Book Review, Books

Letters to the Lost Review

I bought this book when Amazon had the 3 for £10 offer to complete the 3 books (I had two ready in my basket). Funnily enough, the book arrived damaged and Amazon had to replace it (I am so grateful for quick replacement, I had a new book the next day and they didn’t require I return the damaged one, so I ended sharing that book with a friend).

I just have to say I didn’t know what to expect from this book at all. I hadn’t read another of her books before.


Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope. 

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past. 

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.

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I wanted some light reading when I chose this book. I didn’t really know what I had just decided to do and how wrong I was going to be.

It is a light read in the sense of “you end up reading it in one seating and you don’t realise time has gone by”. But on the other hand it is anything but a light read. It is a book full of emotion.

Both Juliet and Declan are dealing with grief and issues stemming from it, having lost someone in their lives. The letters (and then emails) they start exchanging help them find themselves, and it gives them a safe space to talk about things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

The intricate details of relationships (and I am not talking specifically of romantic ones but just human ones) blew me away. Specially as you get to understand more about them alongside Juliet and Declan, and start to see things with new eyes just as they do. It also meant I kept asking myself if I wasn’t doing some of the same prejudice/ didn’t think of it that way kind of things in my own life.

One more thing I’d like to add is that this is a book about grief and loss, and it does so in a gentle way, full fo compassion, showing you grief is seen in many different ways, can affect many different aspects and show itself in many ways. Each one of us goes through it in a different way and we heal in different ways, and as we heal (or not) we may be ignoring the giref of someone else. Definitely an eye opener.

Moon recommends

You go and read this book right now. Seriously, please read it. It is worth it. The only other book I know that deals with grief in such an interesting way is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle and it’s “prequel/companion” The Arm of the Starfish. I also recommend you read them in the order mentioned despite the fact Arm of the Starfish is a prequel, mostly because part of the things Adam decides to do are influenced by what happens before but knowing why he does them changes a little the feel of the book. Either way, try both.

You can buy a copy of Letters to the Lost here. (Also, apparently there is a sequel on Rev’s story!)

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.



Book Review, Books

Nyxia Review (Proof Version)

Today I am reviewing Nyxia. I received this proof copy on my Illumicrate box (August 2017). I was not sure what to expect to be fair. Also, be warned that this review may include spoilers.


Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human. 

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I debated a lot between 3.5 and 4 fox rating. In the end I stood it up against my other 4 fox books and it wasn’t just there (maybe a 3.75? 3.80 but I don’t have enough foxes for that).

I will mention the things that bugged me the most first, and then load you up with those that I really liked. On the thing that jumped to me the most is Emmet’s mental file system. From what the book explains, this is for when you are angry and you file it away under a letter. But through the whole book, Emmet files SO many things away and a few that I would not have considered “anger” (they were things that would have made me suspicious or curious or bothered me or even that I would consider useful). Either Emmet has serious anger issues (so that almost everything makes him angry) or the file system isn’t explained as well as it should (I am seriously hoping for the latter). Also, it bugs me a lot that Nyxia is this unexplainable substance that can protect you from being harmed by itself but also when it pleases it, lets you get injured by more nyxia. Yet there is a lot of mind control. And everything is solved by Nyxia. Maybe it just needs to be better explained or something, but I am not pleased with how Nyxia is (but that can be just that I like science to back my sci-fi).

On the good things is the diversity, both in gender, colour, race, country, etc. but also in personality. The characters were mostly unique though I admit with so many of them, at times I wasn’t sure who responded to which name (I could remember that the character doing X had done Y before, but what was the name was beyond me).

It was interesting to see all the interactions between them. Also, this has an Ender’s Game feel (much more than a Hunger Games one) but thankfully it is not the same.

One of my favourite things was how mercy, compassion, teamwork, relationships and competition were explored throughout the book. Kaya, Morning and Vandemeer are my favourite characters.

This may not make my utter favourites but I am really looking forward to the next book and to learn what Eden looks like. I don’t think that they are actually prepared at all for what is to come but we shall see.

And Babel is horrid, but this is just a part of making a good villain (not in a villain that is good but rather making one well), with lots of layers and secrets.

Moon recommends

To read this is you like sci-fi and challenges. Maybe a competiton is interesting or corporations with hidden agendas. You may also be interested in Ender’s Game or maybe one of Anne McCaffrey’s books, a) if you’d like to explore how we deal with a planet that has another race in it and we want to keep it, then try Donna’s series starting with Decision at Donna, b) or if you prefer to wonder about strange substances and mining them I’d recommend the Crystal Singer series, starting with Crystal Singer, or c) if you’d like to explore what happens when humans are slaves of another race and part of an experiment on freedom try the Freedom series starting with Freedom’s Landing.

If you’d like to grab a copy of Nyxia, you can get one from amazon here.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.






Book Review, Books

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy Review

Today I am going to review the complete opposite of my last book review, a children’s book.

Cover RFA

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen. 
In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge! 
Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life! 

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When I first saw this I hoped it wouldn’t be too much of a Christmas read, but decided to put that notion aside and give it a go. Oh boy was I wrong! This was a really cute read and my only complaints are a) there is no physical copy of this book available and b) I wish it was longer.

Of course, neither is actually a bad thing. The story is the right length for young readers (if I am not mistaken the target reader is 5-10 years old) and it is nicely broken up into little digestible chunks by illustratons of what you are reading. This brought a smile to my face as I was reading and made it even better. I think as a younger reader, the pictures in the book will encourage them to read it and not feel like it is a ‘boring book’.

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This is most certainly not a boring book and now I am curious what other adventures Ronaldo and his friends get into (also, I am ever so grateful I don’t have a knitting reindeer granpa).

As an extra thing that made me very happy, all the references to actual flight academies and flight training were good and my aicraft crazy self was like “look, this is the right term to use, oh that one is a good use for this situation, I like this”.

Moon recommends

I recommend this book for anyone young at heart (or in actual age). It is also a good read aloud book, with a lot of room for “voices” and fun sounds. It has a Christmas vibe but in truth can be read anytime (it did make me wish it was winter and I had a fire next to me and some hot chocolate).

If you are interested in reading this, it is currently available for Kindle on Amazon here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have done. There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.