Book Review: The Fall (The Bound and the Broken, #0.5) by Ryan Cahill

Book Review: The Fall (The Bound and the Broken, #0.5) by Ryan Cahill

Cover art designed by: Books Covered

The Fall by Ryan Cahill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Bound and the Broken (Book #0.5 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 95 pages

Published: 1st November 2020 by Ryan Cahill (Self-published)


Wow. I can’t believe this great novella is available for FREE on the author’s website.

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Book Review: Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Josiah Bancroft

Book Review: Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Josiah Bancroft

This review was written on the 29th of June 2017

Cover art by: Ian Leino

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Books of Babel (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk Fantasy

Pages: 371 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 18th February 2013 by Josiah Bancroft (Self-published) & 22nd August 2017 Orbit Books


If you need extra proof that a self-published fantasy can be on par/superior compared to traditionally published fantasy books, Senlin Ascends is it.

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Book Review: City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Divine Cities (Book 3 of 3)

Genre: Urban fantasy, fantasy, post-apocalyptic

Published: 2nd May 2017 by Broadway Books (US) & 4th May 2017 by Jo Fletcher Books (UK)


With its stunning denouement in City of Miracles, Robert Jackson Bennett’s masterful genre-redefining trilogy is now one of my all-time favourites.

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Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy

Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy


Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, HighBridge Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had few expectations of Night Came with Many Stars when I received the ARC on NetGalley. It’s not a book that had been on my radar at all; I hadn’t heard it mentioned on any of the sites and podcasts I follow for book news. I was immediately and completely captivated by the prose. But that’s not to say that said prose outshone the story itself, which was equally engaging. I knew very little about this book going in, and was pleased to discover that it was actually a multi-generational family saga. However, it’s a family saga presented in a way that felt fresh and unique. I ended up loving everything about it, and am so thankful for whatever serendipity brought it to my attention.

The writing style, especially in the first few chapters, is breathtakingly pretty, and very unique. I was reminded of Where the Crawdads Sing, but only slightly. The further the story progressed, the more clearly original it revealed itself to be. The author employs some truly unique metaphors and similes that had me going back and rereading (and re-listening) to lines, just to get my head completely wrapped around the comparisons. Every single one of them worked, even though I would never have come up with them myself.

I love the juxtaposition in perspectives and time periods. Life was so radically different for a thirteen year-old girl in the 1930s than it was for a boy of the same age in the 80s. This is a fact that anyone would know if they took a moment to think about that scenario, but the back-to-back jumping between the two drove that truth home on a far deeper level.

I also loved how the author kept pace as he swapped between these two perspectives. We see Carol and Samuel alternatively at similar ages and stages of life, which just further drives home how different their lives were based on gender and time period. And yet there were some beautiful parallels, as well. I very much enjoyed watching both of them grow.

What makes a family? Does shared blood mean more or less than love developed over the course of years? Watching Carol slowly build herself a family without noticing, and watching Samuel grow to appreciate his own family more and more, was absolutely lovely. The side characters in this story were just a beautifully full of life as the main characters, with a couple of notable exceptions. I found anyone with a villainous role in the novel to be a bit two-dimensional, but even that decision served the story well. While I loved all of the supporting cast, I developed a serious soft spot for Eddie and Joe, in particular.

Night Came with Many Stars is a hopeful, beautifully written story with a lot of depth and even more heart. I didn’t expect to be adding it to my list of favorite books of the year, but that’s exactly where it landed. Also, I can’t recommend the audio version highly enough. I’ll definitely be buying myself a physical copy in the near future. This is a book that deserves a place on my favorites shelf.

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | Bookshop.org (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | Libro.fm (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

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Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

ARC provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Tomas Almeida

The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #3 of 3), First Law World (Book, #10 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 529 pages (UK Hardback)

Published: 14th September 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & Orbit (US)


Joe Abercrombie is a genius storyteller. The Wisdom of Crowds is one of the best books of the year, a masterfully crafted conclusion to The Age of Madness trilogy.

“What is the point of gathering knowledge if one does not pass it on? What is the point of growing old if one does not try to shape the future?”

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Book Review: Aching God (Iconoclasts, #1) by Mike Shel

Book Review: Aching God (Iconoclasts, #1) by Mike Shel

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Aching God by Mike Shel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: Iconoclasts (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 602 pages (Paperback edition)

Published: 9th April 2018 by Mike Shel (Self-published)


Aching God started off nicely and ended great, but I have issues with the overall pacing.

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Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly


The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I have always been fascinated by fairy tales. From an early age, any book I could find filled with fairy tales or fables, myths or legends or fables, immediately drew me in like a moth to flame. I have well over two dozen collections of such stories in my physical library, and I’m scared to even count those on my Kindle. Something about these stories, from the morals they attempt to convey to the questions they seek to answer. about the ways in which the world works, tells readers just as much about the society they come from as an historical text. And I’ve always had a soft spot for more modern tales inspired by these stories. Because of this, I’m not really sure why it took me so long to pick up The Book of Lost Things, but it was every bit as whimsical and melancholy and lovely as I hoped it would be. Some fairy tale retellings, or stories inspired in some way by fairy tales, can come across as too saccharine, but that was certainly not the case here. There was a charm to the story, for sure, but it was by no means sweet.

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Book Review: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

Book Review: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy


The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The World’s Wife is utterly fascinating. I’m not commonly a consumer of poetry, though I tend to enjoy it when I do think to pick it up. But this collection is unlike any poetry I’ve ever read. The theme here, peering into the minds of fictional, classical, historical women, often overshadowed by their more famous spouses, or gender-bent versions of famous male characters, is incredibly unique. And every single poem in the collection delivered something witty or clever. They made me think, which I think is one of the best compliments I could give this type of work. I’ve never reviewed a book of poetry before, so the thoughts below are a bit… untamed, if you will. So I’ll sum up my thoughts like this: if you’re looking to dip your toes into the waters of poetry and you happen to love fantastical stories with a strong female voice, The World’s Wife is the collection for you.

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Book Review: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Book Review: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

 

 

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published: 9th September (Vintage)

 

 

It’s her first day at college, but Chloe Sevre isn’t nervous at all. She has a plan. Get rid of Mom, take the best room before her dorm-mate arrives, make 6-8 new friends before 4pm, and find Will. If you’re thinking ‘how sweet’, she must be looking for her boyfriend, you’re dead wrong. Will’s days are numbered (literally, the book includes a countdown), because the main reason Chloe came to John Adams University is to kill him. And she doesn’t plan on giving up till it’s done…

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Book Review: The Widow’s House (The Dagger and the Coin, #4) by Daniel Abraham

Book Review: The Widow’s House (The Dagger and the Coin, #4) by Daniel Abraham

The Widow’s House by Daniel Abraham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Dagger and the Coin (Book #4 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 531 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 5th August 2014 by Orbit


A penultimate installment filled with war, tactics, and intrigues. The stage for the conclusion of the series has been established nicely.

“These are the weapons that greater forces use against each other. Put two boys to fighting each other with sticks, and the boys may come away well or poorly, but the sticks will always be shattered.”

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