P∃T Shop – Gary Buller


Curiosity killed the cat…

For my first ever audio book review I was excited to listen to ‘P∃T Shop’ by Gary Buller, not knowing much about this book I was intrigued to see what it had in store for me! This book was quite short which I was slightly apprehensive about (30 minutes long listening time) however as the story progressed I kept wishing that it would be longer and never end!

Firstly I was very impressed with the way the audio book was as a whole, using music to enhance the experience was new for me (I’ve listened to a few audio books and all of them have been just the narrator telling the story). The way the music blended in the background helped set the scenes and really brought the story to life! I was worried that it would distract me from the actual story but it took it to a whole new level and made me feel so much more connected with the story.

The story itself is dark and mysterious, making the reader really feel as if you are with Brandon as he enters the ‘pet shop’ – the level of description is highly impressive, making it so easy to imagine how the shop would look, feel and smell. It’s safe to say this isn’t your ordinary pet shop! The character selection is small, two main characters Brandon and Horace and a few mentions of Brandon’s family – however you do find yourself able to relate to the characters and needless to say two main characters is more than enough.

Now on to the ‘pets’ – these creatures are not like any household pets, nor are they ones you would wish to bring home to live with you! The many varieties of creatures that lurk in the shop brings mystery and myth to a whole new level. Creatures such as mermaids and fairies can be seen to make an appearance yet they are not how us humans would imagine them! There are many darker and dangerous creatures that can be found in the shop, unfortunately Brandon’s curiosity gets the better of him and could take him down a dark path.

The creature creation really pleased me, giving the typical mythical creatures an unexpected twist. It gave the reader a chance to delve deeper into the creature’s background (like where Horace found them) and make the reader more curious to what else could be shown next…

The twist at the end was most enjoyable, in all honestly I wasn’t expecting it which frankly was what made it so perfect! I kept wishing that the story would continue as I did get so engrossed with it and wanted to learn more about the pet shop – having so many questions that were unanswered I am hoping that there could be another story to follow on from this.

Until next time…

If you want to listen to ‘P∃T Shop’ by Gary Buller yourself then you can directly download it from the ‘Gallery of Curiosity’ website here.

Bio: Gary Buller
Gary Buller is an author from Manchester, England where he lives with his long suffering partner Lisa, his daughter Holly, and dog Chico. He grew up in the Peak District where the hauntingly beautiful landscapes inspired him to write. He is a huge fan of all things macabre, and loves a tale with a twist.

Dead Over Heels – Theresa Braun


Who said romance is dead…

It’s safe to say I was excited to read ‘Dead Over Heels’ as it is the genre of book I most enjoy reading. A paranormal, romance and mystery book which captivates you from the first paragraph, keeping the mystery alive of what brought Veronica and Sebastian to that time in their lives. I was quite wary when learning this was a ‘short story’ as I didn’t think it would have enough detail to keep me engaged… Oh how I was wrong.  This book is only 38 pages long yet manages to include so much depth to the story line, builds the characters of Veronica and Sebastian perfectly and keeps you interested throughout with unexpected events popping up.

‘Dead Over Heels’ introduces you to Veronica who many women who have tried online dating (myself included) can relate to. She is almost about to give up hope in finding her ‘true love’ when in comes Sebastian. The romance begins with online messages but finally builds to them having their first date (which is at a known haunted restaurant). However this isn’t an ordinary date when supernatural events start to unfold – linking Sebastian and Veronica in ways I never expected.

Battling through these ghostly encounters Veronica and Sebastian must come together to uncover the truth behind these events. With both of their pasts coming back to ‘haunt’ them, can their love survive digging deeper? As the story unfolded I was impressed with the connection Veronica and Sebastian had with the ghosts, the way that their relationship pushed through the ‘creepy events’ and kept me completely engaged the whole way through.

The twist at the end was so perfect, it made me angry but happy at the same time! I was hoping for the book not to end but sadly it had to (although ending beautifully). I personally wish that this book will have a sequel because I am not finished with Veronica and Sebastian.

This book was such an enjoyable read, it had everything I could have hoped for. The characters themselves are easy to relate too (who doesn’t know an awkward attractive guy or a girl next door type with an edge) – the story line flowed effortlessly and kept me thinking and wondering what could happen next. I can’t wait to see what Theresa Braun does next!

Until next time…

If you want to read ‘Dead Over Heels’ yourself you can purchase it on Amazon by following the link here.

Bio: Theresa Braun
Theresa Braun was born in St Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Perhaps growing up in a haunted house in Winona, Minnesota is to blame.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The magic continues…

After reading the first book in the Harry Potter series I admittedly wasn’t too excited to continue on and read the Chamber of Secrets as it is not one of my favourites, however this was based on my views of the film therefore I chose to take a chance on the book and read it with a fresh perspective. Thank goodness I did because honestly I felt that this book was just as magical to read as the first one!

As I continue my magical journey with Harry Potter and learn more about his discovery of the wizarding world and what it has to offer him, I was completely engrossed with the level of detail this book offered compared to the film which I don’t think did it much justice. We learn all about House Elves, flying cars, wizarding families, deathday parties, squibs and much more…

Again this is not going to be a step by step review of the book, just my thoughts and feelings of select events.

Harry is introduced to what life as a fully magical family is like, going to spend the last few weeks of his summer holidays with his best friend Ron Weasley (getting there in a flying car might I add) opened his eyes to what being a wizard could really mean. This included ‘de-gnoming’ the garden which turns into a sport of some kind and having Quidditch practice out of sight of muggles in the back yard with Ron and his brothers. With a vibrant and busy household it does make Privet Drive look much more bleak and unwelcoming however this was one of the best summer holidays Harry has ever had.

More firsts for Harry and myself as a reader would be learning about ‘Squibs’ – in the film this didn’t get explained yet in the book we learn about how Filtch (the caretaker at Hogwarts) was born into a magical family yet possesses no magical abilities. When Harry discovers the Kwickspell course letter on Filtch’s desk he becomes aware that Filtch doesn’t know any magic but wishes to learn and this is branded him being a ‘squib’. The more these books continue I start to realise that there are so many ‘types’ of wizards out there that we don’t know about yet I am happy to find out!

One part of the book that I really enjoyed reading was about St Nicolas (nearly headless Nick) and his Deathday Party. For all you muggles out there that don’t know what this is, it is a celebration of the day St Nicolas died. Similar to a birthday party but for the anniversary of his death. As morbid as this may sound for me to enjoy this part I must say that it is an interesting twist as we learn more about the ghosts that hang around Hogwarts and their traditions and history. This party consisted of many ghosts (including the headless huntsmen) rotten food laid out for the party guests and more black candles than you could imagine. Personally I would have loved to be invited…

Another part of this book that stood out for me was the in-depth encounter Harry has with Tom Riddle’s diary, when Harry begins to write to Tom Riddle we learn that the attacks on students have happened before due to the Chamber of Secrets being opened in the past, we also learn that Tom Riddle got bribed into not telling who opened the Chamber and showed Harry his ‘memory’ of what happened, revealing that Hagrid got expelled for unleashing a ‘monster’ into Hogwarts. From this moment on I started to become suspicious of ‘Riddle’ but wished to learn more.

Dobby the House Elf… Need I say more? Now Dobby was portrayed early on as a nuisance to Harry, creating upset in the Dursley’s house causing Aunt Petunia’s pudding to float and fall on top of Uncle Vernon’s head. Then closing the entrance to Platform 9 and 3/4 so that Harry and Ron could not catch the Hogwarts Express, finally cursing a bludger to knock Harry from his broom causing him to end up in the hospital wing. However as the book goes on we learn that Dobby is only looking out for Harry trying to save his life (his methods are slightly flawed) and I personally loved how Harry returns the favour and freed Dobby from Malfoy’s father by offering him his sock. Thus creating a loyal friend and ally that would continue to ‘protect’ Harry Potter.

Finally as Harry enters the Chamber of Secrets it becomes more clear to me how rubbish Professor Lockheart is, from the beginning I didn’t like him due to his self-centered nature, yet when choosing to go into the Chamber of Secrets I know that I would not have chosen Lockheart to accompany me. However Harry becomes victorious and defeats Tom Riddle (spoiler alert!) who is in fact Lord Voldemort, rescues Ginny and from the help of Fawkes escapes the Chamber alive and well.

This book does have a lot more that I could praise and thankfully it has changed my view on this particular novel, overall I’m sure you can tell that this book was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to continue Harry’s journey further and learn more about the wizarding world and what other things he can do to get into trouble when reading ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.

Until next time…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


New year, new book…

As 2017 has now come around I promised myself that I should stray away from using my phone so much or watching too much TV and start to read more. I have always loved reading but became so caught up with the technology that is available around me that I thought there is no time for reading anymore. My new year’s resolution to myself was to read at least 7 books by the end of the year (if you haven’t already guessed it, I chose the Harry Potter series).

The reason for choosing this series was because as a child I read these books and fell in love with the idea of magic and the endless possibilities it brought. With books you can escape to another land, another world where anything is possible and what better way to regain my love of books than the ones that I remember having a lasting impact on me for broadening my imagination and love of fiction.

I will mention now that this isn’t a step by step review of the whole book but more my thoughts and feelings of the book as a whole.

As I started to begin my magical journey with Harry Potter and his discovery of the wizarding world I realised that this book was in fact much more in depth than the films (as most books are) yet it gave me a much better understanding of the characters background and of the story line that got lost within the films. I hung on to every word as Harry journeyed through his first time at Hogwarts, meeting strange and wonderful people along the way and not to mention defeating the infamous Lord Voldemort and becoming more famous than ever before.

From the beginning I was completely engrossed, learning about Harry’s horrible upbringing with the Dursley’s made me really connect with him, feeling sympathy and hope that something good will happen to him. The characters themselves are really well written in a way that we can all understand on a personal level and connect too (everyone knows a bully, a silent hero or a nerdy best friend) and for J.K. Rowling to use these types of characters allows the idea of magic to be that much closer to home for the reader.

Personally I feel this book is one of the less sinister of the 7 as it introduces you to the history of Hogwarts, magic and the power of friendship. It does have its dark side to it, obviously every good story has to have a villain but for me Lord Voldemort is not portrayed as dark in this first book which is a nice way to start a series (make him more scary as the books go on). This book does have the uplifting sense of hope and happiness as Harry is whisked away to a magical new place to learn all about his past (not forgetting spells and potions).

Hogwarts itself is described wonderfully in this first book, giving the reader room to use their own imagination on what else could be lurking in the mass of corridors. Not to mention the feasts that are described are something that you could only dream of. The fact that Hogwarts is still a school makes reading this book again as an adult miss the thrill of starting a new year, learning new things and meeting new people (obviously Hogwarts has something my high school never did…magic!). Even though Hogwarts is a castle of wonder we need to remember that even though Harry is famous he still does his charms homework and goes to Quidditch practice like a good student.

Speaking of Quidditch, the rules of the game are explained clearly (even a Muggle like me can understand) and reading about Harry’s first Quidditch match made me glad I cannot fly a broom. However the tension of the match and the team spirit kept me reading on, I cannot express the level of detail that goes into these books to make you actually believe in such things as Quidditch yet this book did just that.

Finally, I think that overall my thoughts on this book are quite clear. This book is a brilliant start to what I can only express as a magical series and I cannot wait to continue reading and find out more about Harry’s journey in the next book ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’.

Until next time…