YVO’S SHORTIES #38: The Masked City & Every Heart A Doorway

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time two Tor books and two books belonging to a series. The first a sequel, The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman, which I enjoyed slightly better than the first book, but still didn’t manage to convince me. The second, Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire, was absolutely wonderful and I’m glad I finally did pick it up.


Title: The Masked City
(The Invisible Library #2)
Author: Genevieve Cogman

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
First published: December 3rd 2015
Publisher: Tor
Finished reading: August 7th 2018 
Pages: 340

“People want stories. You should know that, more than anybody.”


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I  admit I wasn’t completely convinced by the first book when I read it last year, mostly because the whole just felt a bit too chaotic and too many different elements trying to be squeezed into one story. I picked up the sequel anyway, both because I was curious to see how things would continue and because it fitted the Magical Readathon challenge… While things did improve and the story seemed to be more coherent, I still wish more focus would have been on the Library. This element is one of the most unique features of this story, and I think any booklover out there would love to see more of it. In The Masked City, there is a lot going on: we have werewolves, dragons, fae and magic, the story is partly set in Venice… But somehow I feel the spark is missing? The whole thing actually felt a bit dull and rather slow-paced for a story about magical creatures and a plot to start a war that might destroy an alternate world or two. I did love the fact that part of the story was set in Venice, the idea of different chaos/order infested words and both the worldbuilding and plot have potential. I’ll probably end up reading the next book at some point since I already own a copy… But the first two books didn’t convince me enough to do so straight away.


Title: Every Heart A Doorway
(Wayward Children #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mystery
First published: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Tor
Finished reading: August 11th 2018
Pages: 176

“The duality of the phrase was like the duality of the doors: they changed lives, and they destroyed them, all with the same, simple invitation.”


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After Ali mentioned this book in one of her posts, I had no other choice but to stop procrastinating and start reading Every Heart A Doorway. I’ve been wanting to read this story ever since I first heard about it, and it looks like first impressions sometimes really hit the right spot. What a wonderful wonderful read! My only complaint would be that I wish the story would have been longer, because there is so much to love and only a limited amount of pages to do so. The idea of different realities, belonging to different directions like Nonsense, Logic and Wicked is simply fascinating and I love how each world is reflected in the different characters as well. For such a short read, the character development is sublime and part of the reason this story works so well. Nancy, Sumi, Kade, Jack and Jill… I just loved the diversity of the characters, and I can really appreciate the inclusion of lgbt elements. The mystery around the deaths gives the story a purpose and direction, giving you something to hold onto while you try to absord everything about the different worlds. A shame we only get a glimpse of the worlds the characters once lived in, but as far as I can see the sequels will give us more. I’m already looking forward to see more of these characters!


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WWW Wednesdays #182 – August 8th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m still buddy reading The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton with Nicki @ Secret Library… We’ve been taking things slow as to fully savour this little masterpiece… WHAT A BOOK!! This is definitely going to appear on my list of 2018 favorites. I’ve also picked up The Tango War by Mary Jo McConahay, a non fiction WWII book about the role of Latin America in WWII. I’m not really far into it, but so far it’s interesting. And last but not least, I’ve started another Spanish reread of the Harry Potter series! The third book is one of my favorites and I’m looking forward to spend more time with Sirius and Lupin. Harry Potter Y El Prisionero De Azkaban it is!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. It’s Okay To Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort (DNF 66%, 0 stars) REVIEW 16/08
I like reading memoirs every once in a while and when I saw It’s Okay To Laugh being compared to the memoirs of Jenny Lawson, I just HAD to get a copy. Fierce and hysterically funny? Sign me up for that! Sadly, I’m feeling kind of cheated now I have picked it up… Because there is no way It’s Okay To Laugh bares any similarities with the work of that author. Both the writing style and tone were just off for me, and it felt rather repetitive and almost nagging to me.

2. The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse (2/5 stars) REVIEW 13/08
If you like science fiction, are looking for something different and don’t mind repetition in the plot, you will probably enjoy The Echo Room a lot better than I did. I still really like the idea behind this story, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy actually reading it. Between the lack of crucial information, repetitive chapters and lack of connection to the story and characters I had a hard time making it to the final page, although things did improve later on. The story was just too strange and vague for me… But like I said before, the problem might just have been me.

3. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 16/08
Britt-Marie Was Here is already the fourth book I’ve picked up, and this story has only reconfirmed my love for his stories. Fredrik Backman is a true master in creating unique and flawed characters that you cannot help falling in love with. It was so great seeing more of Britt-Marie! Basically, I loved every single minute of this book, and while nothing can beat Ove, both My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here currently share a second place on my list of Backman favorites.

4. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman (3/5 stars) REVIEW 19/08
I admit I wasn’t completely convinced by the first book when I read it last year, mostly because the whole just felt a bit too chaotic and too many different elements trying to be squeezed into one story. I picked up the sequel anyway, both because I was curious to see how things would continue and because it fitted the Magical Readathon challenge… While things did improve and the story seemed to be more coherent, I still wish more focus would have been on the Library. There is a lot going on, we have werewolves, dragons, fae and magic, the story is partly set in Venice… But somehow the spark is missing? The whole thing actually felt a bit dull and rather slow-paced for a story about magical creatures and a plot to start a war that might destroy an alternate world or two.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As I’m still reading Evelyn Hardcastle, I’ve been posponing other thriller read as to not confuse the two plots. I’m hoping to pick up the NG ARCs The Confession by Jo Spain and Truth And Lies by Caroline Mitchell some time soon though, because the publish dates are coming closer… I also need to read the ARC The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang soon. My newest TBR jar pick is still An Officer And A Spy by Robert Harris.


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Teaser Tuesdays #183 – August 7th: The Masked City

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

One of the books I’m currently reading is The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman. I read the first book last year and while it had some interesting elements, the plot as a whole was a tad too chaotic for me. But with the Magical Readathon on the line, I decided to give the sequel a go anyway. So far things are going better than expected.

My teaser (11%):

“She felt a burning across her shoulders as the Library brand on her skin flared in response, and drew herself up straight in her seat with a little sniff. She hoped she hadn’t been staring like a gawping idiot.”

What are you reading right now?


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BOOK REVIEW: The Invisible Library – by Genevieve Cogman

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Title: The Invisible Library
(The Invisible Library #1)
Author: Genevieve Cogman

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Mystery
First published: January 15th 2015
Publisher: Tor UK
Finished reading: March 4th 2017
Pages: 337

“She was a Librarian, and the deepest, most fundamental part of her life involved a love of books. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to shut the rest of the world out and have nothing to worry about except the next page of whatever she was reading,”

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I actually picked up this title on a whim since I needed a break from my ARCs and didn’t realize this was actually the first book of a series. Oops?! The title spoke to me when I was browsing my kindle, and I guess I was in the mood for a book about books. What I didn’t realize either is that The Invisible Library is actually a full blown science fiction/fantasy read stuffed with magic and mythical creatures like vampires, fae, werewolves and dragons. Definitely a surprise! The worldbuilding is without doubt interesting and I loved the idea behind the Librarians and Language, but in general the inclusion of so many different elements ended up feeling a bit chaotic. I also felt the many science fiction/steampunk and fantasy elements actually distracted from the originial Library idea and in a way it’s a shame… Because those descriptions are basically every booklover’s dream. The pace in The Invisible Library is also quite slow, making it harder to properly enjoy the story. I’m not saying this book actually is a bad read, but I did feel it didn’t reach its full potential and I wish the Library elements would have played a bigger role. I wasn’t completely sure about all the characters either; while I liked Kai and Vale, Irene didn’t manage to convince me. I will most likely still read the sequel at some point though to see if the Library itself gets more attention in that one.

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Irene is a Librarian and works for the mysterious Library, which harvests books from different realities. It’s her job to find rare copies of those books no matter what, and she is about to start a new mission. But she won’t be going alone this time… Her supervisor sends her to an alternative London along with Kai so he can get some field experience. This normally means easy missions, so Irene is surprised when she finds out that their book is actually potentially dangerous. And even worse: when they arrive, it’s already been stolen… And it won’t be easy to get it back, especially since this particular alternative London is also chaos-infested. An impossible mission or simply a challenge?

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I can’t deny The Invisible Library has a lot of potential and I loved the Library/Language elements, but I felt there were just too many different elements stuffed into one story to make sense. The Library and its magic, mythical creatures, science fiction/steampunk, detective, secret societies, an evil villain… All those elements sound great separately, but when they are all thrown together they start to distract from what is essentially the most original part of the plot. All in all not a bad read, but not as good as I was hoping for.


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WWW Wednesdays #127 – March 8th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading two pending ARCs… March is really turning into an ARC month, but at least my Netgalley ratio is finally above 80% again! 😀 The first one is The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney, a psychological thriller I’ve heard great things about and I’ll be looking forward to. The second title is an historical fiction read that the author sent to me: The Last Gods Of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer. It took me longer than expected to finally pick that one up, but I’m hoping to finish it before the weekend.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first book I finished since last week is I Found You by Lisa Jewell, which was even better than I thought it would be. Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller that had me on the edge of my seat and guessing about the facts until the very end. And even though the amnesia element isn’t all that original on its own, it works perfectly together with the rest of the plot. Recommended!
* I then read The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which I picked up on a whim when I wanted a little break from my ARCs. I totally didn’t realize this was actually a series! There were things I loved about this book, especially the Library/Language elements, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. Part of the problem is that so many different elements are being squeezed together in the plot that it just all seems a bit chaotic… I mean: magic, science fiction/steampunk, supernatural creatures (vampires, fae, werewolves AND dragons), a superdetective and an evil supervillian in one story? It just seemed a bit too much and mostly distracted from the very interesting idea behind the Library, Language and alternative worlds.
* Next up was The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, a book I was really looking forward to, especially after it was compared to The Martian. Unfortunately, this turned out to be false advertisement, because the two basically have NOTHING in common. The Wanderers mostly focuses on the psychological effects of a Mars mission SIMULATION (Yes, the astronauts don’t even go to Mars), which definitely wasn’t what I had signed up for. Sure, a psychological analysis can be interesting and I liked the diversity of the characters, but overall the pace was quite slow and the sometimes dense prose didn’t really help either. Things improved later on, but I don’t think I would have actually made it to that point if this wouldn’t have been an ARC: In one word: disappointment.
* After two mediocre reads, I had both my fingers and toes crossed when I started reading Renegade Red by Lauren Bird Horowitz. I ran out of time and dived straight into the second book, but it by no means ment I enjoyed it less. I definitely understand the love for this series now, because I had a blast reading this story. A fast pace, interesting characters and plot, well written… It does have a love triangle I’m not sure about, but this is one of the exceptions where I’ve forgiven the story for it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Guess who is finally going to pick up her copy of A Conjuring Of Light?! I’m a huge V.E. Schwab fan and I’ve been wanting to read this final book ever since I finished AGOS last year, so I guess you can imagine how excited I am to be finally reading it. I was initially going to reread the first two books before, but I really don’t have time right now with all those pending ARCs…. Looks like I will be having a Shades Of Magic reread later this year! 😉 I also need to read the two ARCs Bull by David Elliott and Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson, and I might read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera after that just to change genres a bit. (Ok I confess, it’s also because I REALLY want to read it in the first place.)


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