Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke

Author: Kealan Patrick Burke

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4/5 stars

Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke is very unique novel. It’s in the vein of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and 2001 Maniacs and it’s just as graphic too! I brought this book after seeing it literally all over bookstagram and let me tell you – I can understand why it’s so popular! I thought this would be the book to pull me out of my NOS4R2 hangover but it didn’t – it put me in a further hangover! How can anything top these two books!?

I was really sucked in to the style of this book right from the start. The torture and murder is seemingly in the past and we start the story at the end – after the escape. Where will go from here ? I’ve honestly never read a book with such a unique plot line before. One point for Burke. I found it impossible to put this book down. Even when the details so gore-filled and graphic that I was literally cringing as I read it … I could not put it down! This book is filled with read-from-between-your-fingers horrors.

I’m not going to lie, at one point about 70-80 pages in I did consider the book might be toooo graphic and thought about putting it aside but two points to Burke – I couldn’t do it. I NEEDED to know what happened next. I need to know where this ended. By the end of the book I was officially a member of the Kealan Patrick Burke fan club. I am so glad I didn’t give up on it.

Basically, this book is very graphic – definitely not something I’d recommend for those under 18, but I would definitely say don’t let the gore put you off – the story and writing is much much much to amazing to miss out on.

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Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt

Author: Michael Wehunt

Genre: Horror

Rating: 500/5 star

Where to even begin with this!? I am not what you’d call a big fan of short story collections. I tend to find in 70% Of cases that after the first(or title) story I get bored or don’t enjoy the rest of the stories. There are exceptions of course – Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, The King… but mostly I just really don’t get on with them. I went into this book hoping it would be good because I’d heard amazing things about it, but was expecting to like maybe one or two of the stories. I have never been so wrong in my life!

Greener Pastures is one of the best short story collections I have read in the last TWO YEARS! Every single one of the stories are unique, eerie and fascinating. The writing is beautiful and immersive. The characters are gripping and I could not put this down. My favourite stories were Onanon and Greener Pastures but every one of them was brilliant in its own way and form.

If you like eerie and suspense-filled horror then this collection is certainly for you. If you like short stories then this is for you and I’d even say if you didn’t that you’d still love these! Its probably one of the best books I’ve read this year and one I’ll definitely be reading again and again.

Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin

Author: N. K. Jemisin

Genre: sci-fi

Rating: 4.5/5 star

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

Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation is book two of a three part series based on the Mass Effect Andromeda game. I haven’t yet had chance to read book one but as a fan of both sci-fi fiction and the Mass Effect games I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. As it stands you don’t need to have read the first book or even played the games to enjoy this book. Jemisin’s writing is crisp, fresh and draws you right into the world he’s embellishing. The Mass Effect creative director Mac Walters helps Jemisin write this book so every last detail and background is spot on and consistent if you have played the games.

The characters are brilliantly done. Cora Harper is a flawed but fierce and realistic character that you root for right from the start. She’s a sparkling main character and has all the sass and kickass you’d expect from a Mass Effect character. The side characters are all as amazing. As with what I expect from Mass Effect they all have their own backgrounds and detailed personalities that are independent of the story and add depth to the book. It takes a good writer to create side characters as alluring as the MCs but Jemisin has had no troubles there.

It was so so good to be back in and around Alliance space after not playing a Mass Effect game since 2014. It’s wonderful that there are novels based on this game and I certainly look forward to reading the others. If you’re a fan of the game or sci-fi stories then you definitely need this book.

The Fountain in the Forest by Tony White

Author: Tony White

Genre: Crime / General Fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars

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

I need to make a note here that I only read as far as chapter five , page 56. Fountain in the forest is a crime story with a very unique and fresh twist. It is inspired by the quick crosswords of the daily mail and a certain period of U.K. history which is a seemingly bizarre but very fascinating way of creating a novel. I was really intrigued by this and was hoping to find it a clever and exciting crime but not in the footsteps of The Secret History but unfortunately it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.

The main thing that put me off about this book was the writing style. Simple descriptions and events are made very detailed and dragged out in a way that seems unnecessary- almost like the author is trying to fatten the word count. It has a lot of what I’d call “filler paragraphs” which aren’t always a bad thing but in this case was unfortunately so.

I really wanted to love this book and I’m actually really disappointed that I couldn’t get into it but not every book is for everyone and just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t! I’d suggest giving this book a try for certain because the things that bothered me may not bother you but be aware that it’s quite long winded at parts.

Forgotten History by Jem Duducu

Author: Jem Duducu

Genre: History Nonfiction

Rating: 5/5 stars

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

Forgotten History by Jem Duducu is just one of those books you can’t put down. From the second I received it until now it has been clutched in my hands. It is witty, slightly bizarre and intensely entertaining. Duducu successfully reminds you why History is so fascinating and that it can be fun too.

It has a simple layout going from prehistory through to the modern era with hilarious, insightful, and sometimes inspiring stories from moments usually hidden from historical textbooks. The way the book is written makes this book easily accessible for the casual reader but it’s treasure trove of mostly unheard of history facts are also perfect for any historians or history buffs too.

I found only one ‘fault’ with this impressive and wonderful book and at that I am using the word fault very very loosely. There is a story in the medieval section that isn’t technically an historical fact – it is in fact a medieval fairytale. Now, being a believer of nature spirits this fairytale may very well be an historical fact and Duducu may be a wonderful superhuman for including something to share this side of reality with the masses. But, however way you look at it – those familiar with fairy and folk tales will recognise this story for its fairytale status and for those people I am pointing out it is there.

Other than that, and really as far as I’m concerned it’s not really a problem. The book is a divine little read to fuel the mind and refresh anyone’s love of history again.

Catherine of Aragon by Amy Licence

Author: Amy Licence

Genre: History Non Fiction

Rating: 4.5/5 star

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

Catherine of Aragon: An intimate life of Henry VIII’s true wife by Amy Licence is a wonderful addiction to the world of historic royal biographies. Not only is fresh and up to date in its facts but it also written by a female historian and trust me, this makes all the difference.

I found the fact that this book focuses on Catherine’s Private life rather than her life as a royal public figure really refreshing and much more of an interesting read. The way it is written and presented really makes the reader connect with the Tudor Queen in ways that are usually impossible with figures of the past. Following her life from childhood into her death – this book really gets into the heart of who Catherine was and how she felt and thought. Her devotion to Henry and her torment whilst having to see him woo Anne Boleyn in court makes it a heartbreaking and emotional experience.

I was extremely impressed with this book, everything about it appealed to me as a history student and history addict. It is a must read for anyone with an interest in history – especially those who’re interested in the Tudors or history’s women. Highly recommend.

The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey

Genre: Mind, Body & Spirit

Author: Teresa Moorey

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I brought this book on the authority that it was a good read for the research and study of faeries for occult means. That being said – I was expecting this book to be as amazing and thorougher as it’s title leads you to believe. In short , I was expecting a Bible! A completely detailed and comprehensive book. This book is not that.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the book was really good. The guided meditations and the altar ideas and some of the general Fey information was really interesting. What let the book down massively was the cultural appropriation, mis-told fairy tales and lack therefore of actual guidance. There were chapters on “specific Fey” which basically turned out to be the authors version of a fairytale about said Fey and what she thinks the story means. No actual information on said Fey like offering ideas or what to be aware of. Maybe this was the point of the book and I’d been led to believe it was something else?

I don’t know, whatever this book was meant or not meant to be – it wasn’t what I wanted not expected of it.