Cover Compare

Posted On 12 February 2017

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Here it is – I wondered when this little beauty would make it’s appearance – the UK cover for Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister:


I love this.  It has a beautiful crisp feel doesn’t it  And, here are both covers together:

So, which is your favourite.  I admit that I’ve always been rather partial to the US covers and I do love the US cover here – but, in this case, the UK cover is my favourite.  I just really like the font style and colour, the way it’s so startling against the cold background – the darkness beyond the ice.  Yep.  The UK cover is my favourite this time around.

Stop on over to Mr Lawrence’s blog where there are a couple of other alternative covers and choose your favourite.

And, in case you missed it, here is the description:

“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin”

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

Not long to wait for this one people: April 4th/6th 2017

Weekly Wrap Up: 12/2/17

Posted On 12 February 2017

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Well, this week my reading has virtually disappeared.  I don’t think I’ve ever read so little in one week for a very long time!  In fairness we went on a short trip to Iceland and sometimes your trips away are not the sort that involve chilling out with a book and a long drink!  In fact all my plans have gone along the route of ‘the best laid plans’.

Last week’s reads:

Danse Macabre by Laura M Hughes – thank you Laura for redeeming my reading slightly! This is a dark novelette and my review will follow.


Currently reading:

  1. Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P Beaulieu
  2. The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
  3. The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire

Next week I’m hoping to complete two of the above!  And, perhaps start In Calabria by Peter S Beagle.

And, finally, my cover compare this week is Danse Macabre by Laura M Hughes:

My favourite cover is this one:


I like the title font for this (which is also the same on the first cover) but I like the colour contrast too.

How was your week?  What you currently reading?

The Winter Long (October Daye #8) by Seanan McGuire. Readalong week 1

the-winter-longToday is week one of a three week readalong of Seanan McGuire’s The Winter Long (October Daye #8).  Today Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is hosting the questions.  The Goodreads page link is here.  Feel free to join in or just jump into the discussion in the comments and be aware that spoilers will be lurking below for not only this book but for the previous books in the series.  If you haven’t started reading the Toby Daye series and you like urban fantasy then I strongly recommend this series to you.

1. Simon is back, and unsurprisingly no one is happy. And he seems to be convinced that what he did to Toby saved her life… Do you think he’s telling the truth about that or is Team Toby absolutely right not to trust him?

I’m not sure to be honest.  The fact is, Simon was running around with Oleander – and she was all kinds of crazy and he seems a little unhinged himself.  That being said, he did seem to believe what he was saying – but that could just be delusional I suppose?  I don’t think you can trust him though – I think the real point for me with Simon is the way that his magic seems to smell rotten to Toby.  From the sound of what Sylvester said his magic didn’t always smell that way so that makes me think that the tarnished smell of his magic is a reflection of his own corruption somehow.  However, even though I think there is something off about him I can’t help thinking he seemed sincere – and conversely, although not the best solution maybe, turning Toby into a fish did keep her out of harms way didn’t it.  Just who is it that intends her harm??

2. Once again, Sylvester was keeping secrets – but this time he’s stepping up to the vengeful plate! Do you think Sylvester has what it takes to bring his brother down? And will he ever tell Toby the whole truth?

I’m beginning to think that nobody in the land of the fae will every completely spill the beans – it does of course make for a much more intriguing read that way.  I’m not sure if Sylvester has what it takes – in one respect I think he is very angry with his brother, but then in another do I really believe he could harm his brother if it came to that?  I’m not even sure I want Sylvester to turn into that person.  The other thing is it depends who is really at the root of all this – clearly somebody incredibly powerful?  Was Simon acting in fear – he seems to have been in hiding for a long time.  And I wonder what the incentive is for him showing up now?  Is he still working for the same person and is this all some sort of trap to lure Toby out somehow?

3. Never thought we’d see the day, but this time around the Luidaeg seems to be in trouble and it might well be up to Toby to get her out of it. So now we know that the villain behind all of this is someone Toby knew … Any guesses about who?

I’m not sure I completely understand how the Luidaeg got into trouble with the whole geas ‘thing’.  If she was able to give Toby an answer then surely it wasn’t going against the restrictions of the geas?  But, yeah, I’m not really sure what happened there. As to who this could be – I really don’t know.  I’ve been hazarding all sorts of daft guesses but can’t really come up with anything sound – like I said above, surely to have placed such restrictions even on the Luidaeg then this person must be somebody formidable?  The first thing I came up with was either Titania or Oberon – but that’s just really not a possibility and I can’t think of any reason why they would be involved.  Blind Michael is no longer in the picture and given his demise the geas wouldn’t still hold if it had been him.  Wasn’t there mention of another sister of Amandine and the Luidaeg?  That’s the only other person I can think of.

4. That’s it for questions but as always, feel free to highlight anything else of interest for you this week!

And Toby has a sister – August!  Who seems to have been missing for a very long time – and a similar number of years to the whole shenanigans with King Gilad.  I can’t quite put it all together.  I wonder if August was elf shot and has been sleeping??  And where is Armandine!!  So many questions that my head hurts as much as Toby’s.

It also occurs to me that the rather insane previous Queen of the Mists is still missing in action – is she working for the same person as Simon – was she involved?

Friday Firsts: The Winter Long (October Daye #8) by Seanan McGuire

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 week I’m reading The Winter Long (October Daye #8) by Seanan McGuire

the-winter-longThe woods were dark, filled with strange shadows.  They twisted and swirled independent of any light source, making the space beneath the towering sequoias look treacherous and wild.  Not much in the way of illumination could trickle all the way down through the tightly-laced branches to ground level; the few streaks of moonlight that had managed to reach us were washed out and thin, managing to seem almost darker than having no light at all.  Everything was permeated by the smell of redwood sap and the sea.

We had arrived as a group, May, Jazz and Quentin packed into the backseat like sardines, me behind the wheel, and Tybalt sitting rigidly next to me.  He didn’t really like cars under the best of circumstances.  He liked them even less when there were multiple other passengers, since that meant he couldn’t respond to an accident by yanking everyone safely onto the Shadow Roads.  Call it a quirk brought on by being several hundred years older than the internal combustion engine.

My First Impressions

Yes!  I am so ready to read this book – everyone keeps saying this is ‘the one’!  Super excited.  And straight away we’re into the story – into the dark woods!!  Oooh, *wiggles fingers*.

What you reading this Friday??

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

Deadlight Jack by Mark Onspaugh

Posted On 9 February 2017

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deadlight-jackDeadlight Jack is apparently the second book to have starred the characters of Jimmy Kalmaku and George Watters (first appearing in The Faceless One) but, and I do speak from experience, you don’t need to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one – although given how much I enjoyed this one I wouldn’t mind a revisit to check out Jimmy and George’s earlier exploits.

The blurb tells us that ‘Worse things than gators lurk in the Louisiana swamp. . . . ‘ and ‘Appearances can be deceiving.’ and that is definitely the case here in both respects.  Certainly worse things creep around in those swamps if this story is anything to go by and if the appearance of two elderly fellas coming in to form the rescue party seems unlikely well this book is here to dispel that notion.

Jimmy Kalmaku is actually a Tlingit shaman with a link to the god Raven and George Watters also has a link to the world of the supernatural.  A link that will revoke childhood memories long since locked away in the darkest recesses of George’s mind.

At the start of the book we jump back in time to a young boy living in the swamp and a tale of a creature that lurks in the Bayou.  Deadlight Jack, or Professor Foxfire as he is also known, is a creature of the swamps.  Feared, for good reason.  Put bluntly, if you see his face it’s probably the last thing you will ever see.  Completely twisted and evil he really is quite a wonderfully nasty character that adds a decadent flare with his strange attire and ghostly followers.  Anyway, I’m ahead of myself.  Basically we begin the story with a look back in time to a particularly creepy tale that clearly makes up a part of George’s childhood.  A time so scary that his family up sticks and left their home for good and George, as a defence mechanism, buried the memory deep within.  Now, jump forward in time to our pair of friends.  Witness them as they share harmless banter with each other about which ‘girl’ they’re going to ask to dance at the next social – or just as they plain call each other names.  It’s a good, if brief, snapshot of the lives they lead.  Sure they’re getting on and they have the aches and pains to prove it but they have few worries or concerns and life is generally good.   That is until George’s nephew goes missing during a family camping trip to the Louisiana bayou.  Of course George and Jimmy rally to the cause but their help isn’t necessarily quite as welcome with some of George’s family members as you would expect.  There’s a family history here and fraught times have a way of dragging up long past memories.

So, what did I enjoy about this.  Well, it’s very entertaining.  There isn’t too much by way of explanation for what’s actually going on but I don’t think that really matters.  What Onspaugh has created is a fast paced story full of creepiness and horror.  We delve into the swamps and get tangled and lost in their enormous depths.  The whole setting, in fact, is really wonderfully done.  Obviously this particular setting really lends itself to the horror genre and the author makes full use of all aspects bringing a quite decidedly gothic feel to the story.

The main characters – well, I really liked them and the reason I know this is because I felt scared when they were heading into the swamp.  Perhaps it’s just that some of the scenes had a grim reality/finality to them that made me fear the worst but I did feel for these two.  I also think that the two main characters are really well drawn.  They both have their own whims, they can be a bit cantankerous every now and again and they’re not going to go rushing around the swamps kicking the butt of everything that moves!  (I do so appreciate a bit of reality smack bang in the middle of my gothic horror after all!)  Seriously though, I appreciate that these characters are powerful in their own right but this doesn’t make them invincible and wandering around a swamp is just as  likely to inflame a bunch of their creaking joints as anything else.  I also think the author managed to achieve a really good balance providing us with just enough family history to shine a light on things from the past without slowing down the plot.  He gives the characters substance but not with any heavy information dumps that slow down the read and in fact allows you to figure things out a little yourself as you read along.

On the whole I really enjoyed this and would definitely pick up future books with these two characters.  An entertaining read with a dash of humour and a good deal of creepy.

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






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