Tag: books

Sunday Summary – 8th April 2018

Happy Sunday!
How has everyone’s week been? Mine has been pretty good overall! It got off to the best start with a bank holiday too – what a shame!

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Okay, a little optimistic perhaps! But not having to get up at 6:45am is a win – right?
I took the opportunity to publish my Reading List for April on Monday, which I have been looking forward to sharing with you. This month I am switching it up a little and instead of reading a mixture of ARC’s and traditionally published books… the intention was to give the ARC’s a wee break. Then I received an ARC I requested which changed the plan SLIGHTLY. Just a little bit, okay? I broke the ARC-only plan for March with Strange The Dreamer, so it’s all good!
Speaking of which, I published my review of this amazing book on Wednesday! I can’t wait until October for Muse of Nightmares! If you haven’t checked out my review yet, you can find a cheeky little link here.
 

Books Read


 
I finally finished reading Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law at the beginning of this week. I mentioned in my previous Sunday Summary that I was struggling with this book. The situation of the relations between characters got a little better, enough to finish the book.
Next, I picked up Soul Music by Terry Pratchett. At the time of writing this post I am 74% through the book. I am enjoying the book, but I don’t think it is going to be one of my favourites of the series. That being said, there are some great quotes I have pulled out of this one. My favourite has to be this one:-

‘Glod Glodsson,’ said the dwarf. ‘You just play the harp?’
‘Anything with strings on it,’ said Imp. ‘But the harp is the queen of instruments, see.’
‘I can blow anything,’ said Glod.
‘Realllly?’ said Imp. He sought for some polite comment. ‘That must make you very popullar.’

Such is Pratchett’s humour. Sure, there are more sophisticated quotes about the nature of existence and suchlike, but when it comes down to it, it’s these quotes I find the funniest! All the quotes I come across on my Kindle are shared on Goodreads, so if you want to look at any others, you could read them there!
Lastly, I started my next audiobook this week. I am listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. The story so far is both compelling and harrowing in equal measure. It is awful to think that people were actually forced to lived in concentration camps and were treated no better than cattle. Between this and The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas, a book I am reading later in the month, you can tell I enjoy historical fiction. It’s a morbid month in terms of subject matter!
 

Books Discovered


 
It’s a very Pratchett week! I received an e-mail from Bookbub to tell me that The Fifth Elephant (Book 24) of the series was on sale, so I bought it! I already know I’ll be reading it at some point, so it was a no-brainer!
The Foes Between Us by J M Robison is a pre-order. I was introduced to the author when I read The War Queen for her in exchange for a review! As I really enjoyed this book and I want to support her, I pre-ordered this next one!
 

Coming Up..

I listened to The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins back in February, so I will be sharing my thoughts on this audiobook with you on Wednesday! I am catching up with myself on the books/ebooks I am reading, so I am going to give myself some breathing room by reviewing this for this week!
Writing this post has inspired me to write another one, so later in the week I am going to share my Top 5 Terry Pratchett quotes from the books I have read so far!
Until next time!
Rebecca mono
 

Sunday Summary – 1st April 2018

Happy Easter everybody!!
I hope everybody is having a good day today – religious or no. Me? I’m just looking forward to scoffing my Easter Eggs. I only expected to get one from my Mum and Dad, so I treated myself to one too. I was then unexpectedly gifted four more… haha!
I won’t be eating them in one go – that’s for sure!
I didn’t post as much as I thought I was going to this week. I had anticipated to share a Blogger Recognition Award (which is still sat in Drafts as we speak) as well as my Review of Beowulf. I am determined to finish the Recognition post tonight – it is nearly there!
March is now officially over and I didn’t finish read as many books as I had hoped to. The last book on March’s TBR, The Mansions of Murder, remains unread, so I’ll have to pick that up another day.
 

Books Read


 
I have really struggled with Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law this week. I would say this book is definitely targeted at a Young Adult audience, which I don’t have a problem with overly. For my taste though, the plot isn’t really all that sophisticated. If you follow me on Twitter then you may have seen a poll I posted about what people think of “unnecessary” love interests in books. I think in this book it really is that.
Asher and Alexis have quite clearly fallen for each other and I am just really uncomfortable with it. If I were to find out my life to date had all been a lie and I was whisked off to save a planet I didn’t even know existed – I WOULD NOT BE THINKING ABOUT HOW ATTRACTIVE THE GUY IS!!!
Ahem.
I nearly DNF’s this book this week. It just got progressively worse and worse until blessedly, the two end up separated for a little while. That made the book more bearable. I’m at 83% now, so I think I’ll read it through to the end. It won’t be topping my list for great books though, it has taken me way too long to struggle through.
On a positive note, I finished An Almond for A Parrot this week! It had a happier ending than I thought it would as well, which is also a bonus! I’ll have to review it here sometime; it was a fantastic audiobook!
 

