Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis - 3 stars
Recap: The diary of a British military intelligence man in WW2 occupied Italy.
Review: Small snippets of Italian character help to bring these accounts alive but the offhand references to things like rape and squalid living conditions render events unimaginable. This was a slow read for me.
First Second Coming by Jeff Pollack - 3 stars
Recap: A new God appears to journalists Brendali and Ram on their new talk show and utters an ultimatum.
Review: This book is part thriller, part romance, part religious ideology and part futuristic. A review book from THE Book Club, I thought from the intro blurb this would be humorous - my mistake, it's a very serious, very well researched opinion novel on the world's religious difficulties. There's a lot here to digest, the romance adding lighter notes and the thriller parts heightening the tension.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker - 5 stars
Recap: Former Queen Briseis, given to Achilles as a prize during war, tells her account of events.
Review: I really liked this. I've also read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller so it was interesting to have the story told again but this time from the women's perspective. I enjoyed the historical fiction element as well as the character interplay and development.
Thief of Stars by T.W.M. Ashford - 5 stars
** spoiler alert ** Recap: In his quest to find a way home, Jack Bishop is recruited by a slave race to steal a star.
Review: Still loving the characters and the world-building. Jack's emotions pull you in, especially at the end with the big reveal. I was so sad when Tuner didn't make it and Rogan's reaction just had me in bits. It's pacey and well-written and makes you want to cry, in a sort of good way. There are so many good bits, I'd probably end up retelling you the entire book. Looking forward to book three.
Prey by L.V. Lane - 4 stars
Recap: Belle is an Omega and she's hiding, that is until Alpha brothers Silas, Nate and Dax find her and claim her.
Review: It sure is fun to read a book that makes you feel naughty lol. I thought the author handled the sex scenes well, it wasn't a massive cliche or overly repetitive and the characters were fleshed out enough for you to make a connection to them. The worldbuilding/backstory at times felt a little placed and from a storytelling point of view there were some missed opportunities but let's face it you're not reading this novella for that reason. The werewolf brother was a stroke of genius. Definitely a fun 'romp'!
My Life In Your Hands by Tammy Lloyd - 4 stars
Recap: A new supermarket is coming to the Hopes home town. That's a good thing... right?
Review: I think what made this book a disturbing read was the fact that it's only a few short steps away from where we are now and those parallels always work well. I'm not sure the technology was quite right for the late 1980s - did they even have fitbits then? Whilst the majority of the book flowed well and had good pace, the beginning was bogged down with too much exposition. I'm wondering whether this is the first book in a series because the ending felt clipped and definitely left you dangling. That said it was an easy read, entertaining and you really felt for main character Diane Hope and her son - also, the ramifications for education based on the Singlemart points plan really got to me.
Athena's Child by Hannah M. Lynn - 4 stars
Recap: Medusa's story
Review: I enjoyed this Greek myth retelling. It was a quick read, well-paced and I came away with feelings of compassion for the snake-headed gorgon. I know aspects of the Greek myth but you could read this without any knowledge at all, it's explained well without being overloaded.