Review of Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

Continuing with the trend for Asian inspired #ownvoice fantasy; this time with added dragons, this book had all the hallmarks of a perfect read for me. However, it was a story I struggled with. Stronger than a Bronze Dragon isn’t a bad book, far from it – it just didn’t bring much new to the table for the genre. The only proper standout point was the steampunk element which was unexpected and gave a much needed extra layer to the story. So let’s start with that. Although we are far from a contemporary setting the wonderfully crafted mechanical dragon ships give a background of creativity and industry. The cyborg soldiers adding a sci-fi twist to this world of cogs and wheels. The world building has a high attention to detail and I have to say that the author does a good job of balancing both a character and plot driven story points, a rare feat.

Anlei as our protagonist though, was a difficult character for me to get on with. Depending on how you feel about particular tropes, readers will either love her feisty, fighting, no holds barred persona. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll find her constant need to put herself and her own sense of justice first frustrating, especially given the amount of people relying on her; literally all the time. For this reason I struggled to connect to her character – she just never learnt from what came before and she lacked any real depth.  Tai on the other hand couldn’t have been more different, I enjoyed his character immensely, so much secrecy around him and so many layers to his character. He had a great story arc and I found myself actually enjoying his cheesy one liners and light hearted approach to even the darkest of scenarios.

The narrative however did feel clumsy at times, some sections seemed very laborious, yet sections full of mystery and action felt like they were over in a blink. There is to a degree too many things in play at the same time and not much felt like it was covered in a satisfying way. I just don’t know if there were too many ideas in the story for them to really be given full justice in a standalone setting. Honestly, I thought that the Dragons would play a bigger part too. I appreciate that there were elements of this that maybe were just not my cup of tea, or maybe I’ve just read too much of this sub genre recently but there just wasn’t enough to make me think wow about the story sadly.


Review of Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 
When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

“Its time for you to let go of the lies Mother Empire has whispered in your ear and start seeing the world for what it really is – Inexplicable. Limitless. Divine.”

For me, Dark Shores is something pretty special. It’s been a long time since I have been so utterly and completely pulled into a story within the first few pages.  The story felt alive with excitement and so much promise was poured into the opening chapters. With a Roman influence the created world was given a comfortable familiarity, enough to allow an overall vision which meant that the author only had to sprinkle in the details to bring the world alive. I think it was made even better for me that I really clicked with the authors writing, she writes in the way I would speak so I felt really at home in the pages. The premise is wonderfully simple – East must not meet West, and because of this we have more than one wonderfully built world with the sea’s being their own glorious and sometimes gruesome entities, leading the Godless and the God Fearing together in a pretty cataclysmic way.

Although not split in this way, the book does have 3 distinct parts to it and I enjoyed how the focus wasn’t pulled in a “meanwhile back at…” way, everything was in the now with our protagonists which is why the alternating POV’s (my favourite) worked so well. Honestly, I’m still pretty taken aback by the sheer amount of happenings that took place, writing a review whilst trying to avoid spoilers when there were so many amazing set pieces, daring escapades, schemes, and plots is no easy feat.  I think it’s safe to say that you will not be bored reading Dark Shores, it really covers all the bases for awesome.

Teriana is a fantastic character, from her first secretive nimble steps to her friend to her empowering skills with both blade and ship; she’s pretty awesome and her sass and snark made her totally relatable for me (I do enjoy a good cutting comment now and then.) I adored how she was able to hold her own so completely and with a finesse rarely achievable in a world of sweaty soldiers and unknown peril. Marcus could have easily been a pretty one dimensional character but his back story really shapes him, where Teriana was awesome from page one, Marcus had the real development arc for me, the slow burn that got under my skin. Despite there being plenty of side characters they never got lost in the story and they bring a real lightness in the heavier sections and I loved the diversity in them.

As it’s the first in a series there is obviously much left hanging in the balance and more to explore. The network is something that I’m very much looking forward to hopefully understanding more of as the story continues and I’m pretty hopeful that there will be a character that we’ll see again. Dark Shores is wrapped up in a satisfying way and whilst I would obviously like book 2 now, it stopped at a great point that wrapped up what needed to be so I could close the book (or ebook as it happens) with a smile rather than a sigh.

I absolutely adored this book and hope you will too!



Darkest Thoughts Release Blitz with Gordon Brown

Title: Darkest Thoughts
Author: Gordon Brown
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Craig McIntyre, ex-military turned bodyguard, has a powerful and uncontrollable affliction: his mere presence can transform people’s darkest thoughts into action.
While guarding a high-profile asset in Iraq, McIntyre finds himself at the center of an event that leaves the asset dead. Sent back to America, McIntyre has no idea what happened but others suspect he is responsible. A ruthless US senator, the head of a deep black ops agency, thinks McIntyre has a unique ability that can bring out the very worst in people, sending them into a killing rage. The senator is intent on harnessing this dark talent to further his own ambitions. But when the black op agency kills McIntyre’s wife, Craig’s darkest thoughts turn to bloody revenge. He vows to kill the senator but has to act fast as the agency now have orders to hunt him down and bring him back: dead or alive.
Buy Link:

Gordon has been writing since his teens and has six books published – his latest, Darkest Thoughts, the first in the Craig McIntyre series, is out now.

Gordon also helped found Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival and lives in Scotland. He’s married with two children.
Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange.
He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.
Author Links:
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Bookish Ramblings: Easter Book Tag

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate! I admit that for us it’s more about spring time, chocolate eggs, and family time over a long bank holiday weekend. This weekend we have enjoyed a Bluebell walk in nearby ancient woodland, celebrated a family members 70th Birthday, and I’m about to set up an egg hunt in the garden! So with that in mind, today is a book tag post. I enjoy book tag posts, they are a fun way to blog on a busy day like today! This is the Easter book tag, which I found via Book Hooked Nook.

Rabbits – A book you wish you could multiply

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw was a brilliant read, It was a pretty short book and I read it in one sitting. The creepiness of Swan Season and the mythology around the setting was amazing. I totally get why it can only be a stand alone but I would love to know more about the sisters and maybe earlier Swan Seasons.

Egg – A book that surprised you

Grace and Fury is a book that I had low expectations for, not because of any fault of the book but because I received it in a Fairyloot box. I fell out of love with Fairyloot last year and I had come to the conclusion that the curators and I simply had very different tastes in books. However Grace and Fury was outstanding, full of great characters and plot twists – it had it’s fair share of tropes but they were done so well. So this surprised me insofar as it was a Fairyloot book I actually loved!

Hunt – A book that was hard to get your hands on

I feel like I’m tempting fate with this one a little as I don’t yet have it in my hands, but a signed copy of Aurora Rising was one tough cookie to get. Having spent hours across 2 days trying and failing to get the Goldsboro edition in what Jay Kristoff describes as “The Great Breaking” I was really happy when Illumicrate announced they would be featuring an exclusive edition in their May box. Whilst I similarly had to spend a large amount of time negotiating a crashing website, I finally got a subscription after an hour of trying, now I just have to hope that it renews on the 1st May like it’s meant to!

Lambs – A children’s book that you still enjoy

There are still so many children’s books that I still enjoy and if you are a regular reader of this blog you would have seen my #sixforsunday post last week where I discussed books from my childhood. You can find that post here!

Spring – A book with a cover that makes you think of Spring

Not an obvious answer for this one, but not for the first time today I’m choosing Queen Maas for my prompt. ACOTAR is not a spring cover as such but given how much of the story takes place in the Spring Court of Prythian – it’s the only book that comes to mind.

Jesus – A religious of spiritual book that you love

The Emperor’s Harvest by R.A Denny was read by me in it’s previous incarnation as the Mud, Rocks and Trees series. Spirituality and religion play a large part, as the concept of a singular god over the multiple gods of the Romanesqe setting is key. However as I was reading, it never felt as if this aspect was preachy. It was a great fantasy series and I wish the author a ton of success with her re-launch!

Rising from the Dead – A book by a deceased author

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remains one of my favourite books of all time, there is one particular section that I always need to skip though. Far superior to any adaptation and in fact to its counterparts in the trilogy, it is thriller writing at it’s best in my view. Because of my muggle job I try to avoid things to do with crime investigation, but this cold case style made it a very difficult book for me to put down.

Baskets – A book that is in your Amazon cart or wishlist right now

Illuminae is forever in every basket on every book outlet I buy from. I don’t know what is holding me back because everyone I know and especially those who know my reading style says I will love it. I think it comes down to the editions. In the UK the preference by publishers is mainly paperback. I do prefer my books in a hardback variety and then there are different types of hard covers and hidden covers so I just don’t know where to start! I will probably just end up getting the paperbacks from Waterstones one day, but for now I have to carry on powering through my current tbr!

Candy – A book that is sweet

This is going to be divisive but I actually really loved a Court of Frost and Starlight. Mid air sex aside (I mean not even I can get past that scene) I actually found the preparations for Feyre’s birthday to be lovely. Yes there are poignant and heartfelt sections of the story, but Illyrian warrior snowball fights were incredibly sweet in my view.

So that’s my Easter book tag! Have a wonderful day no matter how you celebrate and feel free to play along 🙂

Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

I’m not sure if I’ll do these every week any more, I’m don’t if a weekly round up really allows enough time for things of interest to happen so I may do these fortnightly or maybe move to a monthly wrap up. But for now back to the traditional!

New to my Queue

The lovey people at Titan Books have kindly provided me with an Arc of Snakeskins by Tim Major – it’s all to do with rejuvenation and cloning and has been likened to the T.V show Humans, which I love, so I’m excited to start reading this tonight – look out for a Friday night wine IG post!

Favourite Book(s) this week

I’ve not read as much as usual as I’ve been formatting this week but I did manage to fit in a re-read of Legendary by Stephanie Garber. I did this as a buddy read with the wonderful Sylv from Whizzpop candles. I’m glad I re-read this for 2 reasons, firstly so I’m up to speed for when Finale comes out in May, and Secondly because when I read it the first time round it wasn’t under the best of conditions. We were away for a week, the kids weren’t sleeping as they were sharing a room and I was exhausted – It was my holiday read and I was determined to get through it. Truth is, first read I was non plussed, second read I absolutely adored it! So roll on May for Finale!

When I wasn’t reading

As I’ve already mentioned, most of my evenings have been spent formatting, however we did take a break at the weekend to go to a theme park. I love that my daughter has the same thrill for rollercoasters as I do and we had a blast! It was an expensive weekend but well worth it.

Pic of the Week

I can’t believe I’m already halfway into my influencer period for Whizzpop candles. I really love their candles and so happy to have found them! Whilst I have started to burn a few I just had to show off the ones that were still intact, including my daughters Adora candle inspired by She-Ra, I’m still blown away that Sylv gave her reveal kudos for unboxing that! You can find their Etsy store here and you can use my code Paperbacks10 to save across the store!

Looking ahead

I’m aiming for a relaxing week next week, although I’m at the muggle job my evenings will be my own again for one week at least. Chapter.con London is coming up in June and I’m looking at putting together a blogger swag pack for the authors in attendance, so I’ll be looking to source fun things for not a lot of money. I’m getting there with Priory of the Orange tree – it’s a great book but it really is one that is a real pick up and put downer. Once I’m caught up with my Arcs, I’m going to give it the attention it deserves.

Review of Warlock Homes: Sign of Nine by G.S Denning

Warlock Holmes may have demons in his head, but now Dr. John Watson has a mummy in his bloodstream. Specifically that of the sorcerer Xantharaxes, who when shredded and dissolved in an 8% solution, results in some extremely odd but useful prophetic dreams. There’s also the small matter of Watson falling for yet another damsel-du-jour, and Warlock deciding that his companion needs some domestic bliss…

Firstly, I would like to thank Titan Books for sending me this advanced review copy. Sign of Nine is in fact that 4th book in the Warlock Holmes series, yet as a total newcomer I didn’t feel as if I had to have read what came before to fully enjoy this, as there are plenty of nods back to earlier stories.  Firstly I have to say the narration in this book is outstanding, In my head I was Dr. Watson and I read it in my best Victorian gentleman voice, which in itself made me stop and laugh at myself. The richness of the words and the execution of the comedy timing were great, in both their ridiculousness and dedication to the time period.

With an air of of a man stumbling to the right conclusion until he fell over and it hit him in the face, Warlock Holmes’s powers of deduction are questionable but surprisingly sound. Their escapades are real adventures, bringing them into contact with all manner of things that go bump in the night. I loved how nothing phased Watson and my, does he see some sights. Fantastic mythology, great characters and a story that neatly clicks into place as each section moved on. There is a ton of imagination into the scenarios our protagonists find themselves in, I certainly was never bored!

Expertly combining comedy with tragedy, there are frequent reminders that outside of the comedy of errors there are actually real and brutal crimes afoot, yet the comedy never felt in bad taste and the tragedy quite chilling at times. I found the arrangement of the story interesting, split into both story and dreamscape elements, the short stories leading up to the Sign of Nine were great at setting the scene. I loved the feature of one of my favourite mythical creatures, the Selkie, in one of the more tragic tales too. The dreamscape elements will be very satisfying to those who are fans of the source material as they give a great take and depth on what makes familiar faces such as Moriarty and Irene Adler tick – I found these little sections really came alive and were the only real time that I wished I had read what had come before.

This is a great comedy read with plenty of fantasy to go hand in hand with it, this was one out of comfort zone read that I am very happy to have picked up!


Redemption Pre-Order Blitz with Kate L. Mary

Titles: Redemption (Moonchild, #3)
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Futuristic Steampunk
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: May 16th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
From an award-winning author and master of world building comes the thrilling third book in the Moonchild series, featuring a future fueled by greed and corruption, where airships rule the skies and coal mines have been turned into prisons…
Nearly a year after Asher Kimura swooped into Athens and saved Scarlett and her friends, the group has settled into a routine that almost feels like a real life. But when an altercation on the street turns deadly, they’re forced to head out west to lay low until things have settled down.
After a lifetime in the polluted world the Luddites have created, Scarlett is looking forward to seeing the sun in all its splendor for the very first time. Too bad the heat, dust, and utter lawlessness of the west leave a lot to be desired. But she’s determined to enjoy both her time with Asher and the break from the constant threat of living in Columbus.
It doesn’t take long for the group to realize that corruption knows no borders. Drugs, slavery, and forced prostitution are only the tip of the iceberg when Asher comes face to face with the demons from his past, leaving Scarlett to wonder if he’ll make it out in one piece.
With new characters and a fresh setting, the past meets the future in the exciting third book in the Moonchild series. Readers rave about the “captivating setting, riveting plot, and heart-pounding action” in the Moonchild series, calling it a “much needed breath of fresh air in the world of YA fantasy.”
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Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of Adult, New Adult, and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance! Her YA book, When We Were Human, was a 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal winner for Young Adult Science Fiction. Her book, Outliers, was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2018 Author Academy Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction, and a First Place Winner in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction.
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Six for Sunday: Books from my Childhood

I didn’t do a #sixforsunday last week because honestly there was such a cross over with what I had planned for this week that I felt it would be a bit read, blog, repeat. I have always been a voracious reader and that started when I was very young so having to narrow down just 6 books from my childhood has been tough – I’m just glad I was an adult when Harry Potter came out because that helps to narrow it down at least! I’ve tried to give a spectrum of primary school through to teen, I expect a couple of them will show my age! I’ve also managed to track down the covers I had 😀

Tottie: The Story of a Doll’s house by Rumer Godden

Whilst originally published in the late 1940’s this book came to my attention in the early 80’s when it was adapted by the BBC for Children’s hour (yup I only got an hour of kids based tv fun each day!) I quickly sought it out from the school library and recently picked up a copy for my daughter, although I think it’s by now showing it’s age. It does though still hold up remarkably well in my view. Focusing on a group of old and well loved dolls who move out of a shoe box and into a fine Victorian doll house. It deals with quite a broad range of issues from bullying and jealousy to inclusion and class heirarchy, caused when an upmarket china doll moves in. It’s gorgeously written and utterly charming in an old school way.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

As popular now as it ever was, The Worst Witch seems to be completely timeless. It was a book bought for me by my nan, I then picked up on the others at the school book fair and they were probably my most re-read books on my shelf. At a time when witchy boarding schools were not as popular as they are now, I loved everything about Mildred and her friends, things always pretty much worked out for the best, alongside of the fact that the bully’s always got their comeuppance. A wonderfully creative and inclusive world which Biba loves just as much as I do!


Georges Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Trying to narrow down just one Roald Dahl book for this was so hard but I think that Georges Marvellous Medicine has to be my favourite. Gloriously outrageous and absolutely full to bursting with imagery. I think it’s the finest example of the sheer magnitude of Roald Dahl’s imagination. Looking at it now as a parent, the fact that George had open season on everything in the house makes me quake, but as a child I set about making my own concoctions of toothpaste and bubblebath, and I think petals of some description! It’s also helped by the fact that back in the day the book was featured on Jackanory and was read by the great Rik Mayall in a way that only he could (if you’ve ever seen the movie Drop Dead Fred – that will give you an idea)

Last Act – Christopher Pike

The pride of the Scholastic book fair, Christopher Pike dominated the teen market with low level horror books such as Chain Letter (wow chain letters really were a huge thing when I was younger lol) but Last Act was something a little different. Probably my most re-read of all of the books of his I own, it’s more of a whodunnit than a horror, with thriller aspects that were out of this world for a young reader.  Arising out of a high school drama production where someone is murdered, all fingers point at the female lead, but Christopher Pike does an amazing job of introducing so many other players into the mix, and in that I started my long and unblemished career of getting it absolutely wrong every single time!


Deenie by Judy Blume

Honestly I don’t know if Judy Blume books are still as popular or as much of a thing as they were in the late 80’s. I still remember my mum having to give permission to the school library for me to take out Forever, and for many, that book is the “go to”by this author, but Deenie is the one that remains fixed in my mind. Proving that body image issues are not a new thing, the scene where Deenie meets a vision of her future without her back brace is a reminder that often nothing shakes us into submission more than a visual representation. A strong lesson in expectation versus reality, this story often challenged ableism alongside a whole range of issues which are just as relevant today as ever.

Archers Goon by Dianne Wynn Jones

Dianna Wynne Jones is an exceptional author of children’s fiction, Neil Gaiman describes her as “Astonishing” yet I rarely see mentions of her. She is best known for Howls Moving Castle (although you might not know it,) and whilst A Tale of Time City was my first book of hers, Archers Goon is the one that stands out for me. It is a book which is so difficult to summarise but in her usual style she created an unusual, but striking, twist filled world.  Set in against a backdrop of a family man who must write 2000 words of nonsense every quarter for “Archer” it becomes a story of feuding siblings, strange magical locks preventing them from moving outside of the predetermined zones, and time paradoxes. Yet the narrative never stutters and it was turned into a wonderful TV adaptation in the early 1990’s which conveyed such dread and excitement. If you’ve not read any of her books, I strongly recommend that you give her a try!

Please feel free to share with me your favourite childhood books, extra props if you have books older than mine lol

Bookish Ramblings: Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I’m taking a break for Five Things Friday this week as I’ve not been able to get much reading in, but then I saw that the lovely @Fantasticbooks_awtft had picked up on this tag, so I thought I would join in! You can check out her thoughts here

  1. A popular book or series you did not like

The Cruel Prince is a series that I just don’t get. I kind of convinced myself into a 3* review on the basis that the ending was fairly good for book one but actually I really shouldn’t have. Trigger warnings for bullying and abuse should be rife for this, but strangely I find them to be lacking, which is baffling to me as they seem to appear in abundance everywhere else. I found the high school element trite and I just went into major anxiety mode for most of it as I relived my own high school bullying hell. This is not a good book in my view, granted I’m not the demographic but still, other than the last 50 pages where the story actually became a story I found very little to like about it. I’ve not gone anywhere near book 2 and with quotes like “kiss me until you hate me” or some such, I’m not convinced it’s going to up the series in my estimation.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love

State of Sorrow came in last years anniversary Fairyloot and from the very first page I loved it! Now, when I posted about how much I adored book one on Instagram I was immediately met with comments of “wow, really?” and “I DNF’d” I feel really horrible even putting this up here as I loved every single page of it and I just didn’t understand why others didn’t – but then not every book is for everyone (see above) – the conclusion was even better and I want to re-read them both again very soon.

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR a OTP that you don’t like?

I’m going to have to go with @fantasticbooks_awtft with this one and say I just don’t get Rowan and Aelin. For a start there wasn’t much about Rowan that I found particularly swoonworthy and when they ended up together it just felt wrong and a bit weird. Rowan was horrible to Aelin at the start, his treatment of her was pretty shocking. It shouldn’t take scaring a woman to the degree she wets herself to have made him realise he needed to perhaps try a carrot rather than a stick with her. There is also that chasm like age difference between them which just felt icky – and I’m saying this when my husband is nearly a decade older than me. Honestly, I would have loved to have seen Aelin take the same road as Manon, but I’ll leave it there in case there are some reading this who haven’t completed KoA yet.

4. A Popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Contemporary gets the shake of the head for me every time. I have a tough muggle job firmly entrenched in the hideousness of real life, so coming home to read about it just doesn’t do it for me. I struggle even with urban fantasy and low fantasy sometimes for this reason. I read books to escape and need a completely new world to be able to do that.

5. A Popular or Beloved Character that you do not like

Another popular series that I just don’t get is Shatter Me and whilst I hold little regard for all the characters save for Kenji, Adam by far is my least favourite. His behaviour towards Juliette is abusive, controlling and in my view borderline rapey. Juliette repeatedly tells him where to go, yet he still forces his way into her room at night demanding she declare her love for him. A girls allowed to change her mind and guilt tripping her into staying is just wrong. Again a series with surprisingly few trigger warnings given the domestic abuse aspect – letting abuse slide because the abuser is hot is actually pretty worrying and this is sadly not an isolated example.

6. A Popular author that you just can’t seem to get into

The Maze Runner series is so popular and I picked up a 4 book boxed set from The Works for like £8 – but try as I might I just can’t bring myself to pick up book 2 as I can’t get on with James Dashner’s writing style at all. I forced myself through book one and it’s a series that’s going to be sat unread on my shelf for a long time to come I feel.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing

Instalove – give me a slow burn any day

8. A popular series you have not interest in reading

Twilight just holds zero interest for me. I think had I not watched the first movie I might have been tempted to give them a try, but that film really didn’t do it for me at all and has soured any desire to read what are pretty hefty books. I think that other than Buffy the vampire thing kind of passed me by at the time!

9.The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie,” but what movie of TV adaptation do you prefer more than the book.

Whilst Dianna Wynne Jones is Queen, there is no escaping the fact that Howls Moving Castle was a Studio Ghibli masterpiece. Whilst the book is fantastic, the realisation of the characters and wonderful narrative of the film means that I will go for the film first every time. I’m hoping to introduce Biba to the book soon though so maybe that will rekindle it for me too.

So there you go! Many unpopular opinions here I’m sure, do you agree with any of them or disagree vehemently?

Unboxing: Fairyloot March Favourites box

I approached this months Fairyloot with trepidation as it was their fabled anniversary box. Looking back to last years box I feel I may have over reacted with my anger as it was actually a good box, including one of my favourite reads of 2018 but it just didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it – I expected something more, which I’m happy to say I got this year! As is customary the anniversary box is a lovely shade of purple rather than the usual black.

The first and probably most beautiful item I have ever had in a book box was a gorgeous bookshelf scarf showcasing a number of amazing YA reads. I’ve already worn it loads, but trying to get my favourite book spine on display is tricky! Now here is the thing with the scarf, for the eagle eyed amongst you there are some spelling errors. Fairyloot’s initial response was that it should be treated like the work of art it is, an interpretation by the artist. However they soon backtracked and announced they would be replacing the scarf. Now here’s the thing, Fairyloot have very sensibly offered the option to opt out of a replacement, which I have done. I love the scarf as it is and honestly I would rather they didn’t spend the next few boxes clawing back the cost of replacements with substandard items as they have really upped their content in recent months. Also as a wearable we had a pair of Alice in Wonderland inspired bookish socks – I LOVE bookish socks and the quality is much improved from when they started the other year, given that they are one size they fit my child sized feet perfectly although not always good with my cankles lol

Also included was a lovely metal bookmark inspired by Strange the Dreamer with one of my favourite quotes, and so I don’t miss out on keeping those quotes flagged in future we also got page tabs. I know they featured these not so long ago but I didn’t get that box so I’m happy to have them now! There were prints in the box too, the Warcross inspired one looks amazing, the other 2 I’m not part of the fandom so let me know if you want them! It looks like Fairyloot are also making an enamel pin for each of their boxes now which makes my heart very happy, this months was understandably their logo. Before I get to the books, there was a new fandom for the tarot cards this month with Six of Crows – I’m super happy about this and also that the first we get is Wylan and Jesper ❤ I can’t wait to see who gets featured next month, I have a feeling it will be Nina and Matthias though.

There were 2 amazing books featured in this anniversary box the first was Viper by Bex Hogan, by chance I actually got to read this as an e arc through Netgalley a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely loved it, so to get it in paperback, signed and with an exclusive cover was fantastic and I am so happy to have it – also if you’re quick you can also submit your Fairyloot receipt to register for the pre-order incentive (confirmed by Team BKMRK today to me on twitter.) The second and main book was To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, correctly guessed by book box sherlocks. I’m intrigued by this as it’s not a book I would have bought myself, I’m not in love with the title – but high stakes maze has a Maze Runner feel about it so we’ll see! It’s again signed with sprayed edges – for that satisfying sound when you turn the pages fresh for the first time.

I really enjoyed this box and relieved that they are taking a break from candles still, I do wish they would be more environmentally friendly though with their packaging in future – so much individual plastic wrapping for each item is pretty unnecessary especially when you times it by the thousands that they probably ship to. Fairyloot please take note if you’re reading this! Next months boxed is themed Dark Magic so I’m hoping for plenty of witchy goodness to come!