Friday, 30 September 2016

Review: The Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Orbit! 

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

Okay so this review took longer to write up and post than it should have because I've been super busy and just haven't had the time but OMG. The Obelisk Gate completely blew my mind, it changed around everything I thought I knew from the first book, and just...blew my mind. 

The Obelisk Gate continues on smoothly from the end of The Fifth Season so a re-read may be in need just to appreciate the effect! We get more of the world of the book, more information on the world and more about the characters. We get to see and find out so much more about the world of the book, the world is expanded on a lot and I loved it. I'm loving the obelisks and the role they're going to play in the books, I loved the idea of them when they where introduced in the first book, and now with what we've learned in this book, I'm excited to see what's going to happen with them. I'm so intrigued to see what the author is building up to with the Orogeny and magic and everything! 

This time around we have the narrative split between Essun and her daughter Nassun who we finally get to meet! We have Essun with her comm, trying to fit in, making friends, and trying to learn whatever it is Alabaster is trying to teach her. With Nassun we see what happened after she left with Jija, so in the beginning we have Nassun's narrative that's before where Essun is, and I liked how it was written, you see where Nassun was in relation to where Essun was in her journey to find her and it was an interesting way to write it! I really liked how it was done, because it was easy to remember where Essun was and how she felt and what she was thinking, and then see where Nassun was and how far away Essun was. Nassun is with her father Jija and he's taking her to be cured of her Orogeny, but it's not exactly what he was hoping and Nassun finds herself surrounded by more Orogenes. I'm kind of torn with Nassun, because I really liked Essun and was quite attached to her after the first book and how desperate she was to find her daughter, and then we finally get Nassun and she keeps saying how she hates her mother and I understand why, but she hasn't really thought of things from her mother's point of view. She loves her dad, even after what he did, and I found her relationship with her father intriguing, and incredibly well written and heartbreaking and raw as you see how much she loves her father, and how her father treats her and how she's being treated. It was so well done, but in the beginning I really didn't like her all that much and I was much more interested in Essun and what she was getting up to, plus I spent a lot of time mentally screaming at Nassun "NO, NO DON'T GO THERE. DON'T FALL IN TO HIS TRAP. NOOOO" 

We get the reappearance of an old face, and we get some new characters. Although..I say new but we kinda saw them at the end of the first book, but we really get to know them in this book! I've got to say, I love Ykka, she was hilarious and I felt for her and the struggle she had towards the end of the book. She loves her comm and her people but they might totally screw her over because of what she is. I loved her friendship with Essun and how Essun allowed herself to have friends in the comm, and there where plenty of brilliant secondary characters in this book, much like the first! Jemisin writes such brilliant, lively characters. 

The plot definitely thickens in The Obelisk Gate, and like I said, it blew my mind with the revelations it had plot-wise! It's slower than the first book, and for a chunk of the beginning, not all that much happens, which might put some people off as Fifth Season had a brilliant pace, but you get a lot more world building for that and set up for the plot. The writing continues to be brilliant, and I never thought I'd find myself enjoying a second person narrative quite so much! I'm so intrigued to see what's going to happen, what Essun is going to do and how everything is going to be resolved! 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Review: The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season 
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Orbit! 

A season of endings has begun. 

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. 

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. 

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. 

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book, the synopsis intrigued me, it's a fantasy and I love fantasy books and I'd been told good things. As I started to read, I got more and more intrigued. The opening of the book is brilliantly done, pulling you in and piquing your interest in the world and characters, heartbreaking as one part is. The Fifth Season is unlike anything I've ever read before, it was utterly fascinating and completely original. 

As you read you have three point of views, with three different plot threads. As you read you start to see that they're not all taking place at the same time, that they're at different periods of time and I loved trying to work out how they related to each other, and what events in one meant for the other. It was a brilliant way of telling the story and it really drew me in and had me avidly reading. I had a suspicion becaue of two words in a chapter at one part of the book, which made everything click in to place for me narrative wise, and then it was confirmed not too long later and it changed my entire perspective of the book and what i'd been reading and it was a mind blowing moment! 

Our first point of view and plot thread is Essun, which is told from the 2nd person. Essun is a mature lady, and she is who we're following in the present, as it where. She's trying to track down her daughter who has been taken by her husband, who's just killed her son because he found out that her son has orogeny, a trait he inherited from her. People with orogeny are hated and feared, they have the ability to manipulate thermal, kinetic and related forms of energy to address seismic events and they can do a serious amount of damage as well as helping quell shakes and tsunami's and such. From my perspective, while I understood why people feared and hated the orogenes, some of the time they use their abilities unconsciously when scared for example, at the same time, I kinda figured that they where the only thing keeping people alive in the world of the book, where things like shakes occur rather a lot. ANYWAY. Essun is determined to make her husband and the killer of her son pay and she wants to get her daughter back. 

Then we have Damaya, a young girl who's been found to be an Orogene by her parents and is being kept in the barn like an animal. She's taken away by a Guardian, the police of the orogenes as it where, and she's headed to the Fulcrum to be trained in her power, and it turns out the Fulcrum has a secret at it's heart. 

Third we have Syenite, she's an adult who's been trained at the Fulcrum and has achieved the four ring level of service. She's being sent out on a mission with a new mentor, a ten ringer, and they discover something unusual when they reach their destination. Syenite has more power than she realises. Through Syen, we see an entirely different side of the Fulcrum and what it expects and demands of it's orogenes, and what they do to those who can't control themselves. 

I found the characters to be well fleshed out, and intriguing, and there's plenty of character growth throughout the book. There's also plenty of other characters that help to bring the story to life. Hoa, Alabaster, Schaffa, pirates and aliens and waaay more, but I can't really say too much more about the characters without entering spoiler territory, and trust me...this book is brilliant because of the huge surprise that's to do with the narrative and characters. So that's all your getting character wise! But I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the characters throughout the book. A lot of the supporting characters where so intriguing and I still want to know more about them, especially Hoa! 

