Saturday, 16 March 2019

Beneath a Starless Sky by Debbie L. Taylor


If you had to walk away from all that you had ever known in order to fight for what you truly believed in, would you do it? 

Despite the fact that his life will never be the same again, Max travels to a classified location, in the hope that he can end the exploitation of the lower-class citizens—the Ambers. He is forced to face haunting memories from his past as he ventures into the unknown. The injustice and heartbreak that he was subjected to as a child caused a level of determination that most cannot comprehend. But will he succeed in his selfless mission, or is he simply throwing his life away? 

Grace finally confronts the fact that she is trapped in an unhappy marriage, with no apparent escape. Her husband is instrumental in the way in which society is orchestrated, and she begins to feel guilty by association. So when her life becomes entwined with Max's, and she sees his noble attempts to better the world, she joins the fight to overthrow the barbaric system that has ruled for far too long. 

My review:

This is a debut novel by Debbie and it’s a great start to what should be a bright writing future. A perfect story for fans of dystopian novels that make you think and wonder whether this could be where our world is heading.

Humans are separated into two classes in this novel and what makes them separate is the colour of one’s eyes. If you are born a Grey, you get lucky. You get the good jobs, only work when you want to and how long you want to and live in luxury all your life – that is if you follow the rules. And then there are the Ambers – working hard all their life, with no bright future pension or retirement. They are forgettable and disposable.

Now meet Max and Grace. Both from the higher class, but raised in different ways, with Grace seemingly having it all and Max doing his best to change the way the society works and looks down on Ambers. Both have history they would rather forget, but that history brings them closer and working together on a mission that will change both of their lives.

This is a thoughtful novel. It dissects people’s feelings and minds and tells a story of how wrong first impressions can be. Max is bitter and hateful towards people like Grace; he believes they have it all without having to make a single sacrifice. However Grace is not a typical Grey and leads a very unhappy, unfulfilled live.

Great story with good, in-depth characters. I am only taking a star off as I thought that some chapters where rather long without the story moving along and repetitive of Max’s or Grace’s inner feelings.

Overall bright start and I will definitely be on a lookout for Debbie’s next work. Thank you to the author and TBConFB. I have read an ARC and this is my honest opinion.

My rating: 4/5

Follow Debbie on:
Website - Debbie L. Taylor

Available to purchase from:

Monday, 11 March 2019

Scavenger Girl: Season of Toridia by Jennifer Arntson (Scavenger Girl #4)


Navigating a new life she never thought possible, Una becomes restless living in luxury. When the death of someone close to her reveals the true nature of one of Ashlund’s most powerful men, she flees the protected gates of her perfect home, through the scorching heat of Toridia and into the shaded wood. There, she encounters Kash, a man more powerful than the gods themselves, leader of the criminal faction referred to as the Woodsmen. In an exchange for her trespasses, he grants her a painful covenant forever binding her to her choices. Requisite to her release, he pays an unsettled debt to Una, a favor so petrifying, it is considered a curse by any other standard. The weight of responsibility is great, but is it hers to bear alone?

My review:

Fourth book in the Scavenger Girl Book series and what can I say – I love it even more.

The rain has stopped, the sun is out and the country is in deep trouble. Unrest is rising and Una is once more caught right in the middle of it. With the woodsmen threatening the authority’s power and people of Ashlund losing their faith, Una feels responsible for the people’s safety and survival.

Through more pain and beliefs of better life, Una ends up adopting a group of children whilst carrying her own and whilst trying to work out the best way to help the people that have been left homeless and starving following the devastation of the flood or last season. Of course, saving the children has consequences for Una and everyone else around her, that she could not predict even with her great gift.

It seems that every decision she takes brings her more pain and struggle and takes her away from her husband Calish. She must decide where her loyalties lie and whether she wants to follow her love, or follow her beliefs.

So much happens in this book and as much as I loved all the other books, this is so far my absolute favourite. Probably because I feel that Una had to grow up and embrace her role as a powerful woman that earns respect and people’s love through actions rather then words. I cannot wait to see if she finds happiness, but I have a feeling that the author has much more to tell before Una gets a rest. And that’s a good thing because I don’t want this journey to end just yet.

Fabulous writing, excellent characters, clever setting and politics that somehow echo what is happening in the world right now. Again, I applaud you Jennifer and please keep writing!

Massive thanks to the author for keeping me in the fabulous world of Ashlund – please don’t stop.

My rating: 5/5

Available to purchase from:

Follow Jennifer on:
Twitter – @JennArntson
Facebook – Scavenger Girl
Website - Scavenger Girl

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Down to the Woods by M.J. Arlidge (Helen Grace #8)


There is a sickness in the forest. First, it was the wild horses. Now it's innocent men and women, hunted down and murdered by a faceless figure. Lost in the darkness, they try to flee, they try to hide. In desperation, they call out for help. But there is no-one to hear their cries here...

DI Helen Grace must face down a new nightmare. The arrow-ridden victims hang from the New Forest's ancient oaks, like pieces of strange fruit. Why are helpless holidaymakers being targeted in peak camping season? And what do their murders signify? Is a psychopath stalking the forest? Is there an occult element to the killings? Could the murders even be an offering to the Forest itself? Helen must walk into the darkness to discover the truth behind her most challenging, most macabre case yet.

My review:

Another cracker in this fabulous series. Helen Grace and Charlie Brooks are back with a new DC in their team (the handsome and slightly mysterious Joseph Hudson) and they have another horrific case on their hands.

This time there is a murdered on the loose within the darkness of the New Forest, his victims left out to be found in a staging that just doesn’t make sense. Well at least for a while. Helen and Charlie race against time to ensure the safety of all holiday campers, but the murdered always seems to be one step ahead of them.

Help comes from an unexpected direction this time and people’s dislike for another has to be put aside. This is a brilliant case, set in the beautiful forest (which slightly puts me of camping there!). It’s a proper leaving-you-on-the-edge book and one that you just have to keep reading to find out the truth.

Even though this is the eights book in this series, the author never seems to lose that spark the books need to keep the reader engaged. Well played!

Massive thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley.

My rating: 5/5

Available to purchase from: