Blog Tour: The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler

Blog Tour: The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler

Header (44)
Release Date:
July 21st 2020
Publisher: Darkstroke Books
Pages: 263
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review for the blog tour
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

Review

Copy of book cover (85)The Cry of the Lake follows the story of Lily and her best friend Flo. When a girl from their school is murdered, Flo’s father is accused of killing her. Lily is hiding a number of secrets about her past and wracked with guilt over the murder, Lily knows she has to make things right, but can she face the truth before the real killer strikes again?

The Cry of the Lake is one of those books that sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go. I started this one on a quiet Sunday morning and ended up reading it in one sitting. Dark, addictive and with a cast of really compelling characters, The Cry of the Lake is not to be missed.

The Cry of the Lake is quite a short book, but it certainly packs a punch. The story has plenty of twists and turns but the thing that really made this one for me was the fascinating characters. I really liked Lily and Flo and I found Grace to be a really interesting protagonist. and I enjoyed the alternating POVs between the different characters, it gave you the opportunity to see things from different perspectives and it definitely helped to ramp up the tension.

The Cry of the Lake is a dark and gripping psychological thriller, full of twists and turns.  If you’re looking for an unputdownable thriller to read this summer, The Cry of the Lake should definitely be on your wishlist.
4 Stars
107571559_10159314689423974_7530319764980944622_o

Book Review: The Deck of Omens – Christine Lynn Herman

Book Review: The Deck of Omens – Christine Lynn Herman

Header (43)
Series:
The Devouring Gray #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date:
April 21st 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: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home, in the sequel to hit fantasy The Devouring Gray. For fans of Stranger ThingsRiverdale and The Raven Cycle

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.

Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.

But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140829.373The Deck of Omens is the concluding book in The Devouring Gray duology. I absolutely loved book one so I was really excited to pick up book two. The Deck of Omens picks up just after the events of The Devouring Gray and this sequel is just as dark and gripping as book one.

The Deck of Omens follows the same characters as book one, and it was fascinating getting to see them as their relationships continue to evolve. I enjoyed the alternating POVs, and Harper was definitely my favourite of the main protagonists. I really loved the history and folklore that Herman has created for Four Paths and it was fascinating learning the history of the townspeople.

While I really enjoyed The Deck of Omens, I preferred The Devouring Gray. The story was still fascinating, but it didn’t grip me in the same way. It was brilliant seeing the Herman expand on the world she has created and I loved the creepy atmosphere she created. This series has so many things that I love, magical powers, strange towns with a mysterious history and a really interesting cast of characters.

The Deck of Omens comes to a satisfying conclusion, and I really enjoyed the duology overall. It’s full of twists and turns and despite being over four hundred pages I absolutely flew through it. This duology has been pretty hyped but I would definitely say it was worth all the buzz. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up this fast paced fantasy duology, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini

Waiting on Wednesday: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini

Header (42)

Synopsis

A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

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

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

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (84)Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I wanted to talk about a book I am really excited for, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini. Christopher Paolini is the author of The Inheritance Cycle, a series which I read multiple times growing up. Along with the Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, Eragon was probably one of the reasons I got into fantasy books as a child and it led me to read things like Lord of the Rings. I read The Fork, The Witch and The Worm by Christopher Paolini at the end of last year and it was so nice being back in the world of Eragon and Saphira. When I heard Paolini was releasing a completely new book that would be a space opera, I was completely sold. On reading the blurb I was so intrigued and it has the most stunning cover. I’ve been lucky enough to receive an ARC of this and it’s absolutely huge, but I cant wait to dive in. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars sounds like it’s going to be a fast paced and exciting read and it’s definitely jumped to the top of my TBR pile. If you’re keen to read this one you don’t have too much longer to wait, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is publishing September 15th from Tor Books.

2020 Reading Resolutions Check In!

2020 Reading Resolutions Check In!

Header (41)
Now that we’re over half way through the year I thought it would be fun to take a look at my 2020 reading resolutions post and do a quick check in to see if I am meeting my goals for the year and if not, which ones I want to work on for the rest of the year – so lets dive in!

