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In Libris Veritas

Girls' Day Out by Jeanette Battista

Girls' Day Out - Jeanette  Battista


Mini-Read Review is a feature created here on In Libris Veritas in order to showcase the reviews for short stories and novellas which so often get over looked. Today I have Girls Day Out


Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review – Received no compensation
Publisher: FastForward
Series: -
Edition: Ebook, 33 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy Novella
Purchase: Amazon*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Girls’ Day Out is a fun little romp into a Men in Black type world, though instead of aliens we get demons and underworld creatures. The world-building is exceptionally detailed for such a short story. We get to see a nice variety of creatures and learn about the Balance and the Beauru which is essential to keeping everything in order and normal for the humans. T and J are set on taking a day off from keeping the world as it should be, and T decides on a spa day. Unfortunately not everything goes as planned and we get a humorous and action-y adventure to hunt down who is responsible for the attack.  I really enjoyed the main characters, they are complete opposites and it adds to the humor. T is bubbly, happy and hyper where as J is extremely calm and a bit moody. They both have really cool powers and they both kick some serious butt. My main issue with this is the fact that we have to refer to them as T and J…and it’s really confusing at times. I had to re-read sections to figure out who was speaking and who was being attacked. I do wish this had been a longer story because it really does feel like there is more to the story. There is so much I want to know about who attacked them and why!


Gen #1

Gen 1 - Shige Nakamura, Yu Suzuki, Gunya Mihara


Source: Purchased
Publisher: Gen Manga
Series:Gen #1
Edition: ebook, 150 pages
Genre: Manga Anthology
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5


Gen is a type of manga I’ve never read before, indie and an anthology. This particular manga series has four stories that each have its own art style and vibe. It’s a good mix of stories and while it’s a bit hit or miss I still enjoy them enough that I will continue reading the series.


Wolf by Shige Nakamura is story focused on Naoto, a young man with a really large chip on his shoulder. His father abandoned his family and he wants revenge. Overall it’s a decent story and engaging enough, however if this story had been on its own I probably would not have bothered with it as it’s not really my type of manga.The art style reminds me of the older anime styles, where more realism is involved.


VS Aliens is an odd little gem of story. I really like the quirky nature it has and so far it’s a kind of upbeat story, so it balances out the first story’s seriousness. What would you do if someone came up to you and asked for help because one of your classmates is an alien? Laugh? Yeah, good answer but this actually turns out to be more than a cooky joke even though it’s incredibly fun to read.


Kamen by Gunya Mihara is a fantasy type story with a lot of mystery. A man wakes up in a place he doesn’t know with a mask attached to his face…a mask that warns him not to take it off. For those who have watch anime shows it feels a bit like a fuedal era Bleach so far, but seeing as the story doesn’t have a ton of time to truly devlop that could definitely change. I like concept for this one and I’m super curious about the characters and the mask.


And finally Souls by Arisa Karino…which is my least favorite of the four. The art style is very jarring and a bit odd as I’ve never encounter a style like it before. I also had a tough time keeping up with what exactly was happening in the story, due partially to the fact that two of the characters looked similar to me and it took me a few re-reads to realize who was talking to whom. I’m not really invested in this overall storyline but it is an interesting concept centered around putting souls to rest.


Overall it’s a decent manga and added with the fact that it was a freebie I do plan on continuing this one. Manga is not cheap so it’s nice to find one in my current price range (yes, free is my price range right now). For those who just want a causal manga I recommend this.

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

The Wolf Gift: The Wolf Gift Chronicles (The Wolf Gift Chronicles ,#1) - Anne Rice

Source: Received from Knopf in exchange for an honest review – Received no compensation
Publisher: Knopf
Series: The Wolf Gift Chronicles #1
Edition: eARC, 404 pages
Genre: Paranormal Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Anne Rice’s novels have always been something of a comfort read for me. I would spend hours after hours reading her Vampire Chronicles in high school and college, so I jumped at the chance to read The Wolf Gift. Then life caught up and long story short I didn’t get around to read my arc until now…which is really unfortunate because this book was just what I needed.


