Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne Book Review

Author: Alexa Donne

Genre: Sci-fi / Retelling

Rating: 4/5 star

I received this book from the publisher,Titan Books, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

Brightly Burning is a quirky, sci-fi retelling of the infamous Jane Eyre. It follows the life of Stella, an engineer-come-governess who moves from the shallows of Orphan life onboard the Stalwart into rich luxury onboard the Rochester, where she is hired to work. The Rochester of course, is filled with mystery and intrigue, has a somewhat chaotic but alluring captain and is supposedly haunted. It’s a wonderful parallel plot to the original Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and while I started off slightly dubious, I quickly fell in love with the style and story.

There isn’t much I can say about the characters here as they’re all amazingly developed and systematically similar to the cast of Jane Eyre. Stella is an orphan, cast out by her rich remaining family but has a fierce and determined nature. She is a lovable character and one I immediately connected with. Hugo on the other hand is an orphan who’s circumstances made him a rich, slightly bratty and flirty character. They’re both brilliant characters though and I really enjoyed following their adventure.

Overall it was a really impressive read. As someone very particular about sci-fi fiction I found I was drawn in and engaged throughout. I’d certainly recommend it to any sci-fi lovers or fans of Jane Eyre.

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The Wendy By Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown Book Review

Author: Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Genre: Fantasy / Retelling

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown is a reimagined retelling of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. It follows the tale of Wendy Darling, an orphan girl with a dream to sail the seas and see the world – unfortunately, in the 1700’s such things were not proper for a woman and she is quick to learn just how hard achieving that dream would be. Luck happens (but does it really..?) when she takes a place with the Home Office to defend Britain against magic! As you can see, the premise offers pirates, magic and fierce feminist undertones – three things that always grab my attention and leave me wanting more.Now, the characters in this book are all (mostly) very familiar – Wendy, Peter, Hook, etc… The original Peter Pan characters all make a reimagined appearance in The Wendy and they’re all amazing. Wendy is a fierce and strong willed character. She knows what she wants and she is determined to prove herself and achieve her dreams despite being told she cannot. She’s inspiring and charming and I am totally in love with her. Peter is also a dream, but he has to be right? The Wendy has lots of elements that stand out and draw up nostalgia whilst not being the same story as Peter Pan. It is quite obvious that the ideas are based on the original, without the story being remotely similar. I can’t even describe it. I just had this feeling of being back in the mists of Neverland and familiarity the whole time I was reading it. It’s a wonderful wonderful book! I could really just repeatedly gush about it forever so let’s just cut it short and say that you need this book 💁🏼‍♀️

The Mermaid by Christina Henry Book Review

Author: Christina Henry

Genre: Dark Fantasy / Retelling

Rating: 4/5 stars

I received this book from the publisher, Titan Books, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

The Mermaid by Christina Henry is a dark and brooding retelling of the famous P. T. Barnum Mermaid Hoax. Like Henry’s previous titles, it is full of the dark and delicious fantasy quirks that are her trademark. The story follows Amelia, a fisherman’s widow with a quirk and a secret that quickly is let loose. As a fan of Mermaid theme fantasy I am impressed and Henry has certainly outdone herself.

The characters are a delight. Amelia is a fierce and charming character with wit, strength and self-respect that I love to see in heroines and female characters. I found I was instantly drawn to her stark attitude and assured self-confidence and adored her character from the off. She is well developed and wonderful. She is cast amongst some amazing and some not so charming characters, but whether I disliked them or not, they are all full of character depth and believability. Henry builds a collection of wonderful pick and mix characters.

The book is set in the 1800’s, this is another thing I adored about it. Historical fiction is always a pleasure and historical fantasy is even more so a treat. It made a stark and glaring contrast between Amelia and the everyday women of 1800’s New York that effectively worked to make her appear more surreal and in my eyes, more fierce and rebellious.

I couldn’t get enough of this book. I read it in two sittings over two evenings and if I’d have been able I’d have devoured it one. It was addictive, gripping and interesting throughout. The characters are charming and/or well crafted and the setting and writing style was perfect. I couldn’t recommend it enough. If you only read one Mermaid book this year, make sure it’s this one.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Book Review

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

Children of Blood and Bone is a YA fantasy debut from Tomi Adeyemi. It is set in the fictional world of Orïsha, a world torn apart by a merciless and discriminating King. It follows the point of views of the main characters – Zélie a Maji Reaper held down by the ruthless king, Amari the Princess of Orïsha, and Inan the Crown Prince come Maji of Orïsha. To say more would risk ruining some major plot points so let’s jump into my thoughts on the book.

Firstly, Characters. Adeyemi’s characters are complex and interesting. I instantly fell in love with each and every one of them. The relationships between each character and the way sibling relationships are portrayed in this book are beyond all expectations. They have so much potential to become some of the world’s most favourite book characters but unfortunately I felt by the end that I didn’t really know the characters as much as I should have. They still felt slightly strangers to me. I am of course hoping that Adeyemi will open up more about them in book two.

Secondly, Orïsha. Oh my goodness! What a world!! Adeyemi’s world building has completely raised the bar for YA fantasy fiction. I mean, I hate YA on a good day but there’s the occasional YA fantasy that blows me away due to its world building and this is certainly one of them.

Basically, I loved this book. I found some minor faults with parts and I found some things that were phenomenal. I found myself increasingly impressed that this was a debut novel. Buy it. Read it. You’re going to love it.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman Book Review

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: myths and legends

Rating; 4.5/5 star

Norse Mythology is Best-Selling author, Neil Gaiman’s take on some of the most popular Norse myths – tales of Odin, Thor and Loki amongst the other gods and goddesses. This version is decidedly focused mostly on these three gods in particular and the tales chosen to grace the pages are tales of each of these gods. Despite this being a small collection of tales – it is exceptionally well done and just a treat to read.

This is the third version of the Norse Myths that I have read – the others being Roger Lancelyn Green and Kevin Crossley-Holland’s versions, and Gaiman’s take is definitely the most well written and beautifully presented of the three. I was in love with it from the first page. When I first heard about Gaiman’s Norse Mythology I have to admit I was apprehensive. I enjoy Gaiman’s books but he writes fantasy fiction and I was wondering whether this book would be a kind of fantasy fiction retelling of the Norse myths or if it was going to be the ACTUAL myths themselves as told by Gaiman. I’m very impressed to find that it is the latter and even moreso that he has done such a great job with them. I find it great that he looked back to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda to pick and choose his tales from the beginning rather than relying on retellings and other versions. He’s done a marvellous job!

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn Book Review

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Genre: Historical fiction/Mystery

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received this book from the publisher, Titan Books, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

A Perilous Undertaking is Book two of the Veronica Speedwell mystery series by Deanna Raybourn. Set in Victorian England, this time Veronica and Stoker uncover the what fors of a horrible murder and attempt to uncover the truth about who the murder is. It was absolutely wonderful to be back in this world with Veronica and Stoker – admittedly my two favourite MCs of modern fiction!

It was a great follow on to the first book, A Curious Beginning, as we can see the relationship between the characters has progressed and strengthened as well as seeing how their careers, Home and environments have progressed around them. It felt truly like checking up on old friends a few years after last seeing them. It was new, mysterious and exciting whilst also having the nostalgic feel of rereading a book, despite it not being a reread. That’s how well this book is presented, written and follows on from the first. It was a marvellous experience.

A thing that expressly made a lovely impression on me is the lovely Tortoise, Patricia. Her part in this book was phenomenal and yet presented so much like something insignificant. Whether this was Raybourn’s intention or whether I looked deeper into her character than I should have – I don’t know. Either way, I found her a most omnipresent and delightful addition to the story. The ending, oh! The ending! Another delightful addition to the story that leaves me blissfully eager to grab the next book in the series. A compulsively readable And throughly enjoyable book and series. I look forward to many more adventures with these charming characters.

A Baby’s Bones Blog Tour Giveaway Results

Hello! Welcome to my blog. As part of the exciting release of A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander I have over this week had the chance to hold a giveaway as part of the blog tour. This giveaway – as most of you know – has ran on both my blog and Litsy and has had lots of amazing entries! Thank you all so much for your interest! The winners have been emailed and now it is time to publicly announce them here! So please give a warm congratulations to…

Cathy S @CathyThoughts

Jamie F @jfalkens

Anna I @umbrellagirl

Congratulations all! Please make sure to respond to your emails ASAP so I may get your addresses to the publisher.

For those who haven’t won anything this time, never fear as A Baby’s Bones is OUT NOW at all good bookstores in paperback. Read below for the official synopsis.

Archaeologist Sage Westfield has been called in to excavate a sixteenth-century well, and expects to find little more than soil and the odd piece of pottery. But the disturbing discovery of the bones of a woman and newborn baby make it clear that she has stumbled onto an historical crime scene, one that is interwoven with an unsettling local legend of witchcraft and unrequited love. Yet there is more to the case than a four-hundred-year-old mystery. The owners of a nearby cottage are convinced that it is haunted, and the local vicar is being plagued with abusive phone calls. Then a tragic death makes it all too clear that a modern murderer is at work…