Friday, 28 June 2019

Blog Tour Review - The Written by Ben Galley


The Written by Ben Galley
Published 1st January 2011 by (first published 25th October 2010)
Star Rating - ***
Goodreads Challenge - 32/50

I was gifted an e-copy of this book from The Write Reads Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
His name is Farden.
They whisper that he’s dangerous.
Dangerous is only the half of it.

A spellbook has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell – a very old and extremely powerful spellbook from the time of dark elves and demons. Five scholars are dead, the magick council is running out of time and options, and the Arka is once again on the brink of war with the Siren dragon-riders. 

It falls to Farden the Written mage to keep the world from falling into chaos. Entangled in a web of lies and politics, Farden must recover the spellbook before an ancient enemy rises, even if it takes journeying halfway across icy Emaneska and back.

In his fight for answers, Farden will unearth a secret that not only shakes the foundations of his world, but threaten the entire future of Emaneska. Sorcery, death, drugs and the deepest of betrayals await.

Welcome to Emaneska.

My Thoughts
I read this book as part of the Ben Galley ultimate blog tour organised by The Read Writes gang. As part of this tour I was able to choose any one of the authors backlist titles to read and review and I chose The Written as it was the one that appealed to me the most. I was kindly sent a e-copy of the book however, I prefer to read in paperback and I was able to get a copy from my library so that is the edition I read. But, as far as I'm aware there are no differences between the two copies. 

I'm really starting to dive into the adult fantasy genre as opposed to YA and the synopsis of this one really intrigued me. I loved the sound of magic, journeys and dragons and, as the authors debut novel, I was excited to dive in and give him a go. As a result I can say I did really enjoy the story however, you could tell this was a debut. As I just said I was really drawn in by the synopsis and this did live up to my expectations. The author has really packed a lot into this novel but even though there's a lot going on you can see he's thought about the plot and the complexities of the story. However, I do feel like this could continue to be refined and I'm sure it is in the rest of the series. 

The writing was good, I didn't find myself getting lost or confused and I was able to follow the plot fine. This book did take me a long time to read though but I don't think that was anything to do with the book itself, I tend to find adult fantasy does take me a little longer. If you didn't already know this book is self published by the author himself and I think it has been published very well, especially for a debut, however, there were a few oddly composed sentences, repeated words and spelling mistakes that did affect my flow of reading at times. 

I liked the characters too. Farden was really interesting, I enjoyed his character development where he went from being reclusive and self centred to determined to save the world. I do feel we could of dived a little bit more into his personality at times though as I would of liked to have learned a little bit more about his past in the hope that this would of explained why he was so angry. Maybe this will come in the next books. My favourite characters overall though were definitely the dragons. I found them really interesting and I loved learning about their world. There was also a couple of twists throughout the plot involving some of the characters which were a little surprising too. 

Overall I think this was a really good debut novel. There's definitely some flaws however, to me these were overshadowed by my enjoyment and I had fun reading this story. I'm excited to continue on with this series and I really hope to do so very soon. 

This book is available from the following link: 

Author Bio

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

Twitter: @BenGalley

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this tour. It's been great. There's still a lot more coming up on this tour so if your interested check out some of the other stops below. 

Monday, 17 June 2019

Mini Reviews


Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
Published 6th September 2018 by Walker Books
Star Rating - **.5
Goodreads Challenge - 24/50

What I Liked - I was really intrigued by the premise and I enjoyed Savvy's character. It was a quick read and I managed to finish it in a couple of days. I wanted to know what was going to happen in the end. 

What I Didn't Like - The story felt rushed and we jumped around quite a bit from one time or place to another. Lot's of aspects about the story, especially about Nor and her magic, were lacking in explanation. The characters had lot's of potential but weren't very well developed in my opinion. 

Full Goodreads Review


Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
Published 5th March 2009 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 1986)
Star Rating - ***
Goodreads Challenge - 25/50

What I Liked - The fairytale feel of the story and the imaginative writing style. The fun characters and their great relationship full of humorous dialogue. 

What I Didn't Like - Nothing particularly stood out to me. It was a good story but just that, good. Not one I will revisit and I don't think I'm going to pick up the sequels. 

Full Goodreads Review


Magnus Chase and The Ship of the Dead
Published 3rd October 2017 by Puffin
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 27/50

What I Liked - The Norse mythology, the characters and their interactions with both each other and the reader, the diversity of the characters and the humour. 

What I Didn't Like - Some of the plot felt a little be convenient with the characters sometimes being handed solutions to their problems on a plate. Maybe if this series was longer with more time for problem solving it would of been a bit better. 

Friday, 14 June 2019

Review - Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow


Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Published 8th February 2018 by Orion Children's Books
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 29/50

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

My Thoughts
I've heard nothing but great things about this book and it's had a lot of comparison to Harry Potter so I was super excited to finally pick this one up. I wasn't disappointed, I actually really enjoyed this story however, I did read this during and after I had finished the beast that was Priory of the Orange Tree so I think that may have affected the time it took me to get invested in this story. Once I got going however, I was keen to get to the end. 

This is actually a middle grade book aimed at younger readers however, I don't think you have to be a younger reader to fully enjoy this story. I think this story is super accessible for any age and personally, as an adult reader, I really enjoyed it. The author has done a great job at building a world, not unlike out own, but full of magic and whimsy. The world is recognisable for younger readers but there's enough going on to engage older readers and to make the setting fun and entertaining. The writing style again is simple enough for younger readers to follow but it's super engaging and compelling. 

The thing I loved most about this book though was the characters. They were all super well thought out and really interesting. They all had really interesting personalities and an air of mystery surrounding them. There's lots of back stories I really want to dive into a lot more. Morrigan herself was great, she was really good natured and kind hearted. All she wanted was to fit in and find friendship and her story was really heart warming. I loved the humor and snark that came from Jupiter. Hawthorne was really fun and Fen was just great! 

Overall I really enjoyed this story in the end. Like I said, it took me a while to get into to begin with, which I think was because I was in a bit of a book hangover, but once I got into it I finished it really quickly and I was keen to see what happens. I'm definitely super excited to pick up the sequel.

Overall Rating 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Top 5 Wednesday - Auto-Buy Authors

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme where you discuss your 'top 5' in a variety of different topics on, guess what, a Wednesday. Full list of topics and more information can be found here on the Goodreads group.

Sam, who hosts Top 5 Wednesday, is on hiatus for the summer so for the next few months any top 5 Wednesday posts I do will be based on previously archived topics. This week I have decided to talk to you about my top 5 auto-buy authors. 

Rick Riorden

Image result for percy jackson books

I love Rick Riorden, he is my favourite author alongside J.K. Rowling. I own nearly all of his books and I will continue to buy anything he writes! 

Marissa Meyer

Image result for lunar chronicles books

I really loved The Lunar Chronicles but my favourite book from Marissa is definitely Heartless. I still need to read the Renegades series very soon. 

Holly Black

Image result for the cruel prince series

There's still a lot of books by Holly Black that I need to read but everything I've read so far I've loved. My favourites are definitely The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I can't wait for The Queen of Nothing. 

Jay Kristoff

Image result for illuminae series

Jay Kristoff is a fairly new author to me and so far I've only read the Illuminae series and Nevernight but I gave them all 5 stars! I really need to continue with the Nevernight series. 

Dan Brown

Image result for robert langdon series

Dan Brown holds a special place in my heart because The Da Vinci Code was the first book I read that made me discover my love for this genre. I have since read all of his books, including his most recent, and I will continue to do so. 

I probably have a lot more authors in my repertoire that I could class as auto-buy authors but these are definitely 5 of my top ones. 

Which authors will you always buy books from? I'd love to hear about them. 

Monday, 10 June 2019

The Bookshelf Book Tag

I saw this tag over at A Rambling Reviewer, you can see their answers here, and thought it sounded like a really fun one. 

I am excited to share my answers with you so sit back and relax whilst I share my bookshelves with you. 

Describe your bookshelf and where you got it from. 

I have two of these solid pine bookshelves either side of my fireplace. They're from a local furniture shop, but I bought mine second hand as they're expensive. 

How do you organise your books?

My books are currently organised by genre and author surname. However, this does tend to change depending on how many books I have come into the house over periods of time. 

What's the longest book on your shelf?

Winter by Marissa Meyer comes in at 823 pages.

What is the shortest book on your shelf?

This cute copy of Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy comes in at 39 pages.

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

I don't really have many books at gifts, I have so many books people tend not to buy me them. I did however get a bookish gift card for my birthday and I used that to buy my copy of Finale by Stephanie Garber.

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

Unfortunately not. I don't really have many bookish real life friends to share books with. 

The most expensive book on your shelf.

I tend to pick up most of my books either second hand or discounted but my Harry Potter collection I bought new. 

The last book you read on your shelf. 

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend isn't the last book I read but it is the last book I read that I put back on my shelves. I don't tend to keep a lot of the books I read, only series or books I really enjoyed. 

Do you have a complete series?

Yes several. Here are some of my favourites. 

What's the newest addition to your shelf?

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley was definitely an impulse buy from one of my local charity shops. I don't really know what it's about but I'd heard of the author and loved the cover.

What is the oldest book on your shelf?

As I said before I don't tend to keep many books that I've read. I have however, kept all of my Rick Riorden collection. My oldest being the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. 

What is the most beat up book on your shelf?

Probably Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer, I bought them second hand because I was desperate to finish the series. Maybe someday I'll update them with some nice hardbacks. 

What's a book you would hate to let out of your sight?

Any of the books I haven't read yet or any of my favourite series I want to keep. I often pass books on to others that I've finished with but they're usually ones I wasn't planning on putting back onto my shelf.

Most pristine book?

I have a lot of books that I haven't read yet that I bought new, to many to list. 

Any signed books?

I don't have many actually. I was kindly sent One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence by the author and he signed and personalised it for me. Also my copy of Finale is signed too. 

So there we have it, I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit more about my bookshelves.

I'd love to see some of you do this tag. Please let me know if you take part. 

Friday, 7 June 2019

Blog Tour - A Pirate's Song by Justin Davis

A Pirate's Song

A Pirate's Song by Justin Davis
Published 13th June 2019 by Blue Falcon Publishing

I was gifted a copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Ahoy there me hearties!
Are ye brave? Are ye strong? Can ye sing a pirate's song? 
Will ye search for treasures old, 
jewels and trinkets, pearls and gold?
Then climb aboard and join our crew.
Quickly now, there's work to do!

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a pirate or fancied hauling anchor and sailing the seven seas, then this is just the tale for you! This bright and beautiful rhyming picture book from award-winning children's author, Justin Davis, will capture the imagination of any budding sea dog!

My Thoughts
This book is super cute and I really enjoyed reading it to my little boy. I loved the bright coloured illustrations and these definitely captured my 8 month olds attention too. The illustrations are also quite simple and I think this will help to keep young children's attention as well. This story is also written in rhyme and has a very rhythmic flow whilst reading which is quite common in children's books but it always works really well. It means the story is fairly quick to read, fun to listen too and keeps children engaged. I like the repetition of the song throughout too as this will encourage children to join in with the story. There isn't really a message that comes through with this story, it's more just for fun which is okay but I did like that there were pirates of both genders along with a POC depicted within the illustrations. 

One of the things that I thought was really interesting with this book was the activities at the back. I think this added a little bit extra to the story and made it a little bit more interesting to children. I also loved the questions as this really helps to support children's comprehension and understanding of stories which is a key skill for them to learn. 

Overall I thought this was a cute children's book with bright, fun illustrations. I think this will be enjoyed by lots of children and I will be keeping this one on my sons bookshelf for when hes older as well as borrowing it to share with my class at school. 

Thank you to Blue Falcon Publishing for inviting me to be part of this tour. If you want to check out any of the other bloggers taking part you can check out the schedule below. 

Monday, 3 June 2019

May Wrap Up

The past couple of months I've actually managed to read more books than normal which is great. This month the amount of books I read has dropped back down however, I managed to tackle The Priory of the Orange Tree this month which I'm feeling really proud about. 

So, this month I managed to complete 5 books and here they are. 

Wild Boy

Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones
Published 4th April 2013 by Walker Books
Star Rating - **
Goodreads Challenge - 31/50
Review - Goodreads Review

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead (Book 3)

Magnus Chase and The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riorden
Published 3rd October 2017 by Puffin 
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 27/50


Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Published 8th February 2018 by Orion Children's Books
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 28/50
Review - Blog Review


Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly 
Published 15th May 2019 by Hot Key Books
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 30/50
Review - Blog Review


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
26th February 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing 
Star Rating - *****
Goodreads Challenge - 29/50
Review - Blog Review 

So I think I actually did okay with my reading this month. My favourite book I read was obviously The Priory of the Orange Tree, I absolutely loved it!

What was your favourite book you read this month? I'd love to hear about it. 

Saturday, 1 June 2019

June TBR A Game of Booksathon

This month, alongside the LQBTQIA+ challenge over at TBR and beyond, I'll also be taking part in A Game of Booksathon. This is a great sounding Game of Thrones themed readathon created by Noura over at The Perks of Being Noura. The readathon has 3 parts and part one, which this TBR is for, runs from June 1st - July 1st. You also get the opportunity to pick a house for the duration of this readathon and of course I'm going with House Stark. If you want to find out more about this readathon and the challenges you can check out Noura's post here

I'm not going to do a complete TBR for this readathon because I'm also taking part in a LGBTQIA+ reading challenge over at TBR and Beyond so I want to double up on books. Also, I have some ARCs I need to fit in this month so for now I'll list the challenges and any books I know I'm definitely going to read. I will do a mid month check in though so you can follow my progress. 

Game of Thrones: A first book in a series/trilogy
The Written by Ben Galley

House Targaryen: Book with a mythical creature or dragons

Daenerys: Book featuring a strong female character
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Westeros: Book set in a fictional place

House Tyrell: Book with a plant on the cover or a green cover

House Stark: Book that has a family dynamic or siblings

House Lannister: Book with a red cover
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

House Greyjoy: Book with pirates or a book set at sea

House Baratheon: Book with a King or Queen/royalty

A Clash of Kings: Sequel
Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence

Wildlings: Paranormal 

As much as I would love to read a book for each of the 11 challenges, realistically I don't think I'll be able to so the level I'm aiming for is Noble: 4-7 challenges. I'm hoping to meet as many challenges as possible and Noura has said you can double up with challenges so I'll definitely be doing that.

What books are on your TBR for June? Let me know.