February Wrap Up!

February Wrap Up!

July 23, 2019 (6)
February was a pretty great reading month and I managed to read nine books and most of them were four or five stars – which is a massive win! So let’s dive into the books I read in February.

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172843.7751. The Foundling – Stacey Halls
I absolutely adored The Familiars by Stacey Halls so I was super excited about this one. The story of a young woman who has to give up her child to the foundling hospital and when she goes to collect her, they tell her the child was already collected years ago. A beautifully told story that I just couldn’t put down. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T172928.8382. Belle Revolte – Lindsay Miller
A magical tale of two young women switching places to get the life they’ve always dreamed of. I really love the switch lives trope and it’s incredibly well executed in this story. Full to the brim with magic and adventure, this French inspired fantasy was such a fun read and has definitely made me want to read more from Lindsay Miller. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-20T070030.4503. The Golden Key – Marion Womack
A really fascinating historical fiction about a young man who, reeling from the death of a loved one gets caught up in an age old disappearance on the Norfolk fens. Set during the Victorian era with seances and this story has really beautiful writing and a vivid setting. It also had a surprise ending that I absolutely did not see coming. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-27T191324.8134. Havenfall – Sara Holland
The new series from Everless author Sara Holland, I really liked the idea behind this but found the story a bit on the slower side. The story of a young girl who works at an inn between realms and what happens when her uncle the owner becomes ill and she has to save the inn from falling into ruin.  I’m interested in seeing where Sara Holland takes this story next. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T173228.2895. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
This is absolutely not something I would normally read but I was recommended this book at an event I was at recently and decided to try it. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, this is the diaries of a young doctor in the NHS. It’s a must read and definitely gave me plenty to think about. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174316.1036. The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne
A retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in space, I loved the glitz and glamour behind this story. It was a really fast paced tale that I just devoured and it has definitely made me want to pick up more from this author. I also think that’s got to be one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
This was one of my most anticipated releases and my god it was such a brilliant read. The story of a young orc girl who is set to be sacrificed to the unspoken god when she comes of age. On the day of the ritual she escapes with a mysterious man who offers her the chance to travel the realms and help him get revenge on those who wronged him. A fascinating story with an amazing cast of complex characters, this one is a must read. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174925.6048. Witness X – S. E. Moorhead
I thought this debut thriller was a fascinating read and definitely one of my favourites of the month. The story of a young woman who invents technology that allows you to view the memories of another person. When the man who murdered her sister escapes prison, Kyra has doubts if he’s guilty, but will using the technology prove his guilt or drive her over the edge? A brilliant blend of science fiction and crime thriller, this was one of my favourite of the month. (4.5/5 stars)

9. Always Here For You – Miriam HalahmyCopy of book cover - 2020-03-15T174939.477
This thought provoking read focuses on a young teenager who, feeling isolated at home makes friends with a stranger online. She spends all her time interacting with this person she believes is the same age as her but when she goes to meet him she discovers Jay isn’t exactly who he said he is. A really timely and important story on the importance of staying safe online. (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I picked up in February! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought and I’d love to know what your favourite reads in February were!

Series I Really Need to Finish!

Series I Really Need to Finish!

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I have a really terrible habit of starting a series and reading a few and then not completing it. It’s one of my goals for 2020 to try and finish off some of the ones I already have on my shelf so I thought it would be fun to make a list of all the ones I REALLY need to get to.

1. Godblind – Anna StephensCopy of book cover (50)
This has been one of my favourite series of all time, I read Godblind and Darksoul and they were five star reads, I bought Bloodchild as soon as it was published but I still haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

2. Caraval – Stephanie Garber
Caraval is much the same as Godblind. I read and adored the first two books, bought Finale straight away, but I haven’t picked it up yet – think I have a problem!

3. Six of Crows – Leigh BardugoCopy of book cover (53)
I was very late to the Six of Crows party but I read Six of Crows last year and loved it. Crooked Kingdom was one of my high priority reads for the end of the year but I never got to it, despite reading pretty much everything else Leigh Bardugo has written.

4. The Raven’s Mark – Ed McDonald
The Raven’s Mark series is just incredible and I think part of the reason I haven’t picked up the third and final book is honestly I just don’t want it to end. The second book also broke me a little bit and I’m sort of scared what Ravenfall might have in store for me.

5. Sweep – Cate Tiernanbook cover - 2019-03-17T114531.309
I read and loved the Sweep books growing up and I’ve been slowly revisiting them as an adult. I own copies of them all but I’ve currently only reread up to book nine. I’d really love to get the final six read in 2020!

6. Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton
I was going to a book event and Alwyn Hamilton was the chair so I thought I might pick up Rebel of the Sands to see what it was like. I ended up binging it in one day and I bought books two and three at the event. Even though I gave it five stars I still haven’t gotten around to reading the last two books in the series.

7. Impossible Times – Mark LawrenceCopy of book cover (12)
Mark Lawrence’s time travel series has been such a brilliant fun series to read over the last year and I am really excited to get to book three. It only came out this month but I’m putting it on here so it doesn’t become like some of the others I haven’t picked up.

8. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass is an odd one for me. I read and really enjoyed the first three books a number of years ago, but haven’t picked up the rest in the series. I’d probably have to reread them now to remember the story, and I’m not entirely sure I would enjoy them as much as my taste has changed a bit since then. It would be pretty interesting to give them a go though!

9. Red Queen – Victoria AveyardCopy of book cover (16)
Red Queen is much the same as Throne of Glass, I read and loved the first few but I’m not sure how I would feel reading them years later. I would love to know how it all ends though so I definitely think I should try picking them back up!

10. DC Icons – Various Authors

When this series came out I was so excited because I love the DC Universe. I read book one Wonderwoman Warbringer and loved it. Book two I really enjoyed and I bought a copy of book three but haven’t read it or number four. I haven’t heard all that much about either but I’d really love to finish the series off.

So those are just some of the series I really need to get to this year. Are there any series you would love to finish in 2020? Let me know!

2019 Reading Resolutions: Results

2019 Reading Resolutions: Results

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-02T222955.436
Last year I made a post with some resolutions for my reading in 2019. I thought it would be fun to do a little follow up post just to see if I managed to reach my goals (spoiler: I did not) – so let’s dive in!

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Resolution #1: Read 150 Books

My original Goodreads goal for 2019 was to read 150 books. I read 142 in 2018 and thought this was a pretty reasonable goal. Near the end of the year I had to lower it to 100 books and I ended up reading a total of 108. I started a new job and started driving to work rather than getting the train so I ended up reading less. I’m still pleased with reading 108 and hope I can read even more in 2020.

Resolution #2: Catalogue my TBR and make it smaller
So this is a sort of completed goal. I have begun the process of cataloguing my TBR. I find it quite painstaking to sit and collate everything but I’ve done two bookcases and I’m working on the others. I’ve gotten a lot better at unhauling and it has made a massive difference to both my TBR and the amount of books in my house. I’m definitely hoping to continue this into the new year and get rid of the books I won’t read again or am no longer interested in.

Resolution #3: Get better at scheduling posts
I mentioned this already but I started a new job in 2019, a complete change of job that I found quite hectic and it meant I didn’t have as much spare time for blogging and reading. It has meant my scheduling has gotten better, but I’ve been posting less frequently. Hoping to be a bit more consistent in 2020!

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Resolution #4: Improve my Netgalley score

I think this is going to be my eternal struggle. When I did the original post my score was sitting at 40%. For a while I was doing really well and it was increasing but it has once again fallen by the wayside and I am sitting at 46%. This is definitely one I’m really going to try and work on this year.

Resolution #5: Read outside my comfort zone
I think I’ve done quite well at reading outside my comfort zone last year. My predominant reads were still fantasy and science fiction but I also read quite a few crime novels as well as some historical and literary fiction. I would like to try and incorporate more non-fiction, so if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them.

Resolution #6: Participate in more readathons
This was definitely a success for me. I find readathons really help me to challenge myself, participate in something fun and also read things I might not consider picking up. I participated in tons of readathons last year and I definitely want to continue that this year as well.

So those are the results of my 2019 reading resolutions! A pretty mixed bag, but I’m hoping I can improve this year. How did you fare with your reading resolutions? Let me know below!

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag!

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I really enjoyed doing the end of the year freak out tag at the end of 2018 so when I spotted this mid year post from Priyasha at Books and Co I thought I would give it a go!

Screenshot 2019-06-02 at 12.23.37I honestly have no idea how it can be June already. I’m happy to say I’m doing okay with my 2019 Reading Challenge – I am hoping to push myself to read 150 books but we’ll see how that goes. My other challenges (get my Netgalley to 80% and buy less books) aren’t going as well, but we’ve still got another six months of the year to go.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019
This is such a hard question because I hate just picking one book, but I really loved Aurora Rising.
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2. Best sequel of 2019 so far?
It’s got to be The Wicked King – that book almost killed me.
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3. New release you haven’t read yet but really want to?
I picked up a copy of Finale when it came out but I haven’t got the chance to pick it up yet.
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4. Most anticipated release for the rest of 2019?
There are so many that I’m excited for – Angel Mage by Garth Nix is definitely one of them but I think it’s got to be Crowfall – I’m dying to find out what happens!
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5. Biggest disappointment?
For this it’s definitely Vassa In the Night. I thought this was going to be a gorgeous story and I really didn’t get on with it at all.
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6. Biggest surprise?
This is definitely Daisy Jones & The Six – it’s really not the kind of book I would normally read and I picked it up on a whim but I absolutely loved it.
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7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?
I really fell in love with Shadowscent by P. M. Freestone. It was a cracking debut and I’m so excited to read more from her.
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8. Newest fictional crush?
I don’t really do fictional crushes so for this I picked my favourite couple – I loved the romance between Lyra and Vesper in A. G. Howard’s Stain.
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9. New favourite characters?
I love Nick and his friends in One Word Kill – Simon, Mia, John and Elton are a great bunch and I love watching them save the world.
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10. Book that made you cry?
So far I don’t think any books have made me cry but I definitely had a lump in my throat reading As Far As the Stars.
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11. Book that made you happy?
I was so happy reading The Princess and the Fangirl. I love Ashley Poston’s characters and it was great to see Darien and Elle from Geekarella make an appearance.
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12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?
I don’t think I’ve actually seen any movie adaptations so far. I am currently watching the TV adaptation of Good Omens though and it’s brilliant.
MV5BOTI5Y2M3NmQtNDg5ZC00OTQ0LWEzOGYtMjM4Zjg0YzY0M2I0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjkwNzEwMzU@._V1_

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year?
I was really pleased with my review of The Familiars. It’s such a beautiful book and I really wanted to do it justice.
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14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year?
I received a copy of Perfectly Preventable Deaths and I honestly just love that cover!
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15. Books you need to read by the end of the year?
I honestly have a list as long as my arm but I would just like to try and get my TBR down a good bit (like that will ever happen), but I really want to read Night Film!
book cover (85)

This tag was so fun! I’m not sure who has done it and who hasn’t so if you’re interested in doing it consider yourself tagged! 

What’s On My Netgalley Shelf?

What’s On My Netgalley Shelf?

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Welcome to a new feature on The Bibliophile Chronicles! One of my reading goals for 2018 was to try and get my Netgalley ratio in a better state as currently I’m not anywhere near the recommended 80%. I struggle with ebooks as I sometimes get migraines when reading from screens but that doesn’t stop me from seeing books I’m dying to review and requesting them.

I thought I could do a feature every few months about what’s on my Netgalley shelf and hopefully hold myself accountable a bit more. My current feedback ratio is 48% so the next instalment of this feature should be an improvement on that. I’m just going to mention some of the books on my shelf and if anyone has read any of them definitely let me know what you thought so I can get reading them!

Current Stats:
Feedback Ratio – 48% 
Approved – 90
Feedback Sent – 41
To Read – 43

1. Ash Princess & Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian
Yes I have requested both Ash Princess and Lady Smoke and I haven’t gotten around to either of them yet. I even now have a physical copy of Ash Princess and still haven’t read it yet so please if you’ve read it let me know if I should make this a priority!

book cover - 2019-03-11T210645.722Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

2. Last Bus To Everland – Sophie Cameron
I read Sophie Cameron’s Out of the Blue and gave it five stars so when this popped up I immediately requested a copy. If it’s anything like her first book I know I’m going to love it.

book cover - 2019-03-11T210746.085Brody Fair feels like nobody gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and definitely not the girls in the projects set on making his life miserable. Then he meets Nico, an art student who takes Brody to Everland, a “knock-off Narnia” that opens its door at 11:21pm each Thursday for Nico and his band of present-day misfits and miscreants.

Here Brody finds his tribe and a weekly respite from a world where he feels out of place. But when the doors to Everland begin to disappear, Brody is forced to make a decision: He can say goodbye to Everland and to Nico, or stay there and risk never seeing his family again. 

3. Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly
I absolutely love retellings so this really drew my attention. It also has such a stunning cover!

book cover - 2019-03-11T210836.240Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.

Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Evoking the darker, older versions of the Cinderella story, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses her trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption, and a new definition of beauty.

4. The Furies – Katie Lowe
This was getting lots of attention on Twitter and I love books with culty/witchy vibes so I was really excited to read this but I just haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex – led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.

While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals – warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology – the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society – Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance – is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.

5. Dracul – Darce Stoker and J. D. Barker
Dracula is one of my all time favourite books so anything relating to Bram Stoker’s classic is pretty much a must read for me. I was really fascinated with the idea of this book but haven’t really heard much about it so far.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211247.937Dracul reveals not only the true origins of Dracula himself, but also of his creator, Bram Stoker . . . and of the elusive, enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a 22-year-old Bram Stoker has locked himself inside an abbey’s tower to face off against a vile and ungodly beast. He is armed with mirrors and crucifixes and holy water and a gun – and is kept company by a bottle of plum brandy. His fervent prayer is that he will survive this one night – a night that will prove to be the longest of his life.

Desperate to leave a record of what he has witnessed, the young man scribbles out the events that brought him to this point – and tells an extraordinary tale of childhood illness, a mysterious nanny, and stories once thought to be fables now proven true.

So those are some of the books currently on my Netgalley shelf. Let me know which ones I should be getting to and what your Netgalley feedback ratio is like!

TBR Tag!

TBR Tag!

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I saw this tag over at Bookish Coffee Blog and thought it looked really fun! As always my TBR is pretty much out of control so I know there’s plenty of books for me to talk about!

How do you keep track of your TBR?
I use a spreadsheet created by Kaleena from Reader Voracious (it’s brilliant you should try it) and it keeps try of all the review books I have and when they’re due. The books I’ve bought just live on my shelf until I feel the notion to pick them up. I keep thinking about making a proper TBR shelf on Goodreads but I’m not sure if the amount of books will overwhelm me a little.

Is your TBR mostly print books or e-books?
Mostly print. I do read ebooks occasionally and I occasionally I use Netgalley but I struggle with reading electronic books because I get headaches.

How do you decide which book on your TBR to read next?
It’s usually whichever book is next in terms of reviewing obligations but if I don’t have any review books it will usually just be whatever I’m in the mood for or maybe something that I’ve seen on getting good reviews on other blogs and Goodreads.

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A book that’s been on your TBR the longest
Heartless by Marissa Meyer has definitely been on there a while. I’m definitely still interested in reading it but for some reason I just haven’t picked it up yet.

book cover - 2019-03-01T142202.525A book that you recently added to your TBR
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman arrived in the post this morning so that’s definitely the most recent addition to my TBR.

book cover (82)A book on your TBR strictly because of the beautiful cover
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos isn’t on there only because of the cover but I was certainly drawn into buying it for the cover.

book cover - 2019-03-01T142437.038A book on your TBR you never actually plan on reading
I mean I hope that I get to all the books on my TBR one day but there are probably some intimidating classics on there that I realistically won’t get to – maybe Dubliners or War and Peace.

book cover - 2019-03-01T143051.847An unpublished book on your TBR you are excited for
One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence! I’m so excited for the release of this book.

book cover (2)A book on your TBR that everyone else has read but you
Nevernight. I’m not even going to say anything else because I know how much I need to read this book.

book cover (85)A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.
Definitely Night Film by Marisha Peshl, everyone says this book is brilliant.

Untitled design (80)A book on your TBR you’re dying to read
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. It arrived last week and I’m so excited to dive back into this story.

The number of books on your TBR
I’ve never actually counted because I think it would make me cry, definitely in the hundreds!

So that’s my version of the TBR tag! I’d love to know how many books are currently on your TBR, hopefully I’m not the only one with a crazy amount!

January Book Haul!

January Book Haul!

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Today I’m bringing you my January Book Haul! I’m trying to make a concerted effort to buy less books in 2019 – I’m also tracking how much I spend on books over the year so that will be interesting to see what the total is in December. I was lucky enough to get quite a few books from publishers (thank you so much!), so as usual I’ve split them into two lots. Let’s dive in!

Books I Bought:

1. The Wicked King – Holly Black
The sequel to The Cruel Prince obviously had to be the first book I bought in 2019. I’ve read this already and it was brilliant.

book cover (13)You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

2. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
ssdI really loved the first book in this series so I just had to pick up the second instalment of Amdanda Lovelace’s inspiring poetry. I’ve also read this one too and loved it as well.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

3. The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox
I have an e-ARC from Netgalley for this book that I still haven’t read so when I saw it in the bookshop I decided to pick it up.

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

halTake this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end… 

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
I really love Brigid Kemmerer’s books so I’m so looking forward to reading this Beauty and the Beast retelling.

book cover (46)Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

5. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Favourite author has a new book about one of my all time favourite characters, need I say more?

book cover (47)Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Books From Publishers:

6. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
This dark and twisted thriller completely hooked me and I can’t wait for the next book in the series (check out my full review here)

book cover (98)A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

7. Dark Forge – Miles Cameron
The continuation to the Master and Mages series was another brilliant read and you can check out my stop on the blog tour here.

book cover (99)Only fools think war is simple.
Or glorious.

Some are warriors, some captains; others tend to the fallen or feed the living.

But on the magic-drenched battlefield, information is the lifeblood of victory, and Aranthur is about to discover that carrying messages, scouting the enemy, keeping his nerve, and passing on orders is more dangerous, and more essential, then an inexperienced soldier could imagine . . . especially when everything starts to go wrong.

Battle has been joined – on the field, in the magical sphere, and in the ever-shifting political arena . . .

8. We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo
This honestly sounds like such a stunning book and comes out in April from Bloomsbury Books.

bldthIn a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.

9. Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippencott
This kind of reminded me of a Fault in Our Stars kind of story and I know there’s a movie coming out soon so I’m definitely going to have to get to it before that comes out!

book covlhkjgerCan you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

10. The Killing Joke – Christa Faust
I loved the Harley Quinn novel in this series and Titan books kindly sent me copies of book one and three!

killing jokeA tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.

11. The Court of Owls – Greg Cox
This is the third instalment in the DC comics novels!

bojhghgBeware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
–a nursery rhyme

The Court of Owls is a criminal secret society that has existed in Gotham City since the 1600s, led by some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential families. They employ deadly trained assassins known as Talons, taken as children from circuses such as the one where Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. These children are trained to become the assassins known as Talons. Bruce Wayne came to the Court’s attention when he announced plans to reinvigorate Gotham, threatening their control. They sentenced him to death, bringing themselves to the attention of Batman. Though they suffer defeats, the Court continues to fight to retake control of the city’s underworld – a fight that has gone on for centuries.

12. Shadow Captain – Alastair Reynolds
This is the second book in the Revenger series, it’s been a while since I read book one so I’m definitely going to have to binge read them both.

bjhk coverAdrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.

Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.

Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.

13. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
This has long been on my wishlist so I was super excited to be sent a copy to coincide with the publication in the UK.

book cove4rJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

14. Sky In the Deep – Adrienne Young
I’m so excited about this Viking/Fantasy story and I’ll be participating in the blog tour so make sure you check that out.

grhwoigwRaised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

15. Stronger, Faster & More Beautiful – Arwen Elys Dayton
This sounds like such a unique and fascinating read so it’s very high up on my priority list.

jjjjjSet in our world, spanning the near to distant futures, Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is a novel made up of six interconnected stories that ask how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Deeply thoughtful, poignant, horrifying, and action-packed, Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is groundbreaking in both form and substance.

16. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartley
This sounds like such a fun and exciting middle grade story and this is another one that I’m participating in the blog tour for!

hjDarwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors into different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world . . . and only he can save it.

The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out . . .

17. End of Magic – Mark Stay
Mark kindly reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his new fantasy novel and of course I immediately said yes. This sounds amazing and it’s definitely going to be my next read!

endThere are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again… This is not one of those stories. The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose… Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills. Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone. Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever. Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

So those are the books I picked up in January! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know which ones to prioritise!