Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver of StarsThe Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 388

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.



My Review

Is it no secret I love Moyes ability to tell stories, I have read all of her books (I think) and not met one I didn't like. Set in Kentucky America, money is tight, women's priorities is the husband, home and of course knowing their place. Alice has come from England to marry her beloved Benedict, thinking she is leaving one dull existence to an exciting new one in America. Not realising she is trading like for like and bound to be disappointed. Benedict lives in his overbearing fathers shadow, the family have money and Alice better know her place. Margery is one of the most outspoken in the town, not loved and has a dodgy family history. Margery with the help of Alice and a small band of ladies are helping families with books, magazines and reading materials. The mobile library will be a godsend to some and an aberration to others, leading to an incident that will change everything for them all.

Based around a true story, the Packhorse librarians where something I had never heard of and absolutely love. A band of women, travelling around their community, up the hills, to get reading materials to families, connecting a community in ways no one would have foresaw.

It is a tale of friendship, love, abuse, greed with a mix of racism, misogyny, human endangerment with the focus on making money even if it costs humans life or limb. A mixed bag, some scenes uncomfortable, because of the era women were felt to know their place and we have some plucky characters in the book and who doesn't love a strong woman or two. Loved Moyes books and this one was no different, 4.5/5 for me, very much looking forward to the next and I will be looking into the history of the Packhorse Librarians.



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The Diary of a Book Seller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a BooksellerThe Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 310

Publisher - Profile Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ... In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.


My Review

Who hasn't, of the book geek world, wanted to own their own bookshop? Bythell takes us on his own journey of what is it like working in a shop, how he came to be a bookshop owner. The chapters are relatively short which I love, especially now when my reading mojo is a bit hit and miss.

Each chapter he tells us how many books he has acquired and how much he has made, through sales that day. We go through how we gets books, the problems he encounters as a book seller, online sales, Amazon dealings, it is pretty interesting and stuff I never thought about.

The thing I found really interesting was the communications and behaviours of customers. You always assume book people, book lovers, would be better behaved. So many really are not, it is shocking just how many are rude and entitled! When the book was written they had a book club on the go which seems to be a thing of the past and an active facebook page, mostly kept up to dat eby his eccentric employee who is herself a bit of a character!

Interesting, charming, funny & informative in really opening my eyes to what a bookseller has to endure. He behaved and tolerates a lot of it much better than I could/would to be honest. When Covid is over I absolutely will be taking a trip to his store, 3.5/5 for me this time.



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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Lover Enshrined by J R Ward

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6)Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 560

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Gifted from a friend

Blurb from Goodreads

In this "frighteningly addictive" paranormal romance saga there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....



My Review

So this is book six, by now you know what you are getting, vampires - The brotherhood doing what they need to to keep their legacy alive and fight/kill the evil Lessers. Each book tends to focus on one specific person but all the others still feature, nip in and out and as always there is sex dottered throughout and body fluids. Phury had in the last book stepped up for his brother, he will be the Primale, the one to impregnate the chosen ones, to keep the species going. The Lessers have their own plan, the Omega has a secret weapon that will help sway the war against the vampires in their favour. The war continues, Phury is battling his inner demon, his love of the smoke, trying to do the right thing by himself, his promise, the race, something has to give.

So, I actually think this is my fave of the series so far, yes there is still all the raging physical side, sex, non stop sex drives of the vamps etc however I found this book had so much more story involved. Things that have been in the past books come to a head or are addressed, the story lines developed, shock turns and twists, I gasped out loud a few times and my poor o/h I kept telling him OMG guess what has happened now. Or right I think this is going to happen, oh no I hope this isn't going to cliff hanger, oh where is this going! I love when a book does this to you!

Plenty of developments, character growth and some of the things I didn't love in the previous book have been tackled in this one, fab! Normally when I finish a book from a series I genre switch, I actually am going to pick up book seven, the next in the series. I have had a bit of readers block and even though my mojo is coming back, normally I would read a book I am enjoying in 4-6 hours I am still taking days to get through a book. This has been much easier to sink into so I cannot wait to see what is next in store for these guys! Father Mine is book 6.5 and a novella next in the series, I cannot find it on Amazon (UK) and can't get it delivered from US. So book seven I think next for me. Normally I would say you can pick up just about any book and head in but due to all the things that have passed I would say read the previous ones so you get the jist and feel for all the characters and what has transpired. If sex, graphic sexual content, blood/violence isn't something you read then skip this series because whilst this book doesn't have as much as the previous books it still has quite a bit! 4.5/5 for me this time, also, a character has appeared in this book that I would like to read more about so I need to see her other series and see if it is a crossover or just a new character!



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Monday, 29 June 2020

Frankenstein by Dean Koontz book 1

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal SonDean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 496

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In the nineteenth century, Dr. Victor Frankenstein brought his notorious creation to life, but a horrible turn of events forced him to abandon it and slip away from the public eye. Two centuries later, a serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans, gruesomely salvaging body parts from each of his victims, as if trying to assemble a perfect human being.

Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner, Michael Maddison, would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where their new case leads. For as they investigate the strange killings, O’Connor and Madison find themselves drawn into a weird underworld of deception and secrets where a man named Victor Helios has created an entire race of perfectly engineered people who are meant to take humankind’s place one day. But something is happening to some of Helios’s creations, and it may be that this bizarre serial killer is the least of the detectives’ worries.


