Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Title: Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega, 5)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (8th March 2018)
Blurb:

NO. 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER PATRICIA BRIGGS RETURNS WITH A THRILLING NEW ADVENTURE IN HER ALPHA AND OMEGA SERIES.

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana.

Mated werewolves Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the moutainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf – but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn . . .

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BURN BRIGHT is the fifth book in Patricia Brigg’s brilliant Alpha & Omega series, a spin-off from her fantastic Mercy Thompson series. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m something of a fan of this world. In BURN BRIGHT Charles and Anna are in Aspen Creek, Montana covering for Bran who is busy with business elsewhere. Whilst they are there they receive an urgent call for help from the fae mate of a werewolf too damaged to live safely amongst other werewolves. They head out to help, but ultimately cannot stop blood being spilled. The only recourse they have left is to track down those who dared to harm ones under the Marrok’s protection.

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Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land (The Waking Land, 1)
Author: Callie Bates
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she’s come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again… but this time by her father’s mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy… or revenge.

– blurb from Amazon.co.uk

Rating:⭐️ ⭐️ (2 stars)
Review:

THE WAKING LAND is Callie Bates’s debut novel. It tells the story of Lady Elanna Valtai who has lived in the court of King Antoine for fourteen years; a hostage in a foreign court because of her father’s failed rebellion. Elanna knows she does not belong in King Antoine’s Court, but at the same time it is the world she has known for most of her life and she wants nothing to do with her father. Still, rebellion is in the air and when events come to a head Elanna finds herself in the middle of them. Torn between two worlds Elanna must choose which path to follow forward.

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Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Title: Ocean Light (A Psy-Changeling Trinity Novel, 2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz (14th June 2018)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love . . .

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there’s a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment – taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he’s at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling . . .

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won’t hide the facts of Bo’s condition from him or herself. She’s suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret that Bo could never imagine . . .

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back – even if it means striking a devil’s bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy.

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

OCEAN LIGHT is the second book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Trinity series; a continuation of her brilliant Psy-Changeling series. At just over four hundred pages, it is slightly smaller than the first book in the series. OCEAN LIGHT tells the story of Kaia Luna, a woman who chose to leave a scientific career and become a chef, and Bowen Knight, a security specialist in the Human Alliance who fans of the series may be familiar with. Their paths cross whilst Bowden is recovering from his brush with death hidden at the bottom of the ocean, and even with all that is against them sparks soon fly.

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Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, 1)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (2nd January 2018)
Blurb:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed into the royal court. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in this treacherous, dangerous, new world, she needs to be as smart, cunning and deceitful as the Fey themselves.

But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan. Jude must take the utmost care . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

Holly Black returns to the world of fairy with a new book and series. THE CRUEL PRINCE follows the story of a human girl who grows up in fairyland. Jude and her sisters grow up in the fairy courts, where being mortal comes at a terrible cost – it is easy to fall under its spells. Even with the everyday cruelties and despite knowing she doesn’t belong, it is the only home Jude has known. She no longer fits into the mortal realm; to her it is as foreign and strange as fairyland is to mortals. It is a fight for survival.

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Illumicrate #11 – Hidden Talents | Unboxing

The May Illumicrate.

The May Illumicrate.

I’m back with a post on my regular schedule. I hope you enjoy this unboxing of the May Illumicrate – I will be posting the August one soon, but I wanted to get the May edition up first. If you don’t want to scroll through the pictures you can watch me talk about the items here.


The card contains a list of all the items included in the box.

Let’s have a closer look at the items.

This is an exclusive advanced reader copy edition of Light Years by Kass Morgan [goodreads]. It’s the first book in a new young adult sci-fi series.

This is a sample of Holly Bourne’s first adult contemporary novel How Do You Like Me Now? [goodreads]. I’ve never read any of Holly Bourne’s young adult fiction, but I think the blurb for this book sounds interesting.

The postcard and badge are for I was Born For This by Alice Oseman [goodreads].

This #preferfictionalworlds Box is beautifully illustrated by @aliceosemanart. I think it looks utterly gorgeous.

This Camp Half-Blood Enamel Pin is designed by @fableandblack and whilst it might not be my fandom, I do think it looks lovely.

All bookworms/bookdragons should have a book sleeve. This Black Panther inspired It’s Your Time Book Sleeve is designed by @risarodil and will be fantastic for protecting my current read.

This postcard celebrates the release of Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir [goodreads] , the third book in the Ember in the Ashes series.

This dagger bookmark celebrates the release of Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence [goodreads] the second book in the Book of the Ancestor series. An ARC of the first book was included in a previous Illumicrate.

A postcard celebrating the release of From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon [goodreads].

Another fandom I’m not a part of, but these Infernal Devices Cards by @taratjah are absolutely gorgeous! 😍

The penultimate item of the box are these lovely Elements Page Markers designed by @anotherstudio_ inspired by avatar: the last airbender.

And the final items included in the May Illumicrate are all to do with this quarter’s book – A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews [goodreads]. The book itself is exclusive to this box, with red sprayed edges. Also included are a bookmark, a signed book-plate, and a letter from the author which also includes bookstagram tips on the back.

So that is it for the May Illumicrate. Overall I am very pleased with this box, and I’m looking forward to discovering what is inside the August one. I’d love to know your thoughts.

Review: The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

Title: The Good Mother
Author: Sinéad Moriarty
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK (2nd November 2017)
Source: The publisher
Blurb:

Kate has been through the fire with her three children . . .

Having been left devastated and homeless after her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, somehow Kate has pulled through. Though times are still tough, she’s beginning to see the start of a new life.

But when twelve-year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up, and an ex-husband who won’t face his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave, but is getting sicker by the day.

Kate knows she must put to one side her own fear and heartbreak and do right by her children, particularly Jess. But maybe doing the right thing means doing the unthinkable?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

In THE GOOD MOTHER Sinéad Moriarty takes us on a rollercoaster of emotion. The story follows Kate, a mum of three children – 18, 12 and 7 – in Ireland. Her ex-husband Nick had an affair and left her and their children. The story start with Kate and her children moving out of their home as since Nick left they can no longer afford to live there. Kate sees it as the chance for a new beginning. When 12 year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer everything changes, especially when she seems to be getting sicker by the day. Kate is determined to do the right thing by her family.

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Illumicrate – The Starfall Edition | Unboxing

As those of you who follow my blog will know I’m an Illumicrate subscriber, but I have never purchased one of their special edition boxes until now. The Starfall Edition celebrates the release of the latest book in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series – A Court of Frost and Starlight. It was originally available in two editions hardback and paperback (and priced accordingly). I chose to go with the paperback edition so it matched the rest of my series.

I was also lucky enough to acquire one of the boxes in the first batch (there was such a high demand for this box that after they sold out Illumicrate created a second batch that did not contain all the items from the original, but I believe had some new ones too). At the time of posting all editions of this box have sold out. It should be obvious but, from this point there will be spoilers.  So stop scrolling now if you don’t want to find out what’s inside, otherwise continue scrolling to see the brilliant content of this box.

Seriously, stop if you don’t want to see what’s inside.

At first glance inside this box I am pleased with the contents. Although the box is by no means bursting, there looks like there are a reasonable amount of items and from what you can see in this picture they look, at least in my opinion, promising.

By the way, items are posted in the order I removed them from the box.

So the first item I pulled out from the box is this lovely Prythian inspired constellation book sleeve by Sparrow + Wolf.

I think both the front and the back look amazing – the colours are absolutely gorgeous! It feels incredibly soft and squishy, so it will be great for protecting my books when I carry them in my bag. It’s a reasonable size and is holding the book well, as well as several more items.

This stunning illustration is by Kat Adara (you can find her stop here) and it is of Rhys and Feyre during Starfall. I think it looks absolutely lovely. Really magical.

So this is the edition of A Court of Frost and Starlight I chose – the UK paperback edition – it comes hand-stamped with an exclusive ink stamp (which I totally forgot to take a picture of – sorry). There is also this cute note from Sarah J. Maas.

And because it didn’t really pick up in the first image, I wanted to show you some of the gorgeous filigree on the cover.

The final item hidden in the book sleeve was this shiny exclusive bookmark from Bloomsbury.

Both front and back look lovely, and it was interesting trying to take a photo of it without accidentally appearing in the bookmark. I don’t think I quite managed it in the above photo, but oh well.

So, the first item that caught my attention was this Stars Eternal and Night Triumphant enamel pin set by  Fable & Black. I like the fact that it offers you the option of wearing it as one badge, or two.

This box intrigued me, so of course I had to pick it up and have a closer look at it.

According to the card these cards were designed by Keeper of the Suns’ and feature favourite characters and items from the series. This item really surprised me. I don’t think a deck of cards has been included in a box before. I actually think it’s really neat.

This is perhaps one of the smallest items in the box, and I really like it.

It’s called Truth-teller and it’s by Lovely Lip Balm. It’s inspired by Morrigan’s red lips and Azriel’s magic knife. It smells absolutely gorgeous – the scent of roses just wafts from it.

This is a Illyrian wingspan inspired necklace made of mirrored enamel by Mirror Image Accessories.

This is a lovely, almost delicate looking necklace. I like the fact that it’s quite subtle about what it’s referencing.

What is a book subscription box without a candle?

