Book Review: The Infinity Files

Author S. M. Wilson
Length  416 pages
Release 4.3.2021
Ash Yang dreamed of being a starfighter pilot. But when she crashes out of her final test – literally – she somehow lands the most powerful job in the universe. As Guardian of the Infinity Files she must secretly planet-hop through the galaxies, stealing or returning treasures that have the power to stop wars…or start them.

But when her home planet is the one at war, can she get the job done?


Ash and Orius are two very different characters that dominate the pages. Ash is our protagonist, our eyes into this world and don’t be too alarmed if you feel very invested in her from the outset. There’s something about those first few chapters that will allow Ash to trigger all of your emotions. There’ll be so much about her that you will see in yourself. I certainly found that empowering and I’ll be surprised if others don’t either.

Orius on the other hand is all mystery and something that I loved and hated in equal measure. Orius is someone I do not think you’re meant to figure out and I love that we’re never get anything more than what Ash knows.


This universe is awesome. As a child of Star Trek, Stargate, Doctor Who and Quantum Leap this story is all the best bits of the franchises and so much more. For a first outing of a series, it’s sometimes difficult to create a full story that doesn’t feel like world building or exposition. At no point does this feel like that. You are thrown into the adventure, with a thread of mystery running alongside. Its perfect.


Wilson’s writing makes her reads a comfort. I feel like I am reading a book made of Doctor Who’s Psychic Paper whenever I fall into her worlds. The way characters, action and reveals are dealt with reminds me of Michael Crichton’s work. It reads to me like it would be a dream to translate into film.

Final Thoughts

Its an amazing read and I cannot wait for more.

Infinity Files Blog Tour Q&A with S. M. Wilson

As we meet Ash, she is faced with ‘failing’ at the academy. It’s not something readers will be used to and is a big fear for those who tend to read YA fiction. Why was it important to have the protagonist experience failure so early on?

Failing was the whole motivation for the start of the story.  Ash had strived for this for so long, she’d thought that once she’d achieved her goal, she it would solve her problems and help how she felt.  As a young woman she was determined to wreak revenge on those who’d stolen her family from her.  But once she didn’t achieve her goal?  Well, it put her in exactly the position I needed her to be in for this story.  The reason she failed was important too.  She acted on her instincts.  And Ash’s instincts were good. That’s why she was chosen for the next role in the book!

Being a massive sci-fi geek myself, I loved how much this book read like a love-letter to those shows many of us will have grown up with. Which shows inspired you the most?

Where do you want me to start?  I’m a huge Star Wars fan (except the first three – they don’t count).  I also love Star Trek. Next Generation is my favourite.  I also loved Battlestar Galactica, the original series and the 2004 series alongside Stargate, the film and SG1 and Stargate Atlantis, and The Mandalorian.  As a kid I even loved Buck Rogers, and the Flash Gordon film, V (which was terrifying).  Finally, there’s ET.  I have a son called Elliott, enough said really!

The theme of isolation perhaps hit harder than it may have any other year. Was that struggle something you felt was important to thread through the story and were there any benefits of it not being about current events?

Ash’s aloneness was a key part of her character development, along with concept of ‘found family’.  It carries on into the second book too.  As a nurse, I’ve been at the heart of the coronavirus epidemic since the start, so for me, an escape is very welcome.  Space was definitely my escape, though there will always be elements of real life that bleed into anything that I write. 

If you had to create your own team of five Guardians from any Sci-fi franchise (you can mix and match), who would you choose and why?

You are literally asking me to choose between my children and that is exceptionally mean.  First and foremost, Captain Picard will always in my team.  I love how he always pretended to obey the Prime Directive but never actually did.  First Contact will always be my favourite film with the emotional damage the borg did to him revived.  With him in my team, I also need the character of Hugh from the borg collective.  I adored that character and loved they brought his fully formed version back in the Picard series.  Next, is my Star Wars favourites. Since Yoda has sneaked into both Extinction Trials and The Infinity Files it really should be him.  But instead, I’m picking Obi-wan Kenobi.  (The Alec Guinness version and not the Ewan McGregor version), alongside kickass Princess Leia.  Carrie Fisher brought such fire to the character and I loved the spark that was there. I suspect Picard and Obi-Wan might get a bit snotty with each other, but Princess Leia will kick them both to the kerb and keep them inline.  Whilst my childhood heart still hankers after Dirk Benedict as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, or fabulous Q from the Next Generation, I have to pick ET as my final team member.  Sure, he may not be very mobile, but I can carry him.  And he has a magic finger.  What more do I need?

Blog Tour: Pieces of Ourselves by Maggie Harcourt

Author: Maggie Harcourt
Publisher: Usborne
Pages: 448
Book Birthday: 2.4.2020
About: Flora “doesn’t do people”, not since the Incident that led to her leaving school midway through her GCSEs. The Incident that led to her being diagnosed with bipolar II. The Incident that left her in pieces.
Until Hal arrives. He’s researching a story about a missing World War I soldier, and he wants Flora’s help. Flora used to love history before the Incident, but spending so much time with Hal is her worst nightmare.
Yet as they begin to piece together the life of the missing soldier, a life of lost love, secrets and lies, Flora finds a piece of herself falling for Hal.



Flora is a beautiful and flawed character who took my heart when I first read the sampler last summer. There’s a familiar quality and personality that I identify with as I progressed through the story. She is supported by an incredible team of characters that build up such a charming countryside community and family.
Hal is everything you want in a leading man. He took my breath away in much the same way Mr Darcy does for others. It’s fair to say he is the character that brings us part of the plot, but it is his chemistry with Flora that makes their journey so compelling.


The story reminds me of one of my favourite mystery tv shows by Hallmark: Signed, Sealed, Delivered. A show that never fails to leave me uplifted and that’s without the added charm of Britishness. In Pieces of Me, Flora is tasked with helping Hal locate and identify the people involved in a story he was told by his Grandfather.
As the two unpack boxes and take time for further research, a clandestine romance unfolds in the letters they find. The progression within the letters means very different things to the people invested and Flora and Hal find themselves drawn to each other in the process.


Harcourt’s writing has and ease and a charm that soothes in a way that a good cup of tea does. It gives you that pause from your life, warms your soul and gives you that does of sweetness you often need.

Final Thoughts

This was everything I needed in a book and at time that I needed it. While we spend so much time inside, there’s nothing better than a book set in the countryside.

Blog Tour Review: Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen


Sarah and the Captain are given time to really show us how they’ve been changed from the events of Orphan Monster Spy. Not only do we see individual development, but there’s plenty of evolution to the dynamic of the relationship of the pair.

What I enjoyed most about this story, was Sarah’s narrative about her growing up. It makes an interesting change to have a character of her age express something other that a wish to grow up. While it may appear like fear on the service, it very quickly becomes clear that it’s a lot more complex than that. It also makes for a very interesting dynamic between Sarah and several other female characters that appear. 


The plot centres around a new mission for the Captain and Sarah. One that reads well as a stand alone but, much like a good cheese and wine, is complimented and added to with its previous instalment: Orphan, Monster, Spy.
Our familiar characters are sent to Africa in order to seize what is believed to be a new weapon that’s come about from experiments of germ warfare. Along the way, we meet rogues, traitors and people who aren’t all what they seem.

You won’t get a second to breath as this high-speed thriller brings you to a part of the war that you may not be familiar with. There’s nothing better than a book with a message and a lesson in history.


I love Killeen’s narrative. His way with words is incredible and is able to pull me so far in I feel like I’m wearing VR and actually taking a role in the unfolding story. Despite being written in the first person, Sarah’s emotions leap off the page. It’s crafted, its fiction that’s rooted in a challenging history that only Killeen could make work.
It’s a writing style I would love to have many books to read. Equally, he could make me wait longer than J RR Martin and I’d still be grateful of anything that comes my way.

Devil Darling Spy is out 5th March

Devil Darling Spy Blog Tour Q&A with Matt Killeen

You made it very clear about the dates throughout the book and there are many years in which the war continues. Are there plans to continue Sarah’s story beyond the two novels?

Sarah certainly has more missions ahead of her, and you’re right, there are five more years of the war to go…assuming she can survive that long. I have many ideas and some clear thoughts about where she might end up. Also, finding something she can realistically influence is important…but there’s a very stark delineation between things that live in my head and what publishing may or may not share with the world. Sarah may find herself kicking her heels for a while.

Are there any difficulties to rooting a story in history? On the flip side, what are the rewards?

It is certainly swings and roundabouts. I always say that “history delivers”. Almost every piece of research provides something astounding that I can use to further the narrative. I imagined a Nazi boarding school, and lo, there they were the Napola Schools. I also like the framework that real events provide and the craft of winding your narrative between the real bits, so you can tell several stories at once. But assuming that you’re writing fiction, you are on some level simultaneously proposing an alternative history – even narrative non-fiction works demand a little guesswork and elaboration. That’s a responsibility too. What’s hard is that these events – including the death, atrocity and horror – happened to real people. You owe them, to tell their story, or the story of which they were a part, with some authenticity – either by fact or emotional truth. That’s an abstract concept if you’re talking about Ancient Rome, but WW2 is well-documented. There’s a lot of faces looking back at you. I’d argue for the necessity of forging a compelling narrative as a vehicle to discuss and highlight important issues – “history must be burned into the imagination before it can accepted by the reason” Lord Macaulay said, I think – but there’s a line, somewhere along the way, where you pass into exploitation, prurience and tastelessness. That moment isn’t always clear and obvious. This is particularly apparent when you talk about the Holocaust. Writing Devil Darling Spy, I’m dealing with colonialism and imperialism – that exploitation continues in one form or another and real responsibility for the horror has not been taken by the perpetrators. This is raw and ongoing. That makes all this harder to do right and there’s a reasonable argument that I shouldn’t even be trying. But I couldn’t walk away from the chance to put these events front and centre of people’s minds.

Both Orphan Monster Spy and Devil Darling Spy are empowering to readers today. What other books have you discovered since the release of Orphan Monster Spy that you feel demonstrate the same empowering theme?

​Well I’m glad to hear people find them empowering…certainly that would be my hope, but Sarah kind of does her own thing. As my editor once put it, “Sarah does not always model good behaviour.” I was just thinking about the moment she saves the Captain on the dock in Friedrichshafen in Orphan Monster Spy. That was Sarah’s decision. She wasn’t going to be saved, or even save herself. That’s the moment I understood her, when I really knew who she was. I know some writers hate this idea, that characters could or should make decisions, but that’s how it is for me.

There have been some excellent, nuanced female characters of late – well-written women and girls rather than the “kick-ass” archetype – like Wing Jones, Tulip Taylor, Izzy O’Neill,  and I’m a sucker for the profoundly flawed, like Bevan from Other Words for Smoke. Then there’s Amani from Alwyn’s Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands Trilogy which I finished since Orphan was released…they feel related, which shouldn’t surprise as many of the people who chose Amani’s story for publication, also chose Sarah’s.

I make no apologies for the graphic novel reference – because comics are reading – but of everything I’ve read lately, I’m finding the Lumberjanes comics to be the most invigorating, joyful fiction. All female and diverse ensemble cast of wonderful characters having funny, smart and rollicking adventures at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. I feel empowered, I can only imagine the power of these characters for young teenagers. One of its creators is the showrunner on the new She-Ra series, which is happily consuming me right now. In fact, I’m wearing a She-Ra t-shirt as I’m typing this…and I hated the old show for the exploitative, unreconstructed toy commercial it was.

Do you listen to any particular music while writing?

Music is very important to me, but I need a very specific kind of music to write to. It usually can’t have words or be too up-tempo, and guitar-based stuff is too intrusive. It has to allow a certain detachment, but can’t be drivel either – something that I can lost in, but doesn’t dominate my brain. Soundtracks don’t always do this and not all classical music hits the spot, but I think what works best is called New Classical or Neo-classical or something equally dismal. A Winged Victory for the Sullen is the best example. There are certain pieces or albums that are absolutely tied into my work, both as inspiration and as soundtrack to the action. Agnes Obel and Kathryn Joseph are rare examples of vocalists that I work to, as they’re all quiet pianos, pain and anguish. So I have an evolving and ever-growing playlist of this stuff, and when it goes on, I’m ready.

For more general, around the writing work, I listen to BBC 6Music but I really don’t like the schedule changes they made about a year ago. After nearly 10 years of working at home and hearing the same voices every day, losing them for something less than was a bit heartbreaking. I’m still grieving. I’ve found Spotify really good, it came with my new phone, but I have severe reservations about its morality. They don’t pay their artists much of anything.

Devil Darling Spy is out 5th March

Check out my next post for my review x

Blog Tour Review: Highfire by Eoin Colfer

‘A joyous fantasy for grownups’ Guardian 

‘A funny, offbeat adult fantasy novel’ Independent

‘A dazzling first adult novel from bestselling children’s author Colfer’ Daily Mail

Highfire is a genre-bending tour-de-force of comedy and action by the million-copy-selling master storyteller.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him . . .

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp . . . 

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

‘Told in crunchy prose, with lashings of earthy dialogue, it reads like an Elmore Leonard Thriller, but with dragons . . . Colfer clearly had a blast writing this, and his sheer storytelling panache brushes aside the quibbles of fantasy-genre agnostics with infectious glee’ Mail on Sunday

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

What a glorious read from the amazing mind of Eoin Colfer. Vern is the last living dragon and reads like a character created for David Harbour to play. He’s gruff and closed off, and that’s the way he likes it. That is, of course, until Squib comes hurtling into his life, bringing with him chaos and danger.

It’s a well written, funny book that doesn’t hold back in the slightest. You can clearly see from how this book is crafted, why Colfer wrote another instalment in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series. Colfer embodies Adams’ charm and wit and brings it to the 21st century.

This book is a perfect stand alone but I would love to see a sequel. Many sequels. Hell, if Eoin Colfer wants to throw out seven or eight tales of Vern and Squib, I’ll be there waiting for the publishing date of each one.

Han x

Blog Tour Review: Storm of Ash by Michelle Kenney

The brand new novel from Michelle Kenney, author of the Book of Fire and City of Dust!

As Talia treks back through the treacherous North Mountains, she knows only three things:
Pantheon has stolen nearly everyone she loves;
Her blood is the only control over the Voynich’s oldest secret;
And Cassius won’t stop hunting Arafel until every last outsider is destroyed.

Will Talia finally face her legacy and defeat Cassius before it is too late?


As a reader, I’ve spent a long time with these characters. From the first book, you take them into your heart so that even between books you’re wondering how they’re fairing.

Of course, being a final instalment there’s to be expected some character evolution and some conclusions to the story that’s unfolded before us.

Talia is the one. She’s been a solid and fully formed character from the very start. You will see the return of characters and bid farewell others. Not before each has their time to shine of course.


It doesn’t initially feel like the conclusion or the end of a trilogy; the action remains full throttle from the first page to the final line. It doesn’t stop two thirds of the way in order to wrap up the strands neatly. It allows for a story that is gripping, characters that you know will continue on beyond the pages of the book.

All in all, it’s a fitting ending and a perfect way to wrap up this amazing trilogy.


The only thing that made this a hard read was that it was a world I was not ready to say goodbye to. There are very few writers who could incorporate language from a classical era in such a smooth way, that you will find yourself not requiring the glossary that’s attached. It’s the incorporation of these words that enables such a rich world to be built and for the reader to fall into.

Final Thoughts

I’m still not ready to say goodbye. These books have been a comfort and I’ll be reading them many times again over the years.

Blog Tour: My Secret Lies With You’s Faye Bird shares her favourite mysteries

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

A genuinely intriguing book with an entirely punchy style – we don’t feel a pervasive darkness here, as is often the case with mysteries. What hooks us in is the voice of main character Miranda and a desire to find out the truth of the strange happenings around her. And there are plenty of those. The book is full of surprise and oddity, but Rebecca Stead’s pithy, sharp, upbeat tone pulls us along with wonderfully short hooky chapters so that nothing about this book feels too contrived or drawn out. The plot feels complex enough to make the reader work, but the narrative style so compelling that you find yourself simply being happily taken along for the ride. You wait for everything to be laid out for you at the end, and you aren’t disappointed. There are some beautifully economic, well-judged descriptions – Miranda’s Mum’s boyfriend Richard is described as “…the way I picture guys on sailboats – tall, blond and very tucked in, even on weekends.” Brilliant. There’s a lovely description, which we return to, about seeing the world. Miranda’s mum says we all see it as if from under a veil. If we take off the veil and peek out we “…see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love.” Miranda goes on to explain that her Mum uses this not to explain God or angels or magic but rather that “…most of the time people get distracted by little stuff and ignore the big stuff.” This is how we survive. The New York setting sits perfectly with the tone, and once you read the book you won’t be surprised to learn that Rebecca Stead has talked openly about her huge debt in writing this novel to Madeleine Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. When You Reach Me is a quirky upbeat novel that beautifully encapsulates the quote at the start: “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.” Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1931). If you haven’t read it already, then certainly a recommendation from me.

Book Tour: Blast Off to the Moon

Publisher: UCLAN publishing

Pages: 40

About: From Imagination to Reality. Produced in association with BIS (British Interplanetary Society) and NASA.

Based on the original NASA Press Kit (Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Mission) this is full of exclusive never before seen content from the BIS archives. Including an introduction written by Helen Sherman, the first woman to visit the Mir Space Station!

Capturing the excitement of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, how it happened, why it happened, what the team discovered and what followed on Earth. This is an accessible book for children that will inspire and encourage a love of learning about science and space.

Euan Cook – Cover Illustration

Buy it from Waterstones

Q & A with Imogen Tomlinson, part of the UCLAN part of the team who developed this amazing title.

Which chapter/section was your favourite to work on?

‘What if things went wrong?’ was fascinating – macabre, I know, but it really brought home how much courage the astronauts had to take part in such a risky mission.

I also enjoyed writing ‘The World Holds its Breath’. This includes a transcription of the Mission Control audio from the Apollo 11 countdown, which we put in the book as we wanted the reader to experience the excitement of mission countdown. I listened to a lot of recordings between Mission Control and the Apollo 11 astronauts as part of my research – they are available on the NASA website. They provide a fascinating insight into the day-to-day running of the mission, and the respect and trust the crews on Earth and in space had for each other is evident. There are also frequent jokes between the crews. The lead up to Neil Armstrong’s famous “That’s one small step for [a] man” line is surprisingly casual!


How important was it to have Helen Sharman write the introduction? 

Massively so. As the first British person in space, Helen is a huge inspiration. Having her blessing on the project gave us – and future readers – the confidence to know that we were going in the right direction and creating a quality product. She also very kindly helped with fact checking – her first-hand knowledge of life in space was invaluable.


What would you hope a reader takes away with them when reading Blast Off to the Moon?

How risky and experimental the Apollo programme was. Despite the astronauts undergoing months of extensive training, the whole enterprise was essentially trial and error – no one knew for certain what would happen when – or if – they got to the Moon. The Space Race had already claimed several lives – from Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee (the Apollo 1 astronauts), to Soviet cosmonauts such as Vladimir Komarov. There was the very real possibility that Neil Armstrong, Buz Aldrin and Michael Collins would also be killed. Finding the contingency plan and speech (featured in the book) prepared for President Nixon in the event of a disaster really emphasised how dangerous the mission was. What must have gone through the astronaut’s heads in the days leading up to blast off? How did they explain to their children that they might never see them again? Their bravery and belief in the mission is clear and something to be admired.


What was the strangest or most interesting fact you have discovered during your research?

The Moon has lots of interesting facts! I did not realise, before working on the book, how important the Moon is to Earth’s functions. For instance, the Moon’s gravitational force is responsible for Earth’s tides and maintaining the stable environment needed for life.

I found a lot of interesting facts relating to Cold War politics, as this was the driving factor behind the Apollo programme, though we stayed away from discussing them in the book. For instance, the USA once planned to nuke the Moon in a display of power. Imagine how disastrous this would have been!


If you were going into space, what would want to have for your breakfast before having to live off onboard food?

Toasted hot cross buns with a fruit salad and a glass of Buck’s fizz to celebrate!


This book is something I’ve dipped in and out of multiple times over the last few weeks; from reading it for cover to cover, to returning to my favourite sections (the food, it’s always about food).

This will be one of those books that grows with a young reader. As a little one, it may just be those never before seen photos that capture their imagination but when they’re older the words will start to form meaning and shape their understanding of the satellite in our orbit.

The book is well structured and will be useful as a reference guide for STEM students or those who seek role models who blazed a trail for any of us wanting to reach for the stars.

Blog Tour: Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans

Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope – Laura was frozen until she could be cured.
But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?
Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past…


Lara and Shem are two very lonely characters that are very much disenfranchised from the world in which they live. While Shem simply tries to hide and live an easy life, Lara is thrown into a life she’s not sure she’s ready for.
Lara is someone everyone should relate to on one level or another. She’s the perfect companion for navigating this futuristic world. 


It’s a glorious mystery thriller with a retro, Stranger Things, vibe. The bulk of the story is told from the perspective of Lara, but we get snippets of the life Shem to keep the narrative flowing.

The asymmetry of the duel narrative works really well to keep the reader off balance and on edge; the perfect feels for a thrilling read. It’s pace slows just enough in parts for you to catch your breath and contemplate what you’d do if you were Lara.

Just like with an episode of Black Mirror, you think you’ve got everything figured out and the rug is pulled from right under you. It doesn’t matter if you prepare for the fall you because it’s all part of the amazing ride.


The first person writing allows the reader to feel the claustrophobic challenges both Lara and Shem face. Being told from the perspective of our main characters removes the omniscient voice that would solve the mystery. It also allows the reader to relate to either, or both, Lara and Shem.

Final Thoughts

I could not get through this book fast enough. It’s the perfect read to take the edge off the wait for Stranger Things and Black Mirror to gift us with new episodes.   

Blog Tour: Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans

Published: 4th April 2019
Publisher: Usborne
Pages: 336
About: Who am I? What am I? When am I?
Laura can’t remember who she is. But the rest of the world knows. Because Laura is famous – a dying girl who was frozen until she could be cured. A real-life Sleeping Beauty.
But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?


Laura is a stunning and vulnerable character that you wi ll instantly fall in love with. She has the nostalgic brilliance of an 80s girl in a modern world. Shem is a completely different type of vulnerable. He’s a lost boy, abandoned my the society around him.


It’s a thrilling mystery that you’re thrown into; one that is fast paced and will have your heart in your mouth the entire time. I don’t want to give too many details as it would ruin the experience of reading. You’ll want to figure the mystery behind Laura right away, but not before you experience life at a boarding school.


I fell into the writing of this book. It’s almost as if it was written for me in a style that would easily transfer to film; something I hope it eventually does. Having a protagonist from a different time allows for some changes in language to be explained. That type of language prediction is something I love. There’s an asymmetry to the duel narrative that with any other writer would not work, but Evans makes it work and ensures the perspective of Shem adds to the story, rather than detracts.
While it’s compared to Stranger Things and Black Mirror, I feel it takes the best from each and makes it something much more accessible.

Final Thoughts

It’s the perfect read for those who love Big, Back to the Future and Pretty Little Liars as well as the aforementioned Black Mirror and the brilliant Stranger Things.

Blog Tour King of Fools by Amanda Foody


King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2)

by Amanda Foody

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release Date: April 30th 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult




Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.







This was a wonderful read. I was hooked from the first chapter and I fell in love with Levi from the very start. I haven’t read Ace of Shades, but Foody does a good job at keeping newbies in the loop. While I don’t think I’ve lost anything by reading this first, I do feel I’ve got everything to gain in terms of my connection to the characters.

Whether intended or not, I got a very steampunk vibe from the world building which added a richness to what developed over the 600 pages. This story-verse would work well on film; whether is be in a live action or animated form.

It ends with enough of the plot resolved for readers to be satisfied, but if the final chapter doesn’t pull a gasp from you; you’ve been reading it wrong.

I can’t wait to read the final instalment, but I guess I can distract myself with the first outing in the meantime.


Wanted: Dead or Alive/ Bon Jovi

Summer in the City/ The Lovin’ Spoonful

There’s a Reason These Tables are Numbered Hunny, you just haven’t realised it yet/ Panic! @ the Disco

Poker Face/ Chris Draughty

Dream Cast

Levi– Keiynan Lonsdale

Harrison Augustine – Joe Mazzello

Jac Mardlin– Jack Gleeson

Vianca– Bryce Dallas Howard or Rachelle Lefevre

Enne– Maisie Williams

Lola– Zenaya

Grace– Katherine Langford


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Prize: Win a copy of KING OF FOOLS by Amanda Foody (US Only)

Starts: 22nd April, 2019

Ends: 6th May, 2019

<a class=”rcptr href=”; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”d9681b86360″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_oohqj28w”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>