Books · Discussion · TV/Film

Review/Discussion: Shadow and Bone TV Show

Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

I have many many many thoughts.
There will be (minor) spoilers.

Let’s talk casting first:
Alina – Decent casting. Okay actress. Wasn’t blown away, didn’t hate either. I wasn’t a fan of Alina in the books and kind of expected the same for the show but I don’t hate her…yet…

Mal – I still don’t like Mal. The casting is good. He’s more likeable in the show for sure. I still don’t buy into Mal x Alina ships. *vom*

The Darkling – Perfection. Ben Barnes is everything. His performance was incredible. So dark, evil and manipulative. He did it so well. Ben Barnes really captures the essence of the Darkling. The name change though… Kirigan. No. Just no. I get that the Darkling gives away that he’s going to be the villain but still.

Zoya – Can I just say NO. I don’t like Zoya in the books at all. But her casting was just blehhh. I didn’t like her portrayal at all.

Genya – I like her but she was done DIRTY with that wig. What an attrocity.

Now for the Dregs:

Kaz – I liked the dude playing him. He could’ve been more sadistic/morally grey. I wanted a bit more, but I overall think he was good.

Jesper – PERFECTION OMG. Like just *chef kiss*
He was amazing. I loved the portrayal. Kit Young really captured Jesper’s character and charm. I loved it.

Inej – Almost perfect. Casting on point. However, she was too soft.

Nina – Great casting, I liked her portrayal.
I understand the sadness for the lack of plus size casting. It’s not really my place to comment on that aspect as I am not plus sized. It’s a shame they had an opportunity for rep taken.

Onto the story:

Firstly, what the fuck was that racism.
I found it so jarring. So unnecessary.
The show runners/makers adding diversity to the very white characters was amazing. Adding the racism, not so much. Right from the first few minutes too.
I’m super sick of fantasy worlds having racism, like it’s fantasy. The world can be anything and yet they always have racism, sexism etc. etc.
I’m not Asian so I will not commented on the use of slurs towards them, as it’s not my place. However, the ‘half breed’ slur hit me. It took me out of the story for a moment. So so gross. I don’t even know what to say. *shudder* This is not the representation mixed people want!

*deep breath*
Let’s move on.

It was an interesting decision to combine the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I’m not really sure what to make of that aspect. It kind of worked and didn’t work for me all at the same time.

It’s no secret that I prefer Six of Crows (doesn’t everyone?) to the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I couldn’t help but be a bit more interested in the Dregs than Alina and Mal. However, I was very interested in the Darkling. Man, I wish he had more air time because *swoon*.

The story was engaging and definitely binge-worthy. I watched it over two days, but if I’d had the time I would’ve binged it in a day. I was gripped from episode one all the way to the end. I don’t think there was a bad episode. They were all really (surprisingly) good.

I had low expectations going in. I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I think I actually enjoyed this more than the books. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, the first book, but the series went downhill from there for me. I’m excited for the potential second season of the show. (PLEASE NETFLIX) Obviously, I know where the story goes. I’m interested to see what changes they make and how the Dregs will slot into the story still…

Nina and Matthias’ story was odd, I get that’s their back story but it makes absolutely no sense to the people who’ve not read the books. I like Nina, but I feel like this could’ve been cut. It would’ve been better to have those scenes as flashbacks when Nina and Matthias have an actual part of the Six of Crow timeline.

The main problem I had (aside from the racism) was that it seemed a tad rushed. Everything seemed to happen too fast. I like fast pace, but I feel like there were areas that could’ve been a bit more developed. Such as Alina ‘training’ – that barely seemed to happen. Baghra was barely in the show. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. I feel like they could’ve added in an extra 2 episodes to develop certain parts more.

Will I watch Season Two: Hell yes!
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chat with me!
Who was your favourite character? / What was your favourite part?

Books · Tag

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

Hello everyone!

Bree Hill originally created this tag as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and The Book Pusher adapted it for fantasy readers. 

