[ AD – G i f t e d  f o r  r e v i e w ]

Being a mood reader is not always easy. You get stuck with a genre or a trope and you just want more and more and more! This has been my situation since February: slow burn romance has tainted almost every read of mine and I’m absolutely sure I could name myself the Jessica Fletcher of the slow burn ( I can see that plot twist miles away, bro!(?) ) But, for how much I love being a mood reader and that allows me to be particularly quick and to dive in a book as deep as humanly possible sometimes I have to forcibly tear myself away from my stream so not to miss opportunities, opportunities like Titan books presenting you with the latest instalment of the Warlock Holmes series.

THE SIGN OF THE NINE

“If you ever wondered how much better Sherlock would be if people could hurl hellfire at each other, well this one is for you.” Starburst Magazine on A Study in Brimstone

Warlock Holmes may have demons in his head, but now Dr. John Watson has a mummy in his bloodstream. Specifically that of the sorcerer Xantharaxes, who when shredded and dissolved in an 8% solution, results in some extremely odd but useful prophetic dreams. There’s also the small matter of Watson falling for yet another damsel-du-jour, and Warlock deciding that his companion needs some domestic bliss…

And there is nothing else you can do but thank them and try to stay away from your current obsession long enough to read through it and enjoy it enough even while feeling the pull of your current mood. Because, frankly, some books are simply worthy!

I had never read a book in this series, but I had heard so much about it and so many peoples had recommended it so I couldn’t pass it on! So book in hand I downloaded the rest of the ebooks and I started my reading of this amazing saga and I never laughed so much!

Generally speaking, stripped to the bone this is a Sherlock Holmes retelling, where Holmes is a scatterbrained warlock ( called Warlock) which powers of deductions are more powers than deduction at all! And the only true policemanship is administered by a doctor. Doctor Holmes is a delight and my favourite character all around, even when accidentally or voluntarily dosed in mummy remains! His willingness to accept and move forward, to put himself to work and to make himself useful, his wit and intelligence make him an easy character to love.  Grogson follows him right behind in my list of favourites. His absolute brainless humour makes me just want to hug him! I love every person we encounter, villain and heroes alike, every vision, every supernatural myth or creature that those books shows you and it feels like you are given a window into the past and right into an alternate reality which you can laugh about from the comfort of your own sofa – because if you were there your forehead would be red by facepalming!

C o n c l u s i o n s:

Would I read it again? Yes, maybe in a different mood I will enjoy this books more thoroughly but I will also recommend them hands down, they are lighthearted and outright funny, they’ll make you laugh out loud and that’s a  difficult thing to do for me! The writer has the special talent to be able to take something classical and twist and spin it enough to present you with a delightful new book that still presents the ground bases of the classic work it’s based upon. like coming home and realising you stepped into an alternate universe! It’s funny and Gruesome, cruel and silly, murderous and comic! In fewer words? A delight.

 

3.7/5
Would absolutely recomend

[ Disclaimer: this arc was gifted to me by the lovely people at Ink Road. I apologise for the different review from my usual self but I might have just re read the book for the second time and cried my eyes out once again and have just a tad bit of a migraine <3 ]

img_5867Have you ever had so many options and ideas in your head not to be able to sort it through? So many emotions, so many thoughts that the clutter becomes indistinguishable? How can you put down on paper in a linear and clear way what you feel about something, and analyse that something for people to understand what goes on in your head? I finished The year after you almost a week ago, I read it in less than Four hours and I honestly am still struggling to bring this review to you. I feel like words– no, I feel like my words and my vocabulary is not enough in the four languages I can speak to sort through the level of love that I have for this book.

The year after you managed in so many things for me that in those three hours I sobbed my heart out and fell in love and was born again. This book managed to make me fall in love with a female character, things that didn’t happen since I was 14 and that made me realise maybe my path was not properly a straight line. This book made me fall in love with a genre that I thought I was maybe getting too old to find relatable. This book managed to position itself in a timeless moment in my heart and gain a position into my favourite pile and I’ve already propositioned it to so many people I lost count. It’s the book I twitted about mid-reading ( things that I rarely do because of obvious reasons – first among them my peculiar relationships with endings and how I seem to never be satisfied with them, but not with this one! ) …

So what makes it so special? What makes this simple newborn not yet published young adult into this gem? Well, This book and its characters are like a diamonds, pressed by the weight of their guilt they’ll find a way to polish themselves and shine… in other words:

character growth.


S Y N O P S I S:

dxiqvmmxgaafwnvNew Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Up in the Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But classmates Ren and Hector have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight-talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to.

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara is quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.


 

R e v i e w :

This book is not simply a journey, doesn’t only have representations, isn’t simply about teenagers in a boarding school in the Alps. this book is about grief, about guilt and self-hatred. This book is about touching the ground and realising you have the strength to push back up. You can’t grasp that possibility while you are falling, gravity will pull you down, but once your feet hit the ground, once you have something to leverage onto you can push through the pressure and come out of it anew. The pain will always be there when you lose someone so important they will always be a hole in the frame of your life, but that guilt, that pain will slowly fade away and you are left with memories. You need to keep on pushing or you’ll die with them.

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This book surprised me, and I’m not easily surprised, every turn every discovery, every piece of honesty was raw and real as a punch in my feels and I felt like I could breathe again only at the epilogue. Feeling for others is easier than feeling for yourself, running away is all good on paper but you need to face things to actually grow, and this book helps you go through a daunting process, feeling every bit of it but without triggering anything that might make my anxiety spike up! It’s a story about acceptance, about people that love with the tools they are given, about teenagers that become adults maybe a tad bit too early. It’s a story about hope, a hope that you didn’t even dream of on the first page.

Would I love another book? Hell yeah! Tell me all about Rae babe! But in general, I’m glad about how this book is, and I’ll treasure it forever.

 

C o n c l u s i o n s: 

what to say, Nina de Pass is now definitely one of my favourite authors and currently my only favourite young adult writer. Her character is vivid and flawless. You start her book and think you see typical tropes but soon you discover that there is so much more.
The ending was flawless, the middle was superb, I love the communication and the total absence of stupid “misunderstanding” Just for the sake of it. This book is outstanding, The cover is amazing, the writing is enchanting, I just want to go on the alps and open a boarding school for kids who might need it now!

 

Would I recommend it?!?
I will personally walk you to the bookshop on the 14th of February
and force you to buy and read it!
Now that’s what I would call a Valentine’s date 😉
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
goodreads

 

Attention! box  content spoilers ahead!

img_3931If you have ever talked to me, even for just a second you’ll know that I’m a massive Rivers of London fan. I adore Ben Aaronovitch’s writing, I think his witty and humorous way, his enticing way with details and architecture, his touch with people, cultures, history is just… wow! ( eloquent, right? I know, I should have a blog! ) What I’ve never done ( and probably still won’t do for a while) Is make a blog post about the series. You won’t see a review or anything similar anytime soon. Why? Mainly because these books are too important to me! There is too much to say, too many feelings to convey in a single post and I’m just so sure I won’t make it justice! Also, let’s face it! I rant about this books enough already on Instagram and Twitter, you guys are oughta break! So why am I here talking about it? Well, The amazing Louise from @Mychroniclebookbox kindly sent me their Rivers of London Special Edition and I thought I’d paint you green just a bit with envy!

img_3976The first thing we notice is the gorgeous card with Peter and Toby followed by the gorgeous watercolour of the skylight of London, the Thames’ bookmarks ( 2!!! ) and the Roll with the saga’s landmarks! – I have to admit I struggled quite a while to take that stroll out, but it’s so cute! My most awaited item was the mug! I can never have enough and I don’t own a single enamel mug so, for me, this one is particularly special and not only because It labels me as an apprentice wizard, not at all! The book tote with Toby and The stunning painting of Nightingale were the last items and… Boy, Nightingale… I’ve got such a crush on him it’s insane! Needless to say, his portrait now hangs right on top of the saga, in a place on honour, as it should be! Finally, the box includes a plate signed by Ben Aaronovitch and a copy of Lies Sleeping! The last book of the saga! This box is seriously so stunning! And not just because it’s my favourite series, not even because It’s my first ever book box, but because the care in every detail shows how much the people behind it cares about this project! I’m so honoured to be in possession of such an amazing box! I couldn’t really be happier!

So, are you jealous yet? Green enough to play in Wicked?
Don’t worry! There is still boxes left! Yes! You heard me well!
head to mychroniclebookbox.com to get your box now!