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. 

Book Preview: The Lustre of Lost Things – Sophie Chen Keller

Book Preview: The Lustre of Lost Things – Sophie Chen Keller

Walter has trouble with communicating but a knack for finding things in the neighbourhood around his mother’s bakery – The Lavenders. But when this magical place is threatened, can Walter save the day or will his speech impediment stop him? 
This book is genuinely a delight to read. Walter comes alive on the page as do the characters he meets on his adventures. I wish The Lavenders was a real place you could visit. 

Chen Killer’s debut is a lovely, mug of hot chocolate of a read. It’s been compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time but only in having a teen protagonist who’s a little different. 

The book will be published on the 8th of August so off you pop to place an order. 

Book Review: Final Girls – Riley Sager

Book Review: Final Girls – Riley Sager

Firstly we need to talk about this cover – I know it’s not supposed to be important but I love the pink and black aesthetic. That tiny girl fleeing at the bottom is really striking contrasted against the bold white type. It’s very satisfying. 

Quincy is a Final Girl – the lone survivor of a massacre during what should have been a fun weekend in the woods with her friends. 

Sam and Lisa are also Final Girls – a name given to them by the media after surviving brutal killing sprees by dangerous men. All three have taken very different paths to recovery. 

But after Lisa is killed, is Quincy safe? Is she ready to be more than a Final Girl? 

I loved this book, knotty, twisty thriller with flashbacks and a main character whose memory can’t be trusted, who needs to remember to save herself. 

Excellent writing. Just could not put it down. Go and get yourself a copy. Go now, read my blog later. Or you could go follow me on Twitter and win this copy….

Book Review: Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land 

Book Review: Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land 


Written by a former Mental Health nurse, this psychological thriller is vivid and arresting. Milly is almost 16 and has lived a terrible life with her mother, a serial killer. Milly was also the one who turned her in. 
Documenting the lead up to her mother’s trial for 9 child murders, we see the world through Milly’s eyes as she tries to adjust to ‘normal’ life with her foster family. 

Her foster father is also her psychotherapist, preparing her for trial, going through the harrowing childhood she endured and the nightmares that haunt her, but is Milly telling him everything, and does the daughter take after the mother? 

Tightly written and with a nice little twist at the end, I really enjoyed this. I think I prefer more knotty thrillers like this, than the straightforward procedural ones. I want unreliable narrators and secrets, I want to never quite know for sure. 

I found this very satisfying a read. 

Book Preview: Love and Other Consolation Prizes – Jamie Ford

Book Preview: Love and Other Consolation Prizes – Jamie Ford

If you’ve read Ford’s previous works – The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet or The Song of Willow Frost, you’ll know his milieu is the Chinese and Japanese diaspora on the West Coast of America – chiefly Seattle and San Francisco. 
Ernest Young is sold by his starving, heartbroken mother and sent by ship as a small boy from China to Seattle in the early years of the twentieth century. There, after a tough few years, he is sold again, given as a raffle prize at the World Fair in 1909. 

His winners are the owner and manager of a notorious brothel where he falls in love, twice. 

Looking back from 1962, when the World Fair rolls round again, Ernest charts his life and loves for his daughter, a reporter, keen to learn about the boy won at a raffle. 

Ford’s writing is beautiful, you are totally transported into Ernest’s life as a young man, the sights, sounds and smells of the world he inhabits is vividly brought to life. 

I’m a bit biased because Hotel is one of my favourite reads of the last few years, but this is a strong contender to pip it. 

The book will be published on the 12th of September, which seems apt for a book about recollections of summers past.