#BookReview by Lou of Fireborn @flowler_aisling @HarperCollins @The_WriteReadsTours #UltimateBlogTour #Fantasy #Adventure #ChildrensBook #MiddleGrade 8-12years #ReadingForPleasure #PrimarySchoolReading

Fireborn
By Aisling Fowler

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Fireborn is an immersive and exciting adventure into a fantasy world for 8-12 year olds. Go on an adventure down to the blurb and the rest of my review to find out more. Thanks to The Write Reads Tours for inviting me and to this group and Harper Collins for gifting me a book.

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Blurb

Set in the snowy northern forests of an imagined prehistoric world, Fireborn is the middle-grade debut of the decade. At turns exciting, funny and heart wrenchingly sad, it marks the introduction of an unstoppable new voice in children’s storytelling.

Twelve has spoken the Pledge and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it.

But when the Lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child . . .

Teaming up with Dog, the Stone Guardian of the Lodge, Twelve ends up on an epic adventure that will change her life, her name – and her entire world.

Review

Fireborn coverFireborn is an epic adventure for 8-12 year olds. It has twists and turns and great characterisation, but with a difference. The characters are known by numbers, it sort of works to bring about something different to fiction, but once into the story, it isn’t the names that matter quite so much as the world of Ember takes over as do the characters lives. I think children will get into it though because above the giving up of names is a world for adventurous middle-grade readers can step into. For a debut novel, this is an author children would want more of, after reading this one. It has humour and breathtaking excitement as well as some of the saddest storylines. All this in one book makes it totally full on and the deeper you read, the deeper children will want to go into Ember, a fantastical world that builds on the page in wide ranging, indepth descriptions. It means readers can be totally immersed in Ember whilst reading it.

There are heroes and villains. The heroes are characters who have given up their names. They are known as Five, Six, Seven and Twelve. The villains are an array of monsters. There is the lodge where the young trainee Hunters go to hone their skills. These trainees land themselves a mission which takes them on a trail to The Fozen Forest. There are clans, who the Hunters have to act as protectors of, but it isn’t an easy task.

Twelve is the most promising Hunter but has issues and is far from friendly or a team-player as a result of making more enemies. The others also have their own issues. The book, in a way, shows that even heroes are not perfect and are not infalliable. This, even in such an all encompassing fantasy tale, this brings a bit of realism to it as the characters all find out a bit more about themselves in many ways, sometimes positive, other times negative and in some ways, in being resilient in times of trouble. It brings added interest to the otherwise, adventureous book, with a bit of magic within it. There’s a lot for children to dip their toe in and to be entertained.

#BookReview by Lou – Meet Me In Another Life by Catriona Silvey @silveycat @HarperVoyagerUK @fictionpubteam #Fiction

Meet Me In Another Life
By Catriona Silvey

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Meet Me In Another Life is compelling. It is so inventive and very different in concept. It will keep you guessing to the end. Thanks to Harper Voyager for allowing me to post about the cover reveal some months back and for gifting me the book in-exchange for an honest review.

Meet In Another Life

Blurb

’Beautifully explored and deeply complex’ Gal Gadot

Joyful, devastating, and profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a story of love and connection in every possible form that will captivate fans of Stuart Turton, Claire North, and Audrey Niffenegger.

Thora and Santi have met before…

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead.

They will meet again…

They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other.

Only they can make sure it’s not for the last time.

But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why?

They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever.

Review

Meet In Another LifeIt starts with Thora, who is a bit lost in life and wishes she could start over again, but then she meets Santi. This book is partly about having an event occurring that means relations with another person is disconnected and at different points in their lives, they are repeatedly brought together, but it’s more like they meet for the first time, over and over again. A bit like Groundhog Day, except it is so much more than that as they live so many different lives and are in a different one, each time they meet. It’s done in quite a unique way and just as you think it may head in one direction, it takes you in another as they come back in different relationships, and not how you would think at all. It’s different relationships to each other, like student and teacher and so many more… The book keeps you guessing about what is actually going on and what life they’re going to live next and when they’ll meet again… For that first time. It keeps you guessing how it could possibly all end.

The characters and the concept is absolutely enthralling and it all just pulls you into one part of life to another. It’s sweet, imaginative, entertaining, profound and emotional.

#BookReview by Lou – Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney @CynthiaDSweeney @Harper360 @RandomTTours #Fiction #GoodCompany

Good Company
By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am excited to bring to you a synposis and review of Good Company by critically acclaimed and bestselling novelist of The Nest. Good Company has a focus on relationships, forgiveness, redemption, theatre, Hollywood and so much more, with lots of intrigue that is so compelling. Discover the Synopsis and Review below as well as a bit about the author and who else is on this blog tour…
Thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and to Harper Collins for gifting me with a beautiful book, that has not your average pages at the edges.

GOOD COMPANY quote 2 Twitter

Synopsis

Good Company Cover ImageFlora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her best friend Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer long ago.

Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise their daughter in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theatre company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And most importantly, what happens now?

GOOD COMPANY follows two couples entering the midpoint of their lives, against the backdrop of the New York theatre scene and Hollywood. It tells a story of what it means to, as the author says, “truly love but never truly know another person”.

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut novel, The Nest, was a smash success, receiving widespread critical acclaim and named a Best Book of 2016 by many, including The Washington Post. Much of what made The Nest beloved is back in play with GOOD COMPANY, including Sweeney’s distinctive wit and her incisive examination of the way people, and their relationships—with others and themselves—evolve over decades.

GOOD COMPANY quote 1 Twitter

Review

Instantly drawing you in, it is easy to become interested in Flora looking for a photo of Ruby from 13 years ago and doing the clear out that people do, with humour and reminiscing.

The title – Good Company is the name of a theatre company founded by Ben and Julian, based in Manhattan, so it is very apt indeed! This is a book where theatre, film and relationships collide and are so well weaved together, with references to some plays, but not all is well in the characters lives.

This is a great for if you’re missing theatre and have a penchant for Hollywood and people’s lives!

There’s a sweeping look at journalistic interview conducted as Mia has been researching Margot, an actress. It’s within this interview, where readers find out more about Margot. She shows an overbearing trait, to quite a point of it feeling sinister, especially when it comes to Flora and the doubts about her impending marriage to Julian. This is a very compelling book, to say the least, with secrets and more…

The characters make this book especially immersive. It becomes clear that the character’s lives are even more complicated and entangled and Good Company has its own complexities, including betrayal, which strikes hard, making summer not how it was supposed to be. It all creates a deeper intensity and uncomfortbleness in atmosphere, which in turn, makes you want to stay to see how it all ends.

About the Author

Cynthia Author Pic

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Nest. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

 

 

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#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2

Blurb

A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover

Review

Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

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The Chalet by Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @HarperCollinsUK #Thriller

The Chalet
By Catherine Cooper
Rated: 4 stars ****

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper is delightfully done with an exquisite landscape, but with an underlying darkness full of secrets. I bought this after eyeing it up for quite some time. It was worth taking a chance on and I thought I would write a review on this Sunday TImes Bestseller.

Follow through to find out more below, including my review.

About the Author

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels and skiing, who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian amongst others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier. The Chalet is her debut novel.

The Chalet

Blurb

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestseller

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

An exciting new debut for anyone who loves Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and C.L. Taylor

Review

The Chalet, published late 2020, actually takes place in December 1998, La Madiere, France and has an exquisite cover that is most divine and says so much about the world readers will enter into.

The atmosphere between the characters is that of which picques interest. One who is a visitor and feels entitled and the other who lives there, on the ski resort. This sets the scene for time moving onto January 2020. The Chalet sounds lucious and a place for decadence with champagne flowing and being quaffed. Readers meet Ria, Millie, Hugo and Matt amongst other characters, and it is the perfect wintry read as the Chalet has a roaring fire going. Don’t get too cosy though as there are secrets to be revealed and important newspaper cuttings to be found. The murder and use of interviews and newspaper cuttings cut through the cosyness of this elite group of people quite well.

There are many characters, but they are skillfully handled, so readers won’t get so confused, one a bit later on, is, Louisa, formally, Louise (that’s what her Oxford education has done for her). The pretentiousness within some of the characters, suits the style of the book perfectly.
On one hand it is an exquisite look at how the other half lives and on the other, shows that certain mannerisms go across all “classes” of people. On another it is a twisty murder mystery.
There are many interesting observations within the book, which adds depth and lets readers get under the skin a little and also into their “world” in a chalet to die for!

Things become even more mysterious in part 3 and there is a very good twist at the end.

#BookReview by Lou of The Open House By Sam Carrington @sam_carrington1 @ElliePilcher95 @AvonBooksUK @HarperCollinsUK #Thriller

The Open House
By Sam Carrington
Rated: 5 stars *****

Unsettling, tense, but absolutely brilliant, The Open House is quite the thriller!
I was delighted to be part of the Cover Reveal and now I am delighted to have a quick review for you.
Thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Avon Books, Harper Collins, for an e-book and for the invite.
Follow on for the synopsis and review…

The Open House Cover Reveal

Synopsis

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.

When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.

But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.

Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

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Review

This is the first book I have read by Sam Carrington and it is just so good! It all seems innocent, a house for sale, what can be sinister about that? This – 13 people go inside and 12 leave.

It is an excellent hook of a prologue, tempting, teasing readers into what is the lie and secret and it is interesting reading about Amber and Barb, who are the main characters. Amber has the Open House and counts one less going back out at the end of the day. There is quite a tangled web with Richard, Nick and Carl.

There is a tension and curiosity that builds as time moves along, that turns into an uneasiness as there is someone who did not leave the house and may still be in. The writing creates suspense, especially as night falls.

There are thought-provoking, pointed sentences about keeping secrets, that add to the unsettling atmosphere, that in turn makes this a page-turner. It becomes more disturbing, even when the mysterious person who stayed on in the house, makes an appearance. It is spine-tingling all the way to the end.