I can’t believe the first month of 2019 is over already. January is such a weird month, it always feels like it is both dragging along and flying past at the same time. This month has been pretty hard for my health, but I still managed to build up a pretty cool book haul. Let me know in the comments if you spy any you loved.
Before I continue, I am amazed at just how many books I have managed to accumulate this month. These are mostly thanks to: fellow book lovers who sold me three or four books together in a bundle, my Other Half who took me browsing through charity shops and bought me the books I was interested in, and of course, the publishing companies that I’m on the Blogger lists for.
As always, when you click the title of the book, you’re clicking an affiliate link for Amazon. I make a tiny percentage if you use my links (No one had used one to buy anything yet, in the year and a half I’ve been an affiliate, so cannot remember exactly how much).
Book 1. Jonas – Eden Maguire.
Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss.
Darina, Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head…And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a ‘death mark’ – a small tattoo of angel’s wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth.
Darina’s mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
Okai, so I’ve started of with this one because I actually had a copy of this, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Knowing I had a copy of this, I grabbed the next two from a charity shop (I’ve wanted to read them for ages, but wanted to binge them), when I got home, I went to put them with Jonas. As I mentioned, I couldn’t find it. I enlisted my Other Half into helping me search, he couldn’t see it either. I even took photos of every single shelf and shared it to a whatsapp group because a couple of friends offered to see if they could see it too (and because they love to nosey through my shelves). Alas, none of us could see it. Luckily, the charity shop we bought Arizona and Summer from, had a copy of Jonas too. So my Other Half picked it up for me.
Book 2. Arizona – Eden Maguire.
There’s been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks. Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again. But surely he will return with the rest of the Beautiful Dead as so much still remains unresolved. It’s been ten months since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake. Suicide, it would seem. But something doesn’t add up. Drowning herself in a hidden-away lake does not sound like strong, confident, Arizona: Ellerton High School’s high-maintenance drama queen.
Darina needs to help Arizona the way she helped Jonas. But time is running out …
See story for Jonas.
Book 3. Summer – Eden Maguire.
Six months have passed sine the last Ellerton teenager died, but Darina is still traumatized by the stabbing of her own beloved Phoenix. But there’s work to be done as Darina must now turn her attention to the shooting of Summer Madison – the beautiful and gifted, singer-song-writer with a heart of gold.
It’s been nearly a year since the random shooting in a shopping mall caused Summer’s meaningless death. Summer left behind recordings of her wonderful songs and a deep sadness amongst high school friends. Now Darina must act as Summer’s agent to track down the psychotic killer in a clear search for justice. With the sound of Summer’s music constantly playing inside Darina’s head, recalling the wonderful months when she was alive and performing her first gigs, Darina, Phoenix and the Beautiful Dead are determined to catch the crazed killer. And all the while Darina’s love for Phoenix continues to beat …
See story for Jonas.
Book 4. The Reapers Are The Angels – Alden Bell.
Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves.
Temple has known nothing else. This is the world she was born into. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization – and to those who have created a new world order for themselves.
When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right, if she can just get him back to his family then maybe it will bring forgiveness for some of the terrible things she’s done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, along the road she’s made enemies – and one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the only thing that makes sense.
This was bought in a charity shop.
Book 5. Th1rt3en – Steve Cavanaugh.
Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.
Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.
This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.
But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.
The fellow admin in one of my groups on Facebook were raving about this a while back, so when I saw it in the charity shop I thought I could give it a go.
Book 6. Reached – Ally Condie.
The final thrilling part of the New York Times bestselling trilogy, REACHED is the sequel to MATCHED and CROSSED by Ally Condie. After leaving the Society and desperately searching for each other – and the Rising – Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again.
But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again . . In the gripping conclusion to the bestselling MATCHED trilogy Cassia, Ky, and Xander return to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long: the power to choose.
This was another buy from the charity shops. I’ve had the first and second in this trilogy for so long it’s starting to feel like forever, but have put them off until I can binge them one after another.
Book 7. Strange Sight – Syd Moore.
The La Fleur restaurant has a slew of unusual phenomena. Bonnet-clad apparitions pass through walls, blood leaks from ceilings and rats besiege the dining room. Experts from the Great Essex Witch Museum are called in to quell these strange sights. But before Rosie Strange and Sam Stone can do their thing events turn darker. For La Fleur’s chef has been strung up and slaughtered like a pig. More oddly, the only witness, the owner’s daughter Mary, swears blind a ghost did it.
Rosie and Sam must find out what’s happening before Mary takes the fall. But intuitions and tip-offs lead them stumbling into the dark waters of the past, exposing secrets of a wider conspiracy, as well as secrets all Rosie’s own. With strange chills Rosie and Sam learn that seeing isn’t always believing, while thoughts of truth may be just as illusory.
This was a present from a friend.
Book 8. The Wicked King – Holly Black.
Number 1 New York Times bestseller. An intoxicating and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Cruel Prince., nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019 ‘Holly Black is the Faerie Queen’ – Victoria Aveyard I have heard that for mortals, the feeling of falling in love is very like the feeling of fear. Jude has tricked Cardan onto the throne, binding him to her for a year and a day. But the new High King does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undimmed. Meanwhile, a traitor in the court is scheming against her. Jude must fight for her life and the lives of those she loves, all while battling her own complicated feelings for Cardan. Now a year and a day seems like no time at all .
I received this via Reader’s First and Hot Key Books.
Book 9. The Graceling – Kristin Cashore.
In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.
She lives under the command of her Uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to carry out his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him. Breaking arms and cutting off fingers are her stock-in-trade. Finding life under his rule increasingly unbearable, Katsa forms an underground Council whose purpose is to combat the destructive behaviour of the seven kings – after all, the Middluns is only one of the Seven Kingdoms, each of them ruled by their own king and his personal agenda for power.
When the Council hears that the King of Liend’s father has been kidnapped Katsa investigates … and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap him, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced fighter who challenged her fighting skills, for the first time, as she and the Council rushed the old man to saftey?
Something dark and deadly is rising in the north and creeping across the continent, and behind it all lurks the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king …
This was the hardback edition, which was a gift from a friend.
Book 10. The Binding – Bridget Collins.
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
I wanted the Waterstones collectors edition from the moment this was announce, and managed to sort out my funds so that I could grab it.
Book 11. The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory.
The acclaimed international bestseller of the Tudor court, during the years of Henry VIII’s pursuit of Anne Boleyn – and the revolutionary sequence of events that followed.
This chance for us Howards comes once in a century…
1521. Henry VIII rules over a fashionable court alive with pageant and celebration, the lack of a son his only threat. When young Mary Boleyn arrives at court, she becomes his new mistress, an unwitting pawn in the ambitions of the powerful Boleyn and Howard families.
As Henry’s interest begins to wane, the Boleyns scheme to put forward Mary’s sister, Anne. Yet Anne Boleyn, newly returned from the French court, won’t agree to be Henry’s mistress – only his wife.
Pitting the king’s desperation for an heir against the advice of his powerful advisors, Wolsey and Cromwell, what follows will change the course of a country’s history.
This was a charity shop buy.
Book 12. The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory.
I was born a princess, destined to be queen, and I know my duty.
1491. Henry VII’s eldest son Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, has been betrothed since childhood to the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. Their marriage will cement the alliance Henry Tudor craves to secure his country.
But when Arthur’s sudden death leaves an 11-year-old boy heir to the kingdom, Henry Tudor must choose whether to send Katherine back to Spain, or to marry her himself. Katherine has no son from her brief marriage to secure her future; her substantial dowry and his powerful contract are at stake.
Henry has reckoned without the determination of a young woman set on fulfilling her own destiny to be a queen – and the ambition of Prince Harry, the future Henry VIII.
This was a charity shop buy,
Book 13. The Boleyn Inheritance – Philippa Gregory.
The king will decide who will live and who will die; he has the power of God now.
1539. Henry VIII must take his fourth wife and the dangerous prize is won by Anne of Cleves. A German princess by birth, Anne is to be Henry’s pawn in the Protestant alliance against Rome, but the marriage falters from the start. Henry finds nothing to admire in his new queen, setting himself against his advisors and nobles to pay court to young Katherine Howard.
The new queen begins to sense a trap closing around her. And Jane Boleyn, summoned to the inner circle once more by her uncle the Duke of Norfolk, finds a fractious court haunted by the Boleyn legacy of death and deceit.
Nothing is certain in a kingdom ruled by an increasingly tyrannical king.
This was a charity shop buy.
Book 14. The Red Queen – Philippa Gregory.
The second book in Philippa’s stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series – The White Queen – but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.
The Red Queentells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.
This was a charity shop buy.
Book 15. Changeling – Philippa Gregory.
The year is 1453, and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old, Luca Vero, is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier of good and evil. Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and all the evidence points to Isolde’s criminal guilt. Outside in the yard they are building a pyre to burn her for witchcraft…
This was a charity shop buy.
Book 16. Unmarked – Kami Garcia.
He is here . . . and he could be anyone.
Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us-a demon she accidentally set free.
Now Kennedy and the other Legion members – Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared – have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling.
Book 17. Obsession – Jennifer L. Armentrout.
He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.
Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.
Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something…unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.
Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable – breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling.
Book 18. Dark Heart Rising – Lee Monroe.
Jane and Luca’s story continues … but not quite as they had planned. When challenges and threats from the immortal world of Nissilum rip the young lovers apart, Jane is bereft. Without Luca’s dancing green eyes, and gentle smile, Jane feels lost, sad and alone. But then a trip to Paris with her grandmother thrusts her in the path of the amiable Soren – a kindred spirit who may be just the distraction she needs … Meanwhile in Nissilum, Luca struggles with the loyalties and expectations that come with being a part of the immortal world. A world that is about to be shaken at its very core: rumblings of mounting unrest are spreading, and with rumours of an angel rebellion growing no creature is safe – especially not a mortal girl who has fallen in love with a wolf boy...
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling.
Book 19. Dark Heart Forever – Lee Monroe.
Jane Jonas is nearing her 16th birthday and troubled by unsettling recurring dreams where the same mysterious boy her age comes to her, telling Jane that they are each other’s destiny. Her mother is increasingly anxious about Jane’s disruptive sleepwalking episodes, but for Jane her dream world and reality are about to collide …
When she develops a friendship with an enigmatic stranger in town, the blond, uber-cool Evan, it’s exciting, it’s new, and Jane wants him more than she’s ever wanted anybody – until her mystery dream boy gets in the way.
Now Jane is caught between two worlds: one familiar, but tinged with romance and excitement; the other dark and dangerous, where angels, werewolves, and an irresistible stranger are trying to seduce her …
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling. I actually already have a copy of this one, silly me asked for another copy of the first book in the series instead of the third.
Book 20. Nemesis – Anna Banks.
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponise it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his a grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude. Tarik has just taken over ruler ship of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face to face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined. Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling. I believe that I have the Fairyloot edition with signed bookplate.
Book 21. The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin.
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS . . . FOR THE LAST TIME.
IT STARTS WITH THE GREAT RED RIFT across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
IT STARTS WITH DEATH, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
IT STARTS WITH BETRAYAL, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling.
Book 22. The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin.
The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.
Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request only Essun can grant.
I bought from a bookish friend who was unhauling.
Book 23. The Martian – Andy Weir.
I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m screwed.
This was bought in a charity shop.
Book 24. The Elites – Natasha Ngan.
A beautifully written futuristic romance
‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’
Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.
Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, THE ELITES is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.
I picked this up preowned via Amazon.
Book 25. Don’t You Forget About Me – Mhairi McFarlane.
If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.
Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.
Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…
I won this in the Harper Impulse facebook group.
Book 26. Sea Babies – Tracey Scott-Townsend.
In September 2016, Lauren Wilson is travelling by ferry to the Outer Hebrides, about to begin a new job as a children’s social worker. She’s also struggling to come to terms with the recent drowning of a Sheena, a teenage girl she had deeply cared for.
Engrossed in her book, when somebody sits opposite her at a table on the ferry, Lauren refuses to look up, annoyed at having her privacy disturbed. But a hand is pushing a mug of tea across the table, and a livid scar on the back of the hand releases a flood of memories.
Lauren studies the hand on the table in front of her, the line of the scar drawing a map of the past in her mind. She was the one who created the scar, not long before her relationship with the love of her life ended almost thirty years ago. Lauren hasn’t seen Neil since she walked out of their shared life, unable to forgive either herself or him for a decision he strongly pressured her to make.
She’s not ready to meet his eyes, not yet. From his scar to his wrist bone, following his arm upwards and across his shoulder to his collarbone, his chin and the lower part of his face; Lauren remembers incidents from their past and tries to work out what caused their life to go so horribly off-track.
When she finally meets his eyes and they speak to each other for the first time, Lauren believes she has set her life on a new course. But her gain will result in losses for others. Is this really what she wants to happen?
Some people believe in the existence of a parallel universe. Does Lauren have a retrospective choice about the outcome of her terrible recent accident, or is it the bearer of that much older scar who has the power to decide what happens to her life now?
The gripping story of Sea Babies is inspired by the vast and raw landscapes of the Outer Hebrides, by the fraught journeys of refugees from one home to the hope of another across the sea, and also by artist Marina Abromovic’s 2010 MoMA performance: The Artist is Present, in which she spent sixty seconds staring into the eyes of her former lover.
Set mainly in the Outer Hebrides and Edinburgh from the 1980s to the present, Sea Babies is a potent emotional, psychological drama with a poignant twist in the tale. Sea Babies explores the more difficult aspects of relationships, the idea of choices and responsibility, and the refugee in all of us.
I recieved this to read and review thanks to the TBC Reviewers group on Facebook. I received a paperback copy. The ebook comes out February 21st, whilst the paperback copy comes out May 1st.
Book 27. The Feast Of All Saints – Anne Rice.
In the days before the Civil War in the old French Quarter of New Orleans there lived the GENS DE COULEUR, the Free People of Colour, a fierce and proud people, descended from slaves and their French and Spanish owners, neither Black nor White, but caught between the two – free and yet not free. Among them is Michael, the mesmeric copper-skinned youth, mercurial, attractive, wild: an artist in the making, he dreams of Paris, and the lure of a brand new art, Daguerreotype. His gentle sister Marie longs for love and marriage in a world ready to sell her charms to the highest bidder. And there is Anita Bella, the beautiful young courtesan; and Dolly Rose, the splendid madame; and Christophe, the brilliant young teacher who has returned from Paris with dangerous ideas. The author of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE has written a novel as exotic, exciting, colourful and sensuous as the French Quarter itself.
This was bought in a charity shop.
Book 28. The Children’s Book – A. S. Byatt.
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, from the Booker Prize–winning author of Possession, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children’s book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves.
When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends.
But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house—and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children—conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. As these lives—of adults and children alike—unfold, lies are revealed, hearts are broken, and the damaging truth about the Wellwoods slowly emerges. But their personal struggles, their hidden desires, will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces, as the tides turn across Europe and a golden era comes to an end.
Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children’s Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day. It is a masterly literary achievement by one of our most essential writers.
This was bought in a charity shop. I have a hardback copy.
Book 29. Song For A Whale – Lynne Kelly.
A stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder.
Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios.
Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there.
Iris works on a foolproof plan to help the whale but she soon realises that that is not enough: Iris wants to find the whale herself.
One stolen credit card, two cruise ship tickets, and the adventure of a lifetime later, Iris and the whale each break through isolation to help one another be truly heard in ways that neither had ever expected.
I received this from Bonnier Zaffre publishing to read and review.
Book 30. Shadow And Bone – Leigh Bardugo.
Now with a stunning new cover and exclusive bonus material: The Demon in the Wood (a Darkling prequel story) and a Q&A with Leigh Bardugo.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
I had to get rid of my previous copy, because I had bought it preowned and there was a bug between the pages. This copy is the new set of covers, and I don’t mind it not matching, because it means I can finally read it.
Book 31. Dreams Of Gods And Monsters – Laini Taylor.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky.
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of ? And does anything else matter.
A friend found a matching hardback copy to the rest of my set, she picked it up for me.
Book 32. All Together Dead – Charlaine Harris.
Sookie’s beginning to get used to being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling, shapeshifting and other supernatural beings – but even she has her limits. She’d really like to take a while to get over being betrayed by Bill, her long-time vampire lover, and get used to her new relationship with the sexy shapeshifter Quinn – but instead, she finds herself attending the long-planned vampire summit, the destination of choice for every undead power player around, as a sort-of human ‘Geiger counter’ for Sophie-Anne Leclerq, vampire queen of Louisiana. But the job is fraught with difficulties. Sophie-Anne’s power base has been severely weakened by Hurricane Katrina, and she’s about to be put on trial during the event for murdering her king. Sookie knows the queen is innocent, but she’s hardly prepared for other shocking murders: it looks like there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day – and night – Sookie must decide which side she’ll stand with, and quickly, for her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.
I picked this up from a charity shop.
Book 33. Definitely Dead – Charlaine Harris.
Sookie doesn’t have that many relations, so she hated to lose one – but of all the people to go, she didn’t expect it to be her cousin Hadley, a consort of New Orleans’ vampire queen – after all, Hadley was technically already dead.
But she is gone, beyond recall, and she’s left Sookie an inheritance – one that comes with a bit of a risk – not least because someone doesn’t want Sookie digging too deep into Hadley’s past – or her possessions.
