Book Review: Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence

Book Review: Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence

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Series:
Impossible Times (See reviews for One Word Kill & Limited Wish)
Release Date: November 14th 2019
Publisher: 47 North
Pages: 234
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this from Book Depository
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices.

Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near.

Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.436Dispel Illusion is the third and final book in Mark Lawrence’s Impossible Times trilogy. In this stunning conclusion Lawrence drops us straight back into the action – and this time the stakes are even higher. As each year passes, Nick knows how things are going to end for him. If Mia’s accident occurs in 2011 he will have to return to the past – but that might not be his biggest problem.

I honestly loved this book. It’s a clever tale that’s incredibly well executed. The story comes full circle as Nick discovers time travel and does everything he can to save Mia. For such a small book there is a lot going on in this action packed tale and I ended up staying up way past my bedtime because I just had to keep reading. I won’t say too much more about the plot because it’s the third in a series but Dispel Illusion is intense, gripping and difficult to put down.

In Dispel Illusion we continue to follow the same characters as One Word Kill and Dispel Illusion. The reader grows quite attached to Nick and the gang over the course of the three books and it’s fascinating seeing how their lives turn out after school and University. They are a fun cast of characters and I loved seeing them still playing Dungeons and Dragons all those years later. The story contains quite a few time jumps allowing us the chance to see how things have changed for the gang throughout their lives.

The Impossible Times trilogy is a brilliant read, full of mind boggling time travel and action packed drama. It’s also a story about friendship and I’m sad to be saying goodbye to such a wonderful cast of characters. Lawrence brings the story to a perfect conclusion and solidifies this series as one of my favourites. I adored every book in this series, and can’t recommend it highly enough.
5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker – Lauren James

Waiting on Wednesday: The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker – Lauren James

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Synopsis

“Congratulations, new kid. Welcome to the afterlife.”

What if death is only the beginning?

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a group of ghosts, each with a special power.

Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival after decades alone. Yet Harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (56)Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I thought I would mention The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, a book that I’m really excited about. If that brilliant title and gorgeous cover aren’t enough to draw you in, the story is a paranormal tale about ghosts and the afterlife. Lauren James is an author I really like, with The Loneliest Girl of the Universe being an all time favourite. I enjoyed The Quiet at the End of the World a bit less, so I’m really intrigued by how this one will go. I do have a Netgalley ARC of this and I’m hoping to get to it really soon. It sounds like it’s going to be a really eerie and griping read and the synopsis for me is a bit reminiscent of V E Schwab’s City of Ghosts series, which I just love. I can’t wait to dive into this one and pick up a physical copy. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is publishing September 3rd from Walker Books.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For the Second Half of 2020!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For the Second Half of 2020!

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Today on Top Ten Tuesday we’re talking about anticipated releases for the rest of 2020! There are so many books coming out that I’m excited about and it was so difficult to whittle this down to just ten.

Copy of book cover (3)1. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue – V E Schwab
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Copy of book cover (50)2. Nightfall – Den Patrick
The sky is filled with dragons: the people are ready to burn the regime to the ground.
The seas churn with monsters and the tide is changing: revolution is coming.
Steiner has at last realised the part he will play in this fight.
Kimi knows now what it is to lead, but must learn to overcome differences if she is to unite and defeat the dragon factions.
Silverdust inches towards a final revenge.
Across the ocean, Kjellrun feels the call of war. But she must reconcile her new responsibilities to the people of the temple with the urge to find her family.
Leaders, all – and all are desperate. For the Emperor will not give up easily. He will rule – and he cares not if his subjects are alive… or if they are dead.

Copy of book cover (55)3. Truel1f3 – Jay Kristoff
Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are.

Copy of book cover (30)4. The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart
In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.

Copy of book cover (54)5. The Notorious Virtues – Alwyn Hamilton
A glamorous media darling, a surprise heiress, and the magical competition of a lifetime.

At sixteen, Honora “Nora” Holtzfall is the daughter of the most powerful heiress in all of Walstad. Her family controls all the money–and all the magic–in the entire country. But despite being the center of attention, Nora has always felt like an outsider. When her mother is found dead in an alley, the family throne and fortune are suddenly up for grabs, and Nora will be pitted against her cousins in the Veritaz, the ultimate magical competition for power that determines the one family heir.

But there’s a surprise contestant this time: Lotte, the illegitimate daughter of Nora’s aunt. When Lotte’s absent mother retrieves her from the rural convent she’d abandoned her to, Lotte goes from being an orphan to surrounded by family. Unfortunately, most of them want her dead.

And soon, Nora discovers that her mother’s death wasn’t random–it was murder. And the only person she can trust to uncover the truth of what happened is a rakish young reporter who despises everything Nora and her family stand for.

With everyone against her, Lotte’s last hope is hunting for the identity of her father. But the dangerous competition–and her feelings for Theo, one of the Holtzfalls’ sworn protectors–turns her world upside down.

Incredible tests, impossible choices and deadly odds await both girls. But there can only be one winner.

Copy of book cover (12)6. Even If We Break – Marieke Nijkamp
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

Copy of book cover (21)7. Harrow Lake – Kate Ellis
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 Lola’s every move.

The more she 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…

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-27T210138.9258. The Left Handed Booksellers of London – Garth Nix
In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.

Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones). With the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), he belongs to an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.

Susan’s search for her father begins with her mother’s possibly misremembered or misspelled surnames, a reading-room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.

Merlin has a quest of his own: to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, a right-handed bookseller named Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find their quest strangely overlaps with Susan’s. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.

Copy of book cover (53)9. To Sleep In A Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini
A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

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10. A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

So those are my top ten most anticipated releases for the rest of 2020! What books are you anticipating for the rest of the year?

Book Review: The Elite – Kiera Cass

Book Review: The Elite – Kiera Cass

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Series:
The Selection #2
Release Date: April 23rd 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.Waterstones.
Source: I was gifted a box set of these books for Christmas
Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis

The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

Review

Copy of book cover (52)The Elite is the second book in The Selection series, and picks up straight after the events of book one. We continue to follow America Singer as she participates in the competition to be the wife of Prince Maxon. As the number of girls competing whittles down the stakes become higher, but so do the secrets.

I must admit that I picked up the first book in the series because I’ve had it on my TBR forever and I heard that a Netflix adaptation is coming. I had a fun time reading The Selection and I felt very much the same about The Elite. It was light, fluffy and fun and it has really made me want to keep reading.

The story is quite dramatic and contains quite a number of cheesy tropes and cliches – the love triangle especially is kind of irritating, but the story is certainly entertaining and will keep you turning pages. If ever there was a series that was perfect for binge reading it would be this one. I won’t say too much about the plot because this is the second book in the series but there are plenty of ups and downs as well as some fighting with the rebels and some diplomacy with foreign nations.

We are still following the same characters as the previous book and it’s enjoyable getting to see them develop. I did sometimes struggle a little with main character America as I found her a bit on the annoying side, but otherwise the characters felt well developed.

The Selection series is a fun and fast paced read, perfect for reading at the beach. The writing is so easy to get absorbed in and if you loved book one, The Elite is definitely worth checking out.
3 Stars (1)

Blog Tour: Call Me Joe – Martin Van Es & Andrew Crofts

Blog Tour: Call Me Joe – Martin Van Es & Andrew Crofts

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Release Date:
June 4th 2020
Publisher: Red Door Press
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…

One day the Earth is plunged into darkness and when light appears again so does a man – call him Joe – claiming to be the son of God.

Can Joe bring the world’s most creative thinkers and leaders together to tackle the ills of mankind?

Can he convince us all to follow him before it’s too late?

In this compelling and prescient novel, Martin van Es and Andrew Crofts highlight the key concerns of our time and imagines a future where we, at last, all work together to ensure the future of our world and all the life that calls it home.

Review

Copy of book cover (5)Call Me Joe is the moving tale of a world that suddenly goes dark. With no light people begin to panic and question what is happening to the world. When the light returns so does a man who claims to be the son of god. Working with some of the best minds in the world can he tackle the greed and corruption that is destroying the world before it’s too late?

Call Me Joe is a powerful story with a well executed plot and brilliant writing. It was an easy story to sink into, and be gripped by the action. It’s a well paced story, and I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it. I thought the premise was such a fascinating idea – what if Jesus returned today? How would people react? I’m not a religious person but I found this a really interesting subject. The story also tackles a number of prevalent issues in society from climate change to corrupt leadership.

One of the things I liked most about this book are the characters. We are treated to multiple points of view, which gives the reader an opportunity to see things from different perspectives. I really liked Sophie, she’s a school teacher and every day person and it was fascinating seeing her reactions to Joe, questioning his identity and watching as that relationship develops and changes. It’s a compelling read and one I did not want to put down.

