Review of The Fever King by Victoria Lee

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

Firstly this book was a complete cover draw, it’s amazing and utterly eye catching, and when I discovered whilst reading it was a dystopian too that completely sealed it that this would be a book for me. Whilst the Magic virus is never fully explained, it’s certainly an interesting take on an apocalyptic scenario and it’s refreshing to have the result of an outbreak not end in zombies. The result of surviving Magic? Witchings, people with magical capabilities from healing to telepathy, or in the case of our protagonist Noam, an ability to control technology.  Through going in blind I also didn’t realise that this book had such a intense LGBTQIA theme, this went hand in hand with the story perfectly and in a plot that clearly places diversity high on it’s agenda, the acceptance of and high proportion of Witching’s who are queer feels like a much needed social comment.

There really is a ton going on and the story has a very fast paced feel (which was I was shocked when the characters towards the end said it had been a year) it’s easy to miss something important and I found myself rechecking a few times to make sure I was on track. But that’s the thing with The Fever King, it keeps you on an edge very much with Noam who is often battling and becoming embroiled in something far bigger as his desire to reach his lofty goal reaches fever pitch. As the story progressed and I understood, I felt that this was a pretty genius piece of story weaving and really raised the story up.

The magic and urban fantasy elements for me then sadly took a back step as The Fever King becomes an ode to the political – challenging preconceptions on refugees, social class, and balancing humanity and human rights atrocities. It’s tough to read at times and hard not to reflect on current affairs. Whilst I did like this aspect as it was unexpected and very well considered, I did find myself often wishing the story told us more about the magic and Noam’s interactions with others like him. There are helpful snippets of background dotted throughout though which at first seem abstract but really help to drive the story forward as the purpose of what we’re being told becomes clearer. I know this is the first part of a duology and with latter revelations in the story I’m hopeful that more will become clear in the conclusion.

Whilst I did enjoy The Fever King I found that it was perhaps a little too politics heavy and for that it’s a 4* for me.


Bookish Ramblings: Five things Friday

Hooray it’s weekly wrap up day!

New to my Queue

My lovely blogging relationship with Titan Books continues with Warlock Holmes – The Sign of the Nine by G.S. Denning. It’s book 4 of the series but I hopeful that it can be happily read as a standalone. I have honestly read myself ragged this week with Negalley (I am not requesting anything for the whole of April) and my kindle has started giving me headaches so picking back up with paper will sooth the eyes, and the soul with a comedy  – I so need this book right now!

Favourite read(s) this week

I admit that I’m struggling so hard to get into Priory of the Orange Tree, honestly, I know it sounds petty but I hate the font and it’s impossible to hold – i’m not abandoning it though, far from it, it’s just going to be a background read for the next few weeks I think. However, Viper by Bex Hogan is freakin amazing, I thought I loved Dark Shores last week but Viper is just out of this world exceptional – I adored every page of high seas goodness and whilst it’s not for the faint hearted in parts it was just unputdownable for me.

When I wasn’t reading

Honestly, I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing this week (note to self, check the date that books are being shelved on Negalley before requesting them) but I’ve also been thinking again for some more informative blog posts – rather than those that are tag based. My main one at the moment is the “Indie Authors Guide to Arc readers” as I have seen some real misconceptions going around recently which I feel I need to contribute to. My Fairyloot also arrived yesterday which was utterly amazing and worthy of the title anniversary box, I’m going to try and get an unboxing up tomorrow but we’ll see. It’s mother’s day in the UK on Sunday so I fully intend to be doing very little whilst my little ones do a lot.

Pic of the Week

I’ve been taking part in a week long photo challenge on IG this week sponsored by (amongst others) the lovely Whizzpop Candles and Wizarding Letters who are firm merch favourites in this house! The most popular of the tags this week has been the fairytale retelling prompt which was the perfect excuse to show of the Whizzpop Mermaid candle – remember you can save 10% at their Etsy store by using my code Paperbacks10

Looking ahead

This week I intend to do very little reading. Arc’s have left me spent and I don’t want to destroy my reading love by doing too much. Once I have my reviews typed up I’m going to then spend most evenings catching up on Netflix and playing Zelda. I have’t yet decided on my April TBR but I’m looking at the moment at finishing off Priory, re-reading Legendary (with the lovely Sylv from Whizzpop) before Finale in May, and possibly Warcross. My self imposed book buying ban will continue and despite the wealth of books I want to buy, I’m feeling strong in my commitment to the unread pages on my shelf.

Reap Freebie Book Blitz with Casey L. Bond.

Title: Reap
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
The remnants of the United States of America have been divided. From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers.
In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greaters’ engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.
Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew?
Buy Links:
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page. And she hopes you love the worlds she creates and all the characters floating around in her head.
Casey is the award-winning author Frenzy series and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse.

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

Innocent Release Blitz with Jo Michaels

Title: Innocent
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach with INDIE Books Gone Wild
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
I’m as innocent as a newborn baby. I swear. I didn’t kill those men
They threw me in a mental hospital to cover up the real killer’s crimes. I have no idea why, but I have theories.
Let me tell you my story so you can decide if I’m guilty or innocent.
Get it Now FREE!!
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords
Jo Michaels loves writing novels that make readers gasp in horror, surprise, and disbelief.

While her browser search history has probably landed her on a list somewhere, she still dives into every plot with gusto, hoping “the man” will realize she’s a writer and not a psychopath about to go on a rampage. Her favorite pastimes are reading, watching Investigation Discovery, and helping other authors realize their true potential through mentoring. She’s penned the award-winning Pen Pals and Serial Killers series and the best-selling educational book for children, Writing Prompts for Kids, which has rocketed the kids that use it into several awards of their own.

Most of Jo’s books feature the places she’s lived: Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia. That’s given her a special amount of insight to what makes those locations tick. Her works are immersive and twisty, and she wouldn’t want it any other way.
Author Links:
Get it Now FREE!!

Six for Sunday – Ode to my favourite Genre

This weeks #sixforsunday focuses on my favourite genre, which is YA fantasy of course!

It’s pure escapism

I have a really stressful muggle job which steers me away from contemporary in a big way, I have enough of other peoples lives from 9-5 so to come home and read it just isn’t going to happen. I also find traditional adult fantasy sometimes far too heavy going and difficult to get me head round when I’m mentally exhausted. So to have gorgeous fantasy worlds, full of adventure and friendship that are easy to read are perfect for my evenings wind down.

It doesn’t matter that I’m not the age demographic

So I’m 40 in 9 months and whilst I’m clearly not the audience the author is writing for, I find that for the most part there are always elements which still make the books accessible for me, only occasionally do I find myself reading a true teen book which I struggle with. The thing is, I read my age. So I don’t see these characters as teenagers they are usually all late 20’s early 30’s in my mind (because in my mind I can’t accept that I’m 40 this year.) The glorious part of it is that I am not alone, so many friends and groups feel the same as me so I always have someone to talk to about my interpretation of the story.

Strong representation is everywhere

YA fantasy is by far the most inclusive genre I read. Race, gender, and sexuality are often dealt with sensitively and are seamlessly woven into the story. I am loving the #ownvoice books that I have been reading lately as well as they bring authenticity and added depth to the words on the page.

They are stories that I can share with my children

My oldest is 9 this year and is as big a bookworm as a I am. I love that so many books on my shelf are from fandoms she’s already aware of, like The Hunger Games, and because I have read them all myself not only do I have the benefit of steering her away from the few that I feel send the wrong message or perhaps closer to the NA side of YA, it also means that we can talk and fangirl and have a huge bonding experience. I will get there with my son too, but he’s only 4 so we’ve a little while to go.

The bookstagram in insane

I’ve been on Bookstagram for 18 months now and the sense of being there is amazing, so many inspiring, beautiful photographs, I didn’t know shelf envy was a thing until I started. It’s probably the biggest reason my bookshelf has quadrupled in size, I just see gorgeous looking books that I have to have, as if some unknown and unseen force is dragging me to Waterstone’s to find them – from sprayed edges to hidden covers, bookstagram makes me want to have them all.

Fandom Merchandise

From book subscription boxes, small businesses and Etsy sellers, I have never known fandom merchandise like YA fantasy inspires. Bookmarks, pins, hats, scarves, prints and candles, oh the candles. If there is a book you love then you are guaranteed to find something to stoke your fandom fires. From the most amazing fan art to even a cup of tea, you’re bank account will never forgive you.

Tell me what your favourite fandom is in the comments and whether you agree with my reasons for choosing YA fantasy!

Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

Weekly wrap up time!

New to my Queue

From now until at least June I am on a book buying ban until I have got a grip on my tbr. I will continue to request through Netgalley, get books via my fairyloot subscription, and from the amazing people at Titan Books. Titan was top of my list for publishers that I hoped to receive arc’s from and I’m still giddily happy that they want to work with me. My first Arc for them is a movie tie in with Thanos – Death Sentence which arrived on Thursday.  I keep picking it up and admiring the lovely artwork as the author is also responsible for their graphic novels, once I’ve finished priory I’m definitely onto this one next

Favourite books this week

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen was a book that I received via Netgalley – I was absolutely spellbound from the first page and could not put it down. Due out in May I would recommend getting your pre-orders in if you want some high seas adventure with a Roman feel. I’m not part of the blog tour so have to wait to share my review with you but it is a very well deserved 5 Stars!

When I wasn’t reading

WOW, this bit will be longer than usual but with good reason. Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman went up for pre-order at Goldsboro books on Tuesday, however the demand caused their site to crash so after 2 hours of this reader trying they admitted defeat and postponed pre-order sales until Wednesday. What came next will surely become legend. Goldsboro on Tuesday said they would keep people updated about when their website issues would be fixed. Actually they didn’t. They announced at 11am that pre-orders were back up and the Hunger Games well and truly began. In short, no I didn’t get a copy, I tried, my payment was processing for 40 minutes and then they were sold out. I’m not bitter, I admit I had to take a deep breath when I saw the price but I know there were A LOT of people who were upset. What was all the fuss about then – well sadly Twitter (my most hated of platforms) chose to go to war, of sorts, which I will pare down into 2 factions. The have’s and the have not’s. From the outset there was much defence of Goldsboro from those WHO HAD A COPY, yes they are a small independent store who should be supported, but lets not pretend that they haven’t profited massively from this. It was one day of hell for the staff, but honestly who hasn’t had the mother of shitty work days now and again (before you jump on me – first know my day job) and by now they are back to normal. But the worst thing was the bloggers WHO HAD A COPY bemoaning the have not’s as acting entitled and privileged as it’s only a book and to leave the staff at Goldsboro alone!  People are allowed to be angry at a situation that was badly handled and the self serving posts from those who were successful only fuelled the fires. I personally saw no abuse at all directed at Goldsboro – and I did try to find it so I knew the complaints were justified. What I did find was post after post of people moaning about moaning. So let’s just live and let live a little, I would love to have known the reactions of some if they actually didn’t have a copy secured….

Pic of the week

Going back to my first point with this one, this was the pic – combined with the 30 books on my kindle which made me realise I had to reign it in. Are there tons of books I still want – of course – but I need to give the appropriate attention to the ones that I have first.

Looking ahead

I’m diving into Priory of the Orange Tree finally tonight and I am much excited! My pre-order incentive poster arrived in the week and it’s gorgeous. Another exciting thing is that I will be revealing a new candle from Whizzpop tomorrow! Check out my IG stories tomorrow afternoon as I along with Little Miss Paperback share it with world, it’s one me and Sylv have been talking about for ages and I love that I’ll be giving you all the first look!

Review of the Bigfoot Files by Derek Borne

Your Mission:
Suit up with the Ultimate Agent and Specialist on an off-the-books assignment to Umatilla Forest in Oregon.
The Target – Bigfoot
Known Aliases: Sasquatch, Yeti.
Valid or Myth Status: Unconfirmed 
Mission Data – Confidential
The Ultimate Agency’s heroes are brought in to take down a potential threat. How probable? Skeptics and believers have clashed over the existence of the Bigfoot for decades. Is it real or fake? Or perhaps it is something different than previously assumed?

Derek Borne has done it again. After inventing an all-new super hero world with his Ultimate Agency series in 2018, Borne has allowed his readers a once in a lifetime opportunity; the chance to see the truth behind Big Foot. His characters The Specialist and The Ultimate Agent, are the same smart mouthed, quick-witted, and action soaked super heros from the original series. Now, in their Mini-Missions, we get to see even more action from them, including more whizz-kid gadgets from the Specialist’s tool belt. For those readers anxiously awaiting to see what Derek has in store for The Ultimate Agent Book 3, this book should satiate them for the moment. The Mini Mission is just that, it’s a short, quick read, and it’s well put together. There is a clear story arc. Emotional connection is in full force despite the shortness of the book, and it is over all too soon, but not without the promise of more. By far, the most interesting point of the book is the care with which Borne addresses prejudice. No more can be revealed without spoilers, but here’s to hoping we see more quick reads that pack the punch this novella does. Because if the world needs more of anything, it needs more heroes like Derek’s.


Amazon Link:


Review of Song of the Dead by Douglas Lindsay

Police detective Ben Westphall is burnt out and leading a quiet life in the North of Scotland. Things change when he is assigned to investigate the cold case of a UK national who disappeared in Eastern Europe under mysterious circumstances and who, despite being declared dead, has re-appeared, claiming to have been held for over a decade, various body parts having been harvested during that time. Westphall travels to Estonia, chasing leads and shadows that may lead to an international drugs and organ trafficking conspiracy.

Song of the Dead isn’t my usual read, but I really did want to change things up and whilst my day job usually steers me away from crime fiction there was something that drew me to this book and I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone for it.

It’s a great premise, really quite creepy and more than a little gruesome at times. It’s a great mix though of thriller pacing with steady investigation and lots of interconnection between characters and location. The thing that made it really accessible for me though was the slight supernatural edge, for a straight laced plot there were pockets of story that almost felt like tiny interludes. I really enjoyed this extra piece of parallel puzzle and it gave the plot a sometimes needed change of tone.

The characters were very by the book and whilst there was nothing particularly outstanding about DI Westphall he was an enjoyable character to read. Just the right amount of jaded combined with an interesting back story which gave him kudos, but he was really the only star of the show. The supporting cast were pretty one dimensional and whilst they served a purpose I just felt that the character development would have been better focused on bringing the most out of one or two others than the extended cast that I struggled to remember at times

There was a great deal I didn’t see coming and I really liked how it kept me on my toes throughout. It was a steady read with a driven plot which thankfully stopped just short of feeling like it was becoming ridiculous which I was very relieved about as I think one more demise would have just pushed it over the edge. Ultimately this is a really enjoyable read, particularly if you want a little oddity in your crime thriller. I’m not sure it’s a series I would come back to but this is well worth the read if you’re after a change of genre.

With thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Staunton for the review copy, whilst I received a copy for free all opinions are my own.




Bookish Ramblings: Six for Sunday – Bookish Couples

I missed out on the #sixforsunday last week, the littlest one was poorly and I was fighting with facebook over my blog re-brand and honestly, I wasn’t feeling inspired – but I’m back this week and I will hopefully revisit last weeks prompt when I get stuck later on! But bookish couples is this weeks prompt and I have tried to stay away from the more obvious choices…. Whilst most are from established series, if you’re yet to read Song of Sorrow you might want to look away to avoid spoilers.

Cress and Thorne – The Lunar Chronicles

It’s no secret that The Lunar Chronicles is pretty much my favourite series and out of couples Cress and Thorne top the list. The sheltered, easily led Cress with a great talent for comedy moments and lightening the mood in any situation, combined with the dashing, self obsessed and disgraced captain Thorne. Thorne is a character that many struggle to warm to because he is a bit of an ass but put him together with Cress and his arrogance becomes an easy charm, treating Cress in a beautifully endearing way.

Sorrow and Luvian – State of Sorrow

Honestly I think Luvian has become my new favourite book boyfriend, his and Sorrow’s relationship evolves in a glorious way, I love their banter and sarcasm with each other, entirely comfortable in all that they do, embracing their differences and generally being awesome together. They make a brilliant team and I love how Luvian always has a trick up his sleeve.

Henry and Claire – Time Travellers Wife

This book means a lot to me and is probably one of the most re-read on my shelf. Henry and Claire have probably the most unorthodox relationship but the way that their story runs parallel and combines is wonderfully done, so much joy and heartbreak but with some wonderful oddities too that take this far away from the realms of a traditional contemporary romance and make it one of the most accessible science fiction reads.

Daenerys and Drogo – Game of Thrones

Whilst only really a fleeting relationship in the bigger picture of the series, their relationship is the catalyst for much of the future of the books. The surprising gentleness of the feared warrior and the fierce determination of the exiled royal make a formidable power couple. Daenarys holding her own against the Dothraki naysayers is powerful and despite first impressions there is wonderful equality in their relationship.

Lazlo and Sarai – Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer is one of the most hauntingly beautiful duology’s I have read and that is mainly down to the relationship between Lazlo and Sarai, the dream connection and the world they created for themselves within was so sweet and heartbreaking, that such a normal life was impossible for either of them which made the way Strange ended all the more difficult to accept.

Yrene and Chaol – Tower of Dawn

I know that this one is going to be divisive but I think that Chaol really shone in Tower of Dawn. Yrene was my favourite novella from the Assassin’s Blade and I think that they are such a perfect pairing. The slow burn of their relationship in an almost enemies to lovers way (almost) really drove Tower of Dawn forward and I love the connection they have

Did any of my choices match yours? Let me know who you would have chosen 🙂

Bookish Ramblings: Five things Friday

It’s finally Friday so let’s have a round up of what’s been happening this week!

New to my Queue

Well netgalley really is the gift that keeps on giving, I’m honestly going to give it a break after this round, 2 more are on my shelf this week, which makes 6 out of the 8 requests which is truly unheard of! They’re both older books which must be needing a boost, but added this week is Nyxia by Scott Reintgen and Song of the Dead by Douglas Lindsay.

Favourite Book this week

I totally loved Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, the cover is amazing as are the words inside, its a bit of a slow start and i did feel a bit thrown in to the narrative but after that quickly settled down it was honestly fantastic, great twists and reveals, plus its a standalone!

When I wasn’t reading

Facebook have finally changed my page name! It was such an effort though, I had to appeal 3 times and honestly I think they just realised I wasn’t going to let it go and out of the blue it was just done! I’ve also booked tickets to go and see the Rocky Horror Show again next month, I have to admit that I had rather too many wines when I went for my birthday in December so the full experience was a bit lost, but as I’m designated driver this time I’m going to take in all the goodness and I get to dress up again!

Pic of the Week

Honestly I have had pretty much 0 in the way of feeling inspired this week, I used up the he ones I did in advance on a creative day but the last 2 days have been abandoned ideas that just didn’t form the way I wanted. This picture though featuring my favourite Lunar Chronicles and a fabulous Whizzpop candle was my most popular this week so lets run with that!

Looking ahead

Well I’m still on the Negalley reads but I am going to need a break from my kindle soon, I’m part way through my Caraval re-read and I need to start Priory of the Orange tree if i’m going to get that completed by the end of the month as I hoped. That reminds me that I’m not sure when the pre-order poster will come through, hopefully not too long away now though. There is also a chance that the March Fairyloot might be with me by the end of the week, I really missed not getting a box in February and given how badly they dropped the ball for me with their last anniversary box i’m really hoping for good things this year, they’ve already said there will be 2 books so yay!