Saturday 28 January 2023

Fair thee well, January! (You were miserable, as always!)


Well, today marks the final Sunday of January and I've barely posted again despite my intention to "properly" come back to blogging this year. Honestly, the intent has been strong but this month has seen my mental health sky-dive off a cliff again... I use water-based metaphors/similes a lot to try and convey where my MH is at and January has brought massive storms that are tossing the tiny little boat that is me around, threatening to sink me. 
Bright side? I'm still floating!!! 
Sure, I needed to drag myself to port and I need some repairs before I'm ready to set sail again but I'm not sitting on the bottom of the sea bed wondering what that thing called daylight is while my lungs scream for air so... It could be much worse. 

Here's to February being better!

I read 5 books this month which isn't so bad (for me nowadays!)

I read Kerri Maniscalco's Kingdom of The Wicked Trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it!
I'm super glad I waited until it was complete before diving in though... I'm not a fan of cliffhangers and both books one and two ends with them (even if they're not super crazy ones). 
Plus, I didn't get the emotional payoff I needed from the series until book three and, trust me, after putting up with Emilia for the majority of book two you need that payoff just to make up for the annoyance!

After KOTW, I went into a reading hiatus until Ilona Andrews dropped a new Kate Daniels novella! OMG... How I have missed Kate and Curran!! And there are more novellas to come! It's just awesome.

And after all the fantasy/UF/paranormal goodness of the month, I went for a KU secret baby read I was ad-baited into reading via FB and it could have been worse. It was enjoyable enough but not exactly memorable.

In terms of books hauled this month... Let's just not talk about it. 👀

Nicole @ Feed My Fiction Addiction announces some awesome news!!
Book of My Heart's Iron Druid read-along sign ups.


How has the new year been for you?


Monday 9 January 2023

Hex Marks The Spot and Dead Man's Hex by Ani Gonzalez

 Review Catch Ups...

Hex Marks The Spot

Going to Hell is easy. Going back home is a different story.

They say you can never go back. I wish that was the case.

Returning home is complicated when you’re a necromancer and your hometown is the Most Haunted in America. It doesn’t help that your pet hellhound chihuahua thinks the place is a dump, and it gets worse when your high school crush is still there and still dead sexy. Literally, as he’s now a ghost.

Oh, and did I mention that I have to save the world? Yes, that too.

This was my first Ani Gonzalez book and I really enjoyed it!
You've got a likeable gal who happens to be a necromancer with a demon dog for a side-kick.
A town where the supernatural co-exists with the "natural" and ghostly love interest (I assume he's going to be the love interest anyway) and a murderous plot that we've only just started scraping the surface of.
It was funny, fast paced and didn't get bogged down in the unnecessary. 
However, it's obvious that this is a spin-off from a pre-existing series (The Banshee Creek series) and I couldn't help but feel like I was missing a lot of context and background info because I hadn't read the Banshee Creek series and I found that a little irritating considering this was book one in a new series that should be able to be read completely independently. 
Despite that grumble, I liked it and will continue reading!

Dead Man's Hex 

It’s a cruise ship to Hell. Literally.

Sun, sand, and ghosts. Sounds like the perfect working vacation, no? The supernatural cruise would be a chance to get a tan, enjoy a variety of cold drinks with colorful umbrellas, and make some money leading ghost tours along the Mid-Atlantic coast…or so I thought. I didn’t count on a seasick hellhound Chihuahua, a stowaway ghost, and a crazy cult cramping my style. Now I’m fighting Octonomicron acolytes, trying to keep myself in one piece, and save humanity at the same time. Oh, and that tan? So not happening.

I read this book straight after finishing book one - Hex Marks The Spot - and I am glad that I only started reading the series now as a 3 year gap between books is ridiculous! I really hope there isn't another huge gap between this book and the next as I'm really enjoying the world Gonzalez has created here alongside the mad cast of characters.
Unlike book one, this book doesn't take place in Banshee Creek, it takes place on a cruise ship with stops at various spooky locations along the way. 
Being locked on a cruise with a bunch of supernatural types and their superfans sounds like a recipe for disaster but needs must when you have an old money sink of a house to renovate!
Naturally, chaos ensues and a bad guy must be stopped!

The ending leaves a lot hanging but it's not a cliff hanger... It's just the series plot that's left flapping in the wind. Not to mention the romance/not romance between Claire and her ghostly beau. 
Honestly... The series is fun, easy to read and I love Claire's hellhound but I don't know if it's enough to make me come back for more if book three is another few years away... Top shell UF it isn't. It's a fun filler kind of UF and that's fine but you need to keep it coming for that to work.


Sunday 1 January 2023

Happy New Year!!


Happy New Year, folks! 
I hope you've had a wonderful festive period regardless of whether you celebrate or not.

I've been pondering what I want 2023 to bring and all the thoughts are still a jumbled mess but one thing I do know I want to achieve this year is to get back into the swing of blogging and work out how to navigate the new bookish "influencer" landscape... I miss when things were simple and your blog was all you needed but nowadays it feels like Instagram (particularly Reels) and TikTok are where you need to be and... I hate it. Mostly because I don't understand it, don't have time (or refuse to make time) for it and really don't like being on-camera... I'm not comfortable with how I look, how I sound and with "putting myself out there" but I think I need to overcome those hang-ups and the primary driver isn't for bookish purposes so... Watch this space, I guess!

Today, we're having a meal with my FIL, my mum etc to celebrate the New Year and on Tuesday we have an Alcatraz-themed escape room to go to before I go back to work on Wednesday.

I've just started my first book of the new year and it is Kingdom of The Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco.
I'm 6 chapters in and loving it! Putting it down for family dinner made me grumpy! lol

I've also set my GoodReads goal for 2023 at 52 books!
One book a week... I'm still taking it slow with the reading. I'm trying to get back to pre-illness levels so manageable targets are the name of the game!

I wasn't signing up for any other challenges but I'm going to jump into COYER for its 10-year celebration! It's low-pressure and more about the community so should be good for me. 

Book Blog Discussion Challenge over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction!
COYER 10 Year Anniversary over at Because Reading!
Audiobook Challenge sign ups at Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

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