Monday 31 October 2016

Review: Dream Waters

Dream Waters Dream Waters by Erin A. Jensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dream Waters is such a surprising read, one that pulled me in so much more than I’d initially anticipated.

In this story so many things are crossed over, so many things pulled together, and I loved it. Dreams and reality collide. Fairy tales and history mix. Love and obsession can be seen. And those are simply the three main points written on the cover – I could easily name more.

Our story starts in a psychiatric unit, with our characters coming together for the first time. I’ll admit, at first, I felt as though things were quite slow. Our characters came together, their relationship seemed to appear out of nowhere, and yet the story wasn’t really giving us much. There was a lot of mystery, so many questions, and yet the focus was upon these two coming together and forming their friendship that seemed to be the prelude to something more.

Then the fantasy hit us. Not just the odd reference here and there, I mean it really came to life as it was explained to us. It was such a unique fantasy and I adored it. The Dream World exists in our sleeping state, everyone has access to it, but a select few can travel there of their own will without the aid of sleep. It seems really basic, but there is so much more to it than you can imagine. With our main male character being able to see the dream world, being able to travel between the two worlds, it quickly grows beyond what you would expect and you’re soon in love with both worlds and the way they interact. Still, you have many questions. Despite how much we find out, we still need many questions answered.

I’ll admit that I saw quite a few things coming from quite early on. Who and what characters were wasn’t quite the mystery it was intended to be, being slightly predictable. However, I was so focused upon these obvious aspects that I was taken completely by surprise when some of the twists came about. The end chapter in particular – wow. It has left me so ready for the next book. I’m curious about where things will go, hopeful for answers. There are so many potential directions for the next book and I’m not at all sure where it will go – all I know for sure is that the ending left me more than ready for it.

Honestly, I really did enjoy this one much more than the initial few chapters had me believing. Flickering between perspectives had me fearful that I wouldn’t get into the book, along with a few distracting editing issues, but once I wrapped my head around things I was pulled right in. This book pulls together so many different elements, leaving us with something both simple and complex. It really is a fun read.

As a final note, I’d like to thank the author for contacting me for a review. I cannot wait to see what the next book brings.

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Sunday 30 October 2016

Review: I Died Yesterday

I Died Yesterday I Died Yesterday by Andy Graham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I Died Yesterday: five stories of dark fiction, suspense and horror.

Personally, I would have simplified that to ‘five chilling reads’ but to each their own. All that matters is that these five stories were a lot of fun – and that is saying something coming from me.

I have a complex relationship with short stories. I either love them or hate them. More often than I’d like, I end up disliking them. I always want more, I always feel as though there is not enough. This is partly due to the fact that I love long stories, stories where the multiple layers are slowly unfolded, and often short stories just deal with one aspect. These five stories, however, left me so happy. Well, happy probably isn’t the best word to use considering the topics. What I should say is these stories were a lot of fun; I really enjoyed them.

I Died Yesterday is the first of the stories, the shortest. It’s a mere handful of pages, and yet it is easily the darkest of the stories. I’ll admit to working out where things were heading, yet it did nothing to remove my enjoyment of the story.

Chopper is the second story, not as hard hitting as the first but still enjoyable. It looks at a different topic, and yet it still looks at the dark side of the world and the people upon it. It’s a story that pulls you in, leaves you wanting more.

A Decision at Dusk is the third story, one with a clear fantasy element to it. With magic at work, we get to look at what happens when revenge comes hand-in-hand with the knowledge of how to bring people back from the dead. As with the first two stories, it is not a light read.

Sunflower is the fourth story, bringing us back to the real world. This one leaves us questioning for quite some time, curious as to what is to come. When the chilling factor comes about, it hits you suddenly, leaves you unsure of what exactly occurred.

A View is the final story, and another that leaves you questioning what is happening. Not in the sense that you have no idea what is going on, as you’re more than aware of what is occurring, but it leaves you with questions about the bigger picture.

All five stories are wonderfully written, leaving a mark. Three of the stories occur in the real world, with two occurring in an alternate world. This alternate world is from Andy Graham’s Lord of Misrule series, yet it is not necessary to have read the series to understand these short stories.

Honestly, I had such fun with these. I was pulled in from start to end, and I’m more than happy to read more of the author’s work in the future, as these five short stories leave you with the promise that full-length novels will have so much to them.

As a final note, I would like to thank Andy Graham for contacting me for a review. These were such great reads, and I really appreciate being given the chance to work through them.

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Review: A Dragon's Destiny

A Dragon's Destiny A Dragon's Destiny by Tina Glasneck
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate being the first person to give a book a negative review, especially when I’m giving a one star rating. Unfortunately, such a thing happens occasionally – and this is one of those occasions.

I wanted to enjoy this one, I really did. There were so many aspects to the story, leaving it with a great promise. Multiple timelines. Deities. Destiny. Dragons. The last one always gets me – I love dragon stories. Who doesn’t love a good dragon story? For me, though, even the promise of the dragons couldn’t bring me to finish the book.

I kept picking it up, reading a bit and putting it back down. I tried extremely hard. At one point, I read around thirty percent in one sitting – and yet my mind wandered the entire time. I wasn’t pulled into the story – it was as though we were being told what was happening, rather than really feeling it happening. I didn’t care about the characters – they just seemed to be there and I didn’t really care much for what was happening with them. The storyline didn’t flow as well as I had hoped for – it wasn’t just the changing between timelines, even within the chapters I was finding myself unsure of what was going on. The way in which the story was told felt disjointed – things just didn’t seem to come together in the way they should have.

It had promise, but I simply wasn’t enjoying myself. Considering how many advance read books I have sitting on my Kindle, I just couldn’t finish this one. I don’t have the time to continue reading something I am not enjoying.

Sadly, this one simply wasn’t for me.

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Saturday 29 October 2016

Review: Lessons in Letting Go

Lessons in Letting Go Lessons in Letting Go by Jessica Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh gosh. All the feels. So many feels.

I can tell you right now this review will be long and overly gushy, thus I’m going to offer something different with this review. I’ll write a quick short one, no more than a paragraph, just so that you can get a general idea, and then I’ll give you all the feels in the rest of the review. Through this, you have the option to simply know what it is all about, or you can join me in the emotional rollercoaster as I try to organise my thoughts into something resembling coherence.


This is easily my favourite book in the series thus far. With each book that is added, the stories become stronger and stronger. This one isn’t a simple romance, as this one has much more depth. It’s about finding yourself, coming to love yourself. Honestly, the depth to this one was amazing. The characters were wonderful, the storyline beautiful. I worked through it in no time at all, unable to put the book down, as I needed to find out what happened next. It truly is a beautiful piece.


As the inaugural member of Jessica Peterson’s advance read team (this isn’t an empty boast, in case anyone is thinking such a thing, as I have the email to prove my claim to the title), I would like to start by saying a great big massive ‘oh my word’.

