Friday Firsts: A Matter of Blood (The Dog-Faced Gods #1) by Sarah Pinborough

Posted On 13 October 2017

Filed under Book Reviews

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Friday Firsts
 is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph 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.  Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.    This Friday I’m reading : A Matter of Blood (The Dog-Faced Gods #1) by Sarah Pinborough


It’s the little things that count.

Carla Rae’s cooling body was testament to that.  Her wide eyes no longer shone as the drying surfaces became sticky.  With no further call to pump through the lifeless veins, her blood settled heavily in her limbs.  The cheap electric clock on the bedside table ticked the minutes away, moving on from the moment of her death without even a hitching breath of hesitation.  The world continued.  Twenty-five-year-old Carla Rae didn’t.  There would be no twenty-sixth birthday.  The inner mechanics of her body were accepting that, even if in the dying moments her mind had raged against the inevitability.

Tick tock.  Silent-body-clock stopped.

My First Impressions

Pretty chilling to be honest.  I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read so far by Sarah Pinborough so I decided to backtrack and, as it’s the season to be scary, I though this would fit the bill nicely.

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


‘A dragon is not a slave’


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:

You have nice manners for a thief, and a LIAR!’  – a cover with a dragon

Plenty of covers with dragons for this week.  Of course I immediately thought of Smaug  but I thought I’d step out of character and use something different (for me that is!): A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R.R. Martin

My favourite is the last one.

Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover featuring a Shadow

Future themes:

20th October 2017 – ‘Me and my….’ – a cover featuring a Shadow

27th October 2017 – “Thus with a kiss I die” – a cover featuring a couple

3rd November 2017 – ‘Desperate affairs require desperate measures’ – a regency style cover

10th November 2017 – ‘zip it, lock it and throw away the key – a cover featuring a key

17th November 2017 – Snap! – a cover featuring a double image or reflection

24th November 2017 – ‘I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently’ – a cover featuring snow

1st December 2017 – The pen is mightier than the sword – a cover featuring a fancy font

8th December 2017 – ‘Do not go gentle’ – a cover featuring the night…

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

Waiting on Wednesday : Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2) by Rachel Caine

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2) by Rachel Caine.


 I can’t wait for this one – I loved book 1 and this is due out in December so it’s a woohoo moment.  So excited.

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness


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 Books With Fall/Autumn Covers

I’ve actually picked a whole bunch (more than 10) covers for books that I’ve either read or I have a copy of – but, these are not so much autumn covers as that the colour’s just make me think of autumn.

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris

pocketfulI loved A Pocketful of Crows, it’s a darkly woven fairy tale of love and revenge based on a poem called ‘The Child Ballads’.

Joanne Harris is one of my favourite authors and I must say that this is probably one of my favourite pieces of work by her so far, perhaps not surprising in that I do love a dark fairytale, and I’m also rather partial to anything that Ms Harris writes, but, this piece of work is rather exceptional and I will definitely pick up a copy of the illustrated version once it becomes available.

This is only a fairly short read, well approximately 250 pages or thereabouts, and so I practically devoured it in one day – and then deeply regretted it because I didn’t want the book to end (that’s what rereads are for you know).  It’s beautifully written but more than that it’s evocative, the characters and the woodlands spring to life off the page, there’s a strange feeling of whimsy but the author has brought into focus that sense of menace and darkness that is the root of many fairytales and yet is so often lost in the pursuit of sugary sweetness.

The plot basically revolves around love.  The main character, a wild young girl, one of the travelling/free folk who lives in the forest, finds herself in love with the laird of the manor.  In spite of warnings she embarks on a relationship with this young man, who is intrigued by her unconventional beauty and wild demeanour.  Of course he makes many promises and believing his sweet words she eventually finds herself changing in order to please him.  At first this involves only small things, taking a maid to help her dress, modifying her ways, wearing shoes and jewels, but the final straw is the taking on of a name.  Naming is ‘taming’ and once she agrees to this her nature is contained much like the caged bird that she has become.  Unsurprisingly the young noble eventually tires of his now tamed lover and moves on to find himself another young woman to whisper sweet nothings to.  There’s an old saying about hell having no fury like a woman scorned and this story certainly gives meaning to that old saying.  I won’t say more about the plot.

In terms of the characters, the nameless woman of the story makes for great reading.  Wild spirited and at one with nature she can transport herself into the bodies of the birds and animals of the forest, feeling, feeding and travelling as they do she makes absolutely fascinating reading.  I did feel sorry for her as she became lulled by love’s young dream.  There was no shortage of warnings and yet she placed all her faith into the charming young laird who was very quick to be rid of her when his guardian returned to the castle.  Her journey from there, well at first is one of disbelief, swiftly followed by anger at everything she’s lost and finally revenge.  From there on she becomes a much wilder and darker version of her former self. The majority of the other characters are perhaps quite not as engaging or well developed but they play their parts well.  The other character who does stand out, for me anyway, is Hawthorn –  I’ll leave the detail for you to discover for yourselves.

The writing is excellently done.  It has a lyrical sort of feel to it which totally belies the dark nature of the story.  The author has a wonderful way with words that makes it easy to envision the forest, the cold, the fear, the hunger, and even the warmth of the wolves who help our young protagonist to bear the cold of the winter months.  The story gradually works it’s way through the seasons of the year and the chapters are headed with a short poem or wise saying which really brings an extra level of poetry to the reading.  As with all fairytales there is a message to the ending which I thought came together in a surprising and satisfying way plus a good look at the inability of people to accept something or someone that they don’t really understand or is in any way different from the norm.

Basically, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  Joanne Harris is a wonderful story teller and bringing together a delicious combination of fairytale and mythology told in her lovely prose is an excellent idea and a delight to read.  Highly recommended if you fancy a dark tale to curl up with on a wintery night.

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


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