The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

“She would learn later that she had been making a strange sound, part moan, part scream: a single, guttural yell. This was why her son had walked towards her, but at the time, in her altered state of mind, she was unaware.”

Well I thought I wanted to read this book until I got partway through and realised that it was what I think people probably call ‘chicklit’, which is not a genre that I’m interested in.
It was certainly well written and crafted in a way that leads the reader nicely through the story.
However I made a mistake in selecting it and did not really enjoy it much at all.
So in fairness to the author I am not going to criticise it and will just say that it will probably suit those who like a story about life destroyed by disaster and then rebuilt through personal resilience.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.
Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina’s life of luxury quickly disappears and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.
But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.
Stirring and empowering, this novel from bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this tale of one woman’s loss and love.

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The Last Librarian (Book One of the Justar Journal) by Brandt Legg

““I am not running, I am seeking. I am not hiding, I am finding.” “Where do you go? What do you do?” “I’m just dancing with time, and occasionally wrestling with it. Like my daddy used to say, ‘Time’s a funny thing.’ But I’m not laughing.” He sat next to Deuce again. “It’s almost over.””

This is a story set in the future, when all the books except those in the last library have been destroyed. Books are only available digitally now and the government agencies have decided that the last paper books are no longer necessary. The library is scheduled to be destroyed. The Last Librarian is Runit Happerman and he wants to save as many books as he can before ‘they’ come in 10 days to destroy his world, he just needs a little help with that.
His best friend Nelson is an author, he offers to help and gets his sister Chelle Andreas involved too. Runit is concerned about his son Grandyn becoming embroiled in the rebellious act, but is unable to prevent him joining the growing team and also bringing his girlfriend Vida along, as well as his Treerunner colleagues. Surely all those would be enough to achieve the saving of 100,000 books.
There are of course other factors involved, but to write them here would be to spoil the story for the next reader, so trust me when I say that it is a massive task, made difficult by shifting parameters and personal interactions.
The story could be considered a prophetic tale, with the prevalence of digital books, many people nowadays don’t need the paper books anymore. But who keeps the records of what the author intended to be read?
This was an interesting and involving read and I did enjoy my time with it.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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USA Today Bestseller “Never let them catch you reading!”
In the year 2098, there is no more war, no more hunger and no more pollution. The world is secure and Earth’s 2.9 billion people are healthy and happy. There is also only one remaining library that still houses physical books. In addition to the dusty volumes, the library holds many secrets. But the government has decided to shut it down and burn the contents. Unless an unlikely trio can save the books, humanity will lose more than just what is printed on those antique pages.

With a single government ruling the entire planet, one currency, one language and no religion, the population is unified and enjoying the prosperity that comes with more than seven decades of peace. Free healthcare for all and guaranteed employment make the future a dream. But this future may only be safe if they can hide the past. The books must be saved . . . the impossible task is up to an angry author, a brazen revolutionary and the last librarian. When everything is perfect, the only thing left to fear is the truth.

The Lost TreeRunner (Justar Journal #2) available now – The Lost TreeRunner (The Justar Journal Book 2)
The List Keepers (Justar Journal #3) available now – The List Keepers (The Justar Journal Book 3)

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Blood and Stars (Legend of Rhyme Series Volume 1 Book 5 ) by Jaime Lee Mann

“Sibley sucks in her breath as the statue disappears. And Elora— in the flesh, in a long black gown— blinks her eyes, stretches her arms, and smiles. “Mother.””

Once again I read Jaime Lee Mann in one day, in one sitting. The stories she writes are so engaging!
This one covers the continuing adventures of the Caine children.
It is usual with this series to flick back and forth between the main characters to keep the time line development in sync for the reader, as this book is no exception.
I liked that the story of Teagan continues in an undersea world of mer folk, that Asher is still susceptible to the Darkness in the world. There are some new characters introduced to give depth to the story and these have back story to describe how they fit in.
Jaime Lee Mann manages to write such good stories, they are enjoyable for adults and children alike. Do give her Legend of Rhyme stories a read and then share them with your friends and family.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
Thirteen-year-old Ariana Caine has woken in Coraira, and is torn between finding her brother Asher and learning how to rule the magic realm while Calla is under a protection spell.
Beneath the sea, Starla the mer-queen is bringing her apprentice, Teagan, to the Chamber of Memories to learn more about her parents. But when Starla is beckoned by one of the Ancients, Teagan is approached by a stranger, who promises to lead her to her mother and father. Meanwhile, the sea witch and her sisters are poised and ready to usurp the queen’s reign, and will stop at nothing to gain her powers.
On top of it all, Elora, the infamous witch who has caused so much heartache, is now asking for trust one last time.
Will Ariana choose Coraira over her brother?
Will the sea witch have her wish?
What are Elora’s true intentions?

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Wahl dog guillotine claw clippers

I bought these as a last ditch attempt to keep my dog’s claws trimmed. I had been using human nail clippers but they were not easy. My dog has a phobia about her paws being touched, so would run away and hide as soon as she saw the clippers. On the occasions when I did clip her claws she would scramble and try to climb over my shoulders to get away from the clippers. When examining the performance of the human nail clippers (which used a pincer cutting style) the nail was not cut in the correct manner for dogs nails and on occasions did cause the nail to split.

I have made do over my dogs life by leaving long spells of not clipping her nails and then trying to get her used to the human nail clippers, this hasn’t worked for either of us.
I was really anxious about switching to guillotine claw clippers because they didn’t look easy to use and I wasn’t sure how to use them, either. I bought a set locally and looked up online for information on how best to use them. Then set about trimming her claws with a guillotine clipper and it was okay, but! The clippers made a loud click when I used them, just like the pincer nail clippers, so I had the same ‘run away’ problem. Then the problems started, the clippers were made of plastic and the pivot was devised from two plastic lugs on one handle inserted into the opposing handle. Because my dogs nails are very hard I had to apply a fair amount of force to guillotine her claws and the lugs would pop out, locking the handles in the closed position, with a loud ‘clack’! This of course frightened my dog and increased her fear of having anything done to her paws, and more running away. I did manage to get my money back on those.
To the guillotine clippers in the title then, these were an Amazon add-on item, so I felt comfortable giving dog nail management another final attempt. They arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and were well packaged. They are made entirely of metal (from what I can see anyway) and they are comfortable to hold in the hand.

Having tested them on my dog I am able to clip two of her nails before she leaves me, they do not make a loud noise – in fact they are quite quiet, and she doesn’t hide or run away, she just moves away and sits staring at me (waiting for a treat).

I am able to shave off a thin sliver of nail or snip off a nail as needed. 

The clippers are comfortable in my hand (if you want an idea of how big my hands are in the photos, the span across my palm is 8cm just above the base of my thumb) and easy to manipulate, making me feel more confident in clipping my dogs nails and therefore able to accomplish the task more easily. I’m really glad that I took one final chance on guillotine clippers.
I got mine here [click on the image]:

The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone 

“It was always worse when he’d had a beer or two. That Feeling. Hot, urgent and raw, tearing through him. Making him restless, argumentative. Angry. It was as though something or someone took control of him, forcing him to act badly, to be nasty and cruel.”

This is a story about a transplant patient, who starts to exhibit different characteristics than his normal ones. Is it his donors organ changing him, or did he always have a propensity to do that which he now does?

Jacob receives a new heart, even as he is coming round his character has changed, he swears, thinks little of women. Once home his family are grateful for his reprieve and do not immediately take in his changes.
Meanwhile his donor’s girlfriend has moved on and is living a happier life as a singleton, while keeping her job in a local bank. She hasn’t told anyone about how her previous relationship was and is taking life one day at a time.

As the story moves forward Jacob’s character changes ever more profoundly and his mother starts to feel concern. She starts to seek help for her son, always wondering whether it is the new heart or the way Jacob was brought up.

The ending is tense and fast paced, I was speed reading to see what the outcome would be for the individual characters. Would any of them be brave enough to solve the matter?

This was a cracking story, different than many others. It explores the idea of memory within donated organs being assimilated by the host bodies. Totally fascinating!

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
A gripping new thriller debut that asks the question, how deep in our hearts does evil lie?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

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Essential oil aromatherapy diffuser 

This is my new essential oil diffuser. It is made by TaoTronics and holds 300ml water, which is great to save having to refill the tank.  

The main features are:-

  • Touch sensitive controls 
  • Soft multi-colour LED ambient lighting 
  • Timer mode 
  • Low water protection 
  • Alarm beeper 

    Included in the box are :-

    • TaoTronics Aroma Diffuser 
    • Power Adapter 
    • Cup 
    • User Guide 

      It runs on DC 24V 650mA (14W), the Water Tank Volume is 300ml (10oz).

      Working time is 11 hours on Low Misting; 6 hours on High Misting. 

      It is simple to use :

      • Remove the tank cover and lid
      • Add up to 300ml water into the water tank 
      • Add 2-3 drops of essential oil into the water 
      • Put the lid and cover back on 

      Once plugged in the device beeps once to indicate it is in standby mode. Ensuring that there is enough water in the tank, press the power button to set the diffuser running. The power button controls the timer and Misting levels by the use of long and/or repeated presses. A small LED indicates the current mode. 

      An additional feature is the ambient lighting, which automatically cycles through different colours; or it is possible to select a static colour or none at all.

      The small instruction booklet is clear and easy to understand, the cautions are explicit and tell the user what to do and what not to do. For example, the device should only be drained from one side to avoid water getting into the unit. This is clearly marked on the unit side so that the user does not forget. 

      I have had the device 2 weeks now and I have used it most days. I have emptied it and dried it after each use. It is working well and scenting my living room very nicely. 

      Overall I am pleased with the diffusion and ambient lighting effect. Some people have reported that it is noisy, however I haven’t found it so. The video gives an idea of the humming and ‘plupping’ noise it makes, I had to stop my clock to video this because it’s tick was too loud, so hopefully that gives a more representative idea of the volume. 

      I got mine here [click on the image]  

      Oneplus 3T

      I have wanted a new smartphone for about a year now. My old iPhone 4S’s battery does not last half of the day anymore (it is over 5 years old now). I want a phone that does all the up to date things, has a bigger screen (so that I can see it) and looks good as well.
      About three months ago I was all for a Samsung S7 Edge but having checked how much I could get on trading in a brand new version of the phone, I discovered that I would only get £300 when I was expected to pay way over £590 for a brand new one.
      So, I decided to wait for the launch of the S8, as I thought that the S7 Edge would reduce in price dramatically once the S8 was launched. However that has not happened and my iPhone is dying quickly.
      When he heard that the S8 was only £50 more than the S7 Edge my partner suggested that it was well worth getting the S8 instead, if there was so little between the price of the two phones.
      After a time of waiting for prices to drop, my partner asked me why I was so hung up with the Samsung? I tried to explain that it was the number one rated smartphone for 2017 and that I wanted to get the best for my money when I switched phone.
      So he asked me what else was there out there?
      I was taken aback, I hadn’t even thought about it. So I said that I didn’t know. What had he seen?
      He did a quick search and suggested that I look at the OnePlus 3T, which was the number two on the list of top smartphones. Why hadn’t I thought of looking further?
      The key things that I was looking for were a screen that I could actually read and overall greater functionality in general. I also wanted a battery that lasted longer than a day.
      With that in mind, this is a summary of the information that I gathered and the information from the review’s that I read :-
      Please note that I have not listed all the functionality for any of the smartphones mentioned, and I have only mentioned things that I have picked up from reading reviews made by other individuals. I have not (yet) tried any other phone, whether those mentioned, or other brands. Therefore this blog is just a lot of words taken from other people and the brand websites; and in no way is it a reflection on the products mentioned, whether positive or negative. It is entirely up to each individual to do their own research to determine which product is most appropriate for them (as I have done and noted here).

      S7 Edge
      Made of a metal and glass build with a curved display, it is IP68 water resistant, and was available in black, blue or gold
      It has a sim-tray, which  supports a microSD slot, and there is also a microphone. At the bottom is the headphone jack, another microphone, a speaker and a microUSB port for charging. The screen size is 5.5-inches.
      Apparently the S7 Edge tends to have about 25-35% of battery life left at the end of the day, while power drops more suddenly during intensive tasks, but it has exceptional standby time.

      S8
      It has a microSD slot tucked away with the nano-SIM, Qi wireless charging, and the device is IP68 water- and dust-resistant too, so it should survive in water for 30 minutes to depths of 1.5 metres.
      The fingerprint-sensing Home button is on the back, next to the camera.
      It has Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back which should offer a little more protection, but allegedly it doesn’t appear to and it is said that the Samsung S8 feels like a delicate phone.
      To prolong the 3000mAh battery life, a new Galaxy S8 will be set to display at 1080p rather than quad-HD. The battery will need to be charged every night. Samsung has switched to the reversible USB-C port, but wireless charging remains an option.
      The downward-facing speaker is apparently terrible, with the sound itself tinny and distorted at higher volumes.
      It has a single 12-megapixel sensor behind a wide f/1.7 lens, while on the front there’s a new 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. It has autofocus, which remains a rarity on selfie cameras, and takes great pictures too.

      Oneplus 3T
      The OnePlus 3T is 7.4mm thick and is made from a single slab of aluminium alloy. At the bottom of the phone there is a speaker, a USB-C port and a headphone jack.
      Along the left edge is a three-level Alert Slider to toggle between notification profiles (choices are:- all, priority or none) . Below this is the volume rocker, and on the opposite side the power button.
      There’s a front fingerprint sensor, which also acts as the Home button, flanked by capacitive Back and Recent keys that are only marked by a backlit dot, rather than their standard icons. This is because you can swap their positions in the OnePlus 3T’s settings.
      The button setup means you can do away with Android’s on-screen navigation buttons, freeing up more of the display; or turn on the on-screen navigation in the settings.  You can also choose different shortcut actions for double-press and hold inputs for any of the capacitive buttons.
      The OnePlus 3T supports dual SIMs,  but the second SIM slot does NOT double as a microSD card slot, so there’s no expandable storage.
      There are 64GB and 128GB capacity options of the phone. NFC means that you can use Android Pay.
      The OnePlus’ ‘Shelf’ is accessible by swiping right on the Home screen. 

      This houses your recent contacts, recent apps and a management centre that shows your storage and battery levels, as well as how much data you have left if you’re on a limited tariff. If you don’t want to use Shelf, you can just turn it off.
      OnePlus’s rear-facing camera is the Sony IMX 298 16-megapixel sensor with 1.12-micron size pixels. This is paired with an F/2.0 aperture lens that supports Phase Detect Autofocus with optical image stabilisation. The introduction of electronic image stabilisation when shooting video allows for up to 4K at 30fps. OnePlus says the 6GB of RAM is actually used for the Camera app to help boost its responsiveness.
      The front-facing camera uses a 16-megapixel Samsung 3P8SP sensor and an F/2.0 aperture lens. It’s more than adequate for selfies or for video chatting as it’s a far higher resolution than you’ll find on most phones.
      The battery is 3,400mAh. OnePlus has its own quick charging technology, called Dash Charge. This requires use of the supplied OnePlus Dash Charge USB wall adaptor and OnePlus USB-C cable.  All of the temperature regulation occurs in the dash charge adaptor itself, meaning only thermal regulated current reaches the phone, so it shouldn’t overheat or have to throttle its charging. This also means that if you’re using the OnePlus 3T while it charges, the charge rate won’t need to slow down.
      Dash Charge means that you don’t strictly have to leave the OnePlus 3T plugged in overnight if there’s a reasonable amount of charge remaining.
      The OnePlus 3T remains the best Android phone you can buy in its price category with fantastic performance, great build quality and an improved battery life, but now that it’s edged towards £400 and beyond, it’s not quite as big a bargain as its predecessor.

      Discount referal code for OnePlus 3T:-
      https://oneplus.net/uk/invite#5SUGBN733ZPFCXY

      With the code above you can receive £20 off the price of accessories when you buy a new mobile phone direct from OnePlus.

      And while you are benefiting from that discount, if you live in the UK, why not get a bonus credit on a new SIM at the same time. If you order a new Sim card via this link, activate it and top up with £10 or more,  you will receive £5 extra free credit:-

      https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate?utm_medium=App&utm_source=Android&utm_campaign=androidapp&android-app=1&m=1julieshort?ggSMS=app

      I switched to GiffGaff about two years ago and it was so liberating to be able to tweak my plan to suit my needs on an ongoing basis. There are months when I know that I shall use more data or minutes than I regularly do, so I just buy the goody bag that meets my needs for that month. Otherwise I just let my regular plan renew each month and don’t have to think about my phone allowance. 

      Now that I’ve had the OnePlus for a while
      I took a look at the 3T in real life on Sunday 28 May and decided that I liked it, my own phone arrived on Tuesday 30 May. I got straight on with doing a SIM- swap to a nano-SIM so that I could get started with my new Android phone.
      I’ve had to export my contacts from ios to Google, not a hassle if you use an app, but the images linked to the contacts don’t transmit across so I’m still working on updating those.
      The battery life is fantastic in comparison to my old iPhone 4S, it’s even lasting a day and a half on heavy use on a dodgy Internet connection running at seriously snail-like mbps, plus Bluetooth etc.  If the levels look low I plug in the dash charger and have a full charge in real quick time. I tested it, from 0% to 100% took 1 hour 31 minutes!
      The camera is meeting my expectations and then some, it has zoom on the video and it is easy to switch between camera and video with the swipe of a finger. Sound on the video is clear, with a bit of wind boom as you’d expect with an unprotected microphone, but it isn’t horrendous.
      It is hard to comment on how quick it is online as my Internet is lousy and will be until fibre is available around here. But the 4G is really quick, so I can’t complain.
      Sound-wise the OnePlus is far superior to my old iPhone, so much clearer and I have been told that it is much clearer for the person I am calling too. So bonus points for clarity. Ditto on the in-car Bluetooth connection for quality, too.

      How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

      “‘Sweetheart, where is Marion?’ I asked. She stared at me a long time. I readied myself for some terrible news. ‘She fled . . .’ ‘What?’ ‘She was like you.’ It took a moment to sink in. ‘She stopped growing old?’”

      A story about life as an immortal, among mayfly (humans!).

      Written in the first person, Tom Hazard is 439 years old and his tale is full of sadness, death and hope!

      He was rescued by a group called ‘The Albatross Society.’ The society is run by one Hendrich Pietersen, who gives those who are members, a fine lifestyle. But every 8 years he requires those members to change their lives, and also to carry out a small task for him.

      But Tom has also asked that Hendrich do something for him, find his daughter. Hendrich keeps saying that the society is getting closer, but hasn’t found her, yet!

      Meanwhile, Tom tries to live a life that he chooses, for a change. And change is what he gets.

      I enjoyed this book, it reminded me of something, but I can’t think what! I would certainly recommend it to my friends, and you of course.

      I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

      4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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      Official description:
       ‘I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.’

      Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

      Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom mustn’t do is fall in love.

      How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

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      Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

      “Since Borne never displayed any kind of threatening behavior, I never thought to take him as a threat.”

      This is a book that took me a long time to read, but only because my work/life balance was tipped over.

      I enjoyed the story of Rachel and how she found and ‘brought up’, Borne. Also of Rachel’s relationship with Wick, both of them have secrets, both of them are stealing access to each others private space in search of answers.

      They live in a world of scavengers, in a world of destruction and wreckage. Rachel makes her ‘living’ scavenging what she can, to enable her and Wick to continue living in their sanctuary apartment block. Wick contributes by manufacturing biotechnology goods to sell – basically the equivalent of a modern day drug dealer (a it of a weird choice of expression I know!).

      “I believe in Borne.” I truly do. It struck me as I was reading that I do believe in Borne.

      Obviously life is not easy in this post-catastrophic world and things change for Rachel, Wick and Borne – sometimes exponentially. Ultimately things change and life is never the same again. But don’t be despondent life goes on.

      This book is extremely well written, with great character construction without being overly descriptive. And did I mention how Borne captivated me. I’d love a Borne to communicate with, as long as it treated me the same as Borne treated Rachel, of course.

      I’m sure that a number of my friends will be reading this book very soon (once I tell them about it of course).

      I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

      4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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      Official description:
      A novel that is simultaneously harrowing, dark, dangerous, funny and uplifting from the author of the Southern Reach trilogy
      “Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
      “Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
      In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free. Made insane by the company’s torture of him, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers.
      At first, Borne looks like nothing at all―just a green lump that might be a discard from the Company, which, although severely damaged, is rumored to still make creatures and send them to far-distant places that have not yet suffered collapse.
      Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment that she resents: attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick―a special kind of dealer―not to render down Borne as raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.
      But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel―and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.

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      Assassin’s Fate (Book III of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy) by Robin Hobb

      “Beware! Wolf-Father warned me. Spring away! But I was a cub and I did not see the danger.”

      Robin Hobb writes detailed stories with characters that are realistic and full of history. She then places them in a world that is complete, that contains danger and delight.

      This particular story focuses on Bee and her father FitzChivalry Farseer who hail from Buck in the Six Duchies. Bee has been taken and is being dragged across countryside and ocean as a prize for a group of cruel rulers.

      FitzChivalry believes Bee dead at the hands of those who attacked them. He is intent on vengeance, recruiting others to his cause as he travels to Clerres with the Fool (also known as Beloved).

      This book takes some reading, it is not a short tale. And, it is book three of a complete set (the first two being Fool’s Assassin and Fool’s Quest), so if you read it first, you really are missing out!

      I have enjoyed continuing the stories of the Fool and FitzChivalry and have found it hard, waiting to read them. Now this book is published, it is a signal to all to start immersing in this tale.

      I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

      5/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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      Official description:
      The much-anticipated final conclusion to the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. 

      Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river. 

      Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protege Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee’s only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles. Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. 

      Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected? But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices. 

      ASSASSIN’S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.

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