Blog Tour: The Black Coast – Mike Brooks

Blog Tour: The Black Coast – Mike Brooks


Series:
The God-King Chronicles #1
Release Date: February 18th 2021
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 672
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Epic world-building at its finest, in an upcoming author’s fantasy debut. The Black Coast is the start of an unmissable series filled with war-dragons, armoured knights, sea-faring raiders, dangerous magic and crowd-pleasing battle scenes.

When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have come in search of a new home. Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive.

Review

The Black Coast is the first in an all new fantasy series by Mike Brooks. This is my first time reading a book by Mike Brooks and I was completely sucked in by that absolutely stunning cover. The story follows two different cultures in their attempts to make peace, The people of the Black Keep see ships on the horizon and immediately prepare for an invasion. But the people aren’t coming to raid as they normally would, they’re looking to stay there and flee the horrors of their homeland. As the two cultures attempt to live together war looms on the horizon and the Black Keep will become caught in the middle – but will they be able to survive?

I honestly loved every second of this book. The world building is superb, it’s well plotted and incredibly detailed. I enjoyed spending time in this world and I can’t wait to see how Brooks continues to expand the world in later instalments. This is quite a chunky book so there is plenty of time to get to know the characters and the world. The Black Coast felt like such a fresh take, with the focus being on working together rather than fighting and conquering. I really liked seeing these two different cultures interact, particularly as they had different systems and beliefs in place.

That being said there is plenty of action and tons of intrigue that keeps the reader hooked and I definitely found myself reading late into the night with this one. I really enjoyed the writing style in The Black Coast and it was easy just to get completely lost in the story. We are treated to multiple POVs in the story which I really enjoyed, although Saana and Daimon feature most. Each of the characters felt really well crafted and I can’t wait to see more of them in book two.

Brooks has weaved a really compelling story, one that’s full of dragons, magic and intrigue. If you’re looking for your next addictive fantasy read, The Black Coast will definitely be it.

Blog Tour: The Mask of Mirrors – M A Carrick

Blog Tour: The Mask of Mirrors – M A Carrick


Series:
Rook & Rose #1
Release Date: January 21st 2021
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 672
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Fortune favors the bold. Magic favors the liars.

Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.

The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick

Review

The Mask of Mirrors is the first in an all new adult fantasy trilogy from authors Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms. The story follows Ren, a street rat and con artist who is attempting to scheme her way into one of the noble families of Nadezra. As she becomes drawn into the world of House Traementis she becomes ensnared in a web of secrets and nightmare magic.

As soon as I read the synopsis I knew this was going to be my perfect kind of book. I loved everything about this story. The Venetian style setting was beautifully described and the world building is incredibly detailed. It took me a little while to get to grips with everything in this world but I was completely captivated by it. The story is quite a slow paced one and it gives the reader plenty of time to get to know the world and the characters. I really liked the magic system in this story too and I’m so intrigued to learn more in the next instalment.

Carrick created some really fascinating characters and I loved Ren, she’s clever and stubborn – doing whatever she can to make her schemes work. I also liked her sister Tess who moonlights as her handmaid and it was so fascinating to have the emphasis on clothes and fashion as Tess attempted to make Ren look like one of the nobility. I also really liked Grey as a character and I cannot wait to see where Carrick takes the characters next. I absolutely love heist/con stories and this is an incredibly well executed one – despite it being nearly seven hundred pages it was such an easy read and I raced through the last two hundred pages in one go.

Mask of Mirrors is an impressive start to a new fantasy series. With a compelling plot and impeccable world building, this is an absolute must read for fantasy fans.

Book Review: The Burning Girls – C. J. Tudor

Book Review: The Burning Girls – C. J. Tudor



Release Date:
January 21st 2021
Publisher: Michael Joseph Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .

Review

The Burning Girls is the newest dark and twisty thriller from The Chalk Man author C. J. Tudor. As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I was dying to read it. The story follows Jack and her daughter follow as they move to Chapel Croft, a small village incredibly different from the busy city life they’ve left behind. Chapel Croft is the fresh start they need and Jack is taking the spot of the new Vicar in the close knit community. As Jack and Flo begin to settle in they learn that there’s much more going on in Chapel Croft than meets the eye – will Jack be able to uncover the truth and protect her daughter from the sinister goings-on in Chapel Croft?

The Burning Girls is the type of book you pick up at the weekend to occupy you for a few hours and before you know it, it’s the middle of the night and you’ve read to the very last page. This is such an addictive read, full of surprise moments and I read it pretty much in one sitting. It was absolutely worth being exhausted from staying up so late, the story had twists I absolutely didn’t see coming and the whole story was incredibly well executed. This is a fast paced tale and one that will hook you in right from the very first page.

C. J. Tudor has crafted a really clever tale, mixing in ancient superstition, a decades old disappearance and some sinister goings on. I loved the way Tudor weaved the different strands together created a complex multi-layered story. The characters in the book were also well created, I really liked Jack and Flo as main characters and it was so fascinating to learn about the history of Chapel Croft and their burning girls. The story has quite a sinister, unsettling atmosphere and I loved the slight supernatural element Tudor brought into the story. It’s a brilliantly addictive read and one I think thriller fans will completely adore.

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco


Series:
Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Release Date: October 27th 2020
Publisher: Hodder Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

Review

Kingdom of the Wicked is the first in an all new series from Kerri Maniscalco. This is my first time reading a book by this author – I’ve long been intrigued by her Stalking Jack the Ripper series but I’ve never gotten around to reading it. When I heard she was releasing a new book featuring princes from Hell and a quest for vengeance, I was immediately sold. This is a dark and compelling tale – it’s beautifully told and definitely one of my favourite reads of 2020.

The story follows twin sisters Emilia and Vittoria. The sisters come from a long line of witches who live secretly among humans. When Vittoria is brutally murdered Emilia swears she will find out who the killer was and have her vengeance. She will stop at nothing to find out who is behind it – even using the dark magic her Nonna has forbidden her to use.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the vivid Italian setting, the fascinating magic system and the idea of the seven princes of hell. Emilia’s family run a restaurant and there’s quite a lot of descriptions of food that sounded so incredible it made me want to get on a plane to Italy right now. The story is really fast paced and there’s plenty of action as Emilia tries to solve the murderers, out-manoeuvre the princes of hell and battle some demons in between.

The characters are also incredibly well depicted in this story. Emilia is a clever and headstrong protagonist. She does what she has to do to protect her family and find out the truth of Vittoria’s murder. I also thought Wrath was a brilliant character – he’s so sarcastic and aloof, I absolutely loved seeing the banter and relationship evolve between the two.

Kingdom of the Wicked was a book I didn’t want to end and as soon as I turned that last page I was desperate for more. If you’ve been curious about this one I’d definitely recommend picking it up and I will be eagerly awaiting the second instalment in the series.

Blog Tour: The Nesting – C J Cooke

Blog Tour: The Nesting – C J Cooke


Release Date:
October 15th 2020
Publisher: HarperFiction
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…

Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.

Review

The Nesting is the beautifully haunting story of Lexi Ellis, a young woman who takes the job of nanny for two young girls at a remote home in Norway. Their architect father has just finished building the house to in the same place his wife Aurelia committed suicide. As Lexi grows closer with the young children she starts to see and hear strange things in the isolated home. When she discovers Aureila’s diary she soon begins to suspect that perhaps the cause of death was not suicide and that other things are lurking in the house.

This one originally caught my eye because I was captivated by that absolutely stunning cover. I love thrillers with a supernatural touch so I already thought I was going to love this one. Cooke’s writing style in this is brilliant, she creates that slow creeping sense of dread and this book definitely sent a shiver up my spine in more than one occasion. I loved the remote setting for the story and it really came to life in Cooke’s words.

The Nesting is full to the brim with atmosphere and I found it so hard to put this one down. I ended up reading the last hundred and fifty pages in a single sitting because I just had to know how it was going to end. The story is reminiscent of Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key but I found The Nesting to be a more addictive read. I really liked the characters in this story, they felt relatable and well developed. I really liked Lexi as a main character and I really enjoyed the way that Cooke weaved the stories of Lexi and Aurelia together.

This eerie, haunting tale is absolutely perfect reading for Autumn, it’s the kind of book you can’t tear your eyes away from. I loved every second of this book and can’t wait to read more from C. J. Cooke.

Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace


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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

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

Synopsis

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.

Five friends set out into the woods to find her.

But they’re not just friends…

THEY’RE SUSPECTS.

You see, this was never a search party.

It’s a witch hunt.

And not everyone will make it home alive…

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

Review

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

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

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

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

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

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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

Book Review: Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco

Book Review: Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco

July 23, 2019 (24)
Series:
A Hundred Names For Magic #1
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-14T133340.829Rin Chupeco is an author I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t yet had the chance to pick up yet. I have The Bone Witch on my TBR and I really want to read it but just haven’t gotten around to it. When I received an ARC of Wicked As You Wish I was so excited to dive in. This unique and spellbinding tale completely stole my heart, and I’m now desperate to read all of Rin Chupeco’s back catalogue.

The story follows Tala and her best friend Prince Alexei as they attempt to free their magical kingdom from the curse the ice Queen has laid upon it. With a ragtag group of warriors they escape Arizona to travel back to Avalon and save their homeland.

I loved everything about this book. The world building is incredible, with a wonderful world inspired by well known tales like the legend of King Arthur, Alice in Wonderland and the Snow Queen. It’s the kind of story you want to get completely lost in for hours on end, and I found myself thinking about this book even when I wasn’t reading it.

The characters were really fascinating, and the group made for unlikely heroes. They were a complex and diverse group and I loved seeing them come together to fight their enemy. I really enjoyed getting to know them and am looking forward to seeing how they develop in the rest of the series. Each of the characters had really interesting and unique talents, Tala has the ability to stop magic which I found fascinating.

I really enjoyed Chupeco’s writing style, it was so easy to sink into the story and the world and magic system felt well laid out and explained. I am absolutely desperate to find out what’s going to happen in book two, and The Bone Witch has shot right to the top of my TBR pile. If you’re looking for a unique and engaging new fantasy read, this one is worth picking up.
5 Stars

Book Review: Spellhacker – M. K. England

Book Review: Spellhacker – M. K. England

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Release Date:
January 21st 2020
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

Review

Copy of book cover (95)When I read the synopsis for Spellhacker I thought it sounded like a wonderful blend of science fiction and fantasy and I’d been keen to read M. K. England’s other novel The Disasters so I was excited to give this a whirl. I ended up being completely obsessed with this crazy adventure of a heist gone wrong and a group of friends trying to save the day.

The story follows Diz, a teenager orphaned as a result of the infamous spellplague that killed thousands of people. Years later Diz lives in an apartment with best friends Jaesin and Remi and along with techwitch Ania they run a business siphoning maz from the corporation that controls all magic in the city. When their last job ever goes wrong they find themselves on the run for their lives, but is there something more going on than they know?

Spellhacker is a fast paced tale that hooks you in from the very first page and does not let you go till the very end. There’s constant action and adventure as the friends battle to uncover the truth and save their lives. The world building is fantastic and I loved the fresh concept of magic being controlled by a corporation, and citizens have to buy maz in order to make magic. The story is a really fascinating blend of science fiction and fantasy, and honestly I loved every second of it.

One of the things I loved most about this story are the characters. Diz is a wonderful protagonist. She’s brave and stubborn, but she’s also deeply flawed and struggling to cope with the horrors of her past. Mixing her in with Remi, the crazy talented spellcaster who has also contracted the spell plague, and ‘parents’ of the group Jaesin and Ania. They make for a really interesting group and I found it really interesting seeing the group dynamics change as they travel to Jattapore and Diz begins to feel like the outsider. It really added another layer to the story and made the characters feel more realistic.

If you’re looking for a wild ride of a story, with plenty of adventure as well as wonderful characters and diverse representation, this is absolutely a must read. I can’t recommend this highly enough and I’m definitely going to be picking up The Disasters in the near future! 
5 stars