Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. I continue to be thankful for every book I have ever read. Some notes before I start this review: I have re-joined Tumblr since Twitter is going downhill and will also post my reviews there. If you want to, you can follow me @please-consider-me-a-dream on Tumblr. Second note, I am cheating a little bit with this review because I did watch the tv adaptation (also called The Alienist) before reading this book. I still recommend checking out the show, though; you can find it on HBO Max. There will be some trigger warnings and then we can get into The Alienist.
Trigger Warnings: Graphic Descriptions of Death, Violence, Harm Against Children, Discussion and Depiction of Sexual Assault, Discussion of Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Use of Racist and Homophobic Language, Depictions of Sex Trafficking
1896, New York City. John Schuyler Moore is a newspaper reporter who is summoned by his friend and famous psychologist, or “alienist,” Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, to view the mutilated body of a young boy found on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. When more young boys are killed in a similarly horrific manner, the two men decide to do something revolutionary to catch the killer – they create a psychological profile of the criminal based on the details of his crimes. With the help of some unlikely friends, Moore and Kreizler find themselves up against many dangerous men and must face down these threats in order to stop this murderer.
This was quite an intense and interesting mystery. My favorite thing about this novel is just how committed it was to historical accuracy, including the worst parts of history. I appreciate the honest and gritty depiction of New York City that Carr lays out in this narrative. The characters themselves are as remarkable as they are flawed in the most human ways. This is a rather long read and sometimes tends to ramble on a bit about history, so if you don’t like that then you have been warned. However, if you want an exciting and gritty historical mystery, then I am going to go ahead and recommend The Alienist, particularly if you like history regarding psychology and criminology.
Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I am actually recovering from COVID and feeling a lot better. That really sucked, though. I had been so lucky and managed to avoid it for a long time. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I felt like I had a terrible head cold the whole time. I struggled to get anything done for the last week, but reading was a pleasant enough distraction. I’ll stop complaining about my illness and get on to reviewing the latest book in The Locked Tomb series, Nona the Ninth (Content warnings will be at the very bottom).
To the outside world, Nona seems somewhat ordinary. She has a loving family, a job at the local school enjoys walks on the beach, and always looks forward to meeting new dogs. Nona, however, is far from normal. She woke up in the body of a stranger six months ago and will have to give it back soon enough. As Nona fears the inevitable end, the city she lives in is under siege and the planet is collapsing. A militia group known as the Blood of Eden surrounds the last Cohort facility and waits for commands from God himself. The leaders from BoE want Nona to be the weapon that saves them from the Nine Houses. Nona would much rather plan her birthday party, but she fears she will not be able to celebrate as the end swiftly approaches.
Tamsyn Muir does it again with this thrilling third entry in the Locked Tomb series. Nona is an unlikely hero who ends up fitting nicely in this complex and intriguing narrative. Muir does certainly answer more questions but still leaves plenty of mystery for this series. I love the way that this series is so fluid and has gone to so many places that I never had expected. I personally love books that just throw you into the “deep end” and let the story unravel in a rather unexpected way. I am absolutely going to recommend The Locked Tomb series if you want an intense and thrilling sci-fi/fantasy series with plenty of interesting world-building, compelling characters, and a roller coaster of a plot to keep you hanging on until the very end.
Content Warning: Gore, Violence, Self – Harm, Some Harsh Language
Hello everyone! I was not expecting to be back this soon, but here I am with yet another review. T. Kingfisher is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, so I definitely plan to read more of their books in the future. In fact, I know that they are coming out with another book so that is going to be Southern Gothic. It is on my too long list of books I want to read that is constantly being updated. Feel free to check out my review of What Moves the Dead. Let’s continue on by talking about Nettle and Bone. (Minor content warning at the very bottom).
Marra is the third born daughter of the king and queen and has never been comfortable with being royalty. Her parents send her away to a convent, where she gets to be free of the duties of a princess. Her two older sisters, though, are not so fortunate. After her eldest sister dies at the hands of a prince, her other older sister is quickly married to him. Marra quickly realizes that something sinister is afoot. She decides to take matters into her own hands to save her sister and her kingdom. With the help of some unusual characters, Marra sets on an impossible journey to take down an entire kingdom.
Kingfisher crafts together a unique heroic journey off the bones of fairytales that are reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. There was something so different yet so familiar as the story follows a rather traditional fairytale structure, but with a darker feminist narrative built in. Marra is a relatable protagonist who confronts her fears in a way that readers may find relatable. This is also a pretty quick read, coming in at 240 pages. If you are looking for an interesting dark fairytale, then go ahead and check out this novella by T. Kingfisher.
(Content Warning: Discussions of Abuse, Discussions of Miscarriage, Death of a Child)
Hello everyone! I stayed awake to finish this novel rather than actually relax. Who needs a healthy sleep schedule anyways? Regardless, I am excited to hop back into this series again. I actually bought the newest (and third) installment before I even finished this one. I have actually never really been a huge fan of book series but I am so glad I found this one. Now, without further ado, let’s get into Harrow the Ninth. (Content warnings will be at the very bottom of this post).
Harrowhark “Harrow” Nonagesimus, the last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been made a Lyctor and fights alongside the Emperor Undying. As the youngest of the Lyctors, Harrow must work twice as hard to perfect her skills. Her training, however, is proven to be extremely difficult as her health starts fail her, her teachers try to kill her, and her mind is seemingly know longer her own. Harrow soon finds herself facing a seemingly impossible task as the ghost of a murdered planet is chasing after her. As the universe seems to be ending, Harrow finds herself confronting some uncomfortable truths as she begins to question what her real purpose is.
Wow. At no point in this novel did I fully understand what the heck was happening. I mean that in a good way too. Muir keeps the reader thoroughly engaged in this sequel. The narrative jumps around in time at random and changes narrative styles without warning. I found myself having to re-read parts to make sure I was processing everything correctly. The world – building in this novel is intense, to say the least. Nothing lets up as Harrow plunges further and further into wild scenarios. I was truly impressed with just how this novel tangled and wove into something that made sense in the strangest way possible. I really don’t want to spoil too much. I will just say that this was definitely a very successful sequel to an incredible series.
Content Warning: Graphic Violence, Gore, Harsh Language, Some Sexual Content