Thursday 29 August 2019

Book Review - The Witch's Blood

  • Title And Author: The Witch’s Blood by Elizabeth and Katharine Corr
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher & authors in exchange for an honest reaction/review
  • Length: 416 Pages

I’ve been holding off reading this for a while. After finding myself blitzing the second book in the series, Witch’s Tears, I’ve been a little hesitant to go back and finish this series off. I knew I would, but I never felt ready, if that makes sense. Plus, if you guys have follow the blog or any of my social medias, you know I have a tendency to start a series but NEVER EVER FINISH THEM! 

So, imagine my surprise when I was chatting to the authors on social media one day at work and went “Oh hell, I’m ready!”. And because of Murder Month round the corner, I had to slip it in somewhere. And when I did, I found time and hammered it out over a week (or, if we are being super picky, four sittings). 

After the devastating events of Witch’s Tears, Merry will stop at nothing to save her brother Leo. Even if that means ignoring her coven’s orders to do so. But doing so has unforeseen consequences for the teenage witch. As she and Leo are forced to confront evil from past and present and her powers growing, how far are they will to go to save the people close to them? 

So… where do we begin?

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Library Audiobooks DNFs

As you guys know, I canceled my Audible subscription earlier this year and switched to my local libraries BorrowBox app as I love a good audiobook. What’s surprised me in using it is, while the back catalogue isn’t as vast as Audible, how I pick certain audiobooks on whim. Sometimes, there are a raging success and others… not so much. And when I don’t get on with these audiobooks, I have no guilt in returning them to the library, no matter if I have listened to a few hours or just a few minutes. 

And because I want to show you guys that I am trying to branch out and try new genres, I thought I would show some of my DNF library audiobooks.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Audiobook Review - The Witchfinder's Sister

  • Title And Author: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from Essex Libraries via BorrowBox
  • Length: 368 Pages or 10 Hours 54 Minutes
Now, this is a bit of a curveball as historical fiction isn’t my jam. But I requested this from NetGalley AGES ago (yes, it’s an eProof and I am surprise behind on them!) and I’ve been going “I will read this one day… one day…”. Then I saw this on my Library Audiobook app and went “Why Not? I can pop this as one of my Murder Month reads” as, for a reason I’m not 100% certain on why, this book is classed as crime and thriller. So, I’m not sure to pop this in my Murder Month or not… So, it’s going up now! 

Before the famous Salem Witch Hunts happened in the US, the UK had the Essex Witch Trials, spearheaded by the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. When his sister, Alice, is forced to return to the small Essex home in Manningtree after the tragic death of his husband, she hopes for safety, love and support. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed from their last meeting and whispers follow him now. Whispers of witchcraft and whispers of a book he owns, a book where he is gathering women names… As Matthew’s obsession grows, so does the creeping dread Alice feels… How far is Matthew’s obsession going to go? And what choice will Alice make to save herself?

Thursday 22 August 2019

eBook Review - Howl's Moving Castle

  • Title And Author: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 320 Pages

It’s been a while coming. Yes, I’ve only got round to reading this, a classic within fantasy, I know. I am very behind the times, I know. 

So, down to business. Where do I begin with this? 

In the land of Ingary, Sophie Hatter finds herself in trouble. After catching the unwanted attention of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie is now under a spell where she now is an old woman. Thinking she has nothing to lose, she makes her way to the moving castle that belongs to Wizard Howl, a vain wizard who, they say, have an appetite for the hearts and souls of young women who fall in love with him… 

But once in the castle, she meets Howl’s young apprentice, Michael, and Howl’s fire demon, Calcifer and Sophie realise that she might not be the only one under a curse…

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Audiobook Review - Fairest

  • Title And Author: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed by BorrowBox & Essex Libraries 
  • Length: 288 Pages or 5 Hours 33 Minutes

If you backtrack through the Pewter Wolf, you will know I started the Lunar Chronicles and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I enjoyed Cinder and loved Scarlet. And then, I stopped. I didn’t go any further. Now, I did try to read the third book in the series, Cress, but every time I did, I stopped at the halfway point. I kept getting so tense over the characters, I kept having to stop myself and I could never come back. And when Winter, the last book came out, I knew I wouldn’t go back to this series as it was SO LONG (over 800 pages). 

But I have always been curious over the little novella, Fairest. As you know, each book in the Lunar Chronicle is inspired on a fairy tale (Cinder follows Cinderella, Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is Rapunzel and Winter is Snow White) so this novella is about the Evil Queen… And I think we all want to know what makes a villain a villain… 

Before Levana was the ruthless Queen of Luna, she was someone completely different. A young, shy girl who lives in her awful older sister’s shadow, hiding her scars behind her Glamour… But what made this girl become who is in the Lunar Chronicles?

Thursday 15 August 2019

Audiobook Review - The Affair at the Victory Ball

  • Title And Author: The Affair at the Victory Ball by Agatha Christie
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed by BorrowBox & Essex Libraries
  • Length: 33 Minutes

Before I want to go any further, I wanted to say that this was meant to be for my Murder Month which is happening in September. That was originally the plan. However, I changed my mind and decided to pop this here instead. The main reason is that I couldn’t review this next month - it’s 33 minutes long! Yes, it’s in a collection of Hercule Poirot short stories (which I am going to write the history to. Trust me, I am going to talk about it), but I haven’t read the collection. I’ve only audiobooked this short. Plus, I have plans to try and read at least one Agatha Christie novel for my Murder Month. It’s going to be either The ABC Murders, Crooked House or a reread of Murder on the Orient Express. I haven’t which yet. 

History lesson time. The Affair at the Victory Ball was first published in the Strand within a year of Agatha Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair At Styles being published, This, and other Poirot short stories, were then published in a collection of short stories in the mid-1970s as Poirot Early Cases or The Underdog and Other Stories in the US. 

So… The Affair of the Victory Ball is an interesting case as Poirot is asked to be involved by Chief Inspector Japp. A group of six people are the Victory Ball, each dressed in a costume of the Commedia dell’arte (a early form of professional theatre which involve six masked characters Harlequin, Il Dottore, Il Capitano, Pantalone, Colombina and Pierrot [forgive if I have made mistakes here. I did try and get this right]) and, by the end of the evening, two people died. One stabbed through the heart by a table knife and his body oddly stiffed, the other dead in her bed, overdosed on cocaine.

Sunday 11 August 2019

Time Can Never Mend Careless Whispers

BLOG TOUR ALERT! And yes, it's a bit of a side-step and yet, so completely on brand for me that, when I heard this blog tour might be in the works, I did a lot of twitter begging to be involved! 

So, let me get all the info out of the way and talk to y'all about Soho murder! 
  • Title And Author: Careless Whisper by T.S. Hunter
  • Publisher: Red Dog Press
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 106 Pages
The third instalment in the Soho Noir series (I have the first and second on my kindle and hoping to read them over the summer or as part of my Murder Month this coming September... keep your eyes peeled for that) takes readers to 1986 Soho, London where lead singer of the popular boy band, Loose Lips, is struggling to stay in the closet while the band is going through a messy breakup. 

TV Runner, Joe Stone, is assigned to Adam during a behind-the-scene, warts and all expose of the group recording their final album.

But when the band's manager, Jack Eddy is found dead in Adam's hotel room, the Police instantly think it was a sex game gone wrong and Adam is the primary suspect. But Joe doesn't think so, and turns to his former policeman and flatmate, Russell to help clear Adam's name. 

As the two investigate what could have happened, Russell is waiting. Waiting for some test results, which could change his life...

Friday 9 August 2019

Girl. Boy. Sea. Tour.

Blog tour alert! And I have an extract to share with you!

