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Profile for Paisley Piranha > Reviews

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Paisley Piranha "Booklover"

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Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan Book 1)
Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan Book 1)
Price: £1.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Fae myths meet native American folklore, 17 Jun. 2016
Rose Petal Graves is the second book I’ve read by Olivia Wildenstein, who is clearly a fabulously versatile author. Rose Petal Graves is utterly different from The Masterpiecers (paranormal rather than contemporary), and I found it even more compelling.

The novel has atmosphere in spades – a real modern gothic feel to it, with a great take on fae myths. There was an excellent blending of ideas, and use of native American folklore which was in-depth and convincing.

The style was fabulous: intriguing and dramatic, and I loved the characters (especially Blake).

However, I have to warn you that it contains one of my bugbears – it’s not a complete story in itself and ends with a cliffhanger.

I would absolutely recommend you read this, but I’d also recommend waiting until all the “Lost Clan” stories are out so you don’t have to dangle maddeningly off a cliff while waiting for the next.

For that reason, it gets four rather than the full five stars.


Format It Yourself! (Book 2 of the P.I.Y. Series): The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide for Authors. A Master-class with over 60 screenshots. (Publish It Yourself!)
Format It Yourself! (Book 2 of the P.I.Y. Series): The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide for Authors. A Master-class with over 60 screenshots. (Publish It Yourself!)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real godsend, 15 Jun. 2016
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I've blundered my way through the formatting of 3 books. The next is going to be so easy by comparison! I'm not in the least technical, and some of this needed reading twice, but it makes so much sense and is really straightforward to understand and follow. Highly recommended!


Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles Book 2)
Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles Book 2)
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 31 May 2016
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Curl up in a comfy seat with a cup of tea and enjoy slipping into Hitomi’s world. Memories of Ash (like Sunbolt before it) truly isn’t quite like anything else I’ve read, which makes it utterly refreshing and a delight to read.

I’m running out of superlatives but I loved every part of this book. The world is stunning, the characters are complex and convincing, the writing is effortless (to read – I’m sure it wasn’t to write!) and the story swooped and whirled with lots of surprises along the way.

Memories of Ash is simply gorgeous. I feel like I’ve had a fabulous (if rather eventful) holiday. I really didn’t want it to end. As the percentages ticking along on the corner of my Kindle edged over 90 my chest started to ache with genuine grief at the idea of leaving. I can’t wait to go back to Hitomi’s world.

I think you could probably read Memories of Ash without first reading Sunbolt (first in the series) – but why in the world would you want to? Grab both and cancel everything for some quality reading time.


Ashlynn's Dreams (Devya's Children Book 1)
Ashlynn's Dreams (Devya's Children Book 1)
Price: £3.89

4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this story, 29 May 2016
I enjoyed this story. The concept was good: not that unique, but well-handled. I really loved Jillian/Ashlynn’s voice. It was very easy to spend time with her.

I wasn’t quite so sure about the format. It’s all reported, in journals and reports, etc, which lessened the tension for me – I knew it was all going to work out for these characters, because here they were telling me about what had happened to them. It also meant that the reader was told everything, which kept me a little bit distant from the action. I was told what happened, but I didn’t feel it along with the characters, which I would have liked to do.

Overall, it’s a 4 for me: good story, but I’d have preferred the execution to be more compelling.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Ashlynn’s Dreams free from the author.


The Masterpiecers (Masterful Book 1)
The Masterpiecers (Masterful Book 1)
Price: £3.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love twins with secrets!, 22 May 2016
Who doesn’t love a good story featuring twins? And twins with secrets is even better.

The Masterpiecers is told in alternating narratives from Ivy and Aster, and I’ll admit they were a little confusing at the very beginning (both first person) but that soon settled down. While twins, they are very distinct and very different.

The concept of The Masterpiecers was fabulous – basically, it’s The Apprentice meets Great British Bake Off in a fine art setting. I don’t generally do reality TV, but I thoroughly enjoyed this.

The pacing was excellent – I’d pick up hints and start wondering about something just before it would be revealed, and there were some brilliant layers. I got a good sense of Aster’s naivety at the start – there were thing going on that she didn’t seem to realise she should even be guessing at, and then I started to see Aster in a completely different way (I would say more, but … spoilers).

The writing was very strong, too. I got a real sense of Aster and Ivy’s moods towards the end – my heart rate picking up when theirs did.

If I’m niggling (which, clearly, I am), the end felt a bit hurried. I wasn’t sure I understood fully who’d done what and why, and the romance didn’t entirely convince me. But it’s very well worth a read.

One side-effect I wasn’t expecting: I want a trip to New York now to check out the museums and galleries!


Recoil (Recoil Trilogy Book 1)
Recoil (Recoil Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Deft and convincing, 15 May 2016
I love a fast-paced dystopian and Recoil was deft and convincing. Joanne Macgregor has created a good, plausible world set in the near-future, and the backstory was slipped in with assured ease.

The characters were fabulous. I loved Jinx. She was special in a very ordinary, accessible way. At home with mum and brother Robin she was a typical teenager with a touch of the worry-wort,but get her in her natural environment and she was magnificent! The other characters were equally well put-together. Bruce, in particular, stood out as a genuine irritant, and the “pirate” attraction between Jinx and Quinn was well-handled.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the first interaction with Quinn and Jinx and the joke he played on her. I thought Jinx should have caught on quicker (and why was all that disgusting stuff available, anyway?!). Overall, if I have a niggle it’s that Jinx was a bit naive. She made me a little impatient – but then that’s easy to say when I’m the reader and I can pick up on all the clues the writer’s scattered through the book. Poor Jinx didn’t really have the leisure to do that.

There was a good sense of something bigger going on in the background, which built throughout Recoil. The twist with her father was excellent, and Quinn’s reveal was very clever. There’s often a risk of mwa-ha-ha villains in dystopian fiction, but this was subtle and intelligent.

This is the first of a trilogy. It has a great finale, and it works as a single book, but Jinx ends in a big, fat mess. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!


Sunbolt (The Sunbolt Chronicles Book 1)
Sunbolt (The Sunbolt Chronicles Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An utter gem, 6 May 2016
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This book is gorgeous. It’s an utter, utter gem. I adored it.

The world-building was superb. I could feel the sunshine and smell the sea in Karolene’s market (which is a bonus, since it’s a miserable spring in my part of the world presently).

And the fantasy was also beautifully thought-through. I often find “straight” fantasy a bit unlikely – very showy and melodramatic with spells flying as fast as sword strokes. Sunbolt avoided those errors by grounding itself thoroughly. There’s magic here … and it’s difficult, exhausting and there are consequences when you use it.

Intisar’s writing was lovely. The words faded away so I was simply right there with Hitomi, who was a fabulous character, utterly convincing and complex. Sunbolt is written in first person present, which I know a lot of people hate (I’m cautious, myself), but I promise it works effortlessly here; I didn’t even notice the point of view. The dialogue was a particular delight: light, concise but conveying more than its weight in information and character.

I was given a copy of Sunbolt in exchange for a review from YA Bound Book Tours, and I loved it so much I’ve just bought a paperback copy. This is one for my “keeper” shelf.


The Threat Below (Brathius History Book 1)
The Threat Below (Brathius History Book 1)
Price: £2.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Entirely glorious, 28 April 2016
This was entirely gorgeous. I’ve had some disappointing reads lately, and this has perked me right back up. It’s deliciously different and a stonking good read.

The world-building was magical. I got to know the world of the kith to begin with, then the world expanded as Ice’s journey began as questions arose and then were answered. It was completely convincing with history and philosophy behind the world and its people (only not dull, like that makes it sound!).

And the people were wonderful. I don’t want to use the word characters because they were so much more than that: complex and changeable. Ice and Ad’s relationship was convincingly mercurial, and I loved Torrain in particular; his development through the course of the story was a real pleasure to watch.

There were several strands of plot that played out and came together as the story developed and explanations of what had happened to cause humanity’s retreat were uncovered, all of which were perfectly paced. And the reveal of what was “the threat below” wasn’t at all what I expected, but it fit the world beautifully.

Altogether, this was wonderful. The only thing I can’t rave about is the cover, which to me is bleargh. But don’t let that put you off (if it was even in danger of doing so) – this is SO worth reading!

Glorious five out of five.


Six of Crows
Six of Crows
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I want to live in this book!, 20 April 2016
This review is from: Six of Crows (Kindle Edition)
Oh my, this is simply glorious. Six of Crows was my first taste of Leigh Bardugo and I’m so glad she’s written other books ready for me to glut on, because I’m not ready to leave this world.

The plot and pacing of Six of Crows (it is, at base, a really slick heist story) are immaculate and flawless (yes, both!), and the relationships between the characters were simply fabulous. So much was communicated in so few words.

I loved every one of the quick-witted, desperate characters. Hardened criminals, maybe, but I empathised with them effortlessly: stuck between rocks and hard places they did what they had to in order to avoid being crushed by the two. And they were clever. I’ll forgive an awful lot if you’ve got a good brain in your head.

And the world of the grisha! I want to go on holiday to Kerch: see the sights, have a hot chocolate and get my pocket picked (preferably avoid being beaten up, though).

I’m so glad there’s more to come, and while I wait for the next, I’m moving straight on to Leigh’s grisha trilogy, starting with Shadow and Bone.

And unequivocal five out of five.


Chocolate Box Musical Treats: For Flute and Piano Accompaniment
Chocolate Box Musical Treats: For Flute and Piano Accompaniment
by Paul Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun pieces, 17 April 2016
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These are lovely, fun pieces.


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