Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Absentee Blogger...

Hello from the other side.....

So for those of you who follow my blog, or just enjoy a good read. I would firstly like to apologise for my lack of presence on this book blog.It has been a while.

2016, for lack of a better word has been a pretty rough ride. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, a lot to grieve and miss especially. Overall, just a lot to adjust and adapt to. To say i am quite possibly in the biggest reading slump would be an understatement. Reading has always been my escape. To get away from the world, and plant myself into someone else's, digging those roots in and refusing to leave it. However, my head space has just not been with it and even though i miss it every day, no matter how many times i pick up a book, i find myself putting it straight back down, not even passing page 1. I know i will get there one day, that even though you never truly heal and the pain will never really go away, you simply learn to live with it and move on.

This may seem like a random post, but i just wanted to assure you, that this blog will still be here, and i am working on getting back to reading. In the mean time my unread book pile is ever growing from all the pre orders long forgotten ordered and spontaneous purchase i still seem unable to stop myself from. So i'm sure there will one day be a sudden bombardment of reviews, you will soon want nothing more than radio silence again.

Sorry again everyone and have a lovely day wherever you are in the world!


Sunday, 8 May 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I am going to find it very hard to review this book, mainly as no words can really express just how much i loved it, but also as i am going to attempt to contain no spoilers. An impossible feat, so this may be a shorter and more vague review than usual.

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

The second book starts off 3 months after the first, the dust settling after Amarantha’s demise, and we see Feyre a shell of the person she once was. Clearly still struggling with the events that took place under the mountain, we follow the challenges and consequences Feyre now faces. Her nightmares, guilt and conscience slowly starting to eat away at her.

The Spring court is still shown to be as beautiful as ever, with the same faces of Tamlin and Lucien. It is clear to see how a lot has changed since the last book, to which even i found myself surprised to feel how i did about certain characters and the way they were acting and the choices they made. We have a new character to the Spring court too in Ianthe, a high priestess in Prythian. A support for Feyre she may be, at no point have i trusted her. Full of power, and clear charm, there is something very scheming about this character. 

Rhysand is back in A Court of Mist and Fury too, keeping up the bargain that was made with Feyre, of a week a month to be spent with him at the Night Court. It is strange how my feelings toward him changed, i disliked him greatly in the first book, and when i saw him pop up in this book i inwardly groaned ‘ugh not him again’ but i have to say, i take that all back. I LOVE Rhys! We learn a great deal about his character in this book, meeting his circle, and learning a great deal about the Night Court, not all is at it seems. The sarcastic banter and with the bond between him and Feyre had me laughing out loud at so many points, i just couldn’t get enough. I loved the detail and depth that was put into learning everything about the Night Court too. All the new characters we are introduced too and the stories behind them as well, were all so deep and moving. Beautifully crafted by Sarah.

Sarah J Maas has no shortage of imagination when creating the world’s she does. Weaving together all these intricate worlds with nothing more than the words she puts onto paper. Within the first few paragraphs you are instantly sucked back into the world from her last book. Hooking the reader right back into the storyline. I could barely put this book down when i started it, i read it within 2 days, and it only took that long as i had to go to work.

A Court of Mist and Fury, is full of self discovery, action, betrayal and romance. Curveballs are thrown left, right and centre in this book, and at one point my jaw dropped as i was so in shock. I never expected to like the characters i did, nor dislike characters i once loved. This book threw everything i felt about A Court of Thorns and Roses into the air, and left me scrambling to put everything back together again. It was brilliant. I think i loved this book a lot more than i did the first, which tends to be a common theme with me and Sarah J  Maas novels. I always think the last book i read was the greatest of them all, until the next one. So i can only imagine just how brilliant the third and last book in this trilogy is going to be, and i simply cannot wait.

If you like fantasy, if you like Sarah J Maas, if you enjoy reading a book that you simply get lost in and then feel devastated to have finished it and want to read it instantly again. Then pick this series up. I cannot speak highly enough of this series, or of this author. Friends i have recommended to this series, and her Throne of Glass series, have not regretted me forcing them to pick up and read her books. I am sure you will feel the same.

I have given this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy from Cassandra Clare, following on 5 years from The Mortal Instruments City of Heavenly Fire book. I do have to say, that i highly recommend, if you haven’t already, reading the Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series before picking up Lady Midnight. There are a lot of references in this book, and characters history that will really be better understood and the significance of them, if these previous series have been read.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadow hunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s Brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadow hunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Lady Midnight is set 5 years after City of Heavenly fire, and after the cold peace was set in motion. The cold peace was the result of the war, where as a harsh punishment, Fairies were blamed. This resulted in them being cut off, where no help was to be given and no association with Fairies was to take place at all.

