Saturday, December 7

Review: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
Leigh Bardugo

Published By: Gollanz
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Date Read: October 30, 2019
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 480
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46352789-ninth-house

From Goodreads:
The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

"All you children playing with fire, looking surprised when the house burns down."

When I first heard that Leigh Bardugo was releasing an adult book, I could not contain my excitement. I absolutely loved Leigh's YA series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I couldn't wait to see what she would do with an adult book. Ninth House was very, very different from Leigh's YA books and I really enjoyed it. It was dark, creepy and at times chilling. I loved that, but just we aware if you're picking this up as you think it'll be similar to her YA stuffm you're going to be quite disappointed.

Before picking up this book, I'd seen lots of things about just how dark this book was and that there should be trigger warnings... Honestly, I didn't think that it was that bad. Yes, there are some dark themes within this book but I didn't think they were too graphic and I actually loved that as it really showed the impact that childhood trauma can have on a person's life. As a psychologist, that is such a great thing to have explored.

Ninth House was a great storyline and honestly Leigh Bardugo has such a talent with her writing skills. It was wrote in such an addictive and incredible way and I loved that. My main issue with this book was in the pacing. Ninth House is a very slow burn of a book. It's pacing is very slow and I'm not usually a lover of slow paced books. I get bored too easily. However, Ninth House is filled to the brim with twists and turns which kept me interested but I still felt like it was a bit too slow for my liking.

Ninth House was a great storyline and I really enjoyed the book. The characters were fantastic and flawed and I loved that so much. I will most definitely be reading the second book in this series and if you don't mind pacing issues then I highly recommend that you pick this book up. It was dark, magical and thrilling.

"Mors irrumat omnia. Death fucks us all."


Saturday, November 30

Review: Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)
VE Schwab

Published By: Scholastic Publishing
Publication Date: September 5, 2019
Date Read: October 27, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade - Paranormal
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 287
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43876229-tunnel-of-bones

From Goodreads:
Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass's parents are filming their TV show about the world's most haunted cities. Sure, it's fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there's true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter -- and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she's unleashed could haunt the city forever.

 
"What you can't see is always scarier than what you can. Your eyes play tricks on you, filling in the shadows, making shapes."

VE Schwab has fast become one of my favourite authors. Last year, around Halloween time I picked up her first middle grade book, City of Ghosts, and I absolutely loved it. When I saw there was a second book I decided to wait again for Halloween time to read it as it's so perfect for that holiday. I loved every second of this second book in the series.

Cassidy Blake is on tour with her parents, visiting the most haunted cities and this time they are visiting Paris. With the creepy Catacombs as a back drop Cassy finds herself with a big problem. A poltergeist wrecking havoc on the city and only she can help him.

I loved every second of Tunnel of Bones, it was exciting, addictive and creepy. Everything you could possibly want in a paranormal, ghost book. Once again I was taken on a journey through the Veil with two of my favourite characters. I absoliutely love Cassie and Jacob. They are cute and utterly hilarious to follow through this journey. I absolutely love them and they are some of my favourite characters ever!

One of the things that I love most about this series is that each book is set in a different place. I loved the setting of Tunnel of Bones and I can't wait to see where book 3 will be set. Tunnel of Bones was a fun and fantastic story and I can't wait to read more spooky stories in famous haunted places. If, like me, you love spooky stories but are too much of a wimp to read horror then this series is perfect for you. I highly recommend it.

"It's hard to believe in ghosts, until you see one, and then it's hard not to."


Wednesday, November 27

Review: Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4)

Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Date Read: October 20, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44510281-five-dark-fates

From Goodreads:
After the battle with Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, leaving her out of her mind and unfit to rule. Arsinoe must find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist rests heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Queen Katharine’s rule over Fennbirn remains intact—for now. But her attack on the rebellion exacted a high price: her beloved Pietyr. Without him, who can she rely upon when Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce? As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever.

The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.

The Three Dark Crowns series has been one of the best series I have read this year to date. I have realy loved every moment of the previous three books and I was so excited to read the conclusion to this series. This was probably my favourite book of the series and, in my opinion, the perfect ending to such a fantastic series. I loved every moment of it.

I could not read this book fast enough. It was absolute perfection and that is due to the utterly fantastic storytelling skills of Kendare Blake. This series has been the only book series by Kendare Blake that I have read and I have loved her world building, characterisation and amazing storytelling. I will definitely be reading more of Kendare's work in the future.

Five Dark Fates was fast paced and epic. I finished it within two days as I couldn't put it down. Before reading the book I had seen a lot of mixed opinions about the ending of this book but I actually loved it. It was very bittersweet but I felt like that really fit this series. I've never been one who is crazy about happy ever after endings. Don't get me wrong I love a good happy ending but for some series it just doesn't fit for every single character to get a happy ending and to me, this is one of those series. I felt like it was so fitting and perfect.

Five Dark Fates was the epic conclusion to an epic series that I was hoping for. I loved every single moment of the series and it is one that I would read over again and again. If you're a fan of YA fantasy series, with fantastic world-building and characterisation, I highly recommend this series. It was absolutely fantastic!


Saturday, November 23

Review: D.O.G.S (STAGS #2)

D.O.G.S (STAGS #2)
MA Bennett

Published By: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: August 8, 2019
Date Read: October 13, 2019
Genre: YA - Mystery / Thriller
Source: Review Copy from Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43624401-d-o-g-s

From Goodreads:
After the dramatic events of the last few weeks, Greer Macdonald is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam, she gets help from an unexpected quarter . . .

A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson's The Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned . . . except one. As the students begin to rehearse it, events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back to where she never thought she would return - Longcross Hall.

There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too ...

After enjoying the first book in the S.T.A.G.S series, I was looking forward to seeing what was next for these characters and so I was looking forward to picking up the sequel. Once I realised that this one followed a forbidden and forgotten play I was super excited. As such a literature lover it really interested and intrigued me.

Honestly, I wish I could say that I enjoyed this book. It was intriguing and once again the writing style was very addictive but honestly I found myself a bit bored and it took me so long to read this book as I found that the pacing was really off. Yet again, this was not, in my opinion, a thriller and I was actually really disappointed in it.

I will definitely pick up another MA Bennett book in the future should she write another genre, but honestly I probably won't pick up another one of her thrillers as they are just too contemporary for my liking and I find contemporary books slow and boring. If you enjoy contemporary's then this will probably be a good book for you but unfortunately, it fell a bit flat for me.


Wednesday, November 20

Review: S.T.A.G.S (STAGS #1)

S.T.A.G.S (STAGS #1)
MA Bennett

Published By: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: August 10, 2017
Date Read: October 12, 2019
Genre: YA - Mystery / Thriller
Source: Review Copy from Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 290
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35154365-s-t-a-g-s

From Goodreads:
Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin'. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry's parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school...

"It's unbelievable really, the reviving power of a hot bath, a cup of tea and a roaring fire."

Thriller's never used to be my sort of read. I never really would have chose to pick them up until a year or two ago when I picked one up out of the blue and loved it. Since then, it's never been a favourite genre of mine but every now and then I do love to dive into this genre. As it was nearing Halloween, it was the perfect time for me to read a thriller so when I was offered the chance to review this one I jumped at the chance. S.T.A.G.S was a interesting and addictive read and I enjoyed it.

S.T.A.G.S follows the story of Greer, a unpopular and quiet student at the prestigious S.T.A.G.S boarding school. When Greer is invited to a mysterious weekend with the most popular people in school she is intrigued and excited. But is there more to this weekend? Greer may be in danger by going... but can she resist the popular and the powerful?

Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed in S.T.A.G.S. It is dubbed as a YA thriller and I was super excited to be creeped out, but this was not creepy in the slightest. I would call this book a thriller in the loosest sense of the word. It was more like a YA contemporary where the characters had some murderous tendencies. It was more a mystery than a hard-core thriller. I just feel like I was expecting mroe from it and although I really enjoyed the storyline I wanted it to be a bit more thrilling.

One thing I really enjoyed was the storyline and the writing. MA Bennet's writing was addictive and I couldn't put the book down. It was a fast-pacing and intriguing storyline and I enjoyed the world building and story telling. I will definitely pick another MA Bennett book up at some point.

S.T.A.G.S was an intrguing and addictive storyline but it just fell a little bit flat for me. If you enjoy contemporary books with a mystery twist then this will be the perfect book for you. Unfortunately, I'm just not much of a contemporary reader and I was expecting more.

"It was like that bit in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast dances with Belle. Except there was no Belle. And no music. And no candlelight. Just a beast."


Wednesday, November 13

Review: Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3)

Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: October 4, 2018
Date Read: October 6, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 447
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39947809-two-dark-reigns

From Goodreads:
One Crowned, Two Exiled, A Revolution Rising.

The battle has been fought, blood has been spilt and a queen has been crowned, but not all are happy with the outcome.

Katharine, the poisoner queen, has been crowned and is trying to ignore the whispers that call her illegitimate, undead, cursed.

Mirabella and Arsinoe have escaped the island of Fennbirn, but how long before the island calls them back?

Jules is returning to Fennbirn and has become the unlikely figurehead of a revolution threatening to topple Katharine's already unsteady rule.

But what good is a revolution if something is wrong with the island itself?

"Some people leave too much space behind when they are gone."

As soon as I finished reading the incredible second book in the Three Dark Crowns series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next book. Young Adult Fantasy is my favourite genre and this series is fast becoming one of my favourites. It has such incredible world building and characterisation and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen, especially after the gobsmacking ending of the second book.

Two Dark Reigns picks up right where One Dark Throne left off, with Mirabella and Arsinoe on the mainland and Katherine on the throne. Before long Mirabella and Arsinoe find themselevs drawn back to the Island and back into the fight with Katherine. Now Katherine is on the throne does that mean that they are safe? Or should there truly only be one queen left alive?

I really enjoyed Two Dark Reigns, but I have to admit that it was my least favourite of the series so far. While Mirabella and Arsinoe were on the mainland I found the pacing of the book really slow and I just found myself rushing through as I couldn't wait to get to the parts set back on the island. As soon as I got there I loved the book, it was incredibly addictive and fast-paced and I couldn't read it fast enough. Arsinoe remains to be my favourite of the three queens and she really went through an incredible journey throughout this book, with her visions of past queens and I absolutely loved those parts. They were so intriguing and I can't wait to see how it all comes together in the final book.

Two Dark Reigns was a good instalment in a fantastic series. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to see how everything plays out in the final book. It was a little slow but it was definitely due to building up to what I'm sure is going to be an epic conclusion of the series.

"You don’t threaten the life of a queen and live to tell the tale. Taking the life of a queen… now that is another matter."


Sunday, November 10

Wrap Up: October 2019


Hey Guys,
So I'm super late posting this. I had completely convinced myself that I had already created this post and now I'm sat here 10 days after this should have gone up creating as clearly I completey forgot. So here it is... my super late October wrap up.

Book Haul:




Bought:

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by VE Schwab
The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey #7) by Julie Kagawa
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher
When The Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher
In The Time We Lost by Carrie Hope Fletcher
Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

For Review:

STAGS (STAGS #1) by MA Bennett
DOGS (STAGS #2) by MA Bennett
*Thanks to Darkroom Tours and Hot Key Books

Subscription Boxes

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh *Fairyloot*
Angel Mage by Garth Nix *Illumicrate*

Books Read in October 2019:



Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake - 3 Stars
STAGS (STAGS #1) by MA Bennett - 3 Stars
DOGS (STAGS #2) by MA Bennett - 2 Stars
Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4) by Kendare Blake - 5 Stars
Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by VE Schwab - 5 Stars
Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo - 3 Stars

Reviews Posted in October 2019:


Top 3 Reads of October 2019:



What was your favourite read of October?

 

Wednesday, November 6

Early Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)
Brigid Kemmerer

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Date Read: July 31, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC loaned from Book Passion for Life
Format: Paperback
Pages: 496
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42952728-a-heart-so-fierce-and-broken

From Goodreads:
 In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

"Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make a choice at all."

There are seriously no words to explain just how excited I am to be writing this review. I have been a huge fan of Brigid Kemmerer's and I was so excited when she first announced this series as fantasy books are my absolute favourite. A Curse So Dark and Lonely was my favourite read of 2018 and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel. I had such high expectations for A Heart So Fierce and Broken and it just went way above and beyond anything I could have wanted. In a word, this book was perfection!

A Heart So Fierce and Broken follows Grey, the rightful heir to the throne as he hides from Rhen in order to protect him from the truth. But as Rhen becomes more brutal in his hunt for the truth and an outside force threatening Emberfall once again can Grey stay hidden for long? Or is it better to fight for the throne, and the good of Emberfall?

Grey was my favourite character in the first book in this series so I was super excited that this one was going to follow him more. Even though I loved both Gray and Rhen in the first book, I definitely fell more and more in love with Grey the more I read of this book. He is one of my all time favourite characters from any book. He is just sweet and noble and will do anything to protect those that he loves. I absolutely adored the introduction of Lia Mara in this book. She is such a fantastic kick-ass character who wears her heart on her sleeve and will do anything to help protect the people... whether they are her people or the people of another kingdom. She is so perfect for Gray and their relationship in this book was everything I could have wanted! It was uplifting and heartwarming and I just adored it.

Brigid Kemmerer once again proved herself to be a master storyteller. Right from the start, I couldn't put this book down. She has just honed her craft so perfectly and I loved every single thing in this book. Her fantastic world building continued and her characterisation was brilliant. There is nothing bad I can say about this book. It was just stunningly beautiful and I can't wait to see what is going to happen in this series next.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken was perfection. I loved every single moment of it and I can't wait to read it again and again while I am waiting for the next book. The story and the characters I fell in love with in book one developed and twisted and I loved every second of the journey with them. This is fast becoming one of my favourite series of all time and one I will read again and again. If you haven't picked this one up yet, I highly recommend that you do. It was beautiful and brilliant.

"You say Rhen is a man of honour, but I believe you are. I saw it in Blind Hollow. Your people would love you. If you would give them the chance. If you would give yourself the chance."

 

Wednesday, October 30

Review: Postscript (PS, I Love You #2)

Postscript (PS, I Love You #2)
Cecelia Ahern

Published By: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Date Read: September 25, 2019
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44358774-postscript

From Goodreads:
It's been seven years since Holly Kennedy's husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry's letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…

PS, I Love You is one of my all time favourite books of all time. I read it when I was 16 years old and I absolutely adored it. I would even give it credit for my writing on this book blog now. I was never that much of an avid reader until I picked that book up and it made me fall head over heels in love with books and reading. Fastforward 12 years, and I honestly had mixed emotions when hearing about a sequel. 16-year-old me was squealing with excitement at the possibility of returning to this story and the characters I loved so desperately, but current day me was skeptical. PS, I Love You is one of my favourite books ever but I thought did it really need a sequel? I was just praying that it wasn't going to be an unnecessary continuation of such an emotional and perfect book and I was really scared of it ruining my love for the first book if it was. I needn't have worried. Postscript is such an emotional, stunning and beautiful read.

Postscript follows Holly several years after the first book and she is moving on with her life after grieving and mourning the loss of Gerry. When she takes part in her sisters' podcast about bereavement and details what Gerry had left behind for her, she finds herself being thrown into something she never could have ever expected. She is contacted by a group of terminally ill people wanting to do what Gerry did for Holly for their family. Reluctantly Holly agreed to help them and finds herself thrown back in time... will she be able to help these people without getting too attached?

One thing I absolutely adored about this book was although it was about Holly and you see Holly going through an emotional journey herself, it is not just her book. It is about these moving and heartbreaking stories of the friends she makes and their relationships with their loved ones. I grew so unbelievably attached to these characters and you know it's not going to end well as they are terminally ill... that's the point of the story. But even knowing that, it didn't stop me falling in love with their stories and my heart absolutely broke into pieces when the inevitable happened.

Postscript is such a beautiful and important book to read. It's moving and so thought provoking. Unless it's happened to you personally you don't really appreciate how hard it is to have a loved one terminally ill. It was so heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting to see these people go through this journey of not only accepting that they're going to die but to do something positive to help their family deal with the repurcussions of their death. It made me appreciate every single moment of my life and the time we have with loved ones.

Postscript is beautiful, heartbreaking and poignant. I still feel like it wasn't quite as magical as the first book but I really enjoyed it. The first book will always take the top spot in my heart but this was beautiful. I never expected a sequel to PS, I Love You when I read it years ago and if I could have wished for one... this is what I would have wished for. It was beautiful, moving and magical and made me fall in love with Cecelia Ahern all over again. An absolute must read.

"Death is there at our fingertops all the time and we choose not to go to it and it chooses not to take us. Death doesn't push us; death catches us when we fall."


 

Wednesday, October 23

Review: The Oracle Queen and The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.1/0.2)

The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns #0.1)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Date Read: September 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39325041-the-oracle-queen

From Goodreads:
A short story from Kendare Blake's bestselling Three Dark Crowns universe, The Oracle Queen tells the story of the last queen born with the gift of sight. . .

Historically, baby queens born with the sight gift were drowned. This had been the practice for hundreds of years, so long that few were even born anymore, as if the Goddess knew it would be a waste. It is a harsh sentence, but necessary, for it is well-known that in a queen the sight gift will run strong. Strong enough to drive her mad.This is the tale the last sight gift queen to be allowed to live. She was overcome by paranoia and false visions, driven past the brink by the phantom thoughts of others in her head, so she set upon the capital with bloody ruin, murdering whole houses, whole family lines without trial. Or at least, that is how the tale is told. This is her story.

I read the first book of the Three Dark Crowns series last year and really enjoyed it. It was one of those that I liked but the other books just sat unread on my shelf for ages. After a friend suggested we read the rest of the series together so we can discuss it I jumped at the chance. After finishing book 2 I decided to pick up the prequel novellas.

I really enjoyed reading The Oracle Queen and I ended up reading it quite quickly. I absolutely love the world of this series and so to go back in time and see one of the other queens I found it really intriguing. I loved the oracle queen right from the start and I was completely on her side. I know from the previous books in this series how she is known as the queen who went crazy and I was so intrigued to see how she got to that point and what happened to make a seemingly normal, thoughtful ruler go the lengths explained in book 2.

This was a completely addictive read and I was so attached to these characters. I was actually super sad that it was only a novella. I could have easily read a full length book on these characters, they were so intriguing. The Oracle Queen made me hate the Arrons family more than I already did. They are so manipulative and awful and I can't even explain the amount of pain and horror I felt for the poor oracle queen.

I would highly recommend reading The Oracle Queen. It actually adds so much insight into the history of this series and I can't wait to see whether this links in to the main series. Roll on book 3.





 The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.2)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Date Read: September 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36042137-the-young-queens

From Goodreads:
Three black witches, born to a descending queen. One would rise to become queen in her place. Perhaps the strongest of the three. Perhaps the cleverest. Or perhaps it would be the girl born under the best shield of luck.

Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella - three young queens born to fulfil their destiny - to fight to the death to win the crown. But before they were poisoner, elemental and naturalist, they were children, sisters and friends . . . Discover the origin story of the three queens of Fennbirn in this exclusive e-novella from Kendare Blake, bestselling author of the New York Times bestselling, Three Dark Crowns.


After completely devouring the first two books and the first novella in this series I absolutely couldn't wait to read The Young Queens. The Young Queens follows the early years of our three sister queens, Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella. I did enjoy this novella but I found that it had a much slower pacing than the first novella.

I thought I would actually love this novella much more than The Oracle Queen as it was following the characters that we already knew and loved and although there are parts of this story that I loved to see I just found myself super bored. I really liked seeing how Arsinoe and Katherine's placed were switched and how Carys ended up being outcast but other than that honestly I was a little bored.

In my opinion, you could miss this one out. It doesn't particularly add anything of much value to the series. It was still enjoyable and I can't wait to continue with this series.


Wednesday, October 16

Review: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2)

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: September, 21, 2017
Date Read: September 15, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 450
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34567771-one-dark-throne

From Goodreads:
The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister once thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must confront the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

"Don't be ridiculous, boy. You cannot kill what is already dead."

I read the first book in this series, Three Dark Crowns, back in 2016 and really enjoyed it. There were certain things I wasn't crazy about but I did really enjoy it. I can't really explain why I didn't continue the series when One Dark Throne published in 2017 but I just never ended up picking this one up. Fast forward 3 years and a friend of mine read the first book and then suggested we buddy read One Dark Throne together and I took her up on it. It was a great chance to get back into the series. I am so very glad I did as I really loved this book. In my opinion One Dark Throne is even better than the first book and I am so excited about continuing this series.

One Dark Throne is fast-paced and action-packed. Two things that I love. One of my issues with Three Dark Crowns was that I felt like there were pacing issues. I remember getting a little bored in the middle and I worried that that would happen again with book 2. I needn't have worried. There was no pacing issues in this book whatsoever. I was completely gripped from start to finish and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

One Dark Throne was incredible. I forgot my love for the world building in this series. It's just such a dark and intriguing world and I love the history of three queens always being born and fighting to the death for the crown. It's just brilliant and something that I love reading about. I don't know what it says about me that I love reading things where people are fighting to the death but oh well. I really enjoyed reading more about the three sisters and I honestly changed my mind about all of them throughout this book. Once I decided I liked or disliked one of them within minutes there would be something happen that made my doubt myself and change my mind. Even now after finishing the book I can't really decide my thoughts on them.

This book was full of intrigue, violence and of course death. I mean it does have the word 'dark' in the title, what were you expecting? There was so much happening towards the end and so many twists and turns I am left with so many questions and I have already ordered books 3 and 4 so I can finish off the series. This was definitely my favourite book of the series so far and I can't wait to read more. One Dark Throne was a fantastic instalment in this YA Fantasy series and I highly recommend it to any fantasy fans. Roll on book three.

"And because . . . you have always been the most important person to me. Everybody has that, I think. And for me, it will always be you."

 

Wednesday, October 9

Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published By: Oneworld Publications
Publication Date: October 22, 2015
Date Read: August 16, 2019
Genre: YA - Sci-fi
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 602
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25877135-illuminae

From Goodreads:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

"She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her."


I have seen so much about this book over the last few years. Honestly, everywhere I looked online this book was being raved about. However, I was really skeptical about reading it. I'd previously read one of Amie Kaufman's books and not really liked it, so it kind of put me off trying this series. Add to that the fact that this book isn't told in normal narration, it really put me off. Fast forward a couple of years and I read Aurora Rising and it completely and utterly blew me away! It was absolutely stunning so I decided maybe I should give this one a go. Well, it's time for me to go back on everything I said about not liking books wrote in letters/documents etc because I could not put this book down! It was absolutely incredible.

I am already a huge fan of sci-fi books. I absolutely love them and so the storyline was already something that I was intrigued by. Illuminae is without a doubt the biggest surprise of the year for me as I was not expecting to love this one quite as much as I did. I loved every single second of it and I seriously could not read it fast enough. I was absolutely flying through the pages. This book was so damn addictive and really difficult to put down.

Illuminae is honestly one of a kind. The storyline is fantastic and the way it's told it completely addictive. I've read books told in letter format before and while I enjoyed them I just kept thinking how I'd probably have loved it even more had it been told in prose. That is not the case with this book. It is genius and perfect told in this format. I honestly bow down to Amie and Jay for writing this story this way because it is unique and incredible and pretty damn clever for them to have done. I loved every single moment.

Illuminae is one of my favourite reads of the year to date. It was fast-paced, action-packed and it was so very emtoional. I can't believe just how stunning this book is. In both story and aesthetically. I just love everything about this book and cannot wait to read the other books in the series. If you're a fan of YA sci-fi I highly recommend you try Illuminae. You won't regret it. It truly is out of this world!

"I should have told you I loved you every day. I should have given you the stars."