This gorgeous smelling candle is a layered glass candle from Two Candle Thieves inspired by Feyre and Rhys, and by how stars look against the night sky.

It’s a bit warm now for this (at the time of writing), but I still think it’s a great addition to the box.  It’s a lightweight double-sided summer scarf by Evannave that proudly depicts the symbols of the seven courts.

This gorgeous set of six cards is by Monolime and depicts the Inner Court in tarot style cards.

These bright socks were designed by Illumicrate and show Feyre’s tattoos. I think they will look wonderful on.

This is an absolutely gorgeous tote bag. The artwork is by Ink & Wonder, and the colours are amazing. I like the fact that they tied it together with one of the favourite quotes from this series.

And last but not least we have this enamel mug.

As Illumicrate say in the card, “No Starfall Edition would be complete without featuring something from Charlie Bowater!” For me (and a lot of others) Charlie Bowater’s artwork is really tied to this series, and is actually one of the reasons I decided to pick up the first book.

And the card which lists all the items contained in this book was designed by Hey Atlas Creative.

So that’s it. We’ve reached the end of this unboxing.

I am really pleased with this box. It might have cost more than Illumicrate’s quarterly boxes, but I think it was well worth it. I’m really pleased I decided to give it a try. If you liked this box then be sure to follow Illumicrate on Instagram and Twitter to keep track of their new boxes – and to keep an eye out for special edition ones.

Review: Wolf Children Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda

Wolf Children Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, Illustrated by Yu

Title: Wolf Children Ame & Yuki
Author: Mamoru Hosoda
Illustrator: Yu
Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Magical Realism, Manga, Young Adult
Publisher: Yen Press (7th April 2014)
Blurb:

When Hana falls in love with a young interloper she encounters in her college class, the last thing she expects to learn is that he is part wolf. Instead of rejecting her lover upon learning his secret, she accepts him with open arms. Soon, the couple is expecting their first child, and a cozy picture of family life unfolds. But after what feels like a mere moment of bliss to Hana,  the father of her children is tragically taken from her. Life as a single mother is hard in any situation, but when your children walk a fine line between man and beast, the rules of parenting all but go out the window. With no one to turn to how will Hana survive?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

WOLF CHILDREN AME & YUKI by Mamoru Hosoda, with art by Yu, is a magical story about love and choices. It is a beautifully illustrated story that follows Hana from college, where she meets a mysterious young man in one of her classes. She is immediately taken with him, and after offering to share her textbook with him the pair grow closer. When he reveals his secret, that he is part wolf, to her Hana is quick to accept him. They soon start a family together and are very happy, until tragedy strikes and Hana is forced to face the future with two small children alone.

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Review: Nucleus by Rory Clements

Nucleus by Rory Clements (UK edition)

Title: Nucleus (Tom Wilde, 2)
Author: Rory Clements
Genre: Crime, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre (25th January 2018)
Blurb:

June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready . . . but the good times won’t last. In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany Jewish persecution is rife. Closer to home, the IRA has embarked in a bombing campaign throughout Britain.

But the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb possible. German High Command fears that Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory could be close behind; they must discover its secrets before it is safe to wage war.

When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is drawn into the investigation. He unveils a conspiracy in which the fate of the world rests on the discovery of a kidnapped child. Can Tom Wilde discover the truth before it is too late?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

NUCLEUS by Rory Clements is the second book in his wonderful Tom Wilde series. The story is set in Cambridge during the summer of 1939 and tensions are running high. War has not yet been declared, but the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, in Germany Jewish persecution is rife, and the IRA are active in Britain. Within this in Germany Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb something possible, no longer relegated to the world of fiction. The German High Command fear that Britain might not be far behind and wants to know exactly what is going on in Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory; a world that Professor Tom Wilde finds himself drawn into.

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Review: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Title: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, 1)
Author: Kazu Kibuishi
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic (11th May 2017)
Blurb:

THERE’S SOMETHING STRANGE BEHIND THE BASEMENT DOOR . . .

After a family tragedy, Emily, Navin, and their mother mover to an ancestral home to start a new life. On the family’s very first night in the mysterious house, Em and Navin’s mom is kidnapped by a tentacled creature. Now it’s up to Em and Navin to figure out how to set things right and save their mother’s life!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE STONEKEEPER is the first book in Kazu Kibuishi’s series Amulet. It follows the story of Emily and Navin, who move into their ancestral home with their mother after a family tragedy. All three of them struggle to come to terms with their new circumstances. The move to their ancestral home is supposed to be a fresh start for the three of them, but Emily and Navin’s mum is kidnapped by a tentacled creature during their first night in the house. Determined to get her back, Emily and Navin set out on an adventure to rescue their mother and save her life.

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