Claire North does it again

I knew. I just knew. From the second I finished The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August I knew that Claire North was one of my favourite authors and The End of the Day has solidified that even further. This is only the second book I’ve read from her and yet again I sped through it in one day, barely able to put it down.


In this novel we follow Charlie, a recent grad who’s just gotten a job working as the harbinger of death. Pretty standard stuff. He goes before death, wherever he is needed all over the world. Sometimes he is a courtesy, sometimes he’s a warning. We follow him for both.

This is such an interesting concept, having Death have a human assistant who goes before him for important cases, who gives Death a face, who talks to people. I’m sure it’s been done before but I love the way that North has carried it out here. We see people from all walks of life who have a variety of responses to the harbingers presence, from anger and denial, to attempting to persuade Death, to calm acceptance. All of the individual stories are handled incredibly well and bring a new perspective on life to the reader.

Not only do people die, but ideas too. Whether that is an old racist finally dying away, an abandonment of a tradition or an escape into a new life, Death honours each and every one of them. This personally made me think more about times in my life where something has died, whether it was a dream never to be achieved or a mindset I overcome. Everything has its time.

There is also the impact is has on Charlie. It would have been easy for North to not even cover this, to gloss past it as though it would never happen. Instead she puts it front and centre, this sort of work would take its toll on a person. It isn’t easy. This really adds an actual human aspect to a character who could have easily become as dehumanised as Death themselves and adds another punch to the book.

If you are at all interested in fantasy’s which are heavily set on reality, where for all others life continues as normal, apart from the select few who live this extraordinary existence, then I 100% recommend picking up anything by Claire North. The End of the Day would, ironically, be a great place to start.

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, who has also written under the name Kate Griffin. I’ve not read any of her works under the various names yet but it’s definitely something I intend on doing in the future.

Delving into the Doctor Who Universe!

I was reorganising my tbr (to be read) shelves a little as I was trying to squeeze in some of the books I brought home from Uni (as for the past few months I’ve just been hiding them under the closet 😀 ) and I ended up moving this big boi to shift some things around. I was about to slot it back into place and I just randomly decided that I was going to read it, so I did. Which was really nice because a lot of times before the big break I took my reading was dictated by what the internet would think I was “supposed” to have read.

This book is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, with real world facts about shooting episodes or knowledge of real life events/people thrown in around these fictional items and events. I really liked this as it added another aspect to the book and brought the Whoniverse into the real world, making it seem like the writers believed it was real (which of course it is).

It’s definitely a niche book though, you likely won’t enjoy it if you don’t care about the show, or any of the book/comic/radio adaptations that it’s had over its long lifespan. But as a Doctor Who fan for many years, and someone who is still slowly working on watching all of the old series’, I really enjoyed this shallow dive and I’m glad I finally picked this book up! Cause damn it had been on my shelves a while!

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, a review

adored this book, so so much! I read it back to back with Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and when I say back to back I mean immediately after each other. Combined they got me out of a reading slump, and I have managed to keep their storylines completely separate which to me, when reading them so close together, means that their plots were incredibly strong and engaging.

This book follows Paige Mahoney, who works within the black market. We get a good sense of this world and how it functions, before Paige is then kidnapped. Hidden in a city which has not existed for over 200 years, Paige must figure out a way to survive in a situation designed to kill her.

The world building done within this book was incredible and is fitted seamlessly within the storytelling. I enjoyed being able to grow alongside Paige as she learns more about the people around her, what is going on within her world, and also as she becomes more aware of her own abilities. The actual plotline is also incredibly engaging, with so many different moving parts and intricate pieces which have been balanced perfectly in order to make a world which I feel like could rival that of Harry Potter if the following books continue in this way. Of course it’s not the same magical book as the Potterverse, however, JK is renowned for her plotlines (in a similar way to the Whoniverse) and I feel like this series could also do this incredibly well.

I am so excited to read more books in this series, I own books 2 and 3 and plan to read book 2 in December. I’m just nervous to start them because I know it’s going to be amazing and also probably destroy me! I’m nervous to read it and not be anticipating it anymore! Isn’t that silly haha.

Have you read any of this series? Am I going to cry when I read the next two books? Let me know in the comments!

