Overall Impression: A self-indulgent exploration of the well-known Dracula mystery in which the vampire has become oddly obsessed with hunting librarians.
The Historian has sat on my shelf unread for over seven years. Yeah, that’s pretty shameful! I picked up my battered copy for a whole 20p at a hospital book sale, unable to resist the fancy swirling writing and menacing blood droplets on its cover. Having been struck down with a seriously evil case of tonsillitis this week, and having already binge watched all of the Outlander Season 2 TV series, I decided it was time to pick up this neglected tome of a book and show it some love.
The best way I can sum up this novel is that it was a good, entertaining book…until suddenly it wasn’t.
To you my perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor.’ Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.
Overall Impression: A spellbinding second installment of The Diviners series which captivates and enthralls.
“For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning.”
The Diviners by Libba Bray is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2015, heck, it’s one of the most fun and entertaining books I’ve read in years! So naturally, I was looking forward to the release of its sequel with unabashed excitement, hoping with all my heart that it would be just as good. Well, I am happy to report that it was as awesome as, if not better than The Diviners and I lapped up every beautiful word. LIBBA BRAY IS QUEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNN and I bow down to her epic writing skills!
I would like to thank the lovely people at Atom Books for giving my a free ARC of Lair of Dreams in exchange for an honest review.
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s a media darling. It seems like everyone’s in love with New York City’s latest It Girl – their ‘Sweetheart Seer.’
But while Evie is enjoying the high life, her fellow Diviners Henry DuBois and Ling Chan will fight to keep their powers secret.
A malevolent force is at large, infecting people’s dreams and claiming victims in their sleep. At the edge of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans of nightmare proportions…
There are many, many reasons I adored Lair of Dreams, but the first reason has got to be Libba Bray’s writing. Continue reading
Overall Impression: A compelling supernatural murder mystery with vibrant characters and gorgeous creeptastic imagery.
I bought this book (mostly) on a whim, having only ever read one review of it. The cover was so beautiful I couldn’t resist, especially as the copy I found second hand was a hardback in brilliant condition. After scanning the blurb and finding it was set in 1920s America with a supernatural twist, I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad that I took a chance because this novel was SO MUCH FUN. It’s the most entertaining story I’ve read in a long time. I feel like it took me back to the basics or reading, because instead of tackling big themes or moral messages and crashing through boundaries it focused on the most important thing, telling a damn good story, and whisking the reader along for the ride.
If you’re looking for a good book and something a little bit different, The Diviners will definitely suit your needs! Continue reading
Overall Impression: A disappointing end to an otherwise enjoyable series.
(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by an Angel series, Everlasting click here.)
I’m so sad that this book series has finally come to an end. *Sniff, sniff.* I’ve been following along with each installment for a while now – pretty much since I started this blog 3+ years ago and so many things have changed since then that I can’t help feeling a little bit nostalgic! I’ve always cited this series as my guilty pleasure, but unfortunately, book six the final novel in the series was a real disappointment for me. And thinking about it, I think it links back to how much I’ve changed since I started reading this series. My reading tastes are different, I’ve read a lot more widely and I’ve grown up. Sadly, this has made the faults of this book excruciatingly clear.
This review is spoiler free if you’ve read the previous books in the series! Continue reading
Overall Impression: Thought-provoking, engaging and entertaining.
Somehow over the years I have acquired quite a few Jodi Picoult books. I never actually buy them myself; it’s like there’s some some kind of weird magnetic force that wills them towards me free will be damned. This puzzles me somewhat because they’re not my normal type of books. Vampires? Nope. Dragons? Nuh-uh. Wizards? NO WIZARDS, SERIOUSLY.
But, the world is conspiring against me and obviously feels I need more Picoult in my life. Whenever I pick up this author’s books it’s always with an element of trepidation, because while they’re often full of complex moral dilemma’s and tragedy, they can sometimes also be slow going, repetitive and unsatisfying. I’m glad to say House Rules fit better into the former category, so maybe the universe is right after all! So, I bet you’d like some blurbity, blurb? Your wish is my command. 🙂
When Emma Hunt’s son is diagnosed with Asperger’s, she knows she will do anything to help him.
She expects other people not to understand.
She expects the stares and whispers.
She even expects trouble with the police.
But she doesn’t expect Jacob to be charged with murder.
And when all the hallmarks of your son’s condition – his tics, his inappropriate actions, his inability to look you in the eye – can be read as guilt; when you cannot put your hand on your heart and swear he is innocent…
How can you expect to help your child then?
One thing you can always expect from Jodi Picoult is a quality well researched story that pushes moral boundaries, and House Rules was no exception. Continue reading
Overall Impression: A lighthearted YA read with an intriguing mystery.
(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by an Angel series, Evercrossed, click here.)
The Kissed by an Angel series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and I don’t have many. I am less patient when it comes to the paranormal-romance genre these days and far more scathing, but this series even three years after I first started it still manages to tug at my heart-strings.
Everlasting is definitely one of those books where people look at the cover and frown thinking ‘Really?’
Yes members of the public, really.
Something about this author keeps me coming back for more. Everlasting is the fifth and penultimate novel in the Kissed by an Angel series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Kissed by an Angel series, this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any spoilers for Everlasting.
For Ivy, miracle’s are real. After all, it was a miracle this summer when she survived a near fatal car crash. And it was a miracle that Tristan, her boyfriend who died a year ago, returned to earth as an angel. But Ivy knows better than anyone that miracles come at a price. Even though Tristan has come back to Ivy, life is far from perfect. He’s a fallen angel – and he’s trapped in the body of a wanted murderer. With Tristan on the run from the police, Ivy’s not sure she’ll ever get her happy ending.
And when it becomes clear that darker forces are at work, it seems there’s more at stake than either Tristan or Ivy realise. Will they ever be safe together? Or has Ivy finally run out of miracles?
I love Chandler’s writing style, she is remarkably natural with her storytelling. Even though it had been a year Continue reading
Overall Impression: Astoundingly honest, raw and insightful.
There’s nowt so queer as folk, as Gil the father of the main protagonist in Picture Me Gone would say, and he sure was right.
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this novel. I had originally seen Pretty Books mention it over on her blog, and although I had never heard of the author the beautiful cover beckoned to me. A couple of weeks later my highly classified informant at my favourite second hand bookshop, knowing I had a love of YA literature, tipped me off that they had a new batch of brand new rejected review copies coming in. The YA doesn’t tend to sell as well at the shop and I also got in early, so I pretty much had the pick of the bunch. I rifled though the four or five massive boxes and found Picture Me Gone among them. I knew that it was a reasonably new release from 2013 (the current RRP is £9) and although I had plenty of other books to be getting on with I couldn’t resist. I bought it for a sneaky £2.49. It’s probably the best £2.49 I’ve ever spent. 🙂
Mila has a gift.
She can read a room, a person, a situation – and tell if you’re happy, or pregnant, or having an affair.
When her father’s best friend, Matthew goes missing, Mila joins in the search.
She sees clues no one else notices, facts everyone else overlooks.
But the answers refuse to line up and Matthew refuses to be found.
Is there something Mila has missed?
Something closer to home than she ever imagined?
I’m going to try hard not to give too much of this book’s plot away because I think it’s better that you go in blind, as I did. It’s YA contemporary (I wasn’t even sure of that until I started reading, the blurb is a bit elusive) and follows a young girl named Mila on a road trip across America/Canada with her father in search of his missing friend. In this way I would also class it as a mystery. The odd thing is if someone had described the storyline of Picture Me Gone to me I wouldn’t of had any interest in reading it, this is definitely one of those books you can’t prejudge. Continue reading
Overall Impression: An odd little book about adolescence and first loves with a few gangsters thrown in.
Well, this book was an experience, I can definitely say that. It had such an odd jumble of ideas within it that somehow didn’t quite work in cohesion with each other. I was a huge fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but it hadn’t occurred to me that he may have written other books until I stumbled across The Butterfly Tattoo (also known as The White Mercedes) in a charity shop. I took a punt considering it was cheap and only 200 odd pages, but I must admit I was doubtful. The bizarre cover made me cautious and I figured that if the book was any good I probably would have heard of it since Pullman’s booming success.
All in all this novel turned out to be about what I expecting, a curious mish mosh of a tale with the occasional insightful paragraph. My memory is a little rusty as I finished this book in November, but I will do my best to review it!
Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June…
He loved her the moment he first set eyes on her – beautiful, secretive Jenny who rushed headlong into life. Fate brought her to him, and fate would mercilessly come between them to drive their innocent love affair down a dark road of danger and betrayal. And make Chris discover that truth and trust are not the simple ideals he once believed…
Chris Marshall is a innocent seventeen year old in a state of transition, after the recent meltdown of his parents marriage and having to suffer their new significant others all he wants is some time to himself. Continue reading
Yay, another easy question! It didn’t take much thought to come up with this one because there is one book out there that I found to have the most surprising ending AND it was also a plot twist at the same time. 🙂
Yepp, it’s that Trudi Canvan woman again. Are you sick of her yet?
