BLOG TOUR: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold - Review + Quote Graphics

Hi Everyone!

I am so so pleased to be a part of this International Blog Tour hosted by Penguin Random House International as a #partner. My post was supposed to go up yesterday but because I was very very sick, I simply wasn't able to complete designing the quote graphics you'll find below for this post and hence, wasn't able to post!

Still, despite the day long delay, I hope you enjoy my review and graphics for this AMAZING book, and once again, thank you to PRH International for the free book for this tour.
Title: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
Author: David Arnold
Publication Date: May 22nd 2018
Publisher: Viking Books
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: PRH International (THANK YOU!)
Blurb Description: This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.
Then Noah → gets hypnotized.
Now Noah → sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations . . .

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is hilarious, and whimsical, and bizarre, and quirky and reading it was a wild ride that I questioned at times, but ultimately fell in love with.

And yet, if I had to describe this book in just one word, it would have to be STRANGE. (I mean the title already tells you that, but yes, THIS BOOK IS STRANGE.)

Let’s break this down:

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:
1.       David Arnold’s writing: If David Arnold’s writing wasn’t as quirky and bizarre and just in general, as STRANGELY ELOQUENT as the plot itself, this entire book would have fallen flat for me. I absolutely loved the way he found connections within the most unconnected things, brought out the teenage experience and made me laugh out loud and shake my head in wonder at the same time. THIS BOOK HAS SOME SERIOUSLY PECULIAR YET STUNNING WRITING.

2.       All the Concise Histories: This could probably be a part of David Arnold’s writing (^), but I
thought it was worth mentioning separately. I absolutely loved how this book’s narrator, Noah, created these ‘concise histories’ connecting himself to the world at large through seemingly random dates and pieces of information.

3.       Alan and Val: IF THESE AREN’T THE BEST PAIR OF BEST FRIENDS/ TWINS EVER, I DON’T KNOW WHO IS (Par only to Fred and George Weasley.) I loved Alan and Val as individuals, as siblings and even as friends to Noah. They were all kinds of awesome.

4.       Penny (AKA THE MOST ADORABLE SISTER EVER): I ABSOLUTELY ADORE SEEING LITTLE SIBLINGS IN BOOKS. And Penny, with her Audrey Hepburn phase, her overuse of the word ‘darling’ and her daring, up-for-anything attitude.


THINGS I THOUGHT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER:

1.       NOAH: This is probably the most unfortunate part of the book, because Noah is the MAIN CHARACTER. Unfortunately, he was the thing I liked least about this book. SURE, it’s a coming of age, finding-yourself kind of book, but Noah ‘Hypnotik’ was an A SELF-CENTRED IDIOT AND UGH I COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO LIKE HIM. He was so wrapped up in his own pain and ‘problems’  and his ‘strange fascinations; that he failed to look at the consequences for:

a)      His little sister (LEAVING HER ALONE IN A PARKING LOT OF A BAR FOR 2AM SO HE COULD TALK TO A WASHED UP MUSICIAN?)
b)      His parents (make two GENUINE, KIND HEARTED ADULTS who struggle a little to make ends meet PAY FOR FLIGHT TICKETS TO NEW YORK TO ‘VISIT’ A COLLEGE HE HAS NO INTENTION OF GOING TO? JUST SO HE CAN MEET SOME RANDOM WOMAN?
c)       His best friends (Ignoring, ghosting and the works)

2.       NOAH: See above^

3.       NOAH: Kindly refer to #1


So, that’s it. IF I had like the protagonist better, this would definitely have been a five star read for me, but at the end of the day, I really did like The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. 
David  Arnold

David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik; his books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Learn more at davidarnoldbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.

Have you read any of David Arnold's books? What do you think of them?
I'd absolutely love to hear your thoughts on my quote graphics, if you can spare a moment!

Perfection in Book Shape // ARC Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Title: Final Draft
Author: Riley Redgate
Publication Date: June 12th 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Abrams Chronicle (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he's suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed. At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
 
SO. That happened.

I actually read one of my most anticipated releases of the year from one of my favourite contemporary authors and it DEFIED my already VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS.

And I’m at a loss for words, staring at this blinking cursor thinking about HOW TO SUM UP MY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS MARVELLOUS CREATION, unable to pick up another book because BOOK HANGOVER wondering how to move on when, well, Final Draft was perfection in book shape.

More than anything, this book was real.

It was candid about insecurity and striving for perfection and approval, about growing up and physical attraction and understanding your own body and Riley Redgate wrote Laila Piedra SO EMPATHETICALLY that the events of the entire book felt like they were unfolding right in front my eyes in real time, and not within the pages of a book.


WHAT DID I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK?

1.       Laila, our main character is a pansexual, biracial, Ecuadorian PLUS-SIZED lead that struggles with mental health issues like anxiety. HOLY WOW. Also, Riley Redgate deals with each and every one of these elements with finesse.
 
2.        Final Draft, like all of Riley’s books comprise of all these LEVELS. On the first, this book is about a young write trying to attain perfection. On another, it’s about a biracial teenage girl and her relationship with her friends and family. On yet another, it’s a portrayal of grief and lashing out. And, perhaps the most important level is how Riley Redate explores the relationship we have with ourselves, physically, emotionally and sexually and reading all of these elements balancing each other out was such a brilliant experience.

3.       The friend dynamic. I absolutely loved Felix, Hannah, Leo and Laila’s   relationship with each other and I AM SO HAPPY THERE WAS NOBODY SAYING “OH are you in love with one of the boys?” BECAUSE BOYS AND GIRLS ARE CAPABLE OF BEING JUST FRIENDS, YOU KNOW.

4.       Laila is an INTROVERTED PLUS-SIZED WRITER WITH ANXIETY and, well, I don’t think I can ever describe how much seeing a character like me represented on the page means, especially one written so well.

5.       I quite loved Riley Redgate’s portrayal of Nadia Nazarenko as well. She was ruthless, cut-throat and a highly dedicated writer and I loved reading about her.

6.       THE ROMANCE IN THIS BOOK, JUST LIKE IN RILET’S DEBUT, Seven Ways We Lie, was so GORGEOUSLY SUBTLE and I didn’t know whether to ship the two characters in question or not because if I wasn’t right, my heart would’ve broken but OH MY GOD – THIS BOOK, AND THIS SHIP WAS EVERYTHING I HOPED IT WOULD BE AND MORE.

In conclusion, Final Draft is one of those books it should be a crime to not read.


A BRILLIANT, diverse cast of characters, packed into the pages of a multi-layered book that explores anxiety, sexuality, friendship, perfection, family and more and… JUST PICK IT UP ALREADY. 

Image result for riley redgate author
Riley Redgate is a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Her first two novels, Noteworthy and Seven Ways We Lie, earned critical acclaim. She lives and writes in Chicago.

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF RILEY REDATE'S BOOKS?
What do you think of them? Which one is your favourite?
What are some of your favourite contemporary YA novels?
I'd LOVE to hear from you!

COVER REVEAL: Eleventh Hour by S. Hussain Zaidi

Hi Everyone!

I'm so please to be one of the bloggers revealing the cover for Hussaid Zaidi's latest crime thriller, Eleventh Hour. I haven't read Hussain Zaidi's previous books, but I'm slowly developing a taste for more and more thrillers (especially after Swear You Won't Tell by Vedashree Khambete Sharma and I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh) and this one sounds quite interesting. 

So, without further ago, please find the GORGEOUS cover of Eleventh Hour:


HOW ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS IS THIS? I love the colour combinations, and the dark, atmospheric shades of Blue and Black in the cover, that are contrasted with a bright yellow!
Title: Eleventh Hour
Author: S. Hussain Zaidi
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Publication Date: June 25th 2018
Buy Links: Amazon IN
Description: THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY…New Delhi, 2017. It is nine years since the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai and the wounds have still not healed. Especially not for Superintendent of Police Vikrant Singh. Now with the National Investigation Agency, Vikrant manages a meeting with Pakistani High Commissioner Zakir Abdul Rauf Khan, who is on a visit to India. While Vikrant claims he only wants to appeal to Khan to speed up the process of bringing the culprits to book, he ends up landing a blow on the high commissioner’s face. Meanwhile, in Bhopal, five members of the Indian Mujahideen, arrested by Vikrant for planning terrorist attacks in Mumbai, break out of the Central Jail. Vikrant, recently dismissed for the incident that was a diplomatic disaster, is unofficially asked to assist the team tracking the escaped terrorists. In another part of the country, a retired professor, a heartbroken ex-soldier and a young woman dealing with demons of her own embark on a journey of self-discovery aboard a cruise liner from Mumbai to Lakshadweep. Fate, however, has other plans, and the cruise liner is hijacked. Racy and riveting, this is Hussain Zaidi at his best.
S. Hussain Zaidi is a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting. His previous books include Black Friday, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, Dongri to Dubai, Byculla to Bangkok and Mumbai Avengers, some of which have been adapted into Bollywood films. Hussain Zaidi lives with his family in Mumbai.
What do you think of the cover?
Are you a fan of thrillers?
I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts!

