Book Reviews - October 5th 2017

Six Years by Harlan Coben

Tagline :  A life built on lies .  A truth that could kill .

Synopsis :  Six years ago, Jake watched Natalie marry another man .

Six years ago he made a promise to stay away .

But now, Natalie's husband has been murdered .  And Jake decides that six years is long enough .

At the dead man's funeral, Jake hopes for a glimpse of the love of his life .  But it's as though Natalie never existed .  Jake finds a different grieving widow in her place ...  And a deadly secret that threatens to destroy him .

My Review :  I couldn't put this book down !  I had to keep picking it up whenever I could to read what happened next .  I've only read one other book by Harlan Coben which was STAY CLOSE and I enjoyed that, I love his writing style, he never fails to make it a rollercoaster ride of a story full of twists and turns .

Jake never gets over the love of his life, Natalie marrying another man but he makes a promise to her on her wedding day to forget about her, not to try and find her and to let things be .  However, when Jake sees her husband's obituary online he decides to look into things and try to find her .  He is thrown into a dangerous mystery that he wasn't expecting ! 

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller and mystery story .

Rating :  4 Out Of 5

 

Halfskin ( The Vignettes ) by Tony Bertauski

Synopsis :  We're often convinced if we just get this, all suffering will end .  Yet with all of today's advancements, why does Utopia still seem to be something achievable only after death while Dystopia our human inheritance ?  Can technology change this ?  Medical technology can print body parts :  That's happening today, right now .

Suppose that medical bioengineers take the technology a step further and invent synthetic stem cell, a biomite, that can replace any cell in your body .  Unlike our organic cells, biomites are infallible .  No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease .  No cancer . Pharmaceuticals become obsolete as our percentages of biomites rise, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier .  We become better .

If tempted by the promise of perfection, Can we resist ? As a society, probably not .  Who are we when our bodies are replaced by synthetic replications ?  Are we our memories ? Our brain ? Heart ?  What if we retain one single organic cell ?  What are we then ? Still human ?

If biomites exist, governments will see the danger of unlimited access .  Laws will be imposed to prevent people from excess and abuse .  The Halfskin laws will decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human .  Halfskins will have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown .

They won't be murdered .  Merely deactivated .

My Review :  This was a book of short stories, it had several mini tales which were taken from the HALFSKIN series .  I received this e book for free after subscribing to the author's newsletter .

Even though I hadn't read any of the HALFSKIN series of books I enjoyed this little taster of this author's work .  It was intriguing, its the kind of thing that makes you think after you've read it .  I like that a lot .

Rating :  3 out of 5 

 

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Synopsis :  Gnomon, which took Harkaway more than three years to complete is set in a world of ubiquitous surveillance .  Pitched as " A mind-bending Borgesian puzzle box of identity, meaning and reality in which the solution steps sideways as you approach it " ,  it features ;  a detective who finds herself investigating the very society she believes in, urged on by a suspect who may be an assassin or an ally, hunting through the dreams of a torture victim in search of the key to something she does not yet understand ;  a banker who is pursued by a shark that swallows fortune 500 companies ;  Saint Augustine's jilted mistress who reshapes the world with miracles ;  a refugee grandfather turned games designer who must remember how to walk through walls or be burned alive by fascists ;  and a sociopath who falls backwards through time in order to commit a murder .

My Review :  I have to be honest I truely struggled to get through this book .  When I read the synopsis it seemed to be a deep and different type of read but in reality it was incredibly slow, hard to get involved in and for me personally there was too much changing around from character to character and from setting to setting .

I did however struggle on and complete the story after bookmarking it and reading something else 3 or 4 times .

It just wasn't for me !  But it may be for you who knows ...  I'm not saying don't try it by all means do as you might love it .

I received a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  2 out of 5

 

Our Rose : A Compelling Saga Of War, Family And Hope by Victor Pemberton 

Tagline :  A young girl learns to take her place in a London at war .

Synopsis :  Growing up just around the corner from Islington's Chapel Market, the second of six children born in the tiny flat above Mr Popov's piano factory, red-headed, big-hearted Rose Humble is used to holding her own in the world .  When there's a family problem - her father's arrest for thieving , her mother losing her job at the London Transport Staff Canteen - it is Rose who somehow manages to bring the Humbles through the crisis, but as she grows older and war starts to cast its shadow over all their lives, Rose realises there are some problems a quick wit and a ready tongue cannot solve .  And she also comes to see that there are people who are not all they seem ...

My review :  This war time family story was really good .  I enjoyed it .  The character of Rose was engaging and likeable, she was the one to hold the family together at times of trouble and heart break .  There were some really sad parts in this book and the author describes the horrors of war very vividly .

I had read other books in this family's saga  by Victor Pemberton and have liked them all .  

I recommend these books to fans of authors like Catherine Cookson, Josephine Cox , Dilly Court and anyone who likes historical fiction .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Book Reviews - 29 Sept 2017

27 Hours ( The Nightside Saga #1 ) by Tristina Wright

Synopsis :  Rumor Mora fears two things :  Hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure .  Jude Welton has two dreams :  For humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish .

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them .

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets :  The moon speaks to her, and she's in love with Dahlia, her best friend .  Braeden Tennant wants two things :  To get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret .

They'll both have to commit treason to find the truth .

During one twenty-seven hour night, if they can't stop the war between colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that's left .

My Review :  Gargoyles/Chimera riding Dragons in space !!  What's not to like ?!!  This was an exciting read set over a 27 hour period .  It is not for sensitive or younger readers though as there are a lot of battle descriptions with bloody injuries and deaths .  It is a very different story because all the main characters are of different sexualities .  The romance parts are nicely written and heartfelt .  The friendships and relationships are believable .  The descriptions of the planets they are on are well written .

I personally can't wait to read #2 in the series and continue on with the story .  I recommend it to any sci-fi, romance and fantasy readers .

I received a ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

Eclipse ( Twilight #3 ) by Stephenie Meyer 

Synopsis :  As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger .  In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob -  Knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf .  With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make :  Life or Death .  But which is which ?

My Review :

The third book in the TWILIGHT series ...  I liked it, it was a good blend of excitement and romance .  It took me a bit longer to read this one as I had to stop and start due to other priorities . 

I found several parts of this story really moving especially the ending .  I have been reading one book of the series and then watching the movie after to see the differences .  I don't see why so many people give these low ratings, they are good stories ! 

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

The Wedding Promise by Emma Hannigan

Tagline :  It's never too late for a new beginning ...

Synopsis :  Remember the promise I made you at our wedding ...

Restoring a Spanish villa brings Shelly back to the place she and her husband once loved, fulfilling a promise he made that they would return .  But as plans to transform the villa into a romantic wedding venue take shape, Shelly discovers her grown-up children may need the move more than she does .

Her son Jake has begun to question the things he values most :  his career as a pilot, his relationship with his girlfriend .  Could Spain offer him the change he's seeking ?  Shelly's daughter, Leila arrives with a new-born baby in tow, but then hears some startling news she wasn't expecting .

As Casa Maria takes its first booking, will it turn out to be more than a romantic promise made all those years ago ?  Perhaps a second chance at new beginnings ?

My review :  What can I say about this wonderful book !  A really heartfelt, emotional read about family life, coping with grief and learning to live again .  I haven't read any of Emma Harrigan's books before but I was really luck to win a copy of this book in the Goodreads giveaway .

She writes really believable stories with interesting and likable characters set in the most wonderful settings .  The descriptions of Spain made me feel like I was there and going through all these events with this family .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

DragonBlood - Book 1 : Box Of Secrets by Raquel Lyon

Synopsis :  Piper has learnt three things :  Never trust your parents .  The supernatural world exists .  Watch out for Wednesdays ! 

Six months after her father's disappearance, Piper takes delivery of a mysterious box, and soon afterwards, a weird-looking boy begins to stalk her . 

A hidden letter and a chance meeting lead her to new friends who want to help .  But to get answers, Piper must leave the world she thought to be real behind and accept that her new friends are not the only ones with secrets, her father kept the biggest one of all .

My Review :  This book was rather short but it was exciting and enjoyable .  There was a lot of intrigue and mystery surrounding interesting characters who were all magical in some way .

The main character, Piper has to come to terms with the discovery that she also has magical abilities and she must use these with the help of her new friends and a mysterious character called Lambert who was imprisoned inside an antique box which someone sold to Piper at her father's shop .

It was a fast read and there are more in this series so I need to continue on with this adventure really soon .

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

Rotten Magic - The Artifice Mage Prequel by Jeffrey Bardwell

Synopsis :  Devin will do anything to win - even resort to magic .

Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire .  Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery ?  The other apprentices envy his genius and skills ...  especially Benson .  Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armour .  Some add frills, others barbs and horns .  When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer .

But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the artificers guild, he's a mage .  These new abilities are thrilling and frightning, and the voices more so .  How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear ?

Experience the prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga :  A fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy and nobodys hands are clean .

My Review :  This was the first steampunk story i've read, it was a novella so I read it pretty quickly and I think it was a good introduction into the steampunk world for me .

I enjoyed it, it was well written and the main character, Devin was intriguing .  He was designing and making mechanical inventions to try and become a journeyman .

I look forward to reading more about his adventures in the next book by this author .

I received a free copy after subscribing to the author's newsletter .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Newest Book Reviews

The Crow Garden by Alison Littlewood

Synopsis :  Susan Hill meets Alfred Hitchcock in Alison Littlewood's latest chiller :  Mad-doctor Nathaniel is obsessed with the beautiful Mrs Harleston - But is she truely delusional... ?  Or is she hiding secrets that should never be uncovered... ?

Haunted by his father's suicide, Nathaniel Kerner walks away from the highly prestrigious life of a consultant to become a mad-doctor : He takes up a position at Crakethorne Asylum, but the proprietor is more interested in Phrenology and his growing collection of skulls than the patients minds .  Nathaniel's only interesting case is Mrs Victoria Harleston :  Her husband accuses her of hysteria and delusions - but she accuses him of hiding secrets far more terrible .  

Nathaniel is increasingly obsessed with Victoria, but when he has her mesmerised, there are unexpected results :  Victoria starts hearing voices, the way she used to -  her grandmother always claimed they came from beyond the grave - but it also unleashes her own powers of mesmerism ... and a desperate need to escape . 

Increasingly besotted, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a world of seances and stage mesmerism in his bid to find Victoria and save her .  But constantly hanging over him is this warning : That doctors are apt to catch the diseases with which they are surrounded - whether of the body or the mind .

My Review :  This was the first book i've read that was mainly set in an asylum .  I enjoyed the historial aspects of this story as well as the creepy, ghostly parts in and around the asylum .  It was a wonderful mix of mystery, romance, horror and history .

Some of the descriptions of the treatment of the patients, or inmates as they called them, were quite distressing but sadly those things did happen for real in some of these places . 

Dr Nathaniel Kerner was an intriguing character as was Mrs Victoria Harleston .  It was written in a very interesting way with several diary entries from Dr Kerner as well as some letters which add visual interest to the book .

I recommend it to any fans of asylum, mystery, historical fiction and romance books .  

I received a free e book copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review .  This book is available for sale in October 2017 .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Inish Clare ( Pirate Queen #2 ) by Jennifer Rose McMahon

Synopsis :  Cursed by haunting visions of the notorious Pirate Queen, Maeve must risk her life in a race against a soon-expired ancient pact .

Nineteen-year-old Maeve O'Malley returns to Ireland with the medieval relics that could prove her clan's rights to the land and its treasures .  If only she knew who to trust with the centuries-old secrets before time-honoured Brehon Law hands everything over to her enemy .

Murderous rival clans and warrior chieftains challenge Maeve, while her unforgettable, charming ex continues to complicate her mission with her new passionate, destiny-bound protector .

Finding the elusive final resting place of the Pirate Queen is critical if Maeve is to accomplish her quest of returning balance to her clan, before it's too late .  But is she willing to make the sacrifice necessary to become a true warrior ? 

Readers will be transported through medieval castle ruins and ancient cemeteries while exploring the mythical enchantment of Ireland's legendary Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley, in this suspenseful continuation of BOHERMORE and the Pirate Queen series .

My Review :  I haven't read the first book in this series but I will be getting it soon and then I will possibly re-read this second book .

I absolutely loved it !  It was completely my cup of tea, full of myths and legends, history, fantasy and a ghostly Pirate Queen, what more could I want in a book !! 

I read it in a couple of hours it was very well-written, the characters were intriguing and likable and the surroundings were well described .  Some parts were really quite creepy !  

I received a free e book copy through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Foxblood : Dead Town Angel by Raquel Lyon

Tagline :  Would you know if you met your guardian angel ?

Synopsis :  Sophie is trapped : trapped in a town with no future, trapped in a life that's already written .  There's only one way she can escape, and she's worked hard to ensure that it happens .

Sam is waiting : waiting to take his place in the world, waiting for a chance to shine .  Until then, he has one mission : Protect The Girl .

But in a town filled with trouble, one weekend could ruin everything .  DEAD TOWN ANGEL is a short story prequel to the main FOXBLOOD trilogy, intended to give a little insight into Sophie's life before her adventures in Fosswell began and explain why she was so eager to leave her old life behind .  It is written in British English .

My Review :  A nice introduction into the FOXBLOOD series .  It is a short story so it is a super fast read but it gives a good insight into the main character Sophie and gives hints of what Sam really is .

I found the character of Beth really annoying and I didn't understand how Sophie and Beth remained friends, Beth didn't seem like a good friend to me anyway . 

I liked the fact that the synopsis stated that it was written in British English .  I have the other FOXBLOOD books waiting to be read on my Kindle so I will get to those shortly .

Rating :  3 out of 5 

 

Some Like It Haute - Book 4 In The Samantha Kidd Mystery Series by Diane Vallere 

Synopsis :  Fashion expert Samantha Kidd is in the hot seat .  After agreeing to help her ex-boyfriend's former girlfriend with a runway show, she's attacked backstage, landing in the hospital, and when a garment goes up in flames on the catwalk the day after the attack, the already explosive situation turns deadly .

She recruits a smoking hot photographer to turn up the heat on the investigation, but even the third degree won't expose an angry arsonist .  With a crash course in sizzle, Samantha's curiosity leads her into another inferno and this time she either faces the fire or gets burned . 

My Review :  It was an entertaining read set in the world of fashion .  I hadn't read any of the previous books in this series before this one but I received this book ( Number 4 in the series ) in e book form for free when I subscribed to the author's newsletter .

I liked it, the mystery was intriguing and I didn't guess the outcome before the ending of the story so that was good . Samantha was a fun, likable character .  I will look forward to reading the first few books and any more in this series . 

Rating :  3 out of 5 

Book Reviews Continued ......

Vampire Girl ( book 1 ) by Karpov Kinrade 

Synopsis :  You think it's safe to walk alone at night .  It's not .  You think the only threat is other humans, it's not .  Monsters are real .  Demons are real .  Vampires are real .  And I'm about to become one of them .  My name is Arianna Spero .  I was an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life, until my mother lapsed into a coma .  Now i'm her only hope .  She made a deal with the devil and on my 18th birthday he came to collect .  But there's a way to save her .  There's something the Princes Of Hell want more than my mother .  ME .  So I signed my soul away and promised to pick a prince to marry, I would take the blood oath, become one of them, and give them an heir .  I would become a Princess Of Hell, and my mother would live .  I expected fire and brimstone .  I expected pain and misery .  I didn't expect beauty .  I didn't expect magic .  I didn't expect love .  But the princes are keeping secrets from me .  Secrets that could shatter everything . 

My Review :  I got an E-book copy of this book free on my Kindle so I didn't know what to expect from it ,  I ended up finishing it in two sittings !

A really great, exciting, romantic read with lots of wonderful characters, set in a magical ' Hell ' .  I thought it was very well and cleverly written .  The Kingdoms within Hell and the Princes were all centred around the 7 deadly sins .

The main character, a human woman, Arianna or Ari has to save her mother by signing a contract to go to Hell, marry one of the Princes and produce an heir but it turns out to have many dangerous situations !

It ended in a cliff hanger so I really need to buy and read the others in this series to find out what happens .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Raven's Peak ( book 1 of World On Fire Series ) by Lincoln Cole

Synopsis :  A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem .  When the townsfolk of Raven's Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people .  She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she's ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive .

Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about .  Now she's forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven's Peak.  Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife's edge of danger .

Can they discover the cause of the town's insanity and put a stop to it before it's too late ?

My Review :  It is a mixture of some of my favourite genres - Crime Fiction and Horror .  The characters and places in the book were well created .  There were some very humourous conversation pieces which made me laugh .  Lincoln Cole sets the scene very well and some parts of this book were really dark and creepy, what happens as the story progresses is exciting, action packed with a few unexpected twists and turns .  There are some very graphic gory parts that some readers may not enjoy ! 

I read this book in just one sitting as I couldn't stop turning the pages to see what happened next , It did not disappoint at all !   It ended in a cliff hanger because there are further books coming in this series which i'm looking forward to .

I highly recommend this book to any crime fiction, supernatural and horror fans .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

How To Behave In A Crowd by Camille Bordas 

Synopsis :  Isiadore Mazal is eleven years old, the youngest of six siblings living in a small French town he doesn't quite fit in .

Berenice, Aurore and Leonard are on track to have doctorates by age twenty-four .  Jeremie performs with a symphony, and Simone : older than Isidore by eighteen months, expects a great career as a novelist - She already put Isidore to work on her biography .  The only time they leave their rooms is to gather on the old, stained couch and dissect prime-time television dramas in light of Aristotle's Poetics .

Isidore has never skipped a grade or written a dissertation .  But he notices things the others don't, and asks questions they fear to ask .  So when tragedy strikes the Mazal Family, Isidore is the only one to recognize how everyone is struggling with their grief and perhaps the only one who can help them if he doesn't run away from home first .

Isidore's unstinting empathy, combined with his simmering anger, makes for a complex character study, in which the elegiac and comedic build toward a heartbreaking conclusion .  With How To Behave In A Crowd, Camille Bordas immerses readers in the interior life of a boy puzzled by adulthood and beginning to realize that the adults around him are just as lost . 

My Review :  This is the story of a dysfunctional family called The Mazals who live in France .  The story is narrated through the youngest family member eleven year old, Isidore ( or Izzy or Dory for short, depending on which family member he is talking to ) .  It follows him and his family through the period of a couple of years and how Isidore is trying to make sense of himself as he becomes an adult and also of the people and world around him .  The other older siblings are successful and seem to have found their ways in life but they don't know how to connect with other people, they only know what they are doing and/or learning .

Suddenly tragedy strikes and they lose an important member of their family unit .   Isidore doesn't seem to fit in at home or at school and he tries to run away quite a few times during the story, he meets some interesting characters along the way and learns some good advice for life.  He is a very perceptive boy who is always taking notice of people and things around him and asking questions .  He has a close connection to his sister, Simone who wants to be a novelist and they spend a lot of time together in the book due to the fact she enlisted Isidore's help with taking notes for her biography .

This is an amazing and moving story which deals with a lot of different life issues including : Family life, friendship and on the more unhappy topics of Death, Grief, Suicide and Abortion . 

It was a really emotional read but I loved it ! 

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review . 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Water Memory by Mathieu Reynes

Synopsis :  A new life begins for Marion when her mother inherits an old family home and decides to make it their new home .  With its own private beach and a view of the sea, the house has all the makings of a happy new life .  But when Marion discovers strange rock carvings nearby, and learns that a sinister-looking lighthouse watchman may be part of a local legend come to life, it becomes clear that things are not as idyllic as they seemed .

My Review :  This is a graphic novel for younger readers although it is quite creepy so maybe not for very young readers !  The art work is really nice, I very much liked the images and colours used .  It has a gripping storyline to go along with the pictures,  it is quite slow at the start but as Marion explores more of her new surroundings it soon becomes dark and creepy .

The story is focused on an ancient sea town legend and there are many scary looking rock carvings around the area .

Author and illustrator work very well together to make this a great book .  Marion, her mother and the other characters are all well written and you feel like you know them as you read more of the story .

I recommend this book to any fans of Manga, graphic novels and mystery, I think you will really enjoy it ! 

I received a free copy of this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

Synopsis :  It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers .  The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard .  The summer his mother died in a tragic accident .  As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it happened .  After his mother's death, twelve year old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time .  Prompted by three strange carnival fortune tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for The Tree Of Life -- the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back .  His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question : Could it be possible that death is a gift ?

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day The Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly and unafraid .  With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L'Engle and Lois Lowry .

My Review :  The story is narrated through the main character, Samuel, in his old age as he prepares himself to go to the funeral of his friend, as the book begins he is reminising past memories and so the story unfolds ...

There is a big storm and sadly Samuel's mother is killed in a tragic accident, he can't understand it and will do anything to have her back again .  He then goes on a quest to try and bring her back but dangerous things begin to happen around him and his loved ones .

When I first started reading this book I thought it would be hard to read as it deals with tough subjects like death and grief but it was actually a very good and enlightening read !  It's a book that has some good life messages in it and maes you think .  

The characters were engaging and some were scary too .  This book is for younger readers but I enjoyed it , it is a mix of reality and fantasy .  This is the author's debut novel and it was fantastic !  I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for other books by this author .

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

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Living The Secret ( book 2 in the Adi's World saga ) by Jo-Marie

Synopsis :  Imagine being small enough to live inside a tree !  What is the outside world like for someone as tiny as you ?  What if your entire town is keeping a huge secret from you ?  Come travel with Ayden & Jayden as they learn the secret and encounter a much larger world .  It's time for them to begin to live their dreams .  It's time to Live The Secret ! 

My Review :  This is the second book in the ' Adi's World ' series .  After enjoying the first book I couldn't wait to read the follow up and I wasn't disappointed either ! 

Due to this being the 2nd book I don't want to give away spoilers in my review so I will simply say to you that Ayden & Jayden's adventures outside the Maple Community are action-packed and perilous , It's an exciting read ! I highly recommend this series of books to you all , I thank the author kindly for giving me an E-book copy of this book in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis :  About three things I was absolutely positive .  First, Edward was a vampire .  Second, there was a part of him- and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood . And, third I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him .

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn .  With his porcelain skin, goldn eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistable and impenetrable .  Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.  What Bella doesn't realise is that the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk .  And it might be too late to turn back...

Deeply seductive and irresistably compelling, Twilight is an extraordinary love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page .

My Review :  I feel I am really behind with reading this !!  I saw the first movie years ago so I kind of remembered the story .  I enjoyed this first book in the saga, it had the right mix of romance, action and drama for me .  From the start it was an impossible love story between a human and a vampire but as the story progresses we now they are destined to be with each other and Edward will do everything in his power to protect Bella .  I will be going into the second book blind because I can't recall seeing the second movie so I think it will be even more thrilling ! 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

This House Is Haunted - The Most Haunted House In Britain By Guy Lyon Playfair

Tagline :  More horrifying than the Amityville Horror !

Synopsis :  The investigation of The Enfield Poltergeist

In 1977 life as the Harpers had known it came rapidly to an end, for their Enfield home was visited by a wilfully destructive poltergeist .  Chairs were thrown and bricks hurled at visitors to the house, bedclothes were removed, cutlery and metal fittings bent and twisted, writing myseteriously appeared on the walls and even the Harpers' teenage daughter achieved the amazing feat of levitation .  And through this ordeal Mrs Harper and her family, though frightened and worried, were firmly rational, as mediums, ghost-hunters and the press invaded their home .

One year later the family were experts on psychic phenomena .  For the ghost was captured on tape and film by Maurice Grosse of The Society For Psychical Research and writer Guy Lyon Playfair .  More compellingly vivid than any fiction, the extraordinary story was happening here in Britain, persuading even the most case-hardened sceptic to believe that... This House Is Haunted .  published in 1980 . 

My Review :  I picked this book up at random as part of the buy 3 for £1 charity sale in the local supermarket .  I'd recently watched the movie ' The Conjuring 2 ' which involved some of the events from The Enfield Haunting .  It was an extremely interesting and scary read !  It contains a number of photographs towards the middle of the book, of evidence of the things that happened, which adds to the extraordinary accounts .  I don't tend to read a lot of non-fiction as I prefer to escape into a fantasy world for a while as I read but I've read two true possession/haunting books now and really enjoyed both so I must make an effort to try more non-fiction .

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in true paranormal activity and maybe any sceptics out there, as it might open your minds .

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

SonofaWitch ! by Trysh Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Sara Dobie Bauer, Frances Pauli, Mara Malins, Adam Millard and Lissa Marie Redmond

Synopsis :  Noone is perfect - not even a witch .  Witches have amazing power at their fingertips to do unbelievable things .  That magic can come in really handy sometimes too .  They can make someone fall in love, poison an apple to enact a sleeping curse, to banish an enemy to an alternative reality, or just conjure up some Nutella when there's none in the house but what happens when those spells go horribly awry ?

SonofaWitch ! Contains six humourous contemporary fantasy stories of magic spells gone wrong . 

My Review :  I love to read anthologies as it gives you a taster of different authors works .  This book is good, I haven't read much like this before, it was amusing .

Each story was very different even though they were all about witches and magic .  I can't pick a favourite story as I really liked them all equally .  I will certainly be looking for more books by these authors .

I received an early advance readers copy of this book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

More Book Reviews .....

The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Tagline :  Find Your Magic

Synopsis :  For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man .

Hundreds of years later, In New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique .  Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people's thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk .

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children :  No walking in the moonlight, No red shoes, No wearing black, No cats, No crows, No candles, No books about magic .  And most importantly, Never, ever, fall in love .  But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are .  Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse .

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart, the two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, Aunts in " Practical Magic ", while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy .

My Review :  This book is the prequel to " Practical Magic " which I have not read ( but I have seen the movie )  However I will be looking for a copy of it now to continue on with this story . 

I enjoyed this book so much !  It was a rollercoaster of emotions as I turned the pages .  I also found the historical aspects very interesting .  I loved all the characters and I quickly became immersed in their lives through the story .  There were several moments in the book where i'd find myself in tears .

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, fantasy and even contemporary readers, you will love it ! 

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

Rating :  5 out of 5

 

Demon Diary Volume 1 : Story by Lee Chi Hyong , art by KARA

Tagline :  Fools Rush In                   Certificate : Teens 13 +

Synopsis :  Gods and Demons wage a never-ending battle with the mortal realm as their battlefield .  As is the case with most longstanding feuds, the reasons are no longer important - hatred has become a way of life .  But it's said that one will arise to restore harmony between gods and demons .  Enter Raenef, heir to demon royalty, though he is hardly courtly material .  The demon king assigns the wise and noble demon teacher Eclipse to whip him into proper demon shape .

Raenef is the black sheep of the demon court, clueless about magic and royal etiquette .  But before long, Raenef and Eclipse find that the bonds of friendship grow stronger than the student/teacher relationship .

My Review :  I was extremely lucky to find all 7 books in this series at a charity shop and at the time in that particular shop there was an everything half price special event sale so I ended up getting all 7 volumes for just over £8 where as each volume would have cost £6.99 new , so I was really pleased . This is a Manga, which I am a big fan of and I have many volumes in my library . This one was originally written in Korean .  This is the debut book of Manga author Lee Chi Hyong, it is very good .   The story and art work are both wonderful .  It is the age old story of good vs evil but told in a humourous way, as the interactions between Raenef and Eclipse are very funny .  It is age rated as Teens 13+ due to the graphic nature of some of the images, there are rather a lot of blood splatters in one of the two bonus stories included in this first volume which are " Crystal Heart " and " Terra " . There are no colour graphics it is all black and white and strangely it reads the ' right ' way round which is odd for a Manga as usually they are read ' flipped ' .  All in all I enjoyed it, it didn't take me long to read, about a couple of hours ! There is much more writing in this series, as some just have a few words next to an image but this book has a lot of text .  I am just about to start the second volume I can't wait to see what happens next . 

Rating :   4 and a half out of 5

Demon Diary Volume 2 : Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA

Tagline : When Rookies Rumble !      Certificate : Teens 13+

Synopsis : After failing his tutor, Eclipse, and sparring for the life of an enemy ( very undemonlike ! ) Young Raenef decides to leave his homeland until he's become a real demon lord .  But life in the big, bad world isn't easy for an unskilled demon .  Raenef has a few close calls before stumbling upon the temple of Rased, where he meets someone who wants nothing more than to see Raenef dead .  Luckily, Raenef isn't the only one still in training ....

My Review :  This volume is written by a different author as the first because the author of the first book was young and busy with school work .  Lee Yun Hee takes over and does a brilliant job of it .  Another funny story with great characters and crazy antics .  The art work again is really nice .  The continued growth and this time, travels of the young demon lord in training, Raenef .  This time on his journey he gets summoned by a young cleric in training, Chris ( The Supergenius ) who is an hilarious character .  He drives his tutor crazy so he is made to go with Raenef and be his ward until he grows up a bit .  The adventures continue in volume 3 .....

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

Demon Diary Volume 3 : Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA 

Tagline :  Life In The Past Lane        Certificate :  Teens 13+

Synopsis :  Eclipse realizes that Raenef truely is a demon lord and in a journey of discovery, secrets about the past are unearthed while truths are buried and sacrifices are made .  Meanwhile, the god Rased announced that big changes are stirring in the demon world, spurring the formation of an unlikely alliance that may forever change the roles of gods and demons ! 

My Review :  Another funny continuation of the series .  I had an error on the spine of my copy , it said the writer was Lee Chi Hyong but on the front of the cover and the inside page it says the writer is Lee Yun Hee .  I'm curious to know if anyone else had this with their copy so please email me and let me know if yours did !  My email address is on the Home Page .  The adventures continue in volume 4 ......

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

Demon Diary Volume 4 : Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA

Tagline :  Demonic Help Is Hard To Find     Certificate :  Teens 13+

Synopsis :  As a demon lord-in-training, young Raenef still has a long way to go .  He's sweet, he's gentle, he's caring .... and he's widely regarded as unworthy of his demonic servant/tutor, Eclipse .

In a bid to steal Eclipse from Raenef, the demon lord Krayon - One of the five oldest demons in existence - Puts Raenef to the test, if Raenef passes, he can keep Eclipse, if Raenef fails he could lose his life ! 

My Review :  In this funny, action-packed volume, Demon Lord Krayon transports Raenef and his wards into a nightmare dream world, he has to pass the test in order to keep Eclipse as his servant/tutor .  More crazy antics take place !  The story continues in volume 5 ..

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

Demon Diary Volume 5 : Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA

Tagline : Be Careful What You Wish For ....  Certificate :  Teens 13+

Synopsis :  Despite his best efforts, young Raenef the fifth can't help but embarress his tutor, Eclipse, time and time again .  Still training to become a demon lord, Raenef's friendly and loving nature makes Raenef look bad ... and Eclipse look even worse .  Fed up with his failures, Raenef does what he once considered unthinkable ... and actually tries to study .

However, when one hits the books in a demonic library, the books sometimes hit back .  After Raenef suddenly becomes frightening and develops a terrible personality .  Will Eclipse consider his mission complete or will he start wishing for the " Good " old days ?

My Review :  In this volume Raenef during his studies discovers an enchanted talking book who tells him he can make him into a ' Proper ' demon lord, so he agrees, but it causes a major personality change, he becomes evil and uncaring lie a real demon lord and not the friendly, Raenef they all know and love, so things must be put back to normal somehow ....  The adventure continues in volume 6 ....

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5

Demon Diary Volume 6 : Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA

Tagline :  You Only Hurt The Demons You Love   Certificate : Teens 13+

Synopsis :  When Chris was a child, his village was attacked by an insane demon hoard .  In the siege, the god Rased spared the young boy and buried his memories of the devastation .  However Chris' hatred of demons has grown and he decided to attack the demon lord .  In a no-spells-barred magical melee, Chris dukes it out with Raenef V - the cuddliest and most lovable demon lord in existence .  The winner just might die laughing ! 

My Review :  There are a lot of battle scenes in this volume so it took no time at all to read through .  It was exciting and still humourous particularly the banter between Raenef, Chris and Erutis .  Beautifully drawn !  You can really get a sense of the powers being used in the fighting scenes .  The adventures conclude in volume 7, the final book .

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5

Demon Diary Volume 7 :  Story by Lee Yun Hee , Art by KARA

Tagline :  All Bad Things Must Come To An End ...  Certificate : Teens 13+

Synopsis :  As a demon lord-in-training, Raenef has had many incredible experiences .  He's fought countless enemies, made friends and developed a deep bond with his tutor Eclipse .  Despite his ditzy nature, Raenef learned a lot and matured a great deal ... And now it's all gone ! 

In this, the final volume, Raenef finds himself back on the street with holes in his memory, his wallet, and his heart .  Could this really be the ultimate fate of the world's most loveable demon lord ?!

My Review :  On the whole I really enjoyed this whole series, every volume was action-packed, humourous and had the theme of friendship running throughout .  I wasn't disappointed with this final volume, it closed things very well .  It also contains two short epilogues  ( 1. Erutis' story and 2. Chris' story ) There is also the illustator's parade which has some nice drawings of the characters and at the back there is the Demon Diary retrospective recaping all the other volumes .

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

Newest Reviews  September 2017

I Should Be Writing : A Writer's Workshop by Mur Lafferty

Synopsis :  Don't just dream it, write it !  I Should Be Writing is a writing workshop in a journal, full of helpful advice and encouragement for the person who wants to really write the story they've always dreamed of creating .  Let award-winning podcaster Mur Lafferty, who in the past has interviewed authors including John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Gail Carriger, Adam Christopher and Kameron Hurley, guide you through the Nuts-And-Bolts process of honing your craft, including which writing myths to ignore, how to refine your creative process, listening to your inner muse while ignoring your inner bully, and more . 

This book also contains writing exercises that will help the blossoming writer strengthen the writer's muscle of writing every day .  These include everything from situational writer's prompts to lists of ideas writers should try to jot down between writing sessions .  With this helpful guide; you can make the phrase " I've always wanted to write a story " a thing of the past . Because You Should Be Writing !

My Review :  This book is full of great advice and tips to get your creative mind motivated .  It certainly makes me want to rush for a pen and notepad and get my ideas written down . 

Mur Lafferty writes this book in a nice, easy to understand, down to earth kind of way which makes it better to learn from in my opinion .  I loved the art work throughout this book, very simple but very colourful .  The geometric shapes between the different sections were pleasing to my eyes too .  Each section starts with a quote from a different author which was a nice touch .

I think this book will prove very useful to me and I do intend to work my way through the writing exercises in the second part of the book .

I recommend this book to any budding or established writers I think everyone will get some good advice and/or motivation from reading it .

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

The Billionaire's Bed by Eileen Cruz Coleman

Synopsis :  Determined to impress his ex-girlfriend, billionaire tech investor Fin Bradley decides to throw a grand, Gatsby-style party, at his mansion in Long Island, New York .  His plan is to win back Kelly, the woman who broke his heart years ago, and make her realise how wrong she was for dumping him when he was down on his luck .

The guests arrive on time and soon the soiree is in full swing and Fin feels confident the night will end according to plan .  But that plan changes when he starts falling for Maria, his household personal assistant .  Before the night ends, Fin will need to decide to whom his heart really belongs and who should join him in The Billionaire's Bed .

My Review :  A well-written romance, it was short but a really great read .  The characters were engaging and there were some very funny moments as well as some lovely romantic ones .  I don't like to put any spoilers in my reviews but I was very pleased with how this book ended ! 

I highly recommend this book and it's author .  I look forward to reading more of Eileen Cruz Coleman's books 

I received a ARC copy from the author herself in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

Newest reviews  September 2017

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis :  " Shoot " I muttered when the paper sliced my finger, I pulled it out to examine the damage, a single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut . It all happened very quickly then " No " Edward roared ... Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm - into the fevered eyes of the six ravenous vampires .

For Bella Swan there is one thing more important than life itself : Edward Cullen , but being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined . Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may be just beginning ....

Passionate, riveting and deeply moving, NEW MOON, the compelling sequel to TWILIGHT, irresistably combines romance and suspense with a supernatural twist .

My Review :  I read this in 3 sittings, I loved it !!  These books just seem to get better and better as the saga progresses .  Edward isn't in this story so much, after an accident where Bella cuts her finger on her birthday present in a room full of Cullens and endangers her life because Jasper and some of the others couldn't control their blood lust, Edward decides it is too dangerous for himself and Bella to get any closer .  So he leaves and hopes she will forget him in time, however it is too painful for both of them it seems !

This book focuses more on Bella's friendship/relationship with Jacob, who it turns out has a secret of his own ... ( spoilers : He's a werewolf ! )  

The ending is really action-packed and exciting and it's partly in Rome which I love .  Bella has to be the heroine this time and get to Edward before he does something stupid .  Another cliff-hanger ending and I was straight into the third book ECLIPSE as soon as I'd finished this one .

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

Compendium by Matthew Mather 

Synopsis :  350 pages of million-bestseller Matthew Mather's thriller and speculative fiction works, including his novella Enlightenment, an exclusive collection of short stories only available here, plus the starts of his bestsellers : Cyberstorm, Darknet, Nomad and Atopia Chronicles .  Bonus : for short time, this also includes the first chapters of his upcoming novel Destiny ( released in May 2017 ), book four in his best-selling Nomad series .

My Review :  A good selection of short stories and teaser chapters from this author's other novels .  I really enjoyed reading this, I found it exciting and different which was a refreshing change .  I will certainly be reading this author's other books .

Rating :  4 out of 5

 

The Alpha Shifter's Mail Order Bride by Leela Ash

Synopsis : Will this Shifter turn her whole life around ?  Or will he turn it upside down ? ... One thing for sure is that it will be getting a lot HOTTER .

Maida is at the end of her rope ... between an abusive stepfather and what she feels like a totally dead end line, she decides to answer an advert for a Mail Order Bride .  Well aware it could be an Out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire deal, but does she really have a choice at this point ?  She has absolutely no idea what she is in for ... Or of just how HOT it will get .

Zeke has had enough of all the womanizing .  And after being cast out by his pack and with what seems like all of Stonybrooke against him, it seems he has little choice but to find a woman from the outside world .  But will she be any different from all the women he's known ?  And is it even fair to pull her into his mess of a life ?  Maybe just maybe the 2 of them can carve out something new ....

WARNING :  This Ebook contains mature themes and language and is meant for 18+ readers only .

My Review :  I liked this book, It was a short 60 page story so it was a very quick read .  I find these kinds of book good for reading in between the really chunky ones .  It was well-written, exciting and the characters were good .  It is for mature readers only !  The sex scenes are explicit .  The ending came too quickly and I would of prefered a slightly longer book or a sequel to this one to continue on with this story .

I received a free Ebook copy of this in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5