What I Read April 2021

by - May 04, 2021

It felt like I read a ton in April, which is surprising considering all the other stuff that was going on last month. In summation, I got derailed by a totally unexpected series, finally crossed a book off my TBR list that's been there at least two years, finished a series I've been reading forever, discovered a new fairy-tale-based detective series, found a Beauty & the Beast retelling I actually liked, continued the Merlin saga, and rekindled my love for historical fiction.

Before we dive into the reviews, I wanted to give you an update on the 5 Books I'm Reading Right Now post from late March. You'll have seen the review for Darkest Drae in my March reading roundup, and two others - The Last Monument and Finch Merlin and the Djinn's Curse - show up in this post. As for Mother of Shadows, I read about half of it and decided that the characters were just way too serious for me without any real clear reason why. As for Carpet Diem, it just hasn't fit my mood at the moment, so I'll probably end up coming back to it down the road.

Author: Adell Ryan

Not gonna lie. This series distracted me from the five other books I had been reading. I'm not usually into science fiction, but this one felt more realistic than most, especially given the current climate. The premise of the book is that the government has authorized DNA testing on every citizen in an attempt to control overpopulation and disease. Thessaly has managed to avoid being tested, but when she's kidnapped by a group of guys who believe there's more to the blood collection than meets the eye, she soon learns more about herself than she would have ever thought possible and finds herself at the center of a rebellion.

Author: Michael C. Grumley

This book was in now way what I expected. The blurb gives a nice little overview of the first couple of chapters, but this story is so much deeper than a lost secret that could change the world as we know it. It all starts with a plane crash. Even though the cause is apparent, NTSB investigator, Joe Rickards, finds himself chasing down what caused a man who refused to fly to get on a plane in bad weather in the middle-of-the night. He teams up with Angela, the granddaughter of the flight's passenger, and the duo finds themselves on the trail of a mystery dating back to World War II and the Monuments Men.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely, A Heart So Fierce and Broken, and A Vow So Bold and Deadly (The Cursebreaker Series)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer

The first book is essentially a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It's similar to A Court of Thorn and Roses, but I like this series better.

Prince Rhen and Grey, his captain of the guard, have been trapped in a curse for what feels like eternity - bringing girl after girl to Emberfall in the hopes one will fall in love with the prince and break the curse. After hundreds of seasons, it all feels hopeless, but then Grey finds Harper. A girl with cerebral palsy who just won't give up. But the enchantress who cast the curse can't be trusted to sit back and watch from the sidelines. Plus, there are rumors brewing that Rhen is not the crown prince like he's grown up believing.

Author: Kristin Harmel

Wow. It's been awhile since I read a novel in one sitting, but this book hooked me from the first chapter.

Eva, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is not who everyone thinks she is. When a German librarian begins reuniting books stolen from Jews during WWII with those families' descendants, Eva gets the opportunity to finish the mission she started all those years ago when she worked as a forger for the French Resistance, sending children safely over the border to Switzerland with new identities while their given names were recorded in code in a religious book.

Author: Mia Smantz

This is the last book in The Cardinal series, a six-book series I've been reading for quite awhile. Callie is a hacker. Kidnapped as a preteen and forced to work for criminals, she's rescued by the elite Delta organization of the CIA. But her ruthless former overlord, Ivanov, will stop at nothing to wipe her from existence. In this last installment, Callie has left all but one of her Delta team, in an effort to protect them from the Russian crime lord, and is working with the CIA to find and take out Ivanov.

I thought the series ended nicely, although I was a little disappointed there was no special scene with Payton (he was my favorite of the guys). There were a few unexpected twists, but overall this was a good cap for the series.

Author: Bella Forrest 

Finch's quest to find Atlantis for Erebus continues as he tracks down the "key" to unlock the gateway to the lost city. Finch enlists the help of his friend, Raffe, who has a djinn tethered to him to retrieve the necessary ingredient. Meanwhile, the djinn are dying because of Erebus's mission, so Raffe seeks out the Storyteller to find a solution, in the hopes it will free Finch from his servitude.

Author: Selene Charles

This is the first book of The Grimm Files, featuring cold case detective Elle, aka the infamous mermaid princess Arielle, and Constable Maddox Hatter, aka the Mad Hatter. Elle is assigned to a year-old murder that occurred on the Charming estate, but all signs point to Wonderland where the usually solo detective is forced to work with Hatter. Her case quickly becomes entwined with one of Hatter's own, and it becomes clear that there's corruption afoot.

I was prepared not to like this series. Elle is grouchy and not very likeable, but when they start revealing why it lessens her harshness. Also, there's a whole mess of fairytale characters to enjoy including Ichabod Crane, Alice (in Wonderland), Bo Peep, and Crowley, to name a few. I'm excited to see where the series is headed.

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