Sunday, 15 December 2019

The Extract From The Red Book

I have a slight sidestep for you today as I have an extract for you!

I know! What kind of monster am I?!

Now, most times I've quite wary of doing extract, but when I heard the premise of this from Faye, who emailed and asked I wanted to be involved in this tiny blog tour, I was very intrigued by it. And I like to be intrigued when it comes to my reading and with what I want to share on the Pewter Wolf. So, let's chat The Red Book by Davide Cortellucci.

Martin's life is going to be turned upside down through a series of accidentally and not-so-accidentally coincidences. Soon, he found a group of people who can help him enhance the power of his own thoughts to modify the physical world around him. Which is cool, right? Expect that now Martin understands why he's flooded with negative feelings and energy when he's close to certain people, and he's not carefully, everyone around him and himself will cease to exist...

Now you see why I said I was intrigued by this...

Now, before I hand you over to the extract, I just want to thank Faye for asking if I wanted to be involved in this tour and saying "Ok" when I asked for an extract.

Now, over to the extract!!!

Thursday, 12 December 2019

#re3 Audiobook Review - Shadow and Bone

  • Title And Author: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 352 Pages or 8 Hours and 55 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

This is the third time I have read or attempted to read it. The first was back into 2013 and I liked it. But there was something “meh” about it. Something three stars about it and something that held me back from continuing the series. I, then, tried to reread it earlier this year (June?) as I was, very kindly, given by the publisher an eBook copy to celebrate the release of King of Scars. I did try and I struggled. I got to about 38% then went “I’m done”. Rewind to a few weeks ago, I was playing around on my BorrowBox app and, even though I have several audiobooks I really should be listening to or thinking about requesting due to my commitments to NetGalley titles and publishers, I saw this and went “Maybe if I audiobook it, I might fine it easier to get into…”

Hence, that’s what I’ve done. I audiobooked it over the course of 3 days at work.

Alina Starkov is a simple map-maker, an orphan and refuge so when her army regiment is taken into the Shadow Fold to cross Ravka, yes, she is scared. Because the once great nation is torn in two due to the Fold, darkness that is filled with creatures that feast on human flesh. And no-one, not even the powerful Grisha or their leader, the Darkling, can defeat it. 

So when her regiment is attacked in the Fold and her best friend, Mal, is brutally injured, Alina does something no-one, not even herself, expects. She reveals a dormant power of bring forth light. This power could be the key to saving her war-torn country. And because of this, she is snatched away from everything and everyone she knows into the lavish world of Grisha court and the royal court to train and control her power. 

But not everything in this new world is what it seems and Alina must be careful when it comes to the secrets of the Grisha and the secrets of her own heart…

Monday, 9 December 2019

Audiobook Review - Flying Too High

  • Title And Author: Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press/C&R Crime
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 236 Pages or 5 Hours and 2 Minutes 
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Another audiobook that I listened to while during Believathon (I really should have prepped myself much better but I had to wait till it was available), and it’s another cosy crime. I seem to enjoy reading/audiobooking crime stories, as long as I click with it. 

And after listening to my first Phryne Fisher mystery - Murder on the Ballarat Train - back in October, I wanted to do another. I was torn between this, the second in the series, or Death at Victoria Dock, the fourth. This came available first so nabbed that. 

Phryne Fisher likes a thrill. Flying a Tiger Moth plane and walking the wings of one in full flight should be enough excitement for some people, but not Phryne. Now becoming a private investigator, Phryne finds herself involved in trying to solve a murder, save a child from kidnapping, all while having young, attractive men at her door… Sometimes, a woman’s work is never done.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Audiobook Review - Daisy Jones And The Six

  • Title And Author: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 335 Pages or 9 Hours 3 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Ok, before I go further, want to state that I listened to this last month while doing Believathon so, I decided to put this up now so I don’t get muddled. So, December is going to be a bit of a mixed-bag of books/audiobooks from when I read/listen to them. Plus, with Christmas and New Year round the corner, am going to squeeze them in as much as possible, so sorry in advance for the blog post overload. 

Now, we have housekeeping out of the way, Daisy Jones. As you know, I audiobooked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and thoroughly enjoyed myself with it. I'm thinking of relistening to this in the New Year. And I audiobooked Evidence of the Affair and I liked that a lot. So, going into this, I was excited that it would make a good, if not great, read. Plus, everyone I know who had read this has loved it, so high hopes. 

