Showing posts with label adult. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adult. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Kings or Pawns by JJ Sherwood - Blog Tour + Author Giveaway!

Kings or Pawns by JJ Sherwood. Silver Helm, 2015. Ebook. 383 pages.

**I received a copy of Kings or Pawns courtesy of the author, JJ Sherwood, in exchange for an honest review.**

First off, I am thrilled to be  apart of JJ Sherwood's book tour for her fantasy trilogy The Kings! Book two, Heroes of Thieves, was released this past June, but for this review I'm starting at book number one. This is a really exciting book and an equally exciting tour! Plus, I am even more excited to announce a giveaway that the author is hosting via Rafflecopter, which is available at the end of this review. 

Kings or Pawns was an exceptionally delightful read. From the very first pages, it easy to see that Sherwood clearly put her heart and soul into making this book be the absolute best it can be, and it completely shows. It's also clear that Sherwood not only loves and respects the high fantasy genre, but also spent an immense amount of time and effort into constructing her world, her characters, and the plot itself in order to make them wonderfully fleshed and full of life. Kings or Pawns reads like a classic fantasy story while also maintaining a very distinct, unique, and innovative take within fantasy. This world is fresh and her characters are entirely her own - no overused tropes in sight! (Thank goodness.)

The beginning took me a little while to get into, but I felt that there was potential, so I stuck with and it quickly paid off. It takes me a while to learn the characters and new worlds of a fantasy story, but Sherwood tackles this in a deft and enjoyable manner that created a captivating atmosphere.

There is an abundance of political intrigue and it is awesome. Now, I'll be honest and say that sometimes high political fantasy books can make me feel a bit bogged down and like I have to slog my way through a confusing political world with excess information - not so in Kings or Pawns! I sincerely enjoyed everything related to the politics and high class drama within this story.

Strong, engaging characters are also ever-present throughout Kings or Pawns. The point of view switches between a few different characters, and you know what? I didn't feel annoyed by any of the character's points of view. I loved them all. Each one was as engaging as the last and I am in awe of how well Sherwood constructed each character's distinct personality. I typically end up annoyed by point of view switches because I end up liking one more than the other (who doesn't?), but not this time! Each character had a very distinct voice that made it clear who was speaking and fit their own character.

To continue on with the subject of characters, let's talk about Jikun. Jikun is an incredible main character. He's someone that I have great respect for and seems like an honorable man, but he's not perfect by a long shot. He breaks the rules and follows his own path, which makes him well-rounded and an alluring character to follow. One minute he's a resolute general leading his army, the next he's paying for a prostitute to entertaining him - something that is highly illegal in this particular world, I might add. I was really impressed with how realistic and three-dimensional Jikun is, along with the rest of the characters as well.

We also have Navon, Jikun's co-general, who is similar in the fact that he's a powerful, respectable man, but he also breaks the rule by studying necromancy, an act punishable by death. And then there's Hairem, our newly appointed and inexperienced king who was thrust into the position as a result of his father's death. He struggles with the responsibility and power of being king, as well as with the political negotiations that come with such a position - i.e. figuring out how to deal with his council and not allow himself to be unheard and run over by other powerful political figures that don't want to listen to him. There are so many sides to each person that I felt constantly entertained, and as much as I would love to spend more time on each character, I think I'm going to leave them to you, dear readers, to discover.

And finally, one last thing (out of a great many things) that I loved about Kings or Pawns was the villains. These enemies are easily hated, but not necessarily purely evil - or, maybe they are? There is intrigue on all sides, and although I easily felt disdain towards the characters I was supposed to, I was also impressed and intrigued by their intelligence and sly deviousness, which I believe is the mark of a well-written villain.

Besides the somewhat-cliffhanger ending (which remains vague, no spoilers here!), I can definitely see where potential for further expansion of this world in upcoming books lies. There are a few characters that I would have liked to see a bit more of, but I have a strong feeling that they will show up more in later books. In fact, I have the second book lined up on my Kindle right now and I plan to dive in within the next week!

I highly recommend this for any fans of high fantasy or political thrillers - or, quite frankly, anyone who's looking for an exciting read! Because of all the reasons mentioned above, I will be giving Kings or Pawns four-and-a-half stars!

