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Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her- with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in paid in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news was that Annie was a nurse and had pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.

This was my Book Club pick for October, I remember championing it in the debate over which book to read- I wanted a spooky read for October and thought that this might be creepy enough to fit the brief. Had this not been for book club, I would have DNF’d this book by the 50 page mark. I did not enjoy it at all and I gave it 1 star on Goodreads, my 1 star rating sits among my friends’ 5 star ratings which is amusing to me. I’d never read a Stephen King book before, I was gifted The Institute so I will be reading another one…I’m just not so sure if I’ll be buying anymore after that, time will tell.

Unfortunately I felt that this book was really slow moving. By the end of Part One, it felt like very little had happened despite 120 pages having passed. I found myself feeling quite bored and had to force myself to continue reading this as I knew that if I put it down, it would be a struggle to pick it back up.

This book had some problematic language in it, it was written in the 80s but I don’t think that is an excuse. The book keeps referring to Annie’s appearance which really is neither here nor there, she’s an awful person so it doesn’t matter that she’s fat and not pretty. Would the book have been different had she been skinny and gorgeous?

There was a bit in the middle which was interesting, when Paul found Annie’s Memory Book. I really enjoyed that bit but it was a small moment of enjoyable within a larger period of…just feeling underwhelmed.

I had to skip the gory pages because I flat out refused to read that part. Nope, it wasn’t happening. I’m an adult and this wasn’t homework so I skipped a couple of pages and feel no guilt about it at all.

The story of Mercy within the novel was, to me, more interesting that the actual novel. Which I think speaks volumes about my enjoyment of this book.

With hindsight, I probably should have DNF’s this book and read something that I actually enjoyed but I do like being able to join in the discussion at book group, it will be an interesting chat!

I know a lot of people absolutely love this book, which is cool. It just really wasn’t for me

Reviews, Uncategorized

Witches Steeped in Gold

Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.

This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes

This book took be 56 days to finish. For me, that is a really, really long time for me to take to finish a book. I just didn’t feel compelled to pick it up. Usually I would just take this as a sign to DNF a book but I did want to know how it ended. This may be due to the book being YA and I am not a young adult (even if my mum thinks I am), so I know I’m not the target audience. I do, however, read a lot of YA and usually have a good time doing so.

This book had chapters that alternated between Iraya and Jazmyne. I love multiple POVs in a book, so I really enjoyed that element of the book. The chapters themselves felt very slow until the end when it sped up and I was living my best life with the last 4 chapters which were absolutely fantastic! I was so glad that I kept reading the book for those final chapters.

The characters were very well developed. Iraya was my favourite of the two main characters, Jazmyne just felt a bit bland. Although with her mother, that was totally justified. This book and a lot of characters and it was quite easy to get confused with who was on and on what side

It felt like so much happened off the page. There was a tournament, The Yielding, that was happening during the novel and kept being referred to e.g. so and so perished during The Yielding, or so and so won The Yielding… however we didn’t get any chapters on The Yielding itself. The stakes were made clear but it would have been interesting to know a little about what was going on. I always find it odd in a book when things happen off page and the characters discuss them while reader me is sitting wondering what was going on.

I was pretty confused by the world building, I would have loved a map!

The rules surrounding magic were really interesting and I don’t think I’ve read anything with rules quite like in this book. I really liked that there were such restrictions as it meant that they couldn’t just use magic, they had to use more cunning.

I’m a 35 year old lady so perhaps a younger adult than me may absolutely love this and I do hope that is the case. This is the first book in a series and I won’t be continuing with this series, I just didn’t enjoy the book enough to return to it but if someone wants to read it and give me a breakdown of what happened, that would be smashing

Reviews, Uncategorized

An Invitation to Murder

Frank Renfield, Baron Renfield of Renfield Hall, will go to any lengths to preserve his noble heritage. Along with his fiercely determined wife Carole, he concocts a plan to marry their daughter to Karl Langer, a young American millionaire- a union that will solve all Frank’s urgent problems. Unfortunately for her parents, Jessica is in love with Alan Lavender, a handsome, but crude young man. When Alan’s uncle is found murdered, suspicion immediately falls on Frank as a result of his uneasy relationship with the man. The Renfields throw a lavish birthday party for Carole, but the evening is tainted when Alan is killed and a young man shoots himself dead. And things take a sharp turn for the worse when another, unconnected, murder is laid at Frank’s door. Can Frank prove his innocence? An will the murderer be caught before they strike again?

This book was previously published under the title of Tongued by Fire

I love a murder mystery set within a grand, old house. This murder mystery really delivered on both the murder and the mystery. There were multiple murders and mysteries both past and present. There was so much going on in this book and I was strapped in for the ride.

I deliberated between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. If half stars existed, it would have been a 3.5 star read for me, I rounded down on this occasion but it was still an enjoyable read and I will be keeping a lookout for more murder mysteries by Norman Russell.

The timeline of this book was rather confusing. There was a tech millionaire and reference to Windows 10 but also there were extremely dated attitudes to dating, sexuality, and a lot of old fashioned dialogue (although I do love the use of the world ‘valise’ when referring to an overnight bag). Plus when a young girl told the police that her father beat her, the police didn’t react…surely that would have warranted an investigation into the child’s safety? This book was set in 2017, I honestly think that the book would have been far more enjoyable were it set in the 1950s , obviously with the tech millionaire having made the wealth elsewhere

So many of the characters were just awful which exactly what I want from my murder mysteries since unpleasant characters make for good victims. Lord and Lady Renfield were awful and just plain mean for no reason. They were also abusive and had acted terribly with zero repercussions and were aghast that suddenly their actions had consequences. Karl was so boring and his obsession with aristocracy was borderline creepy. I rolled my eyes almost every time he had some dialogue! The less said about the Karl/Jessica romance, the better. It was completely unbelievable for that to have happened in 2017.

Jean was absolutely adorable! We all need a Jean in our lives because she just loved the bones of Jessica. Jessica was just a limp lettuce of a character despite her initial fire, it was good having Jean look after her because she very much needed it. Noel and Chloe were so fun too, I’d love to read more about their investigations and their relationship. Detectives are always enjoyable to read about!

I don’t want to give any spoilers but there were a lot of moments in this book where I actually gasped because they were so surprising, in a very good way.

Thank you to NetGalley and Joffe Books who provided me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Genevieve Undead

Dark and terrible secrets may be found lurking within the cities of the Old World and the savage wilderness that surrounds them. Genevieve Dieudonne, vampire heroine of Drachenfels, battles to outwit adversaries both magical and mundane, human and beast, in this series of three linked novellas: Stage Blood, The Cold Stark House and Unicorn Ivory.

This is the second book/collection of novellas in the Vampire Genevieve series- the series contains 4 books, 2 of which are collections of novellas so I’m half way through the series and I’m loving it! Genevieve Undead, please accept your 5 star rating from me.

I’m really enjoying this series, no matter how hard it is for me to imagine the Warhammer world before ‘the end of days’! The idea of a Warhammer world with a theatre and country piles is just mind boggling to me…I play with a Nighthaunt army so when I think of a Warhammer world, I usually think of graveyards or ruins. It was really nice getting reading historical fiction for a fictional world that I play in. What a strange sentence to write!

It’s only fair to review each novella individually, so here we go:

Stage Blood took place in the theatre with a mysterious being in the theatre and a mask that possessed people. That may seem strange but it worked so well as it all took place alongside the production of a controversial play. This novella was full of the drama of the stage but with the additional issue of some unknowns that may or may not be up to no good

This book also touched upon how it feels to be in your thirties and feel replaced by the young ingenue, I’m in my mid thirties and found that totally relatable…I did not expect that from a Warhammer book!

The Cold Stark House picked up where the last novella ended and takes place in a creepy Manor House in a creepy forest. I am a huge sucker for a creepy Manor House AND a creepy forest so this story was my favourite of the three. This story revolved around a wealthy family arguing over inheritance but there was a twist that completely changed the story. Genevieve was more of a supporting character in this book and there were so many characters but it was relatively easy to keep track of who was who…even if they didn’t know how they were related to each other. This story featured a lot of hilarity at the expense of ridiculous wealthy people and I enjoyed it thoroughly

Unicorn Blood took place in another Manor House, not so creepy this time, but still had creepy undertones and a forest. There were also unicorns in this story.

This story felt like it had oodles of character development despite being so short in length.

I found myself hoping for Genevieve to go full red mist vampire because the majority of the characters in this novella were awful! It worked so well because they were horrible, if they were pleasant then it would have been a really different story and I’m not sure if I’d have loved it quite as much.

I’m so excited to read the rest of this series, my boyfriend has the omnibus collection but I may also nip into my local Warhammer shop to pick up the next book and novella collection because I love an excuse to buy more books!

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Friend Request

Maria Weston wants to be friends with me.

Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me but I let her down.

She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight.

Maria Weston wants to be friends.

But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.

Maria Weston wants to be friends with me.

Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me, but I let her down.

She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight

Maria Weston wants to be friends.

But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.

I saw this book in a charity shop ages ago and it sounded amazing and perfect for spooky season so I put it aside for October.

This book exceeded my expectations! I loved it. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads as I could not fault it

I’m never sure if I’m a thriller person and I both am and am not. When it comes to thrillers, I either love them or hate them and I loved this one. Five stars for you!

This book hooked me right away. It switched between events in 1989 and the present day (for this book, that was 2016). I really enjoyed flipping back between the incidents that happened in the past and the impact that they were having in the current day

The school days felt real, so real, uncomfortably real. I went to high school in the early 2000s but I still think it would be nostalgic for a many people. I related to Esther a lot. I think a lot of people reading this could find a character that was relatable to their high school self which I think made this book even more chilling as it felt so real.

I did not see the twist coming. Not at all. I am so bad for trying to guess the twist but this was so well done.

This book showed how some people coped with long lasting guilt and how that guilt can have very different knock on effects

I enjoyed this book so much and would highly recommend this to anyone who fancies a thriller, especially one that makes you remember those awkward days of high school

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The Waking Forest

In the peculiar quiet of the absolute dark, I sit up in bed, cross-legged, wondering if it was a mistake to come here.
Wondering if, maybe, even this darkness cannot help me escape myself

I’m so deep in these thoughts that it takes me a few minutes to notice it: the darkness, breathing. The dark itself is breathing.
Someone is breathing in the darkness.
I don’t know which frightens me more.
It’s exactly like in my dreams, except now I’m awake. Holding my own breath, I hear it: long drag in, short whoosh out.
And again…
And again.

This was the other book that I purchased on my quest to find a really good, creepy read featuring a forest. I had a lot of success with this book and gave it 4 stars on Goodreads

The book was split into two parts- part one flipped between the story of a girl and her family in modern day, and a witch in a creepy forest in a dreamworld. Part two was entirely about a witch in a magical world. I enjoyed almost all of part two and half of part one as I didn’t like the modern day storyline-the characters just felt like they were quirky for the sake of quirky but had very little of interest about them. But the parts with the witch? I loved them!

This book had fairy tales within a fairy tale, I love a fairy tale-re-telling or original, I love them all! Fair tale-ception, if it’s not a thing, it should be a thing because it was marvellous.

I really enjoyed the quest that took place in the second part, it was very exciting and very much reminded me of quests in Dungeons & Dragons, but without the Kobolds. This book included a myriad of mythical creatures that added to the excitement

The big battle was truly quite thrilling although fizzled at the end but I’m ok with that. It felt a little abrupt but was explained in a believable way

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think I will be adding this to my ‘TBR in October’ pile as it’s perfect for a creepy read. I’m not really into being scared, I’m a huge wuss and I did find some parts of this book to be quite scary which was fun because it’s October and it felt appropriate for the season

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The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

Tim Burton- the creative genius behind Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attacks! and Nightmare Before Christmas, among others- now gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children: misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and tragedy of these hopeful, yet hapless beings.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book but it definitely wasn’t a book that I could finish in the time that it took me to eat my breakfast. This tickled me!

This book was filled with very short stories, there could be an argument for them being poems as opposed to stories but I’m not here to determine what sort of a read it was. I’m just here to say how I felt about the book and I loved it. It was short, I finished the book within 20 minutes but it was powerful and emotional, it stuck with me for the rest of the day.

The illustrations in the book went perfectly with the short stories and they were gorgeous pieces of art. They were a beautiful accompaniment to the dark tales.

I’m really not a spooky/creepy book reader, NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY, but this book was the right kind of creepy for me. Tim Burton is whimsical and I’m a whimsy aficionado and I loved it.

This book is the perfect creepy read for someone who wants a. a really quick, short read, and b. A spooky read that isn’t too scary (if you’re like me and hate being scared but still want to join in with the October fun)

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Dreadful Company

Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations.

When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive surgery and skin disease in bogeymen — and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera.

Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires — and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men’s bones.

This was the second book in the Greta Helsing series and while I did really enjoy it, I enjoyed the first book more. I gave Strange Practice 4 stars so this one got 3, but that 3 is more like a 3.5 because this book was fun.

The book took place in Paris which is the easiest way to get me interested in a book. It included vampires and a female lead…three things I love in a book.

Greta Helsing was an enjoyable protagonist as they’re independent and intelligent, they are loyal but also cautious (because first book things happened)

The vampire gang in this book were so interesting to read about plus, their love of body glitter rivals my own! I loved getting to learn about the hierarchy of these vampires and getting to know some of the gang. I really enjoyed the nods to the previous book and existing characters in the Greta Helsing universe and getting the full back story behind this gang.

This book had love, revenge, vampires, glitter, rescue missions and bureaucracy. There was a lot happening

There were fluffy little gremlin type creatures in this book which made me squeal with delight. I enjoy mythical creatures and cute things and this book provided them.

The only reason I enjoyed this book less was just that there were parts that felt a bit too slow and the flow of the book felt like it stopped.

There was a very slow burning romance that I very much enjoyed. This book was so easy to read and just a a really enjoyable time. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Uncategorized


This book was so amazing that it was chosen as my favourite book of October aka Caley’s Book Recommendation of the Month That Nobody Asked For

Isolated in a remote mansion in a Central European forest, Laura longs for companionship- until a carriage accident brings another young woman into her life: the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmella. As Carmilla’s actions become more puzzling and volatile, Laura develops bizarre symptoms, and as her health goes into decline, Laura and her father discover something monstrous.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s compelling tale of a young woman’s seduction by a female vampire was a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which it predates by over a quarter century.

This book is so super short at 139 pages but so much was included in these pages. I gave this book 5 stars and have added it to my list of books that I want to reread and it’s swooped (flapped it’s vampire wings?) onto my list of favourite classics.

In this book a mysterious stranger comes to stay at the mansion where Laura and her father live. Laura’s loneliness is so apparent throughout the start of the book. She is so dreadfully desperate for companionship. Despite the blurb telling me that Carmilla was a vampire didn’t stop me from rooting for their relationship, I wanted those two to just be happy but vampire novels rarely give the vampire a happy ending. They really should…maybe I shouldn’t have been rooting for the vampire

In this book the ‘big bad’ vampire is a young and beautiful aristocrat who seems so frail. I absolutely adored the vampire being so different to what I expected from a vampire. I do love vampire books so will happily read the classic wealthy vampire dude in a castle books (Dracula is still one of my favourite classics) I just loved the unexpected vampire appearance. It really helped to show how strong she was despite appearing so frail.

This book also had the most perfect description of an orgasm ever: My heart beat faster, my breathing rose and fell rapidly; then came a sobbing that rose into a sense of strangulation and turned into a dreadful convulsion, in which my senses left me and I became unconscious. Oh my! There were some beautifully romantic parts of this book and I really grew invested. The writing in this book was just exquisite and so beautiful. I could have read this book again straight after finishing it.

It’s so hard to believe that this book was first published in 1871 as it didn’t feel dated at all. Despite being so short in length, this book managed to make me feel such strong feelings for the characters, I even shed a little tear (only a little one).

I really enjoy vampire books and books with a strong female lead and this book gave me both. I highly recommend this book to everyone. EVERYONE! It’s glorious. Please read it and then we can talk about it

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In the Night Wood

Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Woods, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin- a descendant of the author- inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside

But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted- by echos of the stories in the house’s library by sighting of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.

I gave this book 1 lonely little star on Goodreads and that star was entirely due to the fairy tale within this book. I give no stars to the rest of the book. This may seem harsh but I promise that this was more than fair.

I bought this book as I fancied a spooky read featuring a forest and I was interested in the fairy tale elements of this book but this book grossly under delivered. This book had so much potential, which made it even more disappointing.

I seriously wonder if the author has ever visited England or even done a little research on England because the book read as if somebody had watched Downton Abbey and decided that that was enough research. I am not English, I’m Scottish but I have visited Yorkshire a lot. I have played roller derby in many sports halls within the Yorkshire area. The inaccuracies just annoyed me and took me completely out of the fantasy and I just could not enjoy the book. On more than one occasion, the main character drinks multiple pints of craft beer then drives home…way over the drink driving limit Charlie boy.

The biggest crime that this book committed was that it referred to Toad in the Hole as a game that was apparently played at Hollow House… I hope that game involves eating sausages within Yorkshire pudding.

If you aren’t from the UK, you could probably love this book. It was just too hard for me to believe the setting as there were so many errors. If the book were set in a non-disclosed location and Toad in the Hole wasn’t mentioned, it could maybe have earned a second star.

It was a struggle to believe that the book was set in the modern day as the dialogue with the staff at the house and in the village was very dated and unrealistic for me. The little hardware shop was like stepping through a time warp. This just didn’t work for me.

Charles was a terrible human being. Maybe he did purposely drink and drive? He was the only character that really got some development, his character became more and more awful. All of the other characters were very one dimensional, and similarly named, it was difficult to actually care about them.

The fairytale was really enjoyable though. I’d have read an entire book on that. I do think I’d try another book by this author based entirely on the fairy tale

Ultimately, I just was so disappointed by this book but it was also really not for me. I could have liked it if it was set in a different time and location and with different characters…so, if it were a different book