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Latest Book Reviews

  • No hesitation in recommending

    I have never read anything by Howard Linskey before but if this book is anything to go by, I won't be making that mistake again ... what a great read and even though this is book number 4 in the series, I don't think it's totally necessary to have read the previous ones. Yes you may miss out on some of the back story and relationship building that has gone on before but I think there is enough provided to give you a good idea but not so much that it becomes tedious.

    The writing flows well making it easy to read and with great characters, creepy and disturbing storyline and a great ending, I have no hesitation in recommending this to those who enjoy a good police procedural with a psychologically thrilling edge.

    Thanks go to the publisher, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph, via NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest and unbiased review and for introducing me to another fantastic British author.

  • Don't bother

    Very Basic and not worth £9.63. You get information that is readily available over the internet and the information is out of date.

  • An enchanting story for anyone who loves things that are magical or mysterious.

    This is a wonderful story that draws you in from the very start, filling your head with curiosity. Rachel Burge's style of writing is very clear and melodious, making it a captivating book that is impossible to put down. You will be devouring every word with fascination.

    The start of the story follows Martha, a girl who has recently been in mysterious accident, leaving her blind in one eye. She is determined to go to Skjebne, to visit her grandmother, who she believes has the answer to why the accident has left her with strange powers. But when she arrives at her grandmother's house, she is greeted by a shocking revelation, one that will shape her future, and her heart.

    I was engaged in the story from the first word, and every word after that was filled with the same thrill and magic. The way it has been written makes your imagination fill with images from the story. The character of Martha has been written in a way that makes you really relate to her, and feel everything that she is feeling. It is impossible not to love her.

    Something about this book really inspired me and made me long for ice and wind of Norway. It fills you with a longing for darkness, and it makes you hope that there is such a thing as magic somewhere in the world.

    Martha's powers are very unique and they make you think about the people that are in your own life and what they are going through. It gives you thoughts and compassion that you never knew you had.

    I believe that this book has the power to change people and the way they act. Its messages are hidden behind mystery, romance, and mythology, but they are still there, trying to escape into the world.

  • Feminism Under the Ocean

    I am a HUGE Louise O’Neill fan. I’ve read and then re-read two of her previous books, Asking for It and Only Ever Yours over and over because they were heartbreakingly beautiful and so SO real. So, naturally, with the only other books I’ve read of hers being five star reads that I recommend to EVERYONE, I had HIGH expectations for The Surface Breaks.

    Also, if you don’t think that that cover is the PRETTIEST that 2018 has produced, I can’t talk to you anymore.

    I binge read through The Surface Breaks in two days, not even realising that I was coming to the end of the book THAT FAST. All in all, while it was a good book, it didn’t make me FEEL nearly as much as Only Ever Yours or Asking For It.


    1. I should begin by saying HOW MUCH I LOVE LOUISE O’NEILL’S UNFLINCHING, RAW AND HONEST style of writing. I really liked how she used brackets in this book, to contradict what mermaids, and women by extension, are told to be. It was a fun, almost sarcastic yet real way of writing and I truly enjoyed her fluid prose in this book.

    2. The last chapter in this book was ALL I WAS LIVING FOR. It was everything I wanted Gaia to say to everyone who tried to control her from page one, and I was cheering her on as she made her own decisions, faced off with the Sea King and understood what it meant to be a woman. I’ll probably pick the book up again just to read that chapter.

    I had two main problems with this book:

    3. I think the biggest of the two was how much I struggled to connect with the circumstances of Gaia’s story. Both of Louise’s other books were set in a human world (although Only Ever Yours was sort of dystopian, the issues were all relevant and modern) but this one was set, for half the book, in the ocean. Gaia is obviously a mermaid and while the similarities to the human world were so similar, I just couldn’t relate Gaia and The Surface Breaks with the real, gritty and hypocritical world high school girls face like Louise portrayed in her previous books.

