Review: Thrift Store Trolls by Shawntelle Madison

Posted October 29, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 22 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Thrift Store Trolls by Shawntelle Madison
Thrift Store Trolls

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two-flames


Series: Flea Market Magic #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Valkyrie Rising Press
Released on May 29, 2020
Pages: 296
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

It has been a while since I, with regret, farewelled the Coveted world when the last book came out.  Imagine my excitement to see that the author had returned to that world to begin a fun second series for Nat and her friends.

Review

Thrift Store Trolls opens with Nat sending her werewolf alpha mate, Thorne off for a meeting out of town, and heading into work.  Naturally, trouble finds her in the form of a mysterious trunk that isn’t full of goods to be sold on the variety store shelves, but a killing monster that seems intent on getting Nat.  When more mysterious trunks and more of what is inside them start going after the werewolves, Nat’s authority as alpha mate, hard-earned as it was, is put to the test.  Her rivals are waiting for the OCD Nat to fail, but she must rise above her tendencies and fears to do her job and protect the pack and then find out what has the fairies afraid about the woods and who is sending the mystery trunks.

Thrift Store Trolls jumped right back into Nat’s life.  It had a ‘what happens after the happily ever after’ vibe that I enjoyed.  I appreciated that Nat won the challenge to be Thorne’s mate, but that didn’t suddenly make all her issues go away.  She still gets challenged and her OCD is still there, but over the course of her previous adventures, she is no longer the cringing werewolf who can’t get past her fears and anxieties.  She sees her own worth and powers through her struggles.  I also enjoyed several of the familiar faces like Nat’s quirky Russian family, her besties from her therapy group, her boss Bill the Troll, and of course time spent with Thorne who backs her play all the way.

I was primed to love this one from page one and I did to a certain extent, but I also felt somewhat disconnected from the characters and the story even when things got exciting.  I felt like I was waiting for more even when it was delivering on the action and characters.   I don’t remember struggling with this before when I was reading the original series so perhaps it is a mood.

I also want to point out that, though this seems to be the start of a new series and it is, I think readers would get way more out of it if they treat it like a spin-off series or even a season two.  There are several references to the past that might drive a new reader nuts to know more plus some references assume the reader knows who the character is or what the situation was before and then there is not appreciating Nat’s growth since a lot of it took place in the earlier books.

In summary, I am tickled that Nat and her gang of friends are back and there is a new threat to the wolves, the other supernaturals, and the humans needing to be vanquished over the course of the series.  This is lighter, but action-packed and character-driven urban fantasy that I can encourage fans of the genre to give a try starting with Covet.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #164
Fraterfest #8

About the Book
The Thrift Store Trolls by Shawntelle MadisonTHRIFT STORE TROLLS BY SHAWNTELLE MADISON

Something wicked is coming to South Toms River, New Jersey.

Selling haunted trinkets and witches’ wands is just another normal day for the delightfully neurotic werewolf Natalya Stravinsky. From one day to another, as the new South Toms River Pack alpha female, she tries to keep finicky supernatural customers placated while managing her underhanded goblin boss and eccentric supernatural co-workers. Her life is complicated further when competition rolls in: a peculiar troll-owned mart with subpar haunted knick-knacks and deadly antiques appears.

A powerful fairy path veers off course, heading towards South Toms River, attracting the attention of a deadly, shadowed force. Mysterious steamer trunks from the 1920s pop up all over town, unleashing horrific beasts. Natalya must find the inner strength to bring her pack together to uncover the culprit before her enemies threaten everyone she holds dear.

This is the first book in the Flea Market Magic Series! You don’t have to read the Coveted Series to jump into the fun!

Preview

About Shawntelle Madison

Shawntelle Madison is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detassling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all. On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 month ago

Oh wow you know I think I met her along with Angie Fox a few years ago. I never read her though and this sounds really good and knowing you liked her other series makes me really want to try this. Thanks Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

How neat! Yes, I do believe she is from the Missouri area so you probably did meet her an an author do. Oh yes, you need to try Covet. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

If you know me, I’d have to read the original series first.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Haha, yes, you will definitely want to start with Covet. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 month ago

What a fun surprise!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I thought so, too. Wow, getting back into a great world of supernaturals. 🙂

Mareli @ Elza Reads
1 month ago

Hi there Sophia! So not my type of book, but the title is catchy and I like the cover.

Well done with how you handled this review. I’m sure the publishers will be very happy with you!

Have a good weekend.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Howdy, Mareli! So glad you could drop in this fine Halloween Eve. Glad you enjoyed my review even if the book turned out to not be your thing. I get that. 🙂

Rachel
1 month ago

I haven’t heard of this series. I’ll have to check out the previous series.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel

Yes, start with Covet and meet a very different sort of heroine. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 month ago

I think this would be my kind of book. Sure sounds good.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I think so too. You love a good shifter UF. 🙂

RO P
1 month ago

As a person who hangs out at thrift stores all the time, this title truly jumped up and grabbed me, Super Sophia! Hugs, RO

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  RO P

I think you’d love Nat. She’s a tad OCD about hoarding, but she’s a bargain-worker. 🙂

Lola
1 month ago

I like it when books or series continue after the happily ever after. It’s nice to see how things go after that. And it’s always fun to see familiar characters that you already like again. Too bad about feeling a bit disconnected. It’s hard to know sometimes what’s caused by your mood or what is the book not quite working for you. Good to know that this works best as a second series or spin-off and that it’s better to read the first series first. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Lola

Yeah, I have no specific thing I can put my finger on so I think it was mood. I do love that we’re getting more from this great world of characters.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I am curious about the first series and hope the next book is stronger in the spinoff.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

It’s a really different take on a heroine since she has serious mental health issues and has a retiring personality for a werewolf. I really enjoyed she with her misfit friends saving the day a lot. 🙂

vvb
vvb
1 month ago

Got me curious with “Troll”. If I read this, I most likely will start with Covet.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  vvb

I know. You don’t see those in urban fantasy much. Definitely start with Covet to meet everyone properly. 🙂

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

OH YEA!!! I skimmed your review, but read the final paragraphs and am happy to hear you enjoyed! I have it on my kindle for reading next month. I loved the original series – although I mostly forget what happened at this point. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Jen

Hey! Another fan. I don’t run across many who read the series. Yes, you have a treat in store. It does have a little bit of reminders to what came before, but I struggled with a rusty memory, too.