Wednesday 30 August 2017

Book Haul (#108)


The end of summer, fun, and cute Instagram posts is approaching! Feel like August has breeeeezed by. I was lucky enough to spend a week in Malta and then Prague, probably my last taste of freedom before I start university this September. *Sigh* But luckily I have some books that I can sink my teeth into before then!
The Crowns of Croswald (The Croswald Series)
Thank you, D.E. Night and her lovely press release team, for sending me over a copy of this book! Super excited for this middle grade fantasy that will probably transport me back to the age of reading Harry Potter. 
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
I had to request both the 2nd and 3rd book as soon as I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses because the book utterly swept me off my feet. You can read my review here.   It was simply brilliant and I had to get my hand on all the stories out so far!! I've actually just finished this sequel and oh my god!!! Guys, I'm so in love. My review will be up soon! I am currently devouring the third book.

Leave a comment with a link to your book haul or let me know which books you're excited about! 

- Sam

Saturday 29 July 2017

My review of A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A rich fantasy world that swept me off my feet and into the High Lord Tamlin's arms. Maas has succeeded once again at delivering readers a team of badass characters and a delicious plot line to go with them. This story follows Feyre as she introduces us to a harsh and cold world where faeries and mortals are separated by a wall. She hunts tirelessly in the forest to provide for her father and two sisters, who are unwilling to help her no matter how small the task. When she kills a faerie disguised as a wolf by accident, she is thrust into the faerie world as punishment to live with her captor. I make this sound bad, but it really isn't that bad. In the house of her captor, Tamlin, Feyre's hate and fear of faeries begins to fade and she begins to feel things she never thought would of been possible for her to feel towards such beings. And this is how our romance plot unfolds. Feyre begins to fall for Tamlin and the soft nature within him, and the harder she falls for his charm so do we. 

I haven't read a Sarah J. Maas book for a while now and I completely forgot how easy is it to fall in love with her storytelling. Every character she introduces and every scene she describes feels so rich that it feels like they're practically falling out from the pages and unravelling in real life. You will want to explore all of what the faerie realm has to offer including all of the seven courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. In this instalment, we see a lot more of the Spring court, but I'm sure as the series goes on new courts will be introduced to readers and more exploring can take place.

I've finished this book feeling like I've fallen in love with so many charming guys. Especially, Tamlin. Oh, no one will understand the depth of how much you could possibly adore him until you read this book. He stole my heart only a few chapters into the book and I can't wait for you to fall in love with him too. He is introduced to us firstly as a beast who ransacks Feyre's house in search for the one responsible for killing one of his men, but as the story progresses secrets are revealed and so is the gentle and kind person beneath that frightening exterior. Maas has used inspiration from the tale of Beauty and the Beast perfectly to create a world and story which feels dangerous yet so irresistible. 

A strong start to what I can already feel will be an action-packed and thrilling series.

Recommended if you also loved: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Thursday 27 July 2017

Book Haul (#107)


I know it's been a while since I've regularly posted actually it's probably been a really long while, but I hope you are all okay and still enjoying books! The last 2 years I've been studying for my A levels to hopefully get me into university this September and I honestly was hardly reading at all. Buttttt, it's summer now and I'm trying to power through all the good books that I've missed and I'm loving it. A positive to that is that sequels to series I love are mostly all out, or there's a good few of them out so I can get binge reading.

Here are some books that I've received, bought, and borrowed:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo - Received -
Thank you so much, Penguin! I went to see the Wonder Woman movie when it came out and goddamn did I love it. Definitely one of my favourite superheroes!! Then I was online you know seeing what authors that I've loved in the past have been releasing and I see this book by Leigh Bardugo. Oh my lord, what a beautiful combination?!?!? So I'm very excited to start this one. The DC Icons series will also have Batman by Marie Lu and Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas. I'm honestly so pumped. Look out for my review around the release date at the end of August.
The Young Elite 3 Books Set Marie Lu Collection (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, The Midnight Star)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)
The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu - Bought -
I loved Marie Lu's Prodigy trilogy and I saw this box set online and couldn't resist. I haven't gotten round to it yet, I've heard a few mixed opinions but I'll let you guys know what I think when I've read them.
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare - Bought -
Read and loved. I'm still a hardcore lover of The Infernal Devices, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this series plays out. The characters are great, there's interesting and problematic romance, so yeah... let's see where Clare takes this.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas - Borrowed -
Finished this one right before I started writing this post and goddamn I forgot the feels that books like this give me!! Already reserved the 2nd and 3rd book at the library so I can catch up with this train.
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray - Borrowed -
Not sure what to expect from this one, some kind of multi-universe hopping story "The Flash" style. 
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Second Chance Summer
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch - Borrowed -
From the look of Goodreads, people are either hating this or loving it. I'm willing to give it a chance, the premise seems interesting. Let me know if you guys have read this one!
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Borrowed -
I've always wanted to read this one since many years ago when I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, so when I saw it in the library I couldn't resist. I haven't read a contemporary in a while so I'm looking forward to jumping into these summer romances.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare - Borrowed -
I wanted to buy this as soon as I finished Lady Midnight but I was on a plane so I had to hold on. Then when I was going to buy it I realised I had the small paperback version of Lady Midnight and my copies wouldn't match and I just didn't know if I felt comfortable with that, so off I went to the library. Very, very excited to see what this one has in store. Everyone is raging about the ending and the 3rd book isn't out until 2019 so I'm a bit worried about how I'll cope. 

Did you guys get any cool books this week? Please give me suggestions I feel like I've been out of the book loop.

- Sam

Wednesday 5 July 2017

My review of Wicked

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: December 8, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

Following tradition, Armentrout lures us into the story with a feisty and easy-to-love female protagonist, a unique twist on a supernatural species, and a hot, drool-worthy guy that all readers will be dying to have in their bed by the end of the book (or from the first encounter.) Like all series that I have read from JLA, I have fallen hard for every character in every story and in this start to A Wicked Saga, things are no different. 

In this story, Armentrout takes on fae, a fantasy species that have previously used in other great series such as The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. The premise of Wicked all evolves around our main gal Ivy, who works for an organisation called the Order who are in charge of seeing to all fae in the human world being killed or sent back to where they belong: the Otherworld. Fae in this story follow most lores; they feed off the essence of humans in order to prolong their lives to near immortality and maintain their beautiful facade. Ivy is one of the people who tackle the streets of New Orleans in order to do just that, until she encounters a type of fae that can't be banished with a simple iron stake. The fae are planning something big and with the help of the charming and cheeky Ren, they plan to find out exactly what's going on. 

If you haven't read anything by Jennifer Armentrout, that's okay there's still plenty of time to start. Both the Lux and Half-Blood series are great places to start, but if you fancy something maybe a little bit steamier I would recommend Wicked. The chemistry between Ren and Ivy is undeniable and I found myself getting caught up in their romance so easily despite the end of the world possibly looming around the corner. The author has a talent for creating an entertaining voice for the protagonist and I constantly found myself laughing at the dialogue that is formed in Ivy's head. Another relationship that I enjoyed in this book was between Ivy and her small not-so-human friend Tink. Tink is a brownie, which is some kind of creature from the Otherworld that Ivy found injured and decided to take in. They have a human form but a lot smaller, can speak just like humans, and in some cases have a talent at ordering off Amazon Prime. Yep, that was one of his qualities. He's cheeky and, I guess, kind of saucy, and when he's set with Ivy the two just made me laugh so much. I'm sure reading about their relationship could make anyone wish they knew Tink.

Another element that I must point out that I loved was the way that the author weaves in popular culture. For example, mentioning Twilight, Theo James, and Jenson Ackles. I found myself in fits at every Supernatural reference.
Image result for supernatural gif fairies
Overall, I felt that Wicked is a good, strong start to this fantasy series with entertaining characters, dialogue, and irresistible plot line that will mean you finish it in one sitting; AKA the usual Armentrout recipe. I'm looking forward to seeing the direction she takes this in further and being reunited with some of my favourite characters because I genuinely can't get enough of them. I'd recommend this series to anyone who loves Jennifer Armentrout, or fantasy stories such as The Iron Fey series but slightly sexier and steamier.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

My review of Frostblood

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
Release Date: January 12, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is a fantasy tale filled with magic, danger, and a twist around every turn. Blake has created an exciting world that is just at the tipping point of a war narrated by a fiery and strong-willed female protagonist. 

The war brewing in this story is between the Firebloods, those who have power to wield fire, and Frostbloods, those who can control ice. The main character of the book is a Fireblood, one of the only ones left because they have gradually been wiped out by Frostbloods. So immediately we're thrust into a world where our hero, Ruby, is in danger and this had me stressed OUT. 
Image result for stressed out gif
What I thought to myself was why does everyone have to be in danger? But of course it wouldn't be a gripping book if there wasn't a something to hook you in right at the beginning. Ruby is not the easiest character to like at first, she's stubborn, hot-headed and I did find her quite annoying. But as she learns to harness her gift and develop it with the help of some monks and a mysterious and tortured boy named Arcus, I also learned to love her as well. 

In Frostblood, there is fantasy but there's also a lot of action and a twinge of romance which is what I enjoyed as well. This book reminded me of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, so if you enjoyed those series I'd recommend you try this one out even though the fantasy in Frostblood doesn't feel as rich, but the story line is just as interesting. The romance for me at first was a bit rocky, I didn't know how I felt about Arcus as he was the brooding and rude male interest that you know you'll fall in love by the end but just not sure about at the beginning. Arcus is a Frostblood, therefore seeing him and Ruby get over their hatred for each other and slowly fall in love was really nice. This book definitely has what I'd call a cute romance. I'm hoping that it'll spice up in the second book though, I loved scenes with the both of them in because they have great chemistry and really made my heart happy.

This didn't feel like the most groundbreaking fantasy story to me and the premise of "a war between two worlds with a prophecy saying that could it be stopped by a person born with extraordinary powers" has been used quite a lot in the young adult genre. However, I'm not deterred by this and as this is the first book out of three I do feel like the story has a lot of potential and a lot of exciting and innovative directions it could go in. I did really get hooked into this story and the wonderful world that it offered an escape into as the writing was just brilliant. Blake really brought this world to life for me and I couldn't put the book down, but I do realise that many people might want to be completely knocked off their boat by a crazy, wild and original young adult story and may not want to read a story that kind of has the same premise as a few books already out there. Therefore in that respect this one might not be for you. But if you're willing to let the world suck you in and fall in love with the characters then I do think you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Frostblood. I would definitely recommend it to those wanting a world that's similar to Throne of Glass or Shadow and Bone. And I'll also recommend this to those of you that may have watched and loved the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, I think that show describes this book quite well. 
Image result for avatar the last airbender
I'm really looking forward to reading the second instalment which will be released in September 2017, so there's plenty of time to pick up a copy and fill yourself in before the sequel is released. I'm hoping Blake will take this into a completely unpredictable direction just as she did towards the end of Frostblood.