The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott

The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott is an adventure/ historical fiction novel that is set in 454AD, as the Roman Empire has withdrawn from Britain.

This historic novel follows the main female protagonist names Mai and we follow her journey through the dark ages and facing Saxon Warriors. It is full of the mysticism of early Britain and we get to delve into the world of Mai.

We start the book with Mai, Haf (sister) and her Tad at their farm when Saxon warrors arrive and the family must flee. we follow their journey to the british camp on the hills and are given an insight into how Mai is feeluing and how she copes with the change. We see her struggle wwith her new situation and wants to leave. She continues in the British camp until she finds herself in trouble and ends up in a dangerous Saxon Camp. in a world where speaking your mother tongue is deadly she must learn Saxon words in porder to survive. but will this be enough?

I also liked the character of Mai in this book. As the protagonist we follow her journey through her experience with the dark ages and Saxon warriors as she become a strong independent woman. We also get to see her relationships with others including her sister Haf and how this effects her and the outcome of her life which I felt added another dimension to the character. She is only young yet we see her go through so much which adds strength to her character. We see her become strong and resilient in a world that doesn’t appreciate who she is.

This book was also a lot about Identify and language and we see how Mai’s is affected as she is forced to speak a language that isn’t her own. She loses part of herself when she can no longer speak her mother tongue and throughout the book we see how this effects her. How much she misses to be able to speak her own language. At one point she tears up after having heard her mother tongue spoken freely which shows the importance of her language is to her.

Generally, I don’t enjoy books that are set far in the past and I can’t say I would have picked this up if I hadn’t received this in July’s Book Box Club subscription box. Saying that, I enjoyed this book and was fully engaged from the beginning. Throughout the book I noticed saying to my self ‘just one more page’ a lot, which to me is a good sign!

Overall, I would recommend this book (even if you are not usually a fan of historic fiction like myslef). It is full of adventure and with a strong female lead you constantly want to read on. even though it features a complex character it is easy to read and enjoy and is almost poetic in its writing.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to like and comment 🙂 )

Book Box Club July Subscription Box

Book Box Club is a book subscription service where you can choose from different packages: Book box club subscription, purely books and Tales by Mail.

I received the original book box club subscription box where you receive a gift wrapped, new YA novel, access to the online book club and a selection of themed goodies. Purely Books is the monthly subscription where you receive the featured book and access to the online book club. Tales by Mail is the bi-monthly book subscription and podcast for ages 8-12 year olds)

The theme for July was Magical Talents.

The featured book this month was Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. This novel is a historical fantasy novel set in 19th century Denmark where magic is a deadly gift. When Marit’s best friend Eve is adopted by a famous dancer, Marit draws upon her powers to get a job with the wealthy family in order to watch over her. But Marit has a secret motivation: her father died while working in the family’s mine, and she has reason to believe he was murdered. She begins t investigate her fathers death but as she goes further to the truth more danger arises. Magic may be the only thing that can save her – if it doesn’t kill her first.

After receiving this book, I was first drawn to the book cover and illustration as it I quite simplistic in its elements yet detailed. I read this synopsis and to me it sounds like its going to be a good book and I can’t wait to read it. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book!

Alongside this featured book you received some themed goodies. These were a Splinters of Scarlet adjustable ring by Lisa Angel, a magic bottle water flask with artwork by Girl and Type as well as a Joanna magnetic bookmark by TJ Lubrando. You also received golden alethiometer lip balm by Mad about Nature and Magical Studies Notebooks by Book Box club.

All these goodies are related to the theme and are of great quality. The are all curated and chosen for the box and regularly use small businesses and artwork from small artists which I think is great. An ideal way to promote small businesses!

You also receive an invite to the online book clubhouse to take part in a discussion alongside the author of the featured book. This is a unique feature and one I think is great. You get the chance to read and maybe discover an author then have the opportunity to meet the author, ask your questions and make new friends with the exclusive invite to the book box clubhouse!

I really love this subscription box and would highly recommend. I have written previous blog posts on the subscription box if your curious to what was in some of the previous boxes. The link to the book box club website is: https://www.bookboxclub.com

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment, like and share this post)

Perfect Crime

‘Perfect Crime’ by Helen Fields is the 5th instalment in the DI Callanach Series. It focuses on Luc as he continues his life as a detective in Scotland whilst being haunted by his past.

I love this series anyway as it is well written with great characters in my favourite genre and this instalment was no different. I enjoyed seeing the comradery between the officers at MIT and how these relationships have evolved throughout the series.

The characters are realistic and are not represented as perfect and the best police officer. They have their fair share of problems and we get to see them cope with this. I really like Callanach and Turner but in this book I felt myself becoming frustrated with their relationship. They want to be more than friends but it doesn’t quite happen. Maybe this was the writers intention and if so it worked but I just wanted something to happen between them! I like to see other characters like Tripp and lively make an appearance where we get to see them evolve as they spend more time in MIT.

You get to see MIT investigate a series of suspicious ‘suicides’ and as more and more deaths occur we see them work through the all the outcomes. I like to read these parts of the book as much as the personal stories of the characters as I find it provides a balance between the excitement and the sincere.

It is well structured and well written and engaging. I read this book pretty quickly as I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to continue to read more and more to see what happens next.

I would highly recommend this book and the series as you will get the chance to see the characters evolve and develop. ( although I would say that you don’t have to)There is also another instalment due to be released in 2020 and I also can’t wait to read that!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read these books or have any other recommendations. )

Why do I blog?

I started to blog purely because I wanted to share my love for books and that still stays the same.

I love sharing what I have read and my opinions on them. Hopefully my words could inspire others to take up reading or read a certain book.

I love to read book blogs and it inspires me to not only wrote but to explore new genres and authors.

I currently blog twice a week but in June I will probable be making it once a week. I often struggle to think of the second post of the week as it is only two days later and I likely haven’t finished another book .

I love to write blog posts and I don’t get hung up on the number of views and reads.

If I was to say anything it would be that. Don’t look at the numbers and worry about them. Write for yourself. If only one person reads it then that’s good. If no one does it’s fine it allows you to express yourself.

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(PS please comment if you have a blog or would like to have one )

Printable Bookmark

Link to print:

Link to print:

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have used this bookmark or have one to share !

The importance of viewpoints

There are masses of viewpoints that authors can use especially if they have a lot of characters. This can be vital in making a story engaging and realistic.

If you are looking at a crime novel, viewpoints are important. You can look at the criminals view which can tell you why they are doing what they are doing, the police view to show how they are trying to solve the problem as well as the victims view. Those are just a few and you can look at many different people in the book to shed a new light on the events. A good example of looking at different viewpoints is All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew. I found this book that shared a different point of view with a lot of the book being focused on the parents of both the victim and the criminal. To show how crime effects those that surround those individuals involved.

It is also important to ensure the correct viewpoint is chosen so that it suits the story. Whether the book is written in first, second or third person it need to be write for the story. Most books are written in third person, past tense but that doesn’t mean your book should be!

You also need to make sure that you stick to these viewpoints. To ensure you are staying in the characters head and the book stays in first, second or third person unless for a specific reason. Continuity is also incredibly important and key for viewpoints especially if you have multiple in one book. You need to ensure that if one character knows something but another doesn’t you need to ensure that these are stuck to.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on viewpoints)

Some Bookish Cakes

I recently found some delicious looking book cakes online and though I would share some with you. It might give you inspiration to get baking or just make you want cake by either way you will get to see these beautiful decorated cakes. ( None of these cakes are my own but I may try and attempt them !)

Source : themetapicture.com

Source : Pinterest

Source : litstack.com

Source : Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source : a very bookish cake, Frankie Magazine

Many Thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on these cakes !)

Nope Book Tag

  1. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

I don’t think any book I have read has had a crappy ending however I do feel that ‘The Lost Witch’ by Melvin Burgess had a little bit of an anti-climactic ending. It didn’t end in the battle that it was built up to be.

the lost witch

 

 

 

  1. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

I think that there has never been a series that I haven’t enjoyed as I tend to read within a genre I really like but I am sure I will come across one! I have however read individual books that I feel this way about as ‘The Lost Island of Tamarind’ by Nadia Aguiar. It was that this book was bad I think that it was just to complex a book at the age i was trying to read it.

the lost island of tamarind

  1. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like

I think that ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn had a plot twist that I didn’t see coming. The book has a very dramatic ending but I wasn’t quite expecting to end like it did.

gone girl

 

  1. Genre: A genre you will never read.

I wouldn’t ever not read a whole genre of books however I would not necessarily be drawn to romantic books as I find the genre quite predictable. I am aware that it is a generalisation and I would say no to reading a good book within the genre but it wouldn’t  be my first choice.

 

 

  1. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

 

When the Hunger Games films first came out I felt that there was a hype around reading the books as well as watching the films however I have never felt the need to read the books. It didn’t help that I didn’t particularly enjoy the Hunger films past the first one.

hunger games

 

  1. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I don’t really enjoy reading books that have a ‘love triangle’ within the story as I feel it is very predicatble in most cases. It is also a very common twist to see in books, primarily in the romantic genre.

 

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your Nope Tag thought)

Talking with Female Serial Killers – Mini Review

talking with female serial killers

Talking with Female Serial Killers’ is a book written by Christopher Berry-Dee, released in May 2018, which looks at the most chilling female serial killers in the world. Christopher Berry-Dee is a criminologist and author who has previously released books on true crime including ‘Talking with Female Serial Killers’ and ‘Monster’. The book looks at those women who not only kill but kill again and again.

In this book, Berry-Dee looks at the female killers who are the masterminds behind the murders as well those who kill under the influence of a partner such as Myra Hindley and Rosemary West. He looks at the motives behind their crimes as well as looking at those killers who were influences by being victims themselves or a witness to crime.

I enjoyed reading this book as I find learning why people kill fascinating however I felt that the book was confusing at times skipping between stories and events. The information given was necessary in explaining the crimes but I think it could have been written in a smoother structure as at times I felt lost and was insure what part I was reading.  I also think this book’s title was misleading as there were no real interviews with any serial killers. There were quotes from previous interviews conducted by Berry-Dee and others however which helped to understand where the convicted females stand.

I have read a lot of reviews on this book and feel that a lot of them were unfair. The book is an interesting read and I did enjoy reading it even after what I said above. A lot of reviews stated that it was badly written and full of too many adjectives and metaphors however I do feel that this was the case due to the writer trying to get people more engaged as well as adding a little bit of humour to a dark book.

Overall, I would say that if you are interested in reading about female serial killers then it is a good book however do not expect for there to be lengthy interviews with them. I personally quite liked this book but do be aware than many people didn’t enjoy this book.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on this book or if you have read another book about female serial killers)

Book Box Club Unboxing

Month: September

Theme: Into the Wild

This month saw another release of the subscription box ‘ Book Box Club’ but this wasn’t any old box as it was the 2 year anniversary of the company. This meant that there was an extra goodie within for those who bought the box.

Upon opening the box you are presented with the leaflet stating the theme and what’s included alongside the envelope with the date of the exclusive book club meeting.

These leaflets are always beautifully illustrated and this months was no exception. It was fitting with the themes as it features simplistic trees along side a bear and a fox.

Within the box there is an abundance of bookish goodies including a campers picnic bag by http://www.sassandbelle.co.uk so you can take your snacks on your adventures with you. There is also an into the woods scarf by Book Box Club which features quotes from the featured book. There is also a massage bar by Naked Sister to relax yourself after your exciting adventures alongside a Caveswater Candle. On top of all those goodies there is also a little pad to keep your plans together.

A lost boys notebook designed by Georgine Makes is also included in the box so you can journal and plan all your exciting adventures alongside sample chapters from Neal and Jarrod Shustermans book ‘Dry’.

As this was the two year anniversary of the company we were treated to a bonus book. The bonus book is ‘Damsel’ by Elana K. Arnold which isn’t due to be released until November. This book features a handsome prince, a distressed damsel and a fierce dragon with excitement throughout.

The featured book this month is ‘The Other Side of Lost’ by Jessi Kirby which is a story about when you take the time to remove yourself from technology and take an adventure. It follows a social media star who swaps her technology dependant life for a solo hike into the woods.

Yet again I highly recommend this subscription box and hope that you would enjoy Kate and Libby work as much as I do.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if your are subscribed to book box club or have ever read the featured book)