Reviews by Enya Young

A-
The Sandalwood Princess

The Amazon synopsis for this 1990 book quotes the Library Journal review, which made me laugh: “This book is only for hardcore romance readers.” Presumably this means that the only thing this book has to offer is a tear-inducing, heart-tugging, sprawling yarn with a shipboard romance, deceit and ...

B
The Janus Affair

There’s good news, and there’s so-so news. The good news is that The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is a rollicking, kick-ass, funtastic series from a Kiwi and American duo, and I look forward to more adventures featuring Agents Books and Braun. The so-so news is that the second book, while a ...

B
Barefoot in the Sand

There are books that start out well, then fizzle out, leaving disappointment. Then there are books that begin as nothing special, but end up surprising you with joy. The first book in Ms. St. Claire’s new series, about four older university girlfriends, is happily the latter.I knew nothing abo ...

B-
Sea of Secrets

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I really like gothic romances, but they’re so dependent on the narrator. If the heroine doesn’t work – if I’m not happy when she is, and despair when she does – then the book has basically failed. In that and most other senses, I’m happy to say that Sea of Secrets is a success. But I ...

A-
The Scorpio Races

When it comes to YA fiction, I make snap judgements. 99% of the time, I read the first chapter and I’ll know whether I’ll like the book or drop it. So after hearing so much about Ms. Stiefvater’s 2011 YA fantasy, I decided to give it a try. And, indeed, the first chapter test didn’t fail – ...

C+
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1

By REM
Not that I’m trying to render myself useless here, but in some ways a review like this has very little predictive value. What, exactly, can I tell you about the manga version of a hit steampunk series? It depends, right? It depends whether you like manga, or have been exposed to it. It depends whe ...

D+
Messenger's Angel

God, I’m glad that’s over. It’s not killingly bad. And I didn’t want to hit any of the characters over the head. But it was boring. No, make that was stultifyingly, mind-numbingly, excruciatingly painful to read. And you can bet your sweet fanny I’m not reading anything else by this author ...

C
If the Slipper Fits

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Any book that reminds me of Cinderella, Sherlock Holmes’ The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, and Jane Eyre can’t be all bad, right? Well, sort of. The down side is that Ms. Drake’s new series beginner is not all great either, being plagued with unevenness and the disease known as bloodii ge ...

C
Babes in Tinseltown

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For once, the cover conveys it perfectly. Do the pastels make you think light and frothy? You’d be right, but skew it over to superficial, and it would be bang on. As much as I wanted to like Ms. South’s 1930s-set mystery, I found it clichéd, indecisive, and one-dimensional – which, I migh ...

B+
If I Fall

Thisclose. That’s how close this extraordinary book came to DIK status. Sarah Forrester is beautifully flawed and wonderfully real; there were times I wanted to pull her ears, and times I wanted to hug her and tell her I’d still be her friend. I’ve complained about cookie-cutter, annoyingly pe ...