Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Wrap-Up.

Honestly? I'm a bit disappointed in my reading month. In the end I did manage 5 out of 7 of my reads which doesn't sound so bad upon reflection (especially as one or two of them were quite long) but I still feel like I could have done better. Still, I've had some great reads that I've thoroughly enjoyed!




  1. 'Spinning Starlight'; R.C. Lewis. My first read of the month and I was certainly excited about it because it was a Fairy Tale retelling (my favourite genre)! Despite knowing very little about Hans Christian Andersen's original, I was not disappointed in the slightest! The heroine was likeable, the world-building glorious and the plot extremely well thought out. It had quite a sizeable cast and it would have been nice to have connected a bit more with some of the lesser characters. Still, a great read and I hope to read 'Stitching Snow' at some point soon. 4.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'Life After Life'; Kate Atkinson. Yet another great read that continued what looked to be a promising month. I'd had this book on my shelf for a long time and wanted to read it for quite a while. Finally I got round to it and it was fantastic! I adored the plot concept, it felt so different to things I had read before. Atkinson's writing style was beautiful and captivating and hooked me from start to finish. The only thing that really stopped me from giving it full marks was the vague ending that didn't answer all of my questions. 4.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'Etta & Otto & Russell & James'; Emma Hooper. I liked this book but didn't love it. The plot concept was pretty good and it had a bizarre element that made it a really interesting read. I really liked the Magical Realism element in it too, and considering it's not my favourite genre, that's pretty impressive. Once again the ending disappointed me, even more so than 'Life After Life'. It was just far too ambiguous and confusing. 3/5 Stars.
  4. 'Witch Hunter'; Virginia Boecker. After a couple of deep reads, I felt like relaxing with something slightly less strenuous. I had pretty mixed thoughts on this one, but liked it enough to want to keep going. I was disappointed in the main character for not being nearly as badass as the blurb painted her, though her kind-heartedness won me over a little. The world-building was good but not as detailed as I wanted. The plot was the best part of the book by far and so in the end I liked it more, though the start didn't grab me as much a I'd have liked.
  5. 'Station Eleven'; Emily Mandel. My latest read and quite possibly my favourite so far this year! Seriously, what a wonderful way to end the month! The plot was mesmerising, the characters fascinating to read about and the world-building absolutely divine. If you haven't already read this Adult Dystopian that I can see becoming a future classic, then I really recommend that you do! I'm so impressed by this book that I am totally desperate to read more of this lady's work. 5/5 Stars.
This month I have read two physical books:

- Life After Life
- Station Eleven




This month I have read three Netgalley/Edelweiss reads:

- Spinning Starlight
- Etta & Otto & Russell & James
- Witch Hunter

Yikes, is it three quarters of the way through the year already? Well here's a little update on the rest of my challenges!

I managed to gain another 8 points for the Prequel/Sequel Challenge, bringing my total to 40 points:

- 'The Winner's Crime' +2 (July)
- 'Valiant' +2 (July)
- 'Moon Over Soho' +2 (August)
- 'Insurgent' +2 (August)




I read two more entries for the Book To Movie Challenge, bringing my total to eight:

- The Hobbit
- Insurgent







And now it's time to start my brand new Bookish Bingo card, while finishing my Story Sprites challenge!


Science Fiction: Spinning Starlight; R.C. Lewis.
On Your Shelf For Over A Year: Life After Life; Kate Atkinson.
Set In Another Country: Etta & Otto & Russell & James; Emma Hooper.
Animal On The Cover: Station Eleven; Emily St. John Mandel.
Black Cover: Witch Hunter; Virginia Boecker.

Primary  Coloured Cover: Moon Over Soho; Ben Aaronovitch. REVIEW.
Fairies As A Theme: Valiant; Holly Black. REVIEW.
Forbidden Romance: The Winner's Crime; Marie Rutkoski. REVIEW.
Setting - An Alien Planet: Spinning Starlight; R.C. Lewis. REVIEW.
Female Fronted Fantasy: A Whole New World; Liz Braswell. REVIEW.
Love Triangle: Etta & Otto & Russell & James; Emma Hooper. REVIEW.
Cover With Silver Lettering: The Hobbit; J.R.R. Tolkien. REVIEW.
Novel By An Indie Author: Sunbolt; Intisar Khanani. REVIEW.
Book With Angels Or Demons: Angelfall; Susan Ee. REVIEW.
A Novel Over 400 Pages: Life After Life; Kate Atkinson. REVIEW.
Fairytale Retelling: Neverland; Shari Arnold. REVIEW.
Adult Sci-Fi Book: Flex; Ferrett Steinmetz. REVIEW.
Book with a Virus/Outbreak: Station Eleven; Emily St. John Mandel. REVIEW.
First Book In A Series: Hunter; Mercedes Lackey. REVIEW.
A Book Into A Current Movie (2015+): Insurgent; Veronica Roth. REVIEW.

Book Review: Station Eleven; Emily St. John Mandel.

I am absolutely thrilled that I'm reviewing this book and so excited to share my thoughts because I adored it! It definitely just became one of my top reads of the year! This will be my last September read, but it was certainly a great way to end the month.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Station Eleven
AUTHOR: Emily St. John Mandel
SERIES: --
PUBLISHER: Picador
PAGES: 339
GENRE: Adult, Literary Fiction, Dystopian

RATING: 5/5 Stars


Blurb:
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. 

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. 

What I Liked:
  • The writing style of this book is completely captivating! Mandel writes beautifully, interweaving plot elements with a very professional and poetic flourish. I couldn't believe how easily each story connected together, how well it flowed off the page and how simple this literary masterpiece was to understand. I can't think of a single Dystopian that I've read being at all like this one. Despite jumping back and forth in time, I never found myself getting lost or confused at all. Mandel's writing captured the essence of each time period beautifully: the pre-flu past filled with a blissful ignorance mixed with a sense of foreboding, the moment of outbreak fraught with tension, chaos and panic, and then post-flu being much slower in pace as humanity accepts their situation and tinge an overwhelming sadness with hope and the will to survive.
  • When jumping from character to character, I didn't expect to love them all so much! There were, I would say, five key POVs to read from in this book but I found them each as well-written and deeply thought out as the others. The book is short in length but as well as the gorgeously rendered plot, Mandel draws up some fantastic characters and puts a lot of effort into their personalities, habits, likes & dislikes. This book is as much about individuals as it is about society as a whole and that's what made it all the more interesting.
  • The world-building in this book is phenomenal. Mandel talks of our present day as if it was part of a long-dead history, which in itself is a very bizarre concept to read and in the process, she highlights exactly the kind of things that are taken for granted in our electrical age. The post-apocalyptic future that she describes feels bleak and yet it brings to light the importance of holding on, as well as the need to sometimes let go. 
What I Disliked:
  • Uhh...nothing? Seriously I'm really struggling to think of a single thing that I disliked about this book because it was so good! I don't like the fact that it took me so long to get round to reading it, but I suppose that doesn't really count. I guess the idea of a Flu being that strong that I would completely eradicate 99.9% of the population seems a little far-fetched to me, but then that might be my modern age human arrogance showing too. No one is certain of the future!
Overall Conclusion:
This book deserves every bit of praise that it can get. It's my first read by Mandel, but it certainly won't be my last! The writing style was captivating, the world-building beautiful and intriguing, the characterisation failed to let me down and the many sub-plots tied together so wonderfully that I couldn't help but fall in love with this book. If you haven't already, you simply must read this novel!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: 'Dreamwielder'; Garrett Calcaterra.


These Book Blitz posts just keep on coming! I'm tremendously excited about this book so welcome to my post on Garrett Calcaterra's 'Dreamwielder', an exciting YA Fantasy! The cover is so beautiful for this one. I'm running a Giveaway at the end of this post and I've got some exciting stuff to share, including an Author Q&A! Don't forget to click the picture below to be taken to the Goodreads page.

Synopsis: Legend has foretold the demise of Emperor Thedric Guderian at the hands of a sorceress with royal blood, and the Emperor has made it his legacy to stamp out all magic from the Sargothian Empire in favor of primitive coal fired smelters and steam powered machines. When Guderian’s minions discover a Dreamwielder on a seaside farmstead, a chain of events forces Guderian’s new threat—the young Makarria—to flee from her home and embark upon an epic journey where her path intertwines with that of Princess Taera, her headstrong brother, Prince Caile, and the northman Siegbjorn, who captains a night-flying airship.

Dogging their every step is the part-wolf, part-raven sorcerer, Wulfram, and Emperor Guderian himself, a man who has the ability to stint magic and a vision to create a world where the laws of nature are beholden to men and machines. Only by learning to control the power she wields can Makarria save her newfound companions and stop the Emperor from irreversibly exterminating both the magic in humans and their bond with nature.

About The Author: Garrett Calcaterra is author of the epic fantasy novel DREAMWIELDER, available from Diversion Books. In addition, he is author of the horror collection UMBRAL VISIONS, and co-author of the mosaic fantasy novel THE ROADS TO BALDAIRN MOTTE. His humor titles include CODE BROWN and A GOOD BREW IS HARD TO FIND. When not writing, Garrett enjoys hiking with his two dogs and quaffing good beer.

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Author Q & A

So Garrett, Makarria and Caile meet up in this first book and start to bond—how much can you divulge about Makarria and Caile’s relationship in the next book? Do they end up together?

Ha! Nice try. No spoilers here. I will say this, though. They are much closer in Book 2, and the plot is, in part, directly tied in to their budding relationship. Just remember, new relationships are always hard. Compound that with the fact that Makarria and Caile have some new, very powerful, adversaries, and you don’t exactly have a great formula for a normal relationship.

It sounds like Book 2, Souldrifter, is going to have just as much drama and action as the first book.

It’s actually even more action packed. I worked really hard to make sure Souldrifter was better than Dreamwielder in every way, so the plot is full of action and twists, there are great new characters, and Makarria and Caile continue to grow as individuals.

How many more books do you have planned for the series?

Just one more book after Souldrifter, to round it out as a trilogy. That’s the plan, at least. Who knows? I’m just now starting Book 3, so things could change.

How long did it take you to come up with the world of the Five Kingdoms? And did you draw the map in the books yourself?

That’s a good question. I’m not entirely certain how long it took me to come up with the world. All said and done, I spent a good six months outlining Dreamwielder, developing my characters, and figuring out the world—which included coming up with the history and mythology of the Five Kingdoms and, yes, drawing the map myself. I’m not a horribly good artist, but if I take my time, I can put together a decent map.




Your novella, The Knight’s Dog, has blown up on Wattpad and frequently gets compared to George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. For readers who haven’t read your work before, would you say that The Dreamwielder Chronicles fall into the same vein?

Well, I hate comparing myself to other authors, particularly authors I admire, like Martin! How about this? Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is definitely an influence of mine. It’s more apparent in The Knight’s Dog, but I imagine you can see the influence in the Dreamwielder novels, too. Since the series is aimed toward a YA audience, it doesn’t have quite as much, uh, “adult content,” but that’s not to say it’s not dark and complex.

Okay, last question. What made you decide to have a young female protagonist? And who would play Makarria in a movie?


Hey, that’s two questions! Ha! Okay, the second question first. I think Sarah Hyland would do a great job as Makarria in a movie. Or maybe Hailee Steinfeld. As for the first question, it’s pretty simple. My mom literally dreamt up Makarria! The opening scene in Dreamwielder is based on the dream she had. Once she told me about it, I saw all the potential in Makarria as a character and the world she inhabited, and I just had to write the novel.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open internationally and finishing on October 25th so I can submit the Winner's information! Prizes will be mailed after October 27th. Good luck! Thanks Xpresso Book Tours for running the Giveaway!


Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books To Read If You Liked These Popular Books'.


I'm actually a huge fan of comparison Top Ten Tuesday lists! I wrote one before that compared films to books and had a great time! This week's topic is more about picking a super popular, hyped up book and finding a less well known book that will be equally enjoyable (or maybe more so) for a fan to read. I read quite a diverse selection of genres so I may struggle at times (Jack of all trades, master of none?) but hopefully I'll make it to ten!

1) If you liked 'The Three' by Sarah Lotz...

 >>> 


...then read 'The Silent History' by Eli Horowitz.

I read these books not too long after one another and remember being struck by how similar they were in style. At that time, I was seeing a fair few blog posts about 'The Three' commenting on how unique and interesting it was. As these are the only two books that are made up of accounts/articles/interviews etc. to tell a story, rather than a straight, linear plot-line, I would agree that both felt very original. I would wager that if you liked one, you will like the other.

2) If you liked the 'Twilight' series by Stephanie Meyer...


 >>> 


...then read 'Finding Sky' by Joss Stirling.

My intense dislike of 'Twilight' is no secret. And yet it remains a hugely popular book that even to this day receives a fair amount of hype. When I read 'Finding Sky' by Joss Stirling, I found the concept pretty similar. They both include a huge family with special powers who are seen as 'different'. They both include a heroine moving to a new place and starting a new school. They even both have a set of villains that somehow remind me of the Mafia. Yet I felt like 'Finding Sky' did it all a whole lot better. The romance was a little fast but wasn't creepy. Sky was a much feistier, more independent heroine than Bella was. So much better!

3) If you like 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green...


 >>> 


...then read 'Before I Die' by Jenny Downham.

I think the connection between the two is pretty clear, in their subject: Terminal Illness. Both books certainly had me in tears and yet only one of them received the huge amount of hype that they both deserve. 'Before I Die' was a heartbreaking look into the world of a young girl dying of Leukaemia and trying to live her life in the few precious weeks that she has left. If you shed tears when reading 'The Fault In Our Stars' then the last few chapters of 'Before I Die' will have you bawling.

4) If you like 'A Court Of Thorns & Roses' by Sarah J. Maas...


 >>> 


...then read 'Valiant' by Holly Black.

I haven't actually read 'A Court Of Thorns & Roses' but I've read the synopsis and I know that the Fae is heavily involved and there's a Beauty & The Beast-esque romance. 'Valiant' is actually the second in the 'Modern Faerie Tales' series but it could be read as a stand-alone book. It's my favourite from the series so far too as it's a gorgeous retelling of Beauty & The Beast and there is an abundance of Faeries to boot!

5) If you like 'The Name Of The Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss...


 >>> 


...then read the 'Black Magician' series by Trudi Canavan.

Okay first, just look at the covers. Mysterious, black-cloaked figures? There's your first similarity right there! But if that's not enough then the Guild in 'The Magician's Guild' and Kvothe's University in 'The Name Of The Wind' hopefully will be. They both reminded me of a much more grown up Hogwarts, with the idea of specialising in a particular type of magic prevalent as the series goes on. I loved both epic Fantasy reads!

6) If you like 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett...


 >>> 


...then read 'The Invention Of Wings' by Sue Monk Kidd.

Hmm...I haven't read 'The Help' either, but I know quite a lot about the story-line to be able to highlight the similarities to one of my favourite reads from last year. Racism is a very key, prevalent theme and forbidden friendship between a privileged member of society and the slaves that society shuns also run through it. There are themes of sexism too: both white ladies are keen to learn and study but are expected to marry. I know 'The Help' is very popular and I would love to see a novel based on very real events achieve the same level of popularity.

7) If you like 'The Lunar Chronicles' series by Marissa Meyer...


 >>> 


...then read 'Spinning Starlight' by R.C. Lewis.

Okay so I don't think that 'Spinning Starlight' is necessarily a completely unknown book but it's definitely not nearly as popular as Marissa Meyer's 'The Lunar Chronicles' which is a fantastic set of Sci-Fi Fairy Tale retellings. I've chosen 'Spinning Starlight' because it's actually even more Sci-Fi and a gorgeous retelling of a tale that isn't hugely well known. The original tale that it is based upon is beautiful and I think that Lewis got a lot of things right in it's retelling. It certainly impressed me! 

8) If you like 'The Lord Of The Rings' series by J.R.R. Tolkien...


 >>> 


...then read 'The Inheritance Cycle' by Christopher Paolini.

A lot of people who have encountered either of these series will have probably heard this already, and those that have read both will know exactly what I mean! The premise of these two books is actually quite different, but in the end the questing element, the length of the series, the intricately detailed world-building, the incorporation of other fantastical languages & races and a whole bunch of other things mean that if you like one, you'll most likely love the other just as much!

9) If you like 'The Grisha' series by Leigh Bardugo...


 >>> 


...then read 'Sunbolt' by Intisar Khanani.

Until I was writing this post I didn't really think about it but there are so many similarities between these two books. Firstly, the female MC is fantastic (and an orphan or dealing with parent issues), they hint romantically at someone who doesn't seem to feel the same way, and have powers that are linked to sunlight and need to be controlled. I love both series but was particularly impressed by 'Sunbolt' as it managed to blow me away in such a short amount of book space.

10) If you liked 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke...


 >>> 


...then read 'The Girl Who Chased The Moon' by Sarah Addison Allen.

The real link between these two is of course their Southern Gothic charm. I love the tone set in both books: everything is sugary sweet but with a hint of the sinister that leaves chills down your spine. I love both of these stories, despite Southern Gothic not necessarily being my favourite genre. The romance in both of these was pretty good too, with likeable heroines and mysterious love interests with a secret past and strange family. Great books!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Last Week's Shenanigans (21st September - 27th September)...

Compared to the last couple of weeks, this one has turned out to be relatively boring I'm afraid! On Monday Mat and I planned to go to Stratford but instead we had a good old sort out of our room, which has been neglected a little as of late. I am namely talking about the wardrobe because it was so disorganised and I had more coming in than going out. I feel a lot better now the room is a bit tidier!

I worked for the rest of the week, with the only interesting thing happening on Thursday: my Dad's birthday! I wasn't able to go and visit him but I gave him chocolates and the 'Child 44' DVD. I loved the book so much but I know he would appreciate the film more. On Sunday, Mat actually had a day off and so we went to Stratford as we had planned to earlier on in the week. It was a pretty successful shopping trip, with new trainers for him and some new jeans and pyjamas for me. Before shopping, we ate lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen which was delicious!

I Read:

Blitzes/Tours/Cover Reveals/Giveaways:



Memes:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn TBR List

Friday, 25 September 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: 'Girl Wife Prisoner'; Hanna Peach.


Hello everyone and welcome to my Book Blitz post for Hanna Peach's dark new contemporary romance 'Girl Wife Prisoner'. It is of the New Adult genre which is normally one I would overlook but something about this book caught my eye. Could it be the gorgeous cover? Or the intriguing synopsis that shows the book covers a very unusual subject? Either way, I'm excited about this book and at the end of this post there's a Giveaway for those who want to nab a copy for themselves! As usual, click the picture below to be taken to the Goodreads page!

Synopsis: How far would you go to set yourself free? Drake Blackwell is successful, controlling, and hiding a violent family past. He just made his latest investment: Noriko.

Imported from Japan and wed to a stranger, Noriko struggles to stick to the rules of a Good Wife. Drake can’t seem to love her, not the way she wants to be loved. She dreams of freedom beyond the gates of Blackwell Manor.

She meets Keir, a passionate young gardener who shares her desire to break free. He gets under her skin and ignites a fire in her she can’t ignore. In the midst of her quiet desperation she thinks she has found happiness. And a glimpse of hope. But this affair can’t last…can it?

There is a darkness lingering, but not how you’d expect. There are monsters, but not as you usually know them. The truth is, in this story, no one is completely innocent. And it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Although part of a series, this is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger. WARNING: For ages 18+. There are scenes in this novel that infer or allude to physical violence.

About The Author: Hanna is the bestselling author of the Bound romantic suspense series and the Dark Angel fantasy series. Although she writes in more than one genre she can't write a book without weaving together a complicated plot and filling it with twists. She writes what she believes: good people can do bad things, ordinary people can do great things and choose love above everything.

Eternally restless, Hanna has lived in Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Scotland, England, Croatia and Ireland - everything she owns fits into one suitcase. She's planning her next move with her gorgeous (and understanding) partner right now. If not writing, she can be found wandering a dusty market in Marrakesh or trekking a mountain in Peru, often using her travels as settings in her novels.

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Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Giveaway is open internationally and ends on October 12th to allow me time to submit the information! Prizes will be mailed out after October 15th. Good luck! Thanks Xpresso Book Tours for running this Blitz!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Book Review: Witch Hunter; Virginia Boecker.

Honestly I wasn't expecting to actually finish this book today, but I ended up having a bit of spare time on my hands and so I got through the last three quarters much quicker than expected. I'm pleased though, it means I'm a little more on track for reading a good number of books this month, despite it having been a slow month so far.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Witch Hunter
AUTHOR: Virginia Boecker
SERIES: The Witch Hunter (#1)
PUBLISHER: Orchard Books
PAGES: 369
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars


Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Grey doesn't look dangerous. A tiny, blonde, wisp of a girl shouldn't know how to poison a wizard and make it look like an accident. Or take out ten necromancers with a single sword and a bag of salt. Or kill a man using only her thumb. But things are not always as they appear. Elizabeth is one of the best witch hunters in Anglia and a member of the king's elite guard, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and bringing those who practice it to justice. And in Anglia, the price of justice is high: death by burning.

When Elizabeth is accused of being a witch herself, she's arrested and thrown in prison. The king declares her a traitor and her life is all but forfeit. With just hours before she's to die at the stake, Elizabeth gets a visitor - Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in Anglia. He offers her a deal: he will free her from prison and save her from execution if she will track down the wizard who laid a deadly curse on him.

As Elizabeth uncovers the horrifying facts about Nicholas's curse and the unwitting role she played in its creation, she is forced to redefine the differences between right and wrong, friends and enemies, love and hate... and life and death.

What I Liked:
  • The plot was the most enjoyable aspect of the book, particularly the second half. It didn't totally grab me to begin with, but I was hooked as it went on and I thought that Boecker paced it perfectly. I never found myself completely bored of it, as something was always going on but not so much that I found it too fast paced either. It wasn't completely original I suppose, but it was certainly an easy, fun read with a story-line I would like to see continued.
  • This one is slightly tricky but let me just talk about the characters, or in particular, our main character Elizabeth Grey. Why is it tricky? Because to begin with I didn't warm to her at all. But I'll tell you all why in the end I decided she was worth my time. She was one of the most kind-hearted, open-minded heroines I have read from in a while. I liked watching her develop as the book progressed and it was nice to read from the POV of a character willing to listen rather than blindly follow her beliefs without considering others. The romance was a good read too, particularly as I didn't feel that the love triangle got in the way as it has done in the past with other books.
What I Disliked:
  • Let me just quickly mention why I didn't like Elizabeth Grey to begin with, because I feel like it's an important note for those that are not a fan of reckless characters. The blurb paints Miss Grey as a lethal, ass-kicking, notorious witch-hunter. In truth, she's a bit of a blunderer who couldn't even strike fear into the cowardly lion, let alone the Mages she is supposed to be hunting. She makes a lot of mistakes. This happens all through the book. In the end, I found her warm heart and selfless deeds outweighed this flaw but I know a fair few people who would be less forgiving.
  • I guess, despite growing to like this book, I still didn't feel entirely convinced by it or by Boecker's writing. The world-building was recognisably an alternate version of Medieval Britain and yet it could have done with a bit more (though I loved the reference to Stepney Green, where I currently live!). The conversations fell a bit flat at times, a couple of sub-plots weren't necessary and I think the characterisation generally could do with some work.
Overall Conclusion:
This was a tricky review to write because despite some obvious problems, I did actually end up liking this book and wanting to continue the series. Plot-wise (though nothing new) it was entertaining and action-filled, with a couple of interesting twists and turns along the way. The main character was just the kind that would usually disappoint me too, but I ended up kind of liking her other attributes. I just really hope that there's a little more conviction and personality in the next instalment so that I grow to love it! This series has so much potential!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books On My Autumn TBR List'.


These are seriously my favourite TBR lists to make because I love looking ahead at all the books I want to read over the next few months. Hopefully I'll get round to them all!

1) 'More Than This'; Patrick Ness.

My great hope is to get round to this book at some point this month because I have been wanting to read something by Patrick Ness for a long time! I actually had this book on my Summer TBR list after getting it for my birthday but haven't got round to it until now. I'm so excited for this one though guys, I just hope it's as good as I'm counting on it being!

2) 'A Feast For Crows'; George R.R. Martin.

Yet another book on this month's TBR that I'm ridiculously excited about. I love this series! I've heard some slightly worrying reviews for this particular instalment in the series but then on the other side of the coin, I am eager to keep getting through this series because I'm having withdrawal symptoms from the books and the TV series. I probably won't get much further than this one for fear of spoilers though!

3) 'Horns'; Joe Hill.

Autumn? Does that mean...Halloween? Of course it does! I actually bought this book such a long time ago and wanted to read it as soon as possible. In fact, I did start it, but for some reason never got round to finishing the whole thing (I didn't really get beyond the first chapter). The reason for that is not because I was not enjoying it, more that I didn't have time to commit to it. It's time to get back to a book that I put on hold for a long time.

4) 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children'; Ransom Riggs.

I want to read this book so bad! It's looking like Autumn is going to be a month for books that have been on the shelf for a flipping long time! I heard about this book when I first started blogging and thought it looked both creepy and intriguing. Autumn is the perfect time for those kinds of books! Especially as the second instalment is out already and the third well on it's way!

5) 'High Rise'; J.G. Ballard.

This is another book that was on my Summer TBR that I never read. A film was being made of this book (with Tom Hiddleston in it) that drew my attention and made me really want to read the book. I didn't get round to it in the last three months but I'm determined to before Winter, particularly as Ballard's books are renowned for being such great reads! 


6) 'Magic Study; Maria V. Snyder.

So let's get into a couple of series that I need to read the next books of. I'm trying really hard this year to get further into some series that I've not progressed with very well. I adored the first book in this series, 'Poison Study', and it's shocking to me that I haven't got further. I simply need  to know what's happening with Yelena and all the other wonderful characters I met in the first book!


7) 'World After'; Susan Ee.

I read 'Angelfall' pretty recently actually, and really enjoyed it! It's been a while since I've read a decent series with Angels in it and I would love to finish this one because it has been great reading so far. A friend of mine at work read the first book on my recommendation, then raced through the rest of the series and loved it! It has made me feel a little behind and given me the urge to make more progress!

8) 'Mary Hades'; Sarah Dalton.

Time to throw another spooky read into the mix! I actually won this book in a Giveaway and I wanted to read something by Sarah Dalton because her books look so good! Again, it's been a while since I have read a Ghost Story! That's a shame too because I've actually missed Horror as a genre, and I really do think this is going to be a good one!


9) 'Lumière'; Jacqueline Garlick.

Do you know what other genre feels like an Autumn genre? Steampunk! I've no idea why that's true (certainly in my case) but I really want to read some and this is the perfect pick. I've recently posted a Book Blitz on it, and then managed to acquire a copy from Netgalley. The excerpts sounded great so I'm quite excited about it!


10) 'The Historian'; Elizabeth Kostova.

Like 'Horns', I started this book a long time ago when I was very young. I hadn't read 'Dracula' then and didn't really understand what was going on. Coming back to it many years later seems like a great idea now, I think I'll be a lot more appreciative of what I'm reading. I've read great things about Kostova's writing so I'm very excited! I own her other book 'The Swan Thieves' too so I'm hoping I get into her writing as much as I think I will!