2020 Reading Resolutions Check In!

2020 Reading Resolutions Check In!

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Now that we’re over half way through the year I thought it would be fun to take a look at my 2020 reading resolutions post and do a quick check in to see if I am meeting my goals for the year and if not, which ones I want to work on for the rest of the year – so lets dive in!

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1. Read 120 books

My original aim was to read 120 books in 2020 with the hope that I would read maybe a few over because last year I managed 141. With the pandemic I have read a lot more than I would normally read and I’ve since increased my Goodreads goal to 150 books. I’m well on target for that and hoping I might even exceed that goal!

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2. Read more backlist books
So far of the 85 books I’ve read 34 have been backlist titles. I would have liked this to be a bit higher but I’m still pleased that I’ve managed to read a fair few. I’m going to put myself on a bit of a book buying ban for the rest of the year and only buy books I’m really after in the hopes I can prioritise some more backlist books.

3. Catalogue and reduce my tbr
One of my projects for lockdown ended up being cataloguing my entire library and I finally know how many books on my shelf are unread (lots). I’ve made a list and am working to reduce my TBR but honestly it’s not going well because I keep buying books.

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4. Improve my Netgalley ratio
When I made my original reading resolutions post my Netgalley ratio was at 46%. I’ve been trying to read more of my Netgalley books and at one point my ratio was at nearly 60%, however I have recently been on a bit of a requesting spree and it’s currently on 51%. I’m still working on this and hoping it will be a bit higher by the end of year. (I don’t understand why I send feedback but it doesn’t go up. Why Netgalley why?)

5. Revamp my blog and post more frequently
I did a blog revamp a while back and I’m really happy with the way things look. I might do another refresh towards the end of the year depending on where my mood takes me. I’ve been pretty consistent at posting in 2020 with me reaching my goal of posting a few times every week and often more than that.

6. A pound a book
This challenge failed spectacularly. I started this in January and it fell away really quickly. Especially during lockdown I bought so many books and I haven’t been putting a pound in a jar for any on the ones I read. I still think it’s a really brilliant idea and maybe it’s something I can try for 2021!

So that’s my check in for my 2020 reading resolutions. How are you fairing with your 2020 bookish goals?

 

June Book Haul!

June Book Haul!

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This is coming a bit late but I’m back with all the books I picked up last month!

From Publishers

Copy of book cover (78)1. Northern Wrath – Thilde Kold Holt
Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Copy of book cover (5)2. Call Me Joe – Martin Van Es & Andrew Crofts
The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…

One day the Earth is plunged into darkness and when light appears again so does a man – call him Joe – claiming to be the son of God.

Can Joe bring the world’s most creative thinkers and leaders together to tackle the ills of mankind?

Can he convince us all to follow him before it’s too late?

Copy of book cover (38)3. Girl From Widow Hills – Megan Miranda
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

Copy of book cover (61)4. Stormblood – Jeremy Szal
Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

Copy of book cover (79)5. The Thief on the Winged Horse – Kate Mascarenhas
The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

Copy of book cover (59)6. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

Copy of book cover (60)7. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Copy of book cover (57)8. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

Books I Bought

 

Copy of book cover (80)1. Do You Dream of Terra-Two? – Temi Oh
When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.

Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.

And something always goes wrong.

Copy of book cover (26)2. Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Copy of book cover (81)3. Adrift – Rob Boffard
In the far reaches of space, a group of tourists board a small vessel for what will be the trip of a lifetime – in more ways than one…

They are embarking on a tour around Sigma Station – a remote mining facility and luxury hotel with stunning views of the Horsehead Nebula.

During the course of the trip, a mysterious ship with devastating advanced technology attacks the Station. Their pilot’s quick evasive action means that the tour group escape with their lives – but as the dust settles, they realize they may be the only survivors . . .

Adrift in outer space, out of contact with civilization, and on a vastly under-equipped ship, these passengers are out of their depth. Their chances of getting home are close to none, and with the threat of another attack looming they must act soon – or risk perishing in the endless void of space.

