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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (Dark Artifices, #2) - Book Review

3.5/5 Stars

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?


Edition: Kindle
Pages: 701 (roughly)
Chapters: 29
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Book Links:

Review


It's been a while since I delved deep into darkness with Shadowhunters, and I have, without a doubt, sorely missed their world. So much time in fact, that I had to look up a recap for each of the books, in all of the series (my memory truly sucks). This caught me up as planned, bathed me in fantasy nostalgia, and built my expectations for entry number two in Clare's Dark Artifices trilogy.

Lord of Shadows is a decent sequel that has stoked the flames of my passion and frustration. It has enough forbidden love, tension, and epic events to drown a corner of the universe (or a reader's brain), but it is so...damn...long...

The good is good, and although the bad isn't exactly bad, the novel's tendency to chase itself in circles highlights its missteps.

I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible, but, just in case, there might be some minor ones.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Midsummer's Bottom by Darren Dash - Book Review

4/5 Stars

'Consider, mortal, the game to be had

By tricking these clowns and turning them mad...'


Edition: E-Book
Pages: 437 (roughly)
Chapters: Structured like a play; split into 5 Acts (plus an epilogue)
Publisher: Home of the Damned

Book Links:

Review


* I was gifted this book, by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

It's always an honour when an author reaches out to me and asks for my opinion on their work, and although I'm not always able to reply, I appreciate it. That feeling pales in comparison to waking up to an email from your favourite writer; the writer that stoked the flames of passion for reading and magical worlds.

Darren Dash, more commonly know as Darren Shan, had me on the verge of fanboying quite embarrassingly when he sent along his new novel Midsummer's Bottom. I half danced, half read the email like an adult, and without any doubts I promised to read and honestly review his new work.

Midsummer's Bottom is a fantasy dramedy set in Limerick, Ireland (Republic, not Northern), that is structured like a play and inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's ambitious, wholly different from the author's other books, and utterly addictive.

I feel guilty at just how much I lived for the delicious drama that Dash devised.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Where The Hell Have I Been?


Absence:


So, I've been gone for a bit, and by a bit I mean almost a year (what!?).

I must have a good reason, right? I love reading, I love reviewing, I love being a part of the book community, I must have died and only been recently resurrected. Well, no such luck. I just haven't set aside the time to read in a while. I've been lazy and preoccupied. I moved home, moved back, changed jobs, lost jobs, and pretty crappy life stuff just popped into the picture and pushed everything else off to the side.

Not anymore, I hope. My motivation has been on the fritz lately, but I do plan to read more routinely. Whether or not that'll happen remains to be seen, but I gotta hold out hope.

So, to be a little preemptive, forgive me for my rusty blogging skills. I'm far from the greatest, and that's going to be even more apparent until I settle back in.

Writing:


The eagle-eyed readers might have noticed the My Works part of the blog has vanished, and, for now, it's going to stay that way. I love writing just as much as reading, but releasing stuff online so young revealed something massive: I have a ton to learn.

I was naive and idealistic (still am in a lot of ways), and I came to the decision to just remove my novels from the internet (trust me, you're welcome). There are still remnants of them floating about, but, for your sanity, I wouldn't bother looking for them.

I sound harsh on myself and that's the way it should be.

I wasn't ready and neither was my writing.

Future:


Going forwards my main plan is just to get back into the community; to read and review regularly. I need to reinvigorate my passion for stories and the written word.

As for writing, I have some soul-searching to do and many, many things to learn.

For now, though, I'm back and buzzing to go. I've missed so much, and there are a wealth of wonderful worlds for me to immerse myself in just waiting.


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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

Sometimes the worst thing you can imagine is just the beginning...

Welcome to the Misfit Mob.


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 596
Chapters: 81
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

As an avid lover of books from almost every genre, it can become a bit tedious when reading the same one so much. But, and heavy emphasis on that very shapely but, that tedium can highlight the light within the dark; it can separate the exceptional from the mediocre.

A Dark So Deadly is exceptional.

A tad long, but otherwise a Scottish crime novel that deserves your money and a place on your shelf. MacBride is in top form; an author with a distinct voice and style that completely captures the reader from page one. A Dark So Deadly seems ordinary on the surface, with a standard synopsis that intrigues but doesn't really strike deep. But inside... His dark comedy is genius and his storytelling abilities are impossible to deny.

Telling the tales of underdogs overcoming adversity, lies and corruption poisoning trust, and finding a home in darkness, A Dark So Deadly flicks and flips, doing a damn fine job of entertaining.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

16th Seduction by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club, #16) - Book Review

3/5 Stars

Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect...

Now, a deadly conspiracy is working against her,

and soon she could be on trial...


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Chapters: 97 (Plus a prologue with three parts.)
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Anyone wanna take a guess as to what happens when you promise to set aside time for reading after a big lull?

In my case, it all went to crap.

So many weeks without a book under my belt...

Maybe that's why on my return to San Francisco in 16th Seduction, my eager brain raised my expectations too high. The novel's solid, with fast and ferocious fun that'll please Patterson fans with its comfortable formula, but, for me, something's missing. I remember being absolutely enamoured by the Women's Murder Club series, but chalk it up to such a long series being released over a long time and my rose-tinted glasses are slipping.

Readers are still in store for a crime-thriller novel that thinks big, with terrorism, secrets, and fear leading the charge in terms of themes, but part of me can't help but think there's far too much attempted style over meaningful substance (which pains me to say, so maybe I'm just crazy).