Friday 27 October 2023

The Drift by C J Tudor (repost)

So if you don't want to read a whole review, non spoiler, I have done a 10 words or less video on our TT for it.

Otherwise, enjoy the review, we read this back in January, fab book! Also today, at time of posting, the ebook and treebook (paperback) version is under £5 inc delivery, Amazon UK, absolute baragin.

The DriftThe Drift by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. During a hasty escape from a secluded boarding school, her coach careened over a hillside road during one of the year's heaviest snowstorms, trapping her inside with a handful of survivors, a brewing virus, and no way to call for help. If she and the remaining few want to make it out alive, with their sanity--and secrets--intact, they'll need to work together or they'll be buried alive with the rest of the dead.

A former detective, Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She is in a cable car suspended far above a snowstorm and surrounded by strangers in the same uniform as her, with no memory of how they got there. They are heading to a mysterious place known to them only as "The Retreat," but when they discover a dead man among their ranks and Meg spies a familiar face, she realizes that there is something far more insidious going on.

Carter is gazing out the window of the abandoned ski chalet that he and his ragtag compatriots call home. Together, they manage a precarious survival, manufacturing vaccines against a deadly virus in exchange for life's essentials. But as their generator begins to waver, the threat of something lurking in the chalet's depths looms larger, and their fragile bonds will be tested when the power finally fails--for good.

The imminent dangers faced by Hannah, Meg, and Carter are each one part of the puzzle. Lurking in their shadows is an even greater threat--one that threatens to consume all of humanity.

My Review

I will firstly say I have read almost all of this authors books and do really enjoy her writing and how she creates characters/atmosphere. So I do look forward to her next books and this one was no exception. The book surrounds three different groups of people and it is tense tense tense.

Carter and crew are in an abandoned ski resort, they call home and work on the vaccine to deal with the deadly virus that has swept the globe. Meg wakes up with strangers in a cable car suspended in the air, they are all knocked out and start waking and trying to recall how they got there. Hannah and her travelling companions are on a coach after escaping from the boarding school when they end up trapped, danger all around and no way to call for help!

Ooft the atmosphere and tension, some of it gave me The Things vibes, you know something bad could be in someone next to you and it is life threatening. Also the isolation all the group have, the guys at the retreat/chalet can come and go but there is still immanent threat about so they are effectively stranded although maybe not as bad as the cable car and bus guys.

There are a lot of characters and three separate scene settings which I don't always love as it can be distracting however Tudor writes it well you keep track no problem and when something kicks off on one group you don't want to leave to the next chapter. Then you are with the other group and its the same thing, I just wanted to know everything already.

Tudor keeps you on your toes and absolutely immersed in the carnage that follows as each group tries to survive. I had no idea where we were heading or what each endgame was going to be, that isn't always easy for authors especially when you have voracious readers. Yet she keeps it fresh every time and in this book we get three separate groups/happenings/stories that keep you hooked and guessing.

I think I only have one more story of hers to read and I so look forward to it, I think Master King gave a favourable quote to one of her works and he wasn't wrong. Exciting, shocking, horrific scenes, a deadly virus and in amongst trying to survive some humans will still be awful and some will show amazing feats of strength, loyalty and character, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 24 October 2023

A Daughter's Disgrace by Kitty Neale

A Daughter’s DisgraceA Daughter’s Disgrace by Kitty Neale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 418

Publisher - Avon books

Source - Gift

Blurb from Amazon

Alison is the ugly duckling of her family and has always been treated with disdain by her mother. After years of being bullied, she is drawn to the one man who shows her affection. But when he brutally rapes her, leaving her pregnant, she is cast out.

Shunned by her family, Alison must start to make her own way and plan a life for herself and her unborn child – and for the first time she is master of her own destiny.

But when the baby arrives, Alison feels no love for her new son. Terrified that history will repeat itself, can she find a way to love her child? And will she ever find the forgiveness she craves from her family?

My Review

Oooft guys this book is *jaw drops* - talk about some shady horrible characters! Alison is the "baby" of the family, the youngest of three daughters and treated abysmally by almost everyone. She is mocked for her looks by family and locals, she is painfully shy as a result. She is such a good egg and just gives and gives whilst her mother and sister Hazel mock, put her down and take more and more. Linda is the eldest and has a soft spot for Alison but she lives away and has her own family. When Alison gets a job in a butchers things start to look up a bit until she is attacked and her whole world is turned upside down.

Now obviously it tells you in the blurb and there is the title too that there is an SA resulting in a pregnancy. I have to just say see if something doesn't happen in the first quarter I don't think it should be mentioned in the blurb as it is a spoiler. If I remember it is almost half way through so just a wee person gripe I have.

Alison's mum and sister Hazel (the middle child and absolutely spoiled) are really repugnant characters. I wanted to hug Alison because regardless of what she does, or how much she gives they never have a kind word for her. Contrasting that, her boss in the butchers is such a nice kind soul and I think against Cora (her mother) and Hazel it really shows the opposites and how bad/good they are.

The book is set in the 50s and Neale captures the authenticity of the time well, I thought. The whole keeping a front on because of the neighbours and judgement(s), saving for what little you had. The judgements - ie wearing lipstick and daring to date/work and the way people looked down on others.

I find these books you can sink into and just block out your own reality, if for just a little while, I have read Neale before and will read again, 4/5 for me this time.

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Friday 20 October 2023

The Sinner by J R Ward

The Sinner (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #18)The Sinner by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days (in and out)

Pages - 512

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A sinner’s only hope is true love in this passionate new novel in J.R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Syn has kept his side hustle as a mercenary a secret from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. When he takes another hit job, he not only crosses the path of the vampire race’s new enemy, but also that of a half-breed in danger of dying during her transition. Jo Early has no idea what her true nature is, and when a mysterious man appears out of the darkness, she is torn between their erotic connection and the sense that something is very wrong.

Fate anointed Butch O’Neal as the Dhestroyer, the fulfiller of the prophecy that foresees the end of the Omega. As the war with the Lessening Society comes to a head, Butch gets an unexpected ally in Syn. But can he trust the male—or is the warrior with the bad past a deadly complication?

With time running out, Jo gets swept up in the fighting and must join with Syn and the Brotherhood against true evil. In the end, will love true prevail...or was the prophecy wrong all along?

My Review

I don't really remember Syn too much in previous books but I do remember Jo Early, the reporter who with another co worker where trying to cover the vampires/destruction when the Lessers and vamps battled. Turns out Jo is a half breed and on the cusp on transition and Syn is brought into her life as a job and Syn has no idea what lies ahead for him. So Syn is a bit rogue, whilst him and his fighters have taken oath to the king he is still a bit nomad, a loner, wild, a killer. He has had a horrific past and not the best of relations with the other sex. We hear a bit about his past and know he is a hitman, man, woman it doesn't matter he is happy to take folk out. So when Jo comes into his path he is not ready for the impact she has on him nor what it can mean for him.

We also get an unexpected pop up from Covet, book one in another series by this author, I think I need to read the rest of them for fear of spoilers in the next in this series, plus I did enjoy that one. Butch features a wee bit more and I feel we haven't seen a whole lot of the Lessers nor the Omega in the last few so it was nice to get a bit more of that side from the series.

As usual there is graphic adult scenes of an adult nature so not for the easy to blush or quick to be mortified, this is book 18 so you should know by now what you are getting. The book has a glossary at the start which I think is a fantastic idea to keep up with the terminology, no matter how long you have been reading the series it is good to have them. Murder, love, friendships, a wee bit almost gaslighting, certainly I was a bit annoyed at some of the behaviours of some but from the beginning you know he has a dark/dangerous/aggressive side. Always nice to see progression from the stories and I think with this one Ward has injected a new lease of life into the series and look forward to seeing where it goes, 3.5/5 from me.

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Saturday 14 October 2023

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 284

Publisher -

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.

My Review

I think this is my first time reading this author although I have heard the name many times in book groups and sure I have a few others on my tbrm. This is a standalone, punted as a half fairy tale half love story, I am not sure I would use any of them to describe it to be honest. Lexi is really close to her little sister, her mother hasn't been right since her dad died and uncle Otto is taking the lead of man in the house. Lexi is very much like her dad was and into tracking and getting in and about the thick of everything whereas at sixteen in the village it should be more ladylike and focused on wedding, absolutely not what Lexi has in mind. When a stranger is spotted in the village and then a little child goes missing from their bedroom, a hunt for the stranger begins. When another goes missing the townsfolk are after blood rather than answers. Lexi wants to know who the stranger is and she knows exactly where to go to find out.

I don't know for me there was so many seemingly separate threads that didn't exactly gel or come together or in some cases what was the point. The old witch tale that was used to scare the kids, I liked and thought it was well done. The kids disappearing was almost pied piper vibes, there was no harm or force they just seemed to have disappeared with no trace.

The sisters that Lexi goes to I would have loved to have heard more about them, mysterious, elderly witches, the only two left in the village. I think they would have made for great reading and maybe the author will revisit and do a story on them. I just think for a book about witches (ok The Near Witch implies just one) we wold have had more witches.

I didn't get the mob mentality of wanting to hunt down the stranger, surely you would want to capture them and get some answers, most importantly where are the kids. There were things I liked, things I didn't and some missed opportunities I felt but overall it was fine, 3/5 for me.

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Tuesday 10 October 2023

The Amityville Horror 2 by John G Jones

The Amityville Horror IIThe Amityville Horror II by John G. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Warner

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

George and Kathy Lutz flee their demon-plagued home only to face renewed terrors

My Review

If you have read or seen the movies you know what the story is about, this book picks up where the first book leaves off. Kathy, George and the kids flee Amityville house leaving all their possessions/belongings and pretty much everything they own in attempts to flee the evil entity. Sadly they soon find that no matter where they go evil is following them.

The only thing I would say I found different from the movies etc well from what I remember the book goes into them doing the book and the promotion for it. How things go, how they are received by the general public, interviewing hosts and what is happening to the rest of their family whilst they travel.

Perfect book for candles, dark night, blanket & a quiet freaky night in. I think most people have an interest in this story and if you enjoy freaky/supernatural tales then whether you believe this to be a true story or not you will enjoy it. 4/5 from us for this one.

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Sunday 8 October 2023

Covet by J R Ward

Covet (Fallen Angels, #1)Covet by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 496

Publisher - Little brown & co

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about - his specialty is revenge and, to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option.

My Review

Book one in a new series, Jim Heron is a man with a past, he is now working at a construction site and after an encounter of the adult kind with a stunning woman and an accident Jim finds himself in the company of higher beings. He is now effectively a player in a game of life and death, good vs evil and Jim has been picked as the representative of good. Jim has had a very shady past, he has done some bad things but he has a moral compass so they feel he is a good choice. The other side has their own player and Jim has his work cut out trying to do what is asked of him.

Oooft we have angels, demons, dodgyness, chat of domestic violence, manipulation, lust, seduction, murder, spells, you name it. I think this is a good foundation book one in a six book series. Not for the easily offended, adult scenes (of an erotic nature), evil forces, murder, trying to influence over the deadly sins, one side wants the individual to choose bad, the other side to choose good and humanity/souls are the end game so everything that is anything is at risk.

I do enjoy Ward's writing and normally it is the Black Dagger Brotherhood series I read but thought I would give this a bash. The battle between good and evil is one we see in most genres and it is a formula done over and over but Ward writes in a way, with characters, you engage with and what to see where it goes and folk get their comeuppance. I am going to order book two, I can't wait to see where the story goes next, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Monday 2 October 2023

Hidden Killers by Lynda LaPlante BookTour

Book two of the #TeamTennison tour - "Hidden Killers" - for my stop I have my review, enjoy. You can buy your own copy now, from Amazon or any other good retailer.

We read ours with the pelting rain, in the nook with a blanket (is there anything nicer!).

Hidden Killers (Jane Tennison #2)Hidden Killers by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 5 days

Pages - 496

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A prostitute dressed in a blue rabbit fur coat walks through the darkness of Hackney Fields, seemingly alone. But someone is waiting for her...

