As this book is the second book in a series I can’t say too much without giving away the first one but I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first one.
We are reintroduced to Lila, Kell and Rhy from book one, and are shown how their lives have moved on since the events of the first book. Will Lila go back to Grey London? It felt easy to slip right into the second book.
We also meet some new characters which really added to the drama and adventure of the story. I’m wondering if Alucard is going to cause any more drama in book three.
I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much as the Essen Tach- the games added such a fun element to the book and I found myself invested even though the only competitors I knew were Kell and Lila. It was the hope that one of them might win.
However, nothing felt rushed or forced and everything that happened, happened for a reason and really added to the story.
I can’t wait to pick up the third and final book in the trilogy as I really enjoyed this one!
So March was a really good reading month for me- as I read six books! Two of them were Netgalley books which means I’ve managed to read and review them before they were published!
The first book I read in March was Ye Game and Playe of Chesse & Other Stories by Alice Dunbar Nelson which was released last year as part of the Reclaim Her Name series. I gave it 3/5 stars. It only had three stories in it but I did enjoy them- especially delving into the lifestyle of New Orleans.
Next I read Volume 1 and 2 in the Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider comics by Seanan McGuire. They were great reads and I gave both 5 stars! Unfortunately Marvel have released a new series so there are only two original volumes to read. I really enjoyed finding out more about Gwen though!
So through a mutual cosplayer on Instagram I was introduced to her new business, The Coven Book Box- a book box for lovers of true crime, thrillers and horror.
It’s not a subscription service, one of boxes can be purchased so there’s no commitment!
Firstly, I love how everything was personalised! From the box and all the tags I really appreciated the personal touch.
And it was full of goodies!
The first item in the box is a tote bag by Hellflower (www.hellflower.co.uk) which I’ll definitely use!
Next, there was a mug, which was the sole seller of the box for me. Since binging true crime Youtubers (Eleanor Neale) and listening to podcasts this mug made me laugh.
It came with a biscuit too 😍
Next up was another ceramic piece, a painted flowerpot by Morbid Chalk (also on Etsy). There were two different designs to go for but I went for the flames as I find them more subtle.
Sticking to the the gothic/death theme the next item, and one I have no idea what I’m going to do with, is a coffin trinket box by Sinister Signs.
Finally, before the book, there was print by You’re So Cool Prints which I would display but I’m an angelic soul really. I just find it cool.
And to the book! All books come wrapped in brown paper, stamped with what genre they are (they will likely be crime, thriller or horror) so it’s a complete mystery. They’re also all second hand which I like as it means they’ve been loved before.
However, the box is quite pricey but definitely worth it and I know starting up a new business means less cash but newer books would also work great too!
I love the idea of blind date with a book though. Mine was a thriller and it was…..
I’ve never heard of it before but it sounds really good so I’m looking forward to delving in.
Overall I’d rate this book 4/5 stars!
If you’re interested in purchasing a box for yourselves you can either message the company directly through Instagram at thecovenbookbox or through their website https://thecovenbookbox.bigcartel.com where smaller boxes are available.
You won’t be disappointed!
It’s great to have a new UK based themed book box out in the world!
A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
4.5/5 stars- mainly because some of it confused me.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to pick up this book because it’s my first step into the writing of V E Schwab and she is incredible at story telling.
The story follows Kell, a magician who is able to travel between alternate versions of London, which with their own versions of magic, in order to collect artefacts and pass on messages for royalty.
We also meet Lila, a woman trying to make her way in her world, doing it the only way she knows best- stealing.
There are thrown together in a fight against dark magic, and rely on each other much more than they realise.
I really liked this book.
It’s such an intriguing concept but it’s done so well, and laid out so well that it’s so easy to flip between the Londons. I was hooked from the very first page and I didn’t want to put it down!
I like the fact that the magic isn’t your typical wand waving type, it’s blood magic, and this made it feel like there was always going to be danger.
There was never a moment when this book felt slow, or nothing happened, it was fantastical all the way through, with some relatable and sad scenes thrown in along the way.
It wasn’t intentionally left on a cliffhanger either, and even though I know this is book 1 of a trilogy, I really liked how it all came together at the end.
I am definitely looking forward to delving into the next one, because I can’t wait to see where the characters will end up next and how things will have changed.
4.5/5 stars! Sometimes the different languages confused me but otherwise a fantastic book!
“George thinks grief is like a paper crown that slips over your eyes and gets pushed up again and again.”
Thank you to Netgalley and Doubleday for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Be aware there are trigger warnings of grief, self harm, homophobia, domestic abuse and suicide so if you’re not keen on those topics in books I would avoid it. It is a lovely story, with beautiful writing, but it’s always good to be aware of the content.
The book follows three people, George- an elderly man who has recently lost his wife, Dan- a therapist who doesn’t really know who he is, and Lizzie- a woman hiding from reality. We follow them as their lives change for better and worse.
George hates his dog (a sausage dog his wife bought before she died) Dan adores his dog, and Lizzie’s dog isn’t really hers but they have a connection anyway.
I own a dog myself, and I know how much a dog can help mental health so in some areas this book had really relatable moments.
It’s a really well written novel, the writing flows and I liked how it flipped between all the characters. They didn’t have a connection but at some points their lives would intersect.
There were twists, there were shocks, and there was a moment that made me cry.
I really enjoyed this book and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.
A brilliant read that shows just how much having a dog can help a person through their darkest days.
I adored this book and I would highly recommend that you pick it up when it is released tomorrow.
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smartass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem -that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
I’ve had this book on my shelf since it came out and I was always ready to pick it up but never chose it from my TBR jar! However, I am so glad that I finally got around to picking it up as it’s my first 5 star read of 2021. There are so many reasons why I love this book, and if you haven’t read it yet I would thoroughly recommend it.
The multiple viewpoints can be very difficult to follow, but each of Squad 312 are so unique and I loved reading their viewpoints, it was great to see the characters develop and the friendships that developed through that. Although Tyler, Scarlett and Cat already knew each other, it was still fun reading their interactions.
I loved Scarlett’s sarcasm.
Another reason I like this book, is that Auri is supposed to be from the 21st century, so whenever she made a pop culuture reference (mainly with Kal) it made her feel more real, because I could relate to her- apart from her powers and the fact she was cryogenically frozen for 200 years.
I must admit, the book did start off slow, but around the third half it got really exciting and I found myself falling into the story a lot more. The added effect of the uniglass (a data chip thing) on pages, telling the reader about the ranks and other information also really helped to understand the world.
The shock at the end was completely unexpected and I had to put the book down before the final chapter to accept what had just happened and take a moment. It hurt. The authors decided to throw that upon us and I’m going to be really interested to see how the gang cope with it in the next book.
I’m going to move on to the sequel immediately.
Overall, a fantastic sci-fi adventure and I really love what an ecclectic group of character the members of Squad 312 are!
You won’t be disappointed if you pick up this book!
January was a good reading month for me as the UK was put back into lockdown meaning we once again had to stay at home.
I read eight things this month but only five of them count towards my reading challenge.
The first book I finished was Arrow:Fatal Legacies by Marc Guggenheim and James R Tuck. I gave this 3/5 stars.
Next I read A River Called Time by Courttia Newland, which was a Netgalley read. I gave it 3/5 stars.
I then read Arrow Volume 1 which is a graphic novel based on the first season of the TV show. I gave this 4/5 stars.
Next- one of the books that doesn’t count towards my goal because it’s part of an anthology, and that is Shock of Fate by D.L Armillei. It was good but the story took a good while to get going to I’d give it a 3.5.
Book 4 of January was In the Time We Lost by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I had really high hopes for this book and it wasn’t my favourite of hers. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.
Another anthology read! It was Drone by Jackson Dean Chase, this one wasn’t as good as the other one but still a 3!
The final book I read was The Reichenbach Problem by Martin Allison Booth. I liked the writing style of this and it was great to have a book based on an author! 3.5/5
The final thing I read in January was Issue 1 of The Little Mermaid comic series. It was nice and short to end the reading month.
Thanks for reading!
Reviews for four of the books can be found on my blog