FIVE STARS IN AUDIOBOOK NARRATION…

Hello Bookish Folks!

Well, it is official…I LOVE AUDIOBOOKS!

I think I now own over 50 audiobooks and even more on my Wish List! Now that might not be many to some, and I started this post a while ago so it has definitely increased. Point being, your girl hear loves audiobooks.

I HATED audiobooks at first, I couldn’t stand them at all but I persisted mainly due to the awesome David pushing me and guiding me through how to find ones I liked and tips of introducing myself to them.

Then I found maybe three narrators that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out and stuck with them, which really limited me to what I could listen to but the thing is with audiobooks once you have listened to a few then more narrators become enjoyable to you! It is 100% a transition, or at least it was for me.

Don’t get me wrong some narrators can butcher an amazing book, in my opinion, but there are also so many supremely talented voice actors. Now, I cant guarantee you will love the same people I do but here are five narrators that tick all the boxes for me as a listener.

ADAM GOLD

Adam Gold is an American voice actor, who despite only having performed one book I have read, has earned a spot in my top five narrators. Its helps that Voice of War and Stones of Light by Zack Argyle are absolutely fan-freaking-tastic reads but still Gold truly performs in his narrations of these books. Gold has a very distinctive voice, and despite this he still managed to make all the characters different and I still feel at any point like I couldn’t tell who was in the scene.

I definitely feel that Gold’s experience as an actor brings even more talent to his narrations. He embodies every character, it doesn’t come across a just a change of accent but an in depth understanding of every character, and for me that was reflected in this audiobook!

He has also narrated book two of the Threadlight series so definitely watch out for that release!

DAVID MORLEY HALE

Maybe I am biased here as a fellow Lancastrian, but Hale is a freaking phenomenal narrator. His voice has such a depth and is perfect for fantasy narration in my opinion.

His narration in Priest of Bones is pretty damned perfect, it is gravely and real and while I adore the books and own them I will likely never read them because he is who I need to read those books to me!

Hale possesses such a sense of emotion in his narrations, the rhythm and cadence of his voice made me appreciate every world the talented Peter McLean had written.

PRENTICE ONAYEMI

Prentice Onayemi was introduced to me when Twitter went crazy over Evan Winter’s epic debut, The Rage of Dragons, and I picked up the audiobook. Onayemi’s performance is outstanding, put simply, and it is no surprise considering the number of books he has under his belt.

There are several books I want to listen to that aren’t even in the Fantasy genre, he has so many books to his name. All of which I hope to listen to at some point.

JOE JAMESON

I must confess, I didn’t actually like Joe Jameson at first. Worry not though, I found the error in my ways and found a fantastic narrator with SO MANY amazing fantasy book under his belt! And I am talking about a LOT of books.

I had tried Jameson previously and found his narration not to my liking at first, it wasn’t until his narration of The Kingdom of Liars that I truly fell in love. I don’t know what it was but I couldn’t stop listening, then having had a full book of his voice I looked into his other performances and I was shocked at the sheer number of books he has narration. I then went on to listen to Snakewood and fell even deeper into his voice.

His voice is so distinctive, and again despite the number of books I have now listened to of his I don’t get mixed up or feel like it reminds me of another book. His voice is one which captures the characters, and I found he truly captures the essence of the character in his performances, be them arrogant, ignorant or young he delivers on all fronts.

COLIN MACE

Last but not least, Mr Colin Mace.

With a background in theatre, film and TV Mace brings a whole lot of skill to the table.

After listening to only the sample to Blackwing I was sold by Mace’s performance. I wanted more immediately. I then went in a search to fid more of Mace and again found another narrator with so many audiobooks to his name, and even better so many of those were on my TBR.

Performing the darker and grimmer books can sometimes trip up narrators, in my opinion, however this is not an issue for Mace. He manages to reflect the sombre nature of the world and life of the character but not to a point it is tiring listening to them. He has a voice that makes you feel like you are sat around a fire listening to him tell you a story of his life.



BLOG UPDATE | MEET THE ADDITIONS…

Hello Bookish folks..

When it comes to finding new contributors to ones blog, the search is one of great importance. Without incredibly talented contributors what would we all spend our down time reading when we don’t have our heads in a book? How would we continually increase our TBR’s without gushing reviews from the awesome bloggers out there? It would be a sad and lonely place without them…without you all!

I have been writing my own reviews and bookish posts for over a year now, and it always surprises and wows me when I find new people to connect with.

So, these last few weeks me, myself and I set out on a delightfully perilous journey through the innumerable threads and vast armies of followers to the most magical and dragon plagued world of TWITTER.

The goal: to hopefully find some more awesome contributors to join me.

After trekking through the immense world of social media, I stumbled across quite the find. So, in this update post today, we are going to introduce and get to know some of the awesome contributors joining The Book in Hand!

Sit back and relax, because I’m about to show you just who decided to join!

WELCOMING TO THE COURT…

Our first new blogger is a dark rogue, who is also a self confessed fantasy nut from all the way across the pond! He likes piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain…

Ok. For real! He likes to spill his thoughts about books, especially Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Thrillers. Some of his favourites are…

and is also branching out into the self-published world to with the likes of Will Wight!

Welcoming to the fold…

William from THAT DARK ROGUE REVIEWS

You can find him on Twitter talking books or on his blog!

@ThatDarkRogue | Twitter

THAT DARK ROGUE REVIEWS | Blog


Our second new face to the blog is a swordsmith and explorer of other worlds! His mission in life to read through as many amazing books as possible!

Some of this swordsmith’s favourites are…

Welcome…

PETER from THE SWORDSMITH

The Swordsmith | Blog

@Eldrazi56 | Twitter

@the_sword_smith36 | Instagram

Peter | Goodreads


Our third addition to the blog is a mercenary with many names and master debater from Finland!

Originating in southwestern Australia in the late 1970s, he was raised on a diet of Doctor Who, Red Dwarf and books by Douglas Hill as often as Hill’s poor imitators Asimov and Clarke. He was deemed “too annoying” to be permitted into his school Dungeons and Dragons club. This left him with more time to read.

ANDREW from Hatboys hatstand

Edpool was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and decided to make a book out of the harrowing and hilarious series of social media exchanges he collected about the ordeal, from first symptom to final clean bill of health. For more info on that head here!

Hatboy’s Hatstand | Blog

@St_EdPool | Twitter

Chucky Hindle | YouTube

Andrew Hindle | Amazon

Andrew Hindle | Goodreads


Our last addition to the blog, but by no means the least is a world wandering genius who has come all the way from…dare I say it? Instagram!

Some of his favourite series’ are…

Welcome…

ARTHUR from NO cracked spines

@nocrackedspines | Instagram

Arthur | Goodreads


WHAT IS UP NEXT…

Well, you can expect beautiful photos and a well polished review of Dune from Arthur this Friday!

A certain dark rogue will also be giving us his thoughts on Gideon the Ninth on Sunday!

EdPool is currently reviewing a whole of host of glorious self-published Sci-Fi books for The Self-Published Science Fiction Competition so watch out for those!

Peter is getting us even more excited for the next Tide Child book with his thoughts on the series so far!



BOOK REVIEW | THE BLACK COAST BY MIKE BROOKS

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I will be posting my review of, as the title of this post suggests, Mike Brooks’ book ‘The Black Coast’. I would like to thank Orbit for providing me with a copy of this book this book in exchange for an honest review.

I also bought this as an audiobook too as I was struggling to find the time to read it so opted to listen when I could too.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Black Coast
  • Author: Mike Brooks
  • Series: The God-King Chronicles (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 643

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The Black Coast is the start of a series filled with war-dragons, armoured knights, sea-faring raiders, dangerous magic and battle scenes.

When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have come in search of a new home. Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book…

  • Fantastic world building;
  • A solid foundational book to start a series;
  • LGBTQ+ rep;
  • Political intrigue; and
  • Epic battles.

On to the full review…

The Black Coast first appeared on my radar when I was browsing through NetGalley, and if I am being honest, I probably would have kept on scrolling if I hadn’t loved the cover. It is amazing what a good book cover can do.

So, as you do I checked out the Goodreads page. The book sounded a little different but definitely intriguing and it had a few good reviews already attached to it so I decided to request it from NetGalley. I am happy to say that I am glad I did. While, I only rated this with three stars on Goodreads it was still a good solid read and a series I will continue.

This book was an interesting one, namely due to its focus on finding a peaceful resolution when war is the usual choice in such books. I honestly think this is what gave this read such a refreshing feel to it. Brooks still managed to create enough tension and hostility in his writing without it being outright war between these peoples.

