Monthly Wrap Ups

October Wrap-Up!

Happy Monday bookish people! It is the first of November and that means it is time to share with you my wrap up for the month of October.

October was once again a really busy month for me, I officially started my PhD course and I have had to sort lots of things out in preparation for my Masters graduation while also dealing with some issues with my health. It has been a long feeling month that is for sure, but we are now in November and I am feeling great about reading and the books I have chosen (my November TBR post will be going up later today!).

So, in October I was planning on reading lots of spooky books and mysteries and… well, I didn’t do as well with my TBR as I’d hoped. I wasn’t feeling the books I had on my TBR when it came time to read them and then now – the first day of November I am really in the mood to read them. That is very annoying.

Anyway, let’s get into what I did and didn’t read in the month of October!

October TBR and Thoughts:

  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – I did not read, I was very excited this book was finally on my TBR but I just didn’t get a chance to pick it up.
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – another book I was so excited for but didn’t get around to.
  • Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert – I didn’t read this one but it has been moved to this month’s TBR…
  • Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – I NEED to get around to reading this soon but I didn’t manage it in October
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – I did read this one, I actually read this entire trilogy this month
  • Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens – I also read this one
  • The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton – I did not read this one
  • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff – I’ve heard such good things about this one but I haven’t read it yet
  • Good Girl Bad Blood by Holly Jackson – I didn’t get to this one
  • Legendborn by Tracey Deonn – I’m disappointed I didn’t get to this one it was the perfect month for it
  • Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T A Willberg – This is the one I’m now really in the mood to read so I’m just going to do it, I’m going to read it in November
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I am so scared to read this because I heard it’s classed as a horror so I didn’t read it in Ocotber
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – I did not read this one
  • Once Upon A Crime by Robin Stevens – I did read this one
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus – I did not read this one
  • People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield – I didn’t get around to this one but I am very excited to read it soon
  • Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price – I did not read this one
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch – I didn’t read this one
  • Take A Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert – I didn’t read this one
  • The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino – Another book I was too scared to read
  • The Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine – it turns out this book is from a series and I don’t have the first ones in it and I’m not sure if I need to read them first
  • The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson – another book that it turns out is in a series and I didn’t read because I don’t have the first few to read before this one
  • The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava reid – I did not read this one

So, out of my TBR I read five of the books which isn’t great but it isn’t awful either. Outside of my TBR I also read the first three books in the Araminta Spook series by Angie sage which takes my October total to eight books. Considering everything that has happened this month I’m pretty happy with that total. Although I definitely plan to read more in November so we will see how that goes.

That’s it for my October wrap-up I hope you all enjoyed it! Let me know how you all did with your October reading.

friday first and lasts

Friday First and Lasts Round 2

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I am bringing you the second round of my newest series Friday First and Lasts. The series in which I take the first sentence of one book and combine it with the last series of another book to see what we get.

For this round I will be giving you three sets of first and lasts, the books up first are:

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T A Willberg

“I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life/ however long it took” – This sentence actually turned out really well. It creates a very dramatic line.

Up next are the books:

Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco and Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“A blast of frigid air greeted me as I unlatched the carriage door and stumbled onto the street/filled with thoughtless joy I turned Priestbane to follow” – this one doesn’t work quite as well as the first set, but it still works and has a good flow to it.

The final set for today are from the books:

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict and The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni

“Snow is falling/and then she would be dead” – This is the one that probably works the least out of the three sets but it has an intense and sinister ring to it that I quite like.

That’s it for today, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you’ve got any good ones, please leave them in the comments below, on my Instagram @the_blind_scribe or on Twitter @oliviatempleto6.

Monthly TBRs

October TBR

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a lovely day! It is finally time to share my October Tbr! It is the month for all things spooky and I thought I might as well join in with that and get out all the books that fit the season.

So, this month my TBR game was horrible to me and I got so many doubles. I always start by doing twelve rolls and after all my doubles I ended up with 25 books on my TBR. Yes, I’m worried about this too.

Onto the books I will be reading in October!

October TBR:

  • Once Upon A Crime by Robin Stevens – I found this in a charity shop and I’m excited to read it
  • Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens
  • The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson
  • The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino
  • The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
  • Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – I’m so excited to read the final installment of this series
  • Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T A Willberg
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
  • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
  • The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
  • City of Ghosts series by V E Schwaab
  • Take A Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
  • Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Painted Dragon by Katharine Woodfine
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
  • One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus
  • Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Legendborn by Tracey Deonne
  • People of Abandoned Character by Claire Whitfield

So that’s my TBR for the month of October and I’m excited but scared to start on it. I hope you all enjoyed reading about it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! I promise this is the last book review for today. This book review is for Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco, the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous I can’t get over it.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Escaping From Houdini Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Okay I’ll say it now so that it’s out of the way – this was my least favourite book of the series. It was only because of personal preference. The book is mostly set on a ship and there is a circus type performance group there and I did enjoy this part and how the performers were entwined in the mystery of this book. Honestly I’ll pick up any book that has carnival/circus themes in it – they are very much my type of books. Mostly I did enjoy this plot however (*SLIGHT SPOILERS COMING*) there is a love triangle in this book that I felt impacted my enjoyment, simply because I don’t like love triangles in books, it’s not a trope I like reading. If you do enjoy love triangles then you will probably like this book more than I did.

Escaping From Houdini Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m still giving the characters four stars because they are amazing characters that I would protect with my life. Audrey Rose Wadsworth I like a bit less in this book than I usually do just because she makes some decisions that I don’t think represented her character that well but these were only a few occasions and for the rest of the book she was her lovely sassy self.

And again, Thomas Cresswell shows me just how great he is. He is witty and intelligent – slightly annoying I’m sure Audrey rose would say but that is how he has been throughout the whole series, nice and consistent. I won’t go on too much I promise… seriously I could talk about him all day -ask anyone who knows me or get to know me and find out for yourself..

Escaping from Houdini Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kerri Maniscalco is a master, even the scenes that I didn’t enjoy I could feel myself wanting to so badly just because of how good the writing is. If I was even half as good as her I’d be happy.

Escaping From Houdini Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As I said before on the Stalking Jack the Ripper book review, I rated all these books at the same time. I couldn’t give Escaping From Houdini four stars the same as Stalking Jack the Ripper when my enjoyment wasn’t on the same level. So unfortunately that means Escaping From Houdini only gets three stars.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.

It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

That’s it for this book review, I hope everyone enjoyed it! Let me know in the comments.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! The second book review of today is for the second book in the series. Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Hunting Prince Dracula Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I think you can tell from my star rating that I absolutely LOVED this book. Before reading it I was very intrigued by it being set at Dracula’s castle and how Kerri Maniscalco was going to weave in the mythology to this story – I won’t spoil anything but she did it so well! – and I have always been interested in vampire mythology. I thought that the way the story was told was such a unique take and kept the essence of the characters throughout it as well. I don’t have the words for how much i loved this book – at the beginning of the series if you’d asked me which I would have liked the most I would have said Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would have been wrong.

Hunting Prince Dracula Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As I said on my book review for Stalking Jack the Ripper Audrey Rose Wadsworth is the type of female protagonist I love to see in books. Strong willed, determined and always in the thick of trouble. She just gets even better in Hunting Prince Dracula, I didn’t think it was possible but she does. She’s out of her comfort zone, away from her family and making new friends who may or may not be people you should trust and it was enjoyable to see how she reacted to everything thrown at her in this book.

And Thomas Cresswell. What can I say, he is very dear to me. That’s probably weird because he’s fictional but never mind. In this book more secrets of his past are revealed and I was completely hooked on finding out what they were. There’s also another side to him that didn’t show very much in Stalking Jack the Ripper, his caring side. I love a character that has layers.

Hunting Prince Dracula Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Same as the first book in the series Kerri Maniscalco’s writing is excellent. I’d even go as far as saying it’s almost the perfect writing style for me. There’s not much more I can say here other than the dialogue really makes this book – it’s one of the many, many, many things I love about Thomas Cresswell!

Hunting Prince Dracula Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I couldn’t give this book anything but five stars. It was amazing, I basically blocked out everyone trying to talk to me until I’d finished it and yeah – read this book! It’s so good.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

That’s it for this book review I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for another book review, well… three book reviews of which this is the first! Really it should be four because there’s four books in this series but I haven’t finished processing the last book yet so once I do I’ll do a book review for it.

Anyway, today’s review is for Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco! I loved this book, I read it while I was on the train travelling to YALC in London about two years ago and I was so annoyed about having to put it down to get off the train – obviously I finished it in the hotel room that night.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where do I even start? I have a fascination with Jack the Ripper – not in a weird way I promise – and as soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to have it. Instantly the plot intrigued me, a girl in Victorian London wanting to work on autopsies of corpses.. sounds like something I’d love. Throw in a distracting, charming, mysterious Thomas Cresswell and the book had me completely.

I enjoyed how the investigation was played out throughout the novel. Twists and turns, characters being accused left and right. If a book can confuse me even for part of it then I think it’s done brilliantly, I’m not bragging or anything I just do usually figure out books endings quite easily, and yes I did think the ending of the mystery was a bit predictable but it didn’t stop me enjoying every second of it. I liked that Kerri Maniscalco didn’t shy away from the details of the Jack the Ripper investigation and the autopsies and everything else – I could tell there was a lot of research put in.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Okay I’ll try not to get too excited over these characters but I bring them up a lot in everyday conversation…

Audrey Rose Wadsworth. First off I really like the name.. that doesn’t have any bearing on the book I just wanted to say it. She’s daring, she’s brave (maybe a little hardheaded sometimes.. but then I’ve also been described as that many times) and she’s intelligent. She’s a girl who wants to break out of society’s mould and I am all for that in my protagonists.

Thomas Cresswell… ooh I really love him. If you ask my boyfriend he’d probably say that Thomas Cresswell is his biggest competition.. and he’d be right but yes, unfortunately Thomas is ficitonal and I don’t live in Jack the Ripper Victorian London. He’s sarcastic and witty, very mysterious and charming and I could go on but I won’t. All I’ll say is his introductory scene is one of my favourite scenes in this book.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have to give Kerri Maniscalco five stars for her writing. It’s so smooth and fluid. I actually forgot I was reading a book at one point. If you’ve read some of my other book reviews you will know that dialogue is one of the things I look closely at in a book, and in Stalking Jack the Ripper the dialogue is excellent. It feels like the characters are actually there in front of me, none of the lines felt out of place for them to say. I have nothing else I can say here.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now, I gave this book four stars. And yes I loved it and yes I really wish the characters were real, but I rated the books in this series all at the same times and this wasn’t my favourite book in this series… so I only gave it four stars but that could definitely change after a reread. (I’ll be rereading very soon!)

Blurb/Synopsis:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

So that’s the end of this book review, I hope you enjoyed it and I really reccommend this book to everyone!