The Wolf Gift is an interesting take on the werewolf mythos that includes a bit of romance, philosophy, action, horror, and friendship. In other words it’s very much an Anne Rice fantasy novel. Her world building is consistently detailed throughout. Someone who has read a Rice book would be able to pin-point her writing without looking at the cover, but for those who haven’t read anything from her the book is extremely detailed. By the end you’ll be able to picture the salads they eat, the buildings they visit and the people they meet. I’ll be honest if I’m not in the mood for her writing I hate it because it’s like walking into a really bright, loud, and smelly room…sensory overload. So I suggest going into any of her books and The Wolf Gift with that in mind.


I really enjoyed the characters for this one. Reuben is a lively young man who loves to write and live life to it’s fullest even if that means not being incredibly successful by others standards. He’s someone who isn’t afraid to look and think deeper and thanks to the werewolf aspect he has a completely different side bent on protecting the innocent. His relationship with Laura is really sweet and enduring, the one huge issues I had with it was their sexual relationship. It was slightly odd, but not surprising (I’ve read worse from Rice). The tiny issue I had was the insta-love that happens, but it doesn’t really shine through the plot so I forgive it. The huge cast of side characters are varied and interesting as well from Jim the brother priest to Celeste the bold lawyer. I enjoyed the amount of challenges and difficulties Reuben faces and I liked watching him try to overcome them.


The werewolf aspect is really fantastic as well. We get the eerily human like shape full of fur and odd angles, the strength, the speed, but we also get a really interesting origin and a great compulsion to protect the weak and innocent. It’s romanticized but at the same time it’s still monstrous.


The Wolf Gift is a very promising and strong beginning to a new series and I can not wait to get my hands on the second book!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

Source: Netgalley/Little, Brown Books – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Series: -
Edition: eARC, 432 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Horror
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5


When I say I’m a huge fan of vampire fiction THIS is what I mean. I grew up loving the blood craving creatures of the night and that’s how I want them to be: cold, ruthless, hungry, and a bit crazy all wrapped in a very appealing package. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown gave me exactly what I crave.


This is my first Holly Black novel and I think I’m in love. Her writing and ability to paint a picture really drew me in from page one, so much that I finished the whole book in a day. I only put it down when I had to eat and even then I’d find myself shoveling food in my mouth so I could get back to it.


Tana is a strong and solid main character who doesn’t cave under pressure or give into the glamor. The best thing about Tana is that when she’s faced with the reality of a vampire she doesn’t immediately tilt her head and offer up her life like most YA girls do. She doesn’t want it and she’s not fool enough to see only the positives and I love her for it. Aiden is Tana’s ex-boyfriend, now before your groan he’s just her ex-boyfriend…and honestly I can see why. This guy has some issues and I liked the odd tentative relationship they continue to have thanks to the vampire infection. And then there is Gavriel. He is definitely my favorite and why wouldn’t he be, he’s crazy…and I tend to go for the crazy ones it seems. He has a interesting and quite violent past that has really shaped who he is and I personally enjoyed his odd dangerous quirks. The way he speaks is like 1 part poetry and 3 parts crazy.


The story is a gritty one filled with pain, danger, hope, and thoughts on the nature of humanity. I love the concept of Coldtowns which are quarantined cities filled with infected, vampires, and humans…once you go in there is very little chance you ever leave. People on the outside are fed a glamorous picture of parties and fun for eternity however the reality is really gritty and really dangerous. The nature of the vampire is called into question quite a few times as well and I like that it’s not just a surface book it takes things deeper. The antagonists are self absorbed, dangerous and they don’t shy away from cruelty. I liked the flashbacks and the moments where we get glimpses of other people involved, and I liked the interesting depth it added to the overall story.


Overall this is a YA vampire novel that I can truly recommend, though it may not be for everyone. I love it for it’s unique take on both vampires and a society desensitized to their monstrous nature in favor of the glamor. I think this is a standalone but I really wish it wasn’t, I need more!


Level 2 (Memory of After) by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Edition: Hardcover, 281 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Purchase: *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3.5/5


If you look at the title of this post you’ll notice that it has a title in parenthesis. This is because the book will be re-releasing with a new title and a new cover. I wanted everyone who looks at this to be able to understand that they are in fact the same book.


Level 2 takes two things that don’t normally appear together and smashes them together in a rather unique and interesting way. The afterlife in Level 2 is not some glorious and peaceful place, it is instead filled with technology and underlying motives.I personally thought the idea of having different ‘levels’ for the afterlife to be kind of cool, seeing as it’s not something I’ve seen done quite this way. It’s very cool to see an old idea – seeing your life replayed – given a new and shiny form. It did border on ‘too religious’ and ‘just right’ a few times but I guess that’s also to be expected. There are also the Morati, angels, who I really wish had been fleshed out and given more page time. They seem really interesting and the bit of history we get on them is really promising, but the potential doesn’t quite come through.


Felicia is a resident of Level 2, where she spends a very large amount of time watching memories of her life or more specifically memories with Neil. I really liked that we got to know her bit by bit as her memories replayed and revealed things about her life on Earth. Neil is the love of her mortal life and he’s honestly a bit too perfect, however given that we only see him in the memories Felicia chooses I suppose he would be. I just wish I had more to go on with him as a character. Julian is our mysterious ‘bad boy’ of the story and the one we get to see more of. He’s charming and determined, but there were times when I honestly did not understand his personality. He definitely knows how to go over the top at times. I did enjoy seeing his role in everything slowly unfold as well.


The let down is the ending, which I obviously can’t tell you too much about. The last section of the book felt rushed and I wanted there to be more details on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, because even though I finished the book knowing Felicia I still wanted to know more about Level 2 and those in it.


Overall it’s a decent start to a series with promise. I’m definitely going to look into the sequel when it becomes available because I really want to see if Neil and the Morati are fleshed out and I also want to see just what happens now that things have been shaken up in Level 2.


Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Let the Sky Fall - Shannon Messenger

Source: Pulse IT
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Sky Fall #1
Edition: Ebook, 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Let the Sky Fall is the first book I’ve ever read about elemental slyphs and I think that Messenger really managed to give us something interesting and unique.


This story revolves around Vane and Audra. Vane Weston is the last Westerly thanks to a terrifying storm that killed his family. He’s unaware and thrown into the world when he meets the girl of dreams (literally) Audra, who takes it upon herself to train him in his heritage. I like Vane. I thought he was sweet, funny, and when added with the sarcasm he just comes across as a character I can really appreciate. He also doesn’t immediately fall to the ground and worship Audra, he doesn’t jump whenever she tells him too and I found that to be perfect. I get tired of people just accepting these out there revelations without so much as a fight, and Vane needs proof. His training takes up a good portion of the book because it takes a good bit of work on his part, however I kind of felt with amount of build up we would get more out of it overall. Audra is a very determined but guilt ridden character and even though she carries a tremendous weight on her she felt a bit stiff and a hard character to really ‘like’. Though she does kick butt and she’s incredibly tough, so she has that going for her. She does slowly evolve into a softer person so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how much she’s changed in book two.


I loved the whole concept of the slyphs and how they control the winds, and this is the first book that I’d ever seen them used as a prominent feature. While the training does take up most of the book I think it’s important to keep in mind that this book actually takes place in about a week or so, but the detail and attention to  development really gives you a good sense of the growth. The ‘bad guys’  are really interesting but at the same time we don’t get to see very much of them yet and before the book ends we learn a bit more about a few other side characters that really opens up more possibilities for the next book. I wish I could be more specific about certain aspects but it would spoil the book.


The Sky Fall series is definitely off to a great start with this one and I can’t wait to see how Vane and Audra grow and face the new and old challenges ahead.

The Fallen King by Rhiannon Frater

The Fallen King  - Rhiannon Frater

Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review – Received no compensation
Publisher: Rhiannon Frater
Series: In Darkness We Must Abide #8
Edition: eBook, 61 Pages
Genre: Paranormal Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5


Rhiannon is the master of drawing you in, giving you what your hoping for, and then finding a way to crush you. As the danger approaches and the event we’ve been waiting for draws closer I’ve been all over the place. I want Vanora’s happiness…but at the same time if she had that then the story wouldn’t be nearly as good. So with everything that happens to her I find myself cringing and immediately looking for more.


