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Currently reading: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Killing Jericho by Will Harker [Review]

 Written by: Will Harker.

Published by: End House Publishing.
Released: 7th December 2020.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Murder this twisted demands a new kind of detective. Fresh out of prison, former Detective Constable Scott Jericho is a desperate man. Disgraced and penniless after his assault on a violent suspect, he is forced to seek refuge with the fairground family he once rejected. Now, troubled by his failure, Jericho’s brilliant mind stagnates. That is until a series of bizarre murders reawaken his interest. Men and women with no obvious link to each other are being ritualistically slaughtered. Slaughtered in ways that recall an old legend of the Jericho Travelling Fair. Now, in a race against time, he must unpick the threads of a baffling mystery. But as his investigation unfolds and the corpses pile up, a shocking truth awaits him. A revelation that will test not only Jericho’s intellect but challenge the very core of his morality..."

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I will start by saying that murder mystery/crime novels aren't normally my cup of tea. I'm not sure why as I love a good crime drama on television but when it comes to books I generally struggle to stay interested. But from the very first page I was well and truly hooked on this one! I read it over a particularly difficult personal period and it was such an incredible experience that took me away from all my woes and had me completely captivated and determined to find out what on earth was going on! Will's writing is so engaging and draws you in so well that you just cannot put the book down!

Scott Jericho himself is a fantastic lead. Brooding, dark, mysterious with a past that is a joy to discover and gay! What more could you want? When it comes to book boyfriends, Scott has well and truly thrown himself into the mix and I for one am here for it! He's just so unapologetically himself which I loved. You don't get many gay leads especially in this genre so it is incredibly refreshing to read and downright enjoyable! All of the characters are so well realised and developed which sometimes in these sorts of books isn't always the case. They're there just for the sake of it, a throw-away character that is shoehorned in to make a certain aspect of the plot work, but here they all earn their place within the book and I really enjoyed that!

The book itself had me guessing and second guessing at every turn but the ending took me completely by surprise. So much so that I threw my kindle down and had to calm myself down a bit before connoting. I just couldn't believe it! I think that part of my problem with the genre in general is that I often see the ending coming and often work it out early on in the book, but with Killing Jericho, I didn't have that experience and I absolutely loved it for it. It is just testament to Will's writing and the story itself!

I for one cannot wait to see what Scott gets up to next and am waiting on tenterhooks for the follow up! You may have a convert on your hands here Mr. Harker!

A dark, atmospheric page-turner that will have you guessing until the very end! Killing Jericho is a joy to read and I cannot wait for more!

Friday, 1 January 2021

New Years Reading Resolutions

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


It may not be starting off the way that we had hoped but I'm hoping the strangeness of 2020 won't linger for too long and that 2021 can actually be a good year! As crap as it was, 2020 was actually a VERY good reading year for me. I have been working from home since March and the time not spent commuting has meant I've had more time to myself, I've also been working different hours to what I used to in the office which also gave me more time to read, and social distancing worked wonders for my tbr as I managed to read 62 books despite setting myself an initial target of 30 books. I guess not being able to have a life and see friends can be a good thing!

I've thought a lot about how many books I would like to try and read this year. I am setting myself up a reading journal... as if I don't record my reads in enough places. I use Goodreads, obviously... I use an app called Bookly which has changed my life. It records how long you read, tells you how fast you read, gives you so many stats... I LOVE IT! I also have a note open in my notes app which I update with what I've read as I finish it, but I wanted somewhere physically to hopefully keep a couple of years worth of reads all in one place together. Whether I keep it running or not will be something else altogether but we'll see...

So I have preliminarily set myself a target of 45 books. I can obviously edit this later but I am conscious of the fact that I would like life to return to normal at some point this year and as it does that would probably mean less time to read and 45 seems like a good, manageable number. I changed my target twice last year, from 30 to 40, then 40 to 50 and once I'd hit 50 I just thought I would leave it and enjoy everything else I read.

I also have blogging resolutions. To be more active. I'm active on twitter, always talking about books on there, and I've started to get back into instagram slowly, but I want to get better at actually posting my reviews. One personal resolution for 2021 is to use my time better and to manage myself better so that goes hand in hand with more blogging so hopefully that'll sort it out! We shall see!

I really want to read more long-running series this year. I have been meaning to read more Discrworld books and this year I am aiming to get as many as I can in! I have some series that I have started but haven't finished. I have some books that I have owned for YEARS and just haven't gotten around to so I want to try and cut some of them down this year. I'd also like to sort out my Netgalley percentage which... LETS NOT GO THERE! I did do a month last year where I only read Netgalley proofs and managed to get my percentage up a whopping 3% (lol) so maybe I'll manage to sort some of those out this year too!

The main thing is I just want to enjoy everything I read and to have as much fun as possible!

What are your reading resolutions for 2021 if you have any?

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Anticipated Reads for 2021

 So as 2020 is in its dying hours (thank god) I have been thinking about the books I am most looking forward to that are due to be published next year! I have been very lucky to have already read 2 of these books and have a few others as earc's on my Kindle waiting for me to read them but some I cannot wait to get my hands on once they are available!

First off, 2 I have already actually read! They're not really antiquated reads now but I am looking forward to getting finished copies to add to my collection!

The Mask Falling is the fourth book in the best selling series, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I read this book at the start of December and I have to say it completely and utterly tore my heart from my chest and stomped it into the dirt for good measure. Insane. If you haven't caught up with this series yet, you have until 26th January to get on it and get ready to have every single emotion toyed with!
Skin Taker is the eighth book in Michelle Paver's incredible Wolf Brother series. A danger unlike any the Forest has ever faced. Demons roam the frozen land. Torak, Renn and Wolf must do all they can to save their people once again. An exhilarating read with a cover that is so stunning! I cannot wait to get the hardback when it is published on 1st April - the covers always look so much better on the actual book, the texture of the paper they use for it, the colours seem darker. I can't wait!


Now onto the books that I haven't read yet!


If you have followed my blog or follow me on Twitter or Instagram for any amount of time then it'll be no surprise that this is on the list as I am 110% unapologetically Trash for Maas. A Court of Silver Flames is our first journey back to the world of Prythian and A Court of Thorns and Roses. It's been 2 years since our last look into the lives of our favourite characters in a novella titled A Court of Frost and Starlight, which while nice, as around 200 pages just didn't hit the same as the gargantuan tomes we are used to. I have to be honest I hate the cover with every fibre of my being but I know the insides will more than make up for it when it comes through the letterbox (or not...) on 16th February.










Another book I am very excited for which is due in February is The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. Originally meant to be published last summer and pushed back thanks to the pandemic, this book features girls who bleed gold, warriors and so much more. The cover, as you can see, is STUNNING! I cannot wait to get my hands on it at last!









Next, Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart. First of... THAT COVER! Oh my! Enemies. Magic. Revenge. I have a feeling this is going to be one hell of a ride! I'm lucky enough to have an earc and am hoping to read it sooner rather than later, I may even make it my first read of the year, kick things off with a bang!


And lastly on this list for now, Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. This book sounds absolutely insane. Bloody, violent, dark. I mean there's a bloody blowjob scene according to Jay himself. If that doesn't intrigue you then I don't know what will! I don't read much adult fiction as it doesn't generally grab my attention but sometimes a book like this comes along that I can't wait to read and I for one think September cannot come quick enough!








So that's all for now. There are of course many, many more. If I was to go on I would be here all day. I'm also excited about all the books that I haven't heard about yet that I will no doubt discover as 2021 progresses and I can't wait to see the different worlds and characters I get to spend time with!

What are your most anticipated reads of 2021? Comment in case its something I've not heard of. Tweet me. DM me. Just shout at me, it generally works! Lets hope 2021 is a great year!

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Midnight Magic Blog Tour



Good morning everyone and welcome to the next stop of the Midnight Magic blog tour celebrating the release of the new book from the lovely Michelle Harrison! Author of such tales as The 13 Treasures, A Pinch of Magic and now Midnight Magic!

It gives me great pleasure today to present to you an extract from the book itself which is wonderfully illustrated and such a fun read. I read this to my niece who is nearly 3 and she loved it!

So without further ado here we go...



Isn't that delightful and doesn't it make you want to read more? Well you can - my full review is coming in the next few days and you can buy the book right now! Do go and check it out because it is a delight and children will love it!

You can also follow the tour on tomorrows stop on Story Snug!



Thursday, 17 September 2020

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis [Review]

Written by: Kat Ellis.
Published by: Penguin.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 9th July 2020.
Rating: 4/5.

Official synopsis: "Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone's expecting you . . . Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker - she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map - and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away. And there's someone - or something - stalking her every move. The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her..."

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I will preface this review by saying I do not like scary things as a general rule. Normally books are okay as you can use your imagination to dampen it down a bit, but scary movies, no thank you... No. Thank. You. And you only have to look at the (albeit stunning) creepy cover for Harrow Lake to know that things aren't going to be all sunshine and kittens...

Lola is sent to live with her grandmother when her father (who is a successful film director...) is attacked in their own home. She has never met her grandmother, knows very little about her mother and has a strange relationship with her father who she only ever refers to by his first name. When she arrives, her bag has gone missing and so she must wear her mums old clothes something that seems to both please and annoy her grandmother. As Lola begins to explore the little town which was the setting for one of her fathers most successful films, which coincidentally starred her mother, strange things begin to happen. People look at her strange, they whisper and she begins to see that she isn't welcome. And then she learns about the urban legend of Mister Jitters and how her mother may somehow be involved...

Honestly, Harrow Lake surprised me. I went into it with an open mind, almost expecting to have to shut it and say I couldn't go any further, but I kept going and I am so glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it from the very first page. It's engaging, wonderfully written and has a thriller feel to it, keeping you glued to the page wondering what on earth is going to happen next. There were a few moments that made me jump, moments that made me smile and laugh, moments that made me feel for the characters and the situation they have found themselves in. Harrow Lake has it all. I loved all the little twists and turns. 

I loved the feel of it all. The setting that seemed to be stuck in time, never evolving from the moment the cameras finished rolling whilst the film was being made. Everyone dresses old fashioned. It's classic old-school horror aesthetic. Small town. Seemingly cut off from the outside world. Secrets around every corner.

I would highly recommend you read this, even if you aren't a horror fan. It was chilling and fun at the same time and it'll have you jumping at something moving in the corner of your eye for a while after reading it too!

My thanks to Simon at Penguin for my review copy in exchange for an honest review!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini [Review]

Written by:
Christopher Paolini.
Published by: Tor.
Released: 15th September 2020.
Format: Hardback.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: Kira Nav├írez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she’s awakened a nightmare... During a routine survey mission on an uncolonised planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . . 

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I have been a long time fan of Paolini, since around the time that Eldest came out and I followed the Inheritance Cycle all the way to its thrilling conclusion and have been waiting to see what he would do next. Now, nine years after the release of the last book in the series, Inheritance, we finally have our answer in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. A book that Paolini has been talking about and teasing for several years as he went through the process of drafting and re-drafting the novel several times, often posting pictures on social media of the manuscript growing chapter by chapter.

I will admit, I am not normally a massive sci-fi fan, particularly that aimed at an adult audience, but I knew the moment that this was announced it would be a must-read for me as I had been anticipating a new Paolini book for a very long time, and from the very first page I was hooked and was well and truly along for the ride. And what a ride! For a book that clocks in at just under 900 pages I cannot explain just how much it flew by. The pacing ebbs and flows. When the book begins it doesn't really take long for the action to begin and then it kind of settles for a little while just building everything up, getting all the key players into place and then BAMN. This bad boy exploded. Quite literally. There were times where I felt like I couldn't keep up - it was relentless and I loved it. The last two parts of the book itself where simply mind-blowing. Every page would bring a new "WOW WTF THIS IS CRAZY!!!!" moment and just when you thought it was going to climax it would reach a new high and just keep going. Breathtaking.

It's difficult to really say much without spoiling the book. What I loved about it more than anything was that it wasn't what I had expected at all. I had in my head what I thought it was going to be and it just completely surprised me from the word go. I liked this as no one likes a predictable read, there's no fun in it! The book itself is quite dark in places (not just because it's in space...) but there is some humour interspersed in there too which I really liked, helped break up some of the more hard-hitting moments.

As for the characters, we obviously spend the most time with Kira, a xenobiologist who has been on a mission to help determine whether or not human colonies can be set up on a planet many, many lightyears away from the home planet, Earth. She's firey, determined, doesn't take anyones crap. I loved her. There is also a great supporting cast too. A large one at that! I did sometimes find it a little complicated to keep track of who was who and who and said what and who had done what but soon found myself getting into the rhythm. One character I particularly loved was a ship mind called Gregorovich who was a particular highlight.

I really feel like Paolini's writing has improved a lot as well. It's been several years since I read the Inheritance books (re-read, anyone?) but it just flew like in the years that he's been working on it he has really honed his craft. The action scenes were tight and so much fun to read. The quieter, more emotional moments were soft and equally enjoyable.

Overall this book was well and truly worth the wait. Breathtaking. Exhilarating. With more planned in this universe and a prequel novel already completed (according to his own live stream I watched a few weeks ago) it looks like there'll be plenty more Paolini to enjoy! I'll be here waiting!