Thursday, 13 June 2019

Manga: High School Prodigies Have it Easy Even in Another World 3



High School Prodigies Have it Easy Even in Another World Vol 3
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review! 

Conquering the Findolph domain was child's play for the high school prodigies! Now on the path to all-out war with the empire, they embark upon their next feat, which is...starting their own religion?! To help save the people from the tyrannous empire, the prodigies aim to rapidly expand their sphere of influence by casting themselves as gods and angels while wielding their special skill sets for the common good. They're ready to make history by winning over the hearts and minds of the people, one believer at a time! 

It's Akatsuki's time to shine as they need him to help start up a religion, to help get the people invested in a revolution. With the added bonus of helping them look in to the legend of the seven heroes which will hopefully give them a clue about getting home. 

I did think we'd focus on that more than we did in this volume but we only see a little of it in the beginning. Then we watch them sort some other bits out, and get to meet the new Commander of their army and get to grips slightly with the two different kinds of spells that exist in this world. 

Volume 3 see's something developing between Tsukasa and Lyrule thanks to Masato's help with a little misunderstanding, this could potentially add in some romance and some angst as our prodigies seem to want to go home. 

Things don't really heat up until we move on to Elch and Shinobu, as thanks to them we get to head out and explore a new village which has an undercurrent of shadiness about it. It all seems fine on the surface but there's a sense of something...wrong about the whole place and then it gets quite dark quite fast. 

For the most part, volume 3 is quite slow and my interest wasn't really piqued until the shady village but what frustrated me with this volume is that once that plot thread with the village was getting good and providing some intrigue...we switched back to the others and it slowed down again. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Manga: Sword Oratoria 7



Sword Oratoria Vol 7 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The Dungeon calls adventurers deep into its labyrinth in search of personal growth, strength, and experience. But the Dungeon is a tough master-one wrong move, one bad choice, and permanent death awaits. Lefiya, Bete, and Filvis arrive at the twenty-fourth-floor pantry looking for Aiz but instead stumble upon Hermes Familia in distress. A deadly foe has the adventurers up against the ropes and struggling to stay alive. They've uncovered the mystery of the carnivorous flower monsters but are losing hope they'll make it back to the surface to warn Orario. Can they escape the Dungeon, or will it finally have the last word? 

Lefiya, Bete and Filvis show up just in time to help out Hermes Familia and kick some ass, thus giving us action right from the first chapter of this new volume. Alongside the action comes plenty of tension to keep you on your toes and we get a flashback to the past for one character as well! 

I did enjoy the focus on Bete for a little while in this volume, until Aiz showed up, he's lowkey my favourite I have to be honest. I have to say, not only does he get his time to shine this volume with his fight scenes, but he also gives Lefiya a much needed talking to...or I guess it's more like a harsh pep talk of sorts actually. She also gets her moment to shine showing some new determination for her character and some development, or at least the beginnings of it. We also get shown just how powerful Aiz is now too, which should make for some interesting fight scenes in the upcoming volumes. 

Volume 7 is full of action from start to finish, there's some emotional moments as they all take part in an epic battle, some secrets are revealed and some characters get the boost they need to better themselves. Of course...it's not over yet. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Blog Tour: The Switch Up!



The Switch Up 
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review! 

WILLA
Drama queen
Fashion guru
Spontaneous
Looks like Alice


ALICE
Bookworm
Allergic to fashion
Planner
Looks like Willa


LAX Departure Lounge. Two girls board the same flight to London as complete strangers. When the plane touches down, it’s the beginning of the craziest plan ever. Can Willa and Alice really swap lives for the summer?
Things are going to get complicated...


I picked this up because it sounded like a lot of fun and honestly, I grew up watching the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap movie so I was envisioning something similar! 

First things first, once I realised just how young the characters were I was a little worried about this book, and I was kind of wary of it. However, I didn't find the ages of the character an issue as I was reading, yes they could be a little immature at times but given their age....point me to a girl of the same age who doesn't act like Will and Alice were certain things are concerned, like crushes etc. 

While the beginning is a bit rushed and most definitely had me side eyeing it because of how unrealistic it is when you see it laid out on the page. Like yes, we look kinda similar, but we've got different eye colours, no-one can tell the difference it'll be fine, let's switch on the plane ride and then it'll all be good, if you suspend your disbelief it's a fun read.  I was still shocked they managed to get away with it until the end though but I did like seeing both girls settle in to their new situations and get what they needed from the experiences. 

Both Willa and Alice are realistic and believable characters, I connected to both girls but for different reasons. Alice I connected with because she's a quiet book nerd who'd rather stay in and read. Willa I connected with because I've done the whole acting course, being on film sets and backstage at theatres since I was young thing. I was more interested in Willa's storyline, and I liked the way it resolved with her realising what it is she wants to do, it wasn't how I expected things to go. Yes she was a bit spoiled, but she admitted her mistake and made things right, as did Alice. 

Alice on the other hand, while I enjoyed exploring Italy with her and there's an emotional and heartwarming message behind her storyline and the people that she meets, it just didn't grip me as much. But I did like watching her come out of her shell. I also liked watching the girls develop new friendships and relationships with Hal and Luca and with Sofia and Mabel. 

The Switch Up is a cute and fun read with two vastly different yet interesting settings to explore, and the character development from both girls and their journeys were satisfying to watch! 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour in the upcoming days! 


Thursday, 6 June 2019

June TBR

I'm being a little bit ambitious this month which is quite bold of me considering I didn't actually get to two books on my TBR last month but...here we are. 
I'd like to spend this month not only getting all of the books I've requested for review read and reviewed, including future releases I've been sent early, but I'd also like to crack on with some of the backlist books I have that I've been itching to get to as getting to do that this month has made me want to read aaaalll the books! 
So, my June TBR currently looks like this... 

King of Fools by Amanda Foody


On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive...

Or die as legends.


This is one of my most anticipated sequels of the year and I've been itching to get to it so I'm stoked the day is finally here! 

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
 


I've already started reading this one and it's brilliant so far! It's been one of my most anticipated reads since last year and I'm still pinching myself that I actually got asked to review it! 

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
 


Perhaps my most anticipated sequel of the year, I completely loved Shadow of the Fox and was left wanting so much more so I can't wait to sit and binge read this in one go and get back to the characters and our quest! 

Spies in St.Petersburg by Katherine Woodfine

With Sophie still missing in action after their explosive mission in Paris, Lil decides to take matters into her own hands. On a new mission for the Secret Service Bureau, can Lil find Sophie in misty, mysterious St. Petersburg? Can they uncover the identity of their true enemy and can they trust anyone—even the Bureau? It's time for Sophie and Lil to put their spy skills to the test. 

This is one series that I thoroughly enjoy despite the younger age range it's intended for! The Sinclaires mysteries were a lot of fun and I was so happy to find out the series was continuing...but in this new series with a focus on spying more than crime solving! This series hasn't let me down yet and after the excellent job Woodfine did of helping us explore Paris, I'm looking forward to exploring St.Petersburg too! 




The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

In Tithe, sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she drifts from place to place with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient and violent power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms—a struggle that could very well mean her death.

In Valiant, the companion to Tithe, seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system. But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. When one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature, Val finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

In Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, the time has come for Roiben’s coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing—her love for Roiben. But when Kaye drunkenly declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest to find a faerie who can tell a lie. Unable to see Roiben until she has fulfilled his quest, Kaye finds herself in the center of the battle of wits and weapons being waged over his throne.


This is a bind up of all 3 of Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales books! I've been told such good things about this trilogy and told to read them by a friend of mine but never did get around to it and then struggled to get my hands on copies of them..but luckily Simon and Schuster is letting me review a copy of the omnibus! I can't wait to see what all the hype is about! 

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom™ is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species―formerly extinct―roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty―and what it truly means to be human. 


When I was asked to review this, I'd dimly heard of it, like I think I spotted it on GoodReads and so it registered in the back of my mind. But reading the press release had me begging to review this because it sounds awesome, and the way it was pitched instantly piqued my interest! 

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?


I stumbled across this on Twitter and I was getting super hyped from it because of all the good things I've heard about it...and then I got approved for it on NetGalley and I'm planning to spend one Saturday relaxing and binge reading this with a tonne of snacks for a self care day! 

Crowfall by Ed McDonald

A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings.

Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile the Deep Kings have only grown stronger, and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war.

Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.

He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him - changed him - but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.

They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness. 


It's time to see how this story is going to come to its grand conclusion! 

I'm not planning to read every single one of the next batch of books, these are just some of the books from my own personal TBR that I'd like to get to soon and I'll be picking one or two from the list to read! I don't really like having a fixed, rigid TBR because then I get slumpy if there's nothing I fancy on my immediate TBR so this way I've got a couple of choices! 

Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King

Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.
 


I've been looking forward to this book so bad and it was Amazon's book of the month for May so I treated myself as it was a bargain! I'm loving the sound of the synopsis and it should be an excellent read! 

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson 

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 neighboring 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.  


I'm not going to lie, this trilogy has been sitting on my shelves for a while, and seeing as the author has just started on a new series I'm determined to finally get this trilogy read this year! 

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice. 


Another of my anticipated reads of the year, I'd quite like to do a book discussion for this on my YouTube although it probably won't be until July because of when in the month I'm likely to get to this! 

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time--and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

> A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

The first book in a dazzling new steampunk-fantasy trilogy, Timekeeper introduces a magical world of mythology and innovation that readers will never want to leave.
  


I meant to get to this for the Asian Readathon but I didn't quite manage it, so I want to get to it this month instead! I've had this on my shelves for a while (story of my life really, isn't it?!) and the sequel too, so I'm plotting to read Timekeeper this month and Chainbreaker the next...although I'm not sure when the third book is out in paperback so who knows when I'll get to that! 

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Zero 9



Akame Ga Kill! Zero Vol 9 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A cruel fate at the hands of those out for revenge awaits Akame at the end of the battle. The new members of the Revolutionary Army who have been targeted are...Najenda and Bulat! But how will Akame fare against these former tools of the Empire...? 

This volume gives us a lot of moments that we've been waiting for, that's the first thing I have to say! Starting the volume off we've got preparations for an operation underway, and an iconic pairing as we see how Kurome got her hands on her teigu. 

Obviously Akame continues to have doubts, she's not fully down with Kuromes new weapon, she's suspicious of their leader and how said leader lured out the Rebel Army among other things. Her suspicions and doubt have been mounting up nicely over the last couple of volumes but we see it all build up even more to breaking point in this volume like music reaching its crescendo. 

We do get action as the Empire's Assassination Unit goes up against the Rebel Army and the body count racks up even higher, which is no great surprise to those of us who've read the main series, but it's interesting to see how certain characters actually met their end. 

Plus we have Akame's face off with Najenda and Bulat. Like I said, this volume sees Akame start to hate her work, she doesn't see the sense in the Empire's actions in this volume so of course it's the perfect timing for her to come face to faec with Najenda, and Bulat as an added bonus! Things obviously heat up as Akame has this confrontation, she takes on Bulat for the most part and we really get to see them go at it. 

While I know Akame had come to her cross roads regarding all of this, I did kind of feel a bit disappointed by how it played out. I feel like her being persuaded to talk with the two of them and then being persuaded to leave the Empire by the two of them, along with Lubbock who popped up, was a bit too easy...perhaps even a little rushed. I was expecting it to have more to it, or be made a bigger deal of I suppose. 

Either way this volume has the moment we've all been waiting for as Akame starts to split off from the Empire as we reach the climax of the story, and I'm excited for the next volume to see her presumably split off entirely. Of course before she can leave she has to try and convince the others to go with her.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Manga: Hatsu Haru 6



Hatsu Haru Vol 6 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Summer break has been full of endings and new beginnings for Kai and Riko both. Suwa's wedding saw the conclusion of Riko's long-held first love, but only time will tell if its departure leaves room in her heart for another. Can Kai safely navigate dating when love is involved, or will his uncalculated swing in the dark throw everything off course? 

As you can imagine from the ending of the previous volume, we're dealing with the fall out from what happened as we start this one! I have to say, I do love how realistic their reactions are even if I was screeching "come on" at the same time. This does mean that it's Misaki's time to try and sort things out and nudge Riko in the right direction. I came to a realisation about him this volume, being that he's actually quite subtle when he meddles, which I appreciated more than the 'in your face' approach. 

Perhaps the most important part of this volume is that we finally get somewhere when it comes to the romance, I had wondered how much longer this could be dragged out for but our two characters make some progress. Of course it's still not all smooth sailing, Kai made a bit of an oopsie at one point however rather than drag it out, things are resolved impressively quickly so we don't lose any momentum in the plot, and it wasn't because of anything over dramatic either it was actually a mundanely normal reason! With this volume we see a shift in to the next phase of the story but there's still more fun to be had from this series yet!  

I liked the depiction of a new relationship, as our characters go about getting to know each other. I have to say I was reading like "oh my God", because Kai was insanely hilarious with his planning and his reasoning behind everything, it was slightly ridiculous but in a good way. Of course, he's only ever dated a certain type of girl, and Riko is not that type of girl so his plan doesn't go...well, according to plan. 

As Kai and Riko get to know each other better, we also get to know them better at the same time. They were cute even if they had some problems to overcome as they didn't quite know each other's preferences yet, but like I said...realistic. 

Of course while things might seemingly be resolved with Kai and Riko, we're presented with some more drama this volume. Misaki. Now I ship Misaki and Shimura, and in this volume we can clearly see how close they've become and towards the end of this volume we shift the focus from Kai and Riko to Misaki which was an interesting move and certainly keeps the plot fresh. 

Misaki has always been mysterious and there's a bit of a bomb drop with him which I didn't actually see coming, I'm going to be honest. I am wondering if the remaining volumes of this series are going to focus on him a little more and the fake dating situation, or shift back to Kai and Riko but either way, this volume's a lot of fun as is to be expected from this series! We've got an abundance of humour to go with the cute and fluffy moments, and volume 6 pushes our story in to new territory! 
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