Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Audiobook Review - The Guilty Dead

  • Title And Author: The Guilty Dead by P. J. Tracy 
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eBook gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction & audiobooked borrowed by BorrowBox and Essex Libraries
  • Length: 384 Pages and 9 Hours 2 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Before I go any further, I want to say that I was going to pop this into a themed-month I am thinking of doing this coming September. I was thinking of doing a crime/thriller month - basically, reading books where people die in them. But, as I was writing this, I changed my mind and decided to pop it up now, but am going to read/review another book by this author for that month if I decide to go ahead with it. 

Ok, backstory time. I have read P.J. Tracy once before, MANY MANY years ago when Want to Play? (the author’s debut) first came out. This was around the time I was beginning to get into the crime genre and didn’t know anything I can’t remember if I liked it or not (I think I did), but I do remember that I wanted to check out the other books in the series. Expect I didn’t. And now, years later, I requested this and a few other titles by the author via NetGalley (eProofs) and am now, FINALLY, making some headway with them. 

And the reason I went for this one is because I started getting audiobooks from my library (via BorrowBox app) and this title was available first (am on hold for Nothing Stays Buried, as well as other titles from other authors, all within the genre of crime or true crime…) 

In this, the ninth instalment of the Twin Cities or Monkeewrench series, Gregory Norwood is a wealthy businessman and close friend of the lead candidate for Minnesota’s Governor, is found dead on the first anniversary of his son’s drug overdose. It seems obvious that grief drove him to commit suicide. 

Expect why would a left-handed man use his right hand to pull the trigger? And why is there blood and hair of a photo-journalist at the house - when his body is discovered in park mere hours later? 

What should be an open and shut case turns into a murder enquiry and with this, it raises the question: is there something dark hiding in city’s most powerful family’s closet? And with Monkeewrench’s beta-test of a computer programme discover a possible terror attack might be happening soon, everyone has to work fast… 

So, what did I think of this?

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Another DNF Blogpost

I feel like, at leats once a year, I write a blog post about DNF-ing a book. In the past, I have been open about struggling to quit a book/audiobook/eBook since I have become a book blogger (if you want to call me that). 

I feel that, in recent years, I have got a hell of a lot better quitting stories that don’t grip/excite or bring joy to my reading pleasure. Whether that would be within this first 10-15% of the story or, in one case, a good 75ish% in. If there is a gif to describe my attitude, it would a “thank u, next” kinda situation. 

As many of us book bloggers have said in one form or another, life’s too short! 

Sometimes, I would chat about why I DNF’ed a story. Sometimes, it would spark a conversation I want to discuss or rant over. Otherwise, I just want to explain myself as the story I am DNF-ing is such a big book in blogsphere. 

But this time… things are a little different.

Allow me to explain. The title I am talking about is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. And I have read this once before, back in 2011 when, for some unknown reason, the UK publisher decided to call it The Gathering Dark

I read it back then as I was still young and new to book blogger and I wanted to read everything publishers gifted me as I wanted them to like me (I had a big fear back then that if I wrote a bad or negative review, they would remove me from their blogger list and blacklist me. I wish I can go back to younger blog me and tell him that this would never happen). And I read it. I did struggle, but I did read it. And it was ok. Not awful, but not wonderful - it was just ok to me. Making me an odd creature as nearly everyone else who read it loved it. 

Fast forward to now and, with Leigh’s upcoming adult novel, Ninth House, coming out at the end of the year, I kinda wanted to reread this. Just in case my opinions of it have changed. So, when I did a Goodreads poll to decide what I should read next, Shadow and Bone won (I honestly thought Poison Study by Maria V Synder was going to win). So I started to read… and I fell into The Trap

I thought it was ok, but soon realised that my opinions on the story hadn’t changed. And I kept going “Maybe if I read one more chapter, maybe my opinion will changed”. So I kept pushing myself a little further, just in case…

Till, at 37% of the book, I just went “I’m done.” and popped it on my DNF shelf on Goodreads. And I feel better over doing this. Basically, I didn’t trust my gut when it first went “You’re not enjoying this, you should stop”. 

You see, opinions and tastes change. That’s fine. And sometimes, rereading a book is a good thing because, if your opinions change or not, at least you know and you can move forward knowing yourself a little better. But you know yourself. If your gut is saying “Nope” to whatever you are reading, it is ok to hold fire on reading. 


