Review of Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…
For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.
When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

This was a great read, I liked the characters, you could feel the torment the Sandman had for what he had done to Nora 5 years early as well as the need to need to keep the balance of Light and Dark. Nora lives a life of lies pretending she no longer believes in the Sandman and he was just her coping mechanism when her parents divorced. Now Weaver who rules the nightmares wants what Sandman gave Nora 5 year ago and will stop at nothing to get it including forcing someones worst nightmare onto them sending them crazy and the ending was a great twist. There is plenty of terror and hope in this book I just wish we had more background in regards to Sandman, Weaver and their world so you could connect more with that side of things, hopefully the next books builds that world up for us.

Solid 3.5 star

Six for Sunday: Bookish Loves

I’m going back to do a January prompt for #sixforsunday this week, the prompt for today is favourite LGBT characters but as I discussed last week, I have read far too few LGBT reads and can’t really fill the prompts – as I hadn’t discovered this until last week there are in fact over a years worth of prompts I can go back and draw from. Today I have chosen Bookish Loves!

Hidden Covers

I find it immensely satisfying to have a hardback book with a hidden cover, I love to pull back the dust jacket and admire the pretty! From the mystery covers of Stephanie Garbers Caraval Series, (although I super happy to have got the Shattered Crown card on my copy of Legendary) through to advertised covers like the ones on Circe and King of Scars, these are gorgeous extras and I’m glad that publishers are doing more of them.

Special editions

It’s pretty exciting when a special edition of a favourite read is released, I promised myself I wouldn’t get sucked in to buying multiple editions of the same books (says the girl with 3 different versions of the Philosopher’s Stone – but Harry Potter doesn’t count, ok?) but publishers have done such a great job that I just can’t say no. My 2 favourite special editions are Six of Crows, which I got as a birthday gift, and Throne of Glass, which I justified getting as it was a Black Friday deal. Wonderful extras such as new and improved maps (who doesn’t love a good map,) Ribbon bookmarks and unique chapter headers and illustrations make for a whole new reading experience.

Standalones

Whilst I love the character developments and long reaching story arcs of a series, I have to admit I do miss reading stand alone stories. Whilst a regular feature of contemporary books, most sci-fi and fantasy run to often lengthy series. For me there is something really satisfying about knowing everything is going to be wrapped up by the last page, every chapter is full of information that you have to know and usually makes for a faster paced read, I proved this to myself again this week with The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James.

Heists

I do love a good misfit band who have to complete an insurmountable goal, my favourite group is, of course, The Dregs, Kaz Brekker et al in Six of Crows in possibly the most elaborate heist put to paper (in my humble opinion.) I very much enjoyed the Gilded Wolves too, there is just something thrilling about seeing how the well planned pieces come together and every character bringing their own special skills to the mix

HEA

Lets be honest, who doesn’t love a happy ever after? Characters that we have become attached to, watched grow and evolve and achieve great things, it’s only right that we would want to see them succeed and have everything they ever dreamed of at the end. This is even more important in a long series, I feel, as the attachment is much greater.

Fandoms

There is nothing better than loving a book and then finding someone else who loves it just as much as you do. I have found a kindred spirit in author Rebecca Gibson and we regularly fangirl over the works of Sarah J Maas! Being able to talk through thoughts on characters and the feelings that certain set pieces left you with is such an important part of the reading process and really enhances the whole experience.

Come tell me what your bookish loves are, I would love to know if you agree with any of mine!

 

 

Review of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .
 

I went into this book completely blind, I didn’t even read the blurb. It was entirely on the basis of all the great things I had heard about it, I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t know what to expect at all and I found myself wonderfully surprised and utterly enthralled in a “carrying my kindle around the house with me at all times” kind of way. It’s told in a first person diary style from the point of view of 16 year old Romy, left alone to maintain and continue the mission of the spaceship Infinity in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Romy is a wonderfully naive character, I found her completely endearing. She is a young girl without an agenda, she is open and honest and understandably desperate for company. Having grown up on a diet of romance books and the light hearted romantic procedural drama’s contained within the Infinity’s database, her romantic notions and ideals are obviously unrealistic, so it’s no wonder she finds herself so captivated by the charasmatic J.

The immediate thing that struck me about this book was the sympathetic portrayal of anxiety and mental health. It would have been easy to have Romy as skipping around watering plants and watching old movies, but she is portrayed as a girl just about keeping her head above the proverbial water, it will certainly strike a chord with those who suffer from anxiety and I often found myself nodding along in understanding to her actions.

The Infinity is a great back drop to the story, it will bring forward images from cinematic space craft in your mind and there are plenty in my mind to choose from! It feels like a homely vessel, with little in the way of in your face AI, it often felt like Romy was just wandering through her apartment rather than an intergalactic craft seeking out a new world.

What I loved most about this book was how it seamlessly flipped genres, it was a small seed which started to grow and form and had me second guessing (I was still wrong,) and before I knew it I was reading a thriller with no let up on pace. Short, sharp chapters adding to the tension every step of the way. The story was one that I found very easy to read right from the start so I felt like I could barely keep up with myself towards the closing stages and everything had to be dropped until I could get it finished.

I have tried to be as vague as I can with this review whilst impressing how much I loved the story because saying even the smallest thing will be a spoiler for this brilliantly crafted tale. I think if you can go into it knowing little more than the blurb it will be all the more satisfying for it. It was the first book by Lauren James that I have read and on the strength of this writing I’m certainly going to be looking at more by this author – the icing on the cake for me though is that this is a standalone, I’ve missed reading a story from start to finish in one go and this has certainly made me thirst for more standalone reads.

This can only be a 5 star read for me!

Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

Sorry it’s a bit late today, I blame Lauren James (see below) but here is my five things this Friday!

New to my Queue

One of the most exciting things in my time as a blogger has happened, I have been sent an ARC from Bloomsbury publishing who have accepted me on to their reviewer list. The first book I have received is Dark Blade by Steve Feasey, it’s not due for general release until July – because I want to make a good first impression i’m going to bump this up the tbr, I really hope that I love it as I would like to be able to leave a positive review for the first book they have sent me.

Favourite Book(s) this week

Oh my! If you’ve not read Lauren James’s The Loneliest Girl in the Universe yet, please do consider adding it to your tbr lists. I’ve read it in under a day and it’s something pretty special. A YA sci-fi standalone, it’s told in a first person perspective of a 17 year old dealing with being the sole remaining crew member on a mission to locate a second Earth. It deals superbly with mental health issues, specifically anxiety and survivors guilt. It is full of twists which even I failed to see coming, it’s a 5* for sure!

When I wasn’t reading

It’s been a long week in the muggle job and I have also been working on formatting in the evenings so I have to admit I’ve not done much else. I entered into a rep search on Instagram for a new pop culture based candle store called Whizzpop Candles, sadly I didn’t get selected for Bookish Burns but it didn’t stop me picking up some of their candles this week, they released a special King of Scars candle which I’m hoping will arrive before I finish reading the book so I can have it burning at the same time. I have these little quirks where I try and match a bookmark and candle into the book I’m reading – although I realise I’ve now brought this back round to reading when it’s the “when I wasn’t reading” section!

Pic of the week

Monday was World Cancer Day and to mark this I selected Utterances by Jo Michael’s for my tribute. Utterances gives a pretty unique take on treating those who are suffering, it’s an emotional one for sure, but the fantasy element keeps it well on balance.

Looking Ahead

I’ve got a Geeky Clean order arriving very soon, it’s their Bath House of the Spirits Collection, inspired by Studio Ghibli! This range looks fantastic and Little Miss Playground will be joining me for an unboxing on my IG stories, I’ll post an unboxing on the blog too so don’t worry if you’re not on IG!

Hell Bound Series Tour and Giveaway with Kathy Dinisi

A
Vacation From Hell
The
Hell Bound Series Book 1
by
Kathy Dinisi
Genre:
Horror, Thriller
 
Hell
Bound is the first Novella in a post-apocalyptic series.

 

 

How
far would you go to save your family?

 

 

Sam
and Mathew finally get a chance to go on a train ride to the Grand
Canyon– alone. Leaving their two kids back in California, they are
excited for a weekend of rest.

 

 

When
a zombie Apocalypse breaks out, the couple must try to fight their
way back to California to see if their kids are still alive. In this
harrowing story of love and survival in a world that is crumbling by
death and destruction, we follow Sam and Mathew through their
struggle to reunite with their children.

 

 
 
A
World Apart
The
Hell Bound Series Book 2
 
Mathew
and Sam fought their way back home to where their kids were supposed
to be waiting. Instead they find out they have already moved on with
Sam’s parents to seek safety.

 

Now
they are in a rush to be back with their kids, fighting hordes of
flesh eating zombies ,gaining and losing friends along the way.

 

In
a world full of death and destruction where the dead come to life and
the living are just as bad as the dead, will Mathew and Sam find
their kids before its too late or die trying?

 

 
 
Till
Death Do Us Part
The
Hell Bound Series Book 3
 
Sam
and Mathew have come so far to receive the bad news that the safe
haven is no longer safe. No one can tell them where their kids are.
Trained soldiers have retreated, and all are too scared to fight
against the raging zombies. A stranded Soldier offers them his help
to find their family but will it be enough to fight all the obstacles
in their way? Can Mathew and Sam survive their last journey?

 
 
The
End is Near
The
Hell Bound Series Book 4
 
Three
years after the apocalypse Sam and her three kids continue their life
in the safe haven. Well,as safe as they can be. The military is at a
constant battle to keep the walls standing but the zombie herd just
keeps growing stronger by each passing day and keeps finding their
way into the compound that once protected everyone.
Supplies
are running low, weapons are far and few. Now Sam must help a group
of soldiers find weapons and food. Her journey continues with her
fighting to save the only home she has left and the only family still
living.
The
End Is Near is the fourth book in the Hell Bound series but can be
read as a standalone. To understand Sam’s story you may want to read
the Hell Bound series from the beginning.

 

 
 
Kathy
Dinisi is an award winning author,Amazon best seller, International
best sellier. She is born and raised in Southern California where she
currently resides with her husband and two kids. She usually spends
her time watching Horror movies and reading a good old horror Novel.
She enjoys crazy hikes to unknown places you usually cant find on a
map, where she gets her crazy ideas.
 
 
Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Review of The Rise of the Resistance (Atmospheric Pressure #2) by Aaron Frale

Olson is trapped in a city that is on the hunt for him. He has nowhere to run as the whole place is sealed from the toxic atmosphere. Nobody wants to help him until he meets a scientist who knows his true origins. Meanwhile, back home, his friends are caught under the thumb of a brutal regime, until they decide to fight back.

This book picks up exactly where the first book stopped and It is definitely NOT a standalone. If you haven’t read the first book, you won’t understand what is going on with this one.

That being said, the book starts with Natalie, her father, and Olson leaving The City, trying to reach another city because of the tyranny of Natalie’s uncle, Eric. At the end of the first book, Eric has taken over as Dictator and forced our trio to flee for their lives. When their oxygen starts running out, Natalie and Olson make the decision to head out and leave her father behind, hoping for the best.

When they arrive at the new city, they begin to realize that their lives are still in danger, even though they have gotten away from Eric’s regime (or have they?). Olson begins to learn more about his parentage and possible reasons for the unique circumstances surrounding his birth.

Meanwhile, back in The City, some of Olson’s friends don’t like the way things are going and decide to start a revolt against Eric and his Red Bands. Living in the ventilation shafts of their school, they watch the horrors of the new regime and try to rescue as many of the students as they can before they are forced to participate in barbaric games against each other. The only way out is kill or be killed.

In this book, the author also introduces us to a scientist from the past, Dr. Helena Gomez, as she learns more about the dangerous red mist that seems to be invading the planet. Helena tries to convince world leaders that climate change is very real and is threatening humanity. But, nobody seems interested in listening. I enjoyed following Helena’s path of discovery and found the possibility of this red mist’s origin to be very intriguing.

However, it was a little difficult to follow the author’s progression in this book. I think that he was trying to make the reader figure out what was happening by not telling us that Helena’s story was the beginning of the saga of Olson and his contemporaries. It took me several chapters before I finally realized that Helena was a character from the beginning of the problems and the building of the enclosed cities.

Also, Helena’s story jumped forward a lot (rather abruptly) and it was a little hard to follow. In one chapter, she was leaving The City behind, then she was halfway across the world without any explanation. This sort of thing happened several times and it make the story hard to follow. Some of her actions were a little unbelievable at times and make me question her intelligence.

This series is interesting and shows a lot of potential and I look forward to continuing it. I wonder if I was actually reading the book instead of listening if the flow would be better. The narrator does a pretty good job in his performance, but I did find myself losing track at times.

The author has definitely created a world that strikes fear into a reader who has a scientific background or just loves to read dystopian tales. He brings up a lot of scary scenarios that I could see actually happening, with ethical questions at every turn. How far would humanity go in order to save our species? And, how far should we be allowed to go in order to do so? It really makes the reader think about the implications of a world facing destruction.

3*

Six for Sunday – Favourite LGBT Books

I’ve discovered a new weekly prompt from following @fantasticbooks_awtft which is #sixforsunday. It’s attributed to alittlebutalot.com It looks pretty great and I’ll see how I get on with it, it would be nice to make it a regular feature too if I get the time!

Now here’s the thing, this month’s prompts are all about LGBT reads and do you know what, I have read painfully few LGBT books. I’m not part of the community and it seems that a lot of LGBT is contemporary which I’m not a fan of, so I’m having to cheat a little with this one. I’m bending the rules (I know, I know It’s not the best way to start) and featuring a combination of my favourite LGBT reads and ones that I want to read!

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee

17 year old Ember realises that she’s no normal girl, her preferences for spending time with the dead make sense when she is thrust into a family she didn’t know she had. Enter her reaper cousin Kai and brooding werewolf Rhys. These characters and their will they/wont they partnership bring about some of the best moments in the story, their dialogue is fantastic and things do get pretty swoonworthy as the series goes on!

Red Sun Rises by Victoria Kinnaird

I was lucky enough to win a copy of the ebook box set of this series from the author and I devoured all 3 books and short stories in a week. It’s a YA series and the story of Eren Anderson, small town outcast with a big hidden history. Fledgling feelings towards his closest friend are quickly quashed by the arrival of charismatic vampire Corbijn and when Eren finds himself unexpectedly thrown into the vampire world, it’s not just his emerging sexuality that he has to embrace. Although a LGBT read it’s far from the focal point of the story which had me absolutely captivated and full of emotion.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

This is the first on my list of want to read! One of my best bookish friends adores this book and although a historical piece the characters and the story line make me feel that this is actually not really a focal point. I’m hoping to pick it up on audiobook so it can keep me company on the journey’s to work.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This was an unexpected LGBT read for me, much of advanced information about the story focused on the trigger warnings for the sexual violence, so I was surprised to be taken in by what is essentially a really quite beautiful love story underneath. I know that this is a fairly new release still so I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it.

Simon vs The Homo Sapians Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The next on my want to read list – this is a big one for me as it’s one of the few contemporary books that caught my eye last year. It again comes highly recommended so I’ll have to hope I have a need for a contemporary fix this year, or I could just watch the movie 🙂

The Pairing Fire by Rebecca Gibson

So this isn’t a typical one for the list in that it’s not a book which has yet been published. It’s currently out for query by the author and I had the huge privilege of being an early reader. Pitched as a LGBT Tristan and Isolde retelling, it’s told in a dual POV between both it’s gay and asexual leads. It’s nothing short of brilliantly written and conveys the hopes and fears of the leads with emotion, depth and a few hand fan worthy moments. I wish Rebecca Gibson all the good luck in the world in getting this picked up for publication, here’s her blurb!

Sent by the gods themselves the Pairing Fire is meant to be worshipped, but to Eris it’s just another way for the spoilt boy king to control his empire. So when she’s paired with King Trystan, despite not being of noble birth, her hopes of freedom shatter.

As Eris struggles to come to terms with her new gilded cage the castle descends into uproar. An uneducated girl from Black Valley cannot be the future queen. Haunted by her past and terrified of the future, Eris is desperate to escape.

Until an otherworldly voice urges her to stay.

But with Trystan entangled in a forbidden romance that could cost his crown, Eris and Trystan are left with one choice: they must seek answers from the voice only they can hear. A voice tying them together in unexpected ways.

After all, the Fire never lies.

High Stakes Release Blitz with Casey L. Bond.

Title: High Stakes
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA PNR, Dystopian/SciFi
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer, Photog & Trailer Made By: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Model: Breanna Ellis
Publication Date: Feb. 1st, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
Her name is Eve, and she was aptly named. The first female accepted into the Asset program, she was the first to rise to the top. She would also be the first woman to travel back in time, assigned with one target in mind: Enoch – one of the first vampires to walk the earth. Her mission was simple: Land, shove her stake through Enoch’s black heart, run to safety, and jump off something really high so she could warp back home and carve out the life she’s always wanted.
The only problem was that time travel was more complicated than anyone realized. She was supposed to travel back seven days, but instead, landed in the middle of England in the year 1348, during the time of the Black Plague.
Enoch never kept his true nature a secret. As a wealthy landowner, he protected and provided for the people under his care, and in exchange, they were more than willing to provide the scant amounts of blood he needed to survive. When a strange young woman showed up at his gate in the midst of the plague and then fell ill, he nursed her back to health.
He’d never met anyone like Eve. She was intelligent and witty, and the most beautiful creature he’d ever laid eyes upon. And, he learned, the most dangerous.
 

 Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.


You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 

Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

Rounding up my week with a Five things Friday as usual 🙂

New to my Queue

IT’S HERE! I have this gorgeous exclusive signed Waterstones edition of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – It feels like forever ago that I pre-ordered this! Nikolai was the saving grace of the Grisha Trilogy for me, I loved every moment he was on the page, so when a duology purely based on him was announced I just had to get in there.

Favourite Book(s) this week

Very little book completion this week, I managed a re-read of Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone though which is always awesome!

When I wasn’t reading

It’s been the last week before payday so it’s been a pretty quiet week and It’s involved rather more TV than usual. We’ve caught up with the ABC Murders from Christmas, got totally sucked in by the new series of True Detective, Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch made out heads figuratively explode and New Girl is still my favourite programme ever. I’ve been a little disappointed with the opening episodes of the Orville and Star Trek Discovery so I hope they’ll pick up, even if they don’t I have plenty to read!

Pic of the Week

It’s always a little bit special when the author who’s book you feature in a pic takes the time to like and comment. I loved State of Sorrow last year and realised it had been a while since I featured it in one of my pics, so armed with some new props I took this one in an effort to recreate the feel of the cover, Melinda Salisbury commented and and it really did make my day!

Looking Ahead

Now that pay day has arrived I’ve been able to order quite a large amount of the Geeky Clean “Bath house of the Spirits” collection, so if you’re a fan of Ghibli then keep an eye out for an unboxing! It’s also the smallest playground dwellers belated birthday party tomorrow so i’m preparing for soft play madness and pokemon 🙂