A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) by Deborah Harkness

Anyways, all of this is not to say I didn’t enjoy reading the book, and that I am not tempted to power through and read the second tome, just that it was an interesting experience. I would say that if you enjoy paranormal romance this series is a must read. If you don’t enjoy long reads with lots of descriptions and a healthy dose of romance then you might be disappointed or tempted to bail out early.

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Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

As a general policy I tried to read books written by people I know, no matter how tangentially.  I have read a number of books by “bloggers” turned authors (or aspiring authors who I “met” via blogging/internet).  I have for the most part been pleasantly surprised by the quality of writing.

And now I can add Gwenda Bond to the list.  Having an interest in YA fiction I enjoyed reading Gwenda’s blog and following her on Twitter.  So when I found out she had a book, Blackwood, coming out I requested it from the wonderful folks at NetGalley and managed to swipe a copy.  I figured it was about time to post something (besides being incredibly behind on my reviews, I was also waiting to review this book until we got a little closer to release date).

Here is the publishers summary:

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Despite not really being my genre (I like YA but this is a bit more romance and paranormal that I usually read), turned out it was a rather impressive debut. An intriguing and well done plot hook, some engaging and interesting characters and a good pace.

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