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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Review - Rules for Vampires: Ghosts Bite Back by Alex Foulkes

 Review - Rules for Vampires: Ghosts Bite Back by Alex Foulkes

A vampire and a ghost being friends is unheard of. It makes no sense. 

The two factions have despised one another for all eternity. But Leo the vampire and Minna the ghost have battled side-by-side: they’re sisters-in-arms, they’re best friends, and they’ll have to work together to vanquish a new, deadly threat. Summoned to the Ghostly Realm for the murder of the Orphanmaster, Leo must complete three tasks to prove herself worthy of her unlife, each more treacherous than the last. 

Can Leo convince the Ghostly Realm of her innocence and earn her freedom, or will she be trapped there forever?

A brilliantly horrible sequel to the superb Rules for Vampires!

After their terrifying battle against the Orphanmaster in the first book, Leo and Minna aren't given any time to relax or come to terms with what happened before they're thrust into another crisis. This time Leo has to go into the ghost world when she's charged with the murder of the Orphanmaster's ghost. She's taken far out of her comfort zone when she has no idea what she'll face, or even how to get there as a vampire. Not that Castle Motteberg is really that comfortable for her. The Blood Moon Banquet is fast approaching, all of the Vampire Council members will be in attendance and Leo is expected both to wear a nice dress and, even more terrifying, to not disappoint her strict, evil and incredibly scary mother! What could possibly go wrong? Maybe...everything?

It's great to see Minna coming more into her powers as a ghost. She's so determined and loyal to her friend and family, and is a fabulous character. I also loved seeing more about the ghosts beyond the lovely Minna and the horrifying Orphanmaster. Ulf is one of the new characters it's just impossible not to love, he's so funny and cool. And there's a scary new villain, with a really interesting new style, making the conflict very different to the first book, but the stakes may be even higher.

Leo is, again, the star of the book. She's just brilliant, both brave and uncertain, torn between loyalty to her evil family and doing the right thing, needing support but rankling against her parents and her butler, another brilliant supporting character. Seeing Leo having to negotiate new trials and pressures and doing everything she can to live up to everybody's expectations for her is fascinating.

This is a story about a vampire and a ghost managing to be friends despite centuries of traditional animosity, and that is something lovely to see. It's also a story about justice, and about just what that means. There's a lot of interesting thoughts to take away from it.

It's also incredibly and wonderfully gruesome. The food served at the vampiric banquet alone is truly horrible, and I'm sure will be a big hit with its young audience.


Rules for Vampires Ghosts Bite Back by Alex Foulkes is out now, published by Simon and Schuster.

You should definitely check out the independent bookshop editions, for the lovely sprayed edges!


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