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May Wrap Up

I’m posting my May Wrap up now, this is because I haven’t read a book throughout June. I wish I could say this wasn’t true but my mental health took a bad turn and I just couldn’t pick up a book.

So, in May I many to read twelve books. That’s not bad, compared to June it’s fantastic but let’s hope I can start reading again in July.

Let’s talk about these books shall we?

A Room With A View by E.M Foresster. This classic so not my usual kind of book, but a friend suggested it so I thought I’d give it a go. And I really enjoyed it. Especially the end. A short and sweet novel with fantastic characters.

The Hunted by Gabriel… This is a horror, so this again is not my usual type of book, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was genuinely creepy. Full of suspense and action. It would make the perfect film. This one is out August 6th

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. This was another good book, full of some fantastic characters but I was left wanting a little more at the end. But it was really good. It’s out on June 16th.

Fall Out by C.G.Moore. I could feel this book trying so hard, but it just didn’t do it for me overall. There were some parts that I thought were handled well, but unfortunately it most of it wasn’t great. It’s out June 16th.

True Story by Kate Reed Petty. I really enjoyed this one, it started off fantastically. I was instantly intrigued and it was dealing with a difficult subject, but it definitely lost it for me towards the end. It became a bit silly almost, but it was enjoyable. It’s out June 11th.

Boy Queen by George Lester. Yaaaaaassss, this book was fantastic. I really, really loved this one. It was a great queer book, that I can’t recommend enough. A great story, great characters. I loved it. It’s out August 6th.

All Of My Friends Are Rich by Michael Sarais. Another fantastic book, this one is filthy, fun but packs an important message, that comes across in a great way. I highly recommend this one. A brilliant own voices novel. It’s out June 16th.

Tell Me How It Ends by V.B. Grey. I really enjoyed this one, I loved the period of time it was setting in. It just has that old Hollywood glamour. It had great characters and it was an enjoyable, easy read. It’s out July 9th.

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Took me a little while to get into this one, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. It was heartbreaking in the end, with a character I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I loved it.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I had such high hopes, but I unfortunately was disappointed. The ending was strange, the whole book was strange, and a bit dull. This is a hard one for me to take. It’s out now.

The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff. I really enjoyed this book, it was so powerful but had such a subtly too it that I haven’t read before. Full of fantastic characters and interesting dynamics, you definitely don’t want to miss this one. It’s out in July.

The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jefferies. I’m a huge fan of Dinah’s and I really enjoyed this book. Full of mystery and intrigue. Fantastic characters and a great historical setting. It was just a great book. It’s out July 23rd.

These are the books, I hope you’ve read some fantastic books in this time.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore.

Title: Valentine

Author: Elizabeth Wetmore

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: 4th Estate books

Synopsis: Mary Rose Whitehead isn’t looking for trouble – but when it shows up at her front door, she finds she can’t turn away. Corinne Shepherd, newly widowed, wants nothing more than to mind her own business, and for everyone else to mind theirs. But when the town she has spent years rebelling against closes ranks she realises she is going to have to take a side. Debra Ann is motherless and lonely and in need of a friend. But in a place like Odessa, Texas, choosing who to trust is a dangerous game. Gloria Ramírez, fourteen years old and out of her depth, survives the brutality of one man only to face the indifferences and prejudices of many. When justice is as slippery as oil, and kindness becomes a hazardous act, sometimes courage is all we have to keep us alive.

This is an incredibly powerful novel, with all the characters connecting around Glory, who has been attacked and turns up at the nearest house, after fighting back fleeing for her life.

Valentine is told through the perspectives of many characters, and it works perfectly. Wetmore weaves the story through all these perspectives and it elevates this story to another level. There was maybe one perspective that didn’t need to be there, it didn’t diminish the story in anyway, but i found myself wanting to skip it.

Each perspectives also reveals how a character is dealing with their own issues, as well as the effect the crime is having on the town. Mary Rose, who is answers the door to Glory and Corrine who just wants to be left alone to grieve her husband, are two of the standouts for me.

You can tell this novel is building to something, and I thought it would be the trial for Glory’s case, which it dealt with, but it went beyond what I was expecting and I found myself not being able to turn the pages fast enough. I’m not going to give anything away, or all the perspectives but it all came together so well.

Wetmore has created some fantastic characters that are real and heartfelt. You’ll root for them. Wetmore also captures the injustice and racism in a small town perfectly. This book at times will make your blood boil. This is a debut novel and it’s fantastic how much heart Elizabeth has managed to include.

I also can’t think of another novel that finishes so well, yet left me with some many questions. Some of the story was wrapped, but I wanted to know more about the characters I’d come to care for. It was a satisfying ending in many ways, but I can’t deny it left me wanting more.

I would definitely recommend this book, it’s raw and impactful. I think it’s a book you won’t forget for a while after reading it. It has something to say, in the many layers of this book.

Thank you to 4th Estate Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ by Ocean Vuong.

Title: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Author: Ocean Vuong

Length: 256 pages

Publisher: Jonathon Cape

I had this book on my shelf for a while and I wanted to read it before the end of the 2019 and I managed to sneak it in and I couldn’t be more pleased I did.

Synopsis: ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ is a letter written from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness.

‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ is a letter written from a son to his mother. But for me, it felt like the son wrote this for himself to save his own soul, and the outcome is exquisite.

So first up, let’s talk about how beautifully this book was written. It’s gorgeous. It felt like I was reading a book of poetry. With lyrical prose and searing honesty it honestly left my speechless at points. I always like to be honest in my blog posts, so I have no shame in telling that it’s beauty made me cry on page 4. Yep, you read that correctly, page 4.

At times when reading this book, it felt like I shouldn’t have been. It felt to personal, to intimate, like I was reading someone’s diary. I mean all this in the best possible way, it’s a testament to the wonderful writing and storytelling of Ocean. It was like reading 242 pages of the characters soul. It really was beautiful. Yet it was also expansive, it felt like the story between mother and son, yet it’s somehow encapsulated so much more. Just genius. It also deals with the unpleasant side of their relationship. It details the abuse, the trauma. It shows him realise that she was more than just him mother, but a person who had been through her own trauma. But the overall out come for me, I felt was love.

There was a love story in this book, that was stunning. It was so real. It was the kind of lone that was never shared between anyone but Little Dog and his lover Trevor. It was full of first love and experimentation. What makes it outstanding is that it perfectly captures that feeling of first love. And because it was a gay love story, it was different. Different in the sense that the love was never said out loud, it was just felt. Although the characters didn’t even know it themselves. That’s what makes it wonderful. How Ocean captures this perfectly.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It was just beautiful and heartbreaking. Searingly honest and gorgeously written. It’s made both my top five queers reads of the year and my top ten overall reads of the year. Don’t let this one pass you by. It’s short but gloriously sweet.

It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

Title: Rainbow Milk

Author: Paul Mendez

Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Dialogue Books

You know when you have high expectations for a book and it surpasses them. That’s what did Rainbow Milk.

Synopsis: In the Black Country in the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has moved to Britain with is wife to secure a brighter future for themselves and their children. Blighted who unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient in the face of such hostilities, but are all too aware that they will need more than just hope to survive. At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London – escaping from a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community and the desolate, disempowered Black County – but finds himself at a loss for a new centre of gravity, and turns to sex work to create new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality.

It’s starts of with Robert, a Jamaican man and his wife, moving to Britain in the 50s, where they hope for a better life, but have to deal with racism. The story then moves onto Jesse, a young Jehovah Witness, who leaves his family behind for a new life in London.

I’m just going to start by saying that my review will never do this book justice, so just go out and by it already. I had pretty high expectations going into this and it surpassed them. It really was everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

The novel just works as a whole. Every element on its own is sublime and it all comes together cohesively. It’s got a fantastic story, fantastic writing and fantastic characters. Every part is fantastic. Can you tell I love this book?

Jesse, a young gay black man, is a wonderful character to follow. Paul creates such depth, his portrayal of him will absolutely break your heart, but I do believe it will be put back together again. In terms of his sexuality, it’s so well done. Paul perfectly captures the fine line of acceptance/ hating yourself. Jesse goes on such a journey. Paul captures his confusion over everything in his life brilliantly. You just become so invested in his life. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a character that captures your heart. Jesse is character I won’t forget for a long time.

Most books just tackle one subject, but this book tackles race, religion and sexuality and intertwines them all fantastically. There’s just so much inside this book. It deals with some harrowing things. It also deals with parts of British history that are often forgotten about. Racism that happened (and still does) that just seems to be ignored and it’s heartbreaking and infuriating. But it’s what makes the novel so special. I don’t want to say to much, because I want you to read it and just be blown away by the depth of this novel.

I also loved, loved how the two stories connected. I was worried that was going to be a bit of a let down but it really wasn’t. It ties the novel together perfectly. It gives Jesse some real clarity and the story. The book is just so bold and fresh. It tackles the exploration of finding ones self and the world around.

This is Paul’s debut novel and a debut it is. It’s moving, delicate and assured. What a talent. He’ll capture your heart with this book. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s one of those books that I’m just grateful to have read. It’s one of the Observer’s top ten 2020 debuts and I can totally see why. Paul is a writer that I’ll definitely be looking out for in the future.

Easily my favourite novel of the year, I know it’s only April but it’s going to be hard to beat. I want it nominated for every prize. I’d to love to see it on the Booker prize list. I just don’t think novels come along like this very often. It’s the queer novel I’ve been waiting a long time for.

Again, I haven’t done the book justice.

Thank you Millie at Dialogue Books for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Book of Longings

Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Length: 432 pages

Publisher: Tinder Press

Synopsis: Ana is a rebellious young woman, a gifted writer with a curious mind, who writes secret narratives about the neglected and silenced women around her. Raised in a wealthy family in Galilee, she is sheltered from the brutality of Rome’s occupation. Ana is expected to marry an elderly widower to further her father’s ambitions, a prospect that horrifies her. An eco inter with the eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything: his ideas and his passion are intoxicating.

I should start by saying I’m a huge, HUGE Sue Monk Kidd fan. I absolutely adore every fiction novel she’s written. ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ started my love for reading, and ‘The Book of Longings’ is easily my most anticipated read of the year.

In The Book of Longings, we follow Ana who meets a man called Jesus and falls in love and marries him. But the real love of Ana’s life is writing.

This book is absolutely beautiful. It’s called The Book of Longings and it’s so apt as you can the feel the longing on every page. I didn’t know I needed to read a book about the wife of Jesus, but it turns out I really did. It’s such an interesting premise for a book. I’ve never read a book like it.

Ana is such a wonderful main protagonist to follow. She’s so brave, vibrant. You can’t help but connect with her right away. She wants more out of her life and you as the reader want her to achieve everything she can. There’s also fantastic supporting characters such as Yaltha, Ana’s Aunt who has her own longings. Tabitha, Ana’s friend. They all had such spirit. I adored them all.

The story is also beautiful. It’s got a beautiful flow to it. It feels like you’re getting a different view on history. It was also incredibly interesting to see a different side to Jesus.

This is a historical fiction novel, but it felt so modern. I loved the juxtaposition of ancient times to the characters modern attitudes. The novel was full of powerful, complex women. Women who wouldn’t of even been given the chance to have a voice back then. Sue has done it for them. The relationship between Ana and Yaltha is truly something special. It might, aside from the writing, have been the highlight of this book for me. You could feel how much they care for each other, how much they respect one another. It’s a joy to read.

The Book of Longings is all about Ana finding her voice, but in this book Sue Monk Kidd finds hers. She absolutely writes from the depths of her soul and you can feel. So many times I had to pause to really take in a sentence. It often made me cry at its beauty. I just love the way Sue writes.

I can’t recommend this book enough, if you’re already a fan of Sue Monk Kidd then this book will make you love her even more. Or if you’re looking for a book that’s heartfelt, powerful and original, then this is definitely the book for you.

This book will stay with you. Long after you’ve finished it. I still think of Ana often. What a testament to the writing and storytelling of Sue Monk Kidd. It’s incredible.

Thank you so much to Caitlin at Tinder Press for a copy of this boil in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now. Don’t miss this one.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: ‘The Yellow Bird Sings’ by Jennifer Rosner

Title: The Yellow Bird Sings

Author: Jennifer Rosner

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Picador

Synopsis: Poland, 1941. After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róża and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Róża does all she can to take care of Shira and shield her from the horrors of the outside world. They play silent games and invent their own sign language. But then the day comes when their heaven is no longer safe, and Róża must face an impossible choice: whether to keep her daughter close by her side, or give her a chance to survive by letting her go…

I enjoyed this book so much. From start to finish. It never let up. It was Thrilling, intense and completely heartfelt. I loved it. If my review seems a little vague about the plot, it’s because I’m trying to avoid spoilers for you.

The story starts with Róża and Shira hiding in a barn as they try and avoid being captured by the Nazi. With Róża having to decide to keep her daughter with her, or send her away to safety. Then following their journeys after the decision was made.

I read this book in a day. A DAY! This never happens, you all know what a slow reader I am. But I couldn’t put this book down. I just kept reading and reading. I had to know what happened to these two characters I’d come to care for. And let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. At all.

‘The Yellow Bird Sings’ was so intense from the start, with it never letting up really. Jennifer perfectly captures the fear, the brutality, the harrowing conditions and the human spirit. When Róża and Shira are hiding in the barn, Jennifer makes you feel their fear. I haven’t read a book like that in a while. The detail, like a codes they use was so clever and something I’d never thought of. Shows new sides to a very known story. Even after the barn, it’s still so intense. I just had to know how the story was going to resolve it’s self. I never knew what was coming next.

This book is packed full of fantastic characters. Róża and Shira are brilliant. There connection is so pure and loving. They are both so complex. You can really feel the damage this situation is doing to them. They also meet some fantastic characters. Miri, Chana and the Nuns. I love the relationships that are formed. The intensity of the relationships, because of the situation every character finds themselves in, is a real shining point for me in the novel.

Now, let’s talk about that ending shall we? It was perfect. Literally perfect. For a while I wanted a bigger, Hollywood story ending but upon reflection I think this was so perfect. After a page turning, intense novel there is a real simplicity to the ending. I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint. The whole novel conjures up wonderful imagery, but I can see the ending so clearly in my head. It was brilliant! Yes, I cried. I cried a lot. A good book does that to me.

I can’t help but feel this book would a perfect series for television. It’s got such a grand cinematic feel to it, with real heart.

I can’t recommend this book enough. If you love historical fiction (or just a good book in general) you really won’t want to miss this one.

Thanks to Bookbreak UK and picador for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

#fiction, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: ‘The Austen Girls’ by Lucy Worsley

Title: The Austen Girls

Author: Lucy Worsley

Length: 286 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: It is 1908 and Fanny and Anna Austen have just been launched on to the ruthless Regency marriage market by Fanny’s mother. But luckily their mysteriously wealthy Aunt Jane is there to help them take destiny into their own hands and carve their own paths. What does the future hold for Jane’s nieces?

The Austen girls starts with Fanny and Anna Austen going to their first ball as they begin to look for a husband. But for both, it’s not that easy as their parents wish.

This was such a fun book. It really was. I read it in a day, which I absolutely never do. I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what was going to happen to the girls. I was also really pleased that it goes beyond them just wanting to find husbands, especially for Fanny who has such an interesting storyline.

This book is full of historical elements that really make it what it is, but what do you expect from Britain’s favourite historian. It’s so detailed from the dresses they wear, to the house, the chores, the house of corrections. I love it when historical fiction novels have this level of accuracy as it just adds the perfect atmosphere to the book, and The Austen Girls certainly has it.

It’s got fantastic characters too. Fanny and Anna are great characters to follow, and I love how their lives took such different turns. They were both strong in their own different ways and it was so interesting to read the juxtaposition. I also think Lucy creates the perfect personality for Jane Austen, she was intelligent, funny, sharp and kind. It’s such a great addition to the novel, it really is.

I also really enjoyed the Epilogue, it was so interesting to know what happened to these characters in their real lives. I thought that was really interesting and a great addition to the book

I definitely recommend this book for fans of historical fiction, of Jane Austen. I throughly enjoyed it. It’s a super quick read too.

Thank you so much to Mattea at Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: To Lahore With Love by Hina Belitz

Title: To Lahore With Love

Author: Hina Belitz

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Headline Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This book arrived in my mail box and I couldn’t wait to get started reading it.

Synopsis: Addy Mayford has always struggled with her identity. Bought up in a household of stories, food and faith by her Irish mother and Pakistani Nana, she feels constantly torn between two sides of her upbringing. Since the death of her father, she’s found contentment cooking delicious recipes from his home city of Lahore, despite the protestations of her mother that being a chef is no career for a young woman. It’s only with the lobe of her gorgeous husband, Gabe, that she’s truly found happiness. When Addy stumbles across a secret that shatters her entire world, she desperately need to escape and is drawn to the sights of Lahore and the family she’s never known. Waiting for her there is Addy’s final acceptance of who she is, and a long-buried family secret that will change her life forever.

I have to say I really enjoyed this novel. It was super sweet, heartbreaking and brimming with joy. It was one of those books where I finished reading and was just grateful I’d read it.

We follow Addy after her life falls apart, and she travels to Lahore with her best friend and Nana.

Like I said this book is super sweet, even though it has its share of heartbreak. It’s sweet because it’s full of love, family, joy and food. I feel ‘To Lahore With Love’ is life affirming I mean because it shows you no matter what happens, there’s still hope. The character of Nana, has some great advice. It just gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling.

This book also has great characters in it. Addy is a great character. You feel sorry for her immediately in the prologue, and then you just want her to succeed. I loved reading her passion for food. Also, the food in this book feels like a character itself. It’s such a huge part of the book. Also, there’s some fantastic recipes throughout this book. What more could you want? It’s fiction and a cookbook! Also, the recipes have fantastic names and backstories that give the book real charm. ‘Love me forever Lamb’ is just one of the great names.

Now when I say it’s heartbreaking, I mean it. There’s a few things that happened, that I won’t spoil but it truly shocked me. It’s hard to see Addy go through it all, because she’s such a wonderful character. Don’t worry though, it’ll break you heart. But it will put it back together again.

This is the perfect book to forget everything that is going on, and just enjoy reading.

I can’t recommend this book enough. As I’m sure you all can tell from my review I really enjoyed it. It’s so rich in love, food and culture. It’s out March 19th.

Thank you to Headline Review for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH

book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: ‘The Secrets We Kept’ by Lara Prescott

Title: The Secrets We Kept

Author: Lara Prescott

Length: 452 pages

Publisher: Penguin Books

4.5⭐️

I’ve wanted to read this one for so long, and it’s finally being released in paperback on the 19th!

Synopsis: No one looks twice at the women in the typing pool. No one knows that two of them are trading secrets. The secret is a book, the size of one in your hands, and within its pages, a love story that could change the world. But where there is love, there is pain. And where there is deception, formidable danger…

I have to say I really, really enjoyed this book. Right from the beginning, I was completely into it and I never really lost interest.

The book is Set in that period of history known as Cold War. In the book we get to see both perspectives of the east and the west. In the west we get to see the typist to work in the state department and the new applicant who becomes a spy. And in the east we get to see the writer of Dr Zhivago and his mistress.

I mainly loved all the perspectives in this book but at times I just lost interest in the east perspective mainly the writer of Dr Zhivago’s. but I didn’t stay last for long. But I was really interested to see it was how it would all come together and I have to say I was not disappointed. I loved it. It was really cleverly done.

It has fantastic characters. They made the book for me. I loved ‘The Typists’. It was such a great perspective to choose. They knew all the secrets but were so often ignored. Then to add Lydia, who goes on to become as spy, was great. She was the character I connected with most, as she was new and we’re seeing it all through her eyes.

I didn’t know much about this period of history and know I want to know more. It was absolutely fascinating. This book had such a great premise and the story really took off from there and went above and beyond. I also had no idea these kind of things were happening Russia. It wasn’t the most detailed historical fiction book I’ve read, but the story more than made up for it.

There was also a fantastic LGBTQ+ love story in ‘The Secrets We Kept’ that I didn’t know about and was a wonderful surprise. It’s always nice to see this representation in historical fiction novels.

I was excited to read this book, as I was reading it. Does that make sense? It felt like it was all leading up to something. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a book for story lovers, with a book at it’s heart. It’s beautifully written, at times intriguing with a great conclusion. I’m just sorry I didn’t read it sooner. I can see why it was picked as part of Reese Witherspoons Book Club.

Thank you to Penguin Books for gifting me with a copy of this book, in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out in Paperback March 19th.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: ‘Infinity Son’ by Adam Silvera

Title: Infinity Son

Author: Adam Silvera

Length: 353 pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK

⭐️⭐️

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Adam Silvera and Infinity Son has been on my radar for a while. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to review it.

Synopsis: Two Brothers thrown into an epic war generations in the making. A fight for good and evil, between those born with power and those who took it. One brother had the power to end it all. The other will stop at nothing in his pursuit of glory. Who will live forever, and who will die trying?

Oh man, this book tried. It tried so hard. I could feel it wanting to be this new epic fantasy series. But for me, it sadly failed. And when I say sadly I truly mean it. I wanted to love it so badly, but I didn’t.

The story is set around Emil and his brother Brighton. Brighton is obsessed with the people who have powers and Emil becomes one of those people. It then introduces us to many (many) new characters and the story unfolds.

Ok, one of the problems I had with this book is when I say many characters, I really mean many. It’s told from the perspective of Four characters, Emil, Brighton, Maribella and, Ness. In all honesty I can’t even remember who Ness is!. I just felt like the characters could’ve been explored more, you never got know them at all and it made them bland and not likeable. It’s also got a lot of supporting characters that just make this book too jumbled

Speaking of jumbled, let’s talk about the magic shall we? There was a lot of magic in this book, I mean a lot! And it wasn’t cohesive. There was wands, Blood Casters, SpellWalkers, Phoenix’s, Celestials, Power Vests. I still honestly don’t know what half of it means. It felt like a group of eight year olds sat around and thought of every type of Magic they could think of and it’s been put in this book.

There needed to be a lot more world building, it feels like your just dropped in the middle with absolutely no explanation as to what’s going on. It didn’t take the time it needed to explain anything to the reader. It just jumped straight into the action, which was also messy and weird. With all the types of magic floating around it was bound to be! I also think at one point there was Phoenix fighting another animal in boxing ring! I honestly don’t even know!

This was Adams first time writing fantasy and you can absolutely tell. It felt amateurish. There was a sentence in the book that says ‘what the what, I’m flying’ and I remember thinking did I really just read. This man has written books so beautifully I’ve been reduced to tears and this one is making my roll me eyes. It was full of cliches and I don’t mind a good cliche, but when nothing else in the book is working they became extremely tedious. None of it felt original.

I did like that the main character of a fantasy novel is LGBTQ+, goodness knows it’s about time and we need more of this. And the ending did surprise me a little, I didn’t see it coming. So there’s two positives for you.

Overall, this book could’ve been good but it had far too many issues and was a bit of a mess. I can’t help but feel it needed to be more precise. It was to big and expansive. It’s supposed to be a trilogy (maybe that’s why the pacing was strange too?) so who knows what will happen in the next book. It does feel like it’s set up for a lot of things for book two. I just don’t know if I’ll read it. We can only hope for better.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 14th.

Until the next review

JTH