Hello people! I hope you all are safe and happy and are doing some amazing reading! Today I am here with a new review for a book that I enjoyed a lot and that left me wanting for more. And it is not only that I wanted more of this universe and these characters (there is that, too), but I want more books like this one because really it was just so full of good things!
Title: Good Neighbors. The Full Collection
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2022
When a grumpy inventor meets her outrageous new neighbor in the big black castle down the road, more than one type of spark will fly!
Mia Brandt knows better than to ever again allow her true powers to be discovered. Ever since her last neighbors burned down her workshop in a night of terror and flame, she’s been determined to stay solitary, safe, and – to all outside appearances – perfectly respectable…
But Leander Fabian, whose sinister castle looms over her cozy new cottage, has far more dangerous ideas in mind. When he persuades Mia into a reluctant alliance, she finds herself swept into an exhilarating world of midnight balls, interfering countesses, illicit opera house expeditions, necromantic duels, and a whole unnatural community of fellow magic-workers and outcasts, all of whom are facing a terrifying threat.
Luckily, Mia has unnatural powers of her own – but even her unique skills may not be enough to protect her new found family and help her resist the wickedly provoking neighbor who’s seen through all of her shields from the beginning.
This novel-length collection includes all four stories and novellas originally published on Stephanie Burgis’s Patreon in 2020-2021: Good Neighbors, Deadly Courtesies, Fine Deceptions, and Fierce Company.
Let me brag a bit, before going on with the book. I usually buy books and then promptly “forget” them on my shelves, usually I have some excuses, because I buy more than one books at a time, so obviously you can’t start all of them, and usually I am reading something else and I should finish that before starting something new… and then once I finish it there is something else clamoring for my attention and so time passes. But not this time! I am really proud to say that for once, I bought it and promptly started it. Yay!
But bragging aside, the book was as delightful as I was hoping, and even more! And there so much to love in there! Let’s start with Mia. I loved her. And I think we need more characters like her.
I love grumpy characters, but more often than not, they are male grumpy characters. And there is nothing bad about it. But us women can be grumpy too! And the fact that we get to see one grumpy woman here was something special.
But, even if this was the dearest thing to my heart here, there is a lot more going on for Mia. She has a really good heart, she can’t stand suffering. And it is not important if who is suffering is a person, an animal or a un-dead minions sent to, presumably, attack her. Suffering is suffering, and she won’t stand it. And this was such an heartwarming trait! And then she is a really capable woman, she is an artisan, a magical one, but she is a creator at heart, and she takes proud in a work well-done. And she thinks that people should do things properly and be proud of the job they have done. And it was so refreshing seeing someone that knew their own value. Also, I really love to see characters be able to do something well and taking satisfaction by it. And I think we need more of this too.
Also, she can’t stand a shabby work, and this was pretty funny too. And she has insecurities too, sure, and some really shitty things happened in her past, and that scarred her for good, that’s true. And there is a long road before her, because this kind of issues are not easily dealt with. But it is heartwarming see her try, and see her stand her ground. She may have issues, she may have problems but she won’t let others do bad to the people around her and not call them out. She is so brave. And strong-willed.
I really think that we need more people like Mia in the real-world, and not only represented in books. But I want more of them in books, too!
And with Mia we have some really interesting characters too. Leander, obviously, it the one at the top of the list. I liked him. A lot. And his sense of style too. And I like that, even if from time to time he and Mia made me roll my eyes and whish, really hard, to scroll them, he believes in Mia, and he believes in his own capacities and powers. He has some issues, too, because who doesn’t? But seeing his quiet strength was a pleasure! Also, he is the best choice as a bookish-boyfriend! He has a castle, he has minions who can do all the work, and he can creates more on a whim. I mean, it sounds better and better every time I think about it!
And then we have Mia’s dad. He remembered me a bit of Belle’s dad, in the Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast, and I don’t really know why. But I kept imagining Mia’s dad quite like him. But, this aside, he is a good-hearted character, and he is the ideal counterpart to Mia grumpiness. You just have to love the man!
And then there are all the other characters, because in this book we have one of the best fond family ever. And I really enjoyed it, and them all.
But, sadly, life is not all joy and love and happy grumpiness for our characters, because they have some really nasty stuff to overcome. And the saddest part is that it all for human stupidity. For the concept of appropriate and pure, that lost all the positive connotations when used like this, because it is just a sort of veil to cover the fear of what is diverse. And it really enrage me every damn time, and it made me wonder why we are just so stupid. And why on heart we just live and let live. It would be so simple! And yet, I feel naive every time I ask myself this, because all this damn stupidity is always here.
But our characters are all strong-willed and won’t just stand for it. And it was magnificent!
Ah, I was almost forgetting it, but this is not really a novel, even if it is readable that way. These are four short stories, but they really create a whole cohesive book, that would let you there, with a smile on your face, your heart warm, and wanting for more! More Mia, more Leander, more happy found families and more people who would do the right thing. And that won’t stand by when someone is treated bad or poorly just because different.
And we have also a nice romance, some magic, some intriguing creations and some really great characters!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or others by this author?? Let me know!