Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Review - Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Title: Bonfire
Author: Krysten Ritter
Pages: 256
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Release Date: 9th November 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Nothing burns as bright as the truth. 

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands. 

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

But as Abby tries desperately to find out what happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret, her search threatens the reputations, and lives, of the community and risks exposing a darkness that may consume her.

 My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone, and NetGalley*

Ten years ago Abby Williams left her small hometown for Chicago.
Now an environmental lawyer, Abby finds herself reluctantly returning home to work on a case.
As Abby digs for information she realises that the case might be related to the events in her teens that led to her former friend Kaycee Mitchell disappearing.
What happened to Kaycee?
Can Abby fix her relationship with her father?
What secrets will Abby unearth in her search for the truth?

When I heard that Krysten Ritter had written a book I was really excited to read it. The intriguing blurb and gorgeous cover grabbed my attention as well.
I liked Abby and felt sorry for her - she hadn't had an easy childhood. I found her relatable and wanted her to be able to move on from her past.
The plot was interesting and I didn't guess what had happened to Kaycee.
I enjoyed the writing style which was easy to follow, but it didn't grip me.
This was a solid debut novel.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Release Day Blitz - The Tower Princess by Shonna Slayton

In honor of Tell a Fairy Tale Day, author Shonna Slayton’s new book is on sale on the Kindle for 99c. This original fairy tale is a medieval Romeo and Juliet story with shades of Rapunzel.




The townspeople call her the Tower Princess, but Gressa’s life is no fairy tale. She’s never understood why she’s been separated from the rest of the kingdom, but now that she’s older the pieces are coming together.

For too long she’s been trapped in her brother’s scheme to find a way through the magical wall dividing their kingdom in two. She doesn’t expect any help from the prince to the south, even if he did manage to bumble his way to her rescue. If she could pick anyone to form an alliance, it would be the squire she watches train from her window; he shows promise. But, confined to her tower, there’s nothing she can do…or is there?

One day a hole opens up in the Dividing Wall and with it, a chance for Gressa to change everything.

Find it on Amazon 



The story starts with a boy and a girl. Meet Manny and Gressa as they begin their lives in a divided kingdom reigned over by two kings:

Meet Manny 

 The king knew the Panther stalked at the wall. He felt his enemy’s restlessness grow every day. He knew his son would be in grave danger. The Panther would have no heart for a baby. Could he make a double funeral? Would it be convincing? Then he could send his son into hiding—away from his family to be raised as a commoner.
Wishing he had his wife’s wise counsel, he collapsed into a chair. He knew now, more than ever, what a pearl he had in Maggie.
 While he was mulling over these thoughts, the nursemaid approached him, wringing her hands.
“I ‘ave a sister, newly widowed. She bore a babe yestreen and ‘as no way to care for ‘em. Bring ‘er into the castle to raise her son like he wos the prince. A decoy, as it may.”
The king stared unblinking at the nursemaid. Could he put someone else’s babe at risk? He was shamed for even thinking it.
“’T’would be her ‘onor to serve the king in this way,” said the nursemaid, sensing the king’s concerns. “’Tis for the safety of the prince.”
 “And where would my boy go?” asked the stricken king, studying the baby, marveling at his tiny ears. Grief flooded his mind.
Smiling wide, the nurse revealed her crooked teeth. “Thar be a fine tailor and his wife in town. They ‘ave not been able to ‘ave children, much like yerself. He wonts an apprentice. They would be most agreeable. And ‘is wife would be sure to hide the true nature of the wee babe.” She stroked the prince’s cheek.
The king nodded, relieved that he wouldn’t have to send his son away. He could watch him grow up. But what kind of relationship would they have? Could he risk not letting his son know he was the prince until he had grown into a man? Simon pressed his hand to his temple to stop the throbbing. Then the babe awoke, screwed up his face, and let loose a piercing wail. The king wished he could scream too. Instead, he handed the child to the nursemaid with all the ideas.


Meet Gressa

In North Morlaix, the cry of the eighth child born to Jorvik’s wife rang out. This time, a girl.
The king stared at the babe. He was so used to having sons that he felt a bit awkward. His wife, too was a little shocked.
“It’s…a girl?” The king set down the sword he had brought with him. He had given each of his seven sons a sword at their birth. What did one give a girl? A shield mayhap?
“We can’t call her Thorwald like we planned,” he said.
Ingrid laughed.
Jorvik had never heard his wife laugh before. Once she started, she couldn’t stop. Her mirth was catchy and soon Jorvik also broke out in joyful noise. The child’s birth was the beginning of other changes in North Morlaix.
After much debate and suggestions from every member of the family and the court, the babe was named Gressa, meaning “pearl.” This made the old nursemaid raise an eyebrow, but she kept her tongue silent.
No one stepped into the castle without a quick look in on Gressa. Presents piled up. Fancy linens and imported silks. Gold jewelry and precious gems. Not to mention grain and chickens from the townsfolk.
Ingrid kept company with plaiters to learn how to entwine Gressa’s hair when she grew a lock or two. The princes of North Morlaix came to coo and make funny faces at the baby. In all, Gressa brought out a softer side of her family. In everyone except the Panther.


Why did you decide to write an original fairy tale?

This was a fun story for me. I’d been writing historical novels for a while and needed a story I could just write for fun and not have to spend so much time in research. This kingdom is made up. The time period is made up. And I’ve introduced new fairy creatures as well.

Where did you get the idea from?

I have a photo book on castles, and one of the castles featured is Burg Eltz in Germany. It’s a compact castle with these lovely towers, and while studying it, my imagination started down this path of a boy and girl being separated by a wall dividing their kingdom. Their parents are at war, and don’t want them to meet because they’re afraid they’ll fall in love.

How do you get the names of your characters?

Names have character, themselves, so I try to match the name with the vibe my characters are giving me. I tend to write about immigrants, so I’ll often start with their national origin. Then I go for the sound of the name, and then the meaning. In the Tower Princess I reveal the meaning of at least two of the characters’ names. Some names just hit you when you hear them. Don’t be surprised if we meet one day and I go crazy over your name and ask if I can use it in a book. It’s happened before.

Do you have a playlist when you’re writing?

Not on this book, but I do have an inspiration Pinterest board with some amazing images pinne here.

Follow Shonna:


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Review - This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil, #1) by Emily Suvada

Title: This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil, #1)
Author: Emily Suvada
Pages: 459
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 2nd November 2017

Blurb from 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.
As the pieces fit together it's clear there is one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.

My Review:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*

The world is in turmoil - the Hydra virus is wiping out humans and Catarina Agatta's father, a brilliant geneticist, is the only person that can stop it.
When a soldier named Cole appears with news of her father's death, Catarina also discovers that he made a vaccine against Hydra. But before the vaccine can be released, Catarina must decode it. Catarina's mission leads her close to Cartaxus, an organisation her father warned her to stay away from. Along the way, Catarina unearths secrets that will change everything.
Can Catarina decrypt the vaccine before it's too late?
Can she trust Cole?

This Mortal Coil was an interesting, unique YA dystopian novel.
Catarina was a likeable, relatable protagonist. I liked most of the characters, but Agnes, Cole, and Leoben were my favourites apart from Catarina.
The plot was intriguing and held my attention. The science was interesting and I could definitely see something similar happening in the future (panels in people's arms and apps that give them different abilities/change them). I found it a little scary how much technology people had incorporated into their bodies, such as ocular vision and healing tech.
There were several plot twists that I didn't see coming.
The writing style was good and held my attention, but I wasn't gripped.
I am interested in reading the sequel and seeing where the story goes.

Overall this was an enjoyable, interesting read that I would recommend.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

My Holiday TBR

I'm off on holiday tomorrow and I've made a list of books to read while I'm away for three weeks.
They're all Kindle books and are a mixture of ones that I bought aagggeeesss ago that I haven't read yet, and review books. 
There's no way that I'm going to read all of these, but I thought that I'd give myself options :)
There are loads so prepare yourself!



Review Books:

 These review books are next on my review list...



Friday, 2 February 2018

Review - The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

Title: The Wicked Cometh
Author: Laura Carlin
Pages: 352
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 1st February 2018

Blurb from Goodreads: 

The year is 1831. Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city's vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.

Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations.

Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they've ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking . . .

My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Living in 1831 isn't easy for Hester White whose change in circumstances has led to her living in poverty in London.
Then Hester finds herself with the chance to improve her life with help from the Brock family.
As Hester grows closer to Rebekah Brock, she also finds herself investigating events that may lead her into danger.
Why are so many people going missing?
Will Hester or Rebekah be next?

I love the cover for The Wicked Cometh and along with the intriguing blurb, I was excited to read this.
Unfortunately, this is another book that missed the mark for me.
Given the size of The Wicked Cometh not that much happened plot-wise, and what did happen failed to hold my attention - this was mainly because of the writing style which I couldn't get on with.
Hester was an okay character, and while I felt sorry for her I didn't like her all that much.
The romance was sweet but the age difference surprised me.
I debated DNFing this and part of me wishes that I had.

Overall this was a disappointing, okay read.