WWW Wednesday

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

 

What Are You Currently Reading?

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)

GoodReads:
When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.

Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back.

There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.

To Say I’m enjoying this, would be an understatement! I’m LOVING it so far, and now that I finished reading my last blog tour book for the week, I can really focus on it. HOLY COW THE CREATIVITY IN THIS ASTOUNDING. This read was brought to you by Kal lol.

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Died and Gone to Devon

GoodReads:
X marks the spot for murder…
In the seaside town of Temple Regis, seagulls are wheeling overhead and the holidays are getting close. And then the body of political candidate Odile Clifford is discovered on the balcony of the lighthouse.
Fearless Riviera Express reporter Judy Dimont goes in search of the killer – but who is it? And where will they strike next?
What’s more, Judy’s position as chief reporter is under threat when her editor takes on hot-shot journalist David Renishaw, whose work is just too good to be true.
Life is busier than ever for Devon’s most famous detective. Can Judy solve the mystery – and protect her position as Temple Regis’s best reporter – before the murderer strikes again?

I’ll be doing a review of this on Friday, so, keep an eye out for it!

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1)

GoodReads:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

 

Also these two as eARCs to tackle for NetGalley!

 

Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1) Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)

Reader Voracious: Bookish Readers Choice 2019

 

Heyyyy so, nominations are open. Kal is amazing and has gotten down so many awesome categories and let’s face it…these nominations are pretty much needed.

Why?

Well, I love GR, seriously, I think it’s something I use daily and really enjoy using it but there were som failings, to say the least, with the voting for the Readers Choice Awards. I’m pretty sure all the books were super hyped and popular already, all well known authors practically, and a bit disappointing especially with the YA choices. There were so many amazing and diverse books to come out this year and they kinda seemed to have been ignored, I don’t want to sound preach-y but why were there pretty much just white writers for the nominations?

Yes, those books were good, no denying it, but, so were the others I read such as ‘Kingdom of Souls,’ ‘Girls of Storm and Shadow,’ ‘Descendant of the Crane,’ you following me here?

I just wanted to see more books, so, Kal has been the hero we all needed and allowed us to have more of a say in our reader choice awards.

 

Remember, these are open until November 30, and you have a chance to put the books down that you want, not just choose from a list. And you can fill out all of it or just the parts you feel like, it’s up to you but you’re actually given choices and it’s awesome.

So, go look at this really helpful and informative post if you’re wanting to do this and go forth and have your voice heard!

I went crazy with it myself lol.

Kim, Leon, and The Sky Path to Africa – Blog Tour

 

 

Kim Leon Cover

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GoodReads:
Kim and Leon live on a farm in Suffolk, England. Kim is a schoolboy and Leon is his pet donkey. A rainy day encounter leads them on an adventure far away in Africa. Along the way there are dangers, and fears about who can be trusted. There is also the threatening presence of a slave ship, looming in the bay. This book comes with tasks of writing, acting and drawing. This is a simplified version of the original book. It suits especially ESL pupils.

My Review

I would like to start off saying that I do think this book is an excellent teaching tool, the tasks and the style it’s written in can be exceedingly beneficial for students, especially ESL students.

The writing is also not just what’s used in a good teaching tool but it’s also whimsical and entertaining for the children. And I find this is just as important when you’re looking for a book for students.

I really enjoyed the whimsy and magic in it, but it was a bit of a sharp turn for me while reading to go from that whimsy to 1702 slave trading. I think I didn’t rate this higher because I wasn’t sure of the approach to slave trading int hat time period, it’s a rather sensitive subject and I’m not sure what is the right way to do it, but I do think Allen did a pretty good job handling it.

If only there had been more Leon in the story! However, our magical donkey has a certain purpose and Kim was there to learn things on his own. I thought Kim was a really well written character and I enjoyed reading about him.

Overall a really useful teaching tool and a fun read. It wasn’t bogged down with too much terminology and was the perfect use of language for ESL kids.

