Friday, 18 September 2020

The Raven by Jonathan Janz Blog Tour

Today is my turn and closing the blog tour for book "The Raven" by author Joonathan Janz.

About the book
Fearing that mankind is heading toward nuclear extinction, a group of geneticists unleash a plot to save the world. They’ve discovered that mythological creatures such as werewolves, vampires, witches, and satyrs were once real, and that these monstrous genetic strands are still present in human DNA. These radical scientists unleash the bestial side of human beings that had been dormant for eons, and within months, most people are dead, and bloodthirsty creatures rule the earth. Despite the fact that Dez McClane has no special powers, he is determined to atone for the lives he couldn’t save and to save the woman he loves. But how long can a man survive in a world full of monsters?

Available to buy now from AMAZON in paperback, hardback and kindle and from Flame Tree Press in paperback, hardback and kindle.

About the author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story" Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side.

For my stop I have my review, enjoy xxx

The RavenThe Raven by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 256

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

The world is a mess, civilisation has ended as we know it, scientists are our downfall and activate something within our dna, junk dna. Now the world is a ruin, inhabited by creatures of our nightmares, myths and legends now walking among us. Dez is our main character, a guy on a mission trying to find what is his and survive against the many opponents and beings out there.

We have werewolves, vampires, cannibals and that is just the start. Dez has to get over his own insecurities (we see some of these via diary entries) as we follow him through this new world and those he meets along the way. Not everyone can be a baddie can they? You have to trust someone along the way and find your own place in this horrific new world.

Brutal, murder, death, viciousness, cannibalism, horror, gore and dear lord an eyeball scene ooft, fans will be delighted over some of the vicious mank and death splattered over the pages. I think this book is just scratching the surface, a foundation book that has the making for an epic and long series. A drop of humanity in a world of barbarism, a destructive journey that sees one man pushed to lengths and limits that questions who he is at his core. I do hope the author is planning on delving into some of the creatures mentioned briefly or in passing and seeing some of the characters appearing in a book two (three, four etc). 4.5/5 for me, we are on a mission with the main character, danger on every corner and I just wanted to spend more time with so many of the characters, know their stories and transitions! Here is to the writing Gods that Janz is going to revisit these guys and there will be a book two!

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Thursday, 17 September 2020

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones (44 Scotland Street, #5)The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 344

Publisher - Abacus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The story of Bertie and his dysfunctional family continues in this fifth instalment alongside the familiar cast of favourites - Big Lou, Domenica, Angus Lordie, Cyril and others - in their daily pursuit of a little happiness. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith has again given us a clever, witty and utterly delightful new novel.

My Review

This is book five in the series, I would suggest reading the previous books as you could pick up here but you would have lost a lot of background on the characters. Pretty much picking up where the last book left off and continuing the characters stories. Cyril the dog is causing more trouble, Domenica is still annoyed by her old acquaintance (friend would be too strong a word) who moved in next door. Poor wee Bertie, his mother is still an over bearing nightmare, Matthew got married and is settling into the role of a husband - well trying to. Bruce, Bruce the cad is back, irritating as per and landing on his feet yet again, getting by on his wit and good looks, will he ever change?

We see a few faces pop up from previous books, a famous Scottish author who has been in more than one book and a larger than life character. Humour, drama, nosiness, every day life, some bantz and friendship - the usual we have come to expect from Smith and the residents of Scotland street.

Left with more than a few questions that I am hoping will be addressed in the next book, specifically - puppies! I need to order the next in the series but not in a huge rush to get to it, 3/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 14 September 2020

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

The Book of Two WaysThe Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Pages - 448

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Waterstones (Goodreads one is so huge)

Dawn is a death doula, and spends her life helping people make the final transition peacefully. But when the plane she's on plummets, she finds herself thinking not of the perfect life she has, but the life she was forced to abandon fifteen years ago - when she left behind a career in Egyptology, and a man she loved.

My Review

The book opens with a plane crashing, Dawn is the main character and survives the crash. As with anyone going through something like this she evaluates her life. Married and with a teenager - job as a death doula, go back to that life, or head back to Egypt to the man she loved and left and her dreams - working on a proper archaeological dig. Her life can go one of two ways, which will Dawn choose?

The book is so busy! There are flashbacks to the past, her life and work in Egypt and of course Wyatt, the one who "got away". We see how they met, clashed, worked together and learn a whole ton of Egyptian stuff which I actually found quite interesting, even if some was a bit over my head. Same with quantum physics, there was a lot to chew over in the book, besides all the relationship/self assessing journey. I Think a glossary would have helped with some of this.

The death doula job was very interesting and emotive, we get to see Dawn in action, what she does for her clients and how hard and special that kind of job is. Examining relationships from her past, present, with her husband, daughter, clients it is a busy busy book.

Really different to what I was expecting, the opening with the plane going down was so well done, my heart was in my mouth. Some of the other topics I found interesting, who doesn't find Egyptian stuff interesting and there was even a picture or two in the arc kindle version. Huge central focus on relationships, many types, if you escaped death - would it change up how you lived your life?
3.5/5 for me this time, I do enjoy Picoult books and have a few on my tbrm still to read.

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Thursday, 10 September 2020

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest ListThe Guest List by Lucy Foley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 330

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Gifted by a fellow bookworm

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

My Review

Everyone is pulled together for wedding extravaganza, that of Jules Keegan and Will Slater, money, fame, fortune and a small well chosen guest list. The location, a remote island on the Irish coast, the wedding everyone wants to be a part of - you would think!

Told from multiple points of view we have Jules the bride, Hannah the plus one, Aoife the wedding planner, Olivia the bridesmaid, Johnno the best man and Will the husband to be. Split between the wedding night when everything kicks off and pre wedding where we get to know all the guests and how they really feel about the others.

Lots of secrets, issues, feelings of unrest, upset, anger and unresolved pasts will finally be addressed, healed, excised and brought to the surface as is the way with weddings! I didn't find the multiple character jumps nor timeline an issue, the reader is teased as we get to know the characters and things revealed as we delve page after page. Maybe a tad frustrated as you would just get something from one character or timeline (pre and night of wedding) and the switch to another. The chapters are brief though so you visit them all for a wee bit and head on to the next.

Lots of drama, relationship issues and some very dodgy characters, especially the old boys club who may be adults now but as soon as they get together they have that pack mentality nonsense which we know to be true to life. I liked it, I have another by this author on my tbrm and looking to reading it, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 6 September 2020

Dead and Alive Frankenstein by dean Koontz

Dead and Alive (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #3)Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Dean Koontz's Dead and Alive

A devastating hurricane approaches New Orleans and Victor Helios, once known was Frankenstein, has unleashed his benighted creatures onto the streets. As New Orleans descends into chaos, his engineered killers spin out of control, and the only hope rests with Victor's first and failed attempt to build the perfect human, whose damned path has led him to the ultimate confrontation with his pitiless creator. But first, Deucalion must destroy a monstrosity not even Victor's malignant mind could have imagined—an indestructible entity that steps out of humankind's collective nightmare with one purpose: to replace us.

My Review

So this is book three in a series, I really enjoyed book one and two and think to appreciate the story and understand it, you NEED to go read the first two. Much as i really liked the first two, not a lover of this one, I like it because I am invested in the characters but the book alone *shrugs*.

The police officers Carson and Michael took a wee bit of a back seat in this one, in that I don't feel a huge amount of anything happened with them. They are in it, there are scenes but in comparison to the previous books, I just felt they didn't really have much impact in this one.

Jacko, the wee weird troll thing - you will either love or hate him, he is annoying and I don't know if he was a Jar Jar Binks style character or a hint of Dobby but I wasn't a fan if I am honest, he is quite annoying overall. Ericka 5 I like, whilst she is default programmed to obey the master I fell she comes into her own in this one. Deucalion also I felt was a bit missing this time, I don't really know what the book's aim was but I feel not a lot happened but I have been left wanting more, I need to know where it is all going to end.

I kept reading because I do enjoy the series, there was some wee plot developments and the next book is set up, hopefully, for greatness. 3/5 for me this time, book four has arrived so hopefully not be too long before I get to it.

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Friday, 4 September 2020

The Prison Doctor Women Inside by Doctor Amanda Brown

The Prison Doctor: Women Inside: Stories from my time inside Britain’s biggest women’s prison.The Prison Doctor: Women Inside: Stories from my time inside Britain’s biggest women’s prison. by Amanda Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 288

Publisher -

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

From the Sunday Times bestselling author Dr Amanda Brown.

Insights into the world of a Prison Doctor, this time taking us deeper into the walls of Bronzefield, the UK’s biggest women’s prison.

From the drug addicts who call Amanda ‘the mother I never had’ to the women who’ve pushed back at domestic abuse, to women close to release in their 70s, who just want to stay in the place that they’ve always known, these are stories that are heartbreaking, harrowing and heart-warming. Amanda listens, prescribes, and does what she can. After all, she’s their doctor.

My Review

This is the second book by Doctor Brown, you don't need to have read the first to read this one. Doc Brown recounts some of the situations she has encountered in her time working in the prisons and many of the people she has treated or came across.

I think it is so easy to judge folk, people in prison, people with habits - often a combination of both. I think what this does is helps you get past potential prejudices, realise in many cases it really is before the grace of God go I. We get brief glimpses of some of the women she has met, treated and been affected by. A stark realisation of what prison life can be like for these poor woman.

After reading this I started looking into donations for women's prisons charities and hopefully once you read this book you may be a bit more understanding or less judgmental of people (not just women) behind bars. A look at the medical issues these women present with, the difference between care readily available at the call of a cab or your gp. If you haven't read the first book it is really interesting so please check it out. I hope she writes more about her experiences, I think these books are so important for your "average joe". In a world where we need more understanding and kindness, I think these books give a bit of insight into other peoples hardships. 4.5/5 for me this time - recommend for sure and like I say I hope she writes more.

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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

My One True North by Milly Johnson

My One True NorthMy One True North by Milly Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 492

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Laurie and Pete should never have met. But life has a different idea.

Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners. Overwhelmed by their grief, they join the same counselling group…and change their lives forever.

From their profound sadness, Pete and Laurie begin to find happiness and healing. Except, the more they get to know one another, the more Laurie begins to spot the strange parallels in their stories. Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything—one which threatens to reverse everything they’ve worked towards.

But, as surely as a compass points north, some people cannot be kept apart.

With Milly Johnson’s signature “warm, optimistic, and romantic” (Katie Forde, bestselling author) style, My One True North is an unforgettable exploration of the power of love, friendship, and hope.

My Review

Ooft guys the opening chapter, it is well known I enjoy Johnson's books since I first heard of her on Come Dine with Me (yes the foodie program). Laurie and Pete have both lost their loved ones, well meaning friends point them to a wee friendly grief support group where they meet each other and try and work through their loss/feelings. As they get to know each other and process their grief they uncover things that impact on their recovery, friendship and their loved ones.

Relationships, love, grief, loss, friendship. I am sure I recognised a few wee names later in the book from one or two of the previous books! Whilst there is a huge surrounding theme of grief, there is so much love, happiness, humour and depth in the book.

Laurie has a few toxic muppets around her and I found myself getting rage reading some of the exchanges and shows of behaviour, distrusting folk and questioning stuff. Pete is a fireman and the people around him are lovely, well excluding his sister in law who fancies him and is being sooooooo inappropriate considering her sister passed away and Pete is her hubster. Lots of emotions reading this which is one of the reasons I enjoy them so much. Characters you love, characters you love to hate, shady behaviour, total human flaws but also the good guys and nicer side too, 4/5 for me this time, hope the next book is out soon. Sure I have said it before but I need to check her back catalogue and see if there are any I have missed!

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