would do anything to have a support system and family. This is where I'm confused. In order to be a blood donor, she must be a blood relative to the tsar. Why doesn't his family see her as his family? They're her uncle and aunt, and their children are her cousins. The other donors are her father's siblings and her cousins. Yet the entire system is in place to see her only as a cow – cows that keep being slaughtered to eradicate the tsar's blood source.

Action-packed from the first page, Felicia is being hit from all sides. As an orphan who has been thrust into her father's family as a donor, she never gave thought to her mother's family, who shows up out of nowhere to attempt to kidnap and kill those all around her. At the same time, someone is still offing her donor relatives. Added in with the constant need to marry her off.

Eli (Lizbeth's husband, Felicia's brother-in-law), his family takes to Felicia, his sisters and brother; Eli's brother, Paul, he takes to Felicia too much as she grows into her womanliness. This draws a wedge between Felicia and the matriarch of the family, which makes Felicia rightfully insulted. I appreciated Felicia's setting of boundaries and not just accepting those unkind words from someone she felt loved her.

There is also hesitancy in Felicia when it comes to Paul, which I appreciated. Even though she is far beyond her years in life experience, after struggling to survive day to day, she has not yet grown into her body. While kind and supportive, Felicia senses Paul is a Nice Guy. Hopefully he grows out of those toxic tendencies.

Just as with Lizbeth, Felicia is a strong character, and I adored looking at the world through her lens. She is a fighter and a survivor, but also kind, selfless, compassionate, protective, and empathetic. She does the right thing, especially when it's hard. She stands up for herself and others. She doesn't resist authority, but she does speak up when she recognizes they're on the wrong path. A leader who knows when to follow someone worthy. A good role model.

Highly recommended to Charlaine Harris fans. I look forward to watching Felicia grow into womanhood and into her magical power. I cannot wait to see what is in store for her in the next installment and the next.

 

 

Author Bio

CHARLAINE HARRIS is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. She has written four series, and two stand-alone novels, in addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and graphic novels (cowritten with Christopher Golden). Her Sookie Stackhouse books have appeared in twenty-five different languages and on many bestseller lists. They’re also the basis of the HBO series True Blood. Harris now lives in Texas, and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.

Connect with Charlaine Harris

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 
 

ARC provided by

Saga Press.


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Serpent in Heaven (Gunnie Rose #4) by Charlaine Harris to read and review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

House of Curses by K.A. Linde Release Blitz

Available Now. House of Curses by K.A. Linde. Amazon. Apple Books. Nook. Google Books. Kobo.

USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde returns to the Royal Houses series with House of Curses: the story of Kerrigan Argon, a half-Fae, half-human as she seeks her place in an unforgiving world filled with magic, mayhem, and romance. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and V.E. Schwab.

Against all odds, Kerrigan Argon passed her dragon training. She’s now an official member of the Society. Everything should be well. But somehow, nothing is.

Her dark prince, Fordham Ollivier, has disappeared in hopes to beak his curse.

An unwanted wedding looms in her future.

And the council election draws ever nearer. An election that she’s been unceremoniously nominated for.

If all of that wasn’t enough, the Red Masks, an anti-half Fae, anti-human terrorist organization, are gaining ground. All because they have a spy inside the mountain, inside the Society itself.

Someone is leading these monsters.

And Kerrigan is determined to stop them at all costs.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Royal Houses series!
For book one, House of Dragons, click HERE.
For book two, House of Shadows, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads.

 

House of Curses by K.A. Linde

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Paperback (US)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Erica☆☆☆☆
House of Curses is the third installment in the Royal Houses series. I strongly recommend against reading as a standalone or out of series order. The entire series is told from Kerrigan's point of view. There are also mentions of a previous series, Ascension, which I somehow completely overlooked and will remedy that shortly. Honestly, I thought I had read it, but Goodreads says my recollection isn't true.

Let me preface this review by stating how the House of Curses ends on the mother of all cliffhangers, with Kerrigan left devastated. Had I not read this for review, I would have waited to read this novel once I had both books in my greedy little hands. I'm not the most patient of readers.

