January TBR!

January TBR!

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Since I became a blogger I have never really done TBRs, I’m such a mood reader that generally I don’t think I will stick to them. I thought seeing as it was a new year and I really want to make a conscious effort to make my TBR smaller, I might attempt setting myself a TBR. Going for a mix of new releases and backlist books I still need to get to I’m trying to aim for 10 books a month so I thought if I selected 8 titles that would give me room for two mood reads – so let’s dive in!

1. The God Game – Danny Tobey
Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203428.948You are invited!
COme inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It;’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

2. Loki: Where Mischef Lies – Mackenzi Lee

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203255.309Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity . . . except for Amora. Asgard’s resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.

But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.

When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he’s meant to be.

3. All the Rage – Cara Hunter

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203203.131A teenage girl is found wandering the outskirts of Oxford, dazed and distressed. The story she tells is terrifying. Grabbed off the street, a plastic bag pulled over her face, then driven to an isolated location where she was subjected to what sounds like an assault. Yet she refuses to press charges.

DI Fawley investigates, but there’s little he can do without the girl’s co-operation. Is she hiding something, and if so, what? And why does Fawley keep getting the feeling he’s seen a case like this before?

And then another girl disappears, and Adam no longer has a choice: he has to face up to his past. Because unless he does, this victim may not be coming back . . .

4. Spellhacker – M. K. England

Copy of book cover (95)In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

5. The Memory Wood – Sam Lloyd

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203117.963Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .

6. The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
Copy of book cover (96)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.

7. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Copy of book cover (100)Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

8. All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett

Copy of book cover (99)After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

So those are my January TBR choices! If you have any tips for sticking to a TBR I’d love to hear them, and if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought!

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases!

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases!

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The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence

Copy of book cover (91)In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.

Release Date: April 30th 2020

A Conjuring of Assassins – Cate Glass
Copy of book cover (97)A Conjuring of Assassins is Cate Class’s second adventure with the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom.

Romy and her three partners in crime—a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving brother—have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord’s agents, using their forbidden magic to accomplish tasks his other spies cannot.

Now, they’ve been tasked with locating a list of powerful men and women pledged to assassinate the tyrant Protector of Mercediare, Cantagna’s most dangerous enemy. Then, they must destroy the list before it falls into the Protector’s hands, where it could plunge the entire Costa Drago into a rampage of murderous vengeance.

But when Placidio and Romy infiltrate the ambassador’s household by impersonating a cloth merchant and an aspiring diviner, they discover that the ambassador’s oddities and the prisoner’s identity signal dangers far more explosive than exposing the Assassins List.

Release Date: February 4th 2020

Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Copy of book cover (92)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.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

Release Date: April 7th 2020

Deep – Alma Katsu
Copy of book cover (93)Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

Brilliantly combining fact and fiction, the historical and the horrific, The Deep reveals a chilling truth in an unputdownable narrative full of unnerving moments and with a growing, inexorable sense of foreboding.

Release Date: March 10th 2020

Queen in Hiding – Sarah Kozloff
Copy of book cover (98)Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding, and all four books will be published within a month of each other, so you can binge your favorite new fantasy 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.

Release Date: January 21st 2020

Aurora Burning – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Copy of book cover (94)Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

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.

Release Date: May 5th 2020

Spellhacker – M. K. England
Copy of book cover (95)In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

Release Date: January 21st 2020

The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
Copy of book cover (96)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.

Release Date: February 11th 2020

So those are some 2020 releases I’m really excited about! What are your most anticipated releases for the new year? Let me know below!

20 Books I Want to Read in 2020!

20 Books I Want to Read in 2020!

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I thought it would be fun to do a post of 20 of the books on my TBR that I really want to get to this year. As always my TBR is overflowing and these are some books that have been on there for a bit and I am really excited to get to them. Hopefully I can make a post at the end of the year and I’ll have ticked them all off – so here goes!

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1. Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson
2. Finale – Stephanie Garber
3. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens
4. Blood Heir – Amelia Wen Zhao

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5. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
6. Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
7. Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
8. Deviate – Jay Kristoff

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9. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
10. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan
11. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
12. The Deathless – Peter Newman

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13. Scythe – Neal Shusterman
14. The Queens of Innis Lear – Tessa Gratton
15. The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang
16. The Demon World – Sally Green 

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17. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
18. Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
19. All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett
20. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

So those are 20 books I hope to read in 2020! If you’ve read any I’d love to know what you thought and if you think there’s any I should prioritise, definitely let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outwith My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outwith My Comfort Zone

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Today on Top Ten Tuesday we’re talking about books I enjoyed that were outwith my comfort zone. I’m pretty much open to reading anything except romance books so I don’t really have a strict comfort zone. I do tend to mainly read YA/Adult SFF so I’ve just gone for 10 books I’ve read this year that are not in those genres.

Copy of book cover (57)1. Last Time I Lied – Riley Sager
I finally picked up a Riley Sager book despite having had this and Final Girls on my shelf for ages. It was a dark and intense thriller and I really enjoyed reading it, it’s definitely made me want to pick up more from this author. It was a really dark and twisty read and really kept me guessing right to the end.

Copy of book cover (56)2. Night Film – Marisha Peshl 
OH MY GOD THIS BOOK. This isn’t necessarily something I would have picked up but I saw some booktubers rant about how amazing it was and put it on my wishlist for Christmas. I’m so glad I did because it’s become one of my favourite books of all time. A thriller with a touch of horror/supernatural aspects, it was a fantastic read and I can’t wait to reread it in the future.

Copy of book cover (58)3. The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston
I really loved Geekarella so I was excited to dive back into the convention world in this sequel. It’s really interesting because it is both a love letter to fandom culture and highlights some of the problems associated with trolling and social media. It was really nice to see some of the characters from book one as well!

Copy of book cover (9)4. The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson
This was a fun UKYA thriller that was getting lots of buzz at YALC and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up. I don’t really read YA thrillers, I tend to gravitate more to adult but this was excited and full of twists that I would never have guessed in a million years. I really liked the main character too, she was a brilliant protagonist.

Copy of book cover (6)5. As Far As the Stars – Virginia Macgregor
This is the heartbreaking and emotional story of two young people who meet whilst they are waiting for family members at the airport. The plane crashes and the two try to understand their feelings for each other as they battle their grief. It was definitely a tear jerker, and a book I still think about months later.

Copy of book cover (59)6. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Now this one definitely is outside my comfort zone. I would never have picked this up, just because it wouldn’t strike me as the kind of book I would enjoy. I’d probably think it was okay, but that would be it. On a whim I picked it up and my god I loved it. I had to try and not cry on my commute home from work and everything. If you haven’t picked it up yet it’s totally worth the hype.

Copy of book cover (60)7. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
This was another thriller that I ended up reading and could not put down. The first in a new series, The Puppet Show is a dark and gory story, but one that definitely has you on the edge of your seat. I don’t often rate thrillers 5 stars, but this one definitely was and I can’t wait to read book two!

Copy of book cover (1)8. What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts
I read and loved The Secrets of the Italian Gardener by this author a while ago and really enjoyed it so I was excited to read more of his work. I loved this one even more, the story of a ghostwriter sent to write a book about a famous actress, but it turns out there’s a whole lot more going on underneath the surface.

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.4779. Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus
This ended up being the second YA thriller that I really enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as One Of Us Is Lying but it was still a fun and fast paced read and it has definitely solidified Karen M. McManus as one my favourite YA thriller writer. Can’t wait to see what she does with One Of Us Is Next.

Copy of book cover (10)10.  Evidence of the Affair – Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is another one that I would never have picked up in a million years, but after loving Daisy Jones so much I thought I would give this novella a shot. Told in the form of letters between two people who find their spouses having an affair, it was honestly brilliant and I’m definitely going to try The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by the end of the year.

So those are the top ten books I enjoyed that were outside my comfort zone. What are some books you enjoyed that aren’t what you typically read? And if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought!

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Mage – Garth Nix

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Mage – Garth Nix

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Synopsis

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .

Thoughts

41951611I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK. Garth Nix is definitely an author that I don’t talk about enough on this blog – but that’s all going to change now. I’d pretty much credit Garth Nix and J.K. Rowling with my love of reading. I read the Abhorsen Series when I was young and that pretty much started my life long love with fantasy. Shade’s Children is one of my absolute favourite books and I’ve read Sabriel so many times my copy is barely still in one piece. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to a couple of signings that Garth Nix has done and he was always lovely and my signed copies are some of my most prized possessions. I’m so excited to read his first take on adult fantasy and this story just sounds brilliant. This has definitely become one of my most anticipated releases for 2019 and I’m obsessed with the cover. Angel Mage is publishing October 1st 2019 from Gollancz.

Waiting on Wednesday: #16 Bloodchild – Anna Stephens

Waiting on Wednesday: #16 Bloodchild – Anna Stephens

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Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

book cover - 2019-03-06T124459.491Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I thought I would talk about a book I’m really excited for – Bloodchild by Anna Stephens. This is the third and final book in the Godblind trilogy. The Godblind trilogy is a dark and gritty grimdark fantasy series filled with fascinating characters, dark magic and brutal characters. I won’t say much about the plot because I definitely don’t want to spoil the first two books in the series, but this is honestly one of my all time favourite trilogies. Book one Godblind was on my best books of 2017 and book two Darksoul was on my best books of 2018. I’m so sad that this will be the final book in the series because I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to the characters I’ve gotten attached to and I’m also scared they aren’t going to make it to the end. Anna Stephens’ writing is just so addictive. These aren’t exactly short books and I absolutely raced through them because I couldn’t get enough. If you’re a fan of epic, bloody battles, merciless gods and some wonderful characters you definitely need to check this series out before the final book is published. Bloodchild is publishing August 22nd 2019 from HarperVoyager (and it cannot come soon enough).

Waiting on Wednesday #14: The Poison Song – Jen Williams

Waiting on Wednesday #14: The Poison Song – Jen Williams

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Synopsis

From Jen Williams, three-time British Fantasy Award finalist, comes the electrifying conclusion to the Winnowing Flame trilogy. Exhilarating epic fantasy for fans of Robin Hobb.

Jump on board a war beast or two with Vintage, Noon and Tor and return to Sarn for the last installment of this epic series where the trio must gather their forces and make a final stand against the invading Jure’lia.

Thoughts

psThis is the epic conclusion to Jen Williams’ The Winnowing Flame trilogy and I am just dying to find out how this series ends. Book one and two were so incredibly addictive and The Bitter Twins ended on such a cliff hanger that I have no idea what is going to happen next. This series is an epic fantasy/ science fiction mix that is completely unlike anything I’ve ever read. It also features one of my all time favourite characters – Vintage who is brilliant in every way. The whole thing is a big, crazy adventure full of action and mystery. I loved that the synopsis for The Poison Song is really vague because it means I’m able to come up with a million different theories of what is going to happen. If you haven’t started this series yet and are a fan of big fantasy books with magnificent characters and epic world building – this is definitely one to get started on. The Poison Song publishes May 16th from Headline, which means you’ve got plenty of time to binge read the first two!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite books that don’t have many ratings on Goodreads (under 2000). I thought it might be quite hard to find books on my read shelf that fit this category but it was actually pretty easy. I loved all of these books and gave them all four or five stars – so let’s dive in!

1. The Sisters of the Winter Wood – Rena Rossner (1,698 ratings)
Untitled design (96)I loved this book so much, it was so beautifully written and it was definitely a stand out book for me in 2018.

Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life – even if they’ve heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.

But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.

Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods…

The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be – and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer.

2. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven (590 ratings)
book cover (98)This is a very recent read for me and it’s one that I raced through because it was so addictive. The first in a new crime thriller series, I’m already dying for more!

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…

3. The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey (142 ratings)
gkThis exciting fantasy tale is the first in the Sovereign Series from Josie Jaffrey. I really loved reading this first instalment and I am itching to get started on book two and three!

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

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

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

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

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

4. Darksoul – Anna Stephens (150 ratings)
book cover (20)This is the second instalment in one of my all time favourite series, I loved this book and it was pretty much an instant five star read and I need book three like yesterday.

The Wolves lie dead beside Rilpor’s soldiers, slaughtered at the hands of the Mireces and their fanatical army.

The veil that once kept the Red Gods at bay has been left in tatters as the Dark Lady’s plans for the world come to fruition. Where the gods walk, blood is spilled on the earth.

All that stands between the Mireces army and complete control of the Kingdom of Rilpor are the walls of its capital, Rilporin, and those besieged inside.

But hope might yet bloom in the unlikeliest of places: in the heart of a former slave, in the mind of a soldier with the eyes of a fox, and in the hands of a general destined to be king.

5. Ravencry – Ed McDonald (841 ratings)
book cover (22)This is another second instalment in a series that I just absolutely adore. It got quite a lot of buzz on social media when it was released so I was really surprised it ended up on this list!

Four years have passed since Nall’s Engine drove the Deep Kings back across the Misery, but as they hurl fire from the sky, darker forces plots against the republic.

A new power is rising: a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady manifests in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power even as the city burns around them.

When Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached, an object of terrible power is stolen, and Galharrow and his Blackwings must once find out which of Valengrad’s enemies is responsible before they have a chance to use it.

To save Valengrad, Galharrow, Nenn and Tnota must venture to a darker, more twisted and more dangerous place than any they’ve walked before: the very heart of the Misery.

6. Witchsign – Den Patrick (161 ratings)
Untitled design (61)I really loved Den Patrick’s Boy with the Porcelain Blade so I was really excited to find out he was releasing a new fantasy series and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!

It has been seventy-five years since the dragons’ rule of fire and arcane magic over Vinkerveld was ended, and the Empire was born. Since, the tyrannical Synod has worked hard to banish all manifestations of the arcane across the lands. 

However, children are still born bearing the taint of the arcane, known to all as witchsign. So each year the Emperor sends out his Vigilants across the continent to detect the arcane in these children. Those found tainted are taken, and never seen again. Steiner has always suspected his sister Kjellrunn of bearing witchsign. But when their father’s attempt to protect her from the Invigilation backfires, it is Steiner who is mistakenly taken. However it is not death which awaits Steiner, but an Academy where the children with witchsign learn to master their powers – some at the cost of their lives. Steiner is determined to escape the Academy and protect his sister from this fate.

But powerful enemies await him at every turn, and Steiner finds himself taken on a journey straight into the heart of the Empire’s deepest secrets, which will force him to reconsider everything he has known about witchsign.

7. The Way Past Winter – Kiran Milwood Hargrave (270 ratings)
book cover (25)This is a beautifully told middle grade story full of magic and mystery. I absolutely adored it and it’s fast become one of my favourite middle grade books.

Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they’ve gone – taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back – even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter.

8. The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams (962 ratings)
I binge read the The Ninth Rain and the sequel The Bitter Twins because the series was just so unputdownable. Jen Williams has created such a fascinating world and honestly I can’t get enough.

book cover (94)The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…

9. Book of Fire – Michelle Kenney (76 ratings)
bfI loved this YA dystopian/science fiction story and thought it was a really interesting take on the genre. I have book two on my TBR and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for these characters.

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders. 

Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret. 

An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. 

She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?

10. The Scarecrow Queen – Melinda Salisbury (1246 ratings)
cqThis is the concluding book to the Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy and honestly this book broke me a little bit. I love Melinda Salibury’s writing and this series is one of my favourites.

The final battle is coming . . .

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . .

So those are the top ten of my favourite books with under 2000 ratings on Goodreads! Which books made your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite couples in books. I don’t read romance novels or much in the way of contemporary so most of these are from fantasy books! There might be slight spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read these books so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

1. Yelena & Valek – Study Series
Yelena and Valek are definitely my favourite couple from a book. This series is one of my all time favourites and I loved watching their relationship grow over the six books.
the calling
2. Hunter & Morgan – Sweep Series
These two were some of my favourite characters growing up and I loved them as a couple. I’m currently rereading this fifteen book series and I still adore the characters so they definitely deserve to be on this list.

3. Vasya & Morozoko – Winternight Trilogy
I recently read the final book in this beautiful trilogy so I couldn’t make this list without my favourite heroine and the King of Winter. They were such fascinating characters and the romance between them blossomed so well in the story!
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4. Jude & Cardan – Folk of the Air
I imagine this one might be on a lot of people’s lists. The love/hate relationship between Jude and Cardan is one of the things I love most about this trilogy and honestly I’m just dying to read Queen of Nothing.


5. Hanna & Nik – Illuminae Files

I loved these two so much. Hanna is on the surface a pampered princess but with much than meets the eye and Nik is the drug dealer with a heart of gold. What’s not to love about this couple?
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6. Alosha & Riden – Daughter of the Pirate King

This duology was completely not what I was expecting and was much more romance focused than I originally thought but I really loved the sassy banter and budding romance between Alosha and Riden in this series so they were an easy choice for this list!

7. Lara Jean & Peter – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE AND ADORABLE. This is the only contemporary couple on this list but they are just perfect. I loved them in the books and I adored them in the movie – they’re sweet and funny and definitely one of the best couples.
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8. Alina and Mal – Grisha Trilogy

This might be a bit of a controversial one. I know a lot of people don’t like Alina and Mal together and while I really love the Darkling, I think Alina and Mal make a really lovely couple and ultimately she ended up with the right person.

9. Hoshiko & Ben – Showstopper
These two make a really fascinating couple because they come from such different worlds. Ben is rich and lives comfortably with his status as a Pure and Hoshiko is forced to perform in a deadly circus as one of the Dregs of society. They get together and they’re such a sweet couple!
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10. Lou & Robert – A Sky Painted Gold

This Gatsby-esque historical fiction novel features a romance between the wealthy Robert Cardew and local girl Lou and I completely fell in love with their story when I read it last year. It’s a perfect summer read and a gorgeous romance!

So those are my top ten couples from books. Which couples made your list?