Book Review: What The River Knows by Isabel Ibanez

Friday 1 December 2023

What The River Knows by Isabel Ibanez

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advance reader copy of What the River Knows for an honest review.

Inez Olivia belongs to the upper society of Buenos Aires she lives with her aunt as her parents are away for half of each year in Egypt.

When word reaches her of their shock death she runs off and makes her way to Egypt to question her uncle and learn more about what really happened to them.

Only on arrival he wants her to head straight back home and sends his assistant Whit to send her back.

What they don't count on is Inez doing everything in her power to stay. She learns of their expedition to Egypt and stows away on their ship to learn more about their expedition and ultimately her parents.

Overall I really enjoyed this book I loved the writing style it really captured my attention and made me feel like I was seeing the same sights as the characters.

I really liked Inez as a character from her brazeness and determination. I also really enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope between her and Whit.

However the book had so many twists and turns and betrayals it is clearly open for a sequel and I need to read this following that shock ending.

I highly recommend this book. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers

Monday 13 November 2023

 The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers

Thank you to Hodder Books and Netgalley for the advance reader copy of The City of Stardust for an honest review.

The City of Stardust follows Violet Everley whose mother vanished in the middle of the night to break the curse that is on their family.

Every generation of the family is destined to lost their best and brightest to a woman named Penelope who never forgives a debt or ages or sickens.

As Violet grows up she aims to finish what her mother started and find a way to break the curse. To do this she must make her way through a magical underworld full of scholars, Gods and monsters aiming for the City of Stardust where their story began.

This was an enchanting read I could not put it down. It was really well crafted and the writing made me feel like I was in the magical worlds being described.

The world building was very unique and the magical aspects were intriguinging. Definitely one that book lovers would enjoy!

Violets character was well written and I found myself routing for her all the way through the plot. The ending wrapped most things up nicely as a standalone. However I hope we get more fantastical stories from this author soon.

My only minor critique would be wanting to know abit more of Marianne her mothers story. I know her fate is heavily implied in that she is stuck in another world and cannot return but I felt I wanted abit more closure from that after all the searching and the mystery.

Overall a solid debut story and one I would recommend to read. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

 Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the Advance Reader copy of Threads That Bind for an honest review.

Threads That Bind follows Io one of the three Ora Sisters each descendents of the Fates and blessed with a different gift. One to weave, one to draw and one to cut the threads that connect people to things they love and to life itself.

Io is a private investigator in Alante and her latest job leads to an unpleasant discovery, women are being abducted and their life threads are being maimed turning them into wraiths wreaking havoc in the city.

She is hired by the city's famous mob queen to work alongside her right hand Edei Rhuna who she just so happens to share a fate thread linking them as soul mates.

However things get personal when Io's main suspect happens to be her older sisters new fiance. Io must unravel all the dark secrets of the city before it is too late.

Firstly I found this book to be such an original idea and concept. The whole magic and world building was quite unique and original and that drew me into wanting to read the book.

The story had me gripped throughout with the twists and turns that the plot takes. There were so many subplots running alongside the main plot that added to the world building and gave us an insight into the main characters development. I felt this stories wove together really well and that the plot was well crafted.

Io was an interesting character to follow and her growth in self confidence was well written throughout the plot.

The ending left us with such a cliffhanger after a big reveal and I guess now I will have to wait to get my hands on book two.

A really well written enjoyable read! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

Saturday 14 October 2023

 If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the advance reader copy of this book for an honest review.

The story follows Cara Tang who has ghost speaking powers but doesn't want to be haunted. Particularly because her overbearing mother does not want her talking to ghosts and wants her to surpress her power and be the perfect daughter.

Cara keeps getting into fights with the local golden boy Zacharias Coleson who irritates her incredibly. Then she stumbles across Zach's dead body in the woods and she is the only one who can see and save him.

With the help of her grandmother who also happens to be a ghost she agrees to help resurrect Zach putting her at odds with her mother. Cara and Zach travel together into the liminal world relying on each other to survive and Cara starts to think she might not hate Zach as much as she first thought.

I started this book and initially I wasn't sure it was for me I felt abit older than the demographic this seemed aimed at. However once the characters entered the liminal world I felt a bit more invested in the story and seeing how it turned out and that turned this from a 3 to a 3.5 star for me.

The perfect cosy fall read ready for Halloween for those who like spooky but not too spooky.

I enjoyed some of the magical elements throughout this story however there were aspects that seemed to wrap up far too easily for the characters. Again though this could be the fact that I am older than the demographic for this book.

Overall I found this an enjoyable cosy read and would recommend this for a fall read. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK for the advance reader copy of this book for an honest review.

The book follows Effy Sayre who has always believed in fairy tales. This is because she has been haunted by visions of the fairy king since she was a child. Effy found solace in the works of Emrys Myrddin particularly his story Angharad where a mortal girl falls in love with the fairy king and destroys him.

When Mryddin's family announce a contest to redesign his house Hiraeth Manor she feels certain this is her destiny. However Hiraeth Manor turns out to be an impossible task it is decrepit and edging ever closer to the sea. Also when she arrives she happens to find another student at the manor literary scholar Preston Heloury who is studying Mryddin's work trying to prove that he is a fraud.

The two end up working together to investigate the authors legacy which leads them to uncover dark forces conspiring against them.

I really enjoyed this story in fact it got me out of a reading slump at the time and I happened to finish it within a couple of days.

I really enjoyed everything about this book from the magical elements, the gothic vibe and the mixture with fairy tales.

The story also deals with elements of important topics such as misogyny, trauma and mental health.

Overall a captivating read that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Travel: A Day Trip to Mostar

Saturday 19 August 2023

A Day Trip to Mostar

Back in May 2022 me and my boyfriend had a holiday to Dubrovnik in Croatia, this is the perfect spot for day trips and sightseeing. From here we took a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina this included a guided tour of the city and entrance to multiple sights. Below is what I would recommend you do on a day trip to this wonderful country.

Visit an Ottoman House... Part of our tour included a visit to a traditional Ottoman House. These have been preserved as museums showcasing traditional furnishings such as rugs and ceramics. On this tour we received a free drink at the house in the courtyard I opted for a peppermint tea and my boyfriend bad a traditional coffee. The house was a really interesting part of the tour and really painted a picture of the culture and way of life in the past.

Travel: Kotor, Montenegro Day Trip

Friday 18 August 2023

Kotor, Montenegro Day Trip

While in Dubrovnik another tour we booked onto was a trip to Kotor in Montenegro. This was an excursion booked for our holiday through TUI called The Best of Montenegro with a guided tour of the old town. 

I must admit that we skipped out on the guided tour due to our tour guide having lost her voice and therefore it was difficult to hear the tour. 

Overall these are what we recommend for the day trip to Kotor:

Travel: A Mykonos Getaway

 A Mykonos Getaway

Hotel - Myconian Korali

For our stay in Mykonos we picked the Myconian Korali Hotel, this hotel is rated 5 stars and the service did not disappoint. You are taken care of from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. The hotel upgraded our room free of charge to a Rinia with a balcony and side sea view. This room was spacious and very modern with a bathroom intergrated into the large room with two mirrors and sinks and a giant freestanding bath.

Book Review: Zhara Guardians of the Dawn by S. Jae-Jones

Friday 28 July 2023

 Zhara Guardians of the Dawn by S. Jae-Jones

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Titan books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This books was described as Cinder meets Sailor Moon a book and a series that I love! Sign me up!

Zhara Guardians of the Dawn follows Jim Zhara born with powers that she does not know how to control and forced to hide them as magic is forbidden in the morning realms. Magicians are called abominations and are sentenced to death.

The only person who knows about Zhara's magic is her stepmother and she has to bow to her every whim caring for her blind younger sister.

However there are whispers of monsters in the marsh re-emerging and a chance encounter with a young man named Han introduces Zhara to the Guardians of the Dawn, a secret magical liberation society.

Together they discover a secret magical plague that is corrupting the magicians of Zanhei. Zhara must come to terms with her powers and unleash the warrior within to restore harmony.

I will start by saying there were many aspects of this story that I found enjoyable. The numerous nods towards Sailor Moon gave me much joy, I really enjoyed the plot of the book and felt the characters were well fleshed out.

The reason however for my lower score is that the book read abit more juvenile than I expected it too and I must admit the nicknames they two main love interests used made me cringe and I got abit sick of reading them.

Those things aside this story was enjoyable and I didn't struggle to finish it at all. I would be intrigued to read the sequel but I believe I might not be the right age demographic. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: My Roommate is a Vampire by Jenna levine

 My Roommate is a Vampire by Jenna Levine

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Cornerstone for the advance reader copy for an honest review.

My Roommate is a vampire follows Cassie Greenburg a struggling artist in dire need of a place to live. She stumbles across an advert on Craigslist for a roommate in an incredibly reasonably priced apartment.

The apartment belongs to the incredibly good looking Frederick J Fitzwilliam who works nights and sleeps all day.

What could be the catch? Turns out that Frederick is a vampire. Recently awoken from a long coma who needs help reacclimatising to the 21st century.

This is a light and fluffy easy romance book. I got through this very quickly and felt it had a lot of sweet and funny moments that gave the story it's charm.

The only issue I felt was that the main hurdle in the story was resolved very quickly and easily. I think that might have been the aim of the book hut it felt a little anti climactic to me.

However overall if your looking for an easy spooky read for the autumn time this book is one I would recommend. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC of Bookshops & Bonedust for an honest review.

This is the prequel to Legend & Lattes and follows a younger Viv currently a mercenary with Rackham's Ravens. However things aren't going quite to plan when she is injured in battle and has to rest up to the sleepy beach town of Murk to recover.

With so much time now on her hands Viv finds herself spending time at the local bookshop with its foul mouthed owner.

However adventure isn't far away for Viv when a suspicious traveler in a gray cloak appears. Juggling that a summer fling, a gnome insistent on getting Vivs help to join Rackham's Ravens and a vast number of skeletons, things aren't quite as quiet as they seem.

This book was just as cosy as the first with a tad more action involved.

I felt this story was abit more fleshed out than Legends & Lattes and we got an insight into Viv' s backstory and her time as a mercenary but with the perfect addition of a cosy bookshop.

Travis Baldree has a way with writing a great dynamic between his characters and the world building is also really well done. You could feel like you were there inside the bookshop laughing and joking and helping tidy up.

This book was very enjoyable with good twists and it gave me that perfect cosy evening read after work.

If you enjoyed Legends & Lattes you are going to love this prequel. 

Thanks for Reading!

Book Review: Upon a Frosted Star by M. A. Kuzniar

Sunday 28 May 2023

 Upon a Frosted Star by M. A. Kuzniar

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Stories for an advance reader copy of this title for an honest review.

Upon a Frosted Star follows struggling artist Forster who finds an invitation to an evening of magic and bewitchment. He becomes determined to find out more about the mysterious host a ballerina who has overtaken his dreams.

The invitations always arrive without warning around the city to what is usually the party of the year.

However when the party is over Forster discovers an abandoned Manor house and a cursed woman who wishes to be set free.

The book is themed around Swan Lake and definitely has this vibes it kept reminding me of the swan princess film which of course was also based on Swan Lake however this gave me such joy and nostalgia.

This book is beautifully written from the characters to the magic and imagery. I could actually imagine myself within the scene from the descriptions given and the descriptions of the foods made me hungry!

I will admit initially it took me a few chapters to get into the story but once Detta was involved more and her POV was added I was hooked. 

It was interesting to see how Forster and Detta found something within each other through their art and dancing and how their relationship grew despite the curse.

A beautiful tale of first love and tragedy with an ending most wouldn't expect.

Very well crafted and I am going to read more of Kuzniar's books following this one.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

 Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros 

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC of this book for an honest review.

Fourth Wing follows Violet Sorrengail originally meant for the Scribe Quadrant and a quiet life among books. Until her mother the Commanding General forces her to joint the dragon rider candidates.

Only a few issues she is smaller than everyone else and her body is brittle and fragile. Dragons are known to take out the weak candidates and with fewer dragons than ever bonding most would kill for a spot. Alot would kill her just for being her mother's daughter one example being wing leader Xadan Riorson.

She going to have to use everything available to her too survive. It's either graduate or die.

Firstly the hype for this book was well deserved I loved this book it was very much a dystopian fantasy mix giving me vibes of Divergent and even Game of Thrones. However this is definitely an adult fantasy book. 

Violet is a badass and a great example of a character written with inclusivity in mind. 

Xadan is the enemies to lovers love interest who initially wants to kill Violet because her mother led to his father's death. 

The world building is well done and easy to understand and very much had a more adult version of Divergent vibe which gave me such nostalgia. 

The ending also left us with a massive cliffhanger ready for book 2.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and it fully deserves the hype it has been given well done to Rebecca Yarros. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Saturday 27 May 2023

 Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of Her Radiant Curse for an honest review.

Her Radiant Curse is a prequel to Six Crimson Cranes covering Ramaka or Channi's story.

Channi was made a Monster by her father's offer to sacrifice her to the Demon Witch Angma. Now cursed with the face of a serpent Channi is the opposite to her sister Vanna who is beloved. Vanna is the only person Channi trusts and who sees her as more than a Monster.

At 17 Vanna is to be married off for money and Channi is intent on preventing her getting married to some of the vulgar suitors. In doing this she gets mixed up in one suitors wrath and ends up over seas starting a battle to return to Vanna's side and protect her from the curse of the Demon Witch.

After The Dragon's Promise felt abit disjointed I was interested to read Lim's next offering and I must say this is a return to form.

Her Radiant Curse was a fantastic epic YA fantasy steeped in Asian Folklore. I was hooked on this book and couldn't stop reading.

The story was well crafted the characters were enjoyable and it gave us fantastic insight into Channi's origin. While being a prequel I wouldn't say you need to read Six Crimson Cranes first but it does give good context and there are some moments dropped in that lead you back to aspects of Six Crimson Cranes.

A fantasticly crafted story and I look forward to whatever Elizabeth Lim releases next. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Never a Monster by Vanessa Len

 Never a Monster by Vanessa Len

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance reader copy of Never a Hero to read for an honest review.

Never a Hero follows the aftermath of Only a Monster Jane has reset the timeline saving her family and destroying the hero, Nick.

However in the new world she alone remembers what happened and that there is an enemy out there. Her friend Aaron has forgotten all that happened and is now an enemy. Nick the boy she loved is a stranger who doesn't remember her.

After a deadly attack forces Joan back into the world of monsters she and Nick are on the run as fugitives with Aaron chasing after them.

On the way Nick is getting dangerously close to discovering the truth of what happened to him. Joan must gather her old allies to face the enemy and save the timeline before it is too late.

Like Only a Monster I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down.

I just love the characters and the world building fascinating with the monster world running parallel to the human world.

In this book we learn more about the enemy and what their plan was before Joan undid the hero.

While I loved the dynamic of Joan and Nick being on the run while being hunted down by the monsters I did miss the presence of Aaron this time initially at the start. Hoping he gets more time in the 3rd book!

Overall I thought the story was well crafted and that the book was such good fun a YA fantasy you could just sit down and read in one sitting. Already looking forward to the third installment! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Twin Crowns by Katherine Webber and Catherine Doyle

Tuesday 9 May 2023

 Twin Crowns by Katherine Webber and Catherine Doyle

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK Audio for the audio book of this title on exchange for an honest review.

Twin Crowns follows twins Wren and Rose raised apart with only Wren having knowledge of Rose's existence. Rose is heir to the throne and is marrying for her Kingdom.

Wren has been training all her life knowing that she would one day steal her sister's place in the palace where their parents were murdered. Her aim is to rise to power to protect the Witch community that she loves.

Wren switches places with Rose who ends up in the middle of the desert with a would be kidnapper. He takes her back to the Witch community where she learns of life outside the palace walls.

As coronation day looks who will ultimately wear the crown?

Overall this book wasn't for me I wasn't sure if it was the narration, the writing or both. I honestly thought I would love this witches, fantasy and romance are some of my favourite elements however this just fell abit flat.

The story seemed often surpassed by the ongoing romances with the plot taking a back seat. So much so that I found myself losing interest and missing bits of what had happened.

The characters while well written could have blended into one abit at points as they were abit generic.

I think overall the writing just felt abit juvenile which took away from the plot for me. Maybe that means I am just not the demographic, though normally I love a good YA story.

The narration while good generally just heightened that it felt juvenile to me and was abit cringey at points. 

However I have got the sequel on order so I will give that a chance to see if I deem it any better than the first installment. Hopefully it just didn't work for me in audio form. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: The Only One Left by Riley Sager

 The Only One Left by Riley Sager

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC of The Only One Left for an honest review.

The Only One Left follows Kit McDeere sent to work at Hope's End to care for Lenora Hope famous in the town for apparently murdering her Mother, Father and her Sister. Only the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she left Hope's End her home and the mansion where the massacre occurred.

Lenora was rendered mute from a series of strokes, her only means of communication with Kit are by tapping out sentences on a typewriter. One night Lenora tells Kit that she wants to tell her everything.

As Kit helps Lenora write out her story it becomes clear that there is more to the story than people know. Kit starts to wonder if Lenora is as harmless as she first thought.

I really enjoyed this thriller novel! Riley Sager's other books have always been either a hit or a miss with me but this one captured my attention and kept it right until the end.

There were so many twists and turns and secrets that came to light. Normally I am able to figure these stories out before reaching the end but there were a couple of big twists towards the end that surprised me and I just did not see them coming.

If you are a fan of Thriller novels I recommend picking this one up it is definitely worth the read! 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Friday 5 May 2023

 Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC to read for an honest review.

Some Desperate Glory follows Kyr who has been trained her whole life to avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised on Gaea station with the last of humanity, they are all training to face the Wisdom a reality shaping weapon that aided the Majoda in their victory over humanity.

However when Kyr's brother is assigned to certain death and relegates her to nursery Kyr knows she must take the mission into her own hands.

Alongside Avi a friend of her brother and a captive alien she's escapes from the station into a different universe to what she was taught that is more wonderous than could be imagined.

I have to admit I did not think this story was going to be for me and I will admit that I was completely wrong. This book was a fantastic queer Sci-fi novel.

It was smart, well plotted out and very well written.

Kyr our main protagonist can be hard headed and frustrating at times throughout the story. However her character has the most growth and the book gives a good message on learning to be empathetic in a cruel world.

The book has so many twists and turns and time slips that it's impossible to guess how the ending is going to go.

If you are a fan of the science fiction genre I would really recommend this story and I fully regret skipping the Illumicrate box that had this book in it. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: In The Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

 In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC of In The Lives of Puppets for an honest review.

The story follows Victor Lawson a human who lives in a strange little home built into the branches with his inventor and Android father Giovanni Lawson, Nurse Ratched a pleasant yet sadistic nurse machine and Rambo a hoover with insecurities looking for love and attention.

One day Vic salvages and repairs an android labelled HAP this opens up a dark history shared between Gio and HAP relating to the Humans.

After HAP accidentally alerts other androids to their whereabouts the family are no longer hidden. Gio is captured and taken back to his former laboratory in the City of Electric dreams.

The rest of the family together decide to journey across the forest to rescue Gio and salvage their home.

I really enjoyed this story it was very different from my usual read and was very much in the science fiction drama. The description pens it as a Pinocchio retelling of sorts and while I see aspects of that I would say the rest of the story is very much its own work. Even with shades of The Wizard of Oz I would say following their journey to the City of Electric Dreams.

I loved the dynamic between Victor, Nurse Ratched and Rambo we then added HAP to mix and that just made the dynamic even better.

I also very much enjoyed the messages this story conveyed with teaching about love that isn't unconditional and the important message of family and treasuring the time that you have together.

Definitely worth a read if you are interested in the Sci-fi/fantasy genre and I will definitely by reading more of TJ Klune's books following this one. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Sunday 30 April 2023

 Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for the advance reader copy of Yellowface by R. F. Kuang.

The story follows authors June Hayward and Athena Liu both were at the same year of Yale, both had their debut published on the same year. However Athena is classed as a literary darling and June didn't even get a paperback release on her book.

When June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident she impulsively steals her just finished experimental novel on the unsung contributions of Chinese labourers to the British and French during World War 1.

June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent. She gets a new publisher and rebrands as Juniper Song complete with a new ethnically ambiguous author photo. After all doesn't this piece of history need to be told no matter who by.

However June is stuck in Athena's shadow  and evidence emerges threatening to bring June's successes down around her. How far will June go to protect her secret?

After struggling to get through Babel I thought I would give another of Rebecca's books a go and I am glad that I did.

I finished this book in a day and found it an enjoyable read which raises debate and social commentary on alot of important topics surrounding the publishing industry and diversity.

I really enjoyed the in depth look into the background of the publishing industry. This book is told from June's perspective in first person and while you know that it is not going to end well you just cannot stop reading.

June is not a saint she is two faced and dishonest and it is amazing the lengths she goes too to manipulate those around her and the narrative to keep hold of the success she has achieved from the stolen manuscript.

I also found it fascinating how we learnt more about Athena's character as the book went on through the perspective of June and how her character is crafted through these experiences and memories.

This book definitely felt like a social commentary on how the world of publishing works and an authors struggles within it and I was gripped by this! 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to seeing what R. F. Kuang comes out with next! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Shanghai Immortal by A. Y. Chao

Shanghai Immortal by A. Y. Chao

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance reader copy of Shanghai Immortal in exchange for an honest review.

Shanghai Immortal follows Lady Jing who is half vampire and half hulijing fox spirit. Pawned to the King of Hell by her mother when she was a child she has spent the past ninety years running errands, trying to control her temper and dodging the cruel taunts of the other hulijing courtiers.

When she hears of their plot to steal a dragon pearl from the king she seizes her chance to expose them.

However she has been tasked to watch over a mortal who is helping the King set up the Central Bank of Hell. With him in tow she starts searching for answers however as things start to get more dangerous she begins to question if this is worth the risk.

I really enjoyed this book I thought the ideas throughout were quite original, the world building was good and the characters were well crafted.

I really enjoyed Jings character despite her childish tendencies at the start and her relationship with Mr Lee throughout the book made this a sweet read. 

I noticed this was classed as adult fiction which was surprising as it read more YA despite the swear words used throughout. 

However that did not stop my enjoyment of this book. 

A fun story for fantasy fans with interesting world building and enjoyable characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Babel by R. F. Kuang

Thursday 6 April 2023

Babel by R. F. Kuang

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK Audio for the Audiobook version of Babel by R. F. Kuang to read in exchange for an honest review.

Babel is set in 1828 and follows Robin Swift an orphan from Canton brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. Here he is trained in Latin, Ancient Greek and Chinese to prepare him for the day he will attend Oxford University and the institute of translation known as Babel.

The tower is the world's center for translation and magic, specifically silver working which is the art of finding lost translation using enchanted silver bars.

For Robin Oxford is a utopia but as his time there continues he realises that as a Chinese boy in Britain he is betraying his motherland. As his time progresses he is recruited by the elusive Hermes society an organisation dedicated to stopping imperial expansion and the unjust war against China.

My thoughts on this book were mixed areas of the title I vastly enjoyed and I was wrapped up in the story other areas I felt could be cut down or not included at all.

This was an incredibly long audio book at 14 hours and it took me a while to finish it. The audio narration was very good I will say that but due to the length and wordiness of the book this title at points dragged, mostly due to a vast amount of reputation from the author or I suppose wordiness of sentences.

I wanted to love it as I had heard such great things but I had to deduct stars for that alone.

Overall I really enjoyed the characters and the group dynamic between Robin, Rami, Letty, and Victoire. This portion of the story I found incredibly interesting. However I am not sure I would ever reread this title again.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for a copy of A River Enchanted to read in exchange for an honest review.

The story follows Jack Tamerlaine who has been studying music for 10 years on the mainland away from the isle of Cadence. However when you young girls start disappearing from the isle Jack is summoned back by the heiress and his former nemesis Adaira.

She wants him to play for the spirits that rule the isle, wind, fire, earth and water as they only answer to a bard's music. She hopes the spirits can help them find the missing girls.

However upon working together it turns out the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they expected with the secrets of Cadence threatening to reveal themselves.

I really enjoyed this fantasy novel, I had been in a bit of a reading slump and this book brought me straight out with it's charm and whimsy.

I loved the magical world Ross created and the characters within it and the inspiration from Scottish folk tales. I felt the main characters were well developed and I enjoyed the switch of perspectives throughout and found that I couldn't put the book down waiting for the mysteries to unravel themselves.

A title I would definitely recommend and luckily for me the sequel is already out so I shall be getting that to read next. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

Monday 6 March 2023

The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for the advance copy of this book to read for an honest review.

The story follows Lore who at 13 escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath Dellaire. 10 years later Lore is a poison runner hiding her power of Mortem which is magic from death, however one accident and a job gone wrong leads to her powers being revealed. She is taken by the Presque Mort a religious faction sanctioned to use mortem working for the King. She is given a choice either use her magic to find out why entire villages have been dying overnight or be sent to the Burnt Isles.

Lore is sent undercover in the King's court under the guard of Gabriel a duke turned monk to keep an eye on the Prince Bastian. Romance, a love triangle and plenty of debauchery ensue. However Lore's past life in the catacombs is catching up to her even closer than she thinks.

This is the first book I have read from Hannah Whitten and I thoroughly enjoyed it I love a well crafted fantasy with a dash of romance and the hint of a love triangle.

I really enjoyed the interactions between the three main characters Lore, Gabe and Bastian. The dialogue was witty and I felt the relationship between the three was well crafted.

The world building was also well done and I was hooked on the premise and the storyline of life and death magic.

The story was well paced and I didn't want to put the book down. 

I am looking forward to reading the sequel! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraboty

Tuesday 28 February 2023

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Thank you to Harper Collins and Netgalley for the advance reader copy of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi for an honest review.

The story follows Amina al-Sirafi one of the Indian Ocean's most notorious pirates. After a long scandalous career, several husbands and a demon she has retired to a life of motherhood.

That is until she is tracked down by the obscenely wealthy mother of one of her former crewman. She offers her a large sum of money to rescue her old crewmans kidnapped daughter. The money will secure her family's future forever.

Unfortunately there is more to this job and the girl's disappearance than meets the eye.

I was unsure at first if this story was going to be my thing but I was pleasantly surprised.

This story was unlike any other fiction I have previously read and felt an incredibly original premise. A female pirate in her forties, monsters, magical artifacts, demons, an evil sorceror, sea creatures from the depths. You name it this story probably ticked it off.

I loved Amina as a character strong resourceful and brash but with a deeper caring side for her crew and it was fascinating seeing her connect more and more to her Muslim faith.

I felt the characters in her crew were all well established with distinct personalities and it would be good to have them devolped further in future books. 

I also felt the book handled an issue of gender identity well. 

While the start may have dragged slightly once I got into the plot it was a fantastic tale with many twists and turns. 

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and will definitely be reading it. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Trees Grew Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca

Thursday 2 February 2023

 The Trees Grew Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca

Thank you to Netgalley and Titan books for the opportunity to read The Trees Grew Because I Bled There for an honest review.

This book comprises of 8 dark literary stories that are meant to explore the dark side of love, tales of grief, obsession and control. 

The stories range from online posts that chronicle a cancer diagnosis to a toxic relationship with a terrifying consequence.

What can I say about this book other than it did what it was meant to do. I felt all of the emotions while reading this collection of stories from grief to disgust or horror.

Eric LaRocca exceeds at writing painful, uncomfortable and unsettling stories of horror and darkness.

A great collection of short stories for an horror or indie horror fan. The stories certainly left me with a lot to think about and a lot of different emotions which I believe was the intention so bravo to Eric LaRocca these short stories had the right impact. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

 Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of this book for an honest review.

Spice Road follows Imani who is a shield in the hidden desert city of Qalia. She has an affinity magic for iron which is awakened by secret spice magic in misra tea. She helps to battle the monsters that lurk beyond the city limits.

Unfortunately her brother has tarnished their family name after stealing the spice and disappearing soon after believed to be dead.

When Imani uncovers evidence that her brother is alive and sharing the magic spice with outsiders she strikes a deal for his return back to Qalia with the council. One issue she has a djinni bound to her sword name Qayn and she is to be accompanied by Taha a power shield who is quite arrogant.

Can Imani complete this mission without being uncovered and bring her brother back safely from beyond the forbidden wastes?

I wasn't sure this book was for me at first but as I got more involved in the plot and learnt more about the characters I became hooked.

While not a massive fan of the romance the book is pushing and the dynamic between Imani and Qayn, I did however love the premise of the magic and the world building.

Maiya Ibrahim did a good job of keeping up the interest in the story with the twists and turns and cliff hangers.

One issue I did have was when characters left the plot and in this book at least we don't find out their fate. Maybe this will be covered in the sequel? Also the introduction of a few characters to aid the plot but then removing them moments later.

However this is only a small gripe that might be further fleshed out in the sequel. Overall I found this a compelling and enjoyable read, great for fantasy lovers. My Fairyloot edition has just arrived and it is stunning!

Looking forward to the sequel! 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

Friday 20 January 2023

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for the advance reader copy of Godkiller for an honest review.

The books follows main character Kissen who kills Gods for a living following her family being killed by a god when she was a child. She enjoys her job until she finds a god that she cannot kill a god of white lies Skediceth who is connected to a noble girl.

We also have the perspective of Elogast who fought in the god war and purged a city of thousands of shrines. A request from the king sends him back to the city he destroyed.

The two paths cross and neither can find out the others secret.

An easy read with just over 300 pages and an interesting concept. The book has a lot of different representation from LGBTQ to disabilities which I thought was a very good aspect.

However the book shifts through the perspectives of the four main characters and I felt at times this affected the pacing and my interest as there were a couple of character perspectives I found less interesting than the others. It took me far longer to finish/get into the book than it should have.

Overall I enjoyed the premise of the story and I would give the second book a chance, however due to so many shifting perspectives I found it difficult to keep up interest in the story. 

Thanks for Reading! 

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