Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

thewickedking‘Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.’

The Wicked King is the sequel to The Cruel Prince so there will be spoilers for the first book in this review. Jude and Carden are now in power, seeing as he is bound to her command for a year (and a day), this doesn’t stop Carden from trying to work ways around this bargain and he still manages to find his own sick ways of belittling, with some help of old faithful Locke. Traitors are at play and Jude is left feeling like she can trust no one but herself. My favourite parts of this book were seeing the relationship between Jude and Carden evolve, and yes I do ship that toxic relationship. Cardens brother, after massacring most of the family is being held captive and may or may not be conspiring against the crown with Orlagh, queen of the sea. We see Jude try whatever is in her power to keep the ones she loves safe while protecting the kingdom, but of course nothing ever goes to plan in Faerie. The book has a huge cliff hanger ending that left me still confused at what Cardens true feelings and intentions are, and now we wait for book 3.

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

this book was purchased by myself

Book Review: Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

beneaththesugarsky‘When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save!

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…’

The third book in the Wayward Children series, this one revisits the school some time after the events of the first book. There are a few new characters as well as some beloved old ones and they are all trying to bring Sumi (my favourite character from book 1) back to life, hurrah!

Sumi’s daughter falls out of the sky and in to the pond at the back of the school where she is discovered by some familiar characters and one new (chubby mermaid) girl. They decide to help her on her quest to try and find Sumi’s body and some how figure out how to bring her back to life before Rini completely ceases to exist, she is slowly disappearing (one finger at a time) so the race is on.

The usual hilarity ensues and we get to travel to some different worlds via a magic candy bracelet, confront a queen of candy, bargain with the lord of the dead and meet a god of confection! These books are always a joy to read and I have enjoyed them all so far. Book 4 (In an absent dream) is newly released and I can’t wait to read it!

If you like dark humor and interesting characters, please read book 1 in this series! (Every heart a doorway)

GOODREADS –  AMAZON

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

THIS BOOK WAS PURCHASED BY MYSELF

My Top 10 Books of 2018

KAFKA ON THE SHORE BY HARUKI MURAKAMI

6564051I read my first Murakami book in 2018 and oh boy, this book is now one of my favourites of all time! One of those books I feel everyone should read at least once. I’m not a huge re-reader (ok not a re-reader at all) but I will for sure be reading this book again in 2019, and probably once a year until I die to be honest. Please read it!

SHADOW OF THE FOX BY JULIE KAGAWA

37004954Most people who have read this book describe it as being an anime in book form, and that is pretty accurate. What a fun, emotional ride. Being a huge fan of Japanese culture and mythology I enjoyed this SO much. Great cast of diverse characters, good and evil and a giant monstrous centipede. The sequel comes out in 2019 and I can’t wait.

VICIOUS BY V.E. SCHWAB

viciousMy first V. E. Schwab book and what a great introduction to an author. Self made super villains, switching timelines and great characters. This book challenges morality and the way we perceive what’s wrong or right. Who will you root for?

THE SOUND OF WAVES BY YUKIO MUSHIMA

628052018 was also a discovery of my new favourite author and I ended up reading the majority of his English translated work. Sound of waves in particular touched me and gave me all the feels, another one I will end up re-reading. I still have some of his books to read in 2019 but I’m savoring them like the precious gems that they are.

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE BY NATASHA NGAN

34433755I feel like this was quite a popular book from 2018 and rightly so. It has a lot of trigger warnings for sexual abuse, violence and rape though. It also features a F/F romance and is written really well in my opinion. The sequel is out in 2019 and I will for sure be picking it up, this book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger and I need to know how this plays out.

REVENGE BY YOKO OGAWA

17789899Another awesome Japanese author discovery for me, this book is made up of 11 short stories that all inter connect in some way and will leave you feeling CONFUSED, but in a good way. An excellent unique read and another that I would recommend everyone to read at least once.

ALICE BY CHRISTINA HENRY

aliceI recently posted my review for this book but in summary, a VERY dark Alice in wonderland inspired story, set some years after the events of the original story. Trigger warnings for extreme violence and sexual abuse. Revisit all of the old Alice in Wonderland characters with a very evil twist.

SCYTHE BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN

scytheSet in the future where all illnesses are cured, humans can live forever, no poverty or hunger issues. So how do they keep the population down? Random people get chosen to become Scythes and they get to pick and choose who dies, for good. Great read aside from the unneccessary romance.

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY BY SEANAN MCGUIRE

25526296A pleasant surprise, I went in to this thinking it would be more of a children’s book but I was WRONG and it was amazing. A school that children come to after they return from spending years in a different world. Loved the humor,  characters and dark themes.

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE BY TOMI ADEYEMI

childrenofbloodandboneA great author debut from 2018. Multi perspective fantasy adventure trying to reclaim the magic that was taken from them very brutally. There is one character I didn’t really like and some insta love that didn’t make too much sense but over all a fun read. The sequel comes out in 2019.

Book Review: Recent Reads #3

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I’ve finally read it, and I’m glad I read The Assassin’s Blade first. I think Sarah’s writing and the characters keep me coming back for more as the plot is definitely questionable at times. Also some of Celaena’s decisions make me literally ask “Why?!” The ending of this book wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it a little disappointing. I’m still moving straight on to Crown of Midnight!

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him
.’

This was my first audio book experience as I’d heard such great things about it. It was very immersive as it features a full cast and half of the book is basically a podcast anyway. Triggers warnings for sexual assault, pedophilia, drug addiction and PTSD. Listening to this kept me firmly hanging on to the edge of my seat the whole time, although the ending wasn’t very satisfactory and I wish we got more of an answer. I found the representation in this regarding young victims of sexual assault to be very accurate and eye-opening and this book should be read by everyone. Monsters really do hide in plain sight.

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

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My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Niki Jumpei, an amateur entomologist, searches the scorching desert for beetles. As night falls he is forced to seek shelter in an eerie village, half-buried by huge sand dunes. He awakes to the terrifying realisation that the villagers have imprisoned him with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit. Tricked into slavery and threatened with starvation if he does not work, Jumpei’s only chance is to shovel the ever-encroaching sand – or face an agonising death.

This was quite a wild ride. I picked this up to read as it is Pewdiepie’s book club pick of the month, and I love to read Japanese authors and I hadn’t read Kobo Abe before. This book made me hate sand. Sand now disgusts me and I’d be quite happy to never feel it again. Abe describes in such a way that you really feel Jumpei’s frustration and desperation. Some parts are sexually explicit and others are just disgusting. An interesting read but one I doubt I will be rereading in the future.

ALL BOOKS FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW WERE PURCHASED BY MYSELF.

Book Review: Recent Reads #2

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children book 1)

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

‘Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.’

Based in a boarding school for children that once upon a time stumbled through a portal into a different world, only to be spat out years later and unable to readjust to the regular world. From reviews I had seen before reading this, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was prepared for a nice heartwarming story, but no, it is in fact quiet adult and full of murder, which made me love it more. All of the characters in their own way were likable and unique and even though this novella is fairly short, it still felt like I had read a properly fleshed out story and I wanted more! There are heartwarming aspects to this book of course, but it is far more adult than I was expecting going in to it and in some cases, quite graphic. Overall, I loved this and could have easily read another 200 pages of it.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children book 2)

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

‘Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…’

The second book in the Wayward children series solely focuses on 2 characters from Every Heart a Doorway and retells their journey from birth until they stumble out of their portal world full of monsters, vampires and mad scientists. I found this one interesting but didn’t enjoy it is much as the first book. It does highlight some important issues like the gender roles some adults force on their children and how crippling that can be for the child. It also features a same gender romance and once again, lot’s of death. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series very soon.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

‘The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.’

I think this book for me was way too overhyped and that had a part in me being disappointed when reading it. With so many people in the community claiming this book as their favourite of all time I guess I was expecting something amazing. It fell short for me and felt quite drawn out and took me twice as long to read as any other book would just because of how it was written. Overall I enjoyed the characters and the story, aside from the insta romance and THOSE  4 pages that I had to skim over. My favourite character by far was Minya, the mini sadist. The amount of times in this book that killing babies and infants are mentioned also made me close to DNFing this book entirely. I will wait a while before tackling Muse of Nightmares, the sequel to this book, but I will get to it eventually.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

‘Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.
Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…’

I finally decided to bite the bullet and see what all the Throne of Glass fuss was about and started by reading the 5 short stories prequel book. It didn’t disappoint, I was drawn to the main character, Celaena instantly and even though she may have made some stupid decisions during this book, I NEED to read the rest of the books just to see her get some kind of revenge, The end of this book broke me and made me so mad. I’m moving on to Throne of Glass straight away, let the Maas destruction continue.

All books featured in this review were purchased by myself

Book Review: Recent Reads #1

Mermaids are Real: The Mystiq Prong by Bo Wu

41428935“’Crabs talk?’ asked Benji.

‘Everything in nature speaks. Not everything in nature listens,’ said Octavius nodding Topside.”

A self published YA fantasy novel, Mermaids are Real explores the relationship humans have with the ocean and our general disregard for the damage our lifestyles are doing to it. Benji is just turning 13 when he discovers that he isn’t actually a regular human kid that just happens to be able to talk to animals, he is in fact the last of his kind and belongs in the ocean with the rest of the mermaids. His parents were killed when he was just a baby because of their belief that if they revealed themselves to the humans (topsiders), that humans would stop damaging the ocean. However, not all of the merfolk shared their belief and instead want to punish the topsiders. It is now up to Benji to find the missing mystiq prong and stop them from starting a war with the topsiders. I found this to be a delightful read, these characters (especially the aquatic ones) are so charming and the humor throughout kept me smiling. I was very invested in these characters and wanted desperately to see them all survive and succeed in their mission. The writing style felt really natural and easy to read, the chapters were also nicely paced which is a big plus for me. Some of the book is extremely dark, one part in this book got me tearing up and the underlying message of how destructive our way of life is to our environment is very powerful. Can not wait for the second book!

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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Book kindly sent to me by the author for an honest review

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