I read 10 books in March! Here’s a summary of all the books I read and links to buy them if they take your fancy, or read my full review.
I have included links to find these books on Goodreads so you can read further reviews and add to your To Be Read lists, as well as links to buy on Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is exactly the same as Amazon — but they donate a small amount of the purchase to a charity of your choosing. Please consider using it for all of your Amazon purchases!
I also have included links to Hive and Waterstones, where available. Hive is run by Gardners, a book wholesalers, who pay commission on each sale to a local bookshop (either one you choose or the one geographically closest to you). It offers a discount off the retail price as well as supporting local bookshops.
None of these are affiliate links.
Distorted Days, by Louise Worthington
I read Distorted Days as part of a Rachel’s Random Resources book tour. I loved this book and finished it in one sitting. It perfectly describes heartbreak, depression and loneliness. There are honest, vivid descriptions of life and memories from each character’s perspective. I both loved and hated Doris’s mantra everytime she got depressed and drinks.
The Other Magic, by Derrick Smythe
I received a free copy of The Other Magic from BooksGoSocial through NetGalley. It’s an incredible debut novel! I loved all of the lore, history and general world building. It follows the perspective of three (later four) characters — Kibure, Aynward, Grobennar and, later, Sindri. The Other Magic is quite long at over 600 pages but a lot happens! It’s full of action and adventure the whole way through in all three stories.
Six Stories, by Matt Wesolowski
I bought Matt’s books after reading an amazing review on Twitter, and they didn’t disappoint! This book focuses on a podcast by Scott King, looking at cold cases and interviewing people related to the stories. At Scott says, he is not there to make a judgement on each person, just to listen to what they have to say. The first podcast looks at the cold case of Tom Jeffries, who disappeared in the middle of the night in 1997 at Scarclaw Fell. In 2017, Scott investigates the case and interviews people who were there the night he disappeared, as well as others who knew him.
I haven’t read a book in this format before and I absolutely loved it. I had to keep reminding myself that this IS fiction, that it’s not about a real cold case. All of the characters felt so real and I was hooked from start to finish – I couldn’t put it down! The twist at the end was amazing too.
You Never Told Me, by Sarah Jamson
You Never Told Me follows Charlotte (or Charlie), who has just spent the last year teaching English in Thailand. She gets an email from her sister Eleanor, who says that her mother is seriously ill in hospital. Unfortunately she is too late and her mother passes away before she can get there. While clearing out her mother’s belongings, her sister stumbles across a secret savings account and a deed to a canal boat — shocking them both. Charlie decides to live on the boat for a while and find out who her mother really was.
This book deals a lot with grief and relationships between families. I could really feel the tension between Charlie and her father when they are together. Charlie, Eleanor and her father all struggle to talk to each other, which is really relatable. Some of my favourite parts were about Charlie learning to navigate the canals in the boat, too. Sarah lives on a boat and so is able to describe the slower-paced life perfectly! The book finished with a lot of loose ends and unknowns, but I liked the traditional ending and was left wanting to know more (always a good sign).
Hydra, by Matt Wesolowski
I started this book almost immediately after finishing the previous book in the series. In Hydra, it focuses on Arla Macleod, who murdered her family in November 2014. Like with Six Stories, it was hard to remember that this was fiction. All of the characters are incredibly well-written and feel so realistic. Despite knowing she was a murderer, I felt such sympathy for Arla. In each interview, new information is revealed that changes your opinion of the case, and so you never quite know what to expect — the twist at the end was great too!
I read this in one sitting as it’s very addictive! While it is part of a series, you can read Hydra as a stand-alone (though I would recommend reading Six Stories!).
Changeling, by Matt Wesolowski
In Changeling, the series focuses on Alfie Marsden, who disappeared on Christmas Eve in 1984 in the Wentshire Forest Pass.
Like the previous three books, the characters Scott interviews feel so realistic – it was hard to remember that yes, this is fictional! I could hear it all in my head perfectly while reading. It gave me chills to hear about the strange goings-on at the building site in Wentshire Forest. Matt’s characterisation is especially good. He has a fantastic way of getting people just right, describing their quirks, nuances, their accent – especially with Sorrel. I finished this in one sitting — I was absolutely hooked and couldn’t put it down. I absolutely love the format and that each interview gives a bit more information about the case. The twist at the end was especially good in this one — I had no idea it was coming at all! These books are original, gripping, spooky and dark.
Beast, by Matt Wesolowski
Beast is set in 2018, following the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap across the UK. 24-year-old vlogger Elizabeth Barton froze to death after being barricaded in an old stone tower outside of the town of Ergarth, Northumbria. Three local young men were imprisoned for the crime, but many who knew all four do not seem to believe they were responsible.
This one is just as gripping as the previous books and I couldn’t put it down. It paints the perfect image of a run down northern town that has been forgotten. It also comments on social media — people’s desire for instant gratification and the image that people portray of themselves online. It’s a thrilling story, full of twists and turns. I would recommend this whole series!
Mavericks (Expeditionary Force #6), by Craig Alanson
By book #5 I had started to get a little tired of the formula of the Ex force series, but this one was refreshing. There are two storylines, one following Joe Bishop and the other following Lieutenant Colonel Perkins. I appreciated the changes in points of view, the extra character development and that we get a closer look at other alien races. As always, R C Bray narrates the audiobook and he does a fantastic job — I can’t imagine Joe or Skippy’s voices any other way. (I especially love Skippy singing of show tunes!)
This is my favourite in the Expeditionary Force series so far and I am really looking forward to reading the next one, Renegades.
At Death’s Door, by various authors
At Death’s Door is a new anthology with 24 new, original short stories around the theme of death. Some are heartbreaking tragedies, but there are also thrillers, the supernatural and dark humour. Each one is engaging and well-written, with unpredictable twists. Many left me reeling from the endings, as they completely blindsided me!
iRemember, by S.V. Bekvalac
If you could store your happy memories inside a computer, so you could re-live them again and again, would you do it? That is the central idea for iRemember, a world where everyone’s memories are downloaded into a programme called iRemember.
I loved the whole concept of iRemember. While the idea of downloading memories isn’t new, this world feels very fresh and original. It’s incredibly vivid and detailed. It’s helped by S. V. Bekvalac’s writing style, which is simple and straightforward, with lots of short sentences that make it very fast-paced. But it’s also full of interesting similies and metaphors. I was truly blown away by the ending — I usually can predict what might happen but this was completely unexpected!