Mindwalker by Kate Dylan, a review

Mindwalker by Kate Dylan was September’s Goldsboro GSFF box book. A YA Sci-Fi set in Earth’s future. I always enjoy the GSFF box books so I was excited to dive in!

Mindwalker by Kate Dylan

Our protagonist is an 18 year old girl who has a supercomputer grafted into her brain in order to let her control secret agents when they need extraction, and anytime soon it’s going to blow. When Sil is forced to go on the run she joins with an unlikely band of people and learns more about the world she thought she knew.

This is such a fast moving book, which is something I always enjoy. Sil is a really interesting protagonist to be inside the head of, seeing how she starts the book and her thoughts and opinions of the company she works for and how these alter over the course of the novel. I also love that we get some alternative perspectives from the side characters. Both from those inside the company and out.

The core plot point in this book is relatively predictable. But I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I think all of you know, from the minimal amount I’ve said so far, that Sil starts out loving her company she works for and then ends up realising it’s bad. However, the twists and turns and the commentary around this? It’s done so well! There is one twist in particular that I just *adored* how it was done! And there were so many interesting discussions and viewpoints.

The writing style itself is also a fun one. Dylan says that she’s emulating Marvel and I think she does that well (and I adore that Sil names her AI Jarvis!). It really does lend the book a fast pace and kept me hooked the whole way through.

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

Highlight here for content warnings: body horror, death, violence, blood, vomit, medical content, suicide.

I absolutely need more books from this world, and Kate Dylan commented on my insta post suggesting we’ll get just that… I’m so excited! This is a fantastic YA Sci-Fi that I think is light enough to entice newbies to the genre, as well as having enough of the core Sci-Fi components to satisfy those who love the genre. In other words? This book is so much fun. I really do recommend it. And this is another big tick to Goldsboro from me!

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby, a review (Xandri Corelel #1)

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby is an indie published sci-fi novel that was recommended to me a few times and was bought for me by the wonderful Veronica. I just had to give it a go and I’m so glad I did!

This indie published Science Fiction is such a fun read. We follow Xandri, an autistic woman in a universe where humans selectively altered genetics to remove neurodivergencies, meaning that she is just as, if not more, misunderstood to neurotypical people as today. She works as a Xeno-Liason, communication between her crew and any new species they discover and her methods are unique.

I really adored learning more about the characters as we progressed throughout this book. They really develop, both individually and also as a cohesive group. The different cultures that were present on the various planets that they visited were also fascinating. I have to admit as well that I adored the ship, and that was what solidified the Murderbot-esque feelings I got from this book. If you liked one I definitely think you’ll like the other!

I was recommended this book by two autistic reviewers, Bekka and Veronica, and they’ve stated that they love the representation in here. It’s not something I can speak on, but as someone who isn’t autistic I can say that it’s a fantastic delve into the internal workings of someone’s thoughts. And knowing that my friends say the rep is good? It just added an extra level.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9. Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8 and Enjoyment: 8 giving an average of 8.29 and a 4.5* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: ableism (intolerance of autism & neurodivergence), bullying, childhood (sexual) abuse, disordered eating, genocide (mentioned), gore, gun violence (mentioned), violence.

I’m so glad that I was pushed to pick up this book because I enjoyed it so much! I will definitely be picking up the sequel to this, and I’ll probably try out anything else written by Kaia Sønderby because I just enjoyed this book so much!

Have you got any books with good autism rep that you recommend? Have you picked up this book or anything else by this author? Let me know!

All Systems Red, a reread review

Yes, you’re right, I did indeed reread All Systems Red in the same year I originally read it! (see my first review here) But after picking up Artificial Condition during a reading slump I knew I had to go back and re-enjoy this novella!

After my reread I can confirm this is one of my all time favourite books! I laugh out loud while reading it seeing Murderbot attempting to deal with these humans wanting to emote with them. And the plot itself is the perfect vessel to frustrate Murderbot progressively through the story!

If this is your first exposure to Murderbot, I feel like you should know that they’re a SecurityUnit (AI) that has gained control over its governor module so it’s no longer controlled by its owning company. But despite it’s name, Murderbot doesn’t want to kill humans. It just wants to be left alone to watch soap operas all day! But instead the human’s that it’s been tasked as security to are stupid and need protecting.

