Blog Tour: F.O.X.E.S – M. A. Bennett

Blog Tour: F.O.X.E.S – M. A. Bennett

Header (52)
Series:
S.T.A.G.S. #3 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: August 6th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 388
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

Greer has just recovered from her terrifying experience during the STAGS play. Was she really put on trial by the sinister Dark Order of the Grand Stag? Or was it purely her overheated imagination? The imprint of an ‘M’ for murderer that has appeared on her thumb, though, is puzzling but incomplete evidence . . .

Meanwhile Ty is staying on at Longcross Manor and Greer, Nel and Shafeen are increasingly worried for her safety. When Ty sends a cryptic message directing them to Cumberland Place, the de Warlencourts’ palatial home in London, they decide to risk a visit. There they meet Henry’s grieving parents, Rollo and Caro. Rollo is arrogant, entitled and not overly grieving. Caro, however, while superficially charming, is clearly pushed to the brink of madness by Henry’s death, insisting that Henry is still alive. Which is clearly impossible . . . but Greer has her own troubling doubts about Henry’s death which make it hard to dismiss Caro completely . . .

Can Greer, Shafeen and Nel work out what Rollo de Warlencourt is planning for his deadly Boxing Day Hunt at Longcross in time to save Ty – who has now gone silent? Or will history horribly repeat itself?

A thrilling, richly complex instalment in the STAGS series

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-12T115512.600F.O.X.E.S is the third instalment in the S.T.A.G.S series. When I read the first book I hadn’t realised there was going to be more than one book. I picked up D.O.G.S and absolutely devoured it so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the third book in the series. The story picks up straight after the events of book two, following Greer, Shafeen and Nel as they continue to uncover the secrets behind The Dark Order of the Grand Stag. Determined to find out the truth, the visit Cumberland Place – the residence of Henry’s parents. There they find his mum Caro insisting that Henry is still alive and his Dad Rollo putting all his efforts into reinstating fox hunting. But is Henry really alive and will history repeat itself at Longcross?

I absolutely love this series and I’m so glad that we’re continuing to follow the same characters. Greer, Shafeen and Nel make a really brilliant group of protagonists and I really enjoyed watching them work together to uncover the twisted secrets behind the Order. The story is told from Greer’s perspective so there are plenty of film references as she narrates this gripping tale.

The story if full of twists and turns and is really fast paced. M. A. Bennett writes these short snappy chapter that have you immediately starting the next one. I often found myself sitting down to read a few pages and then still being there fifty pages later. F.O.X.E.S is a tense and thrilling read I definitely did not want it to end.

The book touches on a lot of themes, particularly class and grief. The story is an atmospheric one and M A Bennett has clearly done an exceptional amount of research for this series. Bennett has a brilliant writing style that keeps the reader hooked and I am so excited to see what the next instalment brings. If you haven’t had the chance to pick up D.O.G.S or F.O.X.E.S yet, these are the perfect summer books to get lost in.
4 Stars

foxes-banner1

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Header (51)
We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday and this week the topic is books you loved but never reviewed! When I have quite a few review copies to review I tend not to review books I bought myself so there are quite a few books that I really loved but didn’t review, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (97)1. The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Copy of book cover (42)2. The Silvered Heart – Katherine Clements
1648. Orphaned heiress Lady Katherine Ferrers is forced into marriage for the sake of family honour… But with Cromwell’s army bringing England to its knees, her fortune is the real prize her husband desires. As her marriage becomes a prison and her privileged world crumbles, Katherine meets her match in Rafe – a lover who will lead her into a dangerous new way of life where the threat of death lurks at every turn…

Enter Kate Ferrers, highwaywoman, the Wicked Lady of legend – brought gloriously to life in this tale of infatuation, betrayal and survival.

Copy of book cover (98)3. Balfire Omnibus – Cate Tiernan
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.

Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Copy of book cover (99)4. A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin
Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175225.3045. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Copy of book cover (100)6. Shadow Study – Maria V. Snyder
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135836.6407. The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johnansen
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135849.7908. Roar – Cora Carmack
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135906.0779. Dark Matter – Michelle Paver
Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid. My skin pickled. My heart thudded in my throat. My body knew before I did that I was not alone…

London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.

And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T140528.57510.  Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton 
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

So those are the top ten books I loved but never reviewed. I’d love to know some of your favourite books that you never got to review!

 

Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Header (50)
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 343
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was gifted a copy of this at Christmas
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

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.

Full of spellbinding menace, The Turn of the Key is a gripping modern-day haunted house thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Review

Copy of book cover (19)Ruth Ware is an author I’ve always wanted to read but hadn’t gotten around to picking up. The Turn of the Key caught my eye because it sounded so creepy and I had heard so many people raving about it. I ended up completely devouring this chilling book and I am definitely going to be picking up more from Ruth Ware.

The story follows a young woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote home in the Scottish Highlands. Her employers are architects and their home is a smart home, with all aspects of life made easier by technology. The job seems perfect – intuitive home, beautiful location and an excellent salary. But when Rowan finds out that a string of nannies have left the role very suddenly, suspicions begin to be raised and Rowan quickly finds herself in the midst of a nightmare.

I loved everything about this book. It starts off with Rowan in the present day, recounting her story. Right from that very first chapter I was absolutely hooked and I got completely sucked into this story. Rowan was a brilliant protagonist and I was glued to the story that was unfolding. She makes for the perfect unreliable narrator and I was always questioning what was going on around her. The characters in this story are well created and fleshed out. The story is well paced, with the story becoming more and more fast paced as the tension continues to climb.

The Turn of the Key is full of twists and turns and had more than a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. It has a really brilliant sense of atmosphere, there were so many moments that sent a shiver up my spine. If you’re looking for one of those Gothic reads that will have you reading way past bedtime then this is definitely one to pick up. This has made me eager to try more from Ruth Ware and I can’t wait to check out some of her other books.
4 Stars

July Wrap Up!

July Wrap Up!

Header (49)
Today I’m back with a July Wrap up. Things have been slowly returning to normal and I’ve been in work more so I’ve had less time to read. I did manage a total of 8 books, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (95)1. Music and Malice in Hurricane Town – Alex Bell
This was a book I picked up on a whim and ended up absolutely loving it. It follows a young girl living in a magical New Orleans as she becomes wrapped up in the murder of the cajou Queen. Forced to find out who killed her, Jude goes on a whirlwind adventure through the underworld of Baton Noir. It was a really gripping read and I ended up racing through it. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (4)2. The Dark That Dwells – Matt Digman & Ryan Roody
This epic space adventure was my favourite book of the month. Full of action and adventure, I couldn’t put this one down. It’s a brilliant blend of science fiction and fantasy, following four strangers who become swept up in an epic adventure to stop an ancient evil from returning. I loved everything about this one, from the world building to the character and I highly recommend picking it up. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (59)3. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
If I Had Your Face follows a group of women living in contemporary Seoul. In this society plastic surgery rules all and everyone is obsessed with looking beautiful. Each women is dealing with her own struggles of living in this society and it was such a fascinating story. The writing is gorgeous and I definitely recommend if you’re looking for some gripping contemporary fiction. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (21)4. Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis
I absolutely love horror movies so when I heard about this story about the daughter of a famous horror movie director, I was instantly hooked. The story follows Lola as she returns to her mothers hometown and the place where her father filmed his cult classic. When she arrives she finds a town stuck in the past, with a number of mysterious secrets. This book was brilliantly creepy and I had such a fun time reading it. It’s a perfect read for Halloween! (4.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (77)5. Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver
Hinton Hollow Death Trip is completely unlike anything I have ever read before. It follows Detective Pace who is returning to his hometown after many years. The story is narrated by Evil, as over the course of a few days he inspires and nudges people to do evil things. This story has really short snappy chapters that had me turning pages faster and faster. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (96)6. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
This is one I’ve wanted to read for a while and it was so much fun. A heist style novel about a group of individuals looking to steal magical artefacts, it very much gave me Six of Crows vibes. I really liked the characters and the plot was excited but I would have liked a bit more of a chance to get to know the world and the magic system before diving into the main story. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (85)7. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
This debut thriller might be short but boy it packs a punch. The story is set in a small town and follows a number of characters during the disappearance of a young school girl. When her body is discovered police find evidence to suspect one of her teachers. The evidence appears too neat, raising suspicions in police officer Annie and the suspect’s daughter Flo. But who would want to frame him and why? Full of twisty secrets, this was a mysterious and gripping read that I ended up reading in one day. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (86)8. The Resident – David Jackson
This book honestly freaked me out so much. Serial killer Thomas Brogan is on the run when he finds refuge in an abandoned house. Whilst exploring he discovers he can access the homes of the neighbours through the attic and decides to have some fun while he’s lying low. I live in the type of house where this seems possible so it definitely creeped me out. A completely terrifying read, it hooks you in right from the very first page. (5/5 stars)

So those are the eight books I read in July! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought as well as what books you’ve been reading in July!

Book Review: Highfire – Eoin Colfer

Book Review: Highfire – Eoin Colfer

Header (48)
Release Date:
January 28th 2020
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Synopsis

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

Highfire is a genre-bending tour-de-force of comedy and action by the million-copy-selling master storyteller.

Review

Copy of book cover (94)I loved the Artemis Fowl series growing up so when I heard that Eoin Colfer was releasing an adult fantasy novel about a vodka drinking dragon I was desperate to get my hands on it. This action packed tale is full of hi-jinx and humour and is without a doubt one of the most unique tales I’ve read in a long time.

Highfire follows a young boy named Squib Moreau who lives and works in the bayou. He’s often getting into trouble with the law but he tries his best to do right by his mum Elodie. He often has run ins with Constable Hooke, a shady officer who has his sights on his mum, despite her constant rejections. When Squib and Hooke stumble upon an ancient dragon who is spending the rest of the days hiding out in the Lousiana swamp, Squib has to do everything he can to stop Hooke from taking over the bayou.

I loved how brilliant and original this story was. Have you ever read a book about an ancient dragon who drinks Vodka and is obsessed with flashdance? I thought not. This is a very cleverly woven story and I really enjoyed the blend of fantasy, action and thriller. I did find the beginning a little slow to get into but it quickly picked up the pace and the second half of the book is a complete roller coaster ride. The characters are really fascinating and that was probably what I enjoyed most about this one – Vern is grumpy and stubborn, Hooke is the definition of the crooked police officer. Squib was a great protagonist and it was so easy to root for him and Vern to safe the day.

Highfire is an action packed tale that is full of comedic moments. I found the pacing a little off in this one but overall it was a really enjoyable and fun read, full of humour and adventure. If you’ve been curious about this one I’d definitely suggest trying it out.
3 Stars (1)

August TBR!

August TBR!

Header (47)
How are we in August already!? I feel like July has flown in! I didn’t get as much reading done as I hoped in July so I’ve made myself a slightly ambitious TBR. I’m also participating in Magicalathon, a month long readathon celebrating all things fantasy.

Copy of book cover (87)1. Seven Devils – Elizabeth May & Laura Lam

Copy of book cover (84)
2. To Sleep In A Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini

Copy of book cover (88)3. Sorcery Of A Queen – Brian Naslund

Copy of book cover (79)4. The Thief on the Winged Horse – Kate Mascarnhas

Copy of book cover (89)5. The Search Party – Simon Lelic

For the Magicalathon I did the quiz and I’m in the school of Royals. I’ve made a TBR for the prompts and I’m so excited to get to all of these books. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to read all the books but I’m certainly going to try!

Copy of book cover (92)Court Etiquette: Read a book involving a prince
Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke – P M Freestone

Copy of book cover (90)Dress For the Occasion: Read a book with a royal title
Queen of Ruin – Tracy Banghart

Copy of book cover (40)Courting: Read a book recommended to you
Venom – Bex Hogan

Copy of book cover (91)Realms of Knowledge: Read a book outside your comfort zone
A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-04T191405.408Equine Essential Training: Read a book that involves a journey
The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence

Copy of book cover (93)
Dressing Advanced: Read a book with sprayed edges

The Court of Miracles – Kester Grant

So those are all the lovely books I would love to get to this month. If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought, as well as what books you’re planning to read in August!

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins

Header (46)
Series:
The Hunger Games #0.5
Release Date: May 19th 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Pages: 624
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local supermarket
Rating: 2/5 stars

Synopsis

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Review

Copy of book cover (18)The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the recently released prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. In this story we follow Coriolanus Snow, who grows up to become the infamous President Snow in the original books. We follow Snow as he becomes a mentor in the games to the District 12 tribute, where he must use all his wits and smarts to keep his tribute alive and win the competition.

I must admit when I heard this was being released I was pretty excited. I loved The Hunger Games growing up and I had pretty high expectations for this. Unfortunately this just was not for me. Following Snow felt like a bit of a surprise choice for a prequel, there were so many fascinating characters in the original trilogy that I would loved to know more about – Snow just wasn’t one of them.

The story is pretty slow paced and while I did find some parts of the competition it often felt like I was slogging through the chapters. Snow is a very unlikeable main character and so I found it difficult to care about what was going on. I think The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes did have potential, but the pacing really did not work for me. It’s a pretty chunky book but only the last few chapters actually held my interest. The ending felt a bit on the rushed side, compared to the slow opening. As much as I wanted to love it this really made me struggle reading it.

If you loved the original books I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go, plenty of Hunger Games fans have absolutely loved it and it was interesting being back in the world. Overall however this one just wasn’t for me.
2 Stars

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

Header (45)
Release Date:
July 16th 2020
Publisher: Viper
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly provided me with an E-ARC to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Thomas Brogan is a serial killer, and he has nowhere left to hide. At least until he finds an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he discovers that he can access three other houses through the attic space, the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Brogan enjoys even more than killing, is playing games with his victims. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…

Review

Copy of book cover (86)David Jackson has taken my worst nightmare and brought it to life. Thomas Brogan is a serial killer on the run and he seeks refuge in an abandoned house. While hiding out he discovers that he can access the attic of the neighbouring houses and so decides to have some fun with his latest victims.

This book is honestly a brilliant read. It’s dark and gripping – the kind of novel that will send a shiver up your spine. I think part of the reason that I loved this so much is because it freaked me out so much. I live in a mid-terraced house with an attic and it’s a really old building so it made the story feel infinitely believable. Every time I heard a noise in the house whilst reading this it made me nervous – if that’s not the mark of a brilliant read I don’t know what is.

The Resident is a creepy read, one that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. This is my first book from David Jackson, but it absolutely will not be the last. Thomas is a fascinating character and he makes for a very compelling protagonist. He’s a serial killer but you sort of grow to like him a bit as you learn more about his life.

There is plenty of tension and atmosphere in this one and the tension continues to climb towards the ending. I ended up reading the last hundred pages in one go, I absolutely could not look away from the book. If you’re looking for a chilling and unsettling read that will no doubt have you reading long into the night, The Resident is definitely one to check out.
5 StarsThe-Resident-tour-banner

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