Friday, 25 May 2018

Manga: As Miss Beelzebub Likes

As Miss Beelzebub Likes Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Beelzebub--the formidable right hand of Satan--commands fear and respect throughout Pandemonium. What her underlings don't realize, though, is that she's an airhead with a love for all that is fluffy and adorable! The only thing she might enjoy more is teasing her new attendant, Mullin, who is learning that serving Beelzebub is both heaven and hell...

I've been pretty excited for this one and oddly intrigued, it sounded like it was going to be hilarious but I still wasn't sure what to expect! I ended up being pleasantly surprised with this volume! 

The colour pages are pretty and delicate, and kind of girly too! I actually really liked the art, the settings are beautifully drawn and the characters are actually kind of cute, and gorgeously drawn. Like if you like pretty characters, this is the manga for you! Plus the angel hair balls are freaking adorable! 

Beelzebub sounds all badass, but she's actually quite ditzy so far, which is hilarious and Mullin is so over it. Mullin is having a bit of a crisis, because he was super stoked to work for his idol, the badass demon in charge...and then he found out she was actually kind of tiny and adorable, and has a penchant for soft and fluffy things. 

There really is a brilliant cast of characters. Azazel is hilarious, he's all butch and scary looking but he likes stuffed animals and does a Love Actually when he talks with signs all the time. Astaroth is even funnier, he's obsessed with to fanboy levels. He's all worried because Mullins "boyfriend level" is high and he provided quite a few laughs. His guardian, Sargatanas, is freaking hilarious too, and I loved their interactions, it was such a contrast. 

As Miss Beelzebub Likes is a funny, slice of life kind of manga, about demons and it actually kept my interest more than most slice of life's do! I found it hugely entertaining with plenty of fun characters and a tonne of laughs to be had...and quite possibly some hints of romance?! 


Review: The Mermaid

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

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid. 

I think The Mermaid might be my favourite of Henry's books so far! I really enjoyed this one, and I had a lot of fun reading it. The opening/first part was brilliant, we had a love story in this little seaside town and it had a very fairy tale feel to the storytelling, with the wording and the lack of dialogue and so on. It really caught my interest and had me paying attention! 

After that we head in to the next part of the story, which is set in New York in the 1840's which is quite the contrast in setting to the previous one, as it's you know....a city. So it's busy and bustling. However, Henry still managed to weave in the mythology for the mermaids in such a...non-mythology setting, if you catch my meaning. Despite being a fairy tale retelling, it felt like it was quite plausible, the mythology made sense and I was kind of nodding along like, yep. Totally true. Probably happens every Thursday. 

The historical aspects where on point as far as I'm aware, although I don't know much about Barnum. The Barnum of this book was a bit of an a-hole, I'm not going to lie, I really disliked him. I felt for his poor wife Charity, who took Amelia under her wing, and I loved the friendship between the two! I wasn't entirely sure how to feel about Levi at first, I ended up quite liking him, but then at one point I wasn't sure I still did. 

I feel like our opinion of Levi changed as Amelia's did. We saw him one way, but then we started to see his real views on things at the same time as Amelia. Amelia, I loved. She isn't afraid of Barnum, and she's not afraid to stand up for herself. She also struggles to understand the things humans do to each other, I liked seeing the world through her eyes. 

The Mermaid is a riveting story, that pulls you in and captivates you and has an edge of believability to it! I also particularly liked Henry's vision of a mermaid, it made for a nice change!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Manga: Aoharu x Machinegun 10

Aoharu x Machinegun Vol 10
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Stage three of Matsuoka's training camp turns out to be a trip to the hot springs! Not wanting to let her teammates down, Hotaru tentatively ventures into the forbidden men's bath...Are her friends finally going to discover her true identity?! 

I'm sure you're all aware that I've been eagerly and impatiently anticipating the big reveal with Tachibana and I'm also sure you're all this it? Is this the volume where Matsuoka FINALLY FINDS OUT!? Well...yes my friends. Yes it is. And it. Was. Glorious. 

We left off with Tachibana and the others ready to enjoy some communal bathing at the hot springs, and she was in quite the dilemma. Haruki is literally no help at the start, like come on dude, help a girl out?! Yukimura also does quite an excellent job of guilt tripping Hotaru, like honestly it was A+ and thus her fate was decided. 

Friends...she most certainly goes in to the male area of the hot springs with the other boys and it was freaking hilarious. I had to snort at one innuendo, I really did. I just couldn't help myself. To top of the whole situation...Midori was even there, for this tense situation, which is you know, just adding fuel to the fire because we all know he won't help. 

Haruki and Hotaru devise a plan, and they merrily go in, just wanting to have a good time but they ended up having a...horrifying experience. Shall we say. Midori and Hotaru have a moment too and I was lowkey screaming. 

Honestly guys, I think this might be one of the funniest volumes yet because Matsuoka and Yukimura finally find out she's a girl, and aside from the whole comical aspect of the bath scene with her trying to hide that she's a she, the reveal was freaking hilarious and I was practically crying with laughter. Their inner thoughts where priceless, as where their facial expressions. 

She also inadvertently gives Midori the smack down he so deserves, and we have the awkward moment when Fujimoto says the exact thing Matsuoka and Yukimura should have said...and they know it. Interestingly, I'm detecting a budding friendship between Fujimoto and Yukimura that should prove to be entertaining, I'm totally here for it! Oh and we finally find out what that number was all about, I'm fairly sure! 

I'm also wondering if I'm detecting some potential romance between Haruki and Hotaru? I think he has some feelings for her and it's kinda obvious Matsuoka feels something for her perhaps we'll be getting some romance coming in to play in the coming volumes, which should be interesting to see play out. I have my ship already. 

Towards the end of the volume we get a new team introduced, and they're supposedly the best team. The ones who used to be on top and are now back in the game. Interestingly Midori and Matsuoka used to be in this team, and it could provide some interesting tension. Particularly judging by Shingen, the leader, who we meet briefly. He appears to hold a grudge against Haruki's brother, but I'm not sure how he feels about his previous team members. 

Aoharu Vol 10 gives us hilarious comedy at the beginning, an intense and sinister battle in the middle, and we end with Hotaru's mother appearing which starts out being kind of funny, but then ends on a cliffhanger that has you screaming "Noooooo WHYYYY?!". Oh and if that wasn't enough we're close to the next TGC starting too! This volume moves things along nicely and brings in some interesting elements to the story! 

Review: Wyntertide

Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Borrow
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 
The town of Rotherweird, made independent from the rest of England by Queen Elizabeth I, has resumed its abnormal normality after a happy ending to the travails of summer.
But is it really all over?
Disturbing omens multiply: a funeral delivers a cryptic warning; an ancient portrait speaks; the Herald disappears - and democracy threatens the covenant between town and countryside. An intricate plot, centuries in the making, is on the move.
Everything is pointing to one objective: the resurrection of Rotherweird's dark Elizabethan past, and to one date: the Winter Equinox.
In Rotherweird, nothing and nobody are quite what they seem. 
Okay, so, I really enjoyed Rotherweird when I reviewed it, it was weird and wonderful and really hooked me in with the mystery and I was excited to see what was going to happen next as this one carries on from the end of Rotherweird. 
We switched between the present and the "old history" and I found the old history particularly fascinating. We once again had multi POV's which kept it interesting for the most part. We had another weird and wonderful mystery and we're left with quite the cliffhanger. 
However, this one was a lot harder to read than the previous book. I found the book dragging a lot, and I wasn't being sucked in to it quite as much as with Rotherweird. One of the reasons for that, is that I kept getting the characters confused. There are so many characters who's names begin with F and I couldn't keep them all straight. 
While I was intrigued by the mystery and was determined to finish because of it...I felt that a lot of this book was just....nothing happening. I was hoping for a lot more than this book delivered, I was just bored for a large chunk of the book and things didn't start to get really interesting until the end of the book. Overall this book was quite disappointing, but I'm expecting things to be a lot better in the next, and final book. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Manga: Akame Ga Kill 14

Akame Ga Kill Vol 14 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Akame and her comrades enjoy a moment of calm before the impending assault against the Capital. Night Raid has lost many dear friends in their fight against the Empire and are resolved to do whatever must be done so that their comrades' sacrifices will not be in vain. But the Empire has brought more than resolve to the battlefield: Esdeath and the Minister have prepared a special "welcoming committee" to greet the approaching rebels. Battle lines are drawn as the final attack begins!! 

Buckle in kiddies, you're in for a bumpy ride with this volume. In case you weren't already aware, this volume is the penultimate volume...that's right, there's only one volume left after this, and this is quite a chunky volume so you know s**** going to go down. 

The final battle is here, and we switch between the big battle outside the palace and Akame and Leone's assassination mission inside the palace. This volume is full of tension and danger, and has you on the edge of your seat because at this stage...we all know no-one's safe in this volume. I was pretty pumped for this volume and the big battle...but also sad and worried at the same time because you know....death could come for any of the characters I actually like! 

I have to say, I have a mighty need for Esdeath and the Minister to bite the dust, although his "rebel army scum" comment at one point made my brain go full Star Wars. While I understand the Emperor has been manipulated...he really is useless and cowardly and after his actions this volume, he's on my kill list too. 

Vol 14 has an excellent pace, we build up to the final battle with a little prelude showing the night before the battle, and all the key players and the preparations being made and the mildly heartwarming moments with the Night Raid members. Which should have clued me in that one of my faves was going to die. Like I go in to this series knowing anyone could die, and to expect my faves to die...but I'm still always surprised. This death in particular had me screaming and heart broken though. 

Things move fast once the actual battle starts, and there's a lot of brilliantly drawn action sequences. Things seem pretty hopeless towards the end of the volume, and I was so on edge by that point, thinking of all the characters left who could die and all the worst case scenarios for them...and now I'm kind of wondering if the manga is going to follow the anime and just kill everyone. Things have largely deviated from the anime never know. 

The ending leaves us on quite the cliffhanger, things aren't going to end well for Tatsumi, I think that's obvious to all of us, it's just a question of what's going to happen to him. The Minister has messed with the Emperor brats Teigu and...yeah. I mean he's probably a goner too? Basically the volume starts out mildly hopeful then throws us in to the pits of despair and leaves us with things looking hopeless.....the anticipation for the final volume has never been higher!

Review: The Accidental Bad Girl

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

After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall. 

Okay so I got such Gossip Girl vibes from this book for the most part...with the rich kids and the drugs and everything, as well as Pretty Little Liars vibes with the hacking. I have to say this book wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I was intrigued from the start! 

Kendall I totally felt for, I empathised with her so badly and I was rooting for her throughout the book. She made me chuckle more than once, but she's also kind of a badass too! Audrey was kind of t a total cow, I'm not going to lie. But I did really like Simone. She helped Kendall out and became a good friend to her and the two of them together entertained me a lot. I was very wary of Gilly, I ended up kind of liking him at one point, but I was mostly wary of him because he gave off a certain vibe to me. 

The plot and the mystery behind it all kept me reading, and there where some brilliant plot twists throughout! I was never quite sure what to expect from this one, not least because it wasn't what I was expecting at all! It had me on the edge of my seat a few times! 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Review: Onyx and Ivory

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

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime. 

I love a good fantasy book, and this one piqued my interest just from the synopsis! It's a nice chunky book and I was so ready to dive in..and then I read the opening and I knew I was totally stuffed when it came to this book! My interest was grabbed straight away by the world and the characters. Nightdrakes...magic....I was so here for it and I was so curious about it all! Not to mention Kate and the other relay riders and what they do and so on. There where plenty of mysteries thrown in to the plot from the start to keep you interested and keep you reading, and you wanted answers! There where hints of romance mixed in to the plot too. 

I ended up being fully drawn in to the book, the world building was nicely done and there was so much to be curious about....the history of the world, the magic system and so on. I actually really loved the magic system in the book, I was kind of confused at first but then I understood the difference between the two types of magic users and so on. It was an intriguing approach and I was fascinated by the different aspects of it. 

I have to say, I really liked Kate. She was determined, she was a bit of a badass...and I kind of felt for her and how she felt. She's struggled a lot but she doesn't give up and she comes through. I really liked that she had some degree of self awareness too, she's changed a lot since she was younger and she acknowledges that she wouldn't have been able to look at things objectively when she was younger. She also didn't have some of the reactions I thought she would so she kept me on my toes. 

Corwin is our other narrator, I wasn't too sure about him at the beginning, he kind of seemed like a bit of a prat. But you see how things are for him with Edwin, his brother, and how he's been treated and you understand him and he wants to help and make a difference but he actually lacks the confidence, I felt. He struggles to overcome that and it was nice to see that in a main character. 

Along with our MC's, there where a few supporting characters I completely loved! Bonner and Signe where a lot of fun, and I kind of lowkey shipped Bonner and Kate at one point, I'm not going to lie. But then I ended up fully invested in Corwin and Kate. I did however, hardcore ship Dal and Signe! Although I wasn't entirely sure whether I trusted Dal in the beginning, I wanted to love him, but he felt kind of shady to me. I did end up really loving him and I felt for him so badly, he hasn't had it easy but I still kind of feel like there's something about him...the mystery of who his father is perhaps? It has the potential to be something major. 

Of course, there are the less likeable characters. Cort was such a nasty piece of work and I was praying that he would get his but nope. Edwin isn't painted in too good of a light to me either. He has a ridiculous and deep hatred and refuses to see reason or listen to anything Corwin has to say. I was hoping by the end of the book perhaps the two brothers could work together but I think that's going to be pretty impossible unfortunately. 

I'm not going to lie to you guys, there are some pretty big plot twists and reveals that surprised me and had me like "NO WAAAY". Pieces suddenly fell in to place as I was reading and it was brilliantly done! There where all these seemingly innocuous things mentioned, that I thought where to flesh out the world or characters...but they're actually all part of the overall plot and what's really going on and where little clues. Like I picked up on them and noted them but I didn't put it all together! 

Onyx and Ivory is well written, and is full of magic, romance, action an interesting plot and characters. The world and magic system are fleshed out enough without being overly complicated and going in to pages of explanation. The plot keeps you intrigued and keeps drawing you further and further in and the world is painted vividly enough that you can be easily drawn in to the book. 

I'm actually kind of addicted to this new series, and after that ending...I neeeed the next book now! Like..the third trial?! And while Edwin is such a prat I'm still kind of rooting for him to become less of one! Plus there's multiple plot threads to carry on, and we'll get to see more of the world which I'm super excited for! Onyx and Ivory is a brilliant start to a new fantasy series, and I can't wait for more! 


Friday, 18 May 2018

Review: Eden Conquered

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

The Trials of Virtuous Succession have ended. Prince Andreus is king—and Princess Carys is dead.

But even as he’s haunted by what he did to win the throne, Andreus discovers that his dream of ruling only brings new problems. The people love his twin even more in death than they did when she was alive. The Elders treat him as a figurehead. And worst of all, the winds of Eden are faltering. 

But despite what everyone believes, Carys is alive. Exiled to the wilderness, Carys struggles to control the powers that have broken free inside her. And as she grows stronger, so does her conviction that she must return to the Palace of Winds, face her twin and root out the treachery that began long before the first Trials started. 

The Kingdom of Eden is growing darker with each passing day. Brother and sister, former foes, must decide whether some betrayals cut too deep to be forgiven—and whether one will wear the crown or both will lose everything. 

Okaaaaay, so, the previous book I had a few issues with but the last part of the book blew me away and I was anticipating this book being a lot better than the first. That's partly true. I feel like the writing was a lot better this book, there was a lot more action and things going on and some brilliant plot twists. 

One of my main issues with this book is that I distinctly remember Andreus being a Class A douchebag and really unlikeable in the previous book. So I had zero sympathy for him in this book, and I actually still think he's an idiot. I still didn't really like him, he spent a lot of the book trying to work out who he can trust and still not entirely trusting Carys. So I couldn't really get behind the ending of the book.

Carys meanwhile, I feel, is a lot stronger than she was before. She's determined and she's struggling with her new power, but isn't letting it deter her and I fully applauded for her when she confronted Andreus. I do feel like she kind of took a backseat at points, and blokes did everything for her. While I did ship her with Errik, at the same time I don't think there was enough time spent on their romance. To be perfectly honest, she's with Errik and Garret at the beginning, then Garrett, then Errik miraculously shows up, and then Garret and Errik are both gone until they show up at the end. I just felt it was a bit strange in particular that Garret vanished until the end of the book. 

The world is fascinating and I'd love to know more about it, I wish we could have seen more of it. I wish we could have seen more of the monsters and spent more time dealing with all of that instead of Andreus's trust issues. I feel like this book had some pacing issues, and a few scenes seemed a bit random. While the pacing was a bit better this book, in contrast to the first book being quite slow, this one felt too fast with not enough things explained or expanded upon. 

While this may have been too fast paced at points, and some scenes where missing or not expanded upon that I felt should have been, there where some brilliant plot twists which made this a much more interesting read than the previous book. I'm not going to lie to you all though, the ending did really disappoint me. It felt a bit anti-climatic but I think mostly it was personal preference because of my dislike for the character, and I still couldn't bring myself to like him by the end of the book. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Review: Exile

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

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive. 

As you all are probably aware, Jurassic World 2 is going to be hitting the big screens this Summer, unfortunately I didn't get to be involved with the movie to my constant disappointment, BUT I did get to read the sequel to Extinction Trials! If you're a fan of Jurassic Park or eagerly awaiting the next Jurassic World need to get on this series! 

Huge Jurassic Park fan that I am....I freaking love dinosaurs and honestly...this is the only YA book I know of with dinosaurs in it, which I find ridiculous because how has no-one done dinosaurs before!? But The Extinction Trials kinda makes my life complete and brings dinosaurs to the YA genre perfectly! 

Both of our narrators, Lincoln and Storm, are back and they're still haunted by the island and what they went through there. Storm is now an aide to the Captain least on paper. But really she's mapping Piloria and telling him all she knows about the dinosaurs, while mourning the loss of Milo who's disappeared. Meanwhile Lincoln is working in the lab on the T-Rex virus, but the scientist in charge has them start investigating human DNA, in hopes of finding out more about the blistering plague...and a cure, when his daughter is struck with it. 

But that's just the start of everything. We have a new and rather unpleasant character in the form of Silas, who's after Reban's job and thanks to the DNA research he knows exactly how to get it. He's most certainly shady AF, and he's out to get Storm...or at least her father. I really don't like him, nor do I trust him. He decides it's time to crack out the dinosaur viruses and basically grabs and kidnaps all the previous finalists because they're getting a nice little return trip to Plioria to plant the virus and they don't have a lot of say in the matter. 

