Christmas Reading List

Wow, Christmas is here already! How quick was that? Seems like only the other day it was Summer (such as it was here in Ireland!)!

While things wind down and we have a bit of time off, we can relax and finally gorge on… food, yes… but more importantly reading!

Reading copious amounts of books sometimes feels like eating cakes; you wolf them down and then are left thinking; ‘why did I do that?! It’s gone now!’. Of course there’s always another cake during the holidays!

With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together a wee list of books we are planning on gorging on this Christmas!


Late to the game, we are both going to read Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth – you could say very up and coming – or already up and came, and we are just very late to the show!

Latimer: My understanding of this series – dystopia (buzz word at the moment, like an –omics, ha, science joke), hmm, there’s sure to be a romance in it and hmm, something about lots of factions and fighting. Okay, honestly, I might be going into this one a little blind!

Ridley: I’m looking forward to this one, the reviews have been good and it seems interesting!!

Latimer: I finally bought The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (finally because I think I have been looking at this one for years thinking ‘I must get that book’). The story is; a boy, called Nobody (I like that already), is raised in a graveyard by ghosts. That’s pretty much all I know; I’m looking forward to it! I’ve only read one Gaiman book (which was a co-authorship with Terry Pratchett; Good Omens, a very good book!). I like the humorous writing style of these two authors, so really looking forward to this book (on a side note, I really want to read Gaiman’s Sandman comics… another story that!).

Ah yes, I’m going to give Delirium by Lauren Oliver a go too… All I know; love is a disease and you can’t love people in this dystopia world (I’m not a massive dystopia fan, but seems most of my loot this year is dystopic in origin!). I absolutely hate the cover of this book (the picture is the cover I have); but that aside, I think the book sounds very interesting!

And I will finally… FINALLY read Angelfall by Susan Ee (again dystopia!), which has a massive Ridley Stamp of Approval (RSA) and therefore, I have no doubt, it will be excellent and so, you should definitely seek out this book out if you haven’t read it yet!

Ridley: And why, pray tell, is this not first on your list!? Thoroughly disgusted I am that you haven’t read this yet! (My RSAs usually have Latimer running out to grab the book-and vice versa I might add- though I know she’s been busy….publishing, editing, working, writing, sleeping, eating, drawing…PAH!) *crosses arms with a pout**

Latimer: Also plan to do a spot of manga reading if I can 🙂 (in English, not Japanese!)

Then I have to do a bit of writing (ah, more than a bit really, I’m behind on a few things! Eep! :(). And eating; currently I have located a packet of ‘Irish Shortbread Biscuits’ and am wolfing them down happily (by myself, I glare if anyone touches them!) with tea in my Moomin cup of an evening 🙂 I love Christmas… food food food… yums (we might be having a cheese board this year, I’m excited haha :))

Yes, the biscuits are shaped like shamrocks, which is a little obvious, but that’s alright they are delicious 🙂

As Christmas ticks on, we’ve been working on editing a short story we wrote; it’s called Temperance (meaning moderation and self-restraint :)) and is a moment in the past of our character, Temperance Levinthal from Legend Unleashed. It’s going to be free and we hope to have it out as soon as it’s fit to be seen! But we can share this with you (cover time…)

Temperance offical cover


Ridley: Ah Temperance, we’re working away on this little story, we hope to share it with you in the new year! Fingers crossed you like it!

And now, some of my books for this Christmas include…

Seraphina, I’ve had my eye on this one for a bit. I just love the old school, sketchy cover. I’ve been on the YA train for so long, it’ll be good to get back to my fantasy roots with this! There are dragons in this world that can shape shift into humans…intriguing, no?


Again, more fantasy, another one on my list to get, Shadow and Bone. I can’t wait!! Our friend on deviantart, mseregon, also recommended this! She gave us loads of fantastic ideas for our next book too! 

The main character is whisked off to a royal court after it’s discovered that she has dormant powers. There’s also a bit of a possible love interest in her best friend too. So yes please!

I loved the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, her world building is just beautiful. Prague is such a fantastic setting for her book. And there was a great mystery woven throughout it, so really looking forward to what’s going to happen in this next instalment as there was a bit of a cliff hanger in the last one. I was left going (O_O) at the end! Haha.
days of blood and starlight
In The Assassin’s Curse, there is, obviously, a curse! It forces the two main characters together. There’s a possible love triangle (i think) and better yet, pirates! How could you not want to read this? Plus the cover is beautiful. I’m a sucker for a good cover!

So finally everybody, have a lovely Christmas and New Year (if we don’t see you before then!)!

Enjoy your reading time, and let us know if you come across any book gems!!


RSA: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Ridley: There are a few rare books that get an RSA (Ridley Stamp of Approval). It has to have all the elements to receive it; a good relationship, a vivid world and a gripping story! For it to get an RSA, after reading it, there needs to be a thumping heart and a major urge to scurry around telling people to get the novel. I have read some really fantastic books, there are loads out there, some are great on relationships, on characters and others have crafted fantastic vivid worlds (where you can almost close your eyes and see them) but very few have all of these to the same level. We all know the big hitters, they had them all, it’s why they’re so popular!

Last night, I read Angelfall by Susan Ee. The book is completely to my tastes, by that I mean it has a brilliant slow burning relationship (with my new fictional character crush-Raffe!) an engaging story filled with a twisting exciting plot, clever weaving of seemingly unimportant information and a vivid gritty world, which is steeped in fantasy and the supernatural (flying yummy deadly Angels!)

It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world, our future, where merciless angels have been sent down to bring us judgement day. Cities have fallen, unending fires rage and humans have scattered, forced to scavenge in the ruins for food and essentials. (Think of the 2010 film, Book of Eli, with Denzel Washington! They are the images Susan’s words evoke when you read this!  Fantastic world building!)

 The main character Penryn is a strong, kick ass girl with some great abilities as a fighter. At the same time, by highlighting the type of childhood she’s had to experience, the post-apocalyptic world she’s had to survive in and the dangerous psychotic mother she is forced to look after, we see her vulnerable side. We also see her inherent caring nature from her intense need to protect her handicapped baby sister Paige. When the little seven year old is kidnapped by an angel in revenge for Penryn’s interference in a fight, Penryn is forced to team up with the striking and injured angel, Raffe, in order to save her. (Raffe immediately has all us girls swooning!)

Together, they are forced into an uneasy partnership, both needing help from the other to achieve their end goals. As they travel and meet various obstacles, some of which are quite gruesome, while others are not immediately explained- though this is where the author weaves in information, that later becomes important. These encounters also enable the relationship between Raffe and Penryn to slowly develop. It moves at a steady, believable pace (the fun is in the anticipation after all!!) It goes from a fizzle of attraction and awareness to a slow burn, hinting and teasing us with the possibilities, until you’re just praying it’ll end up building into an inferno between them!

I can’t wait for the sequel!

Go read the sample chapters on Susan Ee’s website, pop on to Goodreads to see the brilliant reviews there and then buy it on Amazon. You won’t regret it!  

I’ve finished my gushing now. (Though, did I mention I like the cover too? That rusted brown, dark, stained and old, really represents the type of world now left behind after the destruction brought down by the angels!)

An absolute hidden gem, so glad I can jump on to this bandwagon as it’s starting to get hitched up! Wagon’s roll!