Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Husky and His White Cat Shizun Vol. 3 by Rou Bao Bu Chi Rou: review

5/5 stars on Goodreads

The Husky and His White Cat Shizun by Rou Bao Bu Chi Rou

Volume 3 of The Husky and His White Cat Shizun continues where the previous one ended. I expected some kind of tension from the revelations at the end of the previous novel, namely Mo Ran running into the woman he married and hated in his previous life. That didn’t happen.

Instead, events of the current life catch up with Mo Ran and his Shizun, Chu Wanning. The ghost of the vengeful bride they thought they’d dealt with has managed to kill everyone in her village, and Chu Wanning is being blamed. As they are trying to solve the mess, the event Mo Ran has feared the most since he reincarnated, arrives three years early.

In his previous life, a Heavenly Rift unleashing demons killed the man he loved the most, Shi Mei, plunging Mo Ran on the path of destruction. Determined to avoid the same fate for both of them, he takes Shi Mei’s place next to their Shizun to close the rift. His plan is successful, but only partially. The aftermath throws Mo Ran on a new path of self-discovery that takes him to hell and back, literally and figuratively.

This was the best volume so far. The story flowed well, action was good (including a NSFW scene right at the beginning), and Mo Ran’s soul-searching was emotional and heartbreaking. Mo Ran learns things about his Shizun he had no idea about, which causes him to reevaluate his two lives. It brings him to his knees and what emerges is a completely new man who knows one thing: the most important person in his life is Chu Wanning. If only Chu Wanning had been on a similar path, but he guards his emotions as tightly as ever.

The book ends at a natural place, but with a small cliffhanger that hints at a time jump between this book and the next. I wish I could jump in time too, to get the next book immediately.

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.