Review: The Cradle Will Fall – Clare Donoghue

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*** (3.5 stars)
This is a short review for a short prequel, which I am in two minds on how to review, but lets begin…

This is a very, very short read, even shorter than I was expecting. It is advertised as being roughly 28 pages on amazon, where I bought it from, or rather downloaded for free at the moment as it’s on offer, because it sounds really good and I thought I’d try this short prequel before purchasing the rest of the series. This book, or short story, may have covered maybe half of the 28 pages, if that, and the rest of was chapters from the other books, enticing you to purchase those. But now let’s talk about what there is of this book….

Be warned that if you do not like books with a bit of a graphic or upsetting nature, then maybe this isn’t your type of book, as there is some sensitivity required. This crime book, illistrates the case that Police Constable Jane Bennett and DI Lockyer first worked on together, before developing their partnership, a case that shocked them all.

It is a short prequel, more like a chapter. So much so, at first I thought it was a sample chapter and I went searching for the rest of the rest of the book. It doesn’t really go any further so you don’t really know fully what happens, because like I said, it’s a chapter, but it’s hinted at. I do and am interested in reading the rest of the series, so it did do its job, in that way. So I’m going to rate this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Have you read this or any more of Clare Donoghues’ book? What do you think? Any suggestions? Comment below 😀

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Review: Sparks – Michele Wesley

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*****
I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for a honest unbiased review of this prequel novella.

This is a prequel novella of The Smoke & Fire Series, explaining the beginning of the two characters, Mycale and Sori in their younger years. This novelette allows you to take a sneak peek into the tragedies that occurred in their younger lives, sparking Sori’s “Smoke” and Mycale’s “Fire”.

I chose and downloaded this book because the description instantly screamed out to me, intriguing me, making me want to know what this story was about. Even this cover intrigued me. I wanted to try a new author and even wanted to try a new genre of book, that isnt necessarily what im used to. I am so glad that I did!!

Even those this is part of a book series, this is a prequel, so you won’t miss out of anything and it made me want to start reading the rest of the series. I have even done some research into the rest of the series, which I found out, can be read as stand alone books. The characters and their pasts are instantly compelling and as a reader I want, or need, to find out where they are going to go from where they’ve left off. How their past makes they develop and defies them.

It is a short prequel, being around 34 pages (my copy was) so it was a quick read and I was able to discover a new author, a new series and a new type of book. So if you are looking for something new why not try this book. It isn’t that long so it won’t take long to read, plus it’s free to download at https://storycartel.com/ so win, win!

I definitely give this a 5 out of 5 because of how much I loved it and how much it’s made me want to continued on with the series. Have you read this book, or any of this series? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 🙂

Review: Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard

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**** (3.5 out of 5)
I would like to thank NetGalley, the author and publisher for my free copy of this book/two short novellas, in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Let me begin by saying that this book contains two novella prequels to the Red Queen; ‘Queen Song’ and ‘Steel Scars’. I am going to give a little review on each of these novellas individually and then give an overall review. Sorry if there’s any spoilers, but there may be some things mentioned that are in Red Queen, so you are warned.

‘Queen Song’ is the shortest of the two novellas and tells the story of Cals mother, Coriane, and how her life lead up to becoming the queen and how she eventually took her own life, has we discovered in Red Queen. Out of the two novellas, this was my favourite and I was gutted that it was the shortest of the two, only being around 50 odd pages, as it could’ve done with being longer, especially when the next story was three times as long as was not as good. It was also really nice seeing the brother and sister relationship between Coriane and Julian, but then with everything that happens in this novella, it really did need to be longer. It needed some more time to develop how everything was happening with and to Coriane more deeply, which would have been more emotional to the readers, especially as it was meant to be happening over some time, but yet again, was only 50 odd pages. It left me a little unsatisfied and wanting more.

‘Steel Scars’, the second novella on the other hand, could defiantly have done with being shorter and written differently. This novella tells the story of Captain Farley and her adventures leading the Scarlet Guard, the attack on the capital, including how she meets Shade Barrow and how she therefore gets involved with his sister, Mare Barrow. This novella could’ve been alot better but I really didn’t seem to enjoy it. It took me a while to get into the story and it wasn’t until Shade was introduced that I really started paying much attention. I really would’ve preferred this if it was told from Shades point of view, rather than Farleys. It was just too long and could’ve been reduced easily, which is saying something when I’m reading a short story/novella.

I liked how the first story was told from the perspective of a Silver Bloods, who eventually becomes the queen of all the silvers, high up in power. While the second is told from the point of view of a Red Blood, who again is also high up in power but in the rebellion, in the Scarlet Guard.

So for this I have no choice but to give this book an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, which is disappointing to me because I was really looking forward to this one, being a really big fan. If you are a fan of the Red Queen series then you will enjoy as it is nice to know some backround information on the characters you love, or hate, or just have meh feelings about, as it is some extra character development. I really did enjoy Queen Song and I loved learning more about shade and for those reason I feel bad about giving this book a 3.5, but it’s for those reasons that I’ve rated this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: The Cage – Ethan Cross

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*****

This is the novella prequel to the Shepherd series by Ethan Cross and it was amazing!. It was completely different to what I was expecting it to be and from what I was hoping it to be considering it was a prequel, but as it is a novella, I’m glad that it’s not as there would need a lot more explanation and a bigger book.

This book is about a well known and feared psychopathic serial killer named Francis Ackerman Jr, who ironically, has no fear himself. He was the subject of his fathers cruel experiments, in order to prove and publish his theories amongst other psychologists, putting him through physical and psychological torture, including killing his own mother in front of him. But, he does give you a chance, he plays a game with you, if you win you live, but if you lose and he wins, then your his and believe me, he knows alot about torture. In this novella we see how a group of doctors want to use Ackerman, once again has an experiment, to prove that they have discovered the treatment for psychopaths, transferring him from the security and safety of prison, to the security of the hospital. Ackerman sees this has his opportunity to escape, as all that now stands in his way is the security of the hospital and a young woman who has “personal vendetta against the killer”.

I personally loved this novella and thought that it was a great addition to the Shepherd series, even if it wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought, that being a prequel, that this book was going to be about Ackerman and his father and focus more of him and his childhood and how it all began, but I’m also glad that it wasn’t. For this to have been about that, this couldn’t have been a novella and would have had to have been a much bigger book, because otherwise fans of this series would have been left disappointed.

I am so glad that I read the other books first, before reading this novella, because even though this is a prequel, I really don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly have as much and would have given it fewer stars. With it being shorter, there wasn’t a chance to develop the character of the amazing Francis Ackerman Jr, and between him and Marcus (sorry, you don’t get to meet him in this novella, read the series to discover :D) the character isn’t has strong as in the other books, if this is your first read. The information I gave at the top of this review about what his father did to him as a child, most of that information isn’t included in this novella, but I think you need to know this to understand the character, especially if you choose to start the series with this book.

Luckily, I came into reading this with the three books from the Shepherd series in my mind and was able to take everything in with amazingness. The thing I loved about this book, which may be a spoiler or a tease, if you are planning on reading this series, which I HUGHES,  HIGHLY recommend, is how Ackerman wrote to Jennifer about his crimes. Reminding me of the phone calls he made in The Shepherd,  which then turned to Marcus in The Prophet, always needing to confess his sins or always needing someone.

The great thing about this series is how Ethan Cross is able to create an amazing villain. I see myself routing for Francis Ackerman Jr throughout all of the books, wanting him to escape. Hopefully that’s so there’ll be more books and not because there’s something weird about me, but he’s so intriguing and he is by far my favourite character throughout this whole series.

Again, I give one of my highest recommendations to this series, that’s if you like a good thriller book, but maybe do what I did and read the other books first and then come back to this one to read so there’s a much better understanding. A massive 5 out of 5!!

The Shepherd series:
●The Cage – Ethan Cross (Novella)
●The Shepherd – Ethan Cross
●The Prophet – Ethan Cross
●Darkest Fear – Ethan Cross (also called ‘Father of Fear’)

Have you read any or all these books, if so, do you agree or disagree with my opinion/review? What’s your favourite book series? Comment below.

Review: The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

****

I am not the type of person who allows a movie, or in this case movies, influence my decision about how much I like the book or not. In fact it usually has the opposite reaction and I always end up hating the film because they can never live up to the amazing picture I have created in my head. But when it comes to this book I sadly watched the film before reading the book and the book couldn’t live up to how amazing the film’s had been.

In all honesty, this book was never that high on my tbr list and one of the only reasons that I did own it was because it was on this list of 100 books to read and because it was recommended to me. Every time I had originally started to read this book I put it down in search of a new adventure as I don’t believe in wasting time reading book you don’t like when you could be spending that time reading something else that you do like. But after watching all of the film’s I picked it back up with new excitement and started reading it, pushing myself through those first few chapters. I was then left feeling dissatisfied when I finished it as it didn’t seem as great as the film’s had lead me to believe it was going to be and I knew then that I should have read the book first like I always do. Don’t get me wrong I still really enjoyed the book and I still got thrills and it was great being inside the minds and throught process of the characters, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it the 4 stars. I even knew in advance that certain characters that were in the film didn’t exist, which meant that certain scenes wouldn’t exist, but Bilbos greatness was way over exaggerated in the film’s so I felt most disappointed in that. But I hate the fact that the movies were greater than the book!

Read the book first before seeing any of the movies, so that when you see the movies it add to it. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because if I had read the book first then I know that I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more.