REVIEW: The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

32051912Title: The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Rating: ★★★★★

My favorite author writing a book set during one of my favorite time periods to read about? I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t nervous that The Alice Network wouldn’t live up to my anticipation and expectations. Silly, of course, as this is Kate Quinn we’re talking about and her writing is simply phenomenal. 

Quinn continues to do a tremendous job weaving fiction with historical facts to create a vivid, magnificent novel. Her incredible writing really brings the story and characters to life. The chapters alternate between POVs of the two main characters: Eve’s story during World War I in 1915 and Charlie’s post-World War II setting of 1947. I loved seeing the contrast between of Eve’s character in the two different time periods. As the chapters go by, we slowly learn what happened to her and how she became the angry, swearing, liquor-loving older woman we see in Charlie’s chapters. I also enjoyed the development of Charlie’s character throughout the novel as she blossomed into a strong, independent young woman capable of making decisions for herself. The third character of note, Finn-a burly Scottish ex-convict and ex-soldier-was the perfection addition to the strange little trio of characters. I loved the interactions between him and Charlie and the feelings that eventually developed.

Once I started, I had a hard time setting this down. The Alice Network is full of humor, suspense, romance, heartbreak and everything I could ask for in a historical fiction. Kate Quinn definitely did not disappoint and did a great job delivering another fantastic novel that I would absolutely recommend reading. 

Book Traveling Thursdays #5 – Book with a Blue Cover

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog and Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. Each week, you pick a book related to the theme and choose different editions of the cover: the original cover, the cover from your country (if different from the original), your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To see more information and a list of themes check out the Goodreads page!

This week the theme was to select a book with a blue cover. I chose one of my favorite historical fiction novels, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! It’s a stunningly beautiful book about two different characters during World War II-a blind French girl and a German boy-whose paths eventually cross as they struggle to survive the war. 

ORIGINAL COVER

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FAVORITE COVER (OTHER THAN ORIGINAL) – SLOVAK EDITION

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LEAST FAVORITE COVER – DUTCH EDITION

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REVIEW: From Ash and Sand – Amy Harmon

27343696Title: From Ash and Sand
Author: Amy Harmon
Rating: ★★★★★

“When this war is over, I will be yours, first, last, and always. And you will be mine.”

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and after the wonderful experience I had reading The Bird and the Sword, I knew I was going to pick this up and try it. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Amy Harmon weaves a stunning, heart-wrenching, beautiful story that will stay with me always.

 Amy Harmon proves once again how talented of an author she is. Her writing is wonderful and engaging, drawing you into the story from the very beginning and never letting you go. Since I had just read The Bird and the Sword, I was very impressed at how well she was able to portray a completely different tone and feel for From Ash and Sand  that was more suitable for the genre and the story that she wanted to tell. It’s a talent that very few authors possess. 

“I have always been yours Angelo.” she said, echoing the very words he’d thought while he prayed. She was his. “But you have never been mine.”

The plot was exciting and captivating and I just could not stop reading. The author creates a very realistic portrayal of World War II and I felt the anger, terror, and loss along with the characters. The love story between Eva and Angelo was completely beautiful and heartbreaking. From the first couple of chapters I knew reading about them was going to hurt, but in the best way. It was impossible not to root for the two of them and hope for the happy ending they deserved. WWII books generally have a bittersweet ending, due to the nature of the war, and I was fully prepared for this to be the same way. Thankfully, I was content and happy with how the book ended things. 

“But in a room in an occupied city, with nothing left but love itself, Eva and Angelo held to each other, and found peace, rest, happiness, and safety. If only for a while.”

Amy Harmon is a fantastic storyteller and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. From Ash and Sand is a painfully beautiful story full of romance, action, sacrifice, and love. An outstanding book that I would highly recommend to anyone!

REVIEW: The Dark Days Pact – Alison Goodman

30838768Title: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) 
Author: Alison Goodman
Rating: ★★★★★

When I first read The Dark Days Club, I was hooked. I was originally nervous going into this thinking that it would suffer from Second Book Syndrome, or that it wouldn’t stand up to all my hype and anticipation for its release. Thankfully, I worried for nothing, because I found The Dark Days Club even more enjoyable than it’s predecessor. I devoured it. It was the very opposite of Second Book Syndrome: fast-paced, full of action, and exciting to read until the very end.

I mentioned this is my review for the first one, but Goodman does such a fantastic job with these books, and her writing continues to impress me. They’re a perfect combination of regency romance (a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine) and paranormal fantasy. I was also glad that the romance was a bit more present. Carlston and Helen – be still my heart. I’m a sucker for a slow burn and the chemistry between those two is so amazingly well written that the tension is palpable. I’m not going to lie, I kind of wish these were adult books, not Young Adult, so some of those scenes could be even steamier. Sorry not sorry. Also, I have a confession: I enjoy the occasionally love triangle. I really liked the Duke of Selburn’s character and I was glad he was still around in this book and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. 

Of course, the ending left me itching for the next one, WHICH I NEED IMMEDIATELY. Alas, I have to spend the next year impatiently awaiting it’s release.  

Book Traveling Thursdays #2 – Book Written By a Favorite Author

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog and Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. Each week, you pick a book related to the theme and choose different editions of the cover: the original cover, the cover from your country (if different from the original), your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To see more information and a list of themes check out the Goodreads page!

National Author’s Day was a couple of days ago, so we were asked to pick a book written by one of our favorite authors. I only have a few authors that I absolutely adore, but I decided to choose Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Not only is Kate Quinn one of my favorite authors, but her book is my all time favorite! If anyone is looking to check out an incredible historical fiction book, I highly recommend Mistress of Rome. There are four books in total in the series (I skipped the second though, it’s more of a prequel) and they’re all amazing!

Original Cover

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Favorite Cover (Other Than Original) – French & Spanish Editions

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Least Favorite Cover – Hungarian & Russian Editions

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