Across the Green Grass Fields Review

This was my favourite of the series so far!

Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late. When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.

Regan was an interesting character for sure! Wanting to fit in was at the forefront of her mind throughout her childhood, which is why is continues to put up with Laurel even though she knows she’s a questionable friend, just to fit in and not be ostracised. I would of appreciated her more if she would of stood up more for Heather but this was incredible realistic the way their friendships played out. She continues to grow and mature in the Hooflands and realises over time who she really should of chose.

I like that Seanan McGuire includes diverse characters with different sexualities and backgrounds. I can’t really comment on the accuracy of Regan as an intersex character but I am pretty sure she is the first intersex character I have come across in my reading history so I had to mention it!

I loved learning about this new world! Throughout Regan’s time there we learn so much about the dichotomy of the centaurs and how their civilisation works within this world. How the stallions are separated from the females and they essentially have to pay to sire a foal. This was really interesting to me and I almost wish we got to discover more about them. We are briefly given a run down of the different creatures that live in Hoofland besides the centaurs and how they view each other. Again I just want to know so much more about the world and how these legends started with the humans but again these books are so short I have become accustomed to the amount of world building we are going to be given.

The plot was pretty fast paced and I was engaged pretty much throughout the course of the storyline. I feel like this book goes into more detail about the world and establishes Regan’s character pretty quickly. I am excited to see where her story goes next and how she ends up at Eleanor’s and whether or not she acclimates back to the real world.

⭐️4/5 stars I really enjoyed this!!!

Come Tumbling Down Review

This was definitely my favourite of the series so far!

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors. But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

I think what I liked about this book above the rest was we have a bit more context in regards to these characters and the setting of the Moors that I was able to be more invested and connected to the narrative. Which is essentially what I missing from the rest of the series. They are all so short and don’t go into the minute details that I am so used to that I am just left feeling like something was missing but that wasn’t there this time. I already know most of these characters and we got to learn more about them and their motives behind some of their actions.

Jack really leaned into the narrative that she was a monster and not a nice person. I didn’t really think that way about her before but it was really emphasised throughout the course of the plot. I think it was fairly obvious that her sister would have to die and even though she goes through with it she does end up feeling remorseful that it had to happen. There is definitely no love lost between the two and I didn’t really enjoy Jill at all but like Jack said they are a result of their choices they made when they were too young to think of the consequences.

I am glad that we got to explore more of the Moors and find out more about it’s history and the rules of the world. I liked the different setting of the seaside and learning about the drowned gods and the high priest and his history as well. I can see how some of the logical worlds have sort of similar rules in place yet still differ in a way that distinguishes them from each other.

Everything just kind of works out a little too conveniently for them when they go on these quests. Sure Seanan McGuire is not shy about killing off characters in this series but all of the conflict and obstacles are resolved kind of easily. There are definitely some high stakes but I am never really worried about any of the characters, because most of the time they end up coming back somehow.

⭐️3/5 stars the series is slowly getting better as I read through

Well Played Review

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

I really liked Stacey as our main protagonist. I thought she seemed very realistic and relatable. I can totally see how she would invest herself in this relationship with Dex online after being so lonely for so long. It was quite subtle and progressed I thought naturally to what it ended up being when she found out the truth. Had I been in the same situation I probably wouldn’t of forgave Daniel quite as quickly as she did but there connection was electric!

I knew immediately when Stacey had so many queries about whether or not this was the same Dex she had the flings with over the summer that it wasn’t him writing all of these emails. And they the only other male character that was introduced was Dan so it was kind of obvious that he was the one. But I was able to overlook the predictability of the plot because of the setting and the bond I have with the other character from the previous book.

The pacing was at times a little slow and repetitive but I was pretty much invested with these characters right from the start so it carried me through the story pretty quickly. I could of dealt with a little more sexy scenes in the book as well, it was definitely less smutty than the first book in this series but it was still pretty cute!

⭐️4/5 stars was an enjoyiable, romantic, fun read!

The Fifth Season Review

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

This was great! For some reason because of all of the hype surrounding this book I thought I wasn’t going to like it. From what I heard about the blurb and what I thought this book was about it didn’t seem interesting to me, but once I actually sat down and started reading I was hooked! I can’t lie it was a slow start for me, it took me at least a hundred pages until I was fully immersed and understood what was going on.

Essun I wasn’t that invested in to be totally honest especially in comparison to the other two perspectives and I think it’s because her storyline involved a lot of travelling. Which is a good way to show the reader the world and gives us a sense of how dire the season’s are and how much preparation these people go through. But still reading about her trying to catch up to her husband and daughter didn’t really do a lot for me. However, once she joined with the other oregenes in the underground geode and we started to find out more about who she is and who her companions are I was a little shook!

Damaya I loved from the moment she was first introduced. I couldn’t help but sympathise with her and what she has had to go through because she is a ‘rogga’. Ostracised from her family and sold off like livestock, at such a young age would be so traumatising. Her strength and resilience she shows throughout the course of her storyline was noteworthy and I really enjoyed her perspective.

Syenite was by and far my favourite out of the three, from her relationship with Alabaster and the whole sequence of events that lead them to Meov. I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding throughout their stay there and to see her so happy with Innon and Corundum and how they managed to make a family only to have it ripped away killed me!

This was a wonderful introduction to this trilogy and I can see now why so many people love this book. The writing was descriptive and the world building was immaculate. All of the characters were distinctive and diverse and the way the storylines merged was masterful. I am kicking myself for putting off reading this book for so long and I am happy to have finally completed it. I have a feeling I am going to be continuing on very soon!

⭐️4/5 stars lived up to the hype!!!

In An Absent Dream Review

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

From what we learn about Katherine I can see why she would want to escape to the Goblin Market and how she would thrive in this world. She is very stubborn and I could see how her choices would affect her later on in the plot and they eventually did. She was both selfish running away from her family and coming back multiple times, she didn’t really understand how that could affect them, but also she would do just about anything to help Moon and stop her from becoming an owl, taking on her debt and paying it all off with no thought of the repercussions.

The world building wasn’t quite enough for me. There was definitely multiple discussions about the rules and debt and how giving fair value and not asking for too much was key in this world but the actual setting wasn’t explored enough for me. It lacked that depth I needed to become fully engaged and invested in the plot.

I felt like all of the action and adventure aspects in these books were just passed over. I wanted to know about all of the things Lundy got up to in the years she was in the Goblin Market instead of briefly being told them when she returns to her family. This is definitely more of a character driven series which explores the characters growth over their journey’s and their frame of minds throughout as opposed to what is actually happening within the worlds.

Overall I feel a bit ambivalent towards this book in particular. It was interesting sure, and seeing how Lundy interprets the rules and debts captured my attention but overall it just feels like something is missing in the story. And again like the rest of the series I think it was the fact that they are just so short and doesn’t give me enough substance.

⭐️3/5 stars Just an ok one for me…