spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – September 2019

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My little boy started school yesterday and although granted, I do spend most of the time he’s there (he’s only doing short days for a while) I spend most of it doing housework at the moment to help our poor flat recover from the six weeks holiday I’ve realised I’ll have time to READ and listen to audiobooks and eventually I might even be able to go swimming again!! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’ve planned a suitably (hopefully) achievable TBR for September which will see my kindle getting a good amount of use as I try to get through my NetGalley backlog! Also, did I mention…

DARKDAWN by Jay Kristoff
IT IS HERE I HAVE MY COPY AND IM READY TO VIBRATE ONTO ANOTHER PLAIN OF EXISTENCE I’M SO EXCITED.
(The third and final book in the Nevernight Chronicles. I am not ready).

The Boneships by RJ Barker
You might remember that I got very over-excited about a new project RJ Barker told us about at the MCM Blogger Brunch back in May, this is it and I’m lucky enough to have received an early finished copy to dig my teeth into. I’m hoping that the Darkdawn hangover isn’t too great and I can get right into this as soon as possible.

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Another book I’ve been excited about for a while, The Deathless Girls is the untold story of the brides of Dracula and a concept I’ve been interested in since the cheesy Van Helsing film with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckingsale in from way back when. I can’t wait!

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
The new novel by the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower promises to be different, unnerving and spooky from what I’ve read of the sample I’ve already read, just in time to be a perfect creepy Autumn read!

Hex Life Anthology by Kelly Armstrong, Rachel Caine and many more
Hoping I’m not being too ambitious with five books for this month but would really love to get stuck into Hex Life, a witchy anthology including short stories from some of my favourite paranormal romance etc authors!

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book reviews, spoiler free

The Starlight Watchmaker review

44097002The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

Rating: XXXXX

Published July 15th by Barrington Stoke

“Doesn’t it get tiring being judged for who you are all the time?” Ada asked, “and treated like you’re less than other people?”

Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.

A wildly imaginative sci-fi adventure from YA star Lauren James, particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

At the Quiet at the End of the World event a few months back Lauren announced that she would be releasing a novella with Barrington Stoke later this year and as time went on we got a title, a cover reveal and synopsis for The Starlight Watchmaker which I’ve been excited for ever since.

I don’t normally go into much detail about publishers but I really wanted to rave about Barrington Stoke for a moment. They are a fantastic publisher who have been helping dyslexic and reluctant readers for over twenty years by working with writers and illustrators to publish super readable books as well as adding little adjustments like using a unique, dyslexia-friendly font specially created to make reading easier, Accessible layouts and spacing stop the page from becoming overcrowded and even Heavier paper with a gentle tint helps reduce visual stresses, their motto is every child can be a reader and I think reading can be so daunting for young children today that we need to do everything we can to create a space and opportunity for all readers, including those who might be reluctant or have difficulty reading for pleasure. I had read a couple of Non Pratt’s books published by Barrington Stoke previously and loved the shorter book format and just how effortless they felt to read which can be really motivating and confidence building.

I reached out to Barrington Stoke about Lauren’s new title and the lovely Kirstin sent me a proof to review in exchange for an honest review. At just 128 pages it is an extremely short read but oh the wonders Lauren can work with 128 pages. The Starlight Watchmaker is set in a universe that feels like magic and science, the academy that Dorian attends and Hugo works at is incredibly diverse, full of all kinds of sentient creatures from across the galaxy. It was absolutely refreshing to read all of these fantastic descriptions of different races and species, I was fascinated in particular with one of my favourite characters, a student like Dorian called Ada (Lady Ada de Winters – short for Adedeneumdora) who is essentially a mountain that can walk around and will eventually become a planet all of her own just like her mother, the planet Zumia. She’s well spoken, smart and fantastically quirky as well as being a brilliant departure from the usual humanoid looking alien lifeforms we usually see.

Hugo is an android and an absolute sweetheart who I love, he’s a hard worker making the best of a bad situation who enjoys what he does and is mostly content but finds himself yearning for more, things like friendship and freedom, not to mention he really likes plants. Our other main character, Dorian is a fifth-year student but also a Duke who comes to Hugo for help but comes across a little brusque at first and perhaps a bit to forward which could be misconstrued negatively but I think he really grows and learns over the course of the story and you learn more about him as well as Hugo and see how they react to each other.

Somehow, even in under 200 pages Lauren managed to fit a nice little twist into the story, the plot is simple but honestly all the more enjoyable for it, the narrative is fast flowing and straight forward but conveys every detail and emotion needed. This entire book is akin to a nice chilled glass of juice on a hot day or that feeling when you step out of your morning shower, it’s refreshing and soothing and the moment I finished it after reading it the first time I managed to put it down for five minutes before I decided to pick it back up and read it all over again. The story is well rounded and unlike with some short-form works where I find myself  wanting more in an unsatisfied way, I found The Starlight Watchmaker to be the perfect bite-size piece of cake, it felt complete and whole and I felt like I’d been on a journey after reading it which is why I read, to be whisked away on adventures and feel a better person at the other end. This is a beautiful tale of friendship and I cannot recommend it enough.

The Starlight Watchmaker will be available on July 15th, don’t let it’s smaller size fool you, it’s a fantastic little read and one that can definitely be enjoyed by a variety of ages.

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Aurora Rising Cover Reveal and Book Tag

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Yesterday we were treated to the cover reveal for the newest book by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman, Aurora Rising! Designed by Debra Bilson and illustrated by the amazing Charlie Bowater the new cover features a girl who I can only assume is Aurora herself adorned with various star constellations on a beautiful purple, black and white space background.  The details, such as Aurora’s freckles and the little ‘beauty spot’ under her right eye are fantastic, not to mention she looks like someone you absolutely do not want to mess with! You can find more details at on Jay’s blog here but below you can find the synopsis, the full cover itself AND a special book tag treat from me!

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

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In celebration of my most anticipated book coming next year I decided to use the description of the new crew #Squad312 to create a brand new book tag which I hope you’ll enjoy, I’ll tag a few people but if it takes your fancy feel free to give it a go to and let me know so I can check out your answers!

First up, Squad Leader Tyler Jones – Your favourite main character
I’m usually a bigger fan of supporting characters but I hands down kind of adore Lazlo Strange from the Strange the Dreamer books. He’s a massive book nerd, gets lost in his imagination and creates beautiful dreams. Not to mention that he sounds pretty gorgeous and thanks to Steve West he sounds like a slightly huskier Orlando Bloom circa the Legolas Years.

Next, we have the Cocky Diplomat with a black belt in sarcasam – Best sassy quote
“If by fawning, you mean he’s a deer, I have a gun, and it’s hunting season, then I guess you’re right.” I believe this is from Lemons and Liars by Sage Kafsky and it kills me every time.

Now time for the Sociopath Scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates – A character you love that you really probably shouldn’t.
This one was easy. The Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. There’s just something about him and I know he’s really REALLY not a good guy but I can’t help it! (A.I.D.A.N gets an honourable mention because I love him but I’m not so sure we’re meant to hate him).

Not forgetting the Smart ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder – Favourite piece of fictional technology.
M-Bot from Skyward by Brandon Sanderson! The smart, sassy, fungi loving Artifical Intelligence inside a ship is fantastic and was my favourite part of Sanderson’s newest book out last month.

Also, an alien warrior with anger management issues – A book that made you mad.
The Island by M.A Bennett, I had to stop reading a few times because I was just so damn mad at some of the things Link did and/or got away with. Just thinking about it now is making me mad.

Annnnd A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, (Tyler) in case you were wondering – Favourite ‘frenemies’ to love couple.
Another easy one, Nik and Hanna from Gemina. I hated Nik’s guts to start with and hoped Hanna gave him a butt kicking but I very quickly found Hanna and myself falling for the tattoo covered, smoking idiot and now they’re one of my all-time favourite ‘ships’ which I did not see coming!

Last but by certainly no means least as her name is LITERALLY in the title Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, she is a girl out of her time and out of her depth – If you could pick just one book or series to read for the rest of your life what would it be?
Is it cliche in a post promoting the new book by the same authors to say The Illuminae Files because if it is then tough. I’ve been trying so hard to resist rereading these books at the moment because I’ve got so much to get through at the moment that I couldn’t justify rereading anything at the moment but when I found I kept picking them up and just reading half of the damn things before realising I was meant to be making the bed or dinner or something I caved and am now listening to all the audiobooks…again.

That’s all folks! I’m going to tag Jay Kristoff himself (you never know!), Georgi from Niffler reads, Jeann from Happy Indulgence Books, Destiny from Howling Libraries, Jenn from Jenniely and Kate from Reading Through Infinity

Aurora Rising is due to release May 2019 so get pre-ordering now and save your receipts (especially if you’re an illuminae fan apparently!) as early next year there will be a Pre-order offer! I personally CANNOT WAIT for this book and I’ve just been screaming at all the pictures of the different ARCs and now the actual cover itself! Can I start a count down to May now??

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Bookish Discuussions, spoiler free

New Releases and Coming Soon!

Everyone in my household (including myself) is finally not sick so I’ve returned from my brief hiatus to find I’m drowning in the release and imminent release of some AMAZING books, most of which I’ve preordered and am subsequently going to be engrossed in for the next month or so at the very least so don’t be surprised if I disappear from Twitter for a while! In anticipation (and to help me keep track of all these awesome books tbh) I’ve compiled a list of all these awesome books releasing very very soon).

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Legendary
by Stephanie Garber
The sequel to the amazing Caraval that came out early last year I have had a great thirst for this book for a good while and I’m so excited to dip my feet back into the world of Caraval once again! Release date: May 29th 2018

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The Extinction Trials: Exile
by S.M Wilson
After the first book in this series was released in January of this year I am so happy that we’re getting the sequel already!! I devoured the first book and I need more Dinosaurs in my life. Release date: June 1st 2018

38660363Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff
After reading The Illuminae files I knew I wanted to read more by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman and I love the part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator premise of Lifel1k3 the blurb promises. Already out in Australia I’ve had to fight my instincts to just get it imported but I do have the ebook which looks to release earlier than its following UK hard copy, on preorder. Release date: June 1st 2018 for Ebook or July 26th 2018 for Paperback.

35959734Adrift by Rob Boffard
Keeping with the Sci-Fi theme for a moment I was lucky enough to get an advance digital copy of this via NetGalley and at over 60% of the way through I am HOOKED! I cannot wait for this book to officially release so I can tell you guys a bit more about it but lets just say I won’t be going on any tours anytime soon. Release date: June 5th 2018

36642932Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles
This is another book I received an advance digital copy of (thank you NetGalley etc) and I haven’t been able to get my teeth into it yet but I’m so excited to get around to it next because although I don’t work in a bookshop myself I have worked for a small business that has gone down the drain, also I love book shops so hoping that will help? This book looks delightful and heartfelt, not one to be missed! Release date: June 14th 2018

36467381 Before the Storm by Christie Golden
A new Christie Golden book you say!? A book set in the world of Warcraft (see what I did there?) you say!? I had to have this. Often there will be a book or two after and/or before an in-game expansion and usually they’re very very good and I imagine the same will be true of this one. There are some exciting pages that have already been released to the internet/amazon and I’ve been trying so hard trying to avoid them for fear of spoilers and it’s been more difficult to do with a husband who decided to watch a forty minute video about them and what they mean. I want to go in with a fresh mind about it and I’m so excited to see the actions of the Horde and Alliance going forward as I’ve always been on the fence about my true faction. This book is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018! Release date: June 12th 2018

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Ash Princess
by Laura Sebastian
I have an advance readers copy of this book and although it does seem to follow a lot of stereotypical YA Fantasy troupes I think this is probably going to be a popular book with some and I’m looking forward to reading it ASAP. Release date: June 14th 2018

38087912Vicious (Collectors hardback edition) by V.E Schwab
I know the original version is and has been out for a good while and after seeing all the exciting, spoiler free lines from its sequel Vengeful on Twitter from the author herself I looked into it more and knew I needed to read this book so I decided to wait and preorder the new collectors hardback edition which includes some extra info and short story. Release date: May 29th 2018

35161442Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski (Translated by David French)
The final Witcher book Season of Storms set at some point around the same sort of time as the short stories featured in The Last Wish has now been translated into english and is now out! The lovely people at Gollancz sent me a copy to review and I have a bad feeling I’m going to be sinking a good amount of hours into this book and the third game very very soon! Release date: May 22nd 2018

So there you have it! SO many great books its unreal and this is just a few of them that I’ve been particularly excited about. Let me know what books you’re excited for that are coming soon, any one else not planning on leaving the house for a while? Speak soon,

Jemma.

jemma setterington