Blog Tour: Wanderers – Chuck Wendig

Blog Tour: Wanderers – Chuck Wendig

Release Date: July 11th 2019
Publisher: Solaris
Pages: 800
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was sent a copy for this book by Tracy @ Compulsive Readers
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

Review

I have always wanted to read a book by Chuck Wendig and I was so excited when I got an email about The Wanderers. The book is absolutely massive but honestly I think this is the quickest I’ve ever read an 800 page book. It was exciting, intense and everything I wanted and more.

The story follows a young girl who wakes up one morning and discovers her sister, vacant eyed and unresponsive but somehow still walking. She is soon joined by other ‘sleepwalkers’ and the strange disease spreads the cast of characters attempt to work out exactly what’s causing the sleepwalking.

This might be my first Chuck Wendig book, but it is definitely not my last. I got completely hooked on this story, it was fast paced and so addictive. I really liked the writing style and I’m absolutely planning to order Chuck Wendig’s back catalogue.

I really liked the characters in this story – Shana the daughter who has always lived in her sisters shadow, but is still desperate to protect her. She was really fascinating and I found her a really likeable main character. There’s a really vivid and interesting mix of characters and I really enjoyed the disgraced CDC doctor trying to find redemption storyline. I really appreciated that the book was on the longer side, it really gave you the chance to get to know the characters.

If you’re looking for a fresh take on the mysterious disease sweeping the nation story, this is absolutely one to pick up. It’s an exhilarating ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.

June Wrap Up!

June Wrap Up!

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My super late wrap ups continue with all the lovely books I read in June!

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1. What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts
This is a little book that packs a punch, following a ghostwriter who delves into the secrets behind Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It was twisty, exciting and I really enjoyed this one. Full review for my stop on the blog tour can be found here! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (26)2. The Boy With the Porcelain Blade – Den Patrick
I thought it might be time for a reread of one of my favourite series. I raced through this dark and addictive fantasy story. It was so fun to return to a world that I love so much. Lucien is probably one of my favourite characters of all time, and I definitely think this is an underrated series. Looking forward to continuing my reread with books two and three. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (31)3. The Colarado Kid – Stephen King
This was a fascinating little novella, the first in Titan’s Hard Case Crime series. It was the perfect read for a Sunday afternoon and I ended up reading it in one sitting with the story winding you in deeper and deeper. It’s written very much like an old detective tale and was a really fun read. I really liked that there’s no clear resolution at the end, and it’s left quite ambiguous. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (32)4. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
This was absolutely not for me. I was in the mood for a light and fluffy read and thought I might give it a go but I really struggled to finish it. Both the main characters were horrible and when they weren’t making each other miserable they were screaming at each other or treating the other like a possession. I also felt the whole plot was so dramatic and over the top, definitely won’t be continuing this series. (1.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (2)5. Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff
This is a series that I’ve wanted to read for a while and I’m so glad I finally picked up the first book in the series – I completely fell in love! This is such a beautifully written tale and I adored the cast of characters and the stunning island they called home. I cannot wait to continue into book two, and if you want to read my full thoughts my review can be found here! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (34)6. The Wolf – Leo Carew
The Wolf is pretty much my idea of a perfect book. The story of two warring kingdoms and their leaders who will stop at nothing to win. It was a thrilling read and I loved the high stakes, the political intrigue and the devious tactics the characters use to try and gain the upper hand. The Spider is definitely high on my TBR list for next month because I need to know what’s going to happen next. (5/5 stars)

book cover17. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
I’ve been reading more and more thrillers recently and so I’ve been guessing plot twists more frequently. However the twist in this one completely blew my mind. Every time I made up my mind how it was going to end it went in a completely different direction. This is one of those super fast paced, dark thrillers that will have you on the edge of your seat. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (33)8. The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
I saw this book mentioned on BookTube and thought it sounded like a quick, engrossing read. For some reason I struggled to connect with the story. It was well written and interesting but it ended up taking me ages to finish it and I found myself kind of slogging through it. I think because the book is so short you only really get a snapshot of the world and the magic, and I struggled to get to grips with it. (2.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (35)9. The Tall Man – Phoebe Locke
This was kind of giving me Slender Man vibes and I thought it sounded like just thing I was in the mood for. I love those mysteries where you never quite know if it’s supernatural or not. It follows several different timelines and perspectives, which can at times be a little confusing. It is a quick and dark read though, one that I think thriller fans will really enjoy. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (36)10. The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg
This is a bit of a difficult one for me. I really really enjoyed this book. It’s a brilliant science fiction tale about an AI who works in a fantasy theme park. She’s there to help guests in any way, but when she starts to develop emotions things quickly spiral out of control. It was a terrific read but I think I had built it up in my head a bit too much, so even though it was really good I still felt a little disappointed. That’s probably just me though! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (27)11. An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass
This was definitely the surprise read of the month. I picked this up on a whim and ended up completely adoring this epic fantasy with a fantastic mix of characters. The plot was exciting and I raced through this and I’m already desperate for more. This will easily end up on my favourite books of 2019 list. (5/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in June! If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know what you thought and also what your favourite June reads were!

Book Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It – Trista Mateer

Book Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It – Trista Mateer

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Release Date:
October 1st 2019
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Pages: 224
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.
Source: I was sent an E-ARC of this via Netgalley
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present.By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

Review

Copy of book cover (30)Poetry isn’t something that I read an awful lot of, so I’ve been trying to correct that a bit this year. I stumbled across this on Netgalley, and the title and cover really drew me in. This is also my first time reading any of Trista Mateer’s work, but I instantly fell in love with her beautiful prose and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up more of her work.

I absolutely loved the blend of Greek mythology and modern life. The poems about Medusa and Aphrodite were really fascinating and were my favourites in the collection. I found the poems in this collection very powerful and inspiring, I highlighted quite a few favourite parts on the Kindle. There’s also a wonderful selection of art within the book and I adored the mixture of prose and imagery. It was really striking and definitely left me itching for more.

If like me, you don’t read an awful lot of poetry this might be just the thing to get you hooked. I really like Amanda Lovelace’s work and had a similar feel and will completely capture your attention. It does deal with a lot of difficult topics like sexual assault, eating disorders and abuse so please bear that in mind if you decide to pick this one up. For me I really enjoyed this collection and am looking forward to trying more from Trista Mateer!
4 stars

Book Review: The Furies – Katie Lowe

Book Review: The Furies – Katie Lowe

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Release Date:
May 2nd 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex – led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.

While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals – warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology – the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society – Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance – is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.

Review

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250The Furies is without a doubt, one of my favourite books of 2019. This story is dark, full of rage and absolutely engrossing. I completely fell under the spell of this book, and I never wanted it to end. The story follows Violet, a young girl sent to private school after the death of her father and sister in a car accident. Desperate to find any form of friendship she falls in with a group of girls named Robin, Alex and Grace. Violet joins their secret study group with a member of the faculty, learning all about ancient rites and the school’s history as site of witch burnings. The girls believe they can harness the magic, take revenge on those who have wronged them, but with so many secrets who do you believe, and more importantly who can you trust?

This books has echoes of The Craft and I loved the blending of mystery/thriller with just a hint of the supernatural. I adored Katie’s writing style, it kept sucking me in deeper and deeper until I was racing through the last few chapters of the book, desperate to know how it was going to end. I often find with mysteries that I guess the ending quick early on, but every twist in this book completely surprised me. I also really liked the setting too, a remote coastal town in England. It felt like the perfect dark and grey setting for this eerie and haunting tale.

I also adored the explorations of female friendships in this story, particularly highlighting toxic friendships. It was fascinating to see the relationships develop between the group, and particularly how they evolved as tensions ran higher. The Furies is an insightful and entertaining story, and one I definitely still think about even though I finished it a while ago.

The Furies is an engrossing tale of witchcraft, murder and friendship. If you’re looking for a fast paced tale that will keep you reading well past midnight, you absolutely have to pick this one up. I loved every second of this book and I’m dying to read more from Katie Lowe.
5 stars

Book Review: An Act of Silence – Colette McBeth

Book Review: An Act of Silence – Colette McBeth

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Release Date:
June 29th 2017
Publisher: Wildfire Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

MOTHER. WIFE. POLITICIAN. LIAR.

THEN: How far did she go to conceal the truth?

Politician Linda Moscow sacrificed everything to protect her son: her beliefs, her career, her marriage. All she wanted was to keep him safe.

NOW: What will she risk to expose the lies?

When the voices she silenced come back to haunt her, Linda is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it’s her life on the line . . .

An Act of Silence is about the abuse of power, the devastating effects of keeping the truth buried, and the lengths a mother will go to save her child.

Review

Copy of book cover (29)This book literally had me on the edge of my seat. This is a fantastically written psychological thriller that kept me hooked from the opening chapter to the very last page. The premise is a really fascinating one: If your child is accused of committing a crime, and you’re not sure whether or not he’s innocent how do you stand by them? The book very much focuses on the parent child relationship, and the effects such a situation has on it.

I thought that the plot and pacing of this book was really excellent. The deeper you delve into the story, the more enveloped you are until you just can’t tear yourself away from the book. With psychological thrillers it’s often easy to guess where the story is heading, but that definitely wasn’t the case for An Act of Silence. This story is full of twists and turns – some of which you’ll never see coming.

The story feels very realistic and believable and I think that’s a really important aspect of a psychological thriller. It’s a hard hitting story, but it’s also beautifully written too. There are aspects of the story that are currently in the media frequently, and the story hits home all the more for that reason. The book is very much character driven, and that makes the story come alive all the more. I also really liked the way that it alternated between both Linda’s perspective and Gabriel, giving two sides to every situation. Linda is probably the character I was interested in most, she’s determined to find out the truth, no matter how horrifying that might turn out to be.

This really is an unputdownable book, and it’s also the first book I’ve read by Colette McBeth. I’m definitely now itching to pick up some of her other titles, because I really enjoyed this one. If you’re looking for a really twisty unique thriller, An Act of Silence is definitely a book for you. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
4 stars

Book Review: The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

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Series:
Middle Earth Universe
Release Date: 21st September 1937
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I have a battered old copy from my childhood
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.

Review

Copy of book cover (28)No matter how many times I read this book I always completely fall in love with it.

The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a reluctant hobbit forced to go on a nasty adventure and help a band of dwarves retake their homeland that was invaded by a dragon. The Hobbit is quite a short book that captured my imagination at a young age, and it continues to do the same as an adult. Whenever I get the urge to reread it I always get that feeling of nostalgia and fall straight back in love with it. The story is told in a beautiful whimsical manner and it’s easy to fall into the story and Tolkien’s writing.

If you’ve never read any of Tolkien’s work The Hobbit is definitely the perfect place to start. It’s fun and exciting and is full to the brim with adventure and monsters. It’s a great introduction to Middle Earth and those characters that so many people know and love.

This time around I listened to the audiobook, something I had never done before. The audiobook was such a great way to read the story and the narrator did a brilliant job bringing to life the wide cast of characters.

The Hobbit is obviously a classic of the genre and its fascinating reading it knowing it had such a big influence on many of the most popular fantasy works today. It’s a beautifully told story, and I love how full of mischief and wonder this tale is. If you haven’t had the chance to read The Hobbit yet, it’s definitely worth reading – the film adaptation has decidedly mixed reviews but it’s also worth a watch once you’re finished!

5 stars

Book Review: Joker – Brian Azzarello

Book Review: Joker – Brian Azzarello

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Release Date:
14th November 2008
Publisher: DC Comics
Pages: 128
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this at Comiccon
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Synopsis

An original hardcover graphic novel that tells the story of one very dark night in Gotham City–from the creative team behind the graphic novel LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL.

The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s none to happy about what’s happened to his Gotham City rackets while he’s been “away.” What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver it, as he brutally takes back his stolen assets from The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc and others.

Brian Azzarello brings to THE JOKER all the visceral intensity and criminal insight that has made his Vertigo graphic novel series 100 BULLETS one of the most critically-acclaimed and award-winning series in all of comics.

Review

Copy of book cover (5)Joker is a dark and gritty graphic novel that follows Gotham’s favourite villain after he’s released from Arkham Asylum. The story is told from the perspective of Johnny Frost – a member of the Joker’s gang who helps the Joker in his attempt to retake the city.

I thought this was quite an interesting read, it follows Joker as he murders and fights his way back to the top. The art style is stunning and really brings to life the dark and seedy Gotham underworld. I really liked the art style and it definitely gave it that dark and gritty crime feel.

While I did enjoy this – it was a fast and quick read and I enjoyed being back in the Batman Universe – I did feel it was a little repetitive, and it didn’t really do anything we haven’t seen before in a Batman story. Batman appeared in the story very little, so it felt a lot more like a crime story than a superhero one. Joker is one of my favourite characters so it was fascinating watching him live life on the edge, toeing the line between madness and reality. I also liked Johnny Frost, he was an interesting addition to the tale and it was fun to see Killer Croc and the Riddler make an appearance too.

The story is well executed and I think the plot and the art style combine together really well, but it just didn’t pack the same punch as some of my favourite Batman stories. I enjoyed seeing Joker as the central focus of the story, but it left me wanting a bit more overall. If you’re a fan of darker, more realistic graphic novels I’d highly recommend checking this one out and if you love Joker this should definitely be an addition to your collection.

3 stars