The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono, a review

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono is a very short little environmental classic that the lovely Caitlyn from Mad Cheshire Rabbit gifted me, knowing my love for all things environmental.

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

It’s a short story of a man who dedicates his life to planting trees in an area that was decimated by human irresponsibility and how that area changes over time. I found it to be a beautiful story of the impact of small but repeated actions and how we need to be conscious of our impacts on the world around us.

I also enjoyed the second short story in my edition (Vintage environmental) which is from Jean Giono’s son, talking about the first story (which is a work of fiction) and how and why it was interpreted as non-fiction. It was really interesting to get this background and to add more depth to the original work.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 7, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 8 with an average of 8 and a 4.5* rating.

No content warnings found.

If you’re environmentally conscious, or want to inspire younger people to become so, this is a great little book to pick up. It sits with pride now on my classics shelves and I look forward to recommending it to people in the future!

Binti, a review

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a Sci-Fi novella that I’d heard so many people talking about so when I had the chance to listen to the audiobook, I grabbed it with both hands!

Unfortunately there was some sort of weird glitch in my audiobook files and I ended up listening to this book in totally the wrong order! It was a little confusing haha, but despite that I enjoyed the book and I think that says a lot about how good it is!

This is such a masterpiece, in that in so few pages Okorafor has managed to create character development, world building, fear, relief, and more. I’m already so invested within this world and I definitely want to read more from this universe!

There isn’t too much more that I can say about this, because it’s only 100 pages long! And I don’t want to spoil anything. So let’s go onto the CAWPILE Rating.

Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 7, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 7, Enjoyment: 8, giving a score of 7.57 and a 4* rating.

I’m definitely going to be reading more in this series, and fingers crossed I don’t get that glitch again if I go the audiobook route!

Exit Strategy, a review

We’re back with the gang in book 4 of the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells! I adore this Sci-Fi novella series so much where we follow a Security Unit gone rogue. The most loveable rogue ever!

Okay so I may be a little biased, but I do love Murderbot. (thank you to Kari from Kar-ing for books for gifting me this!) and I was so excited to be back with the original group that we follow in the first novella.

I had hoped that Murderbot was able to be closer to the group straight away, but I think that’s because I’m used to a traditional story. It makes total sense for them to not feel that closely aligned with them. But they still get on fantastically as a team and I loved to see it!

The team dynamic is done so fantastically in this book too, there’s a moment (I won’t spoil you, don’t worry) where Murderbot doesn’t prioritise themselves, and it’s such a powerful action!

I have to admit the first one was more of a favourite for me, but this was still so much fun. We get to see so much growth from Murderbot, but in this one we also get to see the growth from the humans around them. We get to see them realising Murderbot’s wants and needs and reacting to that.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 9 which gives an average rating of 8.86 and a 4.5*!!

I’m really excited to see how book 5 goes after the ending of this, Murderbot is going to be living in such a different circumstance and I’m excited to see how they navigate that! I really do recommend picking up this series if you haven’t already.

Artificial Condition, a review

I was having a pretty rough month in October, moving house, moving jobs, and my body feeling completely overworked. So I was barely reading. I kept trying to pick up my tbr books and failing. So on the evening of the 26th October I said “fuck that” and picked up book two in the Murderbot Diaries. And boy am I glad I did!

I adore Murderbot, the ridiculous machine that they are. And in contrast to the first book, this time they have to blend in as a human. This massively changes the dynamic and the internal monologue we get is so much fun!

Of course I can’t say too much more than this about the plot because this is a novella and I don’t want to spoil it for you! The character development that we get out of Murderbot is fantastic, with them being forced into interactions they most definitely do not want and having to learn to adapt.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 10, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 10, Plot 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 9, Enjoyment: 10, giving an average of 9.43 which is a 5* read!

I adored this book so much. The novellas are such short and fun reads and I will forever love them.

The End of the World, a review

Continuing on with my reread of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, which I’m doing in chronological order, I’ve got the World Book Day 2012 short story!


These World Book Day novellas, whether from the Skulduggery Universe or elsewhere, are intended to encourage people to pick up the related books and read more. This means that this can totally be read separately from the rest of the series and is designed to stnad alone.

Don’t get me wrong though, this is from Landy, so there are enough references to the main series, and a few to other franchises, that series readers will enjoy the novella too.

I adore the character that the bring in for this novella. It’s a really unique subplot that actually develops the world further as well as being super interesting! It tugs at the heartstrings a little too!

For my CAWPILE rating I gave this book 8 across the board for Character, Atmosphere, Writing, Plot, Intrigue, Logic, and Enjoyment. Which of course gives a score of 8. Which is a solid 4 star read.

I definitely recommend picking this up if either you’re already reading the series or if you’re interested in it. At a little over 100 pages it’ll give you a good feel for what the series is like, and it adds to the world too. A great little book!

Apocalypse Kings, a review

This is a wee little novella from the Skulduggery Pleasant universe that was released for World Book Day. I actually read this twice this year, as I read it when the book came out, and then read it again when it slotted in chronologically with my full series reread.

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To avoid boring you to death (and because I’m so far behind with reviews) I’m going to direct you to my original review of this one. But I will give you my CAWPILE rating for my second read:

Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 7, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 9, Enjoyment: 8, giving an overall score of 8.14 which is a 4 star

I like how this can stand completely alone from the rest of the books, and therefore works as a good introduction, as well as having little references sprinkled in from the full series. Totally recommend picking this tiny book up!

The Annual Migration of Clouds, a review

I requested this audiobook on a whim, I wasn’t even supposed to be browsing NetGalley (who provided the audiobook for free in return for an unbiased review) but here I was and when I spotted this cover I knew I was going to request to read it!

In The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed we follow a young woman who has received an invitation to leave her small community to travel to a prestigious school. However, the novella is set in a post-apocalyptic world where some people are infected by “Cad” (although they’re still able to live almost normal lives… to a point) and climate disasters have ruined the land so people struggle to get by.

Reid wants to go, but she’s worried about those she leaves behind. How will her mother cope with the infection as she gets older? How will her childhood best friend be now that he’s lost all of his family and friends? How will they harvest the crops and do all the tasks that are usually meant for her? And to top it all of her mother doesn’t want her to go.

This little book was absolutely fantastic. I blasted through the audiobook in two sittings (only taking a break because I was listening to it at work and took my lunch break!) and adored it. I think the narrator does a great job at inflicting each character with their own personality and emphasising just the right point in sentences. I definitely want to read more from Premee Mohamed and I’m also here for listening to more audiobooks narrated by Eva Tavares!!

All Systems Red – a review

The wonderful Veronica from Veronica’s Shelf gifted me All Systems Red by Martha Wells as a surprise, and I had heard of it before but it wasn’t yet on my tbr. Apparently Veronica knows my taste better than me because this 100% should’ve been on my tbr!!!

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All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red follows Murderbot, this is the name the droid has given itself after it was able to hack into it’s own systems and override protocol. They can do anything, the Company no longer has control over them. And they use their power… to watch soaps and daydream all day! But Murderbot is assigned to a mission, and when the neighbouring mission goes dark it’s up to Murderbot and the scientists it’s there to serve to get to the truth.

This. Book. Is. So. Fun! I adored all of the character interactions. I adored being in Murderbot’s head and learning about the world through their unique viewpoint! And the ending? I totally didn’t expect that! I definitely want to pick up each and every book in this series!!

They’re very short books too, all of them being novella’s and book one being under 150 pages. So ya girl needs to get them onto her shelves!

My ratings on CAWPILE are:

Characters: 10

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 9

Plot: 9

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 9

Which gives an overall score of 9.14 which is a 5*!!! I adored this book so much and I can’t wait to read more in the series!

Highlight here to read the trigger warnings: violence, murder, slavery, body horror, medical content, panic attacks, self harm, fire

The Dawn Chorus – a review

Book 3.5 in The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon, I picked this up after reading The Song Rising and The Pale Dreamer as it was the last unread book left before I picked up The Mask Falling!

Coming in at 92 pages it was just a short read, but wow did I love it!

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Of course with this being so far through a series I can’t say all that much. What I can say is that this covers the transitional gap between books 3 and 4, and it does so really well. You don’t need to read it before you continue on with the series, but for big fans it adds an extra dimension to the world and the characters that I really appreciated.

Whilst there is some discussion of larger overall events, this novella is really focused on the relationship between two main characters. Due to events they spend a lot of time together and seeing this develop through the novella was so much fun to read, and for once Samantha Shannon wasn’t torturing her characters! A mini between book break for us all!

For my CAWPILE rating I gave:

  • characters: 10
  • atmosphere: 9
  • writing: 9
  • plot: 9
  • intrigue: 9
  • logic: 10
  • enjoyment: 9

Which totalled at 9.29, a solid 5* read that I really enjoyed!

Highlight here to see trigger warnings: abuse, PTSD, torture, trauma

I really recommend picking up this little novella if you like The Bone Season series. In English it’s only available in ebook format, so that’s how I read it. But I believe there’s a little paperback version that’s published in Polish! This is such a wonderful little slot of time with our faves and a nice rest between two heartbreaking books!

Apocalypse Kings – a Skulduggery Pleasant Review!

If you really want to know how far behind on reviews I am? I’ve re-read this before the review will be posted. Ffs why am I like this? Well, either way, let’s get into the review!

Apocalypse Kings by Derek Landy is a World Book Day Novella within the world of Skulduggery Pleasant, it slots into place after Mortal Coil, the fifth book in the series, and doesn’t have any spoilers for books afterwards so you can read it without worrying!

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I read this after reading some of the second series, where Val is in her mid twenties, so it was so much fun to go back to the roots of the series and see something childish again! It’s actually what prompted me to take part in the Dead Famous Readalong to reread the entire series! (hence why I’ll have read it a second time by the point this is published, cause I’m reading the books chronologically)

I really enjoy the diversity that Landy added in here. He’s been developing over the span of the series but of course that means that the diversity is most present in the later, more serious books. It was really nice to see that diversity brought back into the more childish and fun parts of the series and that’s probably why Landy wrote the novella!

Highlight for trigger warnings: loss of a loved one, violence

This is around 100 pages long, so I read it in one short sitting and it was so much fun. Val and Skul-man undercover in a school is their worst possible environment and the evil they have to defeat is done so well! Such a fun read as always and writing this has made me even more excited to reread it!