Archive for the ‘Review’ Category:

Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 6th 2016
Published By:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

 

Review: This review contains no spoilers for Empire of Storms. It does however contain spoilers for previous books in the Throne of Glass series.
(more…)

Review: Shield (Spark #3) by Rachael Craw

Release Date: September 1st 2016
Published By:  Walker Books Australia
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: “This is the Affinity Project – where freewill is turned to ash.”
Evie is out of options. She must comply with the Affinity Project – obey their rules, play their deadly games, give up Jamie. And her losses keep growing…

When she decides to help a small group of Shields trying to affect change, Evie finds herself in the firing line. Counsellor Knox is intent on revealing her secrets and shackling her to the Affinity Project for life. To protect her family, Evie must betray those closest to her.

The odds of success – let alone survival – are slim.

The final thrilling conclusion to the Spark series.

Review: This review contains does not really contain spoilers for previous books in the series but to read my reviews on those books, you can find them here and here.

(more…)

Review: The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

Release Date: March 24th 2016
Published By:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Review: This review contains spoilers for previous books in the series. To read my reviews on those books, you can find them here and here.

(more…)

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Release Date: July 31st 2016
Published By: Little Brown UK / Arthur A. Levine Books
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Review: Like the rest of Australia, and the world, I rushed out to get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on release day. I was more excited than an eleven year old boarding Hogwarts Express for the first time – I just could not wait to get my greedy little hands on the next piece of the magical world created by J.K. Rowling – to get another sliver of magic, to cling on to another piece of this wizarding puzzle, to have another moment of wonder in this phenomenal world that will always hold a place in my heart.

So with the spell cast, I got my copy and I read eagerly wanting to get every bit of Harry Potter that I could – and the result was similar to the Hermiones first attempt at polyjuice potion: both fantastic and down-right ugly.

(more…)

Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Release Date: July 25th 2016
Published By: Harper Voyager
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

ReviewNevernight was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016, so did it live up to my very high expectations? Hells yes it did!

The short version of my thoughts about Nevernight is this: IT IS BLOODY AWESOME!!! Run out to get yourself a copy. Don’t walk, RUN! This is book is filled with so much awesomeness that I cannot form proper words!

Jay Kristoff is a beloved Aussie author, and following the success of Illuminae, everyone had high expectations of this book. But this book is not Illuminae, but it certainly holds its own ground on every level. I am a fan of Jay’s, not just because of his previous work, but as a person. He is honest, down to earth and absolutely hysterical (follow him on Twitter to see what I mean). He doesn’t hold back in his thoughts and opinions, and this book is everything, and more, that I expected from him. It encompasses everything about him and his amazingly twisted creativity. From the vivid imaginary to the brutality of this world, Jay does not hold back on creating a full and complex world filled with everything from first lust/maybe-love, to blood and gore, revenge, conflict and sacrifice. This book is as complex, raw, honest and funny as I would have expected from Jay. During a conversation with a friend I said “if you read this book without knowing who the author was, you would pick Jay as the author”. That isn’t saying it is predictable in any way, it is saying that it is a 448 page book of what I would expect from this amazing author: world-building, amusement, abruptness, complexity, mystery, quirkiness, bloodshed, intricacy, secrecy, darkness and one absolutely amazing ride! (and a few Jay Kristoff-isms thrown in there too).

This book had me hooked right from the start, with a phenomenal first chapter that is clever, intriguing and somehow sucks you right in! As the pages go on, you find a dark world filled with luscious detail. This is masterful storytelling my friends! The past and present are masterfully weaved together, with little pieces of the puzzle coming together in due course. And the footnotes throughout this book are sometimes relevant to the storyline, sometimes funny antidotes – literally some laugh out loud moments are to be found within these little gems.

The storyline is intricate and dark, with a fierce and determined protagonist, Mia. Mia deeply misses what has been ripped from her, and this fuels her desire for revenge. From the age of ten years old when Mia was pulled away from her life of privilege and hiding from the very people who murdered her father, she has been training to become an assassin. Now at sixteen, she has finally found her way to The Red Church, a training facility for the best of the best, in the hopes of becoming one of the few that survive the training and become the ultimate assassin, a Blade.

The training is not for the weak of heart or stomach. It is brutal and only the sharpest, quickest and most cunning will survive. And even survival does not guarantee that one becomes a Blade. This is everything Mia has dreamt of since she was child, and she will do whatever she needs to do to make sure it happens. She is determined to become a Blade so that she can extract her revenge on those who killed her father and stole her mother and brother away from her. Her only reason to be here is become a Blade, and while at The Red Church she seeks comfort from the shadows that are always there, she tries to keep her distance from the possibly-would-be-allies within the walls of The Red Church, she is ruthless, cunning and utterly determined to make her dream a reality. But hidden secrets, plots and betrayal within The Red Church may change Mia’s life forever.

Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget.

To be honest, I cannot form the words to accurately describe the awesomeness that is Nevernight. I just can’t do it justice, and my brain can’t even try, it is still fan-girling over this AMAZING book!

And that cover! OMG – that cover!!!! The Aus/UK cover is beyond stunning; it is filled with beauty, intricacy, mystery and darkness. It perfectly showcases the amazingness on what these pages contain.

Without getting into the debate on whether this book is YA or not, as YA is subjective, let me say this: this is a fantasy book that does contain some graphic content. Personally, I loved the frankness of it all, but if you classify swearing as “gosh darn”, or if you consider graphic deaths as “she shot an arrow into his heart” and you think that sex scenes should fade to black, then this is not the book for you. Jay does not hold back, his descriptions are vivid and detailed; with lots swearing, stabbing and blood and gore, and sex scenes that could make some blush (bravo Jay for these scenes by the way!). If you want your adult themes to be like an episode of Neighbours or Home and Away then this book will shock you. It is brutal, it is upfront, it is completely honest… and I loved it!

Nevernight is amazing first instalment into this new world with lots of blood, inner-turmoil, courage, despair, treachery and hope – along with a few OMG moments, luscious writing and fantastic twists that will keep you furiously reading page after page and leave you desperate for the next book.

After finishing Nevernight, my only thoughts were really “holy shit that is amazing!” – and a few other profanities to go along with it. And to be honest, a few weeks after reading it, my thoughts are still the same. The random words that keep running around my head when trying to form sentences about this book include: Phenomenal. Bad-ass. Brilliant. Vengeance. Stab. Epic. Betrayal. Amazeballs. Murder. Dark. Assassins. Intense. Fantastic. Blood. Cats. Violence. Tremendous. Fierce. Brutal. Heartbreak. Shadows. Heart. Delicious. Fucking-amazing!

Basically, I absolutely adored everything about this book! Besides the fact that it put me in a huge reading funk and now I just don’t know how other books could possibly compare. Nevernight is epic. This is easily the best book of 2016! I know the year isn’t over yet, but I cannot foresee anything topping the awesomeness that is Nevernight.

 

 

 

 

Strange the Dreamer Samplers – 10 Things I Learnt

   

 

OMG! I have been ridiculously spoiled by certain someones, and I now have my little Laini Taylor obsessed hands on both the UK and US Strange the Dreamer samplers!!!

Now I don’t normally read samplers, because I find that they are nothing but dirty teases – but of course I was going to read these… and this is what I learnt.

(more…)

Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 11th 2016
Published By: Orion  (UK/Aus) / HarperTeen (US)
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Mare’s blood is red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Review:  This review contains spoilers for the previous book in this series: Red Queen. You can read my review of Red Queen here.

I loved Red Queen – it was dark and edgy, with sass and action, so naturally Glass Sword was one my most anticipated sequels of 2016!

Sequels are always exciting! They can make the whole series a success, be the start of its demise, or anything in-between – and sadly, I think that Glass Sword is somewhere in-between.

(more…)

Review: The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman

Release Date: May 19th 2016
Published By: Bloomsbury
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.

Review:  Late into the night on New Year’s Eve 1986 a sleeping 4 year old Turtle (real name Tabitha) was kidnapped from the basement of her home where she slept with her 7 year old sister Sam and Sam’s best friend Remy whilst the neighbourhood adults partied upstairs. Sam and Remy pretended to be asleep but saw the man in the Santa costume come into the basement and grab Turtle. And yes I will admit that the similarities to the JonBenet Ramsay case did come to mind when I was reading this.

(more…)

Review: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White

Release Date: June 28th 2016
Published By: Delacorte Press (US) / Corgi Childrens (UK/Aus)
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Review:  There are a few ways to get me excited about a book, and they include a gorgeous cover, tell me it is historical fiction and promise intrigue and brutality. And of course, put Kiersten White’s name on the cover! So And I Darken pretty much had me from the very beginning.

I am a big fan of Kiersten. And even though she has ruined unicorns for me forever, I still adore her and her work. And while it is exciting when an author you love brings out a new title, it is always a little scary – what if you don’t love this book as much as the others? What if you are disappointed after you have hyped it up in your own mind? So, excitement and fear aside, I entered this world with all, and no, expectations at all – and I was NOT disappointed!

(more…)

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Published By: Bloomsbury
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

 

Review:  This review contains small spoilers for A Court of Thorns and Roses. Review for A Court of Thorns and Roses can be found here.

Excitement! A Court of Mist and Fury has arrived! OMG, another awesome Sarah J Maas book to devour! What could go wrong??

Well, a few things actually.

(more…)

Review: Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: January 25th 2016 (Aus) /January 5th 2016 (US)
Published By: HarperCollins (Aus) / Disney Hyperon (US)
Pages: 486
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: This journey is only the beginning…

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Pulled back through time to 1776 in the midst of a fierce sea battle, she has travelled not only miles, but years from home.

With the arrival of this unusual passenger on his ship, privateer Nicholas Carter has to confront a past that he can’t escape and the powerful Ironwood family who won’t let him go without a fight. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value; one they believe only Etta can find.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by an enigmatic traveller. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta from Nicholas, and her way home, forever.

 

Review: Passenger is one of the biggest YA releases of 2016. Although I am not the biggest fan of time-travelling stories, I know that I was ridiculously excited for its release, after all, it is written by Alexandra Bracken who gave us the wonderful The Darkest Minds series, it promised us mystery, ships, deceit, longing, adventure, pirates and time-travel. And well… just look at that gorgeous cover!!!! Who wouldn’t be excited about this book?

(more…)

Review: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

Release Date: February 23rd 2016 (Aus/UK) and January 5th 2016 (US)
Published By: Tor
Pages: 412
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

 

ReviewTruthwitch is the new fantasy series to hit the YA market with a bang! Filled with magic, intrigue, adventure and action, this is an exciting new series from Susan Dennard that will pull on your imagination and leave you wanting more.

(more…)

Review: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: September 29th 2015
Published By: Orion-Hachette / Henry Holt and Company (US)
Pages: 465
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

 

Review: Entering the Grisha world once again, Leigh Bardugo does not disappoint with Six of Crows. With its own unique style and flare, Six of Crows is far enough away from The Grisha trilogy to enjoy separately from the original series, but with just enough of the magical Grisha world for fans to love this new and interesting story.

(more…)

Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: November 1st 2015 / October 20th 2015 (US) / October 22nd 2015 (UK)
Published By: Allen & Unwin / Knopf Books (US) / Oneworld Publications (UK)
Pages: 602
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

ReviewIlluminae was set to be one of the biggest YA releases of 2015 – and although I was excited for this book, I am going to be honest, the thought of reading it scared the shit of me.
(more…)

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Release Date: January 1st 2016 / September 22nd 2015 (US)
Published By: HarperCollins / HarperTeen (US)
Pages: 336
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

 

ReviewWhat We Saw is a story of a small town rocked by rape allegations. And while this story is not from the POV of the victim, or alleged offenders, it does not shy away from the horrors of such a situation. It shows the true horror – the bystanders. This is the backstory. The story of those who know the victim and the accused offender(s). Of those who may or may not know exactly what happened. Those who are either willing to let their personal opinion of the people involved be the judge, or those who are wanting to find true justice.

(more…)