The Sobeks 2018 – Part 3

Hello again. There isn’t much left of 2018 now and so it’s a good time to look back and remember all the brilliant worlds that I have had been able to explore in the last year.

The Sobeks are my annual awards where I showcase my favourite reads of the year. These are the ones that I awarded 4 or 5 stars to on Goodreads. As I don’t give high ratings out to just any book, you can consider these to be the absolute cream of the crop and certainly worth your time.

Curious? Well, read on to find out what my recommendations are. This time, I’ll be looking back at the novels which I reviewed in July, August and September.

 

July

The Gift of Dark Hollow by Kieran Larwood

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Page Count: 320 pages

Series: The Five Realms #2

Genre: Fantasy

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

The bard tiptoes out of his room, the crow-dream still echoing in his head, making him twitch at imaginary creaks of iron wings…

The bard must leave Thornbury. It is not safe for him to stay. Rue, his new apprentice, travels with him – keen to learn his trade – and hear the next instalment in the legend of Podkin One-Ear…

Podkin and his fellow rabbits have been sheltering in Dark Hollow after their battle with Scramashank. Paz tends to the rabbits with sleeping sickness; Crom meets with the war council…Podkin has nothing to do! Frustrated, Podkin goes exploring and discovers an abandoned underground chamber. Armed with the Gift of Dark Hollow, Podkin learns to moonstride, and Paz is rewarded with a magical gift of her own…

 

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Page Count: 352 pages

Series: Brooklyn Brujas #2

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…

 

The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Page Count: 320 pages

Series: Morriston Superheroes #1

Genre: Science Fiction / Romance

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

 

August

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Page Count: 256 pages

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5

Genre: Fantasy / Romance

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

 

The Slippery Slope & The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd

Page Count: 337 pages & 368 pages

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #10 & #12

Genre: Mystery / Gothic / Humour

Review: [Link]

Buy them here: [Link] & [Link]

Synopsis:

The Slippery Slope

Dear Reader,

Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up — and down — a range of strange and distressing mountains.

In order to spare you any further repulsion, it would be best not to mention any of the unpleasant details of this story, particularly a secret message, a toboggan, a deceitful trap, a swarm of snow gnats, a scheming villain, a troupe of organised youngsters, a covered casserole dish, and a surprising survivor of a terrible fire.

Unfortunately, I have dedicated my life to researching and recording the sad tale of the Baudelaire Orphans. There is no reason for you to dedicate yourself to such things, and you might instead dedicate yourself to letting this slippery book slip from your hands into a nearby trash receptacle, or deep pit.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

 

The Penultimate Peril

There is nothing to be found in the pages of these books but misery and despair. You still have time to choose something else to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children, read on…

Sadly this next-to-last chronicle of the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, and it is next-to-first in its supply of unpleasantness. Probably the next-to-last things you would like to read about are a harpoon gun, a rooftop sunbathing salon, two mysterious initials, three unidentified triplets, a notorious villain and an unsavoury curry. Next-to-last things are the first thing to be avoided!

 

September

The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket

Publisher: HarperCollins

Page Count: 72 pages

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #12.5

Genre: Mystery / Gothic / Humour

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Top secret—only for readers deeply interested in the Baudelaire case. How I pity these readers.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

 

Ice Crypt by Tiana Warner

Publisher: Rogue Cannon Publishing

Page Count: 427 pages

Series: Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #2

Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / LGBT

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Meela has just returned from the Massacre—the annual attempt to wipe out the mermaids threatening her people’s survival. After forming an unlikely connection with Lysi, a mermaid she was trained to kill, Meela is determined to stop the war between humans and merpeople for good. She knows of a legendary weapon that could bring peace if she uses it against King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. But her people have plans for future Massacres and refuse to help her uncover it.

While Meela works in secret to unearth the Host of Eriana, Lysi is held captive under Adaro’s tyranny. Sent to the battlefront, Lysi joins forces with a band of rebels that could either bring her freedom—or have her executed for treason.

Separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, Meela and Lysi must find a way to defeat King Adaro and end the war that has been keeping them apart.

 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker Books

Page Count: 240 pages

Series: N/A

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Dark Fantasy

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there is a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

 

Beetle Queen by M.G. Leonard

Publisher: Chicken House

Page Count: 352 pages

Series: The Battle of the Beetles #2

Genre: Fantasy / Science Fiction

Review: [Link]

Buy it here: [Link]

Synopsis:

Cruel beetle fashionista, Lucretia Cutter, is at large with her yellow ladybird spies. When Darkus, Virginia and Bertolt discover further evidence of her evil, they’re determined to stop her. But the three friends are in trouble. Darkus’ dad has forbidden them to investigate any further – and disgusting crooks Humphrey and Pickering are out of prison. Hope rests on Novak, Lucretia’s daughter and a Hollywood actress, but the beetle diva is always one scuttle ahead…

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