Mini Reviews | Bad Blood & The Witch Who Came In From The Cold


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

30334509The Witch Who Came in From the Cold: Season One Volume One by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Ian Tregillis, Cassandra Rose Clarke and Michael Swanwick 
Release date: May 25th, 2016
Publisher: Serial Box
Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction
Format: eBook

555335 copy 2

Goodreads | Amazon

Through a haze of cigarettes and vodka there lies a version of Prague in the heart of the Cold War where spies practice sorcery in their games of intrigue. While the political lines may be as clear as the Iron Curtain, the battles of magic seldom stay clean, and the combating forces of Ice and Flame dance across borders and loyalties. Tanya Morozova is a KGB officer and the latest in a long of Ice sorceresses; Gabe Pritchard is a CIA officer and reluctant Ice recruit. Enemies at one turn, but forced into alliances at the next, their relationship is as explosive as the Cold War itself.

I find the whole serial concept very interesting. I actually purchased the first instalment of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold a while back and then for some reason I can’t remember never picked up the second in the series. That was definitely my loss because these stories are excellent!

The stories take place in the real world but feature major magical elements. They take place in 1970s Cold War era Prague and are about about a few KGB, CIA and MI6 intelligence agents. These agents may be representing a particular nation, but they are actually fighting a secretive war between two magical factions, the Ice and the Fire. These two groups are fighting each other to gain control of Hosts, regular people who suddenly become aware of the magical world and possess special items or abilities.

The premise is so different. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before! Cold War and magic?! YES! It works so well and the fact that the characters are technically fighting two wars makes it even more intriguing because which side are they actually on? There are a lot of tough situations that the characters have to face.

I loved how each story was written by a different author but all still managed to tell a well planned out and cohesive story. I also appreciated how each instalment was fulfilling and complete. I’ve read serial type stories in the past where I was given only one tiny chapter. These stories offer a complete story but leave you hanging on wanting more and more.

By the end of the 7th story I was hooked. At the start the characters were quite vague but now I care so much for them. It’s amazing and a credit to the story telling just how much the characters changed and developed as I read. I can’t wait to start the next bunch of stories because I need to know what’s going to happen!

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

Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta
Release date: March 14th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, historical fiction
Format: eBook

555335 copy 2
Goodreads | Amazon

A girl discovers a family secret and a past full of magic that could both save her and put her in mortal danger in this suspenseful novel that’s perfect for fans of Katie Alender and Natasha Preston.

All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.

Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife.

Oooh this book! I honestly devoured it in one night, a feat so staggering I still can’t believe it. One night makes it sound even longer than it took. It was actually just a few hours. I needed a book to take my mind off of a few things that were bothering me and I couldn’t have made a better choice. From the opening chapter I was completely hooked!

The story follows the main character Heather on her annual trip to Edinburgh to visit her aunt and grandmother. However, things aren’t as they used to be. Heather has just checked out of medical centre for self harm. She’s been plagued by reoccurring nightmares and has had a difficult time coping with them. She keeps on reliving the witch trials that took place in Edinburgh in the 1600s. I don’t want to give away anything but…while in Scotland Heather learns a lot about her family history and is forced to confront those haunting her in her dreams.

What I really loved about the book were the historical flashbacks to 1600s Scotland. They were written in a way that kept me wanting more and more. These flashbacks were short and sweet but left me with a ton of questions each time one appeared. There was so much suspense and tension! That’s part of what made this novel so enjoyable to read. The author kept the reader on their toes. Scotland itself is a huge character in the story and it made me long to go back. I lived in Edinburgh for a year and I miss it a lot. Every description of a street, monument or area just made my heart leap. *sigh* Oh Scotland, I love you so much!

I did become a bit frustrated at the end. The panic inducing pace of the novel slowed down a lot. It started to drag and that slightly took away from the tense feeling that I felt throughout. That said, Bad Blood is still a book that I highly recommend. This is a standalone that you don’t want to miss out on!


4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews | Bad Blood & The Witch Who Came In From The Cold

  1. Pingback: February Wrap Up! |

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