blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Embers by Josephine Greenland

Happy Friday bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for Embers by Josephine Greenland. Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Tours for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

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!

Embers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book immersed me in the history and culture of the Sami people which prior to this book I had never heard about before. I found the plot intriguing and I really liked how the tension increased as each incident seemed to get more dangerous. This book focuses on the relationship between two siblings and although it is slightly unrealistic – my parents would never have let my sister and I go on holiday on our own to a place we had never been before. Mainly because we would have caused all sorts of trouble. I enjoyed how this mystery played out, the investigation was developed well and kept me curious about what happened.

Embers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed that this book had two young siblings as the main characters because that is something I personally don’t usually read, so this book was out of my comfort zone. I also liked that this book contained disability representation because one of the main characters, the brother, has Asperger’s in this book. I’m not sure how correctly portrayed it is because I’m not as knowledgeable as I’d like to be on the subject.

Embers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There’s not much for me to say here. The writing style flowed very well and helped to keep me involved in the story. For me I felt that I needed something a little more from the writing although I couldn’t tell you what that would be, it was just a feeling that something was missing. Of course this is only my personal opinion.

Embers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was an enjoyable and well thought out mystery novel that had me learning about new places and cultures and helped to push me a bit out of my comfort zone.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Two siblings, one crime. One long-buried secret.
17-year-old Ellen never wanted a holiday. What is there to do in a mining town
in the northernmost corner of the country, with no one but her brother Simon –
a boy with Asperger’s and obsessed with detective stories – for company?
Nothing, until they stumble upon a horrifying crime scene that brings them into
a generations-long conflict between the townspeople and the native Sami.
When the police dismiss Simon’s findings, he decides to track down the
perpetrator himself. Ellen reluctantly helps, drawn in by a link between the
crime and the siblings’ own past. What started off as a tedious holiday soon
escalates into a dangerous journey through hatred, lies and self-discovery that
makes Ellen question not only the relationship to her parents, but also her own
identity.


AUTHOR DETAILS
Josephine Greenland is a Swedish–English writer from Eskilstuna, Sweden. She
has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham and a BA in
English from the University of Exeter. She is the winner of the 2019 Bumble Bee
Flash Fiction Competition by Pulp Literature, the 2017 Fantastic Female Fables
Competition by Fantastic Books Publishing, and also the runner-up in the 2018
Summer Solstice Competition by Wild Words. Her fiction and poetry have
appeared in Dream Catcher, Literary Yard, Soft Cartel Mag, Plum Tree Tavern,
Porridge Magazine, Litro and AHF Magazine. She has also been highly
commended in competitions by TSS Publishing and Cinnamon Press. In 2017, she
was awarded the Young Writer’s Bursary by Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.
In August 2019, Josephine began a PGDE course at the University of Edinburgh
to become a Secondary English teacher. When not writing or teaching, she
enjoys playing the violin, running and hiking. Embers is her first novel and was
written during her MA course. It is based on her own travels in northern
Sweden two years ago with her brother.

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

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Happy Thursday bookish people! I’m very excited that today is my spot on the book tour for The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Thank you to Anne Cater and Weidenfeld and Nicolson for sending me a copy of this book to read and review for this tour.

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.

The Maidens Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ll start by saying that I almost had to put this book down because of how easily drawn into the world I became. I could feel the dark atmosphere, the fear and the rising tension. The plot was beautifully intricate in a way that had me constantly guessing about what was going to happen next. I am very glad that I didn’t stop reading because the ending – and the final reveal – was very satisfying for me as a reader. I did have a suspicion of the who and the why but the author of this book cleverly interwove the plot with red herrings. I always enjoy a book that has me guessing, it gives me a lot of anticipation for how a story will end.

The Maidens Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Alex Michaelides has managed to create a variety of well explored characters who all have an element of mystery surrounding them. I found that I was suspicious of almost every character at some point and although this was great for the suspense and the psychological parts of the novel, however, because of this I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters in the way I like to be when reading.

The Maidens Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. It flowed well and I felt that every part of the story worked better because of Alex Michaelides’ writing style.

The Maidens Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I think it is an excellent psychological novel that I enjoyed reading. I found it a bit too dark for my personal taste but I enjoyed branching out into a slightly different genre than I usually read.

Blurb/Synopsis:

From the author of the global #1 bestselling debut The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding literary thriller which weaves together Greek mythology, psychology, and murder…

St Christopher’s College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most.

For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder.

As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.

Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.

A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything…

The Maidens is a story of love, and of grief – of what makes us who we are, and what makes us kill.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: Deadly Curious by Cindy Astley

Happy Monday Bookish people! It’s time for another book review. This book was on My June TBR and my whatever you want-a-thon TBR. In case you are wondering it fit three prompts on whatever a thon which were: hauled in the last year, 5 star prediction and fit a TBR prompt which was from my own TBR game. This book did not turn out to be a 5 star for me but it was still a quick and enjoyable read.

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.

Deadly Curious plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed the overall plot of this book. Especially the setting of Victorian London (I think it’s London but I’m not completely sure) and all of the complexities that came with it. For the first half of the book the mystery was gripping, especially because the book opens with a third person ‘clip’ of the murder which was a really nice feature of this book. I liked how this story came together and how the investigation was playing out. However, the second half of the book I found very predictable, it was very easy for me to figure out who the murderer was which did take away some of the enjoyment for me. That is my own personal opinion.

This book kept swapping perspectives between the female and male protagonists. I enjoyed this for the most part because it gave an extra dimension to the story and allowed the reader to get a glimpse into the minds of both characters. Although with the male character’s chapters I found they did get a bit repetitive, particularly with it always mentioning how he shouldn’t be letting the female protagonist investigate because she’s a woman.

Deadly Curious Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got a lot to say here. I enjoyed the male and female protagonists, both of their characters were clear and well developed. Cousin Daphne is an interesting character, I think she had potential but when I thought she was going to be part of the investigation she was sometimes there and sometimes not. I felt that this was slightly distracting, I wasn’t always sure what the point of her character was and then sometimes she was important to the story. There were quite a few other characters in the story but I can’t mention them here without spoilers….

Deadly Curious Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The writing and dialogue in this book was done well. It consistently kept to the period and setting of the book and it was clear and easy to read. I read this book very quickly, I finished it within two and a half hours.

Deadly Curious Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book four stars because I did enjoy reading it but it had some elements that meant it couldn’t be a five star book for me.

Blurb/Synopsis:

1834. Sophia Thompson wants nothing more than to be one of the famed Bow Street Runners, London’s most elite corps of detectives. Never mind that a woman has never before joined their ranks–and certainly never mind that her reclusive family has forbidden her from pursuing such an unladylike goal.

She gets the chance to prove her capabilities when an urgent letter arrives from her frantic cousin Daphne, begging Sophia to come look into the suspicious death of Daphne’s brother.

As Sophia begins to unravel the tangled threads of the case–with the help of a charming young policeman–she soon realizes that the murderer may be even closer to her family than she ever suspected.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for me to put up another book review! The book I will be reviewing today is my second book of June and I ended up reading it on the car journey to and from Bristol. During the trip I also learned that my friend, and a lot of people actually, can’t read while in a car, which was interesting information.

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.

The Hatmakers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First I will say, I am not a huge Middle Grade reader. I actually picked up this book because I’d seen the author in the TV show The Tudors and I was curious about what she might have written. The plot is beautifully intricate, it captivated me from the very first page. There is themes of family, friendship and loyalty sprinkled throughout this book like the magic that is used by the characters themselves.

This book has elements of the fantastical, a little bit of theatre and plenty of hat making to keep all readers entertained. The beginning part of the book sets up the world and the characters excellently, it felt like I was living in that world with them. Then the second part of the book the pacing really picks up – there’s so much happening in this story that I had to just let myself go along with the story rather than try to figure out every twist and turn. I enjoyed doing this.

The Hatmakers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It was very interesting for me to see this book through the eyes of Cordelia, the main protagonist, who is a child. It made me think back to when I was a child and all the wonder that the world seemed to hold. Cordelia was my favourite character in the book because she was very complex and had many layers to her story throughout. Also, one of my favourite parts of this book was her friendship with Goose, the son of the bootmakers, with which the hatmaker family doesn’t get along. It added an intriguing dynamic to this friendship.

the other characters in the story are all very well developed with their own stories and attitudes, the book has a particular focus on the hatmaker family but I still felt that the other maker families stood out in their own ways and had a role to play in the plot.

The Hatmakers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got much to say for this category. I thought it was written very well, it was clear and the writing style complimented the plot and the pacing. However, because I’m not used to reading this age of book it took me a while to get used to it. That is just my own opinion.

The Hatmakers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m giving this book four stars overall because I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, especially the character of Cordelia. I got completely drawn in to the world and the magic and the mystery that needed to be solved. I will definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Happy Monday bookish people! Here we go, I told you I was putting up two book reviews today. The first was for The prison Healer by Lynette Noni if you’re interested in that you can see it here: https://theblindscribe.com/2021/05/24/book-review-the-prison-healer-by-lynette-noni/

This second book review is for The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss, which is the first in a trilogy.

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.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved this plot. It’s so different to anything I’ve read before. I picked up this book after seeing Megwithbooks on YouTube talking about it. It combines two things I love: strong female leads and mystery books and it delivered on both. The beginning of the story did feel a bit slow, as it started to introduce the women who would become the protagonists of this story but the pace soon picked up. I spent most of the book trying to figure out the twists and turns that this book are full of. There’s not much else I can say about the plot of this book without spoiling it so I’ll just say that I highly recommend it.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this book you meet Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein. Each of these characters have their own interesting personalities and realistic flaws. I found each of their introductions to hook me into the story even more and by the end I was wishing that I was part of their group – although I wouldn’t want to be a daughter experimented on by their scientist father. This book also has Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in it… this is a very interesting addition to the book and I am excited to see how they fit in the second and third books of the series.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed the writing style in this novel, it gives me the feel of Victorian England straightaway. It transported me to the world of this story and kept me engrossed throughout.

This story also has the characters commenting on the story throughout in little interruptions and Authors Notes – I loved this addition, it gave insights into the characters and their relationships and also I found it quite funny.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars because I really enjoyed it’s unique plot and intriguing characters.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous. 

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!