Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Book Review: Storm & Fury, by Jennifer L. Armentrout {The Harbinger Series, #1}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

He looked like he was fighting a laugh. “What I’m saying is that Wardens are not pure and innocent just because of our birth. The same could be said about some demons not being evil and corrupt.”

My mouth dropped open. He was saying there were some demons that weren’t evil? That was utter crazy pants with a side of dangerous sauce. 


“Do you think that because of the half demon your clan took in?” I asked.

Everything about him changed in an instant. His jaw hardened and those eyes turned to frost. “That’s none of your concern. Is there anything else you need? If not, I have stuff to do.”

I jerked back, stung at the unexpected shutdown and obvious dismissal. “Okay, then. There’s nothing else I need.” I moved to leave, then stopped. “By the way, there’s a ghost sitting on your dresser,” I told him, and smiled evilly when I saw the blood drain from his face. “His name is Peanut, and he’s taken quite a liking to you. Have fun with that!”


I’ve seen this author’s name around a few times, but this is the first book I’ve read by her. While research shows me she’s got a few series, this spin-off from a character in another series is the first book in her new Harbinger series.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Storm & Fury, by Jennifer L. Armentrout {The Harbinger Series, #1}
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…


If fantasy is your thing, I’d recommend this book. This is the first series I’ve read that discusses demons as real entities worth getting to know. Before meeting the demons in this book, Trinity Marrow (our main character, who is another sort of character altogether) lives with some Wardens. We humans may recognize the Wardens as the concrete gargoyles on old buildings, but in this book they can also take a human-ish form, and their job is to protect the humans from the demons.

This book is great, and I enjoyed both the characters and the unique storyline. I look forward to the next book in this series, and finding out what happens next. I’d give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Becki Bayley loves Cherry Coke, Cool Ranch Doritos and Chewy Sprees for fuel when writing, and comfort food when reading. You can find her at SweetlyBSquared.com.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - The Book of Delights: Essays, by Ross Gay {ends 5/13}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

“It’s just the day I’m having…the young brother said to me as the wind blew his glasses from the bill of his Burger King ball cap, probably on his way to work, looking exasperatedly at me as he bent over to pick them up, looking at the lenses and then to me and then back to the lenses, and I said, hoping it was not the wrong thing to say, “it’ll get better,” and he said, “Thank you.” (Apr. 9)


While I’ve learned to appreciate more essay and poetry books since I’ve started reviewing, and just reading what I get instead of perusing and choosing what I think I want to read, this book wasn’t really what I thought it would be from the title.

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - The Book of Delights: Essays, by Ross Gay {ends 5/13}
Official synopsis:
In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.

While the author and I are close in age (at least from his viewpoint when the book was written), I felt our similarities ended there. I was hoping for more, well, delightful observations about the world, human nature, spring things growing, stuff like that. Our views on what was delightful just didn’t seem to converge.

What I liked most about this book were the flashbacks to childhood. When the author talked about sweet memories from his childhood, with his mother or grandparents or brother, they were easy to picture and feel nostalgic about right along with him.

Overall, I’d give this book 2 stars out of 5. The idea of writing on one topic, like delight, for a whole year was intriguing.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley tries to find delight. It’s frequently with the kids she’s raising, or those she feeds and volunteers with at the local elementary school. You can find some of her musings at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Book of Delights

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, May 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay

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