Book Review: Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

Monday 22 July 2024

 Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advance reader copy of Middle of the Night for an honest review.

In July 1994 ten year old Ethan and his best friend Billy went to sleep in a tent in Ethan's back yard on their weekly camp out.

The next morning there is only one of them left in the tent, Ethan wakes up alone in the tent and there is a large knife slash in the side. Billy is missing and would never be seen again.

Thirty years later and Ethan has moved back home to his parents house, still facing trauma and insomnia from the unanswered questions from the past of what happened to Billy.

Overtime he starts to notice strange occurrences happening along the street. Security lights coming on consecutively late at night, baseball being thrown into his yard etc.

Is the person who took Billy still out there?

Overall I enjoyed the story for what it was it was a slow build thriller/mystery and suspense was built throughout the story with the plot lines going back and forwards in time.

This was easy to follow and the cliff hangers left you wanting more information.

However while I enjoy a slow burn usually the book did have a slower pace than I would have liked in revealing aspects of the story and what happened.

While I enjoyed the story and the ending there was one plot hole for me. When it is revealed Billy was hit by a car on the road it was indicated there were no traces mentioned of an accident at all. We are told the police had tracked Billy to that road with scent dogs and that they speculated he had been taken in a car. However any accident or potentially injuries I can't recall were mentioned.

I struggled to suspend my belief for this which means my review had to be 3 stars. This would have been higher had there been any explanation for this or confirmation evidence had been found.

Other than that I had really enjoyed the story, the main character was likeable and I found myself rooting for him to uncover the mystery that had plagued him for so long.

Also in usual Sager fashion we had multiple twists and turns throughout the plot which were well done and enjoyable.

Overall worth a read despite that one aspect that I felt was abit of a plot hole left unexplained. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: When Among Crows by Veronica Roth

Sunday 9 June 2024

 When Among Crows by Veronica Roth

Thanks to Titan Books and Netgalley for the advance reader copy for an honest review.

When Among Crows follows Dymitr who's family is one in a long line of hunters. He is tasked with the deadly mission to find Baba Jaga and to find her he has to ally with those he is sworn to kill. Enter Ala a fear eating Zmora who carries a curse in her families lineage. She has little left to lose and when she is offered the cure from Dymitr she takes up the offer to find Baba Jaga.

Together they make their way through the underworld to find her location but Dymitrs secrets and true intentions start to get in the way.

Overall a short interesting read. However depesite only being 100 odd pages I struggled to get into the story initially.

I was however a fan of the twist at the end of the story.

The character building was good for the length of the book however I think overall the title wasn't completely for me.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

 The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Thank you to HarperCollins UK, Harper Fiction and Netgalley for the advance reader copy of this book for an honest review.

The Midnight Feast follows the opening of The Manor a luxury health and wellbeing resort with no expense spared for the guests staying. However the town itself has a history and old friends and enemies are returning to the manor previously an estate owned by a former local family where the forest is full of secrets.

The Sunday morning of the opening weekend and the police have been called there's been a fire, something is up with the guests and a body has been found.

Lucy Foley knows how to craft an excellent murder mystery and this story is no exception.

Told from multiple perspectives this keeps you guessing at the upcoming twists and turns throughout and just when you think you've figured out one element of the plot there are two more that come through completely unexpected.

I ended up finishing this book within a day of starting it. It definitely got me out of my reading slump.

Quick and fast based with short chapters based on a variety of characters, despite this multiple POV the characters were all easy to follow and the story all wrapped together well answering any and all questions.

Another fantastic Thriller from Lucy Foley and I already can't wait for whatever is next. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Murder Road by Simone St James

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Murder Road by Simone St James

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the advance reader copy for an honest review.

Murder Road follows a young couple April and Eddie who are heading out on their honeymoon when they come across a girl on the side of the road who has been hurt. They rush her to the hospital but it is too late and they find themselves the suspects of this case.

It seems the road they were on the Atticus Line is known locally as the murder road and many hitchhikers have been picked up there and killed over the years.

Now they find themselves stuck in this town and embroiled in a mystery that is years old. To clear their name they decide to start investigating and find that there is more going on in the town than meets the eye with a lot of unexplained supernatural occurrences. Can they solve the mystery of these murders and prevent anyone else from being the next victim?

Overall this was a fun supernatural horror that gave me the same nostalgic feeling as the teen point horror books only this title is definitely aimed at adult readers.

It took me a while to get into the story initially with abit of a slow start but once the investigation began I was hooked and wanted to get to the end of the book.

The characters definitely grew on me the more the story went on after their backstories were developed abit further. However the twist I felt was quite an easy guess.

Overall a fun paranormal horror story to read.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Hemlock Queen by Hannah Whitten

 The Hemlock Queen by Hannah Whitten

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

The Hemlock Queen is the sequel to The Foxglove King. Following King August's death Prince Bastian has taken over the thrown with Lore as his right hand side they hope to help the people of Dellaire but there is a lot of dissent and unease in the court and challenges from other empires. Bastian is changing due to this becoming more calloused, cold and reckless.

And Lore has a voice whispering in her ear dark and haunting saying maybe there is more to this story than she knows.

The coronation is fast approaching and Lore must work out how to protect herself, Bastian and the kingdom before it is too late.

A strong sequel to book one which goes abit more in depth into the magic system and answers questions left over from the first book.

It feels like the romance with Gabe took abit more of a backseat for the plot and to build up the bond between Lore and Bastian further. However there was a lot of building up of the love triangle started in book one as foreshadowing for the next book potentially.

