Review of Atmospheric Pressure by Aaron Frale

Olson lives in a city that has been sealed from the outside world. He’s an Eleven Year and close to citizenship. His life is upended when one of the few adults who cares about him commits suicide – or so it appears at first. While investigating, Olson meets a girl named Natalie snooping around his school. He soon learns that one of her friends died under similarly mysterious circumstances. Together, they start looking for answers, and end up discovering the city’s darkest secrets.

“You make your own fate”. That is the motto that Olson has lived by his entire life, along with the rest of the people in The City. This is a well-written dystopian novel that will have you rethinking everything you think you know.

Olson is a young man who starts to question things after the supposed suicide of his favorite teacher, Duncan. Then when he meets Natalie, a young woman from Above, he really begins to wonder. I enjoyed the way the author revealed the hidden aspects of this world as Olson discovered them. It made the story unfold in a realistic and very disturbing way.

In Olson’s own words: “They are lying to you. We are grown, in batches, to serve the people at the top. They kill people who don’t follow along. Anyone who doesn’t fit is defective, and a new person is grown as a replacement.”


“You don’t know what true freedom does to people.”

The characters are well-developed, the story is fast paced, and the world building is great. This book reminded me of a mix of “Ender’s Game” and a dystopian novel. The interaction between Olson, Natalie and Olson’s classmates was great. The book does end on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to want to continue the series!

The narrator does a very good job and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book


Unboxing: Fairyloot Unbreakable Bonds January box

The theme for this months Fairyloot is Unbreakable Bonds and I was fortunate to be in the first dispatch round this time. Whilst I have eliminated most of the those who spoil from my social media some still slip through so I’m pleased that I didn’t have to worry this time. I’m pleased to say that Fairyloot are continuing to put out boxes of a high standard and full of items I’m going to use!

The main item this month was a cushion cover inspired by the Raven Cycle series, it was a unique idea with the cover with one side an image and the other side a quote! It’s a really lovely idea and it worked perfectly, I really hope that they continue to design covers like this in future. Whilst it’s a not a fandom that I’m into I can certainly appreciate the effort and quality, I’m also happy to say that mine is on it’s way to someone who will make great use of it in my place! Yay – there’s a Geeky Clean candle in the box this month too, I adore Geeky Clean products and this Infernal Devices inspired candle features Will and Jem from the series, the tea and sweet sage scent has a real apothecary feel and it’s not going to be too long before it’s lit!

What better way to warm up on a cold January evening than a lovely salted caramel hot chocolate from the Tea Leaf Co. Little Miss Playground and I cracked this open the day I got the box and it’s absolutely yummy! It’s inspired by the characters Lia and Pauline from the Remnant Chronicles. Whilst I’m not vegan myself I was a little concerned to see that whilst saying suitable for vegans on the tin, it then said may contain traces of milk, so if you’re vegan and you have this box just be mindful. Another definite need for a cold day is lip balm and this box featured one from Book and Nook. I loved book and nook candles when they made them so I knew this was going to be a quality item, a quirky combination of mint and violet which is pretty tingly on the lips! This is from another series that I’m yet to read which is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, they are on my never ending wish list though as I love the covers!

One item which isn’t featured in a picture from me this month is the Ink and Wonder woodmark inspired by Lord of the Rings. Whilst those who follow me know how much I love Ink and Wonder, the gorgeous Emily from @emilysbookcorner is a much bigger fan of the books than I am and I knew it would get a much better home with her, unfortunately I sent it before taking an individual pick **facepalm** But I did keep hold of the Six of Crows Inspired hairband from Fairyloot favourite, fiction tea designs, I love the pattern and the headscarf style design is spot on.  The ACOTAR trading cards this month are Feyre and Azriel and I’m totally gutted, because as you’ll see at the end of this post, I’m skipping the February box and I realised too late that I will miss out on the final cards which I’m pretty certain will be Morrigan and Rhysand – sob 😦

The all important book this month is Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye, this absolutely gorgeous hardback edition has lilac sprayed edges and is signed by the author too. I have to admit this book wasn’t on my radar but I can’t wait to start reading! Here’s the blurb:

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.
As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

As I mentioned before, there wont be an unboxing for February next month, the theme is Beast and Beauty and the whole box is inspired by the fairytale. Whilst I like the story I don’t love it and I think that a box would be a waste of money for me, I’ll save my pennies to put towards the Finale special edition box which is likely to be £££! 

Review of This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.
Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.
When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.
But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind

Firstly I’m still sat here reeling after the conclusion of This Cruel Design which I finished yesterday. In a direct continuation from the closing stages of book 1. The Dynamics have changed and understandably so. Cataxus have gone to even greater lengths to try and secure a vaccine by using the cruelest of incentives for their team. Caterina and those with her face themselves in a completely different race against time, thinking back it’s difficult to reconcile that most of what happened takes place in just a few days, but I think that’s because we are often meeting new people and as the book progresses fresh revelations about history and family seem to appear on every page!

With world building a new area arrives in the form of Entropia it’s a kind of a techno shanty town which felt a bit cliche but I don’t know why – I’ve been thinking that it’s been done so much before but really, I’m scratching my head to come up with a comparison. It has a Mad Max meets Ready Player One feel though with the inhabitants almost making them into physical versions of avatars. Its a vibrant oasis where the reader gets to fully understand the capacity of the technology built into humanity. The range of enhancements from aesthetic changes through to integrated hardcore hacking tech is quite a feast for the mind and a long way from the cabins and sterile bunkers of Catarina’s past.

A large part of this book deals with Catarina’s mental struggles as she tries to come to terms with the revelation from book 1 that she is in fact the mysterious Jun Bei in an altered form. Although subtle at first it’s clear to those who knew the Jun Bei of old, that she is trying to break through into Catarina’s conscious. Changes in attitudes and a quicker use of violent tech are the first warning signs and with the encouragement of Mato, Cartaxus’s head of tech, she becomes an almost Jekyl and Hyde character in waiting. It was beautifully done and pretty brutal at times, as the line that Catarina walks becomes finer.

This Cruel Design is full to bursting with revelations, where This Mortal Coil felt very much like a road movie with a condensed cast, it’s very much the opposite here with the introductions of a number of new characters. It did at times however, feel like the tech was in fact the main protagonist/antagonist, it took centre stage far more frequently and really stepped up a notch in content. As with book one I had to really drop back from really trying to understand a lot of the detail and just kind of roll with it. There is definitely a greater sci-fi feel overall.

For me though This Cruel Design for a large part of the book lacked the intensive, heart pounding peril and pace of book 1 – I felt like I was constantly breathless reading This Mortal Coil and whilst that pace can’t continue for ever it did add to the feeling that this book was suffering from middle of the trilogy syndrome. At times when I was feeling overwhelmed with the tech speak I did find myself wondering how much of it really drove the story forward and how much of it could have been condensed down.  However, it did regain it’s pace in the closing stages in quite an epic way. I also found that I was frustrated with the lack of proper medical care taken with a particular injury just moments after the author had indicated how fragile the healing process was – however if that comes back to bite the character in book 3 I’ll happily eat my words.

I did really enjoy this book though, I found myself pretty rocked by a lot of the revelations and it was quite emotional at times. That ending had me totally in shock though and I haven’t decided yet if i’m feeling heartbroken or excited, one things for certain book 3 will not be a dull ride!


Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

Wow has a whole week gone already? It’s not even been an enjoyable week for a wealth of reasons but time flies when you’re having fun apparently! Here’s my five things for this week!

New to my Queue

I’m so happy that one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 has been released! The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan looked to tick all my normal boxes of a misfit team and a bit of a heist! Waterstones points made this a complete bargain too, i’m just forever frustrated that all the Goldsborough editions were snapped up and are now on ebay for nearly £100 – when will this profiteering stop?

Favourite Book(s) this week

I finally got a good amount of time this week to read This Cruel Design, book 2 in the This Mortal Coil series – I attempted a start of this in November I think but then things got in the way and it sadly got pushed aside. I devoured it though in just a few day and whilst it did for me suffer from middle of the trilogy syndrome it did pick up towards the end to make it the page turner that book one had been, I’m going to hopefully have a review up in the next few days!

When I Wasn’t reading

I’m going to be serious for this bit and open up about my actual life a little, which I rarely do. I’m not going to lie, this has been a hard week. It’s a week of very sad anniversaries of the loss of our child through miscarriage and the loss of my father within days of each other, whilst much time has passed now it’s still a painful time and made escaping into books all the more needed. In an effort to make things a little brighter though I did book tickets for me and Little Miss Playground to meet Cressida Cowell (of how to train your dragon fame) in London during the February half term. We’re hoping to get a little sightseeing in whilst we’re there too! Also my January Fairyloot arrived so I need to work on getting an unboxing up!

Pic of the Week

I got this gorgeous edition of Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean in an Illumicrate box and whilst I’ve not yet had a chance to read it I realised that I completely forgot to feature it in a pic! I think because it came in a box which I didn’t love I didn’t take part in the photo challenge so it wasn’t focused in my mind but it has amazing black sprayed edges and I need to make time for it soon!

Looking ahead

Wow if anything, this week has proved that i’m pretty unorganised, I have posts that I need to get up and photos to take – with the smallest playground dweller being quite poorly I don’t see myself getting back on track this week! I’m also paying off a little more for my attendance at Chapter.con in June which looks utterly amazing and I’m looking forward to a once in a lifetime experience to meet authors who have become really great friends. I’ve also applied to be on a panel for the event so fingers crossed! King of Scars also comes out next week and I’m really excited to start my buddy read with the gorgeous Eccentric Owl Reads over on Instagram. We last read Book of Dust together and it was such a great experience!

Have you ever buddy read with anyone?

Greed Cover ReVamp with Karina Espinosa

Title: Greed
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Covers by Christian
Max and his best friend/guardian angel, Jones, are on the run for a month before the first clue leads them to Sin City, Las Vegas, to find the Nephilim of Greed, Nikolai. The combination of Nikolai’s reluctance to help and fear of an unknown force leaves Max full of more questions than answers.
Will Max discover who is hunting the Nephilim? And if he does, can he overcome the forces of evil against them?
In the sequel to Sins of the Fallen, Karina Espinosa pulls readers back to the saga unfolding in the world of angels and demons—a world in which everything begins to fall apart.
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!
Author Links:
Buy Link:
Sins of the Fallen:

Review of Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton

An Epic Battle For Love and Power.

A Fight For Redemption.

One Human Against A Legion of Monsters.

Charlotte Ruzikova finds that she is the freak in her world of magic and monsters. When she stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of survival is slim. Will she vanquish the nightmares, or will there be bloodshed?
Filled with hatred for what he is, Valek condemns himself to a life of solitude. Always hiding in the dark, will he ever let Charlotte’s love in? 
Together, they must fight in the shadows with their league of loveable misfits to survive the light. But will they still be alive at the break of day? 

In Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton, she paints a beautiful fantasy world. She integrates and modifies fantastical creatures like fairies, elves, and shapeshifters into a world that still follows the law of the land in werewolf and vampire lore. That being said, this is not the pick for a reader still tired of the whole “vampire love story thing”. Because that’s definitely what this is with certain elements akin to Anne Rice’s characters Louise DePointe and Claudia. There were a few things to nit-pick. Charlotte had a number of injuries, particularly a head injury, that were very down played, to a point of infeasibility. There were also quite a few word confusions and misspellings. The civil war plot begins to develop in the thick of the character development, and for a few chapters, it seems that the bigger picture is going to be overcast with the romance, but that proves not to be the case later on in the book. Some of the magic later in the novel seemed convenient, but that could be easily overlooked if that same magic is incorporated into the rest of the series in a meaningful way. All of that aside, the point of view changes are smooth and easy to follow. Charlotte is a strong female protagonist, always a bonus. Valek isn’t entirely an overbearing, draconian male protagonist, double bonus! Every single character received the same full and luscious backstory as the main few, a feat in and of itself! Leighton seems almost to have invented a new genre of Romantic Horror with this world. Her love stories intertwine like a Lifetime special, her drama escalates like Game of Thrones, and her imagery is equivocal to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. With Charlotte, facing life and death decisions that may not be choices after all and the elves still up to mischief, I can’t wait to read book two and give book one four stars.

Author Interview with Lindsey S. Frantz!

At the end of 2018 review team member K.D. Reid read and loved The Upworld by Lindsey S. Frantz, so when the opportunity arose to find out more about the author and the world she had created, it was a no brainer! With special thanks to K.D Reid for coming up with these great questions and, of course, Linsdey S. Frantz for taking part!

Q: For those new to you as an author, let’s cover what got you into writing.

