Thursday, 25 August 2016

Sneak Peek: The Song Rising

Hey guys! 
I've got some really exciting news...I'm one of the new Bone Season Advocates! I'm genuinely so excited because I really didn't think I'd get chosen so it made my day when I found out! I'm excited to get to share some Bone Season love around and hit you guys with exclusive sneak peeks and so on! Which brings me to todays blog post! 

I've been given an exclusive sneak peek of The Song Rising to share with you all, as have the other BSA's! I'm posting mine today to grab any stragglers who've missed the posts from the past couple days! This takes place right after The Mime Order and I can't even. I really can't! Prepare yourselves! 

*Warning: Spoilers ahead! If you haven't read The Mime Order OR Bone Season...you're gonna get spoiled if you keep reading!* 

If you haven't read either...what are you waiting for?! 

So....I give you...the Prelude to The Song Rising!




Don't forget if you have the previous editions of The Bone Season books you can buy the signed Collectors Edition pictured above, that will match! 







Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Wishing For Wednesday #98

Hey guys! 
It's Wednesdaaaay again and I totally forgot to do this last week because I suck, my bad! This week I've got two reads I know you guys are going to be really excited for! 
First up is a book that goes with one of my favourite trilogies and I can't wait to get it and read it and I'll probably save it for Halloween because you know...spooky! 
Second is one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I'm 99% sure it's in the same category for you guys! I cannot wait to get my hands on this and I'm jealous of everyone who already has it because it's so freaking huge and I just NEED IT. 

Tales of The Peculiar 

Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar. Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson, this compelling, rich, and truly peculiar anthology is the perfect gift for not only fans, but for all lovers of great storytelling.
 



Tales of The Peculiar is out September 6th, pre-order your copy....here
Add it to your TBR...here

Empire of Storms

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Empire of Storms is out September 6th, pre-order your copy....here
Add it to your TBR...here

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Review: Summer Shadows


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

Summer lives under a terrible shadow. It drains her, manipulates her and threatens to steal her future.

A high-stakes mission offers a temporary escape. She must use her mind-shadowing abilities to hunt down her target and find the truth.

Hal Robinson is a soldier. He does not get distracted. He wins. But what Hal wants begins to shift once he meets Summer.

They must learn to trust each other if they are going to protect the Savant community. But will their secrets allow them to find a happy ending of their own?
 


Okay, so on the downside, this is the final Benedict Brothers book which sucks because I'm going to miss the world! On the plus not only is it the perfect ending, but it's the story we've all been waiting for...Victors. Poor old Victor finally gets happy ending you guys and I couldn't help but cheer a little bit! I've been so excited for this book, but also kind of dreading it because you know...final book! I stalked Joss's GoodReads page when I finished and there are no other books, not even for the Struck series :'( ANYWAY...

I felt for Summer, as we've seen her in the other books she's been a fantastic friend and she's also been shrouded in mystery, I wasn't really sure what to expect from Summer and what was going on with her but I was surprised and intrigued by the angle it took. She has an incredibly sucky home life, her father may love her, but he also puts a lot on her and manipulates her. Her mother is an addict of sorts and her brother can't control his gift and it upsets him to the extent he doesn't want Summer near him seeing inside his head. I actually felt sorry for her brother and for the rest of her family as well as for Summer. Summer was a brilliant character, she just does so much for everyone else and wants to help and she was relatable on the book front. She loves to read and I loved all of her references, like Hal says, she's like a walking encyclopaedia and I loved how intelligent she was. 

Hal was hilarious, he got Summer's back up straight away and brought out her bratty side. As Summer observes, he's kind of like Marcus and Angel, flaring up with a temper and then shaking it off and putting his point forward calmly, he's like a male version of Angel and he was the perfect match for Summer. She knows all the literary type things, and he knows everything she doesn't like Disney and so on. He was adorable when he was looking after Summer making sure she ate and everything, but he was also kind of a jerk a points. A loveable one but still! To put it in perspective, Summer calls him a rough squaddie, and he calls her Made in Chelsea! 

I loved the way the books went, in each book there's something a little different about the romance and the obstacles and I was curious to see what it was in this one. In Summer Shadows we get a Savant who's parentage means that other Savants would treat them differently, not want to be involved with them, maybe not able to have a soulfinder. I was expecting it to be more of an issue than it was, but, then, I couldn't see one of the characters letting it happen! We also have another rare Savant. I thought it was interesting to see the dynamics between the two and how they overcame everything, in Angel Dares there was a pretty big obstacle and Marcus didn't really handle things all that well but in this, Hal knows all about Savants so he wasn't as....freaked as Marcus, shall we say! 

