Tag: bookreview

Book Review: Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

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

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

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

 

Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Chimeborn by Daniel Curry | Goodreads

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

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

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

 

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Hi guys and welcome to today’s review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Crooked Kingdom is the second book of the Six of Crows duology. If you haven’t yet read my thoughts on the first book, Six of Crows, you can find a link to that here!

And now without further adieu, here are my thoughts on the second instalment of the series!

 

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
 

 

My Thoughts…

Crooked Kingdom is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to, to date. A charismatic cast accentuates brilliantly-written characters, who together attempted one of the most daring and epic heists of all time in Six of Crows and won. Life should be cosy in this sequel, with all their newfound riches, and yet they find themselves back in the deep end almost immediately. The result? Another exciting, action-packed fantasy novel full of betrayal, backstabbing, and the usual shenanigans we can expect from Kaz and his crew.

I listened to Six of Crows back in 2019, finishing the audiobook in September. I then moved on to Crooked Kingdom reasonably quickly. I’m not a big listener of audiobooks, however, completing crooked kingdom within six months of listening to the first audiobook is quite speedy for me. It’s not my main way of reading! I enjoyed the first book so much that I wanted to jump into this sequel and experience the action and adventure I knew I could expect, and I wasn’t disappointed!

As in the first book, I enjoyed the narrative being broken down into chapters narrated by different characters. This gives variety to the story and provides different perspectives at different times to add depth to the narrative. Each character has their own distinctive personality, quirks and traits. Some are definitely better (as individuals) than others but this is also something else I enjoyed. More often than not, fantasy novels are littered with altruistic characters. So, to come across some more devious, nefarious or just downright out for themselves is a refreshing change. Many of the characters have developed since the first instalment of this series. Some who have grown on me most include Kaz, Mattias and Nina. Each character has their flaws, but this makes them all the more relatable to us as listeners.

The dynamic between sets of characters adds intrigue to an already tense situation. They have already pulled off the impossible and yet further trouble looms; rising tensions and conflict between them threaten to jeopardise their lives.

You know me, I am a huge fan of magic systems within fantasy novels, and Crooked Kingdom did not disappoint in this respect either. Crooked Kingdom is my second read by Leigh Bardugo, and I sense that there is a whole range of novels also set in the same universe as this book. Despite not having read these, I didn’t find it made any difference to my understanding of the universe and the magic systems involved in this series. If anything, it has made me want to pick these up all the more!

I really enjoyed listening to this duology, and I have high expectations about reading other books by Leigh Bardugo. Sometimes that can be a risk if the books don’t live up to expectation, however, from my experience of the six of crows trilogy I don’t think I have any reason to doubt her writing style and the stories not working for me. This is why it is good to listen to recommendations and try new authors. These are the first two books I have read/listened to by this author and I am very grateful to have had the chance to read other reviews before taking the plunge. I hope others can find my review useful and please, if you have not read these books already, you won’t regret it!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

Hello guys and welcome to yet another blog tour post… the second in as many days! Today’s post is all about The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt. As a huge psychological thriller fan, I was really looking forward to reading this last month. The book didn’t disappoint either –in fact, it’s pretty high up there on my best reads of the year!

As always, I take the opportunity here to say a huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for organising the tour. It’s a pleasure to be concluding the tour on my blog today.

Would you like to find out more about The Dark Chorus? The details are below: –

 

The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt | Goodreads

Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur

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?

 

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/thedarkchorus

 

My Thoughts…

Firstly, I can’t believe that The Dark Chorus is a debut novel. The story, narrative style and character development in The Dark Chorus are absolutely fantastic. I was under the impression from the book that the author was an experienced writer – the book is that well written!

I enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of a teenage boy. That might sound strange, but it was a refreshing change to have a main character with a bit of youth and naivety. The vast majority of books I read are written about and told from the perspective of adults. That’s perfectly okay, but I enjoyed seeing the Boy’s world from a younger perspective. There are only a couple of books now that I have read from juvenile main characters, and I have loved those too.

The Boy’s background is unique, and as a result of that and his abilities, he is perceived as being mentally ill. He can see and interact with The Dark Chorus, the souls of those that have been unable to pass on into the afterlife. After rescuing his mother’s soul from the cacophony of the asylum, he discovers his calling and sets out to fulfil his duty – to cleanse the soul of the angel inside of him.

The Dark Chorus lives up to its name. As the synopsis indicates, death and violence are significant in the narrative. There is also a particular scene that’s a near miss on sexual abuse, so that’s a word of warning to anyone in case you’re not comfortable with reading it. The main characters of the book, the Boy, Makka and Vee are all troubled individuals. They have each gone through their own trials before meeting, and together, the three of them are formidable. As a former psychology student, I enjoyed the back story of each character and how it shaped the characters we see in the narrative today.

Regardless of the dark subject matter and theme, The Dark Chorus was really easy to pick up and enjoy. If like me, you are a huge fan of psychological fiction then I strongly recommend you give this book a try. You won’t regret it!

 

 Author Bio

Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University College. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD. He also holds an MA in Creative Writing. The Dark Chorus is his debut novel.

Social Media Links –

www.ashleymeggitt.com

www.facebook.com/ashleymeggittbooks

twitter.com/CallMeReg

www.instagram.com/ashleymeggitt39/

Blog Tour Review: Glimmer of Hope – J. A. Andrews

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of Glimmer of Hope by J. A. Andrews. I am really glad to have been offered to take part in this particular blog tour. As always, I’d like to say a huge thank you to both the author and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to be sharing my review of Glimmer of Hope with you today.

Glimmer of Hope turned out to be a book that pushed my boundaries – but in a good way. More on that below; now, here are the details of the book: –

 

Glimmer of Hope – J. A. Andrews

Glimmer of Hope by J.A. Andrews | Goodreads

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.

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Glimmer of Hope wasn’t the book I was expecting it to be. In reality, it was so much better! With a fast-paced, intriguing narrative and an unexpected plot twist at the end, it’s definitely a novella for fans of thrillers. This book is the first I have read by J. A. Andrews, but I would definitely read his other two based on Glimmer of Hope.

One word of warning is that the book is NSFW. I had anticipated from the synopsis that there may be some parts of the book that had mature content. If I’m perfectly honest, had I known the prevalence of it in the book, it would have made me think twice before picking it up. It’s not really my cup of tea, but in moderation, I can handle it. Despite that, I still really enjoyed the novella. I only mention this to make potential readers aware of it so they can choose whether it’s their cup of tea or not. As I said, it isn’t mine, but it still worked for me so it might for you too. Either way, you can make an informed decision.

The main character Alecia is a young woman, down on her luck with life after starting again away from her family. Money is tight and stacking shelves at the local supermarket hardly provides a cushy lifestyle. Those personal circumstances are very easy to relate to, and the poverty cycle is something we are all familiar with. When Alecia is presented with an opportunity to earn more money and sustain a better quality of life, of course, she takes it. The events that follow and the consequences are far from expected and spiral out of her control.

Alecia is a likeable character and I loved her determination and spirit to better her life. Whilst they are not choices I would ever make, I can appreciate that she is being opportunistic where she can to try to get herself out of a grotty bedsit and into a place of her own. It shouldn’t be too much to ask… and it’s no more ambitious, greedy or selfish than the rest of us.

Glimmer of Hope was a reasonably quick read for me. The narrative and pace of the novella had a good flow, so it was easy to get engrossed and read chapter after chapter and lose awareness of time. At 205 pages, it’s approachable for all readers to pick up.

 

Author Bio

J.A. Andrews is the author of gripping twisty psychological thrillers. Mummy’s Boy, and You Let Him In, are his full-length novellas, while Glimmer of Hope is a shorter story as a Kindle exclusive.  As well as writing fiction, JA Andrews enjoys reading a mix of genres, watching various reality TV and spending time with family and friends.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @JasonA1980

Book Review: City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

I read City of Stairs at the beginning of the year and I am only just getting around to my review now in November. That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I think it is because I have taken part in a lot of blog tours and such this year, as these books get priority reviews. Oh well! It is what it is! I haven’t done myself any favours and made notes, so today’s review is completely from memory.

 

City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

Goodreads – City of Stairs

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions — until its divine protectors were killed. Now, Bulikov’s history has been censored and erased, its citizens subjugated. But the surreal landscape of the city itself, forever altered by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it, stands as a haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched — along with her terrifying “secretary”, Sigrud — to solve a murder.

But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem, and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

A tale of vast conspiracies, dead gods, and buried histories, City of Stairs is at once a gripping spy novel and a stunningly original work of fantasy.

 

My Thoughts…

I hadn’t picked up any books by Robert Bennett Jackson before reading City of Stairs, so he was a completely new author to me. Whilst I enjoy re-visiting favourite authors, I enjoy the variety of new ones too. My read of City of Stairs at the beginning of the year was long overdue. I added the book to my TBR way back in 2015… it was about time I got to it really!

Fantasy is my all-time favourite genre. I read a lot of it, and so I’ve got pretty firm ideas about what themes within fantasy novels I really enjoy. The first thing I always look to is the world-building and development of the setting of the story. City of Stairs certainly didn’t disappoint in this sense. Before the story even really begins, the author sets up the political divides and complex relations that are pivotal to the narrative. I personally love this sort of thing in fantasy books, but even if you don’t, it isn’t so overwhelming as to be difficult to read.

I’m also a huge fan of magical elements in fantasy novels, and there is plenty of it in City of Stairs. I think it is really cleverly woven into what is a spy thriller/mystery novel. They aren’t genres I would have thought to put together, but I really think the risk of doing it paid off because, in my opinion, it worked really well.

The main characters in this book have been written very well. I got on very well with Shara and felt for her being in the awful position of navigating treacherous ground in search of the truth. She’s complemented by a host of minor characters that come together to create a world fizzing with tension and intrigue.

At 450 pages, City of Stairs is a solid fantasy novel, although not an epic compared to plenty of other fantasy novels I know and have read. There is plenty of content and the story unfolds at a good pace. It keeps you interested in finding out what happens next but doesn’t drag on either. It suited me well at least. If you like fantasy but the idea of committing to 700-800 page novels, this book gives you all the great elements of those books… but with fewer pages.

 

 

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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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Publication Day Push: Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel -M K Wiseman

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog post! Today I am reviewing Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel by M K Wiseman as part of the current publication day push tour. I have a bit of a morbid fascination with Jack the Ripper and so I practically snatched Rachel’s hand off when she sent me the invite for this tour! I doubly wanted to take part as I really enjoyed another book by M K Wiseman earlier this year. If you like fantasy novels as well, check out my review of Magical Intelligence published in April this year.

Before I jump into sharing my thoughts on Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel, please allow me to say a huge thank you to the author and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour!

 

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.

 

Purchase Link – Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Regardless of how much you know about the Jack the Ripper murders, Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel is a really approachable fictional read on the subject. I have a little prior knowledge of the murders that plagued London in that fateful year, but I’m also by no means an expert. The narrative has been written very well so that it is easy to read and caters to all readers. I don’t think anyone exceptionally knowledgeable on the subject would find the details repetitive. Equally, the narrative doesn’t rely on prior knowledge. I personally found the balance comfortable to read.

The tone of the narrative is very Sherlock Holmes in its portrayal, in my opinion. I confess that I haven’t read any Sherlock Holmes novels to date, however as a famous character I have already formulated an idea of how I expect him to be based on his portrayal elsewhere. The tone/language choice etc definitely lives up to Sherlock’s’ popularised characterisation… which I say is a huge achievement!

As you can probably expect from the synopsis, there is a great deal of tension in the plotline itself. Sherlock’s intense, almost brooding personality couples with his dark suspicions of a valued friend and partner. The damning evidence stacks up against Watson and I found myself caught up in the novel very quickly and easily. I didn’t want to put it down!

Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel is very easy to read. It is a fairly short book, so easily approachable for anyone to pick up and read without a massive commitment. The narrative style flows well so it’s easy to get lost in the book and before you know it… you’ve read a quarter of it in one short sitting! The concise chapters are also good if you want to be able to pick it up and put it down with ease – although I promise you won’t want to!

I’ve really enjoyed reading this historically based mystery novel. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes or, like me, are lured into the mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper, I cannot recommend this novel highly enough!

 

Author Bio

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Social Media Links –

http://mkwisemanauthor.com

https://twitter.com/FaublesFables

https://www.facebook.com/FaublesFables/

https://www.instagram.com/faublesfables/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7073540.M_K_Wiseman

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

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