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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

Blog Tour Review - Ravensong by T J Klune

 Blog Tour Review - Ravensong by T J Klune

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves. It should have been enough.

And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack... and won. Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.

But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it's crawling from within. Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken

pack pack pack love book late review pack love

Hey folks, this is my (slightly delayed) blog tour review for Ravensong, brought to you with the awesome people at Black Crow PR.

I never read Wolfsong, though I did read and review In the Lives of Puppets a few months ago, and really enjoyed that, so I decided to give this one a go too. In retrospect, I really should have read Wolfsong first, because Ravensong clearly picks up a lot of threads from the first book. I'd been hoping for a copy with my review copy of Ravensong, but I'll definitely be picking up a copy because I really enjoyed Ravensong a lot!

It's very much a book of two distinct halves. From what I can tell, the first part of the story intertwines through the story of Wolfsong. We see things that happened in the first book through the eyes of different characters, I think. It jumps around in time, as we see Gordo's life in snippets and cut scenes, and there's a long road trip with Gordo and three of the Bennett brothers which really doesn't seem to get anywhere. There's no real sense of destination or achievement while they're on the road, and then when they get back home there's this feeling that everything has kinda happened there while they were away, before the book jumps forward in time. This utterly confused me before I realised just how big the overlap with Wolfsong must be and that the other events of this particular time period happen elsewhere. 

So yeah, this first section of the book, and it's a fairly chunky section, is mostly just four people driving around and getting nowhere, mixed in with flashbacks. And yet, somehow, it isn't boring or frustrating. Far from it, in fact. Despite my confusion at certain points, I really loved it. It had this strange and beautiful dreamlike quality, as paragraphs skipped back and forth in time with no real breaks, no indications, no time stamps, we're with Gordo in a roadside motel, and then we're with him as a teenage boy sneaking into a garage for the first time, and then we're with him in pack meetings as a young man, and then we're back in the car. It's trance like and a little unsettling but in the best way, like we're just on multiple journeys with him and time and space aren't restricting us any more. There's extensive use of foreshadowing, as events are depicted a certain amount of time before other, major events, that are skirted around through several sections before we suddenly realise they're unfolding before us. There's a real power to this kind of storytelling, when it is done well, and T J Klune does it very well!

The next part of the book is more traditional storytelling, as we follow a single narrative to its conclusion, but this dreamlike quality seeps through it still, with occasional sequences drawing us back into that unsettling and beautiful state. Gordo's new pack is under threat from several sources, an infection, another pack, hunters and witches. They have to come together to identify the threats and deal with them as the stakes steadily raise and the peril mounts. It's tense and exciting with some incredible dramatic moments. I love Gordo, and his grumpy ass, and his confidence, this human standing up to werewolves knowing, or believing, that he is more than a match for any of them. You really have to hand it to him. (Sorry!)

This is a book with a strong narrative, but it is such a sensual book too! I think it's the wolves, but it really is a treat for all of the senses. There's music threaded throughout it, from the sing-a-longs on the road trip to the way familiar songs can evoke memories of our parents in everyday situations. Colour is used to communicate feelings through the shared threads between the pack, along with thoughts that are expressed as single words packed with meaning. Scent is used to identify people and how we think of them, how we remember them, and there's an extraordinary tactile sense too, the pack constantly using small touches to build familiarity and express love and affection, and I've never seen it expressed so well before. There's also a very explicit sex scene here too! I wasn't quite expecting it, but it was hot as hell!

More than anything though, this is a book with some very strong and difficult emotions. Families and trust are built up and broken, neither are easy. And it is a book about love, about hearts breaking, about abandonment and all of the hurt, anger and resentment left behind and what it can do to us. It's about losing people and finding people, and for all of the bitterness, it's a story about hope. A beautiful, powerful tale.

I loved Ravensong, and highly recommend it. I just wish I'd read Wolfsong first.


Ravensong by T J Klune is out on 3rd August 2023 by Tor Books.

I was given a review copy in return for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR blog tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!


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