Copy of book cover (82)4. Night Country – Melissa Albert
In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors―and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and―if he can find it―a way back home…

Copy of book cover (83)5. The Vanishing Throne – Elizabeth May
Everything she loved is gone.

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…

So those are all the books I picked up in June! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as what books you picked up in June!

Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

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Since we are now over half way through the year I thought it would be fun to do a list of my favourite reads of the last six months. These are in no particular order, but all of them were five star reads that I absolutely loved. 

Copy of book cover (75)1. A Queen In Hiding – Sarah Kozloff
Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Copy of book cover2. The Curator – M W Craven
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Copy of book cover (19)3. The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware
When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Copy of book cover (13)4. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
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.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T121652.2035. Aurora Burning – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.4366. Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices.

Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near.

Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A K Larkwood
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.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.7618. Viper – Bex Hogan
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?

9. Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.950Here are the rules of living with a murderer.

One: Do not draw attention to yourself.

Of course, when you live with a murderer, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.

Two: If you can’t be invisible, be useful.

Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva’s father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn’t enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva’s been forced to live with her mother’s murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.

One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It’s a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her.

But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past . . .

Copy of book cover (22)10. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens 
In this epic grimdark conclusion to the Godblind Trilogy, heroes, armies, and gods both good and evil will battle one last time, with the fate of the world itself at stake. . . . The great city of Rilpor has fallen. Its walls have crumbled under the siege by the savage Mireces; its defenders have scattered, fleeing for their lives; its new rulers plot to revive the evil Red Gods using the city’s captured, soon-to-be-sacrificed citizens. Now, with the Fox God leading the shattered remnants of the Rilporian defence and the Mireces consolidating their claim on the rest of the country, it’s up to Crys, Tara, Mace, Dom and the rest to end the Red Gods’ scourge once and for all. While the Rilporians plan and prepare for one final, cataclysmic battle to defeat their enemies, the Blessed One and the king of the Mireces have plans of their own: dark plans that will see gods resurrected and the annihilation of the Dancer for all time. Key to their plan is Rillirin, King Corvus’s sister, and the baby–the Bloodchild–she carries. As both sides face their destinies and their gods, only one thing is clear: death waits for them all.

So those are my favourite books of 2020 so far! I’d love to know what your favourite reads have been in 2020 so let me know in the comments below!

July TBR!

July TBR!

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I’ve decided in July that I’m going to challenge myself to read as many sequels as possible. I’ve made a little list of all the ones I currently have on my TBR and I’m going to try and choose them at random throughout the month. I do have a couple of review books I need to get to as well so those are what I’ll be focusing on for my July TBR!


Copy of book cover (62)1. Feathertide – Beth Cartwright

A girl.

A secret.

A life-changing journey.

Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met.

The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted.

And Marea will never forget what she learns there

Copy of book cover (61)2. Stormblood – Jeremy Szal
Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

A vibrant and talented new voice in SFF: alien technology, addictive upgrades, a soldier determined to protect his family, and a thief who is prepared to burn the world down . . .

Copy of book cover (59)3. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
“Even as a girl, I knew the only chance I had was to change my face… even before a fortune-teller told me so.”

Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a “room salon,” an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood.

Her roomate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea’s biggest companies.

Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace.

And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy.

Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that’s seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace.

Copy of book cover (60)4. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Copy of book cover (58)5. The Resident – David Jackson
THERE’S A SERIAL KILLER ON THE RUN
AND HE’S HIDING IN YOUR HOUSE

Thomas Brogan is a serial killer. Having left a trail of bodies in his wake, and with the police hot on his heels, it seems like Thomas has nowhere left to hide. That is until he breaks into an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he climbs up into the loft, he realises that the can drop down into all the other houses on the street through the shared attic space.

That’s when the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Thomas enjoys even more than killing, is playing games with his victims. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…

Do you fear The Resident? Soon you’ll be dying to meet him

Copy of book cover (57)6. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

So those are the six books I’m planning to read in July. What’s on your July TBR?

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

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It’s time for the Mid Year Book Freak Out tag! This is one of my favourite tags to do every year and I got all the prompts from Cait at Paper Fury. You can check out her post here!
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1. How much have you read?

So far I’ve read eighty books in 2020. I normally set my Goodreads challenge at 100 books, but I’ve actually upped it to 150 and I’m currently six books ahead of schedule. I think this is in part due to lockdown happening and everywhere being closed – I’m finally making my way though that TBR!

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2. What have you been reading?
It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that the majority of the books I’ve read so far in 2020 have been fantasy. I’ve added in a pie chart from my blogger spreadsheet which shows the genres I’ve been reading!

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3. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

I hate this question every year because it’s so hard to pick just one. I’ve narrowed it down to two: Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury and The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood.

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4. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

This is an even harder question for me because I’ve read some really incredible sequels. My favourites have been Bloodchild by Anna Stephens, Aurora Burning by Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff and King of Fools by Amanda Foody.

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5. New release you’ve haven’t read yet but want to?

There are so many! I’ve bought copies of The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence and Ruthless Gods by Emily A Duncan and I haven’t gotten to them yet so I think they’ll be a priority for the rest of the year.

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6. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

I recently did a post about my most anticipated releases, you can take a peek here! My most anticipated has got to be V E Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

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7. Biggest disappointment?

For me it was definitely The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I dropped everything to read this as soon as it was released but it just wasn’t for me. I really disliked Snow and just didn’t click with the story at all.

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8. Biggest surprise?

I think the biggest surprise for me was Viper by Bex Hogan. I was expecting to really enjoy it but I wasn’t expecting to absolutely love it. I’ve ordered a copy of Venom and it’s definitely one of the first books I’m reading in July!

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9. New favourite author (debut or new to you)?

I think this would probably be Seanan McGuire. I had never read any of her books before this year but I’ve devoured all the books in the Wayward Children series and pretty much all of them have been four or five stars.

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10. Underrated gem you’ve discovered recently?
I recently plucked The Falconer by Elizabeth May off my TBR at random and I absolutely loved it. It’s steampunk, with a badass main character who fights vicious fae in Victorian Edinburgh. It was a brilliant read and I definitely think it’s underrated.

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11. Rereads this year?

So far I’ve reread Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Shade’s Children by Garth Nix and the first two books in Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series.

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12. Book that made you cry?

So far I don’t think any book has made me cry. I haven’t read many contemporaries this year so maybe that’s why I haven’t read any tearjerkers. I did feel quite emotional about the ending to Hold Back the Tide though.

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13. Book that made you happy?

This has got to be Bookish and the Beast. It’s just so geeky and so cute and the entire series makes me incredibly happy.

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14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year?

I am obsessed with the cover for The Mercies by Kiran Milwood Hargrave. It’s just so beautiful!

15. Goals for the rest of the year?
I would love to read 150 (or more books), I’m going to try and read more sequels as well as the books I listed in my ’20 books to read in 2020′ post. I’d also love to read all the books I’ve bought this year and stop my TBR growing too much, but that’s probably never going to happen.

 

Six For Sunday: Favourite Characters

Six For Sunday: Favourite Characters

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This week on Six For Sunday we’re talking about favourite characters – so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2731. The Darkling (Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo)
One of my favourite characters has to be the darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. I think he’s such a brilliant villain and such an interesting character, I would love to have a prequel book about his life before the events of Shadow and Bone – I’m also super excited to see how Ben Barnes plays him in the new Netflix adaptation!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175236.1092. Jude Duarte (The Cruel Prince – Holly Black)
Jude is such a kick-ass character in Holly Black’s Folk of the Air. She’s scheming and determined and she doesn’t shy away from difficult choices. I loved seeing her character grow through the three books and she has definitely become one of my favourite characters. I must admit though it was tough to decide between her and Cardan, they’re both brilliant.

Copy of book cover (23)3. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter – J K Rowling)
Growing up I pretty much wanted to be Hermione Granger. I’m pretty sure I might have went as her for Halloween on more than one occasion. Clever and brave, she’s one of the best characters in the Harry Potter books and I think she deserves a lot more credit for all the times she stopped Harry and Ron from getting into even bigger disasters.

Copy of book cover (24)4. Mia Corvere (Nevernight – Jay Kristoff)
Going into Nevernight I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I really didn’t expect to discover a new favourite series. A bit like Jude, Mia Corvere is another kick-ass character that I just absolutely love. She’s such a strong character, completely set on her vengeance against those who hurt her family. I loved her in the Nevernight books, even if they completely broke my heart in the end.

Copy of book cover (13)5. Levi Glasayer (Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody)
I finished reading King of Fools last month and I’m still thinking about it, so obviously Levi had to go on this list. I love the way he schemes and charms his way out of every situation. I love the world Foody has created in The Shadow Game series and seeing Levi carry out his plots and schemes has led to these books becoming some of my favourites.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175247.2616. Cersei Lannister (A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin)
Cersei Lannister is one of my favourite characters in both the books and the television adaptation. She’s fierce, unapologetic and just the best character. She protects her family at any costs and I think she’s just one of the most fascinating characters. To be honest it was hard to pick just one from the ASOIAF series, but Cersei has to be my favourite.

May TBR!

May TBR!

July 23, 2019 (3)
This is going up a little late because I am mainly focused on reading books for the Medieval-A-Thon readathon however there are a couple of books outside that that I would love to get to this month, so let’s dive into my TBR!

Copy of book cover (2)Phoenix Extravagant – Yoon Ha Lee
Dragons. Art. Revolution.

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140551.502Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso
When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day, and her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down.

But then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162119.413Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140730.288Nvk – Temple Drake
A hypnotic, unforgettable Gothic page-turner soon to be a cult classic

One night in 2012, Zhang Guo Xing takes a group of European clients to a fashionable high-end nightclub in Shanghai. While there, he meets a strikingly beautiful young Finnish woman called Naemi Vieno Kuusela. The physical attraction between them proves irresistible, and they embark on an intoxicating affair. But Naemi is not what she appears to be…

To Zhang’s surprise, she veers between passion and wariness, conducting the relationship entirely on her own terms. He feels compelled to find out more about her, and is swiftly drawn into a web of intrigue, mystery, and horror. Is she a ghost? A demon? Do the living dead walk the streets of twenty-first century Shanghai?

So those are the books I’m going to try and get to in May. If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought, and also what you’re planning to read in May!

April Wrap Up!

April Wrap Up!

July 23, 2019 (8)
April has been a crazy month, with most of the world being in lock down. It’s been a difficult few weeks but one positive is that it has given me loads of time to read. April ended up being a terrific reading month and I read 20 books. I’m going to keep this quite short otherwise getting through 20 books would make this post massive!

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175422.9441. Magic For Liars – Sarah Gailey
This murder mystery set in a magic school was an interesting and engaging read. I had seen it described as ‘Veronica Mars at Hogwarts’ and I think that’s a pretty apt description! (3/5 stars)

2. The Cold Is In Her Bones – Paternelle Van Arsdale
I picked this up on a whim and found it to be quite a fun and eerie tale. The story of a village cursed by a woman who was cast out, young women in the village become possessed by demons. Quite a quick read and enjoyed the fairy tale like quality. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.7613. Viper – Bex Hogan
I’ve had a copy of this book for a while but I finally picked it up and I’m so glad I did. Bloodthirsty pirates, revenge plots and mysterious magical powers, I couldn’t get enough of this one and absolutely raced through it. (4.5/5 stars)

4. Prosper’s Demon – K J Parker
This extremely short novella follows an unnamed narrator as he exercises demons from the local people. It was a fun and fascinating tale the perfect quick read. A unique story, it definitely made me want to try more from this author. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.9505.  Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
I loved everything about this book. Eerie atmospheric setting, long buried secrets and a hint of something supernatural? I’m sold. The story of a young girl living in the Scottish highlands with her murderer father, it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far. (5/5 stars)

6. The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
I thought I would revisit a graphic novel I haven’t read since University and it was such a fun reread. This dark tale follows Batman as he returns to save Gotham after many years. He’s older and not as capable as he once was, but that isn’t going to stop him. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172615.4347. Heart of Thorns – Bree Barton
Heart of Thorns is the first in a YA trilogy featuring a young woman forced to marry a prince but soon discovers she has powers that she will be hunted for. It falls into a lot of typical YA tropes, but it was a fun read and I’m interested to see what book two brings. (3/5 stars)

8. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens
Bloodchild is the third and final instalment in one of my favourite grimdark trilogies. Bloody, brutal and heartbreaking, it was everything I was hoping for and more. I already want to go back and reread the series. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175826.5989. Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston
Ashley Poston is a genius at creating these geeky retellings. Bookish and the Beast might be my favourite ever. I loved the way she worked in the fairy tale and it was also nice to get glimpses of characters we met in book one and book two! (4.5/5 stars)

10. Every Heart A Doorway – Seanan McGuire
This series has a lot of buzz so I thought I would try it on audiobook to see what the fuss was about and oh I’m so glad I did. I completely loved this magical story full of unique worlds and fascinating characters (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-17T102957.49811. The Lodger – C L Taylor
This short story is available to people signed up for C L Taylor’s book club. It was a fun read with a surprise twist at the end, but I would have loved for it to be a bit longer to give you the chance to get to know the characters. (2.75/5 stars) 

12. Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire
After loving book one so much I decided to dive right back into book two and this one was definitely my favourite. Jack and Jill are without a doubt my favourite characters and it was brilliant seeing them on the moors. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172732.08813. One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus
I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying so was interested to see how Karen M. McManus would handle a sequel. It was interesting to revisit some of the characters from book one and it was a fast paced read, but I did guess the twists quite early on. (3.5/5 stars)

14. Strangers – C. L Taylor
C L Taylor has done it again with another fast paced and unputdownable thriller. Every time she releases a new book I need to just spend the day reading it because I know I won’t be able to put it down. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (10)15. Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire
I am pretty much obsessed with the Wayward Children series at this point. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the previous two – I found Rini a bit on the irritating side, but I still completely love the world and the adventures they get up to. (3.75/5 stars)

16. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
WHY did I wait so long to pick this one up? Amanda Foody had me on the edge of my seat with this one. I really love the world she has created and I’ve become so attached to the characters. Equal parts excited and terrified to see how it all ends in Queen of Volts (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (9)17. In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire
I must admit that the Goblin Market was one of the worlds that intrigued me most. Lundy’s story is a really sad one and it made me appreciate her character all the more. (4/5 stars)

18. Firewalkers – Adrian Tchaikovsky
A story where the Earth is burning and three young people must risk their lives in the burning desert to repair solar panels for the rich, this was a gripping read. Featuring creepy AI’s and monstrous creepy crawlies, I really enjoyed this one. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T180003.02819. Seeker – Cate Tiernan
Continuing my reread of the Wicca series with book number 10. It was interesting seeing things from Hunter’s perspective for a change, but I kind of missed Morgan. Looking forward to rereading the last five books. (3.75/5 stars)

20. Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire
I was overjoyed to learn that the next book in the series would be returning to the moors. I enjoyed this one just as much and honestly would love a full length novel just of the magnificent characters McGuire has created in the moors. (5/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in April! I still can’t quite believe I managed to read 20 books in one month, hoping I can do just as many in May. If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as what books you read in April!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Curator – M. W. Craven

Waiting on Wednesday: The Curator – M. W. Craven

July 23, 2019

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Thoughts:

Copy of book coverThe Curator is the third instalment in the Washington Poe series by M. W. Craven. This series has become one of my all time favourite crime thriller series and I am eagerly awaiting this release. The series follows detective Washington Poe and analyst Tilly as they attempt to solve some of the grisly murders going on in Cumbria. The first two books in the series – The Puppet Show and Black Summer were five star reads for me, each one having me on the edge of my seat and staying up way past my bedtime. If you haven’t had a chance to check this series out yet I’d highly recommend it. They both had twists I absolutely would not have seen coming and they were unputdownable. I have no doubt The Curator is going to be exactly the same and luckily there isn’t too much longer to wait – The Curator is publishing June 4th from Constable.

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?