Author: tesscatiful

MY FAVOURITE READS OF 2020

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue What better way to lean into a lockdown than to pick up a book about another pandemic? The story takes place in Dublin, 1918, over three days at the height of the Great Flu. It is a short, claustrophobic tale of Nurse Julia Power and the women she meets, works with and takes care of in the maternity ward at an understaffed hospital in the city centre. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. I was more than a little bit destroyed by this one. I found it so powerful, the characters so brilliantly portrayed, and the scene and the atmosphere gave me chills. Absolutely loved it. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab In 18th century France, Addie LaRue is forced into a marriage she does not want. Willing to sacrifice anything to avoid a life in captivity, Addie makes a Faustian bargain for her freedom. Her wish is granted, …

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2021

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo I love a different feel of Fantasy, and The Chosen and the Beautiful is giving me all the right vibes. Set in the US in the 1920s, Vo’s debut is a queer, Asian-American reimagining of The Great Gatsby, with what looks like a strong focus on spirits, East Asian folklore, and the lives of magicians. I have never been a Gatsby fan, but I’m always down for a retelling, especially with elements as interesting as these: magic and jazz, drama and politics, spirits and queerness in a coming-of-age Fantasy – sign me the hell up. In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead. Need I say more? In a world where magic-wielders are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them, Rovan is thrown into a world of palace intrigue and deception when her spirit starts to control her. Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both …

Review: The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon

Welcome to book four in The Bone Season series, bringing us new territory, new emotions, and all-in-all, an exciting change of pace. After the last two instalments, which had felt a little flat and same-y in my opinion, The Mask Falling feels fresh and interesting, and is definitely the book I have enjoyed the most since the first in the series. This book takes us to the Scion citadel of Paris, a setting I was massively interested in. I loved falling into ‘dystopian’ Paris, a city reminiscent of the real one but with a slight futuristic tilt and an emphasis on the underground, the carrières. Paige is still reeling from the events of the last book, recovering from torture at the hands of the Rephaim and the PTSD she now deals with, which was a great addition to the character development (and the best-written part of the entire book). But Paige can’t hide herself away with her struggles – she has an important new assignment for the mysterious Domino Programme … I will never not …

MY 5 FAVOURITE READS OF LOCKDOWN #1, 2020

As we careen gracelessly into Lockdown 2 here in the UK in the year of our Lord 2020, I see a lot of people pledging to use their newfound free time to engage with their hobbies. Reading is definitely up there as a top pick, which had got me feeling reminisce-y. So I thought I would look back on some of the cracking reads I devoured during our first 2020 lockdown, and maybe give some of you out there a few ideas of what to pick up. So, what did I read in Lockdown 1? Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill Was it, in hindsight, a great idea in the current climate to purchase a post-apocalyptic novel where humans are extinct and the robot race who destroyed them are following in the footsteps? Yes. Yes, it was. Sea of Rust packed a punch – with a likeable, ballsy robot protag and a very unique setting. I was drawn in by the world and the social commentary. I stayed for the bants. More lighthearted than …

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

➽ “And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue is the most enchanting release of 2020. I love a premise that sets up a question, one speculative element that creates a whole story. In V.E. Schwab’s latest adult novel, that question is: what if you were cursed to be forgotten by everyone you ever meet? In 18th century France, Addie LaRue is forced into a marriage she does not want. Willing to sacrifice anything to avoid a life in captivity, Addie makes a Faustian bargain for her freedom. She is willing to trade her soul for an eternal life living by her own rules, but The Darkness will not agree without a time limit. ➽ “You want an ending,” she says. “Then take my life when I am done with it. You can have my soul when I don’t want it anymore.” The Darkness is intrigued by her offer, enticed by a new game. He grants her wish to become …