A Symphony of Echoes By Jodi Taylor – Book review

The chaotic romp through time continues with A Symphony Of Echoes, the second book in the St Mary Chronicles by Jodi Taylor.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.
But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary’s – an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

Review

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor continues Max’s story (click here for the review of One Damned Thing After another) and her time-travel adventures with St Mary’s along with the rest of her eccentric colleagues.

In the second book, Max heads to the future and has to face her nemesis(s), Isabella Barclay and Ronan again and ends up interim director but after she faces off with Jack the Ripper.

Max continues to be feisty, and funny (even when she has to lead) but vulnerable in this book particularly with her relationship with Leon Farell. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of Leon in this book and I did want to throw the book at the wall when reading about their relationship. I preferred Max’s more healthy relationships with her colleagues and friends which forms the heart of the book but her reaction to Leon’s boorish behaviour was hilariously unhinged.

As expected, there is plenty of tea, accidents and mishaps and of course a completely bonkers take on history- I loved the explanation of why Jack the Ripper disappeared from history. The team also head off to Tudor Scotland to stop Mary becoming the Queen of England and Scotland- a complicated scheme hatched by Ronan to save his love Anne.

 We do learn a little bit more about the past (or future) history of St Marys.

Content warning

References to rape, sexual assault, torture and violence (this is in a historical context and boy were they violent in the past!)

Perfect for Fans

Who loves Time travel books

Series: Book two in the St Marys Chronicles

Source: My Own

One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor

I’m finally reading the St Mary Chronicles in order. Read my review of One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor which introduces the chaotic, tea drinking time travellers.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

Review

I love time-travel stories and the St Mary Chronicles is one of my favourites. I have dipped in and out of the series ,reading the books in random order ( which works fine for this series) but decided to finally read them in order.

Continue reading “One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor”

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent – blog tour and book review

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours blogtour for Redspace Rising by Brian Trent. Here is my review of the futuristic military sci-fi.

Harris Alexander Pope is the man who ended the Partisan War on Mars. All he seeks now is solitude and a return to the life that was stolen from him. Yet when he learns that the worst war criminals are hiding in other bodies, he is forced into an interplanetary pursuit teaming up with other survivors eager for their own brand of vengeance ,Harris begins to suspect a darker truth: Maybe what he remembers about the war isn’t what happened at all.

Book review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent is set in a far future where Mars has been colonised and is now savaged by long wars. Unfortunately, The Partisans who promised freedom have become terrible oppressors and Harris has been their loyal and highly decorated soldier for years. But in the middle of yet another mission he is captured by the other side and finds out that he has, in fact, been a deep undercover agent for the last twenty years ( he is so deep undercover he has forgotten that he is an undercover agent with help of some interesting tech) and is activated- to finally end the war. Which he does- but this is just the start of Pope’s journey and story.

Read more

The story is told from Pops’s point of view and it is a realistic view of war, the consequences and the aftermath. While the book doesn’t glamorise war, it also doesn’t glamorise its effects on the people who have had to live through it. I didn’t warm to Pope but I sympathised with him, his struggles and his overwhelming desire just to spend some time with his brother.

There is a huge array of fascinating tech in this world and the politics of Mars are just as corrupt as you would expect it to be in a dystopia but this enhances the story. The battle scenes are vividly described and the plot is fast-paced with plenty of high-tech action.

I was gripped by all the twists and turns in the story, especially the end.

I did feel the book was perhaps a little long and would have appreciated a bit more downtime between all battles and action. While Pope is a nuanced and realistic character, the women in the book had less depth.

Perfect for fans

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Content warning

Descriptions of torture,

Genre: Miltary Sci-fi

Source : with Thanks to Flame Tree Press

The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

I’m pleased to be part of the The Write Reads blog tour for the The Wild Court by E. G Radcliffe- a YA fantasy with faeries, magic, power, love and Aed, the former Hidden King.

Book Info

Genre: YA Fantasy

Length: 488 Pages

Published: 29th June 2021

What perils await on the other side of the veil?
In the seventh year of Áed’s reign, night descends on the autumn festival. But a time of revelry turns into one of fiery destruction—as fae pour across the veil and the Gut becomes a battlefield in an otherworldly war.
Determined to protect his kingdom and the people he loves, Áed finds himself catapulted into a realm as unfamiliar as it is dangerous, where magic is king and wild courts vie for supremacy.
While the faerie Queen’s missing consort holds the key to life and death, tenuous alliances raise questions about Áed’s connection to the mysterious Bone court. His survival hinges on cunning as much as illusion.
On a mission like no other, only one thing is certain: no one will survive unscathed.

Book review

The Wild Court by E. G Radcliff continues Áed’s, the half-faerie King, story and journey as a leader.

