Sunday, 20 July 2014

Showcase Sunday #1

So I found out about Showcase Sunday by going to the Books Biscuits and Tea blogsite and  the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week, and this is my first ever Showcase! I haven't done one before because I have only just started to collect books to read again but I will share will you all the books that I have received this week :) 

The first of the bundle of books I want to share is The Spooks Curse by Joseph Delaney; The second sequel to the The Wardstone Chronicles. As soon as I finished the first book, I instantly went out to search for the second and I am currently in the middle of reading that one right now. My review for the first book in the Wardstone Chronicles, The Spooks Apprentice can be found here! Go check it out :) 

The second book I have picked up is The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R Carey. I practically bought this book purely on the basis of the amount of great reviews it has received and I didn't really think of looking at what the book was really about. To be honest though, the blurb doesn't give much away, but it did give me a feeling that something not quite right was hidden in this book and I just had to give it a go. I was definitely right though.. I'm not going to give anything away, but reading the first couple of chapters in this book and I was completely hooked. Go buy it! I already know this books going to be a keeper. 

The third book I managed to find is Half a King by . I managed to get this book for just £4 seen as I had amazon gift vouchers I thought why not! I have heard that this book is an amazing, fantasy filled book with all the twists and plot points and wonderful characters that I would love to read about. I couldn't actually find a negative review about this book and that must mean something right? Can't wait to start reading this.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Review Policy

Review Policy

So before I go any further, I would like to just put out there our review policy's to follow on books that we will be reviewing SO PLEASE READ THIS FIRST. Most of the time I only read books I have brought myself, or copies that I have requested off publishers and authors. 

What Genres We Review
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Steam Punk
  • Sci-fi / Fantasy
  • Young Adult
  • Classics
  • Paranormal Fiction
  • Thriller
  • Mystery
  • Adventure
We do not review bibliographies, non- fiction, educational or religious texts sorry. 

What is Included In a Review
  • Book title and Author
  • Book Cover(s) 
  • Synopsis (Amazon, Goodreads)
  • Review
  • Rating out of 5
  • Publishing information
  • Purchasing links 
  • How book was obtained. 
  • Link to Authors website
We do own various e-readers so we do accept e-books for review, but if there is a choice, we would appreciate physical ARCs, copy reviews and galleys. If you would like us to review your novel, please contact us at


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So slowly but surely this list will get bigger and bigger with the amount of book reviews I do! I will sort them alphabetically with Author's last names first.

Joseph Delaney      -  The Spooks Apprentice
John Flanagan        -  Ranger's Apprentice The Ruins of Gorlan 
John Green            -  The Fault In Our Stars

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Books that you are excited for?

So usually I never look at the 'Coming Soon' or 'Newly Published' section in shops and online for Books but since really getting into books and going through about 2 every week, I'm always looking for new books. Here is a small list of the top 5 books that I am looking forward to read at the moment. 

First of the books that I am dying to get my hands on is Half a King.

Author: Joe Abercrombie

Title: Half a King

Genre: Fantasy 

Published: 1st July 2014

I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.” 

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

From Goodreads

Now to be honest, I haven't heard of this author before, which I found odd seen as i'm always lurking around the fantasy/adventure area's but book sounds incredible and seems like its right down my street, and although the book has only been out less than a month the reviews for this book are fantastic and have all scored the book pretty highly. 


The next book on the list is The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Author: Neil Gaiman 

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Genre: Fantasy

Published: June 18, 2013

'Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy'.

'Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what'.

Now this book has happened to get back on the shelves as one of the best books to read at this point in time. I was surprised to see that it was published on June 18th 2013 and I am wondering why it has gone back up to the front shelves. Also this book was awarded the Goodreads Choice 2013 winner here. Now apart from it being another fantasy book, that is my favorite genre, the story seems to be completely unique and different from other books, as in there are no knights, dragons or evil powers but a completely different take on the fantasy genre for me. Anyway I am sure this book won't disappoint the fact it is written by one of my favorite authors and he hasn't written one bad book to date. 


Next is The Slow Regard of Silent Things - The Kingkiller Chronicle/

Author: Partick Rothfuss

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Genre: Fantasy 

Publish date: October 28th 2014

'The Slow Regard of Silent Things is set at The University, where the brightest minds work to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Auri, a former student (and a secondary but influential character from Rothfuss’s earlier novels) now lives alone beneath the sprawling campus in a maze of ancient and abandoned passageways. There in The Underthing, she feels her powers and learns to see the truths that science—and her former classmates—have overlooked'.

Now I have the last two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles and only having finished the first of the three; The Name of the Wind, I loved ever single part of it and I am a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss' work. I find his books so so easy to just get lost in and the Name of the Wind book was absolutely bursting at the seems with adventure, magic, danger, fantasy, mystery etc and by far one of my all time favorites, so seeing that the 3rd in the series is coming out is an absolute delight! Got a long wait still though..  I hope it's worth it


So there is my top 3 books that I am excited for! 3 really stongly recommend, big fantasy novels that I am eager to get my hands on. What books are you waiting for? Or what books have you recently got that you adore and would never part with? 


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Author: John Green

Title: The Fault in our Stars

Genre: Romantic, Young adult literature

Rating: 1 out of 5

So whilst on holiday I came across The Fault in our Stars in a little book shop in Burnham-on-sea and thought why not? I have seen the book online and in books in the top 20 and just wanted to see what the hype was about. The last time I followed the hype on books was for the Hunger Games’ books and they didn’t turn out that bad. However I have seen more negative reviews than bad reviews around for this.. I mean the book is in the top 20, it can’t be that bad right?

I don’t really know where to start with this book so I will start at the beginning. The book is about two 17 year olds that meet in this kind of cancer rehabilitation meetings, the girl, Hazel, having terminal cancer, and Augustus, the slick, smooth guy that is now cancer free, but half a leg less because of it. Even before I opened this book I knew that it was a tear jerker and apparently a beautiful love story but.. I really didn’t find is that good if I’m honest.. I mean I blubbed my eyes out, not going to spoil things for readers, but that was really it.. there wasn’t really a story to be told.
First of all I didn’t really find that the characters really stood out and were that interesting or unique to other characters I have read about.  Basically both Hazel and Augustus have exactly the same interests and there isn’t much after that.. there is no depth in it at all. Also this book is classed as a romantic novel, I didn’t find that at all, sure they fall into a cliché love at first sight, but that story after that really isn’t believable. How many people would just go home and watch a movie with someone they literally just met? Or even go abroad with them? Didn’t think so.

Also I found it really really hard to believe that the two main characters were 17. There are a lot of parts in the book where they start talking to each other and there is no way that the things they say could come out of a 17 year olds mouth. Things such as “I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?” “I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”  Seriously.. who says things like that?! I had to really slow down and read some parts as I found them so out of the blue and truthfully quite senseless and really had to think about what was being said. I actually laughed out loud when Augustus surprisingly declared his undying love to Hazel, instead of saying “I love you” like any other 21st century 17 year old would, he went on a complete rant about nothingness and it left me laughing and cringing at the same time.

I’m sorry for going on, I really don’t like to write bad reviews for books because I believe that all books have they’re good and bad points, just I find that this book has more bad than good and it left me really disappointed.. I found that the book was sad though and it did play with my emotions but then again, characters die.. so that is always sad. The book had a real ‘Chick flick’ feel to it and I can say that they are the type of book/ movie I try and avoid at all costs but I just had to see what the reviews were about and I was left with multiple headaches trying to read passages and looking up words that really didn’t make sense at all.

So overall, for someone who likes kickass, adventure, blood and gore filled books like me to have to change to this book, it really isn’t one that I would like to read again and I will probably forget about it in the next week..  I mean it’s a really sweet story, but not believable. Again this is only my opinion, and I believe to review books, you win some and you loose some, you have to write about ones you like and ones you don’t and give a good explanation. I know a lot of people that likes The Fault in our Stars and I really don’t judge, I can see that it will be lovely for people who are into those kind of books.. but not for me thankyou! 

Book Review: The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

Author: Joseph Delaney
Title: The Spook's Apprentice
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5

The Last Apprentice blurb:
Someone has to stand against the dark. And you're the only one who can.'
For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from evil. Now his time is coming to an end, but who will take over?
Many apprentices have tried . . . Some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Just one boy is left. Thomas Ward. He is the last hope.
But does he stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the County?

The Spooks Apprentice is the first book in the Wardstone Chronicles that Joseph Delaney has created and falls under the fantasy/ adventure section on the shelves so was instantly I must buy for me. Also can I just say again as I have pointed out in a previous post that the actually book itself is beautiful. It is on the small side as in size, not pages but the book, and is created to make it actually look old and has a scaley effect to it, I found this very appealing.