So yes, this is another DNF post. And yes, I DNFed something else. And you know what… I’m not going to feel guilty about doing this now. I want to read things that make me happy and if I have to DNF some stories along the way, so be it! 


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Jacob's Ladder Extract

I have an extract for you guys! It's not much of a curveball like the last few extracts I have, but I still think you guys are going to devour it, nevertheless. An environmental dystopian, Jacob's Ladder by Charlie Pike.

Earth is dying. The year is 2202 and the sun has scorched the planet. Leon is a member of the True Path warrior culture and is preparing for his Rising. But when he takes his test - to kill in cold blood - Leon freezes. Now, to redeem himself, he and his resourceful servant, Mathra, must travel to find the fifth and final message from the Saviours...

Before I hand you guys over to the extract, I just want to thank Francesca from Francesca Eden PR for asking if I wanted to share an extract and getting me intrigued to say "Hell yeah". Now, if you want to know more information about Jacob's Ladder, you can check out O'Brien Press and Book Depository.

Now, onto the extract!

Monday, 8 July 2019

Book Review - Red Sister

  • Title And Author: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  • Publisher: HarperVoyager
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review
  • Length: 516 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I seem to have come late to the party with this series, but have only been made aware of this series a few months back via several book bloggers and vloggers raving about this series, excited that the third and final book in the trilogy, Holy Sister, was about to come out. 

After chatting to a few people on Twitter about this and becoming super intrigued, the lovely people at HarperVoyager sent me a physical copy of Red Sister and, after chatting to my lovely book blogger partner in crime, Luna from Luna’s Little Library, we decided to buddy read together. While she read this within a week and eagerly bought the rest of the series while still reading Red Sister (we’ve all done this, don’t you lie now), I read a little slower due to lack of time to read. Actually, this took me about a month to read - and I took a small break around three quarters of the way through (but more on that later). 

In this high fantasy, the Convent of Sweet Mercy isn’t a normal convent. It trains young girls and women to become assassins. To become a Red Sister, it will take ten years to learn the ways of the blade, the fist and the poison. So where does eight year old Nona Grey fit in? She was an unwanted child from her small village, sold to a child catcher and then taken to a fight ring and the abbess of Sweet Mercy takes a great interest in her… 

I feel that if I go any further into this, I might spoil one or two elements. 

So, where the heck do I start?

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

An Vintage Extract from 1954

Ok, I'm not back from my blog break as of yet. But I fancied popping in, saying hi and giving you an extract of something a little different. It's not my typical YA but as I am still trying to figure the path the Pewter Wolf is going int he future, I thought I would shake it up a little with wine.

Well, an extract from a upcoming novel which all starts with a bottle of wine.

Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain (and translated by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken - though correct me if I am wrong!) follows four very different people - Hubert, antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien and Airbnb tenant Bob who is visiting Europe for the first time as he's from Milwaukee. After an evening of drinking a bottle of exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, they all wake up the following morning to discover themselves in 1950s Paris.

Once the shock wears off, the four fall under the city's charm. But ultimately, they will have to figure out how to get back to 2017. And the key to that might be at the vineyards of the Chateau St Antoine...

Like I said, this is a very different animal to what I normally do. Plus, I'm not the biggest wine drinker so this is a bit of a curveball, but I thought this would be a fun extract to share with you!

Before I hand you over to the extract (got a glass of good wine or beverage at hand?), I just want to thank Ellen from ED PR for asking if I want to be involved in this tour. And if you want more info on this book, you can check it out at Gallic Books's website or at Book Depository.

Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Finding the World of Maresi: Red Mantle

BLOG TOUR TIME! And it's going to get a little... red...

Ok, that was a lame pun, but I am super thrilled to be involved in this tour to celebrate the release of the newest instalment of the Red Abbey ChroniclesMaresi: Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff and translated into English by Anne Primer.

In a world ruled by brutal and ruthless men, the Red Abbey has been a safe haven for women and girls. Maresi has grown into a young, strong woman thanks to Red Abbey. But now it is time for her to leave. Time to return to her childhood home and share what she has learned.

But her village isn't the same place it was when she left. People are struggling under the rule of an oppressive Earl and people are so desperate to survive that they don't see the value in Maresi's teaching. Maresi must use everything she has learn to protect her people, but can she find the strength to do so when she is experiencing love for the first time...?

Doesn't this sound dark, messed-up and feminist as heck!?

To celebrate this release, author Maria Turtschaninoff has written this some guest post which I am thrilled and honoured to share with you guys!

Now, before I hand it over to Maria, I want to thank her for finding time to write this and for the lovely Vicki at Pushkin for asking if I wanted to be involved in this tour! If you want to say hi to Maria, you can check out her website at mariaturtschaninoff.com or check her out on Twitter at @turtschaninoff. And if you want more info about Maresi: Red Mantle or any of the books within the series, you can check out Pushkin Press and Book Depository for more info.

NOW, OVER TO MARIA!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Space Between Time

Curveball time! Why yes, it's not a post from me, but a guest blog post from Charlie Laidlaw, author of Love Potions and Other Calamities, The Things We Learn When We're Dead and his upcoming novel The Space Between Time. 

Now, this is a little hard to explain so I hope Charlie's guest post about what inspired him to write this will help and explain better but let me try...

Emma Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. Daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, her father one of the most famous film actors and her grandfather an eccentric yet obscure astrophysicist.

But Emma's life begins to unravel after several horrible events... And it's here, in this darkest moment, her psychiatrist suggest writing a memoir of her life, in the hope it makes her understand and comes to terms with everything that has happened...

I know, this is a bit of a curve ball for the Pewter Wolf, but I was intrigued and seeing as I fancy mixing things up this year on the blog, reading and posting wise...

Before I hand you over to Charlie, I want to thank you for finding time to write this post! If you want to say hi to him, check out his website - charlielaidlawauthor.com - or tweet him at @claidlawauthor. Plus, if you want more info on The Space Between Time, you can check out either Accent Press or Book Depository.

Now, over to Charlie!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

RSM

Ok, this is a bit out of the blue, I know, but I have decided to take a small blog break or RSM (Radio Silence Month as I like to call it as the first few times I did this, it was for a month but I use this now as shorthand when I need a blog break for a few weeks.)

Now, I don't think this is gonna be a month as I have no idea how long this break is going to be. And this break is a little out of the blue as I kept changing my mind of when to have it. I originally thought Easter or mid-May to co-inside with my birthday, but I kept going "I feel ok to keep going". Until a few days after my birthday, when I went "Actually, I need to go on a little break..."

I can say a number of reads - lack of time to read, the lengths of the books, money and being a grown-up - but the main reason that made me go "I need a break" is a fear I've been happening for quite some time but it came to surface when the UKYA Blogger Awards longests and shortlists nominations were announced.

Like most of you know, I came into book blogging by sheer fluke and happy accident. I have, since I started taking my book blogging seriously back in 2010, mainly read Young Adult. I love reading YA. But recently... I've noticed something the past few months... that I'm eyeing up more grown up reads and I've started to feel more comfortable and more challenged reading more adult novels.

This normally doesn't bother it (why would it? A good story is a good story, regardless of the age it's written for).

But the past few months, I feel like I'm ... how can I write this in a way that makes sense to you and myself? ... I feel like I am a YA book blogger, and yet I'm not. I feel like I am part of this wonderful YA book blogger community, and yet and on the edges and am slowly edging out.

Basically, I can't help but feel that maybe I don't exactly fit in the YA book blogging community like I used to. And that's kinda freaking me out.

In the past, this would never bother me. I would read what I like and to hell with it. But recently... I feel a little out of place with blogging. I don't want to quit, but I seem to have lost my identity a little, or I've shifted/grown-up a little in my tastes, and the Pewter Wolf needs to catch up and figure out where I fit in this book blogging community.

Or maybe I need a blog holiday to recharge.

So, that is what I am going to do! I am taking a book blogging break. I am still going to be reading and am still going to do what I have planned for the blog (the polls are on hold for a little while but keep eyes peeled on socials, all my guest post/blog tours are still gonna happen as promised) though I put hold fire on my His Fair Assassin and Inheritance Cycle Year Challenge read as I am failing beautifully on that front. But I need a recharge.

You will know when I am back properly as I will be screaming it! But bear with me for a while as I need to find my reading, then my blogging voice again... While waiting for that day, here is a gif of a cat that I saw at work a few days ago and I laughed over for nearly 15 minutes solid!