The Golden Key by Marian Womack- Book Review

The Golden Key, by Marian Womack, is a fantasy that has all my favourite themes- a suitably gothic atmosphere, the supernatural, creepy villains and a rational, feminist detective has a mystery to solve.

The Golden Key is another book I picked because of the amazing cover. But I am glad that I did buy this book and finished the book in one sitting. The story is so much more than then you would expect from the blurb’s description. This book has seances, mysteries, great characters, a suitably eerie atmosphere, creepy villains, feminism and other interesting strands but would be spoiling the book if I mentioned anymore.

Continue reading “The Golden Key by Marian Womack- Book Review”

First Line Fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.

Finally… reveal the book!

Where did life go?

Every day I find myself asking the one same question of the mirror, yet the answer always eludes me. All I see is a stranger staring back.

Can you guess?

Reveal

It’s The Offing by Benjamin Myers

From Goodreads

After all, there are only a few things truly worth fighting for: freedom, of course, and all that it brings with it. Poetry, perhaps, and a good glass of wine. A nice meal. Nature. Love, if you’re lucky.

One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. Sixteen and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea.

Staying with Dulcie, Robert’s life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures.

From the Walter Scott Prize-winning author of The Gallows Pole comes a powerful new novel about an unlikely friendship between a young man and an older woman, set in the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Did you guess? I’m looking forward to reading this one!

The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett- book review/discussion

Has Lymond met his match in, The Disorderly Knights, the third instalment of possibly the best historical series ever, The Lymond Chronicles, by Dorothy Dunnett?

Series: Lymond Chronicles

This remains one of my favourite opening lines :

On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott. The Younger Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.

Disorderly Knights,Dorothy Dunnett

Please note that there may be spoilers in this review for the first two books and also for this one despite desperately trying to avoid them.

Lymond is persuaded to go to Malta to observe the Knights of Hospitallers and defend the island from the Turkish army. In Malta, he meets Graham Reid Malett, a charismatic knight and finds himself embroiled in a leadership challenge, rescue missions and fighting off the Turkish army. And this is just the first half of the book!

 In the second half, Lymond returns to Scotland, meets Graham’s beautiful sister Joleta and forms a private army all the while battling a worthy foe.

As always, the book has plenty of drama, intrigue, action and humour with Dorothy Dunnett’s amazing prose bringing these scenes to life. The battles and life in Malta are vividly described but have to admit,I found the scene of Lymond asking for his friends and family help the most nerve-wracking of them all.

Lymond may have finally met his match with Graham Reid Malett. Graham and Lymond are similar in appearance with blonde hair and blue eyes ( but not the yellow hair and deep blue that is associated with Sybilla and Lymond). They are both skilled speakers, fighters and leaders but one is better than the other.

Continue reading “The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett- book review/discussion”

First Line Fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.

Finally… reveal the book!

First line

On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott. The Younger Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.

Any ideas ?

Reveal

Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett

Book 3 of the Lymond Chronicles

Genre: Historical fiction.

From Goodreads

The third volume in The Lymond Chronicles, the highly renowned series of historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett, Disorderly Knights takes place in 1551, when Francis Crawford of Lymond is dispatched to embattled Malta, to assist the Knights of Hospitallers in defending the island against the Turks. But shortly the swordsman and scholar discovers that the greatest threat to the Knights lies within their own ranks, where various factions vie secretly for master. (less)

I think the blurb isn’t half as interesting as that opening line!

Did you guess?

The Body Library by Jeff Noon – Book review

I found The Body Library by Jeff Noon, a weird but strangely compatible mix of science-fiction and detective noir with complex world-building that appealed to my inner bookworm.

#bookreview

I picked up this book in the science-fiction and fantasy section as I thought it had been misplaced but the book refers not to a body in the library but the Body Library ( to say any more would be a spoiler) but bought it anyway. I was sold by a line on the book jacket with the words ‘Clues scattered like punctuation’ and had to read the book.

Story summary

This is a hard book to summarise. John Nyquist is a PI in town where stories and words can be used against people. You are either the master of your own story or a character in someone else’s story. Everyone is required to be honest and write their story with oversight from the Story Police and Narrative Council who makes sure writers are following a conventional method of writing.

John has been hired to follow Patrick Wellborn and erase him. He follows Patrick one night and is led into a world with a God-like saviour, drugs made of words, violence and a mysterious woman called Zelda. The next day he wakes up and finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation that only he can solve.

Review

I found it hard going at the start of the book, it felt like I was reading the account of someone high on a drug trip. The style is very much noir but the book got a lot more interesting when the actual mystery began and the narrative is a little more conventional( the Narrative council know what they are talking about!)

Jeff Noon’s prose is deliciously sparse but evocates the strange world of Storyville brilliantly. The world-building in this book is intricate and complex with ideas that stories are currency particularly intriguing. Some cracking lines will make bookworms and writers smile or groan with sympathy.

Despite the book being only 382 pages long, it did take me a few days to read with its complex word building, twists and turns.

The romance between John and Zelda was sweet but a bit too quickly established. I thought Zelda was a two-dimensional heroine, a bad girl with a heart of gold, but imagine this was deliberate given the strong Noir elements.

.

Perfect for Fans

This is a hard one as I haven’t I have read a book like this ever.

Summary

This really wasn’t my kind of book but other readers may love this quirky book.

Content warning-

References to substance addiction, suicide.

The Mannequin House by R.N Morris – Book review

It’s my turn to review, The Mannequin House by R.N. Morris, a historical crime fiction featuring Silas Quinn, a detective with a dark side, who has to solve a strange locked room murder but the chief suspect happens to be a monkey.Quinn is now my favourite Detective!

Thank you, RN Morris and Canelo Press for an eARC for an honest review.

Mannequin House

From goodreads

In this intriguing historical mystery, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn investigates one of the strangest cases of his career . . . London, 1914. Called out to investigate the murder of a fashion model employed by the House of Blackley, a prestigious Kensington department store, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn of Scotland Yard’s Special Crimes Department is thrown into the bizarre: the chief murder suspect is a monkey. He may be sceptical, but how will Quinn ever get to the truth when faced with the maelstrom of seething jealousy, resentment, forbidden desires and thwarted passion that is the Mannequin House?

