Cover Snark (231): Lights, Camera, Snark!

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions of the covers in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here.

Shiny and New:

1. The Night Masquerade (Binti #3) – Nnedi Okorafor

Thoughts: These covers are so gorgeous. It almost makes me want snake hair.

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Size Doesn’t Matter (155): Scars of Independence; A Study in Scarlet Women; Spill Zone

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (155): Scars of Independence; A Study in Scarlet Women; Spill ZoneScars of Independence: America's Violent Birth by Holger Hoock
Narrator: Scott Brick
Length: 14 hrs, 51 mins
Published by Random House Audio on May 9, 2017
Genres: Nonfiction, History
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

A magisterial new work that rewrites the story of America's founding

The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It's a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America's founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war--one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand.

In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington's army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock's new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation.

For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America's past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary--an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.

Don’t take the rating too seriously here, because nonfiction is such a mess to rate tbh. I also still have no clue how to review it. Hoock’s Scars of Independence is an excellent and important history that is more timely than you might expect.

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Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the Current

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the CurrentThe Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
Series: Laetitia Rodd Mysteries
Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 13, 2016
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Benson, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator.

Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her arch intelligence, her iron discretion, and her immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow. When Frederick brings to her attention a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family’s new governess—quickly making herself indispensable.

But the seemingly simple case—looking into young Charles Calderstone’s “inappropriate” love interest—soon takes a rather unpleasant turn. And as the family’s secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.

Were it not for the intervention of Shae, I would have missed The Secrets of Wishtide. She knows my love of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and insisted that I give this book a shot; I was wary because of the widow of an archdeacon bit. Credit goes to Shae for pushing me out of my own prejudices so that I could read this delightful murder mystery, which is sort of somewhere between Miss Fisher’s and Miss Marple.

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Size Doesn’t Matter (153): Edgeland; Windfall

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (153): Edgeland; WindfallEdgeland by Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinski
Narrator: Karissa Vacker
Length: 8 hrs, 5 mins
Published by Listening Library on May 9, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

An upper-middle grade thriller by the New York Times bestselling Nightfall authors-perfect for fans of James Dashner's Maze Runner books.

Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and night last for 72 hours. Here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain.

Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.
Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, a nearby island where people bring their dead to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.

With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat--with Alec and Wren onboard--is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover beyond the abyss is beyond what anyone could have imagined.

Includes an original song written and performed by Celia Rose. Visit www.celiarosemusic.com for more.

I had a ton of fun listening to Edgeland, though I do have some serious worldbuilding and plot questions. As per usual with middle grade, I also feel like it would have been way more fun with some shippiness added.

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May 2017: Month in Review

What I’ve Been Up To:

Well, the month started out super amazing, because I was on vacation in LA hanging out with Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) and Gaby. It was THE BOMB (do the kids still say that?). We went to Disney and rode almost all the rides, we ate food, we watched nostalgic movies, we sang Disney songs, and we talked basically non-stop. A+ time basically. Click the link to see us on the teacups being silly and spinny!

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From there, things got…less good. For those who missed it on Twitter, I ended a three year relationship a couple weeks ago. It’s been a long time coming, I think, but neither of us wanted to admit it. We want different things out of the future, and there were problems that were not fixable. It was really hard and sad and awful for a while, but things seem to be settling down. This was my first real, serious relationship, and I’m grateful to him for those three years. Now I’m starting therapy and getting to know me a bit better, so I can move on and be more aware of what I want and need out of life.

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