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ralexist

ralexist

Joined May 2016

My TBR pile, like my life, is a work in progress.
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Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane
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There's an interesting demon on this book.

Bears a similarity to a particular political character, don't you think? 😉

vivastory 😂😂 16h
16 likes1 comment
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Twisted Twenty-Six | Janet Evanovich
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Well...it took a dozen or so books but I actually think that Evanovich is starting to care about her characters again. This wasn't bad. It had some classic Stephanie Plum moments, but it wasn't like the last several where it seemed like she just recycled plot points and threw in some filler text. Don't get me wrong, it's not great yet, but there's a glimmer of hope that series can turn it around and pull Plum out of character purgatory.

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November | Gabrielle Lord
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14 read in November; bringing my total for the year so far to 132. Met my Goodreads goal of 125 during this month. Favorite was probably The Library of the Unwritten. One more month to go, let's see what numbers I end up with when 2019 fades away.

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The world has flooded and London now lies beneath the sea. Our MC Leyla McQueen is a submersible racer whose father has been taken by the Blackwatch. Leyla sets out to find and rescue him. Problem is, in doing so she's stumbled upon a massive state secret which threatens to upend her entire world. Battling human engineered Anthropoids, government thugs, and the dark abyss of the ocean itself, Leyla has quite the road ahead. Fun new YA series.

20 likes1 stack add
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A good continuation for anyone who enjoyed Gaskell's original. The misunderstandings that plagued them at first still have them stumbling a bit but they eventually find their footing. Overall, I liked this. The lovie-dovieness was a bit much at first but it settled. Plus, it was helpful too that the BBC version with Richard Armitage has come out since I first read the original. Nothing wrong with having that visual in your head while reading 🙂

DGRachel I love North and South (the book and the miniseries)!! 1w
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Do you dig into your family history when there might be something dark lurking? For those of German ancestry, WWII can be tricky. Told in art journal form, this was an interesting read. I loved the journey Nora took, not only within her history but within what it means to be German with the stain of the Nazi party casting a shadow over the entirety of your heritage. Can she be a proud German citizen with that darkness in her country's history?

ShyBookOwl I've often considered that patriotism in Germany must be an incredibly complex thing. I should read this! 1w
24 likes1 comment
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Strange Practice | Vivian Shaw
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1) Doctor to the things that go bump in the night. Fun read!
2) Teleportation or the ability to communicate in every language
3) Scorpio
4) Getting holiday cards ready for the mail
5) ❤️🧡💛💙💙💜🖤🤍🤎

#friyayintro @howjessreads

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Cozy historical mysteries is a genre I stumbled upon a handful of years back & it's become a favorite of mine. This is book 11 in this wonderful series and WWI has not long been over. Our MC, nurse Bess Crawford, has been asked to do a favor for the Matron and look in on her son, a soldier who's recently stopped contact. This book in particular delves into PTSD (shell shock was the term at the time) and how folks coped after the war. Do read!

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More snow this morning ❄️❄️❄️

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Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Panpan

This is gonna be an unpopular opinion but I didn't like this. This is the first book of hers that I've read & she is a wonderful writer. There is no doubt that she has a beautiful way with words; and I love a well-turned phrase but I also like substance with my beauty. I got to the halfway point in this & I still didn't know what the point of the story was. There were lots of clever little stories but I had no investment in the characters.

RowReads1 Thanks for being honest! I haven‘t read my copy yet. 2w
MicheleinPhilly That‘s precisely how I felt about Night Circus. 2w
Reagan-reads @MicheleinPhilly exactly! I bailed on the Night Circus. 2w
GypsyKat You know, I felt a lot the same with Night Circus. I never invested in the characters at all. 1w
CWilson Well said! I completely agree. 2d
31 likes5 comments
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Triumphant | Jack Campbell
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Triumphant is the latest in the prequel series entitled The Genesis Fleet, giving us more history of how the Alliance came to be. Peppered with great characters who keep redefining what it means to be human & have honor even on the fringes of the known universe, this just continues to build out a great world. Military SciFi is not a genre I'd ever thought I'd love but this is so good. If you like/d Battlestar Galactica then you'd love these too.

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The Scorpio Races | Maggie Stiefvater
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Mehso-so

I finally got around to reading it but I guess I don't understand why there was so much hype. Don't get me wrong, it's good -- a haunting magical realism love story between two folks who are entwined in the island on which they live and the lives of the horses, both land and water, which drives so much of the island's culture. A great interweaving of the bloody and brutal capaill uisce mythology into an everyday life. But I wasn't blown away.

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Goal! (And yes, I really did say that out loud when I finished the book.) There's book 125 for the year meeting my annual Goodreads challenge goal. It makes sense that it was a Murderbot novella as they've quickly become one of my favorite characters of the year.

TheSpineView Congrats on reaching your goal! 👏👏👏 3w
LauraJ Must read Murderbot! And that‘s an impressive goal to have reached. Bravo! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3w
28 likes2 comments
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Lady Trent is once again off to foreign climes (think Northwest Africa), where an agreement betwixt 2 nations has her building a breeding program for the native dragon population. Nothing ever runs quite so smoothly though and there're kidnappings, assassination attempts, & a bit of romance too. There's only 1 book left in the series and I will be sad when it ends because who doesn't want to spend time travelling around the world studying dragons?

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The Sea Queen: A Novel | Linnea Hartsuyker
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Man...this book...it took me awhile to get into and get through. I started it, set it down, and read three others before I picked it back up to finish. I don't know why. I loved the first one, and characters were primarily the same though there was a slight jump in time. I didn't really hit my stride in reading this until about the last third. Here's hoping that the next and final book in this trilogy will grip my brain like the first did.

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Untitled | Unknown
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1) I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was born in Montana. I was asked to be the 4th wife of a Zulu chieftain.

2) The Great Gatsby

3) Yup

4) Too cold

@Alora #litseylearn

Alora Hello! 💙💙 Thank you so much for reposting!! 3w
Alora I‘m going to say the black belt is the lie?! 3w
ralexist @Alora - Nope, that's true 🙂 3w
See All 7 Comments
Megabooks Zulu chieftain? I can‘t see you as a 4th wife. 3w
DaveGreen7777 Hmmm... the third one seems so outlandish that I‘m guessing that‘s actually true! I‘m going with being born in Montana is the lie? 🧐 3w
ralexist @Megabooks - Nope, that's true. Beautiful location, nice people, but no AC. And yeah, I don't know that I could be a 4th wife. He did offer to send my family a dozen cows for my hand. I still don't know if that was a good offer or not 😉 3w
ralexist @DaveGreen7777 - You're right! I was actually born in Indiana 🙂 3w
16 likes7 comments
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Mehso-so

Sherlock Holmes, but make it magic. Very much a retelling, Warlock Holmes finds himself in quite the mystical conundrum during all three stories contained within these pages. The first two I felt were a little over the top with the quirk, but when it came to the major tale of the Hell-hound of the Baskervilles, I finally felt like it hit its stride. So if you like seeing old tales retold anew, this may one for you to check out.

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Sin du Jour mixes it up in this book when a last minute Hollywood gig pulls half the team out west. Turns out it was a ploy to split folks up making it easier to pick folks off. And the assassins of choice? Evil holiday characters...like Cupid and Santa. So if you ever thought the life-sized Easter Bunny was slightly terrifying, there's a reason for that. It may be a demonic assassin. Just be careful who you hand your kids off to for photos.

27 likes1 stack add
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Untitled | Unknown
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I haven't participated in a swap in a long time so when I saw this come through my feed, I thought it would be perfect. I've long adored this Icelandic tradition and am excited to participate in it this year!

Thanks to @MaleficentBookDragon for arranging this 📖♥️

#JolabokaflodSwap

(If interested, head to her feed for the sign-up info 🙂)

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Bringing Down the Duke | Evie Dunmore
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This revolves around Annabelle, an Oxford-educated women's rights activist who's tasked with bringing 'round the head of the opposing party, the Duke of Montgomery. Relying heavily on the "beautiful bluestocking" & "I can't resist him" tropes this nonetheless is a great read. While romance is the primary factor, like it's supposed to be, the reader is also treated to some history of the early women's rights movement in England - fun & educational.

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Join the Library. Raise Hell. Some fairly intriguing words grace the cover of this novel. The inside is no less so. All of the unwritten books that ever have been or are yet to be can be found in The Unwritten Library. The Librarian is tasked with keeping things in order, when she can... it is Hell after all. A great bookish adventure, I'm really looking forward to the next tome in the Hell's Library series...as soon as the author writes it.

34 likes5 stack adds
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1) The Sea Queen + tagged book

2) "God save the Queen," we all agreed and shared a quiet moment.

3) Raspberry Lemonade

#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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First Snow | Bomi Park
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First snow in my part of Minnesota. Winter looks mighty pretty right now, but she'll put us all in our place later. ❄️

Soubhiville Pretty! 1mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa So pretty, but I‘m so not ready! 1mo
Cathythoughts Looks so beautiful 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Tamra We just got done with a loooooonngggggg winter! 😆 How much did you get? I think we got about 2”. I remembered to send the kids to school in boots, but not snow pants. 1mo
Bookzombie So pretty! 1mo
KarmonR I prefer seeing from this perspective more so than from my window. Stay warm. 1mo
24 likes6 comments
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14 more down in October and I'm more than on track to reach my yearly goal of 125. Faves were The Lost Book of the Grail, the re-read via audiobook of Just One Damned Thing After Another, and Ninth House. Most challenging was probably The 2020 Commission Report...only because it's been quite some time since I've read something that straightforwardly military. All in all, another good month.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 🙌🏻📖🎃 1mo
21 likes1 comment
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Secret societies, ghosts, murder, & magic abound in this darkly ambient urban fantasy. Set in & around Yale, it seems that New Haven is a nexus for dark arts. Anti-heroine Alex is a great addition to the genre & I loved watching how she began to reconcile her old life with her new one. It was the perfect book for this time of year and finishing it on Halloween was just the candy corn on the cake.

38 likes3 stack adds
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1) Chips and sour cream
2) Yes to audiobooks! Favorite way to spend time in the car.
3) Meh...
4) 0
5) Green

#friyayintro @howjessreads

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I don't often review books like these on here though I do request and read them through the library. In this case, I thought I would write something up because so many folks ask me about organizing things. I believe that this book would be extremely helpful to anyone who's looking to create an "everything's in its place" vibe in their home. There's humor but also practical advice for each section of your house. Biggest takeaway? Start small!

ImperfectCJ The cover photos of these kinds of organization books always draw me in. They promise so much order, a respite from chaos. Or at least neatly organized chaos. :-) 1mo
20 likes1 comment
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Unicorns | Patricia D. Netzley
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My local library had some extra pumpkins and decorating kits leftover from a program and let me take one home. So now, I am the proud owner of a unicorn pumpkin 🙂
.
Also, someone needs to question the person who invented glitter as to why they thought that was a good idea.


#unicornpumpkin🦄🎃 #glitteriswrong

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It's ships and sails in book 3 of this faux memoir series. This time Lady Trent is off on a two year journey aboard The Basilisk to study dragons both flying and seafaring in the tropics. As always, more adventure catches up with Lady Trent than she originally planned and she's ended up with some great stories to share from this part of her life. I'm sad that there are only two more books to go in this series.

32 likes1 stack add
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Rogue Protocol | Martha Wells
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My favorite AI is back for the 3rd installment of the Murderbot Diaries. Loved Murderbot, but I didn't jive as well with this story, which was another "save the humans" adventure. I felt like this was filler as they begin to head back to Dr. Mensah; the kind of thing that would've happened to characters off-page but might be referenced to in another book. Regardless, I adore this curmudgeonly SecUnit and am looking forward to the next novella.

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"A fractal is a way of seeing infinity." - Mandelbrot. This tiny novella tells of Benoit Mandelbrot's, the Father of Fractals, childhood during WWII in Nazi-occupied France. A magical realism lens is thrown over the story lending the reader the opportunity to try and see the mathematical world the way Mandelbrot did. An interesting little read.

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In March 2020, a commercial airline flying from South Korea is shot down by North Korea who mistakes it for an American bomber. Written as a speculative fiction novel this was as a kind of after-action report from 2023 to review just what exactly caused the most horrific loss in human history. Seriously, this was kind of hard to read because 1) the timing isn't that far off, and 2) it's stupidly easy to imagine this coming to fruition.

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This is one of the reasons I love the library. Because about a decade ago I picked up a discarded copy of The Alienist at my local library's book sale, and loved it enough to keep it. And then someone out there also thought the story was awesome enough to create a TV show so I could experience it in a whole new medium, also through a copy from my local library (though this copy is just borrowed 🙂).

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As a bibliophile, I love books about books so when I learned of this bookish mystery which anchors itself in 1) the Arthurian legends, 2) the search for the Holy Grail, and 3) English academia, it checked all the correct boxes. This was really really great. Good pacing, well researched, loved the dual timelines, and I adore a book that lets me disappear in it for awhile.

cathysaid I listened to this on audio and thought I might not like it but as it turned out, I found it quite enjoyable! 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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This is an accidental read. I was so eager to dive back into this world that I forgot to check which book this was in the series. It's 4...I haven't read 3 yet. It only occurred to me about halfway through when specific relationship details were being referenced to and I couldn't recall them. 🤦‍♀️

No matter; it was still enjoyable. Features a shadow government, men drained of their will, & an attempted coup of the Sin du Jour catering company.

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Figured this was apropos for October. Dispelling the myth behind the monsters, this delves into the history, science, and stories that helped to create the monsters of legend. From the Minotaur to HAL 9000, this shows us that they're all of our own making and how we can be just as scary as the monsters themselves. Fun read for this time of year, and the author is definitely one I'd read more of.

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Daughter of the Siren Queen | Tricia Levenseller
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Book 2 in the duology focuses on Alosa's Siren half. Learning more about her past and her powers and how they're all linked together. There was more action than romance in this book, as evidenced by a pretty bloody first line. Lots of badass women in both books. All in all, the series was a fun swashbuckling tale, and once again makes me wish I knew how to sword fight. Anne Bonny would be proud.

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The Half-Drowned King: A Novel | Linnea Hartsuyker
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With storylines pulled from the ancient Icelandic sagas found in Heimskringla, this book follows the path of young Rangvild, a warrior seeking to regain his family lands and his sister's freedom. A tale of Norse kings and Viking life, this was a wonderful wonderful read. Perfect for anyone who loves the show Vikings (obvi) or misses the family honor and political maneuvering of Game of Thrones.

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A Goblin royal wedding (dude...the king and queen totally make sense once you figure it out), a ginormous cake made of diamonds, a spell gone awry, and some amorous lizards. These are just a few key elements in book two of the Sin du Jour series. A catering company where the customers and cuisine are literally out of this world. Loving these novellas!

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Mehso-so

An interesting take on the material. I grew up on these legends & so because I love the originals I'm perhaps not as objective on this as I should be. This story was good, not stellar, but good. There was however great gender & sexuality representation of characters. My biggest complaint is that I could not stand Gweneviere. I wanted to just skip over her whenever she was on the page but it's King Arthur so that's not really a thing you can do.

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September, September | Shelby Foote
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[Post 2 of 2] Of the 17 I finished I think Vita Nostra, All Systems Red, and Envy of Angels were my top three.

Maike Yeay to Murderbot! 😁 (edited) 2mo
29 likes1 comment
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September, September | Shelby Foote
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[Post 1 of 2]. 17 books down for my September reads, and I crossed the 100th book threshold. Lots of good ones this past month.

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1000 miles...on horseback...across Mongolia. Not exactly something you sign up for sporadically, but that's just what 19 year-old Lara did. Undertrained, underprepared, and underestimated, she ends up being not only the youngest but the first female ever to win this grueling race. It's a great adventure story and I always enjoy a good tale of folks who set out to do the seemingly impossible.

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Did you know the angels taste like chicken nuggets? Sin du Jour is a catering company whose clientele is purely demonic, which makes for an interesting pantry to say the least. The MCs find themselves the newest chefs for this company. Zombie clowns, giant chickens, & a genie makes this one wacky restaurant world to enter. Amusing & slightly horrifying at the same time, I'm looking forward to what the Sin du Jour catering company cooks up next.

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A new series focusing on Loki as a teen? Yes please! This was fun and it's interesting to see that Thor/Loki relationship still early on. Lots of great moments in here and it tackles the wonderful question of what it is to be you. Are you who everyone believes you to be? Or are you who you decide to be? Very much looking forward to the next installment!

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Panpan

I was expecting so much more from this. I mean it promises pirates, gangsters, & a ghost ship. What's not to like? What it ends up being is a true crime story of a murderer. Not even a clever one; who was caught and brought up on piracy charges. The ghost ship is not one because it can't be a ghost ship if you know what happens to the crew. And the gangster nation thread? Tenuous at best. All in all it was fine but it was not what was promised.

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Well Met | Jen DeLuca
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Book 100 for me for the year, this is a fun romance novel set in a small town in Maryland, specifically the Renaissance Faire they put on. Emily's the newcomer in town and seems to be pushing all of faire runner Simon's buttons. At some point the wrong buttons become the right ones and the two find themselves falling head over heels for each other. Well met indeed!

quirkyreader Congtats on 100🐸 2mo
24 likes1 comment
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Daughter of the Pirate King | Tricia Levenseller
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A swashbuckling YA romance featuring Alosa, the ruthless redheaded daughter of a pirate king. Raised to be more than a match for any man she meets, Alosa has been tasked by her father to obtain a piece of a map which will lead them to unlocking party of Alosa's past. Devising a scheme to be "kidnapped" by a rival ship, Alosa finds herself dealing with a loathsome Captain, and unwittingly drawn to his handsome but contradictory First Mate.

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Vita Nostra | Sergey Dyachenko, Marina Dyachenko
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It's a huge novel of speculative fiction where magic is science, there's the re-defining of what it is to be, humanity as a construct, and a healthy dose of philosophy and literary allusions. Fans of Lev Grossman's The Magicians will love this, which makes sense as it was he who encouraged this to be translated from the Ukrainian into English. This is the first novel in the Метаморфозы series. Highly recommended!

25 likes2 stack adds
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Mehso-so

This has a noir-like feel to it and everything about it screams that I would really love it, but I just could not find the awesome in here that so many other people love about this book. I thought the parts were good but the marrying of them all just didn't work for me. I think I was expecting some other element to show up and I just didn't find it. So I know it's a well loved series but I don't know that I'm gonna be picking up the next one.