Book Haul – February 2021

Hey book nerds!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful month. There’s been a lot of rainy days in my neck of the woods so there have been plenty of excuses to stay inside and read. February gifted me three bookish highlights.

Mort the Meek and the Ravens’ Revenge, the first book in a series, will be released in March. Mort is Brutalia’s new Royal Executioner. This is a problem because Mort is a pacifist. The bigger problem is that the first person Mort is supposed to execute is his best friend.

Lonely Castle in the Mirror is the latest in a growing list of translated books that I’ve loved. A group of teenagers who no longer attend school go through their mirrors, wind up in a castle that looks like it belongs in a fairytale and meet the Wolf Queen.

The Haunting of Aveline Jones is also the first book in a series. I got all grabby when I saw its gorgeous cover at the library. There’s creepy childlike scarecrows, a secondhand bookstore and a mystery to be solved.

February Reads


Book Mail

It’s two years later …

Friday steps out of prison, a shell of her former self. She’s still wearing the same brown cardigan, but she swears she’s never solving mysteries again! Who is Friday kidding? She can’t suppress her brilliant deductive mind and is soon drawn back into the intrigues of Highcrest Academy.

Then Uncle Bernie rings, pleading with Friday to fly to Italy and help him protect the Uffizi Gallery from a team of art thieves – and she can’t say ‘no’ to family. Even if it means travelling to the city where Ian, her nemesis/ex-boyfriend is living.

Will Friday be able to protect Italy’s finest artworks? Will Melanie stay awake long enough to help her? And will Ian still be as gorgeous as a Greek god and twice as annoying? 


The king of beasts and the lord of birds, together once more,

will know a third companion, as the days grow dim. 

The Unicorn, the Minotaur and the Griffin are united at last. Surely together they will be unstoppable!

But the Collector is not going to give up without an epic fight, and not all the beasts of legend are on the side of good …

Have Kelly, Minh and Jimmy met their match? Will the prophecy fail just when it looks most like coming true?


Take a journey through the oceans of the world in this beautiful book, made entirely from hand-pressed plants.

Artist Helen Ahpornsiri transforms silky seaweeds, feathery algae and bright coastal blooms into playful penguins, scuttling crabs and schools of silvery sharks. Turn the page to explore each corner of the oceans, from hidden rock pools to the darkest depths. Marvel as plants transform into marvellous creatures, and discover the magic and beauty that lies beneath the waves..


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.

When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But … Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.


In 1978, Laurie Strode survived an encounter with Michael Myers, a masked figure who killed her friends and terrorised the town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night. Myers was later gunned down, apprehended and committed to Smith’s Grove State Hospital. 

For forty years, memories of that nightmarish ordeal have haunted Laurie and now Myers is back once again on Halloween, having escaped a routine transfer, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. This time, Laurie is prepared with years of survival training to protect herself, her daughter Karen and her granddaughter Allyson, a teenager separated from her family and enjoying Halloween festivities.


Some people like to shoot. Some people like to kill. 

Three victims, three bullets, three cities.

The first of these simultaneous serial killings occurs in San Francisco, Sergeant Lindsay Boxer’s jurisdiction and reporter Cindy Thomas’s beat. The shooters are precise, as is their target selection. Each one of the men and women down excels at an illegal and deadly activity that is dominating public debate. As the casualty list expands, the fear and fascination with this shooting gallery galvanises the county.

Are the shooter villains or heroes? And who will be next?


Brian Greene takes readers on a breathtaking journey from the big bang to the end of time and invites us to ponder meaning in the face of this unimaginable expanse. He shows us how, from its original orderly state the universe has been moving inexorably toward chaos, and, still, remarkable structures have continually formed: the planets, stars, and galaxies that provide islands in a sea of disorder; biochemical mechanisms, including mutation and selection, animate life; neurons, information, and thought developed into complex consciousness which in turn gave rise to cultures and their timeless myths and creativity.

And he describes, as well, how, in the deep reaches of the future, the nature of the universe will threaten the existence of matter itself. Through a series of nested stories Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Taken together, it is a completely new perspective on our place in the universe and on what it means to be human.


Every family has it secrets. Even the most ordinary tucks things away, out of sight. Things you don’t want to talk about. Sometimes dangerous things. 

Charlie is ten years old. He lives with his mum in an ordinary house, in an ordinary town. He goes to school, he does his homework and watches his mum work harder and harder to keep their little world afloat. An everyday life, outwardly no different to any other. But in every family there are secrets. 

Charlie’s dad went missing three years ago. No one knows where he has gone. The police couldn’t find him. His mum won’t talk about him. 

His dad had told him troubling things about his family’s past, stuff that did not make sense, that was incredible and frightening. 

And now there are strange things happening in the town where he lives. Children are going missing. Taken from houses and parks, from the woods and playing fields. 

Charlie knows the disappearances are linked to his dad and the stories he used to tell him. 

Charlie can see things that other people can’t. 

Strange things that come from dark places. Strange things with an insatiable hunger. 

The Nasties are coming. 

And only Charlie can stop them.


In the darkness of forever, in the cold places beyond the veil, something evil is stirring. 

Charlie Picker, last of the Watchers, is trying to find out what is happening to his friend Pete ‘Bash’ Bashir. Locked in the secure wing of a hospital, in a coma for over a year, the police are waiting for him to wake so they can charge him with the murder of the children who went missing in Therwick. 

Charlie knows what really killed those children. It wasn’t Bash. It wasn’t anything from this earth. It was the Nasties, a species older than time, born outside of our normal universe. Terrible creatures that had made their home here and grew fat on the blood of innocents. Charlie knows the Watchers are meant to kill these creatures, to protect the earth from the horrors that squirm and multiply in the gaps between the universes. 

And he knows that one day the Nasties will return for him. 

As he prepares for that fight, he makes a dangerous mistake. The veil that protects the earth is damaged. Something else finds a way through. 

Charlie finds himself in a desperate race to close the rip, caught between the Nasties and the other foul creatures that roam the darkness of the multiverse. With the help of his friends he must unite the Watchers and prevent the annihilation of the human race. 

Quite a lot to ask of a twelve year old. 


NetGalley

In this second book in the humorous, mystery-solving graphic novel series that’s perfect for fans of Bad Guys, Sherlock Bones and his ragtag team hunt down a swamp monster!

Sherlock Bones’s home, the Natural History Museum, has added an exciting new exhibit, Reef to Shore, that includes a mangrove forest and shallow coral reef habitat, with touch tanks in between. When Sherlock overhears a that a swamp monster has been sighted, he gathers his team to investigate. At first Sherlock Bones suspects Nivlac, a quirky octopus with a talent for camouflage – and tank pranks.

But then, loud bellowing leads Bones and team to the mangroves, where they find a horrifying long-haired green beast! Can they escape the creature – or is it too late for our beloved frogmouth bird skeleton and his ragtag mystery-solving team?


The first in a wickedly funny new series about an aspiring pacifist in a brutal kingdom!

On Brutalia violence is a way of life. Ravenous ravens circle overhead, monstrous grot bears cause chaos and the streets are bulging with brawls. But Mort isn’t like the other islanders – he’s determined to live peacefully. His struggle is made even tougher when the cruel queen appoints Mort as Royal Executioner. No one has challenged the royals and lived to tell the tale. Can Mort keep his head and outwit the queen? 


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