Book Review: The Fandom Rising – Anna Day

Book Review: The Fandom Rising – Anna Day

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-05-05T100503.166.pngSeries: The Fandom #2
Release Date: May 2nd 2019
Publisher: Chicken House Books
Pages: 278
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Nate’s time is running out. Violet and Katie re-enter The Gallows Dance to rescue him, but when a rogue fanfiction writer emerges online – determined to put the dys back into dystopia – Alice is the only one with the power to save the story …

Review

42768840A few years ago at YALC I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Fandom and I devoured it. I loved the idea of a group of friends who ended up being transported into the world of their favourite fandom and of course finding out that when they get there it’s even more dangerous than they thought. When I started The Fandom Rising I was so intrigued because I had no idea where the plot was going to go – the first book had reached a satisfying ending and the blurb for The Fandom Rising was very mysterious and vague.

After a few short chapters I was again completely hooked. I really love the characters and it was so fun returning to see how things have changed for them since the events in the first book. It was interesting to see how the dynamics have changed as a result of that’s happened to them, but overall I loved the female friendships and the determination to help Nate.

It was a really exciting, fast paced read. This time around not all the characters are transported into The Gallows Dance and I really enjoyed the two different story ARCS – one with characters trying to survive the deadly dystopian world and the other to get her friends out. A mystery/thriller element was included too as someone begins threatening Alice and I was definitely racing through the pages to find out who was behind it.

The Fandom and The Fandom Rising are a really exciting and enjoyable duology. There were a few shock moments that I definitely didn’t expect and I almost wish there was a third book to keep the story going. If you love being part of a fandom or going to comic con, this is definitely a must read. If you’ve already had a chance to read the first book – I’d highly recommend this sequel.
4 stars

Blog Tour: As Far as the Stars – Virginia MacGregor

Blog Tour: As Far as the Stars – Virginia MacGregor

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Release Date:
May 21st 2019
Publisher: HQ Stories
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

How do you change what’s already written in the stars?

Christopher is the sort of guy that no one notices, yet when Air catches sight of him making intricate paper birds in the airport, she can’t look away.

But their worlds are about to collide in ways they never expected. Someone they love is on Flight 0217 from London Heathrow. And it’s missing.

Convinced that her brother was on a different flight, Air drives them hundreds of miles across the country, on a trip that will change their lives forever.

But how do you tell the person you’re falling for that you might just be the reason their life has fallen apart?

Review

35657726This is my first time reading a book by Virginia Macgregor and I very quickly became absorbed in this emotional tale. The story follows Air, a young woman who is tasked with one job: get her brother Blake from the airport and make sure he turns up on time to their sister’s wedding. Whilst waiting for the plane to arrive she sees Christopher, who is also waiting on the arrival of the same flight. Their worlds collide when they learn that flight 0217 is missing. Unsure whether her brother even got on the flight, the two drive across the country in a desperate attempt to find him.

This is a beautifully written story that grips hold of you and doesn’t let go. I completely fell in love with Christopher and Air – two complete strangers who have ended up together as a result of this horrible incident. The story is intense and the plot well paced but the thing I loved most about this story is the characters. Air is the youngest sibling but is always looking after her brother, bailing him out and making sure he turns up on time. Christopher is quieter, used to waiting around for his pilot Dad. I loved seeing them interact and watching as their relationship developed.

As Far as the Stars is a heartbreaking story and I struggled to put it down. It’s two people coming together but it’s also full of worry and stress at not knowing where their loved ones are. It was such a unique story – a mix of heavy worry and beautiful romantic moments. I love stories with a road trip in them and I think this has definitely become one of my favourites. If you’re looking for a new contemporary read that will definitely stick with you, As Far as the Stars should be your next read.
4 stars
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Book Review: The Wages of Sin – Kaite Welsh

Book Review: The Wages of Sin – Kaite Welsh

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Series:
Sarah Gilchrist #1
Release Date: June 1st 2017
Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 309
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

Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh’s medical school in 1892, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself: professors who refuse to teach their new pupils, male students determined to force out their female counterparts, and—perhaps worst of all—her female peers who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman.

Desperate for a proper education, Sarah turns to one of the city’s ramshackle charitable hospitals for additional training. The St Giles’ Infirmary for Women ministers to the downtrodden and drunk, the thieves and whores with nowhere else to go. In this environment, alongside a group of smart and tough teachers, Sarah gets quite an education. But when Lucy, one of Sarah’s patients, turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into a murky underworld of bribery, brothels, and body snatchers.

Painfully aware of just how little separates her own life from that of her former patient’s, Sarah is determined to find out what happened to Lucy and bring those responsible for her death to justice. But as she searches for answers in Edinburgh’s dank alleyways, bawdy houses and fight clubs, Sarah comes closer and closer to uncovering one of Edinburgh’s most lucrative trades, and, in doing so, puts her own life at risk…

Review

book cover - 2019-04-29T121734.477I loved this book from start to finish. Sarah Gilchrist is such a fascinating character. Forced to leave London in disgrace, Sarah is part of the first group of female medical students at Edinburgh University. She’s determined to become a doctor and help those in need. However those around her are not so thrilled at the idea of having female doctors, and there are those in her family who would much prefer she let the idea of doctoring go and get married.

I’m not really sure where to begin with reviewing The Wages of Sin. I loved it so much, and there’s just so much going on in this complex and addictive story. The first thing I adored about this book was the setting. I love historical fiction, and so when I heard about this book set in Victorian Edinburgh, I was absolutely dying to read it. Not only that, I did my undergraduate degree in Edinburgh, and at the time of reading the book I was interning just off the royal mile. It’s very rare you’re actually in a place where a book is set, and the fantastic depictions of Victorian Edinburgh really made the story come alive for me. I often spent my lunch break in cafe comparing the Royal Mile of today to the dark and eerie Royal Mile of the story.The descriptions of the medical procedures and events in the infirmary are also very visually depicted, bringing alive the stench and sounds of the medical world.

I also adored the characters, they’re so wonderfully depicted, and there’s such a range of interesting characters. Sarah is dismissed from society, yet she’s still determined to see her dream of becoming a doctor through. She’s strong and she fights for what she believes is right. I also loved Elizabeth, Sarah’s only real friend that she confides and finds solace in. Elizabeth appears as the perfect depiction of a good wife who stays at home, but she’s so much more. Professor Merchiston too is a fascinating character he’s both Sarah’s lecturer and some how tied up in the mysterious death of her patient.

The Wages of Sin is such a fascinating exploration into how women were treated in Victorian times, but enveloped in a dark murder mystery. The back drop of women being ridiculed and shunned for studying medicine, as well as obstructing them from getting the vote, makes for a really interesting and complex story. This book kept me guessing, and kept me wanting more. The book is incredibly well researched, and is definitely one of my favourite historical fictions ever. It’s full of darkness and corruption, This is a completely engaging book, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of Sarah Gilchrist.
5 stars

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James

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Release Date:
September 7th 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 290
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this from the Waterstones stand at YALC
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

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 . . .

Review

book cover - 2019-04-23T135811.201This is easily one of my favourite books of 2017. (I know I’ve said that a lot this year, 2017 has been a fabulous year for books after all). But honestly, I can’t reccommend this book highly enough. I’d heard some of the buzz about it on social media, and so when it was announced that people attending this years Young Adult Literature Convention would be able to buy early copies, I jumped at the chance.

This was my first outing into a book by Lauren James, but I’m now eager to read all her other books too. This book is superbly written, enveloping you completely in the claustrophobic confines of space.

I just adored the premise of this book – Romy Silver has never been to Earth, she was born in space, but now she’s completely alone living in a space ship in search of a new Earth for future generations. I loved Romy, the girl who has dealt with so much in her young life, yet never actually set foot on the earth, had a sleepover or been around anyone her own age.

Romy is smart, stubborn and a fantastic protagonist. She might be the youngest Commander of a spaceship, but she also just kind of wants to obsess over her favourite TV series and write fan fiction. She’s relatable in so many ways, she’s a bit awkward and suffers from anxiety – I absolutely adored her.

The plot of this book is tense, and more than a little creepy and on several occasions I definitely felt the urge to gasp out loud. James drew me in hook line and sinker, and I loved every second of it.

I must admit I had sort of expected to read this over a few days, the short chapters being great to read over my lunch break at work. However after getting home from YALC I decided to read the first few chapters and by then I was completely sucked in and finished the book in one sitting.

If you’re looking for a tense, superbly written mystery, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is definitely the book to pick up this month.
5 stars

Book Review: Everless – Sara Holland

Book Review: Everless – Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-04-23T134959.184
Series:
Everless #1
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 362
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an ARC of this at YALC
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Review

book cover - 2019-04-23T134901.120This has got to be one of the most unique YA fantasy books that I’ve ever read. I picked it up on a whim from my YALC pile and absolutely couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one breathless sitting, and it definitely left me hungry for more. The concept was probably what intrigued me most about Everless, the idea that time is a currency and if you don’t have enough money to pay for something you can bleed your years to pay for it.

The setting is really lushly described, the stunning Everless estate, which despite its beauty is fraught with danger for Jules. The latter half of the book certainly ramps up the tension, and there’s more than a few twists and turns along the way. I loved the characters, particularly our main protagonist Jules. The characters feel very life like and complex, and that’s something I really enjoyed about Everless. I also loved the mystery aspects of the story – what’s really going on at the Gerling Estate? So many of the characters have secret motives and more going on beneath the surface. The mix of mystery, fantasy and romance is just perfect.

The writing in this book is really beautiful, and the world building is exquisitely detailed. I must admit I had a bit of a book hangover after finishing this gorgeous book. My proof has a plain white cover but I’m so excited to also have a beautiful hardback copy because that cover is just stunning. If you’re looking for a new addictive YA fantasy read that feels truly unique, then you definitely need to pick up Everless.
5 stars

Blog Tour: Emily Eternal – M. G. Wheaton

Blog Tour: Emily Eternal – M. G. Wheaton

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Release Date:
23rd April 2019
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 256
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Meet Emily – she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets and even fix your truck’s air con, but unfortunately, she can’t restart the Sun.

She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

Review

book cover - 2019-03-24T180649.748This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s a fresh take on the artificial intelligence tale and I absolutely loved it.

The story follows protagonist Emily who is an artificial consciousness, she’s incredibly intelligent and built to help human beings cope with trauma. As the sun starts to die and humanity’s days are numbered, Emily discovers something that could solve the world’s problems. In the midst of her discovery the lab is attacked and Emily, along with Jason and Mayra have to flee.

This story is fast paced, exciting and incredibly thought provoking. It’s not a long book and I raced through it, eager to know more and spend time with these incredibly complex and well developed characters. The story is very much a coming of age tale and it was fascinating seeing Emily make mistakes, be flawed and learn what it means to be human. Emily is a wonderful protagonist – she’s so smart but she’s also funny and combined with some fascinating side characters, it makes for a wonderful cast for this tale.

The plot is well developed and I really enjoyed Wheaton’s writing style. It was so easy to just sink back into the story when I unfortunately had to put it down. There are plenty of moments in this story that had me on the edge of my seat and I was rooting for the characters the entire time. It’s an exciting story, but it’s definitely also one that gives you food for thought – if you’re a science fiction fan you absolutely have to pick this one up.
4 stars
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Blog Tour: The Devil Aspect – Craig Russell

Blog Tour: The Devil Aspect – Craig Russell

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Release Date:
March 7th 2019
Publisher: Constable
Pages: 496
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

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum 

In 1935, Viktor Kosarek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country’s six most treacherous killers–known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon–and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth.

Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier–London’s Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum.
Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

Review

“I will return,” the voice hissed in Viktor’s ear. “I will return and show you the truth and you will be blinded by it. I will show you such horror and fear that you will be burned by its beauty and its clarity.”book cover - 2019-04-19T094103.467

This is my first time reading a book by Craig Russell and I can tell you right away that it definitely won’t be my last. The Devil Aspect follows a young and ambitious psychiatrist named Viktor Kosarek who begins work at an institute for the most criminally insane people of Czechoslovakia. Victor is determined to prove that the six murderers housed here are evidence of the devil aspect. Also occurring in the story is a serial killer loose in Prague, striking fear into the cities residents. As police investigator Lukas Smolak attempts to uncover who’s behind the murders, he discovers there may be a connection to the inmates of the infamous asylum.

I honestly couldn’t put this book down. This story is so tense and gripping, it will definitely have you reading long past bedtime. The story kept me guessing at every turn and I really enjoyed the two different story arcs and the way that they weaved together. I really liked the characters, they were well developed and Viktor and Lukas made for really fascinating protagonists. The story blended murder mystery with supernatural horror incredibly well and the whole way through I was questioning what was real and what wasn’t.

The story in this book is really superb but thing that really made this a five star read for me was the atmosphere. It was so dark and chilling, it made me feel like I was right there in the story. Russell really brings to life this dark and creepy asylum and the freezing foggy streets of Prague. This Gothic horror tale is an addictive roller coaster ride that doesn’t let you off till the very last page. If you’re looking for a new favourite read, I can’t recommend this enough.
5 stars
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