Friday, 24 February 2017

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 37

HOW IS IT FEBRUARY ALREADY?! What is happening, everyone?!

Anyway, it's that time on the blog again where I show you some of the music I was listening to while reading or a song that made a strong reaction while reading a book/ebook or listening to an audiobook!

Anyway, I hope you like the pics and if there is any music I should check out, leave a comment down below and I'll check them out!

CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth
"Renaissance Moon" by Laura Mvula


THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury
"People" by Laura Mvula (featuring Wretch 32)


RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard (Still Listening to Audiobook)
"Lethargy" by Bastille

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

#re3 - The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

This, like Northern Lights, was a reread. I wanted to read something completely anti-fantasy before I dive back into the world of Sin Eater's Daughter. I know that, once I start reading Sleeping Prince, I would binge this and Scarecrow Queen so I can finish them before the end of March. And I love fantasy but worried that if I binge-read these after finishing Sin Eater's Daughter and Northern Lights, I would be a little sick of fantasy so, when I saw this on NetGalley, I went "Let's read this. It's a reread, it should be a fast fun read".

Oh, Andrew. Never think "This is will a fun, fast read". I started reading this and, like Northern Lights, I soon realised that there was a lot of things in here that I forgot. I mean, how old was I went I read this? Late teens? So, over ten years ago... Yeah... there is a lot I forgot. 

The first in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, we follow Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's first - and finest - female private investigator. Following her starting up her business and investigating cases such as cheating husbands and wayward daughters. All the while, with warmth, humour and a gentle understanding of human nature. 

Now, it's been so long since I read this that I am going to have to treat this like a review rather than a reread. This is a very different crime/thriller I am use to reading. I like pace, I like action, I like twists. This is a complete gear shift for me as this is a gentle crime. And Precious Ramotswe is probably the Queen of gentle crime within the past two decades. 

There is a cosy, warm feel to this. Perfect reading for the cold months of January/February. It's a bit like Sunday evening TV. You can curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate, wearing your comfortable, happy clothes and feel happy. It's a feel-good factor to them, something I remember from when I read them YEARS AND YEARS ago. This carried over when the BBC/HBO turned a few of these into a TV series back in 2007/2008 (if I can, I will include a pic from the TV series somewhere in this post!)

Some crime readers might not like this series as the mysteries in this book and within the series aren't exactly thrilling or compelling. They're quite laid-back mysteries and some are quite easy to figure out. But this is more a look at life and human nature - something that applies to me. It's refresh for me to read something that isn't running at a hundred miles an hour. I can just relax and enjoy. 

I might have to get my hands on the second book in the series, Tears of the Giraffe. But, at the same time that I requested No 1 Detective Agency, I requested another of Alexander McCall Smith's stories, The Sunday Philosophy Club (which I think I might have read but I can't remember if I have or not!), so this will be my next Alexander McCall Smith read. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Scarecrow Queen Contest

I have a contest for you guys! Because of the lovely Lorraine from Scholastic, I am very lucky to giveaway a copy of THE SCARECROW QUEEN, the third and final book in the Sin Eater's Daughter's trilogy by Melinda Salisbury.

Now, as you know, I am currently reading this series (I have, truth be told, only just started the second book in the series, The Sleeping Prince, and should be completely finished with the trilogy sometime in March!) so I don't want to go into too much depth about what will happen in Scarecrow Queen (spoilers!). But all I know is that the Sleeping Prince is tightening his grip on the land and the final battle is coming...

That doesn't sound like characters I love/am going to fall in love with are going to die AT ALL!!!

Anyway, if you are a lover of this series and want to win a copy of Scarecrow Queen, I have one copy to give away!

This is a UK only contest, I'm afraid (I'm sending this out so funds is a problem!). Like I say in every contest post, I am planning an International contest in the coming months. Just not sure when.

Anyway, back to this contest. All you have to do is fill in the form below!

This contest will be open till midday this coming Saturday (25th February 2017) and the winner will be picked at random via random.org. I will announce winner on my Twitter and will email the winner for their address so I can send them their goodies in a very shiny purple envelope!

To those of you entering, GOOD LUCK!!! May the Felix Felicis ever be in your favour!

