Posted in Books

FREE EBOOK – Still: Still Series, Book 1: Camilla Monk

Hey guys. Enjoy a free book. Same author that wrote the Spotless series which is amazing so I’ve got high hopes. Check Still out in the relevant Amazon site!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Still-Book-1-Camilla-Monk-ebook/dp/B077VZ6FFP

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Posted in Book Review, Books

Ebooks – Let’s Get Excited!

Hey guys,

PC gamers live for the Steam summer sale. It’s an excellent time to get all the popular games for buttons and I’ve caught myself up in it a few times. However, as bookworms we don’t really get much to get that syked for. Until today. Today marks the start of the Kindle summer sale(!) and I have been busy.

I have to slow down with the buying paperback books thing. My fiancé and I live in a one bedroom flat in Aberdeen and my books currently take up half the flat. Compromises had to be made and so if I want new books, unless they are part of an existing series that I have in paper copy or breathtakingly beautiful, then I have to get them on my kindle. It’s a hard life. My attachmemt for my kindle is growing in a way I never thought it would and with me moving into clerical work my kindle is going to become my buddy for quiet periods in work.

There are hundreds of titles that have been included in the sale from all genres and I’ve been sifting through some of the titles. I’m rather impressed, I must say. There is a lot of titles I recognise and some I have already read. Some of them I’ve already bought not on sale and an kicking myself for not waiting until the sale to buy them. But, worse things have happened.

I’ve bought some new titles from the sale that I’m rather pleased with.

  • How to be Champion by Sarah Millican – This is an unusual one for me because I’m not a big lover of autobiographies. Maybe I’ve just never found one I really enjoy. That being said, when I saw this one and who the author was I thought I’d give in a bash. For 99p, if I hate it, I can’t be too upset. I love Sarah Millican as a comedian. She reminds me a lot of myself but she is hilarious, totally appeals to my sense of humour. I stumbled across her work by accident but I’ve never regretted a moment of it. If this book is going to be anything like her stand-up comedy then I will not be disappointed.
  • The Grisha trilogy – these are titles that pop up again and again for me, recommended based on my most common reads. You can currently get the whole trilogy for less that £7 through the kindle store which, considering you’ll pay £7+ for one of the books in paper copy, is a great deal. I actually have no idea what these books are about, I don’t want to read the description or anything because it’s actually rather nice to go into a series totally blind to what you might find. I’m excited to what I’ll discover.
  • Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven – this is the last of my purchases. It was recommended because I read Beautiful Broken Things which was a book that I really enjoyed (I read the whole thing in one sitting). If this is going to be anything like Beautiful Broken Things then I’m certain I will enjoy it. From the author that wrote All the Bright Places, I’m hoping for some feel good plot line with some angst and heart string pulling.

I’m pleased with my takings so far from this sale. Definitely watch this space for the outcome of my read throughs. Have you read any of my newly acquired titles? Are they worth the read?

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

A Court of Mist and Fury – A Review

Court of Thorns and Roses was just the beginning of the series and, in hind sight, it was nothing in comparison to following book in the series, child’s play really. Let’s open the floor to the captivating A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This is a follow on from my first review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in the series.

The threat of Amarantha is gone, Prythian is free from her reign and Feyre, our broken and tortured protagonist, is adjusting to her immortal body. Her wish came true, she fell into immortality and won the hand of her great love, the High Lord of the Spring Court. Tamlin was what she wanted, what she fought to save and protect. She is praised and worshiped and dressed up and pushed into parties and, as the bride-to-be of a High Lord, she is smothered and coddled. But the invisible scars inflicted on her from under the mountain run deeper than anyone can imagine. Well, than most can imagine or comprehend. Enter Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. A tie in from the first book, is the bargain that is struck between Rhysand and Feyre. It removes her from difficult situations in the Spring Court as Rhysand can feel her through the bond of their bargain. She is cracking, breaking under her own emotional stress and Rhys is the only one who understands the affect that her time under the mountain had on her, not even Tamlin takes the time to pull Feyre out of the bottomless ravine that she has soundlessly fallen into. But Rhys does. He sees her for the broken mess she has become, if only because he has become the same behind his mask of indifference and hostility. Rhys, beautiful and equally as scarred, whisks her away to his own court, away from Tamlin and the life she cannot seem to find her place in and he offers her santuary and friendship and the promise not to treat her like glass.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

He becomes a friend and she becomes part of his inner circle, part of his family. There is threat looming, and Amarantha was only the beginning, only one of Hyberns generals. Hybern is gathering its forces with intent to strike the wall, and only Rhys and his inner circle are willing to step up to the mark and stand against the King of Hybern.
There are many reasons why this book is my favourite of the series and is becoming my all-time favourite the longer I think about it. In this book we are introduced to the Court of Nightmares and the Court of Dreams and the city of starlight and the Illyrian warriors and their beautiful wings. There isn’t enough words, I cannot really describe how stunning this book is, how much it touches your heart and cripples it and just makes you feel so alive. It makes you want to be a part of it, to live it.

There is such character development too, so much more than the first book half and it hurts all the more but you can’t help but feel as they do. We learn more about our characters too and we meet new characters. We meet the High Lord of the Summer Court and he is the sun and sea and warm summer breeze incarnate. We meet Cassian and Azriel and Mor and Amren, Rhysands inner circle. The characters we once loved are scorned and the ones we were uncertain of becomes the ones we are rooting for. And the magic becomes more intricately worn into the story and we so quickly become lost in the fantasy world of Prythian. I am a dreamer and this is a book for dreamers. It gives hope and love and warmth even in the darkness of hardships. It reminds us there is always something better and that it is important to be your own person. To be the person that empowers you.

“There are different kinds of darkness… There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”

Of course, we also have our characteristic steamy scenes between characters and they are guaranteed to leave you feeling a little hot under the collar. It isn’t tasteless, and it only enhances the detail and reality of the descriptive detail.

Something I feel that it is necessary to rant about is the love that is still felt for Tamlin. Okay. So in the ACOTAR we love Tamlin. He steals Fere away and introduces her into his court and they fall in love and all seems pretty sound. Except after the fanfare under the mountain something sort of clicks out of place and it isn’t quite the same for them and that’s really okay. People can change and their views change shift and their whOLE LIFE IS QUICKLY THROWN OUT OF PERSPECTIVE AND THEY DO THINGS THEY AREN’T PROUD OF IN THE NAME OF LOVE AND PEACE AND FREEDOM AND THAT IS OKAY. It changes who you are and I would have been worried if Feyre hadn’t reacted badly to the things she had to do under the mountain, who she had to kill and the families she tore apart just for Tamlin. I don’t think I could feel the same way about him if it had been me. Both Feyre and Tamlin change and it isn’t anything to do with not loving each other but it is enough of a change to drive a wedge between them. Tamlin doesn’t give FEyre what she needs to heal and fill that hole in her chest, a hole that was torn because of Tamlin. No Rhys didn’t steal her or manipulate her or anything to turn her against Tamlin. He wanted her help and he helped her see that she was more than Tamlin was allowing her to be, she was more than an accolade. She is a Queen and if he couldn’t accept her as his High Lady of the Spring Court then he 100% did not deserve her.

Both books are available on Audible as audio books and if you’re anything like me then you will be pleased to know that both books are narrated by the same person which makes me happy. I don’t wholeheartedly endorse Audible, I 100% recommend reading the book, but audible is handy for myself as it fits nicely into a busy lifestyle. Also, kindle has audio narration that accompanies a lot of its books which you may find to your liking (I hate it).

With the ending to A Court of Mist and Fury we are set up and ready for A Court of Wind and Ruin, the third booking coming this summer. The suspense is absolutely killing me. Prepare yourself, war is coming and if Hybern is going to fight dirty then the Night Court and its High Lord and High Lady will gladly rise to the occasion.

“To the stars the listen — and the dreams that are answered.”

Posted in Book Review, Books

Kindle? A Necessary Evil?

​When I was 15 (that would have been four years ago now) my mum was so insistent that I was going to get a kindle for my Christmas. I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful but I really, really didn’t want one. She wanted to get me a Kindle Paperwhite, an earlier edition to the ones you would buy today and it was going to cost about £89.99 and I really didn’t want it. It didn’t come with books on it already, I had to charge it, what if I dropped it and I’m so clumsy so it was a possibility. I was set in my ways. Nothing was better than a book in my hands, a real book with that book smell and a whole fictional world encompassed in the ink on the pages. I would rather have a library, a physical library, lining the walls of my room with so many books I couldn’t remember all the names of but loved them all regardless. I wanted that experience of having the books in my presence. I didn’t want this tiny electronic thing that could break and that held no emotional value to me at all. I argued my case persistently.

I woke up on christmas morning and opened my presents. I got a kindle from my mum. I wasn’t mad about it, wasn’t mad that she wasted money on this thing I didn’t need not want but it was a wasted effort. I did my best, I acted grateful and got it charged and set up and even went so far as to get a few books downloaded on it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was amazed at how small a file ebooks came in. I downloaded What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare (oh, it’s brilliant. It’s one of the short stories about the high warlock of Brooklyn from the Shadowhunters series and it is so funny. Magnus Bane is amazing). I read the book and I forgot about it. I ended up buying a pretty hardback edition of the Bane Chronicles anyway (if you haven’t read any of the Shadowhunter series I recommend it or at least watch Shadowhunters on Netflix), so my kindle got tossed into a drawer and forgotten about.
It made a reappearance a few times and it came in handy a few times – my dad gave me a load of ebooks so I used the kindle as an opportunity to read Fifty Shades of Grey and its series without being judged. That is one reason that I do like the kindle, people can’t see the cover of the book you’re reading and it gives you a little bit of privacy. Not that I’m always reading particularly raunchy things like Fifty Shades of Grey but people are less inclined to ask what you are reading which is good. It’s good for holidays or long travels. If you’re anything like me and you can read a book cover to cover in a few hours then going on holiday with 15 paperback books isn’t really an option. But even then it takes something away from your holiday because you lose that feel of having a book there in your hands. I’ll probably stock pile my kindle for my journey to Boston in May of next year but that is simply to conserve precious space in my suitcase.
And with the rise of Kindle Unlimited from Amazon the power and influence could grow exponentially. The package looks like a good deal to me, although I’m sure that anything you read or listen to through it doesn’t become yours. It is merely loaned to you, but hey unlimited access to kindle books and audio narration? Seems like a pretty sweet deal. Ebooks are gaining power, with new E-readers and most book titles being released in electronic format, they are becoming more accessible and appealing to the masses. You can download apps on your phone and read anywhere so long as you just have your phone. No more paper bookmarks! The revolution! No longer do we have to worry about losing our page or folding corners of pages to mark our place (the horror!). And these apps and E-readers are pretty user friendly, with the ability to change font size and background colour. It’s a nifty little advancement on the technical front.

However, despite the apparent advantages to the kindle and its brethern, I am biased and loyal to my cause. Paper books will always have a place in my heart and spending a day in a bookshop among the shelves of books comforts me a great deal. The kindle only makes a short appearance out of necessity, not out of the desire to actually want to use it. But I’d like to know: What do you think? Do you have opinions on the ebook revolution?
Thanks,

Louise