Friday Face Off : In space nobody can hear you scream

FFO

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 (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.

I’ve added themes in below. For information, I’m trying out some new ideas so along with coming up with particular items for book covers I thought we could also look for certain elements contained within the book or that play a large part in the story – this really broadens things out because I have plenty of more ideas with this – I’ve gone for a few of the Tough Travel Themes (so a book with that theme – just choose any book – the theme isn’t necessarily on the cover, then compare covers), also, I’ve thrown in some genres and some colours.  Hopefully this will open things out a little and give us some more freedom to come up with new books.

This week’s theme:

In space nobody can hear you scream – murder mystery in space

If you know of an event that’s coming up let me know and I’ll try and include covers that work for the event itself so that you can link up to the Friday Face Off and, as always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.  Also, I would just mention that it’s very possible that some of these might be repeats from previous FFOs although I have tried to invent more ‘open ended’ prompt that can be interpreted differently and also prompts that relate to emotions.  Finally, don’t struggle with any of these, this is meant to be a fun way of highlighting books.  If you can’t come up with a book you think fits for a particular week use a freebie – perhaps a recent read for example:

Next Week  – brooding and dull like a cloudy sky – a cover that is grey

2022

Feb The month of romance
4th  brooding and dull like a cloudy sky – a cover that is grey
11th Sealed with a kiss – lips, or the impression left by a kiss
18th Tough Travel Tropes – Hate to Love
25th Made for each other – interpret this any way you please
March
4th Genre – Gadgets and airships – a book that is ’steampunk
11th The most recent book you’ve read that has covers to compare
18th – Somewhere over the rainbow – a very colourful book cover
25th – A book of few words – a one word title
Apr
1st Spring forward – compare the covers for two books you’re excited about
8th – Fresh and Green – a cover that is predominantly green
15th Genre – a book or series that is urban fantasy
22nd – Tough Travel Tropes – unknown magical ability
29th – Long/pointed ears
May the Month of Wyrd and Wonder
6th All about the women – kickass moms, daughters, grans, etc
13th A favourite book to film
20th Sunny and bright  – a cover that is predominantly yellow
27th Books with ‘You’ in the title
Jun
3rd  Under the Sea – anything you like
10th Sparkling like the sea – a cover that is turquoise
17th So pretty – exactly what it says
24th Daddy Dearest – a book with a strong father role
Jul  
1st Genre – epic – any book that fits into the genre
8th Hazy and hot – a cover that is predominantly orange
15th Tough Travel Tropes – Snarky sidekick
22nd Off the TBR
29th Gigantic – monsters, giants, buildings,insects – anything at all
August
5th Tough Travel Tropes – out for summer – school or academic setting
12th Dark/sky/navy  – a cover that is blue
19th Scantily Dressed
26th Tough Travel Tropes – Vacation time – the quest
September RIP
2nd Fallen leaves – covers that are brown
9th Armour/Protection
16th Rage against the machine – anything, cogs, clockwork, AI
23rd Tough Travel Tropes – Coming of Age
30th Genre – horror
October – Horror/Dark
7th Guess who’s back?  – Vampires – popular again?
14th Witches vs warlocks
21st Tough Travel Tropes – Good vs evil
28th  Covers that are black
November – Scifi Month
4th Red skies at night – Covers that are red
11th Tough Travel Tropes – The gang
18th Genre – Swords and Sorcery
25th Genre – And they all lived happily ever after – fairy tales retold
December
2nd Tough Travel Tropes – Assassins
9th Tough Travel Tropes – Darklord
16th Genre – Grimdark (most recent/favourite, etc)
23rd Decadent and rich – a cover that is purple
30th Completions – a satisfying conclusion to a book or serie

The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Beautifully told story of origins

GWoB

This was my first Louisa Morgan book and what I can say is that I really enjoyed it, and it certainly won’t be my last.  In fact, in that respect I have a question about this author’s other books – do I need to read them in a certain order?  I think all the books are standalone stories but just thought I’d check.

Anyway, this book tells the story of Ursule Orchiere, how she came to know magic, her ability to read the ancient Grimoire passed down by the Orchiere women and the tenacious way she holds together her family.

The story starts when Ursule is a young girl and we get a feel for the life she lives.  Her mother tells fortunes and Ursule collects the coins.  Ursule has been fed stories of the Orchiere women and their magic and longs to inherit magic of her own and be part of the story.  These are difficult times for women.  Witch hunters obsessively search for their next victim to feed the flames and women with knowledge of herb lore are persecuted.

I loved the way Ursule tells her story.  The scene is set really well and I just found myself sinking into the tale with ease.  There is a palpable sense of fear and a genuine feeling of helplessness amongst the travellers.  Gangs of men literally swoop indiscriminately through the camps snatching up women to terrorise and torture.  Ursule’s mother finds herself accused and from here things take a different turn but I won’t go further into the story.

What really appealed to me with this story is that it was so easy to get into.  The sense of period is beautifully evoked.  The hard lives that people led really comes across well and the strong family ties also simply ooze off the page.  If you put the witching elements to one side this feels like an impressively rendered historic piece and the descriptions and writing just pulled me in.  It just felt like an incredibly comforting read somehow – which, given the darker elements of the story, is an impressive achievement.

On top of this I really liked Ursule and her familiar Drom.  I’m not sure that any of the other characters were as well drawn but given that Ursule is the central figure I didn’t have any issues with this.  In fact, the other characters felt almost greyed out which felt somehow appropriate given the lonely way Ursule lives.  She is a loner, not necessarily by choice, and in fact even though she eventually feels as though she’s surrounded herself with loved ones she still very much comes across as a lone figure.

In terms of criticisms I don’t have any.  I can say that this is not a book that you can read quickly and to be honest I don’t think you should try to wolf this down in a couple of sittings.  This is a book to be savoured and enjoyed. So, if you fancy a piece, very female centric, focusing on witchcraft and strong family ties, that actually has a kind of payback for the magic used, then give this a go.  It really is a delicious morsel.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  It felt like the right book at the right time and it worked really well for me.  A lovely story of inherited magic and one woman’s life and struggles.

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

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

Cover Reveal Alert – this is not a drill!

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in a cover reveal for a book by an author whose work I really enjoy.

Phil Williams is a fantastically creative fantasy writer whose books include the Under Ordshaw series and more recently Kept From Cages and Given to Darkness.

This post is an opportunity to join in with a number of other blogs to shine the spotlight on his most recent book and reveal that ever important cover.

Firstly, here’s the description to whet your appetite:

Kit hung up her brass knuckles, but she never stopped fighting. She abandoned the dark arts, but the shadows lingered. And now her past is back to haunt her. There’s a new witch in town, working with a ruthless gang to stamp out rivals – no matter how long ago they quit.

An old friend warns Kit that her neighbourhood is under attack. Kit herself is a target. Her former gang are scared stiff and her magic-wielding bandmates are long gone. She dreads reviving her destructive nature, and can’t dust off the spellbook – not after what happened last time. But what choice does she have?

Besides, she rarely gets to enjoy a good brawl anymore.

Decades older, a little wiser, and contrary as ever, Kit’s going to remind them all what a punk witch can do.

Now, doesn’t that sound amazing??

Secondly, for the part we’ve all been waiting for – the cover – and believe me it’s well worth the wait:

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GTD Cover

This really is a stunning cover. I feel positively giddy with anticipation.

A little bit about the author:

Phil Williams writes contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction and non-fiction grammar guides. His novels include the interconnected Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers, the post-apocalyptic Estalia saga and the action-packed Faergrowe series. He also runs the website English Lessons Brighton, and writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English.

Phil lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and now spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.

Website : https://www.phil-williams.co.uk
Twitter : fantasticphil

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

CWW

“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: Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert.  Here’s the description:

Our CrookedSecrets. Lies. Super-bad choices. Witchcraft. This is Our Crooked Hearts, a darkly gripping contemporary fantasy from Melissa Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

The suburbs, right now . . .
Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known—that there’s more to her mother than meets the eye.

The city, back then . . .
Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

Expected publication : June 2022

Top Ten Tuesday : New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

I read quite a lot of new authors in 2021 and some very good books.  So, here’s a snapshot of some of the good ones I read – and all of these are female – come on ladies:

  1. Shiver by Allie Reynolds
  2. The Survivors by Jane Harper
  3. The Wife Upstairs  by Rachel Hawkins
  4. Last One to the Party by Bethany Clift
  5. The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
  6. Witherward by Hannah Matthewson
  7. All The Murmuring Bones by AG Slatter
  8. The Ladies of the Secret Service by Constance Sayers
  9. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
  10. The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

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