Recent Reads Rapid Reviews

Hi everyone,

Another batch of mini-reviews for you all again today. I didn’t realise just how many of these I had to do until I wrote out the books that need reviewing, so there will be a good few more of these posts, haha!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: The Sunday Times Bestseller. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 1

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance.

On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family.

Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

I had been meaning to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone for years, so I finally picked it up during the summer to read. My husband had actually read it before me and kept telling me I should read it as I would enjoy it, and he wasn’t wrong. I loved Karou, and the story was really interesting. I couldn’t put it down once i started reading, and I was eager to find out what was going to happen. We had been to Prague this year too, so the location was easy to keep up with as it was familiar. A really great start to a series and definitely recommend it if you enjoy fantasy!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me: A Zoella Book Club 2017 novel

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken.

Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend. But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on the future…

I have seen Adam Silvera’s name a lot this year, so when I saw History in my local library I figured I would give it a go. I actually think I read the whole book in one day. It was one of those kinds of books where you just have to keep reading. While I had some issues with the main character and his actions at times, I still found myself compelled to keep reading to see how it would all go. I enjoyed this one, as it was a departure from my usual reads.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk

About a Girl (Tess Brookes Series, Book 1)

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.

After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, she might try being Vanessa. With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…

I haven’t read a book like this in years. When I say like this, I mean the light-hearted, girly kind of books. They are not something I would usually pick up, but that is exactly why I went for it this time. It is fun and it kept me turning the pages. Escapism is what I was after, and I found it with this one. A perfect holiday read!

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight: The Sunday Times Bestseller. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 2

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

Back to the second book in the series, and while it didn’t capture my imagination as much as the first one, I was still hooked and invested in the characters. Taylor’s world-building is really good, and it is easy to get pulled into the story. An enjoyable second installment, but it definitely left me wanting more!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

 

Until next time, happy reading 🙂

Aftershock (Pendulum #3) by Adam Hamdy

Hi guys,

So I know I’m not meant to be reading crime/thriller type books at the moment, or even reviewing for that matter, but when I came home from Harrogate, there was a copy of Aftershock waiting for me. I have loved this series from the beginning, so I genuinely couldn’t relegate this one to the TBR. I know it isn’t out until November either, but once again, I couldn’t wait!

About the author (via Adam’s website):

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British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was nominated for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction, and chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and WH Smith Travel. Pendulum was also selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. Adam is currently adapting Pendulum into an eight-part series for Hardy, Son & Baker and NBC Universal.

Freefall, the second book in the Pendulum series, will be published by Headline in November 2017. Freefall has been described as a ‘thrill overload’ with one critic saying, ‘It’s a fabulous thriller, with a very contemporary spin. Excitement guaranteed.’

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors, experience that has given him a useful insight into many industries.

Adam has a law degree from Oxford University and a philosophy degree from the University of London. He is a seasoned rock climber, skier and CPSA marksman.

Adam is a member of the ITW, Crime Writers’ Association, and Society of Authors. He is the membership coordinator for the ITW Debut Authors Program.

Twitter: @adamhamdy

About the book:

Aftershock: (Pendulum Series 3) by [Hamdy, Adam]

THEY BELIEVED IT WAS OVER
Having survived the lethal Pendulum conspiracy, photographer John Wallace atones for his past mistakes.
DI Patrick Bailey clings to the hope that he can, at last, return to a normal life in London.

BUT IT’S ONLY JUST BEGINNING
FBI investigator Christine Ash – alone and paranoid – hunts down the remaining members of the ruthless Foundation organisation.

DARK FORCES ARE RISING AGAIN
But when masked assassins strike at the heart of the UK government, a shocking new threat emerges that forces all three to reunite.

DEADLIER THAN EVER BEFORE
With time running out, they must defeat a lethal new adversary: a manipulative mastermind with sinister powers unlike anything they’ve seen before.

Published in November, click the link below to pre-order, you won’t regret it 🙂

Aftershock (Pendulum #3) by Adam Hamdy

My thoughts:

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve read and loved the previous books in the trilogy (review links are left below) so I had been eagerly awaiting Aftershock since I finished Freefall last summer. Which feels like a lifetime ago! So you can imagine my delight to find a copy waiting for me after I got home from Harrogate. I literally turned the last page of Aftershock a half hour ago, and I am shook, in the best possible way of course.

I’m mindful of the fact that I don’t want to go into too much detail in this review, so I will try to keep it relatively short because if I start rambling about the book, I probably won’t stop too easily!

Aftershock starts with a bang, and I swear the pace doesn’t let up for the entirety of the 500+ pages. If you’ve read the first two books, you’ll recognise Adam Hamdy’s innate talent for writing extremely cinematic thrillers, and this one is no exception!

We are back with the usual suspects, Wallace, Ash, Bailey as they try to deal with the fallout from the events that took place in Freefall. Each is trying to battle their own demons, and the internal guilt/struggles they are experiencing make for tough and emotive reading at times. The journeys that each one goes on, and the arc of their respective characters is so well plotted, and I found myself really rooting for them at various points in the book.

The Foundation has claimed so much of these people’s lives, and in Aftershock they try to claw back something for themselves. Destruction and force are The Foundation’s weapons of choice, but murder seems to be the order of the day and its up to Wallace, Ash and the rest to try to finally put a stop to this wide-reaching organisation.

I swear the tension and pacing in these books is designed to get your adrenaline pumping, but not in a bad way. I kept my reading of this one to daylight hours, but even then I was on tenterhooks while the action was unfolding. Lets not even mention the bits that made me tearful!!!

Aftershock is a pitch perfect ending to what has been one of the best action series I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Cleverly plotted, excellent characters and a truly terrifying reality made Aftershock a truly gripping read. 

If you like your thrillers with real heart, then I highly recommend you pick up Aftershock, and its equally impressive predecessors.

You will not be disappointed.

All the stars for this one!

Previous reviews:

Pendulum by Adam Hamdy

Run by Adam Hamdy

Freefall (Pendulum Trilogy #2) by Adam Hamdy

Assassins Vengeance by Rachel Amphlett @EllenDevonport @RachelAmphlett

Assassins Vengeance.jpg

About the book:

Spies. The best unreliable narrators that money can buy…

Eva and her fractured team are on the run, desperate to find answers and uncover who has betrayed them from within the shadowy government organisation known only as the Section.

Evading assassination in Berlin and Prague, Eva has had time to regroup and try to solve the mystery behind the attempts on her life.

But her enemies are one step ahead of her, eliminating anything and anyone who stands in their way.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s been shot at and survived… twice

About the Author:

rachel-2016-2141

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

Follow the author:

Email: info@rachelamphlett.com

Skype: rachel.amphlett1

http://www.rachelamphlett.com

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

Ellen’s Review:

After the bombshell that was dropped at the end of Assassins Hunted I wasn’t prepared for the further truth bombs that are revealed as soon as Assassins Vengeance began! Suddenly Eva, Nathan and Decker are responsible for not only the safety of another child but the protection of the world from a megalomaniac who is hell bent on releasing a bioweapon. Maxim Kowalski is a Russian scientist plotting to release a plague and watch the world’s governments blame each other while millions die in agony.

As well as this they are still unaware who is the leak within the Section and unsure who is friend or foe that they come into contact with. Every step closer to the truth they put themselves further onto the path of danger. I found myself questioning everyone’s motives.

Assassins Vengeance is a taut thriller with heart that had me racing through the pages, we are left under no illusion that Eva Delacourt will finish what has been started and that whoever stands in her way will be dealt with!

Doorways by Robert Enright @REnright_Author

Doorways.jpg

About the book:

When will you discover The Otherside?

There is more to the shadows than just darkness

The Otherside is located at the fringes of our world, hiding in plain sight and existing within our shadows. Shielded from humanity, the Otherside is watched over by the BTCO, a highly secret government agency, whose members all possess ‘The Knack’, a genetic anomaly that allows them to see this other world.

Franklyn ‘Bermuda’ Jones is the BTCO’s finest agent, the only human to have passed to the Otherside and returned. Gifted with the ability to physically interact with both worlds, Bermuda reluctantly stands between both worlds, pining for the life he had to leave behind and the daughter he can no longer see. Teamed with Argyle, an enigmatic Otherside warrior, Bermuda is assigned the case of a missing woman who has vanished under mysterious circumstances.

As Bermuda delves further into the disappearance, he uncovers a threat that could destroy the truce between two worlds…and finds himself in a race against time to safeguard humanity’s very existence.

Doorways: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doorways-First-Bermuda-Jones-Casefile-ebook/dp/B07813HWTB/ref=pd_sbs_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WWYXCGK6GCGWQD2C0CJJ

Doorways99p.jpg

About the author:

Rob.jpg

Robert Enright was born and raised in North London and resides in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Working as a HR System Manager by day, he spends his evenings and weekends writing (or binge watching TV with his fiance).

In March 2015, Rob self-published ONE BY ONE on Amazon, a violent, revenge thriller which was critically acclaimed, breaking into the top 50 books on Amazon on release. One year later, One by One leapt up to #3 in Kindle Crime and back into the top 50 on Kindle.

Robert then signed with Urbane Publications and his second book DOORWAYS was released on the 13th October 2016. An Urban Fantasy Thriller, Doorways is the first Bermuda Jones Casefile, a series following the aforementioned agent as he struggles to govern the truce between our world and ‘The Otherside.’ Released to critical acclaim, Doorways has achieved consistently high rankings on both the Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy charts.

In October 2017, ONE BY ONE was republished on Kindle and Paperback by Britain’s Next Best Seller.

In early 2018, DOORWAYS will be re-released as an ebook, paperback and audio book under Robert Enright’s management. The sequel, THE ABSENT MAN will also be released in early 2018. The third in the series, WORLDS APART, is set for a late 2018 launch. A prequel, titled BERMUDA, is in the works for a 2018 launch also.

For more information about Rob and his upcoming books, then feel free to check him out on social media:

Previous posts:

*Blog Tour* Doorways by Rob Enright

My thoughts:

I have (shamefully) had Doorways on my TBR for a while, so I was delighted when the author contacted me to review it as it meant I could bump it straight to the top of Mount St. TBR! And it is safe to say I was not disappointed!

Doorways is a bit of a genre mash-up. There are elements of the supernatural running alongside a good old crime thriller/ mystery element. Usually I am a bit skeptical with books like this, but after broadening my reading horizons in 2017, I was looking forward to getting stuck in.

Bermuda Jones works for the BTCO, an organisation that deals with the Otherside. The BTCO are supposed to watch over the Otherside, make sure that entities don’t cross over and generally keep the peace. But life is never that simple really, is it?

Called to investigate the disappearance of a missing woman, Bermuda and his partner Argyle quickly learn that someone or something has crossed over, and they begin a race against time as more people begin to disappear. Interestingly, Bermuda is the only one who has crossed to the Otherside, and returned. Because of this, he has extra abilities that mean he can interact with both worlds, but this could have devastating consequences in Doorways.

I really liked Bermuda as a character. He is wry and witty, but there is also a selflessness there underlying his decesions. He has a daughter that he can’t see for fear of putting her in danger, so he is very much isolated from his family for their protection. He is very much a flawed detective type, but it works well in Doorways. It gives the tortured hero a whole new spin, for reasons you’ll see when you read the book!

Argyle is another character that I really liked. He defected from the Otherside, and he seems to be having an internal conflict when he deals with his own kind. Moral dilemmas, if you will, even though he is far from mortal. Argyle is the perfect compliment to Bermuda, and they work really well together as a team.

Doorways was definitely a surprise for me. I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked it up, but once I started it I was hooked. I became invested in Bermuda and his investigation. I really liked the world-building too. The Otherside sounds like an abysmal and dangerous place, and the author has done a great job in creating a world that will make you shudder.

Highly recommended!

 

Assassins Hunted by Rachel Amphlett Ellen’s Review @EllenDevonport @RachelAmphlett

Assassins Hunted.jpg

About the book:

Mother. Widow. Spy.

Eva Delacourt has been in hiding for three years after her fiancée was assassinated in cold blood outside the British embassy in Prague.

She thought she was safe.

But someone in the mysterious Section has betrayed her, and now she’s on the run for her life, sworn to protect the six-year-old boy she adores.

Her enemies are closing in, and the odds are not in Eva’s favour. For Eva, the nightmare is just beginning…

Click the link below to order your copy:

Assassins Hunted: (English Spy Mysteries Book 1) by Rachel Amphlett

About the author:

rachel-2016-2141

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

Follow the author:

Email: info@rachelamphlett.com

Skype: rachel.amphlett1

http://www.rachelamphlett.com

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

Ellen’s Review:

I’m a huge fan of the Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett so I jumped at the opportunity to read her new British Spy series novellas beginning with Assassins Hunted. I can’t deny that I was a little nervous. Would I enjoy a spy/espionage book? Would I click with the main character Eva Delacourt as much as I did Kay Hunter??

There was no reason to be worried! Assassins Hunted has an explosive start and the pace doesn’t relent. Eva Delacourt has been on the run for a number of years but has managed to keep her identity secret until now…she is tracked down to her new identity and home in Cyprus and her attackers mean business. Eva proves to be a worthy adversary, managing to save herself and her son Alex.

It becomes apparent that Eva’s hunters are relentless and even under the protection of her former employers the MI6 her life is in danger. We are taken on a heart thumping race from danger with Eva, Alex and Nathan Crowe. Nathan is a lowly computer analyst who is tasked with working with Eva to find out who is after her and why – but there are far more dangers and dark secrets that are exposed along the way.

I loved Eva and her kickass ways; a cracking start to a new series!

 

Dream On by Erik Carter~ Ellen’s Review @EllenDevonport @ErikCarterBooks

Hi everyone,

Today is publication day for Erik Carter’s Dream On, and Ellen has a fab review for you all to check out! First though, the all-important bookish info!

About the book:

Dream on1.png

A brutal killer. A shocking theory. And a growing death count.

Special Agent Dale Conley is going out of his mind. He wants to catch this murderer so bad it hurts—because he’s never seen such gruesome crime scenes …

As a serial killer continues his vicious slayings, Dale scrambles to uncover the connection between the victims. Dale discovers that the deaths are related to a controversial theory, one so astonishing that it threatens to undermine the foundations of society. If Dale is going to stop the bloodshed, he’ll have to confront not only a ruthless enemy but also explosive ideas that could tear the world apart.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the author:

EC1.jpg

Erik Carter writes thrillers and mysteries. A trained public historian and design professional, his adventures have led him across America, where he has done everything from hosting a television show to shooting documentaries in the desert to teaching college. These experiences gave the background he needs for his greatest adventure—writing fiction.

ErikCarterBooks.com
facebook.com/ErikCarterBooks
twitter.com/ErikCarterBooks

Ellen’s Review:

I was thrilled to be asked to review the next book in the Dale Conley series as I had enjoyed Stone Groove earlier in the year. It was great to be back in Dale’s world of the Bureau of Esoteric Investigations (BEI), the part of the FBI reserved for the weird and wonderful. Dale is a cross between Indiana Jones and Fox Mulder; a pretty good mix if you ask me!

This thriller is based around a controversial religious theory – one which someone is desperate to keep under wraps and will go to any lengths to do so. The first two victims are well known atheists but as they die they quote the bible and one has a picture of Jesus in his wallet; this religious link to the crimes is why Dale Conley is involved.

Dale normally works with a liaison agent who then takes the credit for Dale’s work due to the secretive nature of the BEI but is paired this time with a civilian; forensic psychologist Gillian Spiro.

Now, Dale is a ladies man and well known for it which immediately puts Spiro on the back foot. She is a very prickly, defensive character and appears to be out to prove herself. I enjoyed the interaction between them both and it was interesting to see how Dale dealt with her obvious dislike of him.

Being a good Catholic girl I was absolutely fascinated by the actual theory in Dream On but there is far much more to this story than religion. Conspiracy theories, brain washing and government interference. A cracking thriller which I raced through and am once more left wanting more in this series!

Save Me by Mandasue Heller~Ellen’s Review @EllenDevonport @rosiewilsreads

Save Me.jpg

About the book:

When Ellie Fisher misses her train home one night, she has no idea that being in the right place at the wrong time will change her life forever.

That night she comes across Gareth, a young man about to take his own life, because as far as he’s concerned there is nothing left to live for. Putting her own life in danger Ellie convinces Gareth that there is always something left. Her own life is no bed of roses, she explains, but she always pushes on.

However, good deeds aren’t always repaid the way we want. Has Ellie unwittingly put her life in danger, or is the real danger a lot closer to home?

Out on December 28th and published by Macmillan, click HERE to order your copy!

About the author:

Mandsue H.jpg

Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, seventies soul cover bands and blues jam bands. She still writes and records with her musician partner between books, and their music can be found in Amazon’s music store.
You can also connect with Mandasue on facebook and twitter

Ellen’s Review:

I was thrilled to be asked to review Save Me by Mandasue Heller having being introduced to her books earlier in the year with Run. Save Me is one of those books that I could not put down and I was drawn in from the first few paragraphs with the discovery of a body in an abandoned house. We are then introduced to the main player in the story Ellie Fisher as she saves a young man (Gareth) from throwing himself off a bridge into the path of a train.

This book was unusual in that I really didn’t like a lot of the characters, I mainly wanted to give them a really good shake or slap them around the chops! Ellie is married to the controlling Matt and is oblivious (brain washed) to his flaws and stuck in a dead end job. Her sister Holly is a little free with her affections to put it nicely and always putting Ellie down. Gareth appears to be Ellie’s knight in shining armour but as we know these guys sometimes end up being an asshole wrapped in tinfoil!

There was a lot of tension throughout the story and I kept waiting for Ellie to open her eyes and realise what was happening around her. Save Me is a story about obsessional love, lies and secrets – all of which build up to an explosive conclusion. I enjoyed this gritty thriller and would definitely recommend to fans of this genre and will be buying a copy for my mum who loves Mandasue!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of this book.

Previous Reviews:

Run by Mandasue Heller