BBNYA Blog Tour – Review of The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website ( or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

The Lore of Prometheus has a fantastic opening vibe and John Carver an instantly likeable anti hero. Like so many of our special forces returned from Afghanistan he has a heavy dose of PTSD and is struggling to get back to any semblance of a normal life. Its desperately sad that the guilt he feels about managing to keep a roof over his head has him turn away from other veterans less fortunate living on the London streets. One things for certain, he has not lost his training and after a particularly brutal street brawl he finds himself with no choice than to return to the place that broke him. I think it really helped me that I was a huge fan of the show Homeland because I could really visualise where he was and the streets and markets he found himself in. These opening pages were great, I loved how he became sharp, in his element, and honestly I could have read so much more of this stage.

The introduction of Mackenzie was unexpected and their eventual shared incarceration came together well as is the reason for it. I’m not sure I would describe their abilities as magics in the traditional sense but more like powers, think Umbrella Academy here, some that are discovered are easily concealed but others are truly terrifying. I did find that this middle stage of incarceration was a little repetitive and it was actually Mackenzie’s chapters that shone through here, the small taste of freedom that was snatched away being the ultimate tipping point. I liked how the story became about balancing humanity with self preservation and the murky waters in between.

The closing stages picked up the pace again and, in places, and when the depth of the facility and the depravity of those behind the programme becomes clear it really becomes quite horrifying. I liked how everything was a challenge but also how after just a short time together John and Mackenzie clicked into to place with each other, to work together in unexpected ways. I struggled a bit with the comic book style super villain I have to say but that said the ending was satisfying and the measure was right given what they faced.

I ultimately enjoyed the Lore of Prometheus, I think I would have loved it more if the middle section was pared down as it felt like a long read at times. But the characters are great, falling on the darker end of morally grey, their psychology becoming their biggest help over the hindrance they initially seemed, hopefully we’ll get to see more of them in future as they certainly deserve to be on the page again.


If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)! 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.


Review of The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

I finished The Prison Healer yesterday and that ending has still absolutely rocked me! I loved this book so much, the characters, the story, the way it made me feel and that cover is fantastic too! Lets dial it back though, and start with the characters. Kiva was a great protagonist, a survivor bound by her oath to help those in need no matter what. I loved her focus and determination and that despite the looming trials she had to solve a mystery shrouding the prison at the same time, this girl is the queen of multitasking. She is supported by a great case of side characters, some more on the morally grey side than not, it is a prison after all and not everyone is falsely imprisoned! I have to address the half star docking in the room though as the romance was enemies to lovers style, which is not my bag at all and whilst I admired Kiva’s stoicism with keeping her head down and focusing on the work I did have to eye roll when she started inner monologuing about Jaren’s dreamy eyes and cheekbones – I get that there is a market for romance but I feel that it wasn’t really necessary to drive this story forward.

And drive forward it does, for me there were no lulls at all, Kiva moves from task to task methodically, I read the second half of this book in one go as I just didn’t want to put it down.  The prison was an epic backdrop to all that was happening and was a character in itself with so many areas both displayed and hidden, the sinister Abyss and the dank aquifier each one with its own sense of foreboding every time Kiva left the sanctuary of the infirmary. Whilst the story does follow quite a few of the traditional YA tropes it does them well and the diversity of the setting breathes new life into them. That is what makes The Prison Healer such a great read though, it takes a story that you think you know and simply just does it better.

It does get dark though, Kiva is met by a relentless tirade of verbal and physical abuse and there is a TW for self harm here although its discussed in retrospect rather than the act being carried out. There are parts that I didn’t think I could bring myself to flip the page to read what I thought was coming but the brutality is thankfully always brief but it is impactful when it happens really showing the power of fade to black.

I think I’m going to leave it there because whilst there is so much I want to say, it is such a unique story that I don’t want to spoil anything and also I’m struggling to articulate all the ways this story made me feel. Its a mid paced read which somehow manages to feel like an electrifying faced paced page turner. Also Tipp is adorable and I want to wrap him up in a giant blanket and feed him milk and cookies. So yes, please read The Prison Healer, you won’t regret it!

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the e arc to review.


Blog Tour Spotlight: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Hello everyong, today is my turn on the Kate in Waiting blog tour from The Write Reads in conjunction with Penguin! Today I’m spotlighting the book and author alongside of some links to some early reviews coming in from the tour so far!

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…


Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at

Twitter: @beckyalbertalli




Check out some of the early reviews coming in from the Tour!

The Critiques of a Fangirl


The Romance Bloke

Review of Vulture by Bex Hogan

We are all one misstep away from being the villain…
Marianne has passed the ultimate test required to be a Mage. She is finally powerful enough to reunite the Twelve Isles.
But having exposed herself to the darker side of magic, Marianne is struggling. The magic within her is nearly impossible to control, and she becomes cruel and violent, mercilessly pursuing those who have harmed her in the past, ignoring the pleas of those closest to her to remember what’s really important: saving the islands.
Everything she’s fought for has come down to this. Will Marianne be able to fulfil her promise to bring peace to the islands when she can’t even bring peace to herself?
Conquer the darkness. Control the magic. Save the Isles.

There is nothing more immensely satisfying than a series ending just as spectacularly as you hoped it would, Vulture was everything I hoped it would be. Action packed, emotional, exciting, exhilarating, heartbreaking and uplifting – I can think of so many words, none of which can do this series justice. I had absolutely no idea on the direction this story would go after the astounding ending of Venom and truly the first part of the book is so dark I was so scared for Marianne but I really enjoyed the difference in her narrative voice, she is not the same girl left to die on the beach and its incredibly well written almost like old Marianne is having an out of body experience watching the carnage unfurl below her, Bex Hogan has a truly terrifying imagination at times.

This doesn’t mean that Marianne has an easy time of it though, far from it, her enemy knows her too well and even I had no idea who to trust, as she became more reflective and more resolved as so many catastrophes struck – be prepared to shed more than a few tears. As each part of the story unfurls we see a new and different Marianne each time and this is what made the book so exceptional, her character grows more in this one story than most characters do across a whole series, her support network more important than ever and every friend she has made across earlier books helps bring her together to be what she must become.

The finale can only be described as epic, breathtaking in its scale and impossible to stop reading, I loved every second of it. Had I had the chance, Vulture could have been a book I would have read in one go, I honestly did not want to put it down because I knew that the end of my time with these characters was coming. All I can say is bravo, Bex Hogan, an amazing ending to a fantastic series!


Review of What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.
Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.
Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.
Choices. They come at a price.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Wow, what a book. Honestly What Beauty There Is, left me in pieces. I’m ashamed to say I initially passed on an opportunity to review this because I just felt it would be too sad for me, I was correct in the assumption that it was sad, but so very very wrong that it wouldn’t be for me. Thank you so much to The Write Reads Tours and Penguin Platform for sending me and absolutely stunning proof to review.

It’s fair to say that What Beauty There Is, is one rare gem of a book, a book that has the capacity to consume your emotions and then spit them straight back out at your feet. It’s bleak, its cold, it’s devastating but it’s also hugely compelling. Cory Anderson has a wonderful way with words, her simplistic, unpretentious style packing more emotion into just a few simple words than some authors spend paragraphs getting to. I honestly felt like I was there, having to wrap myself up tighter in my blanket even though I was in no way cold, the snow and chill wind took on a whole life of its own, becoming as big as any character.

But these characters, oh my. Jack is everything, a young carer with so much on his shoulders – I instantly wanted to bundle him in a huge hug and take care of him the way he deserved to be taken care of. Again Cory Anderson’s writing is phenomenal with his characterisation, I’m usually really bad at reading characters as the age they are but subtlety is woven through the pages reminding me constantly that Jack is just 17, yet he endures. I’m truly welling up remembering all that he went through, and it was frighteningly realistic at every turn. This could be any family fallen on exceptionally hard times. Adorable Matty, wise beyond his years as Jack tries desperately to help him hold on to his childhood, and Ava a shining beacon of goodness who’s intimated history is perhaps most harrowing of all. Yet, they all endure. I also challenge any reader to name a villain as horrifying as Bardem, cold, calculated, brutal and truly without humanity, he just needed to appear on the page to fill me with dread without needing to say a word.

Yes, this is a shining example of a great cat and mouse thriller, but it is so much more than that. I couldn’t put it down, the chapters rolling gloriously together, the narrative flowed like a river approaching a waterfall, gaining speed until I was pulled over the edge and into the frozen world below, where my heart broke. Emotional, powerful and raw, this is a book that will stay with me and one that I highly recommend you find time to read.


Review of The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Ana is a rebellious young woman, a gifted writer with a curious, brilliant mind, who writes secret narratives about the neglected and silenced women around her. Raised in a wealthy family in Galilee, she is sheltered from the brutality of Rome’s occupation of Israel. Ana is expected to marry an elderly widower to further her father’s ambitions, a prospect that horrifies her. A chance encounter with the eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything: his ideas and his passion are intoxicating.
Taking Ana on a journey she could never have imagined, The Book of Longings is a glorious evocation of a time and a place where astounding events unfolded, and of one woman’s fate when she fights to make her voice heard.

So this is a weird one for me to review as Women’s fiction is one of my review criteria that I wont go for. Something about the synopsis for this one really stood out to me so I requested a copy of review. I usually get annoyed with people who review genres they don’t like and score low so I’m going to be as balanced as I can. Honestly, I started off really enjoying this book, I flew through the first 100 pages and I loved Ana as the protagonist, trailblazing her own style of feminism with her acts of defiance and disobedience. She is selfish within her own wants and needs, but really when those wants reflect a want to read and write and the need to not marry an old man who will likely offer her violence, these selfish moments can be forgiven. The writing is beautiful and to be savoured, it is not a book to speed read or picked up and put down. I especially loved Ana’s interactions with her Aunt Yaltha and to a degree it’s more of Yaltha’s story that Ana’s at times and Yaltha’s story felt more satisfying, which I think is down to the pure fiction of it. Ana’s was intrinsically linked to Jesus’s and that has set ending in theology.

So what happened to make me waver. Unfortunately the story, which had up to that managed to convey so much through senses of dread and fade to black became graphic in the depiction of still birth. Child loss is such a huge trigger for me and I struggled so hard to move past it for the rest of the book. The story took liberties with the depiction of Jesus having a wife so it didn’t really strike me initially as unreasonable that he could also have had a child in this depiction. Whilst Ana made a choice thereafter, it did mean that a book that I had initially found a joy to pick up became one that I struggled to come back to. Had it not been that from this point on the intensity of Yaltha’s story built so wonderfully I may not have continued. This is no flaw of the authors writing, just a real lesson in how an unexpected trigger can ruin a readers experience. Had I known it was coming I could have prepared myself or skipped those pages.

The sections in Alexandria were some of my favourite I think because they had a feeling of a historical fantasy at times and it also brought in more and interesting characters and developments which gave the book, a by that point, much needed change of tone and direction. I have to be fair to the writing when reviewing but I also have to be fair to myself and the unexpected shock of that scene left me in a bad place so the writing deserves a 4 star, however, I will bring that down to a 3.5 as I nearly didn’t come back to it because of that.

Thank you to Tandem Collective UK and Tinder Press for sending me the readalong copy.



Review of Birds of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead

Many millennia after the fall of Eden, Adam, the first man in creation, still walks the Earth – exhausted by the endless death and destruction, he is a shadow of his former hope and glory. And he is not the only one. The Garden was deconstructed, its pieces scattered across the world and its inhabitants condemned to live out immortal lives, hiding in plain sight from generations of mankind.
But now pieces of the Garden are turning up on the Earth. After centuries of loneliness, Adam, haunted by the golden time at the beginning of Creation, is determined to save the pieces of his long lost home. With the help of Eden’s undying exiles, he must stop Eden becoming the plaything of mankind.
Adam journeys across America and the British Isles with Magpie, Owl, and other animals, gathering the scattered pieces of Paradise. As the country floods once more, Adam must risk it all to rescue his friends and his home – because rebuilding the Garden might be the key to rebuilding his life.

What happens if you were born before death? This the premise behind the immortality in Birds of Paradise and it fits perfectly. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a religious book but other than the odd mention here or there, Birds of Paradise is a story of greed, revenge, megalomania and brutal violence. It was a book that took me by surprise from the very first page, the prologue very much setting the tone of what was to come with both beauty and pain poured across the page.

Set mainly in present day UK there was seemingly very little need to world built and having personally visited a few of the mentioned areas it helped me to visualise the scene, the story is descriptive when it needs to be which really enhanced the discovery of each piece of Eden. These parts shone as we really got to understand the simplicity of their beauty which stood out against the bleak backdrop of the flood. This is, however, very much Adam’s story. A man of few words, he approaches everything with a weariness, a bone tiredness which is only undone when he is given the opportunity to help things grow, the reverence in which he holds a single seed is such a juxtapose to the hands which are so often used for violence.

The villain is pure caricature but it works so well with the story as they need to be larger than life to overtake the morally grey fine line that Adam and the other exiles tread. The exiles also enhance the story, joining alongside Adam at opportune times helping him get to where he needs to be and finally to remember what he has shielded himself for so long.

I found Birds of Paradise to be a surprising and compelling read, one which shocked me with its brutality but also left me in wonder in its creativity. Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a finished copy of this book for review.



Viperthon – A Special April TBR!

Title image credit: Viperthon

Long time followers will know that I absolutely adore the Isles of Storm and Sorrow books by Bex Hogan, Viper and Venom are out already and the final book, Vulture, releases this month. To celebrate a special readathon has been set up!

This is the first time that I have taken part in a readathon and I was hesitant given how slow my reading has been since going back to work full time, but the wonderful thing about this readathon is that you can use one book to cover 2 prompts if you want. This makes this readathon more manageable and I really hope I can make it. I’ve also taken the plunge and joined The Storygraph as there is a group especially for it on there!

So what’s it about?

“The aim: to visit as many of the islands as you can in the month of April. Choose to visit as many of the islands as you wish over the course of the month. Once you’ve read a book to hit a prompt, you gain the items from that island. You can earn yourself a place on the new crew of the Viper dependent on how many items you collect”. 
The Prompts and the books I hope to read are:
The first Isle: The King’s Isle – A book that features royalty
The Second Isle: Fallow Isle – A story where a character has to “grow” as a person
The Third Isle: Black Isle – A book with a black cover
The Forth Isle: The Floral Isle – A character that has a floral name
The Fifth Isle: Mist Isle – A book that involves a secret/something hidden
The Sixth Isle: Rock Isle – A character has to face something challenging
The Seventh Isle: Shadow Isle – A book about fear/featuring one of your fears
The Eighth Isle: Snow Isle – A book set somewhere cold
The Ninth Isle: A book about siblings/family
The Tenth Isle: Fire Isle – A book with fire on the cover/in the title
The Eleventh Isle: Song Isle –  A book that strongly features music in some way
The Twelfth Isle: The Jewel of the West – A book that features magic
The Viper – A book with a snake on the cover
This is a lot for me to read in one month but it’s helped by the fact that Saga is a Graphic Novel and Gemina will be on Audio, my hindrance will be trying to get my copy of Crown of Talons, as Waterstones has held that as a collect from store since lockdown started!

But I’m looking forward to taking part so much, wish me luck!