Sookie’s life is once again on the line, and this time the suspects range from the rogue werewolves who have rejected Sookie as a friend of the pack to her first love, the vampire Bill.
Sookie’s got a lot to do if she’s going to keep herself alive …
The Sookie Stackhouse books are delightful Southern Gothic supernatural mysteries, starring Sookie, the telepathic cocktail waitress, and a cast of increasingly colourful characters, including vampires, werewolves and things that really do go bump in the night.
I picked this up foom a charity shop.
Book 34. Keys To The Repository – Melissa De La Cruz.
Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Exams. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring.
But there’s oh-so-much more to know about the beautiful and powerful Blue Bloods. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, lies a wealth of revealing short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters about the vampire elite dating back through time.
Won’t you come inside?
W. H. Smiths had this on sale for £1.
Book 35. Aurora Rising – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem – that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
I was ecstatic to receive an ARC of this through the post from Rock The Boat Publishing/Oneworld Publications.
Book 36. Scrapbook Of An Unfound Songstress – Vicky Nolan.
You’re a 15-year-old schoolgirl who has big dreams of becoming a pop star, and then one day you get your lucky break. Polydor records sends you to Copenhagen to make pop music – to make you a recording artist. You get back home and your future is looking brighter than ever – until the High Court writ hits the door mat – you’ve fallen out with your management and they have decided to sue. No, this isn’t a dream, this is now Vicky Nolan’s reality and fast becoming a nightmare, and all while still at school at the sweet age of sixteen.
Read about the trial, the family, Hollywood, London town, the glamour, the dog (eh?) and most importantly, the music. Curiouser and curiouser?
We always talk about ‘making it’ and fulfilling your dreams. The question is, what if you don’t? What happens next? Ultimately, this book speaks about life and family; its hopes and disappointments, its ups and downs. Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress is in some way a story that speaks to us all, because in the end, the best stories are always true.
“I’m living my life as consequence of yesterday.
And all of my choices compliment my life today.
There may have been times I could have gone and lost my way,
I could have, I would have, I should have, I don’t care – I’m here now.”
Vicky approached me on Instagram and asked if I’d give her book a go. I explained that I am quite busy right now, but it sounded interesting, so if she didn’t mind me treying it when I have some spare time (which might be a little while) I’d happily give it a go. She said she was happy with that, and sent me a paperback.
Book 37. The Blood Prince – Josie Jaffrey.
The price of freedom is always paid in blood.
The sovereigns of the Silver have awakened, but the Queen is a fractured shell of the woman Cam remembers. He hopes to put her back together by finding her son, the missing prince. At least, that’s what he tells his friends when he leaves for the Red.
Back in the Blue, Julia’s old tormentor Rufus is hounding her at every turn. She’s sick of feeling powerless, but she has a plan that will bring the Nobles to their knees.
All she needs is blood.
The Blood Prince is the final book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.
I was thrilled to have received a paperback ARC of this novel from Josie. I have loved every single one of her books that I’ve read so far, and am looking forward to reading this during February. If you want to try the first in the Sovereign series, the Ebook free on Amazon here.
Book 38. The Blue Salt Road – Joanne M. Harris.
An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in.
(Child Ballad, no. 113)
So begins a stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man.
Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there – without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.
Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale
I have the pretty hardback edition because it was on sale.
Book 39. King Of Scars – Leigh Bardugo.
Face your demons . . . or feed them.
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war – and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
I had this pre-ordered for so long. It is the Waterstones collectors edition,
Book 40. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland.
Trained at Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls in both weaponry and etiquette, Jane McKeene is poised for a successful career protecting the wealthy from the encroaching plague of walking dead. But when families begin to go missing, Jane uncovers a conspiracy that pits her against some powerful enemies. Sent far from home, Jane will need all her resourcefulness, wit and strength of character to survive.
A powerful, compelling tale of a young girl’s journey through a hostile world, Jane McKeene is an unforgettable protagonist, and Dread Nation is an unforgettable book.
I received this to read and review from Titan Publishing.
Ofcourse, I have managed to continue getting my Fairyloot subscription, so spoilers ahead if you still haven’t received your January box. The book of the month is:
Circle Of Shadows – Evelyn Skye.
Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.
As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.
So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.
Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.
I’m super looking forward to reading this as part of the Fairyloot readalong.
With all the bad news I’ve had over the last few months, I could never have believed I’d still have such good book hauls. One of the constant things that’s helped me stay calm is sorting out my library and fitting my new additions into the collection.
Here are January’s books all together: