Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Review: After The Crown

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

Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule.

When peace talks turn violent and Hail realizes she's been betrayed, she must rely on her old gunrunning ways to get out of trouble. With help from an old boss and some surprising new allies, she must risk everything to save her world.

I really don't know how to review this book properly, there's so much I want to say and squeal about but spoilers and I don't think I have the words to convey how damn good this series is! I'm more of a fantasy person, than a Sci-Fi person. I'm very picky with my Sci-Fi and so I don't read all that much of it. But I completely loved Beyond The Throne. I got sent it as surprise book mail to check out, and I was actually surprised at how much I loved it, I remember devouring it in one go and then reading the book two sneak peek and then the wait for this's been painful! And then this book ends and leaves me wanting book three so badly, it's not even funny! That ending though! 

In After The Crown, it's been a week since the events of Beyond The Throne and as we join the story, some unsavoury characters that we didn't like are about to get their comeuppance. Ominous words are spoken but everything's fine....until the betrayal and backstabbing hits an all new high as a plot is put in to motion and Hail becomes the badass gunrunner again that we all know and love. 

I loved how we had Hail and the others trying to untangle the web of conspiracy from the last book, and I loved how it all went much deeper than I imagined. Seriously. I didn't like a certain character, and I thought said character was dodgy but even I didn't suspect anything of the magnitude of what happens in this book. Seriously. I was right there with Hail, kicking myself and unable to believe I'd missed it! And then it turns out this character isn't even the puppet master. I can't even. We just keep going deeper and deeper in to this plot and I am loving it! 

I love the political commentary that we get, and the way the narrative smoothly continues on from each book. The ongoing narrative is just A+. I think the thing a lot of you guys might be interested in is that the Indranan society  is gender swapped. Women are in charge, and the men are basically us in real life. It's fascinating to read about, and the author explores many equality issues that we struggle with today and I love how it's done! Especially as it's woven in so well with all the action, betrayal, backstabbing and space fights. 

I continue to love Hail. I continue to love Emmy and Zin and everyone else from our book one group. But in this book we get a tonne of new characters. Some I hate. I mean...I really, really hate them. There are so many shady characters. But some I also really, really love! Gita,  Dailun, Hao who we finally get to meet, Rai and Johar and there are so many  more but these are the four that really stuck out to me. I freaking love Hao and Johar in particular and I'm going to be sad if we don't get any Johar in book three, she's kickass. Rai...I really want to like him, but I'm not entirely sure about him. I guess we'll see! 

My favourite thing ever about this book though, was getting to see more of Hails gunrunner past. We didn't get to see or learn much about it in book one, but in this book Hail has to go back to her old ways and I loved it. I love gunrunner Hail. I need a spin off series all about her and Portis and their past! I need it now! But in this book, we get to learn plenty about her past and see her in action. I was loving it. So much. All the tidbits, all the old good. The crew trying to help Hail take back her Empire? They're a ragtag crew of mercenaries, smugglers, gunrunners, pirates, pit fighters and well...Rai is kind of like a mob boss type person. I was in heaven. 

After The Crown is a fantastic sequel, it keeps the narrative going, it doesn't slow down. It's fast paced, there's lots going on, there's more betrayal, more political intrigue and manoeuvring, more character development, more epic fight and battle scenes, more huge plot twists that you don't see coming. The writing is brilliant, the dialogue is fantastic, and Wagers really paints a vivid this stuff is cinematic you guys! Where's my movie? Where's my TV show!? The world building is fantastic and the plot is strong and complex and just...freaking....amazing. I was hooked within no time at all, much like with the first book, by everything I've mentioned, and in this book there's more characters for you to love and get invested in, and more for you to hate and hope Hail gets vengeance on. Once again, I have been left wanting more, and I am so, genuinely excited to see what's going to happen next, because I know Wagers won't let me down! 


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Review: Waking In Time

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

Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to “find the baby,” Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again ... even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him. 

Okaaaayy I haven't read many time travel books, but this one is SO good. So good. I really enjoyed this, it was light, it was cute, it was fun, and it was a great read. It didn't necessarily blow me away, and if you're a huge sci-fi/time travel lover, and you go in to this expecting some hugely complicated time travel explanations and time paradoxes or just complex time travel in general, you may be a smidge disappointed! 

Personally, I wasn't at all sure what to expect when going in to this, but I certainly had a good time reading! The rest of my review is going to be very vague, because I don't want to spoil things for you guys, because it'll take away from your experience reading the book! 

So. I loved jumping back in time with Abbi, I wasn't sure how far back she'd go next, or when she'd end up and it was a lot of fun. The book is very authentic, and it's very  historically accurate. It was interesting to see how college life differed over the different time periods! But all the little details kept you in the time with Abbi! After reading Angie's post for my blog for the blog tour, which was all about her research, I'd been expecting to see a lot of it used in this and I wasn't disappointed! There where some cool little tidbits that I knew nothing about too! 

I was drawn in to this book more and more as I read, and I was putting things together, or trying to. I mean I managed to put together someones identity but not every little thing, so the reveals where still fun. Although I was kinda shouting at Abbi at one point because someone's identity was SO obvious and I was like "Am I the only person that remembers this characters name, and the character saying this?!". I loved how everything came together and I LOVED the ending! I loved how Will and Abbi travelled and the explanations for it. We have a little family mystery of a similar nature, and I'd love for this to happen to me so I could solve it! 

I really enjoyed the romance it was cute and sweet and hit you with warm and fuzzies. I loved reading about it, it was slightly unusual, as was Abbi's experience and interactions with other people, but I loved it, it made it interesting and fresh. But I loved the romance. So cute. So adorable. I can't even. Will was fantastic, I felt for the poor guy although his time travel reason was a bit suspect, it was still cute. I'm not gonna lie, I really liked Will and bless him...I got so irritated at those students for the pocket watch at the end like..hello. Put things back where you find them. How rude. Poor Will, I mean...he didn't seem to care all that much BUT STILL. 

I also really love that this is based on a true family story, and that the author couldn't solve it and so wrote this. Like I said before, we have a similar family mystery that involves my grandfather and ever since finishing this book, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! I was really in to ancestry not long after he died, and I found a cool little thing with some ancestors that would make a good or you know...sad/dramatic story, (my brain saw it and was like "oohhhh suspicious") but I still haven't solved my grandfathers mystery. So this book really resonated with me. I'd kind of given up on solving it, but now I'm feeling motivated about it again, so I'm gonna have to work out how to get hold of his birth certificate and various other things! 

Anyway. Waking in Time is a fun, light and heartwarming read, filled with a cute romance and family. It's authentic, and so easy to sit and read in one go as the mystery draws you in more and more and you get more excited to see where Abbi ends up next! 

Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. 

My rating of this has changed the more I thought about it, and I've had to go with a 3/3.5 because while I enjoyed the story, it didn't completely blow me away and there where moments of confusion where things where just so complicated and I didn't think they needed to be or should have been with how short the book is and considering it's a standalone. My other issue is that I went in to this expecting a Beauty and the Beast retelling or at least to have that as the basis of the book but it was all "Pandora this" and "Pandora that" like don't get me wrong...a Pandora story would be totally awesome...but this was supposed to be Beauty and the Beast. It was more like a Pandora's box retelling type thing. 

That being said, the mythology to the book was certainly unique. I did like the world of the book with the mentions of Greek Gods and so on, and I was intrigued and wanting to know more, but this is just a one book kinda story so we didn't get much. This wasn't at all like I was expecting, I'm not going to lie. It was dark and twisted, which made a nice change. The characters where similarly dark and twisty. There where still some cute moments to warm the cockles of your heart, but it wasn't the flowers and rainbows and unicorn farts of most retellings, so that did make a nice change. 

Another thing letting this down was the predictability of it. I don't have a problem with it in most circumstances, sometimes I even like some predictability...but not in this kind of book and if it had blown me away more, I wouldn't have been as bothered about it. And the most predictable plot twist was to do with Shade and I felt like it was so obvious it took away from the story a little. There was no huge surprise or anything. There where still a few things that I didn't see coming, or hadn't put together quite yet when the reveals happened but I worked out quite a few things. 

Nyx...oh Nyx. On the one hand...I couldn't really blame her for the resentment she felt for her sister, and her hatred towards her family. I too, disliked her family. Especially her father and her aunt. But it got to a point, when she just wasn't all that likeable and I found her hard to connect to. Not to mention the whole...she saw her sister for a couple of moments and without too much thought or doubt she decided to betray the guy and then had an inner conflict about it for ages. I mean...maybe this was too rushed? Too fast paced? Or she was just fickle. There is that. 

Ignifex on the other hand....I loved him. He's the kind of villain I love. If you loved The Darkling, you will love him. Such a good villain. He was evil to an extent....some might say heartless, but at the same time he was snarky and he made me laugh, and he could be really sweet and funny too. I was totally on team Ignifex. Shade...well...he was as shady as his name. 

The insta love I wasn't a fan of, let alone when it happened twice and we had that weird love triangle because I think we all knew what Shade was and how it was going to end up and I was like...are we really doing this? 

All in all.....there was some unnecessary complicatedness to this, there was a tonne about Pandora, I didn't see much in the way of Beauty and the Beast. Our MC was fickle and couldn't make her mind I have trouble deciding on things but not to this extent, I got whiplash from the constant back and forth. There was insta love...twice, and a love triangle that I really wasn't that fussed about, and I feel like Ignifex was the only thing about this book that I really, really liked. The rest was just...okay. Which is a shame because I had high hopes for this! 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Light Novel: Sword Oratoria Vol 2

Sword Oratoria Vol 2 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A room bathed in crimson red blood, the air choked with the smell of iron, and a shattered skull atop a dead adventurers corpse...
Thanks to Aiz and crew, the tumultuous events of Monsterphilia ended without incident, and they were finally able to relax-but only for a moment. Soon, they find themselves embroiled in a suspicious case of murder. As they begin to investigate, the ladies soon realize that they're getting involved with a killer that's more horrifying than they thought. 

"What, is this...?"

In the midst of all this, they find a mysterious jewel that may connect to everything else. These events taking place above and below the surface will rock Orario to its core as the darkness lurking in the city bursts forth!

I don't know about you guys, but I am loving this spin off series! I haven't read the light novels of Is It Wrong, I've only read the manga and now I feel like I'm hugely missing out?! The writing in these novels is some of the best I've seen and I might have to go back and pick up the original series! 

As we all know, I love some Greek and Norse mythology and in this series we have actual  Greek and Norse gods, as well as various others floating around. Doing their thing. I love it. I also love seeing how they all interact with each other! 

In the first volume we got to see the first two volumes of the manga (I'm guessing the first volume and possibly second of the light novel?) from Aiz's point of view and had some gaps filled in. In this volume, it's the morning after Monsterphilia aka vol 1, and as our group ventures in to the dungeons it turns out that a member of the Ganesha Familia has been murdered (I spent most of the book being so sure I knew who'd done it and then you know....I was so wrong) and Aiz along with the Amazonian twins Tione and Tiona, Finn, Lefiya and Riveria are all drawn in to the investigation down in the dungeons. They need to find out who did it and why...and what's going on!? Up on the surface, Loki has enlisted Bete (who's still in the doghouse with everyone) to help her do some investigating of her own. Loki is determined to find out more about the plant monsters that attacked her children during Monsterphilia and who's responsible. Not going to lie, a certain someone looked mighty suspicious at the end of the first volume, but in this one...I'm not so sure. 

Things have definitely gotten more intriguing! In the first volume there was a lot of information we already knew about the world and various different things but in this volume we get all the action, tension and drama! I love the contrast we have in narratives between Bell in his story and Aiz in hers. Bell is quite anxious, and isn't all that confident, he's trying to claw his way up as we all know. But Aiz is already powerful, and she has an entirely different personality to Bells, although at times she can be a little uncertain. I love getting to know Aiz better, to get a good look in to her character and how she thinks, and what motivates her. Looking back at the manga for Is It Wrong, and knowing what I do now about puts a different light on things. The same could be said for Bete who I had pegged as one thing, and who I spent most of this volume feeling marginally sorry for. 

But there is soooo much intrigue about Aiz and her past and I have questions and I need answers. Now. Please. I'm also really enjoying getting to see her in action, and see her abilities more! Speaking of, I love how the battle scenes are written, you're right there with the characters getting lost in the action! I have a pretty good mental image of what's going on when I'm reading too. 

That's what for me, makes this light novel series so enjoyable and so above the rest. The writing. I love the writing, I feel like it's so detailed and has depth to it that some of the others lack. The writing creates an atmosphere. Like the prologue for example, it draws you in and gives you the chills! 

There's a lot less Bell in this than there was in vol 1, but there was one little scene that I really liked at the end. Just saying! It made me smile and kind of roll my eyes because c'mon Beeeelllll! 

Sword Oratoria gets better with each volume, and along with Aiz, there are plenty of other interesting characters that we get to meet and know better through her. It's fast paced, there's humour, there's heart warming moments and you're right there with Aiz as she struggles with what to do, with how to get stronger. There are some brilliant fold out, colour pages at the beginning, not to mention the other illustrations throughout to bring life to the words, and I don't know what else I can say! I feel like this is a really great extension to the world and the main story, it adds more to it, fills bits in and lets you get to know characters better, if you've been debating read really need to get started! It's necessary reading! 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Book Tag: Rapid Fire

I really do have an abnormal love for doing book tags! So thanks to Becca at The Tea Library for tagging me! You should all go and check out her blog, she's one of my favourite people in the world! I really do love answering questions, which is kinda weird but there you go! I always have fun doing these! 

Ebooks or physical books?

Okay, this is the one question I find hard to pick a definitive answer for. I love books, I have loads of books. I love the smell of books, I love seeing how far I have to go when I'm reading a huge book, I love the pretty covers and spines all lined up on my shelves. But sometimes books are too pretty, and sometimes I have to get an ebook version so I can stop my pretty edition from getting destroyed or accidentally cracking the spine. Or on purpose cracking the spine because sometimes it has to be done okay! 

Paperback or hardback?

It's hilarious how much my answer for this has changed! A few years ago, I'd have picked paperback without even needing to think about it. Hardbacks are unwieldy, and sometimes they're hard to hold and actually read. Plus there's the delicate dust jackets that you don't want to damage. But ever since joining the blogging community and the bookstagram community, I've got a new found appreciation for hardbacks! It's kind of 50/50 for me! 

Online or in-store shopping?

Online. I love going to the bookshop and browsing and coming across new books that I've not heard of before or wouldn't necessarily have picked up before. As much as I'd love to buy all my books in store, it's just too expensive. I usually buy from Wordery or Amazon because it's cheaper, and a lot of the time it's easier than going in to a store, especially when my two local stores are quite small and don't always have what I'm looking for! That being said, in some cases, Waterstones online website has books cheaper online than in store and they're sometimes cheaper than both Amazon and Wordery. I actually only go in store to buy books if I have a gift card, if I have a completed stamp card for Waterstones and so get a tenner to spend in store...or if it's a treat! 

Trilogies or series?

This isn't as hard to answer as I thought it would be! Trilogies! I mean..sometimes it's like you read a really good trilogy and you want need more. But it ends perfectly and you're happy, even though you just slightly keep wishing for more. But usually reaches a point when I lose interest. Like The Mortal Instruments. I will forever be of the opinion that it should have been just that first trilogy, I think it was around about book 5 that my interest started to waver. I wasn't as excited for book 6 as I thought I'd be because I'd been waiting around for the last book, and it had been a while and my enthusiasm died. There are a couple of series that I really love, but that may only be because I got to binge read them, I'm not sure! So I'm going to pick trilogies! 

Heroes or Villains?

What does it say about me, that nine times out of ten, I find myself relating to the villain in a story? I guess it's a personal thing for me, but I genuinely spend most times relating to the bad guy. There's only a few instances where I didn't. Or didn't at least feel some sympathy for them. Plus villains are fun. I'd love to play a villain! 

A book you want everyone to read? 

One? Just one? Ah man. Uuhh......aahh....urm.....ehhh...Six of Crows. Damn that was hard. I'm gonna have to pick Six of Crows, criminals...a heist.....brilliant characters and a vivid world. I love this book so much. In fact, so much that I'm terrified to read Crooked Kingdoms because you's going to be over and I'm 99% sure something bad happens to my faves! 


Recommend an underrated book.

Stalking Jack The Ripper! To me this seems to be a really underrated book, I only know a couple of people who've read it, and I've hardly seen anyone talking about it. I loved this book. It was vivid and evocative. The characters where fantastic. It was creepy. It was atmospheric and it kept me guessing right up until the end. It's genuinely such a brilliant book you guys! 


The last book you finished?

Um...well the last book I finished was Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it still. It was a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I enjoyed it but it wasn't the best book in the world. Sorry. 

 Now...if you're including graphic novels/manga, then I literally just finished Karneval 3 earlier today! I freaking love this manga, it's so cute, and it's so intriguing and SO CUTE! 

Cruel Beauty | Karneval

Weirdest thing you've used as a bookmarker?

What haven't I used as a bookmarker? I've used you actual bookmark, but I use my phone a lot. Like if I'm just quickly going to do something, I'll stick my phone in there. I've used tickets for trains, the cinema etc, I used my lipstick once...and I've used a fork :') 

Used books yes or no? 

Yes. Which is weird because I have this thing and if a book isn't in pristine condition then I get annoyed. BUT that only rules out buying used books online. I still sometimes do from trusted sellers or if it's on eBay and there are photos of the book, but otherwise I don't because of the amount of times I've ended up buying a used book that was in way worse condition than it was supposed to be...or it was a proof. But my favourite is my local Oxfam book shop! It's full of used books and I've found some gems in there! The amount of times I've bought books from there that have looked like they've never been read is insane! Plus the money goes to charity so it's a win/win! 

Top three genres? 

Fantasy. I freaking love fantasy! Which is strange because a few years ago, I'd read hardly any. Now it's all I read. It's actually gotten to the stage where I can't really read contemporary anymore unless it's really cheesy ones and I'm having a bad day! 

Young Adult. Obviously! I mean....I usually lean towards fantasy YA, which will surprise none of you I'm sure. The whole YA genre wasn't such a big thing when I was actually a teen, it was just coming up to be one, I just love YA. There are so many good YA books, and they make me feel all the feels and YA books have really helped me out more than once. 

Can I pick manga? Because if I can't I'm going to struggle with this question :') SO. Manga. Yaaay manga! I love manga. The artwork is usually amazing, and they're all imaginative, and something a little bit different and I get so addicted to the stories and I end up loving the characters so much! 

Borrow or buy?

I was the nerdy kid who spent way too much time in the library so borrow! I used to do the library summer challenge every single summer without fail and I always won. Always. But I would always borrow the maximum amount of books that I could! Little baby me, would carry a huge stack out every single visit! I still do actually, but my TBR is so huge that I'm not allowed to go to the library anymore until it's done! I actually get books from the library that I'm not too sure about, read them, and if I really love the book then I buy my own copy. Sorry if that's not the done thing, but I'm not rolling in money :')

Characters or plot?

Oh wow this is hard. If the plot is boring I usually find myself losing interest, but on the other hand...if the characters are interesting and I can relate to them...then I'll keep reading and sometimes the plot will pick up and I'll end up really loving a book that I'll have put down otherwise. So...I guess characters? 

Short or long?

This one depends entirely on my mood. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a really long book that I can get lost in for a while. Other times I just want a short read because I'm not in the mood for anything too complicated or long. 

Long or short chapters?

I don't really think I can pick one of these! Short chapters are usually pointless unless they're being used to add some tension to the book. I've seen that done well before! I don't usually mind long chapters unless I have limited time to read, or I'm sleepy, then I end up feeling like I'm reading forever. And it depends how in to the book I am too. If I'm really in to it then I don't really notice chapter length. If I'm not, then the longer chapters really drag! 

Book to movie or TV adaption?

Okaaaaayy this is hard. It depends on the book being adapted. Hunger Games...I really liked the movie adaption. A Series of Unfortunate Events...I hated the movie adaption but I really enjoyed the TV adaption that Netflix did. Then we have Shadowhunters. I actually prefer the movie, because it's been closer to how I envisioned it, I was willing to give the TV show a chance but I'm only watching it for Malec at this stage. I have many, many issues with that show. So it depends. I'm incredibly wary about the Throne of Glass adaption too. Although I feel that will work better as a TV show because of how long the books are. I'm hoping it means it'll be a closer adaption! 

Name the first three books you can think of.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - I'm getting ready to re-read this and Mime Order so I can finally read The Song Rising very soon! After the two year wait, I'm more than ready to get stuck in! The Mime Order is my favourite of the series so far, and I know TBS starts off a little slow but give it a chance! 

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - I'm really excited for Lord of Shadows to come out, and I recently bought yet another edition of this that I probably didn't really need! I'm loving this new trilogy, it reminds me of The Infernal Devices and I'm genuinely excited for the new book!

Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout - I had to include an Armentrout book. Becca and I became friends because we bonded over her Lux books! Half-Blood is my favourite, because it's the first book of the authors that I read, and there's aaallll the Greek mythology! 

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Oh God, books that make me laugh every time. I read to escape the real world and all the crap in it, which is why I tend to avoid contemporary! I don't actively seek out books that make me cry, there have been a couple that I've been reading and I've ended up crying because it really got to me, but I'll always pick laughing over crying!

Our world or fictional worlds?

Well..I blog is called Reality's A Bore soooo...the answers pretty obvious right? Fictional every time. I love getting lost in another world entirely, that's so different from ours. Sometimes you just need a break from the real world. 

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

I'd love to say no, but I have done it before. If a book has a really pretty cover, I'll definitely check it out and there's a good chance I'll buy it if the reviews are favourable. But I've read books before that I've not been too sure of because they haven't got the greatest cover or it was a cheesy cover, but the book was really, really good. I don't really let the covers put me off, but I do go in to a book with a certain image in my head depending on the cover.

Series or standalone?

I don't think I can pick standalone! I've read so many standalone books that where so amazing, and could quite easily have been at least a duology! But they remained as standalones and it was so disappointing and such a shame! On the other hand some standalones are done really well, but overall I'd rather have a series! 

I taaagg: 

Light Novel: Konosuba

Konosuba Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Game loving shut-in Kazuma Sato's life as a young schoolboy in Japan abruptly comes to an early end...or at least it was supposed to. When he opens his eyes, though, he sees a beautiful goddess that offers him a once in an after-lifetime chance to be reborn in a parallel world. The catch is that the world is violent and threatened by a growing evil! Fortunately, he can choose any one thing to bring with him. So he chooses the goddess, Aqua! And so his adventure with his gorgeous companion begins--if he could just get enough money and food to survive, keep his goddess out of trouble, and avoid grabbing the attention of the Demon King's army! 

So, I've read volume 1 of the manga and I loved it, it was light and funny and entertaining and I'm so excited for volume 2! I was intrigued to see how different the light novel was and the anime is on my watch list over on Crunchyroll! 

First off, I loved the full page, full colour illustrations at the beginning of this book! They where so pretty to look at! There where brilliant illustrations throughout actually, but the full colour ones where bright and eye catching and you know...colourful! There where also some fun character profiles at the beginning that provided a chuckle before you'd even started to read! 

Like the manga, the light novel is very funny, and I'm not sure if it officially is...but it feels like a send up of the whole fantasy RPG world genre! Konosuba is such a fun read, and I found myself shaking my head as I was reading, because some things where just so ridiculously silly. There's a steady pace to it, it starts off slow as we get to know the world and as the characters come together, but then the pace picks up and things start to kick off. 

From what I can tell from the one volume, the light novel is different to the manga. Obviously there is more depth in the light novel, more information to be found! There's also more content in the light novel, some of which isn't in the manga as far as memory serves me! At this stage, I'm not sure how much of a bearing it's going to have on the series! For all I know, the content from this volume of the light novel that hasn't been in the manga, could be because it's just not in Volume 1 of the manga! So we'll see! 

Overall, the KonoSuba light novel is a light, easy and entertaining read. It's a lot of fun, and the characters are hilariously interesting. Like Darkness for example! It can definitely lift your mood, and I can't wait to see what adventures the group get up to next! 


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Manga: Rokka Braves Of The Six Flowers

Rokka: Braves of The Six Flowers
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

When the world is threatened with destruction, six chosen heroes will rise to save it. One of them is Adlet Meyer--who calls himself "the strongest man in the world." But when he answers the call to assemble with the other heroes and face the darkness, there are not six heroes, but seven. Who is the traitor in their midst? 

I'm so intrigued by this series! I was attracted by the cover art, and the whole "six heroes but oopsie, there's seven" bit! As I started to read...I became more and more intrigued. Our six braves are chosen by the Goddess of Fate and their goal is to defeat the Demon God. We start out with Adlet, who swiftly meets up with Fremy. Turns out someones killing off the braves. Once the culprit is revealed and dealt with, we soon meet up with the other braves, but something's gone wrong. As our group try to work out how to fix the situation so they can, you know...go and kill the Demon God, it becomes apparent that there's one extra Brave. But who is it? Suspicion swiftly falls on poor old Adlet who I'm fairly sure is innocent unless there's a huge plot twist! 

Right from the start, I was interested to know more about the world, its history and so on. From my perspective, we jumped right in, and there's a lot to take in. It's a bit confusing at the start, and I'm tempted to watch the anime to see if it explains things further. But the pace is fast, and there's plenty of action from the start. I was definitely left wanting more at the end, and kinda desperate for the next volume because poor Adlet was fleeing for his life and then it's like "....until next time folks!". 

I liked the art, I loved the characters, they're an interesting bunch and I'm intrigued to know more about them. They're all different from each other, with their own vibrant personalities. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect that was coming in to play at the end, trying to work out who the imposter is and how the barrier was triggered! My problem is that I'm really sure that the one character I don't like is a legitimate Brave, which means the ones I really like are all suspect! 

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by Adlet and his reliance on his brain and his wits rather than his strength. With the whole "he's the strongest man in the world" thing I was expecting someone completely different to the Adlet that actually showed up in the manga! So far he's been smart, sneaky and done his best to protect a fellow Brave and get everyone to work together...until it all went wrong of course! 

This was a great start to the series, and it's piqued my interest right from the start! I'm desperate for answers, so I can't wait for volume 2 to be released! 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Manga: Today's Cerberus

Today's Cerberus
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

As a young boy, Chiaki Mikado had an encounter with an unusual, three-headed puppy, and as a consequence of a bite from that dog, he lost a piece of his soul. Now a teenager, he finds himself unable to enjoy anything, but the three-headed dog is back in human form -- or more accurately forms -- to fix all that!

Turns out that the three heads of the mythical guardian to the gates of the underworld are actually unique individuals, and each a pretty young girl at that! With his new roommate(s) leading the charge, can Chiaki experience the happiness that has so long eluded him?

This manga is so cute you guys! I love Greek Mythology so you could I resist a manga with the word Cerberus in the title! I have to say, I really love the myth and every day life that's been blended together in this manga, there was a lot more myth elements to this than I originally thought there would be and I was pleasantly surprised. On top of that, it had a good pace, and it's funny! I really, genuinely enjoyed reading this and all the crazy situations the characters got themselves in to. 

