The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review

Alice’s reclusive grandmother is the renowned writer of Tales from the Hinterland, a book of dark fairy tales, but Alice has never really known her. Instead, she has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from bad luck which always seems to find them whenever they try to settle down. When her mother is snatched by unsavoury characters from the Hinterland, Alice must delve into the fantastical world of her grandmother’s stories in an attempt to break the curse of bad luck for good. Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review”

Poohsticks | Microfiction

Stick after stick they flung into the water before tearing along the muddy riverbank in chase.

Each twiggy sacrifice hurried along the current to its destiny; a big leap over the edge of the rocky outcrop. The sticks plummeted into a deep, dark pool and disappeared beneath the surface. It wasn’t long until they rose again, buoyed by the amber, peaty water. Continue reading “Poohsticks | Microfiction”

I Published a Book!

I published a merry bloody book!

And now that we’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, I’m finally able to flog it. It’s Christmas-themed, y’see. Yes, sensible old me thought it would be a cracking idea to make my first foray into the self-publishing world with a seasonal book that folks will only ever want to buy for around 6 weeks of the year. I mean… you live and learn, right?

Merry Bloody Christmas is a multi-genre short story collection which I originally wrote and posted on this blog last year. I was reasonably chuffed with the stories then, but I knew they weren’t as polished as they could be. Not only that, but they soon got buried as I continued to post new stories and book reviews. So, I pulled them from the site, dusted them off, whipped them into shape, and published them. Continue reading “I Published a Book!”

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge | Book Review

Frances Hardinge is wonderful. I mean, this is only the second book of hers that I’ve read, but I think the woman’s a bloody genius. She has a knack for drawing you so completely into historical worlds filled with magic and mystery that you feel like you’re right there inside of it. Continue reading “The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge | Book Review”

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | Book Review

Children of Blood and Bone is probably the best YA fantasy novel I’ve ever read. Big statement, but it’s true. I loved it. Continue reading “Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | Book Review”

Bluebells | Short Story

‘I went over this on the phone.’

‘I just want to confirm the details.’

Mark pinches the bridge of his nose. ‘Olive skin. Dark brown hair. She’s… I don’t know, average build, I suppose. Just over four foot tall. She’s tall for her age.’

‘What was she wearing the last time you saw her?’ Continue reading “Bluebells | Short Story”

Slade House by David Mitchell

There’s a little alleyway round the corner from a rough pub in the middle of London where, every 9 years, a beautiful country home called Slade House turns up. It just so happens that every 9 years, somebody goes missing after last being seen near the very same alleyway, and some sinister immortal twins are to blame. Continue reading “Slade House by David Mitchell”

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Book Review

There’s been lotta hype surrounding the Mortal Instruments series and its author, Cassandra Clare, over the years. Some of the hype is good, some of it very, very bad. Clare has been accused of plagiarism in relation to this series, and I’ve read articles which reinforce those accusations and others which write them off as nonsense.

So what do I think? To be honest, I haven’t really read enough YA supernatural fantasy to really offer an opinion on which bits of City of Bones might be ripped off from somewhere else. However, I was keen to read a book which has sold millions of copies and been transformed into both a movie and a TV show – clearly there’s something about it that has people hooked and makes it such a talking point. I wanted to know what that something is.

And I still don’t know. Continue reading “City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Book Review”

Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch | Book Review

Goodreads told me I would love this book. The internet at large told me I would love this book. The guy in the bookshop told me I would love this book. And luckily, I did love this book, ‘cos if I hadn’t I’d have been sorely disappointed.

Rivers of London is a mishmash of urban fantasy and classic crime. Protagonist Peter Grant, a probationary constable, finds himself taking a witness statement from a ghost after a very grizzly murder. Soon after, he’s drafted into a specialist department which tackles crime that is linked with the spooky and the supernatural. Someone’s face has exploded, random people are experiencing sudden bursts of violent rage, and there’s a turf war going on between Mother and Father Thames. Continue reading “Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch | Book Review”

The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon | Book Review

The first few chapters of The Bone Season left me confused. Set in 2059 and in a dystopian world in which clairvoyants exist and are labelled as criminals by the government, this story involves some serious worldbuilding and I found myself feeling a bit bamboozled by the clairvoyant lingo. However, the action kicked in pretty quickly and kept me enthralled, even when I wasn’t quite sure who was who and how things worked. Continue reading “The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon | Book Review”