Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shadow Study Review by Sceona

Shadow Study (Soulfinders Series #1)
By Maria V. Snyder
10 out of 10 Muddy Crowns


New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance….

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous….

Review(kind of):

I, for one, was ecstatic when Maria V. Snyder announced that she was going continue Yelena and Valek's story with a new series called Soulfinder's. I'll admit it, I cried. After being introduced to the Study series in 2009, I was heartbroken when it ended. I needed more Yelena and Valek. Maria and the series quickly became my favorite of all time and pushed J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series to number two. 
With that being said, Shadow Study did not disappoint. Maria brought back a few of our favorite characters Yelena, Valek, Ari, and Janco, and also brought in favorites from her Glass series, plus a few new characters that I quite enjoyed. The book is written through Yelena, Valek, and Janco's point of view, and usually I don't like that writing style (like Gone Girl), but it worked so well with this story line. I highly recommend that you read the Study series first, just because you would be cheating yourself out of discovering a magical world full of love, action, intrigue, humor, and so much more. 


Meet the Author

Maria Snyder
Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Future Lifetime Movie ~ It All Leads to This...Book Review by Frankie

It All Leads to This
By Tessa Brookfield

A Book Review
By Frankie Brazelton
7 out of 10 Muddy Crowns

Future Lifetime Movie ~ It All Leads to This

Let me begin my review by saying, politely, that Romance is not really my genre. This particular romance novel found its way into my hands, and ultimately, into my heart.

From the first few chapters, I perceived this story about Hailey Deegan and her disgraceful past to be the archetypical romance story: girl makes reprehensible decisions, attempts to start a new life, girl meets well-to-do overly handsome guy, whirlwind romance ensues, guy discovers shameful past, and they kiss and make up, then live happily ever after. My perception, however, proved to be entirely misjudged.

Yes, Brookfield’s novel is most definitely a love story, but it’s so much more. Rather than handing you a synopsis of this arresting and dramatic tale, I invite you to discover for yourself a fantasy of amorous trysts, unyielding friendship, conquered challenges and most importantly: love. Lost love, found love, and love of self. You’ll encounter more than one overtly delicious male love interest. You’ll be whisked into tantalizing sex scenes. The ending, surprisingly, will turn your world upside down and leave you crying, ugly faced, with happy tears. Yep, I’m talking Niagara fucking falls.

 Hailey Deegan is a character to inspire; champion for the wayward, proving that redemption and happiness are possible even for the most delinquent and lost among us.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of……Vanilla: A Fifty Shades of Grey movie review By Frankie Brazelton

Fifty Shades of……Vanilla
A Fifty Shades of Grey movie review
By Frankie Brazelton
4 out of 10 Muddy Crowns

Fans of E.L. James’ wildly successful Fifty Shades of Grey novel have been anticipating a film adaption since the phenomenon began. Right from the start women have fantasized about their dream cast and the plausibility of getting to see their favorite erotica titillate them through the magic of the silver screen. After viewing the film myself last night, I think I can safely say that there are going to be hoards of disappointed women flocking to their social media outlets to bash this film and exclaim their utter disdain.

Personally, I found the movie so boring that it evoked something worse than hatred: complete apathy; no emotion what-so-ever. It gave me neither excitement nor displeasure. It failed to arouse me, or repulse me. For a story supposedly based on a budding BDSM relationship, it was quite vanilla. {Queue the uproar of rabid fans}
The lack of chemistry between Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) was palpable to anyone who didn’t fall asleep watching the movie. Honestly, I am a fan of the books because…well the sex is great, but it’s also highly detailed by E.L. James. Though the novels are fantastically entertaining and arousing, as evidenced by their massive popularity, we all know it’s not for the writing. Just as men across the globe read Playboy for the “articles”, women read Fifty for the “mommy porn”. Taking an erotica that wholly owes its success to the explicit BDSM sex, and attempting to transform it into an R rated movie (seriously not even NC17!), well…all you have left is the story…a poorly written love story and a poorly written script that yield, you guessed it: vanilla. It’s not particularly off putting, but not especially exciting or appetizing either.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Where’d You Go, Bernadette Book Review by Frankie

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
By Maria Semple
A Book Review by Frankie Brazelton
8 out of 10 Muddy Crowns

A Quirky Adventure with Spunk

If there’s one thing any reader can tell you about this novel, it’s that it is original and creative in its structure. That alone is refreshing for the avid reader! This story is told through a series of emails, faxes, and all sorts of varying forms of documents and communications i.e. report card, TEDtalk transcript, and passenger log. This novel is incredibly well thought out and designed for a unique reading experience. As a fanatic of the vampire genre, my instinct was to think that this style is paying homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Surely Maria Semple drew inspiration from those letters between Stoker’s ill-fated lovers? I could be wrong, but I like to draw attention to that connection.

The audacious plot is centered on the mysterious disappearance of the idiosyncratic title character: Bernadette Fox. From Seattle to Washington, and Argentina to Antarctica, Bernadette’s temerarious actions prove to set in motion life-altering consequences.

Mother to a brilliant and vivacious daughter, Bee, and wife to Microsoft genius, Elgie, Bernadette’s life is anything but conventional. Living in a dilapidated former home for girls, and doing everything in her power to avoid the public, Bernadette becomes a recluse and eventually hires a virtual assistant from the opposite side of the globe to accomplish the simplest of tasks for her. However, this soon proves to be the catalyst for the ensuing adventure that will test the strength of marriage, the bond between a mother and daughter, and the sanity of a person who has long been haunted by a past defeat.

Peppered with colorful characters, this lively novel amazes the reader with Semple’s ability to present the story through so many different eyes. She’s a master of disguises, proving than she can be the voice of a myriad of characters from all walks of life.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an intelligent and spirited book. A great novel to start the New Year!