Ghost in the Shell by James Swallow

Author: James Swallow
Genre: Science fiction 
Rating: 3.5/5 star

I received this book from the publisher, Titan Books, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher for the chance. This in NO way effects my opinion on the book.
Ghost in the Shell is a movie novelisation by James Swallow. It follows the story of Mira (alias The Major) whom is the world’s first human-robot hybrid – a cyborg, created against her will to be a police weapon for New Port City. Anyone familiar with the Ghost in the Shell manga comics or anime series will immediately know what this book is about. Those who aren’t – I’m sure you’ll be rushing to find them once you’ve read this book!
The characters are wonderful. I found that even the smallest character had a good backstory and depth. You don’t see that often in books so I was very impressed with this. Mira herself is such a great character. She’s fierce and yet troubled and beautiful yet deadly. Despite all this she is widely sympathetic and caring in her own way. You couldn’t not love her. The setting was equally brilliant. New Port City to me was a futuristic New York City in a world where cultural integration is at it’s highest. It was eerie but also vaguely imaginable. I always love a sci-fi world where I can say “wow, I can see this happening in the future”. 

Overall, this is a really good novelisation, and although short – I really got dragged into the story. Recommendation from me, certainly. 


History October vol I

Out of all of British history the times between 1500 – 1910 are what fascinates me the most. They’re my favourite eras and the monarchs, lords and ladies of those times are what I find the most interesting. My particular favourites within that time span are probably a close call between Tudors, Victorians and Georgians. The Tudor era has fascinated me since I first discovered it as a schoolgirl. My history classes where filled with tales of the Tudor monarchs and courts and I was completely engrossed in their world. As I got older my fascination led into the years following that and even the years before in some cases. I have favourite monarchs, favourite historical places, favourite eras, the lists are never ending! My biggest and most loved fascination is with Mary Queen of Scots and her life and times. But even this stemmed from my schoolgirl crush on the tudors as Henry VII had Elizabeth I and Mary was her cousin. You see?

History is full of fascinating stories and things and there are so many marvels to uncover and learn. There is always something else you may uncover! All of these things and my dire love for history in general are what have led me to pursue a career within history, why I’m a proud history undergrad student and why I intend to further that education still into a masters (with good hope and grace!)I’d like nothing more than to discover something new, teach others about how wonderful history is, handle history and write about history and read about history! I have a series of career goals to aim for Museum Curator, Archivist, Lecturer – but most of all I want to teach others to love history. My daughter is only two years old and already I have taught this love to her! She adores nothing more than exploring castles with mum! 

This is also the many reasons why I decided to host History October. To talk about my love of history, hopefully teach you something new and show everyone how wonderful and fun history can be. 

I hope you’ll stay along for the duration.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

Author: George RR Martin 
Genre: Fantasy 
Rating: 5/5 star

This book!! I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, but there you go. GRRM never ceases to amaze me. This is a collection of three stories following the adventures of Dunk and Egg, two unlikely heroes travelling the lands of Westeros 100 years before the events of ASOIAF. You see and meet many of the legendary characters mentioned in the ASOIAF series but have prior to this never seen. It’s an amazing companion to the series but is also a really good standalone too. 
I absolutely adore the characters Dunk and Egg. They’re each wonderful and interesting characters but as a pair they have such a wonderful relationship. It’s a pleasure to read about them. I certainly hope more books are released in the future to continue the adventures of Dunk and Egg. 
I would certainly definitely recommend this! Though I’ll refrain from saying anymore as I wouldn’t want to accidentally give away spoilers or plot twists. 

Isabella of France: Rebel Queen by Kathryn Warner

Author: Kathryn Warner
Genre: History / Nonfiction 
Rating: 2.75/5
I received this book from the publisher, Amberley Publishing, in exchange for an honest review, thanks go them for the chance. This in NO way effects my opinion on the book.
Isabella of France: Rebel Queen by Kathryn Warner seems to tell the true history of Isabella of France. One that is without romantic notions, moral projection or any other faux pas of telling anything but the whole factual truth. I thought from the off that this was a big promise to make and was curious to see Warner’s take on our lady Isabella. At first I was quite impressed as she rhymed off all of the myths and stories that people have of the Rebel queen. Then things got bad… Warner then began undermining other historians on their books and researches about the Queen. Claiming them incorrect or ‘romanticised’ – something that I feel a professional should not do. To disagree with another opinion or study is one thing and even to debate it is encouraged, but to undermine and essentially call-out other academics as making things up is a serious faux pas as a person, let alone a professional. 
I tried to ignore this glaring issue and just absorb the history of the subject but I kept noticing it throughout the book, it wouldn’t go away. Yes, the book has some good factual information and I know more about Isabella now than I did before I picked up the book but the author and her unfortunate ways ruined it for me. 
I would still recommend it for the facts and the history but otherwise, Warner lets what seems to be her over-opinion get in the way of the writing. 

History October 2017

During the month of October I shall be hosting History October both here on my blog and also via my bookstagram account. The idea is to read as many historical fictions and nonfiction history books as I can during that time, sharing my thoughts on some shiny new history releases coming soon, featuring fellow book bloggers and bookstagrammers thoughts about history and sharing my own personal thoughts and stories about certain historical events and people. 
I’m very excited about this and look forward to seeing whom would like to join me in reading all the history filled books! Maybe I’ll discover something new? Maybe you’ll discover something new? But it’sbound to be interesting either way. 
Join me!?

Mischling by Affinity Konar 

Author: Affinity Konar
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Rating: 4/5 star at the point of DNF.
I received this book from the publisher via Readers First, thanks goes to them for the chance. This in NO way effects my opinion on the book.
Mischling is an heartbreaking historical fiction set in Auschwitz by Affinity Konar. It follows the devastating story for Stasha and Pearl – twins whom happen to be polish Jews who are taken by the Nazis to a place called ‘the Zoo’. The Zoo is ran by Dr mengele who takes a sinister interest in what he sees as human oddities – particularly twins, triplets and the like. Terrible things happen at the Zoo. 
I have to say the book is so emotional, heartbreaking and powerful. The things that happen to these children though, make it difficult to ‘enjoy’ this book. After round 60-70 pages I couldn’t continue my read through. I was devastated. Yes, this is fiction but these things are all too similar to what may have happened at the very real Auschwitz and the fact these characters are children make it even worse. I wanted to finish the book because the story is so well written and as I said, powerful. Unfortunately I cannot do that at this time. This book will make your heart raw! I WILL be back to read this!!

The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Author: Ausma Zehanat Khan
Genre: Feminist Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 star
I received this book from the publisher, HarperCollins/Harper Voyager, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher for the chance. This in NO way effects my opinion on the book.
The Bloodprint is book one of four of The Khorasan Archive quartet by Ausma Zehanat Khan. It is high fantasy with a huge dose of feminism and is probably the best new release I’ve read this year. It follows the story of Arian and Sinnia – a pair of warrior women on a mission to save Khorasan and defeat the evil One Eyed Preacher and his all-male, misogynistic Talisman. It is a story of religion, oppression, wonder and hope. 
I was completely blown away by this book. The world building is beautiful and poignant and Khorasan just flows to life in your mind as you read through it’s beautiful descriptions. The characters are all wonderfully detailed and interesting. Arian, Sinnia, Wafa and Rukh being my favourites. Each character no matter how minimal to the story has wonderful depth that makes them stand out and seem almost real. The idea of the Claim and the other things Arian and her friends are trying to save is magical. I won’t spoiler anyone by going into detail but it’s unique and I was very impressed.
I have to say prior to receiving this book I had no knowledge of the release nor it’s author but after reading and ultimately falling in love with it – I will be eagerly awaiting the next three books in the series. This is one that gets my entire heart thrown into recommendation. Read this book! Preorder it immediately. Releases 19th October 2017!