Three large cups of coffee from me!

Thank you to Anne and the author for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Author

Barnaby Allen Author Pic

Barnaby Allen was born in Suva Fiji, as his father was working there for the British Crown.  He was introduced to literature by his mother, who liked to recite poetry and had a gift of telling engaging stories. As an adult Barnaby Allen worked in education in several countries mostly teaching English. He loved travel, classical music, discussions, current affairs, Pacific affairs, family, good food and board games. Barnaby’s children also had the benefit of Barnaby telling stories to them and making the characters come alive with acting out different roles.

 

The Rest of the Tour

Sky Path to Africa BT Poster

Girls of Paper and Fire Review

 

 

I’m reading a whole slew of books currently if you haven’t seen my GR…good, you’ll be less panicked for me that way lol. Anyway, I’m focusing on ‘This Mortal Coil’ now that I’ve finished this book which destroyed me, so yay for the next book to destroy me haha.

Let’s get on with the celebrations of my ravings of ‘Girls of Paper and Fire’

 

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)

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GoodReads:
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Presented by James Patterson, Natasha Ngan’s lyrical, searing, visceral fantasy, Girls of Paper and Fire, will remind us how precious freedom is–and the price we must pay to achieve it.

Content Warning: Violence, Sexual Assault, Rape, Attempted Rape. There is Slavery as well. [Natasha does include a trigger warning on/in the book itself.]

My Review

 

So I finally did it, I finally read my copy of ‘Girls of Paper and Fire’ and omg I am so glad I did. This book was AMAZING. Hands down, a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Lei’s family life in the beginning had me just genuinely smiling, I loved her relationship with her Father and Tien and even Bao. [That’s all I’ll say about that. Ngan. You know what you did.] It was important that Ngan really set this up as it made you truly feel for Lei once she was no longer able to be with her family, to be in the home she loved so much.

It was so easy to see where Lei was coming from but she was still a very believable teenager/young adult, she was a person filled with growth from page one to the end and we such changes in her. Some are mandatory due to her situation but others I think are just unfurling what was always inside her.

The focus of the book is Lei, it’s not her role as a paper girl though that does play a large part, it’s about her life and the changes and the complete lack of control she feels [and her desire to gain control again]. Not only that but she comes to more than just personal growth when she gets to know herself, she finds out about her desires as well, not just in life but within her heart.

The love story in this was perfection for me, it felt slow burning but not too slowly paced, and you could feel yourself come to the realization before Lei on her feelings developing and it’s rather sweet -and beautiful- to read.

The world was also just straight up spectacular, the three different castes, the different traditions and foods and clothes, it’s all so intricately done. She sweeps more than just a broad-stroke brush across the cultures she’s taken inspiration from, she gives the nuances to each one in a manner they so richly deserve.

With Ngan’s job on the demon king, she did too good a job lol, he was utterly terrifying. The monstrous parts of him, the madness, fear, and desperation those were what made him real and again, terrifying. It’s a great sign when a ‘villain’/tyrant is so believable.

Watching the other Paper girls in their duties and the difficulties they face was also intriguing and I’m hoping to just jump right into ‘Storms and Shadow’ after my current read and find out what’s happened in this world since the ending and the separation between them and Lei. Whether that’s physical or like they’ve drifted emotionally, I’m not saying, because, well, spoilers.

The ending was the sort of climatic chaos I love and the fact that we saw something that Lei and Wren won’t realize yet, oooh man, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Overall an amazing blend of diversity and rep and this book not only earns five cups of coffee from me, but it’s also earned a space on my faves shelf.

[I won this book off Twitter but it wasn’t necessary to write a review, I’ve written an honest review of my own volition!]

 

No We Don’t Do It For The Free Books

 

Hey guys, here to spill some tea on this sunny and freakin’ freezing Friday morning.

So, no one has complained about this, it’s not like people have been throwing this accusation in my face, but it’s something I feel like talking about today because we do know people say this:

‘Book blogging means free books’

Yes. It does. But, when people say you do it for the free books, accuse us of being cheap, and so much more, it makes me super annoyed to the point where I feel like I’m in an anime.

 

So now let me roll out my rant.

There is no specific cost to being a book blogger, yes some spend more than others, yes some of use free wordpress, some of us have our own domains and self host, there’s so much variation but we tend to have one thing in common.

We love books.

Oh and another thing we have in common.

We are dedicated.

Book blogging is time consuming. There’s no lack of posts explaining just how time consuming it is either. We don’t just write posts, we think of content we revamp our sites, we do social media to some extent, and not only that but we read books, obviously.

Oh the eARCs/ARCs are free, but we also give our time for free.

Yea, I was very excited to start getting free books, I won’t lie, NetGalley is like a dangerous place for me to go because of that, but, do you know what else? I still buy books. And even if I didn’t, I write these posts and promote these books with everything I have. Sure, some of us are not as well known as others but we’re all here trying our best, FOR FREE to promote.

And it’s not the publishers and authors that accuse [not all the time or most of the time anyway lol] us of doing this for the free books, it’s people who don’t realize the effort we put in.

I’m sitting here, my house in disarray and you know what? It’s gonna stay that way because I’ve made commitments and yes sometimes we take a while to get to some of the books, and yes we will write negative reviews, but we always try.

There are graphics, twitter chat threads, bookstagram reviews, goodreads and amazon review write ups, and I sometimes get in over my head, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m also lucky enough to be in the position to buy a physical/final copy of eARC/ARC books I really enjoy. And since book blogging I definitely buy more books in my case, and I do book subscription boxes sometimes, and guess what, you don’t need to do any of that to bookblog, and if you ‘just’ review free books, that’s just as important and valid.

We do it for a love of reading, a love of books, to support authors, and if we get some free books for it, that’s no one’s place to judge.

Probably the people that need to read this won’t, but still, I’m here for my fellow book bloggers and saying, read that free book, review to your heart’s content, and keep being awesome.

Thriller Thursday

Bringing you Thriller Thursday again, and this one was meant to go up in October, you know, before the move threw everything up in the air and laughed at my plans.

So.

Let me present to you one of my newly faved thriller series that I’ve had the joy to start this year.

The Reprobation Series

 

Catherine Fearns is an amazing author and she has put so much research and creativity in these books that there’s no way I couldn’t love this series. So, prepare to hear me fangirl screech…you know as usual when I love a book.

I mean it’s got murder mysteries, demonic occult, supernatural, metal bands, and more!

ARE YOU NOT INTRIGUED?!

The reason I’ve waited on posting about these books on my blog is simply because I was waiting to read the third book, and now that I’ve finished it, it’s time!

We’ll start with book one!

Reprobation

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GoodReads:

Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

 

My Review

 

I hadn’t heard of this book before and how much I regret not reading this sooner! I loved so much about this. Firstly, we have a Calvinist Nun and the lead singer of a Norwegian Metal band solving crimes together, it’s like the metalhead version of Father Brown haha, and in the best ways.

We have a few characters at play and the way Fearns hints at the supernatural and otherworldly is perfect, she combines Christian mythology/theology with a police procedural to give you a spectacular murder mystery and the set up for a great set of books. Not to mention she keeps the length of the novel perfect, not overwhelming you or bogging it down unnecessarily so the pacing is just right. All too often a great thriller can be diminished by carrying on too long but Fearns doesn’t make this mistake.

What I really enjoy is Fearns giving us a new twist to murders/murder mysteries, she keeps it fresh which for someone like me who reads a copious amount of thrillers, well, it’s so nice!

Fearns provided me a copy of her awesome novel in exchange for my honest review.

 

Onto Book 2…

Consuming Fire

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GoodReads:
What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen.

Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.

A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.

Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?

Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.

In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

 

My Review

Another knockout novel by Catherine Fearns! In this one, we continue with this thread of the unknown and supernatural that was introduced so wonderfully in book one and Fearns expands on it while keeping true to this also being a mystery as well. There’s once more a lot of theological ideas and they’re all put in a way for the readers to understand but it’s clear that Fearns has done her research.

This time the focus was more on Darren and even his partner Matt rather than Dr. Helen Hope. I do admit to missing Helen and Mikko interacting but I was also so happy to get to know more of Darren and the rest of his ‘squad.’

The ending for this was such an epic ending that I cannot wait for the next book, I am left waiting on pins and needles.

What I really enjoy is Fearns giving us a new twist to murders/murder mysteries, she keeps it fresh which for someone like me who reads a copious amount of thrillers, well, it’s so nice!

Can’t wait to read the next one!

Fearns provided me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review which I am very happy to give. 

 

Finally, Book 3!

Sound (The Reprobation Series Book 3)

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GoodReads:
Can you hear it?

A professor of psychoacoustics is found dead in his office. It appears to be a heart attack, until a second acoustician dies a few days later in similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, there’s an outbreak of mysterious illnesses on a council estate, and outbursts of unexplained violence in a city centre nightclub. Not to mention strange noises coming from the tunnels underneath Liverpool. Can it really be a coincidence that death metal band Total Depravity are back in the city, waging their own form of sonic warfare?

Detective Inspector Darren Swift is convinced there are connections. Still grieving his fiancé’s death and sworn to revenge, he is thrown back into action on the trail of a murderer with a terrifying and undetectable weapon.

But this case cannot be solved using conventional detective work, and D.I. Swift will need to put the rulebook aside and seek the occult expertise of Dr. Helen Hope and her unlikely sidekick, guitarist Mikko Kristensen.

 

My Review

You may have noticed that the other two reviews were already on GoodReads but not this one, it’s being written here first. Wooo, celebrate.

This continues much where we left off with Darren. He’s been on leave after the crushing ending to ‘Consuming Fire’ and the events that seem too weird to be true continue to happen.

However this has nothing more to do with fire and everything to do with sound.

There’s a new case, two murders both staff, lecturers/experts in acoustics, one in psychoacoustics and also has synesthesia.

[I will say it was so interesting to have a character with synesthesia, it’s something we talked about a bit in Uni as part of the music program but I only knew of one person who had it, so that already caught my interest.]

The excitement I had in knowing Mikko was back was like a kid on Christmas, he is my favorite but also I love the chemistry between Mikko and Helen. This also means the band was back too, and it’s great.

The tension building from the last two books is palpable, it was coming off the page and making me sit hunched over in earnest as I read.

There’s another metal band, though, different sub-genre than our lovable gang, and they were such a cool part of the book, their concert definitely left me with some atmospheric chills.

There was a twist that I DID NOT see coming and I was SHOOK by it haha, like I can’t believe it happened, it was intricately weaved in from book one and I still had no inkling it was going to happen.

Forest was in this again and as horrible as he was, I was happy and satisfied with his ending but I’ll keep the spoilers to myself. This also has left a lot of questions though at the end of this book, wondering what will happen to my favorite trio next. Helen and Mikko especially, as I will go down with that ship.

Darren seems to be engaging in something that could prove to be a crazy awesome thread to continue on.

Another success by Fearns, and possibly my favorite of the three! Thank you to Fearns for providing me a copy of the book, and in exchange I’ve given my honest review.

 

 

 

 

Leigh Bardugo Event

 

Hey everyone so on October 25th I went to Leigh Bardugo’s talk in Edinburgh and I am so glad I did.

Yay for @Clo for talking me into it!

My husband was supposed to come with me, not for moral support but so I could use him to get two more books signed, and so he could finally see what his wife does when she’s off with her notepad to an author event. And also because Leigh Bardugo is amazing, but, we all knew this.

So onto the event!

