Showing posts with label Penguin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Penguin. Show all posts

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Burn The Kingdoms Down

SURPRISE! This is a last minute decision as, on a whim, I emailed Phoebe at Penguin, wondering if Sally Green, author of the Half Bad trilogy and the Smoke Thieves series, fancied writing a small guest post for me to celebrate to release the third and final book in the Smoke Thieves, The Burning Kingdom. Phoebe asked Sally and both were thrilled to. As am I as I got quite obsessed with Half Bad, Sally's debut trilogy!

I'm not going to do a write up about The Burning Kingdoms as third and final in series (I'm not going to spoil! I'm not a monster!), so let me do a tiny write-up of Smoke Thieves. Smoke Thieves follows several leads, each from four different kingdom.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and things take several sharp turns, throwing everything off course, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war...

I am thrilled that Sally found the time to write this guest post, so thank you Sally. I, also, want to thank Phoebe for saying yes and chatting to Sally about this post.

Now, before I hand over to Sally, if you want to say hi to her, you can say hi to her via her Twitter (@Sa11eGreen). Plus, if you are curious on The Burning Kingdom or any other of Sally's novels, you can always check her Penguin's website or Book Depository!

With this all out of the way, OVER TO YOU, SALLY!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Audiobook Review - Daisy Jones And The Six

  • Title And Author: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 335 Pages or 9 Hours 3 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Ok, before I go further, want to state that I listened to this last month while doing Believathon so, I decided to put this up now so I don’t get muddled. So, December is going to be a bit of a mixed-bag of books/audiobooks from when I read/listen to them. Plus, with Christmas and New Year round the corner, am going to squeeze them in as much as possible, so sorry in advance for the blog post overload. 

Now, we have housekeeping out of the way, Daisy Jones. As you know, I audiobooked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and thoroughly enjoyed myself with it. I'm thinking of relistening to this in the New Year. And I audiobooked Evidence of the Affair and I liked that a lot. So, going into this, I was excited that it would make a good, if not great, read. Plus, everyone I know who had read this has loved it, so high hopes. 

In the 1970s, Daisy Jones and the Six were rising stars in the rock n roll scene! Their album, Aurora, is rising high in the charts and their tour is selling out. Then, on 12th July, 1979, the seven break up, halfway through their tour. But no one knows why… 

Who knows the truth of what happened that day and the events leading up to it? Daisy Jones, the brilliant songwriter but high functioning drug addict? The egotistical Dunne brothers who control everything the band does? The angry guitarist? The binge-drinking dummer? The Bassist looking to the future? The keyboardist who won’t fit into her gender role? Or the frontman’s wife, who knows that one wrong step from her husband can result in him falling off the wagon or that the connection between him and Daisy is electric? 

There’s never one side to the truth.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Believathon 2019 - Le Belle Sauvage

  • Title And Author: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • Publisher: Penguin/David Fickling Books
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 546 Pages and 13 Hours 14 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - WaterstonesAudible

It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it? With me finally, FINALLY, getting my rear in gear and reading/audiobooking La Belle Sauvage, seeing how much I love the His Dark Materials trilogy and bought this as soon as I could. 

But I held off reading this. For the same reason I’m holding off watching the BBC/HBO adaption of the series - The Fear! I mean, we have been waiting for these FOR YEARS! What if, after all this waiting, they don’t live up to our exceptions?!

So, how/why did I decide to do it now? Well, the audiobook is the main reason. Plus, The Secret Commonwealth for another. OK, let me explain. The Secret Commonwealth has just come out in hardback and I would like to read that as Lyra is an adult in this and I want to return and see what’s happened to her and her daemon, Pan. Now, the audiobook. I returned an audiobook after an hour’s listening on Audible and they, very kindly, gave me a credit as a refund. So, I decided to grab this (as well as activate a Black Friday deal of getting an Audible Subscription with 4 months being only £3.99 [The offer is still going. I think it ends on Thursday 12th December aka UK General Election Day or Friday 13th, so go go! Just remember to cancel it before the price goes up to £7.99])

Anyway, La Belle Sauavge, the first volume in the Book of Dust series is a little different from what everyone was expecting. We thought this was going to follow after His Dark Materials. Nope. This takes place years BEFORE, when Lyra is only six months. 

Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, lives in the pub in Oxford by the river Thames. His life is fairly ordinary, even uneventful. But this winter, the rain won’t stop. Rumours of a flood are everywhere, and Malcolm finds himself near the centre of a battle between religion, science and politics, when he goes to the priory across the river and discover they are looking after a small six month baby called Lyra, daughter of Lord Asriel...

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - The First Lady

  • Title And Author: The First Lady by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
  • Publisher: Century
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed via Local Library & BorrowBox
  • Length: 368 Pages or & Hours 15 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible 

Do you have one of those authors? You know the authors I mean. The ones where you know you shouldn’t read as you and they don’t get on, but every now and then, your resolve weakens and you go “One last time. I will try that author one more time”?

This is my relationship with James Patterson. I find his audiobooks fun, fast and great beach reads, but I find them quite predictable. I know the beats of each of the novels I listen to or read and, though I do have fun listening to the audiobook (I went through a small blitz when I was in my teens with his novels and I find, because of that, I can’t really physical read them any more) and I have a soft spot for the Women’s Murder Club, I always feel a little let down by the stories. 

So, when I first started to think about doing Murder Month, I thought I would give one or two authors a second chance. The first was Patrica Cornwall’s Kay Scarpetta and I found, after nearly two or so hours of audiobooking All That Remains, I frankly didn’t care and I DNFed it. But the second was James Patterson. Now, originally, I decided to do The President Is Missing as that had a lot of hype and noise when it was coming out. But I changed my mind. I’m not sure why, but I decided to try The First Lady instead. 

It’s four weeks before the next Presidential Elections and the President is riding high in the polls. So when he is ambushed walking out of an Atlanta hotel with his mistress, President Tucker is desperate to get the scandal under control, and the first step is the get the First Lady by his side…

Expect, she’s not in the White House. She walked out of the East Wing after the scandal broke to ride her horse outside the capital and, within moments, she loses her security detail lose her. 

The First Lady is missing. Did she run away? Is she dead? Either way, she must be found and, all the while, things are happening behind the scenes… things that will protect the President at all costs.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - Nothing Stays Buried

  • Title And Author: Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBow
  • Length: 320 Pages or 7 Hours 22 minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I wanted to include The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy in my Murder Month, but decided against it for reasons I explained back in July. But I had such a fun time audiobooking it, I decided I wanted another P.J. Tracy audiobook so when back in June/July (yes, I decided to prep for this month and get my stuff together and organise) via my local library audiobook app, I jumped at it. I do like a good audiobook and podcast, as you know! 

This is the 8th book in the Monkeewrench or Twin Cities series (depending on which you prefer - plus, The Guilty Dead was the ninth so am backtracking) and it starts with a body of a woman beginning discovered in a dog park. When detectives Gino and Magozzi get to the scene, they soon realise that this is the work of a serial killer. And he’s stuck before as he left a playing card, like with his last victim over a year ago. Expect that card was the ace of spades and this victim’s card is the four of spades…

As Gino and Magozzi desperately try and stop the killer from completing the whole deck,  they cal on the computer skills of Grace MacBride and the Monkeewrench team for help. But they, too, are investigating a case: a disappearance of a young woman in farm country…

But are the two cases linked to each other?

Friday, 6 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - Small Wars

  • Title And Author: Small Wars by Lee Child
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from BorrowBox & Local Library
  • Length: 1 Hours 17 Minutes
  • Buy From: Audible

Maybe this wasn’t the best place to start with Lee Child and his well loved creation, Jack Reacher. This is, to my knowledge, 19.5 within the series. But when have I ever started in the right place...? 

Set in 1989, a young lieutenant colonel in a stylish handmade uniform and a swish car, drives through the woods down a lone road meets a very tall soldier with a broken-down car. 

But what connects a cold-blooded off-post shooting, an officer in the military police called Jack Reacher, his mysterious brother Joe and a secretive unit of pointy-heads from the Pentagon…? 

So… what are my thoughts of this short audiobook that I wanted to listen to due to Murder Month?

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Audiobook Review - The Witchfinder's Sister

  • Title And Author: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from Essex Libraries via BorrowBox
  • Length: 368 Pages or 10 Hours 54 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
Now, this is a bit of a curveball as historical fiction isn’t my jam. But I requested this from NetGalley AGES ago (yes, it’s an eProof and I am surprise behind on them!) and I’ve been going “I will read this one day… one day…”. Then I saw this on my Library Audiobook app and went “Why Not? I can pop this as one of my Murder Month reads” as, for a reason I’m not 100% certain on why, this book is classed as crime and thriller. So, I’m not sure to pop this in my Murder Month or not… So, it’s going up now! 

Before the famous Salem Witch Hunts happened in the US, the UK had the Essex Witch Trials, spearheaded by the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. When his sister, Alice, is forced to return to the small Essex home in Manningtree after the tragic death of his husband, she hopes for safety, love and support. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed from their last meeting and whispers follow him now. Whispers of witchcraft and whispers of a book he owns, a book where he is gathering women names… As Matthew’s obsession grows, so does the creeping dread Alice feels… How far is Matthew’s obsession going to go? And what choice will Alice make to save herself?

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Audiobook Review - The Guilty Dead

  • Title And Author: The Guilty Dead by P. J. Tracy 
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eBook gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction & audiobooked borrowed by BorrowBox and Essex Libraries
  • Length: 384 Pages and 9 Hours 2 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Before I go any further, I want to say that I was going to pop this into a themed-month I am thinking of doing this coming September. I was thinking of doing a crime/thriller month - basically, reading books where people die in them. But, as I was writing this, I changed my mind and decided to pop it up now, but am going to read/review another book by this author for that month if I decide to go ahead with it. 

Ok, backstory time. I have read P.J. Tracy once before, MANY MANY years ago when Want to Play? (the author’s debut) first came out. This was around the time I was beginning to get into the crime genre and didn’t know anything I can’t remember if I liked it or not (I think I did), but I do remember that I wanted to check out the other books in the series. Expect I didn’t. And now, years later, I requested this and a few other titles by the author via NetGalley (eProofs) and am now, FINALLY, making some headway with them. 

And the reason I went for this one is because I started getting audiobooks from my library (via BorrowBox app) and this title was available first (am on hold for Nothing Stays Buried, as well as other titles from other authors, all within the genre of crime or true crime…) 

In this, the ninth instalment of the Twin Cities or Monkeewrench series, Gregory Norwood is a wealthy businessman and close friend of the lead candidate for Minnesota’s Governor, is found dead on the first anniversary of his son’s drug overdose. It seems obvious that grief drove him to commit suicide. 

Expect why would a left-handed man use his right hand to pull the trigger? And why is there blood and hair of a photo-journalist at the house - when his body is discovered in park mere hours later? 

What should be an open and shut case turns into a murder enquiry and with this, it raises the question: is there something dark hiding in city’s most powerful family’s closet? And with Monkeewrench’s beta-test of a computer programme discover a possible terror attack might be happening soon, everyone has to work fast… 

So, what did I think of this?

Friday, 17 May 2019

Mini-Reviews - Nought Forever & For Every One

Well, this is gonna screw up my Affiliates as I like to start each review with info and links (to keep as transparent as possible) but I decide to put these two together and I don't really have much to say on them but I love and hugely respect both authors but, hang on... let me get this out of the way then we can start! 
  • Title And Author: For Every One by Jason Reynolds and Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman
  • Publishers: Knights Of & Penguin respectively
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical for For Every One and eBook for Nought Forever
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 112 pages each
  • Buy For Every One From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones
  • Buy Nought Forever From: Foyles - Waterstones
Well, that was a little easier than I thought. 

Anyway... For Every One is a poem (or is a letter?) talking about the importance of going after your dreams, whatever they are. 

Whereas Nought Forever (a World Book Day short story for this year) follows Dan and Eva, two Noughts who paths cross where Dan is on the run from a ruthless gang and Eva is grieving for her daughter yet compelled to help, even though it's the last thing she wants... 

I decided to pop these together as I love and respect both these authors. And yet... these aren't for me. 

Yeah, it's a "It's not you, it's me" situation. 

For For Every One, I can see how clever, how powerful, how inspiring this poem is. I can see that. But poetry isn't a genre I am well read in and I struggled to read this and get into the flow. Plus, I have a funny feeling I read this at the wrong time for me. If I reread this in the future and in a different mood, my reaction would be very different. 

With Nought Forever, I loved the writing and the story Malorie was writing. But it ended a tad too soon for my taste. I just needed more one line. Plus, I can't escape the feeling that this was a marketing ploy by the publisher to get readers excited for the fifth instalment in the Noughts and Crosses series, Crossfire, and with the series and author having huge fan following (and the BBC is adapting and airing Noughts and Crosses later this year), his marketing ploy isn't really needed. 

Like I said, I love and respect both authors and I see how both titles affect other readers, but for me, in this moment in time, it doesn't work for me. It's very much a "Me Thing" as I sense I wasn't in the right headspace to read these so I am thinking to returning to both in the future when I am ready. Who knows - my reaction to these two in the future might be completely different! 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Book Review - The Fork, The Witch and The Worm

  • Title And Author: The Fork, The Witch and the Worm by Christopher Paolini
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by ED PR in exchange for an honest review
  • Length: 320 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

As you know if you have followed the Pewter Wolf in the past month or so, I’m planning to read Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini through 2019. Or try to (they are meaty books!). I planned this back in late summer 2018. So when this collection of short stories was announced to go with the series, I added it on my radar, but with the plan to read AFTER I completed the four book series. 

However, when the lovely people at ED PR sent me a copy and told me “Oh, you can read this as an entry point to the series if you are a newbie to the world or readers of the series can read now as a tie-them-over till when the fifth novel set in the world comes out (oh, Christopher has said he’s planning to write more novels set in the world of Alagaësia but following new characters, so companion novels technically)”, I decided that I would read this collection before I go to Eragon (which would be a reread to me as I read this YEARS ago but never carried on due to the following novels lengths!). A bit of a refresher and, hopefully, a nice way to ease self back into the world of dragons… 

Set a year after the events of Inheritance, Eragon is trying to find a new home for the dragons. But with that, comes duties. Trade agreements, guarding dragons, dealing with elves and Urgals. But three things happen that, hopefully, bring Eragon a much needed-distraction and new perspective: a vision from the spirits of the dragons past, an unexpected visitor and an Urgal legend.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Audibook Review - Becoming

  • Title And Author: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 463 Pages or 19 Hours
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I only finished this on the second of January but started this at beginning of December so TECHNICALLY, this is a 2018 read. But as I finished this is 2019, am classing this as my first 2019 listen! And what a why to start my reading year off! 

Becoming is Michelle Obama memoir about her becoming the woman she is today. Becoming herself while growing up on the South Side of Chicago, becoming a lawyer, becoming a wife, becoming a mother, becoming the First Lady of the United States - the first African American to do so, becoming an advocate to young girls and women everywhere. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Audiobook Review - Heroes

As you guys are probably aware, I got a little obsessed when I listened to the audiobook version of Stephen Fry’s Mythos. So much so, I did the super rare thing and bought the physical copy of the book. That was how obsessed I got with this. 

So, when I discovered that there was a second edition to the Mythos Volumes, Heroes, I preordered that audiobook faster than I thought possible. I had this reaction when I discovered I could preorder Michelle Obama’s audiobook, Becoming (which am slowly listening to now. Am trying to savour that one!). 

Following on from Mythos, Heroes follows the tales of Greek heroes - from Jason aboard the Argo and his quest for the Golden Fleece, Oedipus solving the riddle of the Sphinx, Bellerophon capturing this winged horse Pegasus and the Labours of Heracles… 

So, what do I think of this, seeing how much I loved Mythos

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Audiobook Review - Waking Gods

  • Title And Author: Waking Gods (The Themis Files: Book 2) by Sylvain Neuvel
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 336 Pages or 9 Hours, 8 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Audible

Earlier this year, I listened to the audiobook of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, the first book in the Themis Files (my write-up for that is here, FYI), and since then, I wanted to listen to the second book in the trilogy to see where the series goes. 

So, when I got a credit on Audible (I preordered an audiobook so I had to wait a month or so), I bought this and went “Ok, hopefully, I’m going to enjoy this as much as I did the first!”

Set around ten years after the events of Sleeping Giants, a giant alien metal robot materialise in the centre of London. There was no warning for its arrival. It stands alone in London, stock still. As if it’s waiting… And it looks frightening like Themis. 

Doctor Rose Franklin can’t remember what happened to her. According to what she’s been told. she died several years ago and yet, here she stands, with no memory of what happened to her. As she, her team and Themis’s pilots try and figure out what to do next, a military decision backfires, reducing in half the city of London being destroyed! 

Now, with more alien robots appearing all over the world in cities, it’s a race against time as, if no-one can figure out what these robots want and a way to stop them, over 99% of the human population is going to die… 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Audiobook Review - Sleeping Giants

After listen to the Mythos audiobook, I wanted to listen to another audiobook with that addictive quality. I'm not 100% sure what made me decide to get Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, but I have loved the cover art for it since it first came out and, after listening to the sampler a few times, I went "Ok, I need to listen to this."

In Deadwood, USA, a girl fell into a hole. When she was discovered several hours laters, she was found in the palm of a giant metallic hand. Years later, the girl has grown into Dr Rose Franklin, who is asked by an unknown figure to lead a team to discover the rest of the metallic body.

But the metal used in the strangest Rose has ever seen, and when a forearm is discovered halfway round the word, the race is on to find all the pieces before other countries discover them. But are these pieces meant to be discovered? Where did these pieces come from? And what's going to happen when the pieces are put together?

This was such an gripping listen. Am kinda glad I audiobooked this rather than read as I think I would have struggled. Most, if not all of this book/this series, is told in transcripts, very much in a similar style to Illuminae trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. But this had a huge cast so this felt like an audio play rather then a audiobook, and this worked as the names went over my head so the voices helped me so much. So, production wise, this was stunning!

The story itself is interesting. This comes under sci-fi when you look on Audible, and while I agree up to a point, this book did feel more like a political thriller with a sci-fi twist. I sense that, as the trilogy goes forward, the science fiction element was became more pronoun at the end of Sleeping Giants will be pushed more to the forefront of the story. But the advertising for it felt out of step, and while that would annoy some people, I actually didn't might the political thriller element, as I watch shows such as Blacklist and Blindspot so I slipped into it with easy.

But I really liked the story. It was slower paced than what I was expecting, but it moved at a good pace, fast enough to keep you listening but slow enough to make you go "Well, this would be realistic in real life". The characters felt interesting yet flaw. I am surprised intrigued by one of the main character who we learn nothing about. He has no name, he let's nothing slip about himself to anyone and he pushes the story forward with back-up plans and "friends" in high places. This story felt like a sci-fi book I could very easy sink my teeth into and could very easily devour the entire trilogy in a ridiculously short space of time.

Barring this, I found Sleeping Giants an addictive listen and I really want to continue with the series. I will have to stick with audiobook rather than reading, and if/when I do continue with this, I will have to put reading book 2 and 3 of the Illuminae trilogy on hold so I don't get myself into a knot over which book is doing what or merge the plots together...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Audiobook Review - Mythos

I think we all have a soft spot for Greek mythology. I do. I love myths in general and, if I wasn't scared of debts and everything else that comes with going to university, I think I would've loved to study myths (which would have been Classics, I think) or English. But I never went, but that's getting away from the point.

A few weeks back, I got a few credits on my Audible and asked what audiobooks I should listen to. I had a vague idea of one of the titles I wanted to do (Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, though Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz did call to me as well) but I wanted something different. I wanted to try something new and something I would be a little afraid to try. The lovely Virginie at Chouett tweeted me and said she was nearly finished audiobooking Mythos and was hugely enjoying herself and thought I might like. A few days later, she sent me a copy of the audiobook via audible, which was a lovely surprise. Plus, neither she nor I lost a credit over it (it's a one off thing Audible do, according to my research so am planning to return the favour with a surprise audiobook choice of my own... be afraid, Virginie. Be very afraid.)

Mythos is Stephen Fry's attempt to retell some Greek myths. From the dawn of creation, the war between the Titans and the Olympians, the creation of mankind through to the myths told within the Gold and Silver Ages of Greece.

There's not much else to say about what the book is about as it's just that: Stephen Fry retelling some Greek myths. And guess what: I adore this. So much so, I am very tempted to buy the hardback edition of this to use for research or when the mood takes me to reread/relearn the myths. I didn't know them all, so there was always a new myth to discover and me to go "Oh!" over.

I devoured this audiobook and Stephen is a wonderful narrator. I love him reading Harry Potter and it carried over. Plus, when the author reads their own work, there's something more special about it. They get the rhythm of the story and the humour, and Stephen does add a lot of humour to the myths he decides to retell.

He admits from the start that he tries to put the myths in an order to make it easier for himself and the reader to understand, and this does help with him doing this.

There are two faults with this, and they aren't really Stephen's fault. The first is the names. There are so many of them. There are gods, titans, demi-gods, nymphs, furies, humans, and that's to name a few. It can be overwhelming if you're not on the ball. I might have to do a relisten myself to get them straight in my own head.

The second is length. Like I said before, Stephen tackles the gods and their lengths and he tackles the myths told from the beginning to creation all the way through the Golden and Silver Ages. He goes into a little more depth with the myths he tackles. But, because of this, ee doesn't touch the three other stages in Geek myths - Bronze, Heroic and Iron - so he doesn't tackle Hercules, Jason, Troy and other myths we're probably more aware of. But this gives me a small hope that maybe, just maybe, that Stephen will do a sequel and tackle these ages.

I adore this and I do hope Stephen does do another book about Greek myths. If not, I will probably go on the prowl for other books that tackle myths (hopefully Egyptian as I am fascinated with Egyptian gods, but open to read Roman, Native American, Indigenous Australians - in fact, will happily read any myths and legends. Recommend to me, dear readers!). My copy of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology is getting me the eye - should I be worried?

PS - Zeus. Mate, could you not stay faithfully? I mean... either see a sex therapist to talk about your sex addiction or let Hera leave you...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

eBook Review - Felix the Railway Cat

As you guys know, I have started (for this month and maybe next month) to do polls on Twitter so you guys decide what I read next. And this is the first book you guys picked! And the only reason I think you guys chose this book is because CAT!!!

When Huddersfield Train Station decided to get a railway cat for their station, they had no idea how the tiny fluffy kitten will affect their lives and the lives of their passengers. From helping a child come out of his shell to providing comfort to a runaway child, Felix changed everyone's lives. But it's a chance friendship with a commuter that brings Felix into the media spotlight and international stardom. 

I follow Felix the Huddersfield Cat on Facebook (not sure how I discovered this fan page, truth be told!) and love it. So when this was chosen, I was a little thrilled. And it was a fun read - what I expected. It was fun, gentle, candy floss read. Something you can read on the beach during the summer holidays. There is a few sad moments but it feels very heartwarming. 

I do have some issues with this. Mainly, the writing style. I couldn't gel with it. It was as if the author couldn't decide who they were writing for. For an adult audience (on NetGalley, this is under the category of "General Fiction (Adult)") or for a younger, child friendly audience. At times, the writing felt confusing over target audience. 

But cat lovers and fans of Felix will love reading this on a train with their cup of coffee on their morning commute. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Murder Month - Little Boy Blue

Second audiobook for the month of Murder May! I warned you guys on Twitter I was trying to work hard on this for the past few months! And because of this, I must thank Leanne from Midas PR for giving me this audiobook (via Audible) for review.

In this, the fifth DI Helen Grace series, DI Helen Grace and her team are called to investigate a murder at a BDSM club. It's obvious that this was't a sex game gone wrong. But when the victim is revealed to Helen, the case becomes too close to home and, hiding her connection to the victim, Helen must try and keep her head to investigate this case.

But with in-fighting between two of her officers, a boss that might have an unhealthy obsession with her, and a killer who seems to be one step ahead, can Helen solve this case? Or will this be her fall from grace?

Like I said in the previous paragraph, this is the fifth book in the series. A fact I didn't know this I was a good way into the story. And while you can read this as a standalone up to a point, this book does have connections to the previous books in the series so you might want to go back and start with Eeny Meeny and work your way through.

This story is a weird beast. There were elements of this I liked and elements I had serious problems with.

Let's start with the positives. This book was fast paced and moved at a good speed. The chapters are short - very James Patterson - and this felt like something was happening, even when you were going "Why are we reading about this?", even though you suspected that this was going to effect the ending of the book. It had a level of grit and it showed that the author worked hard to get details right and I haven't read a book that tackled BDSM before (it's always touched upon in some crime books I have read/watched but never tackled properly).

The negatives I will try and keep equally brief. I didn't like most of the characters and their attitudes. Most I felt didn't feel "right" and those that were, I felt were pure backstabbers - not something I felt would represent the Police in a respectable light. For example, there was one character who tried to do something to another (who fought back!). Later, out of pettiness, the first character decides to do something that could and will destroy the other character, and I found this unforgivable.

There were times I fear the story became predictable and if you are a seasoned crime reader, you might suspect where the plot might be going.

Also, I wasn't the biggest fan of the reader in this story. I'm not sure why - nothing wrong with Elizabeth Bower's reading. But I seem to prefer her when she was reading faster-paced scenes. When the pace slowed, I lost connection with the story.

But my main issue was that this book is a two-parter. The continuation of this story arc will go into the next book - Hide and Seek (out this coming September) - and I feel that this is a very cheap trick. Why wasn't these two stories written as one longer novel? And with the way this book ended, I can't see any way the author can undo the damage he's caused to his characters. I fear he might have boxed himself into a corner...

But, like I said before, I dived into this without knowing this was the fifth book in the series so I might be missing a trick that the author has pulled off in previous books...

If you are a fan of MJ Arlidge or the other DI Helen Grace books, you will devour this. Not come across this author before (barring Six Degrees of Assassination), I would say go back to the series start with Eeny Meenie and take it from there. But be warned, this series will not be everyone's cup of tea nor is it for the faint-hearted.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

GoodRead - Frozen

As you guys might be aware, I was on the Mystical Lit Lounge podcast, chatting about the World Premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (my episode is here if you fancy a listen or you're curious on what I sound like). So, because I love this podcast and both Kim and Shannon, I wanted to do one of the podcast's Book of the Month. And this month, the podcast was doing two books I really want to read: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. So, bought both audiobooks and I have finished Frozen, hence this review.

So, hopefully, the lovely ladies at MLL will have a spoiler-filled episode on this out by the time this review pops online (if so, the link will go here!). If not, oh well... Here's my (hopefully) spoiler-free review.

In a futurist world covered in ice, there is New Vegas. Its neon lights still shining bright. The gambling still 24/7. Nat is a young blackjack dealer in one of the casinos, but she is Marked and in hiding. For if you're Marked, you are treated with fear. Nat can hear a voice inside her head, ordering her to travel to the Blue. A place where the skies are blue, the water is drinkable and the sun shines. But the Blue doesn't exist... right?

But when she's finds a map that could take her there, she enlisted the help of Wes, a "runner" and a former Marine. Can he get her safety there? And what would the pair face as they cross the ice and the dangerous black waters?

Now, I'm in two minds over this. I like the audiobook and I like the idea of the story. But I have problems. Quite a few problems that can really be summed up into three points.

But let's start with the positives. I enjoyed listening to the story, and I think the main reasons for this was he two readers of the audiobooks: Phoebe Stroll and Dan Bittner. I liked how they read the characters of Wes and Nat. Even though one or two characters's voices grated on me a little bit, I enjoyed how they told the story.

And (all English teachers around the world would be furious that I started a sentence with that word) I liked the general idea of Frozen. I like the idea of there being a second ice age and the idea that there is a utopia somewhere on the planet. Plus, the story between Nat and Wes that slowly turned from client and hired help to friends to possible lovers was nice and slow. Not instant love. HURRAY!!!

But I have faults. Three real faults.

The first is age. By that, I mean both of the main characters and the target readership. Both Nat and Wes are sixteen. Yet, this feels unbelievable. As I stated before, Nat is a blackjack dealer so it kinda fits. If you don't think too much about the gambling laws at the present moment (which, by the looks of it, don't exist in this new icy world). But Wes is the problem. Wes is an ex-Marine sergeant, a mercenary and a "runner". Yet, we are told that Wes is sixteen years old. It doesn't feel plausible, and because of this, you begin to wonder if the authors change the characters's age by a few years to fit the YA age group. The reason I feel this is because, at times, I honestly felt that the characters should have been eighteen, nineteen, maybe even twenty and the story could have been more interesting but this would be classed as New Adult or fantasy.

My second problem is world building. I am using this as a very broad umbrella so please bear with me. The world building in this story was, to me, either vague or non-existent. If you want me to believe in this world, you have to give me something to believe in. For example, the world is in the grip of a second ice age but, to my knowledge, the authors didn't tell us what caused this ice age. Was it global warming? Was it a meteor, crashing into earth? Did the sun die? This was never explain so I always doubted it. Then we were introduced to fantastical creatures - sylphs, draus, drakons (aka dragons to you and I), thrillers (aka zombies), wailers and the Blue being a utopia that might have been Atlantis - and it's too much. We get confused and ask questions that don't get answered. You can't create a good world building by throwing magical creatures at the readers. It doesn't work.

My third and final point is predictability. Apart from one hour, maybe two hours at a push, I knew where the story was going. I could guess (and usually got right) what was going to happen in each chapter and saw how each chapter was going to end. And (that word again) because it was so predictable, I saw things and went "Oh, how convenient. Maybe... a little too convenient". Like I said, there was a nearly two hours of the story where I didn't know where it was going and there was one point I went "NO! Don't you dare do a Jace/Clary in City of Bones on me!" but, most of the time, I saw where it was going.

There is potential in this series. I'm hope that this potential could be hit upon in the second book. But the question is: will I go back to this series? Truthfully, I'm not certain. Maybe I will, just for the narrators. But the story... I'm not certain that I will rush out and buy it. Maybe I'll wait other reviewers reactions....