Tag: book love

Shelf Control #26 – 13/11/2020

Happy Friday the 13th everyone and welcome to another Shelf Control post. It has been nearly a couple of months since the last one, and I’m looking forward to getting back into this on a regular basis.

Are any of you superstitious about Friday 13th? It really doesn’t bother me at all. I remember a story a friend told me once about someone she knows who is. He was that frightened about something going wrong that he decided to stay safe by not bothering to get out of bed that day. It was going pretty well until the bed broke! A true story that.

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

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

Today’s featured book is a historical fiction mystery and feminist debut novel that I love the sound of! Have you read this at all?

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

The Wages of Sin – Kaite Welsh

The Wages of Sin

Goodreads – The Wages of Sin

Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh’s medical school in 1892, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself: professors who refuse to teach their new pupils, male students determined to force out their female counterparts, and—perhaps worst of all—her female peers who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman.

Desperate for a proper education, Sarah turns to one of the city’s ramshackle charitable hospitals for additional training. The St Giles’ Infirmary for Women ministers to the downtrodden and drunk, the thieves and whores with nowhere else to go. In this environment, alongside a group of smart and tough teachers, Sarah gets quite an education. But when Lucy, one of Sarah’s patients, turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into a murky underworld of bribery, brothels, and body snatchers.

Painfully aware of just how little separates her own life from that of her former patient’s, Sarah is determined to find out what happened to Lucy and bring those responsible for her death to justice. But as she searches for answers in Edinburgh’s dank alleyways, bawdy houses and fight clubs, Sarah comes closer and closer to uncovering one of Edinburgh’s most lucrative trades, and, in doing so, puts her own life at risk…

An irresistible read with a fantastic heroine, beautifully drawn setting, fascinating insights into what it was like to study medicine as a woman at that time, The Wages of Sin is a stunning debut that heralds a striking new voice in historical fiction.

 

My Thoughts…

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and mystery novels, so the premise of this particular book is right up my street. I also like the dystopian vibe of the main character (amongst others) being disadvantaged as a woman, and I hope overcoming such.

This is Kaite Welsh’s debut novel and I haven’t read any of her books to date. I’m always keen to try new authors, so I’m excited to give this a go and share my thoughts with you all!

Have you read The Wages of Sin? Is it as good as it appears? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Book Review: Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite all-time authors, and today’s post is all about the 5th book in his Mistborn series, Shadows of Self. The Mistborn series is enough of a reason to fall in love with his writing, but I have also dabbled in a few other books of his now and they have all lived up to the excellent standard! I’ve read a total of nine of his books now (granted, six are Mistborn) and he hasn’t put a foot wrong with me yet. I also have a few more books on the TBR to try in the near future.

 

Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

 

My Thoughts…

Where The Alloy of Law is reasonably separate from the previous Mistborn books (events in those books are now history/legend), in Shadows of Self we see little elements tie back into the original series. I really loved this! Whilst I would have been happy for each book mini-series to go their own way, I like that the narrative is going back to its roots. It has been a long time since I read the first three books, but even so, I could keep track of what was going on and recognise some friendly old faces.

I really enjoy how Brandon Sanderson has modernised the series from the original books. The concept was a stroke of literary genius anyway, but being willing to adapt the intricately built world to allow for technological advancements and such to up the ante on the magic is just something else. Most authors would be frightened to mess with such a core element to the novel, but not Sanderson. And boy, am I glad he did! It makes an already intricately detailed world all the more plausible – and you know how much I love my world-building!

I wasn’t sure where the Steris/Wax engagement was going to go, or what I thought of it, but the pair has really grown on me in this book. The pair couldn’t be more opposite in their ways, yet strangely they complement each other in ways I didn’t expect them to. I do feel a bit sorry for Marasi though – I feel she has been cast aside a little in this book. It’s a shame because she’s brilliant, but she still manages to shine where she can regardless.

Wayne is, at this point, my favourite character in the series. He is very funny, has a skewed view of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not all and gets away with it too! He doesn’t have the best moral compass in the world (completely opposite to Wax) but regardless of what he does, his heart is in the right place. As a character, he is very easy to warm to.

If you love Brandon Sanderson’s other books or have read and enjoyed earlier books in the Mistborn series then I highly recommend reading Shadows of Self (and any other book in the series really)! I have also read and loved The Bands of Mourning, the sixth book in the series. Sharing my thoughts on that instalment is being saved for another day though.

 

 

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Reading List – November 2020

I am sharing my penultimate reading list of 2020. I just need a moment for that to sink in. Literally, WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE?! It’s crazy! And yet, here we are! I can’t believe it, but that doesn’t change it.

This month’s reading list features a couple of blog tour reads, as well as a couple of reading requests I previously accepted and last, but not least, a read off my never-ending TBR. One of the reading requests is a tidy up as well, as I have actually read most of the book already. I just need to finish it off!

Shall we get into what I am reading this month?

 

Glimmer of Hope – J. A. Andrews

Sometimes chasing a dream can become a nightmare…

Alecia Preen is living in poverty and desperate to make a better life for herself. Having moved to a new area for new beginnings after being disowned by her family, money was fast running out. She is struggling to make ends meet.

With the intention of charging lonely men online for her services, Alecia realises she can supplement her income by being unscrupulous. In meeting Jake Parker he requests that she role-plays as a psychiatrist, but he makes her aware of an underground millionaires playground called Sordida. He warns her to stay away.

As Alecia’s curiosity gets the better of her, she is amazed by the wealth and decadence on offer. Sordida is not the club she had anticipated because behind the legendary name lurks a very dark secret. A secret that could cost her everything.

He pays by the hour and Alecia pays in ways she had never imagined.

 

I love the sound of this particular read, which is why I’ve signed up for the blog tour! I’m not actually taking part until December, but I want to give myself plenty of time to pick the book up. It sounds sinister and intriguing, so I can’t wait to read this!

 

The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

Goodreads – The Dark Chorus

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?

 

The Dark Chorus is the second blog tour I am taking part in next month. Both blog tours are at the beginning of the month, and also on consecutive days too. This is why I am reading them nice and early this month. The Dark Chorus sounds like a really dark psychological thriller, which you guys know I love. I feel like I should have read them last month – they have a Halloween-y vibe – never mind! There isn’t a wrong time to read a book like this… at least not in my house!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

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.

 

You may remember I picked this book up a couple of months ago. I read a good deal of the book then, but other time-constrained commitments meant I had to set the book aside at that time. Well, now I have a lot more time to finish the book, I’m going to wrap this up this month.

 

Auxilliary: London 2039 – John Richter

Goodreads – Auxiliary: London 2039

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull.

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine.

Auxiliary is gripping, unpredictable, and bleakly atmospheric—ideal for fans of cyberpunk classics like the Blade Runner movies, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the Netflix original series Black Mirror.

 

A few months ago I accepted a review request for this book and I love the sound of it. I’m a huge fan of science-fiction and I am always vowing to read more of it. I like the crime element to the narrative as well. I think this will be a really interesting read!

 

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Goodreads – Brave New World

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

My last book on today’s list has been on my TBR for three years now. I’ve decided to read it now as I recently watched the TV series currently on Now TV. I loved the dystopian vibes (let’s face it, I don’t think I’ve discovered a dystopian read I didn’t like!) and so I’ve bumped it up the list and I’m reading it this month.

 

So, that’s what you can expect me reading and talking about this November. Have you read Brave New World or any of the other books on my list?

 

 

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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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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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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

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/

 

Reading List – October 2020

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out my reading list post for October. I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to notice the nights are drawing in faster. I actually enjoy this time in autumn. It’s still light when I leave work, but by the time I’ve eaten and gotten cosy for the evening with a cup of tea, it’s dark. It makes you feel justified curling up with a good book!

Speaking of which, would you like to find out what I’m reading this month? I haven’t made an ambitious list this month. I’ll freely admit I lost a bit of steam last month and didn’t read half as much as I planned at the beginning in my reading list. Ultimately, reading is a hobby. I’m not going to force myself to read if I really don’t want to, and I didn’t.

This month I have a little less flexibility. Almost all of the books listed are books I’ve signed up to the blog tours for. The last two are actually touring in November, but very early in November. Let’s find out what they are!

 

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 in this compelling thriller set in an idyllic Devon town.

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 . . .

Limelight is a completely gripping and fascinating thriller featuring strong characters forced to make impossible decisions, the impact of which will be felt far beyond their quiet town… Perfect for fans of JOHN HARVEY and PETER ROBINSON.

What readers are saying about the Enora Andressen series:

“A first rate mystery with an exciting premise” Booklist on Off Script “Excellent characterization and plotting . . . I read it in a couple of days and loved it” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars for Off Script “A very strong series debut . . . An intriguing start to a promising new series” Booklist on Curtain Call

 

I love a good thriller, and this is perhaps the best time of year to curl up and read one! Coming from a reasonably small place myself, I think I’ll be able to relate to the atmosphere and sleepiness that is the setting of the book. Although it is the fourth book in a series, I get the impression that it’s pretty standalone and therefore won’t matter that I haven’t read the previous books. At least, I’m hoping so.

I’m looking forward to checking out this thriller. From what I have read, it’s quite an atmospheric and slow build mystery so I’m expecting a lot of world-building, which I love.

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – The Secret Landlord

Goodreads – Parasite? 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.

 

I don’t read much non-fiction, but when I was approached by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources about a potential tour for this book I was intrigued immediately. I’m glad the author decided to go ahead and schedule it, because now I get to read the book!

I want to read this book to get a different perspective on landlords. I suppose I have dealt with a couple in my time and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the best experience with them at all. It’s not a wealth of experience though and I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes, there are bad landlords, but I know there are tenants just as bad – I’ve dealt with one myself. I hope there’s plenty of these stories in the book!

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, capital of one of the Dustlands many Holds. Visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya of the Lansfyrd PD is a homocide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. When a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len knows better. But there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. High-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

Meanwhile Len’s partner, Vli-Rana Talie, works as a lector at the Lansfyrd University, trying to keep her research going in an increasingly xenophobic environment. 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.

 

Science-fiction is one of my go-to genres to read and Unbroken Truth is my sci-fi fix for the month. For not being a big fan of politics in real life, I really enjoy the conflict it brings about in novel plotlines. This seems to be a prevalent part of the novel so I’m excited to see how this plays out!

This blog tour is now taking part in November, however, it was supposed to be at the beginning of this month. This is why I have ended up with so many tour dates in a short space of time, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

 

I really enjoyed reading M K Wiseman’s Magical Intelligence this year. On that basis alone I would have signed up to a blog tour for a book by her. I also love the mystery of Jack the Ripper, so the fact that this blog tour features both is huge! By the time I signed up for this tour I think I knew about the delay to Unbroken Truth, but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m really looking forward to delving into this. I only hope it lives up to expectation!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

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.

 

Rags of Time is my current read. Whilst it’s on the back burner for a few days until my immediate blog tour obligations are done, I will be reading this in between the other books on my list. I have read most of the book now; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I’m certainly not waiting until the end of the month!

 

That’s my reading list for this month! Do any of the books catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Shelf Control #24 – 25/09/2020

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to my first Shelf Control post in a little while. It’s actually my first post of this type in over a month! Since I have been taking part in blog tours this regular feature post was temporarily put on hold – but we’re back!

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

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

Today’s featured book is part of a genre that I don’t read all that often. I really should make more of an effort to read it because I really enjoy it when I do! I like the sound of this book in particular as I think it includes a lot of humour.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself – David McRaney

You are not so smart

Goodreads – You Are Not So Smart

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

Whether you’re deciding which smart phone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic, but here’s the truth: You are not so smart. You’re just as deluded as the rest of us–but that’s okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them, but often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter–covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency–is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.

 

My Thoughts…

Psychology is the main non-fiction topic that I’ll read, but picking up a non-fiction book in itself is rare for me. More often than not I read to escape reality, and so I find myself reading more fiction. I do want to make more of an effort to read different things though and I think You Are Not So Smart will be a perfect read for me. I like the psychology element, but also the humour and wit implied in the synopsis.

Have you read You Are Not So Smart? Is it as good as it sounds? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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