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Review: Come and Find Me

March 20, 2018 in Book Reviews, Crime, Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Come and Find MeCome And Find Me by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #5
Published by Headline on 22nd March 2018
Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She's finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn't able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him - and is about to pay the ultimate price.

There are no spoilers in this post – for this book or the previous four!

When I’m asked who my favourite authors are, Sarah Hilary is always on the ensuing list. So whenever I get one of her new books in my hands I’m both tremendously excited and fairly nervous. I worry in case I won’t love her work as much this time around – please tell me that I’m not alone in doing this?! But every single time Sarah wows me, reasserting her position in my favourite writers’ list. Come and Find Me is no different.

This is the fifth book in Hilary’s DI Marnie Rome series, and I’m convinced that somehow she is getting better and better – she needs a star rating of her own!

As ever, Hilary’s writing is captivating as she throws Marnie and Noah into a new case. I love that along with each new case we follow Marnie and Noah’s own personal journeys – their own stories add a whole other dimension to these novels.

What’s more, unlike other series where I have to familiarise myself with the ongoing tale once more, I never have to do that with Hilary’s books. These characters and their stories are always just ‘there’ in my mind, waiting to continue where they left off. Personally, I think this demonstrates the incredible characters and partnership that Hilary has created.

If you haven’t yet started this series, I envy you. You have five stunning novels awaiting you! Go get your hands on a copy of her first book, Someone Else’s Skin, right now and get reading. You won’t be disappointed!

Come and Find Me is a novel full of the twists and tension that we’ve come to expect from Sarah Hilary. It’s a fascinating storyline, written with her incomparable style and care.

When can we have book six, please? I need more Marnie and Noah!

five-stars

Review: To Kill A Kingdom

March 17, 2018 in Book Reviews, YA Fantasy

I received this book for free from Readers First in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: To Kill A KingdomTo Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Published by Hot Key Books on 6th March 2018
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Readers First
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of To Kill A Kingdom through Readers First. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a platform whereby you get sneak peeks of books, share reviews for points and cash those points in for books. They also have weekly giveaways with some of their upcoming titles. Plus, you don’t have to be a blogger to join!

Anyway, suffice to say I was excited to get my hands on a copy. A pirate, siren-hunting prince and a prince-slaying siren? Yes, please!

Prince Elian is heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Midas. Except, he’s not interested in becoming King. He’d much rather continue as captain of the Saad, sailing the oceans with his pirate crew and hunting down the sirens who relentlessly take human lives.

Lira is the Sea Queen’s daughter, heir to the Kingdom of Keto, hidden in the Diavolos Sea. Her mother’s kingdom of sirens is at war with humans and the Sea Queen urges her subjects to hunt sailers, using their magical songs to enrapture them before ripping out their hearts.

But for Lira, only the hearts of princes will suffice – she takes one every year at her birthday, earning her the notorious title of Prince’s Bane.

When Lira disappoints her mother, her mother punishes her by turning her into a human. She may only return to the kingdom beneath the waves when she steals the heart of a Prince, without using her siren strengths.

So it is that Elian and Lira’s paths cross as he undertakes a mission to destroy the Sea Queen. Only, he has no idea who the girl is that has just walked into his life.

I loved this book so much! Told through chapters from both Elian and Lira’s perspectives, this book is a real page-turner. I loved the banter between Elian and his crew, as well as the back and forth with sassy Lira. The dialogue as a whole in this book is probably one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much.

I also really enjoyed the way the author has drawn upon myth and legend, weaving it throughout the novel.

Also, I just have to mention the cover. It’s stunning, and once you dive into this novel it’ll mean all the more.

This is actually a stand-alone novel, which makes such a nice change from the fantasy series I tend to read. It was nice to have a conclusion, a whole fantastical tale in 300-something pages. That said, I’d love to read more of these characters someday – maybe an Elian prequel?

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read that I definitely recommend.

four-half-stars

Review: Scythe

March 13, 2018 in Book Reviews, Dystopian, Fantasy, YA Fantasy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ScytheScythe by Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Walker on 1st February 2018 (UK)
Genres: Dystopian, YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ("gleaned") by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes' apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe's apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice's first task will be to glean the loser.

Scythe has been out in the US for a wee while and I kept hearing great reviews about it, so obviously when it was published here by Walker I snatched up a copy. (I actually ended up with two copies so be sure to enter my giveaway if you are based in the UK.)

The world has evolved to a place where there’s no more sickness, little crime and humans are now immortal. There are no more governments, no war and if you do become “deadish” you are whisked to a revival centre and return as good as new. There are nanites in the blood to stop pain and when you grow older you can ‘turn the corner’ and continue life at a younger age. Basically, it’s a perfect world, which is under the watchful and constant gaze of the Thunderhead – essentially a ‘cloud’ that developed AI and now keeps the world in check.

The only issue with this new world is overpopulation, and so the Thunderhead has developed the Scythedom – the only aspect over which it has no control. Scythes are the only people with permission to take a life – to glean. They are responsible for meeting their quotas and gleaning in a non-prejudiced way that reflects the mortality of the old world. They are simultaneously feared and revered, for as well as being able to take a life they can also grant immunity.

This is such a fascinating concept, one that captured my imagination and I found quite thought-provoking.

We follow two main characters, Cintra and Rowan, who both find themselves with an opportunity to become scythes and thus secure their family’s immunity from gleaning. Taken on as apprentices, they must prove themselves in order to attain the position of Junior Scythe. As they become involved in the Scythedom they realise that there’s more to being a Scythe than meets the eye, with unrest within the Scythedom itself.

I really loved this book – every aspect, from the world building and characters to the storytelling itself had me enraptured. I’m absolutely desperate to get my hands on book 2, Thunderhead, which will be released in the UK in August. In the meantime, I might have to make myself more acquainted with the rest of Shusterman’s work.

Go enter the giveaway now! (ends 15th March 23:59)

five-stars

Unboxing: Illumicrate #10

March 8, 2018 in Bookish Posts, Illumicrate

I love receiving my Illumicrate box, it’s always such a treat! (You can find all of my previous unboxings here.) This quarter is the first time that Daphne has curated a themed box (outwith the one-off giant limited edition boxes she does) and she selected the theme of “Rise Up!” to align with her choice of book for February. So, obviously, I was excited to see what she’d include!

Since I’m unusually early in posting my unboxing, I’m going to put it all in the spoiler section below.

SPOILERS

View Spoiler »

If you like what you see and want to sign up for Illumicrate you can find all of the details on their website. It costs £29.99 plus shipping per quarter and ships internationally too.

I’m off to make a coffee in my new mug now!

What do you think of the tenth (!!!) Illumicrate box?

Giveaway: Win a Copy of Scythe

February 23, 2018 in Bookish Posts, Closed Giveaways

It’s been a while since we’ve had a giveaway on the blog, and since I have a spare copy of Scythe by Neal Shusterman (I’m reading my copy right now – it’s so good) I thought it was about time!

I’m afraid that due to postage costs this is a UK only giveaway – sorry international friends. I do hope to do another international giveaway in the near future though!

Scythe

Scythe has been available in the US for a while and I’ve been hearing great things about it. So naturally, when it was published here by Walker Books earlier this month, I was desperate to get my hands on a copy. Such was my desperation I ended up with two copies! So I just want to say thank you to Walker Books for sending me one.

Ok, the giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning just use the rafflecopter entry form below. You can do as many or as few of the entries as you wish.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I’m off to continue reading my copy now 😀