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Book Review – Holding Up The Universe

Title: Holding Up The Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 388

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin for sending me this book for review!

Now before I get into the actual review I sort of feel like I need to put a disclaimer on this review. I look on goodreads and I see so many people raging about this book, which seems ridiculous to me, but here we are. These are my opinions from the perspective of someone who is not seriously overweight, has not been home schooled, has no physical issues, and has NO RESEARCH on any of the issues that were discussed in this book to compare and see if they are in fact accurately portrayed.

Now that we have that rubbish out of the way, lets move on.

Much like her other book I really enjoyed Holding Up The Universe. I really enjoy Niven’s writing style and I think that she covered the topics within the book very respectfully in terms of how serious they are.

I really liked the overall theme of the story which was basically to just love yourself, and to improve yourself if you feel you need improvement and not because of what others may think would be the better you. Not only that, it also has great message that I think we as humans tend to forget a lot of the time and that is to not judge or torment or follow along with the wrongful treatment of another human being because they are different to us.

I enjoyed our main characters Libby and Jack. and thought they were very well developed and flushed out. However these were really the only characters where I thought this. All the other characters were just sort of floating around them, coming in and out of the story when something needed to be said or something needed to happen then they would fade back out again. They were not bad exactly, just not really important to the story as individuals.

Libby was a very strong characters and I loved how she was okay with herself most of the time. She was able to see how far she had come as a person and then be able to love what she had and flaunt the hell out of it despite the comments of others. Jack I liked but a lot of his issues I think could of been solved if he had of just opened his mouth about his condition at any point in time. The things he has to deal with are hard, and I cannot really related to it on that kind of level, but I feel as though he was just making it so much harder on himself by at least not telling his family. In this regards though I did like how he referred to his mum as “mum with hair up” or “mum with hair down.” Even he and Libby’s falling out at a certain part in the book would have been avoided if he would have just gone oh yeah Libby I remember who you are from before! There, so many problems solved.

This was another book I picked up as an audio book because I needed to just get it done. I didn’t mind the actors and the only real issue I had with it was that the lady who was doing Libby put on a soothing voice for her and she just sort of took it way too far. It was so ‘soothing’ that she sounded like she was heavily medicated for the whole book, but I did get used to this by the end it was a good listen.

So I think this is where I am going to leave you today. For those of you who read ATBP and enjoyed it I think you will also like this one and pick it up! For those of you who haven’t read her other book yet I think you should probably pick that one up first before this one. That one was a bit more interesting with more things happening and its probably a better place to start to get used to the topics and writing style, where this one is much more mellow.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Dragonfly In Amber

dragonfly in amber

Title: Dragonfly In Amber [Outlander 2]

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 743

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9

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Description/Synopsis:

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

It took me forever to get through this book in audiobook form, and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. However, if anyone is intending on doing it through audio book over a period of months, I suggest you take notes after each session because its length makes it really hard to remember many details. I apologise in advance if this review is lacking. It took me about 6 months to finish this book listening to a couple of hours a week! Also, this review is filled of spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.

When it comes to writing style, there isn’t anything I can fault of Gabaldon’s writing style. I think she weaves an amazing story. All the settings are brought to life and all the characters are so detailed and have such depth.

But what the hell is with that opening.

Im not saying it was bad. It was brilliantly done. But going from one audio book to next audio book without the above synopsis I had no idea what was happening. Clair has a fully grown daughter and she has gone back to Frank to raise this daughter and Jamie is nowhere to be seen. I was so confused. I thought I had skipped a book so I stopped for ages because I could not understand what was happening. But no, it was the right book. And it took ages to go back and at least start finding anything out.

This whole book had me, because I knew something so so so sad was going to go down at the end because I knew we had to end back at the beginning. I both love and hate that. While is was not as strong for me in this book as it was in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I love this effect in books. When you know where you have to end, but each moment you are just dreading its approach and it doesn’t get boring.

While I did not mind the time that Clair and Jamie spent in Paris, it certainly had very interesting parts, I found this to be the part of the story that dragged the most for me. There were other parts in the rest of the book, but it is so worth getting through these dragging moments because Gabaldon just keeps throwing stuff at you left right and centre.

I adored the new character Fergus. I thought he was adorable and his relationship with both Jamie and Clair was just way too cute. They should really just adopt that kid.

But Clair and Jamie both did such stupid things in this book. I particularly wanted to murder Jamie. At the end out Outlander we find out that Clair is pregnant, and I don’t know about you but I also didn’t believe that Black Jack was dead. So when he came back I was not overly surprised. Clair makes Jamie promise not to kill him yet because she doesn’t want Frank to die and Jamie agrees. Clair also is having a difficult pregnancy and is pretty much on bed rest. But of course, Black Jack does something vile and then we find out that Jamie has run off to go kill him, despite promising Clair, basically declaring that his revenge means more to him than his family, and of course Clair has to chase after him to try and stop him. Then all hell breaks loose, and Clair looses the baby and nearly dies right along with her child.

So much of the pain in this book could have been avoided if Jamie had just used his brain. I pretty much hated him for the rest of the book. I hated Clair a bit too because she shouldn’t have gone after him, but mostly Jamie. After months and months they do end up making up, but I was so mad at Clair for forgiving him for ages. Then to top it all off she had to have sex with a disgusting man to get him out of jail for said duel with Black Jack. SO MUCH RAGE.

Fast forwarding to the end of the book, I did feel bad for Jamie when he has to kill his uncle for Clair and he gained a bit of my forgiveness back then. Then Jamie sends Clair back through the stone and we get their emotional parting, leaving us back at the start of the book. We are at the time with Geillis Duncan is in Clair’s current timeline and I thought she was going to help Clair and Jamie and somehow make it so they never have to separate and warn her so she doesn’t go off to her death but nope. They get there too late and the only thing they get out of her being in this story is that now Brianna believes her mum. I don’t know if I like Brianna or not yet, we shall see…

We go through this whole thing thinking that Jamie is dead but it turns out he isn’t. That is where it all ends. Damn cliffhangers!

Im going to leave this here. This is a very long review about my feelings regarding… mostly one thing that happened in this book, but hey, its the bits that got the most emotion from me and they cannot be expressed in little words!

 

Till Next Time…

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The Clock Strikes Four

birthday-4Hello everyone!

Its that time of the year again where I reflect on how much this community means to me. Four years ago today I took the plunge and posted my very first post on this blog and my journey began.

Every year I am flawed by how much the blog has grown and how lovely you all are. While last year for the majority was a complete and utter flop of a year, I did accomplish setting up my own booktube The Written Word. While its still small with only 2 subscribers I want to work on it and grow it like this blog grew.

Despite my flop of a year 128 people decided that I was a worthy read and wanted to know when I actually do things and I thank you for it. And I thank the other 197 of you that have stuck it out with me for longer. If i could dedicate all my time to you guys and putting up things that you are interested in I would!

This community is like my family and I hope to embrace it more and to gain more and more members. We come for the books, and fall in love with the community <3

I hope you are all doing well, ad I hope to keep growing my platforms and getting to know you all so much more in the years to come.

 

 

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Book Review – The Thousandth Floor

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Title: The Thousandth Floor

Author: Katharine McGee

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Length: 441

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

First of all I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book for review. I am just sorry it took so long to post!

The plot of this story is very slow building. You start off calm but by the end I was basically screaming about the end, even though at the very start we were told someone was going to die. At first I was really enjoying the story. It was very pleasant and nice and after finishing more serious books I wanted something light. However after the halfway point the closer I got to the end the more and more stressed I became thinking about how it was going to end.

One thing I liked about this story weaving was how simple it seemed as you were reading it but how complex it actually was. In this book we have five main characters that we get perspective from, and as you read you get their own plots or secrets and how all of these connect to one another and add up to what was the ending. However, when I tried describing this to someone who had not read the book I found it was way more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

For the most part I liked most the characters. There were a few in there that I felt if they were removed that it wouldn’t have affected the story at all, and there was a few that were a bit one dimensional whose purpose was just to move along one section of the story. But I found all the main characters at least had depth because of their own complications.

The bit of the book that struck me most though was the ending so if you don’t want SPOILERS for the ending move on! Now what the hell was that ending?! It still hurts to think about it. I wont refer to names just encase someone silly is reading on after my spoiler warning, but I liked the one I shall call Crazy at the start. She seemed lovely at the start, but as I started seeing the crazy coming out of her I started getting stressed. All the characters have huge plot things happening (one for example is in love with her stepbrother) and they all lead them to the top of the roof and the whole time I am screaming KILL CRAZY KILL CRAZY but of course that would be too great. Crazy knows all the secrets so when she pushes my possibly favourite character off the roof for something she thought she knew about her but was actually wrong about (infuriating), she manages to scare the rest of the people into not telling the police about what happened. Then it bloody ends at the funeral and the girlfriend of the person who died is swearing to find out the truth because she doesn’t believe the story that was told, and you don’t get any closure on ANY OF THE BLOODY PLOTS. None. It just ends. I both love that it got such a reaction from me, BUT I ALSO HATED THAT BLOODY ENDING. I need closure. END SPOILERS.

I think anyone who likes contemporaries with a bit of a twist, such as death and little science fiction, would really enjoy this book. Just remember the slow build and if working out who the killer is will ruin it for you, perhaps give it a miss. I actually got an audiobook of this because I wasn’t getting time sit down and read, and the audiobook was actually really good so I would 100% recommend the audio version.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Passion of Dolssa

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Title: The Passion of Dolssa

Author: Julie Berry

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Length: 271

Rating: 4 (4.5) Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank HarperCollins Australia for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for a full review! Sorry its been a long time in the making.

While I received an ARC of this book to read i noticed that my motivation for reading wasn’t very high last year when I received this book so I went out and got myself the audio book. I loved it. I would strongly recommend this books audio version. Its super easy to listen to and has good voice actors.

There was only one thing within this book that I didn’t completely fall in love with, and that was the high religious component to the plot. I don’t remember how I came about to get this book from the publishers, I don’t remember if I asked for or if it was just sent to me, and I didn’t remember this when I listened to it either so I went into this book pretty much not knowing anything about it, and I was not overly thrilled to find out that her passion was for god. Now I don’t want to offend anyone, I have nothing against people being highly Christian or anything, but I myself am Pagan so I am not really interested in reading about that Christian faith. Other stories I have reviewed such His Dark Materials have been marked down because of the high dose of religion. BUT it is major part of the story, and the more I got into it, really the less it bothered me.

The plot of this story was just spot on. It was very dark and had some pretty gruesome parts in there while also having some lighter moments. The way it was written had me waiting on the edge of my seat and making me eager to get back into the car again or made me sit in the car longer than was necessary so that I could hear the conclusion to something. I don’t remember finding anything predictable and parts of it nearly broke my heart. Everything was beautifully described and the pictures that Berry painted with her words were spot on.

All the characters in this book are well developed and thought out. There isn’t anyone in this book for the sake of trying to move something along needlessly or that seemed pointless. They were all well developed and had a purpose and enhanced the story by them being there, whether that took the story to a happy or sad place it didn’t matter. Despite the plot being very powerful this would have to be a character driven novel because each part was decided wholeheartedly by the characters.

The characters were great by themselves but they were also great in groups. Each relationship is introduced in a sort of gentle way that by the time you are done learning about each relationship you feel as though you are part of it and it just straight up hurts when something happens to any of them. You hurt because you care about them, and you hurt for those who also love them.

Something I also noticed more when picked my ARC up for this review that I feel needs mentioning as well is that Berry did a truly wonderful and great job at researching the time period that she set the book in. There are historical notes, additional readings, and glossaries for it all in the book! I think she did such a wonderful job that if you took out the dates, people could probably still work out what time frame in history they were reading about. You can also go into it knowing absolutely nothing about the 1200s and still just know and understand and visualise everything in perfect detail. I really love when an author puts that much research into their stories.

This is where I am going to leave you for this one. This book book was surprisingly good, and had me totally hooked. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction in any regard. For those who are turned off by religious things like me, take me word for it, you wont care about it by the end. I think most people would enjoy this book, if only the word of it was out a little more.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil

tell the truth

Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 405

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage.

Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose grandfather was responsible for a bombing that claimed the lives of dozens of people fourteen years ago; and whose mother, Noor, has been serving a life sentence for the part she was supposed to have played in the attack.

As Bish is dragged into the search for the missing Violette, he finds himself reluctantly working with Noor LeBrac and her younger brother, Jimmy Sarraf.

And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more Bish realizes that they may have got it wrong all those years ago, and that truth wears many colours. Especially when it comes to the teenagers on board the recent bus bombing. Including his daughter.

Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Bish can’t get Violette LeBrac’s words out of his head. But what he may get is some sort of peace with his own past as the worlds of those involved in two bombings, years apart, collide into the journey of his life.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. Sorry it took so long to publish!

I am going to apologise straight off the bat if anyone finds this review lacking depth. I am reviewing this a while after I read it and I find thriller books hard enough to review the day after I have read them. I held off writing a review for this book because I found it hard to come up with words for it and its not any easier for me now.

This book is very different from everything Marchetta has written before, but you can still feel that it is her writing the words. She is there in the way that the story unfolds, that she is more interested in the way terrorism or racial profiling affects certain families more than people on a grand scale (even though she does touch on this).

I really enjoyed the plot of this story despite the fact it is not something I am normally interested in reading, there is enough of this kind of thing just happening in our world for me to read about. I liked the different perspectives that we were given and the way we are made to question just about everything, In saying all that though I do feel like a few things were shoved down my throat more than what I would have expected from Marchetta’s writing style.

I also really liked the characters. I liked Bish the most even though I think he was a little bit hopeless at times. Marchetta is great at crafting just real characters who you can relate to and like despite how flawed they are. One small thing that I found annoying with the characters in this book though was just how many of them there were. There were a lot and each of them basically had there own plot/backstory being weaved into the main plot line and at times it became a little confusing or hard to keep up with them all.

And I think that is where I will leave the review for today. If you like Marchetta and thriller books or political stories then you would like this book and I suggest you read it. If you have not read Marchetta before and are just looking for another thriller then you may want to read some more reviews before picking it up. She has a certain style about her and if it had not been her writing it I don’t think I would have liked this book as much.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – April 2016 (Hour 5)

DEWEY's

Feelings:

Im feeling rather tired now. I think its time to crack out the V.

What I Read:

  1. Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Special by Georgia Blain

Pages Read: 109

Road Trip Challenge

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Dear Ivy,

I think of you every day. I have found out so much about you and what it was actually like for you those few years at Halton and I cannot begin to go into what they must have been like. I wish I could see you again, but you never came back from the ‘tests’. When everything fell apart Lark and Wren sent me away with a new identity to hide out until things were better. If you are still out there, are you going through something similar? While I miss everyone terribly, I must admit that I am enjoying moving from place to place and seeing the world that I was never supposed to see. Being able to make up my mind about things in a way I was never able to before. Its almost freeing not being Special.

F.

Reading Fortress

 

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Twitter link.

 

 

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Book Review – Newes From The Dead

newesfromthedead

Title: Newes From The Dead

Author: Mary Hooper

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 302

Rating: 4 Star (3.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

WRONGED. HANGED. ALIVE? (AND TRUE!)

Anne can’t move a muscle, can’t open her eyes, can’t scream. She lies immobile in the darkness, unsure if she’d dead, terrified she’s buried alive, haunted by her final memory—of being hanged. A maidservant falsely accused of infanticide in 1650 England and sent to the scaffold, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events—and the man—that led her to the gallows.

Meanwhile, a shy 18-year-old medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools . . . Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive?

Beautifully written, impossible to put down, and meticulously researched, Newes from the Dead is based on the true story of the real Anne Green, a servant who survived a hanging to awaken on the dissection table. Newes from the Dead concludes with scans of the original 1651 document that recounts this chilling medical phenomenon.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

The things that got me into this story was the fact that is was supposedly at least based off of a true story. I mean, what could be more exciting to read about? The idea of a woman ‘waking up’ after being hanged but not being able to move and listening to people discussing who was going to cut what sections of her. That is scary stuff!

I really liked the way the story was written/told. I am pretty sure I have mentioned it before, but I love stories that have a lot of backstory that just adds to whatever is happening in the present. This story is mostly backstory and I loved it. We get little snippets of Anne on the table trying in vain to make someone notice that she is still alive and that they should not be chopping her up. But what made her go to the noose to begin with? This is what the story mostly deals with.

However, I did feel there was a lack of suspense to the story. Not at any point did I really feel like Anne was going to be cut up, but in the past sections I did feel suspenseful because I knew where she was heading, and with every step she made she was drawing closer and closer to that fate. I think one thing that kept the doctor sections from being suspenseful was the fact they just dragged a little. If half of these sections were removed from the book, you would not have even noticed. You could feel the way the author was trying to by time until the big reveal at the end.

I think the author did a very good job and portraying the time period in which the story takes place. Peoples actions, the way they treated each other and just general ways they acted was very true to how things would have gone down back in the day.

I rather enjoyed the characters, but Anne and Robert were the only two that I found to have much depth to them. These two developed throughout the book while others didn’t. I did however find Anne to be deeply stupid, and at the end she seemed to have done a one-eighty on her personality and thought of herself as a queen. Both of these things I can understand though.

Here comes the tricky part for me. I don’t really know if I would recommend this book to anyone. I liked it, but its not really the sort of book I would hand to people to read. I suppose if you have heard about Anne Green and her story interests you, then this might be something you should pick up. It has its issues, but Mary did try really hard to portray the story in the most accurate way.

 

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Book Review – His Dark Materials

his dark materials

Title: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk

Length: 423, 352, 560

Rating: 3.5 Star average

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Description/Synopsis:

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was going to review each of these books separately, they all cover completely different things in their stories since they all take place in separate worlds, but I realised I just straight up don’t have that much to say about any of them all by themselves. I also had one of resolutions that I would do short ones or group reviews on things so that this remains fun for me so this seems like a good place to start.

This first part will be a more overall discussion of the stories without revealing any of the plot points, but after I shall go into more details about things and those who do not want to be spoiled will have to give the second half a miss.

In terms of writing for this book I both loved and hated it. I really liked the descriptiveness of some things and I was really getting into the pictures that were being painted of the world. But then the descriptions didn’t stop, and they went on and on about things that didn’t need to be talked about. I am talking pages of useless description and all of a sudden my nice pictures in my head were covered in words like flies. Then of course there were things I actually wanted them to explain but of course that didn’t happen.

I also found there were a quite a lot of throw away characters and the ones that were not throw away, I found most of them didn’t have much depth to them. The one I thought had the most depth had to probably Lyra, who I actually liked as a character. She had spunk and was not afraid to stand up for herself, but most of all she seemed to learn from the mistakes she made along the way. I also really loved her and Pan’s relationship. I think I liked all the daemon/human relationships. They were the strongest. The next surprisingly would have to be Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. At first I hated them both then all of a sudden there was a switch and the feelings I had for them were not so clear. Mrs. Coulter was the most surprising in the sense she was a gradual and I didn’t expect to have my feeling son her altered, but Lord Asriel was more of sudden switch and I didn’t really get it. I don’t know if I missed a part that had altered things or if I just didn’t understand him from the start.

