WRAP UP| January 2018

This reading month was semi-successful, I think. Didn't finish the books I had hoped to, started a fair few and read quite a few short stories and scripts.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this anywhere else, other than Goodreads, but I am counting individual short stories and scripts towards my goal. Even if I can't necessarily mark them on GR. 

Books carrying on into February:

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  • Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Stories that I finished:

The Bloody Chamber
Angela Carter

This was a reread in order to write a short story based off of the heroine's mother. Dark, rich and twisted, if you like fairy tales and retellings a little closer to the Brothers' Grimm go and pick up a copy of the complete collection. They are some of my favourites.

The Fandom
Anna Day

I participated in the blog tour for this one and wrote a review. You can find that post here.

Non-Zero Probabilities (Clarkesworld Magazine Issue #36)
N.K. Jemisin

I didn't read the whole magazine, just N.K. Jemisin's short story for a module I'm taking in Writing Genre Fiction. 
I rather enjoyed it; it's made more excited to read pick up the Broken Earth trilogy.

Almost No Memory
Lydia Davis

Meat, My Husband
Lydia Davis

BOOK HAUL| January 2018

Things got a bit crazy this month.

Quite a bit.

A lot, actually.

The Obliesk Gate (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)
N.K. Jemisin

**Christmas Purchase**

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth Trilogy #3)
N.K. Jemisin

**Christmas Purchase**

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1)
Nicholas Eames

**Christmas Purchase**

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1)
Robin Hobb

**Christmas Purchase**

- Replacement Copy-

Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy #2)
Robin Hobb

**Christmas Purchase**

-Replacement Copy-

Spare and Found Parts
Sarah Marie Griffin

**Sent for Review via the Publisher**

A Natural History of Dragons (Lady Trent #1)
Marie Brennan

**Christmas Purchase**

Red Seas Under Red Skies (The Lies of Locke Lamora #2)
Scott Lynch

**Charity Shop**

-First Edition-

The Waking Land (The Waking Land #1)
Callie Bates

**Sent for Review via the Publisher**

Tower of Down (Throne of Glass #6)
Sarah J. Maas

**Giveaway Win**

 Mort (Death #1; Discworld #4)
Terry Pratchett

** Christmas Purchase **

The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle #1)
Peter V. Brett

** Congrats You're Working at a 2:1 Purchase**

Good Omens
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

** Christmas Purchase **

- Replacement Copy -

REVIEW| The Ninth Rain

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1)
Jen Williams

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The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces - talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza 'Vintage' de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure'lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall...


The Cover

There's just something fresh and different about these covers from Headline. It fits in with the new line of contemporary resurgence of classic fantasy covers, but still manages to enthral and enrapture me. I am in love with the cover illustration and have spent many an hour staring at the detail of line work in its shading.

Simply gorgeous!

The Content

What was once a stale and cliched genre, Jen Williams brings fresh ideas and direction to classic, and sword and sorcery fantasy. The Ninth Rain is deep rooted in a history, all of which you only get a glimmer of, is vastly interesting and will captivate you from the off-set. 

From its history, we encounter a world that has been left broken and a shadow of what it once was, and that's what it felt like to read Vintage, Tor and Noon's adventure in this world. A shadow of what it was and what it may be again, that just had me captured in the pages. 

We all know that I am one for a good bit of angst, a good hate-to-love sub-plot, and boy, does Jen Williams deliver. I won't say who, I won't say when, just read the Gods-be-damned book. Just take note in that I thought I lost by ability to feel the emotions I felt whilst reading the 'romances' in this.

I became so invested in Vintage's motivation to keep exploring and studying the Jure'lia, in her manirism as well as Tor and Noon's. I can't wait to see where they end up at the end of The Ninth Rain takes them into their journey throughout book two- The Bitter Twins.

Not to toot my own horn, but the one thing I get compliments on with my writing is dialogue. Instead of replying with the normal "oh gush, thank you", the words that usually escapes my lips is: "yeah, but have you read Jen Williams' dialogue". She just manages to build these rhythms, mannerisms of speech that helps build a character and shape them just that little bit further. 



BLOG TOUR| The Waking Land

The Waking Land (The Waking Land #1)
Callie Bates

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It's been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father's rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she's come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again... but this time by her father's mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna's veins. Now she must decide which side she's on, and whether she'll use her powers for mercy... or revenge.


The Cover

I do like the cover, and there is something that does entice it as a book with magical elements. But, it just doesn't jump out and attack you from the shelf, screaming that you need to read it. It's just a bit pretty, and not bad.

The Content

When I accepted being on this blog tour, I had only read a few pages and thought that this was something that I was going to absolutely love and give it all the stars. And then I dove in a little deeper. 

This won't be a bad review, nor one that gushes over everything that makes something a novel. It just wouldn't be me, and it wouldn't be honest. There was no problematic elements, this just wasn't a book for me.

The best thing that I enjoyed about this book is how Callie Bates looked at Stockholm Syndrome and explored a young girl who had been impressionable. Bates slow awakening from this fogged perspective is something that I thoroughly enjoyed. I remember when the hardcover came out and heard Robin Hobb talk about this with rigorous praise. And I wholeheartedly agree. In fact this is what made me continue on and turn the page.

What didn't work was how Bates introduced characters and world building- there was so much to remember without any small details that allowed me to identify who was what and where each kingdom was in relation to one another. Which meant I had to constantly flip to the front of the book for an ill-placed map.  

I don't mind this at all, we all know how much I love great epic fantasies with hundreds of characters and an index at the back, but when you feel like there isn't much pay off for the amount of work we have to put into reading the book, again I was disinterested. 

BOOK TAG| The Harry Potter Book Tag

1. What House are you in?


No matter what quiz I do, or how many times I do the sorting hat quiz I get Ravenclaw. It's what I will always identify myself as. However, I do have a tendency to make friends with Slytherins.

2. What is your patronus?

Buzzard, which is fitting as a Ravenclaw and birds. But, personally I know it wouldn't be that. It would be a domestic cat. This is the one time where I can tell Pottermore to stuff itself.

3. What is your wand?

Hazel Wood with a Unicorn hair core 10" and Slightly Springy flexibility. 

Before Pottermore changed (I miss old Pottermore), it was a 11 3/4" Dragonheart string which I think I prefer. 

4. What would your boggart be?

I don't know?

Social interaction? The sun

5. What position would you play in Quidditch?

Beater. I suck at sports, but if I had to play it would be as a Beater. I have plenty of aggression to help hit those bludgers.

6. Would you be a pure blood, half-blood or muggle born?

Muggle born. 

7. What job would you like to have after graduating from Hogwarts?

Can I work in Honey Dukes as a tester? Magical sweeties, yum. 

If not, I guess Flourish and Blotts, something to do with books. 

8. Which of the Deathly Hallows, would you choose?

Invisibility Cloak. The only one that I would find useful to be honest.

9. Favourite book?

Oh sheeeeeet. I would have said Half-blood Prince after I first read the series. Now on a VERY recent reread I would say Goblet of Fire. And that used to be my least favourite. 

10. Least favourite book?

Chamber of Secrets.

11. Favourite film?

12. Least Favourite book?

13. Favourite character(s)?

14. Least favourite/most hated character?

15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

16. Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

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