Wednesday, 25 July 2018

REVIEW - HUNT THE MOON - MATED BY FATE BY KARI COLE

Title: Hunt The Moon
Series: Mated By Fate
Author: Kari Cole
Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press, Harlequin
Release Date: 1st June 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Who’d think to bring silver bullets to a wedding? When Isabelle “Izzy” Meyers arrives in Montana and discovers her human foster brother is marrying into the local werewolf pack, she wishes she’d brought an arsenal. Werewolves can’t be trusted, and Izzy should know…she is one. 

Luke Wyland never planned on becoming an Alpha. He’s still navigating how to protect the pack from the rogue threat that’s been hunting in his territory, claiming his father as one of their victims. Yet the moment Luke lays eyes on Izzy, something primal takes root. Finding a mate who wants nothing to do with him is a complication he doesn’t need, but letting Izzy go isn’t an option.

After a childhood marred by shifter violence, Luke is everything Izzy was raised to hate. So then why does being with him feel so intensely right? With a thinning pack to defend, Luke knows what he has to do: embolden Izzy to unleash her true nature—or risk losing everything. 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I like to try new authors and when I found this book by Kari Cole I wanted to read it. The blurb had me intrigued.

I would say the cover depicts the characters of Luke Wyland and Isabelle Meyers, there is also a full moon in the background of the cover behind the two shifters.

The genres listed for this book include Romance, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy which fit the book very well.

The books central characters are Isabelle and Luke. Isabelle has lost both her parents in an incident many years ago in a planned shifter attack. The girls end up in the care of her bitter, shifter hating grandmother. It is the grandmother that makes both Izzy and Bess ashamed of their heritage and makes them learn to suppress their inner wolf. The grandmother is a very cruel woman, she keeps the girls from others of their own kind and even forces the girls apart from each other, punishing them if she finds them comforting each other or even holding hands.
Then when social services finally intervene and the two girls are placed in foster care with Hank & Abby and their adopted son Freddie. The girls naturally find it hard to settle in and trust they will not be abused as they were with their grandmother. Hank & Abby try many times to adopt the two girls but their grandmother refuses.

This book has quite a lot going on as human Freddie is marrying Rissa who is a shifter. Freddie has invited Izzy whom he considers his sister to meet his wife to be and her extended family. As soon as Izzy comes into contact with Rissa she realises that she is a shifter. You would think as a shifter herself Izzy would be happy to find a pack that seems intent on welcoming her. However her grandmother has filled her head with everything negative about shifters. 
Then there's Rissa who is the Luna in her pack. Luke has only recently taken the role as alpha as his father & his father's beta, were killed along with a couple of young female shifters. Luke has his hands pretty full already with trying to find out who killed his father. Then there's the people that keep going missing, then turning up dead!

When Izzy meets Luke Wyland, the Alpha of Rissa's pack the air practically sizzles. Luke instantly knows that Izzy is his mate! As Luke learns more about Izzy he wonders What on earth could her human grandmother have done to her and her sister Bess for them to fear their own kind? And why had the Chicago pack not come forward to help the two girls, especially after their grandmother died? How could any pack allow their own species end up in the care system under "only human care"??" Luke knows he cannot reveal his attraction and mate bond to Izzy, he needs to gain her trust and coax out her inner wolf before that or he may lose her.

The fact that Izzy was a vegetarian and is totally repressing her wolf has Luke and brother Freddie concerned. Both Luke and Freddie are very protective over Izzy so they kind of butt heads a lot especially when Freddie realises that Luke is attracted to Izzy even though Freddie is a breakable human he threatens Luke the very strong alpha! Eventually Freddie reveals some of Izzy's tragic past to Luke including the fact her sister Bess killed a man the one time she was in wolf form. She also video calls Izzy to tell her what she has done and to say goodbye to her sister and shoots herself. Obviously Izzy is devastated about her sisters suicide which to her just reinforces what their grandmother instilled in them, that shifters are bad, they kill and their inner wolf should be repressed at all times!
Along with trying to help Izzy, Luke has the problem of the mysterious deaths in the area his pack lives in. Is it a human killer or a shifter? 

My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that this book was fairly medium paced to begin with but certainly becomes really action packed nearer the end. This book ends with a few loose ends which is good news because I would love to read more about this Were pack.
This book has some great book boyfriend worthy characters, Luke, Dean and Freddie to name just three possibilities. If you love kick butt females there are plenty of those too, Isabelle, Rissa, and Abby for example.

What more can I say? I'd love to read more by this author as well as definitely wanting to read more of the Mated By Fate Series. If you love a great shifter book then this one should be on your reading list!


Sunday, 15 July 2018

REVIEW - 84K BY CLAIRE NORTH

Title: 84k
Author: Claire North
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Literary Fiction 
Publisher: Orbit, Little Brown Book Group UK
Release Date: 24th May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
What if your life were defined by a number?

What if any crime could be committed without punishment, so long as you could afford to pay the fee assigned to that crime?

Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

But when Theo's ex-lover Dani is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.

Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don't add up.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I really loved the sound of this book when I read the blurb. It's dystopian society/futuristic theme described in the blurb had me really intrigued. I mean what would life be like if those people with enough money to pay a fine could quite literally get away with murder?! 

The book description made me think of All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis and the Cell 7 series by Kerry Drewery where there are elements of the book that could quite easily happen in our own world in the not too distant future.
I find the cover very eye catching, its stark black background and the simplistic yet intriguing title 84K. I also love the vibrant blue butterfly, maybe to signify hope or a sense of freedom perhaps.

The book description mentions that Theo works at the Criminal Audit Office and I get the impression that he may be a little blase and unconcerned about the crimes he has to put a monetary value on. That is until someone he is close to is actually the victim of the crime as then it all feels more personal and closer to home. 

I began reading the book and without revealing points in what I read that may spoil the book for others, its rather difficult to explain. I felt confused by the character Theo, though I did feel awful for him having to attend the works trip for "team building". The whole divide between the different levels of staff. The management staying in the luxury of a hotel and their day not starting til mid morning. The "normal" "lowly" have to stay in dormitories and have to take part in the 5am team building run. I could definitely empathise with Theo's reluctance to join in and his resentment that the higher level staff were staying in more superior environment and were only expected to join in with certain exercises.

Then the book seemed to become slow paced and a little muddled for me. I was becoming irritated reading the book, I was wanting it to move and get on with the plot. I did have a couple of days break from reading the book and then picked it up and tried again but just couldn't seem to be drawn into the plot enough to want to continue reading. 

I feel that I do want to give the book another try sometime in the future, so this review may be added to at a later date. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

REVIEW - MY MAD DAD BY ROBYN HOLLINGWORTH

Title: My Mad Dad
Byline: The Diary of an Unravelling Mind
Author: Robyn Hollingworth
Genre: Non-fiction, Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Trapeze, Orion Publishing
Release Date: 19th April 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Inadvertent cross-dressing
Attempted murder
Jail break
A waltz at a funeral
A hernia the size of Guernsey

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, these are the moments that litter the messy road from cared-for to carer, a journey that Robyn Hollingworth finds herself on when she's only twenty-five years old.

Leaving London to return home to rural South Wales, Robyn finds that it's her old life - same teddy bears resting on her pillow, their bodies tucked under the duvet; same view of the garages behind which she'd had her first cigarette and first kiss - but so much has changed.

Her dad, the proud, charmingly intelligent, self-made man who made people laugh, is in the grip of early onset Alzheimer's. His brilliant mind, which saw him building power stations and literally bringing light into the lives of others, has succumbed to darkness.

As Robyn settles back in the rhythms of life in the rain-soaked vast Welsh valleys, she keeps a diary charting her journey as the dad she knew disappears before her eyes. Lyrical, poignant and with flashes of brilliant humour, My Mad Dad explores how in helping others we can heal ourselves. 

'At some point the cared for become the carers...this isn't a shame and it isn't a tragedy and it isn't a chore. It is an honour. To be able to return the gift of love that someone bestows upon you is a gift in itself. This is a story of caring...'


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
The topic of this book is one very close to my own heart and is one I have shed many tears over. Dementia is an awful disease that literally takes away your loved one and leaves you with an empty shell that looks like your loved one and sounds like your loved one but yet at the same time changes them beyond recognition. 

The cover is basically like a page in a diary/notebook and it fits the book quite well. It also shows a figure in a purple coat/jacket which will make much more sense to you and will probably have you giggling when you come to a scene described in the book! I also love the ball of wool unraveling to go with the byline/sub-title of "The Diary Of An Unravelling Mind!"

The genre's listed for this book are Biographies, and Memoir which I totally agree with. After reading this book I would also add the genre "self help" I'll explain later in my review.

So this book is about the Coles' a family of four, mum, Marjorie a proud Scottish woman, her husband David who has dementia, and they live in rural Wales. David and Marjorie's now grown up son Gareth, and grown up daughter Robyn have 
long since left home with both of them having good careers and full social lives too. The book obviously reveals more about Robyn as she is the writer of it, but also features her brother Gareth. Though I would be interested to learn what her brother thinks of the book and how much, if any, input or restrictions he made/requested within the book.

At the very beginning of the book Robyn was successfully working as a fashion buyer/merchandise in London with some famous names and luxury brands. She was living in a flat in London and some would probably say living "the" life. Going out with friends at the weekend on a Friday evening and not sober up until at work on the Monday. 

When Robyn and Gareth's father David's Alzheimer's becomes more apparent and is at a point their mother cannot cope alone, she has to tell her children. Robyn is also at a turning point in her life, having just had a relationship break up. Robyn leaves her flat, packs up her few belongings and heads "home" to rural South Wales. That is a big enough change in her lifestyle going from the hustling bustling London with lots of friends and social engagements to the much quieter, less busy, no job so less money and the shock you go through when you finally have to accept a loved one has a form of dementia. The available support which Robyn and her family access depends upon what is available in their area. With them living in a smaller community they do have some support from their community. 


The book is written and  presented in the style of a diary. It is from the personal diary that Robyn kept throughout the time she cared for her father David. . . I do love the conversational style of this book. there are no "airs and graces". Robyn tells it like it really is. This isn't someone preaching about how you should and shouldn't do things, Robyn is living the life with a loved one with dementia. Robyn comes across as someone who would be easy to talk to and have a laugh with. Sure some of the humour could possibly be called "gallows humour" but if you are caring for someone with dementia you will most likely understand it.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that it has been
an emotionally difficult read for me, but have had tears of sadness, tears of laughter. This book has given me the feeling that I am not alone. It kind of gives you permission to be angry at dementia and suggests how to avoid correcting your loved one. The book also shows that it's alright to smile and nod and let your loved one stay in their fantasy world if that's where they are happiest.

This book has helped me feel not so alone with this medical condition. I don't want to rattle along about my connections with Alzheimer's but I found this book made me smile. In fact it may seem a funny thing to say but it gave me permission to laugh at somethings those with dementia do and say as well as kind of grieve for what you have already lost, by your loved one being changed due to dementia.