Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

This is the trailer for the adaption of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, I loved this book! This was one of the first ARCs I had to review. I just looked on the lovereading page and my review from back then is on top! Click HERE to see! And there is a link to read my full review which I didn’t even realise was on this website.

My Review for Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (from ages ago with no revisions)

“Imaginative, compulsively
readable and at times unnerving
I loved this book it dragged me
into it’s weird world and
wouldn’t let go. A unusual book,
an antidote to popular ‘normal’

“It was a test of our curiosity and
fascination which walked side by side
with our fear,” this quote from, the
book, sums up my feelings despite the
moments of unease I felt reading
particular parts my curiosity
compelled me to read on. I just had to
see what was around the next corner.
I read this book within a day as I
could not tear myself away. I found it
enigmatic and unusual, I was curious
and fascinated as to what “Area X” is,
what’s that moaning they hear at dusk? Why aren’t they being told everything
about the place? It’s unusual because the characters are not given names but
titles, this is because the book is the journal of the biologist of the group. We’re
not just told about this expedition but drawn into the mind of the biologist so
that we can understand who she is; an interesting character. Area X itself seems
like a unspoilt paradise, except it’s not a paradise there’s something unnerving
about the place, the abandoned villages, the expeditions sent in again and again
with no idea what they’re getting into it. I don’t want to say too much and spoil
the book.
I loved this book for it’s weirdness, I don’t usually like sci-fi but I forgot about
genre and I enjoyed this book for it’s ideas and style, it’s uniqueness.
I think this is one of those imaginative books you either understand (as much as
you can) and love or don’t get, which will explain some one-lined reviews on
other websites.
I am always looking for a book to drag me into it’s world, keep me there and
show me things that nobody else has, something different that stands out
against the numerous others books out there. An antidote to popular fiction.
This is one of those books”

I really recommend Annihilation which is part one of The Southern Reach Trilogy, I’ve read book two and it was just as good. Still haven’t got around to reading the third! But I read Borne this year and loved it, Jeff VanderMeer writes amazingly weird books, so unique, read my review  for Borne here.


I wrote that review for Annhilation in 2014! It was one of the first ARCs I had. It all started when I signed up to a reading panel from lovereading.co.uk .  Every now and then they’d send an email with a list of books to pick from. They only had a certain amount and I was lucky enough to get hold of a copy of Annihilation and review it. I didn’t even have a blog back then, they just asked us to submit a short review and a full review.

I had a few books from lovereading but I don’t think I saved any of my reviews, I never thought I’d end up blogging! It was only when I signed up to Netgalley that I decided to start up a blog, that was last year but I only got into it this year.

I didn’t realise that my reviews were still on lovereading, I might have to go hunt for them. I had some amazing books from that panel and if it wasn’t for lovereading would I ever have found Netgalley and decided to start blogging? Thanks lovereading.co.uk!

I can’t remember if Annihilation was my first ARC, can you remember yours?




Work In Progress

So no book review just yet. I’m reading and enjoying: The Secret Keeper by Ruth Hogan and The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler and finally getting to grips with a novel I’ve been meaning to start for a while. I have so many short stories to finish. How do people find the time?


Seas of Snow by Kerensa Jennings

Cover of Seas of Snow


A psychological thriller that explores whether evil is born or made

Is evil born or made?

Seas of Snow is a story of broken trust and shattered dreams. Of consequences. Of a life lifted and liberated by poetry. Of a life haunted by darkness and lived in fear.
This is the tale of Gracie Scott, who becomes fascinated by the work of Rainer Maria Rilke and delights in his words for guidance and succour. But when her psychopath uncle Joe enters her life, is poetry enough?
Alternating between contemporary North Tyneside and around the time of World War Two, Seas of Snow dances through time, backwards and forwards between the literary reveries and troubles of the young girl, and the old woman of today, frail and isolated in a nursing home.
Seas of Snow is a bleak psychological thriller about trust and betrayal told with a distinctive and complex narrative voice”

The publication of Seas of Snow was made possible through a crowdfunding website called Unbound. I heard about it on a facebook group and watched a video trailer of it which you can find here. It was this video, the synopsis and reading the first few pages of this novel that made me buy it straight away, although of course I took a while to get around to reading it. I am interested in psychology myself and this book got my attention.

Here’s My Review:

This is a shocking thriller but also a deeply moving and poetic story. Throughout the novel poems are quoted as the character Grace develops an interest in poetry which helps her to cope with life. The novel itself uses poetic imagery throughout that adds depth to the story. 
I love the authors style:
There was something deliciously intoxicating about squirreling yourself away for a while and letting your thoughts take flight.”  

“If something is written beautifully, it can spark something special in us, make us feel a little bit more alive”
I never expected a thriller to make me love the words and to make me want to quote the book! 
Although as I’ve said it’s a poetic story it’s chilling when it needs to be, some of the scenes are so shocking that at some points I’ve wanted to turn away and stop reading. But the story is so riveting that I couldn’t stop. This story shows you the inner workings of a psychopaths mind, it’s very interesting if disconcerting.
 Wonderful read from beginning to end. Will have to read more by this author. 


Today, 18th September, is the start of the A Discovery of Witches real-time read. We start reading the same date that the book starts, continuing right through to the second book: Shadow Of Night and then The Book Of Life.

Sometimes we can go weeks without reading a chapter 😧 But then sometimes you have no willpower and find yourself skipping ahead because the books are so good.

I did this for the first time last year.

The Real-Time Reading Companion features history and facts about the characters and interesting information. The Facebook group is full of discussions as we make notes and hunt for Easter eggs in our favourite trilogy. Deborah Harkness also puts things up on her social media!

What makes this year so different is that the All Souls Con is at the end of the week and the Facebook group has increased due to the news of the TV series. It’s going to be an interesting real-time read.

This will be my third read of this series and I have been waiting eagerly, trying not to start reading. Sadly, I’ll have to wait until I finish work to start my real-time read.

What’s the book about?

“When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.” Description from Deborah Harkness’ website

It’s a compelling read with amazing characters that you will love. Exquisite writing and a unique fantasy world that  you will not want to leave. There’s not just witches like Diana but Daemon’s and Vampires. There’s alchemy and magic. Science and history. Drama and love.

If you are a fan of urban fantasy or love the supernatural this book is for you.

More info here:


Image result for it begins with absence and desire


More books? Can’t resist.

I said that I wasn’t going to buy anymore books. Why:

  • I have a massive TBR list that isn’t getting any smaller
  • I have two books to read and review and reading two others, one of which will also be reviewed.

But classics don’t count do they? 

I’ve been meaning to visit this charity shop for a while and finally went after plans went awry twice. It’s in Porthcawl, which isn’t too far from where I live, it’s a charity shop called Paws and upstairs it has a massive selection of books. Including: OLD CLASSICS! I’m talking lovely old hardbacks and battered old paperbacks. Yes, I’m one of those bookworms who love old (VINTAGE) books. 
So I found these three… 

These will be added to my small collection of pretty hardbacks(more on my others in another post) I can’t wait to read more Dickens. I’ve already read Great Expectations and I have David Copperfield in paperback, I couldn’t remember at the time. But they are lovely books.

I should’ve stopped looking but:

 I have this problem: when I’m shopping for books my brain switches off, it does, I can’t even remember what books I own or need, I don’t have the willpower to say: no you don’t need anymore books. I can’t leave them behind! So I also picked up these…

…battered old paperbacks.Nothing like having classics in hardback but I also like the old paperbacks.
 I‘ve read The Mayor of Casterbridge and Far from a Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy but I didn’t own copies. I keep meaning to try reading Chaucer, so here’s an incentive it’s now on my shelf. And The Professor by Charlotte Bronte, I’ve heard about it and since Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books I keep meaning to read more of Charlotte Bronte’s books.

I did not intend to buy this many books, 

I really didn’t ! My boyfriend by this time had found a seat waiting patiently for me to finish looking, he’s not a reader. I turned to him and said ‘maybe I should put some back’. I couldn’t. 

In my defence:

I knew I wouldn’t be going to this shop again for a while and how can I resist buying more classics? It’s a charity shop and all this came to under £5 so they were all so cheap and money going to a good cause.

Classics are not the same as regular books. 

They’re just not. They are books you collect (and read! you have to read them!) it’s not as if I bought contemporary books to add to my TBR, it’s not the same I tell you. I’m adding to a collection not just a TBR (oh dear, that’s a justification I could make to any book, wish I hadn’t thought of that).

I broke my rule again! I can’t help it, I need to go to some sort of book addicts support group, however:

I did resist buying two signed books on pre-order recently and another book which looked interesting, all three advertised on twitter. 
I really don’t need anymore books now. I have plenty on my shelf and ARCs to look forward to. October reading is sorted. 

Maybe I should either stick to buying classics in hardback or paperback and not both, this is why I need rules. Or professional help like an addict. What do you think?

Do you collect classics or gorgeous hardbacks? Make me jealous! Have you told yourself you’re not going to buy more but did? Are you just as addicted as me? Or maybe you were good and had willpower, how? 😟


The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Release Date: 8th February 2018

Genre: HorrorType of books: ebook, from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Description from Netgalley:

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements is an eerie and compelling seventeenth-century ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire moors. For fans of Michelle Paver, Helen Dunmore and Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, this gothic tale will weave its way into your imagination and chill you to the bone.

My Review

Sometimes you get a good feeling when you start reading a book, like a gut instinct, that it’s going to be good. ‘The Coffin Path’ is set on the moors and this atmosphere is the perfect place for a gothic story. The first scene dives straight into action with Mercy helping a ewe who is struggling to give birth. It’s the beginning of a chilling story. When she’s going home after helping the ewe Mercy feels like she is being followed, later on there is a hint that there has always been a curse at Scarcross Hall.

The beginning drew me in and I was hooked until the viewpoint change to a new character which also changed the tone of the story from the gothic but not for good. The mystery surrounding the new character soon kept me riveted allowing me to put my doubts aside and not stop reading until the surprising conclusion. I really enjoyed this book. It’s a gothic ghost story with mystery and drama. The atmosphere and setting is amazing and the characters are people you will care about. It’s one of those books where words fail me, how can I capture it in one sentence or paragraph? The one thing that stays with me besides the character of Mercy, is the imagery of the moors.


Mystery Package Arrives

The mystery still isn’t solved. Can’t remember if I entered a competition and ARC copies usually come from publishers. I definitely didn’t order it my proof is the invoice it says ” please accept with our compliments”. I must have a terrible memory 😞 Maybe I’ll figure it out eventually.
I remember seeing this book online somewhere and was interested in it. But heard nothing about recieving it. Oh, dear. Did I enter a competition? I must have. I remember something…..

An email search later. I forgot it’s an ARC I requested weeks ago. Oh dear what a terrible memory. I forgot about the website and had no notifications it was coming recently. Completely forgot. Should I be worried about my memory? The email was dated July 23rd though


Mystery parcel!

So I’ve just come home from work to find a note from dpd saying they missed me! I haven’t ordered anything. It’s from Book Point, a shop in Scotland I’ve don’t know anything about.
Weird. I don’t remember entering any competitions recently.
My boyfriend says that it must be one of those books I keep getting… I used to get advanced reader copies from lovereading but tend to use netgalley these days and get ebooks. So it’s not that.
What is it?
It’s being redelivered on Friday so I’ll have to wait until I finish work Friday and get home (8:40!pm) to see what it is.
What a mystery!


Special Books, Favourite Books

There’s something special about books, you start reading them and you’re transported into a different world. But do you ever get that one book which is more special than the others? A book that means something to you?
I have a lot of favourite books that I reread when I can (Jane Eyre, The Lord of the Rings). But one in particular stands out for me.

I bought The Historian years and years ago when I was visiting one of my favourite places Tenby (in Wales).

No automatic alt text available.

 I started reading it straight away, we were sitting on a bench and I started reading it, I don’t usually do this. And I couldn’t stop reading.
Now every time I read The Historian I remember where I was when I first started reading it. And when I visit Tenby I might think about The Historian, it’s a riveting read.
Does anyone else have that sort of connection with a book? That you can remember the very first time you read it? Where you were? I don’t often get that. I do remember reading books in my teens and how much I loved them, in fact I read The Historian in my teens.

Off on a tangent for a moment: I knew about The Historian a while before I decided to read it, I was put off by the idea that it was a story featuring Dracula (I hate it when they pinch other people’s characters) but I loved it! I was put off reading A Discovery of Witches because of negative reviews, but I loved it. I’m rereading it this year and I’m a member of the facebook fan group.
I also this year read books I would never read as I thought that I’d hate them. There’s a lesson here somewhere, maybe I’ll learn it one day.

Happy Reading!


Are you ever too tired to read? This week I was, I couldn’t concentrate on the words on the page. I’m still reading: A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy, A Dance of Dragons by George. R. R. Martin and an ARC of The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements. I tried to post an update yesterday but the blogger app kept crashing 😦

I’ve just signed up to do the Ninja Book Swap after much thinking. I have way too many books and have had to stop buying but I couldn’t resist. I’ve signed up for the ‘trick or treat’ so you have one book you’ll love and one you won’t, which is another way for to me read out of my comfort zone. I’m so excited about it. I love the idea of buying a book for someone that might make them rethink a genre they don’t love!

Another thing I’ve been getting excited about and looking forward to this year is The All Souls Trilogy real-time read! Every year in September fans of the books start reading when the scenes in the books unfold. We chat about it in the facebook fan group and there’s even a real-time reading companion guide and the author Deborah Harkness posts on social media. Us All Souls fans are really excited this year with the news of the tv series in production and the convention in New Orleans. If you haven’t read the books join us, more info here or follow #discoveryofwitches on twitter. Can’t wait to start reading these books again! I’ve been getting ready by buying some new notebooks as most people take notes as they’re reading. I didn’t last time but I’m prepared:

No automatic alt text available.Just which one?

I’m also looking forward to the special birthday Ninja Book Box  I ordered the May box review here but this next one is extra special and I may have to treat myself again. Single box purchases haven’t opened yet but I’m tempted to subscribe.

I’m always saying to myself: you have too many books, you shouldn’t buy this or that! But now I’m thinking, well why not join the Ninja book swap and get to know other book lovers, I’ve already signed up for that and bought this jewellery I’ve been thinking about getting for ages. I worry too much.

Happy reading!