All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
The final book review of the day is for The Glass Magician.
Title: The Glass Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Part of a trilogy: Yes, book 2 in The Paper Magician trilogy
Original publication date: 4th November 2014
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Read February 2018)
Again, it's thanks to a friend for lending me this series, who clearly must have talked some sense into me because I don't know why it took me until last September to finally decide to read these. They're so short and light, and unlike the first, I managed to read this in a day across three sittings.
I enjoyed this one a bit more than The Paper Magician, mainly because I found there was a lot more going on. We met several new characters and there was a lot more action, which I think moved everything in a better direction. I was glad to see Fennel back- I really want a paper dog like that too! :) It was interesting to see more of the various other types of magic, and by the looks of how this ended, that will only get better/more interesting?
Also, yes to seeing Ceony's family- having them present and her thinking a lot about them, trying to keep them safe, ect. Parents and family are often rare for some reason in YA/NA, so it was refreshing to see.
I think my one complaint and why I took half a star away was for the way Ceony thought so much about Emery, like she was still a teenager. I know she spent a lot of this book unsure of his feelings, and do love how their romance is progressing, but she turns 20 at the start of this book.
It felt a bit too much when there was so much else to concentrate on. At least she now knows where they stand.
So yes, I'm very much looking forward to book 3- and the spin-off series which starts this year. :)
If you've read these, what did you think to The Glass Magician? All the best and happy reading.
The second review of the day I'm catching up with. This will be spoiler-free review, as it's not long been released in the UK and I'm aware it's not releasing in the US until March (as far as I know).
Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Part of a trilogy: Yes, book 3 in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy
Original publication date: 1st February 2018 (UK)/6th March 2018 (US)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read February 2018)
Where do I start with this review? I only got into reading this trilogy last year, thanks to the purple cover for <i>Traitor to the Throne</i>- and I'm in love with the UK covers (see all below). They're so pretty and shiny all together on my shelf! :D But those amazing covers have contained an amazing- and heart-breaking- story and I'm also sad it's finally over.
Look at how beautiful they are!!
We land more or less straight after where Traitor to the Throne ends and now Amani is having to lead the Rebellion while trying to figure out how to rescue what's left of it from the Sultan's grasp. She struggles with the weight of this new role, but those who are standing by her side help her in various ways. One thing I love about Amani is that, even though some of her decisions seem reckless or the wrong thing at the time, she always follows her heart in what to do. So if that means she tries to save people, even though it could mean great personal danger.
Of course, this book is about the all-out war now. Amani is trying to save Ahmed and the others, while keeping the secret, since no one else knows about what really happened. But we go everywhere in this one- back to Dustwalk, back to the Sultan's home, and through various other places both new and old. It really has felt like something of a full circle in this trilogy.
Being war, not everyone survives. Various things happen that made me question what I knew about characters previously- I like it when I'm proven wrong. So I laughed a lot, cried a lot, and laughed through my tears. That's just the beginning of various emotions I went through. I care about these characters a lot. The ending is so bittersweet- all I'm going to say, if you've not read it yet.
And if I had to say anything negative? I don't know...that this trilogy is over? It's going to take me a while to get over them, but after all, that's what re-reads are for. :)
This is series I highly recommend, so if you haven't read it yet, you really should. And if you have, what are your thoughts? Have you managed to read Hero at the Fall yet, or are you still waiting for its release?
As always, all the best and happy reading. :)
My first review of three coming up today.
This was another book I got for Christmas (yes, I still have Christmas presents left to read!) and one I'd struggled to decide on whether to read or not, given all of the comparisons to ACOTAR, as I wondered how it could be as good, given the premise was very similar. I also tried not to listen to the mixed reviews that were floating around Goodreads to form my own opinion of the book.
Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Part of a trilogy: No, it’s a standalone
Original publication date: 26th September 2017
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (Read February 2018)
I'll start with the negatives I found first.
An Enchantment of Ravens is a standalone, which I think is enough to tell this particular story and just under 300 pages, which I think is a small disservice to the overall story, as it could have been a bit longer to flesh out various aspects. At times, it felt like there wasn't much to the plot, though to me, it felt more character driven anyway. But there were parts of this where too many chapters were based on the journey to the autumn court. I got restless in the end and wished Isobel and Rook would just hurry up and arrive at their destination.
And yes, the big issue a lot of people have noted is the insta-love towards Rook on Isobel's part. I couldn't help rolling my eyes at that point because this is something I'm getting sick of in YA. By all means, have attraction there, but that doesn't immediately equal love.
On the plus side, I adored the writing style. The descriptions were so detailed and rich and drew me in. And as I can't draw at all, it was interesting to see how Isobel worked and what she painted. It fondly reminded me of the weekends when my dad would draw and paint a bit, having this massive box of paints and stuff. He would never say he's super talented as an artist- and these days uses that old paint box for when he goes fishing!- but he is the best drawer in our family. :)
And I have to acknowledge the fantastic work Charlie Bowater did in designing that cover. I did a lot of admiring it. She is very quickly becoming one of my favourite artists!
I also loved the majority of characters (out of the 'good guys') and thought some of Rook and Isobel's interactions were hilarious. Lark seemed like good fun and I liked how we got to see the consequences of drinking from the Well- thereby turning Fae from mortal- and having that choice not being as wonderful as it appeared.
Naturally, there were one or two characters whom I thought I could trust and that trust was...debated at times. I love it when the Fae are morally grey and are so far apart from humans that they don't think as we would.
Honestly, some of the 'bad' characters were also well written and I enjoyed reading about that. As I've said, I felt this book was very character driven and it shows, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't feel it was.
Overall, I did enjoy An Enchantment of Ravens and might read it again at some point. I just expected a bit...more. But I think it's a decent debut and the author's writing style will definitely serve her well for whatever she writes next.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? All the best and happy reading. :)
I've been doing some organising over the last couple of days, so that the desk I use for writing and a TBR bookshelf (I love when stuff has more than one use!) no longer is messy and actually looks like a desk again, so I can use it to write once more. Yay. :)
In some of the organising, I realised I have quite a few books left over from last year, but a few from further back. One of my resolutions of a sort in books this year is to get rid of some of the backlist I've accumulated. So I've made a list of the rest of this month, in finishing up the two books I'm currently reading, and then I should be able to squeeze in another two really short ones as well.
My physical TBR that I own is actually quite manageable at the moment and totals 26 books. Of course, there are all of those fancy, shiny new releases coming up in the next few months, but I'm not going to think about those just yet.
March is the first full month I'm dedicating to Beat the Backlist. For now, I have a target of 6 books to get me started and I usually read between 6-8 books a month depending on various things, so I think it's a good start. With all of the releases coming this year, these books would keep getting overlooked and just keep judging me for not picking them up...
Let me discuss them a bit further- and try to make excuses... *shrug*
1. S J Kincaid- The Diabolic
Not that I've put these in any particular order, but there is no good excuse as to why I haven't read this yet. I have the hardback, as I think I bought it early on when it came out...in 2016...
Along with this, I also got it at least half price from what I remember and I just...Ok, I know it shouldn't still be sat waiting for me to pick it up. It's because of books like this that I'm specifically reserving months for these books at all. I think I'm doing well with getting this far on the plan!
2. Josephine Angelini- Witch's Pyre
It feels like I've had this trilogy for ages, though it took me a while to pick up book 1, and I really enjoyed it. I read book 2 last year and a bit of a gap between them, and bought Witch's Pyre while reading the second, knowing I would be happy to finish the trilogy. The original plan was to get this one also read last year- but that didn't happen. So I think it's about time I finished the trilogy, and they are really good.
3. Shadowplay- Laura Lam
Now I did actually attempt to read this back in December, as I'd bought it soon after reading the first book, Pantomime, last year, which I loved. However, thanks to taking part in NaNoWriMo, and a few other things, I entered a slump for a lot of the month. I'd not gotten very far in reading Shadowplay and I didn't want to try and push through it- and maybe ruin the experience- when I wasn't really feeling like reading.
Annoyingly, I'm in a very small slump right now, but I'm going keep going; this one will disappear easily enough. The joys of book slumps...not.
So I'm hoping the second time around will be easier so I'll actually be able to read Shadowplay.
4. Caraval- Stephanie Garber
This came out last year and has divided opinion on Goodreads, but no, I still haven't read it yet, so it's on this list. Technically, I waited until November for the paperback to be released because I was too poor to buy the hardback at the time. This gives me some room for an excuse but when it feels like everyone else has read it...well, I probably should too by now.
5. If We Were Villains- M. L. Rio
This book is partly based on Shakespeare and I've heard good things. As a fan of the Bard myself, and this book is the one I broke my August book buying ban for- oops, yes I just admitted to that- I'm all out of excuses over here.
6. The Fallen Kingdom- Elizabeth May
So I was in two minds whether to add this one to the list. I only started this trilogy last year after searching for so long for them. The Fallen Kingdom was already out in a bigger paperback but far too expensive, even more so than a hardback, which in England (at least locally in the north) are usually £12-£14.
So I waited and ordered the normal sized paperback- and so the series matched in size- and it came out last month. However, I added it because I loved the first two and am so eager, and nervous, to know how it will all end!
That's it for my first Beat the Backlist month. I may end up reading at least another one in March, but these are the ones I'm going to tackle first and foremost.
What are some of your books that have been on your TBR the longest and you should have read by now?
After finishing the book last Wednesday and then being ill, this review is a bit late, but it's finally here.
I can't believe the series is over! Though I do have the spin-offs to read, hopefully that still counts.
Title: Immortal Reign
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Part of a trilogy: No, book 6 in the Falling Kingdoms series
Original publication date: 6th February 2018
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read February 2018)
After struggling to get hold of the first five for a while when each one was released, I didn't have as long to wait for the sixth book, which even arrived to me a couple of days early. I've loved being so invested in these characters and this story, which has just gotten better with every book. There are a good many twists and turns which I never imagined but set things up well for the last book at various points/the future of Mytica.
I will say that after everything they've done- and I've liked, hated and pitied them- I see similarities in Lucia and Amara. In this book, I misjudged them both, particularly Lucia, with regarding the big event that happened with her in Crystal Storm. I went back to almost liking them both again. As this is a spoiler free review for many reasons than normal, I won't mention any other characters and give spoilers for the last two books, though I did have a few mini heart attacks at times. Cleo's fantastic dress on the cover does feature and it's wonderful. It's worth mentioning the covers and shout out to the designer, because they're great. I have loved the covers for this series.
So what did I think to the ending? Well, I loved it. I think all various threads were intertwined together and finished nicely with no open ending- which, after the cliff hanger that was Crystal Storm, I'm not sure I could have managed one! My heart was happy and one day soon, I'm going to read the series all over again.
Have you managed to read Immortal Reign yet? What did you think and what are your views on the ending (spoiler free please)? All the best and happy reading.
Today is my review for the last book I read in January, bringing my total to 8 (I think) and it's been a good start to the year in reading terms.
Title: The Extinction Trials
Author: S M Wilson
Part of a trilogy: Not heard for certain, but I think it might be
Original publication date: 1st January 2018
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Read January-February 2018)
This book is advertised as The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park and that's certainly true. The chapters are told in more or less alternate chapters between Stormchaser and Lincoln, who both have their own reasons for wanting to take part in the journey to Piloria, the dinosaur planet. I related to Storm wanting her own space and hating being in a crowded place, as resources on their home, including space, are scarce.
Other secondary characters were all different and there should be some interesting things come up in the next book, particularly relating to Storm.
One thing I noticed about the names of Leif, Rune and Kronar were that they came from a different place to most of the others and, if I'm right, their names come from various Scandinavian sources. Leif named after Leif Eriksson, the first person to discover Vinland/America; Rune from the old Nordic runes that made up the alphabet; and Kronar is a variation on the currencies of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
There were a huge mix of dinosaurs in this book, both herbivores and the ones who would gladly eat humans. Storm named one of the friendlier ones Milo and I loved him- they have a history which is explained well and it stands in contrast to everything the people are told of dinosaurs being mindless and who only eat people. The Trial finalists find this out first hand when they get on Piloria and meet ones such as T-Rex's. I definitely would not want to end up on Piloria, no matter how different and beautiful it is!
The only thing I found a little annoying at times was the way little bits of information seemed to be repeated once or twice in various places over the course of the book, which didn't seem necessary.
But overall, it was a fun read, with the different parts of the book split up into sections as well, and I'm very much looking to the second book coming out later this year, in summer.
If you've read this book yet, what are your thoughts? What was your favourite part(s)? All the best and happy reading.
Disclaimer- Never had to write one of these before, but...I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. That should cover it.
Author: Sara Holland
Part of a trilogy: No, book 1 of a duology (as far as I know)
Original publication date: 2nd January 2018 (US)/4th January 2018 (UK)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (Read January 2018)
Well, that was a rollercoaster, and that's a decent analogy by me too. :) I found roughly the first 100 pages to be quite a slow burn. This might annoy some people and I admit I got a tiny bit bored. But after this, it picks up speed and gets really interesting.
I loved the time and blood aspect, and some people have likened to the film In Time, which I have but haven't watched yet, so I can't comment too much. All the relationships are entwined and tangled up so well and I found I couldn't trust my feelings on anyone in the end. And the events regarding the Sorceress and the Alchemist were also unique and unexpected. This may not make any sense unless you read the book (and do read the book), but I'm trying so hard not to give away spoilers here!
(The cover on the right is the UK version and the one below is the US. Though ours is nice, I prefer the US cover.)
There are a few aspects I've seen done a few times in novels recently with houses and the families who live in them, but I love reading about the big estates and their inhabitants, so I didn't care. I'm sure I was born in the wrong century sometimes. :)
From about the halfway mark, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and I was so shocked at something that happens at the end. I had to stop for a moment and re-read it because I couldn't believe it had happened.
Anyway, I really enjoyed Everless overall and am very eager to find out what will happen next in book 2!
What are your thoughts if you've read the book? Did you guess any of the plot twists? All the best and happy reading.
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...