Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman #Geiger @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. This is a tense conspiracy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and is published tomorrow (29th April 2021).

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via Net Galley.

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For fans of  I Am Pilgrim, GEIGER is set to become the must-read international thriller of 2021. 

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making…

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

Well, the synopsis for Geiger is definitely intriguing, well I thought so, it also makes for a very good start to this story.

This is a really good and well-plotted spy thriller that I really enjoyed. There is a blend of past and present that the author links together really well and is full of little subplots. The present is about the death of Stellan, and of his missing wife as well as the character of Sara a police officer with connections to the family. The past is more in the eighties with the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunifications, USSR, GDR, spies, espionage, theories, politics and various other items of the time.

The mix of historical into this story was the part that I probably enjoyed the most, the cloak and dagger spy stuff if you like. But then I also liked the present story with a more procedural presence to it as you would find in a crime thriller. The idea of having a historical aspect in the story is great as it does add a great amount of intrigue. There is a good amount of detail that emerges as part of the story, this does however slow the pace down. I do like a slower paced book, and it meant I could take my time and not feel rushed while I was reading. I was able to read with the flow of the story and absorb the many details.

The author has a good mix of characters, enough for the different parts of the story and the different subplots, but not too many that I lost track of who was who. I did mention that there is a whole range of different things going on in this story, one of the themes is quite a distressing one and one I didn’t expect. While it is part of the story, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

A story that starts with a murder that then develops into a central European espionage ring, with mentions of family, upbringing and lifestyle there is a lot going on. A really intriguing and interesting read that had me wondering who was who and why they did what they did. I would recommend this for readers who prefer a slower-paced and intense spy-thriller story.

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How To Betray Your Country by James Wolff #JamesWolff @RandomTTours @bitterlemonpub #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for How To Betray Your Country by James Wolff. This is the 2nd book in the trilogy and it does work well as a stand alone.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this thriller book.

Following on from the acclaimed debut novel Beside the Syrian Sea, this is the second title in a planned trilogy about loyalty and betrayal in the modern world.


An authentic thriller about the thin line between following your conscience and following orders. James Wolff is the pseudonym of a young English novelist who “has been working for the British government for the last ten years”.


Things are looking bad for disgraced spy August Drummond. In emotional free fall after the death of
his wife, fired for a series of security breaches… and now his neighbor on the flight to Istanbul won’t
stop talking. The only thing keeping August sane is the hunch that there’s something not quite right
about the nervous young man several rows ahead – a hunch confirmed when August watches him
throw away directions to a European cemetery seconds before being detained by Turkish police. A
reckless August decides to go to the cemetery, where he meets a mysterious figure from the dark
heart of the Islamic State and quickly finds himself drawn into a shadowy plot to murder an Iranian
scientist in Istanbul.


But nothing is what it seems, and before long August realizes he has gone too far to turn back. As he
struggles to break free from the clutches of Islamic State and play off British intelligence against their
Turkish counterparts, he will find his resourcefulness, ingenuity and courage tested to the very limit of
what he can endure.

My Review…

The synopsis for this book is a good length so it does go into depth. This is the second book in the trilogy, and I do think I would have benefited from reading the first book. The first book would have given me an idea of what happened to August Drummond and what caused his decline. It is however mentioned in this second book.

This is a story that is slower-paced than I am used to with a spy thriller style. I found this novel to be a spy thriller but it is more about looking at what’s happening with August. So, while he is working and trying to discover plots the reader also joins him in his psychological journey.

August is a man who is very definitely struggling with grief, he has problems with his drinking and his general appearance. The author has portrayed him as a very sad and lonely person who is just hanging in there, trying to do his job and who is really on the edge. He is a character who I really felt for as he struggles with life and keeping in the loop with his work.

For me, this was more about August rather than the spy and espionage part, although that was very good indeed. It is a story that at first had me confused as I tried to work out the basics and then to get my head around the plot that is constantly evolving, I do feel for poor August in this respect!

Even though I did take longer reading this, I was so glad I persevered as things gradually started to come together, I found myself caring about what happened to August and also one of the other characters, Yousef. There are two different styles to this story, one is the story itself and the other is a series of reports and documents. These threw me initially and it was further into the story where I started to realise the significance of them.

This is a book that does fall into the spy thriller genre, its slower pace and the psychological side may throw readers if they are looking for a more general fast-paced story. I enjoyed this book and I did like the journey, it is one I would recommend.

About the Author…

James Wolff is an exciting new voice in literary thriller writing. He grew up in the Middle East and now lives in London. He has worked for the British government for the past ten years.

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Malice by Heather Walter @penguinrandom #NetGalley #Fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Malice by Heather Walter. This is a fab read and my thanks to Random House UK for approving my request to read this e-book via NetGalley.

I love the cover for this book!

The princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more complicated than a simple fairy tale. 

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

My Review…

I really enjoyed this re-telling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It is the story of Alyce, or as she is nicknamed Malyce! She is a Vila, known as a Dark Grace. The Grace’s are the fairy’s if you like, and are admired, revered and people visit it them for the charms they make. Alyce doesn’t make charms like wisdom, beauty, intellect, she makes curses such as warts, forgetfulness and other inconveniences.

The story is how the “wicked witch” in the tale of Sleeping Beauty comes into being. The author has taken Alyce and adapted her story giving this young woman a backstory. Alyce does not fit in, she is considered an abomination and is bullied and looked down upon. All she wants is to be like the other Grace’s but her skin is dry, her hair lank, her blood green and is so different from the others. The Grace’s make charms for money, it gives them a purpose and a way of making a living and people do come to see Alyce as well.

The story takes a route that sees a friendship form, it unlikely and also frowned upon. Alyce discovers more about her villa heritage and how she is different from the other Grace’s. The author has then expanded on this difference in several ways and gradually bring Alyce up to the story we know concerning Princess Aurora becoming the Sleeping Beauty.

I found this to be a really enjoyable story and it did have a teen or young adult feel to it, and for me, this made it an easy book to read but one that did have a really captivating storyline. After finishing the story I did think that it felt right. There was a good amount of information, some history and also a general feel of Alyce being bullied and almost forced into becoming what she does.

While it is aimed at a teen or young adult market I really enjoyed escaping into this fantasy novel. It was interesting and I really enjoyed the route the author chose. One I would recommend if you are looking for a bit of escapism and also for returning to a childhood classic.

Malice is due for Publication on 13th April 2021

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A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture – Love At First Bite by Violet Fenn #NetGalley #NonFiction #penswordpub #bookreview

I am delighted to share a review for something a little different today, A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture – Love At First Bite by Violet Fenn. Many thanks to Pen & Sword Publishing for granting my request to read and review this title via NetGalley.

Our enduring love of vampires – the bad boys (and girls) of paranormal fantasy – has persisted for centuries. Despite being bloodthirsty, heartless killers, vampire stories commonly carry erotic overtones that are missing from other paranormal or horror stories.

Even when monstrous teeth are sinking into pale, helpless throats – especially then – vampires are sexy. But why? In A History Of The Vampire In Popular Culture, author Violet Fenn takes the reader through the history of vampires in ‘fact’ and fiction, their origins in mythology and literature and their enduring appeal on tv and film. We’ll delve into the sexuality – and sexism – of vampire lore, as well as how modern audiences still hunger for a pair of sharp fangs in the middle of the night.

My Review…

Over the years vampires and other supernatural creatures have become more popular both in books and also films. As someone who does watch and also read books that contain vampires, I was interested to see what the authors’ view was.

The author steps into a world that has its origins in myth, legend and folklore. She references some earlier literature as well as more modern both as a view to the points she makes and also to give various examples.

Referencing early works and how they were portrayed by writers and also how they were adapted to film. How they were received by censors, readers and viewers. She uses history to good effect as changing attitudes have given over to a wider acceptance of all things fanged.

More modern film and TV have glamorised the vampire, they are sharp-dressed, well educated and not all are the blood-sucking, bodice-ripping fiends. She delves into how they have become the “good guy” in some respects rather than a creature that should be cowered from.

This was a really entertaining read with many, many references to films and books across the years. It does give an insightful look at how perceptions have changed and how they have become more socially acceptable and almost have morals that mirror some of our own, humanised if you like.

This is a book that I found interesting and also thought-provoking giving an insight into the authors’ thoughts on the legend of the vampire. It is one I would recommend. 

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Trust Me by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor #TrustMe @ZaffreBooks #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Trust Me by T.M. Logan. After reading a couple of this author’s previous books I knew this was one I wanted to read. My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous thriller.

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Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heartache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . . 

My Review…

Well, what a brilliant title this book has. “Trust Me” is just two little words, but when people tell you to trust them, can you really!

Ellen was only holding a baby for a fellow passenger on the train, just helping while an important phone call was being taken. An innocent act, and yet one that leaves Ellen in more danger than she had realised would be possible.

The thing the author has done with this story, apart from making it highly addictive, is to leave the reader wondering who to trust. Like Ellen, I was introduced to characters who all seem to have a reason for their actions. This act of asking for trust is one that is used to high effect throughout the story. The problem is is that when the main character, along with the reader, doesn’t know the full story. Hearing only one side of a person argument is one thing, but when it seems that every person’s version is slightly different it does make you wonder.

While I read the story I found myself changing my mind about who the main culprit was, as the author divulged more and more information like breadcrumbs. I do admit that I did get to the who, but I think this was down to a couple of clever sentences that the author gave. It wasn’t one of those “eureka” moments, more of an “I wonder if it was…” moment.

The pacing is really good and it does fit this style of story. It is not overly fast and this is ideal as all the pieces of the puzzle are tweaked until they finally fall into place. There are several things that are seemingly unconnected, but gradually they do link.

This is quite a tense thriller as Ellen tries desperately to discover the truth. It does have a police investigation that runs in the background, but the story focuses on Ellen involvement more. This is an intriguing read and its one that falls into the crime, thriller and mystery genre. It’s one I would recommend.

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Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman #GoodEggs #NetGalley @AllenAndUnwin #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman. Many thanks to Allen And Unwin who granted my request to read this via NetGalley.

Happy Publication Day to Rebecca as well xx

I do have to mention this cover. As I have read this book I can look at it and it just makes me smirk. A moody teen, a rebel Grandmother and a son who is at his limits 👍😂

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Meet the Gogartys; cantankerous gran Millie (whose eccentricities include a penchant for petty-theft and reckless driving); bitter downtrodden stepson Kevin (erstwhile journalist whose stay-at-home parenting is pushing him to the brink); and habitually moody, disaffected teenage daughter Aideen.

When Gran’s arrested yet again for shoplifting, Aideen’s rebelliousness has reached new heights and Kevin’s still not found work, he realises he needs to take action. With the appointment of a home carer for his mother, his daughter sent away to boarding school to focus on her studies and more time for him to reboot his job-hunt, surely everything will work out just fine. But as the story unfolds – and in the way of all the best families – nothing goes according to plan and as the calm starts to descend into chaos we’re taken on a hilarious multiple-perspective roller-coaster ride that is as relatable as it is far-fetched.

Good Eggs is a heady cocktail of that warmth and wit of Marian Keyes, Caitlin Moran and TV’s Derry Girls.

My Review…

This is such a lovely story of three generations of the Gogarty family. Millie, the 83-year-old grandmother, Kevin her son and then the teenage grand-daughter Aideen.

The synopsis does give a good idea that this is a story that is going to have a few chuckles, and it certainly does. Right from the get-go, I adored Mille, she is an elderly rebel and poor Kevin does have his hands full with her. Aideen is a troubled teen, she feels overlooked as her twin sister does tend to get more of the attention.

Between the antics of Millie and the antics of Aideen, Kevin is definitely stuck in the middle. I did feel for him as he is pulled from pillar to post. From one situation to another with often quite funny events in the midst.

This is a story that has a good heart to it, no matter what age you are or generation there is always something that you wish you had done. In some ways, this feels like a coming of age for all the generation involved. Realising that there are options and choices, that changes and chances are part of life.

This was a lovely contemporary fiction novel about a normal family, dealing with situations as they rise. At times it was quite serious as there are topics that the author deals with, but at the same time with a snigger of humour interlaced in between. It did make me chuckle as well as giving me that lovely warm heart-warming feel. One I would recommend to those who like a feel-good story.

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Mr Right Across The Street by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #NetGalley #romcom #bookreview

Kathryn Freeman is an author who I regularly read and her latest book Mr Right Across The Street was another fabulous read. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Mia Abbott’s move to Manchester was supposed to give her time and space from all the disastrous romantic choices she’s made in her past. But then the hot guy who lives opposite – the one who works out every day at exactly 10 a.m., not that Mia has noticed thank-you-very-much – starts leaving notes in his window…for her.

Bar owner Luke Doyle has his own issues to deal with but as he shows Mia the sites of her new city he also shows her what real romance looks like for the first time. And when he cooks up a signature cocktail in her honour, she realises that the man behind the bar is even more enticing than any of his creations. And once she’s had a taste she knows it will never be enough!

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This was a really fun book that I sat and read over the course of an afternoon. Mia, a newcomer to the Manchester area eagerly awaits 10 each morning when she can watch the gorgeous hunk in the opposite flat work out.

She has decided it is time to start over and stand on her own two feet. She has been a bit of a recluse since moving into her flat, her mum and sister want her to go out and meet people and find friends. Mia not so much, she isn’t one for socialising, doesn’t appear to like letting people find out much about her. But then her last relationship has left her doubting herself so its no wonder really.

Good job she walks into the local bar and finds people to talk to then, especially when one of them is the guy opposite who works out. She soon discovers from others that he is a player, he doesn’t do relationships and he, being the cool guy isn’t going to be interested in her, the nerd!

This is such a lovely story about opposites attracting, but when you have a reputation then its hard for anyone to see past that. Wanting to find herself and gradually into a new life in a new area, Mia finds herself making a deal to get to know the area a little better. As she gets to know people Mia finds that not everyone is quite as they seem. Not quite as shallow as she originally thought, so is she going to take a chance!

The author created as tory with some very likeable characters and with plenty of will they/won’t they moments. It was a story that was easy to get into and provided a light-hearted literary escape, ideal for fans of rom-coms and contemporary romance. One that has some serious moments but also plenty of chuckles. One I would thoroughly recommend.

About the Author…

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero. 

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

Today see’s the final day of the Blog Tour for The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Johnson. I am delighted to be one of the Book bloggers to share my review today as tour. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction novel.

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all.  If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews. 

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

What a wonderful story The Hat Girl From Silver Street was, and also my first outing with this author and be I will come back to based on this book.

The story revolves around Ella, the younger, and nicer of two sisters. She is a hard worker under the employ of a milliner. With low wages and unfair working conditions, her father encourages Ella to leave. Between them, they start their own business and this introduces them to many other people.

This is a lovely story that I found very easy to get caught up in, so much so I read it in one sitting. The author delves into the living conditions briefly as well as the hardships and uncertainties of the time. Starting a business from scratch is a brave decision but the author has given solid reasons. Meeting new people in a society is one fraught with danger as Ella’s shop is in her house.

This story revolves around family and life in general. A society that is all about class and getting the best marriage deals is something the author did tackle well. It made for an agonising waiting game as I read the story, getting more and more drawn in.

There are some really good characters that range from the outspoken to the more gentle and with a good range of traits that include vindictive, sly, aloof and downright nasty there is something to keep a sense of intrigue. This means that you will root for some and wait for the others to get their comeuppance.

Overall a great story to lose yourself in for a few hours, it is one that I found easy reading as well as very addictive. A little predictable at times but still very enjoyable. One for those that do like their historical fiction and romance that leans more towards the family saga style of story. One I would recommend and a great introduction for a new to me author.

About the Author…

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter. This is a follow on book from The Wheelwright’s Daughter that I read last year. You can read my full review HERE.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this historical fiction novel.

Where will her loyalty lead her?

Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

This is the second book that follows the story of Martha, she was once accused of being a witch. After her marriage to Jacob Spicer, they both move and start a new life together, a fresh start with a chance of a good life and where they are unknown.

Life is indeed good until Jacob is asked to travel with his master and this means he will be away for a couple of months. Martha tries her best to continue as normal, but it seems her reputation for healing has followed her and she is called to heal again. Something that Jacob didn’t want there doing again. She gradually gets drawn into a situation that she can see no good end to. She also hears that Jacob has been killed and her only option is to stay or to leave to find Jacobs body.

The author takes Martha on a journey that sees her in a dangerous predicament. A woman travelling alone is not good, it is full of danger and yet the author has a plan for our main protagonist. While this plan is not without its own danger it is a very good option and one that allows Martha more freedom than she has had before.

She finds a companion of sorts, not completely trust-worthy but one that is at times more help than a hindrance. Martha’s travels take her into villages and towns and she is made aware of how naive she really is.

This is a story not just of love and finding the truth but also one that is bound up in superstition and the use of natural ingredients to heal. Set in the Elizabethan era when witchcraft is definitely frowned upon, it lends itself to the story of Martha.

This is a historical fiction novel that I really enjoyed, it continues on from The Wheelwright’s Daughter and shows the world through the eyes of a young woman. It has a feel of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as Martha is caught between two choices. The author creates a story that I found to be very addictive and while there is a desperation to Martha there is also a glimmer of hope. A lovely read and one that I would recommend reading if you like good historical fiction.

About the Author…

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.
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Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor @astmcveigh1 @Unbound_Digital @RandomTTours #scifi #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor. This is a sci/fi – speculative fiction story, I haven’t read any sci-fi for a while so this book made a wonderful change. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Dystopian/speculative fiction for readers of sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers and
dystopian fiction. Aimed at readers of novels by Neil Gaiman, J.G. Ballard (or
Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go)


It is the 23rd century. Aiden, imprisoned, stares up into a tiny square of sky. A
prominent member of the rebellion, he expects to be executed. Aiden is
battling the Xirfell rulers, whose King oppresses many planets, the Earth
included.

But the Xirfell have executed their king and installed a new ruler. The populace
riots. Amid the tumult, Aiden is sworn in, the leader he’s always longed to be.
Never one to fit in, he must re-discover himself, as an indigenous Australian, as
a fighter, as a lover – and as a leader.

My Review…

Aiden Tenten is the main narrator for this sci-fi /dystopian story. It did feel more sci-fi than dystopian but I still enjoyed it, I found it highly entertaining as I followed Aiden from predicament to predicament. The synopsis indicates that earth has been taken over by aliens, Aiden feels it is his job to help overthrow this alien regime and be the person he wants to be.

This is a highly entertaining read, I am not sure if the author had meant this or not. I did find some of the predicaments that Aiden found himself left me sniggering to myself. He is quite a fun character although he does have a serious nature, I mean after all saving the world from aliens is a serious task. It did take me a few chapters to get into this book as I got to grips with the various creatures, the unusual names, places and general feel of the story. It is quite a while, I might add that I sat and read a sci-fi book.

If you break this down to the basics this is a story of a man finding his place, he has beliefs and is true to the cause. He knew life before and can see how the earth has been destroyed more since the aliens took over. Battling against the odds he does a magnificent job of reeling from one situation to the next. He is in essence a loner, but gradually he gains a few loyal friends. Working out who can be trusted and how far others can infiltrate systems keeps him on his toes.

Once I got to grips with the story I found this quite a compelling read. In someway it did remind me of a couple of books I read several years ago. As I mentioned this is more sci-fi, but there are mentions of things that do give it a dystopian feel. An entertaining book with a good pace and one I would recommend reading.

About the Author…

Alice McVeigh (writing as Spaulding Taylor) was born in Seoul, South Korea, and
grew up in Southeast Asia. After surviving her teenage years in McLean,
Virginia, and achieving an undergraduate degree in cello performance at the
internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music, she came to London to study
cello with William Pleeth. There she worked for over a decade with orchestras
including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and
Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. Alice was first
published in the late 1990s when her two contemporary novels (While the Music
Lasts and Ghost Music) were published by Orion to critical acclaim.

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