The Hunter (Victor the Assassin #1) – Tom Wood Review

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

TITLE: THE HUNTER (VICTOR THE ASSASSIN #1)

AUTHOR: TOM WOOD

PUBLISHED (THE COPY I HAVE): 2014 (FIRST PUBLISHED 2010)

4STAR

Victor is not just your ordinary assassin. He’s better than any assassin you’ve ever come across. After swiftly killing his target in Paris for a client, everything starts going downhill rather quickly when a kill team is sent for him but just who sent them? Victor’s on a mission to find out who ordered the kill but can he stay alive whilst doing so? Victor has to choose who to ally with and who to keep at arm’s length in this suspenseful and action-packed spy thriller.

The Victor the Assassin’s series has to be one of my favourites of all time as an adult reader. The series really grips you and this one is no different. After having read The Game (the third book in the series) and you can find my review of that here on Goodreads, I’m really glad I took time to steal/borrow the first two off my fiancé – especially as I had highly recommended The Game to him in the first place *beams*

Continue reading

Friday Wishlist #4

The first FW post for March, yay! In this week’s post we have some new discoveries of mine. I’ve recently found them and I must say that I find them all quite interesting one-day-in-the-future reads. Some are quite well-known in the book world currently but I don’t mind because it’s thanks to other book bloggers that I’ve discovered these gems!

Before we get started, I’m currently reading The Hunter by Tom Wood and it’s actually, oddly enough, taken me quite a while to actually get somewhere with the book. At first I wasn’t feeling it for the first hundred pages or so but now I’m in the thick of it! Review up of it sometime during the week (depending how long I can get through it). I’ll keep updating with progress shots on instagram (link is in the sidebar) if people want to know how I’m getting on with it.

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 2015

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

WHY:

I’m not usually that big of a fan of books about magic (barring Harry Potter when I was younger of course) but there’s something about the sound of this book that draws me in. Plus, Red London  sounds so FREAKING PANCAKEY AWESOME! Red is awesome. Pancakes are awesome (hence the mention of pancakes as an adjective).

Continue reading

Why I appreciate World Book Day

Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Image from Wikipedia.

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Image from Wikipedia.

 

I have always loved the idea of World Book Day. It’s a creative, fun and great way to get people, especially youngsters involved in reading and finding out all kinds of books. I remember when I was younger, as soon as I would hear World Book Day was coming up at school – I would be so excited that I would be going on and on about it to anyone that would listen to me.

Books are a sanctuary to me. They’ve enlightened me as a person, been there when I needed to distract myself from other things going on but most of all – they’re like a really good friend. I know, to non-book-loving people that might sound a little eccentric and a bit loopy, but they really have. When I used to get bullied at school as a small timid child, I would push the bullying to the back of my mind and just read when I got home after doing my homework. It has allowed me to escape so many things, but also transported me to places I thought I never would dare to. We’re not only reading these character’s stories, they’re allowing us to be them. I’ve been a Kite Runner, a set of three orphans running away from a money grabbing Count, I’ve been a Tudor Queen, I’ve been the Lionheart in the Third Crusade, I’ve been a Divergent, and I’ve even been a Book Thief! I’ve been so many things through my twenty two odd years that only books have allowed me to be. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, books have a way of enveloping you into millions of different experiences. If it wasn’t for books, I probably wouldn’t have understood the amount of Dutch I’ve learnt in a very short space of time. There’s only so much iPhone apps and websites can give you. And for the pieces that they can’t fill in, books can.

Reading gives you so many connections. Not just to an author, or to characters but to other people. I remember when my sister Stefi got the first Harry Potter book, she shared that with me (and the rest of them) and since then we have been sharing books over the years. From Harry Potter to Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging and finally to The Song of Achilles. Even though we are five years apart, reading has given me and one of my sister’s (I have five for the record) a bond that will last a lifetime. We share book recommendations and we talk about books pretty much every day. Even when me, my fiancé and my sister have been in a group call on Skype – we’ve discussed books throughout it. Of an evening, most of the time, we sit there for about 45 minutes to an hour and a half where all of us are just reading. It may be quiet, but it feels right just to be able to have the pleasure of doing such a thing. We even discuss the books as we sit, lay, hang, do cart-wheels (okay that last one isn’t true…we can’t do cart-wheels) and read. Over the years, I’ve even had long conversations with my Nan about books. Just a few months ago, when I hit the goal of 50,000 words for the first time (and wrote my first novel, still editing for those interested), we were chatting about books on the phone just as I had finished in the bath. Books are such a great way to break the ice and form ever-lasting friendships (or even relationships if you develop such a strong connection over your favourite books or authors)!

Continue reading

All That Glitters (Geek Girl #4) – Holly Smale Review

geekgirl4holsmale

TITLE: ALL THAT GLITTERS (GEEK GIRL #4)

AUTHOR: HOLLY SMALE

RELEASE DATE [UK]: FEBRUARY 26TH 2015

5STAR

Note: This review may contain some spoilers, so please don’t click read more if you don’t wish to be spoiled!

Holly Smale returns with Harriet Manners in All That Glitters, the fourth instalment of the Geek Girl series. No matter what she does, or who she tries to become, she will always be our favourite and most lovable fictitious geek! Fresh back from an adventure in New York it’s time that Harriet slotted back into her old world. Harriet, without her favourite two best friends, is determined to make a clean start at sixth form by attempting to make new friends. But in true Harriet Manners fashion, not everything is as simple as it seems.

Continue reading

Friday Wishlist #3

Something awesome happened. I’ve actually managed to get an ARC of All That Glitters on Netgalley! I’m in the process of reading that now…sorry The Hunter (by Tom Wood), you’re temporarily dumped until I’ve finished GG4! Heh.

Also, another wonderful book blogger was inspired by my FW series (gotta love abbreviations, right?!) so please go and check Teresa’s blog over at Just Little Musings!

Let’s get FW #3 started! Get ready for a lot of historical fiction! Yummmm. Only four books today, struggled to find a fifth one but that can happen.

The Empty Throne (The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories #8) – Bernard Cornwell

theemptythronebernardcornwell

PUBLISHED: SEPT 2014

“My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred . . .”

Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland, and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.

Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Athelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Aethelred. Widely loved and respected, Athelflaed has all the makings of a leader—but could Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.

Uhtred is still suffering from the wounds he received in battle. To recover his strength he needs to find the sword that caused the injury, but lost amid the battle’s blood and mud, how could it be traced and who among the Vikings or Saxons might be holding it?

In the end it is one champion, one hero, who will destroy the new Viking threat to Mercia and ultimately decide the fate of England.

WHY:

I’ve never actually read a Cornwell book and this one looks like it’ll pique my interest to read the rest of them. Plus everyone knows how obsessed I am with my own Viking heritage.

Continue reading

Review of Stormbird (Wars of the Roses #1) – Conn Iggulden

waroftherosesstormbirdconniggulden
TITLE: Stormbird (Wars of the Roses #1)

AUTHOR: Conn Iggulden

RELEASE DATE: October 10th 2013

4STAR

Stormbird is the first book in the Wars of The Roses series. The series kicks off with a young King Henry VI needing a truce – a King that was labelled weak due to his ill health and inability to be as fearful as his father. Easy to be influenced by others around him, the Kingdom is ran by Henry’s two closest and loyal men – Derry Brewer and William de la Pole

Throw in a marriage with fifteen year-old Margaret of Anjou in combination with a truce that is quickly broken, a conniving Neville house with the Duke of York plotting to become King and a rebellion against the King by his own people, then you have a ferocious and tasty battle on your hands with this book.

As someone who really enjoys reading about the Wars of the Roses it took me a while to get into this book, perhaps a hundred pages or so to get into the rhythm. Some characters I found less interesting than others whilst I wanted to know more about what happened to other characters. I made sure I took my time with this book as the subject is of huge interest to me and a few years ago, I had won a short preview of Stormbird through a Goodreads giveaway so I knew from that, when I was given this book as a present for Christmas two years ago, that it needed to be given time and not rushed through especially with the alternating character view points.

Continue reading

Review of Zali Luna: Movie Star – Emma Jamvold

Zali Luna Cover

TITLE: ZALI LUNA: MOVIE STAR

AUTHOR: EMMA JAMVOLD

RELEASE DATE: 28 JANUARY 2015 [KINDLE]

5STAR

Zali Luna is a sixteen year old girl that has never been kissed. And she’s also just got her first ever role in a movie. A movie that has an international star actor in. One that Zali has to kiss.

Zali Luna is a refreshing young adult novella. It takes you through the moment Zali finds out she has been cast alongside her movie-crush Oliver Lamond and the excitement – and extreme nerves – from being in her first big role and it will have you laughing and turning your e-pages quickly.

Usually, I’m not one to read novellas but I thought that I would give this one a try. It felt fun, zappy and really reminded me of the books I read when I was a teenager myself (quite odd to say that I’m nearing 23 this year, wow!). Admittedly, I didn’t go into expecting too much but after finishing it – I have to say, I really did enjoy reading it! It was a mixture of Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging meets Geek Girl which then meets a tumble dryer and there you have Zali Luna!

Continue reading

Friday Wishlist #2

Admittedly, I almost forgot about this Friday’s Wishlist but thankfully, I have a wonderful other half to remind me to do it among the other things I’ve been busy with and various personal things that have been stressing me out a little – a cuddle or two with my fiance would be great right now (and definitely would be top of my Friday Wishlist in general). Aside from that, I am pleased to reveal the second post of the Friday Wishlist series! Makes it sound all mysterious and Hollywood like….interesting! :)

Just be warned that this week’s FW has quite a few books from a series :3 okay…three! But still! It’s over half….:D

All That Glitters (Geek Girl 4) – Holly Smale

geekgirl4holsmale

PUBLISHED: February 26th 2015

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.” The fourth book in the award-winning GEEK GIRL series. Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she’s a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that’s not necessarily a good thing…

WHY:

Since I first got my taste of the Geek Girl series (I started from book three then made my way backwards) last year, I’ve been hooked to reading them ever since. I’m so hooked that once when me and Davy were in Tesco’s just browsing *cough* more like me gazing and happy sighing at books *cough* the book section, when I spotted BOTH Geek Girls were on sale, I almost had a fan girl moment right in the middle of Tesco’s. There is something just so relate-able to Harriet Manners’ character, especially with her dysfunctional family (who doesn’t have one these days eh?), that just makes you want to follow her story. It’s a book for all ages, you can appreciate it no matter if you’re young, if you’re still trying to figure out where you’re going with your life or even if you’re a mother / grandmother and that’s what makes these books so successful – because everyone can enjoy them! I honestly can’t wait until the fourth instalment is out. I know what I will be asking for Easter instead of an egg ;)

Continue reading

February Book Haul

The first book haul of the blog! I’m really happy for this as I’ve been wanting to do one since I got my Valentine’s present from my handsome little Dutchie on the 14th (duh Jane, what else date is Valentine’s…) then again I did open my present on the 13th. Tehehe. Anyway! I also, surprisingly, received a free copy of If I Fall, If I Die from a giveaway on Mumsnet (at first I thought it was from Goodreads but then I double checked, woops). Which actually has a funny story regarding it, I’ll tell you about it in a few paragraphs. I’ll put little notes with them in italics so you can differentiate between synopsis’ and my actual writing.

The books I’ve been given as a present / received this month are:

Continue reading

Friday Wishlists

This is going be a feature series on the blog, where every Friday I will name five books that I would really love to read one day. Whether they’re new books or older ones that I have always felt the urge to read but haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy. This will not be, by any means, a way for me to hint at people to get me these books – I would like to make this clear, I don’t want to gain anything out of this. I just want to share books I would like to read, and maybe give my blog readers a taste of my genre tastes.

And every Friday Wishlists post will be accompanied with asking readers, to post in the comments, of what is on their Friday Wishlists. You can have as many or as few as you would like on your wishlist.

The list, every week, will not be in particular order. Instead of ordering them in terms of how much I desire (not sure if I want to really use that word) to read them, they’re just going to be ordered randomly. I hope you all enjoy this series of posts I’m going to start, and hopefully in time it will give you, the readers, some inspiration for what books you’d like to read too!

The Captive Queen – Alison Weir

thecaptivequeen

PUBLISHED: 2011

It is the year 1152, and a beautiful woman rides through France, fleeing her crown, her two young daughters and a shattered marriage.
Her husband, Louis of France has been more monk than monarch, and certainly not a lover. Now Eleanor of Aquitaine has one sole purpose: to return to her duchy and marry the man she loves, Henry Plantagenet, destined for greatness as King of England. It will be a union founded on lust, renowned as one of the most vicious marriages in history, and it will go on to forge a great empire and a devilish brood.
This is a story of the making of nations, and of passionate conflicts: between Henry II and Thomas Becket; between Eleanor and Henry’s formidable mother Matilda; between father and sons, as Henry’s children take up arms against him – and finally between Henry and Eleanor herself.

WHY:

Since the last few years, when I started reading historical fiction, I have been fascinated by the Plantagenet blood-line and all things related to the English monarchy. Regardless of the fictional twists, I would just love a glimpse into these periods of history. Reading historical fiction helps to quench my historical-knowledge thirst and it makes reading about monarchies and wars all that bit more interesting. Also, I find Eleanor of Aquitaine to be a fascinating character and woman – so a book based on her would really be intriguing to read.

Continue reading