Tag Archives: fantasy

Reading Slumps, Second Hand Books and Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire Review.

Recently I have been in a bit of a reading slump, they are the worst, right? I used to have a bit of a system to get me out of slumps, read a bit of super trashy YA, give me the romance, give me the tropes, the works and then work my way back to normal reading habits from there.
 But recently I have been doing a lot of stop starting, stop starting, picking up books put them down again. It’s been a reader’s worst nightmare because really all you need to get you out of a slump is that one book that draws you and holds you there and then you’re away.

I have just finished Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire this book has been on my TBR for a really long time and I’ve seen it bouncing around book blogs and BookTube and it’s kept my interest (since 2016 when it was first published). I finally purchased a second hand copy which, I do a lot unless I really want to go out my way to support the author or am really excited for a release so will already have the book  on pre-order.
But I l do love secondhand books and a good bargain it’s my way of buying a lot of books with out it costing the moon (and back). The thing that often happens when you buy second hand is that they can (not always) take ages to arrive. So, I completely forgot Every Heart a Doorway was coming until it turned up at my house. (Yay book mail!)

For those of you who have read the book you know it’s short, finishing at 169 pages which was great for me as someone just coming off a reading slump it was just what I needed to ease myself back in. Also, the premise sounds really original-  Children who have doors opened up to them in their childhood and are taken to different fairy worlds but what happens to them when they come back and how do they cope living in a world that they no longer consider to be come? It’s a really interesting concept, almost like Narnia gone wrong… what would it be like if the Pevensey Children came back from Narnia with some serious mental health problems because they could never go back and that is basically what we are talking about here. As well as watching our interesting cast of characters adjust to life in school for children who are just like them… but not quite.  As we get to know our main character Nancy  she is the new member of the school and our gateway into the story it is fascinating to learn about all of the children’s different worlds and as a mystery unfolds around them they use the skills developed in these worlds to cope  with what is going on. The book is also diverse as it has a Transgender character, Kade and our main character Nancy is A Sexual. This was interesting as the book being in the YA genre was just getting to the point where in my mind it was ‘setting up the romance’ and then Nancy’s sexuality was revealed, it was really refreshing not only to have a broad range of representation with in the book I was reading but to know for certain in a YA fiction book that Romance was off the table; because that is something we have come to expect in the genre and it allowed the story to go in a different direction.

Overall, I really like the book, I’m unsure of weather to call it a novel or novella because of its size but regardless it was great. I have recently found out that it is part of a series and I am picking the second one up immediately  the second book is called Down Among The Sticks And Bones and from what I have seen on Goodreads it follows two other characters from the school Jack and Jill.

 Down Among the Sticks and Bones By Seanan McGuire

4/5 stars from me I will be continuing with this series and look forward to what comes next.

Why not check out all my other book reviews here! And for more bookish news and chat check out my socials below!

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See you next time guys!

Lucy Narnia

The Game of Thrones Tag!

Hi guys and welcome to the Game of Thrones Tag! I was tagged by the lovely Juhi @ Girl Who Reads go check her out now! For those who don’t know, I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, I have been watching, theorising and fan girling from the very beginning and have recently started reading the books which is helping me get through the Game of Thrones Drought! So I was delighted when I was tagged so, let’s get started…

Rules:

  1. Mention the creator Orang-utan Librarian.
  2.  Answer ALL of the questions.
  3. Be a Lannister and pay your debts, tag people and keep it going!

PART ONE: BOOK QUESTIONS!

We do not sow- A book you would not be willing to invest in:

we do not sow

I recently read Runes by Ednah Walters it was free on Amazon ebooks for a while which was great but the book was a bit of a let down so I’m glad I didn’t spend my cash on a real copy.

Runes

Fire and blood – A book that produced strong emotions in you:

Fire and blood

I am currently reading Letters to the Men I have loved by Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol it is a beautiful poetry and letter collection by a young female author. I haven’t quite finished them all get but that is only because I am savouring ever last one. I have cried multiple times and fought back the tears, these poems and letters are beautiful, relatable and sometimes just really heartwarming.

letters to the men I have loved

Winter is coming – Your favourite winter reads:

winter is coming

An old favourite when it comes to wintry reads has to be The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe who wouldn’t to go to Narnia after all?

narnia

Family. Duty. Honour – A book about strong family ties:

family duty honor

It’s going to have to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen I love his book and it’s full with a great although slightly different family and all their dramas. Whether you’re a Lydia or Lizzie or somewhere in-between the girls of Pride and Prejudice are a relatable bunch! I’m currently taking part in The Jane Austen Challenge click for more info!

bennet sisters

Growing Strong A Book you had low expectations of but grew on you:

growing strong

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On the Island by Tracey Garvis- Graves- I thought this book was going to be a cute beach read but it is so much more than that. It is an epic, beautiful sweeping love story with the fabulous desert island setting.

.Ours is the fury- A Book that made you furious:

Ours is the fury

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I have talked about this book ALOT and the book is Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin. When I first read the book in 2013 my main problem with the book was a  really unlikable main character with an ability to hurt others. I found hard to follow a main character who I didn’t like at all, but despite my initial dislike for the novel and its main character the book has stuck with me and that has to mean something right?

Unbowed, unbent, unbroken A book you have unwavering devotion to:

unbowed unbent

Gilbert and Florance

Summer in February by Jonathan Smith- based on the real diaries of Captain Gilbert Evans Summer in February has to be one of my favourite books of all time. The beautiful tragic love story depicts the real life love triangle between the famous artist A.J Munnings, Munnings’ wife Florence and Gilbert Evans A.J’s best friend. Told just before World War One this novel brings these people back to life, and is based on meticulous research. Summer in February has been adapted to film to check out my review click here.

A Lannister always pays his debts -A book you feel indebted to:

hear me roar

Lou and Will

For me it has to be Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, sometimes books come along at just the right time and Me Before You was that book for me. I was feeling quite lost when I read the book and really related to the character Lou, reading about someone who felt the same way as me was really therapeutic somehow and the book helped me to see that all I needed was a bit of direction.

PART 2: FAN THEORIES

Who do you want to win Game of Thrones?

It’s a tough one, I’m  torn between Dany and Jon. I have been team Dany from season 1 but I am starting to think she’s going to go all Mad King on us and go crazy right at the final hurdle and Jon will take the Iron Throne.

Who do you think will make it to the end and who do you think will die?

As long as Jon/Dany live I’m okay with everyone else dying.

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PART 3: MY GAME OF THRONES

Would you win or die?

I like to think I’d live but to be honest you have to be pretty ruthless to live in Westoros don’t you? So yeah, I would probably die.

What house are you?

Team Stark all the away, they’ve had it rough haven’t they? Poor bunch.

Well, that’s that. I hope you enjoyed my Game of Thrones Tag! My tags are just below –

Ali @I Wuv Books

Madeline @The SFF Bookshelf

Morgan @ Happily Ever Bookish

Safa @ Books Over People

Karelle@ Book Addicted Reader

Beth @ Divine World of Books

Happy reading everyone!

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Let’s Talk About Reading Snobbery and Why All books are Okay!

So, I’m currently reading a book that I am really, really loving (That’s Voyager by Diana Gabaldon just so you know) but it got me thinking we love the books we love.

The books that make us stay up till the early hours till our eyes feel try and can’t stay open for another moment, the books we think about when we’re away from them, desperate to be back in that world, with those characters, those are the special books.

voyager jamie and claire

But it got me thinking, reading is personal, and our favourite books they can become part of us and influence us and in some cases stay with us always. What matters to you or me may not matter to the next person. For example, I like the Harry Potter books, I enjoy them I am a fan but they did not affect me in the way they did others of my generation and those who came after me.

harry

I didn’t read the books until I was an adult and there fore some of that magic was lost but not all of it, because some magic  can only touch a child and that’s why some of our childhood favourites can become so important to  adults. (But in case you were wondering I’m a Hufflepuff). I did read the Twilight books and did love them but didn’t suffer from Twilight fever (Thankfully) but why thankfully?

sedrick digory

Why? Because our peers have a terrible habit of making us feel bad about liking what we love. For a lot of people, The Harry Potter or Twilight books were responsible for creating life-long readers and it begs the question does it matter what you read? Well NO! Of course not, reading is reading,

Well NO! Of course not, reading is reading, whether you’re reading Goosebumps, Tracey Beaker, Harry Potter, Twilight, Chick lit (I hate this term but  I feel that is a whole other post, Historical Fiction, only Young Adult or books like Fifty Shades! Who cares you’re a reader, and one book leads to another and another and another. Stick to your favourite genre or don’t explore the classics, or don’t (Pride and Prejudice is a great first classic if you’re looking  for recs) but

Stick to your favourite genre or don’t, explore the classics, or don’t (Pride and Prejudice is a great first classic if you’re looking  for recs) but whatever you do whatever you read, who cares what other people say right?

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I remember to trying to explain The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones book to my friends back when it wasn’t a thing and most of my close friends are not fantasy lovers, so it was like banging my head up against a brick wall. In fact I seem to have a lot of people in my life who like reading non-fiction, not fiction which is cool because it works for them.

city of bones

But Fantasy from Epic or High, or Paranormal whatever is just as valid is any other genre, all books have been crafted and loved and come from an author’s desire to write and a readers desire to read them.

I guess what I am trying to say is no book is bad and neither are readers, we are all different and should never be made to feel bad for reading what we love – Whatever that maybe.

I hope you enjoyed my Let’s talk about… see you next time and happy reading!

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Review

Author:Naomi Novik 

Genre:Fantasy /Young Adult

Standalone or Series: Standalone 

Publisher: Del Ray

Uprooted is the story of Agnieszka – she is a young woman who lives in a small village with her family and her best friend the beautiful and enigmatic Kasia but there is a dark side to Agnieszka’s world. Her village is on the edge of a dark, magical wood, a wood that destroys and kills everything it touches. Agnieszka and her people are protected from the wood by the Dragon. A fearsome wizard employed by the King to live in a tower on the edge of the wood and protect the people with magic but the Dragons protection comes with a price. Every ten years he will come to the village and take a girl to go and live with him in the tower. Ten years he will keep her and after that the girls are let go, often they try to go back to live with their families but they can’t. The girls are much changed and each girl has left the village never to return.

uprooted book cover

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka knows that Kasia will be taken by the Dragon, he always picks the most beautiful, most talented girl Kasia is all those things. When the day of the choosing arrives and all the girls a rowed up for the Dragon’s choosing the Dragon takes a look at Kasia but instead he chooses Agnieszka-scruffy, plain Agnieszka. Agnieszka will soon learn that everything in the Dragon’s tower is not as it seems and it is not just Agnieszka who will learn- the Dragon will also find himself. (And if you like a Wizard with an attitude problem you will love the Dragon!)

hes a twat

What did I think?

I really enjoyed Uprooted it is a slow paced, fairy tale which felt to me to have Russian influences. Agnieszka and the Dragon have a really interesting love/hate (mostly love…confusion,sometimes disgust <3) relationship and something I really enjoyed about this book was their slow burning romance . It wasn’t to intense, or to in your face it was just there, sadly though I felt the relationship (for me at least) was never quite fore-filled and was disappointed by their lack of conclusion.

The story and character development in Uprooted is very well done and I really enjoyed Noami’s writing style. Her style is quite slow but as I read on I could really feel the story building around her words and as I turned each page was desperate for a conclusion.

Over all I would give this a Paint and Butterflies rating of 4/5 stars I would highly recommend for anyone who enjoys a fairy-tale with Russian influences, Wizards and Witches and a Dragon with a serious attitude problem!

Happy reading everyone!

Dragons

 

 

The Tessa Grey/Will Herondale Reading Challenge (All books mentioned in The Infernal Devices By Cassandra Clare

infernaldevices

1.Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

2.The Wide, Wide World by Elizabeth Wetherell

3.Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

4.Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

5.A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

6.Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

7.The Trail of the Serpent by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

8.The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

9.Armadale by Wilkie Collins

10.The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

11.The Lamplighter by Maria Susanna Cummins

12.The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

13.Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

14.Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

15.Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

16.Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

17.The Thousand and One Nights

18.The Hidden Hand by E.D.E.N. Southworth

19.Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Will and Tessa Tarot

20.The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

21.Vathek by William Beckford

22.The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

23.Sermons to Young Women by Dr. James Fordyce

24.David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

25.The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare

26.Hansel and Gretel by Brothers Grimm

How many have you read?

Angelfall by Susan Ee Review

Some spoilers ahead

Angelfall is Susan Ee’s hugely successful self published young adult novel this book started off small but my god had it grown some wings and taken on a life of its own. This is what authors dream of, this is a real self publishing success now with print editions, a sequel and third book on the way AngelFall (Penryn and the end of days) really has made its mark.

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So Angelfall does exactly what it says on the tin, Angels have fallen and they are reeking havoc on earth – this is a real dystopian drama and at its heart is Penryn a teenage girl who is just trying to survive with her mum and younger sister, that is until she meets the angel Raffe.

So I loved this book, it was such a nice surprise to open a  young adult novel and not have to endure a predictable romance page after page, while reading Angelfall I was waiting for some kind of predictable Twilight esk romance to begin and it never  came which left me wanting which is the best feeling when at the start of a trilogy.  Penryn is an excellent leading lady, she is a kick ass, take no prisoners kind of chick and I like that, and I like that she can hold on to that part of herself when the world is literally falling around her ears. Not to mention that she has one mental mother to contain with, from the word go Penryn’s mum makes for some awkward reading but by the end of the book she is my favourite character and has a great story arch of her own.

I have read a few angel books recently most recently the Halo/Hades/Heaven series all which I have reviewed on my blog and all I can say is that this just smashes Halo right out of the park. I think Angelfall has allowed real scope for the series to develop and in in my opinion there is a love story there but building slowly like a beautiful Raffe shaped flame and although I am eager for more Raffe and Penryn Angelfall isn’t all about the love story which is really refreshing.

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The second book in the Angelfall series called World After and it’s out now and I will be picking it up ASAP I just need to know what happens next! I would defiantly recommend Angelfall to other readers it’s something different and a refreshing change in the young adult genre this book is a real page turner and I was well and truly blown away.

A New York Winter’s Tale – Review (Spoilers)

A New York Winter’s Tale or Winter’s tale is based on the bestselling and beloved novel by Mark Helprin it is the story of Peter Lake a thief and a wanted thief too boot. Wanted by his old boss Pearly (by reasons unknown) Peter and his flying horse yes you read correctly, break into house of a wealthy family believing that no body at home.

ANYW4

 

Peter and Beverly

When he discovers  the daughter of the house Beverly Penn is still in the house, Peter and Beverly fall immediately in love over a good old fashion cup of tea and the rest is history… or not. Beverly has consumption and is going to die so their time together is limited and spent being chased by Pearly who is later revealed to be a servant of the devil.

A WINTER"S TALE

 

Dancing

Now it was at this point where I had a problem, suspend your belief I was told by people who had previously seen the film, and so I did, even when Peter’s horse for a reason which is never explained grew WINGS and took flight my belief remained suspended. Until we meet Lucifer and out walks, wait for it, Will Smith, I had to laugh, you’re telling me that the Fresh Prince, Hitch, is the Devil, I’m sorry but no, just no. I watched his face trying to be all mean and dark, all the while waiting for him to make a joke (He didn’t but he may as well of done, who made that casting choice what a joke!)

ANWT3

 

Peter and Horse

Okay so Pearly, servant of Lucifer obviously his against true love, he must stop them  being together we get it but seriously… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Russell Crowe as Pearly has the worst Irish accent I have ever heard proper leprechaun chic. (Sorry Russell but I hear Noah is going to be good) The acting in this film on the whole was great and Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay as Beverly Penn and Peter Lake were very believable. Winter’s Tale is a big book and fantasy realism is hard to put to the screen because it isn’t one thing or the other sadly I heard this film was a long coming passion project which makes it even worse that it was such a flop.

WT

Russell Crowe as Pearly

But, without having read the book (which I will be reading this month) I would say the biggest problem with the story was world building (there wasn’t any!). There was to many unanswered questions to make the story believable. For example why is the horse really a dog? And why he can  fly is never really explained, the topic of guardian angels is briefly touched upon but there was never really enough substance.

I love the reincarnation side to the story but by this point in the film there had been already been so many bad points to achieve a decent ending for the story.

ANYW5

Reincarnated 

A beloved novel that has been adapted poorly, fantasy realism is a hard genre to take on and I have read that many said that Winter’s tale could never be brought to the screen. I think perhaps they were right.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo Gricha Book 2 (Spoiler Free)

Siege and Storm is the second novel in the Gricha trilogy and I should probably say straight away that I am not big fan. I loved Shadow and Bone, but when reading Siege and Storm I just couldn’t fall into the book as easily as I had done with book one.

Siege and Storm 2dsf

Gorgeous book cover

My major problem is that I am struggling to know who to root for, obviously not the Darkling unless there is going to be some kind of major plot twist. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters this time around, I’m not even sure that Mal and Alina’s relationship is believable, his whole role in this novel is to guard her… I sorry but dull. Where is the passion, the romance, why I aren’t I rooting for this couple? When I feel nothing for a character or a set of characters and lose the will to know how their journey works out something has gone wrong and I can’t even put my finger on what it was.

Prince Nikolai was a great ray of light in this book, I found him an interesting and diverse anti-hero and every moment he is on the page I have no idea if he is good, evil or somewhere in the middle and he delivers some cracking one liners to Alina. It’s a shame she can’t be a but more sassy they could of had some great banter.

It’s hard for me to say what exactly I did and didn’t like because  it was a compilation of things – there was lots of getting on and off of boats and I found that really irritating because there wasn’t any real world building or description of where the characters were and their environment always seemed hazy unless they were in a palace, which is obviously self explanatory.

I should probably worn anyone who is planning on reading this book that it is very, very, open ended and there is a bit of a wait until the third book is out.

All in all I would give this about a 2.5/5

Poor sequel to a great first book, this book made me fall out of love with characters I had previously loved particularly Mal who hopefully perks up a bit by book 3.

It’s not all bad Mal there’s plenty more Gricha in the sea…PLEASE!

A Steam Punk Sensation- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

A Steam Punk Sensation – Clockwork Angel By Cassandra Clare

 As a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series when Santa left Clockwork Angel in my stocking this year I couldn’t have been more delighted.

Now, I had been hearing all sorts of things about this Will Herondale (Thank you Goodreads) and as Jace is, well lets just say I love him and I wasn’t sure there was room for other Shadow Hunters in my life.

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Will and Jem

If you have not read Clockwork Angel it is a steam punk, fantasy,  YA novel, set in Victorian London – the story follows Tessa Grey who is an American and has just arrived in the country. Upon her arrival she is met by two women who claim to be there as a favor to Tessa’s brother and will take Tessa to her new home as he has been unavoidably detained. This is fact a complicated lie and the truth is slowly reveled throughout the novel. The women known as the dark sisters believe that Tessa is not the ordinary girl she believes herself to be but a Warlock who has a great power and they reveal it is their job to unlock this power as it is currently lying dormant.

I was a little hesitant about this book at first probably because I am such a fan of The Mortal Instruments series. I just couldn’t imagine another story within that world but I was so wrong, Cassandra Clare has written a rich and developed world with engaging characters and I cannot wait to see where this trilogy is going. I have only read Clockwork Angel so far and it seems to me that the love triangle is being set up so that our leading lady Tessa will eventually end up with Will the novels resident bad boy.

clockwork-angel1

Now, bad boys have never really done it for me  I just want to give that Will a slap and tell him to behave himself and stop being so horrible to our lovely Tessa in her hour of need and, just when I’m having a head meets palm moment in swoops Jem, our silver haired night in shining armor.

The book is the ultimate good boy versus bad boy debate, who will Tessa choose and what does the internal devices trilogy have in store for her? In a world when nothing is ever as it seems.

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones Book Review (Book 1)

I had been meaning to get into this series for a while it seemed to be everywhere- Youtube, Goodreads, like it was waving at me telling me I was missing out on something awesome what I listen, er no.

Somehow I was still not convinced and City of Bones made it onto my, I will read it at some point probably (but probably not) list.

Then came the movie… it was, as most people know hailed to be the new Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter type franchise but like so many Young Adult book to movie adaptations was a big old flop.

Now I saw this movie, and while it was a C- at best I couldn’t help but think Hmm… I bet this is just a really shoddy adaptation of a really good book. It was like I could see the book screaming with in the walls of this movie that had clearly been marketed at the Tweens and the movie makers had given much regard to the content. So thanks to dodgy directing and a Demi Lovato song that still begs the question WHY I bought City of Bones.

First of all I feel I should say for anyone who doesn’t own a copy of this books -the cover art (in hard cover) is just to die for, but I really should get down to the serious business with out spoilering for anyone who is still living a Mortal Instruments free life. (Mundane fools)

First Edition cover for the book, "City of Bones"

Book Cover

City of Bones is about fifteen year old Clary Fray who, when visiting a club with best friend Simon sees, what she thinks is a murder. What she is actually seeing is the half human half angel beings called Shadow Hunters killing a demon. Shadow Hunters can not be seen by regular humans or Mundanes. So when Clary sees the Shadow Hunters are as shocked as Clary and start to wonder who this Mundane girl is. Soon after Clary meets her first Shadow Hunters – including the mysterious Jace Wayland her mother is kidnapped, and a serious of events unfolds that will change her life and her friends and families lives forever.

I loved this book, I am currently reading book two City of Ashes which is just as gripping if not more so.

The characters are so well developed and I constantly find myself laughing out loud which I love. The Shadow Hunter world is a world that I truly get lost in and I know that I am going to devour this series in no time.

Bring on book three – City of Glass!