The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Book Description:

Published: June 23, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

Review –

“When a young librarian comes into possession of the diary of a traveling circus from more than 200 years ago, he decides the book may hold clues to a family mystery he needs to solve to save his sister’s life.

Narrator Simon and his younger sister, Enola, grew up in an 18th-century house on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Taking after her mother, a former circus performer who drowned herself when Simon was 7, Enola travels with a carnival as a tarot card reader. Simon is still living in their dangerously dilapidated family home when, out of the blue on one June day, he receives a book from an antiquarian bookseller, who had noticed Simon’s grandmother’s name inside. Soon Simon discovers a frightening pattern among his female ancestors, all unnaturally good swimmers, all drowning as young women on July 24. If this “coincidence” sounds a bit far-fetched, it sets the bar for the novel’s credibility. Swyler intercuts Simon’s present drama—intensifying research into the diary’s history, loss of his job at the local library, incipient but already rocky love affair with fellow librarian Alice, return home of Enola, irretrievable collapse of the family manse—with the romantic tragedy of Amos, a traveling circus performer, and Evangeline, an aquatic performer with a guilty secret. Born in the 1780s and abandoned by his parents, Amos is mute when he joins a traveling troupe to perform a disappearing act as a “Wild Boy.” The fortune-teller takes him under her wing, teaching him to read the future. But despite her warnings, he falls for the dangerously mysterious Evangeline. She has his baby girl, and the havoc that follows leads straight to the curse that Simon, a whiny loser, is frantic to solve before someone else dies. A bit fey, even as romantic whimsy.

For die-hard mermaid-fiction lovers only.” Kirkus Review

I disagree with Kirkus’s last catty remark, the book was a joy to read and the description of the house falling apart was so real I felt I was there and anyone enjoying an epic, all-encompassing will love this book.

Five stars, and I love the cover!

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Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Book Description

January 6, 2015
Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her–until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts . . . and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana–or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first . . .?

Review –
I just finshed reading this book and I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I had thought the ending of Book 2 was a cliff hanger but the ending of Book three has it beat. Maybe it’s my fault. I thought this would be the end of the series, The Arcana Chronicles,so I kept telling myself that certain  things had better start happening, like ending the game and finding Evie’s grandmother, but now I see that should have been a clue.  There are too many loose ends to tie up so all can say is : Kresley Cole, you’d better write fast, but in reality I know if will be at least a year before she releases the fourth book. Darn!!!!!!
I rated this book 5 stars *****
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Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

16175040

Book Description

Publication Date:October 1, 2013
In this second thrilling book of The Arcana Chronicles from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole, Evie struggles to accept her place in the prophecy that will either save the world–or destroy it.
Evie has fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. As one of twenty-two teens given powers following the apocalypse, she now knows a war is brewing, and it’s kill or be killed. When Evie meets Death, the gorgeous and dangerous Endless Knight, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she’s drawn to Death as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history, one that Evie can’t remember–but Death can’t forget…
Review –
I couldn’t believe when the ending of this book happened. I was intensely listening to the audio version and all of a sudden it was over. Drat, now I will have to wait for some time next year for the next installment.
 
I gave this book five stars *****.  I loved it.  In the first half of the book I was cheering for Jackson but in the last part I was on Death’s team.  The words the authors uses to describe the characters  and the voice of the wonderful narrator, Emma Galvin, brings everything to life and I know that in the final ending Death will lose but somehow I wish he didn’t have to.   Hurry Hurry Kresley Cole and release the next book in the Arcana Chronicles.
 

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole

13450339 Product Description:

Published : October 12, 2012       Series: The Arcana Chronicles

New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life—until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally trust Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions,they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…

In Poison Princess, New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces a dark and intriguing world, full of unspeakable danger and irresistible romance.

Review –

I rated this book five stars ***** because the characters were mesmerizing and the chemistry between Evie and Jack was almost combustible. The story itself is a dramatic post-apocalytic  tale involving an ancient prophesy based on Tarot cards and a romance so hot it will burn your fingers turning the pages. Even though it is Young Adult literature, the story will be enjoyed by those of any age.

If you want to start a new series I HIGHLY recommend The Arcana Chronicles.

 

 

Deadly Night (The Flynn Brothers Trilogy) by Heather Graham

Product Description:

The Flynn brothers have inherited more than a New Orleans plantation. They’ve inherited a ghostly presence… and a long-kept secret.
Aidan Flynn, a private investigator and eldest of the Flynn brothers, scoffs at the haunted-house rumors—especially since Kendall Montgomery, a tarot card reader who has been living in the mansion, is the one to tell him the tale of a woman in white. But when he finds a human bone on the grounds and another by the river, Aidan delves into the dark history of the Flynn plantation.
Forced together to uncover the truth, Aidan and Kendall realize that a serial killer whose victims seem to vanish into thin air has long been at work…and that their own fates are about to be sealed forever unless they believe in the unbelievable.

Review –

This is the first of three books in the Flynn Brothers Trilogy  and takes place in New Orleans and involves ghosts, murders old and new  and an old haunted plantation. I loved it. The locale is one of my favorites and you can’t beat a combination of ghosts,plantations, murders, a hot hunky private eye and a beautiful woman so it held my interest all the way to the end.  I will start the second in the series in a day or so and can’t wait. It takes place in Salem, Massachusetts and maybe involves witches.  I’ll let you know.