The Binding by Bridget Collins- Book review

A touching romance is at the heart of The Binding by Bridget Collins set in an alternate historical England

Genre: Romantic fantasy

Source: My own

After having suffered some sort of mental collapse and no longer able to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.

Review

There may be spoilers in this review

This book managed to pass me by when it came out but the bright purple pages caught my eye in a charity shop and I had to buy it especially because of the blurb. I love a book about books.

Continue reading “The Binding by Bridget Collins- Book review”

Shadow Flicker by Greg Bastianelli- blog tour and book review

I will never look at a wind farm the same way again after reading this thriller with sci-fi edge by Greg Bastianelli. I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Shadow Flicker.

Genre: Mystery/thriller/sci-fiction

Source: Random Tours/Publishers

Investigator Oscar Basaran travels to Kidney Island off the coast of Maine to document the negative effects of shadow flicker from wind turbines on residents living near the windmills, but is unprepared for what he encounters from the islanders.

Melody Larson’s elderly father nearly chokes to death after stuffing dandelion heads into his mouth. The Granberrys’ pregnant cow repeatedly runs headlong into a fence post. Tatum Gallagher mourns her young son who vanished more than a year ago, presumed swept out to sea by a wave while fishing on the rocky shore, but several people claim to see him appear only in the glimmer of the shadow flicker.

When Oscar meets former island school science teacher Norris Squires, fired for teaching his students about the harmful effects of shadow flicker, he learns a theory regarding Aerosource that sounds too preposterous to believe.

While it seems the shadow flicker effect has driven some of the island’s animals crazy, is it possible it’s caused an even worse mental breakdown among the human inhabitants? Or is something more nefarious at work on the island?

As Oscar’s investigation deepens, he discovers the turbines create an unexpected phenomena kept secret by a select group of people on Kidney Island who have made a scientific breakthrough and attempt to harness its dark power.

Review

In horror fiction, there is always something creepy about small, isolated communities and if that small community is on an island off the main coast, we can safely double the creep factor.

Kidney island with its looming wind turbines, mad cows, disappearing children and suspicious locals lives up to this expectation. Oscar Basaran is the outsider ( and not just geographically) tasked with documenting the effects of the wind turbines on the island folk.

Oscar is a sympathetic character and his unease is realistically described by the author and yet you can understand why he chooses to stay when his back story is revealed.

The secondary characters are an eclectic mix of normal trying to cope in an awful environment to the outright strange and unwelcoming but the wind turbines themselves are just as much as a character as the islanders- looming and humming in the background and ever-present.

The tension slowly builds up through the book’s explosive climax which I won’t go into as this would completely spoil the story. But I have to say I was not expecting that explanation on why the shadow flicker was causing so much harm.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves their mystery with a touch of science-fiction.

Content warning

Depictions of grief over a lost child, references to homophobia and sexual abuse

Perfect for fans

Horror and fiction set on creepy islands

About the author

Gregory Bastianelli is the author of the novels Snowball,Loonies and Jokers Club. Horrornews.net described him as the ‘messiah of macabre.’ His stories have appeared in the magazines Black Ink Horror, Sinister Tales and Beyond Centauri; the anthologies Night Terrors II, Cover of Darkness and Encounters;and the online magazines Absent Willow Review and Down in the Cellar. His novella The Lair of the Mole People appeared in the pulp anthology Men & Women of
Mystery Vol. II.
Gregory graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he studied writing. He worked for nearly two decades atasmall daily newspaper where the highlights of his career were interviewing shock rocker Alice Cooperand
B-movie icon Bruce Campbell. He became enchanted with the stories of Ray Bradburyas ayoung child,and
his love of horror grew with the likes of Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell.
He lives in Dover, New Hampshire. He enjoys kayaking, hiking and cycling in the summerand snowshoeing and racquetball in the winter. Along with spending time with family, he enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where he
has visited his ancestral home and relatives residing there and hiked the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coastand to the top of Mt. Vesuvius. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the New England Horror Writers. You can find out more about his work at gregorybastianelli.com.

Top Ten Tuesday -Authors I haven’t read but want to

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday and this time it’s about authors I haven’t read but want to

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.

I have only been blogging a year and one of the things I love about blogging is all the new books and authors I find out from other bloggers, book tweeters and Bookstagramers. So, here is my Top Ten authors I want to read.

Martha Wells

I keep hearing about Murderbot and I really need to start reading this series

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

I came across a book review of Hex and Echo – I like the idea of small town horror.

Sherwood Smith

This is an author that seems to have passed me by- she has a written an amazing number of books that seem to be in set in the same world.

Lara Elena Donnelly

I like a completed trilogy and this urban fantasy set in a 1920’s like New York seems perfect

T. J Klune

This is an author that keeps popping up and I must try one of his books.

Fonda Lee

This is another completed trilogy I read rave review about and the non- medieval European setting is definitely part of the reason.

Dorothy Sayers

I love the Lymond Chronicles and the author Dorothy Dunnett was said to be inspired by Dorothy Sayers. So I would like to try a book featuring her detective Lord peter Whimsey.

Laura Lam/Elizabeth May

The Seven Mercies have been on my TBR list for a while now and really to get on and read a book

Thanks for visiting my blog

Please leave a link to your TTT so I can read yours

Merchants of Knowledge and Magic by Ericka McCorkle- Spotlight

It’s my turn on the #blogtour for with @Escapist_Tours.Today I’m sharing the spotlight on The Merchants of Knowledge and Magic by Erica McCorkle. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of the book

My secret would plunge the world into chaos.” “How much is it worth?”

Calinthe is an asexual dragonfly-person who was sent on a mission to find two missing men. She learns one of the men is from a species thought to be extinct, who had the misfortune of being captured in a matriarchal society where all non-women are enslaved. Though she maintains a disguise with help from her companion’s illusions, Calinthe is actually intersex. If her secret were to be discovered by the matriarchy, she would be enslaved as well.

Merchants of Knowledge and Magic is a standalone epic rainbow fantasy novel featuring aroace friendships, a religion that forbids money, clever use of magic, and a fantastical world inhabited by nonhumans. It is the first book in the Merchants of the Pentagonal Dominion trilogy, three standalones which take place concurrently in the same world, but which can be read in any order.

Book Links:

Amazon
Goodreads

GIVEWAY

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Mask of Mirrors by M. A Carrick- Book review

That’s another one off my #beatthebacklog. Here is my review of Mask of Mirrors by M. A Carrick- a fantasy full of intrigue,magic,con women and a masked vigilante

Genre: Fantasy

Source: My own

Series: Rook and Rose ( Book1)

Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.

Review

This hasn’t been on my backlog list very long and perhaps I should have read some of the books sitting on my kindle for longer but I couldn’t resist that cover.

The story is told from a number of points in the third person but the main characters are Ren, the woman trying to con her way into high society, Donaia, the matriarch of the Traementis family that Ren is trying to con, Grey, a captain in the Virgil trying to find out the truth about Ren and Vargo, a crime lord trying to buy his way into the nobility.

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Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May- Book review

A Sapphic love story with forbidden magic, witches, secrets, and drama set in an alternate England where magic is forbidden. Read my review of Wild and Wicked things by Francesca May.

Genre: Fantasy, magic realism

Publication Date: 31 March 2022

Source Net Galley

 In an alternate post World War One Britain, where everyone knows about but is prohibited from practising magic, Annie has been summoned to Crow Island to sort out her late father’s affairs. Annie discovers she knows less about her estranged father than she thought and discovers his secrets that shatter her world and she struggles to understand her own magic. She becomes embroiled in the drama that surrounds her best friend Bea and the magical attraction she feels towards her mysterious neighbour Emmeline. But will Annie survive the danger consuming her life on Crow Island when the punishment for magic is death?

Review

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.

This book is beautifully written- I fell in love with lyrical prose, the stories and the lush descriptions of magic and Crow Island. The world-building is detailed and dare I say realistic. If magic existed and was banned the descriptions of black-market magic, bootlegged parties, corruption and how normal people will skirt close to the law would be real.

The book is told from the point of view of Emmaline and Annie. Bea is not a point of view character but she is the person who drives the story forward through her actions and motivations.

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