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[I have no clue who that couple is and I am so sorry they got randomly photographed, but it was either that or more of that guy’s face to my left and that felt somehow more awkward.]

So that’s how close to the stage I was! That actually worked violently against me, but more about that later.

I’m sure you’re wondering, hey where is Leigh Bardugo in that photo? But I have to admit I try to not photograph or video when the authors are talking, mostly because I find it more polite for me personally and also because I’m too busy writing down things they say….more that than the ‘manners’ thing lolol. [I’m not at all bothered or like annoyed when others video or photograph, it’s not really any of my business, I just like to keep my focus since I’m easily distracted]

It was a nice surprise for me that Kristy Logan was the chair-person of this event, she’s so sweet and she genuinely seems interested in every aspect she asks about so it’s always a nice surprise!

I’d never seen Leigh Bardugo ‘live’ before so I was freakin’ thrilled when it turns out she’s absolutely hilarious.

Seriously, I’ve never laughed so hard at a bookish event. [I try very hard to be stoic and quiet and invisible. Jk on the stoic.]

They discussed SO MUCH.

And probably my favorite thing to come of it was Bardugo’s term ‘Goth Adjacent’ and we all now agree there should be a goth housing suburb, and I’m probably going to join her cult that she’ll inevitably make someday.

Interesting topics that they spoke of was the fact that once you’ve hit her level of renown as an author, it’s a question of is their a public voice?

Logan asks ‘has your voice changed for a public face?’

And Bardugo gives a pretty great answer, ‘The Process has changed [shut out world to write and now that’s more difficult].’

This is a great point, if your writing process, which I know for me is similar in that I shut out the world, is a bit of isolation, it’s so much harder when you’re as well known as Bardugo. She definitely has to take social media breaks and talks about how the fact that once you ‘hit it big’ sometimes it can result in being afraid of what you write as in being worried and playing it ‘safe’ a bit and ‘scared artists make bad art.’ And let’s face it, that’s true for all artists, we hear musicians who don’t take the leap they want with their music and sometimes that means they lose that magic we loved before because they’ve become afraid. So the same applies to all artists.

Of course this talk was also a way for us all to rejoice in Bardugo’s latest book, her first adult work, ‘Ninth House.’

The writing process for ‘Ninth House’ was a little different in that Bardugo had to face her memories from when she went to Yale, to see the reality and not just the good memories she’d carried with her.

I know I definitely keep hold of more of my good memories from Uni, and that if I were to look harder I would then suddenly recall all the not so fun memories too lol so I think it’s easy to be guilty of that.

Going on, Bardugo says that though this is a work of fantasy that the trauma in it, the monsters in it can be real and I have to say this gave me a lot of pause. Because it’s so true, aren’t the best fantasies the ones that we know have this kernel of truth, when the monsters are too plausible in their actions and minds? I mean we love the escapism but, the trauma and pain are still real, just in different ways. And I love that Bardugo does not use magic to ‘cure all’ this is another part that makes it more ‘real’ for me, when characters with flaws or differences keep those because not everything should be easily wiped away by magic, no matter your world building. If you take away the trauma your characters went through, they become a little less real, in my opinion. It takes away their growth in a way.

So, we got some heavy talks in between the laughter and cult making plans. Oh and of course talking about Ben Barnes. -Swoons-

Overall this was a great talk to go to and if she’s ever in Scotland again, I’ll definitely be going to see her!

Afterwards, when we all lined up for the signing, chaos ensued. I was on the side where the line was going to form and I was suddenly stuck, unable to get out lol, in the end, I was at the end of the line. Which normally wouldn’t have been a problem but I did miss my train…BUT in the end I met some amazing people and I was glad enough to have ended up where I did. Some great fellow readers that I thoroughly enjoyed talking with, and of course, getting the chance to say hello to Leigh and have her sign my edition of ‘Ninth House.’

Anyone else go to see her? Are you all joining the cult too?