Saturday, 29 July 2017

My review of A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...


Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A rich fantasy world that swept me off my feet and into the High Lord Tamlin's arms. Maas has succeeded once again at delivering readers a team of badass characters and a delicious plot line to go with them. This story follows Feyre as she introduces us to a harsh and cold world where faeries and mortals are separated by a wall. She hunts tirelessly in the forest to provide for her father and two sisters, who are unwilling to help her no matter how small the task. When she kills a faerie disguised as a wolf by accident, she is thrust into the faerie world as punishment to live with her captor. I make this sound bad, but it really isn't that bad. In the house of her captor, Tamlin, Feyre's hate and fear of faeries begins to fade and she begins to feel things she never thought would of been possible for her to feel towards such beings. And this is how our romance plot unfolds. Feyre begins to fall for Tamlin and the soft nature within him, and the harder she falls for his charm so do we. 

I haven't read a Sarah J. Maas book for a while now and I completely forgot how easy is it to fall in love with her storytelling. Every character she introduces and every scene she describes feels so rich that it feels like they're practically falling out from the pages and unravelling in real life. You will want to explore all of what the faerie realm has to offer including all of the seven courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. In this instalment, we see a lot more of the Spring court, but I'm sure as the series goes on new courts will be introduced to readers and more exploring can take place.

I've finished this book feeling like I've fallen in love with so many charming guys. Especially, Tamlin. Oh, no one will understand the depth of how much you could possibly adore him until you read this book. He stole my heart only a few chapters into the book and I can't wait for you to fall in love with him too. He is introduced to us firstly as a beast who ransacks Feyre's house in search for the one responsible for killing one of his men, but as the story progresses secrets are revealed and so is the gentle and kind person beneath that frightening exterior. Maas has used inspiration from the tale of Beauty and the Beast perfectly to create a world and story which feels dangerous yet so irresistible. 

A strong start to what I can already feel will be an action-packed and thrilling series.


Recommended if you also loved: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Rating

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Book Haul (#107)

Hey,

I know it's been a while since I've regularly posted actually it's probably been a really long while, but I hope you are all okay and still enjoying books! The last 2 years I've been studying for my A levels to hopefully get me into university this September and I honestly was hardly reading at all. Buttttt, it's summer now and I'm trying to power through all the good books that I've missed and I'm loving it. A positive to that is that sequels to series I love are mostly all out, or there's a good few of them out so I can get binge reading.

Here are some books that I've received, bought, and borrowed:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo - Received -
Thank you so much, Penguin! I went to see the Wonder Woman movie when it came out and goddamn did I love it. Definitely one of my favourite superheroes!! Then I was online you know seeing what authors that I've loved in the past have been releasing and I see this book by Leigh Bardugo. Oh my lord, what a beautiful combination?!?!? So I'm very excited to start this one. The DC Icons series will also have Batman by Marie Lu and Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas. I'm honestly so pumped. Look out for my review around the release date at the end of August.
The Young Elite 3 Books Set Marie Lu Collection (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, The Midnight Star)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)
The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu - Bought -
I loved Marie Lu's Prodigy trilogy and I saw this box set online and couldn't resist. I haven't gotten round to it yet, I've heard a few mixed opinions but I'll let you guys know what I think when I've read them.
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare - Bought -
Read and loved. I'm still a hardcore lover of The Infernal Devices, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this series plays out. The characters are great, there's interesting and problematic romance, so yeah... let's see where Clare takes this.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas - Borrowed -
Finished this one right before I started writing this post and goddamn I forgot the feels that books like this give me!! Already reserved the 2nd and 3rd book at the library so I can catch up with this train.
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray - Borrowed -
Not sure what to expect from this one, some kind of multi-universe hopping story "The Flash" style. 
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Second Chance Summer
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch - Borrowed -
From the look of Goodreads, people are either hating this or loving it. I'm willing to give it a chance, the premise seems interesting. Let me know if you guys have read this one!
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Borrowed -
I've always wanted to read this one since many years ago when I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, so when I saw it in the library I couldn't resist. I haven't read a contemporary in a while so I'm looking forward to jumping into these summer romances.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare - Borrowed -
I wanted to buy this as soon as I finished Lady Midnight but I was on a plane so I had to hold on. Then when I was going to buy it I realised I had the small paperback version of Lady Midnight and my copies wouldn't match and I just didn't know if I felt comfortable with that, so off I went to the library. Very, very excited to see what this one has in store. Everyone is raging about the ending and the 3rd book isn't out until 2019 so I'm a bit worried about how I'll cope. 

Did you guys get any cool books this week? Please give me suggestions I feel like I've been out of the book loop.

- Sam

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

My review of Wicked

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: December 8, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository


Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

Following tradition, Armentrout lures us into the story with a feisty and easy-to-love female protagonist, a unique twist on a supernatural species, and a hot, drool-worthy guy that all readers will be dying to have in their bed by the end of the book (or from the first encounter.) Like all series that I have read from JLA, I have fallen hard for every character in every story and in this start to A Wicked Saga, things are no different. 

In this story, Armentrout takes on fae, a fantasy species that have previously used in other great series such as The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. The premise of Wicked all evolves around our main gal Ivy, who works for an organisation called the Order who are in charge of seeing to all fae in the human world being killed or sent back to where they belong: the Otherworld. Fae in this story follow most lores; they feed off the essence of humans in order to prolong their lives to near immortality and maintain their beautiful facade. Ivy is one of the people who tackle the streets of New Orleans in order to do just that, until she encounters a type of fae that can't be banished with a simple iron stake. The fae are planning something big and with the help of the charming and cheeky Ren, they plan to find out exactly what's going on. 

If you haven't read anything by Jennifer Armentrout, that's okay there's still plenty of time to start. Both the Lux and Half-Blood series are great places to start, but if you fancy something maybe a little bit steamier I would recommend Wicked. The chemistry between Ren and Ivy is undeniable and I found myself getting caught up in their romance so easily despite the end of the world possibly looming around the corner. The author has a talent for creating an entertaining voice for the protagonist and I constantly found myself laughing at the dialogue that is formed in Ivy's head. Another relationship that I enjoyed in this book was between Ivy and her small not-so-human friend Tink. Tink is a brownie, which is some kind of creature from the Otherworld that Ivy found injured and decided to take in. They have a human form but a lot smaller, can speak just like humans, and in some cases have a talent at ordering off Amazon Prime. Yep, that was one of his qualities. He's cheeky and, I guess, kind of saucy, and when he's set with Ivy the two just made me laugh so much. I'm sure reading about their relationship could make anyone wish they knew Tink.

Another element that I must point out that I loved was the way that the author weaves in popular culture. For example, mentioning Twilight, Theo James, and Jenson Ackles. I found myself in fits at every Supernatural reference.
Image result for supernatural gif fairies
Overall, I felt that Wicked is a good, strong start to this fantasy series with entertaining characters, dialogue, and irresistible plot line that will mean you finish it in one sitting; AKA the usual Armentrout recipe. I'm looking forward to seeing the direction she takes this in further and being reunited with some of my favourite characters because I genuinely can't get enough of them. I'd recommend this series to anyone who loves Jennifer Armentrout, or fantasy stories such as The Iron Fey series but slightly sexier and steamier.
Rating

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My review of Frostblood

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
Release Date: January 12, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.


But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is a fantasy tale filled with magic, danger, and a twist around every turn. Blake has created an exciting world that is just at the tipping point of a war narrated by a fiery and strong-willed female protagonist. 

The war brewing in this story is between the Firebloods, those who have power to wield fire, and Frostbloods, those who can control ice. The main character of the book is a Fireblood, one of the only ones left because they have gradually been wiped out by Frostbloods. So immediately we're thrust into a world where our hero, Ruby, is in danger and this had me stressed OUT. 
Image result for stressed out gif
What I thought to myself was why does everyone have to be in danger? But of course it wouldn't be a gripping book if there wasn't a something to hook you in right at the beginning. Ruby is not the easiest character to like at first, she's stubborn, hot-headed and I did find her quite annoying. But as she learns to harness her gift and develop it with the help of some monks and a mysterious and tortured boy named Arcus, I also learned to love her as well. 

In Frostblood, there is fantasy but there's also a lot of action and a twinge of romance which is what I enjoyed as well. This book reminded me of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, so if you enjoyed those series I'd recommend you try this one out even though the fantasy in Frostblood doesn't feel as rich, but the story line is just as interesting. The romance for me at first was a bit rocky, I didn't know how I felt about Arcus as he was the brooding and rude male interest that you know you'll fall in love by the end but just not sure about at the beginning. Arcus is a Frostblood, therefore seeing him and Ruby get over their hatred for each other and slowly fall in love was really nice. This book definitely has what I'd call a cute romance. I'm hoping that it'll spice up in the second book though, I loved scenes with the both of them in because they have great chemistry and really made my heart happy.

This didn't feel like the most groundbreaking fantasy story to me and the premise of "a war between two worlds with a prophecy saying that could it be stopped by a person born with extraordinary powers" has been used quite a lot in the young adult genre. However, I'm not deterred by this and as this is the first book out of three I do feel like the story has a lot of potential and a lot of exciting and innovative directions it could go in. I did really get hooked into this story and the wonderful world that it offered an escape into as the writing was just brilliant. Blake really brought this world to life for me and I couldn't put the book down, but I do realise that many people might want to be completely knocked off their boat by a crazy, wild and original young adult story and may not want to read a story that kind of has the same premise as a few books already out there. Therefore in that respect this one might not be for you. But if you're willing to let the world suck you in and fall in love with the characters then I do think you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Frostblood. I would definitely recommend it to those wanting a world that's similar to Throne of Glass or Shadow and Bone. And I'll also recommend this to those of you that may have watched and loved the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, I think that show describes this book quite well. 
Image result for avatar the last airbender
I'm really looking forward to reading the second instalment which will be released in September 2017, so there's plenty of time to pick up a copy and fill yourself in before the sequel is released. I'm hoping Blake will take this into a completely unpredictable direction just as she did towards the end of Frostblood.
Rating

Monday, 9 November 2015

My review of The Heir

The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Heir (The Selection, #4)Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.


Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

**Mild spoilers for the previous Selection books**

The Heir is the fourth installment in the Selection series that focuses on the next generation of royals, and more specifically Eadlyn, who must undergo the Selection to find a suitor. I was slightly surprised when I heard the series wouldn't simply end at the third book (The One) because I felt that everything had rounded off quite nicely with an ending that tied up all the storylines but also left you with a magical idea for the future. However, the author has managed to weave a storyline that works. It did feel slightly drawn out but as this is the first book I am willing to give it a chance. 

What pushed me to carry on reading this series is the fact that I knew Maxon and America would obviously appear in the story and also play a large role in it. After all, the story is about their daughter. I also came round to the idea of their being another selection as I really did enjoy reading about the process in the first few books. If you're unsure of what the selection is, basically there are 35 people competing for the heart of the heir to the throne, and in this case it is Eadlyn.

To be completely honest with you all, I didn't like Eadlyn. I didn't like her at the beginning, I didn't like her in the middle and I didn't like her at the end. To be honest she came across as bratty and selfish. I couldn't really stand her at times. The main issue that she has with her life is that she doest want to be the next Queen. She didn't asked to be born with this responsibility on her shoulders. But come on girl you've got to get on with it and stop sulking. She also like to use her title when telling off others, "you can't speak to me that way I'm a royal." Not an exact quote but gives you an idea of what she's like.
What kept me reading on was the storyline. I wanted to get to know and meet the suitors! I wanted to see what they had to offer the princess and how charming they could be in her presence. However I really do hope the story picks up a bit more in the next few books and that our darling Eadlyn learns to grow up. I'm quite interested to see who she will end up with as she has so many options.

On a side note, no you do not have to read the previous books to read the Heir. It will definitely give you more insight into the characters and give a better feel for what the selection is like, but it is not compulsory.

Previous books reviews: The Selection (#1), The Elite (#2), The One (#3)
Rating

Friday, 30 October 2015

My review of Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by IC4DESIGN, Hiro Kamigaki
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository


Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze StonePierre the Maze Detective has a new case. Mr X has stolen the Maze Stone, which has the power to turn the whole of Opera City into a maze. Can you help Pierre and his friend Carmen find their way through the mazes – and stop Mr X before it's too late? This beautifully illustrated book features 15 full-spread illustrations of intricate, magical mazes. Take a trip through a fantastic world of underground cities, hot-air balloons, tree-top towns and haunted houses. Trace your way through each maze, spot the clues and solve the extra mystery challenges along the way. 

Pierre the Maze Detective is actually the most adorable children's book I've ever laid my eyes on. The illustrations and colours are so simplistic yet I'm still awestruck every time I open this book.

At first I thought this was a Where's Wally's book but oh I was wrong. There is so much to do, even after weeks of having this book I still haven't even been able to complete all of the different landscapes. So what you're meant to do is try and find a route out of the scene that you've been given, may it be the sea, a castle, the forest, a cafe, etc. But you also have extra challenges that you have to complete like in the cafe scene you have to find a pickpocket, you know little things like that. BUT I'M BLOODY OBSESSED! Wait, there's still more. You've also got to find other numerous hidden objects. Basically this is Where's Wally with a lot more instructions on things you can find and I love it.

The colours are gorgeous and the illustrations are marvellous. I believe some call this the Japanese version of Where's Wally and I can understand that but there's something about this book that just feels even more lovable. I am a teenager, I have to study but this has literally taken over my life at points. I know, it's a terrible addiction. (I think I'm secretly using this as an outlet for procrastination.)

Overall I would highly recommend Pierre the Maze Detective for anyone; any age; any where, because come on? Who doesn't secretly love these engaging children's activities books? Exactly, the answer is no one. This book is perfect if you want to give it to a child to keep them entertained, or if you're just like me and still love the idea of completing a quest. Pierre the Maze Detective is for you, my friend.
Rating
A review copy was provided by the publisher

Friday, 9 October 2015

My review of Secret Garden - Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford

Secret Garden - Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford
Release Date: September 15, 2015.
Amazon UK |

From the publisher that brought you the hugely successful Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest - this special artist's edition features 20 beautiful, pull-out art prints for coloring in. Colouring fans of all ages will enjoy immersing themselves in a selection of the most popular artworks from the original book, now presented in a new, large-scale format for maximum coloring enjoyment.


Each detailed illustration is printed on high-quality card, and can be removed easily for framing or craft projects.

I simply don't know where to begin! Secret Garden is a beautiful colouring book with so many stunning illustrations that will blow you away. What's great about this Artist's Edition is that you can pull out and frame your work. The quality of the book is amazing and when I first started colouring it in I put a lot of pressure on my self to make a mind-blowing piece of art and this is how I got on.

This book is perfect for de stressing. I enjoyed blending colours and really bringing the image to life. In my spare time I have done small elements of the piece and hopefully one day soon it will be finished. There's 20 prints in this whole book, isn't that crazy? I didn't expect to fall in love with it as much as I have. The illustrations have captivated me every time I've flicked through the book. I honestly can't wait to hang them all up.

I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy colouring in and want something that could be seen as age-flexible. Anyone could love this book! It brings to light that colouring isn't just for children, it can be enjoyable and therapeutic for adults too! I'm so in love and will relish in the day that I can see these on my walls. No, no I'm not joking.

I've done a little bit of research and found that there's a whole series of these beauties; there's "Lost Ocean" and "Enchanted Forest". So if this particular theme doesn't take your fancy there's still more you can choose from ORRRR if you like them all and want to take extreme colouring up as a hobby then go ahead and pick up all three! 

More images from the book:
Rating
 
A review copy was provided by the publisher