Tag Archives: writing challenge

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin. Review. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Hodder and Stoughton and Laura Carlin for my ARC of The Wicked Cometh in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m really cheering Laura on as an author since I found out that like me, she lives in Derbyshire! It’s always great to discover an author from your own area, but anyway, I digress, on to the review! 

The Wicked Cometh is the debut novel from author Laura Carlin. Set in 1831 during the short reign of William IV and people are going missing. But only poor people, so it doesn’t really matter right? But somebody has noticed, and somebody cares. Thrown together by chance, Hester White a young woman whom fortune has dealt a difficult hand, and Rebekah Brock a young woman fighting to be heard and respected in a man’s world, begin their own investigation into what is happening on the murky streets of London’s underworld. 


I loved the character of Hester right away. She’s down on her luck and in a position that she doesn’t deserve to be in, but there’s no sense of entitlement or ‘woe is me’ with her. She sees improving her position as working her way up there her dreams reach as far as becoming a ladies’ maid or a dairy maid, never does she think she deserves to be in some elevated status. I also liked Rebekah who is a fiesty feminist who clearly wants to be recognised for her intelligence and personality. Definitely not your typical woman. 


I loved the way the romance was handled too. I’m not going to say who it was between as I don’t like giving spoilers but I will say that for the time period this was set, it was so well written. It didn’t feel obligatory, or forced, it fitted into the story as a side story to the main event and played out perfectly. Happening naturally and with plenty of shipping from me, the reader. 


The writing style is impeccable and the storyline kept me engaged throughout, I didn’t feel it was ever losing my attention, it was very clearly well thought out and I loved the twists! I didn’t see a lot of what is coming which is rare for me lately. 

Overall a fantastic debut and I’ll be looking out for more from Laura. 

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Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart. Review 

Wowzer! Like many other people I loved We Were Liars but Genuine Fraud is something else! 

The first thing that strikes you about this book is that it starts at the end. Jule, an orphan is living it up in a posh hotel. She’s rich, alone and feisty. But also a little bit mysterious and deadly. Slowly, chapter by chapter the novel begins to go back in time and the reader finds out more about Jule and her friend Imogen and the plot gets even thicker. A friendship woven with secrets and lies and a couple of murders thrown in for good measure. 


I loved the way this novel worked backwards, it’s a very skilful way of writing and a great approach to keeping the intrigue going, we know the ending from the beginning and now it’s just a matter of finding out the how’s and why’s. 


There were definitely some ‘gotcha’ moments as well as that brilliant moment where pieces start fitting together and you’re sat there thinking ‘wow, you devious bitch.’ But I also loved that there is such a strong female presence in this book along with very blurred lines on who is the ‘good guy’ and who is the ‘bad guy’. 


Overall Genuine Fraud is an unputdownable novel with one of the best examples of an unreliable narrator that i have ever read.

Artemis by Andy Weir. Review. 

Thank you to the lovely people at Ebury publishing for my review copy of Artemis. 

Artemis is the new novel by Andy Weir, best known for his debut novel The Martian which became a film featuring Matt Damon. Artemis continues the space theme but this time it’s on the moon. Jazz lives on Artemis, the first town on the moon, and has done since she was 6 years old. The worst thing imaginable for her would be deportation back to her native Saudi Arabia with nothing but gravity sickness to look forward to. But despite this, she’s running the biggest smuggling operation on Artemis because it’s really important that Jazz gets a certain amount of money for a certain something she wants to buy. Unfortunately, she just can’t seem to help getting into trouble. 


This novel is seriously fast paced, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently but Artemis brought me right back out of it. There’s excitement, a particular form of dry humour that I love, and some kickass feminism thrown in. Andy Weir certainly shows his skill writing a first person narrative from the perspective of someone of the opposite sex. 


The character of Jazz and, in fact the whole novel in general is really engaging and captivating, I laughed a lot and it’s clear that a lot of research was done to make the Moon town as ‘realistic’ as possible. A real modern day adventure novel! I loved it! 

Now You See Me by Kierney Scott. Review. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Bookouture and Kierney Scott for my ARC of the latest thriller to hit the shelves of the British Public. 

I’ve heard a lot about this novel particularly on Twitter and I was keen to give it a try and see if it lived up to the hype. And my answer is a resounding yes. 

What I liked most about this thriller is that the main character Jess Bishop is extremely flawed, the most flawed detective since Sherlock Holmes himself. Even better, she’s female. With a love of strong red wine, an attitude to kick ass and a slight sex addiction, I absolutely loved Jess Bishop. I loved her whole attitude to casual sex and her refusal to feel ashamed, not only that but her determination to defend other women and prevent them from being shamed too. This is such an important message to get across in fiction and it’s great to see it applied in a genre which has, for a long time been seen as a man’s world. 


Not only do I fully support the badass female detective, the storyline was fresh and original too, a murderer and torturer who stalks women across borders, disappears in the night without a trace and seems to be leading everyone back to Jess herself. There is of course a wonderfully twisted and mysterious background history for Jess as well which I never saw coming. Although I did kind of work out the twist it didn’t spoil it as it was just a waiting game then for the characters to realise too. Working out the twist doesn’t ever spoil a good thriller, it only enhances the suspense and anticipation. 


And speaking of anticipation, I can’t wait for Book 2! 

Origin by Dan Brown. Review 

I’m a huge fan of Dan Brown’s Books. I’ve read everything he’s published and can’t understand people who think the books are rubbish. They are so much more than just a story, they contain a wealth of information particularly about religion, symbols and science. Not to mention technology. And Origin is no different. 

Robert Langdon and his Mickey Mouse watch travel to Spain this time, to a presentation held by Robert’s ex student and friend Edmond Kirsch. Kirsch has announced that he plans to release a presentation which will answer the two fundamental questions people ask. Where did we come from? And Where are we going? 


His discovery threatens to rock the worlds of science and religion and change the way people view the world. But a perilous and chaotic moment prevent Edmond from revealing his discovery and the answers to his questions. Instead it’s up to Langdon and the museums beautiful director Ambra to find the presentation and reveal it to the world. With a little help from the mysterious Winston. 


Origin is action packed as the other novels in this series were but I felt that; perhaps in reflection of Langdon not getting any younger, the pace was slightly slower. Other than one dramatic moment he doesn’t have his usual escapades! Nevertheless, the story really intrigued me, as the two questions intrigued the fictional viewers, they also intrigue the reader who becomes deseperate to read on in order to get the answers. 


I loved the character of Langdon just as much as I always do and especially the amount I feel that I learn from these novels, while they are fictional, there’s also a lot of interesting fact finding going on in there too! 

We can only live in hope of a 6th Book! 

The Lost Village by Neil Spring. Review 

I’m not really one for horror/ghost stories because I’m quite pathetic and scare really easily! But the premise of this novel just intrigued me, a Lost Village in Wiltshire, taken over by the army in 1914 at the start of WW1 and a promise to the villagers broken when the army decided to keep it. 

Not only that but this place; Imber is actually real! While the story itself is fictional I love supernatural realism and I was really intrigued. Intrigue that was well rewarded. I could NOT put this book down. It was so creepy in places but the story was perfect leading me along and having me pulled forward on to the edge of my seat. 


The tale was absolutely haunting, the characters believable and well written, the research well done. The twists were fantastic and I did not see them coming, a true mystery of rare calibar. The main character Sarah is wrapped up in all the mysteries without even knowing it herself, all she knows is that people are keeping things from her and that every medium or psychic she meets is warning her against something. 


In parts it was also truly scary (or maybe that’s just my chicken spirit coming out) but still enjoyable, I found myself desperate to know more and it was well worth it in the end where all questions were answered. I happen to hate books which make the ending a mystery so this was a pleasant surprise for me! 

Thank you to Netgalley, Quercus publishing and the author Neil Spring for my ARC of this novel. 

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Review 

Eeeeesh! This was so good. I love Wonder Woman and also Greek mythology so obviously a book about the Amazon Wonder Woman was always going to be on my TBR. Anyway, I finally got round to reading it today after buying it in September and here is my review! 

Wonder Woman is such a powerful novel. It’s the first book I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo although I have all her other novels on my tbr. I was expecting in all honesty for the storyline to follow that of the film (I never read synopsis’) but it was a little different and equally as brilliant! 

Diana lives on the island of Themyscira with her Amazon sisters, desperate to prove herself as a true Amazon she intends to win the annual race, but things go awray when she disobeys one of the fundamental rules of the Amazons and rescues a girl from a shipwreck. Soon she embarks on an adventure which takes her to New York and into the World of Man.


An epic journey unfolds as Diana discovers that Alia is a warbringer, descended from Helen of Troy and destined to bring war and destruction to the world. That is if Diana can’t get her to a sacred spring where her Warbringer tendencies can be cured. But first she gets dragged into New York society, parties, drugstores and dirty motel rooms. 


I love how Diana is portrayed as both incredibly fierce and incredibly vulnerable. I love that the main characters are not just female but fiesty, kick ass females with great attitude. Nim was easily one of my favourite characters. And of course Diana is extra badass when she discovers her own abilities. 


This is the first novel I’ve truly been engrossed in, in a while! I almost missed my stop on the train!