BOOK TOUR: Shadow of the Woods – Duncan Thompson

If you go down to the woods today…

Firstly I would like to thank Panther Publishing and Duncan Thompson for allowing me the opportunity to join in on the blog tour for Shadows of the Woods! It’s my first ever blog tour too, which is extremely exciting, and today is my stop. I hope you enjoy my part of the tour!

Book Description – Taken from Goodreads:

Faceless shadows, a night that will never be the same, and a sinister force. If you go down to the woods tonight, you’re in for a sinister surprise. When a stag party decide to camp in the woods, they soon discover that a malevolent force has them in their sights. As the unknown creeps ever closer, Joe and his friends must survive. To survive, Joe must learn to fight. If he fights, he could lose it all. A rollercoaster ride of blood, sweat and tears, Shadows of the Woods will keep you hooked, all whilst throwing nostalgic homage to slashers of the late seventies and early eighties. A Night Terror that you won’t be forgetting any time soon…

The Author – Duncan Thompson

Duncan is an author of multiple novels. He has spent most of his life in the town of West Yorkshire – and you’ll find that most of his stories are set here too under the guise of ‘Raven’s Peak’. In the 90’s, Duncan became an amateur director, and began creating his own horror movies! Some years later, this is how he came up with his idea of his debut novel ‘Dark Places’. Since then Duncan has written multiple horror/thriller novels, including Shadows of the Woods.


I won’t lie that to begin with, I was pretty apprehensive about this book – but at the same time I was intrigued to say the least, just from the description. From the get go it was straight in with the story. I find with a lot of horrors and thrillers there’s a lot of background building, which is quite unnecessary most of the time. Whereas this was so fast-paced, but not too fast paced that you wouldn’t grasp the story.

From the first chapter you can definitely see Thompson’s film directive skills come in, particularly with the way the beginning of the story is set out. At first I was worried that so much had happened at the beginning that there wouldn’t be enough to the storyline to keep the momentum going – but I was wrong on this! There was so much more to the story about who the ‘Shadows’ were and how they had been summoned. It was very interesting to say the least!

This is definitely a book that I could see as a film, and a particularly jumpy one at that. It definitely has the scare-factor to become a horror, and in some aspects it is your typical horror, especially the opening scene!

I would definitely recommend giving this a read, I highly enjoyed it! And if you’re someone who enjoys thrillers, this will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure!

The Damned – Renee Ahdieh


Published Date – 07/07/2020

This story follows on from Renee Ahdieh’s first book ‘The Beautiful’. Bastein has awoken cursed and immortal. A treaty has been broken, and his life as he knows it, is about to change forever. Celine has paid the highest price though, and attempts a life without Bastien, but her dreams terrorise her and keep her awake at night. But what do they mean? She is also about to learn the truth about herself and her past…

Firstly, thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read an ARC of The Damned!

I wasn’t too optimistic about reading this book to begin with after not really enjoying ‘The Beautiful’, but I can definitely say I was pleasantly surprised! This book had a lot of what the first lacked, suspense, mystery, and action.

The book begins exactly where the last ended, with Bastien coming back around – and Celine, gone. It’s unclear whether Bastien will survive his transition, and they can only hope!

I just felt like there was so much more to this than ‘The Beautiful’. It was fast paced, and had me keep wanting more and more from it! I enjoyed how the vampire characters were explored more, and that it was more about the vampire side of the story.

There’s a bit of romance in this, but not nearly enough to be considered cringey *cough* TWILIGHT.

I also like how there’s more to Celine’s story in this book too, I felt like in the last she was a little ‘wishy washy’ and quite a flat character. In ‘The Damned’ Celine’s past is explored and things come to light that make sense, and make the story that much more interesting. Especially as it turns out that her bloodline is a known enemy to vampires. And I think this will make it an interesting story for the next book, if there is to be one. There is still a lot of unanswered questions that I’d like answers to, and I feel as though the story could definitely go on, as it was kind of a ‘cliff-hanger’ ending!

Now I’m all for lots of different characters in a book, and I LOVE reading from the perspectives of them, but when reading like ten characters thoughts it gets a bit much. I felt as though sometimes it was unnecessary for certain parts to be included, and at times it got confusing working out who was who, who was good, who was bad…

I do also think that the story perhaps dragged just a little longer than I felt it necessary, but overall I did enjoy the book. And based on this one alone, I look forward to reading the next in the series!

We Are Bound by Stars – Kesia Lupo


Publish Date – 09/07/2020

We Are Bound by Stars is the follow on to We Are Blood And Thunder, the story follows Livio, who is destined for great things. He is destined for a life he has worked so hard to stay away from, but it is time for him to inherit the family legacy. The story also follows Beatrice, who is one of three sisters, who are all mask-makers. It isn’t until an assassin cause great problems for both Beatrice and Livio, that the two finally meet. There is great tragedy in both of their lives, but can they stop what caused it?

So firstly, thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for allowing me to read the ARC for the above book.

The story has the same kind of feels for me as the last one, although this is a sequel, I think that it can be read without having read We Are Blood and Thunder. I don’t feel as though their is really a link at all between the two, apart from the relations between Constance & Livio. So it isn’t entirely necessary to read the first beforehand, but it does make sense when the character Constance is mentioned.

Again I feel like a lot lacked in the book, there wasn’t much suspense, and I felt like it was also a bit of a chore to finish and it’s not the kind of feeling anyone wants to have with a book. It just didn’t grasp my attention as much as I would have hoped, and it wasn’t a particularly fast paced book either. But also, like the last I felt like the end is incredibly rushed when it could have perhaps been delved into a little more.

I did like the relationship Beatrice has with her sisters in the book, it’s a very love hate kind of relationship, which I can completely relate to, being the oldest of my siblings, we can definitely have that in our household! And also how Beatrice was kind of the ‘black sheep’ out of the three, she wanted freedom, whereas her sisters would much rather prefer to have the easy life they currently had. The life that was CHOSE for them.

I also liked Livio as a character, where at the beginning of the book he is someone else to the world, but at home he is almost royalty and now destined to take over with the death of his cousin coming to light.

Both characters long for freedom but neither can have it, as their futures were already determined long before either were born, and I think that’s the most grasping part of the story for both characters, alongside the tragedy within Beatrice’s life as the book goes on.

It may be because it is a YA/Fantasy that I didn’t particularly enjoy it as much as I would have hoped, therefore I would probably recommend this to anyone below the age of perhaps 16? It’s definitely a book that I would have perhaps been more invested in maybe five or so years ago! I know a lot of my readers enjoy a lot of YA – so perhaps I’m even growing out of it now! Who knows? – I personally hope I haven’t!!!

We Are Blood And Thunder – Kesia Lupo

She who spins the cloud, weaves the storm.


We Are Blood and Thunder focuses on the perspectives of both Lena and Constance. The book is about a large storm cloud that has covered Duke’s Forest for around 6 years, and the Justice has assumed that it is a mage that created the storm cloud spell. Because of this accusation, anyone who is found to be a mage, is basically sentenced to death – so all mages are in hiding! When Lena is being chased by the Justice’s hounds out in the forest, she meets Constance, who points her in the direction of Emris, who is able to help Lena build and develop her magic! Whilst Lena is working on herself, Constance is trying to find the heart of the storm, but what is she really up to?

I quite enjoyed this story, it’s different to what I have read in quite a long time, so it’s nice to pick up a fantasy every once in a while! Unfortunately it just lacked in a lot of areas, I felt that the ending in particular was very rushed and could have been delved into a little deeper! In light of that, I found that parts throughout the story really dragged, and there was a lot of unnecessary information that didn’t particularly add to the story.

I would definitely say that it is more of Young Adult Fantasy novel with the simplistic writing style, but this does make the book easy and quick to read! I would recommend anyone between maybe 11-16 to read this possibly? Obviously this is personal opinion, I didn’t hate the book at all and I did enjoy it! IT just wasn’t an ‘outstanding’ story.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman


Eleanor Oliphant is a girl with the perfect routine, every day, Monday to Friday she works for a company she has ALWAYS worked for. Then on a Friday, she will go to the same shop and ALWAYS buy the same two bottles of vodka, ready for the weekend. Eleanor isn’t a great lover of change, she likes her routine, and she enjoys life by herself. But one night a stranger comes into Eleanor’s life for a brief moment, and everything changes, however, will she cope?

This review has taken me some time to write as I have just been so unsure about it, ever since I finished it! I was really hoping for BIG things with this book, as I know so many of you loved it, but I just didn’t? I found it extremely slow! It wasn’t until the third part of the book until it started picking up a little and even then it just wasn’t a massive page-turner for me. – I know that this will be a very unpopular opinion to many, and it probably doesn’t help that I’ve read so many fast-paced books recently, that it just didn’t catch my attention. I found that I’d read a few pages, and then put it down for a day or two, so it felt like a real chore trying to finish it!

That being said like I mentioned, it does begin to pick up in the third part of the book, which I did quite enjoy and once I got to this part it was much easier to keep going! Rather than putting it down continuously.

I did like the way Honeyman portrays how Eleanor has really struggled for a long time, and she perhaps didn’t really realise it. Especially with her Mum, I found the ending for those two very eye-opening on how people deal with abuse, grief and just battles with their own minds… My own struggles don’t compare to how Eleanor’s are, so it was good to see how other people also deal with their problems too! Eleanor struggled with childhood trauma, alcoholism, grief, and maybe even PTSD. But she hasn’t struggled through these problems for YEARS on her own. She enjoyed the idea of being on her own on the weekends, the book eve mentions that sometimes she would go three or four days without seeing or talking to anyone. Now, this, for anyone, is extremely unhealthy, but she just felt like she had no one to talk to.

I loved the way that Raymond really became quite a big part of Eleanor’s life and helped her get back on her feet when things really went downhill. He is a good example of how a friend should be when their friend is struggling, like making sure they get the help they need!

Eleanor Oliphant wasn’t a bad book at all, it just wasn’t for me at all, but I know that so so many people LOVED it. So I would still encourage others to try and read it too if they get the chance! I know that there have been other books that have been said to be on par with this such as The Cactus by Sarah Haywood and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, both of which are on my TBR list, so I really hope to enjoy those!

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine? What were your thoughts on it?