Review: And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic.

Title – And Fire Came Down
Series – Caleb Zelic #2
Author – Emma Viskic
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 336 pages
Publication Date – August 1st 2017 by Bonnier Publishing Australia
ISBN – 9781760402945
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Caleb is struggling to get through each day. His best friend is dead, his ex-wife is avoiding him and nightmares are haunting him while he’s awake.

Then a woman is killed in front of him and Caleb’s determined to find out who she was. The trail leads Caleb back to Resurrection Bay. The town is on high alert for bush fires and simmering with racial tension. As Caleb keeps investigation, he uncovers secrets that could stop his and Kat reuniting and threaten his life. But Caleb keeps digging anyway. What is he willing to sacrifice to find the answer he’s looking for?

I received a copy of And Fire Came Down from Bonnier Publishing Australia to review.DH8o8PzV0AANaMY This is the sequel to Resurrection Bay. You can click the link to see my review of the first book.

The first book had me hooked pretty much right from the start as far as I can remember and because I already knew some of the characters from that book and was invested in their story I was already looking forward to reading this.

I can’t remember if it said how long it had been since the events in the first book but I don’t think it had been more than a couple of months. Caleb is still trying to deal with what happened and the guilt he feels about Kat. I’m not going to say what happened because that would ruin the first book but a lot went down. So if you haven’t read Resurrection Bay then you totally should!

I don’t know if Caleb is just crazy stubborn or he just can’t leave things unsolved but even when it was pretty obvious that he might want to back off because of things happening to people around him, he just couldn’t stop until he got to the bottom of things. Or wouldn’t stop… And then when it all came out I’m not sure Caleb wanted the answers he got. I guess that’s the risk you take when you go looking for them.

There was a twist to And Fire Came Down that I didn’t see coming. I’m pretty sure the same thing happened when I read Resurrection Bay too. Which is one of the reasons I enjoyed both books so much. I love when stories take me by surprise because it doesn’t happen often.

I don’t know if there will be a third book but there were some things that were left open and I’d definitely pick up a third book if it meant getting answers. Plus, I do like Caleb and have enjoyed both Resurrection Bay and And Fire Came Down.

If you haven’t picked up these books then I recommend finding copies.

*Thank you Bonnier Publishing Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

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Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye.

Title – The Crown’s Game
Series – The Crown’s Game #1
Author – Evelyn Skye
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 416 pages
Publication Date – May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN – 9780062560605
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Vika and Nikolai are enchanters – the only enchanters in Russia. The tsar needs a powerful enchanter to help him with his enemies. So the Crown’s Game is initiated.

The winner will become the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most trusted advisor. The loser will be sentenced to death.

I received a copy of The Crown’s Game from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is the first book in a duology. DGB1t_4UwAMwaVm

I haven’t read a lot of books set in Russia so I wasn’t really sure what to expect politics wise or how close this was to true events – aside from the obvious (magic). I don’t know if characters in the royal family actually existed. I don’t know anything about Russian history.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but I am so sick of love triangles. I’m pretty sure if I’d known there was one in this book before I started reading then it probably would have put me off. So I’m glad I didn’t know but I still wish it wasn’t a thing anymore. I also thought it was really obvious who Vika would choose and I’m just assuming they’ll get together in the next book.

I thought the magic in The Crown’s Game was really interesting. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it before. Which made me want to read about the history or magic in Russia, or this version of Russia, and the history of the Imperial Enchanter.

I found Skye’s writing beautiful. The way she bought Vika and Nikolai’s magic alive on the pages kept me coming back to this book even though the love triangle drove me crazy.

I figured that the love triangle and all the secrets would eventually come between these friends. Because the love triangle (how many times have I said that?) had Vika and two friends. Not messy at all. I can’t remember if the truth behind Nikolai’s father was revealed to everyone or just him but I’m expecting it to come out in the next book. You can’t drop a bomb like that and not have any fallout.

I don’t know when I’ll get to the sequel, The Crown’s Fate, because my latest reading slump has been horrible and I have so many books to catch up on. But I am hoping to get to it soon.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

 

WWW Wednesday – [September 20th 2017]

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –  DJ9ddklUEAACIKF
I started Because You Love to Hate Me on Monday I think. There are some re-tellings of fairy tales/villains and some original stories. I think there are only three or four authors that have written stories for this book that I’ve actually read before and I only know of three YouTubers too.

I have liked a few stories so far but I don’t want to go into them here. I’ll talk about them in my review. But I will say that this is one of my favourite books with short stories in it that I’ve read and I can’t wait to read more of it later today.

Recently Finished –  DJemDEDUIAAt_1L
I have finished my re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It seems to have helped me get out of my latest reading slump. Fingers crossed it will stay away this time.

I won’t be reviewing Goblet of Fire because it’s not the first or even second time I’ve read it so I’m completely biased because I love the Harry Potter series.

I do want to continue my re-read of the series but I am behind on my review books thanks to my latest slump so I’m going to give it a few weeks. I’m still reading pretty slowly even though I feel like I’m out of the slump. I don’t know what’s going on with me.

Reading Next – 4
I think I’m going to pick up The Loneliest Girl in the Universe next. It’s been a while since I read a sci-fi book and I really enjoy them so hopefully I’ll enjoy this too.

Anyway, that’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. It wasn’t very long but at least I read something.

What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

Review: Tell It to the Moon by Siobhan Curham.

Title – Tell It to the Moon
Series – The Moonlight Dreamers #2
Author – Siobhan Curham
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 304 pages
Publication Date – August 3rd 2017 by Walker Books
ISBN – 9781406366150
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“What happens when a dream is impossible to achieve?”

Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose are members of the Moonlight Dreamers. They’re an unlikely group of friends who give each other the courage to be themselves and go after their dreams.

The Moonlight Dreamers discover life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan. But sometimes the things that are unexpected can be even better.

I received a copy of Tell It to the Moon from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the sequel to The Moonlight Dreamers which I reviewed a couple of months ago. You can DHi274BUAAIOPUIclick the link if you want to check it out.

I love how diverse these books are and how accepting and understanding the Moonlight Dreamers are of each other. Maali’s family are very religious and in Tell It to the Moon, Maali has a crisis of faith (is that the right saying? I’m not really sure…) while her family is going through something difficult. Amber is having a hard time with her writing and figuring out who she is. Sky is juggling high school for the first time and a new relationship and Rose is dealing with new feelings and being open about who she is.

Like all friends, Sky, Rose, Maali and Amber don’t always agree and have arguments or fall out, whatever you want to call it, but at the end of the day these girls are there for each other, no matter what they’re going through. I do wish some of them (or one in particular) were just honest at the start with how they were feeling about something because there would have been less drama. I mean, I thought it was kind of obvious what was going on with Sky before it all came out so it was kind of annoying to me how long Sky dragged it out instead of just telling her friends the truth. I know people handle things differently, some people are open and others choose avoidance, but they were her friends.

Anyway, both The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell It to the Moon have great messages for young women/teens. I’m sure people will take different things from them. They’re diverse and have strong young women too and always comes back to the friendships between Rose, Maali, Sky and Amber. So I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who loves diverse books with great characters and friendship.

Now, I’ve been talking about a giveaway that I’m doing with Walker Books Australia. They will be sending out the books to the winner so if you’re okay with that and live in either New Zealand or Australia head over to my Instagram for the giveaway.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: The Student by Iain Ryan.

Title – The Student
Author – Iain Ryan
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 240 pages
Publication Date – June 16th 2017 by Bonnier Publishing Australia
ISBN – 9781760406370
My Rating – ★★/5

“Do bad people look like good people, like friends and brothers and boyfriends and students, until they have their hands around your throat?”

It’s 1994 in Gatton, Queensland. Nate is a student and sells drugs on the side. A local girl, Maya, is dead and no one knows who killed her. Nate’s supply has run out and his friend and dealer is missing. Nate is high and alone. Bikies are threatening to kill him and he’s being haunted by some tapes he found.

Then, things turn from bad to worse when Nate uncovers more than he bargained for…

I received a copy of The Student from Bonnier Publishing Australia to review. DGWQ9JZUQAA9v89

I don’t normally read books about drug dealers. I can think of only one other book off the top of my head where the main character was dealing drugs. I don’t have any personal experience with drugs and addiction to drugs but I have seen what it does to the people who take them and their families. But I thought because this was a crime/mystery and there were other things going on that it might not be that bad. But there was just too much focus on doing drugs, getting high and partying for me.

I didn’t like any of the characters in this book. Like I said, I don’t like drugs and the main character not only sells them but also takes them. Yes, he was trying to help his parents but I’m pretty sure there are better ways to do that. School didn’t seem important to him at all so I don’t even know why he was still going. Then there was his childhood friend (I can’t remember her name and really just don’t care) who felt a little off to me from the start. I don’t know why but she wasn’t a very nice person at all.

The story in The Student was so crazy though. I don’t even know where to start. Nate finds himself in the middle of a bad situation because his drug dealer is missing and some bike gang wants something from him (probably money but I can’t remember) so they’re coming after Nate to settle the debt or whatever it is. And to solve this huge mess Nate decided to get high and drunk. What? I just can’t with him. Okay, so he wasn’t drunk and high all the time but it was more than I wanted to read.

