Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings



Book Review: Smoke & Summons (Numina Trilogy #1)

Smoke & Summons Book Cover

Rating: 3.5 stars

As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.

A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.

Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…

I’m having a hard time deciding on what rating to give this story. I overall enjoyed reading it because I found the story and world-building interesting. The author does a wonderful job creating an immersive world to pull us into with a story and unique characters that you as a reader can get behind. I especially enjoyed reading from Sandis’s perspective and learning more about her abilities as she runs away from the man trying to capture and control her.

But at the same time, I personally sometimes found the story itself to move at a very slow pace. Not because I didn’t find the story interesting or wasn’t enjoying what I was reading. It just felt at times like the plot was moving too slow for me like I was always waiting for something to happen to Sandis and Rone. Even during the moments when they were just resting and had successfully managed to avoid capture.

What I enjoyed with regards to Smoke & Summons is the world our protagonists are in. I wouldn’t necessarily call it grim, but it’s not exactly what one would call one of the safest universes to be immersed in. Especially for someone like Sandis who had no choice in the matter in being able to control an ancient spirit. In their universe, her abilities are considered something to be feared. So, she’s not only on the run from the man who’s controlled her powers but the authorities in their world.

I also enjoyed reading about her powers. Especially since you as the reader discover that Sandis has started forming a connection with the ancient spirit she’s been a vessel for. I found learning about her abilities interesting because it’s a power I haven’t read too many stories about before. It’s also very interesting to read about too because her abilities with this ancient spirit aren’t like all the other vessels her master Kazen has control over. She has more control over summoning this spirit than any of the other vessels does and has a memory of what the spirit does whenever it takes over her body. None of the other characters in the story with her abilities have that type of control so I found that interesting to see.

What I enjoyed the most when reading Smoke & Summons was there was no forced romance between the two protagonists. Yes, it’s clear that they both have feelings for each other. However, Charlie N. Holmberg never forced romance into the story with Sandis and Rone. Most books of this genre always try to include romance into the story in some form or another. So, it was nice to see that not occur in this book.

But while I enjoyed this world and the overall storyline, the biggest criticism I have I already mentioned earlier, with regards to the pacing of the story. I found there were some moments when reading that the story just moved too slow. Most of this book I noticed involved Sandis and Rone on the run from Kazen and the numerous Numen and people he used to help catch them. There really wasn’t too much plot that moved the story forward involving Sandis discovering her connection with the ancient spirit that controlled her body. While I overall didn’t mind because when reading the story, you understand why that’s the case, it sometimes made the story drag on a little too much when you wanted to know more about Sandis and her abilities.

I overall enjoyed reading Smoke & Summons and am definitely planning on reading the next book in the trilogy Myths and Mortals. I just hope the next book improves in the pacing of the story so that this trilogy continues to interest me enough to want to read the next book to see what happens to our protagonists.

Book Review: The Red Hat Club

The Red Hat Club Book Cover

Rating: 4 stars

Meet Georgia, SuSu, Teeny, Diane, and Linda–five women who’ve been best friends through thirty years since high school. Sit in when they don their red hats and purple outfits to join Atlanta’s Ladies Who Lunch for a delicious monthly serving of racy jokes, iced tea and chicken salad, baskets of sweet rolls, the latest Buckhead gossip, and most of all–lively support and caring through the ups and downs of their lives. When Diane discovers her banker husband has a condo (with mistress) that he bought with their retirement funds, the Red Hats swing into action and hang him with his own rope in a story that serves up laughter, friendship, revenge, high school memories, long-lost loves, a suburban dominatrix, and plenty of white wine and junk food. From the 1960s to the present, The Red Hat Club is a funny, unforgettable novel that shows the power women can find when they accept and support each other. 

This book was quite an unforgettable read. It allocated laughter and was just a fun pleasure to enjoy.

What made The Red Hat Club such an enjoyable read for me is all of the characters. Each of the five women in this story (including the one who’s point of view the whole story is told from) had a unique personality of their own. You saw their individual personalities throughout the story, from the beginning when Diane is revealing to her close friends that she’s discovered her husband is being unfaithful to the end when Teeny throws a celebration party for Diane and reveals her own hidden secret. I also enjoyed each of these women because this story made me laugh, especially when all five of them were together discussing how they were going to bring Harold down. It’s refreshing to read a story where all of the main characters are enjoyable and have unique personalities so I really appreciated it.

I also enjoyed this book because it was such a fun read. It wasn’t at all super serious, just a fun story about women and friendship. It was a story I could have fun reading and not want to do anything else but laugh. It’s a book that while usually isn’t my genre I found I enjoyed immensely giving a try because it allowed me to have fun imagining all of these different women with powerful personalities. It’s a book overflowing with fun positivity and I was very excited to see how the plot progressed.

What I also enjoyed with The Red Hat Club is how the story went back and forth between the past and present. I enjoyed seeing how these women’s friendship grew from their days in high school to the present time when this book was published. I especially enjoyed the process of initiation into the Mademoiselles and how their friendship grew from being a part of that exclusive sorority. In a lot of ways, their own group in the present day storyline is a little like that because of the rules they made when it came to their friendship and what they could talk about. I really liked that because it made sure nobody in their circle of friendship was excluded and if their conversations didn’t go well, they could start over as if the previous conversation never happened. It also made me want to continue reading this book to find out how their friendship lasted throughout the years and what was going to happen next.

If I have any criticisms for this book at all, its Georgia when it comes to her relationship with her husband John and her ex love Brad. From the beginning of The Red Hat Club, it’s pretty apparent that Georgia still hasn’t gotten over how her relationship with Brad ended, despite being married with kids. It’s still on her mind present day in the story, and all of the things she says about her husband John are nothing short of negative. She talks about their marriage being safe and boring and worries throughout the book whether she’s also going to be getting a divorce anytime soon. She admits that there are problems in her marriage, yet does nothing about it. She thinks a lot about Brad and the way he made her feel, and it seems almost like she’s going to get a second chance with him. But instead, she makes a decision for herself I definitely didn’t foresee, which left me completely confused, considering her feelings throughout the book. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil this book or anything, but I was completely surprised by her decision. I also didn’t think it was the right choice, considering throughout the story she still seems like she’s mourning that love.

Other than that, I really enjoyed reading The Red Hat Club. It was such a fun, easygoing read that made me laugh from beginning to end that I was sad when I finally had to put it down. I definitely recommend this book to other women who want to read about women and friendship and who don’t mind reading stories that shift back and forth from past to present.

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Original Screenplay Book Cover

Rating: 3 stars

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

As a whole, I enjoyed reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The story and characters were interesting, making me want to continue reading to find out what happened next. I especially enjoyed reading about all of the fantastic creatures Newt Scamander had in his suitcase. They really made the story magical and interesting for me. All of the creatures that escaped had different quirks, which is what helped Newt Scamander figure out where they’d be in New York. I also liked all of the characters in this story and how they worked together to get the magical creatures back in Newt’s suitcase.

Another feature of this book I particularly enjoyed was seeing how the magical world worked in America. As an American myself, when I read the Harry Potter series, I always wondered how different the magical world would be in America. How non magic folk and witches and wizards would interact. However, the way it’s incorporated in this book is different from what I expected. But at the same time, I’m not quite as surprised. It’s different because the setting for this book takes place in a different time period than the Harry Potter series. The events in this book actually take place long before Harry Potter is born, at a time when non magic and magic folk are at odds with each other. At a time when witches and wizards have to hide who they are for fear that knowing of their existence will cause a war. I find this to be an interesting time point for these events to take place because it makes the story that much more riveting to read so that you can find out what happens. It’s also interesting to see magic folks having to hide who they are for fear of exposure and threat to the safety of the world. There’s just something about knowing everything is at stake that makes this even more interesting to read.

I also find that this book has a beautiful cover. I like the way it looks because it draws me in. Now I normally don’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes when you find a book and it has a really nice cover, you just have to read it. For me, this was one of those books. I also liked the cute little illustrations you could find in between the pages. Seeing some of the creatures illustrated in the book was really nice because it added something to the pages for me.  I also liked hearing this story told as a screenplay. I found this format of the story to be very interesting because it allowed you as the reader to notice things you probably wouldn’t have if J.K. Rowling had written it as a novel. While I didn’t like this format when I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, since this screenplay isn’t a part of a series I feel like it fits better here.

However, there are a lot of things about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that I’m critical about that made this screenplay not as much of an enjoyable read for me. Unfortunately, I’ve already seen the film based on this screenplay so I already knew about all of the events that took place in the story before reading it. And the movie adaptation of the screenplay is exactly the same so it made it hard for me to enjoy reading this because I already knew what happened. Usually when I hear a book is being made into a film, I try to read the book before seeing the movie because I don’t want the film to ruin my reading experience. Part of that is while most of the time the book and movie adaptations are completely different, I worry that there’ll still be enough similarities that the film will end up ruining the book for me. That is why I don’t mind there being differences between a book and its film adaptation. However, I saw the film a while ago, but the plot is still fresh in my mind. So it was harder for me to enjoy this book because I remembered everything that happened. I believe if I’d read this before going to see the movie, my opinion of it would be different.

Another criticism I have for this book is the relationships J.K. Rowling made between the main characters. I felt like they were forced, as if she was trying to make this story a romance along with fantasy. In the film, it wasn’t quite so bad but in the screenplay, it’s very easy to notice. Because while I like the two pairings she created, I just feel like they aren’t meant to be. Especially the relationship that starts to form between Queenie and Jacob. It’s a relationship that just doesn’t seem realistic to me. I think part of it is because you know it’s not meant to be since Jacob isn’t a part of the wizarding world.

I also would’ve liked to have learned a little bit more about Newt Scamander and the creatures he has in his suitcase. He’s one of my favorite characters in the story so with each page I wanted to learn more about him and how he became interested in magical creatures. I also wanted to learn more about the creatures he collected. I know J.K. Rowling created a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them glossary long before she wrote this screenplay. But I think it would’ve been nice to hear more from Newt in the story about these creatures. Maybe even have some background of how he found them to give us a perspective of why they mean so much to him.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  But there were a couple things with the story I wish were included that would’ve made me enjoy it even more. Plus, I wish I hadn’t already seen the movie adaptation too so that I could feel like I’m coming to this story with new eyes. But I do highly recommend this story to those who’ve read the Harry Potter series and want to see more from the wizarding world by J.K. Rowling. Just make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did when you read it.






The Knock on the Other End of the Door

The Knock on the Other End of the Door Image

“Knock, knock.”

A little girl heard a knock from the front door on the other side of her parent’s house. It was an insistent knock that caused her to jump out of her bed in fright.

It was dark out, almost midnight. The lights in her room weren’t on so she immediately ran out of her room into the darkened hallway. She ran past various rooms in her house until she got to her parent’s bedroom where she could see both her mother and father asleep peacefully.

“Knock, knock.”

She jumped because the knock continued persistently. It didn’t go away and she knew she wasn’t dreaming.

She was scared and wanted mommy and daddy. She wanted them to hold her, tell her everything would be okay.

It was dark out. Why was someone knocking on our door close to midnight? We never have visitors late this night. It must be a mistake, a misdirection.

Maybe if I answered the door, the person on the other end would go away? Maybe.

“Knock, knock.”

I really wanted mommy and daddy to comfort me. So I awoke mommy first to see if she heard the knock too.

“Ughhhhh,” Mom mumbled as I attempted to wake her up, still half asleep. But she did open her eyes and looked around in their dark room for the source disturbing her slumber.

“Oh, honey,” Mom said to me. “What’s wrong? Why did you wake me up? It’s really dark outside right now. Did you have a really bad dream or something?”

“Mommy,” I responded. “I keep hearing a knock at our front door. Could you please go and see what it is?”

At that moment, however, the knocks ceased to stop. Almost as if mentioning the sound caused it to end.

Mom strained her ears, trying the best she could to hear the knocks I was hearing since I’d woken up. But since the knocks stopped, there was no sound. Only silence. As if the person at the other end of the door were mocking me.

Instead, however, I felt hope. Maybe the person went away, realizing how late of an hour they were knocking on our door and decided to leave us be and come back later?

But as Mom was telling me she couldn’t hear the knocks, they started back up once more. But they were even louder, more insistent this time.



I jumped again, shaking in fear, holding onto Mom with dear life.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” She asked me again. “Are you sure you just didn’t have a bad dream? I’m telling you I don’t hear this knock your talking about.”

I whimpered and continued shaking in response, continuing to hold onto her. The knocks continued and there was nothing I could do about it. I knew this wasn’t a dream and that I wouldn’t be waken up from it anytime soon. I just had to hope these scary knocks would seize and I’d be able to go back to sleep once more.




“Mommy,” I whimpered, hoping I could convince her to stop the source of the knocking because it was getting so loud I could feel the ground underneath me shaking.

“Are you sure you can’t go to the door and see who it is?” I asked, completely scared out of my mind.

Mother looked at my scared form with a sigh.

“Okay, fine honey,” Mom said. “I’ll go check the door then to see whose knocking. But once I do that and come back, promise me you’ll go back to sleep.”

I nodded my head in understanding, finding myself more comforted by Mom’s words of concern.

“Okay. Good girl honey,” Mom said as she patted my head. “I’ll be right back in a minute then and let you know if I see anything.”

I watched as Mother got out of bed and unattached herself out of my grip as she left the room. I still heard the knocks but was also able to hear Mom’s footfalls as she went to the other side of our house to answer the front door.

As she went towards the door, I heard the knocks stop and let out a breath of relief as I heard our front door swing open. The silence continued enough to where I could hear Mom’s voice from the room.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” I heard my mother say as she opened the front door.

But I didn’t hear anything more as I heard footsteps coming back to the room. I held my breath, not sure whether it was Mom coming back or something else.

However, Mom was fine. She came back and got into bed next to Dad. She then turned and looked at me in the darkened room.

“Honey,” Mom said with a sigh. “I checked outside and there was nobody there. I think you were just dreaming so just go back to sleep okay?”

I nodded my head in understanding because once Mom opened the front door all of the knocking stopped as if it never happened. As if the repetitive loud noise I kept hearing was all just a part of a dark dream.

“Okay, well goodnight honey,” Mother said to me in the silence as she got back into bed. She immediately settled herself comfortably in bed and went back to sleep, snoring very softly as if she were in a deep dream.

The knocking really is gone, isn’t it? I thought to myself as I slowly walked back to my room. Finding comfort that Mom had checked the front door and found nobody there, I settled back into bed. But just as I was getting comfortable, the knocking came back in full force. Just like it was when I first heard it.

“Knock, knock.”

“Knock, knock.”

I immediately sat back up in my bed. It definitely wasn’t my imagination at all. The knock was still there, no matter what Mom said.

I don’t know why the knock stopped when I mentioned it to Mom nor why nobody was there when she checked. But the knock was still there, just as persistent as last time.

I needed to find out what was making that loud noise. Nothing could stop me from investigating this noise.

“Knock, knock.”

“Knock, knock.”

The knocking continued as if daring me to adventure towards the source of the noise. It was dark out, but I was no longer afraid. I knew where I was going. I knew this knocking wasn’t all in my head. It was real and I wanted to know where it was coming from. So I’d do the best I could to find out.

I left my bed, treading carefully around the house so as not to arouse my sleeping parents. The darkness was growing more intense with each step I took, the knocks growing even louder the closer I got to the door.




I got more nervous with each step I took towards the door. I wanted so badly to turn around and go back to sleep in my room. To wake up the next day not remembering what happened and find comfort in the morning rays of the sunlight.

But I can’t. I’ve already made my decision and there’s no going back. As I head towards the front door, I nervously look around me one last time before I go to the door. The knocks as I go to the door are so loud I can feel the door shaking as I grab the handle.

But as I grab the front door, I notice something different about its appearance. Our front door is actually white in nature, recently painted. But the door standing before me is of a wooden hue, with black patterns decorating its frame. However, I still grab the door anyway because I want the knocks to cease.





I slowly open the door as the shaking continues. And as I open the door, I find myself in a place far away from home where there’s no way for me to turn back.

Blog at

Up ↑