Posted in Book Review, Books

The Immortal Rules (The Blood of Eden, #1)

Hey guys,

I find myself rereading the same books over and over again, scared to start anything new in case I hate it and then revert to rereading the same books anyway to get over the disappointment of any new books I do read. It’s a very miserable way to go. Anyway, I recently heard about a series called the Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa. I’ve never heard of the author but I know of some of her works but I knew nothing about this series. I called out to a group on Facebook asking for opinions of the series and the general consensus was “100% YES read these books”. So I took a chance and picked up the first book of the series. Continue reading “The Immortal Rules (The Blood of Eden, #1)”

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Posted in Book Review, Books, Writing

Top 10 Books for 2018

20182018 is officially coming to a close and 2019 is about to begin. What a year it has been.

I don’t know about you guys but it’s been a pretty life-changing year for me. I got engaged in spring, found out I was pregnant in summer, lost my grandad in the fall and my lovely old pussycat got put to sleep in winter. It’s been an emotional year with both happy and sad circumstances falling on my family and I but here we are at the end of another year.

I thought I would do a bit of a wrap up of my Top 10 Books for 2018. It’s not something I’ve done before but I thought it would be nice to revisit all the great books I’ve read in the past year. This isn’t limited only to books that have come out in 2018. Continue reading “Top 10 Books for 2018”

Posted in Books, Writing

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 15

Day 15 – Your Five Literary Heroes

Life is so noisy right now, but it’s going in the right direction. So, part of my catch-up here is the next prompt.

In no particular order, my five literary heroes;

  • Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby I love The Great Gatsby. It’s the only F. Scott Fitzgerald book I can read but I love it. The thing I really love about this book and the characters is how truly over the top it all is. Hysteria is a great word for it. It’s infectious. There are so many flaws in Gatsby, but ultimately he just wants the girl he fell in love with the idea of. From someone that came from nothing, he built himself an empire just the prove to Daisy that he could give her the life she wanted in return for her affections. However, despite the parties and the lush life, he is a very lonely man in a crowded room. He is very misunderstood but eventually, someone sees him for who he is. Nick sees Gatsby for the real man that lies beneath the facade, but by then it is too late. (My first ever tattoo, which was of course book related was from The Great Gatsby and I love it).

Continue reading “30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 15”

Posted in Book Review, Books

To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

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Hey guys,

I’ve got another gem of a book to share with you all. So I recently went on holiday to Berlin and needed some new reading material for the week away (I didn’t really need a new book, but you know how it is). I filled my kindle up with some golden oldies and some new books I found on the Kindle store, one of them being To Kill A Kingdom, and I was ready for a week in Berlin. The reason I chose this book was that I decided to read the reviews (for once!) and it mentioned the first line of the book which is more than enough to capture your undivided interest.

I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive. There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom.

Talk about an engaging opening for a book! As well as an excellent opening line, the book is also recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas books, whose work I adore, and Leigh Bargugo (I haven’t read her books, she’s the author of the Six of Crows series. Would you recommend I read this series?). So really I had no choice but to get stuck in about this book.

The book is told from two points of view, Lyra and Elian and it flicks between their points of view each chapter. Lyra is a siren who steals the hearts of princes and Elian is a Prince who longs for a life sailing the sea. Lyra is known as the Princes’ Bane among the humans, notorious for her desire to only steal the hearts of Princes, ripped straight from their chests. Lyra disobeys her mother’s orders and is punished by being turned into a human, left floating in the ocean. Elian is a siren killer and self-declared Pirate finds her and takes her aboard his ship. He wants nothing more than to put a stop to the notorious Princes’ Bane but takes Lyra aboard his ship, unknowing she is what he hunts in another form. The two embark on a journey to put a stop to the Sea Queen’s rule and recapture a long lost legend.

Something I loved about this book was the initial way that our two main characters both see themselves as bad people. Each of our main characters often takes the time to reflect back on the bad qualities that they both possess. Both of them very openly admit to being murderers, of varying degrees and their actions and views could be considered morally questionable at best. I find a relatable aspect of Lyra’s relationship with her mother (not to say that my mum is an evil sea-queen who steals hearts, but she isn’t entirely a saint either). But then, diamonds are formed under pressure. It just depends on how you chose to embrace. I feel it.

It was pleasant to see that Lyra didn’t give up who she was for a man. That much stays apparent throughout the whole book, although there is a very clear character development. She is by no means of the word good but, forged by something as twisted and cruel as the Sea Queen, it is unsurprising to see the values she holds at the beginning of the book. In a life where cruelty and bitterness are nurtured it is hard for love and compassion to bloom. But even in the darkest of hearts such feelings still bloom. Our anti-heroine doesn’t become soft, but instead alters her moral standing and forges a unity that stands to serve a much bigger picture. It is fair to say that this book is has a rather large undercurrent of romance to it but not in a conventional type of way. It grows but it is a very slow-burn but completely worth the journey. It very much progresses into it from two people not willing to find the time or care enough to try to two people drawn together under a common goal.