Jessica Peterson is one of the authors who has secured my status as a romance fan. For the longest of times, I was someone who would only accept romance as a subplot in a story. I would ship couples like nobody’s business, and yet I found myself shying away from purely romance books. After reading Spanish Lessons, I knew I wanted more. It was such a cute story, with such a great group of characters, that I needed more. After reading Lessons in Gravity, I knew I was a goner. I could no longer deny it: I was a romance fan. I am a romance fan. I’ll chant it loud and proud… or, at least, I’ll try to do such a thing. I’m really not the kind for crazy displays of my feelings – but still, the fact remains, I was hooked.

Thus, an impatience grew within. I wanted the next read. I was super excited to see what comes next. I hate reading series when they’re not complete, even when the stories work as standalone, as I’m nowhere near as patient as I let people believe I am when it comes to books. It should come as no surprise, therefore, to find out there was a crazy amount of excitement when the advance read of Lessons in Letting Go appeared in my inbox. I was on that thing like – well, I’m sure you can come up with your own analogies of jumping things.

I sat reading through a meeting. I sat reading through dinner. I sat reading until the early hours of the morning. I simply could not put the book down. It pulled me in even more than the prior books – and they both managed to grab me good. I know, I know, you’re probably questioning why this is only a four star rating. I’m really mean when it comes to my five star reviews. I hold them closer to my heart than I should. This book was a solid four-point-five read. It was so close to reaching that five star rating I hold so close to my chest. However, I’m super mean when it comes to handing it out. If nothing else, through being so close to receiving the five star rating, it shows Jessica Peterson has the potential to pull five stars out of me. Such a thing translates to other people giving this book a five star rating, and me sitting to the side bouncing up and down with excitement due to the belief that the next book will pull that five star rating from me.

Don’t just take my word for it; Jessica Peterson’s editor seems to be of the same belief. Whilst in touch with Jessica she mentioned how her editor is of the belief this is her best book by far – and I wholeheartedly agree with the statement. Can you not tell by the amount of gushing that I’m doing? I’ve yet to mention why it’s my favourite and we’re already at a lengthy review. It’s just… well, the feels. So many damn feels for this book. It’s so wonderful, so close to perfection.

In books one and two, we got to meet Laura. Laura is the lucky devil who has managed to grab the heart of a celebrity, catching the attention of everyone’s favourite football player. I’ll admit the whole British thing and playing football (soccer, to those over the ocean) never really did much for me. I’m from the UK myself, and I’m more than a little bit bored of the football crazy fans. Nevertheless, I know there’s an allure there. Moreover, even if I wasn’t interested in Rhys due to the two aspects that make him so sexy to the characters in the books, I was interested in getting to know Laura’s story. How did such a thing happen?

Lessons in Letting Go takes us back to the very start. We get to see this story from the first moment they meet, watching the interactions mentioned in the prior books play out. From the very start, things are hot; from the very start, you’re pulled into their way of life. It’s quite different to the prior books in the series, something else despite how it manages to stay so in line with the prior books. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but it’s so wonderfully done. It’s not a carbon copy of the prior books, it is entirely unique, and yet it stays with the feel of the prior books. You’re pulled in. You want more. It’s cute. It’s hot. It’s everything you want it to be, all from the very first chapter.

As with the second book in the series, this one is told from the two perspectives. I loved getting inside of the minds of both of the characters. I’ll admit to some tentatively at first, as I’m always worried when American authors write British characters. I find, more often than not, characters fall into one of two boxes. Characters either fall into the stereotypically British box – a box that really does not reflect our little island, leaving people to view us in the completely wrong way. Alternatively, characters fall into the American box – that is, they’re written just like an American, and whilst we’re not that far apart it is really strange to read a British character using American slang and doing something extremely non-British. It’s something I notice far too much, something that bugs me more than it should. I just feel weird when characters fall into one of the two boxes. Well, have no fear with Jessica Peterson. Within a chapter, I had concluded this woman was more than capable of depicting a British person without falling back on the clichés. I admit that there were one or two slips regarding wording; but outside of those slight slips, it was perfect. It was honestly like listening to anyone I know. Rhys really was wonderfully written.

As wonderful as Rhys was, he had nothing on Laura. I could go on and on about how great Rhys is as a character – as the story grows he becomes more and more complex, we slowly get to see more of him – and I came to love him more than I ever anticipated. I think Javier is my biggest book crush of the series, but I would love to have Rhys as a friend. He’s such fun, so complex. Nevertheless, Laura was just that little bit more.

In the first two books, I was surprised by how real Jessica Peterson’s female leads were. You can truly relate to them. Viv and her emotions, Maddie with her philosophy on life. They were both very real people, people I could easily relate to. Laura, however, was something more. I cannot begin to explain how deeply her story resonated with me. Laura… damn, I don’t even know where to start. The girl has serious layers. There is so much to her. Her trip to Spain is supposed to be a way to reinvent herself, a way to reinvent herself in the best way possible. The poor girl is lost, unaware of who she is. She has spent her whole life searching for perfection, putting other people above herself, that she has lost sight of herself. It was heart wrenching, and yet it struck so many chords. It is so easy to get lost in such a way of life, it’s so easy to find yourself losing sight of who you are and what you want to be because you’re unwilling to put yourself first. Honestly, I cannot begin to explain the depth of her character. Without a doubt, Laura has become my favourite of the females. After Maddie, I did not expect such a thing to happen, and yet it did. It isn’t simply because of how easily I connected with her, it wasn’t just because it felt like the author was trying to send me a message to remind myself to live, it was because she was so beautifully crafted. She was so real, and watching her grow… I honestly have no words. The depth of this book blew my mind. We see how the real world is, how finding yourself and where you belong in the world will be a bumpy ride. Jessica Peterson doesn’t try to hide the truth of the world from us, she shows us how brutal it can be and yet we’re still left with hope. Laura left me believing that anything is possible. Hell, I want Jessica Peterson to write my future for me – even with all the bumps in the road, despite everything Laura dealt with, I cannot imagine a more deeply moving tale of finding your place in the world.

For all those romance fans out there, don’t worry, this is still one hot story. We still have all the romance drama of the prior books – it’s just that this has that something more as well. Honestly, the rollercoaster I experienced. Every few minutes I had a friend checking up on me, making sure I was okay. My emotions were all over the place. One minute I was laughing out loud. The next I was curled into a ball chewing on my nails. The next I was muttering away about characters. Before long, I had shifted into another emotional state – and the cycle continued. It really did play me like a guitar, expertly playing my emotions so that I was left a mess by the end of it.

Just the damn feels.

Seriously, this review is ridiculously lengthy and yet I feel as though I’ve said nothing at all. There’s just so much to the story, so many layers, and I fear mentioning any single specific will ruin it all. It’s a delicate house of cards, with one wrong move knocking it all down. I have no wish to be the one to knock it down, to spoil the beautiful story before you’ve had a chance to read it.

Due to the length, I’ll come to an end shortly. You’re probably still questioning about why this isn’t that full five stars. For me, it was the ending. It was a great ending – I wouldn’t have accepted anything else in terms of where the story ended up – and yet I felt as though it was a bit too quick compared to the rest of the story. We’d had such depth, and then a movie cliché appeared. It probably has something to do with the fact that I wouldn’t accept such a movie cliché if a guy was to do such a thing to me, but still… I just felt as though the conclusion was slightly less wonderful than the rest of the book. I loved it, and yet it felt as though it slipped ever so slightly. Not enough to ruin the book – oh no, I just wanted more. I have no idea what this more is, I cannot think of such a thing myself, but I felt as though it wasn’t quite on par with the rest of the book.

Overall, though, I adored this book. It is easily my favourite in the series thus far. It has left me more than ready for what else is to come.

Speaking of what else is to come – we’re getting a novella. Honestly, it sounds so cute. I cannot wait to read it. Moreover, the next book is going to be slightly different – our setting is changing, and I cannot wait for such a thing. Seriously, I’m so addicted to this series.

As a final note, I’d like to apologise for how lengthy this review ended up being. I know you probably wanted more, but as I said, I felt as though I needed to be careful so I didn’t give anything away. Jessica Peterson was wonderful enough to allow me to advance read this story – I cannot thank her enough – and I have no wish to spoil things for the other fans.

Just know it’s truly astounding.

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Review: Up for Forever

Up for Forever Up for Forever by Heather Young-Nichols
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Up for Forever is the second book in the Up for Grabs series, and whilst it was not my favourite it was still an enjoyable read.

Having read Up for Everything first, despite it being the third book, I had an idea of what to expect from the first two books. I knew how the stories would end, I knew some of the drama that would come to light, and yet I was unwilling to let such a thing stop me from enjoying the stories. With the first book, Up for Grabs, I found that I had wanted a little bit more drama. The story had promise and yet it didn’t quite make it all the way. With Up for Forever, I found there was more drama and yet the story didn’t feel quite as fun.

Our second story in the series is a lot of drama. We have breakups and makeups. As with the first book, it was a rollercoaster ride, with our emotions firing all over the place. Truthfully, I enjoyed the characters more than I thought I was going to. In the other two books, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Kendra. She was a vital part of the group, and yet there was something missing. This book works to amend that, making her into something more. Whilst it did help her to develop, and I did enjoy getting to know her more, I couldn’t help but feel as though she was a little bit of a cliché.

In fact, the whole book felt a little bit clichéd. It was enjoyable, yes, but it didn’t have the unique shock factor of the first book. It was your typical romance, just like the first book, but unlike the first book it didn’t have the little extra unique aspect that allowed it to become something more.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed the book. More than anything, I enjoyed getting to know Kendra. In fact, getting to see so much of her allowed me to really enjoy her character. She went from being the one I cared the least about to being one I really enjoyed. I just wanted something more from this one, hence why it isn’t quite a full four stars for me.

Overall, it was a great little read that adds a lot to the series, yet it wasn’t my favourite.

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Review: Up for Grabs

Up for Grabs Up for Grabs by Heather Young-Nichols
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I recently read the third book in this series, Up for Everything, only to realise I needed to read the prior books. Not in the sense that the third book made no sense – it worked perfectly fine as a standalone novel – rather I was desperate to know more of the story. Each book in this series tells the story of a different friendship couple, allowing us to see how they reached their happily ever after, and after reading Sam’s story I wanted to find out what had happened with the other couples.

I’ll be honest by saying Up for Grabs had caught my attention a couple of times in the past. It’s one of those books I was never one hundred percent sure if I wanted to read. It sounded interesting, and yet I couldn’t quite decide if I wanted to jump in. After enjoying Up for Everything, the decision was made for me. At this point I forced my friend to let me borrow her Kindle, making the most of her Kindle Unlimited.

I enjoyed the story, as a whole, but it wasn’t quite a full four star rating. For me, it’s because I feel as though the story was lacking a little bit. Having read the third book first, I knew what was to come with this one. I knew there was a lot of drama to be had. Hell, the synopsis promises as much. However, upon reading it I felt as though the story didn’t quite live up to all the promise. It was such a unique premise, and yet most of the story reads like any other romantic novel. I wanted more drama focused around the selling her virginity aspect, instead this part of the story wasn’t introduced until we were beyond the fifty percent mark.

I’ll admit it’s a super cute little romance. It has everything you expect from such a novel. Your emotions are played with throughout, taking you on a true rollercoaster ride. I simply wanted the unique aspect of the story to play a larger part. I wanted more focus on the unique aspect of the story. I wanted it to be more than just your typical college romance, which is what it felt like for most of the book. I just feel cheated, is all. Yes, I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t as fulfilled as I had hoped to be.

Overall, it was a great read; it simply wasn’t quite the amazing read I had been hoping for.

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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Review: Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rebel of the Sands is one of those books that I could never really make a decision about: on the one hand the notion interested me, on the other hand I wasn’t pulled in the same way other fantasy books have pulled me in. I was never really sure if I would read it, not until I found it going cheap in the university second-hand bookstore. It was at this point that I decided to just go for it. As there were many books sitting by my bedside, though, I let my friend read it first. She came back having enjoyed it, and I bumped it up my to-read list.

Somehow, I was pulled in and not at the same time. I was turning page after page, wanting to see where things would head. At the same time, I wasn’t engage in the characters and story in the way I had hoped to be. I was constantly left wanting to know more, but it wasn’t because of strong feelings – it was just a case of needing to know. As the book progressed this wanting to know turned into enjoyment, mainly because things started happening, but it was never enough to remove the three star rating the book had sat at for so long.

The book promises a great fantasy world. Things that go bump in the night. Characters with amazing powers. Magic that gives the world a new light. All the great aspects of any fantasy novel. Whilst these things were present to a degree, they felt lacking. The things that go bump in the night weren’t as prevalent as I had hoped they would be. We have one real scene with the scary monsters of the world, and there really wasn’t much to it. In fact, it existed only to create a very clichéd moment. The characters with amazing powers can be seen more, although they don’t really arrive until later in the book. The same can be said about the magic, actually. Whilst we know all of these aspects exist, they never really show up in the way I had hoped. A lot of the book is given over to other aspects of the story, holding back on the proof of the magical world we were promised. Then, when things do appear, things are either lacking or clichéd.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. The overall story was interesting, it did leave me wanting to know more about what was happening in the world. Once the action started, I was pulled into the story. Aspects come together that leave a lot of promise for the future books. It just felt as though everything took a very long time to come together. We go on this big journey, made up of our main character needing to escape their life, and this journey wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped it would be. There were some fun moments, but mostly it seemed to drag by.

There really was a lot of potential with this book. There could have been some truly great things. However, it simply didn’t give enough for me to love it. It left me willing to read the second book, leaving me with the hope that the next book will have a lot more action, yet I wasn’t as crazy about the story as I’d been hoping to be. Truth be told, when I started this book I had the hidden desire for it to truly win me over, for it to be something amazing. Now, I’m just hoping the next book will live up to the glimmer of promise we see towards the end of this one.

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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Review: Twin Helix

Twin Helix Twin Helix by P.K. Tyler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twin Helix is the second Jakkattu short story, and it adds so much to the world P.K. Tyler has created.

I’ll start by saying this isn’t quite a full four stars. It’s close, but it wasn’t quite there. Nevertheless, it was so good that I felt as though rounding down would be an injustice, hence the four star rating. What stopped it from being a full four stars is the little things, but to understand these little things I first need to explain the bigger picture.

Twin Helix tells the story of twins who are not entirely human. In this short story we come to better understand how the world is divided, how the humans and aliens live together – or not – on the earth. We get to see the trouble it causes for people, the way in which it splits views. It really did add so much more to my understanding of the world that is slowly coming to light. In a mere handful of pages, we got to find out about the world and fall in love with the two characters introduced.

However, I was left wanting more, and this is what stopped it from being a full four stars. The story seemed to progress too quickly, with one thing coming after another at such a rapid pace. We didn’t jump in as deep as I’d been hoping to, despite learning so much about the world. It felt more as though we were being told about the world rather than truly experiencing it – and I wanted both the knowledge and the emotional experience.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a great story. I enjoyed it. I found out more about the world. I simply wanted a little bit more. If you’re enjoying the Jakkattu world, however, I would certainly recommend reading this one.

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Monday 24 October 2016

Review: Up for Everything

Up for Everything Up for Everything by Heather Young-Nichols
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first Heather Young-Nichols book was Grounded. I had very mixed feelings: I enjoyed it and yet I didn’t, working through every rating from one star to four stars when debating how to rate it. Following this, I was interested in seeing what else she had to offer. I felt as though it was simply that one book that failed to hit me in the way I had anticipated, aware of a potential for real enjoyment. Thus, I went on to read her duology with A.J. Matthews, Dirt on the Diamond. I really enjoyed this, so much more than I anticipated, and I knew I would be reading more of her work. Thus, when the opportunity came along to advance read Up for Everything, I jumped at the chance.

Up for Everything is the third book in the Up for Grabs series, but it does work as a standalone romance novel. Despite how I enjoyed reading it in such a way, despite how I say this works, I would recommend against doing such a thing. Each book follows a different couple, telling the story of how they came to be, yet there is an underlying continuance throughout. I understood the relationships between people, I got the basics of events, and yet I missed out on that little bit extra that would have come about had I read the prior books. Don’t get me wrong, my lack of knowledge failed to lessen my enjoyment – I simply wish I’d read the prior books so that I could engage in the friendships even more than I did. It was clear to see there was a lot of history, you quickly came to work out how the relationships worked, and yet it wasn’t the same as having read the prior books.

That, of course, is my own fault. I should have known better than to jump in a series at book three. I simply thought the stories were more standalone than they truly are. No more dwelling on that, though – onto the good stuff.

This is a cute little romance novel, giving you everything you would expect from a new adult romance read. We have adorable moments. We have drama. We have laughter. We have our emotions pulled. Basically, we work through everything you should work through when it comes to a novel of this ilk. I admit that there were some of the clichéd predictable moments to be seen, but they weren’t as annoying as they can be in some books. This one was different, told from the male perspective, allowing us to see the world in a different way to a lot of the new adult romance novels out there, and it made watching these things unfold all the more entertaining.

Honestly, this was such an addictive read. There was more to it than I’d imagined there to be, finding myself unable to put it down until I got to see how everything played out. Without a doubt, it’s solidified my decision to read more of the author’s work. In fact, I’ve forced my friend to download the two prior Up for Grabs books because she has Kindle Unlimited and I feel as though I need someone to share in the feels with me. I cannot wait to read them now, I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun if this one is anything to go by.

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Saturday 22 October 2016

Review: Lost Reaper

Lost Reaper Lost Reaper by Shelley Russell Nolan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those reads that I decided upon because a friend had read and enjoyed it. I trust what my friends have to say about books, and due to this I was more than happy to give this one a read. In fact, I was rather eager as the whole notion of the book piqued my interested. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to love it as much as I’d been hoping to.

The book starts with a bang, pulling us straight into the storyline. Within pages, our main character dies and comes face-to-face with the Grim Reaper. Without going into too much detail, our main character ends up working for him – thus, she becomes a reaper. From there, however, things did not go as I’d anticipated. I expected a lot of action, a lot of supernatural elements; instead, it became a rather annoying romance story.

Our main character suffered a terrible breakup due to her boyfriend being a cheat. I could have dealt with this, had it not become such a main focus of the rest of the story. It seemed to me, as soon as the boyfriend was out of the picture our main character became a beacon for cliché male characters. You know how far too many romance novels contain the super-rich or police officers – well, this is another of those stories. In fact, it contains both. We have a cop and a man of money going after our main character. If you add in a solider and a cowboy, we would have had the top four types of men found in erotica stories. Hell, I kept expecting it to take a sudden turn down that route. Part of me thinks it would have been slightly more enjoyable had such a thing happened instead of all the meaningless drama that pulled away from the supernatural element of the story.

Okay, I feel as though I’m ranting, and for that I’m sorry. I simply feel as though this book fell short of the potential. This is due to the way the focus pulled away from what I was interested about on so many occasions. It wasn’t that the supernatural element completely disappeared – it was always there in the background – it simply seemed to take a backseat. I feel almost cheated, that I would have been happier had this been labelled as a romance rather than an urban fantasy read.

When it came to the rest of the story, I also felt a bit let down. I wanted more detail throughout, with things developing rather than everything being thrown in at the end. I felt as though there was too much information given in too short a time period. It seemed as though everything was thrown in at once. Whilst I accept many complicated aspects to any given story, I feel as though they weren’t given in the right way. It left it feeling forced, I felt as though it was too much for one story. Had this information been spread out I’m sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.

Then there is the mystery aspect. If you can call it a ‘mystery’. As a big fan of crime fiction, I never expect the endless twists and turns I see in crime fiction books to appear in fantasy books that merely have the crime as a smaller aspect of the story. Despite this, I couldn’t help but grow annoyed at the characters. Things were far too obvious. I know it was supposed to build up suspense with the incorrect information, with all the suspects, yet it bugged me. From pretty much the start, you knew who was to blame.

Despite this, it was interesting enough. There is potential for the rest of the series to go in many directions, and if done correctly it will make up for this book. It could have pulled me in, it simply didn’t go about telling the story in the right way for me to become addicted in the way I had hoped to be.

Overall, it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. As it stands, I’m unsure as to whether I’ll give the second book a read. Only time will tell, I guess.

As a final note, I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this.

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Review: Rebecca

Rebecca Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have a rather complicated relationship with the classics. I want to have read them all, yet I find a lot of them difficult to work through; every so often I will read some I like, only to hit a brick wall that leaves me unwilling to continue; I enter with either high or low hopes, usually to be given the opposite of what I’d been expecting. Basically, it will take me a very long time to work through all the classics I wish to read. I wish I could say otherwise, I wish I could just pick them up and power through them with a smile on my face; unfortunately, such is not the case. I’m destined to be one of those people, one of those readers with very few classics under their belt.

When it came to Rebecca, I was never sure what I would think. Truthfully, it was one of those for which I feared the worst. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself oddly addicted to this one. I’d expected one of those terribly annoying romances, whereby we spend the entire book with our heroine swooning. Whilst there was quite a bit of focus upon the romance, with our lead female being rather annoying with her thought processes at time, there was also a lot more to the story than I’d expected there to be. Even though I knew how certain aspects of the story ended, there was still a lot of information I was unaware of and this made it all the more fun to read.

Honestly, I could say so much about this one, yet I always fear doing such a thing when it comes to classics. I feel as though I’m repeating everyone else, people who are in a much better position to state a claim. Just know it’s easy to understand why it’s a classic.

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Thursday 20 October 2016

Review: Sacrifice

Sacrifice: Book 3 of The Dark Paradise Trilogy Sacrifice: Book 3 of The Dark Paradise Trilogy by Heather C. Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sacrifice is the third and final book in the Dark Paradise trilogy, and whilst it wasn’t what I was hoping for it was certainly an enjoyable read.

After reading the first book, Awaken, I found myself desperate to know more about the series. There was so much to it, so many aspects, and I wanted to know more. I was pulled into the world, I came to enjoy the characters, and as a whole I was more addicted than I expected to be. The second book, Catalyst, pulled me in even deeper. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed the first book, but it left me just as desperate to continue on. Thus, I consumed the final book in no time at all. Sacrifice was an odd mix of what I wanted and things I was left unsure about. Basically, it wasn’t all I had hoped for, and yet I still enjoyed it a lot.

I’ve stated in my reviews of the two prior books that I’m thinking the Dark Paradise trilogy will be my favourite series by the author. Well, I’m standing by that statement. It’s the benchmark that her other series are to live up to. This one had so much, was so good, that I cannot help but hope for as much fun from her other books. This one just seemed to tick so many boxes. There really are so many aspects to this story – enough for it to sound like too much, and yet it works wonderfully.

This final book works to bring everything together, yet I feel as though some aspects were given more attention than others. The Greek mythology aspect seems to come out even more in this one. The different aspects of the story, the different characters, are a lot more central in this story than in the prior ones. Oddly enough, despite what I had expected, the angels and demon side of it – the whole war aspect – didn’t seem to be as central as I’d been expecting it to be. Whilst the war was happening, we didn’t really get to see much of it. When things were happening in regards to the war things seemed to move by too quickly. I wanted more. I felt as though the action side was a bit rushed, that it was pushed aside so that the romantic drama could be more focal.

Don’t get me wrong, I came to enjoy the romantic aspect more than I expected. From early on in the series I found myself shipping certain couples, but in this book I did want the war to be focused on some more. I wanted a better war to romance ratio, instead of only a small section of the book focusing on the war. Despite the lack of attention on this side of the story, things were brought together. All storylines reached some kind of end point, even if I did want a little more. I wanted an epilogue for each of the characters, rather than it simply ending when things seemed to reach a good point. Nevertheless, I couldn’t complain with how everything came together. It was mostly just a case of I wanted more. I was so pulled into the story, so pulled into the characters and their world, that any ending was going to leave me wanting more. It’s just one of those stories, one of those reads that leaves you wanting more of the world even though you know all good things must come to an end.

Honestly, I had such fun with this one. It really is a great little series, super addictive and a lot of fun. It’s certainly worth the read.

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Tuesday 18 October 2016

Review: Catalyst

Catalyst Catalyst by Heather C. Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earlier this year I read the first book in the Dark Paradise trilogy, Awaken, and thoroughly enjoyed the book. It wasn’t perfect, but it left me super excited to see what else was to come. I promised myself I would read the next two books soon, but I found myself distracted by other books that I already owned. Then Heather C. Myers started to put some of her books on offer. Books two and three in the Dark Paradise trilogy were free for a short period of time and I knew had to hit the purchase button. How could I not? Thus, the books were sent to my Kindle. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started reading them. What I did not expect was for the excitement to take such a strong hold – without realising what I was doing, I put aside my many other reads and started Catalyst. After a few hours, I was done.

When I read Awaken I labelled it my favourite read by the author, and this book has only added to how much I’m enjoying the trilogy. I stand by my statement that this is looking to be my favourite series by the author. Her Stranger series is a close second, and until I’ve read them both in full I cannot say for sure, yet this one seems to hit more of the right notes for me.

The Dark Paradise series is many things, a collection that may sound like too much. I found in the first book that all the combinations worked well together – heroes, villains, Greek mythology, angels, demons, vigilantes, and so on – yet I wanted things to be explained more. The second book does work to add more by way of explanation. Not as much as I had wished in regards to some of the aspects, but it did help to make things clearer. Moreover, we’re given new information that leaves us with more questions. Certain aspects of the story will leave you desperate for the next book, desperate for answers to the many unanswered questions. It’s a great set up, and my hopes are high for how it will end.

As with the first book, I found myself caring more about certain stories than others. We continue to follow our three main characters, watching as their world continues to expand. I admit that I wanted a bit more action. Some of the stories seemed to have less action than others, with some seeming to focus on giving information rather than adding pace to the story. Whilst it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, I was left wanting a little bit more. I had a lot of fun, yet it wasn’t the edge of your seat read I had been hoping for. I was desperate for action, for war to break out in this one. It looks as though such is to happen in the next book, yet certain parts of this story made this book feel a little bit too much like a filler read. It didn’t have quite the same pace as the first book, and it focused more on giving information than truly progressing events. That is not to say that things do not happen – quite a lot does occur – but it felt as though it was dragged out and wasn’t as substantial as the first book.

I will say, however, that there were a few places where a bit of editing was needed. There seemed to be some inconstancies with information exchanged, points where people would contradict prior knowledge. These were never overly large things, never things that ruined the overall story, but I did find myself doing a couple of double takes when people said certain things that did not seem to fit.

Overall, though, it was a lot of fun. I’m super excited to see how this all ends – and despite my better judgement I’m going to open up the third book and find out now.

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Sunday 16 October 2016

Review: Amber

Amber Amber by Lexi James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Truthfully, I enjoyed this one more than I’d initially anticipated.

Amber is the first in the Stone Pack series, and it’s a great introduction to this world of wolf shifters. It’s short enough to be completed with ease. It’s interesting enough to keep you hooked throughout. It opens up enough of the world to leave you wanting to read the next book. As a whole, it was a great little read. It wasn’t perfect, but it was more than I’d anticipated.

There are many clichés in this book, but do not let such a thing put you off. Whilst it has a lot of things that have been done before, there are enough unique aspects to prevent it from being a carbon copy of other books on the market. Somehow, I feel as though such a thing is to be expected. In these urban fantasy romance novels certain things seem to belong to the check list that all authors seem to adhere to – such as the instant romance (always blamed upon the mating bond), the fact that the main characters seem to be at loggerheads despite the attraction, silly decisions made by the main character. They should be annoying aspects, especially with how often they’re used, but they’re not. That is why they’re used so often: no matter how many people use these things they still work. These things will always work in such stories, thus authors continue to use them.

As I said, though, there were unique aspects. Rather than being a werewolf book, this is a wolf shifter story. Two completely different things, which is refreshing. It’s a nice change to have. It opens up a lot for future stories, and it somewhat important for this story. Moreover, the initial notion of this story is for the doctor to offer up aid to our main character. Usually in such stories doctors with cures appear later in the series when a kidnapping of some kind occurs. Whilst things didn’t run the expected course in regards to this aspect of the story, it was fun to watch things unfold.

I will point out, however, that I did have one slight issue with the book. For some reason, there was a single chapter wrote in first person. It appeared out of nowhere before things quickly returned to normal. I’m not sure why or how this happened, but it was rather off putting. It can easily be ignored, as it’s only one blip, but it did leave me feeling iffy for a short while after it happened. Whilst I’ve pointed this out, I should note that I have not lessened my rating because of this error.

Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I became super addicted, and I found myself unable to put the book down once I was pulled into the story. I cannot wait to see what comes next for the series, as I’m really interested in where the characters will go from here.

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Friday 14 October 2016

Review: The Bat

The Bat The Bat by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jo Nesbø is one of those names I have spent years hearing and yet never picked up. I was always curious, aware of a hype, and yet he was never pushed to the top of my to-read list. I changed this when I brought a collection of books containing some of Nesbø’s work. Included in this collection were some of his Harry Hole books, thus I went and brought book one so that I could read the series in chronological order.
Many times, I have heard that this first Harry Hole book is not as good as the later books. Many fans seem to dislike this one. Some have never attempted to read it. Some have started never to finish it. As a whole, this first book does not seem to have the rave reviews of the rest of the series. However, I’ve read far too many series in the wrong order and I wanted to do this one right. Thus, I picked this one up with mixed hopes.
For me, this was an okay read. It was far from the best, and yet I have read much worse. It had moments of being a two star read, yet there were moments where it was a high three star rating. Overall, the book averaged a three star rating – hence the three stars. Whilst this book does not have me crazy excited about the future books in the series, it has not put me off in the way I feared it might. I’m on the bench. Having heard so many times how good the later books are, I am going to continue reading them. However, had I not heard so many rave reviews I wouldn’t have been so overly eager to continue on – it would have been a case of ‘maybe one day I will read another but I cannot say for sure whether such a thing will happen’.
Truthfully, I’m not sure where to start when explaining the things that put me off, but I’ll try and keep them concise and connected where possible.
I’ll begin with the synopsis. I feel as though it was somewhat misleading. The story sounds like a game of cat and mouse, with a constant threat hanging over Harry Hole. Such, unfortunately, is not the case. For much of the book there doesn’t seem to be much by way case at all. It’s like a tour of Australia. We get to see all the good spots, get to meet all the best people, and get to see how diverse the country is. It’s a fine way to build up the setting and the characters, but in this case it seems to distract from the main story. The criminal aspect lags, it is there and not there all at once. Rather than being at the forefront is seems to hide in the shadow. I really had expected a much more thrilling book, a case where the action lasted for longer than the last fifty pages.
Speaking of characters, I feel as though there were far too many clichés. Everyone seemed to be a cliché in some way, and it rather bugged me. I had wanted something other than the alcoholic cop. I had wanted something more than the dirty cop. I had wanted something more than the cop who works on his gut feeling. It all felt like textbook ‘how to put together a cop’ clichés. It wasn’t the worst thing ever, and yet I felt as though there was little by way of originality where characterisation was concerned. Considering how much time was spent on developing characters, overshadowing the story progression, this is a big disappointment.
Whilst the lack of progression made it hard for me to get into the story, I think the biggest aspect was the way in which the story was told. I really disliked the translation of this one. It felt too false. I feel as though it’s much too far away from the original text. It reads like an upper-class Englishman. Excluding the elite, very few people are so stereotypically how the world imagines the Brits to be. Moreover, none of the characters were British. I would have understood it had someone been making a point or if someone was ignorant of the way of the world and way simply working with the stereotype, yet such was not the case. Characters from all over the world were using stereotypically British sayings. It was extremely off putting. This, however, I know to attribute to the translation and I do not hold it against the author.
Whilst this all sounds extremely negative, it wasn’t all bad.
I was kept interested, for the most part. I was constantly questioning where things were going, waiting to see how things would actually come together. Whilst I wish there had been more focus upon the criminal aspect, I cannot deny that what was given did leave me interested in finding out more. Plus, there is a lot of potential for character growth throughout the later books.
As a whole, I wasn’t crazy about this one. I simply hope that the future books improve in the way people have me believing they will.

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Wednesday 12 October 2016

Review: Storm Watcher

Storm Watcher Storm Watcher by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maria V. Snyder quickly became one of my favourite authors through her The Chronicles of Ixia series. It’s a wonderful fantasy series, one I’m rather addicted to, and awaiting the ninth book is driving me crazy. Thus, when I saw another of her books on NetGalley I decided I needed something to tide me over.

Storm Watcher is completely different to the series that made her famous. Storm Watcher is a middle grade contemporary read. It’s a decent read, and yet it isn’t quite the high of her young adult fantasy novels. For me, there just seemed to be something missing. It was lacking in the usual wow factor, being mediocre and failing to give us that something more.

The story comes with a lot of messages, many of which will be noticed by the younger reader. I believe being an older reader of this story has allowed me to see where things are lacking. For example, our main character has a fear of storms and his mother has recently died. It isn’t too hard to realise there is a connection between the two. I’ll give Snyder props for adding more than the one simple connection, yet it all felt too predictable from the start. It wasn’t merely in regards to the connection between the two; it was also in relation to the other aspects of the story. The way the character interactions developed. The way people felt towards each other. The way forgiveness would be earned. The way people would get what they wanted. It all seemed a little too predictable for my liking, feeling a bit like a carbon copy of many other books and mixed in with a slightly different dog story.

Moreover, the speed felt all over the place. Somehow, it was both too fast and too slow. I’m not quite sure how it managed this – and yet it did. The story progressed from one point in time to another, with the jumps seeming to appear out of nowhere. The story didn’t seem to move all that much though. Things were happening, but there wasn’t a lot. Thus, it was too fast and too slow all at the same time. I feel as though the story would have been much more enjoyable had the pacing been better. Furthermore, the ending seemed to come all at once. It was obvious where things would head towards the end of the story, and when it came about it was over extremely quickly.

Overall, it was a decent enough read. It is far from Snyder’s best, but it will be enjoyed by a specific group of readers. Unfortunately, I do not fall into the category of readers this was aimed at meaning I was more aware of the faults than I could have been.

As a final note, I’d like to thank NetGalley for allowing me to read this.

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Sunday 9 October 2016

Review: The Assassin and the Healer

The Assassin and the Healer The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read and enjoyed the first five Throne of Glass books and impatiently awaiting the sixth, I decided it was time to work my way through the five novellas offered up in The Assassin’s Blade. I’d debated reading these stories at an earlier stage, yet I found myself too pulled into the main story to take a detour. I’m there now, though. I’m holding out that these five stories will tide me over until the sixth book is released.

Upon finished The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I was unsure whether or not the stories would do much. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was an okay read, but for the most part I really didn’t care. The Assassin and the Healer improved upon the first novella, yet it still wasn’t quite what I had hoped for.

I’ll start by saying this is a round up to four stars. I gave The Assassin and the Pirate Lord a three star rating, and whilst I considered doing the same with The Assassin and the Healer I decided I could not do such a thing. It was so much better than The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, much closer to being a four star rating. Thus, I rounded it up.

As with The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, this one gives us an insight into our main character’s life prior to the events of the main series. It’s an interesting insight, showing her in a different light. This short tale is made up of anger and pity. We see our main character as she is out to cause trouble for the world, to drown out thoughts following the events of the first novella. We see our main character as she takes pity on another, how she steps up to offer aid to another female of the realm. It was interesting to see her in such a way, and yet I feel as though this one didn’t really add much to the overall story. Fun, but not a case of life or death if you fail to read it.

Overall, it was an improvement upon the first novella of the series and yet I’m still of the belief that these stories will add much less than I’d originally believed.

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Wednesday 5 October 2016

Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having read and enjoyed the first five Throne of Glass books and impatiently awaiting the sixth, I decided it was time to work my way through the five novellas offered up in The Assassin’s Blade. I’d debated reading these stories at an earlier stage, yet I found myself too pulled into the main story to take a detour. I’m there now, though. I’m holding out that these five stories will tide me over until the sixth book is released.

Having finished The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I’m not sure whether they will give me what I’d been hoping for.

I’ve always wanted to see the assassin spoken about in the main series, and still she has yet to really emerge. This was the first story showing our main character in her element, truly in her assassin role, and yet it wasn’t the hard-hitting girl we’d been promised. I’m still left wanting so much more from her. I feel as though this story missed the mark in so many regards. The characters weren’t what I had hoped for. The story wasn’t what I had hoped for. As a whole, I didn’t really enjoy it. It was decent enough… and yet it was nowhere near enough.

Having read the main series in one stretch, going back to read these short stories later, I’ve already encountered the pirate lord of this novella. When he makes a reappearance, he – and the other characters – made this story seem so much more than it is. Our main character freed slaves. Hell yeah! Our main character caused a lot of trouble for the pirates. Hell yeah! Our main character made a lot of threats. Hell yeah! But wait – the story doesn’t actually feel that way. These aspects seem to be over and done with so quickly, they barely feel introduced at all. Everything felt too quick, felt half-complete. I feel let down, as though all I’d been promised was held back from me.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. It was nice to see our main character before she became what she is in the main series. It’s a somewhat different side to her. It’s not the drastic change I had anticipated, but you can see the slight difference. Moreover, we get to meet Sam. I feel as though I know so much about him from the main series, that to finally meet him was a bit of a let-down. By the end of the story, though, I found myself enjoying him. I feel as though he’ll grown on me throughout these novellas.

Overall, it was an okay read. It wasn’t what I had wanted, but it did add a little more to the series. My hope is that the other novellas will add a lot more.

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Review: Feast Of Summer

Feast Of Summer Feast Of Summer by Regina Del Madrigal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ll start this review with a thank you to Regina Del Madrigal. Whilst roaming around Goodreads, as I so often do, I came upon a request upon her profile. She was looking for people to review her new book, Feast of Summer. Now my to-read list is already super long, but I gave the book a look and I was intrigued. It sounded exactly like what I was needing in the moment. After all, I’ve been on a massive fantasy binge and anything with the promise of witches and kidnap is right up my street. Thus, I dropped her a message. I received a review copy, and when things went a little bit weird with my Kindle and the file not working Regina was more than happy to send me a different format to help me out. In short, she was lovely. Of course, you care about the story more than you care about how lovely Regina Del Madrigal happens to be – thus, I’ll move forward.

As soon as I started the story, I was pulled into it. Very quickly, the world and the characters come to life before you. You get an idea of who is who, of what is what. Without things getting complicated, we’re quickly introduced to the world of Cora. Then, just as quickly, we watched as her world is ripped away and she is suddenly captive in a world she does not know. Despite how little time we spent in Cora’s village, we really did get a feel for so much. In fact, I would have loved to see more of it. I really feel as though that aspect of the story could have been brought to life in so many vivid colours. Considering how well it was brought to life in so few pages, I’m positive it would be great fun to see it all across a longer time period. In part, I think this is because I enjoyed the introduced characters so much.

Of course, we have the wonderful abduction aspect to keep us intrigued when Cora’s world is ripped away from us. I really did enjoy watching this unfold, finding myself engaged in the storyline in no time at all. I do have a slight qualm, though. I feel as though the synopsis ruined some of the surprise for me. “He had been ordered to kill her. He abducted her instead.” Those are two wonderful lines. They pull you right in. There is such promise, so much that you expected. However, it does ruin the story somewhat. I feel as though removing those two lines from the synopsis would make the book much more enjoyable. We spend so long not really understanding the motives of our captor. The book progresses with us in the dark, with us curious like our main character. Yet the information is lingering at the back of our mind. The synopsis tells us what is to come, in this one regard, before the information hits us. With this information held off until quite late in the book, I really think it would be better if we were unaware of the fact. There would be a bigger shock factor, more excitement when the reveal comes about. It is a brilliant storyline, I cannot deny that, yet I feel as though the synopsis gives more away than it really should.

Nevertheless, as I said, I had a lot of fun with this one. It was so addictive. I could have easily completed it in one sitting, had I not done the silly thing of picking it up at stupid o’clock at night when I was already tired. The story really captivates you, and you’re constantly questioning what will happen next. You have so many questions, you’re pulled in to the development, and putting the story down becomes extremely difficult.

That is not to say the story is perfect. I’ll admit that a couple of things diminished my enjoyment to a small degree.

Whilst I really enjoyed our main characters, I will admit to a bit of annoyance during the early captive stages of the story. I feel as though she gave in too early, that she was unwilling to do anything to fight back against what happened to her. I wanted more in the way of daring escape attempts, more fight from her. Nine times out of ten, I say this about such stories, though, so I guess I just expect more from captive females than I’m ever going to be given.

Another thing is that the story felt a little bit confusing at times. Sometimes things weren’t as clear as they could have been meaning one of two things happened. I backtracked to double check what I’d read over, and it would then click. I carried on reading until things fell in line. This didn’t happen much, but there were a couple of moments where this seemed to happen. Mostly it was when the action was occurring, where things needed to be clearer.

These, however, were small aspects. As a whole, the book was thoroughly enjoyable. I had so much fun with it, and I’ll be needing to take a look at Regina’s other work. I know for sure that I will need to take a look at book two, as I’m more than curious to see what comes next in this story.

It was a great read, and I’d once again like to thank Regina for allowing me to advance read this in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday 3 October 2016

Review: Zombie Nation

Zombie Nation Zombie Nation by Samantha Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a good zombie read, so of course I was going to give this one a read.

Zombie Nation is the first in the Zombie Juice series, and if it is an indication of what the series is to be like… well, be prepared for an addictive series. Whilst the zombie fighting scenes were rather lacking, it has everything else you need for a good zombie book. Questionable characters. Questionable situations. Questionable motives. Basically, a lot of questions. Not in the bad way of ‘I have no clue as to what is going on’ but in the good way of ‘I want to know more and find out all I can’.

It’s a super short read, one that can be completed in next to no time at all, and yet it manages to give you everything you could expect from an intriguing zombie tale. We’re introduced to the main characters, getting to understand their way of life in the zombie infested world. We get to know the community, how humanity is dealing with the outbreak. We get to see a small section of the world, and yet we’re promised to see so much more in the future books.

In a way, this one reminded me of the Newsflesh trilogy. Mira Grant gave us a zombie series with multiple layers, without forcing zombie scenes onto every page. This one is much the same. We have a bit of mystery and a lot of coming of age. If you ever wanted to know what teenage life in a gated community with the fear of zombies attacking is like, here is your answer. It is such a simple notion, and yet you’re pulled in from the start. Moreover, there is such promise of what is to come. Multiple aspects are hinted at throughout, and yet we’re given no real answers about anything.

In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I wish we’d been given some kind of indication of where things were going. The mysterious aspect of the zombie juice was introduced, and yet we know nothing more than the basics. Unfortunately, the basics are things we could have guessed ourselves. I wanted something more, something I didn’t work out. I would have much rather a longer read giving us some kind of indication of what we can expect from the whole zombie juice notion. Don’t get me wrong, it is introduced brilliantly in this. The zombie juice takes a backseat to the coming of age story, it makes an appearance to let you know it will be important throughout the series, but beyond that there isn’t much. I just wanted to know more in this first book.

Overall, it was a fun read. I’m not sure where the series will go – there are so many possibility and I feel as though we weren’t given much by way of clues – but I’m excited to see how things will end. My fingers are crossed that this series will turn out to be a lot of fun.

As a final note, I would like to thank the author for allowing me to advance read this in exchange for an honest review. It was certainly enough to leave me curious as to where things are going to go next.

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Sunday 2 October 2016

Review: Blood Ice & Oak Moon: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale

Blood Ice & Oak Moon: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale Blood Ice & Oak Moon: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale by Marsha A. Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blood Ice and Oak Moon is the third Coon Hollow Coven book, yet don’t worry about reading them in order. You can pick and choose which of the books to read, or even pick just one to read should you wish. All of the books in the series stand alone. The series is about one community, with residents passing in and out of various books, but each book has a unique story to be told. Thus, you can pick the one that interests you most before deciding whether you wish to read them all.

Blood Ice and Oak Moon reminds me of a number of other books I have recently read, staying true to what is popular with the young adult fantasy crowd at the moment. We have the fae. Everyone seems to love the creatures at the moment, and this book is no different. As soon as the fae were introduced to the story I knew I needed to know more about them, I knew it would be my favourite aspect of the story. When did I become part of the in crowd? Honestly, I don’t know, but I’m loving all the fae stories at the moment. I need more of them in my life, hence why I came to enjoy this one so much.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into the story. I was interested yet it felt like a three star rating to me. Yes, things were occurring. In fact, things start happening very quickly. Our main character encounters danger, being pulled into a darkness that will reverberate throughout the story. Despite this, I felt as though there was quite a bit of time in which very little was happening. We watched our main character trying to find her place in the community, and yet these scenes didn’t involve much by way of action. It was about showing us all the different characters on offer. Whilst I enjoyed getting to know everyone, I wanted more to happen. I wanted edge of the seat action as the witch and fae community came together.

I’m not entirely sure at what point my opinion changed. All of a sudden it went from a three star read into a four star read. Suddenly, there was action. There was a lot going on. We were focusing upon the magic and the darkness of the storyline, with thing moving forward. I think, mostly, it was just a case of me actually getting into the book. I wasn’t as pulled in at the start as I could have been, but once the story hooked me I was unable to put it down. I wanted to know what happened to characters. I wanted to know how events played out. I wanted answers to the mystery.

I’ll admit that some aspects of the story were a bit clichéd and obvious. Such a thing is so often the case with young adult fantasy novels, though. We know there will be a happily ever after for our characters. We know the events given a certain amount of attention will play out in the best way possible. This is not to say it’s a bad thing merely that you knew how the general story would end. Specifics were left for us to wait and see, leaving us unsure as to just how exactly they would work out, and that is where the fun was to be found. I’ll admit that I would have liked some of these specifics to have been given more attention, for certain scenes to have been played out a bit more, but I enjoyed them as they were. I just wanted more – I always seem to want some more.

Overall, it was a great little story. Despite my initial inability to get into the story, I really did find myself addicted to the tale.

As a final note I would like to thank the author for allowing me to advance read this in exchange for an honest review. I cannot wait to see what more is to come.

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Saturday 1 October 2016

Review: I Am a Zombie Filled With Love

I Am a Zombie Filled With Love I Am a Zombie Filled With Love by Isaac Marion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This super short story can be read in a matter of minutes, and I certainly suggest you go and spend those few minutes reading it.

I Am A Zombie Filled With Love turned into Warm Bodies, and I can safely say both were enjoyable. Warm Bodies had so much to it, more levels than I had ever anticipated, and you can see them all brewing below the surface in this one. Concepts that grew in the full-length novel can be seen here, the basics ready to grow into something larger than life. If you look deep enough, you can see lines that made it to the full-length novel.

Even if you haven’t read Warm Bodies, you can read this one. It’s not a prequel; it’s the story before the story. Should you enjoy this, then it’s a sure sign you’ll love Warm Bodies.

Honestly, it’s so much fun. As I said, it can be completed in no time at all, so you should go and give it a read.

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