blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Chain Across the Dawn – Drew Williams*

Bigger spaceships. Bigger explosions. Bigger planets. Bigger problems.

It’s been three years since Esa joined the ranks of the Justified after her rescue from the fanatical murderers the Pax.

Together, Esa and her mentor Kamali travel from planet to planet, searching for children with supernatural abilities.

It’s hard work, but Esa has never felt more assured of her place in the universe.

On a visit to a planet so remote that its inhabitants never learned that the Sect Wars ended over a hundred years ago, they learn that the Justified are not the only people searching for gifted children. There is a creature with unexpected powers who will stop at nothing to get its hands on the children that Esa and Kamali are trying to rescue.

With their latest recruit in tow — a young Wulf child named Sho — Esa and Kamali will travel halfway across the galaxy in pursuit of answers. But the answers only lead to more questions, and the danger will only increase as their terrifying nemesis turns his eyes on them.

Drew Williams was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, in the southern United States of America. He is a bookseller at the Little Professor Book Center in Homewood, Alabama. A Chain Across the Dawn is his second book.

My thoughts:

Firstly go read The Stars Now Unclaimed, then read this book.

I have become a bit obsessed with space books – honestly I never used to enjoy sci fi but books like this have totally changed my mind.

It’s fun, adventurous, well written, funny, clever, the characters are excellent, the plot rips along at a pace.

Basically I love it.

If you’re a fan of Becky Chambers’ Wayfarer series, The Illuminae Files, Ancestral Night, or any of the other books I rave about on Instagram then this is for you.

Bring on book three!


*I was kindly gifted this book by the publisher in exchange for taking part on this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: We Are The Dead – Mike Shackle*

The first book in The Last War series: a debut epic fantasy full of crunching revolutionary action, twisted magic, and hard choices in dark times.

The war is over. The enemy won.

Jia’s people learned the hard way that there are no second chances. The Egril, their ancient enemy, struck with magic so devastating that Jia’s armies were wiped out. Now terror reigns in the streets, and friend turns on friend just to live another day.

Somehow Tinnstra – a deserter, a failure, nothing but a coward – survived. She wants no more than to hide from the chaos.

But dragged into a desperate plot to retake Jia, surrounded by people willing to do anything to win the fight, this time Tinnstra will need to do more than hide.

If Jia is to get a second chance after all, this time she will need to be a hero.

With all the grit of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Ed McDonald, this is fantasy with the sharpest of edges.

 

My thoughts:

I devoured this, seriously, it took me a few hours to romp through this cracking book. Inspired by Japanese culture and history, this book is absolutely brilliant. Well written, pacey, and packed with interesting characters. The plot crackles along, and the apparently disparate story lines weave together very nicely.

The first in a planned series I am already eagerly anticipating book two, which the author has probably barely started.

We Are The Dead Graphic .png

 

*I was kindly gifted this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour. All opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Books You May Have Missed*

Here’s a mini round up of some books I’ve read recently that might not have come to your attention. Definitely worth sticking on your TBR.

Lord of Secrets (The Empty Gods Book 1) by [Teintze, Breanna]

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He’s friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages’ Guild – and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can’t get much worse.

So when a fugitive drops into his lap – literally – and gets them both arrested, it’s the last straw – until Gray realises that runaway slave Brix could be the key to his grandfather’s release. All he has to do is break out of prison, break into an ancient underground temple and avoid killing himself with his own magic in the process.

In theory it’s simple enough. But as secrets unfold and loyalties shift, Gray discovers something with the power to change the nature of life and death itself.

Now Gray must find a way to protect the people he loves, but it could cost him everything, even his soul…

You Die Next: The twisty crime thriller that will keep you up all night (Starke & Bell) by [Marland, Stephanie, Broadribb, Stephanie]

In a dangerous alliance with troubled amateur sleuth Clementine Starke, DI Dominic Bell must hunt down a ruthless killer targeting a group of urban explorers who risk their lives exploring abandoned London locations. Can Starke and Bell identify the masked victims before it’s too late?

A group of anonymous urban explorers stumble into a murderer’s kill room in a derelict film studio. Terrified, they run, thinking they are safe as no one in the group knows their identities. When one of them is brutally murdered during an exploration of an abandoned underground station, they realise they are being hunted.

DI Dominic Bell and his team are investigating the series of murders but cannot find the connection between the victims. The only person who can help is Clementine Starke, who is researching adult thrillseeekers as part of a university research project. However, Clementine is haunted by dark and violent obsessions, primarily her former relationship with DI Dominic Bell.

The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries.

Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the Academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars – warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults – and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic.

More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.

The Migration by [Marshall, Helen]

When I was younger I didn’t know a thing about death. I thought it meant stillness, a body gone limp. A marionette with its strings cut. Death was like a long vacation – a going away.

