REVIEW| The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1)
Genevieve Cogman


⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:


Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...


Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.



Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.



Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.

My thoughts:

Well, I had moderate expectations. I've heard a number of great things about Genevieve's debut novel, some were met, others were not.

Genevieve Cogman definitely encapsulated what it means to be a reader:

"Right now, she wanted nothing more than to shut the rest of the world out, and have nothing to worry about, except the next page of whatever she was reading."

"The atmosphere of the place soothed her automatically; the rich lantern lights, the sheer scent of paper and leather, and the fact that everywhere she looked, there were books, books, beautiful books."

 
And there is plenty more quotes not far off from this. If I were to be jealous for anyone writing this story before I had the chance, Genevieve Cogman--- I'm coming for you.

JK. JK.


This book is everything I could want combined. Fast paced, fantasy-steampunk-sci-fi crossover, with everything being subjective to Irene getting this particular version of The Brothers Grimm manuscript.

Now, speaking of our protagonist this is where I got let down. I found Irene dull. She didn't bring anything of interest to the narrative. In my honest opinion, this could have been much more effective in a third person narrative than first. I sympathized with her because of this, but she bought the enjoyment down from the amazing plot sequences that were taking part. I think I was just hoping for a little more sass, yet it never got to that point.

If 'The Library' is hiring, I would love to volunteer. It's not quite a boring job as everyone might think, who else gets to interact with dragons and cyborg centipedes?

This is definitely a book to recommend to all my fellow fantasy bibliophiles.

 

REVIEW| Truthwitch

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
Susan Dennard

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Synopsis:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.





My thoughts:

Are you freaking kidding me?

You can't leave me like this.

No.

Thrice-damned no.

NO.

Bat-shit!

Stasis. Stasis.

I've read Susan's other book series (Something Strange & Deadly trilogy) and although I love and cheerish the series, this was something else. It screamed that fantasy is here to stay, to remain thriving amongst our book-loving-selves. I'm strangely glad that this is Susan's first proper introduction to the UK, as an author, because this book kicked butt. It was fantastic! Definitely worth the wait.

The Witchlands is a richly developed world. Thought to just be Earthwitches and Voidwitches etcetera...we are expanded to a vast cast of witchery talents. I would like to list all the types of witches in the book and what of the six they belong too. And it's still left that more could be introduced into the world.

This book it quite decieving, a lot like a few of the characters we meet on Safi and Iseult's journey. It became a world with a dark past and a darker future. Not all clear on what this could mean but I hope that as the series progresses this will recieve all the same level of development. However,
When I asked Susan what she hopes readers will get out of reading Truthwitch she gave an answer of honesty:
"[For Truthwitch, that feeling was] epic and sweeping and intense. So I want readers to feel the same--or feel anything, really, that's pleasurable while they read. [...]  They'll resonate with one character more than another; they'll love one setting over another; they'll take each sentence and make it their own. And that's exactly what I want them to do."
What I got out of this experience? I definitely got that epic, sweeping intense feels that Sooz was on about. But what I grabbled with was this deep connection of friendship. Iseult and Safi's friendship was what made this book exactly what it is.

In one final say, can I just point out what Safi and Merik's ship name would be. Mafiya or Mafi. I'm scared to say the least. What a terrifying team they make.

Unread Books: 2016 Edition.

This post is really a chance to pull away the film over my eyes and look at how much of a reading fail I truely am.

I currently have an under-bed storage box full of around 30-40 books. All of which I bought throughout 2015 and didn't get around to reading. And to be frankly honest, I'm not talking about Christmas 2015. These were mostly bought in the first half of the year.

By the Angel!

I thought I'd compile five of books and their series that I am most anticipating to get to. And here is the top desperate five:

The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater








Cinder
Marissa Meyer










Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard

















The Miniaturist
Jessie Burton
Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo

















As you can see... I've missed out on some- what I've heard- awesome books. All of which I'm still excited to get to.
So please authors.
Stop releasing books until I've caught up.


I kid. I kid.

I would love to have some buddy reads this year, so if you see a book you would really like to share the experience reading than please just contact me (see the side bars).

For those who want to see the full list:

An Interview With An Author: Susan Dennard

Today is the day all Witchlanders, and, a very talented author has been waiting for; today is the day that Truthwitch is released into the mighty world, ready to sit and be loved on your bookshelf. (AND MINE!!) So in all good fashion and brandishing swords, the author of Truthwitch agreed to offer her time to answer a few questions.


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Get your copy now: Amazon UK/ Amazon US/ Book Depository

The mini Q&A:

Q. What are you hoping that readers will get out by reading Truthwitch? For me I loved the friendship between Safi and Iseult.

 A. I'm hoping readers enjoy the read. That's really it. I write because I have a story--a feeling--to share. For Truthwitch, that feeling was epic and sweeping and intense. So I want readers to feel the same--or feel anything, really, that's pleasurable while they read. For each person, they'll get something different out of the book. They'll resonate with one character more than another; they'll love one setting over another; they'll take each sentence and make it their own. And that's exactly what I want them to do.

Q. Already Truthwitch is picking up a much larger audience than your previous works of writing. How has your experience altered along with this?

A. Ah, it's bittersweet to see one series take off and not another. Each book demands an incredible amount of time and patience and love. There are moments when I look at Truthwitch and think, "Why this book? Why not Something Strange & Deadly?"


It's easy to blame outside factors--a better cover on Truthwitch, more promo from my publisher, a larger fanbase to start with, the right genre at the right time...But the truth is, there's no way to know. I will say that there are times I miss the quieter days of my first series. More readers means more demands for my time, such as more events to travel to or more emails to answer (endless emails!). But on the other hand, it is incredibly rewarding to know more people will read (and possibly enjoy) the book, and of course, sharing is the entire reason I write to begin with!

Q. What would be your three top tips for young writers?


A. My top three tips would be:
1: Write because you want to write. Don't write because you've been told you have to do it everyday. Don't write because you want to be published in a year. Write because you want to, and enjoy your life in the meantime. The great thing about writing is that you can do it at ANY age.

2: Live! Travel! Explore! The more you experience, the richer your writing will be. And you don't have to go far. Visit the museums near you; watch a documentary about Syrian refugees; take a walk around your block and absorb what a misty rain or gusty wind feels like. Trust me: your writing will be so much better and more satisfying the more you live your life.

3: Read. Read everything you can. Not just the genre you love most but all the others too. Read kid's books, read adult books. Read fantasy and nonfiction and cozy mysteries and philosophy. The more you read, the better your write. Period.

Find out more at: susandennard.com

Follow Susan on Twitter for all the latest updates,
Or subscribe to Susan's Newsletter, Misfits and Daydreamers, for exclusives.

New Books, New Resolutions

I don't believe in New Year Resolutions. I never stick to them and end up forgetting about them about a month after I've written them. But this year I'm determind not to mess up.

Compiling THREE book and blog related resolutions I thought I'd make them public in order to push myself into sticking with these:

1. Dedicated time:-

I've noticed that I'm not dedicating enough time to actually writing and blogging. Considering this is what I have the most fun doing its astonishing!

This year I pledge to spend a minimum of TWO HOURS a week to this blog.

2. Read One, Finish One:-

I ended 2015 like the ultimate book-whore I am. Start one, get half-way through, never finish it then start another. It leaves a lot to be desired. Especially when they're all amazing books!

I am to have a ONE book at a time policy. The only time this is to be acceptable for TWO is when I have been given a book to read for English Literature.

3. Say no to ARC's:-

Another awful habit- requesting ARC's and not getting round to finishing them. Or even starting them for that matter. Which makes me feel like I'm taking advantage of this amazing network. But I don't mean too.

This one is taking on part A and B.

3a. No more requesting ARC's via Netgalley until I'm at a stage where I have given feedback on ALL books that still hold my interest. I did request them for a reason, right?

3b. TWO ARC's a month. This isn't a big deal; reading e-books tend to take up less of my time- with no real pain of a comfy position to hold your arms at.
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