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! 

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