Monthly Archives: January 2017

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell

By James Goss

Published: 2014 by Broadway books

Pages: 256 (paperback) 

Rating: 3/5

Featuring the 12th Doctor and Clara Oswald 

My thoughts:

What with the news of Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who after this year, I finally decided to read this. I’ve found my past 12th Doctor reads have been slightly hit and miss. 


I adore 12. I really love his grumpiness and witty lines, yet for a while, various authors were having a hard time getting his character right. Except in Terror Moon, that was awesome. 

As was this. The characterisation of 12 and Clara were completely on point, and this really showed their unique bond. I loved the characterisation and I could picture them reading the lines. 


And in the early stages of this story, books were mentioned! There was a massive library and many a book! Which I loved!


Okay, so I say, there was a lot of mystery in the early stages, who was this narrator that had such a vendetta against The Doctor and why? I was definitely curious to find out. 

Sadly, the plot fell on its face from there on in. Take Clara for example, she came in sporadically during the first quarter of the book and then disappeared randomly, and then (minor spoiler) got kidnapped. It made zero sense, and it became very gappy, seen as I had lots of questions in between that were mostly unanswered. 

However, I would recommend this book, because the characterisation was just amazing! I’m yet to come across a 12 and Clara novel that is as spot on.

Thanks for reading,

Brooklyn 🙂

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Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Book 1 in the Three Dark Crowns series

Published: 2016 by HarperTeen

Pages: 398 (hardback)

Rating: 4/5 

What I liked:

– The characters, well, the three sisters, mostly. 

“Three dark queens are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends. Three Dark sisters all fair to be seen, two to devour, and one to be queen.”

It was this blurb that initially appealed to me, along with this epic title. I knew I’d love this book, well, I definitely hoped I would. I hadn’t read anything by this author before and I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of writing style. 

I definitely wasn’t disappointed. This was intriguing, enthralling and above all, dark.


There was never a moment in this book that wasn’t accompanied by a feeling of utter darkness. There were truly twists and turns through every corner, and there were many a time when I was exclaiming:


I loved the concept of the familiar, an animal that accompanied some of the characters. It reminded me a bit of the Starks and their Direwolves from Game of Thrones. 

From the first page, I instantly loved Katharine, the poisoner, and was cheering for her all the way. I felt sorry for her the most, especially in the early stages of the novel. 

That’s not to say I didn’t like Mirabella or Arsinoe, they each have their own qualities which makes them interesting characters, but it’s Katherine that did it the most for me. I was really starting to love her and Pietyr in some ways, until something happened that made me HATE him and I hope he burns in hell in the next book, I mean what he did?! 


How dare he! I hadn’t been so angry by a book character in a long time! But at the same time I loved being angry at the idiot. And there was an epic twist at the end which literally had me cheering!


What else did I like? The constant reference to the prophecy mentioned above, one of these sisters will rule, and the other two will ultimately meet their end. I didn’t know if this would be resolved by the end of the book, and I’m not going to say whether or not it did, because frankly, this book ought to be read. 

The secondary characters were all solid, they proved to be a set of strong supports for the three queens. Except that vermin, Pietyr. All will make sense when the book is read. But I cannot wait for book 2! This was an excellent start to what will be an enthralling series! 

Favourite quote:

I want revenge.” She whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia’s arms; And then I want my crown.” 

(You go girl! I’ll be waiting!)

And that concludes my review: Until next time, thanks for reading! 🙂 

Book Review – Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

Originally published 1976 by William Collins Sons & Co Ltd. 

Pages: 192 – Fontana Paperback Edition

Rating: 5/5

Let’s talk about the plot:

Okay, this was a total re read. I’m just a bit obsessed with this story. I adore the main protagonists, but more on that later. 

The plot is classic! Gwenda, having arrived in England, is looking for a home for her and her husband, Giles. She stumbles upon a perfect house, but notices that it’s all too familiar to her, but she doesn’t quite recall why. She has an ill feeling of unease, could the house be haunted? Gwenda, being originally from New Zealand, can’t place why she feels like this. 

She’s constantly feeling like she’s going mad, jumping at every creak in the house. When I read this, I felt aware of the creaks too. 

The wheels are in motion when Gwenda joins her husband’s cousin, who is none other than Joan West, husband to Raymond, who of course is Miss Marple’s nephew; the trio see a show, “The Duchess of Malfi,” and Gwenda screams in horror when she hears this quote:

“Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle. She died young!”

And so it begins. A tale of truth, murder, mystery, lies and discovery. 

Let’s talk about the characters:

Gwenda. Born in India, as she finds out. Raised briefly in England, then grew up in New Zealand. She struck me as very simple, old fashioned, of good values. Trustworthy, gentle and caring. 

She’s so cute though, even though she’s 21 she comes across as much more mature. She clearly adores her husband, and he adores her. 

Giles too, was an orphan, raised by various aunts. The two are clearly made for one another, and I ship them so seriously. They are one of my all time favourite couples throughout Agatha Christie books. In fact, what makes this book such a delight to re read, are the characters of Gwenda and Giles. Throughout the novel, I felt like I was right there with them. 

Miss Marple wasn’t as heavily featured in this story as much as she has been in others, but she shone when she needed to. On top of that, she bonded so nicely with Gwenda, it was beautiful. Their relationship was so sweet throughout the book, and Aunt Jane showed such care to Giles and Gwenda, always thinking of their safety first.

All in all, I will read this book many more times to come, it’s simplicity is just amazing. It’s perfection. Dame Agatha never disappoints. 

Favourite quote:

“One always has hope for human nature.”

And that concludes another review, thank you so much for reading! 🙂

Book Review: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen.

By Alison Weir, published 2016 by Headline Review, an imprint of Headline Publishing Group.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: historical fiction 


This was fucking phenomenal. Absolutely unputdownable. It chronicled the life of Katherine of Aragon from a young girl, leaving her childhood home of Spain, to her untimely death. 

The author wrote so passionately, I felt like I was Katherine, thrown into the Court of Henry Tudor. Initially betrothed to the elder Tudor son, Prince Arthur, their short marriage comes to an end when Arthur dies of the sweating sickness. I think Katherine was initially in love with Henry rather early on in the story, but it wasn’t until many years later that the pair were wed, what with Arthur and Katherine’s marriage becoming null and void. 

Though things start turning nasty for Katherine of Aragon when she can’t seem to bear the King a live boy; and of course Henry considers himself a God so he can’t be at fault. He thinks that God is cursing their marriage because Katherine was once married to Arthur, Henry’s own brother, though Katherine claims said marriage was never consummated. 

Alison Weir uses the above to show us, I think, how insane Henry VIII was. The way he treated Katherine later in their marriage was ghastly, he went from a king in love to a spiteful brat, he stripped her of her titles, and exiled her to a freaking nunnery. He even forbade their daughter from having contact with her.

All of this provided a very personal and sympathetic look into Katherine’s life, the novel was so extensively researched, it was just epic and it’s the first of 6. 

6 wives. 

6 years.

6 books.

This is some of the best news! And I cannot wait for May, because that will see the release of book 2, “Anne Boleyn: The King’s Obsession.”

My favourite of the Tudor Queens, but I definitely want to read more about Katherine of Aragon. I found this book to be an inspiring read. 

And that ends my review, thanks for reading.

I’m back, I had a bit of a hiatus from here a while ago, but I’ve missed posting these little rants. 

Thanks for reading 🙃

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian.

By Rick Riordan

Book 5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Published: 2009

Rating: 5 ⭐️

My thoughts:


Hats off to you Mr Riordan, that is how you end a series! 

Throughout the past 4 books, there has been lots of hints regarding when the prophecy must come to light and what it is; so I knew going in to this book that it would be the beginning of the end, for Percy and our friends, so I had high expectations.

And it did not disappoint. It answered all my questions from the past book, and even answered new ones that were coming through in my mind as I read it. 


Everything. About. This. Book. And. Series. Is. Literal. Perfection.


I know I have the Heroes of Olympus series to read when I can finally get the set, but I will miss this book series! It’s definitely become one of my all time favourites, and these characters are among my absolute favourites! I’ll often think back to them and what they may be up to. 

The writing. I cannot fault it. Absolutely epic throughout. Never a dull moment, and through every page I felt like I was there! I could hear and feel what our characters were hearing and feeling, and I loved it!

There was so much surprise throughout the book, so many twists and turns that I could have never predicted! But they were epic, and my mind was constantly blown. It was awesome; and there were so many cute and quirky lines and dialogue throughout, where I couldn’t help but chuckle loudly.

Let’s talk about the plot:

All year the half bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’ army grows stronger than ever, and with every god and Half Blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only enchances.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos starts his advance on New York City. Now it’s up to Percy and his friends to stop the lord of time.

Let’s talk about the characters:

I’m going to try and do this collectively, I think:

I am so proud of them all, even Luke and Clarisse, for there was some massive redemption on both their parts in this book; with the latter, Luke, it was so emotional at the end; that was only heightened by seeing flashbacks into his childhood earlier in the book. 

Annabeth too, she remained my favourite character throughout this series; and it was rather emotive seeing her flashback to where she met Thalia and Luke. I love her relationship with Percy and I was insanely overjoyed when they had their first kiss and I was massively fangirling:


Tyson and Grover; I adore them both; and I’m so happy Grover was reinstated at Camp and became an Elder, (again, so proud); and same with Tyson; he’s evolved so much throughout the book series.

Rachel! She too had grown massively and I couldn’t believe the twist that came with her at the end! Crazy! But awesome at the same time. 

All in all, this series was nothing but joy to read, and I definitely recommend this series to everyone!

Favourite quote:

“With great power… comes great need to take a nap. Wake me up later.”

And that ends my review, thanks for reading,

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory

Book 6 in The Cousin’s War series

Published: 2014 by Simon and Schuster

Rating: 5 🌟

My thoughts:

What does the name Maraget Pole mean to you? 

She was the daughter of Isabel Neville and George Plantagenet, hence she was a rival claimant to the Tudor throne. 

This was utterly fantastic. Philippa Gregory is why I love historical fiction. Throughout there was never a dull moment, actually there was so much anguish through this novel, I felt myself tearing up rather often. 

Let’s talk about the plot:

Margaret Pole, buried in marriage to a loyal Tudor supporter, becomes guardian to young Prince Arthur of Wales, and his young bride, Katherine of Aragon.

But Margaret will not live a life in the shadows; for tragedy throws her life into poverty and the King’s passing gives her the chance to go back to Court with her family, where she becomes lady in waiting to Queen Katherine.

But there is a secret, a curse was long ago cast on The Tudor line, and Margaret is watching it come to pass as she must choose between her allegiance to the crown and her friend, his abandoned Queen.

More of my thoughts:

Okay, so I confess, having profusely read about Margaret Pole, I procrastinated reading this for some time. For those of you that don’t know, she was executed at age 67. Which I think is pretty tragic for a lady that was only trying to do her best to keep her and her family alive in such perilous times. 

This was the perfect ending to The Cousin’s War series. Book one followed the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, and in fact it was her husband, Edward the Fourth, who was Margaret Pole’s Uncle; he ordered the execution of his own brother, Margaret’s father, George Plantagenet. 

Each book in this series was a delight to read, and I’d definitely re read them all. But this one here, for many reasons, I think, will be my favourite. It was just awe inspiring in its depth and I just learnt so much about Margaret Pole as a character. I always feel like Philippa Gregory writes figures from history so perfectly, it’s so easy to connect with them. They’re people, fascinating ones at that. 

I also love how Philippa wrote Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York, it was definitely a fresh perspective on both characters, and she captured Henry the Eighth perfectly! From a spoilt boy to a tyrannical, manic King. I truly did not know how insane he was. I cannot believe that he had his own daughter’s most dear guardian executed. 

Trust me when I say this ending will long be with you. 

Favourite quote:

“Thomas More once told me: lion or king, never show fear or you are a dead man.”

And that concludes my review: thank you for reading.

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Published: 2016 by Walker Books Limited

Rating: 5 ⭐️

Buddy read with my lovely friend and book Phoenix Lauren over at literarywisdom.wordpress.com

What I liked:

This was a truly remarkable book; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. So profound. I cried. A lot. I still can’t even process what I’ve just read. I hated it but at the same time I loved it. 


Let’s talk about the plot:

It’s 12:07. 

There is a monster at Conor’s window, but it’s hardly the stuff out of nightmares; but it wants the most dangerous thing out of Conor.

What it wants is the truth. 

Let’s talk about the characters:

Conor: what a fascinating boy. Through the book he’s constantly facing his inner demons, what with his mum being ill and his friends ignoring him after it was let out about his mum’s illness. 

But I really liked Conor, and through the book I was really feeling intensified by his interactions with the monster. I felt so heartbroken for him throughout and that feeling only climaxed through the book. 

His mum. She was such a dear. I adored her and my heart just felt for her throughout the story. I loved her tenderness with her son. She was so courageous throughout.

Truthfully I don’t have much to say about his grandmother, her house was depicted as being so lonely and isolated. I just felt so sad for Conor when he was there. 

The Monster, which took form of a yew tree. He told Conor of three stories, each of which had underlying darkness to them, yet all could be relatable I think not just to Conor but to everyone. 

This book definitely has a rightful place on everyone’s shelf. I feel. Read it and I dare for you not to be affected by it. The writing and everything about this book is remarkable. 

Favourite quotes:

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

And that will end my review. Thank you for reading. 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Title reveal + Official Summary for SJTR #2!

I am so excited! Like omg. I’ve never been more excited about a book!

kerri maniscalco

Happy 2017, friends! If you follow me on twitter, then you already know I’ve been teasing some snippets from STALKING JACK THE RIPPER book two, and–as fun as that’s been–I am even more excited that I get to share the title, release date, AND the official summary with you today!

If you’re so inclined, please feel free to add it to your Goodreads shelves and tell your friends about it. Your word of mouth promoting has been the reason my gothic mystery has gained so much attention, and I cannot wait to share this next installment of Audrey Rose’s journey with you.

Okay…..

Are you ready????

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Book two is called……

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HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose has no choice but to flee…

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Book Review: Percy Jackson – The Battle of the Labyrinth

Book 4 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians 

Published: 2008 by Disney Hyperion books

Rating: 5 ⭐️

What I liked:

Hands down, my favourite book so far in the series. 

Let’s talk about the plot:

Percy Jackson is not thinking his freshman orientation will be anything to look forward to, but when he sees a mysterious mortal on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things so from bad to worse. 

Time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titans Lord Kronos draw near, even Camp Half Blood is no longer safe. To stop the invasion on Camp Half Blood, Percy and his friends must navigate the mysterious Labyrinth.

My thoughts:

This was so atmospheric! I loved every minute of it, from the part where Percy meets those demonic cheerleaders, to navigating the labyrinth itself. 

Rick Riordan’s writing is so rich, I definitely felt like I was there in the labyrinth with Percy and our friends, every page was a twist and a turn and I was constantly on the edge of my seat throughout. The book from the start kept its pace and was continually building to an epic and chilling ending. 

Through the suspense, there were some epic witty lines and dialogue throughout which I enjoyed. 

Let’s talk about the characters:

I love Percy. I love how much he’s developed over the past books, he’s a great character and I definitely love seeing him interact with the water and get accustomed to his gifts. There’s a scene towards the end of the book where Percy and his father have a heart to heart chat, and it’s just lovely. 

Annabeth. My favourite. I adore her. She’s got so many admirable qualities but I cannot help but admire her loyalty the most, her bond with Percy is just great and she still refused to see anything but the good side of Luke, right up until the end. 

Grover and Tyson. They’re such sweet dears, the perfect brother and friend to our Percy. I’m so proud of how far both of them have come and I love how both characters predominantly feature in this book, especially Grover who plays quite a huge role.

My heart hurt for Calypso, banished to a phantom island for her fathers’ wrongdoings. She’s such a lovely character and her small story arc was rather sad.

Favourite quotes:

“Be careful of love. It’ll twist your brain around and leave you thinking up is down and right is wrong.” 

And that ends my review, thanks for reading! 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Published: 2016 by Feiwel and Friends, an Imprint of Macmillan.

Pages: 453

Rating: 2🌟


Let me begin by saying I adore Marissa Meyer; her previous series, The Lunar Chronicles, is one of my all time favourites; and when I heard about this book, being a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I was so excited for this. 

Sadly the end result didn’t do it for me at all; frankly I’m disappointed. I feel like the ideas were there but it just didn’t come together all that well, it was very slow paced, I felt like not much was happening throughout the book and then the ending felt like it was a bit rushed. 

So all in all, it was very:


Let me tell you why: lets talk about the plot:

So essentially Heartless is the story of Catherine, one of the most elite and desired girls in all of Wonderland, a favourite of the King of Hearts. She couldn’t care less about his persuing of her, I don’t blame her, the King is an idiot (I’ll explain more below); Cath and her dearest friend and maidservant, Mary Anne, dream of opening the greatest bakery that Wonderland ever knew. 

It’s here that I will mention, when you read this book, arm yourself with an excessive amount of sugary snacks; 


For this book with its constant mention of baked goods and sweets will send your cravings into overdrive, if you’re a sweet tooth like me. So don’t say I didn’t warn you 😁.

At a royal ball, Cath finds herself expected to accept the King’s marriage proposal; though it is there that she meets the mysterious Jest, and she finds herself feeling pure attraction and curiosity towards the fellow. Despite the risks of losing her title and dowry, Cath and Jest begin a secret Courtship. 

She is determined to be the owner of her own destiny; but behind the facade of a seemingly peaceful court, nothing at all is what it seems, and magic, madness and monsters soon throw everything into chaos. 

Sounds intriguing enough, right? 


Let’s talk about the characters:

Lady Catherine. She was fine, but I just found her a bit two dimensional. I mean yeah at given times she had gall and was definitely brave, but her simpering over Jest and her fickleness between her heart and her torn loyalties to her family and duties and her heart just did not do it for me. I admire that she wanted to chase her  dream in a time where women were expected to marry and not work, but my love for her ended there. There was too much back and forth, between being forced to marry the King and wanting to be with Jest, to wanting to open her bakery. 

Mary Anne, she was a sweetheart at first, but then I just found her character was a bit bland too, I mean yeah she was a great friend to Cath, and they had their dreams, but Mary Anne had her moment of hope which ultimately ended in her betraying her friend and almost getting killed by the Jabberwock. 

The King of Hearts:


I mean I’m sure it was intentional to make him so stupid and dull and dithering, but oh gosh: his poetry was sickeningly stupid and made no sense whatsoever. For someone that wanted to marry Cath, he had no idea about romance and courtship, which led to Jest and Cath collectively suggesting that she should be courted by said King. 

It’s like:


I didn’t half mind Meyer’s take on the other characters from Wonderland lore, except for Hatta which annoyed the living daylights out of me, and it made me miss this fella:


Sadly, I can’t really sing this book any praises, because there was very little I enjoyed about it. I’m glad to be done with it; I wasn’t even moved by the sad scene towards the end. Though it did go full circle for the Queen of Hearts, and she very much was:


I honestly can’t even pick out a quote from this that I loved, truthfully. I’m surprised how disappointed I found this book, but there you go. 

That concludes my review; I hope you enjoyed it, do feel free to leave a comment. Thank you and until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