ARC Reviews: Three Books by favorite authors!

A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there.

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues.

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret.

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.



I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Laura Thalassa continues to be full of surprises. Not only can she capture the emotional spectrum of her characters and present it realistically, but also she delivers a great plot and amazing world-building.

Strange Hymn is the sequel to Rhapsodic, which introduced us to a world of paranormal, fairies and of course Desmond! The sequel picks up right from the end of the first book, where Callie will have to deal with her traumas from her time in the Fauna Court and also she will discover more about the deadly beauty of Desmond's world.

I loved the descriptions, the mystery behind the mythology of the fae, not to mention Desmond and his dialogue. The plot thickens when the couple have to travel on the Flora Court where its Queen needs a good slapping and nothing is at it looks like. And the Thief of Souls has a new plot for the Courts.

The best part? How Temper arrived, guns and magic blazing in order to save Callie believing she was captured. I loved seeing Temper and Callie together. Friendship in books is good to be appreciated.

There were many parts left unsolved in the end of the book, but not before Laura Thalassa delivered a great punch line of an epilogue! I can't wait for the final book!

And don't miss the first book of the series:

About the author:

Found in the forest when she was young, Laura Thalassa was raised by fairies, kidnapped by werewolves, and given over to vampires as repayment for a hundred year debt. She’s been brought back to life twice, and, with a single kiss, she woke her true love from eternal sleep. She now lives happily ever after with her undead prince in a castle in the woods.

… or something like that anyway.

When not writing, Laura can be found scarfing down guacamole, hoarding chocolate for the apocalypse, or curled up on the couch with a good book.

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The Traitor's Tunnel by C.M. Spivey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Witch-blooded robber Bridget has made a reputation for herself in the capital city, but she's not interested in the attention of the Thieves' Guild--and she's not bothered by the rumors of urchin kidnappings, either. With winter coming, she's looking out for herself and no one else.

Until she picks the wrong pocket, and recognizes her estranged brother Teddy.

Young craftsman Theodor arrives in the capital ready to take the final step toward his dream career as Lord Engineer of Arido. His apprenticeship with a renowned city engineer comes with new rules and challenges, but it's worth it for the exposure to the Imperial Council.

While spying on her brother, Bridget overhears a secret meeting that reveals a cruel plot. After more than a decade apart, Theodor and Bridget must reunite to stop a traitor whose plan threatens not only their city, but the whole empire.

Set seven years before the events of From Under the MountainThe Traitor's Tunnel is the story of two young people presented with a choice--to protect themselves, or to protect others--the consequences of which will change their lives forever.



I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I was glad to have the chance and read yet another great book by Cal Spivey. "The Traitor's Tunnel" is part of the "Trident Chronicles" with its most notable novel, "From Under the Mountain". There are witches, mystery and a great deal of fantasy if you enjoy the genre.

But the beauty of this book comes into the from of the social acceptance and diversity. From the protagonists, Theodor is asexual but also in relationship with Leander. Bridget is bi but also in an F/F relationship with Keaton. The children of this world can choose the gende they want to end up with growing up and a special pronoun is used before they choose their gender.

Despite their different upbrining both Theo and Bridget get to come closer as siblings and fight together against the noumerous villains of this novella. I enjoyed this small installment to the series and I can't wait to read more in the future!

The first book of the series:

The Longing and the Lack by C.M. Spivey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.

Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone's imminent demise—except Lucinda's friends and family are still breathing.

The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father's hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.

It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him. 

They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit's rage to rest.



I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Usually I fear reading gothic romances, since sometimes they tend to lean into the thriller side. With the exception of the author Grace Draven, this series by Cal Spivey, made me re-approach my view of the genre.

Lucinda has a horrible ability which would make even the most brave people run for their lives. When mysterious appearances of a ghost lead her to Ireland and to Damien, the deadly occurences begin to become frequent with the result of colliding Lucinda's and Damien's lives together.

I liked the plot though sometimes I was very afraid. That's on me only, but no one can disagree that the gothic element was represented beautifully and the twists in the mystery were very compelling.

I really am excited for the sequel too!

About the author:

C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, "The Unliving". His enduring love of fantasy started young. 

Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he's committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. 

He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.