Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Review of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Every so often a book will come along which will make you re-evaluate all the 5 star reviews you have given in the past.  Six of Crows for me is that book. Set in Leigh Bardugo's "Grishaverse" it is the tale of an impossible heist where the rewards far outweigh the risk.  Our main protagonist Kaz Brekker is fast becoming a legend in the bowels of the Barrel, the criminal underworld of Ketterdam.  He is young, but a driven and ruthless trickster, with a team to match.  They are tasked with breaching the heavily fortified Ice Court to rescue a scientist held hostage.  It's a feat which has never been achieved, but with the promise of a reward that will take Kaz and his team out of the bottom of the Barrel it's risk he's willing to take, after all, just how many things could go wrong?

Six of Crows is told in multiple points of view, which can sometimes be confusing for me but there were only a couple of occasions that I found myself flipping back to the start of the chapter to remind myself who in the limelight.  I felt that this was a style that worked really well with this story as the main six often found themselves in different places with different tasks and this way of storytelling allowed it all to come seamlessly together.  Whilst it does majorly involve the Grisha, I found it was a world that I easily fell into pace with, without having read the Grisha Trilogy first.  I'm told there are a number of nods which are present but I never felt lost or like I was missing out.

The characters are fantastic, my favourite by far was Inej, the wraith.  Rescued from the oldest profession by Kaz, she is a force to be reckoned with, a silent assassin.  There are no walls she can't climb or secrets she can't glean.  I felt most for her, what she had been through before joining with Kaz and how it had driven her to become who she now was.  I loved the sense of purpose that grew within her throughout the story.  The others too though all have their stories to tell, a proper band of misfits all with their secrets and terrible histories that have shaped them. It's hard to remember that they are all teenagers, but then that makes them easier to underestimate.

The audacity behind Kaz's plan is immeasurable and it is through this that I am just in awe of the writing.  At just shy of 500 pages there was not a single moment of rest for the reader, I felt on edge every step of the way. I felt fear for these characters, trepidation but also the good humour that only a rag tag bunch of forgotten teenagers could have in the circumstances they faced.  I simply did not want to put this down, at all.  The last of the six sections I tried to slow down as I knew it was coming to an end but it pulled me in and wouldn't let go.  It's rare for a book to leave me breathless, but this one really did.  It's the first of a duology and I can't wait for pay day to roll round so I can pick up Crooked Kingdom.  If I could give this six stars I would, It's a truly amazing read and If you're a YA fantasy fan you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Bookish Ramblings part 11 - is there still a place for facebook blog contests?

After all the fun of the fair last week, I have had my joy come crashing down this weekend with what can only be described as a "freak accident" I'm currently sat here with my left leg raised and heavily dressed and bandaged following a horrific hot water bottle incident.  Trust me when I say that it's not a pretty sight.  As a result I don't have many fun things to talk to you about today but it has got me thinking back to something I used to do all the time on the blog but have stepped back from in recent time, I would love your views as to whether it's something to start up again.

When I first became involved in the Indie book community nearly 3 years ago it was down to just one author that I loved, I quickly became involved in their "street team" in order to help get their name out there.  For those of you alien to Street Teaming (as I was) it pretty much involved the ugly word of "pimping" by entering contests on facebook blogs.  This would afford the winner promo such as the blog updating their profile picture or cover photo to promote their works.  All well and good, however, the same authors were winning all the time and it often felt like a thankless task.

When I set up my blog it was a very different beast to what it is now.  I saw that there was, in my view, very little in the way of blog contest opportunities for the sci-fi, dystopian and fantasy genres and I started this as a way to offer those contests to those authors, I was resolute that I would not be catering to the contemporary romance crowd.  However, within a week one of my contests got shared in a general pimping group and I was descended on by the romance street team masses.  Friends tried to help by telling people that it wasn't that sort of blog and I kind of lost my rag in the end.  I ended up with private messages having a go at me for not being inclusive, people trying to argue with me that heavily romanticised urban fantasy fulfilled the "fantasy requirement element" - in essence what I had started had become twisted out of all recognition because of one careless post share. The damage had been done, I had been bad mouthed around the street team community, I had lost page likes and I wanted to throw the towel in.  I never realised that strangers en masses could be so cruel in private messages.

However, I then realised that these weren't the people I started the blog for anyway and their loss wasn't really a huge loss in the scheme of things.  Yes, it was a shame, but what sensible person looks at a blog called "post-apocalyptic playground" and thinks that it's isn't genre specific?  I carried on with the contests (I added the word "high" before fantasy) and I had a small but loyal crowd entering blog appropriate authors into the mix but as they filtered out so did my enthusiasm and I haven't posted a contest since June.  I just don't know whether to start them up again, whether the glory days of street teams have gone and really whether I have the heart for it.  I have 569 likes on my sister facebook page which is small fry in comparison to the thousands some blogs have and I wonder whether my reach is enough to get to the authors that matter to me.  As you know I have tried to make this blog more personal over the past months but maybe it's time to find a balance?

If you're still with me this far (wow it really is a ramble today) what are you thought on this phenomenon?  Did/do you ever enter these types of contest?  If you are author would you like to see more of them? Would anyone want me to start them up again?  I would love your feedback so please don't be shy!

Until next time, when I hope my leg isn't such a mangled mess and I have some fun stuff to talk about again - after all it must nearly be time for my fairyloot box to be dispatched :)

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Bookish Ramblings Part 10 - Pop collector level 1 - Acheived!

Well it's been a fun week in the playground again (I'm not quite sure what to do with all this happiness in a post-apocalyptic world!) with the arrival of my Occamy Funko Pop!  Honestly I love this little guy, I know it sounds a little weird but he's just one of those things I just knew I had to have.  I slightly curse Instagram for this because until I got involved with that I had no idea these guys existed as they are a San Diego ComicCon exclusive.  Yes, I may have sacrificed food for the family as a result of my spends,  but he's such a lovely little chappy that he's worth every penny! I do fear for my bank account though, earlier in the week I was saying to Mr Apocalypse that some pops were selling for hundreds of pounds and how I could never spend such an amount; however I think I could easily sink that now, but I shall show some restraint for the time being - and that's only because i'm hoping for funkofest for my birthday next month!

In other news, Sarah J Maas announced yesterday the title for the next book in the ACOTAR series, it's meant to be a novella, but given how Tower of Dawn turned out I'm hoping for a full length book.  Titled A Court of Frost and Starlight, I have to say I'm beyond intrigued.  I would say that the Starlight element is representative of Velaris, the Court of Dreams and a throwback to Starfall, but the Frost element has me head scratching.  The winter court in the first 3 books has been a bit of a minor player in terms of visibility. Kallias, of course instrumental in the turning of Feyre into High Fae in ACOTAR, has been present and more so in ACOWAR but not a lot is known of the winter court - of course I'm just speculating that the Frost element refers to the winter court but it will be a nice change of pace to find out more about this court.  I'm still secretly hoping that the ARC in this months Fairyloot box will be this but i'm trying to not get overly excited as the clues are vague!  Either way, this is an epic announcement and I can't even begin to wait to April 2018 for this!

Reading wise, I have now finished book 1 in the Maze runner series and I hate to say that I am feeling underwhelmed.  It was quite the endurance read for me which was a shame.   I have 3 more in the series on my shelf, so I hope that the series picks up.  I am currently reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and true to my thoughts after Wonderwoman, Bardugo's writing style is a hit with me, although lengthy chapters are never my friend!  It's so far a great story, so watch this space for my review!

Bad news is that I am behind on my goodreads challenge -  I have 11 books to go to reach my 75 target by the end of the year, I still hope to do it, but i'm not convinced!

Are any of you doing the GR challenge?  How are you getting on?

The Chosen Knights Freebie Book Blitz with Mary Ting

Title: The Chosen Knights Author: Mary Ting Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Cover Designer: Naija Qamber Designs Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
(HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first--The Angel Knights)
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.
Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD'tale Magazine
When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen. 
Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links:
The Angel Knights: http://amzn.to/1RyYWdZ
The Chosen Knights: http://amzn.to/1PpJU8H
The Blessed Knights: http://amzn.to/2skJkt1
The Sacred Knights: http://amzn.to/2AOXPqv

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Bookish Ramblings Part 9 - An exciting week!

Well after all the downer from Instagram last week I have had some fun things come my way since.  The first is that my good friend, the awesome Jo Michaels, has invited me to be part of her ARC group for her NA Fantasy, Utterances. This is due for release month and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon for just .99!  The greatest part is that I have also had the honour of being asked to host a read-a-long so I have been excitedly mapping out talking points.  I am 6 chapters in and it's amazing, I can't wait to share my review with you on release day!

The other great thing that has happened is that there are tentative steps in place for me to join a panel of bloggers at Chapter.con in 2019.  I had the most amazing time there in August and I can't wait to do it all again!  Watch this space for more details hopefully coming soon.

My new Funko Pop obsession is getting ridiculous, after coveting them for so long, I finally ordered myself a special edition Occamy from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, these are beautiful and I have seen them in a ton of bookstagrams, I can't wait for it to arrive.  The downside, I have now joined a ton of Funko groups on facebook and keep seeing LOADS that I want to get.  My birthday next month will likely exclusively involve Funko gifts and I have also been living my Funko dreams vicariously through my daughter who has a larger collection than me at 4:1 so far lol.  Next on my list are Sarah and Worm from Labyrinth and the highly sought after Luna with Spectrespecs - we'll see how the search for that goes.

In bookstagram news I have, as I promised myself, carried on doing it just for me.  It's amazing how when you stop putting pressure on yourself that things fall into place - I included Truth, by the wonderful Christina Benjamin on one of my photos this week and excitingly she shared the photo to her Facebook Book Series Page. I was really overwhelmed and so happy that she liked it so much!

(whispers for fear of jinxing myself - but I have reached 100 followers again - I know I promised I wouldn't check but I couldn't help it - and it brings me all the happy!)

Anyway - thank you for reading as always - I realise that today's post has perhaps sounded a little full of myself, that really isn't my intention.  I have so few that I can share my love of all things book with so it all tends to come out as word vomit on here.  I would love to hear from some of you, what great things have happened to you this week?  Or is there something amazing coming up that you just cant wait for?

Until next time!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Review of the Lily Singer Adventures: A Study in Mischief by Lydia Sherrer

I don't think there is a single thing I don't like about this series!  One of my favourites of the past year I have been holding off on this little novella as I'm not sure when the next main book in the series is out.  When I saw that the full length books had had a gorgeous cover makeover last week I couldn't put this off any longer!

Set in retrospect, Lily and Sebastian recount to a curious Kipling the story of how their unlikely friendship was forged; in an effort to break up the tedium of the long overdue clean up operation in Sebastian's apartment. The reference to the Bog of Eternal Stench raised a little smile for me as it's one of my favourite parts of Labyrinth!  Lily is collecting books from an auction house and Sebastian arrives taking far too much of an interest in her quarry.  When Lily fails to be swayed by his charms he must take action to show her that he boxes are in fact lacking in a certain degree of bookish goodness and the unlikely pair set off together on their first little adventure.

I loved the immediate ease that they fell into, like it was an inevitable partnership. Each of them having more than one proverbial trick up their sleeve, filling the gaps for each other. There are glimpses of future books in little Easter Eggs for those who have read the main series, like Sebastian's unorthodox way of travelling and hints at issues from their past that shape them, but not enough to spoil.  It's almost as though as much is revealed to the reader as Lily and Sebastian would have revealed to each other at that stage.  There is a lot of comedy packed into the pages and I found myself smiling throughout as if back with old friends.  My only issue with this is that it was over too soon! 

It's free to download from Amazon and it's the perfect introduction to the characters (although there is a spoiler in respect of Kipling if you haven't read the first couple of books.)  It's a truly scrumptious little addition to this great series.


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Veiled Release Blitz with Stacey Rourke

Title: Veiled
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Wicked Book Covers
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: Political propaganda would have us believe vampires are our friends. Fanged teddy bears misunderstood thanks to archaic lore. Activists picket for them to be welcomed into our society.
They claim vamps don't kill.
They preach we are safe.
They ... are dead wrong.
One year ago a hive slaughtered my family and left me for dead. Found by a team of scientists with their own agenda, I was forged into an unstoppable weapon.
I possess their strength, with none of their weaknesses.
I can move among them free from their crippling hunger.
I am their greatest threat.
Armed with this arsenal, vengeance will feed my desire to penetrate the seedy underbelly of their fetishized lifestyle and expose them for the monsters they truly are.
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AoWg2E

Monday, 6 November 2017

Bookish Ramblings Part 8

So after a slightly morose rambling at the weekend I'm trying to get back to my usual self, I have carried on with a new IG post for today picking up with a book challenge yay! I've gone back to adding toys in with my posts, which was my signature at the start and I have had a positive comment already which is making me feel happy to have continued!

Reading wise, I have recently finished Caraval and you can check out my review of it here I am glad that I went in with an open mind, you may remember that a couple of friends who had read it, hadn't really enjoyed it but I'm glad that I didn't let that cloud my view as I really could hardly put it down!  I'm aware that the follow up, Legendary, is in the pipeline so I'm excited for that release too.  I did, as part of my payday book buy pick up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but I have decided next to go to a series which has been on my shelf for a while and I keep promising to start - so tonight I will start on The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Those of you who follow me on other platforms will know that my mini me is a massive reader too and we have just finished Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson. This looks to be a new children's series and it is a wonderful read.  If you have children between 6-10 years I think they would adore this book.  It's not only wonderfully written, with just the right amount of childhood grossness (not too much to make it puerile) the illustrations inside are fabulous as well.  Images that snake through the page and around the words, every page is different and great for keeping young minds captivated.  The story is enough to keep parents, who are reading it as a bed time story, entertained and also challenging enough for older children reading alone, I would really recommend it!

I've had confirmation too that my fairyloot box for November is being prepared, I honestly cannot wait to receive this later on in the month, I hope it's all I have built it up to be lol.  I have also found out that today 2 of my friends have managed to get the December box so I will hopefully have reading buddies for when that box arrives.

I'm feeling positive about this week and now I'm going to settle down with a nice cup of tea from my Marvin the Martian mug and get engrossed in the world of The Maze Runner :)

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Bookish Ramblings Part 7 - the fickle world of Instagram

As many of you will know I very much enjoy Bookstagram, for me it's just a bit of fun, or so I thought.  When I started out it was something new and exciting, something that I was doing just for me, but of course a couple of months down the line it has started to evolve into something I'm quite protective about.  Now I'm the kind of person who's feelings are easily hurt, I do take things personally even though I know I shouldn't and especially over something as arbitrary as Instagram.  This week saw a milestone for me on my bookstagram, I reached 100 followers!  When I started I didn't think I would be concerned with such things, but I felt proud of this achievement and I posted on my IG and my facebook blog page about it.  When I woke up the next morning I was down to 98.   Obviously my joy was mistaken for smugness and I lost 2 followers because of it.  The next day I went to Harry Potter studio for my daughters birthday and we got a lot of stuff (and a large chunk of my pay packet was sunk in the gift shop) which we then displayed with her books.  I took a #shelfie and posted it on IG.  Now usually Harry Potter is a winner on IG, tons of people will like a Harry Potter post, not so much my followers it seems as I lost another 3 followers overnight - I mean you can see from the picture the horror of it all and why people would want to banish me from their feed ;)

And so began this game of follow and unfollow, if it hadn't been for this milestone marker I wouldn't have really noticed but I have seen my follows pick up and drop of almost hourly (in fact I have lost another whilst I have been typing this.)

So what makes you want to unfollow an IG account?  I have 2, one for my kiddies and cats and one for books which is linked to this blog.  I like to keep my blog one bookish, so if I follow someone and they are posting personal pics more often than books then I will unfollow, it's not personal, I just don't know them and I don't feel comfortable being shown their lives, but other than that I pretty much keep everyone. My book posts are on point, usually linked to a book challenge or something that has a large fandom following like HP or ACOTAR, so I'm not sure what i'm doing to upset people enough to follow my profile link through to unfollow.   My fun thing just for me, has become unfun and that makes me sad.  I'm a grown up and I realise that people can be fickle, I think a large proportion of bookstagrammers (or at least the ones I'm following) are teenagers or in their early 20's (a downside to my love of YA above all else) and are likely to be this way - I have 2 children and I know firsthand how one thing that was a favourite one day will be consigned to the back of the cupboard the next.  I'm still trying to understand it and maybe I shouldn't, perhaps I just need to let it be fun again and to do that I'm going to need to stay away from the page that shows me my follows for a while!  I've not done an IG post today, I will start again fresh tomorrow hopefully with a better insight not to take things so personally and get back to doing it mainly just for me :)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Roll up roll up to the world of Caraval, a game where nothing is ever as it seems but if you succeed you can make your greatest wish come true! For Scarlett, she has been writing to Caraval Master Legend for many years, hoping that he will bring his players to her Isle of Trisda so she can experience the joy and wonder her Grandmother’s stories told her about.   When her final letter see’s an older Scarlett informing Legend that she is about to marry, a pre-wedding gift arrives in the form of tickets to Caraval!  One for her, her sister Donatella and Scarlett’s fiance, who by the way she has never met….  Her father is a cruel man and Scarlett see’s the opportunity for marriage as a way to escape, which won’t happen if she attends Caraval. But her sister and the young sailor, Julian, have other plans!

Sailed away to Master Legends Island, Scarlet must play the game of Caraval and the stakes are higher than she ever thought.  Not everything is real and everything has a price, can Scarlett complete the game and get back to Trisda before her father knows she has gone and before her wedding day?  Or will the secrets of Caraval pull her in too deep?
I went into Caraval a little sceptical, I had heard mixed reviews from friends but I wanted to love it as the story sounded amazing, thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.  In a book where I was constantly told that not everything is real I found myself second guessing everything, trying to figure out the clues along with Scarlett.  The Caraval itself is wonderful and vibrant but yet a little sinister if you scratch the surface, I almost felt transported to a Victorian era where the currency is secrets rather than coin.  There are a ton of twists in this tale and I have to say that I struggled a little to keep up at times.  My only quibble is that it did get quite ridiculous as the story progressed and I was longing for a little stability in the story.  There are however, some genius bits that I loved especially around some of the forms of payment.

I found it a struggle to put this down, for the most part it was the kind of read that I didn’t have to think about as I flew through the pages and apart from the odd moments of wading through treacle I found myself utterly caught up in the world, my heart racing against the clock just as Scarlett’s did.   I would totally recommend giving this a read, it’s not 100% up to the hype, but I’m glad I read it and I think it may end up in that rare pile of books that I have that I would want to read again!

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Legends Saga Collection Sale Blitz with Stacey Rourke

Title: The Legends Saga
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Fantasy/Folklore
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: The Horseman is unending, his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse, you become the legend.
Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane seeks a way to break free from her soul crushing bond. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Dizzying time travel. Coercive witchcraft. The lines between fact and fiction blur as the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come alive around her in this thrilling three book series:
“Stacey Rourke delivers a heart pounding thrill ride …Your heart will race and your breath will hitch with each terrifying step the Horseman’s steed takes as he closes in on his next unsuspecting victim.” -2 Girls & A Book
“Ms. Rourke has a definite talent for taking characters from stories that we read growing up and giving them such a unique twist that they almost seem like an entirely new fictional character.” -My Book Filled Life
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
Buy Link:

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Bookish Ramblings - part 6

It's been a funny few days in the house, not in a hilarious way either, the terrible two's have been making things a big stress fest so I have been really appreciating the time to read in the evenings to unwind.  I have been making my way through the divergent series the last few weeks and I finished Allegiant last night.  I think it's fair to say that i'm still thinking about it now.  I am a fan of the films, I know many aren't, but I have found them to be enjoyable; Allegiant probably the most.  However, the book and the film could not be more further apart.  I thought it was because I hadn't seen the film for a while but as I got to the end it was apparent that they are very different entities.  It was good though, it meant that it was a book full of surprises for me and clearly many that I wasn't expecting (no spoilers here) and I found it very thought provoking.  I expect that it will be one for a re-read in the near future when I don't have the shadow of film in my mind anymore.

Other things that have happened have been the completion of my His Dark Materials trilogy, you may remember that the other week I picked up Northern Lights and The Amber Spyglass (thankfully without cover promo) so I fully intended on getting The Subtle Knife as a priority book spend.  I was thrown into turmoil though when I went to the shop to see that the covers had changed again to match in with The Book of Dust cover; which weren't nearly so pretty and didn't match the books I already had.  After a short but frantic search on the Zon I managed to find the old cover and all is right again in the world - but seriously how many times do the publishers need to change the covers??  This series always holds a special place for me, I read them when I was pregnant with child number 1 and they kept me company for the 2 weeks that she was overdue by.  I need to read them again and especially the Amber Spyglass as I had to read the last few chapters of that with a newborn and that time is a bit hazy now!  As an aside, if you are able to get the BBC iPlayer I would highly recommend listening to the abridged Book of Dust radio drama and you can make a start on it here it is utterly compelling.

Tonight i'm going to make a start on Caraval by Stephanie Garber, again it's a book that I picked up due to hype and a pretty cover - and at just £5 for the hardback edition I didn't think I had much to lose.  Since picking it up I have heard from two friends, who's recommendations I trust, that it's not up to the hype but so many people have loved it that I have decided to plough on through with an open mind and hope to be surprised, if anything it certainly looks beautiful and totally appeals to the formatter in me!  I'll let you know how I get on.

Have you picked up any books recently due to hype and either loved or hated them?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Bookish Ramblings Part 5 - bookish treats!

I have been getting back to reading this week after the playstation was a time sponge for me last week.  That's not to say that I have being completely immune to it's charms as I have some Assassins Creed DLC that i'm currently engrossed in. I have now finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and you can check out my review here I'm not convinced it was a good choice as a first read by this author but I want to read more by her where she isn't tied into someone else's ideas and it does make me worry for what my beloved Sarah J Maas will be like when she takes a turn next year with Catwoman as part of this ongoing DC Icons series.  As for my current read, i'm now onto Allegiant by Veronica Roth which I will be enjoying with a glass of wine once this has been posted.

However, one awesome thing that happened this week was that my gorgeous Book and Nook candles arrived which are based on Feyre and Rhysand from the ACOTAR series. They are fabulous!  I wish I could add smells to the blog because they are just so fitting and they are full of sparkles :)   I also managed to pick up a Velaris necklace which was in an earlier Fairyloot box and I love it!  Excuse that my favourite of the trilogy is missing from the photo, it's currently on loan to my mum ;)

Other fun bookish loveliness I have acquired is this set of Harry Potter playing cards, I have to say that I don't play a lot of card games any more (although Poker has been a big part of my past before the kiddies arrived) but I think these are pretty cool to keep around.  Instead of the usual Hearts, Clubs etc each Hogwarts House has a turn and I love the artwork on them.  They are on display but I fully intend on breaking them out at every opportunity.

Have you got any great bookish finds?  I would love for you to share them with me :)

Review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

I have to say that I am struggling greatly to put down a synopsis of this book so i'm going to be lazy in my review today and give you the blurb instead as it will probably do a much better job than me! 

She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning . . .
Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.
Alia is a Warbringer - a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.
To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.
From the outset this is a book that I purchased over hype.  I had never read a book by Leigh Bardugo before but I was seeing this book everywhere so I decided to give it a try as it was a standalone by this author and if I enjoyed it I would check out her other works.  I think that was probably a bad move on my part.  Another bad move is that I had absolutely no idea about the Wonder Woman back story so a lot of the nuance went over my head completely and I think anyone reading this should do a quick wikipedia  - seriously other than the lasso and the wrist bands I was clueless. 

Saying that though it was a book that I did mostly enjoy.  I found the first half very difficult to get into and I almost shelved it but I'm glad I kept going.  The book has an about change and it goes from a slightly plodding retelling to a full blown, non stop page turning adventure.  From the first half of not wanting to pick it up, I really then couldn't put it down.  Bardugo can really write action and then some.  Full of twists and cinematic set pieces - I just wish I knew which were Wonder Woman staples and which were from her own imagination.  

Character wise there are plenty of strong and sassy females, Nim is just amazing and Theo has just the right amount of snark.  Diana herself took a bit of time to grow on me but eventually she did ;) 

I think this was probably the wrong choice as a first read from this author as she is writing her words around someone else's story, however, even when the story was not grabbing me the writing style did so I shall be definitely checking out more books by her, just the ones that are 100% her ideas.

4 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Frenzy Series Box Set Cover Reveal with Casey L Bond

Title: Frenzy Series Box Set
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Paranormal
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Marisa-Rose Robyn of Cover Me Darling
Models: Daniel Wells and Becca Bryant
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: After the world was ravaged by a viral apocalypse, Blackwater is one of the only colonies that remains. The survivors came together to create this safe haven. Nestled between a fierce river and a city’s flood wall, the well-being of its residents hangs on a long-established treaty with the night-walkers. Sounds simple enough, but lately, the people of Blackwater have been dying, and the humans believe the night-walkers are to blame.
Porschia Grant starves for more than her parents’ affection. Forced to enter the rotation, she will be given extra food rations in exchange for becoming a vampire’s breakfast and dinner for a week. The rotation has an extra responsibility as well: leave the colony and enter the dangerous forest to hunt for food. A night-walker will protect the hunters from the infected that roam the woods. But with the treaty hanging in the balance and tension between the humans and vampires rising, anything could happen in the darkness.
What would you do if your only chance at survival might kill you?
This box set contains six books in The Frenzy Series: Frenzy, Frantic, Frequency, Friction, Fraud and novella Forever Frenzy.
Hunger is deadly...
Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Check out the first book in the series, FREE on Amazon, this week only!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Bookish ramblings part 4

It's been a funny old week... Not much reading has been done and that is mainly down to the playstation.  My fab brother lent me Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and it's fair to say that it's been quite the time sponge.  Uncharted is one of my favourite playstation franchises and even though there is no Nathan Drake, there are enough kickbacks to make it really enjoyable.  It's very much uncharted by numbers though, cue lots of relentless gunfights, Tomb Raider style puzzles and and an arduous battle on a moving train but that's what makes it so playable!  It's not the best of the franchise by far but (apart from one utterly fiendish puzzle) it's really really fun to play and most of my evenings have been spent playing that rather than reading.  Don't listen to the reviews either, I got a good 10 hours game play out of it and I was expecting half of that from what I had heard!

Other bars to reading this week have been the horribly stressful muggle job and even the fun job has been a real emotional drain but i'm back on track with a fab client and a piece that i'm really proud of!

Other things have been afoot this week, the new bookcase arrived on Sunday it's installed and is starting to be filled, mini me was most excited to bring down the book stack from the attic to put them in pride of place.

I love finally having a bookcase in my living room, it really completes it and I can't stop looking at all the bookish goodness, i'm trying to be good by reigning in my book spends as I know my fairyloot boxes will start adding to the shelf next month but I'm finding it so hard to say no!

My bookstagram has taken a bit of a back seat as well this week as I have been struggling to feel inspired as a lot of the book challenge themes are samey given that it's start of Autumn and Halloween coming up.  I have also been very good with my book buying, trying to restrict it to new purchases on pay day so I don't have anything new to add to my photos and I don't want my followers to get bored with me posting the same books all the time. I'm going to be very proud to do my first proper #shelfiesunday though this week, this is a sneak peak as a work in progress, I have added a lot of bookish goodies since I took this <3