Tag Archives: Book review

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 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.

 


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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52 books in 52 weeks – a review

I admit I have been struggling a little to keep up with this of late for a couple of reasons, one I have been super busy and two I have found it a little hard to finish my current book. This is strange because I usually enjoy this author and I am not quite sure what I am not connecting with.

So I decided to take a break from reading and talk about a series of books I read earlier in the year that I was somewhat disappointed by. I was already wanting to write about this series (particularly after seeing the movie) and then I read a post titled 30DBC Day 08: Most overrated book check it out it’s really good and really got fired up about it again. So here we go…

 

Book Series: Divergent Universe
Author: Veronica Roth
DTB rating: 2.5/5 stars – it loses .5 of a point for the ending

 

SPOILERS!!!

Let me start by saying that I really, really wanted to like this series. It had such promise, perhaps that jaded me a little – who knows, what I do know is I was disappointed.

The Books

There were some really good parts of this series, I was lucky enough to read the books all in a row so there was no time between them and the story was a lot more seamless that way. I know of others who have read them as the books came out though that could not keep track of who was on what side and who was betraying who – there was a lot of betrayal and fence jumping and general spy and sly behaviour going on. Sometimes it felt a little jumbled – for me to say that is a big thing because I have no trouble keeping the Song of Fire and Ice series straight and that should be a lot more complex 🙂

I did enjoy most of the characters in the book in general. Although I was disappointed at times in the relationship between Tris and Four in the second and third books, this is YA Fiction and what this quite famous series tells YA about relationships is that it is okay to deceive and betray your significant other under the guise that you are either protecting them or going to do something incredibly stupid, but only if you apologise later. If you apologise then everything is okay and that is healthy. It is only (I think) quite a bit through the third book that they kind of go… wait maybe this is not an okay thing to do in a relationship – then technically Tris does it again anyway by sacrificing herself for her terrible traitor brother who had previously tortured her.

Which brings me to the ending… what was the point of killing off the heroine? I have no problem killing the protagonist – I really don’t (hello Game of Thrones fan here), but I don’t agree with it when it has no meaning to the plot. In this case it just meant instead of celebrating we had 20 pages of Four being depressed and thinking about erasing his memory, he only refrained from erasing his memory when another character guilted him out of it. To be honest I felt like Four looked more selfish across these pages which was really frustrating to me when I had just been so proud of the growth the character had shown in dealing with his parents. If you’re going to kill Tris then sure have some despair, but make him quickly realise that he needs to make her death worth something.

Personally I would have had her survive the bullets, but be paralysed. This physical restraint on her would have forced her to stop being so reactionary to situations and would have helped her character grow and mature into perhaps a leader for a bunch of people who would be very scared and very lost at first. Instead of fast forwarding two years to see Four only just starting to get his life back together and scattering Tris’ ashes. I truly hope they change the end of the movie so that she either ends up like Professor X or she lives (less awesome end if she lives, but still way better than the way her death was played out).

Also can I just say that there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary death for a YA series! For instance there was really no reason plot wise for Tori to be killed off and then to find out a couple of pages later that the brother she though Jeanine had killed was still alive and well. It did not advance the plot at all, it just seemed cruel.

 

The Movie

I actually basically enjoyed the movie, I think the changes they made from the book in general were necessary to advance the plot appropriately. I think the changes to the ending made sense because you needed that show down Boss style – which I am sure was difficult for Kate Winslet while six months pregnant so good for you love!

The casting in general I thought was quite good, Eric was surprisingly good – when I read the book I pictured him differently, but they chose really well. Tony Goldwyn did well as Andrew Prior and almost made me forget that he killed Patrick Swayze in Ghost and then tried to move in on Molly/Demi, Ashley Judd as his wife Natalie was also lovely – some things were changed in her storyline particularly just before she died and I am interested to see how they adapt the rest of the storyline in the follow up movies to compensate. Kate Winslet did very well in her first “Baddie” role kudos to her. Shailene Woodley showed a great emotional range and I think did justice to the character – my god that girl has a lot of hair! Miles Teller as Peter did really well, the only problem was that because of some of the stuff cut out of the story you didn’t really understand how much of a psychopath Peter was so when you found him awake at the Dauntless compound it didn’t really make sense, you also weren’t really aware that he was one of the people who tried to kill Tris. One of the pleasant surprises in the films was Christian Madsen as Al, he was really good. I was quite impressed with his portrayal – this was the first time I have come across his work, but I am very interested to see what else he has on his resume. Particularly the last scene you see him alive… just perfectly played 🙂

Aside from everything I just said about the movie though I absolutely have to mention this as all through the movie it jumped out at me… apparently there are no blood transmitted diseases in that world because they were sharing needles all over the place! It was so noticeable to us that my co-watcher started saying things like, “here’s a little hep C for you, you want some too? Here you go sir, enjoy that hep C won’t you”.

It really doesn’t matter who wins the Divergent war if they are all going to die of bloodborne pathogens.