My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Welcome to My Favourite Reads, the blog series in which I share the books I’ve read and adored over the past month.

After last month’s reading performance, or lack thereof, normal programming has now resumed with some excellent books on the My Favourite Reads list. Only one of my reads didn’t make this post – a horror novella that proved too icky even for me, although I appreciated the cleverness of it. The rest though, were wonderful.

Which made it tricky to choose an overall favourite. I thought I had it sorted, then towards the end of the month I read a book so full of humour and hope, so feelgood, that it made me reassess.

That book was…


Light Years From Home by Michaelbrent Collings

Cover of Light Years From Home by Michaelbrent CollingsLove, love, loved this fast-paced young adult sci-fi adventure about a bunch of teens who get accidentally kidnapped by aliens and end up on another planet and at the centre of an intergalactic war. It was just FUN.

Light Years From Home was absolutely loaded with Collings’ usual humour and brilliantly formed, relatable characters. From nerdy Max to total jock Noah, tragic Leya, and brave little Chloe. Then there was Max’s quirky family. And don’t get me started on the aliens and how much they made me laugh. Or the planet itself. That took serious imagination.

It’s hard to explain how lovely this was. I choked up several times from the emotion of it. There was friendship and love – parental and romantic. Courage. Cleverness. Joy. Hope. So many feels.

Very different from Collings usual horrors (which I adore) but a genre and style I would happily devour more of.



Cover of The Blood Traitor by Lynette NoniThe Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni

I loved the first two books in Australian author Lynette Noni’s Prison Healer series (my thoughts on The Prison Healer here and The Gilded Cage here) and have been hanging out for this final instalment. There was much squeeing when I spotted it in my library’s ebook stacks.

The Blood Traitor… what can I say? Out of all three books I think this might be the best. So much emotion! So much double crossing and skullduggery! So much action and adventure! So many characters to love and hate! So many soppy and happy tears… from me!

Wonderful. Just wonderful. A perfect end to a brilliant series. This would easily have been my favourite read of the month if not for Light Years From Home’s sheer happy-happy joyness bumping it off the perch.

I need more young adult fantasy in my life. Now, where’s that new Amie Kaufman…


Cover of The Echo of Old Books by Barbara DavisThe Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis

Oh, this was a lovely, emotional read.

“Books are feelings,” he replied simply. “They exist to make us feel. To connect us to what’s inside, sometimes to things we don’t even know are there. It only makes sense that some of what we feel when we’re reading would . . . rub off.” (From “The Echo of Old Books: A Novel” by Barbara Davis)

The Echo of Old Books is a story set within a story. When book restorer Ashlyn comes across a bound book with no copyright or author and an odd inscription, she’s intrigued. It appears to be some sort of lover’s confession, but the echoes she senses from its pages are stronger than that. She feels tragedy, bitterness, and blame. Then she is given its reply, written from the opposite perspective and equally emotional. Hooked, Ashlyn is determined to unravel who wrote the stories and why.

This was gorgeous. Beautifully written, tragic, heartfelt, and romantic, The Echo of Old Books book gave me tears and smiles and sighs. On other words, all the good stuff.

Highly recommended.


Cover of Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret RogersonMysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson

This was a hoot.

Following on from the excellent Sorcery of Thorns (my thoughts on that here), Mysteries of Thorn Manor sees Elisabeth and Nathanial together at Thorn Manor. Except all is not well. Weird events are happening, and the property’s magical wards aren’t working the way they ought. Before long, everyone at Thorn Manor is trapped inside.

What ensues is not only romantic but sometimes laugh-out-loud funny as Nathaniel and Elisabeth battle the house together. One scene involving enchanted clothing was particularly entertaining. It was also good to see gentleman demon Silas again. He’s so well done. And Mercy too.

Mysteries of Thorn Manor is novella length rather than a full novel, but it was still a very enjoyable read. I’m also hoping that, given the ending, there might be a sequel. Pleeeeeaaase let there be another one. This world is wonderful.


Cover of Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury SmithHell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Young adult sci-fi romance, such as that like The Aurora Cycle and The Illuminae Files (both by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff) and The Starbound Trilogy (by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner) are very much my thing. Straight sci-fi, especially post-apocalyptic sci-fi? Nup.

Which is why I never bought Hell Divers when I first spotted it quite a few years ago now. I simply didn’t think it wouldn’t appeal but the premise was so amazing the idea of it wouldn’t let go. Finally, last year, I succumbed.

What an awesome read!

The last of humanity are surviving in two airships in the sky, while Earth below festers in a post-nuclear war mess. Except there are things on Earth that the ships need, and so they send sky divers to its surface to retrieve them, ie. into hell.

Loaded with action, brave, tough-as-nails characters, enormous tension, and monsters, Hell Divers was a fantastic ride. I loved it. Exciting, and page turnery and just plain fun.

Guess I’m going to have to read the next in the series now!


Cover of The Half Burnt House by Alex NorthThe Half Burnt House by Alex North

Alex North has been an auto-buy author for me since The Whisper Man (I talk about that here) so snapping up the paperback of The Half Burnt House on release was a given.

Though it sat on my shelf for a couple of months, once opened I gobbled down The Half Burnt House. North is a master at creating atmospheric, twisty thrillers with fascinating characters and misdirection. There’s also that nagging sense of unnatural forces interfering in the plot that keeps you anxious and doubting. It’s so clever.

Lots of creepy, gothic vibes (thanks mostly to a marvellously dark, half burnt house that was the former home of a serial killer), intriguing characters, wonderful pacing, and twists and revelations that left me in awe of the clever plotting. Fabulous stuff.

Looking forward to North’s next release.


What have you read lately that you’ve loved and would like to share?


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