Queen of Thieves

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Time-travel books are by far my favorite type of book.  Even more than fae books.

I freeze and gape in horror at what I just typed.  “Le gasp!  How dare I?”

Oh, I dare.

Before No Good Deed by Kara Connolly appeared on the “new books” shelf in the library, I’d exhausted the Young Adult department’s time-travel selection.  Basically, I saw it, snatched it up, and almost forgot to check it out before I staggered out of the library, already nose-deep in it.

Ellie Hudson is on the road to a gold medal for the U. S. Olympic archery team, but, when she makes a wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle, she ends up in medieval England.  Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages, she just wants to get home.  But, as she spends time in the past, she sees that people are suffering and she has the skills to make it better.

Filled with humorous outlaws, dashing knights, and cunning royals, Kara Connolly delivers a fantastic romp.  Well-paced and fairly historically accurate (for a time-travel and a spin on Robin Hood), I read it in one sitting.  Heck, I cried when it ended.

No Good Deed hit the bull’s eye, so I award it five out of five gold stars.

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Boy Meets Girl, Girl Murders People

Following my discovery of Young Adult novels back in 2010, I spent the next couple of years reading and rereading Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series and whatever Holly Black and Rachel Caine book I could get my hands on.  I recall having just finished a book about a fae disguised as a human when the spine of Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood whispered to me.  Despite not being remotely about fae or vampires, I let the creepy and blood-dripping girl on the cover lure me in.  A four year dalliance had begun!

After his father’s gruesome murder a decade earlier, Cas Lowood has taken up his father’s job: killing the dead.  Armed with his father’s mysterious athame, Cas travels around the country with his kitchen’witch mother and spirit-sniffing cat.  They follow legends and local lore and destroy the murderous dead, all the while keeping pesky things like the future and friends at an arm’s length.  Catching wind of a ghost, Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects to track it down, hunt, and kill it.  So the usual.  What he discovers, however, is a girl buried in curses and rage.  She’s a ghost he’s never faced before.Wrapped in a blood-soaked dress that she wore on the day of her murder in 1958, Anna has killed everyone who has had the misfortune to step into her crumbling Victorian house.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Unfortunately, my sanity while waiting to read the second book wasn’t.  Nevertheless, Anna Dressed in Blood and it’s sequel, Girl of Nightmares, was packed to the brim with sarcasm, wit, and epic ghost versus human battles.  From the violent beginning to the heart-wrenching end my heart was in my throat.  And the chills…  I’m still looking over my shoulder whenever I feel something running down my spine.

I rate the Anna duology a four out of five stars.

Howling

I feel like running

And howling at the moon

But the sun is stuck in place

So I’m chasing after you

I tear through the woods

Pretending you’re howling too

Branches whip

Yet you still sit poised with your book

The way you feel the air

Tells me you’ll be howling soon

I want to hear you howling with me

Wherever we may be

The breeze is nippy

As we skip through the trees

Something’s chasing after us

Howling at our heels

I want to hear you howling with me

Wherever we may be

The day is too long

The night is cold

But I promise

Howling I will be

Copyright © 2016 by Nita Pan

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