Speaking of, I got to see all my faves and I loved seeing Marcus and Angel again! After how they struggled in Angel Dares and how they didn't really fix things until right at the end..I was excited to see them in this book, and see the two of them together, happy and with everything sorted out, and Marcus making use of his Gift and joining in the action! 

There's obviously the usual suspects in this, Mist and Alex, Victor obviously because he's finally getting his happy ending and man was it satisfying! Even if we don't see all of the Benedicts, they all are mentioned at one point or other and all help out and it was brilliant! There's also a load of old and familiar faces making an appearance from various other books from the series! All the big guns came out in this one! 

We also get a lot of new characters introduced. Last book we had Kurt who I want to get his story! But then I want more Savants in general. So. Yeah. This book we get Hal's brothers, and another Savant family and I'm like...but there's so many more stories to be told! I'm kind of hoping that while the Benedicts series might be over, we get some more Savants books because I seriously love this world, and Joss's writing and the books are ones that I re-read over and over again and they always provide a pick me up! Plus, you can't just introduce us to the Robinsons, Hal and his two brothers, and not give us Lucas and Scott's stories! 

Summer Shadows is not only a much awaited story, but it's the perfect ending to the series. Everyone's got their happy endings, we get to see everyone one last time, and a lot of story threads are wrapped up, including one from Stealing Phoenix. It's a very satisfying read! I read this in one sitting, it's not hard to do, I pretty much always read these books in one sitting instead of savouring them like I should, I just have no self control when it comes to these books! Summer Shadows, and all of the books in this series, are easy, fun reads that bring the warm and fuzzies along with the action and adventure and keep you reading in anticipation. 


Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: Duskfall


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

Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl. Winter, a seemingly quiet young fisherman’s daughter, harbours a secret addiction that threatens to destroy her. A young priestess, Cinzia, must face a long journey home to protect her church from rebellion. A rebellion sparked by her sister.

Three characters on different paths will be brought together by fate on one thrilling and perilous adventure.
 


I am a HUGE fantasy fan and Titan always deliver for me, and I was really excited to read this because it sounded completely awesome. For me, this book was incredibly mixed. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I'm so intrigued to see what happens next but it took me until the end third of the book to get really interested in the story. 

I was intrigued from the start, but once I reached 200 pages, I found my interest waning and I think a part of it was a character that was bugging me. But I kept on, and then it hit the final part and I became more and more invested in the characters. Now, I'm not sure if my lack of interest in the middle part and my irritation with a character was down to the fact I wasn't in the mood or what, but this boo does have good points, don't get me wrong! 

I thought Knot was intriguing, it was him that kept me reading! I wanted to know who he was, what he was and find out more about him and his past. I wanted to know more about the world of the book, I wanted to know more about the history of the world, but sadly there wasn't as much as I was hoping for but maybe in the next book! 

Astrid was one of my favourite characters, she was completely and utterly hilarious, "Don't worry about me. I was only tortured, stuck full of holes, and then assaulted by an entire building. Nothing serious." She made me laugh so much and I loved her, and I'm so intrigued by her and who she's working with and what she's up to. I also really liked the glimpses we saw of Lian but I feel like we didn't really get to see enough of him, so the ending of the book had less of an impact for me to be honest, which is a shame because he finally got over Winter. Nash and Kali where intriguing, they where mysterious and I'm still SO curious about them and the people they work for! 

I actually really liked Cinzia, I was curious about her and her relationship with her family, why she didn't come back once in seven years, how she fit in with the other characters as everyone else was linked at that point and it took a while for the connection to be made. I really felt for her, she had lived her life one way, dedicated her life to her religion and then her sister Jane comes in and blows it all away. I felt like her sister could have been better about it, I didn't really like the way her sister spoke to her once or twice, it was kind of...condescending maybe? Her sister was quite selfish at some points as well, and considering how much she messed things up for her sister she could have been a little nicer to her. 

The character I had a problem with was Winter. Yes, she shows how human she is and she is very flawed, but she just irritated me. One minute she was acting like marrying Knot was the worst thing in the world, and like she had no choice but to do it, and was essentially using him to get out of her village. The nest she's like "oh I must find him" and goes after him and kills a tonne of innocent people to do it. Then she's suddenly in love with him. Like dude make up your mind. She seemed quite selfish at times, and she was quite rude to her travelling companions, including Lian, her best friend. It was well written and interesting to see her struggle with her addiction, but for the most part I didn't actually like Winter all that much. The amount of times her inner monologue was all "She knew it was silly" was a little bit repetitive and yeah. She bugged me and once I hit 200 pages it made it difficult for me to want to keep on reading. I only managed it because I loved Astrid and was intrigued by Knot. 

You can probably already guess that I didn't get the romance between Winter and Knot. We see Knot found and then boom, it's skipped a year and they're suddenly getting married and Winter's all like "I have to do this" and blah blah, but she's not exactly thrilled about it and like I said above...she randomly started following him and then decides she loves him near the end of the book. I didn't buy the romance between the two, or see it at all. For me it didn't really make sense, and I was pleased the romance was kept to a minimum. 

I liked the friendship between Knot and Astrid, and I'm rooting for Astrid to do the right thing and not what I think she might do! I had problems with the romance like I said, and I also kind of had a problem with the group as a whole. We get multi POV's but Winter is so self involved I didn't really get her connection to anyone except for BFF Lian. They where all kind of thrown together, and Winter didn't like anyone except for Astrid, Knot and Lian so her POV made it hard for me to see the 'growing friendship' and 'camaraderie' between them. Like I honestly don't think any of them give a damn about each other except for Winter, Knot and Astrid, they don't really care about Cinzia and co. So it's an odd group. I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a bond between them and I missed it or what. 

As you can tell from some of what I've said, there's a lot of questions to be answered still and a lot of things to be found out.  The beginning is slow as the world is being built up around us, the rich politics and religion, the history. But there was so much more that would have been good to know and I'm hoping we'll get to learn it in the next book. You get thrown in the deep end with the language of the world and it makes it hard to get in to the book properly. I got confused a couple of times which impacted everything. There where also a couple of editing mistakes that I think I only picked up on because I wasn't too focused on the story, like Winter saying she had five crystals left when it should have been four. 

Duskfall had it's good points, it was funny, there was plenty of action, a rich world, politics and religion. It was vivid and atmospheric, and I loved Knot, Astrid and Cinzia. I wanted to know more about the world and the characters, I was intrigued the entire way through which kept me reading when I might otherwise have given up because of my problems with the book, Winter for example. But I knew from early on she was going to bug me! Everyone keeps going on about the cliffhanger, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, it leaves you wanting more but it's manageable! I'm definitely intrigued to see what's going to happen with the other characters as everything has gone to hell, literally. I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen to Cinzia, Knot and Astrid and to find out more about each of them. Especially Knot! 



Monday, 15 August 2016

Classics: The Island of Doctor Moreau


The Island of Doctor Moreau 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Edward Prendick, the single survivor of a shipwreck, is rescued by a vessel carrying a menagerie of savage animals. Soon he finds himself stranded on an uncharted island in the Pacific with the strange vivisectionist Dr Moreau, whose experiments have led him to break the laws of nature, stitching together man and beast with horrific results.

Okay...nobody shout at me but this is the first H.G. Wells book that I've read and I completely loved it! I'm in love with the Pocket Penguin editions in general, and the notes for this edition of Moreau really helped when reading. They let you know what all the nautical terms where and met, and offered historical insight in to the novel and what may have influenced it as well as some critical reviews and what they made of certain parts of the book, which was just as interesting to read about as the book itself. 

I was hooked from the introduction of this book. It sent a shiver up the spine and immediately intrigued me and I was intrigued for the entirety of the book. Who is Moreau? Why did Montgomery have to leave? What exactly is going on with all these creatures?! I got a little bit of a Jurassic Park vibe, purely because you have an island filled with all of these creatures and the people in charge lose control. But in this case it's more animals reverting back to their original instincts, rather than getting free of their enclosures. 

I'm not a science person, I'm a history person, but even so I found the science to this book fascinating, especially with the notes that added some historical insight in to it all. I perhaps didn't understand all of the finer points in detail but I got the gist of it. I found the island to be a vivid creation, and the creatures really spring to life. The entire point of the book, the morality and ethicalness of it make you think, and it's cleverly done. Entertaining rather than a lecture. 

The book may be short, but it manages to explore a lot, genetics, religion, psychology, experimenting on animals, ethics and more. It's a read that definitely makes you think, and is brilliantly written. I hugely enjoyed it and found it a breeze of a read, oddly enough! It was also quite creepy at points! I'm thinking I need to read all of his other works sooner rather than later! I have been meaning to get to them, I swear! The Island of Doctor Moreau is an entertaining read, that you can read easily in one sitting, and that'll have you thinking about it long after you've put the book down! 


Friday, 12 August 2016

Review: Paper and Fire


Paper and Fire 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…


When I read the first book in this series, it took me a little while to get in to it. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Caine and her books and she's one of my auto-buy authors, but even if she wasn't, I'd still have picked up Ink and Bone for the premise. Once the book got going...it hooked me in even deeper. The thing that grabbed me about the first book was the world. It was original and fascinating and rich and you wanted to know more about it, so while not much happened in the beginning...you kept reading for the world. 

In this book, it's action packed from the start, and all go from then on. There Epehmera's are intriguing and add to the story, help you understand characters motivations and what's going on behind the scenes, they're a nice touch that breaks up the narrative and provides plenty of information. There are plenty of action scenes throughout the book, fighting, running from automata, fighting automata and a prison break among other things. I was hooked in to the sequel a lot faster than the previous book! The last book ended with a note of intrigue and my suspicions turned out to be correct! There where a few surprises in this book, and a few that I worked out, but it kept you guessing, kept you reading. 

I loved being back in the unique world of the book, it's one of my favourites and I'd love to slip in to it! In this book, we get to see more of the world as our characters take a trip to Rome. I was fascinated to see this new area of the world, what it was like, how it was different and so on. It was a nice contrast to Alexandria, I liked the fact the automata differed for instance. We also get to revisit London and there's the promise of seeing yet more of the world in the next book, which I can't wait for! Things are obviously different in Alexandria, to how they are in London and Rome and the differences between them where interesting to read about, and each setting is painted vividly for you as you end up right there with the characters. 

I love the characters. Not just their personalities and everything, but I love their friendships. Dario and Jess, sniping at each other, but still caring. Their banter cracks me up every time and I love thier scenes together. Khalila and Jess and their brother and sister type relationship, worrying after each other. All of them have brilliant relationships with each other, and in some cases they are quite complex. There's a lot of Jess and Glain in this book as we follow them through training and their first assignment, I loved their scenes together, and seeing how they work together and get on. It was nice to see more of Glain as she intrigued me a lot in the first book! I just love reading about this group in general, how they interact, how they're loyal to each other after everything they experienced in the first book and so on. 

Jess is a character I can feel for, how his family treat him and so on, you can't help but feel for him. He's changed in this book after the events of the first book, he's developed from the character he was when we first saw him. Dario provided some shocks and surprises, and bless him, he keeps trying to be more like Jess and it's not really working out for him! He's plenty intelligent and capable on his own and he really does care about the others. Khalila makes some big decisions and she is one of my favourite characters, she had some hard choices to make and I love how she's there for everyone. Thomas (I KNEW IT) has changed a little after his experiences, but I'm waiting to see the full extent of that, perhaps in the next book. Morgan is struggling with her fate, and still blaming Jess and goes on a bit of a journey regarding that. I enjoy her and Jess's relationship, it's not without it's problems and difficulties, and they're quite sweet with each other. Santi and Wolfe...I just love them both individually and together. Santi is so protective of him, and they work well together and they're SO CUTE. Which they probably wouldn't like as a descriptor but oh well. I love how Wolfe is kind of gruff and everything but he does care about them all and he helps Morgan as best he can. Santi...he's trying to help Glain and Jess and all of them, and I loved how he was like to Jess, "I like you" or something. 

I need to talk about Brendan because we get an extract from his Codex and I really felt for him. I feel for Jess and how he's treated, but you see another side of Brendan in this book. You understand where he's coming from. I really hope things work out for him and he can be reunited with his new friend at some point. I didn't much like him in the first book but in this book you saw glimpses of a different Brendan. He was still a douche at points, he did the right thing in one case and tried to do it in another but didn't quite manage it. He wanted to help Jess but couldn't go against their father. He's an interesting character because I keep rooting for him to do the right thing, and he seems like he might. I'm actually hoping to see more of him next book and hopefully see some more character development. 

The ending of the book...I cannot even with that cliffhanger. I KNEW something was going to go wrong and then it did. I'm hoping things will work out because they could use the help of the Burners, but I'm not entirely sure if it's going to be much better than Jess's original plan with his dad. We'll see. But it leaves you hanging so badly! I'm so excited to see what happens next, to see if they can fight the Library and to see this new part of the world of the book and how it differs from the others. I love this world so much and I can't wait to get back to it. 

Paper and Fire is a brilliant sequel, with more action, more adventure, more danger and more of, well...everything. More background to the Library and the people in charge, more background to some of the characters, Wolfe in particular. There's reveals and character development and glimpses of some characters trying to be better. You understand some of the characters more. Understand more about the past of the Library and the way it operates. There is so much more in this book to enhance the world and the characters, and plenty of action to keep you occupied! 



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