Book Review | Felix Silver, Teaspoons, and Witches, Harry Cook

Goodreads Blurb:

After his parents announce that his bizarre, emerging abilities are getting in the way of their divorce, Felix Silver relocates to Dorset Harbour and becomes the charge of his Grandma Aggie. As Felix adjusts to life in a new school, Aggie decides that it’s time he learn The Silver Way, and teaches him all she knows about sorcery and magical arts. When Felix and his new friends decide to solve the mystery of local teenagers who have gone missing, Felix learns that his crush, Aero, has a big secret. Is dark magic creeping into the town, and can Felix learn enough from Aggie and the witches of Dorset Harbour to combat it?

My Thoughts:

‘Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches’ was a really fun, easy read, with likeable characters. The plot was fairly straightforward, but engaging, which kept me reading right until the end. This book had some interesting friendships/relationships in it too!

There were a few things I found that lessened my enjoyment though. On the whole I found that the novel didn’t feel quite as polished as it potentially could have been. Grammatically I didn’t find any issues, but the story felt quite rushed to me. This meant that the characters felt underdeveloped, and as a result, less easy to connect with as I read. The romance was sweet but to me it felt a little rushed as well, or even rather instantaneous after the first meeting. This made it something I couldn’t happily invest myself in.

The last thing I found was that it was difficult to tell who was narrating a chapter until a couple of paragraphs in. This made it hard to follow the story once there were multiple narrators. This could easily be helped with name of the PoV character with the title of each chapter.

The plot itself I found really interesting, and especially with the fun magic system. I loved how magic seemed to be integrated with the town it was set in. I would have loved to have seen more of the limitations of the magic, and more learning about how it works as Felix is still learning. I loved how the magic of each person was channelled through a teaspoon, such a fun idea, but I feel it could have been explored further.

Overall I really did enjoy reading this but I feel that there were a few things that could really improve the way the story is told and make it more impactful. I do not hate it in the slightest, and am interested to see if the final publication has been edited further. I will be getting myself a copy to see if the issues I found were just part of the early reader version. Especially as I think this story is such a fun read!


Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for gifting me this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 30th August 2022.

Book Review | The Octagon’s Eight, Mairon Oakley

Goodreads Blurb:

Every year the city of Hanging Hold hosts an event.

Eight prisoners condemned to death are sent out to sea – none are expected to return but if they do, they win their freedom.

The dark-elf Dirian has grown up Below, the brand on his face testament to his place as a scout and skills as a warrior. Now he finds himself on a mission gone wrong, abandoned in a foreign Surface world and forced on an adventure bound to end in his demise.

Follow Dirian and his companions of varying enthusiasm as they set sail and face the harsh forces of nature, impossible creatures and magical wonders all to unlock the mysteries of the Octagon and escape with their lives in this perilous tale of discovery.

My Thoughts:

My gosh. This was one of those books where once I picked it up I just couldn’t stop reading. No, really, I had a few days off last week and with the cold weather I don’t think I did much else! There is so much to love about Oakley’s debut novel that I am not sure where to start, but I do need to start somewhere.

I found the world building for this novel truly wonderful. It was recognisable as classic fantasy, with all the familiar species, class division, magic, and belief systems, but with Oakley’s own twist on them. It also feels very full bodied without trying too hard, or making the reader feel bogged down with information. Making this world a new favourite of mine to read about. Especially with the rather straightforward plot which encouraged the characters and their growth to shine.

Though at face value, the plot was rather simple, it was engaging and exciting. It left room for the characters to really shine! I found that every time I had to put the book down, I needed to know what happened next. Especially with the high stakes of the quest – life and death. Something which manages to bring the unlikely group of characters together (and working together too, despite their differences).

It didn’t take long for the group of main characters to completely steal my heart! I was invested from very early on, and loved seeing their growth throughout the novel. They were all beautifully complex, and so interesting to follow. I found myself holding my breath in really intense scenes, needing them to be okay! I also really love how there was a little romance, but it is so subtly brought into the story, and in such a clever way at it felt so natural for those characters, and not out of place.

I highly recommend this book to other fantasy readers who are looking for an exciting read with high stakes and wonderful characters!


Thank you to the publisher, Tebreus Press and the author, Mairon Oakley for gifting me this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 12th July 2022.

Book Review | The Bartered Soul, L. B. Benson

Goodreads Blurb:

Andromeda is a priestess without a temple.
She escaped the horrific fate her sister priestesses faced at the hand of the usurper king’s men years ago and has resigned herself to a life in a brothel, hiding from her past and those who would wipe the priestesses and their Goddess from memory.

Captain William Lennox is a pirate with an unsavory and violent reputation.
After years of avoiding the notorious Captain Lennox, Andromeda finds herself ensnared by the rogue. She begrudgingly accepts her fate – to accompany the handsome, yet dangerous, pirate on his latest voyage across the sea; both as entertainment for him and his crew and to keep watch over a younger girl trapped in the same bargain. It’s the only sure way to earn their way to a new life across the ocean, safe from the king’s bigotry.

Despite her best efforts, Andromeda finds herself surrounded by reminders of who she was before her future was taken from her.
Can she continue to wear the mask she has donned for almost a decade and escape her past for good? Or will her traitorous heart push her toward a new future solidly entwined with the painful secrets she has tried so hard to forget and the Captain who harbors secrets of his own?

My Thoughts:

This one hooked me in right from the start! Amazing characters, amazing world building, exciting plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

I really enjoyed reading about the world this novel is set in. I loved the way this novel navigates exploring the history of this world as well as the characters past. And oohmygosh, the secrets upon secrets that are all revealed in the most awesome way. Also pirates!!? They are everything I wanted and more, plus the crew is just plain awesome. Especially with the twist.

One thing with this novel though, is that I found a lot of the epic action happened much earlier than I was expecting it. This left the latter part of the novel to be a little slow. But I really enjoyed it all the same, as the relationship kept me hooked, along with my emotional investment in the characters.

Speaking of characters, I think one of my favourite aspects of the novel is the amazing cast of characters. Especially the MC Andomeda – simply put, she’s a badass. Especially in the way she manages with the hand she is dealt. She is strong, and fierce, but she is vulnerable. I loved her friendship with Lyra too. As well as this, just all the pirates! They all bound together in a beautiful found family, it just made me so happy to read about them all.

Overall this was such a fun read, with awesome plot and amazing characters. Highly recommended! I’m looking forward to reading more from this wonderful author!

*Keep in mind there are some content warnings for this novel. You can find them on the novel’s Goodreads page if you want to read them.


Thank you to the author, L. B. Benson for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 21st June 2022.

Book Review | The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, Matt Cain

Goodreads Blurb:

Albert Entwistle is a private man with a quiet, simple life. He lives alone with his cat Gracie. And he’s a postman. At least he was a postman until, three months before his sixty-fifth birthday, he receives a letter from the Royal Mail thanking him for decades of service and stating he is being forced into retirement.

At once, Albert’s sole connection with his world unravels. Every day as a mail carrier, he would make his way through the streets of his small English town, delivering letters and parcels and returning greetings with a quick wave and a “how do?” Without the work that fills his days, what will be the point? He has no friends, family, or hobbies—just a past he never speaks of, and a lost love that fills him with regret.

And so, rather than continue his lonely existence, Albert forms a brave plan to start truly living. It’s finally time to be honest about who he is. To seek the happiness he’s always denied himself. And to find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he loved and lost—but has never forgotten. As he does, something extraordinary happens. Albert finds unlikely allies, new friends, and proves it’s never too late to live, to hope, and to love.

My Thoughts:

Oh my, this novel brought up all the emotions! And I absolutely loved it! Wonderful, vibrant characters, a sweet story line, personal growth, and a search for a lost love – what more could I want?

This novel was beautifully plotted, and while it was slow to start but I found it worked for me. In that wonderfully trundling slowness I saw how Alberts life was for him as he trudged through his day to day routine. There was something so beautifully simple about the story that made it even more charming for me. There was a lot of depth to story that shone through in both the plot and the characters. The characters in this story are what really brought the joy for me, and I loved the side characters and how fleshed out they were just as much as Albert which was so nice.

I loved that the story was told from two different points in Alberts life – I found switching between the two helped me to understand Albert more. It was interesting seeing how his early life and his relationship with his parents then affected him so much later in his life. This is so true of so many gay men of that time that it makes the story all the more heartbreaking. Though it was heartbreaking with a hopeful end, which I really loved. The end of this edition of the novel also included some interviews with gay men of Albert’s age with similar stories to Albert’s. I think this was a really lovely addition at the end.

Despite the very painful reality of Albert’s situation and his story, there is some really clever humour amongst the heartfelt or emotional moments of self reflection. These moments really make this novel an absolute joy to read!


Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 31st May 2022.

Book Review | The Book of Non-Binary Joy, Ben Pechey

Goodreads Blurb:

‘Oh hello darling, and welcome to The Book of Non-Binary Joy! This book is here to help you be yourself – free from judgement and expectation – as you unlock more joy in your life. Take my hand, and let’s start your journey of self-love today.’

Whether you are at the start of your journey or have been on the wild ride of gender introspection for a long time, this guide is here to help you thrive as your authentic – and most fabulous – non-binary self. With personal stories, valuable insights and interactive sections, this inspiring book covers a wide range of topics, including mental health, pleasure, fashion, understanding your past, allyship privilege and self-expression.

Written with warmth and unapologetic humour, and with bold illustrations throughout, Ben Pechey has created the ultimate safe space for you to embrace your non-binary life and start living.

My Thoughts:

Strangely it took me a while to finish this one. When I first started I thought it would be a quick, easy read, but somehow it was quite the opposite. I think it was the style of writing for me, it was to a certain extent very conversational, but there was a lot to absorb. This wasn’t a bad thing entirely, all of which was covered in this book I found to be really insightful. For me, a lot of it was reinforcing ways of thinking that I already had (or was trying to embody), but some parts did show me different ways of exploring (and accepting) my own gender identity.

What I liked most about this book was the way it was organised. The book covered topics all to do with gender and understanding who you are. From Understanding Your Past to Self-Expression, as well as Social Media which I think is something really important to cover. Each topic was covered in a really accessible way, and included anecdotes as well as a summary at the end of each chapter. As well as this, there is a really great list of resources in one of the last chapters for those who might want to know more (I want to point out that as this was originally published in the UK, the resources are UK based, but helpful – in some cases – none the less). This book also recommends some further reading on the topic of gender identity which I will definitely have a look at.

I think part of the reason that it took me a while read this is that I found the narrative voice a little grating. While it is conversational, I found it to be a little pushy. Despite this, I think that some people might find this a lot easier to read than other more factual (or even clinical) books on gender identity. I also found that while there were quite a few topics covered, the information seemed to be talked about at a surface level. Again, I think this would be helpful for some, but I was left wanting more from the book.

On the whole this is a really well thought out book, and great for someone who is just starting to question their identity, and needs a place to start. It is a wonderful safe space to explore their gender identity and what it means for them. It is accessible, and, as the title says, is an exploration of the joys your gender identity can bring you.


Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 19th May 2022.