Weekly Wrap Up : 18/03/18

Posted On 18 March 2018

Filed under Book Reviews

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It only seems like five minutes ago since I wrote my last weekly wrap up post and here I am again.  This week for some reasons we’ve started watching Breaking Bad again – simply because we never completed the series – lets see if we make it to the end this time.  Also, I’ve read two books this week and made good progress on a couple of others.

Books read:

  1. Planetfall by Emma Newman
  2. Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne

Next Week’s Reads:

  1. The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams – I’ve read 65%
  2. Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe – approx 20% read
  3. Feeder by Patrick Weekes

Upcoming reviews:

  1. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
  2. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
  3. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (Vintage Sci Fi book)
  4. Master Assassins by Robert VS Redick
  5. Planetfall by Emma Newman
  6. Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.


Friday Firsts: Planetfall by Emma Newman


Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraphs of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others.   This Friday I’m reading :  Planetfall by Emma Newman


planetfallEvery time I come down here I think about my mother.  I don’t want to: it just happens.  My brain has decided it’s a critical subroutine that must be executed when the correct variables are in place: (which time = predawn) + (when physical location = beneath the colony) + (when physical act = opening the door to the Masher) run “unpleasant memory of mother #345.”

My hand is pushing the door open and I’m back at my old lab and she’s following me in, her heels clicking on the tiled floor.  I’ve prepped the equipment to run one hour before her arrival so there’s something to show straightaway.  She never was a patient woman.

“Is that a printer?” she asked, and I nodded.  It started then – I know it now that I’m looking back – that tightening of my gut as I dared to hope I might impress her. 

“Yeah.” I smiled.

She didn’t.  “Like the one I have at home?”


“What’s it printing?”

“My latest work.”

She went up to the plasglass and peered through, seeing nothing but a few millimeters of tissue.  She turned to me with her nose slightly wrinkled. “What is is printing?”

“A new pancreas,” I said.  “For Dad.”

“Oh.”  She’d hoped I was making something she could hang up in the hallway of her inert home.  “I didn’t realise you were involved in this sort of thing.  I’ve seen it on the new.”

And that was the moment I knew I’d been stupid to hope for anything.

My First Impressions

Well, there’s not really much given away here is there?  It’s a memory, although clearly of a future that is more advanced than ours – if you can print out a pancreas – or is that already possible??!?!  I think my immediate fear was on reading the little algebraic type problem in brackets I wondered if this was going to maybe be a little bit more problematic than I hoped (in terms of going over my rather simple head).  However, it’s not working out like that so far so we’ll see and I must confess that on typing out this quote and rereading it for accuracy I completely understand what it means but in the immediate furore of starting a new book and rushing through the first few pages it did fly over my head.  Silly, I realise.  Anyway, so far so good.

What you reading this Friday??  What are your first impressions??

*The above excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy and it is possible that the final version may have further changes.

Friday Face Off: ‘I got no strings to hold me down’


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

‘I got no strings to hold me down’ – a cover featuring a doll or puppet

This week I had one specific book in mind and thankfully it had two covers so thank goodness for that – I suspect there will be some excellent books (not to mention possibly creepy) this week  My book is a read that I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely falls into the dark and creepy bracket: The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

The cover on the right is the one I’m familiar with and it certainly is dramatic.  But, I have to go for :


Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover featuring a tower

Future themes:

23rd March – “When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.” – a cover featuring a Tower

30th March – ‘A little soil to make it grow’ – a cover featuring seeds/spores

6th April –  “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – a cover featuring a family

13th April – ‘lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it’ –  a cover featuring a panorama

20th April – Where there’s fire there’s… – a cover featuring smoke

27th April – ‘Those darling byegone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture’ – a cover that is positively mediaeval 

4th May-  ‘A Hand without a hand? A bad jape, sister.’ – a cover featuring a hand/hands

11th May – ‘Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth’ – a cover featuring a dinosaur/s

18th May – ‘Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;’ – a cover featuring a gravestone

25th May – Trip trap, trip trap, trip trap – a cover featuring footsteps

1st June – clinging and invasive – a cover featuring creeping vines

8th June – Raining Cats and Dogs – a cover featuring a stormy sky


Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1) by Amanda Hocking

betweenAs one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. The balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

As Malin wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought, she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue-eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. Malin, along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend, must decide where her loyalties lie…and whether helping Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and to her heart.

So, the above is the synopsis for Between the Blade and the Heart taken directly from the Goodreads page.  Now, I don’t normally just cut and paste the blurb – this isn’t a judgement by the way – everyone writes reviews following their own preferred style and I normally try to give a brief synopsis in my own words.  Mainly because I want to write my own interpretation of the plot.  But the reason I’ve changed my style a little is twofold.

Firstly, this book didn’t really work for me but, I can’t deny that it was a great idea – Odin’s Valkyries – oh yes, I am there for that.  And, this book is undoubtedly action packed and fast paced – and I think you can pick up from the synopsis that the story will be that sort of style, urban fantasy, plenty of characters and action.

Secondly, there was a love triangle, this is the main reason why I’ve used the publisher’s blurb – if you read this it’s patently obvious that not only will this book involve romance but there will more than likely be a love triangle.  Why then, given that romance and love triangles are not really my preference, did I pick this up?  Odin’s Valkyries  – right thereyou got me.  I read that and was totally blindsided.  Basically, what I’m trying to say is that although this didn’t work for me I think I have to own that I chose a book that was always going to have to work hard to win me over.  I was just caught, like a fish on a hook, by the thought of reading some Norse mythology and didn’t really read the description properly. My bad.

All that being out of the way I’m not going to go into too much further detail.

The idea of the Valkyries is that they’re a little like the Grim Reaper of the Immortals. Basically when your time is up, and I’m not sure how it’s decided they appear for you and it’s ‘curtains’.  Seems a bit harsh really doesn’t it.  In one respect you can’t just have more and more immortals populating the planet, it just wouldn’t be good would it, but, the idea of somebody appearing with their sword and saying ‘your number’s up mate’ does seem a bit of a crazy way of doing things.  Clearly, most of the supernaturals who receive a visit from their own angel of death are less than pleased, some beg and plead, some run, some fight.  Consequently, as you may be able to imagine the Valkyries are not terribly popular.  There is however an underlying theme to the book which is all about fate and choices, whether everything is predestined or whether there is free will, and this aspect feeds into the plot.  Malin’s mother, who has been one tough cookie to deal with, has basically let an assignment go and in doing so has set in motion a train of potential world destroying events.

Now, clearly I’ve already mentioned the romance and love triangle.  I think for me the other problem with those elements is they felt rushed and consequently a little thin.  The characters themselves are not really well fleshed out which is understandable in some respects because there’s quite a lot of action, themes and ideas, but it still made me feel ambivalent to them all.  Perhaps too ambitious given the page count.

Then there’s the world building.  It’s urban fantasy but futuristic with flying, hover-type bikes, etc.  Regular humans and immortals living alongside each other.  I couldn’t really get a grip of it.  Again, maybe it’s because there really isn’t any nod to the humans of the world – how do they fit in.  It all seems perfectly normal having a world where your mechanic has horns but I just felt like I wanted a little more depth and a better understanding.  I just feel like I have too many questions and although they might be answered in the second book I don’t think at this point I have the motivation to read on.

I’m a bit saddened that this one didn’t work for me and I realise this sounds very negative.  To end on a positive note I would say that this will probably work very well for others, it’s fast paced and packed with ideas, it’s got gorgeous people being smitten with each other and it’s got a crazy, action packed finale.  On top of this there is diversity and strong female characters – in other words plenty to enjoy.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Netgalley, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.





Waiting on Wednesday : Hunted (The Voices #2) by G.X. Todd

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is: Hunted (The Voices #2) by G.X. Todd.  I read and loved Defender (the first book in the Voices series) and can’t wait to get to this one.  Due for publication 31st May 2018.

Hunted by G X Todd is second in the Voices series, highlighted as being ‘of a piece with Stephen King’s The Stand‘ in the Independent. The battle between Good and Evil continues to play out in a world where the Voice in your head can save or slaughter you. A must-read for fans of Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill.

Hunted.jpgThe birds are flying. The birds are flocking. The birds know where to find her.

One man is driven by a Voice that isn’t his. It’s killing his sanity and wrestling with it over and over like a jackal with a bone. He has one goal.

To find the girl with a Voice like his own. She has no one to defend her now. The hunt is on.

But in an Inn by the sea, a boy with no tongue and no Voice gathers his warriors. Albus must find Lacey … before the Other does. And finish the work his sister, Ruby began.

Hunted is the second book in the highly acclaimed Voices series, where the battle between Good and Evil rages on. And on.

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