august book wrap up | a series of spoiler free reviews

. Sunday, 5 September 2021 .

August was a good month of reading for me, which was probably helped that I had mid-trimester break from university during this month (although I almost didn't read anything during the first two weeks due to being glued to the TV watching the Olympics). This month I managed to read six books, one paperback, two ebook's and three eArcs (each eArc was graciously provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen was a wonderful LGBTQIA+ love story between a basketball player and a cheerleader who fall into a pretend relationship turned real relationship when feelings get involved. 

I have to admit that this cover is really what drew me into the story in the first place. The cover art is by Steffi Walthall and if you ever have a quick minute to check out an amazing artist, go and check out her website! I ended up reading this in one sitting, as it is a pretty short book. I read it as an ebook, and had on vertical scrolling, so that probably helped. 

This novel is fairly light-hearted, with some very serious portions that help to show that these characters are still in high school and have so much more growing to do. 

I hadn't read anything by Kelly Quindlen before, but she is an author that I definitely want to read more from. 

 ★★★☆☆

 
The Keeper of the Little Folk by Carbone and Veronique Barrau, with art by Charline Forns is a fantastically charming graphic novel. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Europe Comics for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

For a start, the art style within this graphic novel is quite possibly one of my favourite styles in a graphic novel to date. It sits right up alongside Tea Dragon Society, any of the Ghibli or FernGully films for me; beautiful clean work with bright colours and charming character (and creature) designs. The graphic novel needs a few rereads, with each reread you pick up on a new detail that you missed in the previous read, which I love!

The story is incredibly fun, if a bit fast paced at times (sometimes a little too fast paced in sections). I love the fact that it takes place during a time that could easily be now, and that the urban fantasy nature of the story is gripping enough to teach about folklore that isn't obviously teaching. 

For the target audience, I think that some of the language choices may be a bit much. Also the relationship between Elína and her mother could probably have done with a bit more exploring, especially since the relationship between Elina and her grandmother is far more fleshed out. 

It is the first within a series, so the story and characters have a lot more room to grow, which is incredibly exciting as a reader!

★★★☆☆


The Shadowed Flame by Naomi Hughes was the next eARrc that I read this month and again, I don't regret it.

What made me really want to read this was a. the cover illustration (I'm a sucker for a pretty cover) and b. the comparison to Percy Jackson. I'm a big fan of pretty much anything Rick Riordan writes, so this being compared to it? Sign me up!

To start off with, I love the the sarcastic wit of the main character Jackson Harper. (It really is very reminiscent of Percy and I can't really decide if that's a good or a bad thing.) Another thing that's really good is how fast paced this novel actually is; at times you don't really notice that you've read twenty or so pages until you need to have a sip of water. It's brilliant like that.

The plot is solid, with few plot holes and it doesn't feel the need to over-explain with info dumps. Bits of information is trickled in over time, which is great and leaves you wanting for more. There's a bit of a romance, which normally I'm really not a fan of romance, this one actually works and seems believable. 

This is the first in a series, The Sundered World, so that makes me incredibly hopeful for more of this brilliant world. That's one thing that I wanted more of in this, world building. Don't get me wrong, I love character driven narratives, but sometimes I'm more in the mood for the world building of a fantasy setting and I definitely wanted more here.

One more issue is that the ending was incredibly abrupt. Too abrupt. Like, where's the sequel abrupt. 

The Shadowed Flame comes out on the 7th of September, 2021. Check it out here!

★★★★☆ 

Campaigns & Companions by Andi Ewington and Rhiannon Pratchett

(A thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for a copy in exchange for an honest review!) This definitely wasn't entirely what I expected, which goes to show that I definitely judged it by it's cover. I thought that it would be a guide for playing animal characters within D&D, rather than what it actually is. A fantastically witty and hilariously accurate portrayal of what it may be like if our pets were the ones to be playing the tabletop roleplaying game and fighting dragons and orcs in our stead. 

It was absolutely brilliant!

The illustrations were fantastic, and each of the little snippets of conversation really did bring the animals thoughts and characteristics to life. Definitely worth a read if you've got the time!

Campaigns & Companions is published by Rebellion Publishing and comes out on the 14th of September, 2021. Check it out here!

★★★★☆


The Egyptologist
by Arthur Philips was something that I'd been looking forward to reading for a while.

For a start, it took me forever to find a copy of this book. I didn't want to own an ebook version, I wanted a nice physical version that I would be able to destroy with spine cracking and crinkling pages. I love reading in pretty much all of its forms, but nothing really beats having a solid piece of matter to hold in your hands. 

Now I absolutely loved this book, however the lack of chapters and even the spacing between each letter and diary entry sort of ended up blending together. 

The story itself is a brilliant mix of a murder mystery and wondering why this Pharaoh was lost to time. Although his name is absolutely hilarious and the fact that they got a cartouche written up in hieroglyphs is also hilarious; it brings a sense of authenticity to it for sure. 

★★★☆☆

Never Die by Rob J. Hayes has already been covered in its own review, which you can find here. Whilst the review for A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark will be coming soon!


August was a good month of reading for me, which was probably helped that I had mid-trimester break from university during this month (although I almost didn't read anything during the first two weeks due to being glued to the TV watching the Olympics). This month I managed to read six books, one paperback, two ebook's and three eArcs (each eArc was graciously provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen was a wonderful LGBTQIA+ love story between a basketball player and a cheerleader who fall into a pretend relationship turned real relationship when feelings get involved. 

I have to admit that this cover is really what drew me into the story in the first place. The cover art is by Steffi Walthall and if you ever have a quick minute to check out an amazing artist, go and check out her website! I ended up reading this in one sitting, as it is a pretty short book. I read it as an ebook, and had on vertical scrolling, so that probably helped. 

This novel is fairly light-hearted, with some very serious portions that help to show that these characters are still in high school and have so much more growing to do. 

I hadn't read anything by Kelly Quindlen before, but she is an author that I definitely want to read more from. 

 ★★★☆☆

 
The Keeper of the Little Folk by Carbone and Veronique Barrau, with art by Charline Forns is a fantastically charming graphic novel. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Europe Comics for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

For a start, the art style within this graphic novel is quite possibly one of my favourite styles in a graphic novel to date. It sits right up alongside Tea Dragon Society, any of the Ghibli or FernGully films for me; beautiful clean work with bright colours and charming character (and creature) designs. The graphic novel needs a few rereads, with each reread you pick up on a new detail that you missed in the previous read, which I love!

The story is incredibly fun, if a bit fast paced at times (sometimes a little too fast paced in sections). I love the fact that it takes place during a time that could easily be now, and that the urban fantasy nature of the story is gripping enough to teach about folklore that isn't obviously teaching. 

For the target audience, I think that some of the language choices may be a bit much. Also the relationship between Elína and her mother could probably have done with a bit more exploring, especially since the relationship between Elina and her grandmother is far more fleshed out. 

It is the first within a series, so the story and characters have a lot more room to grow, which is incredibly exciting as a reader!

★★★☆☆


The Shadowed Flame by Naomi Hughes was the next eARrc that I read this month and again, I don't regret it.

What made me really want to read this was a. the cover illustration (I'm a sucker for a pretty cover) and b. the comparison to Percy Jackson. I'm a big fan of pretty much anything Rick Riordan writes, so this being compared to it? Sign me up!

To start off with, I love the the sarcastic wit of the main character Jackson Harper. (It really is very reminiscent of Percy and I can't really decide if that's a good or a bad thing.) Another thing that's really good is how fast paced this novel actually is; at times you don't really notice that you've read twenty or so pages until you need to have a sip of water. It's brilliant like that.

The plot is solid, with few plot holes and it doesn't feel the need to over-explain with info dumps. Bits of information is trickled in over time, which is great and leaves you wanting for more. There's a bit of a romance, which normally I'm really not a fan of romance, this one actually works and seems believable. 

This is the first in a series, The Sundered World, so that makes me incredibly hopeful for more of this brilliant world. That's one thing that I wanted more of in this, world building. Don't get me wrong, I love character driven narratives, but sometimes I'm more in the mood for the world building of a fantasy setting and I definitely wanted more here.

One more issue is that the ending was incredibly abrupt. Too abrupt. Like, where's the sequel abrupt. 

The Shadowed Flame comes out on the 7th of September, 2021. Check it out here!

★★★★☆ 

Campaigns & Companions by Andi Ewington and Rhiannon Pratchett

(A thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for a copy in exchange for an honest review!) This definitely wasn't entirely what I expected, which goes to show that I definitely judged it by it's cover. I thought that it would be a guide for playing animal characters within D&D, rather than what it actually is. A fantastically witty and hilariously accurate portrayal of what it may be like if our pets were the ones to be playing the tabletop roleplaying game and fighting dragons and orcs in our stead. 

It was absolutely brilliant!

The illustrations were fantastic, and each of the little snippets of conversation really did bring the animals thoughts and characteristics to life. Definitely worth a read if you've got the time!

Campaigns & Companions is published by Rebellion Publishing and comes out on the 14th of September, 2021. Check it out here!

★★★★☆


The Egyptologist
by Arthur Philips was something that I'd been looking forward to reading for a while.

For a start, it took me forever to find a copy of this book. I didn't want to own an ebook version, I wanted a nice physical version that I would be able to destroy with spine cracking and crinkling pages. I love reading in pretty much all of its forms, but nothing really beats having a solid piece of matter to hold in your hands. 

Now I absolutely loved this book, however the lack of chapters and even the spacing between each letter and diary entry sort of ended up blending together. 

The story itself is a brilliant mix of a murder mystery and wondering why this Pharaoh was lost to time. Although his name is absolutely hilarious and the fact that they got a cartouche written up in hieroglyphs is also hilarious; it brings a sense of authenticity to it for sure. 

★★★☆☆

Never Die by Rob J. Hayes has already been covered in its own review, which you can find here. Whilst the review for A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark will be coming soon!


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