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?