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Book Review: In The Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Friday 5 May 2023

 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: 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: Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Thursday 2 February 2023

 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: A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

Thursday 15 December 2022

A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

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

The story follows Princess Annika who has lived a life of comfort but it isn't hers to control. Her father the king has gone cold and is forcing Annika into a loveless marriage for the kingdoms gain.

On the opposite side of the coin Lennox lives miles away devoted to the Dahrainian army working to help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. The idea of love to him is merely a distraction.

However when love finds them both they are bound by its call. From two completely different worlds they couldn't possibly be together but love will not let them stay apart.

I was a massive fan of the Selection series so jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this book.

A classic enemies to lovers trope executed well into an easy read I got through the book quite quickly on holiday.

However I fear I may have grown abit too old now for these types of stories despite my nostalgia for the selection books.

It was all abit too much of a cliche to me with some very cheesy elements and lines in the story. Major plot arcs and losses are forgiven very quickly giving this almost a Disney film type feel as it is all in the name of love. This just felt abit unrealistic to me however the story was an easy read and if I could suspend that critical thinking enjoyable hence the 3 stars.

I just feel I may no longer be in the age ranged demographic for this type of fiction anymore. I'm sure if you are a young adult this would be an enjoyable read.

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

 The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride to read for an honest review.

The story revolves around the mysterious woman Indigo Maxwell-Castenada her story told through her Bridegroom, he a scholar of myths. They exchanged gifts and stories of the otherworld with one promise he would never pry into Indigos past.

However when Indigos estranged aunt is dying the couple are forced to return to the House of Dreams. Here the Bridegroom is unable to resist delving into her past. In the house lurks the shadows of another girl Azure, Indigos childhood best friend who disappeared. As the house reveals its secrets the Bridegroom will be forced to choose between the fantasy and the reality of his marriage.

The story started off abit hard to get into for me but once I got further into the story I was hooked.

Roshani Chokshi has a poetic and haunting way of writing. This book reads as a gothic fairytale and is beautifully crafted.

I loved the inclusion of all the myths and fairytales shared to explain different elements of the story and I was caught up in the chapters from Azures point of view.

A haunting and fascinating read perfect for lovers of gothic fiction. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Friday 4 November 2022

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for the advance Reader copy of this book.

The story follows Cambridge professor Emily Wilde a genius and scholar intent on writing the world's first encyclopaedia of fairy lore. Her research takes herself and her dog Shadow to the village of Hrafnsvik. Despite being a scholar Emily is not good with people and does not intend to befriend the townsfolk. Unfortunately her academic rival Wendell Bambleby arrives into town, he manages to charm the townsfolk and get right in the middle of her research.

While studying the secrets of the Hidden Ones (the most elusive of all faeries) in the forest outside of town. She finds herself being drawn also to uncover the mystery of Wendell Bambleby and what he really wants.

I wasn't sure if this book was for me on reading the synopsis but reading the arc completely changed my mind I absolutely loved it.

The book itself is set out in a diary or journal format where Emily is keeping notes of her research and finds in Hrafnsvik. This format made the book itself a quick and engaging read with short chapters or diary entries.

The slow burn dynamic between Emily and Wendells characters works really well with a ton of clever dialogue. You can't help but have a complete soft spot for Wendell throughout the whole story he is definitely a loveable rouge type character. He was definitely my favourite character.

I thought I was done with my faeire fantasy fiction phase but this book just dropped me straight back into it. This story it one I would recommend for fans of The Cruel Prince or Namomi Noviks work. 

Overall this was an incredibly heartwarming and cosy read that reminded me a tad of watching a comfort show or a Studio Ghibli film. I would definitely recommend giving this a read and I will be looking out for more of Heather Fawcett's work. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Thursday 27 October 2022

The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Thank you to Netgalley and Daphne Press for the advance reader copy of The Luminaries by Susan Dennard.

I have to start by saying that I really enjoyed this book, the story gave me a lot of nostalgia for the 2014 dystopian era when the Hunger Games and Divergent were incredibly popular.

The Luminaries are an ancient order who protect the town of Hemlock Falls from the monsters and nightmares that are in the forest. The book follows Winnie Wednesday who wants nothing more to join the Luminaries and become a hunter like her mother and grandmother before. 

Unfortunately Winnie's family are outcasts after her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor. However on her 16th birthday she can take the luminary hunter trials to restore her family's name. 

Winnie enlists the help of ex best friend Jay Friday to train her to survive. However the two uncover a dangerous new nightmare in the forest that no one has ever seen before one that can traverse all the boundaries put into place and does not fit the rules of any of the nightmares they know of. 

I really enjoyed the concept of this book, the writing style was easy to follow meaning I completed it in a few days when I did happen to sit down to read. The story was well paced and the characters were likeable. The ending while a little lackluster (I was hoping for a larger cliffhanger or reveal than what we received) sets the story up well for a sequel. This I will definitely read as there are many questions and theories I have that have been left unanswered. 

Overall if you are a fan of the dystopian/fantasy type genre this was a really fun read with a new take on an old concept. As mentioned above I really enjoyed the themes that reminded me of the dystopian YA era of reading. I would definitely recommend giving this book a read. 

Book Review: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Friday 5 August 2022

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advance arc of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen.

This book had been on my radar for awhile and as it was suggested for fans of The Cruel Prince it was one of my highly anticipated releases of this year and I have to say it did not disappoint.

The story follows Violet a prophet to the king who earned her place by saving the prince's life when they were both children. Under the Kings command Violet has spun many lies based on her visions while growing up. However Prince Cyrus who she saved plans to have her stripped of her title once he is crowned King.

Following previous predictions of a curse only to be broken by the Prince finding his one true love, Violet is tasked to weave her greatest lie of all and as the line between love and hate blurs between Violet and Cyrus the curse and the right path forward become much more complicated.

This book was definitely one for the fairytale lovers out there it had everything magic, prophecy and a curse only to be broken by the prince finding his true love. It had many themes similar to the sleeping beauty tale but with an entertaining enemies to lovers trope added in.

The characters were all well crafted and I could feel myself getting lost in the story the more that I read. Based on the ending and the questions left unanswered I am hoping this book will become a series.

If you are thinking about picking up this book to read do not hesitate it was great escapism from the mundane day to day and I struggled to put it down once I started reading.

Thanks for Reading! 

The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim Book Review

Friday 15 July 2022

Firstly I am going to start by saying thank you to both Hodder Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim for an honest review.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2022 after receiving Six Crimson Cranes for Christmas and falling head over heels for the story and its Characters. Please be aware this review will contain spoilers so if you have not read this book do not read ahead.

Following on from Six Crimson Cranes we start with Shiori entering the underwater dragon city to meet with the Dragon King to honour Raikama's last wish that the pearl be reunited with its rightful owner, I felt this would be a major plot arc in the story and that we would get more of Seryu's character in this book - maybe even a bit of a love triangle. However while I am glad the author steered away from the love triangle aspect the arc of the plot within this world seems to end rather quickly and Seryu's character is not heard of again until the end of the book. We are also introduced to a few new characters like Gen for example who seem like they are going to become included deeply within the plot only to be dropped a few chapters later. This portion of the story felt almost disconnected as if it wasn't developed enough alongside the main plot arc or the pacing wasn't quite right.

The book then jumps back to the plot with the demons trying to escape the mountain led by the main plot villain Bandur. This part of the story I thoroughly enjoyed, I have just recently finished reading Spin the Dawn and enjoyed that this duology almost is the backstory to how Bandur became trapped on Lapzur island. This part of the story all felt connected and I was hooked on the plot line to see how this would play out.

However again following on from this we then head back to Kiata after successfully trapping Bandur on Lapzur island where the book almost felt like it was at a natural end point but with what looked to be 100 pages left I could see we had more storyline to go but I couldn't see how with the main villain already defeated? Enter again the high priestesses who have been against Shiori since her return as she is the bloodsake predicted to free the demons from the mountain rift. This brings another curse upon Shiori either allow Kiata to burn to the ground  from demon fire or sacrifice herself to the flames. This again felt a bit disjointed from the plot we had just been following with Bandur and the demons and I understand it was linked to the ending however it just felt abit randomly thrown in and not quite as cohesive as the plot of Six Crimson Cranes.

This being said the ending battle following this curse with Shiori, her brothers and Takkan and the Priestesses army had me gripped and I felt incredibly emotionally invested in the characters endings. I will not spoil how the story ends but it was definitely bittersweet in the best kind of way not a completely happy ending but one that leaves Shiori becoming a legendary tale in her own right with a spark of joy left.

Despite some of the story feeling disjointed there were many elements of the book I enjoyed including revisiting the characters I loved so much from the first book Shiori and her brothers, Kiki and Takkan and it was wonderful to get more backstory on Raikama, her past and how she had come to be in Kiata with the Dragon's pearl.  The writing as always with Elizabeth Lim was endearing, magical and eloquent. The descriptions of the different world's and islands visited was compelling and left you feeling as if you were there with the characters while reading.

I just wish the plot with the demons and the plot with Seryu could have been a bit more interwoven with less of a sharp change in storyline. As well as this that we could have had more development of the characters like Gen or Seryu but I appreciate that maybe the length of the book and the story we had to cover could prevent much of this development.

Overall I am incredibly grateful for receiving this advance arc and the title and if you are a fan of the first book or any of Elizabeth Lim's writing this story is definitely worth adding to the TBR. Despite the few criticisms I have made of the story I still feel the plot points I enjoyed, the characters and the writing deserve this book 4 out of 5 stars. Not quite as good as Six Crimson Cranes but then sequels are never as good as the originals.

Will you be reading or purchasing The Dragon's Promise when it is released in August?

Comment below on your thoughts and whether you will be giving this book a go.

Thanks for Reading!

Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

Sunday 7 November 2021

The premise of this book and its tagline captured my interest immediately. Six teens and one dog versus a major snowstorm. Who will win? 

I was provided an advance copy of this story for an honest review. Thank you to the author Rektok Ross and Spark Press for the opportunity to read and review this story before its release. 

The story begins after our characters take a shortcut while heading on a ski holiday. The poor weather conditions and snow lead to them crashing the car in a snowy embankment in the mountains. The six teens must then use their wits and survival skills to keep themselves and their dog champion alive while attempting to find rescue. 

The characters all started with their own trope; Hunter is the stereotypical jock, Britney the popular mean girl, Lily the smart girl, Gavin the love interest for Sam, Stuart her brother who is overcoming his long term scoliosis and finally Sam portrayed as the loner, the 'final girl' of the group so to speak. 

Our main protagonist is Sam who volunteers in her spare time at an animal shelter. We see the story unfold through her eyes and are introduced to the 5 other characters from her perspective of them. 

It was a fascinating addition to the story about how her prejudices of each character changed as the story and the peril of the situation they were all in progressed. Also how the tropes of each character were broken down once you could see the depth to who they really were. It really showed how every characters personalities affected Sam and changed her way of thinking. 

The setting is haunting with eeirie silence, snow filled landscapes and no other person to be seen for miles. The writing really made me feel as if I was there within this landscape going through the trials with the characters. 

During their attempts to find help many characters sustain injuries leading to an increase in the tension and fear building within the group as the days progress without help appearing. How they overcome these trials and tribulations I found fascinating to read. 

This really added to the suspense and thrill of the story leading to a race against time to try and find rescue and to overcome the harsh mountain elements. 

The story itself was unlike any YA that I have read before. I was fascinated by the slow burn horror that gradually increased in intensity as the teenagers situation progressively gets worse. 

A simple premise that was executed well resulting in a thrilling and suspenseful survivalist thriller. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA Thrillers, it was the perfect wintery read while I was tucked up cosy at home on a cold autumn day. 

Thank you again to the author Rektok Ross and Spark Press for the opportunity to read this story before it's release.

Thanks for Reading! 

No Words by Meg Cabot

Tuesday 5 October 2021

No Words by Meg Cabot

Thank you very much to Little Brown Book Group UK for the privilege of receiving an advance copy of No Words by Meg Cabot to review.

What I Plan to Read Next

Wednesday 2 June 2021

What I Plan to Read Next

Finale - Stephanie Garber

The 3rd and final installment in the Caraval Series, I have already read the first two and I love the fantasy and magical elements of this series. It has similar aspects to the Night Circus and I love the way both share the imagery of the magical arenas.

'It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…'

Automatically Pre-Ordered Books 2021

Friday 23 April 2021


Automatically Pre-Ordered Books 2021

I have really got back into reading recently and I am currently trying to catch up with what books are popular and highly recommended.

2021 looks to be a fantastic year of book releases with many titles already available to pre-order! I thought I would share with you all the titles I have pre-ordered this year so far!

February TBR List

Monday 8 February 2021

February TBR List

January was a busy month for me reading wise (see my wrap up) and I am aiming to keep this momentum going into February!

Therefore I am setting an optimistic TBR List for February. The titles I hope to get through include:

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

Thursday 4 February 2021

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

A new monthly series on my blog is going to be a reading wrap up at the end of the month discussing the books I have read and what I would recommend.

January was a busy reading month for me and I managed to finish 8 books! Definitely an achievement for myself who is a slow reader. The books I read this month were as follows:

What I Have Been Doing While in Lockdown

Thursday 30 July 2020

What I Have Been Doing While in Lockdown

I had a lot of travel content that I was planning on writing up for this blog but sharing it in the current climate feels a bit odd so I am saving it for future posts. Instead I thought I would share with you all what I have been doing to keep myself busy while lockdown has been enforced. Currently I am working from home so that is filling up most of my working days. That aside what I have been doing to keep myself entertained is:

1. Catching up on TV Shows
I watch a lot of TV generally it is one of my favourite hobbies, I love getting invested in a good programme. This extra time has helped me catch up on shows that I started watching but never finished as well as binge watching new shows. You can check out what I have been watching here.

What I'm Currently Reading

Friday 24 April 2020

Currently Reading

With all of this time on my hands I am actually catching up with my reading list. I think this year will finally be the year I hit and surpass my Good Reads book goal!

I figured I would share with you some of the books I have started that I am intending to finish. I always seem to have multiple books on the go and tend to start another one before I have finished one, I just can't help myself!

Here is what I am reading currently:

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

This book follows the lives of a group of children, focusing on the main narrator Kathy who is trying to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic boarding school Hailsham and the fate that has always awaited her and her friends in the outside world.

I am really enjoying this story, I had already seen the film so it does take away the plot twist in the book! The film I remember being incredibly emotional so I expect the book to end in much the same way. I am half way through this currently and hoping to finish it shortly.

To Be Read List May 2018

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Spellbound of the Lost and found- Moira Fowley-Doyle
'One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses - and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .'

How I De-stress.

Thursday 24 August 2017

I think we all have those days where we get stressed even over the smallest of things! Over the last couple of weeks for me this has been a constant feeling and I have had to find ways to take my mind off of things even for just an hour.

I thought I would share with you some of the things that help me relax when I'm stressed.

Weekly Update - Watching/Listening/Reading

Saturday 29 April 2017

This week has definitely been a mad and busy one, work has been nonstop and I've had an essay that I've been trying to motivate myself to finish all week! Therefore this week's weekly update is a limited list.

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