Book Review: Torchwood: Trace Memory by David Llewellyn.

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Read between: 7th-9th May
Format: Hardcover
Number of pages: 256
Published: March 6th, 2008
Publisher: BBC Books
Synopsis: Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1950: A mysterious crate is brought into the docks on a Scandinavian cargo ship, the Kungssangen. Its destination: The Torchwood Institute. As the crate is offloaded by a group of local dockers it explodes, killing all but one; a young Butetown lad called Michael Bellini. Fifty-eight years later a radioactive source somewhere inside Torchwood leads the team to discover the same Michael Bellini, still young and dressed in his 1950s clothes, cowering in the vaults. As they question the intruder, it becomes apparent that each of them has met him in the past. All of them remember him talking incoherently about terrifying “Men In Bowler Hats” and little more, but it’s Jack who remembers him best of all…

Rating: Image result for four stars

Review: The Torchwood team are alerted to an intruder in the hub. The weird thing? They all remember meeting him at some point in their lives. So there is only one question: Who is Michael Bellini and why has he randomly appeared- and how?

The book also takes place over on Sunday night- as well as various different time periods. Michael had an accident in 1953 and can now involuntarily time travel! He also brings danger- The Vondrax- beings in bowler hats that are set upon Michael’s destruction.

Can the Torchwood team help him and discover the secrets of the silver orb he was found with?

I haven’t watched the series in a while, but this book took me straight back to the show and characters I know well. I also liked the fact that Ianto is a MASSIVE Bond fan. That little fact actually explains quite a lot about some of Ianto’s character traits.

However, it was much more about Michael than the Torchwood team, because, apart from Jack, they were only minor characters in Michael’s life. He and Jack were a thing back in the 60s and they were so cute together!

It was great to re-enter the Torchwood world, and re-familiarize myself with the characters. I really enjoyed the story, and it was such a quick read, because the story was interesting as well as fun!

4/5 Stars.

A nice easy read and a great Torchwood adventure!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Book Review: Missing (Lyn Kramer Mysteries #1) by Ann Jones.

Read between: 1st-7th May

Format: ebook

Number of pages: 191

Published: 8 July 2017

Publisher: Instafreebie

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

Detective Lyn Kramer is called on a missing persons case. However, it’s not as easy as she thinks when she discovers that the missing woman is actually her long lost sister.

Her long lost twin sister.

Obviously, this leads to an emotional backstory and tells us more about Lyn (full name Melinda) and who she is.

It was a very short book so there was a lot crammed in but it didn’t seem rushed and was actually a very interesting story and mystery.

Lyn’s partner Jud, is a great character because he is very compassionate and understanding as a person, which helped when Lyn was going through some tough times.

The case wasn’t what it expected but I liked how it was turned around.

The short chapters and writing style made it incredibly easy to read and I flew through it. I can’t say too much without giving the story away, but I’d definitely recommend this book if you want something short but thrilling to read.

I wish it had been longer because I really enjoyed it.

3/5 Stars

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: The Time of My Life by Cecilia Ahern

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Read between: 1st-7th April
Format: Hardcover
Published: October 13th, 2011
Publisher: Harper  Collins
Number of pages: 392
Synopsis: Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it.

Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face.

It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.

But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: The concept of this book is incredibly unique. It promotes the idea of life, embodied as a human being, and a constant companion to those whose life they represent.

Lucy has an appointment with her life- literally. It must be a sign she isn’t living how she should, she’s single, nearly 30, and living in a tiny flat, working in a job she’s only got because she lied on her CV. In fact, that’s not all she’s lied about and that’s why Life needs to see her.

That’s why her family signed the form to arrange their meeting.

On top of that, she’s dealing with stuff at work, her friends are still cross with her because they think she ended her relationship with Blake….who they all loved.

As a character, I couldn’t connect with Lucy that much- I’m not sure why, I just didn’t really get her. Sure, there were some moments that she was really strong, but otherwise, I found her to be a pretty average character. However, I did really like Cosmo- her life- he was straight talking and down to Earth…and not like Lucy at all!

Overall, I found this book to be a great read. It’s a different kind of contemporary- not just about the romance and the on life and how your actions can effect it.

I really like Cecelia Ahern’s novels. They always make me stop and think, and this one was no different. I did enjoy this book- I admit there were some sections that seemed slow or over dramatic but it was still a good story!

3/5 stars!

Interesting but enjoyable.
Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era: The Eighteenth Century Struggle for Female Success in a Man’s World by Mike Rendell

Read between: 28th March- 1st April
Format: ebook
Published: March 31st, 2018
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
Synopsis: Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era offers a fascinating insight into the world of female inequality in the Eighteenth Century. It looks at the reasons for that inequality – the legal barriers, the lack of education, the prejudices and misconceptions held by men – and also examines the reluctance of women to compete on an equal footing. Why did so many women accept that ‘a woman’s place was in the home?’ Using seventeen case studies of women who succeeded despite all the barriers and opposition, the author asks why, in the light of their success, so little progress was made in the Victorian era. Representing women from all walks of life; artists, business women, philanthropists, inventors and industrialists, the book examines the way that the Quaker movement, with its doctrine of equality between men and women, spawned so many successful businesses and helped propel women to the forefront. In the 225 years since the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, questions remain as to why those noble ideas about equality were left to founder during the Victorian era? And why are there still so many areas where, for historical reasons, equality is still a mirage?

Rating: ef735-star5

Review: I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but I saw this book on Netgalley and was immediately interested because I love history, so thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review.

It focuses on the achievements of a number of women at a time where they had next to no rights, for example, if a woman owned a business and assets, when she married, everything would become her husband’s. She would only regain them once she was widowed. It wasn’t exactly the best time to be a woman.

The women featured are:
-Fanny Burney- and author. She was the inspiration for Jane Austen to start publishing her writing.
– Anne Damer- a sculptor
– Sarah Siddons- an actress. Before, most female characters were played by men.

-Lady Mary Wortley Montagu- an advocate for the prevention of small pox
-Jane Marcet- she wrote science textbooks for young girls in order to help educate them
-Sarah Guppy- an inventor

-Hester Pinney- a lacemaker and stockbroker
-Hester Bateman- a silversmith
-Eleanor Coade- she created an artificial stone business

-Mary Darly- a printworker and caricature artist
– Teresia Phillips- a bigamist, and brothel house runner
– Elizabeth Raffald- she wrote the first cookery book

-Anne Fry- a choclatier
-Hannah More- an educator
-Elizabeth Fry- a prison reformer
-Lady Margaret Middleton- an abolitionist

And finally, the most famous woman in this novel, Mary Wollenstonecraft, author of ‘The Vindication of the Rights of Women’ and mother to Mary Shelley! She was probably the very first feminist!

Mary_Wollstonecraft_by_John_Opie_(c._1797)

It was a very interesting book to read, to find out about their achievements and to discover more about some fascinating ladies! Especially some I hadn’t heard of. The author has clearly done a lot of research when compiling the women for this book.

Even though the sections were short, there was a lot of information included. It was good to see that some of the women were based in Bristol which is a city I tend to visit often.

I really enjoyed this book, and it was a nice break between fiction novels. It definitely interested me, and appealed to me as a history buff! I’d definitely recommend it! It just goes to show us women can do anything!

5/5 stars!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A Chakraborty

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Read between: 23-27th March
Format: Paperback ARC
Number of pages: 533
Published: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Synopsis: Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for

Rating: 9dbae-4-52bstars

Review: City of Brass is a mix of the story of Arabian Nights mixed with drama and a bit of romance- although neither of my ships sailed! I was hoping for at least one of them to, I didn’t realise that both of one half (I shipped two people with one, okay!?) were going to die. 😦

There are two viewpoints- one from Nahri, a healer come con artist trying to make a living for herself in the marketplaces of 18th century Cairo. The second is from Ali, a prince in Daevaba, aka The City of Brass, and their paths end up crossing on an adventure….and a war.

Nahri also discovers the truth about her past with the help of a daeva (not a djinn- don’t call them djinns!) named Dara, and Daevabad calls to her.

I liked the magical elements and discovering the different types of magical beings, both good and bad- and the glossary at the back really helped me to understand the phrases used by the characters, and the types of magical being. I found myself flciking back and forth constantly!

Nahri and Dara’s relationship was love/hate and I was as shocked as Nahri when his true self was revealed- but I was also expecting something to happen. I admit the book was slow in places, but it was written really well that I couldn’t stop reading.

All the characters were well fleshed out- especially Ali’s father who was all kinds of mean! I didn’t like him at all!

Overall it was a good story- I loved the whole world, and I also liked that it was set in Africa rather than the usual speil of medieval Britain, with castles and dragons found in the majority of fantasy novels.

It’s brilliant, it’s different, and I’d definitely be interested in reading the sequel when it comes out.

4.5/5 stars. I’d definitely recommend it, I was surprised how much I loved it!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin

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Read between: 21st-23rd March
Format: ebook
Published: July 17th, 2016
Synopsis: She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.

Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories finally spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something terrible happened. The shock on his face affirms her fears.

Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten the past, she doesn’t even know who she is.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: Victoria is starting college- with her fancy Jaguar and laptop in tow- she’s ready to start a new chapter. Right?

Wrong.

Victoria can’t remember anything before arriving at college. She’s lost memories of her family- her friends, and there are no contacts in her phone or email that could offer her some sort of clue. What happened to her? Why does she have such a connection with her new math professor?

Despite the questions, she still manages a relationship with Carter Jag, son of the owner of the Jag nightclub.

There’s a lot of emphasis on jaguars, as you can see, which makes sense later on in the novel and then seemed really obvious. Carter’s family are, surprise, were-jaguars, and Victoria is a were-wolf (although she doesn’t know because she doesn’t turn at full moon) and there’s some kind of war between the two supernaturals.

There’s some great fantasy elements, like the bar full of supernatural creatures, and some cute romance! However, although I flew through this book, it was quite short and there were definitely questions I wanted answered.

Perhaps they get answered in the sequel. Especially Victoria’s origin story- sure we find out a bit when her memories come back, but I would have liked more.

This book is very hard to review without spoiling it but it was definitely interesting. I’m not the biggest fan of paranormal/supernatural romance but this read like a contemporary so I enjoyed it!

3/5 stars.

Not my usual type of book but good nonetheless.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse.

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Read between: 15th-20th March
Format: ebook
Published: 21st March 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Synopsis: What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have? With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance to have a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect. But becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter comes to stay, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
Rating: 3-5-stars

Review: Firstly, thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this book!

Lucy is 39, desperate for a man. Then she meets Jonah Carpenter at a christening and the rest is history! After a whirlwind romance, they get married and start trying for a baby.

Jonah already has a sixteen year old daughter from his last marriage but is desperate to start one with Lucy, and with both of them nearing their forties, it’s better late than never!

This is where the story takes a heartbreaking turn, and the author really understood how the characters felt. It felt real.

Lucy suffers three miscarriages throughout the story and each one felt worse than the one before. For me, it wasn’t the fact she lost the baby- it was the fact she lost hope.

It doesn’t help that Camille, Jonah’s daughter, is now living with them for the summer.

Lucy is very fragile character- she gets upset and jealous very easily and when Jonah tells her that she gets very defensive. However, the notes between her and her lost baby really reveal her heart…

…and they made a lot more sense after a huge secret was revealed.

As a reader, you know something happened to Lucy in her teens. It’s how the book starts! What you don’t know though, is exactly what happened.

It’s both shocking and sad.

It was a good read and I flew through the story. I wanted to know what would happen to Jonah and Lucy.

This is the first book by Amanda Prowse that I have read and I really liked it. I really like the way she writes.

3.5/5 Stars!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie