Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a Nordic noir read that sadly failed to deliver and the final book of a YA high fantasy series that I really enjoyed.

Title: The Witch Hunter
(Jessica Niemi #1)
Author: Max Seeck
Translator: Kristian London

Genre: Nordic Noir, Mystery, Thriller
First published: 2019 
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: November 8th 2022
Pages: 402
(Originally published in Finnish: ‘Uskollinen lukija’)

“Are you afraid of what you write?”


I’m starting to feel like I’m cursed… This is the third disappointing read in a row! I had such high hopes for this Nordic noir story, because the blurb sounded fantastic. I mean: a Finnish setting, one of the characters being an author, a link to the occult and a serial killer on the loose… How can I resist that?! I kind of wish I did now, because it almost felt like I was reading a completely different story instead. To say The Witch Hunter was a disappointment is an understatement… And this story and me REALLY didn’t get along. I don’t deny that there is a lot of potential in this plot, but it felt like the author wanted to incorporate too many different elements, story ideas POVs and characters and the result is a hot mess. To make things worse, the plot jumped from one POV to the other without warning, and even went to a whole different country and time period without explanation. The whole storyline set in Venice had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story, and only distracted immensely from the murder investigation… It’s almost as if the author cared more about showing us just how messed up main character Jessie Niemi’s past is rather than focusing on the active murder case. The worst part is that these Venice chapters seem to appear at random points in the story, only disrupting the flow even more… Because the writing itself is rather clunky and not at all engaging in the first place (although some of its charm might have been lost in translation, who knows?). There is a general lack of cohesion in the plot, and then I’m not even talking about that ending. The final part was both extremely confusing and unsatisfying, and that was with me having given up on this story already since I started skimreading long before the halfway mark. Add the overdose of cliches, lack of focus on the occult angle, plot holes and unlikeable characters, and I really should have just DNFed The Witch Hunter instead… I guess it’s safe to say that this author isn’t for me.

Title: A Vow So Bold And Deadly
(Cursebreakers #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: January 26th 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Finished reading: November 10th 2022
Pages: 415

“Scars mean you survived something terrible.”


After a couple recent misses, I finally hit the jackpot again with this final book of the Cursebreakers series. I had a great time with the first two books, but somehow I never actually picked up A Vow So Bold And Deadly last year even though it was a most anticipated release. This means it was more than two years ago since I finished book two, and I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to remember the details. I shouldn’t have worried though, because the whole high fantasy world and its past events came right back as soon as I started reading this final book. A Vow So Bold And Deadly uses a multiple POV structure, which is great because we get to spend time with all four main characters (Harper, Rhen, Grey and Lia Mara) that way. It’s also useful, because the story switches between Emberfall and Syhl Shallow this time around and we get to see both sides of the recent events play out this way. I had such a great time meeting up with the characters again, and there is definitely plently of suspense, fighting and violence to keep you busy… Along with some romance and banter for balance. I like how everything wrapped up in the end, although even more background on what happens to the characters would have been nice… All in all a solid conclusion of this trilogy.

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