I am not usually one to sing and dance about a books world building, I always appreciate it and will openly praise it, but as a reader I don’t need too much of it. I am the kind of reader that needs a little here and there and a good few distinctive features thrown in to the mix, then I can let my imagination run wild from there. However, saying this I was continually wowed by Brooks’ ability to build such a seamless world, and yet have so many different cultures woven into it. Brooks managed to throw these people together and create a believable environment, one in which some preferred certain elements of the others way of life and vice versa. Which as you can imagine was a great way to create tension between several character in a authentic and exciting way.

Brooks’ writing was easy to read and despite the level of detail found in its genders, cultures and languages it was still accessible and enjoyable. It is not easy to introduce such a new and detailed world and it not feel to the reader like you a trudging through mud to understand it, but this was not the case for this. It was easy to follow and you understand each cultures way of life quickly.

Brooks also deserves much praise for his dialogue in this book. I laughed, I frowned and I scowled. No word is wasted here, and all of it seems to go that few steps further to showing you who the characters are.

In terms of the characters I found myself enjoying certain ones over others and I found myself wanting to get back to their POV’s more often than not. I felt at times there was quite a disparity between several of the characters we meet, some were a lot more fleshed out than others which led to me not really connecting with some of them. I think we will definitely see more of them in the future books and learn more from them but in this instalment many fell into the background for me.

However, those that seemed to fall into the background a little were ones which seemed to be crucial to the beginnings of future plots. Those relevant to the main plot were utterly brilliant.

I enjoyed this book and the audiobook is great! While I had a few issues with the characters I am excited to see those that fell into the background grow and become more crucial to the plot. This book is definitely a foundational book and brings with it some of the flaws of focusing on preparing for the overall series but in the same breath has me so excited for the next book.

I believe that this will be a brilliant series, and once we get to know all the character to the level we have reached with some of them in this instalment, it is going to be magical.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

This is a book I would currently rank at BUY THE PAPERBACK, or audiobook with a credit. I was honestly going to rate this as a BUY THE EBOOK but then I remembered how much I liked listening to it via audiobook and if I am spending £7.00 on it via a credit then I would also spend that on the PB!

The Black Coast was a solid foundation to a series and one I will continue to read, I feel like this will be ranked higher when I have read more of the series because there is SO much potential here!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE KINGDOM OF LIARS BY NICK MARTELL

Hello!

I actually started writing my review to book two of this series and the when I tried to link the review to this I realised I hadn’t even written it yet! So, here it is now…

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Kingdom of Liars
  • Author: Nick Martell
  • Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book One)
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 544

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth. 

Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.

In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.

What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it. 

ORDER HERE: Audible | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book…

  • A brilliant debut;
  • Politics, family, brotherhood and many more great themes;
  • A distinctive and fun world;
  • A freaking fantastic audiobook; and
  • A mystery feel to the plot.

On to the full review…

The Kingdom of Liars was for me a huge surprise and one I am glad I got to experience. I didn’t really know much about this book and admittedly requested it on NetGalley without much thought on the matter. I know, bad me. However, I started reading it and as per usual work stole half of my time so I switched it up and started listening to it instead and all I can say was that I was so thoroughly hooked!

The Kingdom of Liars ticked so many boxes for me! We had mystery, adventure, magic, politics and so much intrigue. It was such an enjoyable read, that is not to say it is perfect but when I have this much fun reading a book I really don’t mind if it falters in a few areas. I enjoyed the characters, the world and the story.

Something I really liked about this book was the magic. It was refreshing to read and I always appreciate it when there are heavy costs to the use of said magic, which in this case was the magic users memories. Mix that in with a story in which the characters are constantly seeking out the truth, the risk of potentially finding something out only to loose it as a result of your magic use is quite frankly genius. It is such a simple concept and yet so damned effective, there is literally always the fear that you will find out the information you are so desperately trying to find only to lose it in a heartbeat because of a decision to save yourself or another. I mean if that doesn’t have you salivating as a reader I don’t know what will!

I also loved our main character, Michael. Yes he was a very VERY flawed character and he can be such a pity party to himself but lord knows I loved the kid! I saw his irritating traits and even rolled my eyes a few times at how he insisted on acting without all the information but I am not going to lie, I absolutely loved reading him. Michael was such a fresh take on the main character and as a result I found his internal thoughts and his interactions with other characters throughly engaging and enjoyable.

There were a few technical issues present in this debut and a few pacing issues but as I said earlier I loved the characters, the world and the plot so they didn’t bother me all that much. Yes, I noticed them but when you read as many books as I do it is hard not to spot them at times. The question is did they impact or decrease my enjoyment of this book? Absolutely not.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I also thoroughly enjoyed book two! Thus, I cant wait to read book three!


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I actually already have this book in Hardback and I stand by that purchase. So, this is a really easy rating for my…BUY THE HARDBACK


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK SPOTLIGHT | KINGS AND DAEMONS BY MARCUS LEE

A massive thank you to the fabulous TheWriteReads for arranging this blog tour.

Hello EVERYONE!

I have been away for a while now, with several attempts at coming back that I have failed at miserably but I am now officially back so we can expect content from me again!

I won’t bore you with the details and so I will move swiftly on to this post…

Today we are participating in the book tour for Kings and Daemons, you may or may not have seen my previous review of this book, so today I will be posting a spotlight post. Now, this is the first spotlight post I have ever done so pardon me if it sucks ass!

ONTO THE BOOK…

KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee

THE GIFTED AND THE CURSED | BOOK ONE

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

  • Title: Kings and Daemons
  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and The Cursed (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Mr Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 416

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.


Sound good…I can confirm it is! If you want to pick up your own copy you can do so through Kindle Unlimited or treat yourself to a physical copy from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


A SNIPET OF MY REVIEW..

CONTINUE READING…

What Marcus had to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, and now I’ve started, I don’t intend to stop.

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books and also other version of his book covers.

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook…

PRAISE FOR KINGS AND DAEMONS…

KINGS AND DAEMONS is a multi-perspective fantasy tale that takes the reader on an exciting journey that both entertains and gives all of the familiar traditional fantasy feels that made me fall in love with the genre to begin with…”

Nick Borrelli @ Out of This World SFF

“I wasn’t expecting such an enthralling and well written book. I was hooked pretty much from the start…”

Cassidee @ FanFiAddict

“Deliciously dark fantasy, and a spectacular debut…”

Rowena Andrews @ Beneath a Thousand Skies

“Marcus Lee managed to write an excellent debut and I am really looking forward to reading the following two books of the trilogy…”

Lily @ Lily Reads

“Grim and hopeful at the same time, Marcus Lee’s debut is an enjoyable tale of magic, possessed knights, dark lords and Daemons…”

FBN @ FantasyBookNerd

Well, as usual thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read about the book I am reading! I truly hope you pick this book up as it is such a great read!

Byee



AUTHOR INTERVIEW | ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Hello All!

Now that I have let you have a little breather between me posting my review of Adrian’s ‘Shards of Earth’ I will share with you my first ever interview!

No, I am joking! I had such fun with this little project. It was great fun researching Adrian and finding unasked questions!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Meet Adrian, if you don’t already know his face…

Check him out on Twitter, Goodreads or his Website!

THE INTERVIEW…

Adrian, after a little internet stalking I managed to find out a few things about you. You’re a British author, studied Zoology and psychology., then worked as a legal executive before becoming a writer full time. You enjoy the natural world and have trained in various things and have some varied and interesting fighting skills.

So, tell me something about yourself that we don’t already know. Now don’t hold back on me this can be anything, from a random fact to a funny childhood story. Go…

AT: At university and for some years afterwards I was seriously into drama, acting – though not to the extent of actually being very good at it. However I did a lot of middling roles, and even wrote some plays that the local am dram group put on. I even met my wife while doing Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 

I can relate to that acting was always of some interest to me to, I think it is the drive to be creative, you know? Keeping on with your varied background, I noticed you studied Zoology and Psychology and then practiced as a legal executive.

How did you go from zoology to working in the legal sector? 

AT: When I got out of university the job market (mid 90s UK) was terrible. After a couple of dreadful jobs I ended up at the Legal Aid Board which processed lawyers’ claims for publicly-funded work. They were basically shifting over to a different system and had a huge backlog of paperwork to clear, so they were hiring just about anyone. That introduced me to the idea of the legal profession, but of course I had no legal training. What I did have, because of my writing, was a killer typing speed, so I managed to parlay that into a position as a legal secretary, then trained as a lawyer while working at that. 

Blimey! That is quite the change you made there! I note you also said in previous interviews that you have a love for the natural world…

What is your favourite landscape? I love the mountains but something about the rainforest just trumps it for me. 

AT: Honestly from my writing you’d think it’d be swamps, as they seem to turn up so often. I like anything that has an interesting biodiversity though. Rainforests are the top for that, but wetlands, reefs, even deserts given the amount of insects and reptiles and the like you can get there. For the purposes of the question below, however, let’s go for wetland/swamps. 

Ok, you are stranded in that terrain, which three fictional characters would you want to be stranded with and why? 

AT: I’m tempted to say Atreyu from Never-ending Story because he has a useful horse, but it’s probably too soon…

I’d go firstly for the Biologist from Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation. I admit it’s a risky choice. You wouldn’t know if you could trust her, or just who was actually looking back at you from moment to moment. If you wanted someone who understood wetlands and how to survive in them, though, there’s nobody better. For a given value of ‘survive’ of course.

Next up let’s go for Patera Silk from Gene Wolfe’s Long Sun books. Partly because he’s somewhat omnicompetent – he has a genetic predisposition to pick up and master skills extremely quickly. Mostly because he’s very good company, one of the few SFF protagonists who would be a genuinely pleasant dinner guest or travelling companion.

Finally, to blow my own trumpet and as I’ve written plenty about horrible swamps, let’s have Mallen from my own Guns of the Dawn, as he’s another born survivor with a keenly enquiring mind and I could probably prevail on him, given I wrote him, to do most of the heavy lifting. 

I am still yet to discover the full depth of the world in Shards of Earth, but I did read Doors of Eden and loved it. The detail that went into it was phenomenal. I imagine your research can be quite the rabbit hole as you have to have a wider understanding of it to be able to condense it down for your stories.

When you are researching certain topics, how much of your research would you say goes into your writing and is it hard decided what is crucial to allow the readers an understanding without going it becoming to heavy and problematic to other elements, such as the emotional impacts of certain events and characters. 

AT: It’s one of the great writer’s arts to pare what you have learned on a subject down to the bare minimum. The temptation to show off your erudition is always very strong. Certainly it’s something my editors bring me up on quite often. And every reader’s different, and some may prefer more or less visible scaffolding. It’s a real case-by-case exercise, but you get a mental feel for those situations where you just haven’t joined the dots enough, or where readers might get tripped out of the immersion by questions about why or how something happened. 

Ok, I love Space as many do, it is so incredibly intriguing and terrifying. So, let’s talk aliens! The idea that we are alone in the universe is equally as terrifying as us not being alone. What is your take on this, do you believe in aliens? 

AT: Given the scale of the universe, the idea that we’re the one world with recognizable life is inconceivable. The universe has a common chemistry, the same elements produced from stars, that react together in the same ways. Carbon’s out there and it behaves in certain ways in conjunction with other elements. We know those complex interactions can cross over into becoming self-replicating life (because it did on Earth), and likely that’s just one pathway of many by which life systems could arise. And once even very simple life gets going, it will accelerate and adapt to every niche and environment accessible to it, once you have a self-replicating but fallible system with finite resources. It seems likely that the first alien life we meet – perhaps even within our own solar system – will be the equivalent of prokaryotic microbes, because the majority of the history of life on Earth is single-celled, but that’s still alien life. And, given enough time, there are various pathways that can leave to a higher-energy lifestyle, more complex organisms, larger and more varied life, even sentience. 

That is so incredible! I personally agree, I think it is just too big for there not to be anything, as like you said it would stile alien life, just maybe not as we think of it.

As a lover of sci-fi I have always watched sci-fi TV shows and movies. Especially when I was younger with my dad, we watched some great sci-fi shows. I always loved Farscape and Stargate SG1.

Did you watch any such shows and if so which one was your favourite? 

AT: Farscape remains my favourite TV SF show. Other favourites from back in the day include B5 and Doctor Who, which was my very first fandom. More recently there was the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica (and yes, I was of an age to watch the original as well!), and masterpieces like The Expanse and Discovery, which are my current space-viewing. 

Yes! I am so glad you love Farscape! Doctor Who is amazing too. I feel like we are getting more and more sci-fi gems on TV of late, and I for one am here for it!

Moving on, or I will fangirl and not finish this interview!

Now, you’re a full time writer tell us a little about your working day as a full time writer. 

AT: Well right now and 18 months ago are a little different. Back before The Thing I tended to go write in coffee shops or the Waterstones café. Since the changes, I’ve adapted well enough to writing at home, up in the attic like the wife in Jane Eyre. I tend to write in a single block in the mornings, and depending on how things are going, possibly more later on. Or I may have edits or something similar to get down to later in the day. 

Ah I bet you miss that! Coffee shops are amazing. You are an incredibly quick writer having published several books now, 124 listing works if you ask Goodreads. And you publish them at such a fantastic rate! What is your average turnaround for a book? 

AT: I plan a great deal and I think that helps my output. I don’t write more per day than most, I think – at least based on the reports of those of my peers who talk about wordcount. I tend to produce a first draft that doesn’t need much editing before I can submit it, though. The pre-planning means things can fall into place without my going back to retcon and alter earlier chapters most of the time. Now I’m writing full time I would hope to get that first draft done in six months, perhaps, for a full length novel. 

Some of Adrians other works…

Keeping in with that vein of questioning, what is you writing process like. Do you plan and allocate time to certain phases such as researching, planning and writing or do you just sit down and let the stay cool out? 

AT: I don’t really allocate time, I just do. I always start with the worldbuilding, and any attendant research that might need. Ideally, by the time I actually start on the first chapter, I’ve got a world with all its axioms, histories, factions, species etc, from which have arisen both the characters and the events of the plot. I’ve got a chapter breakdown showing me where the book’s going to go. I hit the ground running, basically. And it doesn’t always work. I’ve had a couple of projects where the plan has fallen apart in the middle and I’ve had to go back and reorder and re-write large sections. And at that point I suspect I’m floundering where a writer more used to writing on the fly would just sail past. 

What would you say is your biggest change in the way you write now to the way you wrote early in your writing career? 

AT: I think it comes down to a kind of blanket awareness of how it all comes together. Partly a conscious understanding of the mechanics of narrative and language, partly a subconscious feel for what works. Plus, frankly, I’m older and better informed and hopefully have a broader understanding of… just stuff basically. So the decisions I make in the story are hopefully less naïve than they have been. 

So a little about your newest book!

Shards of Earth talk to me about that. You have some pretty unique races and politics involved. I loved the Hivers immediately with the whole hive mind concept, who was your favourite race to create and play with. 

AT: So Shards of Earth and the Final Architecture series, yes. I had a cracking time putting the universe together for those books – both the human factions and groups and the various alien species that interact with them. It’s hard to choose, but I suspect the Essiel are my favourites, just because they’re so maddeningly obscure. They have a huge space empire, which scared the crap out of the humans who first met them. They have dozens of other species as subject races, and yet they’re not remotely aggressive or interested in invading. They’d just love it if humans joined their collective, but, you know, no pressure. Except the problem with the Essiel is that they’re really not very human at all, and so all negotiations with them go through alien interpreters, and then through the weird human cult that’s decided the Essiel are saviour gods, and couch everything in religious terms. And then you have the human diplomats hearing all this ecumenical business and trying to work out what it is exactly that the Essiel really want. And then of course humans learned what the deal was, a little too late, because the Essiel had already met the world-reshaping Architects a while back, only the translations never quite got to that part. 

What were some of your influences for Shards of Earth? 

Honestly the biggest influence was all the sublight travel in Children of Ruin. I was very ready to go a bit further from the hard science just so I could have FTL travel. And when I’d made that decision, I had to work up a nice, novel system for how FTL might work in this universe, and that kind of expanded to take over the book, as you’ll see. The lead character, Idris, is an Intermediary, which means among other things that he’s an unspace navigator. And unspace, where you go when you need to get around the universe faster than light does, is a nasty place, and allegedly something even nastier lives in it, and Idris has been living with that for decades. And so the basic SF concepts aren’t just futuristic conveniences for the characters or the plot, they’re shot all the way through the book. And it all kind of flowered out of that. The Architects themselves, of course, are a take on that classic SF staple, the Big Dumb Object, except in this case they’re also a creature, and they kill planets. And the first human contact anyone has with them is when they come and kill Earth.

Well, Adrian, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions! It has been such fun! I hope we can do it again sometime!


There you have it folks, my first ever interview! I hope you liked it and enjoyed Adrian’s answers I know he had me giggling at a few. I would love to keep doing this as it is to fun, so if you can think of any fun questions I could have asked et me know!

Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or head on over to my Twitter account and we can have a talk all things bookish!


BOOK REVIEW | SHARD OF EARTH BY ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I am reviewing Adrian Tchaikovsky’s newest book ‘Shards of Earth’ as a part of TheWriteReads Book Tour!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Shards of Earth
  • Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Series: The Final Architects (Book One)
  • Pages: 560

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A vast and immersive world with fabulous races and worlds;
  • An oh so epic space opera;
  • A fairly complex but intriguing and well done;
  • Great characters; and
  • Lots of intriguing elements to keep you wanting more.

On to the full review…

I say this all the time but I apparently never actually make a conscious I effort to do it; but…I WANT TO READ MORE SCI-FI!

So, when the fabulous WriteReads contacted me asking if I was interesting in possibly partaking in their tour I was super excited! I had a quick browse of the book synopsis and was safely intrigued! Having read Adrian’s ‘Doors of Eden’ I felt comfortable going into this book and enjoying it!

I took the plunge into reading Shards of Earth and was glad I did. The thing is with Sci-Fi for me I really struggle to stay immersed if it gets too scientific. I am definitely not alone in this, and I tread a fine line of what I consider to be enjoyable. So, this review will be from a stand point of someone who has read less than 15 science fiction books. I have done well so far, those I have read I have enjoyed immensely with a few exceptions but I’m still grateful for those books because it defined my taste a little more. 

Shards of Earth, yes I am going to actually start my review instead of waffling, was a great read. My initial reaction was a good one. Though, I did feel like I was being given a fair amount of information at the start, it was done well and I was glad for the history of this world but it was still an info dump.

Shards of Earth is filled with so many incredible, unique and utterly captivating races and cultures and it was a thrill to be in such a world! The attention to detail of this world is fabulous, I personally am not actually a massive advocate for expansive worldbuilding. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate it and enjoy it when it is to my tastes but I like to use my own imagination to fill in the gaps, yanno?  However, saying that it was actually the heavier world building element that helped me this time around. I haven’t read too much fantasy, as I said and the world AT has created had such vivid imaginary popping up left right and bloody centre in my mind, even my imagination was heavily influenced by things such as Mass Effect and other SF games and TV shows I have watched. But that ain’t bad!

I really appreciate politics done well in a book, I don’t like politics for the sake of it and it has to be crucial to the story. Well, I am happy to announce AT does politics great! There was such a refreshing balance in SOE because while we had fairly devoted characters they weren’t blindly loyal so I wasn’t constantly frustrated at their decisions. 

I think something I look forward to when choosing to read a book by Adrian is that there is always something that is totally unique to it, in this instance AT created unspace and it was great experiencing it. I won’t say much on it and will let you discover that for yourself but know it is great!

I really enjoyed the character POV’s in Shards of Earth each grew on me more and more, they could have had a wee little it more development but it was by no means lacking. I think Idris was my favourite, but each had something they brought to the story and the team! Even the side character had a pull to them, you bonded with the team and I was constantly wanting to know more.

Shards of Earth was a great read for me, I enjoyed its epic world and its unique characters, and I cant wait for book two. The plot was fairly complex but I am used to that with fantasy so I was able to follow and enjoy it!


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I enjoyed this book and I am keen to see how it will progress, it was beautiful and creative and was what I needed in a sci-fi!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


COVER REVEAL | THE STONE GOD BY ERIN KELLISON

A massive thank you to the amazing Storytellers On Tour for arranging this cover reveal.

Hello Bookish Folks! I’m Sam from The Book in Hand!

It genuinely feels like a really long time since I have said hello, that I felt like I needed to introduce myself again! I have had some huge changes in my personal life with work and other projects recently so fell behind badly on the blog! However, I AM BACK!

I still have a lot do do away from The book in Hand but I’m going to make sure to get back to this!

So today I am partnering with the brilliant and hard working Storytellers On Tour to bring you a beautiful cover reveal for The Stone God by Erin Kellison.

If you have seen the cover already through some of the other amazing bloggers featuring this cover reveal you will see how fabulous it is! It is so beautiful!

This book cover is by cover artist Story Wrappers. My word…they have some INCREDIBLE art on their website, so definitely go and check them out, and if you are an author in need of cover art then save their name!

A few things about the author first…

eRIN KELLISON

Erin Kellison is the bestselling author of the Dragons of Bloodfire series, the Reveler series, and the Shadow series.

She writes fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction rOmance. She loves other worlds and visits them as often as possible via movies and books and her kids’ imaginations. When not daydreaming or writing, she’s goofing off with her family in sunny Arizona.


SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTACT LINKS…


SYNOPSIS:

Terah Crane knows not to tempt the gods. A happy life—or at least an uncomplicated one—involves no gods at all. And since her loving grandfather bought her an Indulgence that ex-empts her from their service, she can focus on her other problems of being recently di-vorced, broke, and unemployed.

Seeking a fresh start, Terah packs everything she owns into her beat-up car and moves to her family’s empty country cottage—never mind that deadly firedrakes occasionally wan-der into the garden. When an unlikely flood carries a cracked pillar of stone from a nearby shrine right to Terah’s doorstep, it seems the gods demand her service after all.

Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

PRE-ORDER HERE!

Release Date: 24th May 2021


Ok.

Time.

For.

The.

Cover.

Feast Your Eyes Upon

.

.

.

The Stone God.




BOOK REVIEW | THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I am going to attempt review the book that is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Name of the Wind
  • Author: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Illustrated By: Daniel Dos Santos
  • Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle (Book One)
  • Pages: 752

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.


So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Paperback | Kindle | Bookshop.Org | The Broken Binding (Use code SAMBOOKINH for 5% OFF)

Review:

“Someone’s parents,” he said, “have been singing entirely the wrong sort of songs.”

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • Stunning prose;
  • Incredible characters from Kvothe all the way to the secondary characters;
  • A well balanced and beautifully structured story; and
  • A book wholly worthy of its praise and status in the fantasy community.

On to the full review…

“Kvothe, Defend yourself well at the University. Make me proud. Remember your father’s song. Be wary of folly.

Where do you even begin with a book such as this, nothing I say feels like it can adequately explain what this book is because it is so much more than a book. 

So many books are good, even incredible but they aren’t always a story, they don’t give you that bone deep feeling of an age old tale told by only the wisest of your community. Rothfuss makes storytelling feel like what it was, old campfires and bringing people together because they are so enraptured by a tale of a person they have never known yet they need to know more, and it is what brings them back the next day. That is what this book is.

The Name of the Wind is a really hard book to describe, and reviewing it is even harder because it isn’t something that I feel should be reviewed in the normal way. It is so much more,  it is about how the book leaves you feeling and you can’t pull that apart into characters, world and blah blah blah. They were all exceptional and this is one of best books I have read, everything within this books pages feels so perfectly balanced.

The Name of the Wind evokes such a level of emotion from you as a reader, it is quite profound. It is the story of Kvothe’s life from his time in a troupe to his time in university, and yes that includes growing up, traveling and going to university. You’re probably thinking okkk but what else happens…well my fellow newcomers to The Name of the Wind, so much happens but it is not a book with huge battles and such but the formation of friendships, lots of rumours, beautiful world building and so much Kvothe. 

“I’m to be whipped and admitted to the Arcanum.” He looked at me curiously, trying to see if I was making a joke. “I’m sorry? Congratulations?” He made a shy smile at me. “Do I buy you a bandage or a beer?” I smiled back. “Both.”

The world building is phenomenal, it is so detailed and well thought out but none is told to you, everything is shown and built so well. Entering this world was like stepping into a lusciously hot bath. First the toes slide in and you feel the sensational heat and you want more, up the legs you go until you are fully emerged into the all encompassing heat of the water and there you want to stay. That is what this world is, you are introduced slowly enough that you don’t get burnt by too much of it but are teased with its skill and you want all of it and you want to stay there.

The character work is also exceptional, this is the epitome of a character driven fantasy and I loved every character I came across even the ones I hated. Yes I am looking at you Ambrose! But each character you meet is purposeful and brings so much to their scenes.

Rothfuss is without doubt an incredible writer, each scene is so well crafted to show you the exact emotions he wants you to feel and his writing style is dynamic and ever changing to match that. At one point, when Kvothe is stricken with grief Rothfuss adjust his writing to really exemplify the tone of those chapters and the same goes for when he is writing a joyous scene. And the music…I have never seen something that is so hard to pin down with words and explain so well explained. You felt it all.

“Words have to find a man’s mind before they can touch his heart, and some men’s minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.”

I have even begun to scratch the surface on how amazing this book is, these are the times a podcast would be better suited because you can discuss this book and all its glory for hours. From your favourite scenes, to the characters, the worlds history and so much more! Me and Davis S from FanFiAddict talked none stop through this, honestly if you saw our chats you be itching to read it all over again. Just seeing quotes from the books has you wanting to read specific scenes again, if not the whole bloody book.

IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I LOVED this book and I picked up the Illustrated 10th Anniversary Edition for my Buddy Read and I am SO glad I did! I think I paid £28.00 for it and honestly I would pay a whole load more too! As soon as I have a little photoshoot of the book I will show you!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!