I particularly am a fan of gothic fiction and interesting magic systems so this series has been a joy to read and after such a cliff hanger ending I can't wait to see what the third book will have in store for the characters. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Faebound by Saara El-Arifi

Thursday 7 March 2024

 Faebound by Saara El-Arifi

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

Faebound follows Yeeran an Elven warrior who has known nothing but war her whole life. Yeeran's sister Lettle is training to be a Diviner seeking prophecies.

After a fatal mistake Yeeran is exiled and Lettle follows after her to bring her back to safety from the terrifying lands beyond their borders. It is here they both encounter the Fae court. The Fae haven't been seen for a millennium but Lettle and Yeeran are taken to their world as prisoners and here they have to figure out how to escape back to their lands.

I must admit I started this book and I was not sure if it was for me. However the more I got into the story the more invested I got into the world and the magic system.

I found the story and plot to be very unique and I became invested in the characters and their differing storylines throughout the book. I felt that the plot was very well crafted with lots of different twists throughout. 

This story is told in various different perspectives the majority being Yeeran and Lettle's perspectives. I enjoyed both narratives and felt this added to the story. 

Overall a book I would recommend for lovers of fantasy and Fae worlds. I'm hoping that there is going to be a sequel following a cliffhanger ending.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

Tuesday 5 March 2024

 The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

Thank you to Netgalley and Cornerstone for the advance reader copy of The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden for an honest review.

The Warm Hands of Ghost is set during The Great War and follows main character Laura Iven a combat nurse who was wounded and medically discharged as she returns to the front to search for her brother who see believes to be dead despite odd signs otherwise.

She is sent Freddie's personal effects despite him being lost in the trenches could something more be going on here.

Meanwhile the other part of the book is told from Freddie's perspective and leads up to that fateful day when he is trapped in a pillbox only to form an alliance with a German soldier Hans Winter. Both escape their peril only to be met with a strange hotelier who offers soldiers oblivion.

Not my usual type of read but Katherine Arden has a way with taking historical fiction or tales from folklore and adding elements of magic throughout that keep you captivated till the end.

I enjoyed the dual perspective of the story leading from the past from Freddie's point of view and the current time from Laura's point of view and how the two story lines came to merge together.

As with The Bear and the Nightingale series this is another captivating read from Arden that is one to add to your to be read list. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Tithe by Holly Black

Friday 19 January 2024

 Book Review: Tithe by Holly Black

Thank you to Bolinda Audio and Netgalley for the access to the Audiobook of Tithe for an honest review.

Tithe follows 16 year old Kaye who travels from city to city with her mothers rock band until an attack forces her back to her childhood home.

There Kaye somehow finds herself an unwilling pawn in the war between two faerie kingdoms.

As a massive fan of The Cruel Prince I was really excited to listen to this story which seemed from the similar realm however I fear it wasn't really one for me.

The audio and narration were all really well done however the story itself just didn't capture my interest like Holly Black's other books do.

Maybe as this story is marketed too a YA audience and is abit on the shorter side. I just didn't feel like the characters were fleshed out enough to be discernable to the point where if I lost track of the Audiobook I would then become unsure who was who and how they related to the main character.

Not one for me sadly but the audio was very well done. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Invocations by Krystal Sutherland

 Book Review: The Invocations by Krystal Sutherland

Thank you to Bonnier Books UK and Netgalley for the advance reader copy of The Invocations for an honest review.

The Invocations follows three different women each with a different goal.

Zara Jones wants to learn magic to resurrect her murdered sister. She will do whatever it takes to get her back.

Jude Wolf has dabbled in magic in the past and unintentionally cursed herself after a deal with a demon that went wrong. This is turning her soul necrotic and she needs a witch to help her remove the invocation.

Finally there is Emer Bryne the Witch and solution to both of their problems. Emer gives spells to desperate women in need however these women are being murdered one by one by a serial killer in a similar manner to how her family were murdered when she was a child.

Together the three of them team up to find the serial killer and stop whoever they are.

I love Krystal Sutherlands books this and House of Hollow have been two very well crafted and unique reads.

The book is told from three different perspectives but these all come together perfectly to tell the story. Every character had their own clear voice and personality and everyone's back story was well crafted and added in.

Another wonderful book by Sutherland and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands

 Book Review: Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the advance reader copy of Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands for  an honest review.

After the first book I was incredibly excited to read the sequel and I am happy to say it did not disappoint.

In this book mysterious faeries from other realms are appearing at Emily's university and she must uncover the secret to find the way back to Bambley's realms. Wendell Bambleby the exiled faerie king part of the reason Emily has yet to accept his proposal.

With her encyclopaedia published she has a new project a map of the otherlands. While sorting this research Bambley lands her in yet more trouble when assassin's appear at the university.

This leads them on another adventure trying to find the door to his realm, the only issue the last researcher who searched for these doors and tried to uncover them disappeared years ago.

I would go as far to say that this book was better than the first one and I really enjoyed that story.

This book gave a perfect balance in the story between fast paced elements in the faerie realm and slower more cosy researching in the alps. Emily and Wendell's romance is more prominent in this book but it doesn't overtake the plot. We are also introduced to various new side characters and these are well built into the plot.

This book has action straight from the beginning and kept me hooked until the end. I finished it in a couple of days.

For fans of the first book you will definitely enjoy this sequel. The ending also leaves room for a third book in the series and following this book I really hope we get a third book in the series.

I would 100% recommend both this book and the first book in the series. 

Thanks for Reading! 

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