February 2022 Wrap-Up!

Hey guys! Today I’ll be talking about the books I read in February. I read a great mix of books this month and I managed to read another two Illumicrate books from my 2021 stack! Here’s what I read:

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino: I was so looking forward to this one as it’s dark academia but I found it really disappointing. It took so long for anything to happen and then when it did, it seemed to be more of a subplot than the actual main plot. It follows Tessa and Eliot who accidentally release a demon from his book-bound prison and they have to work together to re-trap him. I had a lot of issues with this book, the main one being Eliot’s magic. Eliot supposedly has magic but it’s never explored and it felt completely pointless for it to have been included in the story. All we’re told is that Eliot got his magic from his mother; we’re never told if anyone else knows about the magic or has it, or if there’s a magical society. He doesn’t even use the magic to take the demon down so, again, I’m not even sure why it was included because it seemed pretty pointless to me. The only thing I enjoyed about this story was what the demon does when it’s free. There was some really creepy scenes and I definitely think there’s potential for the author to write a proper horror story. Unfortunately, this wasn’t for me but maybe I’ll see what Bovalino writes next.

The Soul Stealer by Graham Masterson: I don’t read a lot of horror but I couldn’t resist this one. I did enjoy it, however, there was some really grusome scenes so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. Its about rich, powerful men in Hollywood sacrificing innocent people to a demon in order to get more power. This translates into successful scripts, films et cetera. Unfortunately, those innocent people being sacrificed are women and this is an aspect of the story that I felt very uncomfortable with. I struggled to get through some parts of the story because of this. It was a creepy and disturbing read, maybe a bit too disturbing for me.

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson: What a thrilling read this was! It follows nine strangers who receive a list with their name on and it’s not a list you want to be on as the people who are on the list are killed off one by one. I loved trying to work out what the connection was between them and who the killer was but it’s so tightly plotted that I was left in the dark for most of the story. One thing I didn’t like was that there’s a lot of people to keep track of and, invevitably, I did confuse a couple of them. Apart from that, I thought it was a brilliant whodunit mystery.

Such a Good Wife by Seraphina Nova Glass: This is the second book I’ve read by this author and she completely smashed it. It’s a slow burn domestic thriller but it has so many great twists and a flawed main character you can’t help but root for. It follows Melanie who spends her time looking after her children and caring for her husband’s sick mother. She gave up her career for her marriage and now she’s feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. She joins a writing group where she meets and begins an affair with a local author named Luke. When she finds Luke’s dead body, she has to keep the affair a secret to avoid being implicationed in his death. But someone knows what she did and starts blackmailing her. There’s some pretty nail-biting scenes as Melanie lies through her teeth to conceal her affair. She’s prepared to cross some lines that shouldn’t be crossed in order to protect her marriage. It’s a slow burn but really worth the read.

The Stealing by S.A. Sutila: I struggled to understand what this book was about exactly. It’s marketed as a YA, paranormal, gothic romance but it felt more of a romance than anything else. I did enjoy it, but I wanted more of the gothic and paranormal elements. It felt a bit like a coming-of-age story as it follows Sarah Vise who’s eighteen and in her final year of high school. She wants to break free and go to college but her abusive father refuses to let her leave. For most of the story, she goes fishing with her father and on dates with her boyfriend. I was skim-reading most of that because I wanted to get to the paranormal aspects, which involved someone trying to steal her spirit. It was an interesting read but not what I was expecting.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid: I loved this book! It’s been ages since I read an enemies to lovers book and this one was perfect. It follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed prince as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant. I was a bit worried going into it as I read some reviews that said it felt like nothing was happening for a lot of it, but I ended up really enjoying it. It was a slow burn at times and I think it’s more character driven than plot driven, but I thought it was beautifully done. One thing I didn’t like was the ending. There was a lot crammed into the last 100 pages and the ending felt a bit rushed, but I completely fell in love with this world and the characters. I would definitely re-read it and look out for more books by this author.

These are all the books I read in February. While some were disappointing, I enjoyed reading different genres and I think I’d read more from those authors.

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