Anyway, the main character of the book is of a boy, Thomas Ward and the whole novel is in his point of view, following his life through his eyes which Delaney does beautifully. He is the seventh son of the seventh son and of a young age of 13, it is the time where he must leave his family and is taken in by the Spook who deals with creatures of 'the dark' for a induction and is put through different tests to see if he can make it as a Spooks Apprentice. He then comes across the most powerful witch in the County, Mother Malkin and must choose wisely using his training, to deal with her and keep the County safe.

The Spook's, named John Gregory, job is to protect the County he lives in and around it from things that presumably go bump in the night such as Ghosts, Gouls, Demons and Witches who terrorize the land. The book is approximately a year of Thomas’ Wards life and is consistent as it takes us from the moment he is sent to the Spook to throughout his training where he faces difficulties and problems from the dark. 
The other main character of the story is Alice, which I found most compelling and she is portrayed as quite a dark horse and throughout the book she kept you guessing at whether she was a friend or foe. Her background is also very interesting and I am hoping she plays a big part in the following books.

Overall I think is an ideal book for the young adult group for who it is aimed. It does say that the book is scary, but in my opinion I didn’t find them scary.. creepy sure, but not scary but I really don’t think that this hinders the book at all. From the very first chapter (15 in total) the story begins to unravel superbly and keeps you wanting more after every chapter.Delaney has surely outdone himself now by created a gem of a book that includes courage, excitement, adventure, love and a sense of following your instincts. I would recommend this book to anyone and I am looking forward to reading the 2nd novel in the series The Spooks Curse!   

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Holiday Haul!

So I am off on holiday from Sunday till next Saturday to Burnham on sea and I went out to buy some books to take with me and I would like to share them with you. 

So I guess from this selection you can kind of see the genres I am interested in, usually adventure, fantasy sort, but I do tend to swing to other genres as well. All of these are second hand from a number of second hand book shops, except from the top onearound town and I think it is a pretty good find! 

So first of the pile is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I got this from a place called Wigtown in Scotland which is actually called the booktown of Scotland and there are about ten cute little book shops all around for all ages and for different tastes and it is lovely there (and cheap!) So if you are a book enthusiast like me, make sure you go there at some point! 

Before buying this book I actually went online and typed in "Best fantasy books ever" and The Name of the Wind was always in the top 10 on multiple sites. The blurb reads: 

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the mintrels weep.
My name is Kvothe. You may of heard of me'

It really doesn't give much away and I am very excited to read this one as review ratings are extremely high and is said to be a really really good fantasy. 
o begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.


Next in line is The Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. This one like the others to follow are all from book shops around town.  This one I picked up just by coincidenceI have never head anything about this book or the author but it looks really interesting. Blurb reads: 

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before him. Somehow Thomas must learn how to excorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins...

I'm not sure if you can see clearly in the picture, but the book is actually gorgeous for first impressions as well, not just an interesting blurb. It's quite a small book is size but it kind of scaly and has a lovely finish to it. Can't wait to read this one! 


Next is The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter, the first book in The Lords of the Underworld series.

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love . . .
Passage from here

From this it seems to me that this is a fantasy like book, but with some saucy romance thrown into it, which I am not familiar of, I don't usually read romantics but I guess I give this a go, I mean come on, look at that from cover! I don't think the butterfly tattoo suits those muscles though.. 


And last but not least is Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan, the 2nd book. I thought the first one was so good I couldnt turn the 2nd one down. I have done a review on the 1st book, The Ruins of Gorlan which can be found right here!

'Bracing for a final clash with the evil warlord Morgarath, the Rangers rally the kingdom's allies, and Will is chosen, along with his friend Horace, as special envoys to nearby Celtica. But the simple mission soon takes an unsettling turn - the Celticans have disappeared, their town abandoned. The scheming hand of Morgarath, it seems, has been far from idle. He has found a way to bring his legions over the once impassible eastern mountains and is planning to ambush the king's army in a rout. Now with help many miles away, Will and Horace are the only ones standing in the way of the dark lord's plans.They have shown great skill and courage in their training, but how will they fare in the face of true evil?

With bigger battles and higher stakes, John Flanagan's epic adventure charges ahead with this rousing follow-up to The Ruins of Gorlan'

I really do hope that the rest of these book are as good as the first! I see myself getting the whole lot of they are! 


I actually cannot wait to go away and just get stuck into these books, look at the reviews, they all seem to be living up to expectations but I guess I will have to judge that for myself once I have read them! Once again. from the Sunday to Saturday of next week, I will not be able to add reviews or information onto here as I will be away from all devices. Hopefully I will have a couple of reviews coming up those for next week so stay tuned! 
- George