ARC – The House of Dust, Noah Broyles – A Review.

Hello fellow book bloggers and book lovers! Welcome back to my blog, where I am today sharing my review of The House of Dust by Noah Broyles. Thank you to NetGalley and Inkshares for the advanced copy to read and review!

The House of Dust was published on the 28th September 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

The one thing I want to say about The House of Dust before I get stuck into my main review, is to stick with this book. It’s such an incredibly slow burner, but please give it chance before you put it down, it’s well worth the read.

I feel like there is right place to start with my review of this one, because there are so many different strands to the book it’s hard to find the best thing to bring up first!

The House of Dust was like no other book I had read before, from the very opening pages where we learned about Brad and the magazine he was writing for, to the very end of the book where everything (at last) seemed to fall into place. The story itself was very slow to start with, and you’d be forgiven for being a bit confused as to what was actually going on, but once things started to unravel and make sense it was just wow.

Every page kept you guessing where it would head next, whilst also building this incredible story in your mind, of which anything could happen.

Broyles writing lent itself well to the eerie feel of the story, as the paragraphs he wove, and the words he used built up a picture of our surrounding brilliantly. The author really seemed to be able to bring the parts of the plot to life that brought the most thrills and chills, whilst also using an incredibly descriptive, but in no way boring, style of writing for the rest of the book.

Because it’s a slow burn the atmosphere and intrigue are also slow to build, but it’s as if you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole, you feel compelled to keep reading.

The one thing that did let The House of Dust down was it’s characters, which is a shame as they were such a huge part of the book! I just found them really hard to keep a track of and to understand, in no way were they terribly written or were just downright awful… I just struggled with really connecting to them.

That being said, The House of Dust was a truly superb read, one that I am very glad I stuck with and continued reading, even though it took me a lot longer than it should have (that’s a me issue haha). All of the elements of this book came together to create this tense, eerie and excellent read.

Please, if you are planning on reading this book stick with it! It will make seem to slow to start with and there are time jumps (mid chapter) but once you get your head around that it’s well worth the read.

Let me know if you’ve got this on your TBR, or if you’ve read it already and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Have You Seen Me? Alexandra Weiss – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today bringing you my review of Have You Seen Me by Alexandra Weiss. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from NetGalley and Vesuvian Books in return for an honest review.

Have You Seen Me by Alexandra Weiss was published on the 17th August 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

From the get go, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Have You Seen Me? It was definitely a gripping book, that drew me in from the start and didn’t let up until I’d finished reading – it was like a whirlwind.

Weiss’s writing throughout the book is consistently good, from the phrases chosen to the dialogue between characters and how we would hear the characters thoughts, everything was just well written and flowed perfectly. It was a really easy book to read, and that is no criticism!

The one thing that did let this book down slightly for me though was the atmosphere, it struggled to really get going at the start of the book and if it wasn’t for the enjoyment I got from the writing and the intrigue that the author built up I would have stopped reading it. That being said, it did get better as we delved further into the story. And it ended up being really tense and eerie, it became quite the atmospheric read.

The characters were kind of average for me, sadly. They definitely were intriguing and I found it so easy to warm to Aubrey and later Mason, and eventually the kids (once I got deeper into the book) but they weren’t exactly stand out parts of the book. They had enough about them to be interesting and to help progress the story, but not enough for me to say WOW they were amazing.

The plot was the real standout of this book for me, though. It was just excellent throughout the whole book, there wasn’t a point where it reached excellence and then dipped, it was just so good throughout! Once the initial groundwork was laid, we were pulled in so many different directions and things started to get messy (which I loved). Although, I think my favourite part had to be the ending and how everything seemed to fall into place, like when you put the last piece of the jigsaw in, it just made sense.

And while the ending wasn’t this big crescendo where it shocked me to my core, it didn’t need to be, because the rest of the book was so well written and the plot was so good. It just rounded everything off so cleverly.

I can definitely say that Have You Seen Me? was a really enjoyable read that I would love to read again. It’s many redeeming qualities with the plot, the writing and the intrigue more than made up for the little things, that I felt, could have been a teeny bit better.

Again, thank you to NetGalley and Vesuvian Books for the free copy of Have You Seen Me to read and review.

Let me know if this one has made it on to your TBR and what you thought of my review!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Silent Pretty Things, O J Lovaz – A Review

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today bringing you my review of Silent Pretty Things by O J Lovaz.. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from NetGalley and BooksGoSocial in return for an honest review.

Silent Pretty Things by O J Lovaz was published on the 17th August and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Silent Pretty Things but I certainly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and how well it read and flowed.

The writing style was excellent, it was eloquent and descriptive which made it feel immersive and surrounding in turn, I felt as though we were in the history museum, at the family dinner, with Frank, Anna and their mother, it was incredibly well written. There were a few times that I felt the writing hit a sticking point, but these were few and far between, and on the whole it was excellent.

My enjoyment of this book was further enhanced by the light atmosphere that had an undercurrent of mystery, it was the perfect combination and the two balanced each other out as I read through the book. The sense of foreboding was very much in the background until the book reached a point where it needed to come to the surface, and then it was as if a switch was flicked, there was a sudden change in the atmosphere, that fit perfectly with the story.

All of the characters in Silent Pretty Things were well worth their inclusion into the story, they all added so much value. Michael, Anna and Frank all bounced off each other so well, Dianne and Sarah were excellent additions to the book, and whilst I didn’t particularly like their father, he was a necessary addition who was so well written that you couldn’t help but hate him from the start.

I do have one small criticism of the book, which is that there were small sections where it felt a bit flat and as if the author was trying to fill time with lower quality writing, and it did feel like a let down in relation to the rest of the book.

That being said, the plot itself was brilliant! I was a bit worried at first that it would be really simple and easy to guess but it ended up tying me in knots, I had no idea what was going to happen!

I thought I’d guessed it, I like to have a go and guess these things, but I was completely wrong 😦

And as we reached the end of the book it just went absolutely crazy, I felt as if we’d just dropped on a rollercoaster, I had no idea what was happening or what would happen, and the ending was just so unexpected I had to read it twice.

Overall, Silent Pretty Things was an incredibly well written book, with a cracking plot to boot! It had everything you could want from a mystery and a twisty ending that will leave you reeling and needing to re-read the pages you just read!

Let me know if you’ve ever read Silent Pretty Things and what you thought or if it’s on your TBR!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – The Woman in the Water, Kelly Heard – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today bringing you my review of The Woman in the Water by Kelly Heard. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from NetGalley and Bookoture in return for an honest review.

The Woman in the Water by Kelly Heard was published on the 22nd July 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

I am blown away by this book, honestly, it was exceptional and I cannot rate it highly enough!

It’s really hard to pick a stand out aspect of this book, as the whole thing was just executed perfectly, but I think for me it was the characters. They made this book with their dialogue and their relationships and growth throughout the story. I also loved how they reacted and interacted in the different situations and scenes, nothing was predictable from them at all and it really helped to bring enjoyment to the story.

A personal favourite of mine was the scenes between Dawson and Silas later in the book, they managed to break the tension in the funniest way!

Not only were the characters executed perfectly, so was the atmosphere and intrigue. The entire book managed to keep this sense of fear and foreboding, without ever dropping off or losing track. And because the book was quite a slow burn, it definitely kept your attention, but to be able to continue that need to know what was going on throughout the whole story was just very well done.

The Woman in the Water was brilliantly written, everything was written in the right way or at the right time and whilst it took a while to build up to the main plot of the story, the quality of the writing was enough to keep you reading, without even needing to have a story line.

Although, it did have a story line I would like to add! And what a story it was. It was hands down one of the best books I had read for a while. The main story was woven so well with the supernatural element of the lake (which wasn’t overpowering at all) and the childhood/history of Felicity and her sister Holly, everything was layered together like a piece of puff pastry. (Pls excuse my food references haha).

My other favourite thing about this book is how it answered all of our questions in the end, we were left with no questions and everything was rounded off nicely – which I absolutely love!

On the whole, The Woman in the Water was just a thoroughly entertaining book, it was so twisty, I had absolutely no idea what the pages would hold and every time I turned the page I was shocked or had goosebumps (in a good way), you cannot escape the darkness and eerieness of this book.

Let me know if you’ve read The Woman in the Water and what you thought or if it’s on your TBR!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Autumn Falls, A R Kingston – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today bringing you my review of Autumn Falls by A R Kingston. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from NetGalley and BooksGoSocial in return for an honest review.

Autumn Falls by A R Kingston was published on the 14th May 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

The beginning seems like a good place to start (both with the book and the review!) and it was from the very start that I was in two minds about this one… Straight away, we were launched into the story, with a lot happening in such a short of space time that you’d be forgiven for thinking the author was going straight for the shock factor and not focusing on much else.

As we progressed through the story I was gradually drawn in, and as the intrigue built so did the sense of fear and foreboding. The author definitely managed to create a creepy and eerie atmosphere. Sadly, though, towards the end of this book when it reached the climax this atmosphere seemed to fade away.

I felt the same with the writing style as well, to begin with it was excellent I was getting goosebumps, paranoia and I kept looking over my shoulder, it was well written and captivating. It was confusing, but not in a bad way, in a way that keeps you guessing and makes you want to keep reading to find out what’s happened. But that did taper off and I started to feel as if the fear factor was missing.

I started feeling as if I wanted the book to just hurry up and get to the point…

Character wise, I felt these were the poorest part of the book. They just didn’t stand out for me, they weren’t as well written as the descriptive aspects were and they felt very 2D. I couldn’t feel anything for them, which as we reached the climax of the book became an issue because I didn’t care if they survived.

I also feel as though first person would have benefited this book and perhaps endeared the characters more to the reader.

The overall entertainment value of this book just didn’t hit the spot for me either. Some of the more superficial details that make the story were just unnecessary and didn’t add value, and the more menial details seemed too easy – for example, how easy it was for Kevin to walk back into their lives. It was too simple.

Overall, Autumn Falls just didn’t feel right to me, it didn’t have the right flow to the story, which wasn’t helped by the dips in the atmosphere and writing and the poor characters. The plot itself and the intrigue the story built were definitely there, and they elevated the book and did bring some enjoyment from Autumn Falls. Sadly, this just wasn’t the finished product in my eyes.

Let me know if you’ve read Autumn Falls and what you thought or if it’s on your TBR list!

Until next time, Em xxx

Seed of the Dead Shorts, Jeffrey Turner – A Review. [SPOILERS].

Hey guys I’m back with another ARC review for you to read through! This time I read Seed of the Dead Shorts by Jeffrey Turner, publish date: 3rd December 2019.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review on my blog and NetGalley.

As they were short stories I decided to do a mini review and rating on each of them, rather than the book on the whole as that wouldn’t work so well!

Story 1 – 4 stars. I really enjoyed this story, right up to the end where I guessed exactly what was going to happen. I will admit it did spook me though and reminds me why I hate being home alone at night! This one read like a creepy pasta, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

Story 2 – 3 stars. I had high hopes after reading the first short but I did not enjoy this one, I thought it was too obvious what was going to happen. I rated it 3 stars because I enjoyed how it connected to the first story and kept the zombie theme going.

Story 3 – 2 stars. I enjoyed how the theme is consistent throughout the book and I enjoyed the different writing style, a diary type excerpt this time. However, I was confused as to who the girl was writing to and it got quite confusing at points as a result.

Story 4 – 2 stars. I was disgusted with this one, I think it went a bit too far compared to the previous stories and had some themes in that if they were written into a whole book would make me put it down within the first page.

Story 5 – 1 star. This was the worst of the lot and felt as though it had no structure at all. It appeared to follow the same theme as the previous stories, but it just was not clear in it’s story line, I had to re-read the final few paragraphs a few times to actually understand how it was being finished.

Overall, I felt these were a bit of a waste of time, the only thing I really enjoyed was how the same theme flowed through the stories. Other than that, they felt a bit disjointed and at points not clear on their purpose…

Until next time, Em xxx

The Paris Mysteries – Deluxe Edition, Edgar Allen Poe – A Review. [SPOILERS].

What Em's Reading (4)

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review on my blog and NetGalley. 

The Paris Mysteries (Deluxe Edition) by Edgar Allen Poe. Publish date 28th April 2020.

 I selected this book as one of my first ones to read from NetGalley and I was so so excited to read it, however, I have to admit I DNFR this book.

I want to be completely honest and transparent when I review any book, one I’ve purchased, been gifted or received via NetGalley and I just couldn’t complete this book 😦

Made up of three stories I only completed The Murders in the Rue Morgue and I got partway through The Mystery of Marie Rogêt before I gave up.

I mean The Murders in the Rue Morgue was just WEIRD, the storyline at least. And I got so wound up with The Mystery of Marie Rogêt it felt like we were going round in circles, things were getting repeated so many times and I was frustrated by it.

The writing itself and the depth of the writing, the clear effort put into it, were nothing short of impeccable, I just didn’t enjoy the story aspects.

Let me know if you’ve read this book or plan on reading it, I’d love to know your thoughts. Em xxx