Book Review

October Wrap-Up

October was a very bad month. There was a death in my family and that’s all I’m going to say about it here.

So, I was away for most of last month but I did read a good bit at the beginning of October.

Books Read

North and SouthClean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)Moon Shine (Takhini Wolves, #4)Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)StardustFeralLothaire (Immortals After Dark #12)Frenchman's CreekFables, Vol. 11: War and PiecesToil and Trouble (Jolie Wilkins, #2)The Queen of the TearlingSylvester, or the Wicked Uncle

Highlights

North and South

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell ★★★★☆

Written in the 19th century and follows Margaret Hale after she moves with her family from a tranquil life in the south of England to turbulent life in the North. There she becomes entangled in the lives of the middle and lower classes of the masters and the workers. Gaskell uses Hale’s relationships to explore societal issues during the industrial revolution using Hale’s romance with one of the masters for progression. It’s basically Pride and Prejudice set during the industrial revolution (though I think I prefer Mr Thornton to Mr Darcy shh don’t tell anyone…).

I was inspired to read this after watching the mini-series on Netflix (about 5 times). I fell in love with the characters and the social economic themes and grew to love them even more with the book.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository 

Clean Sweep 1

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★

I had no idea this was science fiction before I read it. I fully expected an urban fantasy about witches but it’s definitely science fiction. There are some elements of urban fantasy but with strong leanings towards sci-fi. If I had known it was sci-fi I probably wouldn’t have read it but I’m glad I did. I really shouldn’t doubt Ilona Andrews, they know how to tell a story!!

The story follows Dina Demille who is an Innkeeper which is a guardian of a kind of way station to travellers from other worlds. Her Inn is neutral ground and she is not meant to get involved but breaks the rules when the people in her neighbourhood are in danger from alien monster dog things.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository

down among the sticks and bones

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

I read Every Heart a Doorway this month as well which was very good but Down Among the Sticks and Bones was great. I kept thinking of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children when reading Every Heart a Doorway though they are only similar in the sense that they’re both set in a boarding school run by a strange woman. Every Heart a Doorway is about children who have returned from adventures in other worlds like Narnia and are having trouble adjusting to being back. Down Among the Sticks and Bones follows two of the characters from the first book while they were in their magical world. It’s set before Every Heart a Doorway but I wouldn’t recommend reading it first. I listened to an audiobook which was read by the author and her narration was fantastic.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository

Lothaire Kresley Cole paranormal romance

Lothaire by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

I really wish I could be a fly on the wall when Kresley Cole is writing. I want to know how she writes such captivating stories. Every time I read one, even if I think I’m not in the mood for one of her books, as soon as I start I cannot stop until I finish the book.

This is the 12th book in the Immortals After Dark series and follows Lothaire (of course). It also introduces a group of vampires that were hinted at once or twice in previous books. Lothaire has been mentioned a lot in previous books so I was excited for this and it didn’t disappoint.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository

Frenchman's Creek Daphne du Maurier ebook

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier ★★★☆☆

An enjoyable story but not her best in my opinion. I found it to be predictable so I got a bit bored but I admired the main character for her strength of will.

The story follows Lady Dona St. Columb who has abandoned London society and seeks refuge in the country. There she encounters a French pirate, falls in love with him and craves adventure with him. He is eventually caught and she must decide whether to risk her family and save him or return to the boring life she led before.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository

toil and trouble hp mallory urban fantasy

Toil and Trouble by H.P. Mallory ★★★★☆

The 2nd book in Mallory’s Jolie Wilkins series picks up where the last one left off and is just as enjoyable. The only thing that annoys me in this is the love triangle. I don’t mind love triangles in stories as long as they make sense but here it felt like Sinjin wanted her just for sake of there being a complication in her relationship with Rand.

Get the book –  Amazon / Book Depository


That’s it for October. What did you read last month?

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September reading wrap-up books read

September Wrap-Up

September was a bit of a shit month. I had a family emergency which took me away for about 11 days. Everything is ok now and on the plus side, I had lots of family time 🙂 But I got very little reading done, pretty much everything here I read at the beginning of September.

Books Read

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)Conspiracy Game (GhostWalkers, #4)Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)

Highlights

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins ★★★★☆

I was really surprised by how much I liked this series. I didn’t expect to get as sucked into them as I did. I’m not going to get into what these are about since with the movies and series being so popular I think everyone has an idea of the story. I’ll just say I read all 3 in about 4 days and I saw the movies first and enjoyed them just as much as the books.

Hunt the Moon

Hunt The Moon by Karen Chance ★★★★★

This is a reread, I love this series! This is the 5th book in Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series following time-hopping clairvoyant Cassie as she battles gods, demons and over-bearing boyfriends. This one is probably my favourite, there’s a lot of insights into Cassie’s family and my favourite character, Pritkin. There’s also some of the best action scenes in this one and I think Chance manages just the right mix of action and story here.

Ross Poldark

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham ★★★★☆

Ross Poldark has just returned from warring in America to discover his father has died, his love has moved on and his home has gone into ruin at the hands of drunk servants. He has no chance but to start again reopening his family’s mine and attempting to move on. Very good book.


So that was it for September I’ve already read more in October and we’re only 10 days in! I’m visiting my family again this month and I’m determined to get as many books in as possible before I go!

Till next time guys x

August Wrap Up

Another month is over and we’re that bit closer to Halloween (squee!!). I know I’m a weirdo but I’m really happy summer is pretty much done. I do not like warm weather, luckily that’s rarely a problem in Ireland.

This month I managed to read about 9 books. I felt like I read very little but 9 books is actually pretty good. Though, to be fair, two of them were fairly short.

Books Read

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie, #2)Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (MacKenzies & McBrides, #2)My Cousin RachelI Am LegendBird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And LifeDemon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10)Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)Sex Object: A MemoirThe Jane Austen BBC Radio Drama Collection: Six BBC Radio full-cast dramatisations

Highlights

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

After listening to My Life as a White Trash Zombie from the library, I was in love. Angel is one of my absolute favourite main characters (even if she is a white trash zombie) and a very inventive swearer! The narrator for the series is amazing, she really brings the characters to life. I found myself doing extra housework just so I could keep listening.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository

My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier ★★★★☆

This is only my second book by du Maurier and based on those two alone I would call her a favourite author. She really sucks you into the world of the book and has you on the edge of your seat to find out what will happen to these people.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository

I Am Legend

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson ★★☆☆☆

I was pretty disappointed with this. I had seen the Will Smith movie and knew this was very different with more traditional vampires and horror themes so I wasn’t really comparing them. What put me off was Robert Neville’s character. He was fixated on the female vampires in a creepy way, only using them for his experiments and at one point had to tell himself he wasn’t the kind of man to rape one of them. I didn’t give a shit what happened to him after that. It’s a pity because I was really looking forward to reading it and really enjoyed reading the analysis of the book and the three movies that have been made. The idea for the story is great and the ending was really interesting but I did not like the execution.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository

Demon from the Dark

Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

What can I say? If you’ve ever read a post by me before you know I am in love with this author and especially this series. This is the 10th book in the series and follows the witch, Carrow, as she is sent to lure vampire-demon hybrid, Malkom, into a trap set by a group of Lore hating humans known as The Order. As always I love how Cole writes. There’s just enough action, suspense and romance. I never find myself rushing to read one of her books to “get to the good bits” or find out what happens. I enjoy every moment.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository

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Sex Object by Jessica Valenti ★★★★☆

Very interesting book that focuses mainly on the everyday sexual objectification of women especially in youth. It chronicles Valenti’s upbringing in New York, her college life in New Orleans and her later marriage and experience with childbirth. It’s something a lot of women will understand and some will find surprising. This is a memoir, Valenti never gets preachy about what she’s talking about nor does she attack men because of the behaviour she’s endured. She just tells you what has happened to her.

This is a memoir, Valenti never gets preachy about what she’s talking about nor does she attack men because of the behaviour she’s endured. She just tells you what has happened to her.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository

Jane Austen BBC Dramas

Jane Austen BBC Radio Dramatisations ★★★★★

This was just wonderful. An absolute joy to listen to. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen it’s a must. This dramatisation features six of her novels performed by a full cast featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tenant. The books are Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion. My favourite was Northanger Abbey.

Get the book Amazon / Book Depository


Well that’s it for August. I’m hoping to get to 10 books in September and I’m going pretty good so far. I have two books finished and I’m 60% through my third. It helps that the team challenge has started in my Goodreads group and that got me really excited to read.

July Wrap Up

Books Read

Shifter Made (Shifters Unbound, #0.5)MicroThe CorinthianRoyal Passion (Royal, #2)Rachel's Holiday (Walsh Family, #2)Written in Red (The Others, #1)Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9)The 100 (The 100, #1)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)Making It Up As I Go AlongVision in Silver (The Others, #3)Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3)The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsEtched in Bone (The Others, #5)Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1)

Highlights

The Corinthian

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer ★★★★☆

My second Heyer book I enjoyed almost as much as the first and far more than my third (I think my third was The Convenient Marriage which I DNF’d because the MC drove me crazy). The Corinthian follows Penelope and Sir Richard fleeing London in an attempt to escape unwanted marriages Getting tangled up in a robbery, a murder, and star-crossed lovers on the way.

It was a very enjoyable, light -hearted story.

Book Depository Link

Written in Red

Written in Red by Anne Bishop ★★★★★

Oh, my god, this was amazing!! I read the first book for a reading challenge and quickly gobbled up the rest of the books in the series. I ordered the next two before I had finished this one and the two after those before finishing the second book!

Written in Red is the first book in Bishop’s The Others series. Set in an alternate America called Thasia, where humans and paranormal beings, known as the Terra Indigene, exist side by side (mostly…). The Others rule the realm but some humans aren’t too happy about that and cause all kinds of trouble with dire consequences. We mainly follow Meg Corbyn and Simon Wolfgard along with the other residents of the Lakeside Courtyard. Meg is a blood prophet on the run from those who imprisoned her and kept her as property for the sale of prophecies. She finds her way to the Lakeside Courtyard where Simon hires her as their Human Liason. The Others are intrigued by Meg and decide to protect her but by doing so they take on a lot more than they could ever have realised.

Book Depository Link

Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

Another fantastic book from Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. Pleasure of a Dark Prince is the 9th book in the series but backtracks to the second book giving us a story that was hinted at in A Hunger Like No Other. What I love about Cole’s writing is how she writes tension and keeps you wanting to read more and more. Every single time I start one of her books it is impossible for me to stop!!

Pleasure of a Dark Prince follows Lykae Garreth MacRieve (hello book boyfriend!!) and Valkyrie Lucia the Huntress on the search for an ancient weapon in the hopes of ultimately destroying a god.

Book Depository Link

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou ★★★★☆

My first book by Angelou and it won’t be my last. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings chronicles Angelou’s youth from the time she and her brother were sent to live with their grandmother and uncle in Southern USA. It encapsulates some beautiful, frightening, liberating and loving moments of life.

Book Depository Link


Well that’s it for July. It was a very good reading month. I enjoyed almost everything I read, even the ones I didn’t mention in my highlights.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books.

My Super Late June Wrap Up

Better late than never right?….

Books Read

Shadowland (Cassandra Palmer, #4.2) Updating Pritkin (Cassandra Palmer, #5.5) The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3) Milk and Honey Sputnik Sweetheart First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1) Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8) Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1) Faro's Daughter My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Highlights

Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance ★★★★★

The 8th book in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series sees several long running story lines come to a head (at last!). I had been waiting with bated breath for some of these and was not disappointed with the outcome.

The series follows Cassie Palmer, a clairvoyant time-traveling disaster magnet (love her!!), on her adventures ( or misadventures…) as the supernatural community’s new leading clairvoyant, The Pythia. Cassie isn’t your usual urban fantasy leading lady, she’s much more of an “every-woman” than a “warrior-woman” thrust into strenuous situations she isn’t prepared for. And, heck, we’ve all been there!! Cassie handles it all though and comes back swinging.

IMG_8633 edit

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★☆

I gave this 4 stars but 3.5 would be more accurate. A lot of the poems really resonated with me but I disliked the formatting and it occasionally seemed more like whining from a young woman’s diary than observations on life.

A lot of poetry seems to be written in this format now, all lower case and just a few sentences… it doesn’t seem like poetry to me but who the heck am I to judge!

Some parts I loved some I found frustrating but I guess the point of poetry is to make you feel something which it certainly did.

The Force of Wind

The Force of the Wind by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

The 3rd book in Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series is a slow burner for the most part and then explodes into a rousing inferno. Three anticipated story lines come to a head with varying outcomes.

The Elemental Mysteries follows Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo as they unravel the secrets behind Beatrice’s missing father, Giovanni’s long lost library, his iniquitous son and how these things may be connected.

Oh and Gio is a vampire with fire elemental abilities.

First Drop of Crimson

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost ★★★★★

Now I know everyone seems to LOVE Cat and Bones from Frost’s Nighthuntress series but I gotta say I preferred this spin-off novel way more. I don’t know what it is about those two but I just don’t like them all that much… Cat and Bones are not the main characters in this book but I would recommend following the authors suggested reading order. There are some definite spoilers for Nighthuntress if you’re reading it.

This one follows two friends of Cat and Bones as they battle a shape-shifting demon. Much more paranormal romance focused than the other series as well. A very fun read, I gobbled it up.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami ★★★★★

This one really surprised me. I had never read anything by Murakami and only listened to this because it was part of Scribd selects last month. I didn’t really know what to expect from the author or the story (I was flying totally blind) but it grabbed me and sucked me in like a whirlpool. The story follows a disquieting love triangle (not the annoying YA kind) between K, Sumire and Miu. The relationships the three characters have really highlight human emotion, the need for connection, friendship and desire.

Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward ★★★★★

Took me ages to get into this book and damn near got whiplash from all the POV’s. Freaking loved it in the end though. This is the 7th book in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The romance plot for this one centres on Rehvenge but the book follows most of the main characters. The story is very exciting and the lessers are finally starting to look like a serious threat and interesting enemy.

Faro's Daughter

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer ★★★★★

Despite Heyer being considered the mother of Historical Romance by many, I had never heard of her. I had spotted the audio book on Scribd selects a few times but never gave it much of a glance until last month. I couldn’t sleep and this was free and short, I figured ‘what the hey?!’. I ended up loving the story. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s or Kresley Cole’s historical romances with a sassy strong willed heroine and a roguish hero engaging in an intriguing têteà-tête. 

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

First of all, how cool is that cover?! About as cool as this freaking book!! Such a fun story that may seem familiar if you’ve watched iZombie but only as far as both protagonists are blond females who happen to be zombies and work in the morgue. Another similarity is that the zombies seem to remain intelligent and fresh as long as they continue to eat brains. But White Trash Zombie was so much fun!! I listened to the audio book of this and the narrator was amazing, I highly recommend the audio.

The story follows Angel Crawford after she wakes up in the ER after an apparent overdose with no idea what’s going on, a new job and delivery of mystery milkshakes. Her “life” takes some mad turns and then a serial killer shows up to keep things interesting. Brilliant story, I ordered the next book before I even finished this one.


So that’s it for June. I didn’t read too much last month (I’ve already read more this month) but it was a good month. I really enjoyed almost all of the books I read.

Now I’m off to do dishes, make dinner and listen to my audiobook. Laters!

Ride the Storm – Karen Chance

Ride the StormTitle: Ride the Storm
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Cassie Palmer #8
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.34/5
 
 
Synopsis: Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.

 
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What I thought about the book:
Wow!! I said finally so many times reading this book!!!
Amazing, it was everything I wanted and so much more and of course now I’m dying for the next one.

My only complaint is that the action scenes sometimes slow down the story and I ended up skimming them a bit after a while. Chance writes great action scenes but I’ve noticed with the last 2/3 books they’re getting more frequent and it kinda stalls the story. Cassie does often make important discoveries during them but there’s more than one way to do that.

***Some Spoilers Ahead***
Some great things about this book:
  • Cassie finally starts taking charge of situations
  • We get so many questions answered
  • Pritkin!!! So much amazing Pritkin stuff
  • We find out what Mircea is really about
  • A certain someone finally makes an appearance

There’s a lot of really interesting character development in this one, especially with Rosier and Roger. Fatherly love seems to be a bit of a theme here with three Dads influencing Cassie in major ways.

And Mircea! I always really liked Mircea (but loved Pritkin) but after this, I’m not sure how I feel. Especially after the last few sentences of the conclusion.

Book Depository Link

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My Rating:
 5 paws
Ride the Storm
I got this as an ARC from NetGalley.
wrap up monthly reading books bookblog

May Wrap-Up

It’s monthly wrap-up time again folks!! Hope you all had a good reading month. I had a pretty good one, got about 10 books in and enjoyed them all.

Unmasqued Unmasqued by Collete Gale ★★★★☆

(FYI this is a durrrty book) Retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. So much better than I was expecting, this one is for everyone who wanted the phantom to get the girl.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction by Kinley MacGregor ★★★☆☆

I wanted so much more from this book. I expected it to be a cheesy and silly as the cover but it was a bit….boring.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams ★★★★☆

So witty and mental and fun to read! I didn’t enjoy it as much as Hitchhikers Guide but it was still great.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

My favourite one!!! A lot of people dislike this one because of teenage angst but I think it’s well founded. Love it!

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

Awesome urban fantasy series. Merit kicks ass!!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ★★★☆☆

Interesting but not really for me.

Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) Drink Deep by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

That UF series again. This one is my favourite so far. Merit really comes into her own here and the world gets so much bigger.

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith ★★★★☆

Steampunk vampire apocalypse, you say? Hell yes!! Very heavy with the world building at the beginning but awesome story.

Zombie's Bite (Dorina Basarab, #0.1) Zombie’s Bite by Karen Chance ★★★★☆

Prequel novella to Chance’s Dorina Basarab series, available for free from her site. It’s set before the series but I wouldn’t recommend reading it before Midnight’s Daughter.

Bossypants Bossypants by Tina Fey ★★★☆☆

I thought this would be a lot funnier. It was very interesting though.

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ★★★★★

Harrowing. Everyone should read this.

Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4) Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance ★★★★★

There are only two book worlds I would like to live in and they are Harry Potter (obv) and this series. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!


Had one DNF this month and that was…..

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

100 pages in and zzzzz boring. I’ll check out the show when it comes out.