15 Dec 2018

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Book Review / Leverage In Death by JD Robb

Lieutenant Eve Dallas puzzles over a bizarre suicide bombing in a Wall St. office building in the latest in the #1 New York Times bestselling series…

For the airline executives finalizing a merger that would make news in the business world, the nine a.m. meeting would be a major milestone. But after marketing VP Paul Rogan walked into the plush conference room, strapped with explosives, the headlines told of death and destruction instead. The NYPSD’s Eve Dallas confirms that Rogan was cruelly coerced by two masked men holding his family hostage. His motive was saving his wife and daughter—but what was the motive of the masked men?

Despite the chaos and bad publicity, blowing up one meeting isn’t going to put the brakes on the merger. All it’s accomplished is shattering a lot of innocent lives. Now, with the help of her billionaire husband Roarke, Eve must untangle the reason for an inexplicable act of terror, look at suspects inside and outside both corporations, and determine whether the root of this crime lies in simple sabotage, or something far more complex and twisted.


Published:     4th September 2018
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 47, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

This series just gets better and better with each and ever book that comes out!  Full disclosure, I have not read each and every single book in this series but is something I am planning to do, so you do not have to read these in order or start from the very beginning to enjoy this series.  That is one of the great aspects of these books, you can just pick up one along the road, start and carry on from there, although I do suspect that I would get a lot more out of the story if I did start from the beginning as you have ongoing characters, main and side line, that feature in most of the stories and I would really like to know more about their background and how they came into this world.

The magic of this book and all that I have read in this series is the characters that feature in each and every story.  I have read them before, know what they have been to and with each and every book I read you see more of and more of those characters, their personality and how they interact with each other.   It really feels like a team that work together to help solve crimes being led by Lieutenant Dallas.

Can't wait for the next instalment!!!




Continue reading Book Review / Leverage In Death by JD Robb

8 Dec 2018

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Series Review / Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare *** CONTAIN SPOILERS ***











The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealing and festival, Anna Lightwood’s doomed romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no-one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah.

Published:     2018
Series or Stand-Alone:  Series, Shadowhunter World
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

As I have probably mentioned in previous review of the books in the Shadowhunter world, I do not normally pick up novellas or side books in series.  Generally, I stick to the main books and that is it.  I had found when I had picked up those books in the past that they never really added much to the story, just gave more depth to the characters in it maybe.  Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world novellas and side novels are completely different.  Each and every one adds a bit more to the overall Shadowhunter world and gives more depth to each of the characters' stories that are in it.

I have put a warning on this review that it contains spoilers but that is only because of the description of the series above.  For those who have not read a lot of the books in this world, it is probably best to go back and start from the beginning.  I would recommend starting with the Mortal Instruments series and go from there.  For me, this world has just got better and better.

With a lot of characters in this book, we see a lot more of Brother Zachariah and Tessa Gray along with ancestors of the characters from the Mortal Instruments series and learning even more about the Shadowhunter history.

I loved this mini-series in itself and can't wait to see what happens next in this world!















Continue reading Series Review / Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare *** CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

18 Nov 2018

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Book Review / You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Published:     7th June 2016
Publisher:  St Martin's Griffin
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

This book really surprised me.  I went into this thinking that this was going to be a nice easy contemporary read but what I got out of this was so much more.  In this we follow two main characters, Mark and Kate.  Mark needs to step out of his comfort zone a lot more and Kate has lost herself and needs to find herself again.

What I loved about this story is the depth in the main characters and following them as they make their choices in life and help each other out.   This story just shows that it is not only the friends you already know that will stick by you.  You have a possible best friend in the person that you haven't paid much attention but the one that is there at the moment you need them the most.    This book covers so many issues including friendship, love, unrequited love and many more issues that I had not read about before.

A serious but fun read that I would highly recommend.







Continue reading Book Review / You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

15 Nov 2018

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Book Review / The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

“From the brilliant first line to the shattering conclusion, The Winters will draw you in and leave you breathless. . . . A must read.” —Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, a spellbindingly suspenseful novel set in the moneyed world of the Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that can’t be escaped


After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancĂ© Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbors political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets—the kind of secrets that could kill her, too. The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

Published:    15th November 2018
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW

This was a very interesting thriller to read.  What I had expected was a lot of twists and turns and a lot of surprises but that is not what I got out of of this story.  You have a very rich wealthy business man who meets, falls in love and proposes to a young lady who is more at home on a boat than in a castle but that is where she ends up after falling in love herself.  Unfortunately for the new Mrs Winter, there's more baggage that comes with this marriage than she was expecting.   You have Mr Winter's daughter Dani who is a very difficult individual.  Right from the start, you can see that she is trying to make it difficult for the new Mrs Winter to settle in but maybe there's more to her than meets the eye.

I would have loved to have said that the many twists and turns in this book surprised me but unfortunately they didn't.  In one way or another, I had already guessed all of the story as I went along but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the ride.  For me, the best part of the story was the characters.  Watching then interact with each other, learning to like or get along with each other and wondering whether what they know is the truth or not.

A really interesting unexpected read that I would recommend but I would go into this story open minded and not really knowing much about the story.









Continue reading Book Review / The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

7 Nov 2018

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Book Review / A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Fall in love, break the curse.It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin

Published:     29th January 2019
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1 in a series, hopefully
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW


Having recently read and loved Letters to the Lost by this author, I was so excited to see what this was all about.  I am just going to say right now that I absolutely adore this book!  You have three main characters in this book, Rhen (the Crown Prince), Grey (the Crown Prince's Commander) and Harper (the unlucky/lucky person that literally gets pulled into their world unexpectedly. Rhen is under a curse and Grey is sworn to protect him, no matter what.  To break this curse, Rhen has to find someone to fall in love with him.  So far, he has been very unlucky but will Harper be the one?

Although very predictable in a lot of places in this book in terms of romance and action, I just could not pull myself away from this story and actually read this book in one sitting!  It took quite a number of hours, but I did it!  I had to know what would happen next...  This is a very long book and although I would normally say that stories like this don't need to be too long but this was worth every single word and need I say it but could have been longer lol!

Now, this book does have a twist that I didn't see coming right near the end that made the story so much more interesting than I had originally thought (and originally I thought this was very interesting...).  Although it does not say on Goodreads whether this will be a series or not, but I seriously hope that it will be because I need to know what happens next!!!




Continue reading Book Review / A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

3 Nov 2018

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Book Review / Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

In the romantic tradition of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals -- transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopaedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.

Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, Every Breath explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties -- and asks the question, How long can a dream survive?


Published:     16th October 2018
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW


Every time Nicholas Sparks announces that he has a new book coming out, I can hardly contain my excitement.  I have loved each and every one of his books, including this one!  Now, this one has a different feel to ones that I have read before.  Nicholas Sparks himself has 'top and tailed' this story with a beginning and an ending.  From what I understand this story, some elements are taken from real life and some are fictionalised for the story.  I am not sure which is which but this is one hell of a beautiful story.

In this story, we follow the story of Hope and Tru.  Hope staying at her parents cottage by the sea to sort out items that she wants to keep before her parents sell it.  Tru having travelled all the way from Zimbabwe to visit the father he never met.  The most beautiful part of this story is the story of Hope and True.  How they meet, how they get on and watching the choices they make as they follow their life paths.

I can honestly say that Nicholas Sparks is the only author that never fails to make me cry reading a novel.  Whether that be tears of sadness or happiness, I always feel emotional at some point during each and every story.  This story is no different.  I am not going to say whether it is happiness or sadness, as I don't want to spoil the story for you but let's just say it was a very emotional read and one that I very highly recommend.


Continue reading Book Review / Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

1 Nov 2018

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Book Review / One More Chance by Lucy Ayrton




Dani hasn't had an easy life. She's made some bad choices and now she's paying the ultimate price; prison.

With her young daughter Bethany, growing up in foster care, Dani is determined to be free and reunited with her. There's only one problem; Dani can't stay out of trouble.

Dani's new cellmate Martha is quiet and unassuming. There's something about her that doesn't add up. When Martha offers Dani one last chance at freedom, she doesn't hesitate.

Everything she wants is on the outside, but Dani is stuck on the inside. Is it possible to break out when everyone is trying to keep you in . . .







Published:     28th June 2018
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

Now, I am not normally one to pick up books about prison, drugs and rehabilitation.  It is not that they aren't good stories, but they are just not the type of story that I would pick up.  That said, however, there was something about this book that drew me in.

When reading the description, for me it read like this was going to be the story of Dani breaking out of prison to get to her daughter.  Realistically, for me this was not the best part of this story.  The best part was actually learning more about Dani, her background and watching her character grow as the story goes along.  We start off the story by seeing her as a repeat offender, someone who is always going to end up back in prison.  As the story goes on, she changes and really wanting to rather than being forced into change.

Don't let some characters fool you in this story, some are mean and some are friendly but that doesn't mean that they are going to stay that way...   There is also a kind of supernatural/psychic element to it that although it was woven into the story very nicely, I found it very hard to believe that was really happening.

A really dramatic character driven story that you really should pick up...








Continue reading Book Review / One More Chance by Lucy Ayrton

31 Oct 2018

Book Review / Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel

Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest death-defying scheme.


Published:     10th July 2018
Publisher:  Disney
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

I had so much fun reading this.  Like many many others, this is one of my all time favourite Halloween movies, if not one of my favourite movies of all time.  When I heard that this had been transformed into a book and not just that, there was a sequel to the story, I knew that I had to read that as fast as I could.

I listened to the audio book of this one and, to be honest, it has its good points and its bad points.  Let's start with the bad points and then work our way to the better points.  As this is a massive movie, I would have expected the audio book to have that same charisma and portray the many many larger than life characters.  Now, I am not saying that the audio book speaker was not good because she was but I would have loved to have had a bit more dramatic flair and more emphasis on the individuality of each of the main characters in this story, especially the witches.  Another aspect that I wasn't fond of was the fact that in the movie it has very rememberable songs like I Put A Spell On You and the lullaby that one of the witches sings to lure the children to them.  In the book, these were merely spoken rather than sung or even used music.  With the sequel, although I did enjoy it I would have loved to have had a different storyline.   From my experience of listening to this story, apart from a few tweaks it seemed to follow a similar storyline to the original story but not much variation.   For a sequel to a very popular story, I would have expected a similar feel to the first book but a sequel that moves the story forward, adds more depth to the world etc.

Moving onto the good things.  I enjoyed revisiting this story so much.  I didn't get the chance to watch it last year and purposefully did not watch it this year as I didn't wait it to 'interfere' with my enjoyment of the book by comparing one to the other.   With the sequel, I found the whole aspect of being so many years later and the 'next generation' are learning about the witches and seeing what happens if you make the mistake of waking them up.  In this sequel, we also find out a little bit more history of the witches and their family, with a surprising twist nearer the end.





Continue reading Book Review / Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel

23 Oct 2018

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Book Review / You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke


Spine-tingling, chilling, and utterly compulsive, YOU LET ME IN is the stunning new novel from Richard & Judy Book Club author, Lucy Clarke
 
Nothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house . . .

I’M IN YOUR HOUSE
 
There’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.

I’M IN YOUR HEAD
 
Maybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.

AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRET
 
As fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…


Published:     16th August 2018
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


MY REVIEW

Lucy Clarke is definitely an author that has a firm place in my most favourite authors list.  The only one left I have to read is Last Seen and I can' wait to dig into that one.

We follow Elle in this story.  She has just come back from being away for one or two weeks to her reasonably newly built house that she has been renting out while she has been away.  But there's something not quite right with the house and this is a feeling that she has right from when she steps through the door.   It seems that someone may be watching here or even in her house, both when she's not there and even possibly when she is.  Is she going mad or is there really someone out to get her? But it is  not only Elle's point of view we read in this story.  This story is split into two viewpoints, one, of course, is Elle's but the other could be the person who is watching her...

This book kept me right at the end of my seat the whole way through.  There are a vast array of characters that are featured in this book including next door neighbours, next door neighbour's son, her sister and brother-in-law.  Also, you have the family who rented the house while Elle was away.  All of them suspects...

Despite the fact that I had figured out what was happening about near the middle of the book, this was such an enjoyable read.  Full of suspense, twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat!!!







Continue reading Book Review / You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

21 Oct 2018

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Book Review / Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante

A smart, haunting tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.

Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

Half Moon Bay is a chilling story about a mother haunted by her past. As Stewart O’Nan said about Turn of Mind—this novel “blindfolds the reader and spins her around.


Published:     10th July 2018
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

I had really wanted to like this book but, for me, it just didn't really hit the spot.  First off, I went into this book thinking that it was going to be a murder mystery where we follow the accused.  It really threw me when, as I was reading this book, this story was not really about the murder mystery, that was just a side story to me.  The main story of this book is more about following Jane from the start of the book where she has lost her daughter and decides to move to Half Moon Bay to get away from it all.  Now this part of the story, I really did enjoy.  This was the part of the story that kept me reading.  The character development from start to finish for the character of Jane was really interesting and just kept me guessing as to whether I really knew all I needed to know about this character or whether she was still hiding a lot.  I did also enjoy the way that the story had been written, a little bit jumpy and dotting from one part to another which, for me, just accentuated, where Jane was in her mind at the time.  All mixed up. 

I really wanted to enjoy this story but did find it confusing.  This is more about the psychological effect Jane's mind has on what she does, says or what other people perceive her to be rather than about a murder mystery.






Continue reading Book Review / Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante

16 Oct 2018

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Blog Tour Book Review / In Her Bones by Kate Moretti

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…


Published:     2nd October 2018
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher





MY REVIEW

What an interesting and exciting read!  I read this in one sitting on a rainy Sunday.  

In this story, we follow Edie whose mother is a convicted serial killer.  That, right there, is surely enough to mess with her mind and affect her in ways that those of us with non-serial killer mothers would not be able to understand but the way this story is written it me, as a reader, right there in Edie's place trying to understand who she is and what she is up to.  Her way of coping is to keep and eye on and follow the families of her mother's victims, keeping journals of their movements.  A bit disturbing but at least, compared to what her mother had done, this was all she had done.  

By far the best part of the story for me was Edie's investigative mission and how she manages to find out all that she does.  I was really surprised by that twist and thoroughly enjoyed following Edie as she tried to figure out what really went on. 

Even though I was a little disappointed by the ending of this book and had wished there was a bit more of a conclusion, this was a thoroughy enjoyable read and would highly recommend it.  






Continue reading Blog Tour Book Review / In Her Bones by Kate Moretti

13 Oct 2018

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Book Review / Hallowdene by George Mann (Book 2, Wychwood Series)



Former London journalist Elspeth Reeves is trying to carve a new life for herself in the sleepy Oxfordshire countryside until she's sent to cover the excavation of a notorious local witch's grave.

Three hundred years ago, her name mixed up with murder and black magic, Agnes Levett was hanged and then buried under an immense stone, to prevent her spirit from ever rising again. Elspeth investigates but soon finds there is far more to the old tale than meets the eye, as the surrounding area is rocked by a series of mysterious and brutal murders, all of people somehow connected with the dig.

She and her childhood friend DS Peter Shaw race to uncover the truth, but secrets lain buried for centuries are not easily discovered.






Published:     18th September 2018
Publisher:  Titan Books

Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Wychwood
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

I am so addicted to this series, I can't believe there are no more books out there to read yet!!!  Although this is the second book in the Wychwood series, you can read this independently of the first book if you want to although I would strongly recommend starting from the beginning.  That way, you can get a back story to the characters that are in this series and get a view of the 'bigger picture'.

This book takes us way in the past to three hundred years ago.  I absolutely adore stories like this, so already this book is golden to me.  You have the usual characters that I suspect will be the main focus of this series, Elspeth and DS Peter Shaw, and you meet more characters from this home town.  Some of these characters are just innocent bystanders and some of them are not so innocent and hold onto the history of their families for a long time!

In this second book, I got more of a sense of Elspeth's home town, how the people in it operate and a bit more knowledge of the past.  Such great history in this book and with the mystery of the past and present mixed in, it was definitely one of those stories that I could not put down.

I was completely addicted to this book and just could not put it down.  Can't wait for the next one! 



Continue reading Book Review / Hallowdene by George Mann (Book 2, Wychwood Series)
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Re-Read Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann


 Elspeth May, a young female journalist who never seems to be in the right place at the right time, suddenly gets her big break only to find that no one will ever believe her story.

When a local woman is found murdered in her own home, slashed viciously across the throat, the police begin a manhunt of the surrounding villages, unsure exactly of who or what they are looking for. Elspeth, accidentally first on the scene, finds her interest piqued, and sets out to investigate the details surrounding the crime. In doing so she finds herself constantly battling against Peter Shaw, a police sergeant working on the case and under suspicion due to a terrible incident that occurred during a previous investigation. More murders follow, each of them adopting a similar pattern.

What links the victims? And why are some of the local people trying to cover things up?"





Published:     12th September 2017
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher 

Previous Review:  Click here




MY REVIEW

The first time I read this book I really enjoyed it (my previous review can be found in the link above).  I had the opportunity to be able to read and review the second book in this series, Hallowdene and thought that I had better re-read the first book just to remind myself of the characters and the world they were in.  I have to say that I enjoyed this book so much more the second time around!  Having been about a year since I last read this book, I did worry that I would remember a lot of the twists and the turns but I really didn't and that was a good thing.  It was like I was going into this book blind or reading it for the first time.

What I found the most enjoyable about this book was the mixture of thriller and what I describe as folklore.  There are some parts of this book that can easily be explained but there are a couple of 'incidents' that I just cannot explain how what happened, happened.  

If I had to describe this book in a few words I would call it an energetic thriller with a dash of fokelore mixed in.  This book has a very spooky feel to it and is a great book to pick up this time of year!!


 
Continue reading Re-Read Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann

7 Oct 2018

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Trilogy Review / Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare


In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...


Published:     First book published in 2010
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1, 2 and 3, Infernal Devices
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW


What I loved about this trilogy...  By a long shot, the best thing about this series is the world they are in.  Having just previously read The Mortal Instruments Series, The Bane Chronicles and Tales of the Shadowhunters Academy, I was deep into this world and was hoping that this Trilogy would add more depth to that.  This trilogy definitely did not disappoint me!  In this trilogy, we step back quite a number of years before the Mortal Instruments Series and get to learn a bit more about the history of the world and even how some things have come to be that end up being featured in the Mortal Instruments Series.  

I also loved the romance aspect of this trilogy.  You have a classic love triangle and, for me, it was really well developed and played out exactly how I would have hoped it did. 

What I did not like about this trilogy...  I really did enjoy this trilogy very much but it did take me a while to read, mainly because I felt that the pace of the stories in this trilogy were very slow.  Despite the fact that I was hooked by the story and the characters, it seemed like it was taking me ages to read something that really shouldn't have taken that long.  I felt that maybe the stories did not have to be 500 to 600 pages long but rather 300 to 400 pages long and it would still have been just as good.

In summary...   A really fun trilogy that has plenty of twists and turns.  Although a bit slow paced for me and each book could have been shorter, this is a trilogy that really adds to the depth of the Shadowhunters world and I really can't wait to read what comes next in this world. 











Continue reading Trilogy Review / Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

28 Sep 2018

Blog Tour Extract / Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante

A smart, haunting tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.

Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

Half Moon Bay is a chilling story about a mother haunted by her past. As Stewart O’Nan said about Turn of Mind—this novel “blindfolds the reader and spins her around.”


My review of this story will follow soon....
 
EXTRACT


A police car, she can see as it comes into focus. Its lights flashing. White with black geometric markings. And another. And another. A dark figure approaches, grows darker and more substantial as it gets closer.
May I help you, ma’am? When did she turn from a miss into a ma’am? The shift has been imperceptible. Yet it has happened. Maiden, mother, crone. She is no longer either of the first two, so that leaves the final stage. At thirty-nine, her red hair glints gray in direct light.
What’s going on? Jane asks. Even her voice is muffled by the fog.
The figure comes closer. It is wearing a hat, a uniform with a badge on it. It is male, as she should have known from the voice. But somehow that surprises her. What did she expect? Something not quite of this earth. A hobgoblin. Bugbear. But this man seems solid, human. A policeman. The bearer of bad news.
It’s a search party. You live near here?
A silly question. No one lives near Mavericks. To reach it, you have to wind your way through the acres of rusting warehouses and grounded boats Jane has just navigated.
Over there. Jane motions with her head in the general direction of her cottage.
You know the McCreadys, then?
Just the name, Jane says. She tries to conjure up faces, fails.
They live up on the hill. He points into the darkness.
Oh. That explains it. Hill people. They’re different. In another life, Jane would have been one of them. They live in the new houses clinging precipitously to the steep hill above Princeton-by-the-Sea. The ornate ones painted to look like Victorians from the last century.
With balconies no one stepped onto, lounge chairs no one sat in. Hill people were the prosperous professionals: the doctors and lawyers and engineers who commuted every day over the hill to Silicon Valley. Another world from here, the San Mateo coast. Although it’s a small community, Jane isn’t on speaking terms with any of the people who live up the hill. Most of them belong to a different species altogether, with their business suits and BMWs that roar off at 7:00 a.m. to make it over Route 92 to Sunnyvale or Milpitas by the start of the workday. Programmers and project managers. Financial analysts, accountants. Men and women who spend more time on the road than at home. People capable of organizing their thoughts into logical code, Gantt charts of responsibility, and numbers that add up. Ambiguity banished from their lives during the day. Then back here, to the rolling sea and amorphous fog. A strange existence. It takes a certain kind of person to juggle the contrasts. Jane knows she sounds scornful, but really she is envious. They have found balance.
What about the McCreadys?
 Their little girl, Heidi. She’s wandered away.
Jane considers. Why are you looking here? she asks. It seems an implausible place and time.
This was her favorite spot. She’d been here with her parents this afternoon. The little girl lost her magic pebble. They thought she might have come back to look for it.
Jane considers. Magic pebbles. It hurts to remember. Magic string, magic pencils, even magic bugs. Jane had fixed up a cardboard box to contain the spiders and the roly-polies Angela captured from under the porch, but they all skittered away through the cracks. Jane’s heart breaking to see Angela’s tears of irrevocable loss. A child’s grief, never to be trivialized.
How old was she? Jane asks.
Five.
Angela didn’t speak until she was five. Jane and Rick had taught her sign language and communicated with their hands. Eat. More? All gone. Then, suddenly, out came everything in full sentences. Angela had kept it all inside until she burst. She learned that from Jane.
A long way to walk for a five-year-old, Jane says.
A missing girl. Police. This will end badly. Such things always end badly.








Continue reading Blog Tour Extract / Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante