Wednesday 31 July 2019

Audio: The rest of the story by Sarah Dessen

Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-04-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
YA fiction
I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Emma is sent to her grandmother for the summer as her dad goes on his honeymoon, and her other grandmother travels. But she has not seen any of her mother's family for 10 years, she can not remember them at all.

I did feel her anger was a bit misplaced at times, as she got to know them she grew to like them, and she was angry at her dad for not taking her there sooner. But the road goes both ways, none of her mum's family came to visit her either. And I do get why her mother never wanted to go there (as the story progresses.)

But this is a story of finding yourself and family. Her mother od, and all Emma remember are the stories she told of the Lake. Her mother was in and out of her life a lot since she was an addict. Now she gets to know more about her mother, and again, I understand her father's reluctance, that place means the place that made Emma's mum an addict. But at the same time it was a wonderful place where they fell in love.

I also felt her dad changed in a strange way at the end, like he also had to learn the lesson of what family means. Maybe I am too old, but I get where he is coming from, Emma might have it in her genes and he feels like the lake brings it forward. It is about summer, drinking and having fun.

Ok, I need to get back to the surface now. I liked Emma, even if I did not get the whole call me Saylor thing.  And how it felt like she wanted to live there forever, she did have other friends and family too.

I liked the lake and it's drama, Lake North and North Lake. Her newfound family, her newfound crush (and I liked that it moved really really slow, like not almost happening at all.)

It was a good book. Real and true.

I liked the narrator (even if at times she changed the voices a bit before remembering.) I think this was my first time listening to her, and I would listen to her again.

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was 12. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges. 

Now, it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable...until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl. 
When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working-class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake - and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well. 
For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her - Emma or Saylor - will win out?

Tuesday 30 July 2019


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

July 30th: Let’s make new friends: Share some of your favorite blogs.

Of COURSE this is the day I can't open bloglovin *headdesk*
I am very reliant on it. I will just check comments

Carole Rae is my blogging buddy! She also does movie and tv

Bibliosanctum is my go to fantasy and blog

Hot Listens is a great source for audiobooks :D And Melanie is there, and Sophia (who is everywhere)

Karen for What it's worth is someone who I have followed for a long time, and she is still around, yay. And now she makes me want to visit where she has moved, dang it looks lovely.

Waves of FictionWaves of Fiction is one of my "newest" blog I follow. I have really bad with checking new blogs lately...make that years

I almost forgot Jen! See, this is truly why I need bloglovin.
She is over at That's what I'm talking about She is my romance to go person

Between D&RI once did not visit Melliane for months cos I did not see her on bloglovin. See this is how much I rely on it ;) I am very glad she kept coming anyway until I realised I had not been there for ages *hangs head in shame*

And there are many more who are also worth writing about maybe next time :) I would not visit a blog if I did not enjoy reading it after all :D

Monday 29 July 2019

Joint Discussion. Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Hello all! Carole and I will be discussing "Written in Red" by Anne Bishop. We had a little fun with this one. Carole read the ebook version and I did the audio version. I am in red and C in purple. 

Written in Red (The Others, #1)
Author: Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Title: Written in Red
(The Others #1)
Genre: Paranormal, UF, Fantasy, & romance
Published: March 1st 2013
Pages: ebook & audiobook

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. 

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow

Amaaaaaazing!!!!! I was not the biggest fan of this book when I read it, but audio, oh wow, audio!

Too funny! I read the ebook of it and I am meh overall. Still curious about book 2, but it took me sooooo long to really get sucked into the story and the world. I’ll have to do audio for book 2 ;)

I am really curious if you will get sucked into the book thanks to audio. So very curious. Because for me it was so much better. All those things that had bothered me when reading did not bother me now.

I am curious. Maybe someday I’ll backtrack and listen to the audio version of this. We’ll see how I feel about the next books ;) I hope Meg gets better. I was not a huge fan of her. She annoyed me. 

When I read my first review I read between the lines that I felt she was a Mary Sue and I did not like her But audio, Alexandra Harris made her so likable, I felt like she was a lost puppy and I needed to care for her.

Yess she was sooo Mary Sue but super whiney at times. Like calm down. I get that she had a rough past, but still. So annoying. She did get better at the end there. So I have hope for her in the next book. 

I was worried, but I did not have that feeling at all now. Meg was awesome.

