Wednesday, May 29

Review: Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3 / Grisha #3)

Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3; Grisha #3)
Leigh Bradugo

Published By: Indigo
Publication Date: June 19, 2014
Date Read: April 16, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 350
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22535408-ruin-and-rising

From Goodreads:
The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

"Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay."

I remember buying this full trilogy back in 2014 when Ruin and Rising was first releasing and honestly I am kicking myself for leaving it till 5 years later before I actually read them. I was a little nervous about how I was going to like Ruin and Rising as I have loved the series so far but I knew I was not going to like the ending... I was right, there are parts of the ending that I disliked but honestly it was a decent ending for Alina's story and I still enjoyed the book.

Ruin and Rising picks up where Siege and Storm left off, with Alina and co searching for the Firebird so that they may finally defeat The Darkling. This book was, in my opinion, the slowest paced of the trilogy. It took me a bit longer to read this one than it did the other two books. There were so many times in the book where I was just wishing for it to pick up a bit and it did... for it to slow down. There were some incredible twists going on in this one that I was so excited about but it just didn't end up coming to anything really.

My biggest gripe with this series is that I really dislike Mal. I just don't get him. He's negative and complains all the time... to be fair he did improve slightly in this one but he is no where near my boy Nikolai or even The Darkling. I actually loved The Darkling. Although this does sound quite negative I actually did love this series and I can't wait to read the spin off series set in the same world as honestly the development of this world is absolutely incredible and one of the things I loved the most about this series.

Ruin and Rising was a good ending to the trilogy and although there were things that I didn't like, I knew that they were going to happen so I had already accepted that there would be things that I didn't like. Overall it was a good, satisfying ending to Alina's story and I am super happy that I finally read this series. Roll on the next book!

"You are all I’ve ever wanted. You are the whole of my heart."


Wednesday, May 22

Review: Nightblood (Frostblood Saga #3)

Nightblood (Frostblood Saga #3)
Elly Blake

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Date Read: April 10, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448


From Goodreads:
The explosive finale of the New York Times bestselling Frostblood Saga, perfect for fans of the Red Queen and A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
 
Ruby's world has changed more than she ever could have imagined. She's in love with a powerful Frost King. She's the heir to the Fire Throne. And she may be a Nightblood--the spawn of a vengeful deity hellbent on releasing his wraithlike Minax from their prison. Once freed, these beasts will roam the earth, devouring every last person until he or she is nothing but an empty husk. But Ruby is able to control the Minax to a degree, and now she, her beloved Arcus, and her friend Kai must find a way to bring Frostbloods and Firebloods--sworn enemies--together to make a stand against a foe more deadly than any they've faced.


In this heart-pounding finale of Elly Blake's gorgeously written and action-packed Frostblood Saga, the fate of Frostbloods, Firebloods, and all of humanity is at stake.

There are no words to explain how excited I am to have finally finished this amazing YA Fantasy series. I have been in love with this series and it's characters for a few years ever since I got an ARC of book 1 back in 2017. I fell in love with this world of Frostbloods and Firebloods and I couldn't wait to see how it was all going to end. I can honestly say this was one of the best conclusions of a series I have read to date. It was just fantastic.

Nightblood picks up where Fireblood left off, with the frostbloods and firebloods in a tentative aliance so that they can work together to defeat the God Erus. Nightblood was such a fantastic fast-paced book and honestly I couldn't put it down. It's been quite a while since I devoured a book in one sitting but I did it with this one. Honestly, I was so hooked right from the start I couldn't put it down as I desperately needed to know what was going to happen.

In my opinion, Nightblood was absolutely perfect. I loved the ending of this series so much. My heart completely went through the wringer while reading this book. I was in tears at one point and utterly heartbroken but I should have put my trust in Elly Blake that it would all work out well. She is such an utterly fantastic author and I will definitely be picking up whatever she decided to write next. I loved every single second of this whole trilogy and I am officially a fan for life of hers now. Honestly, the way she wrote the struggle that Ruby goes through in this book was so realistic and emotive. I'm pretty much convinced she could write anything and I would love it.

Nightblood was jam-packed full of action and romance and I cannot sing its praises enough. The romance was just completely heart-melting and I couldn't stop myself from just wanting to read more and more of the sweet moments between Ruby and Arcus. They were just so sweet and perfect for each other. The action in this one keeps you on your toes. I did not know what was going to happen next and I was constantly second guessing what I thought. I enjoyed every single second. I am a little bit sad that I have to say goodbye to these characters and I hope that Elly decided to write a spin off at some point. I would love to see a series following Kai. If you've started this series and not yet finished it I highly recommend that you do. It was absolutely perfect!

"Ice no longer scared me. Its facets were beautiful, especially when it caught and held the vibrancy of flame."


Thursday, May 16

Blog Tour and Early Review: Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2)



Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2)
Claire Legrand

Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Date Read: April 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback
Pages: 608
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40523458-kingsbane

From Goodreads:
In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.
"We are the light against the darkness; and we must continue to burn brightly, so others may find their way out."

There are no words to explain just how excited I am to have read Kingsbane. After I finished Furyborn I just couldn't wait to read the sequel... I just needed to know what was going to happen so badly. So when I was offered an ARC of Kingsbane, I jumped at the chance... I am now in two minds as to whether that was wise. On the one hand it's one of the best sequels I have ever read, on the other I have to wait over a year for the next book and it's already killing me. Kingsbane was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved every single, second of it.

Kingsbane picks up where Furyborn left off. Following Queen Rielle as she struggles between her loyalty and love for Audric and the seductive danger of the angel, Corien. As she struggles between her loyalties, centuries later Eliana is struggling coming to terms with the fact that she has power. She is terrified that if she uses her magic she will end up like her mother... but if she doesn't learn to control her power how can she help save everyone from the overpowering angels?

Kingsbane was fantastic. Considering this is a pretty large book at over 600 pages I read it in just a couple of days. Right from the start I couldn't put it down. I was completely sucked back into this amazing world with two fantastic queens. As with the first book I just couldn't decide which character I liked reading the most. As we get alternate point of views, like with Furyborn at the end of each chapter I just needed to know what would happen with the current character and so it made me read the book so much faster. It truly is genius storytelling on Claire Legrand's part.

Kingsbane is filled to the brim with magic, a touch of romance and it pushes all the boundaries of what you think you know about these characters. Claire Legrand is seriously fast becoming a favourite author of mine. She is an absolutely incredible storyteller. I just can't read her books fast enough. They are full of twists and turns and I just didn't know what was going to happen next. I went through all of the emotions while reading this book and one of the twists made me sob my heart out. I am completely and utterly broken after reading this book.

Kingsbane was without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I loved every single moment of it and the wait for book 3 is legit killing me. I cannot believe I have to wait so long to see what is going to happen. Kingsbane was brilliant and perfect and I can't wait to re-read this series before the release of book 3 next year. If you're a fan of Fantasy this series is a must-read.

"Now that I've known a life with you by my side, I'm not sure I could bear that kind of loneliness again."


Wednesday, May 15

Review: Furyborn (Empirium #1)

Furyborn (Empirium #1)
Claire Legrand

Published By: Sourcefire Books
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Date Read: April 9, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 501
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34323570-furyborn

From Goodreads:
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

"We all have darkness inside us, Rielle. That is what it means to be human."

Furyborn has been sat on my shelf for quite a while before I finally decided to pick it up. I have previously read Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand and really enjoyed it. When I saw that she has wrote a fantasy novel, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. Furyborn is actually quite a long book to me. Pushing on to 500 pages it is quite big. I know it won't be to everyone but the majority of the books I read are about 300-350 pages. Even though it was longer than my usual reads I read it within 2 days. I couldn't put it down.

Furyborn follows the story of two queens in two different times. Rielle is a very powerful friend of the royal family who must go through magic trials to decide whether she is the prophesised saviour The Sun Queen or the one who will doom them all The Blood Queen. One thousand years in the future Eliana is an assassin who has her whole world torn apart. Although these queens live a thousand years apart their stories are linked and both of them are key players in the war that could destroy or save their world.

I loved Furyborn. I thought this book was so expertly written. Each chapter alternates between the points of view of Rielle and Eliana and honestly Claire Legrand did a fantastic job of gripping you. At the end of each chapter you are left reeling dying to know what is going to happen to that character... but you have to get through the next chapter in the other point of view before you get to find out. This made me read the book even faster because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen. This was such a clever tactic that the author used... and it worked. I couldn't put the book down.

I loved both of the main characters. Even though the prologue kind of spoils aspects for you as you know what is going to happen, it didn't bother me that much. I quite enjoyed seeing what happened to Reille to get her to that point... and I loved reading the point of view of Eliana even more. She was definitely my favourite and I think that's because I can see bits of some of my favourite characters from other fantasy series in her. Furyborn definitely had some influences from other major fantasy books but that just made me love it even more. Although it has those influences this is one of the most unique and different fantasy books I've come across.

Furyborn was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved every moment of it. It's packed full of intrigue, mystery and danger. I loved that it's very story-focused with a small dash of romance. This is the perfect balance for me as I can't cope when it's all romance or all story; I need a little bit of both. It's so fast-paced, I couldn't put it down. I just wanted to know more and know what was going to happen. It was a perfect beginning to what I know it going to be an epic trilogy and I just can't wait for book 2 to find out what was going to happen next. If you're a fan of YA Fantasy, I highly recommend this one. You won't be disappointed, it's fantastic.

"People like us don’t fight for our own hope. We fight for everyone else’s."


Wednesday, May 8

Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen
Val Emmich

Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Date Read: April 7, 2019
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39088507-dear-evan-hansen

From Goodreads:
From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...


When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

"I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered, to anyone. I mean, let's face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?"

There are no words to explain my utter excitement when I heard that there was going to be a novel of Dear Evan Hansen. I am such a huge lover of musicals and I really love the story of this one. I am completely obsessed with the soundtrack and so of course I had to read this book. It was everything I could have imagined and more, I loved every single second of this... and yes, I was singing all of the songs in my head in the appropriate places while reading.

Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a teenage boy with extreme social anxiety. He doesn't really socialise with anyone or have any friends. He has been told to write letters to himself by his therapist that start "Dear Evan Hansen." But when Connor, a classmate, steals his letter to himself and then commits suicide, everyone assumes it's a suicide note wrote to Evan. Suddenly he is caught up in a make-believe friendship and he can't seem to get out. But if it's helping the family of Connor then it can't be wrong... right?

I seriously associate with this story so much. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself it was so easy to sympathise and understand the actions of Evan. I was completely caught up in this story and even though you can see it spinning out of control and you know at some point it's going to catch up and fall apart you can't help but really feel for Evan. He didn't want any of it, he just wanted to help and he lost control of everything. I loved Evan. He is such a sweet character and I really just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug and tell him everything would be okay.

Dear Evan Hansen is such a powerful story about how anyone can get caught up in lies and how even with the best intentions, your actions can effect people in ways you could never imagine. I loved this book so much... almost as much as the soundtrack of the show. It was superbly written and I loved every single second of it. It made me want to see the musical even more than I already did.

Although I am not a contemporary lover, this book was just phenomenal and I loved it. I highly recommend this book to everyone as it's such an important story that everyone should experience. Even if you don't like contemporaries... this one is a must-read!

"Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here's why: because today, today at least you're you... and that's enough."


 

Wednesday, May 1

Wrap Up: April 2019


Hey Guys,
I hope you've all had an amazing bookish month. April was a pretty awesome reading month for me. I had a wonderful 17 days off work so I managed to get quite a few books read. Here is my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
Slayer by Kiersten White
Nightblood (Frostblood #3) by Elly Blake
Once & Future (Once & Future #1) by Amy Rose Capatta and Cori McCarthy
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

For Review:

Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand

 Illumicrate:



Books Read in April 2019:


Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich - 5 Stars
Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand - 4 Stars
Nightblood (Frostblood Trilogy #3) by Elly Blake
Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3; Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo - 4 Stars
Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2) by Samantha Young - 5 Stars
Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand - 5 Stars

Review Posted in April 2019:

 
Top 3 Reads in April 2019:



What was your favourite book in April?