The first thought that popped into my head when I started on the first page was to wonder if I should have reread House of Shadows or at least hunted down my review for a refresher, as I had digested hundreds upon hundreds of books since I was immersed in this series.

K.A. Linde does an amazing job of coaxing the reader into remembering events in the previous novels without weighing down the pacing with info-dumps. Mad props to Linde for flawlessly pinging my memory.

With Ford MIA, Kerrigan is plunged into fearing for her soulmate's safety as well as her own. There is no way out of her betrothal with March. By day, Kerrigan is plagued with social engagements with her fiancé, and by night, she awakens in a panic to nightmares of what lies ahead in the future.

With the help of her nearest and dearest, as she works to regain the trust and adoration she once had for the father who abandoned her for her own good, as she strengthens her knowledge of her own abilities, as she runs for a seat in the Society, Kerrigan's plate is overloaded. But all she can think about is Ford, whether he is safe or if he is ever coming back to her. All the while, she is trying to take down the Red Masks.

House of Curses reveals how the fairytales are real. Adventurous treks through impassable cold landscapes, with a soulmate at her side, attempting to reach the witch's cottage. Political intrigue plaguing their world, forming factions of fae, human, and half-human/half-fae. As well as entering the spirit plane to commune with a being from another world altogether. Kerrigan's life and those she loves hinges in the balance of whether or not they can stop the Red Masks from decimating life as they know it. The novel packs a fast-paced punch.

The reason I couldn't give five stars versus four is simply a matter of taste. I'm not a fan of reading passages from the villains of the tale. Not only are the passages short, therefore I have zero emotional investment in the character, I find they spoil the pacing and delivery of information. I'm locked into Kerrigan, as I have for three books – I wish to learn beside her as I have for the entire journey. The reader knowing who the villains are while watching the heroine flounder is not something I find enjoyable nor intriguing. The switch in narration jars me from the story, gets me out of Kerrigan's head, to the point I tend to skip these passages, no matter the author or the series. Added with the fact that there were multiple villains, as well as from her friend's point of view.

Highly recommend this novel and series to fans of the author, as well as those who enjoy epic fantasy, fantasy, dragons, and fae. What I wouldn't do to get my greedy hands on the next installment, mind spinning as I have theories to a few revelations revealed and wish to be proven right. Since I've discovered my memory is faulty, I will be diving into Ascension soon.

 

 

Author Bio

K.A. LINDE is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Connect with K.A. Linde

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: K.A. Linde Books

 

 

Only you would find a way to reach me just so you could be mad at me.

 

Hosted by

Wildfire Marketing Solutions.


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of House of Curses (Royal Houses #3) by K.A. Linde to read and review.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

House of Shadows by K.A. Linde Release Blitz

Available Now. House of Shadows by K.A. Linde. Amazon. Apple Books. Nook. Google Books. Kobo.

USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde returns to the Royal Houses series with House of Shadows: the story of Kerrigan Argon, a half-Fae, half-human as she seeks her place in an unforgiving world filled with magic, mayhem, and romance. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and V.E. Schwab.

Kerrigan Argon, a half-human, half-Fae, has joined the Dragon Society against almost everyone’s wishes.

A year of training is required with her dragon.

First she must travel with the dark Fae prince, Fordham Ollivier, back to his home in the House of Shadows. Nothing but slavery and death has ever awaited a half-Fae in their halls.

But something is wrong within their wicked world. A thousand year old spell is weakening. Cracks forming in the foundation. And Kerrigan may just be their ruin or their salvation.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Royal Houses series!
For book one, House of Dragons, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads.

 

House of Shadows by K.A. Linde

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)

 

 

It was always you.

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Erica☆☆☆☆☆
House of Shadows is the second installment in the Royal Houses series. Since it is a continuation in an epic fantasy series, book one, House of Dragons, must be read first to avoid confusion and to understand the complex world building.

Since it had been a long time since I read the debut, I was fearful I would be confused at the start of House of Shadows, but K.A. Linde flawlessly delivered cues to clue the reader in without massive amounts of info dumps, leading with a smooth transition from one book to the next as if ending one chapter and beginning another.

Kerrigan was abandoned at the House of Dragons when she was a child. While she was under the impression she was removed by her father due to her half-fae lineage, it was to keep her safe under the protection of the mountain.

After the events of the previous installment, which I won't highlight to avoid those reading this review before deciding to start the series, Kerrigan is training to become a full-fledged member of the society. Combat, history, and bonding with her dragon, while being targeted by Society members for not being full fae, she has a large target on her back.

Kerrigan is a strong heroine. She's as gifted as she is flawed. Nothing comes easy to her, trying with all her might to succeed even when she fails. She doesn't necessarily take things in stride, but that is what makes her feel more realistically human. Bridging the gap between all social classes, royals, fae, half-fae, human, and destitute human, Kerrigan becomes a symbol of hope.

House of Shadows is an adventure. While fast-paced, it was a long, complex journey filled with politics, battles, push-pull romance between enemies turned lovers, smoldering into a slow burn with the whisper of a triangle (quadrangle?) as Kerrigan is torn between what she wants, what she needs, what would be for the good of her people, and what would be good for the people she represents, not only in the Society or her royal lineage but for those she sees as her people.

Everyone fighting each other, inter-fighting and species fighting, I won't get into the overall plot, as that is something best dove into blindly. What I will say is that Linde is a master of angst. Not only is our Dark Prince a persnickety sort, stoic with a hot and cold personality, Kerrigan is dealing with the King of the dregs, feelings from her teen years quite possibly rearing their ugly head as he becomes protector instead of negotiator... then the royal line comes in to create mischief, dragging along a betrothal of the lost princess, one in which who needs her to be queen to his future king.

It's a year-long wait, which I will be anticipating the next installment, as it promises to deliver more of which readers voraciously read in the first and second installments. One thing I know not to fear is the seamless transition from one book to the next, no need to reread, but I will say the prospect is temping.

My guilty pleasure, sentient beings in a series, where they take on a life of their own. Be it an inner beast, a gargoyle or a pixie, or a sarcastic dragon partner. The relationship Kerrigan develops with her dragon, the witty repartee, the teasing, the little snips and digs, it brings life to a creature that is generally just on the pages.

Highly recommended to fans of both adult and young adult epic fantasy. House of Shadows is sure to please the masses.

 

 

That’s the thing about royalty. You don’t get to choose who your betters are.

 

Author Bio



K.A. LINDE is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Connect with K.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: K.A. Linde Books

 

 

Kerrigan may just be their ruin or their salvation.

 

Hosted by

Wildfire Marketing Solutions.


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of House of Shadows (Royal Houses #2) by K.A. Linde to read and review for this tour.

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away.

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.

They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks… and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

 

Add to Goodreads

 

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Hardcover (US)
Inkyard Press (HQN)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Veronica☆☆☆☆
Regan is a really sweet and caring girl, but she is a people pleaser. Early on, I found her inability to stand up for herself and what she wants annoying but that is all part of growing up and maturing. By the end of the story, I was really proud of her. Guillermo likes Regan but her mother is supervising his community service and has told him to stay away from Regan. Trying to turn over a new leaf, Guillermo goes out of his way to try to not get into trouble, but he and Regan keep crossing paths. But he makes friends with different types of people than those he associated with before he went to juvie, including Regan’s geeky younger brother.

I really enjoyed the growing friendship between Regan and Guillermo. Their interactions felt natural and age appropriate and I think the time taken to develop their friendship is part of the reason for this. And it was good to have a potential romantic relationship based on friendship, and where holding hands and kissing are all that is expected.

There are several important issues dealt with in The Right Side of Reckless. One is consent. The contrast between the way Troy, Regan’s boyfriend, treats her and the way Guillermo treats her shows the difference between what would have been acceptable when I was a teen versus what we expect now. Another issue is the issue of forgiveness. Guillermo really wants to do the right thing to regain the respect and forgiveness of his parents, but it isn’t always clear what “the right thing” is. Guillermo also needs to forgive himself for his past mistakes so he can move on.

It was so good to get caught up in a young adult novel. It has been a long time since I read one and The Right Side of Reckless reminded me why I enjoy them so much. Strong character development and growth, a good story, and a lovely romance. I loved The Right Side of Reckless. A solid four stars from me.

 

 

Author Bio

WHITNEY D. GRANDISON is an American young adult fiction writer. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Korean dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio.

Connect with Whitney

Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

Inkyard Press


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison to read and review.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

Beware the wolf.

Powerful and compelling, this high-stakes, feminist reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood is perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber and Meagan Spooner.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember, the village of Oakvale has been surrounded by the dark wood—a forest filled with terrible monsters. A forest that light itself cannot penetrate.

Unlike her fellow villagers, Adele cannot avoid the dark wood.

Adele is one of a long line of guardians: women who secretly take on the form of a wolf, in order to protect their village.

But when accepting her fate means giving up the boy she loves, abandoning the future she imagined for herself, and breaking her own moral code, she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)
HarperTeen

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Erica☆☆☆☆
Red Wolf is a fantastical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, from the imaginative mind of Rachel Vincent.

To be honest, I'm no fan of retellings, doesn't matter if it's my favorite tale. However, I am a major fan of Vincent's, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to escape in the Little Red Riding Hood world as she sees it.

I'm also intrigued by the dark and mysterious air that wafts around stories featuring primitive villages, with their intriguing folklore to explain the inexplicable.

There truly is a strong likeness in the overall feel between Red Wolf and The Village, which is an amazing thing, as I enjoy rewatching the film over and over.

Read from cover to cover, a dark and ominous vibe causing the pages to turn at a rapid rate, I immersed myself in the tale Adele has to tell. Longing to create a life of her own, with the loss of her father, the grief ever hanging over her, Adele wishes to settle down with the boy of her dreams, surrounded by family.

Traipsing through the Dark Wood to visit her grandmother at her mother's behest, Adele is put to a test, one she didn't even realize she was taking, the twists and turns creating an intriguing read.

On the cusp of her birthday, Adele learns of a world she never knew existed, altering her plans for the future. She is now the protector of her village, keeping the villagers safe from the monsters in the Dark Wood. What she wants and desires no longer matters.

While Red Wolf is a retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood, there are few similarities, ensuring the story has a brand-new feel, allowing the reader to be surprised, to experience the unexpected.

Word of warning, Adele is sixteen, growing up in an isolated village, the story told with a young adult mindset. Some grown adults may find her personality immature or grating, as she has a know-it-all type personality and a stubborn streak a mile wide. Keep in mind, she is a child, even if in her world she would be considered an adult. Her upbringing and the age of the era influences her personality and how she views the world. Strong and capable, Adele is innocent, thrust into a world where werewolves and monsters exist. It was easy for me to be empathetic, understanding why Adele was making the decisions she was making, even if I didn't agree with them, because I have the advantage of looking at the situation as an adult who had access to an education and a wide world view. Adele is an isolated teen in a fairytale, who sometimes rubbed me the wrong way, but I appreciated the authenticity of it.

Is this a romance? No. While there is an undercurrent of romance influencing Adele's choices, the story itself is supported by the fantasy, whimsy, and folklore surrounding Oakvale and the Dark Wood.

While not a cliffhanger, the ending is rather abrupt, which is both satisfying as a standalone while leaving the door cracked open for a sequel.

Honestly, I was surprised in how much I enjoyed it. Not because Red Wolf is Rachel Vincent's creation, but because it was a retelling (not a fan) and I was thoroughly absorbed.

 

 

Author Bio

RACHEL VINCENT is the New York Times bestselling author of several pulse-pounding series for teens and adults. A former English teacher and a champion of the serial comma, Rachel has written more than twenty novels and remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy. Rachel shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her number one fan from the start.

Connect with Rachel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

Harper Teen


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent to read and review.