Books · Review

Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

39127492Synopsis:
A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief. Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Five nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?


This was the first book I’ve ever read by Sally Green, I really need to remedy that! After reading this I will definitely be picking up her other books.

Plot: This has been compared to Game of Thrones, I can kind of see the similarities. This book is high fantasy, has political intrigue, there are royalty, Lords and commoners etc.
The POVs are also spread out geographically, it is set out kind of like A Song of Ice and Fire/ GoT. However, since this is YA, it is a lot tamer and there’s no sex, graphic violence or sexual assault/rape. Trigger warning for drugs maybe? The demon smoke is essentially a drug.

This book was a quick read for me, I found it really easy to read but also super interesting. I really enjoyed most of the character’s perspectives(More about each character below) It is a really great set up for the rest of the series, I will definitely be carrying on with the rest of the books.
I’m always quite sceptical with YA fantasy, they’re usually really cliché, full of badly done tropes and sometimes just plain cringe-worthy, however, this book really impressed me. The fault I can find in this book is that (basically) everyone is matched up… It didn’t bother me too much, I just don’t understand why authors think everyone character needs a love interest. Like I said, it isn’t too bad but it’s still there. There is a hint to an LGBT romance (M/M).

Characters:
Tash: 
I love Tash! Her perspective was one of the most interesting, as she is a demon hunter. She was sold as a child to a demon hunter, Gravell, because she’s an unusually fast runner. She’s the youngest being only 13. She’s feisty, sassy and will take on anyone.
Catherine: Catherine is a Princess, she’s hugely oppressed, being a woman. She’s in love with her guard but betrothed to a Prince from another Kingdom for a political alliance.  Catherine was another of my favourite perspectives to read from, I like her story arc and she seems like such a good person. I look forward to seeing where her character goes!
Ambrose: Wasn’t hugely keen on Ambrose, he wasn’t bad but I don’t really think he was needed. He’s a decent guy but his perspective wasn’t my favourite to read from.
March: 
He was my least favourite perspective. I didn’t really connect with him nor did I really like him as a person. That being said, he did have good character development and was more likeable towards the end.
Edyon: He is so funny, his perspective was very fun to read. He’s mischievous, a thief and liar, but I cannot help but really like him.

Overall: A really good first book for a series, I look forward to continuing. Sad I have to wait for the next one! I love the cover of this book, I may have to invest in a physical copy…

Rating: 4 Stars
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green is out May 3rd

*I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review


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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

 

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So I thought I’d start a ‘series’ on my blog where I review books I’m rereading, letting you guys know my feelings whilst rereading and whether my opinion has changed. I’m going to try writing down my thoughts whilst rereading books, probably either be me gushing or complaining. (lol) As well as reviewing the actual book of course.


Synopsis:
ELANTRIS WAS A PLACE OF GLORY

The capital of Arelon, the home to people transformed into magic-using demigods by the Shaod.
But then the magic failed, Elantris started to rot, and its inhabitants turned into powerless wrecks.
And in the new capital, Kae, close enough to Elantris for everyone to be reminded of what they have lost, a princess arrives. Sarene is to be married to unite Teod and Arelon against the religious imperialists of Fjordell. But she is told that Raoden, her husband to be, is dead.
Determined to carry on the fight for Teod and Arelon’s freedom, Sarene clashes with the high priest Hrathen. If Hrathen can persuade the populace to convert, Fjordell will reign supreme.
But there are secrets in Elantris, the dead and the ruined may yet have a role to play in this new world. Magic lives.


Plot: Slow-burning but incredibly intriguing. AMAZING world-building. If you don’t know by now, Brandon Sanderson is the King of world-building. No one has even come close to his level of amazing writing. I adore his writing style, he is great at writing characters I really care about. I am always so invested in his characters stories!
Let me just say: if you’re looking for an action-packed fantasy, this isn’t the book for you. It highly relies on political, religious and magically intrigue. There’s no action really, except a little at the very end, so if you’re not into that I give this a miss.
I am not usually a big fan of slow-paced books but there is something about Brandon Sanderson’s writing that has me completely hooked. The first half of this book is pretty slow, it takes time to develop the story but the last half of the book picks up. (I read the last 300 in a day!)
So basically, Elantis is a city once ruled by people blessed by the Shaod, they were idolised as ‘gods’, ten years before the book begins the Shaod started turning people in essentially zombies instead.

Characters:
Raoden: 
HE IS SUCH A SWEETHEART. God, I love Raoden. He’s such a great character. Raoden is a young Prince due to marry Princess Sarene, however, around a week before she’s due to arrive Raoden is struck by the Shaod and shunned into Elantris.

Sarene:  Poor Sarene is a widow before she was even married. She arrives in Arelon a week early, to surprise her future Raoden, in the hopes of getting to know him before the wedding. When she arrives in Arelon she finds out her husband-to-be has died.
SARENE IS A FEMINIST ICON. She’s a Princess, with a huge interest in politics, she’s very opinionated and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Men are intimidated by Sarene’s intelligence and resistance to being a ‘typical’ woman at court.

Hrathen: Hrathen is a Fjordell Gyorn, which is like a high priest, he is tasked to convert the people of Arelon or they will be massacred.
Let me just say, Hrathen is a well-written antagonist with good character development. That being said, I bloody hate him! His rivalry with Sarene is very entertaining. I mean, I guess he’s just doing his ‘job’ but I never have been a fan of pushy religious people.

Galladon: Honourable mention to this side character! I bloody adore Galladon, he’s so snarky and funny. He’s such a pessimist, very relatable.

Thoughts whilst reading:

  • Oh my god, I’ve missed this world
  • YASSS Sarene!
  • God, I hate Hrathen
  • Raoden is such a babe
  • Sarene’s sass gives me life
  • How did I forget THAT?!

Has my opinion changed: Kind of? I think I loved it, even more, the second time around. I adore this book, I haven’t read any Sanderson since last year and I realised how much I miss his writing. It also made me remember how much better adult fantasy is to YA.

Rating: 5/5 Stars!


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Books · Tag

Netflix & Books Tag

 

Netflix

Recently Watched – What book did you most recently read?
The last book I finished was The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
I am currently rereading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Top Picks – What book are you always recommended?
Anything by Brandon Sanderson, I seriously am trying to force people to read his books!

Recently Added – What book did you most recently buy?
It was on kindle – Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Popular on Netflix – What book has everyone been talking about that you haven’t read yet?
Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi – I have only literally just read these books and I am loving this series. I really need to dive into Restore Me!

Comedy – What is your favourite funny book?
Recently the Spellslinger series by Sebastien De Castell, I listened to the audiobook and it was so much fun.

Drama – What character is a total drama queen/king?
Adam from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Animated – What is your favourite cover with animations/drawings
 I have so many but I really love the covers of Brandon Sanderson’s books.
The art is lovely!

Watch Again – What is your favourite book or author to reread?
Sarah J Maas – her books are so addictive, I could honestly just keep picking up her books over and over.

Action & Adventure – What is your favourite adventure story?
Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

New Releases – What upcoming release are you most excited for?
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Charmcaster by Sebastien De Castell


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Books · Review

Review: Genesis by Brendan Reichs (Spoiler free!)

Image result for Genesis by Brendan Reichs

Synopsis: Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive.

The 64 members of Fire Lake’s sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning, and zero rules apply. But Noah’s deaths have trained him–hardened him–to lead the strongest into the future . . . whatever that may be. And at any cost.

Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn’t enough.

Trapped in a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it’s tempting to lay back and let everyone else fight it out. But Min’s instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She’s ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whoever might stand in her way.


This review is going to be pretty short because there isn’t much to say without spoiling…
I can say: definitely pick these books up, they’re really interesting and unique. If you haven’t picked up Nemesis (the first book) definitely do, the first half of it drags a little but it’s worth it in the end.
Plot:
The plot picks up pretty much where the first book ends, everyone has divided into groups, with the awful Ethan running the majority and Noah leading another group as well as a few other smaller groups.
Everything has gone into complete chaos, teenagers running the world would never be a great idea. The twists and turns in this book are even more unreal than the first, damn, I was shocked this book definitely keeps you on edge.
It’s a really strong sequel, it’s even better than the first book and I would definitely read more from this author.
Surprisingly, this book felt so short, it’s over 500 pages and it didn’t drag at all. I am really impressed there aren’t any boring parts it’s really fast pace and gripping.

That ending though?? It’s kinda a resolution but could be the very end… will there be another book? I’ll have to have a google to find out.

Characters:
Min: 
One of the only decent teens left in this ‘game’, she’s actually acting like a human, refusing to kill everyone. I like Min, especially her friendship with Tack, they’re such a great duo! I don’t like the relationship matching in this book. Like why can’t Mim be with Tack!? As much as I like Mim, her taste in men is crap.

Noah: I started off liking Noah in the first book by the end I didn’t care for him. Now I bloody can’t stand him! His character development is very well done, he went from being so nice to psycho! I really don’t like him. Despite what happens in this book.

Tack: I freaking adore Tack, he is possibly my favourite character even though he is only a side character. I laughed out loud during a lot of his parts, he is absolutely hilarious! I love that he’s so caring and protective of Min. Adorable!! Best friend goals. He also made a Star Wars reference, what’s there not to love!?

Rating: 4 Stars

Genesis
by Brendan Reichs is out April 19th

*I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review

 


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Books · Review

Review: The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew

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Synopsis:

Can this shocking new feeling be love, or is it electrickery?

In a lowly side-show fair in eighteenth-century England, teenager Mim is struggling to find her worth as an act. Not white, but not black enough to be truly exotic, her pet parrot who speaks four languages is a bigger draw than her. But Alex, the one-armed boxer boy, sees her differently. And she, too, feels newly interested in him.

But then Dr Fox arrives with his scientific kit for producing ‘electrickery’ – feats of electrical magic these bawdy audiences have never seen before. To complete his act, Fox chooses Mim to play the ‘Electrical Venus’. Her popularity – and the electric-shocking kisses she can provide for a penny – mean takings are up, slop is off the menu and this spark between her and Fox must surely be love.

But is this starring role her true worth, or is love worth more than a penny for an electrifying kiss?

An intoxicating and atmospheric coming of age story set in the filth and thrill of a travelling show during the height of the Georgian Enlightenment.


First off, can we just appreciate the cover? I love it, it’s what attracted to me to the book in the first place. Also, the title makes the book sound really intriguing.
Hot Key Books are amazing, I was just expecting the book and they went all out! (I especially appreciate the popping candy!)

Plot:
The plot is an odd one… It’s slow, weird and interesting but not a lot is going on. The story is quite uniquely told the POV character’s chapters are them telling the story of what happens to animals, for Mim she tells the story to George, her parrot and Alex tells his story to the pigs he looks after. There are also chapters told in the third person, almost like a narrator starts telling the story, it’s odd I have never read anything set up this way before. The third person chapters give a completely new and interesting view of the story.
The setting and atmosphere of the story are probably my favourite parts of the novel, it’s set in Georgian England in a travelling sideshow. It was really interesting to read about the performances they put on and the world in general. (Can’t comment on whether it’s historically correct, however.)
The ending was faster than the rest of the book, it picked up well and it had a sweet ending. It’s really hard to explain what happens without completely giving it away, it’s probably best going in blind.

Characters:
Mim: 
She is a young woman known as the girl-exotic as she is mixed race – this was not something I was expecting but it did really increase my interest in the story – she is half slave, half highborn but sold and grew up with the travelling show. I liked Mim, I was really interested in her character development and her story, particularly her time with Alex and later Dr Fox and seeing her turn into the titular ‘Electrical Venus’.

Alex: He’s a young boy sold to the sideshow because he only has one arm due to an accident. He had grown up with Mim in the sideshow, he’s really sweet and cares about Mim, I really liked their friendship.

Overall: It’s not quite as good as the synopsis lead me to believe, I was expecting more but I did enjoy it. I recommend it for people who like historical fiction with circus kinda vibes and romance.

Rating: 3 maybe 3.5 Stars?

The Electrical Venus is out April 19th

*Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a free copy of The Electrical Venus for review. This does not affect my view in any way, all opinions are my own, as always! *


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Books · Review

Review/Discussion: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

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“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

 


Synopsis:
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all.
Now she must rely on Warner. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.


Plot: I completely inhaled read this book in 4 hours. It was fast-paced, crazy addictive and I could not put this down. I am officially Shatter Me TRASH.
The character development, the relationships and THE FEELS.
It was just so good, I can’t even comprehend it.

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This book picks up where Unravel Me left off, Juliette has been saved by Warner and taken back to the base. No one knows she’s alive and she has no idea what happened to anyone from Omega point. The story follows from there, Warner and Juliette have agreed to team up to take down his father and the Reestablishment.
I did feel the ending was a tad rushed, a lot happened in the last 20% and it could’ve been stretched out a little bit more. The ending was decent but there was no full closure, I can see why some people would be disappointed but now there’s a spin-off trilogy!

Characters:
Juliette:
THIS Juliette is who I have been waiting for. She is SO much better in this book, I definitely enjoyed her more this time! Her character development is so good, she’s completely different from the first book, in the best way, she has grown so much and she is done being a whiny, timid nuisance and becomes independent and mature. She is ready to fight the Reestablishment and take down Anderson once and for all.
I am so glad she figured out she wasn’t actually in love with Adam and basically was only with him because he was the only one who was kind to her. I’m so glad she realised she deserved better!
Warner: 
Okay. So. Warner’s character came full circle and all his sins were essentially explained away. I’m sorta mad about, but also not? I like this Warner so much but I’m kinda mad I like him and he is redeemed. He is the prime example of people are not always what they seem. However, he was set out to be a cold-hearted murderer, douche bag and the author had a way to just cancel it all out, it’s kind of perfect but completely annoying at the same time. The way he treats Juliette though… my heart. He’s SO supportive of her, never puts her down and is so patient with her. (Unlike Adam)
Favourite Warner quote, just because:
Warner @ Adam  
“Do you never get exhausted being so wholly unbearable? You have as much charisma as the rotting innards of unidentified roadkill.”

Adam: NOW I understand why the fandom hates Adam. God was he annoying in this one. Such a stroppy man-child, so cringeworthy and I honestly don’t blame Juliette’s decision, I’d bloody choose Warner too.

Kenji: I freaking adore Kenji. He is so funny, one of my favourite side characters ever! The friendship between Kenji and Juliette is just so sweet, I love their banter and Kenji’s humour kills me. I actually laughed out loud at some of his jokes. I would LOVE to see more of him!

Overall: It was a good concluding novel, definitely my favourite in the trilogy I will definitely continue this series. I am excited to read Restore Me but I don’t know when I’ll be picking it up… maybe soon.

Rating: 4/5


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Books · Tag

The Disney Book Tag

Disney-book-tag-banner A whole new world – Pick a book that made you see the world differently.
All of them… Books made me realise the real world is crap.

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 Cruella De Vil – Pick your favourite villain.
One would be Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire – I cannot help but love Cersei, she’s so underrated and actually a very complex character.

 I won’t say I’m in love – Pick a book you didn’t want to admit you loved.

None, I’m never ashamed of admitting I enjoy something!

Gaston – Pick a character that you couldn’t stand.
I’ll go with a recent one… Inan from Children of Blood and Bone, I found him so annoying!

 Part of your world – Pick a book set in a universe you wish you could live in.
ACOTAR – I’d love to be Fae and live in Velaris

A dream is a wish your heart makes – describe what the book of your dreams would be like.
Fantasy. Epic. Strong female characters. Unpredictable.

 Someday my prince will come – What book character would you marry if you could?
Rhysand without a doubt.

 I see the light – Pick a book that changed your life.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – it got me into reading fantasy/sci-fi, I will forever adore the His Dark Materials trilogy.

 When you wish upon a star – Pick a book you wish you could reread for the first time.
So many! But probably The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

 I just can’t wait to be king – Pick a book with some kind of monarchy in it.
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

 Colours of the wind – Pick a book with a beautiful colourful cover.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


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