Title: My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Walker

The Blurb

A comical, fantastical and witty re-imagining of the Tudor world, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger – and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I had so much hope for My Lady Jane. Granted that hope was based on the fact that I liked the pretty cover but still I did have hope. You see, I like historical fiction. I love interpretations of a time when I wasn’t alive. It is the closest thing to time travel that we have got. Sadly, My Lady Jane just didn’t do it for me. It was a bit too warped. I think if there hadn’t been the fantasy element to the story I could have been a bit more enthusiastic but it just wasn’t for me. It will be for someone but I didn’t get it.

Sorry.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton is available now.

For more information regarding Cynthia Hand (@CynthiaHand) please visit www.cynthiahandbooks.com.

For more information regarding Jodi Meadows (@jodimeadows) please visit www.jodimeadows.com.

For more information regarding Brodi Ashton (@Brodiashton) please visit www.brodiashton.com.blogspot.com.

For more information regarding Walker (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walker.co.uk.

Title: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 436 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

Under the streets of London lies a world most people could never dream of.

When Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious girl he finds bleeding on the pavement, his boring life changes in an instant. Her name is Door, she’s on the run from two assassins in black suits and she comes from London Below.

His act of kindness leads him to a place filled with monsters and angels, a Beast in a labyrinth and an Earl who holds Court in a Tube train.

It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Fantasy is not my genre of choice but there is something so welcoming about the weird worlds that Neil Gaiman creates that I find myself drawn to his stories.

I had bought myself the Chris Riddell illustrated edition of Neverwhere sometime last year and I kept it by my bedside promising myself over and over that it would be my next read. Eventually, it came to pass and man was I captivated.

The story blends the old and the new; London Above and London Below. Richard – a man from Above, gets lost in the labyrinthine world of Below. As is Above self starts to fade he begins his adventure below and realises that there is more to the world than the eye can see.

Neverwhere is truly a special story that is so easy to get lost in and once again reaffirms my faith that Neil Gaiman is a master story teller.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is available now.

For more information regarding Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) please visit www.neilgaiman.com.

For more information regarding Chris Riddell (@chrisriddell50) please visit www.chrisriddell.co.uk.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

Title: How the Marquis Got his Coat Back

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 64 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

Neverwhere short story from one of the brightest, most brilliant writers of our generation – the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning The Ocean At the End of the Lane.

The coat. It was elegant. It was beautiful. It was so close that he could have reached out and touched it.

And it was unquestionably his.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Every time I pick up a book by Neil Gaiman I get cross with myself that I haven’t read more. That being said, one of my upcoming books to be read is Neil Gaimain’s Neverwhere. Therefore I decided to read How the Marquis Got his Coat Back – an accompanying story – just to get myself in the Neil Gaiman groove.

I’m so glad I did.

How the Marquis Got his Coat Back is chock full of interesting characters who are whimsical in nature and even though they are reaching into the realms of fantasy come across as quite normal and commonplace.

The story centres on how, indeed, the marquis got his coat back – his coat sounds wonderful, lots of pockets – and even though it is only 64 pages in length I feel that I was submerged into the world of Neverwhere. Now I cannot wait to read the full length novel.

How the Marquis Got his Coat Back by Neil Gaiman is available now.

For more information regarding Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) please visit www.neilgaiman.com.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

3 Stars

The BellesTitle: The Belles

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Gollancz

The Blurb

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

The Review

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I bought The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton but I can assure you that in my wildest imagination I would never have come up with colourful, dramatic fantasy drama with a focus on maquillage as a possible sound bite.

The world in which Dhonielle Clayton has created has a great emphasis on beauty; so much so that certain girls – The Belles – have been raised to perform beauty treatments on paying patrons across the land. One lucky Belle gets the privilege of being the favourite and working for the royal family, but this responsibility comes with its own set of challenges. It turns out that the world is not exactly how the Belles have been raised to understand it to be.

Whilst I enjoyed The Belles, I did find myself losing focus at times. I think for me the pacing was a little catawampus. It was slow, slow, slow fast, too fast, to holy-moly we have four chapters left how is Clayton possibly going to get it all together.

Fantasy isn’t really my genre but with this novel Clayton has held up a mirror to those who are obsessed with unachievable and downright depressing beliefs in what beauty is. The Belles is definitely a book that can be compared to current societal attitudes to the changeability of what physical beauty is.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton is available now.

For more information regarding Dhonielle Clayton (@brownbookworm) please visit www.dhonielleclayton.com.

For more information regarding Gollancz (@Gollancz) please visit www.gollancz.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Pages: 356 Pages

Publisher: Quirk Books

The Blurb

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island of the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

The Review

As far as weird books go, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has to be up there. That probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy it. I did but it was definitely a book outside my comfort zone.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is part time travel novel, part adventure and part family saga. It follows the story of Jacob who has grown up listening to the adventure stories that his granddad has told him over the years. However, with the passing of time Jacob grows up and stops believing his grandfathers stories about the strong girl who could lift boulders above her head and the boy who ingested bees. But what if these stories were actually the truth all along?

Jacob sets off on a pilgrimage to visit his grandfather’s old home and to find out if the demons that haunted his grandfather can be explained away.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a really interesting book that is interspersed with strange and unusual photography. It is graphologically gorgeous to hold and it is definitely worth a read.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is available now.

For more information regarding Ransom Riggs (@ransomriggs) please visit www.ransomriggs.com.

For more information regarding Quirk Books (@quirkbooks) please visit www.quirkbooks.com.

3 Stars