Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky – Blog Tour

Hi! I haven’t done a book tour in a hot minute! …and I’m super late. Apologies, but life really got in the way. I was meant to post 3 days ago.

Today we’re talking about Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky. This is more of a first impressions post, as I haven’t finished the book yet. Let’s go.

The Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Publication date: August 3rd 2021
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Genre: Sci-fi

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . . Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers. After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete. Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres and I especially enjoy space operas. But it’s also the genre that is harder to get into when you’re in a reading slump. I’ve read from Tchaikovsky before, and I enjoyed his writing and ideas, and I was really excited to pick this book up.

Right off the bat it throws you into the story with little explanation, enough to keep you intrigued but not to give too much away, which makes me believe the story will be nicely paced throughout.

The cast of characters seems very diverse and interesting. I love the found family trope, it’s one of my favourites and it’s meant to be present in this story! What’s better than a group of misfits on a space ship?!

I am not far into the book (about 20%), but I already love the writing. Some sci-fi books are a bit… too dry. Not Tchaikovsky’s writing. He writes in a very accessible way for non sci-fi readers, I think.

I can’t wait to get more into the story. I’ll be sure to post a full review once I’m done.

As I’m unable to give you more of my thoughts please check out these reviews:

Tessa

Bex

Blair

And check out The Write Reads hashtags for this tour!

As always, thanks for reading. Apologies for being late. Talk soon!

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – A Review

Hi! Happy Monday. I hope you’re doing great. I am back with another tour stop and another review. This one is for The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (as you can tell from the title). I’m excited for this one.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Publication date: September 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Genre: Mystery

She came from nothing.

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.

Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.

It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives –

a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.

Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.

But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

The premise of The Inheritance Games sounded pretty interesting, but having put in a lot of faith into YA mysteries in the past, I was quite cautious setting my expectations, not to be disappointed. What I feared would be a dissatisfying read turned into a pleasant surprise – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The Inheritance Games follows Avery – a girl from a poor family who, after her mother’s death, is being raised by her older half-sister. She works hard, both in school and outside of it, to earn a better future. Until one day she’s summoned into the headmaster’s office and told she’s been named as an heir of a eccentric billionaire who she didn’t know. But to take ownership of the money and assets she needs to move into the Hawthorne House where all of the billionaire’s family still lives, and stay there for a year. Needless to say, the remaining family is not happy about that, and Avery gets roped into a scavenger hunt/game to win.

It took me a good few chapters to get into the story. I found the beginning, which set up the story and introduced the reader to the characters, slightly boring and mediocre. I will admit, Avery is not a character I particularly liked or found interesting. And while she is the main character, she really played a backdrop for the story’s actual main characters – the Hawthorne grandsons.
I liked all 4 of them. I understand that they’re the cliche YA male protagonists, misunderstood, spoiled, weird, sarcastic, pretentious etc., but what can I say? I saw right through from the very first page and yet I still fell for their charm! If I were to rate them best to worst, I’d pick Xander, Jameson, Grayson and Nash.
Like I said, though, Avery was not my favourite. The female cast did not impress me whatsoever, with Avery’s sister not having much personality, either, and Thea and Rebecca being mostly plot devices. The only interesting female character the story had was Emily, and she was dead, so that really paints a picture for you.

If I didn’t like the main character or any other females and the start was boring and mediocre, why did I enjoy the book, then, you ask? Well… the plot, once it started moving, was very addicting. I wanted to solve the mystery myself. I wanted to know why Avery was chosen as an heir. I wanted to see more of the Hawthornes. After the introductory chapters the pacing improved immensely and the book got better. I don’t necessarily need to like the main character to enjoy the story, as long as I don’t hate every single one of the characters.

I didn’t realise the book was a first in a series, and so the lack of ALL answers and a cliffhanger ending really surprised me. I did still enjoy it, I think as far as YA mysteries go, it was well done, but I am just not big on cliffhangers. Overall, though, I thought the story was well written and paced, and a real page turner once everything was set in place. I am curious where it will go in the next book and will definitely be picking it up!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you for reading! I will chat to you soon.

The Beast And The Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips – A Review #TheWriteReads

Hi!

Today is the last stop on this huge The Write Reads tour for The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, and it’s also my stop. Thank you, as always, to Dave for organising the tour and to the publisher for providing me with an e-copy.

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
  • Publication date: October 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Egmont
  • Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy

Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .

Oh boy, this was FUN! I love middle grade books, it’s no surprise to anyone, and The Beast and the Bethany is everything I love in those stories. It’s a super fast read, immensely entertaining, laugh out loud funny and overall a great time.

The Beast and the Bethany follows Ebenezer Tweezer, a 511 year old man, who lives a lavish life in a big mansion with… the Beast. Said Beast has a big appetite and requests the most unusual meals and in return supplies Mr. Tweezer with a potion which makes him young and healthy. Throughout the years the Beast has made some difficult requests, yet each and every single time Ebenezer delivered. After yet another outlandish request, Ebenezer sets out to fulfill it and comes across Bethany – a not so well behaved orphan, and the two become most unlikely friends.

I loved both Bethany and Ebenezer and the relationship the two develop throughout the story. They are quite similar in character at the start of the book, both quite selfish and horrible, but instead of causing havoc together (though that they do, too, I suppose), they help each other grow and change. The Beast was probably my favourite character, though. There was just something unsettling and yet hilarious about it, the way it spoke, behaved and treated everyone.

If not the slump in which I still very much am and other obligations, I’m sure I could’ve read it in one sitting. It’s short but it’s also an absolute page turner. I think the writing is great and witty and it appealed to me as a 27 year old, but I’m positive it would also appeal to a young audience. I got big Lemony Snickett vibes off it. I definitely think it has a potential to be a series many young readers grow up with and have a special attachment to.

I’m excited to continue with the series and see what Bethany and Ebenezer get to in the second book. If it’s anything like the first one, I know it’s going to be fantastic and heaps of fun.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you for reading! Keep an eye out for this one once it releases, it’s really worth a read.

I’ll talk to you soon!

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen – A Review

Hi! It’s my stop on The Write Reads tour for the third book in Kenneth B. Andersen’s series. I’ve reviews for the first and second books, if you’d like to check those out first. So… without further ado, as we all know how bad I’m at introductions…

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen
  • Publication date: April 20th 2009 (original)
  • Publisher: Host & Son
  • Genre: Fantasy

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

Thank you to the author for sending an e-copy of the book for a review, and for Dave at The Write Reads for putting together this tour.

I’ve grown to really love this series. As I’ve mentioned at the start of every review, it really took me by surprise. While books one and two were between middle grade and YA, at least for me, I feel like The Wrongful Death got a bit darker.

Philip got himself into Hell again! What’s new? This time, by a very unfortunate mix up, Philip’s friend (and ex tormentor) Sam ends up dead and lost in Hell. All because of Philip (and partially Satina). So he has to venture back to the underworld and find him before it’s too late.

As always, Philip was a great protagonist to read from. He remains extremely likeable throughout those books, and it was a real pleasure following him through his adventures. One of my favourites aspects of those books are times where Philip is looking for his dad – every time he sets foot in the underworld he thinks about him and tries to find a way to see him. I feel like it might be a big part of the plot in the later books. I was glad to see many supporting characters, especially Lucifer himself. He’s one of my absolute favourites.

Andersen managed to add even more depth into the already rich world, and we got to visit Heaven and meet god, as well as Hades in his underworld. Apart from the main plot, there is also a lot going on in Hell and the atmosphere gets darker with every chapter. It is quite apparent a big war is brewing, and I’m dying to find out more.

I always find it hard to review sequels and keep them spoiler free, and so they’re usually considerably shorter than other reviews. I found The Wrongful Death to be a bridge of sorts between Philip’s somewhat innocent adventures in Hell (though how innocent can they really be), and something darker and more sinister. I enjoyed it immensely and I can’t wait to continue with the series, and see where they lead.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you for reading.

Follow the tags on Twitter to find more reviews from this tour, as a lot of lovely reviewers already posted theirs.