Monday, 30 April 2018

The Book Knights: An Arthurian Fantasy by J.G. McKenney

Hello readers,

Spoiler free review

Thank you, NetGalley for the chance to read this ebook for free in exchange for an honest review.

As I have previously mentioned I have a fascination with History and myths and legends, through books, tv or my latest guilty pleasure podcasts. This book was a good match for me as it was a retelling of the Arthur tales.

The introduction to this books world broke me and I do not ever wish to ever travel to this world at that time. The beautifully descriptive writing makes this world an easy to imagine and makes the opening that much harder hitting (no spoilers!).  But reading is a crime in this world! (not a spoiler) 

The Book Knights is an Arthurian tale with all the characters you know and love with wonderfully inventive name play (the myths and legends geek in me laughed and loved them).   The story was effortless to read,  the old myths and legends that I enjoy being rebuilt in a captivating new dystopian world with new characters and old characters being reinvented was perfect.

Shout out to the the author J.G. McKenney for managing to get all the facts and small details together perfectly in this story, for me anyway. This book is everything I could ever hope for in a good story, it made me laugh, cry, and cheer. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this story and if you love fantastical tales or fantasy read this book.

L x

Sunday, 29 April 2018

YALC and a little about me

Hello Readers,

So unintentionally my blog looks very bam here’s a review, BAM here’s another which is something I didn’t want so I’m going to try and make up for it now.

As well as going to YALC for the last three years in a row, I usually cosplay which is like following the rabbit down the rabbit hole. It starts with just a dabble and then all of a sudden bam you own wigs, contact lenses and gain a large collection of makeup.  I love YALC but I also enjoy comic con I love exploring all the film memorabilia and everyone else’s cosplays. 

 My first year
I made so many rookie mistakes it was unbelievable as I was only there for one day but I did graduate a couple of days before then did harry potter studio tour. During this one day I managed to fit in two photo shoots, two book signings and I somehow managed to grab a couple of proofs looking back I have no idea either.

My second year
I thought I would put into practice what I learnt from the year before and this year being the first year I would attend all three days and decided I would cosplay. For each of the days I chose a different cosplay Wednesday Addams, Lydia Deetz and a Slytherin student (I’m not going to lie I just wanted the robes).  My experience from this year’s cosplay was that Lydia was a complete miss I ended up looking like one of the cast of American Horror Story: Coven so I got to style out my miss. I take the total blame for the miss I didn’t really fully commit to wanting to wear wigs or contacts. With this year being spread out over the three days I tried to plan one big thing for each day but still even with two photo shoots on one day I manged to fit everything I wanted in. The big thing I learnt form this year was it gets hot stupidly quick and be prepared for it and books are heavy.

My Third year
You would think this year I would have learnt to prepare for the heat, heavy books and cosplay ideas, but again I kind of missed again. This year I copied two cosplays from last year I just switched Lydia for Lady Hades (Disney) this missed the mark like Lydia the year before.

I tried to hipster/teen out Hade as I didn’t want to paint myself grey with the heat. I took what I thought were the main components his yellow eyes, blue hair and the trade mark cigar, that wasn’t enough as people asked me who I was most of the day. What I decided to add really shows the Greek History nerd in me, I got fake tattoos of items that are associated with Hades such as the Helm of Hades, the ferry man and some symbols of death. I also added some of the creatures associated with Hades through the Disney film such as Cerberus, the fates, the Minotaur to name a few.  I also wore a single black pearl as a nod to Persephone and her pearls.  

Personally, I loved it so I guess that’s all that matters in the long run.

Again, I tried to keep the one big thing a day plan from the year before but kept the Sunday free so I could enjoy the last day without worrying about anything. Luckily the book signings and talks with authors I wanted to see matched up with my plans. Also, the two photo shoots I had were on the Friday before the con got really busy this in hindsight was a really good idea and I would recommend it. Having a good sturdy backpack was a godsend with film memorabilia and books.

This brings us to year 4 this year I am buying a small handheld fan! I will not forget this year! I am also feeling super lazy this year and will be using a cabin size suitcase to carry my books that’s because I have set myself I kind of slightly over ambitious 8 books to get signed and no doubt I’ll pick up more walking round.  

This year my cosplays seem to be pretty straight forward keeping Wednesday Addams . The third I’m hoping to do Lady Jack Skellington I am obsessed with The Nightmare Before Christmas (useless fact we’re the same age). I am planning on using a more stylised make up to get away without painting myself white. I’m also keeping the idea of the costume pinstripe blazer and trousers but instead of a Victorian shirt (original plan) I have decide on a white chiffon shirt to keep cool.

As we get closer to YALC I will keep people posted and will probably do a what’s in my bag survival type post

L x

Sunday, 22 April 2018

In Search of Lost Books: The forgotten stories of eight mythical volumes by Giorgio van Straten, Translated by Simon Carnell

Hello readers,

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this ebook for free and giving me the chance to give a honest review this book

The last two books I have read have been completely out of my normal book “comfort” zone so to speak and I have surprised myself by enjoying them more that I thought I would. Sometimes it’s nice for a change I think the nice weather has helping. So on to the review...

I enjoyed this book it was an engaging and eye-opening book about other books, a collection of classics works that can no longer be read, for they no longer exist.

The mythical books that Giorgio van Straten is trying to find by turning detective, traveller and researcher, as he examines clues, leads and interviews experts to discover the stories of these eight-lost works, and their authors. His pursuit takes him around the world, and across decades, to discover unforeseen and unexpected connections.

Romano Bilenchi The Avenue
Lord Byron Memoirs
Ernest Hemingway Juvenilia
Bruno Schulz The Messiah
Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls (part II)
Malcolm Lowry In Ballast to the White Sea
Walter Benjamin What was in the Black Suitcase
Sylvia Plath Double Exposure

The works having been burnt, dismissed, banned, stolen, accidentally or deliberately damaged, in natural or political disasters; and some of the books have even been read by a few people before vanishing into thin air. The history of these eight books is informative and entertaining, giving a moving insight into the daily pressures and irresponsibility’s of writing, concerns for the reputation of the deceased author, bad luck, the failure to protect work in time of war.

Let’s be honest and really think, there must be thousands if not millions, of books that have been written and then never made it to print or that have ended up getting lost completely, including both fiction and nonfiction books that could be the greatest works of recent history. 

L x

Friday, 20 April 2018

Late K Lunacy by Ted Bernard

Hello Readers,

This is a spoiler free review and will be updated after the books release
Thank you LibraryThing for the chance to read this ebook for free and giving me the chance to give a honest review this book

 Late K Lunacy is a beautifully descriptive book setting up the books world in a scarily realistic manner that blurs the lines between the books world and the real world. 

 The book is set in a university town, in a fictional pre- and post-apocalyptic environmental incident in the lead up to the mid-2030s. 15 years from now, which in nothing in the grand scheme of apocalyptic or foresight novels most are usually set 50+ years from publish. 

I found the book thought provoking as it makes you ask the yourself the questions will climate change, over fishing the oceans, devastating the rain forest or a global pandemic will finally push the world over the edge and cause irreversible change that we may not be able to recover from. I will be honest after reading the book I did a little research of my own and the facts are shocking and worth a look into. 

Ted Bernard challenges readers through a new vision of the future, a view that we could possibly learn from. It might not be world global warming that’s pushes earth over the edge it might be the fracking, over fishing of the oceans or destroying the rain forests.

L x

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Arrowheart by Rebecca Sky

Hello Readers,

I actually loved the sample of this book and I honestly can’t wait for the full book to be released on the 14th June

This book fills my inner mythological history geek with excitement and joy that I haven’t experienced in a while in this genre, sorry it isn’t much of a review at the minute when I do purchase the full book in June I will add an update. 

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this free sample and giving me the chance to give a honest review this book

L x

Monday, 16 April 2018

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, A brilliantly creepy fantasy

Hello Reader,

I’ll be honest I kind of cheated with this one I listened to Coraline, I got way too excited about the prospect of the amazing Dawn French reading to me. I have been meaning to read Coraline for the last couple of years but it always seems to be pushed back to the bottom of the pile through no fault of its own.

Coraline’s parents mean well and are relatable, but they are too busy to play with her, something most children or adults may have experience in their lives. Coraline amuses herself by exploring her family’s new flat, but it isn’t this house that’s worth exploring.

It’s the other house - the one behind the old door in the drawing room. In this other world and house Coraline has a other mother and father with black-button eyes who are waiting for her to join them there and never leave. In this world, the toys are alive, everything seems magical and the food is delicious. Coraline's other mother and other father shower Coraline with praise and have more time for her unlike her parents in the real world.

The other mother presents Coraline with some black buttons along with a needle and thread to indicate that Coraline must exchange her eyes for buttons in order to stay in the magical world, which Coraline politely declines.

 Coraline returns to the real world through the door, after a couple of days Coraline realizes that her other mother has stolen her real parents and has the souls of the children who passed into the door before her, she decides that only she can free her parents and find the lost souls by matching her wits against the other mother.

The narrative plays out a childlike perspective: Coraline never really tries to understand what has happened or the other mother ulterior motives; she simply focuses on getting her parents back and defeating the other mother for good.

As Coraline’s quest to free her parents and the other children’s souls continues, the parallel world she is trapped in grows ever more monstrous, creating some delightfully eerie descriptive writing. Having seen the Tim Burton film I thought I would have a rough idea of how the other world would turn darker but I can honestly say in some bits I think Burton played it safe (which is something I never thought I would say).

I can honestly say I loved listening to this book

L x

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Hello Reader

Hello reader, 

This will be the only time I will admit this but I am a serious bibliophile, so I thought I would share my love of reading and put it to use by starting to review books. Not only do I enjoy physical books but I have a large collection on kindle and on my audible account so I’ll probably jump between reviewing physical books, ebooks and audiobooks. 

I have been to YALC in London the last three years in a row this year will be my fourth visit and I am too excited as I write this first post we are on 102 days!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!! I can honestly say it is the best three days of the year (minus rugby season) I love being surrounded by likeminded people and everyone is so nice. I have been fortunate to meet some wonderful authors from Lucy Saxon to Dawn Kurtagich and if I'm honest I just want to keep sharing the book love.   

As for the name of the blog I can not take any credit I am sure I have seen the acronym somewhere before but I love the sentiment and believe to a degree it is true

READ – Readers Enjoy Authors Dreams.

Keep reading