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!

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 Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes 80 – 71

Happy Friday bookish people! Have you seen any of your favourites on this list yet? We’ve still got a long way until we are in my top 10. Anyone else excited for that or is it just me? and really I shouldn’t be excited because I compiled the list and I know what’s in my top 10 already… nevermind, I’m still excited!

Today is numbers 80 – 71. There’s some interesting ones in this section although we are getting to the point now where there isn’t much I can say about each of the quotes so for this one I’m just going to list them. Enjoy!

At 80 we have a quote from a book that is on my TBR this month…

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

80. “I’d walk into the burning heart of Hell itself to find you” this quote is so dramatic I love it.

up next is a quote from a series that it has recently been announced will be turned into a TV show…

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

79.”I could set this world on fire and call it rain”

As will be common throughout these book quotes lists the next one is from a book I haven’t read yet..

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

78.”Crooked smiles for crooked hearts”

Number 77 is from a sequel…

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

77.”love always carved the deepest wounds”

Number 76, I have so many quotes from this book all throughout my top 100…

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

76.”let’s make this fight worthy of a song”

The next quote is from a series of books I’m not sure if I like them or not..

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

75.”dream me the world, something new for every night”

At 74 is a quote from the same book…

74.”what a strange constellation they all were”

Getting close to the end of this section now.. at 73 is a quote from a series I recently started…

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

73.”remember that you are a wolf and you cannot be caged”

next is a quote from another book I haven’t read yet…

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

72.”a lion fears only the fox”

and finally for this set of quotes at 71 is….

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

71.”a dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all” – can you tell I like quotes and books with themes of dreaming?

So that’s it for this weeks quotes, I’ll be back next Friday with 70 – 61 which include books like Serpent and Dove, Crescent City and The Wrath and the Dawn.

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes: 90 – 81

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope everyone is having a good day today.

Today I’m bringing you the next set of ten quotes in my favourite quotes series. If you missed the first installment in this series you can find it here: https://theblindscribe.com/2021/05/21/favourite-book-quotes-100-91/

It took a little while to decide on this next set of ten, there are so many great choices but I settled on them eventually, and by that I mean I rewrote my list of 100 quotes about twelve times… anyway, moving on quickly to number 90!

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

90. “Not all scars can be seen” – this quote really resonates with me for a lot of reasons that I wont go into here, but I have physical and mental scars that have effects on my life so it feels like a very important quote to include on this list.

At 89 is a quote from a book I read recently and I think it sums up how a lot of people, particularly some that I know, are feeling at the moment..

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

89. “You honestly expect me to breathe in a world without air” – I don’t think there is anything else I need to say about this quote.

The next quote is from a very popular fantasy series…

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

88. “She was the heir of ash and fire and she would bow to no-one” – I will admit I have not read this series yet although I do plan to soon but I have seen this quote on a few pieces of art and it intrigues me.

At 87 is a quote from one of my favourite female characters…

The Cruel Prince series by Holly Black

87. “If I cannot be better than them then I will become so much worse” – this is said by Jude, I think this quote really shows a lot about her character and where the story might be going.

The next quote is from another book I haven’t read yet (this is going to be a very common theme…)

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

86. “Let love guide your heart and everything else will fall into place” – this is just a lovely quote, whether that is love for a friend, a family member or a partner, I do believe love is an important part of life.

The next quote is from a unique sounding fantasy book…

All The Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

85. “The mistakes I made in the past do not make me weak” – I can imagine a strong female lead saying this and it says so much in very few words.

At 84 is a quote from another popular series…

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

84. “I’d rather die than live with no mercy, no honour, no soul” – I think this is a great quote because it shows so much about the character and what they stand for.

At 83 is a quote that I’ve really needed the past week…

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

83. “Sometimes we fail because we’re not meant to succeed” – everyone who knows me will know that I believe in fate and that things happen for a reason, this quote reminds me of this and as I said I’ve needed that this past week.

The next quote is from the final book in a series…

A Sky Beyond The Strom by Sabaa Tahir

82. “Broken things that are the sharpest. The deadliest” – this quote gives a great sense of atmosphere for this book.

And for the final quote of this installment is…

Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody

81. “What is buried is not always dead” – I have no idea why but this quote always gives me goosebumps.

So that’s it for this installment, come back next week for the next ten! I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

Happy Monday bookish people! Monday is here again so it’s time to bring you some more book reviews. I’ll be doing two today, starting with The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni, a recently released fantasy novel.

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 Prison Healer Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This plot had great potential. There were so many elements that I love in books in The Prison Healer: interesting setting, elemental magic, themes of friendship and a competition. I really enjoy competitions in books, something about it always captures my attention. The setting in this book, definitely interesting, is a prison this gave the book a sense of danger always being right there waiting for a chance to take over. I think the magic was a great addition because it gave the story another level, a sense of us and them – being those with magic outside the prison, as only members of Royalty have magic, and those without magic inside the prison. This gave the world a conflict that goes above the plot of this one novel, and which I hope will continue in the next book in the series.

The competition element, was needed. Well, something a little exciting was needed. I was just starting to feel a little bored of the plot when the competition was introduced. It was a shame because before this there was one of the main elements of the plot which should have quickened the pace and caught my attention, but it didn’t. Although I enjoyed the competition part of this book, it had some very unique elements and was quite interesting, I felt that this part and the rest of the book didn’t fit together – like they were parts from two separate books pushed together. Because of this I also think the competition elements were fit into too small a section of the book, I would have liked it to be more developed.

The ending had a huge twist. One that felt a little too convenient for the story but also persuaded me that I should read the second book… I might not have without the twist.

The Prison Healer Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are four characters that make up the main cast of this book. Kiva is the protagonist and I really liked her character. She is fiercely loyal to her friends although I’m not sure friend is the right word…anyway, her development throughout the book is excellent in my opinion, I enjoyed seeing how she changes. The main male character, is very intriguing to me. I want to know more about him but I also don’t, does that make sense? Sometimes there are characters that I like being surrounded in mystery, it keeps them interesting. But my favourite character is Tipp, he works with Kiva and I would honestly do anything for him, he’s so sweet and innocent I just want to hug him but obviously I can’t because he’s fictional.

The Prison Healer Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In terms of the writing style, I got along with it well. It was smooth and easy to follow the plot. I actually finished the book in under two hours so it’s definitely good writing for me. One thing I did like was the chapter sizes. They were the right length for me, not too long but not too short either. I liked feeling that I was getting more of the story in each chapter.

The Prison Healer Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars because it was an okay book. I did enjoy it and I want to see where the story goes in the series but I didn’t love it, it just felt too rushed for me. I would have rather had a longer book and a fully developed story.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: Things To Do At The End Of The World by Emily Barr

Happy Saturday bookish people! I don’t usually post on a Saturday but today there’s a special reason – I am part of the blog tour for Things To Do At The End Of The World by Emily Barr! Thank you to The Write Reads and Penguin for sending me a copy of this book to read and review for the 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!

Things To Do At The End Of The World Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From the outset I found this plot very interesting – it is full of adventure, travelling and getting the confidence to do things that perhaps you might not have done otherwise. I think this book has a very important message, that you don’t know what is going to happen in life and that you should grab opportunities with both hands. This is something that really resonated with me while reading, life is to be enjoyed.

I did feel that this book was more like two separate books shoved into one and for me it didn’t quite work. I thought on their own, the end of the world part and the discovering you have a cousin part, would be very interesting stories however, they didn’t work together – in my opinion.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I loved seeing the growth of Libby (Olivia) throughout this book. The way she changed and gained confidence doing different things was fascinating to read about. I’m also slightly biased because I’m also called Olivia and I love reading books with characters that have my name.

The character of Natasha was written very well, as soon as she was introduced there was an unnerving presence surrounding her and that continued well throughout, giving the book an element of mystery which stopped the plot from becoming slow.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Emily Barr’s writing was a pleasure to read. Recently I’ve been reading books where the writing style is hit or miss but Emily’s is smooth and consistent. I really enjoyed it. This book doesn’t have a big focus on dialogue so I thought it was okay but there wasn’t that much in the story.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars because I did enjoy my reading of it, however, I don’t think I’m likely to pick up this book again.

Ultimate Tour Penguin UK

Things To Do Before The End of  The World

by

Emily Barr

Blurb

A timely and powerful coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks.

***

What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?

Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.

But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . .

Length: 368  Pages

Emily Barr

I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels for adults, one novella, and three book for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.

Website: https://www.emilybarr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emily_barr

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

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Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig

Happy Monday bookish people! Still me, with another book review. The third review of today is for House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig. This is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses i believe and I was highly anticipating it so I’m glad I managed to read it in January.

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!

House of Salt and Sorrows Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this novel is dark and enchanting. It has the feeling of a fairytale that is slowly merging with a nightmare. There are so many twists throughout this book I could not put it down. I made myself a cup of tea thinking it would be lovely to drink while reading but I was so hooked on the story that I forgot about my tea, anyone that knows me knows that me forgetting about a cup of tea is pretty much impossible. The dark atmosphere mixed beautifully with the whimsical elements of balls and new gowns and the churning sea. The story opens after a tragic event and the reader gets thrown into the middle of a story which is something I personally love. The slight hints of romance aren’t overwhelming to the plot but they add a nice layer to the plot. I enjoyed how as the story progressed it gradually got darker. I did feel that the ending was tied up too easily, there were a few elements at the end that I think were just used to make the ending the way it was however I still enjoyed it.

House of Salt and Sorrows Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Annaleigh, the main character that you follow, is headstrong and determined to figure out what is happening to her and her sisters which gave her motivation and made me really feel that I wanted the character to succeed. I felt that each of the sisters, including the ones deceased at the start of the novel, are fleshed out well and given strong and unique personalities. None of the sisters were forgotten about and each had an important part to play within the story. I enjoyed the sibling dynamic this gave the story. As I mentioned there is a slight romance subplot which created different atmospheres for the characters.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved the dialogue in this book. It felt natural and developed between the characters as the novel went on. It didn’t show the reader too much but gave all the information it needed to for the reader to realise what was going on, although I didn’t before the end which to me makes this book brilliant. The writing style was clear and easy to follow. It swept me along with the story.

House of Salt and Sorrows Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars. For me the ending, although still good, let it down slightly. This book did put me into a reading slump for a week and a half but I enjoyed every minute, the story, the sisters, the romance, all of it.

Blurb/Synopsis:

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

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