Clockwork Angel Review

Hello!!

I am back with another book review! This time I want to talk to you about the first book the ‘The Infernal Devices’ series by Cassandra Clare; Clockwork Angel!

(I’m not going to write any spoilers, and as this is only the first book I most want any future spoilers!)

I have been a fan of the Shadowhunter world and Cassandra Clare’s books for about five years, but for some reason I had never though to read any books outside of The Mortal Instruments!! I know, I’m a fool!

I finally decided to buy this series, and my god I wish I had done it sooner!! I love the Mortal Instruments, but there’s just something about this that sits so WELL with me! I don’t know if it’s the Victorian era, the London setting or Jem Carstairs(I love him, with my Whole heart), but this series it fast becoming an all time favourite!!

The plot is so interesting, all the little twists and turns and then the ending!! I wanted to pick up the next book immediately to see what happened next!!

I love the London Institute, and the adaptation of Shadowhunter life on the Victorian Era! Cassandra Clare acknowledges how society acted, and then went on to explain how Shadowhunters act differently!

Tessa Gray is such an amazing character, she goes through so much and stays so strong. She struggles occasionally, but she just seems so real and human. I love Tessa, she is definitely one of my favourites!

Jem Carstairs… what can I say? He is a perfect angel sweetheart that can do no wrong in my eyes. He is a beautiful kind hearted man, and just an all round good character.

Will Herondale. This boy intrigues me. There’s definitely something about him that’s not quite right, and from some of the things that are said he isn’t the most compassionate or social, but I think I love him? He’s one of those characters that you wish you could just wrap up in a blanket and give hot chocolate too, and never let anything heart them!

Jessamine is a funny one, she has her negative traits but she is so strong willed and that parasol of hers is the coolest thing and if I wouldn’t be at risk of being arrested I would totally want one for myself!

Charlotte is the best. A woman that’s head of the Institute and sooo many people fighting against her but she is just so strong and holds her ground and she reminds me of Peggy Carter, and I love Peggy a ridiculous amount.

Henry is adorable. I feel like I haven’t seen much of him, or he hasn’t spoken much but he just seems like a massive nerd and I love that. Plus he supports his wife and and is just so lovely.

I have already started Clockwork Prince and I can’t wait to finish it to update you on how I feel about these characters!!!

See you next time!!

Elizabeth

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Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

Hi guys!!

I got sent this book by titan books a while back to read and review!!

‘Growing Things and Other Stories’ is a collection of horror stories by award-winning author Paul Tremblay!

This collection of short stories was one of the weirdest, spookiest things I have ever read! I enjoyed all of the stories, however I did enjoy a couple a lot more, so I will focus on those!!

-‘Something About Birds’ was the kind of story that felt a little off the whole way through, and then at the end revealed why. This one has stuck with me the most and honestly am still thinking about it daily! It’s so creepy and I almost feel weird saying I enjoyed it, but I really did! It had such an interesting concept that kind of reminded me of a strange adult version of Lord of the Flies? I’m still not quite sure what was going on, but it’s making me want to read it again which is always a good thing!

-‘The Getaway’ kind of hid the horror at first. Up until a certain point, the reader isn’t made aware that there’s anything sinister going on. However, once it is realised, by both the characters and the readers the whole atmosphere of the story changes! It goes from being scared of being caught be the cops to being terrified of something else entirely. As I read this after I watched Infinity War, that’s all I could think about. I don’t know if that made it sadder, scarier or less shocking, but it definitely helped me to visualise what was going on!!

-‘Where We All Will Be’ is so disturbing because it doesn’t feel impossible. The whole basis is that everyone is effected by something, except the protagonist whose brain is said to ‘work differently’. This was so interesting to me because people’s brains are ‘wired’ differently in real life, and some people process things differently, or not at all so this felt quite plausible! You can really feel the panic in the main characters actions, which instantly put me on edge! It’s so so creepy and has definitely made me not trust moths!

-‘It’s Against The Law To Feed The Ducks’ honestly with this one it took me a while to actually figure out what was going on, but oh my god! I adored this story, it reminded me of a freaky sci-fi end of the world type thing! It was just incredible! I loved the family dynamic, and how it felt like it was showing you the end of the world partially through a child’s eyes, but a child whose parents were trying to hide it from them! I’m currently rewatching the walking dead and it keeps reminded me of this story! I think it’s mostly the weirdly empty places that should be packed with people!

This collection of short stories is amazing, there are so many amazing ones, I barely even scratched the surface with these three!! Another one of my favourites’ title is just a bunch of underscores, which is both genius and makes it very hard to talk about😂 I will go into more detail in my blog post in the next couple of days!!

If I had to sum up this book, I would say it is perfect for anyone that enjoys horror and maybe doesn’t have time to read whole books! Each short story in on average about 20 pages, which is totally doable in one sitting!! I will rate this book 4.5/5 stars! Only taking away .5 because I didn’t love love all the stories! But I thought they were all interesting and thought provoking!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

The Girl from the Other Side Review

Hello!

I’m back with another review! This time I will be talking about ‘The Girl from the Other Side’ by Nagabe! This books is a cute little manga about a girl who loves with a demonic creature in a little house in the woods!

In a world split between the Inside and the Outside, those living in both realms are told never to cross over to the other side, lest they be cursed. A young girlnamed Shiva lives on the other side, in a vacant village with a demonic guardian known only as “Teacher“.

I bought this books because of the art style, as an aspiring illustrator I’m trying to collect all mangas and graphic novels that inspire me! This one really clicked, it’s just so whimsical and pretty!

One of my favourite things about graphic novels an mangas in general is that they show more than they tell! Each page will have a certain amount of panels on, and sometimes entire pages have no words so the story must be told through the pictures alone! It is usually done during quiet moments of moments where you needs to see every movement, so they are spread out!

The story is very cute as well, the relationship between Teacher and Shiva is just so cute and pure! Teacher is very protective over Shiva, and Shiva is also pretty protective over Teacher! They have a very close bond, and this book shows a part of their journey together, the struggles they face and what they are going to do next!

As with most manga books, this is the sort of book you can sit down and read in one sitting as it is mostly pictures. But it is also the type of book you can read again and again because it’s so lovable!

I have also read the second book in the series, which is just as cute and wholesome as this, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series! I couldn’t recommend this series enough! Anyone that likes cute art, manga, comic books, wholesome stories and the Ancient Magus Bride will adore this series just as much as I do!!

Do you read any manga? If you do, tell me your favourites!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

The Girl in Red Review

Hello!

I was sent this book by Titan Books as part of their instagram tour!

The Girl in Red is an amazing retelling of the fairytale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’! It comes out on the 18th June, so be sure to go and pre-order it!!

When a disease destroys most of the U.S. population Red and her brother Adam decide to try and reach their paternal grandmother, who lives over 200 miles away. Adam wants to join a quarantine camp, thinking it’s the only way to survive in this new world, but Red isn’t letting herself get shut away. Red is about to find out that the woods are deep and dark, and there are far worse things than wolves out in the world.

When I was first contacted about this book, I was a little unsure. A fairytale retelling set in an apocalypse situation? How would that work? But oh boy! Not only does it work but it is amazing!

This is definitely one of my favourite retellings! The concept is so unique, and the characters are so diverse! The main character is a mixed race, bisexual, disabled girl! But unlike some books none of it feels forced, like it was just put in for brownie points! Red is a multi-faceted, three dimensional character that just happened to have her leg amputated halfway down.

I absolutely love the messages in this book, how instead of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, it’s other people. Because more often than not, especially in apocalypse type situations, people are the most threatening thing you can come across. Especially for a character like Red, who is a woman alone.

I immediately liked Red as a character. She might be the first character who is actually realistic within the scenario! These days, who hasn’t seen or read at least one thing about the apocalypse? With shows like The Walking Dead, pretty much every household will have someone who knows how to prepare. Red was this person. She got annoyed at her family doing all the typical stupid mistakes, she made sure she packed her bag in advance and took it everywhere so she was never caught by surprise, and most importantly she actually had common sense!! It felt like a breath of fresh air to read a character that isn’t completely daft.

The way this book was written switched between ‘After’, with Red walking through the woods trying to survive and ‘Before’, which shows Red’s preparation and the build up to the beginning of the journey.

I read this book in two days, which for me is super fast. I absolutely loved everything about this book, the characters and the story were just so good! I will definitely be reading more of Christina Henry’s books! I rate this book 5/5 stars! Seriously, if you love fairytale retellings or apocalypse stories, you will adore this!!

Thank you Titan Books for sending me a copy to review!

See you again soon!

Elizabeth

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy:

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind-avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens-a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

Mackenzi Lee’s book ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ is one of my all time favourite books. I loved how casually queer it is, it’s treats Percy and Monty’s relationship like any other, treating their struggles like normal struggles and I loved that. It felt like the story was being told from Monty’s naive perspective, barely aware of the prejudices.

The difference between that book and the Lady’s Guide is the Felicity is fully aware of her struggles, and gets super frustrated that she has to deal with them.

The books starts in Scotland, and in typical Felicity fashion she turns down a proposal and spontaneously decides to travel to London.

One of my favourite things about this book is the asexual representation, although it is never explicitly said, Mackenzi Lee has confirmed it and Felicity talks about how she isn’t interested in men or women, and just wants to focus on studying medicine.

The three main characters are completely loveable, they are all strong, independent women. Felicity uses her brains and knowledge of medicine, Johanna uses her beauty and her knowledge of animal life and Sim uses her strength and knowledge of the sea. They work so well together, the way Lee writes them makes their chemistry feel so real it truly makes you feel invested in their friendship and their story.

The story has quite a few little twists, that follow along with the changes in Felicity’s journey, and it just keep you hanging on to every word!! I absolutely adore this book and Mackenzi Lee’s writing!

I rate this book 5/5 starts, and I can’t wait to read the novella she is releasing later this year!!!

See you again soon!!

Elizabeth

Accused: British Witches Throughout History Review

Hello!

I have been lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Pen and Sword to read and review!

I absolutely love learning about the witches of history, not only because it is fascinating but because it feels like a piece of my history! I am a witch myself, not in the same way that some of these women are accused, I only light candles and read tarot, but I’m a witch and the women in this book helped pave the way for modern witches like me!

The main reason I was so excited for this book was because of the chapter on Mary Lakeland, also known as ‘The Ipswich Witch’. Ipswich is where I live, so learning about a witch that lived here, and being able to picture all the places mentioned in her story because I have actually been to them, was so amazing!

One of my favourite parts of this book was learning about all the things the women were accused of doing, and how people somehow managed to logically explain that it was witchcraft! Reading about the supposed familiars these women had was also interesting, because it wasn’t just the typical cat, but dogs toads and rats too!

Reading this book has really made me want to try and visit some of the places mentioned, as I just love to visit the places I read about in books! Especially when there is a lot o history connected to it!

The only thing that I found to be a shame (I do with all history books, and it’s obviously no fault of the author!!) is that records aren’t kept for all the details! I find it such a shame that people in history didn’t feel the need to note down small happenings as well as big ones! For instance, in one of the women’s stories we don’t actually know what caused one of the first arguments! It makes me want to start writing everything down just in case it becomes important one day!

I definitely recommend this book if you love witches, history or both!!! I rate this book 4/5 stars!!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Lady of the House

Hello!

I’m back with another book review! And again, it’s a book that the lovely Pen and Swords have sent me!

Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness:

This book tells the true stories of three genteel women who were born, raised, lived and died within the world of England’s Country Houses. This is not the story of ‘seen and not heard’ women, these are incredible women who endured tremendous tragedy and worked alongside their husbands to create a legacy that we are still benefitting from today.

Harriet Leveson-Gower, Countess Granville was the second born child of the infamous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire who married her aunt’s lover, raised his illegitimate children and reigned supreme as Ambassadress over the Parisian elite.

Lady Mary Isham lived at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire with her family where, despite great tragedy, she was responsible for developing a house and estate whilst her husband remained ‘the silent Baronet’.

Elizabeth Manners, Duchess of Rutland hailed from Castle Howard and used her upbringing to design and build a Castle and gardens at Belvoir suitable for a Duke and Duchess that inspired a generation of country house interiors.

These women were expected simply to produce children, to be active members of society, to give handsomely to charity and to look the part. What these three remarkable women did instead is develop vast estates, oversee architectural changes, succeed in business, take a keen role in politics as well as successfully managing all the expectations of an aristocratic lady.

I have read a few books published by Pen and Sword, and this is definitely my favourite so far! I read it all in two days, which I never do with any book!

This book tells the story of three women, and their journey from daughter, to mother, wife and lady of the house. For anyone that though victorian women sat on their backsides all day, this book would be really eye opening! It covers every detail of what these women got up to, including the control they had in their households! They did not work under their husbands, but instead a lot of the time they made all the executive decisions and one of the amazing women even worked with her husband and Ambassadress in France!

I did also find it fascinating reading about these women’s attitudes to their husbands illegitimate children! A lot of the time they took them in and raised them as their own! Which is the opposite of what a lot of people assume the victorian attitude was, and I’m pretty sure that kind of open mindedness/acceptance wouldn’t even occur today!

One of my favourite sections of this book was the part where Charlotte talked about how much time people spent on London. It was very common for people to have a second house in London and to spend the ‘season’ there, taking part in social events and when daughters came of age, looking for a husband!

I completely recommend this book if you are at all interested in the time period, women’s history or the lives of the lives of less famous people! I rate this book 5/5 stars!

See you again soon!

Elizabeth

A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty Review

I have been eyeing this book up for so long, and I was so grateful when Pen and Sword Books sent me a copy of it to review!

The Victorian Era is one of my all time favourite periods for fashion! Every decade is so different, and this book takes you through each one, explaining what changed and why! It covers everything in so much detail, from undergarments to the most fashionable way to style your hair to the increasing popularity of jewellery!!

I absolutely loved learning all the little tips and tricks from the era, it that I will be using a lot of them in my routine as they are a tad impractical in modern life, but it was fascinating to imagine what life must’ve been like!

This is definitely a book I will keep returning to, and referencing from on my historical fashion journey, as although I know a fair amount, I feel like I will never know as much as in this book!

If you are at all interested in victorian fashion, I definitely recommend this book! It does require a little bit of previous knowledge as some of the words used they assume you already know! But as long as you either know them, or are fine with looking it up, then this is the perfect book!!

I rate this book 4.5/5, only due to the nature of the advanced vocabulary used!!

See you soon!

Elizabeth

The Corset Review

Hello!

If you have come over here from my Instagram, you will probably know how obsessed I am with Laura Purcell’s books! I read the Silent Companions last summer and loved it so so much! And last week, Bloomsbury were kind enough to send me a copy of ‘The Corset’!

I will try to avoid posting any spoilers, as Laura Purcell’s books are definitely ones you need to read knowing as little about what happens as possible! However, if anything is mentioned, I will make it extremely obvious so you can choose to stop reading!

Anyway, without further ado, my first proper book review!

‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress – and self-confessed murderess – who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast… Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

From the very first pages, I was completely drawn into Ruth and Dorothea’s respective worlds! Both young women lead very distant, yet strangely interwoven lives. Ruth is a prisoner in a newly built penitentiary, locked up for a weirdly mysterious crime, and Dorothea is a frequent visitor who is fascinated with reading people’s skulls.

Over the course of the book, we are told Ruth’s story from her perspective, as though we are Dorothea, listening to her tell it whilst visiting her in her cell. We are also told Dorothea’s story, about her personal life and struggles. I really enjoyed seeing the two different women’s perspective, reading about Dorothea’s struggle to believe Ruth’s story whilst also dealing with her own problems and how they begun to become intertwined throughout the book!

Up until the ‘big reveal’ at the end, I literally had no idea how the book was going to end! Without spoiling too much, the people that turned out to be the bad guys didn’t give anything away! The way the story was written really made me trust these people, and made me feel almost as foolish as Ruth did when she found out!!

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, however I will warn you that there a quite a few scenes that are pretty gory! So if you aren’t a fan of reading about scenes like that, this may not be the book for you!!

The Corset is definitely a book I would recommend if you like Laura Purcell’s other book ‘The Silent Companions’ or anything with a little bit of mystery!! I rate it 5/5 stars!!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this amazing book!!

Elizabeth