All Souls Trilogy

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Mini Pin-It Reviews #17 – Four Books From Book Bridgr/other publishers

Published January 12, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to another mini pin-it reviews post! I have a massive backlog of reviews and this is my way of trying to get on top of things a bit. This isn’t to say I didn’t like some of these books – my star rating is a more accurate reflection of this, but this is a great, snappy way of getting my thoughts across and decreasing my backlog a bit. This time I’ve got four books from Book Bridgr for you – please see my pin-it thoughts below!

1.) Shadow Of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

What’s it all about?:

IT BEGAN WITH A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realize that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers…

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

2.) The Book Of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) – Deborah Harkness

What’s it all about?:

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’ enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

3.) Hangman – Stephan Talty

What’s it all about?:

New York Times bestselling author Stephan Talty’s acclaimed fiction debut, Black Irish, won him comparisons to such thriller masters as Jo Nesbø, Karin Slaughter, and Tana French. Now, his chilling new novel brings back intrepid heroine Absalom Kearney, a driven police detective with a haunted past, trying to make a difference in a troubled town.
 
Hangman, Hangman, what do you see? Four little girls, as cute as can be. The eerie schoolyard chant still sends ripples of horror through North Buffalo. Not so long ago, serial killer Marcus Flynn preyed upon the community’s teenaged daughters—until he was cornered and shot in the head. But Flynn lived, carrying to prison the nickname “Hangman,” along with the secret of his last victim’s fate. Homicide cop Abbie Kearney wasn’t around during Hangman’s reign of terror. She hadn’t yet come home to wear her dad’s old badge in the tough Irish American stronghold known as “the County.” Abbie had never experienced firsthand the horror of Hangman. Until now.
 
Hangman, Hangman, where do they go? Down on the ground, where the daffodils grow. A corrections officer lies dead, a prison van stands empty . . . and somewhere out there, the monster who condemned innocents to death at the end of a rope watches and waits to strike again. Abbie leads a desperate manhunt through a city driven to its knees by fear, matching wits with a predator as brilliant as he is elusive. But as more victims are claimed, a rising tide of secrecy, paranoia, and politics forces her to realize that stepping beyond the law may be the only way to find justice. Because with each passing hour, the stakes grow higher—and Hangman’s noose gets tighter.

Would I recommend it?:

Maybe!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

4.) In Search Of Solace – Emily Mackie

What’s it all about?:

Jacob Little is in trouble – existential trouble. Ten years ago, in pursuit of a philosophical theory, he ditched his girlfriend Solace and took to the road, adopting a series of personae and obsessions: he’s been Keith, the archaeologist, Otto, the purple-bearded pagan, Isaac, the gardener, and many more. Now, with no sense of who he is at all, he’s decided to find the one person who knows the real Jacob – Solace.

Jacob’s quest leads him to Solace’s Scottish hometown and into the lives of four people with their own issues: his self-deluding landlady; a teenager looking for a grand romance; an old watchmaker longing for a son; and a young girl who would rather be a boy. Each sees Jacob in a different light. For each, he is a catalyst. But where does that leave Jacob? And will he ever find Solace?

As deadly serious as it is funny, this is a novel about identity, love, religion, memory, self-perception, modern Britain and time. A novel to make you question yourself; a novel to obsess about.

Would I recommend it?:

Not sure.

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

COMING UP NEXT TIME ON MINI PIN-IT REVIEWS: Four Random Books.

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April 2017 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month

Published April 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone! Every other month I alternate what I’m reading quite specifically between three things. It’s either Chrissi Cupboard Month where I try my best to get through all the books my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads lends me (and that’s a lot!). Then there’s Real Book Month where I try and read all the physical books just waiting to be devoured on my bookshelves (also a LOT!) Finally, there’s Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month where I try and catch up on all those ARC/review copies sent to me by authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Bridgr. (A LOT!) April is going to be one of the latter months and here’s what I’m looking forward to getting to this month:

Hangman by Stephan Talty

(received from Book Bridgr)

Me, Myself And Why by Jennifer Ouellette

(received from NetGalley)

When We Go Missing by Kristen Twardowski

(received from author)

The Book Of Life by Deborah Harkness

(received from Book Bridgr)

The Strangler Vine (Avery & Blake #1) by M.J. Carter

(received from NetGalley)

The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

(received from author)

Some of these books I’ve been meaning to get to for the longest time and this month it shall finally be done! Really looking forward to all of these, I think I’ve picked an interesting selection. Have you read any? What did you think? Chat to me in the comments!

April 2016 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/Kindle/ARC Month

Published April 7, 2016 by bibliobeth

kindle

Hi everyone, can you believe it’s April already? This year is just zooming by and I’m becoming very aware of my backlog of reviews. I have been particularly unwell recently so apologies for the lack of reviews, I’m hoping to get one out tomorrow and then resume normal service and will hopefully be writing a blog post to explain exactly what’s going on although as I mentioned earlier on Twitter, I’m a bit nervous about it as I don’t normally do personal posts. Huge thank you to the lovely Hannah at Broc’s Bookcase  who sent me a brilliant message of support earlier – big bookish blogger hugs to her! So anyway, here is what I’ll be attempting to get through this April – all those poor Kindle books that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages and plenty of ARC’s which definitely should have been read before now. I’ll link them to GoodReads so you guys can check out what they’re all about and when I get round to writing the review I’ll then link that. Have a great April everyone!

The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney

(copy provided from BookBridgr and also long-listed for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016)

Dead Set – Will Carver

(copy provided from NetGalley)

Horns – Joe Hill

(copy on Kindle)

Necropolis – Guy Portman

(copy provided from author)

Shadow Of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

(copy provided from BookBridgr)

Gift Of Time: A Family’s Diary Of Cancer – Rory MacLean

(copy provided from NetGalley)

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements – Sam Kean

(copy on Kindle)

The Spirit Guide – Elizabeth Davies

(copy provided from author/publisher)

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

(copy on Kindle)

The Secret Place – Tana French

(copy provided from BookBridgr)

 

A Discovery Of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) – Deborah Harkness

Published April 9, 2015 by bibliobeth

8667848

What’s it all about?:

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

What did I think?:

A Discovery Of Witches has been on my biblio-radar for a few years now so when I discovered that Book Bridgr and the publishers at Headline were giving away copies of the trilogy in exchange for an honest review to celebrate the third book in the series being released I was quick to hit that “request” button. I’ve got to admit that I was quite surprised by this novel as for some reason I thought it was marketed at a younger audience so I was impressed by the maturity both of the plot and of the writing. Our main character is a young woman called Diana Bishop who has excelled in her academic life by becoming a professor of the history of science and keeps herself physically fit by rowing and running on a daily basis. The most intriguing thing about our character however is that she is the daughter of two very powerful witches who were both murdered when she was seven years old. Oh yes, in the world that Deborah Harkness paints, there are four living species – witches, vampires, daemons and humans that, so far, seem to have co-existed relatively peacefully. Due to her parents violent end and because she feels no good can ever come of magic, Diana has suppressed her own “witchy” powers by refusing to acknowledge they even exist.

This is all set to change rather dramatically when Diana comes across an ancient manuscript that appears to be locked at the Bodleian library in Oxford. Entitled Ashmole 782, Diana is surprised to find that she is able to access the spells within and is briefly mesmerised by its contents before she swiftly closes the book and returns it to the stacks, feeling she is opening a huge can of worms. And she is. For now every single supernatural entity in Oxford now appears to be extremely interested in Diana and she begins to feel quite afraid, wondering just what it is that she has unwittingly begun. One of the interested parties is a Matthew Clairmont who is a biochemist, geneticist, wine-drinking, yoga-loving centuries-old vampire. After tiring of his courting technique (which involves following her and watching her sleep) Diana agrees to team up with Matthew to try and solve the mystery of the ancient book and just why it has the other supernaturals all hot and bothered. As Diana and Matthew become closer and fall in love, they realise that their mission is fraught with dangers that they had never anticipated and may even be their un-doing. Apart from vampire/witch relationships being slightly frowned upon in the magical circles they must encounter another enemy that could threaten everything they have. Is there anyone they can trust? Also, how will Diana cope when she begins to encounter powers within herself that she never realised she had?

Confession time. I definitely pre-judged this book. Hey, Twilight had just come out and the world was going a bit vampire crazy so I made an assumption that turned out to be very wrong. If you’re a fan of Twilight or a big YA lover this book is probably not going to be right for you. The pace at the beginning of the novel is very slow as the author sets the scene and explores her characters and to be honest, not much of note really takes place. As the action heats up (around the middle of the book) the plot becomes a bit more intriguing and we learn a lot more about the magical creatures that inhabit this strange little world. It took me a while to warm to Diana as a character, although I loved that the author made her intelligent and independent from the start, perfectly happy in her own skin and her own company (big hurrah!). What did annoy me was that as soon as she fell in love with Matthew she seemed to pander slightly to his control freakish nature allowing herself to become the damsel in distress rather than the super-heroine I was hoping for. There are quite a lot of negative reviews of this novel on GoodReads and I can see the point of some of the criticisms i.e. the length of the novel and the large portions where not much seemed to happen. Personally speaking, I thought it was well written, loved the scientific and historical notes and enjoyed a strong (for the most part) female lead and a riveting ending. It did seem that it got a lot more thrilling in the last third of the book which is why I am fairly eager to read the second novel in the trilogy – Shadow Of Night, just to see where on earth the author is going to take the story next!

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0