Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Title: The Luminaries

Series: The Luminaries #1

Author: Susan Dennard

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.

Winnie Wednesday lives in Hemlock Falls but her and her family are disgraced as her father was found to be a Diana aka a witch, but all she wants is to be a Hunter so she tries out with the help from her ex-friend, Jay Friday.

There’s drama, action, vampires, werewolves, a heroine with strong determination, a creepy forest and the resident bad boy love interest!

There was an overused term in this book and I couldn’t unhear it. Winnies teeth ‘clicked’ a lot. Like too much. Please no more teeth clicking!

But I did enjoy this and defo want to read the next book! I’d love to know more about the Luminary Society and even the Dianas and, obvs, romance please!

World Book Day! (MG reads!)


World Book Day is a charity event held annually in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the first Thursday in March.

Every child in full-time education in the UK is given a voucher to be spent on books. The best gift ever!

Here’s some middle grade books I loved. Maybe spend your voucher on these!

~ Luke Stevens and the Blood of St George by Ben Peyton
~ The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas
~ The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries by JT Williams
~ Amari and the Great Game by BB Alston
~ City of Ghosts by VE Schwab

Hello March!

Hello March!!!

Hope March is great for you!

“Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn.”
― Lewis Grizzard

By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again.” ―Neil Gaiman

TTT – Genre Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is featured by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic: Genre Freebie

So I had no idea what to do for this, I feel like I’ve done a lot of stuff to do with genres, romance, YA etc etc so I’ve gone for….

Releases coming 2024 and 2025!

I know! Such a long way off!

Currently these are due to release then but obviously these could change! No covers here either as most didn’t have them!

📚 A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal 
📚 The Crimson Moth by Kristen Ciccarelli 
📚 Just Max by Aiden Thomas 
📚 Scroll of Heaven by Shannon Lee and Fonda Lee 
📚 Fateless by Julie Kagawa 
📚 The Darkness Within Us by Tricia Levenseller 
📚 The Prisoner’s Throne by Holly Black 
📚 Stars and Smoke 2 by Marie Lu
📚 Monsters 3 by Vanessa Len
📚 Forging Silver into Stars 2 by Brigid Kemmerer

Review: What Hunts Inside The Shadows by Harper L Woods

Title: What Hunts Inside The Shadows

Series: Of Flesh and Bone #2

Author: Harper L Woods

The Wild Hunt waits for none…
not even the secrets waiting at the gates of Alfheimr.

Estrella’s story continues.

(Yes that’s the whole blurb!!!!!!)

‘Until chaos reigns.’

I loved the first book but I will admit I didn’t have the same love for this book up until about half way through. Estrella was irritating and I think a lot of the stuff that happened…..didn’t really need to be in here.

However. The 2nd half of the book was so good!

Caldris was so utterly 100% sure of his love for Estrella, it was bone deep love. I wasn’t so convinced of her love for him though!!!!

These are the standout things for me:

~ Lunar witch – sounds so wonderful doesn’t it!
~ Holt is my utter fave male!
~ Fenrir – I need one!

I have my theories on what Estrella is, will see in the next book! But that Mab is a nasty piece of work!

‘You are the only star in my sky.
And you are the only light in my darkness.’

The Sunday Post – 26th February 2023

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer  It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received.

Hi everyone, hope you’ve had a good week?

Back to school for my son after the week holiday and it was not fun getting back up at the crack of dawn again!!! Also an office day which always ruins my week!!!!!

It was Pancake day too, aka Shrove Tuesday, here in the UK so we had some pancakes with lemon and sugar and some with nutella, delish!

What I’ve Read

What Hunts Inside The Shadows by Harper L Woods

Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai

🎧 Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

🎧 The Maid by Nita Prose

New arrivals

Revelle by Lyssa Mia Smith

You might have missed…..

Review – Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare
Review – The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Review – Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson

What have you read lately?

Review: Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai

Title: Catfish Rolling

Author: Clara Kumagai

Magic-realism blends with Japanese myth and legend in an original story about grief, memory, time and an earthquake that shook a nation.

There’s a catfish under the islands of Japan and when it rolls the land rises and falls.

Sora hates the catfish whose rolling caused an earthquake so powerful it cracked time itself. It destroyed her home and took her mother. Now Sora and her scientist father live close to the zones – the wild and abandoned places where time runs faster or slower than normal. Sora is sensitive to the shifts, and her father recruits her help in exploring these liminal spaces.

But it’s dangerous there – and as she strays further inside in search of her mother, she finds that time distorts, memories fracture and shadows, a glimmer of things not entirely human, linger. After Sora’s father goes missing, she has no choice but to venture into uncharted spaces within the time zones to find him, her mother and perhaps even the catfish itself…

This book is beautiful inside and out!

I don’t think I’ve ever read something as unique as this before and from a debut author, it is so amazing!

Set in Japan, an event happened where lots of people were lost and time now behaves weirdly in different areas. Years later, Sora and her Dad still live by the effected area, still quite overcome with loss and grief, one holding on to all those memories and one desperately trying not to.

It was full of Japanese mythology, it was emotional and thought provoking. The world building was absolutely fabulous and the elements of time and the zones were mind boggling and so fascinating!

Honestly the contents of this book is something that I will be thinking about for ages. You know, one of those reads where you can be immersed in something else and a part of the book pops in your head and it’s all you can think about, trying to puzzle it out!

Review: Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Mysteries of Thorn Manor

Series: Sorcery of Thorns #1.5

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’s occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas – along with their new maid Mercy – will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

I cannot tell you how happy I felt when this story was announced!

Back with Nathaniel, Elisabeth, Silas and Mercy and Thorn Manor has got some ideas of what should be happening!!!

I adored this. It was magical! The rooms. The ballroom. The clothes. The grimoires and above all Nathaniel and Elisabeth and highest of all, the lovely Silas.

This was perfect. And I know I’m terrible….but I’d love more!!!!! I know! How greedy of me!

‘Not every story has a happy ending. But most do, if you’re brave enough to keep reading to the end.’

Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower

Series: Winternight #2

Author: Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel, introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

In The Girl in the Tower, Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, she has only two options left: marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

But after she prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

Back in the world of Vasilisa and Morozko….and I couldn’t be happier!

This book was so magical, it captured my heart, it was everything! I loved everything!

So we know Vasilisa leaves her village with Solovey and wants to be free, she doesn’t want marriage or a convent, the only options available for a maiden in those times. So what’s a girl to do?! Well become a boy and cause chaos!!!!!

Vasilsa is such a strong character (even though she annoyed me turning down Morozko’s proposal!) Plus in this book we get more of Vasilisa’s siblings, Sasha and Olga. I love their family dynamic!

I read this book with my heart in my throat, there was so much action and adventure but it was Solovey that captured my heart the most! I love him!

Roll on book 3!!! But I don’t want this to end!