If you said yes, tough, because I’m talking about her anyway! 😛 Continue reading
Yay, I love this question! There are so many great underrated books out there that aren’t as well known simply because they didn’t get the major advertising behind them. Your book can be the best thing since the invention of the printing press, but unless people know it exists, it’s not going to do well. There are a few specific books that spring to mind for this post that I haven’t assigned for other days of the 30 Day Book Challenge, so once more unto the breach dear friends…!
The first novel that popped into my head and knew I had to mention was Continue reading
Overall Impression: A creepy and action packed escapade with an elusive mystery that will keep you turning the pages!
I was really excited to read Eight Mile Island; the premise sounded intriguing and I don’t read YA novels from a male protagonists point of view as much as I probably should. Well, I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed, this book sure packs a punch with pretty much constant action from start to finish. If you’re looking for a quick read that will immediately grab your attention then this is the book for you!
Eight Mile Island was offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review.
Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
Things that are hungry, and waiting…
But that’s the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape.
Even if he wants to…
Welcome to Eight Mile Island.
Only two kinds of people go to Eight Mile Island, the privileged and the intelligent. Enter Dylan, a teen with an attitude problem, a reasonable amount of baggage and an IQ of 150. His mother thinks the island will be a solution to all his problems, but from the moment Dylan arrives he is already planning his escape.
There’s just one problem; Eight Mile Island is not like the other schools, Continue reading
I’m sure everyone is almost sick of hearing about this already, Twitter has been in a storm, Goodreads close behind and the book in question has zoomed straight to the number one spot on the Amazon bestsellers list.
So what does one more little blogger’s opinion matter? Not that much, but this is a book blog after all and like many I am a childhood J.K Rowling fan, so it would be criminal not to even mention it, right?!
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The Cuckoo’s Calling was originally published in April with the author name Robert Galbraith. Masquerading as a debut novel the story was said to follow a war veteran turned investigator who looked into the death of a famous model.
It wasn’t long though before people became a little suspicious, Continue reading
Do you ever walk into a second hand book shop and discover a novel with limp brown stained pages, squished into awkward angles due to damp; maybe from a spilled cup of coffee or an over enthusiastic splash from the pool, and wonder curiously where it has come from?
I do, sometimes.
A few months ago I was wandering around my favourite second hand book shop with a friend and came across Continue reading
Everyone say hello to author Seraphima Bogomolova, who is here to promote her new book My Trickster – a novel of mystery, intrigue and discovery. 🙂 She is also offering up THREE FREE copies of her book, so don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Have you always wanted to write?
I am originally Russian born a romantic city of St Petersburg, Russia. I love travelling and discovering new cultures and countries. I have lived in many places, but the dynamics and urban cultures of such cities as London, New York, Moscow, and Dubai attract me most.
I have always had a passionate affair with words, first as an avid reader and now as a writer. My writing journey started in October 2010 in New York where a certain sequence of events and meetings helped me to recognize my talent. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Finally a thriller I enjoyed! Smart, sophisticated and classy.
I’ve had this novel on my bookshelf for a long time. At school I went through a phase of researching books when I was bored in ICT class, and I found The Brutal Art mentioned a lot with rave reviews. So, I eventually purchased a second hand copy from ebay. After one failed attempt to read it while waiting in a Thorpe Park queue with friends (too full of nervous anticipation) it made it’s way back to my shelf soon forgotten. Until now.
I am also using this book as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the Crime/Mystery category. 🙂
In a New York slum, a tenant has mysteriously disappeared – leaving behind a huge collection of sick but brilliant paintings.
For art dealer Ethan Muller, this is the discovery of a lifetime. He displays the pictures in his gallery and watches as they rocket up in value.
But suddenly the police want to talk to him. It seems that the missing artist had a deadly past. Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that will touch horrifyingly close to home – and leave him fearing for his own life.
Ethan Muller is a hot shot living in New York. He has money to burn, a no strings attached relationship and a successful art gallery. He has everything he could ever need. Or at least he thinks so, until he comes across Victor Cracke’s paintings. Disturbed and intoxicated by the work he sets up an exhibit which is an instant success. Desperate to know more he searches for the missing painter; interrogating neighbours, shuffling through boxes and reading the mans diary, but gets nowhere. So when Continue reading