The Fifth Season has a fascinating world with an intriguing history that I'm so eager to find out more about, and there's even a bit in the back of the book about the seasons! The world is vivid, Essun's narrative in particular feels particularly desolate and there's a dystopian, post apocalypse vibe going on. There's originality in every page, I found the science aspects fascinating (highly unusual for me, I suck at science), and the plot moved at a nice pace. There was plenty of intrigue, with action and some insane plot twists. The Fifth Season kept on surprising me, and I was totally blown away by the narrative and the twist with it! The only tiny little niggle I have is that when I started to read it, all the slang was a smidge confusing, but then I realised there's an appendix at the back that explains everything so check that first! 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Review: Nevernight

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY IT NOW. NOOOOW! 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

So. I've been sitting staring at this page for around about 90 minutes, trying to decide what to write and where to start, because I loved this book so damn much. Like, I've really had to reign myself in when writing this review otherwise it'd be spoiler central. I could honestly write pages and pages about how much I loved this book, it's one of my favourites of the year, and it's tied with ACOMAF for complete and utter favourite. I remember stumbling across this book on Goodreads having never heard of the author before, (sorry Jay!), and being intrigued by the synopsis. I thought it sounded like fun, and I was eager to read it. Within the first couple of pages I knew this book was going to be a favourite, I just completely fell in love. 

"The countless endings she'd gifted, the orchestra of screams, and she, the scarlet maestro" 

The opening is interesting, I've never read anything like it before. You meet Mia for the first time and watch as she goes through two firsts in her life, that are very different. It was written amazingly, and I was reading it Okay. This is going to be good. I was hooked from then on. I completely and utterly loved the writing style and the language used, and the descriptions and ugh. It was beautifully written, an odd contrast to how much savagery is contained within the pages. Although some of the descriptive sentences did have a murdery tinge to them! Jay is a fantastic storyteller, I'm not going to lie to you! 

I loved the footnotes, they where amusing and had me snorting and cackling to myself as I read them. I wasn't expecting them, I haven't read a book with footnotes in a very long time, and they seemed kind of Pratchett-y, but they fit so well with the book as well as adding some more intrigue. I liked that they added information and background and history a lot of the time in a fun, humorous way that stopped the narrative from being clunky with a tonne of information. It helped you to understand the world of the book and some of the comments where just hilarious. 

"Would it kill you, to serve [stab] some fucking [stab] salad?"

I loved the cast of characters. Mia was strong, she overcame a lot and you see how far she's come since the events of her childhood, she was determined in her goal and her principles. She was snarky and badass and I loved watching her grow as a character over the course of the book, facing the 'darkness within' and her memories of the past and what happened to her and her family. Making friends. Letting someone love her, and letting herself love someone. Mr Kindly the non-cat shadow, her companion and her one true friend. He was always there for her and while I was kind of suspicious of him a lot of the time because hello....strange shadow creature, he cracked me up more than once with his reprimands and comments. 

Tric. Oh Tric. I wasn't too sure about you in the beginning, but as he grew on Mia, he grew on me too. He was funny and badass, and he had an almost vulnerable side to him when he spoke to Mia about his past, and I really felt for him. I loved his relationship with Mia. Romance is not at all the main point of this book so there's none of the usual romance type things. They're buddies, fellow assassins in training, both wanting the other to succeed, and then at one point things change and I liked how it was done, keeping the focus on the plot. I liked how Mia was content to just have some fun, have a physical relationship. It made a change from the usual romance you see, and it fit so well with Mia. I shipped her and Tric SO HARD. 

Aside from Mia and Tric there are other assassins to love and hate. I loved Ash. She was hilarious and a perfect friend to Mia. A master thief and she helped her out a lot, although I did get a bad and ominous feeling after she stole something for Mia. I'm not going to say anymore about Ash. She broke my heart. Carlotta, another favourite of mine. She was intelligent and I loved her humour. Naev, her friendship with Mia and her willingness to help her so much. Adonai and Marielle, an odd pair, but an interesting couple of characters. I'm so intrigued by their backstory and their history and I loved the idea of the 'magic' they used taking something. Each of the characters intrigued me, I wanted to know more about them and more of their backstory, like Hush, I was SO curious about him! I wanted to know what made each of them choose the assassin life. I'm also so intrigued by the mentors for each of the halls, I LOVED Spiderkiller I mean, she did the whole, 'hey you might have murdered someone, well done' head pat. I actually cackled. I was SO curious about Cassius too! But also the others, like I NEED more backstory for them all!  

"You'd be surprised how motivating a grumpy ex-murderer with no testicles can be" 

Alongside my favourite characters, there where also plenty of characters for me to dislike. Jessamine. Man I hated her. SO MUCH. Like to another level. I spent the entire book eagerly waiting for someone to gut her. There are plenty of villains in this book that you just love to hate. I couldn't help but smile when they got what was coming to them. This book made me SO bloodthirsty, I was like "Ugh I hate this character, FILLET THEM MIA". All the time. All.The.Time. I can't even! I can't wait for the next book and for Mia to get her targets. It's gonna be AWESOME. 

Plot wise, I loved the dual plot that we had going on at points. We had present Mia, heading to the Red Church and training, and then we had past Mia as a child and how she came to be a murderer in training, and what she went through as a child and so on. I really liked it, you got to know Mia on another level, and saw how she developed and became the person she is, and it answered a lot of questions too about her past. It was fantastically done. The pacing was perfect. The plot had intrigue and fighting and murder and plenty of threads twining together to keep you reading, keep you guessing, keep you trying out theories as you try to work things out. Vengeance is stamped all over this book, and I spent the entire book wanting Mia to get it, and the most brutal and savage way possible. I felt so connected to Mia that I was rooting for her, and I wanted what she wanted. There are some brilliantly savage scenes that I should probably blame video games and Game of Thrones for desensitising me to, to the level that I actually cheered once or twice. Hey. They had it coming. There's also plenty of adventure and humour and epic fight scenes, and even a little bit of torture. 

Nevernight's pages are blood soaked. Seriously. Blood is everywhere in this book. It's gory and vicious and pretty damn glorious all at once. The plot is full of savagery and never once does your interest wander from the page and the plot and what's happening. It's all Nevernight all the time. Even when you're not reading the book! The world is one that rises up around you, and you can vividly picture the settings, and you want to see more of this fantastically imagined world that's been created. It's extensive and itching to be explored, I'm hoping to see even more of it in the next book! Along with that, it's cinematic, each scene playing out in your minds eye perfectly and it's atmospheric. The Red Church gave me the shivers once or twice. I know the back of the book says it's not Hogwarts but's a murdery kinda Hogwarts, and your teachers are willing to poison you and lop off limbs. I mean...I'm sure Snape's wanted to poison a student or two, can't really blame him! 

Nevernight is a truly engrossing read that has you hooked from page one thanks to the beautiful storytelling and writing style, and the imaginative world. I loved every single page, except for page 553 (369 in the finished copies, I checked) because that one broke me. There are huge plot twists, although I TOTALLY know who Mia's brother is or rather where he is, it's about the only thing I did manage to work out. Having said that..I could still be wrong but STILL. Nevernight will hurt your feels. It will break your heart. But it's a truly fantastic read, and Jay even has a super awesome bookworm in there, lurking in the aisles of the athenaeum (I totally want the athenaeum and a bookworm), there's a tonne of originality in the book and it's just a brilliant read. Truly. READ IT NOW! I promise you won't regret it, and all of us are here for you when you hit THAT page. 

"The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us."

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Review: Songs About A Girl

Songs About A Girl 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance. 

Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs...

I got sent a proof of this kind of randomly when I received another book to review, I'm not going to lie, but I kept hearing about the book and got more and more intrigued by it. We all love a bit of boyband lit, let's be honest, and this sounded like something a little bit different and as I started to read my brain started to race because...something was going on...I just wasn't sure what. I had plenty of theories, let me tell you, some of them where downright ludicrous, but when the big reveal came..that was one theory I never considered! I was blown away. There's romance in the book but there's mystery too, and I loved that combination of the two! 

This book is freaking hilarious, it had me laughing out loud multiple times, and I actually read all of it in one go, in a couple of hours...I'd only meant to read a couple of chapters. It was SO good, I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened with Charlie and Olly and Gabriel, I had to know what was going on with the lyrics, and then the book ended and I STILL HAVE TO KNOW THINGS. I'm so damn impatient, I just NEED to know! I'm so not over the mystery aspect of the book, I wasn't really expecting it. Like I knew there was a 'secret' but it wasn't at all what expected, and I didn't expect the mystery to feature so heavily! Of all the boyband lit I've read, this is one of the best, I can't even, I got so damned hooked on the book! 

I loved the friendship and banter between Charlie and Melissa, although I was completely shocked by that revelation. Seriously. It never crossed my mind, clearly I'm in an idiot but whatever. I loved Charlie as a narrator, she was a breath of fresh air, and I loved how she really didn't give a damn about the band and their fame, and she was a very authentic and genuine character. I loved her so much, I was rooting for her the entire way through and I got so attached to her I got so mad on her behalf a couple of times! 

I'm not going to lie, I was kind of Team Olly in the beginning, and I still am a little bit, but we got to know Gabriel more than Olly, and I ended up really loving Gabriel, even if I did want to smack him one at one point. They where both so damn adorable though, it should be illegal because I was torn between the two for like, the entirety of the book, even though Gabriel was clearly the one Charlie would end up with. I really do feel kinda bad for poor old Olly though, bless him. I'm interested to see what's going to happen with Charlie and Gabriels relationship in the next book! ALSO I'M SUPER INTRIGUED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT BECAUSE LIKE I KEEP SAYING I NEED TO KNOW THIIIINNGGGSSSS. The ending was CRUEL I TELL YOU. CRUUEEELL. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Classics: The Twelve Caesars

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

'Twenty-three dagger thrusts went home as he stood there. Caesar did not utter a sound...' This vivid, racy account of the men who wielded absolute power over ancient Rome - including maniacs, tyrants, warriors, sadists and murderers - is the source for nearly everything we know about one of the most dramatic periods in history. 

Okay, so to give you guys a bit more information, Suetonius was the private secretary of Emperor Hadrian and he used the imperial archives along with eye witness accounts to create this book. It's a pretty epic biographical work! I wouldn't say it's for the casual reader either, fans of the time period will most definitely love this, whereas people with a casual interest might not find it as good as others, because there's a hell of a lot of information in this book, it's completely fascinating. 

There are twelve sections, obviously, from Julius (the one who got shanked, speaker of the infamous 'friends, Romans, countrymen' line), and the founding of the Empire, through to his successors who kinda screwed it all up a little bit (looking at you Nero), and then the recovery of the Empire with guys who, quite frankly, I had never heard of before reading this book. Not going to lie to you. 

There's all kinds of information in this book on each of them, military, family, what they looked like, achievements, and so on. You get a tonne of information in numbered points, and they paint vivid pictures of each individual person. Quite frankly, I was reading about some of them and it was like Game of Thrones and I was sitting there reading did these people actually exist? It was eye opening to say the least, and it completely blew my mind that not only did they exist, but that they got away with everything they did. The book really does bring them all to colourful life. 

In addition to that, the Pocket Penguin edition has a term and place name glossary in the back, some family trees and pages of notes with even more information to help you as you read. Okay sure, it may have been a bit of a slog at points, but it makes for a very interesting read nonetheless! 

Wishing For Wednesday #100

Hey guys! 
Happy Wednesdaaaay! 
I'm all over it this week, I've been so sucky lately with remembering to do this, and doing my other usual blog posts because I've been buried in a book. Seriously, I've been such a little reading gopher the past week or so, and I'm totally on a roll! Next month is going to be all Halloween all the time so brace yourselves! 

ANYWAY. The first book on my list is one of my anticipated sequels, and I'm so excited to get reacquainted with some Norse mythology! I seriously loved the first book, it was the first by the author that I read and I'm excited to get back to the world. Also THOOORR! 
Second up is the next book in a series that I love! I mean...I've only read the first book so far, the others are chilling on my shelf BUT I loved it and I plan on getting to the other books soon, like a Finish it February but not in February kind of thing, and book 5 is out so it's kind of the perfect excuse, right!? 

The Hammer of Thor 

Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon - the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki - and the price he wants is very high.

The Hammer of Thor is out October 4th, pre-order your
Add it to your

Shadows of Self 

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

Shadows of Self is out October 6th, pre-order your
Add it to your

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Review: The Witch's Kiss

The Witch's Kiss
Rating: 3/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

I probably should have saved this for Halloween seeing as I'm reviewing this so late, but I decided stuff it, I was too intrigued to wait! Witch's Kiss wasn't exactly what I was expecting when I read the synopsis, but I enjoyed the book none the less! 

The Witch's Kiss has an ominous and atmospheric opening that pulls you in to the story immediately, and the book continues to be atmospheric throughout. There's plenty of intrigue right from the start as the plot flares immediately to life! Not being at all biased but I loved the Surrey setting, it was a really vivid setting for me, because there's plenty of little villages like the one in the book all around. 

I really enjoyed how the book used dreams and visions to show Merry what had happened in the past, and how Meredith and Jack became a thing. The book switched between the present and the dark ages smoothly, not just with the dreams and the visions and so on, but you get a story within a story for a couple of chapters, as Merry and Leo are told the story of the King of Hearts. It made for a very vivid couple of chapters, and as you learn about Jack and his past, you connect with the characters from that part of the story, it was very well done and kind of creepy in places! It gave the book another level of detail that allowed you to connect with the story more, and the characters from the past where developed as much as the main characters, which I found particularly interesting because I wasn't expecting it. 

I got some intense Sleeping Beauty vibes from the book, but like, gender swapped, obviously! Gwydion got his Maleficent on at the naming ceremony, and then there's the whole rescuing the princess from behind the thorn wall, and then Jack being trapped behind it, I loved seeing the parallels to SB but with a different twist on them! It was a little bit of a retelling in a way, you could say. For some reason the lake made me think of that horrible tree from Sleepy Hollow, the Tim Burton film, not the book! (I haven't read the book yet shhh) 

I liked Merry for the most part, she bugged me a couple of times but she was a genuine character, with an authentic reaction to the whole thing. She's a bit of a special snowflake, and the book has plenty of cliches but most of them have twists that make them interesting rather than the same old, same old. Merry knows all about her magic and I thought her struggle with it was interesting. She wanted to try her best, and she overcame her fears. 

Leo was definitely my favourite character, I'm not going to lie to you guys! I felt like Leo was the character with the most depth, and he should have been in it more, I was waiting for him to be more involved as it seemed the book was going that way at one point but nope. I wasn't sure if I'd like him at the beginning of the book, but he fast became my favourite because he was the kind of big brother everyone wants. He was determined to help Merry and he was really there for her as best as he could be, I liked the closeness between the two, and I just loved Leo okay. 

Jack was an interesting character, I wasn't too sure about him in the beginning either, I really felt for him once I got to know his backstory and got to know him, and I was rooting for him to be saved the entire way through, it was all a bit unfair for him really! Speaking of Jack brings me to the romance. When I read the synopsis I was expecting one thing. But that's not what happened in the book. From the start, the entire thing seems like it's doomed, and there's no way to prevent it, so maybe it's just as well that the romance wasn't there as much as I would have thought but in the end I didn't really buy the romance between Merry and Jack. 

In the flashes of the past, you see a fair bit of Meredith and Jack..that I could see. I could see how they had fallen for each other, but Merry and Jack...I couldn't see it. We have Merry and Jack who have fallen for each other over the course of everything, the L word is bandied around, it all gets very Once Upon a Time with the True Loves kiss talk...but I didn't see how Merry and Jack could have gotten to that stage. We didn't see them together all that much, didn't see them interacting all that much. I actually felt like there where some missing scenes that would have made it work better romance wise. I at least, didn't see them fall for each other. They met. They met again. Hung out a few times with Leo. Got some alone time and then BOOM. Kiss. Love. Etc. 

On the one hand, it's doomed from the start, so not having the romance shoved in your face every five seconds meant you didn't see it develop much and couldn't get attached to the couple. On the other couldn't get attached. I got plenty attached to Jack, I really felt like he was in an unfair situation and wanted him to be saved, but I didn't really care about the romance. There where other things in plot that took centre stage, which was good, but at the same time I was expecting more romance than there was and seeing as the whole TLK thing was thrown around, I felt like I should have seen more of the romance in the plot, especially as it was a little slow at some points. I seem to be the only person who had this problem though. I mean...maybe Merry's ancestors feelings where bleeding through or something I don't know. 

The Witch's Kiss had it's good points and it had it's bad points, while I was disappointed by the romance and didn't see it, I really liked the historical bits of the book! The flashbacks where so well written and really added a load of intrigue to the plot, as well as being vivid. I loved Leo, he was a fantastic character, and the book was really funny. It was a fun, easy read, and I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen next. You could quite easily read this as a standalone and I would have assumed it was if I hadn't seen a sequel on GoodReads, so I'm curious about what the authors are going to do next! I'm hoping for more history because SO GOOD. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Atom! 

Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

As you guys are probably well aware, The Girl At Midnight was one of my favourite books of last year! I completely loved it and it ticked all of my boxes, so I was really excited to finally start the sequel, especially after the ending of the first book! 

I was intrigued from the very first page, we get a POV that we haven't had before and it helped to pull you right back in to the world of the book, although I had forgotten a lot of what had happened, and had to read the last chapter or so of the first book to nudge it all loose! 3 months have passed since the end of the first book and the epilogue was just plain ominous, which made me excited for the book...not the reaction I should have really!? 

I love the books many settings, you get a little mini world tour again as we see multiple different locations in the book, each as vivid as the other, London, New York, China, Scotland and so on. As a frequent visitor to Camden I can confirm that there are kebab shops EVERYWHERE of varying levels of dodginess. I love how well captured Camden market was on the page, not going to lie! I also really loved seeing more of the world, through the characters eyes and through the lens of the story, it added magic to the settings. You really do get sucked in by the world of the book, it's colourful and atmospheric and is no help at all if you suffer from wanderlust. Just warning you. 

I loved the characters in the first book, and all of them are back again, but they and their relationships have developed even more this book, and some of the characters have really grown and changed. I loved Echo in book one, she was my favourite and everything I loved in a heroine, snarky and badass. She was determined to help those she loves and she was still dealing with the whole ghosts in her head thing. Which is fair enough. She's not perfect either, which makes for a relatable and believable female lead. Caius is still one of my faves, he's trying to fit in to the modern world and he wants to help Echo as much as he can. Being with Echo has allowed him to change a little from how he was in the first book, and how he was after Rose. He's not as emotionally closed off and you can see more of who he really is as a character. I was surprised with how well he was dealing with the whole Tanith thing but then he did have three months to pitch a fit, that we didn't see. I LOVED how he's picking up Echo's sarcasm. 

I'm telling you now, Caius picking up their slang and gestures gave me life. It was so damn funny, and him and Dorian being 'modernised' and using technology. It genuinely cracked me up, Dorian's all "I don't trust food from boxes" or whatever he said and Caius is getting to grips with the tech, slowly but surely...."It had taken three days of suspicious staring before she'd convinced him to use the microwave" and you guys...I couldn't even. It seriously cracked me up. It was like Hook from OUAT. 

ANYWAY. Back to characters....Ivy I completely loved. She's a lot stronger than in book one, she's built a friendship with both Caius and Dorian and is fully invested in their group and their plans. I was hoping to see more of her in this book, and for her to get her hero moment and BOOM wish granted. Dorian even got all protective of Ivy and she called him Dad and his reaction was priceless. Bless him. Ivy cracked me up this book, her reaction to Echo leaving, and other comments she made where just hilarious, and she was really courageous this book! I see a ship on the horizon as well that is one half Ivy! 

We saw some familiar faces, Altair who I really didn't like in the first book, but kind of ended up liking this book because you see a softer side of him and he's actually quite snarky a time or two! The Ala is back in all her mysterious glory. And Rowan. More on Rowan later when we come to the "Ships" portion of this review ;) Either way, I've loved watching these characters grow and develop over the course of the two books, and getting to see and learn more about them. 

I loved the new characters in this book, or loved to hate in the case of Quinn. Quinn gave me SUCH Magnus Bane vibes but he's not as nice as Magnus. He was shady as, like if I was them I'd have been side eyeing him so much. I wasn't at all surprised in the end. I mean...he has totally cool eyes, I'll give him that and he kind of unwittingly united my ship but still. Shady. Helios I loved, I want more Helios. He was strangely adorable for a Drakharin soldier, I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in the next book hopefully....sailing....maybe....

Seeing as we're on the subject of sailing...let me tell you about my ships. Because hot damn. I ship Echo and Caius SO DAMN MUCH. I love them together, and I know it's weird for Echo with the whole Rose thing but still. They're just so adorable together, he's always there for her and teasing her and she's teaching him all the modern things. They are SO FREAKING close to having a relationship in this book, we've watched it develop over the course of the first book and then this book and then....Rowan had to stick his beak in. I knew from page one Rowan was going to come and throw a spanner in the works. He had to. We didn't see much of Rowan in the first book, I admit I was intrigued and curious. I regretted that almost immediately when he showed up in this book. I KNEW he'd put a hole in my ship and then BOOM. Yep. Right there. I knew from the lack of Rowan in book one that we'd get a tonne of Rowan in this book, I was oddly intrigued by him, and I kinda thought I'd find it hard to choose between he and Caius but...nope. I'm fully team Caius. 

Why didn't I like Rowan? It had nothing to do with how much I loved Caius! I promise! In the first book I noted that Rowan didn't do anything to defend Eco. His best friend and girlfriend, and Caius within a few days of knowing her was essentially doing Rowan's job and protecting her. So that bugged me. He bugged me even more in this book. When he saw Echo and Caius together, he verbally peed on her, marking his territory, but then went right on with being a moody bugger. Like broke up, go away. He was just so pissy, and sure I understand why but he was such a pain. Getting in the way of Caius and Echo and POOR CAIUS. He's just gotten over his emotional issues and BOOM. Love triangle, here to make Caius feel crappy again. I wasn't really here for the love triangle, I was hoping it wouldn't happen but it did. I'm kind of hoping that after Echo's reaction about Caius that's the end of the love triangle, because she has much better chemistry with Caius and we got to watch their relationship develop and overcome certain obstacles and so on, and they where fill of AAW moments in both books. Rowan was Although, I was pleased that the Rose thing wasn't as much of a problem as I thought it would be! 

Speaking of love triangles we nearly got hit with a double love triangle. Thank the LORD Dorian and Jasper didn't allow it. I genuinely have shipped these guys so hard since the first book, they're so cute together. Dorian has come a hell of a long way since book one, he hated the Avicen and here he is now, with feelings for one and not entirely sure what to do about it. Jealous Dorian is so damn cute. Not going to lie. I loved watching their relationship develop even more in this book, it's been a bit of a struggle for poor old Dorian, but he got there in the end and I actually cheered at one scene! The thing is, the struggle is totally valid. Dorian's spent like what? 150 years hating Avicen? And it's been a few months and he's struggling with that and how he feels about Jasper. But Dorian was all NOT TODAY SATAN...I MEAN QUINN. Jasper continued to be totally hilarious, he's trying to lock down his man, and his POV was both enlightening and pretty damn hilarious. It even gave me the warm and fuzzies because of the blushes bit. SO CUTE. I love Jasper because he's so eccentric and funny, his inner monologue cracks me up every single time, at one point he welcomes Dorian to his 'humble abode' out loud and then he's like mentally, 'also, please stay, forever and ever, thankyou' which is both funny and pretty relatable. We've all had that thought at some point, I'm sure. 

The romance was just...I love how both give you cute moments, but the relationships both have things to overcome that are both relatable and genuine. Not just there for the sake of it. Despite how much I don't like Rowan, he was bound to return at some point and he is close with Echo. I just love the romances in the book, they're secondary to the plot, but they still give you the cute moments that you like to see sometimes when you're reading, amid all the action! I've also totally spotted a new ship and it needs to happen because it's about damn time Ivy got someone. Plus...adorable! 

What I loved about this installment was how you see the Avicen more in this book, and you see how they're attempting to work with the Drakharin from our merry band of misfits. You see them trying to overcome their prejudices and it shows how far our group has come over the books, and I loved seeing all that character growth laid out. Ivy and Dorian's friendship for one, something that seemed pretty impossible at one point in book one, and then in this one you have Ivy offering him comfort. You really see the friendships in the group, and how well they've bonded and it was a brilliant thing to see. 

The Shadow Hour continues to showcase the authors imagination, giving you a rich and vivid setting that has plenty of originality to it, and some truly brilliant characters. I loved the mythology of the world in the first book, and in this book we get to see more of it, which has made me even more intrigued! I basically just need a book that's all the mythology and history of the Avicen and the Drakharin and then I'm all set for life...pretty please Melissa?! 

The POV switches between our main characters, and it's done incredibly well without breaking the flow of the narrative, it allows you to keep up with the characters and what each of them is up to when they're all separated and allows you insight in to all of them and what they're feeling, and what their motivation is. I love the multi POVs in this book, not going to lie! The Shadow Hour is action packed, much like the first book and it soon reaches a point when it's hard to put the book down because you can't find an appropriate place to do it, so I read most of this in one sitting because I have no self control. The first book was a real quest book, with maps and clues and so on, and this book retained some of that, which I loved, as Echo is trying to find information on their new foe. 

The Shadow Hour is a fantastic sequel, it keeps the things you loved from the first book, the originality, the mythology, the quest vibes, the humour and the character growth and expands on it, giving you more and progressing the overall story of the series onwards. Genuinely this book has made me laugh out loud more than once, and the atmosphere of the book and the world really do envelope you. There's plenty of action and intrigue, and I love how book three is being set up, although I'm not sure if it's the last book! The plot for this installment is well wrapped up with a few threads left dangling to keep you excited for the next book because they need to #RescueCaius! The wait for the next book is going to be SUCH a pain because of that, like it's a cliffhanger but it's kind of manageable. Sort of. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Review: And I Darken

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

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she'll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

"Souls and thrones are irreconcilable" 

I've been so intrigued by this book because it's set in a period of time that I haven't come across in YA at all, and Lada, our main female Vlad the Impaler! Like the author says in her note at the end of the book, depending on what account you read...Vlad was either a complete psychopath or a hero. I've only ever read the accounts that make him sound like a bloodthirsty serial killer, although I did read an article that laid out the points for him being considered a hero and I was definitely intrigued. I read the authors note at the end of the book, but I'm tempted to tell you all to read it before you read the book, because White lays out what is and isn't fact. She presents two sides of two of the main characters, and White's giving us a middle ground between both sides. I found the authors note to be really interesting actually because as I was reading I was wondering if they'd all encountered each other in real life or if not and it answered that question! 

ANYWAY. And I Darken features Lada...and I LOVED her. She's an anti-princess, she's a badass, and she's totally in to feminism wanting to be given the same opportunities that all the men have. She's determined not to be married off and forgotten about and she doesn't fancy going to a nunnery, and who can blame her? She wants to help her country, she's loyal to it, and she wants to make it better. I loved her determination to learn how to fight, even sparring with the Janissaries. You can sympathise with Lada, she's a woman and all the men think she has no place being educated or can't be, I actually wanted to punch one of the characters in the face for a comment he made! Lada's 'job' is to be married off and she's fighting against that and I don't blame her at all, I was rooting for her and I actually cackled at one point! Lada is a character you can understand, she may be vicious but she's protective of her brother in her own way and you can sympathise with her so much. She's a strong female lead and I loved reading her narrative in the book, and following her journey. She's my complete fave okay. 

"On our wedding night, I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate.."

