Author: fantasyst95

Sunday Summary – 31st January 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update from me! I hope you are all keeping safe and well wherever you are. It has been a pretty uneventful week for me personally; I left the house once for food! Other than that, I’ve just been working from home, preparing for an exam I’m sitting next week and spending my evenings as I do; knitting, watching TV, reading etc.

On the blog, I’ve been somewhat productive. Earlier this week I shared my 25 Bookish Facts About Me post. That was both fun to write and also a bit of a challenge. Try and come up with 25 facts about you – because some of the facts are so random and for the most part unremarkable day-to-day, they’re hard to think of!

Later this week, I shared a blog tour review for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire. I have read a good deal of her books by now and I love her writing, so even though I had decided I wasn’t going to sign up for as many tours this year, I was willing to make an exception for her. Realistically I would probably have picked this up and read it at a later date, so I might as well have done now and hopefully done my part for the tour! This is the last tour I signed up for though. Nothing else is planned at the moment, although I won’t rule out reviews for other ‘regular’ names here or promo posts for tours instead.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a lot of this week on exam preparations, so I’ve done a bit less reading than I’ve been averaging over the last few weeks. That said, I have been doing a bit of reading before bed the last few nights. I’ve made more progress with Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin. I’m really enjoying reading about the history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond in the lead up to the events of the main story. A good deal of it is vaguely familiar as it comes up in the main series as well. And this is my idea of light reading to wind down at night… what does that say about me?! Haha!

As if Fire & Blood isn’t Game of Thrones-y enough, I’ve also made more progress listening to the audiobook for the first book in the series. I now have just less than 14 hours left to listen to, which will sound like loads – but it’s roughly the last third of the book.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any more books to my list this week… so nothing to see here!

 

Coming Up…

You may have noticed that I didn’t set myself a reading list in January. In my pledge to get back to reading and enjoy a more relaxed pace, I’ve decided to switch things around. Instead of writing a post on what I was going to do (or at least try to) at the beginning of a month, I’m going to write a wrap-up post of what I actually did do at the end of a month instead. It’s a lot less pressure and it means I can pick and choose what I read when, as opposed to setting a restrictive list and then having to stick to it. I’ll be sharing my first wrap-up post at the beginning of the week.

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing yet another book review in my mega backlist! I’ve decided that this week’s review will be for an audiobook I listened to last year. It’s the second book in the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo, called Crooked Kingdom.

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! Until next time, I hope you have a lovely week!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: A Remedy in Time – Jennifer Macaire

I am very excited to be taking part in today’s blog tour for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire! The reason I wanted to take part today is that I have read a number of Jennifer Macaire’s books to date. These books include four books from The Road to Alexander series and A Crown in Time as well as this latest book. I have loved every single one to date, so when I got the email about this blog tour I had to say yes! As always, thank you to Jennifer Macaire and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour.

The timing of this tour might seem funny given the premise of the book. You’ll see what I mean. And yet, despite the casual link to certain current events going on right now, this is a very different story and was an excellent read for some escapism from everything going on. If you’re intrigued and want to find out more, here are the details of the book, my full review and a chance to enter a giveaway to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate: –

 

A Remedy in Time – Jennifer Macaire

A Remedy In Time: Your favourite new timeslip story, from the author of the cult classic TIME FOR ALEXANDER series by Jennifer Macaire | Goodreads

To save the future, she must turn to the past . . .

San Francisco, Year 3377. A deadly virus has taken the world by storm. Scientists are desperately working to develop a vaccine. And Robin Johnson – genius, high-functioning, and perhaps a little bit single-minded – is delighted. Because, to cure the disease, she’s given the chance to travel back in time.

But when Robin arrives at the last Ice Age hoping to stop the virus at its source, she finds more there than she bargained for. And just as her own chilly exterior is beginning to thaw, she realises it’s not only sabre-toothed tigers that are in danger of extinction . . .

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK      Amazon US      Headline

 

My Thoughts…

A common theme throughout Jennifer Macaire’s books, and one of my favourite things about them, is the combination of science-fiction and historical-fiction genres. To an extent that’s to be expected in a novel encompassing time-travel. However, the time travel element of the book isn’t just a means of starting the story. From the act of time travelling itself, to advanced technology and having biodegradable equipment to avoid leaving any traces, the science-fiction aspect of the novel is present throughout the narrative. I love how well the two genres are blended together seamlessly!

Robin is a really interesting main character and I enjoyed her complexity. She is far from the prime candidate to be sent off on a mission for the Tempus University, but her expertise in variants of the virus ravaging the modern-day world gives her the opportunity to prove herself. However, she finds herself in deeper waters than she imagined, and the plot that unfolds had me questioning everything I knew so far. What was really going on, and who could Robin trust? In between all the action and mystery, as if this wasn’t enough, there is plenty of humour in the book too. I was laughing out loud on several occasions whilst reading A Remedy in Time.

12,000 years into the past, danger lurks around every corner. Wild beasts and the forces of Mother Nature are new territories for Robin, and for us readers. The descriptions of the landscapes and animals Robin discovers are absolutely beautiful and vivid. It was very easy to imagine myself as the reader in Robin’s shoes and discovering this entirely different world.

The novel is well-paced and full of action to keep us readers hooked. I found it very easy to sit and read A Remedy in Time for longer stints. There is so much going on and the underlying mystery is exciting and lures you into reading the next chapter, and the next, to see what happens next! I seriously didn’t want to put it down! In between all the action and mystery, as if this wasn’t enough, there is plenty of humour in the book too. I was laughing out loud on several occasions whilst reading A Remedy in Time.

I really enjoyed reading this book, as I am sure you have gathered from this review. It is the perfect mix of genres and tone to keep you reading for hours. I cannot recommend this book enough and I hope anyone who goes on to read it as well enjoys it as much as I did!

 

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves chocolate, biking, & reading. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/jennifermacaire

https://www.facebook.com/TempusU

 

Giveaway to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate (Open 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/33c69494405/

 

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Hi guys and welcome to today’s post! I wanted to do something fun and share some of the more random bookish facts about me. I thought it would be a good way to help you get to know me. This is a book tag, however, I decided to take part having seen a few versions of the post online. I haven’t been tagged; I just liked the idea and decided I wanted to do it for myself! 

So, here are 25 bookish facts about me that you may, or may not have known: – 

 

1. I used to pretty much exclusively read fantasy when I was younger.

2. As a teenager, I couldn’t read more than one book at a time.

3. As a high school student I volunteered in my school library.

4. My favourite authors growing up were Jacqueline Wilson and Meg Cabot.

5. Non-fiction is my least frequently read genre (excluding those I don’t read at all!)

6. I’m not a big user or advocate of Netgalley, but thanks to blog tours and such I have a feedback ratio of 73%, which is just less than the recommended 80%.

7. My TBR is just over 200 books long – yikes!

8. The longest book I’ve read is IT by Stephen King. The edition I have is a whopping 1,396 pages and took me 2 weeks to read.

9. I don’t really have a preference in the e-reader/physical book debate. Both have their merits, and that’s why I like a healthy mix of both.

10. I have never read the Twilight series and frankly, from what I’ve heard I don’t think I ever will either. No hate, just not my thing okay?

11. Autumn is my favourite time of year to read. The nights are starting to draw in and it’s the perfect excuse to draw the curtains, lock the door and cosy in with a good book.

12. My favourite author of all time is George R. R. Martin.

13. I’ve only started listening to audiobooks in the last few years and they have really grown on me. I wasn’t sure if I’d take to them at first.

14. I have copies of all the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka A Game of Thrones) published to date in all formats (physical, audio and e-reader).

15. I have never finished a book and rated it 1 star. If it’s that bad (in my opinion) I won’t finish it and don’t rate it.

16. I picked up my first Stephen King book (The Green Mile) only 3 and a half years ago. I haven’t looked back since!

17. I don’t borrow books from the library very often…

18. In the last four years (2017-2020) I have read 239 books.

19. My average rating on Goodreads is 4.32 stars out of 5.

20. I have never been to a book convention or literary festival.

21. Starting my blog is the reason I read as much as I do. Without it, my interest would probably have waned.

22. Book blogging is like a full-time job, but it’s a fun one!

23. I have a general rule that I will only buy and keep physical copies of books that I’m sure I’m going to read again. Otherwise, I’ll buy it on kindle or I’ll take them to a charity shop when I’m finished with it.

24. I hate cracking the spine of a paperback, so I always try to stretch it before I start reading to minimise the risk of damage.

25. Reading is my way of escaping reality. I spend more time reading than any other hobby.

 

I would like to say that this was quite an easy post, but actually trying to come up with all these facts was more challenging than I anticipated! 

What bookish facts do you have to share? 

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 24th January 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s possibly slightly hastily written Sunday Summary update post. I’ve had a very busy weekend doing a bit more redecorating in the house. I only finished at 8 pm this evening, so apologies if this post reads a little rushed as a result. But, my hall, stairs and landing look really nice now so it was worth the effort!

My week was comparatively normal. Aside from working from home, I’ve been studying for an upcoming exam and the usual reading and blogging. I shared my first blog post of the week on Tuesday and featured the top ten reads of 2020 that I didn’t get to. My next post after that didn’t go live until yesterday, but I wanted to take my time and get my thoughts together for my review of Rags of Time by Michael Ward.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was just about to finish Midnight in Chernobyl, as I had 40 pages left. I’m pleased to say that I did go on to read those on Sunday night and so I finished this book last week.

I’ve read a second book in its entirety this week, finishing it earlier today in a break when I was waiting for a coat of paint to dry. I’m taking part in a blog tour next week and so I wanted to get the book read in plenty of time before then. I signed up to the blog tour for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire as I have read a number of this author’s books to date and I love her writing. As a rule, I’m not really signing up to review any books for blog tours, but I signed up to this at the end of last year as an exception, given that I would probably have continued to read her books anyway. It was a nice and light historical fiction read and I can’t wait to share my thoughts next week.

I’ve also listened to more of A Game of Thrones this week, but especially yesterday when starting the decorating. I just love it so much and I’ve listened to around half the audiobook now.

 

Books Discovered

I saw a tweet from an author I love talking about a book series I hadn’t heard about. Having read a bit more about it, I decided I liked the sound of it enough to give it a try. The first book of the series is called Priest of Bones by Peter McLean. I’ve added this to my TBR to try the series. I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as I think I will!

 

Coming Up…

Next week I’ll be sharing a couple of posts in addition to my usual weekly update. I want to start off the week on a lighter tone, as I’ll be sharing a review later in the week. I’ve seen a fun post idea of sharing 25 bookish facts about me, and so I want to share this with you in the next few days.

I’ll be sharing my blog tour review of A Remedy in Time on Friday, which I hope you can join me for!

Then, last but not least I’ll be wrapping up the week as usual in next week’s Sunday Summary update.

 

That’s all from me for now though – have a good one and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

 

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Book Review: Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s book review of Rags of Time by Michael Ward. I very kindly received a copy of the book in exchange for review last year and I’m looking forward to finally sharing my thoughts with you here. Before that though – here are the details of the book: –

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Rags of Time by Michael Ward | Goodreads

London.

1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

My Thoughts…

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and Rags of Time gave me the opportunity to try something completely new. Set in 1639, it’s a new time period of British history for me. Whilst the events of the book are fiction, the political and religious tumult within the book reflects the difficulties King Charles I experienced in his reign. This particular historical period isn’t one I’d had much exposure to before reading Rags of Time, and so I enjoyed reading something new!

I also enjoyed the more immediate action taking place in the book. Merchants are dropping like flies and Thomas Tallant finds himself prime suspect of the murders. Desperate to prove his innocence, he takes in interest in the murders in the hopes of discovering the truth to clear his name. But the Magistrates are after him, and with men of such power on his tail, he feels the walls closing in around him.

The wide array of characters within the book adds a lot of colour and intrigue to the narrative. From those trying to help Thomas clear his name to the men who set out to prove him guilty, an array of relationships build a dense web within Thomas must navigate. I think this aspect of the book is very well-written. There are a lot of moving parts in the book and so the character relationships are consistently shifting in line with the action.

There is plenty of action in the book to keep all readers entertained. In his efforts to maintain his innocence, Thomas finds himself in wild chases through the city and undertaking covert operations to uncover information. With the help of the incredibly intelligent Jane Seymour, can Thomas prove his innocence? Well, you’ll have to read Rags of Time yourself to find out because I won’t be spoiling it for you!

Thanks to the author Michael Ward for a copy of the book in exchange for a review. It was a pleasure to read!

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

Hey guys and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic is Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To… and if that doesn’t sum up 2020 for me then I don’t know what does! I made ambitious plans last January, ignorant of how the year was going to pan out for me. I’ve already talked about the reasons a lot, but ultimately I didn’t meet any of my goals.

The most important goal in relation to today’s post was my aim to read the 25 oldest books on my TBR. I made a noble attempt and managed to read 7 in full, but I also DNF’d 3. A lot of these were old additions to the TBR… we’re talking 2014/2015 when I first started using Goodreads. That’s why I wanted to get around to them, but also to see if my reading taste has changed. If anything, I think I’m a lot more open to different genres when I was then. Some of the books added were pushing the boat out on what I normally read so I’m happy to accept some of the DNF’s. Others had every right to be firm favourites but just didn’t work for me at all (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett – I’m looking at you!)

So, as you can see I have plenty of material for the Top Ten I didn’t get around to! I also wanted to write this post about it as my new goal for this year is to pick up where I left off and read more exclusively from the TBR… no ARCs, no new review requests etc. So, which ones am I looking forward to the most? Let’s get into it! Rather than a paragraph for each book, I’ve split my ten into genres groups that I’ll talk more generally about.

 

Fantasy

 

It’s hardly surprising that a number of books on this list are from the fantasy genre. As a teenager, it was pretty much all I read. These books are all by authors I love. I have already read at least three books by each and I’m confident that I’m going to really enjoy the books listed above. Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King I have read more recently. It has been a number of years since I read a book by Mark Lawrence, so I’m excited to get stuck in!

I think it’s funny that I am coming to this Stephen King novel now having read several of his other books in different genres. I’m pretty sure I added The Talisman with the intention of using it as a ‘step into’ trying his writing before exploring his more extensive horror genre books! Look how that worked out!

 

Science-fiction

 

Science-fiction is another genre that pops up again and again. I didn’t read a lot of it when I was younger, but I definitely have a healthier appreciation for it now. I added Dune to my TBR after being gifted a copy for my birthday a few years ago. I’m glad it was given to me as I really like the sound of it. I have had an experimental skeet at the first few pages before and I’m hopeful I’ll be enjoying this one too.

The Feedback Loop is quite short compared to my average read, but still, I love the sound of the plot. It will be the first thing I have read by this author too, so it’ll be a completely new experience for me.

 

Classics

 

If someone had told me ten years ago that one day I would be reading classics by choice, I’d have laughed at you. If you also told me that I’d re-read and come to enjoy the classic novels I hated studying for school, I wouldn’t believe you. And yet, I am reading them. For the most part, I am enjoying them. I’ve only DNF’d one so far and that’s The Catcher in the Rye. I’m not put off by this though and I’m looking forward to trying more classics!

 

Historical Fiction

I love historical fiction novels too, so their inclusion on this list shouldn’t be a surprise either! The two locations and time periods for each book’s setting are very different, but I have read similar books before that I’ve really enjoyed them. The Book Thief is set in Nazi Germany in WW2 and Hild in 7th century Britain.

WW2 is one of my favourite historical time periods to read about. You could call it a bit of morbid fascination given the atrocities real people lived through in these times. It’s horrible to think about but equally, I think novels set in this period have a lot to tell us. It’s a reminder not to make the same mistakes again.

 

So, those are my Top Ten Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To. Have you read any of them, or do you intend to in 2021?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 17th January 2021

Hi everyone and welcome back to another weekly update in today’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week? Well, as good as in the circumstances anyway!

We’re still in lockdown 2.0 here on the Island, so it’s safe to say I haven’t been up to much. Aside from dialling in for the 9-5, my days have been spent (mainly) knitting, reading and blogging. I’m making a jumper at the moment and the section I’m doing takes so long as I’m knitting in the round for both the body and the sleeve. It’s over 330 stitches per round, and I need to do this until the section is 15” long. Just over halfway at the moment… but it should speed up once I have that bit done!

I’ve also shared a couple of blog posts with you earlier this week. My first post of the week was a look back at my Top Reads of 2020. I always like to recap my favourites of the year – they are good posts to look back on and I love to share my recommendations. That’s what Reviewsfeed is here for after all! Speaking of recommendations, I also shared my book review for Chimeborn by Daniel Curry yesterday. It’s not very often I feature reviews for children/young adult audiences, but I really enjoyed reading this myself!

 

Books Read

 

This week I managed to get back to reading Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. When the news about our circuit-breaker lockdown came nearly two weeks ago, my motivation to read this stalled. The last thing I wanted to read about was a disaster! But, I was able to pick this up again early on in the week. As of this update post, which I’m writing early Sunday evening, I have 40 pages to go until the end. Finishing Midnight in Chernobyl is tonight’s job before bed.

I’m glad I got back into this one. I don’t read non-fiction very much in the grand scheme of things, but I really should. I’ve picked up more in the last year than I ever have done previously and I’ve really enjoyed every single one. I really need to broaden my horizons a bit and try to pick more up habitually.

As well as physical books, I also listened to a bit of A Game of Thrones whilst doing some of my knitting yesterday. Listening to audiobooks when knitting, or painting… things that involve using your hands but don’t require too much thought. Even so, I’m that familiar with the story from reading the book previously (three times) and watching the TV show (I can’t tell you how many times) that I don’t have to concentrate to follow what’s going on.

 

Books Discovered

My TBR can breathe a sigh of relief as I haven’t added any more books to the already crushing weight of the current pile since last week’s Sunday Summary post!

 

Coming Up…

I want to start next week with another Top Ten Tuesday post. Having found out what this week’s topic is, there is no shortage of books that can be put on this list. Remember last year’s Beat the Backlist challenge that I didn’t complete? You’ll probably find a lot of books from that on Tuesday’s “Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To” post. I also want to share this post as I want to tackle these books this year. For definite.

Later in the week, I’m going to share another book review. I have a few review requests to finish up and this week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the historical fiction novel Rags of Time by Michael Ward.

And of course, last but not least I’ll be back with you next week for another Sunday Summary update.

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary catch-up! What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Book Review: Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s review of Chimeborn by Daniel Curry. You may recall that I read another book by Daniel Curry not long after my blogging adventure began. His first book, The Kitsune in the Lantern, was a really fun novella aimed at children to read. I really enjoyed this, even though I’m not the target audience, and so when Daniel approached me again to ask for a review of Chimeborn, the obvious answer was a resounding yes! If you haven’t read my previous review, I’ve set up a link above so you can check that out of you wish!

Chimeborn is also aimed at a younger audience, however, it is very reminiscent of another certain story about a wizard attending a magic school. You know the one. I’ve actually just read this more famous story only a few weeks ago, and it was reading that book which reminded me that I also wanted to feature this particular review on my blog soon.

So, without further ado, here are the details of Chimeborn by Daniel Curry: –

 

Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Chimeborn by Daniel Curry | Goodreads

Welcome to Whitby, the quaint, magical town on the sea. Its ruined Abbey watches over from the East Cliff, broken and long since abandoned. However a magic within watches over Darcy Colben and his friends – the Chimeborn.

Born in the witching hour of midnight and gifted with magical sight, Chimeborn can see the Abbey for what it really is. A centuries old academy for their kind, and home to the Council of Chime. The power of Saint Hilda still resides in Whitby and this power has been shattered among the modern Chimeborn. A battle brews for control of the ancient magic, and sides will need to be chosen by all.

