#Review: The Invisible Crowd by Ellen Wiles @ellenwiles @HQstories @bookbellereads

Description

2nd March 1975

In Asmara, Eritrea, Yonas Kelati is born into a world of turmoil. At the same time, on the same day, Jude Munroe takes her first breath in London, England.

Thirty Years Later

Blacklisted in his war-ravaged country, Yonas has no option but to flee his home. After a terrible journey, he arrives on a bleak English coast.

By a twist of fate, Yonas’ asylum case lands on Jude’s desk. Opening the file, she finds a patchwork of witness statements from those who met Yonas along his journey: a lifetime the same length of hers, reduced to a few scraps of paper.

Soon, Jude will stand up in court and tell Yonas’ story. How she tells it will change his life forever.

Review

The Invisible Crowd was a surprise arrival through my door, not in either of the genres I normally read it is one I probably wouldn’t have requested purely because my TBR pile is ridiculous but when I read the description and saw what the book was about I knew it was one that I had to read.

Jude and Yonas couldn’t be more different, one having grown up in England, in relative comfort, a barrister with a husband and child. The other having known nothing but war his entire life, torture, and death. Their only similarity is that they were born on the same day in the same year.

The two will be brought together when Yonas’ asylum case falls on Jude’s desk. As the book progresses we don’t just learn Yonas’ story from his point of view, we see what it is like for Jude, juggling life as a barrister, on a low wage, with a family vs her conscious for her client. We also meet all the people Yonas has come in contact with since reaching the country, no matter how briefly.

These chapters where we meet all the additional people were the most valuable to me, these were what made the novel, it showed just how many lives one person can touch, how special someone can be in the smallest ways. How different points of views can see the same thing differently. It helped us form a picture of the kind of man Yonas is, above and beyond the man we see from his own narration.

Now I will admit to having a strong opinion about the state of asylum in this country and some of what comes in this book sent me into long angry rants, because I know it’s true, I know it’s happening and it really angers me that we treat humans this way. Some of what happens in this book is appalling, it’s devastating and it broke my heart. But this is the reality of the world we live in and Ellen Wiles has seen it with her own eyes as a human rights barrister and translated it into what is one of the best novels I’ve read this year, and certainly on this subject.

The Invisible Crowd is compelling from the first page and will pull your heart kicking and screaming through the turmoil of finding a home, safety, and love.

Sending huge thanks to Ellen Wiles, Lucy Richardson and HQ for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Invisible Crowd
Series: N/A
AuthorEllen Wiles
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Legal
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 2 November 2017
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook | Audio | Paperback
Pages: 432
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery

#Review: Legion by Julie Kagawa @Jkagawa @HQstories

Description

The legions will be unleashed. No-one can stand against the coming horde.

After witnessing a powerful sacrifice, Ember Hill knows that nothing she was taught by dragon organisation Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against The Order of St. George and against own twin brother Dante—the heir apparent Talon, who will soon unleash the greatest threat dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who will not yield.

Review

It is getting hard to write these reviews now without giving anything away from previous books! So, if you haven’t made it this far in the series you can dip back to one of my earlier reviews by using the links here…

Book 1 Talon
Book 2 Rogue
Book 3 Soldier

Picking up right from where we left off at the end of Soldier, Legion is by far the darkest book so far in the Talon series. The anxiety I felt while reading this book was palpable and the feeling of having no idea which direction the book was going to go at any given time was intense.

Julie Kagawa continuously puts our daring characters in some intense and increasingly dangerous situations. As we start to uncover the real plans behind Talon, and why Ember is so important to them.

Only the first book in this series has really felt like a YA novel which has been great for me, the subsequent novels and this one especially have most definitely been urban fantasy with intense fighting and darker storylines. Our characters don’t talk or act like teenagers and I quite often forget their ages until occasionally reminded.

In this novel we are given quite a lot of background from Dante’s perspective to help us understand what happened to make him so loyal to Talon and why he turned on Ember. For me it helped a lot of puzzle pieces slot into place which have been floating around since book one so I was really grateful for the clarification.

As for Ember’s relationship with Riley and Garrett, this book is intense, and while she choose who I hoped she would she does make a decision in this book. Which I am pleased about as the whole love triangle thing was getting a bit tired.

Overall, this is by far my favourite of the series so far, probably because of it’s far more adult and brutal feel, I’m very much looking forward to the next book which I sense may be the last book in the series.

A huge thanks to Julie Kagawa and HQ for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleLegion
SeriesTalon #4
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Young Adult | Romance | Dragons
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 25 April 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio
Pages: 384
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepositorySpeedyHen

#Review: The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox @VFoxWrites @HQStories

Description

Hollywood, 1978: 

Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti—and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister and learns that her new husband’s past holds dark secrets…

Tuscany, Present day: 

Lucy Whittaker needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Strange sounds come from the attic. The owner of the house will never meet her in person.

The fountain in the courtyard is silent—but has never run dry.

Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa. 

And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets…

Review

Victoria Fox has produced an intense and complicated story with The Silent Fountain, I was consumed and completely absorbed from page one with this story of women who have been devastated and forever altered by circumstances out of their control.

Vivien Lockhart was a Hollywood movie star in the late 70’s before she gave it all up for her Husband and moved to Italy with him and his Sister. Unfortunately his Sister systematically destroyed her life and she is still paying the price almost forty years later.

Lucy Whittaker fell in love, but is now paying the price for that love as paparazzi chase her and the British public condemn her. She arrives at Vivien’s home in Tuscany looking for a job, peace, quiet and an escape from everything which is haunting her. Unfortunately Vivien’s ghosts appear to want to haunt her aswell.

This book is so cleverly written, for most of the novel Lucy and Vivien have no interaction at all yet their lives are completely interwoven. There are flashbacks telling us Viviens story from her teenage years living at home with her parent’s through to the most devastating moment of her life in Tuscany.

Lucy reveals her story to us through her own dialogue, and her dialogue with others. The stories of both women are deeply moving, riveting and leave you heartbroken, sometimes wondering if they are getting what they deserve and other times thinking that the world is a cruel cruel place.

I couldn’t work out what type of book I was reading, was it chick-lit, women’s fiction, a mystery, a ghost story, a romance? Honestly I think it was a bit of all of these and more, it was beautifully planned, written and executed. Victoria Fox has outdone herself with The Silent Fountain and I highly recommend it to everyone regardless of their genre of choice.

A huge thanks to Victoria Fox and HQ for the eARC in return for my honest review.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Silent Fountain
Series: N/A
Author: Victoria Fox
Genre: Chick-Lit | Romance | Mystery | Women’s Fiction | Suspense
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 9 March 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback | Audio
Pages: 400
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

#Review: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HQstories

Description

Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk.

Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along: The perfect New York love story…

Review

I’m going to send ripples of shock out through the book blogging community now because this is my first Sarah Morgan book. I know this is extremely unacceptable and I have a host of excuses but rather than wasting time reeling them off I’m going to talk about how much I loved this book instead! Deal?

Paige is an event planner, having done this job I can completely relate to her love of the work and also some of the tensions that come with it, when she finds herself up career creek without a paddle Jake, her brothers best friend, appears to be her knight in a white shirt. As someone who runs an über successful business he has built from the ground up he seems to think Paige can do the same.

The thing is that Paige and Jake have spent years avoiding any kind of intimate contact after as a teenager Paige declared she loved Jake and he rejected her.

So, unlike most stories where the two people already know each other and have a history these aren’t two people potentially rekindling a romance. These are two people with an uncomfortable and embarrassing history who have had to remain friendly because of a third person in their lives, namely Paige’s brother Matt.

I liked that Paige is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants from life, she knows how to go out and get it and she is fiercely loyal to the people around her. Despite having been hurt before she still holds feelings for Jake, she knows they have lingered there and she fights them hard to avoid any future humiliation.

I found Jake hard to like, I found the explanations around why he is the way he is hard to swallow and whilst I’m sure there are psychological reasons to support it I just felt it made him a not very nice person and that Maria, his Mother should have maybe encouraged him to have some therapy (I know it would have ruined the book but still, the man is unhinged!). I just didn’t warm to him throughout the book, and whilst I respected Paige’s choices as though she was a friend I spent much of the book thinking if she was a friend this would be one of those situations where I would have to smile nicely and get on just because he was my friends boyfriend even though he is a bit of an idiot.

Despite my reservations I did thoroughly enjoy the book and loved reading the sections with Matt and Frankie in and I’m really hoping they are in one of the next books (which I have lined up to read soon). I absolutely loved Matt and Frankie reminded me a lot of myself!

The only thing I really didn’t enjoy with this was the ending, I just felt it was a bit rushed, I’m not going to give it away, but I felt the way it ends skips several steps and just doesn’t fit with the overall flow of the book, especially given Jake’s backstory.

A huge thanks to Sarah Morgan and HQ for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleSleepless in Manhattan
SeriesFrom Manhattan With Love #1
Author: Sarah Morgan
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Chick Lit
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 31 May 2016
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook | Hardcover | Audio
Pages: 503
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen