Book Review: The Secret Runners of New York by Matthew Reilly

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https://amzn.to/2UXKXbg

Wow! I was hooked in the first page and it took me on a heart-in-mouth adventure with an amazing ‘Stranger Things’ quality. Which is exactly what I need to keep me going while I inch towards 4th July’s 3rd series.


I missed my lunch because I couldn’t stop reading; I was as obsessed as the well developed and mysterious characters I met and this is the first book of 2019 that I read in one sitting. I zoned out the tv completely and fell into this world completely.


Red and Blue are the perfect twin characters to take us along on the journey. Blue’s narrative is epic; she’s speaking from a point of hindsight and that makes for an interesting read and adds a chilling tension. From the very start we know something is going to go wrong, but we’re never sure what it is. Until it’s too late of course.


I can imagine this becoming a film and being well received by anyone who is missing Pretty Little Liars being on their screens. This book screams beautiful, unhinged people. Some of whom you will love to hate.
The descriptions are detailed and perfect for anyone who hasn’t visited New York before, but for those that have, there’s a hidden layer to keep you engaged too.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Love Han x

Blog Tour Book Review: Monsters in the Mirror

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Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Pages: 424
Release Date: 1.3.2019
About: Darwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors in to different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world…and only he can save it.The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monsters-Mirror-1-Beyond/dp/099551559X

I fell in love with Dawen, his world and the story almost immediately and I couldn’t put it down. From the first page, you’re thrown into the story and it doesn’t let up until you close the book on the final page.

It holds a nostalgic magic that’s not only reminiscent of Snicket and Potter, but of one of my favourite childhood book series; the Shivers collection. They were an alternative to Point Horror and they were my go to. My favourite of them all was Madness at the Mall and Monsters in the Mirror really gave me such a throwback to it that I’ve been searching my bookshelves ever since.

Monsters in the Mirror would be an upgraded, movie quality version of those delightfully scary books of my childhood. With a chilling reminder of Return to Oz, I was hooked with both worlds presented and I really would love to see this being made into a TV progamme with 90s vibes. The worlds are artfully and passionately built that I dare people not to love them.

It’s a perfectly set out plot, that sees the protagonist develop relationships that have a fulfilling arc over the whole book while also laying a foundation for whatever comes next. Which, believe me, I’ll be here waiting for any news of an upcoming release date.

Its a story for all, but most of all… this could be the book series that gets parents recommending books to their children, digging out their old paperbacks and sharing them with a new generation of readers.

Book Review: Song for a Whale by @LynneKelly @PiccadillyPress

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Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Pages: 322
Release date: 5th February 2019
About: A stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder.
Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios.
Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there.
Iris works on a foolproof plan to help the whale but she soon realises that that is not enough: Iris wants to find the whale herself.
One stolen credit card, two cruise ship tickets, and the adventure of a lifetime later, Iris and the whale each break through isolation to help one another be truly heard in ways that neither had ever expected.

I don’t think i have ever related to a character so much in all my life. I felt every emotion Iris had along her journey. My heart ached at the beauty of the storytelling and the gratitude that this book exists for those who identify with Iris’ hearing issues. Not only is this book about to go out into the world and allow some people, like myself, to feel represented but it’s a book that will enlighten others on some of the physical and emotional problems faced by those with hearing difficulties.

The theme of isolation resonates with me quite strongly; I was diagnosed with serve hearing loss at the age of 15. However, I was showing signs of hearing loss as young as 6 or 7. My inability to answer people was put down to my dreamer nature with a bit of laziness thrown in.
School was a different matter. I suspect that in an environment where blanking someone was the highest crime. I was considered rude and stuck up. I felt like I spent much of high school in my own little prison cell of silence.
In short, I totally relate to Iris’ frustration and I would have been exactly like her and feeling the kinship with Blue-55. I might not have gone on the adventure she did, but curling up and reading this book I feel like I actually did.

The writing is breath-taking and compliments the heartfelt plot entirely. How ASL is relayed in the book is nothing short of perfection. There’s a distinction made between speech and ASL, and that in itself is wonderful. However, Lynne Kelly goes beyond that and gives some stunning descriptions of the hand movements to some words and phrases.

The plot moves at an engaging pace, intermingling what appear on the outset to be completely unrelated and independent plot threads. It means that you get to know all the characters that surround Iris in all parts of her life. I’d have personally loved to have seen more interaction between Iris and her brother, but it reminded me so much of the relationship I had with my brother and I just wanted to dive right in and stay a little longer.

This book will forever have a place in my heart, it has soothed my soul and I already predict a mid-year reread. Thank you, Lynne Kelly, from the bottom of my heart for allowing people like myself to be seen, heard and most importantly, understood.

Song for a Whale is out on 5th February 2019.

Love Han x