Book Review

May Book Jar

I just have the one book jar read to tell you about this month, due in part to the fact that I seem to have agreed to a crazy number of blog tours for June and July, and I will be on holiday for half of June, so I am trying to get as many read as I can before I go so I am not trying to write my reviews somewhere with a wonky WiFi connection. The other (main) reason is that this little beauty was released, and quite frankly all other reading went out the window until I had finished it – more to come on this book (which is amazing!), and in fact the whole series, another time, but in the meantime, let us just spend a minute admiring how pretty it is.

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Getting down to business, this month’s book jar read was The Surrogate by Louise Jensen. I am a huge fan of Louise, and each time I read another of her books I discover a new favourite – The Surrogate was no exception to this. With this book, you are instantly thrown into the action, and the tension is pushed through the roof with the opening chapter entitled “Later,” and the chapters that follow falling into “Then” and “Now.” From the outset I was trying to work out where “Later” would fall into the narrative. Aside from being an expert in psychological thrillers, Louise also tugs at the heartstrings with a tale of infertility, lost adoptions and mental health issues that really draws you to the characters. At the start of this book, I felt an air of inevitably and thought I knew exactly what was coming – well, I was totally wrong about that, and there were so many twists and surprises that I was gripped right to the very last page.

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You can find out more about this book, and Louise here.

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Book Review

Legendary (Caraval #2) – Stephanie Garber

51bmaeHrI-L._SY346_I am a massive fan of Stephanie Garber’s debut, Caraval, so, as my friends could tell you, I was more than a little excited to get my hands on this little beauty. The enticing world of Caraval is full of magic that is both wonderful and terrible in equal measure. The vivid descriptions of the world that the mysterious Legend creates draw you in and make you wish that you could join the game, but at the same time make you pray that you never find yourself there. In a world of games and make believe, you can drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of what is real, and what is just a performance for the participants.

Legendary starts just hours after the end of Caraval, but although the game is over, it is still impossible to tell who can really be trusted and who is playing a role. Told from Tella’s point of view, the new game of Caraval, held in honour of the Empress Elantine, has an altogether darker feel. Set in the very real streets of Valenda, rather than a magical world of Legend’s creation, it becomes harder than ever to know what is real and what is just part of the game. This lends a sinister air to the whole book, and creates an even higher level of tension.

Whilst Scarlett remains my personal favourite of the sisters, this book would not have worked if she was the one playing the game. I find that Tella comes across as somewhat conceited, but it is her impetuous nature that is essential for the game to play out as it must.

Stephanie Garber’s world building, with its beautiful descriptions and fatally flawed characters, draws you into the book, much as the Dragna sisters were each drawn into the game of Caraval, and leaves you doubting whether you can truly believe what you have read. All I can say is, I hope there is a third book to follow this one, because I have many, many questions that need answers! Now, if I can just track down my very own Deck of Destiny…