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Book Review – Outlander

Outlander

Title: Outlander or Cross Stitch [Outlander 1]

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 662

Rating: 4 Star

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

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Description/Synopsis:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This was a really enjoyable and entertaining read.

I found the plot of this book to be really interesting and entertaining. The idea of a ‘modern’ woman being transported back in time to a culture that did not like hers and then working out how to survive and how exactly how much she can or cannot to do to help the people she meets there with the things she knows is really interesting. As someone who has interest/beliefs in pagan culture I loved the way that she came to being in the past was through a connection with a stone circle. The book also taught me a bit about the time and the culture and made me fall more in love. It was a place I wanted to visit before, but it has been moved up the list!

The characters I both liked a didn’t like. It took me awhile to really become in invested in what was going on with this. I think this is because while the writing was great at weaving the story and once you got into it, to start off with I found it a bit stiff and it didn’t pull me in. After this time though I found myself freaking out about a number of interactions between characters. Claire I liked but I also found her greatly annoying at times. She didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut or when to wait for something and thusly got herself or others into loads of trouble that would never have happened if she was more sensible.

Though Frank was barely in the book I really desperately wanted her to go back to him for about half the book. What really surprised me was my attitude to Jamie, it was very like, hate, love. With the three stages of his and Claire’s relationship my feelings for him changed. In stage one I liked him and thought he was cute and friendly, but I still wanted her with Frank. The second part I actually really did not like him at all and just wanted her to beat him up. Then in the last part I was so happy that she chose him. I don’t know when the transition of emotions happened between stages 2 and 3, but when Claire was there deciding if she wanted Jamie or Frank I was freaking out that she might still want Frank. Serious panic.

One downfall I felt the book had was I think it was a lot longer than it really had to be. I will say this might be because I was listening to an audio book and I zone out easier this way, but I think there was a lot that didn’t need to be and the book was rather slow paced. There were a few full on moments like the ending, but they were very spread out and you had to get a through a lot before you got to them.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction because overall I did really enjoy this book.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Throne Of Glass

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Title: Throne of Glass [Throne of Glass 1]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 404

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was avoiding this book/series for a while because all I was hearing was good things and my expectations were really high, and I didn’t want to go into it and not get what I was expecting. I totally got what I was expecting.

The plot of this story was so interesting.We are presented with this snobbish king who has decided to hold a ‘game’ where his royal court companions would each choose a champion to compete and the winner will be the kings own personal assassin for five years and then when their time is over they win their freedom. The kings son Dorian picked Celaena, the worlds most netorious assassin in the world before she got caught. All the trials were so exciting, I loved getting to see what all the different trials were going to entail. Then we also have this interwoven with the magical thats all very hush hush because the king outlawed it. It was awesome. I also loved the fact that we switched perspectives throughout the chapters and were not confined to just Celaena’s even though I love her.

Characters. All the characters were so well written that I feel like I must talk about each of them a bit so I’m sorry if this section drags.

“Guards are of no use in a library.”
Oh, how wrong he was! Libraries are full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.

Celaena was an awesome character to read about. There are lots of of awesome female characters these days but my gosh I liked her. She was sarcastic, loved to read, and was tough as nails. Her sense of humour, the fact she devoured books, and how easy she can kill with ease are what I liked about her most. She made herself laugh more than she made others laugh and that was totally hysterical most of the time. She survived a death camp and nearly escaped, a feet that no one had even come close too. They would only get a couple of feet, she touched the damn wall. We see a lot of development with her, both mentally and physically. Since we first meet her after she has been in this death camp she is all week and not what she once was, and with the help of Chaol, the captain of the guard, we begin to see who she was before then. I don’t want to go into spoilers encase there is someone reading this who is silly like me and hasn’t yet picked up the series yet, but I loved all the hints we get about her and the potential she has if she chooses to accept it. I AM ALL FOR IT!

Her arrogance is something that gets her in trouble in the beginning of the book though. Chaol was telling her to play down her abilities because know one expects her to be who she is because of her being female and so young, and if she flies below the radar they wont go after her as badly as some of the others. This is something she doesn’t get at all, which frustrates me because she is supposed to be smart. I do really like that scene though when she is duelling someone who has been the biggest pain in the butt, doesn’t even bother to take out her weapon and just strides up and kicks him ans sends him flying the the arena. It was just so good.

“Here’s a lesson for you Weapons Master,” she said, stalking past him. “Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I’ll bother trying.”

The men in our love triangle are Dorian and Chaol. Dorian is someone I could really get along with. He is a bit full of himself, arrogant, and a bit of a man whore, but is he so funny. There are so many scenes with him that really made the book for me.  The puppy, candy, books, and ball scenes are some of my favourites and they would not have happened if not for him. He is just so open and easy to like. He isn’t living up to his full potential yet but his time will come and its going to be awesome. Chaol is kind of the opposite of Dorian. He is stern, serious, much less open. Not really willing to put himself out there, but does it in a very subtle way that often goes unnoticed. I don’t know which one of them I like more at this point, I really can’t make up my mind. I will say that Chaol was truly amazing by the end, what he did for Celaena meant the world to her. Chaol might be winning a little… Maybe…

Get up.

There are some side characters that I found interesting. Sam was very interesting and I feel we are missing something huge here that will pop up later, possibly do to with the King of Assassin’s, the person who raised and taught her all she knows with some serious tough love I don’t know how I feel about, and how she ended up in the death camp. Nehemia I was a bit iffy about but came to really like and I hope she helps with the Celaena character development.

The plot was a little bit predictable at times, which was a bit of a downer for me. The ending had some of this predictability to it but my gosh the end scene is stressful. It goes forever and gah. Too long, didn’t need to be that long. I was just dying the whole time.

So yes, read this book. It was amazing, and the fact that I have yet to buy the rest of the books is actaully eating at me and I will probably have to break my book buying ban so that I can have them right now. My heart is literally beating faster thinking about how much I enjoyed this book. Calm down Jazz, calm down.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Fantasy 101

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101

1.  The Strange and Beautiful Life of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.

2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

3. The Sandman Omnibus Vol 1 by Neil Gaiman.

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

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5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

6. The Forgotten War by Howard Sargent.

7. A Spell For Chameleon by Piers Anthony.

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8. Daughter of the Forest  by Juliet Marillier.

9. The Sentinel Mage by Emily Gee.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

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Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Half Wild

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Title: Half Wild [Half Bad Trilogy 2]

Author: Sally Green

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 400

Rating: 4 Star rounded up from 3.5

Book Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift – a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him.

Meanwhile, Soul O’Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Thank you Penguin for sending me this book!

I am just going to straight off the bat warn you about this book. Though this review got a much higher than its last one, the first part of this book was just as boring and hard to get through as Half Bad. I took a large break while reading this book because of this, and I didn’t really get into after I had been away from it for a few weeks. Also, go into this review that there will be spoilers from the first book as well from this one. I found it hard not to go into them a little, so you have been warned.

In this book we go with Nathan on a journey to save Annalise, his endless struggle with the magical gift he was given, and then join in the rebellion that has arisen against the White Witch Council. Plot wise we were much better written and more exciting in this book. That being said though big issues I had with the first book continued on it this one, including poor descriptions of events or scenes, the random and pointless switching of person perspective, and just generally being really slow at times. These negatives really annoyed me because enough people had voiced their issues with these things that changes could have been made but were not really. Yes, I think some notes were taken from the reviews of the first, but they still put in the second person perspective. Again, it was really interesting to read these parts, but there was only like two of them, one at the beginning and one randomly placed in the middle somewhere and I was questioning why it was there. Even if it had just been left at the start it would have been much better and really made more sense than two random bits.

This happen in this book thank god and it really has stages to it. Finding Gabriel, saving Annalise, controlling his gift, joining the rebel cause, finding daddy dearest, and betrayal. I chalk these list of things happening to why I enjoyed the book. I like Gabriel so this parts we spent thinking about him/were with him I enjoyed. Annalise continues to be greatly annoying even though she isn’t present. Nathan spends the majority of his time thinking about her or declaring just how much he needs to go off and save her. I really just do not understand this obsession, she is so boring and just blaaaaahhh. I don’t have the words. Her section of the book was the part I had serious issues getting through.

We actually get quite a bit of Marcus in this book which I suppose is a bit spoilery of me to mention but its one of the things I really enjoyed so I couldn’t not mention it. I always thought Marcus was a really interesting character so I am so glad that we got to see more of him in depth and actually get a sense of his character. The parts than Nathan spent with him were probably my favourite part in the book. Nathan had been struggling with dealing with his gift that seems to have a mind of its own (which in itself was pretty interesting to read about), but I really liked how he went on little trip with Marcus to get a relationship with him as well as get the help in understanding how to deal with his ability.

I also really liked most of the rebel scenes. I found them to be action packed and exciting because stuff was generally happening. I loved it when Nathan brings Marcus to meet everyone for the first time. That gave me a good little giggle. I also liked the kinda complex issues of just who some of the rebels where and how Nathan had to deal with that. This part of the book also had some devastating tragedies one of which leads to the previously mentioned betrayal. You can see the betrayal coming from a mile away, but the conclusion was still very sad to me. I won’t go into any of these things more because the rebel parts don’t happen till later in the book.

With the conclusion of this book I am both yay and nay. Nay because I foresee much more whining and focusing in boring things. Yay because this series is just so kind of predictable I have high hopes that I am going to get a really satisfying death scene where a certain someone gets ripped to shreds by Nathan in his animal form.

I think I have done enough rambling for now, you got character, plot and writing discussions with me just talking about how the plot progressed. Though I liked this book more than the last, it is in no way some wonderfully written masterpiece. The writing has improved but not enough. The plot actually moving and Marcus are the things that made things book for me. Sadly those two things are not enough to make me suggest this book to anyone, specially since they would have to go through the first one. I myself await the next to see where it goes, but iI don’t really mind the waiting for this series.

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender

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Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Author: Leslye Walton

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Length: 301

Rating: 5 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book was the kind of book that grabs hold of you and changes who you are as a person ever so slightly. I went into this book with literally no expectations. I bought this book because I thought the cover was stunning. That was it. I actually didn’t think I was going to like it so much because there are so many things that could just be wrong with a book like this. A girl born with wings in an otherwise normal world. If the writing wasn’t good a story like that can fall apart before it even starts. But the writing in this book swept me up and carried me away to places I could not have imagined.

To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.

This is a small to average sized book and it contained so much yet nothing went to waste. I thought this book would start right off on Ava, go straight into the strangeness of this girl. Instead we get Ava telling us how her life came to be right up until the very end of the book, starting off with her grandmothers parents, then moving onto her grandmother and her siblings lives, then her mothers, and finally hers and her brothers, going through all the things that lead them to the places they ended and the strangeness that seemed to flow within the family genes. Ava and her brother Henry were not even born till the very end of chapter nine.

This book contains so many characters that it would take me a very long time to mention them all, and normally in a short book like this many characters often feel flat or underdeveloped and just overall pointless to the story. This is not the case with tis book. Every single character that is mentioned in this book and been expertly woven and told and serves a purpose the story. The is no needless information given at any point in this story.

I don’t even really know what I can say about this book. The entire story had this magical feel and atmosphere to it that made you want to keep reading. It moves slow, but you don’t even notice, You can see where the story is going for Ava. Its not like its a secret, it says it on the very first page with to my great misfortune, I was once mistake for an angel, and in the synopsis with whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration and build to a devastating crescendo. You know where the story is going from the very start. When I saw this part of the book coming I read it in twenty minute segments because I just didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t want to believe it and I didn’t want to experience that level of sadness. But I knew I had to if I want to see the conclusion of the story so I pushed through it. Poor poor Ava, and poor poor Henry. I feel as though Henry is this books readers inserted within the story. He knows whats coming, and we know whats coming, but no one else does and as we see it all unfolding and scream out to be heard, to warn, no one understands us and by the end there is nothing we can do because its already happened.

There is only one character I truly hate for what he inflicted, and its not hard to guess who that person is. But the whole of Ava’s life seems to be her dealing with people who cannot look past the pigeon like wings that protrude from her back, and how if someone other than herself had of just seen her as the girl she was and treated her thusly, all of this could have been avoided.

I acknowledged Gabe and his attempts of flight the way a legless child might view a hopeful and misguided parent buying a house full of stairs. After awhile, when Gabe offered me a morning greeting, it didn’t feel like he was greeting me but rather a giant pair of wings; no girl, just feathers.

This is a story about love in all forms, with complete and utterly heartbreaking honesty, sometimes so honest that you just don’t even want to acknowledge it. It is a story about the choices we make in life and where they lead us. How life can be a horrid waste, where obsession can lead, the effects desire can have, and how everything you know your life to be could have been different if you had of just chosen a different path, or accept the one that was placed in front of you.

She laughed for her wasted, difficult life that never had to be wasted or difficult in the first place.

This story is sad, happy, intoxicating, and just so unbelievably beautiful its enough to crush the soul. It came upon me slowly like everything comes upon you with this book, and it wasn’t until I realised I was having so much trouble reading up to the section that I undertood just how much I love this book and how much it has forever effected me. I have not felt like this about a book since On The Jellicoe Road and this book has soared to the top of my all time favourite books list.

If you haven’t guessed already, I think everyone should read this book if they are at an age where they can properly understand the meanings portrayed within its pages. Because of this book, Leslye Walton has been places on my ‘must buy’author list and I cannot wait to see what she brings the world in the future. I just… I just can’t get over it. To anyone who has read this book, please come to me and discuss the ending. I have so many feelings and for the first time after reading a book I feel as though if I don’t discuss it with someone I might explode. It causes me physical pain.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Half Bad

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Title: Half Bad [Half Bad Trilogy 1]

Author: Sally Green

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 380

Rating: 2 Star rounded down from 2.5

Book Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am sure you can gather from the rating I gave this book that I didn’t like it. Books generally have to be pretty damn painful for me to rate them below a three star yet here we are. I present to you Half Bad.

This is a story set in our modern day world where there is a secret magic side to it where normal everyday people are generally unaware that its there. In this hidden magical world are the White/Good witches, Black/Evil witches, and some cross breeds between witches and humans and White and Black witches otherwise known as Half Codes. Our main character Nathan is a Half Code, and seemingly the only one they know about. His mother was a White witch with healing abilities and his father is the most wanted Black witch on the planet, responsible for killing many other witches, eating their hearts so that their powers became his own. The story is about Nathan’s struggles with being both kinds of witch, and how he is treated in his world.

This story had so much potential to be so good. There are just so many things you can do with a plot really that has the ability to go anywhere, and this story did have some really good bits. The very start and the very end of the story were great and I really enjoyed them. The rest of it was just so excruciatingly slow that at times I felt like my eyes were melting from their sockets. I really liked how the good/bad lines between the colours were blurred and came into question. I in general thought all the controlling government of the White witches were complete and utter f***heads (but I spose you can say that about lots of governments), while I didn’t really ever feel that kind of rage at any of the Black witches introduced in the book. His whole relationship with Celia was a tad confusing and I didn’t know how to take it. She kept him locked up like a dog and did horrible things to him but she didn’t want to hand him over when the people she worked for wanted to take him places for things unknown. The end of the book was also very exciting but for obvious reasons I wont go into it.

Other than that plot wise nothing really happened. Not at any point in this story was I worried about Nathan working out his big thing he needed to work out. If it happened it happened if it didn’t. All I knew was that it was going to take a bloody long time to get there. This book put me in a slump and send me to sleep.

With the writing style there were some bits of second person perspective, and it was only really in the very beginning of the book. It was very interesting thing to experience straight off the bat, it did not continue throughout the book so I find myself asking why. Why on earth was that in there, what purpose did it serve, just why? Commit to it, it was really interesting and I felt much more connected to the story when it was happening rather than when it wasn’t. The rest of the writing was very telly and not showy.

I didn’t mind the characters and one I did really liked was Arran and I feel so bad for Nathan that he has been separated from one of the only loving people in his sad life. Nathan himself wasn’t so bad, but I didn’t really care about him. I felt so sorry for everything he had to go through but I didn’t care if he died or anything. Spoiler I also felt for someone who was just so against killing the entire book he took to it just way to damn easy. What was the point of that struggle? End Spoiler. I also liked Gabriel and I am interested in seeing where his part of the story leads.

Now I did get sent the next book in the series by Penguin so I will be continuing on with it. I liked the ending of this book but I don’t know if it was enough to make me continue without having been sent the second one. I really hope we get more of the magical things in the second book and that the pace picks up throughout the whole plotline rather than the start and the end. At this point I am not recommending this series to anyone. I am holding judgement until after I have read the second book.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Invasion of the Tearling

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen v2

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling [The Queen of the Tearling 2]

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian

Length: 480

Rating: 5 Star

Release Date: June 9th, 2015

Book Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to say a big thank you to HarperCollins through Edelweiss for allowing me to read this book ahead of the publication in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book. While the other one took a very long time to get anywhere and was pretty mush setup for the series, this one I found moved much faster. Yes, the book is still a slow at times, but stuff is pretty much always happening so you barely notice. Also unlike the other story, we are receiving too very different storylines in the book.

In this book Kelsea takes on the ability, an ability that she cannot control, to have visions of the past. In these visions we see the life of Lily, a woman who lived before the crossing that lead to the creation of the Tearling. I found these parts really interesting. This world we are seeing is so different to the one we get with Kelsea, and I am forever questioning why on earth we are getting told this story and how it will all connect back to Kelsea. It was also really interesting to see the effects it was taking on her physically.

The end to Lily’s story. Wow. Did anyone see that coming? Seriously. I hadn’t a clue at all. Totally threw me off. I liked it for that, but I worry about the direction that is going to make the story go in. When I pick up a book like this that is not really the kind of direction I want it to go in, but I suppose I will have to wait and see how the plot develops.

Now with Kelsea we focus more on this impending invasion from the Mort because she cancelled the treaty by stopping the slave trade. This part of the story moves a lot slower than Lily’s, and while I really liked reading about Lily we seemed to focus more on her than Kelsea and thats just wrong. The here and now are really what we should be focussing on, and because of Lily’s constant interruptions we didn’t move very far in this side of the plot at all. The Mort don’t advance on the Keep until the very end of the book. Kelsea herself seemed to take several steps back in terms of development as well. She snaps out of it at the end, but I am with Mace throughout most this book. She acted like an idiot a lot of the time. I totally understand WHY she had a mental, but still. Her ending to this book is something that I am gushing over. Oh my god. Cliff hangers everywhere! Anyone who has read this book should come to me straight away to discuss them.

We had some some questions answered which I wont go into because of the spoilers, but we still have many that were not. Like who the hell her dad is, where on earth the sapphires/magical necklaces came from and just the general sauce of magic and so on. I like stories that have things unfold throughout the book but at this point I kind of feel like these things are getting left out for the wrong reasons.

It may seem like I have done a lot of complaining in a review which I have given 5 stars, but that just goes to show how much I liked it despite the flaws I have mentioned. It was truly an awesome read and I am so excited for the movie. The wait for the next book might literally kill me. I recommend this book to anyone who even remotely enjoyed the first one. It is still slowish, but much more happens and a lot of things you don’t expect. The writing is amazing.

 

Till Next Time…

 

1

Book Review – The Archived

The-Archived

Title: The Archived [The Archived 1]

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Length: 321

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 2.5, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called ‘Histories’, rest in the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really really liked this book but it did have a downfall for me that prevent the complete five star review. It took me a very long time to get into it. It was nearly half the book. I don’t really know why, the writing style was beautiful once I got into it and the story was really engaging once I got into it. Perhaps I wasn’t over the books I read before hand? Or perhaps it just took me that long to get into the style. It just felt like such a slow and long start into such a big finish.

In this story we are introduced to a world where when someone dies their life memories and history get recreated into bodies that looked like them called Histories. The Histories are kept in a place called the Archived, thousands of them kept in stacks like books and they are watched over by people called Librarians who are the only people who have the keys able to read those stories. But sometimes a History wakes up and woken History can become very dangerous. As a safeguard there are Keepers like our main character who go into the Narrows, the world between the Outer, the everyday world, and the Archived, the histories home and send them to ‘returns’ so the Librarians can put them back in the stacks.

Can we please take a moment to appreciate just how awesome the idea of human histories being stacked like books is? The Archived sounds amazing. I imagine I would really enjoy being a Librarian in this universe.

Just like the general story it took my awhile to like our main character too. Actually, I started liking everything about this story at the same, anything before was just meh. Anyway, I found the introduction to her and her family, though sad, just not that interesting. It was not till passed that strange first part of the book that I finally saw what a strong character Mackenzie really was. Despite the fact that she made some really dumb choices.

One part of the writing that really made me like Mac was the snippets of Mac kind of reminiscing to her dead Da about how he brought and taught her how to be in this world of Keepers and Histories. I found this back and forth between her and the memory of her grandfather, even though I thought we were talking about her father for a very long time, gave me great insight into why all of this means so much to her.

I also really enjoyed the other character we were given. Roland would probably be my favourite out of the bunch and I really look forward to seeing where his part of the story is going. I found the parents to be a little bit hollow, but I will chalk that up to trauma.

I think that is enough babbling on about this story. If I talk much more I will probably ruin the fun of the second half of the book for you, so I will just leave it here. I recommend this book to anyone who like fantasy. If you can just push through the first part of the story I think you will really enjoy this read. Even though there are more books to the series, this book could easily be a stand alone with its satisfying conclusion.

 

Till Next Time…

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AYearAThon – April (Wrap Up)

Yearathon

Now, You are going to notice that the page count for this month is looking a bit funny with .4 type things happening. This is because Invasion of the Tearling was an advance reader copy on my kindle so it didn’t have pages numbers, and I have had to work out what the percentage of the book would be in page numbers from goodreads.

Day 1

Pages Read: 139.2

Books Started: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.

Day 2

Pages Read: 206.4

Books Read: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.

Day 3

Pages Read: 142

Books Finished: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.

Books Started: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Day 4

Pages Read: 161

Books Read: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Day 5

Pages Read: 121

Books Read: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Day 6

Pages Read: 210

Books Finished: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Books Started: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Day 7

Pages Read: 346

Books Finished: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Books Started: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Total Books Read

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen v2 throne-of-glass-cover The-Archived

Total Pages Read: 1325.6

Well I didn’t beet my goal, I really didn’t think I was going to be working six days a week. I really need to work that rubbish out because its just not going to work. But despite the fact I didn’t finish my four book target, I am still happy with what I did. The books I finished and started, most of them are ones that have been on my list for ages, and I am finally completed their pages.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Dreamfire

Dreamfire

Title: Dreamfire

Author: Kit Alloway

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 355

Rating: 3.5 Star rounded down to 3

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.  But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people’s dreams.  For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world’s general anxiety—which only leads to war and strife in the waking world—their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.  By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life. But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from Penguin Publishing in advance in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would. Lately I don’t normally leave many highlights/post-its in things I read because I am trying to force myself through a slump, but I have marked so many places in this book.

The plot and structure of this book was a very good idea. People who go into dreams and fight off the nightmares is a great idea. I found there were a few kind of iffy bits throughout the story. I found that sometimes when things about how the whole Dream world works and interacts with this one but a bit too messy and didn’t really flow. But since the books is in the fantasy genre I suppose it can get away with pretty much anything, I would just have liked a cleaner explanation of some things. I also found that I could predict a lot of things that were going to happen, and things tended to work out just too nicely for my liking.

I found the characters interesting but overall I found them a bit flat. They all had very clear and defined characters that served their purpose, and they did not step outside of that box. Josh, the girl who was involved in a tragic accident that she is traumatised by and is not understood by her friends and family. Will, the happy and friendly guy who has a sad past and just wants Josh to trust and love him. Winsor, the best friend who is actually a total cow and really shouldn’t be a friend at all. The list goes on. each other these people had a bit of shallow growth at the end of this book, but I don’t actually by that yet. I suspect that everything will be the same in the next book.

Josh and Will’s relationship is a bit dull. It is clear that they want them to be in love but I am not convinced that I want this to happen yet. Will is just so boring. He is also just the worst listener on the face of the planet. Pretty much all he has ever had to do is just what Josh tells him and he would get better at his job, and survive the night, but no matter how much she said just do what I say and no matter how many times he agreed to listen to her next time, he never did. At least a third of this book would never have happened or would have sorted itself out so much quicker if he had of just done what he was told. So so so dumb.

I did really appreciate the twist that happened at the end though. It keeps the story interesting and opens up some other theories I have because something just got sorted so nicely… or did they? It took me awhile to get used to the name gender reversal thing that was happening in the book but once I did it was ok.

If I was going to recommend this book to people, I would probably say the same thing I have been with most my reviews lately. If you have a moment you might have a really entertaining read because the idea is solid and it has potential with the books to come. I am waiting to reserve judgement on where the… series? Trilogy? is going to go or if its worth the time when I read the next book.

 

Till Next Time…