books, reviews

Book Review: Bloodwitch – Susan Dennard


Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop a bloodthirsty horde of raiders preparing to destroy a monastery that holds more than just faith. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.


My thoughts:

And so we come to book three of the superb Witchlands series, I came to it a little late but I am fully on board.

And look, Blueberry the bat is on the cover, yay for giant friendly fruit bats.

I think this might be my favourite book in the series so far as it pulls all the Threads of the preceding narratives together (including book 2.5 Sightwitch).

We get a lot more Aeduan this time round and a lot more Iseult too, as the various plots start to come together headed towards betrayal on all sides and a huge battle against the Raider King, aka Aeduan’s dad.

I felt the characters were more fully realised in this book, no longer needing introduction or explanations of their powers and aims, allowing more room for the narrative and the interplay between them.

Owl is still probably my favourite character, although I do like cheeky prince Leopold and determined Vivia. It was also really good to get to grips with Aeduan’s story more, to see things from his perspective.

With the next book now announced, Witchshadow, due next February, which I am very excited for fyi, now is an excellent time to get caught up.

In UK paperback May 14th from Tor.

I was kindly gifted a copy of this book by the publisher with no obligation to review but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review: Making Wolf – Tade Thompson*

Meet Weston Kogi, a London supermarket store detective. He returns home to his West African home country for his aunt’s funeral. He sees his family, his ex-girlfriend Nana, his old school mate Church. Food is good, beer is plentiful, and telling people he works as a homicide detective seems like harmless hyperbole, until he wakes up in hell.

He is kidnapped and forced by two separate rebel factions to investigate the murder of a local hero, Papa Busi. The solution may tip a country on the brink into civil war.

Making Wolf is the outrageous, frightening, violent and sometimes surreal homecoming experience of a lifetime.

Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, a John W. Campbell Award finalist and winner of the 2017 NOMMO Award for Best Novel. His novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne has recently been optioned for screen adaptation. He also writes short stories, notably ‘The Apologists’ which was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. Born in London to Yoruba parents, he lives and works on the south coast of England where he battles an addiction to books.

My thoughts:

I’d read Thompson’s award winning Rosewater, a strange, trippy novel and was curious to see what he’d do with the detective genre.

Making Wolf starts with a small lie told at a funeral and takes in a whole lot of chaos; political factions at war, poverty, murder, kidnap, you name it, Weston encounters it – all the things his aunt sent him out of the country to avoid.

Having been assigned a case he’s not exactly equipped for by both sides of a long running rebel feud, Weston soon finds himself up to his eyeballs in trouble but making some headway with the case, as long as he can stay alive.

Funny and wry, this is a clever take on the detective genre and I found myself rooting for Weston as the secret police, both rebel factions, various taxi drivers and his ex-girlfriend cause havoc around him.

West Africa is brought vividly to life, I could really picture the places Weston visited and the people he encountered, from the super obese inmate of the asylum to the Somalian pirates on a luxury yacht.

*I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the publisher with no requirement to post a review. All opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Book Tour: The Book of Koli – M.R. Carey*

The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.
Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.
Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is — what happens when you aren’t given a choice?

My thoughts:

It took me a while to get into this book, the faux naive dialect it’s written in grated at first but once the plot got going and Koli was no longer just explaining things and was actually on his way in the world it definitely improved.

That can be the problem with the first book in a series which has to explain how much has changed from our reality – The Book of Koli is set in a future Earth after nature has revolted against humanity and become murderous, though not quite in a Day of the Triffids way.

It will be interesting to see how the story progresses through the rest of the trilogy.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Carer – Deborah Moggach*

James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off their hands.

But as James regales his family with tales of Mandy’s virtues, their shopping trips and the shared pleasure of their journeys to garden centres, Phoebe and Robert sense something is amiss.

Then something extraordinary happens which throws everything into new relief, changing all the stories of their childhood – and the father – that they thought they knew so well.

Deborah Moggach, OBE is an English novelist and an award-winning screenwriter. She has written nineteen novels, including The Ex-Wives, Tulip Fever, These Foolish Thing, Heartbreak Hotel and Something to Hide. She lives in London.

My thoughts:

This book did not go where I thought it would, with a heck of a twist, or two, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book where family hides a dozen secrets and revealing them can change everything.

The writing is warm and engaging, the characters realistic and relatable, the plot clever and shows what a skilled writer can do.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Forgotten Sister – Nicola Cornick*

1560: Amy Robsart is trapped in a loveless marriage to Robert Dudley, a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Surrounded by enemies and with nowhere left to turn, Amy hatches a desperate scheme to escape—one with devastating consequences that will echo through the centuries…
Present Day: When Lizzie Kingdom is forced to withdraw from the public eye in a blaze of scandal, it seems her life is over. But she’s about to encounter a young man, Johnny Robsart, whose fate will interlace with hers in the most unexpected of ways. For Johnny is certain that Lizzie is linked to a terrible secret dating back to Tudor times. If Lizzie is brave enough to go in search of the truth, then what she discovers will change the course of their lives forever.

My thoughts:

The past and present mirror each other in this fantasy tinged historical novel with a twist.

Lizzie is drawn into the secrets of the Robsart family’s history following the death of her best friend’s estranged wife. Coupled with her own strange gifts, she seeks the truth of Amelia’s tragic death and also that of noble woman Amy Robsart, wife of Elizabeth I’s favourite Lord Dudley.

Mixing historical fact with fiction, Nicola Cornick suggests Lady Dudley’s death was a bit more complicated that history suggests and reflects it down through the ages, until it comes into contact with Lizzie Kingdom.

A clever examination of fame, friendship and family ensues.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis*

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

My thoughts:

I was so excited to read this and I was not disappointed. Creepy, compelling and sinister; it draws you in like a moth to a flame, you just can’t resist following Lola into the woods and caves of 1920s throwback Harrow Lake.

I grew up in the London suburb of Harrow and we had our fair share of folklore and stories, but nothing as spine tingling as Mr Jitters, cave ins and murder.

Although this is YA, I think plenty of adult readers will enjoy it too, Lola makes for a engaging and very naive protagonist and the residents of Harrow Lake are suitably odd for the setting.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Locked in Fear – Liz Cowley & Donough O’Brien*

The stunning new thriller from the authors of Serial Damage. In a sleepy country village, Detective Inspector Robin Marshal – now in retirement – is nearly killed by a stranger. His friend Alice, a police psychiatrist, discovers that the murder attempt was almost certainly ordered by a terrifying criminal, ‘Big Mack’, currently incarcerated in a notoriously violent prison. There his criminal kingdom controls not only the inmates, but many of the guards, through the power of money and the threat of extreme violence.
When Alice goes to work in the prison to find out more, she too, becomes a target, her car machine-gunned on a country road, and Robin is attacked again while recovering in Spain.
Under pressure from an outraged public and with political concern rising, the authorities try to put a stop to Big Mack’s activities. But everyone is under threat when he is suddenly at large following a murderous escape. How can this evil kingpin be stopped?

Buy here

Donough enjoyed a successful marketing career in Britain, Ireland and the US. His previous books include Fame by Chance, Banana Skins, Numeroid, and In the Heat of Battle: a study of those who rose to the occasion in warfare and those who didn’t. His latest historical book was WHO? The most remarkable people you’ve never heard of. He has co-authored thrillers Peace Breaks Out with Robin Hardy and Serial Damage with his wife Liz Cowley.

Liz Cowley, whose family comes from Connemara, is a long-time fan of poetry, she enjoyed success with her first collection, A Red Dress, published in 2008 and her second, What am I Doing Here? (2010), which were then made into a theatrical show. Her next book ‘And guess who he was with?’ published in 2013, and two poetry books for gardeners, Outside in my Dressing Gown, and Gardening in Slippers, are bestsellers. Serial Damage was her first novel.

My thoughts:

This was a clever thriller about the past catching up to a copper and his psychiatrist friend and former colleague.

As the plot bounds from England to Spain and France, Big Mack’s reach seems unstoppable and Robin and Alice live in fear.

The writing is crisp, the plot clever and the narrative keeps you hooked with each twist and turn.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.