Highlights of 2019

I’ve read a few wrap-up posts lately and seeing people celebrate what they have achieved this year inspired me. I wanted to do one of my own, but as well as looking at what have been strong posts for me, I also wanted to see what they taught me.

This has been a year of growth. A Rambling Reviewer is almost twice the size as it was last year, which makes me so grateful to everyone who takes the time to stop by, especially those who leave me a like or drop a comment. It keeps me blogging to be honest.

I wanted to break this down into different categories in regards to what has done well this year and what lessons each post has taught me about myself as a blogger.

Highlights of 2019
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Book Review: The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B Andersen

The Devil's Apprentice by Kenneth B Andersen

Author: Kenneth B. Andersen

Title: The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)

Publisher: Kenneth Bogh Andersen

Date: 2018

Plot: Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

Book Review: The Devil's Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen
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Book Review: Destroying Angel by S.G Maclean

Destroying Angel by S.G Maclean

Author: S.G Maclean

Title: Destroying Angel

Publisher: Quercus

Date: 2019

Plot:Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the North York moors with details of the stringent new anti-Royalist laws, Seeker finds that what should be a routine visit will reveal a plot to rival anything in scheming London

An invitation to dinner at the house of local businessman Matthew Pullan lifts the lid on the bubbling cauldron of grudges and resentment that is Faithly village. The local constable, drunk on the tiny bit of power he holds, using it to avenge old resentments. The hated lord of the manor, the last of a staunchly Royalist family who has managed to avoid suspicion of treachery – for now. The vicar on trial for his job and his home, accused of ungodly acts. And the Pullans themselves, proudly Puritan but disillusioned with Cromwell’s government, respected and despised in Faithly in equal measure. The man for whom this unlikely gathering was organised – The Trier, the enforcer of Puritan morality for the local villages – hasn’t shown up. And by the end of the night, on of those gathered around Matthew Pullan’s table will be fatally poisoned.

Seeker must find out the motive behind the death – mushroom misidentification, petty revenge, or part of a larger plot against Cromwell’s government in the north? But who in Faithly, if anyone, can he trust? And when the most painful part of his past reappears after eleven years, will the Seeker meet his match?

Book review: Destroying Angel by S.G Maclean
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Book Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Author: Rachel Heng

Title: Suicide Club

Publisher: Sceptre

Date: 2019

Plot: Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die. 

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

Book review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
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Monthly wrap-up: February

Anyone who read last month’s wrap-up will know this year hasn’t quite got off to the start I wanted. I was so optimistic that February was going to be my month and it…well, it failed.

This is definitely a case of reality being a b*tch and a few health scares in the family that led to a lot of stress and worry – still are, in fact.

I did manage a little bit of a social life though! Admittedly it was all crammed into one weekend, so the result ended up being a haze of exhaustion, but it was still enjoyable. I failed on the book club front: I wasn’t 100% and didn’t want to wait around for two hours and then have a late night. Who knows where this is going to lead!

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Monthly wrap-up: January

2019 did not quite get off to the start I was hoping for. I’ve had a difficult January. This is the first year I’ve really noticed what people mean by it being a strange month and everything feels like it has got away from me.

The main problem is I’ve had a lingering cold for a month which turned into sinusitis (again). Not feeling well meant I stopped the gym for about three weeks and completely undid all the hard work I had done before Christmas. The headaches prevented me from using the evenings in the way that I wanted and my weekends seemed to be focused on cleaning and nothing else.

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2018: My year in Books

A new year, a new Goodread’s challenge! This year, I’m setting myself a target of 90 books. It feels a lot, but the past two years has seen me ending the year on 92 for both, so it should be do-able. Commuting has an advantage!

Besides, it’s not a challenge unless it’s challenging, right?

I’m hoping to get on top of reviews this year – I’m in a good place for that right now, so need to keep reading. But I’m also hoping to address my extensive TBR pile that aren’t necessarily review books. I’ve left them sitting there for years, prioritising blog books. Time to pay them some attention!

Before I start addressing this year’s challenge, I want look back at last year. Not only focusing on the books that I’ve read, but the ones that have really stood out for me, and the ones you guys have enjoyed hearing about the most.

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Up and Coming: October

Hello October! Where did you come from? I love the summer, but am the first to admit digging out the jumpers and the blankets makes me happy. Nothing beats snuggling in with a hot drink and a good book!

I’ve got an interesting month coming up!

I should – if all goes according to plan – have my first conference for work. I have no idea what to expect or what I’m supposed to do but it feels like a big deal. Fingers crossed everything goes ahead.

I also have my graduation ceremony! Finally!Back to Blogging 3

Over a year after I handed in my major project for my Masters, I get to say I’ve graduated. I know some people aren’t going and I understand why – it ends up being an expensive day. But I’ve taken a long route around to get to this point, and it’s not been an easy ride. I want the moment of walking onto that stage, not for myself, but for my parents and their unconditional support over the last eight years. Couldn’t have done it without them!

With lots of exciting things happening, it’s only fair that I have some exciting books coming up, right?

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Up and Coming: September

It feels like it has been a while since I’ve been genuinely excited to write this post. Having a blogging break did me the world of good. Halfway through it, I suddenly realised I was feeling inspired again and spent an entire weekend catching up on posts, making a plan and getting content scheduled. I finally got my buzz back and I’m hoping it lasts.

I’m also thrilled with the content that I have coming up this month. It includes the next/final books in series that I have thoroughly enjoyed, plus returning to an author I haven’t read for quite a few years. It’s fair to say that no one is going to see me this month: I’m not going to look up from reading.


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Top four science-fiction novels

On Monday, I’m posting a review to conclude my first science-fiction series. It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve shifted my reading habits and have indulged in numerous science-fiction novels.


I’ll be honest: most have been because of a blog tour or because the publisher/author contacted me directly. I’m not certain I would have chosen them on my own. But I’ve enjoyed them all and the more I read, the more I’m figuring out what type of science-fiction I like.

In kind of a mini-celebration to completing my first series – all the others up until now have been stand-alone novels, I thought I would share (again) my top four that I have reviewed lately.

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