Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar | October 10, 2017
Fidelia Quails parents, Dr. and Dr. Quail, are brilliant marine scientists and Fidelia is determined to follow in their footsteps. On the last day of the season, just before fierce storms and foul weather begin to set in, the Quails are out on the water – or, rather, under it, in her parents’ case. They’re inside a submarine Fidelia invented and it’s that invention that ultimately leads to their death. Sadly for Fidelia, pirates don’t care one whit about mourning as Merrick the Monstrous kidnaps her, claiming she’s the only one who can retrieve his treasure from the ocean floor.
While Race to the Bottom of the Sea was a quick read, I never became as fully invested in the story or characters as I had hoped. I know I’m in the minority here, as other readers seem to really enjoy this one. Yay girls interested in science! Yay nasty pirates! I’ll admit I was shocked to learn Fidelia’s parents truly were dead; I assumed they had survived the storm and that they’d make a surprise return at the end. Nope. Bravo to the book for that one.
The Breathless by Tara Goedjen | October 10, 2017
One year ago Roxanne Cole’s body was discovered on the beach…and her friend was seen fleeing. Cage hasn’t been seen since, until the day he shows up at the Coles’ asking for Ro like nothing had happened. Cage claims to have no memory at all of the past year and after Ro’s sister Mae discovers a secret little book, she’s beginning to believe him.
The Breathless was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and when I did, I immediately dove in. Not only did it sound super intriguing, but it also seemed perfect for fall/Halloween reading! ..guys, The Breathless was a DNF. I got 49% of the way through before I finally called it quits. How can a book about dead girls and magic be boring?! I felt like it wasn’t going anywhere, there was a gross love triangle that seemed to be in the works (Mae is Ro’s little sister and one boy was Ro’s boyfriend, the other had a crush of Ro. ew.) and I simply didn’t care enough about the story to keep going.
House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick | October 17, 2017
Bouncing between the 1600s, 1801, and the present day, House of Shadows weaves a tale of the Winter Queen and two legendary objects said to foretell the future. Elizabeth of Bohemia, known as the Winter Queen, has seen what the mirror and pearl can do. With her husband dead on the battlefield and her own exile looming near, she tasks the loyal Earl of Craven with destroying the artifacts once and for all. Centuries later, a young courtesan pens her memoirs from her time spent as Ashdown House and, in the present day, a woman hunts for her missing brother after he mysteriously vanishes one day.
It’s no secret that I LOVED this one! Clocking in around 500 pages, House of Shadows is on the longer side, but once I started I flew through the pages, jumping between Elizabeth and Craven’s developing romance, Lavinia’s memoirs, and Holly’s search for Ben. I’m pleased to say there wasn’t a story that I didn’t care for; each time period, each character had me invested and wanting more – in a good way! House of Shadows is being compared to Kate Morton’s work and I wholeheartedly agree. Fans of historical fiction (particularly books that bounce between multiple time periods, my favorite!) will be sure to feel right at home here.