#WWW Wednesday – July 11, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I’m literally listening to the last half hour of  A Mask of Shadows, the third Frey and McGray novel by Oscar de Muriel, as I write this post. To be honest, it’s nowhere near as good as the first two books in the series and I can see why those reviewers for whom it was the first Frey & McGray book said they wouldn’t read any others. I still plan on finishing the series, though.

I posted by my review of Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner last Friday. Read it here.

What are you currently reading

I am still reading Blackwing by Ed McDonald. I haven’t been making a lot of time for reading, which is entirely my own fault, but I am liking it, despite going slowly. Because I’ve been listening to the Frey & McGray books, and because Galharrow, the MC in this book, is a loveable grump like McGray, I am hearing his narration entirely in Andy Secombe’s grumpy Scottish McGray voice. This is not a bad thing.

What do you think you will read next?

The fourth Frey & McGray book, The Loch of the Dead, became available earlier than I expected, so I have that ready to go. I’m hoping it’s back up to the standard of the first two.

I also checked out the adult SFF section at the library for once (I usually make a beeline for the YA section) and picked out a couple of Mercedes Lackey titles. I think I am going to try Beauty and the Werewolf first. Though Joust has a dragon on the cover and that is also very tempting. So we’ll see what I end up with.

What are you reading this week?~ EmilyP.S. If you’re  interested, head over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, to read a snippet of my current WIP here.

#aww2018 #LoveOzYA “I’m improvising, but I’ve been doing that my whole life.” // Review of “Unearthed” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: Unearthed (Unearthed #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Sci-fi
Target Age Group: YA
Dates read: 20/06/2018 – 26/06/2018
Rating: ★★★

Review:

This book was marketed as “Indiana Jones in space” and while I can see that somewhat… I feel like that ended up giving me expectations for something this book wasn’t. So while I enjoyed it for what it was, I was disappointed it wasn’t what I was expecting.

So what was I expecting? Okay, so I love doing escape rooms, right? My partner finds them a little stressful but he humours me because in return I go to karaoke with him on wekeends. I was expecting this book to be some kind of epic scale escape room in book form, lots of solving puzzles and boobie-trapped rooms and such. And there was a bit of that. But there was really only one interesting puzzle (a musical one which was quite clever). The characters are out of the temple by about halfway to two-thirds of the way through the book and it becomes something completely different.

I liked Jules and Amelia, though I don’t think first person narration works when you have two POV characters. They sound much the same. Yes, they have different personalities and quirks, but I feel like probably everyone sounds fairly similar inside their head. It is different when you can hear different voices, but on the page, there’s not much to differentiate. I couldn’t get too engaged in the romance, as the action takes place over only a few days, maybe a week. I am more of a fan of a slow-burn over “we’re high on adrenaline and running for our lives and I’m gonig to kiss you now”.

Still, the action in the last quarter ramped right up, and the cliffhanger at the end was intriguing enough that I kind want to check out the next book when it’s released just to see where they go with that.


This review is part of my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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#WWW Wednesday – June 27, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

good reading week this week! I finished Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen. This was a good story but the writing style let it down a bit, I felt. I reviewed it here.

Then I finished A Fever in the  Blood by Oscar de Muriel, which I enjoyed a lot (review here). I recommend these to everyone who enjoys historical fiction and murder mysteries, but if on top of that you are also an audio book listener, definitely get the audio books! They are wonderful. I also read The Hunt, which is a short story set just before this book, but it is basically a slightly expanded account of an event which is described in A Fever of the Blood, so it felt a bit pointless. I’m glad it was a freebie on Kindle.

On Saturday I read Zombie  Playlist by  K. J. Chapman in one sitting, as it was a novella and easy to get through. I’m not the biggest fan of zombie fiction in general, but I enjoyed this one well enough, despite a few niggles. I’ll have a review up on Friday.

What are you currently reading?

I finally decided on Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel for this month’s Audible choice. I actually started at the top of my GoodReads TBR and kept going until I found one available on Audible. I’m about a quarter of the way through but haven’t really formed an opinion yet. There are different things going on and I can see how they all intersect but I assume things will fall into place as the story goes on.

I am still going with Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This is one of those occasions where the book is simply something different to what I was expecting, and that’s not the book’s fault, but it’s still disappointing, because I was pretty excited for what I was expecting. I’ll probably finish this tonight or tomorrow.

I made sure to read a few more chapters of  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque on the weekend.  I’m actually surprised how readable it is, given both its age and the subject matter.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ll post a full July-August TBR on Sunday, but I think first up off that list my be The Olmec Obituary by L. J. M. Owens. I am way behind on this series, I think there are at least three books out now. And given some of the book takes place in a fictional versino of my workplace, I feel it’s really time I get on that.

What are you reading this week?~ EmilyP.S. If you’re  interested, head over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, to read a snippet of my current WIP here.

#WWW Wednesday – June 20, 2018

Hello, everyone. Just a quick note before we get to the crux of today’s post. I’ve revitalised my Facebook author/blogger page recently, and am talking about what I’m reading as well as my own writing projects. If that sounds like something that might interest you, head on over to Emily Wrayburn and give it a like. 🙂 I’m also cross-posting a lot on Instagram, if that is more your jam.  And now, on with the show.

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing this week, though I am quite close to finishing some things. I did post my review of Uprooted by Naomi Novik on Friday, and you can read that here. As you may remember me saying last week, I didn’t love it in the end.

What are you currently reading?

I finally managed to make some progress with  Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen over the past couple of days. Another day or two should see me finished. I haven’t really been hooked with this one. The writing style is quite detached. And there are German words peppered throughout it which I have to keep looking up on Google Translate.

Fortunately, I have whizzed through the audio of A Fever in the  Blood by Oscar de Muriel, which I am enjoying just as much as the first book in the Frey and McGray series. I have the third audio book reserved on my digital library and it tells me it will be available on July 1.

I haven’t  continued with All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque this week. I will pick it up again soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Not really sure. I need to read something rollicking and fun, I think. I’ve been thinking maybe Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I went to a book talk with them when this was first released and it was a lot of fun, and I think it will be quite well-written, too, from the way they talked about their writing process. I haven’t had much patience for more trashy books of late, so I need something well done.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should use this month’s Audible credit on? I’m a new member so I only have two things in my wish list and neither of them are appealing to me right now.

What are you reading this week?~ EmilyP.S. If you’re  interested, head over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, to read a snippet of my current WIP here.

“It feels like music, like a heartbeat, like magic… Like Beauty.” // Review of “Hunted” by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted
Author:  Meagan Spooner
Audio book narrator: Will Damron, Saskia Maarleveld
Genre:
  historical fantasy/fairytale retelling
Dates read: 28/01/18 – 03/02/18
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while knows that I am a fan of fairytale retellings. This book has been on my TBR ever since it was released, so when I saw the audio book available through my library’s digital borrowing app, I snapped it up.

With her father’s fortune in ruin, Yeva and her family return to the forest where her father used to hunt. When her father claims a beast is tracking him through the wood and then goes missing, Yeva sets out to find him. When she discovers he is dead, she tries to kill the beast she believes is responsible, but ends up a prisoner in his castle instead, told only that he needs a hunter to kill a quarry for him and break his curse.

The thing I loved about this book was the writing, and I think it was enhanced by two narrators with very soothing voices to carry the rhythm. For a while it bothered me that I wasn’t excited or invested about the characters, but after a while, I sunk into the story itself despite that. The characters are well-written, but not in such a way to get really invested in.

will admit I’m not an expert on Medieval Russia but the historical setting seemed very well formed to me. I loved the wintery atmosphere – all that snow! The descriptions are beautiful. I also really enjoyed the way this was not only a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but also drew on the Russian story The Firebird. I spotted a few indications of the ties between the two stories early on in the book and was rewarded with the pay-off at the end.

If you like fairytale retellings, or atmospheric, character-driven fantasies, I definitely recommend checking this one out.


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#WWW Wednesday – February 07, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished two more audio books this week! All my training for my Nepal trek in April is paying off. I was driving for about five hours on Saturday, with a two-and-a-half hour hike in the middle. Good for audio books but my bum was rather sore by the end of the day.

First off, I finished Hunted by Meagan Spooner. The style of writing in this is a bit like The Night Circus in that half the time, I wasn’t sure I was into the story much. Then I sort of got used to its rhythms and the fact that it was more character-driven than anything else, and I really loved the descriptions of the setting. So if you like your Beauty and the Beast retellings and those things mentioned above, I recommend this one overall.

Next I finished You Sent Me Letter by Lucy Dawson. The problem with this was that it wasn’t very thrilling for a thriller. Though I wanted to know how it ended, I felt a bit unsatisfied by the time I actually got to the end. Oh well.

I also finished the ARC of Your One and Only, a sci-fi YA romance by Adrianne Finlay. I had been putting this off for ages, but I ended up really enjoying it.

This week I reviewed Lion by Saroo Brierley and Your One and Only as well.

What are you currently reading?

I started Hellhole by Gina Damico which is about a squeaky-clean teenager who ends up accidentally summoning a demon, who moves into his basement. It started off quite funny, though it’s worn a little thin. I’m still waiting to see if it picks up again.

On audio, I am listening to Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. This is not what I expected at all; from the descriptions, I expected it to be a lot closer to literary fiction, but it’s actually far more standard YA than that (by which I mean, accessible language, snarky teenage MC, etc). But it is interesting to see a totally different mythology being drawn on to most fantasy books.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Since I didn’t get around to it this week, I will stick with saying Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker. I’m hoping this will be a better “wake up to find a stranger in your home” thriller than You Sent Me A Letter turned out to be.

What are you reading this week?~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – January 31, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

My goodness, two autobiography/memoirs finished this week? And they were both audio books? That is most unlike me. I reached the end of The Hospital by the River by Catherine Hamlin on Friday. I have to admit that there were times when I disagreed with things she said, but that just went to show that someone can have different values to you and still be a wonderful person overall. I actually went and donated to the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation as soon as I had finished.

Over the weekend, I started and finished Lion, previously published as A Long Way Home, by Saroo Brierley. This was made into a movie last year starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Saroo was separated from his family at age 5 with only scant knowledge of his name or hometown, and lived on the streets of Kolkata before being placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, the advent of Google Earth meant he was able to trawl through satellite images of India looking for familiar landmarks until he identified his home town and was reunited with his birth mother. It’s a fascinating story. My review will be up on Friday.

Unfortunately, I decided to DNF Every Breath by Ellie Marney. I had hoped to enjoy this one as I have seen Ellie Marney speak and she is a great person, and I also admire her for kick-starting the #LoveOzYA movement. But I think maybe her books aren’t for me? I was just bored.

Two reviews this week: Mr Stink by David Walliams and The Hospital by the River. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

In print, I am reading and ARC of  Your One And Only by Adrianne Finlay. This is a YA sci-fi romance that will be released next week. I haven’t read any proper sci-fi in a while and I am liking this one, though I do have some questions about the science the premise is based on. But the story is engaging enough that I’m willing to let that slide, so that’s a good sign.

On audio, I am listening to Hunted by Meagan Spooner. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in medieval Russia and drawing on other Russian fairytales as well. So far I’m really enjoying it.  I am also really enamored with the cover. I’m finding my groove with audio books again. For a while, I was distracted by some new musical discoveries, but the novelty of those has worn of a bit now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I might go with Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker, which I  requested after seeing such good reviews from other bloggers. I have been reading a fair bit of YA lately, so an adult thriller is probably a good option.

What are you reading this week?~ Emily