Outrun the Wind

Author: Elizabeth Tammi 

Publisher: Flux Books

First Published:  27 November 2018

Rating: 4 stars

Professional Reader


“I sigh as we walk into the hall, maybe for the last time with Kahina. I want to twist time around myself make it bend and grow where I need it most”  

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Flux Books and NetGalley!

Read More

Between Earth and Sky

Between earth and sky

Author: Amanda Skenandore

Publisher: Kensington Books

First Published: 24 April 2018

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader

“Pestilence? Alma didn’t know the meaning, but her mother spoke as if the words itself tasted foul. She grabbed the apron and collected the clothes, examining each garment for some sign of this awful pestilence.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Kensington Books and NetGalley!

Read More

Sky in the Deep

Sky In the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

First Published: 24 April 2018

Rating: 4.5 stars

Professional Reader

“I wouldn’t last in this village the whole winter. I couldn’t wait for the thaw. I had to find a way home.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Wednesday Books, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley!

Read More

Circe

CIRCE

Author: Madeline Miller

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

First Published: 19 April 2018

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader

“I thought once that gods are the opposite of death, but I see now they are more dead then anything, for they are unchanging, and can hold nothing in their hands.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

Read More

The Red Word

The Red Word

Author: Sarah Henstra

Publisher: Black Cat

First Published: 13 March 2018

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader
“This is the trouble with myth. Each of us scoops out our own rotten core and spits it out on stage. We stand around the heap of smoking corpses and declare it fate.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

Read More

Everless

Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: Orchard Books

Published: 4 January 2018

Rating: 5 stars

 

“I know better than to be afraid of stories.”

Read More

The Boy Made of Snow

The Boy Made of SnowAuthor: Chloe Mayer

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 14 November 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader

‘I looked at the sunbeams, hoping to see the constellations inside them, but there was nothing there but dust in the air.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

It’s 1944, in the sleepy English village of Bambury, where Daniel and his emotionally distant mother, Annabel, remain home while his father is off fighting a war that seems both all consuming and worlds away.

During the year, the army set up a Prisoner of War camp for the captured German soldiers in Bambury. It’s not long before both mother and son befriend, Hans, the POW working on a nearby farm. Suddenly their lives are filled with excitement as the prisoner comes to be important to both but in different ways. To Annabel, he is the only light that’s reached her from the darkness that’s engulfed her since Daniel’s birth. To Daniel, a solitary boy caught up in the magical world of fairy tales, he is perhaps a prince in disguise or mystical woodchopper. But Daniel has often struggled to tell the difference between what’s real and imagined. And Hans, he has plans to spin a web to entrap both mother and son for his own needs.

I adore this book, which was a big surprise for me since I’m not a fan of WWII fiction. But Mayer’s writing is stunning. I found myself slowing my reading pace and rereading paragraphs just so I could savor it. She managed to balance the World War elements, with the fairy tale threads perfectly and both where used in a way to explore the relationship between Annabel and Daniel. The world and the characters feel very real and have been beautifully crafted. The narrative tore at my heart. It was heartbreaking is a stunningly subtle way.

This story is told in alternating perspective and the way Mayer has chosen to do this is stunning. Annabel’s sections are written in third person, which feels like an extension of the distance she feels towards her son. While it’s never stated my best guess is that she is suffering from untreated postnatal depression. In contrast, Daniel’s sections are written in first person. We are with him as he imagination runs wild turning sticks into swords and fences into gallant steeds. Because each perspective is highly tailored and personalised to the character they feel like real people. We spend the whole narrative with them explore all the complexities of life during the war, dealing with a difficult family situation and feel the exhaustion of having to keep up pretenses.

The fairy tales are a huge part of this story. Annabel reads to Daniel every night before bed even though he’s nine and should be too old. It’s through these tales that Annabel can feel some kind of connection to her son and in turn that Daniel feels like his mother wants him. One of my favourite things about having the fairy tales woven in both perspectives is that we see how the different themes and character in these classics tales resonates within the pair differently. Daniel relates with the hero of the story. He is obsessed with trying to save his mother so that in turn she will love him. While Annabel is reflecting on how naïve she was when she was young and finds herself relating to the evil step-mother characters. I definitely want to go read the traditional fairytales and come back to this book and see what little clues I’ve missed.

The Boy Made of Snow is a beautifully crafted novel that takes the dangers of living during WWII, twists them with the whimsy of fairytales and lets you deep inside a broken family who are trying to hard to be ‘normal’. This is a story that I’ll be hard-pressed to forget. I highly recommend.

Bayou Born

Author: Hailey EdwardsBayou Born

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 31 October 2017

Rating: 4 stars

Professional Reader

‘The urge to pat him came out of nowhere. One did not pat grown men in praise for learning a new trick.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

This book is a mystery, thriller all wrapped up in an urban fantasy bow. Bayou Born follows the story of strange wild child who was found in the swampy bayou of Canton, Mississippi. She had no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings; swirls of metal bands embedded into her skin. The policeman, Edward Boudreau, who rescued her, adopts her. 15 years later Luce follows in the footsteps of her beloved father and joins the police force determined to prove her worth and distance herself from her controversial past.

Luce and her partner, Rixton, are working on finding missing girl, Angel Claremont, when there’s a call about a body in the swamp. On arrival they discover this isn’t the girl they were looking for because of the strange markings on her skin. Markings that match Luce’s own. A freelance security group called The White Horse show up on the scene to help. They’ve been hired by Angel’s parents to help with the rescue effort. The security group stays to help fish out the unconscious Jane Doe. Hope blooms within Luce. Maybe this is her chance to find out about her past, a chance to learn about her markings and her family. From here the story unfolds with Luce trying to find the missing girl and helping Jane Doe. However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny.

This was a fantastic start to a new series. The world building was amazing. I really enjoyed that we got to spend time with Luce and get to know the cases she’s working on before the fantastical elements kicked in. It was like the more Luce unraveled in the case the more it became obvious that it wasn’t the work of a regular person. The magic elements went in a direction that I did not expect but I super glad they did. I haven’t read many books like it.

I love seeing the relationship Luce had formed and how different they were. I also adore that a female friendship, between Luce and schoolteacher, Maggie, was at the heart of this novel. These relationships are hugely important to see especially given the bullying and ostracised nature of how the other people in Canton treat her.

Luce herself is a well-crafted character. Yes she is snarky and gives off a vibe of apathy but that’s not all. We see just how much she does care through her relentless word effort. She wants to fit it so much, despite what she may say, that she join a career where the staff take care of one another. Her humor is darkly funny and at time self-deprecating which again is another layer to keep her from being venerable. I found her highly relatable.

I cannot wait for the second book! So many questions left unsaid. Highly recommend for any urban fantasy fan out there.

October 2017 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with my October 2017 Wrap Up! These are the book I read in October, I kinda failed on the horror, spooky reading but hey Halloween is every day so I’ll get to all those spooky books sometime.

I read a total of 11 books which was way more than I thought. I read 1 Poetry Collection, 1 Middle Grade, 1 Historical Fiction, 1 Horror and 7 Fantasy.

Onto the ratings!

★★★★★

The Trials of Morrigan Crow

The Trails of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend
I have already done a  full review on this book and in case you’ve missed me going on and on about this book; I loved it. I adore everything about it ! Nevermoor, Morrigan, Hawthorn, Jupiter, The Hotel Deucalion and even Fen! Prefect read for any fan of magic and whimsical worlds like Wonderland or Whoville. Waiting for my invitation to the Wundrous Society.

★★★★1/2

Chosen Queen

The Chosen Queen by Joanna Courtney
This is the first book in a series which looks at the three queens of the three man who wanted to rule England in 1066. The Chosen Queen follows young Saxon women, Edyth Alfgarsdottir. Edyth marries the first King of Wales, Griffin. Becoming his Queen catapults Edyth onto the opposing side of a bitter feud between England and Wales. She has to grow up fast but has the support and encouragement of her closest friend, Lady Svana. Years later she ends up in line for the thrown as Harold Godwin’s wife. I adore this book and the thing I love about it is that the friendship between Edyth and Lady Svana is really at the heart of the story. Highly, highly recommend for fans of historical fiction and English medieval history.

★★★★

Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh
This month was definitely fuelled by my obsession of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling world. I can’t say much since it’s the 10th in the series. This story focuses on Snow Dancer Alpha Hawke and Psy Sieanna Lauren. The war brimming between the three races is still bubbling along under the surface. I think Hawke might be my favourite male lead, but since there’s so many I’d likely change my mind tomorrow.

Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling #11) by Nalini Singh
Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to someone else. This was a twist on the whole mating/soul mate story line that I really enjoyed. I love Adria’s character and I think she’s really relatable.

Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling #12) by Nalini Singh
This is the first in the series to have two Psys be the main relationship. We get an inside in the morally grey, almost villain Councillor Kaleb Krychek which I really enjoyed! I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised.

Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh
Another Psy/Psy coupling. Tall dark and brooding assassin solider, Vasic falls in love with the empath, Ivy Jane, he’s supposed to protect from danger. I adore Ivy and how determined she is to go after what she wants.

Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14) by Nalini Singh
Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. Another Psy/Psy paring which I enjoyed but I was really missing the changeling but I did enjoy seeing what was happening in the Psy world and the arrows in particular.

Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) Nalini Singh
I think this books broke my heart as it exploded with all the warm and fuzzies. This book is like the wrap of the series and is super domestic and adorable. We get snapshots of all the couple we’ve met along the way and it is everything I’ve ever wanted.

Dust of Many by Brian M. Oldham
I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy from the author, so thank you once again Brain! I have done a full review which was all my thoughts and feelings on the story. Overall this is a pretty great start to a new series! I have so many questions and I need to know the answers. Highly recommend if you’re interested in epic fantasy.

 

 ★★★1/2

Peluda

peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva
I have a full review of this collection. I did enjoy the poems and would love to go back to a few of them. However, having no background in Spanish words and phrases I do think I missed some of the meaning. Raw, darkly funny and wholly feminist I would definitely recommend for those poetry fans out there!

 

★★★

Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle 
This was my only spooky read for the month. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. Magic, gangsters in 1920s New York, what more could you ask for? LaValle’s writing is stunning and at times I had to stop and read over lines. It is a retelling or reimagining of one of HP Lovecraft’s stories and because I haven’t read it I think I missed on some important aspects of the narrative. Once I read the Lovecraft story I will definitely revisit this.

 

That’s it for me. Comment down below and let me know what you’re favourite read in October was.
Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

Dust of Many

Dust Of Many Cover Front

Author: Brian M. Oldham
Published: December 2017
Rating: 4 stars

‘My hopes are my own,” she replied, squeezing Minia’s hand. “No one owns my dreams.”

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

The Sarpathian people are under rule of a barbaric nation after the catastrophic defeat on the pains of Godsfeld. Their emperor, Leo Dillianos of the House of Lily was dethroned and sent to live out the rest of his days in exile; his heir, Serilla, taking in by their enemy; and the surviving soldier’s, like Ward Captain Hyde, lock in chains and sold as slaves. In the three years since that battle a revolution has been bubbling and is about ready to attack. Forgotten by myth and memory a long burnished power begins its ascension — a power that may redeem or end the world once and for all. Will the Sarpathian Empire survive or crumbling into the history books?

I picked this book up because I really loved the sound of the premise, however struggled a little with it at the start. This is because I haven’t read much traditional style, epic fantasy so this was new to me and took a bit of a learning curve. Overall it was Serilla’s character and the world that peaked my interest and kept me reading, which I’m so glad I did.

The book is split into four perspectives— exiled Emperor Leo Dillianos, Leo’s daughter and empress to be Serilla Dillianos, the traitorous, smoothing talking Tarjun and Sarpathian Ward Captain Hyde. Not all characters get an equal amount of chapters, in fact I’d say the two main protagonist are Serilla and Hyde.

We see every little of this world, but the little we see I’m already in love with. We see the castle of Sarpathia and the ruins of the city. We also get to experience the shocking hardships of the mines and gladiatorial arenas all covered in gritty sand and blistering heat. The magic in this world is quite subtle so far and I’m looking forward to seeing which direction Oldhamn takes it.

Overall this is a pretty great start to a new series! I have so many questions and I need to know the answers. Highly recommend if you’re interested in epic fantasy.