Bone Dungeon – Jonathan Smidt (Review)

After an unjust execution, Ryan returns to consciousness as a dungeon core – a sentient lump of rock with the power to shape its immediate surroundings. Paired with Erin, a celestial fairy, Ryan’s goddess-given task is to challenge adventurers, stocking his dungeon with monsters so that questing heroes can gain experience.

There are complications to this though; Ryan has a magical affinity to darkness (necromantic energy), which is not only totally opposed to Erin’s magic/morals, but also a beacon to higher-levelled evil beings who seem him as an ally or a pawn. Living up to Erin’s expectations involves not using the full scope of his power, but living at all means he needs to get stronger, fast.

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We Just Clicked – Anna Bell (Review)

Izzy Brown is an aspiring Instagram influencer who makes a deal with the devil, a.k.a. her coworker Luke, to fake a relationship to boost their profiles. Their plan works, but the longer it goes on, Izzy starts to wonder whether this fake life is worth it. When she reconnects with Aidan, a mysterious stranger who looked after her the day her brother died, Izzy’s dilemma comes to a head: does she want true love with Aidan or the picture-perfect life and perks of internet fame?

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The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary (Review)

Tiffy and Leon are both looking for a solution to their financial and housing difficulties. They find a creative solution: Leon (who works nights) has the flat during the day and Tiffy gets it overnight and for weekends. They share the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom and the bed, without ever having met.

The Flatshare tells the story of how they get to know each other through post-it notes, and how, despite their agreement not to meet, they start to have a profound effect on each other’s lives.

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Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop – Rebecca Raisin (Review)

Successful chef Rosie gives up her job and life in London after her marriage falls apart, drunkenly buying a bright pink campervan with all her savings. Deciding to be spontaneous for the first time in her life, Rosie decides to join the campervan community and take her van, “Poppy”, around the UK, paying her way by turning it into a travelling tea shop.

Now, I’m really fond of the “girl packs in her big city life and sets up some form of a teashop/cafe/chocolaterie/bakery in the British countryside and finds love along the way” subgenre of romance, and I always read about fifteen on my summer holidays every year. However this one just didn’t hit the spot.

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Squelch, Slither, & Slime – John Halkin (Review)

There are reports of new, never-before seen creatures in the South of England. At first, people think little of them, dismissing them as fictional or no more dangerous than ferrets. But the creatures grow, and multiply, and spread, their lust for human flesh increasing every day. As the death toll rises, humanity is forced to confront a new and horrifying idea: we are no longer top of the food chain.

The above description applies equally well to three different books, all by John Halkin, and all having a single-word title beginning with “S”. In Squelch, the menace is large, carnivorous caterpillars and poison-spitting moths. In Slither, hypnotic worms (the reptile-kind, limbless lizards) hunt humans in the sewers. And in Slime, evil hordes of jellyfish are the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.

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A Hell of an Innocent – Zidrou (Review)

a-hell-of-an-innocent-tome-1-a-hell-of-an-innocent

Twenty-seven years ago, in a sleepy outback town, Lee Duncan was savagely murdered. Everyone knows who did it – her husband Greg.

For decades, he’s been a wanted man. But when his brother makes a deathbed confession to the killing, Greg has to return to his hometown and face the people who have always believed him to be a murderer.

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Crabs – Guy N. Smith (Review)

night crabs

Books about monsters rising from the oceans to wreak havoc upon humanity are some of my favourite things, and the ones that I turn to in times of stress or boredom. I have read reams of books about sharks and squid and jellyfish, but was delighted recently to discover a whole stash of books focusing on monstrous crabs. I initially intended this review to focus on one book only – Night of the Crabs – but lately I have had a lot of long & boring train journeys, so instead will focus on all eight books in the Crabs series.

Luckily, the books – all the way up to The Charnel Caves – share many common elements, and can be usefully all discussed together. The plot of each book may vary in specifics, but the core narrative is the same – gigantic, hate-filled crustaceans emerge from the oceans, and humanity must fight for its survival in the face of this new and ever-unanticipated menace.

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