The Sinister Booksellers by Garth Nix- Book Review

The armed and dangerous booksellers are back, this time in Bath- Here is my review of The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix.

When Merlin vanishes, Susan will battle animated statues of heraldic beasts and use magical maps to rescue him on a hunt that leads to a serial killer who must be stopped before she kills again.
There is often trouble of a mythical sort in Bath. The booksellers who police the Old World keep a careful watch there, particularly on the entity who inhabits the ancient hot spring. Yet this time it is not from Sulis Minerva that trouble starts. It comes from the discovery of a sorcerous map, leading left-handed bookseller Merlin into great danger. A desperate rescue is attempted by his sister the right-handed bookseller Vivien and their friend, art student Susan Arkshaw, who is still struggling to deal with her own recently discovered magical heritage.
The map takes the trio to a place separated from this world, maintained by deadly sorcery performed by an ancient sovereign and guarded by monstrous living statues of Portland Stone. But this is only the beginning, as the booksellers investigate centuries of disappearances and deaths and try to unravel the secrets of the murderous Lady of Stone, a serial killer of awesome powers.
If they do not stop her, she will soon kill again. And this time, her target is not an ordinary mortal.


The armed and dangerous booksellers are back, this time in Bath- Here is my review of The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix, book two of The Left Handed Booksellers of London, a historical urban fantasy.

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

Mderlin,Susan and Vivien are back but in Bath this which is the perfect location given the abundance of roman mythology and statues. Susan is struggling to come to terms with her magical heritage courtesy of her very old and absent father but still trying her best to live a normal life. She drops everything in an instant to help left-handed Bookseller Merlin when he disappears, but the danger doesn’t stop when they rescue him. Susan continues her reluctant journey and it feels realistic when she grows to like her new power a little too much for her comfort.

Merlin continues to be as quirky as ever, a gender- fluid powerhouse who can cos play Jane’s Austen characters when needed.

The authors brings the 80’s to life in all it’s vibrant technicolour glory.

I love the numerous secondary characters that fill the book from grumpy policepeople, old booksellers who love cake to annoyed ancient gods but we never get to spend much time on these fascinating people.

The pace is fast-paced with plenty of action and magic- sometimes almost too frantic and it would have been nice to have a few more slower scenes. The scene with the cake for example was a welcome breather and one of my favourites- I would love to try the double booze cake!

Unfortunately, you do need to read the Left-Handed Booksellers of London first to be able to enjoy this book.

Hell Bent by Leigh Burdago – book review

I enjoyed Hell Bent ( Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Burdago= the urban fantasy follow-up to The Ninth House.

Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory―even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.
Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.


Hell Bent by Leigh Burdago continues Alex Stern’s journey from magical outcast to a member of the Ivy league’s magical circle and is a worthy follow-up to The Ninth House. So of course, I had this book pre-ordered.

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Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell- Book Review.

This urban fantasy made me laugh and tense at the same time- here is my review of the amazing Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonell, the third book in The Stranger Times series.


I love a book that can move me to laughter, tears, fear and anger-Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell the third book in the urban fantasy series The Stranger Times was one of those books.

Continue reading “Love will Tear us Apart by C. K McDonnell- Book Review.”

This Charming Man by C.K Donnell- Book review

The Stranger Times newspaper continues to report strange and weird things in this hilarious urban fantasy set in Manchester- Here is my review of This Charming Man by C.K Donnell.


(may contain spoilers for The Stranger Times

After I finished reading The Stranger Times ( review here) , I had to jump into This Charming Man by C. K Donnell, the second book in this urban fantasy series and I loved it.

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

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The Stranger Times by C. K McDonnell- Book review

How did I miss The Stranger Times by C.K McDonnell here is my review of this hilarious, action-packed urban fantasy filled with memorable characters and set in Manchester.

The Stranger Times is dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable. At least that’s their pitch. The reality is less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered, and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor… well, that job is a revolving door–and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.
When tragedy strikes in Hannah’s first week on the job, The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined


One of the amazing joys of being a book blogger is discovering new books that I never would have normally come across. The Stranger Things by C K Mc Donnell was one of those books and I devoured it book in one sitting.

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

This urban fantasy has everything a cast of memorable characters -I’m not sure if I admire or despise the outspoken, drunk, intelligent Bancroft the trigger-happy editor of The Stranger Times. Grace, Reggie, and Ox form the rest of the team at The Stranger Times newspaper ( funny extracts included in the book) and are all quirky and fascinating characters that bring this urban fantasy to life.

Hannah is the new assistant editor escaping her former life as a socialite and is thrown into a new world of UFOs, aliens and monsters and has a bit of fright when she learns ( along with the rest of the team ) that one of these things is real.

The underlying plot of good vs evil, secret societies and magic are well written and the book has a fresh take on this by basing this in a Northern City in England- Manchester and its people form part of the cast in its own way. The plot and underlying mystery kept me reading right till the end. Some vivid and original descriptions made an impression.

But the main strength of the book is the humour which is truly British ( and Northern) and there were several times when I couldn’t stop laughing.

I have to confess I jumped straight into the sequel The Charming Man as soon as I finished.

Perfect for Fans

The Dresden Files (review here), The Tarot Card Sequence, ( review here) Swashbucklers (review here),Terry Prachett

Content Warning

References to a child’s death

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson- book review

Here is my review of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson an urban fantasy


Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson has been on my to-read list for a long time and I was so excited to finally bought the book. But I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, which was surprising.

HMSC has a cast of four childhood friends- Helena, the tough head of the Coven, Niamh, the powerful witch who has left the coven to become a vet in Hebben Bridge, Elle, a healer who has hidden her power from her husband and family and Leonie, the witch who has left the government coven to form her own inclusive and diverse coven.

