It’s getting close to the end of the year and the completion of the Goodreads challenge, something I’m behind on at the moment. This means that these past few weeks have been full of speed reading (or as close to speed reading as a dyslexic student with an eye watering number of essays due can). One of the books I got my hands on to try to make up on my book count was An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Roderson.
An Enchantment of Ravens is a fantasy book that follows Isobel, a young master painter who has a particularly dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. In a world where craft is highly valued by fair folk and everything is paid for by enchantments, Isobel developed a sharp mind and polite mask that didn’t upset the fair folk she painted. Things take a turn for the worst when she paints her first royal fair one, Rook the autumn prince. After she painted him with human emotion endangering both the prince and herself, they travel to the autumn lands for Isobel to face trial for her crime. The book follows them as they form an alliance to survive, prompting forbidden emotions that endanger them even more.
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At the moment we could all do with that little something that gives us the feel good factor, something that puts a smile on your face. For me, that was reading The Back Up Plan by Elsie McArthur. This Scottish romance was just what I needed to cheer me up and keep me entertained over lockdown.
I was given this book by Elsie in exchange for an honest review not too long after lockdown started here in the UK. As with all of my review, the options that I give are my own and have not be influenced in any way by the fact that I was gifted the book by the author. Don’t worry, you guys will always get my honest opinion.
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Feel like you’re constantly surrounded by idiots? Want to learn valuable behavioural skills that can help you navigate the world of work? Surrounded by idiots is an easy to understand tool that teaches you how to understand those who cannot be understood.
This 260+ paged, non-fiction read was written by Thomas Erikson, a Swedish behavioural specialist who’s been in the field for almost 20 years. The book explains to the reader the DISC method, created by William Moulton Marston a psychologist who published in his book Emotions of Normal people in 1928. The DISC method simply categorises people into one (most often two) of behavioural groups. These groups can be nicely distinguished by colours, you have your red people, yellow, green and blue. Once you understand these colour groups and the behaviours they show, you can start to understand those who cannot be understood.
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Wanting a fresh read with a unique structure and exciting twists and turns? Of course you do! This past week I’ve been reading Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, it’s a gripping science fiction and thriller read.
The basic outline of the plot (spoiler free!) is that parts of a giant entity have been discovered all around the world after being dormant for thousands of years. This opens up the questions of where did this thing come from? Why was it found separated all over the planet? And most importantly, is the human race ready for what is to come? To start to answer these questions a team is put together by a mysterious character who is the puppet master of the whole operation.
Sleeping giants is written in a structure unlike anything I’ve come across before. The whole book is templated off something that would quite easily resemble a top secret file. Almost all of the book is set out in an interview format between this mystery man and the characters he interacts with. This creates a refreshing and unique reading experience.
World building is kept to an absolute minimum as you learn everything through character dialogue. I can appreciate that those of you who like to read more complex world building may be slightly put off by the idea of this however, I’d really recommend you give this book a chance. You won’t be spoon fed anything and this creates the opportunity for your imagination to run wild.
The book itself is about 320 pages long, so it’s a decent sized read and is book one of the Themis files what is made up of three books. Although it is worth mentioning there are some bonus texts that fit into the series. These aren’t novels, they are more works of flash fiction.
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