Friday, 28 April 2017

Light Novel: Rokka Vol 1

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

In order to stop the revival of the Demon God, six heroes are to be chosen to save the world. Those chosen surely have great combat abilities, special powers, or have been intensely trained as Saints. Excellence and ability are supposed to be the calling card of the chosen heroes, but this ragtag band lived far from normal, peaceful lives before they came together to become heroes.

Hanz's mysterious assassin for hire trade. Mora and Chamo's daily life at the World Temple. Nashetania and the youth scheming to win her heart, Goldof. The one who lives her life as a demon thinking of her family, Fremi. And the boy who lives with only his dream in mind, Adlet.

Their true feelings and personalities all seem to have another side to them... They will all come together to battle mystery, reveal the past, and step into legends in this new exciting series!

I'm going to say it....I think Rokka might just be my favourite light novel and manga series. Seriously. I love the mystery element to this, and how it keeps me guessing the entire time! I seriously spent so much time trying to put all the clues together and work out who the fake was, but I genuinely couldn't work it out! I ended up being so surprised, and I hadn't worked out how it all went together either! 

The light novel version of Rokka carries on past the manga and it wraps the mystery all up in one volume. I have a feeling the manga might wrap it up in the second volume but I'm not too sure! I was so intrigued to see the more fleshed out version after reading and loving the manga and I wasn't at all disappointed! There was so much additional information in here, plus some completely gorgeous character art at the beginning. 

The opening draws you in and sets the scene perfectly, and there's plenty of information on the Braves and the Evil God and the lore to do with it all that I found so fascinating and I wanted to read more and more. We get a tonne more background on Adlet, who I was so intrigued about from the manga, and I loved getting to know him better and find out about his childhood and how he got his training and why he wants to fight the Evil God. We get to see how he met Nashetania and see her power, and how they got separated before he met up with Fremy. The characters are all fleshed out and I'm excited for the next volume to hopefully get to learn some more about the other characters. 

There's action from the start, and we skip ahead for the prologue which provides some intrigue and excitement before we go back. The light novel starts way before the manga does, like before Adlet even got his mark and then catches up and goes past it to wrap up the mystery, like I said. I enjoyed the different POVs. We got Adlet's POV and it was a brilliant narrative because he does make me chuckle and roll my eyes a little bit sometimes. But we also get the POV of traitor/fake Brave, which was veeerrry interesting and I tried to use it to help me work out who it was but...epic fail. 

I really liked Fremy in this volume, we get to know her and understand her a bit better than in the manga, partially because we see more of her, obviously. She makes me chuckle and I'm still so curious about her! I also totally ship her and Adlet. Just saying. Sorry. 

I really loved the bickering and banter between Adlet, Fremy, Hans, Nashetania and Goldof. It made for entertaining reading and I liked the bond they where all forming at one point. Before things happen. I'm not going to lie, Hans irritated me a little at the beginning, mostly because he was making things difficult for an obviously innocent Adlet. BUT. I ended up really loving Hans. I liked the budding friendship he and Adlet had going on and I'm really hoping he's a good guy! Chamo on the other hand just bugs me and I'm lowkey hoping she's the new bad guy. Please. Please writers. I like all of the others...mostly. 

This light novel is very well written, it's great at creating an atmosphere and letting you really feel the tension and suspense as you read. And like I said, it keeps you guessing and I kept changing my mind about who I suspected as I tried to put all the pieces together. Then there's the ending....and what an ending. Just when you thought it was all over....oh no. Just please don't let it be Fremy, Adlet or Hans. PLEAAASEE! 

In short...this is basically one of the best light novels I've ever read, and I need the second volume like I need life. I'm also really loving the manga as well, and I'm intrigued by the differences between the two! 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Manga: Asterisk War Vol 3

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

The traitor revealed!
The one behind the recent "accidents" has finally been unmasked--but Julis alone isn't strong enough to beat him! It'll take a team of unlikely allies to bring this fiend to justice. Those in the shadows know this is only the first of many threats to come. Things will heat up even more as the Festa draws near...! 

I'm actually really liking this manga more and more, the more volumes I read! I love the bright and colourful pages that grace the beginning of each volume....I'm a sucker for bright colours! (That's totally why I ended up watching Nanbaka, not going to lie). The little sketches give me life, they're so cute! And the plot is moving at a nice pace, and in this volume we get a new character! You can see her right there on the cover, Kirin Toudou. I'm curious about her. We meet her for like a minute and then she runs off, but she's on the cover of this volume so I'm assuming/hoping that means we're going to see her again because I'm definitely intrigued! 

Also in this volume, as you can tell from the synopsis, the mystery is solved! We have our culprit and it's not at all who I was expecting! Although as expected, said culprit was working with one of the other academies, which makes the ending of the book all the more intriguing as I wouldn't be trusting Ernesta and Camilla all that much. I'm guessing Claudia's going with the 'friends close, enemies closer' way of life. 

Speaking of Claudia, we totally get to see her in action this volume, and learn about the shadowy organisation Shadowstar. I actually didn't mean to fingers typed before my brain caught up! I'm intrigued by what and who they are, and their role in everything, and I'm assuming we'll get to see more of them in the future! It's another part of the world of the book that's been uncovered! We also get to venture in to the world a smidge more in this volume too!'m actually starting to quite like Lester. He really surprised me this volume, and he's kinda becoming part of our little group! I'm excited to get to know him better and see more of his power. Speaking of surprises, Eishirou is more than he seems too. I'm not going to lie...I'd kind of dismissed him a little bit in the other volumes, which was probably the point, but I'm eager to know what the fudge he's up to! 

The thing we've all been expecting to happen finally happens and Julis finally takes on Ayato as a partner as they enter training for the Festa. I'm getting quite excited for the Festa, I love competitions like this in manga, when we get to see a tonne of new characters and everyones power/magic! We also got a sneak peek at some potential opponents in the Festa which has me even more excited! Although I'm totally rooting for Julis, how could you not after that backstory!? 

I have to say, at the end of this volume, Saya's called out as being the daughter of the professor, and we get a close up of her and she has kind of a strange look on her face....I'm intrigued to see what that's all about in the next volume, and I'm hoping we might get some backstory on her and her family! 

All in all, volume 3 brings one arc to a swift close while sprinkling some intrigue around, and is starting to gear up for another and I'm assuming bigger, arc...the Festa! Which I'm really excited for, like I've said many, many times! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm actually finding this to be a lot of fun! 


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Review: Wintersong

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

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I'm really not too sure how I feel about this book. I really, really wanted to love it and I know so many people who where so blown away by it and gave it all the stars and really, truly loved it but...I just didn't love it as much as I thought I would. I was told that Wintersong is Labyrinth thoughts where bring it on. I love the movie Labyrinth. My dad's a huge Bowie fan so I listened to all his music growing up and saw the film multiple times. I could picture Bowie's Goblin King as I was reading so the author did a good job on that front. 

The writing...was good. I liked the kind of musical quality there was with the writing sometimes, how some parts would rhyme that had nothing to do with lyrics. I'm not sure if it was done on purpose but in a book so focused on music it was a nice little touch to come across. The settings where vivid, from 18th century Germany, through to the decadent and rich Underground. The descriptions of some of the Goblin food in the Underground where suitably vivid and gross. 

I was kind of torn with Liesl. I liked that she was a little bit different, a female composer in a world that wasn't all that kind to females. I felt for her with her feelings towards her siblings and how she felt about herself and on some points I connected with her. But she did bug me more than once with her behaviour and for someone who's painted and harped on about as being selfless she actually struck me as selfish way more than once, and she did seem to be a smidge on the dramatic side at one point in the story, figuring it was to do with the magic of the place, I rolled with it though. But I did stop liking her for a few moments throughout the book. 

The thing with the book was that while I mostly enjoyed it, it never really grabbed me. It took me a while to pick it back up after I put it down. It seemed slow at some points, and dragged a little here and there. But then something would happen....and then it would drag again. The first half of the book  will be very familiar to Labyrinth fans, so I enjoyed that for that aspect. Then there came the other half. While I liked the romance...I quickly lost interest in it in the second half of the book, and it was at this part that I started to lose interest again in general. I was intrigued about the Goblin King's past and his curse, but all the relationship stuff sometimes felt a bit too much. 

Why? Because when Liesl doesn't get something intimate that she wants from dear old Goblin King, she got downright bratty and acted like a drama queen. There where temper tantrums, tears, "it must be because I'm ugly" reasoning, arguments, and like...he felt guilty and he was doing it for her own good and I know full well if the thing had happened she'd have been all ragey. I just didn't like it, and it was annoying, she basically acted like a complete child. And while I was intrigued by the Goblin Kings background...the Christian theme that sprung up was a complete miss with me. 

I feel like the last part of the book was messy and confusing and all mashed together with a rushed ending and there was so much that could have been explored instead of having to read about Liesl's temper tantrums. Like I said...I was intrigued by the Goblin Kings background and how the title of Goblin King is passed on. We didn't find out how that happened. So much could have been done with Josef's real identity. I was intrigued by the previous wives and the tale of the first wife...but none of that was explored. And considering all the emphasis on what happened to the first wife...I was expecting it to happen at the end of this book, and would have been happier with that than the rushed ending we got. So much of this stuff was introduced in to the plot...but then that was it. It wasn't picked up on later like I had assumed, it was just dropped. Like I felt like a lot of things where mashed together with no real goal in mind. 

Overall, I feel like this was so hyped up to me that I had high expectations, and I feel like a lot of this could have been cut and edited to fix some of the problems before it was published. There where a few things I liked, but the last half of the book really marred those and dragged down the overall rating which is  shame because I can see how the book could have been! 


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Manga: Today's Cerberus Vol 3

Today's Cerberus Vol 3 
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The mythical beast Fenrir has set her sights on Chiaki, and Shirogane in particular is none to happy with the competition. It's dog versus wolf in this showdown that will bring the whole school to its knees! Who will come out on top?! 

I'm not going to lie, I feel like this series keeps getting better and better, and more and more fun! As you can tell from the synopsis Fenrir makes an appearance in this volume, and heralds the arrival of Norse mythology in this series. I love Norse mythology as much as I love Greek and Egyptian mythology so I was so totally stoked to see Fenrir make an appearance closely followed by her siblings Hel and Jormungand! 

As I was reading the chapter with them, I was thinking "please stick around...please don't be for just a chapter or two" and then they popped back up again. I'm like 75% sure they're here to stay and may or may not be a permanent fixture, which makes me really excited! 

Chiaki has a new friend in this volume, and I LOVE IT! Seriously. Idora's little cat buddy makes for some fun interactions with Cerberus too! I'm really enjoying the dynamics to Chiaki's growing friendship group and seeing Chiaki interact with them. The romance aspect steps up a bit with the arrival of Minnie, a childhood friend of Chiaki's who totally has a thing for him and takes something from their childhood the wrong way, and we all know how Roze But we also have a potential solution to Chiakis little problem, which could prove to be very interesting. 

Volume 3 is just as fun and crazy as the other volumes, but we get to see some of Chiaki's past and get to know him a little better, this volume basically adds a little bit of depth to the story. We also got to see some more of Shirogane in action! This is one of those series that I genuinely look forward to each new volume for because it makes me chuckle, and it's entertaining! I'm hoping the Norse characters are going to stick around a bit more and I'm intrigued by the romance situation! This is such a fun slice of life but with you know....mythology! 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Review: The Witch's Tears

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

Can true love's kiss break your heart...? The spellbinding sequel to THE WITCH'S KISS by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr. It's not easy being a teenage witch. Just ask Merry. She's drowning in textbooks and rules set by the coven; drowning in heartbreak after the loss of Jack. But Merry's not the only one whose fairy tale is over. Big brother Leo is falling apart and everything Merry does seems to push him further to the brink. And everything that happens to Leo makes her ache for revenge. So when strangers offering friendship show them a different path they'd be mad not to take it...Some rules were made to be broken, right? The darkly magical sequel to THE WITCH'S KISS burns wickedly bright.

While the first book in the series didn't completely blow me away, and it had it's problems for me...I was curious enough about what would happen next to want to pick up this sequel, plus the first book had the flashbacks to the past which provided a nice source of intrigue. This instalment however...I found myself enjoying much less and there was no intriguing historical element to save it. 

In Witch's Tears we're 3 months on from the end of the first book and Merry and Leo are dealing with everything that happened and aren't having a great time. Merry's struggling with the covens rules and her grandmother, she feels lonely and very alone as she's arguing with Leo all the time. Leo is struggling to deal with his loss from the first book and feels somewhat inferior to Merry I think. They'er arguing and not at all being there for each other which was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the book for me. 

The thing I really liked about the first book was the relationship Merry and Leo had, how they where there for each other and helped each other. I loved it and it was a rare thing to see in a book. You usually see the kind of sibling relationship that we see in this book. So I was hugely disappointed. Their arguments where repetitive they argued about and did the same things over and over and over to the point I was rolling my eyes more than once. 

Merry was such a whiny, arrogant little cow in this book, and she seemed to have some sort of complex where she thought she was superior to everyone else because she was more powerful and didn't think she needed to do everything the covens way, and there was this whole conflict she was having with the coven that was just so juvenile and I got really bored of it really fast. The coven...the arguments with was all the same repetitive things over and over again and I got so frustrated with it all. Merry and her inner monologue became very, very hard to read. 

We get two new characters, Ronan and Finn. Both are wizards. Both are untrustworthy. Both I wanted to trust and both I didn't feel I could. The thing was, was that Ronan was so overly suspicious that it wasn't even a surprise when he turned out to be the bad guy. Like I knew it was coming. Same as the foreshadowing made it pretty obvious what was coming too. I reached the big reveal and I just...I was like "really?". 

Our other new character Finn seemed to be there solely to be Merry's new love interest. I think we could have got by okay with this book, without him to be honest. I don't know if I couldn't get in to the romance because Merry bugged me or because it was genuinely unnecessary but I feel like it was just thrown in there because we had to have some romance. Like couldn't Leo's romance have been enough? Poor old Leo had to have the bad romance while Merry got to have the good. And then the end happened and Finn's true purpose was revealed. To provide one point on the love triangle that will be present in book three. 

For most of the book not much happens at all except for Merry's whining and her arguing with Leo. I just...I'm not sure what to make of this series. I so badly wanted this book to be better than the first, maybe part of the problem was that I had some high expectations for it, that it would go above and beyond the first book. Instead I found the book a disappointment and more than a little bit boring. 

My problem is that, I am still curious about how it's all going to end in the next book. I assume it all ends in the next book anyway. The ending was enough to pique my interest. I'd like to have some questions answered, including questions that I still have from the first book that I was expecting to be answered in this book, but weren't. Part of me basically wants to see how it's all going to end, but part of me feels like I'm going to be disappointed and that the love triangle that's quite obvious is going to bug me. I like a good love triangle if it's done well, but I feel like I have a good idea of how it's going to go. In short...I don't know whether or not I'll read book three, but book two was a disappointment. 


Friday, 21 April 2017

Manga: Akame Ga Kill! Zero Vol 5

Akame Ga Kill! Zero, Vol 5
Rating: 5/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Akame and her allies are on a mission to find the Revolutionary Army, but standing in their way is the leader of the Oarburgh Assassin's group! How will Akame overcome such a dangerous adversary? 

I'd expand on the synopsis usually but I really don't want to spoil the volume! All I'm going to say is that we're on the trail of the Revolutionary Army and things get.....grim. Very grim. Each volume gets more and more grim/rough whatever word you want to use. This volume has the grossest of gross deaths, I'm not going to lie! In case you weren't already aware, this series is certainly not for teens and this volume illustrates why, perfectly. 

The thing is.....I know what's going to happen to all of these characters from AGK, and so it makes reading some things really hard. Like scenes with Akame and her sister. And other scenes with other characters. Like as you can tell from the cover, we see Chelsea this volume and learn a smidge about her past and I was like waaaaa Chelsea! Green makes a confession and I'm like...bro...that's so not going to end well. 

My point is, we all know who's going to die, and we all know what happens to these characters, but it still manages to be devastating when a character dies because throughout these volumes we're made to care about them so much and this, and this volume in particular, is why I refer to AKG and AKGZ as the Game of Thrones of the manga world. Seriously. 

This volume moves at a great pace, there's some great links to the main series via Akame. Paper crafts anyone? And there are some brilliantly crazy characters to go with all the action. I kinda miss Esdeath. This volume really earned it's cellophane wrapper too. Seriously. Grossest death. *barf* and other stuff...but grossest death.  

I'm so intrigued and excited for volume 6. Well....mostly excited. I mean...on the one hand there's probably going to be a lot of bloody deaths in the next volume. And by probably I mean there totally will be. But on the other hand....a certain character may or may not still be alive. Like the chances are slim. But. We'll see.....who am I kidding. This is AKGZ. They're totally dead. *sobs* 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: The Painted Dragon

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

When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides!

Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead . . .

It’s their most perilous adventure yet! 

I swear I'm getting more and more obsessed with this series with each new book! This is genuinely one of my favourites and I'm so excited by some of the developments in this book and what they could mean for book four! 

One of the things I love about these books are the illustrations, newspaper clippings, notes, and extracts from various books! I love them! They add such a great break to the narrative, and the histories for each of the paintings at the beginning of each part added another dimension to the book too. It's so much fun! 

The opening grabs your attention, and I basically read this in one sitting because I couldn't put it down and I was excited to see what was going to happen next. Sophie and Lil are in high demand by the sounds of it, but Lil's career is also taking off so Sophie's going it alone a few times. We didn't get to see as much of Joe and Billy, and for the first half of the book there wasn't as much Sophie as usual either I don't think, buuuuttt....

We've got new characters! Leo and Jack! Leo is a lady from a wealthy family and her dream is to paint! Managing to win a place at a prestigious art school in London she comes to the city and is a large part of the mystery to do with the painting! I completely loved Lil and I'm excited to see more of her! Jack...oh my. I loved Jack too! He's Lil's older brother and he's supposed to be off at Oxford studying law, but instead he's snuck off to London to attend the same art school that Leo is attending. I loved him. Bless him he totally didn't believe all of Lil's stories obviously, it was fun to see him getting involved! 

I feel kind of weird about the book, because I feel like for a good chunk of the book Sophie was a bit absent, we focused on Leo a lot, and I really loved Sophie and connected with her. I know she goes on about the Baron a bit in this book and it annoys her friends, but I feel like it's justified after everything she went through because of him and the questions she had from the end of the last book. I missed her a little bit, I think! 

I'm not going to lie, I really ship Jack and Sophie. Like...I really, really do. He was such an interesting addition to the groups dynamic and knows nothing about sleuthing, and like I said..he clearly took all of Lil's stories with a pinch of salt. He was amazed at Sophie and Lil's antics more than once! I wasn't sure which way Jack was going to go at one point, but then the end happened and I was squealing, I'm so rooting for them in book four! I was shouting at Sophie at the end and everything! 

We get some appearances from some of our favourite characters, Mei and Song in particular I was so pleased to see! After the last book I was hoping they'd join the group and pop up more because I didn't want to lose them! I cheered when they made their appearance! We also got quick cameos from Phyllis, Hugo and Pendleton! I loved how everyone got involved with this plan towards the end of the book, it was such a brilliant scene! 

We got to learn a little bit about McDermotts past, and it was actually really fun to see Sophie and Lil investigating without his help, they where on their own. We also get to see the Suffragettes! I was wondering if they'd make an appearance and if the girls would meet them and then there they where in this book! I'm hoping we get to see more of them! But I love how well researched the book is, and all these little historical tidbits and facts are woven in to the plot and narrative. 

This book was brilliant throughout, it made you laugh, and I loved trying to put the clues together to find the culprit! There are plot twists and turns that keep you guessing, and there's lots of fun to be had throughout the book! Sophie's very own Moriarty is back and no doubt will be again, so I'm intrigued to see how that's going to carry on and conclude. There's an interesting thread to do with the paintings from this book, and I'm curious to see if that thread will be picked back up in another book and concluded at all! 

Things happen in this book. Developments. Something I think we've all been waiting for finally happens at the end of this book and I'm so excited for it and to see what happens with it in the next book! Not only does Woodfine have a fantastic pace in the books individually, but she has a fantastic pace with the series as a whole. Not to mention how she blends action, adventure, mystery, intrigue, and history with smidges (very small smidges) of romance to create each book! I'm so excited for the next book, and the synopsis for it at the back of this book has intrigued me no end! I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment! 


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Review: Lady of Magick

Lady of Magick
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy! 

In an ancient kingdom full of secrets, unease and myth, Sophie and Gray Marshall are about to be ensnared in an arcane plot that threatens to undo them both . . .

In her second year of studies at Merlin College, Oxford, Sophie Marshall is feeling alienated among fellow students who fail to welcome a woman to their ranks. So when her husband, Gray, is invited north as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin, they leap at the chance. There, Sophie’s hunger for magickal knowledge can finally be nourished. But she must put her newly learned skills to the test sooner than expected. All is not well in the Kingdom of Alba, and before long the Marshalls find themselves beset by unexpected dangers. When Gray disappears, and none of her spells can find a trace of him, Sophie realises something sinister has befallen him. Delving into Gray’s disappearance she soon finds herself in a web of magick and intrigue that threatens not just Gray, but the entire kingdom.
As we start the next chapter of Gray and Sophie's lives, we're two years on from the end of The Midnight Queen and understandably Sophie is super stoked to get away from Oxfords sexist University and head to this worlds version of Scotland for a better educational experience. 
I love this series, I know the pace is rather steady but I love the way clues are scattered throughout the book so that when everythings revealed, things start to click in to place and you remember little things you read that led up to whichever moment or reveal it is. I love the way the author builds everything up and really sets the scene! The Midnight Queen, I can't be the only one that thought there was something mildly suspicious if not plain odd about the wedding....well in this book you see what it is and I was like HELL YES! I love the way the books have been joined together despite the time jump! Little threads that link everything together, and such attention to detail. Which reminds me, we get to see just how hard Sophie works which I thought was a nice touch, there's no way you can't be sucked in to the world and lives of the characters because you learn so much about them and what they get up to! 
I really enjoyed getting to see another part of this alternate Britain, and this time we're in Alba which is Scotland and I was so fascinated by all the history and lore we learned via Sophie! I was also super impressed that Sophie was trying to learn the language because you know...not many characters bother! Buuut back to Alba/ was fascinating! I can tell a lot of research has gone in to these books, and I love how the author weaves it all in to the plot! Hunter does a very good job of showing the politics, and the political tensions between England and Alba, and I liked that you got to see how the people felt about it all, and how it impacted Sophie and Gray's friends and in some cases friendship. Hunter makes everything so authentic and vivid that you easily slip in to the world of the book. 
Everyone's back, Gray and Sophie obviously! I continue to love the both of them both individually and as a couple. They're so cute together but I like how authentic the relationship is, they put a lot of work in to it all, it's not all unicorn farts and rainbows. I just love how they support each other so much. I thought we saw an interesting side of Sophie towards the end part of the book when Gray was missing. She was completely unlike herself and she had such a struggle, it was fantastically done as was watching her overcome it. I kinda missed Gray a little bit, because we didn't get much of him! The focus was on Sophie and Joanna. 
Ah Joanna. I liked her in the first book, even if I wanted to throttle her once or twice, and the same can be said for this book. She was being less stupid this book, and making better choices shall we say. She's growing up, she's working in politics and there's some romance for her that I was totally shipping way back from the start of the book and reading like YAAASSS! Much as I like Roland and am curious to see more of him...I was quite pleased the author didn't go with the obvious and put he and Joanna together. 
Speaking of Joanna's romance...Gwendolen was a great new character and I really felt for her. I love how Hunter brought in new characters, and we got to get to know them so they weren't just random new characters thrown in all of a sudden, I just thought it was a nice touch. Like I said, I like Roland, I'm curious to see what book three holds for him, and I'm so curious to get to know Sophie's brothers a little more! Aside from Gwen we have a few other new characters who I adored, Mor, Rory and Lucia and I'm hoping we'll get to see all of them again not just Lucia! They became such good friends to Sophie and Gray and really rallied around and helped Sopie! I love the relationships both romantic and otherwise in these books! They're so fleshed out. 
Lady of Magick has another complex plot with plenty of little threads throughout and clues for you to pick up on and try to put together. There's lots of twists that you don't see coming, and by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen and how it was all going to end! I read this in two sittings and became so engrossed in the book that I was completely oblivious to everything else. Seriously. Sam and Dean Winchester could have rocked up, baked me a pie and exorcised a ghost and I wouldn't have realised. 
Hunter expands on a world that she's created and brought to life brilliantly with rich history and intense politics, all while keeping it interesting so that you're intrigued rather than bored. You can really dive in to this world and get lost, at times it seems familiar but then you remember it's an alternate UK and we're in a different time period! I'd say Regency-ish. I was kinda sad not to see as much of Gray but I do love Sophie so I was excited that we got loads of her. Joanna is a mixed bag for me as sometimes I want to throttle her and I always found myself looking forward to Sophie's passages, but the longer the book went on the more excited I got for Joanna's. Especially as she was more sensible this book.
I will never, ever get bored of Gray and Sophie's relationship and how cute they are together, nor of how authentic the relationships and characters are. Hunter brings her story and her world and her characters to life so well, and you can really sink your teeth in to her books because she does her research and takes the time to set the scene, and set everything up with amazing attention to detail. I love it. I love her writing and her storytelling! 
Lady of Magick is full of betrayal, treachery, magick, action, adventure and romance, and once again there's a brilliant mystery that keeps  you guessing! I can't wait to for book three and I'm so intrigued to see which direction it'll go in, seeing as how we've had a 2 year time jump from the first book to the second, it's not the direction I thought it was going to go, but I'm so pleased with how it's turning out! I really hope book three isn't the last! 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Review: Reign of Shadows

Reign of Shadows
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

When I was a bit younger, I was a huge fan of Jordan's Firelight trilogy! So I was super excited to get to read a new series from her. As soon as I started to read, I was hooked in. The world and the history to it was intriguing and shrouded in darkness and danger. Then a few chapters in.....there was an interesting plot twist that had me taking another look at how I viewed those first few chapters! I loved it. It made Luna even more admirable. 

I really liked Luna. She was confident, determined and brave and determined to do what was right, even if it meant giving up everything she wanted. She wasn't helpless or an invalid. I really admired her as a character and enjoyed reading about her. Fowler....poor old Fowler. He hasn't had the best time so you can't really blame him for being the way he is. He's all about self preservation but you see him changing over the course of the book right up until the end. 

I really liked the dual POV, it let us get to know both characters and their motivations better, especially in Fowler's case. I liked the romance between the two and watching it blossom and it was totally cute. There where a few things I didn't see coming throughout the plot, and a few that I did, and there was a nice fast pace to the plot, I was a bit sad that the book was so short, but I'm excited for the next one. 

I got some definite Tangled vibes from the book, Fowler and Luna kinda reminded me of Rapunzel and Flynn a little bit! Reign of Shadows left me wanting more and curious to see what will happen next! 

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