Ideal for strong young readers, and an enjoyable story up to young adult, this tale of power and growing up will leave you desperate to explore the shores of the north-east of England and find the magic for yourself.

 

My Thoughts

The story of Chimeborn is set in a charming English town. Those blessed with the powers of the Chimeborn see quite a different side of Whitby, with the glorious Abbey seemingly transformed from ruins into their home and place of academic study. The descriptions in the book are very vivid – it is easy to imagine you are there and part of the story.

I really enjoyed the magic system introduced, explained and put it to full action in this novel. You know me, I love magic in stories. However, with a young audience in mind, I think it is perfect to spark their imagination. Each of the main characters has their own power, allowing us to experience the magic at their disposal first hand. They also work really well together, especially in the circumstances of being sent away from their families to study. Instead, they form their own family between them and they bond well.

Chimeborn is a fun, fantasy novel for children. The characters are engaging and relatable, and the action within will definitely hold a child’s interest. What I like about this particular book is that it would be a great way to introduce a book series, rather than a one-off story to a child developing their reading skills. I think there is plenty to offer in the Chimeborn universe and that it could be made into a very approachable series.

Chimeborn is a fun, coming-of-age tale perfect for young readers. I’m a twenty-something-year-old fantasy fan even I enjoyed it as a light-hearted read. I hope to see more adventures with Darcy and his friends follow on from this book!

 

 

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Top Reads of 2020!

We’re well underway into January, and I’m hoping to read as many great books in 2021 as I did last year – if not more! Today’s post is all about sharing the book love and talking about my favourite reads of 2020.

I shared a similar post last year and I enjoyed having the opportunity to feature all my top reads in one place. It’s also a great way for you, readers, to get a lot of recommendations all in one post. I hope your TBR’s can handle it!

I’ve picked my top 5 books/book series of 2020 and I list them in descending order:-

 

The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt | Goodreads

Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation

The Boy can see lost souls.

He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.

To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!

With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.

Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…

Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?

 

I really enjoyed the characterisation and themes of The Dark Chorus. It’s rare to find stories with children/young adults as the main characters that also have sophistication to the narrative. The Dark Chorus alludes to themes that some people might not like to read, but if you’re not shy then I definitely recommend this book!

 

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J. F. Kirwan

The Dead Tell Lies: an absolutely gripping mystery thriller by J.F. Kirwan | Goodreads

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

This is an intense psychological thriller and it was that good, I read it in a matter of days!

For me, the best indicator of a good psychological thriller is how obsessed you become about trying to work everything out. If it occupies your mind even when you have to put down the book to do the mundane things, you’re on to a good start. Find one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until all is revealed, and you are onto a winner!

The Dead Tell Lies is definitely one of these books – if you love a thriller this might just be something you would like to read.

 

 

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) by Jay Kristoff | Goodreads

The epic conclusion to the internationally bestselling Nevernight Chronicle from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.

 

I had no idea how this series was going to wrap up. Nevernight and Godsgrave were amazing… so good I was worried Darkdawn would let me down with the ending.

It was fantastic – I needn’t have been worried. I did have quite a book hangover for a day or two though. I didn’t know what I could pick up next because there was no way it was going to be able to compete!

 

Mistborn Books 4-6 – Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4) by Brandon Sanderson | Goodreads

Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5) by Brandon Sanderson | Goodreads

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6) by Brandon Sanderson | Goodreads

(Synopsis for The Alloy of Law)

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

 

I couldn’t pick just one of these books, so I have all three books of this second Mistborn series on my Top Reads list. Mistborn was the series that introduced me to Brandon Sanderson. Since reading that trilogy I have gone away and read more of his books and loved them all.

Revisiting the universe of the Mistborn with this follow-up series was like meeting up with an old friend. There are a lot of aspects of the original trilogy that are touched on in these books. Equally, they also have a bit more of a modern touch which I enjoyed. The update to the magic system originally constructed in the first series is very clever but also very feasible; it adds to the overall concept of progress/development we see across the two series.

I think I actually prefer the setting and characters of this second half of the series. It’s one I’m sure I’ll re-read again in future.

