Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Review: The Mortal Word

The Mortal Word 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A corrupt countess
A spy in danger
And an assassin at large

The fifth title in Genevieve Cogman's witty and wonderful Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word is a rollicking literary adventure.

Peace talks are always tricky, especially when a key diplomat gets stabbed. This rudely interrupts a top-secret summit between the warring dragons and Fae. As a neutral party, Librarian-spy Irene is summoned to investigate. She must head to a version of 1890s Paris, with her assistant Kai and her detective friend Vale, where these talks are fracturing. Here, she must get to the bottom of the attack – before either the peace negotiations or the city go up in flames.

Suspicions fly thick and fast and Irene soon finds herself in the seedy depths of the Parisian underworld. She’s on the trail of a notoriously warlike Fae, the Blood Countess. However, the evidence against the Countess is circumstantial. Could the killer be a member of the Library itself?

My favourite series is baaaacccck with a new book! I LOVE this series, and I say it every time but it's true. I anticipate each book, and get super excited for them and then sit and binge read the new one when it comes out. It never disappoints me, it's a series that is consistently strong in everything, and gets better and better. You have no idea how stoked I was that I got to read this when I got back from Paris! 

The opening? Well in this episode of "worlds in this series I'd like to spend more time in" we find ourselves in the dark and dim Germanic world going after witches. I'm sure you can guess what happened to Irene. I have to say I could picture the entire scene so clearly and I was chuckling away...but also signing in contentment to be back in this series and thoroughly pulled back in to the world. 

I love how Cogman creates such intriguing and fun openings that pull you in...then dives straight in tot he plot of the story. This time round we've got a good old murder mystery set against the backdrop of a Paris that's dealing with a huge anarchist threat and both the Fae and the Dragons are involved. 

I loved how Cogman built up this Paris around you, setting an atmospheric scene that enveloped you and took you away from the real world. I loved the Countess and the mythology behind her, I was kicking myself for not figuring out who she was sooner. I also enjoyed getting to see equal amounts of Fae and dragons, and the Fae had interesting archetypes to follow too! 

We meet Mu Dan in this book, she's the dragon investigator and I loved her even though I was lowkey suspicious of her at one point! I was so here for the team up between her and Irene, and I'm really hoping we get to see them working together again! We also get to see a tonne more of Vale this book, and he has a mini team up with Kai. I was actually a bit sad we didn't get more of the two of them working together, but Vale is definitely at his best! 

Of course, we also have Silver too. Before he was revealed I was sitting there like "don't say it, don't say it...damn". My issue with his character is that I so badly want to hate him, but I oddly kind of love his character and I really loved getting to see him and spend more time with him in this book, and see him interact some more with Irene, Vale and Kai. 

Cogman delivers another excellent instalment in this series, with a steady pace that brilliantly builds up the plot and brings more and more elements and clues and red herrings in to it, and keeps you guessing as the pace builds up to the final few chapters. I loved the murder mystery, Poirot kind of feel to this one, and all the suspects and clues thrown at us, and I was coming up with some crazy theories....and of course I was wrong. But this book also switches things up a bit with the series, as we have the creation of the Embassy that Irene is going to be working at. I am so intrigued to see how things are going to change, and what kind of challenges Irene is going to face through this new development! 

Manga: Boarding School Juliet 3

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

After Persia is saboaged by the scheming Aby, Inuzuka is desperate to help her recover her reputation--but one wrong move and he'll ruin his own. Then, once the sports festival is over, a series of mishaps brings Inuzuka to the attention of the prefects, the school's most powerful students! 

As you can imagine from the synopsis we have the conclusion of the sports festival arc in this volume and holy shhhhhhh, Inuzuka and Maru actually team up and work together?! I've been so ready for them to take Aby down, to be honest, and while Inuzuka does get his badass moment...he also loses his position as leader of the Black Doggies. Although I'm still unsure how he even got the job in the first place! 

As for Persia, we've already seen her feelings develop a lot and the fact that she wanted to be MVP to dance with Inuzuka shows that even more, not to mention the chapter following it when she looks after him. I'm liking getting to see her feelings grow and develop more, and it's been very clear throughout the volumes and well done. 

Interestingly, we get to take a look at the hierarchy of the Black Doggies as we meet a couple of the Prefects, Teria and Kocho. They also make an interesting point that could be a hint for the direction the story is going to go in. I have to say, it's a nice chance for us to see another side to Romio, along with Persia too! Although they did irritate me by digging through his stuff but plot progression so I'll let it slide. 

I also need to mention the fact that after getting to spend some more time with Char in this volume...I'm actually coming to really like her! As well as watching her and Romio come to an understanding. I am pleased they're not taking it in a romantic direction with the two of them though, because at one point I did have that fear. 

While there's plenty of fun in this volume, it also gave me a huge sense of foreboding because ever since meeting the Prefects...I had the horrible feeling Persia and Romio where going to get found out and then it turns out that Romio's older brother is the Head Prefect of the Black Doggies. it was quite the shock reveal...along with serving to deepen my sense of foreboding because it was pretty obvious they aren't close. 

Honestly, Romio's brother is a bit of an a-hole. When we got to see the relationship between them and the flashbacks I was like woah. Like....he's evil. Romio's brother appears to be the next big obstacle he and Persia will have to overcome in the next volume and it's possible he might get some evidence and reveal Romio and Persia...he does already have his suspicions. At this point I am kind of hoping the manga will go in the direction the Prefects hinted at...especially as I feel like Romio is going to have to do some growing up to get there. 

Volume 3 has a light and humorous start to the volume that then progresses and gets more serious as it does so, as Romio and Persia are facing their biggest obstacle yet. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Review: Vengeful

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

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she's finally gained the control she's always sought-and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She'll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.
With Marcella's rise, new enmities create opportunity-and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning. 
This review is quite late, and in truth it's because I've been debating what to rate this book and trying to decide just how I feel about it. You guys know that I really love Victoria's books and I really, really loved Vicious...which makes me feel so awful about giving this book only 3.5 stars but I have to be honest. 
The start of the book, for me, was explosive and enticing and pulled me back in to the world and everything came flooding back from the last book. I really do love the storytelling for this series, switching back and forth through time and POV's helps to keep your interest and keep you intrigued and wanting to know what happens next. I also feel like it makes the book feel a bit more fast paced, even when nothing much is happening, plus we get to dip in and out of the characters and their backstories and see how they got their powers. In short I feel like it's a brilliant way of showing us the character's pasts, without sacrificing the pace and the plot. 
We have Victor trying to find a cure for his little...problem and suffering with it. Sydney is feeling guilty about what she did to Victor but she also knows he killed a certain person and she starts to befriend June. June...honestly I didn't really trust her from the start. I thought it was odd that she decided to be BFFS with Syd and I'm still not sure why she did. I just figured she was trying to get her away from Victor, but he's my little cinnamon roll okay, and whatever she was thinking, she was wrong! Either way she was on board with Marcella's plot and I just side yeed her more and more, and I'm actually sad we didn't get to find out more about her. 
As for Marcella, I actually felt for her and was like "yaaaas girl, get your revenge!". I got where she was coming from, and I did actually like her, but at the same time I was like "oh honey, don't do it because EON will come for your ass". By the end though, I was actually team Kill Marcella because she was gunning for Sydney and I wasn't having that. 
Interestingly we get a lot of Eli's background this time round, and see some of the events of the last book from his POV. But we delve deeper into his character and while I don't hate him as much as I did before....I still don't particularly like him. And once again we get to see our faves from the previous book, plus we get a whole new host of characters that are as equally morally grey.  
My issue is that I just didn't enjoy this one as much as Vicious, and it reached a point halfway through when it was a struggle to pick up the book and keep reading and I would procrastinate from reading. I felt like it was a bit slower, and the action wasn't really there until the end. We did build up to it nicely however, with threads being woven in, and things explained and set up for the big final event, but we had so many side characters and some of them, like June, I don't feel where delved in to properly. Like I said, her motivation for me is still a question. And while I thought it was fun to get these new characters and see more EO's....a lot of them I just wasn't particularly interested in and as much as I enjoyed Marcella and June....I wanted to get back to Victor and Eli. 
The ending in general was an issue for me too, because I was left with question, and I just wasn't satisfied with the ending at all. I don't know whether it was just me, or what, but I just didn't love this one as much as the first book and I went in to this one fully expecting to give it 5 stars and be raving about it but it was just...a bit of a struggle towards the middle part.     

Manga: The Seven Deadly Sins 29

The Seven Deadly Sins Vol 29 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Having had his emotions robbed by the Demon Lord, Merlin and the rest of The Seven Deadly Sins confine Meliodas in an effort to control his Demon power and return him to his old self. With their fearless leader out of commission, Diane, King, and Gowther head to Camelot to free the people from The Ten Commandments' control. Meanwhile, the Demon Lord orders The Ten Commandments to recapture Meliodas, bringing Meliodas face-to-face with his old master: Chandler, the Pacifier Demon! 
As is becoming usual with these volumes lately, we launch straight in with action as we finish off the battle that we ended the last volume on. I have to say, things have definitely taken an interesting turn now, Meliodas is out of the running and so is Escanor so it looks like we'll be getting to see more of Diane, King and Gowther. Plus we finally get to catch up with Arthur and what's happening with him....which is that he's found a minion of Merlin's?! Two more enemies also pop up as Zeldris has got to new allies. It would seem we've had a bit of a switch up when it comes to sides after the recent events and battles. 
Most of this volume is taken up by a massive battle, we have the Sins fighting against Chandler, who's Meliodas' teacher and is trying to take him back on the orders of the Demon King. It's nice to see everyone getting a chance to shine this volume. Particularly when the focus is usually on Meliodas and his badass-ness. I'm also liking the sense of jeopardy we have, not knowing who'll die if anyone. 
Volume 29 is another fast paced volume, with a little throwback and a couple of interesting tidbits dropped including something to do with Merlin's past and where exactly Gil is. There's plenty of action and incredibly bad odds that only get worse towards the end, where we're left on a cliffhanger waiting to see if the Sins will triumph! I mean....we all know they probably will but still!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Manga: Wotakoi 3

Wotakoi: Love is Hard For Otaku Vol 3 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Narumi and Hirotaka are, by all appearances, a power couple. They're young, good-looking professionals. But they have secrets from everyone but each other: They're serious geeks! Narumi is a fujoshi, and Hirotaka's a hardcore gamer. Their sweet, awkward love story started life as a webcomic before becoming a full-blown manga series by popular demand, and is about to become a major anime series!

Volume 3, in case you weren't aware, is actually volumes 5 and 6 and with that many volumes it was about time our characters started to change right? I really loved that this volume let us see the subtle changes in Hirotaka in particular, since he started his relationship with Narumi. He willingly goes to a movie with her, even though he doesn't like them. He puts on a Yukata and goes to a festival with her on a double date with Koyanagi and Kabakura. He also proves how well he knows her more than once too, and expertly reflects inquiries about whether he and Narumi are dating. He's basically on point in every way, and I think it's safe to say we ship the correct OTP. Hirotaka even got his own little heroic moment too thanks to the gross dude who wouldn't take a hint. 

There are a few ominous mentions of Naoya not acting himself that piqued my interest and had me a little bit worried for the poor kid. finally happens. He finds out about Ko, and it's so cute. I really am rooting for the two of them okay, this series is one giant ship fest for me. I did really like getting to see he and Ko and everyone hanging out together too, it's something I've been excited for and this volume delivers! 

I also particularly liked how the second half of the volume was done, switching between the cute little scenes and the company vacation! It kept it fresh and kept me intrigued by switching things up! 

Volume 3 is another nicely paced volume with the usual humour and relatable content! I liked seeing Narumi branch out in to cosplay, and I liked that the focus was on Hirotaka a bit more in this volume, and showing how he's grown as a character. Plus this volume showed us that they seem to be more comfortable as a couple now! 

Monday, 31 December 2018

GUEST POST: Brenda Drake!

Aaah you guys I'm so excited! 
Today, I get to have Brenda Drake on my blog chatting about her inspiration for her books and I just...I can't even right now. I LOVE Brenda's books so much, her Library Jumpers series was so original and so much fun, so hard to put down and just...her imagination is insane okay. Don't believe me? Well she's got a brand new book coming out...TOMORROW, Analiese Rising, and it sounds amazing. Like...*intense grabby hands*
Get's the Da Vinci Code meets American Gods, it's the suspense-filled first book in a new fantasy series, giving us a new take on the paranormal romance genre because...finally it's buh-bye vampires and werewolves, and hello descendants of the God of Death. Just my cup of tea.
Check out the synopsis: 

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man's grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list. 

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you. 

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world...from herself.

....GIVE. IT. TO. ME. NOW. Am I right?! 

Without further ado, I'm going to move along from raving about Brenda to Brenda's guest post! I had to ask her about her inspiration for her books because every time I read them I'm mind blown by the imagination she has and I'm forever curious about how she dreams all of these brilliant ideas up! This is what she had to say....


For me, inspiration happens from the things around me. I get many ideas from just a simple item. Like with the Library Jumpers series, the idea came from a coffee table book on the most beautiful libraries in the world. As I scanned the photographs, I wanted to jump into the pages and visit each one, which sparked the idea for the Library Jumpers. I imagined battles with knights and creatures fighting among the bookcases. I bought the book, hurried home, and started plotting the first book in the series. 

I got the inspiration for the Fated series during a tarot card reading in New Orleans. I imagined someone being able to change anyone's fate with a touch of a tarot card and the Layne sisters' stories were born. 

The idea for Thunderstruck sprouted out of my love for mythology. While watching American Gods on Stars one day, I wanted to explore the many different mythologies around the world, and that's how I got the idea for Analiese Rising. It was great fun coming up with gods and goddesses for the book. Taking from mythology and placing the gods and goddesses in our times. Discovering their personalities, though influenced by old text, were unique for today. I wanted to explore that. Explore who each god was if I dropped them into the 21st century and took away their powers. 

Inspiration can come in many forms like a simple item around the house, a movie or show, or a person you meet. Being aware, watching and listening to the people and things around you can bring about a wealth of ideas and spark a great story from something as simple as a coffee table book.


Thank you so much to Brenda for taking the time out to to create this guest post for me, not only has she told us all about her inspiration but I actually feel inspired to get out there and wait for something to inspire me! Also huge thanks to Entangled for letting me take part! 
Like I said, I love Brenda's books and I will promote them with my dying breath, if you're looking for fun, original reads with romance and action and heaps of strong female leads, Brenda is the author for you! Library Jumpers is my personal favourite...but then it was my first ever book of hers! Pleaaaase check out Analiese Rising, I can promise you all it's a cracking book! 

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother's animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she's not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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