We have Chiaki who got bitten by baby Cerberus and is now losing a part of his soul so he can't really feel/display emotion, which was funnier than it really should have been with his dodgy smile! Then there's Cerberus who you know...has three heads usually. But in this manga Cerberus has three forms and has come to guard Chiaki. We have Kuro who is in charge most of the time, she's like a little kid and it's totally adorable. Shirogane is the second head, and she's the kick ass one who does all the fighting, and finally there's Roze. Roze is the one who bit Chiaki and so wants to make it up to him, she's voluntarily sealed her power away and she's the thoughtful and quiet one. 

There are plenty of cliches/tropes in this book, but I honestly didn't really care. It was just so fun and cute, and it was a light read and it's one of those manga that you can pick up and it'll bring a smile to your face and lift your mood as you read it! Despite outward appearances, not every single girl in this manga is in love with Chiaki, which was nice and refreshing and kind of another shock. I'm not going to lie. Having said that, I'm not even entirely sure that one of the girls actually is but we'll see how it plays out! There is one love interest though for definite and I enjoyed watching the struggle she had with her own little problems! 

I enjoyed the art work to this, I enjoyed being surprised by it and it's contents. I enjoyed how authentic and believable the characters where. They where very relatable including the non-human ones! I enjoyed this even more the second time around, and I look forward to what's coming next! 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: Arcanum Unbounded

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

Brandon Sanderson's first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more.

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella will be the crown jewel of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, the first book of short fiction by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

The collection will include eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor's Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

Originally published on and other websites, or published by the author, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Shardworlds and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor's Soul.”

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain a currently untitled Stormlight Archive novella which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere. 

Okay, so I lowkey spoiled myself for Mistborn and Stormlight but I kind of don't really care! If you care about being spoiled then I'd wait to read this until after you're all up to date...if not then go for it! I'm relatively new to Sanderson's books. I've read The Final Empire and Elantris, and I have a few of his other books on my shelves. I completely loved Final Empire as soon as I started to read and knew Sanderson was going to become a favourite author! 

I was so intrigued by this book. I thought it was just a collection of short stories, but there's so much more to it than that. There's an interesting preface that was mind blowing for me, and we get information on each of the different systems. I'm definitely going to be looking at the books in a different way now! For fans who've read more than me, I'm sure there are wider implications that I'm missing because I haven't you all the books yet! There's illustrations at the start of each story, and there's diagrams of each Solar System, which I found fascinating! 

The thing I liked most about this collection, aside from how well put together it is with all the notes from the author for each story plus everything else I've that it lets you dip in and out of all the different worlds in the Cosmere. Now, as someone who hasn't read all of his books yet...I found it exciting and fascinating to get a glimpse of all these worlds that I have yet to read about, as well as meeting lots of intriguing characters. It's gotten me really excited for the Sanderson books still on my TBR, and like I said....I should probably care about spoiling myself I'm really not. 

So...the first story up is from the Selish System which is the world of Elantris. I really, really enjoyed Emperor's Soul, I found it so intriguing and I'd love to see more of Shai! Hope of Elantris, well...that definitely left me wanting a sequel more than ever! I loved the glimpse of Sarene and Raoden! 

For the Scadrian System, which is the world of the Mistborn series...we had the Eleventh Metal. I found this to be such an interesting story, getting to see younger Kelsier training and meet Gemmel! I've missed Kelsier for sure. Then we had Allomancer Jack, I haven't read Alloy of War but...oh well. This made me excited for it, like I'm assuming from the spoiler warnings that it's something to do with that book, but I really enjoyed it! Plus I loved the snarky footnotes! I'd love to see more. Aaannd then we had Secret History which was really, really spoiler heavy so I basically know what happens now in the rest of the first Mistborn trilogy, but I'm actually intrigued to read the other two books knowing what I know now from reading this short story! I just really love Kelsier okay! And it's Kelsier centric! I imagine it fills in some gaps too! 

The Taldain System gave us an extract from White Sand that drew me in completely and now I NEED that book. I need it. I'm so intrigued by the different magic, and how everything works and what's going to happen to the character next. We also got to see a written version of it, and I have to agree with Sanderson, after reading both....a graphic novel was the right format for this world and it's very visual magic! 

The Threnodite System is home to the story Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell! Long name, but it all clicks in to place once you've read the story. I'd actually really, really like to see a full length book set in this world. It was a great short and drew me in, and got me invested in the characters. It was a little bit dark too! 

The Drominad System is home to the story Sixth of the Dusk, another intriguing story. I'm not sure if I'd say this was one of my favourites, I was intrigued by the world and how it worked, and I was interested to see what would happen next after the story ended though. I spent most of the story hating Vathi! 

And finally we have the Rosharan System, and thus we have Edgedancer. This is the brand new novella appearing for the first time in this collection! It's from the Stormlight Archives and I debated skipping it so I didn't spoil myself, but I couldn't resist. I was too curious. Spoiled I may be, but I'm also really, really intrigued by the world and really excited to read The Stormlight Archives! I really liked Lift too though I understand she doesn't appear much in the books so far! 

Arcanum Unbounded is a story collection that any Cosmere fan NEEDS in their library, it's a wealth of information on the worlds, it provides insight in to other stories and it's great fun to read zipping from one world to the next! 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Manga: The Isolator

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

Mysterious objects from space have landed, embedding themselves within human beings around the world and granting them impossible powers according to their deepest wishes. Seventeen-year-old Utsugi Minoru's only wish is to be able to live apart from the world and events around him. But will he remain the same after experiencing his new powers--and new dangers? 

I'm going to admit that I had no idea Reki Kawahara was doing another series until this popped up! I've completely missed the light novels! So I was super excited to get to review the manga. Especially as everyone and their dog are going to see Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale and you's not out here until April. April. Not that I have anyone to go with to see it because no-one else likes it *cries* 

Side note: who else is intrigued by the whole "SAO will return" thing that's been reported at the end of the movie? Season 3 adaption of Progressive!? Interested in your thoughts guys! 

So anyway, with SAO withdrawal, I eagerly dived in to this. In The Isolator, three months ago mysterious 'third eyes' came to Earth and attached/embedded themselves in to select people. Some where red, aka 'Rubies' and some where black, aka 'Jets'. Thus we have our good guys in the Jets and the bad guys in the Rubies. From this first volume we get to know Minoru Utsugi, who has a tragic past and is a Jet. We meet him, get to know his situation, meet his would be friend, get the lie of the land. There's plenty of intrigue scattered throughout and then we meet the organisation of Jets trying to protect innocent people from the Rubies. And then that's it...and I don't know about you guys, but I was left wanting more! 

I have to say, as someone who's read the SAO manga....the art in this is so much better, sorry! It was actually pretty gorgeous and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it. I'm one of the few people who watched the anime and then went to the manga and light novels, and I found the art in SAO to be jarring to say the least. So I was happy to see some brilliant art work for this new series! 

I was intrigued from the start, what happened to Utsugi? What's his power? And then who was the weird dude with the teeth? I kept wanting to know more, and I thought it was interesting to see the villain being the one to tell us about Utsugi's powers properly! I thought the pacing was well done, the premise is interesting and has a lot of potential for future volumes. The characters we've met so far are intriguing, I suspect there's a lot more to what happened to Utsugi's family and I'm waiting to see what! I'm intrigued to know more about Yumiko too! 

By the end of the volume, I was pretty much fully invested, and eager to learn more. For the first volume in a new series, I think it's off to a brilliant start! It'll draw you in, catch your interest, and you'll be lost to the story! I'm very excited to see how this is going to progress and develop over the next few volumes! Dare I say it may be better than SAO? 


Friday, 10 March 2017

Review: The Scarecrow Queen

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

The final battle is coming...As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever... 

First off, the opening to this book is so damn chilling, it's insane. I was like wow okay, we're going straight in to this! The Scarecrow Queen picks up where The Sleeping Prince left off and it wasn't long before I was back in the world of the book, all my memories flooding back. I admit that while I liked Sin Eater's Daughter, I felt like The Sleeping Prince was actually better and I feel like this is just as good as Sleeping Prince if not better! I loved the dual POV's of Twylla and Errin, I feel like it tied the series together perfectly and I'd been curious as to who would narrate this for us! I feel like the book had a very nice fast pace, with plenty of action but we didn't see that much action sometimes and there where some large time skips but I feel like the dual POV's really made that work more than it would have in a regular book! 
I read this in two sittings, I completely devoured it. Sin Eater's Daughter I enjoyed but it took me a little to get in to it, but this series has had me getting more and more in to it with each new book! 

We get to learn some more about Aurek in this book and he's genuinely such pure evil, he's not even redeemable. I read the bits with him in like...fascinated horror! I do love villains that I love to hate, like I hate them but I also kind of love them at the same, because they have a little redeemable feature or something. But Aurek? Nope. Pure evil. And while we're talking about Aurek I have to talk about his little lap dog, Leif. Oh Leif. How I liked you in book one. I could see the paths that Melinda could have taken when she was writing, we could have had Leif come and win Twylla back and blah blah blah. But no. Our Leif, who I so hoped after reading TSP was going to have a really, really good reason for working for Aurek....did not. He let me down. 

I spent most of the book not being entirely sure what to think of him. On the one hand he didn't do anything about how Errin was being treated and he supposedly loved Twylla but kept trying to kill her. On the other hand, he did little things here or there, kept information back and so on. So I wasn't sure just who's side he was on and after Twylla said something at the end, I looked back at some of the other things he did like huh...maybe he was on their side. But I couldn't decide. And it's left kind of open ended so you can decide what Leif was doing. Although he actually tried to paint himself as a victim at one point, like "oh Twylla if you'd just listened to me" like dude no. It was a little bit pathetic. I was actually a little sad because I really liked him in book one until the twist, and then Leif does this thing at the end and then there's a letter and I was like damn Leif....WHYYYYY!? I would genuinely really love to read this trilogy in like one book from Leif's perspective. 

Twylla I kinda liked and related to a little bit in the first book, but I also wanted to shake her once or twice, and Errin was the same but I actually liked Errin a bit more shhhh! Anyway, I feel like Twylla has really grown as a character when we see her in this book and I was really proud to see how far she'd come, becoming a leader, taking charge, she wasn't afraid to tell people off and I ended up really liking her this book! I have to say though, Twylla, who's never handled swords/knives before, managed to do this thing with a dagger that was...well...really good luck, I'm chalking it up to. I mean...I'm in the same boat as her but I don't think I could have lobbed a dagger from the back of a horse and taken someone's eye out..then again I'm very clumsy so I might manage it by aiming at something else :') 

Errin I continue to love, and I felt for her so much with the situation she was in, but Errin being Errin she didn't really give in, but when the time came I was like noooo Errin, I know why you're behaving but noooo! And I really loved the BFF vibes she had going on with Merek because there was no romance to be seen and it made a nice change to see a friendship that didn't end up as a romance thing. Plus I ship Errin and Silas SO HARD. Let me tell you. 

We totally got to see loads of Merek as well! I wasn't too sure about him in the first book, I felt for him a little bit and he wasn't a bad person but I wasn't that focused on him, so it was nice to see more of him in this book and get to know him more and I'm pleased for him that he got what he wanted. Now, to the best of my knowledge, Twylla had no feelings for Merek, I think I interpreted it as her loving Leif but Merek she was just trying to help because she was kind hearted. So I did find it a smidge sudden when Twylla suddenly had these feelings for Merek, BUT they where totally cute, and the focus of this book isn't romance so eh. Genuinely so cute. And I'd been half expecting Leif to be redeemed or something so it was a surprise! 

I love Melinda's writing, she really creates a world and an inner movie in your head with her words and I'd say I'd miss her writing now that the trilogy is over but I follow her on Twitter, and I just so happened to notice she was writing something the other day SO I'm going to wait with baited breath to see what she has planned next! I loved being surprised by her and her twists, she never did what I expected her to do and...damn...Melinda you bring the feels. 

The Scarecrow Queen is a brilliant ending to this trilogy and I'm sad to see it come to an end but so pleased with how it all turned out! Melinda surprised me right up until the end, I mean...I'm barely restraining myself from flat out begging her for another book! I'm so excited to see what Melinda's going to come up with next! 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

BLOG TOUR: Waking In Time

Hey guys! 
It's blog tour time again and today's another exciting one! 
I was most intrigued by this book as it's based on a family mystery that couldn't be solved 'unless you go back in time' and Angie has filled it in, as it where! Now, I have this thing, where I hate unsolved historical mysteries because I have SUCH a burning need to know...but you never will unless time travel. And my family has a mystery that can't be solved as well, so I felt drawn to this book and I'm really excited to get to be a part of this blog tour! 

For today's stop on the blog tour, Angie's telling us aaaalll about her research! I had planned to have my review to go with this, but everything went wrong. SO. My review will be coming next week, keep an eye out for iiiitt! 

Who said Research has to be Boring? 

By Angie Stanton, Author of Waking in Time 

Growing up I always thought research meant digging through dusty outdated books searching historical facts for term papers. Not until I became a writer did I discover that research can be fun. It’s not boring or dry like the dates of a centuries-past battle but instead opens up new worlds I’d never otherwise know about. 


When I’m writing, research questions pop up constantly. For example, in my new book, Waking in Time, something as simple as how to make a payphone call in 1930 became a difficult question? How much was a call back then? Or for my book Royally Lost, when my character from Europe goes swimming in his underwear, is he wearing boxers or briefs? You see where it gets fun? 


I do a lot of research regarding logistics such as how long it takes to fly from New York to LA, what major highways run through Ohio, how to make Scottish eggs, or how to sneak over the US border into Canada? For some books I need to learn the terminology of the new world I’m working in. For example, in a story that takes place on Broadway, I learned about odd terms and phrases including: sides (an audition script), ghost light (a single light placed on stage after every show so no one falls in the pit after hours, or to keep ghosts company at night), sitzprobe (first rehearsal with the orchestra), and trap (the trap door in the floor for sneak entrances and exits). 


Waking in Time did include a lot of historical research, but I always found the topics interesting. How did girls style their hair decades ago when they didn’t have all the styling products of today? How did they get those finger waves in their hair? It must have taken hours. And did girls wear panty hose in the 1950s? Did panty hose even exist then? And how about makeup in the 1930s? These were just a few of the questions I needed answers to. 


And while internet searches usually work, sometimes reaching out to actual people is the trick to learning the unusual facts of a situation. For example, what does it feel like to survive a house fire? What kind of crime has to happen to warrant a SWAT team? What happens during a Broadway audition? What are the effects of inhaling pepper spray? Talking to people can be fascinating and add more layers of information than I ever thought possible. When interviewing a woman about the Sterling Hall bombing that took place on the University of Wisconsin campus back in 1970, she described how students were thrown from their beds and onto the floor. That discussion had me rewriting the scene. 

A big part of why I write is because I’m curious and wonder about the world outside of my own mundane life. I can’t wait to see what bizarre topics my next book brings up. 

An utterly captivating time-travel romance, this sweep-you-off-your-feet story is inspired by a real life story of adoption and love from the author’s past. 

The story follows the central character, Abbi, who has just arrived at university for her first year, though her arrival is tainted by the deep loss she feels for her beloved grandmother. But on Abbi’s second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. 

Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. 
A heady mix of romance, grabbed moments in time to fall in love, a nostalgic look at University life, a mystery to unravel - Waking in Time has everything a reader could want from a truly touching romance story. 

Author Angie Stanton explains the real life events behind the story and how she came to unearth them: “While working on family genealogy I discovered a family mystery that couldn’t be solved. I realized the only way to learn the truth was to travel back in time. Because that isn’t possible, I wrote this book and came up with my own solution to the mystery. Two of the characters in Waking in Time are based on actual people who took their secrets to their graves more than seventy years ago.” 

Waking In Time by Angie Stanton publishes:

·       In the UK by Curious Fox on 9th March 2017, priced £7.99, ISBN: 978-1-78202-593-1
·       In the US by Switch Press on 1st March 2017, priced $17.95, ISBN: 978-1630790707
·       Age: 13+
·       Author twitter: @angie_stanton
·       Publisher twitter: @CuriousFoxBooks
·       Author website:

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