For my second read I on CAWPILE I gave: Characters: 10, Atmosphere: 10, Writing: 10, Plot: 10, Intrigue: 10, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10 which gives a massive 9.86 average which is obviously a 5* read!

I adore this series so much and I’m so excited to catch up with the books that are already out!!

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!!

An Unkindness of Ghosts – a review

In this Sci-Fi novel we follow Aster. She’s considered “odd-mannered, obsessive, [and] withdrawn” by the others on the ship, who call her an ogre and a freak, but there’s no truth to their claims. She wishes there was. Aster is just Aster. She lives in the slums of the HSS Matilsda, a ship organised like the antebellum South, where dark-skinned passengers like Aster are considered to be less than human. Aster, when retracing her deceased mother’s footsteps, learns that there may be a way off of this ship and a method of escape, if she’s willing to fight for it.


I absolutely adored this book. Wholly and completely. I adore Rivers Solomon’s writing and the way they approach complex topics. This is a very heavy book, so if you’re someone who needs trigger warnings please do check them out below.

This book really explores the collective trauma that can be held within a community, as well as racism, sexism, gender identity, ableism, and more. As I said, it discusses a lot. I loved the way Solomon distinguished the different areas of the ship by how they spoke and how they acted, adding a layer of realism to the work.

Also the fact that the upper decks (light skinned, in power) have a homogenous method of speech and societal norms, no matter which deck, versus the distinct differences between the lower decks, deck to deck.

On top of the impressive discussions, this is just a very well written sci-fi book. The discussions are woven into the narrative so they don’t feel clunky or forced. Instead we are simply following Aster as she learns about the ship, she learns the science behind issues they’re having, she learns more about healing people, about people, and about herself. And the ending of this book? Totally not what I expected, left me wanting more!!!

On CAWPILE I gave this book:

Characters: 10

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 9

Plot: 8

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 10

For an overall rating of 9.14 which is of course a 5 star read!!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: ableism, abortion, blood, child abuse (sexual, implied), chronic illness, confinement, death (children and adult), gun violence, grief, homophobia, lynching, medical content and trauma, mental illness, misogyny, paedophilia, panic attacks/disorders, physical abuse, police brutality, racism, rape, religious bigotry, self harm, sexual assault (mentioned), slavery, suicide (mentioned), torture, violence

Once again please do check out the trigger warnings if you possibly need them as this is a really heavy book, but if you’re able to read through it I think it’s worth the read.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe – a review

I was so incredibly excited when I heard that the other books in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series by Toshikazu Kawaguchi were going to be translated into English! I adored the first book and it was my absolute favourite read of 2019, I even thought about it replacing The Gift as my favourite book! That’s how much I loved it! So of course when NetGalley had the arc available I requested it and was lucky enough to get it!

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Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot, Tales from the Café continues to follow the staff from Café Funiculi Funicula, some familiar faces, and some new to us. Yet again this book tells the tale of individuals who need to face their past in order to move on with their future, and leaves the reader, or at least me, asking what I would change if I could travel back in time.

This is quite a short book, so it’s hard to say much about it when trying to avoid spoilers, but yet again this book just filled my soul. I adored the atmosphere Kawaguchi created around the café, how he expanded on the lore of the café itself, as well as on the history of those who work there. On top of this beautiful exploration we are also introduced to new people and are absorbed into new tales. Throughout this book, whilst I was reading it I really felt a sense of peace, of beauty. I cried, as with the first one, when I finished reading it. It’s such a touching and well written plot. And I love the path that Kawaguchi went down for this book.

I’ve already bought myself a physical copy of this book (and it’s signed!) and I’m also already excited for the 3rd and final book to be published in English! I wish that this was a longer series, but if I can’t have that then fingers crossed more of Kawaguchi’s works will be translated into English. If not then you might find me learning Japanese!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles | A Review

In the second book of the Lunar Chronicles we are introduced to Scarlet, her grandmother has went missing and nobody seems to be taking it seriously. Even the police have blown her off. When she encounters Wolf, who claims to have knowledge about her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has to trust this suspicious man. We also still get to follow Cinder, continuing on from where she left off at the end of her own book.

