Weekly Wrap Up : 10/12/17

Posted On 10 December 2017

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It’s been two weeks since my last wrap up.  I posted a monthly round up so thought a weekly wrap up on top of that would have been a bit much.  I’ve had a lovely week.  It was my birthday yesterday and I had a really good day – there was cake (and maybe the odd glass of wine).  Below are two week’s worth of books together with what I’m hoping to read this week.  I’ve been reading a lot of my final SPFBO books.  My sixth round up post is due tomorrow and I will then review  the books I’ve read and choose my finalist to go through to round 2 (should be ready to announce by Saturday 16th if not slightly sooner).

Anyway, hope you all had a good week.

  1. War Witch by Layla Nash
  2. Jack Bloodfist: Fixer by James Jakins
  3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  4. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
  5. Today is Too Late by Burke Fitzpatrick
  6.  The Archbishop’s Amulet by Watson Davis
  7. Everwinter by Elizabeth Baxter
  8. The Empire of the Dead by Phil Tucker
  1. The Queen of All Crows by Rod Duncan
  2. Heartland and Firestorm by Lucy Hounsom

Upcoming reviews:

  1. A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough
  2. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
  3. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
  4. The Saga of Dirt and Poncho by Clayton D Baker and Michael H Kuecker
  5. War Witch by Layla Nash
  6. Jack Bloodfist: Fixer by James Jakins
  7. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  8. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
  9. Today is Too Late by Burke Fitzpatrick
  10.  The Archbishop’s Amulet by Watson Davis
  11. Everwinter by Elizabeth Baxter
  12. The Empire of the Dead by Phil Tucker

Let me know what you’re reading this week.

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“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.”

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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:

Do not go gentle’ – a cover featuring the night…

This week I’ve chosen : The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden.  I loved this book and am about to start reading The Girl in the Tower – which I’m so excited about.  So, here are the covers:

I actually like all these covers – the imagery is so beautiful but my favourite without any doubt is:

bear1

I just love this cover – I would pick this book up without doubt just because of how beautiful it looks.  Fortunately, the book is brilliant and lives up to the promise of the jacket. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover eh!

Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover a potion/perfume bottle

Future themes:

15th December 2017 – Hubble bubble toil and trouble – a cover featuring a potion/perfume bottle

22nd December – ‘Oh, we loves games! Doesn’t we, precious?’ – a cover featuring a Puzzle or Game

29th December – If music be the food of love, play on – a cover featuring a Musical Instrument

5th January – ‘The seaweed is always greener, in somebody else’s lake.’ – Under the Sea

12th January – ‘More than one meaning have I’ – a cover featuring a Knot/knots

19th January – You know your A, B, Cs – a cover made up only of letters/words

26th January – “The grass is always greener on the other side of personal extinction” – a cover featuring grass

2nd February – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – a Psychedelic cover

9th February – ‘My what big teeth you have’ – a cover featuring a cloaked figure 

16th February – ‘Groovy baby’ – a cover that is: Retro

23rd February – “There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me”  – a cover featuring a staircase

2nd March – ‘The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing’ – a cover featuring something from Greek mythology

9th March – ‘…but Icarus flew too close’ – a cover featuring the Sun

16th March – ‘I got no strings to hold me down’ – a cover featuring a doll or puppet

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

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Posted On 7 December 2017

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Kill Creek was initially a book that I wanted to read for Halloween, and I must say it would have been absolutely perfect.  As it was the best laid plans didn’t quite work out, that being said this book is a great read for this time of the year with the dark nights, in fact if you enjoy horror I’m pretty certain you can be chilled by this book on any given month of the year.  In fact if you’re easily scared you might prefer the lighter nights.

Horror is one of those cateogories of reads that can go horribly wrong for me.  I don’t want too much blood and viscera, bodies being torn to pieces or other atrocities.  I want to be scared and also surprised and Kill Creek managed to fulfil all those criteria for me and on top of that provided a downright bone chilling ghost story, the sort where you want to hide behind a cushion – although can anybody explain why or how that really helps.

We start off with an introduction to our main character Sam McGarver.  Sam is an author of horror books.  He seems to be having something of a blip in his writing and is currently lecturing whilst trying to give off the impression that he’s in the process of drawing up his next novel.  Sam receives a mysterious invitation to take part in an interview on the creepiest night of the year, Halloween.   The interview will take place in one of the most notoriously haunted houses in the country and unbeknownst to Sam, three other horror writers have been invited to take part.  Basically this is a publicity stunt dreamt up by Justin Wainwright, the man behind a website known as WrightWire.  Wainwright is hellbent on stirring up a frenzy of visitors to his website and has concocted the idea of an interview with four famous horror writers, in a haunted house – who knows what will happen!

What worked really well for me in this story were a number of things.

Firstly the characters.  We have four very different authors and their own egos and feelings of insecurity.  They come together in a way that creates a wonderful feeling of uncertainty and just plain old paranoia. Thomas does a great job of giving them all individual personalities and bringing them to life quite vividly.  There’s also Wainwright.  Ruthlessly calculating, he’s hoping for a showdown and comes across as arrogant and self serving.  Then we have the final character of the piece.  The house.  This place has a terrible history. It lies derelict, off the beaten track in the Kansas countryside.  For years people have been too scared to approach apart from the odd child on a dare and now it is almost forgotten.

Secondly the tempo of the book.  It’s relentless and perfectly pitched.  We have an almost old fashioned feel start, a brief introduction to each of the characters before they come together for the evening almost in the fashion of Then There Were None.  Each of them seems to be harbouring some personal issue or fear that helps to crank up the tension.  At first, as a reader you’re just plain old worried about the house and what it’s going to throw at you but Thomas seems to lull you into this sense of security, a warm fire, good food and drink, cosy lighting.  You forget to be afraid.  The interview takes place and everyone goes to bed.  I don’t want go into the other issues but the book takes an unexpected turn after this point and it’s anything but cosy.

Finally the style, I love the way the book develops from an almost classic horror that taps into your psyche to something that becomes almost predictably and comfortingly  haunting but then swiftly moves down the path of out and out twisted horror. It’s gripping stuff and the writing is good, it just keeps you completely until the very last chapter.

I definitely have no hesitation in recommending this book.  It had me sitting tense and occasionally looking over my shoulder but more than that it made me want to shout at the characters – just like you do in a good horror film.  It sounds a bit trite or cliched but you know you’re scared when you’re shouting instructions at characters in a book or film.

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

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Owl and the Tiger Thieves (The Adventures of Owl #4) by Kristi Charish

“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 : Owl and the Tiger Thieves (The Adventures of Owl #4) by Kristi Charish.  This is a great series and the last one was my favourite so far – it also left me desperate to find out what happens next.

owlandOwl—a modern-day Indiana Jane—handles supernatural monsters, temperamental dragons, and slippery ninjas as she races to stop a brewing supernatural war in this fourth novel in the Owl series.

The Silk Road was an ancient trade route paved with fortunes and tears in equal measure—the tears part mostly due to the distinct chance of being gutted by an opportunistic supernatural lying in wait.

Somewhere among the trade cities lost to the ages, the Tiger Thieves—assassins who once guarded the Silk Road against the supernatural monsters that preyed on ancient caravans—still hide.

Shame no one has seen one of them in over five hundred years, since they’re the only ones who might be able to help Owl stop the reign of the Electric Samurai and the descent of the world into supernatural chaos in all its eviscerating glory.

From a Peruvian jail to Venice to Timbuktu, Owl searches for the Tiger Thieves in the hopes of convincing them to help her—all while fetching artifacts and weapons for Mr. Kurosawa’s brewing supernatural war. Considering diplomatic negotiations aren’t exactly Owl’s strong suit, she has her work cut out for her. Not to mention, her sidekick on this adventure leaves a lot to be desired and little to trust.

Poking a tiger is never a good idea, and tangling with the ancient assassins will take everything Owl has. Eventually, she’ll have to decide whether she’s a wayward archaeologist or just another cold-hearted thief.

Due for publication May 2018

Wish you were here…

Posted On 5 December 2017

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Every Tuesday over at  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

This week’s topic is bookish settings we’d love to visit.  I’ve given a half and half list with five places I’d love to see and five places I’d sooner not:

  1. Middle Earth – as imagined by Tolkien.  Such wonders to see, Rivendell, The Shire and Gondor.  Spectacular things to behold. Definitely visit.
  2. Mordor – as also imagined by Tolkien.   ‘It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this… it is folly’.  Avoid.  Just don’t go there.
  3. Narnia – CS Lewis and his wonderful The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe – you could pass through the City of War Drobe into the land of Spare Oom and have tea with Mr Tumnus.  Worth a quick stop.
  4. Jadis Castle – also by CS Lewis – home to the White Witch.  A cold place, you’re just as likely to be turned into stone as to sit drinking hot chocolate and eating Turkish Delight.  Not recommended – unless you’re a wolf or an evil minion.
  5. Hogwarts – JK Rowlings imagined school of Witchcraft and Wizardry – Oh yes, I suspect lots of people would like to pay a visit to this one.  Must see.
  6. Azkaban – also from JK Rowlings world – a prison for those who take magic to the wrong extremes.  Definitely don’t want to go to this one – Dementors are not the friendliest of prison guards, they suck the joy out of anything.  A bit bleak if you ask me.
  7. The Moon – as imagined by Andy Weir in his latest book Artemis.  This place is so well written it almost feels like it really exists – and I would love to visit.
  8. Mars – also the setting of another of Andy Weir’s books – The Martian.  I would not like to be stranded alone on Mars trying to survive on a diet of potatoes and talking to myself.  A bit too isolated for my tastes.
  9. Terre d’Ange – this is a richly imagined world created by Jacqueline Carey in her Kushiel’s Legacy series.  This place is fascinating, full of interesting things to see and places to visit, delicious sounding food, sumptuous balls, wonderfully imagined clothes – you would definitely want to visit.
  10. Drujan – ruled by the Mahrkagir, this is one of Carey’s places that you would not want to visit.  A hideous place of cruelty and torture.  Phedre and Joscelin travel there in book three of the series – but only because they have to.
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