The once-tight friends are thrown together when a prophecy about The Sullied Child seems to come true and then thrown apart when confronted when their own fears.

The best part of the book besides the premise was the diversity in the characters- there is a range of people of all races, ages and genders and they all fit organically into the story and are the story.

The book had all the things that appeal to me-magic, strong and diverse women, unapologetically morally grey women and plenty of action ending with an almost cinematic finale. So why did I feel disappointed after finishing the book?

I didn’t like Helen and felt perhaps her hatred was to push the plot and create conflict – her inability to contain her prejudices and her reaction to this seemed a little extreme (although I am aware there are woman like in real life, so maybe not so OTT).The men in the book are mostly window-dressing without any depth, and some of the plot outcomes were a little predictable, especially the whole prophecy of an evil child who will destroy the world.

There is a humdinger of a cliffhanger which was truly breathtaking but again left me disappointed and not to keen to pick up the sequel.

I think this book will appeal to a lot of urban fantasy fans. I will probably read the sequel, but I don’t think I will be quite so excited.

Content Warning

References to domestic abuse, transgender slurs

Perfect for Fans of

Diverse urban fantasy

The Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso- book review and Blog Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso- featuring a fearless heroine who happens to have a chronic health problem. – a rarity in urban fantasy

The oldest and gravest of the Wild Folk laws dictates that human flesh must not be consumed. When half-eaten bodies start turning up between Old London and the North, Yannia Wilde knows the killer can only be one of her kind.  Her investigation is even more complicated when her betrothed, Dearon, insists on joining forces with her and Karrion.
While Yannia tries to balance tracking down the killer with the tension between her and Dearon, and Karrion, another case in Old London draws her attention. A West Mage Council member, whom she exposed as a Leech only days before, has gone missing, and his girlfriend is found murdered in his flat. Is the Leech, a master of deception, capable of murder, or has someone framed him?
Caught in the web of Old London’s political intrigue, Yannia must learn to play the game and to choose her allegiances with care. But to catch a predator of her kind, she must also embrace her wildness and set aside everything that makes her human.


I loved the first few books in the Wilde Investigations series, so I jumped at the chance at reviewing The Wildest Hunger, the fourth book in the series. Yannia the lead character suffers chronic pain making her unique in the world of super fit people who populate urban Fantasy.

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Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks- Book review

I loved this sci-fi fantasy featuring a group of tired Gen Xers trying to fit in saving the world around the school run!

When Cisco Collins returns to his home town thirty years after saving it from being swallowed by a hell mouth opened by an ancient pirate ghost, he realises that being a childhood hero isn’t like it was in the movies.Especially when nobody remembers the heroic bits – even the friends who once fought alongside him.
Struggling with single parenting , Cisco isn’t really in the Christmas spirit . A fact that’s made worse by the tendrils of the pirate’s powers creeping back into our world and people beginning to die in bizarre ways.
With the help of a talking fox, an enchanted forest, a long-lost friend haunting his dreams, and some 80s video game consoles turned into weapons, Cisco must now convince his friends to once again help him save the day. Yet they quickly discover that being a ghostbusting hero is so much easier when you don’t have schools runs, parent evenings, and nativity plays to attend. And even in the middle of a supernatural battle, you always need to bring snacks and wipes

Source: My own


If you ever wanted to read a book about a group of tired middle-aged parents trying to prevent an apocalypse with flair, humour and wet-wipes then Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks is the book for you.

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One foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold- book review

Great urban fantasy. Read my review of One Foot in The Fade by Luke Arnold, in the Fetch Phillips Series.

Genre: Urban Fantsay

Series: Fetch Phillips Achives ( read my series review here)

Source: My own

In a city that lost its magic, an angel falls in a downtown street. His wings are feathered, whole—undeniably magical—the man clearly flew, because he left one hell of a mess when he plummeted into the sidewalk.
But what sent him up? What brought him down? And will the answers help Fetch bring the magic back for good?
Working alongside necromancers, genies, and shadowy secret societies, through the wildest forests and dingiest dive bars, this case will leave its mark on Fetch’s body, his soul, and the fate of the world.


The Fetch Phillips series is one of my favourite urban fantasy series- Fetch is not just a human in a society full of magical creatures who can’t use their magic or be magical -Fetch is one of the reasons why the magic has gone. But he is trying to bring magic back one bumbling step at a time and he hopes helping a genie with one foot in the fade can actually do it this time.

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The Splendid City by Karen Hueller -Book review

Here is my review of this urban fantasy which has a huge dose of satire and a talking cat. Thank you #NetGalley and angry robot for my copy of The Splendid  City by Karen Hueller.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Source: NetGalley and Angry Robot

In the state of Liberty, water is rationed at alarming prices, free speech is hardly without a cost, and Texas has just declared itself its own country. In this society, paranoia is well-suited because eyes and ears are all around, and they are judging. Always judging. This terrifying (and yet somehow vaguely familiar) terrain is explored via Eleanor – a young woman eagerly learning about the gifts of her magic through the support of her coven.
But being a white witch is not as easy as they portray it in the books, and she’s already been placed under ‘house arrest’ with a letch named Stan, a co-worker who wronged her in the past and now exists in the form of a cat. A talking cat who loves craft beers, picket lines, and duping and ‘shooting’ people.
Eleanor has no time for Stan and his shenanigans, because she finds herself helping another coven locate a missing witch which she thinks is mysteriously linked to the shortage of water in Liberty.


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

This book was not what I expected but in a fun and interesting way.

I thought this would be straightforward urban fantasy featuring an underlying mystery that would be solved by the end of the book by the protagonist. But this book was so much more. My own perhaps inaccurate description would be a blend of urban fantasy, satire with feminist slant but with a dose of surreal humour.

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