Monday, 23 October 2017

Manga: Re:Zero Chapter 2 Vol 3


Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Thanks to his "Return by Death" ability and a little help from Beatrice, Subaru gets to the morning of the fifth day alive. However, an unexpected tragedy occurs! Can Subaru save the residents of the mansion, or is he doomed to re-live his pain once again?

This story arc is going a lot deeper than the previous one, and it's really hooking me in more and more. I've been coming up with all kinds of theories and ideas as I'm reading and I'm getting so impatient for the next volumes because I want to know! 

Things are really progressing in this volume and the mystery gets kind of partially solved? We get at least one answer, but I feel like it's not the whole story because there's one character that I think is really shady and I kind of thought he was behind it and I'm still not convinced I'm wrong even with this reveal! The plot thickens and I'm so convinced there's even more to it! 

We get a lot more insight in to the new characters and in to Emilia, and I'm kind of looking at her in a different way after a certain story came to light. Which leads me to....my other theory. I'm curious to see if she's different or if there's more to her than I first thought. Subaru finally sorts himself out this volume too, and he opts for another strategy, he kind of gets his confidence back and his good vibes as it where...his positive attitude! His new strategy is certainly paying off! 

I have plenty of suspicions, this manga has me tense and constantly thinking and putting things together, and I'm anticipating the final volume when everything is suddenly made clear! This manga has me eager for each new volume, and each new clue!

Review: The Hunt


The Hunt
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil's Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it. 
Now the weight of Liam's own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she'll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out....


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I kicked off my October TBR with this little gem last week! Yaaaaay! I'm loving this series, it's easy to read, has plenty of action and romance and is set in an interesting world with plenty of originality to it. It's such a good Halloween read and if you haven't read this series yet, you can easily binge read it! 

With this third instalment, we're straight in to the plot with no messing around. About a month or so has passed since the end of the last book and the way it ended has had me eagerly awaiting this one! I'm not going to lie to you guys, I've always hated Broussard so sorry not sorry...but I wasn't too sad to see him go. The mystery in this book has some serious CSI vibes as our group are scrambling to solve the murder and exonerate Liam. But there's something deeper going on and some threads from the previous book are brought in to it and solved. I really enjoyed how that was all wrapped up and how the books connect together so well. The plot had intricacies and kept you hooked, and this one was a lot more dark and sinister than I expected! 

I continue to love Claire and she's more at ease with her magic in this book, I also really respect that she sticks to her guns and doesn't give up. She helps any way she can and always wants to do the right thing. Gavin however, is forever my favourite character. I love him. He's hilarious and just so brilliant. Malachi is getting so sassy as well so Gavin might have a rival for my favourite character! Liam....oh Liam. How I disliked you for the end of last book, and for the beginning of this book I was like...come on man. He's struggling with his magic and the changes, so there's a lot of angst for our ship! 

The Hunt is fast paced, with a great supernatural murder mystery vibe. Things really ramp up towards the end and there's a cliffhanger that has you like...'no freaking way?!'. Another solid instalment! 



Friday, 20 October 2017

Review: Warcross


Warcross
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn't just a game - it's a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships - only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she's going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when she gets a call from the game's creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year's tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. Emika's whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she's only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.


This is my first time reading a Marie Lu book, I'm not going to lie. What drew me in? The gaming. I'm a bit of a gamer myself to an extent, and I was curious to see what the book was like. Because you know...as soon as I started to read my brain immediately jumped to Sword Art Online. With all the technology regarding the game...it was really SAO-y, without the whole "you die in the game you die in real lief" thing. So unlike SAO I actually really want this tech like...hell yes to being able to translate anyone, anywhere! The more I read the book, the more I drew similarities to SAO. The tech, the virtual reality, it's actually really similar to the SAO Ordinal Scale movie to an extent with everyone getting the tech and using it wherever and various other things. 

I loved Emika, she was so relatable and so genuine. She was strong, intelligent and a hacking badass. She was basically super awesome, and I loved reading through her eyes. She was so determined and she'd been through such a lot and I really admired her. Especially at the end of the book when she stuck to her guns. She was a character you could empathise with and root for one hundred percent. 

Hideo....I shipped him with Emika so bad! And as a fellow sufferer of resting bitch face....I feel you dude. I was loving him so much, I was loving the romance...and then Hideo did the thing and I was just like damn it Hideo. Why did you have to go and do that. I kind of get where he's coming from and his motivations given what's happened to him in the past, but it's still not okay. It's certainly going to be interesting because it's not a black and white situation...you can relate to Hideo and empathise with him. 

I loved all of the other characters, Hammie, Roshan, Asher...they where all so brilliant to read about. They where plenty memorable too and they make quite the team with Emika! I loved how they just accepted her in to their group, and how well they all got on together. I can't wait to see more of them, and I'm so ready for the next book to get to know them all better and to see more of their interactions. 

My one gripe is that with the secondary characters...we didn't get to know them very well. We saw glimpses of them, but we didn't get to know them as well as I would have liked. There where a few other bits and pieces that I felt could have been fleshed out a bit more and a bit more detailed. 

The settings where vivid, and easy to fall in to. If you've ever played a game of any sort, some of the worlds feel a bit nostalgic! Or at least they did for me! The Mario Kart bits where reminiscent of the times I spent playing it with my cousin and other family members too! I loved the gaming aspects basically! They're hardly ever included in books, and not as brilliantly done as in this one! I'm really going to enjoy the coming books if they keep this up! I loved the way she created Warcross and the rules for it, and how it worked. The dark web is a real place you can walk around in too which was a fun way to portray a really shady place! 

The tech descriptions allow you to understand how it all works, without boring you with overly long explanations. Yes, it's all very Sword Art Online buuuutt it's also scarily believable. You can so easily picture technology advancing to this level, and all of the potential horrors that could come with it. SAO freaks me out sometimes for the same reasons! 

Warcross has a great pace, it keeps the book moving forward and keeps you reading. Although sometimes it does feel like things are a bit too fast and time could have been spent fleshing out bits and pieces and getting to know characters properly. The suspense builds up throughout the book, and there are some plot twists thrown in that have you gasping and freaking out. Although I did guess one as soon as the memory scene happened, so I kinda knew who the 'bad guy' was for the entire last part of the book which was a bit disappointing, and I worked out a second bigger one too. 

It's definitely going to be interesting to see what happens and how it's all resolved! I'm eager to get back to the characters and see more of them and this interesting world that's been created. I'm intrigued to see how much of a presence the gaming will have in the next books, given what happens in this one. I feel like this book was a prologue sort of, the warm up for the main event! 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Manga: Kiss Me At The Stroke of Midnight


Kiss Me At The Stroke Of Midnight Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hinana prizes her reputation as a serious high school student, too focused on getting into college to pay attention to boys. But she's a secret fairytale romance freak, sneaking away from her studies to see A Roman Holiday and tucking pop idol magazines into her textbooks. When her celebrity crush comes to her school to film a TV episode, she has to pretend to be totally uninterested even as she desperately tries to get close to him. However, she's not the only one who's not what she appears... her dreamboat isn't just a pretty face either! 

Sometimes you guys, I just want a cute romance. Sometimes I like a bit of cheese to brighten my mood and give myself a chuckle. So of course, I picked this up because it sounded like it would be a nice cheesy romance.....but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting! 

I am loving it so far though, it's cute, fun and humorous and the characters are definitely memorable. The story focuses a lot on Cinderella, it's an adaption of sorts, there's a couple of little things from the story popped in there already and I love spotting them and being like 'aaaaaahhh! I see what you did there!'. Once Upon a Time is one of my favourite shows so I'm loving the fairy tail bits and pieces in this one! 

Hinana is very serious and follows a strict schedule when it comes to daily life and studying....but secretly she loves romance and fairy tails and sneaks out to see romance movies and hides fairy tails in her textbooks. She's actually pretty relatable for me, stories are always so much better than real life! But she's especially relatable when it came to contacting Kaede....took me right back to the days when I used to hang out with bands that I was friends with but had crushes on! 

Akira...I'm wondering if he's going to have a bigger role in proceedings in the future, I'd like to see more of him, he seems like he could bring some nice drama to the story! Run seems like she's going to be a fun character too, and a good friend to Hinana so I'd love to see more of her too! 

Kaede...he's the surprise I wasn't expecting. I was expecting him to be all Prince like and perfect to fit with the Cinderella vibes but his personality was a wee bit of a surprise! Let's just say he's a butt guy and a bit of a perv...but he's also fun too. Part of what makes this manga so funny is Kaede and how he is personality wise and the initial surprise you get when you first meet him! 

The art is cute and pretty and I love the use of cute chibi's to convey the characters specific emotions at points! We pack quite a lot in to this volume and the romance is kicking off towards the end of it, so it should progress further in the next volume buuuutt it looks like it's going to be hindered by a couple of things and if I'm right about Akira it'll be hindered even more. There's basically gonna be some draaaaamaaaaa! 

I'm anticipating some more silly antics and more drama in future volumes, like in this volume. I'm not going to be taking it too seriously but it looks like it's set to be a cute and fun romance with some silliness and drama on the side I definitely enjoyed reading it, there's some warm and fuzzy moments and it was certainly entertaining. This first volume does a great job of setting up the story and getting you interested in what's going to happen next! 

Review: The Bloodprint


The Bloodprint
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher 

In the lands of Candour, the Talisman threaten the authority of the Council with their growing indoctrination of the masses based on their rigid, oppressive interpretation of the Claim; a text orally transmitted from generation to generation, which they have appropriated in order to gain power. Tasked by the Council to fight this is Arian, aided by companion Sinnia and young boy Wafa, who must find the Bloodprint, legendary manuscript the Claim is based on, in order to stop the Talisman and re-establish the truth.

The Bloodprint throws you in at the deep end from the start, as you're right in with the action. I was immediately curious about the world and how everything worked and eager to learn more. I was pulled in immediately. I loved the writing...the descriptions where beautiful and the book as a whole...the prose was just brilliant!

Arian and Sinnia are the first two characters we meet and they're totally badass. They're such strong, female characters and it was really nice to see that in a fantasy book. Especially as they live in a world where that's not exactly prized, shall we say. They where certainly memorable, and I could root for them from the beginning, although I think Arian is my favourite. I'm so curious about her and I want to know more about her! 

There's other characters too, I have a ship for Arian thanks to one of the male characters! The Prince is an entirely different story, I actually kind of liked him, shady as he was. This book proved I'm a terrible judge of character. 

The book blends magic and religion together in such an interesting way and really sends a strong political message. There's obviously been a lot of research for this book and it's clear throughout. I was really impressed with all the work that's gone in to it and how detailed it is without being overly stuffy, if that makes sense? 

It did take me a little while to get in to it, like I was immediately hooked in because of the opening scenes, but there where a few places where my attention did wander and I was struggling forward until it got to more of the fast paced bits. Towards the end, things really ramp up and there where some brilliant plot twists that have certainly changed the game for the next book, I did see one plot twist coming, but I'm intrigued to see how it will play out. There where also a few repetitive bits that made reading a bit slow and difficult. 

All in all, this is an interesting and brilliantly written read. Some of the male characters are a bit meh, but the female characters are very well brought to life. The world is interesting and familiar, and the book has a message that's in need of being heard. Sure it had a couple of bits that made it a bit of a slog at one point or two, buuuttt things really pick up towards the end! 


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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Invictus


Invictus
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


You guys I've found it...the fictional world I would sell a kidney to live in forever. This is it. I'm genuinely so gutted this book isn't real life. I'm a giant, huuuugeeee history nerd, I love it. I read textbooks, and history magazines, and I would one hundred percent love to live in this world and get to be a Recorder. The history nerd in me is living for this book, and wishing science would hurry up and make this happen before it's too late for me to be one! In case it wasn't already obvious....I loved this book. 

I love the world and how it's set up, it's been created so well you can lose yourself in it easily and picture it clearly right down to the vibe/atmosphere. The opening chapter is brilliant and pulls you in straight away, immersing you in the world and hooking you in to the story. It's authentic and you really feel like you're in the time with the characters, it's also kind of heartbreaking for an opening chapter! I'd totally read a prequel story! There's so much care and detail to establish the characters and the world in one chapter! 

The writing and storytelling are very good, I  liked the turns of phrased used that fit so well with the book and it's focus on history, "as flat as Homer's view of the Earth", completely brilliant! 

There's a brilliant cast of characters too! The supporting cast are just as fleshed out and memorable as the main cast! Aaannndd there's so much diversity amongst the characters too! I loved Farway, he was relatable and I could empathise with him and how he felt when it came to things that where out of his control and other things. Which did have the adverse effect of making it hard for me to like Eliot in the beginning, because I liked Far and I really got him as a character, so I didn't trust her and she seemed shady and...she wasn't willing to compromise or trust them. She played everything close to her chest and blackmailed them and so on. I really got how Far felt about her and how she was treating them. Buuuutttttt I also got how Eliot felt and why she was doing what she was doing. I ended up loving her in the end though. She's been through so much and I cheered for her at the end! Your perception of her changes over the course of the book and she's such a strong character. 

Imogen was just as relatable as her cousin Far, and I ship her and Gram so hard! I also kinda really want her job too! I basically want her and Far's jobs combined in to one! Gram was adorably nerdy, and Priya was a huge music nerd, intelligent like Eliot and I loved her attitude and vibe. There where also dislikable characters that you loved to hate! 

I have to applaud the sheer amount of research that must have gone in to this book, because every single historical setting felt authentic and was peppered with tidbits and facts and so wonderfully described....so much work has gone in to this and it really shows perfectly without overloading you with information. You get enough to satisfy your curiosity and to make each setting vividly realistic and authentic. It was brilliant! We even visited two of my favourite time periods/places too, the Library of Alexandria which I'm so obsessed with, and the Titanic which I've always found heartbreakingly interesting. 

The plot is brilliant and so well put together...there's so many threads to it all interweaving plus the timelines...it's genius. It's fast paced already, but the pace picks up even more when you get to the climax of the story and it keeps you reading...it's so hard to put down. If I could have read this in one sitting I would have! I did manage it in two though! 

Invictus is firmly on the list as one of my favourite books of the year. It's cinematic, vivid, authentic, and bloody brilliant! I genuinely loved it and it makes my history nerd self so happy...what more do you want me to say!? I have an intense need for this to b a TV series or a movie...and to have a sequel or two! 

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