Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Review: The Inquisition

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

On trial for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must face the Inquisition who will decide his future - the process is gruelling, lead by those who will do anything to see him suffer and haunted by ghosts from the past with clues to Fletcher's tragic origins. 
But Fletcher has little time to dwell on these new revelations when the king announces a deadly challenge to the graduating students at Vocans. One that involves entering Orc territory to complete a risky mission. With loyal demons by their sides, commoners and nobles, dwarves and elves must overcome barriers of class and race and work together to triumph. The reward: a fortune in gold, the safety of an empire and PEACE.
With the entire empire watching, Fletcher has much to prove, but there are those out to get him and it soon becomes clear that there's a traitor in their midst, trying to thwart the mission and create unrest within the Empire. 
With everything stacked against him, Fletcher must use everything in his power to fight his way to victory.
So, if you follow me on Twitter you probably saw me live tweeting as I read this, and completely losing my mind! The first book was a stand out book for me last year, I stumbled on it, won a proof of  it and just had to review it because it was so awesome! It was just so imaginative and fun and just plain original! You can get lost in these books easily, and as soon as I started to read The Inquisition, I was glued to the page, and thrown back in to the world like I'd never been away! 
We're one year on from the events of the last book, and Fletcher's been doing some time in a cell awaiting trial. Didirc the douchebag is back, joy of joys...I mean seriously...can we kill him yet? Again that is. I seriously cannot believe he hasn't got his comeuppance yet and I was completely blind sided by him and his new turn of fortune. Despite the time jump, the book continues the story smoothly, and you're immediately back in the world with the characters and everything that's going on. Much like the first book, a hell of a lot happens in this book, we have the trial...and then a second trial and then we have Fletcher and our favourite characters heading in to the Jungle and Orc territory to carry out a huge mission. I loved every single page. Except the last two pages, YOU CAN'T JUST END IT THERE?! 
The cliffhanger is real you guys, it's so very real and much like the first book there was actual shouting at this book! 
I enjoyed the fact that this book continued to be easy to read...but maintaining its complexity. All the issues from the first book with the different races, dwarves and elves and humans, are still present in this book and it's been ramped up. The dwarves are still fighting for equality but there's a problem with traitors within the group making things a hell of a lot worse. You have everyone trying to get along but a select group of people not wanting everyone to team up and work together, not wanting cooperation and determined to destroy it all. There's a lot of political manoeuvring in this book and manipulation. We start to understand King Harold and his position a bit more, what he can and can't do and what he's dealing with, we have the Triumvirate aka Didric, the Forsyth's and the Favershams, who are obviously out for revenge on Fletcher and want everything to go their way regarding their business. So there's a lot of complex politics in this book, as well as even more history to the characters and the world of the book. I LOVE reading about the history to the world and the species of the books, not going to lie!
Speaking of the world of the book, it's just as vivid as before, cinematic and you can easily picture each and every scene, and the characters in them, all with just a few words. When I talked about The Novice, I mentioned wanting to see more of the clearly extensive world and my wish was granted in this book! We're right there with the characters, completely oblivious to real life, as we journey to the Great Forest and get to hang out with the elves and then spend most of the book in the Jungle in Orc territory! I can't get over how imaginative these books are, and they where insanely that in the first book, but in this book there's so much detail to the Orcs. The author introduces us to them, and we see a different side to them than has been portrayed so far, not everything is as it seems and I loved the idea of having the Orcs being, not just mindless villains, but having their own political struggles, with conscription and so on. 
Matharu gives us so much detail on the Orcs, the different types, the politics, the legends, the history, the games/sports they like to play and so on, and he gives us an opposing force that are multi dimensional, and there's even some intrigue as to the "prophecy". I just love how the author shares his imagination with us, giving us this huge world, filled with a tonne of different species and demons and brings them all to life with originality. He does all this without drowning you in information. 
It's the originality and the imagination in this book that makes it stand out! We get even more magic in this book and even more demons, including one that I totally need in my life because it reminds me of Pikachu. We get to learn more about the magic of the world and the demons, and I loved getting to see even more types of demon. I love how extensive the demons of the world of the book are, there are so many, and we see a hell of a lot more in this book, each brilliantly brought to life! Don't get me wrong, Ignatious is still my fave, but I really loved Athena as well, and a few of the other new demons! I love how they have their own personalities and how much they care about the Summoners they belong to. Definite Pokemon vibes okay. 
I also got some intense Lord of The Rings vibes when our favourite characters, Fletcher, Othello and Sylva, all teamed up for the mission. Seriously! Fletcher continues to be realistic and easy to relate to and there are a lot of revelations about him this time round, including the big one...who his parents are. DUN DUN DUUUUNNN! I completely loved Sylva and I liked getting to see more of her in this book and I kind of ship her and Fletcher, I can't lie you guys! I just love how Sylva is a complete badass. Othello also intrigued me, and I was excited to see what he'd been up to, along with his brother, who we get to see a bit more of! I got so angry on Othello's behalf at one point! I loved how they'd been apart for so long, but they all managed to get back together and work well together in their team! We see more of these characters, get to know them more and yet, are still left wanting more! I love all of the characters, Matharu brings them to life so perfectly and gives them depth, along with the demons and the secondary characters. A load of our other favourite characters are back as well! 
Arcturus (I legit cheered when he made his appearance) and Captain Lovett make appearances, much like I'd hoped for, but we don't get to see all that much of them sadly! I just love how the pair keep an eye on them the entire time! I still completely ship them as well, because I can. Seraph is back, and I'm still hoping to get to know his character more as well! We see a lot of Malik, and glimpses of Rory and Genevieve. Like I said we see more of King Harold, and we see another side of him, the more kind hearted side, shall we say! Our least favourite characters are back as well, to continue to make you hate them, Rook, Didric, Tarquin, Isadora and so on. The whole Fletcher Hate Squad in other words. 
We also get a tonne more new characters, Cress the female dwarf, who I completely loved! She's so awesome, she made me laugh a hell of a lot! I can't wait to see more of her in book three, she has an interesting background, with her brother and so on. We have Jeffrey the asthmatic alchemist and their guide for the book, my brain kept autocorrecting his name to Joffrey...oops. He was interesting, and he proved a source of information on all things Orc, giving us a lot of fascinating information to bring the world to life, or rather this new part of the world! And we have Verity Faversham, who we didn't get to see too much of, but I'm intrigued because I can't decide if she's going to be a good character or a bad character considering what her last name is! There's also a final new character I have to mention, but I can't really say much, but omg. I had SUCH a strong suspicion and then I was right and I can't even. I really can't. I have a feeling I know who betrayed said character as well, but I'm not entirely sure I'm right because there are SO many possibilities! 
There are plot twists all over the place, and plenty of surprises in store as you read. I couldn't put the book down, except for when I really, really had to! I just got lost in the world of the book, shoving away real life and letting my imagination run wild. There's more of everything we loved in the first book, magic, demons, history of the world and so on. We get to see more of it in vivid detail! We also get some burning questions answered about Fletcher, and a horrible cliffhanger to haunt us until the next book because SERIOUSLY!? I cannot wait for the final book in the trilogy, I mean I'll be sad it's over but at the same time, I have to know what happens next and I have to have some new questions answered! I honestly can't rave about these books enough, they are truly magical! 

Monday, 30 May 2016

May Book Haul

It's time for another hardcore book haul! 
I was given some book money this month and while my brain said "save it" my heart was like LOL eff that. So there we go. 

As usual, first up are the books I was lucky enough to receive from publishers, as well as a late birthday present that's completely awesome! I spend a lot of time feeling ridiculously grateful, not going to lie! 

Soldier by Julie Kagawa
The third book in a brilliant series full of dragons and action! It's been one of my long awaited releases for the year!

The synopsis for this intrigued me, contemporary fantasy with magic and magicians and a war all in Manhattan! I love all things original and a little bit different, and this sounds like a load of fun on top of that. 

The Veil by Chloe Neill
I am a huge Chloe Neill fan, and I've been so excited for this new series! A post war New Orleans with a prison at its centre for the paranormal/supernatural creatures. 

This Savage Song by V.E Schwab
One of my most anticipated reads of the year and a start to a brand new series, or rather duology, by one of my favourite authors! Schwab always rights original books, with plenty of twists and brilliant writing to boot! 

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake 
I've got a lot of fantasy books on my shelves, I love fantasy more and more, the more of it I read. There's always originality to them, and magic and adventure and this one has plenty of it! Three queens, three different magical powers, and one crown. Oh and not everything is as it seems. 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
BOOM. Perhaps THE most anticipated book of the year for me, and having read it? The BEST book I have read this year. I can't even! I have like three editions as well! 

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
This is one of my birthday presents from Rebecca! She knows me SO well and I've been so eager to get hold of this novella collection that goes with Red Queen! 

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
The second part of my birthday present from Rebecca and she's found me a completely awesome sounding fantasy, that I can't wait to get started on! 

Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond
The sequel to Lois Lane Fallout, and I'm excited to see what's next for Lois! I completely loved how the author portrayed Lois in the first book, and what she's doing with the character! 

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu 
Another of my most anticipated reads of the year and the sequel to the Novice! These books are bursting at the seems with originality, and magic and fun, and they leave me wanting more! 

The first book in a spin off from Percy Jackson and all about Apollo who's been cast out, turned mortal and chucked in to Camp Half Blood until he sorts himself out! 

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye 
Another brilliant fantasy set in the Ottoman Empire, there's going to be magic, romance and a whole lot of drama, I think! I'm loving the sound of this book and what's in store, PLUS I'm on the blog tour for this book, and my date is the 27th, so keep an eye out! I'll have an article to go with the review! 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Fantasy! I love fantasy! I keep saying it but I really do, I love being able to get lost in all these different worlds, and this one sounds like an intriguing one. We have our main character, the daughter of a traitor and she's training to become an assassin....I got sent a quiz with this proof to find out what House I would be in and man has it intrigued me! 

Tales From The Kingdoms by Sarah Pinborough
A gorgeous book full of the fairy tales we know and love...but all twisty and dark! These truly blew me away and I loved seeing the spins the author put on them! 

Alice by Christina Henry 
Alice in Wonderland fans are going to love this! The author takes the classic tales Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, and she puts a dark fantasy twist on them, creating a horrifying , disturbing and deeply compelling page turner. That's how I was sold it! Sounds awesome right? 

New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey
This one sold me with the words "Jurassic Park and Gladiator collide" I'm not going to lie. It sounds like it's going to be a stunning debut, set in the near future and with a replica of Pompeii full of Romans...it sounds brilliant! 

Aaannndd here's the books I bought this month! So basically, with the money I earned and the money I was given as a gift combined...I had a lot and like I said, I really should have probably saved some but I have no self control and here we are. I figure most of you saw my book mail photo on twitter the other day so I didn't need to include EVERYTHING in the photo! Like every single volume of manga! 

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
God bless Waterstones and their stamp cards! I needed these because of the completely stunning spines...obviously! 

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Gorgeous hardcover....favourite author....end of story! It's also quite a bookish book! 

Half A War by Joe Abercrombie
The final book in a trilogy that I am loving, the hardcover is completely gorgeous! The endpapers are stunning!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Told you I had more than one edition of this! I needed the hardcover of this to match my hardcover of ACOTAR, obviously! 

I've been eying this up for ages, and everyone raves about it so I thought I'd finally go for it, God bless used book stores! 

Another used book store find, and another graphic novel that's been raved about to me again, and again! 

My third used book store find, and a Wonder Woman comic I've been after for a while! 

Still frantically trying to catch up...there's only like 39 volumes left to get? I think? Or maybe it's 40 because I think there's one coming out soon? 

Seraph of The End Volumes 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8
I can proudly say I'm all caught up on this one now! Well...actually owning the books wise, I need to actually read them! 

This is legit the only manga I am caught up on, both in terms of owning it and in terms of reading it! I'm seeing the downside of being caught up though, having to wait for the next volumes!

The Seven Deadly Sins Volumes 7-14 
Another manga I'm all caught up on owning-wise! I still need to read them! I keep saying I'll read a couple tonight like every day and my time management is so poor right now between these and my other books and the little projects I'm attempting to do! 

What did you guys buy or receive this month? 

Friday, 27 May 2016

Classics: The Jungle Books

The Jungle Books
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Alma Books!

The adventures of Mowgli, the young man raised by wolves in the jungles of Central India, and his friends Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python, as they face the arch villain Shere Khan the tiger, have become so popular that they have achieved an almost mythical status throughout the world. They were collected by Kipling in The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book, which also contain other stories set in India and prominently featuring animals, such as the well-known 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi', which describes the struggles of a mongoose against venomous cobras. Here presented with brand-new illustrations by Ian Beck, these hugely popular tales, inspired by ancient fables and Kipling's own experiences in India, form a vivid account of the relationship between humans and nature, and will continue to inspire readers young and old.

I'm gonna straight up tell you all that the only thing I know about The Jungle Book is the Disney movie. Yep. I used to watch it as a kid, although it wasn't really my favourite. I've not actually read the book before this! The Jungle Books, being book one and book two, are made up of lots of short stories, with some interesting and adult themes to them. While it's a bit of a struggle in the beginning, the way Kipling writes about the animals and the animal behaviour is incredibly well done, he shows the savagery and the beauty. 

I liked how rich the writing was, there where songs and verses to go with the stories, giving details and context that you wouldn't otherwise know about! I really do think that this is one of those timeless classics because of the writing and the themes in the book. There's so much to enjoy in this book story-wise! It's fascinating to read and ends up hooking you in, and you can read one story here or there. 

Edition-wise, this book is very well laid out, each song or verse gets it own page, and each new story has a relevant and beautiful illustration at the top of the page, with a quote. But that's not all this edition has, this edition has a tonne of cool stuff at the back! There's notes about the text, extra material on the writer, the books and on the characters so you can get plenty more context and interesting little tidbits, and a glossary! But I think the thing young readers of this edition will enjoy most about the extra material is the quiz at the back! Let's be honest, we all love a good quiz! 

Not only are The Jungle Books full of colourful and brilliant stories to keep you entertained but this edition goes beyond that and rounds out the reading experience, while adding in some fun! 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review: Kill The Boy Band

Kill The Boy Band 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Macmillan! 

Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn't supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.

We didn't mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he's tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it's Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn't be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.

We didn't mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn't. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that's what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.

How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.

Okay so, I was so intrigued by this book because I didn't get the synopsis above, I just got the synopsis that was saying how fangirls get a bad rep and our narrator wanted to tell her side of the story and so on and so I wasn't really sure what to expect going in to it! I obviously knew something bad was going to happen, but I wasn't really sure what! This synopsis from GoodReads goes in to way more detail! 

I thought this book was completely brilliant. I had such a sense of anticipation going in to this book and as you open it there's a quote about telling the truth and then another page with the whole 'I want to tell my side of the story' bit. I could feel the anticipation building and then it's straight in there with what's going on. We have four girls, Apple, Erin, Isabel and our narrator Samantha, they are huge fans of this band, and each has their own favourite member. Not only is there the whole kidnapping incident mentioned above, but there's other stuff that happens, and I liked how the friendship between the group of girls was explored. The dynamics between all of them really! You have Samantha and Erin who are best friends, but is Erin telling her everything? You have their friends Isabel and Apple, two other fans they met through the band....but how close are they really? Is Isabel taking Samantha's place? Is there something they're keeping from her? It was interesting to see if they where as good friends as they thought they where, and I liked that you had that as well as everything with the band. 

This book is gold, excuse the pun? Is that a pun? eh. ANYWAY. This book is completely hilarious, the narrative is scathing at some points about other members of the band. It's dark, it's got a murdery vibe. The plot is something that would never in a million years happen, and I would love to say the characters are kind of ridiculous but I guarantee there's an Apple out there somewhere. I laughed so much while reading this book, like laugh out loud, cackling kind of laughing. Why? Because this book makes fun of boy bands, fangirls, teen girls crushing on celebrities in general, and it's funny, but at the same time, there are some insightful, although funny, thoughts on the whole thing scattered throughout the narrative, thoughts that you kind of find yourself nodding to. You could say that the girls are being defended a little bit at some points! Or their right to be fangirls is defended, their crushes, not like...kidnapping and stuff! The thing about the book is that it's consistently hilarious throughout the book, not just here or there, you find yourself laughing so much at the jokes, the observations, the silliness of it and so on. I will admit, I did feel like I probably shouldn't be laughing at some points, but I couldn't not! 

This book also makes you cringe, if you've ever been a fangirl of anything. I'm in my early 20's, trust me, I've done the whole fangirling, social media thing about many many things. I've even been there with bands, back in the day. Not to this level, of course, but still! I was a really shy kid, probably because I was so chubby, so I'd never have done anything like in the book, but I did my fair share of fangirling....bands...tv shows...actors and so on. Oh and there was my football phase, can't forget that! So I cringed once or twice thinking about all the "fangirly" things I've been known to do, and some of the truths that just hit a little close to him. There was some awkward laughter like "oh glad I've never done this...or that...ha...ha...ha". 

This book is a gem. It really is, and what a debut for the author! I loved her writing style, I loved her humour. I loved how she told it from Samantha's point of view, and as you read and things get darker and darker, you're right there with Samantha...but then at one point you begin to wonder about her. She seems potentially unreliable as a source, and you start to question her and what's happened and so on. 

Kill The Boy Band is completely and utterly darkly hilarious, it's even silly at some points! It's relatable, well written, fully of observations that ring true. It's even a little bit feminist at points, as well as diverse as we have a range of characters. I read this in a couple of hours because I was so caught up in the drama, the girls where brilliant and funny and the band themselves where freaking hilarious when you got to see them. I seriously can't stress enough how brilliant this book is, you will laugh out loud consistently throughout the entire book, even though you feel bad about it. Truly a brilliant debut! 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Review: Star Wars Bloodlines

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

When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy — from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position — even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing…

So, I'm still very new to Star Wars books, I haven't read as many as other reviewers, but this is one of the best that I have read! Honestly, I'm a fan of Claudia Gray's anyway, but if Lost Stars is as good as this book then I need to pick it up immediately! This book is set about 5 years before Episode 7 (I think) and shows us how the First Order rose to power, and how the Resistance was born. 

Bloodlines is all about Leia, as expected, she is older and more weary. She's thinking of retiring from politics and being done with it all and just flying around the galaxy with Han. She's not entirely the Leia we all know, but there are still glimpses of the old Leia from A New Hope and so on. Jaded as Leia may be when it comes to politics, she will still fight for peace with everything she has. I liked seeing this new Leia, it gave insight in to her in The Force Awakens and how she came to be where she was when we saw her in that film. It was also interesting to see her struggling with the knowledge that Darth Vader was her father, with how to tell her son and so on, and I can't say more because of spoilers, but it was very interesting and very well done to see how it effected other relationships. 

There's a lot of politics in this book, Leia is a Senator on The New Republic senate, and when Mon Mothma left the New Republic it descended in to stagnation. Everyone arguing about everything, nothing getting done, and in the midst of all of this, two factions have emerged. Populists (Leia) and Centrists. An idea is brought before the Senate to appoint a First Senator, spearheaded by the Centrists who want things to change and who think some things from the Empire where correct. This First Senator would be given a lot of power, and that's something that really doesn't sit well with Leia after everything she's been through, although she is her parties obvious choice for leader, being a celebrated war hero and you know....Princess. 

Just as Leia is thinking of retiring, she's offered the chance at one last mission when the Senate is made aware of a criminal organisation run by a shady kingpin, that's filling the void the Hutts left. But Leia's dream mission turns in to a babysitting job when a Centrist Senator volunteers to go with her. 

This Senator is Ransolm Casterfo and boy did I have an interesting relationship with this character. Princess Leia is my favourite okay, and so I really didn't care for how he was in the beginning and how he spoke to her and so on. They're both on rival parties and they definitely do not get off to a good start, but Gray shows you both sides of the argument. Both characters view points, so it's not long before you can see that Casterfo has a point or two, that despite his questionable taste in decor he doesn't truly mean any harm. It's not long before you find yourself liking him, much like Leia does. I really enjoyed reading about the friendship forming between the two and the end of the book broke my heart, I was so disappointed. It's a complex friendship, right up until the end and it was one of the best parts of the book to read about! 

There's other new characters, or at least ones that are new to me, okay! We have Greer, one of the pilots who Han took under his wing, and who is now working for Leia for mysterious reasons. And we have Joph, who's a bit of a Han Solo fan boy if I do say so, and it made him incredibly endearing when we first meet him. I really liked both of the characters, Joph made me laugh and I liked watching the relationship between the two grow, I'd love to read more about them! 

I think that Gray captures the essence of the characters perfectly and brings them to life for this story with absolute perfection. She writes compellingly, and gives you intrigue and adventure. She gives you a complex relationship that's interesting to read and explore. She fills in the blanks and answers questions I'm sure some of us had after watching The Force Awakens. She gives us the historical and political context that the film was lacking, and it rounds out the film and our knowledge of what happened after Return of the Jedi and how after everything, the First Order could be allowed to rise. We see only a bit of the First Order, how it was being set up and started to rise to power but it was enough. Gray shows us how the Resistance was formed, and I'd love to read more about what happened before The Force Awakens with the Resistance! I just loved getting questions answered and getting to see more of the universe. 

Like I said, there's a lot of politics in the book, we spend a lot of time with the Senate getting to grips with what the political climate is at the time of the book. I found it all to be easy to understand, Gray writes so that while it's complex, it's not too easy and it's not too complicated. We also spend time getting to know more of the galaxy, as we hang out in the criminal underworld on various different planets, and try to work out what the hell they're up to and why! 

Honestly the book is completely brilliant, and the final line sent a shiver up my spine, it was the perfect ending for the book. I realise I'm not as widely read in the Star Wars universe as others so it probably doesn't mean much when I say it's the best one I've read, but it's true! I also need to fangirl about Han in this book, because he and Leia gave me so many feels. SO MANY. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

2016 Classics Challenge: May

Hey guys, 
Back again with another classic! I know you're probably disappointed this isn't a video rather than a blog post...again! I did film a haul video to be fair but I hated how it turned out because I was out of practice! I'd love to say that I'll film this week but I will be filming for work not for YouTube, sorry! So like I keep promising, I AM going to go back to YouTube, I have some ideas and stuff for videos too, I'm gonna be getting rid of Wrap Up videos because I have no fun filming them at all, and I just repeat myself from TBR videos! I'm thinking I'm gonna focus more on some rec videos, because I have an idea for a series of them that I think you'll like and I'm hoping no-ones done it before! Anywaaaaay, on with the post and talk about the Classic...like I'm supposed to be doing! 

I'm still trying to decide what kind of rating I'd give this, I'm differing between whether I'd give it a three or a four. I wouldn't say it's my favourite one yet, but it's not bottom of the pile either! I think I struggled with reading this because of the language but then it works so well for the book at the same time! 

A Clockwork Orange is all about fifteen year old Alex, who's leader of his little gang and he and said gang go on a little crime spree, but when his gang turn on him, Alex winds up incarcerated in prison. It's as he's in prison that he's offered the chance to reform, by trying out a new programme. Which sounded great to him, undergo two weeks on said programme then he's out in the world, free. But the programme isn't what he was expecting. When he's finally let out, he has no choice in his actions he has to do the right thing for society. 

When I Discovered This Classic

God, I say this every single time and I'm beginning to hate myself for it, but I have no idea when I discovered it! I'm fairly certain someone mentioned it or it was mentioned in a film or a tv show or another book. But I have no idea when that was. Sorry guys! Edit: As I've been writing this I've been having a think about how I'd recommend it to and so on, and as I was writing about free will and how it's done in this book....BOOM. I'm 75% sure I discovered this properly when my Philosophy and Ethics teacher mentioned it one lesson, and I then went to look for it on GoodReads! 

Why I Chose To Read It 

Because it's one of those classics that everyone raves about says that you should read at some point in your life. Honestly that is one of the main reasons, but why I chose to read it this month rather than any other month? Because along with it being raved about and so on, it's also only 140 pages and I've read either chunky classics or classics that are a bit hard to read and I wanted to pick a short one because I'm lazy and felt like a break of sorts! 

What Makes It A Classic

I think the language. There's this entire different language in this book, the slang of the teenagers in the book and the entire book is written using it. It made it hard to read, because I was trying to work out what each word meant and remember what each one meant. But it also worked for the book, because it pulled you in to it and like has been said, it's an experiment in language and it works. I also think it's how this book explores free will. We see Alex using his free will and then having it taken from him and all the debate that comes with it. 

What I Thought Of This Classic

I thought it was incredibly well written, like I keep saying, it was hard to read at some points and understand what the narrator was talking about, but once you get used to it and the language used you get in to the flow of things. I think if I re-read it I'd find it easier than this first time round! I quickly cottoned on to some of the Russian or cockney inspired words, that being said! But the slang fit with the book, Alex uses it all the time, it's what he narrates in. Once I got used to the language, I actually quite liked the idea of some of the words, I enjoyed trying to work out the origins of the words, like I said some where clearly Russian or Cockney inspired, but not all. It helped that the author consistently used all of these slang words, otherwise I'd have been lost! 

I liked the bit at the end when he was still using all the same language and slang but his friend from before wasn't and you kind of got hit with just how...I don't know, I kind of want to say young or something. He's however old at the end of the book, he's been in prison before, and he's still using this same language, like he's holding on to it and can't let it go almost. Then the contrast between Alex and his friend, and Alex saying 'Youth must go" and wanting to grow up and get married and have a child, it was almost like he'd been in this little bubble and the language was a part of it. The fact he then uses his free will, which has been returned to him, to decide to grow up, to decide to want bigger and better things rounds it out nicely. That he wants to do it, and doesn't want it because he's been conditioned to. This probably makes no sense, it's hard for me to explain what I mean! 

BUT. Yes there's a but. While I liked that, it also wasn't very believable.  I though it was a bit odd that someone who I would describe as a sociopath, suddenly decides upon seeing this friend that he thinks babies are cute and he wants to have one, while it was nice, I'm not sure how believable it was. I believed his little mate Dim could be made in to a police officer, a corrupt and nasty one that is. I had been wondering what had happened to his other friend but while I liked the contrasts and that we see Alex using his free will to decide to become a family man and stop with all the violence and crime and stuff, it also seemed a bit random that someone who the state had failed to reform, and had even reverted back to his old self...would get bored and decide to throw the towel in. I actually have realised that my edition had the "missing" chapter included as a regular chapter, and upon looking back at where the book ended when originally published...I do think that would have been a better ending. 

I thought it was interesting how all the violence and crime was written, he says "oh we did this and that" the same way you might be like "Oh yeah we went to the cinema and then went for lunch" or something. Casually. He's a complete sociopath and you can see it from how he refers to all the heinous things he did. He doesn't seem the least bit bothered with a conscience. The fact that all these scenes of violence are written with excitement and a sense of casualness, makes them seem even more horrifying, and clues you in to how badly messed up Alex is. It stops it all from seeming glorified. 

The interesting thing about Alex, is that while he could be described as a thug or a hooligan, he's a very cultured one. He may be younger than his droogs but he's almost a step above them. He likes classical music, I actually laughed a little bit when he got so incensed about having one of his favourite songs ruined for him, because of all the things you'd think this guy would get angry at, music wasn't it! The author describes the music and how Alex hears it in a very interesting and lyrical way. Alex himself has an interesting way of speech, Alex has a taste for arts, and as I was reading certain passages,  I couldn't help but think he tended towards a dramatic and flamboyant way of speech at times. As well as thinking he was reliving his heyday or something. It made the book even more interesting to read, and Alex was interesting to read about because he comes across as quite cultured, and yet he can murder someone without blinking. 

Despite what some people may think, this book isn't all doom and gloom and violence, as I've said, the passages about music are beautiful to read, and Alex's speech can be too sometimes when he's feeling flamboyant. It's also fascinating to think about the debate in the book. Reforming someone...but taking away their free will to do it. So they have no choice but to act in the best interests of society. Is it too high a cost? Is it moral? Alex's treatment is referred to in a couple of different ways in the book, hypnotism and conditioning, and my brain came up with a few different words as I was trying to find the word I was thinking about (It was conditioning), torture and brainwashing being a couple and none of them have nice connotations to them really. Yes he's a criminal but still....is it fair? Very interesting to debate about, I would imagine. 

Will It Stay A Classic

I believe this book has a reputation for being ridiculously violent and because it has a reputation with a negative connotation to it, people are always going to be curious to read it, to see what all the fuss is about. As well as the fact that it's referred to as one of those books you have to read. I also think the language is a draw, people would be curious to see what everyone means when they talk about the language of the book, and what all these strange words are! 

Who I'd Recommend It To

Hmmm this is tricky. When I did Philosophy and Ethics for my A-Levels, there was a lot of discussion about free will, so I think it might be of interest to people studying the same thing, not to mention people studying English Language if they haven't done it already! I do agree with everyones assessment that everyone should read it at some point, so perhaps teenagers in GCSE year? People who like a good debate and like to ponder on philosophy would also enjoy reading this and thinking about it and discussing it with others. Oh and people who like the grittier books. I kinda wanna say something stupid like it's kind of like Dexter but with less murder and more philosophy. I think that's about it! 

My Editions

I actually only have the one, but it's one I specifically chose! Penguin have some really brilliant covers for their classics, and that's not just their clothbounds and English Library Editions! They have their Deluxe Editions and then their essential editions and that's the edition of this that I have. The Penguin Essentials edition! For some reason I can't stand the classics with the plain covers, I like the interesting covers! 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Bloomsbury! 

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people - nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand's dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

Okay guys, I'm gonna need a minute. I'm trying to work out how the hell I'm going to review this book. I want to keep it spoiler free because spoilers would ruin the book, but I have a feeling this is going to be more of a reaction than an actual review! Everyone is saying that this is Maas's best book yet and they are 100% correct. It's the writing, the characters, the action, the plot...everything. Everything about this book is complete perfection. I finished it at like 3:30am and it took me twice as long to read because I had to keep stopping to freak out every few pages. You should definitely prepare yourselves for some completely shocking and heartbreaking plot twists, there's surprises around every corner. I had started to suspect at a couple of things and was right and completely blown away by how Maas wrote those scenes. There are SO MANY FEELS in this book it is insane. I would recommend chocolate and some form of alcohol when you at least enter the last 100 pages or so. I still can't even. 

I've been left with that hollow book hangover feeling you get whenever you read a really good book ever since finishing the book. It emotionally exhausted me, in a good way, and I feel like I was dragged out of the world of that book kicking and screaming. I loved the Night Court and the new characters and the friendships and I really didn't want to leave, let alone wait a year to see it all again, see the characters again and no doubt undergo more pain and suffering because I am NOT looking forward to the beginning of the next book! I re-read ACOTAR before I started reading this and I'm really glad I made the time to do it because there is a scene in this book, and let's just say...you won't be able to read ACOTAR again and see things in the same way as you did before. Before ACOMAF you saw everything one way, but ACOMAF completely changes your perception of some scenes and characters and I was glad I'd re-read because it made it easy for me to think back to the first book and see the scenes through new eyes and I kinda wanna re-read ACOTAR already but I think I might not be able to handle it now! 

The opening of the book is spine tingling and as we join the book it's been about 3 months since the last book, and as had been hinted at the end of ACOTAR, Feyre is struggling with what she did at the end of the book. Things are not good. I have to comment Maas for how she's written the beginning of the book, you felt for Feyre, I felt really angry on her behalf that no-one was helping her and ignoring what was happening with her. Maas has so brilliantly and realistically written Feyre's PTSD and depression, it's not romanticised, it's hard to read. You're right there with Feyre and it's just really hard to read and see her like that. Maas has perfectly written Feyres personal journey throughout the book as she overcomes everything that has happened and heals herself. It was beautiful to watch to be honest you guys. But Maas wrote it completely brilliantly and ugh it was perfect. You could see the differences between Feyre at the Spring court and Feyre at the Night Court and I wanted to thump Tamlin. 

Maas perfectly continues the tale, and her writing in this book is just beautiful. It's rich and evocative and brings each scene and setting to colourful, vibrant around you and like I said...this is her best book yet. You will feel all the feels. There is action and romance and humour and emotion. Things aren't easy but seeing Feyre over the course of the book was beautiful. Seeing relationships grow between various characters was incredible. You see a completely different side to Rhys and your perspective of him changes, it changes how you see him in book one, how you view what he did and it some points it's like he's a completely different character, but then that is rather the point with Rhys and his masks. There are plenty more ships to be shipped, like I have 3 new ones and I'd tell you all about them but spoilers! Let's just say that Nesta has met her match and it's completely brilliant and just perfect for her. 

There are tonnes of new characters, each as intriguing and full of depth as the last and you want to know more and more about them. The way they all work together and play off each other has you wishing to be a part of their group. I loved watching the interactions between Rhys and his Inner Circle.  It's impossible to put the book down and I kept having to tear myself away from it, I managed to read it in 3 days, reading the last 200 or so pages in one go and being awake until 3 in the morning to do it. There's a quest like feel to some parts as they have to go in search of various things, you get to see not only the Night Court and plenty of it, but other bits of Prythian, expanding the world and leaving you still wishing for more. 

I cannot stress enough how beautifully written this book is. How full of depth the characters are both main and minor. How stunning the settings are. I totally want to live at the Night Court, Maas creates some stunning images for it and it was such a magical setting. You can see the planning that has gone in to this series, Maas must have planned all of this from day one, it's so freaking intricate! There where certain things in book one that left you wondering, or that you didn't have an answer for and those things are solved for you and it's so perfect. There's one scene involving Feyre and Rhys and you can just see how perfectly planned out this has been and that freaking scene had me crying! There is a lot to be felt as you read, Maas makes you feel a range of emotions with her writing, sadness, heartbreak, anger, happiness, you sit there smiling as you read certain passages, crying as you read others, and angry at other peoples actions as you read what happens to Feyre. 

The romance had me feeling the warm and fuzzies, it had me crying, and it had me squealing and it had me feeling all the feels is the only way I can describe it. As you enter the final few pages, well...I was scared to keep reading and I knew something bad was going to happen, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I could feel the tension and suspense radiating off the page and the last few pages completely blew my mind and had me feeing so many emotions so fast it was insane. It is a rollercoaster of a book. A stunningly written one at that and it'll leave you desperate for the next book as well as a little bit scared. 

Now for the fangirling portion of this review......or rather reaction....CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Are you still looking? 

In case the GIF didn't warn you enough I AM WARNING YOU....


Spoilers incoming...



Okay guys so in book one I liked Tamlin, I genuinely did. But then we met Rhys and I was like okay I kinda prefer Rhys but Feyre likes Tamlin so whatever. Then at the very end you had THAT scene and during that...it was Rhys's actions compared to Tamlins that had me questioning things. That made me wonder about who I should ship. I was on the fence and I got the sense that there wasn't really going to be a happily ever after for Tamlin and Feyre. In this book, you see the consequences, mentally, of what they both went through Under The Mountain and what it's done to change them. Feyre is different and that doesn't bode well for the romance. You see the impact it all has on their relationship. 

Like I said, Feyre is different from before, which isn't surprising after what she endured and how she was feeling at the end of ACOTAR. She is in a really, really bad place. She doesn't want to hunt, she can't paint, she has night terrors and becomes quite closed off and numb. Tamlin and Ianthe are trying to make her in to someone else. Tamlin is so determined to protect her that he's smother her and he is the only one who can't see what's going on with Feyre and that something is wrong with her and that really, really bothered me right from page one and made it hard for me to read. Like it reached a point, not very far in, like chapter two or three or something when I was waiting for Rhys to show up and sort everything like....is it Rhys time yet? What about now? .....now? I legit cheered when he made his entrance! But Tamlin isn't there for her and it bothered me. She did everything she did for him and he can't even be there for her. What bothered me even  more? Not fighting Rhys, keeping things from her and most importantly....he locked her in the house.

 He literally doesn't notice she's a husk of a person, doesn't realise what doing that will do to her or he does realise but just doesn't care. He annoyed the hell out of me and the more and more we saw of him and his actions, the angrier he made me. By the end of the book I pretty much hated him and Lucien wasn't doing much better. Because Lucien saw what was happening and went along with it and he as her friend didn't try to help her and at the end of the book....I didn't much like him either, which is sad for me because he was one of my favourite characters from ACOTAR. By the end of the book I was happy for him...but at the same time I felt like after what went on with Feyre he didn't really deserve it and he'd better to a damn good job of redeeming himself and apologising to Feyre but I have a feeling he won't because of his Court and Tamlin. Tamlin however....I doubt I'll be finding him redeemable any time soon, not after everything he's done and then the end of the book and how he spoke to her and everything. Dude....let it go. 

If you loved Tamlin in book one then you're in for a very rude awakening my friends. The book does a complete and utter 180 and has your feelings towards the two main male characters completely changing. Like I said...I completely hated Tamlin. What he did to Feyre....you can see it throughout the book, see her struggling with it as she's with Rhys and I hated him a little bit more each time. You realise just how wrong things between them where when you see how right they are with Rhys. 

Enter Rhys. Rhys intrigued me in the first book and I wanted to know more about him and I certainly got that this book. You get so much Rhys backstory it's glorious. You get to know him. And he is perfect. He does everything that Tamlin should have been doing throughout the book. He cares about Feyre and what she's going through and you see how much and why at one point in the book and sweet lord it broke me. He sees how Feyre is determined to protect herself and not be defenceless and he trains her and helps her, he doesn't shut her out, he lets her be involved and do whatever she wants and he doesn't keep things from her. He teaches her to read. Makes time for her.

He is completely perfect and as Feyre falls for Rhys, you fall for him too because he is everything that you where expecting Tamlin to be in this book and more. He saves her. I loved how he was trying to get some emotion out of her by snarking at her, and being like a puppy all "play with me!". He does everything to help her and it's him that helps her heal and it's beautiful to watch you guys. 

I loved the romance between Rhys and Feyre and watching it build up and watching her realise her feelings for Rhys and then there's that scene where you realise everything with Rhys and his feelings and it had me in tears because of how far back it goes. Their romance was perfect, it's my favourite of all the romances I've read recently and it had me feeling warm and fuzzy, it made me smile and it made me cry with happiness. Although there was some despair at the end. It's slow and adorable and everything it should have been and I had the stupidest smile on my face when reading a lot of the book. Rhys truly sees Feyre as his equal and at the end of the book you see how much and it's SUCH a contrast to Tamlin. I loved that I was completely right about them and the mating bond...but also wrong in how it came about and how long it had been going on for. I TOTALLY KNEW IT THOUGH. I am so Team Rhys it's insane. I'm not sure how I'll get through the beginning of the third book with Tamlin being a creeper. 

Like I mentioned in the spoiler free part of the review, there are a tonne of new characters and new ships. I loved Mor, she was the perfect friend that Feyre needed. I loved Cassian and Azriel, how they interacted together and with Rhys and how they became Feyre's friends too. 

SUCH a contrast to the Spring Court where she was treated and kept almost like a prisoner. Where she had only the few friends. But in the Night Court, Rhys, Mor, Cassian and Azriel and Amren are like a family to Feyre, they are true friends who care about her and if she was in the situation she was with Tamlin...but with Rhys, they wouldn't have done what Lucien did, they would have helped her. The contrast between Spring and Night was shocking, especially as Tamlin likes to act like he's all high and mighty and Rhys is nasty and horrible like dude.....look in a mirror. What Tamlin did to Rhys? I'm surprised Rhys hasn't killed him. 


Az and Mor....I SHIP IT SO BAD YOU GUYS! SO BAD! And like Feyre I was trying to work out what the deal was with those two and Cassian. I can't even. Mor at the end with Az....TOO CUTE. JUST KISS ALREADY! Literally I wanted to scream that at the book SO MANY times! So many. 

Nesta...I had always kind of pictured Nesta with Lucien, but Cassian is SO MUCH better. SO MUCH. I shipped it as soon as Nesta was like "What are you looking at?". I can't even with the two of them and then again at the end, with Cassian trying to get to Nesta. MY FEELS. 

Lucien. I'm glad Lucien has found his mate, really I am. But at the same time this book has made me dislike him intensely and I'm like why the hell are you side eyeing Feyre. Could you blame her for wanting to destroy the lot of you? I want him to apologise to her and redeem himself but I'm not entirely sure he will or if he does it won't be for Feyre but we'll see. I'm so pissed at him it's not even funny. I feel like nothing he does that's good will be done for Feyre and it should be in part, because he should be making it up to her because you could see at parts that he knew what Tamlin was doing was wrong but he went along with it. Refused to listen to her. I kinda feel like he doesn't really deserve his mate to be honest. It irks me to no end that Tamlin and Lucien don't see how they're in the wrong. Don't believe about the bond and Tamlin think she owns Feyre like property or whatever like when can Rhys and Feyre hit him? 

I liked getting to know Nuala and Cerridwen, Feyre's handmaidens from the first book as well! Tarquin was interesting and I'm sad for Rhys that the friendship they might have had has been destroyed but I'm kinda hoping it might be able to be salvaged! I loved seeing so much of the Night Court and getting to see the Summer Court and some other bits of Prythian and even getting to see Hybern. Maas brings them so perfectly to life and you can practically see the place right in front of your eyes. I loved the Night Court SO MUCH but I could be persuaded to hang out at the Summer Court. I'm loving the world being expanded, we've been so confined to the Spring Court I imagine you feel how Feyre does. OH and I completely hated Ianthe, even before Rhys showed Feyre that memory and the whole selling out Feyre's family. I love how Tamlin is just going to basically have a word with her. Like dude....if it was Rhys he'd kill her don't be such a pansy. I'm betting Ianthe and Tamlin are going to be a thing, if they haven't been already. Stupid Tamlin. 

Ugh. The feels where real you guys. The feels where real. Rhys being behind the music, and the whole "thank you for finding her for me" and his past and I LITERALLY DIDN'T NOT FEEL FEELS AT ANY POINT. There was so much to squeal over. Except Feyre leaving Rhys in the mud all injured. I was like nO NO NO NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? Go BAAACCCKKK. Like I understood how she felt but like...poor baby Rhys. 

I'm probably forgetting like a million other things that happened but I'm just....drowning in the perfectness of that book. I'm so sad it's over for another year. I did manage to avoid spoilers though, despite reading it later than everyone else! Feel free to fangirl with me down in the comments, there is much to be discussed! I know I've missed loads but my brain is fried a little bit haha! 

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