Category Archives: 52B52W

The Lord of Shadows

Well WTF book?! What even was that ending?!!! I did not expect or understand that twist, but I respect it. Shock value alone is just HUGE.

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This series gives GREAT cover!

 

I really like this series. Magnus Bane is my favourite character of this whole world Cassandra Clare has created so anything with more of him in it was going to turn my head.

I think this plot has been very well constructed. I LOVE the emphasis on family, I feel like it truly is the greatest strength and weakness of every one of the Blackthorns and those that love them. Julian may be the most unselfish character ever created, everything he does it for his family and those he loves. Interestingly there are some lines he crosses to achieve this end that I find challenge me as a reader.

I love the character of Ty, as someone who has a nephew very much on the spectrum and whose best friend has a son who is also very on the spectrum I really have liked the way in which this is explored. I found it so interesting (can’t remember if it was book 2 or 1) when Julian recalled how their father would grab Ty’s hands when he fidgeted and yell at him to be still because that was what was expected of Shadowhunters – stillness, total control. Society so expects people like my nephew and my girlfriend’s son to conform to their idea of normal, I think we should celebrate their amazing views on the world. My friend’s son for instance says what he thinks and shouts compliments at people, like, “Hey dude, I love your hair”, “Hey lady, your dress is pretty rad”, etc. What a positive way to view the world. I loved in this book how the siblings completely accept Ty for who he is and I love the relationship with Kit.

There were a lot of lovey feelings going on in this book. Interesting that I feel as though the idea or rather theme of love as a destructive force seems to be developing. Not sure if that is just me, but that is what I was starting to see solidify in this book.

That Zara chick seriously needs to get what is coming to her!

At times I do feel like I was more invested with the characters than the plot, but seriously how could I not be?! The characters are so vibrant, so completely tangible, you just want to interact with them so very much!

So in case it is not clear yet I totally recommend you read this book… after you have finished book 1… and everything else she has written – particularly the Infernal Devices!

 

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Lady Midnight

Well that was a great start to a new series. I totally enjoyed this. Gosh the family dynamic and their fierce love and loyalty to each other is really something to behold.

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How gorgeous is this cover art!

 

I liked the tie ins and check ins with characters from the mortal instruments series. Emma is a great character. I like her strength and prowess as a Shadowhunter whilst maintaining the vulnerability and feels of a teenager. How much she would sacrifice for those she loves is just momentous.

So frustrated by the cold peace and their laws, it does reflect on some social issues of the day so I think this is why it struck such a note. Just not right to punish an entire people for the wrongs of the few.

The lottery was truly chilling. Freaking crazy Fae cult. Seriously what even? I guess they come in all shapes and sizes. I did like how the reality of the cult twisted in the end, that was very cool indeed. Did not really see that one coming.

Really curious to see what is going on with the character of Diane. I feel like this could be a very interesting storyline and I cannot wait to see what comes of it – hopefully in the second book.

Not sure about the parabatai love thing, does this supposed badness only happen when they are in love with each other? Because Alec was in love with Jace in the Mortal Devices books so… confused. Meanwhile how brutal teenagers can be with the excuse of it is the best decision for others is interesting. I was no where near this brutal when I was a teen and did not have capacity to be. I get they have had to grow up fast with no parents, but damn!

Definitely read this… I am off to get book 2!


The Unleashing

I have just finished reading The Unleashing which is Book One in the Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston. I have not read any of Shelly’s other publications so this was a new author for me too. I got this book through my local library’s Overdrive account.

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I was drawn to the book not just because of the cover (hehe), but also because I have always enjoyed Norse mythology and was very intrigued by the idea of the Norse clans in a modern setting.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It was full of very strong female characters, I read a review that said they were not believable… I am guessing that reviewer was male because I have absolutely met women like that 🙂 I am a sucker for fiction that displays women in a strong light. I like it even more when they do not swoon at the first glimpse of abs. The story centers around the journey of Kera and her growth and discoveries about herself and her world. She’s strong, doesn’t take crap and the main love of her life is a pit bull she rescued off the street after it had been dumped for dead after being used in a dog fight ring… who wouldn’t love this girl?! Obviously I am totally biased as soon as a rescue dog became involved. My dream would be to buy a ranch where abused dogs are rehabilitated and given a second chance so I was hooked as soon as I read this part.

I liked the character of Ludvig as well, wasn’t sure I would at first, but he definitely grows on you. In fact all the characters do. It can get a little chaotic trying to keep them straight as there are a lot of characters running about, but it is not too bad.

I didn’t realise that the book was part of a series when I chose to read it which is a bummer because I will have to search for book two as my library does not have it. The end was a definite cliffhanger and I wasn’t expecting the book to end there. Just all of a sudden people were making statements and overtures and I was thinking to myself ‘huh, that’s weird, this is wrap up talk, but there’s so much more plot to work… oh it’s finished…’ the wrap up was a little to abrupt for me, but I think I felt that way too because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Goodreads says there are two more books in the series. I would definitely like to check them out. I just like giving fair warning to anyone interested in reading that they might be committing to a series hahaha.

What are you all reading?


Burned

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: This was a good follow on from the other novels. Found some surprises in here. There were things I liked and didn’t like. Was interested very much in how she developed Dani’s character whilst hating it at the same time.

BurnedThis book seems to be receiving some serious flack in some of the reviews I have read. I was pretty happy in general with this book. I didn’t tear through it as much as the other books in the series for some reason, but it certainly wasn’t the travesty that people are making it out to be. There were parts of it I loved and parts not so much, but the likes far outweighed the dislikes.

In general this was a good installment in the series and I am looking forward to the next one. I still LOVE the world building in this series. There were a couple of completely new areas that we visited with the characters and I could completely construct a visual in my head thanks to Moning’s world building. Her descriptions of the Crimson Hag are just spot on and at times made me cringe, they could possibly give someone nightmares haha.

The characters interacted well and I still love the arguing between groups and the banter that goes on. We saw more of some characters that have so far been mostly in the background which was great and I liked the development of Lor’s character very much. I also appreciated getting to know more about the Nine and finding out about some of Ryodan’s much protected secrets.

-WARNING – BIG SPOILER – SKIP THIS PART IF YOU WANT –

I loved the character of Dani from the other books, I was a bit put off with the changes to her character. I knew something was coming with her because it felt like this was the way we were going with some kind of hidden personality. I was just disappointed when Dani disappeared right at the beginning of the book and I guess her character was so full of life that I really felt the loss in the group. Especially when she was replaced with this next gen Dani/Amazon warrior with the personality of a paper bag. I struggle with this because I love Dani, but at the same time it was such a clever development.

I’m glad I finally got to read this book. It has been on my TBR pile for some time (like you know… since it was published haha). Looking forward to getting hold of the next one.


The Princess Diarist

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: It was good… you should read it 🙂 Yay Carrie Fisher!

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Ahh The Princess Diarist… When I found out this was coming out I made sure the library was getting a copy. With the release of the Star Wars VII there was a lot of renewed interest from our patrons in Carrie Fisher’s books. As well as pretty much anything that could in some way maybe be slightly related to anything Star Wars 🙂

When we got it in there was definitely interest and I wanted to read it myself so I put on a reserve and waited patiently. Unfortunately no librarian perks when it comes to the reserves queue hahaha.

When I borrowed the book I got a few chapters in that night and the next day Carrie Fisher passed away. Some of what she wrote in the book talked about her eventual passing and it was just too weird and sad to continue reading it at that time so I returned it and let the other masses waiting for it go first.

So a couple of months down the track now the hordes have cleared I decided to give it another go. I really enjoyed this book. Bios are not generally something I steer towards, but I have found that when they are well written and interesting I do enjoy them.

It was quite interesting to see the differences between the writing styles of “present” day Carrie and the pages of 19 year old Carrie’s journals. It was very apparent from 19yo Carrie’s writing that she was very much infatuated by Harrison, though present day Carrie is reasonably discrete about the affair itself 19yo Carrie seemingly (to me) struggled under the banner of secrecy. If you are looking for some ground shattering literary genius out of those diaries you are not going to get it. They are what you would expect of a creative, somewhat angsty 19yo who’s smoking joints and head over heels. Kind of felt as though perhaps she had gotten hold of some of my old journals except I had more of a penchant for songs than poems.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of the memoir and I liked how she simultaneously loves and hates cons. She has a special tongue in cheek love for her fans as well.

Her writing style is quite quirky and you can almost imagine her saying the words as you read along. Actually the audio book would probably be great!

She does make a few references to her inevitable passing as well as that of her mother which made reading the book quite touching, but beautiful at the same time. One of the most poignant parts of the book for me was in the acknowledgements when she thanks her mother for “being too stubborn and thoughtful to die, “I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn’t funny. Don’t even THINK about doing it again in any form.” Given that her mother died just one day after Carrie what was probably meant to be a wry joke took on a much more tender meaning.

