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Cookie Break

Writer, stationery addict & occasional cat pillow. Adorer of all things cute. Tea and pasta fanatic.

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Leigh Bardugo

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

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“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.”

nano-reward-3What I thought:

After I devoured Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom last year I just had to read this trilogy, too ❤ So I treated myself and made Shadow and Bone my first read of the year ^-^

I knew that the more powerful Grisha were said to live long lives, and Darklings were the most powerful of them all. But I felt the wrongness of it and I remembered Eva’s words: He’s not natural. None of them are.

I instantly loved Alina. She’s a young woman who gets thrown into a destiny she couldn’t want less, with a power she can’t control and doesn’t want to possess, against odds she can’t hope to survive. I can’t tell if I loved her for her, or because she reminded me of my girl Rachael.

Because I read the duology first I came to Shadow and Bone with a different view point – the places, the people, the events that play such a big, vital part in Shadow and Bone I’d already heard of. Because of this I felt like I was coming back to a world I already loved, despite not having seen these places in the duology. The familiarity was there, and it was wonderful.

“You’re shaking,” he said.

“I’m not used to people trying to kill me.”

“Really? I hardly notice any more.”

Two things stood out above all others for me. One is the Russian mythology that plays a big part in this trilogy. I’ve actually done a bit of digging and love how Bardugo has adepted Russian folklore to fit her world! The world building is excellent, but then I already knew that 😉 The second highlight is Alina, and how she copes with her situation. She’s far away from familiarity when she arrives at the Little Palace, and doesn’t know who she can trust. Her own power is a mystery to her, and I loved seeing how she coped as the story went on.

I also love Genya. End of story ❤

If you’re looking for a fantastic fantasy trilogy, or if you loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, then I urge you to read Shadow and Bone!

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Have you read Shadow and Bone, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

WWW Wednesday 8th February 2017

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

08022017-2Ashael Rising

I’m very nearly done with this now and should finish it on Thursday. It’s the only ARC I’ve got at the moment so I’ll be able to return to my tbr pile after this!

I’ve really enjoyed it, and should get my review written early next week. Since I only post one review a week here it’ll be a while before it’ll go live but it’ll be on Goodreads right away 🙂

Blurb:

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

***

What I recently finished reading

nano-reward-4Siege and Storm

I really liked Siege and Storm. I’d agree that it wasn’t as good as the first book, but I still flew through it and I love the Russian mythology weaving into it. I’m excited to read the final title in the series now and see how everything’s going to play out.

Blurb:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

***

What I think I’ll read next

nano-reward-5Ruin and Rising

This is still my next read… It’s taken me a while to get through my ARC since I read two books parallel to each other for a while, but it won’t be long now! I’m hoping to start it on Friday, maybe even Thursday. I’m really looking forward to it now!

Blurb:

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.

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

WWW Wednesday 11th January 2017

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

Happy New Year, my fellow book addicts! ❤ I hope you all had a great, book-filled start to the year 🙂 Would you believe it’s been a year since I’ve started doing this bi-weekly?!? :O

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

nano-reward-3Shadow and Bone

I’ve been dying to read this trilogy ever since I finished Crooked Kingdom, so I treated myself to all three when I won NaNo last year. I’m still reading The Night Circus as I’m preparing this post on Monday, so I’ll only just have started it by the time this post goes live!

Blurb:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

***

What I recently finished reading

www-14092016-4The Night Circus

This book was magic. And such a perfect way to kick off my bookish year, too! I doubt I’ve noticed everything that goes on inside and away from the circus, so I think reading it again at some point is a must! I’ll hopefully get around to reviewing it this week, so keep an eye on my Goodreads account for that. The review will be live here in a few weeks, too.

Blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

***

What I think I’ll read next

nano-reward-4Siege and Storm

I’m going to binge read this series until there’s nothing left to feast my soul upon ❤

Blurb:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Also-

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Touch

I’ve been meaning to read this play for a while (not only because the author happens to be my editor), so when it was free last week I had to get it! Because it’s so short I’m planning on reading it one morning this week as a break from my edits. I’m thinking a nice cuppa tea, some biscuits and a warm blanket will be perfect with it ❤

Blurb:

The Seeker has grown up in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime, and for most of her life, it hasn’t bothered her. But when some of her classmates are arrested for touching, she decides to try the most forbidden of things and touch another person. When she discovers the power of touching, and how it changes her and those around her, will the Seeker be content to return to a life without it?

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

WWW Wednesday 21st December 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

I won’t be around much today since I’m off work now and busy relaxing, but I’ll pop in here and there 🙂 Stay safe, my fellow book addicts, and I’ll see you next year! 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

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The Night Circus

I doubt I’ll have much time for this before January, to be honest. My parents are coming over Christmas so I don’t know how much time I’ll end up having for it. If I do get a few spare moments here and there I might spend them reading but there’ll be so much else going on, too. I feel bad because I started it a while ago but then three ARCs happened and now I’m on my Christmas break! if it doesn’t happen this year it’ll definitely be my first read of 2017 🙂

Blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

***

What I recently finished reading

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Surrender

I finished my third and last ARC on Thursday ❤ I really enjoyed it, my review is already up on Goodreads if you want to check it out. It won’t be on here until early January now due to it being the end of the year and due to us all having a food coma in a few days time, so I thought it best to wait.

Blurb:

Sophia Woodville’s life is anything but ordinary. You can’t be ordinary when you’ve discovered your’e an Earth-born Angel. Alone and suddenly powerless in the stinking heat of the Daimon realm, Sophia has been betrayed by the one person she trusted most. She must find a way to escape and continue her quest to unravel the clues left for her eyes only, fighting the Zombie-like Rogues to preserve the prophecies of Enoch. Only then can the Fallen Angels return to their homeland and humanity be released from the grip of Yeqon and his evil horde.

***

What I think I’ll read next

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Shadow and Bone

This is definite ❤ I got myself the whole trilogy as a reward for winning NaNo after devouring the duology earlier this year, and it’s been a priority since. What better way to start the year? :3

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

My Favourite Reads of 2016

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I’ve had amazing luck with my reading this year. Most of the books I’ve read were either every bit as good as I’d hoped they’d be, or they’ve exceeded expectations! I’ve found some incredible new authors, some new favourites, and the forever shelf on my bookshelf has had quite a few new additions, too! Thanks to Goodreads next year promises to be just as exciting – but right now I’d like to look back over the best books I’ve read this year, and make some recommendations while I’m at it 🙂

Watch out for the indie edition of this post in a couple of weeks, too! 😉

TG1

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Warheart marked the end of a long, wonderful series for me. In total there are 17 books, including the prequels, in the Sword of Truth series, so finishing it was bittersweet for me. I’d spend so much time in Goodkind’s world that moving on wasn’t easy, but at the same time I was excited to dive into something new. This was High Fantasy at its best for me, and I can’t recommend them enough! The first book is called Wizard’s First Rule – just be prepared for a long ride!

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I was drawn in by the cover and the blurb, although, I’ll admit, I thought this was about someone with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder (split personality)) It’s not. It’s about a girl who literally splits into two every year around her birthday, and that makes this one hell of an emotional roller coaster! Don’t finish it in public. You’ll want chocolate, and a lot of tissues! (I can’t stress enough how many tissues you’ll need – or how much chocolate!)

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I received The Name of the Wind as a Christmas gift a year ago. I hadn’t heard of it before and its size was intimidating, which is why it waited a little longer on my shelf before I braved it. The second book is even longer, but if you want an Epic Fantasy story (you know you do, don’t live in denial!) then it doesn’t get much better than these! Once I’d started reading the length no longer bothered me. You know a book is good when you’re halfway through its 994 pages and want more!

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I admit, I had my difficulties with these two. They were slow starting for me, and they didn’t draw me in as much as they did everyone else, but they still deserve to be on here for the incredible world building, wonderful magic, and fantastic characters! If you haven’t read these yet you probably want to. Go on, treat yourself!

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Do I need to say anything? Just read them. They were wonderful, fantastic, and everything I want in a book. Please read them. Read them now!

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I actually hesitated putting this on here, because I saw the film afterwards and the film was terrible, and ruined it for me. But then I remembered the beautiful writing style, and remembered that the film did it an injustice. I really enjoyed this book, and think that you might, too. If you’ve seen the film, ignore it. The book is so. Much. Better!

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane was everything you might expect from a Neil Gaiman novel – Magical and wonderful, and it did something not many books manage. It left me feeling empty. It stayed with me for a while after I finished it, and it made me wish magic was real more than any other book has done. This was the first year I picked up a Neil Gaiman book, and he’s immediately become one of my favourite authors.

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Because I didn’t enjoy ADSoM and AGoS as much, I went in with low expectations but This Savage Song made up for it. It was so beautifully written, and I found an insane amount of quotes for my little red book! The sequel is on my insta-buy list, and I’m really looking forward to it.

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This was another one for my little red book. The writing style in this was different than most books I’ve read but stunning, and I ended up with so many quotes I loved! Along with The Name of the Wind and Six of Crows, this book is my happy place. If I’m ever stuck in my own writing, I leave through this, and it makes everything better ^-^

What are your favourite reads this year? If you were to recommend only one book (… fine, make it two), which would it be?

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For all my book reviews, please take a look here.

For Cookie Break’s home page, click me!

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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“Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.”

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What I thought:

I thought I’d give myself a bit of time before writing the review to get over my hangover, but it didn’t work. I’m still madly in love with Crooked Kingdom, so expect a lot of gushing and incoherent rambling up ahead! 🙂 I’ll try to be vague and let a couple of quotes make up for it.

Where do I start? This isn’t an easy review to write because most of the things I want to talk about are either spoilers or profess my undying love for Jesper and Wylan. It was so nice to be back in Bardugo’s world and read about my favourite characters again that I flew through this.

“Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.”

Crooked Kingdom starts right where Six of Crows left off – Inej taken hostage, and with plots for vengeance forming. Bardugo does what she does best – plot twists at every corner, brilliant character development and the banter was to die for! Especially between Nina and Matthias, and Jesper and Wylan. Their constant flirting and innuendos were fantastic and made my day, even more so because innocent Matthias didn’t get the innuendos.

There were a few parts I loved especially, such as the story of how Matthias’ met his wolf Trass, Wylan’s character development, seeing Inej afraid because she’s such a strong character, and the ending. Word of warning: One of the six dies. While I really wanted all of them to make it out alive I do think that a death makes more sense than none, given the danger they keep putting themselves in. If anything I think we’re lucky to loose only one of them, but I’m happy that no one else has to die.

Matthias was running through the streets of a foreign city, into dangers he did not know, but for the first time since he’d looked into Nina’s eyes and seen his own humanity reflected back at him, the war inside him quieted.

And of course the writing is brilliant.

This duology is one of my favourite things. I learnt so much from it for my own writing, and love it all the more for it. Bardugo’s world will be my happy place if I’m ever stuck for inspiration.

So, just in case you were wondering – I recommend this duology. Read it now!

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Have you read Crooked Kingdom, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

WWW Wednesday 12th October 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

www-14092016-3The Raven Boys

I’m buddy reading The Raven Boys with my wonderful friend Faith, which makes this all the more exciting! 😀 I’m not very far into this yet but so far it’s not quite what I thought it’d be. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Honestly, if I were a book, I would not want to have to follow Crooked Kingdom, but something had to, so here we are 🙂

Blurb:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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Thrown to the Blue

I’ve received an ARC of this beauty and am beyond excited to dive in! I’ve read Chapman’s other novels and know this will be good. I’m really excited to see how she handles multiple POVs and my favourite genre, high fantasy.

Because this is an ARC I had to push The Last Day of Captain Lincoln back a little. The release date is the 11th November and I want to make sure that I have me review ready and posted before then.

Blurb:

Foretellings have no place for goodness, only greatness. Princess Ezrahli is far from good, but she is a great woman in a conventional Kingdom, followed by whispers and scorn. However, across the waters is un-convention, magic, and fable. Her existence has been foretold in the battle against dark magic, and destiny shall weave itself into her life because darkness cannot be fought with goodness, only greatness.

Smuggling and sorcery leads to adventure, and adventure leads to destiny. Reed is a prince of the streets, but what he lacks in title, he makes up for in skill; a skill that sets him on a path already written in fate. Can he be more than what is expected? Can he enable greatness in another and survive the process?

Vengeance is a motivator, but it can never be your friend. In the end, it will ask for sacrifice, and only the great will pay the fare.

***

What I recently finished reading

www-28092016Crooked Kingdom

I didn’t think I’d be done in time for the next WWW post, but here we are! I finished it on Sunday and have been hungover ever since. I don’t often get book hangovers but this one will last a while. I’m so not ready to move on! I don’t normally care for fanfiction but if any of you know any good ones, point the way 😀

Blurb:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

***

What I think I’ll read next

www-28092016-2The Last Day of Captain Lincoln

Since I had to push this one back a little I’ll be reading it next 🙂

Blurb:

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

 ***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

WWW Wednesday 28th September 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

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Crooked Kingdom

I’m being a little ambitious here. As I’m preparing this post today (on Tuesday), my copy hasn’t actually arrived yet but since the release date is today and it’s been out for delivery for a few hours now I’m positive that it’ll arrive in time for me to start this tomorrow (… on Wednesday). I was hoping it would arrive before I left for work today, but no such luck 😦

Since I haven’t started it yet (*ahem*) I can’t say what it’s like, only that I’m expecting great things 🙂

Update: IT’S HERE!! 😀

Blurb:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

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What I recently finished reading

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Outliers: The Shape of Things to Come

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, too. I haven’t finished this yet but only have ten pages left to go, so I’m confident that by the time this posts I’ll have finished it 🙂

It’s a collection of short stories from a variety of writers, so there are a few different styles in this. The short stories are all interesting and it’s presented immensely well – some as letters, some as newspaper articles, and the work that has gone into this is evident through the graphics alone!

