Review – What Could Possibly go Wrong?

Title: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Author: Jodi Taylor

Series: Chronicles of St Mary’s #6

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 48
(see below for breakdown)

4.5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

Max is back! New husband, new job, and a training regime that cannot fail – to go wrong!

Take one interim Chief Training Officer, add five recruits, mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous Father of History, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd. Stir well, bring to the boil – and wait for the bang!

Join Max in the sixth instalment in the off-the-wall Chronicles of St Mary’s series.

My Thoughts

I have talked about how much I love this series over and over again, and it is getting harder and harder to talk about it without spoilers. I have talked a lot about how I love the writing style, that it feel like reading a TV series, with multiple little episodes and adventures contained in one novel. This makes them page turners, this book like the others bounces about history, exploring different periods in time while dealing with the over arching plot.

I definitely think this one pick the story line back up again. It feel like it is the start of a new ARC, both in terms of the overarching villian and in the personal aspects for the main cast. Our MC, Max, has changed her position at St Mary’s and that allows for the introduction of new characters in the form of the new trainees. It was really fun seeing Max whom we have gotten to know really well, adapt to this new roll especially as she was used to being the trouble maker.

We really got a wider character perspective in this one opening up for different style of adventures than those in the last few novels, without loosing the old favourite either. I really loved the diversity in the new characters, they had such different personalities that really worked well together. As trouble befell them, as it always does at St Mary’s it was great to see how they reacted and how that worked with the gang we were already so used to. It was great fun! Spoiler: There was actually a successful mission for once!

This instalment also gave us a bit more insight into the dystopian world that St Mary’s is set in which we haven’t got a lot of information about since the first book so it was great to see that come back into play. We also still got all the humour and high-jinks we expect from St Mary’s. The highs and the lows, the laugh out loud and the moments that make you gasp. This is just a really entertaining series and this instalment was just as entertaining as the rest.

I continue to love this series and I was lucky to receive books 7-9 for my birthday, as well as the second short story collection so I can keep adventuring with Max and the gang. This is doubly so as that cliff hanger ending has me needing to know what happens next!

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 8

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 8

CHARACTERS – 8

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 8

PLOT – 8

ENJOYMENT – 8

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

WWW Wednesday – 12/8/20

It’s a week off from work for me which means lots of reading has been done! Normally I would take a week or so off in August for the international festival so we could enjoy the various performances etc. So I decided to keep to that but to clear out some of my TBR instead. I have been loving it.

Happy Wednesday!

Its that time of the Week again! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that was revived by Taking on a World of Words. I like it cause it is fairly simple but allows me to check in with my reading but also with you!

WWW Wednesday asks just three questions:

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU RECENTLY FINISHED?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL READ NEXT?

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker
Lauren James

I am really enjoying this. I am only about 70 pages in, as I started it last night, but I am really enjoying the humour and the tone. It is setting up some really interesting plot lines. I think I am getting more out of it as age wise I sit in the middle of the two sets of characters we have. So I am getting the jokes on both side of the generation gap. I am also loving the mysterious omnipresent narrator that drops by every few chapters, I can’t wait to find out who they are.

The Mime Order
Samantha Shannon

The Bone season #2

My first read of Tome Topple. I manage to read this over four days. I am still not sure what I think about this series. I enjoyed both the first book and this one but not to the point where they will become favourite reads and while I am still interested enough to continue I don’t know if I am completely invested. They just seem a bit too long for the level of plot that they contain. There just seems to be a lot of filler.

Cinderella is Dead
Kalynn Bayron

Come hell or high water I am starting this this week! I have seen nothing but praise for this book and I really want to read it. My copy is just sitting on my TBR cart waiting for me to dive into its pages and I hope I can soon. I think I might possibly start it tonight after i finish this weeks section of Clockwork Angel.


So that is my WWW post for this week. I will see you next Wednesday to update you. What are you reading this week? Have you finished anything lately you loved?

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Disney Park Book Tag

It’s another Tag Tuesday. I was recently tagged by Danni and _ForBooksSake to do this tag and the questions just seemed so much fun I had to do them. I will admit though I have only ever been to a Disney park once in my life and it was over 20 years ago now! I went to Disneyland Paris with my parents when I was 10! Euro Disney was still fairly new (it has only been open for 5 years) I don’t think it had half these rides and I was too short to ride some of them! Luckily, I don’t need to talk about the rides only the books I picked!

The Rules:

  • Mention the creator and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
  • Tag 5+ friends
  • Feel free to copy the heading graphics

The Questions:

The Jungle Cruise: A Book Set Along The River

Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovich

River’s of London #1

Not only is the series focused on London, the River Themes and it’s tributaries, it features the Rivers manifested as their goddesses with unique River magic. These River Goddesses also reflect the history and culture of central London, with their spheres of influence matching the area of there influence. I adore the magic system in this series, along with the humour, history, culture and diversity of London contained within them.

Pirates of the Caribbean: A Swashbuckling High Seas Adventure

The Ship of Shadows
Maria Kuzniar

It had to be this book. I have not stopped talking about this little gem. Its a book packed with Pirate Girl Gang action, which is focuses on just finding yourself and being who you are. I loved it. I have a full review HERE and I also got to ask the author a couple of questions HERE

The Haunted Mansion: A Book With An Eerie Vibe

The King of Crows
LibbaBray

The Diviners #4

This whole series has a great creepy vibe from start to finish. Set in the 1920s and focusing round a group of Diviners ( a group of bright young things with magical powers) as they try to solve mysetrious goings on and why they developed such powers in the first place. The fourth book takes them out of New York and across the USA as they split up to finally solve the mysteries. However the creepy King of Crows a tall spectral being is hunting them. It just is so atmospheric at times that it really gives you the chills. I have a spoiler free review for King of Crows HERE

Thunder Mountain Railroad: A Thrill Ride From Start to Finish

The Space Between Worlds
Micaiah Johnson

This was just released and while I had an ARC of it I wish people were shouting about this more! I adored it. The action didn’t stop, it flung twist and turns at the most unexpected times. It also managed to focus so much as the human aspects, and very significant topics such as racism, classism, living with abuse etc. etc. I just couldn’t put it down. It was phenomenal and more people need to read it! I have a full spoiler free review here.

Splash Mountain: A Book Set in the Deep South

This was a hard one to find. I dont actually read a lot of books set in the US, and if they are they are either centred around New York City or they are witchy so have a very new England vibe. The deep south, as far as fantasy is concerned, tends towards more paranormal and paranormal romance so I really haven’t read many books set there. One I do want to get to it is

River of Teeth
Sarah Gailey

This is a alternate history set in Louisiana that looks at what might have happened if they had gone through with the proposal to introduce hippo’s into the Mississippi river. It just seems like such an interesting concept, taking that bizzare historical proposal and extrapolating what might have happened. It is definitely on my TBR for the future.

Cinderella Castle: A Book With A Castle

Assassin’s Apprentice
Robin Hobb

Farseer Trilogy #1

Not how you would traditionally picture a storybook castle but a more historical context this book features keep and court life, as out main character, Fitz, grows up within the walls of Buckkeep, as the bastard son of the former 1st in line to the throne. It isn’t always a pleasant place, but we do get to explore everything from the castles kitchens to its towers and its secret passage ways. I have a review HERE

Mad Tea Party: A Whimsical Book

The Beast and the Bethany
Jack Meggitt-Philips

I have just finished an ARC of this book and it is just deleightful. It has a real Dahl-esq quality with how wicked it is while also being completely whimiscal. I am very lucky to be part of The Write reads Blog tour for this devilish little book and I will be posting my review next week!

Matterhorn Bobsleds: A Trek Through the Mountains

My mind instantly goes to Lord of the rings for this one as while it has been some time since I visited middle earth in text, I have watched the movies more recently. I am perpetually telling myself I should treat myself to some nice editions and sit down to read them again. SO I decided to look back through my reading year to see if i have a mountain adventure there.

A shiver of Snow and Sky
Lisa Lueddecke

While not really a mountain trek, this book does have a small section where the main character has to brave the perils of the mountains in order to save her island from invaders. I did enjoy this book, it had really interesting world building and folk lore. You can read my review of it HERE.