A Slow Start, An Intriguing Finish // REVIEW: The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publication Date: February 19th 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/3 of the Queen's Rising Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Born out of wedlock, Brienna is cast off by her noble family and sent to Magnolia House - a boarding house for those looking to study the passions: art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. Brienna must discover her passion and train hard to perfect her skill, in the hope that she will one day graduate and be chosen by a wealthy patron, looking to support one of the `impassioned'. 
As Brienna gets closer to the eve of her graduation, she also grows closer to her smart (and handsome) tutor, Cartier. He can sense that she is hiding a secret, but Brienna chooses not to reveal that she is experiencing memories of her ancestors - memories uncovering the mysteries of the past that may have dangerous consequences in the present. A daring plot is brewing - to overthrow the usurper king and restore the rightful monarchy - and Brienna's memories hold the key to its success. Cartier desperately wants to help Brienna, but she must chose her friends wisely, keep her enemies close and trust no one if she is to save herself and her people.
I expected a LOT going into this book:

-- YA Fantasy is my pretty much my favourite genre and any book that IS YA fantasy makes me hope I’ve found the NEXT GREAT BOOK THAT WILL SHATTER MY SOUL.

-- THE COVER IS GORGEOUS (has nothing to do with the content inside the book, but I LOVE PRETTY BOOK COVERS)

-- MAGIC + QUEENS + WOMEN ON THE THRONE + FORBIDDEN ROMANCE + SPUNKY GIRL WHO SPECIALIZES IN BEING A ‘PASSION OF KNOWLEDGE’ – YES PLEASE

Unfortunately, The Queen’s Rising failed to live up to my expectations. It’s not that I HATED the book, but I simply wasn’t INVESTED in anything. Here’s why:

1)      THE CHARACTERS WERE SO BLAND. They were singular in purpose, fading into the background even as I read about them (which should tell you a LOT) and there wasn’t a single person I cared for

 
2)      THE DIALOGUE WAS SO AWKWARD. LIKE WHAT WAS EVEN HAPPENING? I felt like a bunch of pre-pubescent tweens were running across the page throwing phrases like “Master” and “Passion Daughter” and “Passion Father” around (it’s not incestuous IN ANY WAY, but it was still so AWKWARD to read)

3)      In a book filled with reclaiming thrones and sneaking into countries, WHERE WAS THE SNEAKY POLITICIAL INTRIGUE? The three lord headed rebellion SO EASILY TRUSTED A GIRL WHO CLAIMED SHE HAD VISIONS OF THE PAST SHE COULDN’T PLACE AND WITH NO PROOF, INVITED HER INTO THEIR HOME AND TOLD HER EVERYTHING (it’s really no wonder their rebellion failed, when you think about it) and then, ALLOWED THAT NEW GIRL TO PLAN THEIR ENTIRE STRATERGY WHILE THROWING AROUND THE TERM “Passion Daughter” (Please currently picture me cringing) (This Special Snowflake trope wasn’t even realistically done and just… UGH)

I was essentially on the verge of putting this book down, but since I’m a compulsive reader, I also just… couldn’t. I made a deal with myself – 50 more pages and if it doesn’t get better, I quit.

SURPRISINGLY, IT DID.

The dialogue got better, the characters stopped being awkward ducklings, the political intrigue and twists spring up from nowhere and the book I was expecting from page 1 materialized on page 300.

I really enjoyed the last 100+ pages of the book, I liked Merei, Sean and Cartier. I actually like what the basic plot was with the Queen's Canon and the Stone of Eventide, and I’m excited to see whether the writing, dialogue and characters improve in the sequel to this trilogy. 3 stars.

Rebecca   RossRebecca Ross grew up in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, lively dog and endless piles of books. She received her bachelor's degree in English from UGA. In the past she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. 

Rebecca writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her debut novel, THE QUEEN'S RISING, will be out February 6, 2018 from HarperTeen.

THE QUEEN'S RISING is set to be translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Dutch, German, Hebrew and will be available in the UK.

What are some of your favourite YA Fantasy books?
What are some YA Fantasy Books/ Books you wished were better?
Have you read The Queen's Rising? What do you think of it?
I'd absolutely love to hear from you!
 

Every Bit The Stunning Thriller It Promises To Be // REVIEW: I Let You Go by Clare Macintosh

Title: I Let You Go
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publication Date: November 9th 2014
Publisher: Sphere
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone 
I Got A Copy Through: Hachette India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: THE SENSATIONAL SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERA tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .
THIS BOOK STARTED OFF VERY VERY SLOWLY. So slowly, I began to wonder if this novel was a thriller at ALL, let alone the “STUNNING THRILLER” I’d been promised.

And then, I reached page 163.

You know how it takes just a second for a book to turn itself around and suddenly, all your expectations get thrown out the window and you’re scrambling to see what you missed? Well, that was what happened to me on page 163 of I Let You Go.

The rest of my reading experience was something I can call frantic; in the car on the way to work, on the steps up to the office, on the way back, in the washroom and until 12 a.m. last night – I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

And if that doesn’t tell you that this book WAS the “STUNNING THRILLER” it promises, I don’t know what will.
“I was stupid to think I could escape the past. However fast I run, however far: I will never outrun it.”
Told through multiple points of view – the police investigating the brutal hit and run of a five year old boy, Jenna Gray who, in her grief, runs away from everyone and everything she knew and Ian I Let You Go manages to be heart-breaking while also keeping you at the edge of your seat.
Peterson –

It truly reminded me of Gone Girl in a way that nothing ever has before, and I LOVED every bit of the movie (I haven’t read the book. Yet.)

Honestly, a huge thank you to Hachette India for sending me a copy because I’m not sure I would have picked this book up otherwise. I should really read more thrillers.


A brilliantly told book that will have you on the edge of your seat, desperate for more, even while you’re reading the book! 4.5 Stars!
Clare Mackintosh
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant now writes full time. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Clare's debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times bestseller and was the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club, and was the winning title of the readers' vote for the summer 2015 selection, and ITV's Loose Women's Loose Books. Her second novel, I See You, is a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Clare's books are translated into more than 30 languages.

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST THRILLERS YOU'VE EVER READ?
What are some of the most underrated thriller novels/ TV Shows/ Movies out there?
I'd LOVE to hear your recommendations.
 

A Wondrous, IMPORTANT, Must-Read Book // ARC Review: Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon

Title: Rosie Loves Jack
Author: Mel Darbon
Publication Date: September 6th 2018
Publisher: Usbourne Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Usbourne (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon UK || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones
Blurb Description: Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they're split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down's syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.
Rosie Loves Jack is a WONDROUS debut novel, told from the point of view of a girl who has Down’s syndrome as she navigates the world by herself for the first time.

I have nothing bad to say about this book, so please be aware that this review consists entirely of me gushing about the perfection that is Rosie Loves Jack.

This book, you guys. THIS BOOK. It felt like such a privilege to read it early because it was SO BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN and it made me laugh and happy cry and ugly cry because it was poignant and real and delivered the author’s message with such stunning clarity – that whether someone who has Downs' or any other illnesses, at the end of the day, we’re all the same; human with feelings and love and needs and I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

Rosie, our narrator, was courageous, independent and managed to capture my whole heart in just a few pages. She was smart, steadfast in what she wanted and looking at the world through her eyes was a beautiful, altering experience.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:

1.       ROSIE (obviously)

2.       The kindness of random strangers everywhere. This was such an important element of the book to me because while it showed that there are some truly scary people out there, even someone you’ve never met before can be the kindest. Rosie’s story was filled with these souls and it really filled by heart to see them in this story.

3.       The WONDERFUL representation: I hope this goes without staying, but Mel Darbon’s portrayal of a girl with Down’s felt stunningly real and a privilege to read and it honestly helped open my eyes to a little bit of what someone who has Downs' is going through.

4.       I do wish we saw more of Jack and Rosie together in this book in real time, not in Rosie’s memories or through the letters Jack wrote. It would have helped me root for their relationship more whereas I was just rooting for Rosie’s happiness and didn’t really know Jack enough to care as deeply for him.

Like I promised, this review contains only me gushing about this book.

It’s just that Rosie Loves Jack is such SUCH an IMPORTANT read for children and teens everywhere because it talks about how:

a) People that may seem different aren’t really that different and
b) That kindness and empathy are SO IMPORTANT.

Go pre-order this book. IT’S NOT ONE YOU SHOULD MISS. 5 Stars.
Mel DarbonMel Darbon spent a large part of her childhood inventing stories to keep her autistic brother happy on car journeys. She won’t mention the time spent with him standing by level crossings waiting for the InterCity 125 to go past as she wouldn’t want to be labelled a train spotter. 

Life took her in many different directions working as a theatre designer, a freelance artist, teaching young adults with learning disabilities and running creative workshops for teenage mums, young offenders and toddlers (though not all together).

Mel now writes young adult novels and is a recent graduate of Bath Spa’s MA in Writing For Young People, where she found a channel to give voice to young people who otherwise might not be heard.

Have you had the chance to read this book? What did you think?

A Book I Struggled to Connect With // ARC REVEW: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Title: The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)
Author: Sally Green
Publication Date: May 3rd 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books UK
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 on 3 of the Smoke Thieves series
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery ||  Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict. 
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.
As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?
Actual Rating: 2.75 Stars

Game of Thrones meets a Leigh Bardugo book? YES, PLEASE.

I HAD HIGH HOPES GOING INTO THIS BOOK. I absolutely loved Sally Green’s Half Bad and her gorgeous writing style and this new book (and series) sounded EVEN BETTER.

In retrospect, perhaps I expected TOO MUCH from this book because when I actually read The Smoke Thieves, I struggled to connect with the characters, the plot, the pace or really, anything at all.

I mean, it was a mediocre sort of fantasy that I had no real problems with, except for the fact that it BORED ME? There was absolutely nothing I was really invested in, no villain I really feared, no character whose growth felt substantial or real to me and when I look at this book, ALL I FEEL IS DISAPPOINTMENT that it promised so much and delivered so little.

Let’s break it down:

1.       THIS WAS A 500+ PAGE BOOK WITH FIVE VIEWPOINTS. In other words, this book was LONG and then even longer and well, NOTHING HAPPENED. The book promised political machinations but THERE REALLY WERE NONE.

2.       I absolutely HATED Brigant and their backwards views on women (think along the lines of ‘it’s required of a man to discipline his woman with all kinds of punishments INCLUDING physical violence, starvation and locking woman in a box.’) EVEN THOUGH this story line is probably leading up to a feminist revolution by the Princess of that country, READING SOMETHING LIKE THAT MAKES ME SO MAD.

3.       I DO QUITE LOVE the UK cover for this book – it’s so simple and intriguing and I quite like looking at it.

4.       I also liked each of the main characters a certain amount, but I had no real favourite and also, I wouldn’t really mourn anyone if something happened to them.

5.       I felt like all the secondary character deaths that happened were brushed over SO SO FAST. There was no emotion wafting out of the book, and their fictional killings, from a plot/ writer’s angle felt so methodical instead of necessary to the plot. I didn’t care about the five protagonists, much less the SECONDARY characters, and their deaths meant very little to me, nor were they written very well.

6.       THE ROMANCE WAS NOT WELL DONE AT ALL. There was ABSOLUTELY NO CHEMISTRY and NO SUBSTANCE and I did not ship Catherine and Ambrose.

7.       I really liked the premise of demon smoke, but I feel like for a series titles The Smoke Thieves, we should have seen more of the actual smoke. I love what we learnt about the smoke, and I am excited to see where it might go, but not 100% sure that I'll pick it up to read.

In conclusion, I probably expected too much from this book, but it also DEFINITELY could have better paced and filled with more twists and turns. I’m not 100% sure if I’ll read the sequel. 2.75 stars.
Sally Green
I'm Sally Green. I'm the author of the real-world/ fantasy Half Bad Trilogy, which is made up of Half Bad, Half Wild and Half Lost. Most people read them in that order but there's always a few who don't. Many people who read them are teenagers but there's a lot who aren't.

I'm currently working on a new series called The Smoke Thieves, which is due to be published in spring 2018 and is definitely fantasy (there will be a map). 
I said I'd never write another trilogy after Half Bad but it seems I lied.
I live in a village in north-west England.

There's some stuff about the Half Bad trilogy at www.halfbadworld.com
Follow me on twitter@sa11eGreen 
What are some of the prettiest book covers you've seen this year?
What are some of your most anticipated fantasy novels of the year?
I'd love to chat with you!