2013: End of Year Survey

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I know it’s pretty late to be posting this, but I really wanted to do a 2013 round-up and this one has been my favourite that’s been doing the rounds. Thanks to The Perpetual Pageturner for compiling this. You can click on the image above to visit them.

I’m only going to do the 2013 book section because I’m so behind on life right now.

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1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

On my TTT post I went for Graceling by Kristin Cashore as that’s the book I can’t stop thinking about and reaaaalllly want to read again. But it was so hard to choose. The best book I read that was actually published last year was probably Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – it’s a tie!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


I’m torn between Poison by Sarah Pinborough and A Breath of Frost by Alyxander Harvey.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

I guess it has to be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness just because I’d heard people talk about it a lot but it still took me so long to pick up, and when I did I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT Epic!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Well I probably talked about The Selection by Kiera Cass the most, but not necessarily recommended it as such (and I first read it in 2012 so not sure it counts). I recommended Frost Hollow Hall and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a lot.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?


Sarah J. Maas

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hmm I didn’t really read one, which is bad. But I guess Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep was out of my comfort zone a little bit just because of the size of it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Has to be The Knife Of Never Letting Go.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Let’s face it, it’s going to be The Selection (and The Elite) before The One comes out in May.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?


It has to be this one which I read before I started blogging. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, the whole book is so pretty.
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11. Most memorable character in 2013?

This is soooo hard! Either Katsa from Graceling, or Celaena from Throne of Glass, ooooh or Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go. MANCHEEEEEEE!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?


It was nowhere near my favourite book of the year, but The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice was written beautifully. As was Frost Hollow Hall.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Without a doubt The Knife of Never Letting Go.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Same again!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?


I read two books by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares) last year and they were both full of beautiful, perfect quotes. I think this was my favourite:

I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken – I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute – every single second – there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world – don’t you just feel we’re becoming more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”
― Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest = The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly by John Fitzsimmonds at 105
Longest = The Host by Stephenie Meyer at 652 (reread) followed closely by Doctor Sleep

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Uhm SO MANY! But mainly The Knife of Never Letting Go and the ending of The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Katsa & Po in Graceling (for romance) and Tod and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go for everything else! ‘Ow, Tod’

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

Probably Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, and coming in a close 2nd, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?

Has to be Graceling again. (Thanks Tanner)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

YA Fantasy. I never really used to read a lot of fantasy so I’m surprised just how many of my books this fell into that. I don’t think I can stop now.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?


Just one??? I need two because I’m greedy – Gavriel from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Fiiiit.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman for sure.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Ooh this one is hard. Maybe Shooting Sean by Bateman because the Mystery Man books are just hilarious. Or The Elite by Kiera Cass, because I’m obsessed and can’t get enough, and the texts that my friend Di sent me whilst she was reading it were BRILLIANT!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

I think The Knife of Never Letting Go was the only book that made me cry. Bitterblue, the last in the Graceling Trilogy may have too.


27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Probably Bitterblue again, because so many people say they haven’t read it yet. READ IT.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read This Year!

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them).

Huge thanks go to them for hosting this feature, I’ve really enjoyed taking part this year and I’m sure this will continue in 2014!

For the final Tuesday of 2013, the topic of course is The Top Ten Books I read this year.

I thought it was only right to do this in descending order. Click the images to visit the Goodreads page, and the book title to go to my review (If I wrote one).

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Title/Author: The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 25th 2013

It is a dark time. For decades Hakon the Black, the most feared Norse Lord of the ninth century, has conducted bloody and gruesome raids throughout Europe, and laid his claim upon the seas. But it is also a time of hope.

In the frozen wastelands of the north, Vidar searches for the Vestibule of Light. Alone, freezing and exhausted, he pushes on through the endless winter in the belief that once his quest is complete, he may return to the life he has left behind, and to Niclaus, the son he was forced to abandon. For Niclaus has a greater destiny – one foretold by Cado, the enigmatic Small Walker – and Vidar is but one player in the boy’s life. Cado has enlisted the help of protectors from all corners of the Earth to shield Niclaus: men whose worlds are connected by only the loosest of threads.

But as Niclaus becomes older, and the various worlds begin to converge, will Vidar and Cado have to make sacrifices beyond imagining to protect those they love.

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Title/Author: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Published:September 24th 2013

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

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Title/Author: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/ Fantasy
Published: August 7th 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

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Title/Author: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Genre: YA/ Horror
Published:September 3rd 2013

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black

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Title/Author: Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
Published: October 3rd 2013

The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.

Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.

Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.

Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .

Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery.

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Title/Author: City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: March 24th 2009

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

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Title/Author: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: August 10th 2012

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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Title/Author: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Published: May 5th 2008

I CAN BELIEVE IT TOOK ME UNTIL 2013 TO READ THIS BOOK. FOOL.

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

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Title/Author: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
Published: April 24th 2012

Oh how I tried not to love this book. It is totally trashy but I LOVE IT, OK!

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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Title/Author: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: October 1st 2008

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

Happy New Year Everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors that were new to me in 2013!

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the topic is Top Ten authors that were new to me in 2013.

So this is all a bit rushed because IT’S CHRISTMAS AND I’M BEHIND ON SO MANY THINGS (deep breaths), but I really wanted to take part because I’ve discovered so many great new authors this year. So here goes:

  1. Kiera Cass (The Selection; The Elite) Obvs
  2. Kristin Cashore (Graceling; Fire; Bitter Blue) I miss this series 😦
  3. Emma Carroll (Frost Hollow Hall) This was my first ever ARC review. Loved it.
  4. Kenneth Gregory (The Polaris Whisper) Another ARC review, Kenneth recently tweeted me to say that they used one of my quotes in the book launch promo video (below). Chuffed!
  5. Sarah J. Mass (Throne of Glass; Crown of Midnight) Celaena has been one of my favourite characters this year.
  6. Glynis Cooney (Daughter of Camelot) I loved this Arthurian YA adventure.
  7. Rachel Hartman (Seraphina) This was only the 2nd book I read this year, but it definitely stands out as one of the best.
  8. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares) I’d read some Levithan before but never these two together, I love both of their collaborations.
  9. Debbie Macomber (Starry Night) I just reviewed this here
  10. Terra Harmony (Water) I need to read the other books in the series!

 

The Polaris Whisper Book Launch:


It looked like a great event. What made you list? Feel free to leave a link!

Monthly Round Up!

October 2013
October on Lipsyy Lost & Found was Horror October.

PicMonkey CollageUPDATED

Total Posts: 30

New WP Followers: 28

Books Read & Reviewed (6):

  • Human Remains – Elizabeth Haynes, 4/5 (Review)
  • Doctor Sleep – Stephen King 4/5 (Review)
  • Words Once Spoken – Carly Drake 3/5 (Review)
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black 5/5 (Review)
  • Zom-B Underground – Darren Shan 3/5 (Review)
  • The Polaris Whisper – Kenneth Gregory 4/5 (Review)

Favourites Fridays:
Most Fridays I have been posting about my favourite books or authors

  • #13 The Birthing House – Christopher Ransom (View Post)
  • #14 Edgar Allan Poe (View Post)
  • #15 The Pilo Family Circus (View Post)
  • #16 Exquisite Corpse – Poppy Z. Brite (View Post)

Most Viewed Posts:

  1. WWW Wednesday 09/10/2013 (View Post)
  2. *Fangirl Alert* The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass (View Post)
  3. WWW Wednesday 16/10/2013 (View Post)

Books Purchased: 
I was good this month and told myself NO MORE PROPER BOOKS until I get my TBR pile down. It didn’t stop me from getting some Kindle Bargains though.

1. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest £0.77
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn £0.99
3. Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas £0.99
4. The Seance by Tricia Drammeh £0.00

Books Swapped: 
I only Swapped one book this month. Head to Readitswapit.co.uk if you’re in the UK and want to join. My username is Lipsyp1

Swap #1: Murphy’s Law by Colin Bateman for Trainspotting (never read this!) by Irvine Welsh.

ARCs/Giveaways:
I had waaaaay too many books in my NetGalley library for a while there so I’ve stayed well clear of requesting anymore.

I did receive Orbital Kin by James E. Parsons however. I follow James on Twitter and he was looking for reviewers. Looking forward to it!

*BOOK (AND COVER) OF THE MONTH*

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I hope you guys enjoyed Horror October as much as I did. It’s nice to have a theme!

WWW Wednesday (02/10/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:
Zom-B Underground (Zom-B #2) – Darren Shan
15716836This is the first book I’m reading for Horror October. I’ve been a fan of Darren Shan for a long time but I definitely prefer his adult books to his kid’s ones these days.

Waking up in a military complex, months after zombies attacked school, B has no memory of the last few months. Life in the UK has turned tough since the outbreak, and B is woven into life- and battle- in the new military regime quickly. But as B learns more about the zombies held in the complex and the scientists keeping them captive, unease settles in. Why exactly was B saved? And is there anyone left in the world to trust?

I’m also reading Words Once Spoken that I requested from NetGalley because I loved the cover. Only just started it.

Recently Finished:
The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory. I LOVED it. My Review is Here.

Up Next:
Any of the books on my Horror October list here. I’ll probably get stuck into Doctor Sleep or The Coldest Girl in Cold Town.

As ever, if you leave a comment your link or books I will take a look 🙂

Winter is Here: The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory

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It is a dark time. For decades Hakon the Black, the most feared Norse Lord of the ninth century, has conducted bloody and gruesome raids throughout Europe, and laid his claim upon the seas. But it is also a time of hope.

In the frozen wastelands of the north, Vidar searches for the Vestibule of Light. Alone, freezing and exhausted, he pushes on through the endless winter in the belief that once his quest is complete, he may return to the life he has left behind, and to Niclaus, the son he was forced to abandon. For Niclaus has a greater destiny – one foretold by Cado, the enigmatic Small Walker – and Vidar is but one player in the boy’s life. Cado has enlisted the help of protectors from all corners of the Earth to shield Niclaus: men whose worlds are connected by only the loosest of threads.

But as Niclaus becomes older, and the various worlds begin to converge, will Vidar and Cado have to make sacrifices beyond imagining to protect those they love.

I struggled with this book in the very beginning. I didn’t know it was going have a shifting timeline (one of my book turn-offs on this week’s TTT!) and it took me a lot to focus on it and figure out what it was actually going to be about. But how glad am I that I stuck it out? VERY, that’s how glad.

The Polaris Whisper spans from around 800 to 840 AD, so it’s not a huge shift between time per chapter, but it still took me a while to get used to it. It is also a book with many characters and story strands, but once they all started coming together I had to keep reading to find out how it was going to pan out.

There’s the two monks of Ceanannus Mór in 802 AD who start off as BFFs but a strain is put on their relationship when Tomás meets mysterious ‘Small Walker’ Cado and begins working with him on a secret project. And then around 830 there’s Vidar who gave up his son Niclaus to fulfill a quest to find the Cave of Light not knowing whether he will return. And in 840 AD Niclaus and his friends prepare for ‘The Trial’, an almighty 3 day race over perilous snow and frozen lakes in which the winner will be named as Ugter – the new village leader.

It doesn’t really sound all that exciting does it? But it is! With gory Ice Bear and Wolf attacks, the mounting unease between the small walkers and tall walkers, a cute little romance, viking raids and the imposing Norse Lord Hakon – once I got into The Polaris Whisper I was hooked.

The setting didn’t hurt either. Descriptions of the Fjords and the frozen wastelands were both harsh and beautiful and I found the writing throughout pretty much perfect.

I was particularly interested to know more about Vidar and his quest and couldn’t wait to get back to him every time it wasn’t his chapter. The Vestibule he was looking for was drenched in mystery and magic and I was urging him on to find it each time.

I also loved Cado, the Small Walker. He was definitely the glue in this story, eventually tying all of the characters together. He was also the main source of intrigue and excitement as we learn more about him and the secret magical powers he yields.

In the end, this book was a lot different to what I was expecting. I expected more of the Norse mythology in there for sure, but the direction it actually went in was welcome too.

And, I can’t talk about it because this is a spoiler-free zone but THE ENDING. There is a proper twist/revelation at the end which is amazing. I’m not sure how I didn’t see it coming, but I didn’t…I literally had my mouth open for quite some time, actually it still is a little bit. Not attractive. Please tell me there’s more???

I think this will be a favourite Winter Read of mine for some time. Wolves, Racing Sleighs, Reindeer…what’s not to like!?

Disclosure: I received a copy from the author/publisher for an HONEST review via NetGalley. Many thanks!
Details: Paperback, 457 pages, published September 25th 2013 by Blackstaff Press Ltd
Unicorn Rating: 4/5
Is it a keeper? YES! I will be buying a physical copy ASAP!
If you like this try: Game of Thrones!?

WWW Wednesday! (25-09-13)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory

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I’ve only just started this so not much to report yet!

Recently Finished:

I knew my productivity couldn’t last for long. I had a friend staying over for the weekend so didn’t get any reading done; I only finished one book – When Stars Die by Amber Skye Forbes. My review is here.

Up Next: I have lots of awesome titles lined up for Horror October including…

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16130549Leave a comment with your link!