In the 1970s, Daisy Jones and the Six were rising stars in the rock n roll scene! Their album, Aurora, is rising high in the charts and their tour is selling out. Then, on 12th July, 1979, the seven break up, halfway through their tour. But no one knows why… 

Who knows the truth of what happened that day and the events leading up to it? Daisy Jones, the brilliant songwriter but high functioning drug addict? The egotistical Dunne brothers who control everything the band does? The angry guitarist? The binge-drinking dummer? The Bassist looking to the future? The keyboardist who won’t fit into her gender role? Or the frontman’s wife, who knows that one wrong step from her husband can result in him falling off the wagon or that the connection between him and Daisy is electric? 

There’s never one side to the truth.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Believathon 2019 - Le Belle Sauvage

  • Title And Author: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • Publisher: Penguin/David Fickling Books
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 546 Pages and 13 Hours 14 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - WaterstonesAudible

It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it? With me finally, FINALLY, getting my rear in gear and reading/audiobooking La Belle Sauvage, seeing how much I love the His Dark Materials trilogy and bought this as soon as I could. 

But I held off reading this. For the same reason I’m holding off watching the BBC/HBO adaption of the series - The Fear! I mean, we have been waiting for these FOR YEARS! What if, after all this waiting, they don’t live up to our exceptions?!

So, how/why did I decide to do it now? Well, the audiobook is the main reason. Plus, The Secret Commonwealth for another. OK, let me explain. The Secret Commonwealth has just come out in hardback and I would like to read that as Lyra is an adult in this and I want to return and see what’s happened to her and her daemon, Pan. Now, the audiobook. I returned an audiobook after an hour’s listening on Audible and they, very kindly, gave me a credit as a refund. So, I decided to grab this (as well as activate a Black Friday deal of getting an Audible Subscription with 4 months being only £3.99 [The offer is still going. I think it ends on Thursday 12th December aka UK General Election Day or Friday 13th, so go go! Just remember to cancel it before the price goes up to £7.99])

Anyway, La Belle Sauavge, the first volume in the Book of Dust series is a little different from what everyone was expecting. We thought this was going to follow after His Dark Materials. Nope. This takes place years BEFORE, when Lyra is only six months. 

Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, lives in the pub in Oxford by the river Thames. His life is fairly ordinary, even uneventful. But this winter, the rain won’t stop. Rumours of a flood are everywhere, and Malcolm finds himself near the centre of a battle between religion, science and politics, when he goes to the priory across the river and discover they are looking after a small six month baby called Lyra, daughter of Lord Asriel...

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Believathon 2019 - Mary Poppins

  • Title And Author: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from Prime Reading
  • Length: 228 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

As I said in my previous post, I struggled then DNFed North Child. And because of that, it threw my reading plans out of the window. I wanted to read the Believathon group book, Frostheart by Jamie Littler. I then wanted to read my advance reader copy of Elizabeth and Katherine Corr’s Throne of Swans. I was so excited to read them. But after DNFing North Child, I decided that I didn’t want to go near these titles just yet. I wanted one or two titles, a bit left-field choices, for me to read. Something I can read fast and something I can switch my brain off too. One of these choices was the new James Patterson 19th Christmas. But the other was going to be something I can read FAST as Nanowrimo is still going on and I know that I’m not going to hit the 50,000 word as I’ve written my conclusion and am now tying up loose ends and thinking “I kinda want to write a sequel. I want to know what happens next to these characters.” 

So, when I remembered that I can “borrow” books from Amazon’s Prime Reading, I thought I would have a look at titles that I borrow and to check my memory. And I saw I could request the original Mary Poppins. So, borrowed that and started to read, deciding that this could be my last Believathon read...

We all know Mary Poppins. Disney used the original stories as inspiration for the movie, starring Julie Andrews, and we all know that PL Travers disliked the Disney adaptation so much that she demanded that no one who worked directly with the original to be involved in the sequel (hence why it took so long for Mary Poppins Returns to be made, even though both Disney and PL Travers both wanted a sequel to be made). 

So, Mary Poppins. The Bank family are desperate. Their nanny has worked out. Who will look after the four Banks children: Jane, Michael and the twins? Then, the mysterious Mary Poppins appears, as if blown in on the wind. Firm but fair, Mary Poppins brings magic into the children’s lives. But she will only stay till the wind changes…

Friday, 29 November 2019

Believathon 2019 - DNFing North Child

I don’t normally talk about books I’ve DNF. I usually have the attitude of “This is my blog and I want you guys to discover books that make you happy, so I’m going to talk about books that I’ve read that make me happy.” and “Life is too short to read books that don’t work for you” (I shorten it in the past to “Life’s too short to read crap books” as a crap book for you could be a OMFG-I-Love-This-Book read). 

But this book I want to talk to you about for several reasons. One: I was reading it for the Believathon readaton. Two: I know you guys love this books and this proves my point that you should read widely when it comes to book bloggers/booktube/etc opinions as EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT AND HAS DIFFERENT TASTES AND OPINIONS!!! And Three: this book is interesting and I can see why this book didn’t work for me but could work for you, dear reader. 

So, North Child by Edith Pattou. Or East, if you live in the US. 

Quick summary of the book before I sink my teeth into chatting about it. 

Told from several points of view, we follow Rose, an unusual girl. She was born facing north and children born facing north travel far from home and will embark on a dangerous adventure. After she and her family make a pact with a enormous white bear, Rose finds herself travelling to a myserteous castle that holds a dark enchantment… and that’s not even half the story… 

This is a weird book and proves that different countries have very different attutides. In the UK, this book is called North Child and can be found the children/middle grade section of libraries and bookshops. In the US, this is called East and can be found in the YA section. But reading what I have read, I understand why the book is placed in both sections. 

Now, everyone I know in the book blogger/booktube world really likes this book and I completely get it. The writing is solid, the story is sweeping, everything about this is good. 

And yet… here I am. DNFing it and talking about it. Why? Because everyone has a different opinion and, you know what, that’s okay. It’s fine. We can get along nicely and be friends, right?

Ok, stay with me here as I’m kinda upset that I got to this realisation of DNFing (why is it I say I will be more brutal on DNFing stuff and sometimes, I am ruthless, and other times, it breaks my heart?). Because for the first few pages, I was on board. I was there! I saw what you all saw. 

But then, around the 250 page mark, something happened and I lost it. I got bored with it. The story dragged and I just couldn’t find the energy nor willpower to read it. I was shocked that a few days ago, I was invested with this story and these characters but now, now I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I was bored, oh so bored!

Maybe it’s my mood, I told myself. It has been stressful at work and I can’t settle to the audiobooks I requested from local library or I bought months ago. I just need time. And so, I kept reading, and that feeling was still there. 

Then, the weekend just gone, I sat down to read it. I got three pages in, then picked up Twitter and, after having a chat with a fellow book blogger who was curious to read, I went “Have mine.” and I felt ok doing that. I was fine DNFing it because someone else was going to read this and love this book as it’s more up their street than mine. 

And that’s ok. This didn’t work for me, but at least I tried to read it and at least I knew when to put the book down and get out. 

Although, I got out a little late. The next book I was planning to read was linked to a book event I’m going to in the next few weeks and, because of this, I don’t feel ready now to read it so, gonna pick up something else instead.

This is why you have to do you when it comes to reading. Reading should be a pleasure, it should be fun and you have to do you. If you want to read books to the end, do that. You want to read this or that and DNF something that doesn’t work for you, do it! Reading should be fun and you should do you. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Believathon 2019 - The Worst Witch Mini-Reviews

Sorry for my lack of write-up for my Believathon as the book I’m read (North Child by Edith Pattou) is taking a lot longer to read that I was expecting (meaning I’m not going to read the readathon’s group read - Frostheart by Jamie Littler - in time. Might try and read it over the Christmas Blog Break!). Plus, with Nanowrimo taking my time on the typing front and me listening to audiobooks that don’t really fit Believathon (so I’m putting those reviews/write-up’s up in December), I’ve kinda got myself a bit of a blog dip. 

So, SURPRISE! I have one big blog post over two The Worst Witch books! I have The Worst Witch All At Sea (the fourth in the series) and The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star (the seventh in the series). 

Hang on a moment. I need to put those blasted affiliate links up (do you use them? I’m curious on whether to keep them or only use one or two instead of four) 

  • Title And Author: The Worst Witch All at Sea and The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star by Jill Murphy
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 224 Pages for Worst Witch All at Sea, 208 Pages for Worst Witch and the Wishing Star or 2 Hours and 5/9 Minutes 
  • Buy THE WORST WITCH ALL AT SEA From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
  • Buy THE WORST WITCH AND THE WISHING STAR From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

So, with that out of the way (do those links make sense? I hope so!), let me do a quick write-up on each. 

In The Worst Witch All at Sea, Mildred Hubble and her classmates have been given a special treat: a week by the seaside. But Mildred is upset over her cat, Tabby, behind left behind, so she sneaks him with her. And with that, trouble follows. 

In The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star, Mildred makes a wish on a shooting star and, to her surprise, it comes true! A dog is waiting for her, but how is she going to keep him - Star - a secret from everyone, especially the formidable Miss Hardbroom? And with the school entering a contest to win an indoor swimming pool, you know trouble is going to come when disaster-prone Mildred is about…