Monday, 29 September 2014

Books Are My Bag.....My Favourite Bookshop!

Books Are My Bag are bacckkk! It's launching on October 9th with Big Bookshop Parties on October 11th, and you guys reaaally should get involved, it's great fun!

Books Are My Bag is all about celebrating bookshops, all bookshops, including the lesser spotted Indie Bookshop. Now indie bookshops may not be lesser spotted to some of you guys, but to me it's practically extinct, I haven't been in one in agggesss, although I make a point to do a book crawl around all of the ones in London!

The Campaign even has special tote bags designed by Tracey Emin, I was aware of this as soon as it was announced, I have an art student friend who did a project based on her works so there was screaming and flailing from her, as well as ones similar to last year! But that's not all, October 2nd marks the release of the official book of the Campaign, The Bookshop Book, it's described as a "love letter to bookshops" and is sure to be a treat for all book lovers!

I've always read books, ever since I could actually read by myself, I was the only kid in my year at Primary school on a higher reading level than everyone else, and when I hit Secondary I was the only kid who actually enjoyed reading time, and voluntarily spent time in the library. Not to mention when you had to do that thing in class, where you read out of the book, and I was the only one who didn't stumble over words and ya know....actually enjoyed reading Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice And Men and so on.

I'm much more likely to curl up with a blanket and a book on a Friday night when everyone else my age is out partying and my most likely cause of death is "crushed by toppling stacks of books" when my teetering piles eventually fall over. For me, someone who didn't have the best time at school, reading was an escape, I could forget everything for a few hours, and go on an adventure. I pretty much ploughed my way through my Library's kids and then YA section, then had to go to another library. When I feel crappy, a good book is my solution.

I've always felt most comfortable in a bookshop, whenever I go shopping, I always saved the bookshop for last and usually spend at least an hour in there browsing everything. I have never been able to pick just one book, I usually end up buying a stack, going on holiday provided me an excuse for it, but usually I had no excuse whatsoever I just couldn't choose!

For me going in to a bookshop, smelling the new book  smell and really spending time browsing, pulling books out, reading the back, and so on, will always be better than buying online. Whenever I buy books from an actual bookshop I always end up discovering a hidden gem, a book I'd never previously have stumbled across if it hadn't caught my eye. You can't get that online. Bookshops, just as much as books, are comforting to me.

When it comes to my local bookshop, I don't have any indie ones that I'm aware of, there's an oxfam bookshop, a Works, and then there's my favourite bookshop....Waterstones Walton. If there where any independent bookshops, they shut down, much like Borders, my old favourite bookshop, did.

Why am I telling you this? Because BookBridgr has teamed up with Books Are My Bag to get us book bloggers to talk about our favourite bookshop, and hopefully bring more awareness and hype about BAMB!

As I already said, Waterstones Walton is my favourite bookshop, it holds some fond memories of queuing up outside it until midnight to grab the final Harry Potter book, and I'm always reminded of it every time I go there, but that's not why it's my favourite, that's a bonus! While it's the smaller of the Waterstones branch I could feasibly get to, it also has a much...cosier, atmosphere. It's always quiet, there's plenty of natural light and it's such a calm space. It has a great kids section, a decent YA section and a reaaaalllyy good Sci-Fi/Fantasy section that I can't walk past without spotting something. The last time I was in there they had a really cool Lord Of The Rings/Terry Pratchett display with the special editions, that literally destroyed my bank card. Not to mention the Game of Thrones and Leatherbound Classics displays! I love slowly browsing through, and then curling up in the chair between two bookshelves to make my final book  decisions!

I've told you my favourite bookshop, now I want to know YOURS! Pop it in the comments below!

To keep up with all the latest details follow @booksaremybag
Books Are My Bag are currently hosting #bookadayuk

Because my rambling probably didn't explain it the best, head to for more info on the Campaign!

A Tithe Of Blood And Ashes

A Tithe Of Blood And Ashes
Rating: 5/5 (DUH)
Buy or Borrow: BUY
Source: Amazon UK

It's been 2 months since the events of Blood Moon, and it's exam time for Lucy over at the Helios-Ra academy. It's as she's studying on the way to school that she encounters a Hel-Blar....or 6. But that's not all...there's a mysterious woman in a grey cloak. Luckily for Lucy the really weird stuff waits for her to finish up her exams! How considerate! See the Hel-Blar have taken a shine to our Lucy, and they flock to her, which would probably be flattering if they weren't all blue and stinky. Lucy's about to find out just what exactly her parents have been keeping from her. Maybe it's not just luck that's helped her survive so far.....

.....okay it hasn't REALLY been 84 years since Blood Prophecy and being in the Drake's world but it feels like it okay. Seriously, I don't think anyone can quite understand my intense love for this series. A love that has had me constantly checking Alyxandra's website ever since she mentioned wanting to do a Lucy series. You can imagine my general freaking out-ness when I heard about thiiiiisss!

I love Lucy and Nick, I don't know why exactly, it's probably Lucy's snark and humour that makes her my favourite, I just connect to her so well, but her and Nick are my favourite. Lucy and Nick are at their best and at their most adorable in this next installment, Tithe is the perfect continuation to be honest.

The continuation in narrative is smooth, the story itself fast paced. Reading Tithe you step back in to a world, that for fans of the series has become like a home. It's just as you remember it and just as sucking-in-y. The story is engaging and I so wish it was longer because I honestly can't get enough.

The characters are like old friends you haven't seen in years, and you just slot back in like you've never been away. I really missed all the characters, not just Lucy and Nick but Helena and Hunter and Quinn and Logan and everyone. I really need more of Marcus, Duncan and Sebastian, I'm not going to lie! They where all just as I remembered them and ugh

Moving swiftly on from my many feels, I need to know more about Rosa and Samuel, like all Alyxandra's characters, they where well written and had plenty of depth, so much depth. I need to know what Samuel's deal with magic is, and why his sister is so desperate to protect him, like obviously it's because he's a hunter but like there must be a deeper reason. That and I need another book so I will just theorize accordingly.

I loved the storyline for this installment, I'd never really thought about Lucy and her luck before, and it just slotted in to the series perfectly. There's some interesting lore in this installment as well, that was very fleshed out! Tithe is just as full of humour, action and magic as the other books, and it's hard to figure out what will happen next, I was frantically wondering what the deal was with the stalkery Hel-Blar and totally didn't work it out, which I love!

Now, we all know I can't get enough of this world, this series and these characters, so I'm gonna tell it to you straight. I would really really love another book, a full length one, about Lucy and what she's up to, with the others in it as well obviously. There's so much more to explore, the way I see it. We now have a Lucy that goes invisible when she gets scared, which could be a potential problem! Lucy still hasn't finished training at Helios-Ra, and she hasn't smacked down Jody yet, and that reaaaaaally needs to happen! We need to see more of Sebastian, Marcus and Duncan! Then there's the whole what will Lucy and Nick do regarding making her like him? I can't be the only one not ready to let these characters go!

All in all, Tithe is a fantastically engaging continuation of a well loved series, that has made my day personally, and has left me wanting more!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Echo Queen

Echo Queen
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: ARC Courtesy of the author!
Check out my review of Echo Prophecy, Book One in the trilogy, here.

As we rejoin Lex, it's just not her day, Marcus's eyes do some funky colour change business, then he tries to drown her in the bath....awkward. Turns out Apep, the thing possessing Set can now hop a ride in to Marcus too. Which kind of makes Marcus in to a really big threat. Luckily for her that really lovely doctor from Prophecy, turns out to be Aset, Marcus's sister, and she shows up in the nick of time, with some very bizarre instructions, including fleeing the present time to stay alive.

The next thing Lex knows, she's 4000 years in the past, hanging in Egypt with Nuin who's introduced her as his wife, and ya know...the goddess Hathor. She must train with Nuin to learn how to wield the power he gave her, and she must use it often, if she doesn't, the power will rip out of her, and it's not pleasant. While she makes something to help Marcus with his withdrawals, Lex will have to rely on the very moody young Heru, and as Heru....let's say, warms up to her, are things about to get very, very complicated?

While Lex is away, trouble is brewing, a group called The Kin are working against Lex and co and it turns out that two of their own are willing to betray them. The question is....which two? Will Lex make it back in one piece? Who's out to get Nuin? And can they stop Apep?

So, everyone who read my review for Echo Prophecy knows how much I loved it, and ya know...the series, so you can imagine my reaction when an email with this new installment attached appeared in my inbox! This series is literally the kind I've been waiting for, these are my perfect books, the blend of history, particularly Egypt, romance, action, paranormal and mystery is the kind of thing I've always been looking for but never found....until now.

I'm a history geek, and to cut to the chase, Egypt is a part of history that really intrigues me, and because Lindsey is like a freaking mind reader or something, in this installment she's all ".....screw it let's go back to Old Kingdom Egypt and hang out". Seriously, I've gotta give props to Lindsey for the sheer amount of research that went in to this book. I have never been back to Ancient Egypt, shocking I know, but we don't all have super cool time travelling abilities or a Tardis, anyways, the world building combined with the research of the time blended together to give you a real feel for what it must have been like to live back then.You could practically smell the (slightly icky most of the time) smells and feel the sun and everything was painted so vividly it's like you where there.

I loved the world created in the first book, and this one was just as all encompassing, so engrossed in reading was I, that I pretty much tuned the outside world out and a bomb could have gone off and I probably wouldn't have noticed!

I love how tidbits of history where woven in to the narrative, just enough to intrigue you and interest you, but not an overload. I love how much history is subtly woven in to the book, alongside the rich lore we have for Lex's people. Don't get me started on the mind blowing new installment to the lore regarding Nuin and ya know....the freaking universe. It's astounding how detailed the lore is, and we get more and more throughout each book and it's so extensive and detailed without bogging down the narrative. It's a wonder.

The time travel trip, the whole Nuin/universe thing and a couple of other little things all combine to ensure this continues to be one hell of a unique book, that you really can't put down, I think it would have taken a crowbar to get my hands off my Kindle.

I can't praise Lindsey enough for the narrative/plot line in this book. Like always, I couldn't figure out anything, I had no idea what was going to happen next so this was a pretty big roller coaster of a story for me. I probably should have, but I just had no idea where it was going next.

We have two perspectives going on in this book, while Lex is back in time, we check in with the present thanks to Kat, and I have to see the way it was done was flawless. The change was smooth, it made sense, and it was timed just right. We'd leave Lex and then it'd be Kat's turn, in one instance we missed out on Lex pretty much packing, but in the other we left Lex, and then when we returned to present day, Kat was reading the walls of Lex's sanctuary where she wrote down everything that had happened. I just thought it was so smooth and so cool how we left Lex.....turned the page...and it was Kat...but then we got a little chunk of writing from Lex that Kat was copying down that let us know what was going on before we caught up with the present time people. I explained it really shittily, but you'll know what I mean when you read the book, and I promise that it's way cool, refreshing and intriguing. Not to mention it smoothly carries on the story in a unique way.

Lindsey has done an incredibly awesome job with a very complex plot. Lex travels back in time, and you really do have to pay attention because things have to happen for Lex to be where she needs to be to go back in time, then before Lex returns to present time, she has to set up those things, run a quick rescue mission and so on. There's young Marcus (like...4000 years younger Marcus) and there's memories that have to be changed until she can come back and unblock them, there's a bonding etc etc, I don't want to give too much away, but this could have got reaaally complicated and a total mind fuck, but Lindsey wrote the whole time travel thing very clearly so it was complex, but easy to understand.

It's just kind of mind blowing when you realize Lex was behind EVERYTHING and you realize the ins and outs and in the present time you see something and then in the past you see what really happened and literally I cannot rave enough.

So yes, complex plot, very well done, with smooth narrative that was engaging from both POV's.

I still love Lex, I mean I would have freaked out more than once, but she just carries on and gets shit done. I mean she meets Heru's wives and kids, and yes she's upset in the beginning but when you think about how much it must have hurt, but she still lived with them all. She's an extraordinary character.

And speaking of Heru's could you leave us hanging regarding a certain frozen in time daughter?!

Every single character jumps off the page, and comes to life for you. The depth involved with these characters is incredible. We learn more about Set and before he was possessed when he was a really nice person, we learn more about Kat, and we learn waaay more about Nuin and Marcus. These already complex and detailed characters keep having more added to them that just makes you love them more and more!

The final book in the trilogy has been set up perfectly and very subtly. We have an inkling of where it's going and what's going to happen next, or at least one challenge, but to be honest we don't really know, I would theorize something but I will be so very, very wrong!

Echo Queen is a strong sequel to Echo Prophecy, exploring more of the time travel aspect of Lex's power, and let's just say...shit gets real. Filled with all the things you loved in the first book, and then some, it's engaging, atmospheric and 100% enjoyable. It really is a must read, the book is incredible and this is one of the best series I've read in a loooooong time! Echo Queen is action packed, so much is going on there's never a dull moment, it's a truly fantastic blend of genres/features and you would be silly to miss out on all the fun!

Seriously, fun, Lindsey is nice to us and doesn't cause us pain and suffering ;)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wishing For Wednesday #7

I only have two for you guys this week, but they're right gems!
I've goooott a next in series, and it's a totally cool series! Aaanndd a new book from one of my favourite authors!

Never Fade

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children's League call Ruby "Leader", but she knows what she really is: a monster. 

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children's League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America's children-and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts-has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future-and who now wouldn't recognize her. 

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam-and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart-she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Never Fade is out September 30th, pre-order your copy here.

Misty Falls 

Misty is a one-girl disaster zone. Born with a Savant 'gift' that means she can never tell a lie, her compulsive truth-telling gets her into trouble wherever she goes.

So when she meets Alex: gorgeous, confident, and impossibly charming, Misty instantly resolves to keep her distance . . . Someone so perfect could never be hers, surely?

But a dark shadow has fallen across the Savant community. A serial killer is stalking young people who have these special mental powers. Soon one of them will be taken to the edge of death . . . and beyond

Misty Falls is out October 1st, pre-order your copy here.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley!

We join Kennedy just over 2 weeks since the events of Unbreakable, and she's been packed off to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. The world is pretty much going to crap around her, there's been a missing girl every day  since, and they all look creepily like her. The day creepy writing with a message appears on her mirror, Jared finally finds her. Feeling like she doesn't belong, she goes with the gang and Elle in search of her long lost Aunt Faith, her Dad's secret sister.

Using her memory they track down a taxidermy museum that holds the clues to finding her aunt, but when they do, paranoid is...well that's being polite. Her aunt's specialty is prophetic dreams and after a run in with the Illuminati they've been hunting her. But they brought something with them, and when Andras finds them, the end result is tragic.

Using the clues her aunt left her, they learn more about the Freemasons, and when they finally find the journal....they learn more about the night Andras was freed. Setting out to find Andras turns out to be easier than it first seemed, when he finds them, but after some shocking revelations regarding Kennedy's family, followed by an accident with Andras, the life of someone she loves is left hanging in the balance and they find themselves working with the enemy. The Illuminati. Could they not be the villains they've been lead to believe?

"We have officially entered The Exorcist territory" 

Nooooooooooooooo. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. *sob*. Dammit all. My poor feels just can't take this, I'm slightly glad the third book isn't out yet because it saves me some pain and suffering, but then I'm not glad because now I have to wait. But what a thrilling sequel, it's not often sequels can match the first books but this one manages it!

It pretty much picks up straight away, pulling you in to the story, but time has passed so we get flashbacks of Kennedy remembering what happened after Unbreakable ended so we don't miss out on anything and it's more interesting than pages of "previously on The Legion"

With Unbreakable we had what was kind of like mini episodes of Supernatural, with the whole different locations and destroying the ghosts thing, to get and build the Shift. This is an entirely different....what's the word, format? Story? I don't know. In this we have the search for her aunt, the clues to be followed to the journal, the run in with Andras, and then trying to find a way to save Jared. Unmarked is aaaalll about the demons and specifically Andras, there's no vengeance spirits in this, I mean there's a residual haunting which was delightfully creepy but this ones the demon book. Which ya know....means it's less creepy....sort of.

But I loved the change of pace with the story, I loved the focus on the demons in this book and Andras, it's keeping the series interesting. We learn more about demons in this book, as well as more about the Illuminati. I can't get enough of the rich lore/history whatever you want to call it regarding the story's world and the things in it. It's every bit as rich and detailed as Unbreakable.

Unmarked continues the fast pace, engaging narrative, and concise and smooth prose. There is literally nothing for me to complain about so this will be a gushing review full of love. This book is so engrossing it's not even funny!  It's also just as humorous as it is serious and sad, the scene where they're talking about what they'd be doing if they weren't in the Legion and Priests reaction, for example, was heartbreaking. Our characters become more complex, we're left needing to know more about them, the third book is subtly set up at the end and the world continues to ooze off the page and surround you.

"I'm not sticking around to be one of the Ghostbusters" 

The world building this time was still fantastic, it was very doom and gloom, and still very vivid and atmospheric, The book was playing like a movie in my head. Unbreakable was off the charts creepy, Unmarked was still creepy but taken down a notch. Which is just as well because ghosts freak me out a bit, ever since I got forced to watch Paranormal Activity and Most Haunted as a marathon. *shudder*.

So we have the taxidermy museum, nice and creepy, slightly wish I couldn't picture it so well, but there we go. We have her aunts house, we have the tomb in Boston and theeeeennn the safe-house. I can picture all clearly in my mind, and I love being able to do that. Each place had an atmosphere that you felt while reading and again the world sucked you in. I was oblivious to everything and everyone.

There was plenty to keep you intrigued in the book, I was trying to work out what the deal was with the missing girls, to no avail. The plot twists are insane, and if I was home alone I would have shrieked/screamed and had a full out temper tantrum at the one with Jared....I mean dude, seriously. And it's still not resolved and we have to wait for book three....someone hold me!

"She missed the chapter on prison tats in criminal history class" 

I love these two books because it's not often I read a book lately and I can't work out what's going to happen next. I always work it out. Not so with Unbreakable and Unmarked, I tried, I really tried but I got nothing. I loved it! It's just so great to be able to read a book and not know what's going to happen next so you're frantically turning the pages.

Like I already said, we learn loads more this book, particularly about the Illuminati as we meet the characters of Gabriel and Dimitri. It would appear Gabriel was tasked with spying on Kennedy's aunt, broke her heart and was also a friend of Kennedy's mums because SPOILER ALERT, her mum was a freaking Illuminati. You can imagine my face when I was reading! I'm really excited to learn more, because her mum was part of an order that where kind of a shady group of Illuminati's that weren't sanctioned, and now I want to know more and why her mum got involved and so on.

"A marquis of hell preying on a bunch of kids? Times must be tough Andras" 

We also get a deeper look in to what happened the night the Legion summoned Andras, what went wrong and the whole one of the Legion stabbing the Angel but not actually killing her like they'd assumed.

I enjoy the flashbacks, whether it's Kennedy remembering something, or courtesy of a journal entry it's a nice break from the narrative that keeps it fresh and conveys important information in an interesting way while adding to the intrigue.

There's a new interesting twists regarding the Vessel which is assumed to be the Shift but turns out to be the White Dove, who is Kennedy, who was predicted by her aunt and I'm excited to watch that play out and see where it goes!

Jared and Kennedy are finally together in this one and they're are so adorable which is what makes what happens so heartbreaking, because they really deserve a break. After releasing Andras Kennedy is feeling really guilty, and pretty much is feeling how Jared always feels, so they make kind of the perfect match.

In Unbreakable we saw a brief glimpse of Elle and I was sad not to see that much of her but for anyone feeling the same, don't worry, because Elle is along for the ride as well in Unmarked! It would also appear her and Lukas have something going on *winkwink* which means we'll be avoiding a love triangle, although there is still going to be plenty of angst to keep things interesting!

                      "No-one touched your precious demon-slayer belt Buffy" 

I must say I really like the character of Elle, she's the perfect best friend, so fiercely loyal to Kennedy, I love how she just believes everything Kennedy tells her, no questions asked and even through everything she still sticks with the gang. I'm excited to see more of her and Lukas too. I wasn't sure how I felt about a possible love triangle, but I love how Lukas has Elle and is just Kennedy's friend. I also love her bickering with Alara, and watching their friendship grow was a nice added touch to the story! I need more of those two together!

Dimitri and Gabriel are....interesting. I love Gabriel's snark, and while he and Dimitri are new characters, they have just as much depth as our other main characters, including Elle who clearly has more to her from some things Kennedy said about her family. Gabriel was her mothers friend, and I do want to know more about him but right now I'm focused on Dimitri, we don't get as much about him as Gabriel and I neeeedd to know what his deal is! SO much intrigue!

"Holding hands while you waited for your Wonder Twin powers to activate?" 

I'm also excited to see the whole Kennedy being Illuminati thing playing out. Like I said I want to know more about her mum, but I also want to see how this plays out. In the beginning Priest and Alara are very not okay with it and a line is drawn in the sand but as it carries on they appear to be over it, and I want to see whether Kennedy can still become the Legion member when her Dad dies, or if she'll be joining Gabriel and co.

Yes, yes I did say Kennedy's dad. He pops up. I think he's a douche. Kennedy is really easy to connect with, and you feel what she feels, so I was feeling some rage when her dad was all "you think you love him" about Jared. Turns out her Dad is the fifth Legion member and I'm soooo not buying what he's selling with his excuses.

With the arrival of Kennedy's Dad you can see the relationship with Kennedy and Alara thrown in to sharp relief. Like Kennedy says in the book, Alara has known her for a short time but knows her better than her stalker father. I love Alara's friendship with Kennedy and after her saying Kennedy reminds her of Maya her sister I had so many feels. So many.

We get more Alara background too! We know she's rich, but in this installment we see her sister and brother helping her out so she doesn't have to do what her parents say, and it turns out she has a secret hot boy. More of him please!

"I'm going to my room, or whatever you call those cryogenic chambers where you have us sleeping" 

We also get more of Priest and what life was like for him and I'm really feeling for him. His grandfather was all he had, and he doesn't have another person like everyone else does, can we please give him a new friend? Pleaaaseee?

Lukas....well, we get a deeper look at him as well. As we all gathered from the previous book he and Jared where very competitive, because their father favoured Jared, and we see more of how deep that went, because it's revealed that Lukas isn't quite the golden boy everyone thinks he is. He knew about the list and didn't stop Jared because he wanted him to get in trouble, I can see his reasoning, but it's another side to Lukas I didn't suspect was lurking. Especially as he partially deserves some of the blame.

I'm excited to see more of the new group dynamic. It's been revealed about Jared and the list and as expected Priest and Alara aren't happy, Priest  more so. While Alara appears to be okay with Kennedy despite knowing she knew, Priest is really not okay with Jared at all, and I'm not sure how he is with Kennedy, he was really pissed but then he seemed a bit more mellow at the end. So it's really going to change the dynamic of the group especially when Jared is back.

Because of this our merry band of demon/ghost fighters are split as Dimitri takes Priest and Alara to look for a new demon Bastiel, that Andras released. I'm sad because I need more of Alara and Kennedy's friendship especially after what Alara said, and I need for Priest to be okay with Kennedy because he was her first friend and ugh. I don't like them being separated!

I'm ridiculously excited for the next book to see how everything plays out, and like I said, particularly the whole Kennedy/Illuminati thing and if Priest and Alara are really okay about it or if they'll shove her out again. Not to mention Kennedy having to deal with her dad although I think Elle might rip him to shreds? The new pieces of information have tided me over but there's so much more to know and I love how we get just enough to keep us going but we're still left with questions, it's the perfect blend!

Unmarked is a strong sequel to what's turning into a fantastically unique series filled with great friendships, plenty of creepyness and a smidge of world saving! There's plenty of different puzzles to try and work out but the unpredictability of the book is another feature that marks out from the crowd. The world of Unmarked is fast becoming a favourite and the lively characters jumping of the page are becoming more loved each installment! Bring on round three!

Monday, 22 September 2014


Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
For Fans Of: Supernatural all the way.

It's dark, it's creepy and it's a graveyard, Kennedy would love to be anywhere else but she has to find her cat. Unfortunately a spirit finds her first. Although Kennedy doesn't believe in ghosts she pretends it never happens. But then her cat starts to act strangely and when she comes home to find her mother dead, things take a turn for the worse.

Four weeks later, spending her last night in her home before she goes to boarding school in New York, a waaay better option than living with her aunt, she awakes to find her cat lying on her chest being all kinds of freaky and taking her breath. It's at that point that twins Lukas and Jared burst into her room and shoot it, then the creepy graveyard ghost that comes out of her cat. Enter epic scale freakout, made even worse when the twins are still there the next day with the happy news that a demon is trying to kill her, promptly followed by her unplugged radio spazzing out and all her knives trying to stab her.

As she escapes with the boys, they reveal that her mother was a part of The Legion of the Black Dove, ancient secret society that protects the world from a demon their ancestors unleashed centuries ago in their fight against the Illuminati. Turns out Kennedys mum wasn't the only society member murdered. All five where, in the same way on the same night, making the kids the new Legion.

Kennedy has to take her place along with Priest, Alara, Lukas and Jake in order to uncover the truth and stay in the land of the living. The gang embarks on a quest to find the five scattered pieces of a device called the Shaft, which they believe will destroy the demon. Journeying from one creepy place to the next, battling the spirits sworn to protect the pieces, bonds form, love prospers and creepiness abounds. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems...

"I wasn't the fifth member of their secret exorcist society" 

Holy shiiiiiiiitt. Excuse my language but seriously, I think I have another favourite series. This is one of those ones where I'll now go and acquire a physical copy for my collection, I loved it that much! Being the avid Supernatural fan that I am, I couldn't resist this when I read the synopsis I mean ghosts and demons?! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really wasn't expecting to love this book this much! It's like a YA Supernatural, there's journals and grimoirs and salt and devils traps, but with more hunters and twin brothers, I will admit I half expected at one point for Jared or Lukas to be all "Dad went on a hunting trip....and he hasn't been home in a few days", how can you not read it!?!

I was hooked in from the first creepy page, and from then on I couldn't put the book down. It's fast paced, engaging, entertaining has a smooth flow and excellent prose. I mean, I would have more than one quote but I was too engrossed to take note! Although I did enjoy "Scream first and ask questions later".

The plot was fairly complex, with plenty of twists and turns that are largely unpredictable, the last twist in particular, I really did not see coming! You spend the entire book thinking one thing and then at the end it's like "BHAM SURPRISE BITCH" and you're like whaaaaaaaaaaaaat. ,It was the perfect cliffhanger, you're left wanting more, and the next book is set up perfectly right in the end chapters, but subtly and without giving much away for what's going to happen in the next book. There's an obvious plot point but yeah.
Essentially it's kind of a quest story with clues and going from location to location, but it's more....spiced up shall we say? What with the spirits and everything.

The world building is astounding. There's detail, but it's concise and doesn't interrupt the narrative with too much information. The world really does suck you in. I didn't want to leave the world of the story to be honest. Each location is described very vividly and very creepily. I mean we have creepy house, creepy well, creepy children's home and creepy prison, the shop wasn't quite up there with the other creepy ones but to be hones that was a nice break. I still need to go in to shops, and after reading this book I think I will avoid the creepy places mentioned...not that I wouldn't be avoiding them any some cases...but yeah.

Like I said all these different locations and settings are vividly brought to life and suck you in. You can feel the atmosphere of the places oozing off the page, and the writing was very cinematic for me. Or maybe that's just how my brain works with awesome books, I don' t know?

The world created is very in the vein of Supernatural with the demons, which we haven't seen yet but I'm fairly certain they're different, and the ghosts and vengeful spirits and so on, and with the whole salt thing and weapons. BUT the unique part of the book that I latched on to and loved is the rich history of the Legion. What they are, how they came about, what happened and so on. It's so very enthralling but we don't get all the details in one go, we get enough to tide us over and keep our intrigue up. Like we don't know exactly what happened when the ancestors summoned the demon, what happened to the angel? What's the deal with Kennedy's mum? I'm fairly sure he dad is someone important too.

Kennedy I loved, I connected with her and I could empathize with her. She's not a badass, but she's not useless either even though she thinks she is. Yeah she can't fight but her photographic memory and drawing skills come in handy with binding symbols and devils traps. She's had a rough go of it, and now she's thrown in to this world with all these badass fighters, and she feels like she doesn't belong and I think a lot of people can sympathize with that. But at the same time, she's not afraid, well she was a bit, but she still went in to the haunted house, she jumped in the well after Priest etc and towards the end of the book you could see her courage growing, and I'm excited to see it taken further in the next book.

Each character is well written, multi-dimensional and has plenty of depth. Each of them has a different story. Each has a different background. They're all so different but work so well together. In the book they each have a specialty, another unique element, Jared's for example being fighting and weapons. We get to know a bit about each of them, and what made them who they are today. I feel I can't pick a favourite!

We have a romance going on, I'm sure it'll please a lot of you! Kennedy and Jared. It's not really anything more than her liking him and him caring about her in the beginning, the romance was to me, fairly secondary, which was no bad thing, it was there but it wasn't in your face, but you see the relationship grow and build up and towards the end it hits full on romance territory.

Jared is a damaged soul, he thinks the deaths of their family members was his fault and Lukas certainly blames him for it. He essentially thinks he's bad and screws everything up which makes him very different from the standard hero who's all "I'm sexy and I know it and I can do no wrong", he's not perfect and I loved that, Kennedy isn't perfect either, both have screwed up and I just really loved reading about them, the whole not perfect thing made them more realistic and human. They're also totally adorable.

I feel I should mention Lukas right about now. Jared's twin brother. I'm not sure yet if there will be a love triangle. As far as I could tell, Kennedy likes Jared, Lukas is her friend. Lukas likes her, but I can't tell in what capacity, sometimes it seems one way, other times another. It's going to be interesting to see if we're going to have a full on love triangle and how it's going to be dealt with. I have every faith in Kami to write it perfectly either way.

I'm kind of rambling at this stage in fangirly glee, and I'm not sure if I've left anything out! Buuuuuuuuuuuttt....

Unbreakable is a perfect blend of action, romance, adventure, supernatural and the creepy. Fast paced, it'll keep you glued to the page the entire way through with the engaging narrative, bouts of humour, mysteries, heart pounding moments and rich history regarding the Legions. Delightfully creepy it's guaranteed to send shivers down your spine and depending on your creep factor...possibly make you sleep with the light on! Unbreakable is a unique take on demons and ghosts, and I can't wait to see more.

If you love Supernatural, you're gonna love this. I chuckled every time someone said or thought "....unnatural"*winkwink*

(shhhhh I'm reviewing the second one tomorrow so stay tuned for more fangirling ;))

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley

Khara has spent centuries living in the Underworld with her adoptive father Hades, but when she's ripped from her home by a Dark One and unceremoniously dumped in the middle of Detroit, Khara gets a rude awakening. You see she's not the only child of Ares, although she is his only daughter, seeing as how all his daughters are usually killed at birth, all except Khara who was saved by her mother and hidden with help from Demeter. When she's dumped in Detroit, Khara just so happens to be found by Drew when he's on patrol....Drew, along with Pierson, Kierson and Casey turn out to not only be her half brothers, but also part of a group of immortal warriors who police Detroit's supernaturals, and they're (mostly) only too excited to meet their long lost sister.

Taking her in and vowing to keep her safe from the impending threat of Diemos, sure to come after, they soon discover there's something strange going on. Soul Breathers are breaking a treaty, the Gargoyles have gone AWOL, and the jackass fallen angel lodging with them appears to know way more than he's letting on. Like the fact Sean, another of the brothers, is actually her twin. It's a race against time to find out who and what she is before the evil stalking her through the city can find her.

Okay, full disclosure, I thought this sounded intriguing and I changed up the synopsis because when I started reading, I was like "okay cool Drew's gonna be the love interest" but then I was like wait whaaaaatt?! Because ya know, it doesn't mention the whole "the warriors are her brothers" thing, so I was expecting something waaay different, but this was actually way more awesome than I was anticipating. Not gonna lie!

I'm currently seeing a lot of other reviewers smack talking this, I can kind of see your point I guess, but quite frankly the book made me laugh, and it was a total and complete escape for a few hours, what more do you want?!

I have never read anything by the author before, I was drawn in by Underworld and Immortal Warriors, but after this, I think I'm going to endeavor to check out more of her titles! At the minute I'm on a roll with really awesome books so I'm kind of on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it where, so I was incredibly wary as I started reading.

However, it didn't take me long to get fully engrossed in the story and the world. Seriously it sucked me and spat me back out a couple hours later with lots of feels and a book hangover, which I'm nursing by eating an entire packet of you do.

The world building was fantastic, I'm not sure if it was the intent but I got such a dark vibe from Detroit, and I could picture the house, the streets and the club perfectly, like I was there. It's such an engrossing world to be in to be honest you don't really want to leave, I was watching the time on my Kindle tick down and getting very distressed!

Unborn is incredibly unique, I mean hello did you see the whole "adopted daughter of Hades" thing? He's not in this book but I'm so desperate to meet him I'm psyched he'll be in the second book.....he kind of has to! Karah and her brothers are all kids of Ares, and each of them has different mothers, except Karah and Sean and Pierson and Kierson...obviously. Basically Ares is a bit of a tool and was sleeping with different ladies to experiment to see what he could produce. So each of them has their own thing they can do, Pierson is the magic dude in this case for instance.

The mythology for the book is the thing that really made it for me, I love unique and rich mythology and that is what Unborn has, I've never read this take on it before or anything like it really, and I loved learning about the world of the book. In Unborn we get this amazing blend of Greek Mythology and the whole Angelic mythology going on that are both unique and work very well together, and I've never come across before!  There was no info dumping either which is always a plus. The book told you what you needed to know in the right amount of detail without disrupting the fast pace and flow of the book.

Karah was an interesting lead, because she's kind of....I'm not sure how to explain it. She talks a tad bit odd I would imagine, I mean I was picturing her with a British accent to be honest because I can't imagine the wording with US accents which is weird but bear with me. The impression I got was that things where pretty lonely in the Underworld, and with Diemos being a giant douche and the general violence, emotions are weakness down there so Karah pretty much doesn't show emotion much. Which is understandable.

I couldn't help but chuckle sometimes when she was all "I'm feeling something" purely because it reminded me of Legolas in LOTR when he's drinking and is all "i think it's affecting me". But yeah, so, she doesn't do emotions, she's unused to feeling them which made it unusual and intriguing to read from her perspective. Not to mention to watch her develop and slowly deal with emotions better, and accept them and maybe even understand them a little bit. I'm excited to see more development for Khara.

Khara is a fairly complex character, written incredibly well, but the thing I loved about the book (among other things) where the other main characters. Every single supporting character was written with just as much care, attention and detail. All of them are complex and I loved each of them as they are all so very different.

Oz being the fallen angel....I lost count of how many times I muttered "douche" to myself while reading, I kind of figured he'd be the love interest, I enjoyed how subtle the romance was. I mean, there are feelings there clearly, but so very subtle they aren't in your face, which is probably partly due to the fact Khara doesn't recognize what she's feeling and can't recognize it in him, but towards the end it's more obvious. The romance is kind of secondary I would say, to the main plot. Which I liked.

The brothers. Sean, who's her twin, we don't see much. I'd be interested to see more about Sean, there's all these allusions to a mate and shit hitting the fan on the coast where he is, I will admit sometimes it made me wonder if I was missing something, like was there a first book about Sean or? But apparently not, I'm going to assume the intrigue from him means we'll be seeing more of him second book.

The four brothers we see the most are Drew, Casey, Kierson and Pierson. I loved all of them, they made me laugh individually and as a group, but I have to admit I do have two favourites. Kierson and Casey are totally my favourites. it's probably mean of me but there you go.

Kierson starts out a  bit like "uuuhh" cos he's all "I know she's my sister but she's hot" but at one point I think it was just a running joke to lighten the mood. I liked him because he was probably the nicest one to her, and he appeared to care the most about his new found sister, something Khara has never really had before, and I thought he was a bit of a sensitive flower sometimes which was kind of adorable. So  he's favourite number one.

Favourite number two, is Casey. Hear me out. So he was a total prick in the beginning, like dude you have a sister at least pretend to be happy. I couldn't work out if he actually hated her or was just indifferent at one point. But when you find out a bit more about him and his power and who his mother was, you understand him totally and how he acts, which is not too different from Khara. There where a few points prior to that where I was like okay I like you. But I loved Casey and the complexity he has, and the gradual warm up to Khara, that goes to full out protective brother mode.

We're not lacking for cool creatures. I loved the gargoyles, they added a nice unique element, it's not often they get included in supernatural stuff, and the whole Soul Breather/Stealer thing was another entirely new thing that I've never come across before and added another unique element to the story as well as a major plot point.

I thought the plot was thought out and complex, subtly building up to the second book and leaving you on your toes and waiting eagerly for the next one. Unborn keeps you engaged the entire time with everything going on and it was pretty impossible to put down. I've got to say, I'm excited for the second book!

Unborn is the perfect blend of Supernatural, mythology of the Greek persuasion, action and a very very subtle romance, featuring a protag I can guarantee you've never come across who adds another element to a book packed full of uniqueness. Unborn will keep you turning the pages, as you immerse yourself in to a world like any other, and with the right sprinkling of humour, there's nothing to not like!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wishing For Wednesday #6

This week I'm bringing you one of my most anticipated books this month, and the end of one of my favourite "re-read it multiple times" trilogies, as well as a couple that have piqued my interest!

Salt and Storm

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Salt and Storm is out September 23rd, pre-order your copy here.

The Queen of Zombie Hearts 

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

Alice 'Ali' Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers; until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters; and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing and turning Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

The Queen of Zombie Hearts is out September 30th, pre-order your copy here.


The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The NutcrackerWinterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Winterspell is out September 30th, pre-order your copy here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Sculpting the ice in to hand and footholds, a Mage climbs an icy mountain, tricked in battle, it's imperative he gets to a certain cave. But when he's too late. What awaits him is a slaughter, later known as the Cold Massacre. There is only one survivor...his infant son, but next to his wife there's a sinister message carved in to the ice..."KILL THE CHILD".

Flash forward 12 years or so, Call is about to embark on the Iron Trials, the tests all children with magical ability or suspected magical ability must complete to determine whether they will enter the Magisterium to train or not. All his life Call's dad has told him Magicians are bad, they can't be trusted and they have a plan for him to fail on purpose. Although it turns out it's easy enough to fail without even trying to throw it. Against the odds, let's be honest his score was in the minus, Call is chosen my Master Refus to become one of his apprentices.

Being told what he was by his dad, pretty much that the Magisterium will result in his death, among other similarly cheerful things, Call isn't too jazzed about getting to go to magic school. Ever since he was born (at least that's what Call thinks) one of his legs isn't quite right, so he's expecting much the same treatment as in his regular school. Jasper happily delivers, but as Call gets drawn deeper into the world of the Magisterium and actually makes friends...he finds himself not quite wanting to leave anymore.

But when he stumbles across ties to his past and finds out a shocking truth about himself, everything will change. In the midst of all the magic fueled mayhem, someone isn't who they seem, and a creature formally a Mage has a shocking message for them....One will fail. One will die. One is already dead. One things for sure..Calls in for the ride of his life.

So Holly and Cassie totally got me. I'm not even ashamed to admit it, I mean I'm 21 years old I should have been able to figure this damn book out, but no! I was shocked and surprised and then full of "ugh" at the wait for the next book. Seriously.

I'm a huuugge fan of Cassie. I am a Mortal Instruments fan, I have all the books, they cause me lots of feels, and I'm currently obsessing about the next book in the Shadowhunter world, and the incredibly long wait for it. Seriously I met Cassie at a signing before the movie came out and fangirled my brains out. After embarrassing myself royally with everyone's favourite Jace. Sooo I figured this would be the perfect way to tide myself over until the next one. I's not a YA book, so how much pain can it cause me right? Ugh.

The world created by Cassie and Holly is glittering, rich and well...magical. It sucks you in as you read, half the time I forgot I was actually sitting in my bedroom. The school is awesome!? I mean it was such a unique setting, the world is built fantastically and vividly without excess description bogging down the narrative. There's toadstools to sit on, stalagmite seats, blind fish, quartz EVERYWHERE (hence glittering), lichen that tastes like different food, elementals some of which are cute little lizards others are Wyverns etc. I could go on all day, although I will add that I want to try that soda!

When you're reading you really do feel like you're underground and in the world with the characters. The dark tunnels with the glittering quartz and phosphorescent rocks/mushrooms etc...I wanna go! It's such a colourful world!

The magic/laws of magic/lore, whatever you want to call it in Iron Trial is unique and rich. Mages draw on Air, Wind, Fire and Earth, however there are a select few, that can draw from the void, using chaos magic. Chaos magic is neither bad nor good, from what I gathered it depends on the person using it. The Mages have a goodie using it, while the enemy is well...The Enemy. Or to give him his proper title, The Enemy of Death. Suitably sinister right? He pretty much created his Chaos Ridden and made the Chaos Ridden animals.

It is possible to be consumed by the magic and become a human elemental, and we even meet one of those. It's one of the "devoured" that gave the rather sinister "one will die" etc message, and believe me, think it's just a device to add some intrigue all you like, knowing Cassie and Holly, that is going to come round and bite you on the ass because it will mean something and most likely come true.

I love how each different year is a metal, Iron for first years, Copper for second, Silver for third I believe and so on. It added another unique element so different from all the wannabe Harry Potter books with the grand old schools in castles etc. Not to mention the cool bracelets they have to wear, that gives them entry in to rooms and stuff, it has the metal on for each year, but also different coloured stones you have to earn, you get them when you've mastered an element.

The friendship in the book was rather heart warming. I thought Tamara was a bit of a cow in the beginning and I assumed she would carry on, but her sticking up for Call, the first time anyone had, made me love her and by the end of the book Aaron, Tamara and Call had formed such a strong friendship that you watched grow that you can't wait to see what's going to happen. Particularly with Call the counterweight for Aaron but'll see! It was a very well written friendship,each of them different and bringing something to the group, and like I said, Tamara turned out totally different to what I was expecting! But then so did Call.....more later.

Jasper...well he was cruising for a bruising. He's a bit of a prat and I had him pegged for a rich kid, to be honest I thought "calm down Draco" more than once, he was edging into the "MY FATHER WILL HEAR ABOUT THIS" territory more than once. But like Tamara, Jasper turns out a lot different. In my mind Jasper gets separated from his only friend, is under a lot of pressure to do well to pull his family out of the slump they fell in after the war, he's a bit tattered, struggling a bit, and he could probably really do with more friends. I feel bad for him actually and I hope he gets more involved in the next book!

I want more of Warren, I must say! Warren is probably the only lizard I will ever like. A fire elemental that talks and legit has eyebrows, I can actually picture him very clearly in my mind as well! I need more Warren! I thought he was going to be the sidekick but then we got Havoc the Chaos Ridden wolf pup, I guess it's an adorable trade but still!

There's plenty of intrigue throughout the book, who does the bracelet belong to that Calls dad sent? What is Call? It becomes obvious that Call's dad didn't want him at the school for reasons other than they caused his mother's death, I couldn't work out what it was until right at the end when I was told. So the intrigue leads to some pretty major plot twists that I honestly didn't see coming so I spent a lot of time shocked and surprised. I'm willing to bet Calls dad was atleast friends with Constantine/The Enemy, if not his brother. I briefly entertained the idea he WAS The Enemy's supposedly dead brother but that's just silly! Or is it? Hmmm.

My first thoughts of Call where that it was so unique to see a main character who's not perfect, Call has problems with his leg and can't be as active as he wants to be and it was such a unique touch. Not to mention he's got to be the only kid who wouldn't be over the moon and shaking with excitement that he has magic and gets to go to magic school! But

Call. I did not see that coming. I was reading along, safe in the knowledge I knew exactly where this was going..Call was so obviously the Makar, but even when it turned out to be Aaron I was all "No biggie, there's going to be two and it's going to be all OMG this has never happened before" and so on. No. Call turned out waaaayyy different to what I was expecting. He is not the hero you think he is. Call's soul is actually Constantines....aka the Enemys...he's just lost his memories. Oh yeah. That happens.

I was so shocked and so surprised because I was so sure he was going to be the hero type, turns out he has the potential to be the Villain of the series! Well technically I guess he already is? I am so excited to see where this is going, I mean, is he going to get his or rather, Constantines memories back? Will he be fighting himself? Will he turn out to be good or are we going to see the journey and making of a villain from the villains point of view? I don't know but I'm excited to find out!

The Iron Trial is a vivid, colourful, unique, fun world full of magic and mystery. It will draw you in, and keep you engaged through until the end with a combination of amazing world building, rich lore, loveable characters, humour, action, adventure and it's unpredictability. There is so much that is unique about the book it can't fail to stand out from the crowd, and there's so many little details that add to the wonder. The Iron Trial is a fantastic start to a new series!

And is if that wasn't enough, the questions from the first test Call has to do....yeah those are in the back of the book, so you can have a go and see if you're worthy of admittance to the're welcome ;)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Station Eleven

Station Eleven
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of publisher!

"Survival is insufficient" 

It all started during a performance of King Lear, celebrated actor Arthur Leander playing the title role of course, during the fourth act it  became clear that something was very, very wrong. Paramedic in training Jeevan jumps on stage to help, but it's too late. After comforting Kirsten, one of the young girls playing one of King Lears daughters, he starts to head home when he gets a worrying phone call from a friend. Leave town, he says, leave town, this flu is a pandemic. But he can't leave, after stocking up on essentials he lugs multiple trolleys to his brothers flat, where he will watch the world as we know it end.

That was day one. The day the Georgia Flu spread unnaturally fast all over the world, with a 99% mortality rate. Over the next few days everything slowly shuts down and by week two...civilization is over. No running water, no electricity, no internet, no TV, looting, food get the idea.

In that first initial  year, many people walked, wandering through borders that no longer existed, looking for other people, looking for some semblance of the old world. Those initial years where dangerous times, violence everywhere. But by year 20, things have settled down as much as could be expected,  life is going on, and a travelling band of actors and musicians, the Travelling Symphony. They travel around this new world performing Shakespeare, we join them as they're heading back to the town they left two of their members at to have a baby, but they're not there and something is very wrong. We join them journeying to the Museum of Civilization at Severn City Airport to reunite with their friends, but the journey is by no means smooth. Disappearances, a strange marking that appears again on a mans face, and the mysterious Prophet, all conspire to make the journey....interesting.

Meanwhile we switch back and forth between the hectic and bustling pre Flu world just before the collapse, and the deserted and changed world left behind after the Flu twenty years later. We follow the interconnected lives of six people, Arthur Leander and the rise of his acting career; Jeevan and his new life post flu; Arthurs first wife Miranda and the creation of her comic book; Clark, Arthurs oldest friend and a certain curator; Kirsten, the young actress with few memories of her time before the flu, now travelling with the Symphony.

"If you can remember your lines in questionable territory, you'll  be fine on stage" 

I've seen a lot of people loving this book, and the entire premise intrigued me, as an actor, how could it not? With regards to the whole Shakespeare, Travelling Symphony thing.....obviously. I still wasn't entirely sure what to expect, i'll be honest, but I was really excited to start reading. I only meant to read a little bit of it before bed, but once I fell in to the book, I couldn't get back out!  It was beautiful and emotional and for me it was very thought provoking! Or maybe I read too much in to it because it was 4am? Who knows!

The opening scene gave me chills, and drew me straight in. I was hooked from there on out. The ominous comments in the narrative, like saying "so and so would die from the flu in X amount of days" also helped with the intrigue, making you want to read on as well as being slightly chill inducing.

As you read the book there's at one point a list of things no longer available shall we say, and there's other things that are mentioned, and it makes you realize how many things you take for granted. Watching a film, antibiotics, and so on, there's so many things we'd be lost without and the book kind of makes you realize you don't always appreciate them that much. Some of the things that are described, like a plane ride at night for instance, you realize that you never fully acknowledged the beauty of it. Although I will admit I thought I was the only person who did it! Think about the people in the houses etc, I mean.

"No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment." 
The book was written very beautifully, with tight and concise prose, and a fantastic smooth flow with fast pacing. The way the book was written, it makes you appreciate things you overlook on a regular basis, and it kind of made me want to go out for a walk, and just look at all the beauty in the world. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I'd miss or dream about, how I'd feel if I was living in that world and trying to picture my environment in the context of that world.

Despite what you may think, the book was actually quite humorous in certain places, I had the odd chuckle. I loved the term "iPhone zombie", I'm totally going to nick that! It also made me laugh how Jeevan was singing "it's the end of the world as we know it" because the lyrics crossed my mind multiple times as we reading certain parts!

"I'm talking about those people who've ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different but it's impossible now" 

As I've said the book is quite thought provoking, but not always because of the whole "what if this happened to me" thing, for instance page 163 particularly resonated with me, as I'm sure it will with others of all ages, those who are scared of it happening, those who are experiencing it and so on. It's very relate-able at multiple points in the story.

"but then by four or five o'clock the day's just turned into yet another day, and you go on like that, looking forward to five o'clock and then the weekend and then your two or three annual weeks of paid vacation time, day in day out, and that's what happened to your life" 

Man I don't think I've ever seen working in retail described so accurately, with the break room and talking to colleagues and everything. The clock watching, looking forward to the end of shift and then doing it all again the next day. Seriously. Perfectly describes most peoples lives I would think.

The contrast between the bustling cities, people bumping in to each other, constant noise and light and so on, and then the silence and near empty world post-flu was at times subtle, and at times quite obvious and almost jarring. It was perfectly shown.

What struck me about the world after the flu, was that a few things where like being thrown back to the Victorian era, the caravans the symphony has for example, where like Victorian coaches but made out of pick-up trucks! It was also striking how kids born after the flu don't know what certain things are like a circus, and have to have airplanes and air condition and things explained to them, I was trying to picture having to explain something like that to a kid who never experienced it and I didn't get very far!

The world building was fantastic. It could be visualized perfectly and it totally engrossed you. You really felt like you where there. It was very atmospherically written, and you got so much out of the description with few words. The creepy forest for example, well forests always creep me out with the whole "someone could be watching me" thing, but the emotion and the feeling from that atmosphere oozed off the page. Not to mention the creepy school. I dare you to find someone who's ever been in a school after everyone has left, and for them to not find it creepy. But things like that became even creepier when you picture it abandoned etc. Not to mention the roads chock full of abandoned cars complete with skeletons.

"The perpetual hum of the city fading away"

Kirsten was an interesting character, she doesn't remember much from before the flu and doesn't remember the first year after. She does however remember Arthur, and she keeps looking for magazines with photos of him in, and she has the comics he gave her called Doctor Eleven. It was intriguing, how you wanted to know what happened in that missing year she doesn't remember, you never find out so it's kind of left to your imagination to create that year for her.

My opinion of Arthur changed a lot, I started out feeling sorry for him because it was so very sad they had to call his lawyer when he died instead of a loved one, and then I kind of thought he was a bit of an ass multiple times, but then I just felt incredibly sad for him again. I liked learning about Arthurs acting career, how it started, how it developed and so on, it was an interesting journey to watch, especially from my view point. I think it was his last day from his POV that just made me feel incredibly sad for him.

The book also gives us an interesting look at fame, and fully shows that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. I think a lot of people think being papped and followed by paps is glamorous because it means they're famous or whatever, but the book shows what an invasion of privacy it is and how they kind of look at celebrities who are actual real people, like dollar signs. Particularly when Arthur's being wheeled to the ambulance. You see the relationship between paps and celebrities a little bit, the waitress tipping the paps off, them staking out Arthurs house and so on.

We get a slight story within multiple stories when we get told the plotline for Station 11, the comic book. It was expertly woven in, as where the mentions of it when we're getting Miranda's POV. I thought it was striking how in the comic, their world has changed, they're living on a world mostly water with no sun and all one group of people wants to do is go home, and when you think about it, the post-flu people just want them same thing, except home to them is the old world. The Undersea people in the comic cling to the hope of the world being restored much like Kirsten and co.

There are so many connections throughout the book, the Doctor Eleven comic book, the dogs name Luli, a paperweight, things that are all connected to multiple characters and entwining them even more. A lot of these connections, connect the pre and post flu worlds. The paperweight I mentioned? Clark gave to Arthur and Miranda, she took it and gave it to Arthur who gave it to Tanya who gave it to Kirsten, which she still carries around the post flu world. Every single character is connected, they've all touched each others lives at some point. I loved looking out for the other characters in the others stories and being all "AHA".

The transition to pre-flu is smooth and flawless, you can picture a movie version of the book where a picture or a word triggers the screen to fade in to a flashback to the pre-flu days. It all links back so flawlessly. For instance, Kirsten was looking at a certain tabloid photo of Arthur and Miranda, then we go pre-flu Miranda is recalling the circumstances around the photo. Then at another point Miranda goes out to the paps, one of which is Jeevan, to ask for a cigarette, and took a candid photo of her that he later recalls taking. Every single character has a connection that is made apparent.

I'm sure it's obvious from what I said so far, but the POV switching was also flawless. Clark's and Miranda's provided an interesting little view point of a famous actor from the view of two people who've known him since before he was famous. They can see what he's become, see that he's not perfect. I found it really interesting that on two separate occasions Clark and Miranda note that it seems like he's performing or acting when he's interacting with them. Does an actor get so used to acting they do it all the time? Can they not turn it off? Or is he doing it because he mentioned his life was like a movie and he's created a facade?

The idea of actors being immortal is something I've always thought, films will last forever after all, but in the book it's the tabloids that have lasted, it's the tabloids that have kept actors immortal. It was yet another point in the story where I thought "this is me, I think that".

We get Kirsten and the Travelling Symphony's story, going to get Charlie etc. We get Arthurs story, becoming an actor, what his life was like. From Miranda we see her relationship with Arthur develop, we see it's decline and her sense of not belonging in his world, and we see it come full circle when he dies. Jeevan's story lets us in to the life of someone who has no idea what they want to do, we see him as a pap, we see him trying his hand at entertainment journalism, through Jeevan we get chills as we watch the world collapse after the flu, and we see his journey to finally settling down, and becoming a doctor. Finally, with Clark, we see what happened to those last few flights, we see everyone stranded at an airport, including Arthurs second wife and son, and we see what life was like at the airport for the people who where stuck there and eventually made a home there. And we see Clark finally create the Museum. All these stories are expertly woven in to one with flawless transition, each as engaging as the next, each perfectly placed.

I thought the transcripts from Kirstens interview with the librarian in one town was a great way to let us know Kirsten a bit more, understand more about her, and see what the world is currently like with the different towns, some more sane than others. It kept the narrative fresh and was an intriguing break in said narrative. Arthurs letters to V where again, an intriguing break in the narrative, keeping it fresh and engaging. It also gave you a real insight in to the real Arthur, and what an acting career is like with the struggles and so on, and how fame affects a person.

I loved the ending. The Prophet was taken care of, but everything made sense. You saw two people with the same reading material and how they reacted differently to it and the situation. I loved how you where left with the knowledge that one village has electricity back for the first time in 20 years, you're left with the thought that in the book, the world has just taken it's first step to righting itself, to fixing itself. It was the perfect ending.

Station Eleven is so incredibly unique. It's emotional, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry or at least want to cry, it's incredibly movng, it's chilling/spine tingling at points, heartbreaking at others. Haunting, bittersweet almost and so beautifully written. Engaging through and through, you won't be able to put the book down or stop thinking during and after reading it. It might even change your outlook on life, maybe you'll look up and take in the world around you as you walk to work or wherever instead of keeping your eyes glued to your phone. Maybe you'll look for the beauty in the world and lock it away in your memory....just in case.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Heir Of Fire

Heir Of Fire
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury

Picking up two weeks after the end of Crown of Midnight, we join Celaena in Wendlyn, broken, grieving, but determined to avenge the death of her friend and keep her promise to her. Wendlyn has the answers she needs to destroy the King, sent there by Chaol to keep her safe, she's under orders from the King to assassinate the King and Prince of Wendlyn...who are in actual fact related to her. Celaena's heart won't let her do it, and once warnings have been sent out, she focuses on her own personal mission. Find her Aunt Maeve, Queen of the Fae, and get answers about the Wyrdkeys, Wyrdgate and so on. Although spending her time lying on a roof drinking wine isn't getting her very far, so it's just as well one of Maeve's warriors, Rowan, comes to bring her to the Queen. Except it's not that easy. Celaena will have to stay at Mistward, training with Rowan and learning to use her magic, before she can earn entrance to Doranelle and the answers she seeks. As Celaena finally embraces what she is and who she is, she faces memories long locked away, memories that would break her, but in the end...they make her stronger. Fully in control of her magic and able to shift, when she's put to the test by the King of Adarlans attack on Mistward...will she become who she was meant to be? The Queen she was meant to be? Will she embrace her destiny and resume her old name? A name she tried to forget? Will she be Aelin, or Celaena?

Meanwhile Dorian is struggling to control his magic as his father takes drastic action against the slave uprising, but when he meets a healer named Sorscha, they work to find a way for him to control it. But is Sorscha just the healer she seems? Or is she something more? When Dorian finds out the truth about Celaena, will he become her enemy or still remain her friend? Can Chaol accept Dorian and his magic?

When Celaena's cousin Aedion comes to the court, Chaol is determined to find out what he's up to, but it would seem Aedion isn't as in the thrall of the King as he's leading people to believe, Chaol finds himself immersed in the rebel group, helping them, in order to help Dorian and Celaena, but still unable to accept who his two friends really are.

But the excitement doesn't end there, there's something dark lurking in the Ferian Gap, the Kings new soldiers, after making a bargain with the Ironteeth Witches, they will be the riders of his Wyverns, as they train for the War Games that shall determine which is in charge of them all, something isn't quite right.

When the King of Adarlan goes one step too far, he sets in motion a chain of events no-one will be the same after. Loyalties will change, destinies will be accepted, stakes will be raised, and things will never be the same again.

"She was not becoming anything different from what she always was and always had the capacity to be"

Heir Of Fire is a fantastic new addition to the series and it's expertly changing the direction of the overall story and slowly leading us to the big finale. Things are starting to heat up now, shall we say! (har-de-har-har)

I picked up Throne of Glass last year because everyone was going on about it, and I will admit, I wasn't sure what to expect, and I wasn't sure I'd actually like it, I was expecting some fantasy that was just action? I suppose? I wasn't sure, but as soon as I started reading, I fell in love with the world and the characters and here we are. The fantastic world, the badass and snarky protag, the romance, the humour, the all blends to create a unique blend that is sure to become a favourite!

We've come so far since Throne Of Glass, and things have changed! What started as the story of a mysterious Assassin fighting for her chance to be free, changed to the story of the Kings Champion, trying to keep her friends safe at all costs, while trying to find out what the King us up to. In Heir Of Fire, the story changes to one of magic, Fae, and our hero finally accepting who she is, becoming her true self, and fully ready to kick ass and get this rebellion started....after a little detour in her plans of course!

I love the world, and every time I read a new book in the series, it's like coming home. The world is fantastically built and beautifully written, it's extensive, and we see a little bit more of it in this installment. A more....magical area of the world! I love how the world building is so detailed, but so concise at the same time. This continues in this installment as we explore Wendlyn and Mistward, and eventually Doranelle. All written so vividly you can picture yourself there as you read! It's a world you end up wishing you could visit, and certainly don't want to leave! The world 100% engages you and consumes you, the imagination of the author makes your imagination come alive because the world is so colourful and vivid and mind blowingly extensive.

Thanks for the forest of spiders, with the giant spiders that live there by the way Sarah....I twitched and got all itchy while reading that bit  more than once!

The prose is tight, the flow smooth, the pacing just right. Background information is either concisely mentioned to you, or woven in to the story in an interesting way, such as in a flashback, that doesn't upset the narrative and flow and keeps you interested instead of pages of infodump, the same can be said for the concise and beautifully described detail.

There's lots of action, I mean....I feel like a badass reading it all! But it's expertly woven with romance, mystery, magic, history of the world and even some nefarious villainous/creepyness? If that works? All blended together to make sure the book is impossible to put down, there is never a boring section. Whenever I genuinely do have to tear myself away and put the book down, I end up staring at the book forcing myself to not skip read further to see what happens...I couldn't resist the urge when I was reading Crown of Midnight and it made it even more impossible to put down!

Every single character we love so much continues to be written with depth, complexity and multiple dimensions. It's like being surrounded by old friends again, and each of the characters jumps off the page with how vividly and coulourfully they are written.

Celaena is a badass. She's the type of character where I'm like "If they ever make a movie I need to play her" but in reality I'm too lazy, let's be honest. I kinda wish I was her! I love her snark, she makes me laugh one minute, and want to cry another when a shred of her background is given up. She's stronger than I think she thinks she is. Celaena is really easy to connect to, she is complex, but each side of her that's revealed you can empathize with and understand why she's doing whatever she's doing, even if it's killing someone.

Dorian. Well. I love Dorian. It's no secret I ship him with Celaena....what are they? Doraena? Corian? I don't know but I ship it. I love how Dorian has turned out to be more than he appears to be with the whole magic thing. He was never the typical spoiled Prince, with his reading and how kind he is, I just love him and how he's changed  in this book, but more on that later. I love how when he finds out who Celaena really is he doesn't really care and still wants to be her friend, because when she found out about his magic she pretty much didn't care, and she understood. I can't wait to see the two of them together in the next book hopefully to see how he reacts to this new Celaena and if she can help him with his magic. The reason I love Dorian with her so much is that he knows what she is and is capable of, but he's never wished for her to be anything else than she is and she hasn't for him, whereas Chaol does. While he may have had a brief flicker of doubt I think he knows she's coming back for him to help him not kill him or whatever.

"The only thing you have the right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend"

Chaol, I like Chaol. He's interesting, with the whole Lord thing and his father, I just don't understand how he can love Celaena but still be more loyal to the King and so on, and while that does change at the end of the book, I still think he's a bit of a prat sometimes! I mean I can't begin to describe to you how much it irritates me that Chaol is all "Celaena claimed" when he's thinking about something bad that she said the King did. To me the whole "she claimed" thing means he doesn't believe her, that's why I can't find it in me to ship them because until the end of HOF admittedly, he's more loyal to the King and he's always disgusted with her killing and so on, even though he loves her he wants her to be something else. I mean he was all whiny and "she was becoming something blah blah blah" no Chaol. No.

"You cannot pick and choose which parts of her to love"

Our three favourite characters have developed so much since Throne of Glass, and they develop even more in this book and I love watching them change and grow. As we find out more about what makes Celaena the way she is, we see the growth she has made that isn't written about in the book, and we see her become stronger as she faces the past, and her scars, and instead of releasing her rage and turning her in to a monster like she thought, it actually helps her become stronger and ready to do what needs to be done. Your perception of her changes with each book and each new shred of information about her background.

Dorians character growth...well....he said "festering shithole you call a court" to his dads face. I may have cheered. He stands up to his father more, he's still everything we loved in the first book, but he's stronger, tougher I think and he's accepted his magic and no longer afraid it, at least at the end.

The plot continues to be complex, it's a chunk of the overall arc of the story, but the individual plots are so complex it's fantastic! I never know where it's going to be honest! Nor do I know what's going to happen next, which is mildly terrifying when you love characters as much as you love these ones! The thing is, that when you actually finish reading, and you think back on the book as you process realize there where little clues scattered throughout about what was going to happen or about big reveals and so on! I however, am too engrossed in reading the book to actually notice them!
I've gotten chills more than once reading these books, I'm not gonna lie to you!

There's still things we don't know, like what happened with Sam fully, who really betrayed her, if it was really Arobynn, and if so why? and so on. But I actually enjoy how we don't know everything, and certain background information is eked out in scraps, it keeps the intrigue, and you sit there trying to work it out with what you do know and the clues provided! It genuinely keeps it interesting and fresh, although I do fail at predicting and working any of it out!

The story isn't just told from Celaena's point of view, and in HOF, the POV's of Chaol and Dorian are even more important as instead of just providing their insight about Celaena, or different reactions to events etc, their POV's keep us informed of what's happening back in Rifthold. While there's the POV of Rowan, which lets us know he's not a total douche in the beginning and lets us see behind is exterior, there's also the POV of Manon, one of the Blackbeak Ironteeth witches, which is ridiculously intriguing because we're getting a glimpse of what the King is up to.

The POV switching continues to be flawless, smoothly continuing the story and the narrative. Often they add intrigue, or they add some information that adds to the story or explains something. I love the different POVs, they just add another dimension to the story, seeing characters inner thoughts sometimes so different to how they act towards a character and so on. Each character has different information so they all react differently to different situations and people. There's also the right amount of each characters POV to keep it interesting, so you don't get bored, or are left with a cliffhanger from one POV that doesn't get resolved until halfway through the book or whatever. The timing of the POV changes is perfect.

We get new characters in this book, which probably isn't a surprise. One of my favourites being Aedion, he was mentioned in the last book, he's Aelins cousin, and he's a source of more background and a better glimpse of Celaena's childhood. I really like him! Initially he seems a bit shady and suspect, because you think he's on the Kings side, but eventually your opinion changes when you find out more about him! He's clearly Fae, he sensed the ring was dodgy, and then you start to realize he's playing a game with the King. Like his "Bane" aren't actually soldiers, they're rebels, and when I read he staged all the battles I was like "that's're one of my favourites now".

Aedion is a lot softer than he looks, which I loved, from his POV it was mildly heartbreaking reading how much he loved being called Cousin, how much he loves Aelin, and he blames himself for what happened, your opinion really changes of him in a short space of time. I actually really feel for him.

Then there's Sarah, no. She's Dorians love interest of the book, and for me, who ships him with Celaena, you can imagine the amount of No I felt! I can't deny she was interesting! She was a part of the story I didn't see coming! Especially as she was the unnamed healer who's been patching the three of them! My poor Dorian/Celaena shipper heart. I genuinely just went "No" out loud a couple of times! Although, I know I was all "nooo go away Sorscha noooo nooo noooo", that didn't mean I wanted her killed off though! I love Rowan. I kind of thought he was a bit of a prick in the beginning, but his POV changed that, and eventually you end up loving him, there's more than meets the eye with him. He's a rival for my love for Dorian to be honest, I can't quite work out whether to ship Rowan and Celaena or not because I'm not too sure if they're heading in that direction? I wasn't quite sure if it was romance or what. I liked Rowan because Celaena can tell him things like killing Grave and instead of being disgusted like Chaol, he understands and just says good. Rowan's suffered loss like her and he understands her and her reactions to it, and she can tell him things she's never told anyone else, he doesn't judge her and they work well together i think. I loved fussy Rowan, I need more of Rowan fussing, it's adorably hilarious regardless of if there's romance brewing or not!

"Oh he was definitely fussing, and though it warmed her miserable heart, it was becoming rather irritating"

As previously mentioned, we meet Manon and get her POV, this was a genius way to give us loads of info about the Ironteeth witches without boring us, and as I said, we see what the Kings up to. This also leads us to meeting Wyverns, who are incredibly intriguing because Manon's at least can understand what she's saying. It's also kind of weird, because Manon is the enemy really, she's going to be fighting for the King but I ended up becoming oddly attached to her? And actually empathizing with her and I actually really like her, she's badass, and she's not as heartless as she seems! I love watching her with Abraxos and I'm intrigued by how he understands her and excited to see where their story is going. Manon changes over the course of the book a fair bit.

While learning more about Baba Yellowlegs's people, we also learn a lot more about the Fae and magic in general, how magic works, some of the different types, Maeve's warriors, the Fae Hierarchy, culture, customs, legends and so on, all of which is incredibly rich and detailed and well....magical. Although I stand by the fact Maeve is a bitch and refuse to feel sorry for her, I'm seeing a death in her future. I enjoyed the unique spin on the Fae, how they weren't all Etheral and Legolas like, they where predators and there's lots of snarling and growling and sharp pointy teeth.

We also meet Ren, who I have a feeling is going to become very important. Like Rowan and Aedion, Ren and his Grandfather are the first members of Aelins new court. Ren being double sword dude from COM who was guarding Chaol and I didn't like, but now I do because I feel kind of bad for him, and I can't wait to see his face when he realizes Celaena is his Queen muahahaa. Someone's in for a rude awakening!

Another character I think worth a mention is Emrys, and actually Luca, Emrys was a friend of Aelin's mother, and I'm sure he's going to be making a reappearance and is going to be important? A member of her court? I don't know but he was a character I like because he was just what Celaena needed!

Each of these new characters has just as much detail, depth and complexity put in to them as the main characters, and I loved how they weren't just shoved there to further the story with no adequate detail to them.

I loved watching Celaena start to control the shift and use the power she thought she'd lost, it makes her even more badass, but it also helps her change again, and bring her back to almost who she should have been maybe? It was heartwarming to watch her stop fearing her power and losing control of it like she did as a child and actually become adept at using it.

I'm loving how each book adds another layer to Celaena. In TOG we knew the bare minimum about her background, it was expanded on more in COM and in HOF we finally learn a hell of a lot about what happened the night her parents died, what led her to becoming an assassin, and I love how we get more backstory layered on each book. Each book we get another layer, or a deeper explanation to something we already knew, this time for instance, we learned why she'd climbed in to their bed, the feeling she had etc.

We get more hints about her life at the Assassins Keep, and more glimpses of her childhood, meeting baby Dorian, her relationship with Aedion, we actually meet her parents and a character called Lady Marion who's daughter's whereabouts are unknown after what happened. Then, in an interesting format, we get the entirety of what happened when her parents died. The Kings visit, why they left the castle, the deaths, what happened after and how she ended up in the river.

We had a mystery in the form of the weird creature Celaena encounters near the beginning and then the bodies showing up, which of course is connected to something much deeper, but I didn't work out until I was told in the book! There's also the whole thing where Manon thinks the humans and meat taste wrong, so I'm wondering if the King is drugging the humans the meat to drug the witches to keep them compliant or weak or whether the proximity to one of the keys is messing with things?

Ooohh before I forget, we see Celaena's apartment! The one she left to Chaol! Man was it sad seeing it through Aedions eyes as he tries to get a feel for her! But she clearly retained her memories as much as she tried to shove her past down! It's interesting to watch Aedions impression of her form through what he learns from Chaol or her living area. He and Celaena had a bond of some sort, which I'm excited to see explored more. I genuinely ridiculously excited for Aedion and Celaena (Still not sure what to call her now!) meet for the first time!

Aedion thinks he failed her, Celaena thinks he hates her and she failed him and you just want to bang their heads together, she's worried of him seeing what's become and what she's done, and Aedions worried about her finding out his deeds as well, when in reality they'll both understand and UGH I JUST NEED THEM TO MEET NOOOOW! Although when I said that I didn't mean "oh let's have Aedion capture by the King and set to be executed so she has to risk her neck to save him which she will and it probably won't end well and there will be pain and suffering". Not sure how I feel about the whole "oh Aedion could be King" thing though.

Thanks to Aedion, like I said, we see what young Celaena was like, but we also see what happened the day magic left, or more accurately was frozen, and we learn what probably happened with the three towers forming a triangle, and the spell freezing magic, which brings us to how to unfreeze it, which I'm excited to see tackled in the next book.

There's plenty of intrigue to keep you interested, some of which is answered, some of which is not. I'd love to see more of Rowan's Cadre as Celaena calls them, more of Rowan interacting with them, i'm intrigued by them and how they all came to be! The interesting question raised about if Chaol is her mate seeing as she shouldn't have been able to attempt to kill him if he was. I'm thinking he's not but then I'm biased!

I love how while I ship Dorian and Celaena, you can pretty much ship whoever together, there's potential with Rowan, there's Chaol, and the pairings change each book, you see them with other people, except for Chaol, and nothing is set in stone until the last book when the series is done, one pairing isn't shut off just because they're not together anymore, there's still possibility and I'm finding it hard to predict who the end pair will be! But I love how the relationships flow and change with each book and plot.

There's things mentioned from TOG as well as COM so you need to keep your wits about you because something you thought had no meaning or importance in one of those two, could come back and bite you in the ass when you're reading HOF and you're like "ooooooooohhhh wait I get it!". I'm sure the same will be said for the next book!

I love how HOF starts the ball rolling towards the inevitable ending and show down with the King, but shows you there's still much to be done before we reach that stage. The story keeps changing each book while following an overarching storyline, each book becomes and is something different, changing direction each time, if that makes sense? The story started as one thing and now in book 3 it's something else, and will be something else in the next book.

The much no! That was heartbreaking and ugh. Feels. As you read things start to click in to place for this book, but from the others as well and it's such a great feeling when you finally put the pieces together, although in this case it caused an intense rage at Dorians father. Yes, I'm referring to what I already mentioned, the day Dorian and his father came to Orynth, and before, during and after her parents death. It was really heartbreaking to read and I very nearly cried, I'm not going to lie. I just felt so much for her in those pages. Not just for the deaths and what she witnessed but the King doing whatever to her mind and making her lose control of her magic, something we read about happening before and you feel for how scared that makes her.

I'm intrigued to know more about this bond between her and Rowan, Carranam, and what it means for them, and I'm really sad she left him behind while she pretends to be Celaena in Rifthold again to get the last key. And yes I say pretends because I think she's Aelin again now. But seriously? No Rowan? We just got him!

The romance will be taking a new direction and I'm curious to see where it's going, Celaena would always choose Chaol, but she'll  be coming back as Aelin, masquerading as Celaena. Aelin won't choose him, I can see why she shouldn't choose Dorian because of what his father did, but I don't think he's quite out of the running. Aedion could well be in it for all I know!

There's the whole vision of the future that Narrok gave her as a warning, it's going to be interesting to see her battle the temptation that will have the vision come true. We know what the King is up to in the Ferrian Gap and Dead Islands, e.g. Wyverns and Varg, but I'm curious about what's happening in the third line of power place, Morath, where Roland and Kaltain are? Kaltain is clearly so much more than a bitchy pain in the ass, and I'm beginning to think Roland isn't the evil/villain type person I had him pegged as. Hopefully more of them soon!

We learn of a character I already mentioned called Lady Marion, who was her mothers handmaiden, and her sacrifice Celaena feels like she used it to become a monster which is why she can't and won't go home. But more importantly Lady Marion has a daughter who is the heir to her fathers lands as he was a Lord, she's supposed to still be alive, and clearly is going to be important in one of the upcoming books. That's going to be something to look forward to! She'll hopefully be another court member, if they can find her, but from her age, i'm hoping she'll be a friend for Celaena.

We see Aelin/Celaena's future court forming, there's Emrys and Luca, Malakai, Rowan, Aedion and I'm assuming Dorian and Chaol. I'll be interested to see if Manon ends up joining them in the end. She's not like the others of her kind and I'm curious.

Towards the end of the book things are subtly set in place for the next book, the Amulet of Orynth that Celaena needs to retrieve, which means we'll learn more about Arobynn and her time at the Keep i'm hoping and assuming! Then there's the whole rescuing Aedion thing, who's essentially bait for her, and don't get me started on Dorian. Just don't. I mean one minute he's all "Celaena and I will change the world" then it's all here Dad let me hit you with my magic, oh you want to put that dodgy collar on me that all the Varg demon things have been wearing?" and then it's all "lol books over have a nice year long wait bitches." I shit you not. That's how things are left. Is Dorian possessed by a Varg now? Is he just under his fathers control? I don't know but it needs to be sorted soon as the next book starts! I'm just very excited for Team Dorian and Celaena to take on the King.

Don't get me wrong, the ending is all so cliffhangery with our heroes in trouble and whatnot, although Chaol has appeared to team up with Ren....that'll be interesting seeing them gather the remaining Lords now the call has essentially gone out, the end few chapters are made of no, and to be honest I thought after that battle it was all good, evidently I was wrong and this ending sprung out of nowhere. Anyways, the last few sentences where so spinetingle-ingly powerful it makes me excited for the next one!

Heir Of Fire is a fantastic addition to an incredible series that is one of my utmost favourites. It's full of humour, emotion both good and bad, romance, action, rich history and lore, magic, mystery and so much more all blended together to create a perfectly unique slice of an overarching storyline that gets more and more epic in scale. You race through the story needing to know what happens next, and then BHAM, a powerful ending that leaves you with an agonizing wait to see what happens to characters so well loved that they're more like friends. You're always sad to leave the world and eager to get back to it and I can't wait for the next installment to see how the characters grow and change, and to see where the story takes us next.

Buy it, read it, love it. You won't regret it. This series is set to become a classic up there with LOTR and GOT in my opinion. I shall patiently await the movie adaption *hinthint*
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