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3/5 stars

I had been worried, before I’d checked, that we wouldn’t get to carry on reading from Cinder’s point of view. I had really enjoyed her story and was pleased to find out I’d get to read from her again. There are a lot of different points of view throughout this book, and I imagine that is only going to get more intense as the series progresses and more characters are introduced so if you don’t like reading from multiple viewpoints this might not be the series for you.

I love the extra world building that we get in this novel, as it was a little lacklustre in Cinder. We are at two opposite ends of the world as we begin the book, as well as having the Moon come into play, so this allowed Meyer to naturally build a lot more upon what we had shown to us already without info dumping. I also like the extra little bits of character building that develop for all those we already met in book one.

The new characters that were introduced were a lot of fun, I love the platonic and romantic chemistry between so many of them and how they have to work to gain each other’s trust and respect. So often in YA that is skimmed over. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they all interact with each other in the future books, as well as what the new characters I’m assuming will appear will add to the narrative.

I do have to say that the writing was lacking in points. There was one sentence in particular which used the phrase “very special glass” that had me shocked that it made it into the final edit and the published book. At points, with writing like this, the book does feel kind of trashy. Now this doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying the book, but the writing isn’t the best and that can draw me out of the story at points. It’s not going to stop me from reading the rest of the books but it’s definitely something that I want to mention.

I’ll definitely have to pick up Cress at some point and I’m really looking forward to learning more about this world, the characters in it, and seeing the plot resolve itself finally in book 4! I just hope the writing improves a little bit!

A niche market

A niche [nee-sh]: an area or position that is exactly suitable for a small group of the same type. This book is definitely in its own niche. The Ultimate guide to the Avengers from Marvels comic books! I’m about to make you mad: I don’t read comics. I know, I know. I just need them to be in a bind up to enjoy them (they’re too short otherwise) and I can’t really afford to read them!


I picked this book up from The Works (a discount shop in the UK) because I really love the MCU and I wanted to learn more about the world in the comics because I know it is so different. Whilst this isn’t going to be my new favourite book, I am really glad that I picked it up. I learnt quite a bit about both old and new (to me of course) characters and I found that I recognised a surprising number of them! Sadly for comic lovers, I recognise them from the Lego game on the PS4…. Sorry?

Overall, this could be a great gift for a young or old fan of Marvel comics and as someone who was interested in learning a little more about the background that the MCU was based on I did find it really interesting. I would love to read the comics one day, but it’s just not a big priority for me right now.

A new favourite!


Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch, was the group book for the Thrillerathon. I almost didn’t read it, I almost read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle instead. But I did a Twitter poll and the vote went to Dark Matter, so I picked it up, and damn I’m so glad that I did!

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In Dark Matter we follow a man who’s life has been stripped away from him. His wife, his child, apparently none of this ever happened and he’s actually a prize winning scientist who is a recluse and only talks to his coworkers.

I adore books with sci-fi twists and this one just really hit the right spot for me. I was drawn in to a point of obsession and every mark was hit just right. Every plot twist was exactly perfect for me, close enough that I was still enjoying the story but enough of a twist to really shock me. At the end of the book I was speechless for a time. Literally speechless. That doesn’t happen a lot for me!

I want to spill everything about this book, I was to rave about it, but I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. So. If this genre is your sorta thing, a thriller with a sci-fi twist, then I 100% recommend picking it up. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it and hopefully you’ll love it too, like me!!

An unexpectedly touching read

My mum gifted me this a few years ago, for Christmas, it is one of a set of three which came in a box. I never delved into them and when my best friend picked my tbr she of course picked one of them! We both love Doctor Who and Matt Smith is her favourite doctor.


Like the title says, I didn’t expect to be so touched by this book. I expected a silly little novel about a caper that the Doctor and his companions had and that was that. Instead I got an in depth story twisting and turning in time as the Doctor fights to save a man from himself. I ended up a little teary-eyed when I was nearing the end of this book sat in the library!

If you’ve ever thought about picking up any of these Doctor Who books I definitely recommend giving them a shot, this was a lot more enjoyable than I had thought and I’m looking forward to reading more from my little box set.