Screenshot 2020-07-27 at 19.51.10
1. Read 120 books

My original aim was to read 120 books in 2020 with the hope that I would read maybe a few over because last year I managed 141. With the pandemic I have read a lot more than I would normally read and I’ve since increased my Goodreads goal to 150 books. I’m well on target for that and hoping I might even exceed that goal!

Screenshot 2020-07-27 at 19.54.05
2. Read more backlist books
So far of the 85 books I’ve read 34 have been backlist titles. I would have liked this to be a bit higher but I’m still pleased that I’ve managed to read a fair few. I’m going to put myself on a bit of a book buying ban for the rest of the year and only buy books I’m really after in the hopes I can prioritise some more backlist books.

3. Catalogue and reduce my tbr
One of my projects for lockdown ended up being cataloguing my entire library and I finally know how many books on my shelf are unread (lots). I’ve made a list and am working to reduce my TBR but honestly it’s not going well because I keep buying books.

Screenshot 2020-07-27 at 19.56.19
4. Improve my Netgalley ratio
When I made my original reading resolutions post my Netgalley ratio was at 46%. I’ve been trying to read more of my Netgalley books and at one point my ratio was at nearly 60%, however I have recently been on a bit of a requesting spree and it’s currently on 51%. I’m still working on this and hoping it will be a bit higher by the end of year. (I don’t understand why I send feedback but it doesn’t go up. Why Netgalley why?)

5. Revamp my blog and post more frequently
I did a blog revamp a while back and I’m really happy with the way things look. I might do another refresh towards the end of the year depending on where my mood takes me. I’ve been pretty consistent at posting in 2020 with me reaching my goal of posting a few times every week and often more than that.

6. A pound a book
This challenge failed spectacularly. I started this in January and it fell away really quickly. Especially during lockdown I bought so many books and I haven’t been putting a pound in a jar for any on the ones I read. I still think it’s a really brilliant idea and maybe it’s something I can try for 2021!

So that’s my check in for my 2020 reading resolutions. How are you fairing with your 2020 bookish goals?

 

June Book Haul!

June Book Haul!

Header (40)
This is coming a bit late but I’m back with all the books I picked up last month!

From Publishers

Copy of book cover (78)1. Northern Wrath – Thilde Kold Holt
Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Copy of book cover (5)2. Call Me Joe – Martin Van Es & Andrew Crofts
The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…

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

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

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

Copy of book cover (38)3. Girl From Widow Hills – Megan Miranda
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

Copy of book cover (61)4. Stormblood – Jeremy Szal
Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

Copy of book cover (79)5. The Thief on the Winged Horse – Kate Mascarenhas
The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

Copy of book cover (59)6. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

Copy of book cover (60)7. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Copy of book cover (57)8. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

Books I Bought

 

Copy of book cover (80)1. Do You Dream of Terra-Two? – Temi Oh
When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.

Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.

And something always goes wrong.

Copy of book cover (26)2. Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Copy of book cover (81)3. Adrift – Rob Boffard
In the far reaches of space, a group of tourists board a small vessel for what will be the trip of a lifetime – in more ways than one…

They are embarking on a tour around Sigma Station – a remote mining facility and luxury hotel with stunning views of the Horsehead Nebula.

During the course of the trip, a mysterious ship with devastating advanced technology attacks the Station. Their pilot’s quick evasive action means that the tour group escape with their lives – but as the dust settles, they realize they may be the only survivors . . .

Adrift in outer space, out of contact with civilization, and on a vastly under-equipped ship, these passengers are out of their depth. Their chances of getting home are close to none, and with the threat of another attack looming they must act soon – or risk perishing in the endless void of space.

Copy of book cover (82)4. Night Country – Melissa Albert
In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors―and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and―if he can find it―a way back home…

Copy of book cover (83)5. The Vanishing Throne – Elizabeth May
Everything she loved is gone.

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…

So those are all the books I picked up in June! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as what books you picked up in June!

Blog Tour: Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver

Blog Tour: Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver

Header (39)
Release Date:
June 12th 2020
Publisher: Orenda Books
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: Anne at Random Things Tours kindly sent me an EARC to review for the tour.
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population: 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

Review

Copy of book cover (77)Hinton Hollow Death Trap is the third instalment in Will Carver’s Detective Sargent Pace series. In this instalment Pace is returning to his childhood home of Hinton Hollow, but all is not as it seems. Narrated by Evil himself, the story follows the townspeople as they are gently nudged by evil to show their true selves – encouraged to steal, to cheat and even to kill.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is completely unlike anything I have ever read before. It’s a unique and compelling tale, and it gripped me from the very first chapter. I loved the way this story was told, narrated by Evil who is incredibly upfront and honest about the way he influences people. It’s a brilliant story, following a variety of townspeople as their lives are irrevocably changed over the course of the five days.

Although this is the third book in the series it is actually my first book by Will Carver, so it can absolutely be read as a standalone. After finishing though I’m definitely going back to read the other ones in the series because this is definitely one of my favourite new crime reads.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is a clever and inventive tale, Carver weaves a story about real people and the choices they make. I found this book really difficult to put down, it’s a fast paced read and makes some really fascinating insights into what it means to be human. Each of the characters in this story are well created and fleshed out, making the story all the more compelling. Hinton Hollow Death Trip brings a fresh take to the crime novel, and it’s one you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
4 Stars
FINAL-Hinton-Hollow-BT-Poster

June Wrap Up!

June Wrap Up!

Header (31)
June was another great reading month and I managed a total of nineteen books! These past few months are definitely the most I’ve ever read in a month. I’d love to be able to continue this for the rest of the year but with lockdown restrictions being eased in July I doubt I’m going to make it through as many. I’m going to keep things short and sweet because there are so many to get through but full reviews will be available for them all!

Copy of book cover (66)1. The Donor – Clare Macintosh
This is one of the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads for 2020. It’s a creepy little story about a young girl who recieves a transplant, and the parent of the deceased donor who inserts herself into the life of the young girl and her family. It was a fast paced read with a fun twist at the end, but would have loved a longer story. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover2. The Curator – M W Craven
The third instalment in the Washington Poe series, this is rapidly becoming my favourite crime series of all time. Poe and Tilly are at it again, attempting to uncover the truth behind some gruesome murders in Cumbria. Despite being quite a thick book I completely devoured this, and I cannot wait for book four to come out. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (2)3. Wonderland – Juno Dawson
Wonderland is the third instalment in Juno Dawson’s London Trilogy. Despite all the books being linked you can read them as standalones and this was my first book by Juno Dawson. A bright and modern take on the tale of Alice in Wonderland, I really enjoyed this story of friendship, finding yourself and the underworld of excess (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (67)4. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
I’ve made a deal with myself that I’m going to attempt to finish as many series/read as many sequels as possible for the rest of 2020 so I thought the Throne of Glass series would be a great place to start since I only ever read the first two. Fast paced and addictive, I had so much fun rereading this, I honestly have no idea why it has taken me so long to pick up the rest of the series.  (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-15T131539.2795. The Human Son – Adrian J Walker
This beautiful and moving tale follows a race of beings that have come to save the planet after the greed of humanity has almost destroyed it. After fixing all the problems humans have caused, they create a human in an experiment to see if they should be allowed to return to the planet. A really unique and inspiring read, I can’t wait to read more from this author (3.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140551.5026. Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso
This was such a fast paced read that I ended up reading it pretty much in one sitting. The story of a young girl who jokingly plots the murder of her bully, and then the bully ends up dead. I guessed pretty early on who was behind it but it was still an incredibly gripping read. I also love that delightfully creepy cover. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (65)7. Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas
Continuing on with my reread I read Crown of Midnight and I’m so glad I decided to reread the first couple because I remembered pretty much nothing about this. I loved seeing the relationships between the main characters develop and I thought this was a really solid sequel – very much excited to pick up Heir of Fire. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (68)8. Darkness Rising – A A Dhand
Another of the 2020 Quick Reads, this is a prequel story in A A Dhand’s Detective Harry Virdee series. I saw the author speak at an event a number of years ago and always meant to pick up some of his books. I really enjoyed this fun and gritty little book and I’m definitely going to be trying a full length novel from this author. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (3)9. Midnight’s Twins – Holly Race
This beautifully written tale about twins that end up following in their mother’s footsteps to become knights of the dream world Annun, it was such a unique tale and I absolutely devoured this one. I loved seeing the relationship between Fern and Ollie change as learn to become knights and there was tons of action. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141731.56410. Wilder Girls – Rory Power
This creepy story of a virus that plagues a school causing the girls to develop strange symptoms that destroy their bodies. I must admit that I had really high expectations for this book and while I did enjoy it, it wasn’t quite what I expected. A fascinating story and one loads of people will love. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (51)11. The Trials of Apollo: Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan
I took part in a readalong for this book and it was my first time reading a Rick Riordan book. It was such a fun read but I do kind of wish I had started with the Percy Jackson books instead. I’m definitely going to go back and read those first and then I’m going to continue on with the series. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (35)12. The Falconer – Elizabeth May
This was one I pulled off my TBR at random and I’m so glad I did because I loved this so much. Steampunk Edinburgh, bad ass main character and monstrous creatures. I read the whole thing practically in one sitting and it was so much fun. I can’t believe it took me so long to pick this up and I’ve already ordered the other two books in the trilogy. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (69)13. The Corset – Laura Purcell
I really loved The Silent Companions so I was really intrigued to pick up The Corset. This story was just as dark and eerie, and I absolutely adored it. The story of a young girl in prison for murder, she recounts her tale to a wealthy woman as their fates become intertwined. A brilliant tale and one of my favourites of the month. It was so cleverly executed, I didn’t want to put it down.  (4.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (70)14. Notting Hill Carnival – Candice Carty Williams
My third Quick Reads book, this isn’t the sort of thing I would normally read but I was intrigued and ended up really enjoying it. A West Side Story type tale in which a boy and girl from rival gangs fall in love. It was a really quick read but like the other two I would have loved a bit more. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (71)15. The Shamer’s Daughter – Lene Kaaberbol
This is another one that has been sitting on my TBR for some time and I’m so pleased that I finally picked it up. The beautifully written story of a world in which shamers can make people confess to their guilt and the story of a shamer’s daughter who is caught up in a plot to take over a town. It was fun and a great read if you’re looking for some light fantasy. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (38)16. The Girl From Widow Hills – Megan Miranda
A dark and twisty new book from Megan Miranda, this follows a girl who survived a horrific accident in which she was swept away during a storm and survived three days in the drainage system. Haunted by her past she changes her name and moves away, but the past doesn’t stay buried for long. Gripping and a great ending, this was such a good story. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (5)17. Call Me Joe – Martin Van Es & Andrew Crofts
This was a fascinating and thought provoking tale of an event in which the sun disappears for twelve minutes. After twelve minutes the sun returns and a man appears claiming to be the son of God, offering to help humanity make one last ditch effort to solve the problems that are destroying the plan. A really interesting read that I kept thinking about long after I’d finished reading. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (72)18. The Last Human – Zack Jordan
This epic space opera follows Sarya, the last human in space. She’s also the thing the galaxy fears most. She has many questions about her past and why humans were deemed too dangerous, but has to contend with staying hidden at Watertower Station. When she encounters a bounty hunter events spiral out of control and Sarya ends up getting a lot more than she asked for. This one has plenty of action and is a really interesting read. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (73)19. Elves War Fighting Manual – Den Patrick
I read the Orcs War Fighting Manual a few months back and decided it would be fun to pick up the next instalment. These are fun little fantasy books that recount the fighting styles of different races, they’re witty and quick little reads and I really enjoyed this one. I’m very intrigued to pick up the third and final book in the series, which focuses on the dwarves. (4/5 stars)

So those were the nineteen books I picked up in June. If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought, as well as what your favourite read of June was!

Blog Tour: If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha

Blog Tour: If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha

Header (38)
Release Date:
July 23rd 2020
Publisher: Viking Books
Pages: 288
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

A glitteringly dark and unsettling debut novel about four young women struggling to survive in South Korea

If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

Review

Copy of book cover (59)If I Had Your Face is the dark and gripping tale of four women living in contemporary Seoul. In this society looking beautiful is the most important thing, and plastic surgery is commonplace. K-Pop stars are more than just celebrities, they are an obsession. Social hierarchies rule all and these four women must do everything they can to survive in this ruthless society.

This book was so easy to get lost in. I got completely wrapped up in these four characters and their lives. It’s quite a slow burn story, following each character in their day to day lives as they work and live in Seoul. It’s a gripping tale and I found all four women fascinating and relatable. It touches on a whole range of topics from plastic surgery, sexism, obsessions with celebrities and class. Each topic is deftly handled by Cha and I quickly became completely addicted to this book. Although it is quite a short a book it packs a punch and I found myself thinking about this book even when I’d put it down.

I found myself wanting to know more and more about these women. I was fascinated by Ara – a hairdresser who is non-verbal and Kyuri – a room salon girl in debt for plastic surgery. We are treated to each of the four characters points of view, giving the reader the chance to learn more about their history and life. It’s a compelling tale and one I think lots of people will love. Cha has a easy writing style that I really enjoyed and she creates incredibly life like characters. If I Had Your Face is a book that completely transports you to the setting, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I highly recommend this one and I can’t wait to see what Frances Cha writes next.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trials of Koli – M. R. Carey

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trials of Koli – M. R. Carey

Header (37)
Synopsis

The journey through M. R. Carey’s “immersive, impeccably rendered world” (Kirkus) — a world in which nature has turned against us — continues in The Trials of Koli, book two of the Rampart Trilogy.
The earth wants to swallow us whole…
Koli has been cast out from Mythen Rood. Behind him are his family and the safety of the known. Ahead, the embrace of the deadly forests awaits.
But Koli heard a story, once. A story about lost London, where the tech of old times was so plentiful it was just lying on the streets. And if he can safely lead Ursula, Cup and Monono to this sparkling city, maybe he can save the rest of humanity, too.
In a world where a journey of two miles is an odyssey, he’s going to walk two hundred. But the city is not what it once was…and around him, Ingland is facing something it hasn’t seen in three centuries: war.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (76)The Trials of Koli is the second instalment in the Rampart Trilogy and I am so excited for its release. I read and loved The Book of Koli a few months ago and I absolutely loved it. The story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m so excited to see where the next instalment takes us. Carey has created such a fascinating world in this series and as soon as I finished book one I was desperate for more. The characters are also brilliant in this one and if you want to read my full review of this you can check it out here! M R Carey is an author I definitely want to read more from and I think I might try some of his back catalogue while I’m waiting on the release of The Trials of Koli. Not too much longer to go though, the book is publishing September 15th from Orbit Books.

Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

Header (36)
Since we are now over half way through the year I thought it would be fun to do a list of my favourite reads of the last six months. These are in no particular order, but all of them were five star reads that I absolutely loved. 

Copy of book cover (75)1. A Queen In Hiding – Sarah Kozloff
Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Copy of book cover2. The Curator – M W Craven
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Copy of book cover (19)3. The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware
When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Copy of book cover (13)4. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T121652.2035. Aurora Burning – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.4366. Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

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

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

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

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A K Larkwood
What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.7618. Viper – Bex Hogan
He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

9. Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.950Here are the rules of living with a murderer.

One: Do not draw attention to yourself.

Of course, when you live with a murderer, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.

Two: If you can’t be invisible, be useful.

Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva’s father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn’t enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva’s been forced to live with her mother’s murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.

One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It’s a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her.

But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past . . .

Copy of book cover (22)10. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens 
In this epic grimdark conclusion to the Godblind Trilogy, heroes, armies, and gods both good and evil will battle one last time, with the fate of the world itself at stake. . . . The great city of Rilpor has fallen. Its walls have crumbled under the siege by the savage Mireces; its defenders have scattered, fleeing for their lives; its new rulers plot to revive the evil Red Gods using the city’s captured, soon-to-be-sacrificed citizens. Now, with the Fox God leading the shattered remnants of the Rilporian defence and the Mireces consolidating their claim on the rest of the country, it’s up to Crys, Tara, Mace, Dom and the rest to end the Red Gods’ scourge once and for all. While the Rilporians plan and prepare for one final, cataclysmic battle to defeat their enemies, the Blessed One and the king of the Mireces have plans of their own: dark plans that will see gods resurrected and the annihilation of the Dancer for all time. Key to their plan is Rillirin, King Corvus’s sister, and the baby–the Bloodchild–she carries. As both sides face their destinies and their gods, only one thing is clear: death waits for them all.

So those are my favourite books of 2020 so far! I’d love to know what your favourite reads have been in 2020 so let me know in the comments below!