Book Review: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Rating: ★★★.5
RRP Paperback: $24.99 AUD
Release Date: September 2021

A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Macmillan AU for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads synopsis:

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

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This book absolutely gave me dark, gothic, atmospheric vibes. I swear I could taste the mist in the air while reading due to the lyrical and poetic writing style. It truly was lovely to read.

Lakesedge tells the story of Violeta Graceling and her brother Arien. Due to the nature of Arien’s magic, the siblings are summoned to the Lakesedge estate by Rowan Sylvanan to help heal the land after it was corrupted by an insidious magic.

I enjoyed this novel! The characters were great and I really liked the way the sibling bond between Leta and her brother was portrayed. The ‘I’d do anything for you’ love she showed for him was heartwarming (even though at times I wanted to shout directly at the book for her not to do anything stupid!) The supporting characters were fantastic and provided a lot of witty banter that definitely helped lighten the dark atmosphere of the book. I also appreciated that we got some lgbtq+ representation throughout!

The romance was good, not mind blowing, but it was good! This, along with some of the other plot points, did feel a little bit rushed. This could have more to do with the fact we were told how much time passed at the estate rather than shown, but it didn’t take away from what made the book enjoyable for me. Also, side note: I don’t know if it has something to do with my weakness for dark, mysterious characters, but I’m not convinced the characters involved in the romance are end game! (Once you read it, please come and tell me your thoughts, I need to know if it was just me or not!)

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing what’s in store for the next instalment. I would really love to learn more about the world. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being at the Lakesedge estate, but I’d love to see more of what the world has to offer these characters. 3.5 stars!

Once again, a huge thank you to Macmillan AU for sending me an ARC of Lakesedge in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Quiet At The End Of The World By Lauren James

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Rating: ★★★★.5
RRP: $16.99 AUD
Find it on Book Depository

A huge thank you to Walker Books for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion. 

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

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“We live in the quiet at the end of the world. The slow winding-down clockwork motions before life stops completely. Time is slipping through our fingers.”

I really, truly, loved this.

We got some Transgender representation.

We got some Bisexual representation.

We got some Asian representation.

We got big, existential life questions and a beautiful, slow burn romance.

And it was all done so incredibly well!

The Quiet At The End Of The World by Lauren James follows Lowrie and Shen as they navigate their way through a world where the human race is going extinct after a virus has caused global infertility. Being the youngest humans on Earth, they spend their days mudlarking and exploring until one day their family and friends, one by one, start to mysteriously fall ill. Together they must find the cure and decide how to spend the rest of their remaining years.

This book was amazing! It started out a little slow for me, and I found I was taking a bit of time to get through the first half. However, looking back I think it was a really great start for what the novel turned into. I loved the format and the way we were fed information so slowly that it felt as though we were right there with Shen and Lowrie finding out as the same time they did. The novel was jam packed with brilliant, beautifully done diversity that was so refreshing! The characters themselves where really likeable while still having flaws and feeling real and the slow burn romance was just perfection, I really enjoyed it!

That plot! Wow. This was awesome! I didn’t even see where this was going until we got there! It was so well done! The world building was great and I loved the juxtaposition of the very futuristic assistant robots in a world that has become over grown and essentially “taken back” by nature. The writing style was incredible. It honestly just felt quiet, like we were right there at the end of the world while reading. IN-CRE-DI-BLE.

Over all, I haven’t really got anything bad to say about this book. Reading it has made me want to go out, buy the rest of Lauren James’ work and and burn through it! This is one author who has easily made it to the top of my TBR for any future novels. If you’re looking for a brilliantly done dystopian/science fiction mash up, that is going to get you really thinking about your own life and what it is to be human, then this is definitely your next read!