Reviewer. Editor. Creative Muse.
No book blurbs - I created a template of what I want to know most when choosing a new read.
First Impression: I want to fall into that cover <3
Character Development: Shepherd creates fully realized and humanly broken people with real problems and feelings. Distinct personalities and growth abound.
World Building: A future where losing the memory of the past will impact present reality. The idea of losing one's shadow, and the repercussions thereafter are bought to fruition in an original concept piece.
Writing Style: I'm now a fan of Shepherd, who understands how to hold suspense while satisfying curiosity. Timely and full of heart.
What I Enjoyed: The characters, their relationships, and their journey! The magic and mythology weaved with a post-apocalyptic future brought intrigue to every chapter.
Overall Rating: 5 stars - I adored everything about this book.
I have picked this book up so many times, and it is so awfully boring overall. There was a time I was influenced by the opinions of friends or the general public, and would never dare go against the grain. A new day has dawned.
What I Enjoyed: That beautiful cover, as well as an attempt to bring humanity to a horrible time in history. An attempt that may well be the downfall of the story...
Deal Benders: If this book was half the size, it would have twice the impact. The problem with over-description is losing the reader's interest on tangents. I also did not connect with the main characters, and their fates were obvious. I will forget about this book until the next time someone raves about it - for some reason.
What I Enjoyed: Reese certainly has southern charm and a penchant for entertaining. If you're in the market for recipes and southern etiquette, this is the book for you.
What Didn't Work: The market for the ideas shared in this book is very specific. Although charming, much of it is based on Reese's personal preferences and southern traditions. I think it would have been more impactful if her biographical moments were separated from the recipes and such, because it felt distracting mixed in the chapters.
What I Enjoyed: Townsend writes to delight, weaving a cleverly imagined world through ink on a page. My greatest admiration for such a craft. Don't be fooled that it's for children - you'll be in Wunder all the same.
Improvements: The middle gets a bit convenient and frustrating, setting up for a climax of course. I would like to see more balance as the series continues, but oh what a thrill in the last third!
First Impression: The sands of time in an hourglass is such a hauntingly beautiful introduction.
Character Development: Jules starts as a naive servant who comes into her own throughout the novel. Every supporting character brings depth and enrichment to the plot, even the lesser villains.
World Building: Creating an entirely new magical premise is difficult in the age of epic series like Harry Potter, but Holland has accomplished a fresh voice.
Writing Style: Appropriate for YA yet engaging for all ages. I was able to read this in one day.
Deal Benders: The jump from Jules' ignorance to realization felt a bit muddied and convenient. I would have liked to see more of a progression of unraveling mystery rather than all at once.
What I Enjoyed: Magic in the bloodstream, mythology, and familial secrets intertwine on an elegant tapestry of time.
Overall Rating: 4 stars - I really liked this one, and can't wait to read more of Holland's work!