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?