Book Review – The Canary That Sang to the World


The Canary That Sang to the World is the fourth entry in The Panagea Tales and an excellent conclusion to series. This book finishes the epic saga in an intense, high-stakes closer. The crew is back together this one, and once again, it’s lovely to see these multifaceted, lovable characters banter and take on the world. I loved seeing the legendary bamf, Kazuaki, take center stage once again, and their final battles are a fitting, satisfying conclusion to the series.

However, I will say… *possible light spoiler ahead* 

If you’re looking for a feel-good, happily ever after ending… I might beware. This book is as heavy as the third entry. Death, loss, and grief play a prominent role, and the ending is firmly in the bittersweet category.

Absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a beautifully written steampunk epic featuring a cast of colorful characters in a dark, detailed world and heavy themes that take a bittersweet bite. I would definitely read more by McKenzie Austin in the future!

 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

A solid end to an intense series!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – The Serpent that Swallowed Its Tail


The third book of The Panagea Tales, The Serpent That Swallowed Its Tail, follows Kazuaki’s crew after the climactic showdown at the end of the book 2, but I’ll keep this review short to try to avoid spoilers.

With the crew spread out, one prominent character noticeably missing, and Panagea, itself, trying to rearrange in the face of new world, Book 3 definitely takes on a slower, more morose tone than the last two books. This book tackles some heavy themes head on, and builds even further on the intricate world-building of the first two entries. The characters are more spread out here, and although they eventually connect in the end, their narratives feel much more independent in this book. Still, the story retains the epic scale and beautiful prose that makes the series stand out. I will say I did miss a certain missing character in this book, and I missed some of the crew interactions and comradery I loved in the first two.

A solid entry in the Panagea Tales that I would definitely recommend to fans of the first two, and one that definitely left me curious for Book 4!

 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Epic, dark, and unique. Let’s see what book 4 brings!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Darling, there are Wolves in the Woods


Darling there are Wolves in the Woods by LV Russell follows Teya as she enters an enchanted, dark wood to find her sister who was stolen by the fey ten years past. As she struggles to survive the horrors of the wood, the complex fey, Lathaniel, become inextricably entwined with her journey.

I really loved the writing style of this book. The descriptions were incredibly evocative and painted such a vivid picture of the darkly magical wood. I also super loved just how dark this fairytale-like story was. It was just the right amount of creepy and disturbing without feeling like anything was added for shock value or out of place. Even though the woods are obviously a death trap you wouldn’t want to find yourself in, they sounded so beautiful, I could see how they would draw someone in. And I loved all the interesting descriptions of the dark magic that exists in this world.

I found Lathaniel to be a very interesting, complicated character… which, after countless years as a fey, a cruel race, and with his a thorny past, makes a lot of sense. Even though he’s very forward about his flaws and is dangerous in so many ways, I can see how Teya would be drawn to him. Teya though, was a bit frustrating to me. Teya has definitely had it rough too in life, but I found her to be rather mercurial in her relationship with Lathaniel, and I had trouble understanding her motivation for some of her choices. But I was definitely still rooting for her, and since there are sequels there’s still a lot of room for growth.

Totally recommend to anyone looking for a unique, dark fairytale with complex characters and beautiful writing.

 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐   

And, it’s been set free into the local Little Free Library. I have no doubt it’ll be snapped up in no time!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – The Teeth in the Tide


So this book was a surprise in the best way!

Let me start by saying, I’m not a mermaid person. When I originally saw this book described as a gender-swapped Little Mermaid retelling, I thought, “Eh, not for me.”

Then… when I saw it pitched as “Attack on Titan with mermaids,” I thought… Okay… well THAT I’ve got to see. And this book so totally pulled it off! The dual-POV plot follows a girl struggling with her deep-seated anger with the infestation of cannibalistic mermaids around her small island that threatens to cut them off from the rest of the world, and a merman struggling to escape slavery from the twisted, abusive mermaid queens.

Kenney does NOT hold back with the viciousness of the mermaids as she so vividly paints their world. Perfectly paced, I totally loved the brisk, rich writing style and the intricate and barbaric culture of the mermaids. I liked all the characters from the quietly raging Kestra, to intelligent Mai, and the charismatic ship captain, and the dialogue between them was sharp and fun.

The only thing that didn’t quite work for me was the glimpses of the love triangle that I feel would be further explored in future books. Without getting into spoilers, the chemistry between two points of the love triangle didn’t quite gel for me, and I was a little bit anxious about who the MC would end up.

I felt like the ending tied up the strands perfectly though, closing out the story while leaving room for future tales. As for a content warnings: there is definitely some intense, bloody violence, but language is mild, and romance scenes are fade-to-black, so I’d say PG-13. I would recommend this book to any fans of fantasy with an edge… and extra bonus points if you’re into mermaids!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

Beautiful writing, unique story, and it comps to Attack on Titan. What’s not to like!?!

Thanks for reading!