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Becki Weston (Leicester, UK)

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Grind
Grind
by Mr Edward Vukovic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Ziva does her best to fit into this strange new place, 6 April 2017
This review is from: Grind (Paperback)
GRIND is Edward Vukovic’s debut novel. It is a contemporary novel set in Australia. It follows the story of Ziva, who was born in the old Yugoslavia, and followed her brother and his wife to Australia fleeing the economic aftershocks of the Balkan war. Ziva does her best to fit into this strange new place, and to not upset her brother on whose good will she is reliant. Ziva clings to the customs her grandmother taught her, and the gift she inherited from her, despite her brother’s pointed disdain. Then she meets Isaac, and things change for both of them.

I’ll be honest, I had not heard of GRIND until I received an email from the author asking me if I would be interested in reading it. Once I saw and the cover and read the blurb I was instantly curious. GRIND did not disappoint me. I found it easy to slip into the world, and follow Ziva’s journey through the book. Ziva’s outlook on the world was an interesting one, and despite not being a coffee fan I enjoyed the way that the different sections of the novel are linked through this bitter beverage. The story flows well, and I think if you’re interested in expanding your horizons a little bit then this book is well worth a read.

Although GRIND is, without a doubt, Ziva’s story the book is narrated by and follows the story of five interconnected people. Ziva’s story is the driving force of the narrative, but we also get to know Simon, Isaac, Michel and Danielle, and see how all five of them are connected. I enjoyed seeing events covered from the different perspectives, with different lives and histories. Vukovic paints a really detailed picture of what life is like in this particular place and time. As well as showing how different people’s lives can interconnect and create a greater narrative.

My main complaint about this book, and it’s a trivial one, is that I would have liked there to be a bit more of it. I wanted the stories to continue on a bit after where the book currently ends, but having said that I do think Vukovic ended the book well as it feels complete. I just want to see what happens next in their lives. I found the story easy to follow, and as I mentioned earlier I thought that even with the different narrators the story flows well. There was one point where I got confused as to who the narrator was, but apart from that it was easy to keep track of whose story was whose.

If you’re looking for an intriguing contemporary read, or a book set in Australia then GRIND is well worth a read. It is, of course, more than both those things – it is a book about family, about loss, about new beginnings, and it’s also a book about the past and the future. But above all else, GRIND is a book that will suck you in.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room. I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Moranifesto
Moranifesto
by Caitlin Moran
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I quite enjoyed Moran’s humorous, 31 Mar. 2017
This review is from: Moranifesto (Paperback)
MORANIFESTO is the latest book to come from Caitlin Moran. It is a collection of essays and musings on a variety of topics from the wearing of tights to reviews of TV shows to periods to austerity to interviews to obituaries to advice and finally a posthumous letter to her daughter. The subject matter of the book covers several years, and the variety of topics reflects this large period of time. The length of Moran’s musings on these topics varies, but all are started with a preface showing how they link into the overall section of the book and the overall idea of the book being Moran’s manifesto – or Moranifesto if you prefer.

The MORANIFESTO marks the first time I have delved into a book by Caitlin Moran. Although, this was not the first time I have come across Moran – that was several years ago when her book HOW TO BE A WOMAN was the next big thing on book blogs. When I came across MORANIFESTO I was intrigued by the idea put forth in the blurb, that Moran was going to be musing on contemporary topics and would be putting together a manifesto of sorts. I was also a little nervous to pick the book up, as none of Moran’s previous books had spoken to me.

MORANIFESTO is without a doubt an eclectic mixture of essays and musings; Moran covers a huge variety of topics, some less serious than others. My immediate thought when reading this book was that it felt very dated. A lot of the subject matter of this book falls between 2012 and 2015, which in 2017 is two to five years ago – and a lot has happened in that time period. Looking back at the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee seem to me a lifetime ago – a time of celebration, rather than the fear and worry of the 2017 climate.

Having said I found a lot of the subject matter dated in MORANIFESTO, I do have to admit that despite this a lot of it was interesting. Seeing these events from Moran’s very different point of view to my own. I was intrigued by where we differed and where we agreed. Reading MORANIFESTO was an interesting journey. I quite enjoyed Moran’s humorous, often self-deprecating, voice. I could relate to certain sections of her narrative, whilst others were completely alien. For me, Moran’s humour was pretty hit and miss – to be truthful, more miss than hit, and it often left me cold.

Moran splits her MORANIFESTO into four main parts; the first three sections serve to paint the picture for the fourth section, Moran’s actual manifesto. I have to admit that I found this section both a little repetitive and dry. To me, it didn’t really feel like it added anything to the rest of the book. I think my favourite section of the book was actually the final pages, where Moran has included a draft of what she refers to as a posthumous letter to her daughter. In a lot of ways, it typifies what went on in the book prior to it. It captures Moran’s zest for life, humour, worries and hopes for the future.

I might not have fallen in love with MORANIFESTO. In fact, I might have found that Moran’s book instead operates in that weird space between liking and loathing something. I do, however, think that MORANIFESTO is well worth a read, particularly if you come from a different background to Moran. MORANIFESTO is, in my opinion, a book that whether you love or hate what it is saying; you’ll find it hard to feel indifferent to. And hopefully, it will make you think which I think is the whole point.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


The Witchfinder's  Sister
The Witchfinder's Sister
by Beth Underdown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She and Matthew left on poor terms, and she has not spoken to him ..., 23 Mar. 2017
THE WITCHFINDER’S SISTER is Beth Underdown’s debut novel. The story is set in England in the seventeenth century, and follows the story of Alice Hopkins. In 1645 Alice is forced to return from London to the small Essex town of Manningtree to her brother Matthew’s house, after the death of her husband. She and Matthew left on poor terms, and she has not spoken to him apart from the letter she received notifying her of their mother’s death. The Matthew Alice returns to is very different from the brother she remembers. He now has powerful friends, and soon Alice hears that he is gathering a list of women’s names.

With the mentioning of witchcraft, witch-hunts and the Witch Finder General, you might be forgiven for thinking of the Salem witch trials – but they happened almost fifty years after the very real events Underdown draws upon to write this book. Matthew Hopkins was a real person who in three years managed to try, convict, and kill around 230 people (and not all of them were women).[1] Going into THE WITCHFINDER’S SISTER I must confess that I knew very little about this period of British history – I did know that there had been a Witch Finder General in the UK, but not where or when.

I can honestly say that THE WITCHFINDER’S SISTER surprised me. Although the subject matter of the book is without a doubt dark and disturbing and therefore hard going at times, by the time I was in the final quarter of the book I just could not stop until I reached the end! Even having some inkling about how the story could go, Underdown provided plenty of surprises along the way, which kept me turning the page.

I found Alice Hopkins to be both a compelling narrator and an interesting main character. When we first meet her, Alice is making the journey from London to Manningtree after the death of her husband. Watching Alice’s journey through this book I have to say that I think she is one of the strongest people I have read about – though I don’t think she would agree with me. In a time when women would have had very little rights or freedoms, Alice really stood out to me and I found myself rooting for her from the beginning.

Reading about Matthew Hopkins through his sister was an interesting experience. Alice still remembers him as the boy she grew up with, and was close to before her marriage. Underdown does a fantastic job at capturing Alice’s mixed feelings towards her brother – and made me feel them too. I thought the story was well told, and flowed really well. To me it felt believable, like we really were hearing Alice’s own words about the events she witnessed and uncovered about her brother. I also enjoyed the almost magical realist elements to the narrative – it helped to create the feeling of unease that must have been prevalent at the time.

It goes without saying that THE WITCHFINDER’S SISTER by Beth Underdown is not a read for the faint of heart. But if you want a gripping read that will keep you turning the pages, whether you’re a fan of historical fiction or not, then I highly recommend giving this book a try. As someone who isn’t particularly a fan, I found THE WITCHFINDER’S SITER easy to get into and easy to follow. The story is compelling and the characters are interesting. If you think this might be your cup of tea, then it is well worth giving this book a go.

[1] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, ‘Matthew Hopkins’ in Encyclopædia Britannica [online] [accessed March 01 2017].

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room as part of the blog tour. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


The Foxhole Court: Volume 1 (All for the Game)
The Foxhole Court: Volume 1 (All for the Game)
by Nora Sakavic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars It was that good! I started reading it before family came over, 15 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THE FOXHOLE COURT by Nora Sakavic is the first book in the All For The Game trilogy. It tells the story of Neil Josten the latest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. But Neil has secrets, chief of which is that he is the son of a crime lord known as The Butcher. Signing with the PSU Foxes puts his life in danger especially when playing with them means meeting a face from his past.

I ended up reading this book in a matter of hours. It was that good! I started reading it before family came over, and I struggled to put it down. When I got back to it, I read it straight through to the end and it just blew me away. The story sucked me in. The characters were interesting, and believable. The plot was interesting and kept my attention. THE FOXHOLE COURT was everything I wanted from the first book in a series. Sakavic did a good job setting up the world and the characters; the premise of the book felt believable, and I think Sakavic did a brilliant job with Neil. I am planning on devouring the second and third books in this trilogy as quickly as I can get my hands on them!

The main plot of the book focuses on the question of whether Neil will follow his dreams and play for the PSU Foxes, and if he does will his secrets be uncovered? Sakavic does a fantastic job at keeping the tension about possible discovery through the whole book; it’s what kept me turning the pages. I also really enjoyed the fact that Sakavic crossed the worlds of competitive sport and the mob, and all both worlds entail. I found the meshing of the worlds worked really well, and I thought the sport of Exy sounded interesting – it’s sort of a cross between ice hockey and lacrosse on a football pitch (though I’m don’t know if that’s American Football or football/soccer, and even if there’s a difference in pitch size). It’s super competitive both on and off the pitch.

Neil Josten is the main character, and I thought he was an interesting choice. Going into THE FOXHOLE COURT you know he has secrets, and I think Sakavic plays with that aspect of his character well. I found it easy to trust him, and I thought his point of view was interesting. Sakavic does a brilliant job with his teammates, and they all feel real and believable. There’s also an interesting team dynamic, which makes for some pretty entertaining reading at times.

Overall I think THE FOXHOLE COURT serves as a brilliant introduction to the All For The Game trilogy. Sakavic does a brilliant job of setting up the world and the characters, which I’m looking forward to seeing more of in future books. If you’re looking for a contemporary novel that doesn’t have a lot of romance in it, and you’re okay reading books that are sport based then you may want to consider picking this book up. I’m not sure if the little romance will hold up for future books in the trilogy, but for this book in particular there is very little of it at all. But having said that, as there’s a mob aspect to the book there’s also some references to pretty nasty violence – I cannot remember seeing any of it actually happen on page – and there’s also some substance abuse – some of which takes place without characters consent – so if that is not your thing then this may not be the book for you. Having said that, I don’t think any of the things I warned about are used gratuitously and I thought they added to the tension of the book.

Review originally published on TheFlutterbyRoom.com


The One: The unputdownable psychological thriller everyone is talking about
The One: The unputdownable psychological thriller everyone is talking about
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars ... was a test you could take to find your perfect match, would you take it, 15 Feb. 2017
The premise of John Marrs’s book THE ONE is an intriguing one – if there was a test you could take to find your perfect match, would you take it? In THE ONE we follow the stories of five people who submit their DNA, and find their perfect partner. Everyone has secrets they keep. All five stories are different, but linked through them using Match Your DNA to find the one person they are genetically made for. From there, their stories diverge. In THE ONE John Marrs tells a psychological thriller, peppered with romance, that will keep you turning the pages.

THE ONE exceeded my expectations. Going into this book I was really intrigued by the idea that a DNA test could be used to find your soulmate. I thought it was a really unique take on the idea of soulmates, especially with the fact that the book is both a romance and a thriller. But for me Marrs pulled it off; I found the story entertaining and believable. It helped that THE ONE isn’t just the story of one person, but of five people and they all tell their own stories. I also thought the change of title from A THOUSAND SMALL EXPLOSIONS to THE ONE worked well for the book, as it is more memorable now.

The narration of THE ONE is split between the five main characters; they each narrate their own stories, and so Marrs gives them their own chapters. I thought this style works well to keep track of what is going on, as Marrs keeps the narrators in the same order so you know who is going to be next. It also serves to keep the tension within the story up, as this naturally breaks the flow of the narrative turning the story into a page-turner. I thought that Marrs did a brilliant job with the chapter length – I didn’t feel that any of them were too long, or too short – and the different stories felt well balanced.

Secrets lie at the heart of THE ONE, as the blurb hints, so it’s actually quite hard to talk about the plot the book without giving anything away. For me, the joy of THE ONE was going into it blind and watching events unfold with only the blurb to go on. I will say that I did enjoy the five separate storylines and the fact that they aren’t really linked apart from the fact that they took the test to match their DNA. I’m not really science minded, but I thought the science behind the DNA test when mentioned sounded plausible. And, I think Marrs did a good job in mixing the thriller and romance genres together in this book.

If you’re not a fan of romance, don’t let that aspect of the book put you off: THE ONE is about much more than the quest to find your soulmate. THE ONE is a book that will stay with you once you reach the end. Marrs has created a good psychological thriller that will keep you turning the pages. If you are looking for a unique read, then THE ONE is well worth checking out.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room as part of the blog tour. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Corpus: A gripping spy thriller to rival Fatherland
Corpus: A gripping spy thriller to rival Fatherland
by Rory Clements
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story is set during a period of great political turmoil within the UK as King Edward VIII ..., 10 Feb. 2017
CORPUS by Rory Clements is the first book in a new spy thriller series. The story is set in late 1936, and tells the story of Cambridge history professor Thomas Wilde whose life gets caught up in a series of murders. The story is set during a period of great political turmoil within the UK as King Edward VIII is being forced to decide between Mrs Wallis Simpson and abdicating the throne. Something more than a few people are not happy about. Alongside this, Britain is split between the growing powers of Communism and Fascism, creating a huge powder keg about to explode.

CORPUS was my introduction to Rory Clements, as I have read none of the books in his John Shakespeare series, so I only had the blurb to go on when I picked this book up. CORPUS honestly blew me away. It was everything I wanted in a historical thriller. The world was at once both familiar and alien. The story was engaging, and I found it easy to slip into Thomas Wilde’s idiosyncratic world in the university town of Cambridge (which didn’t get city status until 1951). The world and the characters felt very real, and as such I found the story to be a real page-turner.

Clements tells a really interesting story. I enjoyed the way he shifted the narrative between several different perspectives, as it allowed me to build a broader picture of what was going on. The scope of the narrative is pretty broad, and there is a lot going on but I found it pretty easy to keep track of events – even those that were deliberately mysterious. I’ll be honest, CORPUS really reminded me of John Le Carré’s Karla Trilogy in terms of the feel of the story, although not so much in terms of the content.

I found the plot of CORPUS to be compelling; once I got into the story I found myself just consuming pages. I think Clements really captured the feeling of a lot going on; there are a lot of interconnected narratives, which form the picture of what exactly is going on during the latter half of 1936 in this book. Thomas Wilde was an interesting main character. He is both part of the world of academics at Cambridge, and apart from it too which I thought gave the story an interesting perspective. I also think Clements did a good job at capturing the tension within Britain and the rest of the world during this tumultuous period. I don’t know a lot about this particular period of time, but I think those that do would also enjoy this book.

If you are interested in a historical thriller, then I totally recommend this book. Even if you are just looking for a historical novel or a thriller then you should definitely consider giving CORPUS a try. I honestly don’t think it will disappoint you. Clements has created a really interesting world and crime, and Thomas Wilde is an interesting main character. I also think if you’ve never tried either genre before then CORPUS may just be the place to begin. I really enjoyed reading CORPUS, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room as part of the blog tour. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Relativity
Relativity
by Antonia Hayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars RELATIVITY by Antonia Hayes is a beautiful, poignant read, 19 Jan. 2017
This review is from: Relativity (Paperback)
RELATIVITY by Antonia Hayes is a beautiful, poignant read. That is not to say it is a sad read, because it is not. RELATIVITY is full of life and hope. It tells the story of a twelve year-old boy who is obsessed with physics and astronomy, and of his parents. On the cusp of being a teenager, Ethan still views the world with a child’s wonder and curiosity. His mother Claire has brought him up on her own since he was small, and is fiercely protective of him. She has never told Ethan the truth of his father Mark, and why he’s no longer in their lives.

RELATIVITY is a beautiful book. The cover of my physical copy (as you can see in the picture) is absolutely gorgeous and really captures the feel of the book. The language Hayes uses in this, her debut novel, is just as beautiful. She vividly paints pictures in broad stokes with her words, making all the science dance through the narrative – some of it really quite complicated, easy to follow and understand. Science, particularly Physics, is not something I particularly relate to yet seeing it through Ethan’s eyes – with Hayes lovely descriptions – made it easy for me to see what drew him to it.

“The night sky was a gauze of symmetries and spirals, an ocean of darkness and light. Ultraviolet and infrared, filled with invisible radiation and empty vacuums. Ethan felt like he could split the yawning universe open with his eyes and see its boundless dimensions, look beyond the blueprint of space and time.” (Relativity by Antonia Hayes (Corsair, 2017), pp. 6-7)

With words Hayes weaves a vivid picture both of how Ethan views the world, and how beautiful that world is explained by science. There are dozens of such instances throughout the book.

For all the beauty of RELATIVITY, there is also a bleaker core. This is not a book for everyone. RELATIVITY deals with the consequences of SBS – shaken baby syndrome (you can find out more here and here) – on both the parents and the child involved. I mention this only because I know that there will be some people who will find the subject triggering, and therefore won’t want to read it, and I want to give them fair warning. Personally I think Hayes covers the topic sensitively, and I liked the fact that the focus of the story was on the lives of Ethan and his parents after this event. Don’t let the subject matter put you off; RELATIVITY really is at its heart about love and family.

The relationship between Ethan and his mum is brilliantly written, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship come alive on the page. Hayes does a good job showing the love between mother and son. I also really liked the fact that Hayes split the narration of the novel between Ethan, Claire, and Mark as this allows the reader to gain an understanding of all three perspectives and characters. The ending of the book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it still somehow fitted. If you’re looking for a beautiful story from a debut novelist, that doesn’t shy from the truth then RELATIVITY is definitely a book you should be checking out. This story is definitely one that deserves to be heard.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room as part of the blog tour. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Wolf by Wolf: Blood for Blood: Book 2
Wolf by Wolf: Blood for Blood: Book 2
by Ryan Graudin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars ... BLOOD by Ryan Graudin is the sequel to the brilliant WOLF BY WOLF, 12 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin is the sequel to the brilliant WOLF BY WOLF, concluding the story. It continues the story of seventeen-year-old Yael, resistant fighter and shape-shifter. After the events of the previous book, the world stands on a precipice; dangerous secrets have been revealed, and events set in motion that cannot be stopped. Yael is left reeling, but her mission for the resistance must be completed. The fight to regain control has begun, though not everything is as it appears. The future of the world hangs in the balance. BLOOD FOR BLOOD brings Yael’s story, and that of the resistance, to a thrilling conclusion.

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on BLOOD FOR BLOOD since I finished WOLF BY WOLF: I had to know how Yael’s story ended. BLOOD FOR BLOOD was just what I wanted from a sequel to WOLF BY WOLF – Graudin did a brilliant job in concluding the story. I found it easy to fall back into Yael’s world and watch events unfold. The story was a little slow at times, but for me the overall story more than made up for that. I can honestly say that this duology is one of my favourite reads of 2016 and I totally recommend it if you want to give an alternative history a try, with a few fantastical elements.

The main plot of BLOOD FOR BLOOD continues on from the conclusion of WOLF BY WOLF. I really enjoyed watching events unfold for Yael and the resistance. I thought it seemed pretty realistic, and the plot kept me guessing. Graudin breaks up this plot with a series of interludes set in different time periods, which give an insight into both the world and the characters. I found these both interesting and frustrating. I liked the fact that these interludes allowed us to gain a bigger picture of the world, and to learn more about the characters. However, I did find some of them frustrating, as I just wanted to know what was going to happen next in the main plot.

Yael is, of course, the main character and narrator of BLOOD FOR BLOOD: with Luka and Felix also providing some narration. This use of different voices in the narration works well to build a larger picture of what is going on, but I think it worked well that Luka and Felix were only occasional narrators as this meant that BLOOD FOR BLOOD was still very much Yael’s story.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this series is the fact that it’s a duology. Graudin tells a compelling and believable story, which left me wanting to know what happens next. The ending of BLOOD FOR BLOOD was brilliantly written. I don’t want to say too much about it because of spoilers, but I will say that I thought it was a fitting ending to the story. I really enjoyed following this twist on WW2, and if you’re looking to try an alternative history then you should definitely check this series out.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room.


The Bear and The Nightingale
The Bear and The Nightingale
by Katherine Arden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars ... BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden is a beautiful book. It has a gorgeous front cover, 12 Jan. 2017
THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden is a beautiful book. It has a gorgeous front cover, and the story inside is delightfully magical. This debut novel tells the story of a young girl, Vasilisa Petrovna – Vasya to her family: the youngest child of Pytor Vladimirovich and Marina Ivanovna. THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE follows Vasya, as she grows up, the daughter of a lord in a small Russian village. Vasya isn’t quite like the other girls, not even her elder sister. Her life changes with the arrival of her father’s second wife, Anna Ivanovna, and Father Konstantin Nikonovich.

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is a magical Russian fairy tale, but at its heart it is a story about family. Arden beautifully evokes the hard cold beauty of Russian life in the fourteenth century in a small village, as well as the gross opulence of Moscow’s Tsars. Although THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is without a doubt Vasya’s story, Arden splits the narrative focus between four characters as they all play a pivotal role in the tale: Vasya, Pytor, Anna, and Father Konstantin. For me this split narrative focus worked well as it allowed a broader picture of events to be painted. I especially liked the fact that this was done through third person narration as it allowed me a bit more insight into the characters than I would have otherwise achieved.

If you have read BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE by Marcus Sedgwick then I think you will enjoy THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE – I certainly did. Although BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE is a young adult novel and is set in the twentieth century I think the two books have a similar feel – particularly the fairy tale aspect of both stories. I do think if you have a good knowledge of Russian history and folklore then you will definitely enjoy THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE as I think Arden has left a few “Easter eggs” for people with such knowledge to enjoy. I only know a little, but I still found the story engaging and easy to follow. The book did start a little slow, but once I got into the story it was an engrossing tale.

The way Arden blended the everyday and the fantastical was brilliantly done; the story reads like a “real” fairy tale. I also liked the fact that we get to know Vasya before events come to a head. All the characters felt very real, even those who were not human. If you are looking for something a little dark, but full of hope, to welcome in the New Year then THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is definitely a book you should be picking up. It is truly magical.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


My Sister's Bones: 'For lovers of The Girl on the Train ...a tense story with multiple twists and turns'
My Sister's Bones: 'For lovers of The Girl on the Train ...a tense story with multiple twists and turns'
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and was very delighted upon its arrival to jump straight in, 7 Nov. 2016
MY SISTER’S BONES by Nuala Ellwood tells the story of Kate Rafter a war correspondent with a troubled past. Her mother has died recently and Kate returns home to help her sister settle the estate. Once back in her childhood home Kate is woken by a terrifying scream. She convinces herself that it’s just a nightmare. Until she hears it again. Convinced something is wrong Kate tries to investigate, but being a reporter who has visited some of the most dangerous and harrowing places in the world comes at a price. Determined to find out what is going on and to lay the past to rest, Kate struggles not to lose her mind.

The lovely people at Penguin were kind enough to send me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not expecting this book, and was very delighted upon its arrival to jump straight in. MY SISTER’S BONES is a tense, dream-like read that will keep you gripped from the start. The narrative is really complex and it will definitely keep you guessing all the way to the end – it’s really well thought out, and there are a lot of twists as the story unfolds.

Ellwood has split the book into different parts, the first of which is told from Kate Rafter’s point of view. I thought she was a really interesting character to get to know, and for me she worked well as a narrator. Telling the story from Kate’s point of view, especially as the narrative splits between the present and the past, is a solid choice by Ellwood as it leaves you with lots of questions. It is interesting and disturbing to watch events unfold on the page. The second and third parts of the novel are brilliantly crafted, and I liked the fact that Ellwood switches the narrative point of view in the different parts as I think it really added to the story.

Talking about the plot is tricky because I don’t want to give anything away – MY SISTER’S BONES is, in my opinion, best read without knowing too much about it – but at the same time I don’t want to leave it unremarked upon. Ellwood crafts a compelling story, and I needed to know what was going on. There is a lot going on in this book, and yet it is told as a brilliant cohesive story that just seems to flow before you.

If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that covers hard topics, that has compelling storytelling, is hard hitting, and an intense read then this is a book you should check out. You should also check this book out if you are interested in journalism – storytelling is a huge theme in this book, and I think Ellwood does the subject justice. MY SISTER’S BONES is a strong debut, and I look forward to seeing what Ellwood does in the future.

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room. I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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