Mini Review

Lusus Naturae by Alison Goodman: Mini Review and Novella Talk

The Novella:

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Book Title: Lusus Naturae

Book Author: Alison Goodman

Page Count: 50

Publishing Date: July 1, 2016

Publisher: Walker Books UK

Date Read: July 31, 2017




Mini Review:

Lusus Naturae is such a short novella that it probably doesn’t need a review, but since The Literary Piratesses and I (my phenomenal book group that will be introduced to my blog soon!) love The Dark Days Club (book 1) and The Dark Days Pact (book 2) so much, I decided to post my thoughts on this awesome novella! For those that love Regency London, look no further than this amazing series!

This novella is told from Lord Carlston’s perspective upon meeting Lady Helen in The Dark Days Club. We get a very intriguing perspective of how he views Helen upon first meeting. We also get a glimpse of his doubts toward her ability, and get a little more of his personality than we did in book 1. There is a surprising twist that we learn about, which were unaware of in books 1-2. I feel that the novella was a nice addition to the story line and felt like it stayed true to the books in both writing style, and character traits.



Novella Talk:

Well, that was a short review!

So, my main reason for writing this post is to have a chat about your thoughts on novellas and what they do for a book series. Novellas are normally “hit or miss” for me. Sometimes I feel like I couldn’t have read the book series without them, and sometimes I feel like saying “What the heck did I just read?”

As I was reading The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Woods (book 1 review can be found here), I felt that the novellas in between the books were just distractions from the main story. They did not hold enough extras to make me feel like they were necessary. The novellas in this series felt disconnected from everything else and they seemed like a waste of time.

In reading The Whispers of the Fallen series by J.D. Netto (book 1 review can be found here), I found that I absolutely LOVED the novella, which is technically book 4, but is in fact a series novella. I could not have had this series without the novella! It added depth to the story and gave a much needed, different perspective from the villain of the books!

In reading Lusus Naturae by Alison Goodman, I feel like I sit somewhere in the middle, leaning slightly more toward love. I LOVE Lord Carlston, and absolutely LOVE The Dark Days Club, and I adored getting his perspective on his first meeting with Lady Helen, but part of me does feel like the 50 pages could have been shortened, and included in the story. It still got 4 stars from me because we learned some valuable information about Carlston, and got a better glimpse in to his mind, but I still don’t know if it was 100% necessary to write.


My questions to you:

Do you think novellas are worth writing reviews for?

Do you think novellas add to the story-line, or are they unnecessary additions?

What was your favorite novella?

What novella could you have lived without?

Let’s chat in the comments! I would love your feedback!


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29 thoughts on “Lusus Naturae by Alison Goodman: Mini Review and Novella Talk

  1. Great that you enjoyed this novella! I don’t think I ever heard of The Dark Days Club and now I really am interested because Regency London *heart eyes*. I am with you when it comes to novellas being hit or miss. I feel like they can either add great insight to the story or not at all. I also feel that people should write reviews to whatever they feel like reviewing lol. You never know who you find to gush over the novella with through the review (hope that makes sense). My favorite novellas are from the Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter, I think she did great with those because they definitely added to the story but I can also live without them! Great post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you should read The Dark Days Club ASAP!! Those books are SO GOOD!! I am so anxious for book 3! There is definitely a lot of Regency London!

      I am glad we are on the same page with novellas. Sometimes they are awesome, and other times they just don’t add anything. Now you have given me another series to add to my TBR, lol! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, that’s just it. I don’t want to talk about it! It was really boring and I almost DNF’d it and I have reviewed everything I have read this year, and I didn’t feel like reviewing that one. I like being honest and I feel like we need to talk about things we didn’t like, but I have no desire to write a review on that one, and that’s why I was debating, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hehe, I got you! You are pretty awesome and I completely understood your support ❤ Yeah, I wrote a small blurb about being bored on GR and that's all I plan on doing, haha. Just feels weird since I have written a review for every book this year. But I'm with you, I don't want to feel forced!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. i know how you feel! when you have this routine of doing things and then suddenly something changes, it feels weird! but don’t worry, that’s totally normal 🤗 we’ll like you and your posts no matter what!
        also, i think sometimes you can read it in blog posts, that they weren’t written having fun. that they were written because someone felt forced. and that’s not the purpose of this! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love novellas! I love to read all the books in a series first and then go back and read the novellas, but sometimes that isn’t possible so I’ll pick them up in publication order.

    Like for Throne of Glass I read the first two books and then went back into the novellas and I loved them – they really added to my knowledge of the characters and understanding of some motives etc.

    You liked the Dragonian series too!!!!!! I actually loved it and also bought the rest of the series after I got the first from NG! But I’ve seen some very negative reviews for the books. I haven’t read the novellas though… She has done a new series after the events of the Dragonian series which is available now. I downloaded a preview of the first book on my Kobo but just haven’t had time to read it!

    P.S. I really want to read the lady Helen books!

    I do think novellas can have worthwhile reviews, especially compilations. I love the Shadowhunters novellas! There’s probably a couple I could live without but I can’t think of any right now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to read the novellas in the order they are supposed to be in with the story, like if it says 1.5 I’ll try to read it between books 1 and 2 for the same reason that you enjoy reading them.

      I LOVED The Dragonian series and I don’t know why it go so much negativity! The novellas for that one were okay, but I would have been happy with just the books. Are you talking about a new series or the series that takes place after The Dragonian?

      You NEED to read the Lady Helen books!! They are FANTASTIC!!

      I think if the novella adds content to the original story it is review worthy, but if it is just something meant to tide you over until the next book it may end up being hit or miss and may not need a full review. I need to re-read Shadowhunters and find those novellas!!


      1. Yes! That’s the new series I’m talking about. I’m excited to see how Woods has grown as an author (and if she got a new editor which was my biggest gripe with that series! Even epubs that I purchased were full of silly errors).

        I agree with novellas needing to add something relevant to a story. Some history or some event you didn’t read about in the books but that might be alluded to or make a light bulb go off in your head.

        Yes! I really enjoyed both the Bane Chronicles and Shadowhunter Academy. It was great to get both historical info and fill in stuff and see people I’d missed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I bought book one in that series and forgot about it lol. I got carried away with keeping up with other books, but I may need to hit it soon.

        Yes, exactly! Unfortunately that first novella in her series didn’t feel like it added anything for me. The second one was a little better.

        I am afraid that once I get back in to The Mortal Instruments and Shadowhunters world I am going to get lost and forget about everything else lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oops. I think I’m at the Max level hierarchy (at least in my phone) for replies!

        I haven’t read Lord of Shadows yet, and I’m thinking I actually desperately want to reread Infernal Devices (my favourite SH series so far), reread MI book 6 (Heavenly Fire?) and then Lady Midnight before I do Los….. So it’s a long haul! I was so glad I read Shadowhunter Academy before Lady Midnight. It was a great warm-up and also fill ins for Lady Midnight.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, for WP. I can’t reply to your comments anymore, I’m replying to one far above.

        I would read Mortal Instruments 1-6, Bane Chronicles, Infernal Devices, Welcome to Shadow Hunter Academy and then Lady Midnight and LOS. The problem is that while I enjoyed MI 1-3, 4&5 dragged a bit for me, but are obviously very necessary. #6 ties together Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices AND Lady Midnight which is why I want to reread it before rereading Lady Midnight. 😂 I like to be well prepared to love new books and I feel rereads of the series does it the best justice. Doesn’t help my TBR but… Oh well.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That is odd with WP. Must be an app thing like you said.

        I read books 1-5 in MI about 4 years ago and I absolutely loved them, but I couldn’t bring myself to read the last book because I didn’t want it to end. Then the other books started coming out and I knew I would get too caught up in it all! Lol. But my husband got me the whole MI hardcover series so I can binge read it, and I plan on doing that before the end of the year 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion. I will plan to read them in that order.

        While we are on the subject, how did you feel about the movie and the TV show?


  3. Interesting discussion. I usually don’t read novellas because I like to get totally immersed in books – disappear into the worlds and never come up for air. Novellas are usually too short for me and I feel cheated. BUT, when a novella is part of a series, I’m fine with it – it’s part of a larger story and the immersion in the world stays intact. In epic worlds with lots of characters doing things all over the place, novellas are an opportunity to focus on a particular leg of the story or set of characters. Thanks for the follow. I’m looking forward to your book recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way. I like novellas when they are part of a series and add something to the world. I dislike novellas when they are just filler. I do think they have potential to focus on something that did not fit in to a book in a particular series.

      Thanks for following me as well! I look forward to having more discussions with you!

      Liked by 1 person

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