Sunday, October 30, 2022

Review: STAR FATHER by Charlie N. Holmberg


Rating: 2/5 stars

When the skies go dark, Aija craves only for the Sunlight to return. Then she runs into an unconscious man glowing gold at the river’s edge: the Sun God himself. As she revives him, she realizes she’s falling in love with him, so once he returns to the sky, Aija vows to do whatever she can to become immortal so she can join him up there forever. 

Star Father is told in a similar style to Star Mother, which I read right before starting this book. Even though this book stands alone, there are references to scenes and characters in the first book, so reading Star Mother before Star Father is advisable, but not necessary. 

Star Father has more adventure than the first book as Aija is on a quest to return to the Sun and has to traverse the world and meet with many different gods and godlings, each not quite giving her what she wants, so she has to continue elsewhere in her quest. So even though the book is very adventurous, I got frustrated with how many times Aija’s plan was thwarted. I wanted something good to happen to her, but she encountered problem after problem after problem, and it just made me want to stop reading. I also got kind of bored during most of the middle of the book as I was just waiting for Aija to reach her end goal of returning to the Sun. 

I like Charlie Holmberg’s writing style and I have really enjoyed many of her books, but unfortunately, Star Father was a miss for me. The only reason I wanted to read it was because of the author, not because of the story. The synopsis itself doesn’t interest me as I have never been a fan of mythological retellings or fantasy stories featuring gods, which is obviously the entire focus of this novel. 

I think fans of Charlie Holmberg’s writing style who also like mythologically centered novels will enjoy Star Father, and anyone who loves a good romance between a mortal and a deity will likely enjoy this book as well. I really enjoyed the ending. I actually liked the ending of this book better than that of Star Mother, but I enjoyed the overall story of the first book better than the one in the second book. Star Father is ultimately a story about love, and about how far someone will go to be with the one they love. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Review: FLOWERHEART by Catherine Bakewell

Rating: 3/5 stars

Flowerheart is a standalone cottagecore fantasy novel brimming with flowers. It's cozy and wholesome and romantic. 

Clara Lucas has a special kind of magic that makes flowers bloom, but her magic is also a bit uncontrollable. So when she accidentally makes flowers bloom inside her father's chest, she seeks out the help of her childhood friend and magician Xavier Morwyn to help her heal her father. Xavier agrees to help, but only if Clara also helps him with his newest project: creating a cure to the poison Euphoria that has been sweeping the land. 

Clara and Xavier team up to practice magic and help those in need. While this novel seems to be all about flower magic, the true story is about helping those who aren't able to help themselves and making the world happier for everyone while also finding your own inner strength. 

I would recommend this book to fans of Charlie Holmberg and Rachel Griffin as the soft and wholesome magic felt similar to their stories. This book also gives off Ghibli vibes, so Ghibli fans may enjoy this novel as well. 

Flowerheart was an enjoyable book and it would be perfect for a calm afternoon read, but at the same time it wasn't life-changing and I don't think it will leave a lasting imprint on me. It's the kind of book that's fun to read when you're feeling sad or you need a warm hug, and you want a cozy story with a happy ending. It's not hard to get through and the subject matter isn't too heavy. I love reading soft fantasy stories like this one, so I look forward to seeing what other books Catherine Bakewell releases in the future and what other books come to be in the cottagecore genre.