(Not so) Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi everyone,

It would appear that this is the last scheduled one of these posts that I have, so YAY! I got there in the end. I’m still way behind on my reviews, but this is the last of the 2018 reviews that I have!

The Furies

The Furies was one of those books I had seen getting lots of early hype on social media so I was delighted to be able to nab a copy to read. It is a dark read for sure, with divisive characters and an interesting plot. I don’t want to say more about it because its the kind of book you need to judge for yourself when you read it. If you liked The Craft (movie) and The Secret History, then definitely add The Furies to your list.

The Book of Love: The emotional epic love story of 2018 by the Irish Times bestseller

The Book of Love is the first book I’ve read from Fionnula Kearney and I really liked it. It is emotive, sad, uplifting and honest. I found myself getting a bit teary a couple of times. It follows Erin and Dan’s relationship as they use a notebook to say all the things they can’t get the courage to say to eachother, but its so much more as well. I’m not sentimental, or romantic (my husband can attest to this!) but The Book of Love really got to me. I was in tears after I finished it. I think if you like David Nicholl’s One Day, you’ll enjoy this one.

Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year

When I’m not reading books, I am reading magazines. I love them. So i was dying to read Alex Shulman’s book as it focused on Vogue’s centenary year. I’ve watched the documentary, but you don’t get a huge insight into Alexandra’s thoughts in it, but here you get to go a little deeper. I don’t pretend to be knowledgeable about fashion, but I do love books like this where you get to see the machinations as well as the finished product. It was definitely an interesting read.

Otherworld (Last Reality Book 1)

I was dying to read Otherworld once I found out it was THE Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother etc) that co-wrote it. I like him as an actor, so I was looking forward to seeing what his book was like. I went into it thinking it would be a bit like Ready Player One, which I loved, but it didn’t come off like that at all. Its a decent dystopian YA book, no doubt about it, but it doesn’t stand up to the bigger ones out there. It has a good premise, but I found it hard to connect with the characters.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! How I loved this one. This book had been languishing on my kindle for a while so I picked it up a while ago to read and I ended up absolutely loving it. It is billed as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I AM HERE FOR THAT! It was such a great read. I loved the characters, the whole idea, the premise, everything! I love anything to do with BATB so this book was everything for me. I can’t wait to get myself a hardcover for my shelves because I plan on reading it again in 2019. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

The Extinction Trials: Exile

I read the first one of these last year and really enjoyed it so I was delighted to see this one on Borrowbox (library app). This is another YA dystopian book with dinosaurs! Its billed as The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park and they’re not wrong. It is a fast-paced read, with a really great story. I enjoyed Exile and I’m looking forward to reading the third book as soon as I get a chance!

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

This is a short book but it definitely packs an emotional punch. Set during the war, beside a concentration camp, that will give you an idea of what its about. It is brutal and harrowing, but also at times it is gentle. It is a heartbreaker though, and definitely an emotional read.

Monsieur Linh and His Child

I got this from a book swap at a Rick O’Shea Book Club event but I never got around to it until last year. Monsieur Linh is fleeing his home country and his story is emotional and very sad. The narrative is almost child-like at times, but its a very good story. It definitely made me well up a little.

A Christmas Carol

Adding this in because its a classic, and I NEVER read them. It is a very quick read. The language, as you would expect from a period piece, is very eloquent at times. I knew what it was about, hard not to when its been around for so long. To be honest though, not my thing. I just can’t get to grips with the classic authors.

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

ACOFAS is the fourth book in the series by Sarah J. Maas and I had been really eager to read it since I finished the third one. This one seems to be more of a filler than anything else though. I mean, its grand, but it has none of the stories that the first three had. It seems like more of a stop gap than anything else, but it was still nice to get back into their world. I would have rathered an actual full book, but this was fine for what it was!

Aaaaand I’m done! 🙂 Unless I get way behind again!!!

(Not so) Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi all,

I had to do a bit of a name change on these blog posts, because I am months out from reading these books!

Better late than never though, right?! 😊

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

If you know me, you’ll know that Azkaban is my absolute favorite Harry Potter book, so this re-read was pretty much a confirmation of this. It’s so strange coming at these books as an adult as I read them so long ago, but I find I’m enjoying them just as much, if not more than I did years ago. For me, Azkaban is the start of JKR introducing darkness into the series. In both character and writing style, and that’s why I like this one so much. Plus, SIRIUS! He is one of my favorite characters, so The Prisoner of Azkaban will always have a special place in my heart.