Books Discovered


I saw Everless available at a discount on Bookbub this week and I loved the synopsis. I didn’t have to think about it too hard!
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – oh my gosh I almost had a fit when I saw this was reduced for a limited time too! Steelheart has already been on my TBR for a while so I bought this one without hesitation too.
My most exciting acquisition of the week is Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio. I contacted Gollancz to find out if they had any review copies available and would consider sending one to me in exchange for a review. I picked the book up from the Post Office yesterday and I am so excited to read it! I was completely surprised when Gollancz said yes to my request. It is the first I have made and I fully expected a “thanks for your interest, but…” kind of email. I didn’t dare believe it until the book was in my possession and now it is!
Thank you Gollancz!
 

Coming Up…

Tonight I am going to share that Recognition Award post – and that is a promise! Sorry I have kept hold of that one for so long and promised to post it!
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my Reading List for April. This month I did something a little different in dedicating the month to ARC’s. In April, I am doing the opposite! I want to catch up on some of the traditionally published books I love and have been looking forward to for some time. Check out my post tomorrow to find out what I am going to be reading this month!
On Wednesday, I am reviewing Strange the Dreamer, and I seriously can’t wait!! Just thinking about how amazing the book was makes me want to read it all over again!
 
What are you reading in April?
Rebecca mono
 

Blog Tour: StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

I have been looking forward to this post for so long!

Today I get to share my thoughts with you about StoneKing as part of the ongoing Blog Tour. Thank you to Fiery Seas Publishing and Donna for the opportunity to get involved!

Part of the reason this has been some time in the making was that before February, I hadn’t even read any of the earlier books in this series. So… I had some catching up to do! If there is anyone else new to the series and would like to learn a little more about my thoughts for the prior books in the series, Kinglet and Fiskur, you will note I have kindly (and unashamedly) provided links for my self promo for you to take a look at.

Are you sitting comfortably, ready to see where Kristan’s adventure takes us next?

StoneKing

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio
February 20th, 2018
Fantasy
The Gemeta Stone Book 3
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

Book Trailer

 

 

 

 

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.
But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.
And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

 

My Thoughts…

StoneKing picks up a short while after Fiskur – Kristan’s anointed Reaches are now governing his realm whilst he returns home to Fandrall to restore his birthright.

Yet the StoneKing himself is as broken as the realm, and as he tries to take the troubles from everyone’s shoulders, will he break under the strain? He is certainly a different man. In Kinglet he is a young, strong, altruistic and stereotypically heroic in character – which couldn’t be any further from the truth now. He is physically weak and mentally tested as he struggles to master his magic, whilst everybody else succeeds in trying his patience. It is hardly surprising when the rocky foundations of control crumble, given that Kristan’s Reaches lack the experience required to rule the realm in his stead.

An unexpected journey as a result of a delegation visit and an even more shocking gift is the only reason that Kristan discovers any of the ongoing turmoil; it only goes to show how tenuous his control is.

I am not going to lie – I loved seeing Kristan fall from grace in Fiskur; not that I would wish the trauma he went through on anyone, but there would have been very little scope for character development if he hadn’t. I’m not a huge fan of tropes, some more than others, and I actually love this series more for breaking the stereotype. Nobody is as perfect as Kinglet painted Kristan to be, so the newfound dark elements of his mind and perspective lend a greater depth to his character. At the moment, his all-in-all expression of negativity creates a lot of conflict and uncertainty, but I cannot help but feel it has some greater part to play later on. Who can say, maybe Daazna created the tumultuous monster that will be his undoing?

I would say it helped a great deal that I have read the previous instalments to the series only a short time ago, but I found StoneKing incredibly easy to pick up. Also, given that by the third book the reader understands the fantasy world built by the author, the pace of the book seemed quicker to me. Whilst the text was still beautifully and vividly descriptive, the need to impart detail and explanation was not so prominent and that enabled us to get on with the action. I am not one for spoilers, so you will just have to pick up the book(s) to find this out for yourself!

The one thing that surprised me about the book was the distinct lack of presence of our main antagonist, Daazna. Instead it appears that Kristan has more than one enemy and maybe their future role could become more significant than we know. Personally, I would have liked to see even one chapter dedicated to Daazna. I want to know his plans!! Even just to serve as a reminder that he is still alive!

Much like in Fiskur, we are introduced to a number of new characters. I love Serle, aforementioned “inexperienced squire”. He is only a child, bless him, but I would go so far as to say he is practically incompetent at being a squire. There were times when he irritated Kristan so much and was so deflated at the whole situation that I just wanted to mother him and tell him it was alright. I also loved Nolle and her cheeky side. Even knowing the wrath she would endure from the StoneKing, she still pushed the boundaries far more than she should have. But then she could, because he needed her Wiche power. Both of these characters made refreshing additions and I hope to see more of them in future books.

I cannot wait to see what the next instalment of the series is and what difficulties Kristan and his friends encounter. Having read the first three books and really enjoyed them, I can hand on heart say that I will be following the series through to the end, whenever that may be.

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

 About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.
Social Media: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

Book Review: Living on A Rainbow – Calvin Wade

I downloaded Living on A Rainbow for free from Amazon a little while ago, after reading a sample of the first chapter of the book. I was instantly captivated.

Living on a Rainbow

Goodreads – Living on a Rainbow

‘Living On A Rainbow’ is a story about mental health, bullying, growing up, battling against adversity but most of all it is a story about love. The love between a man and a woman. The love between a boy and his best friend. The love between a mother and her son and the love between a boy and his father.

Harry ‘H’ McCoy is not an ordinary boy and his life is not an ordinary life.

 

The cover perfectly illustrates where we find our main character, H, at the beginning of the story – stood on the edge of a bridge, both afraid and morbidly fascinated with heights. His best friend Andy at his side, trying to talk him down and convince him that his life isn’t over.

In Living on A Rainbow we re-live H’s rollercoaster life, rewinding the years from that precarious moment on the edge, back through his adulthood and teenage angst to where it all begins – with a happy child in a loving family and the kind of best friend we have all wished for.

As well as themes of mental illness, one of the most important messages in the book is that love for one another is one of the best gifts we have. Relationships form and fracture, as they do naturally throughout life, but we get to see the impact they truly have.

The first couple of chapters really drew me in. I wanted to learn what had happened to make H want to end his life. Then, as we experience H’s life from his childhood, I found the pace slowed. This isn’t a bad thing – it gives you the time to think and relate to his experiences. It grows on you. At the time, I thought the narrative would benefit from being broken down by chapters bringing us back to the present time, but having finished the book, I have changed my mind.

For me, the greatest revelation in the book comes right at the end – it’s how subtle/gradual a decline in mental state is. I will say now that I (luckily) have never experienced mental illness, although I have in my own way been able to relate to H towards the end. External influences are often attributed to stress in life and it isn’t always apparent that our perception or outlook has changed. In the past year I have had difficulty with bad mood swings as a result of a hormone imbalance. It took somebody else having a word with me to make me realise it was more than circumstantial. As far as I knew I was just having a bad time; I had job uncertainty and a close family member was recovering from illness. Naturally, I attributed my bad moods to these things. Having experienced what I have, I can hand-on-heart say that this has been written in a way that I strongly identify with. If anyone was to read this book as a means of understanding mental illness, I would say that this is an accurate representation of one of many mental illnesses out there.

I think Living on A Rainbow is an insightful read and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more. Inevitably, mental illness is a personal experience and differs between us all, so I would also recommend reading it in conjunction with other books of a similar nature in order to build a bigger picture.
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 11th March 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there! I hope you have some lovely plans for today!
I’m off to spend the day with my mum a little later, but for now, here is how my week has gone in all things bookish!
So I kept things reasonably quiet in terms of blog posts as I knew I wanted to get a fair bit of reading done this week. For the first time ever I reviewed an audiobook, The Stand by Stephen King. I have really taken to audiobooks; they are so convenient to listen to if you are up and about doing other things… and that way you still get everything done and the benefit of “reading” at the same time! Win!
 

