Monday, April 30, 2018

Book Review: Echoes of Esharam

Echoes of Esharam

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

He only wanted to go home, but first he must save humanity. . .

Delivered at last from the hell that was Bera Nima prison, Darrien Norris basks in a freedom he thought would never arrive. But as he waits for the Transceptor to restore his memories from seventeen years before, he discovers an alien race intent on destroying everything, and everyone, in its path.

Now Norris and his friends must devise a plan in a desperate mission to prevent a galactic catastrophe. Will they succeed? Or will humanity cease to exist—forever.

Book Review:

Thank you to BHC press and the author for gifting me with an eARC. I received this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

Again Robert Davies crafts a beautiful complex story as the reader follows human, Darrien Norris, as he navigates his way around alien planets and back to Earth. This book picks up right where the Specimen 959 left off. I recommend reading them in order as the story continues to build. If you don’t, you will be lost.

What I love most about Robert Davies’ work, is that he is descriptive. I feel like I am there with Norris fighting the bad aliens, traveling on the hyperthread, and trying to save humanity. The world building that Davies does is wonderful, but it does take time to build up. This book is also a long one.

In the first book, there was a lot of action. In the second, Davies focuses on relationship dynamics. It is pretty awesome to watch Norris fall in love and see how that changes him and his significant other. Davies also shows how the different races of aliens interact and how all of humanity finally gets along. That would be awesome if some day there was no war on Earth and everyone lived peacefully.

I also enjoyed the way Davies used science and medical knowledge in the future. There is a section where one of the characters get infected with little machines that affect the way the cells replicate. The use of science in this section I found accurate, and I appreciate that with my medical background.

Overall, Davies did a wonderful job with the second story. Again, it is a long one and best enjoyed on a snowy day! It ended on a cliff hanger so the reader will have to check out the next one. To be honest, I enjoyed this one more than the first book.

It receives a 4 paw rating!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blog Tour: Penance List

The Penance List
This one comes with a warning - a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller - think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone!

Rachels Random Resources
Book Blurb:

What happens when opposites attract - when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force - when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge - when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay - when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder... and he's just getting started!

The David Trilogy


Preview YouTube video S C Cunningham talking about The Penance List 2

Book Review
Holy cow! This book is intense. It is everything that the synopsis promises and more. It's a psychological thriller with a dose of romance and a pinch of suspense.  SC Cunningham expertly weaves a tale that kept me on the edge of my seat and up at night!
The tale follows David as he stalks his prey and then flashes to his childhood where the reader gets glimpses into why he is what he is. He is a character that is so dark and dangerous and yet I felt sorry for him.
Then, we get to meet Tara. The lovely, vivacious Tara. She is unwittingly the target of David's obsession. I enjoyed her character. She made me laugh out loud several times.
There was also a wonderful cast of secondary characters: the hot Franco, loyal Micheal, Irish Seb, and the entertaining Anton. I loved them all. They had great chemistry and fleshed out the story.
The plot was wonderful. It was meticulously crafted to tie all the different story lines together to have one major climax. I have to say the prologue is very intense.
The story also has quite a bit of romance. It seems like everyone is getting some. The scenes are done well. I would recommend reading them in the quiet of a bedroom. Not in a busy coffee shop! Oh la la!
David's  character is seriously messed up. There is rape, murder, bondage, and just overall creepy stuff happening. I definitely did not want to be all alone after reading this!
I enjoyed SC Cunningham's work in The Penance List. It was everything promised and more!!!

Author Bio –
British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates steamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.

She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs. 

SC Cunningham
Social Media Links –
Website        -
Twitter         -

Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Blog Tour: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

Hi fellow readers,

Today, we are a blog tour for The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford. We also have an author interview at the end! Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books tour for having us and giving us an ARC. We enjoyed the experience!

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

Book Blurb:

There's someone out there, and an unforeseen, irresistible connection...

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt's converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father's but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

Love books blog tour

Book Review:

I found myself really enjoying this book. Cherry Radford did an excellent job bringing the story to life. She is very descriptive of the old lighthouse and the surrounding area. I could feel the wind on my face and taste the salt on the air. The same goes for the city of Madrid. I felt the description was realistic!

It took me a while to get into the story. The first part seemed to drag on as most of the dialogue was done through Twitter or whatsapp. I don't use either one so I had a harder time with the conversations. Once I got to the halfway point, I felt the book just flowed easily. The story itself was unique. It ended up being a feel good book.

If you are looking for a fun relaxing read at the beach, I would recommend this one!

Tank and I give it all 4 paws up!!!

Cherry Radford
Cherry Radford was a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet Junior School, a keyboard player in a band, and then a research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. She now lives in Eastbourne and Almeria (Spain). 

Her first two novels, published by Indepenpress, were MEN DANCING (2011) and FLAMENCO BABY (2013). THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER will be published by Urbane Publications in April 2018.

Short Q and A:

Questions about the book:

1. Where did you get the inspiration for the basis of this novel?
The inspiration came from my stranger-than-fiction friendship
with a well-known flamenco guitarist – that started with a
tweet. A year or so of tweets, emails and Skypes later, I was
invited to be on a bilingual radio show with him in Madrid, and
we finally met in person

2. Who was your favourite character to create?
I really enjoyed creating both Santi(ago), who was a glorious
mixture of several flamenco musicians I came to know, and
Imogen’s lighthouse keeper father, who came into my head
after I’d read the late Tony Parker’s wonderful book in which
he interviews many lighthouse keepers and their wives. It was
exciting to relate the book using their points of view as well
as Imogen’s.

3. How long did it take you to finish the Book?
Did you have any unexpected obstacles arise?
It’s difficult to say, as I spent a crazy amount of time doing
research in Beachy Head and Madrid, and can’t remember
when the note-taking stopped and the writing began! It might
have taken about 18 months to finish the first draft.

4. Did you have to cut out any material?
Yes! I like to keep my word count down – long chapters are
annoying for people who want to go to sleep at the end of a
long day.

5. How many unpublished/half-finished works do you have?
Do you have anything that’s going to be published soon?
I have another coastal novel under way, but it’s still at an early

6. Where did the inspiration come for the setting to be at a
lighthouse instead of somewhere else secluded?
I wanted my protagonists to be in contrasting settings:
Santiago is in land-locked Madrid, surrounded by family,
friends and fans, while Imogen is in a coastal location,
surrounded by emotional and physical barriers. I immediately
thought of the Beachy Head area, having known and loved this
beautiful but haunting location for years. The Belle Tout has
been privately owned by a succession of people since its
decommission in 1902, so it didn’t seem unreasonable for her
aunt to own it.

7. Did you write the book first and then the playlist or vice
versus? What inspired you to come up with the playlist?
I found myself playing the music the characters were listening
to when I was trying to get into a scene. At some point it
occurred to me that readers might like to do the same.

Personal questions

1.  When did you know that you wanted to write?
As soon as I could Sellotape pieces of paper together to
make into books, but I was a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet
School and a post-doc researcher at Moorfields Eye Hospital
in London before I came up with an idea for my first novel!

2. How much time/day do you spend writing?
It varies, and even when I’m not physically scribbling or
tapping away at the laptop, I’m often researching, planning,
plotting or hearing dialogue in my head.

3. Who's your favourite author?
Penelope Lively. She writes fascinating stories about the
effect of history and contingency on personal lives, and writes
with elegance, compassion and humour.  

4. What's your favourite colour and why?
I can stand transfixed in front of turquoise blue – I’ve loved it
since a child and have no idea why. When it comes to clothes,
however, I always seem to find myself in dusty pink.

5. What do you do to get yourself in the creative mood to write?
Sit, or better still, lie comfortably with my elasticated leather notebook and its matching pen. Preferably near the sea.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Blog Tour: Ghost

Today, we are on a blog tour for Ghost by Helen Grant with the Love Books Group Blog Tours.


Love books blog tour
Book Blurb:

Langlands House is haunted, but not by the ghost you think.

Augusta McAndrew lives on a remote Scottish estate with her grandmother, Rose. For her own safety, she hides from outsiders, as she has done her entire life. Visitors are few and far between - everyone knows that Langlands House is haunted.

One day Rose goes out and never returns, leaving Augusta utterly alone. Then Tom McAllister arrives - good-looking and fascinating, but dangerous. What he has to tell her could tear her whole world apart.

As Tom and Augusta become ever closer, they must face the question: is love enough to overcome the ghosts of the past?

In the end, Langlands House and its inhabitants hold more secrets than they did in the beginning...


Book Review:

I received this ARC from the author and publisher. Thank you to Love Books tour for having me. This is my honest opinion.

*Ghost* is a thriller that has some romance and a touch of horror. And it really does have some horror.

The reader is introduced to the old Langlands House set out in the beautiful countryside of Scotland. This old house has seen lots of secrets. It's 1945 when we meet Ghost (Augusta) who lives there with her grandmother as they hide out from WWII. The story is told in first person through Ghost's 17 year old eyes. The author artfully describes their daily life on the old manor. I could see myself walking around the grounds with Ghost.

One day, Grandmother has to go to the village to get provisions and never comes back. This is turning point of the story. Tom is introduced when he goes to check out the old house. Then he meets Ghost and turns her world upside down. This is where it gets tricky. There are mysteries from the past to unravel, new feelings to explore, and the future is unknown.

This review was a tough one for me to write as I don't know how I feel about *Ghost*. To me, this book is like a relationship that is really going well but then you get dumped unexpectedly.

I was drawn into the plot as it twisted and turned throughout the story. There were so many surprises that I didn't know what to expect. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was one of those that I thought about it when I wasn't reading!
I fell in love with Tom. He was so normal and unassuming. His character was vibrant, and I felt that I got him.

Now here's the rub. I just couldn't get into Ghost's character. I felt that Ghost was being irrational throughout the story. I wondered if there were underlying mental illness in Ghost, her mother, and grandmother. I just couldn't get myself to like her or her decisions. It was one of these "decisions" that wrecked the ending for me. I just didn't see it coming and then bam! The whole story changed direction. Some people may like it but it wasn't my type of ending.

This book really kept me thinking about the plot and characters long after I finished the book. I just didn't care for the MC or the ending. But you may feel differently!?

Helen Grant
Helen Grant writes thrillers with a Gothic flavour and ghost stories. Her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and won an ALA Alex Award in the US. Her other books include the exciting Forbidden Spaces trilogy.

Helen's latest novel Ghost (Fledgling Press 2018) is set in Perthshire, where she has lived since 2011. When she is not writing, Helen loves to research the lost country houses of Scotland and to visit the sites where possible. Her experiences of exploring these fascinating places inspired her to write Ghost. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: Without Warning

Without Warning

Book Blurb from Amazon:
When you don’t know how the story will end . . .

After years of hard work honing his craft, Blake Morgan is now an international bestselling author. But one thing he never imagined was that his fictional world would become all too real. When a stalker turns Blake’s latest book tour into a treacherous and nearly deadly trap, it’s time for Blake to hire protection. But the body assigned to keep an eye on him is someone he never wants out of his sight . . .

As a bodyguard for Vigilance, the private security agency in Blake’s hometown of Arrowhead Bay, Samantha Quenel has found the perfect outlet for her military experience. But her latest client is also a former high school flame, which might explain her willingness to protect Blake at all costs—even if that means staying in the same room with him, on the same bed, under the same torrid sheets . . .
“Sexy, intelligent, pulse-pounding!” 
—USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb on Deadly Business

“Hide and Seek combines hot romance and thrilling suspense in Desiree Holt’s new sizzling romantic suspense series.”
—Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of the Lucy Kincaid series

“A fast-paced page-turner that makes for a quick and entertaining read.”
—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Book Review:

Thank you to the author for giving me this ARC. This is my honest opinion.

Oh my, this was such a great read. We get to follow as author, Blake Morgan, continues on his book signing tour. Except it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, he has a stalker that is getting more bold and violent as the tour progresses. He turns to Viligance, a security company, to protect him. Out walks his bodyguard, Sam, the girl who he let walk away in high school. Together, they try out maneuver the stalker while determining their feelings towards each other.

This story is suspenseful and thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat (actually up all night). The budding romance was fun to watch between Blake and Sam as they made up for lost time. It was sweet and lovely! This book is part of a series but can definitely be read by itself.
We give this a 4 paw rating. It was fun and engaging. I can't wait to read her work again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

By Nicola May
The Corner shop in cockleberry bay

Brief Synopsis:

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy.  While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he - or she - has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Purchase from –
Amazon US -

Amazon UK -

Amazon CA -

Amazon AU -

Blog tour


This is where you find out how Hot; Rosa’s cute little Dachshund came to be in her care…

Book cover

Chapter 2

Rosa felt butterflies in her stomach as the train pulled into Cockleberry Station. Hot had slept nearly the whole way but was now agitated and whining.
She exited the train as quickly as she could with a heavy suitcase and black bin bag in tow and almost felt the relief herself as her agitated pooch cocked his leg on the edge of a coffee sellers stall.
‘Oi,’ The ginger bearded bloke manning it was not happy. Rosa likened him to a skinny Viking.
‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I should have got out at Exeter but wasn’t sure if we’d have time to get back on again. Let me buy a bottle of water and I’ll wash it down.’
The dishevelled man took in the stranger in front of him. Unruly brown curls stuck out beneath her bright blue bobble hat, neatly framing her small round face. Her well fitted dark jeans, met her black Nike trainers which had seen better days. She had a tiny scar on her left cheek which resembled a miniature bolt of lightning. And, although not wearing a scrap of make-up, she was naturally very pretty.
He smiled. ‘Travelled far then?’
‘Visiting family for Christmas, I guess?’
Blimey, Rosa thought. She’d rather hoped she could enjoy the anonymity that a new town may offer.
‘Yes. Yes. Now I really must be going. Where is the taxi rank, please?’
The bearded man laughed revealing a missing tooth. ‘Taxi rank? I can give you a number for Ralph Weeks. He lives in the bay and does the driving around here. But not sure how busy he will be as no bus runs on a Wednesday to Ulchester. I’m Seb by the way.’ He held out his gloved hand.
‘Rosa, and this is Hot.’
Seb properly belly laughed. ‘Hot... hot dog... that is the funniest name for a dog I think I have ever heard.’
‘Well he is a sausage and I did steal him.’
‘That makes it even funnier. Here, let me ring Ralph for you, he’s already in my phone. You say you stole him?’
‘Long story, but don’t you be phoning the police on me. Or is there none of those in the bay either?’
‘You’re learning fast, Rosa.’ He held the phone to his ear. ‘No answer. Look I’m freezing and was about to finish up anyway. Maybe I can give you a lift?’
It was already four ‘o’ clock and dark, and feeling cold and tired herself, she agreed.
‘If you can just drop me at The Ship Inn that would be lovely.’
With passengers and luggage safely on board, Seb shouted over the obviously blown exhaust of his old white van. ‘Not a limo I’m afraid, but it gets me from A to B.’ With Rosa supporting his little body, Hot craned to see what was going on.
‘An absence of street lights here too then?’
Seb laughed. ‘Yep, a torch is definitely your friend down here. I know every broken paving slab and bump in the road now. Although the council do make the effort with a few Christmas lights, which we’ll get to in a minute.’
Rosa tried to locate the corner shop as they made their way down a narrow street, but the address was in her bag and she didn’t want to make it obvious to Seb that she was looking out for anything. It was her business and she wanted to keep it that way; for the moment anyway.
 Turning into another narrow street, she smiled as she saw quirky gift shops, a bakery and a butcher’s shop, all decorated beautifully for the festive period.  As all she had ever known was the hustle and bustle of town life and it was almost like going back in time to her. She noticed a couple, swinging their child by his arms and then bundling into one of the cafes displaying an impressive array of cakes in the half steamed up window.
She had never really known normal family life as such. Her real mum had been an
alcoholic, evidently, and there wasn’t a father named on her birth certificate.  The story was that at six months, despite every effort her mum made to look after her, social services had still taken her away.
And then there was Maureen and Len, who after having no luck bearing children themselves had fostered her with a view to adoption. Tragically, Maureen was diagnosed with terminal cancer when Rosa was just six years old and Len was unable to cope with a young child and a dying wife. Then began an unstable journey of children’s homes and foster carers. There were a couple of ‘almost’ adoptions along the way, but with Rosa being such a troubled child, nobody had been willing to take her on permanently.
Rosa sighed and nursed Hot into her lap. Being honest, her dysfunctional, blow job (only when drunk) relationship, with Josh, plus the recent acquisition of Hot had been the nearest to feeling happy that she had ever felt and now she had given that up to.
But giving up was a common occurrence for Rosa. She didn’t tolerate fools. Seb looked over to her. ‘That was a big sigh. We are nearly there, just around this corner and The Ship will be in front of us.’
As they rounded the corner, Rosa noticed it. The shop. Lit by the van’s headlights, it had an interesting curved frontage. Turquoise paint was peeling from the worn front door where a battered looking CLOSED sign was still turned out. In faded writing, above the beautiful curved windows were the words, The Corner Shop.  Rosa also seeing a flat above the shop felt a surge of excitement. It that was part of the package, then suddenly the whole thing didn’t seem such a bad idea.
‘What a shame.’ Rosa said softly.
‘The Corner Shop you mean?’
‘It’s been shut for about five years now. Used to be a little goldmine.’
‘What did it sell?’
‘Everything and anything, really. It was a real favourite with locals and tourists alike. Bit of a mystery actually, as old Mr Myers who ran it, literally worked until he couldn’t negotiate the steep steps up to the flat anymore.’
‘Aw, bless him, but why a mystery?’…

About The Author:

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.

She won Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance for The School Gates and Christmas Evie, in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials - but is not so keen on aubergines.

You can learn more about Nicola and her other books here:

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Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review:

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Rachel's Random Resources for this ARC. This is my honest opinion.

When I had gotten the email about a blog tour for this book, I knew I just had to read it. Why you may ask? Well, Rosa has her very own Dachshund named Hot. As a Dachshund lover, I just had to give it a go. (Tank's a Dachshund, too. He is just bigger and hairier than most 😁)

We weren't disappointed. The book is set in Cockleberry Bay where everyone knows everything about everyone. Yet there are still secrets being kept that will turn this little town upside down. 

The biggest surprise is when Rosa inherits the corner shop and moves in from London. Rosa thinks she is pretty worldly because she has had to fend for herself since she was a little girl. It was interesting to watch her open up and develop new meaningful relationships. 
Rosa herself was a tough one to like. Besides being a dog lover, she had made some shaky decisions in the beginning that I couldn't get behind. But she grew on me as the story unfolded.

The story itself had lots of twists and turns. Some of them were easy to see coming and some were unexpected.  Overall, I had an enjoyable experience reading it. It was one of those books that left me pondering about it for the rest of the day.


It definitely gets a 4 paw rating as it had suspense, romance, character growth, and of course a Dachshund!

Trigger warning: This book touches on rape and alcoholism.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Guest Review from Who Needs Sleep?

Today we have a guest review from Annalise from Who Needs Sleep book blog. Check her out! She reads some awesome books that make you think. Thank you Annalise for the review today!

in other lands blue ribbonfive stars Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

  Buy Now from Indiebound 
   In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan is probably my favorite book I’ve read this year. So if you plan on reading just one of the books I’ve recommended this year, read this. First I have to give a disclaimer. I was not intrigued by the plot summary. A boy discovers that he can see the Borderlands, a place where humans and mythical creatures live side by side. Yawn. Read it before. However here is what I didn’t factor in to the book, that I wouldn’t give a shit about the plot. That’s right. Sarah Rees Brennan has created a book where the characters are so amazing, hilarious, and wonderful that the plot could literally be about a sparkly vampire named Tedward Mullen for all I care.


Okay, where to start. Well, first there is Elliot, the main character. Unlike many novels, the main character is the best character. He is a freaking hilarious idiot genius with an IQ of about 180 and an EQ (Emotional intelligence) of about 60. Optimistically. He doesn’t play mind games, or use tactful diplomacy to get what he wants (until he learns to properly flirt with the elves), he just says what he thinks, and that’s that. So why is everyone mad at him all the time? Elliot breaks stereotypes, and he breaks them with a bang. In a world where children are taken to the borderlands to valiantly defend the border against ruffians, Elliot wants nothing to do with fighting and swords, and instead chooses to try and become a diplomat in a land where everyone thinks battles are much more useful than treaties. Did I mention that Elliot has no social grace whatsoever? Yeah, it’s great.

 Secondly, his sexuality. Without spoiling anything, Elliot’s approach to the people he likes is the best, and reminds me of a friend I have from college. The novel spans several years, and as everyone else is struggling with identity, and love, Elliot is all “Guys? What’s the problem? If they’re hot, what’s the issue?” This is not to say he doesn’t have relationship drama of his own.

Which leads me to another point, the nerdy, pacifist, abrasive, socially stunted kid is a floozy, and proud of it. Like I said, this book basically runs on breaking stereotypes. In fact, the summary of the book should be, “In a mystical land where battles and brawn are prized above all, one tiny nerdy asshole arrives to destroy every stereotype with vigor and sass.”

 And speaking of stereotypes, Sarah Rees Brennan appears have taken all her hatred of tropes and thrust them into this book with vigor and aplomb. The elves see women as fierce warriors who see blood every month, and are hardened for battle, and the men are gentle virtuous flowers. And, hilariously, some of their reasoning makes sense, although they sure are sexist jerks about it. Some of the golden haired champions of the land live in an open marriage including inter-species cavorting. Really, this idyllic, predictable fairytale land isn’t very predictable after all.

.cards against humanity.png        

 Also, while this book and deep, and emotional, and gratifying, it is also unbelievably hilarious. Like that moment Elliot, because he's a floozy, gets everyone attacked by a unicorn (they only like virgins) and everyone has to hide in a tree and reflect on their sluttiness until they track down the one person in the troupe who is still a virgin. All the while Elliot is lecturing the unicorn on disgusting, outdated concepts of purity and everyone is trying to get him to just stay in the tree and shut up because the unicorn is super scary.

 In case you couldn’t tell I can’t recommend this book highly enough. In fact, when I went back to the book, a week after I finished it, to find inspiration for this review, I found myself reading the entire thing again. A week after I finished the book. It’s that good. So give In Other Lands a shot. I promise you, you won’t regret it. bloodyUnicorn.jpg


Dear Book Blog Friends, It is with a sad and heavy heart that Tank and I are no longer going to be book blogging, exclusively. Life h...