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Tag: Sabaa Tahir

My Favourite Books of 2017

Welcome to another round of favourite reads!

Last week, I looked back on my favourite indie books of 2017, but today I’m showing off the awesome traditionally published books I devoured these past eleven months <3 Get ready for the goodness!*  And, of course, the last review of the year is still scheduled for later, too 🙂

I was originally going to select 10 very special books for this list but it was impossible to cut seven, so here are my favourite 17 😀

* much of it is magical goodness, too, which makes this list even better

The Night Circus

I can’t imagine a better start to my year <3 This was magical, and perfect for December/January. If you haven’t read this yet, it’s an easy recommendation for the cold months ahead! I don’t usually re-read books for time reasons*, but this might be a yearly winter read <3

* and, yes, my tbr list threatening to crush me might have something to do with it, too

Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, & Ruin and Rising

How could I not read these after Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom? This trilogy was my reward for finishing NaNo last year, and they were my first reads this year (since I technically started The Night Circus in December 2016*). I loved them for so many reasons, but the Russian mythology was my personal highlight <3

* Wow, that seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

I loved how whimsical and magical and different this was. Auri is one of my favourite characters in Rothfuss’s books, so having this little novella entirely from her POV was amazing. If you can forget for a moment what a book is supposed to be* and embrace Auri’s mind, this is perfection. The illustrations** were a lovely touch, too.

* like filled with dialogue and character development
** It’s just occurred to me that I’ve read a few books with pwetty illustrations this year… Read on and see 😉

The Caves of Steel

This was so much better than expected, and I can’t wait to read more sci-fi now. I’m holding off until I start writing my own sci-fi WIP*, but this was a fantastic introduction for me.

* this may just be next year’s NaNo project… I was so tempted this year, guys! SO TEMPTED

Equal Rites

I didn’t read anywhere near as many Discworld novels this year as I wanted to*, but out of the few I did manage to read Equal Rites is my favourite. I love Granny Weatherwax and hope to see her around in future novels. I thought Mort would take the lead but now I think it’ll be difficult for another one to come close.

We’ll see, 2018. We’ll see.

* my goal was ten and I read *counts down on her fingers* three. #fail

An Ember in the Ashes & A Torch Against the Night

Oddly enough, I’m not sure what to say other than that I really enjoyed these and am looking forward to Book 3! They’d been on my tbr list for a while and were just as good as I hoped they’d be.

Although, I’m a little annoyed that Book 2 is larger than Book 1. It looks weird on my shelf. #bookwormproblems

Our Dark Duet

I’m always torn about Schwab’s books. I like them and definitely get the hype, but at the same time they just don’t excite me. I liked this, but I also didn’t struggle to put it aside for the day. But, as I said, I definitely get the hype, which is why it’s on this list despite me being torn 🙂 And I did love the opening and those little chapters where Kate tried to control her sanity. Those won it for me.

The Final Empire

Originally, I was going to treat myself to the other books in this series as a reward for winning NaNo this year, but then I failed miserably *awkward cough* They’re on the list for my next book haul, whenever that’ll be. It’s a masterclass of fantasy writing and I feel like I should read it again, notebook and pen by my side so I can take notes.

Illuminae & Gemina

I don’t know what to say other than ouch, my feelings, and DAMN, these looked pretty on the inside! Illuminae and Gemina re-defined what a book is with their one-word pages, stunning illustrations of space ships and explosions and blood soaking through pages and letters and emails and final goodbyes and gah, just read them yourself!

Dracula

I’d never read this before October, but am so happy I’ve done it now <3 It’s not often you read a book that invented a genre! And I’ve got the stunning cloth-bound edition, so it’s pretty on my shelf, too*.

* It’s important to have priorities, friends and familiars.

Nevernight & Godsgrave

If it wasn’t for Illuminae, Nevernight would easily be my favourite book this year. But then Illuminae came and made decisions hard.

I feel like this series is the most grown-up epic fantasy I’ll ever read, but that might just be all the bloody details, sex, and heavy swearing talking. Definitely my kind of book 😛

The Language of Thorns

This is the most beautiful book I’ve bought all year. If you haven’t seen my review for it yet I recommend you take a look since I showed off the illustrations which grow with the short stories. It was beautiful inside and out, and the short stories made me feel nostalgic. If you love dark fairy tales, this is a must-read!

You can find the reviews for all of these on this blog, too, if you’d like to know more 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll have one last post before I go on my Christmas break, but then that’s it for 2017! Can you believe how fast it’s gone? I’m excited to see what amazing reads are waiting for me in 2018*. If you’re here for my bookish posts like this one, and don’t care for my general updates, I wish you a merry Christmas, lovely holidays, and a happy new year now <3 I’ll see you in 2018, friends and familiars!

* BRING IT ON, OBSIDIO

What were your favourite reads this year? Did you love any of these as much as I did? Make a tea, take some cookies, and talk books to me!


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Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

Book Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

“Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.”

Book Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

What I thought:

Now THIS was the book I needed! I was beginning to worry that fantasy was losing its magic for me, but this one reminded me that me no longer caring about fantasy is about as likely as me never buying another book ever again. So it’s won already, and I haven’t even done the review yet 😀

It takes only a split second for life to go horribly wrong. To fix the mess, I need a thousand things to go right. The distance from one bit of luck to the next feels as great as the distance across oceans. But, I decide in this moment, I will bridge that distance, again and again, until I win. I will not fail.

There was just so much to love. I adored Mamie Rila, the Soul Catcher intrigued me and I loved every scene with her, Harper intrigued me and even more so now that we know a little more about his connection to Elias. I LOVED how much Laia has grown as a character. The foreshadowing was killing me.

Helene’s development got me the most, and the majority of my favourite scenes were hers. I’m hurting so much for her and everything she’s sacrificed and lost. She put everything on the line in this book, she’s fought so hard, and she’s lost everything regardless. I hope she finds a happy end; the poor girl has earned a bit of happiness!

“She deserves better than you pretending she didn’t exist,” Keenan says. I look up, shocked, expecting anger, but his dark eyes are sympathetic. It makes it worse somehow. “I know it hurts. Of all people, I know. But pain is how you know you loved her.”

The only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the continued love triangle possibility of Keenan-Laia-Elias, but that kind of took care of itself so I’m still a happy kitten 🙂 And I did like the dynamic between them! The boys were like little devils and angels sitting on one shoulder each, making Laia feel either strong or like a failure depending on who she was talking to.

I also completely ship Laia and the Nightbringer. That could happen, right? (sssshhhhhhh, nobody correct me)

I close my eyes and allow myself one moment to imagine a different world. In that world, Elias is a Tribal boy, and I am a jurist’s daughter. We meet in a market, and our love isn’t tainted by Blackcliff or by all the things he hates about himself. I hold myself in that world, just for a second.

Then I release it. Elias and I are finished. Now, there is only death.

All I need now is Book 3! I shall be a good girl and practice patience. If anyone has any tips, do pass them on.

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read A Torch Against the Night? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

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WWW Wednesday 9th August 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

A Torch Against the Night

This is everything I needed from a fantasy book <3 I’m almost done with it now and am hoping to finish it either tomorrow or Thursday morning. I’m a little behind on my reviews, though, so it may not be this week.

Blurb:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

The Plot Thickens

I haven’t made any progress on this but will try to fit it in somewhere this week. Last week was a little busy and all over the place, but now that things have calmed down I should have time for it.

Blurb:

As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.

***

What I recently finished reading

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

I gave up on it :/ I hate giving up on books but I just couldn’t get into this. With shorter books I tend to finish them regardless of how much I’m enjoying them, but this one has 1,191 and the tiniest font I’ve ever seen in a novel. There’s just too much of it for me to soldier on, especially considering the many other books waiting to be read!

Blurb:

THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Long ago, the world of Shea Ohmsford was torn apart by war. But the half-human, half-elfin, Shea now lives in peace – until the forbidding figure of Allanon appears, to reveal that the long dead Warlock Lord lives again

THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. For the Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, is dying – loosing the spell of Forbidding that locks the hordes of Demons away from Earth. Only one source has the power to stop it: the Elfstones of Shannara. 

THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA: Evil stalks the Four Lands as the Ildatch, immemorial book of evil spells, has stirred to eldritch life. Once again Allanon, ancient Druid Protector of the Races, must seek the help of a descendant of Jerle Shannara.

Equal Rights

This was everything I wanted from a Terry Pratchett book! Writing the review might be hard, though, because my only notes are ‘love Granny Weatherwax <3’ 😀 It’s my current favourite Discworld novel but I suspect Mort will top that!

Blurb:

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…

Zombie Playlist

I was so excited to find my ARC waiting in my inbox one morning! After The Sword of Shannara not working for me I needed something that made me laugh, and this made me laugh a lot! I’d already seen teasers of Dagger online but reading the finished novella was so much better. Dagger has a wicked sense of humour, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Zombie Playlist will be published on the 4th September, so go mark it now if you love snarky zombie apocalypse stories!

Blurb:

Dagger has survived the zombie apocalypse with nothing save a metal bat, blades, and assholery. With the company of an IPOD she attained courtesy of Dead-Dude, and King, the Bunker-Boy straggler she somehow acquired on her journey, she travels to the coast, putting down zombies, blowing up high-grade assholes, and teaching King how to ditch his pre-apocalypse conscience and keep his yellow ass alive.

***

What I think I’ll read next

Mort

With A Torch Against the Night begging to be read and the ARC of Zombie Playlist, Mort had to wait – but it’s definitely my next read now and I’m dying (hehe… get it? dying? MORT?) to get to it! It’s already in my locker at work, I just need to finish my current read now 🙂

Blurb:

In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Creating Characters Your Readers Will Love – Your Character’s History

We’ve already looked at the basics of creating intriguing characters as well as your character’s strengths and weaknesses, but today I’d like to delve a little deeper.

Our characters’ lives are complex. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what they’re afraid of, what their goals are, and what their odd little speech quirks are that we sometimes forget that our little fictional babies didn’t start with Chapter One. They started way before that (unless Chapter One is your MC’s birth, in which case excuse me), and just like with us their history has turned them into the complex creatures they are when your story begins.

Your character’s history is something that will likely pop up sooner or later while you’re writing anyway, so it can’t hurt to be prepared. As with all aspects of writing a book, it’s not necessary for you to know every tiny detail before you start writing the first paragraph – if you’re a pantser you might even prefer it that way! – but knowing at least some of the more basic details can help you when a side character suddenly asks your MC where he’s come from, or why he’s on this journey.

In Six of Crows, for example, Inej had a happy childhood walking the tightrope and generally getting a pretty good grasp over her balance – until she got kidnapped, shipped off on a slaver ship, and sold to a whorehouse. Both of those things – first her childhood then the slavery – had a huge impact on her life, play a massive role in the books, and influence her character development.

In Reflections, Rama’s history is everything. Before the beginning of the book she was raped, and she’s never told anyone about it. This affects the way she sees herself, her confidence, and her desire to become someone else, if only for a brief moment, which only informs the entire plot!

I’m currently reading A Torch Against the Night, the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. Elias, a Martial who has grown up with his people’s brutality and superiority over just about everyone else, hates the things he’s expected to do and the way he’s meant to treat the other races. He’s seen this cruelty all his life, and it informs his decision to flee the Empire and help Laia, a Scholar girl he’s been taught to kill without question if told to.

Two examples from my own books: Rachael, my main character in the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy, grew up as a homeless orphan hated by the other villagers because she has magic. She’s paranoid and very suspicious of strangers by the time the story starts. She’s also starved for love and friendship, so when she meets Cephy, a little girl who can control fire and is as hated by the other villagers as Rachael, she’s on her guard but she’s also tempted by the possibility of having the first friend of her life.

Doran, one of my four main characters in Darkened Light, travels and thieves his way through life, but he hasn’t always been a thief constantly on the move. He used to have a happy childhood growing up with his older brother, until the accident (Darkened Light isn’t out yet so I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers). He ran away from home, lived in Cairdh for a little while where he learned how to pick locks, pockets, and the prize of shiny valuables, and moved on when the monotony became boring. When the book starts he’s fairly selfish, a wee bit arrogant, and has a habit of getting himself into danger. But he has a kind and loyal side, too, and as the plot progresses he battles with which Doran he wants to be.

They inspire conflict! At the very least your character’s history affects some of her decisions and personality like in Six of Crows, but at most it can affect the entire plot like in Reflections and An Ember in the Ashes!

A few weeks ago I uploaded a character questionnaire, and some of the questions included are there to help you figure out your character’s past. Has your character ever been in love? What’s their earliest memory? Is he holding on to something he maybe shouldn’t be? You can still download the questionnaire here for free – just scroll down to the bottom of the post and it’s there waiting for you 🙂

How do you figure out your character’s history? Do you use a questionnaire, too, or do you use other methods? Pour yourself a tea and share away! 🙂


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WWW Wednesday 31st May 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Becoming Lili

I’m enjoying Becoming Lili more than I thought I would. It’s quite far from my usual genre, and I admit I’m struggling with the omniscient POV, but I’m always excited to come back to it. Watching Phyllis turn into Lili and gain confidence is a joy! Oddly enough it’s also making me want to get a professional makeover, which is a first :’D I’m a third through it now and hope to have the review up on Goodreads before I go on holiday next month.

Blurb:

Never has an ugly duckling turned into such a beautiful swan…

An ugly duckling girl, Phyllis is bullied viciously at school and is unloved at home, a lonely teenager, longing for so much more from life …

Suddenly, a random encounter with a stranger, offers her a chance to have it all … if only she has the courage to change, to grasp the opportunity with both hands.

In the years that follow, as her dreams of attaining friends and beauty are realised, others join her on her journey to Becoming Lili. She realises, even when you seem to have everything, sometimes, the one thing you really want, is the one thing you just can’t have.

Becoming Lili is an epic, heart-warming tale of aspiration, friendship and love set against a backdrop of the vibrant 90’s, and is packed full of unforgettable characters you will instantly fall in love with.

The Light Fantastic

I wanted something light and mad that I could get lost in, so I decided to continue the Discworld series. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this one once before (Goodreads agrees, I’ve rated it four stars at some point) but I don’t remember it very well and I don’t want to skip any. I’m only on page 39 so far but I’m loving it <3 The plan is to alternate between this one and Becoming Lili, so today should be a Discworld day!

Blurb:

‘What shall we do?’ said Twoflower.
‘Panic?’ said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival.

As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld could do with a hero. What it doesn’t need is a singularly inept and cowardly wizard, still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world, or a well-meaning tourist and his luggage which has a mind (and legs) of its own. Which is a shame because that’s all there is…

.***

What I recently finished reading

An Ember in the Ashes

I loved this so much <3 An Ember in the Ashes had everything I want from a fantasy book, and I’m eagerly anticipating A Torch Against the Night. So far I’ve been good and have stuck to my no-new-books-until-you’ve-read-everything-on-your-shelf-(physical-and-kindle) ban, but this is making it difficult.

My review should be on Goodreads later today 🙂

Blurb:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

***

What I think I’ll read next

The Dragon Sleeps

I’m going on holiday for ten days in June, and this one’s coming with me <3 It looks like an excellent pool-side read, and it’s a genre I used to devour when I was younger, so I’m really looking forward to it!

Blurb:

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War
when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.

There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo,
the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton.

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has
been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it.
In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said
a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently.
Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen. Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought
with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden atThornton Park for the last eight years?

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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WWW Wednesday 17th May 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

An Ember in the Ashes

Time to see what the fuss is about! 😀 I only started this late last week and haven’t had much time to read since then, but I’m enjoying it so far! The characters are great and the world-building is excellent. Also, Sabaa Tahir has reacted to every tweet I’ve posted about this so far, so I love her <3

I’ve got plenty of time to read this week, so I’m excited to delve into this properly!

Blurb:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Neverwhere

Prepare yourselves. This’ll be in my WWW posts for a while 😛 I’m slowly making progress with Neverwhere. Since I only run for twenty minutes twice a week I don’t get much chance to listen to it. The original narration speed was too slow for my runs, so I sped it up which also helps get through it faster.

I’m really enjoying it. The villains are great and it’s made me smile while running, which I didn’t think was possible!

Blurb:

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

.***

What I recently finished reading

The King

The King was amazing <3 I already loved Meldon’s writing, but she’s sealed my loyalty with this one. It was exciting, had a relatable flawed main character with a fantastic personality, and it had some great steamy bits at the end 😉 This was so much more than an erotic romance, and I can’t recommend it enough (provided you’re old enough for the steamy parts).

Blurb:

Not all vampire hunters dress in head-to-toe leather and sit on rooftops overlooking a gritty vampire-ridden city. Meet Delia Roberts. At twenty-six, she’s a mid-level hunter with the Harriswood League, and, despite her best efforts, isn’t scaling the hunter hierarchy anytime soon.

Months earlier, desperate to prove herself, Delia snuck into an exclusive vampire masquerade, only to wind up with a bite on her neck courtesy of clan leader and gorgeous vampire Claude Grimm. Fearful of the League’s punishment for succumbing to a bloodsucker’s charms, Delia does what she can to hide the bite and pretends the night never happened.

These days, however, Claude is determined to win her over, insisting the spark they felt that fateful night is worth pursuing. As Delia tries to ignore her steadily growing feelings for the enemy and fend off a mounting quarter-life crisis, vampire clan tensions worsen around the quiet city of Harriswood, bringing with them a danger unlike any the League has ever seen.

One that might change the course of history for good.

Awakening

Awakening was my first read by West, but it definitely won’t be my last. I already have one more book by her on my kindle, and I’m thinking it might just come on holiday with me next month 🙂 I meant to have the review up tomorrow, but it’ll be next week instead now :/ Life got busy.

Blurb:

Izzy is on the fast track to nowhere. Being ordinary really blew sometimes. That’s until she meets Lucas–a man that’s unlike anyone she’s ever met. Mostly because he isn’t actually a man. He is a supernatural creature that proclaims to police the Light and Dark in order to protect humans.

And Izzy–well–she isn’t the human she thought she was. She is actually a supernatural being as well. And now Lucas is going to do everything in his power to find out what she is and protect her from the Dark lurking around the corner.

Awakening follows Izzy as she navigates this new world of demons, vampires, angels, and many other supernatural creatures. Recruited by the Promiscus Guardians and partnering with the most brooding and devilishly handsome man she’s every met, Lucas, Izzy is suddenly knee-deep up crap creek. Discover the secret behind her power and why it’s such a commodity in her Awakening.

***

What I think I’ll read next

I shall group both of my next reads together since I found them under similar circumstances 🙂 I know both authors from Instagram where they are absolutely lovely. Both books have been recommended to me several times now, and neither book falls into my usual genre! I used to love murder mysteries, so I’m really excited for The Dragon Sleeps. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like Becoming Lili (fantasy and sci-fi girl here!) but that’s why I’m so excited to read it. The blurb has intrigued me, and books of this genre don’t usually manage that!

Becoming Lili

Blurb:

Never has an ugly duckling turned into such a beautiful swan…

An ugly duckling girl, Phyllis is bullied viciously at school and is unloved at home, a lonely teenager, longing for so much more from life …

Suddenly, a random encounter with a stranger, offers her a chance to have it all … if only she has the courage to change, to grasp the opportunity with both hands.

In the years that follow, as her dreams of attaining friends and beauty are realised, others join her on her journey to Becoming Lili. She realises, even when you seem to have everything, sometimes, the one thing you really want, is the one thing you just can’t have.

Becoming Lili is an epic, heart-warming tale of aspiration, friendship and love set against a backdrop of the vibrant 90’s, and is packed full of unforgettable characters you will instantly fall in love with.

The Dragon Sleeps

Blurb:

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War
when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.

There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo,
the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton.

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has
been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it.
In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said
a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently.
Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen. Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought
with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden atThornton Park for the last eight years?

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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