The Miniaturist, a review

I took this book with me on holiday a few years ago, on my old eReader (which has since died, RIP). When my family goes on holiday, we don’t sit by the pool, we’re constantly busy, always experiencing new things, and to be quite honest we need a rest once we get back to the UK! Which doesn’t tend to lend itself to reading, however, I couldn’t put this book down!

The plot didn’t end up being what I had expected. From the title and synopsis, I had assumed that there was going to be a larger focus on the paranormal and weird activities of the miniaturist and her figures. Instead, this is very much focused on Nella’s life after moving to the city of Amsterdam to live with her new husband. As was common in the time period this book is set in (1686), she doesn’t really know her new husband Johannes, and they don’t interact much as he is often out. However, he gives her a wedding present of a dolls house, one which is the size of a cabinet and is an accurate replica of their house.

To fill up the dolls house, Nella goes to a little shop down a side street and gets figurines of those who live in the house. This is where the synopsis seems a little inaccurate. It makes it feel like this book is going to delve into fantasy and magic with these figurines, and there is a little bit of that, but it really isn’t the focus of the book. As mentioned above, this book focuses instead on the trials and tribulations of living in this time period as a woman, and also Johannes troubles.

I do wish that the blurb wasn’t so misleading, as this did disappoint me a little, however, I still did massively enjoy the book and was enraptured from start to finish. Have you read this? Do you agree with my thoughts on the synopsis? Comment and tell me 🙂

The End of Mr Y, a review

You might not have heard of this book, it’s not exactly well known. The only reason I picked it up was that it had a very unique design when I saw it in the charity shop. It was taller and wider than most paperbacks, had black sprayed edges and looked interesting. Once I’d read the blurb I knew I had to get it.

We follow our protagonist Ariel, as she discovers a rare book in a secondhand bookshop. It’s said to be cursed, and it’s also supposed to be impossible to find. As she reads the book she becomes more invested in what it has to say, following recipes and directions and ending up traveling in time and risking her own death. This is not a normal novel, it’s wacky, insane and definitely not for kids. There are a variety of mature themes explored and developed within this book, so if that’s not something you feel comfortable with I recommend giving this novel a miss.

It took so many turns and directions that I was not expecting, the time travel was a shock to my system and the mysterious black dot has me suspicious of any dots I see around me! Definitely one to make your brain work and encourage you to think more about your surroundings, as well as more about what is actually going on inside the crazy world of this book.

I liked the way the fantasy was handled in a realistic manner so that you can imagine it happening in the real world very easily. I felt that the ending of the book was rather sharp, however, I think that is by the authors’ design and it did mean it stayed in my head for quite a long time.

If you’re wanting something weird and odd and you’re fine with death, sex and violence, definitely pick this one up! I’m glad I spotted it one day… in a secondhand bookshop 😉

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, a review

I’m not going to lie to you guys, this book was purely a cover buy. But not the usual “this cover is so pretty and I need it” sort of cover buy, but more of a “what the actual f*ck is in this book if that’s the cover and blurb?” kinda buy. I saw it when volunteering in a British Heart Foundation charity shop (they put me in charge of the books, it was great!) and just had to buy it for myself.

I found this book to be so much fun! The whole world in here is juuust a little bit different than ours (and it’s also set back in the 1980s, but it’s still different to our 80s), but similar enough that you feel immersed almost straight away. I loved all the different aspects like the dodo’s and the different government departments.

Thursday is a worker for the literary department and has to deal with books every day (dream job or what), and some odd things start happening (odder than the pet dodo, that’s pretty normal here). Literature is taken very, very seriously in this world, Baconians try to convince the world that Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between Surrealists and Impressionists and during all this, Hades’, our villain, is targetting Jane Eyre and steals her out of her novel. Here is where Thursday Next comes in as a special operative within the literary department. With the help of her uncle and his inventions, she goes into the novel to rescue Jane and to try and restore Bronte’s book. There are so many other things going on within this book, which link into future books and future events (so much complex work done by Fforde).

A knowledge of classical fiction can be handy when reading this, I don’t know too much so I think I’ve missed out on quite a few of the inside jokes that Fforde has put into this work, but the only negative about that is that it’s adding to my tbr with all these great or well known classics! And it doesn’t take away from the story if you don’t know these pieces. It’s definitely a really fun piece and since reading this I’ve listened to the next three books on audiobook and I have been very invested and interested in the events. The series is broken up in two sectors so I’ve taken a break now I’ve finished part one, but I’m really looking forward to getting into part two and I recommend these books! Definitely give them a go if you like wacky, weird, action-packed books with links to classic literature!

Mort and his mortality


As always with The Discworld so far, I’ve really enjoyed this book and the new perspective looking closer into Death’s life, his daughter, his manservant and also his new apprentice Mort. Being able to discover more about Death’s life through the eyes of someone who is also new to the world is really helpful narratively and leaves us confused half the time, which I’m sure is what Terry Pratchett would want! Although the repetitive mentioning of the slow speed of light breaking on the disc was starting to grate on my nerves after the seven-hundredth time (okay I’m exaggerating a little, and it is relevant, but it really didn’t need to be mentioned so often!), I really liked the ending of the book and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series and to see what I’ll be told next about the Discworld.

The Last Roundhead by Jemahl Evans


I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect as it is the first giveaway I’ve ever won. It was a nice little extra to find a personalised signing and I can tell Jemahl that I definitely did enjoy!

I wasn’t expecting to hugely enjoy this book, bad I know but it isn’t something I’d normally pick up and I just applied on a whim to the giveaway. I am so glad I did because this book was such a good read and so fun! I became comrades with our main character Candy very quickly and I felt that the portrayal of the English Civil War (Roundheads, obviously, vs Cavaliers) was done very realistically, although I don’t know the period in depth.

It is a fast-paced book with many highs, lows, twists and turns which will make you keep turning the pages long after it’s dark outside. I really really hope there will be a sequel written for this book and I have to know more about Candy and his life! Even if it was written from different characters (such as Hurry, Elizabeth or James) just to enjoy this setting more. (EDIT: I’ve just got off my arse and looked and there is! Definitely going onto my tbr!)

All in all, a very well written book and one I’d encourage you to pick up, people of any age can enjoy this book (although there is some crude language, so the younger bracket depends on their personal development) and should give it a shot.

Glass Sword, between the lines


For me, this was another five-star read (after giving five stars to Red Queen too). I sat up and read this all in one night/morning (mainly because I wanted to finish it before I got the train back to my University after visiting my parents for Christmas!). I really enjoyed getting to delve further into this world and see how everything is developing and progressing. You get to see each and every character evolve and come into their own as well as finding out a lot more of their background, motivations and emotions, as some characters seemed a little hollow in Red Queen. Don’t worry, they’re filled in inside Glass Sword! The ending made me even more eager to get into the next book and left me on an absolute cliffhanger which leaves Kings Cage as an enticing read which I’ll definitely be starting sometime soon!

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

Just Henry is an engrossing book based around the time of WWII. The book follows the life of a young boy, with a father who died in the war, living with his mother, step-father, gran and younger sister and his days at school and his love of photography.

Due to the stigmatisation which was common in those days and enforced by his grandmother, Henry is tested when partnered with two boys in school as one is a bastard (born when his parents were not married) and the other has a deserter for a father. He also meets a woman whilst trying to get into an age restricted film at the cinema and soon becomes friends with her. Through help from his unlikely friend as well as from his mother, teacher and what he truly believes; Henry becomes friends with these two boys.

He also develops (see what I did there) a love for photography and through help from both his teacher and his unlikely friend he starts taking pictures and learning how to make the best of the limited number of photos.

This love of photography and his close new friendships turn out to be crucial during a plot twist involving his father, gran, sister and a lot of worry.

The twist within this novel will have you glued to the pages as Magorian again manages to reel the reader in and not let go, this novel will grab you from the start and you’ll love learning about life in the post-WWII period as well as seeing the changes which occur at this time and how the characters develop.

Recommended for:

Those who love the WWII era.

This is my favourite era in history, meaning that I fell in love with this book almost instantly. The plot is easy to follow but also interesting and seems to stick to the historical accuracy of the time. The book shows what life was like once the war ended and how the countries landscape was changed, not only physically but mentally as people adjusted to others who were different with more ease.

Age recommendation:

Young Adults+

This book is aimed at ‘young adult’ readers with language and themes which may be slightly too mature for younger readers but which is simple enough that it is understandable. I would suggest that the reading age is around 12+ although this will vary from person to person, and many adults will enjoy this book as I still love it myself after many years.

Sorry for not posting in a while, I’ve had a busy summer! I hope you are all having a great time while the nice(ish) weather lasts!

Comment what books you would like me to review next 🙂