Kmuse’s Book Reviews (December 11th, 2023)

It is the holiday season which means there are many times we introverts are stuck at parties and just want to sneak off to a corner and read a book. If you are like me and this is a common occurrence, here are some of my recent favorites for you to choose your next winter read.

It has been a crazy year and I am way behind on my Book Reviews. Rather than catch up, we are just going to jump straight to some of my recent reads and go from there. Crossing my fingers that 2024 is a bit more conducive to blogging. On the off chance you want to know my feelings on all the books I am reading, follow me HERE on Goodreads.

Damsel by Evelyn Skye

If you are looking for a character that is a true butt-kicking hero, then this is your book. Elodie is all that you could wish for in a heroine. Her journey from princess to dragon tribute was engaging from start to finish, and I loved every minute. I am used to YA stories being focused on romance, but this story was strong enough that romance wasn’t needed to make me care about Elodie and her journey. I give this book 5/5 stars.

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In The Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

This story was fascinating, and I could not put it down. All the characters had so much personality and heart. I laughed, I cried (literally teared up in the middle of work), and all the emotions in between. The search into humanity’s flaws was fascinating, and the robot/human dynamic created a unique story. I give In The Lives of Puppets 5/5 stars.

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The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

This is the fourth book I have read from this author, and I have found that Peter Swanson is the master at making me enjoy books about horrible people I don’t care about. It is all about the mystery and the journey, not cheering for any of the characters to have a good life by the end. Mostly because they usually don’t deserve it. I was at first nervous that the narrative was a series of diary entries (at least for the first third of the story), but my fears were unfounded. I quickly became engrossed and enjoyed deciphering the subtext behind the journals. I loved this book and found it a nice change from the usual fluffy Christmas stories that are released this time of year. I give The Christmas Guest a solid 4.5/5 stars.

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Cocktails & Chloroform By Kelley Armstrong

The Rip Through Time series by Kelley Armstrong is becoming one of my favorite must-read books. Even the novella gave me a fun adventure that kept me reading past bedtime. Our heroine, Mallary, and Dr. Grey have the best sleuthing chemistry, and I enjoy the fish out of water time travel hijinks. The story provides just enough time travel references without feeling like that is all it has going for it. I highly recommend this book and give it a solid 5/5 stars, and cannot wait for the next series installment out in May 2024.

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Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

Sometimes I enjoy just reading a book that leans heavily into the quirky character genre. This is one of those books. Evie is truly a hot mess and always finds herself in the center of whatever disaster is happening. To keep her family fed and provided for, she agrees to become the assistant to the local evil sorcerer. The romance in this series is a slow burn, but still lots of fun. I also was truly surprised at who the traitor was in the end. If you want a story with a lot of romance and low angst, this is for sure the book for you. I gave this book 4/5 stars because I had so much fun reading it.

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I hope these recommendations provide a little something to entertain through the holiday season. Wish everyone Happy Holidays and look forward to chatting more books in 2024.

Til the next read,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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