Illumicrate Unboxing

Illumicrate is a UK based subscription service. It is a box that contains a book and some other bookish goodies. It costs £29.99 (plus P&P if you live outside the UK). You can find out more information and sign-up for updates about the next box here:

This is the first Illumicrate, and actually my first subscription box. I have been thinking about signing up to one for a while but for various reasons I haven’t up until now. I was super excited to get this and find out what was inside. You can watch me open the box in the video below, or skip past that straight to the pictures.

The items that came in the Illumicrate are:

I am really glad that I signed-up to get this box. I think it – and other services like it – are really neat. I loved what I got in this box, and I’ll definitley be signing-up to get the next one.

Review: End of Days by Susan Ee

End of Days by Susan Ee

Title: End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, 3)
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Dystopian, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (21st May 2015)


They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: their own kind, or each other?

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

END OF DAYS by Susan Ee is the concluding book to the brilliant Angelfall Trilogy/Penryn and the End of Days. Penryn and Raffe’s journey continues, and they face many obstacles but as the apocalypse approaches they are faced with a tough decision.

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Review: Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Avenged (A Black Dagger Brotherhood, 7)
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (4th November 2010)

As the vampire warriors of the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD defend their race from their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood is about to be tested – and his dangerous mixed blood revealed.

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood.

However, Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood. He’s a symphath and the revelation of this deadly secret will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world: Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has taken its hold on him – and the one thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

LOVER AVENGED is the seventh book in J. R. Ward’s intriguing Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This book tells the story of Rehvenge – brother of Bella – who is a symphath, something that is supposed to be cast out by the Brotherhood and the Blind King.

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Review: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Title: Rock Hard (A Rock Kiss Novel, 2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publisher: TKA Distribution (10th March 2015)

In New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past . . .

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO – a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake – clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

ROCK HARD by Nalini Singh is the second book in her self-published series Rock Kiss. This book tells the story of Charlotte Baird, Molly’s best friend, and her boss Gabriel Bishop – who Charlotte refers to as T-Rex. ROCK HARD takes place almost simultaneously with ROCK ADDICTION (review), though ROCK HARD starts a little later.

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Review: Lover Enshrined by J. R. Ward

Lover Enshrined by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Enshrined (A Black Dagger Brotherhood, 6)
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (7th October 2010)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives . . .

Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive – he is to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself – she sees the emotionally scarred male behind all this noble respobsibility. But as the war with the Lessening Society grows more grim, Phury must decide between duty and love.

Rating ***** (5 stars)

LOVER ENSHRINED by J. R. Ward is the sixth book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It tells the story of Phury, Zsadist’s twin brother, and how he copes with the fallout from the choices he has made. This book leads directly on from the previous book, LOVER UNBOUND (review).

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Review: Tortall and Other Lands

Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

Title: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bluefire (10th April 2012)

Years ago, the novel Alanna introduced fantasy lovers to the magical kingdom of Tortall. In Tamora Pierce’s subsequent sixteen books set in this medieval relam, readers have gotten to know generations of families; legions of friends, foes, and fantastical creatures; and much about the history, magic, and spirit of this extraordinarily well-drawn locale.

But epics do not always provide the smaller, more intimate tales. Collected here are six wondrous shorter tales from the land of Tortall, featuring previously unknown characters as well as old friends. There are four more fantasy tales not set in Tortall. And as a bonus, there’s one nonfantasy set in contemporary Idaho that proves that Pierce’s multilayered characters, finesse with dialogue, and impeccable storytelling are not limited to worlds inhabited by dragons and magic.

Dive in and get carried away. Few writers can envelop you as completely as Tamora Pierce.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

TORTALL AND OTHER LEGENDS: A COLLECTION OF TALES by Tamora Pierce is a collection of eleven short stories mostly set in the world of Tortall – although two are set in our world. The short stories contain mainly new characters are situations, though there are a couple of familiar faces throughout the collection.

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Review: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel

My Neighbor Totoro: The Novel

Title: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel
Author: Tsugiko Kubo
Illustrator and Original Concept: Hayao Miyazaki
Translator: Jim Hubbert
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Publisher: Viz Media (7th November 2013)

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro, is now a novel. This edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story by veteran children’s author Tsugiko Kubo.

Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. Soon, in the woods behind the spooky old house, Satsuki and Mei discover a forest spirit named Totoro. When Mei goes missing, it’s up to Satsuki to find her sister, and she’ll need help from some new, and magical, friends.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO THE NOVEL by Tsugiko Kubo is literally what it says it is: the novel version of Hayao Miyazaki’s film of the same name. The book tells the story of eleven-year-old Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei. The sisters move with their father to the country so they can be closer to their mother, who is ill and resides in Shichikokuyama Hospital.

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