There Are Inkspots On My Page!

My name is Belle and I like to read books. One day in the near future, I will add "editor" and "proofreader" to "reader". 


I am a 2015 Aurealis Awards judge, [deity of choice] help us all. Please note that any opinions found here are my own.


You can also find me on twitter, tumblr and goodreads

Waiting on Wednesdays

The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

I really am the worst at keeping up with books this year, The Invisible Library is another that has been waiting patiently on my shelf for some attention. BUT this still looks pretty great and I’m sure I’ll get to read it at some point this decade. 


Release Date: 3rd December 2015


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Waiting on Wednesdays

The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Book 3) -  Charlie Holmberg

Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own — an ability long thought impossible.

While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

This was actually released a few months ago, but apparently I missed making a note of the release date when reading books one and two. While it’s not the best series I’ve read this year, it has a really interesting premise and I’m still curious to see how it all ends. 


Release Date: 2nd June 2015


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Waiting on Wednesdays

Angel of Storms (Millennium's Rule) - Trudi Canavan

Tyen is teaching mechanical magic at a school respected throughout the worlds. News arrives that the formidable ruler of all worlds, long believed to be dead, is back and enforcing his old laws - including the one forbidding schools of magic. As teachers and students flee, Tyen is left with no home and no purpose... except the promise he made to Vella, the sorcerer imprisoned in a book. Tyen must decide what he is willing to do to free her.

After five years among the tapestry weavers of Schpeta, Rielle's peaceful new life has been shattered by a local war. As defeat looms, the powerful Angel of Storms appears and invites Rielle to join the artisans of his celestial realm. But what will he require in return for this extraordinary offer?

I confess, I haven’t read book one yet, but it is sitting on the shelf waiting to go! Trudi Canavan is one of my all time favourite authors, and I have no doubt that this will be another kickass book. 


Release Date: 12th November 2015


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Waiting on Wednesdays

The Red Queen - Isobelle Carmody

After years spent struggling to balance her desires with her responsibilities, Elspeth Gordie has fully embraced her role as the Seeker. Battle-scarred and lovelorn, haunted by memories of her beloved Rushton, Elspeth is not prepared for what she finds at the end of the black road she travels: the Compound, a lost community with a startling secret. As Elspeth strives against her captors, she learns that Rushton and her friends have fallen into the hands of the deadly slavemasters that rule the Red Land. And worst of all, as Elspeth stumbles, the Destroyer creeps ever closer to his goal: awakening the cataclysmically destructive weaponmachines that Elspeth has been charged with stopping. 

Has all her sacrifice been in vain?

I cannot even begin to describe how badly I need to read this book. I started this series ~17 years ago, and it has been a long (and sometimes painful) wait. This series was published a couple of years after I was born though, so some people have had a much longer wait than I have! Either way, it’s great to finally see the last book ready to go. 

Release Date: 12th November 2015

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Waiting on Wednesdays

Black Wolves - Kate Elliott

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate. 

I am a huge fan of Kate Elliott’s work, she has such a way with words and how she tells a story that I simply haven’t found anywhere else. It’s an understatement to say that I am really looking forward to this! 

Release Date: 3rd November 2015

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Waiting on Wednesdays

The Devious Dr. Jekyll: An Electric Empire Novel - Viola Carr

Dr. Eliza Jekyll, heroine of the electrifying The Diabolical Miss Hyde—an edgy steampunk retelling of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—investigates a bizarre murder case in an alternate Victorian London while battling her treacherous secret half: Lizzie Hyde.

Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in the chauvinistic world of Victorian law enforcement. But the scrutiny that comes with her newfound fame is unwelcome for a woman with a diabolical secret. And there is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Does he want to marry her, eat her, or burn her at the stake? Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life.

I haven’t actually read the first one, but I’m not sure that it really matters. This still looks pretty interesting!


Release Date: 27/10/2015


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Waiting on Wednesdays

The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity's ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.


Release Date: September 29

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Waiting on Wednesdays

Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, Margo Lanagan

Ethan, aka "Scam," has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn't just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn't consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts - like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him - his former group of friends, the self-named "zeros" who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam's latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.


Release Date: September 23 

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon

Waiting on Wednesdays

Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.


Release Date: September 15

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon

Waiting on Wednesdays

Walk on Earth a Stranger - Rae Carson

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Timesbestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.


Release Date: September 22

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon

Waiting on Wednesdays

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai - Bradley P. Beaulieu

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power...if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.

Release Date: September 1st

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon

A City Called Smoke - Justin Woolley

The battle was only the beginning; the real danger is beyond the fence ...


The Diggers have been destroyed, a horde of ghouls is moving inland and the High Priestess has seized control of the Central Territory. Together with Nim, a Nomad boy seeking vengeance against the ghouls, Squid and Lynn begin their long journey toward the city of Big Smoke, a city that may not even exist.