Call Me Joe is an brilliantly thought-provoking read. It’s incredibly relevant to our time and a book you do not want to miss.
4 Stars
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Book Review: In Plain Sight – Marion Todd

Book Review: In Plain Sight – Marion Todd

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Series:
Detective Clare Mackay #2
Release Date: February 20th 2020
Publisher: Canelo
Pages: 311
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay  and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition.

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood. 

Review

Copy of book cover (21)In Plain Sight is the second instalment in the DI Clare Mackay series and this time around Clare and her team are called in after a child is snatched during a fun run. The child has a serious medical condition, and without her medication her life could be at stake. As the team investigates they learn it wasn’t just a random kidnapping, there is more going on beneath the surface. But will Clare and her team discover the truth before it’s too late?

Although this is the second book in the series this is my first time reading a DI Clare Mackay book. It can definitely be read as a standalone and I found this to be such a gripping read that I am definitely going to go back and pick up book one See Them Run. This police procedural is set in St Andrew’s in Scotland and having lived in Scotland all my life and visited St Andrew’s many times, it was fun seeing the city come to life within the pages.

Todd has a brilliant writing style and the book is well paced. I really liked our main protagonist Clare, who works hard to solve the crime as well as dealing with the politics and problems of life as a police officer. There are quite a few twists and turns in this story and I thought the ending was very well executed. As the deadline for finding the child gets closer and closer, I could feel the tension ramping up and I ended up reading the last half of the book in one sitting. In Plain Sight is certainly a page turner and it’s the perfect type of book to binge over a weekend. If you love enthralling police procedurals, I’d definitely recommend checking out this series.
4 Stars

Book Review: Shade’s Children – Garth Nix

Book Review: Shade’s Children – Garth Nix

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Release Date:
March 2nd 1997
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 355
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I still have my childhood copy
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the brutal world of Shade’s Children, your 14th birthday is your last. Malevolent Overlords rule the earth, directing hideous, humanoid creatures to harvest the brains and muscles of teens for use in engineering foul beasts to fight senseless wars. Young Gold-Eye escapes this horrific fate, fleeing the dormitories before his Sad Birthday. He is rescued from certain doom by other refugees who live in an abandoned submarine and work for Shade, a strange, computer-generated adult. Shade provides food and shelter in exchange for information that the children gather on dangerous forays into Overlord territory. But what does Shade really want? He is a sworn enemy of the Overlords, but his use of the children to gain knowledge and power seems uncaring and ruthless. Finally, Gold-Eye and his new friends set out to destroy the Overlords–with or without the enigmatic, dangerous Shade. Garth Nix, author of Sabriel, blends suspense, action, and high emotion in this excellent, fast-moving science-fiction story.

Review

Copy of book cover (22)Shade’s Children was a book I read and loved as a child and I thought it would be fun to revisit it as an adult. It was just as bleak and terrifying as it was all those years ago, and I absolutely loved rereading this childhood favourite.

Shade’s Children is set in a world in which everyone above the age of fourteen has disappeared. Now when you turn fourteen you are taken to the meat factory to be harvested. The story follows Gold Eye, a young boy who escapes the dormitories before he can be taken to the factory. While fleeing the monstrous creatures who mean to return him, he teams up with a band of Shade’s Children, and together they fight to survive against Overlords.

I honestly just adored this book. It’s dark and gritty and absolutely stands the test of time. It was just as gripping and absorbing as the many times I read it as a child. The world is completely fascinating and I loved learning about this unique dystopian world that Nix has created. While everything isn’t necessarily explained, the world building is solid and the plot exciting. Despite this book being published over twenty years ago, it definitely still stands up as a brilliant YA story.

Shade’s Children is just over the three hundred page mark, but I absolutely raced through this. You’re dropped right into the action in this one and it’s an absolute roller coaster ride. This story has such a tense, eerie atmosphere as Gold Eye and the gang fight to survive. If you’re looking for a dystopian tale that will have you reading long into the night, you definitely need to check this one out.
5 Stars

Book Review: Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan

Book Review: Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan

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Series:
The Trials of Apollo #1
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 376
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was sent an Ebook & audio copy from the publisher and then I purchased a paperback copy
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Review

Copy of book cover (51)The Trials of Apollo is the first in a new series from Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan. This series follows God Apollo, as he is cast from Olympus and forced to live as a mortal teenager. When he makes it to Camp Half-Blood he discovers his enemies are plotting to bring down Olympus permanently.

This is such a fun and fast paced adventure. The reader is dropped right in the middle of the action and it doesn’t let up for the whole book. If you’re looking for a story that will sweep you along, this is definitely a series to try. The plot is a little on the predictable side, but the story is enjoyable and steeped in Greek and Roman mythology.

Apollo is a great protagonist, he’s self centred and vain – believing everything should revolve around him. He has a bit of a hard time of being mortal and it’s interesting seeing him grow as a person and learn what it means to be a human. I also really liked Meg, she’s a kick-ass character and I loved her little sidekick Peaches. This is actually my first time reading a Rick Riordan book and while I really enjoyed it I think I would have been better off starting with the Percy Jackson series, as it’s referenced all the way through this story. I think I would have been able to appreciate the story more if I’d known the previous stories.

I’ve been curious about these books for a long time and after reading this one I’m definitely going to pick up more from this author. If you love action packed stories with a dash of comedy, this is going to be just the series for you.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: Nightfall – Den Patrick

Waiting on Wednesday: Nightfall – Den Patrick

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Synopsis

Book Three in stunning Scandinavia-inspired fantasy trilogy The Ashen Torment.

The sky is filled with dragons: the people are ready to burn the regime to the ground.
The seas churn with monsters and the tide is changing: revolution is coming.
Steiner has at last realised the part he will play in this fight.
Kimi knows now what it is to lead, but must learn to overcome differences if she is to unite and defeat the dragon factions.
Silverdust inches towards a final revenge.

Across the ocean, Kjellrun feels the call of war. But she must reconcile her new responsibilities to the people of the temple with the urge to find her family.
Leaders, all – and all are desperate. For the Emperor will not give up easily. He will rule – and he cares not if his subjects are alive… or if they are dead.
Worlds and outlooks collide, wars begin and lives will end in this spectacular finale by a new master in the fantasy genre. The stakes have never been higher in the roaring conclusion to the beloved Ashen Torment series.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (50)Welcome to another waiting on Wednesday! This week I’m talking about Nightfall, the third and final book in the Ashen Torment series. I actually hadn’t heard much about the release of this at all – it’s still showing as untitled and without a cover on Goodreads. I then came across a mention on Twitter with that stunning cover and it made me so excited to pick this one up. Den Patrick’s Erebus Sequence is one of my favourite fantasy series of all time and Witchsign was one of my favourite books of 2018. (I haven’t actually read book two Stormtide yet, but it is very high on my priority list). I completely fell in love with the characters in this series and I’m so excited to see what the rest of the series brings. The Ashen Torment books are set in such a fascinating world and it’s one of those stories you absolutely cannot put down. Nightfall is publishing August 20th from HarperVoyager. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Don’t Talk About Enough!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Don’t Talk About Enough!

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This week Top Ten Tuesday turns ten! The prompt is to pick an old prompt you missed and I thought it would be fun to talk about books I really loved but I don’t talk about enough on here. All these books I gave four or five stars and I definitely need to talk about them more!

Copy of book cover (41)1. Half A King – Joe Abercrombie
Betrayed by his family and left for dead, prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the shattered sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy.
Copy of book cover (42)2. The Silvered Heart – Katherine Clements
1648: Civil war is devastating England. The privileged world Katherine Ferrars knows is crumbling under Cromwell’s army, and as an orphaned heiress, she has no choice but to do her duty and marry for the sake of family.

But as her marriage turns into a prison, and her fortune is decimated by the war, Kate becomes increasingly desperate. So when she meets the enigmatic Ralph Chaplin, she seizes the chance he offers. Their plan is daring and brutal, but it’s an escape from poverty and the shackles of convention. They both know if they’re caught, there’s only one way it can end…

Copy of book cover (43)3. A Chalice of Wind – Cate Tiernan
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.

Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Copy of book cover (44)4. Caraval – Stephanie Garber
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4425. The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

Copy of book cover (45)6. The Witchfinder’s Sister – Beth Underdown
Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth–but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too–frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene–and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission–and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils–before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Copy of book cover (46)7. See What I’ve Done – Sarah Schmidt
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

Copy of book cover (47)8. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Copy of book cover (48)9. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Copy of book cover (49)10. Blackwing – Ed McDonald
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

So those are ten books I absolutely loved that I definitely don’t talk about enough. If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know your thoughts!