What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy novel you read)

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass in the US)
Most people grew up with HP – I didn’t never read nor watched it, never will.
I was a late bloomer when it comes to reading but I made my mum buy me the His Dark Materials box set when we were in The Works when I was a young teen and it made me fall in love with reading and SFF.

 If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

Ooo. Author is an easy one for me: Brandon Sanderson!
I’d want to be a chosen one, so that trope. (also need cool magical powers.)

What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?

I haven’t read a *ton* of fantasy this year. But I did reread The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson. I think this series is so underhyped. It’s seriously one of the best YA Fantasy series.

What is your favourite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?

My favourite is High Fantasy, of course! I absolutely love being transported to new worlds. I haven’t really read much paranormal stuff… if that counts as a fantasy subgenre?

Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?

So that I don’t answer Brandon Sanderson for everything… I’ll go with Sarah J Maas.

How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)

Booktube, Bookstagram, Goodreads & of course, book blogs!

What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore!
I’ve been dying for more Graceling books and my wish has been granted. I’m so glad the author decided to return to this world.

What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?

Women who write fantasy write for the YA or kid audiences…. WHY do people think women can’t write adult fiction?!

If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
I haven’t actually come across any new ones lately…
If anyone has any recs please let me know!


Tagging:
Kirsty @ Kirsty Reads Blog
Rachel @A Cascade of Books
Amy @ Amy Jane Alice
Allie @ WanderingNerdette

+ anyone else who wants to do this tag!

Blogmas · Books · Recommendations

Fantasy (and Sci-fi) Romance Book Recs | Blogmas Day 11

Hello guys!
Welcome to day 11 of blogmas, the penultimate day! This month has flown by!
Today I’m recommending some SFF romance books. I have really been into my romance novels this year and want to reread and read more!

*Click on the titles for my reviews

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (2011-12-29): Brandon Sanderson: Books -  Amazon.com

Of course, I had to include a Sanderson, are we surprised? He makes basically every recommendation list I make. Anyway – This book would be perfect for those who like romance but not as a the main plot. This book is full of political intrigue and amazing magic. There is a very wholesome romance that blooms. It takes a while for this to happen, and it’s not the main story, but it’s very cute! This is probably my favourite book ever, every read this! It’s a great place to start with Sanderson.

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1) by Elise Kova

If you’re looking for something that is purely romance but in a fantasy setting, this is the one for you! The whole story revolves around a forced marriage, which ends up being a slow burn romance. It’s so good.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

The Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles, Book One: 01: Amazon.co.uk:  Pearson, Mary E.: 9780805099232: Books

This has, by far, the best love triangle ever to exist. I will not be taking any criticism.
This has such an interesting premise and format, the main character runs away from her arranged marriage and the Prince who she was to marry goes after, as does an assassin from another kingdom. You follow all three but you don’t know who is the Prince or who the assassin is.

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

This is a sci-fi romance – very heavy on the romance. It has a cool spacey setting, two characters are stuck on board a ship with limited oxygen left, which kick starts flashbacks of the romance. I never see anyone talk about this but it’s one of my faves! I’ve read it twice and will read again in the future. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: 10th Anniversary Edition | Hodderscape

This is a low fantasy novel with the insta-love trope. I’m not usually one for the insta-love trope but Laini does it well and her writing makes up for it. It also has a kinda forbidden romance trope. It’s super cool.

What are your favourite SFF romances?
I’d love any recs for sci-fi romances, there’s a lack of them in my life!

Books · Diverse Reads · TBR

Recent/Upcoming Fantasy/Sci-fi Books by Black Authors on My TBR

black-sfff

Hey guys!
I’m trying to diversify my TBR and in light of the BLM I have been exposed to so many books I hadn’t previously heard about! Some of these have been on my TBR a while and some are new additions.

 

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I have the audiobook for this and I’m excited to get to it soon! I have so many audiobooks this month, I think it’s going to have to wait until July/August.


The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter | Hachette UK

I have been meaning to read this since it came out. I wanted to wait for the paperback, as it would be cheaper but then I ended up liking the cover for the hardback better… Now it’s out of stock. *sigh*


The City We Became by N.K Jemisin

The City We Became (The Great Cities Trilogy): Amazon.co.uk ...

I have yet to read a Jemisin book… I know shame on me. I own two of her books already so I will be reading them soon. I really like the sound of this one! All her books sound so unique and cool, cannot wait to get to them!


The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

I love sci-fi yet I don’t read enough of it. I especially don’t read much diverse sci-fi, which I definitely need to amend that! The premise sounds interesting, so I’m hopeful!
Side note – the cover is gorgeous!


Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead: Kalynn Bayron: Bloomsbury YA

I got rejected for the NetGalley arc so I’ll have to wait for this to be released. [sad face]
I love retellings!! I need more retellings in my life, always. Cinderella is not as retold often, so I’m eager to see this version!


Here’s two audiobooks I listened to recently, I recommend giving them a listen.
Both are fantasy-ish but have really important themes and messages in them. They’re must reads, in my opinion.

*Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown

Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown, audiobook excerpt by ...

Review here!


*The Deep by Rivers Soloman

The Deep: Amazon.co.uk: Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William ...


Have you read any of these? / What SFF books by black authors are you excited for?


UK Charities to Donate to for #BlackLivesMatter

Books · Favourites

Best Books I Read in 2019

Best-books-2019

Hey guys!
Today I’m going to share my favourite books I read in 2019 (not necessarily 2019 releases). I didn’t have a great reading year in terms of quality, I read a lot of mediocre/disappointing books (post coming soon). I didn’t have many 5 Star reads, sadly.

In no particular order:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Image result for the lunar chronicles

I read the entire series in 2019 (on audiobook) and I LOVED it!!
It was such an amazing ride. I adore the characters, the world, everything!

Reviews: Cinder | Scarlet| Cress | Winter | Stars Above


The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

 

2019-08-15 03.03.56 1.jpg

Oh my god, this series.
I cannot stress (!!!) how much I loved these books. I devoured the whole trilogy in a week or less. It was incredible. Now one of my all-time favourite series. This series restored my faith in YA fantasy!

Review| Spoiler Discussion


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

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This is one of the books that surprised me the most, I am not a huge contemporary/romance reader but I LOVED this! Such an amazing book, so surprised it’s a debut. It’s adorable and deals with heavier topics.

Review here 


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Image result for Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert audiobook

My last read of 2019 and boy did it end on a high!
Another surprising read – a romance!
It was seriously incredible. The main character has a chronic illness and I have never related so much to a character before. This book was so so so good, if you read anything from this list please pick this!

Review here


Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

2019-05-18 03.20.46 1.jpg

Would this even be my list without a Sanderson novel?
This was my first time reading a YA (and sci-fi) novel by him and of course, it did not disappoint! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the sequel in 2019 but I cannot wait to pick it up soon. Hopefully, it’ll be on my best books of 2020!

Review here


Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Image result for saga vol 1

2019 is the year I got into comics/graphic novels.

I picked this up on a whim, I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and I wanted a quick read, so I thought why not a graphic novel? Oh my god! It’s incredible. I loved every moment. I cannot believe it’s taken me so long to get into graphic novels!?!

Review here


Crownbreaker by Sebastien De Castell

Image result for crownbreaker audiobook

Stunning conclusion to what has been an incredible series!
Everything was wrapped up nicely and I couldn’t be happier.

Review here


Let me know what some of the best books you read in 2019 were, I’d love to know!


 

Books · Review

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

2019-09-27 02.40.02 1.jpg

Synopsis:
Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.
Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.
The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her.
And they drink her fear


My Thoughts:

When I first started this, I was like what the hell is this? Why are there footnotes? Why is everything so slow? It took me a LONG time to get into this, but I really wanted to see why everyone loved this book/series so much. I’m going to be honest: I almost DNF’d this book because of its slow start. BUT I am so glad I didn’t. I ended up really enjoying this book, despite it being a slower pace to my taste. Side note – I was also in a reading slump, which could’ve hindered my enjoyment a little.

The writing style is quite overwhelming – There’s A LOT of flowery, long sentences and repetition. One of the reasons I found this book to be slow was because it was dragged out a lot. I feel like it could’ve been said in literally half the words. That being said, it isn’t a bad thing per se, it completely depends on personal taste. At first, I thought I hated it, but it grew on me and bothered me less and less as time went on.
The footnotes on the other hand: annoyed the hell out of me. I honestly don’t see the point. I feel like they’re there for worldbuilding purposes only, but it feels kind of lazy to put them in footnotes rather than the story itself? This is the first time I’ve ever read a fantasy with footnotes and it is kind of jarring. The only books I’ve really read with footnotes are classics/books for uni – it’s not something I enjoy in reading. I’m not sure I can get used to the footnotes, I read them, but I’m not a fan. I’m not even sure the information was that important in the footnotes of Nevernight, I honestly don’t remember them.

I do really love assassins – this is kind of like the adult, graphic extreme version of Throne of Glass. Or at least I hoped ToG would have more assassin qualities, I still loved that series, but it sold as a completely different story to what it is. Anyways…  Most of this story follows an assassin school/trial/competition setting – which is cool. I know a lot of people love a school setting in fantasy, it’s not one of my favourite settings but I did like it in this instance.

Characters:
Mia:  I loved Mia. I loved her character, her development, her everything. She was a great main character, she had such great development and story. It took me a while to get attached but by the end of the book I was fully invested in her character and story arc, I knew I’d be finishing this series! I NEED to know what happens. I’m loving her journey and cannot wait to get to Godsgrave.

Tric: MY LOVE TRIC!! God, I love him. He’s such a great character and him + Mia are just amazing. I loved their interactions with each other (+others).
Tric was seriously the highlight of this novel, especially through the slow parts. I instantly took to his character; he is one of the main reasons I kept reading.

Mr Kindly: Shadow cat thing. I love an animal sidekick/companion and he didn’t disappoint. I cannot wait to learn more about Mr Kindly. He’s super intriguing!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

NicePng_goodreads-png_2331558 (1)


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Books · Favourites

The BEST Books I Read This Summer | 2019

best-book-summer

Hey Guys!
Summer’s over. Sadly. Onto the best season of the year: Autumn!
I always do my best reading in A/W – no idea why but summer sucks for reading for me! It doesn’t make sense because I’m free of uni and have so much free time. Alas, I did manage to read a few AMAZING books this summer! Yay.

Onto the books, in no particular order:

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

2019-08-15 03.03.56 1.jpg

This series is everything!! I loved every moment – a new favourite series.
I honestly have no idea why I didn’t read this sooner. I knew I would like it, as a lot of people with the same taste do, but I never expected to love it as much as I do.
I binged this whole series, I was seriously OBSESSED. I could not put it down. None of the books took me longer than 2 days to read. I got through this series seriously fast, I drank it up. I highly recommend binging these books. I loved every single second of it.

Spoiler-free Review here | Spoilery Discussion here

Purchase the series here: Amazon UK


Saga Vol 1 by Brian Vaughan + Fiona Staples

2019-07-21-03.15.56-1-e1569364055927.jpg

My first ever graphic novel and I ADORED it. It was so entertaining! I was instantly hooked by the story and invested in the characters. So well done.
I was seriously surprised by this, I never expected to be so in love and taken by this comic.
Review here

Purchase on Amazon UK: Physical | Kindle


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another surprise! I don’t read a lot of adult contemporary/romance/chick lit but I saw this floating around and was intrigued. The premise had me interested and once I started reading I was HOOKED. I was so invested in the characters and the story, it was funny and sad in places and so well written! AMAZING debut novel.
Review here.

Purchase on Amazon UK: Hardback | Kindle

 

*Purchase links in this post are affiliate


chat

How was your reading over the summer? Any new favourites?

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Books · Wrap-up

Monthly Wrap Up | April 2019

wrap-up-2019

Hey Guys!
This has been quite a busy month for me. It has been the last few weeks of the semester and now it’s time for finals! Oh, the joys. That means essay writing and exam revision! Such fun. Which leaves less time for reading for pleasure.

I only managed three books this month but I enjoyed all of them! So that’s the main thing.

Image result for red sister audiobook
Firstly, I finished off the audiobook of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

 

 

 


40383616
Another Mark Lawrence book, this time; One Word Kill.
[Gifted] This one  I went into 100% blind, I had no idea what it was going to be about, I knew it was sci-fi, that’s it. It was pretty surprising! I liked, great start to a trilogy. I will definitely pick up the next book!

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review here!

 

 

 


Image result for seven husbands of evelyn hugo

Next, I picked up my first ebook in a long time, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I enjoyed this but to me, it wasn’t mindblowing. It was still a solid read but not worthy of 5 stars, in my opinion. (Will discuss in detail in my review)

Rating: 4 Stars
Review coming soon!

 

 


 What was your favourite book read in April?


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Rainy Day Reads | Top 5 Wednesday

t5ww-e1556560584673.png

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This week’s topic is: Rainy Day Reads 

 

1) Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Image result for red sister uk

Fantasy is my go-to genre, whatever the weather/time of year, but I think Red Sister would be the perfect rainy day read. I don’t know why but I imagined this world to be quite dark and grey – not sure if that’s actually correct but that’s the impression I got.

Badass, assassin nuns and a kinda magic-school setting; you need this in your life.


2) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Image result for vicious new coverThis is THE perfect rainy day read. It’s dark, all about morally grey characters and the perfect friends-to-enemies plot line. It’s like a darker x-men story. It’s beyond cool.



3)  Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Image result for elantris book

Would it really be a recommendations list without some Brandon Sanderson?! I always find a way to put his books on any list.

Elantris was a radiant, magical city once before magic failed, now it’s dull, grey and lifeless. I think this would make a great rainy day read, this is a fantasy but it’s not action based so it can be quite slow. It is very interesting and intriguing; I’ve read this twice and I still love the plot and characters!



4) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Image result for cinder by marissa meyer

If you want something fun yet exciting, this is the one for you. It’s such a great book, fast to get through and the rest of the series is amazing too!
It’s a sci-fi Cinderella retelling with cyborgs and a dystopian world – what more do you want?



5) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda
Thought I should probably include something contemporary too. If you’re looking for something that’ll cheer you up, this is the one! I read this in one sitting. It’s such a cute book and I was smiling constantly throughout. This would be such a nice book to read if you need something happy.


Comment below and recommend me a rainy day read!


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Books · Review

Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black | Underwhelmed?!

 

Hey guys!
It has been ages, I know! This month has been bad for me healthwise + reading-wise. So not a lot to post about. I haven’t been blogging consistently due to having flu and uni work. Hopefully, now I can get back into the swing of it!


Synopsis:
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


Plot:
Ok so, I didn’t reread The Cruel Prince and it had been an age since I’d read it when this came. However, I decided I wasn’t going to reread and jump straight into this. I don’t regret not rereading, I think if I did reread The Cruel Prince, I wouldn’t rate it as high as when I first read it. It was pretty unmemorable and I had to read a recap before starting The Wicked King.

As for The Wicked King, plot-wise??? I feel like nothing exciting or interesting happened? Everyone was raving and screaming over how amazing this whole book was and throughout the entirety of it. I don’t feel like there was much of a plot, it’s literally just Jude running court. It wasn’t overly fun to read about, it was just ok. Through all of it I was like meh?? When is it going to get good? – Answer: the last 100 pages.

I didn’t find it hard to read, it wasn’t something I kept reaching for though. I wasn’t gripped or invested. It was just okay. In my opinion: this book was way overhyped. Which is why I was left disappointed. My expectations were too high and ultimately it failed.

Characters:
Jude: She was okay, nothing remarkable, nothing terrible. I find Jude fairly likeable and I do like reading from her perspective. That being said, she’s so average that she’s unmemorable. Kinda like the whole book + series.

Cardan: He was less of an ass in this one and more likeable. There wasn’t much Jude/Cardan romantic-relationship wise, I don’t know why everyone was screaming. Again, he’s unmemorable.

Rating: 3 Stars


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