29th March 2018 -- Another Lot ....

Sarah's Secrets By Lisa Childs

Synopsis :  Every woman has her mystery .

And Sarah Mars-Hutchins had more than one secret to keep ...  But her tumultuous past caught up with the young widow when a devastatingly handsome former FBI agent came to question her .

Royce " The Tracker " Graham was dangerous to the safe little world Sarah had created for herself and her son in the tiny town of Winter Falls, Michigan .  Someone wanted to remove Sarah from her child's life, yet Royce was there, foiling kidnapping attempts and murderous plots ...  All the while disarming her with his sultry midnight kisses .

But could Royce unlock the secrets of Sarah's heart before it was too late ?

My Review :  I knew how this book would go as soon as I read the first page .  It is a typical Harlequin romance but this one has thriller elements .  If you aren't too familiar to the Harlequin or Mills & Boon type romance books then you may enjoy this ,  the thriller storyline makes it slightly more readable !

It is pretty steamy, there are a few quite graphic sex scenes .

Sarah is a strong character who tries to keep her young son safe because someone is attempting to kidnap him .  Royce is a likable character .  A few moments during this story made me laugh .  It is a short book and it didn't take me very long to finish .

I tend to read these kind of romance books in between other longer novels .  This book came as part of a big boxful I bought in a secondhand shop .

Rating :  2 out of 5 

 

Chasing Fire By Nora Roberts 

Synopsis :  Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping .  Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of mother nature .

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp .  The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood : her father is a legend in the field .  She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday .  At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air .

Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best .  He's also a walking contradiction, a hot shot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kid's arcade .  He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas " Ironman " Tripp, yet he's instantly more fascinated by his hero's daughter .  Rowan, as a rule, doesn't hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind .  And damn if he doesn't make a good case to be an exception to the rule . 

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year's tragedy .  Rowan knows she can't complicate things with Gull, any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal .  But if she doesn't find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames . 

My Review :   The first Nora Roberts I've ever read .  When I first got the E book I thought it was going to be a predictable romance but I was pleasantly surprised .  It was actually really good and I didn't guess the ending .

It follows a group of fire fighters who deal with forest fires and has a mystery suspense element to it which is exciting .  The main character, Rowan is a very strong woman and the things she has to deal with in this story are tough and frightening .  The friendships between all the fire fighters is well written and believable .  The descriptions of the forest fires are vivid and scary, I can't imagine how terrible it would be to be affected by one .

I now look forward to reading more by Nora Roberts in the future .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Book Reviews -- 29th March 2018

The King In Yellow - Deluxe Edition By Robert W Chambers

Synopsis :  The book is named after a fictional play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories .  The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories and the book is described by S.T.Joshi as a classic in the field of the supernatural .

My Review :  A really strange book and quite difficult to rate !  It contains several stories and poems, all featured around a play of the same name as the book's title . It is very atmospheric, dark and creepy .

A detective kind of novel but with the added supernatural elements . It has interesting characters and spooky locations . 

It wasn't a particularly long book so I read it quite fast .  It is a classic novel first published in 1895 .

Fans of horror and bizarre fiction will enjoy this .

Rating :  3 out of 5

 

Kitty And The Silver Bullet ( Kitty Norville Bk #4 ) By Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis :   Kitty's radio show is as popular as ever and she has a boyfriend , who actually seems to understand her .  Can she finally settle down to a normal life ?  Not if this is just the calm before the storm .  When her mother falls ill, Kitty rushes back to Denver -- and right back to the abusive pack of werewolves she escaped a year ago .  To make matters worse, a war is brewing between the city's two oldest vampires, threatening the whole supernatural community .  Though she wants to stay neutral, Kitty is again drawn into a world of politics and violence .  To protect her family, her lover, and herself, she'll have to choose sides .  And maybe become what she hates -- A killer .

My Review :  The 4th book in the 10 + books long , Kitty Norville series .  This is such an entertaining read full of action, and also some humour .  Carrie Vaughn writes a very interesting take on the traditional werewolves and vampires story .

Kitty is a strong heroine, she is a werewolf who hosts her own radio talk show .  In this the 4th book, the two oldest vampires in Denver are feuding which threatens the entire supernatural population,  it's up to Kitty to bring order back to the situation .  It has a little romance in it but not a lot .   There are a lot of books in this series but I don't get bored of them, they are always good reads and I can never wait until the next volume .

For fans who love paranormal and urban fantasy and are looking for a large series of books to get into, you won't go far wrong getting these ones !

