Category Archives: Book Review

Bloody Sunrise by Neil Gaiman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Bloody Sunrise
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Poetry, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Poem
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: something else that I can blame on

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

A great poem about the pitfalls and sunrises of vampirehood.

Thoughts

At the beginning, this poem felt a little bit humorous. A little bit quirky and seriously cute. And then it started to take a darker turn. Darker and darker and darker with each line. Which, honestly, is kind of what I think a good vampire poem should be about.

Even though this story took a bit of a darker turn, I definitely had the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun playing through my head. Although this version was Vamps Just Want to Have Fun. I never said that my brain was a normal or safe place to be…

The bloody sunrise ruins the magic of the dark. And this poem just shows how much it can ruin if you really think about it…

<- Gap YearFlying ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Delta Sly Honey by Lucius Shepard

Overview
Hauntings: Datlow, Ellen: 9781616960889: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Delta Sly Honey
Author: Lucius Shepard
In: Hauntings (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: But it stains you alla same.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

They’re in a warzone and constantly battling for a future. But there may be someone haunting their world.

Thoughts

This short story was a bit of a skim read for me. It wasn’t the kind of story that I’d necessarily return to and be obsessed with, but it was enjoyable all the same. Just an easy and fun read altogether.

The confusion and multiple deaths in this story definitely have a haunting feeling to them. But it was about war, so that kind of lent itself further to this storyline. I mean, war is seriously confusing and terrifying. So why wouldn’t a story about it be seriously confusing?

There is a lot of death in this tale. Mostly I just felt confused and trying to count the number of deaths in this tale. Which kind of works when it’s a story all about hauntings…

<- CargoNothing Will Hurt You ->

Image source: Amazon

Marine Biology by Gail Carriger

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: Marine Biology
Author: Gail Carriger
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The woman gave him that look.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Alec isn’t quite what you would think a werewolf should be. He’s skinny, nerdy and gay. But he’s got more than one secret in his closet. And a fishman is about to help him bring them all to light.

Thoughts

I really didn’t expect… any of this story. Like. Any of this. The title just… gives you nothing to work on and I’ve never read anything by Carriger before, so I was all pleasantly surprised at reading this. I loved the fact that I was surprised time after time in this story. And just constantly found enjoyment in the whole tale.

The idea of a gay, closet alpha werewolf… it was funny. And a lot of descriptives really. It had me giggling right throughout this story and grinning like somewhat of a fool. Then, the guy that he falls for… a wonderful mix of characters.

Alec has got to be one of my favourite short story characters that I’ve been introduced to in a while. I kind of wish that he had more of a longer storyline… I wasn’t quite ready to leave him behind. But then, when am I ever?

<- The Demon’s SecretZola’s Pride ->

Image source: Amazon

Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh

Overview
Angels' Flight

Title: Angel’s Wolf
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #3.5
In: Angel’s Flight (Nalini Singh) & Angels of Darkness (Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook & Sharon Shinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Angels, Paranormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Thanks, but it won’t be needed.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

Thoughts

The vampire that was tortured in Archangel’s Kiss had a pretty hard run of things. And he is briefly mentioned in Archangel’s Consort. So I love that there is a novella that is just about him finding a happily ever after. It helps to tie up a few loose ends and brings a whole new angels court to the forefront.

Both Noel’s assignment and Nimra’s court and terrifying-ness are mentioned in Archangel’s Consort and it completely intrigued me and pulled me in. What a fantastic way for me to finish out the Angels’ Flight collection (it may not be the final novella in the book, but it was the final one that I read).

Noel and Nimra gave me that warming of the cockleshell heart feeling. Something about their ability to love one another warmed me up and made me smile. The fact that it’s alongside the race to find out who is trying to kill Nimra… well, that just made me happier and happier.

I may not be a cat person, but there is a total love of cats and pets in this story. They are incredibly important, and the love of pets is something I can completely understand. This whole story made me want to pick up my puppy and give them a huge hug.

<- Archangel’s ConsortArchangel’s Blade ->

Image source: Goodreads

Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Overview
Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3) by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel’s Consort
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Dates read: 14th – 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It was locked.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Nalini Singh steps back into the shadows of her “heartbreakingly original” world where angels rule, vampires serve, and the innocent can pay the greatest price of all…

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school – the assault one of sheer, vicious madness – and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed.

Thoughts

I was wondering how terrifying Raphael’s mother was going to be. I mean, she’s mentioned constantly and she’s definitely somewhat terrifying. But, a bit less than I was expecting. Having said that, I’m pretty sure she’s going to become more and more terrifying as this series unfolds… there is just so much potential there. I can’t wait to see how Elena confronts and deals with her!

This Guild Hunter novel really explores the past beautifully. Both Raphael and Elena have a lot of past issues that they have to deal with. And these seriously begin to come to light in this story. Everyone has a past, and everyone has to battle with that in their current relationships – but Elena and Raphael have a particularly bad set of issues that they have to deal with. As do the Seven. So now I want to know more about the past and the tribulations of Raphael’s Seven.

The first two books in this series are the beginning of Elena ad Raphael’s relationship. Particularly Elena finding her place in Raphael’s life and holding her own against his seriously dominant personality. But, in this novel she is really beginning to find her feet and sense of self. Her drive to be able to stand on her own two feet and fight her own battles is beautifully impressive. And impossible to forget and put down. It’s just… gorgeous and glorious. Most definitely the kind of woman character that I love – finding out who you are and where you fit in a decidedly dangerous society.

One of my favourite things about Singh as an author is that her stories aren’t sappy. They’re all romances and they most definitely make your toes curl. But they aren’t sappy. Even the times when there is that love at first sight zing, they still aren’t sappy. And, ultimately, they are about truly accepting one another. And finding a way to work together to achieve your happily ever after.

I honestly could not put this novel down. It was fantastic and wonderful and everything that I love in a paranormal story. Now I can’t wait to dig through my TBR pile (it’s ginormous) and read Archangel’s Blade.

<- Archangel’s KissAngel’s Wolf ->

Image source: Goodreads

Spark of Shadows by Rachel Madbury

Overview
Spark of Shadows by Rachel Madbury

Title: Spark of Shadows
Author: Rachel Madbury
Series: The Sevens #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceWitches
Dates read: 6th – 13th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: ARC, eBook, Novella
Publisher: Rachel Madbury
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: I have to meet with the man on watch.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

True love never forgets.

Demons are coming for Cora Gardner. A witch like her sisters, and all the women of her line before her, her existence is threatened not only by mortals who fear what they don’t understand, but by those who live in the shadows and thrive on the darkness.

But when a warrior is summoned to be her guard she’d almost prefer to meet her fate.

Liam Wolfe is not just any warrior, he’s a Seven, created by the covens to protect the most powerful among them. He and his team are the hard edge that keep the violence at bay, so the witches of the world can hold the earth in her balance.

But demons aren’t the only ones drawn to Cora. Despite an animosity from her he cannot comprehend, Liam finds his oath as a Seven tested in the face of temptation. And as evil approaches, secrets are revealed – a truth which threatens everything he’s ever known.

Their past holds the power to reshape his world, but only if he can protect the woman who holds the key.

Thoughts

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest and fair review.

It took me a little bit more to get into this than Splintered Stars. Probably because I had this horrible feeling all throughout the novella that Liam and Cora’s story was going to end in tragedy. After all, their love isn’t mentioned in Splintered Stars, so I felt it was an apt assumption. And whilst I like suspense, I don’t love that constant feeling of tragedy.

Yet, without any spoilers, I did actually love this romance. Its definitely about long lost lovers being reunited. Finding your way back to the one you love and want and just… being with one another. I can’t imagine spending eleven years without the one that I love, but I like the idea that we’d find our way back to one another eventually.

Although I didn’t like this novella prequel quite as much as the first novel in this series, I still seriously enjoyed it. And it just makes me itch all that much more for the second book, which I believe is due to come out soon… now I just have to exercise patience and maturity… two things which aren’t quite my strengths.

<- More Rachel MadburySplintered Stars ->

Image source: Goodreads

Love Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
Love Hard (Hard Play, #3) by Nalini Singh

Title: Love Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 9th – 13th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do I look like I was born yesterday?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you the next sizzling story in her Hard Play contemporary romance series…

Jacob Esera, star rugby player and young single father, has worked hard to create a joyous life for his six-year-old daughter. After the death of his childhood sweetheart soon after their daughter’s birth, all Jake wants is safety and stability. No risks. No wild chances. And II especially II no Julity Nelisi, former classmate, scandal magnet, and a woman who is a thorn in his side.

As a lonely teenager, Juliet embraced her bad-girl reputation as a shield against loneliness and rejection. Years later, having kicked a cheating sports-star ex to the curb, she has a prestigious job and loyal friends – and wants nothing to do with sportsmen. The last thing she expects is the fire that ignites between her and the stuffed-shirt golden boy who once loved her best friend. 88 Straitlaced jacob Esera versus wild-at-heart Juliet Nelisi? Place your bets.

Thoughts

From the blurb, I was expecting Jacob’s backstory to be far more painful and tragic. And it was quite sad and horrible. But nowhere near what I was expecting. I mean, teenage parent and the death of the love of his life is really sad. But he didn’t dwell on it but found a way to move on with his life. Something that I think is really awesome and important – he found a way to live his life and be happy in the moment.

All throughout this story, Esme just stole the show. She is just too damn cute and, although she isn’t the one the romance is about. I just wanted to give her a huge hug! She’s just a constant, adorable little show stealer. One that makes you grin and want to hug her through the pages of the book. The fact that Jacob is such a wonderful father just makes him an even more dreamy male lead…

Jules was such a great lead female (as is all of Singh’s female leads). Her friendship requirement to a relationship is such a great point. One that I think we all need to make in our own lives and relationships. After all, my partner is my best friend, and it’s the laughter and friendship that bring everything together.

This was another beautiful Singh story. One that uses all of her usual enjoyment and happiness. One that also reminds us that we always should look forward and embrace the future. And the potential for future happiness. It’s such a great journey. One that draws you all that much further into the Esra brothers’ world and makes you believe in true love again and again.

<- Rebel HardMore Nalini Singh ->

Image source: Goodreads

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Overview
Shadow and Bone : Leigh Bardugo : 9780805094596

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1, Grishaverse #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 4th – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: He didn’t say a word to me, and as the hours and days wore on, I started to worry that I’d somehow offended him.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

SOLDIER. SUMMONER. SAINT.

Orphaned and expdnable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first rek across the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dromant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of roaylty and intrigue, as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she lvoes and the very future of a nation.

Thoughts

I can seriously understand why this series, and this story in particular is so damn popular. I knew that I’d probably love it from the fact that I have loved all of the short stories which Bardugo has written. But I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy this. I mean… wow. It is an amazing, unforgettable journey and I can’t wait to read more of this series! hopefully before the Netflix series comes out…

Alina is a lovely and soulful lead character. I honestly fell in love with her from the very beginning. There is something about her loyalty and strength that makes you love her from the first page. And the fact that she will do anything for the boy that she loves… that just makes it all so much sweeter and cuter. Particularly when you discover the depths she’s actually gone to for him…

I seriously can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series – not just he trilogy, but the whole Grishaverse. Alina and Mal may have found a way to escape the first obstacle. But there are so many more to come. And the Darkling doesn’t seem like the kind of villain that is going to be easy to escape – he is kind of terrifying if I’m being completely honest.

I love that this is most definitely a friends to lovers romance. Particularly since you can see Alina’s loyalty and love from the very beginning. Boys are stupid and tend to take a little bit longer, but that tie is there from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see how this all grows and blossoms throughout the series. Everything about writing this review and reading the story just make me want to pick up the next novel in this series!!!

All in all this is an amazing story. One that has pulled me into the Grishaverse reality completely. I can’t wait to read more of the series. And then, hopefully, when I’ve finished, dive into the Netflix show too…

<- More Leigh BardugoSiege and Storm ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

Overview
Punching the Air :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Punching the Air
Author: Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Poetry, Race
Dates read: 4th – 5th April 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: To take my mind off things for a little while, I said

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The story that I thought
was my life
didn’t start on the day
I was born

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighbourhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

The story that I think
will be my life
starts today

Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

Thoughts

This is a powerful and poignant story. It is intense, impossible to look away from and the kind of tale that will honestly make you cry. There is no other way to describe it – you will have so many of the feelings that you probably won’t know what to do. Or at least, that’s how I felt when I was reading this.

I didn’t realise that this was a poetry collection when I first bought it. In fact, I was completely thrown by this fact when I first opened the novel. I was expecting prose. Which honestly ended up being amazing. There is something about poetry that feels so much more emotional to me and reading this tale through poems… it tied itself to my heart strings just that much quicker and tighter.

My heart spent the entire time that I was reading this novel just breaking. Not only because of the amazing emotions that are put forth by this story, but also just the story itself. It is based on true events to a degree, partially written by one of the boys that it happened to… how could your heart not slightly start to break while reading this?

For those who don’t know, Yusef Salaam was one of the “When They See Us” boys, and it is his emotion that I think lent an extra layer of pain and wow to this story. It’s his words that make me want to reach through the pages of the novel and just give the poor boy a gigantic hug.

This is a raw and powerful story. And one that is honestly truly horrifying. Even if it is one of my favourite recent reads.

<- PrideA is for Ayiti ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Overview
Zeroes | Book by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Title: Zeroes
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Superheroes, Young adult
Dates read: 21st February – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: All those training missions, shepherding crowds around a shopping center while listening to Glorious Leader’s orders in their earbuds.

Synopsis

DON’T CALL THEM HEROES

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t – like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are teh other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader”. After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three power-house authors for the opening instalment of a thrilling new series.

Thoughts

This book is an absolute chunkster. Which is why I have kept putting it off for ages. I just find books that are this big to be kind of intimidating at times. Plus, there’s the fact that sometimes I tend to get distracted and bored halfway through these monster tales. Yet, in spite of all of my concerns… I just couldn’t put this down! It was an amazing chunkster, one that I seriously and thoroughly enjoyed.

I loved the flickering of points of view throughout this story. It is most definitely a difficult tactic in stories – but these three authors have managed to give each and every one of the six superheroes a wonderfully unique voice. The fact that it also gives you these great views into their lives and the different ways in which they see one another… it was a brilliant journey. And, unlike many other stories I’ve read that flicker between points of view, I wasn’t more or less attached to each of the characters. This is wonderfully unique and had me grinning throughout.

The whole storyline and characterization of the Zeroes reminded me a lot of Umbrella Academy. There was that great feeling of dysfunction and coming together in a pseudo family. Although, being that this is a young adult story, it felt a heck of a lot less dark than the comic / Netflix series. I love stories of dysfunctional family units, they tend to feel all that much more humorous. Which left me grinning and smiling as I journeyed through the Zeroes reuniting and finding more depths to their powers.

This novel partners teenage angst with dysfunction and superpowers. I mean, really, what on earth could go wrong there? Turns out, everything and anything. Which then makes me want to pick up Swarms straight away… it’s surely just going to get better from here on out.

<- More Scott WesterfeldSwarm ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster