Review of Finale by Stephanie Garber

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.
It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.
Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything.

Caraval has always been a series I have really enjoyed, i’ve never outright been blown away by them though but the first 2 books were commendable 4* reads for me. The set up for Finale was cliffhangertastic and I had really high hopes that this would be the book to push it up to a 5* but sadly I ended up the other way.

Firstly though, the hardback is just as gorgeous as I’ve come to expect from the series. First editions have the usual hidden covers, this time each with a quote rather than a picture. Also, for the first time we have sprayed edges! The map of Valenda inside is hilarious, it makes sense as you get through the story, but when I first saw it I felt it was genius and a unique take on the usual dry fantasy maps. The story is told for the first time in dual pov between Scarlet and Donatella but they don’t alternate though and the story flips as and when necessary which is nice.

The magics as usual are breathtaking, even with the limitations given the period of mourning that Valenda finds itself in, a beautiful picture is painted. The world building has a high attention to detail and as the fates gradually get used to their freedom from the deck of destiny it has a very slight thriller feel trying to work our what or who will appear next. It’s also pretty macabre – remember in Legendary when the children disappeared in the play? Well quadruple your feelings for this one, it shows that Stephanie Garber has a real talent outside of romance and I would love to see her take a turn at a darker series next. Scarlett has been a bit of a let down for me over the first two books and I’m happy to say that she really pulls it back in Finale, she’s finally given the story arc she deserves and gains a fair bit of depth along the way. There are so many fantastical places in Finale, it’s such a wonderful world – I adored the fact that there is a tithe to pay when our characters least expect it and this leads to both comedy and tragedy. Did I mention how much I loved the world building….?

Where did it all go wrong for me then? I didn’t enjoy the direction that some of the characters went in, Donatella who thusfar has been a strong, daring and vibrant character felt to be reduced to a simpering mess,  An exciting character that I though would be a major player was gone in a blink and felt like it was a hugely missed opportunity. I wanted to know more about the fates, fated objects and fated places, they had the potential to weave so much more magic into the story which at times ended up feeling like a melodrama. Love is the central theme though, you’re shouting at me, but it really didn’t need to be as sappy as it was. The ending was rushed and confusing (also a little icky) and I felt that there were many things that weren’t wrapped up satisfactorily, in short after 3 books, I felt let down. I even found Legend to be tawdry and despite everything felt like Jacks was the star of the show – I’m actually pretty sad at (in my view) such a missed opportunity especially as just a couple more chapters could have easily made it so much better.


Review of LV48 (Cassie Tam Files #3) by Matt Doyle

New Hopeland City may be the birthplace of Tech Shifter gear, but it isn’t the only place that likes to blend technology with folklore. Now, a new nightmare is stalking the streets…
When PI Cassie Tam is attacked on the way home one night, she expects the police to get involved. What she doesn’t expect is to be forced into acting as bait to lure out a lunatic in a tech-suit that’s literally out for blood. But past actions have consequences, and doing so may be the only way she can get a clean slate from the city’s law makers.
If only that didn’t mean having to face down a wannabe vampire.

I have enjoyed reading Matt Doyle’s Cassie Tam series and hope that he continues to write them. A great mix of mystery, sci-fi/cyberpunk and detective story makes them an enjoyable read.

That being said, I still find Mr. Doyle’s style of endless description in LONGGGGG paragraphs a little hard to read. I think that this book in particular would benefit from more action and less description at times.

I enjoy the cyberpunk aspects of this series and Mr. Doyle’s imagination is wonderful. I have always wondered what it would be like to be a big cat or wolf and the idea of that being a possibility some day is great. The descriptions of the Tech Shifters is a great addition to the books.

There is a little bit of romance, but it is not graphic. The emerging relationship between Caz and Lori was a very minor part of this book. As another reviewer stated, I also missed Bert’s presence throughout this book. Who wouldn’t love to have a robotic gargoyle as pet/protector?

I like how Mr. Doyle adds a new aspect to each of the books in this series and the vampires in this one were especially interesting. However, I once again wish there was more action and explanation of motivation and less lengthy descriptions of walking through buildings, etc.


Murder is a Debate Freebie Book Blitz with Brandy Nacole

Title: Murder is a Debate
Author: Brandy Nacole
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: March 28th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Nora and her two best friends, Liv and Nina, aren’t like most people. Nora is the private school kid; the rich girl, though everyone hates her. Liv and Nina attend the run-down public school on the opposite side of town where the football team is a solid two and the art department was shut down due to funding. Their worlds should have never collided, but they had one common factor that brought them together, murder.
In an online mystery chat room, the three girls meet and decide to form The Murder Club. Each week one of the girls must come up with a murder scenario for the other two to solve. It’s fun. It’s active. It’s also deadly.
When one of Nora’s classmates ends up dead, she’s suspicious of her new friends. His death mirrors the very same scenario Nora came up with in their previous meeting. As clues emerge, pointing more definitively at the members of the Murder Club, Nora begins digging for her own clues, bringing fantasy to reality. Could Liv and Nina be involved, and if so why?
They were all curious, but the question is, was one of them too curious?

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.
Author Links:

Review of Wandering in Wonderland by Aislinn Honeycutt

“Lewis Carroll didn’t get it right?” 
“No, my dear. I don’t think anyone truly will.” 
Far away and down a rabbit hole sits the magical world known as Wonderland. A safe haven for the souls who lived less than ideal lives in the waking world get to experience peace in their afterlife. Jessica is the newest member of this enchanted land, but after eating a cookie that took away her memories of who she was, she doubts herself at every turn. 
Jessica participates in The Looking Glass Ceremony to find her new role in the afterlife, but fate has different plans. As the Queen of Hearts takes Jessica under her royal wing, plots of regicide bubble up from the depths of Wonderland. With the help of new and eccentric friends, Jessica might be able to stop the treasonous threats and bring true peace to Wonderland. But only if she heeds the cryptic words of the Caterpillar. 

Wandering Wonderland by Aislinn Honeycutt was a cozy novel. It promises character intimacy but instead keeps the reader at a distance. The overarching story takes precedence over character-reader intimacy. The political history in this version of Wonderland was intriguing. Honeycutt exhibits a tremendous talent in using setting and plot to tell a full story in a short book without multiple active plotlines. The plot point where Jessica is very briefly The Queen of Spades before being reintroduced as the Princess of Hearts felt like an about-face in the middle of the story, though. Things become tangential from there until the reader meets back up with The Hatter. There was a clear effort to include an openness and respect to the LGBTQ+ community and nontraditional relationships. However, the effort yielded relationships that did not develop naturally except for the relationship between Alice and Rorie. There are also several occasions in the story where the tone changes rapidly, like when phrases like “tossup” get interlaced into the overall political schemes of Wonderland. It’s something that could be explained by what Wonderland is in this book, but it’s no less jarring for the reader to move in and out of old-world and new-world voice. The reader spends most of the book learning about Alice and Rorie’s story. The book is mostly about them but through the lens of Jessica whose experience in Wonderland is obscured by the relative madness that permeates the realm. Overall, the book was interesting enough. The way Honeycutt introduces older, well loved characters in this reinvention of Wonderland is very palatable, and there is a lot of genius creativity in the book. In the end, it fell flat for me, though. It’s gotten a solid three stars from me because Lewis Carroll would have gotten a kick out of the irony and darkened turmoil of the whole book, but it left a lot to yearn for as a reader. This novel was a decent debut.


Interview with G.S Denning author of the Warlock Holmes Series

Last month I was invited to read and review the latest book in the Warlock Holmes series: Sign of Nine by the lovely people at Titan books. It was a wonderful book with real laugh out loud moments and a ton of great happenings to investigate. When I was asked if I would like to interview the author G.S Denning, I jumped at the chance to find out more about this take on these well loved characters and about the author himself.

For readers like me who are new to the series can you give a short summary of what to expect from Warlock Holmes?

Well, let’s see… Murder? Mayhem? Demons, certainly. Betrayal. Laughter. Toast and soup. Really, Warlock Holmes is a pretty close parody of the original 60 Sherlock Holmes stories, just with a focus on the supernatural and the ridiculous. So far, it’s been a hell of a fun series to write.

Have you always wanted to put your own spin on a classic tale? What drew you to Sherlock Holmes as inspiration?

I spent 15 years doing improv. We’d do your first date in the style of Shakespeare, or your last job interview as a Mexican soap-opera. As soon as I got the idea to re-do the original Sherlock stories as a comic supernatural adventure, I was off and running.

Watson’s narration is spot on and I loved how quintessentially English he sounded, is his narration something you spent a long time researching or does his voice just flow for you?

Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t have to work too hard, to be honest. I’ve always been an anglophile. Though American, I was raised on Monty Python, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. By the time I got round to doing this, I was already so steeped in English dialogue and humor, it wasn’t hard. That said, my editor does give me occasional email slaps when I say “yard” instead of “garden” or dare to hint that English muffins are basically just round toast.

Speaking of research, have you ever visited the UK to see any of the iconic Holmes and Watson sights?

Since I spent my young adulthood as a poor theater-rat, I’ve never traveled. I’ve got books of all the iconic Sherlockian sites, but I’ve never personally been. Tell you what: get one million of your friends to buy my books and I’ll totally take that vacation.

I felt the comedy and the tragedy was really well balanced in this story, was it difficult to not let the story stray too far to one side?

That has always been the challenge with this series. How many jokes should there be? How much mystery? How much adventure? How much craziness, vs. how much Sherlockian logic? Where should I be ridiculous and where should I let people feel genuine emotional connection to these characters? It’s not hard for me to do any of those things, but it’s incredibly difficult to do them all without letting one overwhelm the others.

Have mythical creatures always fascinated you? I love the mythology around the Selkie and was so pleased so see it featured in the story.

Hey, a selkie fan! Those are almost as rare as selkies, you know. Yeah, I love mythical creatures, especially rare ones. In book 3 I actually named a character “Barghest” thinking that most people would not know that was a mythical beast. Even more importantly, I figured the readers who did know would probably just smile a bit and congratulate themselves on being smart enough to see what was coming. And guess what? Spoiler alert: Barghest was a barghest. Yep. Violence ensued.

There are some pretty gruesome yet creative demises in Sign of Nine, which was the most fun to come up with?

I think my favorite was the lovers’ pistol duel where one of the guys didn’t know he was in a fight. I chuckle when I picture that poor girl sitting on the swing with bits of her lover’s scalp all stuck in her hair, wondering what just happened. Oh, and given that the narrator of that scene is somewhat untrustworthy, I’m not sure she ever even knew Johnathan Small had a crush on her. I like to think it was entirely out of the blue. I’m a little cruel to my characters, like that.

Dreamscapes play an important part in Sign of Nine, do you feel that dreams hold a lot of symbolism or is that something you reserve for Dr Watson?

It’s not reserved for Dr. Watson, per se, but it is kind of unique to this book. Hmmm… it’s a clever observation on your part, so I’ll reward it with a peek behind the curtain. Moriarty and Adler are super-important in modern Holmes stories—as they are in my universe. Here’s the problem: they each appear in only one of the 60 original stories. I therefore had to find a way to show what they were doing, what they were planning, and why they were who they were with very limited materials. Fortunately, Holmes had this drug problem in the original that I knew I wanted to transfer to Watson. I thought about making him a drug-abusing healthcare provider (which is a common problem, sadly). Yet the way to solve my Adler-absence problem was clear. In book 3, Watson accidentally got ahold of a mystic source of knowledge. I made abuse of that magic double for Holmes’s drug problem. It lets me get that spiral of self-damage I needed for Watson, along with allowing him magical insight into the lives of Adler and Moriarty. It also makes book 4 my dark middle chapter. It’s my series’ Empire Strikes Back.

What would you say is your favourite thing about being an author?

You know something weird, it’s exactly my favorite thing about doing theater. I love coming up with things I think are funny, or interesting, or cool, then bouncing them off an audience and seeing if they agree. I think there’s some basic programing in humans that makes us want to share the things we enjoy. The only hard part is having a book written but not published. You know that crazy friend you’ve got who knows the name of every actor in every Star Wars film and the name of every starship and the inflection of every line ever spoken in any of the movies or cartoons? Well, imagine if you were that guy and that Star Wars had never been released. That’s what it’s like having a finished book that nobody’s read. The day it hits shelves you breathe this huge sigh of relief because you know you’re not just a freak anymore.

We always round of our blog interviews by asking for your fictional five! Which 5 authors or book characters would you love to sit around the dinner table with?

Oooooooh! Ok. Let’s see… I mentioned two of them earlier. I want Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett sitting with me and Starlord and Don Quixote. Pretty sure Don Quixote will never realize he’s got the same complex as Starlord, but I bet by the time desert comes Starlord will realize he’s basically just Outer-space Don Quixote. He’d probably need some drinks to cope with that one. Which is fine. Me and Doug and Teri would drink a ton of cheap red wine and just watch the fireworks. Oh, and the 5th guest? If we wanted a light evening, we’d probably invite Martin Luther to sit there, totally ignored and wondering what the hell was happening. Or if we were in the mood to make it memorable, the Marquis de Sade. Which, I admit, we might come to regret. Still, you can’t say he’s not an interesting author. Even after all that crazy sex-torture, know what they arrested him for? Two of his books. Ah! C’est France, eh?

Huge thanks to G.S. Denning for this brilliant interview, you can find my review of Sign of Nine here and you can discover more about the series by visiting Titan Books.

Warlock Holmes: The Sign of Nine by G.S. Denning, published by Titan Books on 21st May 2019.

Bookish Ramblings: Five things Friday

Looking back through my posts I’ve realised it’s been forever since I did a #fivethingsfriday. For those of you who either know me personally or follow me on other platforms, you will know that for the past fortnight I have been living on next to no sleep as my son continues to struggle with bedtime and staying in his own room. As a result my exhaustion has destroyed my creativity for my hobbies as I have little energy after struggling through a day at work. I finally got 6 hours in last night though so lets take this creative spurt and run with it!

New to my Queue

I have been super good at sticking with my book buying ban! The only books I have added since my last post are Nocturna by Maya Motayne as that came in my April fairyloot and Finale by Stephanie Garber as I have had that on pre-order for ages. Whilst I finished Finale last night, I need some time to gather my thoughts about it before posting a review. Nocturna will likely be a June read as I’ve missed the fairyloot readalong again!

Favourite book(s) this week

Cheating a little with this one and I’m going for favourite books since my last five things post. In that time I did a buddy read of Red Rising by Pierce Brown with eccentricowlreads on IG. It honestly blew me away, so much going on and so many unexpected twists and turns. I went into this book blind as I only originally picked it up as a 99p kindle deal but discovering it was a sci-fi with a bit of Battle Royale thrown in really sold it for me as I read. I also finally caught up with my Netgalley reviews in that I finished Nyxia by Scott Reington – it was kind of similar to red rising in that it was sci-fi with an element of pitching teams of teens against each other but different enough that I didn’t feel like I was reading more of the same. I loved the trials and the twists and both books were 5 star reads for me.

When I wasn’t reading

Honesty I’ve not been doing a lot. Evenings have been fractured, I’m full of anxiety about the time my youngest will wake, the house has been a battle ground at night time. I’m now about halfway through the main story arc of Zelda Breath of Wild and we’ve been keeping up with Game of Thrones and new series Chernobyl, which is utterly harrowing but important viewing. I’ve also got formatting to catch up on too so I don’t think I’ll get much reading in soon. After next week though we have our family holiday so I’m really hoping for a recharge!

Pic of the week

Even though this is a pic I posted a couple of weeks ago, I’m running with it because it’s been a while since I posted like this. So Sarah J Maas inspired pics are always pretty popular and this one featuring a Geeky Clean candle from last Novembers Fairyloot has been my best picture ever over on IG, I’m pretty happy with that!

Looking Ahead

I’m going to say that actually I’m just going to take each day as it comes. I can’t plan ahead for anything as the most important thing is that we all just get some sleep. If we can keep getting at least 6 hours in a night then that’s a positive and things can start getting back to normal. Hopefully….

Tala Prophecy Relaunch Blitz with Tia Silverthorne Bach

Title: Tala Prophecy Series
Author: Tia Silverthorne Bach
Genre: YA PNR
Editor: Jo Michaels
Cover Designer: Jo Michaels
There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…
Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken. Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.
Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?
Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late.
Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.
Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.
A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.
With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.
However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.
An ancient prophecy set forth her ultimate destiny:
Destroy the lawless ones or Hell’s gate will burst open.
So much has changed since Reagan shifted for the first time. She found the grandfather and brother she thought were dead, reunited with her grandmother and aunt, met a twin sister for the first time, discovered a powerful magic pulsing through their family’s veins, fell in love, and became part of a pack.
Evil also came into Reagan’s life in the form of Rafe, a madman who commands a demon-werewolf army. He’ll stop at nothing to destroy everything good.
Destiny may have determined Reagan’s fate, but she refuses to allow it to define her path. To save the world, she must:
Gather powerful allies.
Call forth a team of angels.
Form an unholy alliance.
Discover an angel sword.
Survive devastating losses.
Along the way, Reagan will discover that strength comes from faith, from believing in the unbelievable, and a new battle cry emerges…
With Faith, We Fight
Defeating evil will require Reagan to place her trust in unexpected allies and reconsider the loyalties of her inner circle.
A team is only as strong as its weakest link.
Trusting in angels and instructions from above will be the cornerstone of her pack’s strategy to put an end to Rafe and his demon army.
But his connections and powers run deep.
Reagan’s pack must come together and be willing to sacrifice everything to save mankind. But along the way, she’ll suffer heartache.
Anguish for herself and those closest to her.
Still, nothing can stop what has been foretold. Fate has determined the end game, but divine intervention supports the victor.
When terror strikes, forever altering your life, it doesn’t ask permission or forgiveness.
Madeleine and Amélie’s quiet lives are ripped apart by a creature they never imagined could exist outside a horror story. Their mother is murdered, their father is missing, and the only safe haven is with a family full of secrets. But rescue comes at a price.
Ripped from the light of youth, the sisters are forced into the shadows—where they meet brothers Rafe and Rowan.
It’s not the time for infatuation or love, but the heart rarely listens to reason.
Now, the young women have decisions to make. Will they be able to achieve their unified goal of stopping evil, or will it consume them from the inside out?
They soon learn some choices can’t be undone.

Tia Silverthorne Bach believes in fairy tales and happy endings. Her best days involve a heart full of love, fighting for what she believes in, and finding humor. Residing in the breathtaking state of Colorado, she has been married to her college sweetheart for twenty-four years and has three beautiful girls.

From an early age, she escaped into books and believes they can be the source of healing and strength. If she’s not writing, you can find her on the tennis court, at the movies, reading a good book, or spooning peanut butter right out of the jar.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Anxiety, Blogging and Me

As this week is mental health week, I’m taking a leaf out of Lost Twenty Somethings book and I’m taking you behind the filters for a look into what’s behind the blog. This is going to be a whole world of tough for me to write, it’s also exacerbated by the fact that I am now into week two of my youngest not sleeping and my feelings of failure as a parent are overriding everything at the moment. Honestly though, I have felt a huge anxiety around my blogging for a long time for a number of reasons, so I’m going to put this out there now.

Every time I write a post there is a little bit of me in there, my thoughts, my feelings…my mistakes. I know that not everyone will enjoy what I write but I hope that at least one will – it doesn’t stop me from feeling either down hearted or elated when looking at my site stats, which is almost as unhealthy an obsession as me checking my Instagram follows. Am I relevant in this book world? Do I have anything new or interesting to say? Should I have said that? I didn’t really like that book, but I’m committed to a review! The things for me to be anxious about feels endless.

I’m going to go out on the biggest limb here and say that I am 40 in 6 months and do you know what, i’m out of touch. I feel scared of commenting on issues, that as a middle aged white woman I have no business commenting on and I am forever petrified of offending and being caught in a backlash. I like to think of myself as liberal and inclusive, in my muggle job I fight for victims of domestic abuse and work to protect the public, but honestly, YA twitter scares the life out of me. I was once offered “help” by an established blogger, who’s idea of helping was to rip apart my posts for (in their view) not understanding the issues which ultimately made me feel like shit – the upshot, I now for the most part just post reviews and tags. But I keep going because I love books and I love talking about the books I love. Books are my escape from an overwhelmingly stressful and upsetting day job, they are my safe space and I am protective of it, but I have little outlet for my love other than this blog and Instagram. My family humour me with my books, my friends I feel are bored with my book talk so I lock it up inside, until the children are in bed and get to talk to you about them, usually with a glass of wine and likely also toast.

The main manifestation of my anxiety is the replaying of interactions over and over, this is true of every facet of my life. Some interactions I feel so cringy about that I replay them for days and then at night I can’t sleep because they overwhelm me. “Why did I say that?” running repeat around my head, when really that person probably forgot the interaction as soon as it was over. Some nights I can be awake for hours as after I say something monumentally stupid (in my mind) my heart starts to race and I feel sick – I just can’t switch it off.  I want to run away from group chats, delete comments, trash posts and then hide from the world. I want to help authors, but in a world where even Indie Small Presses want to know your follower count before bringing you on board, I feel like simply wanting to help isn’t good enough any more. The anxiety over low followers preventing me being wanted is so real to me, even though it is likely highly irrational on my part.

I know I’m not the best blogger, the best reviewer, the best photographer – and honestly I think the weight of maintaining this to that high a level would crush me – but I have to learn to accept that what I do is good enough for me and not worry that 2 days ago no-one looked at my blog or that only 20 people liked that IG post that I spent ages staging. I need to stop being sad that 10 people stopped following me on social media, because likely they were a bot following a # and I didn’t follow back. These are things that I know I must do, but oh my is it hard to take my own sage advice.

Maybe we all just need to tell each other that we are good enough. If I can’t take my advice for me then I will pass it on to others. I will comment on that blog post that I enjoyed reading rather than clicking off at the end, I will tell people what I liked about their IG photo, rather than just scrolling and hitting a like, and I will share a review that made me want to go out and buy a book. Because even if I can’t be kind to myself, I can do these little things that are good for the soul as they are good for others and maybe I will start to replay the positive interactions to keep that anxiety at bay. Maybe.

Thank you for reading x #mentalhealthawarenessweek

Bookish Ramblings: Six for Sunday 2018 books I want to re-read

This weeks #SixforSunday is all about books from 2018 that I want to re-read. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a big re-reader at all, but I want to change that. I have so many amazing books on my shelf and so many series that I have already started that I need to catch up on, that I made a reading resolution to re-read at least one book each month. So far this year I have re-read the first 2 Caraval books and also started a Harry Potter re-read, it looks like the rest of my year is sorted with this list!

State of Sorrow

One of my favourite reads of last year, State of Sorrow really caught me by surprise as I have to admit that it is rare for me to award five stars to a fairyloot book as we rarely agree. But this book is full of great twists and tons of political intrigue, just when I thought I had it pegged it flipped on me again. The conclusion, Song of Sorrow, was equally a Five star read and I definitely want to read them following on from one another again this year.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

I adored Strange the Dreamer so it was no surprise that Muse of Nightmares was high on my list of anticipated reads for 2018. I was lucky to have grabbed a hardback copy of Strange from Amazon before it became a unicorn, so to get the matching set I made sure to pre-order Muse and the Waterstones version came with gorgeous orange sprayed edges. The book lived up to all my expectations, the same wonderful lyrical writing style with an intriguing parallel story coming to a cataclysmic finale. I want to re-read both this and Strange the dreamer this year, I really hope I have time to fit them in because it’s a world I can wait to get lost in again.

Skyward by Brnadon Sanderson

In a story that totally reminded me of Starship Troopers, I loved the dog fight style and the space battles were nothing short of epic. It was the first time I had read a book by Brandon Sanderson and I totally loved it with it’s cinematic feel and its ability to make me feel that I was completely in the pages. With book 2, Starsight, out later this year it’s definitely high on my anticipated reads list and I would love to be able to have refreshed my memory beforehand.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

With Queen of Ruin high on my 2019 anticipated list, not for the first time on this list, I want to re-read book one before hand. Also surprisingly this is the 3rd book on this list that I picked up because of fairyloot – so it’s not all bad. Grace and Fury was a light and quick read  and it really benefited from it. The story moved quickly and with so much going on packed into it’s pages, I think I’ve found the book I’m taking on holiday with me later this month!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

I admit I was gutted that signed copies of this book had all sold out by the time I got to YALC last year, but it was still very much a book that I was figuratively dying to read, the cover is simplistically gorgeous and I do so enjoy a good sci-fi! I got a kindle gift card for my birthday and this was the first book that I purchased with it. This is a book that was very much worth the wait, I devoured it, reading pages here and there wherever I could and the thriller pacing towards then end had me flipping the pages without catching a breath. What happens when I read like that? Inevitably I miss things, I don’t know if I did, but in my excitement it’s likely. Now I know how it ends, I want to go back and savour the pages, Lauren James has a real attention to detail and has a background which means that there is fact behind the fiction. Also I know I can get signed copies from her Etsy shop, so happy days!

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

I offer an apology to Lifel1k3 as I didn’t give it half the attention that I should have. It was the First Jay Kristoff book I had read and I was super excited as I know so many adore his writing. It certainly had a style of it’s own but I wasn’t immediately wowed. So why the apology? I shouldn’t have read it when I did. I thought I had time but really I didn’t, you see, I started reading it 2 days before Kingdom of Ash came out. In hindsight, there was no way that I could have read it in that time and I skim read most of the second half. Wisely I chose not to write a review for it, as I knew that my rating was utterly unjustified. I want to read Deviat3 though as it seems to focus on my favourite character Lemon Fresh. In order to do that, I need to properly read Lifel1k3 and not do it around the time that my most anticipated release of the year comes out!

Vampire Hearts by Katie M John

I’m not big on vampire mythology, I think I was just outside of the demographic for twilight when it came out and I never really understood what all the fuss was about. When Vampire Hearts was released, I wanted to support this amazing author so I put aside my preconceptions and I’m so glad I did. Even though I was new to the genre Vampire Hearts follows a fledgling vampire and felt I was learning with him. The next book in the series is due 2020 so I have plenty of time to re-read this when the time comes!

Bookish Ramblings: Six for Sunday 2018 books still unread

2018 was quite the bookish year! I read 80 books and I started some amazing series, I got a ton of books in subscription boxes and whilst I tried to keep on top of it all there is only so much a girl can read. It’s not surprising that my kindle is still pretty full and I have a shelf of shame that keeps my from buying more books until it’s cleared. When I saw that this weeks #sixforsunday prompt was books unread from 2018 I knew I would have no trouble filling up this post!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Scythe was a real favourite last year, I had seen loads of posts on instagram when Thunderhead was released so I was intrigued by the series. I picked up Scythe when it was on a 99p kindle deal and it was a total 5 star read for me, I loved it but I didn’t pick up Thunderhead until December when I got a kindle gift card for my birthday. It’s been on my kindle since and with book 3 due out this year I really need to try and get this bumped up my list.

Nyxia Unleashed

I feel like a cheat putting this one on here as I didn’t read Nyxia until this year, but book two was a 2018 release and had I come to the series earlier this would have been one of the top 2018 buys for me. I loved Nyxia with it’s Hunger Games in space feel . Book one ended in such an exciting climax that I am clawing to know what happens next!

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Last year I managed to pick up the first 3 books in the Red Queen series on a deal in The Works, I read book one and loved it, I had book two on my tbr for the following month but never reached it and I haven’t revisited the series since, although I know I really should. The gorgeous author Rebecca Gibson send me her copy of War Storm as she saw how much I loved book one and forever feel guilty that I have’t made it much further into the series – she is my favourite friend to fan girl with so I want to get this series read so we can chat away about it!

The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson

I know very little about this series and it’s testament to the fact that one click ordering on Amazon is an easy thing to get sucked into! I went onto Amazon as the lovely Sylv from Whizzpop Candles posted about picking up Heartless for 99p on a kindle deal and I kind of went a bit crazy after that. I had heard good things about this series and it sounded like it had a proper dystopian element (with added dinosaurs!) which I’m always a sucker for – even though I’ve been told the series are pretty quick reads I still haven’t found the time to get to it. I think because it means starting a new series I’ve put it on the back burner as I have a ton of series to get finished first before moving onto something new.

Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean

I’m pretty proud of the fact that this is the only subscription box book from 2018 that is still unread, I’m not really sure why it hasn’t yet made it’s way to my monthly tbr other than I feel I have read a lot of Asian inspired fantasy between the end of 2018 and the first few months of 2019. The most recent one I read just felt like a carbon copy of what had come before so I think to be fair to the author I need to give this particular sub genre a break for a bit as I’m sure I will love it when I do come back round to it!

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

It took me a long time to get round to Carve the Mark, I really loved the Divergent Trilogy and I knew that this was pretty different so I was worried that I just wouldn’t enjoy it as much – I needn’t have feared though, as with a sci-fi element the story was completely for me. The Fates Divide is the concluding half of the duology but frustratingly I haven’t yet picked it up in paperback or on kindle, I need to remedy that when my self imposed book buying ban is over.

What’s on your 2018 tbr still?