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay | Goodreads

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

 

This is Going to Hurt is one of those rollercoaster books. It had me howling with laughter one minute and crying the next. It’s also reaffirmed the respect I have for the staff in the NHS and just how much we owe to them for keeping us all going.

This is Going to Hurt was actually recommended and loaned to me by a work colleague. I hadn’t planned to pick it up last year at all, but I’m glad I did. I also went on to read Adam Kay’s later published novella, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas too. As soon as I had read This is Going to Hurt I planned reading the novella in December.  It’s a book you end up thinking about long after you’ve finished reading it. Well, if you’re me at least.

It’s fair to say from this list that I really did pick up some great books last year… and from a diverse range of genres too! If you haven’t read these already, I am sure any one of these books could appeal to you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Top Reads of 2020 post! If you have read any of these books, let me know in the comments! Alternatively, what was your favourite read of 2020? Please let me know!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th January 2021

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary weekly update post! I hope you are all keeping well?

This week has been… unusual, to say the least. In fact, no, that’s an understatement. This time last week everything was normal here on the Island. This weekend, we’re back in full lockdown. It’s crazy how quickly it’s happened, but fingers crossed the decisiveness of the Government is the right decision to eradicating it again. So, aside from a food shop, I’ve been home since Wednesday.

On a more positive note, I have been able to put my time to good use both here and in terms of reading. On Thursday I shared my 2020 Wrap Up post, in which I looked back at my reading goals for last year and how I did with them. I’ll give you a spoiler – I didn’t do great… but for good reasons. Hop on over and check that post out if you haven’t already!

Yesterday I took part in a blog tour and provided a promo spotlight post for When the Children Come by Barry Kirwan. It’s a sci-fi novel suitable for young adult and adult readers. I read a thriller by the same author last year (under the pen name J. F. Kirwan) and honestly, it’s up there as one of my top reads of the year! I have no doubt When the Children Come is just as good, so it was a pleasure to be able to take part in the tour.

 

Books Read

As of last week, my current read was Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. It’s still a current read, but I must confess I have shelved it for a few days having only read 12-13 pages or so since last week’s update.

When the news hit on Tuesday evening that we would be going into lockdown, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I tried to pick up Midnight in Chernobyl as a distraction but didn’t get very far at all. Then, I tried knitting, but my heart wasn’t in that either. I put on an episode of A Game of Thrones (I’m re-watching the last season, slowly) but after 20 minutes I gave up on that too.

In the end, I went up to bed quite early for me and started to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. Re-reading these books is one of my goals for this year, and I needed something light-hearted. It worked, and I managed to read about 50 pages or so that night before going to bed. I’ve carried on reading it over the course of the week, and I actually finished the book yesterday evening.

I still wasn’t quite in the mood to return to Midnight in Chernobyl yesterday, although I think I’ll be able to pick this up again now. So, after much debate and telling myself that no, I couldn’t do another re-read of A Game of Thrones  1) again and 2) as well as Harry Potter, I picked up Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin instead. Fire & Blood is a book about the history of the universe A Game of Thrones is set in, covering the 300 years before events of the main series. I felt it was a good compromise and I’ve really enjoyed what I have read so far. I’m 61 pages into this 700-page behemoth, but I love it!

 

Books Discovered

There aren’t any new books on the TBR this week, I’m pleased to say. I have been reading more blog posts by other bloggers again (a habit I got out of), so this might change in the weeks to come. But for now, no news is good news!

 

Coming Up…

In an effort to get through some of the backlog of reviews I have, I am going to be sharing another book review with you next week. This particular book is a copy I received in exchange for a review. It’s very reminiscent of Harry Potter. My reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week has reminded me that I still haven’t reviewed Chimeborn, written by Daniel Curry. So, I think it’s time I share my review with you all!

As it’s the beginning of the year and we are still thinking about the progress and such I made last year, I also want to share a post about my favourite reads of the year. I hope you can tune in for that one too!

As always, I’ll conclude the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

That’s all from me for now though! Have a good week, stay safe and I’ll hopefully see you around!

 

 

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