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  • Jacque Stevens

Review Round-Up: March 2018

The Weight of Feathers:

Lovely worldbuilding in this book. I liked the writing style. It was very poetic and I think that alone made up for some of the faults, but there were still a few things I got caught up on.

I wish there were less Spanish and French words used or at least, that they were more quickly translated. I shouldn’t have to be fluent in two different languages after ordering the English version of your novel. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that bad, but bad enough to be distracting and pull me from the story a few times—especially in the beginning.

There was a whole chapter where the girl was topless in front of the male character for no reason other than “she wasn’t sure what to wear.” Ridiculous and pointless. Just grab a shirt. Any shirt. I might have even accepted a bra since she was swimming. I can be forgiving for some content depending on how it is handled/framed and who it is marketed for, but this just seemed stupid, even if it wasn’t graphic.

I liked how the different story threads came together in the end. The characters were well-developed and interesting, even though the action parts of the plot were a bit slower. I’m interested in looking at what else this author has written, but I would pay careful attention to any potential content issues to see if it would be an okay fit for me.

Four Stars


I loved this one. The futuristic world was a good mix of dark and cool new tech. I liked the main character. The romance was nicely present without taking over too much, and there weren’t any overly distracting content issues. The best part for me in this one was the twists. I predicted one bigger thing, but not another, and still was able to look back and say that all the clues were there and it made perfect sense. So cool.

Though I’m not sure when the next one will come out and am mad at myself for not checking on that before reading. The end isn’t a terrible cliffy, but enough that I would have preferred having the option to dive right in. So rude. :P

I'll have to see if there is something else by this author I can read in the meantime!

Five Stars

Burning Glass:

I wanted to read this book mostly because I heard that the magic-system of an empath was shown very well here and I was not disappointed at all on that front. Super interesting. Very well done.

The love triangle though was everything I sometimes hate about YA/teen books. I didn’t care for either of the love interests or understand why they were all so enamored by the MC and visa versa. Sometimes, I can still really enjoy a book without paying attention to the romance, but in this book, it was all so tied to everything else in the plot (in that heavy-handed way that a lot of YA/teen books have) that it was hard to keep enjoying the parts of the worldbuilding and plot points that I liked without the romance spilling over and spoiling it for me.

The book stands well alone. The end was almost too satisfying in that I don’t know if I care to read the next one—probably depends on what the plot is. I will have to look and decide.

Four Stars

A Life of Death:

I liked the idea of this book. I just never found it all that believable. Yes, I could follow along with the more supernatural stuff, but he kept running into murder after murder in a way that didn’t seem all that likely. Some of it seemed pointless, like this extended bit where he saw all these visions of Civil War deaths. Yes, many of those deaths were awful and there are some good lessons there, but it seemed an unnecessary distraction from the more current cases and overly long.

There were some social issues addressed that are usually very interesting to me, but I felt that this was a shallow interpretation. The “bad guys” were a bit one-note and the injuries and violence seem so extreme that I couldn’t see how he kept walking away from these encounters without much consequence—for him or the other person involved. Sort of cartoonish, even though it was dealing with more serious issues. Even the good guys/love interest were so useless and generic that I didn’t much want them around.

It was a super quick read for me though and it ended well. I still found myself curious about where the rest of the series goes. Not a bad book really, just might not have been the best fit for me overall.

Three Stars

24 Hours in Ancient Rome: (Bonus Book)

I read this for research for a novel I am currently editing. I’m a fantasy writer and a more character driven one at that, so I don’t worry at all about being perfectly historically accurate, but I still wanted something to give me a light overview of Rome and some more details to add some color to the setting/time period. This book perfectly delivered. It had a great mix of original sources and just enough of its own narrative story to keep things moving.

Very well done and interesting. I wish there was more—like a series of different books in different locations/time periods under this same concept.

Five Stars

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