Thursday, 20 July 2017

Review: Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

Title: Swear on This Life
Author: Renée Carlino
Publisher:  Atria Books
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, New Adult

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Monday, 10 July 2017

Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

Title: The Fifth Season
Series: The Broken Earth #1
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 512
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS . . . FOR THE LAST TIME.

IT STARTS WITH THE GREAT RED RIFT across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
IT STARTS WITH DEATH, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
IT STARTS WITH BETRAYAL, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Review: The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen

Title: The Light of the Fireflies
Author: Paul Pen
Translated by: Simon Bruni
Publisher:  AmazonCrossing
Pages: 338
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.

He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.

A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out…

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Review: Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

Title: Second Glance
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher:  Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 480
Genres: Paranormal, Fiction

When a plot of land is being developed in Vermont against the will of a local Native American tribe, strange things begin to happen - and Ross Wakeman, a paranormal investigator, is asked to get involved. He's a desperate drifter who's taken up ghost hunting in an effort to cross paths again with his fiancee, who died in a car crash eight years ago, but he has yet to experience anything even remotely paranormal. Then Ross meets Lia . . . As a seventy-year-old murder case is reopened, a shocking secret about a crime of passion long past is revealed.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Lover Revealed by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Revealed
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Pages: 544
Genres: Paranormal Romance

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now, an ally of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will face the challenge of his life and the evil of the ages.

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him...

Monday, 19 June 2017

Review: Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Title: Stay With Me
Author: Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Publisher:  Canongate
Pages: 298
Genres: Historical Fiction

‘There are things even love can’t do … If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love …’

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything - arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Review: The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon

Title: The Colour of Milk
Author: Nell Leyshon
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages: 176
Genres: Historical Fiction

'this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand'

The year is eighteen hundred and thirty one when fifteen-year-old Mary begins the difficult task of telling her story. A scrap of a thing with a sharp tongue and hair the colour of milk, Mary leads a harsh life working on her father's farm alongside her three sisters. In the summer she is sent to work for the local vicar's invalid wife, where the reasons why she must record the truth of what happens to her - and the need to record it so urgently - are gradually revealed.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Review: The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Title: The Ship of Brides
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher:  Hodder
Pages: 512
Genres: Historical Fiction

Australia, 1946. 650 brides are departing for England to meet the men they married in wartime. But instead of the luxury liner they were expecting, they find themselves aboard an aircraft carrier, alongside a thousand men.

On the sun-baked decks, old loves and past promises become distant memories, and tensions are stretched to the limit as brides and husbands change their minds. And for Frances Mackenzie, one bride in particular, it soon becomes clear that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Review: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park with Maryanne Vollers

Title: In Order to Live
Author: Yeonmi Park with Maryanne Vollers
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages: 288
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

Yeonmi Park was not dreaming of freedom when she escaped from North Korea. She didn't even know what it meant to be free. All she knew was that she was running for her life, that if she and her family stayed behind they would die - from starvation, or disease, or even execution.

This book is the story of Park's struggle to survive in the darkest, most repressive country on earth; her harrowing escape through China's underworld of smugglers and human traffickers; and then her escape from China across the Gobi desert to Mongolia, with only the stars to guide her way, and from there to South Korea and at last to freedom; and finally her emergence as a leading human rights activist - all before her 21st birthday.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Author: Claire North
Publisher:  Orbit
Pages: 448
Genres: Science Fiction

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.'

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 544
Genres: Fantasy, High/Epic


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

May 2017 - Reading Wrap Up

Monday, 29 May 2017

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Series: The Selection #3
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Review: The Doctor's Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney

Title: The Doctor's Wife is Dead
Author: Andrew Tierney
Publisher:  Penguin Ireland
Pages: 272
Genres: Non-fiction, True Crime

In 1849, a woman called Ellen Langley died in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. She was the wife of a prosperous local doctor. So why was she buried in a pauper's coffin? Why had she been confined to the grim attic of the house she shared with her husband, and then exiled to a rented dwelling-room in an impoverished part of the famine-ravaged town? And why was her husband charged with murder?

Following every twist and turn of the inquest into Ellen Langley's death and the trial of her husband, The Doctor's Wife is Dead tells the story of an unhappy marriage, of a man's confidence that he could get away with abusing his wife, and of the brave efforts of a number of ordinary citizens to hold him to account. Andrew Tierney has produced a tour de force of narrative nonfiction that shines a light on the double standards of Victorian law and morality and illuminates the weave of money, sex, ambition and respectability that defined the possibilities and limitations of married life. It is a gripping portrait of a marriage, a society and a shocking legal drama.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Series: The Selection #2
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the prince. Six girls, one life-changing prize…

America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins.

But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war.

Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Series: The Selection #1
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret one which could throw the whole competition and change her life forever.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Review: The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Title: The Sign of Four
Series: Sherlock Holmes #2
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 160
Genres: Classics, Mystery

When a beautiful young woman is sent a letter inviting her to a sinister assignation, she immediately seeks the advice of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.

For this is not the first mysterious item Mary Marston has received in the post. Every year for the last six years an anonymous benefactor has sent her a large lustrous pearl. Now it appears the sender of the pearls would like to meet her to right a wrong.

But when Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Watson, aiding Miss Marston, attend the assignation, they embark on a dark and mysterious adventure involving a one-legged ruffian, some hidden treasure, deadly poison darts and a thrilling race along the River Thames.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide…

Friday, 12 May 2017

Review: Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole

Title: Girls Will Be Girls
Author: Emer O'Toole
Publisher:  Orion
Pages: 288
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

Being a woman is, largely, about performance - how we dress and modify our bodies, what we say, the roles we play, and how we conform to expectations. Gender stereotypes are still deeply embedded in our society, but Emer O'Toole is on a mission to re-write the old script and bend the rules of gender - and she shows how and why we should all be joining in.

Exploring what it means to 'act like a girl', Emer takes us on a hilarious and thought-provoking journey through her life (including singing 'Get Your Pits Out for the Lads' on national TV after growing out her body hair). Cross-dressing, booty-shaking, sexual disasters, family dinners and full-body waxing are all lovingly dissected in search of wisdom.

With game-changing ideas, academic intelligence and laugh-out-loud humour, this book will open your mind and revolutionise the way that you think about gender.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Title: A Little Princess
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Publisher:  Puffin in Bloom
Pages: 320
Genres: Classics, Childrens

Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and genorosity are all the riches she truly needs?

April 2017 - Reading Wrap Up

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Pages: 699
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

The earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Title: Great Expectations
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher:  Wordsworth Classics
Pages: 432
Genres: Classics

Considered by many to be Dickens' finest novel, Great Expectations traces the growth of the book's narrator, Philip Pirrip (Pip), from a boy of shallow dreams to a man with depth of character. From its famous dramatic opening on the bleak Kentish marshes, the story abounds with some of Dickens' most memorable characters. Among them are the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery, the mysterious convict Abel Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham and her beautiful ward Estella, Pip's good-hearted room-mate Herbert Pocket and the pompous Pumblechook. As Pip unravels the truth behind his own ‘great expectations’ in his quest to become a gentleman, the mysteries of the past and the convolutions of fate through a series of thrilling adventures serve to steer him towards maturity and his most important discovery of all - the truth about himself.

Review: The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

Title: The Arrival of Missives
Author: Aliya Whiteley
Publisher:  Unsung Stories
Pages: 128
Genres: Science Fiction, Soft, Speculative

The Arrival of Missives is a genre-defying story of fate, free-will and the choices we make in life. In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?

As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Title: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and Other Lessons From the Crematorium
Authors: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: Canongate
Pages: 272
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

From her first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into her curious new profession. Coming face-to-face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated and the mourning families they left behind, and found herself confounded by people's erratic reactions to death. Exploring our death rituals - and those of other cultures - she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this illuminating account makes this otherwise terrifying subject inviting and fascinating.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Review: Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Title: Lobsters
Authors: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find The One. Their 'lobster'.

