Wednesday, 28 April 2021

The Nightsilver Promise review

In a re-imagined world, the Empire of Albion is ruled by science. Everyone’s destiny is pre-determined by a track of stars on their wrist, and 13-year-old Paisley Fitzwilliam discovers that her fate is to die before her fourteenth year. But when her mother goes missing and is presumed dead; there is nobody left to protect her Dragon Touched brother Dax. So begins a breathtaking adventure through London's Floating Boroughs, a vault guarded by Dragon Walkers, and the dark sewers of lower London.

To save her brother, Paisley must unlock an ancient secret that will not only defy her stars, but will change the course of history forever . . .

I definitely judged this proof by its exceptionally beautiful cover, and I loved the contents just as much. The Nightsilver Promise is gorgeously written and original, with evocative worldbuilding and well-drawn characters.

I don't always find it easy to keep the details of fantasy worlds straight in my mind, but Annaliese Avery has created a stunning backdrop to the story that immediately places you in the world but doesn't overwhelm the plot. 

The premise of this book is unnerving and leaves you empathising for Paisley right from the start. The question of whether she'll survive hangs over the book and gives the events a real sense of urgency. I found the whole plot gripping, from the adventurous journey through a reimagined London to the quiet moments of family and character development. The story kept me invested and I didn't manage to predict where it was going!

I also found the characters didn't always develop how I expected, and I loved the relationship between Paisley and her brother, Dax.

I haven't read any middle-grade fantasy for a long time, but I predict this one will become a classic. I highly recommend it for anyone in need of a good adventure. Aren't we all at the moment?

Thank you to Scholastic for the gifted copy!

Sunday, 18 April 2021

The Last Girl blog tour review

Scream meets Gossip Girl with a dash of One of Us is Lying!

When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:
– Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.
– Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out…
– If there’s a murderer on the loose, do NOT make out with anyone…

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring them to the bored rich kids of her fancy New York High School. But then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious student club that sets up terrifying Fear Tests; elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and horror movies.

But when a sinister masked figure appears, Rachel realises that her past has caught up with her. It’s time for the ultimate prank to play out…

The Last Girl (called The Mary Shelley Club in the US) is one of those books that I went into with really high expectations, and yet it managed to exceed all of them. It's a tightly plotted, cinematic read that just feels so fun, dark and fresh at the same time.

I loved how this book explores horror tropes! My finished copy came with a tropes bingo sheet, but I'd already taken great pleasure in spotting them on my first read. Goldy Moldavsky leans into them at times and subverts them in other places, so it's really fun trying to work out how things will end.

I also liked the characters and the relationships between them. It can be really hard to get this right in horror and thrillers, but this book strikes the balance really well. The characters are complex and well developed, and the relationships between them feel genuine. There's also plenty of suspense and scares.

The Last Girl is one of my favourite reads of 2021, and is the perfect book for horror movie fans.

I'm delighted to be doing an event with Goldy on Thursday 22nd April 6pm to talk about The Last Girl and Mina and the Undead. It's free to register and you can do so here if you're interested.

Thank you to Electric Monkey and Farshore for the gifted proofs and finished copy of the book. I really appreciate being including on the blog tour! Check out the banner to follow the other stops on the tour.