Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | November 2019 +Blogmas Annoucement!

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Hey guys!
I cannot believe November is over and we’re going into the final month of the year… Crazy how time flies!
I have been in a huge reading slump, so didn’t get much reading done, unfortunately.
I am hoping to do better in December. Luckily, I hit my Goodreads goal a while ago.

 

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The first book I finished was the audiobook of Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell.
This was such a great conclusion to an amazing series. I am so sad this is the last Spellslinger book but I am looking forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell.

Rating: 4 Stars
Review here!

 


 

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Next, I finished Emma by Jane Austen. I read and listened to this for uni. I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy this one. It was too long and boring.

 

 

 


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Finally, after weeks of suffering,I finished Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. This is definitely something I would DNF if it wasn’t for uni. It was such a BORE. I can’t believe I even finished it, it was such a snoozefest!

 

 


Announcement!

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This year I’ll be participating in Blogmas! I’ve always wanted to do it but never have made the plunge so I’m finally going to do it this year. I won’t be doing daily posts, I’ll probably post every other day. I’m excited to post some Christmasy themed posts and post more in general!
Make sure you follow my blog and stick around! There’s plenty of posts coming soon 🙂

Are you doing Blogmas?


 

Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell | Spellslinger Finale (Spoiler free)

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Reviews for the others: Spellslinger | Shadowblack | Charmcaster | Soulbinder | Queenslayer

Synopsis:
Kellen and Reichis are settling into their new lives as protectors of the young queen and dealing with the constantly shifting threats to her reign and to her life. For the first time in his life, Kellen feels as if he’s becoming the kind of man that his mentor Ferius had wanted him to be. Even Reichis has come to appreciate having a noble purpose – so long as no one minds him committing the occasional act of theft from the royal treasury.

But what seems to be a simple card game between Kellen and an old man is soon revealed to be a deadly game of wits in which a powerful mage has trapped the queen’s spellslinger in order to kill him.


My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin.
I am SO SAD this series has ended. BOY has it been good though. Although not my favourite book in the series, this is a worthy conclusion to what has been an amazing series.

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Side note: the synopsis does not do this book any justice nor is it completely accurate. A lot of stuff goes on, which I won’t spoil, all of which completely surprising after reading the synopsis. It’s definitely a bit misleading but if anything, the book is way better than it sounds from that description.

This book picks up immediately after Queenslayer, as per, we see Kellen causing trouble and being hunted. He’s up to his usual shenanigans, narrowly escaping death constantly with help from Reichis, his murderous Squirrelcat business partner.

This being the last book there are some returns of character, which I loved!(!!!)
Some of my favourite side-characters appear and I was delighted. This book had me on edge, I was dying to know what happened constantly. I was very emotional (I didn’t fully cry but I was super close.) – it was an emotional rollercoaster.

The post-script was amazing. 

I have loved watching Kellen grow as a character through all 6 books, it has been quite the journey! This series will forever stay in my heart and be one of my all-time favourites. These books seriously make me happy, they’re so much fun, the humour is amazing. I look forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Purchase on Amazon UK: Kindle | Hardback 

The audiobook is AMAZING. The narrator makes this story truly come to life, his voice is incredible. I highly, highly recommend the audiobooks. They really are an amazing experience.
*Free trial of Audible here.


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books I Want to See as TV Shows| Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!

It has been FOREVER since I did a Top 5 Wednesday; I miss it. But, alas, T5W is still on a hiatus, so no new topics; I’ll be revisiting an old one today!

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

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I read this series during the summer and it quickly became a favourite. I would die for a tv show of it! There’s so many elements to the story, it would be SO good as a tv show.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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I know this show is actually in development but it isn’t out and there hasn’t been any updates in a while! I neeeeeeeed this show! If done right it could be absolutely incredible.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

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I’m pretty sure everyone knows how bad the film adaptations of PJ are. Does not do the books an ounce of justice. Rick Riordan is a GENIUS. The story is amazing. In my opinion: there’s just too much for a film, it would work so much better as a TV show! If done right, with a good writer and a good cast, it could be insanely good; I wish this would happen!


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
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This series is so incredible, it needs an adaptation ASAP. I think it would make such a fun, entertaining TV show!



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I’m not the biggest Evelyn Hugo lover. *gasp*
The story is interesting enough, I just honestly think it would work better in a visual format. It reads like it should be a documentary. I think it would work so well as a TV show, in the style of a documentary!


chatWhat book would you like to see as a TV Show?


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Books · Favourites

The BEST Books I Read This Summer | 2019

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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

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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

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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


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Books · Review

ARC Review: Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron (Spoiler Free)

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Finished cover:

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Synopsis:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.


My Thoughts:

I really wanted to love this book, I wanted it to be a new favourite but it wasn’t. I was a little disappointed overall.

The worldbuilding – by far the biggest strength of this book. The world was AMAZING. Like seriously great to read about. I loved learning about the world, the religion/beliefs and the magic. It was so cool! Completely different from the typical Medieval Europe type worlds we typically see in fantasy, this African inspired world was so refreshing to read about.

However, the plot was non-existent, for about 200 pages nothing happened. Nothing. It was a bore. I kept hoping it would get better so I pushed myself through it. The vast majority of the book felt like filler, it could’ve been edited down so much.
This book is over 400  pages and everything that happened could’ve been done in half that. It doesn’t pick up until the last 70-80 pages. It just isn’t worth forcing yourself through 350ish pages for it.

The pacing is all over the place, it’s extremely slow and boring for the most part and then when things start to get interesting it’s over in a page or two. It was odd.

Also, I find the arc to be misleading it says: ‘My Grandmother said I will be a powerful witchdoctor someday. I cannot wait that long’ – which is completely wrong and irrelevant?? Her Grandmother never says that and it’s never implied she’s going to be a powerful witchdoctor, it’s quite the opposite? Very misleading.

The concepts and the ideas in this book were really good, I really wish it had worked out well but overall, it was just meh. I don’t know if I’ll continue on with the series or not.

I really wanted to love this. I want to love fantasy by POC authors, with POC characters but this just didn’t do it for me, sadly.

Characters:
Arrah: Bland. I honestly didn’t even remember her name for half the book. Her name is hardly mentioned and she’s such an unmemorable character. She has non-exist character development, not much of arc going on and there’s no uniqueness to her at all.
I just couldn’t connect to her, which is a shame and pretty much a deal-breaker for me.

Side characters: Meh. There were some okay ones. None particularly stand out or are memorable.

This book is another Children of Blood and Bone for me, high expectations, good concept but doesn’t play out well at all. If you liked COBAB, you’d probably like this too. I wasn’t a fan.

Trigger warnings: Blood magic, rape, violence, abusive parents, victim-blaming & trauma.

Rating: 2.75 Stars

Kingdom of Souls is out this Thursday; September 19th!

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Purchase the book here: Amazon UK  | Book Depository


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Books · Review

Series Discussion: The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson (SPOILERS!) | NEW Favourites!

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This is going to be a discussion of The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson –  this is going to be a bit more informal/ just me gushing. There will be SPOILERS for all three books! My Spoiler-free Review is here.

Let me start off by saying: OH MY GOD I AM IN LOVE.
Why had I been sleeping on this series? Why is this series not more hyped up?!
I hardly ever hear anything about these books, they deserve so much more recognition. Quite possibly my new favourite YA fantasy series.

I love the fact in book one you don’t know who’s the assassin and who the Prince is. I thought this was such a cool idea – I’ve never read anything like it before. I actually guessed wrong about who was who! Even though looking back it’s super obvious. I thought Kaden was the Prince because at the festival thing that happens he knew all the words to songs – I assumed that meant he was the Prince as I thought Princes would be educated on other religions. I assumed Rafe was the assassin because he knew nothing of Morrighan religion/culture and since the assassin was from Venda I thought he wouldn’t be as educated as they are known to be ‘barbarians’. AND Rafe hid the body of that bounty hunter guy.

The World:
I loved this world. I found it fascinating!
The worldbuilding lacks a bit in the first book, but I loved it in the rest of the books. I love how unique and different the three kingdoms were from each other.
I personally love politics and religion in fantasy it really helps build the world and give you a feel of the culture.

The Magic System:
The ‘magic’ was an interesting one, it was kinda magic but not really? The gift is basically like this world’s version of being psychic but with restrictions. I have to admit I’ve never read anything similar so points for being quite unique. I thought the fact the gift was passed down to the First Daughters (usually) – this was different. Obviously, it’s not a very ‘magical’ magic system but it was well written and I thought it was fascinating regardless.

The Writing:
I love Mary E. Pearson’s writing style. It was a breeze to get through, I devoured these books in a week. Despite the last book being huge (almost 700 pages), I FLEW through it.

The Characters:
Lia: FINALLY a badass, strong female character who is consistently strong and a decent human being. She is everything I’ve always wanted from a female lead character. I love her personality; she’s outspoken, strong-willed and such a great person. I love that she doesn’t dwell/whine about her mistakes/choices in life, she takes it all in and tries to move on and solve the problems. There is nothing I hate more than a whiny character complaining about their bad decisions and mistakes instead of trying to correct them. Lia is not like that, thankfully.

Rafe: I loved Rafe from the beginning. Even when I didn’t know whether he was the Prince or the Assassin. I was rooting for Rafe and Lia from the moment they met basically. I found Rafe really easy to like, he was just such a great character and great love interest. There were moments where I had my doubts – like when he started to get controlling – I thought Lia and Rafe might not work out. I thought there was going to be a bit of a Tamlin incident where he starts off alright but then turns into a possessive asshole to set up the next relationship. I am SO happy that didn’t happen!

Kaden: I liked him. It took a while but he did grow on me. I didn’t really take to him in the first book but over the next two books, I began to like him more and more. I feel sorry for him, his family life and being tossed out like trash – so sad.
Kaden and Pauline – SO CUTE OMG. I love that he’s so good with her and her baby!

 

Ratings:
The Kiss of Deception – ★★★★.5
The Heart of Betrayal – ★★★★
The Beauty of Darkness – ★★★★.5

Series Rating: ★★★★.5

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*Buy the series here: Amazon UK | Book Depository

*Affiliate Links


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Books · Review · Series Review

Series Review: The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler Free)

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“It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered.” 

Synopsis for Book One:
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighbouring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.


My Thoughts:
My faith in YA fantasy has been restored!
I bloody loved this trilogy! It was amazing from start until finish. I binged the whole trilogy, I was seriously hooked and obsessed. I haven’t been so dedicated to finish a whole series without a break in a long time. This series was seriously everything I expected and more! I am so glad I bought the whole trilogy at once. I had a feeling I’d like this series, based on reviews I’ve seen from people with similar taste as me, but I didn’t think I love it quite this much!

This was a slower pace than my usual preference but I was hooked! I usually like my fantasy fast-paced, as I tend to find a slower pace less gripping but it couldn’t be more wrong for this series. Everything was so well written and interesting that I couldn’t stop reading. There isn’t a huge amount of action but there is a huge amount of intrigue! I was instantly invested in Lia as a character and her life/safety and love interests!

The Worldbuilding:
The world is interesting but it’s slow world-building, especially in the first book. You don’t really get much insight into the world in the first book. It definitely got better as the books went on. I ended up loving this world. All three Kingdom mentioned/appeared were unique from each other and all fascinating!

This series features a lot of politics and religion – both of which are really well written and easy to understand and super interesting to learn about. The second book, in particular, is mostly political intrigue – if you aren’t a fan of political driven fantasy, this may not be for you.

The magic system isn’t the most ‘magical’ magic system but it was still cool and fascinating. It is very simple but well written – there’s no chance of being confused.

Characters:
I was instantly invested in all the characters and loved all their interactions. There aren’t many books where I don’t hate at least one character but I can honestly say I liked everyone.

Lia:

I LOVE LIA.
She is the strong, badass YA heroine I’ve been waiting for. My faith in YA fantasy has been restored. I loved everything about Lia and her character, journey, relationships, etc. She was just great. She is strong-willed, outspoken and a decent, caring person.

Rafe & Kaden: I’m not going to say who is who because of spoilers!! But both guys are really well written and great! I definitely preferred one over the other, won’t say who/why –  it would give a lot away.
Both have a great but bumpy relationship with Lia and they have a kind of rivalry between each other.

Ratings:
The Kiss of Deception ★★★★.5
The Heart of Betrayal ★★★★
The Beauty of Darkness ★★★★.5

Series Rating: ★★★★.5

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*Buy the series here: Amazon UK | Book Depository

*Affiliate Links


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