Reviews by Sidney Young

C+
Spells of Blood and Kin

Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy is author Claire Humphrey's first full-length novel. According to Amazon, her short fiction has appeared in a number of publications and I can't help but think that I would have this a lot more if it had been written as a short story or a novella. There simply ...

D
Falling in Deeper

Nowadays, it feels as if half of the romances getting published are part of a series. While some authors do a fairly good job of making sure that their books can be enjoyed as standalones, some rely too heavily on characters and events from the previous books to drive the story forward. Falling in D ...

C+
Rose Bride

Rose Bride is the third book in Elizabeth Moss's Lust in the Tudor Court series. True to its name, it's an energetic and bawdy romp set at the court of Henry VIII. But while I found its outrageous, over-the-top scenarios amusing enough, the lack of appealing characters makes this book an average rea ...

B-
The Daredevil Snared

The Daredevil Snared is the third book in Stephanie Laurens’ The Adventurers Quartet. Going in, I knew I was starting the book mid series; but what I didn’t know is that the books are not self-contained. I was able to catch on pretty quickly; but interested readers may want to start with The Lad ...

B
A Certain Age

A Certain Age is inspired by Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier. While transplanting the story from 1740's Vienna to 1920's New York, the author has chosen to follow the general outline of the original opera, even going so far as to use the same name for some of the book’s central characters ...

B-
A Front Page Affair

The vintage style cover of A Front Page Affair features a young woman in a matching red jacket and skirt, staring into the distance in front a city skyline. The blurb from the publisher describes a heroine who finds herself “plunged into the midst of a wartime conspiracy that threatens to derail t ...

C
The Master of Strathburn

The Master of Strathburn starts off with a very interesting event in Scottish history, the last Jacobite Rebellion of 1746. Unfortunately, other than serving as a plot device to provide the hero with a backstory, the historical background barely factors into the rest of the book. The result is a wal ...

B
Morning Star

Morning Star is the third book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy. While I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two books, it nevertheless provides a satisfying if uneven conclusion to the saga.For those readers who are unfamiliar with the trilogy, the series takes place a couple of hund ...

D+
A Murder in Time

I chose to review A Murder in Time hoping for a fresh take on one of my favorite genres. Instead, what I got was an uninspired story with clichéd plotting and tired character tropes. This is a book that does not work on any level - whether you approach it as a straightforward mystery or as a fish-o ...