Book Preview: We Were The Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter

Book Preview: We Were The Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter

Based on the true story of the author’s family, this amazing, heartbreaking story of one family’s survival amidst the horrors of the Second World War and Holocaust. 

The Kurc family live peacefully in Poland, as they have done for generations amongst until war breaks out. Their Jewish faith condemns them to the terrors of a continent torn apart. 

There are some real heart wrenching moments, and the fact that the author’s relatives actually lived this story is just incredible, they are so brave and strong and endure so much. It’s not really a surprise Hunter’s grandfather never spoke about his past. 

I loved this book, it really drew me into the family, each member drawn so beautifully, so alive on the page. 

The book is published in the UK on the 21st of September, which gives you just enough time to pre-order it from your preferred purveyor of books.  

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Book Review: The Fact of a Body – Alexandria Marzano-Lesenevich 

Book Review: The Fact of a Body – Alexandria Marzano-Lesenevich 


I don’t really like true crime books, they’re often poorly written and lurid but this is nothing like those. Subtitled A Murder and a Memoir, this is not only the story of one terrible crime, but also a moving meditation on family, innocence and healing. 

Marzano-Lesenevich was an intern for famed lawyer Clive Stafford Smith when she started to investigate the case of one of his clients, Ricky Langley, a convicted paedophile who murdered a young boy, Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana in 1992 and was given the death penalty, which on appeal was commuted to life in prison. 

Combined with this case history is Marzano-Lesenevich’s own story. Hers is not a happy one either, life was often cruel and confusing and she is open about the hardships she too has suffered. 

A masterful writer, who manages to weave these disparate narrative strands together in a very compelling read. 

A mixture of court transcripts, reports and reconstructed scenes provide the story of Ricky, and Jeremy, while the author’s own memories and occasional family conversation build into her own. 

This was much more readable than I’m probably making it sound, and I was really fascinated. Obviously it’s not the cheeriest of reads, it is certainly an interesting one. 

Book Review – Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

Book Review – Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

This book came in my recent Illumicrate and I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about it. I haven’t seen the Wonder Woman film for a variety of reasons. But this isn’t a novelization of the film or really part of that narrative. 
Bardugo wrote some of my favourite recent fantasy books (The Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom), which meant I knew she could write but working with existing characters is not always a good idea (see some of the many recent continuation novels from Sophie Hannah, Anthony Horowitz etc, a rather uneven territory). 

However I was pleasantly surprised by her treatment of the DC super hero. Starting on the secret island Wonder Woman hails from, the novel really gets going once she leaves Themyscria for our modern world. 

Having saved Alia from a sinking ship and broken one of the laws of the Amazons, Diana must leave or face banishment. An ancient bloodline is also in play – and the end of the world could be nigh. 

In the end I read this very quickly, it certainly made my commute fly by, and it was really enjoyable. I hope this isn’t the one off it seems, Bardugo is a great writer and I really like the voice she gives to Wonder Woman. 

Have you read this book? Seen the film? Have anything you want to share? The comments section is waiting for you. 

Illumicrate Summer Box 

Illumicrate Summer Box 

Woohoo! Illumicrate is here. So many great bookish items and so many exclusive treats. 

There are so many good things in this box. I am almost too excited to know where to start! 

The book is Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer which is published soon and will be reviewed once I’ve read it. This is such a great book and Bardugo is one of my favourite writers. There’s also a super cool enamel badge which will go nicely with my Wonder Woman Converses. 

Wisdom Journal from Hey Atlas Creative – it’s dot to dot so perfect for doodling. 

ARC of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen – another interesting looking advanced reader copy – review to follow. 

The Red Church Tea (may contain the blood of your enemies) from T-ology. 

Shakespeare canvas pouch from Miss Phi. 

Alethiometer Coaster from Hannah Hitchman Art

Book Money Jar & Sticky Bookmarks from Blossom Books 

Extras; Ringer, After the Fire, Harper 360, The Bear and the Nightingale, Moxie. 

I genuinely can’t pick a favourite item so I will just be here reading and patting my lovely new book things….

Book Preview: A Season of Spells – Sylvia Hunter

Book Preview: A Season of Spells – Sylvia Hunter

And so we come to the end of the Midnight Queen trilogy, with Sophie and Gray returning to London after their adventures in Din Edin (see Lady of Magick). 
Of course more adventures await them and their family and friends. As Roland and Lucia form a bond, the country is plunged into chaos by escaped prisoners and the threat of war against the self-titled Emperor of Gaul. 

While there is a lot of plot in this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous two. I think it could have done with being split in two so it didn’t feel so rushed in places. I wasn’t enamoured of the ending at all.

This book will be published on 19th October so there’s plenty of time to read the first two and place an order at your preferred retailer. 

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor 

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor 

Oh Laini, why must you do this to me again? Last time it was the amazing Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and now this, and the next (and final) book isn’t out till next year.

Laini Taylor is a masterful writer, and her world building is exquisite. Her characters make you fall for them effortlessly and then, then, those final words and you close the book and maybe I’m a little hormonal, but I wanted to cry. Partly because the ending was tinged with tragedy and hopelessness (dammit Laini! I don’t have any tissues) and partly because it was so good I was upset it was finished.

Lazlo Strange is a nobody librarian, an orphan raised by monks, a man with no past, and the most wonderful dreams. He believes deeply in magic and is fascinated by the Lost City, now known as Weep for its tragic past.

When an envoy from Weep arrives to find the best and brightest, the men and women who might aid the city, Lazlo joins them as secretary to the Godslayer himself, a man haunted by his past. As they cross the continent to the city Lazlo has often dreamed of, he finds there are more secrets in Weep than he ever could have imagined.

Lazlo finds family, love, magic, mystery and heartbreak in the city whose name was eaten by a god, where the people live in fear and are traumatised by their pasts.

Ok, that was a terrible description. But the book is so much better than I can make it sound without spoilers, and I don’t do spoilers.

If you love epic, brilliant fantasy, with great writing and compelling characters, read this (also read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy – a favourite of mine) and then come and commiserate with me about the long wait till the sequel appears….

 

Book review: The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams 

Book review: The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams 

I won this book in a giveaway on Twitter and I was so pleased. I love Jen Williams’ Copper Cat trilogy, and couldn’t wait to get stuck into her new series. 
Luckily I wasn’t disappointed. As with her last series the story centres around a trio of misfit adventurers; Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ De Grazon, Tormalin the Oathless and Fell-Noon. 

These three odd fellows are drawn together into a tangle of conspiracy and war, complete with magic and chaos. 

An enemy thought long gone may rise again if they can’t bring back a dead god and save the world. 

Williams is a fantastic writer, she doesn’t sacrifice characters for plot or vice versa, which is often a struggle in fantasy writing. Her world building is consistent and highly imaginative. I got Miyazaki vibes from the creepy Behemoths and there’s an element of Norse mythology in the Eboran god, all of which I loved. 

I honestly cannot wait for the next book. The Ninth Rain is out now.