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.
Hi everyone. First of all, I admit that I'm writing this about ten minutes after finishing the book, so apologies if this isn't my best review or I leave bits out. This was my first book by Susan Dennard and I really enjoyed it.
Author: Susan Dennard
Part of a trilogy: No, book 1 in the Witchlands series
Original publication date: 5th January 2016
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (Read November 2017)
I'll get the few negatives out of the way before discussing the book further.
At the beginning, I think the world building could have been better explained. There were a few confusing things until I got into it more, but I've been told by a few friends that this aspect involves on book 2, so I'll trust their judgement on that. Within the last fifty pages or so, there were also one or two things I got slightly confused about, so hopefully this is cleared up too.
Also, I found one or two typos, which weren't particularly annoying as such, but were noticeable. Hopefully, they don't slip by the editor for book 2.
And now onto the good things.
The power of friendships! Totally on point here. And those friends who are like family? All represented here, several times over. It was so important to be represented in a book, especially when books nowadays in a range of genres are always pitting female characters against each other. Sorry, but that's not the way I see the women I know, and are close to, and it seems Susan Dennard doesn't either.
The slow burn of Safi and Merik. I wanted to just throw them at each other or hit them for being so stubborn. It was realistic though and I couldn't help smiling when things moved faster with them. Aeduan is also an interesting character, one whom I grew to like, if not one I'd want to meet down a dark alley. His powers are terrifying.
I really liked the time spent on Merik's ship. There aren't enough books with ships and I always enjoy them when done right- ie, detailed well and puts you there with the characters and their experiences. In Truthwitch, it was done right.
Overall, I had fun and am excited to see where book 2, Windwitch, will go next. A solid 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you read this book yet? If so, what did you think of it? As always, all the best, have a great weekend, and happy reading! :)
This book is an adventure and highly recommended! Also, some minor spoilers ahead.
But first, story time.
Since I hadn't read it since it came out 6 years ago (what????), I'd forgotten practically everything and, up until last year perhaps, hadn't entertained the idea of re-reading books much. I was far too busy with university to manage time to read all the new ones I had, let alone doing re-reads. But when I left this summer, I suddenly had more time- and my Goodreads challenge has benefited massively from this fact- and then I found The Scorpio Races a month or two ago and decided to wait until November to pick it up again.
And so here we are.
Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Part of a trilogy: No, it’s a standalone
Original publication date: 18th October 2011
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read November 2017)
This cover is for the original UK paperback and is the version I have. The cover has since been updated.
Reading about the choices made in writing this book that Maggie Stiefvater went through makes me glad I'm not the only one who loves different kinds of mythologies and want to write about them. I'm only familiar with the kelpies, Scottish water horses that turned into human form to lure unsuspecting victims to their deaths in some body of water. There are various bits to that one alone and I'm a fan. The water horses in this book are just as deadly and beautiful, yet they have so much heart in them.
Corr is wonderful and despite how much the sea calls to him, he trusts Sean so much more over wanting to eat him. Their relationship is amazing and the ending may have made me cry. Speaking of, Sean is one of those very precious characters you just want to protect. He's so good with the horses, both killer and normal, and does not deserve to be anywhere near the Malverns, let alone have to work for/live with them in the way he has to.
Puck is the other narrative and I liked her a lot too. She's just trying to keep the remains of her family together and I admire her so much for entering this race on her own normal horse. She's so brave and determined throughout the whole thing, even when the island's men don't think she should be in the race. But she doesn't back down. Speaking of Puck's horse, Dove couldn't be more of a contrast to Corr, but I love them both. And their cat, Puffin. All Puck wants is for her older brother to stay and to keep the house away from...yep, the Malverns.
You would think, with the mention of killer horses that they would be the villains. Nope, they're just doing what their nature tells them. As with a lot of books/films, the true villains are usually human. In The Scorpio Races, the Malverns are it.
All the supporting characters were so different and my favourite was George Holly, the American tourist, who tried his level best to look out for Sean and I'm glad of it. Also, I think Finn has anxiety and/or OCD and that was nice to see it represented without being shouted about. The island seems so rich, almost its own character, yet so lonely and I wonder if I could bear to live on it too.
If I had to pick any fault with the book, it would be that it reminded me that I still can't ride, but made me hopeful that one day I'll learn. Which isn't really a fault at all.
So a full five stars and next time, I won't leave it so many years before I pick up this book again!
What are your thoughts on this book and is it your favourite by this author? If not, which one is? All the best and happy reading.
This book review comes after reading it along with a friend on Goodreads, as we did with the first book. So thanks to Katherine @Paperbackdreamer for reading this duology with me. I had lots of fun. :)
Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Part of a trilogy: No, book 2 of The Wrath and the Dawn duology
Original publication date: 26th April 2016/Re-released 4th April 2017
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Read November 2017)
This was a great duology overall, but I preferred The Rose and the Dagger that bit more. Shahrzad and Khalid are wonderful and I really see them as two halves of a whole. Their love just gets stronger with them. Shazi faces so much in this one but she is as fierce and strong as ever, coming to care more for her sister Irsa than she has done in the past.
The host of new characters were a great addition. Everything in book 2 with the world building and plot twists were all heightened. It was still funny, but I also did a bit of internal screaming, nearly cried a couple of times and generally had fun time loving the characters I should and hating others. Half the time I didn't know what would happen with some characters, or where the story arc would go next, which was really good.
I really shouldn't judge/fall in love with characters to much too soon.
Ahem. I know I do that a lot.
But I will most likely re-read this duology one day. If you haven't picked it up yet- and I waited a while to do so as well- then I very much recommend them. :)
For those who have read this duology, what did you think of it? Who are your favourite/least favourite characters?
As always, happy reading and all the best.
First off, sorry I've been a bit distant on here over the last week or so. Life is being good and it means a few things have had to take slight back seats. But I'm going to be making up for it this rest of the month, as I have plenty of posts planned in various topics. :)
Now, swiftly moving on. Today's book review is 'Legend' by Marie Lu. For me on Goodreads, this was also a buddy read.
The book is still in development for a film adaptation, apparently, but from what I could find, there has been no recent news on it for a couple of years.
Author: Marie Lu
Part of a trilogy: Yes, Book 1 of the Legend trilogy
Original publication date: 29th November 2011
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (Read November 2017)
This book and I have a past.
I wandered past it for at least two years in my favourite bookshop, while it sat on the shelf staring at me. I'd wanted to pick it up for a while, but then 2017 happened. And as Warcross was being released (I haven't managed to get a copy yet) and I want to read it, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy Legend.
Wow. I loved it. The change in text and other small things made it even easier to distinguish whether I was reading about Day or June, but their characters and voices were totally separate, so it was easy anyway. I enjoyed them the most, which is good since it's 1st person and we spend most time with them.
I thought I knew the secondary characters pretty well, but though some clever- yet often horrible- twists, I realised I didn't at all. This book is full of surprises. Just when I wondered whether I'd figured something out or knew what was going to happen, BAM!! I was proved wrong. Some potentially interesting questions, I think, are raised and could be discussed from this book.
After the success of the dystopian genre in books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent (which I enjoyed) and following on with ones such as The Maze Runner (which I gave up on halfway through), I wasn't entirely sure how I'd feel about it here. Legend doesn't feel too much like a dystopian, though I can see a few similarities to The Hunger Games perhaps. But Legend is definitely more unique than it might seem on the surface.
One small issue I had was the romantic relationship between Day and June, which did seem a lot like insta-love. I don't know, I kind of understand it to an extent, but it did sometimes like it just had to be put in there for the sake of it.
Thankfully, waiting so long has its good points. In this case, it's that all the books in this trilogy are out now, so I'll be buying book 2, Prodigy, as soon as possible. :)
As it's been out for six years now, what are your thoughts if you've read it? If you're like I was and are unsure whether to pick it up, then I do recommend it, particularly if you like dystopian novels and those mentioned above.
Happy reading. All the best.
This book review is a collection of short stories from one of my favourite authors, Leigh Bardugo. These stories fit in with the other novels set in the Grishaverse, and are what those characters grew up knowing.
Title: The Language of Thorns
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Part of a trilogy: No, it’s a standalone
Original publication date: 26th September 2017
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Read October-November 2017)
Once I'd stopped stroking the cover and admiring its beauty, I read 4 of the 6 stories in one sitting, more or less and I'll definitely come back to this in the future. These are stories where the things we should be most afraid of are right in front of us and not everything is as simple as it first appears.
An extra bonus was how the contents page detailed which stories came from which country, all ones we've come across in Leigh Bardugo's previous books. As always, the diversity is subtly here in good amounts.
And the artwork? Wow. I could look through it for hours and kept finding so many little details which made the stories much richer. Half the time, I was so engrossed in what I was reading, I'd suddenly realise the artwork had changed and had to go back to look at it properly.
Ayama and the Thorn Wood- 5/5
"Those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do."
I loved the everything about this and the ending I never coming. It has strong characters, good pacing and was a great choice for the opening tale.
The Too-Clever Fox- 4.5/5
Though I guessed some of the ending before I got there, I enjoyed the fact that I actually ended up doubting myself through it.
The Witch of Duva- 5/5
"Shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces."
I was never a huge fan of Hansel and Gretel growing up, but something in it always stuck with me, though I can't really say what it was. However, this is the version of the story I think I prefer and it's told so well. Again, I was wrong about several things, and after reading the author's note about how Leigh Bardugo drew her inspiration, it makes sense. I loved the ending, which felt so right.
Little Knife- 4/5
I've often enjoyed the whole aspect of giving out impossible tasks to win the princess because they're usually so ridiculous. As with all of these tales, nothing is ever simple and a price is always paid in some way. The beginning felt suitably disturbing and creepy, but I found the underlying theme of freedom and being who you want to be.
The Soldier Prince- 3.75/5
I admit a few things coming into review this one. I'm not 100% familiar with The Nutcracker and I was reading this in an environment where I got a bit distracted. But I enjoyed the dark, creepy atmosphere and how love (in its many forms) plays a huge part of it.
When Water Sang Fire- 5/5
"Be still and listen. Think of it as part of the bargain."
This is the longest story in the collection, but another one of my favourites. While I didn't ever watch Disney's A Little Mermaid until I was about 20 (shock, horror, gasp!), I was caught up in it and then was annoyed at myself for waiting for so long. :)
Here, we're presented with Ulla- the Swedish diminutive of Ursula. Though Hans Christian Andersen's tale isn't really followed in this story, it does present the idea of how circumstances help to change and shape us. I really felt for her throughout. And again, those we should be wary of are ones we aren't always.
Let me know your thoughts and what's your favourite story from this collection? Your favourite Leigh Bardugo book?
All the best and happy reading.