Blog Tour: Mortmain Hall – Martin Edwards

Blog Tour: Mortmain Hall – Martin Edwards

July 23, 2019 (9)
Series:
Rachel Savernake #2
Release Date: April 2nd 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

“You died once,” Rachel Savernake whispered. “Tell me who arranged your resurrection, or before the day’s out, you’ll be dead forever.”

1930. At her remote coastal estate of Mortmain Hall, enigmatic heiress and amateur sleuth Rachel Savernake is hosting a gathering – at the bequest of an eccentric criminologist – of people who have cheated the gallows. But the house party culminates in tragedy when a body is found beneath the crumbling cliffs.

The verdict is accidental death, but Rachel determines to foil an ingenious plot to get away with murder. She encounters an eclectic mix of suspects and victims, including a radical publisher risen from the grave, a fake medium with a sinister past, and a cricketer mauled to death by an escaped lion.

Rachel sets out to uncover the labyrinthine secrets of Mortmain Hall, but her relentless quest might just bring down the British establishment…

Who can we turn to, if justice betrays us?

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-31T135144.042Mortmain Hall is the second instalment in the Rachel Savernake series, following amateur crime solver Rachel Savernake. This time Rachel is hosting a gathering at her estate, however the party culminates in a death. The death is ruled to be accidental, but Rachel soon uncovers there is much more going on under the surface – but who can she trust?

I really enjoyed this fun and exciting tale of murder and mystery. Set in the 1930s, I loved the vivid characters and gorgeous setting of Mortmain Hall. The story has a really interesting cast of characters and offers multiple points of view to allow you to get to know the different characters and their motivations. I really liked our main protagonist Rachel, she’s a well fleshed out and complex character and I enjoyed seeing her attempt to unravel the mystery.

Set in the Golden Era of crime, Mortmain Hall is full to the brim with atmosphere and mystery. It very much gave me Agatha Christie vibes and had plenty of surprise twists that I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed Edwards’ writing style, the story is beautifully told and definitely makes you want to turn pages faster and faster to find out how it’s going to end. Although this is the second instalment in the series it can definitely be read as a standalone – I haven’t yet had the chance to read Gallows Court but I am absolutely planning on picking it up.

Mortmain Hall is an exciting tale of suspense, that will have you up past bedtime reading. If you’re a fan of historical crime fiction, Mortmain Hall is a must read.
4 Stars
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Magical Readathon OWLS TBR!

Magical Readathon OWLS TBR!

July 23, 2019 (8)
The Magical Readathon is a readathon I look forward to every year and I’m so excited for it to start on April 1st. Since I’m stuck in the house I thought I would make a TBR for all the prompts and see how many I could get through. I’ll pick my chosen career at the end based on how many of these I manage to get through – so let’s dive in!

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Ancient Runes: Heart on the cover
Weirdly I couldn’t seem to find any books with a heart on the cover on my shelves so I’m going with Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton for this one.

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Arithmancy: Something outside your favourite genre
I tend to read fantasy and science fiction, so for this I’m going with Karen M. McManus’ latest contemporary thriller with One Of Us Is Next.

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Astronomy: Read the majority of this book at night
For this I picked a book I’ve been wanting to pick up for ages – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.

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Care of Magical Creatures: Creature with a beak on the cover
It took me absolutely ages to find a book with a creature that has a beak, but then I remembered I still haven’t gotten around to Crowfall by Ed McDonald, this was a really anticipated release for me so I’m super excited to read it.

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Charms: White cover
One of my most anticipated releases for 2020 is the sequel to Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by P. M. Freestone. Crown of Smoke has a gorgeous white cover so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to read it.

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Defence Against the Dark Arts: Book set at sea
So I’m not entirely sure if this book is set at sea but it’s called Stormtide and the paperback has a boat on the cover, so fingers crossed.

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Divination: assign numbers to your TBR and use number generator
I assigned numbers to my review books tbr and it gave me number 58, which is The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. S. Villoso, which I’m so excited to read.

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Herbology: Title that starts with an M
For this I’m going to read Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey, which is one of the few books I could find on my shelf that started with an M.

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History of magic: book featuring witches
Serpent and Dove has been on my must read list for absolutely ages and I still haven’t gotten around to it so I thought this was the perfect time to pick it up.

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Muggle studies: Read a contemporary
Another one I’m super excited to read, the third instalment in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series. I love these books so much so I can’t wait to dive in.

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Potions: Book under 150 pages
I really struggled to find a book under 150 pages so I’ve gone with Seeker by Cate Tiernan, which is book ten in the Sweep series and is 172 pages, so pretty close!

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Transfiguration: book that includes shape-shifting
This is another one I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. I’m not sure how much shapeshifting is actually in the book but seeing as it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling I figured it would fit the bill!

So those are the books I’m hoping to get to for the Magical Readathon – even if I only get to some of them I’m so excited to read all of these. I’d love to know if you’re participating what you’re planning to read and if you’ve read any of these what you thought!

Blog Tour: Frozen Beauty – Lexa Hillyer

Blog Tour: Frozen Beauty – Lexa Hillyer

July 23, 2019 (7)
Release Date:
March 17th 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository
Source: I received an E-ARC of this book through the Fantastic Flying Book Club
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Everyone in Devil’s Lake knows the three golden Malloy sisters—but one of them is keeping a secret that will turn their little world inside out….

No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—all they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition. Still, Tessa, even in her fog of grief, is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. There are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets still tucked away.

But no matter how fiercely she searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.

Told in lush, haunting prose, Frozen Beauty is a story of the intoxicating power of first love, the deep bonds of sisterhood, and a shocking death that will forever change the living.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-29T191344.814This book captured my attention because I read and really enjoyed Lexa Hillyer’s Spindle Fire duology and this sounded like such an intriguing premise. Following three sisters – the Malloy’s and their life in Devil’s Lake, a small town where they live with their Mum. When one tragically dies the story follows sisters Tessa and Lilly as they process the death of their sister, and uncover the secrets that have been surrounding the family.

Frozen Beauty is a beautifully told tale of family, friendship, love and loss. I loved the setting of Devil’s Lake, this quaint little town that has something more sinister going on underneath. Hillyer has a really gorgeous writing style and it’s so easy to just become completely wrapped up in the tale she is weaving. The story jumps around in time and perspective as we uncover the secrets in this town and I enjoyed getting to know all three Malloy sisters as well as Patrick and Boyd too. Hillyer has creating a really interesting cast of characters, each dealing with difficult issues. The characters were well fleshed out and I liked that they were flawed, made mistakes and very much felt like real people.

The mystery of Kit’s death is a really interesting story, there are plenty of twists and turns in this tale that surprised me, and it had an ending I did not see coming. The story also contains some of Kit’s poetry which was a fascinating insight into the character and a nice addition to the story. If you’re looking for a tense, atmospheric read that you definitely won’t want to put down, I highly recommend picking this one up.
4 Stars

February Wrap Up!

February Wrap Up!

July 23, 2019 (6)
February was a pretty great reading month and I managed to read nine books and most of them were four or five stars – which is a massive win! So let’s dive into the books I read in February.

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172843.7751. The Foundling – Stacey Halls
I absolutely adored The Familiars by Stacey Halls so I was super excited about this one. The story of a young woman who has to give up her child to the foundling hospital and when she goes to collect her, they tell her the child was already collected years ago. A beautifully told story that I just couldn’t put down. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172928.8382. Belle Revolte – Lindsay Miller
A magical tale of two young women switching places to get the life they’ve always dreamed of. I really love the switch lives trope and it’s incredibly well executed in this story. Full to the brim with magic and adventure, this French inspired fantasy was such a fun read and has definitely made me want to read more from Lindsay Miller. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-20T070030.4503. The Golden Key – Marion Womack
A really fascinating historical fiction about a young man who, reeling from the death of a loved one gets caught up in an age old disappearance on the Norfolk fens. Set during the Victorian era with seances and this story has really beautiful writing and a vivid setting. It also had a surprise ending that I absolutely did not see coming. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-27T191324.8134. Havenfall – Sara Holland
The new series from Everless author Sara Holland, I really liked the idea behind this but found the story a bit on the slower side. The story of a young girl who works at an inn between realms and what happens when her uncle the owner becomes ill and she has to save the inn from falling into ruin.  I’m interested in seeing where Sara Holland takes this story next. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T173228.2895. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
This is absolutely not something I would normally read but I was recommended this book at an event I was at recently and decided to try it. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, this is the diaries of a young doctor in the NHS. It’s a must read and definitely gave me plenty to think about. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174316.1036. The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne
A retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in space, I loved the glitz and glamour behind this story. It was a really fast paced tale that I just devoured and it has definitely made me want to pick up more from this author. I also think that’s got to be one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
This was one of my most anticipated releases and my god it was such a brilliant read. The story of a young orc girl who is set to be sacrificed to the unspoken god when she comes of age. On the day of the ritual she escapes with a mysterious man who offers her the chance to travel the realms and help him get revenge on those who wronged him. A fascinating story with an amazing cast of complex characters, this one is a must read. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174925.6048. Witness X – S. E. Moorhead
I thought this debut thriller was a fascinating read and definitely one of my favourites of the month. The story of a young woman who invents technology that allows you to view the memories of another person. When the man who murdered her sister escapes prison, Kyra has doubts if he’s guilty, but will using the technology prove his guilt or drive her over the edge? A brilliant blend of science fiction and crime thriller, this was one of my favourite of the month. (4.5/5 stars)

9. Always Here For You – Miriam HalahmyCopy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174939.477
This thought provoking read focuses on a young teenager who, feeling isolated at home makes friends with a stranger online. She spends all her time interacting with this person she believes is the same age as her but when she goes to meet him she discovers Jay isn’t exactly who he said he is. A really timely and important story on the importance of staying safe online. (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I picked up in February! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought and I’d love to know what your favourite reads in February were!

Book Review: All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett

Book Review: All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett

July 23, 2019 (5)
Series:
Even the Darkest Stars #2 (Review of book one can be found here!)
Release Date: December 4th 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this online
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-07T212534.676Even the Darkest Stars was one of my favourite reads of 2017. I loved the beautiful world Fawcett created as well as the action packed plot and slow burn romance. I’ve been meaning to get around to the second book in the duology for a while and I finally picked it up this month.

The story picks up right after the events of book one, following Kamzin as she attempts to stop the witches from attacking the Emperor and destroying the world. Like book one the story is pretty faced paced, following both Kamzin and River in alternating POVs as we see them fighting for what they believe is right.

River is my favourite character in the series and I really enjoyed seeing him with the other witches, getting a chance to know more of his back story as well as getting to meet his brothers. The witches are really fascinating and I loved the dynamics between the characters in this book. Kamzin is also a brilliant character. She’s strong willed, fearless and determined to do what’s right. I was particularly fascinating with seeing Kamzin use Azar-at’s power, and the slippery slope of the demon’s power.

While I really enjoyed All the Wandering Light, I do think book one is a stronger story. All the Wandering Light has a bit more of a romance focus and I was more interested in how they were going to stop the witches than everyone pairing off. The story has a pretty satisfying ending however it did leave the reader with quite a few questions and I would really love for there to be a third book, giving us a chance to see the characters after the events in this duology.

All the Wandering Light is a wonderful story of magic, revenge and saving the world. If you’ve read Even the Darkest Stars you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for a new fantasy to binge read, this one is exactly what you need.
4 Stars

Blog Tour: Devil Darling Spy – Matt Killeen

Blog Tour: Devil Darling Spy – Matt Killeen

July 23, 2019 (4)
Series:
Orphan Monster Spy #2
Release Date: March 5th 2020
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Pages: 448
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 deadliest weapon is a girl with nothing to lose…

Sarah is used to spying in the champagne-fuelled parties of Nazi Berlin. But her new mission is infinitely more deadly – tracking a lethal disease across bullet-torn Africa, to uncover the monster who would use it to create fifty million corpses. Her enemies think she is a terrified little girl. But she is a warrior set to burn them all.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-06T062905.186I absolutely adored Orphan Monster Spy when it was released in 2018. It was the perfect YA thriller and I’ve been so excited about the release of sequel Devil Darling Spy. The story follows Sarah on a new mission, this time in West Africa, where she must help uncover a rogue doctor who has created a kind of germ warfare to wipe out millions of people. This time the stakes are even higher and Sarah will need every ounce of courage to face this new enemy.

This is a dark tale that focuses on a variety of heavy themes, particularly focusing on the idea of good versus evil. The story is well paced with plenty of action to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Killeen deftly weaves a complex tale of espionage that will leave you hungry for more.

Sarah is a really brilliant protagonist and I’ve really enjoyed watching her grow as a character, particularly how she has changed from her beginnings in Orphan Monster Spy to her new mission. Devil Darling Spy could probably be read as a standalone adventure, but I would definitely recommend picking up book one in the series first to give yourself the opportunity to meet the wonderful cast of characters Killeen has created.

Devil Darling Spy is a gripping tale filled to the brim with action and adventure. If you’re looking for a YA thriller packed with suspense this is definitely the series you’ve been looking for. 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence

July 23, 2019 (3)

Synopsis

In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-04T191405.408Mark Lawrence is one of my all time favourite authors so The Girl and the Stars is definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. I don’t think I’ve ever given one of his books anything less than four stars so I have some really high expectations for this new book. The synopsis sounds so intriguing, Lawrence always creates really interesting magic systems and the icy setting of this story sounds brilliant. I really like the cover too and I’m so interested to see where Lawrence takes this all new series – I’m honestly still reeling from the Red Sister trilogy. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up any of his books yet I’d highly recommend them, he has a brilliant back catalogue of series for you to try. The Girl and the Stars is publishing April 30th 2020 from HarperVoyager.