The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

This book will be released in the UK on May 16 2019

Jeffery Deaver is an American author. He has written a lot of books, including three which have been made into films.

The Never Game book coverThe Never Game is the first book in a new series, and follows Colter Shaw as he gets embroiled in a game he didn’t expect.

Colter Shaw finds people. He’s not a cop or a bounty hunter, but he earns money by looking for people who are missing and there is a reward to find them. He’s good at what he does.

Shaw had a different upbringing. Brought up on ‘the compound’ he was home schooled and alongside that was taught hunting and survivor training.

As soon as you start reading this you’re pulled into the action. Shaw is desperately trying to rescue a woman in a sinking boat. Then we go back to the beginning and you find out how he got there.

I found the story engrossing from the start. I wanted to know more about Shaw, I wanted to understand what was happening. Deaver is very good, he regularly drip feeds you information and answers, but leaves enough out to keep you wanting to read more.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’m pleased that I got a chance to read the first in a new series before there are too many books to catch up with. I will definitely be reading the next book, there is so much about Shaw I want to know and a very important unanswered question from his childhood.

If you like crime and mystery then I strongly recommend that you read this book!

Thank you to LoveReading and HarperCollins for sending me the book to review.

The Altered Wake by Megan Morgan

The Altered Wake is the first book in a series of four. It follows Cameron Kardell as she discovers more about the herself and those around her.

This is very different to any of the books I have read recently, being a fantasy/sci-fi book.

Megan Morgan is an Indie author living in Baltimore and the book is published by an indie publisher in Baltimore called Clickworks Press. Because it is an indie book by an author in America, it is only available as an ebook, so on Kindle and iBook etc for those of us in the UK, but at (currently) £2.99 (on Kindle) I think it’s a bargain for such a good book.

Cameron Kardell is a woman in her early twenties, she’s strong, determined and The Altered Wake book coverfocused. Working for the Sentinels (the organisation responsible for protecting the political leader and ensuring order across society) she is on a patrol of the outlying villages and towns with her Captain when she notices a lot of posters for missing children. Deciding to stop in this town to investigate Kardell comes across something out of the ordinary and almost unbelievable. Upon returning home she is introduced to the possibility of people having powers and her world changes.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, I read it to review on the suggestion of someone on Twitter and I was a bit nervous that I would be disappointed. I have to say though, I wasn’t. This book is really well written and I was completely captivated by the story from start to finish.

It’s nothing like The Hunger Games trilogy (other than the strong woman being the lead), but left me with the same sense of being invested in the characters and wanting more.

If you enjoy fantasy/sci-fi and strong women then I would recommend this book. I’m eager for the second book of the series to be released and may have already pestered the author to find out when this will be.

Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

This book will be released on 18 April 2019.

Roberts is a British author who has released four books in the Cosy series (The Cosy Teashop in the Castle, The Cosy Christmas Teashop, The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop, and The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop) and also two other standalone books (not including this one).

Image of book Rachel’s Pudding PantryRachel’s Pudding Pantry is about a young woman called Rachel in her mid twenties who is running her families farm after the death of her father a couple of years previous. Overall she is doing well however there are some struggles that she has to work with her mum and other family and friends to help resolve, all whilst raising her five year old daughter.

This is very much a chick lit book and has a romance brewing throughout. It’s very easy reading and not at all heavy like the recent books I have been reading. However I don’t think that this genre is given as much credit as it deserves. For this book to be considered ‘easy reading’ it has to be well written, which it is. The story flows, at a calm, but not too slow, pace. The characters are well written and I really liked the main character of Rachel and cared about what happened to her. This was such a pleasure to read after the recent, very involved (and good) books that I’ve been reading.

I’m not a farmer, but the descriptions of farming life seemed to be well researched, believable and were clearly described in an engaging way. Also the depiction of Northumberland was beautiful and if the opportunity ever arises for me to go there I will be eager to seize it.

I thought that the way Roberts dealt with grief was impressive, I appreciated that it hadn’t been rushed and it was shown that it is something that can still be raw and difficult years later.

If you’re looking for a nice, pleasant read that leaves you feeling hopeful and positive, as well as emotionally moved in parts, then I recommend this book.

Also there were a couple of recipes at the end that I’m looking forward to trying.

Thank you to LoveReading and Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book to honestly review.

A Treacherous Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

Lynn Shepherd is a British author who studied English in Oxford and worked as a freelance copywriter for more than a decade.

A Treacherous Likeness is the third book in Image of book A Treacherous Likenessthe Charles Maddox series. I have not read the first (Murder at Mansfield Park) but read the second (Tom-All-Alone’s) over six years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I borrowed A Treacherous Likeness from a friend shortly after, unfortunately I have only just got round to reading it (thankfully my friend is patient).

(Note: Outside of the UK, Tom-All-Alone’s is called A Solitary House, and A Treacherous Likeness is called A Fatal Likeness)

A Treacherous Likeness follows Charles Maddox, an investigator in the mid-19th century, as he works to unravel the mysteries surround the life of poet Percy Shelley and his wife, author Mary Shelley.

Throughout the book I found myself changing my opinions of the main characters continuously, in fact I’m still not 100% sure what I think of them. There is a lot of history, London in the 19th century, the class system etc. There is also a lot of interesting information about the Shelleys. This is of course combined with fictitious characters and events. The author’s note at the end is very helpful in separating fact from fiction and speculation.

I found this book to be an enjoyable read. I like Shepherd’s way of writing, she occasionally talks to you separate from the story, discussing how a behaviour would result in a medical diagnosis nowadays etc. Although it takes you out of the period the story is based in, it seems to somehow bring you closer to the characters.

This book has raised a lot of questions for me about the Shelleys and even about Byron. I’m leaving it with lots of curiosity and will be doing some research about them all to sate it.

I really enjoyed reading this and am pleased to see that there has been a fourth book released in the series, although it does seem to be only on the Kindle that I can find it. Regardless, I hope it’s not another six years before I read it. I would also like to go back and read the first in the series.

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister is the first book by British author Beth Underdown.

Image of bookSet in the 17th century in Essex and across parts of Suffolk, the book follows Alice as she returns home to her brother in the midst of the Civil War in England. Upon returning home she finds herself pulled into a world of witch-hunting.

Interestingly this book is a fictionalised account of a real person from history, Matthew Hopkins – one of the witch-hunters who was responsible for the death of a significant number of people.

Some of the women detailed in the book are real women who were tried or testified and some chapters are opened with documents that have been compiled from actual historical sources.

I found this book to be really well written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The character of Alice, and the other main characters, were so well written. I could completely relate to Alice and understand her struggle with what was happening.

Underdown paints a vivid picture of what is taking place and it’s so interesting to see reasons why women could be accused of being a witch. I find myself wondering if people truly believed that they were witches, or just didn’t like their actions and choices and so used it as a reason to punish them.

The story moved at a good pace, I didn’t find myself getting bored or wishing there wasn’t so much to read. The book finished well for me, mostly. There was one piece, in fact the final sentence, which I cannot work out whether or not I like. Part of me enjoyed it, and the other part thought it was a bit too much. If you’ve read the book please let me know what you thought of that sentence.

I hope that there are more books to come from Underdown, if there are I would most definitely be interested in reading them.

Which books are you grateful for?

A friend introduced me to an interesting Instagram account today, it’s @gratefulness_org and is called A Network for Grateful Living. The most recent daily question that had been posted was “For which books am I truly grateful?”

I’ve thought about this all afternoon and I have come up with the following: Photo of Instagram post

A long walk in the woods by Bill Bryson – This was my introduction to Bill Bryson and I now love his books, this one is my favourite though.  The journey and the experiences had whilst walking the Appalachian Trail were so well described that I don’t feel the need to watch the film, I can picture it in my head.  Definitely a book that I dip in and out of when I want to escape and imagine going on an adventure.

A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – I’m not sure why it took me so long to get round to reading this, but I finally read it last year.  It was absorbing and disturbing in equal measure.  It’s a book that is still so relevant now and it brought my inner feminist to life. One to re-read regularly.

1984 by George Orwell – I read this for the first time a few years ago and it is one of my favourites of all the books I have read.  It amazes me that something written in the 1940s is still so relevant now and opened up different viewpoints to me with regards to politics and ways of looking at the world.

Which books are you most grateful for?