Books Read


 
I’m actually quite pleased at how much I have managed to read this week. Unfortunately, due to running over in finishing up my last February read, I am a little behind schedule and fingers crossed I can make that time up!
Living on A Rainbow was my last February read, which I finished on Monday. It covers a number of sensitive topics including mental illness, so be warned, but I have to say it is beautifully done. Not only that, watching the MC slowly decline only goes to show that it really can happen to anyone!
On Tuesday I began my March TBR in earnest, with Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich and again, what a beautiful book. It highlights the struggles of living in Butte, a mining town in Montana in 1917. Whilst it also includes the dangers men faced in working in such conditions they did and disasters experienced in the town, it predominantly focuses on the struggles of two women, Kaly and Marika. Kaly is a prostitute who finds herself pregnant and doubting the future of both her and her baby. Marika aspires to be a doctor and fights against her father and the arranged marriage he has planned for her. Without saying too much, I finished this book yesterday I really can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all about it!
I’ve also been listening to An Almond for a Parrot now for the past few weeks and it is so laugh out loud funny, I daren’t listen to it in public in fear of people thinking I am stark raving mad! It’s brilliant! It’s a little more risqué than I would normally “read”, but it is portrayed from a perspective of near innocence (which is funny, since our MC is a “lady of pleasure” to put it politely). You cannot help but laugh!
So, you may have noticed “Strange The Dreamer” up there and thought… what the? That’s not an ARC!! And you would be right – it isn’t. Yesterday, this book was really calling me. It’s been sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year and I keep picking it up, flicking through a few pages and then put it down again, vowing to read it next month. Or the month after. It hasn’t happened so far.
So yesterday, temptation got the better of me. I told myself if I had a productive day and finished reading Copper Sky I would read the first chapter. Naturally, this spurred me on, I got all my housework done and finished Copper Sky in the early evening. After a short break, I made myself a cup of tea and read the first chapter. Then the second, third, fourth… you get it. I ended up reading all of part one, which is about 80 pages worth.
 
dog cheeky grin.gif
So yes, you could say that I fell off the bandwagon in a way. That being said, if I find a book that I love so wholeheartedly that I cannot put it down, I’m not going to deny myself that! That is what we readers look and secretly hope for.
I’m still going to be fulfilling my ARC reads, but no doubt I’ll be reading this on the side too. I will not wait until next month to pick it up again.. I can tell you that now!
 

Books Discovered


 
I’ve heard many a good thing about John Grisham’s writing, so when I saw this book discounted last Sunday, I knew had to try one of his books for myself!
Likewise with The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans, the murder mystery element of the book intrigued me, especially since it is set in London 1881, and historic fiction IS one of my favourite genres after all!
 

Coming Up…

This week, I am going to be reviewing my recent read of Living On A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I touched above on how well the book tackles difficult themes, so if you are interested to know more, please stay tuned for my review on Wednesday!
Again, this week I am keeping it reasonably QT in the hopes of catching up with my reading, but the following week I will be sharing a number of different posts with you!
Keep reading!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 4th March 2018

Happy Sunday everybody!!
I hope you got lots of reading done this week – a lot of people would have had the opportunity with the weather being the way it was. My parents were in Derbyshire and they experienced 8-10 inches of snowfall… and whilst the pictures are lovely I wouldn’t like to be stuck in it!!
Alas, here at home we only had a dusting of snow, so there were no reading days for me this week. *silently wallows in despair*
I could have used the time to finish my February TBR, but never mind. I set myself the target to read five books, but only made it about halfway through book four on the list. That being the case, I’ll have to sincerely apologise to ADSOM fans, because I am going to have to postpone this read for a short while.
Moving on to cheerier topics, I treated you all to two reviews this week! First I posted my review of Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio, in preparation for reading StoneKing for the ongoing Blog Tour. Then on Thursday I took part in another Blog Tour for P.J Reed’s The Torcian Chronicles. I would really appreciate if you could take a look at those if you haven’t already.
Finally on Friday I published a brief Reading List for March, called March of the Arcs! As the name would suggest, this month I am dedicated to reading some ARC’s received. The first book on my list was added at the request of the author, the second a Blog Tour (19th March) and the final three are Netgalley downloads that I have had for shamefully too long!
 