In the pits of our souls – if I amuse myself with the notion that I have a soul – Elian and I aren’t so different. Two kingdoms that come with responsibiliites we each have trouble bearing. Him, the shackles of being pinned to one land and one life. Me, trapped in the confines of my mother’s murderous legacy. And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.

Lyra sets out to steal the heart of a prince. In the end, he gives it up freely. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you chose your fantasy based on the romance factor but if you are willing to give it the time to bloom then you won’t be disappointed.

How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.

It is a dark and vicious story, fantasy with a slow-building romance. It has fairy-tale qualities and some parallels to The Little Mermaid (but it is in no way a retelling). Both of our protagonists are bad-ass and witty with such a dry sense of humour you might be tempted to drink the ocean water. It is a refreshing fantasy, if not a brutal at times.

I’m sad this book is a standalone book but but butUntitled

So I’m super excited about that.

Until next time, guys!

 

To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

ISBN: 978-1-4717-0740-6

Posted in Book Review, Books

Angelfall – Penryn and the End of Days

Hey guys,

So I decided to re-read some of my old favourites, sifting through my bookshelves. I wasn’t going to write about this but the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy by Susan EE is so underrated and never seems to get the recognition that it deserves. The first book was released back in 2011 and from there I followed the release of the books, addicted in the same way I now am with Maas books. This is the first post of three and we’re starting with book 1, Angelfall.

The book starts with a family together, fighting off starvation in a world reduced to rubble by invading angels. The angel’s arrival on earth ripped the world apart and initially, there seems to be no motive behind the invasion other than to torment and kill humans. Penryn, her sister, and her unhinged mother have survived the initial few months and managed to stay together unlike many others. However, things very quickly take a turn for the worst when the family finds themselves in the middle of an execution of an archangel. A group of angels brutalise an injured angel before severing the angels’ wings and continuing to fight with the wounded angel. Continue reading “Angelfall – Penryn and the End of Days”

Posted in Book Review

Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland

So I’ve been in a bit of a book slump since the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin back in May and it’s only been recently that I’ve picked up a book, let alone one that I’ve wanted to write about (I’m not entirely sure why because unlike a lot of Maas fans I enjoyed the book). Between then and now I’ve also started a new job so life has been a little up in the air recently but we’re finally getting there. I picked this book up in ASDA to keep me occupied at work. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland seemed to be the fluffy feel-good story that I needed to pull me out of the slump. I read this book in less than two days. I think it was worth it.

The book is a love story. Almost. Kind of. Not really. It’s set out that way, with Henry Page looking for that heart-stopping kind of love that he’s read about (he’s an English Lit student at heart), and seen in movies and witnessed first hand in his parents.

Continue reading “Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland”

Posted in Book Review, Books, Uncategorized

The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones

So, as promised, I already had the ball in motion and fully planned to make way onto a series of reviews based on The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and here I have the first instalment of six! I give you The City of Bones.

(A quick note- If you had the displeasure of watching the Mortal Instruments movie that based very loosely around the first book please don’t be put off by the book series. The movie was bloody awful and the book series is exponentially better. It isn’t our fault as a fandom that they graced us with terrible “film adaptation” of a fantastic book series and I’m more than happy they stopped after the failure of the first film and didn’t continue to ruin the remainder of the series. On a side note from that, the Netflix series wasn’t terrible, it’s cringy but it’s accurate to the books. I quite enjoy it.)

Anyway! The City of Bones is the first book in the series of six books in the Mortal Instruments series. TMI is a series within the Shadowhunters series and all in there is at least 12 actual novels within the larger series and more to come, with the second Dark Artifices book coming out later in the year (hooray!). They all tie in together and we see names and families pop up in loads of the books. I really enjoy how the books incorporate loads of different families at different periods in time, we get a history of people’s families and it’s fascinating and heartbreaking knowing what happens to them and how they lived in the Shadow world. The City of Bones introduces us to modern-day Brooklyn, where we meet Clary Fray and Simon Lewis, two best friends who lead incredibly normal  lives. That is until they are unexpectedly thrown into a world that they never knew existed, a world that Clary belongs in by blood. Clary’s mother, Jocelyn Fray (formerly Jocelyn Fairchild), was of the shadow world, married and part of an elite group of shadowhunters called The Circle. Jocelyn sees the error in her husbands objectives and fights against it, taking an important part of Valentine’s plan and runs far from that world. Away from Valentine. But when she runs from that life, pregnant with Clary, she promises to do everything she can to protect her from that life. So she takes Clary to a warlock, the High Warlock of Brooklyn to be precise. Enter Magnus Bane, one of my favourite characters. Magnus glamours Clary’s memories frequently, ensuring that she remembers nothing unusual and ensuring she remembers nothing of the shadow world. Fast forward fifteen years later, and Clary is none-the-wiser to the shadow world until her memories start to filter through and she starts to see weird things that she’d never noticed before. She thinks she’s going crazy and Simon is inclined to agree with her. Her mother, who is in hiding from the shadow world, is attacked and taken away from Clary. From here, Clary is thrown into the deep end and quickly learns that all the stories are true.

The Nephilim, or shadowhunters, are an elite group of demon hunters. Created by the Angel Raziel, they are charged with protecting the human world from demons that slip through from other worlds with the intent to kill and destroy. Clary learns that she is of the Nephilim, and learns that there is more to the world than angels and demons. Enter Jace Wayland and the Lightwood children. These guys are residents of New York’s Institute – a home for shadowhunters, a stronghold. it is place for the Conclave to meet.Between Jace, Alec, Isabelle and Clary they manage to gate crash a house party thrown by our favourite High Warlock, piss off a the Brooklyn Vampire Clan, rendezvous with a pack of werewolves and take on one of most notorious shadowhunters in history. Much of the City of Bones is a set up for the return of Valentine Morgenstern, the leader of the former Circle, and honestly he’s a bit of an ass. He’s a pretty good villain.

The title of the book refers to the Silent City or The City of Bones. The Silent City is part of the shadow world and is home to the Silent Brothers. The Silent Brothers are former shadow hunters who serve as medics and archivists to the nephilim. They take on powerful runes and often have mutilated face and it is because of this that they are feared by many shadowhunters. The Silent City is referred to as the City of Bones because it is also the place where the dead reside. The bodies of fallen shadowhunters are burned and used to create the very walls of the Silent City – hence the name.

It means ‘Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234’.

 

So for the most part, it’s pretty action-packed and set up the rest of the series quite nicely. We have our fair share of love interests within the first book. Let’s start with Jace and Clary. This is my second favourite pairing  in the series (we’ll get to Malec soon). Jace is the bad boy that deep inside we all want but won’t readily admit to so it is completely understandable when Clary falls for his boyish, bad-boy charm.

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?’
Jace said, “Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.”
“At least,” she said, “you don’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.”
“Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”

At this point, all of the ships are new and there isn’t too much to go with for now but there is still five more books. Jace had an interesting start to life, raised by a tyrant who believed whole-heartedly that to love is to destroy, a mentality he drummed into Jace. Jace continues to remember his roots to a father he saw murdered when he was a child, who believed that love is a weapon. Jace knows that he wants Clary but his bones tell him that one of them will be left in pieces should he chose to give in to basal urges and have her. Towards the end of the book we learn something quite devastating that might perhaps change the way that the two visualise each other!

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

 

On top of this we learn that Simon Lewis, Clary’s best friend and friend-zone resident, is in love with Clary. He doesn’t think highly of Jace, not understanding the attraction that Clary has to him and he truly just wants Clary to realise that he has been there the whole time, with more love for her than she might have anticipated. It is sweet, in a sense, that he has loved Clary for years and he has always operated in her best interest but as soon as Jace comes onto the scene, he realises that he has to try harder if he has any chance of getting the girl. It does bother me a little though. Simon is a great guy, and a great friend to Clary, but I feel like he needs to grasp that you can’t change someone’s feeling for you. You can’t make someone love you and I feel like that is what he starts trying to do. I mean, of course she loves him but not in the non-platonic way that he seems to hold out for.

To conclude our list of love interests for The City of Bones, we have Alec. Alec Lightwood is Jace’s parabatai, brother by bond and equal. They are there for one another, bound to protect each other by oath from the Clave. You can only commit to one parabatai in your life, and when you do your souls become entwined. There is, however, a rule. You cannot fall in love with your parabatai and that is exactly what Alec has done. He keeps it between himself and Isabelle, Jace is none-the-wiser to this development. Not only would such a thing disgrace his family name and he would face trail by the Clave, it also means that he a  gay shadowhunter which is something that is not readily accepted by the nephilim. It is hard for Alec to see Jace and Clary take to each other like a moth to flame, and he reacts badly to it for most of the first book. Clary sees Alec for what he is straight away, accepting it but not appreciating how she is treated because of his feelings. It starts messy, and Alec tries his hardest to push Clary out, encouraging her to go back to her life in the human world.

I was going to talk about Magnus Bane but I think I might just have to make an appreciation post for him seperately. Magnus is one of the most down-to-earth characters in the series, I think. Not that there is anything real about being the High Warlock of Brooklyn, but I mean he is the most sincere. He has lived a life, many lives, and he understands feelings and emotions. He has seen a great deal, has been hurt but still holds a soft place in his heart for shadowhunters, no matter how they have treated him in the past. He cares for the shadowhunters of the institute even when he is under no obligation to do so and all the while he feels more than he knows he should. He is destinctly human dispite it all. On top of this, he is fabulous. I wish I could pull off wearing half the clothing that Magnus can.

 

It is a fantastic start to the series and it introduces many stories within the stories meaning there is enough to keep you interested in the series. We meet a good number of the main characters and we get enough background to the shadow world without getting confused. There is a really fantastic Wiki page for the entire shadowhunters series which is helpful for some terms in the book you might not yet be familiar with but beware! There are spoilers inside. As always, I hope you enjoyed this and I’ll have a review for The City of Ashes very soon!

 

The City of Bones

The City of Ashes

The City of Glass

The City of Fallen Angels

The City of Lost Souls

The City of Heavenly Fire