Monday, 6 November 2017

Mini review: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jesicca Leake

Summary: The ancient land of Γ‰irinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Γ‰irinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Γ‰irinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 10/04/18

Beyond a Darkened Shore completely took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting to like a story about giants as much as I did. Eirinn is a land made up of kingdoms who are constantly having to protect their home from pillaging Northmen. Ciara, the mc, lives in Mide and because of her supernatural abilities she has been able to keep her people safe. That all changes, however, when she starts seeing a ominous crow who shows her dark visions. Then when Northmen arrive on Mide's shore, she discovers that their leader, Leif, could be the key to helping her save Eirinn from the evil that threatens to destroy those she loves dearly.

I liked both Ciara and Leif, they were interesting and well rounded characters who I found myself easily rooting for. I could relate to the strong bond they had with their siblings, and their sense of loyalty was admirable. Although from different backgrounds the slow build up of trust, friendship, and then something more was well executed. Plus, the romance featured one of my favourite tropes: enemies to lovers!

Warning for those not into gory violence, personally I'm not a fan, but I enjoyed the characters and their story so much I didn't really care. Overall, it was a great stand-alone!


Friday, 29 September 2017

Mini review: Everless by Sara Holland

Summary: In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 02/01/18 

Everless, to put it simply, was an enjoyable read.

For me, 2017, has been a slow reading year. I've DNF'd quite a few books, which sucks. Everless piqued my interest when I read the summary, but after all the DNFing I've been doing I kept my expectations low. 

Everless is exactly what I needed, it wasn't amazing, but it was fun and held my attention through out. The world build was interesting and although the mc was a little naive, frustratingly so at times, she was nevertheless likable. Her kindness and determination was admirable. 

The twists and turns kept me turning the pages, I wanted to see where the story would go and puzzle out the mc's past along with her.

Overall, it was a good read and I'm very intrigued to see where the story goes in the sequel.  


Sunday, 20 August 2017

2018 book releases I'm looking forward to (Part 1)

I know there's still about 4 months left of the year, but I can't help but feel excited about these 2018 releases. I've decided to split this post into two parts as there are some books that don't have a release date or cover yet. πŸ™Œ

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross | Publication date: 06/02/18
Summary: When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen? 

- Add to GoodReads
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  | Publication date: 13/03/18
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir  | Publication date: 24/04/18
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.
Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima | Publication date:  03/04/18
The empress in the east—the unspeakably cruel ruler whose power grew in Flamecaster and Shadowcaster—tightens her grip in this chilling third installment in the series.

Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move the ocean and the wind, but his magical abilities seem paltry in comparison to Empress Celestine’s. As Celestine’s bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom of her imminent invasion. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.

Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship. Lyss may be the last remaining hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled territory.
 Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian | Publication date: 24/04/18
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.
Everless by Sara Holland | Publication date: 02/01/18
In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

What 2018 releases are you looking forward to? πŸ“š

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Childhood favourites

Jacqueline Wilson
My library had a big collection of Wilson's books, and I made my way through a good chunk of them. Her books just made me happy. 😊

Anthony Horowitz
I read almost all of his books, but my faves were the Alex Rider and Power of Five series.

Meg Cabot
I've read some of Cabot's books multiple times, she was and still remains one of my favourite authors. πŸ’•

Louise Rennison
Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series honestly made me laugh. They are a brilliant mix of humour, romance, and teenage shenanigans.

J.K. Rowling
I've read the Harry Potter series two more times since I first read it when I was young, and I'm sure I'll be reading it again at some point. πŸ™Œ

Roald Dahl
I remember my teachers in primary school reading Dahl's books to us before the end of the day. The were so imaginative and fun.

Who are your favourite childhood authors?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

What I've been watching on Netflix

There's nothing better than unwinding in the evening with a bit of Netflix, am I right? 😜 

  • Started of watching this for the lols, because I was bored and thought why not.
  • The trailer made it seem cheesy and eye roll worthy.
  • After about 10 minutes I didn't turn it off as I had expected to, instead I continued on.
  • I ended up watching a few episodes, because it was kind of a guilty pleasure.
  • I am now on season 4 and it's no longer a guilty pleasure, I'm hands down in love with it. πŸ’•
  • Why I'm a fan: the women in this show are multi-layered and amazing and kick-butt. Swoon worthy male characters πŸ™ˆ *cough* Conde. *cough*  The storyline is addictive and surprising. It's visually stunning. 
  • FYI: If you're thinking of watching it for the portrayal of Mary queen of Scotland's reign I wouldn't recommend it because it's not really historically accurate.

I wanted to watch a Disney movie, so I went for this since I hadn't seen it before. Overall, I really enjoyed it!

Monte Carlo
I was in the mood for a cute, feel good movie and this definitely delivered!

Have you seen any of these? What are you currently watching on Netflix?

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Upcoming books I'm looking forward to

The City of Brass S.A. Chakraborty
My thoughts when I first read the summary: gimme gimme! 😍 | Publication date: 14/11/17

Never say Die by Anthony Horowitz
I loved the Alex Rider series when I was younger, so I was excited when I heard that there was going to be a new book. | Publication date: 01/06/17

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I enjoyed Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, and the summary for Renegades has me intrigued. | Publication date: 07/11/17

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
It still hasn't got a release date, but I'm really hoping it will be released this year. I need more Cormoran and Robin!

Are you looking forward to any of these books? 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Why I love audiobooks

After I graduated from university I really started getting into audiobooks. Previously I hadn't been too keen, because my thinking was that there was no way I would be able to concentrate on listening to them. I thought my mind would wonder for sure.

However, I've found that I was wrong...

So, here's a list of reasons why I love audiobooks:

πŸ“ You can listen to them while tidying your room/folding laundry. I listen to audiobooks out loud via the Audible app on my phone while doing chores, and it's a great way to get more things done. Not only am I getting through a book, but I'm also ticking things off my to-do list!

πŸ“ Sometimes I switch between a book and the audiobook version. I do this when I want to continue reading a book, but after a long day of work I'm tired and can no longer keep my eyes open.

πŸ“ They can help you get through your tbr pile: You can physically read one book and listen to a different audiobook.

πŸ“ They're great for when I want to read, but can't actually make myself do it.

πŸ“  They're also great for when you're lying in bed ill!

πŸ“ They allow me to get through classics. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I sometimes find classics difficult to understand and become bored when reading them myself. However, when I listen to the audiobook version they make so much more sense and I'm able to get a lot more enjoyment out of them because of this. Some of my fave classics I've listened to on audiobook: Persuasion by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

 πŸ“ You can listen to an audiobook while you're waiting for your name to be called at the doctors, dentist, etc.

πŸ“  They also allow me to get through books I wouldn't normally read. For example, the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I would never have been able to get through the books because of the long descriptions and song drops, but listening to the audiobooks was such an enjoyable experience. The long descriptive passages really worked well when someone was reading to them me vs me trudging through them and skimming out of boredom.

πŸ“ I don't have a long commute to work, but if I did I think listening to an audiobook would make the journey go quicker.

πŸ“ I'm not really an outdoorsy girl, but if I were I might listen to an audiobook while relaxing on the beach/in the garden.

To sum up I think audiobooks are great! What's your opinion on them? 😊
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