I know that to some this is considered a childrens books, but I don’t really understand it. If I was not completely paying attention to the ramble, then I missed some complicated political thing that was happening or was being explained and I just don’t see how that is entertaining to or even understandable to kids. I suppose this ‘childrens book’ label can be used as an excuse for the simplicity of the characters, but I don’t really want to let it have that excuse. To me this was a YA book series.

Beyond this point is the more spoiler ridden section of the review, so if you are leaving me here I would give this series a miss if I could go back in time and tell myself my own thoughts. However, so may people rave about this book, so perhaps at the very least don’t do it in audio book.

Ok, can we talk about the huge religious element in this book. It was basically the entire plot and they went on and on about it all the time. That dust was religious and created by original sin, and they were in war with angels and God, have to say was probably the second big downfall for me next to the over description. I felt like I was being preached to in the most complicated way possible. The plot got so jumbled I really had no idea what side I was supposed to be leaning towards or anything. Really it was just very frustrating. It might not have been so bad if it just didn’t keep going on and on.

I also thought the end of the book was a bit sad. I felt horribly for them both, I wont say who, but I liked the book just a bit more because of it because it didn’t go with the standard every book has to have a happy ending. The ending was sad but it left room for hope of happiness.

So yes, again I would not read these books again. There were things I liked, some of the settings sounded amazing and I adored the whole daemon/spirit/soul thing and wish I could learn to see my own, but the writing, the depthless characters, and the overall lack of enjoyment in the driving plot, which by the way doesn’t come up until the second book, just was not doing it for me. Unless you know someone else who you trust their opinion on books and they suggest this series to you, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Assassin’s Blade

assassin's blade

Title: The Assassin’s Blade [Throne of Glass 0.5]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 448

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Description/Synopsis:

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This was an amazing addition to the series.

I read this book after I read Throne of Glass and I think that is the correct place to be reading this book. I know Crown of Midnight came out before this one, but I think its best to read that after. You need to read ToG first to understand who all the people are and who their importance is to the main story, but then after that it gave me pretty much all the answers I wanted while reading the frost book. I don’t think you should read Com before this because it makes cast off comments about characters you meet in this book and you might miss their meaning or importance if you have no idea what those comments are referring too.

The writing style was all the things I loved in the first book. We still got all our funny moments and all our action packed serious moments. Exactly the kind of thing you expect to get from Maas if you have read the first book, but she seems to be more in her stride here because she has written other books before this one.

Plot wise I think of it as one long story rather than five short ones. The events go one after the other but between ‘stories’ we just skip a couple of pointless months here and there were obviously nothing important happened in the story. The stories where more like chapters to me and I liked it like that.

One downfall to the plot keeping you hooked to the end was that you already know where it is going because you have read ToG, but really at no point did that book give you any details as to how all those things came about and it just gives you the basics. So the interest was maintained for in in finding out those little details that were driving me crazy.

Character wise we didn’t have pointless ones in here. Because the book is about what lead Celaena to where she was in ToG, it only gives you what you need to know so everyone in the book serves a purpose. I totally loved Sam and Celaena together and I loved the fact that she didn’t always like him, it was something that grew. I wanted her to end up with Dorian in ToG but after reading this book I cannot imagine her with anyone but Sam and it breaks my heart that it cannot be.

I would have loved to get more of her training in these stories. You got some of it but it was just focussing on the main events that lead her to ToG. I wanted a bit of the years before hand when she was just starting how, her first kill, the first time she showed she was better than the other Assassin’s. Things like that. That’s not what we got though and I am ok with that because what we did get wasn’t pointless and added to the story for me. I hold out in hope though that maybe one day Maas writes some more short stories that go back into these kind of things. Or perhaps these kinds of stories pop up in the main books along the line. We still have a few books to go yet!

If you enjoyed ToG, I suggest you read this one. If you have yet to start, see the first paragraph. I think the knowing where it is going to end is just a small annoyance compared to what you get. But you can of course always read this book first, you might just be a bit confused about what is happening. If you love fantasy, strong female characters, and action and you have yet to start the series, I don’t know what you are waiting for. Go read!

 

Till Next Time…