REVIEW| Empire of Storms

Empire of Storm (Throne of Glass #5)
Sarah J. Maas




DISCLAIMER: I can't help it if there is mild spoilers, but if you're reading this and haven't even read the first book: WHY?!

I do have a review for the first book in the series, though-- Throne of Glass

No synopsis because minimal spoilers--  Find on Goodreads

Review:

The Cover:

Is it just me or does Celeana's face look a tad bit weird? (see what I'm trying to do here) 

I guess you could say it fits the ethereal and fantasy elements that Maas has got going on in the series.

I will say, I had no clue how to feel when I first saw this cover. I sort of went: oh. wow. okay then.

In the flesh I actually really like the colours- plus, have you seen the back cover yet?! ERGH! The beauty of such is simply blinding.

The Content:

So the reason behind me giving this book a three-star rating is because it didn't give me what I wanted as a sequel to Queen of Shadows. It still has the elements that make this a Sarah J. Maas book but, I just found myself unsatisfied by what I was given. 

I really do love Maas' female characters and how they all conquer their own brokeness and manage find strength in their being. However, Celeana (realize how careful I'm being right now) just seemed to have a constant split personality throughout this whole thing. She is either keeping a whole load of shit hidden til the last hundred pages where there is so much going on that no one can comprehend anything OR she is this love eyed hopeless, where we have these intimate moments. 

I wanted those "bants" that she would have with Dorian and the rest of the bunch, where she could be their friend. And that's just where the stagnant moments should have been. Showing the interaction between them and continue that relationship. It felt like the only interactions we got out of all the character where with whom Maas has plans to ship characters off with each other, maybe this was just me?

At points, I felt like magic just became expandable and infinite til again those last hundred and fifty or so pages where things became interesting and left me glued with the book to my hands. 

GUYS SERIOUSLY LIKE WTF?!?!?!

I saw it coming but not how it was presented. This is what has saved this from a one and two star of a review. And because of Manon. I always like Manon, she intrigued me even from her introduction to her way back in Heir of Fire. And now, she is BAE! Out of everyone, I am rooting for her in her little story line Maas has got going. 

I'm going to finish with this thought:

Often in a larger book series you will find that the books get larger as the author pulls out and expands his/her's world, which we can say about the Throne of Glass series. They have got massively bigger as Maas has more and more world to cover. 

But, often publisher will get a bit iffy with how much they edit down an author's work, depending on where they are in industry and how well their audience is already established. And I feel like we are slowly getting to the point where this is the case with Maas' books.

Does anyone feel this? Or, are you all just going to spam with hate, for the sheer thought of such a thing?

Because, as much as you think I am hating, I'm really not. I love what Sarah writes and am enthusiastic about her portrayal of women and the issues that we face.

*cough* periods *coughs*

Waiting on Wednesday| Caraval

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This week's WoW post is:


Caraval (Untitled #1)
Stephanie Garber

Hodder & Stoughton

31st Jan, 2017

Find on Goodreads


Synopsis:

Two sisters bound by love and a father they fear escape their tiny, secluded island for the wondrous performance of Caraval, where the audience plays along in a mysterious and magical game of determining what's real and what's fantasy. And where only one sister might be brave enough to win the ultimate prize of 'an impossible wish'...

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for lonely Scarlett, it represents freedom, an escape from her abusive father and from her own dark past.

Still, Scarlett is too scared of her father to leave Trisda. Until she is kidnapped by her wild younger sister Donatella and a dangerous yet oh-so-seductive sailor named Julian and taken to the mystical Isla de los Suenos, the site of this year's Caraval. When they arrive, her sister immediately disappears. Since protecting Tella is all she knows, Scarlett is forced to join forces with Julian and find her before the evil Master of Caraval does...


Thoughts:

I've had an ARC of this book for literally an age. 

BUT I HAVE YET TO PICK IT UP. 

It's one of those books that are slowly hype is beginning to build and it's making me nervous. Just like I was nervous with reading Truthwitch earlier this year. (Which I loved?! REVIEW.)

I planned to read this next month, so hopefully I will. If not, just batter me over on Twitter and peer pressure should help me out.

REVIEW| The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1)
Brandon Sanderson



Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed ...They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind's past?Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

Review:

The Cover:

Let's be real here, everyone has some formation of an opinion of what makes a good book cover and whether an author has been blessed enough to get on board that train. Brandon Sanderson has, in my own opinion, boarded the "UK for once has a better cover than the US train.

CHOO CHOOO!!!

Sam Green somehow always gets these covers spot on, they're alway gorgeous illustrations that fit perfectly to the variations in Sanderson's Cosmere universe. Each one recognizable by a colour: Stormlight Archive is so far red, the Mistborn books are pale blue and Elantris by its green. 

As well as this, you could say that Green has managed to encapsulate the scope of Sanderson's world, where the most prominent plot points are in the explorations of war, and scope of what the book tackles.

The Content:

This book was definitely a slow burner of a plot. It did take me three months on and off reading for me to get through this monster. I would get super into the plot and then a hundred pages of reading loose interest again- swap to another book and then come springing back.

That being said I cannot say I didn't like this book. It had all the elements that I adore in Sanderson's works that makes Sanderson a great fantasy genre writer. What I adore about Sanderson's magic systems is that unlike many other world's magic is limited. Creating a tension and challenge that helps push certain aspects of a book's plot into action, creating a good rise and fall action.

The reason this has dropped two stars is because I did keep losing interest where this was such a slow burner. Perhaps if I had read this at more this time of year I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Also, some characters didn't hold my attention either. Whenever we were on the political side at court I was enthralled by the character, the masses of battle scenes just left me tired. I guess this is why I adore Game of Thrones, the ratio of court political intrigue feels slightly higher than in Sanderson's Way of Kings.

I will definitely continue on with this series. Even though it will take a huge commitment-- only two out of ten books have been written and released so far folks.

GET YOUR COPY:
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REVIEW| Through the Zombie Glass

Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2)
Gena Showalter



Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:


Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they've got mine...

Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong.

After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things.

She's never needed her team of zombie slayers more, but ultra bad-boy Cole Holland, the leader and her boyfriend, suddenly withdraws from her...from everyone. Now, with her best friend Kat at her side, Ali must kill the zombies, uncover Cole's secret and learn to fight the darkness.

But the clock is ticking...and if she fails at a single task, they're all doomed.


Review:

The Cover: 

Ah, the cover! Reminiscent towards the era of the generic YA paranormal romance story. Girl dolled up in a fancy dress. Pretty meh. Honestly, though, I can't think of any other cover that would fit the story. This is just how I feel about what I read, and actually for once the generic cover hold up the foundations of a pretty typical YA tropes filled story.

The Content:

The reason that I couldn't give this a flat one star is because I still really liked Ali as a character and I understood her traits and some of her thoughts. In saying that I've already opened up a can of stinky tuna as there were some things that happened in her mind set that was a cause of vile irritation throughout ATTZG.

I remember not so fondly of reading Crescendo, the second book in Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series. I remember distinctly DNFing the thing after a hundred pages. I'm not to explain why due to spoilers and I would like to try and avoid that. However, if you didn't like that book for whatever reason or you are avoiding reading it I would try and stay clear of this one. It felt a little juvenile at times in terms of arrangement of plot structure and character choices.

I also found that this book got rather repetitive as the story continued on. I think I even skipped pages because I knew exactly what the series of events were going to be and their outcome. And I never do this-- ever! If I wanted to improve it, it would be the simple matter of removing 200 hundred or so pages.

I don't think I am going to finish this series, unfortunately. I have little to no interest and it would be great to just unhaul them from my bookshelf and be free of this burden on my tbr. And I don't even want to know what happens.

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Waiting the Wednesday| Tales of Shadowhunter Academy

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This week's WoW post is:


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-10)
Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis: 

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters.

Thoughts:

We all know that I am a sucker for anything that has been written and co-written by Cassandra Clare, much to all your dismay. And this is no different. This is a collection based in the aftermath of the events of the final The Mortal Instrument book-- City of Heavenly Fire-- and follows Simon Lewis' essentially becoming a Shadowhunter. 

I know spoiler but I'm sorry, not sorry. It's been almost three years-- and if you've read Lady Midnight than it would matter. 

I will FOREVER be counting down the releases of Cassie's books, they are just as much of my identity as the genetics of my DNA.

PREORDER YOUR COPY:

Top 5| Pink Covers

I did this post a while ago on my other blog/website where I chose my "Top 5" book covers that were pink because of it being a national day of something-- this was a year ago! (A lot has changed.)

One thing that remains the same is that I still fudging hate the colour pink and what is usually meant when pink gets shoved into a colour scheme. ICK.

Anyway, I've reviewed it a bit and here it is (in no particular order!!):

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange & Deadly #2)
Susan Dennard

Find on Goodreads

It's been a while since Susan Dennard has had a mention on this blog.

(Quickly input here but, seriously have you still not read Truthwitch yet. Shame.)

These new covers for her already finished trilogy have been announced ready for print July 2017. And aren't they just gorgeous?

It just fits the beautiful story. Hopefully, ya'll be more inclined to pick up this awesome YA steampunk novel.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Stephanie Perkins

Haven't read this one because I have to be in a certain mood in order to enjoy YA romances but, this is a pretty cute cover. Better than that trash bag of a cover they were previously using on the original hardbacks-- *shudders*

Maybe I'll give this one a go-- at some point.






Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1)
Rachel Hawkins

Find on Goodreads

This one is purely for the juxtaposition of feminity and masculinity. Basically the comparison of the sword pinning the necklace of pearls.

Awesome!

I will probably never read this series, though. I heard these are pretty basic books. Hmm.. Let me know if I should check them out?

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Marie Rutkoski


 I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK SO BADLY!? But, I keep buying other bloody books. This Christmas I swear!

I've seen the new covers... Yeah, you can't be serious?!

They are such blatant rip-offs of Maas' Throne of Glass series. Just NO.


Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Sarah J. Mass


My review: HERE

How could I not include this beautiful American cover of Queen of Shadows. One day I will own all these in pb form.

I am still in love with this book, although I am currently read Empire of Storms and getting rather pissy at some of the choices. Eh.

REVIEW| The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell



Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:


Run away, one drowsy summer's afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict.
Over six decades, the consequences of a moment's impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family's survival . . .
Review:
The Cover:
Alright. Alright,  I'll own up to this one- this was a complete cover buy. 

I found this in a group of intimidating hardbacks in Waterstones during the after events of meeting Veronica Roth back in 2014, my pockets then cried in relief as I refused to part with £20 in order to pick it up there and then.
Instead, I found it in a local supermarket in its newly published paperback form. I snapped it up. The cover is soft and buttery. Just gorgeous. The fact that I didn't enjoy this book doesn't hold out that I won't be un-hauling this book anytime soon. I just like looking at this beautiful piece of art we all refer as the cover-design.
If you do go on to picking up this book you'll begin to realize all the little easter eggs-- or, bone clocks-- that Neal Murren has gone to such lengths to include. 

If you couldn't tell I'm in love with this cover.

Enough said.
The Content:

This was one of the many books that I started last year, enjoying greatly but, ended up putting down because newer, shinier books took my short attention span. I can hear my friend scream "book w****" across at me, granted she's across town from me.

When I started The Bone Clocks I was interested in Holly Sykes, this spunky rebellious teen from Gravesend, throughout the 80's. Seeing as Gravesend used to be rather local to me, I already felt like I have a connection with Holly's and mindset. Even if I was a teen throughout the noughties rather than in the eighties.

When it got to my third P.O.V this is when I lost interest, nothing was being answered, and wont be answered til at least 490 pages in. Mitchell just keeps on tying on pieces of string and expect me to now grow tired of wanting. It just slowed the whole pacing down completely and left me swimming in the pages of incoherent prose.

However, I did like the full cycle that Mitchell seemed to tie this book into it's end. Going back to Holly's P.O.V as an elderly woman brought this book to it's conclusion and left me mildly satisfied, if a little annoyed at the long way round I was taken to get there.

In short of my 3am ramblings on Facebook:

I feel like massive parts of it could have cut down. The middle had no major conflicts that I felt emotionally involved in, accept, the overarching character events of Holly Sykes' life. Mitchell should have cut out the middle men (and women).

TBR| October '16

It is so very rare that I sit down and write a TBR and stick to it. I think getting my letter to Hogwarts would be more likely than to actually sticking to this but, I thought I would let you guys know what books I am interested in finishing this month; perhaps you can help push me to do so and even buddy read (?)

The first book is:

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell

Find on Goodreads

On page 492 of 613

Okay, so if you follow me on twitter you will know I have been umming and erring about this trying to finish this book. Look at close I am to finishing it-- let's just try finish it before Oct 10th!

That's my deadline. Not finished? It's DNF.




Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Sarah J. Mass


On page 332 of 689

I started this back when it came out because I was just too excited to let my fangirling heart wait. I then put it down in order to finish some books that needed to happen before I left for University.

As I haven't finished TBC yet, it means I haven't picked this up yet. Soon!

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
V.E. Schwab

Find on Goodreads

I wanted to read this on the journey up to Wales but plans never seen to work out, do they?

I haven't finished a book in almost four weeks?!

I crave this satisfaction. Also, I met Vee at a book signing and my copy has a great little note to stop me from procrastination.





Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Leigh Bardugo


With the release of Crooked Kingdom last month I thought I would try and continue on with the series, even though I have been spoiled for quite a few plot parts. 

Damn social media!

I'm purely doing this because I made it my goal this summer and didn't get round to the whole task.





These are the four books I am trying to set myself to finishing this month, let me know if any of these are your favourites or if you want to perhaps set up a buddy read?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram. Links are available in the bar to the left.

Waiting on Wednesday| Gemina

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This week's WoW post is:


Gemina (The Illuminae Files 0_2)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Hanna Donnelly is the station captain’s pampered daughter and Nik Malikov is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. Together they struggle with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, blissfully unaware that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall with news of the Kerenza invasion.


My thoughts: 

So... I did request a copy of Gemina from the UK publicists Rock the Boat but, got turned down due to obvious limited supply. 

If did end up receiving a copy I would love to review this for everyone before the 18th Oct, 2016 (**Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge**). Illuminae if you haven't read it (where have you been?) is a YA Sci-fi told with a twist. Expect fast paced action told in the most bizarre way, yet, in the best way possible. 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY:
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Top 5| Book I Never Want to Re-read

Before I left for University we were having loads of boot sales in order to raise some money for me to get up here. It was a lot of work but, the one thing that I did end up doing was getting rid of some books that were no longer a priority nor ones I held any connection with.

This left me thinking of all the books that I would like to consider never reading again. 

This is a quick pointer of my top 5.

DISCLAIMER: This is all subject to personal matter. If you like the book, good for you but, I refuse to apologist. Also, this is in now way in order to preference, I disliked all these pretty much the same just for different reasons.

Let's go!

5.

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Harper Lee

Find on Goodreads

Remember the hype that was built around this novel?

How I wish I had never bothered. This didn't really add anything to one of my favourite novels and was in turn pointless as a novel. In fact in some parts this novel detracted ideas I had developed, as well as tainting my view of some characters. If only I could go back.


4.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1)
Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith


Yeah, I was really excited about this becuase I knew there was a book to movie adaptation coming out earlier this year.
Loved the movie, hated what this book standed for. 

If this was rewritten by a female author this would have stood better on my own view of woman and where this could have been taken.

3.

Matched (Matched #1)
Ally Condie

Find on Goodreads

I thought this was such an interesting concept and picked it up in my local bookstore after hearing some postive reviews on booktube- my regret.

WHY DID I PAY FULL PRICE?






2.

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Maggie Steifvater


Okay, so we all know that I loved Maggie's The Raven Cycle books, this one just- gah!

I did enjoy it just it went down hill really quickly in terms of plot and keeping my interest by the third book.





1.

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)
James Dashner

Find on Goodreads

I WENT THROUGH SO MUCH CRAP WITH THIS BOOK?!

I was reading these shortly before and during my first error of being homeless, (The error being entirely my mother's.) But, I think being in that situation changed my view on the things I was reading and felt at the end highly disappointing.

I felt cheated in a way.

REVIEW| After You

After You (Me Before You #1)
JoJo Moyes

⭐⭐
Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:


Lou Clark has lots of questions.
Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.
Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.
And will she ever get over the love of her life.
What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . . 


Review:

The Cover:

Why are all these covers seem to be following a trend? Remember, when it was important to have a USP? A cover that stood out from the rest of the books on the stand. I guess with publicity like chinese whispers-- it seems to attracts all the right readers. Go social media!! Whoooo..... 

The cover designer has gone for that minimalist look, trying for the 3D-peeling-away-the-paper. If you know what the Me Before You cover looks likes then you can recognise the brown paper and stars peeking through underneath. As well as the fact that it couldn't scream that is is the 'sequel to Me Before You', with it pasted all over the front cover, along with that annoying 'sticker' that isn't a sticker.

One thing that really caught my attention on the cover is the inclusion of a single bird in flight. A sure symbol of the hope and the struggle of grief that follows Will's death, and the freedom and liberty that is to come in the novel.

The Content:

I don't remember the last time that I was able to think: "Wow! I actually enjoyed that contemporary romance book." But, here I am. Wow! I actually enjoyed that contemporary romance book. Three stars? I know, but usually I will rate them at a two and lower. You don't want to know the number of contemporaries that I have actually DNF'd. 

I read Me Before You sometime last year and really enjoyed it. The focus on both suicide and assisted suicide a topic I never really thought of exploring, to expand on the morality of the situation on the basis of whether this is something that should perhaps be more lenient in terms of the law. As much as I think no one should consider to take their own lives and shouldn't have to reach that point, it should be a matter of their own decision to make to live or take their own lives. 

-the start of the novel see's Lou back in a dead end job not getting anywhere, the life she promised to live to Will seems a little non- existent at the start of the novel. Until Lou falls off the roof of her flat after hearing a voice on her fire escape. Then it all gets a bit awkward and crazy from here. 

Lou still remains her own bubbly, chatty self even after the events of MBY (Me Before You) which made for a warm welcome. Moyes tackles grief in the multiple ways that can differ from every individual through her "Moving on" meetings that Lou attends throughout After You.
If you were going into this expecting no romance and a woman still hung up about her past love, then you will highly be disappointed. But, I think most people will like Sam. He was cute. Granted my heart didn't soar high in the sky, with my brain squealing how I ship them so hard-- much to the chagrin of Will Traynor. 

As much as this seems to have been a gush, leaving many people wondering why I haven't given it a star rating higher than three was because I genuinely thought it was okay. I just wasn't as emotionally invested in aftermath of MBY. Perhaps I had just left it a bit to long between for the emotional pact to really set in my heart and make my eyes leak. I kind of wished that I had left that Lou living her life in Paris in my head. 

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