Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

*No Major Spoilers*

In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been discovering a lot of interesting books on TikTok, and this is another one of them. I saw this book on Arriane’s TikTok and I loved the setting and premise. So let’s cast a spell and reveal the truth of Elysium Girls.

I don’t read many books that take place in Oklahoma, and I love seeing that representation. I love how this happens during the Dust Bowl, and how we learn in the story that the rest of the world is in the middle of WWII. So being stuck in the era of the Dust Bowl and having to play to these goddesses games is interesting.

I love the characters, Sal I found to be relatable. She had her reputation torn to shreds because of no one supported her prediction of the drought ending. Even Mother Morevna shaming her and joining the rest of the town in shaming Sal was despicable to me.

Mother Morevna reminded me of the grandmother from Encanto, Abuela Alma Madrigal. Both are strong, magical women who have faced traumatic pasts and are handling things to what they think is the best way to do things, but actually aren’t.

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters such as Olivia, and the other friends they make while in exile. Although, of the new friend group, I can’t tell you who is who because of how quickly we’re introduced to the girl gang. However, that is a small complaint I have with the characters.

The ending was okay. It didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go, which is good. However, I’m feeling undecided on if I liked the way the story wrapped up. It was a solid ending overall. However I feel like I can’t delve more into it without going into spoilers and that’s no fun!

So overall, I really liked Elysium Girls. I loved the main characters, and how real the setting felt. This has small elements of steampunk, and the romance is natural and not forced into the plot. I would highly recommend if you enjoy magical realism, books that take place in Oklahoma, and historical fiction.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Thirsty Mermaids by Kay Leyh

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*No Major Spoilers*

Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids decide to magically masquerade as humans and sneak onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning as, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the world around them, and even trying to get a job with no skill set…all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying).


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Most mermaid stories are romances, however Thirsty Mermaids throws that cliché out the window. Pearl, Tooth, and Eez are best friends who enjoy getting drunk together. Even when they realize that Eez may not be able to break the curse and turn them back into merfolk, they trust that Eez will find the answer and just try and make the best of a rough situation.

There isn’t much to say about this graphic novel without spoiling the humor and heart the story has. I enjoyed all of the main characters and their exploits as they try to adjust to human life. Pearl makes friends with a couple of treasure hunters who are regulars at the bar The Thirsty Mermaid. Tooth gets a job as a bouncer at a local club, which I wanted to hear if she had any crazy stories while she was a bouncer there. Eez stays at the apartment of their bartender friend in hopes to figure out a way to break the curse. All while hijinks ensue and a lot of friends are made along the way.

Overall, I think The Thirsty Mermaids is a fun story if you’re tired of the mermaid romance cliche and are looking for a fun lighthearted story with plenty of heart and booze.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews

REVIEW: When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

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*No Major Spoilers*

Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio, was affected when the local steel mill exploded. If you weren’t a casualty of the accident yourself, chances are a loved one was. That’s the case for seventeen-year-old Franny, who, five years after the explosion, still has to stand by and do nothing as her brother lies in a coma.

In the wake of the tragedy, Franny found solace in a group of friends whose experiences mirrored her own. The group calls themselves The Ordinary, and they spend their free time investigating local ghost stories and legends, filming their exploits for their small following of YouTube fans. It’s silly, it’s fun, and it keeps them from dwelling on the sadness that surrounds them.

Until one evening, when the strange and dangerous thing they film isn’t fiction–it’s a bright light, something massive hurdling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate…everything changes.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

First off, I have to say that when I saw the cover of this novel at the library, I fell in love with this beautiful book cover. When I finished reading When the Sky Fell on Splendor, I can say that the story is just as beautiful as the cover.

I love how the characters were relatable and had depth. Franny and her brother Arthur grew up living in their older brother’s shadow. After the steel mill explosion and their brother Mark ends up in a coma, Franny’s mom and dad divorce and Franny and Arthur continue to live in the background of their depressed dad’s life.

“How many billions of things had to happen just right to give me this ordinary life.”

Emily Henry, When the Sky Fell on Splendor

We don’t get much from the other characters other than what is on the surface that Franny has observed. One of the key facets of their friend group is to not talk about emotional stuff. Even though some of the signs of the parents’ issues have clearly effected their kids in subtle ways.

Franny had grown close to one of the other boys in their group, and during an emotional moment he shared about how his mom’s doomsday prepping quickly spiraled into hoarding after the accident. He even took up a job at the local Walmart just so he could support his ailing mom and how he had become the sole breadwinner after his dad died in the accident.

I personally would’ve loved more insight on Sophia. I think she was left out when it came to emotional weight. She was the smartest one of the group and wasn’t an outcast like the others. She wanted to be a lawyer after a weekend with her grandmother watching Law and Order: SVU. She seemed to have a great relationship with her mom, and doesn’t understand why Franny started keeping her at arm’s length.

I read this book being compared to The Serpent King and Stranger Things as well as Super 8. I personally haven’t read or watched any of these, but they seem to have similar themes to When the Sky Fell on Splendor. So if you are familiar with any of these popular stories, I would recommend this novel for you.

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

REVIEW: Dorohedoro

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*No Spoilers* 

*This anime is rated R/MA for Blood, Violence, and Nudity*

In a city so dismal it’s known only as “the Hole,” a clan of Sorcerers has been plucking people off the streets to use as guinea pigs for atrocious “experiments” in the black arts. In a dark alley, Nikaidou found Caiman, a man with a reptile head and a bad case of amnesia. To undo the spell, they’re hunting and killing the Sorcerers in the Hole, hoping that eventually they’ll kill the right one. But when En, the head Sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering his people, he sends a crew of “cleaners” into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds. – IMDb


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I first saw the trailer for Dorohedoro on Netflix, and I thought it looked interesting. I don’t mind violence or gore in anime, but there is so much more to this anime than meets the eye.

I had so many questions I had no clue what was going on in the beginning. No matter how little I was understanding, I couldn’t stop watching. Even as Caiman and Nikaido explain what goes on in their universe, I had more questions. For example, why does everyone in this world wear a mask when they go out? Is privacy a significant concern in this universe?

Even though I had only minor questions about the world surrounding the characters, I think the writers did a great job handling the mystery surrounding Caiman, but keeping several cards close to their chest for the next season.

Overall, I found Dorohedoro to be a fantastic anime; the characters are great; there is plenty of humor amongst all the violence. I can’t wait to dive back in when Netflix releases season 2.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Dragon Consultant (Supernatural Consultant #1) by Mell Eight

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*No Spoilers*

Supernatural consultant Dane receives a call from the government about dealing with a couple of dragons that are making airplanes halt their flights. Dane goes to investigate the area, and things aren’t quite what they seem. Soon Dane’s alliance with the dragons will put his world in danger. Will Dane be able to help the dragons?

I enjoyed this book. It was different, there were all different kinds of supernatural creatures in this book! However, the main focus was on the dragons. I was wary of the fact that this is classified as an LGBT book. It only provided laughs and giggles because I’m immature in my sense of humor. So just be wary of that.

I enjoyed the wide range of characters, each felt unique and special. My favorite was Lumie! He’s adorable in the fact that he attaches himself to Dane’s leg, and travels with him wherever he goes. He even discovers his favorite candy is cinnamon bombs!

This was a nice and easy read, and I might continue reading this series. Whether for this blog, of for my own time.

I would recommend this book for fantasy lovers, LGBT, and if you’re looking for a quick and easy read.