Chain of Gold The Last Hours by Cassandra Clare

My Rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis from GoodReads

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague. James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

Review

Where to start? So I will try and keep spoilers to a minimum but I promise nothing. I just adored this book. It’s everything I love from the Shadowhunter world. Edwardian London. Herondales. Lightwoods. Magnus Bane. Idris. Honestly I could go on. Even though I had this book on pre order for forever and rushed to pick it up on release day I was hesitant to actually start it. With the Covid-19 epidemic running rampant around the world my anxiety understandably was at a peak. So I didn’t want that to ruin my experience with the book. Once my mental health was in a better state I decided to pick it up! And I’m so glad I did. It was like a warm hug off a friend. It helped me calm down even more. Throwing me back into a world I adore with characters new and old. Some of which we met in Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, so I already felt like I knew a few of the main cast.

I’m still glad the Herondale overdramatise streak is still loud and proud in here. Not just with James but Lucie too. The characters are beautifully crafted and there are some really vulnerable moments in the book where you just want to run in and protect them! The dynamics between all boys. They really do love each other and are not afraid to admit it. The girls were just as well crafted and so modern for the time period which I know isn’t probably very realistic but whatever it’s fantasy.

The story mainly follows Cordelia Carstairs and her mission to save her family honour from being disgraced. She and her family move to London to be closer to her Parabati Lucie Herondale and her family. Cordelia who has always been in love with James Herondale and is devastated to learn James is in love with someone else. Grace Blackthorn the adoptive daughter of James aunt who despises the who Herondale line (read The Infernal Devices trilogy) and is out for revenge. So we spend the entire book with numerous will they won’t they encounters from multiple individuals. Sometimes it’s a little confusing. But throughly heartwarming and I already cannot wait for the sequel to be announced.

This whole cast of characters blend together really well and feel like an already well established unit. It was a fantastic introduction to the new Shadowhunter gang and was done in a way where you don’t have to have read all the other books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles to be able to understand what’s going on ( I do recommend it though ) One of the few little things that bugged me was how James referenced his parents as Will and Tessa rather than Mum and Dad. Such a minor thing but still one of my bug bears. I still definitely 1000% recommend this book though.

The Identity Thief. by Alex Bryant

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Summary from GoodReads

A shapeshifting sorcerer called Cuttlefish unleashes a terrifying wave of magical carnage across London. A strange family known as the River People move into Cassandra Drake’s neighbourhood. Are the two events connected?

Spoiler alert: no.

REVIEW

Firstly I would like to save i was gifted this book for an honest review. When I opened the first page and found the link to all the trigger warnings I got a little bit scared and was unsure what I was in for. As it was a LOT of them. However once I had finished those first few pages, I was hooked. It had everything a good middle grade book needs, Intrigue, suspense, believable characters, murder?

Now this story follows Cass as she tries to navigate her way around school like and staying popular with her friends, and the mysterious Sorcerer Cuttlefish who tries to steal all of the Daedalus books to make his power stronger. The chapters flit back and forth between the two characters which I really enjoyed, it also has some newspaper articles thrown in here and there as well ( who doesn’t love some mixed media ) Towards the end of the book the 2 characters come together in an almighty show down where there is plot twists galore and big reveals I did NOT see coming.

The book however excellent is very dark, has strong themes of racism throughout, and death. but they are done in a very well written way that it did not put me off reading and enjoying. It is definitely not for a sensitive reader.

You & Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

YOU

This is one of those instances where the TV show stick very close to the premise of the book, its actually pretty darn close just a few small differences between the two. I mean what can I say, Joe Goldberg confuses me. I get he is a strange and weird individual. but i love him. He really believes he is helping Beck, and yes Beck is selfish and spoiled and not as amazing as she thinks she is. However she does not deserve that from Joe.

Hidden Bodies

So this one follows the same basic plot line character wise of the 2nd season, but it’s so different to the show. Whilst the characters are the same the plot is totally different. It’s such a refreshing change. I did this one as a combination of audio book and physical one and the narrator was perfect!! I found book Love to be less annoying and weird than show Love. But I preferred show Forty to book Forty. As I’m weird and unusual 🤦🏼‍♀️. The ending of this book was also nothing like the show. The book ending didn’t feel like and ending. I turned the page expecting to see another chapter but there wasn’t! I loved and hated that about this as it’s made me so excited to see how Joe gets out of this current situation that he’s found himself in!!!

A Conspiracy of Bones

By Kathy Reichs

SYNOPSIS from GoodReads

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes….

REVIEW

⭐⭐⭐

First of all i would like to thank Dark Room Tours, Kathy Reichs and Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy to review for the book tour. Before getting into the review I have to point out a few Trigger Warnings for the book that I came across which were Child Pornography, Child kidnapping, and abuse against children. Now all of these things were eluded to and never explicitly happened. just be warned it is mentioned.

So having never read a Kathy Reichs book before i was completely unprepared for this book. I have however seen the show BONES so I thought they would be similar enough that i would quickly pick up the gist of what was going on. Well the 1st thing is the 2 things are nothing alike, like at all, Luckily however it didn’t read like the 19th book in a series.

One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was there was quite a lot packed into it. It seems like Tempe leads a very exciting life. And the scenes with Ryan were my favourite and feel like he added much needed lightheartedness to the story.

Unfortunately I didn’t connect with this book, I found the writing style confusing, constantly having to go back and re read parts to try and make sense out of it. And with it being my first introduction to book Temperance Brennan I was shocked to how much I didn’t like her, I found her very self centred and short tempered towards others. Within the first few chapters she had tried to steam roll an investigation that she wasn’t included in and gotten a friend to steal files about that case.

Things did start to pick up in towards the middle of the book, as that’s where the majority of the important things happened in the story. Then towards the end of the book where the big climaxes were supposed to happen I didn’t get that feeling of shock as I had guessed the ending of the book pretty early on (at least I was pretty close to being correct). Also for being a forensic anthropologist, I found the lack of that happening in this book strange. I expected the majority of the book to happen in a laboratory. Also there were somethings that happend in this book which wasn’t wrapped up, unless i missed it that i personally feel like it should have been explained.

Now having said this I think I would enjoy it more if I had read the books in the series before having read this one. Also Boyd that dog!!!

Dear Child by Romy Hausman

four stars

SYNOPSIS

A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them. One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.

REVIEW

First I would like to thank @quercusbooks for allowing me the chance to read this ARC copy. I’m the first to admit this isn’t my usual go to genre for books. I usually stick to YA/FANTASY, safe to say this is neither of those. But I loved it. I could not put it down, my brain wouldn’t stop trying to guess where the plot was going to go. the characters were so well rounded I believed I was reading a true story book for the most part.

Basically the synopsis tells you everything you need to know about the story without going into to much detail and spoilers. But throughout this story it kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next. It was a complete page turner and had me gripped, ( I actually had bad dreams after reading it) being a parent I totally get where Lena’s father was coming from in his somewhat misguided path for the truth, sometimes the ends do justify the means after all. But not always and I think he finally learned that lesson in the end.

The ‘Lena’ character was also well written, I completely sympathised with her need and want to move on from her ordeal and her coping strategies are pretty much the same as mine ( Hide till you can move on)

Hannah just freaked me right out, I wont say why but DAMN CHILD!!!!

Overall I really enjoyed the book, yes I had a few issues with it like I wish some of the Professional Health Care providers handled things differently but I don/t know if that is a culture thing or a me thing. It has not stopped me recommending this book to all my work colleagues though. I would definitely consider buying more from this author in the future.

The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

Synopsis

An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Review

First off I would like to say a massive thank you to Netgalley and Ewehon Books for allowing me to read and review this book.

Now unfortunately I didn’t finish the book, I’m sorry just didn’t like it. I tried, I just couldn’t. I didn’t like the main character, the story (up to where i read. it may have gotten better. I don’t know) the side characters the setting. any of it.

Now if a book doesn’t hold my attention I generally cant enjoy it. With this one my mind seemed to wonder after pretty much every 5 words, I would have to re read paragraphs a few times before I could understand what was going on, The main character Sideway’s seemed like your typical wanna be emo witch, yes she did have powers but even she didn’t expect them to work when they group of typical high school Mean girls hired her to pull a magic stunt. I mean these girls paid her for a cheap thrill they actually pull of some magic and she gets seriously attached to the WTF? Also she seemed to want to hit on every girl she came across. Apparently loner witch girl just wants to be loved. Also the side characters were just weird, Like wanting to kill a random stranger weird!! they did settle on Hexing him though. So yay no crazy murder 2 chapters in

So overall no i did not enjoy this book. I have nothing nice to say about it. Maybe my future self will hate me when the book actually gets released and if so then I will eat my hat, but for now its a 1star DNF