Friday, 16 February 2018

Review: Show Stopper by Hayley Barker

I won a copy of this book in a competition by the Author (Hayley) and so after a couple months I decided to read it, because I had heard of it a few months before but not had the chance to buy it.

Can you guess what attracted me to this book? The cover. I can never resist a shiny cover with gold foil like this.

Here it is:


Sabotaged high wires.
Ravenous lions.
A demonic Ring Master.
A circus without a safety net.

Ben, the teenage son of a powerful government minister, attends on opening night and falls under the spell of Hoshiko, the tightrope walker and star attraction.

But as he steps beyond the dazzle and spectacle of the arena, to reveal the horrors that lurk beneath, can he find the courage to resist, to rebel, to help end the cruelty and the carnage?

Step right up for this heartbreaking and heart-racing story - the darker the danger, the louder you'll scream...

So, I admit, this wasn't what I expected from this book. I thought that it would be a Fantasy book that filled with magic in carnival form (as are most that I've read), but I was wrong. It is far from that. Instead I found a Dystopian book of the near future that tackles the issue of racism, where there are Pures (those born in Britain) and Dregs (those that are immigrants and not born English). It did remind me slightly of the Hunger Games, so if you like that, you may like this too.

This meant that it was much more dark than I expected, but I did love it. This book goes between two characters POV's and they were Hoshiko - a Dreg tightrope walker, and Ben - the Pure son of a government minister that wants to get rid of all Dregs.

One thing I would have liked to see more of in this book is world-building - or the history of the UK, as we didn't see much in this book, but I'm hoping that we hear a bit more on the rebellion that started the distinction of people into 'Dregs' and 'Pures' in the next books.

It's such a dark take on the circus - deadly acts that could easily kill the Dregs that participate in them, and regularly do actually kill them. I've not read a dark circus book before, so it definitely interested me. I must also say that the ending of this book made me want more - I can't wait to see where Hoshiko and Ben can go after what happened, but I know I'll be joining them on that journey if book 2 comes out (hopefully soon).

I give this book - 4.5 cats (Just because I would have loved a bit more of the history to this world)

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Comment below!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Blog Tour: The Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Okay so, this is my first blog tour, and I am really excited about it! I was sent this book by Little Brown in exchange for an honest review, which will follow.

As you know, I am mainly a YA blogger, but I had recently decided to branch out, and mystery books were ones that had intrigued me most - because I do love my mystery TV shows, so why wouldn't I like a mystery in book form?

When I was contacted about being part of a blog tour for this book, I jumped right onboard, and I'm glad I did because I absolutely loved it. Here's the book:



Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

I admit, I was worried about the fact that I hadn't read the first book of Jane Harper's - The Dry - before reading this book. But I was happy to find out that my worry was for nothing as it could easily be read as a stand-alone book in itself, and you will definitely not have to worry about not understanding things about the characters. However, I warn you - if you read this you will want to buy The Dry - I certain want to!

The thing I liked most about this book was the fact that it alternated from the present day (in the POV of Agent Falk) to the past (and the events of the hike that ended in tragedy). I always love it when books jump between times, and it really helped to pull you into the book and the plot line. 

In this book the chapters that represented the events of the hike alternated between the 5 women's POVs and I felt like this was a great idea - as it really kept you guessing as to who might have been responsible for what happened to Alice, and it also gave you an insight into just what Alice was thinking while on the company retreat - Alice's POV was definitely my favourite of the book.

I guess the question you'll most want answered about my read of this book is did I guess what happened to Alice and who the culprit was? The answer is no.

I didn't guess what happened at all, and I definitely didn't guess who the culprit was - which is always great in a mystery book. I adore it when I can't figure out what happened and why. I definitely think this was down to the switching POVs - it had me switching my guesses every chapter!

Overall - I loved this book, and it had so many twists that I felt like I was on my toes trying to guess just what was happening. Definitely one to read - and I'll definitely be reading The Dry in the future.

I give this book: 4.5 Cats!

Thankyou to Little Brown for asking me to be a part of this Blog Tour, and for sending me a copy of this book to review! If you've read this book feel free to comment below!

ARC Review: The Rogue Queen by Emily R. King

I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, which is going to follow:

So, this is a book that I have been so excited for and waiting ages for too. I've reviewed both book one and book two (BOOK ONE - BOOK TWO). So, please be aware that there may be spoilers for both the first books in this review if you read ahead!

I didn't actually realise that this was on Netgalley until this week, so this was a really quick read for me, as I wanted to post this review before the book is out on 13th February!

Here it is:

In the explosive third volume of The Hundredth Queen Series, the queen of fire faces off against a demon of ice.

Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.

That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.

In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.

To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.

Okay, first off, let me just say this: Wow.

This third book did not disappoint me at all. It was fast-paced, full of action and I never would have guessed where this went if I'd tried. That is the main thing I liked about this book - the fast pace of it. There was so much action, especially in the latter half of the book, that it felt like you were immersed in everything that was happening.

Also, I will comment on the fact that there was a love-triangle in this again: something that I adore in books, and that I have commented on in the second book's review. This time though it was definitely more intense between Kalinda and Ashwin than I expected - as Kalinda found something with Ashwin that helped her with her inner fire after the Voider demon breathed his icy breath into her, and I never would have guessed just why that was (and I won't spoil it for those who want to guess when they read the book).

The chapters go between both Kalinda's and Devens POV - starting out when they were together, and then leading to separate adventures. I found this interesting because you got to see the relationship between them from both of their eyes and also got to see what was going on in the different places they were throughout the chapters.

I loved that you also got to see more of the competitors from the second book - and also saw more about both their worlds, and that they all banded together to help each other as much as possible. As well as that you see the Tarek's wives and courtesans stand together to fight for their lives. So, I think the message of unity in this book is amazing, and it's definitely something I loved to see.

I could talk about this book for ages, especially the ending and the little twist right at the end - but I won't make you read all of my rambling thoughts.

I give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read this series, or this book? Did you love it as much as me? Comment below!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Review: Mr Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

Okay, so I got this as an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review. It came out November 2017, but I didn't get around to reading it until now (oops).

However, I am so glad I did request this book. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favourite books, and my favourite classic book, so the idea of Mr Rochester's story being told intrigued me so much.

Here it is:

Uncover the secrets of Edward Fairfax Rochester, the beloved, enigmatic hero of Jane Eyre, as he tells his story for the first time in Mr Rochester, Sarah Shoemaker's gorgeous retelling of one of the most romantic stories in literature.

On his eighth birthday, Edward is banished from his beloved Thornfield Hall to learn his place in life. His journey eventually takes him to Jamaica where, as a young man, he becomes entangled with an enticing heiress and makes a choice that will haunt him. It is only when he finally returns home and encounters one stubborn, plain, young governess, that Edward can see any chance of redemption - and love.

Rich and vibrant, Edward's evolution from tender-hearted child to Charlotte Bronte's passionately tormented hero will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.

I had so many expectations going in to this book, and I was not disappointed. This book embodied Mr Rochester perfectly, and told the story of his life perfectly.

As I've said before, I've read Jane Eyre many times, because it is my favourite classic book, and I've always wondered about Mr Rochester, and what his life story was, and also what he was thinking when he met Jane in the original. This book takes my questions and answers them all, in detail I definitely didn't expect at all.

My favourite part of this book is the beginning, as we learn about Mr Rochester's life from a child, until he comes back to the UK, and it is my favourite because of all the new details you get: his schooling, his family, his life in Jamaica and marriage to Bertha etc. It made me love Mr Rochester even more than I did before (though I did question some of his actions when it gets to him meeting Jane).

I don't really know how I can describe this books greatness, I feel like I will never be able to do this story justice. So, all I can say is that this is an amazing re-telling and if you love Jane Eyre like me, then you'll love Mr Rochester too.

I give this book: 5 Cats!

Have you read this book before? Do you love Mr Rochester as much as I do? Comment below!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

ARC Review: The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

I was given an e-ARC of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and here it is!

I was mainly drawn into this book because of the cover, and then later because so many people were talking about it on my Twitter. It had such a small intriguing caption at first that I decided to request it, especially because I'd really been into Historical Fiction books at the time.

It turns out that it was both a Historical Fiction and a Mystery book, and I loved it. Here it is:


The year is 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city's vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.

Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations.

Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they've ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking . . .

Can I just say: my heart, my poor, poor heart.

This book had such a thrilling ending to it, and I was almost ready to leave my heart broken, until the giant twist at the end that left it a little less broken than it was before. (I wont spoil it and say why, but you will know what I'm talking about if you have read this before)

I admit, this was definitely not what I expected from the book when I first requested it - but I was happily surprised by it. The relationship that builds between Hester and Rebekah was something I definitely didn't expect, but it was such a slow build that you were constantly routing for them to get together throughout the story. 

And the fact that this book is based around a female,Victorian detective couple - definitely something I'd not read or heard of before.

If I was asked to describe this book? I'd say it had so many twists and turns that you can never think to keep up with, and a thrilling conclusion that you would never have guessed.

Definitely another great foray into Historical fiction, and a dip into Mystery, I loved it.

I give this book: 5 Cats!

This book comes out on the 1st February. If you fancy a Victorian mystery, with a slow-build relationship, this is the book for you. Have you read it yet? Or are you planning to? Comment below!