A woman is found dead in her bath, a small child crying in the room next door... Is it an accidental death or the perfect murder?

When WPC Jane Tennison is promoted to the role of Detective Constable in London's Bow Street CID, she is immediately conflicted. While her far more experienced colleagues move on swiftly from one criminal case to another, Jane is often left with doubts about their findings.

Becoming inextricably embroiled in a multiple-rape case, Jane must put her life at risk in the search for answers. Will she toe the CID line, or endanger her position by seeking the truth...?

My Review

Oooh book two and we find Jane Tennison is promoted to Detective Constable in Bow Street, London CID. There are two cases being investigated, a rape and a young mother dead in a bath tub, Jane is finding just how different things work here. From new bosses, some of the same issues we found in book one, sexism, racism, skulduggery and hints of things not being quite above board Jane is feeling the pressure to do a job she loves, remain true to herself and conform.

I try to remember the time period this is set in, so sexism was (and still prevalent in some areas/places), hierarchy, unethical behaviours but you do get riled at how she is treated by her peers a fair bit.

From being put in danger, questioning her fellow officers and even putting her much loved job at risk by following her heart and intuition we follow Jane on some dark and questionable paths. There are some very unsettling themes in the book, rape, murder, people, cops struggling with their own demons, addictions - it is a busy book and mixed bag.

There is so much more to the series and I look forward to getting into them and seeing what the future holds for Jane and co, 4/5 for me this time.

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Sunday 1 October 2023

Happy October - Wee competition for Stephen King fans

Happy 1st of October, we love the spooky month and got new Scream (the movie) themed slippers for the occassion, any excuse really lol. Even Luna is getting in amongst it, she suits the wee pumpkin.

So if you have been around here a while you know we LOVE Halloween, spooky and Master King is responsible for our love of both reading and horror. We love supporting small businesses where able so I often buy our bookmarks etc from there. I got this fabulous Stephen King bookmark and decided to get a second for giveaway.

I have my own version of this keyring on my Vegs bag, it has lasted ages considering how much travel/wear and tear so decided to get another one. Themed from The Shining, the hotel The Overlook.

It is two sided.

The keyring is plastic and the bookmark is material, both are as pictured.

To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter, complete the entries you want, the more you complete the more entries you have. As these are lightweight items I will open this to worldwide. I wish I could make all giveaways open to all but with postage costs rising and rising I can only do as and when. Good luck if entering and thanks for supporting the blog, us on our other social media platforms and interacting. It always makes us happy when folk reach out for a recommendation or to tell us they loved a book they bought we recommended. Books have always provided an escapism for me and I have loved them since I was a wean so connecting with so many bookworms, across so many genres/countries is always a smile raise for us!

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Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Daisy DarkerDaisy Darker by Alice Feeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read -

Pages - 352

Publisher -

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The New York Times bestselling Queen of Twists returns…with a family reunion that leads to murder.

After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.

With a wicked wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Daisy Darker’s unforgettable twists will leave readers reeling.

My Review

Meet Daisy, part of the dysfunctional family who are getting together for her Nana's 80th birthday. Nana had had a psychic reading done that predicted she would die when she was 80 and being a little unique Nana wants the family together. The house stands alone and when the tide comes in they will be stuck together. When Nana is found dead the family are trapped and no way to get the police. Everyone suspects the other, tensions are high and the killing has only just started!

Oooft talk about troubled family! They are all so different, LOVED nana she is quirky as is her house, her dinner ideas though, you know I am twitchy with foods so some of her concoctions lol just naw. The family members have their own secrets and when nana tells them what she plans to do with her fortune it isn't received well. Tempers/emotions are running high and that is before poor nana is bumped off.

Drawn in quickly, shocking, unlikeable characters (not all of them) but the ones you do like really shows up the bad ones for how shocking they are. Creepy, atmospheric, lies, relationships, family it is quite engaging, I love family dynamics like this and when you think you know where the story is going or working something out, Feeney switches it up and keeps you on your toes. I have read her before and will be looking for the rest of her work, 4/5 from us this time.

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