Review: Dark Immolation

June 23, 2017 in Book Reviews, 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: Dark ImmolationDark Immolation by Christopher Husberg
Series: The Chaos Queen
Published by Titan on 20th June 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

There are rumours in Ashta - a new religion is rising, and Cinzia, one-time Cantic priestess, has escaped the Holy Crucible. Fleeing from Navone, Cinzia travels with Knot, a man of many parts, and Astrid, the child-like vampire. They are gathering followers, but the murderous Nazaniin are still on their trail. Meanwhile, Winter is losing her grip on sanity, grappling with immense powers beyond her understanding. Where she goes, chaos and death follow.

Dark Immolation, the second book in The Chaos Queen quintet, is a title I’ve been looking forward to all year. Last June I had the pleasure of reviewing book one, Duskfall (you can find my thoughts here) and this debut novel impressed me so much I couldn’t wait to revisit the world and its characters.

Dark Immolation continues where Duskfall left off. While we get answers to many questions in this book there’s still plenty to keep us wondering!

The characters in this book are what really makes it for me, and Husberg flawlessly glides from the POV of one character to another. Knot and Astrid are as brilliant as ever – I’d love to hang out with those two!

Sometimes the second book in a series can feel a bit of a letdown but I absolutely did not feel that with Dark Immolation. I enjoyed the continuation of our characters’ adventures as well as some glimpses into the past and the Void.

This is a series that I’m so glad I picked up. I can’t wait to see what Husberg has in store for us in book three!

four-half-stars

Review: The Hate U Give

April 6, 2017 in Book Reviews, Contemporary, YA

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: The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Walker on 6th April 2017
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

There are times when I am just at a complete loss for words upon finishing a book (handy for a book blogger, I’m sure you’ll agree). This is one of those times.

The Hate U Give has been out in the US for a month or so now and everything I’d been hearing from readers over there is this book is a “must-read”. Could it really live up to this hype? The simple answer is YES!

In truth, there is no way that I can do this book justice, but I will try to share some of my thoughts with you.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is such an incredibly important novel. It deals with racism, police brutality and life in the inner city. It also brings strong messages of love, family and community.

It’s an emotional read – knowing that this is based on reality, that these events actually happen makes the emotion all the deeper.

The characters in this book are incredible and so well written. Starr is an immediately likable character whom we root for from the get go. I loved her family and their relationship, I found it was particularly refreshing for a YA novel.

Even the peripheral characters in this story are memorable. Thomas has a way of writing that makes you feel like you’re in there with her characters, not just on the outside looking in.

This is a hugely relevant novel, that not only tells a story but educates the reader. It’s a unique book written by someone who truly knows what she’s talking about – an #ownvoices author, of which we need many more.

This book will tug at your heart, fill you with anger, make you sob with sadness and yet it’ll also make you laugh. It’ll open your eyes, make you really see the world and make you look upon the reporting of crimes in a new light.

It’s a book that will stay with you forever and I urge you ALL (young and old alike) to read it.

five-stars

Review: Quieter Than Killing

March 7, 2017 in Book Reviews, Crime

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: Quieter Than KillingQuieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #4
Published by Headline on 9th March 2017
Genres: Crime
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

It's winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie's family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it's personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

For the past few years, my most-anticipated release list has included Sarah Hilary’s latest works. We’re now onto the fourth book of the DI Marnie Rome series and Hilary never fails to impress me. Her storytelling sweeps me up, diving into her books is like meeting up with old friends – and I love it!

The case in this book is compelling. There has been a series of attacks and Marnie and Noah are tasked with finding the culprits. Are the attacks connected? One again Hilary has woven her narrative, teasing and tripping me up along the way.

For me though, what I really enjoyed most about this book was spending more time with Marnie and Noah. I feel that by now, book four, we have a good handle on their characters, we know their histories and Hilary ensures we become even more invested in our protagonists.

I feel that I say this after every Hilary book, but Sarah handles the issues involved in Quieter Than Killing with great respect. It’s one of the things I love about her writing; she takes care and consideration with any issues she addresses, yet doesn’t detract from the story or lose any of the impact. If anything, it adds more impact!

I could sit here and gush about Sarah Hilary’s novels all day long. Her stories are realistic and believable, her characters relatable. Hilary references real-life news events to anchor her stories into our lives. I love her ongoing development of Marnie and Noah’s lives, and feel we are being drawn in closer with each passing page.

All in all, Quieter Than Killing is a fantastic addition to the series. It will raise many questions, but not all of them having answers!

five-stars

Mini Review: A Conjuring Of Light

February 20, 2017 in Book Reviews, 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.

Mini Review: A Conjuring Of LightA Conjuring of Light by V.E.Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #3
Published by Titan on 21st February 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

London's fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

One of my most-anticipated reads of the year, I started A Conjuring of Light knowing that Schwab would deliver – and wow, did she ever!

This post is going to be short. There will be no spoilers. Just know that ACOL was everything I had hoped it would be – and more!

There’s snarkiness, action, banter, affection, fear, fearlessness and, well, knives, obviously.

It made me snort with laughter, threaten to put the book in the freezer, read furiously, grip the pages, and generally unable to put it down!

Schwab’s writing and storytelling is, once more, outstanding. I want to go back and read it again, just to savour the beauty.

If you haven’t read this series yet, stop whatever you are doing and start it – it’s SPECTACULAR!

five-stars

Review: Wintersong

February 7, 2017 in Book Reviews, 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: WintersongWintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Published by Titan on 7th February 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now aged eighteen and helping to run her family's inn, Liesl can't help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

In the stories her grandmother told her as a child, on the last night of the year the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride. Now as the days of winter begin to draw close Liesl's sister disappears...

With little choice Liesl finds herself drawn into the strange, captivating world of the Underground and the mysterious man who rules it. When she was young Liesl always wanted to dance with the Goblin King, now as she finds herself at the heart of his court she must face up to an impossible decision to save herself or her sister. With time and the old laws working against her she must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

In writing Wintersong, Jae-Jones has taken inspiration from 19th-century German fairytales to create a dark, captivating tale that will remain with you long after you close the back page.

I tried to write a summary of this book, but nothing I could write felt like it captured the story. So instead, here are a few key words…

wintersong

Going into this, I didn’t know any more than the synopsis and a comparison with the 80s’ film Labyrinth. If anything, this just added to the mysterious, magical feel of the book.

The writing in this novel is beautiful. It reinforces the unique, enchanted setting and encaptures the fairytale-like nature of this book.

I enjoyed the role that music has to play in this novel. It’s right at its core, the continuous thread that traverses two worlds. The beauty of the music is echoed through the poetic writing.

As for the characters, while I liked Liesl well enough, it was the Goblin King who kept me reading – a complex character who slowly begins to reveal his true self.

It’s a dark, enchanted journey, but I must admit that there were a few points where I found myself a little bored – perhaps I just wasn’t quite in the right mindset for a slow tale?

Regardless, this is a tale steeped in folklore, with mystery, magic and romance aplenty, all packed up within a memorable setting and carefully crafted prose.

Titan are giving away TWENTY copies of Wintersong over on Goodreads right now, so if you are in the UK be sure to enter.

Finally, pop back on Friday (10th) for our stop on the Wintersong blog tour and an exclusive post from S. Jae-Jones herself! In the meantime, don’t miss the other stops on the tour!

WINTERSONG blog tour

 

three-half-stars