Reviews by Vanessa

Review

The Tombs

The Tombs

Teenage Avery’s life changed the day her mother was committed to the Tombs, a ‘hospital’ for the insane. In an effort to hide their disgrace–and out of necessity as their middle-class standing is ruined–Avery and her father change their names and move to a less desirable part of town, where her father opens a clockwork shop and she begins working as a welder at a local factory. It’s not the life she lived before, where she went to school, wore nice clothes, and was friends with girls her age–and when her father didn’t drink himself into a stupor every night. But not everything is bleak. She has her peregrine “Seraphine”, best friend Khan, and welding work that she realizes she has a knack for.

Everything changes again when new abilities begin to manifest and she realizes that her mother was hospitalized for being crazy when in reality she has empathic powers.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Seventh Decimate

Posted: May 2, 2018 by Vanessa in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Fantasy, Stephen R. Donaldson

It’s probably been fifteen years since I last read any Stephen Donaldson. It started with LORD FOUL’S BANE then the two sequels in that trilogy (which ultimately became 10 books) and, honestly, they weren’t my favorite. The main character was more anti-hero than I’d encountered before, and any reader could see that Tolkien had an influence on Donaldson’s worldbuilding. But Donaldson has a following, so I thought I’d try again with his most recent offering, SEVENTH DECIMATE, which as far as I could tell would be different than the series that introduced me to the author.

Turns out, my first impressions of Donaldson were only reinforced. Read the rest of this review »

Review

Sorcery for Beginners

Posted: April 18, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Sorcery for Beginners

Owen is your average Middle Schooler: he’s ok at sports, he passes his classes, and he has a couple friends. But when his mom leaves to work in Sumatra and dad takes him to live in Las Vegas, Owen is sure life will never be the same.

Even then, he didn’t account for finding the Codex Arcanum bookstore and buying SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS. Now his life is *really* going to change.

SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS claims it’s what the title says: that this book will teach you, via story and real-life examples, how to become a sorcerer. You’ll follow Owen’s story as he buys the book after being promised the “Spell to Rewrite History” which Owen plans to use to revert to the time before his mom left.
Read the rest of this review »

Giveaway: Iron Gold

Posted: March 30, 2018 in Giveaways Tags: Pierce Brown


This giveaway is closed.
Update 3/30/18: Micaela from Ohio is our winner. Congrats! Your book will be on its way soon and happy reading!
EBR has a spare copy of IRON GOLD by Pierce Brown to send to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway:
1. Email us at elitistbookreviews@gmail.com
2. Include the following on the subject line: IRON GOLD GIVEAWAY
3. In the body of the email include your name and mailing address. This giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
Giveaway rules can be found here. Entries will be accepted until midnight of March 29 and the winner will be posted on March 30. Good luck!
See Dan’s review here: IRON GOLD

Contest Reboot: Yay Results!

Posted: March 15, 2018 in News Tags: Contests

First off we’d like to thank all those who entered our contest to become the next EBR reviewer. All sorts of people entered. It’s really fascinating to us how different reviews can be–even on the same book. We appreciate the time and effort y’all spent and it gives us warm fuzzies to know you guys like us enough to become one of us. We chose books that were written by well-known authors but that also weren’t perfect, because we wanted to make sure incoming reviewers could see flaws and analyze the stories and characters in a way that our EBR readers would appreciate.
The submissions were great, but there were two “winners” who really impressed us:
Jane Funk – She sent us two reviews, one for ELANTRIS and one for CHILDREN OF THE FLEET, and both were great (I quote Dan, “serious writing […]Read the rest of this post »

Review

Seriously Hexed

Posted: March 14, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Tina Connolly, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seriously Hexed

Cam is your typical teenager. She’s got friends, wonders how her awesome boyfriend could like such an awkward girl as her, and is frantically studying for her American History test. The only exception is that she’s a witch. However, it’s that extra complication that makes her high school years less than typical.

For example, most teenagers don’t have to deal with their mother disappearing during a coven meeting.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Burn Bright

Posted: March 6, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Burn Bright

Bran is out of town, leaving Charles in charge of the Marrok’s pack. But the situation is a little strange because he isn’t answering his phone when Charles calls. And he mentioned visiting Africa? Charles and Anna aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re doing their best to hold down the fort until Bran decides to return…whenever that will be.

But they get a call from the mate of one of the “wildings”–which are unstable (usually old or traumatized) wolves that live in the Marrok’s territory, but are removed enough physically for the safety of the rest of the pack. Jonesy’s cryptic call leaves Charles concerned and confused, and with Anna decides to investigate.

They discover something much more than they expected.
Read the rest of this review »

Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted

Posted: March 1, 2018 in News Tags: Contests

Updated 3/1/18: Thanks for the love. We have the best readers! Dan and Vanessa are busy reading the entries and will post results as soon as we are in agreement.

So you want to be an EBR reviewer? You’re in luck! We’ve decided that we could use a few good readers who also happen to be able to write coherently about their opinions.

The last time we had to do this was seven years ago. Since then, several of our reviewers have moved on to bigger and better things in the publishing world–including publishing their own stories or working for places where writing reviews here would create a conflict of interest. All the better for you, if you think you’re good enough to help us out. The perks include more free books than you can read, association with handsome and clever people, and exposure to publishers and writers.

Here is what would be required of you to become one of our reviewers:

  1. Be a U.S. resident if you plan to receive physical books. You can be a non-U.S. resident if you’re willing to only read ebooks or purchase your own books, but plan to adhere to the U.S. release schedule.
  2. Read and review at least one book (optimally two) every month. If you read and review more, that’s great. At times, we may very well direct you on what books to read. Other times, we will leave it up to you.
  3. We do send you (free) books we receive from publishers as well as ebooks (if you have a Kindle/app, even better). We even get audio books every now and then. It also helps to become friends with your local library and Amazon Prime.
  4. Your reviews will follow our established format and you will avoid profanity in the review itself. We will read and edit your reviews before they’re posted. No leeway on this.

Make sense? Good.

This is a serious offer for those who want to make a serious effort. We take pride in our work and we are also control freaks. We want your work to be high quality and we want it to be reliable. If you don’t think you can be reliable, don’t bother entering our contest. We’re not looking to populate a slush pile.Read the rest of this post »

Review

Silence Fallen

Posted: February 9, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Tags: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Silence Fallen

A master vampire of Europe, Iacopo Bonarata, is told that Mercy is the most powerful person in the territory protected by the Columbia Basin Pack.

So, of course, he kidnaps her.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Stone Sky

Posted: December 12, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Fantasy, N.K. Jemisin
The Stone Sky

Essun plans to move the moon back into orbit around the earth, and in THE OBELISK GATE she learned that there may very well be a cost–her own life–if she attempts it. But first, she needs to find her daughter Nassun, who, it’s turning out, is as powerful an orogene as her mother.

Yet so many things still stand in Essun’s way.
Read the rest of this review »