My full review will follow in a few weeks – or, if you follow me on Goodreads, in a few days hopefully 🙂

Blurb:

We’ve been keeping an eye on these subjects for a while.

A simple glance couldn’t tell you the extraordinary things these anomalies, these gifted individuals we call Outliers are truly capable of. And those differences often find them on the wrong side of families, friends and the law.

Most wish only to hide from persecution or from being studied. But more emerge with every passing year, and it is becoming harder and harder to keep them secret. Worse, many don’t want to be hidden and have begun to gang together to obtain power, wealth and control.

Gathered here are reports and dossiers from AURA, the United States’ Agency of Unusual Resource Acquisitions. Our task is the extra-judicial monitoring and containment of Outlier-related incidents, and keeping the chaos to a minimum for the sake of national security.

But the job is getting more difficult every day, and if the past is any warning…
—Adam Zimmerman, Director of AURA

Includes several pieces of flash fiction, as well as the four short stories:
FUBAR by Jonathan Ward
For a Fistful of Diamonds by A. R. Aston
The Falcon by Jonathan Ward
The Beast in the Beauty by James Fadeley

Also featuring characters and factions developed by Alec McQuay and Robbie MacNiven, and illustrations and artwork by Manuel Mesones.

www-14092016-2Good Omens

I really wanted to love this, but sadly we just didn’t click :/ I love Neil Gaiman, and I love Terry Pratchett, but for some reason I didn’t get into Good Omens. The weird thing is that I can see all the reasons why I should love this – it’s funny, the writing flows smoothly and is easy to follow, it questions the definitions of good and evil – but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Blurb:

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter – the world’s only totally reliable guide to the future – the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea…

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What I think I’ll read next

I’ve got two books I’m really looking forward to!

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The Raven Boys

I won The Raven Boys in a giveaway a little while ago, and think I’ve waited long enough! The cover alone makes me want to read it, so I’m excited to finally get to it.

Blurb:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Also…

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The Last Day of Captain Lincoln

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review from the author, and am really looking forward to it. It’s been on my tbr list for a little while, so being asked if I’d like a free copy to review made my day! Yes, please!

Blurb:

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

 ***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

ReviewsSix of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

WWW040516.2What I thought:

Six of Crows was one of the first books I came across after I started looking for book blogs, and it’s only nearly taken me a year to read it! 😀 When I first heard about it, the hype was everywhere and it was impossible to not see this book. I’m glad that I waited instead of getting caught up in the hype – it’d be a shame if I hadn’t loved this book as much as I did, because it’s very deserving of my love!

So, where do I start? Before you even start reading you see the beautiful design – inside and out. The map is lovely, and every chapter comes with a pretty design, too. I love it for all that alone! (of course, I’ve since found several books which are designed in a similar way – go figure!)

But wait, there’s more! 😉

There are six main characters in this, and most of them were introduced in one chapter which felt a little overwhelming. For a little while I wasn’t sure who was who, but as the book progresses it gets easier and it didn’t take too long before I could sort the names to their characters. Even if I couldn’t pronounce half of them. (How do you say Inej’s name? Anyone?) I know there are quite a few people who thought there are too many characters, but I disagree. I loved all the different angles and personalities – having said that, I do think that them being introduced together was a bit too much information for one chapter.

I was promised that I’d love Kaz, and I do! I love a good anti-hero, and this book has six of them. What more do you need? ❤

Everything that could go wrong went wrong. There is so much going on behind the scenes and in the characters’ minds that I have no idea how Bardugo managed to keep it all straight, but I salute her for it.

While there are no romantic relationships in this novel there is lots of potential for future love relationships. I kept wanting to push all the potential couples together and make them kiss since they wouldn’t do it on their own! Their stubbornness was driving me mad!

Six of Crows is full of realistic, well thought-out characters who never swerve from their personalities and who don’t disappoint. The world itself is believable and amazing, too, and it’s easy to see how much work has gone into creating it.

Besides being excited for the sequel, I’ve added Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy to my tbr list, too. Her world is amazing, and I won’t say no to spending more time in it! ❤

So, to summarise: Yes, I can see what the hype was all about. Yes, I’m glad I waited. Yes, you should read it!

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Have you read Six of Crows? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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