Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: 28 March 2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, romance
My Rating: 5 crowns

Synopsis:

A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

‘The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around’ and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries--including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage. Welcome to Weep.


My Thoughts

‘Once upon a time, survival had seemed like an end unto itself. But now . . . it began to feel like an expedient with no object. Survive for what?’

If you are a fan of Laini Taylor, stop reading and go get this book. NOW.

I read Laini’s ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ trilogy and LOVED it. So it was with trepidation that I delved into her latest offering. How could it be as good?

It is.

‘He wasn’t an alchemist, or a hero. He was a librarian, and a dreamer. He was a reader, and the unsung expert on a long-lost city no one cared a thing about.’

If you are familiar with this genre at all, then it is safe to say that Laini Taylor is a master. She could choose any topic I believe and make it iconic. Her style of writing is breathtaking as she makes a world (a mind blowing one by the way) so far removed yet so near to all you know. Her language is so inspiring that it creates an atmosphere of magic, real and inferred. This story is unusual yet beautiful, full of love and hate, hope and fear. Delve into the hidden meaning and you will find it’s a story of those who were underestimated and learnt to forgive and reveal their true potential. The array of emotions you will feel during this read is wide.

‘Vengeance ought to be spoken through gritted teeth, spittle flying, the cords of one’s soul so entangled in it that you can’t let it go, even if you try.’

I don’t want to say too much, as the reader needs to go in unprepared and journey through this very moving tale. You may find the first three quarters of the book steady, but hold on, the end will leave you breathless. Her imagination is ridiculous - a story that is compelling, with characters that are so authentic, as their layers are slowly unfurled - you will find it difficult to put the book down. There will be times when your breath will be taken away (I audibly gasped on several occasions) and you will pause to fully comprehend what just happened and then exclaim at the consequences.

‘Sometimes a moment is so remarkable that it carves out a space in time and spins there, while the world rushes on around it.’

The last quarter of the book is riveting, thrilling, jam packed with action and plot twists you will not believe! On turning the last page you will be frantically searching for when the sequel comes out!

‘A blaze of connection—or collision, as though they had long been wandering in the same labyrinth and had finally rounded the corner that would bring them face-to-face.’

Thank you Laini Taylor for creating this world, for sweeping me away with your lyrical prose on this amazing journey. I loved everything about this book and it still sits so strongly with me, events and people lingering on long in my mind. I can’t wait for the magical and epic conclusion to this marvelous tale.

'He had a trio of fears that sat in his gut like swallowed teeth, and when he was too quiet with his own thoughts, they’d grind together to gnaw at him from within. This was the first: that he would never see further proof of magic. The second: that he would never find out what had happened in Weep. The third: that he would always be as alone as he was now.'



This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Hidden Hours by Sara Foster

Title: The Hidden Hours
Author: Sara Foster
Publisher: 1 April 2017 by Simon & Schuster (Australia)
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller
My Rating: 4 crowns

Synopsis:

Keeping her secret may save her family.

But telling it may save her life.

Arabella Lane, senior executive at a children’s publisher, is found dead in the Thames on a frosty winter’s morning after the office Christmas party. No one is sure whether she jumped or was pushed. The one person who may know the truth is the newest employee at Parker & Lane – the office temp, Eleanor.

Eleanor has travelled to London to escape the repercussions of her traumatic childhood in outback Australia, but now tragedy seems to follow her wherever she goes. To her horror, she has no memory of the crucial hours leading up to Arabella’s death – memory that will either incriminate or absolve her.

As Eleanor desperately tries to remember her missing hours and uncover the events of that fateful night, her own extended family is dragged further into the dark, terrifying terrain of blame, suspicion and guilt.

Caught in a crossfire of accusations, Eleanor fears she can’t even trust herself, let alone the people around her. And soon, she’ll find herself in a race against time to find out just what happened that night – and discover just how deadly some secrets can be.

My Thoughts

This is not generally a genre I delve into often, however, given how much I enjoyed, ‘All That is Lost Between Us’, I was ready to give it a go. This latest instalment, ‘The Hidden Hours’ , is another great thriller by Aussie author Sara Foster, filled with tragedy, trauma, loads of emotional intensity and great sadness. It’s a classic "who done it", that will keep you reading to the very end, as gradually the layers are pulled apart and the full story revealed.

‘Her world is beginning to unravel, pulling at the threads that bind the husk of her nine-year-old self, exposing the cruel edges of all that the years have failed to smother.’

Eleanor has suffered some tragic event that you are never really sure about (until the end). However the chapters alternate with present and past, and gradually reveal the trauma that she carries with her into adulthood. She is deeply troubled and, at times, it became a little repetitive and mopey  - I wanted things to move a little faster. You understand how she has trouble trusting but she is very indecisive and so easily manipulated at times. All part of her character trait, I understand, but just a little slow at times as the author tries to demonstrate such loneliness and utter despair.

‘Yet it has reminded her of how multi-faceted people are –constantly choosing which of their many sides to turn to the light. Perhaps it’s not something to be so wary of; perhaps it’s just a way of getting through life. Is self-protection really such a bad thing?’

The tale certainly gains momentum the further into it you get, with the mystery of Eleanor’s past and her current predicament, full of enough intrigue to keep you guessing. The little touches I really appreciated was Sara’s inclusion of small snippets from a variety of viewpoints at the beginning of each chapter - that was well done. So whilst I loved Sara’s previous book, this one was good but not quite up to the same standard. Still I am interested to see with what she comes up with next and will take the plunge into this genre most certainly one more time - a testament to good writing and story making.

‘She daren’t look around in case she catches someone’s eye, because in that moment of connection, when their eyes lock, it is as though she cannot shutter the window to her soul, and they might peer in and see everything she most wants to hide.’



This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release