Wednesday, 30 December 2015

December Book Haul

Until I got them all together I didn't realise how books I had acquired this month. Oh my. Oh dear. My poor TBR pile/shelf/mountain...

1. Echo Boy by Matt Haig

I've been eyeing this up for ages and never picked it up.

In this world there are AI's called Echos. Daniel is one of these Echos and has started to develop feelings towards a girl called Audrey that he was never programmed to have. It sounds so interesting and reminds me of the programme Humans.

2. The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris.

This is simply a retelling of Loki's attempt to destroy Asgard but with me being a lover of all mythologies I couldn't not pick it up!

3. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu.

June is seeking her brothers killer whilst on the run. Day, whilst also on the run meets June. Neither know anything about one another past. But Day murdered June's brother.

4. Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

In all honesty I haven't the foggiest about this one. I saw that Pierce Brown, my new favourite author, had read it and I had a "I MUST HAVE IT" moment. But I'm getting an epic fantasy feel from it with the mention of swords and thieves.

5. Night Clock by Paul Meloy.

Mental illness mixed with fantasy. Sounds intense but amazing. Phil cannot understand why his patients are killing themselves but when he meets Daniel the war that rages on for the minds of humanity is revealed.

6. Cress By Marissa Meyer.

The third book of the Lunar Chronicles that focuses on Rapunzel's retelling.

7. Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

When you can hear everyones thoughts and they can hear yours there are no secrets. No privacy. Then one month before his birthday Todd discovers a place of absolute silence. Is should be impossible.

8. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

Three Kingdoms at war. A princess, a sorceress and a rebel must each chose a side.

9. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan.

Percy doesn't know it but he's the son of Poseidon and destined to attend Camp Half-Blood. A training facility for Demi-Gods. When he finds out all hell breaks loose.

10. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Kvothe has done all that is possible in his life. He has been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt. In Name of the Wind he recounts all of the events of his youth.

11. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

Yelena had a choice. Death or become the Commander of Ixia's food taster and risk assassination from poison daily.

Those are all the books I have acquired in December. This month I won't be doing a wrap up only because I have reviews planned for all the books I've read so it'd simply be me repeating my fangirling.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas/any holiday you celebrate.

Katie x

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Name: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN: 9781783295401
Rating: 4/5

Kell is one of the last Antari, blood magicians with the ability to create doors between the three Londons. Once anyone with an semblance of magical ability could travel between the worlds but that was before Black London fell. Now White London is ruled by a set of tyrannical twins who attempt to control what magic they have left, Red London is Kell's home where he was raised alongside the heir to the throne and magic thrives and Grey London where the lack of magic has driven most insane including the ruler. 

Delilah Bard will forever be one of my favourite female characters. Her dry sense of humour is brilliant and her sarcasm is even better. Her interactions with Kell were some of my favourites scenes in the book. However, I both love and hate that as a reader we were never given a full explanation of the significance of what Master Tieren said. (I'm being purposefully vague) I have a theory but to explain it would be a mahoosive spoiler. 

Kell was an enigma in this novel. I liked how he acted and also the conviction he had in his actions. I must say that coat of many sides was a brilliant idea too. I really want one. I wish we'd learned more about Kell's background along with him but after hunting like a mad woman I found out there is a second novel coming out in February 2016, we may find out more about Kell there. I also liked how he didn't really have a love interest, Delilah was a partner in crime more than anything. It created such a different dynamic. 

Now for the plot. I liked how even the side characters had a real purpose in driving the plot forward. Astrid and Athos Dane, though they are horrendous people it was done so very well. (I'm a little biased as I love the name Astrid and have a character named that in my WIP). I thought the overall plot moved very well, consistently making me want to continue reading. The only thing that stopped me from giving this 5/5 was how quickly the ending crept up. Considering the build up, having to pass through each London and encountering some form of problem the ending seemed a little abrupt. 

All in all I really enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic. I found it to be a quick read with an action packed plot. I fully intend to get A Gathering of Shadows when it comes out.  

Have you read this? What did you think?

Katie x

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award!

I promise I totally didn't squeal when I saw that I'd been nominated...

Thank you so much to the lovely Gina over at A Thousand Books for nominating me, and thank you to those of you who read my blog, comment, share my love of all things book and fangirl along with me. You are all fabulous and I love you dearly.

Now for the rules:

-Thank the blogger who nominated you.  
- List the rules display the word button.  
- Give seven facts about yourself!  
- Nominate fifteen other bloggers for the award and make sure to notify them!  
- Display the award button on your blog and follow the blogger that nominated you.

My seven facts:

1. My middle name is Jayne. 

2. I work at a bookstore. 

3. Penguins are my favourite animal. 

4. I'm fascinated by mythology and folklore. 

5. I hate bananas. 

6. I am currently trying to write a novel. 

7. Winter is my favourite season to eat ice lollies in. 

The wonderful people I want to nominate are:

Jen @ GameReadBlog

Daphne @ Winged Reviews

Renu @ The Page Turner 

Stacey @ Pretty Books

Jen @ The Bookavid 

Jennie May @ The Book Journal

These are the people I could think of off the top of my head. All brilliant book bloggers. 

Please leave your blog name in the comments. I'm always on the lookout of more to read. 

Katie x

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Review: Snow like Ashes - Sara Raasch

Name: Snow like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (An imprint of Harper Collins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-2286932
Rating: 4.5/5

Primoria is split into different Kingdoms known as the Seasons and the Rhythms. Within these Kingdoms is a magic controlled by a Conduit, an object owned by the ruler of that Kingdom. These conduits allow rulers to give strength to their people, make a harvest yield more, anything that will benefit their people. The Leader of Spring became power mad and virtually enslaved all the Winterians except for 25 that escaped the night he attacked. Now the number of these refugees had dwindled to a mere 8 that are still searching for both halves of the conduit they believe can restore their land and help them overthrow Spring.

Sara Raasch's writing is on par with Sarah J. Maas. Coming from me that is a compliment of the highest calibre. Her characters are wonderfully written, relatable and above all aren't perfect which I personally love. The world building is done very well, there's always a risk with the first book in a series that an information overload will occur but Raasch weaves in the details of Primoria almost imperceptibly.

The plot and ideas are glorious. The idea of a land split by the Seasons is something I can't recall seeing in YA or Fantasy before now. A very fresh idea. I will admit it took me a while to really knuckle down and read because I felt like the beginning was somewhat slow (The only reason this isn't 5/5) however I decided late on night to try and finish it. All the way through the novel there are hints about what occurs at the end (I won't say what it is cause spoilers) but that doesn't become apparent until the plot twist. I find plot twists somewhat cliche most of the time though I loved the way this one was done.

Meira. The kick-ass female that proves everyone wrong. The way she interacts with other characters is hilarious, she will not back down if she has a point or is she feels hard done too. Her friendship with Mather is adorable and as a reader I wanted them together as much as they wanted to get together. Mather reminds me of Cal from Red Queen. A future ruler who feels the weight of the world on their shoulders and wants nothing more than to remove the pressure.

I could go on and on about this novel but I'll be here for days.

I would highly recommend this to fans of the Throne of Glass series or Red Queen.

Have you read this?

Katie x

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Five Seven Five by C.E. Wilson

Name: Five Seven Five
Author: C.E. Wilson
Pages: 205
Format: E-Book
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Rating: 4/5

"When an accident threatens White Frost’s only chance of learning the truth about her rigid society, she knows that she has to take a risk. Putting her faith in someone she barely knows, White discovers a world above her own – and bigger than she could have ever imagined. It is in this strange new world that she finds out there is so much more to life than darkness and candlelight. There are colors and light that match the mysterious collections of words that have been tantalizing her for months. Blue skies that leak tears. Green grass that expands to a horizon she can’t comprehend. Everything she’s ever wanted is right in front of her, but at what cost? Nothing is free and she begins to realize too late that all information comes at a price."

**I received a free copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review**

This book was nothing like I expected. I was anticipating something like the Hunger Games or Divergent but what I read leant more towards R.J Anderson's Faery Rebels series.

I liked the plot, I felt it moved with a good consistent pace. I did have to take a moment to digest the truth about the Creators along with White, which is always a sign of a good book. I wasn't emotionally rung out by the end of the novel which I am very grateful for considering the turmoil I've been put through by books recently. (Red Rising, I'm pointing the finger at you. Review for that to some soon.) Five Seven Five was a really enjoyable and easy read. 

Can I say how much I love the title of the book and also the series? It's wonderfully ambiguous but when you read the book and have the 'lightbulb moment' it's lovely.  The boy with words kind of reminds me of the nickname Peeta gets in hunger games, boy with the bread. 

White. She's just so damn cool. I think she's a character that most people can relate to on some level which is great. She simply wants more out of life. To see a colour that isn't grey or black. A natural colour. And she just wants to eat mashed carrots though truthfully I prefer mine raw. I really like the name of the characters too. Shade, Salt, White. My favourite though has to be Kestrel. I probably profess my love for the names of characters in most reviews but I'm a sucker for a nice name. 

Overall, I'd highly recommend this for fans of the Faery Rebels, the Borrowers and to an extent the Hunger Games. 

Available for purchase on Amazon as an Ebook and Paperback.

November Wrap Up

November was a pretty decent reading month considering I've been working a few more shifts in the run up to Christmas. I managed to read four novels and one graphic novel! I think the fact I've been focused on trying to write my own novel took away from my reading time, but I'm fine with that!

1.  A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

I thought the magic system in this was brilliant. I will post more of my thoughts on this in an upcoming review. For now, just know I thought it was great and I will definitely be picking up the next instalment that comes out February 2016. 

2. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

*Dissolves into pile of fangirl drivel* Again review coming very soon! 

3. Spook's Revenge by Joseph Delaney 4.5/5

This was such a good conclusion to the Wardstone Chronicles. I've read this series for years and had a massive book hangover when I finished but it ended well. I'm so excited that another series has been done off the back of this one too! Alice will forever be my favourite character, she's just so damn sassy. 

4. Spook's Alice 4/5

Though this was part of the overall story of the Wardstone Chronicles I felt it lacked something without the other characters. It literally is the tale of Alice fighting her way into the fiends domain to retrieve a sacred knife. I love her as a character but she needs someone to balance her, like Tom. 

5. Rat Queens V.2 : The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth by Wiebe, Upchurch and Sejic 5/5

In this volume we got to learn more about the characters in the comic which I loved. I also really like the plot of this comic, less them going on a mission and more saving a friend off their own back. Highly recommend this for fans of Saga. 

What did you read this month?

Katie x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

YA November Book Haul

This is the second half of my epic November book haul. To see the first part click here.

1. Redeemed by P.C & Kristin Cast

Book Twelve of the House of Night series.

Following an eclectic cast of characters who are 'marked' to become vampires and are sent to the House of Night school. Zoey Redbird is a special vampire, her mark is already filled in making her somewhat of a spectacle at school and a target for those who are jealous.

2. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

A birthday present from my friends at work. (Who also got me the awesome Game of Thrones colouring book)

Takeo is the sole survivor of a massacre in his village, he managed to cheat death but his life will never be his own again.

3. Soundless by Richelle Mead.

Any book by Richelle is now an autobuy.

Fei cannot remember a time when there was any sound in her village. Her people are at the mercy of a mysterious faraway Kingdom, which delivers food in return for precious metals mined from the treacherous cliffs surrounding them. When villages begin to lose their sight everything descends into chaos. Everyone Fei loves is in danger.

4.Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Second book in the Lunar Chronicles. Retelling of wonderful fairytales with a sci-fi twist.

5. To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

Novellas set in the Sabriel world of thrilling magic and a deathly duel.

6.  Clariel by Garth Nix

A prequel to the best selling Old-Kingdom series.

7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Third book of the Divergent trilogy.

Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a 'perfect society'. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice Prior renames herself Tris, rejects her family's Abnegation group, and chooses another faction.

8. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I found a signed copy!!

Finding out your long lost father is a Norse God isn't exactly the easiest of information to digest, it isn't helped by the fact Magnus is being chased. The Gods of Asgard are preparing for war and if Magnus can't find the sword his father lost two thousand years ago there will be doom. 

9. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. 


That concludes part two of my epic book haul. 

Katie x

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

November Fantasy Book Haul

My bank account is crying currently considering the amount of books I've bought this month. I managed to acquire that many books that I've had to split my haul in two. This part of my haul will focus on the fantasy/sci-fi books I bought/ were given. (This month was also my birthday)

1. Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

The premise of this novel really intrigued me!

On Earth, after a blast occurred, only twins are born. The twin considered inferior is branded and sent away but Cass and her twin Zach cannot be separated. Twins have no similarities, they share nothing except the moment of their death.

2. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I've seen countless reviews and hauls on BookTube of this book and have only just picked it up.

Kelsea has been in hiding waiting for the moment that she comes of age and can take back her kingdom, the problem is her kingdom is in disarray and overrun with corrupt people all wanting power for themselves. Kelsea will either be the greatest ruler the land has ever known or will be killed shortly.

3. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

A recommendation from a colleague.

Normally invaders are kept away from the keep by the silent men who roam the forest, however one invader has made her way into the keep, Lady Oonagh a beautiful sorceress with a black heart. She has every male member of Lord Colum's family in her thrall but she cannot enchant his daughter, Sorcha. Annoyed that her plan will fail she casts a spell on Sorcha's brothers that only she can lift. If she fails, they die.

4. The Broken World by J D Oswald

The fourth book in the Ballad of Sir Benfro series. The synopsis of the first taken from goodreads as there is no simple way to explain this:

The dragons of Gwlad are dying. A sad, shrunken echo of the once-proud creatures of their myths, now they shuffle through their last days, hidden by their subtle arts from the men who have persecuted and killed them for over two millennia. Yet in amongst this quiet decline, there is new life. Benfro, son of Morgwm the Green, the first male kitling in a thousand years. His hatching at the confluence, when great Rasalene the moon covers Arhelion the sun, must surely mark him for great things. For long ago dragons wrought a deep wrong on the land, and now is come the time to make amends.

5.  Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch

This is so so so so amazing. Fangirling review soon to come. 

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered, it's people enslaved by the Kingdom of Spring and their callous ruler. With no magic or monarch all the people are left with is hope and even that's running out. Meira was orphaned during the battle, she has lived her life training as a soldier and one of initially twenty-eight (ish) refugees. They attempt to gain the pieces of their Kingdoms locket so they can restore magic and they've just been told the location of one half. 

6. Finale Empire by Brandon Sanderson 

Mistborn series book one. This is a high fantasy staple that I have yet to read... shame on me. I will also fail horribly if I tried to describe the plot of this book therefore have more goodreads synopsis wonderfulness: 
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.

Those are all the fantasy books I acquired this month. 

What books did you get?  

Katie x

P.S would you be interested in knowing what books I've been sent for review each month?

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Name: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Pages: 225
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hot Key Books
ISBN: 978-1-4714-0398-9
Rating: 4/5

Cadence Sinclair goes to Beechwood Island every summer with her parents to see her Grandparents. The matriarch and patriarch of the illustrious Sinclair family. Her Aunties and Uncles goes to this island every summer as well taking their children with them. Cady gets on well with all but non more so than her beloved Liars; Johnny, Mirren and Gat. Summer fifteen something happens, an accident. Cady remembers nothing except she thinks she hit her head swimming and when she finally returns to this island two years later no one will tell her what she can't remember.

I read this in a day. Granted it's not a massive novel but I couldn't stop myself, I was hooked. I'll admit I had no clue what was going on but I loved learning about Cady's summers on Beechwood with Johnny, Mirren and Gat. Their friendship was portrayed wonderfully though I still can't figure out why they decided to be known as the 'Liars.'

One thing I will say is that Cady's mother infuriated me throughout the novel. I found her far too overbearing and manipulative. In fact all the Auntie's were manipulative in using their children to try and persuade the Grandfather to give them certain aspects of his estate. However, in the end I found Cady's mother justified in how coddling she was.

The reason this doesn't get 5/5 is because some aspects I felt confused by. Cady often says that she's bleeding and at one point says that Gat wraps white gauze around her wrists. I can't tell if this is metaphorical or not. If it's metaphorical then choose a better metaphor. Self harm isn't a good metaphor. It isn't good full stop and it needs to stop being romanticised. If Cady was struggling with self harm I think the airs and graces around it need removing. Why was it only the love interest that noticed how she was hurting? Why didn't her parents or the other Liars? I can't quite wrap my head around that and I feel Lockhart missed an opportunity in the sense that she could have shown how depression has no real reason. Someone may feel that way but have everything they could ever want. Cady would've been a great representation of this.

Overall I enjoyed this but not as much as I thought I would've.

In case you wish to read more about E. Lockhart's other novels here is my review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

Katie x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Name: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1-4088-5786-1
Rating: 5/5

In this world under the laws of the Treaty to kill any member of the Fae requires a life debt. However, Feyre does not know this and unknowingly kills a Fae whilst out hunting, that night a beast bursts into her house demanding she pay that life debt either by going to live in Pyrthian with the Fae or have her guts spilled there and then. Against her better judgement Feyre goes to live with the Fae, and not just any Fae, a High Lord of Pyrthian. The Fae have always been viewed as bestial, uncivilised creatures but that isn't what Feyre sees as she lives with them in a rather gorgeous manor.

By this point any book Sarah J. Maas brings out is now an auto buy. ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) was initally a retelling of Beauty and the Beast which you can definitely see in some aspects. Feyre has to go and live with Tamlin (A Fae) against her wishes in order to protect her family. The house is full of servants that dote on their Lord (like Cogsworth and Mrs.Potts do in the disney film.) There's some rather unpleasant people, to put it mildly. Towards the end of the novel I felt it drifted away from being a retelling and took on a life of its own which wasn't a bad thing in the slightest!

I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters. I particularly felt for Feyre with how, even though she's the youngest she had to look after her two older sisters and her father, yet she was never thanked for all that she does. Lucien is wonderful. Such a sarcastic and cheeky bloke. His devotion to Tamlin is admirable, though he can be a bit of a prick every now and again. Tamlin is just plain adorable. You can see how awkward he is around Feyre for no other reason than he's trying to be nice but has no clue how to act around a human woman. Bless him.

The plot I felt moved with great pace never too slow or too fast. Even with such heartbreaking moments dotted throughout the story there were still plenty of light moments that balanced it perfectly. In fact it was the light moments that had me in tears more often then anything else. I was frantically texting whilst in hysterics trying to explain how the fact that Feyre was crying over a painting meant that I was crying over a painting and I was a blubbering mess. I believe I was book drunk. That is a thing and no one can tell me otherwise. I was never left confused by anything that was happening in the try which makes for an easy and enjoyable read.

I don't know how I'll cope as after searching through Sarah's Blog I found that ACOTAR 2 (no title yet) is being released on May 3rd 2016.

Only seven months...

Seven months...


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

October Wrap Up

I think I had a pretty good reading month if I do say so myself.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

I enjoyed this a lot! I had a few minors issues with the plot and though it was a surprise I'm not overly sold on the ending. I will be posting a full review of this in the future and will discuss this in depth there.

2. Half Bad by Sally Green 3/5

I like this in theory. The concept of Black and White witches had been done before but the idea of a child that is half White and half Black is very different. Poor Nathan was shunned from both sides and treated particularly horrifically by a number of people. However, I felt this novel dragged on. It took a while to gain pace and I wasn't overly enamoured with the writing style. I abhorred one of the characters with the fury of a thousand souls.

3. Haf Wild by Sally Green 3/5

I had exactly the same problems with this novel. Great in theory but didn't deliver as well as it could have. I do plan on picking up the other book when it comes out but mainly to gain closure.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

ASDFGHJKL. omg. The genius behind the Throne of Glass series wrote a retelling of beauty and the beast? You know there's gonna be a whole page of fangirl very soon.

4. Slither's Tale by Joseph Delaney 4/5

I will forever hail this as one of my favourite series' but this isn't my favourite novel from it. I like learning about new characters but I'm infatuated with the original ones. Grimalkin did feature in this, for a comparison think Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass) minus the iron teeth and nails. Yes, she's that badass. Slither is a haizda mage, a race of creature from a species known as Kobalos. He takes blood from humans and cattle and has now struck up a trade with three girls' father. The trade is sacred among Kobalos and must be fulfilled.

5. Saga Volume 3 by Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughn 5/5

Alana and Marko are husband and wife on the run from their respective authorities after ditching their posts and literally sleeping with the enemy. Their daughter Hazel, is at the centre of it all and it narrating what went on. Basically, this is one of my favourite graphic novel series. So dang cool.

6. Saga Volume 4 by Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughn 4/5 

Admittedly I didn't enjoy this instalment as much as the last but it still kicked ass. 

7. Walking Dead Volume One by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore 5/5

Walkers bite you. You're a gonner. The series that inspired the ABC hit series. 

8. Chew Volume One by John Layman & Rob Guillory 5/5

Tony chu is a cibopath. He can tell where an apple had grown just by eating it. He's now been headhunted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to work with them regarding the chicken black market. Did I forget to mention that chicken is now illegal? 

Those are all the books I've read in the month of October. What did you read?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

October Book Haul

October was an excellent month for books both buying and reading!

1. Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver.

These are books two and three of the Delirium trilogy. Honestly, it's been a good long while since I read Delirium, so I think I'm going to have to marathon the trilogy. The basic plot is that love is viewed as a curse that drove people mad, both when they did and didn't have it. At the age of eighteen everyone gets 'the cure', essentially a lobotomy that rids the brain of love. Lena is highly excited about getting this cure but then as always a guy gets involved and **** hits the fan.

2. Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix.

The second and third book in the Old Kingdom trilogy, the first being Sabriel. A fantasy world in which two types of magic exist, Charter and Free magic. Sabriel has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom hiding away from the power of Free magic. Now, going on a Finding Nemo-like quest she needs to find her father and to do so much venture back into the Old Kingdom to find him.

3. Golden Son by Pierce Brown.

Second book in the Red Rising Trilogy. Reds as the workers and Golds are the nobility. For years the Reds have been hoodwinked in to believing that they are helping the people of Earth. The main character uncovers this all as a lie when he discovers that Mars has been habitable for generations.
(Sidenote: This author's instagram feed is brilliant. I completely concur with Tashopolis here.)

4. Souless by Gail Carriger.

I know nothing about this book and series. I was told by a friend, whose opinion has never led me astray before, that I would love it, so I trusted her. She said steampunk and parasols, I was in. There are vampires, werewolves and a girl named Alexia with a soulless ability. Colour me intrigued.

5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

After hearing endless raves from BookTuber's I saw the beautiful hardback edition and just had to get it. Laia is a Scholar, a slave under the rule of the Empire. In order to enslave these Scholars an elite group of soldiers known as the Masks must help. Elias is one of the Masks. But when Elias and Laia meet they work together and yet again **** hits the fan. There is a running theme of guys getting involved and the proverbial **** hitting the fan, coincidence? There is a wonderful quote on the back of the novel "Life is made of so many moments that means nothing. Then one day a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after."

6. Outcast Volume One by Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta.

Another horror comic! Kyle has been plagued with demonic possession and now he wants answers. I get a supernatural vibe from this synopsis given the who demon thing.

7. Rat Queens Volume Two by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchuch & Stjepan Sejic.

The Rat Queens are a group of Mercenaries that are sent on varying missions. They drink copious amounts, get up to amorous activities and basically kick ass.

8. Saga Volume Five by Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughn.

Alana and Marko are husband and wife on the run from their respective authorities after ditching their posts and literally sleeping with the enemy. Their daughter Hazel, is at the centre of it all and it narrating what went on. Basically, this is one of my favourite graphic novel series. So dang cool.

9. Ready, Set, Novel!

So to speak this isn't a book but I thought I'd include it anyway. This is a journal to aid writers in creating a novel. It comes from the people who created NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and contains activities, ideas and all sorts to aid the budding author.

What books did you get this month?

Katie x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Name: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Pages: 383
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978-1-4091-5584-3
Rating: 4.5/5

This world is divided into Reds and Silvers. Reds are the lower class, the labourers, soldiers and servants then Silvers are the nobility, the royalty, the ones with abilities and power. Then one girl completely subverts everything both classes thought they knew, she's a Red with the abilities of a Silver and the royal family really don't want that getting out.

Basically, I love this. I think the world building was brilliantly done. I could practically feel Mare's awe when she was wandering around in the Silver's city. The contrast between the Stilts and the Palace was great. I think my favourite part of the world created is how the Silvers use their abilities to manipulate buildings and entertain but as Mare said that's all they have.

Mare is wonderfully cynical, sharp tongued and sassy.  She doesn't care that the King is talking to her and will say whats on her mind. Though I find her somewhat in decisive and a bad judge of character (You'll see what I mean when you read this.) I adore Cal. Such a fiery bloke, pun intended. The difference between him and Maven is brilliant. Really shows what beings in the spotlight is really like.

Then Queen however, her I'm not particularly fond of, but I suppose you're not meant to be fond of her.

I shan't reveal what the twist(s) are in this novel but they are marvellously dramatic and have me dying to read the next novel which comes out in February 2016 and is called the Glass Sword.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Name: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 645
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1-4088-5861-5
Rating: 5/5

This review will be in two portions. The first half a spoiler free review then the second quite simply is about a page of me fangirling about the wonderfulness of this novel.

Spoiler Free Review:

I've genuinely just finished reading this book and I needed to jump onto here in order to get all of my thoughts  down on paper, or rather screen before they became a jumbled mess.

Sarah J. Maas' writing simply gets better and better with each book, meaning I can't wait for the next instalment of the Throne of Glass series. She has a wonderful ability to create a magical realm that's easy to visualise and could possibly exist, or rather I wished it existed.

In Queen of Shadows new aspects of this world are revealed adding more depth to the story as a whole. The same can be said about the characters too. New layers are added to each persona making them easier to love and loathe when appropriate.

In this novel my favourite characters were by far Manon Blackbeak, Celaena, Rowan and Lysandra. In truth all of the characters in the Throne of Glass saga all brilliant in their own way. They work together as a unit to provide entertainment and great banter. Especially Celaena and Rowan. Though this instalment is very serious plot wise the light moments in which the characters are just having fun are a great balance to the overall tone.

Yet another fantastic book from Sarah J. Mass



Okay so I'm thinking after reading this novel that my dream of Aelin and Manon working together may happen one day! Their fight scene was simply phenomenal but what I loved more was the fact that Aelin saved her enemy from what she called a 'shitty death for such a spectacular fighter.' It shows her compassionate side but also left open the opportunity for an Ironteeth alliance! #Maelin

Then theres Nesryn. She is just brilliant! I'm looking forward to see how her and Chaol's relationship develops because there is clearly something there between them.

Bringing me onto Chaol. I've had an issue with him since Nehemia-gate much like Aelin but I warmed to him again in the latter half of this though I still prefer Aelin with Rowan.

My heart. My poor beating heart. All of the feels this book caused was ridiculous. I sat reading with my parents and they were genuinely concerned at the amount of times I was gasping. Dorian was the main cause to begin with, then there was Arobynn putting the bloody ring on Aelin. I freaked out. I couldn't cope with it.

The biggest surprise came in the form of Lysandra. She is absolutely wonderful. Her friendship that formed with Aelin was beautiful. Then the surprise about her heritage as a Shifter? Such a good twist! It was nice to see Aelin have a female friend again.

I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

September Wrap Up

This month was a fairly average reading month with my reading total at three graphic novels and three novels.

So to begin:

1. Lexicon by Max Barry 4.5/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this, more so than I thought I would've. Based around the concept that there are certain words that can bypass the brains defences and enable the user of said words to  control that person. Then there are bare words that completely control people, every kind of person and order them to do anything.

For a full review of this book look no further than here.

2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas 5/5

Oh holy hell, the fourth instalment of The Throne of Glass series. Wonderful. Brilliant. I fangirled like a lunatic in an upcoming review. I shan't mention anything about the novel here 'cause spoilers.

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 4.5/5

This was phenomenal. I got a Hunger Games kinda vibe with the whole Reds are the lower class Silvers are the nobility thing. However, there is one girl who doesn't fit this pattern, Mare Barrow. Mare is a Red with a Silver's ability and that isn't ideal for either side.

A review of this will also be coming soon.

4. Wytches Volume One by Scott Snyder 3.5/5

By far the creepiest graphic novel I've ever read. Sailor has been through the ringer and also struggles with anxiety which isn't made easier when a psychotic girl from her old town made her life hell in ways she couldn't imagine. Then gets her comeuppance as she's dragged into a tree by Wytches but Sail can't get away from that girl or the Wytches. She's been pledged and that doesn't end well.

5. Nail Biter Volume One by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. 4/5

Again, creepy but very good! A town named Buckaroo has a reputation for producing serial killers lovingly named the 'Buckaroo Butchers.' Now there is another serial killer on the loose and the police have to enlist the help of an acquitted serial killer, also lovingly known as the 'Nail Biter' to figure out who is behind these attacks.

6. Rat Queens: Volume One Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch 4.5/5

Love. Quite simply love. The Rat Queens are a band of mercenaries that kick monster ass. This graphic novel contains everything I love, magic, kick ass females, monsters and a helluva lot of drinking.

Those are all the novels I read this month.

What books did you read?

Monday, 5 October 2015

Unpopular Opinions Tag

I figured doing book tags on a blog is a little different, and in some cases a little harder but I thought I'd give it a go.

Without further delay I present the Unpopular Opinions book tag (Original)

1. A popular book that you didn't like.

For me that was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I didn't completely dislike it, I just had far greater expectations for it. Greg was far to whiney for my liking but I adored Earl's character. I laughed at a lot of scenes but then the ending was distinctly lack lustre and a bit of a cop out. Though I won't mention it because spoilers.

2.  A popular book/series that everyone hates but you love.

Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater. I've seen these get a lot of negative press but I've always loved them. They're a perfect cosy up during winter with a hot chocolate read. The seasons play a major part in them in that the wolves only turn during the winter season and are human in the summer. A bit different to the typical full moon palaver which I like.

3. A love triangle that didn't end how you wanted. 

Honestly, I'm easily pleased with love triangles but the one that sticks out for this category is definitely Twilight. Not because I wasn't a fan of the man but I can't stand Bella. I've never seen such a weak female protagonist that claims to be strong. Bella acted as if she was indestructible but clearly wasn't and went round causing issues with Jacob. Poor guy, nothing to do with my infatuation with Taylor Lautner though... promise. 

4. A popular book genre you hardly reach for. 

Historical fiction for sure. Unless there is some form of paranormal element I'm not overly interested. If I'm honest it's why I have very little interest in reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. 

5. A popular or beloved character you don't like. 

Katniss Everdeen! I can't play my finger on why exactly though I wasn't a fan of how she played Peeta and Gale off against each other. 

6. A popular author that you can't get into. 

Truthfully, I've yet to find one. 

7. A popular book trope you're tired of seeing. 

I would love to read a book without a love triangle. I enjoy them but it would be a nice change of pace to read about a relationship that was just two people or even one without romance. 

8. A popular series you have no interest in reading.

As mentioned before Outlander for the aforementioned reasons. 

9. 'The book is always better than the movie or tv show' but what book changes this?

Vampire Diaries, after book five it all went downhill plot wise for me but I adore the tv show. I love the way it went. It felt far more cohesive and just worked. In the books however it seemed far too confused and mixing vampire lore with ancient Japanese Kitsune folklore was utterly bizarre! Though as I'm a stubborn reader I will continue because I want to know what happens. 

So that was the unpopular opinions book tag. 

Do you agree or disagree?

Katie x 

September Book Haul

Autumn brings wonderful new book releases that practically call my name and well, you can't just get one book... 

1. Night Owls by Jenn Bennett. 

Beatrix meets a dashing graffiti artist named Jack on the Owl, the nightbus of San Fransisco. Throughout the story Beatrix gets to see who Jack really is. 

2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. 

After hearing Tashopolis of Youtube sing the praises of this book I needed to give it a go! The book is based on the idea of a class system whereby 'Reds' are the workers who are mining the interior of Mars believing themselves to be Earth's last chance as it's dying. However, the protagonist, Darrow finds out this is all false and Mars is actually habitable and has been for years. A group that are known as 'Golds' live and thrive there.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. 

Shock horror. I haven't read the Lunar Chronicles. I thought that this needed to be rectified. Cinder is quite simply a retelling of Cinderella with a few added touches, like Cinder is a cyborg. 

4. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. 

*Heavy breathing* Anyone who has ever read a book blog or visited the world of BookTube knows how amazing The Throne of Glass series is. I'm about 150 pages away from finishing this book and am debating whether to do two reviews of it because it's that freaking awesome and I need to fangirl to the fullest extent. But spoilers. I've raved about this series before here and here

5. City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. 

I have read the first book of the infernal devices and very much enjoyed it though I have decided to read the Mortal Instruments before I continue of with that series. 

6. Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick. 

After reading My Swordhand is Singing I fell in love with how Sedgwick writes. Revolver is based in the 1900's in the Arctic where a mysterious stranger's stories causes Sig Anderson to think about his Father's Colt revolver, thats just waiting to be used. 

7. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab. 

A magician named Kell is one of the last travellers. A traveller being a magician that possess the ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one cit - London. 

8. Rat Queens Volume One : Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch. 

Basically a group of badass women killing monsters and drinking away the days. My kind of gals! 

What books have you bought this month?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Review: Lexicon by Max Barry

Name: Lexicon
Author: Max Barry
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Mulholland Books
ISBN: 978-1-444-76468-0
Rating: 4.5/5

In this novel words are very powerful in the hands of people called "poets." Words are tools that these people use to gain a chemical reaction which is then used to create some form of meaning. There are certain words that can create a reaction that causes a person to be susceptible to suggestion. Though, people have different words that do this based on what "segment" or personality they are sorted into.

I loved the concept of this novel and found it very well executed. The idea of these words being able to control people was made very believable to the point where I was a little concerned. The organisation created that trained people in this art of manipulation was a great idea. Reminded me of Xavier's school in X-Men.

The characters for the most part were great. I loved Emily and thought that her poet name was wonderful. I did fangirl a bit about that. Wil was initially infuriating but halfway through the noel I put two and two together and realised what was going on which made him a little less irritating thought I shan't mention that because of spoilers. Eliot was probably my favourite character, he was amusing and sarcastic with a soft side that he never let anyone see.

The different formats of reports and blog posts were occasionally confusing and I didn't feel like they added a great deal to the novel as a whole. Some parts were also very confusing making it difficult to read.

Overall, I liked it but I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a light hearted easy read.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

August Wrap Up

August was an average reading month quantity wise but what I did read I loved, for the most part. I read three novels and two graphic novels.

1. Deadly Class Volume One by Rick Remender and Wes Craig. 4.5/5

I thought this was brilliant. It's like Xavier's school for mutants in X-Men mixed with the mob. Essentially the children of murderers, drug lords and all manner of nefarious doers are educated in the deadly arts. I like Marcus, the main character, he's tough but also shows his compassionate side to others which makes him an odd choice for a deadly assassin but a loveable character. I'm also interested to see where this story goes as some back story is hinted at to do with Marcus' former homes.

2. Ms. Marvel Volume One by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. 3/5

I'm a massive Marvel fan but I didn't love this as much as I thought I would. I appreciate the diversity created in Ms. Marvel as a result of her Muslim religion and enjoyed learning a few things about it. I just feel like there was something missing from the story and I wasn't overly fond of how Kamala got her powers. It just seemed like a bit of a throwaway decision. I do plan on carrying on with this story as I want to see where it goes and I enjoy the family dynamic.

3. My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick. 4/5

One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read, but also one of the most bizarre. It started off very slowly but soon picked up with it being such a short novel. It's set in this dark and cold village called Chust that really reminds me of the setting in The Werewolf by Angel Carter. I found the period the book was set in fascinating and I now want to read more novels based in the 17th Century. The novel it's self is inspired by the original folklore of vampires in Eastern Europe which I like as I find any form of folklore so cool. I loved the characters, Peter the loyal son and Tomas, the father, though he was dreadfully flawed. I do however wish that some of the aspects of the novel were more explained. The people who returned from the dead had to pick up seeds if they were thrown which made no sense to me. I wish certain aspects like that were more explained which is why it doesn't get 5/5.

4. Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale. 4/5

I cried. This is the most adorable book. Evie has had a bad past with her birth family and has only recently divulged the extent of it to her adoptive family. This resulted in a piece of Evie's ribs being removed that had died. The bone was then carved into a dragon that came to life at night and took Evie on adventures to help her regain her happiness and courage. Like with My Swordhand there were aspects that I wish were more explained, things that were mentioned. Evie's reason for getting hurt was never revealed, nor was what happened with the glass at her grandparents house. However, I was happy with how to story ended and I feel like as a reader I got closure.

5. Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff. 5/5

I adored this book and fangirl about it in this post here.

What books did you read this month?

Katie x

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Graphic Novel Haul

Considering the amount of graphic novels I acquired this month I thought it would be a good idea to give them their own post.

1. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.

Nimona is a shapeshifter and also the side kick to the villainous Ballister Blackheart. Nimona and Blackheart now set out to prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin is not as heroic as he appears to be.

2. Wytches Volume 1 by Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, Clem Robins and David Brothers.

Rooks family move to escape an awful event and hope to start over but there is something even more awful waiting in the woods -  and it's hungry.

3. Low Volume 1 by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini.

In this world humans have taken to living at the bottom of the ocean and haven't seen that earth for years. Now that is about to change.

4. Deadly Class Volume 1 by Rick Remender and Wes Craig.

Marcus is invited to attend a school that teaches the deal arts - killing in other words - children of the most notorious murderers, drug lords and so on attend. It's all fun and games really.

5. East of West Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta.

All I know is what I have seen on reviews about this one. Sci-fi western with a lot of violence.

6. Walking Dead Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.

If you don't know about The Walking Dead then you've been hiding under a rock.

7. Saga Volumes 3 & 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples.

Basically my favourite graphic novel series ever. Sci-fi meets Romeo and Juliet.

These are the graphic novels I have acquired this month.

What have you been reading?

Katie x

Friday, 28 August 2015

August Book Haul

This was a good month for book not so much for my bank account...

1. Armada by Ernest Cline.

Zack begins dreaming about the game he has been playing recently, Armada. Even stranger his dreams start to become real.

2. Precocious by Joanna Barnard.

Fiona is reunited with a school romance which sparks an affair.

3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Aliens have invaded earth and now the humans must survive in this post apocalyptic world.

4. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.

The third instalment of the Raven Cycle. The Raven Boys is the first novel that details Blue's journey with the boys from Aglionby Academy otherwise known as the Raven boys. Not all of them are what they seem.

5. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine.

This was an auto buy. Rachel Caine is one of my favourite authors and if she writes about about a library that dabbles in alchemy then of course I'm going to buy it!

6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Wade Watts is not a fan of reality and therefore busies himself with the game OASIS. The game is a little more deadly than anticipated.

7. Fire Walker by Josephine Angelini.

Book two of the Worldwalker trilogy. Lily is allergic to everything but she isn't going to let it stop her from enjoying her home town. But Lily is thrust into an alternate reality after wishing she could just disappear.

8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Proof copy out Sept 2015)

A novel set in the Grisha world.

7. River of Ink by Helen Dennis (Proof copy out Jan 2016)

A teenage boy is found knowing nothing about himself but when given the facility to draw begins to scribble like no tomorrow. As he builds a new life his old one becomes a bit of an issue.

Those are all the books I've ended up with in August.

What books have you bought this month?

Katie x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Signed Books

Personally, as a book lover there is nothing more special than a book signed by a favourite author. I thought it might be a nice idea to share with you the signed books I have collected over the years. 

1. Armada by Ernest Cline. 

Author of the acclaimed 'Ready Player One', this book encompasses all that I enjoy sci-fi and video games!

2. A variety of the Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. 

One of my favourite series that I talk more about here.

3. Empire of the Saviours by A.J. Dalton. 

One of the most bizarre books I have ever read. I couldn't even attempt to decipher the plot even if I tried. 

4. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie. 

The sequel to Half a King. I won't tell you the plot to this 'cause spoilers but Half a King is the story of Prince Yarvi. Yarvi has always been viewed as a disappointment in his fathers eyes but now he's trying to regain a position he didn't want to begin with. 

5. Precocious by Joanna Barnard. 

A contemporary novel in which not everyone is what they seem. 

6. Lyme Hall by Stuart Webb. 

A gothic story that tells of a young girl Rose's relationship with her father who only care that deer are disappearing from their estate and not for his daughter who is beginning to see and hear things that aren't there. 

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. 

Basically she's awesome. More about Ms. Maas here

These are all the books that I currently own that are signed in some way. 

Do you have any signed books? 

Katie x