Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke

The perfect blend of fantasy, history and horror.

Published by Bloomsbury 

Released 2nd July 2019

Page count 320

GoodReads

pans labyrinth

Synopsis:

This book is not for the faint of heart or weak in spirit. It’s not for skeptics who don’t believe in fairy tales and the powerful forces of good. It’s only for brave and intrepid souls like you, who will stare down evil in all its forms. Continue reading “Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke”

TheWriteReads Blog Tour Review; Chasing Graves – Ben Galley

‘Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.’

I received an epub of this title in exchange for my review on The Write Reads Blog Tour.

GoodReads

chasing graves

Synopsis:

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning…

 

Review:

The concept of shade-binding (ie- enslaving the soul of a corpse in the form of a ghost) was a refreshingly original plot for a SFF. It was this that originally stoked my interest, and whilst the synopsis made me wonder if having so many characters would make the book hard to follow I was happily proven wrong.

The world building in Chasing Graves is phenomenal. The balance between description, action and dialogue was absolutely perfect. Galley sets each scene brilliantly without slowing the pace.

I was pleased with the formatting of the book. Having the origin and laws of shade-binding laid out piece by piece in italics below each chapter heading meant I got a good grasp of the idea without having a massive info dump. Each stage is explained simply and concisely as it becomes relevant to the story.

There are four concurrent storylines to follow. The rise of criminal Boss Temsa, the scheming or Empress Sisine, Niliths journey with her shade husband Farazar and the secret project of Widow Horix. I assume the main character Caltro will be the key to them all but you won’t find out how in this book.

I spent much of the book wondering how and when things would tie together and just as they began to… it ended! Whilst I really enjoyed Chasing Graves it felt like a lot of side story without enough main plot advancement. It’s a fantastic opening to what I think will be an incredible series BUT i felt like I’d been given 3/4 of a book.

I had a massive AHA! moment (though I’ve heard other readers saw it coming, I was completely thrown by it) but then ten pages later the book came to an abrupt end. I will definitely be reading the next one as I’m totally invested in the characters and their secrets, but to my mind the first instalment finished too early. I’m left feeling like the book was put down unfinished rather than it being a planned cliffhanger.

Well you got me Ben! I need to know now!
Must. Keep. Reading.

 

Roxanne’s Reactions

 

This was my second contribution to UltimateBlogTours run by the fabulous Dave at TheWriteReads, you can see the first right here; Blog Tour Review; After The Green Withered – Kristin Ward.

If you’d like to join the gang in reviewing indie authors then come! Join us! Head over to Twitter and contact Dave to get your spot in the fastest growing book community online.

writereads

How I Became A Book Blogger

The origin story of An Average Life

I always loved reading as a child. I know most of our stories start this way, but hey! It’s true.

In fact you can read all about my childhood library memories in my newbie blogger spotlight over at Jennie-Ly’s blog HERE 

As I got older, music and socialising became more important to me than books. Please, forgive my blasphemy.
So from the age of 13 to 16 I barely read. I was too busy window shopping, watching angsty local bands and truanting in what my adult self now recognises as the perfect cliche of childhood rebellion. *Eyeroll*

At 17 I was living with my boyfriends family, going to college and working part time. Most nights we were hanging out in your typical teen aged gang at each others houses. I would read books on occasion, but I wanted to spend my money on other things. £8 per book in Ottakars (now a Waterstones) was too steep for the speed I would read them and there was never anything new in our town library- Their fiction section is still tiny and outdated to this day.

I had a handful of mass market authors I would buy at release, namely Gerritsen, Cole, Rose, Slaughter and of course The King– but I didn’t stray much further until…

THE KINDLE.

*Cue angelic singing and heavenly light*

The original Kindle was my first purchase when I obtained a management career and I was immediately hooked back in. Being able to shop for instantly accessible books at any time reignited my love of reading. I had plenty of time on my commute to work and was once again reading myself to sleep at night.

But what about the blogging? That’s why we’re here right?

By 2016 I was in a bit of a pickle. I had raging anxiety, a stressful job and a divorce to finalise.
At the same time my dearest friend had gone travelling and started up a little blog for himself (since shut down unfortunately). I loved reading about his escapades and when he returned he suggested I start my own as a hobby.
It doesn’t matter whether anyone reads it, he said, just having a place to ramble and a creative outlet would do wonders for my mind.

He signed me up to WordPress and told me to give it a try.

And so I did.
And it was awful 😂

I had no schedule, no audience and no idea what I was doing. I didn’t want to share this part of myself with my family or friends but I was desperate for engagement.

I took to Twitter next.
I made a new profile with no IRL connections, no personal images and no use of my name. Completely anonymous.
After researching a little about the book community I cautiously reached out and began to join chats, the first of which being the wonderfully welcoming #SundayYA.

Finally, other people that wanted to talk about books! There has never been any bookworms in my family or social circle, seriously, why are they so hard to find?

I marveled at their blogs and traced their tags and memes to more and more incredible sites- realising with green eyed envy that my own efforts were minuscule.

I made the decision then to shut down AnAverageLife. I had charged in completely unprepared and needed a clean slate.
I gave myself 6 months to learn some very basic coding, create simple images and draft several posts- meanwhile cultivating my Twitter account and dropping hints about the upcoming relaunch of AnAverageLife.

This time I was going to be proud of my efforts. I created this About Me page, put up photos of myself and began using my actual name online.

On my 30th birthday in August 2018 I relaunched this site. Since then I’ve increased my online audience to almost 2400 across both platforms. I regularly participate in blog tours, joined Netgalley, made it onto several publisher mailing lists and most importantly have made some INCREDIBLE friends.

I became a blogger to distract myself from anxiety and depression but it has become SO MUCH MORE  than that.

Blogging has led me to a wonderfully diverse and supportive community, kind and caring friends whom I speak to – sometimes more than my real life pals- and a feeling of belonging that I hadn’t known I was searching for.

How did you become a blogger?

What does it mean to you?

Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry

Beware the wolves in the wood…

Publisher: Titan Books

Release date: 18th June / Page Count 304

GoodReads Link

girlinred.png

Synopsis:

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

Continue reading “Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry”

Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post

Sometimes running a business can cost an arm and a leg. Literally.

Page Count 256

Publication date June 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

Good Reads link

chopshop.png

 

Synopsis:

Amber Hawthorne and Jolene Morris, business partners and roommates at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, are drowning in debt. People are complaining about the makeup jobs they’re giving deceased loved ones–the word clownish has been used–and both young women have a little trouble keeping their partying habits in line. 

When they start selling body parts on the black market to keep their business alive (Jolene much more reluctantly than Amber), their new buyers seem friendly and trustworthy enough at first. That is until the dead gangster they’ve recently parted up turns out to have been full of disease. Now Amber and Jolene’s buyers want something else to make up for lost profits, leaving the two undertakers to learn sometimes running your own business can cost you an arm and a leg. Literally.

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post”