Be sure to check out the Steps of Power website, which has the complete (and amazing) book tour, as well as much more book-related fun and information!

AND, most importantly, don't forget to enter the giveaway below for some signed copies and/or swag!*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This giveaway was created by the author; I am not associated with the prizes or its creation.

You might also like:
A Vanishing Glow by Alexis Radcliffe
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

And I Darken by Kiersten White

**I received a copy of And I Darken courtesy of NetGalley and Delacorte Press.**

And I Darken
And I Darken by Kiersten White. Delacorte Press, 2016. 498 pages. Ebook.

This is a very difficult book for me to review, largely because I really can't decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, it is a gorgeously written, intriguing story that I found myself always wanting to dive back into, but on the other hand, I somehow never truly felt like I understood exactly what the plot was, and I felt as though I was moving exceptionally slowly through it.

The first thing I would like to get out of the way is that describing this book as "fantasy" seems to be a rather loose, incorrect definition in my personal opinion, so don't dive in expecting to find many magical elements. It is definitely historical fiction - I'm not sure why it has so many fantasy tags.

And I Darken tells the story of siblings Lada and Radu, the daughter and son, respectively, of Vlad Draculesti, the current vaivode of Wallachia. The two are essentially abandoned by their father and their native home of Wallachia to be raised in the Ottoman courts, where they meet and befriend a young boy named Mehmed, the son of the current Sultan. Neither child is welcomed much on their birth: Lada, being a girl - and apparently an 'ugly' one at that - is of no use to Vlad, and Radu is a weak, (not strong) boy. The controversy lies in the fact that the enemy of Wallachia, and thus lada and Radu, is the Ottoman city in which they now live, which thus sets up our basic plot.

Lada is not your average badass; she's heard-headed badass taken to a whole different level. She is brutal, angry, and not about to mess around. Her biggest struggle  appears to be the fact that she was born female. Since her birth, she has been dismissed as unwanted and unnecessary, and this is what seems to help fuel Lada's fire to prove her worth and also to prove others wrong. In my opinion, Lada truly fits the definition of a dynamic character, and I applaud White on her character development skills. Lada starts out feeling completely unwanted and lost and thus spends her time fighting and struggling with the world around her. Within the pages of And I Darken, Lada truly seemed to find herself and her place in this world. She becomes a tough woman who knows what she wants and is bold enough to make her feelings heard. She embraces her womanhood by not really embracing it: she technically refuses to acknowledge herself as a woman and desires to be considered equal to all the men around her. Lada isn't the most charismatic or immediately likable character, but she is captivating. She is also apparently based off of Vlad the Impaler, so I am interested to see how "dark" she becomes throughout the rest of this series.

Radu is Lada's foil. He is beautiful, reserved, and soft-hearted. He does not like violence or rudeness, and instead prefers to be friendly with those around him - the complete opposite of Lada's own approach to people. Radu understands the art of befriending one's enemies to gain advantages, whereas Lada follows a more violent and harsh approach. Radu is such an interesting character, and I loved getting to see his own transformation and realizations throughout the story. Radu is also protected or saved by Lada many times throughout the book. In fact, Lada even goes as far to say that no one else will (or can) kill Radu because he must remain only Lada's to kill. Aw, sibling love - though, surprisingly, I understand this: no one gets to hurt my sibling but me.

Mehmed is a character introduced a bit later in the book, and I'm not sure how I feel about him. There are things I like, but also things I don't. I feel like he is a character that you have to decide for yourself how to interpret, so I'm going to skip over my own description and analyses of him for now.

I think my biggest problem with And I Darken is just that I'm still not completely sure what the plot was. It's still a solid, interesting story, but I can't really come up with any particular goal or purpose, other than to tell the story of Lada, Radu, and eventually Mehmed. If you're not a huge fan of books with no major overarching plotline running through it, this may not be your favorite. However, this is a still a solid, entertaining book that I would recommend you pick up and at least give a try. For all the reasons mentioned throughout this review, I am giving And I Darken four stars.

And I Darken will be released next Tuesday, June 28th!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Tor Books, 2015. 400 pages. Hardcover/Hardback.

I feel a bit behind on the times with A Darker Shade of Magic because it took me way too long to finally get around to reading it. It was one of those books that I saw people raving about at just about every turn I made in multiple book communities, and yet I still didn't pick it up. The description never really jumped out at me, and for some reason I kept imagining it to be some sort of time travel-esque book based on the description, and to be honest I'm really not huge on the time travel theme (unpopular opinion, I know, but there we are.) But that cover. I absolutely love the covers on V. E. Schwab's Shades of Magic trilogy. They are so simple yet so intricate and just all around gorgeous with the red and black and white and incredible design. And then I started seeing more people talking about it recently so I thought it was time to give in and check it out, and I am certainly glad I did.

This wasn't a love at first page book, and it seemed to take me a while to get into and find my groove. However, I should note that despite not feeling immediately gripped by the story, my curiosity was still immediately captured, which is what prompted me to continue reading. I knew that there had to be more to this book and that things would have to start making sense eventually, and they did! It seems fairly complicated at first, but trust me when I say that it will somehow all come together as you read, and you'll begin to understand.

A Darker Shade of Magic has somewhat traditional fantasy elements at its basic structure, but it is such a new concept that it's unlike anything I've ever read. The multiple Londons is one of those ideas that I would have never thought of or been able to develop a story about, but Schwab is apparently a genius and did a wonderful job creating the overall setup and nuances of having such a complex setting.

I also need to talk about this magic system, which is insane (in a good way). I haven't felt this interested in a particular magic system in a while, so that made me extremely happy. Although the nature of the magic in this world (or worlds?) was rather mysterious, it was still understandable in a weird way. I liked that the magic itself was this ever-powerful force that could become too much for someone and basically overtake and destroy them - or, you know, a city.

Kell is an awesome protagonist. He was real. He wasn't some exceptionally badass, fearless guy - he had perfectly human fears and didn't pretend he was any stronger or better than he actually was. This made him feel extremely understandable and relatable and is part of what kept me drawn to the story. I also enjoyed his interactions with the prince, Rhy, because I felt it really helped to develop his overall character by showing what he cared about.

Lila is also an interesting character and I'm still somewhat on the fence about her. I loved her fierceness, independence, and overall sense of being a badass, - pretty much the opposite of Kell at times - but sometimes she grated on me somewhat. It was mainly her attitude that drove me crazy: her stubbornness, in particular, frustrated me. I know that stubborn characters are a favorite of authors - how else would anything move forward in the plot if there's not a bullheaded character who refuses to go with the norm? It just annoyed me when Kell would specifically explain to her why he needed her to give her something (vague in case of spoilers), and she just wouldn't do it. I know and understand that that is a big part of her character, how her and Kell interact, and how she ends up traveling with him, but it got on my nerves. I will say, though, that throughout the course of the book she did begin to grow on me, and I see positive potential for her character in the upcoming books. Overall, she's a strong character and I think she will continue to grow on me with subsequent books, but I'm not just automatically in love with her for being a strong female lead.

Overall, I'm completely torn about how to rate this. On the one hand, I can't help but want to give it anything other than a five star, but on the other hand I don't quite feel like it absolutely hit that five-star note for me. As a result, I have decided to give A Darker Shade of Magic four-and-a-half-stars, and I recommend to this just about anyone, especially those who love adventures and want something new.

You might also like:
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

The Crimson Petal and the White (Harvest Book)
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. Harcourt, 2002. 835 pages. Hardcover/Hardback.

Coming in at a weighty 800+ pages, The Crimson Petal and the White is not for the faint of heart - or those who do not like holding heavy objects for long periods of time. It may be long, but the incredible thing about this book was how quickly it flew by. It took me a bit longer to finish The Crimson Petal and the White than the average book, but I never once felt like I was slogging through it. The characters and writing style were both so vivid and full of life that I had absolutely no problem zipping through this story. A quick obligated word of caution: if you do not like to read about sex or sexual-related activities, then you may want to set this book every so gently back on its shelf and move on, though personally I would recommend that you dive in anyway because of what a wonderfully told story this is.