    4. The second was Gaia herself and ALL THE WOMEN IN THE BOOK. Although it might be real to some degree, how women let men and society dictate their every move, I HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT WOMEN ARE, IN REAL LIFE, STRONGER THAN THE ONES I JUST READ ABOUT. I get it, you know. I get that we all fall into the patriarchy’s traps from time to time, but the women in The Surface Breaks, mermaids included, were such one-dimensional characters, simply sitting back and accepting their fate when absolutely NONE of the women I know allow themselves to be treated like that all the time. I CANNOT EVEN GET STARTED ON GAIA’S HORRIBLE GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS HONESTLY, JUST LOOKING OUT FOR HERSELF AND NOT PROTECTING HER CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND I HATED HER.

    Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It’s lighter than Asking for It and Only Ever Yours and it’s probably the Louise O’Neill YA you should start with.

  • Beautifully dramatic and emotionally charged thriller

    Wonderful rollercoaster of a thriller, with twists and twirls at every corner. Tender, sweet, but equally dramatic. A book that has you guessing and reguessing right until the end.

    Suzanne/Georgia - the main protagonist, the girl of the two names is a court artist with a traumatic past. She thinks she can identify good and evil in people, but as the plot uncovers perhaps this isn’t quite accurate and what she sees with her own eyes isn’t necessarily true.

    Unlike other books in this genre that often leave the gate open for a follow up book, this novel has a really satisfying ending - I do love a book with a good ending and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this novel to anyone who likes a drama

  • Very enjoyable

    Ever since I read (and I absolutely adored) Ascension by Victor Dixen earlier this year, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Distortion, the second book in the Phobos series.

    Thankfully, this book did not disappoint!

    I did have the same issue with the writing in Distortion as I did with the writing in Ascension, in that I found it to be quite jarring and at times didn't feel like "realistic" dialogue, but I do believe that it is probably related to something getting lost in the translation from French to English. That said, it's not so big an issue as to spoil my enjoyment of reading the series!

    In fact, I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series!

    • 4 stars
    • By
    • Homesick by Marc Raabe
      Homesick by Marc Raabe

    Chilling Thriller

    This is a chilling thriller set in Germany which held my attention well throughout.

    The story follows Jesse who having found his estranged wife murdered, and his daughter Isa kidnapped, goes on desperate search to find her which takes him back to the children's home where he was raised, which brings back lots of uncomfortable issues. The narrative switches between the past and present, which at some points is a little jarring. I also found that the translation into English at times felt a little unnatural, but generally this was an enjoyable book which held the attention throughout and had a few shocking twists. The main characters were all well developed, and believable, and I would happily read more works by this author.

  • Good historical romp

    The second book about Holcroft Blood, a character from the past. It’s a straight forward book, smoothly written with an educational aspect for fans of long dead kings and the people the put in battle.

    Blood is a very interesting character, his love of mathematics, social ineptitude and dislike of his wife’s booming voice places him firmly on the spectrum.

    The writer places Blood in many dire scenarios and he works his way through them victoriously. There’s a dynamic which is almost too simple where there are definite sides, the good are on Bloods side, the bad do their best to bring him down. He is placed centrally in many historic events. The battle of Sedgemoor to open, many more to follow. There are other good characters in the book, but I would like to have seen more character development. Their personalities are only revealed relative to Blood, so we learn only the side relative to the narrative. A few small diversions from the plot could have added to the readers perceptions.

    But overall it’s a good book, ideal for a holiday read or after a hard days work where you don’t want anything too taxing.

  • Wednesday's Child

    This is certainly another excellent story from this very talented author.

    I love reading her books as there are always many unexpected twists and turns to the story line to delight my imagination and make me wonder just what is going to happen next.

    This story of Nessie Carson and her family is certainly full of one crisis after another.

    The years covered are 1863 - 1870 which were always a very challenging time for the ordinary folk while the rich lived a life of luxury. The author really helps us

    to understand the difference between the two classes.

    There is also a lot of information on how funerals were arranged back in those days which is revealing.

    At the very end of the book there is a recipe for a roast goose and a letter from the author which make interesting reading.