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Book Reviews -- 7th March 2018

You Are Mine ( Mine # 1 )  By Janeal Falor

Synopsis :  Serena knows a few simple things .  She will always be owned by a warlock .  She will never have freedom .  She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how insane, frivolous or cruel it is .  And if she doesn't follow the rules, she will be tarnished .  Spelled to be bald, inked and barren for the rest of her life - worth less than the shadow she casts .

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country, with the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules .  When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world .  The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach .  Serena longs for both, but in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly .

My Review :  Set in a fantasy world where at the age of 17 all women are tested to find out how much magic they have in their blood .  The women with the strongest magic are married off to warlocks and are " Owned " by them .  The central character, Serena is tested and proves to be extremely powerful .  She is sold to a warlock but he treats her with respect although she doesn't realise it due to the years of abuse from her own father for so- called " Wrongs " she has done .

The world was well imagined and written ,  the characters were good .  I would certainly read more from this author .

I got a free E book copy of this from Instafreebie but I would buy this series for my library .

Rating :  3 out of 5

 

The Little Paris Bookshop By Nina George

Synopsis :  On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a " Literary apothecary ", for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers .

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems is, himself .

But when a enigmatic new neighbour moves into his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard, Jean is inspired to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off to Provence in search of the past - And his beloved .

My Review :  An incredibly meaningful and moving story .  So many feelings while reading this one .

I completely loved the idea of Monsieur Jean Perdu's literary apothecary and I do believe that reading the right book at the right time can be very beneficial to your mood .  The French setting is beautiful, you can picture yourself slowly going along in the barge on the canal and walking around the beautiful places they stop at along the way .

The characters and their relationships are wonderful.  It is an extremely emotional read full of meaningful messages . 

I highly recommend to all .

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

The Joy Of Mindful Writing - Notes To Inspire Creative Awareness By Joy Kenward

Synopsis :  Embrace the process of writing and the rich potential of conscious creativity and mindfulness with this enlightening insight into mindful writing .  Exploring how writing mindfully can create deeper connections with your words, your characters, and yourself .  This carefully crafted manual invites you to embrace the writing process as much as the completed work ; plotting out sparkling stories with a zen-like awareness .  Through meditative exercises, engaging anecdotes and astute notes on perception, imagination, and focus .  Author Joy Kenward helps you to flow, flourish and lose yourself in writing . Containing 20 mindful writing exercises, this unique guide explores how conscious writing creates mindful awareness, offering a fresh angle on shifting writer's block .

My Review :  A really useful and informative book for people who like creative writing .  It is well written and packed with writing exercises as well as mindfulness techniques .

I sometimes struggle with my ideas but this book will be very good inspiration .  It's a very well presented book and would be an ideal present for anyone who writes or is considering trying it .

I actually read it a couple of times and probably will buy a physical copy for future reference .

I received an E book copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Whiteout By Ken Follett

Synopsis :  Human Betrayal, Medical Terror and A Race Against Time ...

An injured lab technician, a missing canister .  Toni Gallo, the attractive new head of the security team operating at the local pharmaceutical research company, knows she has problems, but she has no idea of the nightmare to come .

As his family converges on a remote farmhouse in Scotland for the Christmas period, Stanley Oxenford is a worried man .  Everything is riding on a new drug he has developed to fight a lethal virus .  All have something to gain with the money he's going to make .  Toni Gallo, too, is out to prove herself as a woman up to her job .

Then a blizzard whips up out of the North, and as the storm worsens, the emotional sparks - jealousies, distrust and sexual attraction - crackle ; Desperate secrets are revealed ; Hidden traitors and unexpected heroes emerge .

Filled with startling twists at every turn, WHITEOUT rockets Follett into a class by himself .

My Review :  A genuinely scary book concerning a virus outbreak and theft of a canister containing it .

It was thrilling and a page turner, I read it quickly .  It has several quite grisly parts which are graphically described .  It is set around Christmas time so anyone who is looking for something to read for that time of the year that isn't the usual festive jolly thing, this one would be ideal for you .

There is also a film version of this book, I saw it years ago but as I recall it was pretty good too and stars Kate Beckinsale in the lead role as Toni Gallo . 

Rating :  3 out of 5 

 

Disney Manga : The Princess And The Frog By Nao Kodaka

Synopsis :  Inspired by the hit Disney movie " The Princess And The Frog " Tiana is a hardworking young woman who has always dreamed of owning the finest restaurant in all of Louisianna .  When her dreams turn awry, she looks to the evening star and makes a wish, bringing her face to face with a frog prince who promises to make her dreams come true !  She kisses him to seal the deal but the outcome turns Tiana's life upside down and leads them both in a race against time to put things right .

Join Tiana, Prince Naveen, and their Bayou friends as they go on an adventure of a life time .  This magical manga adaptation retells the enchanted story of one of Disney's finest princesses .

My Review :  A really beautifully illustrated version of The Princess And The Frog .

This was quick to read but very enjoyable and pleasant to the eye .  The characters are all really cute and well drawn .  The story transfers well into the graphic novel/Manga format .

For a Manga there was actually a lot of text which was good .  I collect Manga and would definately like to have these Disney ones in my library .

I received an E book copy of this book through edelweiss in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

Synopsis :  Winning will make you famous .  Losing means certain death .

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called The Hunger Games .  There is only one rule :  Kill or be killed .

When sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence .  But Katniss has been close to death before .  For her, survival is second nature .

My Review :  I've had this book series sitting on my shelf for so long before finally picking up this first book and I'm glad I did !  I really enjoyed it .  The hype for this series of books and films is real !

Well written, well imagined, with lots of strong, likable characters .  I watched the films several times ages ago which I don't usually do as I prefer to read the book first if there is one .

This first book is a roller coaster ride of emotions and that's why I think it's good !  I like books that make me feel ! 

Some of the scenes during the Hunger Games are graphic and quite grisly .

I very much look forward to reading the next two books and think that I will probably re-read these quite a lot .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Book Reviews, Ratings, Recommendations -- 1st March 2018

Cloud World By David Cunningham

Synopsis :  Imagine a planet entirely covered in clouds ...   Imagine peaks rising out of the cloudscape ...   Imagine a citadel standing on each peak ...

Heliopolis, a citadel divided into five layers, every citizen sure of their place and purpose .  But there is one uncertainty that haunts all Heliopolitans .  What lies beneath the thick ocean of cloud ?  A vast abyss ?  The fiery realm of the gods ? 

Fourteen year old Marcus is about to find out .

When his father fails to return from a diplomatic mission, Marcus joins an expedition across the Cloudscape in search of him .  But he discovers too late that danger lies closer to home - Someone wants him dead .  And when his airship is attacked, Marcus is plunged into a terrifying new world beneath the clouds ...

My Review :  I've had this book sitting on my shelf for ages I can't even recall where I got it from .  A children's fantasy story about a world in the clouds and Marcus' adventure by airship to try and discover what happened to his father and why he didn't come home .

The fantasy world in the clouds is very imaginative and wonderful, the adventure is very exciting and we meet other characters from different regions of the Cloud World as we go along .

David Cunningham's invention of the airships and other modes of transport in this story is brilliant .  There are parts within the story that I think younger readers would find uninteresting though but I enjoyed it .  There is a sequel to this book ' Cloudworld At War ' which would answer a few questions after reading this one so I will have to get that soon .

Rating :  3 and a half out of 5

 

Alpha Goddess By Amalie Howard 

Synopsis :  In Serjana Caelum's world, gods exist .  So do goddesses .  Sera knows this because she is one of them .

A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumoured to control all the planes of existence .  Marked by sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera's avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos .  A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on Earth .

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the mortal realm is destroyed .  But trust doesn't come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal .  Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbour, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he's telling .  Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect .

My Review :  This book was interesting due to the mythological aspect .  I love myths and legends,  I'm not really familiar with Indian mythology though so it was good to read something containing bits of it .

I did find Sera very annoying for quite a lot of the story, she very obviously had some unusual ' powers ' but her athist attitude didn't allow her to admit it !  In the end she is forced to accept it though because of the events which are happening in her life .  If she hadn't of been so ignorant in the first place, things would of been a bit easier !  However the parts in the ' other world ' are action packed and exciting I enjoyed those parts and there is a little bit of romance .

Rating :  3 out of 5

 

Dark Goddess ( Alpha Goddess # 2 ) By Amalie Howard 

Synopsis :  After an epic struggle that unseated the Asura Lord of Death and placed Serjana Caelum's best friend, Kyle on his throne, the mortal realm is peaceful and the balance between good and evil - which Sera is sworn to protect - has been restored .

But signs of a new threat to the world of men quickly begin to appear :  A scourge of demons descends on the mortal realm, and Sera is beside herself trying to locate their source .  She sends word to the gods for help, and their answer comes in the form of Kira, the living incarnation of Kali, goddess of destruction .

Stunning and dangerous, Kira plans to protect the heavens at all cost, even if it means destroying the entire mortal realm .  Soon Sera and Kyle find themselves fighting not just the demon plague, but Kira and her twin .  But when an even more sinister threat arises - putting not just the human world but all planes of existence in jeopardy - they must all learn to work together or lose everything they sacrificed so much to save .

My Review :  This is the second book in the Alpha Goddess series .  It is a good continuation to the story, we follow the same characters as they again battle demons to keep the mortal realm safe .

Sera isn't quite as annoying in this second book .  Some parts are quite gory so it isn't for the more sensitive reader .  I still think the storyline is a very unique and interesting one .  Its the first Indian mythology series I've read and I would certainly be open to read more of this kind of thing .  The demon world is well written, the characters who live there are scary and the setting is creepy .

I received an E book copy through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  3 out of 5 

Book reviews, Ratings and Recommendations - 23rd Jan 2018

The Sacrifice Box By Martin Stewart

Synopsis :  Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley : five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer .  When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest , they decide to each make a sacrifice :  something special to them, committed to the box for ever .  And they make a pact : they will never return to the box at night ; they'll never visit it alone ; and they'll never take back their offerings .

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart .  Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact .

As their sacrifices haunt them with increasing violence and hunger, they realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town's history . And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all : one of them ...

My Review :  It was certainly very different to anything i've read lately .  I enjoyed it .

A dark, creepy, supernatural horror concerning a group of friends who one day each put something that means something to them regarding their friendship in a mysterious stone box and then bury it whilst saying a promise .  However, things begin to go awry when the friends seperate in later life due to one of them possibly breaking the promise .

Very well imagined and written by the author Martin Stewart , the events are genuinely scary and some are quite believable which makes this book a great read .

Fans of Zombies will love this, there are people and animal zombies involved as well as a killer teddy bear and evil dolls ! 

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

A Walk In The Woods By Bill Bryson

Synopsis :  The longest continuous footpath in the world, The Appalachian Trail stretches along the East Coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine, through some of the most arresting and celebrated landscapes in America .

At the age of forty-four, in the company of his friend ' Stephen Katz ', ( last seen in the best-selling ' Neither Here Nor There ), Bill Bryson set off to hike through the vast tangled woods which have been frightening sensible people for three hundred years .  Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing ticks, the occasional chuckling murderer and perhaps - most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external - frame backpack .

Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch the X- Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime's ambition - not to die outdoors .

My Review :  This book had me crying with laughter on several occasions !  I knew it was a travel book but I wasn't prepared for just how funny it would be .  It was incredibly interesting to follow Bill and his friend Stephen on their hiking adventure along the Appalachian Trail .

They meet some great characters along the way, Bryson's descriptions of them and the locations are wonderful .  It was very easy and entertaining to read .  My first and definately not my last read from Bill Bryson .  I found it at the supermarket on the charity bookcase so I picked it up as i've been wanting to try one of his books for a while .  I have recently picked up two others which I look forward to getting into .

I highly recommend this one to people who enjoy travel, nature and humour .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Shadow In The Wings By Lee Stafford

Synopsis :  Carenza had abandoned her youthful aspirations to act professionally but still enjoyed performing with her local amateur dramatic group .  She was content to take one day at a time - until Gareth Llewellyn overheard her rehearsing her lines on a deserted Anglesey beach and gave his scathing opinion .  Gareth had once had the theatre world at his feet but now chose to live the life of a brooding recluse wary of commitment, and Carenza wanted to know why - even though she had her own reasons for avoiding involvement with anybody ....

My Review :  A quick read romance, it was good and involved the production of a Shakespeare play in a Amateur dramatics group .  Probably the only reason why I picked this one up but it was entertaining enough .

It followed the usual formula for a Mills & Boon romance, the reclusive man who lost his wife and shut himself off from other women but then bumps into the woman one day and a relationship slowly builds , misunderstandings happen along the way, arguements occur but then its a happily ever after ending !

It's OK for getting you out of a reading slump because its a short read .  The Shakespeare aspects were good .

Rating :  3 out of 5

 

 

Book Reviews, Ratings and Recommendations - 2018

 Water At The Roots by Philip Britts

Synopsis :  In a society uprooted by war, industrialization, and dehumanizing technology, a revolutionary farmer-poet reconnects his people to the land and one another .

Something of a British Wendell Berry, Philip Britts ( 1917-1949 ) was a farmer, poet, activist, pastor and mystic .  As his country plunged headlong into World War 2, he sought a way of life where people could work together in harmony with nature and one another .

Britts' story is no romantic agrarian elegy, but a life lived in the thick of history .  The International Pacifist Community he joined, The Brudehof, was soon forced to flee from Europe to South America .

Amidst these great upheavals, his response - to root himself in God, to dedicate himself to a community, to restore the land he farmed, and to use his gift with words to turn people from their madness - speaks forcefully into our time .  In an age still wracked by racism, nationalism, materialism, and ecological devastion, the life he chose and the poetry he composed remain a prophetic challenge .

My Review :  This is a collection of poetry, essays and photoraphs along with the story of Philip Britts life .  

It is a wonderfully written book which is really interesting .  The poems are about farming, religion, life, war and some are incredibly moving .  This book certainly makes you think, it is very deep and meaningful . 

Readers who are not particularly religious need not be worried that this book is overly ' preachy ', it is not, it is written in an open minded way .

I recommend it to anyone who likes poetry, history, biographies and those with an interest in farming .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

The Crow Road by Iain Banks 

Synopsis :  " It was the day my grandmother exploded .  I sat in the crematorium, listening to my uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach . "

Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family .  Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future , he is also deeply preoccupied :  mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances .

My Review :  I read a copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of this book .  It is the first Iain Banks book i've read .  I was aware of his Sci-Fi works but not his other genres so I wanted to pick this one up .

It is a bit of a mix of genres it's part family drama, part murder mystery .  I found it very funny in parts, the author writes his characters well, they are believable and interesting .  I read it fairly quickly it is a fast paced story with lots of amusing dialogue and there are several mentions of Star Wars and other pop culture references too .

I received an E book copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Orange - The Complete Collection Vol 1 by Ichigo Takano

Synopsis :  A Plea From The Future .

On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future .  At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter's predictions come true one by one Naho realises that the letter might be the real deal .  Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class .  The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future .  Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny ?

This heart-wrenching Sci-FI romance that has over one million copies in print in Japan ! 

My Review :   WARNING :  You will need a good supply of tissues during this Manga !  

This is an emotional roller coaster of a read !  One minute its funny, light and joyful and the next it is incredibly sad but don't let that put you off picking up this wonderful book ! 

The characters are really believable and their friendships are realistic, as you read you can feel the love and pain they are going through .

There are several trigger warnings in this Manga including :  Bullying, Depression, Grief and Suicide .

The artwork is wonderful .  There are a few full colour pages at the beginning which are beautiful, the majority is in black and white and is still very nice . 

I bought this Manga thinking it was the whole thing as it states in the title it is " The Complete Collection " however I later found out that there are two more volumes !  I am excited to get those so I can find out what happens at the end !  Highly recommended :  YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE THIS BOOK EVERYONE ! 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Elsewhere : Volume one by Jay Faerber, Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley 

Synopsis :  " Copper Head " writer Jay Faerber teams up with the stunning art team of Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley to reveal the truth about what happened to Amelia Earhart ! 

Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home .  Along the way she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord ! 

My Review :  This graphic novel is a quick and fun read . 

Set in an alternative history, where Amelia Earhart falls through a space time warp when her plane develops engine trouble .  She is taken to an alien world full of fantastical creatures .

The storyline is very good, the artwork is fun and colourful and works well with the writing .  Amelia, Cort and Tavel are fun characters and I can't wait until I can get the next volume to continue the adventures with them .

I received an E-copy of this graphic novel from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Hortense And The Shadow by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara

A haunting, original fairytale from two dazzling debut picture book talents, in the spirit of Neil Gaiman and Carson Ellis .

Synopsis :  Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad -- even angry -- that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes .  She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too .  But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most . 

This stunningly illustrated story stirs the soul with it's compelling, subtle exploration of self-esteem, self-identity and finding inner strength . 

My Review :  This is a truly beautiful book inside and out, the artwork is stunning from the front cover to back and the writing is just as wonderful .  Near to the end it becomes quite dark, but most fairy tales aren't as innocent as they seem ! 

PARENTS .... You NEED to buy this and read it with your children , it contains important life lessons and teaches them to love themselves !  

I received an E-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Being A Writer : Advice, Musings, Essays And Experiences From The World's Greatest Authors by Travis Elborough and Helen Gordon

Synopsis :  The joys and challenges of being a writer are explored in this inspiring assemblage of wit, wisdom and hard-won practical advice from some of the world's greatest authors musing on the art of writing and how they came to define themselves as writers .  From Samuel Johnson in eighteenth-century London to Lorrie Moore in twenty-first-century Wisconsin, the contributors range from the canon to contemporary, covering more than 250 years and come from all over the world .

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this stunning anthology explores and illuminates the pleasures and pitfalls of the compulsion to write, with advice about the whole messy business of writing literature and what it takes to be a writer .  The perfect gift for aspiring writers, curious readers and anyone interested in what the world's greatest authors have to say about the art of writing .

My Review :  I really loved reading this book .  It contains a whole collection of quotes, essays and advice about all aspects and stages of writing from a wide selection of well-known authors of different genres .  So aspiring writers of all areas will find inspiration and interest in this book . 

A wonderful present for anyone who loves reading and writing . 

I particularly loved it because I am currently in the process of writing so I found it very useful . 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Inkheart ( Inkworld #1 ) by Cornelia Funke 

DARE TO READ IT ALOUD ....

Synopsis :  Meggie loves stories, but her father, Mo, hasn't read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared .

When a stranger knocks at their door, Mo is forced to reveal an extraordinary secret - as he reads aloud, words come alive, and dangerous characters step out of the pages .

Suddenly, Meggie is living the kind of adventure she has only read about in books, but this one will change her life for ever . 

My Review :  This book is suitable for all ages even though its marketed at children/YA .  It is a book for people who love books and storytelling, for me, as a huge book lover, it is the perfect fantasy read !  I read it in a couple of sittings and loved every second of it as I shared all the excitement, danger and adventure with the characters .

Inkheart is the first book of the Inkworld trilogy, it is a wonderful introduction into this fantasy world and its characters, Each chapter starts with a piece from another book or a quote from an author and some small illustations too which is a nice addition . 

I very much look forward to reading the other books .  I found this book on Amazon for extremely cheap, as with most of my library now I bought it used .

Highly recommended to all fantasy fans ! 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

The Dream Of The Butterfly Vol 1 : Rabbits On The Moon by Richard Marazano and illustrated by Luo Yin 

Synopsis :  Tutu is lost in a village where Winter is eternal and the rabbits of the secret police find her guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable - being a little girl !  The Emperor of this strange town holds the key to her redemption, but it will come at a price .

My Review :  This was an entertaining graphic novel, it has the feel of a Manga it is very Asian in appearance .  The setting was very imaginative, it was a nice storyline with fairytale/folk lore elements .

It has a lot of very interesting animal and bird characters which is amusing .  I like books with magical talking animals and birds it makes a change from reading just about humans .  There are some quite dark parts including the way they produced the energy in the factory ! 

I received an E-copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Goldfisch # 1 by Nana Yaa 

Synopsis :  The fisherboy Morrey is astonished when suddenly everything he touches with his hands turns to gold .  Nevertheless, he wants to get rid of this gift quickly, because gilded underpants are neither comfortable nor practical .  Together with his faithful otter and his new friends, Morrey seeks a cure .

My review :  Being a huge Manga and Anime fan when I saw this one in the digital review copies on Edelweiss I had to read it ! 

I wasn't disappointed !  It was fun, colourful and full of humourous and adorable characters .  The otter is so kawaii, I absolutely loved it .  It was a quick read but a very fun one .  It has quite a few full colour illustrations which are wonderful .  I hope to buy this Manga series when it is out in the shops ( estimated : Jan 16th 2018 ) 

I really recommend Manga to anyone who gets the occassional reading slump !  It is quick, entertaining and a good way to get you turning those pages again .

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

Synopsis :  Do you remember when you believed in magic ?  The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter .  It is the same every year .  Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin : The Emporium Is Open ! 

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War .  In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope .  A place where children's dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible - that place is Papa Jack's Toy Emporium .

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys :  hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger inside than out, ' instant trees ' that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own .  Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade .  Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray - homeless and vulnerable .  The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of it's own, but Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truely magical .

My Review :  I really enjoyed this book .  It was a wonderful read, imaginative and very magical . 

Cathy is young and pregnant, her parents want her to sell her baby once its born but Cathy doesn't want this, she doesn't know what to do but one day her sister gives her a mysterious job advertisement and it seems like a way out of her troubles so she runs away to inquire about the advertisement .  She arrives at The Emporium where her life changes forever ...

Set just before, during and after The First World War this is a very emotional read in parts, I had teary eyes during some sentences, it is very moving .  The magical realism is written extremely well I really loved it . 

I received an E-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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