Reading Slumps and Book Reviews

Reading Slump

I’ve had a bit of a reading slump this year as I’m studying a Digital Marketing MSc and my focus has been that and working. I’m currently working on my Dissertation which focusses on Digital Marketing in Publishing (if you have anything to say about this please let me know in the comments I’d love it!)

BUT in the last week I’ve managed to read 6 books! (5 of those in 4 days).

giphy

I’ve also had a bit of a blog slump so I’ve decided to write a bit of a roundup of the books I’ve read here before writing my more in depth reviews later!

Purge by Kat Ellis – NEW RELEASE September 6th!
Unboxed by Non Pratt
The Territory by Sarah Govett
ARC: The Deviants by C.J.Skuse – September 22nd 2016
ARC: Contagion by Teri Terry – Release date 2017
ARC: Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick – October 6 2016

Book Review Roundup

PurgePurge by Kat Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! It had me gripped from the start, I wanted to know more about the world they lived in and how it differed from ours. I was invested in the character’s stories and I needed to know what was happening.
I loved the structure of the book with different narratives and how they related to each other. Both Mason and Eden aren’t typical YA protags – they have issues and some of them they don’t really ‘grow’ out of, but I won’t say more about that for spoilers.
There was always something more going on beneath the surface and it’s well worth the wait for each reveal! I’d LOVE a sequel to this book…
Definitely recommend!

View all my reviews

UnboxedUnboxed by Non Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book! Short and sweet, I really related to the characters. The feelings that arise when confronted by old friends in such a situation were captured beautifully.
This book really got me thinking on diversity and my own experiences of it, it made me see some things in a new light and a book that can do that is brilliant indeed.
The Territory (The Territory, #1)The Territory by Sarah Govett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the way this book was written, it was almost like diary entries detailing the life of Noa as she got closer and closer to her TAA exams, the exams which would determine whether she would live or die.
This story really gets you thinking, what will those in power decide for us when the decisions are that hard? Who gets to live and who has to die when the land is running out disease is spreading?
It makes you question what you would do, to save yourself or your family. Would you leave?
It also brings up the theme of genetic modification, which is very quickly becoming a reality in our lives.
Amazing compelling story which was well written, cannot wait for the next one!

The DeviantsThe Deviants by C.J. Skuse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cliche I know but I couldn’t put this down. I picked up up last night and stayed up to finish it. I had no idea what the book was about when I started and I was just so gripped right from the first scene!
I loved the way the narrator tells the story, prompted by a question at the end of each chapter, which draws you further and further in until you can’t escape.
It was beautifully harrowing, touching upon such sensitive topics so well. I kept thinking I knew what was happening/going to happen/had happened but I was shocked each time!
It left me in tears, my soul sore from their pain.
The way it was written was brilliant and realistic – with a lot of things I could relate to in terms of the language they used etc.

I would definitely recommend this book but it’s not for the faint hearted!

View all my reviews

Contagion (Dark Matter, #1)Contagion by Teri Terry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was brilliant. I love virus narratives and I was not disappointed with this one. There were definitely more than a few surprises in this book, needless to say you’re kept guessing a lot in it.
It combined the very real threat of virus outbreak with futuristic theories on dark matter and physics which was really interesting.

I’ve always been fascinated by the curing and creating of disease in fiction – where science is messed around with to disastrous consequences. This fits the bill completely. Definitely add it to your TBR pile!

The only negative I have about this book is the ending. It is a severe cliff hanger, almost to the point where they story feels cut off short. I definitely cannot wait for the next installment!

View all my reviews

Saint DeathSaint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Admittedly I didn’t read what this was about before I started it, if I’d had I probably wouldn’t have read it.
The writing itself was great, however the plot itself just did not appeal to me. I didn’t feel particularly invested in the characters and didn’t feel particularly satisfied at the ending of the novel.
Don’t let my review put you off though! I’m sure to someone who’s interested in this type of thing would love it!

View all my reviews

Have you guys read any of these? Let me know what you thought! I think my reading may slow down again a bit now but at least I’m out of my slump!

Audiobook Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Audiobook Blog Tour

I am SO excited to announce that I’m taking part in The Audiobookworm’s Audio Blog Tour for Omari and the People by Stephen Whitfield, narrated by Curt Simmons!

Excited

On the 28th of September I’ll be posting a review of the Audiobook, an interview with the author AND hosting a giveaway! I’ll be announcing details on what you can win and how to enter soon, follow my blog to be updated! I’ll also be posting about it on my Twitter and Instagram, I’d love it if you followed me there too.

About the Audiobook

Omari And The People
Omari And The People
Ina squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The desperate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability  to lead – his very life – is jeopardized.


Doesn’t that sound amazing?! I cannot WAIT to listen to it and share it with you guys!

Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag

So I came across this tag on The Awkward Blogger’s blog, and decided to give it a go! I’ve always loved books, and only recently have I gotten back into writing about them and I thought, what better way is there than to do a book tag?

1. What do you like about buying new books?

I love being lost in the shelves, discovering new novels that are just waiting for me. The feel of the books, taking them home and putting them on my shelf! Everything… I may be a bit obsessed.

Matilda I love to read

2. How often do you buy new books?

I go through binges. May have bought about 20 this month so far… but then didn’t buy any for ages before that. I have a problem.

Gilmore Girls BBooks

3. Bookstore or online book shopping – which do you prefer?

BOOK STORE. Hands down. I find it hard to choose a book online. When I’m in a store, I can feel it, smell it. I get taken in and I have to take it with me. I can’t put it down. Online I just chicken out of buying them!

Gilmore girl books smell

4. Do you have a favourite bookshop?

No, I don’t go frequently enough. I love Waterstones but not one in particular! The one in Brighton has a really cute little nook you can sit in though!

5. Do you preorder books?

I’ve started to. I’ve always pre-ordered Harry Potter, but I recently discovered how important pre-ordering is for an Author so to show my support I now do!

6. Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

I should. No I don’t.

Beauty and the beast book

7. Book buying bans – Are they something for you?

I should probably put a ban on myself.

booksareadventure

8. How big is your wishlist?

It doesn’t end. Ever.

wishlist

9. Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own NOW?

I want to own An Ember in the Ashes, it’s so beautiful! I listened to the audiobook so I’m desperate for a hardcopy!

I want to own all the Maria V. Snyder books! I have so many I have yet to read.

Also I want to own all Robin Hobb and Terry Brooks books. So yeah a lot!

10. Tagging?

I don’t really know many book bloggers so if you want to do this, then do!

Book Review: An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


emberAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Synopsis:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

View all my reviews

Wow. Just wow. I LOVED this book. I picked up a copy of Torch Against the Night at YALC, so I wanted to read this quickly, so I got the audiobook, and I’m so glad I did!

Plot
The story was compelling and emotive, complete with a world full of culture and history well thought out and conveyed to the reader. I had no trouble understanding the struggle the Scholars lived through, and the contrast of Helene’s devotion to the Empire to Elias’ defiance really gave understanding to the motivations behind the Martial’s behaviors.
I love the concept of the masks that merge to the soldier’s faces, and the subtle use of magic throughout the story, which I hope will become even more apparent in the 2nd novel, A Torch against the Night.
I was so completely hooked, I felt their desperation and horror at what they went through. I love how ultimately they both have what the other wants: Elias wants freedom, where Laia chooses to be a slave in order to save her brother.
There’s a lovely love… square? Going on, which adds to the story but does not detract from it, nor does the story rely on it, which is refreshing.

Characters
Laia’s struggle is believable. She doesn’t just do what needs to be done, no questions asked. You really understand her motivations and her struggles, she has weaknesses and overcomes them with her love for her brother. She goes through terrible things and they almost break her, but she comes out the other side stronger. She learns.

Elias also struggles, but differently to Laia in so many ways but still the same in so many others. I loved that from an outsider’s point of view he seems to be perfect, perfect breeding and perfect student, when it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I also love how he would be nothing without Helene. It’s mostly subtle, but there are a few occasions where, even though it appears he’s saving her, she is really saving him (I’d love to talk about this more with some fellow emberlings!) One such example I’ll put at the end of this post!

I’m not a huge fan of Keenan, if I’m honest. I’ll leave that as that though.

Structure
Ember is written in first person present, which is done so beautifully. I haven’t read many like this and I was so absorbed, I loved it! It switches between Elias’ POV and Laia’s, and it’s nicely done.

Narrators
I want to talk about the wonderful Jack Farrar and Aysha Kala. Their voices were beautiful, so emotive and drew me in completely. They brought Sabaa’s story to life in ways my own mind would not have been able to. Aysha’s soft voice lent an innocence to Laia’s character, making me feel deeply her struggles between wanting to do the right thing and her fear and survival instincts.
Jack’s voice made me love Elias so deeply, it brought to life his turmoil, his utter disgust at what was expected of him and his desires to be free. He even gave Helene a definitive voice, which is always lovely as there’s nothing more jarring than when all secondary characters sound the same.

I think maybe my one tiny issue with the story was how free slaves were to move about. I get they had slave cuffs which marked them as enslaved, but surely it wouldn’t be hard to get them removed and to disappear? Just a thought.

DEFINITELY READ THIS NOVEL! Please talk to me about this book!

Thoughts on Helene: Mildly spoilerish:

When Elias is in the first trial, seeing all the dead he will kill in the future, it’s only when he sees Helene approaching does he finally decide that he’d NEVER kill her, thus allowing him to overcome his fears and to defeat the trial. HOWEVER, Helene wasn’t part of the vision, she was really there.

Book Review: The Creeper Man and Launch Party!

_MG_3946

WELCOME! To The Creeper Man book review and Launch Party Post!

The Creeper ManThe Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I managed to get an ARC of this amazing novel! I could not put this book down. The Creeper Man is a deliciously disturbing book that was addictive. The way it is written chills and entrances you, with the words laid out on the page in a truly amazing way, conveying the sense of confusion/horror/despair of the narrator amazingly. The addition of journal entries really added to the sense of an unreliable narrator.

I had no idea who to trust – who is the creeper man? What is this place full of despair? Are the trees creeping closer?

It was written so brilliantly that the words appeared in my head in a hauntingly melodic way. There are moments that chill you to the bone, and more than a few that thoroughly disturbed me in a delightful way.

Every time I thought I knew what was happening, it turned out I was wrong, again. I’d definitely recommend this!

View all my reviews

I was also fortunate enough to get to the go the launch party for The Creeper Man in Tales on Moon Lane in London!

_MG_3953

So many amazing people were there to celebrate, and we were all given an ivy garland.

Dawn Kurtagich The Creeper Man book Laucnh

Which had originally been part of Dawn’s outfit!
_MG_3936

Dawn had some AMAZING Creeper Man cakes and biscuits! Which were made by the talented and delicious Bluebell Kitchen.
_MG_3943

 

_MG_3933

_MG_3938_MG_3937_MG_3940

The Creeper Man Book Launch

It was a lovely evening, with amazing people in a beautiful book shop.

_MG_3951
_MG_3948

Thanks for reading! If you liked it please share!