Review: ‘The Goblins of Bellwater’ by Molly Ringle

Blurb from Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what…


Repost: Water is Life: Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

Please note: after posting my review of Ojibwe writer’s Louise Erdrich’s novel ‘Love Medicine’, I thought I would repost this original post from 2017 in case any of my readers wanted to further explore the issues I brought up in the previous post regarding Native American rights and the #NODAPL movement. Original blog post: Hey…


Review: ‘Love Medicine’ by Louise Erdrich

Trigger warning: This novel explores themes of violence and rape, and contains scenes of domestic violence. Blurb from The first of Louise Erdrich’s polysymphonic novels set in North Dakota – a fictional landscape that, in Erdrich’s hands, has become iconic – Love Medicine is the story of three generations of Ojibwe families. Set against…


Review: ‘Storykiller’ by Kelly Thompson

Blurb from The monster under the bed is real. In fact, all the monsters are real, as well as the heroes and everything in between because all Fiction is real and exists in a dimension called Story. However, plenty of them hang out in the Mortal world, living both innocent and nefarious lives. This…


Review: ‘Trial by Fire’ by Josephine Angelini

Blurb from Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns. This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted… which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according…


Review: ‘Spellslinger’ by Sebastien de Castell

Blurb from  There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a…


Review: ‘Warm Up: A ‘Vicious’ Prequel’ by V.E Schwab

Blurb from  It’s been 297 days since David died—and came back. He may have survived the avalanche, but the aftermath has been far worse. His wife moved out, taking his son with her, and a devastated David hasn’t left his house since, terrified of the mysterious new power that followed him home from the…


Review: ‘Bitter Grounds’ (short story) by Neil Gaiman

Blurb from This classic Neil Gaiman story appeared first in the Mojo: Conjure Stories anthology and subsequently in Gaiman’s collection Fragile Things. Review: As this is a Neil Gaiman short story, you can expect his typical blend of bleak realism mixed with sultry magic, sensuality and mystery. ‘Bitter Grounds’ is an at-times gritty, realistic…


Review: ‘Magnus Chase And the Ship of the Dead’ by Rick Riordan

egular readers of this blog will surely know how much I love Rick Riordan. I devoured his ‘Kane Chronicles’ (which I loved soooo much) and the  ‘Percy Jackson’ series. ‘Magnus Chase’ is no exception- in fact, after reading this concluding volume, ‘Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead’ MCATSOTD) I felt truly GUTTED. I…


Review: ‘Vicious’ by V.E Schwab

AMetro Ticket

The train journey across the Wear wasn’t the most vibrant of excursions. Chugging along past overgrown allotments as grey skies loomed wistfully above us, you’d have been excused for thinking this might dampen our spirits. But you’d be mistaken. This was the trip to Sunderland – where nothing could possibly put us in a bad mood.

We hadn’t really thought of an itinerary of events for when we arrived in the promised land. The spontaneity of the occasion had got the better of us, and plans could have been better prepared. Once we reached Sunderland High Street however, our eyes were overwhelmed with possibilities.

Amongst the clusters of shops advertising closing-down sales and fast food restaurants, we were greeted with a sight that was all too familiar with us from our time in Newcastle. Greggs were located throughout the city centre at almost the same frequency as its North-East rivals. But this was no Tyne-Wear Derby. When there’s Greggs involved, everyone’s a winner.

Two sausage rolls later and we were already onto our second Metro journey – on our way to experience the joys that Sunderland University had to offer. What we didn’t realise was that the Metro trip took less than a minute and we could have walked there much more easily. We” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”> I can say is: KELL. And also: RHY AND ALUCARD. FOREVER.) I can’t wait to read ‘This Savage Song’,, not to mention ‘The Archived.’ ‘Vicious’ made me into a truly hardcore fan. I am now ravenous for any writing that comes from the fair hands of Queen Schwab- and I am BEYOND excited for ‘Vengeful’– the sequel to ‘Vicious’– and Schwab’s next novel, ‘City of Ghosts’, is set in my of my favourite ghostly) cities, Edinburgh.

So what is it about ‘Vicious’ that is so gripping? I’m not the only one who thinks so- it’s got a massive movie deal Zac Efron apparently playing Eli- I can’t wait to see who plays Victor.) First of all, the two MCs, Victor and Eli, are not your average pre-med students- they are morally complex antiheroes with their own issues, their own God complexes, and their own (dark) superpowers. And how did they get these powers? Through surviving their own (deliberate and carefully planned) suicides, as Eli’s medical thesis links EO powers to near-death experiences. Yep, it’s dark alright. These two are twisted geniuses whose minds are deadly, warped, wicked things. They aren’t normal. They aren’t kind. They aren’t inhibited by consciences. And they call themselves ‘EOs’- which stands for ‘ExtraOrdinaries.’ Extraordinary is definitely the word- extraordinarily dangerous, that is. (SPOILER) Victor tortures a man, shoots him, breaks out of prison…he does bad things, in short. But Eli is far worse. Taking the God complex to new extremes, he sets out to brutally execute all other EOs, while Victor takes it upon himself to stop Eli and save them. Along the way he recruits an ex-con, Mitch- who likes chocolate milk- and a young EO girl, Sydney, who has a truly Gothic, truly powerful gift of her own. (No spoilers!) This novel is utterly brilliant- as precise, devious and dark as Victor himself. One caveat though: for me, ‘Vicious’ definitely warrants a trigger warning for suicide, self-harm and substance abuse. It’s about as different from the ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ as you can get- although some themes do overlap- and at times it’s not an easy read. It’s brutal, bloody and, at times, bleak. It challenges you, provokes you, shocks you and horrifies you. And yet it’s a truly brilliant, white-knuckle ride. All hail, Queen Schwab.
Overall rating: 10/10!

Favourite Character: Victor (but I also have a soft spot for Mitch)
This Book in Four Words: Dark. Violent. Gripping. Clever.

Review: ‘The Cruel Prince’ by Holly Black

Blurb from GoodReads:  Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can…


Review: ‘Women and Power’ by Mary Beard

Blurb from At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that…