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Category: Books I Love

I love to read, and when I read a book I love I write a review about it! Please bear in mind that I’m not a professional reviewer, neither is it the main purpose of this blog. I do not get paid for my reviews, neither can you bribe me into writing a positive review for a book I didn’t enjoy (then again, no one has tried to offer me cookies before…)

Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, #1)

“In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.”

What I thought:

I fell in love with this immediately. By the time I got to page 33, it already felt too short. There was everything to love and nothing to dislike, and now I’ve finished it my feelings are in pain. It was so good, friends!

Confession: I forgot to take notes of quotes for this review. Not because there weren’t any good lines, there were plenty, but because…because…I don’t know? I just got carried away with how amazing everything was, I guess??

Anyway, I do have one quote. Appreciate it, it’s all you’re getting 😛

“You saw how that skaa gentleman treated me? People don’t like us, my dear.  The idea of someone who can play with their emotions, who can ‘mystically’ get them to do certain things, makes them uncomfortable. What they do not realize–and what you must realize–is that manipulating others is something that all people do. In fact, manipulation is at the core of our social interaction.”

The foreshadowing in this was killing me. It’s brutal how well Sanderson hints at bad things that may or may not happen on future pages. While not all of them came true in this book, I don’t trust he won’t kill my favourites later on. He’s already started, so I’m prepared. Sort of. *adds excessive amounts of chocolate to shopping list*

I LOVED the little bits of writing above each chapter, all the more so once I realised whose they were. It was such a clever idea, and gave that extra bit of insight we would never have had otherwise.

The characters were another strong point. Sanderson’s characters are real, believable, and emotionally investable. Kelsier was a fantastic anti-hero, I’d love to have that decent, intelligent discussion with Ham since no one else will, and I have ALL OF THE LOVE AND RESPECT for the Keepers. I really hope there’s more about them in the sequels. If there’s not, don’t spoil my hopes, okay?

I feel like I’ve learned from a Master. If you write high fantasy, this is a must-read for you. It’ll teach you world building and character development like no guide can. If you don’t write yourself and just enjoy high fantasy novels, you want to read this, too.


Have you read The Final Empire? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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WWW 20th September 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Illuminae

I’ve never read a book this long (600 pages) in such a short amount of time. I tore through Illuminae in five days, friends. Five. Days. It was so good. The story is incredible, the characters are fantastic, and the interior design is stunning. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year, and is popping straight onto my forever shelf <3

As I’m typing this on Tuesday I still have roughly 150 pages left to read, but there’s a good chance I’ll have finished this by the time this post goes live. Must. Know. More! I’ll either finish it over night or early Wednesday morning, but either way – If you’re reading this, I have finished Illuminae and my feelings are dead.

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

I’m really bad at reading this, but with Illuminae being so good I didn’t want to make the time, if I’m honest. Illuminae came first. I have started it, so there’s some progress since my post two weeks ago, I just haven’t got very far 🙂

Blurb:

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.”– Library Journal

***

What I recently finished reading

The Final Empire

So I finished this, and now my feelings hurt. Between The Final Empire and Illuminae, my heart is in a lot of pain recently! I won’t say too much now because my review will be up tomorrow (note to self: write the review), but this was good, friends. It’s another addition for my forever shelf.

Blurb:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.
 

***

What I think I’ll read next

Gemina

After devouring Illuminae I can’t wait to read this! I’m so happy I bought both books together. Good thinking, past me.

Blurb: 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Cole

Given how much Illuminae has destroyed me, I might read this before I jump into Gemina. You know, to give my feelings a chance to recover. This is an ARC, so I should prioritise it, anyway, and it’ll be nice to read something light after the monster that was Illuminae.

Blurb:

Skye Summers: Gainfully employed university grad, cat servant, leftover sushi connoisseur…

Sugar baby falling hard and fast for two men.

Still reeling from her steamy encounter with Finn, Skye has a tidal wave of feelings to decode when the snarky billionaire shows up on her doorstep with a bouquet of chocolate roses. Oh, and a declaration that if she and Cole aren’t a real couple outside of their sugar daddy contract, then Finn is coming after her heart—hard.

And, honestly, Skye doesn’t hate his enthusiasm. In fact, she finds Finn and his wit rather charming.

Her suppressed feelings for sugar daddy Cole, however, refuse to quit. Even if they left things a little awkward after Finn’s party, four years of blossoming love aren’t easy to forget. 

But when Cole waltzes into her usual Wednesday evening yoga class, looking gorgeous as ever, Skye finally learns that her feelings might not be so one-sided…

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab (Monsters of Verity #2)

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

What I thought:

Please note: Just this once there’s a small spoiler after the second quote. If you don’t want spoilers, ignore the bit I’ve marked 🙂

Friends. This opening was everything :O Usually, I’m a little torn about Schwab’s books; I like them but they don’t wow me like they wow everyone else. This opening wowed me. I’ve even made a note of it for future instant inspiration <3

She had never owned a pet–the closest she’d come was walking the school mascot at her third prep school–but she’d always liked animals more than people. Then again, that might have been a reflection on people more than on her.

One of my favourite things in This Savage Song was how Kate wanted to be more monstrous, and how August wanted to be more human. In Our Dark Duet, I loved how they both slowly turned dark. The parts where Kate got closer to the monster inside her were really clever, I’ve never read anything quite like it. Between that and the opening, this book has two of my favourite parts in any book, ever.

Another thing I loved was that this book doesn’t have a perfectly happy ending. Someone dies, and I won’t tell you who ^-^ You can just sit on that while you read it. You’re welcome. *ahem*

Despite all that, I still didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else does. I like Schwab’s books, but there’s always something missing for me and I don’t know what it is. I get the hype; the hype train just hasn’t run me over.

I spent a long time playing that game,” she said. “Pretending there were other versions of this world, where other versions of me got to live, and be happy, even if I didn’t, and you know what? It’s lonely as hell. Maybe there are other versions, other lives, but this one’s ours. It’s all we’ve got.”

[spoiler] One thing I’m confused about is what happened to the wardens. They seemed important in the beginning, but after Kate leaves we don’t see them again. I kept expecting them to show up and save the day (or at least help save the day, anyway), especially because Kate thought about them occasionally. I thought that was done on purpose, so we’d remember who they were when they showed up again, but they didn’t. It was nice that Kate had their friendship in the very beginning, but beyond that I’m not sure why they were there. I expected to see them more, you know? It just felt odd to me that they just kind of disappeared from the story.[/spoiler]

I’m excited to see what’s next. Schwab has hinted at a few things on Twitter, and I’ll look forward to seeing more. If you’ve loved her Shades of Magic series, you’ll love this duology, too!

(It’s occurred to me that I’ve read both books in August now…)


Have you read Our Dark Duet? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Mort by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #4)

“Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

Henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. It’s an offer Mort can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice he’ll have free board, use of the company horse – and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s a dream job – until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…”

What I thought:

I had high hopes for Mort, friends. For the most part, my expectations were met but it’s not my new favourite Discworld novel. Equal Rites still holds that spot, and I expect it will for a while! <3

Despite the usual Discworld madness, Mort is actually kind of normal: Mort fudges up the space-time continuum because he can’t get himself to reap a girl he likes, and Death slips into a mid-life crisis-induced depression because he has no friends, thinks there should be more to life, and because someone younger has taken his job. Which is his fault. It’s not like he had to offer Mort a job.

Mort was already aware that love made you feel hot and cold and cruel and weak, but he hadn’t realized that it could make you stupid.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Albert at first, but I grew to like him. I suspected there was more going on than we can see right away, I just didn’t expect that. There was a nice little cameo, too – Rincewind is in this! Only briefly, but it was still nice to see a character I recently adored. He’s no Granny Weatherwax, but there are 37 books left in this series. There’s time.

The wizards, such of them who were still on their feet and conscious, were rather surprised to see that Death was wearing an apron and holding a small kitten.

I thought Mort would wow me more, if I’m honest. I liked it, but I didn’t love it like I loved Equal Rites. I’ve a feeling I’ll compare every Discworld novel to Book 3 now, which isn’t really fair, so I hope the rest is up to it!


Have you read Mort? What’s your favourite Discworld novel? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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WWW 6th September 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

The Final Empire

I haven’t had as much time to read this as I’d hoped because I’ve been busy with the final proofread of Wardens of Archos, but what I’ve read so far is good. I mean really, really bloody good. I feel like I should be reading this with a notebook and pen so I can learn from the master (I kind of am, too, since I make a note of everything that stands out to me)

I’m only around page 150 but I already feel like there isn’t enough of it, so i guess I’ll treat myself to the sequel if I do well during NaNo 😀

Blurb:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.
 

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

I’ll be honest, I haven’t technically started this yet, but there’s a bookmark on page one, so the intention is there! As I’ve mentioned above I’ve been quite busy drowning in proofreads and I’m editing a book for another author, now, too, but I WILL fit this in!

Blurb:

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.”– Library Journal

***

What I recently finished reading

Our Dark Duet

This was good! I’m usually torn with Schwab’s books, but this one worked for me. I’ve got a review coming next week so I’ll keep this brief, but it was good! 🙂

Blurb:

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

No Plot? No Problem!

This was excellent NaNo prep. It’s equal parts useful and encouraging, and I can only recommend this if you’re doing NaNo this year. It gives you permission to write messy and just get the words out without worrying about quality, and to buy all the snacks to keep you going. First drafts are meant to be rubbish, and this book encourages you to embrace that,

Blurb:

You’ve always wanted to write, but . . . just haven’t gotten around to it. No Plot? No Problem! is the kick in the pants you’ve been waiting for.

Let Chris Baty, founder of the rockin’ literary marathon National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), guide you through four exciting weeks of hard-core noveling. Baty’s pep talks and essential survival strategies cover the initial momentum and energy of Week One, the critical “plot flashes” of Week Two, the “Can I quit now?” impulses of Week Three, and the champagne and roar of the crowd during Week Four. Whether you’re a first-time novelist who just can’t seem to get pen to paper or a results-oriented writer seeking a creative on-ramp into the world of publishing, this is the adventure for you.

So what are you waiting for? The No Plot? approach worked for the thousands of people who’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, and it can work for you! Let No Plot? No Problem! help you get fired up and on the right track.

***

What I think I’ll read next

Illuminae

Usually, my new books sit on my shelf for a while before I get to them, but I don’t want to wait with this one. Jay Kristoff is one of the authors, so I know I’ll love it and I love the way the story is being told (I may have leafed through it… not enough to spoil things, of course, but enough to need it now). Gemina is waiting to be read afterwards, and I’m really excited for both!

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: Finn by Liz Meldon (All In #1)

Skye Summers: Museum Studies grad, yoga enthusiast, sushi fanatic, self-proclaimed cat lady…

Sugar baby hopelessly falling for her sugar daddy.

Unfortunately for Skye, internet security billionaire Cole Daniels, professional workaholic, has always been more like a best friend. When they were paired through an online sugar daddy service in Skye’s most desperate hour, Cole rescued her from financial ruin and a stress-induced breakdown. In return, she has kept the press off his back by posing as his girlfriend for the last four years.

But Skye wants more. Not money or fame, but more of him. Cole: sweet, funny, and ceaselessly charming. At times, even he seems to crave a shift in their relationship to something a little messier—before swiftly pulling right back into the friend zone.

Things take a turn for the scandalous, however, when the latest gift from her sugar daddy arrives: a new dress. He’s taking Skye to a swanky soiree that evening, and the accompanying note has a titillating aside:

PS: Wear something underneath that makes you feel sexy.

Thrilled, Skye obliges with her most daring lingerie. But when Cole’s ulterior motives for the night surface, she’s forced to swallow her disappointment and seek out her own fun—which arrives in the form of the sinfully handsome heir to a chocolate empire, Finn Rai.”

What I thought:

*Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

I fell in love with Meldon’s writing earlier this year, and couldn’t resist the chance to receive an ARC of the first novella in her latest series! <3

The MC and cat person Skye is madly attracted to her sugar daddy Cole, but since their contract states that sex isn’t part of the agreement she doesn’t know what to do. Cole hasn’t shown any romantic interest in her – until he invites her to a party, last-minute, and attaches a note asking her to dress in something sexy under her dress. What’s a girl to make of that? And the party then turns out to be a sex party. What’s a girl to make of that? Did he ask her to wear something sexy underneath for his sake, or because of the party’s undress code?

Cole is his usual pre-occupied self, doesn’t respond to her flirt attempts, and abandons her for much longer than agreed during the party. Lucky for Skye, she runs into handsome Finn with the sexy British accent.

Meldon’s books are packed with believable characters who just try to make the best out of each day. That’s why I love her heroes and heroines – you may not be able to relate to having a sugar daddy or attending sex parties (or maybe you are? I don’t judge), but you can relate to her characters who are beautifully flawed and likeable, and who make mistakes when they try to do the right thing and end up having regrets anyway. Meldon’s characters are some of the most believable ones I’ve ever read, and I love how she blends the unusual with the very relatable.

You can easily get through this in one sitting. If the day job wasn’t a thing, I’d have read this in one go, too!

Please be aware that this is an erotic novella and not suitable for younger readers. There’s a lot of graphic content, so if you’re not comfortable with this genre this book isn’t for you.

Finn is out TOMORROW, friends! So if this sounds like your cuppa tea pre-order it now or make a note for tomorrow! <3


Does this sound like your kind of book, or do you need more convincing? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: Zombie Playlist by K. J. Chapman

“Dagger has survived the zombie apocalypse with nothing save a metal bat, blades, and assholery. With the company of an IPOD she attained courtesy of Dead-Dude, and King, the Bunker-Boy straggler she somehow acquired on her journey, she travels to the coast, putting down zombies, blowing up high-grade assholes, and teaching King how to ditch his pre-apocalypse conscience and keep his yellow ass alive.”

What I thought:

*Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Zombie Playlist was exactly what I needed when I needed it. I read it shortly after Equal Rites and was still in a bit of a reading slump after two disappointing reads before that, but Dagger’s snarkiness got me out of the slump again!

Dagger has taken to the zombie apocalypse like a little duckling takes to water, and has done incredibly well at staying alive thanks to her general mistrust of other people. While others seek strength in numbers, Dagger knows that she’s best off on her own – until she has a moment and rescues King, who won’t leave her alone afterwards. Kinda like a lost puppy following the only person who’s scratched its ears recently.

This is perfect. Not only am I going to kill him, he’s going to die looking like a twat in a poncho.

Dagger isn’t cold and unfeeling, exactly, but she has survived thanks to basic assholery – glorious uncensored sarcasm abounds, friends. King, on the other hand, has waited it out inside a bunker for most of the apocalypse until he was forced to leave that, and knows nothing about surviving on his own. Dagger is the strength, and King is the kindness. Dagger brings out King’s survival instincts, and he brings out her softer side. They complement each other extremely well, and I loved watching their relationship as well as their individual characters grow.

What has this world come to? If he was my friend, or even just some dude I had travelled with, I would have at least run over his skull; popped his zombie ass like a zit. That’s what I would want if it were me. But, nope, some people are just bloody animals.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced zombie apocalypse novella with great characters which holds nothing back where gruesome detail is concerned, then this is a must-read for you! Its release date is in only a few days on the 4th September, so either mark that in your calendars or pre-order it now 😉


Does this sound like your kind of book, or do you need more convincing? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

“Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.”

What I thought:

Now THIS was the book I needed! I was beginning to worry that fantasy was losing its magic for me, but this one reminded me that me no longer caring about fantasy is about as likely as me never buying another book ever again. So it’s won already, and I haven’t even done the review yet 😀

It takes only a split second for life to go horribly wrong. To fix the mess, I need a thousand things to go right. The distance from one bit of luck to the next feels as great as the distance across oceans. But, I decide in this moment, I will bridge that distance, again and again, until I win. I will not fail.

There was just so much to love. I adored Mamie Rila, I was intrigued by the Soul Catcher and loved every scene with her, I was intrigued by Harper and even more so now that we know a little more about his connection to Elias, and I LOVED how much Laia has grown as a character. The foreshadowing was killing me.

Helene’s development got me the most, and the majority of my favourite scenes were hers. I’m hurting so much for her and everything she’s sacrificed and lost. She put everything on the line in this book, she’s fought so hard, and she’s lost everything regardless. I hope she finds a happy end; the poor girl has earned a bit of happiness!

“She deserves better than you pretending she didn’t exist,” Keenan says. I look up, shocked, expecting anger, but his dark eyes are sympathetic. It makes it worse somehow. “I know it hurts. Of all people, I know. But pain is how you know you loved her.”

The only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the continued love triangle possibility of Keenan-Laia-Elias, but that kind of took care of itself so I’m still a happy kitten 🙂 And I did like the dynamic between them! The boys were like little devils and angels sitting on one shoulder each, making Laia feel either strong or like a failure depending on who she was talking to.

I also completely ship Laia and the Nightbringer. That could happen, right? (sssshhhhhhh, nobody correct me)

I close my eyes and allow myself one moment to imagine a different world. In that world, Elias is a Tribal boy, and I am a jurist’s daughter. We meet in a market, and our love isn’t tainted by Blackcliff or by all the things he hates about himself. I hold myself in that world, just for a second.

Then I release it. Elias and I are finished. Now, there is only death.

All I need now is Book 3! I shall be a good girl and practice patience. If anyone has any tips, do pass them on.


Have you read A Torch Against the Night? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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WWW Wednesday 23rd August 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

Our Dark Duet

I’m finally getting around to reading Our Dark Duet <3 I treated myself not long ago and am almost halfway there now. In fact, by the time this post goes live on Wednesday and you’re reading it I’ve probably passed the halfway mark 😛 (Edit: I have.)

Blurb:

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

No Plot? No Problem!

I had to borrow this when I saw it in my library! I’ll be participating in NaNo again this year and this will be a big part of my preparation. I wasn’t going to start my prep until October but I thought if I read it now I can review it in time for October, so that you can decide whether you want to make it part of your own preparations 🙂 So far so good! It’s short so it doesn’t take long to read. Review to come at the end of September 😉

Blurb:

You’ve always wanted to write, but . . . just haven’t gotten around to it. No Plot? No Problem! is the kick in the pants you’ve been waiting for.

Let Chris Baty, founder of the rockin’ literary marathon National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), guide you through four exciting weeks of hard-core noveling. Baty’s pep talks and essential survival strategies cover the initial momentum and energy of Week One, the critical “plot flashes” of Week Two, the “Can I quit now?” impulses of Week Three, and the champagne and roar of the crowd during Week Four. Whether you’re a first-time novelist who just can’t seem to get pen to paper or a results-oriented writer seeking a creative on-ramp into the world of publishing, this is the adventure for you.

So what are you waiting for? The No Plot? approach worked for the thousands of people who’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, and it can work for you! Let No Plot? No Problem! help you get fired up and on the right track.

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What I recently finished reading

Mort

Hmmmm, this was good, but it’s not my new favourite Discworld novel as I thought it might be. It’s basically a story about a boy who messes up the space-time continuum because he can’t get himself to reap a girl he likes, and a man going through a mid-life crisis because a younger guy has taken his job. There’s more to it, of course, but that roughly sums up the main plot.

It was nice to see one of the old characters make an appearance, and I enjoyed it a lot more towards the end when everything was coming together, but it hasn’t taken the spot of favourite Discworld novel away from Equal Rites 🙂

Blurb:

In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.

A Torch Against the Night

This was so good, friends <3 I won’t say too much now because my review will be on here tomorrow, but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book 3 🙂

Blurb:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

The Plot Thickens

I’ve finally finished The Plot Thickens. It was good and gave me lots to think about, but it was just a little too dry for me. I prefer my theory reads humorous as you might know by now, and this wasn’t that. I learned something but I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it.

Blurb:

As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.

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What I think I’ll read next

The Final Empire

I’ve been waiting to read this for ages! Since I felt I needed more awesome high fantasy reads in my life, I figured now was the perfect time 🙂 My only concern is that I’ve seen so many excellent reviews and no negative words that my expectations are too high, but I’ve a feeling it won’t disappoint <3

Blurb:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.
 

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Originally, this was going to be my next theory read but then I found No Plot? No problem! and plans changed. I’ll definitely get to it next, though, it’s been waiting on my shelf for too long!

Blurb:

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.”– Library Journal

 

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #3)

“The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…”

What I thought:

Okay, so, erm, my only notes for this are ‘love Granny Weatherwax <3’

*ahem*

I fail at reviewing this series, I really do.

There were fashions in wizardry, just like anything else; sometimes wizards were thin and gaunt and talked to animals (the animals didn’t listen, but it’s the thought that counts) while at other times they tended towards the dark and saturnine, with little black pointed beards. Currently Aldermanic was In. Cutangle swelled with modesty.

I might just drown you in quotes and hope that does the trick… *hides*

I chose to read Equal Rites because I’d just had a couple of disappointing reads, and knew Pratchett would make it all better. He did 🙂 Equal Rites was every bit as mad as I needed it to be, and made me laugh on every page. My phone is littered with pictures of quotes! (hence why I can drown you in them today – the temptation to just throw the actual book at you is BIG)

And thus it was that while the entire faculty of Unseen University were dining in the venerable hall the doors were flung back with a dramatic effect that was rather spoiled when one of them rebounded off a waiter and caught Granny a crack on the shin. Instead of the defiant strides she had intended to make across the chequered floor she was forced to half-hop, half-limp. But she hoped that she hopped with dignity.

But it didn’t just make me laugh, it also made me think, and that’s why it’s my current favourite Discworld novel. I do have 38 left to read, of course, so I imagine that’ll be topped sooner or later – I have high hopes for Mort, actually, which I’ve possibly already read by the time you see this review on my blog 🙂

Sometimes he seemed to be saying that nothing existed unless people thought it did, and the world was really only there at all because people kept on imagining it. But then he seemed to be saying that there were lots of worlds, all nearly the same and all sort of occupying the same place but all separated by the thickness of a shadow, so that everything that ever could happen would have somewhere to happen in.

Equal Rites was just the right amount of hilarity and philosophy for a novel as mad as this series. It can be read independently, so if you haven’t read The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic then this won’t spoil anything. I only recommend that you do start somewhere, because these really are magical.


Have you read Equal Rites? What’s your favourite Discworld novel? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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