I received The Ten Thousand Doors Of January in exchange for an honest review
“Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.”
A beautiful cover and promise of an atmospheric epic complete with doors to other worlds? Count me in! I was very excited for this release and it didn’t disappoint. This is a gorgeous, magical story which lives up to its tantalising premise and its stunning cover. Imagine an atmospheric historical story about a young girl orphaned living in a grand manor, throw in a gripping origin story oh and a smattering of portals to other worlds and you’ve got something close to The Ten Thousand Doors Of January. Continue reading
I received Lock Every Door in exchange for an honest review
This was a fun, twisty, trippy thrill ride, dripping with atmosphere. Sometimes I find myself irritated by thrillers with obscure twists – and this one definitely has that – but I’ll let it slide for this one because it was just so entertaining. Is it a little ridiculous? Yes, definitely – but it’s fun!
“Every so often, life offers you a reset button. When it does, you need to press it as hard as you can.”
We meet the protagonist Jules at a low point in her life; she’s lost her job, home and boyfriend – so when a dream apartment sitting job comes along, she jumps at it. And this isn’t just any apartment; it’s an apartment in the Bartholomew – “the Manhattan version of a palace, inhabited by the city’s elite”; a prestigious, imposing and extremely elitist building in the heart of New York City. There’s a few strange rules, but nothing Jules can’t handle. Continue reading
I received Disappearing Earth in exchange for an honest review
Disappearing Earth is a poignant, complex novel. It gave a fascinating insight into a region and culture I knew nothing about and deftly explored the various cultures and attitudes through a rotating cast of characters. Without ever feeling overwhelmed with culture and politics, the author gives a fascinating insight into a culture I have to admit I knew very little about.
The strong opening chapter introduces us to two young sisters living on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. It’s August, the summer holidays, and the two are whiling away the time by the beach before wandering through the town. In one short chapter, the author effortlessly paints a picture captures the sibling relationship and the nostalgic feel of those endless-seeming school holidays. When things take a turn and they are picked up by a mysterious man, the fate of these two children had me hooked. Continue reading
I’m a huge fan of Stephen King but I’ve had various success with the books I’ve got around to from his back catalogue. This one is definitely a hit for me. It’s the best of new and old – his newer crime thriller style mixed with the old-school, classic horror.
This book is a tale of two halves; the first an intriguing, unfathomable mystery. A child has been brutally murdered and sexually assaulted and all evidence points to local teacher and sports coach and all-round good guy Terry Maitland. Except, he’s got an iron-clad alibi. So begins a complex police procedural where every bit of evidence uncovered seems to take the detectives further from a logical answer rather than closer. Continue reading
I received Ask Again, Yes in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve seen a lot of hype around for this new release. Its beautiful, unique cover caught my eye initially and I’m so happy there was a beautiful, thought-provoking story inside to match.
From the very beginning of the novel, I felt immersed in the atmosphere. Keane is based in New York and she truly brings it to life, capturing the hectic heat of the city and the changing seasons throughout the story. We meet Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope first, two city cops who are partnered up near the beginning of their career and later become neighbours. As their family grows up, tragedy strikes, affecting Francis, Brian, their wives and their children all in their own ways. The novel then follows each character throughout their lives, with alternating narratives allowing intimate glimpses into how the events affect each individual.
I received Case Histories in exchange for an honest review
Firstly, I have to say I have a huge amount of respect for Kate Atkinson as an author. I’ve enjoyed her historical novels but never tried the Jackson Brodie series, so I was thrilled to be accepted to read the first in this crime thriller series on NetGalley.
But, unfortunately the overwhelming feeling I came away from having finished this novel was one of disappointment. Perhaps I’d just overhyped it in my mind, I’d seen glowing reviews and even a quote from Stephen King and it’d been billed as a literary crime thriller, a combination of of my favourite genres. It may well just be me but this just didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Continue reading
I received Boy Swallows Universe in exchange for an honest review
This book was not what I was expecting, but then I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. It’s a stunning story which takes the reader through the seedy crime underworld of Brisbane and a whirlwind of emotions, all through the eyes of a young boy called Eli. It’s a coming of age drama and a gritty crime, with a little surreal magic realism thrown in. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it.
In the beginning I did struggle a little to connect with the story as the writing is quite abstract in places, but it’s beautifully written and the story builds slowly allowing the reader time to connect with the characters before the plot really gets going. Eli is obsessed with details; those little things in life which others don’t notice. He’s told by his beloved babysitter and infamous ex-con Slim “These are your sunshine hours, and you can make them last forever if you see all the details.” This book takes the time to meander through all those beautiful, insignificant details, and opens the reader’s eyes to the fact that they may not be so insignificant after all. Continue reading
I received The Poison Garden in exchange for an honest review
This book opened with a bang and ended leaving me wanting more. A great read, it definitely cements Alex Marwood as one of my newer favourites in the writing crime world.
She sets the scene with an incredibly chilling scene when two detectives are called to secluded area in Wales to discover a mass suicide; bodies piled upon bodies in the remote countryside. “The faces are blue, and green, and black. Mouths gape at falling rain. Fingers claw the empty space around them.” Continue reading
I received Miracle Creek in exchange for an honest review.
I love how you never know what you’re going to get from a debut novel, and I love it even more it when a debut comes along that’s as powerful and intelligently written as this one. I have no doubt it’s going to be a huge success.
It’s hard to categorise this book, but at its heart I think it’s a character-focused drama. It combines segments of the past with an on-going courtroom drama around a fire at a controversial HBOT treatment centre. Could the fire have been started by protesters against people putting their disabled children through undue stress? By the owner, a Korean immigrant who’s sacrificed everything for his family but is still struggling and could come into a huge insurance payout? Or the frazzled mother, at the end of her tether with endless treatments and caring for her child? Or someone else? Continue reading
I received How To Be Famous in exchange for an honest review
The prequel to this, How To Build A Girl, was a surprise hit with me back in 2015 when I read it and I didn’t even realise a sequel was out until it popped up on Netgalley! This novel brings us back to Johanna but in a very different environment; gone is the family dynamic (she barely even mentions her family from back home) and here instead is the big city, rock-n-roll lifestyle, all told from Johanna’s quirky, unique point of view. You don’t need to have read the first novel before this one; just enjoy being thrown into Johanna’s wild, young, 90s British lifestyle. Continue reading