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