Book Review: The Spaces In Between – Collin Van Reenan

Book Review: The Spaces In Between – Collin Van Reenan

Release Date: February 15th 2018
Publisher: Red Door Books
Pages: 288
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Source: The publisher kindly sent me an E-ARC to review
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

Review

“The most dangerous lies are the lies we tell ourselves…”

This was such a strange and unusual story that hooked me in from start till finish. Nicholas takes a job as an English tutor for a young woman named Natayla. The house has some odd rules – there’s no electricity, you’re not allowed to leave and everyone thinks the Russian war is still going on. Despite this Nicholas stays on, he’s desperate and the job is good, but as things take a darker turn, he’s not altogether sure he made the right choice.

I love an unreliable narrator and that’s exactly what Nicholas is. The story is framed with a doctor who sees Nicholas as a patient and he recounts his fantastic story. But what he saw, was it real? I was constantly questioning if what he saw was ghosts, a hallucination or in fact real. It keep me desperate to know more because I was never really sure what was real and what wasn’t.

The characters were similarly duplicitous, and everyone seemed to have an alternative motive. Nicholas was a really interesting protagonist, trying to understand what happened to him, and exactly why it did. The ending was a bit of a shock, and I would never have guessed the truth. There were also plenty of creepy, unsettling moments and I loved the setting of the big old house with long corridors and moving shadows.

If you love a story with plenty of twists and creepy moments, The Spaces in Between is a fantastic read and should definitely be on your to be read list. It also has a completely stunning cover!

Book Review: The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey

Book Review: The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey

BOOK REVIEW (2)
Series: Sovereign #1
Release Date: June 25th 2018
Pages: 303
Find It On: Goodreads. BookDepository. Amazon.
Source: The author kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Review

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey is the first in a new fantasy series in which we follow the residents of the Blue – the last remaining city on Earth. As soon as I picked this book up I was hooked on this intense and action packed story, and I’m so excited to find out what’s in store next!

Untitled design (9)The story is told in alternating points of view – one from Cameron, a noble with many secrets in his past, out in the wilds attempting to find someone who disappeared many years ago, and Julia, a young girl forced to serve the reigning nobles. I really liked the differing perspectives in this story, the characters were really complex and fascinating and I certainly found myself becoming attached to them as the story progressed.

The Gilded King is definitely an unpredictable story – I was never quite sure where it was going to turn next. The world building is excellent and Jaffrey has created a really fascinating world with a whole wealth of paranormal creatures. The story is well paced and has plenty of action, ramping up more and more to the intense ending. The story blends action packed moments with romance and mystery incredibly – this makes for one really exciting story. If you’re a fantasy lover, this is bound to be your new favourite series.
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