Category: Book Recommendations

Recommendations: Books I’ve Read Recently

Hi Readers,

I have read a few books lately that I would recommend you add to your TBR or read right away! Sometimes, you come across books that you liked so much you just have to share, so here goes!


  • This book was awesome!! I still can’t get it out of my head. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. To see what i thought of it, read my review of Sugar Skulls.sugar skulls
  • This Dystopian novel was a good read and not having read a lot of these, I was pleasantly surprised. Read my review of Forget Tomorrow.forget tomorrow
  • This second book in The Last Changeling Duology was deliciously dark and enjoyable. Read my review of The Last Faerie Queenthe last faerie queen
  • I love steampunk fantasy novels, and this one was really good!! Read my review of Hour Of Mischief.hour of mischief

These are just a few of what I’ve read recently but these are the ones that I had the most fun reading and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts? Which books have you read recently that you just can’t forget?


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My Week In Book & Mini Book Haul #7 (Nov 16-22, 2015)

Hello Readers

Welcome to my Week in Books! I have been trying to fit in at least 1 book that I want to read between those that I am reading for review purposes. At present I am reading the Department 19 series and loving it!!


Ebooks I Read


Hardcopy Read

Dept 19 2

Mini Book Haul


Received For Review


A huge thank you to the authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Tours Organisers who grant copies of books for an honest review!!  I will be hosting  Book Tours for some of the books mentioned and will be reviewing them as part of the tour.

That was my week in books! What did you read and or haul? Comments and suggestions are welcome!! See you next week!

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My Week In Book & Mini Book Haul #6 (Nov 9-15, 2015)

Hello Readers

Welcome to another Week In Books! I had so much fun at the book fair last week that I went back and got a few more books . I also realised that I had bought books 1, 2 and 5 Of the Department 19 series instead of 1,2  and 3 as I had intended so I went back and got the other 2 books in this series.

Ebooks I Read

craving beauty forget tomorrow grudging have you seen house of the lost girls journey through sugar skulls

Hardcopy Read

dept 19


kingdom of the wicked

Mini Book Haul


cress dept 19 3 dept 19 4 scarlet


drachengott 1 drachengott 2 lucid dreaming soundless

Received For Review

false idols feast of fates fire the reluctant

A huge thank you to the authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Tours Organisers who grant copies of books for an honest review!!  I will be hosting  Book Tours for some of the books mentioned and will be reviewing them as part of the tour.

That was my week in books! What did you read and or haul? Comments and suggestions are welcome!! See you next week!

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Review: Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas

Sugar Skulls by Glenn Dallas and Lisa Mantchev sugar skulls
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult, Science Fiction

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinion.


Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.
Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.
Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

sugar skulls

This Cover is just sooo beautiful!! I am definitely buying a hard copy of this soon!!

My Review

Wow! What a ride this book has taken me on! I can in all honesty say that I’ve never read anything like it. This is no cookie-cutter novel, this is an ORIGINAL. There is not a single thing I didn’t like in this book. Even if the story itself had flopped, I would have read it anyway just for the beautiful, seductively poetic prose. Thankfully, that prose was effectively married to an intricate plot, fleshed out with awesome multi-faceted characters and effective detailed world building. Basically, this book had me at ‘hello’!

Sugar Skulls is experienced ( the use of experienced instead of told here is deliberate) through dual perspectives, which has the effect of two complementary entertwining stories. Even though the voices are very different, I did not love one more than the other. They were for me equally interesting.

The main characters Vee and Micah, are very relatable and well developed with so many sides to them that they don’t feel like characters but real persons:

We have Vee, lead singer in the band Sugar Skulls, rockstar with a voice guaranteed to evoke powerful emotions , enough to fill those thrum collectors to the brim and then some, which harness the energy generated from all those emotions and sexual tensions enhanced by drug cocktails specifically made to elicit that special high. Her character has depth and personality. We see her as the sexy bombshell whom the crowd would gladly eat alive, the party girl trying to lose herself in drugs and drink, down for anything, stripped of her costume and facepaint, she just wants to go unnoticed and yearns for something, not sure what until she sees Micah.

” Except for the guy. The guy at the bar with the piercing gaze and the messy hair and the look of a lost soul….Even leaning back , every line of his body indicates a readiness to bolt.”

Then there is Micah, man on a mission, living ‘off the grid’, trying to move about inconspicuously. He has lost his band of friends In Cyrene to a new, very lethal drug and is determined to hunt down the source and shut it down at all costs. He trolls the clubs in his guise as a ‘runner’ hoping to get information about the key players in this drug operation. He has no room for anything else until he hears Vee.

“If strings ran up my spine, she just plucked the high E, a fierce vibration that shakes me to my core.
She looks away, and quakes subside into mere tremors. Propping myself up against the bar, I abandon my drink to process the last few seconds.
All these months, there’s been nothing. But just now? I felt it. I feel it. I pulse with life, lightning dancing across my skin as she batters the crowd with furious verses.
But I’m stuck on that first gasp.
One note. One word. She laid me low and resurrected me in one fell swoop.
Who is this girl?”

It is insta-love or obsession and it’s epic! They can’t stop thinking about each other, although for different reasons. I’m not usually a fan of insta-anything but in this instance, it makes sense once the plot unfolds.

Can I just say how much I love this concept of Cyrene? It is weird and ‘far out’ but it works for me. Talk about worldbuilding! In Cyrene the harnessing of energy is big business. Bodies are enhanced by nano-tech, STDs and pregnancy are not cause for worry; the nano-tech takes care of that so feel free to get as wild as you would like without the usual consequences. Thrum collectors harness the energy given off by heightened emotions and everyone is on the grid which allows the Corporate to keep track of energy outputs. Still with me? How imaginative is that?

“Everyone’s down there, the hive alight as they sample pills and eyedroppers. and stimulants galore, expenses covered by a simple tap on a biometric scanner, small stipends of starter credit funding newfond vices. This preshow binge will pay off in spades a few minutes from now.

Especially if those new thrum-collectors mounted along either side of the pit are up to the task. In a few minutes, the show will kick off and the collectors will go to work, grids of lasers collecting every ounce of thrum generated as the crowd writhes and jumps and dances, fueled by a cocktail of music and chemistry. The free light show is just icing on the cake.”

The idea of powering the city and the rest of the world on energy collected from young adults at the height of their curiosity and experimental phase, at the height of drug – induced highly emotive states is brilliant!! And using music as a medium is absolutely perfect because who doesn’t love music? If you’ve been to  a music festival, you know the ‘vibe’ that is given off, it’s contagious even if you are not under the influence, because music has this way of evoking varying emotional states.

Even though V and Micah’s relationship or pursuit of one, is an integral part of the plot, it is not the only thing going on. This book has a bit of everything which means it will appeal not only to NA readers but older readers too. We have the whole cyber-punk-techno-futuristic-almost dystopian feel, coupled with romantic elements, action filled scenes, tension and angsty situations and interesting interactions between the main characters and sub characters. It is fast paced and I like the structure; short sentences. I also felt that the romance was well done because the connection betwen them felt real, not just filler material.

This book was like a drug. It was addictive and I could not put it down. I highly recommend that you read this if you haven’t done so already. If my review seems all over the place to you, its because I haven’t come down from this ‘high’ yet and probably never will! I freaking loved it!!

My Rating

5 stars


I recommend this for fans of ‘different’ and ‘original’ , who are not afraid to read something that is ‘out of the box’. I would also not recomend this for the younger readers since there are mature situations and quite a few curse words.

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Review: Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

Title: Of Breakable Thingscover_V1
Author: A. Lynden Rolland
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 29, 2014

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Month9Books) and Chapter By Chapter for an honest review in anticipation of an upcoming Review Tour for the sequel ‘Of Delicate Pieces’.

Goodreads Summary:

A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.

When Chase dies tragically, Alex embraces her own mortality. What she didn’t expect was that she’d have to make a choice: forget the years of pain and suffering once and for all, or linger as a spirit and get another chance at life and love.

Alex doesn’t hesitate to choose; she’d follow Chase anywhere. But the spirit world is nothing like she expected, and Alex finds she’s forced to fight for her life once more. For even in a world where secrets are buried much deeper than six feet under, a legacy can continue to haunt you—and in a place this dangerous, no one is resting in peace.

add to goodreads

of breakable piecesMy Thoughts

This is such a beautiful cover!

I really enjoyed this book. This is one of those stories that surprise you. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did! I savoured every word and took my time enjoying every delicious moment.

“Freedom of choice doesn’t refute the idea of fate. Choices lead you to various paths, but some lives are intended to cross with others. It’s just in their design; some magnetically attract and also repel”.

The World:

I thought the worldbuilding was ingenious. The details were impeccable and not overbearing. Instead bit by bit, details were revealed and this was done in a really subtle manner.

  • Alex ends up in a ‘school’ for the dead where she learns about the spirit world and their history. She thought she had made the easy choice but soon she is entangled in the mystery of who she is, who her ancestors were and where she belongs in this rivalry between ghosts.
  • Imagine a world where you live as a spirit, without the weight of a body but with the capacity to do soo much! Seeing as far as you allow yourself to, where the only limit is your imagination and willpower!
  • In death, the mind freed from the physical constraints of a body is limitless. New horizons are arrived at and surpassed.
  • Radio waves are used as a means of transportation and apparently the telemarketers are in on it so be careful next time you get a call from one, it just might be a ruse to allow a spirit to travel!
  • Awesome abilities like being able to see the colours of emotions or being able to elicit emotions using art.
  • Like any world, there are the misfits, the priveliged and those trying to fit it at any cost. Alex has to figure out where she fits in since her arrival has caused much consternation and gossip as to where she belongs.

The Characters

I found the characters to be fully developed and multi-dimensional, even the secondary characters served a purpose and are memorable.

  • Alex, the main character has had the thought of death hanging over her from since she was born with the disease . Before her own life ended, she lost her dearest friend and only love, Chase. So when given a choice between forgetting all the painful memories or keeping them with the possibility of seeing Chase again, her choice was easy. I love the connection between these two, its sweet and somewhat innocent. So she has it made, right? Except things are not as simple as she thought.
  • Chase is handsome and caring, the perfect guy really. I like that he is always there for Alex and that he never gives up on her even if it meant him getting into trouble.
  • The Lasalle brothers are all very interesting and I felt like I got to know all of them equally. Jonas is by far the most intriguing though, because I am not quite sure what to make of him. He is such a contrary person, I doubt he even knows for sure what he really feels.

I really liked this book! It was the right mix of budding romance, suspense and fantasy to keep me interested. The worldbuilding is original and imaginative.I was so happy I had the second book ready and waiting because I was not ready to leave this world just yet!

If there was anything I didn’t like it’s that there were some ‘things’ left hanging and others that were  alluded to that were never really explained but that’s for the sequel I’m sure.




I recommend this for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series or just anyone who likes a good read!

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Recommendations: 11 Perfect Halloween Reads

Today I am pleased to present a list of books that I think are perfect for getting your spook on! These are sure to grant you some chills and thrills!

In no particular order :

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNishthe hunting ground

Goodreads Summary: When Elliott and his brother move into the old and crumbling Glebe House they don’t expect to find themselves sharing it with ghosts. But soon sinister events are unfolding. An old diary reveals glimpses of the mansion’s past – and of a terrible tragedy. An old woman talks to ghosts – but is she in fact being controlled by them? And what of the sinister East Wing – a hideous labyrinth devised by a truly twisted mind? Can Elliott and his family escape the clutches of Glebe House? Or will they end up trapped in the endless maze of corridors, forever hunted by the dead

Long Lankin by Lindsey BarracloughLong Lankin

Goodreads Summary: Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries — before it’s too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

The Mark of Cain (Long Lankin 2) by Lindsey Barraclough

Goodreads Summary: 1567 the mark of cain lankin 2
Aphra is not a normal child. Found abandoned as a baby among the reeds and rushes, the two outcast witches who raise her in their isolated cottage are never sure if she was born, or just pushed up through the foul, black mud for them to find. Little Aphra’s gifts in the dark craft are clear, even as an infant, but soon even her guardians begin to fear her.
When a violent fire destroys their home, Aphra is left to fend for herself. Years of begging and stealing make her strong, but they also make her bitter, for she is shunned and feared by everyone she meets.
Until she reaches Bryers Guerdon and meets the man they call Long Lankin – the leper. Ostracized and tormented, he is the only person willing to help her.
And together, they plot their revenge.
Four years have passed since the death of Ida Guerdon, and Cora is back in Bryers Guerdon in the manor house her aunt left to her. It is a cold, bitter winter, and the horrifying events of that sweltering summer in 1958 seem long past.
Until Cora’s father arranges for some restoration work to take place at Guerdon Hall, and it seems that something hidden there long ago has been disturbed. The spirit of Aphra Rushes – intent on finishing what she began, four centuries ago.

The Hawley Book Of The Dead by Chrysler Szarlanthe hawley book of the dead

Goodreads Summary: For fans of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and A Discovery of Witches comes a brilliantly imagined debut novel brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic.
  Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.
Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.
Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.
Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.
Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Read by John Harding

Goodreads Summary:A sinister Gothic tale in the tradition of The Woman in Black and The girl who couldnt readThe Fall of the House of Usher
New England, the 1890s. A man calling himself Doctor John Shepherd arrives at an isolated women’s mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner Dr Morgan. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his own dark secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Who is the woman who wanders the corridors by night with murderous intent? Why does the chief nurse hate him? And why is he not allowed to visit the hospital’s top floor? Shocked by Morgan’s harsh treatment of the patients, and intrigued by one of them, Jane Dove, a strange amnesiac girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. As he attempts to solve the mystery of Jane’s past his own troubled history begins to catch up with him and she becomes his only hope of escape, as he is hers. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what he or she seems. The Girl Who Couldn’t Read is the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed international bestseller Florence and Giles but can also be read as a gripping standalone novel.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Goodreads Summary: The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking the lie treethem. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father’s journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.
When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, and the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
But as Faith’s untruths spread like wildfire across her small island community, she discovers that sometimes a single lie is more potent than any truth.

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Goodreads Summary: The first things to shift were the doll’s eyes, the beautiful grey-greencuckoo song glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss’s face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.
‘What are you doing here?’ It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. ‘Who do you think you are? This is my family.’
When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.
Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it’s too late…

The Awesome by Evan Darrows

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. 23014001She’s also not like other girls her age, but then, who would be when the family business is monster hunting? Combat boots, ratty hooded sweatshirts, and hair worn short so nothing with claws can get a grip, Maggie’s concerns in life slant more toward survival than fashion or boys. Which presents a problem when Maggie’s mother informs Maggie that she can’t get her journeyman’s license for hunting until she loses her virginity.
Something about virgin blood turning vampires into pointy rage monsters. Blood and gore and insides being on the outside and all that.
Maggie’s battled ghosts and goblins and her fair share of house brownies, but finding herself a boy – fitting in with her peers – proves a much more daunting task than any monster hunt. Did you know normal girls don’t stuff their bras with holy water balloons? Nor do they carry wooden stakes in their waistbands. And they care about things like “matching” and “footwear.” Of course, they also can’t clean a gun blindfolded, shoot a crossbow, or exorcise ghosts from a house. Which means they’re lame and Maggie’s not. Because Maggie’s awesome. The Awesome, in fact. Just ask her. She’d be more than happy to tell you.
After she finds herself a date.

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Goodreads Sumary: Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an shadowshaperaction-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

Goodreads Summary: You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of the girl from the wellbeing has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

Goodreads Summary: Over the last year I’ve gone against faceless women, disfigured the sufferingspirits, and grotesque revenants. Some people keep dangerous hobbies; skydiving and driving at monster truck rallies and glacier surfing. Me? I cast my soul into the churning waters of potential damnation and wait for a bite.
It’s been two years since Tark Halloway’s nightmare ended. Free from the evil spirit that haunted him all his life, he now aids the ghostly Okiku and avenges the souls of innocent children by hunting down their murderers. But when Okiku becomes responsible for a death at his high school, Tark begins to wonder if they’re no better than the killers they seek out.
When an old friend disappears in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, both must resolve their differences and return to that country of secrets to find her.
Because there is a strange village inside Aokigahara, a village people claim does not exist. A village where strange things lie waiting.
A village with old ghosts and an ancient evil – one that may be stronger than even Okiku…

There are soo many creepy books out there. Have you read these? If not, give them a try and let me know what you think. Recommendations and suggestions are always welcome!!


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2015 Fantasy Releases I Recommend

2015 has seen quite a few interesting releases in fantasy thus far and since I have read quite a few of these books, I feel confident in making a few recommendations. These books  I have selected are those which stand out as being very enjoyable reads and i have given ratings of either 4 or 5 out of 5 stars. If you have read any of these books , please share your thoughts.

  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (Published January 13, 2015)
    GoodReads Summary: Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
    Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
    At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
    Until one day, he does…
    As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
    I was already in love with the cover and the synopsis but I fell in love  with the prose and the writing style the author employed in this book. It is a YA novel so there was a bit of flirty romance and “foolishness” but not so much that it in any way devalued the story. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars.
    Dark part forest
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Published Feb 10, 2015)
    GoodReads Summary: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
    The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
    That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
    Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
    But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…
    This book has had both good and bad reviews but I totally enjoyed. It was not very deep but totally engrossing and there was enough action to make the story flow. There was even a couple plot twists which accounted for some tension which I think is necessary to stimulate interest. This earned 4 out of 5 queen
  • A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E Schwab
    Goodreads Summary: Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
    Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
    Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
    But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
    This book was awesome! I devoured it and I loved almost everything about it. I loved the idea of alternate Londons and the magic system was well thought out. I am looking forward to the second installment in this series scheduled to be released in 2016. I gave this a rating of 4 out of 5 stars but in reality it’s more like 4.5 stars. A Darker Shade final for Irene
  • The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey (Published April 28, 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
    Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
    Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
    But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

    I loved the female protaganist in this. The story took a turn that was not immediately obvious, which is always good. The magic elements were very welcome and I would most certainly re-read this once the second book in the series is released. I liked it that much. Rated 4 out of 5 stars.girl at midnight
  • The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu(Published May 5th 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
    As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

    From the first time I saw the cover, I knew I was gonna love this book, and I did! There is magic, power struggles, inequality, intrigue, danger and action, and I have a feeling the sequel is going to be even better. Loved it! Rated 4 stars. novice
  • Arena 13 By Joseph Delaney (Published June 4, 2105)
    Goodreads Summary: Welcome to Arena 13. Here warriors fight. Death is never far away . . .
    Leif has one ambition: to become the best fighter in the notorious Arena 13. Here, punters place wagers on which fighter will draw first blood. And in grudge matches, they bet on which fighter will die.
    But the country is terrorized by the creature Hob, an evil being who delights in torturing its people, displaying his devasting power by challenging an Arena 13 combatant in a fight to the death whenever he chooses. And this is exactly what Leif wants . . .
    For he knows Hob’s crimes well. and at the heart of his ambition burns the desire for vengeance. Leif is going to take on the monster who destroyed his family. Even if it kills him..
    The cover art is gorgeous. The character development was well done and I thought it to be a fresh take on the overplayed dystopian theme. I love Joseph Delaney’s writing style and I was confident that this would be an engaging read and it did not disappoint. Rated 4 stars.arena 13
  • An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Published April 28th 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: Laia is a slave.
    Elias is a soldier.
    Neither is free.

    Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
    It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
    But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

    The world building was well done and I liked and connnected with both main characters. The wiriting and story was such that this appeals to both YA and adult readers. I was totally engrossed in this world and enjoyed it from start to finish. Rated 4.5 starsember ashes
  • Ink and Bone (The Great Library) by Rachel Caine (Published July 7, 2015)
    Goodreads Summary:In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
    Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
    Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
    When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

    Once I realised this book was about books and a library, I had to read it. But that’s not all. Steampunk elements, alchemy and book smuggling  all add intrigue to this awesome book. I was well entertained and am looking forward to other books in this series. This one earned 5 stars!ink and bone
  • The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent (Published June 9, 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
    When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.
    To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
    Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
    Demons..check! Newly discovered powers..check! Conspiracy…check! What better to have on your side than an exorcist with demons running loose? This was a very entertaining read which also highlights siblings and friends looking out for each other.  Loved it. Rated 4 stars.stars never rise
  • Bloodmoon ( The Scarlet Star Trilogy #2) by Ben Galley (Published June 24, 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: A Bloodmoon is rising…
    With Fell Falls put firmly behind him, Tonmerion Hark has only one desire: to make his way east and once again feel the soil of his Empire under his boots.
    But blood has been spilt. Machinations of the powerful foiled. Scores have been scraped in the desert sand and now they must be settled. A new power is growing in London, and it pines for revenge.
    Now that both Tonmerion and Rhin find themselves being hunted over prairie and wasteland, he and his strange new family put their fate in the hands of a travelling circus, headed straight for the shores of the Iron Ocean, and a ship home.
    There is only one truth: all will be settled on the night of the Bloodmoon.

    Ben Galley is one of my favourite authors and he does not disappoint with this new installment in his Scarlet Scar Trilogy. I binge read both Bloodrush and Bloodmoon and I am eagerly awaiting the last book Bloodfeud which he announced on his page as being finished. The main character has really evolved in this, and is not afraid to do what is necessary. He is learning to trust his instincts and is discovering the extents of his gift. The magic system is quite unique and very well thought out. I loved , loved, loved this!! 5 out of 5 stars.bloodmoon
  • Queen Of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas (Published September 1, 2015)
    Goodreads Summary: Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
    She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
    She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
    The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her
    This series keeps getting better with each book. I kid you not! I was not in love with the first book; in fact I remember taking quite a long time to read it but boy when it picked up it grabbed my attention and took me for a ride and did not let up. This latest installment is my favourite because Celaena’s character has literally evolved and matured. There are also quite a lot of issues that were resolved while still others were created. I highly recommend this series and this book and I’m looking forward to the two forthcoming books in this series. 5 out of 5 stars!queen of shadowsDid you like these? Head over to Goodreads and check out these books and others that I read by clicking on the Goodreads reading challenge located here:

For a free copy of Bloodrush(The Scarlet Star Trilogy #1) by Ben Galley, visit his webiste and subscribe to his mailing list. I’m not sure how long this offer lasts so head on over soonest if you are interested.
Ben Galley