Girl. Boy. Sea. follows the unpredictable ocean, survival, and the unlikely friendship between two very unlikely people.

British teen Bill survives the sinking of his yacht during a terrible storm off the coast of Morocco. After many days alone at sea, Bill is saved by another survivor from the same storm. Aya, from the nomadic Berber tribe, was on a migrant ship. As the two survive the vast empty sea, hungry, sea burnt and with no idea on what to do, Aya tells the tales of Shahrazad of the Arabian Nights, who told 1000 stories to stay alive from the murderous Persian King.

As they, somehow, find the strength to survive, they discover a small desert island. But a shadow is on the island, as there is in the deep blue, waiting...

I am intrigued over this our it feels both very out of my comfort zone and yet, very comfortable within it. And I think you guys will enjoy the adventure! As I said, this is an extract and the rest of the tour will give you a mix of reviews, extracts, guest posts and interview so follow away.

Now, before I give you the extract, I just want to thank Jade from Head of Zeus for asking me if I wanted to be involved in this tour. Now, if you want to say hi to Chris Vick, you can pop over to his website - - or say hi to him on Twitter at @chrisvickwrites. Plus, if you want to know more about Girl. Boy. Sea., you can go over to Head of Zeus website.


Tuesday 6 August 2019

#re3 - Quidditch Through the Ages

  • Title And Author: Quidditch Through the Ages by JK Rowling
  • Publisher: Pottermore
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed by BorrowBox & Essex Libraries
  • Length: 64 Pages or 3 Hours

Ok, this is a #re3 for me. Of course it is, it’s Harry Potter related! But I have never listened to the audiobook version before so not sure whether to class this as a review for the whole audiobook or just for the bits I haven’t read, but this audiobook has extras that aren’t in the book edition. 

So, for those of you who don’t know: Quidditch Through the Ages was first referenced in the Harry Potter series as one of the books the characters read from Hogwarts Library and, back in 2001, JK Rowling published this and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (another Hogwarts text book) to raise money for the charity, Comic Relief. Several years later, while continuing to raise money for Comic Relief, money also went to JK Rowling’s own charity, Lumos. 

Basically, Quidditch Through the Ages looks through the history of Quidditch, the UK and Ireland teams, positions and balls. Plus, the audiobook has over an hour extra content of looking into the history of the Qudditch World Cup and newspaper reports of the Quidditch World Cup 2014 and transcript of the Quidditch World Cup Final 2014 from Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. 

Which, at the time of requesting the audiobook from my library audiobook app, I didn’t know the extra content was there. I saw it and went “Why Not!”

Thursday 1 August 2019

eBook Review - To Be Taught, If Fortunate

  • Title And Author: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Beck Chambers
  • Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eBook Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 176 Pages

As you guys know, I am a bit of a late comer to Becky Chambers. I still have to read her third Wayfarer novel, Record of a Spaceborn Few. Hoping to read that sometime in the next six months. But when the news of this novella was first announced, I instantly preordered it. A novella set outside of the Wayfarer series. Colour me intrigued. 

So when I saw I could request the eProof of this on NetGalley, I did think carefully over if I want to request this or wait for my novella. In the end, I requested it as my curiosity got the better of me. 

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a discovery in human space travel. They discovered somaforming: a way for humans to survive hostile environments by using synthetic biological supplements. They can produce antifreeze so you can survive sub-zero environments, absorb radiation and convert into food, help adjust the pul of different gravitational forces. This can make space travel possible and visiting other planets, moons, and other environments possible. 

Ariadne is an astronaut. She and three others are on a mission to survey four habitable worlds fifteen light years away from Earth. She and her crewmates sleep while in transit and, when they wake up, they have a new world to explore and the somaforming has changed their bodies, ready for the new world. 

I don’t think I can go any further in detail with this novella as I’m a little worried on what is a spoiler and what isn’t. But, you guys want me reactions to this… well…