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Mini Reviews - Middlegame (ARC), Little Darlings (ARC), Red, White, & Royal Blue (ARC), & Urban Gothic


Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today I'm sharing four mini reviews with you: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (available May 7th, 2019), Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (available April 30th, 2019), Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (available May 14th, 2019), and Urban Gothic by Stephan M. Coghlan (available March 8th, 2019).  Thank you very much to NetGalley for providing me with ARCs for MiddlegameLittle Darlings, and Red, White, & Royal Blue, and author Stephan Coghlan for an ecopy of Urban Gothic in exchange for my honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on these stories:


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Seanan McGuire is quickly becoming one of those authors that I'll read no matter what they write - and lucky me, I have a lot to work to catch up on. Middlegame is long, but it's well worth your time. You won't want to put it down and it has just about everything you could ask for at that. McGuire is fantastic at developing her characters - Roger and Dodger are brilliant to follow and to get to know their relationship. Just a fair warning, there are time jumps and perspective shifts so you'll definitely want to pay attention. I don't want to go into a lot of detail on this because I think this is one you'll want to go into with as little info as possible so as it won't spoil the fun of discovery. If you enjoy complex fantasy with fantastic world-building and complex characters, I have a feeling you'll enjoy this unique novel.

I read this novel from May 4 - 6, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a wonderfully suspenseful paranormal mystery debut novel with a dash of horror that is based on a Welsh fairy tale. Lauren is the new mother of twins - and during her stay in the hospital an extremely creepy woman tries to take her newborns and replace them with her own - creatures. Lauren and her twins get to safety and she calls the police, but police find no evidence of another woman at all and everyone including her husband assume that she was just imagining things. Lauren knows what she saw and she's been on edge since that day, but a month later the twins disappear from her side at the park and when they reappear there's something decidedly wrong with them. Lauren's willing to do whatever it takes to bring her real children home, but if she's wrong she could make a deadly mistake. The novel is compulsively readable and the twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat. While I enjoyed the down to earth police procedural aspect with Detective Sergeant Harper, it's still the weakest aspect of the story in comparison to Lauren's story but either way it's quite an intriguing contrast. Overall, if you're a fan of dark fairy tales and Neil Gaiman, I have a feeling you'll enjoy Little Darlings. I can't wait to see what Melanie Golding does next.

I read this ARC from May 6 - 9, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a fun romantic comedy featuring the First Son of the United State and the Prince of Wales, a tabloid leak, and the fallout/ damage control during an election season. I know, it isn't my regular go-to genre, but I thought this sounded like quite a bit of cute fun when I requested it on NetGalley. It mostly delivered for me. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Alex and Henry. the political aspects and real world issues that the story deals with, the dialogue, and Alex's family. I would have liked to have seen a dual perspective with Henry as well, so we could see how things are going in his home country and with his family/ friends directly. Plus, some of the twists weren't exactly original or surprising. Finally, I don't this needed to be anywhere near 432 pages long. If you're looking for an LGBTQ romance with a fun sense of humor and diverse characters, I have a feeling you'll enjoy Casey McQuiston's debut novel.

I read this ARC from May 9 - 10, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Urban Gothic by Stephen M. Coghlan is my first dreampunk book. If you're unfamiliar with the genre, it deals with dreams that can have the power to influence reality - think Inception or Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Now that I've finished this, I can definitely say that I'd love to try more of that sub-genre in the future. In this story, Alec LeGuerrier is a burned out veteran dealing with PTSD who is constantly dealing with his inner demons. He's so heavily drugged and sedated that he's cut off from his own dreams. After saving a woman named Veleda from nightmarish monsters and he learns that she's from the Dreamscape - and when he finds himself in this strange new dimension he'll have to come to terms with himself and his past. I particularly enjoyed just how tight this novella is in terms of characters, plot, and visuals, everything is needed to make it successful. It's a short quick read, but I loved getting to know his fully formed cast and exploring the possibilities of the the Dreamscape with them. By the way, the visuals are practically cinematic in scope and I have to admit that I'd like to see an adaptation of this fast-paced thriller. Finally, I'm going to have to keep an eye on this author and more dreampunk.


Thanks again for the opportunity, Mr. Coghlan!

I read this novella from May 10 - 11, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you read any of these or are they on your tbr?  What are you reading now?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Comments

  1. I'm starting Middlegame next, I can't wait! And I'm intrigued by Urban Gothic, I've never heard the term "dreampunk" before😁

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    1. Ooh, can't wait too see your thoughts on it! :)

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  2. Dreampunk - that's new to me. Sounds interesting!

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    1. I definitely want to read more in the future. :)

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  3. I enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue a bit more than you. I agree that it was a bit long, but I attribute that to all the politics the author pumped into the book, and I think it would have been nice to have Henry's POV as well, but I still really enjoyed the book. The standout for me was the romance and the interactions with Henry and Alex's friends. My chief complaint was that all the politics encroached on the romance. I know a lot of people are going to love the politics, but I went into wanting to read a romance, and when the ending seemed almost totally dedicated to the alternate history, it took the focus away form Henry and Alex, which is what I was there for.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I just wish we got more from both sides. :)

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