Sunday, 22 January 2017

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Summary: After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands. 

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This is one of those rare instances where the sequel is even better than the first book. Windwitch delivered on so many fronts, and completely took me by surprise. I was so not expecting Dennard to take these characters in the direct she did.

Diversity. We live in a diverse world, so imo that should be reflected in the books we read. Dennard does a brilliant job of this, not only are there POC in this series but there are also LGBTQ+ characters. I liked the fact that they weren't just put in for show, and I appreciated how skin colour wasn't described in terms of food, which unfortunately I've seen in books before.

Aeduan/Iseult. When I first read the summary of the book I'm not going to lie, I was excited to see that Aeduan and Iseult would be travelling together. The reason why is because I was shipping these two hard in the first book, despite the fact that they had hardly any scenes together or barely talked for that matter. The thing is, though, Dennard cleverly crafted the scenes they did have together and my shippy feels were on in full force. I enjoyed seeing them work together and slowly trust each other. It was also interesting getting to know more about the pair.

Vivia. I was not a fan of Vivia, but I came to love her in Windwitch. The fact that she has a POV really helps to get to understand her better. She is fierce, determined and there's definitely more to her than meets the eye.  I also liked the exploration into her relationship with her brother, Merik, and am hoping we get more Vivia/Merik moments in the books that follow.

Merik. Talking about Merik, man does he go through a lot. I really felt for him, as well as going through a physical change he comes to learn more about himself and his eyes are opened to some things that he was previously blind to.

Safi. Along with  some unexpected companions Safi and the Empress of Marstok go on a riveting adventure. The plot thickens as they journey through a land filled with pirates, and I may or may not have been shipping Safi and spoiler.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Bloodwitch, (more Aeduan!) because I just know it's going to be amazing!

Rating:

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Summary: Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London's criminal population.

But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging.

Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…

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Publication date: 07/03/17

The wait for the third book in my favourite on-going series has been torture, but in the end it was worth it. The Song Rising met my expectations, with its killer twists and shocking revelations. It was my first (and only) five star book of 2016 and I wasn't even surprised! As someone who is bored of typical dystopian fiction, this series is a breath of fresh air. The way it  mixes urban fantasy with dystopia just works. Utterly compelling, it's like no other dystopian series I've read before.

The Song Rising picks up where the previous book left off. Paige is trying to bring together the underworld, which is no easy job. She wants change and with change comes hard decisions. Some decisions she comes to regret as they back fire, and this sometimes makes her doubt herself and her ability to be Underqueen. At the end of the day, though, she knows she has to shoulder the responsibility and learn from her mistakes. Her continued growth amazed me, and I'm sure there's more to come as the series progresses.

Some may find the pacing of the first half of the book slow as there's not a ton of action. As with the previous book, however, I didn't mind the pacing. I found every page of The Song Rising to be fascinating. The world-building expanded in this instalment of The Bone Season series, and it added even more layers to the story. We finally see Paige stepping out of Scion London, and exploring Scion Edinburgh and Manchester. I found the snow filled journey and exploration into both places interesting as they differed quite a bit from Scion London.

In regards to Warden and Paige, whenever these two were in a scene together there was this palpable chemistry, it didn't matter whether they were talking, not talking, or making out. They just have this amazing slow burn romance. I can say hands down that they are my top ship at the moment. They work so well together, and even when problems arise in their relationship I like that Warden doesn't push Paige. He fully supports her and knows when to step back.
 
I loved the winter atmosphere in The Song Rising, and it was exciting to see the sparks of revolution being set into motion.  The last half of the book especially was full of surprises, and with the way things ended I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Rating:

Friday, 23 December 2016

Top 5 non-canon ships

I've been lucky in that most of the couples I ship end up together, but sometimes they don't. So, here's my top five non-canon ships:

  • Janelle & Barclay from the Unravelling duology by Elizabeth Norris - These two, guys. These two. 😭
  • Harry & Hermione from the Harry Potter series - I love their friendship, but I wouldn't have minded if they had ended up together. Just sayin'... πŸ˜‰
  • Thorne & Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer - Don't get me wrong, I love Cinder/Kai, but I also like the idea of Cinder/Thorne. 😢
  • Hermione & Draco from the Harry Potter series - I know, I know. You're like really, Renu? *shrugs* πŸ˜‚
  • Yael & Felix from the Wolf by Wolf duology by Ryan Graudin. Bit of a weird one, but what can I say, logic doesn't mean a thing when it comes to shipping.😜

What are some of your favourite non-canon ships?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Favourite books of 2016

Hey, guys! 2017 is approaching which means it's time for another favourite books post. To mix things up this year I've included my ships from each book. (FYI: Just because I ship them doesn't mean they are/will be a thing.) So, without further ado here it is, my favourite books of 2016! πŸ™Œ
  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir - Elias & Laia
  • Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima - Jenna & her dragon, but not in a romantic way. πŸ˜‰
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Hanna & Nik
  • Dark Waters by Robert Bryndza - Erika & Peterson
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon - Warden & Paige
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte - Agnes & Edward
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard - Aeduan & Iseult
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman -  The Duke of Selburn & Lady Helen 😲


Have any of these made it to your faves? 😊
* Photos are from my instagram: tthepageturner

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary: Alyssa ana'Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn't pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.

Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lΓ½tling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.

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Publication date: 04/04/17

Shadowcaster's two main characters are Alyssa ana'Raisa (Ash's sister) and Captain Halston Matelon. It takes place parallel to the events of Flamecaster, so it's a 'meanwhile on the war and politics front' type of situation.

Having more of a focus on war and politics makes it different from the previous book. Princess Lyssa aka the Gray Wolf and Hal are on opposites sides of the war, but both are loyal and determined fighters. As their paths cross they learn that they may not be so different after all...

I have to admit that when I first head that the book wouldn't be told from Ash and Jenna's POV I was a little disappointed, because I really came to love them in Flamecaster. However, Lyss and Hal were both excellently developed characters, and Chima once again managed to make me root and care for her leading pair. Lyss was fierce and although she sometimes said things without thinking, I liked her steel determination to end the war. Hal, too, was a character to be reckoned with.

POV change aside, going into the book I was a tad bit confused with all the new terms thrown at me. The previous book, Flamecaster, I finished without having read the Seven Realms series, and that was absolutely fine. However, with this one I felt like I might have benefited from having reading the other series. I was also worried that I wouldn't be able to finish it at first, because of the confusing terms and the change of style from the previous book. Luckily, though, things picked up and my confusion faded away. From then on I was flying through Shadowcaster, wanting to know what would happen next.

Jenna and her dragon also had a few chapter of their own which was exciting. I of course missed Ash, but hopefully Jenna and Ash will be back in the next book full time!

Rating:

Monday, 31 October 2016

Blood by Blood by Ryan Graudin

GoodReads: For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

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Source: Visit SocialBookCo to compare and find the lowest price for this book.

I really enjoyed reading Wolf by Wolf last year, and have been looking forward to Blood for Blood even though I had a feeling there was heartbreak to come.

Blood for Blood is told from Yael, Felix, and Luka’s POV – mostly in the present, with flashback to their pasts here and there. This enables you to get to know the characters better, especially Felix and Luka whose perspectives were not included in the previous book.

Yael is such an amazing heroine. She has a horrible past, but instead of breaking her it’s made her stronger and more determined. She has a lot on her shoulders and constantly has to make morally hard choices. 

Felix, one of my favourite characters from the last book is also forced to make some tough decisions. My heart broke seeing him struggle and question himself. I would not want to be put in his position. Even though his choice frustrated me at times, I can understand why he took the path he did.

I have to admit I wasn't really a fan of Luka in the first book. I felt like he was portrayed as a typical 'bad boy'. I have to say, however, that I came to appreciate him more in Blood for Blood. I think the fact that we get to read from his POV helped me sympathise for him.

I kind of expected the ending and honestly think it couldn’t have ended any other way. It was brilliantly executed and definitely packed a punch.

Blood for Blood has it all: action, heartbreak, and betrayal!

Rating:

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning. 

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.  

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago. 

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on. 

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.   

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I first stumbled upon the DCI Erika Foster series when I was on Amazon searching for a good crime/mystery book. The reviews seemed positive, but I still wasn't too sure about it. Then, not too long after I saw a review for it up on Czai's blog, and she basically had me sold. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, The Girl in the Ice and quickly moved onto the next, The Night Stalker. It's no surprise then that I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the third book, Dark Water. I honestly think I love this series nearly as much as I love J.K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike series. It's that good!

Usually when I read a crime/mystery book and it's the first in a series I'm satisfied reading just the one book, because most of the time they can be read as a standalone, which is great. I'm also usually in it for the mystery, so character likability, etc doesn't much matter to me. However, like the Cormoran Strike series it's both the mystery and characters that has me devouring these books.

The thing I love about this series is that it keeps you guessing. It's a really well done whodunnit, that isn't at all predictable. Dark Water features another great mystery, and although I wouldn't say it's my favourite mystery so far it still played out brilliantly. On the character side of things I liked the growth Erika goes through, it was great seeing her develop. She is a no nonesense kind of main character, whose tell it like it is attitude I adore. I've been shipping her and a certain someone since the last book, and all I'm going to say is that my shippy feelings were working overtime when reading Dark Water. ;)

One last thing I want to mention before I wrap this review up is diversity. It's something I find lacking in the Cormoran Strike series, which sucks because London is a really diverse place. So, it's been great seeing so much of it in this series. What I like about how it's been handled here is that it's not just been thrown in there for show, it comes across as genuine.

Overall, I flew through Dark Water and am really looking forward to book 4!

Rating:

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