Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Review)

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells


It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…


Murderbot needs answers, it knows it has a dark past and wants to know why the horrors happened. More importantly Murderbot wants to know whether the deaths were its fault or because of another reason. To find the answers, Murderbot needs to get to the place where the massacre happened and this is why Murderbot is on a ship travelling through space. 

The spaceship transport that Murderbot is on, is an artificial intelligence that Murderbot nicknames ART, which is short for something far ruder. Murderbot does not trust ART straightaway and they definitely have a few issues when they first really meet but gradually you can see how their friendship develops and they start to trust each other. This leads to ART helping Murderbot to act and behave more human and less like a sec unit. 

Once they get to their destination ART suggests that Murderbot takes a job as a security consultant for a group of humans. This way Murderbot has the perfect excuse to investigate from his past which has been hidden from the public. But as we discovered in All Systems Red, when humans need help Murderbot can’t help but help. 

I really enjoyed following Murderbot’s investigation and found it rather sad at times. Murderbot clearly has feelings even though it tries to hide the fact and it is because of these feelings it wants to find out about its past. I also loved the interaction between Murderbot and ART. They don’t realise it and would both deny it if somebody pointed it out but they learn from each other and have a really good friendship. 

For such a short read this book really packs a punch and I read it in one sitting. I am absolutely loving this series so far and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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About the author

Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in eighteen languages.


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Holiday Reads


This month I am hoping to go away on holiday for 4 nights. So it was time to dust off and charge up the Kindle. The poor Kindle has not been used for quite a while, as I much prefer physical books, but I always use it for holidays as physical books weigh too much and take up too much room. This has also meant that I needed to get some new books on the Kindle so I thought I would share my holiday reading list.

  • The Wildeacre trilogy by Philippa Gregory – I do like Gregory and this is one series of books that I haven’t read by her. I probably won’t read all three whilst on holiday but I bought them as a bundle.
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells – I have read so many good reviews of this series that I can’t resist reading it for myself any longer. If I like the first book I can easily buy the next one whilst on holiday. My husband also has it lined up as a holiday read as well.
  • The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher – Pilcher is one of my favourite authors so I thought I could read some of her books whilst on holiday.
  • The Empty House by Rosamunde Pilcher
  • The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest – I read the Christmas book from this series last Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it so I have decided to read the rest of the series.
  • Cliff’s Descent by Dianne Duvall – I have read all of the books in this series so far and loved them so I am really looking forward to this.

So there are my holiday reads so far. I probably won’t read them all and I also have many other books on my Kindle so I could easily change my mind but I hope to read at least some of these books.

Please feel free to recommend any books that you think I might enjoy reading on my holiday.

Happy Reading

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Stories To Make You Smile edited by Fanny Blake (Review)

Stories To Make You Smile edited by Fanny Blake


A seriously entertaining collection of feel good stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists:

Jenny Éclair

Mark Watson

Veronica Henry

Eva Verde

Richard Madeley

Katie Fforde

Dorothy Koomson

Vaseem Khan

Helen Lederer

Rachel Hore

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make you Smile is a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers as part of World Book Night 2021.


I noticed this book appearing on my bookstagram a great deal this month so I thought I would give it a go. The plus side is that it is free on kindle and I can never refuse a free book. 

This book did not take me long to read, I read the first three stories whilst having a nice cup of tea and finished the rest of the book today during the nice sunny bank holiday weather. The book could easily be read in one sitting though and each story takes less than ten minutes to read. 

I love the idea of this book and was excited to read it but I will be honest that I was rather underwhelmed with some of stories and actually had to reread two to remind myself what they were about. My favourite story is probably the first one Behind My Fat Back by Jenny Ecalir, I just really wanted to tell the main character ‘good on you!’. 

Job Opportunity by Richard Madeley I found rather funny and it made me have a little laugh and it was made even better to find out it was a true story. Some of the stories like The Wrong Cake and Schooled I just found a little ridiculous. 

All in all it was a good read that filled a gap whilst having a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. A quick read at only 143 pages long but rather underwhelming that I give 3 out of 5 Dragons. 


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The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael (Review)

The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael

About the author

Alexander Raphael was born and bred in London, though as he is half-Mexican grew up with an awareness and understanding of other cultures from a young age.

He’s always been a big fan of short stories in particular.


In the summer of love, or rather of madness, a whole set of stories are emerging. But there is one that has got everyone talking. When Kurt decides to win back his ex-girlfriend with the help of a literary classic, he sets off a string of events that will build to a dramatic finale.


I spotted this story on Hayley’s blog Rather Too Fond of Books and was very intrigued so I downloaded it straight to my Kindle for a weekend read as I do enjoy a short story.

At only 27 pages I read this in one sitting and absolutely loved it. This short story is about a man who has taken his girlfriend for granted and has now lost her and he is doing everything in his power to get her back. After everything else has failed he has one final go to win her back with a grand gesture.

This short story is beautifully written and was a joy to read. I adored the use of Wuthering Heights in the book as it is one of my all time favourite books. The plot was really clever and unlike anything I have read before. I really liked the character Judy and was really hoping she would get her dream come true.

The ending of this book left me smiling from ear to ear and thoroughly pleased that I had read the book. I highly recommend this short story to everyone, it will take less than half an hour to read and was a true page turner. I give this short story 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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The Gates by Richard Pierce (Review)

The Gates by Richard Pierce

About the author

Richard Pierce is an English author who was born in Doncaster and educated in Germany and St John’s College, Cambridge. He now lives in Suffolk with his wife and four children. As well as writing he also paints, administers to two charities and writes poetry.


Six short stories for self-isolation.


I was very excited when I saw Richard Pierce mention this collection of short stories on his Twitter and headed straight over to Amazon to buy the stories. I loved Dead Men that Pierce sent me when I first started blogging to read and review.

I love the idea of these stories that Pierce has published for the time during lockdown and that it is staying at a cheap price of 99p.

The first short story Future History I must admit was not my favourite, I struggled to follow it. I understood the idea of it but I found it hard to get into. A rather scary vision of the future I must admit.

Voices I really enjoyed, the memories that the man was looking back on were so descriptive and it really was fantastic story telling. I also felt quite sorry for him at the end.

The Dig. Now I will be honest this story came across as very Philip K. Dick to me it really reminded me of his Electric Dreams which I just love so this story was right up my street. The idea of a man digging to make precautions for the future was excellent. This was my favourite short story in the set.

The National Fraud. This story was very sneaky and I must admit highly enjoyable. It was a very interesting take on Polling day for an election.

The Gates. Another fab story and rather puzzling, I must admit I read this one twice as it intrigued me so much. It left me asking a lot of stories and I desperately want to know more. What war? Who are the dead? Why can’t he leave? So many questions!

The Unrecognised. This story was wonderful and I will be honest I had a little cry at the end. This is a beautiful love story and really well written. The man was a real character and his relationship with his cat was very cute. The image of this 90 year old man still keeping his wife’s nightdress on her pillow even though she has been dead for 10 years was beautiful.

Overall, I loved this book, it took me about an hour to read and was perfect for helping me spend an hour not thinking about lockdown. It was beautifully written and had an interesting variety of stories. I highly recommend this book because it really does have something for everyone. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 Dragons just because I could not get into the first story. Thank you Mr Pierce for a beautiful set of short stories.

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New Books 3/02/2019

Amazon has a lot to answer for, they keep sending me all these emails advertising the cheap books and this evening before I had realised what I had done I had bought 7 books!

I could not believe that the the entire series of Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan was on the deal of the day, each book costing just 99p each. Then I also discovered another Veronica Henry book for 99p and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

I’m very excited to read the Heroes of Olympus series as I am a massive fan of Rick Riordan.

So here are my lovely new books.

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan


Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan


Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan


Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan


A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach


Many exciting books to read, lets hope I find the time to fit in all this reading.

I would love to hear if anybody has read these books and their thoughts on them, please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon



New Books 28/01/2019

Happy Monday!

Just a quick blog post today.

Firstly, thank you and hello to my new followers, I hope you enjoy my blog about all things bookish.

Secondly, I have bought a couple of new books on my Kindle and I thought I would share what they are:-

Bring Them Home (Detective Karen Hart Book 1) by D. S. Butler


The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton


I love looking at the offers on Kindle, as I tend to discover new authors and genres that I have never thought of reading before. I hope these two books will not disappoint. Has anybody read them? I would love to hear your opinions if you have.

Happy reading this week!

Lady Book Dragon

One Man’s Meat by Jeffrey Archer (Review)

One Man’s Meat by Jeffrey Archer

About the author


Jeffrey Archer was born in England in 1940, he is a former politician and author. Archer was a member of parliament from 1969-1974 but did not seek re-election due to a financial scandal that almost bankrupt him. Facing bankruptcy Archer began to write and in so doing revived his fortunes. Archer’s political career has been filled with scandal and in 2001 he was sent to jail for perjury and perverting the course of justice, in 2003 he was released. All his life experiences influence his writing and make for interesting reading.


One Man’s Meat is part of The Year of Short Stories and is one of several digital shorts released to celebrate the publication of Jeffrey Archer’s magnificent seventh collection, Tell Tale.

Taken from Jeffrey Archer’s third collection of short stories, Twelve Red Herrings, comes One Man’s Meat, an irresistible, witty and ingenious short read.

When Michael Whitaker spots the stunning Anna Townsend on the steps of the theatre, he decides he will do whatever it takes to get to know her. Finding a way to get a ticket for the seat next to her, he then invites her to a drink at the interval. By the end of the play, Michael asks her to accompany him to dinner. But what will her answer be?

What follows are four different endings . . . choose just one, or – if choosing to read all four – they can be read in the following order: Rare, Burnt, Overdone, and À Point . . .


I am back to reading to short stories at breakfast again, after having quite a break whilst I read some other books on my Kindle. I am glad to be back as I really enjoyed this book, especially because you can choose your own ending.

The book features Michael Whitaker who immediately drops everything in pursuit of Anna Townsend and pays no regard to the consequences. Each ending shows a different set of consequences for his actions. Michael is in the restaurant business and Anna is a doctor, two very different professions.

The beginning of the story sees the two characters enjoying the play and getting to know one another over a drink during the interval. At the end of the play Michael asks Anna out to dinner and from there the different endings take place. The fact that Michael drops everything because of just seeing a beautiful woman makes me wonder if the man is of a sensible and sane mind. In my opinion he is a little creepy and not a man to rely on.

Rare is the first ending and in my opinion more of a fantasy, it is more like Michael dreaming it all and it was not my favourite. It seemed a little too unbelievable like the beginning.

Burnt really shows just what a fool Michael is and that chasing this woman could have cost him everything, to be honest this is my favourite because I think the man gets what he deserves. Yes I am being unromantic but the story just does not fit in my mind.

Overdone is my least favourite mainly because I disliked the character of Anna, she suddenly seems to have had a personality change and not for the better. She is rude, irritable and spiky. I actually feel sorry for poor Michael in this ending.

À Point is my second favourite ending because if it has to end in Michael’s favour this is how I would like it to go. It is believable and a lovely ending and the reader is left dreaming of what could happen next.

All in all this was a good short story and I loved the quirkiness of the optional endings. I gave the story 3 out of 5 Dragons mainly because although the story was enjoyable I just found it rather unbelievable. It is a good read that will take you less than an hour to devour, plus it is free on Kindle. So put up your feet and have a nice break with this story and a mug of your favourite hot beverage.

Lady Book Dragon


New Books!

Hello my wonderful readers.

So yesterday I made a real effort and read quite a lot of my current Christmas read but then I got distracted by teaching, Christmas lights, Costa and decorating our Christmas tree. I have almost finished Christmas at the Beach Hut though and so far I adore it. I love it so much, I bought my best friend a copy to read over the Christmas period and my mom is going to borrow mine when I am finished. I really hope the ending is good now, otherwise I will be disappointed and so will the people I have recommended it to. In hindsight I should have waited till I finished the book before I went around telling people to read it but I am so excited about it that I just could not help myself. Does anybody else get this feeling about a book?

I have finally finished my Christmas present buying and have bought quite a lot of books for people. However, I also have a confession, I also bought myself some new books. I just could not stop myself. I only bought two purely because my bank balance could not cope with anymore hits. So here are my new books:-

Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin

Firestorm is very excited about this book as you can see in the picture below. I must admit I agree with him. I have read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire series so far and I am extremely impatient for the next book The Winds of Winter. I am also slightly annoyed with this new book Fire and Blood because I can not help but think Martin, could have spent his time finishing The Winds of Winter but I will not let that put me off from reading and hopefully enjoying Fire and Blood.

I’ll Keep you Safe by Peter May

Is the second book I bought. I read The Blackhouse by Peter May this year, it was a free book with Apple Books and I read it on my phone. It was shortly after reading a whole book on my iPhone that I decided a Kindle was probably a good idea, mainly for my poor eyes. I loved his style of writing and was instantly hooked, so when I saw this book for half price on the Waterstones I put it in my basket.

So here are my new books, all ready for me to start reading in 2019. It is certainly looking like a good year for reading.

I would love to hear what you think of my new books or even if you have any book plans for 2019.

Lady Book Dragon.

A Surprise Dragon

So I’ve had another busy weekend, not quite finished yet but I promise I will update you on it all tomorrow. It has a literary theme!

I just had to share with you this lovely surprise in the hotel room.

It’s a Dragon mug! So I had to have a calming peppermint tea and a read of my new Kindle book before bed.