Mini Reviews #3 | A Girl Called Shameless, Dark Triumph, Mortal Heart, The Raven Tower

Hello Humans! More mini-reviews? I read six books during our Bookaneerathon weekend and I thought it would be mean to ask you to read all the reviews in one post – so here is part two of my library reads mini-reviews (my third of such posts… this is getting confusing!).

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A Girl Called Shameless

A Girl Called ShamelessArgh, I loved this. Five stars easy. And for me to give five stars to anything contemporary is a big deal – this isn’t my genre. But I love the narration in this book so so so very much. It’s rare to find a protagonist who’s voice feels so similar to my own internal monologue and who shares so many of my passions and interests. The fact that there is an adorable dog called Dumbledore – just a bonus.

Loved this. Would recommend to pretty much anyone – even fantasy heads like myself.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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Dark Triumph

Dark TriumphI’m quite glad to find that, while this series certainly follows a linear story, the books (or rather, the first two books…I haven’t got to book three yet) kind of stand on their own. I think book one was raunchier – make of that what you will – but Sybella was a genuinely very cool YA heroine and I would gladly read more books from her perspective.

The action is great, the intrigue is great, the romance is a slow burn and sweet, the mysteries are genuinely surprising. I really had a great time reading this, for a 450-page paperback it really flew by.

I will say there are some themes in this book that some readers may find upsetting, there’s not on page rape but there’s some non-consensual stuff alluded to as well as some incest and abuse – if you want more detailed content warnings I’m happy to provide them.

But yes – overall pretty good! Will need to read the first book again at some point I think.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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Mortal Heart

Mortal HeartThat’s right, I ploughed on right through with this series. Only one left!

This book was also very good, a little longer than the previous but it speeds by just as quickly. Of all three of the books this one had the most ‘instant’ romance, but as a whole, the book leans more into the supernatural than the previous two so I didn’t mind it so much. What I will say is that there are heavy themes of child abuse in the early and late stages of this book so reader discretion is very much advised. As ever I’m happy to provide more detailed content warnings on request.

But yes, a nice end to a trilogy – I’m interested to see how book four fits in. My guess is that it will be the start of a new plotline – but I’m honestly not sure.

I really liked that each of these books followed a different character, but still brought all the plotlines together, I genuinely don’t think I have a favourite among the three – which I think is a testament to the balance between the three books.

My rating: 4/5 stars

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The Raven Tower

The Raven TowerI will confess that I haven’t read Ancillary Justice yet, but I am currently more of a fantasy gal so I thought Anne Leckie’s The Raven Tower would be a good read – also from the recommendation of Justine. I kind of flip-flopped between enjoying this book and being totally confused about what was happening. If I say that this book explores what it is to be a God – but not in a pantheon/mythology kind of way, more of an organic, anthropological(?) kind of a way, that might help you…maybe.

But yes, this book was certainly weird and different from any other fantasy I’ve read and I think that’s such a powerful thing to do in a genre so chock-full of tropes and set storylines. The majority of the book is in second person, which takes a while to get used to but I actually think it works pretty well. I’ll be interested to read any reviews from trans and non-binary readers so see what they thought of the representation – but for my part, I thought it was pretty good in a ‘not drawing attention to itself’ kind of way.

If you like your fantasy a little weird, or you want to freshen your palette a little – I’d say this is a great book to try.

My rating: 4/5 stars

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I am aware that I rate a lot of things four stars, it’s my go-to rating for ‘I really enjoyed this but it didn’t quite have that gut feeling of ‘oh wow amazing’ that gives a five-star rating. Just so you know. Is there a blog post needed for what my rating system means? Probably…

Have you got any of these books on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

J

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