Saturday, 13 October 2018

Review: City of Dust by Michelle Kenney

So, I got this from the Author (and on Netgalley) for an early review but it took me so long to put into words, and I've been in a bit of a blogging slump that I've only just got round to reviewing it.

If you were wondering about this series I reviewed the first in it - Book of Fire previously and that can be found HERE.

Well, here's the book:


The fight is never over.

Life in Arafel is no longer safe. Not since August’s disappearance, and whispers of a ghost controlling Pantheon.

Meanwhile, Talia stands torn between secretive twin, Eli, and best friend, Max.

Betrayal forces Talia to leave the sanctuary of her forest home as she pursues the stolen Book of Arafel. A book which could destroy the freedom of all those she loves if it falls into the wrong hands. And when she enters the ancient ruined city of Isca, she fights to protect the vulnerable from the iron grip of the Pantheon, while learning to fight for the man she loves.

But with the shadow of the Black Aquila looming ever closer, will she put the freedom of others above her own, or will she follow her heart?

Okay, I will just say this, this book will leave you hanging in a way which makes you wish you could grab the next book and read it all to find out what happens. It will also tug on your heart strings, I admit I definitely went on an emotional rollercoaster while reading this - ups and downs and twists and turns came together to make an absolutely amazing book that I couldn't put down.

I think the thing I loved the most about this was you got to meet a boat load of new characters - and I love to meet new people in a series, it makes it so much more interesting. That, and the new creatures from mythology coming to life really absorbs you, and it's one of the reasons I could easily re-read these books - the characters and creatures just jump off the page.

Also, guys, FLUORESCENT CAT came back!! Well, kinda, this one was only partly fluorescent, and now I can't decide whether I would want a totally glow in the dark cat, or one that only has a fluorescent nose and ears.... which would you choose?

You also, of course, got to see more of Talia and Max, and a little of August too - and guys, I am still obsessed with this love triangle, but I think I will always be #TeamInsider/#TeamAugust. I just can't wait to see how it goes in the next book.

Overall, an amazing extension to the series, and I actually want to cry that I'll have to wait until next year to see what happens to the whole lot of characters.

I give this book: 5 cats!

Do you love this series as much as I do? Are you itching for the next like me? Comment below!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Review: Ink by Alice Broadway

I bought this book when I went to YAShot, when I went into Waterstones and bought some books I probably shouldn't have. I'd heard about it so much that I thought I'd finally buy it and see how much I liked it - and wow did I like it.

Here it is:


Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora's father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.

Okay, first, I just have to get this out of the way - how flipping beautiful is this cover?! it's amazingly detailed and probably one of the most beautiful covers I now have in my collection. It's even gold leaf so it's shiny on the physical copy - so of course I was going to pick it up. I've said multiple times that pretty covers are my weakness, and with this particular book I could never have got the kindle version and missed out on this precious thing. So, I definitely give kudos to whoever designed it.

I'll just say now: the book definitely lived up to its beautiful cover. It was a spectacular read, and so unique in the plot, that I was just stunned into silence when I finished it, and I want to read more already.

I think the thing that made me adore this book so much was the premise - the idea that you tattoo your lives onto your skin, both the good and the bad, for everyone to see and that then your life is remembered by the marks that you decide on. I just loved the idea that you get remembered by your family - or the community if you have no family - its such a beautiful concept. Also, if you've read it you will see little fairy tales dotted throughout tailored to the world this book is a part of - and I really can't resist any book that has fairytales in.

The way this book ended left me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen - and I adored the tattoo that Leora chose as her first mark - I can't wait to see what people think and what she may do in the next book. I really hope to learn more about the Blanks and see what they are like, and if what Leora has been told is true. I'm so annoyed that I won't know for a little while as I can't buy Spark, but atleast I will cheer myself up by knowing that when I do finally read the next book it will be closer to the third instalments release!

I am definitely giving this book 5 cats!

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

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Review: Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy

So, I won a proof copy of this when Amy from Golden Books Girl done a competition, but I hadn't got round to reading it until now. Mainly because I've only rarely read MG so wasn't too sure, but that concern went right out my head as soon as I started this lovely book.

Here it is:


Twins Arthur and Maudie receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris. Not only that, but he has been accused of trying to steal fuel from his competitors before he died! The twins don't believe the news, and they answer an ad to help crew a new exploration attempt in the hope of learning the truth and salvaging their family's reputation. As the winged ship Aurora sets sail, the twins must keep their wits about them and prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?

I absolutely breezed through this book. I started it on the train journey home one day, and finished it by the end of that night. It was short and sweet, and such an easy laid-back read: just what I needed after a busy week. You could say that I fell in love with this book - it's so lighthearted that you just can't help it.

I think the think I loved the most about this book was how it flowed, there were no parts that dragged, and that's a lot different than usual for me but definitely a great thing. The names in this book were one of the things that filled me with joy when reading - they're all so fancy and interesting (e.g. Brightstorm, Culpepper, Welby) - it made me wonder if I could come up with such fascinating names myself too (just for fun).

Also, I will say the idea of Thought Wolves, wolves that can talk to you through mind speak, were so brilliant. I really wish they were real, as I think they'd be so interesting to meet and talk to (and cuddle).

There's not much more I can say other than this was such a gem of a book, really quirky and a great read if you want a pick-me-up, and I really hope to hear more from the Brightstorm twins in the future. I give it 5 cats!

Have you read this book before? What was your favourite part? Comment below!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

I was so glad to be part of this Vox Blogger day, it was such a great read, definitely one I'l recommend to whoever will listen to me.

Here it is:


Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

I'm going to make this a short and sweet review, as in this book women are, after all, only allowed 100 words. This will be more than that, but shorter than my usual ramblings in honour of the plot.

One word sums up this book: wow. It is is a chilling concept, and a book that keeps you on your toes until the end trying to guess what will happen. It really is terrifying to think that something like this could actually come to pass if people aren't careful.

Character wise - I think I have a new favourite "villian" in Reverend Carl - he is a horrible human and you really learnt to hate him while reading - though Morgan was a close second.

Just, to be quick, I blew through this book because it was so spectacular, and I just want more - I want to know what happened after the end of the book, and I just want more books like it.

I give this: 5 cats.

Have you read this book? If not, it's out now and I highly suggest you go and grab a copy! Comment below with your thoughts.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Blog Tour: The Secret Legacy by Sara Alexander

So, today is my stop on the blog tour for this amazing book. I got a proof copy of this book at the HQ summer showcase, and I just flew through it. I was so glad to get a place on the blog tour.

Today, Sara is talking about her top 5 spots in Italy, as this book is set in the beautiful Positano, and I highly recommend buying a copy!

My Top Five Spots in Italy

Italy is my ancestral home and the one that has infused my identity with a passion for good food with a side of good yarn shared over a full table. I would like to boast that I have exhausted the country, delved into every mountainous crag, breath taking forest and turquoise bay it has to offer but I would be stretching the truth even further than a fiction writer. I have been lucky to visit a lot so far and my list of to-sees grows annually and with much pleasure – I haven’t told the family officially but I’ve day-dreamed my jaunt to Venice for the very near future.

Till then, here are some of the top places I have spent time in and would urge anyone to make plans to travel to.

1. Sardinia

I’m biased of course, because my mother is from this island and I feel like I’m very much descendant from that tribe of diffident cooks and storytellers that it’s famed for. Sardinia is a land of mystery and tumultuous history, it is jagged mountain silhouettes and breath taking turquoise sea coves with some of the freshest seafood you might ever have. Don’t stay hogging the beach though, there are fantastic archaeological sites dotted around the island as well as the spectacular Gennargentu national park at its centre.

2. Rome

This city seduced me a few years ago and we are still in the first throws of romance, where you struggle - or care little to - spy the fault lines in one another. I love the verve of this city, the swagger, the chaos, the unexpected surprises of antiquity as you walk through it. I adore the food, and how readily available it is. I love getting lost there, following my nose to the next nook or market. I’ve dodged the tourist crowds and let my wanderings take me further afield, and that’s something I would urge any traveller to do. I’m currently working on the second draft of a book set here so am indulging my imagination in retracing those steps with pleasure.

3. Positano

It is easy to fall in love with this cliffside town, especially if you catch it before half the world descends, just at the precipice of late spring. Take shoes that are made for walking not prancing because everywhere you go you’ll need to climb hundreds of steps. It makes digesting the twice-daily injections of gelato easier to digest. I love to escape uphill and walk the Path of the Gods, a fantastic hike that winds around the cliff edge for spell binding views of the Amalfi coast. I visited Pompei the last time I went to Positano and like the thousands of people who did so before me, left captivated by its spell. On my first visit to Positano in 2005, the idea of The Secret Legacy sprang into existence and gnawed at me to be written ever since.

4. Sicily

I was lucky to work on a film on location in Sicily and found it an intoxicating place. Perhaps it was the whole experience of being on set that added to the glamour of my memories there, but I loved the earthiness of the culture, the spice of its history, the clashing tones of the Sicilian dialect so different in rhythm from those on the mainland. I’d urge a traveller to make time to lose themselves along the coast around Noto, visiting the tiny towns that dot the east coast, fishing villages that are made up of one main street and small restaurant huts on stilts with narrow jetties that lead from the shore toward them where you can eat the freshest sea food in Italy. Take a plate and dive into their sea food antipasti buffets, squeeze one of their fresh lemons into a glass of cold sparkling water with a side of hearty red and you will have my version of heaven.

5. Cinque Terre

This is the area close to Genoa that is a cluster of picturesque villages with buildings painted dainty hues against the craggy dark blue coast. It is a ritzy part of the Ligurian world (I’m a lover of simple pleasures but pair it with regular dips in luxury), one where the hip Genoans take their swanky shoes on a well-heeled Sunday parade. This is the land of pesto so know that you will have a beautiful experience of that glorious garlic basil marriage. Make time to eat it with trofie, the traditional handmade pasta twists that are the perfect pairing to the sauce, catching every nuance of that lustrous olive oil, rich pine nut, tangy parmesan, fragrant locally grown basil and punchy garlic in one mouthful.

Buon Viaggio!