Review: The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic (The Diabolic, 1)
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (1st November 2016)
Blurb:

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much a sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the Empire . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE DIABOLIC is the first book in a new series by S. J. Kincaid. Diabolics are genetically engineered to protect an individual at all cost, and are considered too savage to be human. THE DIABOLIC follows the story of Nemesis, a Diabolic, as she tries to protect her charge Sidonia, the daughter of a galactic Senator. When the Emperor demands that Sidonia graces his court, Nemesis reluctantly takes the place of her master so that Sidonia does not become a hostage in galactic politics. The Emperor’s court is a deadly place, even for a Diabolic, and Nemesis must learn to navigate is quickly.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition).

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5th May 2015)
Blurb:

FEYRE IS A HUNTRESS.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price . . .

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been hold about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

FEYRE MUST FIND A WAY TO BREAK THE SPELL, OR LOSE HER HEART FOREVER.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas is the first book in the series of the same name. The book follows Feyre; she is the youngest of three daughters, and her family has fallen on hard times. With her father injured and neither of her elder sisters willing to, Feyre is forced to hunt to bring in a supply of food and coin for her family. Whilst out hunting for food desperate Feyre slaughters a wolf to gain its prey, so she can feed her family. But it is not just a wolf she kills, and taking the life of a magical creature comes with a hefty price.

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Review: I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen (UK edition)

Title: I Know A Secret (Rizzoli & Isles, 12)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Crime, Detective Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Bantam Press (10th August 2017)
Blurb:

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

I KNOW A SECRET by Tess Gerritsen is the twelfth instalment of her fantastic Rizzoli & Isles series. Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are on the case of a murderer who killed a horror film producer and gruesomely staged it. Maura cannot identify the cause of death; the woman seems perfectly healthy and yet she is dead. With no clues about the how or the why, Rizzoli and Isles are perplexed by the case. Things get even weirder when there appears to be a link to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years ago. And a woman with a secret to keep knows the killer is coming for her.

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (UK edition)

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, Social Realism, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)
Blurb:

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and the posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE HATE U GIVE is Angie Thomas’s debut novel. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Starr who lives with her family in a place called Garden Heights; it’s a poor neighbourhood with a strong community. Starr and her brothers don’t attend the local school; instead they travel to a posh high school in the suburbs. This means that Starr lives something of a double life, so she can fit into both worlds. The balance is destroyed when Starr is coming home from a party with her best friend Khalil and they are pulled over by a police officer, and she witnesses him shoot and kill her unarmed best friend.

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Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, 2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2nd February 2017)
Blurb:

This is not about blood, or love. This is about treason.

Amani has always been more gunpowder than girl. But as the Blue-Eyed Bandit her powers have gone from strength to strength – as has the rebellion she risks her life for.

Then a brutal kidnapping leads her straight to the Sultan’s palace, and she is forced to return to her desert-girl’s instincts for survival. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are a way of life here – and Amani finds she fits right in.

But with the ghosts of her past swirling all around her, Amani’d greatest fight may be to keep her own secret heart and desires under control . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE is Alwyn Hamilton’s stunning sequel to REBEL OF THE SANDS, and the second instalment of the trilogy. Amani escaped Dustwalk and found the rebellion in the first book. Known as the Blue-Eyed Bandit to some, she helps the rebellion rescue those persecuted under Sultan Oman’s rule. Then she is brutally kidnapped and ends up in the Sultan’s palace, where she gains not only his attention but also that of his heir. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are the only way to survive, so Amani finds herself returning to her roots – the desert-girl’s instincts of survival that she honed growing up may just serve her well.

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Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (UK edition)

Title: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Mythology, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

The Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from the novels of Tolkien to the worlds of comics and superheroes. They are also the inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-winning, bestselling fiction.

Now Gaiman reaches back through time to the original source stories in an epic and electrifying retelling of the great Norse myths – thriling tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasures and magic, and of Asgard, home of the Gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the gods; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer, Mjollnir, was forged by dwarfs and makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who gives short shrift to the gods, giants and ogres who seek to control her.

Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – as he leads us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok, the inescapable final downfall of the gods . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman is, I think, more non-fiction than it is fiction. It is a collection of surviving Norse myths retold to us by the charming Gaiman. This collection contains an introduction, outlining why Gaiman chose to write this book, a glossary and tells sixteen Norse myths. These myths begin with the Norse creation story, and conclude with the Norse take on the end of the world. The fourteen stories in between paint a picture of the Norse gods; of Odin and his son Thor, and of Loki Lie-Smith who in this version of the stories is Odin’s blood brother and Thor’s friend.

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Review: Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

Title: Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex
Author: Hannah Witton
Genre: Identity, Non-Fiction, Sex Education
Publisher: Wren & Rook (6th April 2017)
Blurb:

Sexting. Virginity. Consent. The Big O . . .

Let’s face it, doing it can be tricksy. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who has sex all figured out. So I’ve written a book full of honest, hilarious (and sometimes awkward) anecdontes, confessions and revelations. And because none of us have all the answers, I’ve invited some friends to talk about their sexuality, too.

We talk about doing it safely. Doing it joyfully. Doing it when you’re ready. Not going it. Basically, doing it the way you want, when you want. So. Let’s do this . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DOING IT! LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX by Hannah Witton is a book I have been curious about since I first heard Witton mention it on her YouTube channel. I’m in the same boat as Witton (and a lot of other people) in that I don’t think sex/sexuality/relationships/sexual health is talked about enough whether that’s at a school level or between friends/family members/partners. DOING IT! covers a wide variety of topics within this spectrum, though most are only briefly touched on, and serves as something of a handbook to point people in the right direction as well as expand (a bit) on SRE/PSHE lessons.

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Review: Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry (ARC edition)

Title: Blood Sisters
Authors: Jane Corry
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

Three little girls set off to school
one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.  And only another life will do…

(Blurb taken from Goodreads)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLOOD SISTERS is the intricate new novel from Jane Corry. The novel follows the stories of Alison and Kitty fifteen years after a horrific event: one sunny May morning three girls set off to school, on the way one of them died. Kitty lives in a care home unable to speak with no memory of that tragic day or her life before it. Alison meanwhile has become an art teacher, and on the surface everything looks fine with her. But looks can be deceiving. Someone is watching both girls, because they think they got away lightly. Someone wants them to pay for what happened on that sunny May morning.

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Review: The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold, Illustrated by Levi Pinfold

Sorry this review is a day late, I forgot to schedule it. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

The Song from Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold (UK edition)

Title: The Song From Somewhere Else
Author: A. F. Harrold
Illustrator: Levi Pinfold
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Middle Grade
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (10th November 2016)
Blurb:

Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge helps her escape from the boys who’ve been bullying her. No one at school really likes Nick. He’s big, quiet and he smells weird.

And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. Frank hears faint music playing – it’s light and good and it makes her feel happy for the first time in forever.

But there’s more to Nick, and his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE SONG FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE by A. F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold is a beautiful and haunting story. The story follows Frank – Francesca Patel – over a period of a week during the summer holidays. All of Frank’s friends are on holiday and her cat has gone missing, so she is by herself trying to put up missing cat posters when the local bullies find her. She is rescued by Nick Underbridge, who no one at school really likes, and she finds herself at his house where she hears beautiful and haunting music. Frank feels happy for the first time she can remember.

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Review: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (Blog Tour)

DoNotBecomeAlarmed-blogtourbannerNEW

This review is part of the Do Not Become Alarmed blog tour.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (ARC copy)

Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (6th July 2017)
Blurb:

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DO NOT BECOME ALARMED is the latest book to come from Maile Meloy. It’s a standalone novel that tells the story of a group of tourists who are on a cruise in Central America. Liv and Nora are cousins who decide to take their husbands and children away together to celebrate the holidays. After days spent aboard the ship they start to feel restless so they decide to leave the ship, and take part in one of the activities organised by the cruise liner. Unfortunately a series of small mishaps lead to a larger disaster for the women: their children go missing.

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