middle grade, review

Review: Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl


Title: Cogheart (The Cogheart Adventures #1)

Author: Peter Bunzl

Genre: middle-grade, fantasy, steampunk

Publisher: Usborne

Pages: 366

Release date: September 1st 2016

Goodreads rating: 4.06

My rating: 3/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon


Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends—Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox—Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart. . . .

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.


Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

Cogheart has a beautiful cover, and I’m always attracted by Steampunk books with beautiful covers. In this book we can find Zeppelin, mechanical animals and people,  skies battle.

“Broken clocks can always be fixed, but broken hearts are a harder thing to save”

However, this book has a lot of potentials, but has a big problem too: it’s so predictable.
If you have already read, like me, more than a couple of steampunk/middle-grade books, you can easily predict not only the main plot of this book, but like every single scene. During the entire book I was like: ok, I bet know they… And I was right. It’s so frustrating, and a bit annoying too.
And it’s so sad, because I found the emotions and the feelings very strong. The friendship between Lily and Robert is so sweet, and all the sidekicks are fantastic. Malkin is the usually sarcastic and wise animal sidekick, and it’s a fox! How cool is a mechanical fox?

The robots that living in Lily’s house are all like a big family to her, and they are fantastic, my favourite characters of the book with Malkin. But as I said: we can immediately guess who is the evil guy; where is the Cogheart; who is willing to help our little heroes, etc.

Now, I know that I’ve read a lot of books, and I’m usually intuitive, and this can be a perfect book to a young reader who loves adventures and fantasy stories, but I’m feeling a little disappointed.
I’m not encourage to read the second book in the series.

Other books in the series:



blog tour, review, Senza categoria

Review blog tour: The Spyglass and The Cherry Tree

The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree tour banner

Cover Front

Title: The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree
Author:  Matt Beighton
Genre: Upper MG/YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 2017
Signed copies on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/577769183/the-spyglass-and-the-cherry-tree-the(£1 off at Etsy with the code SPY100 (until end of November).

Add to: Goodreads, Amazon

Rating: 3,5/5


Some people fall down rabbit holes. Others hide inside magical wardrobes. Skye Thistle looked through an old spyglass.

Lost and alone on a world filled with Goblins, Orcs, Dragons and others that, until now, she was convinced existed only in fairy tales, Skye wants only one thing: to return home.

If she’s to have any chance of getting home safely, Skye must overcome her own fears and prejudices and embrace the prophecies that she fears have already sealed her fate on the distant world of Ithilmir. All that stands in the way of restoring peace and balance is a fearsome and worryingly familiar Dark Queen.

Goblins are very real, and whether Skye believes in them or not, she’s their only hope.

Readers around the world are enjoying the complex mythology and descriptive world building of The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree, the first adventure in the Shadowlands Chronicles.


First of all, thanks to YA Bound Books Tour for giving me a free copy of this book.

The cover is the reason I decided to request this book, because it’s the perfect cover for an MG/fantasy/adventure book.

The beginning is like a lot of other fantasy: a normal girl who has a mother who strongly believes in Fairies and Goblins, is forced to spend her holidays with her grandparents.

But when she watches throught the old spyglass she doesn’t believe at her own eyes! A new planet? Skye hasn’t the time to be happy about that, because the Spyglass transport her on that planet!

She is lost and alone, afraid of the dark and the sounds of a forest, and soon she is surrounded by Goblins. And not the kind of Goblins we usually know.

I must admit that I didn’t give a high rating at this book because a lot of world-building information are given to us step by step, with long and sometimes boring monologues by this or that character.

When finally the long journey of Skye began, I was there thinking that this story reminds me of another: The Hobbit. We had a main character who is afraid in a perilous world; we had a group of people that are not the same race of the MC; we had a powerful enemy and a long journey in the wild world.

However, this book is really adventurous and it’s not predictable. I like a lot all the mythology of the different species and the background story. Skye is really a likeable character, totally human at the beginning and who grows during the entire book.


About the Author

Author Photo (2)
Matt Beighton was born somewhere in the midlands in England during the heady days of the 1980s and continues to spend most of his days in the same shire. He is happily married with two young daughters who keep him very busy and suffer through the endless early drafts of his stories.

When he’s not writing, he teaches primary school (Kindergarten to some of you), messes around on canals in his inflatable kayak and supports his beloved Leicester City.

To find out more and to join his mailing list, visit http://www.mattbeighton.co.uk.

He is currently recruiting avid readers of children’s books for his Street Team. Find out more and request to join at http://mattbeighton.co.uk/street-team.

Author Social Media:

Website: http://www.mattbeighton.co.uk

Amazon author page: http://author.to/mattbeighton

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mattbeightonauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mattbeighton

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mattbeightonauthor



Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours



Senza categoria, wrap up

October 2018 Wrap Up

Hello everyone! Another month has passed! How was your reading month?

I read a total of 7 books, with only 1 DNF.

Who let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans: I Loved this book!! I laughed so hard, the Gods are so funny and this is a wonderful middle-grade fantasy! 4,5/5 stars!

Shadow of the Ripper by Tom Schafer: a horror “sequel” of the infamous Jack The Ripper story, very gruesome. I didn’t like it, 2 stars.

Casper and Jasper and the terrible Tyrant by Tilia Keblenov Jacobs: thanks to Netgalley for this e-book, it’s a fantasy middle grade excessively long. 2 stars.

Death or ice-cream? By Gareth P. Jones: it’s strange, I read two books with a question in the title this month! I love this cover, and this book is original and quite amusing. 4 stars!

And that’s all!

Happy Halloween!!


5 star, best book, review

Review Blog Tour: Bring Me Their Hearts, by Sara Wolf



Bring Me Their Hearts
Author:  Sara Wolf
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pages: 400

Rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon.


Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.



“There are two things men will always believe about a woman: that she’s stupid, and that she’s weak. Today, as every day, I am neither of these things.”

This book is amazing, goes directly to my best reading of 2018 and one of the best fantasy/YA I ever read!

We have Zera, an Heartless who wants to take back her heart from the witch who keeps her heart in a jar and use her as a soldier. She can’t died, but she can’t step away from her heart neither. We have a Prince and we have a world full of perils, a world well described with the locations, the story of the past and its religion. A world with “medieval” inspiration but with some touch of magic, horror and fantasy.

Apart the cover, that I love so much because the dress seems like moving, my favourite part of the book is Zera. She’s a great main character: her life was and is currently tormented by her past, her life without a heart is miserable and she’s agonizing for a human touch.

But no one will ever touch her, or walk with her, if they know she’s a Heartless. A monster.

But Zera is also a very sarcastic and intelligent girl. I loved every single dialogue in this book. The best dialogues are, obviously, between her and the Prince. I laughed so hard with the dialogues, and sometimes I was crying because the author has done a great job to make the reader feel what Zera feel.


She’s tormented: she has to do what she wants (take her heart back), or she has to do what is right by take the prince heart and probably prevent a war between witches and humans?

It’s right to let another human suffer what she suffers?

And a special mention to all the other characters: I’m totally in love with Malachite, the bodyguard of the Prince, strong, intelligent and sarcastic, but you have to believe me that every character in this book is interesting and well descripted.

It’s really a page turner, with no dead times, and I always appreciated that, because I get bored very easily.

I’m a little doubtful about the ending: I was expecting a more dramatic or a happier ending, and I was in a little shock for the cliffhanger.

And now, something that I never do: please, I need the second book right now!

Thanks to Ya Bound Book Tours for this opportunity. I received a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as Lovely Vicious. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.


Author Links:
Website: http://sarawolfbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sara_Wolf1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/authorsaraw/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsarawolf/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sara-Wolf-476490705731978/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862831.Sara_Wolf
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Wolf/e/B00BVOVP08/


Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours



wrap up

May 2018 Wrap Up

Hello! Another month as come and go, how was your reading month?

Except for A head Full of Ghost, the other books are all novellas/short books. That’s because in May I read (in italian) two books with more than 500 pages: Gone girl and Jessica’s guide to dates the dark side.

What lies below by Andrenik Sergoyan:  a horror short story with a macabre cover. I appreciate it. 3 stars for me.

Mother’s Misfortune by Cordelia Castel: a novella of the Perrault Chronicles. I didn’t read this series, but I appreciate the writing style. And I love the colours of the cover. 3 stars.

Dragonship by J.P. Ashman: a fantasy short story, with interesting characters and a beatiful cover. And Dragons!

A Head full of ghost, by Paul Tremblay: oh my, this book was a delusion! Sorry, the review is only in italian for now, I’m working to translate it! 2 stars for me.

A matter of scale by Jonathon Burgess: a fantasy short book, with a cover that reminds me of Odin Sphere (the videogame) also with dragons. Everyone loves dragons. 2 stars for me.

What was your best book of the month?

5 star, review

The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell, review


The Twistrose key (The Twistrose key #1)

Author: Tone Almhjell

Pages: 366

Genres: Middle-grade, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 5/5

Add On: Goodreads, Amazon.


When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.

Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.


I was walking through a bookstore near the Amsterdam’s Airport, a couple of years ago, when I found this book. I remember the title from goodreads, and when I saw the cover, I immediately buy it.

The Twistrose key is an amazing Middle-grade book. I know that I’m 31 y.o. but I really love Middle grade books with adventures in it. They are easier to me to read. But the greatest thing about this book it’s the setting.

The author (I think it’s the first time I read a fantasy book written by a norvegian author!) has created a wonderful winter world, with some reminescence of Narnia and The golden compass. There’s a little touch of North Europe, a little of U.K. as you can see at each chapter’s illustrations.

I didn’t read The Chronicles of Narnia, but The Golden compass is one of my fave books.

There is a map at the beginning of the book, but also the description, the clothes that all the characters wear, the food (omg the food!!!): all of these things are magical and heartwarming. I would love to visit the Sylver world. Or to live in.

The story is also very adventurous and emotional: every single person(adult or children) who has loved a pet in their life, will be touched by the story of Lin and Rufus.

Me loving Rufus

I love Rufus with all my heart, and the relationship between Rufus and Lin is so pure and touching. Yes, I cried at the end of the book.

And then, I discovered that there’s a second book in the series: Thornghost! I was so happy that I buy immediately a copy, and now I received it!! Omg I can’t wait to read it!!

Also, a special thanks to the author, who has liked and commented my photo of the book on Instagram.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Obviously I recommend it to children too: I can’t say that are trigger warnings in this book, and there isn’t a cliffhanger. I know I’m not the best at writing positive review, but honestly, this book deserves a lot more love and attention.

5 star, review

Truthstone by Mike Shelton, Review


Truthstone (Truthseer archives #1)

Author: Mike Shelton

Pages: 283

Genres: YA, fantasy

Rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon


One little lie won’t hurt, will it?
When fifteen year old Shaeleen unexpectedly is given a TruthStone, every lie she hears or tells causes her immense physical pain. As she struggles to control her new power and curb the pain, she learns a powerful truth that could thrust an entire continent into civil war. She must choose: reveal the truth and stop the pain – or sacrifice her own well-being to protect her kingdom.
For two hundred years the five kingdoms of Wayland have been protected by the stones of power. Now those stones are failing and a darker power is trying to take control. With the help of her brother, Cole and a newfound friend, Orin, Shaeleen sets out to gather and restore the power of all the stones.
But will she succeed before the endless lies destroy her?


First of all, thanks a lot to Ya Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Truthstone is a lovely fantasy, and I was totally hooked from the beginning to the end.

Do you know the feel when a really good book changes the way you look at the world?

That’s what happened to me with Truthstone. I spend the days when I was reading it thinking about “what I will do if I had a truthstone?” “What if everyone arounds me are telling me lies?”

Maybe the story doesn’t seems so original, right? But in this case is written so good.  There are all the descriptions of the surroundings, of the dresses and the characters; their emotions are well descripted, as well the differences between the class.

Shaeleen is a good main character: at the beginning she’s not sincere, but with the help of the truthstone, of her brother Cole and her friends, she grow up to a beautiful and honest woman.

The magic of the stones, the history and the geography of the different countries are well written, interesting and without plot holes. I appreciate it.

I really can’t find something that it’s wrong with this book: the writing style is good without long boring description; it’s not so difficult to read for me (english isn’t my first language); I love the characters and the world, and I think that the cover is lovely too.

There’s no violence or curse words in this book, so I recommend it to young readers too. There’s a sequel too, called Truthspell, and I can wait to read it!



book quote, book tag

3 Quote 3 Days – Day 2

I want to thank Kay Wisteria @HammockOfBooks for this tag!


Thank the person who nominated you.

Post a new quote for three consecutive days.

Nominate three new bloggers each day.

For day 2, I had choose a very popular quote from one of my fave books, The Hobbit.

It’s a beautiful quote, perfect even for our modern times. But it comes from a very sad scene.

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”



Ashley Rae @ThriftyBibliophile

Perpetual Fangirl

Melanie @MelToTheAny