Book Review: Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Baron

Book Review: Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Baron


Release Date:
August 6th 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to participate in the Tandem Collective readalong.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

Review

I absolutely love stories inspired by fairy tales so when I read the synopsis for Cinderella is Dead I was so intrigued to read it. The story follows Sophia who lives in a kingdom ruled by men. She knows the tale of Cinderella – all the women in the kingdom do. When she comes of age she’s sent to the palace to participate in the choosing – to be chosen by a man or become forfeit. Being chosen is the last thing Sophia wants, she’s in love with her best friend Erin and after a disastrous turn of events, must flee for her life. While on the run she finds out that the true nature of the Cinderella story might not be everything she thought it was.

As soon as I picked up this book I became completely sucked into the story. Kalynn Baron has taken a well known tale and completely turned it on its head. The story is a pretty fast paced one and I found myself completely racing though it, desperate to know what was going to happen next. Baron has created a fascinating world where Cinderella might be dead, but her story has lived on and shaped the lives of every woman in the kingdom. The story does have a few plot twists, a few of which I guessed quite early on. This didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story because it was such an addictive and entertaining read.

Sophia is a brilliant main character. She’s so determined and she stands up for her beliefs. I also really enjoyed the romance in the story although it did happen a little bit quickly for me. Baron has an absolutely gorgeous writing style and this ended up being one of my favourite reads of August. If you’ve been intrigued by this one I’d definitely recommend picking it up and I cannot wait to see what Baron writes next!

Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace


Series:
All the Stars and Teeth #1
Release Date: August 4th 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer – the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder – and more peril – than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

Review

All the Stars and Teeth is an epic fantasy adventure that follows Amora Montara, princess of Visidia and future ruler of the kingdom. To claim her thrown she must show the kingdom her abilities to work and control soul magic, but on the night of the demonstration things go horribly wrong and she must flee the island. She meets the mysterious Bastian and ends up on an adventure to save her kingdom from a dangerous new force.

I really love books with pirates in them and when I heard about All the Stars and Teeth I was really intrigued by the story. I found myself hooked on this incredible tale almost straight away and I loved every minute of it. Grace has created a fascinating world full of magnificent characters. This story was just so easy to get lost in, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book two.

All the Stars and Teeth has a really fast paced plot, and there’s plenty of action to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. There’s epic battles, deadly sea monsters and some really fascinating magic. The thing I loved most about this story was the world building and the magic system – the magic system in particular I thought was so unique and interesting. Amora’s ability to do soul magic as well as the curse magic used in the story fascinated me so much. There’s tons of history about the kingdom and the Montara family that it felt incredibly well fleshed out.

Likewise I really liked the characters in this story. Amora is a great protagonist, having thought she was going to rule all her life it was so interesting watching her grapple with the knowledge that everything is not what she thought in the kingdom. I also really liked Bastian and the quick banter the two have. Grace has written a captivating tale and I did not want to put this one down.

If you’ve looking for a gripping tale with high stakes, full to the brim with magic and adventure, All the Stars and Teeth should definitely be your next read.

July Book Haul!

July Book Haul!


I’m back with another (slightly late) book haul! July is always a busy month for buying books because I usually buy quite a few books at YALC. That didn’t go ahead this year but I did pick up quite a few books online instead!

From Publishers/Authors:


1. The Search Party – Simon Lelic
I read this for a bookstagram tour and absolutely loved it. The story a girl who goes missing and the five friends who form a search party to look for her, it was full of twists and turns and I could not put it down. You can read my full review for this one here!


2. We Ride the Storm – Devin Madson
I had been eyeing this one for quite a while and then I was lucky enough to win a signed copy from author on Twitter. It arrived near the end of the month so I am super excited to dive into this one. I’ve heard really incredible things so I hope it lives up to the hype!


3. Sorcery of a Queen – Brian Naslund
This is the second instalment in Brian Naslund’s Dragons of Terra series and I’m itching to pick this one up. It has been a while since I read the first book, Blood of an Exile so I’m considering having a weekend of binge reading them both.


4. To Sleep In A Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini
This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 so I squealed with excitement when it arrived in the post. I loved Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle growing up and I recently read his The Fork, the Witch and the Worm which I adored too so I cannot wait to see what he does with this science fiction tale.


5. The Once and Future Witches – Alix. E. Harrow
I am always here for stories about witches and this one sounds just incredible. I still haven’t read The Ten Thousand Doors of January yet but it is a high priority on my TBR. I’m participating in the blog tour for this one so stay tuned for that!


6. The Trials of Koli – M. R. Carey
This is another of my most anticipated releases. I loved The Book of Koli so much, it was such a unique and engaging tale (read my review here), and it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I can’t wait to see where Carey takes the story next. I also love that the books are being published a few months apart so I don’t have to wait a year for the next instalment!

Books I Bought:


1. Percy Jackson Boxset – Rick Riordan
I ended up reading the first book in The Trials of Apollo series and while I really enjoyed it, I didn’t realise you had to have read the Percy Jackson books first. I’m also intrigued about the upcoming television series so I figured now was the perfect time to binge it.


2. Good Girls Die First – Kathryn Foxfield
I saw some really positive reviews for this YA thriller on twitter and after reading the synopsis I thought it sounded really intriguing. I’m keeping this one for the autumn so that I have some creepy thrillers to read!


3. The Obsidian Tower – Melissa Caruso
I must admit that this was a bit of a cover buy. I was totally intrigued by the cover and the title and so I ended up picking it up. I haven’t heard much about this one so far so I’m really looking forward to picking it up.


4. Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky
I’ve been on the fence about buying this book for absolutely ages. I love Adrian Tchaikovsky and I think his books are brilliant. I’ve heard so many people rave about how incredible this book is – but I really hate spiders. I caved and picked up a copy, I’m just hoping it doesn’t freak me out too much.


5. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
I was really in the mood for a heist style novel and I recently read and loved Dangerous Remedy and heard this had similar kind of vibes. I really enjoyed this one and the plot was action packed. I read it really quickly and I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel.


6. The Court of Miracles – Kester Grant
This one was another one that was kind of a cover buy. I’ve seen it around on Instagram a lot but all I really know is that it’s a loose retelling of Les Miserables. I’m intrigued by it anyway and hope it’s an enjoyable read!


7. Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis
When I read the synopsis for this it kind of gave me Night Film vibes so I was super excited to read it. I read this one in a single heart pounding sitting and it was honestly such a brilliant YA horror.


8. Saga Vol 1 – Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
My other half picked up a copy of this when we were out book shopping and I ended up giving it a go. It was such a strange story but I really liked the artwork. I’ve seen lots of people talk about how much they love this series so I would be interested to try the next volume.

So those are all the books I picked up in July! If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know what you thought, as well as what books you’ve been picking up recently! 

Book Review: Wilder Girls – Rory Power

Book Review: Wilder Girls – Rory Power


Release Date:
February 6th 2020
Publisher: Pan Macmillian
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all..

Review

Wilder Girls is the strange and compelling story of the pupils at Raxter School for Girls, which is put under quarantine after the island becomes infected with the Tox. Affecting every student and teacher differently, Hetty loses an eye, Reese loses a hand and many of the teachers have died off one by one. When Hetty’s best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty breaks the rules to search for her discovering the truth behind the mysterious disease that is affecting her classmates.

I wanted to love this one. There was so much hype around it that I think I might have built it up in my expectations just a little too much. It was a really enjoyable read but it wasn’t particularly scary and I think I was expecting that shiver up your spine kind of feeling. I really liked Hetty and Reese, they were great main characters and I really liked watching their relationship blossom. It was an enticing read, drawing you deeper and deeper into the reasons for this horrible plague.

I really liked Power’s writing style, the island and the setting beautifully described and the horror of the tox was highlighted in a really visceral way. The plot was pretty fast going and I read the first half of the book pretty quickly, but I did feel a little let down by the ending. It felt a bit on the rushed side and just wasn’t the type of ending I was expecting.

Overall Wilder Girls was a really enjoyable read and if you’re looking for a YA mystery with a touch of horror thrown into this mix this could be exactly what you’re looking for!

Book Review: Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas

Book Review: Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas


Series:
Throne of Glass #2
Release Date: August 15th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local Waterstones

Synopsis

She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer?

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…

Review

Crown of Midnight is the second instalment in the incredibly popular Throne of Glass series. Picking up right where the events of Throne of Glass ended, the story follows Calaena as she becomes the new Royal Assassin. Sent to investigate someone from her old life, Calaena discovers that things in the capital are not all that they seem. She also has to deal with her conflicting emotions for Dorian and Chaol of which there never seems to be a right answer.

This is my second time reading this book. I read it a number of years ago and then never continued on with the series so I thought a reread was in order because I remembered very little of the story. It was such a fun read, full of action and adventure and I loved every second of it. I ended up racing through this and I cannot wait to continue on with the next book in the series.

I enjoyed seeing the characters continue to grow as well as watching the relationships change between Dorian, Chaol and Calaena – especially now that Calaena is a deadly assassin. The plot is incredibly compelling and Sarah J Maas creates a world that you do not want to leave for a second. I find the magic and the world building really fascinating, and I’m excited to see what else will be revealed in Heir of Fire.

I’d definitely say I preferred the second instalment to the first and I’m hoping the series will continue to go from strength to strength. There is a lot of buzz around this series so I’m so glad that it is living up to the hype. If you love YA fantasy that’s a roller coaster ride, you’ll be in for a treat with this series.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trouble With Peace – Joe Abercrombie

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trouble With Peace – Joe Abercrombie

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Synopsis

Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield…

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.

The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.

Thoughts

The Trouble With Peace is the second instalment in Joe Abercrombie’s The Age of Madness series. It is definitely one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 and I’m so excited for the upcoming release. Book one A Little Hatred was a five star read for me and Joe Abercrombie is one of my favourite authors so I’m incredibly intrigued to see where this story goes next. It’s dark and gripping fantasy and I found A Little Hatred difficult to put down. This series is set in the same world as Abercrombie’s The First Law, while an industrial revolution takes place. I totally love the covers for this series too and am so excited to get my hands on a copy. It’s just over five hundred pages so I’m hoping for plenty of action to tide me over before the release of book three. If you haven’t had time to pick up A Little Hatred now is the perfect time to do it, The Trouble With Peace is releasing in a few weeks time on September 15th from Gollancz.

Mini Reviews!

Mini Reviews!

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Today I’m back with three mini reviews! I recently read three of the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads for 2020 so I thought I would combine the reviews rather than posting all three individually.

The Donor – Clare Mackintosh
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis

She gave you everything. But what does she want in return?

When Lizzie’s daughter Meg is given a life-saving heart transplant, Lizzie feels hugely grateful to the nameless donor. Then she receives a letter from the donor’s mother, Karen, asking to meet, and it seems like the least she can do.

But as soon as Karen is welcomed into their lives, Lizzie feels something isn’t right. And before long, she can’t help but worry that by inviting Karen in, she might have put Meg in danger . . .

Review

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This was a dark and twisty read about a young girl who receives a heart transplant. She begins receiving letters from the mother of the donor and their lives become intertwined. But Meg’s mum feels there’s something much more sinister going on.

This was such an interesting little book and I loved the surprise twist at the end. The characters were well written and the story really packed a punch. I liked that it was a complete story and it had a really satisfying ending. This is my first read from Clare Mackintosh but it has definitely made me more intrigued to try out some of her full length novels.4 Stars

Darkness Rising – A. A. Dhand
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis

Detective Inspector Harry Virdee has a lot on his plate. His team is facing government cuts, tensions are building between Bradford’s two rival drugs gangs and his wife Saima is due to give birth any day now.

So when bodies start turning up in the old industrial district, the pressure is on to get the case wrapped up as quickly as possible, or risk a full-scale gang war.

But the man behind the murders is ruthless and pushy. And things are getting personal. Harry must think fast and bend the rules if he wants to keep his city, and his family, safe…

Review

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Darkness Rising is a prequel novella in A. A. Dhand’s Harry Virdee series and the story follows Inspector Virdee as a body is discovered in Bradford that could be linked to local gangs. As Harry continues to investigate his life and the lives of his family are at stake and he must do everything he can to keep them safe.

I enjoyed this one quite a lot, it was dark and gritty and I really liked A. A. Dhand’s writing style. It did very much feel like an opening to a much larger series and I would be interested to read Streets of Darkness. It was an enjoyable and entertaining read and it felt very atmospheric. I had seen A. A. Dhand talk at a Bloody Scotland panel and had always been interested to read some of his work so I am definitely going to continue on with this series.3 Stars (1)

Notting Hill Carnival – Candice Carty-Williams
Rating: 2.5

Synopsis

Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.

When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth. Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?

Review

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Notting Hill Carnival is the story of a girl named Sapphire who has abandoned her life as a gang leader to the Red Roses and is working full time. When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to the carnival, they instantly form a connection. She discovers he is a part of a rival gang and they have plans to meet with the Red Roses at the carnival. Can she escape her past before it destroys her?

I really wanted to love this one but I didn’t connect with it as much as I did the other two Quick Reads books I’ve picked up. I think if this had been a full length novel that really gave you the chance to get to know the characters I would have absolutely loved it. I thought it was a brilliant premise, but the story was just too quick for me. I enjoyed reading about the gangs and the friendships between them but I was less interested in the romance between Sapphire and Apollo. I did really like the writing style however so I would be intrigued to read a full length novel from Candice Carty-Williams.3 Stars (1)

Book Review: The Human Son – Adrian J. Walker

Book Review: The Human Son – Adrian J. Walker

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Release Date:
April 28th 2020
Publisher: Solaris
Pages: 500
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Synopsis

500 YEARS IN THE FUTURE, EARTH IS A PARADISE… WITHOUT US.

The Earth was dying, and only the Erta could save it. Created to be genetically superior, hyper-intelligent and unburdened by the full range of human emotions, they succeeded by removing the cause: humans.

Now the Erta are faced with a dilemma—if they reintroduce the rebellious and violent Homo sapiens, all of their work could be undone.

They decide to raise one child: a sole human to decide if we should again inherit the Earth.

But the quiet and clinical Ima finds that there is more to raising a human than she had expected; and there is more to humanity’s history than she has been told.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-15T131539.279The Human Son is a unique and compelling tale that follows a race of people known as the Erta who, 500 years in the future, have saved the Earth from dying. Now they have a decision to make, do they reintroduce humans (who caused all the damage) or allow the human race to become extinct. Ima is tasked with raising a human child as an experiment, to decide to the fate of humanity. But as she watches the child grow, Ima finds a lot more than she expected.

This clever tale is an engaging read, one that gives the reader plenty to think about in terms of human nature and the destruction of the Earth. It was unlike anything I had read before and I thought the premise was completely fascinating. The story really tackles the idea of what it means to be human and I found it quite an engrossing topic.

The story is a very character driven one, focusing on the relationship between Ima and Reed as well as how Ima’s relationships with the other Erta change as Reed grows. We follow the two through all ages of Reed’s development and it was fascinating seeing their relationship change, how Ima changes in her role as parent. Because it was such a character driven read it is on the slower paced side, so I found some parts – particularly in the middle – harder to get through.

The Human Son is a beautifully written book, with a really compelling premise. If you love character driven science fiction, this is definitely a must read.
3 Stars (1)

Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year!

Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year!

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Now that we are edging ever closer to the end of the year I thought it would be fun to make a list of ten books I want to read before the end of the year and hopefully this will keep me accountable to actually read them!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141526.8661. Crescent City – Sarah J Maas
Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

2. The Court of Miracles – Kester GrantCopy of book cover (93)
Liberty

1828 and the citizens of Paris still mourn in the wake of their failed revolution. Among them, in the dark alleys and crumbling cathedrals of the city, the most wretched have gathered into guilds of thieves, assassins – and worse. Together they are known as The Court of Miracles.

Family

Eponine has lost more than most. When her father, Thénardier, sells her sister to the Guild of Flesh she makes a promise to do anything she can to get her sister back, even if that means joining the Court of Miracles, the very people keeping her sister a slave.

Treachery

Eponine becomes perhaps the greatest thief the Court has ever known, finding a place among them and gaining another sister, Cosette. But she has never forgotten the promise she made, and if she’s to have any hope of saving one sister, she will have to betray the other.

This beautiful reimagining of Les Misérables tells the stories of your favourite characters and what might have happened if the French Revolution had not come to pass.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-13T164335.7513. Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-13T164250.5274. A Memory Called Empire – Arkady Martine
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-13T164325.0245. Finale – Stephanie Garber
A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

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…

Copy of book cover (17)6. Court of Lions – Somaiya Daud
Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

7. Venom – Bex HoganCopy of book cover (40)
Marianne has never wanted to be a fighter, but with unrest and discord threatening the Twelve Islands, she will have to battle threats both inside and out in an attempt to attain peace for her homeland.

Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.

For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.

She must become a Mage.

Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175721.4298. Serpent and Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T173040.0139. Crowfall – Ed McDonald
A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings.

Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile the Deep Kings have only grown stronger, and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war.

Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.

He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him – changed him – but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.

They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162119.41310. Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

So those are ten books I’m hoping to get to before the end of the year. If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know what you thought, as well as what books you’re hoping to read before the end of 2020!

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

Header (53)
Release Date:
August 20th 2020
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.

Five friends set out into the woods to find her.

But they’re not just friends…

THEY’RE SUSPECTS.

You see, this was never a search party.

It’s a witch hunt.

And not everyone will make it home alive…

THE CHALK MAN meets THE HUNTING PARTY in this gripping story; witness four suspects as, alongside DI Fleet, you attempt to discover the truth about what happened to Sadie…

Review

Copy of book cover (89)The Search Party is one of those books that completely captivates you from the very first chapter. The story follows a group of teenagers who go into the woods to look for their friend Sadie Saunders who has gone missing. When the police finally find the group they have a body with them – but the body isn’t Sadie, so what happened in the woods?

The Search Party is a dark and twisty read, one I didn’t want to end. This is my second book from Simon Lelic and it was completely unputdownable. I read the book in one day, and definitely stayed up long past my bedtime to finish it. Lelic has a brilliant writing style, ramping up the tension as we get to the final reveal. If you love thrillers with endings you won’t see coming this is definitely a must read.

The story is told in alternating perspectives of the teenagers as well as DI Robin Fleet who is in charge of the investigation into Sadie’s disappearance. The characters are well written and it was fascinating seeing the group recount the tale of what happened in the woods. I really liked DI Fleet, he’s a determined police officer and I really enjoyed seeing him puzzle out what was really going on.

The Search Party is a gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s one of my favourite thrillers of the year and if you’re looking for something to keep you hooked on a hot summer day, this is definitely one to pick up.
5 Stars