Welcome back to another round of Monday Minis, aka Fab reads too much and can’t keep up with writing full length reviews for everything… Massive thanks to the respective publishers for sending me eARCs for review via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
All Eyes on Her by L. E. Flynn is an interesting book. It’s a YA mystery, in which the reader hears from everyone involved, except for the main character. Tabby’s boyfriend died on a hike they went on – and now she is accused of his murder. The story is told in fragments from many of the people in their lives, and it is not made clear what actually happened until the very end, keeping the reader guessing. But because it is so fragmented, I felt like the story lost its drive and tension didn’t build up the way it should have. Once it got to the reveal, I didn’t care much about how it ended. Nevertheless, the concept and set-up is interesting and unique, even if it didn’t fully work for me.
What We Devour by Linsey Miller is a dark YA fantasy. I loved her previous book, Belle Révolte, which came out last year. So I had very high expectations for this one, and I ended up quite disappointed. It’s not a bad book – but it lacks the mind-blowing magic that made me fall for Belle Révolte. What We Devour is the story of Lorena, who is hiding out as an undertaker so the powers that be don’t take notice of her, in a world that is ruled by the Door that is supposed to keep back the Vile. But then she does get involved in a major threat to her world, and has to decide what she is willing to sacrifice to save as many as she can. What frustrated me about the story is that none of the characters seem to have a lot of personality, which I expected from the story. This made me not connect with the story and struggle to stay motivated to read it. This might me a me-thing more than a book thing – so if the blurb has you interested, check out a sample.
The Conductors by Nicole Glover is a delightful murder mystery where the Underground Railroad meets magic. From the blurb: “As an escaped slave, Hetty Rhodes helped dozens of people find their own freedom north using her wits and her magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband, Benjy, still fight for their people by solving the murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch.” I really enjoyed my reading experience, though this is not a perfect book. I felt like the plot was a bit thin, and the mystery itself not very compelling in itself. What I struggled most with is that the book reads as if it was from the middle of a series rather than the start of a new one. But The Conductors makes up for that with superb character work. Hetty and Benjy have a wonderful rapport and the way their relationship grows – chef’s kiss. They are interesting and multi-dimensional characters, along with the side-players in this story. The characters in this are so strong that I did not mind the plot as much, and I am looking forward to spending more time with them in the next installment.