The Lost Story

Image: The Lost Story Book cover featuring an illustration of a large tree with a door in the trunk.

The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer is a fantasy adventure novel. What if there was a magical realm ruled by a queen and her attending valkyries? What if lost boys and girls aren’t really lost?

Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, this also reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Why? Because not everything in Wonderland is wonderful.

While I enjoyed the novel, it has some issues preventing it from being a 4 or 5 star read.

The novel feels like a mishmash of a lighthearted, YA fantasy rom-com and a more serious adult novel touching on grief and abuse.

Additionally, I felt the world-building for Shanandoah could have been better. We learn most of the good bits only second and third-hand, in retellings and stories, and not through the direct action of the plot.

And finally, the novel includes a fairy godmother-like storyteller who inserts themselves between chapters. I didn’t care for this, and I felt it mostly pulled you out of the (already) disjointed story.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins book cover

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins by P. Djèlí Clark is a fantasy novella about a group of undead assassins. And no, they aren’t cats. And no tails, either! The premise? In exchange for your memories and servitude (as an assassin), you can live (as a zombie) forever.

This is a quick read. While I wanted to love it, I just didn’t. I found it a bit boring and lackluster. The ideas are great, but the execution is missing something.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

The Redemption of Morgan Bright

Chris Panatier’s The Redemption of Morgan Bright is a fantasy-horror novel with a patriarchy reminiscent of The Handmaiden’s Tale. In a world where men can have their wives admitted for psychiatric care against their will, all under the guise of “domestic psychosis,” Morgan Bright goes into Hollyhock Asylum with a secret.

book cover: The Redemption of Morgan Bright.

The novel is told from the perspective of Charlotte and Morgan and is interspersed with excerpts from police interviews and text messages. As the story unfolds, we learn that Morgan desperately wants to understand what happened to her sister, Hadleigh, who died while wandering alone along the road outside the asylum.

All in all, I felt the novel moved at a very slow pace. There’s a lot of character development and narrative twists throughout. However, the supernatural aspect of the horror elements didn’t do much for me. Additionally, the police interviews and text messages, while important to the story-telling, felt forced and intrusive.

If supernatural novels with an evil patriarchy are your jam, you might like this more than I did.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Angry Robot for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own. Links in this review are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Mirrored Heavens

Mirrored Heavens book cover, featuring a woman with glowing eyes and large headdress.

Mirrored Heavens is the fabulous conclusion to the Between Earth and Sky trilogy by Rebecca Roanhorse.

With fantastic world building, magic, and intrigue, the Between Earth and Sky trilogy is on par with some of my other favorite fantasy series, such as the Broken Earth, and Inheritance trilogies by N.K. Jemisin.

Naranpa, avatar of the Sun God, and Serapio, the Crow God Reborn, both seek to save their people. They each face their own enemies, as we traverse the lands of Meridian, from the depths of the wastelangs, to Tova where the sun no longer shines, and the island of Teek, where the all-female islanders’ magic is fading.

At over 600 pages, it’s another long one, as are the first two books in the trilogy. However, I can’t recommend this enough! I loved the whole series, with its unique take on mythology, legends, magic, and the place of gods among us.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and S&S/Saga Press for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own. Amazon links in this review are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.