Book Review: Return to Dyatlov Pass by J. H. Moncrieff

dyatlovpass‘In 1959, nine Russian students set off on a skiing expedition in the Ural Mountains. Their mutilated bodies were discovered weeks later. Their bizarre and unexplained deaths are one of the most enduring true mysteries of our time.
Nearly sixty years later, podcast host Nat McPherson ventures into the same mountains with her team, determined to finally solve the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident. Her plans are thwarted on the first night, when two trackers from her group are brutally slaughtered.
The team’s guide, a superstitious man from a neighboring village, blames the killings on yetis, but no one believes him. As members of Nat’s team die one by one, she must figure out if there’s a murderer in their midst—or something even worse—before history repeats itself and her group becomes another casualty of the infamous Dead Mountain.’

A fictional investigation in to a real life tragedy, the Dyatlov Pass incident was never fully explained, as the deaths of the victims were too bizarre for reason. The book has a fairly slow start as we get to know the 8 people chosen for the challenge of revisiting the exact place that the incident took place to try and find answers for a popular online podcast. The middle section of this story was deffinitly the best part in my opinion, the atmosphere was written extremely well and seriously gave me the creeps. The yetis can’t be real, right? so who out of their group is killing them off one by one and recreating the Dyatlov victims deaths? There are a lot of shocking moments but the ending fell a bit short for me, although overall a very gripping read.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

this ebook was purchased by myself

 

K-pop Album Review: Taemin – Want

taeminwantTaemin released his second mini album ‘Want’ on February 11th along with a music video for the title track of the same name. I have been a fan of his solo work since his full album release in late 2017 ‘Move’ and that title track was one of my top songs of 2017. I didn’t think there was any way Taemin could top Move, but my god he has somehow managed it.

The album features 6 full length tracks + an outro. The whole vibe of the album is Taemins usual dirty sexy and sensual signature sound that I’m a huge fan of. Want is straight up a song about how he seduces us, I mean, the guy is self-aware of how much he slays his fans at least and he works it. This album does have a bit more of a dark gothic feel with some of its tracks, particularly ‘Shadow’. ‘Truth’ and ‘Monologue’ are slower and more heartfelt songs and ‘Never forever’ is a bit lighter and we are left with a nice haunting outro. I can’t help but feel that Monologue may be a song about his fellow SHINee member Jonghyun who sadly passed.

Want is easily one of my top songs of 2019 and we are still only in February! Have you listened to Taemin’s new album? What is your favourite song? I have ordered the physical album from Yesasia to add to my collection. If you haven’t heard it and are curious, I’ve included some links for you to check out.

WANT MVLISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM

Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

thewickedking‘Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.’

The Wicked King is the sequel to The Cruel Prince so there will be spoilers for the first book in this review. Jude and Carden are now in power, seeing as he is bound to her command for a year (and a day), this doesn’t stop Carden from trying to work ways around this bargain and he still manages to find his own sick ways of belittling, with some help of old faithful Locke. Traitors are at play and Jude is left feeling like she can trust no one but herself. My favourite parts of this book were seeing the relationship between Jude and Carden evolve, and yes I do ship that toxic relationship. Cardens brother, after massacring most of the family is being held captive and may or may not be conspiring against the crown with Orlagh, queen of the sea. We see Jude try whatever is in her power to keep the ones she loves safe while protecting the kingdom, but of course nothing ever goes to plan in Faerie. The book has a huge cliff hanger ending that left me still confused at what Cardens true feelings and intentions are, and now we wait for book 3.

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

this book was purchased by myself

Book Review: In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey

inthenightwood

‘Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside. But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive.’

Released: 7th February 2019

A dark fairy tale within a dark fairy tale, this book is a very atmospheric gothic thriller based in Yorkshire. Charles and Erin move in to Hollow House which is a huge mansion which has previously been burnt down by its previous owner and rebuilt. A tall wall has been built around the whole house, to keep the forest out? but why. Charles is obsessed with finding out more about the previous owner who was said to have been driven mad by the forest and committed suicide. When they move in, there are already staff working there to maintain the house, some more suspicious than others. A young girl has gone missing from the village that looks remarkably like their deceased daughter Lissa, both Charles and Erin see visions of a young girl and a dark horned figure in and around the forest, are they just visions?

This book kept me guessing to the very end about what was actually real, the truth, and who was responsible for the missing girls. It shows how people handle grief differently, some distract themselves and obsess over something else, others are completely consumed by the grief with no way out. Murder, adultery, betrayal, guilt. The only criticisms I have from reading this book is that it took me a while to get used to the writing style and I sometimes found myself lost in it and having to reread some parts. Overall I enjoyed this thriller and was satisfied with how it ended.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

eARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

Book Review: Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

nevermoor‘Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.’

The best way I can describe this book is being Harry Potter but not being Harry Potter. What a compliment though? It did give me similar feels while reading it, I love me some good British humor. All of the characters are unique and excellent, there’s a huge talking cat and a vampire dwarf for goodness sake.

We follow Morrigan as she is whisked away by a tall ginger man called Jupiter North the same night she was supposed to die. She finds her way around this new magical world, Nevermoor, and has to pass a series of ‘trials’ to try and become a part of the Wundrous Society. If she fails, she faces exportation back to the normal world and certain death, not much pressure then. The writing is well paced and easy to read, the friendships are marvelous and the story overall is great. There really isn’t much else to say about it, it’s a great start to a new series, go read it! There are currently 2 books out and the 3rd should be out later this year. Also the hardcover versions of these books are gorgeous.

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My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

THIS BOOK WAS PURCHASED BY MYSELF

January Wrap Up

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Books I read and finished in January

This was one of my best reading months so far at a total of 7 books + the end of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. The Wicked King’s release date was coming up and I’d yet to read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black so it was now or never to see what the hype is all about, and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince and The Lost Sisters which is the short novella between the 2 books. I read The Wicked King near the end of the month and enjoyed it as much as Cruel Prince, but now I have to wait at least a year for the third book to come out. sigh.

I also joined the FairyLoot read along for December’s book, Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. A really fun YA that read more like a middle grade for me, lot’s of fun and great characters. I also read an actual middle grade that has received a lot of hype over the past year, Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. For me it did live up to the hype and I will be continuing in the series.

I read the third Wayward Children book by Seanan McGuire, Beneath the Sugar Sky in anticipation for the fourth book coming out February 1st. These books never seem to let me down and it is always a guaranteed enjoyable read for me, so far at least. I also read a nice surprise, The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge came out this month and I had an eARC from Netgalley to read. This was way more creepy and way more enjoyable than I thought, so much so that I ended up trading for the physical version of the ARC. The other eBook I read this month was Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff. A fiction taken inspiration from the real life event of the Dyatlov Incident in where a bunch of Russian students died during a dangerous ski expedition in 1959. This book is set in 60 years after the incident where a new group travel the same path in an attempt to try to figure out the mystery behind the Dyatlov deaths. Very creepy read.

Book reviews for these reads that aren’t already up on my blog will all be up soon. By the end of the month I was half way through Orange by Ichigo Takano and had started reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

February TBR

I don’t usually do set TBR’s for the month as it always ends up changing, but here are the books I will definitely be reading in February. In An Absent Dream by Seanan Mcguire, the latest book in the wayward children series that just came out, a guaranteed good time. I’ll be finishing A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab and collection 1 of Orange by Ichigo Takano. I have an eARC for In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey to read and review, I also have Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta to read and annotate for our UK travelling book club, all other books are yet undecided.

january

Favourite K-Pop releases in January

Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch update: STILL NO NEWS

Book Review: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

thetwistedtree‘Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.
Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.
Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .’

This is by far the creepiest book I’ve read in a while and it caught me off guard, I wasn’t expecting it to be so paranormal but it was an extremely chilling read. The atmosphere was written so well and I regretted having this as my night-time read! It also features a lot of Norse mythology which was fun. Watching the relationship between Martha and the boy in the cabin ‘Stig’ evolve was really nice but it kept the thought in the back of my mind whether he could really be trusted or not, seeing as we don’t really know him.

There is a certain part in the story that sets all hell loose and left me truly shocked and scared to continue reading (in a good way). The only criticism I have is that towards the end the writing seemed a bit messy and I found it hard to keep up with what was happening as it was so fast paced. Overall I would definitely recommend, especially to fans of YA horror/thrillers and Norse mythology. This was also a debut book which makes it that more impressive! I can’t wait to read more by Rachel Burge in the future.

GOODREADSAMAZON

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review