Book Review: Bloodchild – Anna Stephens

Book Review: Bloodchild – Anna Stephens

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Series:
Godblind #3 (See my review for Darksoul here!)
Release Date: September 5th 2019
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Pages: 508
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Rilporin has fallen and Corvus, King of the Mireces, reigns over an occupied land. The raiders and their dark religion have conquered, but victory came at a terrible price – the death of a god – and sparks of resistance glimmer on all sides.

In the south, Mace gathers the survivors of Rilpor’s armies. Among the fierce tribes of Krike, Crys and Dom search for allies and for the truth of what binds them to the Gods of Light. And in the royal palace itself, Tara – once a soldier, now a slave – hopes to ignite a rebellion.

But time is against them. A child will soon be born with the power to return the Dark Lady from death, and the long-prophesied final battle for the future of Rilpor and Mireces, of humans and gods, is near.

Review

Copy of book cover (22)Bloodchild is the third and final instalment in Anna Stephens’ dark and brutal Godblind trilogy. Picking up straight after the events of Darksoul, the story follows our group of protagonists as they fight for supremacy. But Rilpor’s army is severely depleted, the Dark Lady is gone and Rilirin is soon to have her child that is integral to the Mireces plans – who will survive?

Godblind and Darksoul both made it to my favourite books of the year lists so going into this I was pretty prepared for it to be epic and unputdownable. The stakes in Bloodchild are even higher – the story is dark, brutal and addictive. Stephens has such an incredible writing style that I didn’t want to look away from this book for a second. Bloodchild follows the same characters as the previous books and we are treated to multiple POVs as we see each character attempt to survive and win the war. There are so many characters I’ve grown to love over the three books – Crys, Tara and Rilirin to name but a few and I loved seeing them in the last part of this epic tale.

Rounding up such a massive story is pretty difficult but Stephens does an incredible job. The ending was spectacular, not only was it fast paced and gripping but it was heart breaking too. One of the things I love most about this series is the way you get to know and love characters from both sides of the war – those fighting for the Red Gods and those for the Light. It’s a fascinating and compelling tale and if you love Grimdark fantasy this is a series to get reading immediately – you won’t be disappointed.
5 Stars

Book Review: Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston

Book Review: Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston

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Series:
Once Upon A Con #3
Release Date: June 16th 2020
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 320
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

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175826.598When I read Geekarella I fell completely in love with the geeky and adorable characters Ashley Poston had created. When I picked up Princess and the Fangirl I had some pretty high expectations and yet again I loved absolutely everything about it. So when Bookish and the Beast was announced it pretty much became one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales so I was incredibly excited to see Poston’s take. If it’s possible I loved this one even more than the previous two books and I am pretty much obsessed with this series.

Bookish and the Beast follows Vance Reigns, a character we’ve met briefly in previous books. He’s incredibly famous and wherever he goes scandal and wrongdoing seem to follow. To get out of the spotlight Vance is shipped off to a remote town till things cool off. There he meets Rosie, a young girl struggling with everything – the death of her mother, her college applications and her future. When the two are forced to work together it’s clear they can’t stand each other but after weeks of working in a library will their feelings stay the same?

Bookish and the Beast is honestly just the perfect sweet contemporary read. This book is pure escapism, it’s sweet and cute and just the best read to get lost in for a few hours. I love going to comic con and I love all the fandom references that are littered throughout the book. Rosie and Vance are brilliant characters and it was so easy to root for them. There’s quite a few secondary characters I really liked too and it was lovely to get glimpses of characters from the previous two novels too.

This story is beautiful and addictive and I didn’t want it to end. (I also kind of want Ashley Poston to write a Starfield series because honestly it sounds like the kind of thing I would just love). I loved the way Poston incorporated the aspects of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and I cannot wait to see what story she tackles next.
5 Stars

Book Review: King of Fools – Amanda Foody

Book Review: King of Fools – Amanda Foody

July 23, 2019 (12)
Series:
The Shadow Game #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: April 30th 2019
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Pages: 602
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

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.

Review

Copy of book cover (13)King of Fools is the second instalment in Amanda Foody’s incredible Shadow Game series. The story follows a group of characters living in the City of Sins, attempting to navigate the world of crime, magic and excess. After surviving the Shadow Game in book one, Enne and Levi now have bounties on their heads and must do everything they can to survive in this cut-throat city.

Ace of Shades was one of my favourite books of 2018. I loved every second of it and I’m absolutely kicking myself that it took me so long to pick up King of Fools. This time the stakes are even higher, the story more intense, and I honestly did not want this book to end. Despite it being over six hundred pages, I raced through it at a ridiculous pace. King of Fools is a roller coaster ride of a read and it doesn’t let you go till the very last page.

Foody has created a vibrant and exciting world in this series. I loved getting the chance to learn more of the history of the city in this instalment and explore more of the talents that people possess. Foody has done an excellent job with the world building, it feels so detailed and full of life. The story is told in alternating chapters between Levi, Enne and Jac and I loved seeing each of the characters grow as they ventured out on their own.

King of Fools is a heart pounding read and one you definitely don’t want to miss. There are a few heart breaking moments and if this is how Foody ends book two, I’m equal parts excited and terrified to see what’s coming in Queen of Volts.
5 Stars

Book Review: Viper – Bex Hogan

Book Review: Viper – Bex Hogan

July 23, 2019 (10)
Series:
Isles of Storm and Sorrow #1
Release Date: April 18th 2019
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this from Waterstones
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

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?

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.761Viper is an epic pirate adventure that follows Marianne, the daughter of the infamous Viper – the most dangerous pirate in the ocean. He’s supposed to be the defender of the people and protector of the realm, but he has become corrupted and cares only about gaining power. He’ll stop at nothing, and remove everyone who gets in his way. But when his own daughter stands up to him, will she be able to stop him and protect the kingdom?

Honestly I loved this book. I really love pirate stories and this was just the perfect swashbuckling adventure. High stakes, fast paced action and a brilliant cast of characters. It was everything I could have hoped for and more. Bex Hogan has created a vivid and fascinating world in Viper, the islands were such interesting places and I loved the dash of magic added to the story too (the Sea Serpents were so cool). It was so easy just to get completely swept up in the story and I ended up racing though this book.

This is quite a dark tale and there was a bit more gore and violence that I would typically expect from a YA book. It fit well with the story though and made the atmosphere even more tense as Marianne fought to survive. The story does feature some romance and while I don’t particularly enjoy romances I thought it was a really nice addition to the story. It added another layer without detracting from the main plot.

Viper is the swashbuckling adventure you didn’t know you needed. It’s a heart pounding read and if you’re anything like me it’s going to have you running to pick up the sequel.
5 Stars

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

July 23, 2019 (9)
Series:
Wayward Children #2 (Read my review of book one here)
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 190
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I listened to this on Scribd.
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Review

Copy of book cover (11)Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the second instalment in the incredibly popular Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. This instalment follows two characters we met in book one – Jack and Jill – and gives the reader a chance to find out the story of the twin sisters and how they ended up at Eleanor West’s school. Travelling to the moors we see the sisters take extremely different paths, but the moors is a dangerous place and will they both survive?

Jack and Jill were the characters I was most intrigued by in Every Heart A Doorway so when I heard that book two was a prequel featuring them I immediately picked up book two. If possible I loved this book even more than the previous one, the moors is such a fascinating world and I didn’t want this stunning tale to end. Like the previous book the world building is excellent, giving the reader a chance to learn about the world as we delve further into the story.

I am in awe of how much McGuire manages to pack into such a small number of pages, and I found it difficult to put this one down. Jack and Jill are fascinating characters – twin sisters but different in so many ways. I also loved Doctor Bleak and the Master. McGuire is brilliant at creating complex characters you can’t help but adore.

Fast-paced and exciting, Down Among the Sticks and Bones was everything I wanted and more. It gives the reader a chance to get to see Jack and Jill before they go through their door, which I also really loved. I’m hopeful the sisters will return in later books. The Wayward Children series if fast becoming one of my favourites and I cannot wait to visit a nonsense world in Beneath the Sugar Sky!
5 Stars

Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway – Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway – Seanan McGuire

July 23, 2019 (1)
Series:
Wayward Children #1
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 176
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.
Source: I listened to this book on Scribd.

Synopsis

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Review

Copy of book cover (1)The Wayward Children series is one that’s been on my radar for a while, and when I saw the audio books on Scribd I thought I would give them a go. I completely fell in love with this magical, fairy tale like story and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has in store.

The story is set at Eleanor West’s home for Wayward Children – a place where children who have come back from other worlds can stay as they attempt to find the door back to the magical land they went to. Nancy is one such child, determined to find her way back as soon as possible. But not everything is as it seems at the school, and Nancy and her friends must uncover the darkness lurking in the heart of the school.

This unique and engaging tale completely captured my attention and I ended up listening to it all in one go. It’s a beautifully written tale, full of magic and whimsy. It also has plenty of darkness and gory moments too and the detail and complexity of the world building really shines through in McGuire’s writing. I’m not normally a big fan of novellas because I always feel like I want more, but this 200 page story is the perfect length, giving you a glimpse of other worlds that we will hopefully get to see more of in the subsequent books.

The characters in this book were so fascinating. Jack and Jill were definitely my favourites but for such a short book there’s an immense amount of depth in the characters we meet. There is a wonderful amount of diversity in the characters and I can’t wait to see the characters grow as the series continues.

This is an incredible start to the series and I can only hope that the rest of the books are as gripping and addictive as this one. If you haven’t started this series yet, now is definitely the time to do it.
5 Stars

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy – Kat Dunn

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy – Kat Dunn

July 23, 2019 (5)
Series:
Dangerous Remedy #1
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Publisher: Zephyr Books
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

Review

Copy of book cover (6)Dangerous Remedy is the first in an all new historical fantasy series, following Camille and her Battalion of the dead as they attempt to save innocent souls about to be executed. When a rescue mission goes wrong and the team discover that their innocent isn’t a young aristocrat girl but someone with mysterious powers the Battalion must fight off both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries to save themselves.

I absolutely loved this book. A captivating tale set in Revolutionary France, I quickly became completely engrossed in this story and ended up staying up till 3am to finish it. The story is cleverly weaved and the plot is exciting – if you’re a fan of heist novels you need to pick this one up immediately.

I don’t know much about France during that time period but it felt like an incredible amount of detail had gone into the setting of this novel. It really came alive in Dunn’s writing and it was so fascinating to learn more about the time period. Despite it being just short of 450 pages, it felt like an incredibly fast read and the ending has definitely left me dying to read the next instalment in the series.

One of the things I loved most about Dangerous Remedy are the captivating characters. I adored the romance between Camilla and Ada, especially as the story progressed and things grew more complicated. They’re fascinating characters, each dealing with their own difficult pasts. I also loved Al who is the perfect sarcastic and witty addition to the battalion.

Dangerous Remedy is a highly entertaining, roller coaster ride of a book. It’s full to the brim with adventure, magic and romance. Kat Dunn has written the perfect story to get completely lost in and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
5 Stars

Book Review: The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman

Book Review: The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman

July 23, 2019 (26)
Series:
The Devouring Gray #1
Release Date: April 16th 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-14T133429.980The Devouring Gray is the dark and eerie tale of a small town called Four Paths and the founding families that strive to protect it from the mysterious beast known as The Gray. As newcomer Violet moves to town The Gray grows stronger, taking more and more people, but will the bickering families be able to work together to stop it from escaping its prison and destroying the town?

The Devouring Gray has pretty much everything I love in books. It has this gorgeous, atmospheric setting. I loved the quaint little town with this deep dark secret, steeped right into the towns history. The founding families with magical powers is another trope I just love and the whole book gave me serious Riverdale/The Vampire Diaries vibes.

The story is pretty quick paced and Herman has a really lovely writing style which I really enjoyed. She has created a diverse cast of characters that are full of depth and each is dealing with their own complex issues as they strive to safe the town from The Gray.

The story is mysterious and full of reveals that I didn’t see coming, and I definitely found myself turning the pages faster and faster to see how the story was going to end. This is a duology so I’m really looking forward to picking up The Deck of Omens to see what happens next. The Devouring Gray is certainly a book that’s received a lot of buzz, but if you’ve been hesitant about picking it up I’d absolutely recommend giving it a shot.
5 Stars

Blog Tour: Strangers – C. L. Taylor

Blog Tour: Strangers – C. L. Taylor

July 23, 2019 (10)
Release Date:
April 2nd 2020
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-08T131041.036C. L. Taylor is one of my favourite thriller writers and I was incredibly excited to pick up her latest release, Strangers. The story follows three strangers – Ursula, Gareth and Alice. They each have secrets, but when their worlds collide they have to stick together to survive. Strangers is an addictive and gripping tale full of twists you absolutely won’t see coming.

The story is told in alternating view points between the three characters. It was so fascinating seeing how these three seemingly unrelated people were intertwined. The differing points of view also give you the chance to get to know the three main characters in more depth, and discover their secrets. C. L. Taylor always creates really vivid and realistic characters and our three protagonists in Strangers are no exception.

When I picked up Strangers I planned to read a few chapters before bedtime – really I should have known better – I ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning and I read the majority of the book practically in a single sitting. Strangers is full to the brim with tense atmosphere, which ramps up more and more towards the end. It is an addictive, heart pounding read and definitely one you won’t want to miss.

While I’ve loved every book by C. L. Taylor, this one is my favourite. A cleverly woven tale that you won’t be able to put down, this is one you need to get your hands on right away.
4 Starsstrangers_blog-tour-banner-1

Book Review: The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood

Book Review: The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-02-12T180706.446
Series:
The Serpent Gates #1
Release Date: February 11th 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

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.

Review

Copy of book cover (96)Epic fantasy on the grandest scale, The Unspoken Name is a bloody brilliant read and I didn’t want it to end.

The story follows Csorwe, Chosen Bride of the Unspoken. She knows how her life will end. On the allotted day, she will enter the mountain and sacrifice herself to the god known only as the Unspoken One. When that day comes and Csorwe is given the opportunity to live she takes it. Her new destiny? To help mysterious wizard Sethennai overthrow an empire and reclaim his title.

One of the things I loved most about this book is how richly detailed it is. There’s so much research about the many worlds Csorwe visits, the people, places and religions. Every aspect of this story was so well fleshed out and it was so easy to dive into this vivid and richly imaginative world. The world building is excellent and the story is well plotted and cleverly executed. Despite the many worlds and many gods the story never got confusing and it was so easy to understand the systems Larkwood has built within the story.

The characters were really fascinating and I loved Csorwe so much. She’s a really interesting protagonist and I enjoyed seeing her grow from appointed sacrifice to something so much more. There is so much character depth in each of the characters in this story. There’s also some diverse representation within the novel too. The romance was so sweet and I really enjoyed watching the relationship evolve (I won’t say which characters because I don’t want to spoil this wonderful book for anyone).

The Unspoken Name is a brilliantly addictive tale of vengeance, magic, relationships and so much more. If you’re looking for a new binge worthy fantasy read, this is definitely a must buy. Your only trouble will be counting down the days until the next book is released.
5 stars