I can't finish this. I really, really tried, but I just can't. This story started out so well. Sure, it wasn't perfect because Snow annoyeOkay.
I can't finish this. I really, really tried, but I just can't. This story started out so well. Sure, it wasn't perfect because Snow annoyed me from the beginning, but I was enjoying the mental hospital angle.
Then Snow goes to Algid. I struggled to get to 37% so I put it aside and read another book. I went back to it today, hoping to keep reading... but still can't get into it. I'm finding it so hard to stay focused or care about the characters and what's going on. I even tried to skim ahead, but that only revealed more ridiculousness.
I am SO disappointed. I've been looking forward to this book since it was announced! I feel bad because the publisher sent me an ARC, but when a book feels like a chore... I just can't. :/
This is a DNF for me. So I'm not going to rate it....more
Okay. Let me start by saying that I absolutely adored the Harry Potter series, so I was curious about this latest installment.
Harry Potter is all growOkay. Let me start by saying that I absolutely adored the Harry Potter series, so I was curious about this latest installment.
Harry Potter is all grown up and working for the Ministry of Magic. He's married to Ginny Weasley and they have three great kids. Well, one of them isn't so great. Albus is a bit of a troubled kid. He resents his father, is a total brat and becomes obsessed with changing the past. His best friend is Scorpius, who happens to be Draco Malfoy's son. Actually, this friendship is probably the most positive thing about Albus.
Messing around with the past is dangerous, and things are certainly going to get bad before they get better. So Harry, his son and a bunch of familiar faces have to come to terms with a darkness they have already defeated...
Um. Okay. I'm really torn about this. I started this story with so much enthusiasm. I was excited, ready to see where this would lead and hoped it would feel like a Harry story with a new twist. But the more I read, the more I realised that wasn't going to happen. My interest started to fade, until I realised what the problem was. This story wasn't necessary. Seriously, it wasn't.
My biggest gripes are Albus and the revisiting of past events. I couldn't stand Albus. He was snotty and arrogant, so full of himself. He went beyond being a difficult teenager and became annoying. And the past should have been left in the past, because that particular facet of the story turned a fresh idea into a very formulaic, predictable fan-fictionesque experience. (BTW, I'm pretty sure there's probably way better HP fanfic out there.)
I did enjoy catching up with familiar characters, liked the different format, and adored Scorpius. He was so cute and kind, such a shining star in a story that continued to dull.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an interesting concept, but it didn't feel like a Harry Potter story. It just didn't work for me. I think this will probably work better in the way it was supposed to be experienced: as a play. There is definitely something vital lost in translation.
In the end, this book looks lovely but it didn't captivate me in the same way as the original series. Instead, it felt like a poor quality carbon copy of the original books.
I just don't understand why the whole story deals with looking back instead of forward. We already know what happened in the past, and tampering with it isn't a good thing. :/ ...more
Thanks to Ashleigh (who is awesome, btw!) from Hachette Australia, this year I got the chance to read the Grisha Trilogy. I enjoyed the books so muchThanks to Ashleigh (who is awesome, btw!) from Hachette Australia, this year I got the chance to read the Grisha Trilogy. I enjoyed the books so much that I couldn't wait to see what all the Six of Crows fuss was about.
And of course, I have to admit that the beautiful eye-catching cover caught my attention instantly. I might even go as far as to say: it all started with the pretty crow on the cover. :)
Kaz is known by many names on the streets of Ketterdam--Dirtyhands, demon, thief--and he encourages the myths and stories. After all, he worked hard to create his legendary status. In order to stay on top of the Dregs, he needs more than brain and brawn. Inej is known as the Wraith because she can climb any surface and sneak into every corner. She's a valuable informant to Kaz, but even their mutual respect isn't enough to tear down each other's emotional walls.
Jesper is good with his pistols, but not so good at the gambling that dominates his life. Still, he's another valuable ally for Kaz. Wylan is a merch's son trying to escape his father, but has his own peculiar talents.
Nina makes no secret of the fact she's a Grisha--a heartrender and sometimes tailor who uses her talent in a house where girls are expected to do other things. Matthias is her one regret. A Djerdan witchhunter who hunts and captures Grisha. Their connection is a complicated one. They have a mutual dislike for each other, bordering on undeniable attraction. And constantly play a game of who's saving who.
So when Kaz is hired by a merchant to break into the world's most formidable prison facility, of course these five are the people he chooses to take on this huge heist. Their mission is: break into the Djerdan Ice Court, find a prisoner able to produce a drug capable of morphing Grisha powers and turning them into junkies, then bust him out.
Yeah, sounds easy. Well, not so much.
Wow. What can I say about this book? I've been wanting to read it for ages and kept hearing great things... which I can confirm were well-deserved. Just like the first Grisha book, I found this story snuck up on me. One second I was getting to know the characters and their surroundings. The next, I was so familiar with each one that I couldn't stop reading.
I know a book's special when that happens. Or when I can spend hours reading and wonder where the time went because I got so caught up. When I'll sneak in just one more chapter before bedtime...
Six of Crow is another amazing, thrilling and very well written addition to the Grisha world. It's an incredible fantasy story full of tension, action and double crossing. The new locations are lush with detail and the new cast of misfits become vivid, unforgettable characters. The tale unfolds in a way that draws the reader in slowly, before totally taking over and introducing an unlikely bunch of criminals you can't help but like. The stakes are high. The situations are dangerous. The risks are huge. The surprises keep coming. The past gradually catches up with the present. And you will be totally captivated by this book!
I'm looking forward to reading the next one....more
Ivy Pocket is a very resourceful twelve-year-old orphan who has odd remedies for just about every ailment. She's also the keeper of the Clock Diamond, which means she can see past, present and future visions. Plus she just found out she can also travel into another world. She has a sharp tongue, is very clever but can sometimes be quite clueless about what's right in front of her.
Oh, and she's now got parents.
The Snagsby couple make coffins for a living and have a pretty modest business. Although Ivy is expected to clean around the house, read somber poems to those on their deathbeds and her bedroom door is locked at night, she's still very happy to finally be part of a family. She's always keen to help, but manages to get distracted by other things.
When a woman approaches her and starts asking questions about her missing brother, Ivy starts digging around and finds a lot more than she bargained for. Because the Snagsby couple are at the centre of a pretty big secret, something that leads back to Ivy. Of course, when it comes to Ivy Pocket, there are always other problems at hand and now she's got a friend to rescue, some bizarre texts to learn from, a familiar pesky ghost to deal with, and another even more dangerous woman to dodge.
Can Ivy make it out unscathed, or will she be forced to accept that she can't always save the day?
OMG. This story is awesome! I was hooked as soon as I started. Seeing Ivy settled into a family was a lovely surprise that slowly soured when the secrets start to rise to the surface. The Snagsbys aren't very nice people and certainly take Ivy for granted. No matter what they do they can't outsmart her, which can be very frustrating for them and very entertaining for us.
Where in the first book her constant insults were often cringe-worthy, I loved them this time around. :)
Just like the first book, the strong female presence is very impressive. There are so many amazing, interesting women and girls. The level of cunning and manipulation featured in these female characters is balanced out by the generous and cleverness of others.
Somebody Stop Ivy Pocket is a charming and super fun book! It's zany and packed with so many intriguing mysteries that I didn't want to put it down. The comical dialogue, hilarious antics and Ivy's fibs kept me amused and laughing out loud throughout, but the story also takes some pretty dark and dangerous turns. A lot of new and old characters collide in this book, and most of them are greedy manipulators who want to take advantage of our brave heroine. Luckily, our Ivy Pocket doesn't scare easy and can pretty much get herself out of anything.
The illustrations add to the story. I love the cute, bright cover. And the book is just so darn pretty. Yep. I loved everything about it.
I honestly didn't think I could love the next installment more than the first, but I did!
Bring on the next Ivy Pocket adventure because after that ending, I seriously can't wait to see what happens next. ...more
I love the short stories set in the Grisha world, so when my daughter told me this one was good too and available online, I decided to follow the linkI love the short stories set in the Grisha world, so when my daughter told me this one was good too and available online, I decided to follow the link.
This is a shortie featuring Genya. A fascinating character with a really sad story. Her ability is very much wanted, but her natural beauty is a curse. And we also catch a glimpse of what drove her to ultimately betray the only friend she really had. :(
Loved it. Leigh Bardugo sure knows how to weave a story.
(I have to quickly add that the Scribd app was the WORST. And I didn't like that I had to install it in order to read the story. I got rid of it right away because it sucked!)...more
Last year I read an awesome fantasy book called The Novice. And this year, thanks to Hachette Australia, I got the chance to read the second book in tLast year I read an awesome fantasy book called The Novice. And this year, thanks to Hachette Australia, I got the chance to read the second book in this very entertaining trilogy. But first, isn't that cover gorgeous?
A year has passed since Fletcher attended the Vocans Academy to become a battlemage. He's been imprisoned in his old town of Pelt and is awaiting trial for a crime he didn't commit. With only the company of his Salamander demon, Ignatius, and the books he's continually learning from, he's starting to wonder if he'll never leave his cramped cell.
When the time for his trial finally arrives, it becomes clear that the odds are stacked against him. The testimonies against him are damning and well rehearsed. Not to mention the Inquisitors are very keen to see him put to death. But when the surprising testimony of an old man, as well as a savage test reveal who Fletcher really is, his life is pardoned by an unlikely source.
Yet that doesn't mean he's free to enjoy life as a student back in Vocans, because he now faces a new challenge. A group of students are selected, split up into smaller groups and are sent off on a dangerous mission to rescue a noble and destroy the awful abominations the orcs are breeding. But that means trekking into the jungle, foreign territory that will make them targets.
With such a tight plan and so many people who still want him dead, how will Fletcher and his true allies make it out alive? And how will they be able to ease the mounting tension between the dwarves, elves and humans, while the whole world is watching?
Wow. This turned out to be just as captivating as the first book. And very different, which is always awesome. Not to mention that the danger levels are constantly getting higher, the twists and turns keep coming, and the revelations are so fulfilling.
This fantasy world is vivid, filled with lush places and amazing creatures. The characters cover a wide spectrum--some I absolutely adore, others I can't stand. There are many familiar faces and a few new ones, but they all add to the intrigue. This very well-written adventure not only explores a world on the edge of war, but also contains some very strong friendships and even stronger enemies.
BTW, I still want my own Salamander. Or maybe a gremlin, because I loved Blue! ;)
The Inquisition is an excellent, fast-paced, heart-stopping adventure that hardly gives you a chance to catch your breath. Just when you think things are slowing down: Pow! It picks up again and doesn't stop until you reach the amazing conclusion. An incredibly tense ending that perfectly sets the stage for what is sure to be an explosive finale.
After that final scene, I can't wait to see what happens next......more
I really enjoyed the first Grisha book, so I was excited to get stuck into this one.
Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling and the awful incidI really enjoyed the first Grisha book, so I was excited to get stuck into this one.
Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling and the awful incident that happened inside the Shadow Fold. They've made their way over the True Sea and have settled in a small village, where they work and live in a cramped room. But they don't mind the work or the accommodation, they're just happy to finally be together. It's all Alina ever wished for: to be with Mal.
But when rumours surface about the Darkling's survival, Alina knows he'll come searching for her. She's suspicious of everyone, and is constantly glancing over her shoulder. Her paranoia isn't misplaced, because the Darkling and his Grisha eventually track them down.
Before she realises what's going on, she's on a boat and heading back to Ravka. She's now a prisoner and the Darkling has a new plan for her. But while onboard, Alina and Mal encounter a mysterious trio who start out as foe and soon reveal themselves to be friends.
What follows is an unexpected return to the palace, a mischevious prince trying to take back what his family has lost, and the desperate people who are willing to place all hope in the Sun Summoner. But it's getting harder and harder for Alina to know who she can trust, who has their own agenda, and who might still be on the Darkling's side.
As Alina accepts what she's becoming and finds herself haunted by the Darkling, she might end up losing the one person she cares about the most...
Wow. This book jumps right into the action and trouble! I loved how we're first introduced to Alina and Mal's very quiet new life, but it's ripped away too quickly. It's nonstop action from the beginning and throws the reader into the mystery of another mythical creature, as well as introducing a new player in this very dangerous game. A guy who masquerades as a privateer but turns out to be so much more.
The action in this story is an edge-of-your-seat experience. The suspense and danger levels are huge, and when you reach the downward spiral of the story, everything gets really brutal! The only problem I had with the second installment of this trilogy is the middle. There was just too much politics and strategic planning for my liking, which I think made the book sag a bit. But not enough to stop me reading.
Siege and Storm is an intriguing and often exciting sequel. It literally cracks open the world of the Grisha and reveals so many secrets you can't help but wonder who can truly be trusted. Because sometimes--due to her newfound power and ambition--you even find yourself wondering if Alina can be trusted. O.o
Bring on the last book! I can't wait to see how it all ends....more
I've had my eye on Six of Crows for a while now, but when I found out it was set in the world of the Grisha trilogy--and Hachette Australia was nice eI've had my eye on Six of Crows for a while now, but when I found out it was set in the world of the Grisha trilogy--and Hachette Australia was nice enough to send me a copy of the first book--I knew I had to read this first.
And I'm glad I've started at the beginning.
Alina and Mal are orphans who grew up together. They were always there for each other when no one else was. But now they're all grown up, and although they're both with the military, they each have their own positions and responsibilities. Alina is a junior cartographers' assistant and Mal is a tracker. They're still able to talk and keep an eye on each other. Well, Alina is mostly watching Mal getting to know other girls from afar.
However, the day they're on a skiff making its way across the Shadow Fold and the awful monsters living inside this terrifying stretch of darkness almost kill Mal, Alina unleashes a power she didn't even know she had. Soon, the Darkling takes a special interest in her and starts claiming she's a Sun Summoner. He sweeps her away from the life that she knows and the boy that she loves, and takes her to the castle. Here she's to live a lavish life of comfort, dress in expensive clothes, train with other Grisha, and eventually become the Dakling's personal tool.
For someone who has lived most of her life as an invisible girl, getting the special attention of the handsome and very seductive Darkling fills her with excitement. He's alluring and his power calls to her. She can't help but develop feelings for him, even if she never forgets about Mal. But it doesn't take long for Alina to realise that the Darkling's special interest in her is dangerous, and might not be exactly what she desired...
Wow. What an awesome book! This was one of those stories that slowly sets the pace, introduces the characters, the world, and what's at stake... without you noticing that you're totally hooked and must keep reading until the end. Yep. Wow.
The world of the Grisha is fascinating and dangerous. Everything appears beautiful and shiny on the outside, but hides a ruthless and very rotten core. It's where the mysterious and alluring Darkling holds the promise of releasing Ravka from the darkness that threatens to consume the land, or he could be chasing a different goal. Nothing is as it seems.
Shadow and Bone is an intriguing and unique dark YA fantasy. This book throws the reader into a bedazzling world hiding so much that when the layers slowly start to peel off, you're totally taken by surprise. It's thrilling, exciting, dangerous, and filled with characters that keep you engrossed until the very last word.
This book could have easily become just another generic fantasy because it contains some familiar tropes: young girl discovers a strong power, she's thrown into a new way of life, must train and even hints at a love triangle. But it's not. There are so many twists and turns, situations you just don't expect or see coming. And that's the awesome thing about this book. You think you know what you're getting into, but you really don't.
Loved it. Can't wait to read the next book. ...more
This is a novella I've had on my Kindle for a while. I have to admit that I was scared to read it because I loved Dorothy so much in The Wonderful WizThis is a novella I've had on my Kindle for a while. I have to admit that I was scared to read it because I loved Dorothy so much in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But I'm glad I finally decided to get stuck into it.
It's been two years since Dorothy returned from her wonderful adventure in Oz. As much as she longed to return home, Kansas just isn't what it used to be. She hardly has any friends, her aunt and uncle are boring, plus the few people she told about Oz don't believe her. She wants more from life. A lot more.
After the disappointment of her sixteenth birthday party, she finds a pair of beautiful ruby shoes under her bed. Shoes that make her biggest dream come true and she returns to Oz.
But Oz is different too, and Dorothy finds herself changing. Her aunt and uncle have tagged along and their constant talk of going back to Kansas only adds another burden. One that slowly twists into something darker after she returns to the Emerald City and meets the new princess...
Wow. This turned out to be quite a twisted adventure. What I enjoyed the most was how authentic the author's portayal of this timeless tale was. She seamlessly blended what was already created with her own ideas. I also enjoyed seeing how Dorothy morphs from being ridiculed to craving what she's lost to realising she wants--and deserves--so much more.
It was a shame to see such a lovely, selfless girl become a teenager who is determined to take what she wants, but her descend into corruption by magic was perfectly done.
I just finished reading this very imaginative short story about a couple like no other. Lorna Grant and Vix Beller heal and help a lot of desperate peI just finished reading this very imaginative short story about a couple like no other. Lorna Grant and Vix Beller heal and help a lot of desperate people, and one day decide to deal these emotions. They might be helping people in their own unique way, but there are authorities that think otherwise...
I recently read Seam and Solder and got swept away in it. Now, the same thing has happened with this story. I love how this author's writing style can place you deeply into a particular genre, and then manages to twist it just enough for you to realise you've tumbled into a magical, whimsical version of the world you thought you knew. She did the same thing with Magonia, which I absolutely adored.
Loved this story.
You can read it for free HERE And you should. ;)...more
This is one of my favourite series. So as soon as I received this book last week--thank you so much to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy--I gThis is one of my favourite series. So as soon as I received this book last week--thank you so much to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy--I got stuck into it. But I took my time. I wanted to savour every moment, note every detail, and lose myself in the story. Until I reached the last 200 pages, and had to race towards the end.
Celaena Sardothien used to be an assassin, and the King's Champion, but she's now accepted her true destiny. She has become Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir of fire and Queen of Terrasen. But there's a lot to do before she can claim her crown, and it all starts by returning to Rifthold.
Aelin must once again slip into the role of Celaena to settle some old scores and rescue her cousin from the King's clutches. To do that, she has to work alongside the man who trained her to become a ruthless assassin. The man who ruined her life and still thinks he owns her. Arobynn Hamel is the King of the Assassins, and as much as she despises him for what he did to her beloved Sam, she must now work with him in order to defeat a much darker enemy--the King of Adarlan.
The King is building an army of Valg demons and has even enslaved his own son, Prince Dorian, with a collar. And he has other depraved plans in Morath. A place in the mountains, where something awful and sinister is going on, and where the Ironteeth witches aren't the biggest threat.
As Aelin's plan slowly comes together and she connects her old life with the new one, everyone and everything she cares about could be at risk. Aelin has a lot of decisions to make if she's going to bring an end to the ruthless King so intent on destroying everything, and magic is the key...
OMG. OMG. OMG. This book is AMAZING. It's also very hard to summarise without revealing spoilers. There are SO many surprises and revelations in this book that I was left breathless. The rollercoaster of emotions in this instalment is deliciously cruel. I was happy, then sad, and angry. Then I started feeling frustrated, and was back to happy again before anger took over.
Seriously, this world toys with your emotions, but I loved every minute of it!
Once again told in multiple POVs, the reader gets the full scope of what's going on from several very interesting angles. This story throws you into the middle of the action and slowly peels back the layers, giving you small glimpses of what's going on before everything is revealed.
I said it while reading Heir of Fire, and I'll say it again: I love Manon Blackbeak and her wyvern Abraxos. I'm so intrigued by this character, and the story of her Thirteen, that I absolutely loved every time it was her turn to step into the POV spotlight. There are so many other characters that I love in this series, and every single one of them gets their chance in this book, which made me very happy indeed. And sad, too. :/
Queen of Shadows is incredible. It's a breathtaking rollercoaster ride. It's a heart-stopping story. It's wickedly violent. It's an explosive tale that toys with your heartstrings. It's so addictive that you become consumed by what's going on and can't stop reading. Once you strap yourself in, there's no turning back. It's the kind of book that sinks its (iron) claws so deeply into you that every single thing that happens affects you deeply. Celaena/Aelin is an awesome character who will do whatever needs to be done, no matter what. She's brave, passionate, loyal, tough, kick-ass, and gets the job done. But she's not the only intriguing character. This world is massive, and this book is totally epic!
This is one of my favourite series, and I can't wait to read more!...more
Before I talk about anything else, I just want to mention how much I LOVE the cover of this book. It's gorgeous, features an adorable demon and a veryBefore I talk about anything else, I just want to mention how much I LOVE the cover of this book. It's gorgeous, features an adorable demon and a very kick-ass summoner. It seriously rocks.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's get started.
I received this book from Hachette Children's Books--thanks so much!--the same day that I noticed the cover online, and decided this was definitely a book I was interested in reading. I didn't know much about it, but as soon as I read the words demons and summoner, I was sold on the idea. :)
Fletcher is an orphan who lives in a village called Pelt. He's also a blacksmith's apprentice. His master, Berdon, is the man who found Fletcher when he was abandoned in the snow. He lives a good enough life, helping Berdon with his business, and hunting on the side. Only problem is he doesn't get along with the local bully, who also happens to be a guardsman and has a powerful father. Didric makes his life miserable.
The day Fletcher meets an old soldier who has many stories to tell about the ongoing war with the Orcs and happens to have a very interesting summoning book, his life changes. While reading the book, Fletcher finds a scroll and summons an actual demon. A cute Salamander who helps get him out of trouble when Didric tries to kill him and Fletcher fights back. But as a result of his horrid encounter, he has to run and ends up as far away as he can, in Corcillum.
Here he catches the eye of several thieves, but luckily for him he also captures the attention of a battlemage who sponsors him so that he can attend the Vocans Academy. This is a school where battlemages are made, and it entails a lot of hours of study as well as gruelling physical activity. Here the students learn how to control their demons and use them to their advantage, as well as using other spells that will help them on the frontline.
This academy has some very tough students--though the noble twins are the worst because they have been practicing for years. They also have a hidden agenda that includes destroying the commoners, and stirring a whole lot of trouble. That's if they don't kill Fletcher and Ignatius first.
Now Fletcher finds himself in the middle of everything because he's managed to make friends with a dwarf and an elf. Both races have an uneasy truce with the humans and one mistake will make the war worse than it is, or even start a new one. So it's crucial that one of them wins the tournament instead of the noble twins...
Wow. This book sure took me by surprise!
I didn't know what to expect but I was totally hooked into this dangerous world of intricate politics and magic that can open portals into a demon world. I thought Fletcher was such a likeable character, so friendly and willing to help no matter what. Being pushed around and belittled so much might have made another kid an angry, selfish antisocial person, but it did the opposite to Fletcher. He's got a strong will and a stubborn streak, not to mention that he's a magnet for trouble.
Then there's Ignatius. OMG. I need a Salamander demon, like right now. He's so cute and powerful, I have no doubt we will find out much more about this awesome character in the future. I also loved Othello and Solomon, as well as Sylva and Sariel. Not to mention that I was fascinated with Acturus and Lovett, so I hope we get to see much more of them in other books!
The Novice is an amazing thrill ride that hooks you into the life of a young orphan and ends up taking you to a foreign place where danger lurks at every corner. This world is filled with wonderful, brave characters that will make you smile and cheer for them. And awful, corrupt individuals that will make your blood boil. The demonic concept is intriguing, and the way the story unfolds keeps the reader captivated from start to finish. By the time you reach The End, you'll be wishing the book was longer.
This truly is a wonderful story, and I can't wait to read the next one......more
I received this gem from Bloomsbury Australia a few weeks ago, and finally picked it up on Friday night to get a feel for the story. Before I realisedI received this gem from Bloomsbury Australia a few weeks ago, and finally picked it up on Friday night to get a feel for the story. Before I realised it, I'd already read 70 pages. It totally hooked me in!
Ivy Pocket is twelve, and she's a lady's maid. According to her she's very capable, has many talents, can conjure up a remedy for just about anything, and has been bestowed with a series of spectacular gifts. But others have a different opinion. So much so that Countess Carbunkle dumps her in Paris with only a note and not much else. So Ivy finds herself alone, without any money, and in need of a place to stay.
That's when she decides to get a job in the hotel. She's denied employment, but a bellboy seeks her out.
It turns out that the Duchess of Trinity is dying and wants to speak to Ivy. She has a very special job for her. One that entails the safe delivery of a precious necklace called the Clock Diamond. The Duchess gives her very precise instructions about getting the necklace to England, as well as when to give it to the recipient.
This is a very important gift with a very special message. If Ivy does this, she will receive £500 and will be able to start fresh and live her own life. So of course she accepts.
As soon as she sets sail from Paris to London, strange things start to happen. At least she manages to make a friend. Miss Always is a peculiar writer and spinster who seems to be just about everywhere Ivy turns--something she finds endearing.
However, when Ivy breaks one of the rules and tries on the necklace, strange things start to happen. All of a sudden she can see things inside the diamond, such as events from her past. She starts having a desperate need to be around the necklace, plus feels very protective of it, and finds the perfect hiding spot as soon as she reaches Butterfield Park.
Unfortunately, she also manages to capture the attention of ghosts and cloaked dwarves. Not to mention the suspicious governess. Ivy soon realises that she's caught up in something even her awesome wits might not be able to handle...
I didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up, and when I started reading and met Ivy, I have to admit that I was a little sceptical. I mean, she was so delusional and quite frankly sounded like the infuriating person everyone in the book seems to think she was. She insults just about anyone and can't keep her opinions to herself. But something soon started to happen. I found myself getting lost in the story, and was totally captivated by the narration.
Ivy Pocket might not appear to be the most reliable character, but if you ignore her constant bragging and see beyond the words, you really get to know her.
She tries to make herself out to be larger than life and capable of just about any challenge, but she's a lot more than that. She's a young girl who was left in an orphanage at a young age and has since tried to find somewhere to belong. She's longed for real parents so much that she makes up a different marvellous story about them each time. Ivy's really a lost child who dreams of having loving parents.
Another thing that I loved about this book was the female presence. Although it's set in a time when women might have struggled to be properly heard, this story is filled with amazing woman and girls. Some stronger than others and with differing levels of annoyance and cunning, but they all add a little spice to Ivy's tale.
Anyone But Ivy Pocket turned out to be a charming and very quirky surprise. Not only is the narrator awesome, but so are the other zany characters. I got swept up in the glorious story about a seemingly average girl who turns out to be quite amazing. Ivy Pocket can be infuriating, is filled with self-importance and delusions, but she sure is smart. She's a strong and very resourceful heroine. She also takes readers on one hell of a fun, hilarious, and dangerous ride into a wondrous world filled with clocks, murderous villains, secrets and ghosts.
I loved this, and had such a great time reading it! I can't wait to read more about Ivy Pocket....more
Hubby borrowed this comic book from the library, and it grabbed my attention. I mean, come on, the cover features a horned guy, and a winged woman breHubby borrowed this comic book from the library, and it grabbed my attention. I mean, come on, the cover features a horned guy, and a winged woman breastfeeding her baby! That's pretty brazen. And cool.
Anyway, I picked it up today and wound up reading the whole thing in one sitting. It's that good. Seriously.
The story starts with Alana giving birth while Marko delivers the baby. They're supposed to have the place to themselves for a while, but of course don't. Still, they manage to escape but now have a whole bunch of people after them. Including the freaky freelancer, The Stalk. As well as The Will and his cool Lying Cat. Not to mention the Prince Robot IV.
When The Stalk almost kills Marko, Alana has no choice but to trust a ghost. But outside forces aren't the only things in their way to finding a way off the dangerous planet...
I really enjoyed the first volume of this very intriguing story. It's an awesome blend of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, with a bit of eroticism thrown in. It's also a love story between two enemies that just want to be left alone with their baby. I also liked the baby's POV, and the other stories threaded through Alana and Marko's tale.
This is a unique book with some very unusual creatures, freaky situations, and awesome artwork....more
I'm a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, so when I found out that Sarah J. Maas had a new trilogy coming out this year, I was intrigued. It soundI'm a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, so when I found out that Sarah J. Maas had a new trilogy coming out this year, I was intrigued. It sounded really interesting, so I was looking forward to it. What I didn't expect was to receive an ARC of the book, as well as some other awesome goodies from Bloomsbury Australia!
Feyre made a promise to her dying mother. She promised she would look after her father and sisters, as well as help them stay together. Now, years later her father is a ruined man who lost all his wealth. He doesn't provide for the family and they live in a cramped cottage. Four people living inside a dilapidated house with hardly enough food to eat is a hard life, but Feyre has taken charge.
She hunts and kills animals so they can eat and trade the fur at the market. If she doesn't hunt, the family starves. Winter is the worst time, so when she scores by killing a huge wolf as well as the doe she was stalking, she's sure they can have meat for a long while and make a bit from the pelts. However, she didn't count on the wolf being a faerie. And certainly didn't expect a beast to storm into the cottage to spirit her away for her crime.
As the Treaty states, she now has to pay for the life she took by giving her life over to the beast. Tamlin takes her over the wall and deep into the Spring Court of Prythian. Where she's supposed to live the rest of her life. But she's not really a prisoner, or a slave. She's just to stay within the estate's boundaries and listen to what she's told. She hates it at first and dreams of escaping to return to her family. It's not until Tamlin finally tells her he arranged for her family to be taken care of that she finally surrenders to her fate.
Living in such luxury with the mysterious Tamlin and mischievous Lucien isn't as bad as she imagined. And before she realises what's happening she starts painting her days away and spends fun days with the masked men. Tamlin introduces her to their world, and it's not long before she gets comfortable and realises there's love building for one of the men, and deep friendship for the other one.
But life in Prythian is dangerous and a lot more than she suspected is going on. There's danger at every turn, and a situation dawning that will ruin Tamlin and his court. He tries to do what he can to save her--a mere human--from being in further danger, but Feyre can't let go.
Instead of listening to reason, she listens to her heart and throws herself at the mercy of a very dangerous faerie. A faerie determined to ruin everything for the one thing she wants.
This book hooked me in right away. I loved the lavish and dangerous world Feyre lives in, and got swept up in the story. There's a lot of heart in this tale, and though there are faint shadows of fairy and folk tales we've all heard, it's also a very unique tale of its own. I have to admit that although it was great and very well written, I found the middle to drag a little. But it was definitely worth staying to the end, because everything erupts in a very violent and devastating way.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is an intriguing story set in a very dark, yet wondrous world. The book is filled with interesting characters and a strong narrator who doesn't give up. I found myself racing to the end because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
I have to admit that although I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much as the Throne of Glass series....more
I like a good faerie tale, and one written by Holly Black is sure to satisfy.
Hazel and Ben live in the town of Fairfold. They're siblings who are verI like a good faerie tale, and one written by Holly Black is sure to satisfy.
Hazel and Ben live in the town of Fairfold. They're siblings who are very close, yet don't realise how far apart their separate secrets keep them.
In the darkest part of the forest there is a glass coffin. Inside lies a beautiful sleeping prince with horns. He's quite the spectacle and draws the attention of tourists who mostly don't believe he's a real boy. It's also a popular hangout for teen parties, where they drink the night away and someone usually attempts to unsuccessfully break the glass.
Hazel and Ben spent most of their childhood in the woods because their artist parents were more concerned with having parties than taking care of two kids. But they didn't mind, they learned to survive in the woods and Hazel was determined to become a knight. She was so determined she even found a very cool sword she started wielding as her own when she decided to hunt monsters.
But now the monster in the woods is getting hasty. No longer is it happy to take the odd tourist, it's now also hurting the locals. So Hazel makes it her mission to hunt down and destroy the monster. The night that the prince's coffin is miraculously shattered and he's set free, the turn of events send Hazel and Ben down a very dangerous path, all leading to the cruel Alderking...
This was an awesome book. I got swept away in the story as soon as I met Hazel and found out she was a complicated character. A girl who likes to kiss boys at parties but doesn't commit to any of them. Someone who is scared of falling in love, yet has been for years. And a person whose bravery and desire to help her brother turns her waking and sleeping lives into a big mess she has to decipher.
I also liked Jack. The changeling with an unexpected story of his own. A faerie boy who has lived with the humans all his life, with a family that truly loves him. Yet he yearns to experience his true nature. And Ben, the one bestowed with a musical gift he didn't know how to use and did whatever it took to escape the responsibility.
Together, these characters and the others around them create an excellent modern myth. One that turns the stories and archetypes we know so well upside down.
The Darkest Part of the Forest is an intriguing, exciting tale of bravery, friendship, love and secrets. It's spooky and dark, and hooked me in from the beginning. I had a great time discovering all of Hazel's lost memories at the same time she did. And the ending was magical. Loved that Epilogue!
I was lucky to receive an ARC of this lovely short story, and read it this morning.
Minka lives high in the northern mountains with her father. He's anI was lucky to receive an ARC of this lovely short story, and read it this morning.
Minka lives high in the northern mountains with her father. He's an astronomer, which is exactly what she wants to become. But everyone smiles and tells her she's young and will probably change her mind about what she wants to be when she grows up. They don't think this is the path a girl should take.
But Minka is very interested in the stars, and she's determined to become an astronomer.
On her 12th birthday, after getting her presents, she realises that even her father doesn't have faith in her. So when the North Wind calls and offers to lead the way to the stars, Minka treks outside with her father's gear. But the North Wind is mischievous at heart and might just lead her astray...
This was a wonderful, modern fairytale. A story that mixes astronomy with a dash of magic. It features a stubborn young girl who wants to follow a certain path, no matter what others say.
I also liked her father, because unlike everyone else who is discouraging her ambitions, he's just a single parent who wants to keep his only daughter safe.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Bloomsbury, and I absolutely love it!
When three dwarves go in search of 'the finest silks of DI was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Bloomsbury, and I absolutely love it!
When three dwarves go in search of 'the finest silks of Dorimar' to give to the queen as a wedding gift, they discover that on the other side of the mountain there is some sort of plague affecting the land. While stopping by a village inn, they are told that this sleep is sweeping across the land and is making everyone fall asleep. Some say it was caused when a witch cursed a princess.
Meanwhile, the queen is about to get married but she's not excited. Actually, she's not even looking forward to it. So when the dwarves tell her what they have found out, she decides to trek across the land to rescue the sleeping princess and stop the sleeping plague.
The three dwarves and the queen make their way towards the castle, and find it hidden behind overgrown thorns. Everyone they cross is asleep. No one is dead, but they are all in limbo. So when they reach the top of the tower, they think they've discovered the answer to this problem... and instead find something a lot more twisted.
This is another awesome Neil Gaiman book. It's short, but it packs quite a punch. It features two very familiar fairy tale characters, and then spins our familiarity with them upside down to deliver a very twisted tale of power and corruption. It also ends up being a story about facing choices.
The Sleeper and the Spindle was a dark and very clever reimagining of two fairy tales. I love the strength and wickedness of the females in this story, and that a prince isn't the one who takes charge. The illustrations that accompany this wonderful tale are gorgeous, and enhance it. The actual book is beautiful, a treasure that I can't wait to add to my bookshelf.
I read this story this afternoon and was quickly hooked. A psychologist is trying to help a woman who seems to be schizophrenic, but not all is as itI read this story this afternoon and was quickly hooked. A psychologist is trying to help a woman who seems to be schizophrenic, but not all is as it seems. He soon finds himself recalling the English folksong of Mad Maudlin and Tom o’ Bedlam.
This is a well-written story that blends psychology and fantasy, which made for an interesting blend. I was also intrigued by Maudlin and wanted to know her story. But then the atmosphere of the tale changed, and I started disconnecting.
It's a shame, because I was really enjoying it. There was just something......more
Another great folk tale! This time it deals with the curse of beauty, greed, and being unheard.
In the town of Velisyana, a stunningly beautiful girl iAnother great folk tale! This time it deals with the curse of beauty, greed, and being unheard.
In the town of Velisyana, a stunningly beautiful girl is born. Yeva Luchova is the daughter of a wealthy Duke, but because everyone who looks her way is so captivated by her beauty that they want her, she spends most of her days inside. Until her father gets a selfish idea and starts setting tasks for the competitive men, making her hand in marriage the reward.
Things don't go according to plan, and a man just as greedy as the duke uses the river to do his bidding. But in the end, the river might be the only one really listening to Yeva.
I've been curious about this trilogy for a while now, so I decided to check out this prequel short story to see if the world was interesting.
Nadya livI've been curious about this trilogy for a while now, so I decided to check out this prequel short story to see if the world was interesting.
Nadya lives in the little town of Duva. A place where the forest eats young girls. When her mother dies and her older brother is preparing to leave, her father is pursued by Karina and ends up marrying her. Karina is cruel and doesn't like Nadya. Actually, she tells her to go. And she does. Nadya finds sanctuary in a hut. When she eventually returns home after winter, she finds out the awful truth.
Wow. What a fantastic folk tale. It hooked me in right away. I read it in one sitting and loved it! It's creepy, mysterious, and reveals a shocking end.
I'm going to have to buy the first book now. LOL....more
Wow! This story is AWESOME! Seriously awesome. Not only is it well written but it's riveting, and has a killer twist.
Koja is born an ugly, yellow-eyeWow! This story is AWESOME! Seriously awesome. Not only is it well written but it's riveting, and has a killer twist.
Koja is born an ugly, yellow-eyed, patchy-furred fox. His mother almost eats him, but he's very clever and talks his way out of an early death. Actually, he spends his life talking himself out of potentially lethal situations. And makes friends because of it.
The day a skilled hunter comes to the woods, the animals start vanishing. Koja knows he must do something, but for the first time, this too-clever fox might have fallen into a trap he can't talk his way out of.
Like I said before, this story is amazing. I loved Koja. He was so smart and willing to help others. He might not be the prettiest fox, but he's certainly the most kind.
Oh, and I have to mention the fantastic cover! Loved everything about this folk tale. Including the ending....more
After Celaena and Sam ruined Arobynn Hamel's slave trading plans, the ruthless King of the Assassins punishes her by beating her and then sending theAfter Celaena and Sam ruined Arobynn Hamel's slave trading plans, the ruthless King of the Assassins punishes her by beating her and then sending the young assassin on a mission to the Deserted Land. On her way, she stops in a small and filthy port town called Innish. While she waits for her ship to come in, she spends most of her days in a local inn drinking. She also looks for trouble, but mostly makes her presence known by hiding her bruised face under a cowl and drinking the day away.
A barmaid watches the visitor, and as she wonders about the mysterious woman who sits at the back and throws coins around, she ponders her own worthless existence. Yrene Towers comes from a long line of healers and intended to attend the Torre Cesme academy to further her training, but after running out of money she ended up here. No matter how hard she works, she can't seem to save enough money to leave this horrid place. Crossing paths with the mysterious visitor might just change her life...
I loved this story. It was short, but full of heart and action. Celaena's an ominous presence, but her power is felt deeply. Yrene was also a very interesting character, so I liked reading her POV. I also enjoyed seeing Celaena's harsh exterior crack enough to teach a young girl in desperate need of a helping hand how to protect herself, and not give up on her dreams. ...more
THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD This takes us back to a time when Celaena Sardothien worked for Arobynn Hamel, King of the Assassins. It's also a time when Sam Cortland was still alive, so I was looking forward to meeting him. I was surprised to find out that at first they can barely stand each other because they're always competing.
After a fellow assassin is captured and another is killed, Celaena and Sam are sent to meet with a Pirate Lord at Skull's Bay. She spends most of her time hiding behind a mask and arguing with Sam. Until they find out their boss is going into the slave trading business. That's when Celaena and Sam use their smarts and extensive training to risk their lives and save innocent slaves...
This was an awesome origin story. It's filled with action, witty dialogue, insane plans, horrible pirates, a remote island, and adventure. It was great to see Celaena as a spoiled, arrogant teen before the devastation that awaits her.
This act of disobedience also happens to be when everything changes and sets her on the path to Endovier.
THE ASSASSIN AND THE HEALER
After Celaena and Sam ruined Arobynn Hamel's slave trading plans, the ruthless King of the Assassins punishes her by beating her and then sending the young assassin on a mission to the Deserted Land. On her way, she stops in a small and filthy port town called Innish. While she waits for her ship to come in, she spends most of her days in a local inn drinking. She also looks for trouble, but mostly makes her presence known by hiding her bruised face under a cowl and drinking the day away.
A barmaid watches the visitor, and as she wonders about the mysterious woman who sits at the back and throws coins around, she ponders her own worthless existence. Yrene Towers comes from a long line of healers and intended to attend the Torre Cesme academy to further her training, but after running out of money she ended up here. No matter how hard she works, she can't seem to save enough money to leave this horrid place. Crossing paths with the mysterious visitor might just change her life...
I loved this story. It was short, but full of heart and action. Celaena's an ominous presence, but her power is felt deeply. Yrene was also a very interesting character, so I liked reading her POV. I also enjoyed seeing Celaena's harsh exterior crack enough to teach a young girl in desperate need of a helping hand how to protect herself, and not give up on her dreams.
THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT
It's taken Celaena weeks of being guided over the harsh and unforgiving conditions of the Red Desert to reach the Silent Assassin's fortress. Not to mention she spent a horrid birthday without much celebration, enduring endless heat and sand. She's been sent by Arobynn as punishment for ruining his slave trading plans by releasing them instead. She has to spend one full month training with the Mute Master and then get a letter of approval at the completion.
While she's there, she finds a league of assassins that live in silent harmony, and don't have to put up with a cruel master. She even meets and befriends a female assassin. Ansel is smart, tough, and Celaena enjoys spending time with her. But everything isn't as it seems because there's danger lurking from the nearby town of Xandria, or maybe it's from the inside of the fortress....
OMG. This was another amazing story! I enjoyed spending time with the Silent Assassins, while watching as Celaena realises that her master isn't the norm. Even assassins deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Seeing her forge a new friendship while learning about the Flatlands and the Witch Kingdom was also interesting.
Oh, and it was also sweet how she kept thinking about Sam. :)
THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD
After months of being away, Celaena has returned home to the Assassins' Keep. As soon as she arrives, she goes straight to Arobynn Hamel's study with the intention of letting him know she's going to buy her own freedom and intends to move out. But she's surprised to find him apologetic about his actions. He seems to be sorry about sending her away and begins to shower her with gifts. He's even got a new assignment for her. Something that'll make her a lot of money, as well as aid her plight to free slaves.
So she decides to put off her intentions for a while, but refuses to forget what Arobynn did to her.
Celaena finds herself eager to see Sam again, to see what happened to him after she left but when she finds him with a girl she despises, all of her eagerness fades. Still, she accepts his help in her assignment and as much as she wants it to feel like old times, when they got on each other's nerves and were one step away from killing each other... her feelings towards Sam are shifting. But it's easier to concentrate on her job. Except, things aren't as they seem and what Celaena's doing might have the reverse effect.
These novellas just keep getting better and better. It was good to see Celaena back in Rifthold, and read about how she interacts with Arobynn and Sam. There were some very tender moments in this instalment, a lot of kick-butt action, and even a good--or is that bad?--dose of betrayal. I really, really dislike the so-called 'King of the Assassins'. Since I know how it all turned out between them, I can already sense the vengeance he's plotting against her.
I'm loving this book. And I only have one more story to go. :(
THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE
Well, I just finished reading the last prequel novella. :( Although I already knew where Celaena's story would end up, the events leading to how she got there still twisted my stomach into knots and broke my heart.
Now that their debts to Arobynn Hamel have been paid in full, Celaena and Sam are living away from the Assassins' Keep. They're enjoying each other, and like the fact they're away from Arobynn even more. But money is running out, and they can't seem to score any jobs. So, even though she hates it, Sam has been fighting in the Vaults.
When they decide to sever complete ties with the King of the Assassins by paying their way out of the Assassins' Guild, Sam finds them one last job so they can get their payment and leave this city. But their last mission in Rifthold seems like an almost impossible assignment that wreaks of betrayal and shatters their lives forever.
Wow. This was such an intense story. No matter what was going on, I was on the edge if my seat. Knowing what happens to Sam, where Celaena ends up, and who betrays her actually made the heartbreak SO much worse.
This is one powerful and moving story that breaks the reader as much as poor Celaena.
The Assassin's Blade is a fantastic addition to The Throne of Glass series. Reading Celaena Sardothien's journey as an obedient assassin who is eventually punished for refusing to be a willing participant in the evil slave trade was quite a heart-wrenching experience. But you know what? I enjoyed every thrilling, breathtaking moment.
I also can't wait until she makes the King of the Assassins and the King of Adarlan pay for not only breaking her, but destroying her life.