The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

The Luminaries #1

Published November 1, 2022 by Tor Teen

304 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.

Review: I’ve been reading less and less YA as the years go by but I cannot resist Susan Dennard. I adore her series, The Witchlands, so I knew I had to read this new book. Upon starting the first chapter, I was immediately intrigued by the setting and what Winnie was going to be up against. I’ve been getting more into horror lately so I loved that this seemed like it was going to be fantasy mixed with horror. The Luminaries are located not just in Hemlock Falls but in chapters all over the globe protecting areas against nightmares that are manifested by spirits of certain areas in the world. Almost like a Sam and Dean Winchester meeting the Men of Letters but just in one area of the country. Winnie and her family are currently outcasts of their society because of her father being revealed to be a Diana aka a witch traitor. Winnie desperately wants to be a hunter for the Luminaries so she does what she can to insert herself into the trials that every sixteen year old Luminary does… after all, there is no rule that says outcasts can’t attempt the trials. I absolutely loved Winnie and definitely felt a bond with her over all of the other characters. Everything that she went through in this book was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. I am also extremely intrigued by Jay…. I feel like there is way more than meets the eye when it comes to Jay and I’m very much looking forward to book two to find out more about him. And I desperately need him and Winnie to just get over their hangups and get together! If you’re a fan of Supernatural, Charmed, or anything else along those lines I highly recommend checking out this book.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Month in Review: June 2021

How is it July already?! This year has been going by so fast. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts… oops! I’ve still been just going with the flow on here and only blogging when I feel like it or have a review to post. But the mood struck today so let’s do this!

I read some fantastic books this past month and a couple of not so great. Most of what I read in June was audiobooks. I worked a lot of overtime in June so by the time I get off work, my brain has been too fried to want to sit and read a book. One of the books that I did read myself gave me a HUGE book hangover too. A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones was SO good.

  • June 2021 Books Read: 12
  • 2021 Year To Date Books Read: 81
  • June 2021 Pages Read: 5,315
  • 2021 Year To Date Pages Read: 35,075

June 2021 Books Read:

  • The Awakening by Nora Roberts
  • The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
  • A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones
  • Madam by Phoebe Wynne (DNF)
  • Katheryn Howard, the Scandalous Queen by Alison Weir
  • Katharine Parr, the Sixth Wife by Alison Weir
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (re-read)
  • Hideaway by Nora Roberts
  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor (re-read)
  • To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska

Favorite Book Read


Close Second Favorite Book Read


How was your month of reading? Any new favorites to recommend?

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

43263378The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Published December 10th 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books

471 Pages

Goodreads Summary: An unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another from an award-winning author

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

Review: This is my first novel by this author but when I read the summary, I really was intrigued by how the story would turn out. I love the forbidden love type stories so knew this would probably hit it for me. The book is written in two points of view and between two different times. Normally I’m not a huge fan of the back and forth but I think it worked really well for this story. I loved the dynamic between mother and daughter with Alice and Selina. It was heartbreaking to feel Alice’s longing for her mother while she was away. The beginning of the book was a little slow but it gradually picked up. I found myself really living for Selina’s interactions with Lawrence. Like I said, I’m a sucker for forbidden romances. I also really loved the glimpses of 1920s London. That time period always seemed so glamorous but also a tad gritty. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the characters of this story. Have some tissues on hand because it is a bit of a tearjerker!

4 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

43263004The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Expected publication: December 30th 2019 by Graydon House

256 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

Review: I am a huge fan of Tarryn Fisher’s previous novels so I was ridiculously excited to get to read her upcoming novel early. Based on past experience with her writing, I was fully expecting something twisted and crazy… and The Wives is exactly that! Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, Tarryn throws in a twist, and then another twist, and another, until I’m not even sure what is happening! What I love about Tarryn’s books are that they aren’t what they seem in the beginning. The Wives appears to be a book about a polygamist marriage but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what it ends up being in the end. I was completely shocked! I don’t want to say too much about the actual plot of the story because I think this book is one you kind of want to go in without any preconceived notions. If you are into psychological thrillers or Tarryn’s books, I highly recommend checking this one out! You won’t be disappointed.

4 Stars

I received an early copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

41733208. sy475 Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox #2)

Published June 25th 2019 by Inkyard Press

304 Pages

Goodreads Summary: One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Review: Last year when I read Shadow of the Fox, I was blown away. It was such a great, original fantasy and I loved all of the Japanese folklore and myths that Julie Kagawa tied in. So when I got a review copy of the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I was ecstatic.

Beware going forward if you haven’t read Shadow of the Fox. This is a review for book 2 so there will be some spoilers from the first book because that’s pretty unavoidable.

This was such a great sequel! There was so much action and adventure that picked up right where Shadow of the Fox left off. I was so nervous to see what was going to happen with Tatsumi after he was possessed completely by the evil Hakaimono. It was so nerve wracking following Tatsumi/Hakaimono traverse the countryside wreaking havoc in his effort to free Hakaimono from the curse of the sword altogether.

One thing that surprised me, in a good way, was how close Okame and Daisuke were becoming. There were some definite vibes going on between the ronin and the samurai that had me totally shipping them 100%.

I couldn’t believe the ending! It was so incredibly intense! I really can’t wait for the next book and it’s going to be really hard waiting an entire year for it. This series has it all. Humor, action, adventure, romance, you name it. If you haven’t read book one yet, I highly suggest you check it out.

5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.