The Skin (Black Hind's Wake, #1) by J. E. Hannaford
14, Aug

The author of The Skin clearly loves nature - particularly ocean creatures and the plight of those captured by humans and placed in zoos/aquariums. Through her debut novel she delivers a love letter to non-human life and also a warning about what our future could be if we don’t pay more attention to marine ecology and the environment as a whole. 

Epilogues for Lost Gods (Unwritten Runes #2) by Cat Rector - Book Review
07, Aug

I was lucky enough to help beta read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it both then and now, reading a digital arc. 

Epilogues for Lost Gods is the sequel to The Goddess of Nothing At All which has easily become one of my favourite books. It takes place after Ragnarok, with the realms in tatters and most of the gods and goddesses now dead and imprisoned in Helheim. Loki and his son Narvi are among them and both are suffering from severe PTSD after their violent deaths. Sigyn and Váli are among the survivors of Ragnarok. Váli is still in the wolf form Odin forced upon him during the previous book and Sigyn has taken it upon herself to build a new city where inclusivity is the byword.

NACL: Eye of the Storm by Allegra Pescatore & E. Sands - Book Review
19, Jul

NACL - Eye of the Storm is difficult to precisely pinpoint - is it a character-driven futuristic fantasy or a SciFi adventure. The superpowers of the main characters are sometimes referred to as their magic, yet it takes place on the planet Fortune with futuristic science and technology to hand:

“Now that Vera could feel the other woman’s magic, she realized just how much larger the dual-Marked woman’s well of power was compared to her own. That avalanche of awakened magic pushed against Vera’s every knot and weave, but the pulse of their blood flowing into each other’s veins made the fight ultimately unwinnable.”

Traitors Unseen (Inquisitors' Guild #3) by Dave Dobson - Book Review
29, Jun

A prequel novella to Flames over Frosthelm, set about ten years before that novel, Traitors Unseen tells of events which happened when Emerra Denault was still just a Provisional Inspector in the Inquisitors' Guild in Frosthelm.

Magicians’ Rivalry (Spellsmith & Carver #1)  by H. L. Burke - Book Review
06, Jun

I really enjoyed this short young adult fantasy, the first in a series starring magicians Auric Spellsmith and Jericho Carver.

Auric returns home from training as a magician in the capital city to find his father, Hedward Spellsmith, the town’s magician has taken on a magical apprentice named Jericho Carver. Jealous despite it being his decision to leave 5 years before, there follows a bitter rivalry with both Auric and Jericho determined to get rid of the other. To make matters worse, Auric’s sister, Rill now 17, appears somewhat infatuated with ‘Jerry’, who has been teaching her magic, enhancing her natural aptitude. Auric is jealous of this and Jericho’s easy relationship with his father. He had planned to teach his sister magic and to return home to work with his father - both things which he is no longer needed for. Jericho fears his position will no longer exist since the natural heir and apprentice has now returned home. Their sarcastic banter and rivalry was well-written and fun to read.

The Martyr (Covenant of Steel #2) by Anthony Ryan - Book Review
29, May

I would like to thank NetGalley and Orbit Books for granting me access to a digital advance review copy of The Martyr by Anthony Ryan. My review is honest and my opinions are my own.

A continuation from the point we left off with The Pariah, this sequel is once more told by Alwyn Scribe now among the trusted advisors of the Risen Martyr, as the Anointed Lady Evadine Couravel is now known. The followers of the Covenant Company are heading to war and most of this book is set during the battles and sieges that constitute the war.

Daros by Dave Dobson - Book Review
22, May

I was sent a complimentary audiobook code by the author - thank you Dave! My review is honest and all opinions are my own. 

Jennifer Pratt’s Audio narration of this SPFSC semi-finalist novel is really excellent. The opening chapter involves a couple of crew members of the Envy’s Price attempting to rid the ship of an alien arachnoid infestation and all of the disgust and horror this involves comes across really well. Her voice acting makes use of lots of different accents - Russian, New Zealand and British accents, to name just a selection, in order to distinguish different alien groups. She is able to put on a sassy teenage girl voice when Brecca asks the machine intelligence individual,  Lyra, to be more friendly. This was hilarious.

The Children of Gods and Fighting Men (Gael Song #1) by Shauna Lawless - Book Review
14, May

I was granted a digital arc by the publisher via NetGalley - thank you to Head of Zeus, NetGalley and Shauna Lawless.

I can’t get over how well-written this debut historic fantasy novel is. Shauna Lawless is one extremely talented and well-read lady. The depth of her research for this book can be seen at every turn and her love for Irish history and mythology shines on every page. The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is easily one of my favourite books so far this year! 

The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham - Book Review
23, Apr

The Legend of Black Jack is the debut novel by Emmy winning A.R. Witham and bearing that in mind, the quality of the writing is remarkable, expertly bringing this fantasy to life. I absolutely loved this book - it sucked me in from the start and I found it really difficult to put down.

Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Book Review
21, Apr

I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley and would like to thank the publishers Orbit, the author, Adrian Tchaikovsky and NetGalley.

In this action-packed sequel to Shards of Earth we once again have multiple points of view, many intriguing alien races, and a ton of weird and wonderful worlds and settings, and there just seems to be more of everything this time around. The stakes are raised even higher as we have multiple Architects appearing at once to attack and reshape the world of Arc Pallator while Idris and his companions are on the surface of the planet. There are also more of the divine Essiel, Tothiat and Hiver characters introduced than we met in book 1.

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