Sunday, September 17, 2023

Heaven Official's Blessing Vol. 7 by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù: review

5/5 stars on Goodreads

Heaven Official's Blessing Vol. 7 by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù: review

Well, if this wasn’t a ride. The book starts in the Kiln where Xie Lian and White No-Face are supposed to fight it out, but after the build-up of the previous book, it was over rather fast. A lot of action follows, as Xie Lian and Hua Cheng try to stop White No-Face’s plans to destroy humanity.

And then, we finally learn the identity of White No-Face. I for one was gobsmacked. It was more interesting than learning what he wants with Xie Lian. Things get rather difficult for all gods, with an epic battle following. Everything rests on Xie Lian, but before he can find a solution, the book ends.

This volume was full of action and not so much about romance. But Xie Lian is more comfortable with showing his emotions with Hua Cheng, and everything was cute and sweet. A lot rests on the last volume. I can’t wait to read it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris: review

5/5 stars on Goodreads

All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris

All the Dead Shall Weep is the fifth book in Harris’ alt-history western series, Gunnie Rose, set in 1930s America that’s been divided to small, lawless countries. After the events of the previous book in the point of view of Lizbeth’s sister, Felicia, the story returns to Texoma and Lizbeth’s hometown Segundo Mexia, where she has settled with her husband Eli, the grigori prince from the Russian governed San Diego.

But all is not well. Lizbeth has recently suffered a miscarriage and Eli doesn’t seem to care. The arrival of Felicia and Eli’s brother Peter push things to a point, and Eli leaves to his home in San Diego, taking Peter with him. The things he says before he goes indicate that he’s not coming back.

Lizbeth and Felicia are left behind; Felicia mainly because her growing powers as a grigori mean she’s not safe in San Diego. But turns out she’s not safe in Texoma either. Word of her powers have spread and a magic family after another sends their most eligible members to woo her—and not all of them do it nicely. People are targeting Lizbeth too, on top of which a strange militia keeps attacking her hometown.

After several books, the world is familiar and the backstory has grown interesting. Lizbeth is as tough as ever, but with a vulnerable side too. Felicia’s death magic is terrifying, but it’s not a complete cure-all, as the story shows. The narrative alternates between the women, giving the inner thoughts of both of them—and they both have a lot on their plates. Death still comes easily and is easily cast away, but only when it’s about people trying to kill them.

This was a fast-paced, quick read and another excellent book in the series. However, I was a little disappointed with how things were solved between Lizbeth and Eli. It seemed a bit of a copout after everything she went through. The addition of details from Europe, like Agatha Christie’s books and Hitler seemed a bit superfluous, but they help to ground the story in its era and promise interesting things to come. I’m looking forward to reading more.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.