Shelf Control #11 – 06/12/2019

Hi guys – Happy Friday and welcome to today’s Shelf control post! Once again I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the next book on my TBR and telling you why I am excited to read it!

As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

By using these Shelf Control posts I can look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

Today’s featured book is one I have owned for nearly three years now, but haven’t picked up yet!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

Goodreads – Dune

Purchase Links – Waterstones     Amazon UK     Amazon US

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender’s Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

 

My Thoughts…

I received a copy of Dune from former work colleagues for my birthday nearly three years ago now. It’s actually scary how the time flies! Even before throwing myself into reading as a daily habit and starting my blog in 2017, I was known for my bookish tendencies.

I also think they made a really good choice of book for me too! Dune is a classic and highly award-winning science-fiction novel. Truth is, before I had been gifted it, I hadn’t heard of it. I have only just realised that this is the first book of an eight-part series as well! I prefer a series to a standalone book – I guess that’s the part of me that likes long, complex stories…

As I have had this for a little while now, I do think I should make an effort to pick it up soon. I’ve also been doing really well lately for picking up more science-fiction novels.

Have you read Dune? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Reading List: December 2019

Good afternoon readers! It’s the last month of 2019, so this is my last Reading List of the year… Wow. Where did that go?

I am really impressed with the number of books I have read this year! My all-time record of 60 books has already been beaten, set when the reading and blogging adventures began in 2017. I initially set myself a reading target of 50 books because that was how many I read in 2018. Now, I am aiming for 70. I only have 3 books left to hit that target!

By the time I include the rest of December’s TBR and my audiobook, I think I’ll have read 74 books. A part of me considered trying to push to 75, but I think that’s too ambitious. I’m happy where I am anyway, so no point pushing myself too hard.

Which books are closing out the reading journey this year?

 

After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks – Nancy Jardine

Goodreads – After Whorl Donning Double Cloaks

AD 73 Northern Roman Britain

Brennus of Garrigill—Bran—monitors Roman activity across Brigantia. Stability prevails till AD 78 when Agricola, Governor of Britannia, orders complete conquest of all barbarians. Brennus heads north, seeking the Caledon who will lead the northern tribes against Rome.

Ineda treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius – supplies officer for Agricola’s Britannia campaigns. At Pinnata Castra, she escapes and seeks fellow Brigantes congregating for battle in the north.

The Legions of the Roman Empire and the Caledon allies clash at Beinn na Ciche in AD 84, but where are Brennus and Ineda?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…

 

I am reading Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series and reviewing the books as part of the organised blog tours. I picked up these books as they have given me the chance to read historical fiction in a completely new time period. I’m really enjoying reading about the Roman conquest of Britain – so much so, I have started learning a little Latin!

I am already 40% of the way through this book and as I have no plans for the rest of the day, I’m hoping to finish this one soon!

 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

Goodreads – Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

 

I have to finish this before the end of the year! I was completely and utterly captivated by Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday in October. So much so, I read Days of Blood and Starlight last month. It’s rare that I devour a series as quickly as this, but what can I say? I’ve come to love Laini Taylor’s books that much that it has to be done!

 

Sixty Minutes – Tony Salter

Goodreads – Sixty Minutes

Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.

Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.

Who are the heroes and who are the villains? Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.

 

When I received the email inviting me to the blog tour of Sixty Minutes, I was immediately drawn in by the synopsis. It is very vague on the circumstances but has a lot of intrigue: who are these people and what has drawn them together?

There’s only one way to find out what happens…

 

Million Eyes – C. R. Berry

Goodreads – Million Eyes

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen? Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to King Edward III in 1348. Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them. Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

 

Million Eyes sticks with the science-fiction vibe I have been feeling lately. I’m also looking forward to the thriller element of the novel and finding out why the time-travelling assassins are set on re-writing history. Could the alternative be worse?

I am taking part in the upcoming blog tour for this novel next year – yes, next year, but that’s not that far away!

 

Fires of the Dead – Jed Herne

Goodreads – Fires of the Dead

Fire can’t be tamed.

Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.

Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems …

A jaded gang leader longing for retirement

A bloodthirsty magician with a lust for power

A brutish fighter who’s smarter than he looks

A young thief desperate to prove herself

A cowardly navigator with secrets that won’t stay buried

Together, they must survive fights, fires, and folk tales that prove disturbingly real – if they don’t kill each other first.

 

I saw this novella on a website called BookSirens, which is a lot like Netgalley if you haven’t come across it before. The concept of a non-altruistic main character in a fantasy genre novel is one I love already and I have read a good few books like it already. With this being a novella, this should be really quick to pick up and review before the deadline next year!

 

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Goodreads – A Christmas Carol

‘If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!’

Introduction and Afterword by Joe Wheeler
To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.

Part of the Focus on the Family Great Stories collection, this edition features an in-depth introduction and discussion questions by Joe Wheeler to provide greater understanding for today’s reader. “A Christmas Carol” captures the heart of the holidays like no other novel.

 

I made a real effort to seasonally read in October, but it’s not so straightforward in December. Sure, there are plenty of books to choose from, but they are all women’s fiction. It’s the same with Christmas movies – city girl comes home to country routes for Christmas, reunites with old flame, falls in love, is “torn” between going back to old life but you just KNOW that it’s going to end happily ever after *sigh*

Will someone please pass me a puke bucket?

As with Christmas films, there are only a select few Christmas themed books that really appeal to me. This month, in addition to watching Miracle on 34th Street (the edition with Richard Attenborough), I will be reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As a classic, I can’t really turn my nose up at this one. At least, I hope not or you will be calling me Scrooge.

For the record, I love Christmas… just not all the cheesiness that goes with it. Sorry, not sorry.

That’s my reading list for December! What are you reading this month? Did you set any reading goals and are you likely to achieve them?

 

 

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Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: Awa and the Dreamrealm – Isa Pearl Ritchie

Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. Thanks to both the author and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour! If you want to learn more about the book or want to read other posts about this middle-grade children’s novel, please check out some of the posts by other bloggers on the tour!

 

 

Awa and the Dreamrealm: Dreamweavers Book 1

Goodreads – Awa and the Dreamrealm

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK       Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Labelling this book as a children’s novel feels a little simplistic, in my opinion. I would like to credit something I really love about the book straight off the bat. I love that it tackles and teaches its readership about some difficult topics. Separation and racism aren’t the kind of ideas I imagined to crop up in the novel. However, they are very prevalent problems for kids to experience these days. Sadly, it does happen. Bullying is also tackled in the narrative. I would argue this is very common (after all, I was bullied at school) but that’s not a reason to neglect the subject at all! If anything, I think it makes Awa really relatable as a character.

Awa and the Dreamrealm will really appeal to those with wild imaginations. The descriptions of the Dreamrealm are beautiful and vivid. It contrasts well with the mundane, normal everyday aspect of her life: going to a new school, trying to make new friends and get by as best she can and adjust to the fresh start.

At around 200 pages, this is a respectable length read for the target audience. The plot moves along swiftly so as to keep the reader engaged. The chapters are reasonably short too, switching between each “realm” frequently to break up the action and keep the narrative fresh.

Although not the intended audience of the book, I really enjoyed reading this children’s novel. It’s good to change up your reading habits now and again and Awa and the Dreamrealm allowed me to do this. The book is still part of one of my favourite genres so it was really easy to get into.

 

Giveaway to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494313/

 

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

www.isaritchie.com

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/isapearlritchie/

https://twitter.com/isapearlritchie

https://www.instagram.com/isapearlritchie/

Sunday Summary – 1st December 2019

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post! I can’t believe it’s December already! I have spent the day helping my parents put their Christmas decorations up; I’ll be doing mine in the next few days. Where has this year gone?

So, what have I been up to this week? Well, aside from using some days off work to have a good tidy up and a clear out, I have been doing a little bit of reading in between. On Tuesday I shared my review of Ctrl+S by Andy Briggs as part of the blog tour with Gollancz. I am really glad I asked to take part in the tour, even though I ended up reading this rather hastily in order to get my post live on time. This one at least wasn’t my fault!

Thursday’s post was a promo post for book four of the Battle Ground series by Rachel Churcher. I featured the third book on my blog a little while ago and it was a pleasure to feature the series once again, on publication day of book four, no less.

On Friday I shared another First Lines Friday post. This week I featured a book on my To Be Read list (TBR). I’m looking forward to reading this book; I also happened to feature another book of similar genre by the same author in my recent Top Ten Tuesday – New Releases I am Excited About post.

 

Books Read

I’m disappointed with this month’s reading progress, but it can’t really be helped. I got off to a slow start with finishing Imaginary Friend, my last read in October, on the 9th November. I’ve had things going on which have hampered my progress too. I’m trying to finish one book tonight, but even with that in mind I have had to drop one book on this month’s list and I am going into December having only part-read another.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I have made as much progress as I can on a few books. I finished Ctrl+S on Sunday night as I only had a few pages left. From there, I picked up Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio again as this is the book I set aside to read Ctrl+S. I got to page 231 towards the end of the week, which from 55 is pretty good going.

Yesterday I set the books aside once again in favour of a review request I promised for October/November time. Obviously, it was the last day of November and I hadn’t touched this book at all yet. I am impressed with how I have done with this one; since last night I have read 69% of the book, which roughly equates to just over 280 pages. This book is my priority over the next couple of days in order to get a quick turnaround on a review for the author.

Progress on Thunderhead has been a little slower this week with only a couple of commutes from work as part of my normal routine. I visited my friend Vicky on Friday, so I listened to this travelling to and from her house. That equates to two work commutes when I think about it. I have less than two hours left on the audiobook so I am confident I will be finishing it this week!

 

Books Discovered

I have a few additions to this section, even though I haven’t been particularly looking for anything new as such.

I had a bit of an unpleasant beginning to this week and so I decided to buy myself a book to cheer myself up. I’m collecting classics in paperback, and I was going to buy it very soon anyway. I’ll give you a hint: it will be appearing on this month’s reading list in a couple of days.

When featuring Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher on Thursday, I said that I planned to pick up and read the series although I couldn’t for the tour. Rachel kindly let me know that books one to three were available to download for free as it was publication day for book four. Naturally, I downloaded them!

 

Coming Up…

Next week is going to be busy for me. I have a few planned blog posts already – one I will be drafting immediately after this one! Tomorrow I am publishing my review of Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. My post is part of the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

On Wednesday I’ll be sharing December’s reading list. Considering I made such an effort to read seasonally in October, I only have one Christmassy book on this list. I’m not a festive cheese person, so it’s not just because I have lots of reading to do ahead of next month’s blog tour mayhem! No prizes for guessing what it is now, I might have already mentioned it in this post…

It’s the turn of a Shelf Control post on Friday. So, I’ll be looking at the next book on my TBR list and sharing just why I want to read it. I was gifted a copy of the book I’ll be featuring nearly three years ago now for my birthday. It fits in well with the recent sci-fi theme I’ve had with my reading and blogging. It’s also a bit of a classic. Any idea what it might be?

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary! I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post. Let me know in the comments – what have you been reading this week?

 

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First Lines Friday – 29/11/2019

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my First Lines Friday post! I love writing these and either sampling the beginnings of books still to be read or re-reading old ones! Today’s featured book is one that is currently on my TBR, or to be read list. Given the science-fiction theme I have been sticking to lately, I figured to share the opening lines of another book from the same genre!

Can you guess what it is?

 

I love Thursday nights. They have a feel to them that’s outside of time.

It’s our tradition, just the three of us – family night.

My son, Charlie, is sitting at the table, drawing on a sketch pad. He’s almost fifteen. The kid grew two inches over summer, and he’s as tall as I am now.

I turn away from the onion I’m julienning, ask, “Can I see?”

He holds up the pad, shows me a mountain range that looks like something on another planet.

I say, “Love that. Just for fun?”

“Class project. Due tomorrow.”

“Then get back to it, Mr Last Minute.”

Standing happy and slightly drunk in my kitchen, I’m unaware that tonight is the end of all of this. The end of everything I know, everything I love.

 

Shall we find out what it is?

 

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Goodreads – Dark Matter

Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.

It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.

When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”

Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.

And someone is hunting him.

 

Purchase links:     Amazon UK     Waterstones

 

Did you enjoy today’s extract of Dark Matter? Is it on your list to read? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Blog Tour Promo: Fighting Back (Battle Ground #4) – Rachel Churcher

Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog and today’s promo post for Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher! What makes this post all the more exciting is that today is publication day for the book! I am so glad to be featuring it on this first day of the tour.

I shared a promotional post for Darkest Hour, the third book of the Battle Ground series last month as well. If you are interested in the series you might want to check that post out as well!

Living where I do the series is particularly topical. I have a number of other blogging commitments meaning I was unable to read the series for the tour. However, it’s on my TBR to catch up with at a later date!

I hope that today’s post piques your interest in the series. There are a number of fabulous blogs also taking part in the tour so please check out their posts in the coming days for reviews and other feature posts!

 

Fighting Back (Battle Ground #4)

Goodreads – Fighting Back

Bex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link – http://tallerbooks.com/battleground/

 

Author Bio

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rachel_Churcher

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelchurcherwriting/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/RachelChurcherWriting

Blog: https://blog.tallerbooks.com

Book Review: Ctrl+S – Andy Briggs

Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop for the blog tour of Ctrl+S by Andy Briggs! Before I get into the details, I would like to thank Alex Layt at Orion Publishing for organising the tour and sending me a review copy of the book! As always with these posts, the views expressed are my honest opinion.

I am really excited to be sharing my thoughts with you on Ctrl+S – particularly to fans of near-future science-fiction novels. If you enjoy this particular genre then you are going to love this book! Equally, I only occasionally venture into the genre and I loved it as well. Ctrl+S is due to be published in a matter of days so if you do enjoy this review, please do consider getting yourself a copy!

Before I begin with my review, please also take a moment to take a look at some of the other reviews shared as part of the tour.

Now, would you like to find out more about it?

 

Ctrl+S – Andy Briggs

Goodreads – CTRL+S

Life in the near future’s NOT ALL BAD. We’ve reversed global warming, and fixed the collapsing bee population. We even created SPACE, a virtual-sensory universe where average guys like Theo Wilson can do almost anything they desire.

But ALMOST ANYTHING isn’t enough for some. Every day, normal people are being taken, their emotions harvested – and lives traded – to create death-defying thrills for the rich and twisted.

NOW THEO’S MOTHER HAS DISAPPEARED. And as he follows her breadcrumb trail of clues, he’ll come up against the most dangerous SPACE has to offer: vPolice, AI Bots and anarchists – as well as a criminal empire that will KILL TO STOP HIM finding her . .

 

My Thoughts…

The beauty of this near-future novel is that the premise of the book centres on an improved variety of technology that already exists – SPACE. Imagine augmented reality at your fingertips whenever you want it. Or, you can “ascend” for a limited time and experience virtual reality with your friends. There’s all of the fun and none of the pain if you get hurt or die in a game. That is, until someone finds a loophole.

Those rich enough to pay for the thrill can experience the pain and terror of death without the final blow. Maybe someone wants to feel the thrill of jumping off a building without the splat at the end. Real people are kidnapped and exploited to harvest whichever raw emotion is desired. It puts a sinister twist on the technology’s motto, More real than real. Theo’s mum Ella inadvertently gets dragged into the criminal underbelly after becoming indebted to the wrong people. When she doesn’t come home one day, the dangerous truth hits home.

Theo, Clemmie, Baxter and Milton take centre stage and are supported by a wide cast of varying characters. Their similarity in age to myself (and I imagine a lot of prospective readers) makes them really relatable and easy to invest into as the story progresses. You’ll laugh because I particularly relate to Theo. I didn’t go to University, unlike a lot of my friends, and I worked in a fast food place as my first job too! It’s the little things, right?

The “technology” aspect of the novel is really easy to follow. I can confidently say I think anyone can pick it up and understand the basics. Even from there, I feel that the descriptions of the advancement to today’s version of the technology is explained really well where relevant. Breaking up the information to impart what is necessary at any given time prevents dumping a lot of information on the reader. Some might find that overwhelming but I didn’t find this at all in Ctrl+S. Overall, I found there was a great balance between the action of the novel and clarifying how everything unfamiliar worked. The chapters are nice and concise as well which helps keep the momentum.

As the group of friends find themselves in increasingly hot water having been thrown into a criminal world where anything goes, you really find yourself rooting for them as the underdogs to save Ella and countless others from their emotional exploitation. As the plot unravels our protagonists fight desperately to pick up the clues left by Ella in order to find the mastermind behind the abuse of SPACE. The genre combination of science-fiction and thriller worked really well and is a highly recommended read by me!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 24th November 2019

It’s Sunday evening again friends, so it can only mean it’s time for this week’s Sunday Summary post! Have you had a good week? Mine has been pretty good. I took a slightly more chilled stance on the blog posting this week in an effort to catch up with some reading. Turns out, I needed that time!

My first blog post of the week was published on Tuesday. For a bit of fun, I decided to take part in the Autumn Book Tag! It’s been a little while since I have written one of these posts and I really enjoyed doing so!

Then, on Friday I published my next Shelf Control post – this week I featured Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan. If you want to check out why Age of Myth is on my TBR then you can check out that post to find out more!

 

Books Read

Through no fault of my own, I have had a shift in priorities this week. I began where I left off in last week’s Sunday Summary post with reading Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio. This is no small book, so I was hoping to make good progress this week. As it is, I feel I am already behind on my reading.

I then received an email about a blog tour that I signed up for, giving me a week’s notice for my tour date. It was a genuine mistake that I hadn’t had it confirmed earlier. Truthfully, I had forgotten about it too. I received my copy of the book to review a couple of weeks ago. So, I have been reading Ctrl+S by Andy Briggs most of the week! As things stand, I only have 40 or so pages left to read so that is tonight’s job after I publish this post.

As always I have been enjoying listening to my audiobooks and Thunderhead is getting really good right now! I have just less than four hours to go to the end and I cannot wait to see how things unravel. As it happens, I have some time off work imminently so I have more time to listen to this. I basically have my headphones glued in when I am home nowadays, so it gives me an excuse to listen to something!

 

Books Discovered

I signed up to a website called BookSirens about a month ago. As is well-documented on my blog, my thoughts on Netgalley aren’t all that positive. I have no objection to using the site for tours and books from specific publishers, but I don’t really rate it otherwise. In terms of looking for other ARCS, I don’t actively use it.

I signed up to BookSirens as it seemed a lot more user-friendly, looked more appealing and I liked the look of a number of books on there. At the time I signed up I couldn’t commit to reading any books due to blog tour commitments. After a couple of weeks of registering and not signing up to any reviews, they kindly sent me an email to get some feedback from me on whether I had any problems. I explained that I had some other review obligations elsewhere, which was totally fine with them. I actually really like this personal touch – there is no way you would get the same from Netgalley!

Well, this week I signed up to my first review after an email notified me that some books now had a longer window to review them in! I started small with a novella called Fires of the Dead by Jed Herne. I have until February to read and review it, but I would like to get it done sooner if I can!

 

Coming Up…

I have a couple of blog tours to take part in next week, which is really exciting!

I mentioned Ctrl+S earlier in the post, as I have had to hastily read the book in advance of the tour. My tour slot is on Tuesday next week (26th November) and I am really looking forward to sharing my review. If you like the sound of a near-future science-fiction novel about the use (and abuse) of virtual reality, then stay tuned!

A little later in the week, I am taking part in another blog tour post! On Thursday I am promoting the latest book in the Battleground series, Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher.

A First Lines Friday post will be taking its place on the blog on… well, that’s obvious. Friday. I really enjoy writing these posts and I hope you enjoy reading them too!

 

Top Blog Posts Read This Week

Jack’s Bedtime Reading – Book Review: The True-Bastards

That Book Gal Blogs – Book Review: The Girl and the Stars

Emma’s Chapter – Six for Sunday – Books You’d Throw in the Fire

The Orangutan Librarian – How to Deal with Doubt

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary! Im off to finish CTRL+S before bed!

What are you reading?

 

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Shelf Control #10 – 22/11/2019

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Shelf control post! Once again I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the next book on my TBR and telling you why I am excited to read it!

As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies – a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves! Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

I am using Shelf Control to look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and then listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

 

Age of Myth – Michael J. Sullivan

Goodreads – Age of Myth

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

 

My Thoughts…

What interests me about this book is the breaking of a convention that Gods are immortal; untouchable. How the inevitable conflict that will ensue will pan out interests me. This synopsis is pretty short, leaving a lot to the imagination. There’s just enough there to draw a reader in whilst leaving a lot about the plot unsaid. It makes you want to read it and find out!

Age of Myth is an epic fantasy novel. I would consider myself well-read in the genre at this point; anything that even hints at any combination of overused tropes in the genre is a put-off for me – it isn’t new. What I like about synopsis of Age of Myth is that beyond the whole destiny concept, there is nothing else that would allude to other overused tropes. I’ll have to read it to see if there are others hidden in there.

Age of Myth also has some really good reviews, so I am optimistic that taking the plunge and reading a novel by a new author will have a good payoff!

 

Have you read Age of Myth, or is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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The Autumn Book Tag

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post – the Autumn Book Tag. I saw this over on Sara the Bibliophagist’s blog and knew I wanted to take part as a bit of fun! I absolutely love Sara’s blog and quite regularly link to some of her posts in my Sunday Summary posts. So, if you haven’t checked out her blog already, please do! You won’t regret it!

I wanted to take a step back from book reviews for the next couple of days, having published two last week. It has been a little while since taking part in a bookish tag, so I’ll take any excuse to take part in one! They’re a great way to get to know the person behind the screen, so I hope you enjoy this post as much as I will!

 

Rules

  • Answer the questions
  • link back to the creator (Jenniely)
  • tag other people!

 

 

  1. Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?

It’s going to make absolutely no sense, but I would have to choose a series for this question. Which series? A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. What’s comforting about a series full of death, debauchery and deceit, I hear you ask? Well, I know that I can always pick up any one of these books and instantly forget about whatever else is going on. The writing is fantastic and the world-building and characters so intricately interwoven that I am absorbed immediately.

 

  1. Pumpkin Carving – what is your favourite creative outlet?

I have had a good go at quite a few creative hobbies; years ago I used to make my own Christmas / birthday / occasional cards. I still have all the stuff, but I haven’t done it for years now. Maybe I ought to dig it all back out again. I briefly took up cross-stitch but that didn’t catch on very long.

Shortly after I moved into my flat I bought a DIY painting that now has pride of place in my living room. It took me HOURS. I listened to most of the audiobook of The Stand whilst doing it. That means I spent somewhere around 75 hours completing it! I have another one part finished for the spare room, but I haven’t really touched that one for a while. I think I stopped in between paints so fingers crossed what is left hasn’t gone dry…

My latest creative hobby is crocheting. I started small with crochet animals and have gone on to crochet a jumper as well! It’s a good pastime if you want to keep your hands busy.

 

  1. Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

My family think I am a little odd for it, but I love when the nights start drawing in as winter approaches. It makes coming home after a day at work nice and cozy. That’s not to say I enjoy the dead of winter and going to work/coming home in the dark. I’m not that miserable…

 

  1. Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge

I agree with Sara on this one – I love to stay in. There is nowhere I want to be after a long day at work than at home. Door locked. Peace at last. Sure, going out and catching up with friends and family is fun, but I enjoy coming home to my own space and being unable to unwind in my own way. I have come to need my own space to do my own thing – read a book or listen to music usually. What’s important is that Rebecca is IN and the rest of the world is distinctly OUT.

 

  1. Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

Finishing a really good book! In that moment before the book hangover begins, concluding a really good book or series reminds me just why I read so much!

 

  1. Fright Night – favourite scary book or film

This is definitely going to be a scary book choice because I don’t really get on with scary films… and not for the reason you would expect. They don’t scare me. I learned the techniques film-makers use in my Performing Arts and Psychology lessons to hype up an audience, so I can see it a mile away and expect it. Element of surprise ruined.

I’m much more of a fan of psychological thrillers. With that in mind, I would have to say my scary book choice is Pet Sematary by Stephen King.

 

  1. Halloween candy – favourite thing to eat

Oh goodness we could be here all day! It’s generally known and accepted that I will eat pretty much anything and everything! If I have to pick something seasonal as my favourite though, the first thing that comes to mind is the tin of Quality Street you buy “in preparation for Christmas” – knowing full well it won’t even see December.

 

  1. Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

My must-have autumn accessory is just that – scarves! More specifically, Kipling scarves. I’m not just a maniac for their handbags and purses, but their viscose scarves as well. I love them because they are so lightweight but do a fantastic job of keeping you warm without the bulk of a thick scarf. They’re also really pretty and smell like your perfume too, so win-win.

I have… one or two of these beauties…

 

  1. Fire – a book or film that burns your soul

This is actually a really tough question – I have read so many great books that it is hard to choose! I suppose the books I feel most passionately about – and love to talk about – are the likes of The Green Mile and To Kill a Mockingbird. Knowing the injustice served to so many based on the colour of their skin makes me really angry. I like to talk about them as a means of education and to be part of a society that wouldn’t let anything as ludicrous as race be a reason to treat someone differently again.

 

  1. Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

When I read War and Peace I didn’t expect the ending to be a philosophical discussion about how things could have gone differently for Napoleon. It’s about the only example I could think of – I am pretty open-minded when it comes to my books. This is the only curve ball I’ve encountered to date!

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this tag and reading a little about me! I’m not going to tag anyone specific to also take part, but if you do, please link me in so I can read your answers.

 

 

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