The Student wasn’t a very long book but because I didn’t like any of the characters or what they were doing I just couldn’t really get into it. If I didn’t want to know what had happened to Maya I don’t think I would have finished it. I know I’ve said this a lot in my reviews lately but if I can’t connect with the characters then I find it very hard to like a book. I mean, I did like that Nate was trying to help his parents financially but it just wasn’t enough for me to like him.

*Thank you Bonnier Publishing Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday – [September 13th 2017]

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –  DJemDEDUIAAt_1L
So if you haven’t been reading my posts lately you may have missed that I’ve been in a reading slump lately. I have no idea why. I’ve been reading some pretty good books but I’m still in a slump. So I decided to pick up the next book in my re-read of the Harry Potter series.

I started my latest re-read of the Harry Potter series earlier this year. I think. I haven’t re-read these books in a couple of years according to Goodreads. Which is weird. I usually try to read them once a year. Anyway, I’m up to Goblet of Fire and I can read my new editions too. I put my original copies away in a box because they are getting old and I needed the shelf space. What gets you out of a reading slump?

Recently Finished –  8
So I didn’t get to post my WWW Wednesday last week because my laptop decided to upgrade Windows and it took half a day so when it had finally finished I just couldn’t be bothered with it. But luckily for me with my reading slump I haven’t actually read that much in the last two weeks so this isn’t going to be a long post.

Anyway, I’ve finally finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would but it wasn’t the books fault. I really enjoyed Warbringer. It was just my slump or the mood I’m in. I don’t really know. But I will hopefully be reviewing this soon. If you love Wonder Woman then you should definitely pick up a copy. This is the first book in the DC Icons series. I think the next book is a young Batman written by Marie Lu and comes out next year. DIbjfWkUMAAxTEN

The other book I managed to read in the last two weeks was I Am Traitor. I was really looking forward to this because I love alien invasions but it was just okay. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a sequel but I don’t think I’ll be picking it up if there is.

I’ll be posting a full review of this soon-ish so I don’t really want to go into it too much here but I found some of the characters kind of annoying and I just wasn’t really invested in the humans or their story. Or the aliens either. It was just a little weird.

Reading Next – 6
I’m thinking my next read will be Because You Love to Hate Me. I’ve wanted to read this ever since I first heard about it. I love retellings and even though I’m not into villains I’m still interested in reading this book. But if there’s some retelling of Snape and how he’s misunderstood you can forget about it. There will be no changing my mind about him.

See, even though I didn’t post do one of these for a week I didn’t manage to read very much. If you have any tips about how to get out of reading slumps then leave me a comment.

What have you read lately?

– Aimee.

Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena.

Title – A Stranger in the House
Author – Shari Lapena
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 304 pages
Publication Date – July 27th 2017 by Bantam Press (imprint of Penguin Random House)
ISBN – 9780593077412
RRP – $37.00 NZD
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making his dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That’s the last thing you remember.

You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car while driving in a dangerous part of town. 

The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend is not so sure. And even you don’t know what yo believe.”

I received a copy of A Stranger in the House from Penguin Random House New ZealandDHEFO2EUAAE0b88 to review. I wasn’t expecting this but I’m so glad I was able to review a copy. I love psychological thrillers.

I’m going to say this now, I was 95% sure that I knew what Karen had done but I couldn’t figure out why. I did think the story Karen told the police was too convenient and there was more going on. But I was not expecting what actually happened at all. The twist to Karen’s story at the end of the book was so good! I did figure out how Brigid’s story was going to end – unless that was all in her head too… I felt like the ending was left open but not enough for a sequel.

I found myself not liking any of the main characters. I think the exception was the detective but he didn’t really count as a main character for me. The ones I’m talking about are Karen, her husband Tom and their neighbour Brigid. They all had their flaws, some more than others, but I just didn’t find any of them likable at all. That normally puts me off a book but for some reason it didn’t with A Stranger in the House. I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Karen and what really happened in that restaurant. But I think it was the twist at the end of the book that really made me not like Karen.

I found some of the writing in this book kind of annoying. I lost count of how many times Tom said ‘the woman I love’ or something similar. And I think he said it more than once on the same page. There was also something Karen kept repeating, to Tom and the police, but it’s kind of a spoiler so I’m not going to put it here. I did read an ARC of A Stranger in the House so that may have changed in the finished copy. It’s not the worst thing to have to read but I did notice every time the characters repeated themselves.

I would definitely recommend this book though. Especially to people who love books that have you guessing the whole way through. I think this is a mystery/thriller so if you enjoy those genres then I’d recommend finding a copy if you haven’t already. I also think fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will like this.

*Thank you Penguin Random House for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.