Review: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

velvet undercover

Title: Velvet Undercover
Author: Teri Brown
Release Date/Publisher: October 20th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Finished: September 16th 2015
Pages: 336-ARC eBook-Given for review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

What I Thought:

I received a free advanced copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

in the shadow of blackbirds

Title: In the Shadow of Blackbirds

Author: Cat Winters

Release Date/Publisher: April 2nd 2013 by Amulet Books

Finished: June 3rd 2013

Pages: 387-Hardcover-owned


In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

What I thought:

This book was different than what I normally read, but after seeing it in the bookstore I wanted to give it a try. I usually don’t read many books about war since they always end up making me sad, what with the losses and what the men went through.

This book was set during World War 1, and not only did it talk about the Flu that went around and all the people dying because of that, but there are scenes with men that came back damaged both mentally and physically. There’s also some pictures taken during the war throughout this book, like one of some trenches and men carrying a casket.

And then there’s the ghosts. First, the pictures were definitely creepy. If you know me well, you know that anything ghost related really scares me, but I still go looking at that kind of stuff anyway. The pictures and the mix of ghosts throughout the book were definitely creepy, especially when a certain one connects with our main character and things start happening.

As for Mary Shelley Black (a good author she’s names after too), she’s a very smart girl who loves science and electricity and reading. I liked her stubborn character but also how she really loved Stephen and how she tries so hard to help him.

If you want a historical book that involves ghosts and a great story, with real pictures inserted inside then definitely pick up this book. I liked reading it even though it scared me a few times.

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