October Reviews 2019

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be sharing my very belated reviews of all the books I read in October (apart from one I read for a blog tour), which were all pretty fantastic, even though I didn’t get through as many as I’d have liked. Onto the post!


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The Conspiracy of Magic by Harriet Whitehorn (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In this thrilling sequel that was somehow even better than the Company’s of Eight, which I enjoyed immensely last year, we follow Cass as she is tasked with protecting the Queen of Minaris as she tours part of their world, and how things go very wrong due to a sinister plot that threatens not just them, but everyone in the Longest World. Cass is amazing, and I love how capable and clever she is, but also the fact that there are moments where she doesn’t quite know how to handle things yet always keeps going until she does. My other favourites in this book was Dacha, who was a new addition and just the absolute sweetest, and Arden, who was very different to what I had been expecting. I also love the world building in these because it’s such an interesting concept and I really like that this showed a completely different side of it to the Company of Eight; given she is with the queen for a lot of it there are some scenes in quite luxury places but we also see more of the darker side in different ways and it’s so well balanced and all so well described that it just forms a really brilliantly written world. The plot itself is pretty impossible to describe without giving anything away, so all I’ll say is that it was incredibly exciting and I thought the twists and shocks in various places were great. I’m very hopeful after the ending that this isnt the last I see of Cass! 4.5/5

Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas

After really enjoying Wildflower Bay the month before, I was desperate to read more Rachael Lucas, and I enjoyed this one even more. It takes place in Auchenmor, the same place, and is about the love story of Kate- who has just taken on a Girl Friday position on the island after being dumped by her dull as dishwater ex-boyfriend- and Roddy, the island`s Laird. I loved both Kate and Roddy hugely, and the way they complemented each other absolutely perfectly. I also enjoyed getting to see Finn`s backstory, because I already adored him and this just made me like his cheeky, charming ways even more than I did to start off with, and I thought Fiona was an incredibly well written antagonist. She`s Roddy`s ex-girlfriend who tries to sabotage his and Kate`s budding relationship, and I despised her so much I actually had to put the book down for a few minutes to calm down a couple of times. This is so engaging and lovely and full of funny moments, and it was a total joy to read. 5/5

The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll

In her tenth novel, Emma Carroll tells the story of a girl named Fortune, who is sent away to work dressed as a boy amidst the terror of the witch trials, and the adventure that ensues after a tsunami hits and people believe that witchcraft is to blame. I loved Fortune a lot, and the secondary characters were also amazing- I was particularly fond of Susanna, but also really liked Ellis and Jem, and thought Dr Blood was a phenomenal villain (and WHAT a name!). I`ll be honest, I wasn`t quite sure how the plot of this would unfold, but I needn`t have worried because it was a perfectly paced and utterly engaging adventure- it`s a really hard book to talk about without spoilers but I just loved every second of reading it, and Emma`s writing style is still one of my favourites of all time. At this point, there just aren`t sufficiently gushy superlatives to do Emma Carroll justice to be honest; she really is one of the most talented authors writing in middle grade right now, and I can`t see myself ever not picking up a new release by her as soon as I possibly can! 5/5

The Pearl in the Ice by Cathryn Constable (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the story of a girl named Marina, who is deeply frustrated with her life due to the fact fact her father restricts it greatly on account of her being a girl, and what happens when instead of going off to boarding school she stows away on his ship and becomes involved in a rather thrilling adventure. Marina is absolutely amazing, first of all. She is so determined and I loved her outlook on life and the way that she is brave enough to tell the men around her that actually, she’s every bit as good as them and she’ll prove it too. I also had a soft spot for Jones, her closest ally on the ship, and Miss Smith is such a fascinating, multilayered character. The plot was really interesting too, particularly since I could never quite tell which direction things were going to go in at most points! This is definitely my favourite from Cathryn Constable so far, and I look forward to seeing what she does next 4.5/5

Tilly and the Lost Fairytales by Anna James

In the second instalment of the Pages and Co series, we see bookwanderers Tilly and Oskar travel to Paris amidst dangerous changes to the running of the Underlibrary, and their adventures in fairytales once they`re there. I still love the idea of this world a lot and I really liked Anna James` take on the fairy tale characters (particularly Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood!), but I didn`t find the bookwandering journeys quite so magical this time, for some reason, and I wasn`t quite as gripped by the pacing. I did really like the events of the climax and ending though, as there were some great reveals and I think they could lead to the third book being fantastic, as the overall series arc is really interesting. Overall, I sadly just didn`t enjoy this quite as much as the first book in the series, but I definitely plan to pick up the third in the trilogy once it`s out next year. 4/5

Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In her fourth book, Amy Wilson tells the story of Stella, who lives with her grandmother in a cottage on the outskirts of the magical forest, who has just decided to enrol in the local school. But of course, this is an Amy Wilson book so there is magic but also dark forces at play, and Stella becomes swept up in discovering who she really is and what she’s capable of when she begins to meet other magical people who live within the forest. Stella is a lovely character who I really enjoyed reading about, her new friends Yan and Zara are really loyal to her and interesting characters in their own right and Stella’s gran’s familiar Peg was the absolute star of the show for me, I loved him! Amy Wilson’s writing style is so distinctively gorgeous and I loved it as much as ever here, and I thought the magic system and the history of this place was intricate and so well explained and exemplified- I felt like I knew it inside out by the end, but still wanted to know even more. I absolutely can’t wait to dive into another of Amy’s worlds whenever her next book is out, because all of them so far have been amazing. 4.5/5

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Like I said when I reviewed This is Going to Hurt back in January, I find it quite difficult to write a lot about non-fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this and I`m going to give describing it a decent shot. It`s more entries from former junior doctor Adam Kay`s diaries whilst he worked in the NHS, and this time they`re specifically themed around the festive period. As with the first book, this is incredibly funny for the most part- I`m laughing just remembering some of my favourite anecdotes- but there are also a few points that were so emotional that I cried. It`s an absolutely brilliant read, and I absolutely plan to read whatever Adam Kay decides to release next. 4.5/5

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nirzana Farook (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the story of a girl called Chaya who must go on the run with her friends and Ananda the elephant after stealing the crown jewels, albeit for a very noble purpose, and the revolution she becomes part of in the process. My favourite thing about this was definitely the writing, because it`s fast paced and so exciting; things never let up for a moment and I was totally hooked the whole way through. The style was absolutely beautiful as well, though- it made the Serendib setting so vivid and three-dimensional. Another huge highlight were the characters. Chaya is an amazing heroine with so much bravery and I loved her. I also really liked her friends Neel and Nour, especially Nour, because her dynamic with Chaya was great and it was so fun seeing them go from enemies to friends. Also, I don`t want to give any spoilers since I didn`t really know how instrumental it was to the plot going in, but the revolution plotline is amazing. This is a brilliant adventure, and I`m so excited to pick up whatever Nirzana writes next, because this was fabulous. 4.5/5


Which books did you read in October? Do we have any in common? Are you planning to pick any of these up at some point? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

10 thoughts on “October Reviews 2019”

  1. Not sure if it’s my app or the post but I can’t read it on my phone, the lines all continue off the screen instead of normal formatting.
    But, there’s a couple here I’m looking forward to reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, not sure how to fix that :/. I wrote it a different way this time so it could well be my fault! I’ve just a couple of them in your TTT today, I really hope you enjoy them! And I think you’d probably quite like the Girl Who Stole an Elephant as well, and probably Somerset Tsunami too! Although I’ll admit I’m biased with Emma 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did, I really liked them both! Shadows is easily my fave of Amy’s, though Snowglobe is a very close second, and Pearl in the Ice is very quirky but excellent too. Miss Smith is a fascinating character!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to Tilly and Shadows of Winterspell. Do you think I’d like Sunset Tsunami? I’m having the same problems as Rachel getting your post to display properly but this looks a great selection of books

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really hope you enjoy the second Pages and Co, I’m not sure if I was just being extra picky that day! Shadows is amazing and I’m very excited for your thoughts. I’m very biased because I want everyone to read Emma Carroll, but yes I do. There’s a lot of focus on witchcraft! Speaking of which, have you heard about the one coming from Knights Of next year? It sounds brilliant and very much like something you might enjoy!

    Like

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