August Reads Round Up

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Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier

5528155Full Review: Black-Eyed Devils

I rate this book 5/5. Historical truths, teamed with believable characters and back story make for an interesting read. Everything is against Amy and Tom. He is a ‘Blackleg’ brought in by mine bosses to fill the jobs of the striking miners. Amy’s father and brother are striking miners. Need I say more?

A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

6tag_130817-200747Full Review: A Shining in the Shadows

I rate this book 5/5. A brilliant interpretation on the vampire genre. Effortless plot twists, relationship growth, and character development. Highly recommended, and I can’t wait for book three.

 

Never Too Late by Jane Laird

6tag_190817-073513Full Review: Never Too Late.

I rate this book 2/5. This readd is very short, and left little time for character development. The story is swett, but I found the ending forced.

 

Hellfire by Drew Avera

6tag_190817-073430Full Review: Hellfire.

I rate this book 4/5. This scifi, military tale drew me in and kept me enthralled. I would love to see this addaptedd into a full length novel. The ending was brilliant and unexpected.

 

I Still Love You by Jane Lark

6tag_190817-073804Full Review: I Still Love You.

I rate this book 2/5. The writing was fine, but the topic was far too depressing for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, the topic is important to highlight, but this book was just not my cup of tea.

 

The God Machine by Mikey Campling, Drew Avera, Christopher Godsoe, and Jamie Dodge

6tag_190817-073558Full Review: The God Machine.

I rate this book 3/5. A unique concept that could easily be expanded. Considering this is the work of four authors, it didn’t jar with me, and the writing styles ran smoothly throughout.

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We Have a Winner!!

Thank you to all who have taken part in my 400 followers giveaway. I am pleased to announce a winner of all four ebooks…

Congratulations

Congratulations, Jill Jemmett. Check your inbox! I hope you enjoy Teddie’s, Ezrahli’s, and Dagger’s stories.


Don’t worry if you missed out on the giveaway, you can find all my books on Amazon.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

400 Followers Milestone

400 FOLLOWERS

Wow, I hit the 400 followers milestone on Writerly Bookish Stuff. Thank you to all my followers, old and new. I’m delighted to receive so much support.

This calls for a giveaway. Who would like to be in with a chance of winning all four of my ebooks, EVO Nation and EVO Shift from the EVO Nation series, Thrown to The Blue from the Indigo Flame series, and an ARC of my novella, Zombie Playlist?

All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter to be in with a chance of winning these books for either yourself or a friend.

ENTER HERE

Good luck to all who enter, and thank you for your continuing support of Writerly Bookish Stuff.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff 4/5

6tag_210717-204649Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun’s crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

Review:

I went into this book with an open mind. I had read 5*, glowing reviews, and 1*/2* slating ones. Most of the 1*/ 2* reviews are based on what the readers felt was a lack of thorough research into the Japanese culture, or stereotyping of the same. I haven’t much knowledge on Japanese culture, and decided to read this book knowing it is a fantasy novel, and not actually in set Japan, but Shima, a fictional location.

Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Jay Kristoff with characters to love. Yukiko and Buruu’s relationship was well crafted and had me giggling at times. The sub-characters were all perfectly flawed, and added to the narrative.

I found the beginning a little hard going, but one advantage of lots of description and  slow, world-building is an indepth, immersive read. Seriously, it is worth ploughing on. Steam-punk twinned with Japanese elements was an interesting mix, and the two worked well together to create a vivid world.

The ending was worth the journey: surprises, shocks, and oh, my poor heart. I have book two, Kinslayer, to read, and I doubt it will be long before I have to return to Yukiko’s world. The title makes me a little worried, though. Kinslayer… Kin-slayer…. I hope I’m thinking on it too much.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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January-June Reads Round Up

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Can you believe that we are half way through 2017 already? I am 38 books closer to my Goodreads annual target of 80, and here is the list of what I have read so far with my ratings and links to the full reviews:

  1. Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier 5/5: Review.
  2. Touch by Briana Morgan 4/5: Review.
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss 4.5/5: Review.
  4. Surviving the Evacuation by Frank Tayell 3.5/5: Review.
  5. The Rose Society by Marie Lu 4/5: Review.
  6. Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell: DNF
  7. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier 5/5: Review.
  8. Sufragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter by Carol Drinkwater 3/5: Review.
  9. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi 3.5/5: Review.
  10. Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson 5/5: Review.
  11. True Calling by Siobhan Davis 4/5: Review.
  12. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 4/5: Review.
  13. Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins 3.5/5: Review.
  14. 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf by Jo Thomas 3.5/5: Review.
  15. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 4.5/5: Review.
  16. Resurrection by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
  17. Running Man by Stephen King 3.5/5: Review.
  18. If I Stay by Gayle Forman 3.5/5: Review.
  19. Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr 3/5: Review.
  20. A Mere Interlude by Thomas Hardy 2.5/5: Review.
  21. Dolce Vita by Iseult Teren 3.5/5: Review.
  22. Eden by Michael Robertson 4/5: Review.
  23. Birthday Blaze by Kacey Shea 3/5: Review.
  24. Luna Proxy by Mac Flynn 3/5: Review.
  25. Shadow of the Wolf by Mac Flynn 2/5: Review.
  26. The Hospital by Keith. C. Blackmore 3/5: Review.
  27. Teeth by Michael Robertson 2/5: Review.
  28. Bad Decisions by E.M. Smith 3.5/5: Review.
  29. Fenix Rising by Jeff Liboiron 4/5: Review.
  30. What a Way to Go by Forster 3.5/5: Review.
  31. Self Edit Your Way to Awesome by K.L. Tolman 3.5/5: Review.
  32. Island by Nicky Singer 4.5/5: Review. 
  33. Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt 5/5: Review.
  34. The Phoenix Cycle by Bob Collopy 3/5: Review.
  35. The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier 4/5: Review.
  36. Bernie by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
  37. Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas 5/5: Review.
  38. Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy 5/5: Review.

Have you read any of these? What has been your favourite book so far this year? I have read so many great books it’s hard to choose. At this point, I would say that my favourite book is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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June Reads Round Up

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ARC Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt

unsanctionedeyes-ebookFull Review: Unsanctioned Eyes.

I gave this book 5/5. Quinn is an anti-heroine to root for. Her development over the course of the narrative makes the book what it is. The sub characters are effortlessly woven into her story, and the world building is immersive. Well written thriller with a strong female protag.

ARC The Phoenix Cycle by Bob Collopy

35148208Full Review: The Phoenix Cycle.

I gave this book 3/5. An imaginative, dystopian world that has a Hunger Games vibe about it. The narrative felt a little skittish and would benefit from being streamlined.

 

The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier

6tag_130617-191352Full Review: The King’s General.

I gave this book 4/5. Du Maurier weaves an atmospheric tale of love, war, misery, and mystery. I cannot fault the writing or the character development, but my lost star is for my dislike of Richard Grenvile. I needed more from him to be able to root for the man.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

6tag_160617-214625.jpgFull Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses.

I gave this book 5/5. Amazing! Why did I not read this sooner. I loved everything about this book: characters, story, background, worldbuilding. Just read it, folks. My review won’t do it justice.

 

Bernie by Brianna West

6tag_190617-110004Full Review: Bernie.

I gave this book 5/5. The loveable cowboy got his own spin off. Whoop! Another great addition to the Guardian’s world. Steamy romance, strong female heroine, and of course, cheeky Bernie. He has always been ‘laugh out loud’ funny, and continues to be in this book.

 

Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy

6tag_130617-135051Full Review: Hell’s Teeth.

I gave this book 5/5. A vampire book that leaves all the stereotypes, cliches, and tropes at the title page. Excellent world building of a dystopian world where Vamps, GOs, and humans live side by side. A humourous MC, and well crafted sub-characters. This could be a TV series. No, seriously, it totally could.

 


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

 

ARC Review: Bernie by Brianna West

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Bernie by Brianna West 5/5

6tag_190617-110004Nyla, born and raised in the In-Between realm as the princess of the Spiritum Bellatorum, has been betrothed from birth and forced to conceal the true personality within in order to project herself as nothing but the perfect princess she was taught to be.

When her brother betrays their kind, Nyla acquires an unprecedented mission to find and convince him to come home. Teaming up with the Promiscus Guardians to locate her runaway brother in the mortal realm, Nyla is introduced to the resident comedian and self-proclaimed cowboy Guardian, Bernie.

He is everything she wishes she could be outwardly and she’s instantly intrigued by his happy, easy-going nature. But, like Nyla, Bernie is keeping a part of himself tightly locked away.

What will happen when their barriers start to come down? Will they be able to overcome so many obstacles laid out before them, or will their relationship be torn apart before they have a chance to find something deeper?

Thanks go to the author for giving me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

I think this might be my new favourite Guardian’s in Love book! After the fabulous Victor and Pavel, I did not think I’d be saying that, but there is something about the cheeky cowboy that draws you in. Bernie’s character has remained true to form throughout the Promiscus Guardians series and the spin offs, and has continued to do so in his own spin off. If anything, Bernie’s endearing side is heightened, and you quickly learn that there is more to the loveable rogue and that Nyla is an extremely lucky girl.

Nyla is the new love interest, but she is so much more: kick-ass Princess who knows what she wants and how to keep Bernie on his toes. West has a knack for writing feminine characters who embrace who they are and stand toe to toe with the brooding hunks.

It’s hard to delve into the story without spoilers, especially if you haven’t read the rest of the series. My advice for paranormal romance fans is to get your copy of Awakening (book one in the Promiscus Guardians series), and work your way through to Bernie’s story. It has to be done!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier

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The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier 4/5

6tag_130617-191352Honor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless – and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly.

 

Review:

Honor Harris looks back on her life from her teens, through the English Civil War, and after. Through her truthful recount of the man who stole her heart, Richard Grenvile, and her life in a wheelchair, she tells a tale of love, mystery, war, and misery.

Du Maurier never fails to create an atmospheric experience for the reader.  I was transported to Cornwall in the 1600’s, and through the eyes of Honor, I had a raw, real recount of the English Civil War.

Once again, the characters are brilliantly constructed. Their lives link beautifully with each other’s, and their personalities are expertly woven in the words. My reason for not rating this 5* is because of my dislike for Richard. Despite his affection toward Honor, I couldn’t find anything to like about the man. He remained true to character, but I like to have a least a small nugget of something worth rooting for. He was rude, arrogant, and had a huge sense of superiority. At least Honor was aware of his flaws and never tried to excuse them.

Another reason for my missing star is that at times the narrative was bogged down with the war and strategies etc. Yes, that was the main narrative running through the book, and yes, the title is The King’s General, but there were chapters that I skimmed because it was mere recount, and not vital to Honor’s story.

In summary, a solid read from Du Maurier with brilliantly written characters, engaging world building, and a glimpse into life for the Cornish during the English Civil War. If you don’t mind an obnoxious character or two, this is the read for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

What a Way to Go by Julia Forster

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What a Way to Go by Julia Forster 4/5

18716786_1537510462967032_375861404_n1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson’s parents are divorced. Her mum got custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents’ club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and her Chambers dictionary, and the responsibility of fixing her parents’ broken hearts. Set against a backdrop of high hairdos and higher interest rates, pop music and puberty, divorce and death, What a Way to Go is a warm, wise and witty tale of one girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.

Review:

Harper is a 12 year old girl, navigating life and school whilst still coming to terms with her Mum and Dad’s divorce and subsequent lifestyles in 1988. The pubescent, sometimes snarky girl, is going through that awkward age of life where she is trying to discover who she is, where she fits, and some of life’s ugly truths.

Harper is an endearing character, and Forster captures her voice perfectly. I could hear the twelve year old speaking to me, and her way of thinking brings back memories of my youth. Trying to be vegan, an activist, and desperate to read 1984 and Women’s erotic romance novels, Harper is a to-the-point, literal girl with a fiesty, witty attitude.

The sub-characters are vivid and well rounded whilst being typical, ordinary characters: Mum, Dad, neighbour etc. Kit and Derek were my favourites. They have bucket loads of personality.

This book deals with both teen angst and real life heartbreak. The death of one character was handled well, and being the character he was, he went out with humour and style. Harper’s version of events are relevant to that of a twelve year old, and it was intriguing to see how she would mature and handle her grief.

This book is suitable for ages 12+, but older audiences will find it just as enjoyable. Not my typical type of read, but I was glad to have read it.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman 3.5/5

6tag_250417-120525Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Review:

One freak accident changes Mia’s life forever. Does she want to come back and face reality, or will she decide not to stay?

This book has an important message that highlights the power of love and family. The hard hitting storyline with very real consequences drives home the importance of what most of us take for granted.

Forman effortlessly captured the mind set of seventeen year old Mia, dealing with school, her boyfriend, her friendships, and her insecurities. I enjoyed reading Mia’s memories of her perfectly dysfunctional family, and her quest to find who she is. Her interesting POV of the aftermath of the tragedy that ultimately sees her making an important decision, intrigued me from the start, and Mia’s reactions to it felt genuine. Yes, she came across as naive in places, but she is a seventeen year old girl trying to process grief and the meaning of her existence.

I was told by many book friends to have the tissues ready for this one, and after reading such high praising reviews, I was hoping to be moved more than I actually was. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the book to be heartfelt and the message to be important, but I didn’t find myself a blubbing wreck.

In summary, a YA book that takes a tragedy and manages to get the reader focussing on the power of love.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review