Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Name: Dreamland
Author: Robert L. Anderson
Pages: 3332
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 978-1-473-62099-5
Rating: 4/5

Dea has been able to travel through peoples dreams since she was six. There are a few rules that must be obeyed when traveling through dreams, for example never visit the same person twice. Then Connor appears, a guy that makes her feel normal. One by one she starts breaking the rules her mother set out and the lines between the worlds begin to blur.

The main reason this didn't get 5/5 is because of the ending. After all the work and trials Dea had gone through to avoid something she completely flipped and voluntarily went for this option. I was not okay with the ending but everything that came before that was great!

 I loved how the dreamland was described. In fact I loved the majority of the writing in this novel.

Dea and Connors relationship was adorable. I didn't initially like Dea's mother, she was god awfully irritating. Distant when Dea needed her and then overbearing and controlling at other points. I was not a fan. But reading on you understand why she's like that.

The story was really interesting, I've not read many books based around dreams so this was a new venture for me. I also like how they weaved in a little look at mental illnesses, though it wasn't a focal point it was a nice touch.

Overall I enjoyed this. I just wish the ending wasn't such a cop out.

Katie x

Review: The High Lord by Trudi Canavan

Name: The High Lord
Author: Trudi Canavan
Pages: 642
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1-84149-962-8
Rating: 5/5

This is the third and final book in the Black Magician series so I shan't give a synopsis because spoilers.

This was definitely my favourite book of the trilogy. There was so much action, intrigue and even a little romance. It ended up taking a completely different direction to what I thought would happen and managed to shock me a further three times with subsequent events. I don't think a book has ever managed to surprise me so much. It helped that what I wanted to happen also happened.

Sonea turns into such a strong character in this novel. She doesn't take sh*t from anyone. Its great. She even puts the High Lord in his place which is so much fun to read about.

I liked seeing how the politics within the Guild worked when they were trying to sort out plans and missions for people. It really showed how imperfect they are which the lower classes needed to see. At least I wanted them to see that.

The ending of this novel had me in bits for both happy and sad reasons. Read it. You'll see what I mean.

Katie x

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Review: The Novice by Trudi Canavan

Name: The Novice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Pages: 577
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1-8419-961-1
Rating: 4.5/5

This is the second book in the Black Magician's trilogy so I won't give a synopsis because spoilers.

What I will say is that this novel took a dark turn, a very dark turn.

I liked how there were multiple plot lines going on in this novel with Rothen still at the college and Dannyl now an ambassador. We got to see more of the country and learn more about each part which I really enjoyed.

We started to see Sonea develop as a person too which was really interesting. After her change of rooms she matured as a person and dealt with Reign and his cronies for the most part. I'm loathe to mention to much about what actually happens in this novel for fear of giving away anything.

Akkarin also featured a lot more in this instalment, I'd been wanting to know more about him from the start.

I felt this overcame the second book slump very well. It didn't feel like a filler book, just natural progression.

Katie x

Monday, 23 May 2016

Review: The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan

Name: The Magician's Guild
Author: Trudi Canavan
Pages: 465
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1-84149-960-4
Rating: 4/5

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

 "Each year the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city streets of beggars, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.As the mob is herded from the city, Sonea, a young street girl, furious at the authorities' treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all of her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who watch, there is a flash of blue light and the stone passes straight through the barrier and cracks a magican on the temple, rendering him unconscious.After five hundred years of order, the guild's worst fear has been realised - an untrained magician is loose on the streets. She must be found, and quickly, before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home." 

Having been told multiple times that I need to read these I finally picked up the first novel in the Black Magician trilogy. I was not disappointed. The world is so well developed and, if you forget about the magic, believable. Sonea is such a great character. I've heard a few people say that they aren't fond of her which admittedly I can see why. She's very naive in this first novel but you need to remember, she is a child. 

Rothen. The most awesome Magician ever. The way he looks after Sonea is adorable, she's like the daughter he never had. I like how he interacts with the other Magicians too, you can see the respect they have for him.

I felt the start of this novel was awfully slow. Sonea's hiding phase seemed to go on and on but once the story actually picked up pace I really liked how it played out. The emphasis on the hierarchy within Imardin was done very well too, if it annoyed me to no end how Reign managed to get away with so much. 

I went straight out to get the rest of the books in this series. 

Have you read this? 

Katie x 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

April Wrap up

Considering I was travelling a the end of April I had a pretty damn good reading month. May hasn't be as successful up to now. I didn't end up reading as much as I thought I would on holiday.

1. The Fall of Icarus by Ovid. 3/5

I adore Greek and Roman culture so I really liked this but considering this excerpt it titled 'The Fall of Icarus' it didn't focus much on Icarus but Daedalus. I found it difficult to follow in some parts too. Greek literature tends to be rather 'waffly'.

2,3&4. The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan.

I have reviews coming for each book soon.

5. Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson.

I also have a review coming for this soon.

6. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. 4/5

I thought this was great after I realised that this novel follows two timelines. Now and then that track Lena's progress post Alex. I loved the turn that this novel took. It was great to see Lena in a position of power actually doing something. THE ENDING. I knew it had to happen.

7. Requiem by Lauren Oliver 4.5/5

I felt like this was a satisfying conclusion for the most part. The ending similarly to Dreamland (I'll talk more in my review) seemed to appear out of nowhere. I wanted to see what happened with Lena and the guy. However, romance notwithstanding the last lines were so damn powerful.

8. Lumberjanes Volume Three - A Terrible Plan by Stevenson, Watters & Nowak 3.5/5

THE ART STYLE CHANGED. TF. I liked the old one so much better, it fit this graphic series so much better. I also don't like how the group was split up for the majority of this trade. It focused more on a romance than them being a kicks group of friends. That being said I still liked the story, just not as much as I liked the previous ones.

What did you read in April?

Katie x

Saturday, 21 May 2016

April Book Haul

Lets not focus on the fact I had to take two pictures for this haul, kay? Thanks.

1. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard.

I adored Red Queen and Glass Sword so I needed to get this. Red Queen Review Glass Sword Review.

2.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

I don't know why I haven't read this series already. I know I'm going to love it.

3. The White Rose by Amy Ewing.

The concept of this sounds so interesting. A world where pregnancy is a death sentence. Thats all I really know. Colour me intrigued.

4. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

Time travel and pirates. What more do you need? I've already read this one too so I'll talk more about my thoughts in a review.

5. The Novice by Trudi Canavan.

As soon as I started reading The Magician's Guild I knew I'd need to get the others.

6. The High Lord by Trudi Canavan

^^ See previous

7. Tales from the Kingdoms by Sarah Pinborough

The stories of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty retold.

8. Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney.

The second book in the Iron Witch trilogy. Its been years since I read the first one so I think I'll need to reread that.

9. Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

A really cool sounding middle grade adventure. Isabella has longed to travel to the foreign lands her father once mapped. When her best friend disappears she has the chance to do just that.

10. Half Lost by Sally Green.

I have been waiting for this! I read the other two books in this trilogy, they weren't amazing but they were enjoyable.

11. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

A graphic novel about the child of a radical Marxist and the great-granddaughter or Iran's last emperor.

12,13 & 14 The Internment Chronicles by Lauren Destefano.

So I bought the third book accidentally... But they sound great! It is forbidden to think about the world outside of the city. Morgan's brother gets to curious and does exactly that.

15. Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta

Nor turns seventeen and is entrusted with the secret of a freshwater spring hidden within the caves near her rural village. A responsibility that holds more than she first thought.

16. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer.

Delilah manages to do what many of us want. She brought the Prince in her book to life.

What books did you get this month?

Katie x

Friday, 20 May 2016

Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Name: Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0-857-50247-6
Rating: 4.5/5

Kelsea Glynn has been hidden away from everyone and everything. On her nineteenth birthday the soldiers came for her. They came to escort her to the palace. Her palace. At age nineteen Kelsea must take up the role of Queen, if she makes it to the palace before she's killed.

This is simply amazing. Kelsea isn't described as the typical beautiful heroine, instead she's quite plain which I think is brilliant. In comparison to women like Celaena Sardothien Kelsea stands out because she doesn't have her looks to fall back on. She can't fight particularly well either but she makes up for it with her wisdom and courage. She has the balls to do things that terrify the other male leads. She's so damn cool. The other characters around her are pretty awesome too. I like how Kelsea is literally surrounded by the burliest of men but still holds her own and puts the Mace in his place.

With regards to the plot I like how it played out and the subtle use of magic weaved into the plot. Truthfully, it's been a little while since I read this so my review isn't as in depth as it once would've been. I've been on holiday for three weeks with my family so I'm trying to catch up on all my posts. Wish me luck!

Katie x

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Review: Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

Name: Firewalker
Author: Josephine Angelini
Pages: 335
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 978-1-44726085-1
Rating: 3.5/5

The second instalment of The Worldwalker trilogy. For a synopsis of the series click here.

I loved how this novel picked up from the last one and how it developed. It felt very organic. However, the ending just didn't seem right, in about ten pages we lost an important character and were randomly transported to a different place. It left the most irritating cliffhanger.

The character development in this was great though I felt some of the decisions that were made didn't reflect the characters. Particularly when Lily chose to confront the Sachem. Certain people were also forgiven far too quickly for my liking. If you've read Trial by Fire you know who I'm on about. Then there was the whole coming back to 'our' world. It seemed inevitable that they'd come back and also that they would return to Lilian's work but it was done in such a convoluted way.

I enjoyed this even if it was heartbreaking. It wasn't as good as the first instalment but still a good read.

Katie x

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Name: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Pages: 412
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Tor
ISBN: 978-1-4472-8204-4
Rating: 5/5

Safi is a Truthwitch, able to sense when a person is lying, a form of magic many would kill to possess. Iseult is a Threadwitch able to see the Threads that bond, build and break. After a rather nasty encounter with a Bloodwitch the girls realise they must flee the city but not before Safi has to attend a ball. Being the Domna of the fon Hasstrel family has its obligations, but the ball throws in some complications for the girls.

Female friendships rock. Safi and Iseult have such a wonderful connection in the novel. They genuinely remind me of myself and my best friend Emily. (She would so be my Threadsister) Their interactions were hilarious. I also liked how different they were in looks, personality and back story! Even with the underlying plot they each have their own hurdles to overcome which really added to the novel as a whole.

Merik. Oh Merik. He's such an unfortunate soul. Having to deal with that heinous sister and a Threadbrother with breathing issues. I like how conflicted he was over everything, he struggled with doing the right thing for his people and being kind to Safi and Iseult. I'm always appreciative of a male character with flaws. Let's be serious no-one is perfect... but Merik comes close.

I thought the book was paced perfectly. Never a dull moment but it was easy to follow. The fight scenes were done brilliantly too. Very much enjoyed those. The world building is amazing. I need  to know how Susan Dennard came up with all the names and places. Its so dang cool!

Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone. Its fab. Just read it. Kay?

Katie x

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review: Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini

Name: Trial by Fire
Author: Josephine Angelini
Pages: 373
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 978-1-44726082-0
Rating: 4.5/5

Lily is allergic to everything. She's been restricted by her reactions and outcasted by her mothers psychotic ramblings. All she wants is to go to a party with her best friend Tristan and maybe just maybe he'll finally feel the same way about her. But its never that simple is it? After someone slips vodka in her drink Lily's reactions are exposed for all to see. Embarrassed and humiliated she wishes she could just disappear. She does.

This is one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf for far too long going unloved. Thank heavens for the TBR Jar of shame. I'm so happy I read this. It was slow to start which is why this isn't a 5 star review but I soon found myself wanting to get back to it, constantly thinking about the characters.

I adore Lily. I think she's so resilient, fun and caring. She's the one main character that doesn't have a flaw that really irritates me. I doubt this will ever happen again. I liked her interactions her the Tristan from her world, they were real and believable. Even if it meant that Tristan had to be a tool. I'm glad that the otherworld Tristan is a little nicer.

Rowan. Why is the character named Rowan always a gorgeous caring man that makes real world guys pale in comparison? Because authors are evil, thats why.

Story wise I liked how this flowed. It felt natural and enjoyable but a little slow in some parts. I love Lillian. As a 'villain' I think she's brilliant. Gideon however is a about as intimidating as a wet dishcloth. You don't really want to have to deal with it but if you have to, you will. In comparison so Carrick he really is a dishcloth. I feel like Carrick is going to end up being a greater villain just from how he acts. I don't like him. I don't like him at all.

Overall, I loved this.

Have you read Trial by Fire?

Katie x