All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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5stars

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

Title: All Systems Red
Author: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #1
Number of pages: 144 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: An antisocial murder robot in love with tv shows. LOVE.
Bad things about this book: It might seem short, and it is, but it doesn’t feel like it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.”

I love the bookstagram community because it recommends me so many new books I wouldn’t have known otherwise. There’s an account I follow that loves sci-fi just as much as I do, but knows so many more books that I do. It’s so perfect! I now have a lot of new sci-fi books to read and love!

The Murderbot Diaries was one of those recs. I dived into it as soon as I knew how short the books were. I’ve been in a reading slump the whole month so a short, engaging novella, was just what I needed. And it was exactly that; funny, intriguing, with an incredibly relatable Murderbot main character, and a very well built plot, not short of twists, even if the story was a short one.

I pictured Murderbot as a female even if it was stated that it was genderless. I tried real hard to picture it as it was meant to be, but my mind kept conjuring a female robot who really fangirled about her tv shows. The brain is hard to command!

I can’t wait to read the other novellas of the series. They will follow Murderbot in its adventured and misadventures in space, and I read the plot of this novella will be important to the following stories. What’s not to love about Murderbot and these stories? If you love sci-fi, then yes, read these novellas!

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Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

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4stars

“This was what made the beating heart of America: not a sense of civics, not a love of country or people, not respect for the Constitution – but fear. And there you had fear, you had guns.”

Title: Vigilance
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Number of pages: 208 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Raw and violent and so very likely to happen.
Bad things about this book: I would’ve loved another short chapter to explain a bit the ending, because it left me like whaaat.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was terrifying in the most realistic and dystopian way. I was glued to the pages until the very end. The fact that made it all the more scaring was that I could see it; I could see that reality being our reality. As much as I like visiting the US as a tourist, I’m always afraid when I go there.

What if I happen to be on the Empire State when someone decides to attack it? What if I’m taking a stroll in Central Park when a crazy person decides it’s the perfect day to shoot random walkers? What if I’ taking a picture in Times Square and a street pirate decides that’ll be perfect to just run over some tourists? It’s terrifying. Terrifying as hell! The fact that whoever can buy and carry a gun is something already dystopian in my opinion.

So this fact made it so real I could see it. In a not very far away future people are sort of trained to be ready when a threat comes around. So there are “vigilances”: surprise environment controlled shootings where criminals are introduced and people have to kill them to earn money. But people can and will die. They are trained to be scared because fear is what the government wants them to feel. Fear is how they control them.

It was a very short book but I enjoyed it. It gave me the chills. Made me want to shake some sense into someone! Shake hard. I recommend this book. Robert Jackson Bennett knows how to write a story. Check out his other books, you won’t regret it.

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The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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5stars

“But your best is not good enough sometimes.”
“Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.”

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Number of pages: 305 (hardcover edition) + 40 pages (novella in ebook)
Good things about this book: Heart-wrecking, emotional, complex, raw.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I had also a novella and the ending was perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Yesterday after lunch I wrote a couple of reviews and then went to bed with the intention of reading a few chapters of The Wicker King. I couldn’t put it down: didn’t eat, didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t blink. Long story short: the book was over before dinner time.

It wrecked me, this descent into madness of these two boys: one seeing the other losing grip of reality, and being overwhelmed by the weight of it all, the other seeing a different world he needs to defend and can’t do it alone. Jack living in both the real world and the fantasy world was portrayed in a way that kept me glued to the pages. I needed to know more, I needed to know he was going to be okay That they were going to be okay in the end. It was a freaking rollercoaster. I exhaled a long sigh of relief after I finished it.

August’s heart seized.
He didn’t … know he could have this.

I knew it was a queer book from all the Instagram posts, but it wasn’t immediately obvious, and I found myself both curious as to how they were going to face their not so subtle feelings, and bothered by the miscommunication that brought our August to not know he could wish for more, risk asking for more, so he fooled around a lot. It broke my heart, because the feelings were there, as twisted and complex, but they were there!

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

It wasn’t the easiest of books to read, their friendship was unhealthy, super codependent and the negligence of the adults was absurd and irritating, but it was surely a book that I’ll keep with me forever.

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The novella that was a sort of companion of the book, gave us Jack’s pov and a sneak peek into the fantasy world his mind was creating; I loved the way both the book and the novella ended. I’m so happy now. Five glorious stars for Jack and August, The Wicker King and his Champion.

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Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant

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5stars

God, he thinks, he could be starving and she’d fill him up with one sweet look.

Title: Caroline’s Heart
Author: Austin Chant
Number of pages: 96 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Magic and lgbtqia representation.
Bad things about this book: I want to say it’s too short but no, it is perfect as it is..
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s an enchanting story.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some time ago I happened to see a gorgeous cover of a book called “Peter Darling” and decided to read it. I fell in love with the quality of writing and the originality of how the story of Peter Pan was retold. I decided to keep an eye on Austin Chant because I knew he was going to give me more magical tales full of representation and fantasy themes.

This is a story about Roy, a trans cowboy who finds himself involved in the life of the town’s witch, Cecily, after a fight resulting in him almost losing his life. Cecily has to put inside Roy the mechanical and magical heart of her long lost lover, Caroline, ruining her chances to resuscitate her with a spell she designed. The book is not about Roy finding out he is trans and it’s not about people finding it out and bullying him, beating him or worst, trying to kill him because he’s different. This is a book about the everyday lives of Roy and Cecily forced to live together until Roy heals completely and adjusts to the new heart. It’s sweet, emotional, and of course, magical.

It wasn’t only magical because of Cecily being a witch but mainly because the writing style of Austin Chant is enchanting. One second you’re trying your best not to freeze to death on your couch, then the next second you’re fully immerse in the story you don’t realize you barely feel your nose and fingers. I felt warm and good inside with every page I read. It’s a novella so it’s short, worth every second you spend reading it. Cecily and Roy are two wonderful characters and, even though Roy doesn’t have magic powers, he is plenty magical himself with his kind nature, sincerity and his optimistic personality. It’s easy to feel for them and want them to be happy and serene.

If you have a couple hours or less to spare, then I recommend you read this novella. Who wouldn’t want to have magic powers to conjure food and clean the house? I know I would. I’m in a lasagna mood right now.

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Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price

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5stars

Title: Among the Living [PsyCop #1]
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Good things about this book: Detective Victor Bayne!
Bad things about this book: It’s too short but there are so many other books in the series to it’s not a bad thing after all.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A guy who can see dead people? Yes, please. What if he can also see dead animals? Interesting. And what if he can also talk to dead people? Even better. After knowing what this was about I was sure there was not going to be anything about this book that I wasn’t going to like. As usual, I was right.

Victor Bayne is a medium and he is a detective in the PsyCop program of the police. He works in murder investigations since he can ask directly the spirits of the victims who was the one who kill them. It’s really easy that way; everyone should think that, right? Wrong. People are scared of him and talk bad about him behind his back. That’s rude. He is adorable and sloppy and funny and I love him.

Victor was as surprise as me when Jacob Marks, the super handsome detective from the sex crimes unit, kissed him in the bathroom during the retirement party of his former partner. That kiss was followed by a full-on make out session and hands in very good places. Sexy places, OH YEAH! That was a good party, no doubt in that. Wish I had gone to more parties like that one. Lucky Victor; he is finally ending his centuries of abstinence and he is ending it with a very fine man.

A new serial killer is in town and thanks to him Victor has to collaborate with Jacob and his partner to catch him. Unfortunately this killer is more mysterious than anticipated and using the usual methods isn’t going to help them solve this crime. The ability of the killer, already explained in the summary was intriguing. I guess that if I’m going to be killed while having sex it is indeed better to go while looking at the hottest person I can picture.

I can already say that I love Victor. He is my favourite but all the other characters that were introduced were just as nice. Jacob is still a bit of a mystery, he is sexy as hell, and has passion to sell. Jacob’s partner, Carolyn, is a human serigraph so you can’t lie to her and she won’t be able to lie either. Then there’s Victor’s new partner, Lisa, and she is a surprise and I can’t wait to see more about her in future books.

I’m so glad I finally decided to start this series of books. They are short, interesting, sexy and funny and there’s nothing more I’d like to keep me smiling and happy when work and life give me a hard time.

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The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant by C.S. Pacat

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5stars

Title: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant
Author: C.S. Pacat
Good things about this book: Everything? Yes, everything.
Bad things about this book: It is the end of it all.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a fan of the Captive Prince series then my recommendation is futile. If course you’re going to read this.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

April was a weird month. I read only two books. I immersed myself in tv shows, binge watching the old and the new ones. There was no escape to it. For your information, I’m watching one right now while typing this (The 100). There’s no escape, I’m telling you.

I needed a small victory, something to take me out of this reading slump. Distracted as I was, I didn’t see the last novella of the Captive Prince series was already out. Lucky for me, I had to spend a few hours at the hair salon where time is lost.

This short story was very enjoyable. We get to see more of Charls, with a sweet and adorable Laurent and Damen interaction in the background. Charls is a very honest man and his reputation is at risk because of some dumb merchant who plays dirty. I hated that man. Who could do that? Is your heart made of ice?

Laurent and Damen were incognito and Charls only knew the real identity of the prince; seeing their world through Charls’s eyes was fun. He didn’t know Damen as the King of Akielos and his guesses as to who he was to Laurent were obviously wrong; I wanted Damen to reveal himself to Charls at random only to see the surprise expression on his face.

This novella is short, yes, but it has twists and everything a story needs to be a story worth reading. I wish it was longer but if this is the end of it all and if I won’t be reading about Laurent and Damen and everyone in this world anymore, then I’m okay, I can live with what I was given. This ending is a perfect goodbye, a sad one but, still, kind of perfect.

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