Pursued by forces that wish to see them fail, facing threats on all sides and conflict from within, Squid, Lynn and Nim search for a weapon against the ghouls. It is a search that will lead them into forbidden lands where long-held beliefs about their world are tested and Squid may finally unravel the truth of his identity.


At the risk of stating the obvious, A City Called Smoke picks up where A Town Called Dust finishes, and then charges off into the outback.


I have some pretty mixed feelings about this one, but in the good way. The whole book is filled with great scenes, and the character development is fantastic.


I loved the introduction of Nim, and quite frankly, I'd happily read a whole book on how he and his tribe have survived over the years, and especially how their stories have evolved. I enjoyed the dynamic between Nim/Lynn/Squid much less though, and there were several occasions where I found myself quite exasperated with Squid.


PLUS! There is quite a decent amount of time spent with sky pirates, which is something I was really hoping for after finishing Dust. They're another group I'd happily spend more time reading about, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they turn up again in book three.


The plot continues to trundle along brilliantly - there were parts I guessed at before they happened, but the whole last third of the book just blew me away. Absolutely wasn't expecting it at all, and I really can't wait to see how it all ends. Of course, there's more time spent on the back story/world building, and that was very interesting. I'm still left with a lot of questions, but that is as it should be - there's just the right amount of information shared.



If you've read book 1, you really need to keep going. And if you haven't, please go and do that right now, then grab this one.


Purchase: Kobo | Amazon


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A Town Called Dust: The Territory 1 - Justin Woolley

As an Australian, I am an absolute sucker for books set in Australia. When that book happens to be a genre I enjoy and involves zombie-like creatures, there is little that will stop me from getting my hands on it.


LUCKILY there was nothing about this book to let me down.


I really enjoyed the plot, it was different enough from all those other zombie-like books/movies out there to keep me entertained. As much as I don't mind good zombie-based media, it does get tedious seeing the same thing over and over.


It took me a little while to warm up to Lyn, but Squid had my heart pretty much right from the very beginning. The supporting cast are quite intriguing in their own rights - especially the dynamic between state and church as horde shambles towards Alice. I think many people will see real-world parallels in how they interact not only with each other, but the wider populations they're attempting to protect.


This is a really great read, even if "zombies" or "dystopia" aren't really your thing. And if I haven't convinced you to drop everything and go buy it yet, stay tuned for a review of book 2 later this week.

The Great Bazaar & Brayan's Gold - Peter V Brett

These two novellas were my introduction to Peter Brett and his Demon Cycle, and I must say, they were pretty great.

There are just enough references to the greater series for existing fans, and enough explanation for new readers to make it perfect for everyone, regardless of whether you’ve read the series or not. And really, if this is your first exposure and you don’t want to read more afterwards, you may be a little crazy.


My favourite of the two was The Great Bazaar, Arlen is a bit older than in Brayan’s Gold, and has settled into himself a bit more. Plus, it was just a good story. I’m sure this happens in the actual series, but I do like how the characters are not infallible - they make mistakes and have to live with the consequences of them, and I think I’ll really enjoy seeing how these two experiences shape Arlen in the rest of the series.

This collection is rounded out with a deleted scene from The Warded Man, which didn’t leave much of an impression on me to be honest. Probably why it was deleted! There’s also a dictionary and grimoire of the wards, but I suspect that holds more for someone familiar with the rest of the series.

If you’ve read the series and want to know more about Arlen’s history: grab this book.

If you haven’t read the series and want to know whether it’s worth your time: grab this book.

It will be well worth your time.


About to get stuck into The Word Hunters by Nick Earls and Terry Whidborne.

To Hold the Bridge

To Hold the Bridge - Garth Nix You can find this, and other reviews, on my blog. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a very fantastic collection of short stories, one that I’m going to enjoy revisiting time and time again. Garth Nix is such a talented writer, and I really don’t think there’s anything he can’t write.

The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodils Murder was probably my favourite (aside from To Hold the Bridge itself). Anything even tangentially related to Sherlock Holmes is okay by me, and this one had me giggling more than once. I also really enjoyed Vampire Weather and An Unwelcome Guest, but I must note that there wasn’t a single story I got to the end of and thought “meh.” They were all pretty great.

Honestly, I don’t even know what else to say about it. It’s fantastic for long-time fans, but also for those who are wanting to test the waters - it covers so many different writing styles and genres that there’s something for everyone, and everyone needs a copy right now.

Currently reading

Church Of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Unrelenting Nightmare by Stan Yocum
Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle by Edward Wakeling
The Path to Power: Book One of the Tarnished Crown by Karen Miller
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks