logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 2017-reading-challenge
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-25 20:05
Review: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis
The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.

 

The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.

 

The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.

 

All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-25 00:28
And the Five Boroughs marathon continues...
Interborough - Santino Hassell

So back on Mother's Day my hubby in his inimitable wisdom decided that since I was now listening to audiobooks what better gift than to treat me to some new ones and I got to go shopping for them so I  could pick what I wanted and while I wanted more than a few this series was at the top of my list, especially since I had this one to review. Overall it was money and time well spent because not only did I love them but I am absolutely dying to go back to the beginning and re-listen to them all over again. I basically marathoned these books over the course of  a weekend as soon as I was done listening to one, I clicked the play button to start the next one, which explains why I'm now sitting here catching up on the reviews.

 

I could not get enough...I devoured them, so needless to say once again Michael Ferraiuoloa was the narrator for this installment of 'The Five Boroughs' and once again I was not disappointed...well other than...more Oli time would have been really nice but since this is a David and Raymond story and not Oli and Caleb, I'm maybe being a little picky on this one, but that's just me.

 

'Interborough' is the fourth book in this series and unlike the previous books it's not about a new couple. With 'Interborough' we find ourselves back in the lives of David and Raymond. It's about a year later and these men are having a hard time of it...oh, they're still very much in love, unfortunately sometimes life doesn't leave us much time for love and these two are floundering.

 

David wants to be a loving and supportive partner but that's hard to do when you're feeling ignored, neglected and shut out. 

 

Raymond wants to be the partner he thinks David deserves but with two jobs, school and unexpected demands on his finances and a new friend who really rubs David the wrong way. Raymond's feeling more than a little pressure and stress but he's determined that he can handle it on his own, if David would just give him time.

 

Both men are hanging on to the prospect of their forthcoming vacation cruise to try and regain some balance in their relationship. But between the sun, the fun and the mojitos  Ray's having a hard time getting David alone so they can reconnect but once he does their passion blazes hotter than the tropical sun. Problem is will it last past the end of their cruise. 

 

Raymond and David established themselves as  a couple in 'Sunset Park' and while their ending may have been more of an HFN than an HEA they seemed fairly solid. But a little more than a year later things aren't so certain for this pair and it's not because of any over the top angst or drama. Sadly just like in real life what's driving these men apart isn't the big things it's all the little things that life throws at them and sometimes when enough of those little things get tossed our way, the pile they make seems insurmountable. 

 

As in the previous books in this series we also get the fun of catching up with Michael and Nunzio, Caleb and Oli, as well as glimpses of other characters we've already met and new ones whose stories have yet to unfold.

 

What I really loved about this book was that more than any of the previous books I was really able to relate to what David and Raymond were going through. This was in some ways the most realistic story of them all because relationships...they're hard work and so often life hands us so much sh!t to deal with we lose sight of things...like what and who's really important. For me this wasn't a story about assigning blame it was about learning to truly be partners, to listen and share, to communicate and always appreciate that person who you've chosen to spend your life with. The good times are easy to get through but it's what you do when your faced with the day to day challenges that can often make or break a relationship. 

 

'Interborough' didn't really so much feel like it was messing with the HEA of an established couple as it was taking us further along on their journey to show us that having a happily ever after means working at it every day in order to keep it. I absolutely loved that just like in real life there are no promises and guarantees, just chances and opportunities and it's up to David and Raymond to make the most of them.

 

From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat cheering for these two to find a way to make things work again. Caleb and Oli may be my favorite couple in this series so far but that doesn't mean I don't have a place in my heart for all of them. 

 

*******************

An audiobook of 'Interborough' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-24 22:56
180/344 pages read of You Will Grow into Them Malcolm Devlin
You Will Grow into Them - Malcolm Devlin

 

The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.

 

In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.

 

Taking weird fiction and horror and bending them into strange and wondrous new shapes, You Will Grow Into Them follows, in the grand tradition of Aickman, Ligotti and Vandermeer, reminding us that the ordinary world is a much stranger place than it seems.

 

 

As is usual with short story collections I will post an update periodically with my thoughts and ratings as I am reading and then review the book in its entirety when I am finished.

 

1 - Passion Play - 3 stars.

 

This was an Ok story. Not exactly sure what happened to Cathy, not sure if I'm supposed to. I loved the idea behind the story though. Creepy concept.

 

2 - Two Brothers - 3 stars.

 

Well written stories so far. They give just enough to unsettle you while allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps.

 

3 - Breadcrumbs - 4 stars.

 

Some weird mix between Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Feels very fairytalesque and very imaginative. Has she grown up, shed her childhood and become a woman? or, is she just dreaming? Think I may read this one again.

 

4 - Her First Harvest - 4 stars.

 

Kinda gone off mushrooms now. Interesting but strange concept and visually enchanting.

 

5 - We All Need Somewhere to Hide - 5 stars.

 

Beauty is only skin deep, a person's character is where true beauty lies, but how deep does our love for someone truly go... This is my favourite so far.

 

6 - Dogsbody - 3 stars.

 

Not sure what to think about this one. I would have liked to know the why behind what had occurred. I enjoyed it though. You shouldn't always assume prejudice is at play, you're not always the victim you perceive yourself to be.

 

 7 - 10 Still to come

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-24 22:14
In case you missed it...
First and First - Santino Hassell

I totally have a thing for Oli's voice...I mean have a thing...Oli's voice just...well, it gives me butterflies in the tummy and goosebumps and seriously I could listen to that voice all day and still want more. It's not just that I like Oli's voice which you know...bonus when you're listening to an audiobook, but for me as soon as I heard him speak it worked, it clicked into place and my brain was in total agreement that this was how Oli would sound.

 

Michael Ferraiuolo is again the narrator for this installment of Santino Hassell's 'Five Boroughs' series and I have to say I'm truthfully hoping this doesn't change. I freely admit I'm not from New York and have never had the opportunity to spend time there so in terms of dialects/accents I'm by no means any kind of authority and can honestly say that my liking this narrator as much as I do has nothing to do with how much he does or doesn't sound like someone from New York. For me, he ticked those basic boxes in my 'what I want from an audiobook' checklist. He was consistent, his voices were unique I had no trouble discerning which character was speaking, emotions were conveyed when the characters were speaking. It just all worked for me and in the case of Oli...he nailed it.

 

I've been playing catch-up with this series via the audiobooks and I was really excited to get to this one. Oli was a character that grabbed my attention from the word go back when he made a play for Ray in 'Sunset Park'...did I want him getting it on with Ray, not really but I liked that he was there because I hoped that he would be a motivator for David to get his butt in gear with Ray and truthfully I liked that he was direct and said what he wanted didn't play games. Plus we got just enough of a peek at him to lock him into my brain as someone who would be interesting. Who he'd end up with at that point, I really had no idea, but I have to admit that it was Caleb...well that totally intrigued me, because Caleb in some ways seemed to be Oli's polar opposite.

 

Caleb is David's ex and by the time I finished 'Sunset Park', while I was definitely feeling better about David, even though I still wasn't happy that he'd cheated on Caleb when they were together, I was still finding it hard to see Caleb as any kind of a victim for me, he came off as a bit of a cold, manipulative douchebag. But, I also felt like Caleb and David together were a train wreck waiting to happen. You can love someone with all your heart but that doesn't mean they're the right person for you and by the end of 'Sunset Park' I very much felt like Caleb and David just never really belonged together, in  a nutshell they just weren't good for each other or too each other.  So 'First and First' was my chance to get more Oli and take a second look at Caleb, which turned out to be a very good thing.

 

I like Michael & Nunzio and David & Raymond really are adorable, but at this point Caleb & Oli are my favorite couple in this series. I like the dynamics between these two the push/pull of their relationship and how they challenge each other. Oli with his sexually adventurous nature and his ability to get Caleb to really examine what it is he wants all while he challenges Oli to use his adventurous nature outside of the bedroom and to look closer at his feelings.  One thing that neither Oli, nor Caleb can ignore is their attraction to each other and the sexually charged air that exist when they're together. The fact that by the end of this book not only were Caleb and Oli my favorite couple but I really like Caleb. I still don't think he's perfect but he does seem like someone that I'd be happy to know and be friends with and that I think speaks volumes to what an amazing job the author has done with this story...more so really than anything else that I could say. 

 

'First and First' is the third book in this series and so far each book just gets better and better and there's no way that I'm stopping whether it's the audio book or the e-book I am so on board for whatever and whoever comes next in this series. Santino Hassell has created a world that's realistic and filled with all the passion and emotion that you'd expect to find and who knows this might be only chance to spend time in New York with a bunch of hot men!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-24 19:30
Just another day in the city of Nis...
Fraud Twice Felt - J.T. Hall

'Fraud Twice Felt' is the second installment in J.T. Hall's 'Oddities' series and basically picks up where 'Murder Once Seen' leaves off. Derwin and Elliot are living together as a new couple and working on making their lives mesh.

 

They're happy and for the most part things are good...or as good as they can be with two men who both have oddities they're trying to keep secret from the rest of the world, are rebuilding their home after having it blown to bits by a killer as well as rebuilding Elliot's life so he can leave his rentboy days behind which would be easier said than done if he didn't have to avoid a former client who nearly killed him and still wants to 'own' him and just happens to be the leader of one of the most dangerous gangs in the city...but hey, let's not stop there why not have a friends son and his girlfriend go missing only to find out that not only are they missing but they've placed everyone in the middle of a power struggle between two of the most powerful gangs in the city.

 

Like the first book 'Fraud Twice Felt' is a bit stronger on the mystery/thriller part than the romance but for me that works. I cut my reading teeth on authors like Mary Higgins Clark and Phillip Margolin so mysteries are part of my staple reading diet add in that this one also has a touch of urban fantasy to it...Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine anyone? Needless to say this is all golden for me...mystery/thriller/urban fantasy with a touch of a m/m romance blended in and I'm happy, happy girl.

 

I really enjoyed the mystery here, it was solid and held a couple of surprises that added a nice little twist to events. What I really enjoyed was the growth that we saw in Elliot as he regained some of his confidence and stepped up to show his man that he's not going to stay anyone's damsel in distress, he wants to be self sufficient and able to protect himself and have Derwin's back when he needs to but more than that he wants to take his life in a different direction from his rentboy days...one that will clearly establish him as Derwin's partner and an equal in the relationship.

 

Watching Elliot struggle to regain the confidence that he lost as a result of the events that transpired in 'Murder Once Seen' is hard for Derwin. He's a good partner loving and supportive but he's already lost one man that he loved and he knows that losing Elliot to the dangers they face would be more than he could handle but he's smart enough to know that for both their sakes Elliot needs to be able to protect himself so he's determined to help make this happen. I really loved this about Derwin because as a  wife and a parent I understand that feeling that need to protect those we love. I also understand that whether it's a child or a partner the best thing we can do for them if we truly love them is to give then the tools to be able to protect themselves.  Sometimes doing what's best for those we love is the hardest thing we have to do, but it's also the most important. 

 

While this story doesn't end on a cliffhanger we are given a hint of what's coming next and I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series and the chance to see how Derwin and Elliot grow as a couple and as individuals. J. T. Hall has definitely found a fan in me with this series and I'm looking forward to my next visit to the city of Nis.

 

********************

 

An ARC of 'Fraud Twice Felt' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?