Monday, 29 February 2016

Review: The Power

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

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.
Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

"You guys are like mogwais fed after midnight" 
Oh my God you guys, this series is getting SO. GOOD. Like emotionally devastating good. Which is an odd combination but there you go! I love diving back in to the world of the Covenant and I love the setting of this spin off series in the University, I just love the world of the book, it's rich and it's original and it's so easy to get lost in! This book pulled me back from the bring of a reading slump and I read 200 pages in one sitting! I couldn't put it down, every time I went to, something happened and I found myself reading just one more chapter. Repeatedly. Until 3am. Oops? 

The opening throws you straight back in to the world of the book and the story, and it's a heart pounding opening. Josie for me in this book was complicated. I loved her in book one, and I loved her in this book, she's so easy for me to relate to and connect to. Like she is me, I'd be that clumsy and that useless at doing the fight training and everything! I loved watching Josie doing all the training and I loved her personality. She's a badass in her own way, like the scene with Colin, even if it is sometimes an accident! But I loved watching her get better and better, and more assertive, and by the end she was so awesome! 

My problem with Josie in this book is purely me being too attached to Alex I think, I love Alex, she's my favourite character, I loved her, she was everything I love in a character, she's badass and snarky and perfect. Josie is different to Alex, she's hesitant about killing, but then in a couple of ways she is like Alex. The thing is in this book, I got annoyed at Josie because of how she was about Alex, like her being insecure and everything made her realistic, but it reached a point when I was rolling my eyes a little bit and was like okay leave Alex alone now. Like I said, Alex is my fave, I'm way too attached to her and Josie being funny about her annoyed me, which is my own problem not the books to be honest! Like while Josie was annoying me being funny about Alex, I could understand her and where she was coming from. There where some really epic scenes with Josie and Alex though, that where nice to see, but then there where others where I was like seriously Josie?! It's difficult for me and I'll get in to it in a minute! OMG I nearly forgot, Josie was totally reading all about her father and his past conquests and it was the funniest thing ever! So awkward. I can't wait for Apollo and Josie to sort it out between them! 
"My father put the 'who' in whore."
Seth in this book, and in the previous book...I can't even. I liked Seth in the Covenant, but then towards the end when he was being all evil Seth it was a bit like "I like you Seth....but you need to do the right thing...oh nope...kill people instead..okay" but then he redeemed himself and everything. In these books, you see a softer side of Seth, and a more vulnerable side of him that we've never seen before. I love seeing this other side to Seth, it's like getting to know him all over again. It makes me so sad to see this side of Seth though, because he doesn't expect anything good, like people remembering his birthday, or Josie and her feelings for him and there's so many scenes that choke me up for him! He's still a badass and he's still snarky and hilarious and he makes me laugh, but in this book he's having problems and he's struggling with the Aether and then there's this whole thing with Josie and my poor Seth you guys! 

I love getting both POV's, they both have such entertaining narratives, and each narrative adds to the story, rather than just repeating scenes from both POV's. You get to see what's going on with each character, and what's going on in their heads..what their motivation is and everything. I love getting to see Seth's POV especially, and it makes me so sad that we never got Aiden's...just imagine guys. Imagine Aiden's POV *sigh* the POV's are just so brilliantly done to be honest, and the switches are perfect, the timing is perfect, and it never messes with the pace, the pace keeps up the entire time. 

Anyway, back to characters! All of our favourites are back, we get Luke and Deacon and oh my God Deacon takes a stand and it's awesome! Aiden doesn't think so, though! Deacon also demonstrates how much of a fanboy he is and it's hilarious! Luke and Deacon are completely adorable as well. I've missed them, and in these books we get to know the two of them even more. Marcus and Alexander make brief experiences, Apollo the cockblocker returns and he is forever one of my favourites because he's so hilarious! Oh and the Edward Cullen of the nymphs is back, still kinda creepy. Still kind of intriguing. Then there's Solos and Ladaan and omg I love seeing all the other characters from the book! 
"Apparently Apollo wasn't aware that he'd rate high on the 'stranger danger' scale" 
We also get new characters, like Colin, who has a nice connection to a character from the Covenant, and is Josie's new friend. I'm curious about him because we met him, but then we didn't see much of him at the end. I'd like to see more of him, even though Seth wouldn't, and I'm still really curious about him! We also meet Gable, one of the Demigods, and I love how there was a comment about how cliche his whole thing was, I'm not going to say too much else because you know...I'll leave it for you guys to find out! I'm excited to get to know him better and see what he can do, he handled the whole "dude you're a demigod" thing surprisingly well! 

I love how we get Medusa and Armentrout gives her her own take, and she's so intriguing! I hope to see more of her! I was so sad we didn't get to see more of Erin though! But YOU GUYS! We get actual Hercules. My brain went through a rendition of all the Hercules songs as soon as I saw his name, not going to lie! He was another take on the standard Hercules and he was completely hilarious, like I'm surprised at myself that I didn't see it coming, because trust Apollo to pick a demigod like Hercules. He was SO arrogant, but then at times I did kinda like him or at least wanted to like him. I kid you not, Apollo is like "hey guys, this is Hercules. Hercules is a dick" straight off and I spat out what I was drinking before I choked on it! 

Like I predicted Alex and Aiden came baaacckk! I knew they'd have to show up eventually, but I wasn't expecting this soon! But then ya know...Alex had to come topside to sort out Seth...I search for the Demigods. Yeah. That. Also, trust Alex to make an entrance, it was awesome. I kinda choked up a little bit at the reunion A squared had with everyone else, not going to lie! The whole gang was back together and it was so much perfection you guys! And then Seth and I've missed their banter! It cracks me up. Like I said, Alex and Josie meet in this book with mixed results, and then you have Alex and Aiden's reunion with Apollo and I always forget how long they've known Apollo, that they knew him before they knew he was Apollo and it was such a touching scene! 
"His smile turned creepy, like hide-your-kids-level creepy" 
Alex and Aiden...I can't even. Seeing the two of them together again, was just so perfect and amazing and SO CUTE. Seriously the two of them are still so adorable, and so perfect together, you can see through the eyes of Seth and Josie what their relationship looks like, and how they interact with each other and it's all so warm and fuzzy inducing, all the little things are what makes it really. It's still a romance I completely love, I've actually missed them so much, I should probably re-read the Covenant again! 

Speaking of romance, we get double in this book because OBVIOUSLY, we have Seth and Josie, and I loved watching everything develop in the first book, but now they're together in this book it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There's cute scenes, steamy scenes and angsty scenes. They make you feel a lot of feels this book, because they have so many obstacles to overcome and a couple of them come in to play in this book, and I can't even. I just can't discuss it right now guys! You should all keep your eyes out as well, because there's a couple of rather familiar scenes, and I'm so glad Marcus commented on one of them at one point! 

So, this has been more of a book reaction than a review, but to be honest, it's the perfect sequel to the first book in the spin off and it's the perfect continuation of a series that I love so much. The plot is complex, there's a lot going on, you have Josie training, Seth and his aether issues, the tension and the violence between the Halfs and Pures escalates and it's really not good! Then you have Alex and Aiden coming back, Seth and Alex being connected still, the search for the other demigods, the Seth and Josie issues and everything else. There are so many threads in this book that all come together to make a plot that's so engrossing, that makes the book so difficult to put down. It's action packed, it makes you laugh, it chokes you up because there are some completely heart breaking scenes, prepare yourselves guys. It's original, there's lots of little details that bring the story to life, the characters are lively and multi dimensional, there's new characters to intrigue us! There's new threads to carry us over in to the next book, and oh my God. We need to talk about them. 
"Bigotry is literally the Twinkie of human emotions. Shit will survive the apocalypse" 
I got SUCH a bad feeling when Medusa and Athena kept mentioning Seth in one particular conversation. "A great sense of foreboding washed over me, so strong and insistent that I tensed in my seat" too Josie. Me too. But I got that vibe a couple chapters are go and you're kinda late to the party! I was completely right as well, and there's this one scene and it completely and utter spells NOT EFFING GOOD. I am SO NOT OKAY with the ending of the book. Seth needs his happy ending okay, he deserves it at this stage. 

It's so difficult for me because Alex and Aiden are right, Josie has no idea about everything Seth's done and what he was like before, but at the same time, Josie is right because he is different and at the end I was like...don't make me choose a side omg. But it's okay, because it didn't come to that! I get why Alex and Aiden where acting the way they where, but I was also sad because I  understand Seth a lot better and know him more now! 

I'm so excited for book three now, there's hopefully going to be more demigods to find, we're gonna have Where's Wally?: Apollyon Edition, and so much more! I'm intrigued to see if we'll see get Alex's POV again, because if they end up splitting up....I'm not sure what will happen. Like will we just get Seth and Josie's POV and then they'll all meet back up with the demigods in tow? I'm not sure how I'd feel about that because I'm enjoying the hunt for the demigods, and all of the old crew working together again! I need it NOOOOWW! 

So yeah, reaction rather than a review, sorry guys! I tried not to fangirl but I just wasn't strong enough! Honestly, this series gets better and better and the books just pull you in, they're vivid and atmospheric and they're funny as well as emotional. Each new book adds more and more to the world of the book, brings more and more to the characters we know and love. The Covenant is one of my favourite series and so a Seth spin off was like a dream come true, and I'm loving the direction this is all going! 

"I was surrounded by mythical beings instead of by twenty-somethings whose greatest powers were the ability to perform tasks hungover and with minimal sleep."

Saturday, 27 February 2016

February Book Haul

Haaaiiii guys! 
So this is really late, like this was supposed to go up Friday morning and ya didn't. So sorry this is so late, I had a huge change of plans and didn't have time to sort the video like I thought I would! 
I'm still MIA with the photos as well right now, I'm hoping to be back to normal soon! But I'm getting in a stress a lot of the time about getting everything done and I'm 99.9% sure I'm allergic to something in my house but I'm not sure what, which sucks! 

Anyway, this video has a lot less information than usual because there are so many books so sorry it's not the usual book haul. 
Hope you still enjoy it though and let me know what you received in February down below! 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Review: Clockwork Sparrow & Jewelled Moth

So, I was lucky enough to be sent both of the books to review and I got to read them back to back and oh my God you guys they where so good! Everyone raves about them, and I'm always kind of wary but I loved them! I've got two reviews in one bumper post for you guys! 

The Mystery of The Clockwork Sparrow
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Egmont! 

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…

I don't know why specifically but this gave me such Cat Royal vibes. Cat Royal is a series by Julia Golding and yes I am too old to read them still, but I can't bring myself to throw them out so there. ANYWAY. This gave me some real vibes from those books, possibly the whole gang of people from all walks of life coming together to solve a mystery thing, but I loved it! It's very authentic, there's clearly been a lot of research done and it shows in the book. You can vividly picture Sinclair's, as well as the streets and the lodging house. 

I loved all of the characters, especially Lil, I connected to her as much as I did to Sophie, possibly because of the whole actress thing! But I loved Sophie and I loved Lil, I admired Sophie so much, she kept strong and did what she had to, rather than doing what some people in her position might have, and being completely useless and just unwilling to do a hard days work...she ignores all the jibes and gets on with it. I'm suspecting more to her father's death as well, possibly to do with the Baron!

Anyway, Billy and Joe where brilliant too, I loved how Billy had those stories he loved and was getting to be like the character in real life, and Joe was a brilliant contrast to him. I liked how he was willing to help them even though he didn't know them, and was wary of the Baron. I loved the friendship that forms between the four of them, and especially between Lil and Sophie as poor Sophie was a bit of a loner and Lil just kind of took her under her wing and was like "yep, you're my friend now!" it was beaut! They where all brilliantly brought to life, and have interesting back stories that you want to know more about. There's also a whole load of other colourful characters, the Private Detective, Sinclair himself, and more, all fantastically created to help bring the story to life! 

It's a fun and easy read, and while I did work out who the culprit was....I still hadn't put all of the pieces together that where presented to us and I ended up being surprised more than once! I found myself intrigued and completely gripped to the story trying to work everything out. There where lots of little clues and threads to the story that all came together brilliantly in the end, to create a fantastic plot. There's a larger scheme going on than you first think, and there's a lot at stake. It was wrapped up so well with a few loose threads to set us up for the next book and further adventures! 

As you're reading you find yourself completely lost in the glittering world of the department store, even when it's just behind the scenes, it had a very theatrical feel to it I think! I just love how it was all brought to life. I enjoyed the newspaper clippings and other little pieces that broke up the narrative and gave you a visual, particularly when it involved code! I also liked the different hats at each part of the book, and the writing about them, it really fit with the story and helped bring you in to the time period. It really is a fantastic book! Now I'm off to read book two! 

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

The honour of your company is requested at lord beaucastle's fancy dress ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London's most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk...It will be the most thrilling event of the season!

So, I dived straight in to this after the first one, and if it's even's even better! We get to see a different side to London and there's new characters for us to get to know and enjoy! 

We still get the paper clippings, among other things, to break up the narrative, and each part now has an extract from the Etiquette for Debutantes book, which was oddly fascinating. To see how they where expected to act, and all the rules and things that we find strange and kind of insulting in this day and age! 

New character Mei greets us with her narrative, and it immediately intrigued me. I'd already seen the authors article about her research for this book, so I was excited to read all about this other China Town. Much like most other people...I was completely unaware of this other China town in London, and I'm kinda disappointed in myself because I'm a history nerd and yet I didn't know?! There's even a brilliant authors note at the back of the book with more information, and I'm feeling a trip out to that part of London to have a scout about! 

ANYWAY Mei's POV brought us right in to the story, and things are looking dire, the Baron is back and is extending his reach in to China Town and Mei's family are caught up in it.  She gives us the rather interesting story that her Grandfather told, all about the Moonbeam Diamond and how their family looked after it. Man that story made me angry, because so typical of our people! In other words, Mei ties in perfectly with the story right from the beginning but it's a while before she comes in to play. But I loved her POV and seeing what life was like for her! 

We also have new character Veronica, through her we get all  about the life of a debutante, which, much like the extracts, is oddly fascinating. While she wasn't always the nicest person, I did feel for her because she didn't have a lot of choice in her life, and she was always watched, and she even says at one point she has no choice because that's not how things are done. Then at the end I loved her even more because she did something completely unexpected and it was awesome! 

Much like the first book, the POV switches where brilliant, we just have two more POV's than usual. I love how in these books, they give you an extra insight in to the characters, and helps you to understand them, like Joe and his odd behaviour at points in this book. Each character has a distinctive voice and an entertaining narrative and you can always tell which character is narrating. 

All of our favourite characters are back and better than ever, Sophie is a lot happier, Lil is going for bigger things, and Joe is happy now that he has a job but is still wary of going to the Baron's Boy's territory. Billy in contrast, is just as meticulous with his notes as ever, but at times I wanted to smack him one because he was like "Miss Atwood this, Miss Atwood that" "I can't do that because of so and so" like seriously Billy!? I thought you lived for this stuff!? But then Sophie's probably right about him! 

I loved how everything tied together, especially between Mei and Veronica, from two incredibly separate worlds. It was brilliant! But then I knew from the first book that the author is brilliant at bringing all these different threads together and tying them up! I also like how the author showed the differences between Mei's part of London and the others. The different between Sinclair's and Mei's parent's shop. The difference between Piccadilly/Belgrave Square and  Shadwell/Limehouse. It was fantastically done and very subtle. 

The mystery was solved surprisingly early on in the book...but it didn't end there. With the reveal of the culprit came more questions, and more threads because there was way more going on, than met the eye. The plot was even bigger than the previous book!  There was an entire other mystery to solve, and I was just as gripped by this book, and the mystery. Again I worked out the culprit of the theft, but at the same time...I was surprised a million times because like I said, there was so much more going on that I couldn't even guess at!

The build up to the climax and all the action in the book was brilliant and there were so many absolutely fantastic scenes in this book! The Debutante tea party, the entire ball sequence (which was both funny and full of suspense at the same time), the scene at the end with the Baron and the people of China Town, then McDermott showing up,  and before that Pendleton and Veronica and all the others showing up, pure brilliance. Honestly, there where so many scenes that had me laughing as well as being on edge the very next second! 

This is such a brilliant sequel and every bit as fantastic as the first book, it's just as fun as the first book and just as easy to read, as well as keeping you on your toes! You can read it one go, and get completely lost in the book and I loved exploring a different side to London in this book!  There's still more questions left to be answered, especially as there's some mini mysteries popping up. Like Sophie's parents. I'm convinced even more now that The Baron had something to do with Sophie's father's dodgy will and ya know...death. I'm waiting for it to all come out! But then there's another piece of the puzzle thrown in with her mother! I can't take it with all the mystery! Anyway, I'm sure we'll see the Baron again because he's all ominous like that. I'm so ridiculously excited for the next book because it sounds even more awesome, and I'm looking forward to watching Lil and Sophie become badass lady detectives! 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wishing For Wednesday #79

Hey guys! 
How are we all! We're about to hit March which's nearly my biirrrfffffday! Yaaay! 
This week as usual, I've picked out two books coming soon that I think you guys will love as much as I do! 
First up...the third book in a steampunk series that I am completely and utterly loving! You guys have no idea! I really need to check out the authors other work if it's as awesome as this series is! It's steampunk, but there's mysteries and the characters are flawed in such a realistic way! Pure brilliance! 
The second book is a new book from an author I haven't read before! I've heard about her other novels and am so intrigued by them, and this one sounds just as intriguing! Especially as there isn't much about the plot floating about! 

The Immorality Engine

Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, Sir Maurice Newbury, has brilliantly solved a number of near-impossible cases for Queen Victoria along with his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes. But while all appears well on the surface, Newbury has an increasingly uncontrollable secret...What was once a flirtation with the lure of opium has turned into a full-blown addiction for Newbury. 

Hobbes, along with Newbury's dear friend Bainbridge, the chief investigator at Scotland Yard, try to cover for him as much as possible, but when the body of a well known criminal turns up, Bainbridge and Hobbes drag Newbury from an opium den to help them with the case. The body is irrefutably that of the criminal, but shortly after his body is brought to the morgue, a crime is discovered that bears all the dead man's hallmarks.Newbury and Hobbes will come face to face with their hardest and darkest investigation to date. These are no copycat killings...But how can a dead man commit a crime?

The Immorality Engine is out March 11th, pre-order your!
Add it to your

Wink Poppy Midnight

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying

Wink. Poppy. Midnight is out April 1st, pre-order your
Add it to your!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Review: River of Ink

River of Ink
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Bloomsbury

In thirteenth-century Sri Lanka, Asanka, poet to the king, lives a life of luxury, enjoying courtly life and a sweet, furtive love affair with a palace servant, a village girl he is teaching to write. But when Magha, a prince from the mainland, usurps the throne, Asanka's role as court poet dramatically alters. Magha is a cruel and calculating king--and yet, a lover of poetry--and he commissions Asanka to translate a holy Sanskrit epic into the Tamil language spoken by his recently acquired subjects. The poem will be an olive branch--a symbol of unity between the two cultures.

But in different languages, in different contexts, meaning can become slippery. First inadvertently, then deliberately and dangerously, Asanka's version of the epic, centered on the killing of an unjust ruler, inspires and arouses the oppressed people of the land. Asanka must juggle the capricious demands of a king with the growing demands of his own political consciousness--and his heart--if he wishes to survive and imagine a future with the woman he loves.

Oh my God you guys this book! I was completely enchanted by the book, the history, the stories/legends, the customs it was all so rich and fascinating being an area of history and the world that I'm not very knowledgable in! I was transported to the time period, and I was so eager to learn as much as I could from the book. It was a historical novel, but it had a touch of fantasy to it, but then that might have been me! 

I also completely loved the way the book was written! 
The book is written from Asanka to Sarasi, and I was a bit iffy about how it was going to go with the entire book but it reached a point when I stopped noticing which tense it was written in, and I can't imagine the book or the story being told in any other way! It was an unusual narrative, but it still managed to create a rich atmosphere, and paint a vivid picture. Every time Asanka was summoned by the King, I was on edge. I could feel the tension. Fear is a feeling that you can practically taste throughout the book as the King does more and more awful things during his rule. There was so much foreshadowing as well and it kept you reading because you wanted to know what happened. Considering this isn't as action packed as the books I usually read, that kept me enthralled more than anything! 

I had a love/hate relationship with Asanka, because on the one hand I thought he was a bit weak, but then he started to meddle with the translations for the King, and brought about the consequences of that and I admired him for having the courage to do it. Perhaps the weakness he could sometimes display actually made him a more realistic character in the end. Ultimately I was astounded that he kept up defying the King in his own way. Sarasi was definitely my favourite character, I admired her so much. The King was a truly awful character, his treatment of the Queen and the Sarasi and at points towards the end I actually began to think he was crazy. This is only one perception of the King though, you don't really see any other view point on him, considering he's a historical person I was a bit iffy about that. But at the same time, he makes a comment about his life, and his family, and then I kind of understood him. I got him and why he was doing what he was doing. I feel like an authors note or a historical note would have been good at the end of the book, to give you a bit more information about the King and the events described in the book. I'm kind of not sure if Asanka was an actual, real person you see! I have some other questions as well about other characters and events in the story and there's no note with some answers! So you're left with a fair few questions. 

The book was so well written, it was compelling and evocative and just completely enthralling. I enjoyed the stories within the story, if that's what I can call them! In the book Asanka is sent mysterious texts by an unknown person (that reveal was mind blowing!), and so every few chapters you get a mini story, that is one of these texts and it was a nice way to break up the narrative as well as adding another layer/dimension to the poem that Asanka is translating, which was also intriguing to read about! I liked how each of these texts was short, but still created such a feeling with you, and fascinated you. I wanted to read more! I was also fascinated by the poem that Asanka was translating, and I'm still wondering if Asanka or someone like Asanka was given that job. 

Like I've said, the book is brilliant, and I'm not ridiculously intrigued to know more about the time period in Sri Lanka, to learn as much as I can about the history and the legends/myths, because this was just a taste and I'm so enthralled by it all!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Review: Tiger and the Wolf

The Tiger and The Wolf 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Tor

In the bleak northern crown of the world, war is coming

Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She can’t disown half her soul, so escapes – with the killer Broken Axe in pursuit.

Maniye’s father plots to rule the north, and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, a time of testing and broken laws. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. But what spark will set the world ablaze?

Oh wow you guys, this book really is something else! I'm still half stuck in the world of the book as I write this review! This book blew me away with it's world building and mythology and completely sucked me in to the story! 

The world of the book is harsh and bleak, but it still manages to suck you in and spring up around you as you read. I thought it was original and richly created and I enjoyed learning about the world of the book as well as the rich mythology that went along with it. It was just completely fascinating and original and I loved it and wanted more of it! 

I loved watching Maniye grow and change as the book went on, watching her go on this journey and it really had a coming of age feel to it. I was rooting for her, she was a fantastic character and I felt all the feels at the end of the book! I completely hated her father, like he was kind of crazy because he just couldn't make like Elsa and let it go. He kept coming and coming and it was like dude...relax. He felt he needed her in order to use her to get what he's always wanted and there was a really nice plot twist that I didn't see coming that thwarted that a little bit! He still resents her though and the rest of her tribe aren't exactly nice to her either because of what she is. I also really liked Hesprec the prisoner Maniye takes with her when she flees, and oh my God, my heart broke at one point because of his character but then there was this awesome plot twist and I was cheering and everything! I'm so fascinated to learn more about his clan as well as Loud Thunder! I wasn't sure of him either in the beginning but I ended up loving his character. Honestly there are so many great characters in the book, both good and bad and even the bad ones you kind of like because they're just such GOOD bad guys you know? 

Oh and I liked Broken Axe, like in the beginning I didn't, but it turns out there's more to him than meets the eye, I kinda got Snow White vibes from his story, sort of. You'll see what I mean when you read the book! But I liked him and even before I started to like him, he was intriguing because he didn't always do what you thought he was going to do and you wanted to know more about him, I was gutted about the ending he got! 

Maniye was the main focus of the book, obviously, but we still kept up to date with what was going on with her father and a few other characters, as well as a group comprised of Asmander, a champion from the South, his slave Venateer and Shyri, who completely fascinated me because again...more clans, with more different things to lean about. The switches between the different groups where very well done, and I loved reading what each was up to, but I'd end up reading one chapter then being desperate to know what was happening with the group we just left and then it was like a cycle repeating itself! 

Each clan has different beliefs to them, and I loved learning about them, although as there where so many you only really got tidbits and I was left with a burning desire to know more and learn more about the different clans. I'm really hoping to see and learn more about them in the rest of the books of the trilogy because it would be a shame to not get to explore them all! I was enthralled with the clans and how different each was! 

That was one little problem I had with the book, another was that I found the book a bit slow going in the beginning. Everything was being set up, and I was intrigued, but my attention hadn't been grabbed so I was glued to the book at that point. So I found it slightly difficult to get in to in the beginning, and while I loved the plot, I did feel like things where a bit repetitive with the constant battles between clans and her running away and so on. But then, there was so much more about the book that I loved that makes up for these few little things. 

The Tiger and The Wolf may have gotten off to a slow start, but there's a hell of a lot of information in the book that needs to be gotten across in order to make the story and world work and I was fascinated with all the mythology to the book and the clans. It was original, once you became invested in what was going on it was hard to put down, and it leaves you wanting to know so much more about the other clans that make an appearance that you don't get to learn as much about as you'd like! The book was complex, and intricate and fantastically written. The atmosphere is something you can feel, along with the characters emotion, the sense of despair some of them had and so on. I got such a vibe from the book and I loved it. I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen in the next book, and hoping to learn about some more of the clans! 

Friday, 19 February 2016

2016 Classics Challenge: February

Hey guys! 
Another month, another classic down and I'm still going strong. I know we're only two in, but I haven't had to DNF one yet! I'm pretty proud of that. I've answered some questions below, and there's a video that has aaallll my thoughts about Wuthering Heights because this book was a tricky one for me! 

EDIT: I've worked out what my problem with the book was, like I say in the video, I expected Cathy to narrate and it to be all about her and Heathcliff, but more than that I expected a romance between the two and we see the romance grow and I knew revenge was involved but I was thinking more along the "Oh I was going to make her fall in love with me and then break her heart" kind you know? Wuthering Heights, is not that. I wouldn't even class this as a romance, and like I say in the's dark and gothic, but I'm not entirely sure I can class it as a horror? Can I? I wish I'd realised this when I was filming the bloody video. I enjoyed the book because of all the drama and there where so many horrifying parts that I couldn't tear my eyes away from, and horrendous characters, and abuse and so on, it gripped you. So I enjoyed it but this is me realising what made me go "hold on.....what though?"

ANYWAY, it's time for me to answer some questions about the book! I'll answer them to the best of my ability, but bearing in mind here I'm no expert on Classics and all that jazz. 

When I Discovered This Classic

When did I discover this Classic? How could I not with that bloody song *shudder* still going strong when I was a child. I remember seeing the video on like VH1 one Saturday when I was younger, and asking about the song because I thought it was weird, and being told it was based on a book. I was too young at that point to investigate further! If you're lucky enough to be sitting there asking me what song I'm talking about....if you really, REALLY want to know....ENJOY!

Why I Chose To Read It

It was between this and Pride & Prejudice for my January Classic for starters and seeing as it lost I thought I'd do it for February! 
It's also one of the classics that I consider to be one of the "big ones", one of the most well known and loved by everyone, and I was curious about it! 

What Makes It A Classic

I suck at answering this question, I'm not going to lie. I'm really not sure. Maybe because of the writing and the descriptions, or because of the grippingly awful characters, or because of how dark it is with a heavy dose of gothic. Everyone I know seems obsessed with the romance of this and I'm not entirely too sure why so I hesitate to include it as a reason, although Cathy and Heathcliff where what drew me in and intrigued me and kept me reading when I was completely confused at the beginning by the legions of characters. I think the book also surprises people (I can't be the only one who was surprised) and gets people talking which will keep people interested in it and curious about it, because people go in (some people anyway) expecting a romance, and they get an intense and dark book with a lot of emotion in it. 

What I Thought Of This Classic

Will It Stay A Classic

I can't see it not being because it's so unusual, like I said, people expect one thing and get another with a lot of unexpected things thrown in. People will always talk about that and the darker aspects of the book, the emotional and physical abuse that's in abundance, the intense emotions the characters feel, the cast of horrible characters, it all gets readers talking for different reasons. I also think people will continue to be intrigued by them and want to find out what the deal is with them, even though they weren't what I was expecting, they where memorable because of that, I mean no-ones going to forget Heathcliff and his atrocious behaviour anytime soon. 

Who I'd Recommend It To

This is tricky because as I've realised, this is not a romance, and I'm not sure if I can get away with calling it a horror story either. People who like dark and gothic literature for sure! It being the only Bronte book I've read so far, I'd recommend it if you want to see what the Bronte's writing and books are like. Not to mention the people just plain curious because they've heard about Cathy and Heathcliff or ya know...have that song haunting them. 

Let me know what you thought of Wuthering Heights below, if you've read it! As you all know, I'm super indecisive, so below is a nice little poll with a few options for my March Classic! 
It's my birthday month and so, if I picked some options that I fancy and that are either short or more modern than the other classics so far! Heeellppp meeeee choose! 

Which Classic Should I Read In March?

To Kill A Mockingbird
The Scarlet Letter
Peter Pan
Around The World in 80 Days
The Lost World
personality test

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Review: Morning Star

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton. 

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society's mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied - and too glorious to surrender.

"Shit escalates"

It's over. You guys, it's actually over. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book but I was sad the entire time, like not just from some of the events of the book but because it's the last book. I kinda wish the series would carry on forever, it's like I'm a glutton for punishment because it's not like the books have been heartbreak free, and haven't had some shocking betrayals. Everything was wrapped up so perfectly, and the book just ended perfectly, but it was so bittersweet because ya's finally over. No more Severo...or Darrow....or Mustang or anyone. Gutted! 

Like I've said before Sci-Fi isn't usually my thing so I found myself pleasantly surprised at how much I loved Red Rising, then Golden Son was even better...and Morning Star blew both away. I eagerly dove in to the book, yeah it's pretty hefty, but it's the final book in a trilogy that I feel has been too short! Although, I think it actually works that Brown hasn't dragged this out in to a million books...even though in direct contradiction to that, I'm gutted there aren't a million books. I've waited a year for this book, and after the cliffhanger Golden Son left us on...I couldn't not dive in. 

The opening was spine tingling swiftly segueing in to the horrifying first chapters. Well I was horrified, but then ya know...being desensitised to all this thanks to Game of Thrones, I swiftly started to feel some rage on behalf of my characters! I was immediately thrown back in to events, and back in to the vividly original world of the book. One of the things I loved most, and that hooked me on Red Rising was the world and how original it was and all the different aspects to it, it's political intricacies and the richness of the history to the world, and all of that has been carried on throughout all of the books and is still present in this book, along with the tactics. I love reading the tactics in these books because they're not complicated, they're written so you can understand them and come away feeling like a tactical genius from understanding them and feeling some grim satisfaction at how awesome they are! 

I love Brown's writing style and his descriptions, I can't get over how much I love it all. The writing grips me, and has me glued to the page. It has me feeling a range of different emotions. It sucks me in to the world of the book and brings the world and the characters to life perfectly without an overdose of writing. The descriptions, like the world building is vivid and imaginative and just completely enchants you, as well as being ridiculously cinematic without reading like it's been written specifically for that purpose. What do I mean? I once read a book written by a screen writer, and it was cinematic yeah, but it also lacked a lot of detail because it was written specifically with the thought of it being adapted to a screen play, which means a lot of descriptions and world building where lost. This is perfectly cinematic, because it's just the writing and how Brown makes you feel when you read certain lines. You can picture everything up on a big screen, picture how a scene would be set and played out. But then it might be my filming oriented brain! I'm so sad to leave the world of the book, even though everything is wrapped up satisfyingly I still want to know what happens NEXT.

It's not long before we're straight back in with the action, and what action it is. There's lots of action in the book, and each battle sequence, each fight has you on the edge of your seat. They're described in such vivid detail that you're right there in the midst of it. I really do think the battles work because when you read the book, like I said, you get a lot of talk of tactics, and rather than being boring, you're fascinated, especially when they come in to play, and you start to think tactically as you read. It adds a whole new dimension to the fights and battles. 

The book did have some draggy bits, don't get me wrong, but overall it had a nice pace to it. There was a lot going on, lots of different threads came in to play, some that came in the form of plot twists, that then twisted even more and shocked you. You wouldn't believe the plot twists in this, they where shocking, heartbreaking, horrifying and each one damn made you want to shout and scream at the book. The plot was fantastic, full of action, something was always happening, there where lots of intricacies to it, and like I said, everything was wrapped up nicely. There was humour to counter the heartbreak and heavy action, like a Howler initiation ritual that was like some jacked up version of a busktucker trial in I'm a Celebrity! 

"We're here to blow shit up. Any questions?"

We've watched our characters come a hell of a long way and develop and change and grow and they've all made us feel a lot of feels. I've loved watching each and every one of them change and become the characters we see in this book, even the ones who betrayed Darrow and I kinda hate. Darrow is just brilliant, who he's become, learning from his mistakes, everything he's been through. Sevro is forever my favourite character, yes it should probably be Darrow, but sorry, Sevro is the best. His relationship with Darrow is just mind blowing, I love the interactions between the two, like they had a full on punch up in this book then it's all good a few minutes later. The two of them together and Sevro on his own are a large source of humour in the book. He cracked me up right from the first, the eye thing and his reaction to it and the offer cracked me up! Mustang is another character I love, purely because half the time I'm kind of wary of her like Sevro is, and she blew my mind at the end of the book. 

There's a whole host of characters in this book to make you feel things, make you want to throw the book and scream and rage. Our old pal Cassius is back, he nearly had me going for a minute or two at the end, very nearly and I wanted to annihilate him, but he surprised me and had me fist pumping and cheering even though in the context it was kind of harsh of me. Roque is also back and as much as I disliked him my heart broke. Victra, I loved her and Darrow together and Victra sharing some of the burden in giving orders at one point of the book. Ragnar was another character that I loved and who broke my heart in this book. Darrows family are back, and there's MORE heartbreak from a family member. The Jackal is just...purely, brilliantly evil, he's kind of the perfect villain, I can't really lie. Everyone got what was coming to them as far as the Jackal and his cohorts are concerned, I have to say. OOOHH and Orion and the crew of the Pax are back! 

There's also new characters, we get Valkyries, Sefi, Holiday and more along with all the old characters we love or hate. Like I said, some of these characters blew my mind because they shocked and surprised me in equal measure. I've already mentioned the twists of the book, so if it's not obvious, this book is unpredictable. I couldn't guess what was coming next, I was on edge and wary the whole time because I was never sure if everything was what it seemed, and was kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop in some situations. With new characters came the whole...who is actually trustworthy thing. There's a lot of betrayal and backstabbing in these books and this one is no exception. 

I also thought the moment Darrow and Cassius shared, with the moments from the first was such a nice touch, and it fitted perfectly in with the story. It wasn't just dumped there, it really belonged in that scene and I can't imagine the scene without it. It made me tear up and smile and it was perfect. I loved how that scene was done and it genuinely fit nicely in to the narrative and plot. 

Morning Star is the conclusion that we all hope for when we go in to the final book in a trilogy or series, and I've loved the journey we've been on with the characters. I've loved watching them grow and change, I've learned learning about the world and getting to see more and more of it. I've loved being surprised at every turn, left wanting more, I've even loved feeling like throwing the book and screaming at certain plot twists and characters. I'm so sad the story is over and we won't hear from the characters again, but I'm excited to see what Brown will do next, and I'll read pretty much anything the guy writes, it has to be said! This trilogy has completely blown my mind, and if you haven't read it you should, because now you can avoid all the tense waiting I had to do....and just read them in one go! I cannot wait to see Red Rising on the big screen!

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