Somebody stop me from requesting ARCs and buying books I don’t need because I am drowning (in the best possible way.)
These are technically Mini Reviews but they’re a smidge long, so I’m sorry bout that. Kinda.
Thanks to the publishers & Netgalley for these ARCs in exchange for an honest review.
I’m going to tell ya’ll right now. This book took me forever to read, and I almost threw it into the DNF pile.
I persevered and I’m proud of myself.
I love the premise behind this book. John Nyquist is a private detective living in Storyville. A town that thrives, and lives, and LOVES stories; reading them, writing them, whispering them in their sleep, going to seedy clubs to hear strangers take them away into a tall tale.
Nyquist takes on a job to follow this dude Wellborn, and gets caught up in this trippy Noir mystery that involves an unconventional magical book that has a spooky effect on people, a building where every apartment has it’s own story to tell, and some interesting characters. It is write, or be written in this book.
IT’S SO INTERESTING! So why only 3 stars?
I was confused, my friends. The story had me bouncing around from confusion, to joy, to terror, and then right back to confusion. Nothing really clicked for me until I reached the last half of the book.
It wasn’t so much “What’s going on?” but more “Why is this happening now?” and “How did we get from there to here?” and “Hooooly crap runonsentences.”
I take the blame, buddy. I think I’d be a lot less confused if I had read the 1st book in this series. Yes.. This is the second Nyquist novel. I just could not resist this book though, so for that I’m sorry, Jeff Noon. I’m thinking I’ll have to go back and start at the beginning.
Despite the confusion I experienced, this book was an interesting exploration outside of what I normally read, and would recommend it for people who like a trippy Noir sci-fi fantasy type of thing.
TW; drug use, suicide, sexual abuse, self harm
Alrighty sooo this book just wasn’t what I was expecting. When I started it, I was intrigued by how raw it was. Darkly humorous with an edge. The writing style just draws you in.
I read it in one sitting and then stared off into space for a bit, because it was like 3am and I was mildly disturbed, and exhausted.
Jane, our MC, is a telemarketer. A jaded, traumatized, drug addicted telemarketer. This whole book is Jane doing drugs with her paranoid roommate, being sarcastic, reliving her horrible horrible traumas, and calling some angry dude incessantly.
The blurb of this book gives NOTHING away. Seriously. It just talks about Jane being a telemarketer, using a different name every time she calls, and calling the same guy over and over and over.
It is interesting WHY she’s calling him, but I came for the mystery, and stayed for the vicious rawness and emotional turmoil.
Emily R. Austin, you messed me up. Good work.
I’m so sad I put off reading this book for so long because it ended up being really really good. And then it ended, and now I have to wait a whole year to read the second one. Nooooooooo
So, Sophie is a seamstress who can sew charms into clothes. She runs her own shop, and is good at what she does. She’s the only one with her level of magic, able to imbue clothing with luck, or love, or whatnot, instead of just clay tablets.
Her brother, Kristos, is the leader of a revolution. The royals, and nobility lead the city, and the common people, like Kristos and Sophie, really have to work for their dinner, the roof over their heads, and a semblance of peace.
Kristos is a born leader, and has many followers, and right hand men.
The revolution is starting to pick up, with inflammatory pamphlets being published under Kristos’s name, and riots in the streets.
Then Kristos doesn’t come home.
He has been taken, by one of his own revolutionaries , and he WILL be hurt, unless Sophie puts a curse on the King and Queen.
So she has to choose; The peaceful life of a seamstress, sewing gorgeous gowns for nobility, and even befriending and falling in love with one (DUKE THEODORE, SWOON), or commit treason, and perhaps get killed to save her brother?
THIS BOOK YALL. THIS BOOK. It’s a slow burn type of book. Which is why I’m giving it 4 stars, but honestly it is SO worth it. I absolutely adored the writing, the narration, the characters. It’s everything I flipping want. Once it started picking up, I was trapped. There were times where I put my tablet down to stare off into space, or gasped and grabbed my chest melodramatically. (Because you know how I do.)
It’s also pretty political, in a sense. I mean, its about a revolution. That’s to be expected. That’s cool though, because it’s written in a way that I could understand what was going on.
It is a fantasy novel, but it is mostly about the drama, the revolution, and the clash between nobility and the common people. The beginnings of a civil war.
BETRAYAL! ROMANCE! THE WHOLE HOOPLA.
I’m so hyped for #2, I can’t even tell ya.
SO! It’s the year 2021, and Tessa is a very professional billionaire. She’s an executive for Silicon Valley which is responsible for amazing life changing technologies, and has written a New York Times Bestseller about feminism for young women. She is one of the people behind the Seahorse Solution: a groundbreaking procedure, taking obvious notes from a period in the late 1990’s where many mothers experienced accelerated gestation, that speeds up human pregnancy from 9 months to 9 weeks.
Three women (Gwen, Kate, & LaTonya) have been carefully selected to participate in the first Trial of the Seahorse Solution, and Tessa will live with them while they go through the stages of pregnancy, making sure they’re calm and healthy.
But things are not as they seem. As the Trials continue, Tessa unearths some problematic secrets, which makes her question the Seahorse Solution.
The book starts out pretty slow in my opinion, and it took me a few chapters to get into it. But once it started going, HOLY WOW. The twists!! The turns!! Once these secrets start coming to light, I was like W.T.F. It’s actually pretty disturbing, if you ask me.
As a female, there were points where I visibly cringed. Not in a bad way, just in a ‘I’m reading a book about a scientific pregnancy experiment and this makes me hurt a little’ way.
The characters are wonderful too, though the focus is really on Tessa, Viv (a child of AG), and Wayne/Henry/Tracy/Whatever the hell his name is. The other characters just aren’t as fleshed out, which is a bummer.
The ending was nice, but there was a lot left to be desired?? It wrapped up on a high note, but left me unsatisfied.
Overall though, it was a really exciting read, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more titles by this author.
So? What do ya think? Would you read these? Have you already? Did you dig em?? Lemme know in the comments! ⇓
♥thanks for reading!!♥