Book Review: Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury

Book Review: Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury

Header (5)
Release Date:
March 5th 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local Waterstones
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Everyone knows what happened to Alva’s mother, all those years ago. But when dark forces begin to stir in Ormscaula, Alva has to face a very different future – and question everything she thought she knew about her past…

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.950Hold Back the Tide follows the story of Alva, a young girl living in the remote Scottish highlands with her father. Her mother mysteriously disappeared and Alva knows her father is responsible. Whilst living day in and day out with the person she believes murdered her mother, she dreams of escaping to a new life. When dark forces begin preying on Ormscaula Alva has to do everything she can to help the town survive, and uncover some difficult truths about her family.

Melinda Salisbury is one of my favourite writers, I’ve loved everything she’s written so far so I was extremely eager to read this one and I had really high expectations. From the get go this story hooked me in, I loved the dark and eerie atmosphere and the bleak remote setting Salisbury created. Salisbury created an incredibly vivid world and from the very first chapter I didn’t want to put this down. I absolutely adored The Sin Eater’s Daughter, but this might be my favourite book from her ever.

Alva is a brilliant protagonist, Salisbury manages to fit in tons of character development as she learns the dark truth of Ormscaula, what happened to her mother and fights for the survival of the town. She’s a strong protagonist and one I was absolutely rooting for from the get go. The secondary characters in the story are likewise well developed and fleshed out. There is a little bit of romance but it is very subtle and doesn’t take away from the main story.

Hold Back the Tide is one of those books that you don’t stop thinking about long after you’ve finished reading. It was creepy, genuinely made me uneasy at some moments and has an absolutely unbelievable ending. I can’t recommend this one highly enough and this book will be without a doubt on my favourite books of 2020 list.
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

Six For Sunday: Favourite Book One In A Series

Six For Sunday: Favourite Book One In A Series

July 23, 2019 (1)
Six For Sunday is a weekly prompt created by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. Today we’re talking about your favourite first book in a series. I’m love long running series so it was quite hard to narrow this down to just six, and quite honestly I loved every book in these series – but lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (5)1. Geekarella – Ashley Poston
The first book in the Once Upon A Con series, is such a cute and sweet story that I couldn’t help falling in love. I’ve read and completely adored The Princess and the Fangirl and Bookish and the Beast but the story of Darien and Elle will always be my favourite. This series is the perfect cute and fluffy contemporary to become completely absorbed in.

Copy of book cover (4)2. Godblind – Anna Stephens
The Godblind trilogy is one of my all time favourite grimdark series and I recently finished book three Bloodchild. I gave all three five stars but something about the first book just edges it as my favourite. Getting to know this bloody, violent world of gods and war was just incredible and I can’t wait to reread this series soon.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2733. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
This is another one where I loved every second in the world, but the first book in the series was my favourite. I loved seeing Alina come into her powers and navigate the world of the Grisha. The story is an epic tale but I loved the setting of book one as well as getting to know the darkling – who remains one of my favourite villains.

Copy of book cover (2)4. The Boy With the Porcelain Blade – Den Patrick
I wasn’t sure whether to put this one of my list because I also really really love book two in this series but I couldn’t resist mentioning it. The Erebus Sequence is a really underrated fantasy series, full of magic and monsters and it’s one I found difficult to put down. The Boy with the Porcelain Blade is a brilliant read and my favourite in the series (honestly though they’re all incredible).

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4425. The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
I’ve talked about this series again and again but honestly if you haven’t given it a go you definitely need to pick it up soon. The beautifully told tale of Vasya is full of gorgeous vivid imagery and I could read Katherine Arden’s writing till the end of time. This Russian inspired tale is full of folklore and magic and is everything you could want in a book.

Copy of book cover (1)6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
This is another totally cute and sweet series but the reason I love book one the most is that I loved the fake dating trope, and I think it’s so well done in this book. I also kind of thing the story could have been a standalone without the subsequent books, so To All the Boys will always be my favourite in the trilogy.

