WWW Wednesday: 26th April 2017

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingLegion (Talon, #4)

I started reading Legion by Julie Kagawa yesterday so I’m only around 15% in. It’s the fourth book in her Talon series and it’s off to a good start. It’s pretty much impossible to talk about without spoilers for the previous books in the series so I’ll just say it’s a YA fantasy about dragons and leave it there. I’ve had mixed views of Kagawa’s books in the past but I’ve been enjoying this series (and her Blood Of Eden series too). I am a little bit wary though as the last book had one of the most edge of the seat endings ever. I have a horrible feeling this could be the same and I’m not sure I can take it.

On audio I’m still listening to Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost. It’s the fourth and final book in her Night Prince series and I have been absolutely loving it. There are just so many bits that make me laugh out loud.


Recently Finished

Want You Gone (Jack Parlabane, #8)Things have gotten really busy at work again so I only managed to finish two books this week, the first of which was Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre. Want You Gone is the 8th book in his Jack Parlabane series about an investigative journalist. While it is part of a series it could be read as a standalone as each book has a different story and theme. This time Parlabane is pulled into the world of cyber crime and industrial espionage when a hacker he’s used as a source calls and asks for his help.

This was a great story. It has a really clever and well thought out plot that doesn’t get too techie despite involving hacking. It was also good to have Jack back in a more prominent role than in the previous book in the series as he’s a great character. Without giving too much away, if you like an Ocean’s Eleven style heist in your books you’ll like this. You can read my full review here.More Than This

The other book finished this week was More Than This by Patrick Ness. This was actually a re read as I’d previously read it back in August last year. I’d picked it for real life book club (I was put on the spot and it was the first book I thought of) and it turned out to be a really good choice. All of the books we’ve read so far have been either literary fiction or crime so it was good to shake things up with something completely different. Not everyone liked it (the word “nonsense” may have been used by one person) but it definitely generated a lot of discussion. Personally I think I enjoyed it more on the second reading.


Reading Next

I went to see Stuart MacBride at a book signing last week so I’m more keen than ever to read his latest book  A Dark so Deadly. He’s one of my favourite authors and I know a few people have already read this and loved it so it’s one I’m looking forward to. I’m also going to try and make a dent on my TBR with one or more of the following books.

A Dark So DeadlyWintersongHoliday in the Hamptons  (From Manhattan with Love #5)Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)

Have you read any of the books above or have any other book you’d recommend? Leave comments and links below and I’ll respond when I can.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!!

Teaser Tuesday: 25th April 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


I’ve literally just finished a re read so I’ve been a bit undecided over which book to use for a teaser this week. As I don’t want to flick through one of my upcoming reads for fear of coming across spoilers I think I’ll go for one of my favourite reads Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson. I’m not sure what it is about this book but it just makes me happy.


My Teaser

We go through a door with a ‘DO NOT ENTER’ sign on it.

“But it says-” Kristy starts.

“If it’s not locked, then they don’t really mean it,” Cora replies bluntly.

~ 73% Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson


BlurbKnow Not Why

Howie gets a job at Artie Kraft’s Arts ‘N Crafts hoping to score with his lady coworkers. After all, girls love a sensitive guy, and what’s more sensitive than dedicating your life to selling yarn and … stuff? (Okay, so maybe it’d be a good idea to actually learn what one sells at an arts ‘n crafts store.) But things don’t go exactly according to plan. Coworker #1 is Cora: tiny, much-pierced, and way too fierce to screw with in any sense. Coworker #2 is Kristy: blonde, bubbly, unattainable perfection. And Coworker #3 is, well, Arthur. It goes without saying that he’s not an option. Right?

… Right?

Yeah, Howie’s life just got straight up confusing.

Pun intended.

#BlogTour Review: Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre @cbrookmyre @LittleBrownUK

Want You Gone (Jack Parlabane, #8)

Title: Want You Gone

Author: Chris Brookmyre

Release Date: 20th April 2017

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Want You Gone, the latest in Chris Brookmyre’s Jack Parlabane series.

He’s one of my favourite authors and yet again he’s written a cracking thriller, this time involving hacking, corporate espionage and fraud. If you’re looking for an intelligent and fast paced story with lots of twists and turns this is definitely a book I’d recommend.


Blurb

What if all your secrets were put online?

Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive.

Who would you turn to?

Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything.

What would you be capable of?

Thrown together by a mutual enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise – and might be each other’s only hope


My Review

Jack’s back!!! I was so excited to receive a copy of this book from NetGalley and even more excited to be invited to participate in the blog tour. Chris Brookmyre has been one of my favourite authors for many years so I knew I would love it before I’d read anything about it and I wasn’t wrong.

This is the 8th book in the Jack Parlabane series but could easily be read as a standalone if you haven’t picked up any of the previous books. Each book tends to have a different theme and this time it’s venturing into the world of cyber crime, hacking and industrial espionage.

The story begins with Jack finally starting to get his life back on track after the mistakes of his past with the opportunity for a new start in a new job as an investigative reporter for an online news site. This is the chance he needs to restore his reputation but to get it he has to reach out to a shady contact from his past who can give him an exclusive insight into the attack on a major bank by a group of hackers. However, while “friends don’t keep score” this old contact is definitely looking for something in return.

Meanwhile in a story that seems initially unrelated, teenager Sam Morpeth is struggling. Her mum is in jail and she has been left to look after her younger sister who has learning difficulties. Her benefits have been cut, so she’s forced to drop out of school and get a job to make ends meet which seems bad enough but then someone begins blackmailing her online. Having heard of Jack through his article on the bank attack she contacts him and uses her knowledge of his relationship with the hackers to coerce him into helping her meet the demands of her blackmailer and track him down.

The story is told in more or less alternating chapters from both Sam and Jack’s point of view and it was great to see the different perspectives. It was particularly fantastic to have Jack take on a more significant role this time. I kind of felt like in the previous book in the series, Black Widow, he took a little bit of a back seat but this time he’s definitely front and centre which I loved as he’s such a brilliant character. He’s a cynical (disappointed idealist?), slightly jaded but witty and quick thinking investigative journalist who’s trying to put the past behind him and make a new start. He’s a lot more mature than in previous books but still struggles to ignore that little voice that takes him down dangerous and risky paths which do not always work out for him but certainly make the story more interesting.

Sam brought a fresh new perspective to the story and was a fascinating character to read. She’s almost two different people. She’s a downtrodden, self conscious, victim in real life but online she’s confident, persuasive and able to get almost anything she wants. I felt sorry and frustrated on her behalf at times and at others she completely shocked me.

I absolutely loved the dynamic between Sam and Jack. He thinks of himself as quite a modern man but Sam definitely surprises him and makes him realise he may have more preconceptions and more to learn than he thought (I clearly do too). They come from such different places that at first their partnership is forced, awkward and full of distrust but eventually they begin to realise they may have more in common than they first thought. Some of the best scenes in the books are when they are working together and discover just how much they have in common and how much they can learn from the other.

The story is not as fast paced as some of the others I have read, particularly in the beginning but it builds nicely so that by the mid point I struggled to put it down. As always Brookmyre’s writing is brilliant. You can always tell that his stories are well thought out and there’s a lot of detail in them that shows he’s really done his homework and knows what he’s talking about. It’s a complicated plot with lots of twists, deceptions and a fantastic heist storyline but, while it does get a bit techie around IT systems and hacking in places, the writing is such that it doesn’t feel that way. I have a tendency to switch off or start to skim when books get a little too descriptive or technical but that never happened once.  

The author also manages to weave in his usual social and political commentary which makes the story feel very current. There’s the odd pop at the banks, large corporations, the benefit system and the government but for me this book felt very much about the perceived disconnect between the online world (and social media) and real life. People seems to post all kinds of information about themselves online for anyone to see and it’s frightening at times to think what the wrong person could do with that kind of knowledge. The story also illustrated just how different an online persona can be from someone in real life, “there are no girls on the internet”, and that while the online world may not feel real, what you do there can have very real consequences. Something those who troll should really think about.

Overall, this is a first rate thriller. It’s a compelling and well thought out read with lots of twists. I’d definitely recommend particularly if you’re looking for an Ocean’s Eleven style heist story.

Thanks to the publisher Little Brown Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy and special thanks to Grace Vincent for inviting me to take part in the tour. As always all views are my own.

Note: For readers in the U.S. this book is being released under the title “The Last Hack” in July.


 

Tour Dates

The tour continues until 6th May so if you want to read more you can go visit these blogs.

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

When I originally read the blurb for this I immediately thought “must read”. Seriously, gender switching Vlad the Impaler story, how could I resist….and then I saw some of the reviews which weren’t exactly glowing and it gave me pause. Thankfully I trusted my initial instincts and I’m so glad I did as this book is absolutely brilliant.

It’s packed full of action, political maneuvering and intrigue and has some incredible world building and a strong female main character. I can’t wait for the rest of the series.

Read More »

WWW Wednesday: 19th April 2017

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingWant You Gone (Jack Parlabane, #8)

I just started Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre yesterday so I’m only around 20% in but enjoying it so far. It’s the 8th book in his Jack Parlabane series but could probably be read as a standalone (I’ve certainly missed a few in the series). This time the story is about the dangers of the internet and I have to admit it’s already got me thinking about all of the information I put online. I received this from NetGalley and am on the blog tour so you can expect a review this weekend.

On audio I’ve finally managed to get my hands on Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost. It’s the fourth and final book in her Night Prince series. This series is definitely one of my guilty pleasures and has already had me teehee-ing in the car.


Recently FinishedLast Breath (Detective Erika Foster, #4)

First book finished this week was Last Breath by Robert Bryndza which I received from NetGalley. It’s the fourth in the DCI Erika Foster series and is possibly the best in the series so far. This time Erika and the team are on the hunt for a serial killer who stalks and befriends his victims online.

It’s more of a police procedural than a who dunit but it doesn’t really matter as for me the highlight of Bryndza’s books are the characters. Erika isn’t necessarily my favourite but the secondary characters like Moss are brilliant. I should have a full review up soon.

Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistThe next book finished this week was Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I have to admit I read this because it fit a challenge (yellow cover) but given my love for Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares I was quite excited about it. Unfortunately it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

It’s an easy enough read and really enjoyable in places but it just fell a little bit flat for me. It might be because I was comparing to the film or it may be I missed a lot of the music references or possibly just that I didn’t really take to the characters but something was definitely missing.And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)

The third and final book finished this week was And I Darken by Kiersten White. I knew I wanted to read this the second I saw it was loosely based on the story of Vlad the Impaler. I’m not generally a fan of historical fiction but this is more of an alternative history where it’s Vlad’s daughter Lada who is the violent, slightly unstable and totally ruthless warrior on the hunt for power. Something that’s not particularly easy for  a woman in that time period.

I loved this book and literally couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t just Lada’s story it was also that of her brother Radu who’s seen as a bit of a weakling and a coward but is actually the more cunning of the two. The relationship between them is fantastic and so is the story. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series when it comes out this summer.


Reading Next

My plan for the next week is to keep making some progress on my NetGalley shelf so I’m hoping to read A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride and Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell. They are both crime/thrillers so I think I’ll probably need to mix it up a bit with either Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh or Legion by Julie Kagawa

A Dark So DeadlySleep Tight (Detective Ruby Preston )Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)Legion (Talon, #4)

Have you read any of the books above or have any other book you’d recommend? Leave comments and links below and I’ll respond when I can.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!!

Teaser Tuesday: 18th April 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


This week my teaser comes from And I Darken by Kiersten White which I both started and finished yesterday. It’s classed as YA fantasy but as there’s no magic this is probably a bit misleading. It’s more an alternate history of Vlad the Impaler but with Vlad changed to Lada a wild and ferocious girl. The fact that I couldn’t put this down should tell you everything about what I thought of it 😀


My Teaser

“I think of you like a sister,” he said. “Like a brilliant, violent, occasionally terrifying sister that I would follow to the ends of the earth, in part because I respected her so much and in part because I feared what she would do to me if I refused.”

She nodded. “I would do awful things.”

~ 73% And I Darken by Kiersten White


BlurbAnd I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.