Friday, 17 February 2017

A Quite Late LootCrate Blog Post


I don't think I hide the fact that I don't know much about subscription boxes. I know you guys are more gemmed up on them - hell, you're all probably signed up to a bunch. But I never have. My main reason for this is (barring funds, of course) is that none of the boxes appeal to me completely. I like them, but nothing grabs me to make me sign up for several months and most don't allow you to get a one-off box.

So, when Loot Crate randomly emailed my late last year and said (I have lost the email so am paraphrasing here) "Hey, we really like your blog! Fancy doing a "Create Your Own LootCrate post?", I hesitated. It took a long time for me to go "Why not?". Not because I fear you guys would read this and go "HE SOLD OUT! THEY PAYING HIM TO SAY NICE THINGS!" (laughs at this thought. You haven't seen what I've done yet! Keep that thought to yourself at the moment!), but I went "Ok, if I was going to sign up to a subscription box thingy (and it wouldn't renew my subscription without me know! Am poor and need to pay rent!), what would I like in my first month's box?". It became a challenge. And I made a list of things I wanted and theme ideas and read other people's post and went "oooh!" over them.

But I'm late to the part. Life got in the way - Christmas, New Year, the horror that is Trump and Brexit and work and ARGH!!!! - so now, NOW, I have time to sit down and write my random box.

With every subscription box I've seen, there is a theme. Something that ties everything together: Build, Anti-Hero, Horror, Love, Elements, etc. But with me... that's the biggest problem. I am a mix of things so summing it down to one theme is hard. I am a book blogger, but I love video games, cats, dogs, diversity, tea, Harry Potter, I could go on. And you guys aren't the same either. One of you might love dogs and hate Harry Potter. Another might like Lush bath bombs and have to hide them from your other half/parents because last time, they thought it was a toilet cleaner and you came home to discover your toilet was on verge of vomitting glittery purple water!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

#re3 ReRead 2017 Challenge - Northern Lights

It's so weird going back to this trilogy. I first read Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass, if you live in the USA) back when I was 16. It's been around 15 years since I first discovered this book. And this book was first published in 1995, making this book over 22 years old!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! And I am going to try, since the year I first discovered this trilogy, to read all three books in one year (along with Garth Nix's The Old Kingdom trilogy... this year is going to be interesting. Stressful, book reading wise).

Because this is a reread/#re3, please be aware there are spoilers ahead. DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE SERIES, OK? This is why there is a page break here. Am trying to protect your unspoiled book eyes/minds...


Monday, 13 February 2017

Suzie Wilde Talks "Book of Bera"

Today, I would like to welcome Suzie Wilde to The Pewter Wolf! Suzie is the author of The Book of Bera: Sea Paths. I would tell you what the book is about, but Suzie is going to tell us a little bit about Bera and her adventures in the small Q&A we have a little further down (I asked for an elevator pitch of the book. Must stop doing that!). But for those curious over genre, it is historical with a twist of fantasy so that should wet your appetite!

Now, before I hand you over to Suzie, I would just like to thank Suzie for taking time out to answer my questions! I would also like to thank Joelle from Unbound, who not only asked if I wanted to be involved but has very kindly sent me a copy of Bera to review. Thank you both very much.

So, if you wanna check Suzie out, you can go to either her website (https://www.suziewilde.co.uk), her Twitter of @suziewilde or check out her Unbound page. Now, over to past me and Suzie...!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Novella Review - The King Of Rats

After finishing The Sin Eater's Daughter last Friday, I wanted to jump straight into The Sleeping Prince. But as I'm STILL rereading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights as part of my #re3 Challenge, I decided to focus on that before I return to the Sin Eater world. And, against some people's tweets, I decide to read one of the short stories Melinda wrote for the Waterstones's blog, but I was given by the publisher in a small booklet form, The King of Rats. Now, according to tweets, I should have saved this for after Sleeping Prince... oh well! Too late now!

Everyone in the Sin Eater's Daughter series knows the Sleeping Prince, but the no one really knows why he's sleeping and when/if he will awake. But centuries ago, the kingdom of Tallith was a utopia, filled with proud and privileged people. One of them was Prince Aurek and his twin sister, Aurelia. Both who will lead Tallith into a bright future.

