I’m going to Scotland tomorrow! So excited! We are travelling the west coast this time so it’s going to take about a 10 hour drive to our first destination, Loch Shiel, and then after a night there, it’s gonna take another 10-12 hours to get to our final destination (not the movie), Thurso. Extremely excited! However, the most important thing is…. what books am I going to take on this journey. I need enough for the car ride (though to read in the car I will definitely need some travel sickness meds), and I need enough to read whilst I’m there and then obviously for the 12 hour drive back. I’d rather take too many than too little. So I’m going to take all of these:
The Book That THEY Do Not Want You To Read (Part 3) by Andy Ritchie
This is the last book of the series I need to read. I wish that I had managed to read this before going on holiday as it has been on my mind constantly since reading part 2 but I’ve just not had time.
God, Aliens, Death and Teapots by Andy Ritchie
Another book, and the final book of Andy Ritchie’s that I need (and want) to read. Just the blurb for this book makes me laugh – An eclectic selection of seven short stories involving, as the title of the book suggests, God, Aliens, Death or Teapots. Oh, and there’s one about dogs as well…then again, come to think of it, two of them don’t really have God, aliens, Death or teapots in them at all. They’re more about space…. So a more apt title for this book could well be God, Aliens, Death, Dogs, General Space Stuff & Teapots. Yeah, that just about sums it up (though it isn’t quite as catchy). (less)
Ecclesia’s Table by Mason S Haynie
Another book I’ve been asked to review. I love the cover of this book and from reading the blurb it does sound like a very exciting book that is right up my street. It comes under the dystopian science fiction genre.
Early Retirement by Luke Ethan Knight
This is a short story I have been asked to review. It’s a horror which I don’t do well with when it comes to movies but I’ve read a couple of horror books and found that I quite enjoy them. I think this was only take me a few hours / half a day to read.
Weatherman by Price Doom
Another book I’ve been asked to review. Slightly confused on the genre of this book but I’ll soon find out when I start reading. According to some Goodread reviews there are quite a few Trigger warnings which I am fine with but I’ll need to be in the right frame of mind for this one.
Eyes by Nghịch Tử
Another book I’ve been asked to review. This has actually been translated from it’s original language of Vietnamese (I think). I hope the translation is done well else I will struggle with this one. It has been described as Spirited Away meets Coraline.
Killing the Reapers by Jeff Debing
A book that I’ve been asked to review, I automatically want to be critical just because of the book cover. However, don’t they (and I’m not talking about THEY from The Book THEY Do Not Want You To Read’) always say ‘DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER’. So I won’t.
Don’t Date the Haunted by C. Rae D’Arc
This is the 1st book of a series so I might save this until last just in case I love it and want to carry the series on uninterrupted. It has been described as a quirky romance / dark comedy.
Song of Echoes by R.E. Palmer
This is book one of a series but the others are not out yet. I have been asked to review this and it is classed as an Epic Fantasy novel. It definitely sounds right up my street. Looking forward to reading and reviewing it.
The Never Dawn Trilogy by R.E. Palmer
This is a Dystopian Fantasy trilogy I’ve been asked to review. It is classed as Young Adult which I haven’t read in such a long time so it might be fun to get back in to my once upon a time favourite genre.
Comagique (Azmodia’s Liege) by Justin Ketter
Yet another book I’ve been asked to review. I love the cover! Looking forward to this one just from the cover alone.
Bloody Spade by Brittany M. Willows
The first of a Duology, though the second his not out yet. This is classed as a Fantasy LGBT novel. I don’t think I’ve ever read an LGBT novel, so I’m very much looking forward to it.
The Cradle by Ron Sami
Yet another book I’ve been asked to review. The Cradle is the first book of a Duology (so far) but who knows if it will be expanded. I’ve not been asked to read book 2 but naturally if I enjoy the first then I will continue with the next book. I’m getting a Game of Thrones feeling with this one.
Always Beside You by Damir Salkovic
Well this cover looks creepy as F. This has been described as a haunting supernatural thriller. I’m not going to be reading this at night I’ll tell you that for free!
Ok, so that’s 16 books. That’s a lot I’ve got to admit but I’m going to try my very best to get as many of them read as possible, all whilst enjoying my much needed and much deserved holiday.
Blurb: The life of Jethro Postlethwaite, as his recently-started diary will testify, has suddenly become very, very complicated…and very, very painful. Having been kidnapped, locked in a dark cell and subjected to the unwelcome (and agonising) attentions of a Bodaslod Duelling Gauntlet, he is now a fugitive, on the run from THEM, sharing his head with someone else’s memories, and not looking forward at all to the prospect of having nanites injected into his eyes. It seems like giving a lift to an alien was not such a good idea after all. On the plus side though, he’s about to uncover the truth about the lives of every man, woman and child on the planet… …at Peterhead… …and he will get to do this whilst travelling in a very nice camper van.
My Thoughts: I received a free copy of TBTTDNWYTR Part 2 for an honest review. As I said in my review for Part 1, Andrew Ritchie in my Uncle but that doesn’t change how I review his work. Really, I feel like I am more critical when it comes to my family and their work!
I’m writing this review rather early in the morning, well its just before 7am and I wake up around this time every morning. I’m usually fine but this morning I am so very tired. Why, you ask? Because I stayed up till midnight finishing this book, that’s why. I seriously could NOT put it down. It looks like my Uncle has done the near impossible and made a sequel which is just as good as the first.
Part 2 starts of pretty much where Part 1 left off. It continues with the same diary(ish) format written by JP and collated by the author. It continues being a believable sci-fi x thriller x british comedy book. We need to come up with a portmanteau for this mix of genres but I’m not that clever so I’ll leave this up to you readers. It continued to make me laugh out loud which not many books or comedy shows do for that matter; I’m very much a laugh within kind of girl.
What you read in the blurb is correct. JP does have injections in his eyes and oh my goodness, I will tell you now, the paragraph is relatively short, but I had to have 2 breaks from reading it so I wouldn’t vomit all over my phone. I don’t do well with eyes, and reading in such detail about needles going in to eyes makes me feel all funny inside. Even writing about it is making me feel all funny inside. How an author can do that to you with words alone and no visuals is somewhat of a talent! It’s not just the eye injection scene, there’s some brilliantly descriptive but TMI bits in this book. Lets just say, I wasn’t a fan of sausage and egg sandwiches before but thanks to this book, I’ll now probably not even be able to look at one.
The development of our pal Jethro who I previously described as a very real, very mundane character who a lot of people can probably relate to (no offence) continues to develop in this book and reading his thoughts he pens down on paper really does help the reader see that. I feel really sorry for him but I love his attitude towards Tukaal (the alien) when sometimes he decides he does want answers and he does want Tukaal to know how he is feeling whether it hurts the aliens feelings or not. As for Tukaal, in this book he is particularly hilarious, especially when it comes down to trying out some of the wonderful foods/drinks we have on this earth – chocolate, McDonalds, Whiskey. Though there is development in Tukaal’s character and you learn more about him as an alien and not as a human, I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that he might not actually be as good as a guy as I think he is. I really do hope I’m wrong because I think I am getting to emotionally involved. Again, I blame the author for this.
The story is once again realistic, hilarious, thrilling and interesting but most importantly, it isn’t over – the final part is waiting for me. The bombshell ending of part two means for my sanity I HAVE to read part three and find out what happens to JP, to Tukaal, to earth. I’ve got an hour before I need to start getting ready for work (I’ll probably be late if I start reading Part 3).
Blurb: Jethro Postlethwaite had never kept a diary before. Then again, he’d never been kidnapped, locked in a dark cell and tortured before. And he’d never experienced someone else’s memories… …or had nanites injected into his eyes… …and then there was the fact that he’d uncovered the truth about the lives of every man, woman and child on the planet… …oh, of course, there was the little matter of being on the run from THEM… …in a camper van. And he’d never been to Peterhead. So keeping a diary seemed like a pretty good idea…just like giving a lift to an alien did…
My Thoughts: I received a free copy of TBTTDNWYTR Part 1 for an honest review. I also want to give you a heads up that Andrew Ritchie is actually my Uncle. My real uncle that is, not one of my parents friends who are not related AT ALL yet they, and your parents for that matter, insist that you call them Aunty or Uncle. I’ve told said Uncle that I’m going to be brutally honest when it comes to reading his books (which I always am whether anybody likes it or not) and, if I do insult him then future family gatherings may certainly be awkward for him but not at all for me.
The good news is… THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY AMAZING, so family gatherings will continue to be free of any awkwardness (between myself and my Uncle at the very least anyway). Now, this isn’t the genre of book I would usually read but that’s why I do what I do, so then I can read and fall in love with new genre’s of books. First of all, it’s written in sort of a diary style format (you’ll understand ‘sort of’ when you read the book). It’s difficult to describe the genre of this book though. It is Sci-fi because, helloooo Aliens! but that’s really where the sci-fi stops as it is very much set on Planet Earth and is actually a really believable story; unlike most Sci-fi novels. Then I would say it’s got a bit of a kick to it like a thriller because helloooo adrenaline rush, holding my breath, anxiety butterflies, getaways, guns and torture AND, I would also categorise TBTTDNWYTR under classic British Comedy because boy oh boy, this book did have me in stitches at times.
I love that this book is set in England too as I read so many books that are set in America. Nothing wrong with America of course but seeing as I’m English and I live in England I relate a lot. For example, the book is set in my home town and parts are set in Manchester too so I know exactly where the characters are and can see it playing like a movie in front of my eyes. I also love how typically British the main character, Jethro Postlethwaite is – tea, biscuits, saying he’s fine when he really isn’t.
The clever thing is, Jethro is technically the author of this diary, it is just his friend Andy Ritchie who collates his work into something that makes sense. Jethro is a very real, very mundane character who a lot of people can probably relate to (no offence) but his mundane life changes dramatically when he decides to temporarily house the alien that just landed from outer space. Tukaal is the Alien in the story and I’m glad that his description resembles more of a The Rock / Vin Diesel kind of look compared to that of E.T or the extremely scary Aliens from the film Signs. He is such a likable character from the get go and I really enjoyed learning about is alien abilities as well as enjoying his character development as well as Jethro’s.
The story is realistic, funny, exciting and interesting but most importantly, it isn’t over. The abrupt ending of part one means I just HAVE to read part two and find out what happens to JP and Tukaal. The only worry I have is that Uncle Andy has acquired a 5 star review from part one and I just don’t know how it is possible for part two to be better. I mean is the sequel ever better? I can’t wait to find out!
I’m here today with the incredible and talented Wendy L. Anderson. Wendy is the author of an epic five book series; Kingdom of Jior, and two standalone novels; Ulrik and A Cut Twice As Deep.
Thank you so much for joining me today Wendy. After reading your novels, I absolutely can not wait to read more of your work. I’m just going to jump right in as I’m very excited to hear your answers. So first off and I think I ask everybody I meet this question…
Who is your favourite author?
My favorite author is Robert E. Howard. I love the Conan the Barbarian series. It is what got me interested in fantasy!
How about your favourite book?
My favorite book has to be Beowulf!
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was 10 years old. I started writing poetry and short stories. It wasn’t until my later years after my boys were grown that I started writing more and had the idea that I could write a book.
That’s interesting. It appears that most authors start writing poetry first, and start from a young age.
How did you come up with the covers for your books? I love them!
I have all my covers professionally created by Vila Designs. I try to pick my favorite elements or my favorite character out of the book to create the design. I want them to scream fantasy and entice people to want to read them.
Well, I think you have certainly succeeded there. I have got to say though that my favourite cover out of all of yours boos has got to be Ulrik. It’s just absolutely stunning.
How did you come up with the names of the Ny-Failen? I keep asking my partner if we can call our future children awesome names like these but he’s at a hard No at the moment. I’ll find a way.
*Laughs* I love that! Lily is my favorite name. I came up with the name “Lost Morning” one morning after I’d laid in bed trying to think up a name for his character and I thought “well, that was a lost morning” and it was easy from there.
Oh wow, I absolutely love that!
I put two names that went together to name my Ny-Failen because they are of a different race and needed something really cool and profound. Lorn was always “forlorn” in my mind and I just plucked “Forlorn Icefall” out of the air. It worked and then I had fun creating the rest. I actually created characters because I came up with some cool ones like Rain Song and Ashen Arrow.
I made up the name “Ny-Failen” by going to Google translator and trying different languages that meant “the fallen.” I typically do not get much past Icelandic and Gaelic, so I put words together and come up with something that sounds good. That is how I came up with all the Ny-Failen langue.
That’s amazing how you just came up with character names like that. I absolutely love the name Lyra Song and Storm Rider too. Let’s hope I can talk my partner into it.
Speaking about the characters...which of the characters from any of your books do you relate to the most and why?
I am Dierdre from A Cut Twice as Deep. Though I did not marry a Viking warlord, I dreamt the opening paragraph of the book and made up the story from there. I think I am also a lot like Queen Lily, nurturing and motherly.
Aw, so you are definitely a gentle soul then. I think out of all the characters, I connected with Silver Thorn the most. I know that I can look after myself and be by myself, but when finding my true love, I then realise I don’t want to be myself. I am also a huge animal lover and I’m always taking rescue animals home.
So, you said that you had a dream and that’s how you came up with the story of A Cut Twice As Deep. Tell us more?
I had a reoccurring dream when I was a child of the opening paragraph of the book. I was both Dierdre and Liana. I also dreamt of the scene where their father announces that they are being given away in marriage and would be split up. The story just flowed out of those dreams and I love what it became.
Wow! That’s pretty incredible.A Cut Twice As Deep was the first book of yours that I read and it was absolutely phenomenal. To think that it came to you in a dream, wow!
How did you come up with the story for Ulrik?
This one is tougher to answer. I had the concept of being stranded on another planet where there were no other people. I quickly realized that the story would have no where to go if I didn’t make up the other people and the iron age problem came up by just sitting down and writing.
Ulrik was again, such an incredible book and I thought the whole concept was really clever.
Howdid you come up with the incredible story for the Kingdom of Jior Series?
I created Prince Lorn years ago when I was 18. I had written a fragment of the story andcame up withthe concept then. When I decided to sit down and write a book, I had the basis for the story and then went from there. The idea for the Ny-Failen and the whole race came later as I was writing book two. It took off and became the whole series and I realized I wanted to write the stories of all the characters.
Did you know the ending for the Kingdom of Jior Series before you finished it? Have you thought about writing an alternative ending for readers to devour on your website?
No, I did not know the ending which is why the book turned out so great. I didn’t really want to write the ending, but thought that five books was pushing it for a fantasy series. I have begun a prequel and am working on a spin off series, so you have not seen the last of the Ny-Failen (pun intended).
As to an alternative ending…I haven’t, but that gives me food for thought!
Ha! Good pun! I personally don’t think five books is pushing it for a fantasy series. I think you should just continue forever to be honest! If you ever do write an alternative ending, I’d like to be the first to know please haha. I do absolutely love the ending though and I agree it should have ended that way. On to the next question before I get all teary again.
If Netflix decided (which they should) to transform the Jiorseries in to a tv series (because movie’s will not do these books justice), who would you cast and for which role?
Oh that is easy CHARLIE HUNNAM is Prince Lorn and I love, love, love, Amanda Seyfried for Lily and maybe Clara Delevigne for Lyra Song. That would be my ultimate fantasy to have my books made into movies or a TV series!
These are really good choices. Let’s hope it happens!
In your latest newsletter, you did a cover reveal for your latest novel – Rapunzel’s Tower. I’ll be doing a separate post on this but I just want to tell you now that I cannot wait to read it. Are you working on any other novel(s)? Can you tell us more about them or are your lips sealed?
I have started a prequel to Of Demon Kind. I think people would like to know about Lorn’s Ny-Failen mother and about his father which is mentioned throughout the books.
I have other projects in the works such as a dragon tale and I even wrote a Regency Era romance which will more than likely never be published. I have a couple other fragments I work on off and on, but I don’t have as much time for them right now.
The book I am working on and am most excited about, is book one in the spin off series to the Kingdom of Jior series. I have outlines for three books so far and hope to write them all. It is favorite project so far.
Well Wendy, they all sound like amazing projects. I love books with dragons, the Eragon books spring to mind. As for your Regency Era romance, I really hope you do decide to publish these as again, I love this genre. As for the spin off series to the Kingdom of Jior series, YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!! I can not wait!!!
And for the final question, do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to be retired and writing full time. I imagine my new series would be either finished or finishing. I’d be writing something new and exciting.
I really hope that this happens for you. Best of luck with everything you do. I just want to thank you for asking me to review your books, they are some of the best stories I have ever read. It’s also been lovely to meet you and I hope to continue to review your books in the future.
Thank you so much for reading everybody. If you are wanting to get your hands on any of these amazing books by Wendy L. Anderson then here are the links…
Blurb: The Last Ny-Failen is the final book in the Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series. For 100 years King Lorn has ruled the Kingdom of Jior and the Ny-Failen have lived peacefully beside humankind. Now that peace is threatened by a looming civil war as some of the citizens of Jior try to take the throne for themselves. Lorn is faced with impossible choices and hard decisions with his family in great danger.
In the midst of these troubling times, an unknown Ny-Failen woman has come to Jior bringing magical animals and strange powers, but will she be an ally or a deadly distraction?
After a final bloody battle between the Ny-Failen and humankind, who will prevail in the fight to rule Jior?
My thoughts: This book was gifted to me for an honest review. It is now the 7th book by Wendy L. Anderson I have had the pleasure of reading and unfortunately this leaves me with no more books to read from this author. Though, hopefully the big void in my heart won’t last for long.
The Last Ny-Failen is the final book of The Kingdom of Jior series and to be honest, I’m kind of speechless. It was just epic beyond belief. Honestly. Plus, I finished it in less than 20 hours after I finished the previous one. It would have been quicker but unfortunately, I can’t live without sleep. You know in my last review when I said that I had tears already building at the thought of finishing book five? Well, the floodgates certainly opened during the read of what’s got to be one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life for a number of reasons; the story was actually really sad and it broke my heart, and I feel like now I’ve finished the series, I have had to say goodbye to my Ny-Failen friends until hopefully we meet again someday.
The Last Ny-Failen comes 100 years after the Iron and the Arrow, the fourth book of the series. The Ny-Failen are in my opinion, amazing rulers of Jior, however, some A-hole humans decided that they were no longer happy with a different race ruling them and so decided to overthrow the kingdom. Reading this book, I actually felt angry, annoyed and embarrassed to be human and felt actual disgust at the racism and discrimination here even though it’s fictional. Throughout the entire book, my heart wouldn’t stop pounding and all I felt was anxiety for my Ny-Failen friends. The ending was bittersweet and I’m still trying process the book as a whole – it’s a lot darker than the others (but F*cking AMAZING!).
This is actually a really short review compared to past reviews but I think I’m just in awe at Anderson’s talent, and I feel like I’ve just been through a break up now the series is over. So, I think I’m going to order some fast food, lie on the sofa under my duvet and watch a super sad film to help me get over this. I feel lost…
The Last Ny-Failen is available in the UK for just:
Blurb: The Kingdom of Jior is a wild and tumultuous place carved from hard granite and black crystal and found deep in the heart of the Violent Mountains. Storm Rider, the untamed grandson of the King of Jior, can call the winds, tame the lightning, and soar with the thunder. Meurie, a half-human, half-Ny-Failen, has travelled from her home in the Violent Mountains to the streets of Jior to witness for herself the mythical Ny-Failen. When her path intersects with Storm Rider, he goes after her with a single-minded purpose and will stop at nothing to make her his, and take this wingless girl with him to ride the storms.
A mysterious man barges his way into the nineteenth-birthday celebration for Mercy Rose, daughter of Jagged Edge and Princess Lyra Song. He is on a desperate mission and asks Queen Lililaira to travel through the most dangerous passes of the Violent Mountains to far away Hoarfrost Range. The Ny-Failen of Jior must set aside their fears and prejudices against him as he begs for the healing of a young innocent who lays dying. The truth has yet to be revealed if this man is Ny-Failen or one of demon-kind! Unexpectedly, Mercy Rose is asked to accompany the Queen on this mission fraught with danger. When secrets are revealed, lies uncovered and wonderful magic revealed Mercy Rose is faced with the biggest decision of her life, to give her heart to this stranger or possibly lose her soul?
When the Gray King comes to the grand halls of Jior and asks for an arranged marriage between his son and one of King Lorn’s granddaughters, it is met with less than cheerful acceptance. Forced into taking a king’s blood oath to go through with the marriage contract, King Lorn has ten years in which to find a way to thwart the Gray King. After the ten years pass, the Gray King’s son appears at the gates of Jior and King Lorn must face unexpected consequences. Rain Song is the only granddaughter of King Lorn who can marry the Gray King’s son and while the Ny-Failen of Jior fight the curse of the marriage contract, she decides to take her own path. Defying her father Jagged Edge, and her grandfather King Lorn, she faces black sorcery and risks everything to follow her heart.
My thoughts: This book was gifted to me for an honest review. It is now the 6th book by Wendy L. Anderson I have had the pleasure of reading, and the talent that appears on these pages just continues to astound me. Iron and the Arrow is the fourth of a five book series and tears are already building at the thought of finishing book five and I haven’t even started it yet. This was the longest book out of the series at 469 pages.
So again, the same problem as last time… I can only give it 5 out of 5 stars. It definitely deserves more.
Iron and the Arrowcovers the three grown children of Lyra Song and Jagged Edge (their story is in Book 3; Heirs of Jior); Storm Rider, Mercy Rose and Rain Song. It is broken down in to three novella’s in which each of these characters finds their mate. Each story is absolutely phenomenal and although they all meet their true love, the stories are always completely different.
Storm Riders story comes first and after finishing that I thought there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY any of the other stories could be better. Storm Riders story made me draw fan art (something I’ve unfortunately not been able to finish due to carpel tunnel syndrome), and I’ll tell you now, I have never ever in my 30 years drawn fan art with just words as a reference. Then, along comes Mercy Roses’ story. HOLY SH*T! Some how it is better than the previous. No way Rain Songs story can be better than Mercy Roses’ I say to myself, it’s just impossible. To quote the Swallow from Thumbelina:
“Nothing is Impossible”
Jacquimo, Thumbelina (1994)
Everything in this book is absolutely brilliant and well thought out – the new characters, the scenes, the story-line, the character development. Also, the metaphors in this book just blew me away. Read it, you’ll know what I mean! As I’ve said already for the other books of this series I’ve reviewed, each time I had a question, it was always answered which I think is just fantastic attention to detail when it comes to an author writing their work.
This book, along with the other books I have read by Wendy L. Anderson, are genuinely some of the best work I have ever read and I look forward to reading more of her work hopefully for years to come. I am genuinely so sad that I’ve only got one more book to read of this series and then I have to say goodbye to all the Ny-Failen friends I have made. I’m definitely going to a shed a tear or a million. I can already feel it welling inside.
Iron and the Arrow is available in the UK for just:
I’m 30 years old and I only just got in to the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer during Lockdown. Shocking I know! I absolutely loved it and thought it was genuinely one of the best tv shows I’ve ever watched. Then to my great surprise, I found out that there are Buffy/Angel books. Here is my collection, I’ve tried to put them in to some sort of order – I need a lot more!
Redemption (Angel: Season 1, #2)
Close to the Grounds (Angel: Season 1, #3)
Hollywood Noir (Angel: Season 1, #5)
Bruja (Angel: Season 1, #8)
The Longest Night (Angel: Season 3, #2)
Endangered Species (Angel: Season 3, #6)
Dark Mirror (Angel: Season 4-5, #5)
Monolith (Angel: Season 4-5, #6)
Book of the Dead (Angel Season 4-5, #7)
Love and Death (Angel Season 4-5, #8)
Angel: The Casefiles, Volume 1
Angel: The Casefiles, Volume 2
Cursed (Buffy: Season 6, #1. Angel: Season 3, #1)
Monster Island (Buffy: Season 6, #2. Angel: Season 3, #4)
Seven Crows (Buffy: Season 7-8, #1. Angel: Season 4-5, #1)
The Angel Chronicles: Volume 1
The Angel Chronicles: Volume 3
Halloween Rain (Buffy: Season 1, #1)
Coyote Moon (Buffy: Season 1, #2)
Night of the Living Rerun (Buffy: Season 1, #3)
How I Survived My Summer Vacation (Buffy: Season 1, #4)
Carnival of Souls (Buffy: Season 2, #8)
One Thing or Your Mother (Buffy: Season 2, #10)
Blooded (Buffy: Season 3, #2)
The Evil That Men Do (Buffy: Season 3, #6)
The Deathless (Buffy: Season 3, #7)
Power of Persuasion (Buffy: Season 3, #12)
Visitors (Buffy: Season 3, #13)
Return to Chaos (Buffy: Season 3, #17)
Unnatural Selection (Buffy: Season 3, #19)
Obsidian Fate (Buffy: Season 3, #20)
Deep Water (Buffy: Season 3, #21)
Here be Monsters (Buffy: Season 3, #22)
The Book of Fours (Buffy: Season 3, #23)
Oz: Into the Wild (Buffy: Season 4, #5)
These Our Actors (Buffy: Season 5, #1)
The Wisdom of War (Buffy: Season 5, #2)
Little Things (Buffy: Season 5, #4)
Crossings (Buffy: Season 5, #5)
Sweet Sixteen (Buffy: Season 5, #6)
Chaos Bleeds (Buffy: Season 5, #7)
Blood and Fog (Buffy: Season 6, #3)
Child of the Hunt (Buffy: Season 3, #3)
Apocalypse Memories (Buffy: Season 7-8, #2)
Queen of the Slayers (Buffy: Season 7-8, #7)
Dark Congress (Buffy: Season 7-8, #8)
The Burning (Unseen Trilogy #1)
Door to Alternity (Unseen Trilogy, #2)
Long Way Home (Unseen Trilogy #3)
Slayer: The Last Days of Sunnydale
Slayer: The Totally Cool Unofficial Guide to Buffy
The Faith Trials (Buffy: #21)
The Xander Years: Volume 1
The Xander Years: Volume 2
Prophecies (Buffy: The Lost Slayer, #1)
Dark Times (Buffy: The Lost Slayer, #2)
King of the Dead (Buffy: The Lost Slayer, #3)
Original Sins (Buffy: The Lost Slayer, #4)
The Darkening (Buffy: Wicked Willow #1)
Shattered Twilight (Buffy: Wicked Willow #2)
Broken Sunrise (Buffy: Wicked Willow #3)
Out of the Madhouse (Buffy: The Gatekeeper Trilogy #1)
Ghost Reads (The Gatekeeper Trilogy #2)
Sons of Entropy (Buffy: The Gatekeeper Trilogy #3)
The Willow Files: Volume 1
The Willow Files: Volume 2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Novelisations #1)
The Harvest (Novelisations #2)
The Cordelia Collection (Novelisations #12)
Chosen (Buffy: Novelisations, #13)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Script (Buffy: Season 1, Volume 1)
I drove an hour and a half to get my tattoo and I got there early. I’d noticed a book shop last time I had gone for my tattoo and I was NOT missing out on it this time. I ended up getting 16 books! Haha, ooooops. All of them were classed as children’s books / young adult. Look at these bargains!
Percy Jackson Books 1 – 4 by Rick Riordan
Condition – Book 1 – 5/10, Book 2 – 10/10, Book 3 – 9/10, Book 4 – 6/10
Blurb (Book 1): I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. That’s when things really started going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends and generally trying to stay alive.
My thoughts: I’ve read the 1st book once, a long time ago. I really enjoyed the movie too. I’m looking forward to reading the rest.
The Trials of Apollo Books 1 and 2 by Rick Riordan
Condition – Book 1 – 8/10, Book 2 – 9/10
Blurb (Book 1): My name is Apollo. I used to be a god. But that was before I was cast down from Olympus (a terrible misunderstanding) and woke up in a New York dumpster.
I persuaded Percy Jackson to give me a lift to Camp Half-Blood. But the place is in chaos. Demigods are going missing and the all-seeing Oracles have fallen to a mysterious enemy known only as ‘the Beast’.
I figured that regaining Zeus’s favour would involve a series of harrowing trials, and I was right (I usually am). My first task? Protect the final Oracle, hidden away for millennia. If I fail, the Beast will control the future, but worse – I’ll be stuck as a teenage boy, forever…
My thoughts: from the world of Percy Jackson. That’ll do me.
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
Blurb: Will, you have been chosen.
You and you alone.
You will become the eyes and ears of the Kingdom, learning to move silent as a shadow.
Your arrow will fly true and your sword will be swift.
You are the Ranger’s Apprentice.
Are you ready?
My thoughts: It looks like an easy read but an interesting read too.
Charming by Elliott James
Blurb: He comes from a long line of Charmings – an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch finders, and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern-day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best – until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.
That was a lifetime ago. Now John tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. That is until a vampire and a blonde walk into his bar…
My thoughts: Hmm, I don’t think this should have been in the children’s section but I’m not complaining haha. Sounds interesting!
I also got Vampire Diaries Books 8 and 10 for my collection and some other books which ended up not being the 1st books of the series.
I managed to buy all of these books for the amazing price of £13.50
What do you think of my latest haul? Have you ever read these books? Which book would you want to read first?
Blurb: Princess Lyra Song, young and beautiful, stepping into maturity, pursues her hopes and dreams endeavoring to explore a betrothal with the Heir of Krickgold. However, when she is mistaken for a witch by a Lord from a neighboring country, her dreams are dangerously interrupted. Waylaid, taken prisoner and thrown into an iron cage, the delicate Princess of Jior is charged with a crime she didn’t commit and she must do whatever it takes to escape or be wrongfully executed.
Prince Vannier of Jior, known as Little Wing, has been devastated by what happened to his sister Lyra Song, but life must go on and he goes forward with his plan to marry his childhood love. The day of the wedding ceremony he finds his betrothed with another man and now he must face devastating reality and some difficult choices. When his younger brother Dark Star goes missing, Vannier must set aside his own problems to go into the Violent Mountains and find who has taken his little brother. Amidst the turmoil of the hunt, Vannier must face danger, loss, and possible heartbreak.
Dark Star, the youngest Prince of Jior, has been changed forever by the events of his capture and he remains troubled and unable to find peace. A mysterious compelling draws him away from the safety of his home and family. He sets off on his own to investigate and finds a black castle and a beautiful sorceress in dire need of his help. Dark Star must face a demon from the Hells to free them both.
My thoughts: This book was gifted to me for an honest review. It is now the 5th book by Wendy L. Anderson I have had the pleasure of reading, and like I said before, I am not left disappointed. Heirs of Jior is the third of a five book series, a series I will definitely be continuing with.
I have a slight problem. If I’ve given Book 2 a 5 stars out of 5 stars review, and Book 3 is somehow better than Book 2, then what rating do I give Book 3? 6 out of 5 stars? To be honest it deserves more than 6 out of 5 stars – it was absolutely incredible.
Heirs of Jiorcovers the three Heirs of Jior; Lyra Song, Little Wing and Dark Star. It is broken down in to three novella’s in which each Heir finds their mate. I wish I could talk about each and everyone in detail as I am so enveloped in the characters and their stories that I could possibly write a 30,000 word dissertation on it. Going in to that much detail would be spoiler alert x a billion, so I guess I’m going to have to keep this review relatively brief. Though, I think my friends and partner are fed up of me as I just keep talking about these books constantly.
If I was asked to choose which Novella I liked most out of the three, I don’t think I could choose. They were all completely different but all equally amazing. You learn so much more about these characters, their traits and personalities, and you just can not help but love them and be there with them on their journey.
Everything in this book is absolutely brilliant and well thought out – the new characters, the scenes, the story-line, the character development – I could go on but you get the picture. Also, each time I had a question, it was always answered which I think is just fantastic attention to detail when it comes to an author writing their work.
I was reading Heirs of Jior on my phone and unfortunately my phone stopped working. It was horrid. Not just because I had no phone but I just had to get back to the characters and see what was going on and how they were getting along. I ended up borrowing a phone of my friend and using my partner’s ipad when I could so that I could continue reading. I’ve not been that engrossed in a book in absolute years. I felt like I had withdrawal symptoms. It took me 8 days to complete this book but actually, if I had had my phone it would have taken me less than 3. I was and am obsessed!
This book, along with the other books I have read by Wendy L. Anderson, are genuinely some of the best work I have ever read and I look forward to reading more of her work hopefully for years to come.
I’m writing this on my dinner break on a Friday before going back to work and finishing at 7pm. I’ve got an extremely busy weekend but I’m already planning my time to get as much reading in as possible. I can not wait to devour the next book!
One thing I really wanted to do on my week off work was go to Hay-on-Wye. I’d actually never heard of the place until I was in a charity shop looking at books and I started talking to a lovely gentlemen about my book collection. He also had a huge book collection, he had two whole rooms in his house dedicated to books. I secretly wanted to go to his house and have a look but 1) that would be weird and 2) I didn’t have a clue who he was. Anyway, he started talking about this place he goes at least once a year and spends a fortune on books, a place called Hay-On-Wye, so since this conversation I had really wanted to visit.
Fast forward to Friday (18th June) and that is exactly where my friend and I travelled to. I set off to pick my friend up at 6:20am and we set off from her house at 6:45am. We got to Hay-On-Wye at 9:20am. It was a long drive full of country roads and roads that weren’t even big enough for one car let alone two! Unfortunately I was unable to take any pictures on this trip as my phone battery seems to be draining very quickly and I needed it for the Sat Nav for the journey back.
But fortunately, my friend took a few!
Parking – Oxford Road
We parked at a long-stay car park called Oxford Road. It holds around 400 cars and it has different prices depending on the type of vehicle you have e.g. a car with a trailer would be more expensive than a car. We had a bog-standard car so we paid £4 which allowed us to park there until 6pm. I thought this was really reasonable and the location was great too. There are some toilets just round the corner but seeing as peeing is apparently a luxury, you’ve got to pay 30p to use them.
Hay Cinema Bookshop
This was our first stop. There were a couple of shelving units outside the building filled with books that were only £1 each. Nothing caught our eyes so we headed on in to the shop. We asked the lady at the counter if they bought books (we had brought a few with us just in case) and she advised us to go upstairs to the office. We talked to another lady who took us to two gentlemen in another room. He asked us to put the books on a table, had a quick look through them and said that he wouldn’t want to buy any of the books. This was absolutely fine, we knew that this may be the case, but the way he said it and the way he looked at us was rather impolite.
We left the office, still with our books in hand and started looking around the shop. This was quite a large bookshop with two floors and lots of shelving around the walls and in rows too. There were thousands of non-fiction books all of which were categorised and there were ALOT of different categories. They also had a huge collection of antiquarian books too. My friend is the same as myself, we love fiction books, so we just decided to focus on the fiction sections. These were all over the place really. Newly acquired fiction was both upstairs and downstairs, general fiction was downstairs on the back wall and along some other shelves, and sci-fi and fantasy were upstairs towards the back too. They also had a small children’s section with only a very limited choice of young adult. Limited choice being a Twilight book and a couple of other books.
One thing I will point out though is they had a lot of mint condition recently published books and some of them were the second or third book of a series so if you have the 1st book of a series it might be worth looking here for the others.
I bought one book from here – A buffy the vampire slayer book for my buffy collection.
The Addyman Annexe
This was a lovely bookshop, a lot smaller than the one previous but still well stocked. They had some absolutely gorgeous books – I think they were children’s classics with special covers. I wish I had taken a picture now! As well as a good selection of children’s books, they had mainly non-fiction books covering several topics, antique books, and a section with new books which were all half the RRP.
The gentlemen who worked there came over and asked if we were looking for anything in particular so I decided to ask him if he bought books. He said he would have a look at them but possibly not but he was really nice about it. I followed him to the checkout area and he had a look at our books. He apologised and said he would only want to buy 4 books but would give us £1 each for them which we accepted. He was an absolutely lovely gentlemen and didn’t make us feel awkward like the last place. My friend bought some books from this shop.
C J Gibbons Butchers & Fine Foods
So this isn’t a bookshop but I just had to say that we stopped here and grabbed an Iced Bun and a Cream and Jam Doughnut and my goodness; absolutely sensational. You couldn’t eat in, so take out only but there was a bench to sit on just around the corner.
This wasn’t exactly a bookshop, it was just some shelves in the castle gardens (the castle is having some work done to it so there is a lot of scaffolding etc). There is a lockbox and if you decide you want to buy a book you just put £1 in the lockbox. Obviously, you could just take the book and nobody would know, apart from you of course but it’s not called Thief Bookshop is it.
This bookshop was one of the more forgettable ones. I had nothing against it but it was just one of those were nothing really happened and we didn’t buy anything. Again, similar to the other bookshops – mainly non fiction, antiquarian, good sized children’s selection and a small section for fiction. After nipping to the charity shop and giving them our old books so we didn’t need to carry them anymore we continued on.
Clock Tower Books
Again, this bookshop was one of the more forgettable ones – similar to the other bookshops – mainly non fiction, antiquarian, a small children’s section and a small section for fiction.
I would say we walked around looking for a toilet and something to eat for a good 45 minutes to an hour. We checked out a few places to eat but they were all so over priced or had unnecessarily lavish food. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to pay £12 for some chicken goujons and chips and why can’t we just have a regular cheese panini instead of jazzing it up to mozzarella, green pesto and red tomato and again, charging near on £7 for it. So, after finding some random toilets and again paying for the luxury of peeing, we decided to nip to Angie’s café. It was cheap and simple. Cheese and pickle bap – £2.60. That’ll do, donkey.
This was a fantastic bookshop, one that I bought a few books from. It houses a whole host of books form art and photography to occult and rock music. There are also a few themed rooms here including a Sci-fi room, a Steam-Punk room and a bat-cave. The books I purchased came from the Sci-fi room and the bat-cave. What I absolutely loved (the small things) is that the man who worked there didn’t use a till or a calculator to add up our purchases – got to keep that brain busy, haven’t you?
Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Café and Cinema
This was by far the best book shop we had visited. It was absolutely gorgeous inside. The books were well presented and very neat. The staff were very friendly and they had three floors of books to look through. They had both new and old books and covered pretty much every genre of book you can think of. The café was closed due to covid which was a shame as we would have loved to have dined there and we didn’t take note of the cinema.
The staff members we interacted with were lovely – they let us keep our growing pile of books we wanted to purchase behind the till so we could continue browsing. Once we had finally finished we went to purchase our books and an attractive young man served us. He was very friendly and polite, and out of all the shops we had been to so far, this was the only one to ask if we would like a bag. We very much did like a bag (it was paper too, yay!).
Broad Street Book Centre / Hancock and Monks Music
This is a shop combined of books and music. Each section of the shop is owned by a bookseller so it is worth looking at each section so you don’t miss anything – if you are looking for a particular subject then this won’t be in one place, a number of sellers may have books on that subject. I hope this makes sense. I’ve never been one for explaining well.
Before we actually entered the shop, I noticed a number 2 on the window. It read something like ‘number 2 in the booksellers guide’. We hadn’t noticed this on any other shop window and we asked each other “What guide?!”. The lovely lady in the shop obviously heard us and she popped outside with a guide in her hand. It would have been really helpful to have had this at the beginning of our day but never mind, we were still thankful for it.
We bought a few books from this store and the lady was so nice and friendly towards us.
The Old Electric Shop
I think we were in and out of this shop within 5 minutes. It was a very odd shop. Sort of a thrift type store with new and vintage items such as furniture, homeware, clothes and gifts but it was missing the price tag of a thrift store and instead presenting the price tag of a designer brand. It had a small book selection which was very disappointing but housed a vegetarian café. There was a very pretentious feeling throughout the store and from the staff so we didn’t feel comfortable staying here for long.
This shop was also a disappointment. It had an extremely small selection of books and I mean 20 to 30 books, tops. They were all also non-fiction which didn’t interest us unfortunately.
In the words of Forrest Gump – ‘That’s all I have to say about that.’
Green Ink Booksellers
I believe this store is the most recent addition to the bookshop community. It is a very pretty looking shop both in and out but again was left disappointed with the choice. We didn’t purchase anything from this shop.
So this was not a bookstore but a café that sold crepes. Who doesn’t like crepes, eh? We ordered Nutella crepes – I ordered without ice cream and my friend ordered with ice cream. I asked for a glass of Coke too but they didn’t sell it and only sold really random flavours of expensive drinks such as Dragon fruit and Mango and Elderflower and Cucumber (I made these flavours up, but you get my drift) so I just decided to have the crepes with no drink.
The crepes were enjoyable but we’ve had better. My friend was absolutely fuming (in a funny way) because as soon as she tasted it she knew that it was not real Nutella in the crepes. It was still good but would have been miles better with the real thing. The ice cream they served with the crepes was very thick and apparently tasted great.
Haystacks Music & More
This shop was down a back alley of sorts. It primarily sells CD’s, vinyl records and music books but does have a small section of general fiction and children’s books at the back. I will tell you though, the ‘aisles’ are so thin that even I, who is quite slender, was struggling to squeeze through the shop and it was very difficult to actually browse especially when you couldn’t even bend down. I thought I was going to get stuck in there forever.
That, my friends, was our adventure in Hay-on-Wye in a nutshell. Now, I titled this ‘Book Lover’s Paradise?’. That’s the question isn’t it, is it really a book lover’s paradise? In my opinion, and my friends opinion, no, not really but I suppose it depends on what you like. If you are in to your antique books and your non fiction, if you are looking for a certain genre of non-fiction then yes, perhaps it is your paradise. For me though, and for my friend, we both felt a bit disappointed by the whole experience. We expected to see bookshops full of fiction books well stocked for all genres but this didn’t happen. We also thought it would be more welcoming but overall felt like the whole town was actually quite pompous and pretentious and we just couldn’t get behind the overpriced food and the pay-to-pee situation there.
Thank you for taking your time to read this. Have you ever been to Hay-on-Wye. What did you think?