A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #4), Jodi Taylor

25877103

We were going to die. But we’re St Mary’s and we weren’t dead yet

Max and Leon are re-united and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don’t even make it to lunchtime. The action races from 17th century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th century Southwark as they’re pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide and seek until they’re finally forced to take refuge at St Mary’s – where new dangers await them.

* * *
3 / 5

Reading A Trail Through Time was an experience in conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the “big twist” that this book is based on, and wasn’t entirely sold on it by the end. On the other, Max and Leon seemed a whole lot more mature, which was a relief, and Tim had a fair chunk of page-time, which was great.

Continue reading “A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #4), Jodi Taylor”

A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3), Jodi Taylor

25877074

The silence was deafening. The weight of the heat was unbearable. The world held its breath. The gods were poised.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

* * *
3 / 5

A Second Chance was a solid four star read right up until the end when I put the book down and wanted to tear my hair out. Ugh. Definitely threw me for a loop. I’m currently approaching the next book in the series with extreme caution.

Continue reading “A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3), Jodi Taylor”

A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2), Jodi Taylor

25876967

History is a symphony of echoes. every little action has huge consequences.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

* * *
3 / 5

It is rare that a sequel is quite as good as the original, particularly when the whole series of books rests on the premise “historians go back in time”, because obviously each book is going to involve going back in time to various events. A Symphony of Echoes was a solid book, but it didn’t capture the magic of the original.

Continue reading “A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2), Jodi Taylor”

Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1), Jodi Taylor

29661618

“History is important. Far more important than most people believe. And it is under attack.”

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake…

* * * * * 
5 / 5

Hilarious, witty, banterous, serious, disturbing, and light-hearted. Just One Damned Thing After Another made me feel just one damned emotion after another: I felt intrigued and amused and in awe and afraid and disgusted and impressed. I ran the whole gamut of emotions and closed the book feeling both extremely satisfied and yet wanting more.

Continue reading “Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1), Jodi Taylor”

The Binding, Bridget Collins

39964740

Which was worse? To feel nothing, or to grieve for something you no longer remembered?

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born.

 If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. Just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it.

* * * *
4 / 5

Sometimes a novel really, truly sucks you in. Enthrals you. The Binding is one such novel; it drew me in and left me spellbound, swept away in this unique world that Collins has wrought.

Continue reading “The Binding, Bridget Collins”

[article] Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

20190415_201639

It’s a dog, not a book!

 

Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-review post (sadly, I’m far too busy with getting my Master’s degree to write monthly roundups anymore), so I thought I’d do a quick overview of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Note, this isn’t just books published in 2019, it’s any book I’ve read this year.

I’ve read 66 books so far and counting, which is a reasonably big sample size. Reviews (if they’re posted yet) are linked by the titles, and I’ve given a few keyword teasers to let you know what kind of book it is. Brace yourselves for some epic literature!

Continue reading “[article] Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…”

The Girl King, Mimi Yu

41832496

She was what thousands of years of warriors had wrought. She had the blood of the tiger in her veins

Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.

* * * *
4 / 5

The Girl King has a lot going for it: an epic title, two sisters hell-bent on a crown, a shapeshifting boy who is the last of his kind, and a background of awesome mythology. If only it could have ditched the romance…

Continue reading “The Girl King, Mimi Yu”

The Lost Puzzler, Eyal Kless

42108985

“Only at Tarakan valley will you feel at peace”

In the City of Towers, once the heart of the fallen Tarakan empire, a historian searches for clues to explain the disappearance of Rafik, a young boy with extraordinary abilities – a Puzzler. Marked with strange tattoos and gifted with a miraculous connection to Tarakan technology, Rafik could open doors inside the ruins, uncovering treasures and secrets.

* * * * *
5 / 5

It is rare that one book contains so much of the elements and ideas that I love to read about. The Lost Puzzler read like the author had looked into my brain and written this book for me: a speculative, futuristic world featuring ancient cities, people with tattoos and special powers, an unreliable narrator, a young man gifted with a peculiar power, and a hunt for a confusing, wild truth.

Continue reading “The Lost Puzzler, Eyal Kless”

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1), Jonathan French

27838712

Live in the saddle, die on the hog

Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil.

* * * *
4 / 5 

The Grey Bastards in one word: filthy. Here’s another: amazing. This rip-roaring read of half-orcs, hogs, and wild lands was an absolute page-turner. Live in the saddle, die on the hog indeed!

Continue reading “The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1), Jonathan French”

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2), Mark Lawrence

35530652

Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man

All that stands between Nona and her future as a Sister are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord. As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

Read my review of Red Sister.

* * * * *
5 / 5

I thoroughly praised Red Sister as an absolute masterpiece of a novel and that’s a tough act for any sequel to follow. Grey Sister is in the exact same vein: a slow-paced, riveting, bloody story focused on female friendships and learning to use swords.

Continue reading “Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2), Mark Lawrence”