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The Card Sharp: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 4)
The Card Sharp: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 4)
Price: £2.00

5.0 out of 5 stars More on Drystan, 17 Oct. 2014
I genuinely cannot get enough of Laura Lam's writing. The Card Sharp is yet another wonderfully written and insightful novella in the Vestigial Tales series and it's neck and neck favourite with The Tarot Reader. Drystan is another of my favourite characters from Laura's Pantomime series so I was really excited to delve back into the characters history and to learn even more about them. Drystan's a character that's fascinated me from the word go so to be given even more of a backstory to him was brilliant. I lapped this story up and I would happily read more and more stories from his point of view.

I don't want to say too much about who the mysterious man is because I really loved finding out for myself. It opened my eyes up a lot to Drystan's character and his past and Laura's writing is absolutely flawless once again. I can't get enough of this world and really hope that there's more to come!


The Tarot Reader: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 3)
The Tarot Reader: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 3)
Price: £2.00

5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Vestigial Tale Yet., 4 Sept. 2014
Cyan is my favourite character in the world of Pantomime. I absolutely adore her so it was pretty much a guarantee that I was going to love this novella too. This (I believe) is the longest novella so far in The Vestigial Tales and it's also the most recent. It completely surpassed all of my expectations and I was so disappointed when the story ended. I wanted more from Cyan and was sad to see the end of the novella pop up. I hope Laura Lam writes more from her point of view!

I loved learning more about Cyan's gift and the positives and negatives that come with it. Having a deeper insight into her personality and her past drew me to her character more and gave her further depth to what I'd read about in Shadowplay. Reading this novella has made me want to reread Shadowplay once again. Lam conjures up such excitement, tension and mystery in just a few pages and I'm really looking forward to the September Vestigial Tale!


The Fisherman's Net: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 2)
The Fisherman's Net: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 2)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great read!, 4 Sept. 2014
An interesting, short moral tale from the author of Pantomime and Shadowplay. This novella made for the perfect fable with its balance between doing what's right and wrong. I'm really enjoying finding out about the powers of the Vestige. Laura Lam continues the use of her magical and captivating language as she threads a tale of the dangers of greed.

The Fisherman's Net is a standalone novella despite being situated in the world of the Pantomime series. I love that each of these tales add a little something extra to the series and I can't wait to read more!


The Snake Charm: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 1)
The Snake Charm: A Vestigial Tale (Vestigial Tales Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Laura Lam does it again!, 1 Sept. 2014
Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales are novellas that I've been meaning to read for the longest time. I'm a huge fan of Laura's novels so I was really looking forward to immersing myself further in her world. The Snake Charm is the first novella and it gives you more of an insight into Drystan, the White Clown and his life prior to Micah's joining of R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic. This was a quick and easy read but oh so captivating at the same time. I was instantly transported back into Lam's world and incredibly reluctant to leave.

This novella provides so much more depth and insight into Drystan's character. The Snake Charm holds some horrendous memories and I didn't see events like this coming. It explained a lot about his character. It's infuriating not being able to go into much detail about this novella because I don't want to spoil it for you guys! This story most certainly packs a punch and I'm really looking forward to reading more of The Vestigial Tales


GLAZE
GLAZE
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic YA Read!, 31 May 2014
This review is from: GLAZE (Kindle Edition)
Kim Curran does it again - she's smashed out another excellent book which leaves me wanting to read more and more! This book definitely hit home with me. Many of the things that Kim explores about social media are things that I worry about now. Curran raises issues of online security, privacy and oppression. There is so much bundled into this novel and it all worked perfectly. Glaze makes for an engaging topical read and one that I found so hard to put down! I've adored every character that Kim has created so far. From Scott in Shift to Petri here. I adored Petri as a protagonist; from her name to her personality to how typically teenage she is. If that makes sense. She is unpredictable, moody, happy, conflicted and absolutely determined to get on Glaze. She does everything she can, but on her path to this she discovers some uncomfortable truths about the program and picks up some amazing friends on the way.

The reason I loved Glaze so much is because Kim put into words exactly how I feel about social media. I can imagine it's exactly what many of us feel about it too. It has so much potential danger and it most certainly succeeds in brainwashing people - just look at the media now. Through Petri, Kim manages to touch on so many social issues as well. The fact that Petri feels left out from everyone because she's too young for Glaze definitely mirrors that of what it would be like today. Imagine the shock at finding out a friend doesn't have an account on Facebook or Twitter. It's definitely something I experienced a few years ago. Our first thoughts were "But how am I going to stay in touch with you at university?!" completely ignoring the act of actually meeting up in person.

Glaze manages to capture this addiction to technology and the internet perfectly. Curran explores the danger of our reliance on social media as a way of contacting people or of finding out information about the world. What I loved is how Curran gave Petri many flaws, but also developed her as a character so perfectly through Glaze. Petri underwent so many changes but continued to improve as a character. I loved her strong mindedness, her irrationality and her empathy with so many people. Glaze is one of the reads that is impossible to put down. I adored it so much. With action, adventure, technology, high running emotions and political undertones, this is one book that you do not want to miss!


The Best Thing I Never Had
The Best Thing I Never Had
by Erin Lawless
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Contemporary Read!, 15 April 2014
Ohhhhh this book! I have SO MANY FEELS. I wasn't prepared for what this book did to me, I really wasn't. I'm not a big Contemporary reader but there was something about this book that grabbed onto me. I had to get myself a copy and I am so glad that I did (thank you, Amy!) The Best Thing I Never Had was made all the better by the fact that I haven't long graduated university. All of the events and behaviours which unfold are all so, so familiar and I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic. I felt like I could related to every single one of the characters in different ways - there are not many books which are capable of doing that! Usually there's a character that you can easily distance yourself from, but this was definitely not the case with this one.

This book is packed to the brim with emotion and such real friendships. The ups and downs are portrayed beautifully, as are the after effects of falling in love with someone that you really shouldn't have. I felt so supportive of Harriet and constantly annoyed by Leigha. The seven characters are easy to picture; it's likely that we all have similar friends to those that are in this book. This just made the novel even better. It's hard to believe that this book is a debut! The events are so realistic and the portrayal of student life is perfect. The mess of emotions, the stress, the friendships that you think will last forever. Everything is so completely spot on. Harriet and Adam are English students, my kind of people! What was so nice was that you could imagine yourself fitting in with this group of friends; this mash of personalities that just work together. The silly routines that they kept were so familiar and so completely serious. It definitely drags up a lot of nostalgia.

The thing I loved was that this book projects so many moral questions. Would you go for someone that your best friend has crushed on for the longest time? If it happened to you, would you be able to then support your friend in that relationship? The way that the friendship transforms over a few revelations is shocking. It shows how brittle things can be. It's amazing how people that love each other so much can then project so much hatred at that person. The Best Thing I Never Had is so, so relatable. Everything that unfolds is something that we will have all been through at some point in our lives. I really cannot recommend this book enough. If you're not a big Contemporary reader, get your paws on this! It's definitely changed my mind.

A fantastic, relatable, realistic and gripping read; I've definitely found myself a new favourite author!


Shadowplay (Micah Grey)
Shadowplay (Micah Grey)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sequel!, 7 Jan. 2014
Ahhhhh I loved this book! Having read and really enjoyed Pantomime I was so eager to get my hands on Shadowplay. I don't think I've quite calmed myself down enough to be writing this review yet. It felt like such a different book from Pantomime yet so similar. I really enjoyed Laura's first book but this one blasted it straight out of the water. It's in this book that I fully fell in love with Micah and Drystan, Cyan and Maske. I feel like I've left some best friends behind in the pages of Shadowplay and I hope that we will be reunited in the future.

Shadowplay picks up where Pantomime left off - Micah and Drystan are in hiding following the death of Bil. They're wanted for his murder but Shadows are also stalking Micah in order to return him to his home as Lady Iphigenia Laurus. They seek refuge with the once great magician, Jasper Maske. Shocking and thrilling events unfold which keep readers on their toes and wondering about what is to come next for these characters. I often found myself with yet another case of 'just one more chapter...' whenever I went to put the book down with so many chapters endings urging you to read on. I really couldn't get enough of Micah's story.

Laura's second novel draws in more the fantasy feel with further introductions to the chimera and the future that faces Micah. It was so thrilling to be drawn so entirely into this world. I felt like this place existed as I was reading it, and felt disappointed yet relieved (to an extent) that it doesn't. With certain characters with such powers unfurling, I'm really excited to see where Lam takes this. I loved seeing the developments in the relationships between Micah and Drystan, and I also loved seeing the budding friendship of our four protagonists - in particular, the mysterious Cyan. This book held so much emotion and excitement - it really is an unputdownable read.

The further exploration of Micah as an intersex character was so interesting to me as a past MA student and I found myself wishing that I could go back to write an essay on both Pantomime and Shadowplay. Laura handles the topic of the discrimination and repression of those that are intersex so well and sensitively. Micah's anxiety, worries and attempts to look for explanations are so heartfelt and emotional. Micah is constantly searching for answers as to why he was born the way he is. I found this so difficult to read; to see a character that has had the notion that to be intersex is to be unnatural so deeply ingrained that he can't see how beautiful he truly is. How being intersex is entirely normal and natural. It's the first series that I've read that deals with this issue and it's done beautifully.

I adored this book. Shadowplay is thrilling, page-turning, captivating and so emotional. I couldn't put it down. With the promise of a gaslight fantasy, Laura Lam certainly doesn't let us down. Props to you, Laura - I loved it!


Sea Change
Sea Change
by M.
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful debut, 30 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Sea Change (Hardcover)
This was a very interesting read for me, it is most certainly one of the most original that I have read in a long time. I have never read a book which features a Kraken and I really loved Octavius in this book. He was such a wonderful and kind character that it was impossible to dislike him. This fairy tale-esque story is incredibly moving and emotional - I found myself praying that Lilly would succeed throughout. Sea Change is eloquently written with the use of truly poetical language. It was a beautiful read; I haven't read a book this beautifully written in a long time.

Sea Change follows the journey of Lilly through adolescence as she is shunned by her father because of her love of the sea and her true friend, Octavius. A tale which is heartbreaking to read, we see the impact of the rough family life that she had upon her and how she reacts upon being thrown out of the family. The turning point of the novel is when Octavius is captured and Lilly must complete several quests in order to free him once again. The impact of this on Lilly is incredible as we see her transform from a young and dreamy girl to a tough and hard working character. Not once does she lose sight of the importance of freeing the Kraken.

I loved the tension the novel held and the constant questions I had running through my mind. What characters can we trust? What is the next step? Can she successfully complete this quest? It was a really lovely read. Ocassionally I found the book to be a little murky (which is why it is a 3*) but I did enjoy the read. It dealt with many issues such as expectations, adolescence, gender, prejudice and is certainly well worth a read! The ending unveils many shocking facts and we learn of reasoning behind many of the occurrences within Sea Change.

A fantasy novel which is guaranteed to tug on your heart strings, I definitely recommend this.


Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days)
Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days)
by Susan Ee
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., 30 April 2013
I loved this book. I absolutely loved it. I requested it from the publisher and was absolutely over the moon when I got a response saying it was on its way and THANK YOU because I have officially found myself a new series to gush over! A young adult, post-apocalyptic novel filled to the brim with action, emotion, gore and the supernatural, I just couldn't put it down. It took me only three sittings to devour this book and it would have been so much less if it wasn't for the ridiculous amount of university work left!

We are immediately introduced to our protagonist Penryn; a 17 year old girl that has had to grow up far too quickly in this now destroyed world. She not only has to protect her mother and younger sister from the angels, but also has to feed and keep them moving out of the fear of being discovered. The angels had destroyed and taken control of Earth in the previous few months, with the world now hiding in fear and having transgressed years into the past. The behaviours are more primal and there are many inhumane events unfurling.

Penryn, whilst handling a mother that is frightened of her own demons and a sister that has lost the use of her legs, is caught off guard during their escape. This is where we are introduced to the archangel, Raffe. She attempts to help Raffe during the struggle he has against other angels that are cutting his wings off. During this process, the angels kidnap her baby sister and this is where the story truly begins.

It's such an action packed book, filled with twists and turns that just keep you turning the pages. We see the trust which slowly begins to grow between Raffe and Penryn, as well as the constant battle as to how much they can actually trust each other. With them both on their own missions; Raffe to get his wings back and Penryn to save her sister, it's so tense watching their relationship develop and seeing the struggles between the pair.

With many gruesome scenes developing throughout the book, it certainly strays away from the usual young adult novel. Susan Ee is certainly not afraid to make us squirm as we read through the novel. The ending was superb and I just can't wait to get the next book. A completely addictive read! I hope to see more of Penryn's mother in the next one, who is apparently insane. I think there is so much more to this than what meets the eye and I'm excited to read the next one.


Spirit of Lost Angels: Volume 1 (The Bone Angel Series)
Spirit of Lost Angels: Volume 1 (The Bone Angel Series)
by Liza Perrat
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book., 25 April 2013
I was a little reluctant to begin this book initially. With it residing within the genre of historical fiction, a genre I rarely read, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it all that much. As is obvious from my rating, it was an amazing book. Beautifully written, well researched, and filled to the brim with emotion, I couldn't get enough of this book. It would certainly have been devoured much quicker if it hadn't been deadline time at university!

Perrat explores rural France and Paris before, during and after the French Revolution, bringing out many issues that faced the poor and repressed classes during this period. It was so heart wrenching to read about the tragedies our protagonist, Victoire Charpentier faces throughout her life. A tale of love, passion, loss and war, I felt myself tearing up on many occasions just praying for good news/ a change in the structure of their every day lives. I hasten to add I am not a reader that cries easily. The last time I cried was during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's insane to keep in mind that this is an author's debut novel. It's absolutely beautifully written and I cannot stop thinking about the book.

Our heroine, Victoire Charpentier is such a strong female figure. She keeps going despite everything that happens to her throughout her life. From poverty in her little village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, to her time in the asylum, to riots in Paris and back to where she started it all, in the little rural French village. We encounter characters that we love to love, and equally characters we absolutely love to hate. I'm finding this review so incredibly difficult to write without any spoilers because that is where all the emotion lies! I just, I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. It has overwhelmed me and I am so glad that I have read it.

Alongside exploring the life of Victoire, Perrat also explores issues of the Women's Rights Movement, with a few letters being exchanged between Victoire and Mary Wollstonecraft herself. As an MA student which specialises in Gender Studies, I was absolutely in my element watching how Perrat unfolds the issues raised on the treatment of women. No longer are they going to hide, allow themselves to be raped or murdered, to give up their bastard children. They are going to make a stand. This was such an empowering read and it made me so grateful to the women's movement and how far they have come - it makes me feel so incredibly lucky to have the way of life that I have now!

An eloquent and beautifully written historical novel, I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. Whether you're a lover of historical fiction or whether this is a new genre to you, please pick this book up. You will not regret it!


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