Ella, The Slayer

Ella, The Slayer (Serenity House #1) by A. W. Exley
Seventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they're called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella's world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.
Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office -- to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn't expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.
Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society's boundaries, Ella could lose everything - home, head and her heart...

"You shouldn't be out in the woods alone. There are undead about, but I suspect you know that."
What gav…

His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8)

His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes's fearless chronicler Dr. Watson once again opens his notebooks to bring to light eight further tales of some of the strangest and most fascinating cases to come before the enquiring mind of London's most famous detective.

Our official detectives may blunder in the matter of intelligence, but never in that of courage.
I might be seriously burning through my Sherlock-Holmes-interest. I just can't seem to hold that much interest for his stories anymore, even if there are a couple of great character-moments. I thought I could counteract this effect by reading more books in-between the Sherlock Holmes instalments but it hasn't worked so far. Honestly, after reading so much Doyle recently there just isn't that much left to say for me I haven't already mentioned.
"I should prefer that you do not mention my name at all in connection with the case, as I choose to be only associate…

Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just … disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back? Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Um... Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find? Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?
"I have never seen anyone look so suspicious," Frank said, shaking his head. "Ever. I figured I should probably stay close, just in case."
Can I just declare this book as "most obtrusive earworm-creator ever"? Because I've definitely been spending a disconcerting amount of time singing "si…

The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
On the outside, there's Violet, an eigtheen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries . . .
We were gasoline rushing for a lit match. We were bared teeth. Balled fists. A stampede of slick feet. We went wild, like anyone would. We lost our fool heads.
There is something uniquely disturbing about this book. I just couldn't wrap my head around the concept and I ended up constantly questioning whom to believe, whom to trust, whom to like, whom to forgive. Don't get me wrong: it was a great experience, brilliantly written, but it was also terrifying in a way I haven't felt terrified ever before.

The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7)

The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The deadly hand of Professor Moriarty once more reaches out to commit a vile and ingenious crime, but a mole in Moriarty's criminal organization alerts Sherlock Holmes of the evil deed by means of a cipher . . .
When Holmes and Watson arrive at a Sussex manor house they appear to be too late. The discovery of a body suggests that Moriarty's henchmen have been at their work. But there is much more to this tale of murder than at first meets the eye.
Holmes smiled. He was always warmed by genuine admiration – the characteristic of the real artist.
Once I realized that this one would be a Moriarty-story my excitement-levels cranked up to … well, I don't know exactly to what but it was a lot! Sadly, while The Valley of Fear was an interesting case it wasn't what I had hoped for, it felt more like a set-up than a case of it's own, especially because the second part is entirely separated from Hol…

Fly on the Wall

Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart
At the Manhattan School of Art and Music, where everyone is unique and everyone is 'different', Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. It doesn't help that she's known as the girl who sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of her favourite superhero, just so she won't have to talk to anyone. Her best (and only real) friend is there for her, but that's only if she's not busy - she's always busy!
It's no surprise that Gretchen isn't exactly successful in the boy department. Her ex-boyfriend is a cold-fish-sometimes-flirty ex who she can't stop bumping into. Plus, she has a massive crush on a boy named, Titus but is too scared to make the first move. One minute he seems like a sensitive guy, the next, he's a completely different person when he's with his friends. She can't seem to figure boys out! 
Gretchen has one wish: to be a fly on the wall in the boy's locker room. What are boys really like? What d…

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls #2)

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls #2) by Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?
All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems.

And you utilised your training to develop a relationship with The Subject?”
“Gee, when you say it like that—”
“Yes or no, Ms—”
Which, I would like to point out, is not nearly as bad as it sounds since, for example, you don’t need a search warrant to go through someone’s rubbish. Seriously. Once it hits the kerb it is totally fair game – you can look it up.
So, okay, after I read the las…

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Holmes and Watson are faced with their most terrifying case yet. The legend of the devil-beast that haunts the moors around the Baskerville family's home warns the descendants of that ancient clan never to venture out in those dark hours when the power of evil is exalted. Now, the most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, is dead and the footprints of a giant hound have been found near his body. Will the new heir meet the same fate?

Do you not find it interesting?”
“To a collector of fairy tales.”
The difference between the Sherlock Holmes short stories and this longer tale, for me, really comes down to one aspect: I had no idea whom to suspect. In all of the short stories I'm rather quick in coming to a conclusion (sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm not but that's beside the point) but in this story I was completely in the dark, which is really interesting because it made me rather …

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena hat tödliche Wettkämpfe überlebt, ihr wurde das Herz gebrochen, sie hat sich den Schatten ihrer Vergangenheit gestellt und es überstanden. Jetzt kehrt sie zurück nach Adarlan. Aber nicht mehr als Celaena Sardothien, sondern als Aelin Galathynius, Königin von Terrasen. Doch bevor sie ihren Thron besteigen kann, muss sie noch offene Rechnungen begleichen. Da ist zum einen ihr alter Meister, der sie verraten und dem Tod überlassen hat. Und der König von Adarlan, der in seinem grenzenlosen Machthunger die Magie verbannt, ihre Eltern getötet und den ganzen Kontinent unterworfen hat. Eine Aufgabe, würdig einer Kämpferin, würdig einer dunklen Königin ...

She supposed that after facing skinwalker, after escaping ancient creatures of size of small cottages, and after incinerating four demon princes, twenty men in pursuit wasn't all that horrific.
But still a giant raging pain in her ass.
Hach, ich wünschte…

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #6)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #6) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
After Sherlock Holmes' apparently fatal encounter with the sinister Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the great detective reappears, to the delight of the faithful Dr Watson in The Adventures of the Empty House.

My companion's expressive face showed sympathy which was not, I am afraid, entirely unmixed with satisfaction.
“Dear me,” said he, “it was only this moment at breakfast that I was saying to my friend, Dr. Watson, that sensational cases had disappeared out of our papers.”
After the disappointment of the last Sherlock Holmes collection I have to admit to being really happy with the follow up. I continue to not being terribly interested in the actual cases (with some exceptions) but that didn't matter all that much because there were a lot of great character moments where Homes' sarcasm and quirkiness had the opportunity to properly shine through.

"It strikes me, m…