So those are my some of my favourite first book in a series – what are some of yours?

Series I Would Love to Reread!

Series I Would Love to Reread!

July 23, 2019 (27)
Rereading is something I definitely don’t do enough of. I’ve got quite a few series on my all time favourites shelf, but with so many new releases out I never get the chance to reread them. I thought it would be fun to do a little post of series I would love to reread in the future!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2731. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo
I know so many people prefer Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology but honestly I fell in love with The Grisha trilogy and it’s still one of my favourites. The darkling is such a brilliant villain and I love the adventure that Alina and Mal go on. I have re-listened to books one and two on audiobook but I haven’t physically read them since the first time. I would totally love to reread all three sometime soon.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175201.6572. The Illuminae Files – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I was a bit late to the party with the Illuminae files but when I finally did pick them I think I read them all over the space of a week. I completely fell in love with the story and I really liked the way the story was laid out as files and maps and transcripts. It was such an engaging tale and I definitely think they’re worth reading a second time. I’ve only ever read them once and I think they’re the sort of books you might notice more the second time around, so rereading them would be great.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175214.2603. The Study Series – Maria V. Snyder
I honestly think the Study series is one of the most under-rated YA fantasy series. I’ve loved every single one and Yelena and Valek are still one of my favourite couples. This is a series I recommend to pretty much everyone, and I have reread the first few a few times. It is quite a long running series – the full Chronicles of Ixia is nine books – so it would be a big undertaking to reread them but it would totally be worth it.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175225.3044. The Sin Eater’s Daughter Series – Melinda Salisbury
It’s been quite a few years since I read The Sin Eater’s Daughter but each of the three books were rating amongst my favourites of the year when they came out. I remember having my heart broken a few times reading The Scarecrow Queen and I would love to revisit this beautiful trilogy. This is another one I’ve only read once so I only really remember parts of the story – a reread is definitely overdue.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175236.1095. The Folk of the Air – Holly Black
This series only ended recently but it was an incredibly brilliant trilogy that I honestly did not want to end. I finished book three in November but I’m already thinking about the possibility of rereading them. I just loved the world that Black created and the hate to love romance was exceptionally well done. I know tons of people love this series so I’m probably not the only one itching to reread them.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175247.2616. A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire is my all time favourite series and I have reread it once and listened to it once but it has been a while since I have dived back into Westeros. I recently ended up playing Game of Thrones Monopoly in lockdown and it got me thinking about how much I want to reread the series. It is a massive undertaking with the books being so large, but it’s so easy to fall into this epic story.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175259.6977. The Shattered Sea – Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercombie is another author that I love and with him returning to the world of The First Law with a new release I had been thinking about revisiting to those books again. However first I think I would like to reread his Shattered Sea trilogy, the young adult fantasy series that I think is a bit underrated. Book two of this series was the first ARC I ever received and it definitely holds a special place in my heart.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4428. The Winternight Trilogy – Katherine Arden
This beautiful trilogy ended in 2019 but I still think about how much I loved it. For the past few years each instalment has been near the top of my favourite books of the year and I think they are some of my favourite books of all time. Katherine Arden has such a gorgeous writing style and this atmospheric tale inspired by Russian folklore was just everything I wanted and more. I think these would be perfect to reread in the winter on a snowy night so I might save them for then.

So those are some of the series I would absolutely love to reread – what are some series you would love to reread?

Book Review: Spellhacker – M. K. England

Book Review: Spellhacker – M. K. England

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-22T205853.639
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

Favourite Books of 2019!

Favourite Books of 2019!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-01T105341.541

Today I’m back with my favourite books of 2019. I always find it quite hard to whittle it down to only 10 books, but after some deliberation I’ve managed to pick them. I managed to read 108 books in 2019, so in no particular order here are my favourites!

Copy of book cover (90)1. The Queen of Nothing – Holly Black
The third and final instalment in The Folk of the Air trilogy, I couldn’t put this book down. I loved every second of this magic series.

book cover (41)2. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang
I’m a bit late to the party with The Poppy War. I know the sequel The Dragon Republic is already out but I finally got around to picking up book one and I completely loved it. Book two is one of my top priority reads for 2020.

Copy of book cover (40)3. Sanctuary – V. V. James
This supernatural mystery/thriller had me hooked from the very beginning and I never wanted this story to end. I definitely had a few sleepless nights while I stayed up late reading this one.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.2504. The Furies – Katie Lowe
This dark and eerie tale of obsession, revenge and murder was so brilliant I still think about it even though I read it months ago. I’ve been recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know and it’s definitely going in my all time favourites.

Copy of book cover (56)5. Night Film – Marisha Pessl
I picked this up on the recommendation of someone else and it was genuinely one of the creepiest, most spine tingling books I’ve ever read. This was my first book by Marisha Peshl, but I can’t wait to read more from her.

Copy of book cover (27)6. An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass
An Illusion of Thieves was a book that completely took me by surprise. I expected to enjoy the story but I didn’t expect to get completely wrapped up in this vivid tale of magic and survival. Book two is definitely one my most anticipated releases for 2020.

Copy of book cover (12)7. Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence
The second instalment of Mark Lawrence’s Impossible Times series is just as action packed and exciting as book one and some of the twists completely blew me away. The third and final book Dispel Illusion is going to be one of my first reads in January.

book cover (48)8. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan
I know this book received some mix reactions but I really enjoyed the unique magic system and the exciting plot. I’m really intrigued to see where the series will go next.

book cover (45)9. Aurora Rising – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
For some reason I didn’t get around to reading that many science fiction books in 2019 but Aurora Rising was one of the stand out ones. I loved this action packed space adventure with unique characters and witty banter.

Copy of book cover (80)10. Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo
Last but certainly not least, Leigh Bardugo’s newest book about secret magical societies at Yale was definitely one of my favourite reads in the last half of the year. I can’t wait for the sequel to this one and I’m sure it’s going to be just as intense and unputdownable.

So those are my favourite reads of 2019! Which books were your favourite reads this year? And if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought!

Book Review: Wild Savage Stars – Kristina Perez

Book Review: Wild Savage Stars – Kristina Perez

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-11-11T232211.124
Series:
Sweet Black Waves #2 (See my review of #1 here!)
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Iseult, Wild Savage Stars is the spellbinding sequel to Sweet Black Waves.

Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.

Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.

Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…

Review

Copy of book cover (87)Wild Savage Stars is the eagerly awaited second instalment in the Sweet Black Waves trilogy, a beautiful tale of magic and romance inspired by the legend of Tristan and Eseult. I completely fell in love with the first book in the series and I was incredibly excited to find out what was in store for Branwen in book two. I absolutely devoured this book and book three is definitely one of my most anticipated releases.

The story follows Branwen, cousin to Princess Eseult as she embarks upon a journey across the sea, where Eseult will be married to the King of what was once an enemy kingdom. Tensions are fraught and the two best friends have difficult relationship following the Essy’s betrayal. As political tensions rise in their new homeland, Branwen embarks on a dark quest to understand her magic and save the ones she loves.

I honestly just adore everything about this series. In this instalment we are treated to a new land, and I loved the vivid descriptions of the castle and the land. The magic system is fascinating and I really enjoyed seeing Branwen learn more about her powers and carry out magic that was beyond her wildest imaginings. There is definitely more political intrigue in this instalment and I found myself fascinated watching Branwen and Essy attempt to manoeuvre court life.

For me the thing that really makes this book are the characters. Branwen is without a doubt one of my all time favourite characters. She’s strong willed, stubborn and not afraid to make hard decisions. She sometimes makes the wrong choice, but she sees it through. I also really like Ruan and Tristan, the cousins have a fascinating relationship and I loved that Perez gave us the chance to learn more of their backstory. Essy is probably my least favourite, I sometimes find her a bit on the childish side, but she is still a vivid and well fleshed out character.

The story has so many twists that I just didn’t see coming, moments where I just could not stop reading because I just had to know what was coming next. It’s an addictive, beautifully written tale and definitely a new favourite series of mine.
5 stars

Book Review: An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass

Book Review: An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-11-10T202032.508
Series:
Chimera #1
Release Date: May 21st 2019
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. 
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.

Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy’s aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.

Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they’ll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.

Review

Copy of book cover (27)This is the sort of book that when I first read the synopsis sounded really intriguing and I thought it would be a fun and enjoyable read. What I didn’t expect was how much I would completely adore this book and how desperate I am to find out what’s in store next for Romy.

The story follows Romy, a young woman who has fought hard to become the favoured courtesan of the infamous Shadow Lord. Despite their closeness when her brother Neri is discovered stealing with the aid of magic, Romy is cast out and left to survive in the beggar’s ring. Using her knowledge of politics and her will to survive, Romy works to protect Neri and keep them both alive. In trying to keep her own magic hidden she discovers a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord, but will thwarting the plan risk their lives?

I loved everything about this book. I fell completely under the spell of this Renaissance inspired world. I thought the world building was excellent and really enjoyed getting to know the magic system. Magic is of course forbidden in this world and I loved seeing the characters attempt to understand and hone their gifts in secret.

The plot was well paced and had quite a few twists – a few I saw coming but a couple were also a complete surprise. I was really gripped by the sense of adventure, the heist like nature of the story and the camaraderie between the characters. I loved Romy and her cheeky brother Neri. They’re great characters and I cannot wait to see what book two has in store for them.

One of the reasons this book really stood out for me is the romance aspect. There is a little bit of romance but the focus is very much on the sibling relationship and that was a breath of fresh air. It was nice to focus much more on Neri and Romy attempting to understand and work together, rather than a swoony romance.

An Illusion of Thieves is a brilliant beginning to what I’m sure is going to be an engrossing series. If you love stories with vivid characters, tons of action and political intrigue, then this is definitely one to pick up soon!
5 stars

Book Review: Sweet Black Waves – Kristina Perez

Book Review: Sweet Black Waves – Kristina Perez

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-11-02T123322.057
Series:
Sweet Black Waves #1
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 448
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

Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.

Review

Copy of book cover (85)Sweet Black Waves is the first in an all new fantasy series inspired by the legend of Tristan and Eseult. I must admit that I am not all that familiar with the famous tale. I know it’s a romance but little else, so when I went into Sweet Black Waves I wasn’t sure what the story would entail. I must admit I got completely hooked on the story of Branwen and Tristan and I am absolutely dying to read the next book in the series.

The story follows Branwen, cousin to the Queen and last survivor of her family after they were killed by raiders. She one day finds a man on the beach and rescues him, and discovers he is one of the enemy. As the two spend time together in secret, feelings start to bloom between them, but could the world ever accept a couple from the two opposing nations? As Branwen begins to fight for peace, she discovers she has magic in her blood and must to everything she can to keep it secret.

This book was honestly just so addictive. I’m not normally someone who loves romance stories but I completely fell in love with Branwen and Tristan. The characters were brilliantly written. Branwen is so complex, dealing with the loss of her family, the love of her country and her desires for peace. Tristan is likewise a fascinating character and I loved watching the two characters grow and develop as the story went on.

Kristina Perez has created a really fascinating world, and one that is steeped in history and culture. The world building was just perfect and I found it so easy just to sink into this world of magic and enemy kingdoms. Perez has a gorgeous writing style and I found myself getting so absorbed in the story that I ended up staying up way later than I planned because I just had to know what was going on next. Sweet Black Waves is a phenomenal start to this bright and vivid series and I’m definitely planning to dive straight into Wild Savage Stars.
4 stars

Book Recommendations: Halloween Edition!

Book Recommendations: Halloween Edition!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-10-30T135727.937
I’m back with a new book recommendations post. This time we’re talking spooky reads that are perfect for Halloween. I absolutely love doing a readathon on Halloween, it’s a great time to get comfy on the couch with some candles, a blanket and a cat, so I thought I would recommend some of my favourite spooky books that would be perfect this Halloween.

Copy of book cover (80)1. Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo
I finished this just recently and absolutely adored it. Set at Yale University, it features magic, mystery and the dark underworld of the Yale secret societies. I got completely sucked into this story and ended up flying through it. It’s gripping, dark and deals with some really tough themes, but it was a brilliant read and definitely a new favourite of mine.

2. The Monster of Elendhaven – Jennifer GiesbrechtCopy of book cover (81)
This is quite a short little book that I ended up reading in one sitting – perfect for a readathon. The story follows a man hungry for revenge on those who wronged him, and his companion who cannot die. It has a really vivid setting, and excellent world building, especially in such a short book. It’s a gruesome and compelling tale, and one I highly recommend.

3. The Deathless Girls – Kiran Milwood Hagravebook cover - 2019-05-01T094307.932
This one isn’t so much as scary as it is captivating and engrossing. The story is a reimagining of the brides of Dracula and the events that lead them to become immortals. It’s a beautifully told Gothic tale and I was absolutely hooked. It features some stunning writing and a fantastic cast of characters. I also really liked the romance in this story – which is something I don’t say very often!

4. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley JacksonCopy of book cover (83)
I couldn’t resist throwing a classic into the mix. Shirley Jackson is an author I have been a bit hit or miss with. I enjoyed The Missing Girl, didn’t really get We Have Always Lived in the Castle and loved The Haunting of Hill House. This is by far my favourite, it’s dark, creepy and a brilliantly weaved tale.

5. Tunnel of Bones – Victoria SchwabCopy of book cover (84)
This is the second instalment in Victoria Schwab’s middle grade ghost hunter series and if you haven’t read book one I highly recommend both.  The first is set in Edinburgh and the many haunted places within the city. This instalment is set in the creepy Paris catacombs and really brings these places to life, I really loved following Cassidy and her ghost best friend as they tackle ghosts and save the world as we know it.

6. Sanctuary – V. V. JamesCopy of book cover (40)
I still think about this book even though I finished it months ago. A story of murder, revenge and witchcraft, this book will have you on the edge of your seat right till the very last page. In a world where witches live and work alongside humans, the murder of a young high school student leads everyone to start pointing the finger at witches. But who really did it? and was Daniel as innocent as he seemed? Full of twists and turns, this is one of my favourite books of the year.

7. The Furies – Katie Lowebook cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250
This is another book I could not put down and is absolutely perfect for Halloween reading. The story of a group of high school students who believe they have ability to cast spells and enact revenge on those who wronged them. This is a stunning debut with vivid characters and an unforgettable plot.

8. Night Film – Marisha PeshlCopy of book cover (56)
I was a bit late to the Night Film party but my god I’m glad I finally picked this book up. The story follows disgraced detective Scott McGrath as he attempts to understand the suicide of Ashley Cordova, the daughter of a reclusive film maker. As he delves deeper, he learns it might not have been suicide and Cordova might have been messing with something far beyond our understanding. This story felt so real I wanted to google the characters so I could watch the movies.

Copy of book cover (60)9. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
Looking for a crime thriller fix this October? The Puppet Show definitely has you covered. The first in a new detective series, this book is full to the brim with shock twists I would never have seen coming and is full of plenty gory moments. It also features a brilliant crime solving duo and I can’t wait to pick up the next instalment in the series.

10.  Dead Voices – Katherine Arden Copy of book cover (82)
This one is a bit of an honourable mention because I’m actually in the middle of reading it now. This is the second instalment in Katherine Arden’s Small Spaces series. This middle grade series is so fun and full of spooky goodness. The first book features plenty of eerie, spine tingling moments and I am loving Dead Voices so far.

So there you have it! Those are my recommendations for spooky reads this Halloween. If you’ve read any great creepy reads recently I’d love to know what they were, and if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them!