An American Marriage | Tayari Jones | a review

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Karina ReadsRoy and Celestial are newlyweds, a year into marriage with the world at their feet until tragedy strikes. Roy is wrongfully sentenced to 12 years in prison and life as they know it shatters. An American Marriage is a powerfully addictive and moving character-driven novel that follows three people as they love, learn and grow and doesn’t shy away from exploring the difficulties lovers encounter when life unfolds vastly different to their expectations. Roy and Celestial’s story is heartbreaking in many ways but I think, ultimately, hopeful.

‘how you feel love and understand love are two different things’

While the focus is primarily on Continue reading “An American Marriage | Tayari Jones | a review”

Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell | KarinaReadsI am sure Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet needs no introduction. This book is brilliant and utterly addictive – I finished it in two sittings. Hament follows Agnes and her family as they come together in a time of terrible grief. By never naming the famous husband the reader is able to focus on the everyday domesticity of 16th Century life and consider how Shakespeare-the-man interacted with others as a husband, son, tutor etc…He is never the focus, Agnes very much is and the author does an excellent job of rooting her and her family in Elizabethan England. It could have been any other family, Continue reading “Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review”

A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes | a review

‘…this was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them. A war does not ignore half the people whose lives it touches. So why do we?’

A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes, Karina Reads ReviewI love a good myth retelling & Natalie Haynes’ recent novel A Thousand Ships is no exception.

In Haynes’ epic, she tells the story of the Trojan war, focusing not only on what happened, why it happened and what happened after, but on the lives and consequences of war on the women.  Each chapter is told from a different woman’s perspective and while we follow Continue reading “A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes | a review”

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro | K.S. Villoso | a review

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, Karina ReadsI loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso. Originally a self-published fantasy novel, Orbit published Villoso’s debut this February and it blew me away. Fast-paced, action packed and well written, I’m going to be thinking about this for a long time and I’ve already pre-ordered the sequel. What is it about, I hear you ask? In a nutshell, Continue reading “The Wolf of Oren-Yaro | K.S. Villoso | a review”

The Library of the Unwritten | A.J. Hackwith | a review

The Library of the Unwritten | AJ Hackwith | KarinaReadsWith blurbs by two of my all-time favourite authors, Juliet Marillier & Seanan McGuire, I had very high hopes for The Library of the Unwritten. The synopsis also caught my attention; there is a library in Hell where all the unwritten books live and when one of these novels manifests as one of its own characters, the head librarian, a muse and a nervous demon messenger must venture to Earth (as well as other afterlife realms) and trouble ensues. Magic, books, muses, demons, angels, mythology, Heaven & Hell and a tonne of sass and snark – this book is certainly good fun. Continue reading “The Library of the Unwritten | A.J. Hackwith | a review”

Phedre’s Trilogy | Jacqueline Carey | series review

Kushiel's Dart, karina reads, jacqueline carey‘love as thou wilt’

I read and adored Jacqueline Carey’s magnificent Phedre’s Trilogy last year so I thought I’d combine my reviews for the trilogy here in case you fancy some exquisite writing and epic romance in a Renaissance-esque fantasy setting. Featuring royalty, pirates, kidnapping and betrayal, happy reading!

Kushiel’s Dart

While the start Continue reading “Phedre’s Trilogy | Jacqueline Carey | series review”

A Time of Blood | John Gwynne | a review

A Time of Blood Johny Gwynne, Karina ReadsA Time of Blood is book two of John Gwynne’s Of Blood and Bone series and I received an advanced copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to Pan Macmillan and Tor UK for this. 

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It’s not often that I finish a book I love and struggle to articulate why everyone else will love it too. It’s been over twelve hours since I finished this masterpiece and my prevailing thought remains ‘it’s fantastic, read it, it’s fantastic, read it’… So I will do my best to explain why you should. I’d also like to note that while there are references to events and characters in Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series, this series can be read without having read them. You can find my review of the first book in this series, A Time of Dread, here.

A Time of Blood is the perfect sequel, it delivers more Continue reading “A Time of Blood | John Gwynne | a review”

Nightchaser | Amanda Bouchet | a review

Nightchaser, Amanda Bouchet book review

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Nightchaser is out 1st January 2019.

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A couple of months ago, I finished Heart on Fire, the third book in Amanda Bouchet’s The Kingmaker Chronicles and enjoyed it so much I was desperate to get my hands on more of her work. Luckily for me, I was approved for an advanced copy of Nightchaser on NetGalley within a week. Although I’ve really enjoyed Bouchet’s fantasy work I was slightly wary about her first foray into science fiction as it’s not a genre I’m particularly invested/knowledgable in/about BUT it turns out my wariness was unnecessary as I loved it. Loved. It.  It iss such a fun, action packed romp through space, I read it in one day.  So, what’s it about?

Nightchaser is a science fiction romance novel following the Endeavor spaceship captain, Tess Bailey and her crew as they steal from the rich to give to the poor. In this Robin Hood-esque post-epic-space-war world, the Galactic Overseer Continue reading “Nightchaser | Amanda Bouchet | a review”

Myth Retellings | From Russian Folklore to Norse Mythology and the Classics

karinareads myth retellingsI love reading a good mythological retelling, from Russian folklore, to Norse mythology and the classics, I adore it all. I thought I’d put together some of my favourites in case anyone needs some recommendations. Continue reading “Myth Retellings | From Russian Folklore to Norse Mythology and the Classics”

Portents | Kelley Armstrong | a review

Karina Reads, Portents by Kelley Armstrong

I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series and flew through the whole series very quickly earlier this year. I was simultaneously happy that the whole series was published so I could satisfactorily binge-read the whole thing, and also sad that there were no more books to come. So imagine my surprise when browsing the web to discover this collection of Cainsville tales was published at the end of July! I was so happy I practically levitated with excitement while waiting for it to be delivered. Now I very rarely get on with short story collections so I was a bit apprehensive that this book would mar my otherwise wonderful experience of this series, but luckily I adored it.

Armstrong’s writing never lets me down, I was quickly Continue reading “Portents | Kelley Armstrong | a review”