Review

Silas Quinn has to investigate the death of a Mannequin, a model at Blackley, found dead in a locked room. Silas has to solve the case under the scrutiny of his superiors that seem a little too keen for him to fail. It doesn’t help that that Blackley, the owner of Mannequin House has his own view on how things should be done. His investigation is helped by the Sergeants Inchball and Macadam but hindered by detective Coddington, a terrible hypnotist and a fez-wearing monkey on the run.

Quinn is now officially my favourite detective!

Continue reading “The Mannequin House by R.N Morris – Book review”

Top Ten Tuesday

This is the first time I have taken part in this challenge and it has been fun reliving my top ten fictional crushes.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

 Peregrine, The Ordinary Princess by M.M Kaye

Perry was the nice-looking, kind man that Amy fell in love with in The Ordinary Princess. His total acceptance of Amy as a kitchen maid and later as a runaway Princess made him my first ever crush. Of course, it helped that he just happened to be a King too.

Ponyboy Curtis, The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

My teenage self-identified with Ponyboy, the clever, shy, imaginative teenager trying to fit somewhere in a complicated and messy world.

Hareton Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Hareton Earnshaw was a pawn in Healthcliff’s twisted plot for revenge and was the typical broody, angry young man. But unlike Heathcliff, he blossomed when he fell in love and who doesn’t love a man who can stand up to a bully like Heathcliff for the woman he loves.

Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding.

Bridget Jones was my favourite pick-me-up book during my singledom years. The fact that Mark Darcy loved Bridget, ‘Just the way she was’ made him my template for the perfect man.

Christopher Paget, Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Chris Paget was the lawyer who defended his ex-wife even though she abandoned him and her young son. He was loyal, determined, principled as well as an amazing father and I enjoyed following his story over several books.

Richard Crawford, from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Richard Crawford is solid, reliable, dependable and always there when needed unlike his gifted, mercurial brother Francis and who doesn’t love a man who is willing and happy to family first over his ambition.

Niccholas vander Poele, House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett

Nicholas is perhaps too clever for his own good but I love his ambition and drive that made him one of the richest men from his humble beginnings as an apprentice dyer.

Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

I can’t help but have a little crush on a character I have followed for the best part of two decades. Harry Dresden is an urban wizard with a wicked sense of humour who grows from lowly PI to one of the most powerful players in the Chicago magical scene in Dresden’s world.

Peter Grant, Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Peter is my latest crush- funny, talented and loyal friend but most of all he is a good son to his mother.

Images from Amazon

Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and Discussion

I always forget how much I enjoy reading Queens’ Play, the second book in the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. Lymond infiltrates King Henri’s French court to protect the Queen Mary of Scots.

#DorothyDunett # Book review

Genre :Historical Fiction

Series : The Lymond Chronicles ( review here)

image form Amazon

Review

“It was one of the occasions when Lymond asleep wrecked the peace of mind of more people than Lymond awake.”

― Dorothy Dunnett, Queens’ Play

The second book in Lymond Chronicles follows the Game of Kings where Lymond has been redeemed. Mary of Guise wants his remarkable mind to work for her and would do anything to have him commit to her cause. Lymond agrees to spy for her in the French court but on his own unique terms and discovers that the Young Queen Mary of Scots life is in danger. Lymond takes on another identity to infiltrate the French court but finds his life in peril from the start yet still charms his way into the inner circle and the bedrooms of the women ( and possibly men) of the Royal Court.

Continue reading “Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and Discussion”

The Nobody people By Bob Proehl- Book Review.

I couldn’t help but notice that striking red spine with a barely visible title was curious to see if there could be a fresh take on the superhero genre. Here’s my review of The Nobody People by Bob Proehl.

Series: Resonant Duology

Review

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the story particularly original. The  Resonants are a group of people with special abilities who have kept themselves hidden for decades but now decide to make themselves known to the world with  the usual predictable consequences.

The author’s notes that  the book was written in 2016, a complicated political period in many countries and the book is an accurate reflection of this particularly uneasy time. It is all too easy to imagine detainment camps and restrictive laws described for anyone deemed different and hence dangerous like the Resonants.

Continue reading “The Nobody people By Bob Proehl- Book Review.”

The Game of Kings, Book one of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and discussion

What can be better than reading Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett in Stirling? Read my review of the first book in the Lymond Chronicles.

Series review here.

Review

“I despised men who accepted their fate. I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands.”

The Game of Kings,Dorothy Dunnett

I have seen the first book of the Lymond chronicles compared to the Game of Thrones and it is easy to see why but The Game of Kings is so much more- you just have to get the first few chapters to get there. I gave up after the third chapter and only picked the book up again when I literally had nothing else on hand to read but so glad I did.

The story is set in a turbulent time in English and Scottish history- the decade before Elizabeth and Mary take up their thrones. Francis Lymond, the Master of Culter, the disgraced, second son of a noble family and traitor has returned to his homeland of Scotland and is on a mission.

Even though Lymond is the hero or more accurately anti-hero, we never read the book from his perspective but we learn about him through the eyes of the people around him and as their perception changes, so does ours. The author does this so well that I didn’t realise that I hadn’t read a single direct thought of Francis till the end of the book. Lymond almost seems too good to be true- good looking, a skilled fighter and leader, clever, fluent in many languages but we share his brother’s, friends’, allies’ and enemies’ frustration as Lymond is a hard person to like especially at the start of the book. His motives are murky and he knows how to use his charm and sensuality to achieve his goals, for example, poor Will, what was he expecting when he followed Lymond up the stairs in that Inn.

Continue reading “The Game of Kings, Book one of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Book review and discussion”

The Expanse by S.A Corey- Series review

I can’t wait till the last book in The Expanse series by S.A Corey is due to be released in November . This is a series with space battles, political intrigue, alien tech, romance, dystopia, dictators, evil scientists and unique characters like my favourite foul-mouthed politician Chrisjen Avarsala.

