Discussion Post – Book Star Ratings

So, you’ve read a book! Congratulations! But, where do you even begin when deciding what star rating to give it?

These are questions a lot of people probably ask themselves when they are looking to leave it a rating on the likes of Amazon, Goodreads etc. The honest answer is, there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. Ratings (and reviews) by nature are subjective and our individual experiences of a book are completely different. So don’t worry! You can’t do it wrong.

Different people have different ways of tackling this problem. In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing some of the different ways in which you might approach rating a book. Maybe you don’t like the way you rate a book now, you’re curious as to what other methods there are or are just not sure how it’s best to go about it. Hopefully today’s post can inspire you!

 

Emotively

Everyone interprets media differently. Hundreds of people can consume the same thing and end up with polar opposite opinions. That’s the good thing about being human. We all have a unique perspective based on a number of factors – our upbringing, religious or political views or even just personal preference.

One of the ways in which a book can be rated is purely based on how it made you feel. That’s not to say an book that made you cry should be rated as one star though! That’s not what you’re aiming for here. But I mean by emotively is how strongly a book makes you feel. Do you absolutely love it? Or, were you a little bit uninspired? Can you explain exactly why? For this method you don’t particularly have to be able to justify why it made you feel that way (although if you are writing a full review it does help to explain to other readers).

 

Methodically

I’ve seen readers rate books before based on a combination of factors. They may look at things such as the plot, character development and a number of other fixed topics. They’ll rate the book on each of these topics and then give the book the overall average of those scores.

This is a very fair way to rate a book and if you aren’t 100% sure how is best, this can be a way to help you along. There are set criteria and the structure may help you think about certain aspects of a book more specifically. Reviewing emotively may suits some, however anyone looking for a little bit of guidance as to what may be more important may feel more confident with bit of structure.

It’s also a more fair method of rating a book if you want to attribute each ‘topic’ of consideration in your rating in equal measure. As to whether that is suitable is entirely up to you – it’s your opinion that counts after all!

 

Combination of the two

Personally, I’m a combination of both of these methods. Whilst I don’t specifically have a set list of factors I consider when rating a book, I will take into account several things when deciding my rating for the book. I will think about the plot; whether it’s appropriate for the genre and how well it is written to give a couple of examples. I think about the characters and how well the storyline/narrative allowed them to develop etc. But I’m not rigid on this. I don’t have a set list of things I’ll consider and I don’t rate the book individually against each topic and average it. I do still allow my overall subjective feelings towards the book to govern the rating.

One reason I don’t rate my books methodically it’s because I don’t value individual factors equally. A book may have fantastic character development and a really exciting plot, if I can’t get on with the writing style then that’s a deal-breaker for me. Since that is more important to me, rating a book based on that and attributing it equally against other factors doesn’t sit well with me. My experience of the book in that instance is brought down considerably more because it’s more important to me.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. How you decide to rate a book is entirely your decision. If you’re not sure which method is best, have a go at all of them! If any one of them is easier than the other than perhaps this is the way forward for you. You may have already decided how you do it – and that’s fine too!

The point of providing a rating is to express your personal opinion. Nobody can tell you that’s wrong. So long as you are being honest, that’s all there is to it!

How do you rate a book? Do you use any of these methods, or do you rate a book in another way? If you do I’ll be really interested to hear how you do it!

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Sunday Summary – 19th September 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! As always, I hope you’ve had a fantastic week wherever and whatever you have been up to! My week has been pretty run-of-the-mill. It’s been the usual work and home, except for going out with some friends for tea last night and going to visit my family today.

In terms of blogging, I’ve stuck to my typical schedule this week. In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I told you that I was going to share a book review as it had been some time since my last one. I did indeed go on to share my review of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson as planned. You may be aware that I am a huge, huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and Steelheart did not disappoint in the slightest! I’ve loved every one of his books to date.

Later in the week, I shared a Shelf Control post. This is a regular feature here on Reviewsfeed, in which I review my TBR and feature the next book on my list, explaining to you just why I can’t wait to read it! This week’s featured book isn’t a typical choice for me. I don’t read much in the way of young adult, however, I like the sound of the premise of this one. With that in mind, this was a definite keeper on my list.

If you haven’t checked out either of those posts, you can find a link to each above.

 

Books Read

This week’s reading list has fewer books on it than last week, however, I’ve made solid progress with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. For the second half of this year, I’ve set myself a goal to try and pick up a book more regularly again. I’m not trying to read any set number of books or anything like that, however, I am trying to make reading a regular thing. That is the case and I am picking up books because I want to and not to because I feel obliged to.

When I started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck last week, it was because I wanted to read something non-fiction. I wanted something very different to my usual and this has suited me very well. As a result, I wanted to pick it up and carry on making progress. I also agree with a lot of the things said in the book.  The logic makes sense and it’s made me think about the way I sometimes think about myself.

Having taken the time to think about what’s been written, there are things that I’m changing my perspective on. If you asked me a couple of weeks ago I’d have told you things I didn’t think I gave a damn about, but now I’m starting to question whether that’s true, and more importantly, whether I should be giving a damn about it!

The main message from the book is to encourage you to question yourself. Your thoughts, your opinions and your values. It’s the tricky bit but if you can ask yourself the difficult questions and give yourself an honest answer, then you’re only going in the right direction!

 

Books Discovered

This week’s section is significantly shorter than last week’s. Given that I’ve added several new books to the list lately, I’m deliberately not trying to find anything. I have more than enough on my plate already!

 

Coming Up…

For next week, I’m planning on sharing a discussion post with you. In this post, I want to share with you how you can rate the books you read, as well as how I do it. Everybody has different ways of doing it. Some might score a book on several aspects and then average it, and others might do it completely emotionally. There is no right or wrong way and if you are a fellow book blogger, I want to make your ratings consistent then this may be a topic of interest to you.

Later in the week, I will be back with another First Lines Friday post. I’ve decided this week I’m going to set myself a challenge to feature a non-fiction book. It’s a genre that doesn’t get a whole lot of love on my blog (for the moment) and so I want to take some steps to change that! If you have any ideas or recommendations, I would love to hear them. Alternatively, if there are any other challenges you’d like to see me do as part of this series I would love to hear those ideas as well!

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update is and I look forward to seeing you in the next post!

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Shelf Control #35 – 17/09/2021

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on Reviewsfeed and 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.

I try to share these posts regularly so I can continue to review the books on my TBR, decide if I still want to read them, or whether my reading case has changed and it’s no longer for me. I have taken a few books off this list by doing these posts. It’s a productive exercise and gives me some bookish content to share with you. And who knows, by featuring those books I still want to read, maybe I can introduce you to something that will take your fancy as well!

This week’s featured book is a YA novel, which is unusual for me. It’s not very common for me to add these to my TBR, however I’m intrigued by the synopsis! Find out more about this week’s featured book below: –


Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning City

Goodreads – Daughter of the Burning City

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.


My Thoughts…

The plot is very unusual, and that’s what caught my eye. Those who read my blog will know I am a huge fan of fantasy, and this book fits that bill. I really like the illusion aspect of the story – and the circus setting. The backdrop already planted the seed that all is not as it seems. Add to that the events in the synopsis, and things are certainly very strange!

The book has a lot of scope with the storyline. I’m interested to see where it will go, because honestly I have no idea. But I like that. Sometimes I enjoy going into a book not really expecting too much. It means that I’m almost guaranteed to be surprised and it will feel unique; like nothing I have read before. Knowing how many books I’ve read, you’ll know that’s no mean feat!

Do you like the sound of this book? Have you read it as if so, would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

It’s been a little while since I shared a book review with you all. So, today’s post is to share my thoughts on Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson.

I am a huge fan, and I really wanted to try this first book of The Reckoners series. To date, I haven’t found a book of Sanderson‘s I don’t like. Maintaining a record like that is a challenge and a very big expectation to live up to. But Steelheart did not disappoint!

 

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Steelheart

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 

My Thoughts…

When I picked up Steelheart I was safe in the knowledge that I was going to enjoy this book. Not only is Brandon Sanderson becoming one of my favourite authors, but it’s also a genre that I go to again and again! Where fantasy is normally filled with classic tropes and repetitive storylines, I don’t find this at all with Brandon Sanderson‘s writing. It has always amazed me how varied his different narratives and series are. He has so many of them and yet manages to keep them all unique in their own way. They all have similarities in that some form of magic is involved, but the similarities end there!

I enjoyed the narrative of Steelheart as the book is written from the perspective of an underground organisation plotting and killing Epics. Brandon Sanderson builds this epic world over which his ‘superheroes’ (turned overlords) preside, but we get to see the gritty, dark side of things. The world is not perfect with this power. Those who wield it are corrupted. The Reckoners, trying to stop them, hide in the shadows… the dark underbelly of cities. There is something about an author who builds such a fantastic world, to then base the story out of the ‘worst’ parts of it and pull it off.

The Reckoners are the key to the story and as a group, they have a great dynamic. I really enjoyed each individual character and personally, I loved their geekiness. The technology they’ve been able to build with next to no resources is phenomenal and their determination is something else entirely. Who else would think to take on the equivalent of a superhero and win? These guys… and boy, do they do it with style!

I really enjoyed the ending of this book. I wasn’t sure how the book was going to be wrapped up, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. It was action-packed, very cleverly done and I don’t think I could’ve asked for any better! And the best bit is, it’s not even over yet! With additional books in the series, there is plenty of scope to take this further and I can guarantee you that I will be picking these up! Equally, I think you could read Steelheart as a standalone if you really wanted to. But why would you want to when it’s just this good?!

Have you read Steelheart, or does my review make you want to consider reading it? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 12th September 2021

Welcome back to my regular Sunday Summary update post. I didn’t share an update with you last week as there wasn’t much to tell. My sister and her boyfriend Chris came over for a visit and so consequently, I took a break from both reading and blogging for the time they were over.

I have been back since the beginning of this week, however, and I’ve already shared a couple of posts with you. With not sharing my regular Sunday Summary update, you didn’t know what I had planned. However, sharing my Monthly Wrap-Up for August shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. I would’ve shared this the week prior if not for their visit, and it’s a post I’ve been sharing at the beginning of each month since the beginning of this year. Reading progress was better in July, but I’m still happy with what I managed to read in August. I’m now getting back into the swing of reading more regularly and that habit has continued throughout August!

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post; this week’s featured book has just been published and I’m excited to give this a go! It’s written by an author I have come to love. Whilst the genre is a little out of my comfort zone, for this author I’m willing to give it a try anyway.

 

Books Read

I could not be happier with this week’s reading progress! Considering I practically didn’t pick up a book for the whole of the week prior, I’ve certainly made up for it this week. As of my last Sunday Summary update I was around halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I’m pleased to say that I finished this yesterday. When you take into consideration that my edition of this book is 766 pages long, you can already see that reading half the book in just less than a week is already a lot of reading!

Well, we don’t end there. After finishing the book I decided I wanted something a little lighter to pick up next. I don’t mean that just in terms of size either. I love that the later books of the series have a darker side, but in contrast I wanted something significantly more lighthearted as a break. Don’t forget, I read both Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix one after the other. So, with that in mind, I remembered a recent recommendation by my boss to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It was just what I needed; so much so, I managed to read this in one sitting!

Lastly, I picked up my third book of the week this morning. I wanted to continue with the slightly lighter tone, however move away from narratives aimed at children. After combing through my to be read list, I settled on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. If I recall correctly, I think I’m around 15% of the way through this book at the moment. Again, I’m really enjoying the lighter side of the book as the narrative is in itself quite humorous. But, the book also has a lot to offer in terms of insight into mental health as well, which is really interesting at the same time!

 

Books Discovered

Over the last couple of weeks, it’s fair to say I’ve fallen off the wagon a little. I feel like I’ve added quite a few books to my list. I have managed to take a few off as well, but if I’m entirely honest I think I breakeven at best.

The first book added to my list in the last couple of weeks is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This recommendation actually came to me from my sister’s boyfriend Chris. He has just read the book himself and after telling me about it, he very kindly left his copy with me to borrow.

The second book added was also the featured book shared in my First Lines Friday post this week. As I’ve said, I’ve come to love Jay Kristoff, in particular his Nevernight series. When I saw a post this week about his new release, Empire of the Vampire, I knew I had to give it a go. Based on the introduction I shared in that post, I am more convinced than ever that taking a little step out of my comfort zone will pay off.

Lastly, I added one more book to my list today after being introduced to it by my mum. She mentioned that she had just ordered this new release and I think it has a lot to offer. As I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, it was 20 years ago yesterday that the world changed forever. The 9/11 attacks are unforgettable recent history, and the book my mum introduced to me, Ordinary Heroes, is written by the first FDNY chief on the scene on that fateful day. Having recently watched a documentary offering insight into the attacks from the perspective of those on the ground at the time, this memoir can definitely shed new light on the widely publicised event, but in more intimate detail. I’m a firm believer that we can learn from our history; that’s why I enjoy reading it so much.

 

Coming Up…

I feel like it has been a little while since I’ve shared a book review with you all, and so my plan for this week is to share my thoughts on Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Brandon Sanderson is probably my second favourite author of all time. He is the kind of author that I could pick any of his books up and it wouldn’t matter – I’d love it regardless! He is a fantastic writer and to date, all the books of his I’ve read, I rated five stars. Steelheart is no exception! I loved the narrative and the action, and I feel sure I will continue with the series before too long. I read this first book back in 2020 and so my review is certainly overdue.

Later in the week, I will be sharing my next Shelf Control post. Having added no less than three books to the to be read pile, I should certainly get back to checking what else is on the list and making sure it’s still relevant to my reading taste!

That’s all for me vote this week. I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update and I look forward to seeing you in the next post!

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any good recommendations?

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First Lines Friday – 10/09/2021

Hi guys and welcome to my First Lines Friday post!

I was supposed to share a First Lines Friday post with you a couple of weeks ago. However, I got busy and before I knew it, it was late on Friday evening and I hadn’t even started planning the post. Well, never mind that now – because I’m here today to share with you a fantastic book that I think you will love! It is written by an author that I have come to love and has just been published within the last couple of days. If you read my blog and are familiar with recent releases, you may be able to guess today’s book.

Even if you don’t recognise it from the clues above, I hope you enjoy today’s extract.

 

“It all started with a rabbit hole,” Gabriel said.

The Last Silversaint stared into that flickering lantern flame as if into faces long dead. A hint of red smoke still bruised the air, and he could hear each thread in the lanterns wick burning to a different tune. The years passed between them then and now seemed only minutes to his mind, alight with rushing bloodhymn.

“It strikes me as funny,” he sighed, “looking back on it all. There is a pile of ash behind me so high it could touch the sky. Cathedrals in flames and cities in ruins and graves overflowing with the pious and wicked, and that’s where it truly began. He shook his head in wonder. Just a little hole in the ground.

People will remember it different, of course. The soothsingers will harp about the Prophecy, and the priests will bleat on about the Almighty’s plan. But I never met a minstrel who wasn’t a liar, coldblood. Nor holy man who wasn’t a …”

 

Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Empire of the Vampire

From holy cup comes holy light;

The faithful hands sets world aright.

And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,

Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order couldn’t stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Nevernight Chronicle, Jay Kristoff, comes the first book of an astonishing illustrated dark fantasy saga.

 

My Thoughts…

As a general rule, I wouldn’t say I’m a massive fan of vampire-related novels. However, I have read a couple of good ones and I’m certainly prepared to make an exception for Mr Kristoff!

I fell in love with his Nevernight series instantly and so I have high expectations for this book as well. It’s dark fantasy, which I love the idea of considering he pulled off Nevernight so well. He’s also indicated that it is definitely not a book for children. I like that it’s aimed at a more mature reader, although I know there’s going to be at least one scene in it that I’m not going to be a huge fan of. That being said, I’m willing to overlook it because I don’t want to miss out on the rest! You may have noticed that I’ve even omitted a word from today’s extract. For the sake of keeping my blog PG I’ve taken it out… but let’s just say it’s a certain four letter word beginning with C.

You know the one. If you don’t, you’re probably not meant to yet!

Some people might be put off by such language, but as someone who grew up learning the vocabulary of a sailor from a very young age, I certainly have no issues! I personally quite enjoy the crassness of it!

If you’re interested to read my thoughts on books I have already read by Jay Kristoff (his Nevernight series), you can check out my review of Nevernight here. Reviews for the later books are also available, but so I don’t share any potential spoilers accidentally, I’ve just linked my review to the first book of the series.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Are you excited for Empire of the Vampire?

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Monthly Wrap-Up – August 2021

After just over a week’s break from blogging to spend time with family, I’m back with my monthly wrap-up for August 2021. I appreciate this might feel a little late. Normally I would have shared this last week, but as my sister and her boyfriend were over visiting I decided to take the whole week off so I could enjoy my time with them fully!

However, I am back now and raring to go! I feel really good about the progress I made last month in terms of reading. Picking up a book is becoming a habit again. This has been a benefit to me; I can’t overstate how important it is to take time out for yourself. After a record reading year, as well as moving house and studying for work, I was done. It’s very easy to overlook maintaining a healthy balance – and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t do this last year. I scaled back this year to avoid burnout. The fact that I’m coming back and reading more regularly is a good sign that this has been effective.

 

Books Read

August‘s reading has been dominated by Harry Potter. Not only did I finish the fourth instalment of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but I also made significant progress with the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

If you’ve picked up or read either of these books, you’ll know they’re both chunky. As of the end of the month I was around halfway through HP and the Order of the Phoenix. That in its own right can equate to one or two books! It is a long one, but picking it up hasn’t been a challenge. Not only do I find the books really easy to read, but I don’t find their size intimidating. Maybe it’s because I’ve read them before, or because big books are my bag!

So it may not look like much progress on paper. But, given my recent track record, I’m really happy with how I’m progressing. In recent months picking up a book was something I had to do consciously. That might sound daft because I always do it consciously, but I had less motivation to do so. I wouldn’t say I quite had to talk myself into it, but it wasn’t a first instinct when asked what I wanted to do. Not only is that back, but I’m currently able to balance that with some other hobbies I’ve picked up along the way.

If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the odd post here in there about knitting. In the absence of reading I’ve taken up this hobby. As you will see, I’ve come along way in a short space of time. For a time I think knitting became my substitute for reading. I needed something new and I do like a challenge! Now my interests are shifting to allow for both hobbies to coincide with each other… and that’s the kind of balance I like to see and I hope will continue! Here is my latest post on my Instagram feed me to give you an idea of the sort of things I’m doing right now: 

Blog Posts

In my monthly wrap-up posts I also like to share the blog posts that I have written and published during them up. That way, if you have missed any of my content and see something you like the look of, you will find a handy link here!

In addition to reading this month, I’ve also shared the following: – 

That’s all for me in today’s monthly wrap-up post for August.

Are there any good books you have picked up, or is there even something you’re currently reading that you would recommend? Have you picked up any new hobbies recently? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 29th August 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week? It’s especially been a good one here as we are in the middle of a super bank holiday weekend. We normally have a bank holiday in June, but this didn’t take place as planned this year as it is associated with a motorbike racing event. This was cancelled due to Covid, so we got Friday this week in lieu.

My blogging schedule didn’t quite go to plan this week. I was hoping to get my review of The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn out a little earlier than I did, but I eventually got it to a stage I was happy with it and published the post on Thursday.

I was meant to publish a First Lines Friday post this week. However, with having the day off I got stuck into some household jobs, including taming the garden. Long story short, I had quite a busy day and I finally remembered that I hadn’t started drafting this post about 10 pm. By that point, I hadn’t chosen a book to feature and so I decided to postpone the post rather than scramble to get something sub-par ready.

 

Books Read

Reading progress this week has been good. As you guys know, I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. I’m now just over 300 pages into the book and it’s so easy to pick up and put down. Even though I haven’t read this book for a long time, there is still a sense of familiarity but equally, it’s keeping me engaged. I love how well these are written and I don’t think it will be too long before I finish the series; I want to try and finish them by the end of the year.

 

Books Discovered

No news to report here once again, so I’m a happy bunny!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to be taking a brief break over the next week. My sister and her boyfriend are coming over to the island for a visit and so I’m going to be taking time out to spend time with them. My sister was over for the first time in a couple of years back at the end of June; I am looking forward to being able to catch up with her again so soon. I haven’t met my sister’s boyfriend properly yet, so I’m looking forward to that too!

I will be back at the end of next week with another Sunday Summary post, but that’s all you can expect from me next week. Until then I hope you have a good one!

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Book Review: The Thief Taker – C. S. Quinn

In today’s book review post I’m sharing my thoughts on a book that I read around the time I moved house last year. That seems crazy to me because that was well over a year ago! It just goes to show how far behind I am on some of my reviews. Needless to say that after today’s post I can take one more off my list and I hope you enjoy hearing my thoughts on this book.

The Thief Taker appealed to me for its setting. It seemed apt given that we were in the height of our first wave of the pandemic locally at the time I read the book. Maybe that isn’t the best choice for anyone who is superstitious; I am not however and I went on to enjoy this book!

 

The Thief Taker – C. S. Quinn

Goodreads – The Thief Taker

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask…

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London – and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past.

Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide.

In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

 

My Thoughts…

As I said in my introduction, the main reason I wanted to read this book was to indulge in the setting. British history ironically wasn’t touched on all that much as part of my education. It was there a bit, but I spent most of my time studying the world wars, the Cold War and the economic Boom and Bust in the 1920’s and 30’s. With that in mind, I wanted to try something new. This particular book appealed because in addition it also had an element of mystery – a murder to be solved. It’s a genre that I read from time to time and more often than not enjoy, so I felt it was a safe bet to try something new but equally with a touch of familiarity.

I really enjoyed the mystery element. Can I say that I expected the book and the plot would turn out the way you did? Absolutely not! The story had a far wider scope and I imagined but honestly, I really enjoyed that.

The book is brilliant in its description of London at its worst. If you don’t have a strong stomach then maybe take this with a pinch of salt. The narrative encourages the imagination to run wild with vivid descriptions of just how atrocious conditions were at the time. Imagine bodies rotting in the streets. People hiding themselves away and turning on anyone they think to be sick. The city turns into a cesspit; it’s one thing to have a vague understanding of how things happened in reality, reading a book such as this brings it into perspective.

With society in a state of breakdown and sickness everywhere, the book is full of tension. Where is safe? Who is lurking behind close doors or in the next alleyway – a criminal… or something worse? Our main character finds himself looking over his shoulder constantly and with London being incredibly unsafe, the narrative is full of action to keep us as readers interested.

There is definitely far more that can be added to the series. The plot has been left pretty wide open after this book so it will be interesting to see where the next instalment takes us. For historical fiction, I enjoyed the change of setting and pace and for anyone looking to delve into British history, or at least a very dark side of history, this may just be for you!

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Sunday Summary – 22nd August 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a good one whatever you have been doing?

At the beginning of this week, I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post; this week’s subject was my top ten favourite places to read. As someone who reads a lot, I have no shortage of places I will pick up a book. So, this is quite an easy post for me to write. If you haven’t checked out that post already, I’d be interested to see what your favourite places are by comparison!

On Friday I shared my next Shelf Control post. For those unfamiliar with the series, I use it to review the books on my reading list and I tell you about why I can’t wait to read them. This week’s featured book was a mystery/crime novel by a new author to me. It’s unusual in that it is slap-bang in the middle of the series, however I won’t let that put me off giving it a go! I’m hoping the book can be read standalone, but we’ll see!

 

Books Read

This week’s reading progress has been significantly better than last week. I barely picked up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last week but I’ve been making up for that since. I’ve read over 150 pages this week and I plan to take this to bed with me again tonight to continue. I’m really enjoying the book so far. It is a hefty one, but at the same time it’s very easy to pick up and read. It probably helps that I have a rough idea of the story from the last time it read it, but equally the narrative is just really easy to follow and reading doesn’t feel like a chore.

 

Books Discovered

For the second time in a couple of weeks, I can still say that I haven’t made any acquisitions or added anything to my TBR! No complaints here – the list is long enough already.

 

Coming Up…

This week I am going to pick up where I left off with my half-drafted review of The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn. I made a solid start and I want to pick this back up and get it into a state where I’m happy to publish it. I hope you can join me for that post!

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing my next First Lines Friday post. I’m going to set myself a challenge for this post and choose this week’s featured book is out of my top 10 reads from last year. Naturally, you can be sure that this book comes highly recommended and I hope it will catch your eye as it did for me.

Last, but not least, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary post at the end of the week to share what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been reading.

That is, however, all from me this week. I hope you have a fantastic one and I look forward to seeing you again.

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