Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review: The Forever Ship

The Forever Ship
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

They were born together and they will die together.

One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.

The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.

The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.

Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. The power to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

This review is actually hard for me to write. I loved the first book so much, it sucked me in and I was completely hooked. It was original and brilliantly written and such a great read. The second book lagged a little bit for me, but pulled itself back with the surprising twist at the end that made me reexamine how I looked at the book and the world of the book. 

Now don't get me wrong, as I started to read this I was straight back in to the world of the book. I loved Paloma, she was such an interesting character and had such different experiences from the others, I wanted to know more about her and Elsewhere. Zach is present quite a lot in this book and I actually found him interesting too, as we got to spend more and more time with him it was fascinating to see how he thought and interacted with Cass. There where some brutal betrayals and shock twists that had me gasping and completely blown away. 

I have two problems with this book. The first is that the pace at times is slow, at other times steady and then at others fairly fast. I'd plod through the slower parts and then rejoice at the faster parts. I don't mind a slower pace but the world is pretty bleak and even the happier moments don't really make a dent and with this third book I seriously found myself having to force myself to read it at some points. Yet 50 pages or so later I'd be totally hooked again and invested. Like, this is the third and final book and we spent a lot of time not really doing anything, there wasn't all that much action which I found disappointing as I'd been expecting an explosive finale to match the other two books. The action when it came, riveted me, but I do feel like towards the end of the book things where rushed a little bit. 

My other problem is that as the series went on, I got less and less attached to Cass, less emotionally attached/invested or whatever in her. I loved her in the first book and the second book, but in this book I found myself feeling kind of indifferent to her and not as emotionally attached at all. I was actually more interested in Zach to be honest, and part of me really couldn't blame him for how he felt towards Cass. I saw the Omega's point of view, and I knew Cass's but I also kind of felt for Zach a little bit too. That didn't make what he did right but I could see where he was coming from, something Cass couldn't seem to manage and that bugged me a little bit. That and Zach kept mentioning that Cass never really talked to him about anything, and yet she blames Zach for her eventually being outed. Part of me wonders if Zach would have been different had Cass really spoken and interacted with him. I don't know. 

Anyway, The Forever Ship continued to be atmospheric and vivid. The writing continued to be incredibly well done, I really do love the authors writing, she paints a vivid picture and the battles aren't glorified and neither are the deaths and so on. I just feel like this is the weakest book of the three. I mean the ending was satisfying and it was all wrapped up nicely but I felt no emotional connection to Cass in this book, I don't know why exactly, I don't know if the bleakness of Cass's narrative and the world finally got to me, or if I just wasn't in the right mood or frame of mind. But I found myself a wee bit disappointed all in all. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

YALC 2017 Haul

Hey guys! It's been a while since I've done a blog post that isn't a review! I had a reading slump and got super behind on my review books so I've been rushing to catch up again! I've also been super busy and working a lot so I haven't had much time! 

But today it's finally time for my YALC 2017 book haul! I'm only like 2 or 3 weeks late right?!

So, this was my first time attending YALC, I'd wanted to go a few times before but never really managed it! This year I headed there with my friend for the Friday! I pretty much picked that day because of all the authors I wanted to meet! Amy Alward, Alwyn Hamilton, Melinda Salisbury...all of whom signed my books for me! I so badly wanted to do the Saturday but I had to wait to be paid and then the tickets sold out! 

I feel like the Friday was actually a lot quieter than the Saturday probably was, so maybe it was a good thing for my first YALC trip....forever gutted I missed out on meeting Laini Taylor though! Although meeting the authors did reinforce how awkward I am when it comes to talking to them! 

Anywaaaayyy, on with what you're all here for....my book haul! First up, are the books I fiiiinaaallly bought a copy of, Gollancz had an awesome deal on and I couldn't resist! People have been telling me to read Graceling for ages and I finally have a copy! I kinda think I should have got the other two books at the same time though! As for The Name of the Wind, I have the fancy hardback version but I need a paperback copy too because why not. I also managed to get an early copy of Alex & Eliza for a fiver! Seriously, they'd nearly sold out but I just managed to get a copy and I'm so excited to read it and it looks so pretty! 

The Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss 

Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz 

1777. Albany, New York. 
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball. 

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Now, I managed to grab some samplers as I was wandering around, and I thought I'd share them with you guys because each of the books sounds amazing, and I'm so excited for them to be released!

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. 
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. 
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .
Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide. 
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding. 

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard. 
And now there's a spirit inside her. 

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father's rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret. 
But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn

When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.
Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

And now for the part you've all been waiting for...this next section is all about the ARCS I was lucky enough to grab Friday morning! Like...Jess and I walked in and pretty much rushed around each stand having a browse and seeing if there was anything that took our fancy, because we where only there for one day we wanted to make the most of it! We didn't manage to get one ARC that we'd been desperate for though, buuutt we did get a few others that al sound brilliant! I was terrible at checking Twitter and quite frankly couldn't run weighted down with books! 

Speaking of, as a little side note, I was only there one day but after that and seeing the activity on Twitter for the other two days, it became apparent that it might not have been organised as well as it could have been. Now I was high on the excitement of being there and surrounded by books and seeing bookish people and chatting to them and authors and so on, and if I hadn't been I might have had less of a fantastic time. Hollie's blog post has all the details but if you couldn't run or spend a fortune on 4G to get on Twitter aaalll daaaay, or didn't want to embarrass yourself  to get an ARC then you had no chance, so it wasn't great for a lot of people. It wasn't all publishers, I distinctly remember a couple of publishers using a raffle system for their ARCS which I thought was a nice, fair way to handle it! 

I have to give a huge thanks to Stevie though, because I'd been desperately after a City of Brass ARC and when I bumped in to her she mentioned that HQ where giving out something interesting...and I'm so nosy/overly curious I moseyed right on over and managed to grab one! Cue happy dancing! I also picked up the ARC pictured above with the samplers which I'm excited to read because it sounds amazing!

Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that's what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn't exist. They're Outsiders. 
Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret. 

An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. 

She'll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process? 
The Fire Sermon meets Gladiator in this brilliant YA debut.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . .

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Wizards and Robots by Will.i.am & Brian David Johnson

When a young man breaks into her home claiming her life is in danger, Ada Luring's world changes forever. Geller is a wizard, on the run from his father's hidden clan who want to kill Ada and her mother. Sara Luring is the scientist who will create the first robot, the wizards' age-old foes.

But a robot has travelled back in time to find Ada, and will lay everything on the line to protect her, as she may just be the key to preventing the earth's destruction in the future. 
Ada, Geller and the robots must learn to work together to change the past and secure the future. But they don't have much time before a mysterious enemy launches its attack on Earth...
Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.

Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty - a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she'll soon discover that reality doesn't always have the happily ever after you'd expect...

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Wunderkids by Jacqueline Silvester

15-year-old Nikka is invited to attend Wildwood Academy, a prestigious but secret boarding school for talented youth located deep in the Californian mountains. Once there, Nikka quickly falls in love with her bizarre classes, the jaw-dropping scenery and... two very different boys. 

However, Wildwood Academy has a dark and twisted secret, one that could cost Nikka the one thing she had never imagined she could lose, the one thing that money can’t buy. It is this very thing that Wildwood Academy was created to steal. 

Nikka can stay and lose everything, or she can risk death and run. 

I have to say, I had no idea that Wizards and Robots was written by Will.i.am when I picked it up, or that Undercover Princess was written by a big YouTuber when I picked them up. I spotted an interesting cover, and then loved the synopsis and what the publisher had to say about it and ended up picking them up...then I got home and was like...OH! 

Wunderkids also isn't an ARC, but I've put it with them because I'm going to be reading and reviewing it! 

I have to say, I loved chatting to all the publishers about their books and what was best to read, especially at Gollancz! I went back multiple times because I couldn't decide what to buy and it took me ages to settle on the two I did get and I was holding myself back severely! 

This has been a super long post, but I hope you see a couple of books to add to your TBRS! And check out Hollie's post!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: Legion

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

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all--dragons do not suffer human emotions--let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she's capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante--the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

I have been loving this series, it's unique and fun and I've been completely hooked. The love triangle is finally put to rest in this book, I do think it was dragged on a bit longer than necessary and it was getting very tired for me anyway. This book really felt like a YA to me. It was darker than the others, there was a lot of action and epic fight scenes, but I did find myself cringing a little bit at some of the romance scenes. 

I don't know what it was with this book. I really don't, I've loved Ember in every single book and she's really grown and changed as a character but in this book she really started to bug me. We got some interesting insight in to Dante and how he thinks and what his life has been like, he doesn't have the same view point on their lives as Ember and I think maybe getting so in to Dante's psyche in this book made my opinion of Ember change a little bit. 

We got to see some of their school lives and training, and I actually kind of felt for Dante and I could relate to him and how he was pushed to the side and so on. I could really see where he was coming from, and empathise with him and how he was treated compared to Ember. For me it really showed another side to Ember and I personally, started to perceive her in a different way. Like I said...she kind of started to bug me after that and more and more so as the book went on and we saw more and more through Dante's eyes. Then there was how Ember expected Riley to risk his underground and that whole thing. She just annoyed me this book and I really am annoyed that I got annoyed because it took away my enjoyment of the book and her as a character, and it made me cringe when reading the romance scenes. 

I have to say, I'm much more interested in Riley, Mist and Jade these days. I'm so curious about Jade and Mists and their pasts and the additional plot threads they're bringing to the table with the little mysteries they present. I want to know more about them! I was so pleased Jade was back, she could have some interesting information and I'm curious about the Chinese dragons in general. Then there's Mist who brings us a lot of intrigue and I'm dying to know who she's working for! I also totally ship Riley and Mist, I'm not going to lie! 

Legion is fast paced from the start, the cliffhanger at the end of the last book was so cruel and it's all resolved and sorted in this book and adds an interesting development, I'm sure there's going to be more to it! I did find some parts of this book to be a little bit predictable, but it was still enjoyable despite that. The mystery at the beginning added a whole CSI: Dragon Edition vibe to the book. Or maybe X-Files. 

For me, the last part of the book was perhaps the best, with an epically huge battle scene that had me on edge the entire time, not sure what was going to happen and who was going to die. I knew someone was after Ember's little speech and so on. The POV changes where short and snappy which added to the atmosphere and sense of urgency and tension and chaos. Legion ends on a note of intrigue again, and I'm excited to see how it's all going to end, and see how everything fits together and have all the little threads revealed and so on! I'm hoping I feel differently towards Ember in the next book too! 

Friday, 11 August 2017

Manga: Fairy Tail Vol 61

Fairy Tail Vol 61 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

As the most powerful wizards of Fairy Tail face off against the remaining members of The Twelve, their hearts, relationships, and skills will be put to the test. The battle between Erza and Irene reaches an emotional conclusion, Gray shows how far he’s willing to go to save his dearest friends, and the love of a father sparks a shocking revelation from August. As Natsu and Zeref’s showdown approaches, both enemies and friends must ask themselves who their true family is! 

Two volumes left. There are literally two volumes left. I am so not ready. I'm really not. I'm going to be devastated when this is over. Absolutely devastated and finding out that after this there's only two volumes left has me taking my time reading this volume and trying not to rush through to the end...something I usually do with these volumes. I read them so fast it's ridiculous but I made a conscious effort to slow down and savour it more! 

With the final volume approaching things are moving quickly with the story, things are tense and edge of the seat and there's lots and lots of dramatic moments happening. Erza's battle concludes and hit me right in the feels, Magnolia is returned, it's revealed why Zeref needs Mavis's power, Natsu is back to normal *cheers* and ready to throw down with Zeref, and so much more. Gray faces off with Zeref alone and there was some serious ugly sobbing going down at Gray's plan and how everything went down and I was left kind of staring at the page like whaaaat just happened!? Did Mashima sensei really just do that!? 

One of my favourite scenes of this volume was a scene that perfectly mirrored an earlier scene in the series with Natsu and Gray. I genuinely can't even. This volume has seriously given me all the feels and knowing the end is nigh really doesn't help! I'm literally so full of tension whenever I pick up a Fairy Tail volume lately! 

We get to see Cana being a badass in this volume as she joins in with Gildarts tackling August. It was nice to see her get some more page time and use her abilities and so on. I also really love seeing her interact with Gildarts, it's funny and heartwarming and such an interesting relationship. I also spent a good chunk of time looking at August like "don't make Gildarts angry bro" but did he listen? Nope. So it kind of serves him right I guess. 

We get to meet Larcade in this volume, and I'd been spoiled about him a long time ago when the chapter originally came out in Japan and spoilers where all over YouTube and Twitter BUT I had completely misread his relationship with Natsu and Zeref. He wasn't at all what I was expecting and I actually felt really sorry for him. I'd quite liked to have seen some more of him and maybe seen him join the Guild and get given another chance. 

Another big moment of the volume is Natsu and Zeref having their showdown, something I've been looking forward to seeing for a while. Unfortunately it's interrupted by Acnologia making his appearance. I'm not going to lie to you guys. Acnologia is a complete and utter psycho. Seriously. I just want him taken out now. Like....come on guys. Time to do your Dragon Slayer duties and deal with him. Although I guess we owe him one for dealing with 'God Serena' for us?

As the volumes progress and we head towards the end, I'm getting hit in the feels more and more. This volume had me choked up more than once, and there was a really beautiful scene with Natsu and Gray. They have such an interesting relationship. They clearly care about each other but they always argue and fight, and in this volume...I think it's the first time Gray's called Natsu his friend. I could be wrong because it's been a while since I read the other volumes, but I think it is and the entire scene really choked me up. Then Natsu comes along like "you're my friend, right Gray?" and I just....*ugly sobbing*. It was so nice to see this genuine moment of friendship between the two of them and know that everything was okay between them after the earlier scenes. 

My one issue with this volume is that it's such a head**** about August and I was like whaaaaat!? and that was it. It would have been nice to see more of him and to see some more to that situation because SERIOUSLY?! 

Fairy Tail always puts me in a great mood, I always turn to it when I'm feeling down and needing a pick me up. It's one of those series where you wish you could join the Guild too, and I end up fist pumping and cheering so much when I read this series. It's obvious things are coming to a close as we're racing towards the climax of this final story arc. Things are getting more and more intense, there's more tension, more shock reveals and more intense battles. Not to mention heartwarming and heart breaking moments between characters. I was so in to this volume and so ready for what comes next and then...IT LEAVES YOU HANGING?! I'm so not cut out for this, I can't take the wait for the next volume after everything we learned in this one! 

One things for sure, this is one of my favourite series of all time and the final two volumes are going to be spectacular! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Manga: Re:ZERO A Week At The Mansion Vol 2

Re:ZERO: Starting Life in Another World Chapter 2: A Week at the Mansion Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Subaru thought his life would be peaceful now, but now he's died again and doesn't know why! Subaru tries everything he can to avoid repeating that fate, but nothing seems to work. Beatrice the librarian might be Subaru's only hope!

I'm not going to lie, I'm getting way more in to this story arc than I am the first story arc! The plot just keeps thickening and hooking me in more and more and I'm coming up with all these theories and trying to put everything together! I feel like this story arc is a lot better and a lot stronger than the first one, like the story is finding its stride almost. 

Subaru has gone four days back and that really starts to get to him in this volume. It was a very well done and realistic reaction to his situation and I enjoyed seeing it play out on the page. He adopts the tactic of trying to make everything go exactly the same this time around with interesting effects. 

Roswaal provides him and us with a tutorial on how magic works in this world, something that I found very interesting and would like to know more about. Roswaal provides mixed feelings for me. I want to like him, I want to believe that he has nothing to do with anything dodgy, but as much as I love his character and want to see more of him and root for him..I feel like somethings off about him and I'm just waiting to see what it is. 

This volume provides us with a suitably shocking reveal and some surprise twists that I loved and had me gasping! There's some gory deaths and a lot more information about the world and Subaru's situation, again, something that I find very intriguing. 

I'm really liking Beatrice, shockingly, and I'm intrigued by her. I'd love to see more of her and find out more about her and her past and who she is and so on. I could say the same about Rem and Ram as well! I so badly want to know more about their pasts and I'm hoping the next volume will provide that! 

On top of aaaaaallll of that, we get an original short story at the end of the volume too! 

A Week at the Mansion, I feel, really steps the story up. There's more gory deaths, more surprises, more intrigue and I feel like the tension is higher in this volume. There's brilliant new characters to get to know, and that fill you with intrigue as you try to piece together their pasts and so on. I'm so damn curious about Ram and Rem and motivations certain characters have! I feel like this arc is going to be a lot more detailed and go in to a lot more depth and I'm excited to see it play out! 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Manga: Rokka Vol 3

Rokka Vol 3 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The search of the traitor continues. Adlet's won over Hans, but this is no time to rest on his laurels--next up is Chamo, the Saint of Swamps! Despite her cute looks, this little girl is said to be the most powerful warrior alive, and things take a turn for the worse when she refuses to listen to reason. The Braves of the Six Flowers need to find the traitor quick before this turns into a bloodbath!

You guys know I'm loving this series, and things are picking up more and more as the intrigue and mystery deepens in this volume. We're straight in with the action in this volume, right from the start. Hans is firmly on Team Adlet but no-one else is buying it and there's a couple of characters looking pretty suspicious right about now. Something also changes with the Princess and she goes full on ragey...an interesting development for her character. 

Mora continues to be the most suspicious character to me, I'm not going to lie. She's super suspicious and I really don't trust her or like her all that much. I don't really like Camo either although a lot of my irritation with Camo from the light novel isn't present here for the manga, possibly because the manga has less narrative, if you know what I mean. 

My favourite two characters are definitely Hans and Adlet and I love how all of the characters are drawn, but Hans and Adlet in particular are brilliant! In this volume we see Adlet bond with Fremy and finally wins her to his side and I'm excited to see their relationship play out. 

This volume ends with Adlet cornered and with only one ally nearby. Tension is high and it was such a mean place to leave the volume! Adlet's got enemies rushing to kill him and we have to wait for the next volume to see what happens next! CRUUUEELL! 

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers has brilliant art and a fantastic pace with ever mounting tension building up and in this volume that tension hits an all time high. We leave off with high tension and huge uncertainty about who to trust and suspicions about some characters mounting! I'm so excited for the next volume and to see the truth come out! 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Manga: Waiting For Spring Vol 1

Waiting For Spring Vol 1
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A sweet romantic story of a soft-spoken high school freshman and her quest to make friends, Waiting for Spring will delight fans of earnest, fun, and dramatic shojo like Kimi ni Todoke and Say I Love You. 

Mizuki is a shy girl who's about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys' basketball team weren't exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the cafe where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she's been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include... love?

I looooveee this manga! Like I read this volume and I can't wait for Volume 2...I need it now! I'd be tempted to read each individual chapter as it's released if the publisher was doing that (I don't think they are, correct me if I'm wrong!) which is something I never do because I love reading just one big volume! I'm impatient and the little chapters aren't enough but I desperately need more of this manga!   I'd been looking forward to this manga ever since it arrived on my doorstep and I purposely saved it for last, I knew it was going to be a mood lifter! 

Mitsuki is so relatable, I'm not going to lie. I loved her so much! As for the other characters....Towa is my favourite so far, I ship him and Mitsuki so badly it's not even funny. Rui is coming in a close second, he cracks me up so much! I'm not sure how I feel about Kyosuke and Ryuji so far, I need to see more of them to decide! They all seemed kind of like a-holes at first to be honest! It was nice to get to know them and see them interact with each other and with her and see another side to them and what they're really like. 

Nana was another favourite character of mine, she was surprisingly nice, I'd pegged her as a mean character! I was also pleasantly surprised by Reina too! I loved all of Mitsuki's interactions with the boys. Waiting for Spring is such an enjoyable read and it really pulls you in and brightens your mood and then it leaves you hanging at the end! 

Waiting For Spring is funny, enjoyable, easy to read and super addictive. It's also ridiculously cute and very well drawn, not to mention light and funny! I'm so excited for each new volume and to see where the story goes and if my ship sails and to get to know the other characters better! I had high expectations for this one and it really didn't let me down! It's looking to be a great romance manga! 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Manga: Clockwork Planet Vol 3

Clockwork Planet Vol 3
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

After Naoto, RyuZU, Marie, and Halter’s mission to save Kyoto succeeded, the group must lie low. Branded as terrorists and with Marie presumed dead, the new allies decide to gather more information while acting out the daily lives of high school students—something Marie isn’t used to! While undercover, Marie receives valuable information through a coded message: The government is still abusing core parts to endanger civilians. Meanwhile, RyuZU wishes to find her little “sister,” AnchoR, but when the fellow automaton appears, is she a friend or foe?

So, I've been watching the anime of this, and I've not really been loving it. I couldn't wait for it to end to be honest. The manga however, is very good! It's so much better than the anime, so if you watched the anime and weren't that impressed...give the manga a try! I've been looking forward to each new volume and with this one, things are picking up even more! 

We spend a bit more time at the high school in this volume, than we do in the anime, with Marie fitting right on in..or not as the case may be! I actually enjoyed that part of the arc and I hope we get some more scenes there because they crack me up. It's definitely more extended than I remember the anime being so it's nice to see some fresh new scenes. 

We get Saionji, who's a new character as far as I'm aware...the anime kind of blurs in to meh for me. I'm wondering if Saionji is on to Marie or not, but he was only in it for a little bit...I thought he was a bit of a prat but I'd be intrigued if he popped up again to see what role he'll play in the story if any. It seemed like he might have a part to play but we'll see. 

I love how fonts are used with speech in this manga, I'm not going to lie. RyuZU has a very mechanical/computer kind of font and Saionji has a flowery one to match his attempts at flirting with Marie. You get such a sense of tone and how the voice would sound from it, it really adds to the reading experience. 

I really love Vermouth! And I'm loving RyuZU more and more, she cracks me up. Marie is still my total favourite though, I love her! She makes me chuckle and she's so intelligent and badass. Naoto isn't as irritating as in the anime, and is more bearable in the manga, but I still haven't warmed up to him 100%. I think next volume will make or break this series for me. 

In this volume we get more of the history of the Clockwork Planet which I really loved, I want to know so much more about it and I've been itching for this kind of material, I hope we'll get more and more as the volumes go on! 

Clockwork Planet is much better than the anime by far, and the manga always gives me a chuckle. Particularly the interactions between everyone in the group! I really love how it's drawn among various other little touches, and I'm liking the pace it has so far. I'm still intrigued, and I'm excited to see where this is going to go next, and how much more it'll differ from the anime! 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Review: Blackwing

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

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

What a debut you! Blackwing drew me in more and more until I reached a point when I looked up, blinking back in to the real world with no idea what day or time it was, I became so engrossed in the book! I'd read most of the book in one go and completely forgotten about everything else. All I could think about was getting back to the book until I could finally sit back down and finish it. It was completely brilliant. 

The opening of the book intrigued me, I was instantly curious about the world and eager to learn more about it and our main character Ryhalt Galharrow. Ryhalt is a great narrator, I love the narrative voice he had, he didn't take any shit from anyone and he told it like it was. He was such a realistic and believable character, and you couldn't help but root for him. I was so intrigued by his backstory and his history that we learned through tidbits throughout the book. I was completely hooked within in a couple of chapters. 

Ryhalt is just one of a brilliant cast, there's his crew made of a group misfits and interesting people. Tnota who I for one, feel didn't get enough page time! I wanted to see more of him and learn more of his past, he cracked me up. And then there was Nenn. Nenn was my second favourite character after Ryhalt, and at the beginning of the book I was screaming "Noooooo! Why Ed whyyyy!?". But it was all good. I just loved her, she was a badass, she didn't put up with any crap and she owned it. I'm so curious about her, we learn a little about her and how she came to know Ryhalt but it wasn't enough. I need for Nenn to have a book of her own! She had some brilliant banter with Ryhalt too, and I loved their friendship and bond. 

The Tanza siblings where an intriguing duo. Ezabeth was intriguing, I wanted to know more about her and what she could do and who she was and what went down between her and Ryhalt. She's powerful, and she's been through the wringer and she kept on fighting. She was the only one fighting to get out what she knew, and she wouldn't give up no matter how bad things got, I respected the hell out of her. She's a badass in her own way, not the same as Nenn, but a badass all the same. She also provided some very low key romance with Ryhalt. Very low key, don't worry guys. 

As for her brother Dantry, I was all set to dislike him for being useless and whatnot, but I ended up really liking him by the end. Sure I rolled my eyes at a him a couple of times, but by the end of the book he'd changed and grown up a lot and I felt for the poor guy. I'm intrigued to see where his story will go. 

These brilliantly intriguing and memorable characters populate a world that's so vivid I could picture it clearly. It was like the book was a movie playing inside my head, it was atmospheric, one of the things that helped to pull me right in to the book. You could feel the tension in the air, feel the uncomfortable atmosphere of the Misery. I was fascinated by the world and how it worked. I wanted to know everything about it. The Darlings provided a suitably creepy enemy, and I'll never be able to look at a small child without shuddering again. The Nameless provided plenty more intrigue too, who are they? What do they look like? What's their story? I'm going to need a separate book on the history of the world and the Nameless I'm not going to lie.

There's plenty of action throughout the book right from the start, and the battles and fights have you right on the edge of your seat, you're as tense as the characters are and completely with them in the moment. One particular battle actually reminded me vaguely of Helm's Deep. The world was just so different, post apocalyptic with a dash of Western. 

Ed McDonald's writing was superb. He wove a picture with his words and I loved the phrases and descriptions he used. They fit with the world he created and the characters and everything in this book came together so well. It was fast paced, vivid, cinematic, atmospheric, humourous at parts and heartbreaking at others. I cheered with the characters, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was frantically trying to work out all of the intrigues and put pieces together. He kept me guessing until the end, and he's going to be an interesting voice in fantasy. One to watch for sure, and I'm excited to read more of his writing, to see what he does next! 

Blackwing is an absolute blinder of a debut, it hooks you and draws you in until you've lost all track of time. Who even are you anymore? You're so invested in Ryhalt and his group it's like you're one of them. I'd heard all of the hype about this book, and I always take it with a pinch of salt but Blackwing deserves every single bit of hype. Ed McDonald provides a refreshing voice in fantasy, and the world he's created is one that I'm excited to explore. I need more please! 

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