Books Read


 
This week I have been attempting to finish Living On A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. It is the last book that I managed to start in the month, and I am really trying to finish it so as to not set myself too far back for this month. I’m really enjoying it so far though, so hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts with you about it soon.
I also made a brief start on Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich, which the author has kindly asked me to read and review. Thank you to both her and OpenBooks for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get stuck in further!
On the audiobook front, I began listening to An Almond for A Parrot yesterday, whilst I was doing my housework of all things. I like to listen to books when I am doing mindless tasks, as it gives you something to concentrate on. I added this book to my TBR last year and it’s perfect to listen to. I love the narrator’s way of voicing characters – she has really brought them to life.
 

Books Discovered

This week I was *reasonably* tame.
By reasonably, I mean I bought two books… but here me out…
Over the next year or more, I am looking to save a lot more money than I do currently. I’m actually quite good at saving normally, but if I am saving for anything “extra” and I don’t see the reward in the near future, I find it more difficult to not spend money for that purpose.
So, knowing what I am like and knowing that I am looking to be saving this money over a long spell, I have decided to set up a reward scheme for myself. I have set myself a savings target every month, starting in April. Basically, if I save my target every month I am going to buy myself a Penguin Classics book as a reward! That way I get to grow my collection and see the benefits of saving my money. I think it’s a good idea and it’ll work for me.
So, finally, to that end, I started my collection to set the wheels in motion with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

 

Coming Up…

Next week is blessedly going to be less manic and I am hoping to get plenty of reading done. I only have one post planned for you, which is a review of the first audiobook I listened to – The Stand by Stephen King.
I also hope to invest more time into discovering new blogs to follow this week – so I look forward to reading your posts soon! If anyone is feeling so kind as to post a link to their blog, either here or on my Twitter page, I would greatly appreciate it!!
Rebecca mono

Reading List: March 2018 – aka March of the Arcs!

I cannot believe it is March already!!
Spring is just around the corner, although if the weather is anything to go by you wouldn’t know it!! In an ideal world, it would be the kind of weather to stay at home in and snuggle up with a book – wouldn’t you agree?!
Unfortunately, living in your own Fantasy world doesn’t pay the bills, so I have to dig out every single pair of gloves I own and wear them simultaneously to venture into the frozen wastes to earn my keep *sigh*
We all have to have something to look forward to when the day is done though. I’ve spoken recently about the mini reading slump I have found myself in lately, and I have been trying to come up with some ideas for how to beat it. I have decided a change of routine is probably a good start, so I came up with an idea called March of the Arcs! I have a few (plenty of) arc’s due for review, so not only is this the change of routine I think I need, I hope the boost to my rating on Netgalley should also lift my spirits!! Fingers crossed I’ll also get introduced to some lovely new books too!
 
Copper Sky
Copper Sky
I was kindly asked to review this title by the author, who had seen a couple of my other reviews for OpenBooks… so thanks for asking me! So far I have read the first chapter and  I can’t wait to get stuck in to the rest!
 
StoneKing
StoneKing
Finally I get to read the much anticipated third book of this series!! I have been DEVOURING the previous books in order to catch up and participate in the current blog tour. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all on the 19th March!
 
Beowulf
Beowulf
I think this was one of my first downloads from Netgalley and I really want to give it a try. Admittedly, it isn’t the sort of book I would read normally – poetry isn’t really my bag, but since it is such an iconic piece of literature I feel I have to have a go! If nothing else, I am sticking to the brief of trying something new and breaking routine!
 
Ekata: Fall of Darkness
Ekata
This is also a Netgalley download that I have sat on for a few months and really need to read. It’s a kind of dystopian fantasy, as I recall… and both of these are genres I enjoy.
 
The Mansions of Murder
Mansions of Murder
This is my most recent Netgalley “Read Now” download, and it’s a historical fiction/murder mystery. I can’t say I have read anything like it before and I hope, if I enjoy it, I’ll be picking up more books in the genre. I am currently toying with the idea of trying Agatha Christie’s works, so this is my way of dipping my toes into the water, so to speak.
 
I hope you don’t mind that this list isn’t particularly detailed – it’s been a busy week for me here. If you have any questions or want to know more, please drop me a comment below!
For now though, have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend!!
Rebecca mono

Book Review: Fiskur – Donna Migliaccio

I don’t usually binge read a series, so to read Fiskur immediately after Kinglet isn’t normally the sort of thing I would do. I like to savour a series, *torment* myself a little while about getting around to reading the next book whilst juggling a number of other series’ for which I want to do the EXACT same thing!

*only being slightly sarcastic here – can torment be a good thing?

That being said, consecutive reading does have its benefits. For starters, I can actually remember what happened in the first book as it is still fresh in my mind. I don’t have to dredge through the four corners of my brain to remember who THAT character is and what they are up to.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I have been catching up with the series in preparation for the ongoing Blog Tour. I will be reviewing StoneKing, the third book of the series, in the penultimate slot of the tour on the 19th March.
If you want to check out my review of where the series begins, you can find that here.

***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by Fiery Seas Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***

Fiskur

Goodreads – Fiskur

With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred.

With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love. With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna. But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred. The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.

 

One of the most poignant observations I made in my review of Kinglet was how stereotypically perfect, handsome and charming our protagonist Kristan Gemeta is. In particular, I commented on how much these characteristics are very stereotypical and how I would have liked to see more individuality from Kristan.

I have not been left wanting.

Without saying too much, Kristan seriously “falls from grace” from being the perfect prince. I would go so far as to say I really didn’t expect the level of change we see in our MC, but I love it! After falling off the pedestal, so to speak, we get to see a far more complex and developed side to his character. His newfound cynicism contrasts his former innocent, comparatively childlike self and whilst the circumstances are tragic (still no spoilers), I think it is a step Kristan needs to take in order to grow into his role as the Gemeta and the opposing force to Daazna.

It is often said that in our darkest moments we realise just what we are capable of, and I cannot help but feel this moment is gradually creeping up on Kristan. His newfound mindset is written remarkably well and Donna clearly has an expert ability to step into her character’s shoes in order to convey them perfectly on paper. From joviality to abjectness, no emotion remains unexpressed.

Fiskur features many of the characters we know and love from Kinglet, and each has their role to play. Heather, Kristan’s low-born love interest has refused to conform with the proprieties of being a woman and she earns herself a reputation as a warrior. Obviously, I am hugely biased – but I am loving the display of “girl power” here. I want to pull myself up here for even calling it that. Courage and a fierceness of character shouldn’t be defined or characterised by gender. The point I am trying to make is that we get to see this in characters of both genders (although Heather truly is the ladies “champion”) and I am glad to see the inclusion.

Heather and the remaining “rebels” find themselves taking on new responsibilities in the fight against the force of Daazna. I personally really like when books have an element of politics in them; for me, it brings a whole new level of sophistication into recognising the motives or potential rivals and countering them cleverly to retain control. I hope to see more of this in the next book as it *could* introduce an additional conflict to an increasingly captivating storyline.

*I hope it does now I’ve said that!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fiskur and watching the wider plot of the series unfold. The book seamlessly picked up where we left off yet introduced some unexpected developments to keep us as the reader on our toes. I don’t know about you, but I for one cannot wait to see what StoneKing brings us.
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 25th February 2018

I’m glad to report a comparatively more successful week this week.
It feels like I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately… so I’ve been trying my best to work out a way to get out of it. Admittedly, I am still working on a couple of ideas, but hopefully this motivational lull doesn’t last too long.
I kept things reasonably quiet on the blog this week, with just of couple of posts shared. The first post, and the only one I had planned to publish was my review of Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio. I have been reading the series in the run up to the Blog Tour of StoneKing, which I am really looking forward to!
I also published an additional post last night, which I hadn’t really anticipated to share at all when I first wrote it last month. I had written it as a way to vent some frustration and it has been playing on my mind ever since. I must have been feeling particularly salty last night, because I finally decided to share my opinion (be it wanted or not). If you want to take a look at my heated ramblings and perhaps have a giggle or two, take a look at my Unpopular Advice for Authors post here.
 

Books Read

I started off this week finishing Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio. As I mentioned above, I am making my way through The Gemeta Stone series in readiness for the third instalment, which has just been published!
Next I moved onto The Torcian Chronicles by P. J. Reed, and I am going to be perfectly honest and say that I ended up skim-reading this as I am reviewing it for a Blog Tour next week. I don’t want to say too much prematurely, so if you are interested in what I have to say on this, check out my upcoming review.
Lastly, I have started reading Living on A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I downloaded this book a few months ago when you could access it for free and I am currently about 30% through at the moment.
 

Books Discovered


 
Before this week I had never heard of Don Quixote. I only came across it when I was watching a fellow bloggers YouTube channel and she was discussing reading it for her university studies!
I then read up a little more about this mammoth of a book and decided I wanted to add it to my list of classics I wanted to collect.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a book I distinctly remember borrowing from the school library years ago. I don’t ever remember ACTUALLY reading it though…
I used to do that a lot.
I’ve decided that I should also pick up this iconic book at least once in my lifetime.
 

Coming Up…

 
Next week is going to be a busier one on the blog!
I am taking part in a cover reveal tomorrow for Breachers by Anthony Thomas, a science fiction novel being published later this year. Also going to state my intentions here and say that it sounds like it’s right up my street. I hope there is a blog tour for it later on this year, as I would love to take part!
I have two reviews to share this week – on Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Fiskur, the second book of The Gemeta Series and on Thursday I am reviewing The Torican Chronicles. I hope you can join me for those!
We are also welcoming in a new month this week, so I will be sharing my reading list with you all on Friday!!
What books are you looking forward to reading?
Rebecca mono

Unpopular Advice for Authors

I have always been an avid reader, and since beginning this blog, I think I am more so than ever!
I have read a variety of new books and genres from authors over a wide spectrum of backgrounds… new, up-and-coming authors and established ones alike. From my newfound experience I want to share some advice with you, my dear author. Inevitably, I think a lot of my advice is not going to be relevant to J.K Rowling’s and Stephen King’s, to name but two examples, as they have the best backing behind their writing. I daresay many experts in the literary industry would bite their own arm off for the chance to work with these legends, but unfortunately, we can’t all have the same support and success… at least not right away!
If you are newly published, or about to publish and ever want the chance to reach the highbrow heights of literary success, I ask politely if you could at least entertain my thoughts on an argument that keeps cropping up in my mind.
Lately I have read a number of books that have entered the market either through self publishing or small, independent publishers. Now I am aware that this is a huge market and that is why I wanted to share this post, because I hope it makes you re-think your options if you are about to do what I consider to be the greatest sin in publishing…
 

Self-editing

 
Maybe you have a degree in English Language or Literature. That’s great.. Congratulations! You have set yourself up as best you can to write a book. The bad news is, you still shouldn’t rely solely on editing your own work. Yes, it costs money to pay someone to look at it for you, but if you really are serious about getting your book out there, it should be worth every penny. Consider it an investment – it will pay you dividends (or royalties) in time.
“But there are many authors out there that self-publish?” I hear you say.
Yes, there are, and there are many that do well from it. I don’t dispute that, but I really think you will be putting your best foot forward by getting a professional to edit your work.
As an author, you can never be fully qualified to edit your own book simply because you are not (and never will be) impartial. You can put the book away for a couple of years and distance yourself from it, sure, but you will always read what you are TRYING to say as opposed to what is ACTUALLY on the page. A book is best reviewed by somebody that has no connection to it whatsoever.
I offer this advice for one reason only – if a book hasn’t been edited properly, 99% of the time, a reader can tell. I can tell. Be it a loophole or inconsistency, I have come across so many spelling mistakes, repeated phrases and even continuity issues. If the text doesn’t flow, it breaks the reader’s concentration and that could make them put the book down – for good!
To give an example, in a recent reading experience, a character’s actions in relation to time were unrealistic. School bells were ringing left, right and centre (when the text clearly says they are fifty minutes apart), but the character’s actions barely filled five minutes between each bell. I understand you want to move the text on to where the action happens, but there would have been so many ways to achieve this without trying to brush off the whole thing hurriedly. I DNF’d that book for that reason. I’m sure the last thing an author wants is for a reader to put their book down prematurely and never pick it up again.
A second and more recent example is of a main character who’s age and states of dress changed within a matter of paragraphs. To explain, he was drinking such a cheap wine that it burns holes in his clothes if he spills it, but this doesn’t always happen in the narrative even though you know it should. Later on, there was an occasion on which he was supposed to be undressed, but then he suddenly had a robe on out of nowhere – it’s the little errors like these that can add up and put someone off continuing.
Lastly, the thing that takes the cake with this book for me was the following description:-

…taller birch trees that loomed over the living forest with disdainful indifference.

Please, just think about it.
I don’t want anyone to take any of the above points to heart… this is not an exercise in slander. I understand your work is precious to you. I make these points for constructive purposes only.
If your work is that important, would you not take that extra step to make it the best it can be? If you want to be taken seriously as an author, I really think you should.
Rebecca mono