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Fantasy Young Adult

Dark Spark – Ahava Trivedi

on
28 June 2020

Lineage

The Dark Spark is the second instalment of the wonderful YA Bloodline Academy fantasy series from Ahava Trivedi. It continues the journey for Katerina Snow Quartz and her own self-discovery amidst a battle between her two bloodlines. Half witch, half vampire, unknown parents, unique abilities from both bloodlines, she has the…


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Crime Mystery Womens Fiction

The Swap – Robyn Harding

on
24 June 2020

The Swap is an emotionally immersive story that draws three very distinctive female characters who allow avaricious choices to create a toxic set of relationships. A story that is fascinating and keenly observed, as we wonder what emotional control is possible when relationships become unhinged.

Freya was an Instagram influencer with…


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Humour Literary Fiction

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

on
20 June 2020

“The devil went down to Georgia Moscow, he was looking for a soul to steal.”—Primus

Phew! I needed a margarita after finishing The Master and Margarita! What a magnificent, turbulent read!

This extravagant Russian allegory is an adult Alice in Wonderland, bursting at the seams with mischief, darkness and rambunctiousness. The ghosts of Faust…


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Crime Mystery Thriller

The Curator – M.W. Craven

on
18 June 2020

Dominion

When I started reading this third novel in Mike Craven’s police crime series I realised just how much I had missed Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw from the National Crime Agency (NCA). Mike has struck gold with this partnership and I find myself more captivated during scenes with them…


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Fantasy Young Adult

Magic Within (Bloodline Academy) – Ahava Trivedi

on
16 June 2020

Awareness

The YA Fantasy Academy genre is currently one of the most popular genres in publishing, with the most famous being Harry Potter, Vampire Academy and Twilight. The expected tropes surrounding a vampire, a werewolf and a witch, with a coming of age story and self-discovery, are all required reading…


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Horror Short Stories

Signal failure – David Wailing

on
13 June 2020

Trapped

David Wailing’s horror novella Signal Failure is a heart-pounding story full of terror and suspense. A scary story that reminds me of the 2004 film Creep which captures the darkness and fear of an unknown presence hunting its prey in the London Underground.

Emily is returning home on the tube’s Piccadilly line, from a…


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Mystery Supernatural Thriller

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

on
10 June 2020

Abstruse

Stuart Turton had an ambition of writing an Agatha Christie type murder mystery and his book The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was the culmination of that objective. With echoes of Peril at End House, Agatha Christie fans will be treated to the neglected manor house, packed with dead bodies and…


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Literary Fiction

The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

on
8 June 2020

Disposition

Julian Barnes’ writing in this short novel speaks loudly in an often quiet reflective allegory of memory and loss. Overtly philosophical, Tony Webster, tells of his youth as a schoolboy, with two old friends Alex and Colin, and the new kid, Adrian Finn. How their ideological sense of the…


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Literary Fiction

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

on
5 June 2020

“In almost every family there’s a fool or a crazy person.”—Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits is set in the capital of an unnamed Latin American country during the twentieth century, and that is where I first met the del Valles.

Patriarch, Severo del Valle, has lofty political aspirations, but his…


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Literary Fiction

Shadow of the Hunter – Su Tong

on
3 June 2020

Distracting

I was intrigued with the title Shadow of the Hunter and its reference to an old Chinese tale by Chuang-Tzu regarding the mantis stalking the cicada, unaware of the oriole stalking him. Chuang-Tzu also indicates that he was illegally hunting the songbird with a cross-bow and unaware that the forester was…

Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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