WWW Wednesday 22 April 2020.

This Book Tag is hosted by Taking On A World Of Words.

What I’ve read, What I’m reading, What’s next.

What I’ve Read

Title: Hold Back The Tide

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Star rating: 5 / 5

After attending the book launch for Hold Back the Tide in the middle of March (the last weekend I left the house before lockdown), I read this in two sittings right afterwards.

This book is a punchy, thrilling, and quite frankly terrifying little novel. Set in the wilds of Scotland, we follow 16 year old Alva and her murderer father’s lives on the Loch. Just as Alva is ready to carve her own path, everything she thought she knew flips on its head and she must survive unbelievable horrors past and present.

Hold Back the Tide is Melinda Salisbury’s first stand-alone novel and I loved it. Very unsettling from the beginning, this is an eye-opening spin on the consequences of our abuse of natural resources. I would also happily state that the first chapter is easily the best YA novel opening I have ever read. Alva is also a kick ass protagonist and sports my own horrific brand of gallows humour.

In short, I would highly recommend this book.

What I’m Currently Reading

Title: A Very English Murder

Author: Verity Bright

Star rating prediction: 2.5 – 3.5 / 5

First impressions:

I assumed I was going to adore this book from the offset because it’s set in 1920s England with an amateur female detective sleuthing around. However, so far I’ve found the protagonist mostly irritating at best. The plot concept is great (Lady Swift has witnessed a murder but there is no body, the scene is clean, yet everyone is acting shady and then the victim turns up dead elsewhere in an apparent accident), but so far it’s less ‘getting on with the plot’ and more ‘the author has a bee in her bonnet over 1920s sexism’.

Baring in mind the era this novel is set in, I fully understand the situation with regards to men’s attitudes towards women at the time. Even a little bit of set up to paint that picture is absolutely fine. However, every third paragraph the narrative is side-tracked by Ellie’s social commentary of historical sexism.

‘Oh that man is disregarding my opinion because I’m a woman.’ 3 sentences later: ‘Oh I wish we had female police constables in this village like in some of the northern cities, but even those women are babysat by men on the force.’

It’s the 1920s. We got it the first time you mentioned it. We’re in an era 2 years post some women getting the vote. Society is male-dominated and backwards. Fine. Understood. Get on with the plot.

I’m over half way through and so far not a lot has actually happened. Here’s hoping it improves because I really want to like this book…

What I’m Reading Next

Title: Orphan Monster Spy

Author: Matt Kileen

Blurb:

A teenage spy. A Nazi boarding school. The performance of a lifetime.

Sarah has played many roles – but now she faces her most challenging of all. Because there’s only one way for a Jewish orphan to survive at a school for the Nazi elite. And that is to become a monster like them.

Survive. Deceive. Resist.

They think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming… with a mission to destroy them all.

Review: Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (Sorrow #2)

Title: Song of Sorrow

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 370

Published: 7th March 2019

⭐️ 5 / 5

Anyone who has spoken to me over the last year will know just how much I loved State of Sorrow. It was easily my favourite book of 2018 so the sequel, and conclusion to the duopoly, Song of Sorrow is one of my most anticipated reads of this year. State of Sorrow ended on a cliffhanger that meant Sorrow’s struggles weren’t over, they were merely beginning and were sure to spiral out of control.

Continue reading “Review: Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (Sorrow #2)”

Review: State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (Sorrow #1)

Title: State of Sorrow

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 452

Published: 1st March 2018

⭐️ 5 / 5

This was my favourite book of 2018, but it has taken until my re-read this week to finally write a review!

Continue reading “Review: State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (Sorrow #1)”

Review: The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)

Title: The Scarecrow Queen

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 336

Published: 2nd March 2017

⭐️ 4.5 / 5

I’m more than a little obsessed with this series at this point.  I honestly don’t know how I was so late to the party in reading this.

The Scarecrow Queen is the third and final instalment of Melinda Salisbury’s series The Sin Eater’s Daughter.  If you’ve read my reviews for books one and two you’ll know I’m a bit of a fan.  I panicked a little bit when I flicked through this book because my pet peeve is switching POVs every few chapters and I could feel it coming owing to the fact the previous books left us with two equally important protagonists that both have a voice.  Whilst Melinda did do this and switch POVs between Errin and Twylla I loved the way she did it in much larger chunks rather than ricocheting between the two every chapter, which would have left me reading only out of loyalty to the series and the characters that I needed to know what happened to.  This technique did mean that there was a lot that happened to the protagonist that wasn’t narrating that chunk by the time we got back to them which caused some overlap and some gaps that we had to work hard to fill in ourselves but I don’t feel that impacted the story or my enjoyment of it.  The split narrative worked well because it allowed us to see what was happening on both sides of the revolution as one protagonist remained with the rebellion and one was unfortunately imprisoned so we could see the ramp up to the final battle from different angles which I loved.  The narrative of this book somehow managed to take even darker turns than the previous instalment with the Sleeping Prince, Aurek, employing some really disturbing methods of torture and war tactics.  As horrific as his character is, I really enjoyed it and love that Melinda is not afraid to make her ‘bad guy’ truly disgusting and dark and twisted.  There’s nothing better than an antagonist who you can hate with all of your heart.

Continue reading “Review: The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)”

Review: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)

Title: The Sleeping Prince

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 367

Published: 4th February 2016

⭐️ 5 / 5

Warning: minor spoilers ahead in the form of fangirling over a character pairing

This is the second instalment in Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter series.  This is the first book in a long time that I ran through in one sitting.  After immensely enjoying the first book in the series, I was initially disappointed as this novel seems to drop Twylla from the narrative completely and instead picks up with an unknown character.  All I desperately needed to know was how Twylla was getting on after the events of her story and instead we move to a struggling village in a neighbouring part of the realm and follow Leif’s younger sister Errin.  I was not happy.  However I was far to quick to judge because she became one of my favourite fictional characters to read about in 2017.  She is young, snappy and hungry (name that musical 😉) to survive the changes in the world she sees around her.  After Leif’s departure from their newly broken family home, Errin is forced to give up her trade as an apothecary to care for her sick mother.  She must resort to illegally making remedies, poisons and other lotions and potions to pay for her survival and to ensure the villagers don’t turn on her mother who is looking increasingly like she is possessed by something sinister.  She has grown up in a society firmly rooted in fact and science, which is the polar opposite to what we have seen with Twylla.  However with their world facing the reawakening of the Sleeping Prince, a being of legend, Errin’s people are not able to place as much surety in science as they are used to.  Errin must watch her family life and the society she has always known and loved crumble before her and watch her neighbours take up some of the odd practices of the devout citizens in the part of the world we know through Twylla.  The only constant in Errin’s new life of despair is her strange friendship with the mysterious Silas.  Enter my favourite couple of the series.

Continue reading “Review: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)”

Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Title: The Sin Eater’s Daughter

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 333

Published: 5th February 2016

⭐️ 4 / 5

Here we have yet another book I read after meeting the author first. Melinda Salisbury was on the panel at the Fantasy and Folklore event, chaired by Samantha Shannon, at Waterstones Piccadilly. Melinda’s personality screamed through everything she said. She was hilarious, intelligent, the anecdotes of her Grandmother reminded me of my own family…and this concoction meant I simply couldn’t leave without buying one of her books. Surely a person that was so very interesting upon first hearing from her could whip up a book that I would love? Well, bless my instincts because holy smokes what a novel!

Continue reading “Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury”