Friday Face Off : “Feed me Seymour”

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, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – 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.  This week’s theme is:

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

I think I possibly should have been a bit clearer with this week’s theme – I really meant 60s style, so therefore either literally a cover from the 60s or a more uptodate cover that is in the style of the 60s.  Anyway, sorry about that but I’m sure everyone has managed to come up with their own twist on the theme.  This week I’ve chosen Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.  I had a spell of reading and watching horror films during my early teens.  Rosemary’s Baby – to be honest I can recall very little about either the book or film.  Perhaps I should have a reread.  Anyway, to the covers:

Well, what a lot of strange covers, I’ve only chosen those published in the 60s and to be honest I’m not really loving any of these.  I quite like the sinister feel of the first but what is all that chat at the top of the book about.  I would maybe have chosen the last which is the movie tie-in – but same problem.  I also quite like the cover with the unusual, monster like pram but I don’t like the font being slanted.  I think Overall I’d have to go with one of the two below:

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – a cover featuring an Inn/Hotel

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn/Hotel

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.

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The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith #1) by David Wragg

BlackI enjoyed The Black Hawks very much.  According to Goodreads this is approx 430 pages and yet those pages were turning so quickly that it couldn’t have taken me more than a couple of days to finish – I was that hooked.  I hesitate however to call this ‘fun’ and I’m not sure I’d call it ‘hilarious’ either and the reason why I’m going to the trouble of pointing that out is that some people shy away from books that are funny (or trying to be), humour being a tricky way to please everyone after all.  This is very entertaining, it pulled me in fairly quickly, it’s quite action packed, particularly the last third, it has some great characters and there is plenty of snarky banter.  It’s also not a shy novel so if you’re a little wary of profanity then keep that in mind – for me, well, I just love all the banter even if it is a little crude here and there so I was happy as a pig who fell into a mud bath and then found a golden truffle.

As the story begins we meet Chel, he’s about to find himself in a spot of bother which by the sounds of it is the usual state of affairs for him.  Chel is sworn under oath in the service of his uncle, which seems to involve, mainly, carrying clothes around – yep, that’s Chel, he’s like the newbie sent out for everyone’s coffee and believe me he doesn’t enjoy his role at all, it’s just not what he imagined!  Then the City is attacked by the fire wielding Norts and Chel attempts to flee before becoming a fireball himself.  This is when he is unwittingly roped into the service of one of the younger princes, Tarfel Merimonsun and their adventure really begins.  Chel’s prior obligations are removed when the Prince makes a bargain with him – Chel will become the Prince’s protector, relinquishing the oath to his uncle and upon delivering the Prince to safety Chel will be released.  Let’s just say that being a knight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and the chance to go home appeals very much to Chel so the deal is struck.

Unfortunately for Chel it seems that there are other parties interested in the Prince and so it isn’t long before trouble catches up with them.

The Black Hawks are a bunch of mercenaries.  All very different characters indeed, they have an easy camaraderie and I have no doubt that readers will find a favourite amongst this crew.  I can’t deny that when they entered the scene they stole the show a little.  But, I don’t want to be unfair to Chel and Tarfel.  Their story is very easy to get on with.  Chel is no sword master but what he lacks in technique he makes up for in his own moral code and sheer good luck.  Tarfel is completely clueless and a little detached from reality.  Far from being concerned about being abducted he simply expects a ransom demand to be presented and things to follow a natural and well established course, which naturally will involve the exchange of much gold and no harm to his princely self.  He’s actually very endearing in his gullibility.  I have to say the way the relationship between these two develops as the story progresses is one of the winning elements to the book and indeed for that matter their interactions with the mercenaries.  Also, regarding the Hawks, all of them are very distinct and the author makes it so easy to envision them.  I’m not saying they’re all nice!  But they’re just so well drawn and even the more brooding members of the crew will eventually work their magic on you or at least you’ll be relieved when they show up in the middle of a tight spot.

Speaking of magic.  This isn’t really the type of fantasy that includes monsters and magic, at least not thus far, more adventures and escapades.  Lots of skirmishes and running and a good deal of stabbing.  The number of ways that these characters could die just mounts up as the pages turn, wolves, storms, cannibals, other potential abductors trying to steal the already abducted for themselves not to mention members of the cloth throwing their hat into the ring.

The world building was good.  We’re given a little of the history of the ruling monarchy but in bite size pieces usually during conversation between different members of the Hawks and Chel or Tarfel.  This is a world that has seen its share of war and not everyone can be the winner – there are always those left with the bitter taste of defeat and on top of that and the potential for rebellion, there is also a very strong religious presence that has a feel of the Inquisition with men and women of the cloth becoming objects of fear.

In terms of criticisms.  I have very little.  I really enjoyed this from start to finish – the only issue I would mention is that the ending is something of a cliffhanger – which doesn’t frustrate me as much as it does some people I know – that being said, when is No.2 coming out please?

I thoroughly enjoyed this.  It’s highly entertaining, there are some wicked lines and banter that I really wish I’d highlighted to use for this review and basically I can’t wait to read more.  Let me put it like this – if the second instalment was available, right here, right now I would be all over that.  That’s all I’m saying.

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

4.5 of 5 stars

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

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 : The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag and here’s why:

TheSisters.jpgThere are hundreds, possibly thousands, of sisters Grimm on Earth.
You may well be one of them, though you might never know it. 
You think you’re ordinary. 
You never suspect that you’re stronger than you seem, braver than you feel or greater than you imagine. 
But I hope that by the time you finish this tale, you’ll start listening to the whispers that speak of unknown things, the signs that point in unseen directions and the nudges that suggest unimagined possibilities. 
I hope too that you’ll discover your own magnificence, your own magic . . . 
__________________ 

This is the story of four sisters Grimm – daughters born to different mothers on the same day, each born out of bright-white wishing and black-edged desire. They found each other at eight years-old, were separated at thirteen and now, at nearly eighteen, it is imperative that they find each other once again.

In thirty-three days they will meet their father in Everwhere. Only then will they discover who they truly are, and what they can truly do. Then they must fight to save their lives and the lives of the ones they love. Three will live, one will die. You’ll have to read on to find out who and why…

Due for publication : February 2020

The Witch Who Courted Death (Supernatural Sisters #4) by Maria Lewis

TheWitchWhoThe Witch Who Courted Death was a fun read, almost a read of two halves being part urban fantasy and part coastal fantasy (I know that’s not really a ‘thing’).

We start the story with an introduction to Corvossier von Klitzing and her twin brother Barastin, both living in Berlin and affectionately nicknamed Casper and Creeper.  The two are very strong mediums often playing a role in the supernatural community by helping lingering spirits to pass to the next world.

Fairly early on into the story disaster strikes and Casper’s brother and their guardian are brutally murdered.  The murder is pinned rather conveniently on the witches but Casper doesn’t believe this to be the case and with vengeance in mind starts to make quiet enquiries of her own until she uncovers another survivor of a similar attach – a witch, in fact, who has gone into hiding.

Casper’s search for this mysterious witch eventually lead her to a quaint Cornish village where her continued investigations could lead to terrible danger not just for herself but also for the witch in hiding.  The attackers who killed her family have a goal in mind and need to finish both attacks successfully in order to achieve it.

I enjoyed this, it was a quick and entertaining read, it got off to a very quick start and I really enjoyed the urban fantasy style, plus I loved the dramatic conclusion.  The world here is easy to imagine and I had no problem getting on board in spite of this being the 4th book the author has written in this world (although I would add it’s not necessary to have read the prior instalments as this stands on its own).

In terms of the characters, I liked Casper.  I liked her interactions with ghosts in particular and she’s an easy protagonist to follow.  What definitely struck me was Casper isn’t a teenager and this comes across in the way she speaks and behaves.  She has a maturity that is really refreshing – she’s probably late 20s (I can’t recall her exact age) but it was definitely good to read from a pov where the character has a certain confidence and strength lent by experience and age.

Criticisms.  Well, as I mentioned above the story gets off to a very quick start and I loved the urban feel.  The first half of the story had me turning pages quickly but the second half definitely slowed things down a little.  The plot concentrated a little more on the romance at this point, which whilst it was sweet, did lead to a much quieter tone.  The conclusion ramped up the action though and the ending had an openness that I appreciated.

Overall, I had a good time with The Witch Who Courted Death.  It was a quick and easy read.  I really enjoyed the urban elements to the story and it was a great book to fit in between some of my more chunky books.

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

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

TTT : One potato, two potato, three potato..

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:

Book Titles with Numbers In Them

I’ve read all but one of these, Ninth House is one of my forthcoming reads.  I’ve gone for a straightforward 1-10.  Here’s my list:

Ready Player One

ReadyPlayer

The Two Towers

The Two Towers

The Three Musketeers

Musketeers.jpg

I Am Number Four

IamNo4

The Five People you Meet in Heaven

TheFive.jpg

Six of Crows

Sixof.jpg

The Secret Seven and the Mystery of the Empty House

Secret Seven

VIII by HM Castor

VIII.jpg

Ninth House

Ninth

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Tenthousand

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