Continue reading The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

A Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception by Katharine Cowley- blog tour and book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Lady’s  Guide to Death and Deception by Katherine Cowley featuring Mary Bennet as a deadly but respectable spy.

Series: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet

Genre: Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Austenesque

Publisher: ‎Tule Publishing Group, LLC (September 6, 2022)

Length: (368) pages

BOOK DESCRIPTION

What is a spy willing to do when both her heart and her country are at risk?

Life changes once again for British spy Miss Mary Bennet when Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from the Isle of Elba. Mary quickly departs England for Brussels, the city where the Allied forces prepare for war against the French. But shortly after her arrival, one of the Duke of Wellington best officers is murdered, an event which threatens to break the delicate alliance between the Allies. Investigating the murder forces Mary into precarious levels of espionage, role-playing, and deception with her new partner, Mr. Withrow-the nephew and heir of her prominent sponsor, and the spy with whom she often at odds. Together, they court danger and discovery as they play dual roles gathering intelligence for the British. But soon Mary realizes that her growing feelings towards Mr. Withrow put her heart in as much danger as her life. And then there’s another murder.

Mary will need to unmask the murderer before more people are killed, but can she do so and remain hidden in the background?

Book review

I was intrigued by the blurb for the Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception by Katharine Cowley- the idea of the prim and pious Mary Bennett from Pride and Prejudice as an undercover spy during the Napoleonic wars seemed far-fetched. But I have to say the author has pulled this off and keeps Mary true to her character.

Continue reading “A Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception by Katharine Cowley- blog tour and book review”

Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- Book review

Here is my review of Turn in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- The Curious, Calamitous Cockamamie Story of Starr Weatherby and the greatest Mythic Reality Show ever. I think the title says it all.

Publication date: 16th of August 2022

Genre: Sci-fi/humour

Source: With thanks from the publisher Rebellion

She’s just a small town girl, with big mythic dreams.
Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after ten years and no luck, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. And there’s a reason for that. It’s a ‘reality’ show beyond the Veil, human drama, performed for the entertainment of the Fae.
But as Starr shifts from astounded newcomer to rising fan favorite, she learns about the show’s dark underbelly – and mysterious disappearance of her predecessor. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her dream job – though she might just bring down the show in the process.

Review

I can safely say that Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn is unlike any other book I’ve read- a strange concoction of sci-fi, fantasy, expose of behind the scenes of a reality TV show, humour and romance. But despite this, it was a fun and easy read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Starr Weatherby( or Sam) is the easy-to-like main point of view character and you could sympathise with her conflicting wonder and bewilderment of suddenly being part of a reality TV show for mythical beings ( which is actually scripted). But Starr has to learn about this new world all the while trying to deal with the homicidal lead actress, Fiona.

The world-building was unique and it is safe to say there isn’t a fantasy world quite like this- a television studio filled with mythical creatures with horns and tails and brownies as well as an unseen audience.

I found some parts of the book really funny and it was a quick enjoyable read. There is a hint of romance between Starr and her leading man ( or men) as well as a hint of an unsolved mystery- what happened to Amelia the actress who vanished before Starr started.

I thought Fiona felt a little two-dimensional as a villain and a bit boring considering how vivid the other characters are. The book was sometimes a little confusing and I found it hard to figure out what was going on.

Perfect for fans of

The closest book I could compare this to would The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Tinderbox by W A Simpson- blog tour and book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours for Tinderbox by W A Simpson- epic fantasy with an inspired reference to fairy tale.

Isbet returns home to find the witch who raised her murdered and her prized possession, the Tinderbox stolen. She discovers a common man has used it to seize the throne. The same who conquered Prince Bram’s kingdom. Isbet’s goals are vengeance and reclaim the Box. For Bram, it is to free his homeland. When they are summoned to an underground kingdom, they must set aside their personal desires as they learn dark fey are bringing an ancient source of magic back to life. If they cannot halt the rise of the old magic, it will tear apart the Riven Isles.

Review

 Tinderbox by W A Simpson is the epic fantasy for you if you enjoy reading about conflicted witches, captured Princes, underground realms and a villain corrupted by magic.

Continue reading “Tinderbox by W A Simpson- blog tour and book review”

Nexus Point by K. Pimpinella – Blog Tour/Book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Escapist Tours Blog Tour of Nexus Point by K Pimpinella- a fast- paced time-travel science-fiction thriller I couldn’t put down. Click link below to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book (open internationally)

Winner of a 2021 Canada Book Award
Quarter Finalists in SPSFC
Editor’s Pick, BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly

The year is 2198. Earth has unified under one government, Utopia. War has ravaged the planet, forcing many citizens to immigrate to space stations and colonies. As human life expands into space, the Nexus Point and its abandoned station are discovered along with their time-travel capabilities. Time travel becomes the new luxury vacation, but some citizens go rogue and as history starts to change, the Time Rangers are born; a specialized unit tasked with chasing down the Time Runners. Following family tradition, Kai Sawyer, joins the Rangers. His first mission as a commander; travel to1634 France and defeat a Time Runner trying to jump start the progression of medicine. As Sawyer struggles to save his team and the future of Utopia; he learns of a more sinister plot that might include his father, the Rear Admiral of the Time Rangers. Should the Runners succeed, they will rewrite the future of all mankind.