But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

Review: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 256
Genres: Classics

'To look almost pretty, is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life, than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive'

During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine's love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father's mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, this is the most youthful and and optimistic of Jane Austen's works.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Review: No Place For A Lady by Gill Paul

Title: No Place For A Lady
Author: Gill Paul
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance

The year is 1854, and Britain is in the grip of a gruesome war. Dorothea Gray has not seen her little sister Lucy since she eloped with the handsome Captain Charlie Harvington and set sail for the Crimea. Now, as the war worsens and the battlefields darken with blood, Dorothea must risk everything to find her sister and join Florence Nightingale in the Crimean hospitals, nursing the injured soldiers back to health. But the young Lucy is fighting her own battles, and not everyone wants to be found.

Against the backdrop of one of history’s most heartbreaking wars, can these two sisters find their way back to each other? Or will tragedy intervene?

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season
Series: The Bone Season #1
Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 452
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others' minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city-Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly-as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Title: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 320
Genres: Literary Fiction

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Review: Saga, Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: Saga, Volume 7
Series: Saga (Collected Editions) #7
Written By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image
Pages: 152
Genres: Comics, Science-fiction

From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat, and the refugee experience.Collecting: Saga 37-42.

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 508
Genres: Fantasy

Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London. Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games—an international competition of magic—a certain pirate ship draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall…

Saturday, 1 April 2017

February 2017 - Reading Wrap Up

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Pages: 640
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Pages: 416
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it…or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too…

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: The Grisha #3
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher:  Orion Children's Books
Pages: 384
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

SHADOW AND BONE. SIEGE AND STORM. Now Alina's story reaches its incredible conclusion in RUIN AND RISING.

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as Alina begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction - but claiming it could cost Alina the very future she is fighting for.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Review: The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Title: The Fox and the Star
Author: Coralie Bickford-Smith
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 64
Genres: Children's, Picture Book, Graphic Novel

The Fox and the Star is the story of a friendship between a lonely Fox and the Star who guides him through the frightfully dark forest. Illuminated by Star’s rays, Fox forages for food, runs with the rabbits, and dances in the rain—until Star suddenly goes out and life changes, leaving Fox huddling for warmth in the unfamiliar dark. To find his missing Star, Fox must embark on a wondrous journey beyond the world he knows—a journey lit by courage, newfound friends, and just maybe, a star-filled new sky.

Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Title: Jane Steele
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Publisher: Headline Review
Pages: 432
Genres: Historical Fiction

Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 256
Genres: Classics

'Her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth; and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect'

Persuasion, Jane Austen's last novel, is a moving, masterly and elegiac love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities. It tells the story of Anne Elliot, who, persuaded to break off her engagement to the man she loved because he was not successful enough, has never forgotten him. When he returns, he brings with him a tantalizing second chance of happiness ...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Literary Fiction

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan -- and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Blog Tour: The One by John Marrs


How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others...

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

(Note: Previously published as A Thousand Small Explosions)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Review: Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Title: Difficult Women
Author: Roxane Gay
Publisher: Corsair
Pages: 272
Genres: Short Story Collection

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind.

From a girls' fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Review: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

Title: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal
Series: Ms. Marvel (2014) (Collected Editions) #1
Written By: G. Willow Wilson
Art by: Adrian Alphona. Jake Wyatt
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 120
Genres: Comics

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York! Collecting MS. MARVEL (2014) #1-5.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Review: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Title: Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
Publisher:Virago Press
Pages: 548
Genres: Historical Fiction

No one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals. Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer." Mrs. Sucksby’s household also hosts a transient family of petty thieves--fingersmiths--for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives--Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, they all will share in Maud’s vast inheritance.

With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to regret her decision.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Review: Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

Title: Year of the Runaways
Author: Sunjeev Sahota
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 468
Genres: Literary Fiction

The Year of the Runaways tells of the bold dreams and daily struggles of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance. Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in desperate search of a new life. Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar; and Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the choatic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband's clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.

Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present day, Sunjeev Sahota's generous, unforgettable novel is - as with Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance - a story of dignity in the face of adversity and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Pages: 384
Genres: Young Adult, Romance

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There’s never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And that’s fine – until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with – every day . . .