The most prominent and creative aspect of The Crimson Petal and the White is the narration. It has an overall second person narration (which I am actually not normally a fan of), but much of it is told in a way that sounds third person. When Faber does dive into the second person, it's with sheer brilliance. It's written as if you are being taken on the most intense, detailed, and scandalous tour you'll ever be a part of; I almost felt like I was watching a movie with the camera zooming in and around various people and settings. It's fantastic, and I'm truly not sure if I've ever read anything quite like it.

The setting is a gritty, dirty, and shockingly authentic Victorian London. There's no sugar-coating, nothing to make the setting or characters appear more noble than they are (or aren't), and it's pure brilliance. There's was a constant sense that I was rooting around in the private affairs of others that Faber captured extremely well and truly brought the entire story to life.

One aspect of Faber's style that really stood out to me was his extensive use of detail, which I think is part of what made everything so lifelike and authentic. Everything is so clearly described or minutely detailed that it's hard not to find yourself sucked into the story.

What I loved was how Faber really played with his characters, but at the same time seemed to almost let them lead the story in whichever direction they desired. Sugar, one of our main characters, is strong and independent, but contains a small, sentimental hope for something more in her life. As a prostitute, she is always sharing her body, but what she truly seems to want to do is share her mind; she wants to write and be outspoken, to make a stand and allow others to understand the experiences of prostitutes and others like her. She wants men to realize that the women they so rudely and carelessly take advantage of are just as - if not more - capable and clever as them.

William Rackham, a second main character, is also a deeply layered man. While on the surface he appears and acts as if he has great disdain and a lack of patience for his ailing wife, his actions show something rather contrary, which is difficult to discern, but still noticeable: he loves her. No matter what, he can't seem to help but love her, no matter the frustrations she causes him to have. William seems to want nothing more than a normal, happy, sufficient marriage. But that is not what his circumstances give him, and so instead we see how he handles these issues, how he ends up meeting Sugar and how they interact and how their own uniquely personal relationship unfolds.

Along with Sugar and William are a variety of other extremely colorful and strong characters, and I strongly encourage you to give this book a chance in order to meet all of them in greater depth.

The ending is both excellent and frustrating at the same time - it's almost a non-ending, leaving you wondering what more could happen, but it's also an absolutely, perfectly satisfying wrap-up that almost seems to tease you with more, but at the same time leaves you content and satiated. It's as if it were all somehow meant to be.

I do feel as though I've been giving out quite a few five stars lately, but I can't help that I've just been immensely blessed to keep stumbling upon such fantastic books. As you can guess, I am giving The Crimson Petal and the White a well-earned five stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who feels mature enough to jump on for the ride!

You might also like:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Whistling Women by Kelly Romo

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Security will be released Tuesday, June 7th!

**I received a printed ARC  of Security by Gina Wolhsdorf courtesy of -- in exchange for an honest review**

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf. Algonquin Books, 2016. 288 pages. Paperback/Softcover.

I don't know if it's just been a long time since I've read an exciting, thrilling page-turner or if Security was just that good, but I was completely enraptured with this book. I started it on a Friday night and finished it Sunday evening (it probably would have been sooner, but writing papers and studying for finals interrupted by precious reading - rude).

Manderley Resort is preparing itself for its grand opening day as a premier resort destination with an exceptionally intense and private security system in order to protect every one of its customer's privacy. But like any good thriller, things never go according to plan, and a killer emerges and begins to slowly pick off the staff.

Our main character is Tessa, a strong-willed, hardworking woman who is the hotel manager and, essentially, the woman in charge of all preparations. She takes her job very seriously and executes everything perfectly. Underneath her rough exterior, however, lies deeper emotional ties and secrets that are known only to her, and she does her best to keep these hidden. I liked Tessa; she came across as a very logical, matter-of-fact person who doesn't really waste her time dwelling on insignificant issues or musings of the mind. However, her focus is so intent on the opening of Manderley that it seems to distract her from other issues that may be taking place - namely, the murders of her hotel staff. It was interesting to watch Tessa's character unfold throughout the story, as well as her interactions with her staff. 

The rest of the cast of Security all play a similar role, though each character is equipped with a firm personality to make them distinct from one another. I genuinely enjoyed the interactions that took place between each character and watching how each person reacted in the various circumstances they were placed in. Some are fighters, some are not, and some are just of along for the ride. 

Wohlsdorf's writing style throughout Security was truly exceptional, and despite it's somewhat unorthodox approach (in my opinion), it completely hooks you in and drags you along, whether you want to continue or not. She's sharp and full of wit, but also makes many rather sobering, deeper remarks that will leave you pondering ideas much greater than you imagined when originally going into this thriller. (Also, there are many tributes to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, which I found particularly intriguing.)

Part of what made me love this book so much was the writing style and point of view. It takes place from one solitary point of view, but this point of view narrates from the viewpoint of various hotel security cameras throughout the hotel. For instance, one sentence you are watching Tessa talk to someone, and the next sentence the narrator has moved on to talking about what someone else is doing. It can be quite confusing if you aren't paying close attention, and this actually made me more intrigued because I was forced to focus so intently, which thus made it that much more thrilling. I also admired the way in which Wohlsdorf slowly eased us into the identity of our narrator; in the beginning, the narrator is rather vague and you almost don't realize it's first person, but as the story progresses Wohlsdorf slowly reveals more and more about our narrator through his thoughts and musings. 

A special little quirk involving the use of cameras as the point of view that added an extra dimension of detail was that every once in a while the page would be split into two or three columns, each detailing an event that was taking place at the same time as the other. I loved the contrasts and strict dichotomy this created between the different occurrences. I'm not too sure if this format would work out as well on an ebook, but it works wonderfully in the physical format that I read.

My only form of complaint for this book is in regards to the ending. On the one hand, I'm extremely satisfied with the ending, but on the other, I'm also frustrated. I'm not sure if it was really what I expected, but overall it seems to work. It is certainly unexpected, however, and I'll leave you to find out about that yourself if you feel so inclined. 

Overall, I am giving Security four-and-a-half stars for its truly thrilling nature and superb storytelling. 

You might also like:
Daddy Dearest by Paul Southern
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates
Slade House by David Mitchell

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Dinner by Herman Koch. Hogarth, 2013. 292 pages. Ebook.

This is a hard book for me to review, mainly because although it was clever and unique, it was also disappointing and hard to get through. The entire story consists of a single dinner between Paul, our narrator, his wife, Claire, and his brother and sister-in-law, Serge and Babette. The dinner appears to be an innocent gathering at the outset, but as flashbacks and side-tracks into the lives and character of the brothers and their families are slowly revealed, we learn that there is a bigger, more important issue at hand with this dinner concerning a problem with their sons.

Paul is an interesting narrator: the first few chapters of the story portrayed a decently likable guy, and I felt like I was on his side, but as the story progressed, he became unreliable and a bit of a dodgy character. His character was certainly complex, but I can't say I found anything dynamic about him. I got the sense that he had no true moral compass, despite pretending like he did. In fact, I don't think anyone in this book truly had a moral compass. The actual act that their sons did (intentional vagueness so I don't give anything away) that prompted this entire dinner is pretty shocking, but it was never mentioned as being wrong, only in terms of how to cover it up. This bothered me, largely because it just didn't feel real. Who are these people and why are they so cold? There was almost no empathy or compassion to be found anywhere, which I understand is how some people are, but the falseness and despicable nature of these people was just overwhelming. As I've mentioned before, I'm completely fine with hating every character in a book as long as the book can hold up to it, but I'm not sure if The Dinner was able to do that. To be completely honest, I preferred the small inserts of the actual dinner and the interactions with the waiter, which felt like comic relief - albeit comic relief smothered in pretentiousness.

On a more positive note, Koch delves into some deep topics throughout The Dinner, such as mental illness and the notion of what truly constitutes a happy family, and in this area he brings up some compelling points to ponder. A major theme that seemed to consistently pop up was that appearances are deceiving, which can be interpreted in so many ways. There is also an overarching atmosphere of darkness and evil that permeates each page, which is one area in which Koch truly excelled - the man knows how to develop atmosphere.

By the time I put this book down, I felt slightly nauseous from what I digested (intended metaphor), and I'm not sure it is something I wouldn't particularly recommend based on how much I enjoyed (or didn't enjoy) it . I would recommend for its psychological interests and unique storytelling idea, but that's likely it. For this reason, I am giving The Dinner two-and-a-half stars.

You might also like:
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

**Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie is out in two weeks on Tuesday, September 8th! Don't forget to pick it up from your favorite bookseller!**

Two Year Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie. Random House Publishing; 2015. 304 pages. Ebook. 

***I received an advanced copy of this book to read and review courtesy of NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group***

I consider myself to be a rather eclectic reader; I can enjoy something in almost any genre, and I can, in a rather chameleon-like fashion, alter my state of mind to various styles of writing. Unfortunately, I couldn't get myself to enjoy this particular novel.

As a result of this, I have officially decided that Salman Rushdie's writing is simply not for me. That is not to say that it is not wonderful writing, as Rushdie has a lovely prose with intricate stories and details, but rather that his writing is just not my type of writing. I have read Midnight's Children and I began (though was unable to finish) The Satanic Verses. I did enjoy Midnight's Children, but I never really fell in love with either of his works. I read both of those a while ago, so I figured I would give Rushdie one more go. Unlike Midnight's Children, there are not hundreds of made-up words that will confuse you - a huge relief to me, I assure you. Two Year Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is classified as magical realism, but it has plenty of much more fantastical elements to satisfy any fantasy-lover out there.

In brief, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights follows the story of Dunia, a jinn princess who, unlike normal jinn, falls in love with a mortal man and produces an abundance of offspring with him (seriously - we're talking births of ten to twenty kids at once here, supposedly) over two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. Eventually, years and years later, there is a great, unprecedented storm in New York that leaves the descendants of Dunia and her mortal man with strange powers: one man discovers he has begun to levitate off the ground and can longer put his own feet on solid ground; a baby is able to detect the corruption of any one person by merely touching them. All of this culminates in a struggle between dark and light forces, in which her descendants play a large and important part.

There are countless metaphors, symbolism, themes, and underlying messages that I think gives each reader the opportunity to dissect and devour it in their own way. Rushdie's prose is magical in itself: his words float along, perfectly capturing each moment before flowing smoothly into the next. Even in his long (very long), drawn-out informational lectures about the jinn, his words still read in a very lovely and elegant manner. It truly is magical novel, and the overall foundation of the novel is actually rather exciting and intriguing. I love hearing the details of the jinn and the overall fantasy/fairy story elements. Oh, and if there's one thing that one hundred percent, without a doubt understand and can take away from this story? The jinn really, really love sex.

The characters were hard for me to relate to. I felt a rather constant disconnect, and I felt more like an outsider viewing their stories from a great distance than actually being in and a part of their lives as I read along to find out what happens. Dunia is an intriguing character; the jinn don't normally feel many human-like emotions, nor do they generally consort with them, so she becomes unique in her relations with Ibn Rushd, her mortal lover. She tends to float back and forth between worlds, and provides a rather mysterious and complicated character for us to follow.

This is a dense book; the stories intermingle, the writing intermingles, and it continues to become more and more complex as it carries on. I found myself feeling confused and lost at multiple instances throughout the book. I honestly struggled to finish this, but something was tugging at me to carry on (plus, I knew I really wanted to write a review for it). The abundance of metaphors quickly become tangled up in one another, and I soon found myself losing interest at various points. The best way to describe my enjoyment of this novel is with the notion of random spurts of enthusiasm. I would be slogging through a particularly dense or uninteresting part, only to suddenly find myself enraptured in what was happening (I particularly enjoyed reading scenes with Mr. Geronimo). To me, this is a rather accurate depiction of the entire book: it has a somewhat random setup of involved scenes mixed with drier, more textbook-like informational writing. (Side note: I really love this cover, I think it adds a very simplistic yet symbolic image of the contents of the novel. It fits wonderfully - good job, designers!)

Overall, I am giving Two Year Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights  three stars, as it was both intriguing and beautifully written, but also confusing and lacking in engagement. I would recommend this to any who loves mythology, fairy tales, fantasy, magical realism, or deep, complex novels that seem to thrive on in-depth story lines. However, as I mentioned above, I do think this particular novel requires a certain type of reader, though I would encourage anyone interested to give it a try - you might just love it.

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