Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Cover Reveal: The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig #mapofbones

You've all seen the UK cover of The Fire Sermon, right? The hardcover looks a little something like this...

 And the paperback a little something like this...

Today I'm helping reveal the cover for the second in The Fire Sermon series, which looks a little something like....


What do you think?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Leave all your love and your longing behind, you can't carry it with you if you want to survive.


 See How They Run
Publication Date: January 14th 2016
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

OHMYGOD. THAT WAS THE MEANEST CLIFFHANGER ENDING. Continuing on from All Fall Down, See How They Run builds up the history of Adria, and the history of the founders. Believe it or not, See How They Run is a lot darker than its predecessor, there are so many more secrets about Grace and Adria and more things out of Graces control than she likes (and we know how she acts when it comes to secrets).

Grace is...I hate to say broken, but she is completely broken. And it's what you'd expect from what she found out about the mystery surrounding her mother’s death and the scarred man. At least when she didn't know she had this thing to hold onto, to know she wasn't crazy, when everybody acted like she was. But I love her, she isn't entirely likeable, but I connect more with her than any previous Ally Carter MC's (Cammie post Only the Good Spy Young and Kat, Uncommon Criminals). Alexei. Oh, bloody hell, Alexei. We get more of him (yay!) but we also get more depth from him, and get to see his darker side.

What I love about Ally Carter, is the emphasis she puts on family. Never are they standard or perfect, they're broken and dysfunctional but they're strong. They're family, and it doesn't stop at blood. And in See How They Run we get to meet Grace's older brother, Jamie. And she tries her damn hardest to push him away, but he's always there pushing her back. They really feel like siblings.

WE HAVE SOME ROMANCE, if you were disappointed by the lack of romance in All Fall Down, you still might be, because honestly, there's no outwardly romance between Grace and Alexei. But what I seriously adore about the way Ally Carter writes romance is how she builds their foundation first. How she can write intimate and sexy moments without the characters even kissing, is beyond me.

See How They Run is fast paced, packed with shocking twists that you won't see coming until just before it hits you, family ties, and uh, more Alexei.

Rating: 5/5


Sunday, 17 January 2016

I'm not ready to give up just yet, we could stay until we both forget, so baby, don't kill, don't kill the magic.

The Magic Thief
Publication Date: November 10th 2015 
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Even witches fall in love...

Mal has an idylic childhood on Prince Island with Essie, the next witch of Salt and Storm. But all that changes when Essie, in a fit of anger, tells everyone what he really is.

With no choice but to leave his home, Mal becomes the magic thief, stealing magical items for the higest bidder. And when he steals the shar, a knife with the ability to cut the magic out of those it touches, he finally finds a way to get his revenge on the girl he once loved...

I loved The Witch of Salt and Storm last year, it was something different, the writing was gorgeous, the characters were strong, the plot so damn clever and an ending that was true to the story and its main character.

That being said, The Magic Thief is on a whole other level. Although it is centred and tied to Prince Island, we get to explore with Mal outside of the island and see the effect magic has and the way it's used in other parts of the world. We also get sneaky fun with Boone and Mal as hunters, their (and almost every other hunter out there) next job trying to find the Tsar and by doing so, establishing themselves and start a confederation, but to Mal, there's only one thing in sight: revenge. 

I went from serious highs and lows during reading The Magic Thief, and by that I mean, I really connected to Mal, he had a lot of highs and lows himself, mostly lows. Being a blank, Mal's immune to magic, but by being a blank means a monster, living on Prince Island surrounded by magic and charms, Mal had never felt more at home with Essie Roe at his side, but having to leave Prince Island with hate in his heart for everything Roe, it brings out his darker side. Working witch Boone gave him something back. When you rely on somebody as your home, it can be taken away, and when you rely on people as your home, you only see what they want you to see.

Once again, The Magic Thief is complicated and although not as twisty as its predecessor, it's not predictable and it has its own twists that play into The Witch of Salt and Storm.

The Magic Thief is darker than The Witch of Salt and Storm, broadens the world building and shows you a different side of it with a complicated character that you can't help but like, even when he's hard to like, and it tells the story of Essie (Avery's mother) and Mal, and both books tie into one another perfectly, and I love how it all comes full circle.

Rating: 4.5/5



Monday, 11 January 2016

There's not even a demon, in Heaven or Hell, is it all just human disguise, as I walk down the aisle

 The Dark Days Club
Publication Date: January 21st 2016
Publisher: Walker Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

London, April 1812. Eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the eve of her debut presentation to the Queen. Her life should be about gowns and dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family's housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen is drawn to the shadows of Regency London.

There, she finds William, the Earl of Carlston. He has noticed the disappearance, too, and is one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of powerful demons that has infiltrated every level of society. But Lady Helen’s curiosity is the last thing Carlston wants—especially when he sees the searching intelligence behind her fluttering fan. Should Helen trust a man whose reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her headstrong sense of justice lead them both into a death trap?

In The Dark Days Club, internationally best-selling author Alison Goodman introduces readers to a heroine who is just as remarkable as Eona—and yet again reinvents an establlished literary genre, making it her own.

Although The Dark Days Club isn't original in its concept, it's unique in its execution. Set in Regency England, Lady Helen's coming to terms with the fact her mother's traitorous legacy has more to it than what it seems, and that she herself is more like her than anyone would like.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

I will not stop fighting, I am here beside you, I'll rage, I will rage at the dying of your light


This Raging Light
 Publication Date: January 14th 2016 
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend's unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together - just.

A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love.

“This is home. I forgot it was. Music carries the weight of being human, takes it away so you don’t have to think at all, you just have to listen. Music tells every story there is.”

Oh, wow. Even though I do have mixed feelings for This Raging Light, that's all I'm thinking right now. Wow.

Wow, this book is a hot mess. A complicated hot mess. But, in a good way. Kind of. See? It's hard to explain, it should be hard to like the characters, but it's not. Well, not for me. I like my characters messy and hard to like. They're flawed, they're realistic.

Lucille is...not a horrible person. Neither is Digby. They're good people who make bad choices and let me start by saying whilst I don't condone cheating, God I shipped Digby and Lucille so much. They fit. They're quirky and he made her happy when her life was insane, he helped her when she couldn't help herself. He picked her up. And yes, Lucille liked him a long time before they happened, she may have, kind of made the first move. But they both done it. The blame is not all on Lucille, okay?

The way I see it, I felt like she cracked, all the shit that was put on her shoulders by her parents and her wanting. Wanting a normal life. Wanting parents that loved her, that wouldn't leave her. Hell, wanting one parent who was that. Wanting a home. Wanting to not be doing what she had to do to survive and to keep her sister, Wren, with her. Wanting normal. Wanting a life. And wanting Digby. 

She was trying her hardest to create a semi normal home life for Wren, and looking out for her so she didn't have to feel the way she did. But, who was looking out for her? 

Digby. That's who. 

It's not all about the romance, it's part of it, part of the way the story goes, but it's about family. It's about the way that sometimes people are not cut out for it. It's about adult's majorly fucking up and not taking responsibility. It's about a seventeen-year-old girl who tries her fucking hardest to keep everything together while it's falling apart. It's strong, and it's chaotic, and its Lucille's life, and she grows so much within those pages it's surreal to think of someone going through that, and honestly? I don't think I'd be able to do it. 

The writing is just as quirky, and messy as the story, it fits, it creates the atmosphere and while it took some getting used to it, once I did, I couldn't put it down. The only reason this isn't a five for me is because of the loose ties.

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night is probably my favourite poem, so of course that's what drew me to This Raging Light, and I'm so glad it did, because Lucille is not a character I'm going to forget for a while, and neither is her story.

Rating: 4/5