Review

Genre: Science fiction

First book: Levithan Rises  

Last book :Tiamat’s wrath

I’m embarrassed to say I started reading the books in this series after watching the first few episodes of the TV series.  I can’t believe I walked past these amazing books in bookshops that started me off reading space operas and harder science fiction.

The Expanse is set in the future where our Earth is overpopulated and Mars has been colonised but over the years the tensions between Mars and  Earth have reached a point where war could break out. The belt which lies between Mars and Earth has been established to service the ships travelling between the two planets but the Belters, the people who have adapted over generations to live in space resent Mars and Earth and are ready to revolt.

Amid all this simmering tension,  the Canterbury, an Icehauling ship is attacked setting off a chain of events and thrusts a crewmember, Holden, into the spotlight and into a hero the universe didn’t know it needed.

Continue reading “The Expanse by S.A Corey- Series review”

The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma- Book Review

The Boy with Fire, by Aparna Verma, is science fiction fantasy at its best with a unique South-East Asian inspired world, lush descriptions and memorable characters with more than a hint of dubious morality. I will definitely be buying book two of the Ravence Trilogy.



Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Release Date: 31/8/21
Publisher: New Degree Press
Series: Ravence Trilogy Book 1

Review

Thank you to the Net Galley, the publisher and author for the eARC for an honest review.

This book caught my eye on Twitter, so I was excited when I was able to read the book ahead of its publication courtesy of Net Galley and I wasn’t disappointed.

Ravence is a desert kingdom in an uneasy truce with her neighbour Jantar, weighed down by its past and a prophecy that terrifies King Leo. Jassen is a half Ravani and half Jantari assassin who agrees to protect the King’s heir Elena until her coronation but Elena has her own secret too.

In my opinion, there aren’t enough science fiction fantasy books out there and this book reminded me why I love this little sub-genre so much. The author’s world-building is intricate and vivid with the technology seamlessly woven in with the fantastical elements of prophecy and magic. The prose becomes hypnotic towards the middle of the book and I could easily see this book on TV or the screen.

Continue reading “The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma- Book Review”

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Review of a series that fantasy fans should read ( if they haven’t already).

It’s time for my annual re-read of The Lymond Chronicles, a historical fiction series by Dorothy Dunnett that remains popular despite being first published in 1961. Game of Kings, the first book in the series is one of the hardest and most difficult books I have ever read but while it takes time and effort to read all the books in this series, the reward is well worth it. Francis Crawford of Lymond is a truly unforgettable character that has been much imitated in fantasy fiction.




Books in series
The Game of kings( review here)
Queen’s Play( review here)
The disorderly knights (Review here)
Pawn in Frankincense
The ringed castle
Checkmate

Review ( Spoiler free)

I will be honest, I gave up reading the first book in the series, about 150 pages into the Game of Kings. The first few chaotic chapters with a possibly drunken pig, people speaking in poetry, the splattering of French and other languages takes some getting used to. Dorothy Dunnett makes no allowances for the reader with limited French and no explanations for  Lymond’s rotten behaviour at the start of the book. So, I gave up.

But then, I was on holiday and had finished all my books and had only this partially left book on my kindle as reading material. But this time, I was hooked by the story and the characters especially Francis of Lymond. I ended up reading the entire series in days.

Overriding story arc

The books ( titles based on chess moves ) follows Francis Crawford of Lymond, Master of Culter over a period of ten years in a tumultuous and eventful period of Scottish and English history ( ten years before Elizabeth the first ascends to the throne). Francis in the course of these books plays fugitive, spy, mercenary, courtier, politician, hero and villain. The books cleverly intertwine real history with historical characters into Francis’s story.

Continue reading “The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett- Review of a series that fantasy fans should read ( if they haven’t already).”

The charmed life of Alex Moore by Molly Flatt- Book review

This strange genre mix of science fiction and contemporary fiction produces an intriguing story of a woman whose life changes spectacularly, only to find out her success has completely messed up the worlds biggest secret.

Genre: Science Fiction/Contemporary fiction

Review

I picked up this book in the science-fiction section of my bookshop and was a little thrown by the first hundred pages which had no hint of science fiction or fantasy at all. The science-fiction kicks in at this point and changes the focus of the story – in fact, this is a book of two halves.

When we meet Alex Moore she is enjoying her success with a new startup tech company with no regrets about leaving her old life behind. In fact, in the last six months her life has changed beyond recognition and while she is happy, her friends and family, including  Harry her fiancée, are a bit worried about her.

But Alex realises something isn’t right especially when she is mugged, then accused of killing someone’s father and she has to leave the restaurant she is having lunch due to a bomb threat.  After another argument with Harry, she decides to accept an invitation to a research project in the Orkney Islands. But then she stumbles open something that changes everything …

To say anything more would be the worst kind of spoiler.

The Alex at the start of the book is more Bridget Jones than Katniss Evergreen and not the usual heroine you would see in science fiction and while her character can be annoying, she is hilarious. The initial part of the book is an easy, enjoyable read with a few laugh out moments but then at about a hundred pages in the book finally displays its science fiction parts which changes the direction of the story and Alex’s character completely. Alex is an interesting protagonist and I was invested in her story and was genuinely worried about what would happen to her when she found out the truth of her story.

The plot was a bit confusing and it took a while to figure what the ‘Readers’ in Orkney did. The romance between Alex and  one of the Oakney men, felt forced and the brief, sex scene was so sudden and unromantic. Harry, her fiancé may have been boring but he did stand by her so it made no sense for Alex to leave him for someone she didn’t really know. This development did mar my enjoyment of the book and ending and it would have been so much better if Alex had made a different choice.

Perfect for Fans

Anyone who likes humour and romance in their science fiction and fans of Bridget Jones who don’t mind a little weirdness in their fiction.

Summary

An enjoyable original genre mash-up and would recommend this to anyone who wants a different kind of book despite the fact I didn’t like Alex’s choice at the end of her story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott – Book Review

Unconquerable Sun, Book 1 of the Sun Chronicles was a perfect book to lose myself with epic space battles, aliens, pollical intrigue in an eastern-based Galaxy far far away and I can’t wait to read the next instalment.

Genre: Science Fiction, space opera

Review

I read this book last year, at the peak of the pandemic and I found myself immersed in its eastern-based Chaonia and its battles with the Phene and the Gatoi and reread the book before I read the second part.

Sun, is half Chaonian and half Yele, the daughter and heir to the Queen- Marshall but despite her military successes, she still has to defend her right to be heir against ambitious houses seeking to put their children forward as heir. The book follows her, and her companions and court as they battle enemies in dining rooms and space as well as untangling the numerous political intrigues and plots that abound.

The book has chapters from the points of view of Sun, and Aparna a Phene fighter pilot as well as a 1st person POV from Persephone Li, former space cadet and now reluctant companion to Sun.

Continue reading “Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott – Book Review”

The ( Charlie) Parker Series by John Connolly- Series Review

Genre – Crime ,magical realism

First Book Every Dead thing

Number of Books to Date (2021) 18

The Charlie Parker books by John Connolly blend crime with strong supernatural making this a unique and riveting series for both crime ,urban fantasy buffs or anyone looking for a different twist to their crime thrillers.

Review

I first picked up the first Charlie Parker book, Every Dead Thing, in an airport 15 year ago and have enjoyed every harrowing book since then. This series is an indescribable blend of crime, thriller and the supernatural with one of my  favourite fictional characters.

 Charlie Parker is a grizzly, grumpy, loner detective who starts off as a young New York Detective mourning the gruesome murders of his wife and daughter. We see him become a wiser( but still grumpy)private detective who has a group of loyal friends and allies  as very well as a father to a gifted daughter.

The Good

 Each book can be read as a standalone but there are so many recurring themes and characters and you would lose out on the big picture if these books aren’t read in order. Parker is a fascinating character and there is a specialness about him, his past and his family that each book slowly reveals particularly when his second daughter is born. His tenaciousness and unwillingness to give up fighting evil no matter the cost is the core of good and hope that runs through these books. The vast number of secondary characters that recur through the book are interesting in their own right especially Louis and Angel ( who get a book of their own too).

Continue reading “The ( Charlie) Parker Series by John Connolly- Series Review”

Witherward by Hannah Mathewson Book review

I picked up Witherward by Hannah Mathewson when I saw the amazing cover showing London below  London on a table full of fantasy books for adults in my local bookshop. This YA fantasy was an enjoyable, but predictable book.

Genre YA fantasy

Series Book 1 Witherward

Review

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, has to be one of my all-time favourite books-  a perfect fantasy of a  London down below, with interesting characters and lots of humour which has now left me buying books that shows any premise of a city hidden with a city. Witherward, a YA fantasy, where there is a hidden London not quite like ours with its own season and political factions and, of course, magic.

Ilsa Ravenwood, a magician’s assistant, in our London with the ability to shapeshift is struggling to get by while hiding her abilities. One day, she is dragged through a portal to the Witherward and thrown into the complicated politics of six rival magical factions, her attraction to Elliot, a conflicted teenager, and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Gideon Ravenswood, the alpha of the changelings. Isla discovers, she too is a  changeling from Witherward, smuggled to the other London when she was a baby to keep her safe when her mother, the ruler of Camden, was murdered and Gideon is her brother.

Continue reading “Witherward by Hannah Mathewson Book review”

Windfall by Shawna Barnett- Book review

I love pirates, especially women pirates and was so excited to read this swashbuckling fantasy adventure full of sea battles, court intrigue and magic, in Windfall, by Shawna Barnett, Book 1 of the Legends of Viola.

From Goodreads

Captain Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fights. She fights the King’s Navy. She fights to balance power in oppressive Vioria. She fights for respect as a female, bisexual, pirate captain. But she’s losing her biggest fight: to escape her secret past as a lost Princess.

 With a mysterious letter and a stranger threatening to expose her, Liana is blackmailed into attending a royal ball and protecting her counterpart, sheltered Princess Rhian. The pretenses are suspicious enough, but Liana takes the risk in hopes to finally unveil the magic plot that killed her parents and forced her into hiding.

 When Liana encounters Rhian’s own lightning-wielding powers, the ball erupts in violence. The sheltered princess falls into the care of Liana—and her band of pirates. On the run, the only safe haven for the Windfall crew to hide is the most-dangerous place of all: under the thumb of Liana’s narcissistic, abusive brother-in-law.

 In order to protect her crew, her family, and naïve Rhian, Liana must demand sacrifices from herself and the people she loves. Her choices will make powerful enemies; good thing Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fighting those.

My review of Windfall

ARC received from Book Sirens for an honest review due to be published August 21.

Windfall was an easy read taking me just two sittings to finish it. I was excited by the heroine being a pirate, there really isn’t enough fiction about female pirates which is weird as there were some fierce women pirates in history.

Continue reading “Windfall by Shawna Barnett- Book review”

Fortunes Fool by Angela Boord, Book review

I was hooked in by the cover with its image of a woman with a a metal arm holding a sword was intriguing and I had to read this book.

Kyrra plots revenge against the powerful family who destroyed her life and the love of her life in a dangerous world of spies, mercenaries and magic with an arm made of metal in this amazing fantasy..

Genre :Fantasy

Series:  Eritrean Series Book 1

From goodreads

A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.

Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.

Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man.

War destroyed her family and the man she loved.

Vengeance is within her grasp.

But is she willing to pay its price?

Review

Continue reading “Fortunes Fool by Angela Boord, Book review”

Afterlife by Terri Bruce- book review

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Book 1 of the Afterlife series

Sex and the City meets Dead like me. When Irene Dunphy dies, her ghost tries to decide what to do next while she stuck among the living while trying to have a social life at the same time.

Book obtained from Author via Voracious readers only for an honest review.

From Goodreads

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn’t plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex…well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

 Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it’s too late?

The good

Afterlife was an enjoyable book that only took me a little more than an hour to get through which is perfect if you fancy reading a book that doesn’t tax your brain much. Despite the heroine dying in the first chapter, the book is funny, not particularly introspective, surprisingly cheerful and I found myself laughing out loud at some of Irene’s descriptions of the reality of being dead- like the thought of spending your afterlife in a pair of strappy. sandals with high heels. Jonah, the fourteen-year-old, is Irene’s Guide to the afterlife. I learnt loads about various death rituals from other cultures and the past through him.

  Despite this being marketed as Bridget Jones in the afterlife, there are quieter, introspective periods with the other ghosts inhabiting this world. Amy’s story about trying to lead a full afterlife, doing the things she could not do when she was alive, was haunting (no pun intended). So was Ernest fears about how his death would affect his afterlife. There is a sweet romance between Irene and Ernest, but this is not a romantic story.

The bad

I hated Irene. This is a testament to the writing in the book as I stop reading a book when I actively dislike the main character who is the focal point of view character. I admire the author for writing Irene this way when she could have taken an easier route to making her more sympathetic as a character. I’m not sure I would ever have the courage to do this in my writing.

Continue reading “Afterlife by Terri Bruce- book review”

Soul Keeper by David Dalglish( Book review)

Genre : Fantasy

Series : The Keepers

One benefit of starting my blog has been discovering new books on other book blogs like Soulkeeper. This fantasy with bold characters and vivid description of a land where magic and monsters have returned didn’t disappoint.

Devin is a Soulkeeper, a priest of sorts and a healer tending to the people in Londheim, a town in The Cradle. One day a surge of black water ravishes the Cradle leading to the return of magic and monsters. Devin and Adria must learn to deal with this new world, both the wonders and the dangers, while protecting other Keepers from a sadistic, magical serial killer.

The good

I read the review for the second book of this series on A Cat, A Book and a cup of Tea and knew I had to try this series out. The premise of the book isn’t original. Magic suddenly returns to the land after remaining dormant for many years but brings with it dangerous magical creatures hell-bent on destroying humanity. The premise of the God-like Sisters, to whom the keepers pray, are actual entities and people’s souls being actual physical objects, was intriguing and hope this is described in more detail in the next book. There are many magical creatures described, from the joyful fairies to the fire being that Devlin becomes friends with and the truly terrifying—I will never look at a gargoyle the same way again. Janus, a magical being, is a serial killer with a difference, an artist who takes pride in his work and was one of the most chilling villains I have come across recently. I found Adria’s ( Devin’s sister) arc the most interesting- from the hesitant healer to something more powerful and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Devlin starts off as a lonely, widowed Soulkeeper but ends his journey in this book with a house full of people and beings he cares for and loves. Tommy, his wise man brother-in-law who can perform magic Jarcanda the soulless person whose soul has been returned and fairy Tes, have their own stories.

Devlin, as a character, has shades of grey and some of his early interactions with Jarcanda show his harsher side, which makes him more human. In the world of the Soulkeeper, men and women are equal, so it isn’t a big deal that there are women healers, priests, soldiers and assassins which was refreshing to read.

The Bad

Jarcanda, at the start of the book, is one of the soulless, a person born without a soul and so she functions like a robot with no emotions or feelings. This makes it difficult to read, especially when she regains her soul and recalls the horrible things she had to do in the past through a new emotional filter.

Janus’s killing of the keepers is gruesomely described in graphic detail.

The ugly

Implied sexual abuse and rape (off page).

Romance

The romance between Devin and Jarcanda is realistically sweet, and I really liked there was no angst or drama.

Perfect for fans

Anyone who loves fantasy with a touch of darkness like the Mistborn series, Chorus of Dragons

Summary

5 stars.

Book review : Culling

Author :Eden Wolfe

Series: Book 2 The Lower Earth Rising ( Click here for Book 1 review Selfsame)

Genre: Dystopian Fantasy

The continuation of the Lower Earth series, a dystopian fantasy set in a world where men are dying out after ‘The Mist’ and Queen Ariane continues her cruel reign.

Goodreads summary

Thousands of innocent genetic deviants.
One Queen who wants them dead.


Leadon long believed Lower Earth was a promised land.

But now that crop killers have become commonplace and Queen Ariane systematically obliterates those she deems unworthy, Leadon learns the hard truth about life on Lower Earth.

Humanity is scarce. Food is even more scarce. Ariane is driving Lower Earth to the brink of disaster.

When Leadon bears witness to an extreme act of cruelty by the Queen, she is torn between loyalty to the Ganese people and the morality of Lower Earth’s original peoples.

Thousands of innocent lives hang in the balance. One word and the Queen will have them destroyed. Leadon must convince her enemies that they should combine forces and work toward a common goal, or risk the promise of tomorrow for all.

In Selfsame, Lower Earth had to look itself in the eye. In Culling, Lower Earth must run from its own reflection. 

Review

Continue reading “Book review : Culling”

Series Review-Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series ( with  Spoilers)

Author Laurel Hamilton

Genre : Urban Fantasy

The first book in the series: Guilty Pleasures

I love books in series-. I can’t describe the joy of jumping into a new book but knowing about the main characters  – their strengths and weaknesses, their unique personality quirks, their loves and enemies. I enjoy picking up in a world that is familiar with secondary characters you have grown to love just as much as the hero or heroine over the course of several books. But most of all, I like the fact that I know exactly what I am letting myself in for when I start reading the first chapters- no nasty surprises.

So when I read Book 10, Narcissus in Chains, of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, I thought I had picked up a book from a parallel universe and remains one of the biggest disappointments in my book reading life.

While I understand that a character can’t stand still over a period of a time particularly in a long standing series but a complete change  personality and morality is a little hard to accept.

Continue reading “Series Review-Anita Blake Vampire Hunter”

Book review- The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Genre: High Fantasy

Series :Burning Kingdom

 I loved this epic fantasy influenced by Medieval India with not one but three complicated, morally grey women fighting and plotting to overthrow the patriarchy with no guilt or regret.

Princess Malini plots her escape from an inescapable temple after being imprisoned by her despot brother Chandra with the help of maidservant Priya. But Priya is a temple child- powerful in her own right and wants to save the people of Ahiranya. Together, can they save the empire of Parijat?

Continue reading “Book review- The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri”

Book review- Song of the Forever Rains by EJ Mellow

Series  The Mousai

Genre: Fantasy ,Fantasy romance

This is a  sweet romance set in a fantasy setting with a feisty, heroine and a tortured hero but I really wanted to learn more about the world and the Thief King and his kingdom.

Larkyra is one of the Mousai, a trio of sorceresses, who just happens to be sisters. The Mousai helps the Thief King reign over his kingdom where magic exists hidden away from the rest of the world.  Larkyra power lies in her voice, and she can slay monsters with her voice but this is a gift she uses sparingly. On becoming an adult, she is given an assignment to pose as the Duke of Lachlan’s potential bride to stop him stealing drugs from the Thief Kingdom then using this to fuel his magic and abuse his tenants. But of course, her mission is complicated by her growing attraction to the tortured ( literally)  Darius who happens to be the Duke’s stepson.

There are vivid descriptions that bring the world of Aadilor to life- I loved the description of the thief kingdom as seen through Darius’s eyes when he visits the land for the first time.  I was really intrigued by the premise of the weather being permanently stormy and grey in Lachlan as a result of the Duke’s sadness. The story is told from both Larkyra’s and Darius’s viewpoint, so there we know straight away Darius is a good man, who cares deeply for his people and is horribly abused by his uncle instead of having to wait several hundred pages for the Larkyra to find out. The romance between Darius and Larkyra is sweet but runs a predictable course and in my view is the main focus of the story rather than part of it. The Duke is an unpleasant villain and truly creepy leaving me genuinely feeling sad for Darius and the awful childhood that he had.

If you wanted a book with a strong romance in a fantasy setting with interesting characters then this is a perfect book for you. But if like me you wanted more fantasy and more action, then you may be disappointed. I really wanted to learn more about the Thief King and his Kingdom- how did he manage to create an invisible kingdom, why is it invisible and more about the people who live there but most of the book was set outside of the Thief Kingdom. I was expecting a lot more intrigue and ninja action from Larkyra and her sisters especially as Larkya was sent to spy on the Duke.

Descriptions of cutting, self-harm.

Romance

Yes. Lots of angst, deep looks and flirting.

Any Cliffhangers

No cliffhangers and no overriding series arcs that I could pick up on

Perfect for Fans

Anyone looking for a strong romance in fantasy with vivid and descriptive writing.

Summary

4 stars,  this book wasn’t for me but I’m sure other people will love it.

Series review:The Tarot Sequence by K.D Edwards

Author: K.D Edwards

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Books in series

The Last Sun

The hanged man

Story arc

The inhabitants of Atalanta have been forced out of their homeland to create a new city called New Atlantis when the humans discovered their existence and, of course, declared war. The city is ruled by the Arcana, based on the tarot cards ( or were the Tarot cards based one on leaders of Atlantis!)  with their own courts and powers. Rune St John is the Last Sun, the sole survivor of the House of Sun after a devasting attack on his father, his father’s court when Rune was fifteen. Rune was left alive but only after surviving a deliberately brutal ordeal. Now Rune, works with the Tower a powerful Aracana  along with his companion Brand, with diminished resources before he takes his place on the Arcana while trying to solve the mystery of why and who attached him and his family twenty years ago

I had lost interest in urban fantasy, as many of the books followed the same old pattern, the snarky main character, sexual tension with the antagonist, well you know the drill but while this series still has the snarky main character, there is so much more that is different. The magic system based on Tarot cards and magic linked to objects is fresh but there are other magical creatures as well, some old and some new. I like books with political intrigue and the second book delivers this with plenty of court drama amongst the action. There is an overlying mystery as to who the person coordinating all the evil including the night of the brutal attack on Rune and the mystery of what  Rune did that night.

The friendship between Brand and Rune is well written and intense with a good explanation as to why it is. There is also a sweet romance between Rune and Addam, a Lord from another Arcana that Rune rescues from peril but this is not the focus of the book which is good as I do lose interest when romance and sexual tension takes centre stage in a non-romance book. The humour is provided by the younger characters- Quinn, Max and later Anna in book two.

The plots in the books race along with the action scenes leaping off the page with a good dose of magic but there are enough quieter scenes that made me care about all the characters

The books are predominantly filled with strong and sensitive diverse male characters of all ages but there are no equivalent female characters particularly in the first book. This is addressed to some degree in the second book and hopefully, we will see more of Lady Death, Anna and Anna’s companion.

Content warning

I found Rune’s flashback to his brutal rape when he was fifteen a bit too graphic and while I can under the need for this scene in the first book to show his motives for revenge, it still made it difficult to  read

Cliffhangers

No, but there is an overriding mystery as to the evil arcana who is pulling the strings causing havoc in Rune’s life.

Perfect for Fans

The Dresden files, Fetch Phillips, Rivers of London or any urban fantasy with a male main character

Summary

Five stars- I can’t wait till to read the next instalment The Hourglass Throne to find out what happens next.

Book review- The House of Always by Jenn Lyons

Author :Jenn Lyons

Series: Chorus of Dragons ( Book 4)(Click here for series review)

Genre Fantasy

I have just finished reading the next thrilling instalment in the Chorus of Dragon series and it continues Kirhin’s and his friends’ story following the devastation in the final battle of the Memory of souls. Now, I can’t wait to read the next book to see how Kirhin’s story ends.

Summary

Kirhin engages in a continuous cat and mouse chase with Vol Karoth in the hope he can make the monster whole again but also to keep his friends and family safe and hopefully safe the world. Will Kirhin succeed or will the people who love him lose him forever?

The good

The book starts where the third book in this series, House of Always, ends just after Kirhin is stabbed by Talon in a desperate attempt to fix Vol Karoth. As with the other books in this series, there are multiple viewpoints from several characters over several periods before neatly converging into one. It was great to find out more about Galen, Xivan, Talea and Kalinda in their own right and not just their connections to Kirihin. Thurishavar has more to do than be just a narrator and Qown gets his chance to redeem himself. There are some lovely and not so lovely relationships between many of these characters. The relationships between the main players are unconventional particularly the polyamorous relationship between Kirhin, Teraaeth and Yanel and I found myself rooting for all of them to work out.

The action never stops and the pacing is much better in this book than the last book with scenes of action, romance, and introspection well balanced out. Jenn Lyons’ prose brings Kirhin’s world to life with vivid descriptions of the food, clothes, people and it is so easy to lose yourself in this world. I wasn’t expecting the final outcome at the end and was pleased that I can still be surprised at the end of a book

( as I seem to spend most of my time guessing what the twist/denouement is going to be).

As with the other books in this series, there is plenty of diversity- not just sexual and racial diversity but also gender and( could I call it? )species diversity- not all the characters are human. How did I miss Janel’s distinctive colouring in the other books?

The plot is complex and the narrative structure is linear but complicated and you do need to focus to take everything in with so many secrets, betrayals and desires are revealed in the most public of ways to all the main characters.

Kirhin remains one of my favourite characters and  I like how his story doesn’t follow the usual chosen one trope and his constant battle to keep Vol Karoth from harming his friends was riveting. I secretly adore Talon and her devious ways and we learn a little more about her slightly softer side in this book

The bad

Not much. Janel is a lot less irritating but possibly because there are so many characters to take the focus away from her. There is a bit of romantic angst in some of the relationships and there is a scene between Xivan and Talea that made me queasy. The focus is on the younger characters in this book but I missed Khaeriel, Therin, Thaena and the other older characters from the last book

The ugly

A certain scene between Talea and Xivan made me uncomfortable, and I really couldn’t see the point of it.

Romance

There is lots and lots of romance and complicated relationships in wonderfully diverse ways.

Any cliffhangers

The main story is resolved but the overall arc needs to be resolved.

Summary

5 stars, it’s going to be a long wait for the final instalment

Book review- The City We Became by N K Jesmin

Series The Great Cities Trilogy

Genre :Urban Fantasy

An interesting and novel concept, with engaging characters in an unusual urban fantasy, but full of real-life problems that made this really hard for me to get through- I read fantasy for escapism from real-world problems and there was just no escape reading this book. I finished the book but it was really hard work to get to the end and has put me off visiting New York as a result.

Content warning: Use of racist and anti-Semitic language, misogyny.

From Amazon

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

The good

The idea of a city coming to life  is urban fantasy in it’s most literal sense and is  really well described and vivid with language that grabbed me from the start. The book is told from the viewpoints of the ‘boroughs’ of New York, most of these characters are diverse in their race, sexuality and in age. Bronca is an older woman, a grandmother, a general badass and my favourite character and perhaps the only reason I kept reading. Brooklyn is the mother of a teenager and former rapper but motherhood is not the only feature that defines her ( as many mothers in fantasy are depicted as).

The bad

I couldn’t get into the book. It was a hard slog to get to the end and I suspect if I hadn’t treated myself to a hardback copy, I may have given up. There are pages and pages of racist language or racist attitudes. I found it hard to warm up to many of the main characters especially Staten Island and while there may be many prejudiced white people in New York I’m sure there are more who are not which isn’t touched upon in this book. I bought the book after reading a chapter in another book as I liked the energy of that character ( the avatar of New York)  but he only appeared in the first and final chapter.

The ugly

Use of racist and anti-Semitic language, misogyny.

Perfect for Fans

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The city and the City by China Mieville

Summary

3 Stars- for an amazing concept, a range of diverse characters and a great climax but far too grounded in reality for me but others will no doubt love this book for those reasons.

Series review- Mistborn Trilogy

Author Brandon Sanderson

Genre Epic fantasy

Type Trilogy

I have been an obsessed reader of fantasy and sci-fiction for years particularly those books that form part of a series- books with their own worlds, universes and intricate magical systems. But I stayed from a few well-known authors that I thought were a bit too sword and sorcery and this included the famous Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson even though  I loved his Reckoners series. I finally picked up the Final Empire a few weeks and have to agree this is a book ( and trilogy ) that lives up to the hype.

The overriding story arc

This is the story of Vin and Keisler with their dedicated friends whose initial goal is to start a revolution to free the Skaa (an almost slave like population) from the Lord Ruler and the nobility. The Lord Ruler had defeated an evil called the Deepness but keeps his empire under his tight control. He has rewarded his allies and their descendants with magical abilities derived from the ability to burn metals called Alllomancy- people with the ability to burn one metal are called mistlings and the rarest of them all is The Mistborn, someone who can use all metals. Vin is possibly the most powerful Mistborn of them all and possibly the only one who can save the empire from the Lord Ruler and the evil he once defeated.

The good.

I loved the fact the three books had completely different themes. The Final Empire describes what happens when a beloved ruler becomes a tyrant and how to start a revolution. The Well of Ascension describes the aftermath of a just revolution, and how overthrowing an existing order isn’t always the answer and the Hero of Ages describes the sacrifices a leader has to make to keep his people safe.

Vin, a half skaa girl and Mistborn is the main character of all the books and we follow her journey from an abused teenager to a confident, leader. There are several interesting characters and my favourites are Keisler, Spook and Sazed. We also follow Elend, a young noble who dreams of utopia but finds that the reality of power completely different.

The magical system in the Mistborn series is intricate with its own rules and systems. Readers are rewarded in the Hero of Ages,  origins of the system are shared as are the origins of the Kandra, Mistwraiths and Koloss and it makes perfect sense.

I always appreciate authors who reward readers who pay attention to detail and foreshadowing in the first books in a series and then explain why a certain object like a single earing was so important in the last book and this series does this by the bucketful.

The bad

Continue reading “Series review- Mistborn Trilogy”

Book review- Selfsame

Author Eden Wolfe

Genre Dystopian Thriller( Part of the Lower Earth Series)

This was my first time using voracious readers only,  and my first time receiving a   book( free!) to provide a review. I had so many to choose from but this dystopian thriller set in a world where men are dying out caught my eye and I wasn’t disappointed.

From Amazon

Powerful. Beloved. And hunted for the secret in her blood.

Four hundred years after the Final war, eighteen-year-old Aria is poised to claim her birthright – the throne of Lower Earth.

It’s one of the last pieces of habitable continent left. Men are dying off from the after-effects of the war and women are genetically altered to survived.

But Aria’s blood is more advanced than any of them; she was designed from the genetic sequence of the settler queens.

Queen Maeva, Aria’s pseudo-mother, crushes all opposition. She has no fear of blood on her hands.

And she’s not afraid to do the same to Aria.

The threats multiply from within and beyond Lower Earth’s borders as destruction and colonization by the old men of Upper Earth approach their shores.

Aria has spent her lifetime preparing to take over the throne. Just as she is ready to fulfill her destiny, she’s blindsided.

Betrayal.

Now being hunted, with enemies around every corner, Aria must battle the very totalitarian regime she was once destined to lead.

You’ll love this complex world in which good and evil are blurred for the sake of survival. Aria is a woman you’ll want to see win.

Review

Book received from Voracious readers only as a review copy with thanks.

This was my first time using Voracious reader only- a service that connects eager readers with authors who are trying to get their books out there and I must confess to being nervous as I have read some bad self-published books in the world of Kindle unlimited. Once I had signed up, there was an influx of emails, with all sorts of books in my favourite genre but the cover and the synopsis of Selfsame caught my eye-I love a book set in a female-dominated society.

Continue reading “Book review- Selfsame”

Book review-The bone shard daughter by Andrea Stewart

Genre Fantasy series

The first book in an intriguing fantasy series with a diverse range of characters iand an atypical magic system. I can’t wait to read the next book especially if there is more of Jorvis, pirate turned accidental hero. Here’s why

The emperor has kept his people safe with a special form of magic- he can create constructs that follow his commands but this comes at a high cost acceptable only to him. The constructs are created from small shards of bone taken from children, in a special ceremony that can sometimes be fatal.

When a person’s bone shard is in use by the emperor, their life force slowly drains leading to a slow, painful death. Lin, the emperor’s daughter tries to master this magic behind her father’s back and in the process realises that the empire is failing and she needs to stop her father. But she isn’t the only one who feels this way, there is a revolution brewing across the empire.

The Good

I found myself immersed in a well-realised world with a magic system that felt fresh and new. The story is told through several points of view-my favourites were  Lin the emperor’s daughter, Jovis, a pirate and accidental hero of the people and Phalue, the governor’s daughter and reluctant rebel leader. The points of view are a mix of first person and third person which works really well and keeps the plot moving naturally.

The plot is fast paced with no lag, with plenty of action scenes and Jovis provides plenty of humour especially in his interactions with Memphi, a strange animal who adopts and his ongoing bewilderment when he finds himself becoming a hero by accident. The mystery surrounding Lin’s origins and the emperor’s experiments kept me hooked till the end.

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Series Review-Shadow and Bone

An engaging trilogy and introduction to the Grishaverse and the small sciences but could the TV ( I can’t believe I’m saying this) series be slightly better than the books?

A spoiler free review of the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the first season of the netflix show.

Author Leigh Bardugo

From Amazon

Books in series

Book 1 Shadow and Bone

Book 2 : Siege and Storm

Book 3: Ruin and Rising

Overriding arc

Alina Starkov, an orphan discovers she is a rare Grisha, a sun summoner when she saves her childhood sweetheart in the Fold a piece of land deprived of life when he is attacked by creatures called the volcra. The Darkling is the leader of the Grisha, a group of people with great power and the ability to manipulate the elements using a system called the small science and takes Alina under his wing to train her to use her powers in the hope this will destroy the fold and defeat Ravka’s enemies. Alina has to learn not only how to control her power but also how to negotiate life at court, people trying to use her power for their own purposes her own feelings towards the Darkling and Mal but also how to save Ravka.

The good

I have to confess, I only picked up Shadow and Bone after I finished the Six and Crows and The crooked Kingdom and was hoping to fix my Grishaverse craving. Even though I had some idea about how Alina’s. Mal’s, Genya’s, Zoya’s and Sturmhond”s stories pan out, I was still surprised by some of the twists and turns in these books. These books are in the first person from Alina’s point of view and she only really comes to life in the Siege and Storm, which not surprisingly coincides with Sturmhond dramatically making an entrance. Alina isn’t your typical feisty, hardass heroine and needs a lot of rescuing but I think this makes her more relatable if a little bland. The Russian inspired Grishaverse is an intricate tapestry of world-building, vividly brought to life by Leigh Burdugo. I found myself caring about the secondary characters more than Mal and Alina and  I found myself rooting for  Zoya, Genya, Nicholai and was beyond pleased when their stories continued in the King of Scars trilogy. The Darkling is an intriguing villain cast who like Dracula always seems to come back no matter how many times we think he has died and Baghra has now become my all-time favourite angry, old woman.

The story really picks up pace in Siege and Storm with more political and court intrigue. I may be biased but  Stormhond and Nicholai make their appearance here and bring some needed humour and swashbuckle to the story. The second book remains my favourite and you can see how Alina’s character develops into the Saint and the leader the people of Ravka would like her to be.

Alina’s takes control in book three (after a dramatic rescue) and finally fulfils her destiny and create a new Ravka but we find out more Mal’s unique role and the part he plays in saving Ravka.

Click here to read more

Dead of False Creek by Sarah M. Stephen – Book Review

I loved Dead of False Creek, by Sarah M. Stephen, a historical murder mystery with a twist. Can Riley in 2017 and Jack in 1897 work together to solve a murder?

I received this eARC from NetGalley and the author for an honest review.

Genre: Historical Crime Fiction, Time-Slip/travel

Series: Journey Through Time Series

Publication date: 1st October 21

In 1897, Jack Winston, a new Detective, in Vancouver is stuck solving the disappearance of a young man from a prominent family. He keeps a journal with his thoughts about his work. In 2017, Riley, an archivist, is fascinated with his journal when she discovers it in a box of files. They soon realise the pair can communicate via the journal through time. Can Riley help Jack solve this crime?

Review

This book combines my two favourite genres, historical fiction and time travel/slip, and I wasn’t disappointed. I couldn’t put the book down and finished this off in one sitting.

Continue reading “Dead of False Creek by Sarah M. Stephen – Book Review”

August End of Month wrap up

It’s been a hectic and exciting month- I signed up to NetGalley and I felt truly special when I was approved for three of my requests. I always have a reread of my favourite historical series, the Lymond Chronicles but could only manage two.I did however did manage to read Game of Kings in Stirling and Perth places in the actual book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the same for Queens’ Play which was set in France.

Continue reading “August End of Month wrap up”