Today I am partnering with the brilliant and hard working Storytellers On Tour to bring you a beautiful cover reveal for U. L Harper’s book, Katy of Clay.
Yeah? Good. Let’s go then.
This book cover is by cover artist Daniel Iglesias.
A few things about the author first…
U.L. Harper is a speculative fiction and literary author, influenced by magical realism. A former journalist from Long Beach, California, he now resides in Tacoma, Washington with his wife and daughter. He is an avid Dodgers fan.
U. L Harper started off doing poetry. Every now and again the poetry influence enters his novel writing. His latest work, The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe, meshes fantasy and horror with magical realism.
It’s typical to acknowledge how your parents have shaped you. But what if they shaped you out of clay?
When Katy visits her father, she questions why she can no longer remember the face of her mother who died nine years ago.
What’s more is that recently her body has been going through strange changes.
It’s these changes that force her father to reveal an old family secret—she’s made from clay and will be catapulted into another world because of it.
Shortly thereafter, she finds herself in a frightening parallel world where ghosts indefi-nitely relive their deaths, a land where she will discover the secret that cost her the memory of her mother’s face, and it’s a place where she’ll journey to find the insidious truth about what she’s destined to become.
Here are a few things you can expect from this book:
An main character with a HUGE personality and a wee bit of a potty mouth;
A fun adventure read;
A truly fascinating world; and
dark happenings you didn’t quite expect.
On to the full review…
The Library of the Dead was such a fun and wild ride, Ropa is the bread and butter of this story. She such an interested kid with so much charisma and personality you cant help but love her spunk! I can’t lie, I do like the whole reluctant hero from time to time, and Ropa was such a fresh take on it. It was the same old trope but because Ropa is such a character and the people that surround her are just as great it didn’t feel repetitive.
I love that Ropa was this quirky and clever girl, her situation is not to great and she makes do with what she can in a world which doesn’t give you anything, so seeing that despite her struggles she still had a heart of gold was endearing to say the least.
The Library of the Dead also has some quite dark moments, despite its almost joyous feel the world is dark, bad things happen and it does not shy from bloody violence when the story requires it.
I think the decrepit world that Huchu has created is great, it was fun imagining this world and all the ghosts that fill it. It has dystopia feels and you can tell that the Scotland of this story is not in a good place, it has unjust and scummy police, gangs and clans and so much more. It is a truly fascinating world Huchu has created. Then infuse that with magic and the paranormal it becomes quite a unique setting. It was fun to see the way the Scottish people live and work in this world, and how the dead still have their roles to play, although some encounters really didn’t feel necessary for the story they were a good tell of what the world was like and how it operated.
Which leads me to what I think is the main weakness of this book. Its plot. It is quite uneven at times, and as I said has full sections of unnecessary encounters, while they are still fun to read because Ropa is amazing they just weren’t necessary.
Though this book is definitely a character driven book it isn’t my typical character driven book, you can feel the youth of Ropa and her cynicism is fun too but it isn’t a deep and complex character story. However, she is a young 14 year old lass and her character and its development was amazing and appropriate to that.
I quite liked the magic within this story too, I didn’t really expect it to be so scientific or structured, when dealing with the ghosts and ghouls is felt quite soft and easy, a little whimsical but this is not the case as we find out when Ropa begins learning it in more depth.
Overall, this was such a fun read set in a unique world, it is a clear page turner and will have you laughing, cursing and even feeling all warm and fuzzy! Ropa is a distinctive and utterly brilliant main character, she was a joy to read as she is just the right amount of bad mouthed, kookiness you will no doubt love.
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I would pick this up in either audiobook from eBook, it is a great debut and worth a read, especially in the spooky season.
Well, it has been another month, one of which has been and gone into the abyss that is 2020. I can’t believe that we are coming into September, it is just flying by.
I really didn’t feel like I had actually read much this month, but having done this post I realised I have still read a fair amount despite having a ton of other things on my plate this past month. I am a month into returning to work and still haven’t found my routine. Im still trying to do all the things I was doing while furloughed in half the time! So I am genuinely really happy and proud I have go through the amount of books I have!
So, to the books.
WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?
This month didn’t really have any type of theme or selective reading aims, it was a mood reading month if you will! Which is great. I did have two book tours to honour and thoroughly enjoyed participating in them!
Overall, this was a great introduction to a new genre for me, I read it quickly and was pretty gripped by the plot and its characters, while I probably wouldn’t read this book again (more because once you know the twists and ending its not as suspenseful) I would definitely read future books written by this author.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
My Rating: 4
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Review: RTC. Promise.
I REALLY enjoyed this book! That’s it. They are my thoughts, I plan to write a review later in the week.
Overall, I am so impressed with this book and have already started the next book. I am reading them considerably slower than usual but that is more to do with a busier schedule than anything but I am almost grateful for it as the time I am giving these books when I can is that much more treasured.
May Day by Josie Jaffrey
My Rating: 4.5
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Review: I will. At some point. I have my notes just need to make it coherent!
This was a fun and quick-reading vampiric police investigation story. I flew through this and really enjoyed it.
Saga Volume One and Two by by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
My Rating: 4 to both
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Review: I will. I have my notes, I again just have to make it coherent! Though I think these will be very short ones, so I may review them as a whole. We shall see…
These have been great reads that I have slotted in between other reads, they take no more than an hour or so and are filled with colourful and quirky art!
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
My Rating: N/A
N/A – Still Reading
Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.
My Thoughts (so far):
I am REALLY enjoying this book! I have found I have fallen into the rhythm of this book easier than Assassin’s Apprentice because I already love the world and the characters, so yanno the usual with a second book.
Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…
As you can see I have read a little bit of a variety his month. We have had graphic novels, epic fantasy and vampiric urban fantasy so this is a wee bit harder because these books vary so much.
It is another tough one to call this month, again I have read some great books and again I am bouncing between two books. Now, some of you may be thinking it obvious out of what I have read but the two contenders I am toying between are both similar in genre but different in writing style and detail.
After quite a bit of deliberation and switching between which one will be titled BOOK OF THE MONTH I settled on…
KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee
While Assassin’s Apprentice is a phenomenal book and one I really enjoyed I chose Kings and Daemons instead for a good many reasons. Obviously, as my review shows I enjoyed this book but what has topped this was generally my overall experience. Kings and Daemons was my first blog tour hosted by Story Tellers on Tour and I really enjoyed participating. On top of that I chatted a fair amount with Marcus, the simple fact that an author actively engages with his fans is such a great thing and really adds to the whole experience and Marcus actually helped me out in areas other than his book. So, there you have it Marcus Lee‘s Kings and Daemons takes this months title of BOOK OF THE MONTH!
Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or on Twitter if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.
Having just bought Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, the first book of the Dresden Files I realised I don’t have that much GOOD urban Fantasy under my belt. So, I did a little research and have hunted down seven books that sound pretty awesome in the urban fantasy genre.
I’m going to give them all a go. At some point soon. Maybe. Hopefully…
Here it is, then 7 urban fantasy books to read:
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…
Acclaimed by critics and readers on its first publication in 1987, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel, Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is one of the novels that has defined modern urban fantasy.
Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But she’s breaking up with her boyfriend, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.
By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that’s as much about this world as about the other one. It’s about real love and loyalty, about real music and musicians, about false glamour and true art. It will change the way you hear and see your own daily life.
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .
The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…
As the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit, Mariko Oshiro has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. But when he gives her the least promising case possible—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—it proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.
The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it.
Mariko’s investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield could turn against her.
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.
So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.