Saturday, 30 May 2015

May Wrap Up

So this has been the revision month which means I've not been able to read for pleasure all that much... Don't hate me please!

So this month I have only read three books... and one was a graphic novel!

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch was great and I have done a post on it previously here.

Same with Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman... wonderfully bizarre and further explained here.

Then. The first and most definitely not the last graphic novel I've read! Nightcrawler #1 Homecoming. Glorious artwork and Nightcrawler has always been one of my favourite X-Men characters.

Hopefully I'll be reading more after this month! Yay for the end of exams.

What have you been reading this month?

May Book Haul

With the horror of exams looming I appear to have used book buying as a coping mechanism...

Going from top to bottom this month I have acquired...

1. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. (Proof- due November 2015)

Based around the idea that Hitler won WW2 and now a young girl, Yael, has been tasked to kill him. With her superpowers of course.

2. Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher. (Proof- October 2015)

Tess has a voice but it isn't hers. She only says things to fit in.

3. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead.

Book five in the Bloodlines series - a spin off from Vampire Academy. (I haven't read the back 'cause spoilers)

4. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Book four in the Bloodlines series - a spin off from Vampire Academy. (Again, spoilers)

5. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Ah, Will. You gorgeous human.

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

The first novel in Maas' new series! Ahhhhhh. Essentially retelling a beauty and the beast... OMG. FAIRYTALES IN THE STYLE OF SARAH J. MAAS?

7. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Essentially showing the progression of humans from Neanderthal ages to now in various areas of society.

8. Arise by Tara Hudson

The Hereafter series' second novel. Not entirely sure if I've read the first so I'm avoiding the back of this just in case!

9. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Third book in the Graceling trilogy. Princess Bitterblue after finally leaving the castle in disguise has seen the legacy her father has left behind and is now determined to stop it.

So what books have you bought this month?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Review: The Ice Dragon - George R R Martin

Title: The Ice Dragon
Author: George R R Martin
Illustrator: Luis Royo
Pages: 120
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Harper Voyager
ISBN: 978-0-00-811885-3

**Synopsis taken from the back of the book**

"In Westerns the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate frozen land. No man had ever tamed one. Amara first glimpsed the ice dragon as she played in the snow long after the other children had fled the cold. But Adara was not afraid; she was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone could remember. In her fourth year she touched the dragon, and in her fifth year she rode upon its back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day,  fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. And only a winter child - and the ice dragon who loved her - could save her world from destruction"

Basically, this is flawless. It's a short story from the genius who created A Song of Ice and Fire and it is simply beautiful and heart wrenching.  Adara is such a wonderful character, in such a short story with very few words you see her character change and it's lovely to see.

The illustrations are breathtaking. The story is wonderful.

I'd read this to a child or tell the old lady at the bus stop to read it because no matter what age you are this story is lovely.

Just go get it. Please.

Review: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

Title: Rivers of London
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Pages: 390
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN: 978-0-575-09758-2

**Synopsis taken from the back of the book**

"Meet DC Peter Grant. He will show you his city. But it's not the capital that you all see as you make your way from tube to bus, from Elephant to Castle. It's a city that under its dark surface is pack full of crime. And of magic. A city that you never suspected... "

I usually can't get into crime novels. I've tried many times and to no avail, however, Rivers of London has finally broke that record. I think it's because of the fantasy element in this really. I love how regular police work and cases have been interwoven with a world of ghosts, wizards and vampires. The idea of a copy-cat killer that is actually a ghost is a great idea!

Aaronovitch's characterisation is phenomenal. It wasn't over the top in an attempt to create a unique character. They were believable and likeable. I love Thomas Nightingale, he can cope with burly police officers without breaking a sweat but attempt to explain the ins and outs of a computer and you may as well be talking latin - actually he'd cope better with that considering he is able to speak not only Latin but also Arabic, a variant of German and I'm sure he can speak Greek too!

I'm excited to get my hands on the next books in the series. I want to see where Lesley and Peter's relationship/friendship situation goes.

One thing that I wasn't overly sold on was how the situation was resolved. The story progressed from an action packed scene to the resolution which I felt was rather anti-climactic. I shan't give anything away 'cause spoilers but if you feel/felt the same way when reading this let me know!

But for the ending this definitely would've been a five star book!

PC Peter Grant Series:

  • Rivers of London 
  • Moon Over Soho 
  • Whispers Under Ground 
  • Broken Homes 
  • Foxglove Summer 
  • The Hanging Tree (Not yet published) 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 235
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 978-1-4722-0034-1

**Synopsis taken from back of book**
"This is what he remembers, as he sits by the ocean at the end of the lane:
A dead man on the back seat of the car, and warm milk at the farmhouse; An ancient little girl, and an old woman who saw the moon being made; A beautiful housekeeper with a monstrous smile; And dark forces woken that were best left undisturbed. They are memories hard to believe, waiting at the edges of things. The recollections of a man who thought he was lost but is now, perhaps, remembering a time when he was saved..."

This book is as obscure and quite frankly mental as the blurb suggests. But it's gold. It's a short little book and I couldn't put it down. In fact I was sad when any task forced me to abandon my reading corner and interact with people. As I say it's mental. There is a girl that has been eleven for many many years, a worm that isn't really a worm and birds that can talk.

I will say it does pull on the heartstrings though. I get the feeling that Lettie Hempstock is very lonely having to act as a real eleven year old, which is why she forms such a strong attachment to the narrator, whose name I don't recall getting to learn about (that frustrates me a little.)

I completely understand why it won the National Book of the Year Award in 2013. It's genius lunacy. Honestly, I feel like that is the perfect way to describe this book.  I liked the characterisation and how the little boy seemed quite introverted. It added to the 'awwwww' factor when he finally found a friend in Lettie and the little black cat with a white splodge.

I currently have another of Neil Gaiman's books on my TBR pile (more like shelf(s)) but I have a feeling I shall be adding to that shortly.

Have you read The Ocean at the End of the Lane? Let me know what you thought in the comments!