Book Reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Serpent & Dove’ ~ Shelby Mahurin

40024139Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Publication Date: September 3rd 2019

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Serpent & Dove #1

Blurb: Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. 

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.



I went into Serpent & Dove expecting to love it. It had a lot of hype, I’d seen a lot of great reviews and I had even put it on my 5 Star Book Predictions post. In the end I did not enjoy it.

At first I was enjoying it, the writing was lovely and it was something easy to sink into. However, there were several elements that no amount of lovely writing could erase.

  1. The bioessentialism. Whilst I get that the author was probably trying to say witches are human, that’s not how it reads. “Witches can give birth, Reid.”…”That’s what makes them female.” Being able to give birth isn’t what makes someone a woman. Trans men, genderfluid and non-binary people exist. Plenty of women can’t give birth for various reasons.
  2. Can we not refer to fat people walking as waddling. For the love of god.
  3. There was a noticeable difference between how white characters were described (very detailed) and how the characters of colour (barely) were described.
  4. I do love a good enemies to lovers storyline but I don’t know this one made me iffy. When the ‘enemy’ in this case is a straight, white, Christian-coded guy who uses ‘it’ to refer to a group of people and murders them without regret before he meets Lou, it’s less a fun trope and more like – I could walk outside to find people like this. I get that he grows and learns etc etc. but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

These things culminated in me just not being able to enjoy it and part of me is wondering if I should bump it down to one star while writing this.

Find Serpent & Dove

ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘The Name of All Things’ ~ Jenn Lyons

9781509879540.jpgThe Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons

Publication Date: October 29th 2019

Publisher: Tor UK

Series: A Chorus of Dragons #2

RRP: AU$32.99

Blurb: You can have everything you want. If you sacrifice everything you believe . . .

Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man after killing the Emperor of Quur – and not in a good way. So he heads for Jorat, to find the fourth person named in prophesy, who will either save or damn the world.

He meets Janel Theranon, who claims she already knows him. And she wants Kihrin’s help in saving Jorat’s capital from a dragon, who can only be slain with his sword’s magic. Unwittingly, Kirin also finds himself at the centre of a rebellion. One which puts him in direct opposition to Relos Var, his old enemy.

For too long, Janel’s battled the wizard alone – even betraying her ideals to bring him down. However, Var owns one of the world’s most powerful artefacts: the Name of All Things. It bestows knowledge, which Var uses to gain what he wants most. This is now Kihrin D’Mon – and the world may not survive the consequences. Continue reading “Book Review ‘The Name of All Things’ ~ Jenn Lyons”

ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Gideon the Ninth’ ~ Tamsyn Muir

42036538Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Publication Date: September 10th 2019

Publisher: Tor

Series: The Locked Tomb #1

Blurb: Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead. 


Continue reading “Book Review ‘Gideon the Ninth’ ~ Tamsyn Muir”

Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Bloodchild’ ~ Anna Stephens

y648Bloodchild by Anna Stephens

Publication Date: August 22nd 2019

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Series: The Godblind Trilogy #3

Blurb: In this epic grimdark conclusion to the Godblind Trilogy, heroes, armies, and gods both good and evil will battle one last time, with the fate of the world itself at stake. . . . The great city of Rilpor has fallen. Its walls have crumbled under the siege by the savage Mireces; its defenders have scattered, fleeing for their lives; its new rulers plot to revive the evil Red Gods using the city’s captured, soon-to-be-sacrificed citizens. Now, with the Fox God leading the shattered remnants of the Rilporian defence and the Mireces consolidating their claim on the rest of the country, it’s up to Crys, Tara, Mace, Dom and the rest to end the Red Gods’ scourge once and for all. While the Rilporians plan and prepare for one final, cataclysmic battle to defeat their enemies, the Blessed One and the king of the Mireces have plans of their own: dark plans that will see gods resurrected and the annihilation of the Dancer for all time. Key to their plan is Rillirin, King Corvus’s sister, and the baby–the Bloodchild–she carries. As both sides face their destinies and their gods, only one thing is clear: death waits for them all.


Continue reading “Book Review ‘Bloodchild’ ~ Anna Stephens”

Bookish Tags · bookish things

50 Bookish Questions

Hello hello! Another non-review book post without a six month interlude? Is this me committing? It looks like my commitment to diversifying the types of posts I publish is actually holding this time.

I was tagged by the every lovely Laura @ The Book Corps to do the 50 bookish questions tag and I’m going to jump right in!

1) What was the last book you read?

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir aka lesbian necromancers in space!


2) Was it a good one?

It was! It did take me a little while to get into it and at one point I was wondering if I’d over hyped it to myself but I ended up really enjoying it, the ending in particular was amazing.

3) What made it good?

The characters. Muir created some absolutely fantastic characters and Gideon, in particular is snarky and ballsy and brilliant.

4) Would you recommend it to other people?


5) How often do you read?

I’ve always got a least one book on the go and I try to read a bit every day. Sometimes it’s more like every couple of days but definitely very regularly regardless.

6) Do you like to read?

Given that last year I read around 60 books according to Goodreads and have a blog where I review books I can confidently say I do love to read.

7) What was the last bad book you read?

That would be Across The Void by S.K. Vaughn (2 stars)

8) What made you dislike it?

It was just really boring – 50 pages in it had felt like I had read 1000 and there were still 400 pages to go. That and none of the characters were remotely likeable or compelling in anyway.

9) Do you wish to be a writer?

Yes, I’ve often had ideas and started to write things and dream of publishing a book, my problem is commitment and the fact that I get bored easily so I start stories but never finish them.

10) Has any book ever influenced you greatly?

A number and as soon as I read that question my mind decided to blank on every book I’ve ever read 😅

11) Do you read fan-fiction?

Absolutely! I love fanfiction, the skill of fanfic writers is astonishing. I read a lot of ‘fix-it’ fics for shows I’ve loved but hated the direction they took it or treated a character.

12) Do you write fan-fiction?

No, when it comes to fanfic I love to read it but never felt the urge to read any.

13) What is your favourite book?

See my answer for question 10 😅 To name a few; Runebinder, Amberlough, The Wicker King, The Fever King, Where Oblivion Lives, Captive Prince, Wolfsong, Docile, Godblind, The Ruin of Kings, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo……and the list continues

14) What is your least favourite book?

I tend to dnf books I don’t like/seek out the ones I do think I’ll love so I’m not one with a huge list of hated books but one of the most recent 1 star ratings was for All These Beautiful Strangers, just no.

15) Do you prefer physical books or reading on a device (like Kindle)?

I prefer paperbacks but read a lot on my kindle if its a book, in any form, I’ll take it!

16) When did you learn to read?

Fuck if I can remember 😅, probably when I was young – my parents did read to me/encourage reading so I would have been very young.

17) What is your favourite book you had to read in school?

I hated all the books I had to read in school asfhskjdfh

18) What is your favourite book series?

Most of the books I listed in the answer to question 13 are also series so Runebinder, Amberlough, The Fever King, Where Oblivion Lives, Captive Prince, Wolfsong, Godblind, The Ruin of Kings among others

Who is your favourite author?


20) What is your favourite genre?

Fantasy hands down – if I was only allowed to read within one genre for the rest of my life it’d be that

21) Who is your favourite character from a series?

Khirin D’Mon gets a shout out for this questions (from The Ruin of Kings). An ultimate disaster bisexual if ever there were – I love him.

22) Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

Most of my favourite books will have done that, anything I can sink into for a few hours and forget myself and this world for a little while (they tend to be fantasy most of the time, but not always!)

23) Which book do you wish had a sequel?

Blood Divine by Greg Howard, I need more in that world!!!

24) Which book do you wish didn’t have a sequel?

This is obviously a personal opinion and I don’t plan on reading it when it comes out but I’m not sure why Enchantee is getting a sequel when it was so slow I feel like, depending on what book two is about, you could have cut a lot from book one and combined them because it was so damn slow.

25) How long does it take you to read a book?

Totally depends on the book and what my commitments are looking like at the time – I once finished a 900 page book in just over 24 hours, other times it’s taken a month to force myself to finish a 300 page book.

26) Do you like when books become movies?

Yes because I always like seeing this on screen even if it doesn’t match what I imagined. I do wish that more adaptions would be TV shows though because I feel like that’s a better format for books, and series in particular.

27) Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?

Eragon. It was one of my favourite early teenage years books and 13 years later I am still made at that fucking mess of a movie, I don’t think the people behind it even read the books just borrowed the names because it was bad. Bad.

28) Which movie has done a book justice?

Even though I’ve enjoyed some I don’t think any stand at as having done them justice, I tend to view adaptions as completely separate from the books to avoid the disappointment if its bad *cough*Eragon*cough* – I learned from that mistake.

29) Do you read newspapers?

I almost never do.

30) Do you read magazines?

I didn’t as a kid, these days not so much. If I do at all it’s either Frankie or Pepermint so I’m at least not losing braincells.

31) Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?

Neither really.

32) Do you read while in bed?

No, I get sleepy if I do ajkfbhskjd

33) Do you read while on the toilet?


34) Do you read while in the car?

Sometimes but I mainly drive myself these days so I don’t much anymore – since I do enjoy living for all it’s complications.

35) Do you read while in the bath?


36) Are you a fast reader?

Definitely and with a book I am really, really enjoying absolutely.

37) Are you a slow reader?

Only if I’m really hating the book.

38) Where is your favourite place to read?

On the couch next to the window, with the sunshine and a cat!

39) Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read?

If there’s background noise it can be – if some one has the TV on I have to move to a different room or stop.

40) Do you need a room to be silent while you read?

Very close to it!

41) Who gave you your love for reading?

I’m assuming my parents since they were always encouraging.

42) What book is next on your list to read?

I’m a mood reader so it’s often in flux but a few I want to get to soon are; Miserere by Teresa Frohock, There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool, The Poppy War by RF Kuang, The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht, The Priory of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

43) When did you start to read chapter books?

I literally don’t remember much about anything I was doing under 13 so I’m assuming a fairly average age.

44) Who is your favourite children’s book author?

I loved the Lioness Rampant series by Tamora Pierce as a kid (though thats more middle grade).

45) Which author would you most want to interview?

Anna Stephens and the interview would consist of the question WHY????? about Bloodchild.

46) Which author do you think you would be friends with?

I don’t know I always get shy thinking about talking to authors ajfhsjf

47) What book have you reread the most?

Captive Prince is probably the most read, and Vampire Academy when I was younger.

48) Which books do you consider ‘classics’?

There’s your standard old time-y classics (which tend to be heavily bigoted in some or all ways) but I think there’s some more recent books that should be considered classics for what they bring.

49) Which books do you think should be taught in every school?

Definitely The Hate U Give and just about any book that isn’t the awful old ones they make you read in English and pretty much guarantee kids will hate reading.

50) Which books should be banned from all schools?

Given that banning books generally comes up around diverse books I don’t really think banning books is a good thing but some of the racist ones can go tbh and here’s hoping John B*yne’s transphobic book is never taught in schools.