“A sea roared inside her and made demands, but she waded it, she bobbed up, took a breath, and opened her eyes to the cold winter morning. Then she rose because the day was there, the world was there, and she wanted to be part of it.”
Antonina Beaulieau is in the midst of her first Grand Season. During this time, her life is to be filled with parties where she will ideally find a suitor and cement a place in high society. But Antonina is not a typical young lady. Her telekinetic powers had always made her somewhat of an outcast, but more than that, she does not particularly care or adhere to “proper” lady behaviour. When she meets Hector Auvray, a famous telekinetic performer, she is intrigued by his abilities and more and more flattered by his attention. Hector, however, has a hidden motive that lies behind his interest in Antonina; his quest to recapture a long lost love. What unfolds is a tale of love and duplicity, with a touch of the supernatural.
After reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest novel, Gods of Jade & Shadow, I was inspired to pick up The Beautiful Ones, which was the only novel of hers that I hadn’t read. Quite simply, I loved this book. I feel that this was a case of the right story at the right time, and I found myself completely glued to each page and unable to put it down. Moreno-Garcia is an exceptional writer, and in The Beautiful Ones she creates characters that are compelling and three-dimensional. There was depth and reason, a driving force, behind their actions that I found intriguing. While there is a fantasy aspect to this novel it is mainly a historical romance. The use of telekinesis is sprinkled throughout but does not play a key role. So if you enjoy a good historical romance, this is a great option. It completely hit the mark for me, and deserves five stars for the sheer enjoyment it brought me, and the fact that I could not put it down. Oh how I love when that happens. 🙂
“Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the firmament.”
Casiopea spends her days cleaning and doing chores for her demanding grandfather, and her nights dreaming of a life of her own. Far from the demands of a family that views her as nothing more than an outsider. But those dreams, over time, start to feel incredibly distant and improbable. One day, while cleaning her grandfather’s room, she comes across a locked and mysterious wooden box. In a moment of rebellion, she unlocks the box and with it releases the spirit of the Mayan god of death. Having been imprisoned by his brother, the god of death is on a quest for revenge, and to gain back his throne. In order to do this he will need Casiopea by his side who, having freed the spirit, is now linked to him. The failure to defeat his brother would mean a demise for both of them. So Casiopea, alongside the god of death, embarks on an adventure she never could have dreamed of. Continue reading “Gods of Jade & Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”
“There is a point when a man may swim back to shore, but he was past it. There was nothing left but to be swallowed by the enormity of the sea.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of one of my favourite books of 2015, Signal to Noise. This novel is quite different in genre, that being a paranormal thriller that tells the story of a clash between vampires in alternating points of view. We meet, Domingo, a homeless teen; Ana, a tough cop; and Atl, a young vampire who has entered a vampire-free zone in Mexico City. Atl is smart, dangerous, and on the run from a rival vampire clan. Atl walks into Domingo’s life and an interesting rapport develops, while Ana’s investigation leads her right in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…
This is not a genre that I generally gravitate towards and not a book I would normally read, but as a fan of Moreno-Garcia’s writing I had to give this one a try. What is very clear is that she is a truly talented storyteller. The world-building is well crafted and it is easy to be drawn into this reality that the author has crafted. What really stands out is the characters, who are compelling and make you care about their stories and overall journey. The alternating viewpoints are well done, and I enjoyed them all, particularly that of Atl who is just such a badass. If you are a fan of this genre, then this book is definitely for you. However, if it is not something you generally read or if vampires don’t really appeal to you, I do recommend checking out Signal to Noise, which is a fantastic novel.
*ARC provided by NetGalley for an unbiased review.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
There are a lot of great books to look forward to in the next few months, and while it was not a simple task I did narrow it down to the top six I am most excited to get my hands on. In no particular order, here are the top six books on my fall reading list: 🙂
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (October 11th)
This is the next release in the Shakespeare Hogarth series, with Margaret Atwood taking on a modern retelling of The Tempest.
“When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.”
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (October 25th)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of one of my absolute favourite books of 2015, Signal to Noise so anything she releases is a must-read for me. Her new book is described as a YA paranormal thriller where “vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City.”
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (November 1st)
“The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”
This is the new release from the author of Everything, Everything. It is a novel about fate, which tells the story of Natasha and Daniel who meet under unusual circumstances. I very much enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s debut novel and look forward to reading more of her work. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Fall Book Releases”
‘There is magic everywhere, if you look carefully.’
Mexico City, 1988: Fifteen year old Meche is an awkward, unpopular girl in school who loves music and math. She spends most of her time with her two best friends Sebastian and Daniela. Life is not ideal for the three friends with each of them dealing with different struggles, from family problems to unfulfilled desires. They learn they can use music to cast spells and set out to better their circumstances, attempting to use magic to turn things around in their favour.
Mexico City, 2009: Meche is a successful computer programmer in Oslo, Norway. She has returned to Mexico City after twenty years away to attend her estranged father’s funeral, and is faced with the past and everything she had long left behind, including her two friends.
Signal to Noise is a wonderfully charming and engaging debut novel from author Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It alternates between 1988 and 2009 and does so seamlessly. Both time periods are equally compelling and complement each other very well, moving the narrative forward. It is a story about friendship, hope, love, the magic of music, and dreams of youth. The challenges and disappointments of adulthood and recapturing what has been lost. It is a touching story that will make you smile and tear up in the best way. Moreno-Garcia presents a beautifully written novel with memorable characters that is captivating from beginning to end.
Playlist for “Signal to Noise” created by the author.
Favourite quote: “They folded and kept their dreams in the same drawer, spun fantasies side by side, lived in the easy harmony of youth which did not know the need for tall walls and sturdy defenses.”