Publication Day Push: Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of Unbroken Truth as part of the publication day push blog tour! If you enjoy science-fiction and or mystery/thriller novels (or a combination of) please read on because this book may just be for you!

As always, I want to say a massive thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to the author, Lukas Lundh, for organising the tour.

So, would you like to read more about the book and my thoughts?

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, where visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya is a former homicide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. But when a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len sees a chance to prove her worth. Though high-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

In the city’s affluent quarters, Len’s partner Vli-Rana Talie works as a lector at the university, studying the history of a species that once ruled the world. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history, that some would prefer was forgotten, will carry risks of its own. Especially when the ambitions of empires are affected.

Meanwhile, there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. Vli and Len must find what allies they can and face the powers that threaten their home.

History never ends, and unless its lessons are heeded what was once the past might become the present.

 

Purchase Link –  https://books2read.com/UnbrokenTruth

 

My Thoughts…

I really enjoyed the combination of science-fiction, steampunk and mystery in Unbroken Truth. I find myself saying it every time I review a sci-fi novel – but I really do need to read them more!

Unbroken Truth has a complex, in-depth universe in which the main storyline is set. Lansfyrd is home to a number of different peoples and species, and simmering tension between them is coming to a head at the start of the narrative. Each societal group is well-thought-out and defined, so it’s easy to follow. The novel does have some of its own unique terminologies, but I feel this is introduced slowly and explained where necessary so it isn’t overwhelming or confusing to read.

Many of the main characters within the novel come from each of these different backgrounds. I love how well they as individuals interact with each other despite the overall tension between groups. They prove that being different doesn’t mean you can’t get along. Len, a police officer, is in a relationship with Vli, a lector at the university. Their cross-racial relationship doesn’t meet with everyone’s approval, however, and Len is prevented from promotion for it.

I enjoyed Vli’s interest in the history of the world and her position as a lector gives us access to learning about it as and when she discovers new things. I enjoyed what was explored already in the narrative as it shows that the setting of the novel has been thoroughly developed.

There are a lot of political conflicts in the narrative, which are the basis for the story. It’s funny, because I’m not one for politics at all, with the exception of reading it in books. Most of my top reads have political undercurrents and I enjoy the tension and action that causes. The same was the case for Unbroken Truth. The murder of Yolban Tördek stinks of eninga involvement, but the blatancy of the clues leaves Len and the team to think the murder had been committed to framing them. So then, who is responsible? As the plot unravels to a gripping ending, I couldn’t put the book down!

Unbroken Truth is, I hope, an introduction to a series. Whilst it reads perfectly well standalone, there is a lot of potential in the characters and world for a series. I hope this is explored further, and if it is, I’m interested to see where the narrative takes us next. I’m also interested in learning more about the history of the universe created – what more could there be to discover?

 

Author Bio

Lukas Lundh grew up around books and started writing in early childhood. He speaks English, Swedish and Japanese from living in New Zealand as a teen and studying for a year in Japan in early 20s.

He is educated in philosophy, game design, creative writing and is currently working on a history degree.

Between reading course books which inspire history flash-fictions, Lukas writes everything in between space opera, fantasy steelpunk, and post-ap war dystopias.

His debut novel, a steelpunk spy thriller, Unbroken Truth, is available for pre-order. He doesn’t blog, but he is active on twitter.

 

Social Media Links – @LundhLukas

Top Ten Tuesday – Chilling Hop Tu Naa Reads

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post subject is Halloween themed since we’ll be celebrating Halloween (somewhat differently than most years, I expect) later this week.

We don’t call it Halloween here on the Isle of Man. Instead, we call it Hop Tu Naa. All in all, it is very similar to Halloween, but if you do want to have a skeet (that’s Manx for having a nosey) at the difference between the two celebrations, you can find out more on the Culture Vannin website.

For today’s post, I wanted to put together a list of recommended reads if you are looking for inspiration this Halloween/ HopTu Naa. There are some classic horrors here, as well as a few thrillers if that is more your bag and last, but not least, there’s a bit of a parody read if you want a lighter tone.

 

IT – Stephen King

Goodreads – IT

Welcome to Derry, Maine …

It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.

 

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

Goodreads – Pet Sematary

The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed’s rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.

 

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Goodreads – Frankenstein

Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Byron’s villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with ‘A Fragment’ by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori’s ‘The Vampyre: A Tale’.

 

The Stand – Stephen King

Goodreads – The Stand

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen.

 

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads – Imaginary Friend

Imagine… Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.

Imagine… Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Imagine… Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.

Imagine… Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.

 

The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

Goodreads – The Chalk Man

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J F Kirwan

Goodreads – The Dead Tell Lies

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…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Goodreads – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

“Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day . . . quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and altogether triumphant.” – A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

This inventive debut twists together a thriller of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

Recommended in The New York TimesThe GuardianHarper’s Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Vulture, BookRiot, and more.

 

Mindworm – David Pollard

Goodreads – Mindworm

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences. Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

 

Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett

Goodreads – Reaper Man

‘Death has to happen. That’s what bein’ alive is all about. You’re alive, and then you’re dead. It can’t just stop happening.’

But it can. And it has.

Death is missing – presumed gone.

Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. If Death doesn’t come for you, then what are you supposed to do in the meantime?

You can’t have the undead wandering about like lost souls – there’s no telling what might happen!

Particularly when they discover that life really is only for the living…

 

 

I hope you found some reading inspiration from today’s Top Ten Tuesday list! If you have read any of these books or have any other suggestions in the comments, please share it with us.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th October 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly update post! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you got up to!

Mine has been a little unusual as I curbed the reading and blogging for a few days in order to finish studying for an exam, which I sat on Wednesday. All went well and I passed the exam, so it was worth the effort! Consequently, though, I only shared one post this week. I decided my one post would be a review since I wanted it to be a more in-depth post. With that in mind, I shared my first audiobook review in three months, which featured Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff.

 

Books Read

I’ve only made a brief start on a read I am reviewing for another blog tour next week. Unbroken Truth has a definite sci-fi vibe from the first few chapters I’ve read. I like how the introduction has set the scene for the novel and I’m looking forward to reading this over the next week.

I haven’t read so much this week, but I have been listening to audiobooks. I’ve made a bit more progress with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I’ve only got a little way to go to the finish, and I expect to do this in the next day or two.

I have also had the urge to read and enjoy the A Game of Thrones series again this week, and so I have started listening to the audiobook of the first book in the series. I’ve read the kindle and physical copies of the books to date, but not listened to any of the audiobooks.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a book to my TBR for the first time in MONTHS! I watched Des on ITV player earlier this week and loved it – I hadn’t realised there was a book about Des Nilson and the murders. Since I really enjoyed the series I have added the book written about him, Killing for Company, to my TBR.

 

Coming Up…

Since I have a couple of blog posts scheduled towards the end of the week, I want to take part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s scheduled post is a Halloween ’freebie’, and so I think I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Chilling Hop Tu Naa reads (Hop Tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween).

On Sunday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Unbroken Truth and sharing my review of the book. As a result, my usual weekly update post will be published first thing on Monday morning.

That’s all from me in today’s post! I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Apologies I haven’t posted for a few days. You may remember in my Sunday Summary post last weekend I mentioned that I was sitting an exam yesterday and that I wouldn’t be posting for a few days whilst I focussed on my exam revision for a couple of days. Well, the good news is I passed and so the hard work paid off. So sorry, not sorry for the brief wait for today’s post.

Given that circumstantially my posting schedule is light this week I wanted to fit in another review I have on my list to write. The next on my list is Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Also, coincidentally, it has been nearly three months to the day since I shared a review of an audiobook! I’m being really careful in this review to be very general and therefore not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet.

If you haven’t checked out my previous reviews, now might be the time to go and check those out before today’s review.

Anyway, enough preamble… shall I get into it?

 

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Darkdawn

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.

 

My Thoughts…

I had no idea how Jay Kristoff was going to round off what had already become an epic series, but Darkdawn didn’t disappoint! I’m not generally in the habit of pre-ordering titles before they are released, but I happened to see the book available to pre-order on Audible with only a couple of months to wait until its release. So, needless to say, I spent that credit without a second thought!

I am a huge fan of the series – the narrative, the characters… the whole package! It is unlike anything else I have read or listened to and I absolutely want to read it again. Since I listened to the audiobooks and love the series so much, I would like to get a paperback copy of the series to read for myself next time. Maybe that’s a Christmas present idea!

It’s a small thing to enjoy, but I like how the narrative has footnotes to clarify some points. As I listened to the audiobook, reading these little notes is mandatory, but I suppose if reading the book for yourself you could not read them if you weren’t interested. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be though – a lot of the author’s humour and own narrative voice shines through in these sections, as well as provides the necessary background information to events in and around the narrative. Regular readers will know that I love fictional worlds with a lot of history and detail, so this is a big plus for me as a reader!

As can be expected in this epic conclusion, all our favourite characters are back and more determined than ever to upend the Republic as we know it. Mia is her usual dark, hell-bent, sarcastic self and I loved every second of it. She is a unique character, if nothing else because she defies the trope of being the “Chosen One”. She isn’t looking out for anyone’s interest but her own. She is everything a hero isn’t and it’s refreshing to read something so unlike a lot of modern fantasy.

This audiobook was everything I was hoping and expecting it to be. As the conclusion drew closer I found myself listening to it every second I could, whilst simultaneously hoping it would never end. Of course, all good things come to an end and once I finished this, I had no idea what I could read next. The book hangover was real. Nothing could live up to what I had just listened to then, and even now I think I will struggle to find anything just as good!

If you haven’t read this series yet, please, please do! I don’t think you will regret it for one second.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 18th October 2020

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. It only feels like two minutes ago since I wrote last week’s update, but here we are! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you have been up to.

I have shared a couple of posts with you this week, which I hope you have enjoyed reading. The first of those posts was a Top Ten Tuesday post, with a theme of hobbies (other than reading). This post subject has been suggested for the 3rd November so I’ve jumped in a bit early. That’s only because I have another commitment on the 3rd November.

On Thursday I shared a blog tour post for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of what being a landlord is really like. It is a real eye-opener, written in an entertaining diarised narrative that’s easy to read. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do! I have a lot more praise for it in my post!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had read around a third of Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. With the blog tour post scheduled for Thursday, my priority at the beginning of the week was to finish this in time for the tour. I finished this early on Wednesday evening ready to write my post for the tour the next day.

Since finishing Parasite I haven’t started anything new as I have focussed my attention towards studying for my exam next week. In my downtime, however, I have picked up listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed again. I’ve listened to a few more hours of this and I only have 1hr 40mins left to go. The narrative is definitely getting to the wrap-up part, so I expect I’ll be listening to this next week to find out how it all ends!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to report here!

 

Coming Up…

With my exam on Wednesday morning, I won’t be putting any time into my blog in the first couple of days next week. I am going to try and draft a post on Wednesday afternoon/evening though. Failing that, it’ll go live on Thursday instead.

Since I’m going to be a little lighter than usual on the posting schedule, I have decided to post a review of an audiobook I listened to at the beginning of this year. Darkdawn is the conclusion to the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I pre-ordered the audiobook last year as I had listened to the other two and loved the series already. You can find out more about my thoughts to the conclusion of the series in my post next week!

As always, I’ll wrap up with another Sunday Summary update post at the end of the week.

 

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

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s publication day push blog tour for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord! I’m thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on this all-access personal diary of life as a landlord.

When Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources put feelers out for interest for this tour, the book caught my eye immediately. I only have very limited experience with landlords and I wanted to take the opportunity to read the book and see things from the other side, so to speak. It seems a lot of other bloggers were keen too!

My contribution to the tour is a review of the book, so let’s say a huge thank you to the author and to Rachel for organising the tour and then get stuck in!

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – Secret Landlord (SL)

Goodreads – The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

I really ought to read more non-fiction. It isn’t a genre I pick up very often but every time I do, I seem to strike gold. Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord is no exception! It’s a truly personal account of the life of a landlord. It takes the expectations and misconceptions of landlord and tosses them out the window, revealing the true person behind it all. I feel sorry for SL and other good landlords out there for the bad reputation they have gotten because of others, but also unreasonable expectations of tenants. From the sounds of her stories, some of the tenants alluded to in the book had very unrealistic expectations of the role of a landlord, a false strong sense of entitlement and expected a big handout. My hat really goes off to you, because I couldn’t do your job!

What is very clear throughout the narrative is that SL does make every effort to help tenants where they can, even against business sense at times, which is refreshing. I can’t say I know of any landlords that have done this personally. There are unsung heroes out there – I think it is the unfortunate scenario where you always hear the bad stories, and never about the landlord who was lenient with you in times of hardship. It’s a real shame.

I really enjoyed the narrative style of the book. Having diary entries of varying lengths depending on what was going on in SL’s at the time makes it really approachable to read. The variety is refreshing and breaking down each month-long chapter into subheadings for each day makes the narrative really easy to follow, but also to pick up and put down.

Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord is far more emotive than expected but it is conveyed very well. SL’s frustration at certain incidents/events is very evident – and for good reason! I had no idea that a landlord had to jump through so many hoops to get their property back if a tenant stopped paying and refused to leave – it’s ridiculous! It’s legally their property. Even then, the justice system seems to be very unhelpful in some cases. You would expect a lot better.

Whilst I’m not a landlord, I have had to deal with some of the things SL mentions in the book. Up until a few months ago, I lived in a flat and I had to deal with the dreaded management company. If I had a pound for every time I contacted them to be told “it is not the responsibility of the management company to deal with [insert enquiry/complaint here]”, I would be a rich woman. So, SL, I felt your pain with this!

It has become easy for society to demonise landlords, but based on the stories told within the narrative it’s obvious that we need to have a very long, hard look at tenants. I wouldn’t like to have dealt with half of the troubles and messes detailed over a relatively short time period in the author’s career. People can be animals, and landlords deserve more credit for having to pick up the pieces after the abuse their properties receive. This book is definitely an eye-opener and I would recommend this read to everyone – renter or not!

 

Author Bio

The Secret Landlord has been renting, refurbishing and selling properties across the UK for almost two decades. An award-winning landlord, as judged by the National Landlords Association, The Secret Landlord has provided accommodation for hundreds of tenants from all walks of life.

Social Media Links –

www.thesecretlandlord.com

@landlord_secret

Top Ten Tuesday – Non-Bookish Hobbies

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

Today’s topic is actually a little premature as it’s earmarked for Tuesday 3rd November. Unfortunately, I have a blog tour that day but I really wanted to share the post anyway. It’s especially relevant at the moment as I am finding myself turning more to non-bookish hobbies.  I also think this post is a fun way for you to get to know a little more about me!

So, here are my top ten non-bookish hobbies, and for fun, I’m posting them in reverse order: –

 

Logic Puzzles

From classic puzzle books, Sudoku, codebreakers and hanjie are puzzles I really enjoy trying to decode. Classic games like Minesweeper are fun too. I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have a particular bias towards numbers, words or pictures when it comes to employing logic to solve a puzzle – I just enjoy the challenge of using the clues I’m given to complete a puzzle.

I haven’t done a logic grid puzzle in a long time, but those are good too! Half the battle with those is reading the word clues very carefully to make sure you got all the information out of them.

 

Watch documentaries

I don’t watch much TV, but lately, I’ve taken to watching documentaries. I’ve watched nearly3 series’ of Blowing Up History over the past couple of months, as well as David Attenborough’s The Galapagos Islands docu-series. I’m sure I watched these years ago, but I enjoyed it again! I also enjoy TV mystery/thrillers and dramas, but I haven’t watched so many of those lately.

 

Watching YouTube

From instructional videos to watching people play games like Minecraft, I enjoy watching a video or two on YouTube… especially when I’m eating.

 

Play Minecraft

Playing Minecraft is something I also enjoy, although I haven’t logged on for a little while now. The last time I went to play I discovered my wireless mouse was broken. That was the end of August. I tend to play Minecraft for a bit and then stop, but then get back into it again. I haven’t played all that much since the Nether update went live, so maybe that’s my excuse to get back into it again! The next update has just been announced and sounds great, so I’ll definitely be getting back into it again when that’s released!

 

Listening to music

I almost forgot to add this to my list even though it’s something I do every day. That’s precisely the reason I overlooked it – it’s an ingrained habit. I love music across a variety of genres. From some of the more modern music to singer/songwriter, musical tracks and even soundtracks (I’m sure you’ll be REALLY surprised to know I have all the Game of Thrones soundtracks downloaded… NOT!) I really enjoy a variety of music. It depends on my mood as to what I listen to.

 

Writing

It’s hard to think of writing and blogging as separate to reading given that the two have gone so hand-in-hand for such a long time. But, they are technically different hobbies. I like taking the time to share my thoughts on something, whether it’s a book, an idea – you name it… I’ll have an opinion on it! Taking the time to write several times a week over the course of a few years stacks up and consequently, I find it a lot easier to write now than I did when I started blogging in 2017.

 

Knitting

Knitting is a new hobby I’ve taken up in the last month or two and I’m enjoying the challenge of it. I learned the very basics of knitting as a child, so I’m not completely new to it. I think my knowledge of it only went so far as learning the garter stitch and figuring out (the hard way) how not to add or drop stitches. That first ‘scarf’ I made, was awful. I can still picture that first section I did in brown, full of holes and scruffy as anything. In hindsight, the colour choice was a premonition for how it was going to turn out…

I still make plenty of mistakes now, but I’m also taking on more stitches and more complicated patterns… so that’s my excuse.

 

Crochet

I’ve been crocheting longer than knitting; however, I love the two just as much!! Ironically, crochet is the more complicated of the two crafts (in my opinion) as there are more stitch types and combinations etc but I found that easier to learn than knitting.

A little weird fact for you – I learned how to do these crafts at different times and in different ways, so I knit right-handed but crochet left-handed.

 

Learn new things

I guess you have probably figured out from some of the entries here that a lot of my ‘motivation’ behind them is learning new things. More than anything, I love to learn – whether it is picking up a new skill or just finding out something I didn’t know yesterday. I enjoyed going to school (for the most part) and so I try to make everyday a school day!

 

Spend time with friends/family

Above all these things, my friends and family mean the most to me and so spending time with them is the thing I look forward to most. I am very lucky to be close to my family and we see each other a lot! I also have a close-knit circle of friends that are great fun to spend time with. You see a lot of jokes about readers and avoiding socialising in favour of staying home and reading. I’m really not like that at all. I do enjoy socialising and I’m grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life. I’d give up every hobby in this list for them if I had to, so of course they take the top spot on this list!

 

What are your hobbies? Let’s chat and get to know each other!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th October 2020

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post! As always I hope you are keeping well and safe, and thanks for taking the time to check out my post!

This week’s update post is going to be another reasonably quick one. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week studying for an upcoming exam, as well as knitting. I don’t know if I’ve really mentioned it, but in the last couple of months or so I’ve really gotten into it! I have previously gotten into crochet, but I’ve also taken up knitting. Aside from the occasional frustration at getting a pattern repeat wrong and having to fix what I’m doing, it’s quite therapeutic!

In terms of blogging, I started my week early with a blog tour post sharing a review of Limelight by Graham Hurley on Monday. I really enjoyed this beautifully descriptive and intriguing mystery novel and the writing style – it’s brought me out of the small slump I’ve had recently. My next post went live at the end of the working week. I really enjoyed writing this week’s First Lines Friday post; I featured a book affiliated with a series I love and talk about a lot!

 

Books Read

Immediately after publishing last week’s Sunday Summary post, I read the ending of Limelight so I could draft my blog tour post. There was less than ten per cent left and it only took me around half an hour to finish. I really enjoyed the ending of the book. I had no idea how it would all conclude, but think it was done really well!

Over the next few days, I took a break to study for my exam which is in a couple of week’s time. I also spent some of my lunch hours and evenings learning a new knitting pattern I’ll be working on shortly. So, I didn’t start my next read, Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord until yesterday. I’m not in the habit of reading non-fiction books, but I have picked this one up as it caught my eye when feelers were put out for a potential blog tour. I’ve read about a third of the book since yesterday and it’s really interesting! The diary style of narrative means we get a very personal experience to being a landlord. It’s also really easy to read!

 

Books Discovered

Again, nothing to report here this week!

 

Coming Up…

There is a Top Ten Tuesday topic coming up in a couple of weeks that I would love to publish, but as I have a blog tour scheduled that day I won’t be able to share the post on the designated week. As it ties into other things I have been doing lately, I’ve decided to share it this week instead. The particular topic is Non-Bookish Hobbies.

On Thursday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I hope this book intrigues you as much as it did me and you can check out my thoughts on the book!

Last, but not least, I’ll be wrapping up the week with another Sunday Summary catch-up post.

 

Thanks again for reading and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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First Lines Friday – 09/10/2020

Happy Friday everyone and thank you for joining me in today’s First Lines Friday post! On Sunday I promised a spectacular feature in today’s post and I hope you won’t be disappointed. I for one think this could be one of the best books on my TBR right now.

This book is affiliated with a main, well-known series that I talk about a lot here on Reviewsfeed. If I had to choose one book series to read for the rest of my life, this would be it! So, am I biased about how good this week’s book is? Yes. Do I care? Not one bit! My blog and my rules, right?!

So, without further adieu, here is this week’s extract: –

 

The maesters of the citadel who keep the histories of Westeros have used Aegon’s Conquest as their touchstone for the past three hundred years. Births, deaths, battles, and other events are dated either AC (After the Conquest) or BC (Before the Conquest).

True scholars know that such dating is far from precise. Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms did not take place in a single day. More than two years passed between Aegon’s landing and his Oldtown coronation… and even then the conquest remained incomplete, since Dorne remained unsubdued. Sporadic attempts to bring the Dornishmen into the realm continued all through King Aegon’s reign and well into the reigns of his sons, making it impossible to fix a precise end date for the Wars of Conquest.

 

 

If you know me or recognise those names you probably have a good idea as to what today’s book is!

 

Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – Fire & Blood

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

 

I love everything A Game of Thrones (aka A Song of Ice and Fire) and if you are a regular reader, you may know that I completed my re-read of the published books in the series earlier this year. Now with the TV series over too I need to get my fix of fire and blood somewhere!

I am a huge fan of novels and series’ with detailed backstories to the current narrative. The main series itself is rich in detail to the events that lead up to the wars/struggles we read in those books. I always thought the history of the world was so detailed that it could be a story in its own right… and now it is!

This book has over 600 pages of the history of Westeros to dive into, and judging by the synopsis Fire and Blood goes into more detail about events that are only ‘comparatively’ touched on in the series, such as the Doom of Valyria. I can’t wait to read this – I hope it’s every bit as good as the rest of the books. I don’t have any real reason to doubt why it wouldn’t be!

 

What did you think of today’s First Lines Friday post? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: Limelight – Graham Hurley

I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Limelight by Graham Hurley with you today! I have read this book over the weekend just gone in preparation for the tour and it is one of the best books I have read recently. Before I jump in with the details, I would first like to say a massive thank you to both Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour, and to the author Graham Hurley for the opportunity to take part and read this fabulous mystery novel! It’s a pleasure to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour.

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land.

 

Purchase Links – Severn House     Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Reading Limelight has been a breath of fresh air. A busy schedule has meant that I haven’t been reading as much lately – I’d even go so far as to say I had lost motivation. However, picking up Limelight has reminded me just why I love curling up with a good book. It’s a gem of a mystery novel that has been so easy to read because it has a lot of elements I love – a unique plotline, investment into character and world-building, and above all, an easy to read writing style that I couldn’t put down. In addition to all these, the book, particularly the setting, has a sense of familiarity to me.

I grew up in a seaside town much like Budleigh Salterton. Even now I live only a few minutes drive away, but the thing I really relate to in this novel is the sense of community that comes with small places such as this one. The concept of knowing everyone in town, even if just by sight, might seem strange to anyone living in large cities. Living in a place such as this myself though, I can say that the author has portrayed the town and the relationships of the characters within, perfectly.

Up until Christianne’s disappearance, Budleigh Salterton has the quiet, relaxed feel that I know and love. On the island here we have a phrase for it, ‘Traa dy Liooar’, meaning ‘time enough’. Equally, in places like this, any bit of news is a scandal. Christianne’s disappearance and the events that follow will inevitably dominate the headlines…

What also fits with this is the pace of the novel and the amount of characterisation shared with the reader. I enjoy novels with a lot of depth and time taken in bringing the main characters and the setting to life. Limelight in this regard is also right up my street! This also works well to draw the reader into the community. We really get to know each of the characters in their own right, as well as how they interact with each other.

Limelight is a mystery novel with a unique premise. Never before have I come across a mystery with a theme of euthanasia in it. It makes Limelight a unique novel within its genre and I’ve enjoyed reading the arguments and ethics around the debate that come up in the book. Despite the content matter, Limelight isn’t a heavy read at all. I have read this book over the course of a weekend and enjoyed every moment of it! I hadn’t realised it was part of a series when I signed up for the blog tour. Based on how much I enjoyed reading this book, I’m absolutely inclined to go back to the beginning and read the rest of the books!

 

Author Bio

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. His Faraday and Winter series won two Theakstons shortlist nominations and was successfully adapted for French TV. He has since written a quartet of novels featuring D/S Jimmy Suttle, and three WW2 novels, the first of which – Finisterre – was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. The first three titles in the Enora Andressen series, Curtain Call, Sight Unseen and Off Script, are also available from Severn House. After thirty years in Portsmouth, Graham now lives in East Devon with his wife, Lin.

Social Media Links –

https://www.grahamhurley.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/135794.Graham_Hurley

https://twitter.com/Seasidepicture

https://www.facebook.com/grahamhurleyauthor/