Review

I enjoyed Nexus Point by K Pimpinella-a fast-paced time-travelling thriller.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This sci-fi thriller ticks all the boxes for me- great story, interesting characters,  intriguing world-building, science and history as well as plenty of action.

Kai Sawyer is a spawn- the genetically created and enhanced son of a respected Solider of the Time Ranges. The Time Rangers are the official body hunting down rogue time-travellers and keeping history right.

I admit to not warming up to Kai until the end of the book but this could be partly due to his genetic make-up and his harsh upbringing at the hands of his father but he comes into his own at the end Lately, I seem to find the secondary characters in books more interesting and this is no different in Time Nexus.  While Kai’s father seemed to be a two-dimensional bad father on the surface, there does seem to be more lurking under the surface. Hawk- Kai’s best friend, Perry- the specialist and Santiago the resentful second in command are interesting in their own right and I would have loved to read more chapters with them in.

There is plenty of action in various periods, and the world-building in both the present and past is well described.

I liked the idea of time travel initially being used for a corporate profit before being policed by the time rangers and hopefully this will be expnaded on in book two.

This is the first book in the Time Rangers series and I would definitely read book two after that epilogue.

Content warning

References to child abuse, drug use,torture

Perfect for fans of

Time travel fiction

GIVEAWAY ( CLOSING DATE 17/8/22)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK ( OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Author Site: www.kpimpinella.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/k_pimpinella
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k.pimpinella/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeRangersBookSeries
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21135489.K_Pimpinella

About the Author

Author Bio & Information:

Long Bio:

An author and lover of all things science fiction, K.Pimpinella grew up with the greats like Star Wars, Star Trek and the original Battlestar Galactica, and still enjoys them today. The theme of teamwork  which dominated Stargate, the camaraderie of the character dynamics of the video game Mass Effect, and the time-travel ideals of the TV show Timeless, were the foundations of her world-building and characters of the Time Ranger series, of which, Nexus Point is the first novel.

She now lives in Uxbridge, ON. In her spare time she enjoys ice hockey, snowboarding, western horseback riding and spending time with her husband and two dogs, Dallas and Tonka.

Death at the Manor by Katharine Schellman- book review

I enjoyed this Regency mystery featuring a locked room murder, ghosts, and touch of gothic romance. My review of Death of Romance by Katharine Schellman.

Genre: Historical crime

Series: Lily Adler Mystery #3

Publication Date :9th of August 2022

Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Publishers

Lily Adler is looking forward to spending some time with her Aunt Eliza with her friends Lady and Lord Carroway ( Ofelia and Ned)  but instead, she is embroiled in a strange murder that appears to be committed by a ghost at the nearby Belleford manor. Can Lily solve the murder with her friends while dealing with her feelings for Mr Spencer?

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

Review

This is the third book in the Lily Adler Mystery series, but I was able to get into the story and the characters without having read the previous two books. The book is told from a few points of view which makes the story a lot more compelling.

 I loved the diverse range of characters in the book that naturally blended into the story and the expected prejudices are present but overall I loved how the characters in the book were able to accept Ofelia’s mixed-race descent. If anything, Ofelia’s difference from the other people in the village is her noble status.

Continue reading “Death at the Manor by Katharine Schellman- book review”

Advocatus by A R Turner -blog tour and book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Write Reads Tour for Adovactus by A R Turner- fantasy with humour.

Advocatus tells the tale of Felix, a junior lawyer with one last case before he can strike out on his own.
His client? A terrifying magical warlord accused of, amongst other horrifying crimes, two counts of Attempted Genocide (and six counts of Theft). His plea? Innocent, of course! All in a day’s work for Felix.
Psychic frogs, downtrodden goblins, time-travelling wizards, and a whole host of other magical defendants become his caseload as Felix begins trying to make a name for himself as a successful lawyer in a world rife with sorcery.
The biggest case of his life: defending humanity in front of Habeus, the God of Justice himself. Lose, and it’s all over. Not just for him, but for the whole of mankind.

Review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased review

 I was intrigued by the blurb for Advocatus by A R Turner and I have to say it was different from my usual read.

It took a while for me to get into the story but it was a funny and humorous book with an unusual concept- a lawyer fighting for the future of humanity while dealing with the bureaucracy of court, unreliable witnesses and temperamental judges.

Continue reading “Advocatus by A R Turner -blog tour and book review”