Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Review: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

Name: The Sleeping Prince
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Pages: 367
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-407147-64-2
Rating: 5/5

The second instalment of the Sin Eater's Daughter series.

To begin with I was confused as to how this novel linked with the first. I thought it was simply set in the same world. Granted it's been a good long while since I've read the Sin Eater's Daughter. I quickly realised how connected the two novels are. So much of the foundation work for this novel came from how the last one ended. The planning and how this novel progressed from the first was simply superb.

The religion and myths created in this world are so interesting and unique. I absolutely adore them. The town names, character names everything fitted together so well.

Silas. Where do I begin. I love him. He's so cool. I thought he was a great addition to the novel. Errin is just as awesome. The ending for this novel has be dying to read the next. I need it now!

The writing style in this series is so beautiful. It emphasises the whimsical magic of the world so well. Do I ever need to tell you how gorgeous the cover is. I mean look at it. Just look at it.

The beginning of the novel was pretty slow to star but quickly picked up pace. By the end of the novel I was heartbroken and highly confused. I'd figured out some of what was going to happen early on in the novel but I was still taken aback when it was revealed.

I adore this series. Slowly creeping into my favourite series'...

Have you read this?

Katie x

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Review: Allegiant by Veronica

Name: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 526
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Haper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-00-753494-4
Rating: 5/5

The third instalment of the Divergent series. I won't post a synopsis of this one because spoilers.

I've seen a lot of people hate on this novel for the ending and I understand it. However, I loved the ending. I felt it really wrapped up the series and in a way was almost cyclical. Those who've read it will know what I mean. Four really went back to his roots.

Yet again though Four didn't listen to Tris. For God's sake man believe her! I really felt like my heart was ripped out again and again in this novel. I really liked the new characters, particularly Matthew. I found the new settings really interesting too. They really threw a spanner in the works.

I felt that the introduction of Four's narrative was interesting but highly confused me to begin with. I now understand why it was necessary. I like seeing how he thought and reacted to things as before this we only got to see how Tris perceived it.

Overall I enjoyed this and felt it was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Even though it had me in bits.

Have you read this?

Katie x

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Literary List #9 - Worlds I'd Like to Live in.

There are so many amazing worlds created by authors and if I could I'd hop between all of them. These are just a few of my favourite worlds.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

Even though the world is in turmoil I'd still love to live here. Particularly as a new blood, it'd be so much fun to have a power regardless of the fact I'm being hunted...

2. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 

Basically I wanna be a witch. Maybe one with control over the Elements?

3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. 

I'd be so useful in an apocalypse. 

4. Wings by Aprilynne Pike. 

Ignoring the fact that I live in a uniform of black clothes and doc martens I'd love to be a fairy. Especially in a world where there is a secret school for them to learn magic.

5. Glass House by Rachel Caine 

Vampires are so cool, even the ones that suck... (Get my joke ;) ) Seriously though I'd love to be friends with the guys that live in the glass house. It'd be so much fun. (Sidetone: I recently met Rachel Caine. She's so dang cool.)

What worlds do you want to be a part of?

Katie x

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Name: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback (Graphic Novel)
Publisher: Harper Teen
ISBN: 9780062278227
Rating: 4.5/5

Bare with me, I've never done a full review on a graphic novel. If you like them I'll be sure to post more!

A wonderful graphic novel that really plays with the idea of good and evil.

Ballister Blackheart is a villain, but not in the normal sense he refuses to kill and has a strict set of morals. His new sidekick Nimona tests his patience and bends his morals on a daily basis. She's such a wonderfully quirky character. Then theres Ambrosius Goldenloin, the supposed hero of the story.

The plot is so much fun and really toys with the boundaries of good and evil.

I love Noelle's art style, its so different!

Have you read this?

Katie x

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Name: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 525
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-00-744292-8
Rating: 4.5/5

The second instalment of the Divergent Trilogy. I shan't give a synopsis because spoilers.

Admittedly I found Tris and Four a little bit annoying in this novel. Four was very stubborn and refused to trust Tris' instincts even though they were right the majority of the time. However, having Tris be right all the time got a little bit repetitive. Couldn't Four just be right once? I did enjoy the inner conflict Tris struggled with as a result of her actions. It made her a less perfect character and a less perfect soldier. Imagine, a soldier unable to hold a gun? It really added to the story.

Christina is bae. That is all.

I didn't think it possible but this novel got even darker. I don't know how I managed it but I think I was spoiled for something in this novel or I had a hunch about what was going to happen. Nevertheless I still found myself having a nonononono moment. Poor Tris. Can anything go right for the girl?

I loved the ending. It was such a good cliffhanger. Fortunately, because I hoard books I already had Allegiant so I could go straight onto the next book.

Have you read this? What did you think?

Katie x

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Name: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Pages: 358
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0-571-32525-2
Rating: 5/5

Amani Al'Hiza lives under the oppressive thumb of her Uncle and is subject to the wrath of an Aunt who hates her, a situation she is desperate to leave. When she attempts to shoot her way to freedom at the Pistol Pit she meets a foreigner who turns her life into nothing but chaos. Chaos that leads her down a path she never thought possible and to a truth she can hardly believe. 

I stayed up till ridiculous o'clock to finish this. I absolutely adored it. Basically, this novel is a western in the desert with slight feminist undertones and a great magic system.

The characters were so well done and very likeable. I found myself rooting for Amani through the entire novel and gasped along with her at every turn. Being a very high spirited and independent girl in a culture that shames women, for simply being women gave Amani an even greater presence. This I felt took the novel from only being a great adventure story to having a message prevalent in our society today. Don't let anyone tell say you can't do something simply because of your gender (also applies to sexuality, race, religion.)

Jin. He's awesome. I love how we really didn't know anything concrete about him until the very end of the novel. It really added a great weight the the plot twist at the end. (Might I add this is one of the best plot twists I have ever read.) 

Plot. I'll admit it felt slow to begin with but I had faith and powered on through and then lost a fair amount of sleep. Halfway into the novel I felt sad every time I had to put it down. I mentioned before that this novel has one of the best twists I've ever read and I'll say it again. It really has!

I highly highly recommend this. I must say though its only March I can see this making its way into my 2016 favourites...

Have you read this?

Katie x 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Name: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-00-742042-1
Rating: 5/5

The world has been divided into five factions; Abnegation, Amity, Candor,  Dauntless and Erudite. Sixteen year old Tris must choose which of these she fits best. Problem is she suits the majority, she's Divergent. A trait that is dangerous to have, it just might mean her life is in danger. Tris knows she can't trust anyone yet she still finds herself drawn to Four. Her trainer who can't decide whether to threaten or protect her.

Shock horror. This is the first time I've read the Divergent trilogy. For starters this is definitely my favourite book out of the three. I love how many diverse characters there were and seeing the turmoil the Choosing Ceremony creates. I love the idea of the factions. I can't remember any book I read that split society by values rather than by jobs or colours.

Tris is great in this novel. I loved how much her character developed. You could really see how much she had changed and all the qualities she possesses. Her interactions with her family and friends really demonstrated how different the factions are. Some of my favourite scenes were between Tris and Four. They had such great banter but worked so well together as a team.

The plot moved with great pace. I like how there was a lot of lighter moments considering how dark the novel could get. The Dauntless training was great to read about. It was so interesting to see how all the different factions deal with their initiates and police them.

Overall I loved this.

Have you read Divergent?

Katie x

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Literary List #8 - Favourite Graphic Novels

I started reading graphic novels around this time last year and have since discovered some wonderful series'. Granted I'm still exploring what's out there but I thought I'd give you some of my favourites, so far. It'd be fun to do this again next year and see if they change!

 1. Chew by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Tony Chu is a Cibopath meaning he gets psychic impressions of whatever he eats. Something particularly useful in a world where chicken is illegal.

This graphic novel has such a unique plot and wonderfully vibrant art style. A must for anyone who enjoys detective stories.

2. Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson & Mike Henderson. 

When an FBI profiler disappears in the city that spawned some of the vilest serial killers an NSA agent must work with notorious serial killer Edward 'Nailbiter' Warren to find his friend. 

A violent, chilling and nightmarish graphic novel. I love it. 

3. Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch

The Rat Queens are a pack of drunk, promiscuous, ass kicking mercenaries.

What more could you want?

 4. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

The Lumberjanes are a pack of diverse girls attending a summer camp where they get into all sorts of paranormal bother.

Wherever I mention Noelle Stevenson I have to comment on how awesome her art style is. It's brilliant.

5. Giant Days by John Allison & Lisa Treiman

Three girls, one university and many many issues.

I've only just read this but I know it will remain one of my favourites. I love how diverse the characters are. The banter between them is so fun to read.

Great if anyone has just started university!

That's it for my favourite graphic novels!

Do you have any favourites?

Katie x

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

February Wrap up

I can't actually believe how many books I managed to read this month. It's rather ridiculous. Granted I had a lot of late nights.

1. Giant Days by John Allison & Lissa Treiman 5/5

This was brilliant. I feel like I read it at the perfect time too. I'll be going to uni in the next year or so (Truthfully I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.) Each of the characters were so unique and so diverse which I loved. Susan, Esther and Daisy are so very different but after only three weeks its clear how close they've become. I can't recommend this enough.

2. Morningstar by Pierce Brown. (Full review to be posted soon.)

*heavy breathing*

3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. 4.5/5

I really enjoyed how Noelle played the concept of good and evil in this graphic novel. It made for some really entertaining reading. I love Noelle's art style, it's so fun and unique.

4. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. (Full review to be posted soon.)

This is unlike anything I've ever read before. Full of fun, adventure and some really gritty moments.

5. The Sleeping Prince by Melinda (Full review to be posted soon.)

Such an amazing second book. Melinda Sailsbury knocks it out of the park again.

6, 7 and 8. Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant. (Full review to be posted soon for each.)

A great dystopian series that I have no excuse as to why I didn't read it sooner. I love the characters and the factions. So cool.

9. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick 2.5/5

I felt like reading this was a waste of time when I got to the end. For all the hype around the TV series the book was seriously lack lustre and a chore to read. Granted creating a plausible reality where the Axis powers won WW2 was genius but the actual book could've been ten pages. We learnt about characters that had no real influence on the story. Not for me.

10. Antigone by Sopholces 4.5/5

I loved this so much. The play focuses on Oedipus' daughter Antigone who shuns the laws set out by her uncle King Creon. He states that Polynices should not be allowed a burial because he was expelled from the city and returned. Antigone ignores this and buries him herself incurring the wrath of her uncle. A brilliant Greek tragedy. My favourite line has to be "Let's just say I've been accused of folly by a fool."
P.S see those orange things sticking out of the top of it? They are dinosaur post-it notes marking my favourite lines...

What books did you read thing month?

Katie x

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Literary List #7 - Auto-buy Authors

There are some authors, that after reading their work I'll buy anything they produce. Sarah J. Maas brings out a book on the history of cheese, I'd totally buy that. So I thought I'd give you a list of my top 5 auto-buy authors.

1. Victoria Aveyard.

I have loved both books Victoria Aveyard has put out so far. The world building is brilliant. The characters are so complex, if infuriating.. (I'm looking at you Kilorn).

2. Pierce Brown.

Just look at any of my reviews for his books. I've always said that I could never choose my favourite book/series because it felt like choosing a favourite child. That philosophy went out the window once I'd read Red Rising. My favourite series. Ever. I'll be highly surprised if I find something that tops it but I'm always on the hunt!

3. Joseph Delaney. 

I have read his books for years and years and will continue to do so for years to come. His stories are always so enjoyable if decidedly dark. I've read many of them in one sitting and wondered where the day went. 

4. Sarah J. Maas.

Do I even need to explain? Pre-Red Rising the Throne of Glass series was very near the top of my favourites. The characters are amazing. The world is so damn cool. I have a massive crush on Rowan Whitethorn. (My best friend does too and we discuss this at length, often.)

5. Melinda Salisbury. 

A new Auto-buy author but a damn good one. Her book The Sin Eater's Daughter has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Awards (Teen category) and for good reason! Its such a cool and unique concept that's executed very well and keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

Are any of these wonderful humans Auto-buy Authors for you?

Katie x

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

February Book Haul

I did the naughty thing. I bought books... again. But I don't feel too bad about it considering how many I read this month. Go me. I did well. Much applause.

1. Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Treiman

This was so much fun. Its a contemporary graphic novel which is a genre I haven't read before. After reading Giant days I definitely want to pick up more. It follows three girls Susan, Esther who have just started university and have quickly become friends and the chaos they get up to. Not to mention how beautiful the art is.

2. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I'm beyond excited to read this. This world focuses around the idea that there are different types of witches. Our main character(s) are witches with extraordinary magic. Safi is a Truthwitch, able to tell truth from lie. A gift many desire. Iseult's powers are even hidden from herself. On the run from a ruthless Bloodwitch the two girls face many adversaries.

3. Morningstar by Pierce Brown

The third instalment of my favourite series, ever. There I said it! In this series humans have begun to terraform the planets of our solar system. Their society is split into colours each with a specific job. The Golds are the leaders of society, the Royalty. At the bottom there are the Reds, the Labourers. The ones who are terraforming the planets for humanity. Turns out it's been terraformed for years and the Golds are just keeping them in this position, they're no better than slaves.

4.  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Four teenagers are each carrying their own dark secret. By chance they meet, all four of them wanting to board the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that they hope will take them away from the darkness of war.

5. Dead Days Club by Alison Goodman

Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the hunt for a husband. This is made more difficult when one of her housemaids disappears and Helen meets Lord Carlston, a man with black eyes and an even blacker reputation. Helen finds herself drawn into the world of demons and deadly power.

6. Sleeping Prince by Melinda Sailsbury

The second novel in The Sin Eater's Daughter series. This series features a seventeen year old girl called Twylla who is betrothed to a Prince. Sounds ideal? It's really not. She lives under the watchful eye of his mother, the Queen living out her life in isolation. Twylla's touch means death, she is an executioner. The god's gave her the power to resist any poison but this power now means that her very skin is infused with it. No one will go near her, except her enigmatic new Guard Lief.

7. Carry on by Rainbow Rowell

This novel was the fan fiction that Kath was writing in Rowell's other novel, Fangirl.

8. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab

The second novel of the Shades of Magic series. In this land there are three version of London. White London where you kill to get to the Throne and fight to control magic, Red London where magic flourishes under the Rule of the Maresh family and Grey London, devoid of magic.There once was black London but no-one speaks of that now. The Antari are the only people who can travel between these worlds, magic wielders with one black eye. Kell is one of the last.

9. Redeployment by Phil Klay

This is a collection of short stories that aims to take readers to the frontlines of war. To see from the perspective of a soldier.

What books did you pick up this month?

Katie x