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The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman – The Write Reads Blog Tour – Book Review


About the Book

In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…

Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.

In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.

With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.

The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.


About the Author

Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.

Stay up to date with: FacebookTwitterBookBub, and Goodreads.

(From: https://project613publishing.com/)


What I Thought


This historical fantasy is set in Poland. It opens with pretty distressing scenes and moves on to meld the trauma of the Holocaust with Jewish folklore and fantasy and explores questions of humanity and righteousness.

The main characters Uriel and Uwe and Major Brandt are all fully realised, the two adults being suitably conflicted. The prose is beautiful and the plot is intriguing.

A couple of slight issues that may be because I read an Advanced and unedited copy. The chapters were really long and there was some head hopping in some of the scenes, switching back and forth between character POV.

But to me this was reminiscent of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the Diary of Anne Frank, Pan’s Labyrinth and another film I can’t mention because it would be a spoiler. The blend of stark reality and fantasy adventure works well. Given the subject matter this is a fairly heavy read at times but the focus on the stories and mythology in The Book of Uriel adds a different layer of complexity.


Thanks to Dave at The Write Reads and the author for a gifted eARC for the purposes of an honest review. Do follow the rest of the tour using #TheBookOfUriel on Twitter/Instagram.

The Wanderer by Josie Williams – Blog Tour Character Q&A and Mini Review


Happy Publication Day to Josie Williams on The Wanderer out now from Firefly. Here’s my spot on the blog tour kicking things off with a character Q&A and a mini review.

About the Book


Nothing can stand in the way of love, not even death.

Alone in the world, Maggie only has her visits to her nan to look forward to. When the most popular boy in school saves her life she has no idea why he is suddenly acting like a different person.

Stuck between life and death, Ryder spends his days wandering around unseen by the living. When the girl he loves walks into danger, Ryder breaks the number one Wanderer’s rule: he saves her life.

But how can a Wanderer and a living girl ever reach their happily ever after?

About the Author


Josie Williams is the pseudonym of bestselling author Kirsty Moseley, whose New Adult romances have sold over 860,000 copies in English, and whose first novel, the YA romance The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, was an international bestseller translated into many languages. Josie has a large and loyal YA fanbase. She lives in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. @xJosieWilliamsx

Character Q&A


I wanted to find out more about Ryder and Maggie before the story starts so here are their answers at the age of 15


1. Do you believe in ghosts?

MAGGIE: I’m not sure. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it much. I guess, I would say there probably is some sort of afterlife, but what that is or if it’s ghosts or Heaven or reincarnation or what I don’t know.

RYDER: Nah, ghosts are made up to sell movies and books. Have you seen that programme Ghost Hunters? Man, people believe any old crap if they put it on TV.

2. What do you find attractive in someone?

MAGGIE: Um… there is this one boy that I find attractive. I guess it was his looks that first attracted me to him, but he’s also really funny, I like a good sense of humour. And, like, I want to be able to talk to them easily and it not be awkward. I guess it also helps if they have eyes you want to drown in.

RYDER: A type you mean? I don’t really have a type. I guess my last girlfriend had brown hair and eyes, tanned skin, you know the usual stuff, but I’m not really fussy. I just like someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, someone who can fit in with my friends and who likes me for me.

3. Tell us about your family.

MAGGIE: Well, it’s just me and my nan. I lost my mum a few years ago so Nan is all I have left now. She’s amazing, funny, kind, she supports and encourages me in everything I do. Though I don’t have the conventional family that others do, I count myself as lucky to have her.

RYDER: I actually have a big family. I’m one of three boys so it’s pretty hectic in my house—never a dull moment. My parents are great, my dad has never missed a rugby match of mine and is like a big kid half the time. My mum is a ride or die mum, she’s always in your corner. If I was in a fight, she’d be the one I’d call. Out of all of them, I’m probably closest to my eldest brother though. He just started Uni this year so I miss him now that he’s not home. He’s wicked smart and wants to be a doctor. He’s got his life all planned out, he’s an inspiration and my hero, though I’d never tell him or he’d get a big head about it. We’re all just pretty normal, to be honest,


4. What would you do to be noticed?

MAGGIE: Why would I want to be noticed? I’m happy just trudging along with my book in hand. The people that notice me are the ones I want in my life, I don’t want to have to do something out of the ordinary or force people to pay attention to me, those people aren’t really worth having notice you anyway.

RYDER: Noticed? Why wouldn’t I be noticed? I don’t understand the question.

5. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

MAGGIE: I guess I would still be at university by then? I want to do a degree in English and/or business. My ultimate goal is to own my own independent bookshop where people can come in and browse and there’s recommendations on each shelf, maybe a corner where kids can come and sit and find their love of reading. So I guess in five years I hope to be working towards that.

RYDER: Down the seafront drawing people for five quid a pop. Perfect.

What I Thought

I loved this. The characters of Maggie and Ryder are so compelling and it makes you really root for them. Maggie has certainly been through a lot in life and Ryder hasn’t had the easiest ride in the afterlife.

Giving me echoes of films Casper, Ghost and Everyday (by David Levithan) this book is perfect for this time of year and I challenge you not to fall for Maggie as hard as Ryder does.

I liked that the ethics of lots of aspects were explored too – stalking, body snatching, consent and so on – That’s not to say our two lovebirds act perfectly- they are teens falling in first love after all but there is a real humanity to both of them.

The side characters also feel super real and part of me hopes we might get more in this ‘world’ from author Josie Williams. 

Dealing with love, loss, grief and ghosts this is a perfect read for the season and now I want to go and watch a whole load of spooky films. I can’t believe I don’t own Casper in proper DVD so will be rectifying that asap! If you want to know why I picked Die Hard for the background and see if Maggie and Ryder’s 5 year plan comes true then you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

A huge thanks to Karen, Firefly and the author for the gifted book for the purposes of an honest review. Do check out the other spots on the tour – some fab fellow bloggers and superb humans taking part in this one.

The New Kingdom by Wilbur Smith with Mark Chadbourn – Blog Tour Book Review

Today is my stop on the tour for this – and I have something a little different for you. Today’s review has been written by my mum. Growing up, my parents were always reading, so I entirely blame them for my book addiction!! One of dad’s go to authors is Wilbur Smith so when Tracy from Compulsive Readers had his latest I had to grab him a copy.

However little did I know that the topic of this one was Ancient Egypt which is totally Mum’s thing (I remember going to the Tutankhamen museum in Dorchester together). So she nabbed it first and poor dad has had to wait.


About the Book

A brand-new Ancient Egyptian novel from the master of adventure fiction and global number 1 bestselling author, Wilbur Smith.

In the heart of Egypt
Under the watchful eye of the gods
A new power is rising 

In the city of Lahun, Hui lives an enchanted life. The favoured son of a doting father, and ruler-in-waiting of the great city, his fate is set. But behind the beautiful façades a sinister evil is plotting. Craving power and embittered by jealousy, Hui’s stepmother, the great sorceress Isetnofret, and Hui’s own brother Qen, orchestrate the downfall of Hui’s father, condemning Hui and seizing power in the city.

Cast out and alone, Hui finds himself a captive of a skilled and powerful army of outlaws, the Hyksos. Determined to seek vengeance for the death of his father and rescue his sister, Ipwet, Hui swears his allegiance to these enemies of Egypt. Through them he learns the art of war, learning how to fight and becoming an envied charioteer.

But soon Hui finds himself in an even greater battle – one for the very heart of Egypt itself. As the pieces fall into place and the Gods themselves join the fray, Hui finds himself fighting alongside the Egyptian General Tanus and renowned Mage, Taita. Now Hui must choose his path – will he be a hero in the old world, or a master in a new kingdom?

Don’t miss the rest of the epic Ancient Egyptian Series, River God, The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, The Quest, Desert God and Pharaoh, available now. And Wilbur Smith will return to Ancient Egypt in 2022.


What Mum Thought


The story of Hui is that of a young man on the cusp of manhood whose life is turned upside down by events beyond his control. This all takes place in Ancient Egypt at the time of the New Kingdom. The beliefs and superstitions of the time play a large part in colouring the attitudes and behaviours of the characters.


Our hero has many adventures and misadventures along the way and eventually meets up with the protagonists from a previous series of books. The reader would not necessarily have to have read the previous series to enjoy this story.
As a fan of stories of Ancient Egypt I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to any sequels in the future.

A huge thanks to Tracy from Compulsive Readers for the gifted copy for the purposes of this honest review. I’ve always been scared to delve in because of Wilbur Smith’s huge back catalogue but I might see about reading this one after Dad. Do check out the other spots on the blog tour too.

Wilbur Smith 1933-2021

Since posting we were saddened to hear of the sudden death of Wilbur Smith – announcement here.

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