We follow our main protagonist Emma Carstairs, at the LA Institute with her parabatai Julian and the rest of the remaining Blackthorn family. Emma is a great protagonist; she is an incredibly strong, bad ass character, but also caring and funny. She has a sass about her that makes her endearing and completely likeable. Emma is a completely dynamic character that is brilliant within this story. Her relationships with the Blackthorn family and Julian, and the responsibility thrown at them to raise the younger siblings, really adds a depth to this story. It really was what helped to make this book as great as it was.

There were a lot of plot lines that were being set up within this first book, which will undoubtedly grow throughout the next books. Some complex romantic interests beginning to develop too, which you can already tell are going to be a major factor in future books.
I did find that this was a slow starting book for the first 100 pages; however this was predominantly filled with character and location building. But from there this became a completely action packed book, something was always kicking off or going down, you were sucked into conspiracies by trying to guess ahead, unravel mysteries and puzzles, the book was deep and so complex with so many sub plots that you couldn’t help but be gripped.

I honestly feel this is one of Cassandra Clare’s best works, with each series her writing develops, and in Lady Midnight this couldn’t be more prevalent. It is a great start to a new series, with even more brilliant and dynamic characters, as well as a few visits of past characters too. Lady Midnight is a great read, and full of action, sass and humour. When turning that last page you are left hungry for more, and in desperate need of book two.

So if you are a fan of The Mortal instruments and The Infernal devices, amongst other works of Cassandra’s, then this book really will not disappoint, and you should pick it up and give it a read.

I have rated this 4.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Wicked - Jennifer L Armentrout

Wicked – J L Armentrout

As you may have seen through previous blog posts, I absolutely adore any and every book written by Jennifer L Armentrout. I love her creativity, the worlds she brings to life, and each of the characters she creates. When I stumbled across Wicked, and read the synopsis, yet again it sounded right up my street, and I knew I had to give it a read.

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

Wicked is a New Adult Paranormal novel, based in the lively New Orleans. I thought the setting for this book was brilliant, it really enabled an atmosphere to be created, and highlighted that every beautiful city has its hidden corners.

Ivy is our main protagonist; I love the comparison to Merida from Brave that occurs in this book via Ren. I think it was a brilliant description of her character, a tough, stubborn natural born fighter. She was a brilliant lead to follow on this journey; she provided humour, action as well as showing a more sensitive emotional side with regards to her past. I found her to be completely endearing and was instantly rooting for her from the start.

Ren is our love interest in this story, from the first moment we met him, I loved him, I loved his bluntness, his humour and of course his charming side, he was a completely swoon worthy character that instantly propelled this novel into a hot a steamy ride.

Tink, was possibly my favourite character in this story, he was absolutely brilliant and provided some serious laugh out loud moments. I loved the constant Harry Potter and Twilight marathons involved; I just know I would get on swimmingly with him. He was a brilliant extra to this story, almost the cherry on top of a scrumptiously iced cake. You don’t normally get that with a sub character.

The plot in this story was great, it flowed with such ease and you were swept away right from the first page, as with any JLA book really. She has that way of hooking you right in, and keeping you within those pages before spitting you back out when you reach the end, leaving you in one complete state of panic that you do not have the next book to hand. I constantly love the humour that she is able to provide us throughout any of her novels, and that was the case in Wicked. There were some hilarious moments that were shared, comments or simply thoughts that went through Ivy’s head.

It was a bit of an insta-love story, but I didn’t mind it in this book, it went well, and it was more of a lust at first before anything else. Plus you could not help but fall for Ren in this, especially when it turned out he had a motorbike too *swoon*

I honestly cannot wait for book two, this book was so action packed and fast paced and with that ending….Well I need book two in my life pretty sharpish, there is no news on a release date yet. But hopefully that comes soon.

I would say if you like paranormal romance novels, which are filled with action, humour and brilliant characters, then this is really the one for you. You really cannot fault JLA’s plot style and writing at all. It really is fast paced and difficult to put down once you have picked it up. I highly recommend this!

I have given this 5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Book of Ivy - Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy – Amy Engel

I stumbled across The Book of Ivy a couple of weeks ago, but due to such a busy work schedule i only got round to picking this up the other day. I had seen a few reviews and YouTube videos about this book, but i never really took in exactly what it was about. But since picking it up, and finishing the book in just under two days, i have to say it was not only unique, but brilliant as well.

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop
must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

When i read the blurb for this book i was hooked, it drew me in instantly and i had to know more. I had never really heard of Amy Engel as an author before, so went into this book open minded about the journey i was about to take.

Ivy Westfall is our narrator; we see this journey from her eyes only. I thought Ivy was an interesting character, the constant turmoil, differing opinions and the strong influence from her father and older sister Callie. Right from the start of this book, i already suspected something wasn’t right, and i instantly felt sorry for Ivy for being put in such a situation.

Each character within this story had completely different depths to them, Bishop, the president’s son, not really acting how he is portrayed, or being similar to that of his parents. President Lattimer and his wife, i found the president to be ‘deadly kind’. I say that as he is one of those characters who come across friendly and kind, but there is deadliness to it. You just don’t know how true his character is, and just at what moment it can all turn against you. The relationship between Bishop and his mother was a strange one, she seemed to care about Ivy making him happy, yet had no real connection with her son, no motherly bond with him at all.

The relationship with Ivy and her sister Callie, as well as her father, I found to be a strange one. It immediately felt false, like Ivy was just being used, there was no real concept of love and affection. I took an immediate dislike to Callie, she seemed vindictive and nasty, yet even though she was Ivy’s sister i just did not trust her at all.

The concept of this story was brilliant; i loved the premise behind it especially the arranged marriages in order to keep the peace. It was interesting the various stories and people we meet and just how different their experiences have been with the marriages. Also the stark difference in opinions from separate sides of the town and just how they come together.

The writing style in this book was brilliant, it kept you hooked and gave the right amount of depth and detail to the story, you instantly developed a relationship with the main character. I thoroughly enjoyed Amy’s writing style, and the pace she carried out throughout this book. I also clung to that cliff hanger like no tomorrow, and immediately bought the next book for my kindle just so i could read it instantly!

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you like something gritty, filled with secrets to be uncovered, corruption and drama. It really is a gripping book and i hated having to put it down to go to work.

I have given this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Akarnae - Lynette Noni

Akarnae – Lynette Noni

I first stumbled across this book when watching a book haul vlog on YouTube and i immediately wanted it in my possession so i could read it. The only downside was that this book is not yet accessible in the UK. So i scoured, and i mean really scoured the internet looking for sites where i could purchase this book and international delivery not be too crazy. All that searching finally paid off! The official Akarnae website had this book available to purchase, with FREE international shipping...it was clearly meant to be!

Akarnae is book one in the Meodran chronicles by Lynette Noni and it brings us a brilliantly creative world filled with magic and mystery. My review is quite limited as i like to keep them as spoiler free as possible.

With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings's world changes--literally.

Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her... but he's missing.

While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora's boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can't ignore her fear that something unexpected... something
sinister... is looming.

An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex's shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race's survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

Will Alex risk her entire world--and maybe even her
life--to save Medora?

Firstly i will like to get this little point out the way. Yes the main location is that of a boarding school/castle, yes it has magical elements, and yes the main character has two best friends. But that in no means makes this a comparative book to the likes of Harry Potter, as it is a completely different world, completely different kind of magic and completely different narrative and direction.

Right from the start of this book we are thrown into the thick of it all, we don’t really know much other than Alex’s parents going away, meaning Alex has to up sticks and attend a boarding school away from home. We are instantly thrown into this whole alternative world, and straight into the action. 

I loved the pacing of this book, i felt like there were no moments where i got bored or willed the book along, as there was so much to learn and understand about the world of Akarnae, that i just wanted to take it all in and build this picture in my head. I do have to say i am a bit jealous of just how advanced this world is with technology and medicine. I really wish we could have a food replicator machine. Imagine that, what in my head i almost imagined as an Ipad on a table, selecting the food you want and it appearing before you.....Genius! When can we get one of those?

I adored the characters in this book. Alex was a brilliant main character, she had the humor, sarcasm as well as the bad ass vibe every leading lady needs. My favorite moment with her was when she was drugged up on meds, as well as drunk of a drink. Her friendship with Bear and Jordan was brilliant and they had a great banter between them. I also enjoyed that this first book was so focused on friendships. Especially enjoying the relationship she had with DC her roommate, even though this was not a friendly at times relationships, i loved the fact that Alex still considered her, even during the holidays. I really admired that trait about Alex.

I found the magic and history in this book amazing, each of the classes sounded fun...well maybe some of the classes, the idea of being battered and bruised whilst doing the same obstacle course over and over is not on the top of my list of things to experience.

Everything in this book drew me in, i loved where the story took me, i loved the mystery and magic to the world, especially the trippy library! I was absorbed into this magical world and i just could not put the book down. The ending was insane! It all just happened, everything kicked off and it has left me eager for book two in the series.

I would say if you enjoy a magical fantasy book, with great characters, and friendships, with the hint of humour too, then this is the book for you as i thoroughly enjoyed it.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.