It’s a Small World: A World Inspired by Another Culture

The Jumbies
Tracey Baptiste

The Jumbies #1

Another recent read, and another middle grade, which I read as part of the Middle Grade Marvels book club. It was our July book. This is inspired by Carribean folk and fairy tales which is something I hadn’t read before. It was so atmospheric. Middle grade books have a way of building a creepy yet fun atmosphere. We got a lot of information about the islands culture and I am really glad I picked it up. You can read my mini review HERE.

Space Mountain: A Fast Paced Space Opera

Seven Devils
Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

Seven Devils #1

I read alot of space opera, its one of my favourite genres. I suspect a few people would have thought I would have picked a John Scalzi novel for this prompt. But I decided to go with my most recently read space opera as I think it needs a bit of shouting about. Seven Devils is another Girl gang book this time in space and it is just great fun. I really enjoyed it and I also think it would be a really good entry book into space opera for those wanting to give it a try. Its very character driven and have some awesome twists. You can find my review HERE

I’m Tagging

JenJenReviews

Natyreadsbooks

KerriMcBooknerd

Ashortbooklover

Gina Rae Mitchell


I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Mini Review Monday – Artificial condition

Title: Artificial Condition

Author: Martha Wells

Series: Murderbot Diaries #2

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

My Thoughts

I am a huge huge fan of these books! My love and appreciation for the Main Character, Murderbot, just grows with every instalment of it’s adventures. Still on the hunt for its lost memories it teams up with ART (Asshole Research Transport), a ship AI with an attitude, and I was even more sold on these stories. The two personalities of these AI are just fantastic. In this novella we also get the gamut of emotions, from laugh out loud almost slap stick moments, to tender moments of connection, fear at the out come of Murderbot’s quest to the anticipation of the action scenes.

The world building is also just as detailed as the plot, with a diverse range of characters, including within the AI characters, and a myriad of different planets and corporate entities which make it a very rich and interesting universe.

It is just such a good series. I am so invested in Murderbot’s journey. I am very much looking forward to picking up the third book.


I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Wrap up – July 2020

July was a strange month. It seemed incredibly long. I started a new position at a different university (still working from home) so had the switch in schedule from that which caused me to space out my days a little differently. I participated in Bookopol-athon which I attempted a new blogging format for. We had two Shadowhunter Saturdays, I participated in an awesome blog tour and some great buddy reads, all of which made it an amazing reading month. However, I still didn’t manage to complete my set TBR, including some ARCs I needed to get to! Overall, I have a bit mixed feelings about it all as some of the month was amazing with other weeks just seemed to drag and no reading got done.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 13

PAGES: 3213

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 3

4.5 STARS: 0

4 STARS: 4

3.5 STARS: 3

3 STARS: 2

2.5 STARS: 1

Book of the Month

The Ship of Shadows
Maria Kuzniar

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This had to be my pick for book of the month. This was just a fun packed, pirate filled read. I got a beautiful finished copy from Puffin books as part of The Write Reads Blog Tour. It was so much fun getting to read what everyone thought of this book. For me just was just magical. I loved the characters and the world-building was just so detailed. You can read my full review HERE. I also got to be part of the Middle Grade Marvels Author interview which you can read HERE.

WHAT I READ –

I have a full wrap up already for the eight books I read as part of Bookopol-athon. I am not going to rewrite all those again but if you are interested in reading my thoughts on them all you can find my Bookopol-athon Wrap up HERE.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste was also the Middle Grade Marvel’s July Book of the month. I now have a mini review for it which you can read HERE! I will have the reviews for the rest coming very soon (apart from This is How you lose the Time war which was a re-read).

Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Melissa Bashardoust

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

My very first read of the month, I had this as an eARC, then received an early printing in a Fairyloot box as the release date was pushed back due to Covid. I really did enjoy this, but it didn’t blow me away. I felt it was lacking a little the world building for it to be a great read for me. I have a full ARC review here.

City of Ashes
Cassandra Clare

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

City of Glass
Cassandra Clare

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I grouped both of these together as I pretty much read them back to back as part of Ellie from Read To Ramble and I’s Shadowhunter Saturday project. I found myself enjoying this series more and more. Again I have posts with my review and Ellie’s thoughts for both The City of Ashes and City of Glass if you would like to read them.

The Angel of Crows
Katherine Addison

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I managed to finish this off in the very last minutes of the month. It took me quiet a while to read this book. I received it as an eARC but unfortunately didn’t finish it in time to review it for release data as I hate to admit it, but I found it rather boring. It was a little bit of a struggle to get through as I just didn’t want to pick it up. There was just a real lack of effort to the writing which masked what had the potential to be some amazing worldbuilding. So disappointing. I have an ARC Review if you wish to read my full thoughts.


So that was my rather short and sweet wrap up for July. Other than the quick reads summarised in my Bookopol-athon wrap up, I have managed to write a review for the majority of books on this list which is fantastic. I am planning to get mini reviews up for soon for the Bookopol-athon list but the two eARC graphic novels will have to wait a bit closer to their publication.

I really loved taking part in The Write Reads Blog tour and the Middle Grade Marvels Book Club and encourage you to go visit them on Twitter if you are interested to know more.

What was your favourite read in July? I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Tome Topple TBR

Tome Topple is a readathon created by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes all about conquering those big books that are hiding on your shelves. It is a two week readathon from midnight in your timezone. This is Round 12 and it runs from

Saturday 8th August – Friday 21st August

It is a really relaxed readathon. The goal is just to read 1 tome (a book over 500 pages) it doesn’t matter what type of tome it is the goal is just to finish 1.

For those that want to be a bit more ambitious there is a bingo card. Which has a number of different prompts – each of which you can use one book to represent two of. Again they are fairly loose and open to interpretation. You can do all of them or none of them. There is also an instagram challenge that can be found on Sam’s Instagram

I have some pretty big books on my Monthly TBR and I would like to try and tackle them over these two weeks.

Assassin’s Quest
Robin Hobb

Farseer Trilogy #3

I finally want to be able to finish this book! I is one of the largest books on my TBR shelves at 838 pages. I have been really enjoying the series so far and I am really interested in how this trilogy will end. I am also hoping I can finish it before the Elderling-along live show which i think is the 16th.

The Well of Ascension
Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn #2

Another series I have fallen slightly behind on. I have had this on most of my recent TBRs but never actually got around to it. I might pick up the audio-book for this one. I really enjoyed the first in the series, Sanderson is just so great at worldbuilding that although its been months since I last book I still remember a lot.

The Mime Order
Samantha Shannon

The Bone season #2

This has been on my TBR shelf for far far too long. With a short story recently released and book finally due early next year i thnk it is about time I continue with this series. I did pick up book one again, at the very beginning of the year but for one reason or another didn’t continue. I need to get on top of my open ended series and start completing them so this one goes on the TBR.


So that is my round 12 of Tome Topple TBR. I hope I can manage all three in the two weeks. I am not working the first week so hopefully that will help with having some time to get through some of the pages. If i manage these I will have read over 2000 pages and knocked 3 bog books off my TBR including completing a series I have always meant to read! Fingers crossed i can do it.

Are you participating in this round? What book are you most looking forward to reading? I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Arc Review – The Space Between Worlds

Title: The Space Between Worlds

Author: Micaiah Johnson

Release Date: 6/8/2020

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 53
(see below for breakdown)

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received a free eARC copy from Hodder & Stoughton, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

Reasons Cara has died:

  • The emperor of the wasteland wanted to make an example of her mother and started with her
  • One of her mother’s boyfriends wanted to cover up what he did to her
  • She was born addicted and her lungs didn’t develop
  • She was left alone, and a stranger came along
  • The runners came for a neighbour and she was in the way
  • The runners came for her mother and she was in the way
  • The runners came for her boyfriend and she was in the way
  • The runners came for no one, serving nothing but chaos and fear, and she was what they found
  • Her mother left her alone in a shed while she worked or got high and she fell asleep alone and hungry and forever

Reasons Cara has lived:

  • She doesn’t know but there are 8.

The multiverse business is booming, but there’s just one catch: no one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive.

Enter Cara. Of the 382 realities that have been unlocked, Cara is dead in all but eight

But on this earth, she survived. Born in the wastelands where if a basic lack of resources didn’t kill you, violence would, Cara is happy to reap the benefits of a job and a safe place in the city to call home.

But when one of her eight remaining doppelgangers dies under mysterious circumstances, Cara is plunged into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and future in ways she never could have imagined – and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.

My Thoughts

This is a fantastic thrill ride. I adored this. It is utterly unique. It also has a very unique structure, it is split in four parts which each build to a crescendo, pulling you deeper into the world and the story, handing out plot twists and then a refreshing mini conclusion that keeps the pages turning.

It is filled with immense and detailed world and character building introducing us to the 380 multiverse, how we traverse, the political structure of those worlds, without feeling info-dumpy. We are carried through the multiverse having the details described as we follow out MC as she details her work and the excitement it brings, her past and why it makes her act, think feel the way she does. Cara, the MC, has a deeply flawed personality that she wears like a badge of honour. Her family relationships, her romantic mis-adventures and her love for her work are all detailed and exquisitely crafted, again just keeping the pages turning as I wanted to learn more. I loved learning about all the different worlds and what Cara’s place had been in them.

All this detailed descriptions are mixed with a plot that is not afraid to twist and turn at sharp angles, with reveals that made me gasp, changing all that came before, how relationships were built, how the world and its class system functions. It is just such an elegantly crafted plot which weaves in such timely social commentary on class, race, living with/through abuse, living with an addict, all of which the MC evaluates through her monologue with level of emotional detail and dignity that I found was easily translated for a reader that is privileged enough not to experience some of those issues. It perfectly melds the human stories into the entertainment of a sci-fi story.

The relationships that are built, rebuilt or explored are just fantastic, weaving there way though a high-octaine plot that is part mystery, part David vs Goliath. This is a total gush of a review as I can’t put into words how much I enjoyed this book. If you love sci-fi – go read it, if you love character rich stories – go read it. If you like books that have a power to their writing that leaves you thinking, feeling for the characters – read this book. Its just such a good read.

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 8

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 9

CHARACTERS – 9

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 9

PLOT – 9

ENJOYMENT – 9

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

WWW Wednesday – 5/8/2020

We are half way into the first week in August and while I have finished two books, started my buddy reads of two more and have made a dent in a further two, none of them are on my Trope-ical Readathon TBR. I really need to get a move on those books, a lot of them are ARCS for early September release that I am super excited about so I don’t know why I haven’t picked them up yet!

Happy Wednesday!

Its that time of the Week again! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that was revived by Taking on a World of Words. I like it cause it is fairly simple but allows me to check in with my reading but also with you!

WWW Wednesday asks just three questions:

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU RECENTLY FINISHED?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL READ NEXT?

The Space Between Worlds
Micaiah Johnson

eARC

I have only a few more chapters of this left and I am loving it. I am trying hard to get my thoughts together so I can finish my review tonight and publish it tomorrow (release day). Its just such a fascinating book, I am really enjoying it.

Seven Devils
Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

eARC
Seven Devils #1

Another left over from my July TBR that I managed to finish just in time for its review and release (tomorrow!). This was an awesome girl gang space opera that I really enjoyed. The characters were great, the plot had lots of action and just the right about of tension. I think it would be a great intro to space opera’s for someone interested in trying them out. I have a full review here.

All you Twisted Secrets
Diana Urban

Audiobook
Talks and Thoughts Book Club

The Trope pick for Talks and Thoughts this Month was Locked Room Mystery, but we couldn’t decided what to read, so now half the group reading Silent Companion and half reading All your Twisted Secrets. All your Twisted Secrets was perfect for this Trope. It was such a fun fast paced mystery with great mechanism to reveal the plot. The narration was also fantastic and I just devoured it while working.

The Beast Of Bethany
Jack Meggitt-Phillips

ARC/Blog tour

I just received a beautiful physical ARC copy of this from the publisher. I can’t wait to dive into it. I am part of The Write Reads Ultimate Blog tour with my reviews scheduled for the 18th so I have plenty of time to read and get my thoughts together for you, but the chat about this book is already buzzing and I can’t wait to find out why everyone is loving it.


So that is my WWW post for this week. I will see you next Wednesday to update you. What are you reading this week? Have you finished anything lately you loved?

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Arc Review – Seven Devils

Title: Seven Devils

Author: Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

Series: Seven Devils #1

Release Date: UK 6/8/2020, USA 4/8/2020

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 45
(see below for breakdown)

4.5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received a free eARC copy from DAW press , via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

My Thoughts

This was such a fun read. We have a real romp of a space Opera, jam-packed with action, high’s and lows and not just one but two daring heists! (We know I love a heist).

At first I did find it a little difficult to get into. We follow 5 perspectives in this book, with both present day and flashbacks and occasionally I found that a little overwhelming to remember where I was in the time line. But as the story built and we got to know each of our band of Devils and I ended up really liking the style. The use of the flashbacks to tell the various backstories was great as it really allowed us to get to know each of the characters and how the relationship between all these women built up over time.

My only snippy point was the use of "Scottish" style dialogue for Clo. I am so glad us Scots make it into space (there always seems to be one of us hiding out in some far flung space port) but I always find the deliberate spelling of words to give them the "glasgow twang" is just a bit cheesey to read. As a Glaswegian myself, it just bugs me.

I really like how the use of flashbacks also built and layered the plot, the building of the relationships first between two separate groups, one from within the Empire and one from within the rebellion and then how they built up when they came together to fight the same cause was great. I really did find the flashbacks the most interesting as they also carried the weight of the worldbuilding and it was really awesome world building. It was just filled with tiny details that really emersed me in the story. I particularly liked Eris’ perspective as it really gave such detailed insight into the Empire and its ruling.

The Oracle, an over arching AI that controlled the populous of the Empire was also really interesting. I liked how various different characters related to it in different ways and we got to see it’s influence from multiple different angles. I think this in itself really made the world-building stand out.

The plot was also paced very nicely, it kept moving but gave time for relationships to build, for tension to rise, for successes and failures to be felt. The end managed to be a great crescendo and a little too open ended all at the same time. We built to something really exciting with very high stakes, only to be left with not quite a cliff-hanger but a nice segway into setting up the next book. I wasn’t disappointed by this, it just makes me want to read book two even more.

Overall, despite my slow start to get into it I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see such a diverse female cast, written well and with a really nice balance of light and dark moments. I think this would be an awesome intro to sci-fi and space opera.

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 7

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 8

CHARACTERS – 7

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 8

PLOT – 8

ENJOYMENT – 7

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Mini Review Monday – The Jumbies

Title: The Jumbies

Author: Tracy Baptiste

Series: The Jumbies #1

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

Corinne La Mer claims she isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, and shining yellow eyes follow her to the edge of the trees. They couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger at the market the very next day, she knows something extraordinary is about to happen. When this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, danger is in the air. Severine plans to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn’t know she possessed to stop Severine and to save her island home.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this story. I am not familiar with the original folklore but the writing and pacing just made it leap off the page. Filled with rich description, just the right level of creepy it was quick to grab your attention and kept the pages turning.

It was filled with beautiful family moments, strong friendships, mischief and magic. It was just such a fun read. Corinne is a fantastic main character, she has a strength and bravery about her but doesn’t loose her age. The children in this story still read as children, with all the bravery, compassion and excitability. I love that despite all that is going on there is still an element of play.

The description of the Island is fantastic, you get a feel for how Corinne and her friends view their part of the world, it makes the forest, filled with Jumbies of all shapes and sizes feel atmospheric and spooky. It will also make you crave sweet Oranges by the end. We also got a taste of the island and its traditions, as well as an insight into how that correlated with all the different Jumbies. This was my first time encountering these mythical creatures (the Author’s note gave lots of insight too) some of them seem so creepy, that you just want to learn more.

While this does read on the younger side of the middle grade age range I still think it is a fantastic book for any age. I am really glad I joined in the Middle Grade Marvels book club for this book as I would have never have discovered it otherwise and I will definitely continue with the series.


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Happy Reading!