Pain is all I know at this point: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson Review

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world


hero of ages

I must confess at the time of writing this review I have yet to finish Hero of Ages though I do very much intend to, I feel so comfortable in this series, it’s like slipping into a warm bath at this point, even if it is a warm bath of PAIN, but my schedule doesn’t care about any of that. I will assume that there is a twist coming up that will no doubt make everything even worse for our characters, more so than it already is. Because these books are definitely an exercise in trying to make people go through the worse possible situations, trying to get them to crack. However the reading experience of each book has just kept getting better: Final Empire was great, Well of Ascension was brilliant, Hero of Ages was amazing, (maybe I’m just a sadist).

It’s strange that I’m always surprised by how much the books keep expanding, like new cities with new politics, the kandras, the koloss, everything has a deep lore that we have barely scratched the surface of. This book broke my heart, if you have read any of my previous reviews of this series you may be able to guess why. A part of me really wants to give this book a one star review because of this. However I feel I must give this book a five star review for being so good at breaking my heart.


I’m going to start sounding like a wind up doll: once again this book just does terrible things to these beloved characters. There is an overwhelming sense of doom from the prologue to the end and its unnerving to start a book that practically screams that it won’t end happily. And I do love these characters at this point and I will be very sad when this is all said and done. I enjoy how easily empathic all the characters are, of course I don’t agree with all of them (and some of them just need to pull it TOGETHER) but Sanderson makes them all very human, which makes it easier, maybe not to agree with them but at least understand them. They all need a ruddy hug and instead they are just punch further into the ground, with everything they have ever worked on being warped and twisted by an invincible villain. All the characters have matured and sobered, just like the description of the land around them – bleak and dying.

Of course at this point it isn’t unexpected there is going to be a twist or two, though usually I’m hard pressed to figure it out, (I still have no idea how this will end). But I did work out a couple of things in this book, long before I think I was supposed to. there’s a certain fun in having the rug being pulled from under your feet with a twist, knowing the rug is going to be pulled is just childish and annoying. But I may have just guessed by chance because I found myself paranoid of EVERYONE in this book, when the enemy can subtly nudge your emotions and thoughts, how can you even trust yourself? There are (however brief) moments of levity in the book, allowing the reader a chance to breathe, and believe me they are necessary.


I don’t like the term villain. Most ‘villains’ are antagonists. They are not forces of pure evil and the epitome of horror. And those that are, are usually terribly unrealistic because it’s impossible to be someone who is pure evil. Evil is a force rather than a personality trait. Which is why Ruin is so horrifying. It’s just gruesome and powerful and without mercy, of course how do you find mercy in a force? And when that force of pure evil is put in a human form, that’s when you get a great villain.


Writing Tip: 107#

Read your work aloud.


You’ll notice more mistakes that way.

Unity Game by Leonora Meriel: Review

Thank you to Author Assistant for the free book for an honest review.


A New YorThe Unity Game_Coverk banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction



This book’s annoying to talk about. Because I can definitely can see the effort put into the research and philosophy because it’s definitely trying to be clever… but it makes no goddamn sense.

One part of me wants to think I’m just not getting it, another part knows it just makes no damn sense. It’s trying way to hard to be clever and by doing so it leaves no way to empathise with its characters or understand its plot.

Do you know what I’ve learnt from this book: referring to characters by ‘it’ really makes them unsympathetic. One of the three characters is referred as such and I felt nothing for them, especially since the language is so twisted, like the author looked in a thesaurus for each word, that you can’t understand what’s going on.

It’s got beautiful imagery that again, makes no sense, but it’s imaginative…that’s really all it has. And the ending, I wouldn’t say it predictable but because of how clever the book’s attempting to be, the ending’s not surprising.

I don’t know, maybe I’m too dumb for this book, but I don’t think that can be an excuse for anything.

Plus I’m a genius.


Have you read Unity Game? What do you think? Comment below!


Shtetl Love Song Review

Thanks to Noir Press for giving me a free copy of Shtetl Love Song for a honest review.


Grigory Kanovich’s autobiographical novel ‘Shtetl Love Song’ is based on real events from the life of the author’s family and the small town characters that peopled the world of his early years. It has been described as being a requiem for the pre-war Lithuanian Jewish shtetl.

In ‘Shtetl Love Song’ Grigory Kanovich writes about his mother, and in doing so peels back the surface of the rich community that lived in pre-war Lithuania. It is a requiem for the pre-war Jewish shtetl, for a people and a way of life that was destroyed.
Shtetl Love Song won the Liudo Dovydeno Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union.


Review: Shtetl Love Song is a not the kind of book I usually read. I usually stick to YA fantasy mostly, but when Noir Press asked me to read it, I was like ‘Sure…why not?’ And I don’t regret that decision. 

For starters this book has a heavy emotional weight to it, as the author states: this is his final book and the book he’s been meaning to write his entire life. The story follows his young mother’s life and though the author is in the story, it is mainly focussed on his parents and their struggles.  

It’s a biography which isn’t really the type of the book I’m used to. Lives don’t normally have action packed scenes and three-act structure. It makes it a much slower and easy-going read. Which given what I’m used to, I wasn’t expecting to work. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s very engrossing read. There are definitely bits where it lulls and it’s clear that the author is trying to be as close to the truth of life as possible, but in book form it makes for a couple of dull chapters. But the rest of it was a pretty good evening read and I enjoyed reading about such a fascinating time and place, especially when you know these people and lives were real. It adds a lot to the reading experience.  

Conclusion: This was a beautiful read, with an amass of well-rounded driven characters and easy plot that I think you should check out. 


Buy the book!

‘Shtetl Love Song’ by Grigory Kanovich
Noir Press
ISBN: 978-0995560024

Numen the Slayer (Review)

SynopsisNumen: Numen Magnus is heir to the castle of Magnus Keep, but has everything taken from him by a barbaric king. With his home destroyed and family murdered, Numen must fight to survive in the uncharted wilderness of Umbran. Along his journey, Numen discovers something significant about his heritage and seeks to turn his enemies to ash. Numen the Slayer is a fantasy underdog story where one young man can decide the fate of a kingdom. The Gold Phoenix rises!

Review: Numen the dragon slayer is the fantasy novel written by Grady P. Brown. The author clearly loves the world he has created as well the history of the characters’ that inhabit it and truly does wish for others to feel the same way. However this is the book’s own downfall. By trying to squeeze so many characters and so much lore in to the book, it does mean there isn’t a lot of time devoted to developing the emotions of the main characters. Despite this it isn’t a confusing book, the characters and their environments are so separate from one another that it’s easy to follow. The book does feel like it has it’s own world, it’s extensive, everything planned out from the environment to the economic income of each kingdom and the author does devote a lot of time to these kingdom developing them throughout the book. It’s a book for people who love worldbuilding over character development, which I’m certainly partial to.

Conclusion: I did enjoy this book, it is an easy read to get through and something nice to wind down with.

What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

Thanks to Grady P Brown for giving me a free copy for a honest review.


The Curse of Fantasy YA (Review)

A royal wedding should be a celebration, with fireworks and dancing till dawn. But for General’s daughter Kestrel, betrothed to the Crown Prince, marriage is a trap.

Just as they fell in love, Arin became her enemy. Kestrel aches to tell him the truth – that her engagement was the price she paid to save his life. But in a world of lies and intrigue, how can she trust him if she doesn’t even trust herself? The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn the high cost of their crime…

Winner's crime

I have a confession. A horrible confession.

I hate the YA fantasy genre….

Okay granted it’s not something I keep secret but my point is, is that I expected all fantasy YA books to turn out the same. Same plot, same beats, same surprises. And this is because what feels like the same story a thousand times over. So, entering a YA book, I’m nervous and wary.

So, I feel I have to apologise to Winner’s crime because while it’s a good book, I can’t escape the worry that it’s plotline will be the same as every one of its pretentious. It’s good, even I’ll admit that. This world is immersive, it’s characters diverse. It was an interesting read for sure. Let’s try and go through it’s good point without being too biased.

  • Main protagonist: I like Kestrel, and really do understand the horrible situation she’s being put in. I like Arin for bad reasons: I like him because he isn’t a carbon copy of Kestrel, he’s actually kind of dumb, which made him interesting, but really, I never felt sucked into his storyline like Kestrel’s.
  • There’s a reason they can’t be together: I won’t go too into this, but the fact that they can’t be happily together is simple, common sense, actually. Doesn’t make it hurt any less but at least it has context.
  • It doesn’t really suffer from middle book syndrome…maybe: While the ending did essentially move the plot backwards, stuff did happen in this book and not all of it went to waste.

So yeah those are my main good points with the book, but all of that is over shadow by the looming threat of a predicable plot. I don’t want it to be predicable but…it is. It’s pretty and written beautiful but it’s predicable and I’m so afraid the next one will just ruin it all with the same finale that’s just like every other YA novel. I hope it’s not.

Only one way to find out…

In the end I’d recommend this as a great starting point for YA fantasy, it just shouldn’t be your 100th book.


What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

The Song of the Stork- review

Synopsis: Fifteen year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

Torn apart and fighting for her life, The Song of the Stork is Yael’s story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished.


Review: This book is an amazingly beautiful especially in displaying the bleakness of humanity. A lot of this book is spent talking about what is left of humanity when hope is gone and how evil anyone can become and this book never lets you forget how horrible the world is. It also creates incredicbly real, reable characters that truly drives the story. It isn’t a book of happy endings and romance, it is a book of harsh realities and this is what makes it so good.

I would recommend this book to anyone who can read and please tell me your own thoughts on the Song of the Stork.

Rose by Another Name – Review

Synopsis: Her worth decided over a game of cards, Lady Rosalyn Hayes has accepted her future. She will marry a duke she doesn’t know to protect her sisters’ reputations. But when a year of preparation for her debut vanishes in the blink of an eye, Rose flees her gilded cage in search of unrestrained adventure.

Lord Robert Phillip Clarence, Duke of Brighton, lives a life of debauchery far from his country estate, and even farther from the lady he must marry in order to restore his family’s ancestral lands. But when he is summoned home to meet his future wife, he realizes he hasn’t lived at all.

Rose and Robert do not meet when their eyes lock across a ballroom swathed in candlelight. They do not meet amid fine clothes, genteel manners, debonair charm, and chaperones. They meet, alone, upon Rose’s near death. It is this near-death experience that catapults the two nobles, disguised as servants, towards a romance that seems destined for failure.

They think they know each other. But when their true identities are revealed at a house party, will they live happily ever after or will the ton be shocked to see a lady run?


Review: Rose by another name starts strong for the most part, continues that way. The story is woven into the time of its setting: of proper ladies and forbidden romance. It’s clichéd elements are easily ignored in a story so filled with beautifully immersive settings and the poetic emotional scenes.

It’s an easy book and a comfortable read despite its simple plot. In fact the simplty of its plot is what makes it so enjoyable, leaving more room for connection with our main leads and their romance.

However the novel’s finale let’s it down with an ending very much out of left field and clearly setting up for a series. I was confused by it, I barely could feel the character conflict and was left bewildered.

But despite its falling I enjoy the book immensely with its emotionally driven characters and rustic environments.

I’d like to thank Melaine Thurlow for letting me have an ARC copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

Buy: Amazon


Horrifying Nightmare Fest Ahead. (Review).


Blurb: A village on the Devil’s Moor: a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition. The is the grand manor house whose occupants despite the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. this is where four young friends come of age- in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets.

Synopsis: ‘Your house is on fire, Your children all gone’ by Stefan Kiesbye is an episodic nightmarish book of stories. The stories told are truly bizarre and unnerving in how normal these murderous and sinful acts appear to the characters. It truly is a creepy read and one that grabbed my attention almost immediately. And though I would recommend it to anyone wanting a genuinely scary and disturbing read there are certain things that irked me about the book.

The characters’ personalities change and shift to suit the chapter they are in, and the writing style of each character is interchangeable from one another making it hard to remember which character have done what. It kind of takes you out of the moment when you have to think who’s POV you’re in.

Either way it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, even if I need to sleep with the lights on for now

Nightrunners of Bengal by John Masters Review

Plot: The novel is set at the time of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The central character, Captain Rodney Savage, is an officer in a Bengal Native Infantry regiment, stationed in the fictional city of Bhowani. He is restless with garrison life, but is devoted to his regiment and its sepoys (Indian soldiers).

In spite of his empathy with the sepoys, Savage does not realise that fear and resentment are driving them to intrigue with local rulers and other conspirators against the rule of the British East India Company. The complacent life of the British community in Bengal is shattered by the Rebellion.

Synopsis: I’m not necessarily gonna go into book spoilers, but more history spoilers about the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857.

It is clear I’ve past into adulthood…It’s incredibly scary.

Nightrunners is not the most adult book I’ve ever read nor do I hold it up as the mark that all readers should pass to not be considered children. However it is the first book, in a long time, I’ve actually enjoyed reading. Its immersive world is the true protagonist of the story and its main focus is the emotional turmoil of the main character, rather than the main character’s missions or love life, something which I’ve found tiring in YA novels in recent months. It is a breath of fresh air to read something from such a indepth character narrative: Englishmen describing their foreign home and how dark it can become in war, and how much they can be affected with it.

While the first half of the book is gripping and wonderfully put together to create many wholesome, imperfect but sympathetic characters, it is the change from white women in petticoats playing crochet to sepoys murdering babies in their cribs, that grips you into the true message of the story, almost being convinced with the main character that these people who are trying to reclaim their homeland are monsters before remembering the reality of the situation and its bigger picture.

The main character is also brilliantly created. He’s not a saviour but a broken man in a country that wants him dead and he is not about to save the day, he can barely save himself and those he loves. He’s a complex character that changes throughout the story’s events.

So perhaps after reading this I should decidedly take a break from reading YA novels, just for a bit…until being an adult becomes too terrifying.

All in all I loved this book from start to finish.