Reviews, Vlogs

Legends and Lattes

I had such a delightful time with this book

Finally! I finished a book this year and I loved it. It took me a while to get into my reading groove for 2023 and I’m so glad that this was my first read of the year. What a start!

I got this book in my office Secret Santa last year and I’ve been looking forward to reading it ever since. Yes, I was my own Secret Santa and I chose well because I had a brilliant time with this book.

I can see me reading this book over and over as it was such a comforting and cosy read. The hype definitely was real with this book!

Reviews

Killers of a Certain Age

They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman–and a killer–of a certain age.

I was originally a little bit apprehensive going into this book. I love a book with strong female characters but I don’t read a lot of assassin/secret agency books. I was very pleasantly surprised and I had a great time with this one!

I had been very excited to read this one as I am a sucker for a female led story and female friendship.

I really enjoyed the characters. The main characters were 60 year old women and I felt that their interactions were so reminiscent of when I’d see my mum chat to her friends. I really appreciated that the characters weren’t described as being wee old ladies! They had known each other for 40 years and when they got together they somewhat regressed and silly in jokes and their dynamic felt very realistic. I was so worried that they’d be described as being a bit doddery and delicate as so often happens when people write older characters but these characters worked for me.

I do feel like I kept forgetting one of the main characters as there was a bit of development that I felt was lacking. There was the main character, there was the woman who was mourning her husband and was ready to retire, the other two characters merged into one. I kept forgetting there were four main characters and not three.

The story was told through dual timeline. I love a dual timeline! We flipped between a modern day setting where the women were being hunted down and were unsure who to trust and 1979/80. In the flashback sections, I got to learn about the society and how the women were recruited and trained.

I could have happily read an entire book about the founding of the Sphinxes! I wish there were more flashbacks.

There was a betrayal on this book and it felt very obvious who was behind it. I also felt that I saw the twist coming very early on. This disappointed me a little as I think the book could have gone down a different route and done something shocking to the plot.

I really enjoyed this though. I enjoyed the characters, mature female friendship, and women using their skills to win the day. I enjoyed the way that they put their years of work to good use and were forced to work without their usual resources. I highly recommend this one!

Reviews

Goldilocks

The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.

The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.

But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages so I am so happy that it finally got a time to shine. This book did indeed shine! I gave this book five stars and I was so sad that there is no 6/5 rating or a wee gold star I can add because five stars felt inadequate.

I have been saying for so long that I want to read more sci-fi. Sci-fi and fantasy are my favourite genres (along with Murder mysteries) but for whatever reason, I haven’t found myself reaching for a sci-fi book for a long time. I know the reason, I read a bad one and I got scared of reading another unfulfilling space romp. This book was the perfect reintroduction to sci-fi. This was more a sci-fi thriller than pure sci-fi, which I wasn’t expecting but it was a pleasant surprise.

I felt instantly drawn into the action. From the first chapter I was hooked and felt invested in the mission. This was a very fast paced story and it felt like no words were wasted, everything felt relevant.

I loved the characters. Of the characters on the ship; there were five of them and they were all strong, smart, and capable women. If there’s one thing I want in my novels, it’s a strong female character. These women were the best in their fields but because of the way the world was, they lost out due purely to being female. We got a look into the characters’ backstories and I really felt like I got to know them all and care about them.

Straight away there was an element of doubt. I wasn’t sure if there was someone being sneaky or whether it was the whole space ship thing that made me suspicious. I loved not being sure!

The stakes in this plot were high. As a human, what could be higher than the fate of the earth and humanity itself? The world didn’t feel too unrealistic a version of our own. This book really gave a picture of what could happen to the world if we don’t start treating her better. This book also came out around about the time of the current pandemic so it was really interesting having a book that referenced it. This may be the first novel I’ve read that mentioned it.

I was so excited reading about the theft of the spaceship and about space travel. This was more of a realistic space travel story than I’m used to so it was really interesting to learn some things along the way.

The attitude of the world towards women made me so angry! That women were to just make one baby and not have any career just infuriated me. If this is your choice then I wholeheartedly support that but it was the fact that choice had been removed, that is what annoyed me. This book actually had some foreshadowing to events happening right now. Maybe I read a psychic book?

The chapters flitted between times and locations but this didn’t feel disorienting. While one chapter could be in space and the next in Scotland, they tied in really well or provided an explanation. This aided to the fast pace of the novel.

I absolutely loved this book and it’s reignited my love of sci-fi! I also have heard that this author has written some fantasy which I will be looking up. I’m so happy to have found this book. It was so scary to think that this could happen!

Blog, Vlogs

Most Anticipated Reads of 2022

I absolutely love a pre-order! I have a terrible habit of forgetting that I’ve pre-ordered books and then get surprise post. I like to look at it as gifts from me of the past. Despite only being less than 3 weeks into the new year, I already have 5 pre-orders that I’m waiting for and am very excited about.

While I love ordering books so that I can receive them on their date of publication, I’m really bad at actually reading them in a timely manner. In fact, 7 of my 22 Books That I Want to Read in 2022 were pre-orders that I just never got around to reading. Who knows if that will be the case with the releases that I’m currently very excited about, only time will tell!

I am going to be honest and say that this list will grow as the year progresses because release dates are announced regularly and I fully expect to make more pre-orders in weeks to come. I’ve got a few sequels that I’m hoping will be announced soon and then I will definitely be ordering those too.

I’ve recorded a vlog where I tell you all about the 5 new releases that I’m ridiculously excited about

I’d love to know any preorders that you’ve made so that I can feel better about making so many so early in the year! What other new releases should be on my radar?

The books and their UK release dates as at the upload date of this post:

The Christie Affair- Nina de Gramont

20 January 2022

The Paris Apartment- Lucy Foley*

3 March 2022

The Thursday Murder Club 3- Richard Osman

15 September 2022

This Wicked Fate – Kalynn Bayron

21 June 2022

Young Mungo- Douglas Stewart

14 April 2022

*please note that I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley last year, in exchange for an honest review. I was not obliged to include this book in any video, I just really loved it and am excited to own it