Not only do we get Lada's narrative, but we get her younger brother Radu's too, and he's my OTHER fave. Like Radu is my precious. In the beginning I didn't really like him, and I was wondering if I was going to have a problem with this book. He's completely opposite to Lada. He's kind of wimpy, which was a shock for me because I was expecting him at one point to be the sly manipulator part of the Radu/Lada team, but he was a total baby for the beginning of the book. He is what Lada isn't, he's beautiful and he's a man but he had none of Lada's fierceness and her desire to fight. He was determined, but in a different way. There was a point as I was reading, when I was seeing what Lada was going through, and I was sympathising with her and on her side, and Radu's reactions where winding me up. Like the whole marriage thing with Lada, how he reacted to that bugged me because it's like, it's alright for you, you're not going to be married off to some creepy guy. Sit down. BUT as the book went on, I got to know Radu more and more, and watched him change and develop as a character, he became less wimpy, used his intelligence more and became his own person. I felt for him and his position and what he was going through, and I was rooting for him. I was also kinda rooting for he and Lada to team up and become the best team EVER. But after some stuff, I knew it wasn't going to happen, and then the end of the book broke my heart. My poor precious! Radu broke my heart a lot actually! 

I have to talk about the third main character, we don't get his POV but we do see him a lot. Mehmed. Ah Mehmed. Mr, 'I love you Lada. So much. But lemme go chill with my concubines...OOPS one's bad. You know you wanna marry me'. Yeah. Sorry, I know it's a historical thing and it was common and Mehmed would have grown up with it and so on. But it still bugged me. Because of how he was with Lada, and how Lada felt about herself and how she thought he was the only person who would ever look at her like he does....and he's off getting jiggy with his harem. I can't even. So I KNOW it was a pretty normal thing back in the day, but it was so ANNOYING. It made me want to smack him one multiple times, especially when he got all jealous! He wasn't what I was expecting to be honest, I actually quite liked him until he started causing pain to my faves. He was trying his best to help his country, but no-one liked him much, bless him. I'm suspecting something about him, and if I'm write and he hurts my fave, I WILL END HIM. 

So. We've definitely got a brilliant cast of characters, and with these three, we get to watch them grow up. We see Radu and Lada from a young age, and we get both their POVs, from when they where children through to the present. I loved this decision by the author, instead of giving you the finished product, she's letting you see what made Radu and Lada in to the people they are. What shaped them. You watch how everything affects them and see how it changes them. I loved it, I really did! You get two different insights in to Mehmed, and you see him do a fair bit of changing too, not to the same extent as you see Radu and Lada, but you still see it. 

"Her spine was steel. Her heart was armour. Her eyes were fire" 

Aside from our main three, there's a tonne of great supporting characters! Nazira the one person who understands Radu, Mara who cracked me up, Bogdan Lada's childhood buddy, Nicolae and his brotherly relationship with Lada and everything he does for her, and Lada's company of men. I loved Lada's little squad, they where the only Janissaries who didn't have a problem being led by a woman, they where so loyal to her and fought for her, and I can't wait to see what they all do next with her. 

There's a surprise little romance in the book, as I'm sure you've guessed. It was secondary to all of the action and the political manoeuvring, but it was there. I wasn't really expecting it but I liked seeing another side to Lada through it, once she let herself roll with it, she was hilariously irritated by the whole thing in the beginning. My heart broke for her, and how she thinks Mehmed is the only chance at romance she'll have, and the end of the book will literally break you. For so many reasons. Mehmed kinda deserved it though but my poor Lada! I loved seeing Lada's perspective on the whole thing because she's not like a regular heroine and so her reactions where quite funny, the romance fit with Lada. 

There's an awesome amount of LGBT representation in this book which was a nice surprise, especially for the time period, and how it was handled was brilliant. I was expecting the worst for the time period, history isn't the kindest to the LGBT community but the author did such a brilliant job in keeping it to the front of the story, not shoving it in a dark corner of the plot and forgetting about it. One of the main characters is gay, there's a lesbian couple who get their happy ending and it was perf, and there may or may not be a bi character. It remains to be seen, but then maybe I was imagining it because of the character, we'll see! 

"The last time she was up here, she had been... staring up at the sky and dreaming of stars. Now, she looked down and plotted flames."
And I Darken is a brilliant read, it's bloodthirsty, atmospheric and has a rich and vivid world that you can get lost in. Castles, and mountains and battlefields rise up around you as you read. The atmosphere pulls you in to the moment with the tension, or suspense or danger being a tangible thing. The plot maintains a steady pace, and travels through passages of time smoothly, while keeping the narrative fresh by switching the POV at the perfect moments. There's a complex web of politics as well as a lot of tactics involved throughout the plot, and all of it is understandable without being over simplified, while pulling you in with the intrigue of it all. All the tactics kind of reminded me a bit of Arslan, not going to lie! There are plot twists all over the place, and you will get way too invested in this book! My heart broke for everyone at the end of the book, and I'm excited for the next book. I got shivers and goosebumps at the final sentence, I'm not going to lie! What I've been waiting to happen is finally upon us but it's like 'lol...until next time bitches'. This is definitely 'Best Books of 2016' material! 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Review: Ivory and Bone

Ivory and Bone
Rating: 3/5 
Buy or Borrow: Either
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Harper 360! 

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

Okay guys, this was a mixed bag for me and it's taken me a while to finally decide how to rate it and what to write! I liked the book, don't get me wrong, I really liked it, but there where a couple of things about it that didn't click for me! I'll kick this off with the good, then head on over to the ugly, because there is no outright bad here! 

First off, I know a lot of people didn't like the book or where let down by it because they thought it was a fantasy book, and to be fair, I've seen the word fantasy all over this book, in connection to it. It's not. It's historical, I would say! I knew that going in so I was expecting it, I'm just not sure why it's being called a fantasy unless it's because there's not all that much solid fact and the author had to fill in the gaps or something? I don't know, my knowledge of the prehistoric times isn't so hot, which is shocking for me, I know! 

ANYWAY. The good.....I loved the setting. I really did. I have never, ever read a YA book set in prehistoric times. I don't even think I've read a fantasy book set in prehistoric times, so I loved the setting and the author made it as vivid as possible, although my brain kept implanting scenes from Brother Bear in to it, (I used to love that movie okay, it made me cry!) and I can imagine the research that's gone in to it to give us such a setting, it's incredibly unique. The setting really pulls you in as the characters go about doing prehistoric-y things. My brain failed me though at one point and I have to admit...I was one of those people. You know, the one who's like "man this all could have been avoided if they had mobile phones", I know. I wanted to smack myself. 

It's atmospheric, like really atmospheric. The setting sucks you in and the atmosphere does the rest. The characters live in clans, and our main character lives in a clan that hasn't seen any other clans for like two years because they had a falling out with the nearest clan and the others all move around a lot. Therefore, there's a feeling of isolation and solitude as you read. You can imagine the sweeping vistas that the character is seeing or moving through, and you can feel the desolation in the scenery. You feel probably how the characters feel, but then they're probably used to it, so maybe it was just me who felt such a sense of solitude! 

Ivory and Bone feels authentic and you have to admire the characters for how they manage to keep on surviving, facing their day to day struggles. I imagine the pure amount of research that went in to this goes some way to the authenticity, as does the names that seem to fit with the book and the setting. I'm going to hold my hands up and say I don't know what kind of name is a 'prehistoric' name, but I feel like the author did a good job with it! 

I actually really loved the way the story was told, I'm not going to lie. I started to read and the prologue kinda bit was a regular narrative, then as you hit chapter one it switches to second person. You're still with Kol as the main character and narrator but he's referring to Mya as 'you' all the time and so on, he's speaking to her basically. I rarely read books with that kind of narrative, and honestly, I thought it was going to bug me. But it didn't, and as the book went on I got more and more used to it so it was a bit jarring for me when it switched back and we caught up! 

Kol made for an interesting narrator, because I can probably count on my hand the number of times I've read a YA book with a male narrator. I really liked Kol, sure he needed a smack once or twice, and he wasn't all that bright when it came to figuring out Mya, but I liked the fact that he felt for the mammoths they have to kill, he knew it was survival but he still felt bad, which I thought was an interesting trait for a character of the time. He's intelligent, and serious and courageous and I enjoyed reading his voice. I also liked Mya, she too was intelligent, a really good hunter and kind of badass, it has to be said. She's fiesty but also has a vulnerability to her that you start to see. 

Along with Brother Bear, I got some serious Pride and Prejudice vibes as I was reading, from the whole hate/love thing they had going on, and the family drama and marriage matches and everything. So it was kind of like P&P but with mammoths and spears and death. Cool right? And this brings me to the next thing I liked, the strong family theme running throughout the book! You get to see lots of Kols family, his brothers and his parents and the rest of his clan! His family had a constant presence and you got to know them a little as you read, and I thought that was nice to see for a change. You even get to see a fairy bit of Mya's family too, which made another interesting change. 

Okay, on to the stuff I wasn't all that wild about! First up is the romance. Okay. This is a solid mix for me, because I liked the two of them together, I thought they where a good match for each other considering their personalities. It was certainly an interesting relationship to watch develop what with everything going on, and what had gone on influencing it, it took most of the book to come to fruition too so it's snail burn. At the same time, Kols main focus in life, as well as his brothers, was finding a girl to marry because there aren't any girls in their clan. But then by some lucky happenstance, two stroll on in to camp that very day. So while I liked the romance, I wasn't really down with Kols burning need to find a girl and that being a huge focus for him. I get it...survival of the human race and all that but still. I hate to say it but as a lot of this book revolved around the romance and the marriage matches, if you took it all out this book wouldn't work. 

But...prehistoric....mammoths...clan fighting...spears....right? Yes. There is all of those things, but by the time the clan rivalry comes in to play, I think it was a little bit too late and squeezed in at the end. Things burned. Peace maker dude took a spear to the shoulder but despite the fact it's prehistoric times it was all good, he was fine. Barely a scratch. But he was like 'I will not hurt them, they are our clan' and then genuinely seemed surprised to find a spear lodged in him. Like how did you not see that coming? The word murder has been thrown around ALOT. Only two people died. Now while I liked that there was a softer side to the time, as it where, and it wasn't all savagery all the time...I was expecting some. When I learned about the clan rivalry...I was expecting a huge battle, loads of blood and people dying left right and centre. Two die. Accidentally. 'Whoops I slipped'. Boom. Conflict resolved. Happy endings all round. I couldn't get invested in this little clan war when the stakes weren't high enough. SO yeah. No plot. I was never at any point, on edge and scared for my faves, because next to no-one died, which I thought was odd for the time period, but then what do I know? 

While there is action in the book, there's a lot of day to day stuff that goes on. It was kind of a double edged sword for me because while I found it oddly fascinating to read about how they lived, what they ate, how they did things and so on, it was also kind of boring. I'm a history nerd, so I found that sort of thing fascinating, but not everyone will, and it slows the pace right down and makes it drag. I was expecting some more action in this book, and while it was there, it wasn't nearly enough to keep this from being boring a good chunk of the time. The detail was good...but also some of it was really unnecessary and just clogged up the narrative and made it so there was a lot of time when not much was going on. 

I actually managed to read this quite quickly, and I did enjoy it, but coming off the back of reading a lot of books that are fast paced, and have a good combination of action/detail/romance, once I'd put the book down and really thought about it, I had to admit that I did find my interest wandering a time or two, and find myself a little bit bored as not much was happening but eating. Which made me hungry actually, not that I want to crack in to some mammoth meat anytime soon but still! So this is a bit of mixed bag, if you like action, action, probably won't make it through this! I do think it's worth a read though, for the setting, and the fascinating information you can pick up as you read! I'd love to have had an authors note telling us just how much of what was written was fact, and what was embellished a little! 

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