When I was about 13, I was at my Papa Cardona’s house visiting with my family. My uncle Vaughn, who’s about my age, was reading a book about dragons, and I’d forgotten my book at home (I always had a book with me), so I asked to borrow one. He let me borrow DRAGONSEYE by Anne McCaffrey. From the moment I started reading it, I knew I wanted to do what McCaffrey did. It wasn’t her best book, and it was in the middle of the series, but completely fell in love with Pern, the planet where the dragons  and their riders lived, and the dragons themselves. That was 20 years ago, and now I own MOST of her books, and have read everything of hers I can get my hands on.

Q: Where did you get the idea for Vitium?

Honestly, I needed something that could mutate people, or their brain chemistry, that didn’t have any rules already attached to it. At first, I was going to use nuclear waste, but I wanted to have more freedom with the side effects than that would allow. So I created my own substance and started looking up Latin words that might fit it. Vitium, in Latin, can mean fault, crime, or vice. I thought, since Vitium is the culmination of pollutants gathering and congealing over centuries, that it was an appropriate word. It’s the fault of modern man, it’s a crime against Mother Nature, and at some point in the books it will become a vice for some.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit of backstory about The Wylden without giving away anything about Book 2 or giving away spoilers for The Upworld? A big ask, I know!

I think so! So, in book two, Erilyn will go on a journey to try and figure out some stuff about the Wylden. I don’t want to say too much about that, since it’s all still in progress. But—and I think this is OK, since Erilyn realizes a little of it in bits and pieces in book 1—while the Wylden seem like animals, they’re people just like the upworlders and just like the cave dwellers. I won’t say how, but Vitium plays a big part in their lives, just like it’s played a big part in Erilyn’s life. And as Erilyn discovers various truths about Vitium and the Wylden, it changes her perception of them and of the entire world around her.

Q: How many of your characters have traits of or were based off of people you’ve known in real life? And what are the other ways that you build a character?

I think all of my characters have at least one or two traits or characteristics from people I know. Sometimes I do it intentionally, and other times I realize I’ve done it after the fact, but I see a lot of my family and friends in my characters. And then other times, I’ll create a character with the intention of basing him or her off of someone I know, but they’ll take on a life of their own and the only similarity might be some piece of backstory the reader will never even see. When I create any character, though, it usually starts off with a single trait. It may be a physical characteristic like their eye color or an expression, or it may be a way they behave—shy, talkative, mean—and they sort of grow from there. I also like to get to know my characters as I write them. Before I wrote THE UPWORLD, Erilyn lived in my head for about ten years. She was waiting for the right story, I think, because I tried to put her into a lot of stories before THE UPWORLD was born. That being said, even though I don’t usually let characters sit in my brain for a whole decade, I do like to let characters live in my head until they mature to a point that they’re ready for their story. That may be a week and it may be years, but I don’t like to really write them until they’re ready to be written. I guess I kind of went off the rails with that question. So, short answer, most, if not all, of my characters have at least something about them based on people I know.

Q: In The Upworld, we get two different perspectives: Erilyn and Finn. Erilyn’s view is first person and Finn’s was third person, if I recall correctly. What made you decide to use two different points of view?

Well, at first it was going to be purely from Erilyn’s point of view, but there was a lot that I realized I couldn’t share if it was a close first person POV. So I added Finn! In the first draft with Finn’s POV, both characters were in third person, but I felt like the voices of the two characters became two similar like that. I wasn’t sure if having Erilyn’s POV in first person and Finn’s in third would work, but in the end I was happy with it. It helped me keep their narrative voices straight in my head, and I think it helps the reader differentiate between the two. I’d also read UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi a few months before I started writing my book, and she does a truly wonderful job of utilizing two characters’ points of view, which made me want to give it a shot. Hopefully I did both points of view justice.

Q: Considering all of the different parts of how an author gets their work published, what was your favorite part of putting this book together?

Honestly, my very favorite part was typing the last sentence, and then starting the first revision. Revision is something I’ve always really, really enjoyed. I compare it in my head to baking a cake. Writing the book is like mixing all the ingredients and putting it in the oven to bake. It can be a long, complicated process, but putting all the raw pieces together to create something bigger is fascinating. But the FUN part is icing the cake. You can cut the cake into pieces to create a new shape, ice it, and just in general have fun as you change it into something new. Icing it, for me, is like the revision. And then, of course, the day that Amanda from Line by Lion Publications actually offered me a book deal, that was a pretty amazing part too. (And THAT was the understatement of the century. I got her email. I cried. I laughed. I cried more.)

