Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes This may be a somewhat controversial view, but here goes…

For months before this book’s release I had excitedly followed the hype on Twitter, and I grabbed my copy as soon as it was out in our local Waterstones, chatting with the cashier about how great it was supposed to be. I think that was problem number one. It was too hyped up, and I started reading it with impossibly high expectations.

Of course, all the hype was about the final twist, that Twitter hashtag of #WTFthatending. And that, I think, was problem number two. Rather than immersing myself openly into the book and its characters, I spent the whole time looking for clues, trying to figure it out, to be one step ahead. I kept the whole thing, untrustingly, at arms length, and found myself not caring about the characters at all.

My third problem was that it was written by Sarah Pinborough, one of my favourite authors. I so wanted it to be another The Death House, which had me sobbing at the end, or 13 Minutes, that I read in just a few days. But it wasn’t.

I hate giving this just 3 stars, but it left me unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and, frankly, a little angry that it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. I didn’t like the final twist, and the very ending annoyed me immensely.

But I don’t think it was all the book’s fault. I wanted too much from it. It was over hyped and failed to live up to its marketing.


#DystopiaCrave Free Book Promo

From today until January 5th, you can pick up all of these dystopian books absolutely free. Fill up your ereader for 2017 with dark, enticing, dystopian tales.

Generation ZGeneration Z: Book one: The Outbreak
Carey Lewis
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A brief period in history where humans and zombies share the Earth together—to set out our differences—and ultimately where one race is destroyed. Randolph Garvey, a zombie, will be your guide through this journey.

Stories From the WarStories from the War
Autumn Brit
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Enter a dark fantasy/dystopian tale with underpinnings of love, betrayal, and tumultuous relationships set in a dark future.



Tube Riders: Underground
Chris Ward
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Marta Banks is a Tube Rider, a girl who risks death every day in the abandoned underground stations of London. Tube Riders are a family, but when they discover a dark government secret, everything they hold dear is threatened.

Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors
Benjamin Wallace
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Compared to Monty Python, this Post-Apocalyptic Dark Comedy is possibly the funniest book since the Hitchhiker’s series.

Halfskin: the Vignettes
Tony Bertauski
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A synthetic stem cell called a biomite can replace any cell in your body. They are infallible. Those with 50% biomites will no longer be considered human.
They will be halfskin.

Planetfall 1799
Chogan Swan
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Earth 1799—No one knows the seeds of Earth’s destruction just fell from space. The Corvette Valishnu has tracked the last of the parasitic niaaH across the galactic core. Tiana is the sole survivor.

M. Black
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When everything is a lie, how do you know what to believe? Join Ilia, the princess, and Jez, the Giver, as they uncover the truth about their world.

The Bottle Stopper
Angeline Trevena
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A dark and gripping thriller set in a future dystopia. If you like stories of oppressive governments, genetic selection, mass murder, and the fight for freedom, if you look for unlikely heroes and always root for the underdog, you’ll love The Bottle Stopper.

Shadow Islands: City of Skies
Farah Cook
Nora must defeat supernatural creatures in the forbidden areas where she must look for nine artifacts that unlocks the ShadowIslands. But why does Nora have rare abilities?



Amazon’s Review Policy Changes and What it Means for Authors

AmazonOn October 3rd, Amazon changed their review policy which now states that reviews are no longer allowed in exchange for a free or discounted item. It was originally thought that this wouldn’t apply to books (sending out advance review copies (ARCs) has been an industry standard for many years), but it appears that this is no longer the case.

Prior to October 3rd, Amazon guidelines stated that ARC reviewers should include a disclaimer along the lines of “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” as part of their review. This policy has now changed.

An email from an Amazon service representative stated this:

I’d make sure none of your reviews contain disclaimers using “I got this in exchange for that.” I would recommend your reviewers use language like, “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.”

It also appears that, not only will Amazon be removing any new reviews with the previously acceptable, indeed required, disclaimer, but they may well be removing old reviews too. Reviews that, when posted, followed Amazon guidelines to the letter.

To avoid having Amazon reviews being deleted, I suggest that you ask your reviewers to use the newly suggested phrase: “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.” Also, if you have previous ARC reviews, and you don’t want to see those disappear, it looks like you’ll have to ask your reviewers to log into their account to edit them.

At the end of the day, it’s Amazon’s sandpit, and we have to play by their rules.

Please also check out the links below, and if you have any other useful sources, please feel free to link to them in the comments. Forewarned is forearmed, and the more information we all have, the better.

Further reading:


Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box★★★★★
Another book that I’ve absolutely shot through, another book that’s interrupted sleep, mealtimes, the daily routine of life.

Bird Box contains a few factual mistakes that dragged me out of the story for a moment, but its compelling nature always pulled me back without too much interruption. This book takes the fear of the unknown to a level I’ve never found in another story, and its present tense narrative, despite being full of flashbacks, pulls the reader straight into the heart of its world.

This book is truly terrifying, and the realisation of what the real enemy is, which creature is more fearsome than any other, is not only jarring, but has left me shaken. Malerman has created the scariest antagonist I’ve ever read (and I’ve read Misery). In fact, I’m still shaking while typing this. I’m not sure any book has ever done that to me before.

If you’re looking to read this, you better be ready, you better be sound of mind, because you won’t be able to close your eyes.


Friday Reads: How to Live Longer

Friday ReadsA recent study has discovered that people who read regularly are more likely to live longer than their non-bookish counterparts. Good news for all us book nerds!

Quoted in the New York Times, Yale University’s epidemiology professor, Becca R. Levy, stated that “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.”

But claiming benefits from increased levels of literacy is barely a new thing, and several previous studies have concluded that it can be beneficial to many different aspects of our lives.

I try hard to fit a good amount of reading into my life, and, most days, manage to grab a chapter or two. Mind you, when it’s a particularly good book, I’m one of those people who will spend an entire day doing everything with just one hand while I hold a book in the other.

At the moment I’m reading Josh Malerman’s ‘Bird Box’. It joined my TBR pile after several people in my Twitter feed were raving about it, and I’m not disappointed thus far.

What are you reading at the moment?


Preview: Defender by G X Todd

Defender SamplerAt Edge-Lit I was given a sampler of a novel called  ‘Defender’; the upcoming debut from author G X Todd.

It’s a post apocalyptic story, and the first in a four-part series following the two main characters Pilgrim and Lacey.

The sampler opens with a letter addressed directly to the reader which cleverly offers some backstory without disengaging or distancing from the world of the story. It’s a smart move.

G X Todd’s writing style is quite wordy, and with all the distractions of family life around me, I often found myself needing to reread several passages. But I quickly settled into it and found myself flying through the rest of the sampler.

It’s a genre I love, and I’m most definitely hooked on the story and characters already. The sampler includes the introductory letter followed by just two chapters: just the agonisingly right amount to hook you and leave you hanging. It’s actually quite cruel.

‘Defender’ is due for release on January 12th, so it’s going to be a painful wait until I can get my hands on the full book.

You can find out more at