But then the rats came. Desperate, the King summons a rat catcher to get rid of rats. But the rat catcher didn't come along. He came with his son and his beautiful daughter. Upon seeing her, Aurek decides to have her. This decision will set off a chain of consequences that will last for centuries to come...

The writing in this short story is just as dark and seductive as Sin Eater's Daughter. And it's good to see the bases of the Sleeping Prince fairytale. I loved the twisting of the Pied Piper tale and, from what I've heard, we do hear little snippets about the twins and this fairytale within Sin Eater's Daughter and Sleeping Prince.

What's also good is that this is a free story and it's not essential reading. If you only read the novels, that's fine. But if you read this and the other short story (I believe it's called Heart Collector and I think it was on the Waterstones's blog for a limited amount of time) , it gives up an extra layer to the darkly seductive world that Melinda has created.

Fans will devour this within half an hour. I can't wait to find time to start Sleeping Prince in the next few weeks...

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Book Review - The Sin Eater's Daughter

If you read my write-up about the Scholastic Blogger Feast 2017 post (if you haven't, you should click here and read), you are well aware that I kinda got myself into a bit of bother with Melinda Salisbury. At the time, I haven't read Sin Eater's Daughter or its sequel The Sleeping Prince yet. I had several bloggers telling me off and forcing copies of both books into my hands when I was making myself a copy of tea during one of the intervals. As we were talking about these books, I mentioned that I hadn't read these yet... AND MELINDA SAINSBURY WAS STANDING NEXT TO ME AND HEARD EVERYTHING!!! [insert mental screaming here] "I'll read them!" I promised her and everyone close by. "I'll start Sin Eater's Daughter before the end of this month [January] and I'll binge so am up to speed for Scarecrow Queen."

I started reading Sin Eater's Daughter the following day. And I finished it last Friday. So, am keeping to my promise to get myself up to speed before the third and final book in the series, The Scarecrow Queen, comes out in March.

In the first book in a high fantasy trilogy, we meet Twylla. A girl who is blessed. She is the Gods choice - the Daunen Embodied. She lives in the palace and is betrothed to married a prince and rule the kingdom by his side. But being so blessed has a price. To prove that she is the Daunen Embodied, she must drink poison every month and survive. And she does. But because of this, her skin is poison. One touch of her poison-infused skin and the person who has angered the Queen will die.

Only the new guard, Lief, sees Twylla beyond the role of Daunen Embodied. He sees the girl that she is. And in a court as dangerous as the queen's, that might not be for the best. In the queen's court, some truths should never be told...

I always stayed away from this book. The hype around this scared me and puts me off. What if I didn't like it?

I'm going to split this book into two part. The first 200 pages and the last 133 pages.

The first 200 pages I loved. I got sucked into this world-building and the gorgeously dark writing. There's something seductive about the writing, a quality that reminded me of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series and Trudi Canavan's Age of the Five trilogy (I listened to the abridged audiobooks YEARS ago. Before I started the blog, actually, and one day, I will go and read the trilogy...). For the first two hundred pages, this sets everything up in a fashion that I don't see that often in fantasy books but when I do, I can't help but turn the pages at speed. This book's writing doesn't feel like a debut. It feels stronger. I liked the characters, the ideas put forward, the culture, the fairytales, the cruelty hinted out (oh, the Queen is a fascinating cruel character and I am quite intrigued to know more about her and why she behaved and think the way she did...), these were good within first 200 pages.

But, something happens around the 200 page mark which made the story take a turn. I enjoyed the story up to this point, but the love triangle (which is hinted at, FYI) goes up a gear. With me, I like love triangles where I root for both sides. But it felt very heavy handed, and because of this, I was awaiting the fallout. I love a good fallout and when it happened, I enjoyed it.

Some of you guys have said that this does have a feel of a standard fantasy series set-up book, and there were times I agree with you. But I feel that this book's writing and world building is the strongest element here. These and some of the twists Melinda pulled. And now things have been set up, I am very intrigued to see where The Sleeping Prince and The Scarecrow Queen goes... And I can't wait to find out!