[Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt] The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction

Publication Date: March 16, 2021

Publisher: Hanover Square Press

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

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Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley has a lot to deal with on her first day back her from leave from the Serial Crimes Unit of Scotland Yard. After nearly becoming a victim of the vicious serial killer, The Jigsaw Man, just before he was put behind bars, she also has to contend with the subtle digs and microaggressions that come with being the unit’s only black female detective. Add a new trainee and a rocky marriage to the mix, and DI Henley nearly has a full plate. Until the first call comes in…

 Along the Thames, a fan of the Jigsaw Man and copycat killer has scattered two dismembered bodies along the shores like a jigsaw puzzle. When DI Henley sees one of the victims, a young black woman, is already being written off by her colleagues, she makes it her mission to solve the case, driving her to seek help from the original Jigsaw Man himself, Peter Oliver. Oliver, however, is determined to get to his copycat before Henley can, and sets into motion a series of events that puts Henley and her family in the crosshairs of two monstrous serial killers. 

If you like:

-police procedurals

-crime fiction

-thrillers

I haven’t come across any own voices in the thriller and crime fiction genre (which is sad to be honest). So I was more than happy to jump on this one.

I liked that the story opened with cut up body parts, found by different people. It was like watching an episode of Criminal Minds meets CSI. Definitely my kinda read!

However, I did find that some of the conversation between characters made for a slower read and took away from some of the storytelling.

I also found all the branding (i.e Bose speakers, beats ear phones, etc) and other small details to be unnecessary and awkward at times.

Overall, I thought the plot was well-written, which made it an enjoyable read!

Chapter Two

‘How long have we got until the tide comes in?’ Henley was facing the river watching the small waves crashing against the derelict pier. She checked her watch. Nearly two hours had passed since the first 999 call. 

‘I checked online, and high tide is at 9.55 a.m.’ Ramouter replied as he stepped around a half-submerged car tire, his eyes glazed with anxiety. ‘Low tide was at 3.15. Sunrise was at 6.32. A three-hour window for someone to dump whoever this is and hope that someone would find it before the tide comes in?’

‘Maybe,’ Henley acknowledged. ‘But for all we know it could have been dumped after sunrise or was dumped earlier upstream before being washed up here.’ She inspected the glass façade of the Borthwick Wharf, empty commercial spaces and work units that opened to the terrace and lacked security cameras. Henley doubted that the local council would have extended their own CCTV cameras to this part of the street. They had been neglecting this part of Deptford for as long as she could remember.

‘Has it been touched?’ Henley asked Anthony who had appeared at her side.

‘As far as I’m aware, it’s in situ. It wasn’t touched by the woman who found it. Matei, your builder, said that he hadn’t touched the legs but unhelpfully, it’s covered in his vomit. I had a quick look at the arms that were found downstream before I came here. From the looks of things, the treasure hunters may have prodded around a bit.’

‘There’s always one.’

The wind dropped and the air softly crackled with the electricity generated from the substation nearby.

‘We’re isolating the recovery of evidence to the direct path from the alleyway to the torso,’ said Anthony. ‘I doubt very much that whoever it was sat here and had a coffee afterwards.’

‘They may not have had a coffee, but if we go with Ramouter’s theory and the body parts have been dumped then whoever it was certainly knows the river,’ Henley replied. ‘We’ll let you get on. Ramouter and I are going to take a walk.’

‘Where are we going?’ asked Ramouter.

‘To meet Eastwood.’

‘And you want to walk it?’

Henley did her best to push aside her frustration when Ramouter pulled out his phone. ‘Google maps says that Greenwich pier is almost a mile away,’ he said.

‘Your body-part dumper isn’t the only one who knows the river,’ Anthony shouted out as Henley began to walk determinedly along the riverbank.

The gold scepters on the twin domed roofs of the Old Royal Naval College pierced the cloudless sky. The bare masts of the restored Cutty Sark completed the historical panoramic view that Greenwich was known for. It was a resplendent, whitewashed version of history that contrasted with the sewage that washed ashore. Henley stopped walking when she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of Ramouter’s leather soles slipping on wet pebbles.

‘Where are you from?’ Henley asked, waiting for Ramouter to take off his jacket and loosen his tie. She moved closer towards the moss-covered river wall as the tide began to encroach.

‘Born in West Bromwich. Moved to Bradford when I was twelve.’ Ramouter tried to brush off the bits of mud that had stuck to his trousers, but they only smeared more. ‘Lots of moors, no rivers. Surely it would have been quicker in the car.’

‘This is quicker. Unless you fancy sitting in traffic for the next half hour while they raise the Creek Road Bridge.’

‘You know this area well?’

Henley ignored the question. She didn’t see the point in telling him that she could have walked this path with her eyes closed. That this small part of South-East London was ingrained in her. ‘Whoever dumped the torso would have taken this route. It doesn’t make any sense to come down here, go back up to the street level and then drive up to Watergate Street. Out of sight, below street level. Lighting would have been minimal.’

‘Body parts are heavy though,’ Ramouter tried to quicken his step to catch up with Henley. ‘The human head weighs at least eight pounds.’

‘I know.’ Henley pulled out her mobile phone, which had started to ring. She saw who it was and ignored the call.

‘Head, torso, arms, legs. That’s at least six individual body parts.’

‘I know that also. So, tell me, what point are you making?’ Henley waited for Ramouter to reach her before maneuvering him towards the river wall as though she was chaperoning a child.

‘I’m just saying that that’s a lot of dead weight to be carrying around at three in morning.’ Ramouter paused and placed his hand against the wall, trying to catch his breath.

Henley didn’t openly express her agreement. She fished out a black hair band from her jacket pocket and pulled her thick black curls into a ponytail. She had forgotten how much energy it took to walk across the gradient slope of the riverbank. Worse, she felt mentally unprepared for the job ahead, with a trainee struggling behind her who had no idea this was her first time as senior investigator in almost a year.

‘It’s a bit grim, isn’t it?’ DC Roxanne Eastwood shouted out as Henley finally reached the first crime scene. ‘Morning, Ramouter. Not a bad gig for your first day.’

Henley had always thought that Eastwood actually looked and carried herself like a detective. Now, Eastwood was poised on the riverbank, the sleeves of her jacket rolled up with her notebook in her hand. She had come prepared for the river and was wearing a pair of jeans and trainers that had seen better days.

‘Morning, Eastie. How does it feel to be out of the office?’ Henley asked, her eyes drifting to a crime scene investigator who was putting an arm into a black bag.

‘I should be asking you that,’ said Eastwood, with a look of concern.

Henley silently appreciated the empathy and placed her hand on Eastwood’s shoulder.

‘But since you asked, it’s bloody terrible. I think I’ve got sunburn.’ Eastwood rubbed a hand over her reddening forehead. ‘Forensics are going to be wrapping up in a bit. Not that there’s much for them to do. Bag it and tag it.’

‘Where’s Mr Thomas?’

‘Ah, our illustrious treasure hunter. Last time I saw him he was heading towards the shops. Said that he needed to get some water for his dog.’ Eastwood shook her head, obviously not believing a word of it. ‘I’ve got an officer keeping an eye on him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already uploaded pictures of his find onto Instagram.’

‘I want him taken back to the station. Ramouter can take another statement from him.’ Henley said it purposely so that Ramouter would sense she was in control. ‘If he’s like most mudlarkers, he would have been out here first thing this morning waiting for the tide to go out. Where exactly were the arms found?’

‘Just over there.’ Eastwood pulled down her sunglasses and pointed towards the foamed waves created by a passing river bus. The tide had already come in where X had once marked the spot. A sense of urgency filled the air as the river regained its territory.

‘Did he say anything else?’

‘Only that he found the second arm about three feet away from the first.’

‘It’s a sick trail of breadcrumbs,’ said Henley.

‘You’re telling me and before you ask about CCTV, there’re loads of cameras—’

‘But none aimed at this part of the river.’

‘Exactly.’

Henley’s mobile phone began to ring. She pulled it out and answered. After a quick chat, she ended the call.

‘That was Dr Linh Choi. You wouldn’t have met her yet but she’s our go-to forensic pathologist. She’s just arrived,’ Henley explained to Ramouter. She wiped away the sweat from the back of her neck.

‘So, we’ve got two arms, both legs and a torso,’ said Ramouter. ‘Where’s the head?’

Good question. Henley thought of the places between the two locations. A primary school, two nurseries and an adventure playground among the flats and houses. The last thing she needed was to find a head in the kids’ sandpit.

‘Can I have a quick look?’ Henley asked the assistant from Anthony’s CSI team, who had just bagged up the arm and was scribbling in her notebook.

‘Sure.’ The assistant unzipped the bag and pushed the plastic apart.

‘Fuck,’ Henley said under her breath. Her heartbeat quickened, her stomach flipped.

‘Oh,’ said Ramouter as he peered over Henley’s shoulder. One arm was covered with gravel. Slivers of seaweed criss-crossed old scars. The second arm. Slender wrist, the ring finger slightly longer than the index, broken fingernails. Black skin. Henley could hear Pellacia’s words from earlier ringing in her ears.

‘Too early to say if it belongs to the same victim or if it’s more than just one.’

‘Call DSI Pellacia,’ Henley told Ramouter. ‘Tell him that we’ve got two possible murder victims.’

Excerpted from The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson, Copyright © 2021 by Nadine Matheson

Published by Hanover Square Press

Nadine Matheson is a criminal defense attorney and winner of the City University Crime Writing competition. She lives in London, UK.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @NadineMatheson

Facebook: @NadineMathesonWriter

Instagram: @QueenNads

Goodreads

Havenfall by Sara Holland

Genre: YA, Ya Fantasy

My Rating: DNF @pg. 90 ⭐️⭐️💫 (2.5 stars)

I really wanted to love this one! After all, I have the ARC for Phoenix Flame. 🙈

If I have to try this hard to stay invested in a story, not only is it not worth it, but it’s time for me to call it quits!

Unfortunately, it was the continuous reminder of Maddie’s feelings and past (in every single chapter) that grew tiresome and bordered on to a painfully slow read. The premise is what had me going initially, along with the setting of the Inn and magical realms. But it wasn’t enough to keep me invested. It was easy for me to spot who the villains were. It was very obvious from the get-go.

As for plot..well, this was the ultimate downfall for me. It wasn’t a very plot driven novel, which is a no-no for me when it comes to Fantasies. I need my fantasies to be as equally plot driven as the character and world development is. This was really bland in all departments.

Nothing really happens until chapter 6, and even then, it slows right back down! 🤦🏻‍♀️

This one had so much potential..it’s too bad it didn’t shine through.

Have you read this one? Any plans to read the next instalment?

Maddie loves spending summers at her uncle’s Inn at Havenfall. But the Inn is much more than a Maddie’s safe haven, and life in Havenfall isn’t without its secrets. Beneath the beautiful, sprawling manor in Colorado lie hidden gateways to other worlds, some long-sealed by ancient magic.

When a body is found on the grounds, the volatile peace brokered between these worlds is irrevocably compromised. What’s worse is that Maddie’s friend Brekken stands accused of the murder. With everything she loves at stake, Maddie must confront shocking truths about the dangers lurking beneath Havenfall – and discover who she really is. 

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Loyal to the end”

“Even if it means my sister’s destruction. Even if it means a madman running the Empire. Even if it means I have to torture and kill my best friend.” “To the end.”

This is the first time I’ve ever thought the second book in a series was just as good as the first! It was equally as brutal, with just as much (if not more), going on. I said it in my last review, and I’ll say it again! I frikkin love Helene!! And love that we get her POV in this one.

My heart broke multiple times. Those who have read it, will know which parts I’m talking about.

I loved the surprises in this story! Especially with the Nightbringer!! I so did not see that coming.

And omg. I’m dying to know who Elias’ father is! I hope I get to find out either in the next book or the last one!

I’m also really liking Harper. I was intrigued by him early on in the book, and wanna see what his deal is.

Normally by now, I’d be taking a long break before reading the next instalment, but I cannot wait!!

“You are a torch against the night-if you dare to let yourself burn .” -Cain to Helene

Have you read it? What did you think?

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
 
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. 
 
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. 

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

The Push by Ashley Audrain of

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

Even with the trigger warnings, I still wasn’t prepared for this journey. I purposely avoided reading reviews, because I think going into this particular story, less is more. The less you know, the better the enjoyment and reading experience you’ll get from the book.

I’m going to be completely honest, I initially had no intention of reading this one. I didn’t think it’d be my kinda read, but I kept seeing it pop up on my Instagram feed and it was selected in my buddy read group. So of course, I had the FOMO and decided, hey why not?! How bad can it be? While it wasn’t perfect, I’m glad I decided to pick it up, cause I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I will say however, I wouldn’t have pegged this as a thriller or even really suspense.

This was a very raw, emotional and dark portrayal of motherhood. We have 3 separate timelines and POV’s (Blythe, Cecilia & Etta). There were a couple of times I was a bit confused as to who’s story we were reading and what timeline were in, because it bounces back and forth between the present and Blythe’s childhood memories. I caught on quickly though and enjoyed it regardless. There were definitely times I found it hard to read since it dealt with child abuse, mental illness and loss of a child. It was a lot to digest and process.

I had so many things running through my head when it came to Blythe’s story, but I found myself rooting for her and believing her. Her experience as a new mom, really hit home for me. My first born was colic, cried 6 hours a day, hardly slept and wanted to be held ALL the time! It was incredibly exhausting and not what I envisioned motherhood to be back then. Having gone through PPD myself, I understood Blythe in those moments. However, I never neglected my child or went through a lot of the other things she was going through, so I couldn’t relate to it. But I definitely felt her emotions!

THE CHARACTERS

FOX- He was such a dick! It was heartbreaking to watch Fox be as dismissive as he was, and to do what he did!

MRS. ELLINGTON -I loved her and loved that she took on the motherly role that Blythe so badly needed. I wish we got to see more of what happened in her relationship with Blythe in the 2nd half of the book.

CECILIA & ETTA – I couldn’t stand these two women. They were just awful!

I was a little disappointed with Gemma & Blythe’s relationship. I was hoping for some drama in that department. I was surprised and irritated that Blythe never confronted her about the affair. Then what was the point of going through all that trouble?!!

THE ENDING..

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna spoil it. But you’ll either feel satisfied, or you won’t. In this case, it worked well enough for me.

I did think the 2nd half of the book stretched a little longer in some areas than it really needed to, making the ending seem a tad rushed. There were some missed opportunities that I would have preferred and love to have seen instead.

Overall, it was still a good read and one I’d say, is worth picking up.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann

Genre: Middle Grade

Pub Date: Oct 13, 2020

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a really fun middle grade read with witches, magic, a dark castle, curses and ghosts!

It was a very well-written story, with a great cast of characters. Zita reminded me of a young Cinderella but with the powers of a witch, and Mrs. Cantanker was like Lady Tremaine with the ability to summon unearthly things.

It was a slow journey with the bulk of the action happening within the last 5 chapters, but something was always happening along the way to keep the reader entertained.

Would definitely recommend it for a witchin good time!

Twelve-year-old Zita, an orphan and a housemaid, has resigned herself to a life of drudgery when a strange letter arrives, naming her the only living heir to the Brydgeborn fortune. Now the mistress of the castle, Zita soon realizes foul play led to the death of her family. And as she is guided through lessons in the art of witchcraft by the somewhat mysterious Mrs. Cantanker, Zita begins to wonder who is friend and who is foe.

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

OH-M-GEE! This book is INSANE!! It’s the most intense, action-packed story I’ve ever read. I actually feel sorry for anything I read after this, cause there’s a lot to live up to.

Is it possible to give a book more than 5 stars? Cause this is the best Eff-ing book I’ve read in a really long time! Talk about giving me a bookgasm. I’m legit hungover right now, it’s left me breathless.

I have no clue as to why it took me this long to read it. I’ve had it on my tbr for years! Shame. I know. Better now than never, right?

Loved the alternating POV between Elias & Laia. It was done incredibly well. Sabaa Tahir is definitely a new fave author of mine and super talented.

The character development was amazing. All the characters in this book were well-written, including the ones that got under your skin.

The Commandant

⁃ Argh..she was just so cruel!! The most brutal & heartless character I’ve ever come across. I seriously wanted to kill her and give her the same slow and painful death she’s given to her victims. She was always one step ahead, which drove me nuts! But she was such a good villain!

Elias

⁃ He couldn’t be any more different than his mother. His emotions were palpable throughout the entire book. It was interesting to see him struggle between duty and what he wanted, which was freedom.

Laia

⁃ she kept referring to herself as weak and a coward, but she had the heart of a warrior in my opinion. Things she endured..fuck. I don’t know if I could do it! She was also careless, which was kinda frustrating to watch at times.

Helene

⁃ She was so badass! Definitely a fave character of mine.

Marcus

⁃ Ugh. Another character that made my blood boil and wanted to butcher. He was such a douche and so undeserving.

Keenan

⁃ I really liked Keenan. I found him intriguing and wanted to know what his deal was from the get-go.

Mazen

⁃ I didn’t trust this guy from the very beginning and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, cause that’s what I felt like was gonna happen with him.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

– mention of rape, abuse, violence, blood.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

Netflix & Chill: Bridgerton

Just like everyone else, I jumped on the bandwagon with this one. Truth be told, I didn’t think it’d be my thing, but damn I LOVED IT!! Not sure if I’ll be reading the book yet. It’s not my kinda read..but we’ll see. I might be curious enough to wanna compare the show to the book.

What do you think? Is it worth the read? Or should I skip it?

LADY WHISTLEDOWN

I already had a few people in mind from the get go, but it took me till about episode 4/5 to figure it out. Turns out I was right! Still..I loved the big reveal at the end.

I really liked the diverse cast! They couldn’t have chosen a better Simon & Queen!

I also loved Lady Danbury.

Bless her heart and soul! She was such a fantastic mother figure. All the characters were great to be honest. The cast and costumes were just incredible!

You gotta hand it to Shonda Rhimes for producing an awesome scandalous show (as always).

For anyone who’s into steamy romance, forbidden love, fake dating, scandals & gossip. YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS!

I do have to say, I definitely would not watch this with my children around!! 😉

My Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Have you watched it yet? Plan to?

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

If you like:

-YA

-Gothic, historical settings

-Mystery

I reeeally enjoyed this one! Dead bodies, brutal murders..yes please!!

Was I surprised by who Jack turned out to be? Not really, but I did have someone else in mind who I thought was more likely. Hats off to the author for making me second guess myself and proving me wrong!

Really looking forward to reading the next book!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. 

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a really long time, and I finally had a chance to buddy read it with Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts

Here’s how our chat went down:

Jonny: I’ve never flown a plane before, but I figure it can’t be much harder than driving a car, right?

Gigi: I’m afraid of heights, so I’d be too afraid to fly a plane (even though I’ve been on one a few times). 😜

Jonny: Yeah, I’d need to strap some pillows on me for reassurance, haha! Alright, on to the buddy rant!

Jonny: So how did you like this book? This was my first time reading Brandon Sanderson, and I think he did a pretty great job!

Gigi: It was my first time reading his work as well. Overall, I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t quite the 4 or 5 star read I was hoping for it to be.

Jonny: Well I’m glad it wasnt a total disappointment for ya. We talked about this during our read, but the first half of the book’s pacing was kind of here and there. One chapter would have great developments, then the next would be a little slow for my taste. Rinse and repeat.

That being said, after that the pacing was really good, enough so for me that I think it redeemed itself.

Gigi: I agree. The beginning was a little rocky. It had some great moments & revelations, but then it would lose momentum. The second half was the best part and what really kept me going. I wanted to see if I was right about Spensa’s dad.

Spoiler alert: My theory was that something else happened but got covered up. I didn’t believe he was truly a coward.

Jonny: Oh yeah, the truth behind her dad’s death was a big part of it for me too.

Did you like Spensa in general? I did like her spunky, scrappy demeanor. Characters like that usually win me over pretty quickly, but I actually liked M-bot better with it’s odd humor and personality. ‘I hate your shoes!’

I actually wish she would’ve spent even more time with the ship, so I’m hoping the next one has tons of M-bot.

Gigi: I like her initially, but her arrogance ruined it along with the constant use of the word ‘scud’.

I really liked M-bot too! He kinda reminded me of AIDAN from Illuminae, even though they’re completely different.

Jonny: Yeah, I do think that she could’ve been a bit less arrogant, but I do think she had some good progression along the way.

Haha, I agree! I didn;t mind the use of scud, but if they came up with more swear words to switch out it would’ve been less repetitive.

I actually haven’t read Illuminae yet. Hmm, the best comparison I can make is that he’s kinda like a mix of Ax and the Helmacrons from Animorphs. The humor and personality was super unique and I loved every second of it, especially his little rivalry with Rodge.

Did any other characters stick out to you?

Gigi: I actually liked Jerkface (aka Jorgen). It was easy to judge him for being privileged, and I really liked that we got to see the other side of him. As with real life, it’s so easy to judge others without knowing their background.

How about you? Who else did you like? Or not like?

And omg. You need to go read Illuminae! Coolest book you’ll ever come across! You need to get your hands on a physical copy!

Jonny: Haha, deal once my TBR settles down a smidge. I actually liked Kimmalynn a lot. She reminded me of my high school friend Michelle. Talented, but has a hard time accepting it sometimes.

I didnt like the admiral Ironsides, but I think that was what the author wanted. Even after we learn all the knitty gritty I still felt like ‘Nah, I still dont like you very much’, but it can be hard for me to forgive characters after some shady business.

Gigi: I didn’t like Ironsides either! She was really petty.

Yes! I liked Kimmalynn too. She had a good heart. Loved when she gave Spensa a dinner roll in one of the chapters!

I did like the flight training and all the scenes with them flying the ships and fighting the Krell. I too, liked that we weren’t overwhelmed with info!

Jonny: I know, right? Even though things were more complicated than meets the eye, I think she could’ve led her people better and strived to be a better person.

Totally! That and Kimmalynn had a cute sense of humor. ‘Bless your stars’, haha! She definitely gets miss congeniality award in this book.

Yeah, some of those fights were insane and action-packed, just like I like it. Would you consider reading other Sanderson books in the future? I have a copy of the first book in the Reckoners series that I’m just dying to give a try!

Gigi: 😂 Yeah..Kimmalyn was a sweet heart.

Hmm.. I don’t know to be honest. I might try a different series of his down the road, just to give it another chance. But I know for this particular series, I’m going to leave it.

How about you?

Jonny: Most definitely!

That’s fair. His novels span a good many genres, so who knows what may work for you a bit better down the line.

I think I’ll continue with the next book in this series in a little bit. I think he even has a third coming out this year if I’m not mistaken. Definitely going to try out some other stuff of his in the future.

Thanks so much for reading this with me! I can’t wait for our next adventure!

Gigi: Yes, the 3rd in this series is supposed to release this year!

You are so welcome! I’m so glad we read this one together. As always, it was fun! I’m looking forward to our next read!! ❤️

 So..What did you think? Have you read this one?

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

 

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The story started off very strong, but as the story progressed, it became underwhelming for me.

What Didn’t Work..

⁃ It started to feel like something I’ve read before. Like all the fairytales I’ve read growing up, crammed into one. Think, Shrek and Alice in Wonderland put together.

⁃ this read more like it was meant for a younger audience..like a middle grade book. I mean, it wasn’t horrible. I love MG books! But if I wanted to read one, it’s what I would have chosen.

⁃ All the characters were just ‘meh’ to me, except Grimalkin. I liked him the most, but he also felt way too familiar. There’s nothing original about a talking cat.

The story does move at a really good pace. There was enough going on to keep the reader focused. But the amount of creatures encountered combined with the number of captures and escapes, were completely unnecessary in my opinion.

Like I said, it wasn’t a bad read, but it’s not a series I would consider continuing either.

Have you read it? Have you read the Shadow Of The Fox series?

MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE.

In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I DON’T THINK IT WILL BE THAT WAY FOR ME.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan Chase’s life, ever since her father disappeared when she was six. Ten years later, when her little brother also goes missing, Meghan learns the truth—she is the secret daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she loves, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

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