My Review

EVERYBODY know the story of Frankenstein, rather Frankenstein's monster. A few hundred years after the legend and low and behold both where real, Frankenstien and the monster. Known in the book as Deucalion, living away in a quiet existance until he is alerted that his creator, Victor Helios, still lives. Deucalion has learned to control his anger and now he is going to complete the job he failed at, killing his "father".

On top of this we have a kick butt cop, Carson O’Connor - strong female lead who has a love interest she tries to keep at bay whilst investigating a horrific serial killer. Her partner Michael Maddison is willing to follow her anywhere, both will soon be confronted with beings that shatter their preconceptions of humanity as they know it.

I loved when we heard more from Deucalion as the movie(s) I seen growing up you didn't really get much from the monster, no insight. Here we are a few hundred years on from the version I know and you get back story, up to present day and the mad scientist is even more off his banger. He has taken his "science" so much further, money is no issue so he has free reign pretty much. He has perfected his creations so much so he know has a wife (he abuses her horrifically) and has zero value for human life. I really liked it and as soon as I finished it I ordered book two, it is a 5 book series so will buy the third sometime soon, 4.5/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 21 June 2020

The Soul Collectors by Chris Mooney

The Soul Collectors (Darby McCormick #4)The Soul Collectors by Chris Mooney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 468

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads


Charlie Rizzo has his family at gunpoint and when Darby arrives to defuse the scene, she finds him horrifically mutilated, with a mask of human skin sewn in place over his own face. Within minutes, a group of men disguised as SWAT officers bursts in and releases deadly Sarin gas, killing the Rizzo family outright and leaving Darby herself barely alive.

Where has Charlie Rizzo been held all these years? Who are The Twelve who have been executing this gruesome torture? And why are the FBI running scared in the face of this particular, chilling episode? Darby is facing the toughest case of her career...and, as the body count rises, one that will bring her into great personal danger and leave her in fear of losing her mind, if not her soul.



My Review

Darby has been called to a hostage situation, a kid that went missing years ago has apparently resurfaced and is now holding his family hostage. Bizarre in itself Darby heads in, backed up by SWAT and nothing goes as planned. As Darby investigates, the stakes are high, the killer will stop at nothing and noone could have guessed how deadly and dark things get.

Murder, abuse, danger on every corner and Darby is up against it trying to keep focused on the case, stay alive and not get too wrapped up in the issues in her personal life. The thought of something so cruel and organised out there is creepy and I hope we get more insight or back story in a future book.

Darby is super tough in this one but has a softer side when we see a glimpse into her personal life. Otherwise she is a bit of a one man band because she seems to be hitting walls at almost every turn. I defo wanted to see where it was going so a page turner from that perspective but a little unsatisfied with how some of it went and hoping to get more closure from the next in the series - I have it ordered. 3/5 for me this time, I don't remember much of the previous books that had relevance to this one so you could pick this book up and read as a standalone but I would read the previous ones if you are able.





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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Lover unbound by J R Ward

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5)Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 528

Publisher - Signet

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...

My Review

This is book 5 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, you absolutely could get away with starting with this book. Each book tends to focus on one particular member of the brotherhood, this time it is Vishous. Vishous can see the future but after everything that has happened (in the past books) his visions have stopped, he is angry and a bit destructive. Whilst out smashing the Lessers he is mortally wounded and taken to a human hospital. When the staff operate on him they don't recognise him for what he is but do see the anomalies compares to mortals anatomy. The surgeon, Jane, who saves his must be with him until he is healed and taken against her will. It isn't long before she cannot deny she has feeling and could Vishous finally be moving on from his unspeakable feelings for his friend?

The book gives us a few insights into Vishous's past, why he is the way he is, his family history and how he came into The Brotherhood. As with all the books there is sex but in this one, I felt there was more and dare I say more graphic scenes? Vishous has always been into darker, kinkier scene, control, dominance and no feelings involved. He finds a partner who can withstand his darker urges and then they part, so finding someone he cares about is a whole new ballgame for him and we see a new side to him.

We also hear more about some of the duties expected of the Brotherhood for their cause and those involved. Some of it is a bit uncomfortable to read because, without giving spoilers, the whole breeder and obedient side of the chosen ones for the purpose. Wasn't loving it although Phury and Vishous were really good when it came down to it but the whole submissive thing was a wee bit eek for me. Really good next chapter in the story though, learning more about them, their duties and what is expected of them. Each book gives new insight, fresh ideas and we see more of the members get ready for their transition. Looking forward to book 6 (on my tbrm) to see who is the next focus character and where it takes us, 3.5/5 for me this time.




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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Love over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith

Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3)Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 355

Publisher - Abacus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

'Love Over Scotland' revolves around the many colourful characters that come and go at No 44 Scotland Street. It features the stalwart Tory chartered surveyor, the pushy mother, and the Italian-speaking prodigy, Bertie.


My Review

If you haven't read the previous books you could start here but best to go back and get to know the characters and what has transpired before this. We find some of our characters pretty much where we left off. Poor Bertie is still terrorised by his bossy mother, now pregnant but still focused on all of the best for Bertie. This time getting him into trials for music with teenagers and bringing yet more embarrassment yet maybe a wee bit of freedom neither of them seen coming.

Domenica is on her travels and fully reliant on her guide to get the information from the small community and life of the pirates for her writing. However the question of what happened to the last anthropologist before her pops up and is Domenica safe? Will she ever get back to Scotland street and does she even want to?

We catch up with Angus and Clive, Big Lou and the love of her life, Matthew still has his feeling for Pat, Pat is moving onto her next phase in life and meeting trouble along the way. And we are introduced to Antonia, a new character taking over Domenica's place whilst she is away, yet another character who is a bit of a belter.

Bertie was probably my fave throughout this one, I do like to know what is going on with the others but I found Bertie's troubles and unintentional bringing about trouble. Plus this time we see a wee but more character from his dad and less of his psychotherapist. I do enjoy the series and seeing what is in store next for the characters. There was an uncomfortable scene with the dog but thankfully it was a very small part but I didn't see the need for it, maybe it will come up again or be revealed in further books? Or maybe I just missed the point, 3/5 for me this time.


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Sunday, 14 June 2020

The Curator by M W Craven Blog Tour



Today is my stop on the blog tour for "The Curator" by author M W Craven, for my stop I have my review.

About the book



A serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria.
A strange message is left at each scene:
Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency's Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren't even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier? And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn't think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he's dealing with someone far, far worse - a man who calls himself the Curator. And nothing will ever be the same again . . .




About the author




A brand-new voice in British crime fiction, M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle. He joined the army at sixteen, leaving a decade later to complete a social work degree and spent seventeen years as a probation officer in Cumbria, rising to the rank of assistant chief officer.




Available to buy NOW, treebook and ebook, from Amazon.

Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27)Criss Cross by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 389

Publisher - Little Brown and Company

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

A killer with all the skills of a master detective has made Alex Cross the subject of his deranged "investigation."
In a Virginia penitentiary, Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson, witness the execution of a killer they helped convict. Hours later, they are called to the scene of a copycat crime. A note signed "M" rests on the corpse. "You messed up big time, Dr. Cross."

Was an innocent man just put to death? Alex soon realizes he may have much to answer for, as "M" lures the detective out of the capital to the sites of multiple homicides, all marked with distressingly familiar details -- details that conjure up decades-old cases. Details that conjure up Cross family secrets. Details that make clear that M is after a prize so dear that -- were the killer to attain it -- Alex's heart would no longer have reason to beat.


My Review

An execution, a family convinced Cross and the state are killing the wrong man and soon after another murder, taunting Cross he got the wrong guy. M has been playing with Cross for years and is back, this time the stakes are higher and much is at risk.

I love the Cross books, the family, the pace and the chapters are only a page or two long so perfect as I have, like many, been struggling to read during lock down. This has brought my mojo back, we see more of our beloved Cross family, yet another cat and mouse type case. A murderer taunting the police and taunting Alex specifically. Is this another copycat? Did Alex catch and convict the wrong man?

As always a good pace, engaging, roping the reader in from the opening pages. 27 books in and I still love the series, if you have enjoyed the previous books you will enjoy this one. If you haven't read Patterson before you could start here but I would advise heading back as so many great stories before this one and you get all the back history. 4/5 for me this time, I look forward to the next in the series! I wish they would make more films of the Cross books, every time I read Cross talking I hear Morgan Freeman's voice, we need more of Mr Cross on the big screen!



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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Criss Cross by James Patterson

Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27)Criss Cross by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 389

Publisher - Little Brown and Company

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

A killer with all the skills of a master detective has made Alex Cross the subject of his deranged "investigation."
In a Virginia penitentiary, Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson, witness the execution of a killer they helped convict. Hours later, they are called to the scene of a copycat crime. A note signed "M" rests on the corpse. "You messed up big time, Dr. Cross."

Was an innocent man just put to death? Alex soon realizes he may have much to answer for, as "M" lures the detective out of the capital to the sites of multiple homicides, all marked with distressingly familiar details -- details that conjure up decades-old cases. Details that conjure up Cross family secrets. Details that make clear that M is after a prize so dear that -- were the killer to attain it -- Alex's heart would no longer have reason to beat.


My Review

An execution, a family convinced Cross and the state are killing the wrong man and soon after another murder, taunting Cross he got the wrong guy. M has been playing with Cross for years and is back, this time the stakes are higher and much is at risk.

I love the Cross books, the family, the pace and the chapters are only a page or two long so perfect as I have, like many, been struggling to read during lock down. This has brought my mojo back, we see more of our beloved Cross family, yet another cat and mouse type case. A murderer taunting the police and taunting Alex specifically. Is this another copycat? Did Alex catch and convict the wrong man?

As always a good pace, engaging, roping the reader in from the opening pages. 27 books in and I still love the series, if you have enjoyed the previous books you will enjoy this one. If you haven't read Patterson before you could start here but I would advise heading back as so many great stories before this one and you get all the back history. 4/5 for me this time, I look forward to the next in the series! I wish they would make more films of the Cross books, every time I read Cross talking I hear Morgan Freeman's voice, we need more of Mr Cross on the big screen!



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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields

Perfect Kill (D.I. Callanach, #6)Perfect Kill by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Avon

Pages - 416

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.
Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.

Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland.

With so many lives at stake, they face an impossible task – but there’s no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead…

Get ready for a rollercoaster ride like no other, with the next gripping thriller from the number one bestselling crime author, Helen Fields. The perfect read for fans of M. J. Arlidge and Karin Slaughter.


My Review

Bart has gone missing, his mum knows something bad has happened because Bart is a good boy and wouldn't just disappear. Ava and Luc are soon working on different cases, in different cities not dealing with the elephant in the room. The cases take a dark turn, human lives at risk, big money and people who will kill everyone before giving up what they perceive to be theirs.

This isn't an easy book to read in that it is so dark, the very worst of humanity, people using human beings for their own gratification. Murder, death, rape, trafficking is only the beginning, it is not for the faint hearted. Graphic, violent, shocking, dark, brutal - Fields has a way of dragging you in and keeping you gripped from the get go. If you have been with the books since the beginning you also have the added sideline story of Ava and Luc.

Quite a bit of emotive moments in the book too I found, when you are reading about characters going through so many horrific things, situations, experiences you can't help get a bit caught up in it all. I have read the previous books in the series and I cannot wait for the next, 4.5/5 for me this time.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen

The Weighing of the HeartThe Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 150

Publisher - Obliterati Press

Source - Review book

Blurb from Goodreads

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall - and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.


My Review

Nick Braeburn has broken up with his partner and finds himself moving into an apartment with two quirky older ladies. They have some rarities but it is the Egyptian art piece he is drawn to, that and his artist neighbour Lydia. Before long Nick finds the temptation too much, all round and him and Lydia commit a crime that has long lasting consequences for both.

The book covers a lot of ground, some Egyptian/art stuff that I actually found interesting and looking up. We look at the human psyche, in a subtle way then becoming more prominent, behind the main story of what is happening. Relationships, trust, honesty, lies, betrayal, jealousy to name but a few. For such a short book it packs in quite a bit with unexpected tones and layers nodding to mental health.

Nick is from England but the story centers in New York so a wee bit of trip fiction in there for you but for me it was the Egyptian tie in, the dreams and how that interlinked with what Nick was doing, thinking, feeling. A book with many layers, I think would make for a brilliant book club discussion because so many will take different impressions and points from it. 3.5 for me this time, I look forward to seeing what else Owen has to offer and certainly want to look more into Egyptian legends/mythology.


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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the Random Things Tours, blog tour, for "Meet Me at the Museum" by Anne Youngson.





We all have different content/reviews so please do check out the other stops for this wee book.




About the book:




Out to buy now, tree and ebook format, AMAZON UK

Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply. When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he. They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet. Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing. Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair. Can their unexpected friendship survive?

About the author:




ANNE YOUNGSON worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM is her debut novel, which is due to be published around the world.

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

When Tina sends a letter to the museum in Denmark regarding one of it's exhibits she doesn't expect a reply. When Professor Kristian Larsen replies he doesn't expect a reply, what follows is a personal journey of exploration and friendship for both. Told completely in epistolary format (letters) we are introduced to both their lives, issues they have and watch a friendship form as they deal with issues they hadn't even realised needing addressed.

This is a lovely wee debut, I don't know what I was expecting to be honest but it wasn't what it turned out to be. The letters start off really formal then less so as they open up to each other in ways they can't to those around them or even themselves. It is a tale of friendship, love, loss, acceptance and personal growth. In among that we learn about "the Tollund Man" found in a Danish bog in the 1950s, well preserved and a bit about the history surrounding the Tollund Man's lifetime. I do enjoy learning history although I don't read as much as I really would like to. I find with snippets like this I then go off and read up on them, an unexpected happy point from reading this wee story.

It is a slow burner but worth sticking with, it has many depths, both characters examining parts of themselves they have hidden or refused to look it. I think many will find this a special and touching read. I don't often do books that are written completely as letters however I did enjoy the change in format and think it was well executed. I will look out for more from this author. If you want something heart warming, personal, raw and emotional I can't think of two characters who go on a journey experience it more, together, than these two.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

The Curator by M W Craven

The Curator (Washington Poe, #3)The Curator by M.W. Craven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Constable

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

It's Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency's Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren't even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn't think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he's dealing with someone far, far worse - a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again...



My Review

You guys know I LOVE Tilly and Poe so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one, if you haven't read them before The Puppet Master is book one, go back and start there. You can pick up from here as a standalone but you miss so so much so do yourself a favour and go read one and two first. Heads up - the books are graphic and have horrific dodgy killers so not for the faint hearted.

A killer who seems to be taunting the police, fingers left in very prominent places, one body easily found, others hidden. Not gender specific, drugs found in the system - no what, how or why. Poe and Tilly get on the case and soon hear rumours of "The Curator" a killer so difficult to find purely by their modus operandis and equally hard to identify how victims are chosen. Teamwork, danger and getting into the heart of it, as per, the team may be facing their biggest most threatening challenge.

You can't help but be drawn into Craven's stories (must be something in the name eh!) I love the team, the bad guys are always horrific and give you the absolute boak, graphic, deadly, dangerous and you are left with no illusions of exactly what has transpired. Always gruesome and boggin, fans of dark crime will love it and if you have read Craven before, you know what is coming and you won't be disappointed, 4.5/5 for me this time.



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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Gemma's Not Sure by Gill Stewart Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Gemma's Not Sure by author Gill Stewart.








Buy link for the book, from Amazon.

About the book Gemma's not sure if she's brave enough to go to her audition, or if she even wants to study music at all. She's definitely not sure forming a band with Lily's hot ex-boyfriend is a good idea.

Jamie's university life isn't like he thought it would be, and he doesn't know what to do about it. One thing he does know is that he wants a reason to bump into Gemma Anderson again.

The Galloway Girls are back! With exams coming up and major life choices in progress, everything is about to change.




Contact links

Twitter: @SweetCherryPub
@GillStewart2

Instagram: @sweetcherrypublishing
@gillwritesnow

Facebook: /SweetCherryPublishing
/GillStewartAuthor

For my stop I have an exclusive extract from the book, enjoy.

GEMMA

‘I’m not sure I can do this.’ I mean to say it inside my head. ‘Of course you can!’ Lily turns her gaze from my computer screen. ‘You’re the best singer in the school, and you’re amazing at piano. You’re bound to get–’ I wave my hand to shut her up, which works, surprisingly. Maybe she’s noticed I’m on the verge of tears. I mean, everyone seems to think I should do this. Go to uni, study Music, make a career out of it … They’d said it couldn't hurt to apply, could it? As it happens, yes, actually. Because now the Conservatoire has sent me details of the audition and just reading them makes me feel so sick I think I might need to run to the toilets. (This is saying something given the state of the ones at Galloway Academy.) I take a deep breath and close the window. ‘No need to think about it now,’ I say, as brightly as I can.

‘Of course not. Take your time. Although, the audition is in November, so you do need to decide fairly soon …’ I pretend to rummage in my bag. Lily accepted her audition to study Drama straight away. No nerves at all. Me, I love singing at home, or in a choir – but on my own in public? My stomach lurches. And why did I even choose voice as a secondary instrument when I could have done just piano? Although, I’m not comfortable playing that in public, either. Basically I’m pathetic. Lily is being very patient, for her. She doesn’t mention the audition again for at least two hours. Then, as we walk back to her house after school, she says, ‘You know, they do a music-teaching course at the Conservatoire. Maybe you could consider that? It isn’t so much about performing in front of people.’ ‘No, it’s about performing in front of a class of kids every day of the year.’ ‘Only in term time.’ ‘Lily, I’m never going to be a teacher.’ She doesn’t give up. ‘You were really good when you led the choir in the pantomime last year. That was basically teaching. And you’re a prefect. That shows you know how to use your authority.’ Lily’s all about those ‘transferable skills’. But, again, ‘No, it shows I organise the prefect rota so I’m always on with you, and you can be the one to “use your authority”.

‘Oh.’ She looks surprised. Then she frowns. ‘I thought it was because you enjoyed my company.’ ‘And that,’ I add, in the unlikely event that I’ve hurt her feelings. And I do enjoy Lily’s company. She’s been my friend for forever. And I’m usually good at tuning out her overenthusiasm. As we turn to go up the steps to her front door I say, ‘Anyway, why isn’t Tom with us?’ ‘Tom and I don’t spend our lives in each other’s pockets, you know. We’re both independent human beings.’ ‘But where is he?’ ‘Taking Sarah to her hospital appointment.’ ‘Ah.’ That should put my worries about the Conservatoire into perspective. Tom’s younger sister doesn’t even get to go to school, so who knows if she’ll ever be well enough for university? And yet … What am I going to do about the audition? Mrs Guthrie, my singing teacher, and Mrs Marshall, my piano teacher, will probably have something to say about it. I know Mum and Dad will just tell me to do what makes me happy, but that’s the problem: I’m not sure what that is.


JAMIE

Uni life is amazing! Freedom. No one looking over my shoulder all the time. No one planning what I should do every second. This is what I’ve been waiting for! I’m not exactly smashing the academic side of things, but we’re only a few weeks in. The social side will probably calm down soon – not that I want it to. Innis, one of the guys in my flat, is on the same course as me and just as keen on making the most of student life. ‘You coming over to the Union?’ he says, as I drop my gym bag and reach for some juice from the fridge. ‘Aye, why not?’ I was going to look at my Accounting notes, but I’ve just put in a good training session. I deserve a break. ‘Give me ten minutes for a shower.’ My phone rings as I head into my room. Mum, of course. I could just ignore it, but then she’ll try again and again until she gets through. ‘I’m in a bit of a hurry,’ I answer.

‘I won’t keep you,’ she lies cheerily. ‘Just a couple of things. Your dad is in Glasgow tomorrow so he can take you out for dinner. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it? And I wondered if you’ve got your marks back yet from your latest assignment? Are you refereeing this weekend? It’d be lovely if you could come home sometime soon but I know how busy you are–’ ‘Mum, that’s already more than two things.’ ‘–and what I’m really phoning about is that Mrs Marshall has said she’ll fit you in a for a long piano lesson before you take your exam. That’s good of her, isn’t it? If you let me know when you’re coming home, I’ll arrange it with her. Then we can discuss whether you want to go on and do the diploma.’ Shit. I’d forgotten I let Mum enter me for the Grade Eight piano exam. Grade Eight! Why she even thinks it’s a good idea I have no clue. I’ve told her I have absolutely no desire to take my music further. ‘Actually, Mum, I haven’t been practising much – lack of access to a piano, you know – so maybe we should delay–’ ‘You can’t do that! I’ve paid the entrance fee. Anyway, you need to pass this to count towards your Gold Duke of Edinburgh.’ Ah yes, that’s why I’m still learning piano. ‘I’ve got a lot on just now …’ ‘I know you have, darling. So I won’t keep you. Just message me a couple of dates and I’ll arrange it all for you. Love you. Bye.’

That’s another thing Mum’s good at: ending conversations just when I’m about to get a word in. Oh well. No point worrying about that now. I’ve got an evening’s drinking to look forward to. Tomorrow is another day and all that. The Finance lecture first thing the next morning turns out to be a group presentation. Which I knew about. Probably. At least before the evening in the Student Union, which turned out to be pretty good. Cheap beer, lots of laughs – what’s not to like? Aside from the headache as we saunter into the lecture room. This guy Kris says, ‘You okay to do the speaking, Jamie? You said you would if we put the slides together.’ ‘Yeah, fine.’ I might have agreed to that. I’m too hungover to remember. ‘You have looked over them, haven’t you?’ ‘Of course.’ I flash my most confident grin. ‘Just having a final look now.’ I flick my laptop open and pull up the slides. I see someone was working on them at midnight last night, so I’m not sure when I was supposed to have had a chance to go over them. I was way too drunk by then anyway. When it’s our turn I straighten my shirt, check my reflection in a side window, and head to the front of the room. I’ve got this. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s standing in front of an audience and acting like I know what I’m talking about. Dad says I get it from him. Lily, my ex, said it was an unfair advantage. Whatever. We smash it. Looking confident really is half the battle. The lecturer nods throughout, and preens when I use some of his own phrases back at him. We even get a smattering of applause from the rest of the class, who pretty much slept through the other presentations. Sometimes I have my doubts about this course. I mean, who actually enjoys Accounting and Business Studies? But right now, I’m on a high. The guys slap me on the back as we sit down. I repeat: life is good.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

Distress SignalsDistress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Corvus

Source - Competition win I think

Blurb from Goodreads

The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads "I'm sorry--S" sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate--and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.

To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground ...



My Review

Sarah is giving Adam time to work on his script, the biggest break of his career and it has been a long slog. Sarah is away on a business trip and keeping contact to a minimum, until that is no contact and her passport appears home with a very brief note. Adam starts looking into his girlfriends disappearance until he is consumed with it, Sarah loved him, she wouldn't leave him would she?

The storyline jumps about a wee bit characters, Adam, Romain (a child who death and bad luck seems to follow) and Corrine a maid aboard the beautiful and luxurious cruise ship. All seemingly unconnected, layers unraveling as the reader is pulled in. Tense, not knowing where the stories are going and from the get go wanting to know what has happened to Sarah and just how much do you know about your partner. What would you do and how far would you go to find the person you love, even if you discovered secrets about them along the way. 3.5/5 for me this time, this was my first dance with this author, I look forward to reading more by her!



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Saturday, 9 May 2020

The Retreat by Sherri Smith

The RetreatThe Retreat by Sherri Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Titan

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Sherri Smith illuminates the dark side of the self-care and wellness industry in a thrilling ride of revenge perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers. The Retreat is a twisting, bone-chilling suspense that asks: how well do you really know your friends?

Four women.
Four secrets.
A weekend that will change them forever...if they survive.

Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.

Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait "Where Are They Now?" articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother's too-good-to-be-true fianc�e invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie's two best friends--one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship--Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.

Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.


My Review

We open with the killer, we know from the first few pages deaths have occurred at the retreat, the killer is a woman and now is her time. All of the women have their problems/secrets, all looking to benefit from this weekend away but one has a deadly plan and doesn't care who she has to put down to succeed, she is emerging victorious.

The chapters give each of the women their voice, perspectives and hints or shows their issues, leaving the reader with constant speculation to who is the killer. Katie is the group leader, the glue, that orchestrates everything. Ellie is her sister in law to be, they couldn't be more different, Katie is a famous child star now struggling has been adult but still has money and clout. Ellie is all natural, a bit uppity but will try for the sake of her betrothed. Carmen is broke, looking after her family, siblings, ill parent and all her dreams are dust because they come first. Ariel is friendly but very insecure and desperate to be liked and popular just like Katie always has been. Ariel and Carmen have been friends with Katie for years but life gets in the way so the retreat is an offer too good to pass up and off they all go.

The retreat is a bit dodgy, very lovely, harmonious and ran by a husband and wife, he is good looking and knows it. The place is expensive to attend and offers the ultimate experience for everyone, limited outside contact, reliance on others, a drug led ceremony - really a killers dream.

I really liked it, the characters are quite shallow and not very nice people to be honest but it makes you want to read more and more. I suspected everyone, questioned everything and had the killer pegged and changed every few chapters, well once I got into it). This was my first time reading this author, I did like it so I will have a look out for her other books 3.5/5 for me this time.



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Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Holding Out for A Hero by T E Kessler - blog tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for "Holding out for a Hero by T E Kessler.




Hosted by Rachel's Random Resources.




About the book:

When she was a child, her mother was murdered and subconsciously ever since, journalist Macy Shaw has been searching for a hero.

​ She found one, but the hero she found was a Jelvia.

​ Undeterred, she used her connections to go after the biggest story of her life.

​ Narcifer saved a woman by merely being a Jelvia—his presence causing terror and making the assailants flee.

​ And it amused him when his “heroism” created a national stir, so when a pretty little red-head asked to interview him for a story, Narcifer felt compelled to grant it to her, especially when she gave all the signals that she wanted more than a story.

However, on the night Narcifer inadvertently became a hero, he had been tracking a scientist with orders to kill, and strangely no matter where Narcifer’s line of investigation took him, his search always brought back to the red-headed journalist, Macy Shaw.


Buy link from Amazon - out to buy NOW.




About T. E Kessler :​

Tina Kessler writes steamy romance for the 18+ market and is the pen name of Louise Wise.

Louise Wise is a British author from the Midlands in England. Her debut novel is the acclaimed sci-fi romance titled EDEN, which was followed by its sequel HUNTED in 2013.

Forthcoming, JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series is themed on the above Eden and Hunted books.

HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO book 1

SURVIVING HER DOMINANT book 2

SPIDER book 3 will be released late spring, 2020.

Wise took the decision to write under the name of T. E Kessler for her JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series to separate them from her regular novels to the mature material. Her other works include:

Eden (sci-fi romance) – slight sex references

Hunted (sci-fi romance) slight sex references

A Proper Charlie (romantic comedy)

Oh No, I’ve Fallen in Love! (dark, comedy romance)

Wide Awake Asleep (time travel, romance)

Wise enjoys writing comedy and finds a place for it in ALL her books. She has written numerous short stories for women’s magazines such as Take a Break and Woman’s Own.

​ Follow T. E Kessler

​ Blog: https://louisewise.blogspot.com/

Website: https://louisewis3.wordpress.com/

For my stop I have an extract, enjoy.

Macy Shaw, a journalist, has become obsessed with Jelvias—another species living alongside the human—and is certain they aren’t the heinous assassins the media claim them to be.

Taking advantage of her obsession, her boss calls on her to interview Narcifer, a Jelvian man. Ultimately, Macy falls for the handsome Jelvia until it becomes clear to her that she’s a pawn between her world and the world of the Jelvias.

An extract from chapter thirty-nine

There was a commotion behind her. Knowing Narcifer had discovered her missing and was coming after her, she pushed past Samuel and began to run towards the front entrance of the hotel where the hotel’s carpark, and Narcifer’s Ranger, was located.

Behind her, the foyer doors bashed open and she turned to look; a brief second to see that Narcifer, bare-footed like her, wearing only jeans, his body and hair still wet from the shower, was pounding across the foyer after her. She turned for the doors, pushing through them, hearing but not hearing the panicked shouts and screams behind her as everyone became aware of the Jelvia in the building.

She ran towards the carpark’s gated doors and pushed through them. The last time she had been in his car was after he rescued her from the cellar, and she’d been exhausted. She couldn’t remember which floor it was parked on, and only knew it wasn’t the first.

‘Macy!’

The sound of him crying her name was partially drowned by someone screaming, but she didn’t look round. She sprinted up the stairs towards the second floor of the carpark. She had almost made it when his arm circled her waist and pulled her back against him. She struggled, kicking his shins but his hold only tightened. His breath fanned her right ear.

‘Macy, stop it.’

‘Let me go!’

‘Hey!’ someone shouted.

Macy and Narcifer looked up. A man was looking out of his car’s window, about to pull into a parking space. A woman was looking on anxiously in the passenger seat, and two kids in the rear were looking agog at them. The man’s choice of words was audible as he noticed Narcifer’s all-black eyes.

‘Help me!’ screamed Macy, and she began to kick and wriggle in Narcifer’s arms.

But screeching tyres rang in Macy’s ears.

‘There goes your hero,’ Narcifer said.

One of his hands was around her waist, the other was around her chest, flattening her breasts and pinning her arms. She lowered her head and sank her teeth into his bare arm.

He cursed and let her go. She fell to the floor, on her knees.

‘Macy!’ he said. He sounded concerned, but she jumped up and broke into a run.

She saw the Ranger and aimed the key fob at it, bleeped it open.

She ran for the door, but Narcifer was quicker. Using the full length of his body, he pinned her against the car with her face pressed against the window. He flipped her around.

‘Please, Macy, stop.’

Both were breathing hard.

She couldn’t look at him, and fixed her gaze to the centre of his chest, where it rose and fell rapidly.

‘Tell me you haven’t been hired by Johnsten to sleep with me for information,’ he said.

‘What!’ Shocked, she glared at him, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears. He stared back at her. He looked so tense, and his usually twinkling eyes were dry, black orbs. There was no trace of his boyish grin on his face. He looked rigid and unfriendly.

‘Have you been hired by Johnsten to use me for information of the whereabouts of Aldarn?’

‘Yes,’ she said.

A small muscle jerked in his cheek.

Friday, 1 May 2020

On My Life by Angela Clarke

On My LifeOn My Life by Angela Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Mulholland Books UK

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Framed. Imprisoned. Pregnant.

Jenna thought she had the perfect life: a loving fiancé, a great job, a beautiful home. Then she finds her stepdaughter murdered; her partner missing.

And the police think she did it...

Locked up to await trial, surrounded by prisoners who'd hurt her if they knew what she's accused of, certain someone close to her has framed her, Jenna knows what she needs to do:

Clear her name
Save her baby
Find the killer

But can she do it in time?

'An angry, powerful read - one of those rare crime novels with more to deliver than routine thrills.' Mick Herron, author of London Rules



My Review

Split between then and now, we meet Jenna, accused of killing her stepdaughter and fiance, his body hasn't been found yet. Jenna is innocent but noone believes her, it is only a matter of time before the inmates find out she is a child killer. Jenna has to find a way to prove her innocence but all the evidence points to Jenna, her fiance is missing presumed dead and how can you prove anything when you are stuck in jail and your only hope is your lawyer?

Then takes up back to Jenna meeting her now fiance, now we go through her being incarcerated post the killing and the run up to her trial. Now focuses on her experiences in jail and it isn't pleasant, threats are hanging on every corner. We follow Jenna as she finds out what it is like to go from a normal life to being a child killer, what jail life entails and the knowledge of those closest have given up on you. The then chapters are how her relationship starts, her life before it is changed and a glimpse into a not so perfect relationship, all the while asking yourself where is the fiance?

The jail scenes are gripping, danger, violence, death and devastation at the power some have over others, the abuse and vulnerability these woman experience. Gripping and pulls you in pretty much from the get go, this isn't my first dance with Clarke and it won't be my last, 4/5 for me this time. This is a standalone and if you haven't read anything of hers before this is a great place to start.



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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Shift by Hugh Howey

Shift (Shift, #1-3; Silo, #2)Shift by Hugh Howey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 570

Publisher - Century

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened. This is the sequel to the New York Times bestselling WOOL series.


My Review

Let me just start by saying you could absolutely read this as book one even though it is book two. It actually goes way back and gives you the history on how the Silo's came to existence. It gives you the back story of one of the characters in book one and brings you right up to the end of book one.

If you haven't read book one you should, it is good but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read this one first as I didn't understand why it was all going down and the Silo's. It is a prequel, time scale wise and we get a bit more understanding to the construction of the Silo's and the vision.

The book in parts is atmospheric, claustrophobic and it builds up to, what I think, will be the huge finale and end game for some of our main characters we met over this book and book one. I seem to be in the minority in that I actually enjoyed this one more than book one. I love to know a why and there is so much character manipulation and people at the top, in charge, just being shady and dangerous. Not only in our world as we know it but in the "new" world of the Silo's. It also looks at human behaviour, the depths some will go to when human life and existence as we know it is threatened, 4/5 for me this time. I have bought book three and hoping to finish the trilogy some time soon!



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Wednesday, 22 April 2020

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

The Cabin at the End of the WorldThe Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 319

Publisher - Titan Books

Source - Gifted (RAK)

Blurb from Goodreads

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake, with their closest neighbours more than two miles in either direction.

As Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young and friendly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologises and tells Wen, "None of what's going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out, "Your dads won't want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world."

So begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are intertwined.


My Review

I went back and forth on this being a 2.5 or a 3 star review. There were things I liked and at least one gasp out loud moment, others I really didn't but the gasper moment tipped it to be a three. Wen is just a kid, out in the garden playing when she meets Leonard, a giant of a man, he seems harmless so she gabs away. When his pals show up Wen gets worried and goes inside to warn her dads and then everything turns. Leonard and co NEED to get inside, they need to talk to Wen's dad's it is a matter of life and death for the whole world. An apocalypse is coming but if Wen's dad's step up to the plate they can save everyone, but saving the world will come at a huge cost.

I had no idea where the book was going to go, is Leonard and his "friends" delusional or are they really there to try and save the world. The book keeps you guessing, even when giving "clues" or "proof" of the end that is to come. The book has a some serious themes, sexuality (Wen has two dads), violence, murder, faith and cause and effect, actions or lack of and consequences.

I think some people will love how the book ends, I really didn't - I get why the author went that way but it is a personal preference and it just wasn't for me. Absolutely worth reading and I did enjoy how the story was set down, this was my first dance with this author, it won't be my last, 3/5.



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Monday, 20 April 2020

Additional giveaway

As you guys know, April's giveaway is live (UK only as Amazon won't allow me to gift outside my own country) so I am doing a wee additional giveaway.





Up for grabs is, as pictured, a Finding Nemo totebag, a wee nail file, a magnetic bookmark and a wee comic book pin.




A wee comic book pin.




Wee cat magnetic bookmark and a wee nail file, print is on both sides.




Use Rafflecopter below to enter, good luck and feel free to share as per.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Well from I first started reviewing

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