If you are a fan of Carrie Fisher you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for some scandalous tell all on “Carrison” then this is probably not for you 🙂 But you will likely find some amazingly graphic fan fiction online hahaha. Whatever floats your boat, no judgement.

 


The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness is book 3 in The Remnant Chronicles saga and is my book number 2 for 52 books in 52 weeks.I talked about the second book in a recent post and was looking forward to reading the final installment. I will be as vague as possible, but some might consider what I will write slight spoilers 🙂

This was a thick book at 679 pages, so if you are someone who cannot commit to long books you might struggle, but I don’t mind them personally and I felt it was worth the read. When the story is good I don’t generally notice how long it is. Plus I was already two books in, I wasn’t about to stop now 🙂

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Love the cover art for this series!!!

There was this really interesting message through this whole story that I felt repeated over and over again through different storylines and that was that ‘no one is too great to fall’. This is SUCH a true message in day to day life for every person as well as in this book and I think that is why I appreciated it. It also shows how those that fall respond, do they become desperate and cruel or evil, or do they have an inner strength and sense of self that sustains them through the harshest of times. Let’s not mince words, these characters went through some hellish ordeals, particularly the female protagonist Lia. From a waited on princess to someone’s prisoner covered in filth and blood wearing a hessian sack, Lia’s resolve never faulted and her inner strength and leadership qualities just grew. Everything was taken from her and she didn’t crumble. This is a great book for young women to read for this message alone.

The other thing I liked about Lia and some of the other main characters is that they often didn’t make the popular choice. They were not afraid to make the difficult choice that would be immensely harder and possibly end in death because ultimately it was the right thing to do and could save many lives. Too often you read books where people throw the lives of thousands out to dry in the name of love and whilst I understand that being an impossible choice I do get frustrated by the sheer amount of these type of novels – like the Fallen series for example (not that I didn’t enjoy it – you can tell here and here).

Relationships were so interesting in this book. To be honest it didn’t end the way I wished it had. The ending I wanted wouldn’t be the popular version, but to me it was more realistic and I cannot say much more about how I felt about this without spoiling things so I will stop here.

I was a fan of the overall ending and was definitely a fan of many of the messages in the book. I was a particular fan of the women in this book. There is a strength to the women in this book that you cannot help but admire. Seriously SUCH a great read for young women today.


52 books in 52 weeks is back!

Wayyyy back in 2014 as one of my New Year’s goals I decided to undertake a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge (52b52w). Though I am a librarian and surrounded by books everyday I found that I rarely had time to read anymore. As it was my favourite past time I decided to find a way to get it back into my life.

My chill out time used to include a cup of tea a couple of smokes and a good read. Last year on Feb 15 I decided to put the gaspers down for good, in one more month it will be a year since my last cigarette. To be honest giving up smoking after a decade of doing it has made me probably the most proud of myself I have ever been, even more than graduating after 4 years of Uni haha. However, it did mean that I avoided reading. I realised that when I read I would sometimes crave so I stopped, this means I did not read much in 2016. Thankfully I am now over this phase and am ready to get back into reading big time!

So I thought I would start with book 2 and 3 in the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I have been waiting to read these since I read the first book in the series The Kiss of Deception in November 2015. I really enjoyed the first installment and couldn’t wait to get into the second. However, knowing the cliffhanger I was left at the end of the first I decided to wait until both books came out so I could read them one after the other. LOVE me some binge reading!

So my first read for this year is The Heart of Betrayal book #2 in the Remnant Chronicles series.

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I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was very well written.

This second installment was written in a different manner and you were able to see the story from more points of view. Whilst I loved the first book and the fact you didn’t know who was who until the final curtain call this book felt like a step forward. It felt more adult. The development of the characters in this book was wonderful, often coming from witnessing or being subjected to brutal incidents.

I loved Lia’s development through this book. She really came into her own and I love her backbone. I really liked how I could see her love of the people and her gift growing, her sense of self was in constant development throughout this book.

This ended almost exactly the way I wanted. I have an idea of where I would like the next installment to go, but I feel it is unlikely the ending I will get.

I have already started on the third book and so far it is exciting too 🙂

Library lovers day in Australia is fast approaching on the 14 February. In support I am currently borrowing all of my books from the library and sharing them on my instagram with the hashtag #librarylove Feel free to do the same 🙂

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