Awwww I hope I fall for her in the next one! I was neutral on Simon. Didn’t hate or like him. 

And again, do I love them because I did fall madly in love with book 4 or is it audio? I say audio! Simon was omg srsly, you have to listen to him. He was all growly throughout the entire book, he had the perfect voice. Which made me like him.

Maybe I’d like him if I heard a different voice. In my head, he sounds like a grumpy school teacher and she sounds whiney. Hahaha. Sometimes audios can help change one think of a character differently either in a good way or bad way ;) But yes, Carole brain was not kind to what I thought they sounded like. 

He was growly and rather scary, and well bloody perfect. She does voices so well, the vamps, perfect, the crows, perfect, that Kowalski cop, perfect voice lol.

I am so excited to listen to  the next book. I hope it changes my opinions on these characters because I adored the world. It is dark and scary and fun. I loved the world and I want to see more and learn more. 

And I can’t wait to see if you like her voice too. I listened to her at first with the spinoff series and yeah, she is so good! 

But this world is great too, that I liked when I was not overly impressed. Dark and omg doesn’t it make you hate humans!?

Ugh humans!!!! I wanted to kick them!!!! Always horrible. Always a pain. And yessss I keep hearing about her voice. I read a couple reviews on her and she sounds like I’ll like her. I am giddy for book 2. The last couple chapters had me hooked and reading fast!!!

You will continue to hate them until you wish there were none left. Love it! Hehe. Oh yes those last chapters, so many hours of me sitting biting my nails even though I knew what would happen.

It was a nail-biter for sure!! I had no idea how it was going to end! Kuddos to the author there. Had me hooked even though I wanted to hiss at Meg and yawn at Simon with all his grow-ly ways. 

Lol, like I said, none of that for me. Just really hating Asia, damn her to hell!

Totally forgot about my hatred of Asia. LOLLL. Darn her!!!! *shakes fist*

I had forgotten that I hated her, ugh, haaaaate! So much hate.

Yesss grrr! She drove me insane. Especially with the long paragraphs of infodumps. Like no one wants to hear you or listen to you. Go away. 

Anything else? I obvi loved it, hehe. I can’t wait to re.listen to book 2.

Mmmmm nothing else. I loved the world and the writing. But I was annoyed by Meg and was neutral towards Simon. Asia and the humans make me hiss. BUT the last couple of chapters really did excite me for book 2. I will listen to the audio though. I hope it makes me like it more. *fingers crossed*

I really hope so! I want you to fall in love with this world too. As for Simon, hmm, I have to check an old review, wait…..hmm, I still do not know, but I do not think it was love at first sight for me. It took a while. Anyhow, audio next :D

I want to love him. But alas my heart is bored and neutral of him so far. We shall see ;) And I hope so too. The last handful of chapters gave me hope. I nearly had to say no way to book 2. But the ending and the world building saved the story for me. Yayy. 

Let’s hope for that. Fingers crossed!

Fingers crossed for sure!!!! 

The end?


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Friday 26 July 2019

The storied life of AJ Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

Paperback, 243 pages
Published 2015 by Abacus (first published April 4th 2014)

This was another one of the the library is closing, let's grab a lot of books, book.

Character driven, nothing major happen, but all way through a really good book. Oh oh, it would make a good movie too!

AJ Fikry is a widower, he owns a bookstore, he drinks too much and he is grumpy. He is a total lit snob too, but, oh I forgive you. Of course if we ever met he would totally have looked down on my taste in books.

Amelia is a sales rep that comes to his shop a few times a year. Grumpy weirdo is the thought she leaves with, but she is still a constant in his life.

There is the cop that checks up on him and buys a lot f crime books cos of it. I liked him.

Then his priced possession is stolen!

And then the parcel arrives and his whole life changes, for the better. A grumpy sad man can also change. 

It was a pleasant and lovely read. It was all about these characters. A great random pick! 

We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming.

Thursday 25 July 2019

The High Ground by Melinda Snodgrass

Paperback, 421 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Titan Books
Series: Imperials #1

It started well enough, though it was so YA. Nothing wrong with that, but I really feel like this should not be marked adult. Nothing makes it so. They act like 14 year olds. We see them at school, soccer game, bullying. Make them 20, make it adult, or make them actually 14. I felt that the book was conflicted.

And then it just got depressing, and I started skimming, I checked book 2 how her life will be and it will suck, and still suck in book 3. Rather depressing.

I guess she could not make it YA, cos they are older in the next one. But an adult book can still be about kids, just make the writing less YA then.

Emperor's daughter Mercedes is the first woman ever admitted to the High Ground, the elite training academy of the Solar League's Star Command, and she must graduate if she is to have any hope of taking the throne. Her classmate Tracy has more modest goals--to rise to the rank of captain, and win fame and honor. But a civil war is coming and the political machinations of those who yearn for power threatens the young cadets. In a time of intrigue and alien invasion, they will be tested as they never thought possible.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze

Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Jo Fletcher Books
Series: The Empty Gods #1
To review

Grey is a mage, but one illegally since all must belong to a guild. His grandpa was taken, since he too was not in a guild (see where I am going with this?). So he is trying to find him.

Brix is a runway slave and they meet with a bang. Since slaves should not run away, bad for business. Oh and Grey might have stolen something too.

There are people after them, Guilders (always that dang guild!), the Church (they get so angry about runway slaves).

They run, they oh that is a spoiler, but they pick up 2 other strays. And things get dark at the end too. And I really can't see where the next book will take them, something freaky happens and yes I can not see anything. The freaky thing was something new that I can't recall seeing somewhere else...

It really has a the light side, though I did want more, a fleshed out story and longer. It was rather short too so there could have been more. I like to immerse myself in a world. To fully feel it, it's culture, its history, to know the characters more. Now it was more an intro, and now I am thinking of the end again, hmm, then it does make sense. I shall see this as an intro to the series (yes yes book 1, but you get my meaning.) 

Again, I did want a bigger world, so for me this world was just too small. Others might not mind, but for me I expected more, it was not show, nor tell. 

Light fantasy adventure with a twist.

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He's friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages' Guild - and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can't get much worse.

So when a fugitive drops into his lap - literally - and gets them both arrested, it's the last straw - until Gray realises that runaway slave Brix could be the key to his grandfather's release. All he has to do is break out of prison, break into an ancient underground temple and avoid killing himself with his own magic in the process.

In theory, it's simple enough. But as secrets unfold and loyalties shift, Gray discovers something with the power to change the nature of life and death itself.

Now Gray must find a way to protect the people he loves, but it could cost him everything, even his soul . . .

Tuesday 23 July 2019


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

July 23rd: Fun Post: Share interesting things about yourself.

Well this one is a hard one too, I am so incredibly ordinary.

Buut, ok I can not do audiobooks slowly, they make me go insane. Everyone talk so freaking slow. Nope, no thank you! My preferred speed is 1.8x. Sometimes if my brain thinks of something else I do realise that it is rather fast. And yes in RL I do like when people talk fast too and get to their point. I guess this is a fun fact, right`;)

Fun, I do not know!

Did you know I live in the land of snow and eternal sun in the summer? AKA Finland. Dark long winters, long light summers.

But did you know that I do not speak Finnish`? I got you there! Nope, I am a Swedish speaking Finn. So Swedish is my mother tongue. Swedes won the crusades race in the 12th century and people started moving to the coast. So here we still are, still speaking Swedish. It is the official language of Finland, together with Finnish. I might not have a drop of Finnish blood in me, we are very inbred *coughs*

Talking of inbred, SO's grandpa found that SO and I are both descended from a pair of siblings in the early 1700s.

Something else, nah, might think of something before this goes live

Monday 22 July 2019

Audio: Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh

Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-04-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Fiction YA

So nothing really happens, and a lot of fancy words are used, but, it was just so lovely to read a YA book where ok so there was some drama, but it was real drama. It was calm, and then a storm might come, but they weathered it.

Patience, aka Plum and Ginny lives with their mum in a crumbling house. Too big, too old, plumbing that goes out, not enough money to care for it.

Their mum only works part-time at the uni, her paintings does not sell. Money is a problem.

Ginny is a dramaqueen in the old sense, I mean 19th century way. All those Austen and Bronte heroes, or wait, Anne, yes totally Anne. Ginny is really smart, but worries constantly how to get into College, and then pay for it.

Plum is the calm, normal one, she is the narrator as she worries about their home, about her sister who is always in the spotlight, and then she gets a secret of her own. And I liked that, something just for her, all so very calm and by accident.

The prose is very flowery, and yes all those fancy words that P likes to use might not be to everyone's taste. But it works so well

It is very sweet, upbeat, and even when they struggle they push forward, at least Plum does. I enjoyed it.

Oh she nailed Ginny when she was despairing at the world at times, so drama. She gave  Plum a great voice too. I liked it and made the story flow.

It was my first time with this narrator and I would listen to her again

For siblings as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s finances hit a snag, sending chaos through the house in a way only characters from a Jane Austen novel could understand, a distance grows between them like never before.

Plum, a self-described social outcast, finally has something in her life that doesn’t revolve around her dramatic older sister. But what if coming into her own means Plum isn’t there for Ginny when she, struggling with a hard secret of her own, needs her most?

I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest review

Sunday 21 July 2019

Carole's Sunday: The book of Lost Souls by Michelle Scott

The Book of Lost Souls
Author: Michelle Scott 

Title: The Book of Lost Souls
Genre: UF, Paranormal Romance
Pages: ebook
Published:  May 18th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author or publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

You don’t have to be in love to fight demons. But it helps.

Ever since demons first made their appearance on Earth, the Protectorate has been working hard to send them back to hell. It’s a dirty war between good and evil, and it gets even tougher when a demonic prophet named Hezbah threatens to smash the gates of hades and release every demon inside.

Unfortunately, the only two people who can stop Hezbah aren’t speaking to each other.

Kia Saunders takes her job as a Protectorate agent very seriously. She thought her partner, Levi, did as well. But after Lev’s disregard for the rules almost gets her killed, she questions everything she knows about the demons…and Levi.

Fearless, swaggering Levi Asche is the best Protectorate demon hunter in Detroit. Or at least he was until he made a mistake that cost him his job, his home, and his partner.

Now, as Lev and Kia work together to stop Hezbah, two things remains clear: Hezbah’s powers are greater than anyone guessed. And even when they’re arguing, Kia and Lev have never been better together.

I couldn't resist this book because of the summary and the book cover. Isn't that one badass cover? 

The story follows Kia and Lev who are Protectorate agents. Their job is to send the demons back to where they came from. A demon prophet named Hezbah threatens to smash the gates and release all the demons back to Earth.

I really enjoyed this. I was able to get this done in 3 sittings. It took a couple of chapters really to get hooked, but once I was hooked I sped through this. A quick but fun read. 

Kia was fun and she kicked butt. I was meh about Lev at first. By the end I did like him...but I am still not the biggest fan of him. I get he does what he does and he gets results, but he breaks too many rules that almost got Kia killed. SMH. Calm down cowboy! lol. But yes, I did like him but I still will keep a close on him in the future. 

The baddie was scary! I wasn't sure how everything was going to turn out. 

I believe there is a 1st book? I would like to read it if is there. There seemed to be some backstory I felt like I was missing. Overall the book did okay as a standalone but I do feel like I was missing some things though. 

I want more of this world though! I want to learn more. It is a fun concept and world. Demons are scary! And I said it already but that baddie was scary but a good baddie!

Now that ending!? SO good. I am itching to see what is next! 

Overall, I really liked this book. The cool cover drew me in and then the story had me hooked. There were some references I felt like I missed, but it still worked out. Kia was awesome, but I am still going to keep an eye on that Lev fella. ;). OooooOOo that ending was really good. Curious to see what is next! I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


Friday 19 July 2019

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Hardcover, 319 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Knopf Publishing Group

This was one of those library books I just went around and picked at random since the library was closing for 2 months. I did not know what to expect, and it didn't even say anything on it.

I did not know what to make of Essie. She was pregnant, she seemed to orchestrate to marry a stranger. She was looking for her sister. She really wanted to talk to this journalist. I kept wondering if she had a hidden agenda. And then boom, the truth, and it is shocking.

Roarke is the other POV. The boy that promises to marry Essie. He is very prejudiced at first, all he know of her is that which he has seen on tv. The perfect Hicks family, with their tv preacher dad. I did like Roarke, he was the one I knew where I had.

Then there is Liberty, my least fav POV. She is a journalist who has been in a cult as a kid. She interviews Essie and gets to know her more.

The book is, not slow, just this perfect thoughtful pace and then the actually revelations is not the boom I said. It is just dropped there and simmers.

It was a really good book, and I did like the whole not as seen on tv. Also the end was so hopeful! U loved that. I really loved that

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom? 

Thursday 18 July 2019

Audio: Like a love story by Abdi Nazemian

Narrated by: Lauren Ambrose, Vikas Adam, Michael Crouch
Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-04-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
YA Fiction

Maybe emotional YA fiction is the fiction for me. It always have a bigger impact.

This book has 3 narrators and it works so well when they read their chapters. First there is Vikas Adam as Reza, and yes I absolutely love his voice so that was a big yes for me. Reza is the one fighting his feelings for other boys. He grew up in Iran, he was there during the revolution, and now he has a new life in NY. He is the one in the closet, the one afraid that just being gay will give him AIDS. Since no one is explaining things. I liked Reza, it is not always easy to be brave.

Judy wants to be a fashion designer, at school she is known as the girl with the gay bff and well, for being overweight. She was voiced by a good narrator too. She was the one standing in the shadows, wanting to break out. I also liked her parents, sure her mum could say the wrong things, but considering Art's parents, yes, Judy had the best ones. The book is also about her uncle Stephen who is dying from AIDS. And that does brings so much more into the book. Stephen was so wonderful, and seeing him on what must be his last breath was so hard. I know the 80s was bad, but reading about it is always different. Heartbreaking.

But yes, last there is Art, out and proud, and not giving an f who knows. I really do not have anything more to say about Art, other that he did break my heart at the end.

It was a great story, I knew it from the moment it began. It pulled me in at once, the voices was well done and brought the characters to life.

It was heartbreak, love, fake love, love for Madonna, love for life. Love for being alive.
A great listen

I already say that I love Vikas Adam, and I do, he has the perfect voice.
It was my first time listening to Lauren Ambrose and  Micheal Crouch, but their voices fit really well with the characters they voiced.

It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy's best friend, their school's only out and proud teen. He'll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won't break Judy's heart--and destroy the most meaningful friendship he's ever known.

I received this book from Harper Collins in  exchange for an honest review

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Audio: Queen's Gambit - Jessie Mihalik

Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
Series: Rogue Queen Series, Book 1
Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-31-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
I received this book free of charge in exchange for a review

This was a novella so things had to happen fast.

Samara is a queen (of course why no one just crushed her world in a day I do not know, it would be so easy). There are those who do not want to fight for the two other empires, and those who just want to escape.

Samara is tough as nails, dubious past, and was elected queen. And now she will save the emperor to get some money out of it, her people need food.

Valentin was, oh I liked him, I am sure he will be a good emperor if he can just get rid of the snakes around him.

Get him out, get him safe, get money. Baddies after them. Friendship blossoming (I hope for more one day too).

It was short and fully fleshed out it would have been even better. But it does work as a novella and there are more to come.

I did have to up the speed of the narrator to 2.0 cos I felt she was speaking too slowly. I did like her voice, but yes higher speed was needed for me. It might have to do with that this was built as a serial. So there are many moments in it for action and danger.

When the Quint Confederacy and the Kos Empire went to war - again - Queen Samara wisely kept her Rogue Coalition out of the conflict. But staying neutral in a galactic war doesn't pay the bills, not when both sides refuse to trade with neutral sectors.  

With her people on the brink of starvation, Samara hatches a daring plan to snatch the kidnapped Kos Emperor from the Quint mercenaries holding him. The Kos Empire will pay a fortune for their emperor's return, enough to feed the Coalition's citizens while they wait for the return to a begrudging peace.  

But when her plan goes sideways, Samara finds herself evading Quint mercenaries with the very man she intends to capture. And the more time she spends with Valentin Kos, the more she realizes that he's not the coldly indifferent villain she imagined. Torn between duty and desire, Samara must decide if saving her people is worth giving up the one thing she's always wanted.

Tuesday 16 July 2019


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

July 16th: Road Trip: What are some of your favorite road trip books?

Is this books about road trips, or books to read on a road trip.

Cos of it is books about road trips then I would say none. I am sure I have read some but none that have made a deeper impact.

If it is books to take with you I say long and light! That way you can read that book for hours.

Monday 15 July 2019

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Paperback, 421 pages
Published June 21st 2018 by Orbit (first published October 16th 2015)
Series: The Lot Lands #1

I did not actually want to read this book, I was told it was so grimdark, and I am not a grimdark fan. But I have come to realise that I do like grimdark, just not grimdark where the main characters rape or laugh while buddies rape...yeah no thank you. And those are so hard to find cos it's not like glowing reviews say it.

But then I found it for free on this take a book, leave a book bookshelf my library has. I had to try it, if I did not care for it I could just leave it there for someone else to take. Cos I was curious, even if I again was told it was not for me since I was not a SoA fan.

Oh and there is rape mentioned. But as long as my main guy does not do it, I am fine. This is a shitty place, the intestines in a dung heap kind of place. Orcs come plundering, killing and raping. The children of such unions are killed, left to die or given to orphanages. And they used to be slaves, kept at brothels, used at servants or made to work in mines. Until they showed their worth and now some patrol the borderlands on hogs. 
This is the arse of the empire.

It is dark, they kill, they joke, they talk shit. And there is politic. Their leader is tired, Jackal feels like he is leading them astray. Then a weird wizard shows up, not to mention they find an elf being tortured (and you do not mess with elves.)

I did like Jackal, he does have honor in him, and with that I can follow him. The only woman worth mentioning is a fellow soldier, and I did not like her one bit, ugh, the next book seems to be about her, I despair.

Some neg reviews talk how there are no women and the only women in it are whores. Well, this is the shithole of the empire,what do you expect. I do not want my fantasy to be 50/50 Utopia. What on earth could happen there to be interesting? Let me read about a fucking disaster where I would not want to live. Where I'd rather just drown in a river instead.

I really enjoyed it and read it in a day. It was an easy read, I want more, and just fuck, it was a shitty place to read about. It makes you want to swear. So much, and snort.

Is this made with women in mind? Cos I approve

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs. 
Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs. 
When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious. 

Sunday 14 July 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: The Colonel and the Bee - Patrick Canning

The Colonel and the Bee
Author: Patrick Canning 

Narrator: Mil Nicholson
Title: The Colonel and the Bee
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure, Historical Fantasy, SciFi
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  June 1st 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precious gem in the world, The Blue Star Sphinx. 

If the heroes can outmaneuver the deadly treasure hunters, escaped convicts, and double-crosses that await them, they may win the treasure they seek, or better yet, a sense of true belonging. 

This book had me hooked from the moment I read the title and then seen the book cover. I knew I had to read/listen to it. 

The story follows Beatrix/Bee. She was an acrobat in a circus with an abusive ringleaders. She decides its time to go after meeting Colonel James Bacchus. They team up and journey the world in the Colonel's amazing hot air balloon. Along with some friends they begin a grand quest to the find the Blue Star Sphnix. 

Normally books that are technically "steampunk" are out of my reading category. Not a huge fan. BUT this did not feel steampunk minus the hot air balloon that is pretty much the size of a house. Other then that I couldn't tell. It was perfect for the likes of me. I can't stand over-the-top steampunk novels. This had a splash of steampunk and it worked well for me. 

I liked Bee and the Colonel. Except the Colonel did have me worried. He seemed SO perfect at first. Smart, classy, funny, brave, adventurous, kind to everyone, proud, handsome, etc. I was worried, but then we got to see the real Colonel after a bit. The outside is perfect, but he has some flaws there. 

This was a fun adventure for sure. I had no idea how it was all going to end. Especially with the big twist and reveal. WOAH. Didn't see that coming! 

I enjoyed the humor and the writing style. I learned some new words for sure in this one! 

The ending was pretty good. It did make me happy how it all ended. 

I think my only complaint was how young Bee was. At first I thought she was older, but then I realized she is barely a teenager! I don't mind young characters, but I guess I assumed she was closer to being an adult. Like 16 or 17 or something of the like. It did work though. She was young and naive in a lot of things. 

The narrator was fun. She was a little old sounding for Bee (maybe this is why I thought she was a touch older). But I did enjoy her voice for the characters. She has an excellent way to bring the accents and the characters to life! Good pick overall there. 

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. It was full of life. I really want more adventures! The characters were a gem. The story was intriguing and fun. The narration was a charm. I adored this novel. And that cover???? Makes me want to go on a hot air balloon and travel the world! This novel was certainly a gem and I highly recommend it. I'll stamp this with 5 stars. 


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