I just watched the TV adaptation of Lisa Lynch's story and alternated between laughing out loud and sobbing my heart out the whole way through. I haveI just watched the TV adaptation of Lisa Lynch's story and alternated between laughing out loud and sobbing my heart out the whole way through. I have a feeling that the book is going to cause the same kind of reaction so I'm going to have to build up to this one....more
Kady and Ezra live in a small mining colony on a distant planet called Kerenza, life is hard but it's always been peaceful until the day an army desceKady and Ezra live in a small mining colony on a distant planet called Kerenza, life is hard but it's always been peaceful until the day an army descends and the colony is destroyed. The only survivors are now on three ships desperately trying to reach civilization and safety before their enemies can catch them and murder the only witnesses to what happened on the planet. After another terrible tragedy Kady becomes convinced that the ship commanders are keeping secrets from them and, along with a hacker friend she has made, she becomes determined to find out what is really happening on board the Alexander.
Having read and enjoyed books by both Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in the past I wanted to read Illuminae from the moment I first heard about it. Illuminae is like nothing I've ever read before and I absolutely loved the untraditional format the story takes. Readers have to put the pieces together from interview transcripts, emails, instant message conversations, diary entries, briefing notes, diagrams, blueprints, observations made from CCTV footage and much, much more and I was surprised at how well this format works. I'll admit I was worried it would be hard to follow or that I'd have trouble connecting to the characters because of the way the story is told but I actually found it incredibly engaging and it was nearly impossible to put the book down once I'd started reading. Because there aren't normal chapters I'd constantly be telling myself just one more document, or I'll just read this conversation but finding I'd read another fifty pages before I knew it.
The characters are brilliant, Kady is intelligent and a fighter who will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. She thinks nothing of standing up to superior officers or hacking her way through the system to find out what is really going on and I loved the way she dealt with everything that is thrown at her. Ezra is more trusting and finds it hard to believe that there could be anything untoward happening but he steps up when it really matters and believes in Kady enough to help her in any way he can. I though that the relationship between them was brilliant, they had literally broken up a couple of hours before their planet was invaded but it was obvious from the beginning that Ezra still had feelings for Kady and wanted to rebuild things between them. Kady is more standoffish at first and I found her harder to warm up to but as you start to get to know her you understand how damaged she is by everything she has lost and that she is terrified of having her heart broken all over again.
I don't really want to say too much more about the plot because I'd hate to spoil the journey you're about to embark on but Illuminae is incredibly fast paced and addictive and I loved every minute of it! If you're even slightly curious about this book then I'd urge you to find a print copy in a bookshop or library and just flick through a few random pages, I can pretty much guarantee that something will capture your attention and make you want to give it a try. I'm so incredibly excited that this is the first book in a trilogy and I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the next book so I really hope the authors are writing fast and I won't have to wait too long!...more
Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4 is an absolutely stunning hardback with a beautiful padded and embossed cover that just begs to be picInside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4 is an absolutely stunning hardback with a beautiful padded and embossed cover that just begs to be picked up and read. As a huge fan of the TV series when I was offered a review copy of this book I couldn't say yes fast enough. I have to admit that I've not read the first book yet but this book is so fantastic that I've now ordered my copy and I'm looking forward to reading all about seasons 1 & 2.
This book is jam packed with information about the show starting with scouting locations, creating the theme tune and title sequence and inventing a new language (High Valyrian was limited to just a few words and phrases in the books). Pretty much every single page has at least one (if not several) beautiful glossy photo, drawing or diagram - enough to keep you amused for hours if you're just flipping through the book - but there is so much more to it than that. It's also packed with interviews with both cast and crew members, insights into costume designs, family trees, information about the history of various characters and their families, discussions about the differences between the books and the TV show and a detailed look at the major plot events from each series along with an episode by episode breakdown.
If you're a fan of Game of Thrones then this book is a MUST read, it's the kind of book you can leave sat on your coffee table and just keep diving in and out of every time you have a few minutes to spare and I'm sure you'll find something different to hold your attention every time....more
Warning: Full on rant ahead! Feel free to disagree with my opinion (I'm thrilled that some people loved this book more than I did!) but you'll NEVER cWarning: Full on rant ahead! Feel free to disagree with my opinion (I'm thrilled that some people loved this book more than I did!) but you'll NEVER convince me to change my mind about this pile of shit so please don't even bother to try.
Okay so I'm going to come right out and say it, A Court of Mist and Fury is the biggest pile of crap I have EVER wasted my money purchasing. I wish I'd waited until the reviews started rolling in rather than pre-order it months ago but I've learnt my lesson Sarah J Maas, I HAVE LEARNT MY LESSON. My pre-order of Empire of Storms has been cancelled and I will NEVER start reading a new series by her until it is completely finished and has been vetted in full by people I trust.
I know a lot of people don't agree with me and that's fine, I'm glad other people are enjoying this book but I HATED it and I'm going to be honest about it. I am so incredibly heartbroken that Sarah J Maas has once again betrayed my trust and destroyed a series I loved. Be warned now that this review is going to include spoilers, I only actually managed to force myself to read the first 7 chapters (just 87 pages) but I have been speaking to several friends who have read much further so I know what happens later than that and I'll be discussing it in detail so if you don't want to know what I'm so unhappy about feel free to walk away from my review space. There will definitely be spoilers for ACOTAR and I think I'll probably touch on Queen of Shadows too so if you're not up to date on the Throne of Glass series it's probably best to look away now.
To make one thing clear I absolutely adored A Court of Thorns and Roses, it's one of my favourite books and I loved it even more when I reread it in anticipation of starting ACOMAF. The whole reason I'm so upset about A Court of Mist and Fury is because I was so, so excited about it in the first place. Perhaps if it hadn't been one of my most anticipated reads of the year I wouldn't feel so let down, perhaps if I hadn't reread ACOTAR immediately before starting ACOMAF I wouldn't feel so devastated and perhaps if I'd never read Queen of Shadows I wouldn't feel so angry that SJM has done the exact same thing to Tamlin that she did to Chaol. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps but if wishes came true then ACOTAR would either be a stand alone novel or ACOMAF would be an entirely different book.
Let's talk about ACOTAR for a bit, that book is based on two stories: Beauty and the Beast, where the beast's curse is broken because he finds his TRUE LOVE and she is able to look past the external monster and fall in love with the man inside (just like Feyre did with Tamlin); and Tam Lin, which is a less well known Scottish folk tale about a man being rescued from the queen of the fairies by his TRUE LOVE (oh, that's right just like Feyre did for Tamlin!). EVERYTHING about book 1 was based on the fact that Feyre and Tamlin are head over heels crazy about each other, EVERYTHING that happens is because of that love. Tamlin gives Feyre her freedom knowing he will damn himself and his entire court and put them under Amarantha's control but he sets her free because she is more important to him than ANYTHING else. Feyre only comes back to Prythian because she loves Tamlin so much that she can't stand to be without him. EVERYTHING she goes through, all the tasks she has to complete, all the horrific things she has to suffer she does it all because Tamlin is worth it, we're inside her head and we hear her time and time again thinking about how much he means to her and how she can stand anything if only it will free him. For crying out loud she even gives her life to save him and the ONLY reason she is given a second chance (and is therefore even alive!) is because the other High Lords all see that she isn't the fickle hearted human Amarantha claimed she was but that she TRULY LOVES TAMLIN! That is the ONLY reason they all save her, because they saw what she was willing to sacrifice and they can see how devastated Tamlin is when he thinks he's lost her.
If you take that love away you make the entire first book completely pointless and you absolutely 100%, without a shadow of doubt, prove that Amarantha was right and that humans wouldn't know true love if it bit them on the arse! There was NEVER even a hint of a triangle in ACOTAR, yes Rhys was a flirt but it always felt like he was doing that more to get at Tamlin than because he had any real feelings for Feyre and Feyre never looked at Rhys twice, she was completely focused on Tamlin through the whole story. I'll never be a fan of love triangles in general but when you take a couple who are totally in love and about to walk off into the sunset together and then needlessly rip them apart just to shoehorn another hero into the story then I'm going to be even more upset and angry about it.
Let's talk about Rhys. In the first book he threatens Feyre, he tortures her (did you all forget the scene where he's twisting the broken bone that is sticking out of her arm just to prove that she needs his help and should make a bargain with him? A bargain that gives him a week of her time every month for the REST OF HER LIFE?) oh and he also drugs her on a nightly basis to parade her around practically naked in front of a crowd, apparently he never touches her but she doesn't remember so how can we be sure of that? Let's not forget he gave what he thought was her name to Amarantha so that her whole family could be tortured and murdered. That's the hero people think she should be with over Tamlin? Tamlin who protected her, looked after her family, gave her everything she asked for and who gave up his own life and the freedom of everyone else he cares about just to keep her safe? Give me a break. I know it's the author's story and she has every right to take it in any direction that she chooses but I don't have to keep reading this crap. I don't have to watch her once again turn a character who has been nothing but good in the previous book into a completely different person just to convince me to switch teams. Looks like Tamlin got the same personality transplant as Chaol just so that SJM can shoehorn Rowan sorry RHYS into the story.
Of course both Tamlin and Feyre are going to have been affected by everything they went through, and I'm sure he'd want to do whatever he could to keep her safe but I don't for a second believe that he would have done it in the way he does it in ACOMAF. Can't we for once have ADULT characters (Feyre is 19 after all!) ACT LIKE ADULTS? Can't they talk through their problems and resolve them like normal people? Does SJM have to turn Feyre into a fickle and whiny little idiot who jumps from one bed to another at the drop of a hat just because a new guy shows an interest in her and he happens to be hot? Are you telling me that if Rhys was ugly any of this would have happened? I don't think so.
Before people get started on telling me how wonderful Rhys is let me clarify something else. I actually grew to really like Rhys by the end of ACOTAR (in spite of all the horrible things he did!) and I would have been over the moon to read a full book about him, a book that gave him the chance to redeem himself and gave us a chance to see that he had been doing everything he could to fight against Amarantha in the background. I would have bitten SJM's arm off for a book like that, one that put him together with ANY other woman apart from Feyre. I was actually kind of hoping that Rhys would hook up with Feyre's sister Nesta because let's face it they both had some redeeming to do by the end of ACOTAR and it would have been AMAZING to see it happen. I was excited to find out more about the Night Court, I was looking forward to meeting the exciting new characters that SJM promised and I would have happily kept buying book after book in this world if she had kept things fresh and exciting rather than recycling plots from the Throne of Glass series and making the same mistakes over and over again.
I probably could have even got over Feyre falling out of love with Tamlin if it had been done in a better way. You do NOT have to turn a previously nice character into an arsehole to make me like another character. What I hate most about this book is not only the way SJM destroyed Tamlin's character and turned him into something he's not but also the way she made Feyre seem so fickle and uncaring. She acts so ridiculously childishly by not talking to Tamlin about how she is feeling and then she just goes off and leaves him for good with only a letter. She doesn't even have the decency to break up with him face to face before she goes off and mates Rhys. Does nobody else care how Tamlin feels about that? I'm completely and utterly heartbroken for him and it was all so UTTERLY POINTLESS. What was the point of reading ACOTAR? The whole first book has been invalidated by the actions Feyre takes in ACOMAF and it's horrible. I wish I'd never heard a thing about this book and had just stuck with the HEA that A Court of Thorns and Roses gave us.
Why couldn't we have had Feyre and Tamlin as side characters and moved the story into someone else's POV? There is no doubting that Rhys would (and probably has if you can ignore all the stuff I'm unhappy about!) make a brilliant lead. ACOMAF could have been so epic that I can hardly stand it! That's what I was so excited about, that's what I was so desperate to read and that's why I'm so utterly HEARTBROKEN that we were given this pile of rubbish instead. SJM has wrecked this series for me, she broke my trust in Queen of Shadows but she completely destroyed it in A Court of Mist and Fury and I'm never going to be able to pick up one of her books without worrying that she's going to do something similar again. I don't think she's actually capable of writing about a heroine who sticks with one guy for an entire series! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, the only thing I can guarantee is that she won't be fooling me a third time!
Oh and thanks for that extra kick in the teeth SJM, I really appreciate it!...more
I knew before going in that One was going to break my heart but what I wasn't expecting was how beautiful the story would be. I don't tend to read manI knew before going in that One was going to break my heart but what I wasn't expecting was how beautiful the story would be. I don't tend to read many verse novels, in fact the last one I read was The Weight of Water, also by this author, three years ago but there is no doubt that this writing style can be extremely powerful when done well. Sarah Crossan definitely has the skill to pull it off and One is now my favourite of her novels.
This is the story of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi, they are joined from the waist down so although they each have two arms they only have one pelvis and two legs between them. Their condition has led to high medical bills which the family struggle to pay and it causes no end of difficulties for the girls when it comes to living their daily lives but the pair are overwhelmingly positive in their outlook. It was great to see them both as individuals and the way they work together as a team, they have an incredibly deep bond with each other and although there are times they wish for privacy most of the time they're just happy to be together.
When the girls start school for the first time it was heartbreaking to see how they were treated by the outside world, the cruel remarks don't just effect the twins though, both their younger sister and their parents are also under a lot of extra pressure. School isn't all bad though and for the first time they have a chance to make friends with people outside the family. Grace and Tippi go through so much but they are always a team, they're best friends as well as sisters and no matter what happens outside they always have each other to turn to.
I'm not going to say anything else about the story because I want readers to be able to enjoy it for themselves. It's being marked by Bloomsbury as "The ONE book to read this summer" and for once I'm completely on board with the marketing hype. If you're looking for something a little different, something that will give you an insight into the really rare condition of conjoined twins but is really all about sisterhood, love and friendship, then you really should pick up a copy of One. It's a beautiful book and it's one that has stuck with me in the weeks since I finished reading it....more