I’m really anxious to see just how everything comes together and how everyone is going to deal with the oncoming darkness. Armando is as yummy as ever and with his loyalty to Vanora is has a lot of work cut out for him, more than normal. Carlotta makes me nervous with her lively and selfish personality, but I’m more than a little curious to see how she deals with everything coming up. We also get to see some friendly faces that we haven’t seen since Vanora left her home like adorable Miss Robins and Angel.


By the time I was done devouring all of this I was kind of aching for Vanora, that ending!! I’ll anxiously be waiting for the next episode even if it kills me.



The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series - Book 1

The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series, Book One: Air - Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Dave Marshall

Source: Netgalley/Dark Horse – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Dark Horse
Series: -
Edition: eARC, 144 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 5/5


It’s no secret that I love Avatar: The Last Airbender, so naturally I’m in love with The Legend of Korra as well. I couldn’t say no to the art book when I saw it because Korra turned out to be just as beautiful as Avatar.


The book is set up according to the season’s timeline, so with each new major development a new section of art starts. If anyone is familiar with the art book for Avatar then you should find this one similar in set up and feel. It has a ton of new artwork that we as fans have never seen before, from beautiful scenery designs to character development sketches. Aside from those there are also pro-bending concepts, propaganda poster art, and a great section for ancillary art. I have a soft-spot for the landscape designs which are so detailed that it seems like it could be a real place.


There are also tid-bits of information on each page related to the process, characters or inspirations that are a real treat to read. Plus if you haven’t read the graphic novels (The Promise) you can get some background info on a few things that happened between the two shows, and it’s not spoiler-y so you can still pick up the novels later without feeling like you know everything. I do wish there were more about some characters however since it’s only the first season’s art book I’m positive we’ll get to learn and see even more in the next one!


I think that this is one of those must-haves for Avatar/Korra fans, and I know I’ll buy an actual copy just so I can revisit some of my favorite moments for the show.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi

Source: Library
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: Shatter Me #2
Edition: Hardcover, 461 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Finally! It feels like it took me forever to get around to this one, even though I read Shatter Me six months ago and that’s a short wait for me. Unravel Me picks up three weeks after Shatter Me ends and interconnects with a few scenes from the novella Destroy Me.


The one thing that remains strong with these books is the writing, which is so poetic and unique. I honestly think that if I picked up any other book that had so many words crossed out or separated I’d go nuts. The editor in me just can’t handle it, but for some reason I welcome it with the Shatter Me books. It provides a more personal experience and it’s surprising how you can create tension just by pressing enter a few times. At any rate we’re back into the thick of it with this one and things really heat up…in more ways than one. War, relationship issues, budding friendships, and of course the love triangle. We get to see more of the Resistance, how they operate and some of the interesting powers that the other residents have. One of the best things about this is the fact that it acknowledges the grey areas involved in human lives and more importantly war. Nothing is as black and white as we want it to be.


I really enjoy the overall plot but this one felt a bit slow for me and I kind of blame that on all the attention given to Adam, who I personally find boring. He’s a good guy, he’s sweet and he loves Juliette but I’m at the point where if they are in a room together I immediately want them separated. I feel terribly for them both and the situation they have to deal with but at the same time I just don’t want to hear it anymore. The surprising relationship with Warner is more my speed because there is more to it, there is more to develop and understand than there is with Adam. Warner is a bag of cats, he’s rather pretty to look at but you can just see the crazy rolling off the guy…and you definitely know you don’t want to open the bag but curiosity (and humanity) just makes you want to. That being said I don’t necessarily want to see a full relationship between them unless some things change, but I definitely love the tension! As for the other cast of characters I’m super glad to have more time with Kenji, who is a lot of fun even when he’s being weird, and I enjoyed getting to know Castle more.


Overall I loved the book but the added annoyance of the Adam/Juliette whine-fest kind of dropped it a bit for me. I can’t wait to read book three!

Morning Glories, Vol. 1: For a Better Future - Joe Eisma, Nick Spencer, Rodin Esquejo Review to come
Vortex - S.J. Kincaid 4.5 StarsReview to come
Catwoman Volume 2: Dollhouse TP (The New 52) (Catwoman (DC Comics Paperback)) - Judd Winnick Review to come.

Shadow by Amanda Sun

Shadow - Amanda Sun


Source: Purchased on Amazon
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Series: Paper Gods #0.5
Edition: Ebook, 69 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Wow! I wish I had read this before Ink! Shadow starts while Katie is still in the US, the day of her mother’s funeral. We get to see the moments that pushed her to staying with her aunt in Japan and we get to see the beginning stages of her attempting to start her life over in a foreign country. As an added plus we get treated to chapters in Tomohiro’s point of view, where we get to see the nightmares that haunt him and his strained relationship with Myu. I loved that this gave him a chance to explain his personality more and I think that if I had read it prior to Ink I might have warmed up to him a bit quicker. I really enjoyed the added depth to the story and it’s always nice to see what happens directly before the main book starts. We get to see what drives the characters into making the decisions we get to see first hand in Ink. It’s a cheaper novella (free when I downloaded it) and so I think that if you enjoyed Ink or are curious to see if you might like it then give it a shot. Everything has the same feel too it and you get to see how the writing style is for the Japanese culture, which isn’t for everyone as it does use some Japanese words here and there.

Destory me by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me - Tahereh Mafi


Source: Purchased on Amazon
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Shatter Me #1.5
Edition: Ebook, 103 pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


Destroy Me puts us in the mind of Warner and we finally get to see some of his motivation and his past. I really loved this since Warner was my favorite character in Shatter Me. Warner is, to me, the character that offers the most. He’s kind of crazy, he’s definitely tortured and confused, and he also has that who evil thing going for him. Now Mafi has given him even more by shedding some light on who he is as a person, and how his mind truly works. If you didn’t like Warner before you might after this, or you’ll at least see him for the human he is and not necessarily the monster he’s portrayed as with Juliette’s pov. And speaking of Juliette we get to see some more of her thinking as well, which really surprised me. I really love that it’s set right before Unravel Me and a few sections overlap some, so it’s the perfect bridge. I don’t really like to spend money on novellas but I found this one to be well worth the money.


This Girl by Colleen Hoover

This Girl  - Colleen Hoover

Source: Netgalley/Atria – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Publisher: Atria
Series: Slammed #3
Edition: eARC, 304 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5


To me This Girl has put added faith in Colleen Hoover’s story-telling skills. I don’t like reading books that relay on nothing but a POV change, because usually they are the same story and then I’m stuck slogging my way through something I’ve read before. However while This Girl is essentially Slammed from Will’s point of view it still managed to pull me in.


This Girl is meant to shed light on how Will dealt with everything Slammed, and we do get to see just how much he was invested in Layken and her family. It’s set up so that it is Will sharing a few moments with Layken during their honeymoon, so it’s not all a rehash of Slammed. In fact we get some new moments. I can’t say that it pulled me in the same way that Slammed did and it definitely had to do with knowing what happens, but it also had to do with Layken. In Slammed I didn’t really mind her, but my love for her waned in Point of Retreat and This Girl didn’t do her any favors. She’s by no means a perfect girl but her selfish attitude is almost unbearable at times. There were a few moments where I just had to sit there and fume over how much of a brat she’s capable of being. Will is still fantastic and I really enjoyed seeing the reasoning behind his reactions and just how much contact he had with Julia over the course of that first. The ending is what really got me though. It’s incredibly sweet and I loved seeing how everyone’s lives turned out.


I will say that this book doesn’t feel ‘necessary’ to the story of Layken and Will, and those who have read the previous two books might feel a bit disenchanted by this point. However if you truly loved the books then definitely go for it, especially if you love Will’s character.

Catwoman, Vol. 1: The Game - Judd Winick, Guillem March Review to come