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  • Magical suspense that’s very intriguing

    Ok I have to start by mentioning the absolutely gorgeous cover which captured my attention. A new author to me and it’s a difficult story to categorise. A little bit magical with myths and legends, a budding romance and then there’s the dark aspects that certainly were intriguing. I enjoyed this the first book in this series and thought the family who dominated this story have a lot more to share with the reader as their Lithuanian and innate magical heritage certainly felt unique. If you enjoy suspense that’s a wee bit gothic than this is certainly worth your time. Plus the author brings the landscape she’s writing about to life. My only real criticism is that I’d have preferred a little more of the couple getting to know each other. Plus there’s a lovely dog and a rather unusual cat but my lips are sealed. I believe this is aimed at adults but I see no reason why younger readers wouldn’t enjoy this too as it certainly would fit into the YA category too. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

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  • Enjoyable, slightly scary fantasy

    A few words on this story... It was scarier than I was expecting. Folklore can be brutal. The book is well written. There is strong world building and the characters within it are believable and likeable. I hope there will be more books in this series. Lithuanian mythology is fascinating. Thank you to the publisher for granting me an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley.

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  • Engaging Fantasy

    𝑻𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒌𝒖𝒔𝒉 is a paranormal fantasy that mostly focuses on Elena Lukas, a young professor, who has just returned to her childhood home and family B&B business in Olympia, Washington, after a painful romantic breakup. She is to start a job at a local university in the fall. Elena's family has the fate of serving a powerful Lithuanian goddess. At first, she is not ready to accept this, but when she is contacted by a local wildlife ranger for help in dealing with some strange animal attacks, she naturally calls on the goddess's powers. I chose to read this because fantasy is a genre that appeals to me, and I enjoyed the premise of this tale. Once the story gets moving, I found that the mood was expertly set, the details of The Capitol Forest were well-written, and the mood was fittingly eerie. There is a mythical creature stalking the forest, a mutant-looking bear, using a kind of black magic on its prey. And now, it's after Elena. A later part of the story involves Gabby, Elena's younger sister, a high school freshman. One night, she goes missing. It is during Gabby's encounter with her attacker that we are finally introduced to Takakush. At this point, I must confess, I became somewhat confused about the relationship between these two creatures-- I'm not sure if I missed something, or if there is to be a sequel. I enjoyed the characters in Elena's family, and the backstory about the family B&B, complete with her mother Mina's struggle to please the over-the top eccentric travel column critic. Elena's romance with Boone, the Capitol Forest ranger, escalated quickly, but then, this is a fantasy--I'm personally not bothered by that. Also, Elena's grandmother was a treat. And, of course, Boone's dog Ohto. Ohto was great. I did think that some of the dialogue seemed unlikely, but it didn't really detract much from the storyline. One critical note I would add is really just a formatting issue: the book is not only separated by chapters, but by subtitles, informing the reader of the point of view and location that follows. This is really not necessary, and I felt it hindered the flow of my reading. It's possible that these subtitles (if that is what I should call them) are not present in the final draft of the book. Overall, this was an interesting read for those who enjoy an exotic fantasy. Many thanks to Netgalley for this pleasant opportunity!

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