Storms and flooding are worsening around the world, and a mysterious immune disorder has begun to afflict the young. Sophie Perella is about to begin her senior year of high school in Toronto when her little sister, Kira, is diagnosed. Their parents’ marriage falters under the strain, and Sophie’s mother takes the girls to Oxford, England, to live with their Aunt Irene. An Oxford University professor and historical epidemiologist obsessed with relics of the Black Death, Irene works with a centre that specializes in treating people with the illness. She is a friend to Sophie, and offers a window into a strange and ancient history of human plague and recovery. Sophie just wants to understand what’s happening now; but as mortality rates climb, and reports emerge of bodily tremors in the deceased, it becomes clear there is nothing normal about this condition – and that the dead aren’t staying dead. When Kira succumbs, Sophie faces an unimaginable choice: let go of the sister she knows, or take action to embrace something terrifying and new.

Tender and chilling, unsettling and hopeful, The Migration is a story of a young woman’s dawning awareness of mortality and the power of the human heart to thrive in cataclysmic circumstances.

 

 

*I was kindly gifted these books from the publishers with no requirement to review or share, but as I enjoyed them I have done so.

books, reviews

Book Review: Howling Dark – Christopher Ruocchio*

Howling Dark (Sun Eater) by [Ruocchio, Christopher]

Following on from the first volume of the Sun Eater Sequence (Empire of Silence – I suggest reading it first so this one makes more sense), Howling Dark finds Hadrian Marlowe travelling through space with his ragtag band of fake mercenaries, the Crimson Company, having entangled himself with the Sollan Empire again.

He is on a quest for the lost planet of Vorgossos, a place of myth, hoping it holds the keys to resolving the conflict with the Ceilcin – an alien race determined to destroy anyone who stands in their way.

Hadrian, being Hadrian, doesn’t exactly go about this in a calm and rational manner, all sorts of chaos and carnage ensue, as Hadrian and his friends ricochet around the far reaches of the galaxy following leads, both useful and not, trying to be a diplomat and not always succeeding.

I loved Empire of Silence and couldn’t wait to get stuck into this chunky boi. Hadrian is a brilliant protagonist, eminently flawed and prone to acting like an idiot, despite his previous experiences. There were fewer new locations than book one, as he bounces around following leads, but the world building (or galaxy building) is strong and while I can’t quite picture the creepy Ceilcin, I see them as a bit like the alien in Alien, but creepier.

The ending twists and turns, and I am not remotely sure what will happen next!

 

*This book was kindly gifted to me by the publisher with no requirement to review but as I enjoyed it, I thought I’d share!

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Sinner’s Prayer – M.P. Wright*

The last book in the JT Ellington series, set in 1970s Bristol, featuring PI turned school caretaker Ellington.

Drawn back into the world of criminals and life under the radar by an old acquaintance in the police, Ellington is asked to look into the disappearance of a young Indian man who disappears hours before his wedding.

Ellington uncovers links to the underworld and gang kingpins, murders and secrets around every corner. His own family become targets as someone works against him to keep hidden things hidden.

The author has had a fascinating career history, including a stint as a PI himself, lending realism to his writing.

I enjoyed this book, I have been in a crime thriller kind of mood of late, and this did the trick.

Well written, clever and pacey, I was drawn swiftly into the world Ellington is so determined to leave.

*I was gifted this book to take part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Shadows of Short Days – Alexander Dan Vilhjàlmsson*

A slice of Icelandic fantasy today, in a version of Reykjavik where humans live alongside an oppressed minority of faerie folk. Saemunder was studying magic at the university but was expelled for breaking rules and getting too deeply in galdur – a form of magic that if unleashed could cause chaos.

His friend Garün is a half human, half huldafólk, an outcast on a solo war against the government utilising her artistic skills with magic infused graffiti.

As things build to a head and the friends become more entangled with the growing protest movement against the regime, their lives will be changed forever.

This an interesting, original fantasy world influenced by Icelandic folklore and culture. I don’t know a huge amount about Icelandic mythology and history, but this is a fully realised piece of world building and I hope the author revisits it; although it’s a standalone book, the concept could support multiple stories.

This is an accomplished first novel from a talented new writer and hopefully between his editorship of Icelanfic SFF magazine Furôusögur (Weird Stories) and career as vocalist and lyricist of black metal band Carpe Noctem, he will be writing something interesting for book two.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Closer I Get – Paul Buston*

Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer’s block. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone. Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her sick father and her social media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has. When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing. But things aren’t adding up. For Tom is also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he’s powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on. A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk on the other side of a screen…

Paul Burston is the author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. His most recent novel The Black Path, was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel, Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. His fourth, The Gay Divorcee, was optioned for television. He was a founding editor of Attitude magazine and has written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times. In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world”. He is the founder and host of London’s award-winning LGBT+ literary salon Polari and founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new writing and the newly announced Polari Prize.

My thoughts: no spoilers here, this is a twisty, compelling thriller. Well paced and clever, I read this in one sitting. If you like smart psychological thrill rides then do yourself a favour and get a copy.