Q: What was your favorite book that you read in 2018? Why did it speak to you?

I started a new job last year, so I didn’t have a lot of time to read, but my husband got me a book for Christmas that once I started reading I couldn’t put down—SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a sci-fi YA novel with a protagonist that I am nothing like, and yet, I really felt like I understood her. She was rough and rowdy on the outside with huge ambitions, but on the inside she was like every other nervous, teenage girl faced with big life choices. I’m not sure why I loved it so much, but I did. I could easily read it again, and again, and again.

Q: We like to round off our interviews with this question!  Fictional 5: Can you choose 5 fictional characters or authors that you would love to invite for a dinner party, what would make them such great guests?

The five authors I’d like to invite over would have to be Anne McCaffrey, JK Rowling, Veronica Rossi, Suzanne Collins, and Elizabeth Hayden. All five of these women have had such a huge influence on my writing, and I would LOVE to be able to just sit and talk with them, or just listen to them to talk to each other, about writing and life and everything in between. Anne McCaffrey inspired me to write. JK Rowling inspired me to dream as big as I could and to keep workin and trying. Veronica Rossi inspired me to try challenging the “rules” as I knew them (like staying in 1 POV at a time). Suzanne Collins inspired me to not be afraid to push the boundaries of what’s acceptable. And Elizabeth Hayden inspired me to write beautifully and to dig deep into my stories. A conversation with all five of them would be life changing and brilliant.

What a great interview, Skyward was certainly a 5 star read for this blog too! Thank you again to Lindsey S Frantz and K.D Reid for making this post possible. If that has piqued your interest in The Upworld it’s currently available through Amazon and you can find the link to our 5 star review here!

Review of the Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson

Twin Sisters: one destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.
Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.
After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil  residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: she is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.
While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.
As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: save her sister, or protect their world?

Adie and Aura have always been close but things start to change when the sneak into the room holding the Rokis which Aura will one day where and Adie gets a glimpse of her future. This book sucks you in from the beginning, the world they live in, the different beings that reside there as well as the regiment rules they live by fascinate as well as make you sad like the room of papers. The characters are great as you can relate to them as they are flawed as well as trying to do whats right, but boy there are times where you want to shake them and make them really think about what they are doing. There is plenty of mystery, hope, loss and twists that unfold as you see Adie and Aura become who they are meant to be and the ending, well lets just say I can’t wait to read book 2!

Review of Apocalypse Five (Archive of the Fives #1) by Stacey Rourke

The end of the world is coming. How or when, scientists can’t agree upon. For decades, Earth’s best line of defense has been a team of young soldiers known as the Apocalypse Five, forced into virtual reality simulations to train for Doom’s Day. But, this is no game. Death on the grid is brutally final and calls up the next in a long line of cadets. Stationed aboard the AT-1-NS Starship, the A5 are celebrities thrust into the limelight by a calling they didn’t choose. All it takes is one unscheduled mission, showing seventeen-year-old team leader Detroit a harsh and unfathomable reality, to shake the A5’s belief in all they thought they knew. After questioning people with the power to destroy them, the team is framed for a crime they didn’t commit and marked for death. Now, the hunt is on. Can the Apocalypse Five expose the truth the starship would kill to keep hidden? Or, will their bravery end in a public execution?

Meet the Apocalypse Five, a band of rockstar status soldiers going into deadly battles whilst living a big brother house existence. In a Buffy esque “when one slayer dies another is chosen” world, cadets are nothing but numbers until a calling into the A5 grants them a name, for Detroit and her team, they are the longest running A5 group and have garnered far higher celebrity status than most.  The idea that this team are being watched both privately and on the field for the enjoyment of the masses is pretty tough to swallow, and sets the tone that the world we’re seeing has almost forgotten that children as young as 13 are being put in deadly scenarios. What makes that society worse for me is the ghoulish product placement that the team need to find time for whilst fighting for their lives. Yet this is normal and had the impact that for me as a reader, I often had to remind myself of just how young they are. There is a clear influence from the Hunger Games in the early stages of the book and I felt at times that it was struggling to form it’s own identity, but when the tables turn about 1/3 a way in it very much comes into its own.

As far as world building goes, much is left to the imagination as Apocalypse Five is very much story driven. The pace is pretty relentless, so pages about the space station would have detracted from that. Whilst I’m usually a world building girl, I can appreciate why the author chose not to go down that route this time. One thing that this book has is a HUGE twist, you can kind of see it coming not long before the team do, but it turns the entire story on it’s head. It’s a real mic drop moment as the enormity settles. Interestingly the story moves into 2 parallel paths as we also come to understand how the children became part of the space station crew, it’s a point which slowly burns alongside adding some anxiety to the pace.

I found the characters pretty interesting, It could be easy to be flippant about their depth, but these are children who have grown with very little nurturing and ability to explore their emotions. Their days are spent watching others die and waiting to hear if it would be their turn next, that’s going to stunt anyone. I think it was a brave move to have these characters very shut down, with only false bravado for the camera’s where they know they are wanted. Their use of different coping strategies is actually a little heartbreaking when you have a 17 year old alcoholic and a 13 year old obsessed with old movies of a happier time. I realise that I am painting them as a sad bunch – but their friendship is rock solid and that’s what makes them endearing and a formidable team.

Unfortunately the author painted herself into a difficult corner, in that the premise and the twist are so intrinsically linked that for the first 3rd of the book, I’m sorry to say, I was pretty baffled by what the wider arc was. I don’t mind books that hit the ground running but it needs to be quickly backed up with context, otherwise the narrative stutters.  It becomes clear why it had to be that way as the story continues, but it did mean that I struggled to get into an early flow. At one point I thought my ebook had started beyond a prologue so I stopped and went back… this was quite a big issue for me so I’ve reduced the rating down accordingly.

Apocalypse Five is a fast paced read with a real cinematic feel, Detroit walking along a rocket launcher decimated beach described as looking like a goddess of chaos and war, was one of my favourite lines – and gives you an idea of the scale. It has plenty of feels without being sappy and is thought provoking without even realising. I initially thought this was a standalone but those last lines will want you clamouring for book 2!


Bookish Ramblings: Five things Friday

It’s Five things Friday time so here is my round up of my week in and out of books!

  1. New to my Queue

I received some wonderful bookmail this week! My lovely friend and Author, Rebecca Gibson sent me a copy of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. I read Red Queen in December and I really loved it, although I only got the first 3 books as they came in a set, so she very kindly rounded off my collection 🙂

2 My Favourite Book(s) this week

One of my favourite series at the moment is The Return of the Elves series by Bethany Adams. It’s an adult fantasy romance and Abyss is book 5 in the series. I loved that it was a real change to previous books, in that the tone is much darker – it was what the series really needed to keep it feeling fresh and I adored it. Abyss was interesting as it gave focus to the fact that the coveted Soulbond doesn’t always mean love. Also, Dragons!

3. When I wasn’t reading

Honestly, I think reading has been pretty much my life this week. I did however support a new small candle business, called Whizzpop candles, their candles are adorned with gorgeous little wax melts and I have been following their story on instagram for a couple of months, their store opened on Tuesday and if you want to take a look at there creative ideas you can find them on Etsy here  Today I also booked tickets for me and Little Miss Playground to meet Cressida Cowell (of How to Train your Dragon fame) in London next month – she’s having a party in Waterstones, Picadilly and we’ll probably head to a few other places whilst we are there!

4. Pic of the Week

This week something extraordinary happened in that I had the highest like count of a pic ever! I ordered some new props and had an idea in my head for a pic to celebrate the release of Evermore for a while. I loved how it turned out, and so did lots of others 😀

5. Looking Ahead

I’m hoping to start the first of my re-reads this week, with Harry Potter and the Philopsopher’s Stone, I’ve wanted to re-read these for an age as my mind is so skewed now by having seen the films more regularly that I’ve forgotten most of the finer points. I’m also looking forward to my Fairyloot arriving, it’s due tomorrow, the theme is Unbreakable Bonds. February I am skipping as i’m not a big enough fan of Beauty and the Beast to justify a whole box based on it, but I’m going to keep the money aside as they have announced that their first ever special edition box will be theme on Finale which is the 3rd and final book in Stephanie Garber’s Caraval trilogy – i’m excited!