Down the TBR Hole # 18

TBRHOLE

Welcome again to Down the TBR Hole! This meme came from Lost in a Story. All book descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Current TBR total: 153

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco  – Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

I started reading this one some months ago and didn’t get very far. Since I own it and the sequel I definitely plan on at least giving it another shot.

♦KEEP♦

Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards #1) by Andrew Shvarts – Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey .

I am such a sucker for this kind of book, lets face it. A lot of reviews say this book is full of tropes but I really don’t mind tropes. They end up in books because they work at literary plot devices and I’m good with it. I’d forgotten that this one was on my TBR but now I really want to read it!

♦KEEP♦

Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1) by A.C. Gaughen – Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

Look, I was originally going to ax this one but I scrolled through Goodreads and read a few reviews. Several of them described the book as “heavy, dark, and depressing.” Come on, I’m a 90s grunge girl. Heavy, dark, and depressing is my jam. I can’t take this off the TBR now!

♦KEEP♦

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge – When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

I know that this is a standalone, not part of the Cruel Beauty universe, but it is the same author, so, I’m going to have to give this the boot. I tried Cruel Beauty and the writing style just didn’t suit me. Too far on the Y end of the YA spectrum and very flighty.

tenor

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #1) by Theodora Goss – Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous. 

Last summer I checked this book out from the library and tried to read it. Tried being the operative term. Could have been an awesome book but I couldn’t deal with the jumping between the actual plot and the kind of conversational asides done by the characters from a different POV. Didn’t jive with me. Yes, I just said jive. I believe I mentioned my 90s girl affliction.

tenor

Mistress of Rome (The Empress of Rome #1) by Kate Quinn  – First-century Rome: A ruthless emperor watches over all–and fixes his gaze on one young woman… 

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia. Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator–and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.

Oh, I am here for this. Historical fiction with a vindictive female in a place of power. Gimme.

♦KEEP♦

New TBR Total: 151

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Not one of my better purges but I’m glad I got reminded of a few books that had caught my attention in the past. Past Amanda had decent taste!

 

6 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole # 18

  1. I’m so glad you kept Royal Bastards and SJTR! I will say that I don’t think SJTR was perfect writing, but it was fun, and its sequel is a million times better. ❤ Royal Bastards definitely does suffer from some tropes, but the banter is killer and the characters are (mostly) super lovable. I hope you enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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