My Favourite Reads banner 2020

It’s My Favourite Reads time again, where I share the fabulous books I read over the previous month and (usually) pick a favourite.

No favourite today though. I’m not in a choosing frame of mind!

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The Cylon Curse by J. Robert KennedyThe Cylon Curse by J. Robert Kennedy

Kennedy’s James Acton Thrillers (of which there are nearly thirty) are a blast. Mythology, archaeology, and bad dudes trying to steal history, these books are real page turners. I can bowl one over in a day or so.

In The Cylon Curse, Acton and his wife Laura are called to a dig in Athens where objects have been going missing. As usual, mayhem quickly ensues, and all the gang arrives to sort the mess out.

Adventure and action and lots of entertainment. Pure escapism.

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The Clockwork Crow by Catherine FisherThe Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

When I spotted this children’s novella on sale, I just couldn’t help myself. What’s not to love about an orphan being sent by train deep into Wales to a house made dark with mourning and secrets?

The Clockwork Crow was a fast and delightful read. Seren was a terrific heroine, clever and brave, and the vain clockwork crow was a lot of fun. There’s kindness and grumpiness and fairies and a missing boy and locked rooms that just beg to be opened. In other words, all the good things.

A fabulous adventure.

Book two, The Velvet Fox is also available. I may have to indulge…

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If It Bleeds by Stephen KingIf It Bleeds by Stephen King

An enjoyable collection of four novellas by King. The only story that left me a bit frowny was The Life of Chuck but the rest were great. I especially enjoyed seeing what Holly (from Mr Mercedes etc) was up to in If It Bleeds. She’s such a great character. King says in his Afterword how much he loves Holly and I think it shows.

But my favourite was Rat. The main character Drew is trying to write a novel, something he’s attempted a few times. When Drew described his struggles, I could totally relate.

“Sitting hunched over the laptop, sweating, resisting the urge to pound his forehead until he jarred the right descriptive phrase loose.”

Yup. Totally relate!

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Hidden City by Alan BaxterHidden City by Alan Baxter

I’ve been following British-Australian author Alan Baxter on Twitter for a while now. As a horror author, he was smack in my reading interest zone and when he announced a special offer for Hidden City, I snapped it up.

I mean, what’s not to want with a creepy fungus zombie story?

Such an interesting premise too, with our hero Steven Hines harbouring a special connection with his city. The kind of connection where he and the city “talk” to one another. Except the city is ailing, chaos has broken out, and to save her – and himself – Hines must take action.

Skin-crawly atmosphere, really cool characters, bonkers fungi and eeeeviiiiil. Fab.

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The Survivors by Jane HarperThe Survivors by Jane Harper

Couldn’t put it down.

I’m not sure I need to say much more. Those who have read Harper’s The Lost Man are already familiar with how brilliant the author can be and while I think that book is still my favourite, The Survivors was undoubtably a cracker too. I honestly could not stop reading.

Next please!

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The House Next Door by Darcy CoatesThe House Next Door by Darcy Coates

What a serendipitous discovery. Darcy Coates is not only a talented horror/thriller/mystery author, she’s Australian! With a juicy backlist!

The House Next Door is, as you can probably guess from the cover, a haunted house story and I do love one of those, even if they tend to keep me awake at night thinking fretty things about my own house.

Wonderfully atmospheric, The House Next Door was sinister, tense and a complete page turner. It even had creepy dolls to freak me out even more. So much to love.

I’ve already added a couple more Darcy Coates titles to my ebook collection. Yay!

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Marry in Secret by Anne GracieMarry in Secret by Anne Gracie

Honestly, this Marriage of Convenience series is such a delight. As with all the Anne Gracies I’ve read, the characters are complete joys to be with.

In Marry in Secret it’s Rose’s turn for a wedding but it turns out she’s already married. And what delicious drama and scandal ensues when that’s discovered!

Another fab edition to the series, loaded with Anne’s trademark humour but covering plenty of meaty topics too and a nice mystery for extra spice.

Next up: Marry in Scarlet.

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Spinning Silver by Naomi NovikSpinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver has been on my ‘want to read’ list ever since its release. I absolutely adored Uprooted, it was one of my favourite reads of 2015, and I enjoyed the first three books in her Temeraire dragon series too. Spinning Silver would have been an auto-buy but the ebook price was a bit up-there and I’ve been waiting for it to come on sale. Which hasn’t happened. Sigh. So I caved in and bought it.

While Uprooted remains my #1 Novik favourite, Spinning Silver was a good read. Its Russian folktale feel reminded me a lot of Katherine Arden’s brilliant Winternight books. What I really like about Spinning Silver, as with Uprooted (and the Winternight series), was the strength of the heroines. They’re smart, resourceful and brave. Much cheering on was had!

Novik’s new release, A Deadly Education, has just hit stores. I’ll be buying.

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What wonderful books have you read lately?

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