Last Ones Left Alive

I read Last Ones Left Alive pretty much in one day. It was so compelling that I just had to keep reading. It’s got a great plot and some seriously kick-ass female characters, I couldn’t put it down. It is dark, brutally raw and bleak at times, but it’s a really great read. If you liked The Road, you’ll love this!

Some Kind of Wonderful

My lovely friend Sara (of Not Another Book Blogger) gave me this as she knew I was in need of a lighthearted read! She’s the best 😊 I hadn’t read anything by Giovanna Fletcher but I really enjoyed Some Kind of Wonderful. Not least because it’s title reminds me of the movie of the same name from the 80’s! Lizzie was expecting her long-term boyfriend to propose on their dream holiday, but it turns out that he couldn’t do it. What follows is Lizzie’s journey to find out who she is, without a partner, without a relationship. It’s an honest, light read that kept me turning the pages.

For the Missing: The gripping Scandinavian crime thriller smash hit

I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian crime, and I had read one prior to this that I didn’t enjoy at all. So I went into For The Missing with a hint of trepidation, but thankfully it was unfounded. I got hooked into this one really quickly. It’s got the usual formula, but the story kept my interest and I ended up flying through it. Not as intricate as some Scandi crime novels, but definitely another great addition to the genre!

Longstone: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 10)

Longstone is another gripping installment in the DCI Ryan series. I flew through this one, as with them all! Longstone concerns Ryan’s wife Anna as she’s called out to a Viking treasure discovery, but she’s not expecting to have to call Ryan with news of a murder. This is another twisty whodunnit with the usual characters from previous books and I really enjoyed it!

Until next time… ☺️

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hey guys,

I’m back with another of these because if I don’t post them now I’ll never do it! 😂

Die Cold (Jake Boulder Book 4)

I love the Jake Boulder series. It’s got everything I look for in thrillers. Pace, action, great characters and just all round good fun! Die Cold is another brilliant installment in the JB series. I was hooked pretty much from the off. For the full effect, I would recommend reading the previous books in the series in order to know the backstory, but you could probably jump in with this one and still enjoy it! Graham Smith has a knack for writing US-based thrillers. You really get a feel for the locations plus he has a real cinematic quality to his writing. There is a definite nod to Die Hard in this one, and you’ll notice plenty of bookish easter eggs/homages to that action stalwart in Die Cold. Thoroughly enjoyed Die Cold and can’t wait for the next one!

The Cross: An Eddie Flynn Novella

I had been saving The Cross for when the Eddie Flynn-shaped hole in my reading life got too big to ignore, so I had to pick it up because I’m really missing Eddie. This is a novella, but it feels like you’re reading a full book, such is the depth of the story that Cavanagh has in this book. I love this series, and The Cross was perfect to get me through my withdrawals. I really enjoyed it, and actually took my time reading it. If you’ve not read this one yet, I would definitely recommend picking it up. And if you’ve not read the Eddie Flynn series then add that too because they’re great fun!

Gone By Dawn: An Exclusive Short Story (Victor)

I haven’t read Tom’s Victor series (YET) but Gone By Dawn was the perfect intro to him as a character. Think Eastern European Jack Reacher kind of style. This is only a quick read, but it fairly packs a punch. It’s made me want to read the series to find out more about Victor. There is an excellent amount of action and just the right amount of humanity to make Victor a character you would happily keep reading again!

Orphan, Monster, Spy

Orphan Monster Spy was one of the book club choices for Rick O’Shea’s Book Club on Facebook (at some point in the past few months) so I was eager to read it because Rick had been raving about it. I have to say, it wouldn’t have been a book I would have picked up of my own volition normally, but I absolutely loved it. I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, and wishing the time away so I could get back to reading. Compelling, emotive and gripping, I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Our Bloody Pearl (These Treacherous Tides Book 1)

The obsession with mermaids (shoutout to Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant and To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo for starting it!) continued with Our Bloody Pearl. It popped up randomly on a Bookbub email so I downloaded it because I saw mermaids in the description 😂 It’s actually not a bad book. It’s got an interesting story, and I did feel for the characters as the plot developed. It kept me reading, and that’s always a good thing. I would happily continue reading if the author brings out more books!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I’m continuing my re-read of the HP books, although I appear to have stalled because Goblet is a TOME, my Azkaban one is in another batch of these reviews! I love these books, and it’s really weird reading them as 30-something because I’m seeing a lot more now than I was when I read them many years ago. While Chamber isn’t my favorite of the series, it’s still a good one. It introduces one of my fave characters, Dobby, so it was always going to be a positive thing! I genuinely don’t know how to review these books now, because I never envisioned reviewing them then! So I’ll just say I love them 🤣

The Burning Page: The Invisible Library 03 (The Invisible Library series Book 3)

Not my favorite of the Invisible Library series, but it was still really good. There seemed to be a lot more going on in this one than in the previous books, but it’s still really enjoyable. I really like the characters, especially Kai and Irene, and the world building is so complicated that I have the utmost of respect for Genevieve Cogman and her ability to weave these worlds together so seamlessly. Highly recommend this series if you enjoy fantasy books!


So that’s it for another R4 (yep, I’m too lazy to type the words 😂) post. I’m hoping to get through these a bit more in the next week or so if I get the time so keep an eye out!

I’ll have fantasy, YA, crime and thriller reviews coming soo, along with blog tour posts too 😊

Until next time…

Happy reading 📚😊

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’m back with more reviews. It honestly feels like I will never get to clear this backlog, but I’m going to do what I can! 🙂

Dark Sacred Night: The Brand New Bosch and Ballard Thriller (Harry Bosch Series Book 21)

I’m a huge fan of the Bosch series, and I was lucky enough to be approved for this on Netgalley. I really enjoyed it, especially as I got to read about Renée Ballard. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first book featuring her. I loved the story, and it kept my attention the whole way through. I really like the relationship between Ballard and Bosch and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22)

The Midnight Line was another super fun Reacher read. I loved the idea of seeing the West Point ring in the pawn shop and the way everything spiralled once Reacher decided to find out why it was there. Interesting characters in TML too, and I flew through it.

Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23)

I had a BEAUTIFUL hardback bound proof of this since Harrogate, but I had been saving it until closer to publication. I loved Past Tense. I found the story to be a bit of a departure from the usual Reacher story, in the sense of character motivations and actions, but I enjoyed it. I will now be impatiently waiting for the next one 🙂

Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1)

I’ve never read any Tamora Pierce so this was a new author and style for me, and I definitely got into it. The main character, Daine, is a young mage and she can communicate with animals and nature. I found myself thinking about it often when I wasn’t reading it, and I had to get the next books in the series to find out what happens! Highly recommended!

Wolf-Speaker (The Immortals, Book 2)

This one delves deeper into Daine’s world and it was as compelling as the first book. These are gentler than the usual magical/fantasy reads, but just as captivating.

Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)

Lots more happened in this book than the previous two. Questions were answered, more questions were asked. I found myself getting lost in the world, and I really liked seeing the characters journeys throughout the series. Definitely recommend this series, and I’m dying to read the fourth book in the series!

The Importance of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home

I’m the first to admit I am not a big fan of Irish fiction, not for any particular reason, I just prefer books set in a different country. But then I met Aisling, and I have never read a more relatable book in terms of being able to see traits in people I know woven through the story. It made me laugh, it had some sombre moments, but it was just a genuine and fun read. It really surprised me!

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4)

Absolutely love Michael’s DCI Matilda Darke series and The Hangman’s Hold was another excellent installment. Dark, gripping and unsettling, I would highly recommend this series if you’ve not read any!

The Hermitage: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9)

I love this series, and I really liked The Hermitage. I enjoyed the dual locations and I found the story to be quite engaging. I kept reading and before I knew it I had it finished. The camaraderie and friendships between the characters are what make this series for me. It feels like catching up with friends when I pick up LJ Ross’s books !

Storm Rising (An F.B.I. K-9 Novel Book 3)

Another awesome installment in the FBI K-9 series. Hawk is such a cool dog, and I love reading these books because they are always so insightful from a technical aspect while being completely absorbing in terms of the story. I couldn’t put it down when I started it! Highly recommend this as another series to add to your TBR!

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So, I’m 44 (yes, FORTY-FOUR!!!!) reviews behind. Which sucks. But, I am adamant that I will get through them and this is once again, the ONLY way I can play catch up! These are all books I read towards the end of 2018 and I feel terrible that I haven’t gotten around to doing this until now, but hey, better late than never, right? 🙂

Murder on the Orient Express (Poirot)

I will hold my hand up and say until last year, I had never read an Agatha Christie novel. I rectified that by buddy reading Murder with some lovely twitter folk and I really enjoyed it. It is definitely a cosy crime novel, and it was exactly what I needed to read. So much so, that I’m now reading another AC novel, And Then There Were None and enjoying it just as much.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

Very much a character-driven book, Do You Dream of Terra-Two is one for fans of Becky Chambers. It’s got a really good premise, and I enjoyed the journey that the characters take the reader on.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library Book 1)

I’m a sucker for anything that uses books/libraries as a selling point. Ink and Bone is a promising opening for the Great Library series. Good world-building, intriguing characters and plenty of action. It took me a while to get into, but I would happily continue on with the series!

Trust No One: I Am Pilgrim meets Orphan X in this explosive thriller. You won't be able to put it down

This one was on my Netgalley shelf for far too long so I picked it up late last year. It reminds me of the Jason Bourne movies, it reads quite cinematic in that sense. Its a good thriller, with a lot to keep the reader turning the pages. Read this if you enjoyed I Am Pilgrim!

Empress of all Seasons

I am deep into my YA fantasy phase at the moment, and this one was top of my want list last year. I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley copy so I dove right in. Epic world-building, some seriously good characters and beautiful imagery in this one!

Zero Hour: Omnibus Edition

Zero Hour is a tense and emotive book. It is short, but packs a proper punch. It will leave you thinking about it long after finishing it. If you like Hugh Howey you will love Zero Hour!

The Masked City (The Invisible Library series Book 2)

I’m really enjoying this series. I found The Masked City to be hard going at the star though. There was a lot going on, and I couldn’t follow it initially, but once I figured it out I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters in this series, and I can’t wait to read the next ones!

Rosewater: Winner of the Nommo Award for Best Novel (The Wormwood Trilogy Book 1)

Rosewater is one of the more different books I’ve read lately. Speculative, graphic and immersive, it is an intriguing read. I thought it was a bit confusing at times as it jumps around a bit, but it was the premise that kept me reading!

The Lion Tamer Who Lost

An absolutely beautiful book. Emotive, beautifully-written and with a truly captivating story, this is a book with real heart. I can’t do it justice with my words, but I would highly recommend picking it up.

The Last Namsara: Iskari Book One

Another stellar YA fantasy series. I loved The Last Namsara. It is stunningly immersive, characters that will have you rooting for them from the start, and DRAGONS! Super fun read.

The Caged Queen: Iskari Book Two

I read this one before Namsara (I obviously went and bought Namsara as soon as I had finished this one!!!) and I was hooked. It was such an engaging read, and it had enough tie backs to the first book that it made the reader question a few things, but it didn’t give everything away. Loved it!

James Patterson Book Shots Reviews

Late last year, I found myself having trouble with books that weren’t working for me, so I was in need of short sharp reads. In James Patterson’s Book Shots, I found exactly what I needed. Whole stories in 120 pages or less, plus they helped to bring up my Goodreads challenge a little bit 🙂

I’ve read a few of JP’s books before and they are generally easy reads. Pacy and action-packed, and the same can be said for the Book Shots! Here’s the synopsis for each of the ones I read, and a brief review:

  • The Shut In:

I know you’re watching me. 
Confined to a studio apartment, Tricia Celano watches the outside world through a flying drone. But when her high-tech toy records a vicious murder, she’s determined to track down the killer–a killer who knows she’s being watched. 

I found this one to be a bit slow to start, if that is even possible in such a short book, but once it did it was good fun. The drone aspect was a new one, and shows the need to stay up to date with technological advances. Interesting murder method, shady characters and an open ending left me wanting just a little more with The Shut In.

  • Private: Gold:

Money. Betrayal. Murder.

That’s a Private conversation.

Hired to protect a visiting American woman, Private Johannesburg’s Joey Montague is hoping for a routine job looking after a nervous tourist. After the apparent suicide of his business partner, he can’t handle much more. But this case is not what it seems–and neither is his partner’s death.

I’ve not read any of the Private series, so I couldn’t tell you if there is a link to them with this book. However, its another good one. Set in South Africa, the location was a welcome change from the US-based ones. I liked the idea with Private: Gold, and I would definitely add the series to my list after reading this one!

  • Come and Get Us:

What is her husband’s secret? Miranda Cooper’s life takes a terrifying turn when an SUV deliberately runs her and her husband off a desolate Arizona road. With her husband badly wounded, she must run for help alone as his cryptic parting words echo in her head: “Be careful who you trust.”

It is possible this was my favourite one. A car is rammed ff the road and it becomes a race for survival as an unseen force tries to stop Miranda at every turn. There is more to this than meets the eye, and I was intrigued to see how it would play out. The wilderness, tension and characters made this one really good. I read the whole thing really quickly just to see where JP was going. Definitely the best of the Book Shots I’ve read.

  • The Heist:

Three thieves have planned the perfect diamond heist. They’ve monitored the Hatton Garden jeweller for months and are ready to make the hit. But they were not expecting a rival crew to show up at exactly the same time.

After a bloody fight, the three thieves come away with the diamonds and set off to meet their buyer in Amsterdam. But now it’s not only the police who are chasing them, and not only the diamonds that are at stake.

Less inclined to say I love this one. It was good. It all seemed much more rushed than the others though, which made the story feel a bit mashed together if that makes sense?! As a full length novel though, this would have great potential to expand characters and the plot. Enjoyable nonetheless!

  • Kidnapped:

PLEASE HELP BEFORE HE KILLS ME.

Travelling home for the festive season, Jon Roscoe receives a desperate cry for help.

This year, Christmas with his family isn’t quite as he had planned…

I really like Jon Roscoe, the lead in a few of these. I would happily read about him all day long. This was a twisty one, with some hateful characters. I liked how the story played out too. Less action than other Jon Roscoe books, but good all the same!

  • The Verdict:

A woman violently attacked in her bed.

A billionaire businessman on trial at The Old Bailey.

As the world’s press gather outside London’s luxurious Tribeca hotel, can Jon Roscoe protect his own family from the terrifying consequences of the verdict?

Really enjoyed this one too. As I said, Roscoe is a good character. Engaging, honest and reminiscent of an action movie hero, its hard not to enjoy reading about his escapades in these books. And that poor Tribeca Hotel is giving him serious trouble!

  • Cross Kill:

ALEX CROSS, I’m coming for you – even from the grave if I have to.

Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?

Nothing will prepare you for the wicked truth.

I read Along Came A Spider years ago, so this was a welcome return to Alex Cross and Gary Soneji. The idea of this one is really good too. It makes the reader question Soneji’s death, just like Alex. Its very quick, but the pace doesn’t really let up, so it’s very easy to read this one straight through. Made me feel like I need to go and read all of the Alex Cross books!

  • The Hostage:

The grand opening of the world’s most exclusive hotel: forty floors of breathtaking luxury.

VIPs gather in London for the ultimate preview. But one uninvited guest plans to make this a day the city will never forget.

Global Head of Security, Jon Roscoe, confronts a killer with a deadly timetable.

First outing with Jon Roscoe and it is a gory one. I really liked this one, and its what made me read the others with him in it. There is a cinematic quality to these books, and above any I’ve read, this is the one that would make the best movie. It has everything you can think of from an action/thriller, but its condensed and concentrated, so its got a got going on!


So yeah. 7 Book Shots, 7 mini reviews. These are all easy reads. They are short, have plenty of action, and work really well as palate-cleansers in terms of changing speed and style. I would happily read more of them!

Have you read any? Would you read them? Do let me know in the comments 🙂

Weekly Wrap Up December 18th

Hi everyone,

Its wrap up time! I’ve also managed to read 2 books this week which isn’t too bad considering nothing I’m reading is hitting the spot! Except Rupture! 😍🙌🏻

! It was an oddly busy week on the blog too, with 7 posts since Monday so there’s plenty to catch up on!

On Monday, Dave Hardy’s Top 20 books of the year went up:

Dave Hardy’s Top 20 Books of 2016 +2

I reviewed The River at Night, which has been getting some great reviews, but it missed the mark for me:

ef1

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

I had the brilliant Marnie Riches on Wednesday with a great guest post:

Marnie Riches Guest Post: Meet the Family…

I also posted my review of Duplicity:

sh

Duplicity by Sibel Hodge

Another review for the 2017 release, Lies:

img_0799

Lies by T. M. Logan

And another review (I know, I’m on fire 😂), Quercus are massively promoting this one:

img_0800

The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney

And last, but by no means least, one of my most anticipated books of the year by one of my absolute faves:

img_0802

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson


That’s been my week here! I’m almost finished Final Girls by Riley Sager so I’ll be reviewing that as well as Fickle by Peter Manus.

Tomorrow I’m on the blog tour for Dark Minds, a short story anthology from Bloodhound Books.

On Tuesday, Ellen is on the blog tour for Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett!

On Christmas Day, I finally get to share my review of Witness by Caroline Mitchell!

How has your week been? Read anything I need to add to the TBR mountain?! De let me know in the comments below 😊