Monday 20 December 2021

End of 2021

So, here we are. Christmas is around the corner and soon, we say bye-bye to 2021! A year that wasn’t as bad as 2020 but is flipping close!

And here I am, about to go on a nice, long Christmas blog holiday! It’s going to be a tad longer than my normal Christmas blog breaks, but I feel that, after the few years we’ve had, I need to take more time out and so, I’m going to have an extra week or so off and be chill with my reading/stealth blogging for the next few weeks and give myself time to get back into the swing of work before I throw myself back into the crazy world of book blogging!

But, I suppose, before I go, I should chat about my fave books… Nope, not gonna do that! I might do a catch up on all my reads on Instagram on New Year Eve… Actually, last year, I put some of my fave songs of the year up and I’m tempted to do that this year (will have to look at my Apple Music to see what calls to me as Apple Music doesn’t do Spotify Wrapped. They should, because I love sharing and discovering new music!)

Instead, just going to do a tiny thank you. Now, I say this every year (yes, I know), but I want to thank all the authors, illustrators, publishers, PR people, booksellers, fellow book bloggers/vloggers/podcasters/instagrammers/tweeters and everyone else who’s made blogging and reading this year (actually the past 10/11 years, but especially the last few years as the world went … well, whatever the heck this is!) such a pleasure. Even when my reading taste took a turn in a direction that surprised even me! Always nice for you guys to cheer this tiny book blog and its thirty-something gay guy on!

And, as always, to my friends, my family and to my Other Half – thank you and I love you.

On that note, let’s celebrate the holiday you celebrate (Christmas, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Hanukkah [yes, I know that was earlier in December) and any others I missed), say goodbye to 2021 and hopefully step into a brighter, more hopefully 2022.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

eBook review - Where The Drowned Girls Go

Title And Author
: Where The Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction

I’ve been meaning to come back to this series for quite some time. But one thing or another has always gotten in the way, so when I was approved to read/review this on NetGalley, I was hugely surprised and found time to squirrel this novella into my December reading.

The seventh novella in the Wayward Children series, this follows Cora. Since the events of Come Tumbling Down, Cora is struggling. She has nightmares from the Drowned Gods, who are waiting to claim her if she even finds her door. Desperate, she decided to transfer from Eleanor West’s Home from Wayward Children to Whitethorn Institute, another school to help children who fall through doors into other worlds then come back. This school teaches the students to forget, to be “normal” again. But the more time Cora stays, the more she realises that she and her fellow students aren’t safe…

Monday 13 December 2021


It’s not often I do write-ups on The Pewter Wolf Reads about books/audiobooks I quit (or DNF [Did Not Finish]). And if I do, I usually only write my thoughts on Goodreads (mainly because so I remember why I quit or because it’s a review copy and I want to show publishers via NetGalley that “hey, look, I did try and read it. Why aren’t my Did Not Finish review not affecting my Reading Percentage, NetGalley [hint hint!]?”). But mainly, us book bloggers don’t exactly practice what we preach about reading for pleasure and quitting when we’re not enjoying it. Though we are getting better.

But Gilded by Marissa Meyer, I wanted to talk about because while I did quit this around the halfway mark (57%, I believe) and I borrowed the audiobook from the library and had this on double speed (something I rarely do), I do think some of you guys will really like this book. I mean, this is a fairy tale reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin – I already know most of you guys love a good fairy tale retelling.

Serilda is a miller’s daughter who can’t stop telling stories (well, she was cursed by the god of stories and lies). When she is caught out one night, she tells a story to keep herself from getting killed – that she’s out to collect straw so she can turn to gold, she catches the attention of the Erlking who, every full moon, takes her to his castle and demands to spin straw into gold – or be killed for lying. Desperate, Serilda accidently summons a mystery of a young man who can spin straw into gold – for a price. Magic always demand payment. As the two spend time together, they form a connection and wonder why the Erlking wants so much gold. For the Erlking has plans… dark plans and Serilda has found herself at the heart of it.

Now, in theory, this is right up my street. A YA fairytale retelling (with just enough darkness at its heart and yet, a romance to keep things light) with hints of other fairytales (I keep thinking this had dashes of Beauty and the Beast thrown in, and strong Once Upon A Time vibe) with strong writing and other elements that should have ticked all my boxes.

And yet… I quit the book around the halfway mark. Not because the book is bad – it isn’t, and I do think most of you guys will enjoy reading this. But, the book had two issues that didn’t work for me as reader and now that I’m typing, I now realise that these were the same issues I had when I tried to read another retelling from this author a few years, Heartless – a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Heart: book felt too long and repetition.

I get why: most of the story takes place on night of the full moon so, of course, there’s going to be repetition over how the characters react, their actions and whatnot – hence the issue of length. The chapters of the full moon have to be long and with the story going in the direction it’s going, it’s needs that length. However, this is the first in a series (duology?), so if these issues are here now with me, I sense I’m going to have these issues in the next book. Which then leads to a question every reader ask them when starting a new series: do I want/need to continue?

For me, the answer’s no. But I have read several reviews from book bloggers I like and respect, and their answer is yes. Not every book is going to work for every reader.

But I did try to read this, and there are elements I do like and I will recommend this book to readers. It’s just that this book didn’t work for me, sadly.

Friday 10 December 2021

Audiobook Review - Marvellous Light

Ok, I am going to admit this. I have been sitting on this review/write-up for a little while now as, when I was at the near end of this, I spotted that there might be a blog tour to  celebrate this book's release and I went "Oh, can I be involved?" then released that they might ask me to post a review for tour so I went "Oh, I need to write this, BUT NOT SHARE FOR WHILE" hence that long dry spell in November's blogging. I was reading, honest! But I agreed to something then went "Oh, I don't know my next plan of action so... yeah...". And now, I saw the blog tour is happening and I think I might have missed my chance to take part. Oh well...

Anyway, WE'RE HERE NOW and talking A Marvellous Light, the first in a new fantasy series set in Edwardian England. Hang on, let me get info up and we can talk more about this! 

Title And Author: A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

Publisher: Tor UK

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction

Robin Blyth has a lot on his plate. He's struggling being a good brother, taking over as head of the house since his parents's deaths and dealing with the mess of bills they have left and trying to find his own way in the world. So, when an admin error means he becomes civil service liaison to the hidden magical world and comes face to face with Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly magical counterpart, Robin finds himself in the deep end. 

And then he's cursed by mysterious men who think Robin's predecessor hid something of great importance. A man who has vanished off the face of the Earth. As Robin and Edwin find themselves in a plot that could very easily affect every magician in the British Isles, the two begin to realise that their first impressions of each other are wrong and there might be some connection between them...