These books might actually deserve epic reviews, but then I might give away something that I better hadn’t. So, without further ado,…
Stalking Jack the Ripper books 3 and 4 by Kerri Maniscalco
Escaping from Houdini, published 18 September 2018. After their two adventures, Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are on a week-long journey to New York. The nightly first-class entertainment on board of the steamer is the Moonlight Carnival; one of their star acts is the young Houdini. Soon bloody murders happen and Audrey and Thomas just have to investigate.
Book three feels very middle-bookish. It's a locked room mystery, more or less, that is supposed to build up to the grand finale of the series.
Capturing the Devil, published 10 September 2019. Audrey and Thomas have landed in New York, where a Jack the Ripper copycat is on the loose. This leads the dynamic duo to go to Chicago during the fair in the White City, where they have to catch their devil.
Book four is a good finale to the series, but not as grand as I would have liked it. Yet that's certainly because I have read about the Devil in the White City before.
4/5 Harpy Eagles for either book
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, published 13 July 2021.
This 'snack sized' book is like a warm hug, or a good mug of tea. Though I would have enjoyed this lovely Solarpunk novella much more if the audiobook hadn't been wonky. There were too many spliced in sentences and paragraphs that made it sound like two people read the book.
4/5 Harpy Eagles for the story
1/5 Harpy Eagles for the audiobook
Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune, published 21 September 2021.
Is there life after death? If so, what does it look like? In Klune's story, your reaper takes your soul to a small but very cozy tea shop, where you meet grumpy ghosts, disintegrating ghosts, and a ghost whisperer who is determined to brew the perfect cup of tea for you.
5/5 Harpy Eagles
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow, published 05 October 2021.
It's Zinnia's twenty-first birthday. Since it's going to be her last, she has a fatal health condition, her bestie turns it into a Sleeping Beauty themed party. When Zinnia pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, she falls through worlds into a fairy tale world.
There might be a few surprises in this novella if you only know the Disney story of Sleeping Beauty. Harrow skilfully spins a story that has several different Sleeping Beauty myths woven into it.
4/5 Harpy Eagles
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton, published 06 August 2019.
This story is told from the POV of a crow. It's name S.T., is short for something that clearly tells you what sense of humour the crow and its owner have. Humans have turned into some sort of zombies. When Big Jim's eyeball drops to the floor, S.T. knows the animals need to stick together to help each other out.
This story is full of humour and the POV offers a very interesting view at our human world.
3/5 Harpy Eagles
Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir, published 30 November 2021.
Princess Floralinda has been captured by the witch and is now held on the fortieth floor of a tower. The tower is full of monsters, a different one on each floor. The prince who makes it to the top floor will get a golden sword and Floralinda, just no prince manages to get past the first floor. What's a princess supposed to do? Sit tight and starve to death?
Short story, but so wonderful. Floralinda really grows into her character and Muir's writing is excellent.
4/5 Harpy Eagles