Review: A Discovery of Witches

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Written by: Deborah Harkness

Published on: 8 February 2011

Genre: Contemporary fantasy, Romance novel, Alchemy

Blurb: When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.

Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist.

Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

My Review: I should begin by saying that I read this book via apple audio book, and I am so glad that I did! The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda did such a wonderful job!

Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont are fabulous. I adored them both and I particularly revelled in the beautiful language and style of Harkness’ writing – OMG some of those descriptions were exquisite!

From the moment the story began I was seduced by the intelligent and almost hypnotic use of language. This book is not one thing. It is many, many genres and it fits them all beautifully; by far the best thing I have read in a long time.

Diana Bishop is a fierce and brave Historian who is intelligent, athletic…and a witch. I didn’t find her character to be annoying OR bitchy, which can often be the case. The historical aspect of the fiction is woven so beautifully in with the fantasy and supernatural, along with the discrete and sensual romance, that every chapter plays like a reel of film in your mind. I was utterly captivated.

As for Matthew – he is a man of many times and each layer we unfurl offers more and more surprises. At times his need to ‘protect’ Diana means he withholds things and that was a little frustrating, but it is clear why and it plays out successfully.

Sept Tour is a place I long to be and I can’t wait to see if we visit there again in the next book. I don’t want to give too much else away, so I’ll end with this: it was magical!

5 ✨ read!!

Lots of love

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PS. Come and see my Instagram for more bookish stuff!

#FridayFaves

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It’s week 3 of the #FridayFaves tag and I am excited for this one as it is something we all have an opinion on!

Every Friday is a themed #FridayFaves post where I will tell you my favourites for a particular prompt. Joined by fellow hosts Lauren (@Laureads_) and Jenni (@oddsocks.blog), we will unpick our opinions on set topics so don’t forget to check them both out by visiting their blogs!

This week: Book to TV series Continue reading

Review: Evermore (Everless #2)

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Written by: Sara Holland

Published on: 31 December 2018

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, YA

Blurb: Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro – a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood – is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.

My Review: I read the brilliant Everless early in 2018 whilst on a weekend away to Chester. I devoured the book and thought Holland’s story was fabulous (read the review here). I was really excited to pick Evermore up and was thrilled when my Amazon delivery arrived. The cover is so beautiful and the green of the diamond snake pops against the sky blue of the background. It really is something! Continue reading

#FridayFaves

Just like that we’re at week 2!

Every Friday I will be doing a themed #FridayFaves post where I will tell you my favourites for a particular prompt. Joined by fellow hosts Lauren (@Laureads_) and Jenni (@oddsocks.blog), we will unpick our opinions on set topics so don’t forget to check them both out by visiting their blogs!

This week’s prompt: Favourite Harry Potter Character

As you can imagine this is an incredibly tough choice for me. I have so many characters in the 7 books (8 films) that I adore and want to wax lyrical about. J K. Rowling builds characters better than Lego builds bricks and I find it impossible to name just one. As a result, I am going to approach this in a dramatic fashion… Hogwarts is burning, I can only save TWO…who will it be? Continue reading

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Written by: Kerri Maniscalo

Published on: 20 September 2016

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult Fiction

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

My Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo is a gripping, fun and witty read that I was so excited to pick up! I had been eyeing this book up for some time before receiving it in my #busymamabookswap in November last year. It has since sat, longingly staring at me from my tbr pile to be read. I am so glad I finally got to it!

It was fun, witty and sexy.

I love thrillers and I find true crime very interesting (in a non-weirdo way). I have seen many films, TV shows and read other books about Ripper so I went into the story with some expectations. I liked that Kerri Maniscalo kept some facts and used creative license with the rest. It was fun, witty and sexy as our main character Audrey discovered the fabulous Sherlock-esque Thomas Cresswell.

Both Audrey and Thomas are fun, strong-willed characters who show us how the gender equilibrium should be and not how the patriarchal society of C19th London was. Audrey is intelligent and thus severe on the inequalities women faced at that time and she was empathetic to the women Jack the Ripper preyed on. I found Maniscalo’s narrative to be affirming and inspiring, especially as this is aimed at a YA audience and so sending the right message to the right readers. At times, Audrey reminded me of an older, C19th Hermione – and I loved that 🙂

The story was face paced and deliciously dark in places. there were some good twists and I was utterly convinced I knew who it was until I didn’t! Fab and fun.

Giving this book 4/5 stars and looking forward to picking up the next in the series. Hurrah!

Have you read this one? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Love

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PS. Come and see more of my reading habits on my instagram!

Review: The Assassin’s Blade

Written by: Sarah J. Maas

Published: March 2014

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure

Blurb: Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes-and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches-and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives . . .

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling-and deadly-world.

Included in this volume:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire.

My Review: This book cover is beautiful; the colours are pretty and pop on the hardcover of the book. If we were basing the review on looks then this would be at the top!

However – this took me quite a long time to complete and I contemplated not finishing it.

The book is comprised of the Throne of Glass novellas; I had previously read Throne of Glass (book 1) itself and it was Okay. I didn’t love it.

Having absolutely adored Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR series I decided I would give these a go. Unfortunately I feel that they are a little dull and, whilst I admire Celaena’s grit – I don’t feel a connection with her across these novellas or Throne of Glass.

There are 5 short novellas in this collection and the first one – The Assassin and the Pirate Lord – is the one I enjoyed the most. The others were slow and predictable for me. I liked that we found out a little more about this character – but I still feel left with questions about her time before this.

Overall I would give this collection 3🌟 as the writing and settings were good. Just didn’t love it unfortunately, and may not read Crown of Midnight that’s sitting on my shelf.

Love,

PS. Come and tell me more about these books over on Instagram!

#FridayFaves

Welcome to a brand new weekly feature!

Every Friday I will be doing a themed #FridayFaves post where I will tell you my favourites for a particular prompt. I am joined by fellow hosts Lauren (@Laureads_) and Jenni (@oddsocks.blog) so don’t forget to check them both out by clicking their names and visiting their blogs!

This week’s prompt: Favourite Retellings

It’s probably worth stating that I am not really a fan of retellings, mostly because I often find that you just can’t beat the magic and experience of the original. However, there are two retellings that I have enjoyed! Continue reading

January 2019 TBR

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and have seen the New Year in safely, with those you love.

Today is January 1st – and it is the first day of the first ever #bookstamums photo challenge!

The lovely Jenni (Oddsocks.blog) and I started the #bookstamums tag on Instagram several months ago now as we wanted to create a place where other book-loving Mothers could find each other … and so the tag was born! There are over 3.5k posts now and lots of friendships made. Continue reading

Giving Thanks on New Years Eve

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my little elves!

Oh what a year this has been. I cannot tell you how much this community has meant to me this year. I began my @mummyisreading instagram account some time ago, as just a place to share the books I was reading with my son. It wasn’t about me, and it certainly wasn’t something regular!

As luck would have it, I stumbled across some fabulous bookstagram mums, including Jenni (@Oddsocks.blog), Kate (@Katesbookspot) and the lovely Kim (@bookbairn) and they helped me to safely tumble in to this bookish universe.

With a hop, skip and a jump through a few months I threw myself in with a wing and a prayer and hoped that I could make something of this; I hoped I could carve myself a little place in this bookish world and simply share my love of a good book with others. Now, 10 months later, I feel like I have ‘found my people’. I have made some truly wonderful friends and acquaitances in the bookish world and I am grateful for their endless support and kindness.

In particular, the following ladies have been truly wonderful to me and have always been supportive, they are: the lovely ‘Don’ Carla over at @gottcarl82 ; the super sweet ‘baby’ Gaby over at @dottielovesbooks ; the awesome ‘Peggy’ Jodie over at @southgatejodie ; the super cool Christina over on @getmealibrary ; the very lovely Lauren at @laureads_ who I adore; Super lovely Jenni @oddsocks.blog continues to be my lovely friend and #snailmail pal – she’s the sweetest! There’s also the super cool Olga at @bookholic.and.proud ; plus lovely Tika at @mybestfriendsarefictional and Kirsty who is sooo amazing at @paperheartsink . Plus – I have to mention Deema over at @thestorygift because the woman bleeds kindess and is one of the most talented people I know, along with the very lovely Jen at @bookbookowl who has shown me great respect in choosing me to be in her first every group of reps for her stunning bookmarks… I hope she’ll have me back again one day! And there are so many other girls in this community who are wonderful and lovely and I am eternally grateful to them all. Real women raise other women up, and that’s precisely what these girls do. Who cares about anyone who’s obsessed with follower numbers, views, winning candle rep searches and getting freebies. If that’s what you’re in it for then you’re in it for the wrong reasons, and it will become clear for all to see. I’m just glad I found my spot in it all.

As 2018 draws to a close here, may I take the time to wish you a Happy New Year as we welcome 2019.

Lots of love,