Follow the white rabbit…

Art it Up.  This is a weekly meme hosted by Tabitha over at Not Yet Read.  The idea being to see if you can come up with some inspiration for a little sketch or doodle from your last week’s reading or just anything else in general. Again, this week my reading has not been brilliant  I’ve read Ellie Quin by Alex Sparrow and just finished Iron Night by M L Brennan (which I loved, review to follow).  Lots of things going on at the moment – not least of which a short break away which I’ll be heading out on shortly.  Follow my trail of breadcrumbs and see if you can guess where – unfortunately I haven’t been able to come up with any fan art this week (skinwalkers – not even going to try and go there!)


Then stop over and check out the lovely Tabitha’s creative endeavours for the week!




Spins a web, any size. Catches thieves, just like flies…

This week Nathan over at the Fantasy Review Barn has decided to take us on a really Tough Travelling journey.  Through the tropes of creepy crawlies, insects, bugs, spiders and the like (brrr):

‘BUGS- Not in the Tough Guide but it should be. Let’s all find anything creepy or crawly, big or small, six legs, eight legs, or more. Bugs, bugs, bugs.’

Shelob – Lord of the Rings by Tolkien – one big ass spider!

Harry Potter by JKRowling – Aragog – not to mention a legion of other massive spiders (all related!!)

Charlotte’s Web by E B White – Charlotte is the spider – clearly – otherwise what the hell does she have a web for.  But, contrary to our feelings she’s a good spider!

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – an excellent story and packed full of insects – none of which make James run away – in fact they all help him on his journey.  His aunts – well, that’s another story and worth running away from!

Spiderman – Marvel superhero!  He has spideryness going on in his blood!

Honorary Mentions:

Incy wincy spider and Miss Moffat – okay, these are nursery rhymes and just go to show how we like to give our children the heebeejeebies about spiders!

Aarachnaphobla and Eight Legged Freaks – call me a maniac but I love both these films

You may have noticed I went for a theme of spiders – once I’d started it just seemed to flow so why not!  Stop on over to check out the other petrified travellers and see what they’ve come up with to terrify you this week.


Now is the winter of our content…


This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and Bookish is:

Top 10 books on my winter TBR:

Well, I have a lot of books that are coming up for reading and reviewing that I’m looking forward to. These are going to be my December/January reads and I’m so looking forward to them all and yes – some of these have already been published for a while but I’ve not read them yet and want to do so:

  1. The Ice Twins by S K Tremayne which is due out in January 2015
  2. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin – already out
  3. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – January 15
  4. The Just City by Jo Walton – January 2015
  5. The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber which is described as the X Files meets Harry Dresden – February 2015
  6. Horns by Joe Hill – already out
  7. Golden Son by Pierce Brown – January 2015
  8. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie – Feb 2015
  9. The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams – Feb 2015
  10. The Damned by Andrew Pyper – don’t know if this still counts as Winter but I’m going to put it on here – March 2015

What books are you looking forward to for the next few months?



Ellie Quin in Wonderland by Alex Scarrow (No 4 of the Ellie Quin series)

EQ in Wonderland starts, as expected, where the last book left off with Ellie and Jez stowaways aboard a freight ship escaping from Harpers Reach.  Be warned, this is the 4th in series and so there will probably be spoilers.

Unexpectedly they’re put down on an unopened theme park and need to await the arrival of a shuttle before they can get off this tiny chunk floating in space.  At the same time, back on Harper’s Reach the Administration are investigating Ellie, desperately trying to find her whereabouts and uncovering some startling facts about her past life and acquaintances.

So, Wonderland.  A fairly large holiday destination that never was!  Unopened for some reason.  Large bio domes within which different worlds exist.  They can be changed and reprogrammed to look like virtually anything – a beautiful beach with the waves lapping on the sand, or snow peaked mountains with valleys resplendent with pine forests.  It’s inhabitants can likewise be created – walking and talking jelly beans or puffs of candy!  And yet, something is a little off in Wonderland.  Two people remain in Wonderland – seemingly caretakers of sorts they spend their time recreating worlds and playing games to fill the days.  One of these characters is a pretty hot surfer dude who Jez seems to be developing feelings for.  The other is a slightly off kilter guy who Ellie seems to have wound up with (rather than playing the third wheel).  Wonderland is a strange place – it kind of puts me in mind of a futuristic West World.

Meanwhile on Harper’s Reach the search continues.  It appears that Ellie is more than first meets the eye – or at least she is to others.  A terrorist organisation called the Awoken have been covertly watching Ellie since she was a tiny nipper.  It’s all very mysterious.

I admit I’m really enjoying this series.  Yes, it’s very simple to follow but it’s intriguing and I confess I want to know what the hell is going on with Ellie.

This is however going to be a short review as this is a short book.

The crux of the matter is – I would recommend this, I think it makes a great series for people who want to take on board more sci fi, okay, maybe it’s not all majorly deep and meaningful, it’s not difficult to understand, it’s not full of internal politics and conflict but it’s entertaining and I look forward to reading the next instalment.  I don’t mind saying it’s fun – there I said the ‘f’ word!

In terms of criticisms – well, this ends on a cliffhanger!  Not everyone’s cup of tea I appreciate.

However, unless this series takes a serious turn for the worse I will continue to the end!

This is one of my reads for Sci Fi November 2014.  Check out the details here.


A little classic Q&A – the abridged version!

Posted On 22 November 2014

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 10 responses



The Classics Club recently posted The Classics Club 50 Questions Survey.  I’ve cheated a little bit on this in that I’ve chosen 10 of the questions only and on one of the questions I’ve changed the wording slightly – still, I don’t suppose I’m going to be arrested for cheating a little!





  1. First classic you ever read?  One of the earliest reads I can remember independently choosing myself and reading was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum – I think I was about 8 years of age at the time.  I’m fairly certain I also read The Borrower in the same year.  Both books were recommended by my teacher at the time.
  2. Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why.  Woah, what a tough question.  So many to choose from.  But, I think i would probably go with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dicken.  It’s a short story of redemption really with a feel good ending that has been popular since its creation.
  3. Favorite movie adaption of a classic?  Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.  All three films are just excellent.  Jackson did an excellent job of recreating middle earth and the films were fairly faithful to the books.
  4. If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading? Or, would you avoid the augmented manuscript in favor of the original? Why?  I think I could continue Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.  Everybody could do with a little more Rhett Butler in the lives – and if you don’t agree, well, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!
  5. Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.)  Well, I have a bunch of people that I rely on for recommendations but if I’m going to look for fairly early influences the first would be my dad, who is also a big reader and has massively influenced my reading over the years.  I basically read more or less everything on his shelves ranging from detectives and mysteries to fantasy.  The second biggest influence was a colleague at work who by dint of bringing me a constant supply of her favourite books introduced me to so many new authors and broadened my horizons.
  6. Classic author you’ve read the most works by?  Jane Austen – well, I’ve read all her books.  I’m not sure if I’ve read the most books by her or not but she’s the author that immediately springs to mind.
  7. List five fellow bloggers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs? I’ve cheated here on two counts – one, the bloggers I’ve listed are not all fellow classics club followers and two I’ve put too many down – I basically got carried away!  Jessica over at The Bookworm Chronicles - we’ve been following each other virtually since I started blogging.  She has a great blog and I love her books choices.  Stainless Steel Droppings, ditto the above about the length of time I’ve been following this blog.  SSD is Carl’s blog and primarily focuses on SFF – I love this blog and genuinely think I’ve had only one book where we’ve had slightly differing feelings in terms of liking it or not.  I would pretty much read a shopping list if Carl recommended it!  Andrea, over at the Little Red Reviewer – I think Andrea was one of the first people to actually comment on my posts – which was something of a revelation to me at the time as it never even occurred to me that anybody would even read my reviews.  I love this blog – Andrea is always at the forefront of book recommendations, always one of the first to bring me new ideas and I read her blog religiously!!  Wondrous Reads - Jenny is one of my best book buddies.  This is helped by the fact that we also attend book events and movies together!  We originally made friends through a love of reading and have continued ever since.  Wondrous Reads is a fantastic blog and probably one of the earliest blogs to boot.  If it wasn’t for Jenny I would have missed some amazing books – immediately springing to mind The Rebel Angels, The Martian, The Girl with All the Gifts and I am Legend! Finally – I’m going to be sneaky and add two blogs – basically because I found them both at the same time – Dark Cargo and Dab of Darkness.  Dark Cargo – I would say this is a very quirky SFF blog and I never miss a post if I can help it.  Dab of Darkness is Susan’s blog – tons of reading goes on over here and I’ve taken part in so many lovely readalongs with Susan that have introduced me to a host of other like minded bloggers.  I would love to add many more here – Jason at Genkinahito, Lisa at OvertheEffingRainbow, but, no, I’m going to stop there!!
  8. If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, tell about the experience? If you’ve participated in more than one, what’s the very best experience? the best title you’ve completed? a fond memory? a good friend made?  Lord of the Rings – a readalong hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.  This was a great read along that I really enjoyed.  I always wanted to reread LotR but probably never would have done so without the impetus this readalong gave me.  I loved sharing the experience with so many other people.
  9. Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club?  I like the diversity of the events and I also like that it’s given me a personal challenge that encourages me to pick up books that otherwise I probably wouldn’t pick up.
  10. If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why?  That would probably be Les Miserables.  Why – because it’s on my list and I find it totally daunting.  I think if I took part in a readalong it would give me more encouragement to read this plus readalongs are usually a bit more gentle affairs, spread out with allocated reading time so that you can read other books at the same time.
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