Tag: paranormal

Book Review: Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

In today’s book review I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book of the Shadow and Bone series. I picked up this book having watched the related Netflix series. This book was already on my radar because I had read and loved the Six of Crows duology, also written by Leigh Bardugo. I had already said then that I wanted to read this series, and I’m glad I have started at last.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, here’s a little bit about it below: –

 

Shadow & Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads – Shadow and Bone

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

 

My Thoughts…

Based on the Netflix series, this book lived up to my expectations. When I went into it, I knew that I wasn’t necessarily going to love every single aspect of it. There is an element of romance to the story which I didn’t particularly like in the Netflix series either, and inevitably I was going to come across it again in the book. That said, it didn’t detract from the rest of the story in the slightest.

But I am just going to take a minute to talk about that romance, because if I can’t have a whinge on my own little space on the Internet then where can I? Why do men wielding dark and mysterious powers have to ALWAYS be drop-dead gorgeous? Can fantasy writers please have a little bit more imagination and a perspective a little more true to reality for a minute? I know it’s a fantasy book, but there’s a difference between fantastical and delusional.

People are attracted to power. I can’t deny that. But every single fantasy villain is somehow both more powerful than anybody else in the world and just as beautiful… apparently. And that annoys me. Not only is it unrealistic, but the only real way that would actually be true is if they’re also narcissistic. There are a lot of narcissistic people in the world, but does it have to be every single fantasy villain?

I love the fantasy genre, but not all of the tropes that you see time and again. It gets boring. Even reading the tropes I like again and again it gets boring. Ones that I’m not keen on in the first place can definitely go in the bin. Like this one. Anyway, disparaging comments aside, that’s not to say that my grievance with this particular element of the book took away from the rest of the story. It definitely didn’t! On the contrary, I rated this book 4 stars out of five on Goodreads. It’s still a great book!

One of my favourite things about the Six of Crows duology what was the magic system and the lore behind the Grisha. I knew straightaway that it was an element I wanted to explore in more detail, and I’m really glad I did. There is still much to be learned about these people and their magic, and so I want to pick up the rest of the series to pursue this further.

Equally, the world building and the dynamic between those of different regions in the world adds a lot to the storyline. As someone who is very uninterested in politics in real life, I like to see it play out in books. If you follow my blog you know I’m a huge fan of the likes of Game of Thrones etc, in which politics is a huge element. It definitely comes to into play in Shadow and Bone as well. Both the dynamics between characters and those of other regions are attributable to how well this is portrayed within the narrative, and it makes for an interesting division that will no doubt come to the fore in future books.

The one thing I didn’t like about the Netflix series is that it merged the story lines of Six of Crows with this book. Both are fantastic stories – but in their own right! I’m glad the author has chosen to explore these separately, because there are so much of scope and I’m looking forward to see where the rest of the series leads.

 

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Shelf Control #41 – 21/01/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on my blog (typically fortnightly on a Friday) and 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 chosen book is a little unusual in that it is from one of the genres I read the least. Not the very least (cough cough romance), but pretty close. It is a well-known story written by a prominent author of the genre; even if you haven’t read the book, chances are you’ve watched the film. Although, I have to confess I haven’t… but my parents have! it

So, do you want to find out what today’s book is?

 

Carrie – Stephen King

Goodreads – Carrie

A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…Carrie

 

My Thoughts…

I have read a few novels by Stephen King now, and despite the fact I don’t read horror very often, I will always be prepared to give his books a go! His writing style is one of my favourites, and the diversity between the different stories he writes keeps his books fresh and interesting to read.

I have a very vague idea of the character Carrie and the storyline, but not very much at all if I’m honest. I’d like to keep it that way though because it means I can enjoy the book all the more. I’m looking forward to picking this up and reading something out of my comfort zone. I have every confidence that I’ll enjoy it, and it will make a refreshing change to pick up something different.

It will also be a good one to pick up because it’s quite a short read. Sometimes a shorter story can be a good break from the 500 pagers and above I have a tendency to pick up! 

Have you read Carrie, or watched the film? Do you like the story? Let me know in the comments!

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First Lines Friday – 10/09/2021

Hi guys and welcome to my First Lines Friday post!

I was supposed to share a First Lines Friday post with you a couple of weeks ago. However, I got busy and before I knew it, it was late on Friday evening and I hadn’t even started planning the post. Well, never mind that now – because I’m here today to share with you a fantastic book that I think you will love! It is written by an author that I have come to love and has just been published within the last couple of days. If you read my blog and are familiar with recent releases, you may be able to guess today’s book.

Even if you don’t recognise it from the clues above, I hope you enjoy today’s extract.

 

“It all started with a rabbit hole,” Gabriel said.

The Last Silversaint stared into that flickering lantern flame as if into faces long dead. A hint of red smoke still bruised the air, and he could hear each thread in the lanterns wick burning to a different tune. The years passed between them then and now seemed only minutes to his mind, alight with rushing bloodhymn.

“It strikes me as funny,” he sighed, “looking back on it all. There is a pile of ash behind me so high it could touch the sky. Cathedrals in flames and cities in ruins and graves overflowing with the pious and wicked, and that’s where it truly began. He shook his head in wonder. Just a little hole in the ground.

People will remember it different, of course. The soothsingers will harp about the Prophecy, and the priests will bleat on about the Almighty’s plan. But I never met a minstrel who wasn’t a liar, coldblood. Nor holy man who wasn’t a …”

 

Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Empire of the Vampire

From holy cup comes holy light;

The faithful hands sets world aright.

And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,

Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order couldn’t stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Nevernight Chronicle, Jay Kristoff, comes the first book of an astonishing illustrated dark fantasy saga.

 

My Thoughts…

As a general rule, I wouldn’t say I’m a massive fan of vampire-related novels. However, I have read a couple of good ones and I’m certainly prepared to make an exception for Mr Kristoff!

I fell in love with his Nevernight series instantly and so I have high expectations for this book as well. It’s dark fantasy, which I love the idea of considering he pulled off Nevernight so well. He’s also indicated that it is definitely not a book for children. I like that it’s aimed at a more mature reader, although I know there’s going to be at least one scene in it that I’m not going to be a huge fan of. That being said, I’m willing to overlook it because I don’t want to miss out on the rest! You may have noticed that I’ve even omitted a word from today’s extract. For the sake of keeping my blog PG I’ve taken it out… but let’s just say it’s a certain four letter word beginning with C.

You know the one. If you don’t, you’re probably not meant to yet!

Some people might be put off by such language, but as someone who grew up learning the vocabulary of a sailor from a very young age, I certainly have no issues! I personally quite enjoy the crassness of it!

If you’re interested to read my thoughts on books I have already read by Jay Kristoff (his Nevernight series), you can check out my review of Nevernight here. Reviews for the later books are also available, but so I don’t share any potential spoilers accidentally, I’ve just linked my review to the first book of the series.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Are you excited for Empire of the Vampire?

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Haunting at Paradise House – Killian Wolf

Happy Halloween (Hop Tu Naa) everybody and welcome to a very topical book review – The Haunting at Paradise House by Killian Wolf. I have been looking forward to writing today’s post; not only is it the last day of Blogtober, but I also consider this to be prime review day for this tour!

As always, I would like to kick off the post by thanking Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and inviting me to take part.

 

The Haunting at Paradise House

If you were given the chance to become a powerful sorceress, would you leave behind everything you thought you knew?

When Addison is offered the position of her dreams through a mysterious phone call, she rises to the occasion and moves to the Florida Keys to a mansion called Paradise House. Footsteps from playful ghosts, a room of killer dolls, and an all too intelligent owl lead her to the mysteries that lie within the walls, to reveal the true reason behind her invitation. When dark forces get a hold of her and her patient, Addison is left with no choice but to take extreme measures to protect the ones she loves. Will Addison be able to acquire the necessary skills fast enough in order to protect her patient, and defeat the evil entities that thrive in the mansion?

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble     Kobo

 

Trailers – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cRH2NEPDBU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x11nL-q9X4

 

My Thoughts…

The Haunting at Paradise House is a perfect read at this time of year, and really easy to pick up too! The story centres round Addison taking a new job as a nurse in Paradise House; she ends up taking on far more than she bargained for! Addison’s inquisitiveness gets her in trouble on several occasions, but she cannot leave alone knowing something is amiss. Dax, her new boss, isn’t telling her everything and has a mysterious knack of disappearing and reappearing at the most inconvenient times.

The closet full of dolls is something else entirely! I am not easily freaked out or unnerved, but reading about the dolls made me cringe. They are just so freaky but set the right atmosphere for the house and the story. If I were Addison, I wouldn’t have stuck around!

The Haunting at Paradise House is a great mix of genres. I really enjoyed the combination of the fantasy, mystery and paranormal elements of this book. It isn’t what I would describe as a typical read for me, but that didn’t matter at all. The book is well-paced and has a vast array of unique characters interwoven with a sophisticated storyline that was a pleasure to read.

I would like to see a second book as there is great potential with the characters and the ending of the book. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed!

 

Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Haunting at Paradise House (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494294/

 

Author Bio –

Killian Wolf is a Miami, FL native who enjoys pirates, rum, and skulls as much as she loves writing about dark magick and sorcerers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology and a Master of Science in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy.

Killian writes books about obtaining magickal powers and stepping into other dimensions. She lives in England with her husband, a tornado of a cat, and the most timid snake you’d ever meet.

When she isn’t writing, you might find her at an Archaeological dig, rock climbing, or sipping on dark spiced rum while working on a painting.

 

Social Media Links –

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/killianwolf22/

Twitter- @Killian_Wolf22

Instagram- killian_wolf

 

Blog Tour – The Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman

Good morning everyone!
I am delighted to be taking part in a Blog Tour today for The Ghost of Glendale, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. Unfortunately due to my reading schedule I wasn’t able to read and review this title today, but I would encourage anyone interested in the book to check out the other stops on the tour!

About the Book

Ghost-EBOOK-cvr TGoG (3 MB)

At twenty-four years old, Phoebe Marcham is resigned to spinsterhood, unwilling to settle for anything less than the deep love her parents had shared. That is, until adventurer Duncan Armstrong rides into her home wood, larger than life and with laughter in his eyes and more charm in his little finger than anyone she’s ever met before. Far from ridiculing her family ghost, Duncan resolves to help solve the mystery which has left Simon Marcham a spirit in torment for two hundred years.

About the Author

Natalie is a published novelist and short story writer whose addiction to the books of Georgette Heyer and love of The Regency have been the inspiration for her latest book,Natale Kleinman - Author Photo The Ghost of Glendale.
Working on the premise that you never stop learning, she goes to any and every writing event and workshop she can. In addition she attends The Write Place Creative Writing School in Hextable in Kent, one of the rewards for which is an abundant supply of cream cakes to celebrate the frequent successes of its students.
Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She lives with her husband in southeast London.

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If you would like to find out more about the book, or if you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can do so via Amazon.
Don’t forget, there are a number of lovely blogs involved in the tour so please check out their posts and their thoughts about The Ghost of Glendale.
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