Calypso’s Heart by M.C. Solaris

Reviewed by Lotte:

I’ve just re-read this book in readiness to hit book 2 and 3 in the Orion’s Order novels, and I can confidently say that second time around it was definitely just as good!

As I said in my previous short review, going into it I wasn’t sure it was for me and with it being a fairly lengthy read, I was dubious. But oh my word, it was sooo worth it, for many different reasons. For a start there was so much to the plot: lots of different characters, many paranormal elements, storylines that led to more action, and obviously as a PNR (Paranormal Romance) there was plenty of steamy scenes. I really liked that there was so much to enjoy in it. This one book almost felt like a series of tv episodes, there was so much happening. I particularly liked that a lot of the world building was done by bouncing around these various elements of the plot so rather than being boring, there was usually something happening that kept my attention, even if it did mean a little bit of repetition.

The characters themselves were all intriguing in their own ways. It was a little difficult to keep track of everyone at the beginning, not just names but their species and abilities too. I actually nearly confused Nick with Nico at the start! But they naturally got clearer the more I read, in that same way that world building happening, these characters were brought to life as we progressed through the plot. I loved that the Order was made up of different species too, it just made it all more interesting. It’s unusual for me to like all the characters but I honestly did (with the exception of The Ghost obviously!). I want to know more about them too! Our two main characters were enthralling. Watching Cali find out about herself, develop into the person she’s meant to be whilst also falling for Blake kept me hooked. There was a point where I was wondering if she was just going to be a soppy female under the spell of her Alpha. But actually, Cali is badass! She’s the female alpha to his male alpha, she’s not afraid to stand up to him and when it comes to handling the problems they face, she holds her own. And Blake doesn’t fit the stereotypical mould either, watch out for a subtle, thoughtful and respectful side too.

The paranormal parts had pretty much everything you’d want – shifters, wolves, vampires, aristocratic tech nerd, dream travellers, healers, a ghost and more. It’s chock full of abilities and alternative world fun. And as for the romance – well, Solaris knows how to write a steamy sex scene that’s for sure! Be prepared for details – lots of details – involving the paranormal elements too.

This novel is told through the POV of all characters which can get a little confusing as the switch can happen quickly. But once you get the hang of who’s who it’s easy to identify the changes. At that point it just brings the story to full fruition, hearing from many perspectives in the situation. I actually part listened to the Audio of this book (switching between reading and listening), narrated by Jarman Day. He really brings this book to life and helps with character identification – how he keeps all the characters so distinct is incredible! He’s probably one of the best narrators I’ve listened to this year!

Overall I found this novel completely addictive and I’m super excited to be able to start reading Rhyker’s Key straight away. I’ve also joined M.C. Solaris’s ARC team so check back for a review of the third book Deacon’s Star coming soon. Brilliant read, fab author, so happy I stumbled across it!

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Author: M.C. Solaris
Publisher: MC Solaris LLC
Release Date: 15 May 2020

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Reviewed by Lotte:

I’ve read all seven of The Seven Sisters books throughout this year and I have to admit I’ve enjoyed each one. The sisters are each named after a star constellation called the Seven Sisters of The Pleiades. We have:

Book one – Maia – The Seven Sisters #1
Book two: Ally – relating to Alycone – The Storm Sister #2
Book three: Star – relating to Asterope – The Shadow Sister #3
Book four: CeCe – relating to Celaeno – The Pearl Sister #4
Book five Tiggy – relating to Teygete – The Moon Sister #5
Book six: Electra – The Sun Sister #6
Book seven: Mary – relating to Merope – The Missing Sister #7

I really enjoyed how in each book every sister went on their own journey to find out about their past and that Riley was able to make their stories original. Without giving away any spoilers each sister was taken down paths with different histories, locations and backgrounds, discovering connections to family in different ways.

The narrative was told in both present and past day settings, so as the sister discovered parts of their past in the present day, Riley took us back to see that past playing out too. It made for interesting reading as the dynamic changed and gave us multiple perspectives. In present day I found myself eager to go back to the past to read the truth and when reading the past I was excited to find out how the sister was finding the information. I think this is what kept me hooked through these long books and throughout the whole series, because in the same way that I wanted to switch between past and present, I was also intrigued to find out the next sister’s story.

I don’t really think I can choose a favourite story but I did find there was more repetition within the plot as we progressed through the books. This was a useful reminder and I can imagine if you read them a year apart from each other it would be helpful but as I read them in a short space of time I found them unnecessary and tried to read through those parts quickly. With this in mind you could read each book on its own, as it contains enough backstory for it to be a stand-alone book. A friend actually read book 6 without having read the previous 5 books and loved it!

I know we all thought book 7 would be the last but it turns out we have one more to go – the story of the mysterious Pa Salt, the sisters adopted Father, and if I’m honest I’m looking forward to reading it! His actual name is Atlas, which fits with the theme because according to legend, Atlas was the Father of the Seven Sisters. So I’m captivated and hoping this last book will finally give us the rest of the answers we’ve been holding on to!

Author: Lucinda Riley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: Nov 2014 – April 2021

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Reviewed by Lotte:

I was excited to read this book. I love Les Misérables and I most definitely love fantasy novels. And I did like the premise! Using the backdrop of Les Mis, the characters and the theme of the uprising was a great idea but it wasn’t quite enough. Sure, you could see the references, but I felt they could have been used so much more. 

However, I enjoyed it as the characters themselves started to emerge and the way Grant portrayed the underground people, the ‘most wretched’ in fantastical ways. It was fun seeing them depicted as guilds of thieves and assassins etc. There were some great story lines including the use of call signals and the various relations between the guilds. Overall, there was plenty of subterfuge and misdirection to keep me hooked and although the time hops were a little disorientating, it all came together in the end.

If you’re looking for a re-telling of Les Mis, this book isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy fantasy, waring guilds and the underground rising for a good cause, with hints of Les Mis thrown in, then you’ll enjoy this book. It’s all about expectation I think. For me, the overall premise and potential plot is enough to make me want to pursue the series and try the next book! I really hope the references and build up in this book come to fruition more as the series plays out.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Author: Kester Grant
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Release Date: 4 June 2020

Calypso’s Heart by M.C. Solaris

Reviewed by Lotte:

This book was absolutely fantastic!

Going into it I wasn’t sure if it was for me, and with it being a fairly lengthy read, I was dubious. But oh my word, it was sooooo worth it! I found it completely addictive, the plot line and characters were enthralling and by the time I was finished I felt cheated that I didn’t have the second book to hand to begin reading immediately. Brilliant read, fab author, so happy I stumbled across it!

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. Full review pending.

Author: M.C. Solaris
Publisher: MC Solaris LLC
Release Date: 15 May 2020

Aaaand we’re back!

After taking some time out of reviewing due to ill-health and life taking over, I’m finally back and ready to get sharing again! But not to worry, I haven’t been idle this year, I’ve read over 70 books already so I’ll be sure to backtrack and review some of my favourites and some of the more talked about books of 2021. I can’t wait to get started!