The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent
By Sarah Perry
Published by Serpent’s Tail

This book is beautiful! From the gorgeous cover and end papers, to the way the story is written, it’s just a beautiful book.

I want to thank Simon Savidge, from the Savidge Reads blog and The Readers podcast. He’s mentioned this book a few times, and spoke so highly of it that I had to read it. As of this review it’s not yet available in the U.S., so I had to order it from the UK – and it was worth the wait.

So let’s dive in.

In the opening chapters of the book we learn that Michael Seaborne is dying of cancer, and that he is being attended to by his dutiful wife Cora who, although seems to be taking very good care of him, does not seem to be emotionally distraught over the fact that he’s so ill and close to death. In fact, we learn that Michael is an abusive husband, and Cora is beginning to realize that soon she will be free of him, and he will be leaving her a very wealthy woman.

Also attending to Michael is his doctor, Luke Garrett, who seems to have quite a crush on Cora. When Michael makes it clear that he doesn’t want any treatment that will prolong his life, Dr. Garrett is all to happy to comply. With Cora, though, it’s not immediately clear how she feels about Dr. Garrett. She’s fond of him and relies on his company, but more than anything she wants to be an independent woman and considers herself an equal to men – not very common in the Victorian era.

Rounding out the Seaborne household is Cora and Michael’s son Francis, and Martha, the one time nanny who now also acts as a companion to Cora. Francis, or Frankie as his mother calls him, is an odd, quiet child that likes to collect trinkets – a feather, a shell, anything that catches his eye that he finds interesting and wants to study. Martha is devoted to Cora and Francis, but as a very committed Socialist she has some issues with their wealth and privilege.

After Michael’s death, Cora decides that she needs to get away from the home she shared with her cruel and abusive husband. She packs up Frankie and Martha and leaves London, taking up residence in the town of Colchester. It’s there that she happens upon Charles and Katherine Ambrose, old friends who are traveling in the area. From them she learns of the legend of the Essex serpent. It seems there have been some strange occurrences in a nearby town, and the locals believe that the serpent is back and creating these events. Cora is so intrigued, that when Charles Ambrose offers to write an introduction letter to his good friend, the Reverend Will Ransome, Cora at once agrees to travel to Aldwinter to meet the Reverend and his family – with the hope that she’ll get a glimpse of the Essex Serpent.

All seems to go very well for a while; Frankie and Martha have settled in and have made friends with the Ransome family, and Cora delights in the thought that she soon may see this mysterious serpent. But things take an interesting twist as Cora and the Reverend, who have as many things in common as they do differences, become very fast friends – much to the dismay of Dr. Luke Garrett, who is quite jealous; and Martha, who is worried that what’s happening between Cora and Will is quite inappropriate.

While Cora and Will continue their friendship, which entails frequent long walks and copious letter writing, the people of the town are beginning to believe in the curse of the Essex serpent. Children are no longer playing out doors, and the church congregation is growing as people turn to God, and to Will, for comfort in their fear.

Along the way we meet other characters whose lives are entwined with Cora, but the author manages to separate their stories so that there are sub-plots throughout. She does this by adding vignettes to the various sections of the book, which walk you through the passage of time, but always keeps her eye on the ball of the main plot – the serpent. It’s an interesting way to tell a very full story, and it makes the book move along at a very nice pace. This is also used to great advantage in beautifully descriptive passages, such as how the seasons change, how the air smells, and how the fog rolls in. It can go from seemingly so beautiful one minute, then all at once become dark and a bit gothic.

I could go on and on, but I’d be afraid of spoiling this wonderful story – let’s just say that toward the end of the book things start to happen very quickly, and I found myself racing to get to the end. Once I got there, however, I was sad that it was over – I didn’t want the story to end, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters, or to the Essex landscape that was described with such beauty. This is a book that I could see myself re-reading some day – it’s that good!

If you’ve read The Essex Serpent, I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, please feel free to comment below.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published by Penguin Publishing Group

One of the most iconic literary tag lines from the Charlotte Bronte novel Jane Eyre is, “Reader, I married him”. When I heard the tag line from Jane Steele – “Reader, I killed him” – I knew I had to read this book.

I read Jane Eyre the summer before I started eighth grade, and have re-read it numerous times since then. So why mention Jane Eyre, a book published in 1847, in a post about Jane Steele? Because this book does a great job at paying homage to the Bronte classic, and in fact our heroine, Jane Steele, even compares herself to the “fictional” Eyre. It’s done very well, and is really interesting to read Jane Steele’s inner thoughts about Eyre, and how she seems to mock Miss Eyre for being labeled wicked when she hasn’t done anything wrong. Steele, however, believes herself truly wicked, and seems to take offense. It’s almost like she’s telling the reader, “You think she’s wicked? Wait until you hear what I’ve done!” And you can’t wait – the build-up is fantastic.

At the start of the book, Jane and her mother are living in a cottage on her Aunt’s estate. There is some contention that Jane is the true heir to the estate, but circumstances have kept her and her mother living off the charity of her Aunt Patience. That’s never good, and it’s obvious from the start that her Aunt resents the fact that she’s obligated to house them. Add to that Jane’s cousin Edwin, who can’t seem to make up his mind if he wants to torment Jane, or do naughty things to her. Ugh, so creepy!

Then a couple of tragic events take place and Jane finds herself sent off to boarding school. Now, rather than narrate her life in a painstakingly long narrative, Jane tells the reader that she’s going to summarize her life there, as she skips ahead to various times at school. It’s very clever, and you don’t feel like you missed anything – she’s basically saying that some time goes by, and only a small number of events are worth mentioning – so we time jump a couple of years – but not before we learn how horrid her time was there, and how cruelly the girls were treated; and in true Jane Steele fashion she escapes to London – but not alone, Jane’s friend from school comes along as a faithful companion.

After a few years living in a squalid boarding house, with a drunken landlord who also doubles as a business partner, Jane finds herself a sort of “journalist” writing stories about the lurid crimes committed in and around London. But once again, a tragic event occurs, and Jane finds herself trying to reconcile what she’s done; and what she needs to do. Heartbroken, she finds herself alone and in a bad way.

At this point in the story we get a glimpse of Jane living a sort of comfortable life, if not a bit seedy, but we don’t know exactly how she comes to be here as Jane swiftly narrates her way through that part of her life. It’s here that Jane soon reads an advertisement in the paper for a governess in none other than her old home. She learns that her aunt Patience has died and Highgate House has been inherited by a distant relative of her aunt. Jane decides to answer the advertisement, and begins to plot the downfall of the new owner, Charles Thornfield.

Jane easily falls into her routine as governess, and as she begins to learn a little about the quirky inhabitants of the household she finds herself having genuine affection for them. And it’s not before too long that she realizes she’s actually falling in love with Charles Thornfield.

I admit I’m not a fan of romance novels, and I fully expected to part ways with the book at this point because the story does start to take a bit of a romantic twist. But, happily, this is where the book really begins to shine. It’s not overly romantic, and in fact is the best part of the book. The characters are really bright, and Lyndsay Faye does a marvelous job at writing some of the wittiest and smartest dialogue at this juncture. The interaction between Jane and Charles has so much spark and humor that I found myself chuckling quite a bit.

Add to this a mystery about missing jewels, family secrets and tragedies, and a murderess for a governess; what’s not to like? This book is very entertaining, and although there were many points where it could have gotten bogged down, it never did. It was very well paced and the author kept it moving right to the very end. I really enjoyed it!

One last note – there was a recent announcement that Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures has acquired the movie rights, so I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for that. I’m curious to see who they cast for the main characters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment below. And if you’ve already read Jane Steele and are excited about the movie, who do you think they should cast as Jane and Charles, as well as the other characters.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Published by Penguin Publishing Group
Audio narrated by Drew Barrymore

I don’t listen to a lot of audio books; I find it difficult to follow an intricate plot while working or driving.  But there are some books that I prefer in audio – and this is definitely one of them.

I actually have a signed hardcover edition; but I like to keep my signed copies in pristine condition, so when I saw that it was out on audio, and narrated by the author herself, it was a no-brainer.

This is the first half of the story of a young woman, who you may think had the world on a silver platter, but that was very far from the truth.  She really didn’t have the fairy tale life that might be assumed based on her famous name, and her early successful career in movies.  Her story is much more complicated, heartbreaking, and eventually joyful. As Drew Barrymore tells the story of her life thus far, she’s brutally honest about her own mistakes – and she tells it with so must honesty and humor that you can’t help but be charmed by her.

She talks about being raised by a single mother – her father, from the famed Barrymore family, not involved in her early years at all; and how, at only 14 years old, she went to court to become emancipated from her mother.  I love her stories of how unprepared she was for some of the most basic things that she never learned to do – like laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking. And how she had to find a “real” job when she couldn’t get an acting gig, and having absolutely no other skills. You can hear the wonder in her voice as she herself seems surprised that she was able to survive.

And that’s what  I love about the audio.  Listening to her voice break as she talks about  connecting with her father, and then being with him through his illness and eventual death.  The admiration and love in her voice when she talks about Steven Spielberg, who she thinks of as a father; even after he sent her a blanket and a note to “cover up” in response to her posing in Playboy! And the absolute joy and happiness in her voice when she talks about her children. She narrates her way through her life like she’s sitting right next to you, having a cup of coffee and a chat, and it’s lovely to feel like a trusted friend that she’s confiding in.

Drew Barrymore is only 41 years old, and you might think it’s too early in her life to write a memoir – but I don’t think of it that way. This is just the first half, and she wanted to tell the beginning part of her life, maybe set the record straight in some instances, but one thing I do know – she’s a fascinating and talented woman with a lot of heart and courage.  I look forward to her someday completing her memoir of the second half of her life.

If you’re not familiar with Drew Barrymore I highly recommend listening to the audio, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten to know her pretty well in no time.

Update – There was something that I wanted to put in this post, but I actually forgot until a commenter reminded me – thanks Night Train Books!  I was not a big Drew Barrymore fan when she was younger. I saw the tabloid headlines, and saw some of her antics on TV, so she didn’t really impress me.  It wasn’t until I saw her in the movie “Ever After” that I started to watch her movies.  She explains in her book how she comes to the realization that she needed to grow up, and how she felt embarrassed by some of the things that she did to gain attention. It’s at this point in her life that she decides to make more wholesome, family friendly movies.

Because of that change in her life, I believe that she’s made some really nice movies, so I thought I’d share my favorites:

  • Ever After: A Cinderalla Story
  • Never Been Kissed
  • 50 First Dates
  • Music and Lyrics (my favorite of the bunch)
  • Big Miracle
  • Blended (my second favorite)

If you’ve read the book, or listened to the audio, I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below.




The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs

The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs

The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk Books

Quick note – This is a review of all 3 books in the Peculiar Children series, so it’s a bit long, especially for the first book, which sets up the series. Also, it contains some spoilers, but I did try to be as vague as possible for some of, what I considered, the most critical plot points. Also, the movie trailer is out, with the theatrical release scheduled for September 2016.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Book 1

I came upon this first book while browsing through my local Barnes and Noble. I was really intrigued by the cover, and then saw that the book was sprinkled throughout with these really weird and wacky photographs. I read the blurb on the inside cover, and even though it didn’t seem like something that I would typically read, I thought “why not”. I’m glad I took the chance. It’s an interesting and fun, fantastical story.

The book opens with –

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portman.”

And this is how we’re introduced to Jacob Portman, a pretty typical teenage boy from Florida.

As a young boy, Jacob grew up listening to his grandfather Abraham tell him stories of growing up in an orphanage, fighting in wars, traveling the world, and performing in circuses. He would listen attentively to stories of monsters and fantastical creatures, like a bird that smoked a pipe. It wasn’t until Jacob got a little older, and he started to doubt these stories, that Abraham showed him pictures of some of the “peculiar” children that he grew up with in the orphanage. But Jacob still wasn’t convinced, and after being made fun of in school for believing in fairy tales, Jacob stopped asking his grandfather to tell the stories all together.

A few years later, one night at work, Jacob gets a frantic phone call from his grandfather and he races to his home. But he’s too late. He finds his grandfather in the woods behind the house, covered in blood and barely alive. With his last breath, Abraham implores Jacob to go to “the island”, and to find the “bird” and the “loop”. Jacob promises, and as Abraham slips away Jacob feels a presence watching him.

This is how Jacob’s adventure begins. After finding an old letter in his grandfather’s belongings, he convinces his parents to let him travel to Wales to learn more about his grandfather’s life, and the orphanage that he grew up in. His father, who writes books about birds, decides to take Jacob to Wales in order get some new material for his book, and with the hope that Jacob will finally get these crazy ideas about his grandfather out his system.

On an island, off the coast of Wales, Jacob finds the children’s home – old and decrepit but still there. As he wanders through the old abandoned building he hears a young girl’s voice, and as he looks around a light catches his eye – up on the second floor of the crumbling building, he sees children’s faces looking down at him through the broken floor.

Freaked out, Jacob runs from the girl, fighting his way through the fog and the mud, eventually finding himself in front of a large pile of rocks with an opening that leads to a sort of tunnel. Of course Jacob enters the tunnel, and somehow finds himself back on the road to the town where he and his father are staying. But something is seriously wrong, and he eventually figures out that he’s in the right place – but in the wrong time!

Jacob’s adventure takes him back to 1940, where he meets the peculiar children, including Emma, the voice he heard in the old children’s home. Emma explains that he’s found the “loop”, which allows them to travel through time. She takes him to meet Miss Peregrine, the woman who runs the orphanage, and he learns that his grandfather was a “peculiar”. He also learns that his grandfather didn’t make up those old stories of weird birds, creatures, and monsters – they were all true – and Jacob is about to come face to face with them as events start to spiral out of control and Miss Peregrine is kidnapped!

And this is where the story twists and turns, and gets really wild and crazy as the children go after their beloved Miss Peregrine.

Hollow City – Book 2


We catch up with Jacob and the children, who have rescued Miss Peregrine, and are now being hunted by the creatures that kidnapped her. Fleeing by boat, the children are caught in a wicked storm, and after a harrowing night they finally land on a beach. Before they can even breathe a sigh of relief however, they realize that they’ve been followed. As they run for their lives into the forest they realize that they’re hopelessly lost, and have no idea where they are or how to find a safe place to hide. Finally though, luck seems to be on their side, and they happen upon a caravan of traveling gypsies, who are eventually convinced to help them.

But, as always with luck, it only lasts so long and things start to go very wrong. They’re continually running from danger, meeting strange people and animals along the way. Their adventures take them to a bombed out London, to an underground crypt in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and eventually to a loop that leads them to a building covered in thick ice that serves to protect it. It’s here that Jacob and the children realize that things are not all as they should be with Miss Peregrine.


Library of Souls – Book 3

imageLibrary of Souls begins with the entire peculiar world on the brink of destruction, and Jacob and Emma are determined to save it. They need to get to the Library of Souls to stop something very evil from being unleashed, which would cause dire consequences to all that they love.

Speaking of love, Jacob and Emma have fallen in love during their dangerous adventure, and are starting to think about how they can continue their future together. It seems a lost cause, for one thing they’re not even sure they’ll be able to survive all the danger; and secondly, there’s the problem of being from two different times.

Jacob’s maturity begins in the second book, but it’s during this last book that we finally get to see the hero emerge. He is now closer to the Jacob that his grandfather likely envisioned when regaling him with his old stories of peculiar children, creatures and monsters. It seems that Jacob has finally grown up and he’s realized that it’s on him now to step up:

“I could feel all the disparate strands my silly and scattered life converging toward a single point, unseen behind those walls. That’s where it was: the thing I had to do—or die trying.”

Along with Jacob and Emma on this do-or-die mission is their faithful companion, Addison. Addison is actually introduced in the second book, and is a “peculiar” as well – he’s a talking dog. Intelligent and pragmatic, Addison is also tirelessly loyal and extremely brave (of course he is – he’s a boxer)! Add in a kind of weird and creepy ferryman, and you’ve got a finale worthy of this series.

Finally, my thoughts – I was very pleasantly surprised. This is storytelling at its very best when it comes to fantasy, or even fairy tales. The characters are great – funny, smart, sympathetic; and the camaraderie is what makes this series so wonderful. There is a ton of action and adventure, with just enough tension and creepiness to keep you on the edge of your seat. Throughout the entire series you find yourself rooting for Jacob, Emma and all of the peculiars, including Addison, and of course Miss Peregrine.

And of course, I’d be quite negligent in my review if I didn’t mention the photographs used in the books. They are quite fantastic, weird, creepy, and some, even unbelievable. Just looking at the covers of all three books gives you a sense of the kind of photos you’ll see inside. I highly recommend you visit Riggs’ website, where you’ll find information on his books, his own photography, and the movie trailer –

Lastly, I just want to add the blurb for his new book, “Tales of the Peculiar”, that I saw on the website:

“Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of the peculiars was written in the ‘Tales of the Peculiar’. Releasing September 3rd, 2016.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced in the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. You are invited to learn these secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar. Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson, this compelling, rich, and truly peculiar anthology is perfect for fans and those new to the series, as well.”

Sounds like I’ll be adding that one to my collection!

As always, please feel fee to leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from fans of the series, and hear what you think of the movie trailer.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books

In the Acknowledgments section of the book, Victoria Schwab writes “Here we are again. The end of another book.” Indeed, the end of this one, but happily not the end of the adventure. There is more to come!

But for now, let’s talk about this one.

So here we are, about four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila is part of the crew on a pirate ship, living her dream of being on the high seas, and working closely with her Captain who is teaching her about her newfound powers. When she learns of the Essen Tasch — a magical competition being held in Red London – Lila is torn between wanting to test her abilities and the possibility of running into Kell, who she is still trying to reconcile her feelings for.

Kell is also struggling with his feelings for Lila, but even more importantly he’s feeling a tremendous amount of guilt at what transpired those four months ago. The people of Red London seem to fear him now; his own adoptive parents mistrust him and are desperately trying to keep him from leaving the Palace. His smuggling days are over. They know that if anything happens to him, it also happens to Rhy, his brother, and heir to the throne. This leaves Kell feeling trapped and stifled.

Rhy knows his brother is struggling, but he’s also feeling the effects of that fateful night that bound them forever. He’s suffering from horrific nightmares that are keeping him from sleeping, and he’s not very good at keeping this from Kell. But Rhy has an idea! He’s decided that Kell will compete in the Essen Tasch – but it’s not going to be easy, and he devises a plan to deceive the competitors, the spectators and even his parents. His only problem? Getting Kell to agree.

In the meantime, while all this is going on in Red London, another London is having an awakening. As a dark force is rising, Kell, Rhy, and all of Red London are oblivious – they’re enjoying the Essen Tasch.

Unlike the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, this book delves more into each individual character and we get a lot more insight into how they tick, while the world building takes a back seat. I really liked that aspect of this book. Although I appreciate how an author uses so much creativity to build a world unlike our own – with magic, no less – I do tend to favor books that are more character driven.

I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated that Lila and Kell had so little time together – but when they finally connected, it was crackling with the same snappy and smart dialogue that I loved so much in the first book. This is where Schwab shines. She has a way with dialogue that makes reading conversations between our favorite characters fun and easy. And it’s not just Lila and Kell. There is also the relationship between Lila and her captain, Alucard. A new character to the series, Alucard has become a kind of mentor for Lila – and I really like this addition. For all of the angst that we read between Kell and Rhy, the character of Alucard adds quite a bit of humor and mystery.

Now for me, the elephant in the room is the Essen Tasch. This contest of magical abilities is the slowest part of the book for me. I just don’t like reading about any type of competition, and I found myself skipping over paragraphs just to get it done. But to give the book credit, it’s a small part of the book, and it doesn’t drag on too long.

All in all, another hit for V. E. Schwab that I enjoyed, and I already pre-ordered “A Conjuring of Light”, the last book of the series. I’m going to miss these characters. Let’s hope that the last book wraps everything up in a nice tidy bow – and to our liking!

You can follow the author on Twitter @veschwab, where she’s pretty active, and pretty funny.

You can read my thoughts on the first book of the series, “A Darker Shade of Magic” in an earlier post.

As always, please feel free to comment below!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt & Co.

I had been hearing a lot about Six of Crows, and since it was all good I decided to give it a shot. I was apprehensive at first because it was based on an already existing series known as The Grisha Trilogy. I was worried that I would be picking up a story in that world, but somewhere in the middle. Boy was I wrong. This book, although set in the fantasy Grisha world, is not part of the Grisha Trilogy. In fact, not only does it stand on its own from the trilogy, it looks like it’s going to be the first in a new series. And I’m very excited about that.

This book is awesome!

Now I could just stop here, and tell you to just go read it – cause I think it’s that good – but I’m not. I’m going to tell you why I think this book is so darned good.

First, let me tell you a bit about it.
It’s a CAPER story! And I just love a good caper. If you’re not sure what I mean, here is a definition from Wikipedia:

“The caper story is a subgenre of crime fiction. The typical caper story involves one or more crimes (especially thefts, swindles, or occasionally kidnappings) perpetrated by the main characters in full view of the reader.”

So what’s the “caper”? Six kids (teens around 16-17 years of age) need to break into an impenetrable prison, kidnap a prisoner, and then break out of the prison. And if all goes well, they will be very, very rich.

From the very first page this book is one big adventure with a strong cast of characters that I just fell in love with. The story is strong, the dialogue is smart and sassy, and the action is non-stop. It moves very quickly and never lags. And it’s funny! There is so much wisecracking between characters that I actually found myself chuckling out loud. Oh, and there’s magic!

Now let’s talk about the “kids”. Almost immediately you understand that this is about a group of teens, but as you learn through their own memories and back stories, they’ve been dealt some pretty bad cards. Their stories are harsh and heartbreaking – but they have not been beaten. They’ve survived in some pretty crappy surroundings.

Kaz is a thief and the leader of a gang known as the Dregs. He’s the brains behind the plan. As a young child he faced a tragic loss that forced him to grow up way too soon. He knows who caused his troubles, and he’s determined to make him pay.

Inej is known as the Wraith. Once an acrobat that walked the high wire, she’s now known for her stealth and her skill with knives. Kaz took her out of a bad situation and she owes him her unfailing loyalty. She acts as his spy.

Jesper is the wisecracking gambler that loves guns, and is a crack shot. He left his family farm for an education, but the cards called his name, and he never left the gambling houses. He can be counted on to provide the comic relief and to never miss his target.

Nina is Grisha, which means she practices magic. She’s a heartrender and can drop a man with just a twist of her hand. She’s also very beautiful and pretty sassy. She needs to right a wrong, and it’s her hope that she can make amends. Her guilt drives her to join this team.

Matthias is a former soldier who was accused of a terrible crime. He’s worried that his part in the plan will brand him as a traitor to his country, and he struggles with not only that guilt, but his thirst for revenge on the person who cost him so much.

Wylan, the poor little rich boy rebelling against his father – is very good with explosives. He could be the weak link in the team, but he’s determined to prove himself.

This is a great cast of characters, and I love how Leigh Bardugo highlights each one of them by alternating chapters specifically focused on each one. This is where you get their back stories, and how you keep up with each member of the team as they move through this wild adventure.

For anyone who likes a good old fashioned action adventure, this one will fit the bill. It reminds me of two of my favorite TV shows, Leverage and Firefly, which also had the crackling dialogue and wild capers that I love so much in this book.

Check this one out, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For more information, check out Leigh Bardugo’s website at:

Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows


Poodles 0 – Rabbit 1


Our first Poodle vs Rabbit of 2016 happened at 5:00 a.m. this morning, and I’m happy to report the rabbit won.

River chased the poor thing around the yard about 6 times, and it wasn’t until the rabbit ran behind the deck box that River was thwarted. All was well……until I heard the rattling of the chain link fence. The poor thing was caught in one of the links.

This is not the first time this has happened, so armed with a flashlight I went to assess the damage. Yep, the poor thing was about halfway through and struggling.

Next step – yell for Super Husband!  With just a few snips of his trusty heavy duty wire cutters, the rabbit was free. (I held the flashlight!).

Happy New Year!