Saturday, 29 August 2020

Best Reads/Audiobooks Of The Past Two Months...

As you probably noted, I haven't really talked about what I read/audiobooked via the past few months. July was a surprise blog break and then, to ease self back into blogging this month, I took on a bunch of blog tours (which were fun as this made look into books and series, some of which I wouldn't have noticed till I was asked and now am going "I need to put this on my radar, if I have time/space on my TBR") to help me ease back into blogging.

But that didn't mean I have stopped reading. Oh no. I have still been reading. And, for the most part, I have been reviewing them on my Goodreads (goodreads.com/pewterwolf). But there were a few I wanted to reference on here as they were SO GOOD, that I wanted to share with you guys. I hope you don't mind...


*groans* I just realised that if any of these titles tickle your fancy, I should say that I have affiliate links to Book Depository, Waterstones, Foyles and Audible and, when you click on these links and buy something, a tiny percentage of the sale goes to me. So, if you want to click on them, you are more than welcome to.

The first is a middle-grade ghost story - I know, how very unlike me - and that is The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes. Probably wasn't the best time to read this personally (one day I will explain on here or in social media. But not yet), but have you ever started reading a book or read as blurb for a book and you get an instant reaction of "Oh boy, this is gonna be good, I can tell!"? Well, this is what I go here. And I totally enjoyed it. A creepy little ghost story that had vibes of the movie, Coraline, this felt like such a strong start to a ghostly series for younger readers and I am on board with it. Can't wait to read the sequel, The Bewitching of Aveline Jones.

My second is so different to my first. It's an adult fiction, shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize of Fiction. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes is a retelling of the end of the Trojan War, told from an all female perspective. Mortals, goddesses, nymphs, etc. While lacking a bit of an emotionally punch, what we had was a compelling story, layered and showing snapshots of what these women went through.

Now, the above two were five star reads. I love them and will push them onto you lot for quite a while... But there is one or two other books/audiobooks I want to talk to you about. These weren't 5 star reads for me, but I know you guys will ether super enjoy them or I think you guys will enjoy hugely. Now, some of these I was going to keep quiet over and put in a later post when I chat about audiobooks I was approved to listen to via NetGalley (they started allowing audiobooks to be requested on NetGalley! This makes me happy as I love a good audiobook, though this might mean I might/should close my Audible account as I listen to audiobooks everywhere expect the audiobooks I've bought or preordered. That will change in the coming months! You mark my words!!!)

So, the first I want to chat about is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. Now, I audiobooked the US edition, not the UK, so my opinion on the story might have been different if I read the ARC the UK publisher gave me or listened to the UK edition (to be honest, I read a good 100 pages of ARC and I think I would have liked this a lot more if I read it, though I found the first 100 or so pages really slow and, to be honest, they felt like a prologue. Very similar to Sarah J Maas's House of Earth and Blood - the first few hours of that audiobooked dragged! I will chat about in a moment). However, while the first half of the book was a tad slow, the world building, character development and magic system was rich and complex, and I know I will be reading the sequel!

In Raybearer, Tarisia is raised by tutors and rarely sees her mother, the Lady. When she is young, she is taken to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar, to compete with other children to join the Crown Prince's Council of 11. if chosen, she will be joined by other Council members and the Crown Prince via the Ray, forming a bond deeper than blood. Tarisia wants this closeness badly, but she terrified of it. Because the Lady made a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: once she joins the Council, kill the Crown Prince...

Ok, one more audiobook than I will leave you all to have a lovely day. Let's talk Sarah J Maas's House of Earth and Blood. I audiobooked this via my library and I am glad I did as this is a chunky book and, if I wasn't audio booking, I would have DNF. Like I said, the first Part of the book (so... 2/3 hours of audiobook) are really a prologue and is painfully slow. I see why Sarah had to do it, to show us a rich, complex world with its own myths, background, magic systems. And, for the most part, I liked it - once it found its feet. I liked the world complexness and rich, the mystery plot intrigued me hugely and there would one or two other things I really liked. However, this wasn't a sexy book like you guys said there would be (lots of swearing but, barring one scene of finger ****ing and mentions of sexual partners, horniness and toys) and it's too long. Plus, you can easily read this as a standalone and be fine: just don't read the epilogue. I liked this (I rounded up to four stars), but this is going to be a standalone for me. Unless something changes my mind.

For those of you who don't know this book (it was everywhere at the start of the year), Half-fae Bryce Quinlan loved her life. Past tense. Loved. As, two years ago, her best friend and her werewolf Pack were murdered. But it looks like the killer is back and Bryce finds herself being dragged into the investigation. And she has personal assassin of the Archangles, Hunt Athalar, ordered to protect her. They want nothing to do with each other, but Hunt soon beings to realise the there's more to Bryce's party girl attitude is hiding much deeper depths. The two have to work together to unravel the mystery, though they don't realise how solving this will affect everyone and everything in. Crescent City and beyond...

So, that's it. I only wanted to do a handful of writing. Hopefully, in the coming few weeks, I will write more reviews/write-ups on here and have a proper chat with you. If not, keep eye on my Goodreads and my other social media as that might be the best places to look!

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