Review: Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron

Series: Kingdom of Souls #2
Goodreads: Reaper of Souls
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Buy: Bookshop.org UK | US
Synopsis: After so many years yearning for the gift of magic, Arrah has the one thing she’s always wanted—at a terrible price. Now the last surviving witchdoctor, she’s been left to pick up the shattered pieces of a family that betrayed her, a kingdom in shambles, and long-buried secrets about who she is.

Desperate not to repeat her mother’s mistakes, Arrah must return to the tribal lands to search for help from the remnants of her parents’ people. But the Demon King’s shadow looms closer than she thinks. And as Arrah struggles to unravel her connection to him, defeating him begins to seem more and more impossible—if it’s something she can bring herself to do at all.

Review:  I received this digital copy in exchange for an honest review, thanks HarperVoyager.

So, when I got an email from HarperVoyager offering me an eARC of Reaper of Souls I swiftly broke my Netgalley ban so I could read it. I managed to win a physical ARC of Kingdom of Souls back in 2019 (you can read my review here), and it was a series that I definitely wanted to continue reading.

Reaper of Souls picks up pretty much where Kingdom of Souls left off, so just in case you hadn’t realised there’ll be spoilers for the first book ahead! Arrah is dealing with the fall-out after her families betrayal and attempt to free the Demon King, and with her role as the last remaining witchdoctor. In this book we also get a few other perspectives in the form of her love interest Rudjek and the Orisha Dimma’s memories, their perspectives are a great and necessary addition as Arrah and Rudjek split from each other and go on their own journeys.

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February Wrap Up ’21

Hi, hello, anyone actually ready for March yet? I cannot believe that February has been and gone, how has this happened. My office in Oxford closed officially on the 23rd of March, so it’s quickly becoming a whole year since I’ve sat at my desk at OUP and I miss seeing peoples faces. I love the freedom work from home has given me, lunch time naps have been a newfound ability that I love, but I miss my independence and friends.

The part I’m finding scariest, I suppose, is the worry of what the heck I’ll do when lockdown lifts and we’re free to move. Work from home allows me to live anywhere, but I’m so worried that moving away from the southeast will limit my career options. I really am hopeful that more publishing companies will be offering more remote opportunities at all levels, but the closer we get to even the vaguest hint of normal the less likely this seems. It’s a real shame because the industry has proved that it can function without forcing people to exist in London, but hey maybe they’ll get there eventually.

Anyway, lets end this little pity part and push on with the wrap-up. It was a quiet month on the blog, but here are the two lovely posts I published this month:

January Wrap-up | Review: Mexican Gothic
Prioritsing in Publishing: Trade, Impact, and Monograph

Currently Reading

My whole getting my “advanced reader copies read” thing didn’t really work out last month. I did manage to read Reaper of Souls though (review incoming), and I started a book I’ve been waiting forever to read Gideon the Ninth so hopefully that review will come out this month too! My copy of Klara and the Sun arrives this week too, I probably won’t be reviewing it but I’m so excited to read another Kazuo Ishiguro book.

To Be Read

So I need to carve out some real time this month to get through arc’s! This time we’re going to focus on Hall of Smoke and The Cup and the Prince, but I really want to make an earnest attempt at There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job before I dnf it. Hopefully, my mental health will improve and we’ll be powering through books and reviews like a beast!

February has been a bit of a mess, but I’m hopeful that as we come out of the darker winter months I’ll feel much better. Vitamin D and longer days really do make me feel better and more productive, so look forward to more from me this month!

My 2021 Most Anticipated Reads

There are already so many exciting books that have been announced for 2021, it’s lovely to see so many interesting new stories coming out and so you know I just had to do a list. This list could honestly be so long but I’ve tried to keep it concise by only highlighting books coming out in the next six months, so here are just a few books that I’m really excited to read this year!


Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.

Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.

Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.
Goodreads | Publishing 5th of January 2021

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Bimonthly Book Haul

It’s that time again, let’s talk about my newfound lockdown book buying addiction. That hit of dopamine that I get every time one arrives is just so good, and my new favourite addiction is Illumicrate and their gorgeous special editions; I’ve gone from owning none to owning four…and it hasn’t been too good for my wallet.

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Five popular trilogies I haven’t read, but probably should…

It’s time for a list, a rather shocking list! I’m going to go through a few of book series’ that appear in my tbr but for some reason I haven’t picked ’em up yet! This is basically a call out post from me to me so I’ll actually pic these bad boys up.

Jade City landed on my list after it did the booktube rounds a couple of months ago, and I really want to find out if it’s worth the hype. It’s been kinda hard staying away from spoilers though, so I better read this one as soon as possible.

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Review: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Goodreads: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me
Publisher: First Second Books
Book Depository
Synopsis: All Freddy Riley wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her.

The day they got together was the best one of Freddy’s life, but nothing’s made sense since. Laura Dean is popular, funny, and SO CUTE … but she can be really thoughtless, even mean. Their on-again, off-again relationship has Freddy’s head spinning — and Freddy’s friends can’t understand why she keeps going back.

When Freddy consults the services of a local mystic, the mysterious Seek-Her, she isn’t thrilled with the advice she receives. But something’s got to give: Freddy’s heart is breaking in slow motion, and she may be about to lose her very best friend as well as her last shred of self-respect. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnist Anna Vice, to help her through being a teenager in love.

Review: trigger warning: abortion, emotional abuse

This gorgeous Graphic novel has been on my list for so long that it’s become slightly embarrassing, I fell in love with the art but never managed to find a copy in my local bookshop. Eventually, I caved (lock-down broke me) and ordered it from Waterstones, so now I can finally say I’ve finished the absolutely gorgeous Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me.

The detail, the art style, the clever use of pink to make certain panels pop, this is undeniably one of the prettiest graphic novels I’ve ever read. I fell in love before I’d opened it up, and the artwork within did not disappoint.

It’s just a gorgeous novel following a girl just trying to figure out love, and the emotional turmoil that comes with it’s challenges.

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

Goodreads: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Publisher: Titan Books
Book Depository
Synopsis: A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Review: I received this digital copy in exchange for an honest review, thanks Titan Books!

I don’t think I can express quite how happy I was to receive an eBook of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue back in August, and I devoured it as soon as I was approved. This book leapt high above my expectations, and this review is going to be more of an ode to V. E. Schwab and her writing.

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Review: Boy Parts by Eliza Clark

Goodreads: Boy Parts
Publisher: Influx Press
Buy the Book from Influx and support an Indie Press
Synopsis: Irina obsessively takes explicit photographs of the average-looking men she persuades to model for her, scouted from the streets of Newcastle.

Placed on sabbatical from her dead-end bar job, she is offered an exhibition at a fashionable London gallery, promising to revive her career in the art world and offering an escape from her rut of drugs, alcohol, and extreme cinema. The news triggers a self-destructive tailspin, centred around Irina’s relationship with her obsessive best friend, and a shy young man from her local supermarket who has attracted her attention…

Review: Trigger warnings: Violence, drug abuse, sexual assault, and Alcohol abuse

This book definitely isn’t my usual shtick but it caught my eye on twitter, and it came with an adorable tote that definitely doesn’t reflect the tone of the book, but I had to have it! It has been a while since a contemporary has affected me quite so deeply, so I felt I just had to review it on the blog.

Boy Parts is a three hundred page hallucinogenic trip filled to the brim with dark humour. It’s unflinching in the way it tackles female rage and I’ve honestly never read anything like it so of course, I absolutely devoured every word.

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July ’20 Wrap Up

Hello my friends it’s that time of the month again, time to wrap up the month of July! This month has been chock full of content, and I’m actually kind of impressed that I actually managed to stick with what I planned to read. I got through more books than expected too, so if you want to check out a preview of what’s coming your way this month check out my post about what I read in July! I actually read so much that, in a dangerous move, I increased my Goodreads reading challenge…

Anyway, here’s all the content I posted this month:

June ’20 Wrap Up | Review: The Damned | Review: The Story of Silence
Review: Loveless | Review: If I Had Your Face | Books I Read in July
Cosplay Wigs: Where to find ’em? | Dealing With Rejection: Publishing

Currently Reading

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Review: If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Goodreads: If I Had Your Face
Publisher: Viking
Book Depository
Synopsis: If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

Review: I was provided with this digital copy in exchange for an honest review! Thanks, Viking.

If I Had Your Face takes a long, hard look at the harsh beauty standards that South Korean women face, and how so often they resort to invasive surgery to maintain these ideals. The book itself doesn’t hold back, following the story of four different young women as they try to navigate a complicated society driven by wealth and beauty.

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