That does mean we get to see Leif again, and it was interesting to see the relationship between the three of them after the events of the previous book. They had to work at their friendship, but it was heart warming to see them working as a team again! Plus Leif and new character Jesa where totally cute together! Jesa is Blaine's daughter, oh yeah, his family is coming in to play in this book! I wasn't sure I liked her at first but I ended up loving her, she was scared but she persevered and she was actually kinda like Storm! Which is just as well because they buddy up! I'm hoping we get to see more of her in the next book! 

Reban was an interesting addition to the cast, I know he was in the last book but we didn't get to see much of him, and in this book we really get to know him and see what he's like. We also get to see him interacting with Storm, which was an interesting development and we learned a few revelations about Storm's family. I was rooting for him and Storm to establish some kind of relationship bt it was a tough road, I can't say I was surprised by Storm's decision at the end, but it's certainly opened up an interesting avenue for the next book!

I have to say, I do kind of ship Storm and Lincoln after this book. There's no more lies between them, and no-one's hiding anything and they gradually get back to a good place. They hit me in the feels more than once, but don't get me wrong...there's no glaring, in your face romance. The feelings and relationship are very subtle, it's only really with this book that I started to ship them in earnest! 

Exile has a steady pace, the first half has us getting to grips with how things are in the aftermath of the previous book, meeting some shady characters and getting clued in that something is going on...something possibly not quite right, as well as some clues about a potential cure. 

The second half of the book sees us back on Piloria, and the author really comes through for us, hitting us with some new dinosaurs, including my favourite from Jurassic Park, although I doubt I'll cackle quite so much at that scene after reading about them in this book. You know the one....the dude that totally deserves it at the beginning of the movie....

Exile gives us some new characters, some interesting and hopefully coming in to play in the next book and some shady, we're also provided with some new plot openings, and plot threads to carry on in the next book, as well as having some from the last book carried on and expanded upon. There's action, danger and adventure and we're left, once again, wanting more. Things are starting to head in a certain direction, one that might not be so good for the dinosaurs and I'm excited to see how it plays out...not to be mean to the dinosaurs or anything! 

This is one of my favourite new series, I have to say, I mostly love this series because it's like a YA Jurassic Park mixed with the Hunger Games, although this book has none of the Hunger Games vibe of the previous one. This one lets us explore the science and Piloria more, as well as the dinosaurs. Like I said...there aren't enough YA books about dinosaurs, and this has such a brilliant mix of elements to it, it keeps drawing you in, and Piloria is a very vivid place. The mystery, and the foreboding, and the danger and tension...and the whole "what happens next?!" of it all keeps you hooked in to the story! 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Review: Olivia Twist

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

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future. 

I so, so love books set in the Victorian era, and this sounded like such a blast! I forever have memories of the musical....the movie....and the Disney movie drifting through my head, and I feel like this is kind of a post Oliver Twist thing but I haven't actually read the actual book so I'm not 100% sure. Either way, this is the kind of book I pick up and devour and love, and I freaking love this version of Oliver Twist! I really loved how the story and characters where twisted to fit the narrative! 

I loved Olivia, she's headstrong and capable and she stands her ground. I loved her attitude and her sass, she had me chuckling. But she also had such a kind heart too, looking after the orphans and so on. She's a socialite by day and she runs around London dressed as a boy at night! She can be sophisticated when she needs to be, but she's also street smart too. 

Jack/Dodger...he's the dashing criminal, let's be real. He's my adorable little cinnamon roll, and he has his vulnerable moments...but then he's also a badass thief who can casually take out three dudes with a brolly and his fists. He's trying to fit in with Society and the toffs, and he was such a fun character. I loved him, and I couldn't not ship he and Olivia...I'm not going to lie. 

I really loved the romance between the two of them, it gave me the warm and fuzzies, and it had me shrieking and squealing throughout the book! I shipped them so freaking hard, and I was rooting for them, and the contrast between the love interest was so very obvious. This was literally everything you need in a good historical romance! 

As for the other characters...I didn't want to like Topher at first but as Jack said....he grew on me and provided the odd chuckle too. I really liked Vi too and...oh look, Langdon provided me another ship to ship! 

I loved Langdon's writing style, it was period appropriate without being overly stodgy! Plus there was no over blown cockney phrasing continuously which as a Londoner...has made me cringe hardcore in other books! The writing was enough to aid in painting the picture of the setting and helped to draw you in to this London. 

Olivia Twist is fast paced, with a nice amount of action mixed in with the fancy parties and the cute fluffy moments with the romance! Sure some things where a little bit convenient towards the end, but it was a fun and entertaining read. I found myself chuckling and getting completely swept away with the story! I really loved how the romance was done, it along with some of the tense scenes had my heart racing! I'm hoping for more in this genre from Langdon!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Review: Aru Shah and The End of Time

Aru Shah and the End of Time
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from their latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

Okay folks, you need to read this book! If you loved Roshani's other books...if you love Percy need to read this! I think I've been anticipating this book since sometime last year or so? I remember stumbling across it on GoodReads and it didn't even have a cover or a proper synopsis but I needed it so badly and I finally got a copy in my hands and I read it in one sitting because it was so good!

I really loved our MC Aru, and I really felt for her too. She was trying to fit in at school, which was a place full of rich and snobby people, FYI. So she told the odd lie to try and fit in with the popular people. Who hasn't, let's be real. I really rooted for her, and she definitely gains confidence over the course of the book, and she actually has to kinda look out for Mini a bit too! I liked seeing her journey throughout the book, coming to terms with herself and who she is now and so on. She's scared...but that doesn't stop her. I love her narrative voice, and so she was so hello Instagram Algorithm that's ruining Bookstagram for everyone...Aru knows. 

I wasn't too sure about Mini at first, but she was actually a lot of fun with her knowledge and her whole "and you COULD DIE" thing. I found her to be quite relatable too, she was also scared, but I really loved watching Mini and Aru bond, and become friends and, well, sisters, and work together to get the job done. I'm looking forward to seeing more of their interactions in the future! 

Along with our girls, we had Subala, their trusty pigeon sidekick who was funny and kind of ridiculous at the same time. There was much snort laughing! We unfortunately also had Arielle, Poppy and Burton, no more of them please. Such nasty children. I've never wanted to punch a fictional 12 year old before. 

We also had an array of Gods and Goddesses and I freaking loved it. You guys know me, I live for mythology and Gods and Godesses, I want to know aaaaallll about them and I'll read anything with mythology..hence you know...why I wanted to read this book! That and well...Roshani was the author so...double need. But the Gods and Goddesses where entertaining, particularly Urvashi and I loved getting to know them and learn about them through Aru! 

Aru Shah and the End of Time is just...amazing. It's got a brilliantly fast pace, you can breeze through this book in one I did because I have no self control. There's plenty of action and humour to go with the mythology, the perfect combination of three of my favourite things in a book! I really, really, loved all the mythology! It was fascinating to read about and it's made me curious to know more so I'm definitely looking forward to Aru's next adventure! 

I don't usually go for Middle Grade, because I'm quite picky, but Aru Shah was a lot of fun, the characters are relatable, and easy to root for as well as being entertaining!'s a freaking hilarious read, and it's definitely one for Rick Riordan fans! Aru Shah also leaves you wanting a hell of a lot more, as it ends on a high with a nice little cliffhanger that simultaneously makes you chuckle...but also go..."GIMME THE NEXT BOOK NOW!". 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Blog Tour: Ace of Shades

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

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

I am so excited to be part of this blog tour! As you guys probably know, I freaking loved Daughter of the Burning City and I'd been looking forward to it since the previous year....I've been looking forward to Ace of Shades for nearly as long! Since before it had a cover or a synopsis on GoodReads in fact! Considering how much I loved Daughter of the Burning City, I became even more excited for Ace of Shades....I was expecting brilliant things from it....and I wasn't disappointed. 

Ace of Shades grabs you from the start. Seriously, the opening line is not here to play. I was immediately drawn in to the book by the was fascinating and original and the world building was done perfectly. We got plenty of information on the world from Levi and from Enne's handy guidebook. Plus it was concise and to the point, while still painting a vivid and atmospheric picture. I have a certain aesthetic in my head for this book now! 

Ace of Shades has two narrators, Enne and Levi and I loved both of them! Enne...I had to admire her determination to go to New Reynes and find her mother. She didn't give up, she didn't quit no matter how scary the situation got. She adapted and she changed and I feel like she became a stronger character by the end of the book, she certainly wasn't the same Enne that we met at the beginning of the book, she became quite the rebellious badass and she's not about to take anyone's crap. She goes on quite the journey throughout the book and she gets more...interesting, shall we say? At least concerning her history. I loved her attitude too, she gave as good as she got to Levi and the others! 

As for Levi, he's the kind of unscrupulous, Kaz Brekker kinda character that I love. He's kind of not one of the good guys, he does some bad things, but you love him anyway because he's charming and amusing, but also kind of sweet and protective when he wants to be. Not to mention he's not afraid to show that he's scared which was interesting to me. Plus, to be fair to him, he did try to help Enne as best he could, and he genuinely cares about the Irons...he's just gotten himself in to a tricky situation he can't quite extract himself from. I really felt for him, and I was rooting for him! Interestingly, with Levi we get some diverse, LGBTQ rep, as he's bi and a PoC, which made a nice change for me! I can't speak to the accuracy but I enjoyed seeing some Bi representation in this book, and I'd been hoping for it considering Amanda's previous book, she doesn't shy away from LGBTQ representation!

I'm not going to lie to you guys, I do kinda ship Enne and Levi quite a lot, I loved the chemistry between the two of them, and their relationship and interactions. It was always entertaining and was quite the game to watch! Along with our main characters, we have Jac, who's Levi's bestie and second in command and I'm reaaaallly curious about him. I have a little suspicion about him, that I'm waiting to see if it's right! Reymond was shady at first, but was actually quite fun for as long as he was present in the story. And then we have Lola, I really liked her, and I was curious about her past. There's a lot of potential with her and her brother that I'm excited to see play out! 

I really enjoyed the dynamics between Enne, Levi, Lola and Jac, their interactions where humorous and the building friendships between them all was brilliantly done. They're another little rag tag group for me to get behind and cheer for! 

Ace of Shades is fast paced, and the world is vivid and atmospheric as is to be expected from Amanda, as well as original and a lot of fun. I was completely fascinated by the history of the world, and the magic system with the talents. There where so many and they where so original and fun to read about! I really am in love with Amanda's writing style, I ended up fully immersed in the world thanks to the world building! I had such a clear, gritty picture of the scenes and settings, like a little movie was playing out for me. I really felt like I was in the book with the characters. 

Amanda's prose was laced with subtle terms and phrases linked with gambling/Vegas/cards that kind of thing, that I felt really helped set the tone and scene, and pull you in. The slang words kind of put me in mind of the 20's/30's too, which was an interesting twist! The characters where interesting, I feel like they're kinda morally grey, shall we say. I mean...they do some things they probably shouldn't do but they do kinda have reasons for it. I found them interesting because of it, and Levi even called them the villains at one point, which I think was a bit extra of him, do you Levi. 

Ace of Shades has plenty of action that has you on the edge of your seat, not to mention the card games! I was tense for the entire end of the book, I'm not going to lie! The character development is brilliant, the plot twists have you shrieking and it's all just getting started. I see this book as the first act, and judging by the end of the book...the second one is going to be even more mind blowing! I'm looking forward to seeing the history and talents expanded on more, and seeing what happens to my precious little cinnamon rolls! 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Manga: Again!! 2

Again!! Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Kinichiro's traveled back in time, and whether this is reality or just an incredibly realistic dream, he's doing high school all over again. He's decided that bringing the school's ouendan cheer squad back from the brink of dissolution is the key to a better high school life, but it might take some begging to get there. Kinichiro's not much good at begging--but a former Ouendan member known as the "Master of Groveling" might be able to pull it off... 

With this volume, Imamura is out to get all the former members back and they're an...interesting bunch. You could also use the word....lively I think. One member in particular, Okuma "the master of grovelling" was pretty hilarious and he drops some serious curse words. Like....seriously. He was better than sexist shouty dude though. 

Interestingly Imamura finds himself having to deal with something he's never experienced before.....friends. Imamura didn't have any friends the first time he did high school, but now he's found himself with a little group. He's definitely making the most of his second chance even if it is kind of by accident, but there's a question about where it's going to go from here. The Ouendan club has been what happens next? 

I have to say, I'm actually feeling really sorry for Aki, and I kinda cringe when I see her doing something she shouldn't be doing, like "noooooo don't stalk him! Don't do that! STOP!". She's having such a crap time. She got pulled along with Imamura, but she's having a worse time than she did the first time. I'm kind of rooting for her to get back on track!

I have to say, this volume was quite heart warming at points, and I'm loving the pace of the story so far. The art is brilliant, and I'm finding it really interesting getting to know about Ouendan and how Japanese high schools work and like I the Ouendan's back together...are they going to stay together? Are Imamura and Aki going to make it back home? I'm hoping we'll get to see more of Aki and things going well for her! 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Manga: In/Spectre 7

In/Spectre Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Both touched by spirits called yokai, Kotoko and Kuro have gained unique superhuman powers. But to gain her powers Kotoko has given up an eye and a leg, and Kuro's personal life is in shambles. So when Kotoko suggests they team up to deal with renegades from the spirit world, Kuro doesn't have many other choices, but Kotoko might just have a few ulterior motives...

Man I've missed this series! I wasn't sure how this volume was going to go after things wrapped up in the last volume, but it was such a fun volume to get the series going again! I seriously, so badly ship Kuro and Kotoko and it was interesting seeing their relationship from someone else's perspective in the first chapter! On the one hand I kind of long for fluff with the two of them, but on the other...the relationship they have fits the two of them, and is kinda cute in it's own way. I mean Kuro was worried in his own little way, which was sweet and it was like "ah you do care, bless"and it does seem almost like he doesn't care sometimes. 

This volume gives us another fascinating murder mystery with plenty of different theories that Kotoko talks us through and dismisses or pokes holes in as is her custom. I really love the way she presents all the options and then tears them down, and I love how its portrayed in the manga.  With the final chapter it was fun to see someone else do the deducing and Kotoko take a backseat for that final chapter. It was a fun little twist. 

While there isn't much action this volume, there's a lot of mystery and deductions as well as funny scenes and interactions between Kotoko and Kuro! I feel like after the Steel Lady Nanase case, this is a nice little volume to bridge the gap for whatever story arc is coming our way next! 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Manga: Fairy Tail S 2

Fairy Tail S Vol 2
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The guild members of Fairy Tail, everyone's favorite magic-wielding heroes, are back for another round of adventures--this time featuring even more mysteries, magic, and fun than ever before. What would the Fairy Tail gang be like if they went to a modern-day high school, or lived on Earth Land in 10,000 BC? And when Natsu, Lucy, and Happy encounter some unfamiliar faces, will it lead to new friendships, or foes? Find out in this final volume containing nine fun Fairy Tail stories! 

This volume kinda lessens the sting of the ending of the series...although we are getting a spin off manga apparently so that's good right?! You guys know I freaking love Fairy's my favourite, like my complete and utter favourite, and I live for these S volumes because they're freaking hilarious! Unfortunately...this is the last Fairy Tail S volume! 

This volume gives us a High School AU, we get a look around Fairy Hills, there's a very familiar chapter from early on in the anime involving a certain tree....a collaboration with Rave Master (I still reaaaaally want to read that series but it's out of print *ugly sobs*). Erza tries her hand at being a superhero, there's a crossover with Parasyte (haven't seen this series before at all but it was certainly interesting), and a Stone Age AU inspired by Mashima's Twitter drawings that you guys might remember! I have to say...that story in particular while hilarious isn't strictly PG I guess you could say...but it made me cackle more than once! 

Fairy Tail S Vol 2 is another fun volume, that lets us get to see the characters in new and interesting situations as well as showing us more of the characters and the world of Fairy Tail. A few of the chapters have been seen in the anime, or in the OVA's, but this volume has a couple that I personally haven't seen before! The characters are expanded on, as is their backgrounds and there's plenty of humour and fun! Perfect to read if you're missing the main series! 

Review: The Prophecy

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

History is on repeat…

Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that's standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them -- without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him -- everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…

Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best -- and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she's not fighting just for herself -- she's fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled….

So, I've simultaneously been looking forward to this book and dreading it because you's the last book in the damn series and I knew it was going to hit me in the feels, and I wasn't looking forward to saying goodbye to Alex and Seth and all the other characters....again. But for good this time....I think? 

The thing I love about these books are how freaking hilarious they are. I love the humour and I love how snarky Seth is, he and Alex have some brilliant one liners and I find myself chuckling away. I'm always thoroughly entertained when I read one of these books and this one's no different. Thank the Gods for the humour in this book because it offset the heartbreak the book caused me! 

My little ship of Cora and Gable started to sail, I loved the two of them, they where so sweet! I just wished we'd gotten to see more of them and their relationship but it was all mostly off screen! Cora made me chuckle at one point though when she was adjusting to her new life! We got one new character in this book, Erik, I felt kinda bad but I really didn't like him. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with him because he didn't seem trustworthy but he didn't actually do anything and now I ship he and Erin, and I have a burning need to see their relationship so if Jennifer feels like doing a spin off...I'm so ready for it! 

Now, I love Jennifer's books, I really do, they're my favourites and they always brighten my mood but I have to say a couple of things that bugged me about the book, and I really hate to do this but I can't gloss over them because she's my favourite author. So, I feel like a few things where a wee bit rushed towards the end, like I said, a couple of the couples where largely off screen and I kept waiting for Erik to do something because he seemed kinda ominous with the whole Ares thing...but nothing came of it. Then they spent all that time collecting the demigods...but they didn't actually do anything either. I'm hoping that maybe in the future there might be something to do with them. Although it was kinda funny watching Alex and co sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing for once! 

My other issue is a personal one, and like, it's probably an unpopular opinion but I absolutely hate it when the happy ending involves a baby, like I rolled my eyes so hard when that reveal with Josie happened at the end of the last book and it really disappointed me, and then this book it was all baby this and baby that, and I was a bit know...why does a happy ending have to involve a baby? Like that's not how it is for everyone and it seemed a bit generic and I wasn't really here for it. BUT I guess I do see why it was necessary now considering the reveal at the end! 

Anywaaaaaays, I forever love Deacon and Luke, they crack me up. Plus their interactions and banter with Seth, Alex and Aiden...all of their interactions with each other actually, hit me right in the feels and cracked me up and aaaah the feels! Not to mention this book really shows how far Seth has come as a character, and his relationships with both Alex and Aiden have developed more too! 

There's plenty of action and plot twists as is to be expected from Jennifer, and I have to say, after some heart wrenching moments that had me second guessing everything...the series wrapped up really nicely! I really liked how everything ended. I'm so sad to leave this world once again though, and let's face it...this is probably the last Covenant series...right? RIGHT?!

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